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People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
   --- Rogers Hornsby

Well, Hornsby was a lunatic. Anyway, New Thread is badly needed. Especially as the Jays have apparently signed themselves a pitcher from the Mysterious East. No, not that one (who's probably received the Jays offer and is now waiting patiently, for as long as it takes, for someone to top it.)

Take it away, gang.

The Off Season Drags On.... | 216 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:25 PM EST (#384044) #
2 years at 3 mil per for Yamaguchi pending medical.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:27 PM EST (#384045) #
If the deal is confirmed, Yamaguchi looks like a nice add at $3 million a year for 2 years, plus the 20% posting fee. Has started and relieved, so he could be a rotation piece initially, and then if a couple of the kids work out as starters, he could be moved to the bullpen. MLBTR reported last night the Twins were after him, so maybe somebody actually chose the Jays over another team. He has a career ERA of 3.35 (2.91 last year). The deadline to sign him is tomorrow, so we'll find out soon.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:35 PM EST (#384047) #

Shi Davidi

#BlueJays and Shun Yamaguchi have agreed to terms pending a physical, per industry source
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#384049) #
They'll be discussing Yamaguchi on Writers' Block in about 5 minutes.
scottt - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 05:24 PM EST (#384051) #

He's 32 and made 28 starts last year. I believe Japanese pitchers typically pitch once a week.

Sits anywhere from 88mp to 91 and tops at 94. (or used to, anyway)

Fastball, slider, curve and gets out with a splitter.

Was topping at 96-97 mph out of the pen.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#384053) #
If Giles is traded then he can try for the closer position. A poor mans C Janssen.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 06:21 PM EST (#384054) #
He might be an opener. I wonder if the club is going to move that way.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 06:37 PM EST (#384056) #
Yamaguchi will likely be a starter. I think the club prefers to move away from openers.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:00 PM EST (#384057) #
But why
VictoryFaust - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:09 PM EST (#384058) #
Imagine spending 50 or $60 for a ticket to a game and having to suffer through some rando as an opener. I donít care if the team has a better winning percentage when they use an opener, it is terrible for the fans and the game. Nobody wants to see five pitching changes every game.
mathesond - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:31 PM EST (#384059) #
Well then, show up a few minutes late and miss the top of the first. It'll be one less pitching change to suffer through, even if it does happen between innings.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#384060) #
Agree with Victory Faust!! BUT maybe the team actually wins!!
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:42 PM EST (#384061) #
Thankfully, they're implementing the "3 batters or end of the inning" rule this year. From the logic side of things, sure, LOOGYs worked and helped, but as a fan, they were HORRIBLE to sit through. Kind of like the '94-95(?) New Jersey Devils and the trap - it worked for them, but MAN, was it boring to watch. And, sadly, in order to compensate, basically every team has had to increase their bullpen and have at least one LOOGY and one ROOGY and some had 2 LOOGYs..

As much as I feel for those guys no longer having a job, it's high time they implemented this. Of course, we may also now see a lot of phantom injuries after 1 or 2 batters. I really hope this doesn't get abused, because I'd HATE to wish for a rule that if a pitcher is injured before facing 3 batters, they can't pitch for 3-4 days again or mandatory IL time, which might mean they try to pitch through an actual injury, but overall, that might still be a better outcome.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:55 PM EST (#384062) #
An opener can go 2 innings and then the main event can go 5,6 or even 7 innings. It doesn't have to lead to more pitching changes and actually can lead to fewer. It just means the first change is earlier in the game.

I prefer it and find no joy in the battles to get 5 innings out of a mediocre starter trying to qualify for the win.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 07:59 PM EST (#384063) #
Still think baseball would be better with a switch to 7 innings. Would fix the feeling of games dragging on forever and openers wouldn't be so painful.

Like this signing a lot and see absolutely no downside. Reminds me of carlos villeneuva or marco Estrada as a swing arm with upside. If his game doesn't translate then you can cut him loose.

I still expect a big-ish move (be it an upper rotation arm, a middle of the order bat or a centrefielder). If we get at least 2 of those I'd call this a fairly successful offseason actually.
pubster - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 08:16 PM EST (#384064) #
If you are ok with setup men and closers then you should have no problem with openers.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 08:31 PM EST (#384065) #
Regardless of hisrole, Iím a fan of this move. This is the first offseason move that I think has a realistic chance of having some significant upside. Thumbs up.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 11:01 PM EST (#384066) #
Agree completely with your above comment, Mike. Bang on. If I go to a game, or watch on TV, I want the team to do whatever they can to win. I think the opener is a very interesting, creative concept. He's got to be a good pitcher, though. You want to start off strongly, and he's facing the top of the order. Almost like having 2 closers - one to pitch the 9th, one to pitch the first.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 17 2019 @ 11:31 PM EST (#384067) #
I actually wouldn't be surprised if the Jays go full on Tampa Bay in 2020 as far as how they use the pitching staff. I'd expect to see the opener used quite a bit next season, and possibly beyond depending on how the young SP prospects develop.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST (#384069) #
Surely we are out of money now.
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 03:18 AM EST (#384073) #
Thumbs up on Yamaguchi. Now do Akiyama.

Here's a PSA from @brianfhclement on Twitter:

In case anyone's wondering, Shun Yamaguchi's first name is pronounced with a shortened "oo" sound, not "uh". So it doesn't rhyme with "bun" or "run." It's closer to the "u" in "put".
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 07:30 AM EST (#384074) #
Facing 3 batters will not lead to injury. Also an injured pitcher accrues MLB time and gets paid MLB money, so I don't see any incentive to pitch while hurt.

Pitchers being pulled out of games due to injuries should probably have to go the IL.
I don't recall any abuse there, at any rate.

scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 07:51 AM EST (#384075) #
It would make some sense to have 2 Japanese players.

Yamaguchi seems to fit in the Estrada role, multi-inning  reliever who could start.
He reminds me of Tanaka. He's 1 inch shorter.
Tanaka has a better mix of pitches, but the approach should be the same: get over me curveball, nibble on the corners to get to 2 strikes, then try to end it with a low splitter. If anything, it could be too similar to Shoemaker.

If the contract gets signed, the Blue Jays payroll will be around 78M.
I think it started at 115M last year.
So, there's quite a bit of money left.

The 5 Japanese vowels are captured in the English sentence "Ha, we soon get old."
Like in Spanish, they are always pronounced clearly.

ayjackson - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 08:00 AM EST (#384076) #
Is this a way of enticing Ryu? They seem contemporaries....wait, is Korean and Japanese the same? :P
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 08:08 AM EST (#384077) #
I think Ryu in Korean is close to Yu in Japanese.
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 09:03 AM EST (#384078) #
Socrates Brito is now a Pirates. Chances are he ends up in AAA, but he's a good risk for a tanking team.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 09:28 AM EST (#384079) #
I agree with the consensus.  Thumbs up on the Yamaguchi signing.

Dan's point on the necessity of having a good pitcher in the opener role is solid.  It's a moderate leverage situation.   It makes sense to use openers a lot if you have a large number of pitchers of approximately equal talent, none of whom can be counted on for 32 starts/6 IP per start.  That's the Blue Jays situation. 

How many innings your opener(s) pitch each outing and how often they pitch is an important variable.  Personally, I like the idea of the opener going 1 or 2 innings once every three games, and probably 2 innings more often than 1.  It's a workload of about 90 innings per season, and I think that the regularity of it will help most pitchers.  If you have two of them, and one guy who opens once and relieves once, you can run with all openers.  90 innings for those three, 150 innings from your five main events, 65 innings apiece from your four relievers and 160 innings from Nate Pearson and your September callups.  You don't have to go third time through the order unless your main event is pitching well and the game situation makes it worthwhile for him to do so. 
PeterG - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 09:49 AM EST (#384080) #

Hanshin Tigers English News
∑ 3h
Someone connected with the #Hanshin organization speculates that Rafael Dolis is heading to the Toronto Blue Jays. Hope they're right! via @nikkansports

Wikpedia already lists him as a member of the Jays.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 09:57 AM EST (#384081) #
Thanks Peter G. He is a big guy 6'4" born in the DR. Probably a minor league signing.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#384082) #
Could be a solid reliever - Rafael Dolis - good K/9, decent BB/9 in Japan after being too wild before going there.  Who knows?  Can't hurt.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 11:00 AM EST (#384083) #
I like the Yamaguchi signing but I LOVE the idea that the Jays are moving away from openers.

It is the baseball trend that is worst for the game, imo.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 11:09 AM EST (#384085) #
Our payroll including Tulo is still under $80 mil?

Beside Ryu and Keuchel there are no SPs available in FA that are better than Roark and C Anderson?

So we may be done on that front. Just depth pieces left. One is Felix Hernandez!!

Trades and/or signings for a position player probably.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 11:22 AM EST (#384086) #
Why do you dislike openers, rpriske?

The expectations of pitchers have changed tremendously over the last 50 years.  In 1969, the average team had 41 complete games in a season, and eight pitchers had 20 complete games or more.  There were good relievers, but the closer role didn't exist and the set-up role wouldn't be there for another 7 or 8 years.  The typical pitching staff consisted of 10 pitchers in 1969.  Over the years, the staffs expanded, pitchers threw harder and starting pitching outings have grown shorter and shorter.  The complete game is essentially extinct, and teams routinely anticipate that the starter will throw significantly less than 6 innings on average with a succesion of relievers to follow. 

So, for instance, the current Blue Jay pitchers in 2019 averaged per start:

Thornton 4.8 IP
Waguespack 5.0 IP
Kay 5.0 IP
Roark 5.3 IP
Anderson 4.8 IP
Shoemaker 5.6 IP

Do you really enjoy seeing a succession of relievers in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#384088) #
Scott Mitchell's projected rotations from his Twitter feed:


It's not what I would do, but as a prediction about what is likely to occur, it's as good as any. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:07 PM EST (#384089) #
Thanks Mike Green.

It can also be looked at in terms of innings per outing. Bullpen days. Gaviglio (95.2 IP) and Pannone (73 IP).

I expect the pitching to be very frustrating in 2020. I hope that the team "wants to win" as a concept. I want our offense to be strong because the young players are in place and my hopes are that they will grow. Our core. The pitching is made up of non elite veteran pitchers at the moment, so they are capable of blowing leads real well. J MacLaughlin, Roy Lee Jackson and Bryan Clark were the top 3 in a bad pen that could protect no leads it seemed to me. I don't think I can handle that again.

When Montoyo had J Davis he used him as a defensive CF to protect leads and saves. That needs to happen in 2020 with J Davis or Alford on the team. In 2018 there was a reliever that cleared the bases of inherited players regularly it seemed to me by giving up a Hr. The page with 2018 and earlier stats does not work for me any more. So bad spelling. Sorry. Before 2018 Grilli and Storen come to mind but I think I am forgetting other relievers that were also bad.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:15 PM EST (#384090) #
I would prefer having starters capable of going 6-7 innings every start, but the reality is the Jays have to try to maximize the assets on the roster. They can certainly try to do it the old fashioned way and have all the starters start, bring in relievers after that, etc, but if using openers increases the likelihood of squeezing the most out of this group of pitchers, then they should do it whether it is entertaining or not. Many of the young starters on the 40 man roster may profile better as multi inning relievers anyway, and practically all of them have options, so they can (and will likely have to) be creative with how they use the staff as a whole.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:32 PM EST (#384091) #
I would prefer having starters who average over 6 IP a start.  There seem to be about 25 of them total in MLB. 
Dewey - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#384092) #
ď . . .the approach should be the same: get over me curveball, nibble on the corners to get to 2 strikes, then try to end it with a low splitter.Ē

Gotta love those get over me curveballs, and the nibbles. (Some of them can be brutal, nasty, even filthy. Depends on the thrower, of course.) Fun game, baseball.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 12:42 PM EST (#384093) #
I don't like openers because my favourite part of baseball is the match-up between starting pitcher and batter.
There is a reason pitching match-ups are projected when looking at upcoming games.
Do I want to see relieves in the 5th? No. But I would rather see one in the 5th than in the 1st.

MLB is making a positive change with the new relief rules. That is a good start. Killer the opener would be next. Though I can't imagine a positive rule that could fix it, so I am glad to hear it when a team appears to be moving away from it.
Cracka - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#384094) #
The NFL & NBA teams/owners are much better than MLB at creating rules that showcase their star players, thus growing their overall media & merchandise revenues, particularly in international markets. MLB owners seem more focused on individual team profitability, aiming to optimize their ticket sales revenue vs. their payroll.

If the NFL owners ran MLB, I don't think they would allow "openers". They make rules that are offense-friendly and star player-friendly... and "openers" are neither. Same for the shift -- that would be "illegal defense" or "illegal formation" in the NBA & NFL.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#384095) #
If Mitchellís prognostication of the starters is correct, that has to be bottom quartile (at least) of the all-time starting rotations (start of the year) for the Jays (post Ď82). So, why wouldnít you try openers and see if you can leverage something better out of that group?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 04:18 PM EST (#384096) #
I hadn't noticed how few good LHPs there are in the system.  A lot is riding on the progress of Anthony Kay and Ryan Borucki. 
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 04:52 PM EST (#384097) #
The 2016 rotation was fantastic.
2019 was not good, despite a great start.
2018 had only 2 pitchers who delivered more than 1 WAR, Borucki and Happ.
2017 had Stroman, Happ and Estrada--who delivered 1.9 WAR despite a 90 ERA+.
2015 had Stroman, Dickey, Buehrle and Estrada before Stroman messed up his knee.
2014 had Dickey, Buehrle and Happ--who wasn't that great back then.
2013 was similar, but no starter got to 100 ERA+
2012 Morrow was the only good starter as Romero had lost it.
2011 Romero was the only good starter. Morrow and Cecil had ERA+ of 90 but one went 11-11 and the other 4-11.

I don't think they'll be better than the 2016 rotation, but they could easily be better than any other rotation of the last decade.
Especially if Pearson delivers.

pubster - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:00 PM EST (#384098) #
Despite everything, the Blue Jays had the 7th best ERA in the AL (15 Teams) last year post all star break. So they really weren't that bad.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:11 PM EST (#384099) #
Yes, I agree and it was even better post deadline I think. When comparing the potential 2020 rotation with that of 2019, many point out that there will be no Jackson, Feierabend, Richard, Buchholz and likely no SRF ,but few refer to the obvious upgrade of not having Aaron Sanchez for 4 months as he was statistically the worst regular starter in the AL with a 6.06 ERA.

At this point the 2020 rotation stands to be light years better than that of 2019.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:21 PM EST (#384100) #
Here are the 2020 Steamer projections for Blue Jay pitchers.  Warning: avert your eyes unless you like number that begin with 5. 
pubster - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#384101) #
PeterG - Yes but they also lose Stroman in 2020.
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:50 PM EST (#384102) #
They still have Travis Bergen.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:51 PM EST (#384103) #
They did not have Stroman post deadline and team pitching was better. The Steamer projections mean nothing to me and are rarely correct.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 05:56 PM EST (#384104) #
I don't think that either Waguespack and/or Merryweather is necessarily in the Buffalo rotation. One or both could be in the major league pen.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#384105) #
Ah hindsight. Prior to the commencement of last year, the rotation was supposed to be Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Shoemaker and Buchholz. Borucki and Buchholz were coming off fantastic years (or partial years). Prior to the start of last season, that group would have projected to be better than the projections for this year's group. And look what happened. I think Steamer's projections for this year's group are actually fairly logical. Now, who knows what will actually happen? That's the thing with pitching - youneverknow. But this year's group has all kinds of legitimate health and performance red flags.
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:08 PM EST (#384106) #
Gavin Floyd?

14 guys on the first page predicted to throw 1 inning and allow 1 earn run but all with different ERA.
Only 7 predicted to actually get into a game.

It's predicting Paxton to make 32 starts and Severino 29.
I'll take the under on that.

It's predicting Tanaka to be a little worse in every category, but it's predicting him to be worth 2.3 WAR instead of the 1.7 he was worth last year.

dan gordon - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:17 PM EST (#384107) #
That list has 21 starters for the top 3 teams in the organization, plus 3 or 4 guys at A+ who could easily be starting in AA at the start of the season or shortly after. No doubt there will be a few injuries, but, still, that quite a logjam, most of whom are good prospects. Nice problem to have.

I think a rotation of Roark, Shoemaker, Anderson, Yamaguchi, Borucki/Thornton looks decent, especially considering Pearson should be up in May or June. Need another couple of good relievers to support them, and sign Giles to a 3 year extension.
scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:22 PM EST (#384108) #
It's hard to predict Shoemaker because he didn't throw a lot.
Which might be good or bad. Who knows.
There's a few guys changing leagues. That's also hard to predict.
Borucki could lose velocity or control. That's happened before post surgery.

They project Happ at 4.63. He finished at 4.91 last year. He's 37.
Maybe the underline of the projection is that Happ gets traded to a team with a pitcher friendly ballpark?

Eovaldi to start 28 games and maintain an ERA of 4.24?
I'd put money against that.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:37 PM EST (#384109) #
I don't agree with some of the Steamer numbers either. The home runs allowed are uniformly too high, and in some cases way off.  That said, I see the starters as a group having trouble 3rd time through the order. I hope that they do use openers.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 06:50 PM EST (#384110) #
Eric Sogard signed for 4.5 million with the Brewers. I would have loved to have him here as a platoon third baseman.

One of the real issues with the young pitchers on the club is the below average defence. A centerfielder would really help but third base is also an issue.

scottt - Wednesday, December 18 2019 @ 10:50 PM EST (#384111) #
Last year, the Blue Jays signed Sogard to a minor-league deal. I'm not sure how much they paid him.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:05 AM EST (#384112) #
Prior to the commencement of last year, the rotation was supposed to be Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Shoemaker and Buchholz. Borucki and Buchholz were coming off fantastic years (or partial years). Prior to the start of last season, that group would have projected to be better than the projections for this year's group.
I'm not sure about this. I don't know where to find Steamer for last season, and the ZiPS projections for the Jays aren't out yet, but last year's ZiPS projected the top six for 8.7 WAR; the current Steamer is at 6.6 WAR without any projection of Pearson. I wouldn't be surprised if a ZiPS projection that includes Pearson exceeds last year's.
John Northey - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:35 AM EST (#384113) #
Ryu appears close to signing.  Rumors now are $80 for 4 years is the magic number.  Should the Jays say 'ok' to that?  4 out of the 7 years he has been in the majors he cracked 100 Innings, one year fully missed.  Last year though he threw 182 2/3 IP at age 32.  A 4 year deal covers 33-36. 

A 1.93 ERA in Dodger Stadium, 2.72 away.  3.18 ERA in the 2nd half, but 2.13 in September over 25 innings (over 6 IP per start, 4 starts).

Some warning signs, but some promising too.  In 4 years we'll deep into arbitration for the kids so he shouldn't put heavy pressure on the budget at that point regardless of effectiveness at that time.  Maybe a front loaded instead of back loaded contract (an extra bonus for him, makes the budget in 4 years easier).  My gut says 'go for it'.  No compensation or extra cost for signing him so it is just a cash issue.  For the ERA leader at $20 mil per for 4 it sounds good to me.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 02:50 AM EST (#384114) #
Those Steamer projections have all 6 of Shoemaker, Anderson, Roark, Thornton, Borucki and Waguespack over 5.00 in ERA, with a linear average for the 6 of 5.16. I would bet a very large sum of money against all 6 of those pitchers having an ERA over 5.00 this year. Thornton, for instance, had an ERA of 3.15 over his last 9 starts in 2019 after working with Buchholz on his pitches. Roark has pitched in the big leagues for 9 years, has never had an ERA over 4.67, and has a career ERA of 3.71. Anderson has pitched in the big leagues for 6 years, has never had an ERA over 4.39, and has a career ERA of 3.94. Shoemaker has never had an ERA starting with a 5, and has a career ERA of 3.81. The Steamer projections are basically saying that every Blue Jay starting pitcher is going to have a season that is considerably worse than any season they have ever had. The Jays have 3 starters with career ERA's in the 3.00's, Yamaguchi, who has a career ERA in the low 3.00's in Japan, Borucki, who had an ERA in the 3.00's in his only healthy season, and Thornton, who was in the 4.00's and in the low 3.00's in his last 9 starts. Plus Pearson beginning in May or June. Plus any of the kids who have a significant move ahead during the season. I like the rotation.

Steamer also has those 6 allowing 165 (!!) HR's in 867 innings. Not going to happen.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 08:38 AM EST (#384116) #
The Yanks were over the luxury tax and will be over even more in 2020.
It seems a foregone conclusion that they've decided to part with Happ, but it's not clear who is going to take him.
Higashioka is currently their backup catcher. Romine played a lot last year.
They have Stanton at DH, Andujar and Frazier on the bench, 2 guys with huge defensive issues.
Hicks and German will not make the team in April.
We'll see if Urshela, Tauchman and Voit regress or not.

It seems like Boston will hang up to Betts and try to trade one of their starter (along with Bradley Jr.).
Again, not clear who would be the taker.
They also don't have much starter depth and they biggest problem was the lack of bullpen options.
Right now, their backup catcher is Austin Rei, their first baseman is right handed Chavis and their second baseman is Jose Peralta backed by Tzu-Wei Lin.

Jonny German - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 08:41 AM EST (#384117) #
My crack at the starting rotation depth to start the year. I don't list guys I consider non-prospects.

Chase Anderson
Tanner Roark
Ryan Borucki
Matt Shoemaker
Trent Thornton
Anthony Kay

- Shun Yamaguchi in the pen
- Thomas Pannone potentially in the pen, depedning on FA reliever signings
- Sean Reid-Foley in the pen either in Toronto or Buffalo

T.J. Zeuch
Nate Pearson
Jacob Waguespack
Patrick Murphy
Thomas Hatch

- Julian Merryweather in the pen

Yennsy Diaz
Maximo Castillo
Joey Murray
Hector Perez
Zach Logue
Nick Allgeyer

Alek Manoah
Eric Pardinho
Simeon Woods Richardson
Josh Winckowski
Elvis Luciano

- This is potentially an aggressive promotion for Pardinho, but health is the key for him and Dunedin is a better place than Lansing both for weather and facilities.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:07 AM EST (#384118) #
Phillip Aumont has been very good for 2 years now. Significantly better than Font while playing for the same team.
It would be hard to crack the rotation, but he's only 30 and could surprise.

Merryweather is on his last option year. He should get the ball at some point.
Cole is on a minor league contract and has a good chance of making the team.
Romano, Pannone and Waguespack have option and could start in AAA.
To play the AAA shuttle game, you probably need 3 optionable pitchers anyway, given the 15 days restriction.
Giles (as it stands), Bass and Font have guaranteed spots.
Yamaguchi too, I suppose. Same for Gaviglio.

None of the relief pitching prospects are on the 40.

Pearson should be up after a month or 2. No need to worry about the super 2 rule.
That will push a starter out.
It will be interesting to see how they limit Pearson's innings.

dalimon5 - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:07 AM EST (#384119) #
ERA's go up with Steamer when you're leaving the NL or a pitcher's park, coming to pitch against the Sox, Rays and Yankees 10 or 12 times.
bpoz - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:23 AM EST (#384120) #
That makes a lot of sense dalimon5.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:49 AM EST (#384121) #
That's good, Jonny.  I agree that is probably what they will do in Dunedin to start the season; there may very well be a promotion or two by mid-May though..  I think that they'll let Groshans and Kloffenstein hang together in Lansing and then move them up to Dunedin things going well in mid-season. 

As for the upper levels, I'm not sure what they will do.  Personally, I'd have Font, Yamaguchi and Waguespack in 2 inning opener roles, Thornton in a long man role out of the pen and the other 5 starters you have listed in the main event role. I'd have Joey Murray in triple A to take Waguespack's place.  I would venture a guess that they will do something more conventional- probably using only Font in the role.  I think that they'll have Yamaguchi in the Andrew Miller role. 

bpoz - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:53 AM EST (#384122) #
The rotation veterans are Roark, Anderson and Shoemaker. Roark and Anderson have a history of being reasonably durable #4s so better than Buchholz, Richard and Shoemaker. They are also getting $9 mil and $12 mil compared to the $3 mil SPs we have/had.

Anderson was a salary dump and Roark probably got what he was supposedly worth.

All 3 have a better chance of surviving until the trade deadline than last years veteran SPs.

Only Roark's contract makes him return next year.

If the young pitchers fail to develop in 2020 then we repeat this process the same way next off season.
Gerry - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#384123) #
Looks like Smoak is going to the Brewers.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 10:23 AM EST (#384124) #
I'll illustrate my problem with the Steamer projections.  Take Ken Giles.  His FIPs the last 6 years- 1.34, 2.13, 2.86, 2.39, 3.08, 2.27.  His xFIPs the last 6 years- 2.03, 3.05, 2.67, 3.09, 3.27, 2.73.  His career FIP and xFIP are 2.37 and 2.83, almost exactly what they were last year.  Steamer projects FIP and xFIP for him of 3.45 and 3.65 predominantly because of a large increase in the number of home runs he allows.  He's 29 years old and it is possible, but I just don't think that it's likely.  Checking Statcast, Giles' xBA and xSLG were .185 and .318 last year, significantly below his already very good career norms. 

Tanner Roark is another story.  He's 33.  Last year, his xBA and xSLG were .278 and .475.  His exit velocities and launch angles have gone from good to poor the last 2 years.

Chase Anderson is more like Giles.  His exit velocities have remained pretty much constant and slightly above average.  His 2019  xBA and xSLG were .250 and .427, within spitting distance of his career norms. His career FIP and xFIP are 4.54 and 4.53; Steamer projects FIP and xFIP of 5.49 and 5.52, and that doesn't make any sense to me. 

Matt Shoemaker is in the same boat as Anderson and Giles but not quite as extreme.  Over the last 4 years (age 29-32), he's thrown 297 innings with an ERA of 3.93 and a FIP of 3.96.  However, he's been hit pretty hard and beaten his expectations each of the last 4 years.  I'd expect something on the order of 4.6 or 4.7 rather than 5.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#384125) #
Anderson and Roark's numbers could be a  product of changing leagues and moving to the AL East.
They could also be due to the Jays' defense,  but it does not look that way since their FIP are predicted to be high.
Somehow, Steamer predicts that anyone wearing a Blue Jays uniform will give up a metric ton of homeruns.
That's true even if they played for the Jays last year.
There's certainly no recognition that the Jays have a promising catching tandem.

Shapiro said they would like to be patient with Teoscar, Rowdy and Derek Fisher.
Hopefully, at least one of them rewards that patience the way Smoak did.

Nigel - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#384126) #
The thing is that Anderson and Roark are moving to the AL and the AL East and that is going to have a significant impact on their projections. I agree that there's some upside to the Thornton and Borucki projections. But what are the chances that Shoemaker and Borucki can stay healthy? Not high. Hope springs eternal, but I think the Steamer end numbers (even if the HRs are too high - I agree with Mike on that point) are pretty logical projections. And like all projections they are just that and should be viewed through the lens of whether you think the risks of outperforming are better than the risks of underperforming. As I said, there's definitely some upside but its hard to look at that group and not see red flags.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#384127) #
The same projection has Price, Sale and Eovaldi all being healthy and  making ~30 starts with mid 3 ERAs.
It does not look to me like health history is accounted for.
It looks more like a team bias is inserted somewhere.

Anderson and Roark have constantly been 2-3 WAR pitchers.
This predicts them to be worth 1 WAR.

Lots of pitchers have moved to Toronto and pitched well there.
However, the pitching has not been great over the less 10 years.
Maybe that's factored in somehow.

bpoz - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#384128) #
Shapiro did an interview with Tim and Sid.

Shapiro was asked directly if they made an offer of $100 mil to any FA. He was evasive. Did not say no. Did say that he told an agent he was willing to go higher than $100 mil. So he could have made that to S Boras and been politely refused. I will wait for the season after the Jays win 90+ games for an answer that I have faith in.

Said that he is reluctant to give up on a player too soon. I feel strongly that we gave up on C Fielder, D Wells, C Carpenter and S Dyson too soon. Bautista rewarded us when some lost faith in him.
rpriske - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#384129) #
Justin Smoak signed a deal with the Brewers. Functionally $5m for one year and a $4.5m option for another year.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:40 PM EST (#384130) #
1 year 5M.

I wouldn't mind Eric Thames as long as they recognize that he's a pure platoon player.

rpriske - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 12:51 PM EST (#384131) #
I have seen the 1-year $5m report, but I have also seen another which says $4m, followed by $5.5 with a $1m buyout, which is why I wrote my post the way I did.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:05 PM EST (#384132) #
The NL was the stronger league last year.  BBRefs divisional SRS (accessible off the home page) gives a pretty good idea of the relative strength of divisions- ALE -0.5, ALC -3.6, ALW  +0.2, NLE +1.5, NLC +1.4, NLW +1.2 .  In sum, NL stronger league evenly divided across the divisions, AL Central hellaciously bad, and the other two divisions right around average.

If they are adjusting Anderson down for the fact that the Yankees, Red Sox, Tampa and Baltimore have much better offences than St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, they are probably wrong, and they should also account for the fact that the extra-divisional games within the NL would be a lot harder than the ones for AL East teams this year. 
rabbit - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:43 PM EST (#384133) #
The Shapiro interview was very good. Long, lots of good questions, and lots of good answers. Shapiro was as honest and candid as could be expected. Iím in the (small?) minority here but Iím quite happy with current managementís approach, what theyíve done, and where theyíre going.

One of the best questions was what was the most common question from free agents about coming to Toronto. Shapiro said it was nothing about the city, and that everyone already knows all about the Jaysí great young talent. Instead it was mostly what all the fans want to know, ďwhatís the plan to get better?Ē The comment about not giving up on players too soon was insightful because he mentioned the value of the available at-bats for helping sort through who stays and goes. Explains why signing a filler 1st baseman or DH like Edwin or Thames is, imho, unwise and unlikely.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:47 PM EST (#384134) #
Maybe part or that was the Jays going what 3-17 in interleague games?
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 01:55 PM EST (#384135) #
Yeah. Shapiro said free agents sometimes care about where spring training is because it affects how they spend it with their family. They sometimes care about a certain geographical area. They often care about what other acquisitions are planned during the winter.

I suppose guys who don't care about playing for a Canadian team or playing on turf, etc might give excuses rather being frank about it.
bpoz - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 02:02 PM EST (#384136) #
I also liked from Shapiro was that the toughest part is going from 85 to 92 wins.

In an earlier interview the difference between Competitive and Contending was discussed. I did not hear that interview.

Shapiro was quoted as saying before the winter meetings that they were going to make "significant" additions. He did not back away. Said what does significant mean? Also Feb 12 is the best day to judge significant. The off season is still in play.

Lastly all 3 agreed that winning the off season does not necessarily mean much?

bpoz - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#384137) #
For those of us who watched the interview ... Did he not say that "We have to win more in 2020"?
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 02:06 PM EST (#384138) #

Your numbers of strength referenced for NL is an overall basis. It's not specific to pitching to NL line ups in the Central vs pitching to AL line ups in the East. It also doesn't factor in Pitcher vs Batter parks as well as ignores the fact that you get to pitch to the pitcher every game in the NL. That's gotta be good for an extra 50+ strikeouts a year alone.
uglyone - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 02:06 PM EST (#384139) #
it was the jays themselves that hyped up their upcoming offseason performance, not us.
Vulg - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:04 PM EST (#384140) #
Looks like the Angels are picking up Teheran on a 1 year deal, no $ amount reported yet.

I know he wasn't as popular here, but I had him at the top of the dumpster-diving heap that the Jays like to play in.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:09 PM EST (#384141) #
It's true that the AL teams scored 4.88 runs/game and NL teams scored 4.78 runs/game.  If you want to say that Anderson's FIP and xFIP are likely to be .1 or .15 runs/game higher because of the ALE vs. the NLC, then that I can see.  But a run per game is a whole other story. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:30 PM EST (#384142) #
I don't think numbers will tell the full story, despite the hope that they will. I watch a lot of baseball and I'm sure we all do. To my, whenever I see a pitcher face the Yankees or Red Sox I see them labouring pitch by pitch as those line ups just do everything possible to get on base. They have too many guys that take pitches and don't chase. Then when you factor in guys like Taubman and the other Urshella hitting 7, 8, 9 it just becomes a greasy endeavour to pitch against those line ups. It's taxing, and no numbers will account for how much harder it might be to pitch to Championship caliber line ups. Sorry.
John Northey - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#384143) #
Smoak to Milwaukee is interesting - seems they are trying to put together the Jays 2019 April infield with Smoak and Sogard there now.  Think they might want Drury? :)

Guess Pompey (still a free agent) and Travis (likewise) are the only ones left from 2015/16 who aren't officially with another team or retired now.  Encarnacion is a free agent as is Sanchez, and Happ is trade bait, as is Price.  So 6 guys are kinda/sorta floating around from those teams but 2020 is more likely than not to have 0 players from those 2 teams - or if you prefer 0 players from any past Jay playoff team will be on the 2020 team.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#384144) #
The Yankees scored 5.85 runs per game and some of those were unearned.  They got to face the legendary Baltimore pitching staff and scored 151 runs in 19 games with Gleyber Torres driving in roughly 50 of them. 

When you predict Chase Anderson is going to have an ERA of 5.49, you are basically saying he's going to give up runs at about the same rate that the average pitcher facing the Yankees did.  Blue Jay pitchers last year gave up 5.57 runs/game to the Yankees which is about what you would expect given how bad the O's pitching was.  Why would you think Anderson this year is going to pitch as poorly against all opponents as the average Blue Jay pitcher pitched against the Yankees?

I think the AL East was overblown last year.  The O's pitching was legendarily bad, and made the Red Sox and Yankees offences look better than they were.    They were good, but nothing more than that. 
Magpie - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:53 PM EST (#384145) #
AL teams scored 4.88 runs/game and NL teams scored 4.78 runs/game.

Well, that got my attention. Historically, the AL has generally scored .5 more runs per game because DHs hit better than pitchers. So... either the AL DHs are not getting the job done or NL pitchers have been taking lots of extra BP.

Let's see... AL designated hitters hit .248/.329/.457 with 446 HR and 1343 RBI in 9934 PApps and NL pitchers hit .131/.161/168 with 25 HR and 227 RBI in 4770 PApps.

I think I need another explanation. Well, look at those Plate Appearances. The NL uses three times as many pinch hitters, because... pitchers. Let's combine the PApps for pitchers, DHs, and pinch hitters. We get:
AL	DH-P-PH	11629	10221	1392	2459	479	36	492	1562	79	34	1159	3054	0.241	0.323	0.439	0.762
NL	DH-P-PH	9740	8558	795	1523	287	21	197	844	28	21	646	3446	0.178	0.240	0.285	0.526

Still a big head start for the AL when it comes to scoring runs. Let's look around the rest of the diamond.
AL	as 1B	10322	9142	1224	2283	457	20	439	1391	30	17	989	2400	0.250	0.328	0.448	0.776
NL	as 1B	10640	9320	1421	2440	513	34	470	1481	59	24	1130	2379	0.262	0.347	0.475	0.822

AL	as 2B	10110	9161	1245	2327	447	50	299	1093	161	68	747	2090	0.254	0.315	0.412	0.726
NL	as 2B	10433	9394	1249	2432	470	59	318	1207	134	50	833	2003	0.259	0.325	0.423	0.748

AL	as 3B	10366	9313	1324	2442	521	47	383	1320	86	41	879	2134	0.262	0.329	0.452	0.781
NL	as 3B	10550	9345	1405	2461	484	36	472	1422	80	20	986	2215	0.263	0.340	0.474	0.814

AL	as C	9497	8563	1079	1967	371	13	361	1119	24	15	723	2418	0.230	0.296	0.403	0.699
NL	as C	9869	8771	1051	2156	424	19	333	1174	45	14	891	2193	0.246	0.321	0.412	0.734

AL	as CF	10135	9058	1333	2232	477	64	369	1108	247	78	831	2587	0.246	0.317	0.435	0.753
NL	as CF	10378	9332	1358	2366	485	58	318	1121	281	74	813	2334	0.254	0.321	0.420	0.741

AL	as LF	10365	9285	1355	2450	509	55	370	1307	138	56	885	2238	0.264	0.332	0.450	0.782
NL	as LF	10548	9446	1407	2457	530	64	426	1343	125	52	921	2474	0.260	0.332	0.465	0.797

AL	as RF	10481	9373	1409	2424	498	47	413	1230	131	43	921	2441	0.259	0.330	0.454	0.784
NL	as RF	10704	9472	1479	2536	497	43	445	1358	157	50	1024	2285	0.268	0.345	0.470	0.815

AL	as SS	10490	9538	1405	2590	560	55	356	1217	221	73	795	2090	0.272	0.330	0.454	0.783
NL	as SS	10389	9466	1356	2518	524	66	320	1193	200	85	738	2082	0.266	0.323	0.437	0.760

Well, the NL does better everywhere except shortstop and centre field. I dunno. Maybe it's just because Cole and Verlander worked in the AL.
rpriske - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 03:53 PM EST (#384146) #
Teheran was where I thought they should go if Ryu and Keuchel are not possible.

I understand Ryu is getting unlikely, but Keuchel... maybe?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#384147) #
Alternative explanation, Magpie.  The NL was better.  They outscored the AL in interleague play by 159 runs.  For many years, the AL was outscoring the NL in interleague play by about that many runs. 

The AL scored 4.46 runs/game in 300 interleague games.  The NL scored 4.99 runs/game in 300 interleague games.  In the intra-league games, AL teams averaged 4.94 runs/game and NL teams averaged 4.74 runs/game.  All told, that might explain about half the difference between the league split between now and 5 years ago.  It's also true, I think, that AL teams are using the DH differently.  Very few teams have a dedicated DH who crunches like David Ortiz did.  It's used much more to rotate players in and out and give rest.  With the longer pens (and sometimes 3 man benches), there is less room for the player who exclusively mashes and DH production has, I think suffered. 
Vulg - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#384148) #
Gio Gonzalez off the market, going to the White Sox.

*Benny Hill music*
dan gordon - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#384149) #
That's interesting that the NL now seems to be a better league than the AL.

Certainly the stats of the pitchers coming to the Blue Jays from the NL could be adversely affected by the DH and perhaps a little by the schedule, but the Steamer predictions have their ERA's increasing by 30%, 40% from their career numbers, which is very unreasonable. I expect the linear average of the 6 pitchers' ERA's to be at least half a run better than that projected by Steamer, probably even more than that. Another factor is that if you look at the multi-year park factors, Rogers Centre is at 97 for batting, 98 for pitching, so it has not been the hitters' park that most people seem to think.
scottt - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 06:43 PM EST (#384150) #
There were more tankers in the AL.

Miami 57
Pittsburgh 67
SD 70
Colorado 71
Cincinnati 75
SF 77


Detroit 47
Baltimore 54
KC 59
Toronto 67
Seattle 68
LA 72
CWS 72
Texas 78

Anderson wasn't facing the Yankees, but he was facing the Dodgers, and many other good teams.

uglyone - Thursday, December 19 2019 @ 09:59 PM EST (#384151) #
dan gordon - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 01:41 AM EST (#384152) #
I heard on the radio today that the Blue Jays had made a big push to get Gregorius on a 1 year deal before he signed with the Phillies. The team checked with Bichette first to see how he would feel about playing 2B for a year and he said, sure go ahead and sign him. The team was very impressed with his tram-first attitude. I would assume Biggio would have then played mainly at 1B, some DH, some OF.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 06:56 AM EST (#384153) #
" his tram-first attitude "

He prefers public transportation ?
greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 07:30 AM EST (#384154) #
Always remember: there is no I in tram.
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 09:09 AM EST (#384155) #
Didi G would have been a very good addition.
scottt - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 09:34 AM EST (#384156) #
Ryu is the biggest name left to Scott Boras, so he'll wait as long as it takes to try to get that 5th year.
I find Keuchel less interesting at this point because Roark ticks several of the same boxes.

Didi would have just been a convoluted way to sign a discounted player.
It sounds like Rogers is holding the purse strings tightly.

soupman - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 09:38 AM EST (#384157) #
my impression is that rogers just looks at the bottom line each year.
has anyone written about this? maybe morgan campbell?
Vulg - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 10:46 AM EST (#384158) #
my impression is that rogers just looks at the bottom line each year. Has anyone written about this? maybe morgan campbell?

The coverage of the business side and the implications of the Jays being a wholly owned subsidiary is terrible. The best source of information used to be Bob McCown, but Rogers fired him. This is a decent read:

In a nutshell, the Jays suffer from directly impacting Rogers' financial statements each quarter, as the team sits under the corporation's Media division. In contrast, MLSE (Rogers owns 37.5%)) is excluded from the company's 'EBITDA' - the Leafs/Raps/TFC are basically treated as an investment in another company.

Because Rogers is beholden to shareholders first and foremost, any decisions that may impact the short-term significantly (eg. big FA signing, impact to attendance of losing Josh Donaldson) is under more intense scrutiny than you'd find at MLSE, which gets to operate more freely.

This is why Mike Babcock can declare "there will be pain" or why Masai Ujiri can trade the wildly popular Demar Derozan and make a gamble on Kawhi Leonard's wonky knee (remember - Kawhi played only 9 games the previous year). Those organizations can always prioritize their competitiveness, even if they piss off less astute fans in the process.

The best thing that could happen for fans of the Jays is if Rogers/Bell/Tanenbaum agreed and figured out how to fold the team under MLSE, but that would be extremely complicated (eg. Bell/Larry would have to be interested enough to buy a %, what happens to the broadcast rights etc.).
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 11:23 AM EST (#384159) #
Thanks Vulg. Great explanation.
soupman - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 11:47 AM EST (#384160) #
Thanks, Vulg!
Confirms my suspicions with some clear details.
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#384161) #
Tyler Clippard signing with the Twins. He played for the Jays in 2018. He is a much better pitcher with the bases empty.
Magpie - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 04:55 PM EST (#384162) #
Ryan Tepera to the Cubs. I believe that makes the injured Tim Mayza the senior Blue Jays in terms of service. If we're not counting Tim, I think it's Ken Giles.
greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 05:20 PM EST (#384163) #
Rogersí approach to running the Jays has caused my interest in the team to diminish significantly over the years. I rarely attend or watch Jays games on television any more. Iím still interested in the sport, though, and in following other teams (especially the less-wealthy overachievers).
Chuck - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 06:00 PM EST (#384164) #
I believe that makes the injured Tim Mayza the senior Blue Jays in terms of service.

We're all just rooting for laundry.

ayjackson - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 06:39 PM EST (#384165) #
The Blue Jays have no material impact on Rogers' consolidated finacial results whatsoever. It's worth remembering that of Rogers' $15,000,000,000 in annual revenues and $2,000,000,000 in net earnings, The Blue Jays probably account of about 2%.

That said, Media (one of three Rogers divisions and the one with the smallest margins) will have to deliver a budget and will ask each of its divisions to do the same to make the earnings target.
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 06:40 PM EST (#384166) #
One of the goals is to become young. We may become the youngest soon.
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 07:04 PM EST (#384167) #
Last year Tulo, Martin and Morales were paid about $45 Mil to not play for the Jays. So, very significant IMO.

The injuries to the $2-4 Mil players I think added up to $10-15 mil. So not significant but still a waste of money.

I don't know if the total payroll is broken into wasted money, injured money, poor performance money and good performance money for financial planning and budgets.

Some of the above parameters explain a lot. They paid $100+ mil for a $65 mil team. Over the hill and too inexperienced players. Galvis was very good and Sogard was a gift.
ayjackson - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 07:33 PM EST (#384168) #
Looking back, I wonder if character played a role in Romero over Tulo for JPR. As it turns out, Ricky had it in spades, but I don't recall it being a point at the time.
bpoz - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 07:37 PM EST (#384169) #
I hope Romero was not pick #5 because 5 is a lucky number for the Jays IMO.
scottt - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 08:19 PM EST (#384170) #
Smoak wrote a really nice letter to both the fans and the management.

Some names that surprised  me in the January Winter Fest attendees:

Adam LInd, Lyle Overbay.  (Guys who contributed but were never stars).

Palacios, Nash Knight, Ty Tice (Guys who aren't on the 40 roster, aren't top prospect and are a really long shot at playing in Toronto this year or ever).

greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 08:29 PM EST (#384171) #
Eric Longenhagen informally ranks GMs:

Laremy: If there is such a way to rank the top GMs in the game who would you put in your top-5?

Eric A Longenhagen: Iím not sure thereís a great way of evaluating this objectively. Youíd have to exclude some newer ones who havenít had enough time to really show anything (like you canít possibly include Farhan Zaidi or Mike Elias, though in a year and a half it might be clear theyíre up there once weíve seen the direction of the rebuilds). I think Cashman is on the list, Preller would be in my top 5 favorites by maybe not top 5 best because of how some of the big league contracts have worked out, guys like Dipoto, whoíve pivoted, are tough to evaluate. Iím not dodging this one soÖ

Eric A Longenhagen: Top 5 best (in no order)
Lunhow (I know, I know, but heís gotta be on here)
Friedman (the Dodgers donít technically have a GM)
Eric A Longenhagen: Top 5 favorites
Chernoff (CLE canít help what ownership does to them, budget-wise)

Eric A Longenhagen: Obvs Bloom, Hazen, Farhan, Elias could all be up there with time
scottt - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 09:42 PM EST (#384172) #

Some really bad signings. Some terrible contracts.
Traded Grandal for Matt Kemp and Federowicz.
Traded Joe Ross, Trea Turner, Jake Bauers, Burch Smith and Rene Rivera for Will Meyers, Jose Castillo and Ryan Hanigan.
Despite coming at the end of a rebuild, Padres have never been over .500.
Suspended for a month for hiding medical information in the Pomeranz trade.

What's not to like?

James W - Friday, December 20 2019 @ 11:10 PM EST (#384173) #
He was listed a favorite, not a best. Probably means Longenhagen gets along with him well.
Vulg - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 01:03 AM EST (#384174) #
The Blue Jays have no material impact on Rogers' consolidated finacial results whatsoever. It's worth remembering that of Rogers' $15,000,000,000 in annual revenues and $2,000,000,000 in net earnings, The Blue Jays probably account of about 2%.

That said, Media (one of three Rogers divisions and the one with the smallest margins) will have to deliver a budget and will ask each of its divisions to do the same to make the earnings target.

It is true that the Media division, and the Jays specifically, constitute a relatively small % of Rogers.

But with respect, I can assure you that both the Media division and the team are not immune from the exact same pressure and directives that the larger departments have.

Just take a gander at any of Rogers' quarterly results conference call transcripts. Here's what they had to say in the most recent (Q3) report:

Page 6 of the commentary:

"Moving to Media, revenue was lower by 1% year-over-year, largely as a result of the sale of our Publishing business in the second quarter and lower revenue from the Toronto Blue Jays. This was partially offset by higher subscription and advertising revenue generated by our Sports net properties. Excluding the impact of the sale of our Publishing business, Media-reported revenue would have increased by 2% this quarter. Media EBITDA was strong once again up 78%, driven by lower publishing costs and lower Toronto Blue Jays salaries.

If you're familiar with how these calls go, you'll know that shareholders and/or investors like to hear how a company is achieving higher profitability. So when the CFO (Tony Staffieri) makes that statement about the Jays' lower salaries, it's supposed to be a 'good thing' for the company.
John Northey - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 02:09 AM EST (#384175) #
In the end I see Rogers as a 'neutral good' owner.  They don't actively undermine the GM/president, but also don't push in a good way either.  Basically as long as the Jays are a net positive to the company they are good ignoring it.  Compare this to the mess the O's were in with their egotistical owner in the late 90's through around 2010 as he drove away talent via micromanaging iirc.  Same with the Yankees in the 80's and early 90's (Steinbrenner was great at times when he was willing to sign any high end player, but would cause chaos often by getting mad about in game situations without a thought for the long term).   Other teams have had nightmares running them (super-cheap like the Expos then the Marlins who got 2 WS titles by extremely good luck and timing - those titles were their first 2 500+ seasons, since then just 4 500+ seasons so just 6 total in 27 years...ugh.  Just those 2 playoff appearances too).  Look at the Rays who have had amazing talent running it but budgets that are always around what we expect the Jays to be this year (sub $100 million - cracked $100 barely for the 40 man at the end of 2017, $76 mil the highest ever for the start of a season).  The Met's owners screwed up finances so badly that they couldn't have a budget that a team in that market with that fan support should have (near the tax level).

Nah, I like Rogers as the owner.  They spend in the top 10 range when the team is contending, but have dropped drastically at the moment.  However, they seem to pony up the cash for draft day and for the international draft which is where it really matters.  If you go cheap on those you are screwing the team long term.  Interbrew did that.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 06:31 AM EST (#384176) #
Agreed John,

They dont spend money for the sake of spending money (there are only so many marc Cubans) but they support the team when needed. I stopped complaining about their willingness to spend in 2015.

I might complain about their choices in leadership (still undecided on shapiro/Atkins and still miss AA) but complaining that they dont spend when we haven't seen an appropriate time to do so since 2015 is, in my opinion, unfair.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 08:05 AM EST (#384177) #
" I believe that makes the injured Tim Mayza the senior Blue Jays in terms of service. If we're not ccounting Tim, I think it's Ken Giles."

Actually if you don't count Tim Mayza, then the longest tenured Blue Jay is (gasp) Teoscar Hernandez ! Teoscar debuted in early September of 2017, just over 2 weeks after Tim Mayza. Ken Giles didn't arrive until part way into the 2018. There's been a tremendous roster turnover in the past few years for this to be a fact.

Also I see Josh Donaldson has reportedly been offered 100 million over 4 years by the Twins and the Nationals.

Great information on the influence of Rogers on salary structure. I wish the Jays were owned by a crazy billionaire who just wanted to win.
Cracka - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 09:46 AM EST (#384178) #
Anthony Alford made his debut in May 2017 after Pillar was suspended by the team, so technically he's the longest-tenured guy on the 40-man roster. I think Grichuk is the longest-tenured on the 25-man roster (Teoscar has spent time in the minors).

whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 10:08 AM EST (#384179) #
Agreed John,

They dont spend money for the sake of spending money (there are only so many marc Cubans) but they support the team when needed. I stopped complaining about their willingness to spend in 2015.

I might complain about their choices in leadership (still undecided on shapiro/Atkins and still miss AA) but complaining that they dont spend when we haven't seen an appropriate time to do so since 2015 is, in my opinion, unfair.
Vulg - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 11:12 AM EST (#384180) #
In the end I see Rogers as a 'neutral good' owner.

I like the D&D ranking scale. I'd go with True Neutral. I certainly don't think they're bad or evil, they simply act exactly as you would expect any publicly traded company to act, which is to say the profitability of the asset will trump its competitiveness when those two objectives are not aligned (they often are, but not always). Maybe that makes them Lawful Neutral, because their mandate is clear and the rules they follow predictable.

The romantic notion of a passionate single owner doesn't come without risk. For every Mark Cuban, you have a James Dolan or Dan Snyder.

And it's not as if an ideal ownership structure is infallible. Before MLSE lucked into Tim Leiweke, they made a number of poor decisions both on the Raps and Leafs side of the house.

I think the Jays made a poor decision with respect to Shapiro and Atkins now that there is trail of transactions and choices to assess, but there's no guarantee another owner would have done better.
bpoz - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 11:18 AM EST (#384181) #
Thanks again Vulg.

As reported in the most recent (Q3)."lower Toronto Blue Jays salaries" helped meet the goals that the business executive were responsible for.

Shapiro probably got an e-mail stating this. Either with or without details. He understood and executed accordingly.

The team was bad in the last 3 years. 2017 and 2018 with a big payroll. 2019 with a small payroll. Reading between the lines and speculating on a few things said by Shapiro and Atkins, one can conclude that the not trading of Donaldson and maybe others (Martin) and making a big offer to EE and signing Bautista were decisions that executives made rather than Shapiro.

So a payroll around $ 80 mil for 2020 sounds probable and a payroll around $65 mil in 2021 is what I expect.

scottt - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 11:27 AM EST (#384182) #
The 2015 team had  the best offense in baseball, but the pitching wasn't great.
They spent enough to fix the pitching for 2016, but Donaldson and Martin were worse by 1 WAR, Pillar by 2, Baustista by nearly 4. Travis couldn't stay healthy. Saunders was great for half a year and then wasn't good enough to be in the majors.
They acquired Liriano (and McGuire) to protect Sanchez's arm. They could have spent to upgrade from Smoak or improve the pen, but that wasn't the problem. No issue with spending, just a lack of depth in the system.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#384183) #
Yeah, Vulg, I kind of made the crazy billionaire owner comment tongue-in-cheek. The Leafs had a crazy millionaire owner many years ago in Harold Ballard and his meddling and penny-pinching did all kinds of harm to the team.

I wouldn't call Shapiro and Atkins hiring a poor decision yet. Maybe in two or three years it will be more clear.
PeterG - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 11:59 AM EST (#384184) #
Shane Farrell has been hired as Amateur Scouting Director.

Fwiw, Jon Heyman reports that Jays have made competitive offers to Ryu and EE and in his words "at least have a decent chance of signing EE."
bpoz - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 12:01 PM EST (#384185) #
Looks like there is a lot of very good financial expertise on da Box!!

Currently the suggestion is being made by Bauxites and the media that the Jays take on bad contracts for prospects. This is a strategy being employed by many teams. It could be a "significant" factor.

The word "significant" was used by Shapiro. On Tim and Sid he said "what is significant?" suggesting that it is open to interpretation.

Shapiro may or may not have to explain significant to his bosses.
jerjapan - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 12:16 PM EST (#384186) #
Shane Farrell has been hired as Amateur Scouting Director.
30 years old, our new director.  Interesting direction the industry is taking with hiring young. 
Parker - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#384187) #
Yeah, no kidding. I believe Steve Sanders was only 29 when he got the job, too.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 12:35 PM EST (#384188) #
Not surprised about Shane Farrell - the Cleveland connection, his father John was once director of player development in Cleveland under Shapiro (and the Indians were regarded as having a top farm system) - Shane Farrell may be an excellent hire but as so often the case in life, it's connections/comfort level that matter most.
scottt - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 01:33 PM EST (#384189) #
The Jays don't need prospects. Not the type you can acquire with bad contracts.
So, yes, they should offer to take bad contracts bundled with top prospects which won't happen.

What the Jays should do is sell at the deadline if they're not in it.
Prospects for bad contract is what they did with Liriano in 2016 to get McGuire and Ramirez, then they traded Liriano when they were not in it for Teoscar Hernandez and Aoki, which you can count as a bad contract

Right now they need to win as many games as they can.
Every game they lose will negatively affect their 2021 payroll.

scottt - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 01:52 PM EST (#384190) #
It sounds like they have reached their maximum with Ryu and that other teams are still increasing their bets.

I'm not too hot on EE.
What they need is a left bat to hit behind Guerrero.
EE is good enough to face all pitchers, but is probably going to spend some time on the IL.
That's not exactly ideal.
Also, EE was always a slot starter, which is also a problem.
His worst month last year was May--when the Jays needed a hot bat the most.
A lefty could be a mentor to Tellez, EE would likely hang around Guerrero instead.
EE could force his way into the middle of the lineup, but  they don't need a guy who can take a walk in front of Guerrero.
That would just setup easy double plays.
It's the type of lineup construction issues which could put more pressure on Tellez or Fisher.
Finally, they also need to use the DH to rest Guerrero and Hernandez, which again means that a lefty DH would be better.

rpriske - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 08:33 PM EST (#384191) #
Now Keuchel is gone. The odds of this being a successful offseason for the Jays is dropping rapidly.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 08:54 PM EST (#384192) #
The White Sox have basically pulled off the off-season I think most people would have liked the Jays to do.
Vulg - Saturday, December 21 2019 @ 10:24 PM EST (#384193) #
I like what the Rangers have done. They made a few teams feel dumb knowing that Kluber deal was available for so little and Gibson is not a bad get at under $10M AAV.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 02:40 AM EST (#384194) #
I'm sure glad the Jays didn't sign Keuchel to that deal. Career road ERA of 4.33, and last year he was 5.01 on the road. RHB's are really starting to hit him well. He'll be 32 in 10 days. At least 3 years at $18.5 million, with a vesting option that would add another year at $18.5 million when he's 35. I highly doubt this turns out to be a good deal for Chicago, although playing in a weak division will help him.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 06:58 AM EST (#384195) #
Didn't like Keuchel chances of success in the AL East, so I'm happy the Jays missed out.I'd still like them to take a chance on the upside of Taijuan Walker even with the health risk.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 08:39 AM EST (#384196) #
The name "Farrell" sends shivers down my spine, but he's supposed to be very smart and a strong evaluator.

Besides, it's usually pretty easy to find talent 5th overall. (Especially if you go with a position player.)
The real challenge will come in the following years where, hopefully, they pick late.

We'll see.

bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 09:50 AM EST (#384197) #
Bumgarner is the steal of this off season IMO.

I feel Ryu coming to the Jays is a low possibility.
Gerry - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 10:17 AM EST (#384198) #
Travis Shaw to the Jays, one year deal rumoured.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#384199) #
Jays signing Travis Shaw - thumbs up. good gamble - LHB,Positional flexibility,there's 2 years before FA - I like much better than the rumoured return of EE
Gerry - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#384200) #
$4M deal plus incentives. Jays banking that 2018 was the real Shaw, not 2019.
Chuck - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#384201) #
Given Shaw's ability to play 3B, does this increase Drury's chances of being let go? It's hard to see an argument for keeping him now.
rpriske - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 10:35 AM EST (#384202) #
Shaw ranged from adequate to quite good for four years... and then cratered for one. If that one was an aberration, then this is a steal. If it wasn't... well, Rowdy Tellez gets another shot.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:11 AM EST (#384203) #
Travis Shaw played third base last year, and was pretty good at it. They could theoretically platoon Shaw and Drury, and move VGJ to DH or first base.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:20 AM EST (#384204) #
Agree on Keuchel. Glad we didn't sign him. Don't like the Travis Shaw's like the re-signing of Smoak a few years ago. Could work out but I was hoping for more. Now im hoping it's a precursor to a trade for SP.

What this FO is doing is risky as hell. They will have Drury, Fischer, Hernandez, McKinney, Alford, Shaw, Tellez, Grichuk...8 guys who they are banking will break out or not. If they dont then you go into 2021 with Gurriel Jr, Vlad, Biggio, Jansen and Bichette with 2 years control gone and now you need to sign/trade for an entire roster of position players for 2021-2022.

Oh yeah, and that's assuming Manoah, SWR and Pearson all become aces, if they dont then you will need to add pitching to the docket for next offseason.

This can't be their plan...they have to have something cooking on the trade front...
bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:24 AM EST (#384205) #
There is still a possibility that Giles is traded.
PeterG - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:37 AM EST (#384206) #
Why do people think Bo and Vlad will only be here 6 years? I am certain that the main part of the plan is pre arb extensions and lengthy ones. Shapiro alluded to that possibility last week in interview on Tim & Sid., saying such a move would likely come in ST. He didn't say it would be in 2020 though but they are certainly looking at this as happening within the next 2 years..
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#384207) #
I like the Shaw signing. Coming off a really down year but the two years before that were good (with the bat and glove) and he provides some positional flexibility. He also comes with a 2nd year of team control which would come in handy if he bounces back. Interesting that he graded out really well as a 3B defensively but the Jays will likely use him at 1B when Vlad is in the lineup. At least thereís some insurance there now not named Drury.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:04 PM EST (#384208) #
I think they will both be here longer than 6 years, but if you're signing big free agents in year 3 or 4 of their controllable years then you're wasting the budget flexibility shapiro was bragging about in the interview you reference.
bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:06 PM EST (#384209) #
I am not counting on Manoah, SWR and Pearson all to become Aces. If they do then S Sanders was incredible.

If Pearson is healthy next year I hope that he can earn a promotion in 2020.

I cannot figure out when Manoah and SWR will arrive in the Majors.

We have the numbers game covered with pitching prospects. Hopefully we get results.

The more successful (quantity) pitching prospects that arrive in 2020 the less crucial it will be for #4 type SPs to be acquired next off season IMO.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#384210) #
This is the left bat they needed to hit behind Vladdy.
That puts Jansen/Mcguire, Tellez/Hernandez, Grichuk, Alford/Fisher in the bottom of the order.

It also potentially means that Encarnation, once again, waited too long and will take less money to play elsewhere.

The 2019 Shaw demolished the PCL once he was demoted.

4M doesn't exactly break the bank.
It looks like the White Sox have moved on from Ryu.
The Jays might have one last push left to try there.

85bluejay - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:22 PM EST (#384211) #
Moving Vlad to 1B/DH and playing Shaw/Drury at 3B would make the Jays better defensively in 2019 but I suspect to help foster the long-term relationship, the Jays will let Vlad play is way off 3B rather than be proactive.
bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:31 PM EST (#384212) #
I like Shaw as well. Great depth piece.

I do my best to analyse what the strategy is for the team. I find that interesting.

I am expecting 3 WS championships in the next 20 years at most.

I don't bother with wishful thinking about which players I "want" to play for the Jays. I have no control over that.

I do have the wishful thinking of acquiring good pitching. Draft, trade,FA or just luck. P Quantril, Estrada and that lefty reliever before AA too over. Scott Downs. Memory worked.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:44 PM EST (#384213) #
Both Bichette and Guerrero are already rich and will not sign at a discount no matter how early you sign them.
It's a pretty good idea to have a fair valuation of the player before you sign a check.
In hindsight, it would have been better to just go year to year with Romero, Vernon Wells, even Alex Rios.
The Jays are in a division where the Yankees almost never extend anyone.
Mookie Betts wants to test free agency. So does Lindor. So did Machado.

A huge part of  signing extensions would depends on the players wanting to stick with their teammates.
This isn't like Votto who has another 4 years left of sub 2 WAR at 25M. (Back loaded contract with little surplus value.)
Look what the Reds have done with Votto on the team and what the Nationals have done without extensions.
Guerrero will likely move to 1B at some point. That's something he can control better by not signing an extension.
To a lesser point, the same is true with Bichette moving from SS to 2B.

The more the are worth in 6 years, the less it's possible to move that money earlier.
Paying them an extra 10M each now just buy you one extra year later, but puts a huge risk on the team.
If you're going to pay free agency rate anyway, better wait closer to free agency.

scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#384214) #
Manoah, SWR, Pardinho, Kloffenstein are all set to reach Toronto in 2022 at the earliest and probably just towards the end of the year.

That's OK. There's a lot of other arms they need to look at before those.

There's no reason to keep Pearson down too long now that he's reach AAA.
He's thrown 100 innings last year, so they should cap him around 120.
They could use him as an opener, that's one of the thing they've done last year.
He's always going to be an injury risk. So let's just hope they can keep him healthy and enjoy the show.

scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:03 PM EST (#384215) #
Travis Shaw is, incidentally, another Legacy guy. His father was All-Star closer Jeff Shaw.
PeterG - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:04 PM EST (#384216) #
I believe Bo and Vlad will sign long term. That is most definitely the plan. It won't be at a discount. It will be expensive. That's why crazy spending on FA's now is not going to happen.

Pearson is due for 140 innings or thereabouts next season. That has been previously reported.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:08 PM EST (#384217) #
The Shaw signing is OK, but it would make more sense if the contract included a club option for 2021 (like the contract Smoak recently signed with the Brewers). There isnít much added value to the Jays beyond shoring up the 2020 roster if he does rebound.

The front office does like its distressed assets (Richard, Drury, Jackson, Fisher, Shaw), especially if they have positional versatility. Itís not clear
to me, though, how a versatile sub-zero WAR player is a valuable player to have on the roster.
Oceanbound - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:15 PM EST (#384218) #
Shaw is still under team control for 2021.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#384219) #
Oh, that makes more sense then.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:30 PM EST (#384220) #
I kind of label the Travis Shaw signing as why bother, I'm not a fan of bounceback player signings.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 01:48 PM EST (#384221) #
"Manoah, SWR, Pardinho, Kloffenstein are all set to reach Toronto in 2022 at the earliest"

I see Manoah and SWR reaching MLB by 2022 the absolute latest.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 03:35 PM EST (#384222) #
Well, some of these guys might never actually reach. A TJ surgery could push one of them out by a couple of years.
The way the system is setup, I don't see anyone jumping over a level.
SWR has 6 starts in A+, but he doesn't have to be added to the 40 reserve list until December 2022.
Other guys will have to be added first or lost. So it comes to reason that they'll take their time with him.
Kloff doesn't have a lot of innings. Pardinho is moving steadily.
Manoah should move faster, but he's starting from low A ball.
Also, right now the roster is set at 13 pitchers and only 3 guys can be added in September.
Because of that, fewer guys will reach and some guys will reach later.

Chuck - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 04:18 PM EST (#384223) #
The front office does like its distressed assets (Richard, Drury, Jackson, Fisher, Shaw)

Shaw stands out from the others in my mind since he has actually had recent success at the MLB level, two 3-4 WAR seasons before going into the crapper in 2019. That said, the odds of a return to that level are probably quite low.

dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 04:29 PM EST (#384224) #
I had a feeling Jays have a trade lined up for a bigger addition. According to mlbtr, David Price in play to Blue Jays.

I can get on board with that.
PeterG - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 04:58 PM EST (#384225) #
when u hear an advance rumour, it's not happening. All 4 moves made by the Jays this off season have surprised and come without warning.
rpriske - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 05:41 PM EST (#384226) #
I would love to have Price back. I know he isn't what he was, but he was always a joy to watch, whether he was pitching or not.
Jonny German - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 05:51 PM EST (#384227) #
Iím giving a thumbs up on Shaw, as I like his chances of being a productive player better than Tellez and a lot better than Drury. And I think itís the right kind of gamble for this team to be taking.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#384228) #
Eric Sogard could have labeled a why-bother signing last year, I guess, as he only batted .134 in 55 games the year before. I like the potential of Travis Shaw bouncing back in 2020.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 06:09 PM EST (#384229) #
Love the Travis Shaw signing. He was a 4 bWAR player annually for 2 years prior to last year, and he's only 29. No reason for him to suddenly lose the ability to hit at that age. I'm willing to give him a mulligan on last year's short season, only 86 games. It was totally out of line with the previous 4 seasons covering roughly 500 games. I expect he bounces back to something resembling his old form. Good fielder at 1B or 3B. Apparently the expectation is that he will be the regular at 1B. One problem with that is that, aside from his 1st season, he has not hit lefties well, and the other option at 1st base is Tellez, who is also a lefty. I would prefer not to keep Drury around, but the team may be thinking of using him at 1B against some lefties.

I would be astonished if they tried to use Shaw at 3B and move Guerrero to 1B now. All reports are that Guerrero is working his butt off (literally and figuratively) to get into much better shape, and is determined to be a 3rd baseman. Just heard Montoyo say something to that effect a few days ago. It would be a bit of a slap in the face to Guerrero to move him this soon, especially given his preferences and the work he's putting in.

I'm not crazy about the idea of trading for Price. First of all, you're helping a division rival to get out of a salary problem. Second, Price is not worth anywhere close to his contract, so either you get a couple of really good prospects included, which, apparently the Sox aren't willing to do, or Boston pays a very big portion of Price's salary. Price will be 35 next summer, coming off a 4.28 ERA season. He's only managed to make 63 starts combined in the last 3 seasons. What are you going to get from him for the next 3 years? 60 starts? ERA in the mid 4.00's? Boston would have to eat 2/3 of his remaining contract for me to start listening to them if they're not offering prospects.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 06:17 PM EST (#384230) #
"when u hear an advance rumour, it's not happening. All 4 moves made by the Jays this off season have surprised and come without warning."

Roark to the Jays was rumoured since beginning of off season.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 06:50 PM EST (#384231) #
This set things up for competitions in spring training. Drury vs Shaw vs Tellez. Urena vs Valera vs Espinal. Alford vs Davis vs McKinney.

On Price I'm guessing you'd get 50 starts ERA just below 5.

Price has been very good against LeMahieu, but every other Yankees has pounded him.
Gary Sanchez has 5 HR in 15 AB for an OPS over 2.
That's not an Ace.

PeterG - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 06:51 PM EST (#384232) #
Roark rumour wasn't any stronger than rumours on several other pitchers. Put out multiple rumours and you will eventually be right on one of them. The fact is that Jays have played things very close to the vest and likely will continue to do so. In addition, taking on Price would not be a good move imo.
Vulg - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 07:43 PM EST (#384233) #
I'm not crazy about the idea of trading for Price. First of all, you're helping a division rival to get out of a salary problem. Second, Price is not worth anywhere close to his contract, so either you get a couple of really good prospects included, which, apparently the Sox aren't willing to do, or Boston pays a very big portion of Price's salary. Price will be 35 next summer, coming off a 4.28 ERA season. He's only managed to make 63 starts combined in the last 3 seasons. What are you going to get from him for the next 3 years? 60 starts? ERA in the mid 4.00's? Boston would have to eat 2/3 of his remaining contract for me to start listening to them if they're not offering prospects.

Strongly agree, Dan. I have zero interest without massive, Tulo-levels of salary retention. My concern here is that the team feels pressure to execute the trade because it has been largely outmaneuvered in free agency. This gives me the same vibe of pandering to fans that sitting on JD did when it became clear the team would not be investing in payroll
bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 08:18 PM EST (#384234) #
I don't believe any of these rumors.

Whatever great SP they acquire in trade or FA will not be enough to contend. 90+ wins. To contend the farm will have to produce the strong pitching.

If you spend enough you can stay in the race longer. If in a 2WC race until the last 2 weeks of the season then there would be better revenue.
mathesond - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 08:29 PM EST (#384235) #
Nothing determines what an Ace is quite like a 15 AB sample size.
uglyone - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 08:31 PM EST (#384236) #
@bnicholsonsmith Also worth noting: though Shaw signed as a free agent, he has just 4 years, 53 days of service time. That means he'll be arbitration eligible again next winter, giving #BlueJays an extra year of control.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 08:46 PM EST (#384237) #

I'm curious where you stand on the idea of acquiring Price. If it's Price and $10 million/year going to Blue Jays for a couple lottery picks...what do you think?

I know you wanted Price resigned 3 years ago, wondering if you still feel that way, and let's assume we only pay him $25 million/year and the budget can grow to $165 million.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 09:02 PM EST (#384238) #
The Price rumour might just be the Jays FOís way of signaling to Boras and Ryu that they have other options in the SP market.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 09:06 PM EST (#384239) #
Can't decide on the Price Rumours - are the Red Sox trying to drum up a market for Price or are the Jays trying to put the heat on Ryu to make a decision?
cascando - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 09:18 PM EST (#384240) #
If the Red Sox think they can get value for Price, no point even having a conversation.

If theyíre willing to ship one or more good young players along to move the contract, then why shouldnít the Jays be in on that?

Vlad Jr. is arbitration eligible for the first time in 2022. Bichette not until 2023. Price will be off the books entirely by then, so taking his money on now should not hamstring them team in terms of any future moves they need to make around this young core.

That being said, I think itís very unlikely that the Jays and Red Sox would be aligned on Priceís likely future value. FanGraphs has an article earlier this month showing that Priceís zips projection shows him being worth $42 million over the next 3 years. They speculated that if he was a FA today, heíd likely get around $30 million in guaranteed money. So his negative value is around $50-60 million. I donít know how badly the Sox want to get our from under the luxury tax, but I canít see them sending player(s) worth anywhere near that just to move Price. The optics would be terrible. And on the other side, why would the Jays accept much less than that?
John Northey - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 09:35 PM EST (#384241) #
This Price deal is tough.  He is still a very good pitcher, but not a 200 IP 150 ERA+ guy, more like a 110-120 ERA+, 150 IP guy now.  Very valuable, but not $30 mil of value by any stretch.  $96 mil over 3 years is a LOT of money.  The Jays easily have the payroll space and I suspect some at Rogers are pushing to get him as a marketing push which imo is a bad idea.  Roger Clemens winning 2 triple crowns didn't draw many, so I doubt a washed up David Price will. 

I would be demanding a top prospect while the Jays eat all the payroll, otherwise what is the point for either team?  The Sox need to cut payroll, the Jays have it.  The Jays need pitching and prospects.  Seems a match, but might be tough for the Sox as they are ranked dead last for farm system by (list of their top 30 is at  Honestly I have trouble seeing much for the Jays to take in a trade, let along $60 million worth (about what they'd need to make a Price trade worth it).  Maybe the Sox could use Randal Grichuk or could get someone via trading Mookie Betts who they could then flip to the Jays to clear Price's contract.  That way they could say they didn't give up any prospects of their own to help sell it all to fans.  The Sox are in an ugly position right now.  $30+ mil to Price and Sale, $20+ to Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Bogarts.  That makes it hard to clean up the payroll.  They are looking at a long process to first clean payroll and to rebuild the farm.  I just hope the Jays hold the Sox feet to the fire as there aren't many teams with $50+ million of payroll space available, thus able to eat all of Price's salary (or another high cost player).  Sale is owed about $145 million+ and is entering his age 31 season (5-6 years of contracts left) after a 4.40 ERA (109 ERA+) season with just 147 IP. so he could easily be just as big an albatross.  Eovaldi had a 5.99 ERA last year (81 ERA+) over 68 IP and is owed $17 mil a year for each of the next 3 years.  That would be easier for the Jays to eat without demanding a ton in return (IE: might be more realistic with the horrid farm the Sox have).
uglyone - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:03 PM EST (#384242) #
Of course I'm fine with price, Dalimon. He'd still be our best pitcher.

And it's not like we are under any payroll stress. And maybe we get a good younger asset too.

Would it be hilarious to me if we picked up the supposed killer last 3 years of this supposed deadly anchor contract? Yes. I would have a good long chuckle.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:18 PM EST (#384243) #
Price's career OPS against the current Yankees is 1.122 (.391 OBP and .730 Slugging) over 141 AB.

Tell me that's good.

dalimon5 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:21 PM EST (#384244) #
It is funny how everything old is new again.
jester00 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:24 PM EST (#384245) #
Ryu to Jays 4 yrs 80 mill
uglyone - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:25 PM EST (#384246) #
Oh hey they did it.

Honestly impressed.
uglyone - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:33 PM EST (#384247) #
2yr stats:

6.0ip/gs, 54era-, 72fip-, 75xfip-, 5.9awar/32

He's not going to do quite that well with us at age 33+, but this is a legit frontline pitcher most likely.

Good job, shapirokins.
pubster - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:34 PM EST (#384248) #
I guess offseason is going ok now.
uglyone - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:38 PM EST (#384249) #
One more move of significance and they're interesting again.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:38 PM EST (#384250) #
Take that Boston.
scottt - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:48 PM EST (#384251) #
You mean center field?

They can try Alford for the defense or Hernandez/Grichuk for the offense, depending on who's pitching.
The top of the lineup should be lots of fun to watch.
To me, Drury not making the team would have a lot of significance.

I'm a bit surprised about the full no trade.
It's not like his family cares about stability.

He's cheaper than Price and comes with an extra year.
Also, not being familiar with the AL East is an advantage.

At worse, if he's not healthy later on, he could be an ace lefty out of the pen.

jester00 - Sunday, December 22 2019 @ 11:49 PM EST (#384252) #
They should still be after Price, and the asset that comes with him
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:07 AM EST (#384253) #
Price and Bradley would both fit.
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:15 AM EST (#384254) #
And EE too.

1. SS Bichette
2. 2B Biggio
3. 3B Guerrero
4. DH Encarnacion
5. RF Grichuk
6. 1B Shaw
7. LF Gurriel
8. C Jansen
9. CF Bradley

UT Tellez/McKinney
OF Hernandez/Fisher
IF Urena/Drury
C McGuire

SP Ryu
SP Price
SP Roark
SP Shoemaker
SP Anderson
SP Pearson/Borucki/Zeuch/Thornton/etc

That would be an interesting team.
Lylemcr - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:20 AM EST (#384255) #
Price is probably out. And I would rather see Happ back. The yankees will eat more of the contract..

If Pearson slides into #2, that is a nice starting staff. It bugs me that Grichuk is #5. The bottom half still needs to get better. The out field is full of AAAA players.
vw_fan17 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:24 AM EST (#384256) #
Wow - Shapiro/Atkins surprised me. Suddenly, I'm interested again. At least this is a "signed for the talent" move, not a "best bang for the buck if everything goes right and we can flip him at the deadline" kind of move.

I agree - one more good bat and/or a legit defensive CF for late substitutions and maybe a stolen base here or there, and the team is at least interesting. Not planning any parades, but enough to hopefully make most series not a foregone conclusion and surprise a few teams. If we keep Giles and get a fast start out of the gate, "You Never Know" - Joaquin Andujar.

Maybe EE on an incentive-laden contract with $5-7 base salary if he can't find another suitor? He could be our Cliff Johnson - part-time DH and pinch-hitter and maybe platoon with Shaw at 1st with a lefty starter? We do get an extra roster player this year.
vw_fan17 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:25 AM EST (#384257) #
At this point, I think I'd put Gurriel #5 and Grichuk #7...
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:37 AM EST (#384258) #
Wrc+: Career, 2yr, Steamer

Guerrero: 105, 105, 127
Bichette: 142, 142, 107
Biggio: 114, 114, 103
Gurriel: 115, 115, 102
Grichuk: 105, 101, 104
Tellez: 100, 100, 104
Hernandez: 106, 105, 93
Shaw: 103, 96, 98
Jansen: 78, 78, 99

You add another legit big bat to the middle of the order and a glove for CF that can hit a bit then you might have something.
John Northey - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:55 AM EST (#384259) #
Blue Jays To Sign Hyun-Jin Ryu - yeah I agree, good move.4 years $80 million.  No opt out, partial no-trade.   Makes sense.  I was certain it would take 4 years at $20 per minimum to get him here.  Guess none of the contenders were willing to go to the 4th year and with Boras as his agent the dollars/years were paramount. 

So 2020 rotation... projections via BR
Looks a LOT better than last years mess.  Under $50 mil for the entire rotation, unless they go get Price or Happ of course.  Hopefully the Jays stay in those sweepstakes unless the Red Sox and/or Yankees ask for something of value in return without paying the vast majority of the contract.  I suspect Yamaguchi will be in the pen and Shoemaker the DL thus opening slots for Borucki and Thornton with Kay and Waguespack getting 5-10 starts each depending on health/effectiveness.  Pearson will probably get 15-20 starts.  That's my bet.
Vulg - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:57 AM EST (#384260) #
Honestly impressed.

I am too.

It's more risk than I thought they'd be willing to take and a price tag that I thought the Dodgers or Angels would match. Hats off.
dan gordon - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 01:33 AM EST (#384261) #
Bit of a gamble, given the health problems he's had, but Ryu's a terrific pitcher. Amazed that some people here don't even consider the team interesting yet. That makes no sense to me. I'm VERY interested already, and I imagine there will be at least a couple of arms for the bullpen added, although they now have some excess starters who could be moved there. Encarnacion would be nice to platoon with Shaw. The Ryu signing also makes it seem much more likely they sign Giles to an extension, rather than trading him, something I've been saying for over a year. Really starting to look forward to next season. This is already a good team, and I expect it will get even better before spring training.
rpriske - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 02:13 AM EST (#384262) #
I get on a plane, very pessimistic about the Jays this year.

We land and I turn my phone back on.... and it is a whole new ballgame.
Jonny German - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 04:33 AM EST (#384263) #
Nice work by Shapiro-Atkins getting this done. A lot of us were getting impatient waiting for them to make a big move, but they ended up with probably the best fit for this team in terms of risk-reward of the big free agent pitchers.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 06:49 AM EST (#384264) #
Looking at that lineup. Jansen is the only hole and I fully expect him to step up this year.
Grichuk will have all those kids pushing him to the bottom. Hernandez has been very streaky and just need consistency.
The front office likes Fisher's ability to take a walk. Tellez has been very good against lefties.
Tellez's issue is pitch selection and I think the lefties have been attacking him more.

Lots of work for the catchers with all those new pitchers.

The pen should be fine. They'll have a lot of arms in spring training. Maybe too many actually.
There is no need to worry about middle relief.

Also, the front office was able to get it down while hanging on to that second round draft pick.
It's going to be a very interesting draft this summer.

85bluejay - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 06:51 AM EST (#384265) #
Thumbs up on the Ryu deal (should make Mike Green happy), the 4th year being the price the Jays had to pay - I'd say no to a Price acquisition because shoulder injuries are much more problematic than elbow injuries - Happ would be ok or a roll of the dice with Walker/Wood.

If you assume Ryu/Pearson/Roark in 2021, what the Jays need is for at least one of the other young pitchers to take a big step forward in 2020.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 06:59 AM EST (#384266) #
It's a nice balance with Ryu being dominant but not reliable and Roark being one of the most dependable arm around.
Anderson was a complete surprise. As a 3rd or 4th pitcher, he should be pretty solid.
Shoemaker still has a lot of upside. Yamaguchi will try to crack the lineup. Then you got Pearson ready some time in May.
This is a rotation that's good enough to go on a decent winning streak.

I'm expecting the young hitters to be on fire from the get go.
It should be a very exciting season.

Ready a Boston site, I see they expect to trade Price without taking any salary and still get 3 prospects back.
If the Jays want another arm, they should offer Wood a big one year contract.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:33 AM EST (#384267) #
Great Christmas present for Jays fans. I'm not surprised so much that the Jays signed Ryu but more surprised that he didn't resign with the Dodgers or with some other team. I had hoped the team would obtain another starter rather than rely too much on players who had been injured or young pitchers to fill out the rotation.

The only real need I see now is a true centerfielder. I wouldn't be against bringing EE back either.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:52 AM EST (#384268) #
Step in right direction but still 4th best team in division.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 08:16 AM EST (#384271) #
I was pretty much ready to write off this off-season, but landing Ryu is an excellent move. At the start off the offseason I wanted to see at least one of Wheeler, Ryu or Keuchel in that order.

The rotation should have a lot more stability this season with Roak and Ryu. Having a legit competition for the last few rotation spots is also healthy for the younger guys. I'm looking at projections as the following may rotation:


bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 08:26 AM EST (#384272) #
I was wrong about not believing the rumors about Ryu!!
christaylor - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:52 AM EST (#384291) #
"Step in right direction but still 4th best team in division."

Are you really that certain about this claim? Are you expecting zero development from Vlad, Bichette, Biggo, et al? If I felt this way today, personally, I would go an root for the Rays, because they need fans and will probably end up in Montreal eventually.
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