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With a 4-year, $80 million contract, the Jays have signed the best free-agent pitcher still on the market.

I, like many, was quite skeptical the Jays would land Ryu. I was wrong.
The Ryu Thread | 255 comments | Create New Account
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SK in NJ - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:58 AM EST (#384269) #
Big move by the FO. Ryu is a fascinating risk to take, especially from a front office with a reputation of risk aversion. When he pitches, his numbers resemble a front of the rotation starter, but there is significant injury risk and he's signed from 33-36. I could see this signing turning out a few different ways, good and bad, but in terms of actual talent added, the Jays got a potential top of the rotation quality arm with enough red flags to keep him in their price range. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The free agent premium was likely the 4th year, which is the price you pay if you want to sign free agents.
Magpie - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 08:13 AM EST (#384270) #
A 250 pound southpaw with a less than overwhelming fastball? That's practically the Blue Jays type, and it's served them pretty well in the past. It's probably an overpay, and it's certainly risky, but that's the cost of doing business.
Jevant - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 08:41 AM EST (#384273) #
Pleasantly shocked. I haven't seen the breakdown on the deal, but frontloading it would seem to make a lot of sense to me.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:00 AM EST (#384274) #
When your name is Thomas you have to be skeptic.

Thank you Rogers, Atkins and Shapiro for the nice Christmas gift!

Soft tossing lefty--that's the best kind isn't it?--with a lethal changeup.
Good control. Excellent K to BB ratio.

Ryu starting on the Saturday and Pearson on the Sunday.
That's like the forecast for a wonderful weekend.

scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:06 AM EST (#384275) #
Third largest contract in franchise history, just 2M less that the Martin deal.

Ironically, this is the same deal they offered Encarnation back in 2016.

Being able to make that type of contract is what brought Shapiro to Toronto in the first place.
The largest deal in drumming Clevelanders history is the 65M they gave to Encarnation.
It's like everything Atkins does gravitates around him.

bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:09 AM EST (#384276) #
I have spent the last few days understanding and "accepting" the revenue/expense concept that this FO was/may have been saddled with. I still strongly believe that "If you win the revenues will come" if you lose "the revenues won't".

With Ryu and that expensive contract the team may have to be good rather than better.

Shapiro said on Tim and Sid that 85 and 92 wins were 2 crucial markers that this team must achieve in the future. "Getting to 85 wins is easier" from last years 67 wins I assume.

$80 mil is less than $100 mil. So the big move is still coming if/when the team wins 90+ games as stated by Shapiro.
I am looking forward with great anticipation to Atkins talking about this signing. Hopefully he explains why this move makes sense.
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:12 AM EST (#384277) #
Don't even care if he busts, this is a very nice signing.

But I dont think be busts. He's a very good pitcher.
greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:35 AM EST (#384278) #
Good signing. As noted by Jacob Lorinc in The Star today, the Jays will have to figure out how best to manage his workload so that he stays healthy, somewhat like the Kawhi Leonard situation last year. 150 quality innings a year, plus healthy postseason appearances, should be the goal. He's a bit like a younger Rich Hill in that regard (a free agent I recommended the Jays sign a few years ago).
Mike Green - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:42 AM EST (#384279) #
Thumbs up. Ryu is a good player at a fair price. 

They still need a centerfielder, either from the free agent market or by way of trade.

bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#384280) #
CF at the moment belongs to Alford and J Davis.

I may be missing some CF type on our current 40 man roster.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:53 AM EST (#384281) #
Ryu is a playoff starter and that's something currently not on this roster. They went out and got the best player with no draft pick attached, I'm happy with that.

Even if Ryu starts to break down in 2021-2022 and starts missing more time the pitching depth of SWR, Kloffenstien, Manoah, etc. should all be ready to step up then.
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:59 AM EST (#384282) #
Spending $20m on a 33yr old would seem to indicate that they are trying to actually compete.

But that brings their payroll to only $80m, which is not competitive.

They should be willing and able to add at least 2-3 more contracts of significance.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:12 AM EST (#384283) #
Big signing. I honestly thought he would cost us more than this so I am very happy.

I will not criticize this deal in hindsight because I believe that it was the best option available to the Jays.

To be honest I dont think we do need to sign another pitcher. I'd rather see where we are at and then add midseason if there is a reason to.

Centre field is the obvious priority now and at a minimum we need an experienced defensive option (Dyson, Hamilton or pillar...). Would prefer a long-term solution but I'm ok with a stopgap. In fact I dont really see an option that interests me right now. I dont mind what the white Sox did rolling the dice on mazara but hes really a corner.

The only other option I can see that might be available is ender inciarte. Not terribly exciting but far better than our current options.
bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:24 AM EST (#384284) #
I have heard Limited and Full No Trade clause in the Ryu signing.

T Harrigan, he says limited.

Martine, she says Full.

Chuck - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:28 AM EST (#384285) #
They still need a centerfielder, either from the free agent market or by way of trade.

That should be right at the top of the 2020 agenda. That and throughout the season, soberly sorting through the excessively large collection of misfit 0-1 WAR toys.

greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:28 AM EST (#384286) #
Iím sure the Jays covet Marte, but the asking price is probably too steep.

Would you give up, say, Moreno and Kloffenstein for him? Thatís probably about what it would take.
bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#384287) #
Bob Nightengale, Full No Trade and no opt outs.

Good job Boras. Make the Jays pay if they try anything!!
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:36 AM EST (#384288) #
Twitter says the Price interest is real, with the Jays basically willing to take on half his salary at most.

christaylor - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:43 AM EST (#384289) #
With health, a little luck, and development from at least three (maybe 4) of the young players (take your pick) and this team is in the WC hunt. I'm fine with standing pat here if the payroll flexibility is used for a June/July acquisition if the team is doing well (or looks good through the eyes of Pythagoras as in 2015). An early exit by Leafs should help to get the "crazy Hockey fans" (quoting V. Wells from the Athletic) in the seats.
Jevant - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#384290) #
"The Jaysí current 2020 payroll (as per Roster Resource) projects to be just under $122.2MM, so considering that the 2016-18 clubs all finished the season with payrolls in the $164MM-$167MM range, GM Ross Atkins could have more spending room for further moves. Ryu is the third-highest contract even given out by the franchise, topped only by Vernon Wellsí $126MM extension in the 2006-07 offseason and the five-year, $82MM free agent deal for Russell Martin prior to the 2015 season."

That's a little more than $80m. Not saying I disagree (I think more additions should be made), but $122m is much more competitive than $80m.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:58 AM EST (#384292) #
The payroll is not really the issue.

They want to give Tellez, Hernandez and Fisher the ABs that they give to Bautista, Encarnation, Smoak, etc.
Young guys developing would make the team competitive for years, whereas guys they sign for top dollars will decline and get injured. They don't want to repeat the 2013 season.

There's not many innings or ABs left for guys who were terrible last year.

I've heard nothing about trading Giles.

Also the Blue Jays is one of the rare team that has financial flexibility.
You don't mess that up by giving salary relief to better team in the same division.
You certainly don't give decent prospects to those teams that are better than you and have a bad farm.
Boston and NYY are desperate for salary relief. You let them squirm and lose their draft slots.
This way when their good players get hurt, they can't afford to replace them.
Which is what happened to the Jays in 2017.

The Jays were able to get Ryu because the big market teams are maxed out.
Don't mess that up.

bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:05 AM EST (#384293) #
IMO Ryu is a #1 or #2 if he is healthy in 2020. Roark, Anderson and Shoemaker stay the same, potential wise. #4s.

I expect meaningful additions to the pen that have a chance to play on Opening day. Unlike D Phelps who was signed to bring back a prospect.

"Meaningful" to me is not injured and has to be set up level.

J Hader to the Brewers for Giles plus cash and a strong prospect is also another version of meaningful. I will have to check my prospect list to qualify "strong prospect".

Any prospect that looks like he can out perform someone in the rotation at any time during the year could be added to the rotation if it makes sense.
Nigel - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:08 AM EST (#384294) #
As an isolated transaction, two thumbs up. Thereís certainly risk associated with the move but there is with all pitchers. Iím finding it hard to connect all the dots this offseason so I assume that there must be other moves to come.
Cracka - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:14 AM EST (#384295) #
I think the biggest decision remaining for 2020 is whether or not to add a veteran CF and 1B/DH. The team could bring back Encarnacion and Pillar on budget 1-year contracts -- they would both fill a need and the average fan would be very pleased; they probably would sell more tickets and have better TV ratings with these two on the squad. But that would take away ~1000 plate appearances from younger fringe players: Alford, Davis, Fisher, Hernandez, Tellez, Drury, Shaw, and whoever else we add from the waiver wire or scrap heap.

My expectations are still pretty low for 2020 so I'd be happy with the latter -- but I think it'll be tempting to add a familiar veteran or two in an attempt to sell more tickets.
Glevin - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:17 AM EST (#384296) #
Great signing. Is it an overpay? Maybe but most free agents are. You still need to overpay on occasion and if you only go for value, you'll never get anywhere. The Jays only overpaid previously for Grichuk who was exactly the kind of player you shouldn't be overpaying. Ryu is the kind you should be. I completely understand the Jays not wanting to give up a pick in the 50 range for a free agent at this point. I'm happy the Jays aren't worried about blocking people and they shouldn't be worried about worried about blocking more. Let kids prove themselves. I would like to see either an EE signing and Shaw can rotate at 1B/3B/DH or a trade for Bradley and Hernandez can rotate with Shaw. I see the Jays as roughly a .500 club but with more volatility than most teams because of how young the core of the team is. The starting depth is now really good which should help the bullpen a lot. In particular, I think Thornton has the makings of an elite reliever. His average fastball was 93.2. As a reliever, that probably climbs to 95-96 MPH. Add a knockout curveball to that and you've got a potential ace reliever.

uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#384297) #
"They want to give Tellez, Hernandez and Fisher the ABs that they give to Bautista, Encarnation, Smoak, etc."

Then they are not being serious about competing.
bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:35 AM EST (#384298) #
Getting D Price at half price $16 mil/yr. We could part with Kacy Clemens. Maybe they throw in Int'l cap money or a rookie league prospect. This may make sense.

Ryu, Price and the other veteran SPs in the rotation can all be traded next off season or before for an assortment of players so that depth can be added to all the farm levels. This regains our financial flexibility if needed for Bo and any others.

We would still have possible good prospects to promote in 2022 or maybe earlier. Manoah and Kirk if they advance.

So we are gambling on lottery tickets drafted or traded for and expensive risky contracts.

The huge financial hit to Rogers if all goes bad should not be crippling. But I fear for the loss of Shapiro and Atkins.

Gerry - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:38 AM EST (#384299) #
Spending on free agents is good. It adds to the strength in the system and potentially gives you a trade piece later on. (I know there is some form of no trade but often that's there to extract more dollars)
uglyone - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:39 AM EST (#384300) #
Jevant thanks for the link to rosterresource. That's pretty great.

I think it says the payroll is at 106 right now, even including Tulo's likely expenses 14m. The 122 figure seems to include milb and other expenses
SK in NJ - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:41 AM EST (#384301) #
The best part about these moves is it really doesn't force the timeline up, or cost the team young talent/picks. Ryu, Roark, Anderson, etc, are all in their 30's, but someone had to throw innings for this team in the absence of ready/capable internal options. The Jays significantly upgraded their rotation without compromising any of the work they did in building the farm system the previous few years. Plus, other than Ryu and Roark, the rest of the rotation looks fluid, so if Pearson, Kay, or others start knocking on the door it would be easy to move some pieces around to accommodate.

I think improving the team's floor while still having an unpredictable ceiling due to the volatility of young players will lead to a more exciting season. A .500 finish would be fine in 2020. You don't want to expose the young core to excessive years of terrible seasons, but also don't want to push the timeline up to force a small window of contention. This is the best of both worlds.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#384302) #
Pillar is solidly over the hill. I'm pretty sure you can get the same defensive value from Alford or Davis.
This is the last chance to try those guys before seeking an upgrade.

EE would be nice as a pinch hitter who sits on the bench half the games.
EE doesn't make anyone better in 2021. He's the kinda of guy you pick up at the trade deadline.

I must not be an average fan, but I like to move on after a breakup.
Were I come from, the average guy doesn't keep recycling the same old girlfriends.

This is Bo and Vladdy's team now. EE would be a distraction like Price.

Last year they got Sogard and Galvis to hold them up until Biggio and Bichette were ready.
Anderson, Shoemaker and Roark are there to serve the same function.

It's not necessary to trade them. Galvis was let go for nothing.
But the concept is the same.

Shapiro and Atkins talked about mixing older guys, guys in their prime and rookies.
Bo and Vladdys have to be the guys in their prime here. The rookies are coming in the next waves.
The older guys will be added to plug the holes when needed, although Ryu is one of those.

bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:46 AM EST (#384303) #
In 1991 J Guzman came out of nowhere. Earlier Stieb and Henke in their 1st year which was a partial year.

Garvin, Bo, Osuna and maybe others. I am talking fantastic beginnings.

That is a serious possibility with the youth on this team.
BlueJayWay - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:48 AM EST (#384304) #
I didn't think they'd get Ryu either. Pleasantly surprised it got done. I like this deal a lot and I think it's the kind of thing they had to do - bring in a legit ace arm when all it cost was money at a time the Jays have lots of payroll flexibility.

I wonder what this means regarding Giles? The Ryu deal seems to indicate the FO is shifting to win-now mode sooner than later. Rather than trade Giles for prospects I wonder if this makes it more likely they try to extend him for a few seasons? I wouldn't be averse to that.

I see people here and other places still clamoring for Edwin...since the Jays have said Shaw will be the primary 1B, I doubt they'd sign Edwin just to mostly DH. Teams like keeping that slot open nowadays to rotate players through to give them a partial day off.
Gerry - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#384305) #
We should probably count on Ryu giving the Jays 100-120 innings per season and not moan too much when he is on the IL. It will give the Jays the chance to bring some of the younger starting pitchers up for a two to three week audition or learning experience.
Jevant - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#384306) #
I think you are probably right re: Edwin and the DH, but I'm not sure the "Jays" have said Shaw primary 1B just yet? I've seen the speculation, but Shaw plays a good 3B, and can play 2B, and can't play against LHP. Between that and usual days off, I think Edwin can still fit on the roster.

C: Jansen, McGuire
1B: Edwin, Shaw
2B: Biggio
SS: Bichette
3B: Vlad, Drury
OF: Gurriel, Grichuk, Teoscar, Fisher

That still leaves an extra spot for a bench bat, even with that group. And I don't think you'd have a problem finding ways for everyone to play 4-5 times a week.

BlueJayWay - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#384307) #
Good point. I think the Jays will have to 'load manage' Ryu a bit and maybe hope to get 140-150 very good innings per year out of him if they can, or at least 120 innings or so.

If the Jays make one more significant move (like acquire a good obp CF) I'd say it's a good off season.
Nigel - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#384308) #
Glevin, I totally agree. One of the knock on benefits of the signing is that I suspect Thornton starts the year in the pen where I think he could be an excellent high leverage, more than one inning, reliever.
BlueJayWay - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#384309) #
I think you are probably right re: Edwin and the DH, but I'm not sure the "Jays" have said Shaw primary 1B just yet? I've seen the speculation, but Shaw plays a good 3B, and can play 2B, and can't play against LHP. Between that and usual days off, I think Edwin can still fit on the roster.

It was one of the Scotts (Mitchell or MacArthur, always get them confused) who said in his column something like "the plan is to use Shaw the majority of the time at first base." I got the impression it was info he had coming from the Jays, but perhaps not.
Chuck - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#384310) #
The Ryu deal seems to indicate the FO is shifting to win-now mode sooner than later.

The cynic in me sees this not as win now but rather as win sorta. Field something resembling a 500ish team to get some bums back in the seats and to stanch the "Rogers is cheap" narrative.

Chuck - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#384311) #
the plan is to use Shaw the majority of the time at first base

I agree that this will be the plan at the outset. But should Shaw not prove to be a bust and thus warrant inclusion in future plans, then a mid-season or end-of-season decision to have Guerrero and Shaw swap positions would leave the team in good shape at 3B.

jerjapan - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:15 PM EST (#384312) #
The most heartening thing to me with this transaction is the willingness of the FO to pivot.  I contrast to the JD trade for Merrywheather when the Jays were 'afraid' JD would accept the QO.  Given the direction MLB was headed, that concern made sense to some, but with teams spending again, perhaps the next market inefficiency is the undervalued FA, the middle/top tier of guys with questions marks - guys that used to get paid.  I always found the predictions for Ryu's contract low this offseason, given the year he had last year.
Scottt made this comment in the other thread I believe, but Roark and Ryu make more sense in tandem than in isolation - and I like both deals anyway.
Shapiro has been asking fans to trust him on this for a while now -  good for him, putting his money where his mouth is.
But I will be surprised if we make any other big signings - a veteran stopgap to fill one spot, as Glevin articulated above, makes the most sense to me in a scenario where someone like EE finds himself without much of a market.  I'd like a few more wildcard relievers like the FO has specialized in finding, perhaps from the Asian market, which still looks to have value to me.
I don't understand what a veteran defense-first CF brings to the table that AA or Davis don't.  I like the idea of sorting through the logjam of fringy position players with the remaining roster spots, unless there is a great buy-low opportunity.  And Price at, uhh, half the price would work for me, given next years FA starting market.
Nigel - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:19 PM EST (#384313) #
Chuck, that was my thought when I said that I am having trouble making all the dots connect this offseason. Up until the Ryu signing it seemed pretty clear that the team wasnít making any real effort to compete in 2020. The Ryu signing suggests otherwise but that signing alone doesnít do it by itself (good as it is). So, I assume there must be other moves. A CF and another high leverage reliever would be on my shopping list ahead of DH if I was trying to compete in 2020.
Mike Green - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:24 PM EST (#384314) #
The Roster Resource lists Ryu's salaries as 4 x 20  flat, but it is listed as an estimate (in italics. It is in the interests of the club and player to front-end load the contract.
AWeb - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#384315) #
With Ryu onboard for a reasonable yearly cost, the Jays have entered that wonderful realm of being dark-horses, yet not disappointing if they fall short. I think the team might project to .500-ish at this point, which would make it a lot more fun to be a fan than 2019 was. Maybe a single pitcher could win 15 games (or h*ll, even 10), or a hitter could get 100 RBIs!

The 2020 offseason doesn't have many useful looking starters, so it was pretty crucial to lock one up now if they could. The future of contending for this team depends on 2-3 guys breaking through to all-star level. With Biggio, Bichette, Guerrero, Pearson, Jansen, and Gurriel all seeming like candidates. Contending is just a series of unlikely events away, instead of a series of tragic plane-crashes suffered by other teams. I'll take it.

Spend more Rogers money on Price too - health concerns aside, his down 2019 numbers look a lot like sequencing issues to me, - 2 outs and RISP, batters put up a 1.317 OPS against him, which isn't going to happen often. Walks good, K's good, even HR rate in 2019 context don't look that bad. Of course, his medical reports might be scary enough to stay away, but as noted by myself and others here in the past months, the Jays have nothing but payroll space for the next few years.

bpoz - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#384316) #
I was very impressed with the time and effort Vulg put into showing that the bottom line is where Rogers wants to win. I bought into it. Shareholders and what not!!

If 2015 and 16 produced financial bonanzas and 2017 and 2018 were lower financially. And 2019 was the lowest financially then an alarm of the financial kind was set off. IMO.

A winning Jays team has proven that the market is quite big for this team when it wins. So now you gamble $30 mil in extra payroll for 2020 and hope to recoup that and more. The extra tickets sold will help. I don't know how advertising revenue details work.

Trading the big fish for prospects works for me. I don't know about if it works for the average fan or the advertisers.
vw_fan17 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#384317) #
Agree with most here - this move, more than any other, shows that Shapiro / Atkins aren't 100% set on "best value". The "best value" team rarely wins.

As I said in the other thread - not planning any parades, but at least, if I have time to watch a game (not just the 10 minute condensed game), at least there's a good chance it'll be a fun game and/or be a close game. And, I'd love to see EE signed as Cliff Johnson role, if he doesn't get any other offers, for like $7-8M, with the understanding that he's slated to play half the games, pinch-hit, etc. If he ends up being our best hitter, then maybe more playing time. We need one "scary" bat off the bench, IMHO. But, I think I'd rather extend Giles than sign EE - closer is more important for confidence. Losing too many games in the 9th is bad for confidence.
grjas - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#384318) #
Certainly a pleasant surprise. Based on Atkinsí interviewing ďprowessĒ, I didnít think he could sell a life buoy to a drowning man. Happy to be wrong.

With the payroll room they have, I would keep going in high gear. Iíd hire EE to alternate between DH and first base and let Shaw be the new Moustakas. Iíd grab Price if the cost was right; they barely have a number 3 much less a number 2 starter, so Price would fit nicely. This also allows Pearson to build his arm strength in the minors while strengthening and deepening a rotation with injury risks. It also weakens Boston in the short term without strengthening them much in the long term: I think they are unlikely to spend the Price savings given their cap issues.

Lastly, Iíd try to package a young catcher and outfielder for a solid CF if they can find a buyer.

I suspect the resulting team could at least compete for a WC, and might have a shot at grabbing one with a weakened Boston. It would also give the youngsters some good high pressure game experience while refilling the seats.
PeterG - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 01:09 PM EST (#384319) #
I wouldn't make any of those moves. Price has growing injury problems and is losing effectiveness. The DH spot is needed to cycle players so no EE. A CF is not needed at this time. Hernandez had a strong 2 months in August and September and there other other OF's to still evaluate. If CF is seen as a problem after 2020, it can be addressed then. At this point, I would likely extend Giles.
Vulg - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 01:13 PM EST (#384320) #
A great sign is the reaction from Dodgers' fans on losing Ryu in free agency. They're pretty bummed!

You have to take these shots. I applaud the team for not being paralyzed by the risks involved, which are legitimate, but can't prevent you from adding to the talent pool of the team without coughing up prospects.

greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#384321) #
If the Jays get two good seasons from Ryu, it will have been worth it in my view.
AWeb - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 01:52 PM EST (#384322) #
I think you only get a CFer if they are likely to be substantially above average (you can squint and see average out of the in-house options, even if I think it's unlikely), and that's a pretty short list. Non-contenders with a CFer - Marte in Pittsburgh? The current haves-and-haves-not structure of MLB has really cut down on the number of good players on not good teams. So obviously, let's trade for Trout.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#384323) #
Breaking news: The Jays have made inroads into the previously untapped Russian baseball market by signing standout Siberian catcher Vladislav Kanga to a three year deal. This sets up a potential battery of Kanga and Ryu. # Fake News
SK in NJ - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 02:20 PM EST (#384324) #
I think they will give Hernandez another shot in the OF. He was demoted to AAA in May last season, but after coming back in June he had a 1.8 WAR, 126 wRC+, 10% BB%, 23 HR, and 92.1 MPH AVG EV in 323 PA. That was almost exclusively as starting CF. He would obviously have to be a very good hitter to make up for his defense, especially if he stays in CF, but I don't think there's any real urgency to trade for a short-term fix right now at the expense of seeing if his bat still has some room to grow. With 2020 still being a long shot as far as serious contention is concerned, they could afford to use one more season to see what they have with Hernandez/Fisher/Alford/Davis. If even one of them turn into something, it would be a win. An easier upgrade would be the DH spot, if not Edwin then maybe someone who can play a position and rotate through DH with others.

The CF trade and free agent options are very limited, and I don't think the FO wants to trade anyone from the farm system at the moment.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 02:23 PM EST (#384325) #
At this point unless the team is willing to trade Giles for a high upside center fielder in A ball or below than I would rather just extend him.
hypobole - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 02:27 PM EST (#384326) #
Is Marte a CF? He played CF last year, but so did Teoscar. Both were pretty badly rated by both DRS and UZR.
aarne13 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#384327) #
I'm really pumped about the Ryu signing. I was floored when I saw the notification on my phone last night. I understand the injury concerns but the pros >>> cons.

Provided that we don't acquire a solid CFer I'd give Teoscar another shot this year, he has a much higher ceiling than Grichuk. Gurriel Jr F/T in left, Grichuk in right. Derek Fisher is just dreadful :/ I'd rather give Alford the 4th OF spot over Fisher.
pubster - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 03:12 PM EST (#384328) #
"I am having trouble making all the dots connect this offseason."

I think the front office is trying to transition from a 67 win team into a 90+ win team and a World Series contender.

I don't think they expect it to happen in one offseason.
Jevant - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#384329) #
I'm trying to talk myself into this approach as well. I still think Alford is worth giving a little bit of time to, and in theory, if Teoscar is hitting between 6th and 8th in a lineup, that's got the potential to be a good lineup.

If we aren't talking a serious CF upgrade (better than Bradley or Marte), I could live with the OF as presently constructed. Though I'd be hoping that Alford makes the team then.
scottt - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 03:51 PM EST (#384330) #
2019 was the less competitive year. They filled up the lineup with holding pieces and gradually graduated the new core.
They also traded the older pitchers who didn't fit their plans.

2020 is the more competitive year. They got a new ace and got holding pieces for the rotation while they're graduating the young pitching core. Travis Shaw was turning into a core piece for the Brewers. Then he had a bad year.
The Jays are giving him a chance to turn back into that core piece. It's the last time to try get the prospects who are running of options to step forwards. They just need 1 or 2 guys to claim a position or establish some trade value.

2021 is the start of the true competitive years. They'll fill up the holes everywhere without emptying the farm so they can maintain the team for several years. They might extend some of the core or they might let the next wave replace them.
Those are tough decisions and good problems to have. This is when they might grab more older guys.

pubster - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 03:55 PM EST (#384331) #
I wouldn't be so quick to label what's going to happen each year.

I can see the front office unloading Giles for prospects at the trade deadline.
grjas - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#384332) #
Canít say I see the need to cycle players through the DH spot on a team this young. Makes sense for one with aging vets or payroll issues, but donít think itís necessary for the Jays. Having someone like EE would ease the pressure on a lineup with streaky hitters like Grichuk, Rowdy, both catchers and to date, VG, plus give Shaw some breathing room to turn his career around.

Price is a risk, but given the challenge in acquiring good pitchers, the iffy 2021 FA class and a lot of unproven starters in the minors, Iíd bite the bullet if the price is right.

We need better outfield defence with at least some hitting ability, so a better CF would help. Whether they can find a match up at an agreeable price is hard to predict, and certainly not worth taking a big risk.
cascando - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 06:24 PM EST (#384333) #
I can see the front office unloading Giles for prospects at the trade deadline.
If they're out of it at the deadline, great, trade Giles for whatever they can get. If Giles is healthy, his value is likely not much different now than it will be in July.
dan gordon - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 06:40 PM EST (#384334) #
I don't see the point in going after Marte. BRef has him at -0.7 dWAR last year, and Teoscar at -0.6. Marte's range factor was 2.35, Teoscar's was 2.62. Teoscar had 23 HR's post call-up in 86 games. I'd rather see if he can hit close to that rate for a full year than add another weak defensive CF.

Trading Giles for prospects now makes no sense after the Ryu signing. What would he want annually for a 3 or 4 year extension?

Encarnacion makes a lot of sense given Shaw's poor history vs lefties.

Mike, I like your idea of a front end loading of Ryu's contract, matching the likely results, something like 25, 22, 18, 15. Better for player and team.
BlueJayWay - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:01 PM EST (#384335) #
According to Gregor Chisolm (on twitter) the Ryu contract is not front loaded. In fact it's dead even: $20M per year each year.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:27 PM EST (#384336) #
I like Teoscar a lot, but as DH or 1B. Bad CF defense makes the whole team worse. Its utterly crippling to a team.

We dont have anyone, save Alford who can be an even average MLB centerfielder defensively (and even alford hasn't convinced me yet). I'd feel much better giving Teoscar the chance to prove me wrong if the fallback option was a defensive wizard.
greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:48 PM EST (#384337) #
On a 4/80 contract, itís more advantageous to the team to backload the contract (or split the amount owed evenly over the four years), paying more of the amount owed after inflation erodes the value of a dollar, than it is to front-load the contract. In other words, a dollar now is worth more than a dollar in four years.

Now, had the choice been between, say, 4/76 front-loaded or paying $20m per year over four years, you could make the case for the former.
AWeb - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:51 PM EST (#384338) #
I wasn't suggesting pursuing Marte as so much as I was pointing out that no team with a CF better than him would actually be looking to trade their CF.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 07:57 PM EST (#384339) #
Yeah there are no obvious solutions. In a land of power and strikeouts, athletic centre fielders seemed to be a lost thing in the league.
rpriske - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:28 PM EST (#384340) #
Could some sort of deal that sends Giles to Boston for Price and Bradley be possible? Make Yamaguchi the closer.

Obviously Boston would have to eat some salary.
John Northey - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:31 PM EST (#384341) #
So the rotation is more or less set now.
WAR is BR WAR from 2019

Ryu: $20 mil - 5.3
Roark: $12 mil - 2.0
Anderson: $8.5 mil - 1.7
Shoemaker: $3.75 mil (est) - 1.2
Yamaguchi: $3 mil - led Japanese League in WAR
Other starters are all league minimum types plus whatever the Jays are willing to give them.

So that is 10.2 WAR plus Yamaguchi or whoever gets the 5th slot.  Last year the rotation as a group had a 5.25 ERA which would be around a 90 ERA+ (maybe a bit worse).  Luciano had a 5.35 ERA which lead to a 0.1 WAR given the Jays had 711 1/3 IP by starters vs Luciano's 33 2/3 that would roughly (very roughly) be 2.1 WAR so it is safe to say the new rotation is worth at least 7 more wins.  Not to mention how they will eat more innings, thus leaving fewer for the pen thus making the pen more effective as well.
PeterG - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 09:31 PM EST (#384342) #
Connor Byrne of MLBTR suggests in chat today that word is EE going to White Sox.
Parker - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:22 PM EST (#384343) #
Seems like a safe bet, since the White Sox have already signed everyone and their sister this offseason. :)
dan gordon - Monday, December 23 2019 @ 10:34 PM EST (#384344) #
Back end loading obviously helps the team in terms of time value of money, but I am thinking of the budget, and the total salaries. There is plenty of room this year and next, and absorbing more of the contract this year would leave more room in later years when the young guys start to get more expensive.

Last year, the 6 guys with the most starts for the Jays (not counting openers) were Stroman, Sanchez, Thornton, Waguespack, Buchholz and Richard. They combined for 5.0 WAR as Blue Jays. It will be interesting to see how the 2020 group compares. Ryu might not match last year's number, but Shoemaker should easily beat his, given the 1.2 occurred in just 5 starts. Plus you have Pearson likely making 20 or so starts in Toronto, so yes, next year's group should easily be 7+ better than the 2019 group.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 12:15 AM EST (#384345) #
Dan - good point about the big 5.  I suspect this years will do far better than last years.
The killer was everyone but Sanchez and the openers...
  • Thornton: 29 starts 5.04 ERA 139 1/3 IP
  • Sanchez: 23 starts 6.07 ERA 112 2/3 IP
  • Stroman: 21 starts 2.96 ERA 124 2/3 IP
  • Font: 14 starts 3.70 ERA 24 1/3 IP
  • Waguespack 13 starts 4.13 ERA 65 1/3 IP
  • Buchholz 12 starts 6.56 ERA 59 IP
  • Richard 10 starts 5.96 ERA 45 1/3 IP
  • Pannone 7 starts 11.31 ERA 24 2/3 IP
  • Reid-Foley 6 starts 3.65 ERA 24 2/3 IP
  • Shoemaker 5 starts 1.57 ERA 28 2/3 IP
  • Jackson 5 starts 11.90 ERA 19 2/3 IP
  • none of starters #12 to #21 had 14 IP (just 2 cracked 10 IP), all had under 5 starts
Pretty ugly.  Starts by guys with ERA's under 4 (so solid top 3 starter material): 21 Stroman, 14 Font, 6 SRF, 5 Shoemaker = 46 starts.  3 starts by openers who didn't allow a run in their 1 IP.  So 49 total.
Starts by guys with ERA's over 6: (IE: should be #6 or lower)  7 Pannone, 5 Jackson, 23 by Sanchez, 12 by Buchholz, and 11 by guys with under 5 starts each (26 2/3 IP) so 58 total.
Not good to have more starts by guys with ERA's over 6 than ones with ERA's under 4 (as a starter).  For comparison, in 2016 not 1 guy started who had an ERA over 4.50 that year.  2015 saw 6 starts by guys with ERA's over 6 (plus 28 by Drew Hutchison who was at 5.47).  So to contend you can get away with some starts by crappy guys, but not too many.  And I really, really hope the Jays don't go to 21 starters ever again in one season.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 03:43 AM EST (#384346) #
The other signing - Travis Shaw for $4 mil for 1 year with arbitration after that - might be very important in the end or it might be totally irrelevant.  Entering his age 30 season after a nightmare 45 OPS+ half season (86 games)  has mainly played 3B but also a fair amount at 1B plus some 2B and a tiny bit of LF in his career so far.   He makes Drury irrelevant as the two cover the same ground and while Drury is a few years younger (entering age 27 season) Drury only once has reached 100 OPS+ (101 in 2016) while Shaw has a short 114, and full season 121 and 119 seasons under his belt to go with that horrid 45 and a 90 in 2016.  Over 5 seasons he has averaged better than 2 WAR a season (-0.9 last year though).

I'd assume the lineup for 2020 now is....
CA: Jansen/McGuire
1B: Tellez (last chance)
2B: BIggio
3B: Vlad
SS: Bo
LF: Gurriel
CF: Hernandez?
RF: Grichuk
OF: Davis or Alford
IF: Shaw
IF: Urena or a vet who can play SS and accept being on the bench for 100+ games

SP: Ryu
SP: Anderson
SP: Roark
SP: Shoemaker
SP: battle royal between Waguespack, Thornton, SRF, Zeuch, Kay, Borucki, Yamaguchi.

RP: Giles
RP: Gaviglio
RP: 2 more probably starting losers or another free agent signing or who knows?

So at this point I see relief pitching being the focus with some attention to CF as well.  The rotation is pretty much set although if Happ comes for nothing then why not?  Price is a no-go now - I suspect he was the backup plan if Ryu went elsewhere.
Parker - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 04:14 AM EST (#384347) #
I love to hear the "Rogers sucks" and the "Shapiro sucks" and the "Atkins sucks" from here four minutes after the "OMG we signed someone with the money we spent!"
John Northey - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 04:35 AM EST (#384348) #
Heh so true Parker.  I suspect the Jays could've signed Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, and Madison Bumgarner to be the rotation in 2020 and people would still complain that they didn't get a true CF because Rogers is too cheap.
Thomas - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 07:01 AM EST (#384349) #
I'm absolutely convinced there is a section of the fanbase that is unwilling to give Shapiro and Atkins credit for any move the front office makes. The past few years, the front office wasn't trying to compete and making bad trades as they were rebuilding. Now the team is making a relatively sizaeble splash in free agency, they aren't doing it on the right players. (That isn't to say that you couldn't criticize some of the tear-down trades, as I did, or that you can't make reasoned criticisms of the Ryu signing. However, I believe there is a section of the fanbase where any such criticisms aren't being made in good faith.)

In unrelated news, Triple-A pitching coach Doug Mathis has joined the Texas Rangers as their bullpen coach.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 09:17 AM EST (#384350) #
With 29 other teams in the league I am wondering who is trying to compete?

NL Miami and Pittsburgh. But Miami is trying to be better with Villar and Aguilar added until traded later.
I don't know if the Rockies and SF have improved.

AL Seattle, KC, Baltimore and Detroit are not expecting to compete. Boston is weaker but I suspect wants to compete. So 11 AL teams want to compete. The other 4, by their actions will probably suck.

CWS have improved their chances to compete enough by adding some good pieces and "quality dept in a weak division".

The "additions" this off season so far for the Jays have improved them but not made them a behemoth in the AL East yet IMO. I see the NYY as the only AL behemoth.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 09:56 AM EST (#384351) #
John, you missed Wilmer Font and Jordan Romano in your list of likely relievers. I think Waguespack and Pannone might also find their way to the pen.
scottt - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:06 AM EST (#384352) #
Miami is going to finish last no matter what they do.
Attendance is low. So they are increasing payroll to attract some fans.
It will also give them some pieces to trade at the deadline, so they are effectively trying to buy some prospects.

Seattle is a mixture of things as their GM likes to trade for the sake of trading.
With the Rangers trying to win to fill their new stadium, the Angels rekindling their commitment to Trout and the A's already having a good team, they're also looking at last place no matter what they do. They, unlike the Marlins, still have several good players on hand to trade, but likely not until they reach arbitration.

Detroit is trying to end the tanking, but they were the worse team in baseball last year, so there's quite a way to go.

KC has about 3 years left  before they switch to a new core. They are just trading water financially. I think they have a new owner. Merrifield is a good player who was worth 4 WAR last year and he's on a team friendly contract. They're just going to try to offer the best product they can with a limited payroll.

The Pirates are in a similar spot but they just recently gave up.
They traded some of the best players in baseball (like Cole) for very little.
They are a perfect illustration of what happen when you don't develop your own players and try to trade your assets for guys who had some success but are not projected to be as good in the future. It would be a great landing spot for Price if the Pirates had money to spend.

Boston is just one year removed from winning the World Series.
They are the equivalent of the 2018 Blue Jays who tried to compete instead of trading Donaldson.
They have a chance if everybody is healthy.

At the opposite is the Rays who always trade their stars.
They just traded Pham and Garcia and are back to Zunino behind the dish.
It's really hard to predict the Rays--mostly because of the openers.
A starting pitcher injury just make the Rays better as they  bullpen their way to a low ERA.
What could bring them down are hitters not getting on bases, staring pitchers underperforming or too many injuries--which is unlikely because the position players are so young, or rookies struggling out of the gate.
Because they relay on 2-3 WAR at every position and have lots of depth, they're no taken down by a superstar injury.
They could trade Morton during the year. The demand should be very high.
I wouldn't be surprised if they edge their bets and miss a wild card.

Jevant - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:16 AM EST (#384353) #
I actually think there are still some very nice options out there in FA that could really help this team out.

Wilmer Flores: infielder who can play 1b/2b/3b, crushes LHP. Probably could get him for around the same price as Shaw, and a natural complement to Shaw. An upgrade on Drury, and provides an above average bat with pop.

Russell Martin: wants to continue his career, what better place than back home in Toronto. Trade one of the young catchers along with one of the young OF (or Grichuk) to clear a spot.

Yasiel Puig / Steven Souza Jr: if they decide to get creative and trade for a CF upgrade (Brandon Nimmo
or Cristian Pache would be the most plausible), and give up Gurriel or Grichuk as part of it, either of these two could slot into LF or RF as a viable replacement.

There's lots of decent depth out there. The Brewers have made a game of this the last couple years by having strong options 1-25, especially on the field, and I think even if you can't land a star at this point, there are real viable options for improving the depth of the roster and not having to rely on the Drurys/Urenas/Fishers of the world.
Vulg - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#384354) #
I love to hear the "Rogers sucks" and the "Shapiro sucks" and the "Atkins sucks" from here four minutes after the "OMG we signed someone with the money we spent!"

Not sure what's surprising about being critical of poor transactions and then applauding a good one. I assume everybody here is a fan and would strongly prefer a majority of great deals.

As for the overall budget, we'll see where things stand by the end of spring training. With Ryu and the other signings, the Jays currently sit 20th in 2020 payroll, just behind the Tigers and ahead of the Mariners.
scottt - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#384355) #
I'll keep mentioning Philipe Aumont as he was the Cy equivalent in the CanAm League whereas Font was just decent while playing there.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:25 AM EST (#384356) #
I like Rowdy as much as anyone and want him to succeed, but I am really hoping he isn't plan A at 1B this year. Shaw (also a LHB) would seem to be replacing some of his at bats, and I hate to say it but I think that's for the best. Tellez should get a chance if he hits the cover off in AAA or forces his way on. If we are serious about giving competing a real chance this year, I think we need better there.
scottt - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:26 AM EST (#384357) #
It sounds like Encarnation is going to the White Sox.
He'll be 37.
You guys remember when the Jays overspent on the Big Hurt?
He was 40 when he imploded which is pretty amazing in a number of ways.

Jevant - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#384358) #
I'm sure Font is penciled in to make the team after what he did last year. I wouldn't be shocked if they pick up another reliever or two before the offseason is over.
pubster - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:37 AM EST (#384359) #
"Not sure what's surprising about being critical of poor transactions and then applauding a good one. I assume everybody here is a fan and would strongly prefer a majority of great deals."

Fans don't know poor transactions from good ones. I recall people being upset that the Jays didn't try to sign Albert Pujols. Fans were upset with what the Jays received for Marcus Stroman, and then a few months later, loved what they received for Stroman. Fans were upset that the Jays went cheap and drafted Noah Syndergaard.

When the team wins the fans are happy, when the team loses fans complain. That's probably the best correlation between the team and fans attitude about the team. If Ryu is terrible and pitches poorly fans will be complaining about the deal.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:38 AM EST (#384360) #
"I like Rowdy as much as anyone and want him to succeed, but I am really hoping he isn't plan A at 1B this year. Shaw (also a LHB) would seem to be replacing some of his at bats, and I hate to say it but I think that's for the best. Tellez should get a chance if he hits the cover off in AAA or forces his way on. If we are serious about giving competing a real chance this year, I think we need better there."

I don't think the Jays are just going to go with Tellez. I think as of right now, Tellez, Fisher, McKinney, and Drury will be getting those ABs (Even if not playing DH). I'm OK with that for a bit to see if someone breaks out but if the Jays want to upgrade, I'm fine with that as well. This is not a competitive year really but a step towards that so the Jays still need to figure out what they have. My guess is that none of those above guys are more than marginal major leaguers but I'd be happy if someone proves me wrong.
pubster - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:03 AM EST (#384361) #
Tellez is 24 years old and has a career OPS of .774.

He might not become much, but I think in 2020 they have to find out if he can play or not.
Vulg - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:22 AM EST (#384362) #
Fans don't know poor transactions from good ones.

Maybe on Twitter. I think the people who post here find it worth their time because there is more insightful discussion. In social media, few even knew that Cal Stevenson was part of the Fisher deal but here, some questioned whether he alone was a better prospect than Fisher. People here are more likely to debate the type of deal (eg. Happ and JD returned fully baked 'prospects', Stroman at least had one young SP with upside) rather than all-caps reply 'WHO', as you see elsewhere. This is a large part of what makes Da Box special and why I disagree with your assertion.

And payroll is payroll. It's easy enough to judge whether ownership is spending in a way that is commensurate with the market and people here are smart enough to differentiate between long-term albatross contracts vs. short term deals that line up with a competitive window.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:32 AM EST (#384363) #
FWIW, Jarrod Dyson is still out there. He can still play centerfield and offer enough offence in a platoon role. It would be ideal to have a multi year solution, which Dyson is not, but you can mix and match with him and out a pretty good outfield defense behind a pitching staff which allows a fair number of balls in play.

14 position players: Jansen, McGuire, Shaw, Biggio, Bichette, VGJ, Gurriel, Grichuk, Tellez, Teoscar, Dyson or other CF,Drury, middle IF backup, Fisher or McKinney.

With a couple of minor additions, this is a club with a win expectation of about 83. Typical variance is + or - 10 wins. It's not perfect but may be the best that could be achieved. At least the club is significantly better.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:32 AM EST (#384364) #
Agree with pubster and Vulg!!

To have your opinion heard (fans and media) it has to be expressed.

That is why I find Atkins quite good (I also feel I am in the minority). His thoughts are expressed and heard while not being fully understood.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#384365) #
+ or - 10 wins. 73-93 wins. Nice range. What are the chances of inside, lower and higher?

I will choose and commit to 90% inside 73-93. 6% @ 94+ and 4% 72-.

Please note I am not trying to be insulting!!

I would have chosen 83 wins. + or -5.

So if on pace for 83 wins I will add at the deadline to get closer to 88. That should be positive PR and quite nice revenue if it works.

Bottom line!!
bpoz - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#384366) #
We still have Giles.

Suppose Giles 63 games, 63 IP, ERA 1.90 and 2 blown saves max.
Ryu 155 IP, 3.35 ERA.

Both in 2020. Who is more valuable based on the fancy/complex numbers? Ignore the $.
scottt - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#384367) #
I don't think it's a bell curve. It's slanted towards the lower results side, maybe just because an injury can make you lose 4-5 WAR instantly.

I expect the pitching in AAA to be very good. The rest of the Buffalo team could be good if they spend some money on the org guys. I think they should, to reward the Buffalo people but also to teach the higher level prospects about winning.
Drury has 1 option left and less than 4 years of service. They could send him to Buffalo if they don't mind paying him 2M.
They could also release him at the end of spring training and owe him something like 400K.

As for Atkins, I didn't like the initial Happ signing. I hated the Drury trade. I thought they should have brought Happ back.
I liked the Garcia signing. I didn't like the Nerd being called up so soon.

It's a mixed bag, but overall I'm sure his track record is better than mine would have been.

Tellez has amazing power. Fisher is a left bat who can take a walk. He also has great tools.
Hernandez has also lots of tools, but more power in his case.
Alford is one of the best athlete in baseball. Fisher was pick 37 overall. McGuire was picked 14th and Grichuk 24th.
I don't mind watching those guys trying even if they fail. Hernandez and Fisher, at times, look like they don't have good vision. That's just an impression I get, they both have produced well in the minors.
I'm talking  about the ability to pick something moving against a colorful background, not the eye chart test.
Can that improve with practice? I have no idea.
Hernandez has been more selective. Tellez can learn to be too, but that can't be practiced in a cage.

Glevin - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#384368) #
I would still trade Giles. Relievers lose value very quickly (see, Blake Treinen and Edwin Diaz for recent examples) and for me, a closer is the last piece you get before contending. The Jays are in the "maybe they could sneak into a wildcard spot if things break right" area. The Jays could easily audition a few of their starters who project as backend rotation guys as short relievers as well. Thornton, SRF, Gaviglio, Font, etc...If the Jays can get a top-100 prospect for Giles, I think you need to pull the trigger. Yes, Giles could bring back as much at the deadline, but he could get hurt or fall apart and bring back nothing and this is not a remote possibility with a reliever.
mathesond - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 01:43 PM EST (#384369) #
I have to say, I found 'trading water financially' and 'edge their bets' to be two of the funniest typos I've seen in a while.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 02:38 PM EST (#384370) #
I don't think anything should change with Giles. If they were planning to shop him this winter, then keep doing it. Maybe it would look bad from an optics standpoint to sign Ryu and then immediately flip Giles, but this is the still the asset building phase, and Giles only has a year of control left. As mentioned, relievers (even elite ones) can fall off a cliff randomly and Giles had some injury concerns last season. If there is a deal out there this winter, then I don't think signing Ryu should cause them to change course. This is still not a contender on paper, and the team could still use more young pieces that might be useful in 2021-beyond (when Giles isn't under team control).
bpoz - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 04:13 PM EST (#384371) #
Betances to the Mets.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 06:41 PM EST (#384372) #
I don't think the comparison is to trade Giles or lose him after a season. I say sign him to an extension. If he won't sign an extension, or wants way too much, then sure, trade him, but from all I've heard, he likes it in Toronto. One of the best closers in baseball. If you end up trading him, you're likely to end up with somebody not as good.

The reports were saying that Shaw is the first baseman, so that leaves Tellez battling for AB's at the DH spot. If they get another starting OF, then Hernandez is in that DH mix as well. The way things sit right now, I would expect Hernandez would be the CF, and Tellez the semi-regular DH. I'd like them to get a good RHB to use instead of either Shaw or Tellez against LH starters. Right now, the alternative from the right side is Drury.

There are lots of bullpen candidates, but the quality is suspect. I would expect they will sign at least 1 and probably 2 guys who can be 7th/8th inning types. As of now, you've got Giles, Bass, Font, Romano and Gaviglio as likely, with Miller, Cole, Pannone, Waguespack and Bergen as the next tier, assuming Waguespack isn't in the rotation. Then you've got 2 of Thornton, Borucki and Yamaguchi, if Ryu, Roark, Anderson and Shoemaker are all healthy and in the rotation. I expect Borucki to be starting in AAA if he's not in the rotation, but Thornton could be in the bullpen. Yamaguchi could be in the pen if he's not the 5th starter.

There's going to be a heck of a battle for the rotation in Buffalo. You could very well have Borucki, Waguespack, Reid-Foley, Pannone, Zeuch, Kay, Pearson, Merryweather, Sopko, Diaz, Hatch, Murphy, Perez and Murray all in contention. Some, like Pannone, are probably in the pen, and several will have to remain in AA. Maybe they do some tandem starts in Buffalo, where 2 guys go 4 innings each. Maybe they can package a couple of those prospects for a good CF prospect who is close to the big leagues.
Michael - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 07:04 PM EST (#384373) #
I don't think the Ryu deal should be thought about just as 2020. To be good in 2021 and 2022 you need to start now with FA acquisitions to go with the young developing players. You can't do it all with FA with one year especially with as many gaps as the Jays had.

That isn't a criticism of the deal, the opposite really, but more saying don't expect to close every gap in one offseason.
scottt - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 08:18 PM EST (#384374) #
The value of a closer goes up exponentially at the trade deadline.
There will be a dozen team asking about Giles if he's healthy.

The closer is not always the last piece to be added, but nobody ever wants to trade a top prospect for a reliever.
The Chapman/Miller deals happened in an other era.
Nobody was offering more than an A+ prospect for Kluber, because of injury concern.

If you give Giles a QO, he probably accept and they can work out an extension from there.
if they really wanted to trade him, they would have signed an experience guy to replace him when they could.

Parker - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 09:41 PM EST (#384375) #
Not sure what's surprising about being critical of poor transactions and then applauding a good one. I assume everybody here is a fan and would strongly prefer a majority of great deals.

Well, I didn't say I was surprised. Heh.

I was, however, pleasantly surprised to read something different from the universal negativity here in the last two years. No Jays fan will applaud when Toronto trades Ryan Borucki to Boston for JBJ and David Price, obviously.

I love Jevant's take on this offseason.
Parker - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 09:52 PM EST (#384376) #
Hard yes on pubster's take on Tellez. The guy needs to show he can hit, and the Jays should let him. The Ryu signing is awesome, I love it. It's not my money. ;)

The kids can't pitch. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to see if the kids can swing, though.
Parker - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:20 PM EST (#384377) #
Fans don't know poor transactions from good ones. I recall people being upset that the Jays didn't try to sign Albert Pujols. Fans were upset with what the Jays received for Marcus Stroman, and then a few months later, loved what they received for Stroman. Fans were upset that the Jays went cheap and drafted Noah Syndergaard.

When the team wins the fans are happy, when the team loses fans complain. That's probably the best correlation between the team and fans attitude about the team. If Ryu is terrible and pitches poorly fans will be complaining about the deal.

I hope Ryu pitches well.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#384378) #
Good article on Blue Jays Nation about what makes Ryu so effective:

There is also a good run down of the 6 candidates (Thornton, Borucki, Yamaguchi, Waguespack, Kay and Zeuch) for the 5th starter's spot on Jays Journal:

If Yamaguchi becomes the 5th starter, the Jays will basically have a completely new rotation. Ryu, Anderson, Roark and Yamaguchi, plus Shoemaker who made 5 starts last year. Not something you see very often.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:51 AM EST (#384379) #
Just to make it clear - I have totally voiced my opinion in favor of the Ryu signing. I was very negative on Shapiro/Atkins before this, especially the Fisher trade.
THIS, I view as a very good move. Even if Ryu isn't the ace in year 4, that's fine. You can't have a team full of developing rookies and reclamation projects, unless you just want the rookies to learn from the failed prospects how to fail or flounder. Ryu can show all the up-and-coming pitchers firsthand how to pitch. Not how to throw 99 mph, but how to PITCH with a 90-92 mph fastball. You have to have at least one or two good, established players that the younger players can learn from and/or respect.

I'd love to sign one or two more players, but obviously, there aren't many good starters left, or really good CF options.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:06 AM EST (#384380) #
I will not criticize the ryu signing even if he blows up game 1 and is never good ever again.

I will criticize if thats the last addition of significance, tho.
scottt - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:25 AM EST (#384381) #
Significance is subjective.

They added 3 starting pitchers. 4 if you count resigning Shoemaker.
They added a left bat who can play first. That covers if Tellez can't play or is sent down.
They added some interesting guys to the pen (Bass, Yamaguchi, Cole, Aumont).
They did not traded anyone of value. They did not add much payroll commitment.

The only thing left is potentially adding a centerfielder, but I'm fine having a competition with Alford, Davis, Hernandez and Grichuk for now.
Now they just grab whoever is left standing.

This is a team that can compete.
Next year, they'll try to contend.

This is going to be an interesting spring.

Gerry - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 07:25 AM EST (#384382) #
Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all bauxites. Here's hoping for some nice surprises on the field in 2020.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 07:30 AM EST (#384383) #
Wilner was on one of The Fan shows yesterday, and apparently (didn't hear it myself) he has a source in the Jays front office who revealed that they offered $300M for Gerrit Cole.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 09:34 AM EST (#384384) #
Merry Christmas!!

Shapiro and Atkins have acquired many players over the year. Ryu is their most expensive signing. This shows that they are willing to spend big.

Of the FA and traded for players to date Ryu has a chance to be one of the best.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#384385) #
That cole info I'm inclined to believe just based on the timing of it leaking out.

Theres no need to leak the "we were in it until the end" garbage right after a significant FA signing.

I'm still not comfortable with CF because I dont see anyone who is competent defensively in the system (alford should be but I dont see it). I'm fine with going cheap here (i.e. Dyson or Hamilton) but an open competition should include at least one person who can perform the most basic duties of a centerfielder.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#384386) #
Thornton had 9 starts that were 6+ innings. Only 1 was 7 innings. 5 of his starts were 3 innings or less because he was getting lit up.

All 31 games Roark pitched were starts. Anderson was used as a 1-3 inning reliever in 5 games.

The pen should have 8 pitchers. Pannone, Romano and Waguespack have options. If in the pen, unless crucial they can ride the Toronto/Buffalo shuttle. The pen becomes bigger if they are sent down while overused but uninjured and the replacement is as good.

More Toronto/Buffalo shuttle relievers can be added to the 40 man roster if space becomes available due to 60 man designation or the club is willing to risk losing anyone by DFA.

The concept is that you can never have enough pitching and also that bad starters can burn out a pen.

PeterG - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#384387) #
Ryu is supposed to be arriving in TO today. Maybe there will be presser in coming days.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#384388) #
I'll take Ryu over Cole with those contract terms any day.

This team needs another SP upgrade and a better bat to be added before I think they can legitimately compete against their division rivals.

David Price or trade target would be good, plus a power/on base threat from the left side (on top of Shaw).

Hernandez and Grichuk should be bench players with opportunity to grow into full time starters through injury and performance.
scottt - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 11:23 AM EST (#384389) #
The pen has to be 8 pitchers no fewer no less. New rules. The only way to get an extra reliever is to demote a starter for 15 days and to use a 9 man pen until you bring another starter up. It could be an option in stretches when they don't need 5 starters.

Relievers have to face 3 hitters or pitch until the end of the inning.
An intentional walk counts as facing a hitter even if no pitch is actually thrown.
A double play counts as only one hitter and picking up a runner does not count as facing a hitter.
In those cases the reliever is better served by trying to end the inning.

scottt - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 11:29 AM EST (#384390) #
Just having 4 or 5 guys at the top who gets on bases will results in extra ABs and should elevate the other hitters.
Pitchers are likely to go after them to reduce their pitch count.

With the extra position player, I would like to see more stolen bases.

DavidtheDeuce - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:08 PM EST (#384391) #
Merry Christmas!

Here is a link to Game 2 of the 1985 ALCS. One of my favourite games in Blue Jays history - filled with drama and passion. Hope you all have a great day!
scottt - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:13 PM EST (#384392) #
Boston is asking for prospects back for Price according to Peter Gammons.

There is a range of possibilities for Price.
Price and a decent prospect along with Boston paying most of his salary for nothing back is an extreme I'd be OK with.
Price in exchanges for valuable prospects and Boston not paying any of his salary is the other extreme and that's a hard no for me.

There is a huge range between those 2 options and everybody here will have a different threshold but mine is pretty close to the first extreme. No point in making a move if it helps Boston. The market has heated up. There are very few teams with money to waste, so the best Boston will be able to do is swap Price for another bad contract with the Padres or something like that. I'm perfectly fine with that. Keep money and prospect capital to replace Giles next year and plug the hole in centerfield.

PeterG - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:28 PM EST (#384393) #
Ryu presser confirmed later this week. I am guessing it will be Friday or Saturday.
Cracka - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:34 PM EST (#384394) #
It makes no sense for the Red Sox to move Price unless they receive significant salary relief from the deal - the whole point of moving him is to get under the luxury tax. The Blue Jays, with ample budget to burn, have all the leverage here. But I certainly wouldn't be in a hurry to help out a division rival unless it's an offer that can't be refused.

ayjackson - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 01:46 PM EST (#384395) #
Offering $300m for Cole excites me as much as the Ryu signing.

Who gets credit for this change of tack? Rogers or Shapirkins? I say the latter. Will hold that they take a budget to Rogers and have it approved...but it's generally their budget. Am I finally seeing some semblance of a plan.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#384396) #
"Offering $300m for Cole excites me as much as the Ryu signing."


I think it excites me even more than the Ryu signing, tbh.
gnor - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 04:25 PM EST (#384397) #
I think a lot of people don't realize that signing Ryu or Cole last year would have made no sense.Even this year, it caught me by surprise, but it speaks to the faith the FO has in their core.
gnor - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 04:34 PM EST (#384398) #
Jonathan Davis, but he isn't a hitter. I'm betting we see an addition before ST.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 04:41 PM EST (#384399) #
"I think a lot of people don't realize that signing Ryu or Cole last year would have made no sense.Even this year, it caught me by surprise"

Not just singling out you here - but there's a lot of people trying to have it both ways like this here.

I.e. that have argued strenuously that the FO should NOT be making these kinds signings at this point because they made no sense at this point in the win cycle, but who are now not only praising the front office for making these kinds of signings now but even more so are trying to say "I told you so" against posters who had been asking for precisely this, only to be told it didnt make sense.
gnor - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#384400) #
Shapiro will have the final say, and will deal with the owners, but decisions are made based on the input from the various department head.This isn't a change of tack, either, unless you haven't been listening. Shapiro has said from day 1 that when the time was right, the money would be there. The time is obviously right.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:08 PM EST (#384401) #
I think a lot of people don't realize that signing Ryu or Cole last year would have made no sense.Even this year, it caught me by surprise, but it speaks to the faith the FO has in their core.

My issue with last season is that they skipped even the 2nd tier of starting pitching. I agree that chasing a Corbin or anybody at the top end of the market didn't make as much sense due to the term involved, but the Mortons or Ani Sanchezs (i.e. equivalent of Roark; 2 yr terms, reasonable AAV) would have made the season a lot less painful. The only reason to jump right to high-risk options for dirt cheap (i.e. Schumaker, Buchholz) when you have the 21st highest payroll in the league is to save money.

I'm impressed and surprised they targeted the top-end of the market (i.e. Cole and Ryu), that's a strong signal. Another signal will be where the teams ends up in terms of overall payroll by the time the season starts.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#384402) #
The new deal with the umpires union allows for computer plate umpires. The plan is to us this technology in the FSL in 2020 and if ready in AAA in 2021. Assuming the bugs are ironed out , it would debut full time in the major leagues in 2022.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#384403) #
Agree with uglyone - my point has always been - it's REALLY hard to sign TWO quality starters in one off-season. We should try to sign one this season, one next season. Plus, the familiarity angle - if you bring in 2 new SP, 2 new RP next year, it'll take quite some time before the catchers get used to them, etc..

So I'm very happy with Ryu this year, see what you have, see if we can sign another ERA+125 type starter next year.
If it's true they offered $300M for Cole, also great news. Why? Because they agree that, just because the best time to add 3-4 new pieces is maybe next year, you may not FIND all those pieces next year, so add a year early if needed, and be ready to change course. Better to add one too many pitchers and trade from a surplus of great pitching, than to have to trade for one and have to pay a ransom, because every team knows you need a starter.

Imagine how badly Boston would try to screw us on Price, if he was the ONLY impact player we had targeted this year.

At this point, I'm back to "neutral" on the front office, maybe slightly positive. As in, they seem to at least kind of be building towards something, instead of tearing down. And they realize Rome wasn't built in a day..
PeterG - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 05:30 PM EST (#384404) #
Here is an interesting article on the scope of the Ryu signing:
scottt - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 06:47 PM EST (#384405) #
It's possible that Ryu doesn't work out and it's just wasted money.
Regardless, it's absolutely the right thing to do.
They have the 5th draft pick and the 40 something pick in June.
That should bring back 2 decent prospects.

They have a lot arms in AAA now. Some of these will deserve spots eventually.
The market for starter is not supposed to be great next year.
They'll be in the search for a closer, maybe Giles, maybe someone else.

There's a good chance they'll grab a dedicated DH.
Maybe figure something out for the outfield.
There are still a couple of interesting outfield prospects who could progress: Young and Conine.

It's important to remember that the Reds gave up on Encarnation.
The Mariners gave up on Smoak.
The Pirates gave up on Bautista.
The Astros gave up on J.D. Martinez.

There's nothing wrong with giving up extra chances to guys with obvious talent.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 09:33 PM EST (#384406) #
I have worked with camera imaging systems in the mining industry to detect missing bucket teeth as an aid to the operator. If the missing tooth goes undetected it can jam the crusher and cause a lot of problems. We averaged about 4% false detections before upgrading the software to include machine learning which reduced the false detections to 1.4%. The technology is rapidly improving, but people must understand that the system will probably be wrong once out of a hundred times
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 25 2019 @ 10:51 PM EST (#384407) #
So...99% improvement over current officiating?
John Northey - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 01:01 AM EST (#384408) #
This year is the last one (hopefully) for 'safe' experimentation.  IE: where the Jays can put a guy in a position to see what he can do rather than waiting until they are positive he will help.  Tellez, Davis, Alford all could get chances thanks to that.  Hernandez still has 40 HR potential thus gets one more shot this year.  Those 4 plus McKinney, Drury. Fisher will get final shots at proving themselves this year.  In 2021 it'll be more 'who has shown' rather than 'who might show' the ability to help the Jays win.  Some of those guys will be cut.  This is why I'm glad EE isn't coming back (signed with the White Sox) as those AB's will be needed for sorting out these guys.  We all have opinions on them, but the Jays front office obviously hasn't made up their minds yet.

I expect a trade where one or more are cleared out will happen (maybe even Gurriel or Grichuk).  Might just be for lower level prospects, or other types of floatasm (some team is bound to have too many SS's who can't hit but can field).  Davis can fill the pure defense CF role if needed. 

At the moment I expect CF to be Hernandez with Davis as the 4th or 5th OF, and one of the other guys as a backup OF/DH/1B.  Fisher probably with McKinney next in line followed by Drury.  Alford is the alternate to Davis in CF as 5th OF depending what each shows in spring.  I expect a veteran OF to be signed as well to a AAA deal with spring invite who can cover CF but has had tough luck lately (injuries or poor hitting). 
Michael - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 01:56 AM EST (#384409) #
Bring on the robot umpiring as soon as possible. I think this will be good for the Jays as my subjective impression is experienced name players in the Yankees and Red Sox get more of the marginal calls than the Jays do. This will be good for young players and other teams. Heck, Biggio would strike out less often if there were fair and accurate robot umpires - he's got a much better eye than human umpires.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 02:35 AM EST (#384410) #
Bring on the robo umps. The sooner the better.

I don't mind seeing how Hernandez looks in CF this year, given there are no appealing options. Also don't mind seeing Tellez get a decent opportunity at DH, at least against righties. The team would benefit from acquiring a righty bat to take some AB's from Shaw/Tellez vs lefty starters. Sign Giles to an extension. Don't trade Gurriel - he's a terrific young player on an outstandingly good contract. If Grichuk bounces back to his typical season, maybe they can trade him and get an upgrade in RF.

They may not need to sign another free agent pitcher next offseason, depending on how the young guys in AAA/AA develop. With so many good prospects there, I expect to see 1 or 2 really take a big step forward.

Not sure how I feel about the $300 million offer to Cole. Assuming that was $37.5 million per year for 8 years. I think that would have been a mistake. Prefer Ryu at 4/80.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 04:59 AM EST (#384411) #
The Cole offer (if it happened) does make some sense. The Jays have payroll flexibility, Cole is arguably the best starting pitcher in the game, heís relatively young, and the next half-dozen years or so are the controllable years for VGJ/Bichette/Biggio/Gurriel/Pearson. Given the state of competition in the AL East, the Jays might have felt they needed to go big to stay relevant in the division (and to their fans).
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 06:30 AM EST (#384412) #
With the AAA/MLB starting depth looking like:



Sean Reid Foley
Thomas Hatch

Who goes in the bullpen? Or do we pretty much assume that injuries might create the extra two slots we will need for starters? I think its time that Sean Reid-Foley and Hector Perez are moved to the bullpen in the minors, and I also think Anderson or Shoemaker might get pushed to the bullpen at the major league level.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 08:30 AM EST (#384413) #
Bring on the robot umpiring as soon as possible. I think this will be good for the Jays as my subjective impression is experienced name players in the Yankees and Red Sox get more of the marginal calls than the Jays do. This will be good for young players and other teams. Heck, Biggio would strike out less often if there were fair and accurate robot umpires - he's got a much better eye than human umpires.

Same. It seems whenever the Jays play in Fenway or Yankee Stadium they get jobbed on the calls. Robot umps would fix this. Regarding Biggio, I saw a blog post near the end of the season showing that something like 35% of the time he got called out on a third strike looking, it wasn't actually a strike (according to Statcast data or whatever they used).
scottt - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 08:50 AM EST (#384414) #
Against lefties they can use Hernandez at DH and Alford or Davis in center.

Ironically, Alford is 7 for 27 against righties and 1 for 28 against lefties.
Ridiculously small samples.

bpoz - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 11:35 AM EST (#384415) #
I would be happy if Bichette and the other BBGG got/earned 550 ABs in 2020. I consider that further ML development because they seem ready to me.

Regarding Alford, Tellez, Fisher, J Davis and some others I can see them not getting any where close to 550 ABs in 2020. I looked at the ABs for the 3 OFs in Sept 2019. Fairly equal. Alford and Davis showed better defense than Fisher.

T Hernandez while in the Majors batted .284 in Aug and .271 in Sept. The rest of the time pretty bad. Grichuk .276 in April and .255 in Aug. The rest pretty bad. Gurriel had a weird year. At times was incredible/hot and other times not. Hope next year he decides.
hypobole - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#384416) #
Robo umps will definitely benefit Biggio. On the other hand, Danny Jansen's pitch framing skills will become moot, so it will be a double edged sword. As for the Yankees/Red Sox, Vasquez' framing was even better than Jansen's last year. But looking at the Yankee catchers, whatever extra strikes their pitchers were gifted certainly don't show up in their framing numbers.

bpoz - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 12:23 PM EST (#384417) #
39 players on the 40 man roster. Adding Ryu and T Shaw makes it 41.
Vulg - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 12:34 PM EST (#384418) #
Edwin to the White Sox for a year at $12M (plus a club option) to continue Chicago's hectic offseason. Love Edwin, but I don't think the Jays are missing out on anything significant here at that price tag.

Chicago edges closer to MLB's middle class, now 19th in payroll for 2020:
bpoz - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#384419) #
At this stage of the off season I go into the season thinking 78-88 wins. So quite nice.

The 40 man roster can remove 4 players easily to make room for experienced and better relievers.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 03:08 PM EST (#384420) #
I still would like someone like Price, an innings eater with high upside. If you look at his numbers last year he got killed in 2 strike RISP counts...something that he can work on.

I also agree with 85BlueJay (I think?) who wants a high risk high reward type starter like Tajuan Walker or my pick would be Matt Moore (he just came off the board).
bpoz - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 06:04 PM EST (#384421) #
Never say never but IMO 2020 is still a year when we don't make the playoffs.

Marlow - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 06:28 PM EST (#384422) #
Bpoz, I think you might have miscounted. There are 38 players on the roster at the moment.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 06:33 PM EST (#384423) #
"Against lefties they can use Hernandez at DH and Alford or Davis in center"

Sure, they CAN do that, but it leaves a pretty weak bottom of the order, even if everybody is healthy. Throw in an injury or two, and I think the team would be pretty vulnerable to lefty starters. I'd prefer to add another righty batter and ditch Drury.

I have the 40-man at 40, including Ryu and Shaw. The Jays' website has them at 38 and doesn't include those 2.

Would like to see Daniel Hudson back, but the Nats have serious interest in retaining him. There are a fair number of mid-tier relief options out there, but the Jays may elect to wait and see who doesn't get signed until late in the offseason, like they did last year.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 07:08 PM EST (#384424) #
Someone who has been on the trade radar all year until the offseason who I think can be a solid addition to the TBJ is Baltimore's Trey Mancini.

I wonder what the price would be. Maybe a McGuire, Fischer/Alford, SRF package can get the job done.
bpoz - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 07:19 PM EST (#384425) #
Thanks Marlow.
mendocino - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 08:26 PM EST (#384426) #
Yamaguchi also not listed on 40 man yet
gives me 41
Marlow - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 10:31 PM EST (#384427) #
Mendocino, good point. That makes Bpoz count right. Who do you guys think will be DFA?
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 26 2019 @ 11:24 PM EST (#384428) #
If you trade 2-3 players from 40 man you'll be under and have room for another signing.
dan gordon - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 03:54 AM EST (#384429) #
Yes, missed Yamaguchi, so 1 has to go. I would be fine with dropping Davis, Valera, Drury or McKinney. Perez and Pannone next. I think Reid-Foley is a bust as a starter, but would like to see what he can do as a reliever. Merryweather is just a big unknown. With the odd decisions this group makes on the 40 man roster, I'm afraid they might drop Alford, Romano or Diaz instead. They seem to have a significant bias towards the marginal players they have obtained, vs legacy players, although Davis isn't one of theirs.
Jonny German - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 07:18 AM EST (#384430) #
Davis isnít a Shapiro-Atkins guy, but someone in the organisation (Montoyo?) seems to like him a lot, given how much he played in September.

I donít know why Baltimore would trade Mancini, let alone for spare parts, but I also didnít see any logic in giving away Jonathan Villar.

5 days later Iím still amazed the Jays actually got Ryu.
scottt - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 08:13 AM EST (#384431) #
Alford and Davis are better hitter than we have seen.
A lot of it could be the stress of playing in front of a huge crowd.
They brought up Yennsy Diaz and he was clearly overwhelmed, walking 4 in 2 third of an inning.

Valera is out of option and is probably gone before the season starts--barring injuries.

There are also some guys who could crack the team, A J Cole, Justin Miller, Aumont, etc.
It's no wonder they didn't protect Dany Jimenez. They would have been forced to use him in Toronto.

bpoz - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 08:27 AM EST (#384432) #
The 40 man roster has many easily replaceable players.

Valera is born Jan 8, 1992. So 28 in about 2 weeks. Urena is still quite young signed in 2012 as a 16 year old and then protected in the Dec 2016 rule 5 draft. Sept 2017 call up from NH. He is no Bo or Vlad but very young. Also about 10 months younger than Biggio.

We will run out of development time and 40 man space for players that are not yet protected like Noda, Large, Logue and maybe 8 others if you count relievers like Z Jackson and J McClelland.
bpoz - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 08:56 AM EST (#384433) #
Money is a major factor to all teams. Regarding the Jays I am "not" saying that they will spend it or not.

Shapiro's financial flexibility may have factored in the Ryu signing. In 2021 Tulo's payment will drop by $12 mil. Anderson $9 mil. Maybe Giles $9 mil. So a lower 2021 payroll is possible.

I am confident that the 2021 team will be better than the 2020 team. Giles or no Giles is a major factor in my evaluation. Injuries are an unknown factor every year. Youth/inexperience is a huge factor for 2020 IMO. Less for 2021 I hope.

Poor performance would be another factor. But where is it coming from? Older players? We have 2. Ryu and Roark. Young players? We have many. Will we still be sorting through them? Alford, Davis, McKinney ....
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 09:49 AM EST (#384434) #
I looked up Tulo's contract, bpoz, and he is owed 14 million in 2020 with a 4 million buyout of a club option in 2021. That would mean his payment will drop by 10 million not 12, but still, that will be money that can be spent on something rather than nothing.
bpoz - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 10:07 AM EST (#384435) #

At the moment my intentions are not to speculate on spending. Others can and are doing that which is fine by me.

Soft tossing lefties like Ryu may have less arm trouble. I hope that Ryu can be healthy.

Atkins said that he is looking for another bat. I guess Shaw is it. He can look for a defensive CF and say nothing. He has said nothing.

They fulfilled the aggressive, significant and serious approach by what they have accomplished and the rumor that Porcello was offered more money. Any agents that said that the Jays are just talk and no action spoke too soon.

This FO has made an expensive FA signing. Maybe next year the blockbuster trade happens. Catching depth may initiate a trade.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 10:36 AM EST (#384436) #
Looking back to 2018, the Buffalo Bisons season starting rotation was Joe Biagini ( sent down to try starting pitching which obviously didn't work)
Ryan Borucki
Taylor Guerrieri
Deck McGuire
Sam Gaviglio
Thomas Pannone was slated to start but was suspended 80 games for testing positive for PES.

The 2020 Buffalo rotation will feature a potential future ace in Pearson, probably Borucki as he builds his arm back up after injury, and a collection of young pitchers with varying degrees of major league experience such as Kay, Waguespack, and Zeuch.

We know how the 2018 rotation turned out, and while the 2020 rotation will have it's failures,too, I see much more potential for success.
bpoz - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 11:08 AM EST (#384437) #
The winter caravan features under whelming names. Montoyo said that the young players are working out in Dunedin so the team probably does not want the interruption.

Did the 2018 Buffalo pitching staff have to deal with the juiced ball? It matters, but then all the AAA teams have the same issue.

I don't know how slow the team will be with Manoah. If healthy unlike Zeuch and Pearson he could see time in NH. Kay was also injured.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 11:39 AM EST (#384438) #
I guess the point I was trying to make was that in 2018 there were some stopgap AAAA filler types such as McGuire and Gaviglio, who was signed to take Pannone's place after his suspension. Biagini was a " let's see if this works " experiment and Guerrieri was a Tampa prospect who was coming off an arm injury. Borucki was the only young player with untested major league potential.

This year the AAA rotation will be all young players with potential plus there is more on the way beneath them ( Manoah, SWR, Pardinho, Kloffenstein, Luciano,etc.) With that much talent there will be at least a few who pan out.
Vulg - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 11:59 AM EST (#384439) #
Shapiro's financial flexibility may have factored in the Ryu signing. In 2021 Tulo's payment will drop by $12 mil. Anderson $9 mil. Maybe Giles $9 mil. So a lower 2021 payroll is possible.

Grichuk's base salary is also highest in 2020 at $12M, as it drops to $9.3M from 2021-23, so there's a nominal savings from that contract. Hopefully he starts living up to it.

Thomas - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 12:06 PM EST (#384440) #
The winter caravan features under whelming names. Montoyo said that the young players are working out in Dunedin so the team probably does not want the interruption.

Well, the Winter Tour has all three of the alumni youngsters in Guerrero, Bichette and Biggio. It has the team's highest paid position player in Grichuk. It has both of their young catchers with Jansen and McGuire attending. Hernandez and McKinney are attending, as are Fisher and Tellez. Davis and Alford are also attending.

From a position player perspective, I'm not sure who you think is missing, aside from Travis Shaw, who signed this month, and Brandon Drury, who is not someone I'd call a big miss.

Ryu and Roark are missing, but aside from players acquired in December, the team has the other two likely rotation pieces in Shoemaker and Anderson. Giles is attending. So is Anthony Kay, Thornton, Waguespack and Zeuch. Bubble guys like Romano, Pannone and Reid-Foley are attending, as is one of the few players guaranteed all-but guaranteed a bullpen spot in Gaviglio.

And Pearson is attending.

I'm actually pretty impressed they got commitment from so many guys during the offseason. I think it reflects well on the fact they are truly trying to turn this into a unique offseason event.

bpoz - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 12:15 PM EST (#384441) #
Thanks Thomas. I missed the boat completely. I thought Ty Tice and players like him were in it. No Vlad etc ...

As to who I thought was missing ... It looks like I thought everyone was missing. Hahaha.
PeterG - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 01:23 PM EST (#384442) #
Ryu press conference is at 4.30 on SN360

expected to attend:

Cracka - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 03:53 PM EST (#384443) #
I don't think Tulo's "salary" matters anymore to ownership. He was released in late 2018 and Rogers almost certainly took the full hit of the remaining costs as a "restructuring, acquisition and
other expense" in their 2018 income statement (page 113 of the annual report: "These expenses... consisted of... certain sports-related and other contract termination costs." Page 141 has a table with future salary commitments, and "Player Contracts" are only $8M for 2020-2022. ( Perhaps Tulo's commitment is still part of whatever budget or payroll is given to the FO, but I don't think his salary really matters anymore at this point.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 05:37 PM EST (#384444) #
So there's new information coming out on the 2012 Marlins trade that may blemish AA's reputation.

Turns out AA new Johnson was damaged goods as he failed his physical. So did Alvarez. Also, Selig denied the trade to try to protect the Blue Jays who he felt were taking on too much salary (over $160 million)
greenfrog - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#384445) #
Also of note, the Jays gave the Marlins their pick of the Jays' top young pitching prospects. The Marlins chose Nicolino over Syndergaard. Oops.

In my opinion, AA was still finding his way as a GM in 2012. By 2014-15, he was a more experienced and savvy GM. His moves in the last year or so of his tenure were extremely successful on the whole.
grjas - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 07:56 PM EST (#384446) #
ďHis moves in the last year or so of his tenure were extremely successful on the whole.Ē

Agreed and Letís hope this signing is indicative of a similar learning curve for Atkins. Like many, I have been very critical of late of this front office. But this signing of a leading edge Boras client to a 67 win team in the frozen North is surely a thing of beauty. No doubt it required a lot more ďsellingĒ than simply offering 4 years and flashing a huge wad of cash.

Well done. Donít stop.
scottt - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 08:35 PM EST (#384447) #
Tulo's salary is a tax deductible expense.

It's an accounting matter and an expense that can't be reduced.
That doesn't necessary means it doesn't matter.
I don't know if they could "take the hit"--like replacing his salary with a termination fee--there would certainly be a negative impact with respect to taxes and a loss to Rogers with respect to depreciation.

Normally, any signing bonus is taxed on the player's state of residency and his salary gets taxes in the state where the games are played.
I wonder if that applies even if the player is not playing.
If Tulo is payed to stay home, is the money now all taxed in his home state?

There's a lot of details not necessarily worth knowing.
Don't get me started on "goodwill".

There's no way to break down AA's "payroll parameters".
No GM worth his salt would want the reveal how much money he's able to spend.

dalimon5 - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 09:55 PM EST (#384448) #
I still can't believe Tulo is gone. You can't even say he declined. He just disappeared and the ending to his career may be unprecedented. How many modern day baseball players have gone through such a sharp 2-3 year decline like he did?
John Northey - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 10:21 PM EST (#384449) #
Roberto Alomar came immediately to mind.  150 OPS+ and 4th in MVP voting at age 33, 90 OPS the following year, 80 the next, then 81 and done.  So from MVP candidate to nothing fast.  7.7 WAR to 0.6 to -0.1 to -0.7 and end.  Scary how fast it ended for him.
scottt - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 10:21 PM EST (#384450) #
It's great to see Boras and Ryu having fun at a presser in Toronto.

Ryu has a great sense of humor.

Hello Toronto. Such a clean city.

Everybody wants to try Montoyo's bongos.

Boras called Rogers the wealthiest owner in baseball. Bravo.

John Northey - Friday, December 27 2019 @ 11:20 PM EST (#384451) #
Shogo Akiyama it seems is still on the Jays radar, but the Padres and Reds are seen as the favorites to get him.  A Japanese CF who is entering his age 32 season, lifetime 301/376/454 in Japan.  but from 2015 to now has had an OBP of at least 385 every year.and over 500 for Slg 3 of the 5 years.  Well worth looking at.  If the Jays can get him for under $10 mil I'd say grab him, but even up to $20 mil over how ever many years (total, not per) might be worth it.
dan gordon - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 01:28 AM EST (#384452) #
"I don't know if they could "take the hit"--like replacing his salary with a termination fee--there would certainly be a negative impact with respect to taxes and a loss to Rogers with respect to depreciation"

Whether Rogers continues to pay Tulo and records his salary during the year, or they paid it out at once and took it all to their income statement, it is an expense on the income statement, reduces their income, and therefore reduces their taxes. There would be no negative tax consequences. Depreciation has nothing to do with it. That is the process of recording the capital cost of equipment, furniture, etc. that you pay for which has a lasting use for the company. You record a portion of the capital cost as an expense annually over the estimated life of the asset. Depreciation is not a tax deduction, but an analog, called capital cost allowance is. Salaries, buyouts, etc are expensed as incurred, so if they paid him off, they would have written off the expense in that year's income statement.

Ugh, accounting - thanks for the reminder of why I'm glad that I'm retired.
VictoryFaust - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 07:47 AM EST (#384453) #
Itís unclear to me why they still have to pay Tulo when he was the one who walked away. You donít get to quit your job and still get paid. Remember when Gil Meche retired from the Royals? He left quite a bit of money on the table. Was there something Tuloís contract that specifically stipulates that he gets paid even if he just gives up and walks away. Or is that a standard contract now? Either way, itís totally ridiculous. Thereís not a single one of us on this site who would get paid for walking away from their job. The economics of baseball are maddening.
Jonny German - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 07:57 AM EST (#384454) #
The key point youíre missing is that Tulowitzki didnít walk away from his contract with the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays released him from his contract, on December 11, 2018. He retired from the Yankees on July 25, 2019, and presumably forfeited the remainder of his contract with the Yankees at that point - a contract that had nothing to do with the Blue Jays.
VictoryFaust - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 08:11 AM EST (#384455) #
Ahhhhh. Crap. That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 08:36 AM EST (#384456) #
At the time Tulo was released Ross Atkins, quite rightly as it turned out, said he didn't think Tulo could perform at the level of a major league shortstop for at least 140 games. Tulo, being the proud athlete he is, did not agree and much was made of him hitting a home run in his first at-bat against the Jays in spring training. It took only 5 major league games for Tulo's body to once again break down and he eventually retired.

Much criticism is directed at the front office for certain decisions, and sometimes it's warranted. I think not enough recognition is given to them when the right moves are made, especially when looked at in hindsight. Some thought since the Jays were paying Tulo anyway that he should be kept around to see what he could do. If he had been kept around then maybe the Jays don't sign Freddy Galvis. For that matter, releasing Galvis for nothing was questioned because he had done a great job at shortstop, but Bo Bichette needed the full time work there to establish himself. Being in management means making tough decisions and they do get it right sometimes. Trading for Derek Fisher though...
bpoz - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 11:25 AM EST (#384457) #
The moves I disliked and probably will forever are:

1) Letting C Carpenter go for nothing.

2) D Wells to CWS for M Sirotka. Damaged goods. We get to pay his salary. Also D Wells being released.

3) Sergio Santos from CWS. Damaged goods. We paid him.

4) A Rios picked up by CWS. CWS paid his salary. Maybe we got even if he was not worth anything.

5) The J Olerud trade. I believe Olerud was playing at All Star level. He was certainly good.

6 S Dyson. Still good. Still scratching my head.

D Fisher does look bad. This season he may prove he has something. I doubt he will get a fair chance to prove it.
bpoz - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#384458) #
Aron Loup was incredible for a few years. I suppose he came out of nowhere. I can see our vast number of "nowhere" prospects producing a few of these.
mathesond - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 01:04 PM EST (#384459) #
Apropos of nothing, there's a baseball quiz in the NYTimes. I got 23/37, so the bar isn't set too high.
John Northey - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 03:25 PM EST (#384460) #
There have been some nightmare moves by all GM's here, but also some great moves...
  1. McGriff & Fernandez for Alomar & Carter
  2. Getting McGriff, Dave Collins, Mike Morgan for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray - mega rip off.
  3. Getting Fernandez back for Darrin Jackson in 1993.
  4. Jose Bautista for Robinzon Diaz
  5. Josh Donaldson for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie and Sean Nolin
  6. Dumping Vernon Wells mega contract (he only had -4.7 WAR the rest of his career for nearly $90 million) for  Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera
  7. Various Rule 5 picks - George Bell, Willie Upshaw, Manuel Lee come to mind immediately
  8. Rance Mulliniks for Phil Huffman
  9. Juan Guzman for Mike Sharperson.
  10. Tom Henke as a free agent compensation pick (for loss of Cliff Johnson)
So there are 10 that I see as being amazing that the Jays did without getting into free agency (Roger Clemens getting 2 Cy's his 2 years here) or signing released guys (Doyle Alexander for example).
dan gordon - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 04:22 PM EST (#384461) #
The Jays used to get a good player nearly every year in the rule 5 draft. Upshaw in 1977, Bell in 1980, Jim Gott in 1981, Jim Acker in 1982, Kelly Gruber in 1983, Lee in 1984 and then the well ran dry. They had a big loss in 1988 when they lost Geronimo Berroa.

Another good trade was getting Encarnacion, along with Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke from Cincinnati for Scott Rolen. They nearly blew it by letting EE go on waivers, but quickly resigned him as a free agent a couple of weeks later.

Getting Duane Ward for Doyle Alexander turned out well in the end, although Alexander had a couple of good years left in him, and Ward failed as a starter before becoming one of the best relievers the team has ever had.

Getting Devon White from the Angels was a great trade - he had 3 straight 6+ WAR season for the Jays.

The Carter/McGriff/Alomar/Fernandez trade was interesting. From the point of the trade to the ends of their careers, Alomar & Carter combined for 62.5 WAR, most of which was Alomar's, and the traded players combined for 50 WAR, about 2/3 of which was McGriff's. The Padres messed that up by making bad trades of both McGriff and Fernandez a couple of years later. McGriff was quite a good player for a long time after they dealt him. And of course the Jays let Robbie go way too soon.
bpoz - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 06:31 PM EST (#384462) #
We got good value really cheap by getting Scott downs, P Quantril and M Estrada.

Marco Scuttaro was acquired somehow.
bpoz - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 06:40 PM EST (#384463) #
Not much happens in the rule 5 these days but those surplus 40 man players I think is where value can be had.

A Diaz, Thornton and Grichuck were all some sort of surplus bench depth for the teams that let them go. They cost very little.
scottt - Saturday, December 28 2019 @ 07:36 PM EST (#384464) #
Yamaguchi's deal is now official.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 01:35 AM EST (#384465) #
Apparently, a significant part of Ryu's decision to come to Toronto was the environment for his young family. Very international city with a significant Korean population. That might be a factor the Jays can use to entice other international players.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 07:35 AM EST (#384466) #
Thanks dalimon5 for the heads up on the new information regarding the 2012 Marlins trade - really enjoyed listening to David Sampson's podcast of his view of the trade and wish there were more anecdotes from participants in big baseball stories (I've always wanted someone to do an unfiltered documentary on one of the Jays draft and release it like 10 years later). From the podcast, Sampson makes AA seem like a wet behind the ear easy mark (and AA had been in the job longer than Atkins presently is) and Sampson points out stuff I mentioned back then in giving a thumbs down to the trade - the huge amount of money the Jays took on that could have been better spent,Reyes was going downhill fast,Josh Johnson's injury history - And AA had 2 opportunities to back out, Selig's reluctance to approve the Jays taking on that type of financial commitment and Johnson's failed physical but Sampson had smartly leaked the trade so that AA was basking in all the praise that fans and media was heaping on him.Great story.
Parker - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 09:19 AM EST (#384467) #
I wonder if the Jays are in on Matt Boyd at all?
scottt - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 10:40 AM EST (#384468) #
I don't see why they would be.

Detroit is asking for a top prospect or 2 and Boyd is just a guy who has used all his options and is entering his arb years.
He's a target for teams who didn't have the money to sign Ryu or Keuchel but still need pitching, Angels, Brewers, Twins, Mets, Padres... Boyd has had a good year, but that was in the weakest division. It's much better to go after guys who had a down year, like Travis Shaw. Low cost and you can dump them if they don't rebound.

bpoz - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 11:07 AM EST (#384469) #
Looks like they are willing to waste/spend money on players that can help them compete in 2020 (85 wins) without weakening the farm system.

Some suspects are still on the 40 man roster so subtractions look like they will not hurt. Any additions will have to be proven. Like Drury.

Comparing the 2017 season for both looks sort of even. Grichuk out played Drury in 2019.
Cracka - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 11:57 AM EST (#384470) #
Matt Boyd has two big red flags for me: K/9 & HR/9. His K/9 (11.6) was great last season, but this is an anomaly over every other season in his career (league average, at best). He also gave up more home runs than anyone, nearly 2 per 9 IP. That's a scary figure for someone playing in the AL East... I don't think we've ever had a regular starter give up home runs at that rate.

Anyway, hard pass on Boyd from me.
scottt - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 01:46 PM EST (#384471) #
I think Price was the fall back in case Ryu decided to take less money to play somewhere else.
They do have a full rotation now and I can't wait to see Pearson.

The opportunities left are vets who could be had for cheap and waivers pickup ups since the Jays are 5th on the list.
They are also able to offer money to jump the queue.

There's a lot of second basemen on the market. Starlin Castro, Brian Dozier, Ben Zobrist, Neil Walker, Jason Kipnis, Brock Holt, Scooter Gennett, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores. Any of these could replace Drury.

Boston looks like they're stuck with Price. They have passed on several free agents they had interests in.
To a lesser degree, the Yankees have the same issue with Happ.

bpoz - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 02:08 PM EST (#384472) #
The veteran #4 pitchers that they are picking up for $10 mil/yr are better quality than Buchholz.

They are here until kids can earn their way up.

SRF was bad last year in AAA compared to 2018 in AAA. The juiced ball IMO doubled his HR & bb given up. In 2019 he pitched 40 fewer innings but could have thrown as many pitches. I think in AAA 90-100 in 2018 (6.5 innings), in 2019 (4.5 innings). Just guessing and estimating. So tired arm is possible. Velo definitely dropped.

It was smart to deny the Sept call up. Let his arm rest. I hope he is healthy for ST.
uglyone - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 05:03 PM EST (#384473) #
I think it would be silly to sign a $20m 33yr old and then just....stop.
bpoz - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 06:03 PM EST (#384474) #
Agreed UO. I too am excited as to what else they add. Hopefully a veteran lefty for the pen.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 07:06 PM EST (#384475) #
I'd like to see them add at least 1 guy who can be trusted with pitching as a setup man for Giles. A righty bat who can play either 1B, 2B or 3B to replace Drury. If he plays 1B, he platoons with either Shaw or Tellez. If he plays 2B, he starts vs lefties and Biggio plays 1B that day. If he plays 3B, he starts vs lefties and Vlad is DH that day. That way, you don't have both Tellez and Shaw in the lineup vs lefties. Would really like Asdrubal Cabrera, but he probably wants more of a guarantee of every day playing time. He's a switch hitter who hits well from both sides, and can play a lot of positions.
PeterG - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 07:20 PM EST (#384476) #
Rafael Dolis is a name to watch.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 07:28 PM EST (#384477) #
I'd also be OK with them trading 2 or 3 of their near ready starting prospects for a near ready CF prospect, seeing as there don't seem to be any good quality big league CF's on the market who both hit and field. Not Pearson, of course, but if you could deal from the group that includes Borucki, Thornton, Zeuch, Merryweather, Kay, Reid-Foley, Hatch, Diaz, Murphy, Murray, and Perez.
bpoz - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 08:09 PM EST (#384478) #
11 names Dan Gordon. 2 or 3 for a "proven" good CF sounds good. We don't take the risk, the other team does.

Anyone that you prefer. CF that is.
PeterG - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 08:20 PM EST (#384479) #
I would prefer to keep the pitching depth for the time being. FO seems to want to further assess in house CF candidates. 2020 is still seen as a building year rather than going for a division title.
John Northey - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 09:15 PM EST (#384480) #
Entertaining as always to see people going on about the big Marlins trade in the 2012/2013 offseason.  For how we all reacted at the time check this thread.  Not to pick on anyone in particular but here are some thoughts...
  • China Fan: "Wow. Rotation: rebuilt. Money spent. And if the Jays are upgrading from Escobar to Reyes at shortstop, the lineup will be stronger too. Anything left for the doom-and-gloomers to complain about?"
  • greenfrog: "No wonder the Jays haven't hired a manager...AA has been busy. I think this is a phenomenal deal for Toronto."
  • Ryan Day: "One important takeaway from this deal: There are owners who are far, far worse than Rogers." - something I think we all need to remind ourselves of regularly.
  • Dave Till: "I want to wait until the deal is official. And I also want to find out whether AA is going to flip any of these players in other deals. But: wow."
  • vw_fan17: probaby the best catch - "Let's just hope each of the big pieces is at least 85-90% healthy and that we didn't get Sirotka'd again"
  • Me: "Well, I did say awhile ago that the Marlins would be a good trade partner. Wow."  "Overall: I'm happy. This shows a clear goal of going for it in 2013/2014. Reyes might be a weight on the payroll in a few years, but I trust AA could clear out anything after the Wells deal."  Sadly while AA did clear out Reyes, the guy he brought in Tulo had an even bigger deal - maybe if AA stuck around he could've found a sucker to take that on, or not.
  • Moe via Buster Onley: "Interestingly, executives around the sport looking at this trade think that as a pure baseball trade -- in terms of the value in salary obligation and talent changing hands -- this was a good deal for the Marlins."
Always interesting.  Also seeing names that have vanished from BB is kind of sad.  However it was 7 years ago.  The Jays have made the ALCS twice since then.  As for myself, since then I've become a grandfather 3 times over and another soon to be here, plus I had my final child born, and lost my wife sadly (5 years now). 
scottt - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 10:54 PM EST (#384481) #
What's silly is the Angels not getting any pitching or the Twins just resigning 2 of their own free agents, including a guy who is going to start the year on the restricted list.
The Clevelanders trading Kluber for salary relief and years of control?
The Cubs, the Red Sox have done nothing.

Heck, save the money and go after Betts next year. That would plug right field for a while, no?
Nothing is stopping this year. This is just the foundation for the next years.

Also, Giles is still here and he was worth more than Price last year.
Not sure how good the pen will be, but I think it will be alright.

Shaw has a huge range of value here, from -1 WAR up to 4.
They're not depending on Drury or Grichuk to break out.

If you look at the Braves last year, they had 4 good hitters at the top of the lineup followed by 4 average ones and the pitcher. If all goes well, the Jays tops 5 could be chewing up pitchers as it is.

John Northey - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 11:42 PM EST (#384482) #
To me the ideal thing for CF is either go through the in-house options (Grichuk, Hernandez, Davis, Alford, etc.) or pick a free agent who won't kill the budget (ala Shogo Akiyama).  Cameron Maybin is an option too (only 82 games last year but a 127 OPS+  1.5 WAR while playing all 3 OF positions.  Heck, Pillar is still out there if you just want someone who fans would be happy to see again.  Billy Hamilton could be fun for a pure speed guy.  There really isn't much out there, so I'd push for Akiyama, Maybin, or just go with what is here.  The rest are pretty much no better than what we already have.
uglyone - Sunday, December 29 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#384483) #
Nice throwback, John. And RIP to your wife as always.

Swing and a miss on my Johnson take but I still stand by my first reaction, especially the part about never complaining about big contracts ever again:

uglyone - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 09:21 PM EST (#265509) #
That is pretty sweet.

Reyes and Buerhle are overpaid, but I'm never complaining about money ever again, espeically since they're clear upgrades at their positions.

Meanwhile, johnson is a great add no matter what. Hopefully we get him re-signed eventually.

and Bonifacio and Buck should be decent spare parts. nice to have a catcher that can hit a bit on the bench, and Bonifacio looked like a legit quality starter in 2011, though that was probably a fluke.

As for the guys we gave up, the only guy I'm a little stung about is Alvarez. IMO that kid is gonna have a very good career. Jake and Nicolino have a chance to be good, but both have good (but not great) potential, and haven't shown anything above A-ball, so I won't cry about them much.
AWeb - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:33 AM EST (#384484) #
Taking a look at a few prospect lists for CFers on teams with a CF in place already:

Atlanta has Cristian Pache and Drew Waters (Acuna already a star for them) ranked highly, already had a graduating prospect in one of the corners last year - might be a trade to be had, but they already have a good deep system and other needs to fill.

Seattle has Kelenic ready, Julio Rodriguez in the deep minors, no obvious placeholders in the majors, but a GM with a burning desire to trade players all the time and a spotty track record. Make a bad offer and see what shakes out?
greenfrog - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:42 AM EST (#384485) #
I believe the Marlins trade would have been a lot better had Reyes not sustained an awful ankle injury in April 2013, resulting in a two-month DL stint (and he probably returned to play prematurely). He was off to a superstar-level start when it happened (.395/.465/.526, 5 SB). He never fully regained his form after the injury.
85bluejay - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 08:31 AM EST (#384486) #
Mickey Moniak, who's stock has fallen since he was the #1 pick is a guy I like as a potential CF of the future and a change of scenery would be good for him - I think the "win Now" Phillies could use Giles.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 10:08 AM EST (#384487) #
There are a lot of "win now" teams. So desperate to win. I expect TB to do very well in trading for top prospects.

The Jays have a philosophy of some kind. I don't know what it is. Taking advantage of desperate teams is a sound tactic. We will see.
pubster - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#384488) #
"Interestingly, executives around the sport looking at this trade think that as a pure baseball trade -- in terms of the value in salary obligation and talent changing hands -- this was a good deal for the Marlins."

The trade with the Marlins highlights that "Fans don't know poor transactions from good ones."

This includes me by the way as I loved that trade.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:06 AM EST (#384489) #
2012 Jays 73 wins. The offense was Bautista, EE, Lawrie and maybe another 2 players.

There were probably a few other good players. Results for 2013 was 74 wins. 83 wins in 2014 so a big improvement. 9th in the AL but we beat out TB and Boston.

I dont know the payroll for 2012, 13, 14 or 15. 2016, 17 and 18 were all close to 2015 I expect.

PeterG - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:07 AM EST (#384490) #
Richard Urena DFA
Gerry - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:08 AM EST (#384491) #
Travis Shaw is now officially a Blue Jay. Richard Urena has been DFA'd. Between Urena, Santiago Espinal and Breyvic Valera, the Jays had three similar players.

I am surprised Urena was the one let go. Valera is 27, thought he would be the one.
Glevin - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:10 AM EST (#384492) #
Urena designated for assignment. He'll only be 24 this season but has not shown anything in the majors or minors that makes it look like he'll be a major leaguer of any sort and he's out of options.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:24 AM EST (#384493) #
Urena's last good season in the minors was 2016 in A+. He has been awful since then in AA/AAA/MLB, although to be fair to him he's been young for those levels. Maybe a new organization can help him, but now that he's out of options his time was clearly up in Toronto.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:32 AM EST (#384494) #
I too thought it would be Valera.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:34 AM EST (#384495) #
If a claim is made, can he be traded?
Glevin - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:35 AM EST (#384496) #
"Interestingly, executives around the sport looking at this trade think that as a pure baseball trade -- in terms of the value in salary obligation and talent changing hands -- this was a good deal for the Marlins."

I think executives saw the way baseball was going and fans didn't yet. What the Jays took on (expensive veteran players) was declining steeply in value and what they traded (bulk, cheap young players) was increasing in value. Even just a few months before, the Dodgers traded for Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez and gave up almost nothing. You would never see a trade like this today because the values are just so off. The Jays gave up 5 legitimate prospects and one of their best major leaguers Escobar had 4/5 previous seasons of at least 2.4 WAR) for Reyes who had a horrible contract, Buehrle who was also very expensive and Johnson who had one year left on his deal and was always hurt. MILB had 2 of the guys traded as B+ prospects. MLB Pipeline had Nicolino as the #86 prospect in baseball.

The equivalent would be something like Kay, SWR, Jimenez, Biggio, Hiraldo, and Murphy for Price, Bradley, JD Martinez and Sandy Leon. Not exact obviously, but this is the idea-giving up a ton of young talent for older and established highly paid talent.
Mike Green - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#384497) #
I hope that the club gets a backup middle infielder who can handle 400+ PAs including time at third base. Jose Iglesias is still available. The departure of Urena clears the way for this kind of move.

The club is acting as if they are trying to compete this year. Thumbs up for "a new approach for a new decade". I hope that thinking applies also to centerfield and to creative use of pitching roles.

John Northey - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#384498) #
Does seem odd to put Urena on waivers but I can see why given he is out of options.  The Jays might think it is easier to send him down now than at the end of spring.

Current lineup...
CA: Jansen/McGuire
1B: Tellez (tenative)
2B: Biggio
3B: Vlad
SS: Bo
LF: Gurriel
CF: Hernandez (placeholder)
RF: Grichuk
DH: Shaw
OF: Fisher (can't see them giving up on him), Alford, Davis, McKinney - lots of options here
IF: a few options on roster - Santiago Espinal, Drury, Breyvic Valera (2 of the 3 have little to no ML experience but Drury isn't exactly a 'wow' and whoever has this role will be mostly on the bench).  I suspect Urena was viewed as not ready for a full-time bench role.

I'm going to guess Urena was seen as unable to handle being on the bench 5+ days a week.  I expect the Jays also are hunting for a guy who can handle that role.
rpriske - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:55 AM EST (#384499) #
I think that is going to be Shaw at 1B, not Tellez... at least to start.

Maybe depending on ST.
cascando - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:55 AM EST (#384500) #
I donít have any real issue with letting Urena go, but Iím perplexed why Merryweather still has a 40-man spot. Urena hasnít shown much in the last 3 years, but he is versatile and has some useful skills, particularly now with the 26-man roster. He is still only 23. Merryweather is already 28 and hasnít shown anything at all since 2016 as a 24 year old in A+. Since then, Merryweather had a very poor half season in 2017 and then missed the next 2.5 years with arm injuries.

Is there another player anywhere in pro ball that comes close to that description and still has a spot on any teamís 40-man roster?
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#384501) #
Urena was decent in 2018 but dropped off last year with a -0.2 WAR in limited at-bats. Somehow Brandon Drury, also age 27, contributed the same -0.2 WAR in a bigger sample size yet is still around. I really hope some more position players are signed or invited to spring training and push the mediocre flotsam like Drury, Fisher and McKinney to improve or seek another line of work.
Marc Hulet - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#384502) #
This appears to be a case of sticking with players brought in during the current regime (Valera, Drury, McKinney) vs past regime (Urena) despite hurting the roster's middle infield depth. All the players appear to have significantly limited ceilings but Urena could at least play good defense at SS.

I could see them flipping Urena to CLE for the recently designated catcher Eric Haase (known product to Atkins and Shapiro) for depth at C in AAA to play with Riley Adams and then drop a different player from the 40 at that time. Urena would give CLE depth at SS if they continue to explore Lindor deals.
Cracka - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:26 PM EST (#384503) #
Merryweather has an option remaining, throws hard, and has a chance to be a bullpen arm in 2020. And he was part of the Donaldson trade, of course.

Urena isn't much of a loss - a replacement-level utility player that does nothing really well; If unclaimed, he will likely be outrighted to Buffalo (he cannot refuse the assignment); his versatility will make him a nice addition to the Bisons... and maybe he'll hit well enough to earn another call-up. That being said, 23-year-olds rarely go on waivers, so I guess it wouldn't be shocking if someone takes a chance on him.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:31 PM EST (#384504) #
So if someone grabs him, he cannot be recalled? Just lost?

I was hoping to get Int'l money for him.
jerjapan - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#384505) #
This appears to be a case of sticking with players brought in during the current regime (Valera, Drury, McKinney) vs past regime (Urena).
I've wondered that before too Marc.  Not that it's inherently bad to do that - presumably, you have a better sense of that player, and perhaps more specific appreciation for what they bring to the table, but if it's just a reflexive preference, I'd worry a bit. 

Perhaps they just figured he has the best chance to pass through? 
Jevant - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:42 PM EST (#384506) #
Urena strikes me as a guy that every org has a bunch of already, so I'm not shocked. The Jays have a bunch of them themselves (as noted already in Valera and Espinal). I'm hoping that they acquire a few more pieces to push a few more of those guys off the roster as well.
Cracka - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:47 PM EST (#384507) #
There's still hope, I suppose. They have 7 days to trade him or place him on irrevocable waivers. My guess is that they've already explored trades this offseason and would have already made a deal if there was any interest. They obviously knew he was at the bottom of the 40-man roster before signing Shaw.

If he IS claimed on waivers, he's gone; but if unclaimed, he's still ours. I think they are betting on the latter.
Nigel - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#384508) #
This lineup could really use Sogard back.
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#384509) #
I too was expecting Valera to go.
Ideally, Urena clears waivers.
I'm not sure Valera can play shortstop and they probably want Drury to cover elsewhere in the infield.
I sure hope they don't bother with Gurriel at shortstop every 5 days.

scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 01:12 PM EST (#384510) #
I think Urena contributed -0.1 WAR as a position player. The other -0.1 WAR came from August 20 when he gave up 4 runs in one inning as a mop up pitcher.
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 01:15 PM EST (#384511) #
I'm not sure that it's bias.
Urena started the year strong but was demoted to make room for Sogard.

Then  he came back for a string in May in which he went 0 for 8.
Then he didn't hit  much when he was recalled in September.

0 HR, just 2 walks. They probably figured he's not ready to be a dependable bench player.

scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 01:16 PM EST (#384512) #
Hernandez and Fisher were both near ready CF prospects.

In 2016, Fisher was the Astros' 5th prospect, right after Paulino.
He has most of the tools--his arm isn't great--but like Hernandez his instincts seems to be lacking.
Pipeline had him as a 55 prospect.
Teoscar was their 8th prospect. He has the speed and the arm to play anywhere in the outfield.

It's not just that the conversion from top prospect to actual results has low yield.
It often takes years for prospects to put it together.
If you add Davis and Alford to the mix, the Jays have enough prospects.
If none pan out, they'll have to go after an established center fielder.
Nobody will trade them a young 5+ WAR center fielder unless it's for 2 or 3 top 5 prospects.
There's a huge shortage of those guys and tons of great infielders at the moment.

The weakest spot in the Jays lineup last year was Right Field. Grichuck was worth 0.3 WAR while Teoscar was good for 1.3 WAR. The 26th roster spot screams for a speedy defensive outfielder.

That and a veteran UT bench who can play SS.

ayjackson - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 01:53 PM EST (#384513) #
bpoz wondered aloud about what Shapir'kins' philosophy might be

marc hulet opined that Shapir'kins prefers its acquired 40 retreads to its inherited ones

well. there's our philosophy.
Glevin - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:21 PM EST (#384514) #
Over at the Athletic, Sickles has his top-100 prospects. Here are the Jays on the list:

pubster - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#384515) #
"The club is acting as if they are trying to compete this year."

I just think the club is acquiring assets. Laying the groundwork for what will hopefully be a long run of contending.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:37 PM EST (#384516) #
The Jays have spent 2.5 years with Hernandez, and saw some positive development last season (his numbers after his call up in June), while they just acquired Fisher a few months ago. In the absence of better long-term options, I don't see any harm in trying to give these players another look, especially Hernandez. McKinney seems like more of a low upside prospect who doesn't do anything particularly well, so hopefully if they have to drop an outfielder soon it will be him and not Alford or Davis (who if nothing else plays a really good CF, has good speed, and has hit LHP in the minors).
pubster - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#384517) #
McKinney has a career .723 ops, in about 400 career plate appearances. I don't think that's enough to give up on him yet.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:43 PM EST (#384518) #
Thanks ayjackson. Your answer and Marc Hulet's has given me a clear answer that makes sense.

I don't believe that they are playing favorites with retreads. They seem to value them equally.

I will try to give 5 examples of retreads. S Brito, Valera & R Dull are 3 that are still trying to become ML players. Ben Revere has had ML success and is trying to regain/rebuild his value. E Jackson may be a retread.

By the way if you were joking I get it.

No more dumpster acquisitions I hope. More aggressive and significant acquisitions are needed.
PeterG - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 02:56 PM EST (#384519) #
I imagine it was intangibles that put Valera ahead of Urena. Coaches and managers know and see so much more that we don't looking only at stats and game appearances. As well, the determination that he could more easily adapt to a bench role was likely a factor.

I am in agreement with each of the last 2 posts made by Pubster.
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#384520) #
Urena falls under the same bucket as Dwight Smith Jr.
Neither has done enough to earn a spot on a contending team.
I still like Urena, but Kevin Smith is in line to get the defensive bench job if he can get into a hot streak here an there--kinda like Goins.

What's the Shapiro strategy? Layers of players. Waves upon waves of prospects with many of them crashing on the way.
Maybe Warmoth will be the guy? Who knows?

scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 03:10 PM EST (#384521) #
The Reds sign Akiyama for 3/20. It's not a huge amount, but there's a lot of risk since he could struggle with the bat and decline defensively.

Vulg - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 03:20 PM EST (#384522) #
Over at the Athletic, Sickles has his top-100 prospects. Here are the Jays on the list:

Man, the Rays continue to amaze me. It's no wonder the richer teams continue to raid their front office ranks (most recently the Red Sox with the Bloom hire). They claim the following spots on Sickels list: 1, 8, 43, 55, 56, 67, 78, 85. He also has Brent Honeywell outside of the Top 100 due to health, but in the 40-50 range if he's over his arm trouble.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 03:43 PM EST (#384523) #
Why is every post italicized? Is it just me?
Vulg - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 03:54 PM EST (#384524) #
I forgot to include the tag to end it in my post. Fixed!
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 04:16 PM EST (#384525) #
It could be another one of those years when less than 90 wins is enough for a wild card spot.
The other 2 divisions are becoming more competitive with the Rangers, the Angels, the White Sox and maybe even the Tigers improving while Boston and Baltimore are possibly getting worse.

85bluejay - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 05:21 PM EST (#384529) #
Richard Urena may or may not have amounted to something but his development was really sidetracked when Troy Tulowitzki got hurt in 2017/18 and Urena was forced fed to the majors when he wasn't close to being ready offensively - another reason the Tulo trade sucked.

All FO tend to like the players they acquire more than the players they inherited, so it's no surprise that the players Shapiro/Atkins inherited have a shorter period to prove themselves.
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