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New thread is required, and perhaps we can start to speculate on the shape of the active roster. I suspect most of what was going to happen has already happened, at least until mid-March when teams start to cut loose people they're just not going to have room for...


So... something like this.

c Jansen
1b Shaw
2b Biggio
3b Guerrero
ss Bichette
rf Grichuk
cf Hernandez
lf Gurriel
dh Tellez

c McGuire
inf Espinal
of Fisher
inf-of Drury

sp Ryu
sp Shoemaker
sp Anderson
sp Roark
sp Thornton

rp Giles
rp Yamaguchi
rp Gaviglio
rp Font
rp Pannone
rp Bass

rp Borucki
rp Waguespack

You need to have someone on the roster who can play shortstop in a pinch, and Espinal is probably better qualified for that job than Valera. But they may decide that Bichette doesn't really need much support and let Espinal play every day in AAA. The fact that Drury can play anywhere buys him another life, it being understood that there's no way he comes to the plate 400 times this year.

Fisher is out of options, and I don't think they're ready to cut bait on him just yet.† I don't much like Hernandez in cf and Tellez at DH, and this is just an opening bid. It would fill me with happiness if someone - Alford? Davis? - would stake a claim to the centre field job and let Teoscar DH. If he can.

I figure the fifth starter will be whichever of Thornton, Borucki, or Waguespack looks most ready in the spring time, and the other two can either fill two of the many open jobs in the pen or pitch out of the Buffalo rotation. But I would certainly expect a few relief pitchers to be scooped up between now and Opening Day, most likely in the two weeks immediately before the season begins.
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electric carrot - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 04:43 PM EST (#384526) #
 I look at that team and say there's 83 wins there, maybe more.
PeterG - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#384527) #
Most of that roster makes sense. I would suggest that Tellez might start in Buffalo if he does not have a monster spring as I think they want a rotating DH. As much as I like him and I like him a lot, I think Borucki could also begin the season in Buffalo as he missed so much time last season. 7 or 8 starts at the AAA level might be good for him. I do think they are likely to carry 5 OF's so if no adds between now and March 26, I see the 26th spot being between Valera and Tellez.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 04:51 PM EST (#384528) #
An ideal and realistic line up that can be had for 2020 would be something like:

c Jansen
1b Shaw
2b Biggio
3b Guerrero
ss Bichette
rf Castellanos or Ozuna (needs to be signed)
cf Grichuk
lf Gurriel
dh Hernandez/Tellez

c McGuire
inf Cabrera (needs to be signed)
of Fisher
inf-of Drury

sp Ryu
sp Shoemaker
sp Anderson
sp Roark
sp Pearson

rp Giles
rp Yamaguchi
rp Gaviglio
rp Font
rp Pannone
rp Bass

rp Borucki
rp Thornton

That looks like a competitive team to me.
John Northey - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 05:21 PM EST (#384530) #
Sadly the Jays lost out on Japanese CF Shogo Akiyama who it seems has signed with the Reds for 3 years around $20 million.  At that price I'd hesitate as I figured 2 years $5 mil per as the max one should risk on him.  A 3rd year at $15 mil total maybe, but $20 mil?  Sounds like an overpay to me.  Not a killer one but I'll be fine seeing if the Jays can get a good CF out of Hernandez/Davis/Alford/whoever.  Then next winter chase a real CF if none of them grab the job.
85bluejay - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 05:28 PM EST (#384531) #
I hope the team is good enough that Tellez & Borucki start the year in Buffalo - Hope Borucki is not the new Hutchison - also I think Valera has a good chance to make the team out of spring training.I still think Giles will be in another uniform.
Jonny German - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#384532) #
I havenít seen his name come up anywhere so Iím guessing this is a bad idea, but what about Dexter Fowler? If his defence in centre is still good he could be a nice fit for this team, and I can imagine St Louis would be willing to eat some of his salary (2 years $33M) without demanding much in return. But personally I have no idea about his D.

I donít mind Fisher as the 4th outfielder and Teoscar as the primary DH. I donít believe in Tellez as a near-everyday player. I think Druryís chances of reviving his career are remote. As in I would be pencilling him in to be cut in spring training if heís not gone sooner than that.
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 06:42 PM EST (#384533) #
Tellez could play every day if he's not chasing, however Shaw is strictly a platoon guy.
He has a career OPS of .668 and an OBP of .280 against lefties.
Tellez could certainly earn a spot or a promotion if he's raking in AAA.
However, if he's stuck in Buffalo, he's either struggling or the club is winning without him.

Fisher has less than 400 ABs  and he's shown a reverse split so far so how they use him is less clear.

If they wanted to use Espinal this year, they would have found a way to bring him up last September.
He's got only 112 PA in Buffalo. They gave Bichette 244 and Biggio 172.

They probably go looking for a veteran to be the infield UT. Someone who takes this over a minor league contract.
Basically dump Drury and go sign Brock Holt. Or Hechavarria. Someone who will be able to show Bo a thing or two.
There's about a dozen guys out there. Jose Iglesias. Logan Forsythe.


Mike Green - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 06:42 PM EST (#384534) #
Statcast's Outs Above Average suggests that Fowler is unplayable in centerfield. He sat between Trey Mancini and Adam Jones.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:14 PM EST (#384535) #
If you want to compete (85 wins) this team will require quality depth. Injuries and poor performance happen. I think Atkins wanted a big bat for 2020. T Shaw.

Montoyo was asked about team defense. He said he was comfortable with Biggio and Bichette becoming fairly good. For CF he said it is a problem still but the media already knew that. So very honest.
jamesq - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:19 PM EST (#384536) #
Is Biggio a candidate for the outfield? I'd consider giving him an opportunity there if he could handle the defensive responsibilities due to the lack of prospects in that position. Teoscar can be a dh/1b option, maybe Shaw/Espinal cover 2b.
Nigel - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:35 PM EST (#384537) #
Iíd bet the under on 83 wins for that lineup.

I agree with the ideas of Hernandez being used in a job share with Shaw as DH/1B (presuming that they refuse to make Guerrero into the 1B) and Fisher as the 4th OF provided that they get a real CF (in this scenario Fisher can be kept out of CF). I think that is the best way to use both players. That projected lineup tilts too heavily RH and shy on OBP. Thereís still time.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 07:37 PM EST (#384538) #
I think Biggio has the footspeed for center, but Iím not convinced the instincts are there. Just the same the Dodgers moved Cody Bellinger from 1st to CF/RF and it has worked out great.

I think Travis Shaw should take over for Drury as the back-up 3B/2B/1B and the Jays should pursue a real upgrade at 1B/DH. I would ask what the Pirates would want for a Josh Bell and Starling Marte package. If itís Anthony Kay, Kirk and Hiraldo I would probably say yes.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 08:14 PM EST (#384539) #
c Jansen/McGuire 50/50
1b Tellez (I'm calling that Shaw is done. That said I didnt mind the risk at that price and happy to be proven wrong)
2b Biggio
3b Guerrero
ss Bichette
rf Grichuk
cf Alford
lf Gurriel
dh Hernandez

c McGuire/Jansen
inf Shaw
OF Fisher
UTL-jose iglesias (signed, gets significant OF time in spring training to see if he can be a defensive replacement).

sp Ryu
sp Roark
sp Shoemaker (borucki when, not if, he gets hurt)
sp Anderson
sp Yamaguchi (until pearson is ready)

rp Giles
rp Thornton (eventual setup man)
rp Font
rp Aumont (saw him in ottawa several times, he has legit figured something out).
rp Pannone
rp Bass
rp Daniel Hudson (signed obviously)
SP/RP Borucki
scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 08:26 PM EST (#384540) #
Biggio has great instincts at second, but honestly, he's played there for most of his life.
I don't see how he becomes an outfielder overnight.

scottt - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 08:55 PM EST (#384541) #
Thornton, Roark and Anderson are the only guys stretched enough to make 32 starts.
Anderson has never made more than 30.
Yamaguchi is probably the long man, since he's new and has years of experience in the pen.
I think he'll be great if he doesn't have to go through the lineup twice.

Font seems to need a day off between outing.
He's great as an opener, but they won't use one.
Now Pearson could be used as an opener to limit his innings rather than shutting him off.

Lots of options. Pannone is the only lefty for the pen.
I'm hoping Aumont earns a spot. He's a guy who really loves baseball. He's been on the national team since he was cut from the Phillies.

If a prospect moves to the pen, maybe SRF, but I think it's too early for that.
I think Gaviglio is a lock early on, but a candidate to be replaced mid summer.
He spins the ball and throw strikes, that's all you need in April.


Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 10:04 PM EST (#384542) #
The bullpen to me seems to have too many middle relievers and not enough nasty. Itís time to take SRF, Perez, or even Patrick Murphy and let them loose in the bullpen.
tercet - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 10:21 PM EST (#384543) #
Sorry but that batting lineup, especially our OF is just still way too bad to be any better then 75~ wins in 2020. By my count we have 2 maybe 3 players that I would mark in now as having OBPs over 330.
In 2019 Houston hit 274/352/495/848, and we have 1 maybe 2 players that have a chance of doing that next year.
uglyone - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 10:25 PM EST (#384544) #
A reasonable #2 SP, a legit offensive DH, a legit defensive CF.

Get that, and we're interesting. Get 2/3 of that might even work.
dan gordon - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:00 PM EST (#384545) #
With Akiyama signing with the Reds, Nick Senzel could very well be available. He'd require a lot in return, but could be the answer in CF for a long time. Any prospect except Pearson should be on the table.

Another minor head scratcher, dropping Urena instead of Valera. Not a big deal, but at least Urena was still young enough to show considerable improvement over the next couple of years. He's been around a while, but he's still just 23. Was a 0.5 WAR player in 40 games in 2018, a 2 WAR pace. It's not unreasonable that he could develop into a decent big league player. More evidence of the bias the current management team has in favour of the marginal, low-upside players they have frequently acquired.

I like the current lineup, but it would play much better with a good righty bat to platoon with Shaw. Right now, that's Drury, who is bad enough that he might not even hit as well as Shaw does vs lefties. They also need to sign a good 8th inning reliever.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 30 2019 @ 11:37 PM EST (#384546) #
I agree that a lineup with the current outfield (and tellez) is not ready to compete.

But I honestly dont see any options that solve the issue. The options in CF are just underwhelming. Unless you are willing to end the grichuk experiment and bring in ozuna or castellano.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST (#384547) #
I think people are expecting a bit too much out of this off-season. They won't fill every need, and they don't have to. Going from outright tanking to contender in the AL East in a span of an off-season is very unlikely. Ryu was a good signing because if the intention is to contend in 2021-beyond, then he fits that timeline. If the team can find another player of that quality and that length of control, then go for it, but chances are they won't find it in what is left of free agency, and the cost to acquire that type of player in a trade will be too much for a team that probably isn't ready to start trading prospects right now.

I think if they add a DH who can also play the OF (so they can rotate everyone around), that would be a good move. I'm not a believer in Tellez, and he has options so they can put him in AAA. Even someone like Puig who can DH and cover the OF would be a decent mix of short-term improvement and upside. Other than that, see what you have with Hernandez, Fisher, Alford, etc. Someone is going to take the CF spot out of that group, and if not, then nothing of value of lost in trying them out. At some point the Jays are going to have to get lucky with a talent. It doesn't have to be a Jose/Edwin type of unexpected breakout, but someone from the group of fringey talent becoming someone that can stick around for a while would be huge. Using 2020 as one last effort to develop that talent wouldn't be a terrible idea.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:09 AM EST (#384548) #
I don't mind the OF. From 2015 through 2018, Grichuk produced 9.2 WAR in 480 games, roughly a 3 WAR pace. He had a bad year at age 27. No reason to think he won't bounce back. Gurriel is a budding star in my book, now that they finally put him where he belongs. He had 1.7 WAR in just over half a season, despite being played out of position for the start of the year. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see a 4 WAR season from him. Hernandez isn't really a CF, but if he hits like he did after being recalled last year, 23 HR's in his last 86 games, you can live with the defense for now. Those 3 could hit 90 - 100 HR's.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:59 AM EST (#384549) #
That makes me feel better.

Now do infield defense. :)
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 01:12 AM EST (#384550) #
Dan,

That's expecting a lot...Hernandez is always behind the AL starters...once he adjusts they will adjust again...he hits a lot of mistake pitches like Tellez, and chases everything else like Tellez.

Grichuk i'll grant you has the track record and defense but that gets you 20-30 HR that's not enough if it's 20.

Gurriel Jr doesn't get on base enough. I think the jury is still out on him...i see a 260 ish hitter with some upside in the bat, very similar to Grichuk.

In fact, I see a lot of the same type of AAAA all star or MLB regular (upside) players on the jays:

Grichuk
Hernandez
McKinney
Gurriel Jr
Fischer

There's 2 good players you can hope break out of that group...and even then 2 of those guys in your OF is probably limiting the team. You need big bats out there.

Grichuk/Davis/Castellanos would work as you have 2 bigger bats and defense up the middle...if Grichuk breaks out.

Senzel is injury prone and likely will cost the same amount of prospects that Bo would in a return seeing as how they have been ranked similarly.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 01:35 AM EST (#384551) #
I think you are selling them a bit short, dalimon.

It's not unreasonable to think Grich and Hernandez could put up a wOBA in the .325 -.345 range and Gurriel in the .350 - .370 range. If you squint, that could shake out around 8 WAR, mostly from Randal and Lourdes.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 01:56 AM EST (#384552) #
For the 2 or 3 with OBP of 330+ lets check last year...
Biggio: 364 as a 24 year old rookie
Bo: 358 at a 21 year old rookie
Vlad: 339 as a 20 year old rookie
Gurriel: 327 in a season interrupted by injuries and being played in the wrong position which seemed to hurt his offense.
McGuire: 346 as a 24 year old rookie backup.

So there are 5 very good candidates for a 330+ OBP right there.  4 should be playing regularly with the 5th getting a lot of playing time.  Would I bet a lot on them all doing that in 2020?  No, but I'd say odds are better than 50-50 of them doing it.  McGuire is the lowest odds imo while Danny Jansen in his last 2 minor league seasons had OBP of 400 and 390 so I'd say his 279 this year was more due to being told to focus on his defense than anything else.

2020 should be quite the fun year if injuries don't take over.
tercet - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 02:37 AM EST (#384553) #
Daliman was perfect with what he said imo.
I'm honestly shocked how people think Gurriel is good and have any reasonable expectations for him. He is a super high variance player who doesn't walk and strikesouts way too much. He has played over his head so far and it is near a 100% lock that his stats will finally regress due to his bad process.
The history of types of players like him is not good. He had some super insane hot streaks in SSS that he will never reproduce long term due to his hacker tendencies.

JN-
Bichette won't keep up a 375~ babip next year, once his babip regresses to 300~ he is probably a 320~ish obp player due to his inability to take a walk.
McGuire 2019 performance given his track record is just a fluke, he is just another 250~ obp backup C.
pooks137 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:52 AM EST (#384554) #

McGuire: 346 as a 24 year old rookie backup.

McGuire is in for such a world of regression. The discordance between his career minor league profile and his recent time in AAA Buffalo compared to his Cinderella-like 138 PAs in the MLB really cannot be emphasized enough.

His career minor league OPS and slugging is slightly below Luke Maile's. He put up a 247/316/366 line in AAA Buffalo this year despite the new juiced ball, for a wRC+ of 73. The year below in Buffalo, he slashed 233/312/339, for a wRC+ of 86. His BABIPs in Buffalo for those years were .281 and .276 respectively. His career minor league BABIP has hovered around .280 pretty consistently.

He's somehow slashed 297/346/526 over two cups of coffee over 138 PAs in the majors. With a BABIP of .330 total. And his walk rate so far in the majors has decreased from his minor league numbers so far, at a below league average 6.5%.

There's not a whole lot offensively to like about McGuire's minor league offensive profile except his ability to avoid strikeouts, which actually did carry over to his MLB debut quite well.

It's hard to explain McGuire's two short bouts of MLB success other than lucky variance. Unless you believe in an Urshela-like breakout, who similarly had a well-established, mediocre minor league profile.

But even if you believe in a swing change in McGuire, it doesn't explain why he went back to being 27% worse than league average over 277 PAs in Buffalo between his two stints in the majors

dan gordon - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 05:16 AM EST (#384555) #
There are obviously some significant differences in the way some people view the Blue Jays outfielders. One of the reasons I like Gurriel so much is that he has been so good at such a young age. Players his age are typically still improving, not regressing. Plus, don't forget that he missed about 18 months of development time when he defected from Cuba. Plus, the Jays kept trying to force a square peg into a round hole by playing him in the infield. Now that he is at his proper position, and hopefully has a fully healthy season, I think we'll see just how good he can be.
I think he's one of the most valuable players on the team, and his contract is a huge plus for the team.

Frankly, I'd prefer an OF of Gurriel/Hernandez/Grichuk to an OF of Grichuk/Davis/Castellanos.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 07:58 AM EST (#384556) #
I agree 100% with your assessment of Gurriel, dan. I think Gurriel will make tercet eat his words this year.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 08:51 AM EST (#384557) #
It is true that Gurriel ran over tercet's cat, but I think he can overcome it. He has 149 games under his belt with a .342 wOBA and I don't think his .358 frlm last year will end up being his career high.

When Zips comes out, I will take the over on the G Jrs.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 08:54 AM EST (#384558) #
I think we would all rather have Gurriel than Grichuk, Hernandez or Davis etc. We know that teams will trade for Jansen or Gurriel because there are teams who believe they will get better based on Jansen's minor league record and Gurriel's pedigree.

I just think to expect them to hit their mark and max out their potential is unwise. i think it's a much safer bet to trade them and sign players who you know have a better chance to perform. Example:

Trade Jansen and Giles to Cincinnati for Nick Senzel.

Trade Gurriel to any team for a controllable pitcher. Lets say you package him with one of our Catcher prospects to the Tigers for someone like Matthew Boyd.

I think the Jays could have made a deal with the Indians using Gurriel to get Kluber.

Now i don't actually like Senzel or Boyd and if it was me I would try my damndest to get a safer team and give up some of my chips for very good trade targets.

Trade for Syndergaard or Clevinger using Gurriel, Pardinho and one of our catching prospects, plus whatever extra "filler prospects."

Sign Ozuna or Castellanos and then find out who sticks out of Fischer, Alford, Davis, Hernandez, Grichuk for the 3rd spot in the OF.

Hell, at the very least use Gurriel to get Bell and either Marte or Archer back from Pittsburgh.
DiscoStu - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:28 AM EST (#384559) #
I wouldn't trade Gurriel in any of those scenarios. He looked great when he was healthy last year.

, Regarding the comments about McGuire by some, maybe he has figured something out. I don't see why he can't get better after experience in the minors.I seem to remember Wade Boggs saying it was easier to hit in the majors because the lighting was better. That was a long time ago but McGuire had a similar comment - saying something about feeling like he's figured his hitting stoke out or something like that.

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:32 AM EST (#384560) #
Senzel has an injury history that makes Dustin McGowan look like Cal Ripken. No thanks.

Jonathan Davis as our starting CF? I...cant...even...

I've thought Ender Inciarte could be an option to plug in, but at the end of the day I'm not sure we cant do better with either fisher, alford, or moving gurriel over.

Basically I dont see a Ryu-type move to be made. At best we find a chase anderson type move. But unlike the rotation we have a number of internal options (heck, maybe
chavez young takes a leap).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:33 AM EST (#384561) #
Man you guys are super optimistic about some of these players. I hope the front office is aggressive and doesn't stop upgrading. The upside talk on guys like Grichuk, Hernandez and Gurriel reminds of a lot of Josh Phelps.

There's nothing wrong with trading upside for known assets or keeping them and letting theme force their way off the bench.

I watched Biggio and Gurriel last year and Biggio made a ton of adjustments, saw the ball, went toe to toe with pitchers similar to Vlad. Gurriel Jr basically sat fastball and crushed them all until pitchers started throwing curveballs and then he sucked, adjusted then sat curveball. Most of his big hits came on guessing imho whereas the other two guys I mentioned were adjusting in game and in at bat. I don't see Gurriel being more than a .260 ish hitter with low on base skills and adequate defence. If another team views him as a perennial .300 hitter with an OPS over .900 then trade him in a heart beat. I'll put my money on Tercet's cat.
scottt - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:34 AM EST (#384562) #
Grichuk should be fine as long as he's not hitting at the top of the lineup.
A 2-3 WAR player as the 7th or 8th hitter is perfectly fine.

Obviously, to compete, most of the offense will have to come from the top of the order.
The danger I see is Guerrero hitting into too many double plays.
He was pulling a lot of balls on the ground.

If you read the Boston/Yankees sites, you can see that some of the fans there are worried that the Jays will become a powerhouse for most of the decade.


dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:42 AM EST (#384563) #
Scott please send a link to these Red Sox and Yankees sites. Whenever I look for them I come up empty.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#384564) #
I'm not sold on Gurriel. He's shown flashes, but there are warning signs - for instance he never walks so he pretty much has to hit his opb. The question is: going forward is he more of an .850 OPS guy, or more like low-mid .700s? I see a big range of possible outcomes. It'd be nice if he could finally be healthy and we get a whole season to find out what he can be.

I doubt McGuire's 'figured something out'. That seems like a convenient post-hoc rationalization of an extremely small sample size fluke. I'd bet heavily McGuire regresses to his minor league numbers going forward, ie backup C numbers.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 09:49 AM EST (#384565) #
Well, there is a recent post at Pinstripe Alley https://www.pinstripealley.com/2019/12/26/21037502/yankees-blue-jays-vladimir-guerrero-jr-bo-bichette-cavan-biggio-lourdes-gurriel-jr
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 10:03 AM EST (#384566) #
I know the outfield is talked about a lot, but the elephant in the room is Mookie Betts next offseason. If the Jays went hard after Ryu and Cole, why not Betts next year when itís time to really get serious about contending.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 10:13 AM EST (#384567) #
What sample sizes are individual Bauxites using to classify the position players? To me only Grichuk and Drury have had a significant sample size. T Hernandez is close enough. Maybe 300 more ABs.

Rogers Center is hard on the knees and backs of OFs. I don't know if that applies to the IF. Older players will not last long.

I see the waves of prospects moving up.

No matter how much the media jokes about it "years of control" is an important factor. Just wait until the BBGGs start leaving.
tercet - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#384568) #
Dailmon killing it again with several well stated points.
Look Gurriel had 2 insane hot streaks of apprx 100AB in which he had a 2BB~, 400BABIP and 1100 OPS~. These insane hot streaks have given many Jays fans a teaser of what he can possibly do which counts to about 1/4 of his career. The other 3/4~ of his MLB career so far he has been an abysmal train wreck with an OPS under 700.
BB/K is the best indicator for predicting hitters imo, if you look at the last 10 years~ of baseball for hitters similar to Gurriel (BB/K) with over 1000 career MLB PA, 3 hitters(!!!) have a wrc over 100, CJ Cron, Ryon Healey, and Avisal Garcia.
The simple fact is hitters that don't walk & strikeout too much get figured out by mlb pitchers almost always. Gurriel's two hot streaks just amount to variance in which he got alot of easy pitches/cookies, which he crushed since he swings at way too many pitches and isn't a patient hitter. Over longer samples, pitchers will learn to not give him pitches that he has hit in the past and his numbers will regress like every other similar hitter to him have.
Gurriels value will NEVER be higher then it is now, but the question is any other FO stupid enough to believe he is good?
Glevin - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#384569) #
"I'm not sold on Gurriel. He's shown flashes, but there are warning signs - for instance he never walks so he pretty much has to hit his opb. The question is: going forward is he more of an .850 OPS guy, or more like low-mid .700s? I see a big range of possible outcomes. It'd be nice if he could finally be healthy and we get a whole season to find out what he can be.

I doubt McGuire's 'figured something out'. That seems like a convenient post-hoc rationalization of an extremely small sample size fluke. I'd bet heavily McGuire regresses to his minor league numbers going forward, ie backup C numbers."

Agree on both. Gurriel has now had a full season of PAs with a 115 WRC+ and 2.2 WAR. I think that's a pretty reasonable expectation for him (Corey Dickerson kind of career) but there are a wide range of possibilities. He's only had 3 years in the Jays system and has improved every year so he could still find another level but his lack of walks is also troubling. McGuire is a backup catcher. Steamer has him at a 82 WRC but 1.6 WAR which is still quite valuable. Maybe he ends up more valuable than Jansen but Jansen has a greater chance of being a number 1 catcher. Would be fine trading McGuire for a CFer and going with a veteran backup until one of the catching kids are ready.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 11:24 AM EST (#384570) #
The entire OF has a high variance, so in most cases both sides will be right when evaluating players like Grichuk, Gurriel, and Hernandez. They could be bad, average, or very good, and none of those scenarios would be surprising.

I'd like to see how Gurriel does in a full season (if that's even possible given his health issues the last two seasons) before passing judgement. Grichuk to me is what he is at this point. He has an exact 100 wRC+ since 2016 (covering 2010 plate appearances), and his BB% and K% over that span is almost identical to what it was in 2019. I think he could bounce back in 2020, but I wouldn't expect anything beyond a 2 WAR player. I hope I'm wrong and he somehow becomes better because the Jays are stuck with him for a while.

Hernandez is the one I am curious about. His numbers from June onwards were very good, but even looking at his post-ASB numbers he had 94.5 mph avg exit velocity during that span with a 11% walk rate. Of course his BABIP was very high and his K% went up as well, so he's not as good as his numbers over that span would indicate, but he's a player I want to see in the lineup in 2020. His walk rate spike combined with power/exit velocity is enough to at least make him interesting. Whether it turns into anything long-term is the question, but the Jays can use 2020 to find out.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 11:39 AM EST (#384571) #
Everybody who is citing statistics on Gurriel may be right in that he never goes beyond being an average player or is hurt a lot. I see a player with a long,athletic body who never had the playing time in the minors others his age did, who just might be a late-blooming star.

Ultimately I think the Jays will either have to sign or trade for a quality outfielder, preferably a centerfielder, because there doesn't seem to be any in sight in the minors.
tercet - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 11:54 AM EST (#384572) #
Good Points SKinNJ, that in lies the problems with our 3 current OF starters, whom are all essentially 300 OBP players that are very high variance. If they face crappy pitchers who make mistakes, they will occasionally hit some HRs, but if they face good pitchers they look useless.
Maybe we can have 1 of these 3 players when we are competing for the playoffs in '21 and onward. Ideally it would be much better to have guys that have reasonable BB/K rates that result in 350~ OBPs, whom are lower variance and more likely to succeed versus better pitchers.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 11:57 AM EST (#384573) #
I like what you are saying ISLAND BOY!! J Bautista took a long time to figure it out. Gurriel has to work hard to please his father. Family greatness. Dad know how and what to do. IMO.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#384574) #
Edwin Jackson says he's planning to pitch in 2020.

The jokes, they write themselves.
tercet - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#384575) #
Bautista walked 10% for a few years until he finally learned how to become a great hitter.
Gurriel has a career walk rate of roughly 4% through the minors and majors, he literally has a 0% chance of repeating what he has done so far unless his walk rate doubles, which it probably never will.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#384576) #
"If they face crappy pitchers who make mistakes, they will occasionally hit some HRs, but if they face good pitchers they look useless."

I don't think that's true and anyway, there are way more crappy pitchers than good pitchers. You can be a pretty great player being a mistake ball hitter.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 12:44 PM EST (#384577) #
It seemed to me that late in the game with a lead J Davis was used in CF because he gave better odds of great defense. That strategy was smart and paid off IMO.

If we face Verlander expectations were that we would score only a few runs because he did that to us and other teams as well. Maybe not NYY. So J Davis in CF would improve the defense without hurting the offense.

Great pitchers:

NYY Cole & Severino.

Boston Sale and maybe Price. Price not pitching if injured.

TB Glasnow, Morton and Snell.

That is for AL East. A strong defensive player has a place on every team.

Vulg - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 01:36 PM EST (#384578) #
The entire OF has a high variance, so in most cases both sides will be right when evaluating players like Grichuk, Gurriel, and Hernandez. They could be bad, average, or very good, and none of those scenarios would be surprising.

I think this variance extends through the entire team, with the largest question marks being the health of the pitching rotation and the uncertain trajectory of a youthful core. I'd love to be wrong about this, but I expect a more modest 8 win improvement and 75 wins. The Yankees are going to be monsters, the Rays extremely good and the Sox still have an offense that we hope the Jays can some day emulate (Devers, Betts, Martinez, Boegarts, Benintendi). Wins won't come easy against most of the AL East and West.

I'm also cautious on Gurriel. Sure, he has potential to grow beyond what he has shown. That said, what he has shown so far is a lack of discipline at the plate that is often a good predictor for how a batter will fare in the future (like our other OFers, but slightly better). He's the same age as Fisher at 26, and they're both a year younger than Teoscar. The chances these guys pull a Bautista and transform their games aren't great at this stage, but I suppose it can happen.
Cracka - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 02:53 PM EST (#384579) #
In the summer of 2011, Derek Fisher had just graduated high school and was on his way to U Virginia; Hernandez was starting Dominican Summer League rookie ball in the Houston organization; and Gurriel was playing in the Cuban National League.

Since then: Fisher has 3365 PAs (420 in MLB); Hernandez has 4355 PAs (1194 in MLB); and Gurriel has only 2403 PAs (606 in MLB)... ~1000 than Fisher (same age) and ~2000 less than Hernandez (a year older).

I'm not sure how much all this matters, but I do think Gurriel is significantly less "mature" as a hitter than others his age.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:12 PM EST (#384580) #
"I know the outfield is talked about a lot, but the elephant in the room is Mookie Betts next offseason. If the Jays went hard after Ryu and Cole, why not Betts next year when itís time to really get serious about contending."

This would be more reason to trade Gurriel for pitching now.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#384581) #
I haven't been bullish on anyone in projecting to do what they have done in the last year or two. If Gurriel is streaky and puts up a .358 wOBA, so be it. If he has flaws that pitchers are beginning to expose, well I'll believe that when it shows up in a material sample size.

I'm actually down on Grichuk. I think he has a decent chance of being out of baseball in a year or two (not bouncing back from last year).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:17 PM EST (#384582) #
For the record, Gurriel is a great piece to have right now. I don't have issue with him on this team, I just know he is the only guy with some good value to other teams besides Biggio, Vlad and Bo. I'll take a controllable #2 or #3 pitcher that they can get for Gurriel any day of the week just because I don't think his value will increase and you can see lots of available OF right now...the appeal of Gurriel is his tantalizing potential as well as his control and contract.

I also like the chances of Hernandez breaking out best out of everybody as a solid every day player, as alluded to by SK. I was impressed with his in game adjustments end of year and his ability to lay off pitches.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:37 PM EST (#384583) #
I donít agree with trading Gurriel, the Jays need to be adding young controllable players not trading them away. Lateral moves where teams swap similar talents but at different positions are rare.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:46 PM EST (#384584) #
I don't agree with trading Gurriel as well. I also don't think trading anyone for a young pitcher is necessary. In Sickles top 100 prospects, there are 4 belonging to jays, 3 of whom are pitchers. In addition, his short list of almosts contains another Jays pitcher. So, that is 4 pitching prospects in top 115 in mlb according to Sickles - Pearson, Woods-Richardson, Kay, Manoah. I also like Thornton more than many here and am still optimistic on Borucki.

An article just published in BA says that the Jays have the highest % of top ten round picks selected from the HS ranks at 43.3 %. That surprised me.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 03:59 PM EST (#384585) #
If you want to wait until 2022 (2-3 years) and waste Vlad, Biggio, Bo finishing at best 2nd place then sure, keep Gurriel and don't sign or trade for a starter. I think we need to check ourselves...Roark, Anderson and Shoemaker...those arms won't get the job done, sorry. Not when the Rays have 5 guys better than any of them and same with Yankees.

Ryu, Pearson and a new addition gives the Jays a chance to compete in 2020 and 2021 with prospects to spare and bring up there afterwards. I just don't understand why you would sign Ryu and bring up prospects like Vlad, Bo and Biggio when you know you won't be good enough to take a division or wild card for 2 years.

Also, you can't disagree with "trading away Gurriel," as if we are trading him for a bag of balls. Nobody including myself is suggesting we cut bait and trade him because he isn't as good as we think...the caveat is IF HE CAN GET YOU A CONTROLLABLE ASSET THAT BETTER HELPS THE TEAM NOW WHO IS ALREADY BETTER THAN GURRIEL's POTENTIAL." Obviously.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:07 PM EST (#384586) #
Some takes from PInstripe Alley ... I see more takes against the Jays...here are my picks for best objective takes from the comments section, the article wasn't very good but argued the Jays will be the Yankees main competition for the next 10 years...

"Unless they trade for another ace or two kind of like Houston did. I think the point of the article is that their core is a good core to build around. Plus they arenít chopped liver anymore since they did add arguably the third best pitcher on the free agent market this year.


"The Blue Jays are a high-hopes team, not a high-expectations team. Guerrero and Bichette are probably young core players, yes. Steamer likes their two catchers, and Biggio and Gurriel are both solid role players who could become core guys. Pearson is a top-50 prospect who could break out, or end up in the bullpen.

Thatís a lot of players that have to take a step forward for this team to reach the level of the Red Sox and Rays, even including Guerrero, who is supposed to be a lock to be part of the core. They have to strike gold on probably five of those seven players, because after Pearson graduates, they have maybe the worst farm in baseball. No one has had a single star-quality season.

I donít see any second-place finishes for them in the foreseeable future. I much prefer the Rays, who have a great farm, do a great job at trading players before they have to pay them while getting back good value, consistently put out an elite pitching staff, and plug every hole in the lineup with a new 2-3 WAR player. Theyíre the top competition for the next five years. After that itís hard to predict, so assume the Red Sox are the top contender for runner-up."


"The Jays lost near 100 games last year and traded their best pitching asset at the deadline. Ryu was better than Stroman during that stretch but isnít an 20-25 game improvement the Jays would need to considered a contender in the division. Even the Ryu signing as good as it looks doesnít really match up with their timetable. He is 33 will likely be on the wrong side of 35 when the Jays have enough talent to make a playoff push.

Also lets not so easily leapfrog Bostonís and Tampaís young cores. Both have significantly better pitching to go with their young position players. Both have better track records at developing players. To me this is a 4th place team this year and possibly a 3rd place team in 2021 if Tampa or Boston has a major set back. Its hard to predict beyond that."


Ryu is a bit of a gamble but he could really pay off for them. Back in 2015 the Blue Jays lavished a ridiculous contract on Russell Martin and they havenít really made any significant free agent signings since. The fact that they just came to life and spent 80 million on an ace to lead their rotation shows that theyíre starting to think they want to become a winner.

They may be looking at Ryu as the guy to lead this staff and set the tone. Plus they have Nate Pearson coming up through the ranks along with Aluk Manoah, Simeon Woods Richardson Adam Kliffenstein & Eric Pardinho they have other up-and-coming pitchers like Jay and Williams.

The teamís pitching is going to get a whole lot better over the next two years and they have Ryu for the next 4 years which means he will anchor the beginning of the 020ís for Toronto.

Just think if they go out and sign a few key players as their core group comes into their prime and these young pitchers rise up and fill in roster spots.

I could see them getting a whole lot better quickly, probably not next year but certainly by 2021 theyíll be much, much improved."


"For them to ACTUALLY do something like that, they would have to get rid of some of the pieces you think are so good.

Or develop from within ( which they dont have ANY pitching in the pipeline ) Ė Aces are a RARE commodity nowadays. BJ arent going anywhere.

Now the RAYS, they could be a problem. Especially if they decide to SPEND some at a deadline"



"I expect the Blue Jays to be a better team than the Red Sox for the next several years. And I think that the Yankees main competition in the first half of the next decade will come from the Blue Jays and the Rays.

I still think the Jays made a big mistake by not going after Bryce Harper in the last offseason. He was someone who could have helped to drive their attendance back up, and also produced well at the plate. If they had signed Harper then I think they would be a much bigger threat to the Yankees in the coming years."




"I think theyíre still a step behind the Rays and possibly the Red Sox, depending on Saleís health and who on Boston gets traded. The Jays have actually disappointed me this year Ė they should have been players for Cole, Rendon or Donaldson, all of whom make the team much better and would be around for enough seasons to allow the rest of the young players to develop. They should also be in on Betts if Boston wants to deal him. Shapkins have done a pretty terrible job with this organization, nowís the time for bold moves to correct."



"A bunch of the bad teams have gotten better, thoughÖthe no. of tankers around MLB is down to 6, so we might not see as many triple-digit win totals in 2020 as we did the past couple of years. So 103 wins in 2019 might be more equivalent to like 97/98 in 2020."



"I'll stick with the Rays

The Rays are already a playoff team (they have a head start on the decade as they are clearly projected for better things in 20-21) and have a top 5 farm system to boot. Jays are very dependent on identifying which highly ranked prospects they should flip v keep (in return for pitching), which is a bit of a gamble."




"Are the Yankees improved? Adding Cole makes any team ridiculously improved. But donít forget the Yankees added the superstar ace they lacked while the same time subtracting an all-star reliever, a borderline All-Star shortstop plus one of the best backup catchers in the game. New York gained exponentially but they also lost some ground as well. Better yes. Vastly improved? Not so much.

If all goes well the Yankees are in arguably a better team, but God forbid if things donít go well. What happens if Cole blows his arm out? The Yankees just spent $324 million worth of resources on one player. Not by any means a guarantee you to the World Series title.

Toronto added an ace. Ryu based on last yearís performance would be the best starting pitcher on the Yankees. They got better & remember the winter is not over.

Tampa Bay added Yoshitomo Tsutsugo & itís still trying to improve their offense. They pretty much had the second best pitching in all of Major League Baseball last year. If this team adds the ability to score a few more runs Iíd say they got quite a bit better."


scottt - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#384587) #
I think the worst thing they could do is trade their young position players for pitching prospects.

The system is loaded with pitching prospects.
There's no good position players set to graduate in years now.

They are exactly where they want to be.
They just need to finish developing the players they have.
All the guys in the outfield are former top prospects.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:22 PM EST (#384588) #
Thanks dalimon5.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#384589) #
Nobody's addressing the need ----> we don't have a competitive rotation and can't rely on Manoah, Kloff, Pardinho, Pearson, SWR etc. Like some have said, it's a possibility Pearson ends up in bullpen.


Remember 2 years ago when SRF, Perdomo and Connor Greene were all going to help the rotation? Or last year when Borucki was going to improve on his solid and out of nowhere 2017 season?

Kind of like Tellez, Pentacost, Urena etc all...


In case anyone forgot the TBJ just DFA their 2016 #1 prospect per mlb.com...Richard Urena.

http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=tor
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:48 PM EST (#384590) #
I think if you are looking at being competitive right now you trade guys in A Ball like Kirk, Moreno, Pardinho, Hiraldo, Orelvis and not the guy competing for you at the major league level.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 04:58 PM EST (#384591) #
"I think if you are looking at being competitive right now you trade guys in A Ball like Kirk, Moreno, Pardinho, Hiraldo, Orelvis and not the guy competing for you at the major league level."

OK finally this is a take that addresses the issue of getting better now without trading a league wide valued asset like Gurriel. I've got no issue with using these high upside lower prospects instead of Gurriel, though I think it's better roster management to just trade Gurriel since he can be replaced by any of the free agent OF widely available. The appeal is his contract and control so if you're the TBJ and have $20 million a year for Castellanos or or Ozuna or can find some value in someone like Thames while using Gurriel to upgrade elsewhere and keep your lower prospects....that's a win win win in my books.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 05:16 PM EST (#384592) #
The Jays should absolutely be trying to find a CF using the available assets that they have. Those assets include 2020/21 budget room, a surplus of Cs and middle infielders in the Groshans, Kirk, Moreno etc cohort and Giles (who is likely a luxury this year and next). You would think that you could acquire a good OF asset with some combination of Giles, taking on a bad contract and Groshans/Moreno (for example). The
Jays can exchange some of their current assets (and thereby make the team more competitive in 2020) without crippling the prospect pipeline. Atlanta seems the obvious candidate for such a trade.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 05:16 PM EST (#384593) #
"I think if you are looking at being competitive right now you trade guys in A Ball like Kirk, Moreno, Pardinho, Hiraldo, Orelvis and not the guy competing for you at the major league level."

That is a recipe for future disaster. No good can come from cheating on a rebuild and trying to win a division or more in 2020. Some fans need to be more patient. FO is sticking to a plan that was clearly enunciated and we are pretty much where we should be. The team is no way near as bad as what was seen last year which was due to a variety of factors that should be obvious. The post deadline team would have been better than .500 if it had the benefit of the pitching that has since been acquired.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 05:19 PM EST (#384594) #
Trading prospects only makes sense if the team is high enough on the win curve to justify it. Coming off a tanking season and not really knowing what the 2020 roster is capable of is not the right time to be moving top prospects. The team's top prospects aside from Pearson are also lower in the minors, which means their trade value will not be as high as maybe a year or two from now.

What the FO is doing now makes the most sense. Be opportunistic. They have financial flexibility. They used it to get a really good (and very risky) SP with front of the rotation potential and some innings-eating depth pieces. Maybe someone like Castellanos sees his market drop and becomes a reasonable get in a month or so. Just wait out the market and see what happens. Either way, 2020 should be looked at as a competitive rebuilding season. If they finish around .500 while still getting a look at players like Hernandez, Fisher, etc, and integrating prospects like Pearson and Kay into the rotation, it would be a pretty successful season.

I think 2021 is when the team will be better equipped to contend, but even then they don't necessarily have to move prospects. The FO has shown now that they can not only overpay in free agency but also swim in the Boras pool of players. That means there will be a lot more options available to them, especially if the 2020-21 team looks promising enough to potential FA's next winter.
eldarion - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 05:34 PM EST (#384595) #
I am happy with the Ryu signing and would like a #2 or #3 to supplement the staff as currently constituted but the reality is that Pearson will be up by mid-June and he will likely slot in as our #2. The staff, by mid-season, will be Ryu, Pearson and likely Roark, a servicable mid-rotation arm. No need to panic about #4 or #5 arms - we have plenty of those until one of our current wave of prospects (i.e. SRF, Merryweather, Waguespack, etc.) hopefully bust out and prove they're something more.

I may be in the minority here but I am very optimistic about the Jays' future pitching prospects in the minor leagues. I was pleased with the acquisition of Woods Richardson because his numbers scream elite for his age and at the level at which he was competing. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that he's knocking at the door by next season. After him, there's Manoah and Pardinho and then a few highly drafted/bonus baby arms that could turn into something special, like Kendall Williams. After them, there are the less heralded pitchers who have a chance to be perfectly serviceable MLBers, such as Patrick Murphy or Josh Winckowski as back end starters or SRF in the bullpen. Lastly, we have the 5th overall selection in the next draft, which is college pitching heavy going by the mock drafts. We'll likely get another elite pitching prospect then.

Our path is clear: we have the next 6 seasons to maximize the Guererro Jr/Bichette/Biggio era. If two of our elite pitching prospects (Pearson and Woods Richardson, for example) establish themselves as effective starters by mid-2021, we'll be in great shape. By 2022, one or both of Manoah and Pardinho will be knocking on the door, as well as the next wave of prospects (Orelvis, Hiraldo, etc.) and we'll be in great shape salary-wise to add a star or two.

All of the foregoing could have been expedited if we had received real value for Donaldson before he left, or for Encarnacion, or if Bautista hadn't fallen off a cliff performance-wise. We failed to leverage the assets from our last run so we were stuck in the in-between phase for a few seasons while we built our assets back up. That's over now. Let's enjoy watching the young talent blossom for the next little while. They could be special.
rpriske - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 06:22 PM EST (#384596) #
I think you are all being way too hard on this team. Gurriel is a solid piece and should not be traded.

As for trading for Senzel... I doubt he is available, but if he is I would trade Giles to get him. CF is the only glaring hole left in the lineup and closers are way overvalued. Cash in while you can!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 06:55 PM EST (#384597) #
Groshans is in the same class as Bo and Biggio in my book.

1B is a potential hole
CF is a potential hole
RF is a potential hole

SP 3, 4, 5 are potential holes..

Why sign Ryu when you have that many holes and how do you fill those holes in the next 2 seasons?
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#384598) #
I agree with eldarion:

"Our path is clear: we have the next 6 seasons to maximize the Guererro Jr/Bichette/Biggio era. If two of our elite pitching prospects (Pearson and Woods Richardson, for example) establish themselves as effective starters by mid-2021, we'll be in great shape. By 2022, one or both of Manoah and Pardinho will be knocking on the door, as well as the next wave of prospects (Orelvis, Hiraldo, etc.) and we'll be in great shape salary-wise to add a star or two."

Seems like a lot the fans are expecting the Jays to contend in 2020 after the Ryu signing. I see Ryu as more of a stopgap. The Jays need a true ace from 2022-2026 which is the expected window of competitiveness for this core.

This year is going to be another rebuilding year. They should be hanging onto promising young players like Gurriel Jr who could turn out to be a long term piece. Jays are likely to pick up a few more bullpen arms via free agency before the start of spring training by being opportunistic on relievers who didn't get the salary they were expecting. I expect the Jays to flip any of Shoemaker, Anderson, Roark and Giles at the trade deadline for more young players or prospects if any of them has a good season.

John Northey - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 08:42 PM EST (#384599) #
dalimon5 - that is unlikely. 

1B can easily be a hole if Tellez doesn't develop, and Travis Shaw doesn't make a decent comeback (he was a 120 OPS+ guy pre last season), and none of the surplus OF move there - hmm.  Doesn't sound like a big worry
RF has Randal Grichuk who had a bad year last year but a 117 OPS+ the year before.  Lifetime he is a 105 OPS+ guy which isn't great but would be livable if his defense is good. Especially if he moves to CF
CF has a few options but none excite me, Grichuk, Hernandez, Davis, Alford.  Biggest worry on the team now I suspect
SP drastically improved this winter with Ryu, Roark, and Shun Yamaguchi added.  plus Shoemaker is still here and hopefully is healthy for more than 5 starts, T.J. Zeuch, Anthony Kay, Ryan Borucki, Sean Reid-Foley all have shown a lot of hope and of course Trent Thornton is a decent #4 option.   #3 and beyond just need to be 100 ERA+ to be successful, 90 is livable.
scottt - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 08:43 PM EST (#384600) #
I don't know about the mock drafts, but it's very risky to take a pitcher high in the draft.
Especially when you don't expect to draft that high for a long time.
The second round would be a better spot to take a pitcher.

Maybe our new talent evaluator will surprise us.

When you compete, it's pretty normal not to get much return on top talent.
It's mostly the bad teams who get prospects for good players.
The alternative is to trade stars for MLB ready assets, but it's not that easy.
Nobody in Tampa is excited about the Pham trade and I can't imagine too may folks in Cleveland happy about what they got for Kluber.
Pearson for Encarnacion seems to have worked out well, actually.


PeterG - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 08:53 PM EST (#384601) #
It's probably better to take a position player at pick 5 unless a pitcher you love is there and is easily the BPA.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 10:39 PM EST (#384602) #
Why sign Ryu when you have that many holes

Because the Jays and Rogers couldn't allow attendance to continue cratering. This isn't Atlanta where the team loses 90 games 3 years in a row and still draws 2 million each of those years.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 31 2019 @ 11:40 PM EST (#384603) #
How many more games will Ryu win for the Jays. Do you think that will magically fix attendance if Jays are still in 4th place, maybe 3rd place max?

They aint beating the Yanks and Rays with current roster, and thats just our division. Toronto fans want to see a winner not a 5 win improvement team that's still behind TB and NYY pushing 95 wins plus.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 12:22 AM EST (#384604) #
Happy New Year Beauxites!


dan gordon - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 04:06 AM EST (#384605) #
dalimon5 you have mentioned Castellanos a few times now as a possible significant upgrade to the OF. I much prefer Gurriel to Castellanos. The first really good year Castellanos had was 2016, so let's look at what he's done since then. In the 4 years from 2016 to 2019, he produced 7.9 bWAR. That's about 2 WAR per season. To me, Gurriel is likely to do much better than that, probably over 3 WAR, possibly 4 WAR. Gurriel is going to be way, way cheaper as well, with Castellanos set to earn a big free agent contract, and Gurriel signed for 4 more years at a super bargain price. Plus, Gurriel is about 2 years younger. I just don't get the idea that Castellanos would be better than Gurriel at all. As far as Ozuna is concerned, he had a monster 6 WAR year in 2017, but in 2016, 2018 and 2019, he was in the 2's, averaging about 2.6 WAR a year, and he is also going to be getting a huge free agent contract. Plus, he's 3 years older than Gurriel. I don't see either of these guys as being remotely close to being preferable to Gurriel, considering ability, contract and age.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 04:07 AM EST (#384606) #
For attendance I checked into it once and saw that 90+ is the 'wow' factor (3+ million), the 80's and high 70's tends to be 'meh' (2 million range), low 70's and down is disaster (no hope so you go to the 1-2 million range).  I suspect TV ratings are similar.  You can't crater here and expect fans to put up with it for long unless you are the Leafs.  The Jays have a clear area of profitability.  If they are a 500 team there is hope and that sells enough to get decent crowds and TV ratings.  Give the fans a winner though and ratings go through the roof as does attendance.  2015/16 showed that in spades as did 2013 when the season started with the Jays as favorites.  Ryu, Roark, and others will help push the Jays closer to that 80 win area where fans start to pay attention.  If the kids come through then a playoff push could happen (especially if the Red Sox suck in 2020 which is a strong possibility).  As baseball fans we should enjoy this as a fickle fanbase that has shown they will show up for a winner but won't support a loser means ownership has the incentive to pay for a winner.  Unlike Tampa where fans won't support a winner or a loser any differently (I'm guessing they get better TV ratings from winning or the owners might cut that payroll even further).
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 06:55 AM EST (#384607) #
I would love to see the Red Sox suck this coming season.

Sweet Caroline, losing never felt so good -so good - so good.
scottt - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 10:04 AM EST (#384610) #
The projected rotation looks like this:

Ryu (international signing from Korea, only 7 years of service time)
Roark (drafted in the 25th round)
Anderson (drafted in the 15th round)
Shoemaker (undrafted)

Possibly Thornton (5th round), Yamaguchi (international agent 0 years of service time), Borucki (15th round)

So, obviously, you can find pitching outside of a high draft pick.

The lineup projects to be:

Bichette (2nd round)
Biggio (5th round)
Gurriell
Guerrero
Shaw (9th round)
Grichuck (1st round)
McGuire/Jansen (1st round/16th round)
Hernandez (1st round)
Fisher (1st round)

I'm not sure beyond that, but clearly there's more high draft picks here.)

Several pitchers drafted high will eventually reach in the next few years.
We'll likely see that not all of them will be successful.

Overall, I like the fact that the Jays have solid defensive catchers who will help the pitchers succeed.
That's something that AA overlooked until he signed Martin and even then, he was stuck with Dickey's personal catcher.

bpoz - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 11:28 AM EST (#384611) #
Thanks for the attendance numbers John N.

7 more wins give us 74 in 2019. So still only a small change or none in attendance and revenue. Add 2 and it is 76. This gives better attendance and revenue. The FO did not attempt to go for 76. Looked obvious to me that they did not try. S Brito, Buchholz, Richard and maybe a couple more. The SP additions did as expected. Brito and Hanson was unexpectedly worse than expected.

I think they got lucky with the pen. Right? Except it was over taxed, so could not really have been worse.

The goal this year could be 76-88. So better attendance and revenue based on what actually happens. 12 win variance. AL East. But there are 2 WCs for additional interest and effect.
hypobole - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 01:48 PM EST (#384613) #
Wins and attendance are definitely related. But perception, as 2010 and 2013 showed, also plays a large factor.

2010 - 85 wins - under 1.5 million
2013 - 74 wins - over 2.5 million

John pointed out the perception that led to 2013's attendance jump, while 2010 was a culmination of years of mediocrity plus trading away Doc and the office boy given the GM job.

Last year the team didn't try whatsoever to win, our best pitcher was traded and the little confidence there was in the FO cratered further to a large segment of the Jays potential fanbase.

Signing Ryu won't add significantly to the win column, and there are still multiple holes. However, it did show the Jays will spend to improve the product on the field. Maligning of the FO by both fans and the non-Rogers controlled media has been reduced significantly.

Without the Ryu signing, I'd guess attendance would have probably dropped close to the 1.5 million area of 2010. I'd venture to guess 2020 attendance will now climb back the 2 million range.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 02:36 PM EST (#384614) #
Attendance should never be ignored, or TV ratings.  The Jays in the JPR era saw both drop badly as hope vanished.  Cito coming back was as much about getting fans to hope again as anything else.  This winter Ryu, Roark, Shaw, Anderson, etc. is a lot like the 2005/2006 offseason where the Jays went out and got  Lyle Overbay, Troy Glaus, A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan, in an attempt to shift from 500 ball to playoff contender.  Attendance went from 2,014,995 to 2,302,212 while the wins went from 80 to 87 (still 10 out, 8 from WC, but if 2nd WC existed they'd have just been 2 out) but 2nd in East (16 games gained on Red Sox who fell apart).  Added Frank Thomas for the following season.  Many tinkering moves after that but no more 'wow' moves until after JPR left (I might have forgotten some beyond the idiotic Wells contract).  Lesson for the current team to learn: Don't stop adjusting.  Gillick turned over a lot of players after a WS win in 1992 (SS, 3B, LF, DH, at least 2 slots in rotation [Key/Stieb/Wells for Hentgen/Stewart], Closer, etc), there is never a reason to stop adjusting.  If you stop adjusting you are dying.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 02:51 PM EST (#384615) #
Sure, we have multiple holes, but we signed Ryu to TRY to FILL one of them. And Anderson/Roark for another (or two). Shaw for another, etc.

Hopefully, Pearson fills one this year. And if we can trade Giles for a good CF, I'm on board with that - I just don't want to see him traded for another Derek Fisher, just because.

If we can fill 2 or 3 holes this off-season successfully, so that we only have to fill 2 or 3 next year, then this was a success. Imagine trying to fill 5 or 6 holes in ONE off-season.. That leads to Josh Johnson trades - taking VERY risky gambles on players of dubious health and giving up a lot of prospects in the process.

I've said it like 8 or 10 times this off-season - you can't fill all your holes (when you have as many as the Jays did) in one off-season - you have to have 2 or 3 aggressive off-seasons. So getting Ryu this off-season, and maybe a vet whose market has fallen too far and will sign a discounted deal with club options, is exactly what we need to do. Ryu wasn't going to be available next season, so you have to sign him this year, when he's available.

As much as some people want to apply market economics (WAR / $, Moneyball, etc), there is another MAJOR factor - supply of QUALITY (>3 WAR) players is extremely limited. I'm sure at least 10 teams would have loved to sign Gerritt Cole body clone #n for $15M/year this off-season. But there's only one of him available - so you overpay, etc. Sure, 1-WAR players shouldn't be overpaid, and are generally available in reasonable quantities every off-season and in the past, GMs way overpaid 1-2 WAR players. But, you also can't win with a roster of 1-WAR players.. You need a few stars. And those, you have to sign when they are available, because they are NOT available every off-season. And even then, you get outbid, they prefer other cities, etc..
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 03:31 PM EST (#384616) #
Dan,

I agree with you that Gurriel is a better asset than Castellanos, but it's not a question of those two. I would rather have Castellanos and pitcher (acquired via trade) than Gurriel. That's the only way you are improving the rotation without Kay, Borucki, Waguespack, Thornton being used.

Im of the opinion that Roark, Anderson and the rest will all fail or be mediocre in AL East. I think Ryu and potentially Shoemaker will succeed. I'm 50/50 on Pearson starting and pitching 100+ innings without getting injured or figured out/moved to bullpen.

I'm simply trying to move replaceable assets (like a tradeable OF like Gurriel) with free agents that only cost money and payroll space.

Look at this line up and tell me how the TBJ will defeat the Rays, Yankees, Twins, White Sox, Rangers, Astros, A's...this team won't be able to fill in more holes in the next 2 off seasons except through trade and prospect graduations.

Hands up if you think MLB's best player outside of Trout will come to Toronto who will out pay every other American market.

Way too much optimism here on this board. Please look at the rotations and line ups of the 6 best teams in the AL and tell me the Jays are even close to being top 5 to get into a 1 game playoff.

SP Ryu - amazing
SP Shoemaker - was cut last year because he can't remain healthy
SP Roark - innings eater, average
SP Anderson - can't go through line up multiple times
SP Yamaguchi - never pitched in MLB or Thornton who is hit or miss

SS Bichette - due for regression
2B Biggio - i think he can improve
LF Gurriel i can't get on base via walk
3B Guerrero - he is a god
1B Shaw - one of if not the worst ranked player in 2019
RF Grichuck - one of the worst ranked in 2019
C - McGuire/Jansen great potential and good strides last year
CF Hernandez - top strikeout leader, has power and eye potential
DH Fisher - lots of potential

I see a line up filled with swiss cheese and loads of potential after the future all stars of Vlad, Bo, Biggio and possibly Gurriel.


The pitching doesn't even have any of the potential of the hitting...not until 2022 so go trade for some.
Dr B - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 04:47 PM EST (#384618) #
I'm simply trying to move replaceable assets (like a tradeable OF like Gurriel)

Replaceable with who? Not internally. I think there might be an argument one should trade Gurriel because (perhaps) he is overrated, but youíve already stated that you donít think that. It is fair to state that there is a gap between the best teams and the jays, but trading a position at which you have no depth, for one that you do is just makes the hole bigger, the gap wider. They wonít do it.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 05:19 PM EST (#384620) #
dalimon5, I agree with the idea of trading a player to get help where you need it if you can replace the traded player with a free agent who is as good as the traded player. I just don't see that with Castellanos and Gurriel, and I guess I think the Jays' starting pitching is a lot better than you do. Same for the position players. I have a much higher opinion than virtually all of your above comments. Just to take one example, your comment on Shaw is that he was one of the worst rated players last year. I see a guy who had 4 very good seasons to start his career, with an OPS well over .800, and 11.5 WAR in about 500 games, or just over 3 seasons worth. That's about 3.5 WAR per 150 games. Last year, in only 86 games, he was terrible. I'm not going to weigh that small sample of 86 games anywhere near as much as a 500 game sample that is vastly different. I think the odds are very good that Shaw has a strong bounce back season. If the Jays can acquire a good righty bat to platoon with him, even better, because he is not great vs lefties.

Last year, from July 27th on, with the young position players now up from the minors, the Jays were 28-29. To that team, they have added 5 (!!) starting pitchers, including the guy who led the NL in ERA, 2 others who have career ERA's under 4.00, Shoemaker, who was pitching great before suffering a leg injury, who also has a career ERA under 4.00, and one of the best pitchers in Japan. Then you've got one of the best pitching prospects in baseball likely joining the team in May or June, plus the possibility that one of the other prospects takes a step forward. They've replaced Smoak with Shaw, and you've got all those kids on the right side of 27, meaning they are still in the development stage of their careers, the phase where players tend to get better until they reach their peak ability. As far as I'm concerned the Jays are really looking good.
Jonny German - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 05:30 PM EST (#384621) #
I'm 50/50 on Pearson starting and pitching 100+ innings without getting injured or figured out/moved to bullpen.

Pearson is literally one of the very best prospects in the game, and the one injury heís suffered was a fluke. Iím not sure how you square being pessimistic about him with thinking youíll get a better pitcher than him in return for Gurriel.
tercet - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 05:54 PM EST (#384622) #
Dailmon like 99% of the things I agree with what you say, but we aint getting anything for Gurriel besides a bag of baseballs, maybe Baltimore needs a cheap OF like him.
Also no reason to move Pearson to the bullpen yet or even think about it anytime soon. Daniel Norris was the last big SP prospect we had, it took him almost 4 years to figure it out in the majors. Pearson has some red flags like most minor league pitchers, mostly just his command/control right now, but lets see how he fares mid summer in '20.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 10:38 PM EST (#384630) #
Pearson's upside right now is likely something like what Aaron Sanchez was. Guys like Syndergaard are the exceptions not the rule. Last year this time there were 2 top pitching prospects...can't miss sure fire starting pitchers. One didn't make it out of spring training and was demoted later in the year to AA. The other was injured after having one of the best minor league seasons ever and is recovering from shoulder fatigue.

The odds of Pearson becoming an elite starting pitcher or even a reliable starting pitcher like Roark are not great imho, and his injury is not a small injury. Hr literally has a screw holding his elbow together similar to Steve Delabar.

Sure, he will likely be our #2 and has potential to be a solid #2 for his career, but if that happens there is probably a better chance it occurs a few years down the road, of course, if he can even remain healthy.

On a positive note, i'm quite bullish on Kloffenstein and Manoah.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 10:46 PM EST (#384631) #
The buzz with Gurriel is real. I think many teams see him as a potential 30/100 guy on a great contract. That will get you a solid pitcher and create an opportunity to sign one of the free agent OF'ers. Examples:

Sign Castellanos

Trade Gurriel for one of following:

Dustin May (Dodgers)
Ian Anderson (Braves)
Matt Manning (Tigers)
Cal Quantrill (Padres)
Luis Patino (Padres)
tercet - Wednesday, January 01 2020 @ 11:39 PM EST (#384632) #
I have been trying reign in the crazy people (albeit pretty much everyone believes this) who think Pearson will instantly become our ace, but damn you are even more down on him then me, hahah. Watching him pitch last year he clearly has below average command/control right now but not as bad as Sanchez did when he came up. Pearson misses up/high with his fastball probably 50%~ of the time, which have been most of the HRs he has given up.

I disagree with you re Gurriel, 29 other front offices know that Gurriel is just another 300~ obp hacker. Marc Hulet mentioned a few times in some other recent threads that this FO likes to fall in love with there players/acquisitions, which I agree with 1000%. Hopefully they eventually learn he is not going to be good once/if we get good in '21/'22.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 05:38 AM EST (#384634) #
I like Pearson, I just dont like his chances of success using 3 pitches in the AL East, only one of which is great. If he gets better and develops a strong 3rd pitch then it changes everything, but no, blowing heat past 18 year olds isn't so impressive to me. He reminds me a bunch of Chapman.
bpoz - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 08:08 AM EST (#384635) #
So Pearson may need AAA time to develop rather being kept down for financial reasons.

We will find out soon enough. My hope is that he stays healthy.

I also see Atkins having to constantly defend any decision for keeping him down.
scottt - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 08:44 AM EST (#384636) #
It's hard to be ready for a 102mph fastball and a breaking pitching.
Much of Severino success comes from his fastball.

I prefer a front office who tries to develop players than one who tries to trade everyone they draft.
I find I have no attachment to players like Tulo and Price.

The one thing to consider with the 80 win objectives is that if they win all their games against Baltimore and just play .500 against everyone else they'll finish with 90 wins. Baltimore hasn't done anything to be better over the winter. On the contrary.
Mancini is the only good bat in the lineup and the rotation is headed by John Means, Alex Cobb and Asher.

bpoz - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 10:03 AM EST (#384637) #
Instantly becoming an Ace is Stieb, Key, Guzman and Hentgen. Others took a little while like Carpenter and Halladay.

Litsch showed decent value in his short career.

Some took a long time to blossom like D Stewart and J Anduhar.

Some failed SPs became really good late inning pitchers. Issringhausen and C Janssen.

Sorry about the bad spelling.

Our over valued farm may still produce some valuable pitching pieces. They have to be given a chance to fail or succeed.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 10:41 AM EST (#384638) #
Basically just look at what the Rays would do. If Pearson was in TB he would probably be in AA for all of 2020. In 2021 he would play AAA and in 2022 he would start again in AAA until dominating and called up.

He would be their 3rd best prospect at best. TB only veered from this strategy last year with Brendan McKay who they used to help their playoff push.
PeterG - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 11:01 AM EST (#384639) #
Jays have been relatively conservative in moving up pitchers. It would not surprise me if Pearson pitches the entire season in Buffalo. He will have to force his way to the bigs in 2020 imo.
bpoz - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 11:24 AM EST (#384640) #
I cannot think of any good pitching prospects that this FO has had which were rushed or held back. This statement is sort of wrong.

Good pitcher Borucki was put on the 40 man for Dec 2016 rule 5 protection. 2 options burned in 2017 and 2018. Injured in 2019.

Good pitcher SRF called up Aug 13, 2018 and given a ML test. He needed rule 5 protection.

Good pitchers Zeuch & Kay Sept 2019 call ups. They would have required rule 5 protection.

A Hatch added to 40 man Nov 20,2019 for rule 5 protection.

I called the above pitchers good out of kindness and to be positive. I did not mention Pannone or all the AA SPs like Y Diaz and P Murphy. The AA group have burned 1 option and are still developing.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 11:47 AM EST (#384641) #
Pearson is 23 years old, and will turn 24 in August.  Let's see what the Rays did with their top pitching prospects. 

David Price shares a birthday (August 26) with Pearson.  He got a cup of coffee in his age 22 season after playing at three levels (and struggling in triple A).  He then made 8 mediocre starts in triple A at age 23, but got the call to the majors for good anyway.

Chris Archer was born September 26.  At age 21, he made 13 excellent starts at double A.  At age 22, he made 25 thoroughly mediocre starts at double A.  At age 23, he made 25 average starts at triple A, but got the call anyway and wasn't sent back after that.

Blake Snell (born December 4) reached the high minors at age 22.  He blew away double A and triple A in 12 and 9 starts respectively.  They gave him 12 more starts in triple A at age 23 before calling him to the Show for good.

The Rays do seem to want to get their top pitching prospects up by age 23.  In my view, with a player like Pearson, they would probably send him to triple A and hold him there until past the super 2 deadline.  If he was pitching well without pain, they would call him up. 




bpoz - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 11:58 AM EST (#384642) #
In Sept this year the rosters increase from 26 to 29. I expect Atkins famous "possibilities if it makes sense" to be in play.

My expectations are 3 of J Davis, McKinney, Zeuch and Kay to be promoted if not already on the 26 man roster.
PeterG - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 12:21 PM EST (#384643) #
The increase is to 28 in September, not 29. There is no way at this time to reasonably predict who those 2 call ups may be.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 12:51 PM EST (#384644) #
Mike Green that is a solid post. I am wrong about TB as you have shown, though those other pitchers didn't miss anywhere near the time that Pearson has so his "biological pitching age" may be 21 or 22, to be fair.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 01:32 PM EST (#384645) #
The Rays also became much more aggressive in promoting prospects in 2019 and had quite a few play at three levels. They appear to be altering their philosophy now that they're a perennial playoff team; they can't afford big free agents so they have to rely on high-ceiling, young guys for impact.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 01:59 PM EST (#384646) #
Let's be clear on where the Jays are on the win curve and what that means for roster construction: signing Ryu means that if most everything breaks right, they could contend this year. But the more realistic window of contention still opens in 2021.

That means we are best off in 2021 sorting out who our long-term players are going to be, and where they fit; and trading surplus where it emerges. This actually fits the mode of possible 2020 contention - if most everything has to break right, you have to give opportunities for everything to break right.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 03:45 PM EST (#384648) #
c Jansen
1b Shaw
2b Biggio
3b Guerrero
ss Bichette
rf Grichuk
cf Hernandez
lf Gurriel
dh Tellez

c McGuire
inf Espinal
of Fisher
inf-of Drury

The statcast data suggests that Grichuk is a significantly better defensive centerfielder than Hernandez by a good margin.  DRS and UZR agree.  If the club does not upgrade CF, I'd have Grichuk there, and split the RF job between Fisher and Teoscar with Teoscar also getting time as DH.  Of course, I'd also move Guerrero Jr. to DH or 1B, and platoon Shaw and Drury at third base.  That seems unlikely to happen at least at the beginning of the year. 

The pitching is more complicated.  I always am hesitant to imagine in January what a pitching staff might look like, and this year is no exception.  Usually, a pitcher or three is injured and can't answer the bell.  I'll say this- I'd like to see three lefties (Ryu, Borucki and Kay) get about 150 innings each this year, if healthy.  I had another idea for a pitching rotation where you have three LHP (let's say Ryu, Borucki and Kay) and three RHP (let's say Shoemaker, Anderson and Roark).  You run the rotation like this:

1- Ryu opens, Shoemaker main event
2- Anderson opens, Borucki main event
3- Kay opens, Roark main event
4- Shoemaker opens, Ryu main event
5- Borucki opens, Anderson main event
6- Roark opens, Kay main event

There are all kinds of variants possible.  You could for instance have a 6 day rotation with Ryu, Kay, Shoemaker and Roark making conventional starts in Games 1, 3, 4 and 6 with  Font, Borucki and Anderson working in combination in Games 2 and 5.  

Jevant - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 04:20 PM EST (#384649) #
I'm legitimately a little puzzled at why Teoscar instead of Grichuk in CF, all things being equal. Eye test has always been to me that Grichuk is better defensively. Stats don't seem to disagree?

I am still a little puzzled by the current roster construction, which makes me feel like another move might yet come. We have Tellez and Shaw both slated to be 1B/DH, and neither of them should probably play against LHP. I still feel an 1B/OF/DH who crushes LHP makes a lot of sense for this team if you want to have a "we can compete if everything breaks right" year.

I'll keep up my "sign Wilmer Flores" prattling, mostly because he can also cover 2B which could mean you could have Biggio options if you so choose. I'd also be fine with dealing a C and re-signing Russell (if you could pair up say McGuire and Gurriel for an arm, and sign Russell and say Puig, I'd say this team gets more interesting and raises the ceiling without markedly hurting the floor).
PeterG - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 04:50 PM EST (#384650) #
If Shaw is to play 1b, it is likely that Tellez will be using his final option year in Buffalo, at least to begin season. There will be a rotating DH.

There is some talk today on BP that Yamaguchi may be the closer with Giles being moved. I doubt that Yamaguchi would have signed to be a mid inning reliever, considering his stature in Japan. It seems likely to me that he was told that he would either start or close.
bpoz - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 05:20 PM EST (#384651) #
Yamaguchi as a closer or starter make sense to entice him to sign.

I can't believe that so many teams "expecting to make the playoffs" have not signed a good SP (#2).

With zero good SPs available now Giles becomes a reliever that is in high demand.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 05:46 PM EST (#384652) #
On Grichuk vs. Hernandez in CF, I think it's more a matter of putting players in what are their best positions relatively speaking, combined with what allows for upside potential. Hernandez is a little faster than Grichuk, and seems to have improved defensively by most measures this past year even as he spent most of the season in CF. If he can be moderately below-average defensively while hitting something like he did from June forward, Hernandez could be a multi-year solution to CF. Grichuk is slowing down - while Statcast saw him as still a strong defender, DRS had him well-below average in RF (but good in CF) and UZR had him around average in both RF and CF. There isn't a clear answer to how Grichuk will perform defensively in CF - nor is it clear how Teoscar will do there; but since the upside for Teoscar in CF seems higher overall, and because Grichuk already has a position (RF) where he's demonstrated competence over the past few years, it seems more sensible to keep Grichuk in RF and let Teoscar continue in CF. Perhaps against lefties you could let Teoscar DH or play 1B, sitting Shaw/Tellez and letting Alford get some time in CF.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 06:02 PM EST (#384653) #
Teoscar is 27. He's played about two seasons in the outfield and been poor. He was very bad in centerfield despite his speed. He will of course be slowing down some.

If he has potential, it is with the bat. He has power, he will take a walk and he runs well. If they want to give him 600 PAs, it would be a lot better for him as a DH.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 06:16 PM EST (#384654) #
Projected Opening Day Roster

Starters:
C Jansen
1B Shaw
2B Biggio
3B Guerrero
SS Bichette
RF Grichuk
CF Hernandez
LF Gurriel
DH - (rotation)

Bench
C McGuire
OF Fisher
OF Alford
UTIL Drury
UTIL Valera

Rotation
SP Ryu
SP Shoemaker
SP Roark
SP Anderson
SP Thornton

Bullpen
RP Giles
RP Yamaguchi
RP Font
RP Gaviglio
RP Bass
RP Cole
RP Waguespack
RP Pannone

Presuming everyone is healthy, it seems likely the last spot in the rotation will be a Spring Training fight between Thornton, Borucki and Yamaguchi. Borucki seems like an easy guy to put in AAA if he hasn't worked all the rust off.

Given the lack of options for Valera, Alford and Fisher, I think it's most likely the Jays open the year with Tellez in AAA, and the DH spot open.

I think Cole has a pretty good inside lane for a spot in the bullpen, but I think Aumont is going to have to have an outstanding Spring Training to make the team for opening day (or, of course, injuries strike).
dan gordon - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 06:30 PM EST (#384655) #
I expect we are still going to see a lot of different lineups, with everybody playing a fair bit, just like we did last year. That seems to be part of Montoyo's style. That's part of the reason why I'd like to see them sign a good righty bat. Otherwise, we're going to be seeing a lot of Drury again. I would expect Tellez to make the team instead of Valera, who likely will be taken off the roster at some point when they sign another reliever or position player. If everybody is playing a fair bit, you can't have many weak hitters on the roster. I agree that Borucki probably starts in AAA, unless he's lights out in the spring, or there are a couple of injured starters, which is always a possibility. I read something interesting lately - a prediction that Espinal will see some time in CF this year.
scottt - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 06:32 PM EST (#384656) #
When the roster increases only to 28, they probably go with 2 pitchers.
I'd expect many teams to release some vets so they can bring extra prospects up.
Which, of course, would make the weak teams even weaker and defeat the purpose of the change.
Traditionally, teams like to bring a 3rd catcher up.

The Rays will keep prospects down as long as they can. It ensure they get maximum value from the pre-arb years and it also gives them incredible leverage in negotiating team friendly contracts. However, it's hard to keep prospects down if they need them on the team and they have a shot at a playoff spots. Those playoffs games are big money makers for them.

The Rays won 80 games, so they released/traded 3 of their 4 players worth over 3 WAR.
That let them win 90 games, so they traded one of their 3 players worth over 3 WAR and signed Morton.
They won 96, so they traded one of their 3 players worth over 3 WAR.
It's a weird perennial strategy.
They have a lot of ready prospects this year and Snell could be healthy, but they have some holes (like catcher) and they are affected more than most by the 3 hitter per pitcher change.

Hernandez hits well enough to be on the team, so they have to put him where he's the least liable.

Fisher has a noodle arm and Gurriel has a strong arm. That means Gurriel should be in right and Fisher in left if not in center.

Tellez has been very good against left handed hitters. Shaw is strictly a platoon.

I don't know that you promise spots that depends on performance to entice players to sign.
Yamaguchi was a closer before he was a starter, but he doesn't throw hard and he threw over 180 innings last year.
Hopefully Montoyo uses him where he needs him, be it middle relief, long relief, setup or multi-inning closing.

There are a few guys who should earn a bullpen spot in the spring but are not on the 40 roster; A.J. Cole, Aumont, Miller, etc. I expect at least one guy will be cut or traded. Gaviglio? Font?
Pearson will also require a spot at some point.

Trading Giles for someone who is not a closer but need a 40 roster spot would likely require dropping someone else.


scottt - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 06:36 PM EST (#384657) #
Domingo German got a huge 81 game suspension.

I wonder if that keeps Happ with the Yankees.

PeterG - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 08:04 PM EST (#384659) #
Only one of the 2 allowed September call ups can be a pitcher.
John Northey - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 08:36 PM EST (#384661) #
German suspended for domestic violence ala Osuna.  Just 63 games this year as he was put on 'administrative leave' in September.  Wonder if the Yankees will hot potato him like the Jays did (IE: get rid of him as fast as possible).
Nigel - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 09:07 PM EST (#384662) #
All of these lineups highlight that the obvious holes are in CF and high leverage relief roles. Moving Guerrero to 1B/DH seems obvious as well but is unlikely to happen. The high leverage relief role(s) might get filled by moving Thornton to the pen and finding another starter.
PeterG - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 09:15 PM EST (#384663) #
I an interview with Pete Walker a few days back, the pitching coach said there are no plans to move Thornton to pen. I think he can be a successful major league starter.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 09:55 PM EST (#384664) #
Teoscar is 27. He's played about two seasons in the outfield and been poor. He was very bad in centerfield despite his speed. He will of course be slowing down some.

If he has potential, it is with the bat.
Teoscar was noticeably better on the whole last year in the outfield compared to 2018 by both DRS and UZR, as well as by DRA and BP's FRAA. Statcast saw a smaller improvement. A disproportionate part of his negative value by UZR and DRS in CF was due to his arm, which has been fine elsewhere. While we should expect Teoscar to slow down at some point, there is as yet no trend downwards in his sprint speed - and there is one for Grichuk.

Ultimately, you have to balance potential value vs. the best lineup given your roster. Fisher RF, Grichuk CF, Teoscar DH might provide marginally better production than Grichuk RF, Teoscar CF, Tellez DH, but that has to be balanced against the possibility of Teoscar becoming a decent CF.

One thing that makes no sense is the idea that Teoscar has a better chance be a good hitter if he DHs. This ignores the general rule that players hit worse as DHs than when playing the field, that Teoscar has hit terribly in his small sample as a DH, and that his longest sustained offensive success has come when playing CF everyday. There is nothing to suggest Teoscar would be an exception to the general rule.
Glevin - Thursday, January 02 2020 @ 10:11 PM EST (#384665) #
Apparently Mets are shopping lowrie and Dominic Smith as a package. Think it could be a good fit for the Jays. I'd rather have Lowrie than any of the backup IFers Jay's have now and taking him on would lower price for Smith who looked like he was breaking out last year and could be a long term piece.
scottt - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 08:28 AM EST (#384670) #
Shaw already covers the same position as Dominic Smith.

This year we could see more pinch hitting in the AL as the reliever must face 3 hitters.
That could be a way to use both Tellez and Shaw and still rotate players through the DH spots.

I wonder if one team will designate a pitcher as a position player.
A position player is allowed to pitch only when one team is winning or losing by 6 runs or more or in extra innings.
So basically, you could use a pitcher as a true mop-up duty guy.

A player can qualify as a 2-way player by pitching 20 innings and starting 20 games with at least 3 PAs.
I believe the Rays have a prospects who is doing that in the minors.

Teams like to add a player to the 40 list in September, so he can gain MLB experience without burning an option.
So there is still an incentive for bad teams to release vets for roster spots.

Jevant - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 10:31 AM EST (#384675) #
Lowrie is if healthy a legitimate RHB that would be a fantastic backup INF for this team. 1 year left at $10m, so no long term commit, and if the team is out of it at the deadline, you can flip him and get something for him. Sign me up. Even better than Wilmer Flores, since he can play SS.

Smith would be a nice piece too (also is a LHB, but that's life). That seems like a no-brainer move for the Jays, but I can't imagine there aren't a few teams with that same perspective.
Mike Green - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 10:58 AM EST (#384677) #
Jed Lowrie hasn't played more than 3 innings at shortstop in the major leagues since 2015.  During the period 2013-15, he played 2300 innings there and was at -32 DRS. (-9 UZR).  Five years on from that, it is extremely unlikely that he would be playable at the position.  He may be a serviceable second baseman, but with Biggio and Drury at the position, I don't know why you would want him. 
Jevant - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 11:05 AM EST (#384678) #
I think Lowrie's a lot better bat than Drury if healthy, and the real prize is Dom Smith coming along with him.

I'm hoping I'm wrong on Drury, but I am extremely ready to move on from him at this point.
Glevin - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#384679) #
"Shaw already covers the same position as Dominic Smith."

Shaw is 30 and on a one year deal. Smith is 24 and can't be a free agent until 2024. Never mind that Shaw is flexible and can cover 3B and DH as well. It's hard to know what to make of Smith TBH because he was a great hitting prospect then was absolutely awful in majors and minors in 2018 before rebounding last season. Steamer has him as a 91 WRC+ because projection systems don't really count on breakouts and tend to be very conservative. While this is a possible range for Smith, he could also just be a much better hitter now. It's be perfect for a team like the Jays to try to find out.
Mike Green - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#384680) #
The club is on the hook for 2.5 million for Drury.  They could easily have non-tendered him, but didn't. 

As for Smith, the Statcast data for 2019 suggests that he was just lucky.  His xBA was .245 and his xSLG was .445.  His expected numbers for 2019 were not significantly different from 2017 and 2018 (when he was unlucky).  His career MLB slash line of .236/.295/.450 is about where he currently sits.  Rowdy Tellez is probably a better bet- he's likely a slightly better hitter. 
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 11:59 AM EST (#384682) #
The negative value of Lowrie equals the surplus value of Smith, so its a worthwhile salary dump.

However I agree with Mike Green that I think Tellez is more likely to be a better hitter going forward. I think Tellez has a lot more upside to his superior contact quality.
bpoz - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 12:18 PM EST (#384683) #
The Drury deal for $2.5 mil is less of a head scratcher for me. I remember and compare F Liriano $13 mil in 2017, J Garcia got paid $10 mil in 2018 and the trio of Shoemaker, Buchholz and Richard in 2019. Also D Phelps. So Drury seems a better deal to me.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 12:26 PM EST (#384684) #
Based on the types of hitters Atkins seems to go after, I think he's more likely to value Tellez as a hitter than Smith (as mentioned, the Statcast numbers paint Tellez more favorably). Who ends up being the better player going forward is debatable, but if given the choice, my guess is Atkins would just roll with Tellez at DH to begin the season rather than absorb Lowrie's contracts to get Smith.
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 12:26 PM EST (#384685) #
Mike is right that we'd be buying what looks to be a luck-driven "breakout" on Dominic Smith, and that Lowrie doesn't look to be a viable backup SS.

Smith and Lowrie do have some value, but they aren't such a significant upgrade that a team will undo what it's already arranged this offseason. It would have made much more sense for the Jays back in October, before signing Shaw and tendering Drury.
bpoz - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 01:14 PM EST (#384686) #
I would like to really see how TB is contending!!

They will never sign a Rendon contract. Nether have the Jays so far. TB did sign Morton and the Jays signed Ryu but 2 years vs 4 years.

TB and the Jays receive attendance money from home and away games. The Jays are ahead in home attendance money. TB is ahead in playoff money or potential playoff money because they win. Against Houston the stadium there if full would be mainly Astro's fans. In TB a full playoff stadium is also likely because I "feel" Houston fans would attend. However this is theory and I don't have the numbers.

If an equal to TB record by the Jays I feel strongly that the Jays will outperform TB revenue wise. Just look at the study done by John N.

Right now we have an opportunity to study Jays VS TB with both a lower or higher payroll but need similar winning records if it happens. TB's historical winning/losing record can be used to determine financial records. 3 bad years for the Jays has some value but an extra bad year (2020) would be helpful in the consistency factor. Because 2 vs 2 for trying to contend and trying not to contend.
Jevant - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 01:37 PM EST (#384690) #
Fair enough. I just wish we weren't locked into Brandon Drury. I agree it feels as if Drury is going to get significant minutes as a major piece in the lineup every day against LHP plus spotting other guys on days off...I still don't get what he brings to the roster that other cheaper FA's could provide.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 02:50 PM EST (#384691) #
The team can still cut Brandon Drury before a certain date and only pay him the league min, thatís what happened to Reed Johnson many moons ago. I would still love a DH addition to push Shaw into the backup 2B/3B role that Drury has.... I just donít see Dominic Smith as that option.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 05:21 PM EST (#384692) #
TBJ are in a good spot. Still lots of good upside signings available.

Alex Wood
Yasiel Puig
Tajuan Walker
Eric Thames
Mike Green - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 05:23 PM EST (#384693) #
Brock Holt is still available.  It looks like he would be playable at shortstop, second base and the outfield.  He also fits the bill of a player whose offensive profile (left-handed, on-base heavy offence) which fits in with the club's needs.  I wouldn't mind if he got 300-350 PAs. 
PeterG - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 05:27 PM EST (#384694) #
Player Jays should be in on big time is Oscar Colas, 21 years old, just defected from Cuba and said to be one of best players recently produced from that country. He played in Japan last season and wants to play in mlb. He is an OF/P.

Travis Shaw was interviewed this afternoon and said Jays have told him he will be full time first baseman. Of course, he will need to perform to keep it that way.
Jonny German - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 05:41 PM EST (#384695) #
Speculation on Colas is that he will/should wait until July to sign, when the new signing period starts and teams have more money available. Anyone know how that looks for the Jays? Is it possible to trade international bonus money before the period has started, and therefore some teams are lined up to have more than average available?
scottt - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 05:56 PM EST (#384696) #
It's interesting because the other 2-way player, Othani, bet on himself and didn't wait around.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 07:43 PM EST (#384697) #
Honestly the more I think about the Shaw signing I see him as the safety blanket for Vladdy. It wouldnít surprise me if they flipped Shaw and Vladdy at the corners mid season and used Shaw as the stop gap until Groshans at the hot corner.
scottt - Friday, January 03 2020 @ 09:26 PM EST (#384698) #
Groshans is still too far away. (He's looking good in his December workout videos though.)
Shaw is in direct competition with Tellez. There's a good chance one of the 2 will rake.
Guerrero is pushing himself to hold on to third base.
They have to give him plenty of time.

Espinal should get a taste at some point this year, but they'll want him to play every day.

Kirk is the guy who could reach next year--possibly pushing Jansen out.

Riley Adams could be up this year--if they find the room.
Or Kevin Smith if he hits enough for his glove to carry him.
Neither find themselves on the roster if they don't earn it.

John Northey - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 01:14 AM EST (#384699) #
Oscar Colas is interesting.  started at 17 playing in a Cuban league (278/370/494 for what its worth), played in Japan ever since (3 seasons - no stats year one, 212/259/432 in 158 PA year 2, 300/353/511 in 295 PA last year at 20 in what is seen as similar to AAA level competition).  Not listed as pitching at any of those places though so odd that he is listed as a pitcher/hitter.  Of course, Dave Stieb didn't before signing here.  Born Sept 17, 1998.  Bats and throws left.  Plays 1B/RF.  Guess the big question is would the Jays verbally (can't put it in a contract) agree to play him in the majors if not overwhelmed in spring? 

The Jays international limit was $5,398,300 at the start (July 1st).  One source (Sporttrac) has the Jays spending roughly $2 million so far of that.  So it is possible the Jays have a lot of cash sitting in their pockets waiting to be spent.  Or the guys they didn't list bonuses for could've cost that $3 mill+ that is missing.  Should be interesting to see what happens.
scottt - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 10:53 AM EST (#384700) #
Verbal promises are a break of the rules.
I don't see this front office as doing that kind of stuff.

However, it's pretty clear that Jays have opportunities in the outfield.

Colas is young enough that he shouldn't be worried about fast tracking his road to the majors.
It's unlikely he makes it as a pitcher without some times in the minors.
He sounds like a right field candidate. This is going to be another big year for Conine also.

We got 4 legacy players in the infield, Conine would make it 2 in the outfield.
There must be a son of an elite players who can player center somewhere. Delino DeShield Jr should be available from Cleveland.

scottt - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 10:58 AM EST (#384701) #
Shaw said that he'd rather play all over and thus improve his future free agency value.
The Jays have told him he'll play mostly  at first base.


Mike Green - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 12:30 PM EST (#384702) #
With the increased roster size and the batter minimum for pitchers, I would go with 14 position players with this club.  This would allow for the addition of Dyson and an infielder like Holt or Iglesias. A complicated sharing of roles at first base, DH and the OF, to maximize platoon advantages, makes sense. Its always a good time to honour Earl Weaver...
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 12:30 PM EST (#384703) #
The Jays are an interesting fit for Colas as they are known as having a great development program and spent modestly this international signing period.
scottt - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 12:56 PM EST (#384704) #
Well, the 40 roster currently includes 23 pitchers and 17 position players.
It's difficult to add position players without dropping pitchers--whom are mostly prospects.

Drury and Valera could be replaced but the outfield is already full unless you drop Alford.
I think they need an established shortstop to back up the position.
The rest can be adjusted as they go.

James W - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 12:57 PM EST (#384705) #
Wonder if the Yankees will hot potato him like the Jays did (IE: get rid of him as fast as possible).

The Yankees have had no issue using players with domestic issues attached to them.
Nigel - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 01:30 PM EST (#384706) #
Thumbs up on Holt for all the reasons Mike listed. This roster really needs some LH and OBP help.

For several years now the roster has been filled with players with some obvious offence/defence strengths and weaknesses. Notwithstanding the limitations that 8 man (or more) pens have placed on job sharing and more effectively using position players, neither Gibbons nor Montoyo showed even the slightest interest in trying to exploit/minimize those strengths and weaknesses. It was one of my disappointments with the new manager. Iím not sure the team yet has the manager for best utilizing the advantages that come with an expansion of the rosters. Time will tell.
scottt - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 03:38 PM EST (#384708) #
BA published all 2019 minor leagues transaction recently.

The Jays have resigned Willy Ortiz. He had an ERA of 5.83 as a 22 year old long relief guy in AA.
Good stuff, good velo, only 2 pitches, too many walks. Maybe they'll try him as a one inning reliever next.

Pitcher Kyle Weatherly and catcher Troy Squires have retired.
Weatherly was drafted above slot in the 8th round in 2016.
ERA of 3.81 as a reliever in Dunedin. Still had a decent chance of reaching at some point. He'll be 25 though,.

I don't remember Squires at all.
He was drafted  in 2018 (23 round) but did not play at all last year.





scottt - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 03:42 PM EST (#384709) #
In other news Zulueta, the Cuban pitcher the Jays signed with most of the Kendrys Morales money is showing a fastball in the triple digits and a potent curve. Could break with Vancouver in June, fingers crossed.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 04:02 PM EST (#384710) #
I seem to be the only one who has interest in Dyson. I guess I should say more.  The pitching staff is likely to have a large number of balls in play. The club's ability to turn those balls in play into outs will have much to do with the development  of the staff (which in my view is far more important than finding out if Teoscar can surprise us and become a decent centerfielder). In other words, strength down the middle of the diamond...
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 04:31 PM EST (#384711) #
Zuluta had Tommy John shortly after signing last year, so Iím not sure heís throwing right now.
PeterG - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 06:58 PM EST (#384712) #
It is not expected that Zulueta will pitch this season. The Jays knew he needed TJ when they signed him. I assume he would have cost more otherwise. It would be nice to know how much int'l pool money they have in reserve?
bpoz - Saturday, January 04 2020 @ 08:35 PM EST (#384714) #
If the int'l prospects develop over the next 5 years we will be in good shape.
We have a few that are progressing. Y Diaz, M Castillo, Kirk and Moreno. Except for Moreno the other 3 should be in AAA and AA.
PeterG - Sunday, January 05 2020 @ 04:51 PM EST (#384716) #
Last year, I was considering subscribing to minor league tv but didn't due to early season complaints about quality so I listened to online radio instead. I would like to see comments about quality from someone who did have a 2019 tv subscription. Any further comments also appreciated.
scottt - Sunday, January 05 2020 @ 07:39 PM EST (#384717) #
Where do you watch minor league tv?
Marc Hulet - Sunday, January 05 2020 @ 07:48 PM EST (#384718) #
Yeah the TV quality was mostly disappointing and MILB.tv wasn't great at responding to concerns. With the said, it's not a costly subscription so if you can afford it, it's still kinda worth it. Just frustrating at times... for a sister site of the cash cow MLB.com you'd think they could run a better product.
PeterG - Sunday, January 05 2020 @ 09:06 PM EST (#384719) #
Scott, I would watch it on a laptop computer.
Gerry - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 09:32 AM EST (#384722) #
Keith Law has joined the Athletic. That's good news if you have a subscription.
Mike Green - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 10:06 AM EST (#384723) #
That is good news.  I don't agree with Keith Law about everything, but he has some insights that I appreciate.  His positive account of Alek Manoah made me have a second look at him. 
bpoz - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 01:18 PM EST (#384724) #
Cleveland acquired Kluber and Clevinger in trades. Both pitchers became good. Both 4th round picks that were traded when they would have needed rule 5 protection for Dec of that year.

Shapiro said that non 1st round picks "sometimes" become good.
whiterasta80 - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 01:25 PM EST (#384725) #
MG- fully on board with the Dyson signing. Or really anyone who can play CF at a high level defensively.

On this team, I could care less whether my CF was hitting below the mendoza line. His impact on our pitching staff is more important and I don't believe that I've seen anyone within the organization who can do that (Jonathan Davis included, although I know the metrics like him).

If you are telling me that we can add a plus defender with a 10% walk rate and speed then I can accept a 69 wRC+
hypobole - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 03:00 PM EST (#384727) #
Maybe the Jays should be looking at the DBacks. Ketel Marte had an outstanding season in CF and the 2 team options could have him in Zona through 2024. He seems untouchable in trade.

But per FG, their #1, #3, #6 and #11 prospects are all CF's as well.
John Northey - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 03:01 PM EST (#384728) #
Non- first rounders can be amazing.  Some easy examples - Mike Piazza round 62 (1988), Dave Stieb 5th round (1978), Albert Pujols 10th round (1999), Nolan Arenado  2009 2nd round (38 WAR).
scottt - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 05:27 PM EST (#384730) #
All the Arizona outfield prospects are in low minors and therefore won't be playing in the MLB for another 2~3 years.
PeterG - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 07:21 PM EST (#384731) #
As tweeted out by Jeff Passan, these are the biggest FA spenders so far this off season: Jays are 6th.


Yankees: $336.5M
Nationals: $314.8M
Angels: $260.9M
White Sox: $195.5M
Phillies: $132M
Blue Jays: $108M
Diamondbacks: $103.6M
Reds: $100M
Braves: $99.8M
scottt - Monday, January 06 2020 @ 08:08 PM EST (#384732) #
Yankees basically spent all of that on a single guy and them churned out their health and performance department.
Nationals spent most of that just to retain one of their free agents.
Angels spent most of that just to sign one of the Nats free agents.
White Sox did sign a bunch of guys, but were afraid to take chances on pitching.
Phillies signed the 3rd most sought after pitcher and Gregorius.
Blue Jays signed the 4th most sought after pitcher.

Pitching was very expensive this year and figures to be pretty weak next year.
All the power to Stroman if he can have a good year and get a good deal.

Biggest winner this year was Boras.



scottt - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 08:18 AM EST (#384733) #
Interesting. Donaldson has now passed Encarnation who signed his big contract on Jan 5 2017.
Both being older, were keen to get the most money they can get.
It doesn't look like the Bringer will reach his 4/110M target.
Nats, Braves and Twins are rumored to be in the same 100M ballpark.
Apparently, nobody wants to go to Minneapolis.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 09:41 AM EST (#384734) #
I think Donaldson is in a completely different scenario because he's a two way, complete player whereas EE was a one way bat.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 09:53 AM EST (#384735) #
Montoyo has mentioned at the winter meetings that he knows that CF was/is weak defensively. Atkins, to my knowledge, has not spoken about this in public.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 10:23 AM EST (#384736) #
The Astros stole signs in 2017 and the Red Sox stole signs in 2018.  I guess it works.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 10:34 AM EST (#384737) #
Red Sox are the new Black Sox:

https://theathletic.com/1510673/2020/01/07/mlbs-sign-stealing-controversy-broadens-sources-say-the-red-sox-used-video-replay-room-illegally-in-2018/
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 10:41 AM EST (#384738) #
Not quite, UO.  They were trying to win by stealing signs.  The technology used is somewhat different, but the practice goes back a long time.  The Tigers apparently did it in 1940, and I am sure that they were not the first.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 10:44 AM EST (#384739) #
they're dirty dirty cheaters, mike.

just like they did when they pumped Ort and Manny full of the good 'roids.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 11:09 AM EST (#384740) #
so let the players wear earpieces, and the manager can talk to all of them directly.

takes away from the game a bit, but solves the cheating problem.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 11:32 AM EST (#384741) #
The Yankees also stole signs, and had players on PEDs. 

These don't seem to be Red Sox issues, but rather baseball issues.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 11:34 AM EST (#384742) #
I hope harsh penalties were imposed.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 11:36 AM EST (#384743) #
Jeff Passon reports that penalties against cheating Astros should come down in the next 2 weeks and that those in the crosshairs are expecting severity....lengthy suspensions at a minimum.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 11:57 AM EST (#384744) #
suspend who?

they should have their titles asterisked for all eternity.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 12:12 PM EST (#384746) #
I would think that Luhnow and Hinch and possibly others are likely to be suspended.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 12:42 PM EST (#384749) #
Passan opines that Cora will also be among the suspended.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 01:26 PM EST (#384750) #
I mean suspending those guys for a couple months is....meaningless.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 02:34 PM EST (#384751) #
Agreed. Suspension is meaningless. Flags fly forever.

I've been saying years that penalties in baseball for cheating need to be draconian to have any impact. The only cheating behaviour in baseball that has (essentially) not been repeated in one way or another is betting. That's because the penalty is so severe (and consistent).

If you just suspend personnel from a world series championship team then you'll see another version of this within a couple of years.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 03:06 PM EST (#384752) #
They can't take away their championships really (especially as most teams were probably doing similar things.) Suspensions, however, are meaningless on their own. They need harsher punishments. Take away draft picks, take away international bonus money and fine the team millions. The punishment for the Braves was pretty light but only because Maitan had regressed as a prospect. (Imagine it was Acuna or Albies instead and the impact that would have had.)
PeterG - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 03:10 PM EST (#384753) #
I think the suspensions, at least the main ones, may well be for at least one year.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 03:33 PM EST (#384754) #
If the punishment is going to be "severe" for the organization, it's got to be along the lines that glevin has suggested- draft picks, international bonus pool money and large fines.

Imagine if large fines went into a pool to raise wages for minor leaguers?  You may say that I'm a dreamer...
scottt - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 06:25 PM EST (#384756) #
I think the deterrence here will have to be in the policing, not the punishment years later.

I still believe that there's something suspect with the hitting performance of the 2019 Yankees replacement players.
It just doesn't seems statistically possible, all these guys having career years out of nowhere.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 06:43 PM EST (#384757) #
If you make the punishment for cheating 1 year suspension for everyone in on it (i.e. if it happened while they were batting, like the banging of the drum of whatever), with full loss of salary for the whole year, you can bet your bottom dollar (ok, well, THEIR bottom dollar) that every single player would turn their coaches in on day 1 if they even THOUGHT about doing something like that...
bpoz - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 06:46 PM EST (#384758) #
WOW!! vw_fan17. That is the best I have heard yet.
Cracka - Tuesday, January 07 2020 @ 08:16 PM EST (#384759) #
I agree too - the punishments must be harsh and far-reaching. Imagine what would happen if a bunch of coaches and players were caught betting on games... everyone knows about Pete Rose and the 1919 Black Sox; why should team-organized cheating be any different? Both attack the integrity of the game. Alex Cora seemingly has done it twice now - if it were gambling, he'd be permanently suspended and disowned by MLB.
scottt - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 06:57 AM EST (#384760) #
Cheating to lose is seen as much worse than cheating to win.
However, if it came out that they were cheating in some home games and not others, that might be seen as worst.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 09:52 AM EST (#384762) #
thing is every org would gladly trade some picks and money for a championship.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 09:56 AM EST (#384763) #
beyond punishment, maybe we can talk solutions.

as beloved as signs are in the game of baseball, maybe just let every player wear an earpiece and let the manager talk to them directly.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 10:11 AM EST (#384765) #
Suspensions for individuals involved in the cheating would have to be at least one year, if not longer. Beyond that, I agree with punishing the team by removing draft picks, international money, and adding a large fine. The pick removal would have to be for multiple seasons as well (ex. no first round picks for five years, or something like that). As mentioned, you don't want teams thinking "winning a championship was worth it even with this punishment". It has to be so severe that it not only hurts the team's pocketbooks and their ability to field a competitive team for future seasons, but also dissuades every team from ever trying it (again).
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 10:44 AM EST (#384766) #
For fun, I ran a Play Index to find comparables for Ryu using his age 30-32 seasons as a base.  The viable comparisons were Chris Carpenter, Pascual Perez and Curt Simmons.  Carpenter and Simmons were very good for the following 4 years overall while Perez flamed out quickly. 2/3 is probably roughly the right odds of the deal working out, but if it does so, it will probably work out very well. 

It's important to note that Carpenter and Simmons were able to contribute significantly into the playoffs, and interestingly at ages 36 and 35 respectively.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 10:50 AM EST (#384767) #
Yes I agree that the punishment should be severe.

Multi-year bans for any coaches or executives associated with it, loss of draft picks and international bonus money over multiple season. I would also argue that there should be some punishment that hits them in the standings immediately. The draft pick loss will hit the team too far down the road when most involved won't be affected (other than their fans). This could be a points deduction, loss of home dates on the schedule, loss of a roster spot for 2020 or just informally having the umps squeeze their strike zone all year.

For players it will be tougher to enforce. The problem is that the CBA will protect the players just like it did with steroids before the rules were put in place. Best I can come up with is fines.

On a side note, how hard is baseball that even with this level of cheating the Astros "only" had a 123 OPS+?
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 12:33 PM EST (#384768) #
Statcast has added a new Outs Above Average calculation for infielders.  Here it is.  I am going to have a closer look at the mechanics of the statistic over the weekend.  For now, here are some leaders and trailers for 2019 with a Blue Jay connection actual or possible (in outs):

Galvis +12
Iglesias +12
Biggio +7
Sogard +5
Holt +5
Drury +4
Shaw +1
Bichette -4
Guerrero Jr. -16 (the lowest number in MLB)

These numbers are obviously not the last word.  DRS and UZR both had Galvis as negative at second base and at shortstop.  I doubt that Galvis was significantly better than Bichette, if at all.  But, the Statcast numbers provide a further piece of evidence.  So, DRS and UZR both had Biggio as a smidgen below average at second base.  I thought that he was average, and maybe a little better, and the Statcast number suggests that might be right.  Similarly DRS had Guerrero Jr. at -3 runs; UZR had him at -9.4.  The Statcast number tends to support the UZR account of his defence last year. 

 
christaylor - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 02:12 PM EST (#384769) #
On the Astros/Red Sox/[insert other teams here]: "Mark Grace once said, ďIf youíre not cheating, youíre not trying." -- quoted from Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner but probably originated by either Richard Petty (NASCAR) or from the TV show "Honkers" by James Bresette. Cribbed from this link. ...unlike PEDs tech aided sign stealing isn't hurting anyone's long term health. Perhaps it has hurt a few fringe-major leaguers (and helped others). I find it hard to get worked up about it. If the man in white were shown to be real would the board be as worked up? As I've mentioned before I find the gnashing of teeth about this controversy really hollow. But, if that you, you do you. I agree with uglyone, if this method of gaining an advantage irks you then you have to be on the side of using tech instead of signs. That's fine with me, but then some clever person will find a way to catch the signal (see man in the middle hacking attacks) and we're back where we started. Let it be part of home-field advantage and may the best sign-hackers win.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 03:58 PM EST (#384770) #
I think that the easiest solution is to ban video in the clubhouse and bench while the game is in progress. More extensive use of human monitors can also be employed. There also might be more replay delays if challenges had to be made based on eyesight rather than reply tech in the clubhouse.
Cracka - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 04:00 PM EST (#384771) #
One low-tech / high-security idea is to let the pitcher and catcher wear printed wristbands, similar to NFL QBs, that contain pre-determined pitch sequences for each batter and "audibles" or codewords that change the sequence or pitch. These could have privacy shields to prevent others from seeing the data, and could easily be changed between innings or pitchers. I think this could speed up the game, especially since most teams already do this sort of batter-by-batter, pitch-by-pitch planning.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 05:09 PM EST (#384772) #
Found a prize for our next trivia or poetry contest.  It's here

dan gordon - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 05:41 PM EST (#384773) #
Mike, the discrepancy in the various defensive metrics is frustrating. It would be great if it could be shown that one method is the most relevant. That -16 number for Vladdy is truly bad. He only played 96 games at 3B, so it would extrapolate to about -26 for a season. That's 26 outs turned into hits for the opponents. For a player with 600 AB's, 26 outs turned into hits is about 45 points of batting average, all other things being equal. Turning a .235 hitter into a .280 hitter. Or looking at it from the standpoint of Vladdy's hitting, his defense is taking 45 points off his BA. That's huge. Let's hope he shows up for camp "in the best shape of his life" and that helps him produce some more reasonable defensive numbers.
Chuck - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 06:48 PM EST (#384774) #
Found a prize for our next trivia or poetry contest.

The legacy of a one-time Box denizen now known for being the Canadian media's go-to guy on questions economic.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 08:08 PM EST (#384775) #
True, Chuck. Oh how the mighty have fallen!  But da Box is always open to people of goodwill. Maybe the cool cuttlefish will tempt him.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 08:15 PM EST (#384776) #
Dan, 10 of the 16 outs were in front of VGJ or right at him. That is not likely to be a positioning issue but more the result of his poor glovework and slow acceleration forward.

It is a big deal. I would move him, but it's likely that the club won't. I hope that his defence improves easily and it doesn't affect his offensive development.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 08:15 PM EST (#384777) #
"Mike, the discrepancy in the various defensive metrics is frustrating. It would be great if it could be shown that one method is the most relevant. That -16 number for Vladdy is truly bad. He only played 96 games at 3B, so it would extrapolate to about -26 for a season. That's 26 outs turned into hits for the opponents. For a player with 600 AB's, 26 outs turned into hits is about 45 points of batting average, all other things being equal. Turning a .235 hitter into a .280 hitter. Or looking at it from the standpoint of Vladdy's hitting, his defense is taking 45 points off his BA. That's huge. Let's hope he shows up for camp "in the best shape of his life" and that helps him produce some more reasonable defensive numbers."


This is why I stated emphatically at the time of promotions last year that Tatis Jr was a better prospect than Vlad.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 08 2020 @ 08:29 PM EST (#384778) #
Tatis Jr.  had very poor OAA numbers as well. I haven't thought about the variations in his numbers or spent any time looking at video of him.
scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:40 AM EST (#384780) #
Maybe players who leave the bench should not be allowed to return.

I've only heard of negative stuff happening between innings, like Cespedes chain-smoking or Ryan Braun popping pills.
It seems they don't needs all those cops protecting the players as much as they need to keep an eye on what they're doing.

Also, a small metal trash can would be a fantastic giveaway on a day Houston is visiting.

AWeb - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 08:01 AM EST (#384781) #
Defense tends to peak early, but I've stated here many times that Guerrero is still young enough that we should expect him to improve. Among recent standout 3B, looking at fangraphs defensive WAR, Beltre was best at ages 23-27, Rolen 23-32, Longoria 23-26 (starting with rookie season though), Arenado pretty consistent so far. Those are the defensive whizzes though. Chipper Jones was pretty steady through his career, even after 2 years in the OF. Eric Chavez improved after his first few years. Rafael Devers seems to have gotten better in the past few years - I see that in 2017, he was a -11 by the statcast measure, then a -7, and a +7 in 2019. That sort of improvement might be a best-case, but it does show that it's not impossible. Cautionary tales like Gary Sheffield (who did not improve) exist as well, of course.

I think it's fair to give Guerrero 2020 to see if he can get in shape, stay in shape, and become more consistent in the field. It certainly will not happen if they don't give him a chance, and a 3B is lot more valuable than 1B, if he can improve to just be unremarkably below average instead of terrible.

Fixing the sign-stealing problems being uncovered this offseason does seem very simple - no electronic devices for coaches or players during the game. No "replay rooms", no in-game video adjustments for hitters or pitchers, etc. MLB teams have been shown to be deeply untrustworthy with these tools, so take them away. Players somehow managed for 100+years without them, they'll adjust. It's not like all of these tools exist for them growing up.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 09:00 AM EST (#384782) #
"a small metal trash can would be a fantastic giveaway"

Or Rogers could stop giving away useless junk that requires energy to produce and fills up landfills and oceans, and instead "give away" an equivalent amount of cash to a reputable environmental charity to help protect the planet.
Parker - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 09:45 AM EST (#384783) #
Jay Jaffe has a fantastic article over at FanGraphs about the legacy of sign-stealing.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:01 AM EST (#384784) #
I think it's fair to give Guerrero 2020 to see if he can get in shape, stay in shape, and become more consistent in the field. It certainly will not happen if they don't give him a chance, and a 3B is lot more valuable than 1B, if he can improve to just be unremarkably below average instead of terrible.

It's always a judgment call.  Guerrero also underperformed reasonable offensive expectations last year, and it may be the case that struggling with defence made it more difficult for him to make the necessary adjustments. We'll see what happens.  The club does have an option this year- a Shaw/Drury platoon at third base would probably work out fine.
John Northey - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:02 AM EST (#384785) #
Vlad on defense makes me think of Pedro Guerrero (unrelated).  Pedro came up at 22, first full season at 25 (strike year) playing RF and 3B (plus CF/1B).  The 2 years previous he was up and down and played 1B/2B/3B/LF/CF/RF so basically everywhere but SS/CA/P.  At 27 he was at 3B everyday and was 4th in MVP voting (5.8 WAR - 11th place).  The year before at 26 he was in RF and 3rd in MVP voting (6.8 WAR 4th place) back then voters were RBI/HR addicted.   His defense was a negative every year of his career but one (age 29, LF/3B/1B/CF over 10 games each and 3rd in MVP voting with 8.0 WAR).  Y'know, I wonder if LA had just put him somewhere and left him if he might have been a 0 WAR defense instead of negative all the time.  Of course, there is value in having an All-Star willing to play wherever needed.

Guess the comparison is due to my remembering Pedro playing at 3B in the early/mid 80's then later moving to 1B pretty much full-time. 

Another player that came to mind was Wade Boggs who was viewed as a negative at 3B early in his career but worked hard at it and won two Gold Gloves in his mid 30's.  Checking his dWAR though he was only a negative twice, at age 32 and 41 (his final season).  Funny how his best season by WAR he came in 4th for MVP but was 2nd in WAR while the guy way back (6th in WAR about 3 WAR behind the leader)  wasn't even best on his own team which I remember noticing at the time even without WAR (Rickey Henderson scored more runs than games played, 934 OPS  with 80 SB).  Many of you of a certain age will know it was Don Mattingly getting that MVP thanks to his 145 RBI which were largely thanks to Rickey hitting before him.  Writers were in love with him and many still are for some reason (the "leader" who only got to the post season with the Yankees in his final season).

George Brett also comes to mind.  Negative dWAR his first full season, but rapidly grew it to 2.1 dWAR by his 4th.  His 2nd year was 1.4 so maybe he was good all along but just had a 'bad luck' year to start.  His next negative year was age 30 when they moved him around 3B/1B/RF/LF.  When they moved him full-time to 1B he went negative for the rest of his career.  So moving to 1B won't necessarily improve the defensive stats for a player.

Cal Ripken was over 1 WAR every season at SS but dropped to barely over 0 at 3B when moved late in the season at age 35.  A couple years later he started getting hurt for the first time in his career.  So moving didn't appear to do anything to help him.

So what does this tell us about Vlad?  Not much.  Reputation for defense changes based on how hard the player is seen to be working at it and how many highlight plays they make.  Guys can be decent at it if they work at it but they need to make it a big focus.  Even then there is only so much one can do before age and wear and tear take their toll.  For special high end players you leave them where they are comfortable as long as possible.  If Vlad improves then you can leave him at 3B.  If he doesn't then you have to look at moving him, ideally by convincing him it is for the best for him.
bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:10 AM EST (#384786) #
The shift should improve the 2b, ss and 3b overall defense.

Of course Biggio may spoil that by soft hitting where they ain't instead of trying to hammer the ball like everyone else.
bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:30 AM EST (#384787) #
I am hoping that the 2020 Jays compete (85 wins), contending (93) would be a very pleasant surprise. 83 wins would be a pretty good accomplishment.

30 teams in the league and by my count about 22 are sort of expecting to contend. Miami, Pittsburgh, Detroit, KC, Baltimore and Seattle are not trying to tell (verbal) or made enough acquisitions. Toronto has not told their fans that 2020 will be competitive. I don't know what SF is saying but losing Bumgarner seems to remove them from being competitive IMO.

So 22 teams have hopes to contend for at least the 2nd WC.
Parker - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:48 AM EST (#384788) #
"The shift should improve the 2b, ss and 3b overall defense."

Every MLB organization is employing shifts. There's no Jays advantage here.
Parker - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:15 AM EST (#384789) #
I see 79. Management is going to send Guerrero out there at third. The organization doesn't have another superstar at the hot corner.
bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:15 AM EST (#384790) #
Correct Parker.

I also am startled by dalimom5's comment about the 45 pt increase in BA. I don't understand these numbers so I simply accept them. Not criticizing.

So maybe Vlad would really have to improve. EE was losing games when playing 3B. Losing playoff games would be horrible.
Parker - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:28 AM EST (#384791) #
Well. He's a generational talent.
John Northey - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:30 AM EST (#384792) #
I think Parker has it dead on - there is no push to move Vlad at this stage, so why move him?  Until there is a strong prospect ready to take over at third you might as well leave Vlad there unless his defense is so poor as to distract him from hitting.  His dWAR was just -0.2 last year in 96 games so not nightmarish by that method.  His UZR/150 was poor at -14.6 suggesting a 1 1/2 win loss due to his defense.  As many have pointed out Vlad has said he is focused on improving his fitness for 2020.  Now that he has seen the majors he should improve as he seems the type who takes a challenge on strongly.  Some players when pushed fall apart, some climb back up and grow.  2020 will show us which Vlad is and if he is the franchise player we all hope he is.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:39 AM EST (#384793) #
The organization doesn't have another superstar at the hot corner.

No they don't.  They actually don't have one now either.  They have a player with the possibility of being one, but who may or may not achieve it.  The same is also true of Jordan Groshans. It appears that the club's current plan is to keep Guerrero Jr. at third base for about 3 years.  Which is, frankly, a somewhat strange plan for a player who has to develop to play the position acceptably well and has a bat that can potentially carry him anywhere. 

Albert Pujols started out as a third baseman.  The Cardinals moved him off the position after his first year (when he actually did hit like a superstar at age 21) and installed Placido Polanco at third base.  Polanco had an OPS+ of 86 that year (2002), but added value on defence.  Another example is Miguel Cabrera who struggled mightily as a third baseman for 2 and 1/2 years, and didn't really break out until the club moved him to first base. 
Cracka - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:45 AM EST (#384794) #
I look at it a little differently. About once a week (26 times per year), Vlady will let a ball get by him that most other 3B would get; these "misses" usually become singles and doubles, and sometimes leads to extra runs. Let's roughly estimate about 40 total bases and 15 extra runs result from these 26 "misses". Does Vlady's bat make up for this? You would hope so, especially as he continues to develop into a power hitter. But he's not there yet.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 11:53 AM EST (#384795) #
I'd give Vlad another year at third and if he can't improve, then move him. It's not like the team is set at every position and are going to make a run at the pennant. I think things should be easier this year for Vlad. Not only will he be in better shape and accustomed to Major League pitching, but when he came up last year he was so hyped that pitchers didn't want to throw him strikes. After a while he started chasing pitches out of the zone in an effort to live up to what everybody was expecting of him.
I think he did remarkably well for a 20 year old in his first year. Maybe it wasn't that he didn't live up to expectations but rather that we set expectations too high.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 12:24 PM EST (#384796) #
It wasn't us, Island Boy.  All of the projections systems anticipated that Guerrero Jr. would make a seamless transition to being one of the league's top 20 hitters at age 20, while Bichette would be an average hitter in his rookie year.  Bichette (and Biggio) exceeded expectations while Guerrero Jr. fell short of them.  Personally, I am of the view that letting Bichette and Biggio play the positions where they are competent defensively, contributed to their success. 
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 01:01 PM EST (#384797) #
That's true, Mike, but I don't think Vlad would have done any better at first base. I think shedding some bulk will help him defensively. Bichette and Biggio are lean and athletic while Vlad sometimes looked like a hippo trying to do ballet moves.
rpriske - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 01:28 PM EST (#384798) #
I saw those numbers and, to be honest they surprised me.

I know Vlad Jr. is below average defense, but he doesn't seem THAT bad. The worst defensive infielder in the majors? Surprising.

(OTOH it also says Javier Baez is better than Nolan Arenado and I don't really believe that either.)
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 02:02 PM EST (#384799) #
I am losing faith that Vlad Jr. is going to be the superstar everyone wanted. Steamer has his 2020 projection at 3.6 WAR and I would probably take the under.
Glevin - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 02:07 PM EST (#384800) #
"Another example is Miguel Cabrera who struggled mightily as a third baseman for 2 and 1/2 years, and didn't really break out until the club moved him to first base."

Not true. Cabrera's breakout happened in 2005 when he has a 146 WRC+. He was actually playing LF that year. Cabrera didn't move to 1B until 2008. Not only that but his best offensive year with a 193 WRC+ was 2013 when he had moved back exclusively to 3B. His overall offensive numbers are better career as a 3Bman than as a 1Bman. With Pujols as well it is impossible to attribute greater success with a move to first. He had a 159 WRC+ in his rookie year and his improvements were pretty much in line with what you'd expect after that. He only had 109 games at 3B in his career and was splaying 1B half the time right away. I understand how say, catching could really hamper a player's ability to hit because it takes a ton of preparation and concentration but IMO players don't generally get better offensively when you move their positions.
uglyone - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 02:28 PM EST (#384801) #
Shoeless - Steamer is projecting him as a top 25 hitter and top 40 player at age 21. That is very good.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 02:41 PM EST (#384802) #
As a top 25 hitter his shortcomings still keeps his value out of the top ten projected war for third base. I was really hoping he would be in the class of Soto, Tatis and Acuna but really heís looking more like a tier below those players. Even to reach that 3.6 war his defence and base-running would have to improve a lot.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 03:43 PM EST (#384803) #
Steamer is projecting large defensive and baserunning improvements for Guerrero Jr., as well as offensive improvements.   I understand the reasons for the offensive improvement projections (his entire minor league record, for one), but the rationale for the projected large defensive and baserunning improvement eludes me.  A small improvement I could see. 
uglyone - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 04:20 PM EST (#384804) #
If you're using STEAMER....

Soto 145wrc+, 4.9war, 4.9war650
Acuna 127wrc+, 4.3war, 4.1war650
Vladdy 127wrc+, 3.6war, 3.8war650
Tatis 112wrc+, 3.8war, 3.7war650


...they do think he's right in that group, (though they think soto is well ahead of all of them).

That's actually really impressive for a statistical projection, given how much better they were statistically than him last year.


dalimon5 - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 04:25 PM EST (#384805) #
"Or Rogers could stop giving away useless junk that requires energy to produce and fills up landfills and oceans, and instead "give away" an equivalent amount of cash to a reputable environmental charity to help protect the planet."

I can't help but roll my eyes at this comment coming from a manufactured electronic device which is the pinnacle of capitalistic laziness. Should we start serving veggie only meals at the ball park and force the ball players to wear the same uniform for the entire season as well? I don't think the Rogers Centre is the best place to go green and battle the world's issues. Just a thought.
uglyone - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 04:31 PM EST (#384806) #
And remember, given sample size problems with defense metrics, their projecticons aren't actually an expectation that he will necessarily "improve" defensively, but just an recognition that one year defense samples are very noisy and unreliable and have to be regressed hard to the mean.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 05:25 PM EST (#384807) #
Fair enough, UO, although knowing what I know about Guerrero Jr.'s minor league defensive history, I wouldn't be regressing that to the mean so heavily.  And his baserunning has always been an issue although it was probably worse last year because of the weight.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 05:31 PM EST (#384808) #
dalimon5, I'm confused by your post. Are you saying that you roll your eyes at all online comments about corporate environmental practices (because those comments may have been written on an electronic device), or just those comments you disagree with?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:16 PM EST (#384809) #
The only site with defensive values for minor league performance I'm aware of is Baseball Prospectus. For what it's worth, it shows significant defensive improvement for Vlad in the minors:

2016: -10.7
2017: -4.1
2018: +5.2

I don't think those numbers are all that reliable, but they don't support the idea that Vlad's minor league performance is devoid of hope. And it does somewhat mirror the somewhat improving reports his defence received from evaluators.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:17 PM EST (#384810) #
"I also am startled by dalimom5's comment about the 45 pt increase in BA. I don't understand these numbers so I simply accept them. Not criticizing"

The comment was mine, bpoz, and it's just some very simple arithmetic. 26 extra hits divided by 600 AB's is roughly 45 points of batting average. To be exact, 43 points (26/600 = .043).

Looks like the Rays have made a rather unusual move for them. They have traded one of their best pitching prospects to St. Louis, and the return is expected to be a couple of big league players, probably including an OF.
PeterG - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:24 PM EST (#384811) #
Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs opines that there is an 80% chance of the following punitive actions against the Astros:

Lifetime ban for Luhnow, 1 year suspension for Hinch, $50+ Mil fine, loss of multiple years worth of top draft picks and IFA pool $
PeterG - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:27 PM EST (#384812) #
Please ignore the above post on Astros penalties. I read it incorrectly.
bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:44 PM EST (#384813) #
Thanks Dan Gordon for the explanation and math. Sorry dalimon5.

bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:52 PM EST (#384814) #
Looking at M Cabrera at age 30. His bat was feared. Everything was incredible power, avg and bb/k. I expect that he was terrible defensively.

In games that counted Vlad was not as good as expected. In things that don't count he was the most awesome like the Hr contest. The AB against Chapman was an incredible battle. Chapman won. Vlad lost.
scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 06:56 PM EST (#384815) #
Pujols started 37games at 3B in his second year. He was still moving all over but slowly settled to first after exhausting his options in left field. That took over 3 years.

And Pujols might have been 21 or not. That's still up in the air.

Vlad is still too young to swing between 1B and DH.


scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:10 PM EST (#384816) #
Professional sports is not great for the environment.
The players travel a lot. The public travels a lot to attend the games.
The best thing for the environment would be for everybody to play in their home cities.
And the goal of the promo is to get people to come to the game, not stay at home, which is what's best for the environment.

Also, reputable environment charities?
Charities don't stop polluters. That's up to--mostly national--regulations.
And as for cleaning up, you're better off volunteering your time than giving up money.

Also, there's a political party focused on the environment and we don't really want to drag politics into those forums, now do we?

scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:15 PM EST (#384817) #
They settled with Drury for 2.05M. That might give him a bit of a leash. Meh.

That leaves Giles and Shoemaker.
I figure they don't care too much about overpaying Giles.
They seem to be a bit sore about giving Shoemaker a raise, though.

I'd try real hard to avoid arbitration here, but we'll see.

scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:31 PM EST (#384818) #
Honda has amazing corporate environment practices.
I don't think that moves a lot of people to buy their cars.
F-150 sales are through the roof.

My employer has  pretty decent corporate environment practices.
Our new products literally pay for themselves over a few years due to the huge energy savings.
However, most customers prefer to keep their decade old products until they fail and pay us to support those.

Rogers is not really a company that pollutes a lot.
They make some software,  but they don't manufacture much, if at all.
If you're bothered by the cheap freebies, just leave it for a child.


dalimon5 - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:33 PM EST (#384819) #
I'm in the minority that Vlad is overrated (still doesn't change the fact that his floor is our 3rd best player). He gets lots of love for his offense and age but that won't necessarily translate at well. He's nothing like his dad who was a two way player. I'd take any of those guys like Soto, Acuna and Tatis Jr over Vlad.

I wish him the best but the fact is it will an uphill battle for him to post 5, 6 or 7 WAR seasons in his career when he doesn't have the defense. Athleticism doesn't equate to great defense either, you need to have great instincts and work ethic and when your competition is guys like Chapman, Arenadon etc to be the best...I don't see hime removing himself from bottom of the league defensively.

Again, Vlad is still potentially a reigning batting champion in MLB but that doesn't bring you top honours anymore in a changing two way game. So while we're blessed to have him on our team he's by no means the next coming of Mike Trout or Mookie Betts like many off thos forum have postulated.

I would trade Vlad for Arenado + if I had the chance because of where the game is going...just look at what Donaldson and Martin did for us.

To wrap on a positive note, I am extremely extremely high on Groshans and think he will be our best player by his 2nd year in MLB. Dude looks like the full package if he can stay healthy.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 07:50 PM EST (#384820) #
Very strange trade from the Rays. Apparently they know something about that premium lefty prospect that the rest of baseball doesn't. They receive two upgrades to their upcoming draft slots (30 spots) and Jose Fernandez from the Cardinals as well as Cuban minor leaguer Arozarena.

If I'm TB I'd be very concerned about my OF...Renfroe, KK and Meadows...there's a lot of potential for disaster there (strikeouts, injury, down season).
scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 08:22 PM EST (#384821) #
It's actually a standard trade from the Rays. They pick up a guy who can play center field for cheap so they can try to move kiermaier who is over the hill and entering the expensive part of his backloaded contract.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 08:44 PM EST (#384822) #
Kiermaier may be available for cheap in light of the trade.  I would be interested.  He is coming off two poor offensive years but his underlying numbers aren't bad for an elite defensive player. You might be able to sign him to a contract for a couple of years for a manageable salary.
scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 08:52 PM EST (#384823) #
He's due 10M this year, 11M next and 12 after that.
He has a 13M option in 2023 but with a buyback of 2.5M which makes 2022 more expensive.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 09:11 PM EST (#384824) #
Thanks. I missed the contract details. It's not a bad gamble for the Blue Jays but it would be just assuming the contract for a bucket of balls.
bpoz - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 09:53 PM EST (#384825) #
Happy to see TB trying to win.
scottt - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:28 PM EST (#384826) #
They're mostly trying to keep a low budget.

They gamble that they can replace a top 50 prospect with a later first round pick.
At worse, Arozarena gives them a backup option in center--he still has 3 options--but he's probably the 4th outfielder.
However, they had Daniel Robertson and Joey Wendle on the bench before adding Martinez.
Martinez could platoon at DH with Tsutsugo or at 1B with Ji-Man Choi.
They have 5 lefties in their lineup, so starting a lefty might be a good way to approach the Rays this year.

They've had enough injuries with those guys that the depth shouldn't be much of a problem.
Also, most Rays players have options and not enough service time to block a AAA assignment.

cascando - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:44 PM EST (#384827) #
Whenever I feel discouraged by Vlad Jr's failure to become one of the best hitters immediately, I think of Carlos Delgado. Delgado was the first (and until Vladdy, the only) home grown hitter I have watched that I thought had genuine superstar/HOF potential.

Delgado is also famously thought to have been held back by the demands placed on him on the defensive side of the ball. Although the contrast is a lot starker between C and 1B than 3B and 1B.

In any case, I always thought the the issue with Delgado was less about finding a defensive position and more about the fact that it just takes most young hitters time to reach their potential at the highest level. I suspect the same is true for Vlad Jr., and would be fine with giving him a lot more rope at 3B. Maybe even a couple more years. Just like I don't think it's reasonable to expect a hitter to be fully formed at his young age, the same is true for learning how to play a defensive position at the MLB level. He's an extraordinary talent. If it turns out that talent only translates to the batters box, fine, but he's young enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.
cascando - Thursday, January 09 2020 @ 10:50 PM EST (#384828) #
The Rays also just traded for Cal Stevenson.

I wonder if Tampa would trade Stevenson back to the Jays, straight up for Derek Fisher. I suspect not.

dalimon5 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 12:00 AM EST (#384829) #
If the Rays traded for Stevenson then it makes me think he's a sleeper.

No chance the Rays trade KK he's their most valuable position player and if traded would be worth more on the trade market than anyone not named Vlad or Bichette. No way they trade him.
dan gordon - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:00 AM EST (#384830) #
I wouldn't want to trade for Kiermaier. His value is fading fast. His WAR the last 5 years - 7.5, 5.5, 5.0, 2.5, 2.3. Both dWAR and oWAR are disappearing, and not terribly surprising given that a lot of his value is tied to his speed, and he will be 30 in April. He's owed $36 million for the next 3 years including the buyout, and I suspect the Rays are getting antsy about getting stuck with the contract.

Very unusual to see the Rays trading one of the top 50 or so prospects in baseball for a 31 year old player, but, as mentioned above, nice to see them trying to win.

I was always optimistic about Stevenson's chances, and was furious with the trade the Jays made that sent him to Houston. The Astros didn't seem to get much for him, either, as they had to package a relief prospect with a 1.60 ERA with Stevenson to acquire a rather mediocre looking outside candidate for a possible 5th/6th starter spot. I think the Rays made a nice trade to get him.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:44 AM EST (#384831) #
Kevin Kiermaier is a salary dump and not a real asset at this point, I would try and see if you can get the Rays to add Greg Jones to the deal to take on the salary.
scottt - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 07:27 AM EST (#384832) #
I wouldn't say that the Rays traded for Cal Stevenson.

Part of the move is that they needed to add 2 40 roster spots for their new outfielders.
They  gave up Pruitt who was decent for them--ERA+ of 101. I think he was a guy who threw after an opener.
He was out of option and one of the guy who could have been cut. He ends up at the end of the Astros bullpen.

In return they get Battenfield, a 10th round pick who had an ERA of 1.6 in low A ball plus Stevenson.

The Rays get 2 prospects for a 30 year old.
If anything , it shows that Houston has cooled down on Stevenson.


scottt - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 07:30 AM EST (#384833) #
There is speculation that Houston liked Pruitt because of his high spin rate.
I find that kind of weird. We'll see if Houston can "fix" him.
Tampa is a pretty good organization when it comes to developing pitchers.
I don't think there is that much upside there.

Mike Green - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 08:24 AM EST (#384834) #
On sober second thought, I am not so sure that the Rays will be shopping Kiermaier strongly  I'm guessing that with the 26 man roster, they want Jose Martinez as a full-time DH and believe that he can fulfil the role as Encarnacion did (Martinez' career xwOBA is .383).  Arozarena can get plenty of PAs as a 4th outfielder.

Cal Stevenson will be in double A as a 23 year old.  We'll see how he does soon enough.  I can't say that I am excited that he is playing for an AL East franchise, and one that knows what it is doing. 
dalimon5 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 08:30 AM EST (#384835) #
Run KK's numbers again this time using his at bats and factoring in his missed time due to injury in his "fading fast" years.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 08:31 AM EST (#384836) #
Overall I still like the deal for the Cardinals.
whiterasta80 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 08:56 AM EST (#384837) #
Thumbs down to paying Drury. Reeks of a front office liking a guy too much (although I may have once said that about EE...)

I agree with the Delgado/VladJu comparison. I still trust that his bat will be elite and I still believe that a position change will be necessary sooner rather than later. But you also have to factor in the preferences of someone who we (hopefully) have to re-sign.

By all accounts Vladdy wants to stay at 3B. So for now I'm fine leaving him there. I'd use this year to try and gently guide him to 1B. Give him maybe 15-30 games there in specific matchups and see how it goes.

Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 09:56 AM EST (#384838) #
Hey, can anyone here think of a player who grew into his position the way people are hoping Vladdy will? I mean, is there any history that would lead us to believe this is a reasonable possibility?
dalimon5 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 09:56 AM EST (#384839) #
I also agree with that Delgado/Vlad jr comparison. Great bat, limited defensive prowess...Delgado today would likely be someone that couldn't put up more than 4 WAR.

It's all relative though. if you have big bats like Vlad surrounded by great defenders to balance out the team that's a winning recipe.
uglyone - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 10:05 AM EST (#384840) #
At 20yrs old, Delgado was in Dunedin.
bpoz - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 10:05 AM EST (#384841) #
Only Donaldson, Castellanos and Ozuna are good FAs available. I don't know of any good FA pitchers available.

So a few days ago I figured that some big trades would happen. Offense and bullpen additions most likely. The 22 or so teams that are hoping to be in it for 2020 definitely need to be active. Especially the desperate ones.
Mike Green - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 10:28 AM EST (#384842) #
At 20yrs old, Delgado was in Dunedin.

True, but also the best hitting prospect in baseball at the time according to Bill James- 30 HRs in Dunedin being roughly the equivalent of 165 in High Desert.  I remember seeing video at the time and drooling about the power. 
Glevin - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 10:29 AM EST (#384843) #
"Hey, can anyone here think of a player who grew into his position the way people are hoping Vladdy will? I mean, is there any history that would lead us to believe this is a reasonable possibility?"

Lots. Look at Semien for a recent example. Was a poor SS and has become an elite one at 28 YO. Bregman was poor defensively when he came up but has worked really hard and is now good. Bogaerts was terrible defensively when he came up but has been very good since. Moncada struggled a lot defensively but seems to have improved massively. Again, that's not to say it should be expected that Vlad will be a good defensive 3Bman just that defensive improvement is not rare.
Mike Green - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:04 AM EST (#384844) #
Bregman was not poor defensively.  He was a shortstop who was converted to third base.  That's a typical conversion where it may (or may not) take a little while for the player to adjust. 

Marcus Semien is a strange one.  He came up to the major leagues as a third baseman and was so-so.  The A's moved him to shortstop where he was so-so or a little worse when he came up.  He improved a couple of years later when Matt Olson arrived at first base.  A good part of it was undoubtedly Semien's own improvement, but it probably helped that the A's had a superb fielder at first base. 

The best examples I could find of third basemen who struggled for a year or two before improving are Devers and Ron Santo.. Wade Boggs wasn't terrible when he arrived.  Usually the pattern is deterioration or a quick move out of the position (as with Horner, Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Pedro Guerrero)
PeterG - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:22 AM EST (#384845) #
Jays agree to one year deal with Shoemaker.....4.2 mil
Mike Green - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:28 AM EST (#384846) #
The MLBTR projected figures for Drury and Shoemaker were 2.5 and 3.8- Drury got .4 less and Shoemaker got .4 more.  Giles is the interesting one.
Cracka - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:33 AM EST (#384847) #
Guerrero's size makes it difficult to compare him to most other infielders. I think a guy like Pablo Sandoval is an interesting case study. Split time in the minors and early MLB between catcher, 3B, and 1B. Became a regular at 3B at 22 years old and for five years was an average-ish defender (and monster postseason performer!). Big dropoff at 28 years old and has never been a regular at 3B since.

That's my best case scenario for Vlad... five years or so of average-ish defense at 3B before moving to a 1B/DH role.



bpoz - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:34 AM EST (#384848) #
Anyone know the status of Urena? It is more than the 7 day limit since his DFA.
PeterG - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:38 AM EST (#384849) #
I don't believe there has been any announcement on Urena. He may clear.
Mike Green - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:43 AM EST (#384850) #
Sandoval is a good example.  He was poor his first year, although I had forgotten that and he didn't show up when I did a Play Index search. 
ISLAND BOY - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 12:12 PM EST (#384851) #
Pablo Sandoval must be one of the worst signings ever. He "earned" 95 million over 5 years but only actually played 161 games over 3 years with A WAR of -2.0. A fun fact , if you're not a Red Sox fan, is that they still have to pay Manny Ramirez 2 million a year in deferred payments until 2026.
Chuck - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 12:28 PM EST (#384852) #
Not just Sandoval. Boston had other doozies. Crawford 140M for 5 WAR. Hanley Ramirez 90M for 4 WAR.
uglyone - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 12:59 PM EST (#384853) #
Cherington.
Jevant - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 01:49 PM EST (#384854) #
I can't imagine the Rays thinking that Kiermaier deal is all that bad, and certainly not "salary dump" level. I'd glad bet that his age 30, 31, and 32 years will be more than quality enough to justify that contract.
85bluejay - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 01:58 PM EST (#384855) #
Remember all the teeth gnashing when the Jays traded Cal Stevenson - I guess the Astros were not overly impressed.
85bluejay - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 02:05 PM EST (#384856) #
Vlad Guerrero's ability to do the work required in the offseason to get in shape and live up to his potential is I think the biggest wildcard in the Jays rebuild - I'm worried that all the hype has overtaken him but we'll get a better idea in about a month - Here's hoping.
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 02:07 PM EST (#384857) #
These are elite athletes. Simien is 6"1, 195. Bregman is 6'0 180. Guerrero is VERY GENEROUSLY regarded as 6'2" 250. He's out of shape at age 20.
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 02:23 PM EST (#384858) #
"The best examples I could find of third basemen who struggled for a year or two before improving are Devers and Ron Santo.. Wade Boggs wasn't terrible when he arrived. Usually the pattern is deterioration or a quick move out of the position (as with Horner, Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Pedro Guerrero)"

Right. None of those guys weighed 250 lbs at age 20. Devers is a raw natural athlete, and Boggs? He was a plus defender for his entire career. I'll give you Santo.
bpoz - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:35 PM EST (#384859) #
Age when playing in Dunedin Vlad 18, Delgado 20 and G Conine 22. All excellent power hitters.

R Tellez 20 in Dunedin. Another power hitter.

I will allow myself some positive vibes.
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:40 PM EST (#384860) #
Guerrero's weight this past season is obviously a real concern, but it's not destiny that he'll get worse. Apparently he's done some good work this offseason, so we'll see how he looks once he gets to ST. Maintaining fitness is hard, but can be done, and he'll have all the resources he needs to keep in good shape.

It's of course not the case that good defensive 3B have to match the weights of Bregman or Semien. Rolen is listed as 6'4'' and 245; Beltre at 5'11'' and 220, better BMIs than what Guerrero's listed number is, but not that far off. Of course, it's body composition and overall fitness that are more important than absolute weight.

One of the valuable things about keeping Guerrero at 3B is that it gives him a very clear and tangible reason for him to improve and maintain his fitness.
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:44 PM EST (#384861) #
"One of the valuable things about keeping Guerrero at 3B is that it gives him a very clear and tangible reason for him to improve and maintain his fitness."

Yeah but... as a professional athlete, has he not already had a tangible reason to be in shape?
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:47 PM EST (#384862) #
I guess it's the eye test for me. Rolen and Beltre LOOKED like Gold Glovers. Guerrero Jr. looks like a plumber.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:52 PM EST (#384863) #
Vlad will definitely have to move to 1B/DH within the next two years. It is just a matter of when the team and Vlad himself decide they want to go through with it. If keeping him at 3B temporarily will at least motivate him to get in shape then it doesn't hurt to keep him there for the time being, but I'd be shocked if he's anything better than below average defensively at third in 2020 or beyond.
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 03:56 PM EST (#384864) #
Agreed. What are they going to do otherwise, start Drury every day? (I'm still really terrified that they will.)
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:06 PM EST (#384865) #
Since the number of successful hitters who were not in good physical shape is pretty substantial, I'd say that being an MLB 1B/DH is not a particularly tangible reason to stay in good shape. Prince Fielder, David Ortiz, Matt Stairs are good examples.

More importantly, the fact that something ought to be sufficient motivation does not mean that it in fact is. Finding good motivators is pretty important.
Parker - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:21 PM EST (#384866) #
Yeah but you have to hand-pick successful hitters with bad bodies. For every Babe Ruth or Tony Gwynn, there are three or four dozen Bryce Harpers and Mike Trouts.
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:47 PM EST (#384867) #
Vlad will definitely have to move to 1B/DH within the next two years. ... I'd be shocked if he's anything better than below average defensively at third in 2020 or beyond.

Any distribution of players will have, by definition, below-average performers. There is nothing wrong with having below-average defensive players, provided the defensive alignment of the team as a whole makes sense, and the long-term value of your players is maintained. Obviously, there's a point at which it makes sense to move a player down the defensive spectrum, but there are a tonne of different factors at play, including:

a) How far down the defensive spectrum?
b) What are the internal alternatives at each position?
c) What is the player's defensive ability at his current position?
d) What is the player's prospects for improvement/decline at his current position?
e) What is the player's projected defensive ability at the new position?
f) How likely is the player to meet that projected defensive ability at the new position?
g) Will the move disrupt the player's routine/motivation/confidence/happiness?
h) Will the move damage the club's reputation, making it harder to sign amateur players or free agents?

Applying this to Guerrero, I would answer those questions along these lines:

a) 1B is 15 runs down the defensive spectrum.
b) Pretty poor alternatives at 1B (Tellez, Shaw) and even worse so at 3B (Drury). Groshans may be a 3B option in 2022.
c) Guerrero was probably -15 to -20 per 150 last year. Factoring in a little regression (but not skill improvement), that's probably -10 to -15.
d) You expect very young players to become more reliable (make fewer errors) and lose range. Decent chance Guerrero improves his range due to good reports on his offseason conditioning.
e) Guerrero's positive defensive abilities (a strong and fairly accurate arm) would be minimized at 1b, while range and reliability would remain problems. You'd have to expect that, barring skill improvement, he'd be negative, even after adjusting to the new position.
f) "It's incredibly difficult". Nevertheless players can play 1B at an acceptable level. Guerrero probably is a little less likely to convert well than most due to right-handedness, average height and lack of demonstrated skills that would play up at 1B (soft hands, scooping).
g) We simply aren't close enough to the team or VGJ to judge this clearly, but there is a risk of VGJ losing motivation to maintain fitness.
h) Ditto, but moving a top prospect and son of a HOF isn't going to fly below the radar, so it's a relevant question.

The only factor militating in favour of a move is VGJ's current defensive ability, and that's probably more of a wash relative to positional value than an absolute gain, depending on how you evaluate his 2019 defence.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 04:51 PM EST (#384868) #
Yeah but you have to hand-pick successful hitters with bad bodies. For every Babe Ruth or Tony Gwynn, there are three or four dozen Bryce Harpers and Mike Trouts.
I agree. Baseball is a sport where you can succeed without being in great shape. However, the long-term results for those players are seldom as good as those for in-shape players. Cecil/Prince Fielder comes to mind as the obvious comp for Vlad Jr. And maybe Ryan Howard? They were all done by ~33-34. Mind you, if the Jays can get 6 all-star seasons out of Vlad Jr. and then cut bait (if he hasn't improved his fitness), well.. then it's not their problem anymore. My bet is that Bo Bichette and/or Cavan Biggio have longer productive careers than Vlad, although they may not hit the same peak hitting wise.

Just to be clear: I'm not judging him for his choices or lack of self-control - the older I get (close to 50), the harder I have to try to stay in something resembling "shape", and I've never been slim. Just talking purely in baseball terms.
Cracka - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 05:12 PM EST (#384869) #
Urena claimed by the Orioles. I blame bpoz for jinxing it earlier in this thread.
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 05:34 PM EST (#384870) #
I certainly agree that there are more good hitters who stay in good shape, and that bad-shape hitters tend to have shorter careers (although Ortiz was elite at age 40, and Matt Stairs had a long decline phase so it's not a certain rule).

My point was only that it's pretty easy for a slugger to see big-name overweight guys who succeeded at 1B/DH despite their weight, while it's a lot harder (Sandoval notwithstanding) to think you can stick at 3B with the same kind of weight. At any rate, it seems that the Jays asked Vlad to get in shape to improve his defence and stick at 3B, and he seems to have bought in - even if the outcome from that work is yet to be seen. Maybe he would have done the same even if the Jays told him he was moving to 1B, but that's an unknown.
scottt - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 05:53 PM EST (#384871) #
Yeah, that kinda makes sense.
Best of luck to him.

scottt - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 06:06 PM EST (#384872) #
Kiermaier's number using his at bats and factoring missed time due to injury?

Well, being injured a lot is not a good thing. And that doesn't usually improve as you get older.
The issue is not that Kiermaier is not able to provide 2+ WAR.
The issue is that Tampa was paying him 3, 5, 8M and now they have to pay him 10, 12, 15M.
That's just too much for them.

Looking at defense.
dWAR per games, 2.5/98, 1.8/88, 1.7/129.

That's certainly trending lower.

For offense, OPS+ of 113, 80, 79.
BB has something called Rbat, the number of runs batted above average.
5, -8, -16.

That's also trending worse.

Tampa needs to trade him while he's still looking good.





scottt - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 06:10 PM EST (#384873) #
They went above projection with both Giles and Shoemaker.

9.6M rather than 8.4M for Giles.

Maybe the goal is to go to camp with happy veterans.

bpoz - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 06:37 PM EST (#384874) #
I accept blame for the loss of Urena to the "Orioles".

Any one know about pitcher Brenan Hanifee. Check out K Matheson's article on the arb cases for the 3 Jays. Did he make a mistake and put in Brenan Hanifee with no explanation of why he is in the article other than Drury will compete with Espinal and Hanifee. Hanifee is a 6'5" RHP prospect drafted by the "Orioles".
dalimon5 - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 07:05 PM EST (#384875) #
The numbers speak. I accept DG was right to say KK is declining fast. Maybe they do trade him.
Magpie - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 10:30 PM EST (#384876) #
Usually the pattern is deterioration or a quick move out of the position (as with Horner, Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Pedro Guerrero)

Chipper?
Spifficus - Friday, January 10 2020 @ 11:28 PM EST (#384877) #
I could handle Guererro deteriorating in the same way Chipper did.
scottt - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 08:31 AM EST (#384881) #
Chipper is listed at 6'4" 210#, Troy Glaus at 6'5" 220#.

There's been a few big guys manning the hot corner.
However somebody already looked into this when Detroit picked up Fielder.

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/3/15/2872579/height-weight-and-converting-to-third-base

Parker - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 09:18 AM EST (#384883) #
Fascinating study. Thanks for the link, scottt.
Parker - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 09:22 AM EST (#384884) #
I'm sure this has been remarked on by many people much smarter than me, but I think it's hilarious that it's so difficult to obtain a player's true weight in a sport obsessed with statistical accuracy.
bpoz - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 10:27 AM EST (#384886) #
True Parker. Hahaha. I remember Zack Stewart losing height, weight and velo when he was promoted.

No B Hanifee!! Misprint I suppose.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 10:42 AM EST (#384887) #
Thanks for the gentle mocking on Chipper. I don't know what I was thinking. Chipper was moved and then moved back successfully of course.
raptorsaddict - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 08:21 PM EST (#384898) #
Just wanted to add my two cents on Vladdy's potential at third, and more his athleticism in general.

I remember the first time watching him just jog and move around and thinking "that looks like it hurts". The story that came to mind was about the doctor who saw the way Dickey's arm hung after he was drafted and thought "that doesn't look right", which lead to the discovery that he doesn't have a UCL.

I'm not a doctor or athletic trainer, but there is just something about how he moves that looks like someone who is 40 instead of 20. Part of it is no doubt due to his additional weight, but it's more that he just looks rigid and tight (see video below for what I mean).

There is a book called "Becoming a supple leopard" (terrible name, amazing book), and it's by a guy with a PHD in physiotherapy. He talks about kinetic chains, and how lack of mobility in one area causes a chain reaction of over-compensation by other joints and tissues, which leads to injuries. Given the types of injuries he's had (knee, oblique), that could be a concern long-term. Or it could be random chance and mean nothing - youneverknow. While that tight connective tissue might be part of the reason he can develop so much power, I'd still like to see him improve his flexibility.

I know there has been much discussion of his supposed dedication to conditioning this year, but let's take a look at a few vids he's posted this winter. There is this one in the cage (just watch even the way he bends over to see what I meant above - it just looks stiff and a bit painful to do):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XxAea1WXXs

And this one where he's doing some nice volunteering (pause the 54-55 second mark -everyone's belly sticks out when sitting down, but not a flattering look):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZSQtd8FV4

While it looks like he has shed maybe a few lbs., and should at least be showing up to camp in relatively good shape, there is nothing there to inspire the belief that he's done anything overly transformative with his body.

Of course, I agree with many of the other comments made here re: keeping him there as long as we can, his ability to improve to slightly-below average over the next few years, no one coming up who is pushing him off 3rd yet, etc. Given where we're at, I see no reason to move him this season.

Having said that, I think that sooner or later we're going to have to accept that he's going to be a 100% bat. Which isn't perfect, but if he hits the way we all hope he can, it won't be the end of the world by any means.
scottt - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 09:43 PM EST (#384899) #
You reminded me of this guy, back in Basic Officer training who had a huge muscular upper body and skinny legs.
He looked almost comical, until you had to try and follow him through the obstacle course.

raptorsaddict - Saturday, January 11 2020 @ 10:14 PM EST (#384900) #
scottt,

I hope Vladdy proves me as wrong this coming year! haha
dan gordon - Sunday, January 12 2020 @ 02:30 AM EST (#384901) #
Yah, he sure doesn't look any smaller to me. In the video where they are handing out stuff, there are 4 guys up on the platform with Vladdy, and they all look more athletic than him, and sure enough, the other 4 are all standing up, moving around, reaching over the fence to hand stuff out, while Vladdy is sitting down, not moving. In the fielding drill video, all of the other guys look much more athletic and are moving much better than Vladdy.
bpoz - Sunday, January 12 2020 @ 08:44 AM EST (#384902) #
I expect that the Jays will not be in the playoffs this year. But I would like to see Vlad have enough stamina to be strong the full season. Eventually being able to last until game 7 of the WS.

We will see if his hitting has improved this year and by how much. Destroying so so relievers is one thing. Giving Chapman a battle is another.

If he gets too good, then just walk him. He is a slow runner. Maybe pinch run. The guy hitting after him has to be very good.
mathesond - Sunday, January 12 2020 @ 10:16 AM EST (#384905) #
I expect the best way forward is to trade Vladdy to Washington for Victor Robles. They need a 3B, Toronto needs a CF, what's not to like?
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, January 12 2020 @ 08:21 PM EST (#384915) #
I like the idea of Robles for Vladdy Swap, provided the Nats throw in Kieboom as well.
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