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This is a pinch hit post from our own Mike D.

With the Winter Meetings now underway, I thought it might make sense to take stock of Ross Atkins’ transaction record since December 3, 2015, when he took the GM job vacated by Alex Anthopoulos.

Prior to Atkins taking the job, interim GM Tony LaCava signed J.A. Happ to a three year, $36 million contract in November 2015. It was a good deal – Happ put up WARs of 4.5, 3.3 and again 3.3 over his three seasons, with his last season split between Toronto and the Bronx after being dealt by Atkins at the deadline. It’s safe to say that Atkins has not acquired anyone as impactful as Happ since he took the job the next month.

Each year, roughly 150 players put up a WAR of 3.0 or greater – split roughly evenly between hitters and pitchers. A three-win player is typically not an All-Star, but is a good, productive player. Having combed through Baseball-Reference, I have identified 98 transactions since Ross Atkins assumed the GM’s chair in which a team acquired a player that eventually put up at least one season with a WAR of 3.0 or better with the acquiring team.

Not one of those transactions was made by Ross Atkins.

In fact, every other MLB team has acquired at least one 3+ WAR player since Atkins was hired in December 2015, and most have acquired several 3+ WAR players. Some have been splashy free agent mega-deals or win-now trades for established stars. Other productive players, however, have been acquired through shrewd smaller dealers, modest free agent signings, and even waiver claims. Unfortunately, Ross Atkins has not been able to execute any of the above.

Here, by my account, is a team-by-team list of 3+ WAR players acquired since December 3, 2015. Some ground rules:

  • I counted players who were signed, traded, claimed, purchased or drafted. I included players who were re-signed after being granted free agency, but players extended before reaching free agency. In other words, the player had to be available to other clubs.
  • I included players who split their 3+ WAR across two teams in the case of midseason acquisitions, provided that they were productive after being acquired after their new team.
  • I have put the player’s name in ALL CAPS where he put up multiple 3+ win seasons with his acquiring team.

Arizona (5 players, 2 multi-season players): Signed GREINKE (12/15); traded for Segura (01/16); traded for MARTE (11/16); signed Buchholz (05/18); traded for E. Escobar (07/18).

Atlanta (3 players, 1 multi-season player): Traded for INCIARTE (12/15); signed An. Sanchez (03/18); signed Donaldson (11/18).

Baltimore (4 players): Re-signed C. Davis (01/16); traded for Beckham (07/17); traded for Villar (07/18); claimed Alberto (03/19).

Boston (4 players, 3 multi-season players): Signed PRICE (12/15); traded for Pomeranz (07/16); traded for SALE (12/16); signed J.D. MARTINEZ (02/18).

Chicago Cubs (4 players, 1 multi-season player): Signed ZOBRIST (12/15); re-signed Fowler (02/16); signed Darvish (02/18); traded for Hamels (07/18).

Chicago White Sox (5 players): Traded for T. Frazier (12/15); traded for Giolito and R. Lopez (12/16); traded for Moncada (12/16); signed J. McCann (12/18).

Cincinnati (5 players): Claimed Straily (04/16); traded for L. Castillo (01/17); claimed Gennett (03/17); signed J. Hughes (12/17); traded for S. Gray (01/19).

Cleveland (3 players, 1 multi-season player): Drafted Bieber (06/16); traded for A. MILLER (07/16); traded for C. Santana (12/18).

Colorado (1 multi-season player): Traded for G. MARQUEZ (01/16).

Detroit (1 multi-season player): Signed J. UPTON (01/16).

Houston (8 players, 2 multi-season players): Signed Y. Gurriel (07/16); traded for Y. Alvarez (08/16); signed Morton (11/16); signed Reddick (11/16); traded for VERLANDER (08/17); traded for G. COLE (01/18); signed Brantley (12/18); signed Chirinos (12/18).

Kansas City (2 players): Traded for Soler (12/16); traded for Keller (12/17).

L.A. Angels (1 player): Signed Ohtani (12/17).

L.A. Dodgers (4 players, 3 multi-season players): Traded for C. TAYLOR (06/16); re-signed J. TURNER (12/16); signed MUNCY (04/17); re-signed Ryu (11/18).

Miami (2 players): Traded for Alcantara (12/17); traded for S. Castro (12/17).

Milwaukee (7 players, 2 multi-season players): Traded for C. Anderson (01/16); traded for T. SHAW (12/16); signed Aguilar (02/17); traded for Jeffress (07/17); signed L. Cain (01/18); traded for YELICH (01/18); re-signed Moustakas (02/19).

Minnesota (2 players): Traded for Odorizzi (02/18); signed N. Cruz (01/19).

N.Y. Mets (3 players): Re-signed Colon (12/15); signed Cespedes (01/16); drafted Alonso (06/16).

N.Y. Yankees (6 players): Traded for G. Torres (07/16); traded for T. Frazier (07/17); traded for Stanton (12/17); purchased Urshela (08/18); signed LeMahieu (01/19); traded for Tauchman (03/19).

Oakland (3 players): Traded for Treinen (07/17); traded for Laureano (11/17); traded for Fiers (08/18).

Philadelphia (2 players): Traded for Realmuto (02/19); signed Harper (03/19).

Pittsburgh (2 players): Traded for B. Reynolds (01/18); traded for Dickerson (02/18).

San Diego (2 players): Traded for Tatis Jr. (06/16); signed Machado (02/19).

San Francisco (1 player): Signed Cueto (12/15).

Seattle (3 players, 2 multi-season): Traded for HANIGER and SEGURA (11/16); traded for M. Gonzales (07/17).

St. Louis (3 players, 1 multi-season): Traded for GYORKO (12/15); drafted Edman (06/16); signed Mikolas (12/17).

Tampa Bay (6 players): Traded for Mal. Smith (01/17); re-signed L. Morrison (02/17); traded for Wendle (12/17); traded for Meadows (07/18); traded for Pham (07/18); signed Morton (12/18).

Texas (3 players, 1 multi-season): Signed Cashner (11/16); signed MINOR (12/17); signed Lynn (12/18).

Toronto: None.

Washington (3 players): Signed D. Murphy (01/16); signed An. Sanchez (12/18); signed Corbin (12/18).

To be fair to Atkins, Cavan Biggio came close this year at 2.8. The club can reasonably expect Biggio or Bo Bichette to become 3+ WAR players soon, although every other club has its own pipeline of drafted talent, and others have been able to supplement it through acquisitions.

Also, it must be said that Ken Giles was excellent in 2019 and trading Roberto Osuna was the right thing to do. In part due to injury, however, Giles pitched just 53 innings and his WAR topped out at 2.4. Giles, if he is healthy and not traded, is probably the best bet of all the Atkins acquisitions to hit 3+ wins. Who’s second – Simeon Woods-Richardson?

The excuses such as the payroll, turf, customs, the border, the division and the exchange rate are well-documented. But Alex Anthopoulos had all of these constraints as well, and he did not have the advantage that Atkins had after 2015 and 2016 of selling an incumbent playoff team to free agents. By the time of AA’s fourth anniversary as GM in October 2013, he had acquired six players who had put up 3+ WAR seasons as Blue Jays: Gonzalez, Lawrie, Escobar, Morrow, Rasmus and Encarnacion (admittedly after he first waived Edwin). Over his final two years, the team enjoyed 3-win-or-better seasons from six more acquired players -- Reyes, Cabrera, Buehrle, Martin, Estrada and Donaldson, plus three AA draftees in Pillar, Sanchez and Stroman.

It is really hard to avoid the conclusion that Atkins struggles to identify and acquire pro talent. I know most fans are hoping Atkins does not strike out in his search for quality additions this offseason. But he has had four offseasons, and has nothing to show for it but a golden sombrero.

Thanks Mike D, lots of food for thought there.

Ross Atkins and the Art of WAR | 296 comments | Create New Account
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Nigel - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 06:43 PM EST (#383721) #
I'm not sure that the problem is an inability to identify talent - the FO's IFA signings and amateur draft suggest otherwise. I think the problems are pro scouting and risk aversion in the extreme. All of which leads to, well, not doing much of anything.
Gerry - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 07:21 PM EST (#383724) #
Shapiro and team were successful in Cleveland. But we know that the front offices in baseball are very different now when compared to ten years ago. That gives us some additional questions to Mike's article.

Has the world passed by Shapiro's modus operandi?

Are the Jays valuation metrics wrong?

Was Shapiro just lucky with the Bartolo Colon trade and did that set him up for several years of success?

In my opinion the jury is still out on the front office. They have made some marginal gains but when you start way down, the marginal gains take a long time to get you to the Yankee or Red Sox level.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 07:35 PM EST (#383725) #
Shoemaker is another player who might have ended up with close to 3 wins had it not been for his torn ACL.

Sogard was worth 2.6 WAR this year -- and he was acquired for nothing.

McGuire posted 1.2 WAR in 30 games last year.

I don't think Atkins has done that badly, but it's fair to question Atkins and Shapiro's approach of acquiring a ton of depth, focusing on obviously flawed/mediocre minor- and major-leaguers in the hope that adding enough of them in bulk will result in some of them breaking through. Almost of those players have remained flawed and mediocre, as expected.

The big miss (if you believe the USA Today report and others) was failing to trade Donaldson for Flaherty (4.7 WAR last year and fully controllable) plus another prospect. I know that some have exonerated Atkins on this front based on the theory that it was Rogers who blocked a trade of Donaldson that off-season.

I do think Anthopoulos had more of an intuitive sense for identifying talent. But Anthopoulos got better at this over time. Perhaps Atkins will, too.
PeterG - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#383726) #
I don't think that your are looking for 3 war plus players in free agency or trade when in a rebuild or on the verge of one. What you should be seeking or developing are players that can become high WAR players.

I agree that the big miss was not trading JD sooner but am 99% certain that this mistake was on ownership. I think Shapiro proved himself to ownership be being correct that rebuild should have begun sooner and now has a free hand.
Nigel - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 07:45 PM EST (#383727) #
Winning in the AL East is a lot harder than winning in the AL Central. Doing nothing/trying nothing is a viable strategy in the AL Central where the competition is, in most years, doing nothing/trying nothing as well. Higher risk, higher reward is required to win in the AL East.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 08:32 PM EST (#383729) #
Shifting perspective from the micro (individual transactions) to broader patterns, it's arguable that his front office has simply been too tentative, favouring conservative, incremental moves when more aggressive, decisive moves were called for. There's always an excuse, of course, but in an alternative universe the team would have traded Osuna, Donaldson, and Happ at close to peak value, skipped the sideways moves (Olivares for Solarte, Hendriks for Chavez, Happ for Drury and McKinney) as well as the "cheap and safe" free agent signings (such as Morales and Garcia).

In other words, the team could have exhibited some foresight, burned down the declining and aging roster and maximized the remaining assets, and properly tanked, all the while aggressively adding talent on all fronts (Latin America, Japan, Rule 4 and Rule 5 drafts, bad-contract trades, etc.).

The front office has done a lot right in the Rule 4 and Rule 5 drafts and in Latin America, so this is only a partial criticism.
bpoz - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 08:41 PM EST (#383731) #
Gillick was snickered at and called Stand Pat. This was sometime in the 80s. I would love to know the good and bad of this time frame.

If Gillick screwed up it still worked!!

Please don't do Ash and Richardi.
bpoz - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 09:21 PM EST (#383732) #
This is a nice detailed presentation.

Atkins has not earned any praise. After 2015 Lacava made the 2 big moves Happ and Estrada. So the only move left was sign EE or replace him. Morales did not work out.

To further cement his reputation of being bad he signed nobody like Price, JD Martinez, Harper or Russ Martin. Did not trade for Sale, Dickey (Cy Young), Tulo or Donaldson.

Some of his acquisitions made a small impact in 2019. Bo, Biggio, Gurriel. They may make him look better in the next 2 years but nobody can read the future.

The year after the next 2 if he still has not produced he is probably let go.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 09:21 PM EST (#383733) #
There has been a lack of results at the major league level the last few years, and going forward this can’t keep up.

The main hope I have always had for this front office is that the draft and development program. I am afraid that Cherington and Saunders were responsible for that success.

John Northey - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 10:30 PM EST (#383735) #
Gillick was helped a lot by convincing the higher ups that he was smart early on - They rejected his Singer for Guidry trade in '77 (for some bizarre reason they thought Singer would be a headliner to draw fans).  By '78 Guidry was the Cy Young winner and Singer was retired and I doubt anyone rejected a Gillick trade again.

Donaldson for Flaherty could end up doing the same for this front office if it was indeed rejected by higher ups.  Everytime Flaherty does something good they can say 'he could've been doing that here'.
uglyone - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 11:11 PM EST (#383736) #

Rob Longley

Ross Atkins on the state of the #Bluejays: "There's just so much positivity around our organization right now that it feels really good. It feels like this organization is going to be very, very good for a long time." ....

Gregor Chisholm

Atkins on whether #BlueJays expected to run a "nine-figure payroll" in 2020: "That's a very specific question that has a lot to do with our strategy. That is something that I'm uncomfortable talking about just because it could influence our ability to execute it."
GabrielSyme - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 11:33 PM EST (#383737) #
The problem for Atkins is that they were nominally trying to contend in both 2017 and 2018 - yet he didn't acquire a single good player to make that a reality. You either need to either get better, or retool, and he did neither for two straight years.

Maybe his hands were tied by management, but it doesn't speak well of Shapiro & Atkins (who were brought in with supposedly more independence than AA was given) that they didn't tell management that they needed to either give them a budget to contend or allow them to retrench.

They've done well in the IFA and drafts. It's the use of major-league assets that has been really underwhelming.

Anyway, I'm going to take a break until after Christmas - hope you all have a good holidays.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 11:36 PM EST (#383738) #
The biggest issue with the FO has been the inability to convert inherited veterans into long-term pieces. Some of that was bad luck, but ultimately by not starting the rebuild either at the 2017 trade deadline or prior to the 2018 season, it likely pushed the team's window back to some degree depending on what the possible returns could have been had they sold earlier. Merryweather, Perez, and whatever they get for Giles being the returns for Donaldson and Osuna hurt a lot. Throw in Drury/McKinney for Happ, Fisher for Sanchez (though hard to blame them here), and there hasn't been a lot to show for the bulk of the rebuilding. Stroman was the only player they sold high on, and even that trade (while light at the time but looking better in hindsight) is completely dependent on the health and progression of a 19 year old pitching prospect (i.e. high risk). Although to get a potential pre-breakout SWR in an era of baseball where teams are not trading top prospects anymore is hopefully a step in the right direction, as well as getting intriguing returns in other deadline deals this past summer (Gonzalez in the Sogard deal, Hatch in the Phelps deal). If Atkins is improving as he gets more experience, then that's certainly a positive.

The drafting and international signings have clearly been the strength of this FO, as well as their success rate and overall philosophy on signing relievers. Other than that, their big league acquisitions have not been up to par, so they either need to start trading/acquiring better players, or become an organization that can develop these players better (the Yankees and Rays do that better than anyone).

If the team intends on giving Teoscar, Fisher, Alford, McKinney, Drury, etc, opportunities in 2020 rather than adding short-term established pieces, then at least one of them has to turn into something. Gurriel panning out was a huge development in 2019, but they will need more, on the hitting and/or pitching side.
uglyone - Monday, December 09 2019 @ 11:38 PM EST (#383739) #
He must be new here...

Asked why he seems so encouraged when #BlueJays have yet to sign a free agent pitcher, Charlie Montoyo said "because I know how aggressive we've been."
Dr B - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 01:25 AM EST (#383742) #
These analyses are fun, but one should be wary about drawing too many
conclusions. For a start, a team’s position on a success cycle makes a
big difference and, if one does not wish to adjust for context, you need
to take a timeframe that encompasses all points; that timeframe is
going to be longer than four years. However, the big problem is sample
size. With a bit of luck, for example, Giles pitches for a full season,
with different choices Biggio is promoted earlier, and with both luck
and different choices, Bichette plays a full season. Then you have three
players that make the (arbitrary) cut. What does it all mean? Probably
not a lot.
rabbit - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 07:37 AM EST (#383743) #
As a few people have pointed out, while this analysis looks reasonable on the surface I think it is unfair to current management. They started with almost nothing, have clearly not done nothing, and been a bit unlucky along the way.

While many remain enamoured with A.A., his tenure was clearly mixed and measuring him based on 3 WAR additions is wrong. He made some smart additions that didn’t cost much but other than Encarnacion none of the value endured. He was active but his big trades net to zero: Donaldson trade was brilliant, Dickey and Marlins ones were horrific, Price and Tulo were deals with the devil (nice short-term hit but what a hangover). The playoff runs were super fun but there was a big price to pay, and it’s been paid for by Shapiro/Adkins.

When they started the team was old, expensive with little prospect capital. They tried to keep it going in 2016 & 2017 but with few of the bullets A.A. had to improve the team (money, prospect capital, interesting ML talent). “Do Something!” people say. Like What? How? You can’t make something out of nothing. They should have started the rebuild after 2016 (2015?) but ownership wanted to keep the party rolling. Should they have traded Donaldson after 2016? YES, but I don’t remember anybody saying that at the time. It was all “sign someone, trade someone, Do something”, not clean house.

What they did was smaller and incremental. I can’t say those moves have paid off big time, but they have created (smaller) value out of nothing. Hernandez, Grichuk, Thornton, Gurriel and McGuire were acquired for basically nothing. Fisher, Waguespack, McKinney, and Merryweather may prove to be useful. Kay, SWR, Pearson (added because we DIDN’T resign Encarnacion), and Luciano were smart upgrades to the pitching depth. They resigned Smoak in the middle of a “meh, this guy is done” 2016 season and he turned in two quality seasons (3.5 & 2.6 WAR). Shoemaker and Anderson were smart value additions. They also did many smaller, useful moves that supported the ML team, some of which turned into prospect capital: Sogard, Hudson, Oh, Granderson, Biagini, Barney, Leone, and Smith.

I would love that it had gone faster, that some players (Drury, Fisher) had turned out better, but they’ve done a lot with very little. Now they have healthy prospect capital, huge salary space, several really exciting young players, plus a few others that could potentially be very good. They will do more now because they can, but I hope like hell they don’t add some shiny new toy (eg. a 33 year old pitcher at 4 x $25m) thereby “winning” the offseason.

Sorry for the rant.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 08:00 AM EST (#383745) #
Ross Atkins on the state of the #Bluejays: "There's just so much positivity around our organization right now that it feels really good. It feels like this organization is going to be very, very good for a long time." ....

George weighs in.

scottt - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 08:02 AM EST (#383746) #
I we look at Cleveland, they're mostly known for pitching and developing those pitchers in the minors.
The Jays have an impressive array of pitching prospects.
The numbers suggest that several of them will turn into solid starters.
It's not really fair to evaluate the team now after it just brought up all the young future stars.
Not of these guys had a full year yet. Except Thornton.
Things are certainly a lot better than after the Halladay trade or the end of 2013.
Lots of young players with upside. No bad contracts. Solid farm system.

Mike D - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 08:49 AM EST (#383747) #
Reasonable people can disagree about the methodology and conclusion, but I do find the argument curious that it wouldn't have made sense to target good players given the Jays' position on the cycle of contention, seeing as the Jays have occupied three different positions on that cycle during Atkins' tenure.

I agree with the comment that the front office has been risk-averse, but I must say that they are only risk-averse with respect to acquisition cost in terms of dollars or players. They have shown a very aggressive risk tolerance in terms of leaving weaknesses on the roster, such that players without enough ability, experience, health or durability are forced into regular roles on the big club. Relatedly, while they have definitely been cautious with their expenditures, by punting multiple seasons they have taken tremendous risks by jeopardizing their revenue streams.

Nigel - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 09:09 AM EST (#383748) #
Mike D, your last sentence is true or false depending on whether you are looking at long term revenue streams versus profitability for the next fiscal year. I agree that the delay in starting the rebuilding and the “go slow” approach to the rebuilding has significant risks to long term revenues and brand value. But, I think the approach to each of the past three offseasons by Rogers and the FO is easily explainable by asking yourself what was the best thing to do to achieve the best bottom line right now? It’s just the way pubcos are. A bird in hand today is worth far more than two birds in hand fhree years from now.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 09:35 AM EST (#383751) #
They talk too much.
James W - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#383752) #
They talk too much.

It wouldn't be a problem if they ever said anything.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#383753) #
The Art of WAR

Back in 1986-87, much too much of my time was spent playing a computer game called The Art of War loosely based on the ancient writings of Sun Tzu.  The game arrived on (as I recall it) several floppy disks, and featured opponent generals of varying qualities including Genghis Khan and Napoleon.  There is no truth to the rumour that the weakest opponent was named Jimy Williams. /ok boomer

I have a somewhat more benign view of Atkins' acquisitions, but certainly it hasn't been a good period.  My evaluation would not however change positiively if seven players posted 3+ WAR seasons in 2020 (let's say VGJ, Bichette, Biggio, Gurriel Jr.,, Pearson, Borucki and Jansen) after the club signed no significant free agents, traded Giles for prospects before the season, and ended up winning 83 games and finishing 5 games out of first place and 4 games out of a playoff spot.  Indeed, I'd consider that a waste.  When Atkins arrived in December 2015, the upper minors had been cleaned of prospects in trades for Price and Tulo and Shapiro had acquired Happ and Estrada just before Atkins was named.  I certainly wouldn't hold the team's performance in 2016 against him on that backdrop. 

The FO is  risk-averse, but it seems to me to go a long way past Atkins.

Atkins does say stuff all the time that makes me shake my head.  The corporate-speak is annoying, but I can tune that out.  This week, he was asked if there was anybody on the club they were thinking of trying in centerfield. He said Biggio.  I don't know why any GM would say that.  You've got a young double play combination that looks great.  It's a foundational piece of a good club.  Why would you even think of breaking it up?  It's not as though they have the second coming of Joe Morgan waiting in the wings to replace Biggio. 
uglyone - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:04 AM EST (#383754) #
Indeed, James W. “Talking about how we work through a pref list would be also something that is nuanced and difficult to explain, but it’s not just as simple as choosing who we like and going to get them,” Atkins said during his daily briefing with media. “It’s also the acquisition cost, it’s also the inherent risk and what I think we’ve made relatively clear is that we’ve had discussions at all levels of the market and have focused on the top, as most teams probably do. “But we don’t just go down a list and say he’s gone, let’s go on to the next one,” Atkins continued. “You’re constantly having discussions with all of them and weighing what the potential acquisition costs are, what the alternatives are, but you’re also weighing different constructs, weighing the potential of multiples instead of just one and what does that mean. And always with the backdrop of a budget and opportunities on the trade front.” Coffee is for closers, Ross.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:06 AM EST (#383755) #
Indeed, James W.

“Talking about how we work through a pref list would be also something that is nuanced and difficult to explain, but it’s not just as simple as choosing who we like and going to get them,” Atkins said during his daily briefing with media. “It’s also the acquisition cost, it’s also the inherent risk and what I think we’ve made relatively clear is that we’ve had discussions at all levels of the market and have focused on the top, as most teams probably do. “But we don’t just go down a list and say he’s gone, let’s go on to the next one,” Atkins continued. “You’re constantly having discussions with all of them and weighing what the potential acquisition costs are, what the alternatives are, but you’re also weighing different constructs, weighing the potential of multiples instead of just one and what does that mean. And always with the backdrop of a budget and opportunities on the trade front.”

Coffee is for closers, Ross.
cascando - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:13 AM EST (#383756) #
Thank you for this thought-provoking piece. The most telling thing to me is that the list of 3+ WAR additions since Atkins took over is full of exactly the type of player he has targeted since he came here. There are a few top-end FA that were obviously not on their radar; however the list is full of mid-market FA, waiver wire pickups and buy-low trade candidates. They haven't failed to add a 3+ WAR player for a lack of trying, they've just continually chosen the wrong guys.

As for the competitive cycle argument, that rings a bit hollow to me, and I doubt that even Atkins would say he wasn't trying to acquire these types of players. For one thing, essentially every spot on the diamond has been a position of need for the Jays at some point over the last four (now five) off seasons. Atkins has had ample resources in terms of both budget and roster space to fill some of those holes with this type of everyday player. That it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't, but I would think time should be running out on this hyper risk-averse player acquisition approach.

85bluejay - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:14 AM EST (#383757) #
While the posting is fun,without context, interpretation is really in the eye of the beholder.

When Shapiro was hired, the Jays hadn't taken off and it looked like he was going to able to start a rebuild immediately with a good farm system and some quality veterans to sell - when he actually took over things had changed drastically, the old team had made the post season,the farm system had taken a big hit and Tulo's albatross contract had been added - so Shapiro/Atkins spent 2016/17 trying to extend the window (likely with ownership prodding) without further depleting the farm or adding long-term financial commitments - difficult to do - worked in 2016, blew up in 2017 - When I strongly advocated selling in July 2017, most posters (and likely the owners/fanbase) were against selling and wanted to augment the team - This I regard as a major failing of the FO, even if the owners wanted to stay the course,should have been more aggressive in selling the start of the rebuild & willing to take the heat from fans - Cashman did it in NY with the Chapman and Miller trades even though the Yankees were within striking distance of the WC - there were rumours of a package from the Cardinals that included Jack Flaherty for Donaldson, the Astros were said to have made a very good offer for Osuna - and we know what happened to those trade assets.

This has also been an era when teams are hoarding prospects (look what the Tigers got for J.T Martinez or the Orioles for Machado) and the FO has made a series of bets on post-hype prospects -Hernandez,Perez,Paulino,Mckinney,Fisher etc that haven't paid off yet.

If you look at the list, there's no context - Chris Davis is one of the Orioles and I don't think most regard that as a good investment - the 2 Marlins on the list were obtained by trading players, Ozuna (5.1war),Stanton (6.9war) who had put up superior war numbers in their last season in Miami and I don't think Marlins fans are doing cartwheels over those trades.

And the Jays payroll has been reduced significantly which is not conducive to signing 3+ war players but is part and parcel of a rebuild and allows for increased spending when the team is ready to contend.

This FO may or may not succeed but I don't think this analysis offers any meaningful perspective (without context) other than this FO is risk averse and Shapiro has said many times that he likes to spread the risk and not put all his eggs in one basket - This analysis is like saying that Randal Grichuk hit 31 homers without saying what year - very impressive in 1968, not so much in 2019.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#383758) #
I actually don't think Biggio in CF is such a terrible idea, especially if there are legitimate reasons to think he could be good there. It's not like he's a great defensive 2B anyways (though I'm admittedly not certain he'd be any better in CF, though it's intriguing that those closest to the decision makers may think so).

Finding a capable piece at 2B seems a lot easier than finding one in CF. So if Biggio can handle CF, and you can go get Cesar Hernandez or whomever to play 2B, that seems like a viable path to contention.

Heck, it was always assumed that Bo would have to move to 2B (or the OF) at some point anyways.

All said, I think creative solutions are never a bad idea. Just because Biggio had a strong offensive (yet weak defensively) year at 2B shouldn't preclude him from moving if it would improve the overall health of the club. With the proviso that if they did that I assume it would be a permanent move.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#383761) #
"Talking about how we work through a pref list would be also something that is nuanced and difficult to explain"

See if you can dumb it down for us dummies, Ross.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 11:10 AM EST (#383764) #
Dollar sign on the muscle. 

Among the starters, we like Joe Bloggs 6/125, Hank Doe 4/77...We want to buy 250 innings for 2020 and we figure Bloggs has 175, Doe has 155....Continue for relief pitchers and other needs.  Take into account overall payroll parameters (and we can't tell you what they are), bearing in mind the possibility of front-end or back-end loading. 

I've never heard a GM explain it that way, but that seems to be basically what they do. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 11:56 AM EST (#383767) #
I don't have a problem with thinking about moving Biggio to CF if the Jays can't acquire a better option - Biggio is below average defensively, maybe the Jays are high on Espinal and there's a glut of 2B on the market.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#383768) #
Well, I guess there are quite a few people who think that Biggio is below average defensively.  It's not what I saw, nor what the early numbers suggest.  He was at -1 to -2/150G over 735 innings per DRS and UZR.  That's essentially average, with a below average mark turning the double play a key to his slightly negative number.  I am pretty sure that he will be average or above in that department in 2020.  His turn is fine, his arm is fine and he hangs in there. 
Nigel - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 12:10 PM EST (#383769) #
Moving Biggio to CF would be right up this FO's alley. He was poor in the corners (in limited duty) last year - so let's make him our CF. And Biggio was very close to average defensively at 2B last year. Let's stop pushing defensively challenged players up the defensive spectrum. That has been a consistent and terrible plan for the past 3 years.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 12:17 PM EST (#383770) #
Concur, Nigel.  Atkins was asked about what he wanted in position players.  He said "good hitters", with a slight preference for LH ones.  You want good players, taking into account hitting, fielding and baserunning.  For centerfielders, the latter two things can be about as important as the hitting. 
Nigel - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#383771) #
I'm not opposed to creative solutions that involve moving players off established positions if it pushes players down the defensive spectrum. For example, one high risk but high reward idea might be to sign Didi Gregorius (he is rumoured to want a short term deal to recover his value after his injury) and move Vladdy to 1B - with either Gregorius or Bichette playing 3rd. This would solve the 1B issue without signing a 1B and would push at least one player down the defensive spectrum. It would also help balance the line-up in several ways (low K% and LH). I don't like ideas that involve the reverse.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#383772) #
I think consideration should also be given to the player’s best long-term position (including how best to protect his health). Continually moving players around the diamond may prevent them from excelling at one position and may lead to injury (remember when the Jays tried EE in left field).
bpoz - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 01:55 PM EST (#383773) #
Thanks Mike Green for explaining what Atkins was saying. Does 6/125 and 4/77 mean 6 years for $125 mil? If so then I am pleased/proud/satisfied that I was able to solve that mystery.

The statement Atkins gave definitely went over everyone head. I mean "weighing potential acquisition costs" I understood sort of ok. But "weighing different constructs and potential multiples" completely lost me. Atkins saying that he is uncomfortable talking budget details because that affects execution was wise. Saying Biggio as a potential CF was not necessary.

I deal better with the non geniuses because I am happy to explain over and over to them. I was a D student. The geniuses sometimes speak too fast and don't have the patience to explain.

Montoyo gave a fantastic 12 minute interview. There was a female reporter in the crowd. She was good and I hope she can build a trusting relationship with the coaching staff and players.

Montoyo said pitching and defense wins championships. He went through the diamond positions and was basically pleased with the defense EXCEPT for CF. Then he told the reporters that they knew CF defense was an issue.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#383774) #
I cannot remember EE in LF but I remember J Consenco in the OF. The ball hit him in the head but thankfully he was ok.

Beside health concerns there is the game to consider, when easy fly balls are dropped and a potential sure out turns into a double.

Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 05:33 PM EST (#383779) #
With the Nationals needing a third baseman I started a hypothetical trade in my head:

To Nationals:

Guerro Jr

To Blue Jays:

Victor Robles
Carter Kieboom

Sign: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

LF: Fisher
CF: Robles
RF: Gurriel
3B: Kieboom
SS: Bichette
2B: Biggio
1B: Tsutsugo
DH: Hernandez
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 06:04 PM EST (#383780) #
The Jays should have been in on taking on Zack Cosart and getting Will Wilson in the process.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 08:13 PM EST (#383782) #
Gregorius did, in fact, sign a reasonable one year deal. With the Phillies.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 10 2019 @ 08:30 PM EST (#383783) #
I think a big part of Gregorius signing with the Phillies is his prior relationship with new manager Joe Girardi.
scottt - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 07:45 AM EST (#383789) #
Wasn't Khan the weakest opponent? I think Alexander the Great was in there.
Was it Napoleon who didn't protect his supply lines?

85bluejay - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:34 AM EST (#383790) #
It's troubling to me that the Dodgers, a smart organisation with intimate knowledge of Hyun-Jin Ryu's medicals have shifted their focus to Bumgarner after Cole rather than Ryu coming off a great season - I'm concerned the Jays may end up with Ryu and end up buying a pig in a poke.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:16 AM EST (#383791) #
There are many GMs talking in riddles/words not used much. For example LAA's GM Eppler used the word "permutations". I studied Statistics in the 1970s so I am familiar with the term. I will not try to give an explanation (D student).

I read an interview Atkins gave to Ben Nicholson-Smith about the loss of Cherington and Sanders. He spoke about replacing the duties of the 2 men rather than adding new people. That is a "method" for replacing the 2 men. Sort of more responsibilities for lesser FO staff (promotion) and then new hires most likely (my interpretation).

Atkins used the term AI which is Artificial Intelligence as sort of the backbone of this stuff.

At that point I figured that Ben N-Smith can do a great job by simply recording the words of Atkins and then writing them down in quotation marks. This way Ben N-S can do a "great job" of reporting even if he has no clue of what Atkins is talking about.

I enjoy baseball. I simply laugh at the rumors that are reported by the media. 90% IMO is made up. It saddens me that so many fans are buying into this crap because they are being set up and then let down.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:22 AM EST (#383792) #
My issue is that, given his age, Ryu doesn’t mesh well with the Jays next window of contention. It doesn’t make sense to spend heavily on him just to “shore up” the rotation in the short-term (see my comments the other day about aiming for 78-84 wins).
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:44 AM EST (#383793) #
You may be right, greenfrog, but is wouldn't kill them to spend $70-80m on payroll for the next couple of years. I'm not too fussed about drafting 10th versus 18th.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:52 AM EST (#383794) #
scottt, I do remember Alexander the Great in the game, but not who was the weakest opponent.  I also remember pithy quotes from Sun Tzu between moves- quotes like "appear strong when you are weak and weak when you are strong", which in baseball terms had me thinking of change-ups.

I still like Ryu at the price he's likely to go for, and it's a bonus that he doesn't have a QO attached to him.  In his career, he has had more success against RHB than LHB but it was very different last year- he threw a sinker more and was absolutely devastating against LHB and not so much against RHB.  I'd be inclined to use him as a main event behind a pitcher like Font.  This achieves two things- cuts down on his seasonal innings and limits the possibility of loading up a line up with RHBs.  I can also see him in the Andrew Miller role in a couple of years. 
AWeb - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#383797) #
I don't think the Jays have a reasonable guess at when the next contention window is, if you read that as "multiple young players already in house achieve all-star level". It's not impossible that happens in 2020 - Jansen and Biggio are the "right" ages to have career years right now, Bichette and Guerrero could be that good next year, and if any of the large pile of OFers (Grichuk, Hernandez, Gurriel, Fisher, etc) is ever going to have a career year, 2020 is the most likely time. Same probably goes for Tellez. It might never come together in a convenient way for the team to surge into contention, but 2020 is one time it could happen.

I suppose it's possible the team flukes into a useful pitching staff, but there's no reason to project that as likely right now. The in-house pitching options (rotation and bullpen) remind me of the OFers - squint at them right and you can see possibilities, but who wants to spend all day squinting?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 10:30 AM EST (#383798) #
but is wouldn't kill them to spend $70-80m on payroll

Total, or in addition to the $55-57m already accounted for?  If total, is the idea for them to keep Giles or trade him for prospects?  I guess that you could sign Ryu with no QO, trade Giles for prospects, and effectively punt 2020 while somewhat credibly saying that you have improved the club for 2021 and following years.  It's not what I would do, but at least it's a plan.
Jevant - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#383800) #
I'd have been fine with the Will Wilson part...but I'm not disappointed at missing out on Zack Cozart.

Also, I'd imagine we'd be seeing an OF or SP upgrade before anything much is done on the infield.
christaylor - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 12:15 PM EST (#383801) #
My father had the Ancient Art of War and while I was too young to do much other than button-mash, I did play it more than a few times.

Also, why leave it in the 80s, it (and many other abandonware DOS games elsewhere on the site) can be played online for free at:
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 12:21 PM EST (#383802) #
Ancient Art of War

Thanks, ctaylor.  I'd forgotten the full name.  Interesting that it's available online now, but my choice of diversions has changed...(checks tabs.../meta)
Thomas - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 12:43 PM EST (#383803) #
I'd have been fine with the Will Wilson part...but I'm not disappointed at missing out on Zack Cozart.

I don't think anyone in the Giants front office is excited about the Zack Cozart part of the deal,. It's essentially a move to buy Will Wilson from Los Angeles.

I know it's probably like crying over spilled milk with this front office and their attachment to Drury, but the Jays could have non-tendered him and then used the savings to contribute towards Cozart's salary. Their roles would largely overlap as the bench infield option. This would have made the acquisition cost for Cozart a little lower with no discernible hit to the team's production in 2020.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 01:00 PM EST (#383804) #
Hazel May had a video interview with Shapiro. Shapiro said 1) That the low payroll is an opportunity that will not happen again. 2) Planning started when the season ended and that decisions on which FAs is a group effort, but Atkins makes the decision. 3) He will not give payroll numbers because it would hinder Atkins in negotiations.

Daniella someone did a video interview with Ben Nicholson-Smith. She asked direct questions and he answered them quite well. He admitted that there were possibilities. She asked about EE coming back. He said a few weeks ago he did NOT think that it would happen but now it is possible. So a good tough interview.

I am gaining some trust in other media people. This adds to Dan Shulman and Kevin Barker.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 01:29 PM EST (#383806) #
Many teams want to win the WS.

1) Big market like NYY.
2) Competitive window like Milwaukee.

LAA just want to get into the post season because they have M Trout.

So too many teams fighting for not enough playoff spots.

Houston cheated. If I was a LAD fan I would be very upset.

The Jays may have a goal of only 78-84 wins all the time. That goal should require a low payroll. IMO most years the Jays will not be in a pennant race so I don't think that is the every year goal. An 89 win goal gets you into a pennant race most years IMO. A pennant race and playoffs result in good revenues. I think $120 mil payroll each year should be enough to achieve 89 wins. Being in the AL East makes the task harder.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#383807) #
Mike, I am only saying that if we signed Ryu, for $20m per year (or whatever) and somehow became an 82 win, $75m payroll team, I'd be fine with that. "Amuse us while you rebuild" kind of thing.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 01:58 PM EST (#383808) #
Thomas - I totally agree. Right now, I see a FO that thinks the real window of contention opens in 2022 when the next wave of impact prospects arrives. If so, we're in a holding/punting pattern for two more years. Hard to take as a fan but at least I hope that they do it right. Taking on bad contracts for prospects aligns with the current state of the budget. Sure, take on a vet arm for $20m. Overpay if you have to. But do it with a view to selling same for prospects at a later date. If you are going to punt, make sure you do it with gusto.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 02:27 PM EST (#383809) #
The Blue Jays should be considering their 'next window of contention' to be right now.

The young players are here - barring Pearson. I am not saying to trade away the farm. I am saying that this year (unlike last year) the team saying they aren't going to sign a player like Ryu because it isn't time yet literally means it will never be time. A build is a process. Step one (waiting for Vladi et al) is done. Time to start building forward instead of retrenching for another year.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 02:43 PM EST (#383810) #
BREAKNG: Jays 2020 hopes of contention
bpoz - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#383811) #
Some of us rank our pitching prospects in groups. I do. The FA pitching market I also see ranked in groups.

Bumgarner leads the next group but has a QO attached unlike Ryu and Dallas K. Eventually we will get to the Jays group to shop in. Christmas maybe.

Extra arms for the rotation and pen will be added eventually. I am quite sure they will be better than injury prone Richard and Buchholz.

Giles should be traded soon otherwise it could look like he is staying.

The Phillies still have needs. I don't know who their closer is but David Robertson was injured and soon to be 35 years old. They need IF depth and their OF has only B Harper and A McCutchen as reliable for a contender.

If all teams need about 8 SPs to be safe then even the new look NYY rotation can break apart with injuries to a top starter or 2.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 03:36 PM EST (#383812) #
I would rather the Jays be bad in 2020 (and maybe 2021) and then good after that, than be mediocre for the next five years. Personal preference. So I don’t really care if they fail to sign Ryu, Roark, Porcello.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 04:34 PM EST (#383814) #
"I see a FO that thinks the real window of contention opens in 2022"

Which makes the refusal to spend money 6 years prior to that, despite having a back to back ALCS squad, all the more frustrating, as any deal we would have signed then would be expired by 2022.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#383815) #
One of Satchel's rules for staying young- don't look back, something might be gaining on you.  That probably applies to decisions made after the 2016 season. 
PeterG - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 05:49 PM EST (#383816) #
Tanner Roark signing with Jays...just announced
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 05:51 PM EST (#383817) #
How much did we overpay?
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 05:57 PM EST (#383818) #
Brewers get Josh Lindblom for 3/9.1m - that's a solid gamble.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 05:57 PM EST (#383819) #
For those interested in following the 2019 Int'l signings:
Thomas - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 05:58 PM EST (#383820) #
Heyman is reporting it's $24 million over 2 years for Roark.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 06:00 PM EST (#383821) #
I like the slight overpay in $$$ for less term....2 years is the right place to be.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 06:20 PM EST (#383822) #
Roark is now the Blue Jays' #1 Starter.

Hopefully he is down to #2 before Spring Training.

XXXXXXX (Ryu or Keuchel would be my picks)
Shoemaker or Kay (Or Shoemaker and THEN Kay when MS inevitably gets injured)
scottt - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 06:29 PM EST (#383823) #
Pearson should be up soon enough.
Thornton is the only prospect that's stretched enough to go 30 starts.
It would be counter productive to put him in the pen.
Then you got Borucki.

I suppose you can trade any starter who blocks a prospect.
There is going to be a lot of starters in spring training.

On the positive side, that means no Happ.
There should be a lot of money left to get Tsutsugo, or a better CF.

scottt - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 06:33 PM EST (#383824) #
Geronimo? Used guerrilla tactics and barbarians waves.
cascando - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 07:28 PM EST (#383825) #
Roark-Anderson-Thornton-Shoemaker spells RATS.

Feels about right. :)
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 07:37 PM EST (#383826) #
Roark projects to ERA just under 5. I would rather see starts by the following pitchers in 2020: Pearson, Anderson, Shoemaker, Borucki, Thornton, Kay, Zeuch and Waguespack. The latter 3 objectively project a little worse but I think that they are better bets in the long run.

Roark had a decent ERA last year but the Nationals' excellent defense helped out. His xwOBA has been below average for a few years.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 07:56 PM EST (#383827) #
Roark is someone who was really hurt by the new ball so hopefully he can bounce back into the 2.5-3 WAR range. He's a solid number four starter on a good team. Meh signing but improves the team. I mean he's had 2+ WAR in four straight years. Really hoping for Ryu also which would give the Jays a decent rotation.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 07:58 PM EST (#383828) #
I’d love to say that I’m surprised by the Roark signing, but it’s exactly what I expected. Unfortunately. There’s one or two names on Mike’s list that I would put ahead of Roark but that’s it.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:12 PM EST (#383829) #
Now we have 38 on the 40 man roster.

I also sort of expected Roark. Lots of depth now. Better than Buchholz and Richard I think. More expensive anyway.

The pitching prospects are closer this year compared to last year. Pearson for example. Borucki, Thornton and Pannone have over 100 ML innings. I don't know when Arb will kick in but years of control is a factor. Minor for the above 3.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:21 PM EST (#383830) #
Even if the club had the starters in the order I have them, Roark still might get 20 starts.and be a lot better than Edwin Jackson was last year. It isn't much of a deal one way or the other.  It's not what I would do.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:22 PM EST (#383831) #
I'm fine with the signing. Not something to get excited about, but the Jays do not appear to be a FA destination for SP's for a multitude of reasons, so a modest two year overpay for a league average innings guy is a predictable outcome. I'm not expecting this to be a precursor to a Ryu signing or anyone else that is significant, but maybe I'm wrong.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:43 PM EST (#383832) #
I see it as building up a core of decent but not 'wow' starters who if everything breaks right could be a wow.  Tanner Roark has years with 5.6 bWAR and 4.8 bWAR so he could be surprising.  Chase Anderson has a 4.2 under his belt.  Matt Shoemaker hasn't gotten over 2.4, but had 1.2 in just 5 starts last year (equal to over 6 WAR over 30 starts, but no way he'd have kept that up I suspect). Trent Thornton was meh last year and never really showed more than that before either in the minors.   
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 08:57 PM EST (#383833) #

Would also be an aptly named rotation.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:17 PM EST (#383834) #

Or this.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:50 PM EST (#383836) #
If the Angels sign Rendon, they will still need pitching and have luxury tax problems as does Boston - I wonder if the Jays can take Price & Eovaldi & prospects from Boston (with Boston paying 1/3 of owed money) and then sending Price & Eovaldi to the Angels for prospects while paying 1/2 the remaining money owed - e.g Price is owed 96m, Boston is responsible for 32m, Toronto is responsible for 32m and the Angels get Price for 3/32 - same with Eovaldi - this could speed up the Jays rebuild and benefit all 3 teams.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 09:56 PM EST (#383837) #
I can completely understand the perspective of those who look at a signing like this and say “useful innings eater at a not terrible number”. I get it. You can say the same about Anderson. They are collectively likely to help the team win 77 games rather than 74. My problem is that, while they are better than in house options like Kay or Zeuch, that aren’t materially better. Now, if you packaged up the money spent on Anderson, Roark and Drury into one player you might actually be able to sign someone or trade for a contract that could move the needle at some position (even if not a P) down the road. Anyway, it is what it is and it does little of anything (including damage).
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 10:03 PM EST (#383838) #
This is our front office. They love depth (Atkins has said, "depth is very important to us"). They like to spread their money around on multiple players. They like to pile up the flawed players and wait for a fraction of them to break out. It's a value investing approach.

Although this approach can be frustrating at times, the organization should be fine as long as it can continue to add a lot of quality talent via the Rule 4 and 5 drafts and the IFA market. But if the departure of Sanders and Cherington (and some of their preferred scouts?) leads to weakness in those areas, the Jays could be in real trouble.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 11 2019 @ 10:56 PM EST (#383839) #
Man it really sucks that we're a poor small market team.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:36 AM EST (#383840) #
The FO wants to build a young core first, and then supplement that core with free agency when the team looks like a piece or two away. Shapiro has mentioned this a few times in interviews. I don't think they really want to spend big right now, but they have money to spend and from an optics standpoint there is some pressure on them to at least show they are trying to improve the team.

If the Jays do sign another SP, then I think it has to be either someone in the Ryu/Keuchel category (which I don't see happening) or someone in the low risk/high upside category (ex. Taijuan Walker). Another league average innings eater in the mold of Anderson/Roark is just going to push a younger talent down on the depth chart, and the Jays don't really need any more of those types of veteran arms.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:59 AM EST (#383841) #
Unless we have 2-3 REALLY GOOD pitchers coming up in the next 2 years, we'll never GET to the "1 or 2 pieces away" stage where we actually spend. In 4-5 years, most of the BBGGs will be looking at free agency.. At which point, we'll have wasted their window. I really think we need one more SP and a GOOD CF this year. Then we can maybe GET TO "1 or 2 pieces away" stage, if the young guys all produce..
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 02:38 AM EST (#383842) #
"If the Angels sign Rendon, they will still need pitching and have luxury tax problems as does Boston - I wonder if the Jays can take Price & Eovaldi & prospects from Boston (with Boston paying 1/3 of owed money) and then sending Price & Eovaldi to the Angels for prospects while paying 1/2 the remaining money owed - e.g Price is owed 96m, Boston is responsible for 32m, Toronto is responsible for 32m and the Angels get Price for 3/32 - same with Eovaldi - this could speed up the Jays rebuild and benefit all 3 teams."

This is exactly what this front office is capable of and should pull the trigger on. Put your money where your mouth is, take on prospects for salary relief... you do that to speed up the 2021 contention timeline then i'll happily watch and support the Anderson, Shoemaker and Roark type deals knowing that there is a strong wave coming.

Right now I see 10+ other trams with better waves/cores than the Jays.

I'd even be happy with that trade if they just took Eovaldi and Price.
Jonny German - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 03:36 AM EST (#383844) #
Thumbs down on Roark. They have a huge amount of payroll space which they should be using to get players that are actually GOOD - and if for some reason they won't or can't do that then they should at least be taking flyers on guys who have some real upside if everything goes right.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:33 AM EST (#383845) #
Rendon at 7/245. I would have paid more than that, and front-end loaded and with an opt-out. The Angels in my view got a Cole quality player for a Strasburg price.

ZiPS likes Rendon a lot less than I do with injury risk high on the area of concern. I don't see it at all. Strasburg is in my view a much, much higher injury risk and Cole a much higher risk. Rendon has in my view the ability to move to DH and be productive into his late 30s.

scottt - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:04 AM EST (#383846) #
There's a world of difference between a top third baseman and a productive DH.
Rendon will be the second best player on the Angels behind Trout.
Maddon is their new coach, so they'll figure something about the pitching.

I don't like the Roark signing but I didn't like the Happ signing either and he ended providing 9 WAR over 2 and a half years.
So we got a floor on the quality of the rotation and the prospects will provide the ceiling. Eventually.

Rule 5 draft today. The Jays do pick early.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:11 AM EST (#383848) #
Of course there's a world if difference between an MVP candidate third baseman and a productive DH. ZiPS has Rendon as worth 0.6 WAR in the last year of his contract. I would put the over/under at 2.5. Either way it's a long way from 6-7 WAR, but it does matter which it is.  Nonetheless Dan Szymborski does like the contract for the Angels.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:52 AM EST (#383849) #
Now comes the most exciting time of the winter meetings for fans of also rans - the rule 5 draft! - here's hoping the Jays grab a couple of tickets. We know they love the Astros system.As has been noted, Dany Jimenez looks like a guy who the Jays could lose.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:55 AM EST (#383850) #
I dont mind the Roark signing in isolation. I disagree with the notion that we can find those innings internally. If by some miracle we do find them, it's extremely easy to move an arm for value at the deadline. So as a piece ivan fine with this.

What I will not accept is sitting on the remaining money. We need to use this space to find our centerfielder or stock our prospect shelf. The Boston suggestion is not bad but I'd rather look elsewhere because I dont like dealing with teams whose prospects are overrated.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 08:26 AM EST (#383851) #
Five names I'd consider for the Rule 5 today: Dany Jimenez, Sterling Sharp, Jose Rojas, Griffin Jax, and Zach Jackson. Of course two of those are Jays. Curious decision to allow those two almost-MLB-ready arms to potentially leave. I can see Jimenez going top 3 easily and not getting past the White Sox at 11.

SK in NJ - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 09:17 AM EST (#383852) #
The FO has been consistent about not valuing minor league RP's, especially when it comes to Rule 5 protection. Eventually they will probably lose someone that ends up becoming good elsewhere, maybe it will be Jimenez, but that seems to be a risk they are willing to take, and I am fine with that approach.
rpriske - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 09:27 AM EST (#383854) #
Unlike a lot of you, I like the Roark signing. What I don't like, so far, is the other signing that goes with it.

If the Jays FO see Roark and Anderson as their only rotation additions then that is a fail. If they see them as role players behind a bigger arm, I am okay with that.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 09:42 AM EST (#383855) #
If the Jays FO see Roark and Anderson as their only rotation additions then that is a fail. If they see them as role players behind a bigger arm, I am okay with that.
This. Need 1 more SP with a reasonable shot at 3+ WAR, not "did it once in 10 years". And a solid CF with maybe a 2-3 DWar, 1-2 OWar profile.. Not sure if those are out there, but I think it those would really solidify the team. We have a strong left side of the infield, can hopefully patch together something for 1B/DH by rotating Hernandez/Tellez/Drury/Jansen/McGuire. Outfield of Gurriel / CF / Grichuk. Maybe platoon Fisher in there at times. Maybe that's 1 too many bodies, I didn't count, but we are adding a roster spot.

Based on MLBTR reporting, it seems they ARE actually being somewhat active - looks like they were more than just "checking in" on Moustakas. 
On the positive side - VERY optimistic about the "3 batter minimum" rule coming into effect next year.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:01 AM EST (#383856) #
According the Ken Rosenthal, the Jays are garnering "heavy" interest in bot Jansen and McGuire and he speculates they could look for a pitching player return of similar age (24) and control (5 years).

Any suggestions of realistic targets that fir that description?
bpoz - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:11 AM EST (#383857) #
The moves the Jays have made so far do not make them competitive on paper for 2020 IMO.85 wins is somewhat competitive.

Willing to spend $ got us C Anderson from the Brewers. They gain a 40 man spot and we lose 1. On a non competing team he could have 150 IP.

Roark is similar. 150 IP. 150 IP from Thornton as well.

Shoemaker's IP in 2020 is unknown at the moment. I am just being kind.

Borucki, Pearson and the rest of the prospects should have opportunity. The above 4 if healthy should be there on Opening day. I am fine with that as vet SPs and young ones like Buchholz and Borucki got injured and we had to go to E Jackson and openers/bullpen days.

How does Dany Jimenez compare to X-Jay Miguel Castro? Castro is younger and has more ML experience. Castro is a set up man at best I believe.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#383858) #
The dream would be Brendan McKay (Tampa)
Jevant - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:35 AM EST (#383859) #
The Rick Porcello deal highlights the challenges the Jays face with the "Canada + AL East" situation. If Davidi is correct, there's not a chance on the planet the Jays didn't make a similar offer to Porcello, who presumably thought "best place to rebuild value is in NL and not in the ALE bandbox parks, plus the Canada issue".

Roark is fine. He was one of the names I had in the middle tier of the "add 3 SP" post that seemed to be so divisive. I'm hoping that one more arm is added better than him (Keuchel or Ryu) at a bare minimum, but I'm expecting the additional arm to be more of an Alex Wood/Wade Miley level. Innings appears to be the focus, which would suggest someone like Gio Gonzalez and his LH rubber arm could be a target as well. The Happ idea still makes a world of sense as well.

A Roark-Gonzalez-Shoemaker-Anderson-Thornton starting 5 is pretty mediocre, but at least has a fairly decent history of durability in the first two names, which should avoid going through 21 starters again in 2020. If the goal is "another developmental year in 2020 and spend big in the 2020 offseason", I can live with that, even if I don't see how a significant Ryu or Keuchel commitment now precludes any of that.
uglyone - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:35 AM EST (#383860) #
Jays were aggressively interested in porcello.

but not enough to beat $10m x 1yr from the mets.
Jevant - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:36 AM EST (#383861) #
That's a great dream, but I can't see Tampa going that route.
uglyone - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:39 AM EST (#383862) #
"The Rick Porcello deal highlights the challenges the Jays face with the "Canada + AL East" situation. "

unfortunately, every 5 years we get a new GM who needs to re-learn this lesson the hard way.

the most recent one pissed away the best collection of star talent we've had in decades, because they didn't appreciate this factor.
Jevant - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:43 AM EST (#383863) #
Not sure it's that simple. Unless the Jays were willing to grossly overpay, I don't think anyone signs a pillow contract in Toronto if you are a soft-tossing pitcher. Maybe if you are a power bat you'd do it.

If I'm Porcello, or his agent, I'd probably all but refuse to come to Toronto unless the deal is so crazy it's impossible to pass up. And let's be real - do we really want to be overpaying for Rick Porcello? Is he any better than Tanner Roark?

If the Jays are going to overpay for someone, I'd prefer it to be a superstar or someone with a reasonable chance of getting there. Not a guy who needs to bounce back to just be average.
christaylor - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:51 AM EST (#383864) #
I'm curious who is in your collection of pissed away?
When I try to answer this Donaldson and EE could be in the collection. Stroman is not a star. Happ is not a star. Bautista aged out. Martin aged out. Tulo injured out. Not pursuing Price was a good decision and many at the time knew this. The 2015 and 2016 teams were good enough in that they were both good and NYY and BOS weren't dominant.
AWeb - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 11:34 AM EST (#383865) #
Random looking ahead to 2020 post - All-time list climber Albert Pujols is entering his 20 season, and (Assuming health and playing time of course) zoom up the all-time lists. Giving him a season close to the last 2, he will enter the top-10 in Plate appearances, top-15 in games played, pass Willie Mays in HR for 4th, enter the top 15 for Runs, end up 3rd in RBI (passing Anson and Rodriguez), make it to 5th in doubles, and add to his growing lead in GDP. He'll also drop below a .300 career average for the first time since April 6th, 2001.

The only other hitter climbing the notable categories is Miguel Cabrera, who almost inconceivably still needs 23 HRs to get to 500, and might not make it (he has 31 in the past 3 years) at all. Justin Upton might get healthy and resume zooming up the career K list - a standard season for him and he goes from 22nd to the top 10.

And pitching milestones? Scherzer has an outside shot at reaching 3000 (needing 308), but will enter the top 20. Verlander will make it to the top 12 in Ks, and reach 3000 IP. Greinke will also reach 3000 IP Jon Lester will likely make it to 200 Wins. Kimbrel, if he gets to close again, will make the top-10 in Saves.

On the Jays? Grichuk is the by-default career leader in most counting stats with Smoak assumed to be gone. Barring a historically great year, I don't think anyone else on the roster could pass him anything. Newby Tanner Roark leads the pitching staff with 74 wins, 890 Ks, 1100 IP, and all his leads are safe too. So 1000Ks will happen, although I'm writing 100 Wins only in pencil, since he might get rested in the final few weeks before the playoffs and not make it to 24 this year (holiday optimism!).
Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#383866) #
Gregor Chisolm on Twitter says that he (as a former beat writer here) did not see great reluctance for players to come to Toronto.  Obviously there are a series of factors that go into player preferences, but it does seem that the most money is a big one!

The impression I have is that it would be unusual for a player to prefer a 1 year/$10 million contract in another city vs. a 1 year/$12 million contract in Toronto. 
LouisvilleJayFan - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 11:46 AM EST (#383867) #
I think many Jays fans VASTLY underestimate the "Canada" factor when it comes to acquiring players via free agency or no-trade clauses.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 11:52 AM EST (#383868) #
I would argue that having a big gaping hole in CF is also a big consideration for these pitchers who are signing pillow contracts.

To be clear from my earlier post. I actually like the Roark signing quite a bit. But if he is the guy we are holding a press conference for at the end of this offseason then it has been a complete and utter failure.
uglyone - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:12 PM EST (#383869) #
Losing even on the rule 5 draft is....apropos.
uglyone - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#383870) #
"I think many Jays fans VASTLY underestimate the "Canada" factor "

definitely something to keep in mind next time our grand plan is "sell everybody even though they want to stay here and save that money to sign guys later on when we're worse!"
Gerry - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:27 PM EST (#383871) #
Jays lose Dany Jimenez to the Ginats in the major league portion.

They also lose Brock Stewart and Danny Young in the minor league portion. The minor league portion has no recall ability. The Jays selected Hobie Harris from the Yankees.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#383872) #
Hobie Harris is a pretty fair baseball name.  No idea if he can pitch. 
Gerry - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 01:00 PM EST (#383873) #
Jays also lost Jose Espada in the minor league portion. He was injured for a lot of 2019.
cascando - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 01:08 PM EST (#383874) #
It seems likely that the Jays know something about Jimenez that is not obvious from the stat line. They used 39 pitchers in MLB last year, but Jimenez, who turns 26 in a few weeks, didn't get past AA.

Based on his path so far, Jimenez has is quite a long shot to carve out any kind of MLB career. This is probably his best chance. Good luck to him.
uglyone - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 01:43 PM EST (#383875) #
PeterG - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#383876) #
I would imagine that the fact that Jays did not make a rule 5 selection, indicates that the team expects to soon fill the open roster spots with FA signings....another pitcher and one or 2 position players. The names to watch here are Tsutsugo and Calhoun. I don't think they will trade one of the incumbent catchers unless blown away with an offer. I do think they would consider dealing one of the catching prospects.
bpoz - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 02:30 PM EST (#383877) #
We need some relief pitchers.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 02:36 PM EST (#383878) #
Please no Cole Calhoun
ayjackson - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 02:44 PM EST (#383879) #
Wonder if Maguire joins Giles in a package deal for a decent young pitcher.
PeterG - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 03:01 PM EST (#383880) #
That would be an overpay unless the return is a real stud..
bpoz - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 04:38 PM EST (#383881) #
At the moment the pen has Bass, Font, Gavligio and Pannone. I excluded Giles in case he is traded. Romano is possible. Waguespack would be helpful there compared to getting more AAA experience as a SP.

Some out of options position players will be dropped, traded or put on the 60 day DL, so more 40 man spots will become open.

Apparently the Jays offered Porcello more money than the Mets. A few years ago a pitcher said he would not sign with an AL East team that has to face the tough NYY and Boston lineups a lot. It made sense.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 04:45 PM EST (#383882) #
stud me, baby
Nigel - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 05:07 PM EST (#383883) #
The "Canada factor" may be an issue for some, but I suspect a combination of tax issues (of which the Jays in Canada/Ontario are one of many franchises that are less attractive than the no state tax clubs); the AL East; and the franchise/owner reputation will present even bigger obstacles to the Jays signing pitchers and players generally. On the last issue, I believe the industry's perception is that Rogers isn't currently committed to winning (in the same way some other owners are). To uglyone's point - the Raptors historically faced even worse obstacles signing FAs and found that re-signing their own FA players (even accounting for the structural benefits of doing so in the NBA system) was far easier than attracting new players to the club.
scottt - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 05:28 PM EST (#383884) #
The NL East isn't exactly an easy division. Just look at what moving to the Mets did for Stroman.
ERA  went from 2.96 to 3.77. The Marlins suck, but not as much as the Orioles.
Then you get the Braves, the Phililes and the Nats.
Also, the Mets defense is supposed to be pretty bad. No?

scottt - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 05:39 PM EST (#383885) #
They don't want McGuire to use his as a backup. A good starting catcher is worth a lot.
In the short term, the drop from McGuire to Maile is at least a couple of WAR.
So they need a 4 WAR pitcher just keep even in the deal, assuming the idea is to upgrade from a 2 WAR pitcher.
Getting a center fielder back would make more sense.

PeterG - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 05:52 PM EST (#383886) #
Here is a current evaluation of Tanner Roark. It concludes with the thought that it is a good signing for the Jays:
scottt - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 05:54 PM EST (#383887) #
Jimenez to the Giants sounds like a reruns of last year.
There was a high step from AA to AAA last year--mostly because of the juiced balls--and it was even worse in MLB.

Luciano was acquired by the Jays.  A shortstop named Richie Martin was acquired by Baltimore.
A 28 year old pitcher name Brendon Brennan was acquired by Seattle.
And that was it.

As I said previously, it's going to be harder to stash a reliever this year.
The IL for pitchers is 15 days. Pitchers sent back to AAA have to stay there 15 days.
There is a roster limit of 13 pitchers for every regular games (1 more for doubleheaders).
Position players can only pitch in certain conditions.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:02 PM EST (#383888) #
The Jays were right about Bergen and Romano; maybe they’ll also be right about Jimenez. Alternatively, Jimenez could continue to trend up and become an average or better MLB reliever, with a minimal price tag and full control. He’s certainly worth a flyer.
Nigel - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:05 PM EST (#383889) #
Scott - the disparity between the rich and poor in the AL East is far worse than in any other division. If you look at the past twenty years in the AL East the Yankees and Sox have one the division in 16 of the twenty years with TB winning twice and each of the Jays and O's winning once. In the NL East and the NL West, the two other divisions with historically large payroll franchises, the spread is much much more even. All ten teams in those divisions have won their respective divisions at least twice (even SD - hard to imagine:)) and even more telling is that eight of the ten teams (all but SD and the Mets) have won their division at least four times in the past twenty years. Payroll is 95% of everything in MLB.
bpoz - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:17 PM EST (#383890) #
Agreed Nigel. What effect does/will the luxury tax have on the winning? I can see the NL East and West having some parity. LAD are favorites mainly due to payroll I think.

Boston and NYY end up with many bad contracts. A-Rod and Mark Texiera. This off season Boston is dealing with luxury tax issues.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:20 PM EST (#383891) #
Disappointed the Jays lost Jimenez. 2nd year in a row the Giants have taken a relief pitcher from the Jays. They got Bergen, who I still like, back last year. Hopefully, they'll get Jimenez back too. They almost lost Romano last year, as well, and he looks like he could be a good big league reliever. There are 4 or 5 guys currently on the 40 man roster I would gladly lose to keep Jimenez. Surprised they didn't take anybody in the major league phase.

I liked the Roark signing. He's made 124 starts in the last 4 years. Has had seasons of 5.6 and 4.8 WAR, and as recently as 2018 had 2.9 WAR.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 06:35 PM EST (#383892) #
There is a not-insignificant chance Jimenez has a better career than some of the zero- or negative-WAR players on the Jays 40-man roster.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:29 PM EST (#383893) #
My money is on Luciano being the best of the recent Rule 5ers when all is said and done. That was probably a Cistulli-influenced pick. I wonder what he is up to now.
scottt - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 07:51 PM EST (#383894) #
In case it's not clear, I was commenting on Porcello taking a 1 year pillow contract in the NL East.
Regardless, the Mets have a decent payroll, the Nats and Phillies should be close to the Luxury tax and Atlanta has a great team and more financial flexibility than the Rays.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 08:11 PM EST (#383895) #
MLB officially removed marijuana from the banned substances list.  Competitive marketing advantage for the Blue Jay's, I guess.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2019 @ 10:02 PM EST (#383896) #
We might start seeing a few more spliff-fingered fastballs as a result.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 07:04 AM EST (#383897) #
Some games starting at 4:20 ?
scottt - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 08:29 AM EST (#383898) #
I'd be fine with Alford or Davis playing a defensive center field as long as they add a decent left bat to replace Smoak.
I'm less excited with Grichuk in center and Teoscar DHing.

They just need another solid bat after Bichette, Biggio, Gurriel,  and Guerrero.
Against a right handed pitcher, there should really be a left bat there and Tellez isn't quite ready for that.
Maybe Conine could work there eventually (He does take a walk, so they'd have to challenge him and he'd have a bunch of 3 run homers to go along with his strike outs.) but he's only getting to A+ this year.

Anderson and Roark could be traded to a contender at the deadline to open a spot for a ready prospect.

bpoz - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 11:04 AM EST (#383899) #
At the moment we are starting the year without a proven #1 or #2 (Stroman). Shoemaker had a chance to be a #3 or #4. That is wishful thinking which may as well apply to Roark and Anderson. So Roark, Anderson, Thornton and Shoemaker have a chance to be 150 IP #4s. The long baseball grind and realistic chances of being healthy all year by all 4 pitchers probably does not happen. 1 more addition like the above or better increases the odds by 20% or 25%. So on paper better than Richard and Buchholz. Getting someone that is as good or a little worse should be easy and not expensive.
cascando - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 11:38 AM EST (#383900) #
fangraphs had a blog entry yesterday projecting the rule V picks:

Jimenez has the second worst projection and the only negative WAR for a pitcher.

If he was young and had room to improve, it might be worth worrying about, but he is 26 and likely as good as he's going to get.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 11:52 AM EST (#383901) #
The Jays do need one more starter, ideally one better than any they've got, but even a 3 or 4 level starter would help.

As last year showed, you need at least 9 or 10 possible starters due to injury and poor performance. There several games last August and September where it was a bullpen game or a young starter was called up because nobody was available. It gave lots of guys a chance in the big leagues, and the team an idea of what they had, but it wasn't a great way to operate.
greenfrog - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#383902) #
The Rays are signing Tsutsugo for about 2/12m. I like that move for Tampa.
Nigel - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:21 PM EST (#383903) #
I would challenge the notion that the Jays need another starter for 2020. Adding another Anderson or Roark isn't going to move the needle for 2020. Now, if you are thinking about 2021/22 when the team might actually be competitive, I don't see pitching as the team's greatest need. The next wave of prospects is awash with Ps. What they need is a CF. They need some additional OBP. That's what they should be focusing on.
greenfrog - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:27 PM EST (#383904) #
Given the toll that the RC takes on center fielders, I would argue that the Jays should be targeting a young (age 20-25) player at that position. No point in dealing quality prospects for someone like Marte and then having him break down when the team starts to contend.
Nigel - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:32 PM EST (#383905) #
100% agree. The team needs an asset reallocation trade like the Alomar deal. Take some of the surplus in premium prospects in Cs and middle infielders and cash those for a CF.
Nigel - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:38 PM EST (#383906) #
Those types of deals don't happen often because they're risky. You run the risk of having traded the prospect who turns out to be the best player and look silly in retrospect. I don't expect this FO to have the risk appetite for that kind of deal.
greenfrog - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 12:44 PM EST (#383907) #
The Jays had an interesting young CF in Olivares, but traded him for Solarte.
bpoz - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 01:22 PM EST (#383908) #
By 2021 Lane Thomas (St Louis) and E Olivares (SD) should/could be ready. Chavez Young will not be ready.

Alford & T Hernandez for now.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 01:26 PM EST (#383909) #
Agreed, Nigel, that the Jays need some bats. When you lose 95 games you need help everywhere. My thinking in the need for another starter is that you have Shoemaker and Borucki coming back from injury, and you don't know how they'll do or how many innings they can pitch.

Thornton pitched better toward the end of the season, and Anderson and Roark will fill a couple of spots, but on the whole, the rotation still looks pretty shaky to me. I don't see adding another pitcher as striving to contend, but more for giving the team a reasonable chance to compete. Trotting out the likes of Edwin Jackson, Clayton Richard, Thomas Pannone and even Sean Reid-Foley was like waving a white flag before the game even began.
Nigel - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#383910) #
Island Boy - I completely agree with all of that. But to which I say: so what? Another Anderson or Roark isn't fixing things or making the pitching group competitive, it will just make the group "not suck". Why spend resources (cash or prospects) to achieve that end for 2020? Try fixing a real problem that will actually move the needle.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 02:38 PM EST (#383911) #
The Jays definitely need another SP. Shoemaker and Borucki made a combined 7 starts last season, and both have extensive injury histories. Thornton got better as the year went on, and I like the fact that the improvement came after an adjustment (he learned new CB and CU grips from Buchholz) so maybe there's something there with him, but he's by no means a lock to perform. Anderson and Roark if nothing else bring league average stability to the rotation. Ideally you would want them in the 4/5 spots, and they are unfortunately 1/2 in Toronto right now, but that's at least a starting point to a good rotation.

The Jays have some interesting options on the 40 man roster, but between Kay, Zeuch, Merryweather, Perez, Hatch, Murphy, Diaz, SRF, etc, I wouldn't pencil anyone in that group into the 2020 rotation. Maybe they might look like legit options during the season, but certainly not to begin the season. Adding one more SP would help the team a lot. Where I agree is the next SP added should not be in the Roark mold. Even if there is a bit more unpredictability, the next SP the Jays add should have some upside. Maybe it is Taijuan Walker or Alex Wood, but it shouldn't be an average/below average innings eater.
Jevant - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 02:38 PM EST (#383912) #
Let's be real - even Ryu isn't going to make the 2020 Jays competitive unless we have another couple significant moves. That said, if you pair a Ryu move with a trade for an actual CF, and sign a couple of starts to get into the realm of "if everything breaks never know."

I'm not counting on that, but the optimist in me thinks that you have a fair number of guys who have their best years in front of them (especially on the position player side), so getting a breakout or two isn't completely unreasonable (Bo, Vlad, Biggio, Gurriel, Jansen, etc). Supplement that with improved OF defence at least and the best available arm? You never know.
Mike Green - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 03:03 PM EST (#383913) #
Gabriel Moreno was a shortstop. He runs well.  The usual conversion for a player like that who doesn't quite have the defensive chops for short is to third base (Mike Schmidt e.g), second base (Aaron Hill/Orlando Hudson) or centerfield (Adam Jones/Billy Hamilton).  Catcher is an unusual place to move a former shortstop.  I wonder if Moreno could play centerfield as well as Adam Jones (who moved out there in the AFL at age 19). 
Nigel - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 03:18 PM EST (#383914) #
Sk - for me this is a forests and trees issue. I can agree with everything you set out. I can look at signing Roark, acquiring Anderson and tendering Drury, individually, and see the logic (to a greater or lesser extent) behind each transaction. But I continue to ask myself why? What's the point, what's the larger strategic rationale behind those moves? Maybe there's a "grand reveal" coming? Those three moves add up to almost $40m. That's now a sizeable asset that been used up.

rpriske - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 03:22 PM EST (#383915) #
Tsutsugo to the Rays for about $14.4m for 2 years sounds like it would have been a great deal for the Jays. Oh well.
Jevant - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 03:35 PM EST (#383916) #
I 100% agree with all of this, SK. I like the upside, but those sorts of guys need to force their way on, rather than be expected to rely on them. If Roark & Anderson are the only SP we add this offseason, I'd say that's evidence that the management is viewing 2020 as purely a developmental year.
bpoz - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 04:21 PM EST (#383917) #
Sounds like G Moreno can play every position on the field. He could be the 3rd catcher. Nice bb/K ratio as well.
scottt - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 07:06 PM EST (#383918) #
Drury can be released at any time and isn't a used up asset.
Anderson will make 8.5M this year. Roark will make 12M, I think.
That's not a lot of money, as these things go.
Both of these pitchers are on short contracts and can be traded to make room for a rookie.

So what's the plan? Same as before. Set up a floor by acquiring 2WAR players with upside and wait for the prospects to dislodge them.

A quick comparison using bWAR.

Stroman has been worth .1 WAR per game over his career.
Roark is pretty close to that at 0.092 WAR per game.
Anderson has been about half of that at 0.05WAR per game.

Roark is a sinker pitcher who can mix up a slider, a 4 seamer and a curve.
Given that, I'm less interested in Keuchel. Roark doesn't have the elite defense.
Ryu would still be nice but would require a real commitment, likely 4 years, maybe 5.

dalimon5 - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#383919) #
The more i think about it the more it makes sense:

Salary relief
Lower level prospects

Salary relief
Lower level prospects

Gurriel Jr

David Price

Joe Musgrove/Chris Archer
Starling Marte

Corey Kluber/Carrasco
SK in NJ - Friday, December 13 2019 @ 11:24 PM EST (#383920) #
Sk - for me this is a forests and trees issue. I can agree with everything you set out. I can look at signing Roark, acquiring Anderson and tendering Drury, individually, and see the logic (to a greater or lesser extent) behind each transaction. But I continue to ask myself why? What's the point, what's the larger strategic rationale behind those moves? Maybe there's a "grand reveal" coming? Those three moves add up to almost $40m. That's now a sizeable asset that been used up.

I think the rationale behind the moves is that they have money to spend and want to add starters with a reasonable chance to eat up 150-180 average innings to avoid having to depend on prospects who are not ready and/or journeymen (Edwin Jackson types). Why they targeted Anderson and Roark specifically is likely a combination of availability, acquisition cost, and in Roark's case he was one of the few pitchers on the market whose options were limited enough to be in the Jays price range.

I don't think these moves have any real direction behind them. Someone needs to throw innings in 2020, and both came at reasonable short-term cost. Prospects bust, get hurt, struggle, etc. Having some dependable vets, even if they are average/slightly below, does have value. All the talk about the Jays being aggressive and looking at pitchers like Ryu seems like window shopping to me. Maybe they'll surprise me and add Ryu (will likely take 4 years to do it which is risky) or a comparable pitcher, but I see them using 2020 to implement some of their minor league SP's into the rotation over the course of the season (Pearson, Kay, etc), while giving one more extended look to players like Hernandez, Fisher, Alford, McKinney, Drury, etc, to see if someone from that group comes out looking like a long-term piece.

rabbit - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST (#383921) #
Fangraphs and Baseball Trade Values help quantify the negative value of many of the poorer contracts that teams are currently trying to offload. For example, Price comes in at -60 million, so Boston will have to send significant money and/or talent to find a taker (much more than JBJ who has minimal net value by himself).

The more I look at Toronto's low payroll, the number of teams wanting to move expensive contracts, and the cost of signing free agents, I believe the Jays will do one or two of these types of trades. This is an easy way to improve the major league roster while adding more prime pitching prospects. My suggestions (using Baseball Trade Value numbers):

Yankees. : 4.6 = J.A. Happ (-9.1) + Clarke Schmidt (13.7)
Blue Jays: 8.9 = Sam Gaviglio (8.9) + Jackson McLelland (0)

Padres...: 2.1 = $20m + Wil Myers (-60.3) + Adrian Morejon (23.8) + Michel Baez (8.0) + Owen Millar (8.0) + Hudson Head (2.6)
Blue Jays: 5.7 = Ken Giles (4.6) + Logan Warmoth (1.1) + Josh Palacios (0)

The values are rough but definitely in the "ballpark", and show how Toronto can affordably add another starting pitcher (Happ), a potential upside bat for 1st (Myers), 3 quality pitchers who are close (Schmidt, Morejon, Baez), plus 2 decent prospects further away. Lots of configurations are possible, and deals like these are openly considered by fans and media (eg. Padres fans have structured similar Myers + quality prospects deals to get rid of his contract). Hard to imagine signing older FA pitchers like Keuchel and Ryu (for "plus" dollars & term because of Canada & AL East premium) would be a better use of money than taking bad contracts (but useful players) while adding quality pitching prospects at the same time. I think it will happen.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 11:42 AM EST (#383922) #
Heyman reports that the Jays are seriously pursuing Ryu.
uglyone - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#383923) #
Is seriously the new aggressively?
John Northey - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 12:42 PM EST (#383924) #
rabbit - while those deals make sense on paper would either team do them is the big question.  Trades are always a challenge and that is part of what I loved about AA - you never knew when he'd pull a rabbit out of his trade hat.  He was willing to risk looking bad (Thor) so he'd have a shot at a big win (Donaldson).  That is how you get into the playoffs.  Risk.  Ryu has been extremely good the past 2 years, is entering his age 33 season.  He is asking for a 3-4 year deal but odds are few will offer it.  The Jays must if they want him.  MLBTR predicted a 3 year $54 mil deal, but I have to think that has been blown out of the water by now.  4 years $100 mil is what I think the Jays gotta offer to get him.  They can afford it, but do they want to?  33/34/35/36 are his ages for those years and that is getting risky.  Odds are you are really paying for 3 years with the 4th being a write off or year in the pen which should come during contending years.  If he is solid physically maybe it would be fine but the Jays need to factor that in.  Ideally they'd try to amortize a 4 year deal over 3 so year 4 his salary isn't a factor in their budget.
BlueMonday - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 01:16 PM EST (#383925) #
Has there been any word on the structure of Roark's contract? I am hoping this offseason that the contracts that the FO does are significantly 'front-loaded', i.e. large signing bonuses +/- declining yearly salaries. I'm not sure how players feel about this, but it would be an advantage to the player if a strike was looming.

This will leave increased salary flexibility for their competitive window in (hopefully) 2021 and beyond.
bpoz - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 01:25 PM EST (#383926) #
AA should get C Yelich.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 01:49 PM EST (#383927) #
How about 3/75m for Ryu with a club option fourth year for $25m ($5m buyout)?
bpoz - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 02:39 PM EST (#383928) #
This past week I have head interviews from Atkins, Montoyo, Shapiro and someone lower in the FO named Joe Sheehan. Not sure about the new guys name.

Sheehan and Atkins are into a combination of philosophy and math with computer models being used. They are concentrating on what makes sense for acquisition based on many parameters (not specifically named but are crucial to the computer model (my interpretation)). Montoyo was clearer in his interview he listed 3 areas for improvement. Adding SPs, Relievers and Position players in that order of preference/urgency. Montoyo may or may not have used the word "priorities" because that could lead to confusion and accusations. He bluntly stated that if position players were added before SPs or relievers that the preferences was not changed.

Shapiro was the best saying that NO big acquisitions would be added until the team won 90 games. He did not give any false hopes for 2020.

In video you can see and hear the speaker. So I trust videos as proof of what was said. Quotation marks is a very old writing tool. They can be 90% trustworthy when used by certain writers and 10% or less trustworthy when used by other writers. This is shocking but I am learning.
Magpie - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 02:47 PM EST (#383929) #
Things you hear during the winter meetings:

I just think that the conversations that we've had, and it's clear, when you're talking about the players that are available, it's pretty clear how excited and eager our organization is about engaging, which we haven't been as much in past with other free agents... there's still a process to be responsible to win still right now but also to not compromise too much. It's still kind of -- I wouldn't say at the fore, forefront, but it's somewhere in the front of our minds, but we're being aggressive.

Hang on, that was Dave Roberts. The Dodgers can't find anyone to take their money? The Dodgers?
ayjackson - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 03:04 PM EST (#383930) #
It seems to me that the most obvious place that the Jays have been aggressive this offseason is on a new PR strategy.
Kelekin - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 03:30 PM EST (#383931) #
If we sign Ryu, it is at least not a wholly unsuccessful off-season. If we miss on Ryu, and all we have to show for things is Roark, then it absolutely looks bad. The lack of interest in Akiyama is disappointing (since he does things this team actually is lacking in), and missing Tsutsugo is also disappointing considering how much he ended up taking. Even if we had a better offer on the table, it doesn't mean it was significantly better. The Jays continue to fail to make inroads into the Japanese market which is disappointing considering Canada has a strong reputation in Japan.
bpoz - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 07:57 PM EST (#383932) #
Thanks Magpie. Many teams are talking that way. If LAD wanted a V good SP they missed out on both Cole and Strasburg. I don't like to believe any rumors but there is one that Bumgarner is a SP they have interest in.
DH - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 08:35 PM EST (#383933) #
I assume the pitch to Ryu includes a reminder of this game and post-game:
Vulg - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 10:41 PM EST (#383934) #
Heyman reports that the Jays are seriously pursuing Ryu.

Ben Nicholson-Smith characterized the Jays' pursuit of Porcello and Lindblom as 'serious' as well.

When you're outbid on a $9M + incentives (total over 3 years) bid on a pitcher Milwaukee Brewers, I have to question how 'serious' you could have been.

That aside, I don't see any way the Jays beat out both the Angels and Dodgers for Ryu's services.
John Northey - Saturday, December 14 2019 @ 11:08 PM EST (#383935) #
Yeah, if both the Angles and Dodgers want Ryu then odds are he will stay out there rather than come to Toronto and add hours to any flight home.  Jays would need to grossly outbid.  4 years minimum contract worth $100 million is what I think they would find the minimum to get it done.  Don't see them doing that.
Vulg - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 12:39 AM EST (#383936) #
John, thank you for making sense of my mangled post.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 08:18 AM EST (#383937) #
3/75 plus an option for Ryu?

Fangraphs had him at 16M AAV with a 2 year or 3 year term, 2 for Kiley McDaniel and 3 for the crowdsource.. Contraccts have been higher but not 50% higher.  I think you get him for 3×22 with an option and that would be fine. You're basically spending as if he is likely to produce 7 WAR over the next 3 years. That looks to me to be about right.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 08:36 AM EST (#383938) #
I think they can get Ryu but will have to go 4 years. Maybe 5.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 10:03 AM EST (#383939) #
Ryu's team is using the jays increase his leverage - I think Ryu comes to the Jays only as a gross overpay and I say thumbs down to that - rather they just use that money to take on contracts - Eovaldi,Archer,Happ,Duffy etc. or bad contracts plus prospects.
bpoz - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 10:51 AM EST (#383940) #
Our current FO has never made a prospect for prospect trade.

But with Cleveland also no prospect for prospect trades. They got 4th round 2011 draft LAA Mike Cleveninger for Vinnie Pestano, Aug 7, 2014. Pestano was probably a ML pitcher rather than a prospect. I am not sure. Similarly C Kluber 4th round 2007 traded to Cleveland july 31, 2010 in a 3 team trade. Cleveland, SD and St Louis. kluber was 24 years old at the time. He established himself in 2013 at age 27 with 147.1 IP. Prior to that 67.1 IP over 2 seasons. 2011 & 2012. Kluber had a terrible minor league 2011 season.

I accept that Kluber could have bust. If you count 2011 to 2019 that is 9 years of control of which 5 years were very durable 200+ IP. Clevinger has had only 1 season 2018 with 200 IP.

What I have presented above is data that I believe is accurate and honest. I don't know what and how the future will turn out. I do know that there is a lot of vague/confusing speaking happening. For example Atkins said he would be active this off season, the trade deadline and next off season. We will see if the Jays GM is active at the next trade deadline and next off season.
So active or inactive at the 2021 trade deadline?? My understanding is that the he meant "rebuild activity" for this off season, the trade deadline and next off season. But he did not specify that as far as I know.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 11:13 AM EST (#383941) #
4 years for Ryu could work- 23, 20, 17 and 15.  That way he gets a higher effective AAV by front end loading and it works with the Jays budget. I don't know whether he will get more than that, but you don't know until you try.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 12:33 PM EST (#383942) #
Kluber to the Rangers.

Not sure what's going back, but the Rangers are not thinking long term.

James W - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 01:16 PM EST (#383943) #
Nothing of substance is going back to Cleveland: Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 01:31 PM EST (#383944) #
Ryu's team is using the jays increase his leverage - I think Ryu comes to the Jays only as a gross overpay and I say thumbs down to that - rather they just use that money to take on contracts - Eovaldi,Archer,Happ,Duffy etc. or bad contracts plus prospects.
I'm confused -  if you take on a contract like Happ, you're paying $17M for last year's ERA+ 90, and ERA+ 101 the year before (aside from those 60 good innings with the Yankees). That's still an over-pay for those results - but for results worse than Trent Thornton - why? If Happ pitches at ERA+ 90 again and life was fair, he'd be in AAA most of the year or be our long-man. That's way too much $$$ for that.

I'd much, much, MUCH rather "grossly" overpay 4x$120M (heck, do $4x140) for an ERA+ of 150 (to say nothing of Ryu's actual ERA+ of 179 / 198 over the last 2 years). At least the potential to pitch amazingly well is there. 
As a fan, I'd much rather my team spent $300M and got a $250M team (in terms of results, $/WAR) than if it spent $50M and got a $75M team (the Rays' model). Sure, spending $150M and getting a $200M team is awesome - when it happens. But over-spending on mediocre talent (which seems to be where Happ is these days) is the SUREST way to have a lousy team.
bpoz - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 01:56 PM EST (#383945) #
So far the contenders in the AL are NYY, TB, Boston, someone in the AL central, Houston, Texas, Oakland and LAA. 8 teams.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 02:12 PM EST (#383946) #
I agree that the Jays are being used as leverage for Ryu. I don't doubt that the Jays are interested in him, but a risk averse front office willing to overpay in years and dollars for someone as risky as Ryu from a health standpoint just doesn't add up. My guess is it will take at least four years, and possibly around $20M per year to get him. I just can't see the FO doing that.

If you told me before the off-season that Kluber would have been traded for salary relief and a RP prospect, I would have bet the Jays would have been on it. Maybe they were, but seems like it would have been a better use of payroll flexibility than trying to outbid everyone in an expensive free agent market.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 02:19 PM EST (#383947) #
Right. I'm a bit surprised by the low cost.
Still, I think at best the Rangers knock the A's and the Angels out of the wild cards while finishing fourth.

Maybe, that's part of the Cleveland logic. Strengthen the other divisions to pave the way to an easy wild card.

Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 02:41 PM EST (#383948) #
Watching Kluber go for next to nothing means I have even less clue what the offseason plan is in TO.
Vulg - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 03:03 PM EST (#383949) #
Kluber for nothing seems like a way better bet than Anderson for nothing.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 03:11 PM EST (#383950) #
And a much better move than Roark for 24 million.

Seriously...where were the Jays on this deal? Obviously Cleveland liked the RP a lot and he is ranked higher in their minds, but come on.

We have a tonne of high upside non elite prospects and Kluber would have been nice to fill in innings and lead the rotation while letting us spend on the lineup instead of "raising the floor."

Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 03:26 PM EST (#383951) #
Let’s not discount the non zero chance that he’s healthy and returns to being Cory frigging Kluber.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 03:42 PM EST (#383952) #
Kluber would have been wonderful. A right arm fracture after being hit by a line drive isn't the least significant injury but it's not the most significant one either. I would put the over/under on his ERA for next year at 3.70.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#383953) #
Interesting that not only the Blue Jays but other pitching needy teams didn't beat that offer.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:14 PM EST (#383954) #
With MadBum going to Arizona, Ryu has both the Angels & Dodgers available to stay on west coast.
uglyone - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:19 PM EST (#383955) #
Please just sell the team already.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:27 PM EST (#383956) #
Cleveland and Minnesota are both contenders. This is the easiest division, so the wild card is quite achievable.

They chose to move Kluger now rather than at the deadline, like they did with Bauer.

Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:36 PM EST (#383957) #
The FO will be spinning hard this week. I hope they just stay out of the fray and off the airwaves..
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:37 PM EST (#383958) #
Bumgarner to Arizona for 5 years and 85M.

I suppose one could do something like that for Ryu.
Maybe a bit less guaranteed, but with more incentives.

PeterG - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:43 PM EST (#383959) #
Bumgarner got less than expected.....maybe high rollers are spent out?
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 05:46 PM EST (#383960) #
Clase isn't exactly nothing.

He sits at 99mph and peaks at 102. He throws strikes. At worse he generates ground balls.
The bullpen has been a huge problem for Cleveland the last few years.
Clase comes with 6 years of control, so they could flip him back once their window closes.

DeShield is cheap and can play center field. He runs well and Francona can play around with the extra position player.

Magpie - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 06:00 PM EST (#383961) #
Toronto would have had no problem matching the DeShields part of the transaction. I'm not sure if there's anything they'd wouldn't mind giving up that would be equivalent to Clase.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 06:37 PM EST (#383962) #
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 06:43 PM EST (#383963) #
MadBum's 3 years extension at 26 ends up costing him over a 100 million?
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 06:53 PM EST (#383964) #
MadBum gets a no trade clause to 5 teams.
I'm really curious at to what teams are on a lists like that.

Tax implications?
MLB players pay taxes in the state in which their team is located and in the states in which they play away games.
The signing bonus are usually taxed only in the state of residence.

vw_fan17 - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 07:59 PM EST (#383965) #
The FO will be spinning hard this week. I hope they just stay out of the fray and off the airwaves..

Shapiro and/or Atkins may need time on the DL after pursuing FAs so "aggressively" and "seriously"..
Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 08:17 PM EST (#383966) #
Sure, Clase is a legitimately good relief prospect. But this is Kluber. The guy who averaged 6 WAR per year prior to last year. Who, even if the team options vest, will get paid less than Roark, Anderson and Drury will over the next two years. In context, Clase isn’t much.
Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 08:18 PM EST (#383967) #
6 WAR per year for the previous 5 years.
PeterG - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 08:38 PM EST (#383968) #
I think that Kluber is seen as too high an injury risk. Why was no other team willing to offer more for him or Cleveland willing to take so little? Cleveland knows him best and didn't want him. Buyer beware.
Nigel - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 09:47 PM EST (#383969) #
Absolutely he’s an injury risk. The Jays have stated that they can’t afford proven performance of that level if he’s healthy. It just signed in NY and LA for north of $30m per year. If the Jays aren’t prepared to take risks and are only going to pay for proven performance that they can afford then they are a 2nd or 3rd division club for sure.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 11:25 PM EST (#383970) #
As a comparison, the Angels were after Kluber, and the Indians asked for highly regarded OF prospect Brandon Marsh and another of their top 10 prospects. The cost to get Kluber would have been pretty high for the Blue Jays if that was the ask. The Indians really like Clase.

Interesting article on MILB about the guys taken in the recent Rule 5 draft. They rate the likelihood each will stick with their new team, and only 1 of the 11 picks was rated as more likely to stick than Dany Jimenez. They cite his upper 90's fastball, good slider and solid changeup as well as a deceptive delivery that gets a lot of strikeouts. The Jays got lucky last year when Romano was returned, but they might not be so lucky this time. Looking at the low level of talent they kept on the roster in many cases instead of Jimenez just makes no sense to me.

Arizona was apparently Bumgarner's 1st choice to play for, and he may have taken a bit of a discount to go there.
pooks137 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 01:06 AM EST (#383971) #
Looking at the low level of talent they kept on the roster in many cases instead of Jimenez just makes no sense to me.

The current FO has shown a Rule 5 strategy where they choose not to protect non-elite minor league relief pitcher prospects, which I think is the right call.

The Rule 5 eligible guys they have chosen to protect- Patrick Murphy, Yennsy Diaz, Hector Perez, Thomas Hatch - have been guys who are at least starting in the minors and have at least a slim chance of making it as a SP

There are just too many marginal relief prospects in your system at any given time to try to protect them all - Dany Jimenez, Jackson McClelland, Travis Bergen, Kirby Snead, Zach Jackson, Bryan Baker, Ty Tice, etc.

I think the Jays are resigned to the fact that they may occasionally lose a couple of middle reliever types, but you retain more 40-man flexibility by keeping the marginal guys off of it and have less risk of losing prospects to waivers by DFA when you eventually need to make room.

The Jays also already have too many prospect types clogging up their 40 man who aren't contributing (Murphy, Y. Diaz, Merryweather, H. Perez, Hatch, Reid-Foley). They were also very aggressive already in culling relievers from last year's pen (Tepera, Shafer, Adam, Boshers, Mayza), but still only have two open 40 man spots with presumably at least one more FA SP incoming and numerous roster spots needed for major league RP signings similar to Hudson and Phelps last year.

pooks137 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 01:09 AM EST (#383972) #
MadBum gets a no trade clause to 5 teams. I'm really curious at to what teams are on a lists like that

I think you can safely assume that the Jays are on 100% of NTC lists leaguewide

scottt - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 07:12 AM EST (#383973) #
I do, but I wonder who the other 4 teams could be.
High tax states? Horrible teams? Teams that are likely destination like NYY?

scottt - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 07:48 AM EST (#383974) #
Clase is a reliever who throws very hard and gets a lot of ground balls.
The Jays once had a guy like that. His name was Aaron Sanchez.

In 17, Clase made 6 starts and threw 35 innings. His ERA was average because he walked too many.
In 18, they made him a reliever and the walks stopped He only threw 28 innings.
In 19, after 6 games (7 innings) without allowing a run they moved him to AA where he was promoted to MLB after 38 innings.

Clase has a higher strikeout ratio than Sanchez and he's never been stretched enough to be a starter.
Still, Cleveland would have probably asked for Pearson.

bpoz - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 09:00 AM EST (#383975) #
I too like Clase. He has a shot at becoming a closer.

New ballpark for the Rangers next year so it is best that they don't suck.

Having veteran #2,3 and 4s should help them win more AL West games.
85bluejay - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 09:14 AM EST (#383976) #
6 WAR per year for the previous 5 years.

Indeed, kluber has been a fantastic pitcher but teams are interested in paying for what they think a player will do in the future and not so much past performance and judging from the meagre returns Cleveland received, many teams are not bullish on Kluber going forward - maybe he will prove them wrong, only time will tell.
uglyone - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#383977) #
yeah this Kluber miss is an extra level of annoying. it's exactly the move their "clever" strategy should have been on. sure there's injury risk but that's a damn modest contract for huge upside, and it would have cost them maybe one good but not great prospect - something which they should easily be able to afford after all these years of hoarding.
bpoz - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 09:53 AM EST (#383978) #
Kluber has a 2020 contract. A possible 2021 contract if he reaches the vesting levels. Then he can receive a QO if he is good enough.

His age will be 34,35 and 36 for the next 3 seasons.

If the Jays win 90 games in 2020 I will regret that we only got C Anderson and T Roark. Also regret that Giles was traded before the season if it does happen.
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#383979) #
This piece from fangraphs on Clase in August is interesting.  It looks like Cleveland treated Clase as a Kanley Jansen in waiting.  So far in the majors, his OSwing rate is 37% and his ZSwing rate is 57.7%.  That is suggestive of something very special indeed- the kind of player who has a decent chance to be the best ace reliever in baseball. 

From Cleveland's perspective, the only player who would be at the same level in the Jays system might be Pearson.  The Blue Jays' second best prospect (probably Groshans) might have a higher ceiling but is 3 years away, and the chance of him reaching it is likely lower than for Clase.
uglyone - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:14 AM EST (#383980) #
well, then, cleveland is dumb.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:22 AM EST (#383981) #
This might have been a situation where the Indians were fixated on a specific player rather than targeting the best package. Seems like the rationale from their end was to trade Kluber but get players back that could still help the 2020 team in what should be a weak division again. I don't know if the Jays had anything comparable that would have fit that intended goal. I doubt the FO would have traded anyone currently in the top 10 of the system for Kluber anyway, especially if they feel like they actually have a shot at Ryu (which I'm still not buying but we will see).
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:51 AM EST (#383982) #
I wouldn't rush to judgment, UO.  The best ace in the major leagues is worth a lot, and it's not captured by WAR at all.  Mariano Rivera, by the far the best ace in major league history earned 39.3 fWAR and 55 WPA.  The WPA comes closer to getting at his regular-season value, but the playoffs is where he really mattered- 141 innings, 13 runs, 86 hits, 21 walks, 110 strikeouts- almost all of it in extremely high leverage situations.  He's probably the most important playoff performer ever, and as I've said, the playoffs are now as important as the regular season if you want to win a championship and ace relievers have disproportionate importance in the playoffs because of the off -days.  Obviously, it's unlikely that Clase ends up as dominant and durable as Rivera but youneverknow. 

Call me dumb if you want, but I'd have to think hard about a Groshans for Clase trade.  I'm never as comfortable about pitcher evaluation than hitter evaluation and this is a situation where I'd do a lot of talking with people who know more than I do.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:56 AM EST (#383983) #
According to reliable yet unprofessional source: jays interested in Puig "if price remains low."

That's a signing I could get behind.

If the line up is made stronger then I can see Davis or Alford in center.

Guerrero jr

Pitcher from Gurriel Jr trade

bpoz - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#383984) #
If Clase gets a chance to close and has great success as predicted then he can be traded for a lot of value. He is still very young.
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#383985) #
I have absolutely no interest in Puig.
Nigel - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:17 PM EST (#383986) #
There's only a couple of names in the Jays top 10 that I wouldn't have traded for Kluber (presuming that there were other moves to help the team contend in 20/21 - Kluber by himself wouldn't do it).

I agree that there must be something to Clase that the Indians really liked. Kluber, even with the mileage on his arm, is a very valuable piece on his current contract.
Nigel - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#383987) #
Re Puig - Just how many poor defensive OFs with league average bats does one team need? Acquiring him would serve the purpose of trying to appear to be doing something.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:45 PM EST (#383988) #
Just because a made up defensive metric rating says Puig is a bad defensive player does not make it true.

I have seen many games played by Puig and he his an excellent defender who makes a big difference with his arm and speed.

He steals bases and he has power. He's everything the Jays think Grichuk can be.

And he brings "Bautista-ness" with him. Get rid of some of the other guys like Grichuk, Fischer or Hernandez.
bpoz - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 12:47 PM EST (#383989) #
Boston has not done anything much yet.
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 01:03 PM EST (#383990) #
Over the last 5 years, as a decent defender, Puig is a 2 WAR player.  He's almost exactly Randal Grichuk- a little more O and a little less D.  Grichuk is signed for $10 million for 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.  If you think that the club should ditch the contract and replace him with Puig for a year, I guess that's fine but I really don't see the point. 
Nigel - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 01:38 PM EST (#383991) #
dalimon - I agree completely that Puig has fantastic defensive tools (particularly when he was younger). However, I think he belongs in that category of OFs (like Teoscar Hernandez) who have excellent defensive tools but aren't always very good defenders, due to poor routes, bad jumps, throwing to the wrong base etc. I understand if your mileage differs on the point. The tools are there to be seen. He has made some spectacular throws over the years.
dan gordon - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 03:19 PM EST (#383992) #
If they sign Puig, where do they play him? He can't play CF, likely isn't as good as Gurriel, so that leaves either moving Grichuk to CF, trading Grichuk, or using Puig as your DH. Trading Grichuk would be tough after a down season in 2019 - you want to see a rebound in 2020 first.

The Mets have designated Stephen Nogosek to make room for Porcello - he's a reliever the Jays may be interested in.

Josh Lindblom's contract with Milwaukee isn't nearly as cheap as first reported. There are performance bonuses which can double the value of the deal to more than $18 million.

pooks137 - my point about Jimenez isn't that the Jays should be protecting most or all of those 7 relief pitchers you mentioned. I really like Jimenez, and think he has lots of upside. He's the only one of those 7 that I would have protected. A strategy has to be flexible, so I wouldn't want to just say "we're not going to protect relief pitchers" as some kind of blanket statement. There is lots of room for Jimenez on the roster - I count 6 or 7 guys that I wouldn't lose any sleep over dropping.
PeterG - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 04:19 PM EST (#383994) #
If the Jays sign a FA OF, then I think Gurriel is in play for pitching...someone young and controllable with high upside. I like Gurriel and would want a lot for him, but he has had 3 soft tissue injuries in 2 years so trading him after a good season may not be a bad idea.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 04:38 PM EST (#383995) #
I like a Puig of Ozuna signing only if it precludes a trade of Gurriel Jr for pitching as my projected line up didnt have Gurriel Jr in it.

It's an easy way to sell high and buy a similarly controlled pitcher while replacing Gurriell Jr with a free agent who is sitting on the market.

dalimon5 - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#383996) #
Of course I should add that "selling high," is clearly my bias. I haven't been impressed enough by LGJ's discipline and defense to consider him part of the true core, and there's nobody else I would want to trade that has more trade value.
rpriske - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 06:34 PM EST (#383997) #
Luke Maile is now a Pirate.

greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 06:44 PM EST (#383998) #
We should probably send him some fan maile.
greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 07:27 PM EST (#383999) #
From ESPN's predictions of where MLB's top FAs will end up:

Hyun-Jin Ryu (No. 5): Ryu pitched like an ace for most of last season before tiring in September, but he still led the NL with a 2.32 ERA and threw 182⅔ innings, his most since 2013. That wasn't a stone-cold fluke either, as he has a 2.21 ERA in 44 starts over the past two seasons. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters at the winter meetings that he discussed a new deal for Ryu with agent Scott Boras, but Ryu told reporters in Korea, "If the Dodgers wanted to re-sign me, they would have told my agent. I haven't heard from him yet."

Best fits: Dodgers, Angels, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Twins

Prediction: Angels. The Blue Jays and Cardinals have been linked to Ryu, with Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reporting that Ryu is one of the Jays' top targets this offseason. But the Jays have spent more than $40 million on a free agent just once in the past decade. I say Ryu stays on the West Coast as the Angels keep him in Los Angeles.
greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 07:29 PM EST (#384000) #
For what it's worth, ESPN thinks the Jays will end up with Encarnacion. That's it (among the top remaining FAs).
scottt - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#384001) #
That's probably just to please those expecting Cherrington to target Jays asset.
Dewey - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 08:16 PM EST (#384002) #
The OED’s [Oxford English Dictionary] word of the day is “eephus”. A couple of you might be interested.


eephus, n.
[‘slang. The quality of pitching exceptionally well. rare.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈiːfəs/,  U.S. /ˈifəs/
Forms:  19– eefus rare,   19– eephus,   19– ephus. 
Origin: Of unknown origin.
Etymology:Origin unknown.
It is often suggested that sense 2 originates from a comment said to have been made by Maurice Van Robays (1914–65), then outfielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates, when Sewell used this pitch in a 1942 exhibition game: ‘Eephus ain't nothing, and that's a nothing pitch’. Chiefly on the basis of this, an origin
Dewey - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 08:23 PM EST (#384003) #
2nd try: The OED’s [Oxford English Dictionary] word of the day is “eephus”. A couple of you might be interested. "" [excerpt follows]
eephus, n.
[‘slang. The quality of pitching exceptionally well. rare.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈiːfəs/, U.S. /ˈifəs/
Forms: 19– eefus rare, 19– eephus, 19– ephus.

Etymology:Origin unknown.
It is often suggested that sense 2 originates from a comment said to have been made by Maurice Van Robays (1914–65), then outfielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates, when Sewell used this pitch in a 1942 exhibition game: ‘Eephus ain't nothing, and that's a nothing pitch’.
1. slang. The quality of pitching exceptionally well. rare.
1935 Salt Lake Tribune 24 May 17/2 Lefty Gomez..has originated a term which is running through the league. It designates that certain something which marks out fine pitching from poor hurling, and Lefty calls it ‘Eephus’. Asked for a definition, the goofy one said: ‘Eephus is that little extry you have on your good days.’

2. A slow pitch having a high arcing trajectory.
Particularly associated with Truett ‘Rip’ Sewell (1907–89), pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
1943 Zanesville (Ohio) Signal 23 July 8/8 When Rip Sewell throws an ephus the ball goes up 20 feet or so in the air as it lazily approaches the batter.
1961 N.Y. Herald Tribune 1 Aug. 20/5 Sewell claimed that no one could hit ‘the eephus’ out of the ballpark.

OED Word of the Day
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 08:32 PM EST (#384004) #
Thanks, Dewey.
Gerry - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 10:25 PM EST (#384005) #
From Ken Rosenthal:

Expectation within industry is Ryu will exceed Bumgarner’s $17M average annual value in deal of at least four years. Two industry people with knowledge of starting-pitching market predict minimum four years, $80M. Teams still in need of starter include #BlueJays; #Angels; #Twins.
Vulg - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 10:40 PM EST (#384006) #
Miley off the board with his deal to the Reds. Not the most exciting name, but a possible fallback post-Ryu. Reasonable deal at $15M over 2 years, looks like a club option for $9M.
dan gordon - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#384007) #
Just had a look back at the big trade the Jays made with the Marlins in 2012, that sent H. Alvarez, Y. Escobar, Hechavarria, Marisnick, Mathis, DeSclafani and Nicolino to Miami for Buehrle, J. Johnson, Bonifacio, Buck and Reyes. I added up the total bWAR each player has produced since the trade. The players sent to the Jays accumulated 12 WAR, and all have since retired. The players the Jays traded have produced 33.2 WAR, and 3 of them are still going strong. Last year Marisnick had 1.2 WAR, DeSclafani had 2.9, and Hechavarria had 0.9.
bpoz - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:52 PM EST (#384008) #
Thanks Dan. I wonder if the $ are close?
dan gordon - Monday, December 16 2019 @ 11:57 PM EST (#384009) #
And the other big one from 2012, sending Thor, Bucera, Buck and d'Arnaud to the Mets for Dickey, Thole and Nickeas. The players received produced 7.1 WAR before retiring, the players traded have produced 17.9 WAR so far, with Syndergaard still just 27 years old, and d'Arnaud coming off a pretty good season at age 30.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 12:11 AM EST (#384010) #
bpoz, the players the Jays received in the Reyes trade earned roughly $188 million from the point of the trade to their retirement, the players traded have earned roughly $85 million so far.

In the Dickey trade, the players traded to the Jays earned roughly $55 million before retiring, the players traded have earned roughly $31 million so far.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 12:20 AM EST (#384011) #
From the point in time of the 2 trades, the players received were paid $243 million for 19.1 WAR, the players traded have been paid $116 million for 51.1 WAR.

Typically, you want to hang on to your young players and prospects, and avoid trading for/signing older, expensive players, unless you have an unlimited budget, or need a specific guy or two to put you over the top.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 12:51 AM EST (#384012) #
Yeah, the two big trades on their own look bad but 2015/2016 were vital for the Jays.  Those playoff runs were well worth losing Thor's career just like 1992 was worth losing Jeff Kent's.  Maybe not needed in the end, but risky trades are part of the deal when you chase a playoff slot.

Of course, you can add the Tulo trade too - 4.8 WAR (LaTroy Hawkins added 0.0) for roughy $108 million vs the -0.9 WAR Reyes generated for $59 million, plus 2.4 WAR/$1.5 mil for Castro, Hoffman's -0.7 for league minimum, and Jesus Tinco's 0.2 for league minimum last year. = 1.0 WAR for $60 mil roughly.  Net spread of 3.8 WAR for $48 mil for the Jays which doesn't sound as bad as it seemed.

As I recall AA was saying how the Jays couldn't get free agents to sign here outside of paying a crazy premium so he decided to do trades to get guys without no-trade clauses instead (or adapt as needed with Tulo).
rabbit - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 01:22 AM EST (#384013) #
Those were horrible "I'm impatient, let's get aggressive even if we're not that close" trades.

A.A.went from 85 to 81 to 73 wins in his first three years as GM. Then, he pulls off these two deals the next off-season to "accelerate" things ... and the team turns in 74 wins the next year! He did recover, made some smart short-term moves (had to, otherwise he's getting fired) but pretty much maxed out payroll and crippled the farm system in the process. Being aggressive is exciting but not necessarily smart.
Michael - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 05:36 AM EST (#384014) #
If you are doing trade values (including contracts and WAR) how about the trade getting JD and the trade sending Wells to the Angels for Napoli?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 06:37 AM EST (#384015) #
Remember when MLB was debating whether to cancel the Jays-Marlins trade because it was supposedly so blatantly favourable to the Jays?
uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:41 AM EST (#384016) #
Yeah lol those dumb Jays going to back to back ALCS while those smart marlins hoarded all that WAR out of the playoffs.

So glad that our current Jays are now smart just like those Marlins.
scottt - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 08:24 AM EST (#384017) #
Thor would have been much better than Dickie in 15/16.
Dickie was acquired to win in 13 and boy did that not work out.

The Tulo trade isn't really a big trade, it was a pure desperation move.
Tulo was a 3 WAR player at that point. Reyes was just an overpaid replacement player.
Tulo's contract was so bad that the Jays basically sent highly ranked prospects just to get Colorado to pick up Reyes.
Reyes, like Dickie was a quickly declining player acquired to compete in 13.

I see the Greinke swap in a similar light.
Lots of good prospects traded to acquire  a 35 year old with 2 years and 70M left.
They could have signed Cole or Strasburg otherwise.

Parker - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 08:32 AM EST (#384018) #
The Marlins have won as many World Series titles as the Jays despite the Jays' 16-year head start.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 09:27 AM EST (#384019) #
Scott - funny stuff.

Dickie was a Cy Young winner when the Jays got him, on a very cheap deal ($12 mil a year for 3 years).  5.7 WAR the season he was acquired.  Sadly didn't work out but wasn't a crazy thing to do - one top prospect (d'Arnaud) and one young lottery ticket (Thor) which happened to pay off for NY.  What was funny is many feared Becerra would be the killer piece in the end but last year he didn't even play pro-ball and never got higher than A+.

Tulo was a big trade at the time - Reyes was a negative WAR palyer making $22 mil a year, Tulo a +3 WAR guy making $20 mil.  That was a big deal at the time.  Hoffman was highly regarded but flopped (as a majority of pitching prospects do).  Castro the same.
aarne13 - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#384020) #
We did "win" the off-season that year.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 09:52 AM EST (#384021) #
I have no problems trading prospects and spending/taking on money but you have to judge each transaction on it's merit - I give a big thumbs down to the Miami trade,the Mets trade and the Rockies trade while I gave a thumbs up to the Donaldson trade when they were made and I think I've been proven mostly right - Some will argue that 2015/16 would not have happened without those trades but I strongly disagree and think that the Jays could have a a longer more successful run if smarter moves that been made - spending both prospect capital and budget increase more wisely.Anyways, I don't have a problem if this FO doesn't try to jump start the contention window of this team and waits for the team to develop before spending prospect capital and money to augment a solid core much like the 80's FO did.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#384022) #
It's a long off-season and some rehashing is inevitable.  But this particular one has been beaten to death.  We know that Anthopoulos made some very good deals and some stinkers in the period from 2012-15.  The team won a lot of games in  the regular season and playoffs in 2015 and 2016, but no World Series championships, and the farm system was pretty thin by the time he was done. 

Trading prospects for established players sometimes works and sometimes not.  Best to illustrate the failures of this type of trade with Bagwell for Anderson or something not Blue Jay related.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#384023) #
R. A. Dickey is his name. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 10:28 AM EST (#384024) #
I apologize for all the grammatical errors in my post.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 10:34 AM EST (#384025) #
Everybody bought into the Jays winning the 2013 off season. Including me. No excuses for me BUT I did not realize the impact of ageing curve and injury history. I don't think AA did either. The team was called Florida in 2010. They managed to get these FAs. Maybe they paid the best. In 2010 they won ok. Bad and worse in 2011 and 2012. Fortunately from the Jay's perspective the Marlins were even worse in 2013. Lost 100 games. Since I don't follow the Marlins I don't know if they decided to rebuild. But if you are bad you get high draft picks so it is a "forced rebuild".

I am OK with calling AA dumb. Free speech!! For me he was learning. So dumb, smart, creative, exciting, refreshing, surprising and probably other characteristics. The dumb and smart cover each other. For the other characteristics the opposite is DULL. AA was not that. I for one don't downplay the results of 2015 and 2016. Contending is difficult especially in the AL East. A rebuild is painful and maybe has to be.

I am sorry if only a few of you understand the following. The ageing curve is a statistical exercise that somehow proves that generally as players age they decline. The decline is very often fast, "fell of a cliff" is often used by Bauxites. It took a while for me to understand that it is not a gradual decline. Thank you to the Bauxites who understood and explained it with examples.

I think most Bauxites understand "injury predictions". I felt strongly that Tulo and Travis were injury prone based on a reasonable sample size. Vlad is on that path but based on a too SSS.

Understanding complex concepts is difficult. So to be fair to Shapiro and Atkins I will wait for the results that this rebuild produces.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 10:52 AM EST (#384026) #
yep, parker, and those marlins definitely won those world series by hoarding prospects, not trading them for elite talent or signing elite talent.

oh wait....
bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#384027) #
A lot of credit for the Marlin WS success has to go to the owner at the time. The Blockbuster guy Wayne H?????.

The 2nd WS championship team won by a V good SP initials JB?? He was traded to Boston and helped them win their 1st WS I think. I cannot remember details any more.

Parker - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#384028) #
True, UO, but the veterans they traded for were all on the last years of their contracts; they didn't pick up a ton of payroll commitment in those trades.

Incidentally, their best hitter that year (Derrek Lee) was acquired in a trade where the Marlins sent away elite talent (Kevin Brown).
bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 12:32 PM EST (#384029) #
Thanks Parker. Kevin Brown was a great pitcher. He was good in some playoff games too I think. I cannot remember when and where?
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 01:04 PM EST (#384030) #
If you put "J B" into BBRef's search feature, you'll get a list of all players with initials JB.  The JB team is:

LF- Jesse Burkett
CF- Jackie Bradley Jr.
RF- Jesse Barfield
3B- Jose Bautista
SS- Jay Bell
2B- Javier Baez
1B- Jim Bottomley
C-  Johnny Bench
DH- Jeff Bagwell
Bench- Jimmy Brown, Jeff Blauser or Jason Bartlett, Johnny Bassler, Jake Beckley,  Jay Buhner

SP- Jim Bunning
SP- Josh Beckett
SP- Joe Bush (aka Bullet Joe Bush)
SP- Jose Berrios
SP- Jack Billingham

RP- Joaquin Benoit
RP- Joe Black
RP- Juan Berenguer
RP- Joe Biagini
RP- Jerry Blevins

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#384031) #
The ZiPS projection for Ryu is out- 144 IP (25 starts), a 119 ERA+ and 2.9 WAR.  It's almost exactly what I would project.  I'd aim to use him as a main event, and worry less about the number of innings and more about getting the maximum productivity from the innings. 
bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 01:22 PM EST (#384032) #
Josh Beckett!!! Marlins and Red Sox. I would call him an Ace.

I am also thinking about Chris Carpenter. He recovered quite well after the Jays. #1 rather than Ace I suspect.
pubster - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 02:16 PM EST (#384033) #
"Yeah, the two big trades on their own look bad but 2015/2016 were vital for the Jays. Those playoff runs were well worth losing Thor's career just like 1992 was worth losing Jeff Kent's."

In 2015 Thor threw 150 innings. Struck out 166 and walked 31.
In 2016 Thor threw 184 innings. Struck out 218 and walked 43.

Maybe the Jays win the World Series if they DONT trade for Dickey.
pubster - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 02:19 PM EST (#384034) #
It's not very often that you a trade a prospect for a player who can help you now, and the prospect ends up being better during your compete window than the player who was supposed to help you now.
lexomatic - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:02 PM EST (#384035) #
I don't  have strikezone plotting, but I'm convinced Dickey got squeezed in the AL. Maybe he got the benefit of calls in the NL and he should've been worse, but I think there were way more walks than warranted.
Anyway a quick look comparing NY and TOR
Strikeouts in his last NYM year are an outlier. A little bit higher in TOR but way more walks too.
about 10% fewer groundballs in TOR AND higher HR %
He stranded way more runners in the NLBut that 2012 year is just a massive outlier compared to the rest of his career after he figured things out.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:14 PM EST (#384036) #
Thor was a weird case.  At the time of the trade he was a 19 year old in Lansing (A ball).  Doing excellent, but 19 year olds who do well in A ball often flame out before reaching.  The Mets pushed him hard A/AA at 20, AAA at 21, majors at 22.  Injured at 24, not as effective full time at 26.  With the Jays would he have been pushed as hard?  Impossible to know.  IIRC the rumor was that the Mets wanted one of Stroman, Sanchez, or Thor, or no deal.  Yeah, in retrospect it would've been nice.  But would you refuse to take a Cy Young winner over an A ball pitcher?
Parker - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:27 PM EST (#384037) #
I thought it was one of Justin Nicolino, Sanchez, or Thor?
Parker - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:30 PM EST (#384038) #
Oops, my bad. Nicolino had already been traded to Miami at that point.
Paul D - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:45 PM EST (#384039) #
It's not very often that you a trade a prospect for a player who can help you now, and the prospect ends up being better during your compete window than the player who was supposed to help you now.

I think it's more common than you think. The Chris Archer trade (definitely) and the Goldschmidt trade (probably) are two recent examples.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#384040) #
2 things regarding Thor as a lottery part.

1) They don't always work out. Even University pitchers don't work out. As mentioned. That is a fine concept for me to accept.

2) Currently we have a huge number of lottery pitchers in all levels of our farm. Very close to very far.

Maybe double or triple in quantity. So our odds are better. That is why I am impressed by both AA and the current FO regarding farm development.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 03:53 PM EST (#384041) #
Jays reportedly signing Japanese pitcher Yamaguchi to 2 year contract.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#384042) #
32 year old righthander Shun Yamaguchi posted a 2.91 ERA with the Yomiuri Giants last season.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:16 PM EST (#384043) #
I know this is going to sound super bitter, but I'll always be convinced that the Jays win the 2015 World Series with the roster they had if there had been robot umps in the top of the 9th in Game 6 of the ALCS.

The end of that game was the most frustrated I believe I have ever been with officiating at any point.
pubster - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:31 PM EST (#384046) #
"I think it's more common than you think."

I was actually thinking 'I might be wrong here' when making my post!
pubster - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#384048) #
"I know this is going to sound super bitter, but I'll always be convinced that the Jays win the 2015 World Series with the roster they had if there had been robot umps in the top of the 9th in Game 6 of the ALCS."

I think they win the WS if David Price is left off the playoff roster!
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#384050) #
Mike, that "JB" team is really good. Is there a better "initials" team?
scottt - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 05:29 PM EST (#384052) #
I felt the would have beaten Cleveland in 2016 if the strike zone had been higher, lower, and narrower.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 06:24 PM EST (#384055) #
Dan, I  haven't looked in a decade or so, and I always think of the late great Mick Doherty when I do.

As I recall, the JC (naturally) and JM teams were pretty good too.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 11:32 PM EST (#384068) #
My first thoughts for initial teams was BB

BB: Killer outfield with Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds. Going by memory mostly for names

1B: Brandon Belt (23.2 WAR so far)
2B: Bret Boone (22.8 WAR)
3B: Buddy Bell (66.3 WAR)
SS: ???
LF: Barry Bonds (162.8 WAR)
CF: Brett Butler (49.7 WAR)
RF: Bobby Bonds (57.9 WAR)
DH: Bobby Bonilla (30.2 WAR)
CA: Bob Boone (27.4 WAR)

SP: Bert Blyleven (94.4 WAR)
SP: Bud Black (20.9 WAR)

I know there are more but that is where I get stuck.  Tried a search but it was too limited.  Still a killer team there.  Near HOF quality or HOF quality (50+ WAR) at LF/SP/3B/CF/RF  Boone was a killer catcher too - top notch on defense even though he couldn't hit.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 01:09 AM EST (#384070) #
You need some pitching. How about Bud Black, Bob Buhl, and Bill Bonham in the rotation, with Bob Bolin a swingman and Brad's Boxberger and Brach in the bullpen.

Bob Bailey was a good multi-position player for quite a while. Bill Buckner and Billy Butler could be in the mix at 1B/pinch hitting. Byron Buxton looks like he's developing into quite a good CF, but isn't going to unseat Butler for that spot, so he's a defensive replacement. Bo Bichette for SS is a little early, but I can't think of another good guy for that position.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 01:11 AM EST (#384071) #
Oh, you already had Bud Black. Can't count him twice, I guess.
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 02:10 AM EST (#384072) #
You can count him as a player-manager.
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