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OK, I think we need a thread for just baseball.  We have the Jays GM proposing lots of doubleheaders (7 inning ones) whenever baseball comes back.  Thoughts?

  • #OpeningDayAtHome is trending on Twitter
  • Pirates players took it upon themselves to support the local restaurant scene and support the city’s healthcare workers when buying 400 pizzas from local restaurants to feed the staff at Allegheny General Hospital
  • CC Sabathia’s charity is partnering with FreshDirect to donate boxes of food to children at the Boys & Girls Club in the Bron
  • MLB, MLBPA Agree On Framework Of 2020 Draft : The notable changes would include pushing the draft back from early June to sometime in July, cutting the event to anywhere from five to ten rounds and partially deferring the payment of signing bonuses into the 2022 season.  $10k limit per player who is undrafted - in the past that was $100k
  • The union and MLB are going through deep negotiations on the various 'what if' situations from a partial season to no season at all.
  • Noah Syndergaard has had Tommy John surgery
  • The Red Sox sign stealing has been fully investigated and a decision on penalties will be announced before the season starts, whenever that may be.

We have a thread for COVID-19, so all views/news on that should go there. Might need to create a new one soon as it is getting long.  So please stick as close to baseball as possible on this thread.
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Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#386662) #

Baseball America released its updated top 300 rankings. In the top five it is becoming clear that Asa Lacy and Austin Martin are rising and Emerson Hancock is falling. Garret Mitchel probably still represents the best positional fit for the Jays, but I don't like all the chatter about constant tweaks to his swing.

Overall I still stand by Nick Gonzales being the best pick at #5, and if not him then go after a pitcher. With Hancock having a rough spring I probably like Max Myer, Reid Detmers and Hancock in that order. I would also like if the Jays have a look at Canadian David Calabrese in round 3.
Vulg - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#386666) #
I dislike loading up on seven-inning doubleheaders. It's a recipe for injury disaster on a tight schedule. I think there would also be diminishing returns in terms of how much baseball fans could practically consume if lots of games were doubled up (i.e. it's called 'prime time' for a reason).

What I'd like to see is a short regular season with some experimentation for a broader playoffs; maybe MLB can learn something as the plan for the inevitable move to more teams qualifying for post-season. This is a perfect opportunity to see how that might look.
John Northey - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#386667) #
Double headers are OK if limited to 7 innings, perhaps ties should be allowed for them to ensure no more than 14 innings those days.  I'd limit it to one a week, perhaps every Sunday thus making it a 4 game weekend series all the time.  Every team does it thus making it fair.  Allow a one day call-up of 2 pitchers for that game for every team, no worries about a guy being lost when sent back down after the game if just called up for that one day - thus allowing more players to be able to get that one day of glory.  I figure making it 2 pitchers helps reduce the risk of injury due to the bonus game and locking in no extra innings would also mitigate the risk. 
cascando - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#386668) #
I don't see how 7-inning double headers would work unless they expand rosters.

I'd prefer they just stick with 9 inning games and make the most of whatever they have. If they can get in half a season, that's still plenty of games.
John Northey - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#386670) #
I think MLB's goal will be to get 2/3rds of a season IE: like 1994 and 1981 had.  Around 100 games per team.  To do that from July through October (best case imo) would be 3 months of full baseball, 90 games max (still need travel days) so double headers needed to get to 100.

The smallest i could see is a 1 month season - play in division only plus a home/away vs someone in another division so no one has a weekend off - 6 x 5 = 30 game season.  Super short, but could be done in as little as a month.  The bonus team you play could be big on who gets to playoffs so maybe a random draw for that - east mixed with east, central with central, west with west.

If they have 2 months, perhaps rejigging divisions so no days off beyond planned ones so you have 3 divisions of  10 teams each.  Play each of the 9 teams home and home, so 6 games each = 54 games.  Very short season and very intense.  Top 3 teams per division outside of the weakest of the 3rd place teams gets into playoffs.  So an 8 team playoff like pre-wild card era.  Would help make it a unique season never to be forgotten.

Beyond 2 months, you try to go as close to current as possible.  Maybe stay in division plus games vs another division only.  All East, all central, all west.  So the Jays play Atlanta, NYM, Washington, Philly, Miami as well as NYY, Boston, TB, Baltimore.

Lots of ways to juggle it.  But in the end I'd be shocked if we see more than 100 games this year.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#386671) #
If the U.S goes back to business as usual by Easter, I could easily see a rebound effect of the virus wiping out the entire baseball season - But hey, nothing is going to stop football season.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 26 2020 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#386672) #
Jimmy Wynn died today. He was a great player- a classic combination of power, speed and plate discipline.  He was recognized at the time more for his unexpected power given his height than for his broad-based talent.  We know better now. It is bracing when the stars of one's youth are no longer around.
hypobole - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 01:50 AM EDT (#386673) #
The Astros are filing a challenge to the impartiality of the judge overseeing the Mike Bolsinger lawsuit.

Bolsinger's attorney hit the nail on the head: "I have no clue why the Astros feel that way about the particular judge, but the irony is not lost on me that the team who broke every rule and cheated to win a World Series is now claiming a randomly assigned judge would not be fair to them,”
SK in NJ - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#386679) #
If nothing else, this is the time for MLB to experiment with different concepts. They have been more reluctant to change than any major sport despite younger generations choosing other sports/hobbies to follow instead of baseball, and despite their existing core fan base getting older. Maybe test the expanded playoff format this season due to the lack of games and see what the response is. Have a neutral site for the World Series (in this case out of necessity) and see what it does for revenue/fan interest around the chosen city. Try the 7 inning double headers and see what the reaction is among fans.

Some of those concepts might be terrible, but in that case, nix them moving forward. No one is going to judge baseball negatively given the circumstances. If they want to try anything in order to improve pace of play, add playoff rounds, have teams pick who they play, etc, etc, etc, then do it this year assuming games can be played. Use 2020 as the guinea pig season for whatever ideas they might have to improve the game for younger audiences.
scottt - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#386680) #
I don't see the 2020 season being played at all.

As things stand, the season is likely to be canceled with the players only collecting about 10-15% of their salary and not playing a single game but everyone getting a full year of service.
I'm not sure if that's good or bad for the Jays. Or how that affects the 2021 draft.
The worst in my mind is minor leaguers not being able to develop.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#386683) #
I can't see the Jay's young player's gaining a year of service time and thus being a year closer to free agency, without getting playing experience and development, as being a good thing.
85bluejay - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#386684) #
With this years draft class only eligible to receive 100K up front and then the remainder in 2021/22 , I think a lot of top talent especially from high schools will not sign.
Magpie - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#386685) #
Jimmy Wynn was indeed a great player. He was a guy who fit the classic model of a chronically under-rated player. His batting averages were never that great, he played his home games in an extreme pitcher's park which likely cost him many homers, and he drew a zillion walks which nobody noticed at the time despite how much they helped his team. He was probably one of the 15 greatest centre fielders of all time. He was on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1983. He drew zero votes, and dropped out of contention, probably forever. He deserved better than that.

The most mystifying thing about Wynn to me is how it ended. He went from an elite player at age 33 to almost unplayable practically overnight, and was done by age 35.
Chuck - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#386686) #
Two careers badly misinterpreted: Jimmy Wynn and Dante Bichette. Skill sets were very different. Home parks could not have been more different. Context of league offense was very different.

Strat-O-Matic players knew the difference. John Q Public struggled. John Q Media did as well.

scottt - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#386687) #
If players don't sign this year, they will compete for money with twice as many players next year.

100K for staying home and playing videogame isn't bad.
Especially when the rest of the money is guaranteed and coming up later anyway.

scottt - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#386688) #
The deal specifies that baseball will not resume until there are no limitation on travel or playing in front of live crowds.
Could be a while.

Glevin - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#386690) #
The MLBPA really loves throwing the minor leaguers under the bus, doesn't it? Moving the draft to 5 rounds will hurt a lot of minor leaguers enormously. Instead of getting significant bonuses which allow players to stay in the minors, now, the max bonus will be, $20, 000? This will push high schoolers to college and make a lot of people go back to school. It's impossible to see this as anything other than Manfred wanting to cut the minor league talent and make it easier to get rid of minor league teams. He still wants that 17 team playoff or whatever idiot idea that was. He really is a terrible commissioner.
bpoz - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#386691) #
The Jays need a philosophy of playing winning baseball IMO. This would be on the field and in management.

1) Vlad got thrown out at 2B when he misjudged the hit in ST. He did not play the rest of the game or the next for reasons I don't know but Montoyo does know.
J Bautista hit a Hr and it went out. He flipped his bat.

2) In hockey Ken Dryden took the job away from Rogie Vachon or Gump Worsly who were highly regarded NHL goalies. This with about 6 regular season games left in the schedule. He dominated the playoffs and was still a rookie for the next season. A very gutsy move. He proved that was the correct decision by management.

3) I used to be a Leaf fan and jumped ship in 1979. Never regretted that decision. In a prior year, with J Gregory as GM within 11 games or less D Favell, W Thomas and G McRae all played SO BADLY that in desperation Mike Palmateer was given the job. Palmateer was quite good.
scottt - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#386692) #
The MLBPA is the current players.
The current players don't care about the future players and even less about those who aren't going to make it.
The deal includes freezing the bonus money instead of the current 3% raise year over year.

scottt - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#386693) #
Let's just look at the last draft.

Manoah, 11th got 4.5M.  If he doesn't sign he's more likely to slide than go up.
Williams 52nd, had a slot of 1.5M. If he goes down by a full round, Brown had a slot of 678K. Not even half the money.
It's pretty hard to turn down that kind of money. It's really hard to swallow if you gamble and lose it.
Which some kids might do.

The slot money by the end of the 5th round is around 300K and its around 125K by the end of the 10th round.

Players drafted after that don't make more than 125K. So ending the draft early will just force many of those players to take 20K or fall back on a scholarship. The biggest difference is that you can't save money and buy a difficult to sign player if he's not drafted.

It might advantage some teams. It depends. Some players might prefer to sign with New York, but drafted that late, you might have more opportunity with a team that has a poor  farm system. It's really hard to say. I don't think area scouts will fight over those guys anyway.

This is going to take a knife to minor league baseball.

SK in NJ - Friday, March 27 2020 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#386695) #
The MLBPA does not care about the minor leagues, amateur players, or international players. That has been proven time and time again. They only care about players already in the big leagues. Even then they are not smart enough to realize how badly players are getting screwed in years 0-6, and would rather accuse teams of collusion for not wanting to sign aging/declining players to huge free agent contracts than actually confront the real issue.

Manfred has wanted to gut the minor leagues for years now, and Covid basically gave him that chance without any blow back since he gave MLBPA what they wanted in return (service time for 2020). The issue is not Manfred, it's Clark. Manfred is there to work for the owners and make the owners as much money as possible. He clearly does not care about the long-term growth of the game, which is going to hurt the league at some point within the next 10 years, but the more pressing issue is that the MLBPA cares just as little about the minors/draft/international talent as Manfred does. If neither side cares, then it's going to lead to unfair rule changes probably by the time the next CBA is agreed to. A 20 round amateur draft and then an international draft is likely on the horizon, and only the players will get screwed in both of those scenarios (until they reach the Majors).
johnny was - Saturday, March 28 2020 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#386697) #
I don't know if this qualifies as "actual baseball stuff", but I just got Out of the Park Baseball 21 as a distraction from doing a piss poor job of homeschooling my kid and sending just enough emails per daily to make it appear that I'm working remotely. No prior experience and it's still pretty intuitive. So realistic that Ryu got injured in the 3rd inning on Opening Day and will be out for 6 weeks, which is the outcome that would've surprised no one IRL. If you wanted to go full zombie into a baseball game and forget about the outside world, it's certainly worth a look.

Also, Ebbet's Field Flannels has some pretty insanely good deals on now if you're the type who wants to roll into the ballpark in a satin Montreal Royals jacket.
mendocino - Saturday, March 28 2020 @ 03:08 AM EDT (#386698) #
MiLB.TV free preview

"New and existing subscribers are invited to stream more than 6,500 games from the 2019 season, beginning today. The preview will be offered free to fans until the 2020 Minor League Baseball season begins."
scottt - Saturday, March 28 2020 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#386700) #
I'm not sure about the years 0-6 stuff.

There are 2 main factors at play.
How much money is made by the teams and what percentage goes to the players.
It's necessary to give each team a chance at being competitive or you kill the golden goose and limit the overall revenues.
The total revenues of MLB are incredibly high. Some players are making close to half a billion as it is.

I don't know that Manfred saves anyone money. The games are getting longer, not shorter despite his weird rule changes.

MLB is based on trickle down economics. All the money comes from the 30 MLB teams.
Now they want to plug the trickles to maximize profits?
That's like a big company like Google or Apple using unpaid maybe-not-qualified interns.
The money those teams spend on minor league is like what a high tech company spends on R&D.
Companies cut on R&D all the time, because it's the sales and marketing guys who bring in the cash, but at some point you don't have a product to sell.

John Northey - Saturday, March 28 2020 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#386703) #
Sounds cool johnny was.  Haven't really played any baseball SIMs since Tony LaRussa 2 - which was tons of fun for me back then.  Would have a friend over and we'd do a draft and play a full season in under an hour which back then was amazing.  Also loved Earl Weavers Baseball which let you customize parks - I'd make one a 250' (minimum distance) all around, another 500' (maximum) all around.  Now that would make for some interesting baseball.  Would've been nice if it had elevation but in the early 90's no one thought of that yet.

Ebbets Field Flannels sounds good.  Looking at their site I see NY Knights t-shirt, Montreal Royals T-Shirt on sale ($24 vs $32 normal), 1923 & 1957 Toronto Maple Leafs t-shirt too (also same sale).  Lots of tempting stuff...dang it.  Might end up giving in.
JB21 - Saturday, March 28 2020 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#386707) #
My brother and I also just started playing OOTP 21 and we're both hooked!
bpoz - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#386708) #
I am taking Mike Green's suggestion of "deep reflection" as a valuable character builder. I hope deep reflection is soul searching and not a new tech concept/game.

I hope I gain from this as a father, citizen and family man.

My non tech life made me aware that my early 20s son has matured over the last few days. Roy Halladay 43 in May is young enough to be my son. Many Bauxites are in my age category.
dalimon5 - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#386709) #
Here's a question that may not necessarily be too early to ask:

If you're Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro and the season is cancelled or just shortened and you finish 3rd but show improvements over last year, who do you sign out of the free agents available this coming winter? Here are the expiring contracts:

Matt Shoemaker
Ken Giles
Anthony Bass
Chase Anderson (Club option)
Rafael Dolis (club option) top 2021 free agents:

Mookie Betts, 30
Marcus Semien, 30
George Springer, 31
Marcell Ozuna, 30
DJ Lemahieu, 32
Andrelton Simmons, 31
Joc Pederson, 28
Didi Gregorious, 31
Michael Brantley, 33
Justin Turner, 36
Nelson Cruz, 40
Jackie Bradley Jr, 31

Trevor Bauer, 30
Marcus Stroman, 29
Mike Minor, 33
Jake Odorizzi, 31
Robbie Ray, 29
Kyle Hendricks, 32
Masahiro Tanaka, 32
Jose Quintana, 32
James Paxton, 32
Anthony Desclafani, 31
Rick Porcello, 32
Cole Hamels, 37
Kevin Gausman, 30
Garret Richards, 33
Alex Wood, 30

Kirby Yates! 34
Ken Giles, 30
Shane Green, 32
Alex Colome, 32
Blake Treinen,33
Mark Melancon, 36
Ian Kennedy, 36

MLB link:

bpoz - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#386710) #
I think a lot will depend on what we need. Regarding FA signings. My priority would be more depth signings.
John Northey - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#386712) #
Hard to say - largely depends on how the team does, if any holes are more obvious.  Does someone step up in CF?  Do the kids keep going strong?  Right now I'd be checking in on Giles to see if he was interested in a 3 year deal to get him past the upcoming winter which could be ugly and the following year's free agent class which should be crowded.  Yates would be nice if Giles doesn't come back, although at 34 you are taking a risk.  I generally don't think blowing a lot on a closer is a good idea, but both of these guys are worth signing imo if reasonable.

I'd dig into the starters as well, the old you can never have too much pitching rule.  But if Betts can be had for under $300 million (doubt it) he'd be worth digging into.  Marcus Semien is interesting but I'd hesitate due to his year last year being so far beyond anything he did before, plus with Bo there isn't a need to get a new SS, but a guy who can put up an 8.9 WAR season is always nice to have :)
scottt - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#386714) #
You need to factor in everybody who needs to be added to the 40 roster.
Will this year count as an option year?
I'd probably spend on just one position player and fill the pen with out of options guy.

John Northey - Sunday, March 29 2020 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#386717) #
The options are a good question.  I suspect if not part of the 26 man roster (IE: not getting a full years service time) then you could lose an option, but if on the roster you lose a years service time.  The Jays might luck out a small amount as it sounds like they will base service time on last year if the season is canceled -  thus less than a full years service time for Bo, Biggio, and Vlad.  Not a massive plus, but something - might delay arbitration for Bo & Biggio.
hypobole - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#386718) #
One of the FA OF's should definitely be a target. Betts and Springer are the premium guys. Joc Pederson will be a lot cheaper due to his inability hitting LH pitching, but he would fill the current need of a LH bat in the OF.

Wasn't a fan of extending Giles, but maybe that is the way to go.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#386722) #
Mookie Betts will be only turning 28 in October, not 30 as indicated on the list. I also read that he needs just over a hundred days of service time this year to become a free agent so there was speculation that if only half a season was played that he wouldn't qualify to be a free agent next year.

I'm not sure how the service time issue in general will play out.
John Northey - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#386734) #
The rules, from what I understand it, after the players and owners negotiated are that if you were on a roster all of last year you will get credit for a full year this year if the season is canceled, half a year if you were up for half a year, etc.  If a partial is played then being on a roster all season will give you a full years service time.  A full year = 172 days

If the full year is canceled then...
Bo Bichette: 63 days of service time doubled is still less than a full season, so the Jays would still have 6 years of control
Biggio: 129 days of service time so if season canceled would have 258 thus a full year and a bit.
Vlad: 157 days - same as Biggio but a bit further along.

Those are the big 3 to factor in.  Minor leaguers will be a year closer to 40 man status and the like.
Mike Green - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#386735) #
I understand that service time in a shortened season will be pro-rated.  If the season ends up being significantly less than 162 games, the Blue Jays will have a significant incentive to call up Pearson from the outset. 
scottt - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#386736) #
It depends on a lot of stuff. If they expend the 40 roster because they play a denser schedule, for sure.
Otherwise, they might still want a few weeks to see other pitchers before they cut them.

Maybe they care more about getting the maximum attendance out of Pearson versus the maximum number of innings.

bpoz - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#386739) #
Good question about FAs from dalimon5.

Toronto is not liked by many FAs. For what ever reasons.

Atkins has a high card that he intends to play he has made this quite clear. Says that he has not traded much of the farm. So significant trade acquisitions will be looked at using his prospect value.
tercet - Monday, March 30 2020 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#386740) #
How did the FO not learn anything from the Donaldson trade debacle? They kept onto him way too long eventually settling for a 28 year old AAA starter. The same thing is happening before our eyes again with Giles bear it be under different unfortunate circumstances. Can anyone justify/defend why he was never traded given we had a pretty much non existent chance of making the playoffs in 2019 and 2020?
John Northey - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 01:50 AM EDT (#386741) #
I suspect the deal was never there - if it doesn't get you a significant piece why bother?  We've got 1001 'meh' OF'ers, no shortage of young infielders & catchers, a fair number of decent arms working their way up.  If Giles is traded I'd want something solid, better than a first round pick. 
  • If Giles gets a deal under $50 mil then the Jays (assuming they offer a QO) would get just a sandwich pick between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.  Lets say this is pick 70 - Andrelton Simmons, Britt Burns, Aaron Cook.
  • If he gets over $50 mil then the pick is between the 1st and 2nd rounds.  Lets say it is around pick 35 then these are players drafted in that area: Johnny Damon (Supplemental Pick for loss of Free Agent Kurt Stillwell), Mark Langston, Aaron Rowand).
So that is what is possible if we lost Giles to free agency.  The Jays should be hunting for at least one prospect with that kind of potential (or a lock for around 5-10 WAR in his 6 years here).  Giles had 2.5 WAR last year, so really what is the incentive to dump him?  Either get a solid prospect or screw it and enjoy his time as a closer and then get a compensation pick if he goes elsewhere. 

Donaldson was a different situation - much better player, was a lock to get more in trade.  From the sounds of it the Jays had a chance to get a really good player for him but decided to risk it and got burned.  With Giles I can't imagine the Jays would get offered a guy who is a lock to be a 10 WAR player, instead a lottery ticket or two.  Unless the Jays scouts were really high on those lottery tickets I'd just hold him and hope to draft well.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#386742) #
Giles was injured goods last trade deadline. This offseason, the Jays were no longer trading to get worse. If fans had been more patient with the rebuild, maybe the Jays would have punted one more season. But attendance dropped from 3.2 million in 2017 to 2.3 to 1.75 the past 2 seasons. This season was to have little to do with playoff contention and everything to do with improving the product on the field to stop the bleeding and bring fans back to the park.
Vulg - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#386744) #
You can't build based on fan sentiment, as you'll always be behind the curve. Forget the Donaldson mistake, data points can be found across the sport (eg. Rays) and in other sports (eg. Raptors - Derozan) in almost every league. Making the smart, forward-thinking play requires organizational fortitude. Sorry, you can't pin that level of short-sightedness on casual fans.

I held out some hope that Giles would've been traded during this season; you have to make that move, even if you're hovering around .500. Who knows what happens now.
scottt - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#386745) #
Trading away free agents is not trading to get worse.
The team would be even worse if those guys had walked away.
Trading to get worse is trading controllable players for prospects.
Like the White Sox trading Sale.
I think we've done zero trades like that.
Arguably, maybe Stroman, but the return was nice and he was traded in midyear after the team had an awful start.
And they replaced him with Ryu.

For 2018, they traded for Diaz and Solarte. That wasn't to try to get worse.
It would have been worse just to plug a guy on a minor league contract at 3rd base and Olivares would look really nice right now.
They honestly tried to field a competitive team and see what happens.

Might not be possible to trade Giles this year.
I'd burn a QO, but it's too early to speculate about the 2021 season.

85bluejay - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#386747) #
As a long time advocate of trading Ken Giles, I've given up hope.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#386748) #
Giles was close to being traded to the Yankees at the 2019 trade deadline for 3 prospects, but Cashman apparently backed out at the last moment and Atkins did not have enough time to work out another trade. The lack of Donaldson trade looks inexcusable in hindsight, but I think they genuinely tried to move Giles, who got hurt just enough to scare teams off.

The Yankees and Blue Jays almost pulled off a significant, intra-division deal involving closer Ken Giles at this year’s trade deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). Three prospects would’ve headed to Toronto had the deal gone through, though their particular identities aren’t known.

This note is largely of historical import, though it’s interesting nevertheless. The Yankees were linked to Giles on deadline day, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeting that “deep” talks had taken place. Still, it wasn’t clear at the time just how far down the line the teams went. Rosenthal says the Jays actually informed other teams they expected a deal to go through, which made it impossible to pivot back and craft another agreement.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#386749) #
Trading away free agents is not trading to get worse.

So the Red Sox improved their chances this season by trading Mookie Betts?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#386750) #
As far as who to look at for 2021, assuming the entire 2020 season is lost, I'd just start Pearson in the 2021 rotation from the jump. As we saw with Syndergaard, there is only so much shelf life a pitcher who throws that hard is going to have before it catches up to him. If Pearson loses another season of development (this time due to a pandemic rather than injury) then just ramp up his innings in the Majors next season and get what you can out of his arm. A lost 2020 also means one fewer year of Vlad, so can't afford to mess around with the competitive clock starting to tick. Put the best talent on the field and try to win right away.

If you look up and down the organization, the biggest hole from top to bottom is actually the outfield. Pitching, catching, and infield seems pretty solid in the system, but the outfield is a mess. Betts would be a match made in heaven for this organization given his age and elite talent level, but that's going to be $300-$400M territory (assuming orgs are willing to spend that much a year from now with what should be a significant amount of lost revenue in 2020). Springer is another option. Either way the Jays have to aim high. They need more elite talent, not more average talent. Ryu was a good sign that they are looking in that direction, even though he's more of a risk.
scottt - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#386751) #
Betts is a weird example.

Does anybody believe that the goal of trading Mookie was to be worse and draft earlier?
Betts was a trade to get under the luxury tax.
Who knows what the plan is going forward. Maybe Boston signs Mookie back.
Maybe they go after someone else. Not having Betts on the team in 2020 is just a blip on the radar.
Everybody expect them to pivot and spend right away.
Will there even be any baseball played this year?

Meanwhile, they got Verdugo and Jeter Downs who is now their top prospect and who could make their team as early as next year.

Honestly, trading Price and not getting any pitching back is more head scratching.
Although here, we're talking about unloading a bad contract.  Not trading to get worse.

Ironically, trading to get worse is something the Rays do every year by trading some of their top players.
Somehow it doesn't work for them. They just have too many players about to break out.
Imagine if Toronto would do some of those trades. There would be no end to the gnashing and howling.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#386752) #
The Spartan answer to my Betts question.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#386754) #
BP has a piece today on the Auburn Doubledays.  The D-Days were the Jays short-season A franchise prior to Vancouver, and I visited the city once to catch a game.  Nice park in a struggling American town, hard hit by job losses in the manufacturing sector. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#386755) #
If this is a lost season, then both the Giles trade and the Ryu signing may well end up being a disappointment for the Jays, because the team received essentially no long-term value from the Osuna trade (Giles’s strong performance did not contribute to contention and the prospects obtained from Houston (Paulino and Perez) have largely flamed out), and the team received no value from Ryu during the season in which the 33-year-old was most likely to still be effective.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#386761) #
That's the pessimistic view. There's probably value from an older arm getting rest and one that violently throws around 100 mph. In a short season with a high-variance and heavy-tails team... I think a short season could play to the Jays' benefit. My bet is that they're likely to be either quite good or very bad.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#386762) #
The Jays played their last ST game March 12. Last day before shut down.

So everything was on a normal timeline until then. Except maybe there was an inkling about the shutting down idea 1 week before it happened. Anyone know?

The Jays FO then did some transaction moves. The optioning down of players were in full swing sort off to give more playing time for the final buildup of IP for opening day. The J Panik addition may have been rushed by a few days.

I THINK that MLB was 60% or so going to start on time.

I don't like to trust the MLB big shots. They won't tell us anything unless they have to. They had to negotiate decisions and policies with the PA about pay and other factors.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#386763) #
I agree as far as it goes, but the team's attendance can only drop so much... the Jays need to at least to be a 3rd place lock and look promising enough in July to compete in the Toronto entertainment market. Too many years in the wilderness and folks will start to talk about the team leaving (it has happened before).
bpoz - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#386764) #
I like your word pessimistic christaylor. I thought the short season could work in favor of the Jays. Vlad would not get tired for example.

Other factors would be:
1)Fast/slow start.
2)Current injuries healing.
3)Stability of everyone's pen. That is always an unknown.

scottt - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#386765) #
Yeah, I dunno.
Osuna doesn't have that much value now either.
Signing Ryu and not playing isn't terrible.
If they do a QO on Giles, I don't think he takes it.
There's too much risk for him to have an injury and no market after that.
He's at the point to look for the most guaranteed money he can get.

scottt - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#386766) #
What are Boston's chances this season with and without Betts?
I don't think anybody has numbers for that at this point.

The 2 main guys they acquired for him should  be on the team next year.
And they'll be making the minimum, if they don't trade them for something else.

I don''t think Boston had enough pitching to contend this year.
The rotation is what?
Rodriguez, Eovaldi, Perez, Weber and Johnson?

scottt - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#386767) #
It's a toss up. A lost season makes the Stroman trade looks even better.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#386769) #
If there is a season (more likely than not I'd say right now) it'll be at most 100 games.  I wouldn't be shocked if it ends up a 60 game season in the end.  Thus a fast start is critical.  Don't be shocked if once things calm down the Jays act fast based on how the team starts off - Pearson down to start but up quick as possible if any starter has an issue, Lots of transactions early on so if the Jays start slow expect Giles to be gone fast (I'm sure they have potential deals lined up).  

As is I don't see anything happening until June at the earliest, July for actual games, and probably not until August.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#386770) #
Toronto just canceled all public events through June 30. So pretty sure nothing in June.

A friend of my wife's in DC who used to work at Johns-Hopkins and still has connections there told us ~4 weeks ago, August at the earliest before things get back to normal..
John Northey - Tuesday, March 31 2020 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#386771) #
Agreed vw_fan17.  I was more going 'blue sky' dream situation.  Realistic August is the earliest.  Then MLB would be pretty much doing a round robin playoff format - everyone plays everyone else for 1 or 2 series (home & away or just one of those vs each team), then regular playoffs.  Fairness would not be a factor, just finding a way to get some baseball in would be. 

Of course, given the disaster the US response has been it could be a total write off for MLB.  Right now what I"m seeing is stable by July so hoping for things to open up at some point during that month and then August for when some degree of 'normal' can happen.  Which means a royal mess for their elections as normally they are in full swing by then.
scottt - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#386773) #
Well, probably not quite normal.

Maybe in a 2 or 3 months we get to zero new cases.
So maybe we could gather together again, but what about travel?

China is still seeing cases from from returning citizens and dual-citizens.
There are a lot of places in South America that are not locked down, several states also.

85bluejay - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#386776) #
If things get back to normal in July/August, that's about when NFL camps open - the NBA/NHL will probably turn to the 20/21 season and baseball will have trouble getting the attention of the american sport fan - once again, the NFL wins - I bet the NFL draft in whatever form will be a ratings monster with a captive,bored audience.
scottt - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#386778) #
If anything happens in July/August it could be in empty stadiums.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#386781) #
Baseball will still benefit if they get empty stadium games in the summer (July/August). People are going to watch live sports content the moment it becomes available, and MLB will have an insane amount of original content with games being played everyday and likely a lot of double headers (7 innings or otherwise) sprinkled in every week to make up for lost games. The more people that watch on TV, that means networks are happy, advertisers are happy, and so on. Considering MLB games are played in half empty stadiums in the regular season anyway, playing in empty stadiums probably won't be as big of a deal as it would be for other sports. Then if they added gimmicks like mic'ing players up, it would give the TV audience a very unique experience.

I'm not even going to speculate on if or when games will resume. Best case and worse case scenarios are pointless when we don't know what next week will hold, much less 3 months from now. All I am sure about is the moment MLB gets the green light to have empty stadium games, they'll race to make it happen. If it happens to be in July or August, then they could extend the season, play in ST facilities in October/November, neutral stadium playoffs, etc, etc. They will have to get creative and have a much shorter off-season heading into 2021, but they'll have no choice.

And yes, I concur that the NFL likely getting away with this without losing any games will be annoying. A league that underpays their players based on league revenues every single year, have massive issues with CTE to their players, etc, is going to be the one that is least impacted by this. No one said sports was fair.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#386791) #
John Lott has a wonderful article on Danny Jansen over at the Athletic. He's in Florida staying at Rowdy Tellez' place while Rowdy is back with his family in California. There are bits on training in the COVID 19 era, and new batting technology Jansem is using after training with Ryan Borucki's father over the winter. Highly recommended.
DavidtheDeuce - Wednesday, April 01 2020 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#386792) #
Thought this would bring a smile.
Gerry - Thursday, April 02 2020 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#386807) #
Some transactions from BA, even though there is no baseball. Brett Wright is a surprise but the Jays are overloaded with catchers.

Released: RHP Alexis Carmona | RHP Josh Hiatt | RHP Andy McGuire | RHP William Ouellette | RHP Joey Pulido | RHP Matt Shannon | LHP Grayson Huffman | C Matt Jones | C Brett Wright | OF Roemon Fields
scottt - Thursday, April 02 2020 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#386808) #
Wright was a 26th round pick in 2018 who repeated Vancouver last year.
At 23 he was old for the level and hit below .200.

Phillip Clarke, who was 21, was the real catcher on the team, even though he reported late due to being in college playoffs.

Some of the names sound familiar, but not because any of those guys were top prospects.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 02 2020 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#386809) #
Roemon Fields was a sentimental favourite around here for his unlikely story.
hypobole - Thursday, April 02 2020 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#386810) #
Remember Fields, Huffman and Pulido having a fan or fans here at some point.
scottt - Thursday, April 02 2020 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#386811) #
Fields can run, but burners don't get chances anymore unless they get on bases.
Mike Green - Friday, April 03 2020 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#386816) #
I really have no idea how well Fields plays now, but a player like Jonathan Davis who can steal a base effectively and play all three outfield positions well  would seem to me to have value given the expanded rosters (and the new rules on reliever usage).  Kevin Cash has indicated that he intends to leverage offence instead of pitching given the rules (certainly more platoon-matching).  If you have a slow corner outfielder pinch-hitting, you can then pinch-run with your burner if the slow corner OF reaches base.  Fun.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, April 03 2020 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#386822) #
Roemon Fields was a sentimental favourite around here for his unlikely story.

Fields was screwed out of a September call-up in 2017. Hit .291 with 43 stolen bases in 103 games with Buffalo. I really enjoyed watching him in Vancouver in 2014. He teamed up with Tim Locastro and Franklin Barreto for a speedy top of the order.

Best wishes to him and the other players in their future endeavours.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, April 03 2020 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#386823) #
Also surprised about Huffman. It was his first full year back from Tommy John surgery and his veto remained around 93-97 from what I recall. I thought he'd get his first crack at full season baseball before the world changed.
bpoz - Saturday, April 04 2020 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#386836) #
Huffman drafted in 2014 so a 6 year minor league player. Maybe that has something to do with this.

The changes to minor league baseball should affect some things. Policy for development of resources. All unknowns. The Jays have to categorize their failing prospects and their retread hopefuls. Only so much playing time available.

We have a huge number of raw kids to try to develop.
Magpie - Monday, April 06 2020 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#386870) #
Sad news out of Detroit. Al Kaline has died at age 85. A very great player, of course. Not too many are good enough to play in the majors when they're still teenagers.

The 1960s was for right fielders what the 30s were for first basemen: besides Kaline, you had Henry Aaron, Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente. Tony Oliva. Roger Maris won two MVPs, Johnny Callison almost won another.
tercet - Monday, April 06 2020 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#386878) #
Oh damn, didn't know that Huffman was 93-97. Unfortunately in ST 2018, I was at the Complex watching intrasquad games, and remember him talking to various coaches about his his elbow problems right beside me. About 2 weeks later they publicly announce he underwent TJ surgery.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 01:19 AM EDT (#386879) #
Interesting how often you get a crowd at one position.

In the 80's we had killer SS's and 3B
SS: Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith, Alan Trammell, Dave Concepcion (end of his career), Tony Fernandez, Garry Templeton, Dickie Thon, Hubie Brooks (OK, just a bat but dang was he fun), Shawon Duston (never walked, but was good otherwise), even Ozzie Guillen (how anyone thinks of him as a HOFer is beyond me)
3B: George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs, then many good ones like Tim Wallach, Paul Molitor (sometimes), Pedro Guerrero (sometimes).

Some fun stuff there. 

What position is overcrowded today?  IE: if you play there you gotta be HOF or you won't be noticed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#386883) #

Speaking just for myself, I have no desire to see 30+ year old ballplayers playing games outdoors in Arizona in July between the likely twin peaks of the coronavirus pandemic.  Some of them are reasonably likely to become spreaders themselves, and perhaps one or two might suffer long-term consequences personally, in the second wave of cases. I don't get pleasure from watching reckless behaviour.

I am hoping that this time would lead to deeper contemplation about what is really important.  Baseball does have some things to teach us, and one of them is the virtue of patience (in an at-bat, in a game and over a season).  I know that major league ballplayers (and owners) have a lot of money at stake, but I was hoping also that they would realize that they are part of a privileged elite and can lead by example.  In this case, the best example is staying home.

All the best,

SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#386884) #
MLB is a $10 billion a year business. If this is a situation where it is either playing all games in Arizona for 4+ months in an isolated environment, or no baseball at all, then literally no one involved in the sport benefits with the latter outcome. Based on Passan's article, there will likely be expanded rosters in the proposed Arizona plan, so it's quite possible that the entire 40 man roster for every team would be available and paid during that time. Owners and league revenues are probably not the biggest concern for fans, but MLB would greatly benefit from a TV/streaming standpoint by having actual live content to provide to networks. That would mean more exposure for the sport if networks like ESPN want to broadcast a lot more of the games than they normally would (since they have nothing else to show at this point). Baseball has lagged behind the NFL and NBA for years now, and being the one sport that can rise above this pandemic, take the proper precautions to ensure safety for its players/employees, and be able to provide content in a world that is collectively miserable might actually help the game in the long run.

The entire premise of this appears to be if enough tests are available to implement this without taking tests away from those who actually need it (ex. the general public). I doubt they'd be able to have that much testing available within 4 weeks, so June is probably more realistic if this plan were to happen at all, but it seems to have been OK'd as a viable option if done properly. I don't know if that's possible or not, but I do know the alternative is not one that players or the league would want.

Realistically, baseball (or any other sport) as we know it cannot come back to normal without a vaccine. That could be 12-24 months from now. Leagues are going to do anything in their power to make seasons happen, even if they are unique and not ideal (like this proposed MLB idea). You can't expect billion dollar industries to shut down entirely. As long as safely is not compromised for the sake of dollars, then I don't see an issue with trying it out.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#386885) #
The Imperial College report indicates that peaks are expected from April to June and then again from October to December, and the disease will not likely go away entirely in the middle. The players are not coal miners trying to balance their own safety with having enough money to survive. And, the owners, of course, are the farthest thing from coal miners.  We ought to judge the decisions of the league, the owners and the players in this context.

Baseball is definitely a business, but also enjoys monopoly protection by virtue of being "America's national pastime". We consumers can choose to support it or not, in accordance with our own beliefs.
scottt - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#386886) #
In the context of 9 states still not having stay-at-home orders and the number of states with religious exemptions being up to 14, I have no problem with closed doors games.
Baseball is a religion with its own gods after all.

They're not coal miners, but can they be like beer store workers?

It's all in the details.
They can't be using resources that are needed elsewhere.
They can't expose older mangers.

I'm most concerned about minor leaguers.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#386888) #
Good news from Fangraphs.  You can aggregate data on its website, as you can on BBRef. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#386889) #
Yes, baseball players are not coal miners, but financial loss is financial loss regardless of the number and what they have made in the past. Players have spent years grinding for and/or negotiated for the money they are going to make in 2020. Even if they have enough to survive with a lost season, it would still be millions more that they earned and would want to have to provide for their families and their lifestyle. Plus, if the MLBPA has agreed to this, which the article indicates they have, then the players collectively are fine with the conditions/risks. It's not like MLB would be throwing them out there and saying "if you get Corona, tough break". The entire language is based on a bunch of preventative measures to ensure player safety, including not allowing them to go anywhere aside from their hotels and the ball park.

As far as the peak, it has been speculated (in the US) to be in the next 10 or so days, with it slowly starting to stabilize and drop from there. Whether Arizona falls under that same timeline, I'm not sure, but given the amount channels MLB would have to go through in order to get this approved, I'm guessing they'd have a better idea of potential risks than any of us would.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#386891) #
The American authorities have not distinguished themselves, at least not in a good way.  They were playing games in mid-March, at least 10 days after they ought to have stopped.

There's a balance between commerce and safety, and in this pandemic, the line was not drawn at a place I am comfortable with in most western countries.  YMMV.
scottt - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#386892) #
Well, reaching a peak doesn't mean to reopen everything.
If you do, you just restart the curve from the peak.
It will bust through the worse case scenario.

I see UFC will operate from a tropical island.
Puerto Rico has 523 cases and 23 death.
Arizona has 2456 cases and 65 deaths.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 07 2020 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#386894) #
Japan's experience with attempting to get back to baseball has not gone well. Three Hanshin Tigers tested positive for COVID 19.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 08 2020 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#386897) #
A 2nd wave in the fall is possible. Even expected. That said Australia is ending summer and starting the fall/winter season. Their experience could be a forecast for our fall/winter.

My family is learning caution regarding taking precautions.

If gloves are littering the various store parking lots this saddens me. I don't have much faith in some people changing their behavior.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 08 2020 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#386898) #
With the economic downturn, there will be many empty seats in stadiums/arenas when sports return and I expect teams will be spending less on salaries - the middle class talent will get squeezed.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 08 2020 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#386900) #
From ESPN:

With new cases of the coronavirus falling in South Korea, the country's baseball league is targeting an early May restart, with teams ready to play preseason exhibition games as early as April 21.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 08 2020 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#386901) #
Next year's free agent class is screwed (Betts, Stroman, Bauer, Giles, etc). Teams are not going to want to spend anything next season that they don't already have on the books. If Betts was expecting $400M, and he had every right to before this pandemic exploded, then he needs to significantly temper expectations after a lost or even partial season. The league and individual teams are going to lose a lot of money this year.

If the Phoenix plan doesn't work, and they have to call off 2020, then they really need to consider calling a truce on the impending CBA issues because if they lose 2020 and have a lockout after 2021, that would be a disaster for the game.
scottt - Wednesday, April 08 2020 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#386903) #
Can of like the oil producers fighting for market shares in the middle of a pandemic.
At least there are only 2 entities facing off here. Owners vs players.

John Northey - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 12:59 AM EDT (#386910) #
The all in Arizona idea isn't ideal, but could work at least to get the season started for a month or two.  Spring retraining in May, games in June/July there,  then if things are safe elsewhere in August/September/October, or in Sept/Oct, or just for playoffs.  All depending on many factors.

I'd take it.  Beats having nothing.  Could get a 100 game season out of it at least (similar to 81/94).  Pay would be adjusted down due to schedule and probably another chunk off as long as games are before 0 fans.
Chuck - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#386911) #
What happens if a player tests positive? His team goes into isolation for two weeks? And all recent opponents do the same? That'll play havoc with the schedule.

Bill James has been tracking, on his twitter account, fan expectations for a return date. The plurality of votes is for 2021. Give it another month and I am guessing that that will represent the majority opinion.

scottt - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#386913) #
There' s not a lot of contact in baseball. Maybe everybody wear full face shields.
That would cut on the spitting and licking of the fingers which I've always found distracting.
Just give each pitcher a jar of vaseline to improve their grip.

Chuck - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#386914) #
There's not a lot of contact in baseball.

But what about the contact off the field? Locker rooms are certainly not big enough to accommodate physical distancing. And the guys will be staying in hotels and having meals together. And many will be with their families who themselves will not be living in hermetically sealed boxes.

I really can't see how the players can be protected from each other.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#386915) #
It's remotely possible in the Phoenix area.  Each team rents out a nice suite hotel (the entire hotel).  The players don't use the locker rooms at all, changing and showering in their own rooms and driving to and from the ballpark themselves.  It wouldn't be much of a family life, but you could reduce the contact to a great degree. 

However in the game, even if there isn't contact, you have to have players running and tag plays and so on.  It may not be the best way to pass the virus, but it's certainly a pretty good one. 
Chuck - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#386916) #
I forgot about the dugouts. Those seem like perfect transmission locales.
scottt - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#386917) #
You can disinfect once a day. It's no worse than grocery stores.
Just look at the daily Trump broadcast, there's a dozen people packed on stage and they each go their own way after.
The players would basically become an extended family and would have to be separated from their real family.
I suppose players should have the option to take the year as a family leave.
Some vets would sit it out and some younger players would replace them.

The one thing is that testing has to become widely available.
MLB would have to create more testing capacity, not waste the existing one.

An interesting side effect of distancing is that doctors who don't work in emergencies have had their hours reduced.
90% of health care right now is going towards Covid-19.

Chuck - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#386918) #
You can disinfect once a day.

If your comment was in regards to my dugout comment, I was not referring to the surfaces within the dugout as potential germ havens (though they well could be), but rather to a bunch of guys sitting side by side talking, with no space between them. The spittle would be flying.

John Northey - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#386919) #
I think a little humor would help...

hypobole - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#386921) #
a bunch of guys sitting side by side talking, with no space between them. The spittle would be flying.

Replace the Gatorade with Lysol.
Michael - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#386923) #
Plus if you exercise your breathing goes further, so running around the bases or running for fielding would give lots of overlapping chances for infection.
John Northey - Thursday, April 09 2020 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#386924) #
The key for the Arizona plan to work is for the players and all others involved being tested regularly and making it a closed system - no one in or out beyond people bringing food/etc. in (with lots of controls on that).  In theory that could work.  Or set up parks up in Nunavut somewhere so we can get real isolation - a bit colder but at least no one would die of heat stroke :)

A quick look at maps and there are lots of areas of Arizona that are pretty much empty that you could set it up in I'm sure with minimal risk of anyone showing up who shouldn't be there.  You'd need to fence in the area or make it a place you can only fly into. 

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick has 13 full sized diamonds it appears but is surrounded by housing so that could be a problem. 
Camelback Ranch is a bit more protected, but not a lot.  Also had 13 diamonds. 

The more I look at the more every one of the complexes appears surrounded by housing which is no shock really..  For this to work ideally MLB should buy up a big parcel of empty land (or get the state to "loan" it to them) and set up a closed ecosystem.  8 to 15 full diamonds, no road access, high fences around the property.  Would be a challenge but it could be done.

SK in NJ - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#386925) #
The biggest issue with the Arizona plan is whether there will be adequate enough testing by then. We certainly are not there now, but in May/June that could change. All the other gimmicks they have in mind to keep players/coaches/umpires isolated on and off the field seem doable. The key is if someone tests positive that they won't have to shut down the entire league. That's where the testing will have to come in.

This is not the ideal plan and it will have its flaws, but if it's between this or no baseball, then I can see why they would try it. Maybe they get lucky and start by June, and then in September are allowed to be in their regular stadiums again (with no fans). Way too early to tell at this point. As long as the players are OK with it, and every precaution is taken for the people who will be in the bubble (including hotel employees, chefs, trainers, etc), then go for it.

Baseball just got the worst end of the deal. The NBA and NHL at least got to play the bulk of their regular season, so they were able to get some revenue in, and by the time the NFL season begins it might be doable to have games with travel (although maybe not with live crowds). Baseball is the one sport where they might have to lose an entire season. For the sake of the sport, I hope they can get some baseball in, even if it's 80 games exclusively in Arizona.
Magpie - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 07:04 AM EDT (#386926) #
I think the whole discussion will prove academic. I expect the US government to rush re-opening the economy, there will be a sudden dramatic second spike in infections and... basically, no sports in 2020.
Chuck - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#386928) #
no sports in 2020

Can you imagine the blow to the American psyche to not have an NFL season? That may be the most widely practised religion in the country.

hypobole - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#386929) #
MLB considering breaking up the AL and NL into 5 team divisions and having teams play at their spring training site, per Bob Nightingale.

I could live with our new North Grapefruit division:
Yankees, Jays, Tigers, Pirates, Phillies.
Chuck - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#386930) #
The video game and board game companies are thinking that MLB damn well better have a season, even a bizarro one, or they'll have no new product to sell next year.
John Northey - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#386931) #
Hmm... North Grapefruit records last year...
Yankees: 103-59
Phillies: 81-81
Pirates: 69-93
Jays: 67-95
Tigers: 47-114

Good chance for the Jays to do well.  Although I figure most would just say this is a gift to the Yankees.

South: Minnesota 101-61; Atlanta: 97-65; Tampa: 96-66; Boston: 84-78; Baltimore: 54-108 - the division of death outside of Baltimore of course
East: Houston: 107-55; Washington: 96-69; St Louis: 91-71; Mets: 86-76; Miami: 57-105 - similar outside of Miami

Quite the tough divisions there in the South and East.  I figure we'd see some shuffling to even things up a bit, but if geography is the key then it is a too bad so sad for all those 90+ win teams (3 per division).
bpoz - Friday, April 10 2020 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#386932) #
Jays win!!
John Northey - Saturday, April 11 2020 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#386936) #
BR has a fake season going - Standings - Jays 3 back of the Yankees, 1 1/2 from 2nd wild card after 14 games at 6-8. 
  • Grichuk with 5 HR leads the team 298/355/632 so off to a great start.
  • Vlad having a bad year at 200/365/300, just 1 HR
  • Bo OK - 306/343/516
  • Biggio having crappy BABIP luck again - 184/322/367
  • Gurriel Jr leading the team in OPS 327/351/636
  • Jansen recovers from his poor offensive 2019 308/400/577
  • Pearson in rotation from start (never said it was 100% realistic) 2.16 ERA in 3 starts, 16 2/3 IP, 7-24 BB-SO ratio
  • Yamaguchi makes the rotation too and has a 4.15 ERA in 3 starts
  • Ryu does poorly in his 3 starts 6.75 ERA - the virtual pitchforks are out
  • Shoemaker about to be released after 3 starts 6.91 ERA
  • Anderson is in the pen (??) and very effective, 0 runs in 10 IP
Interesting to look at, just for fun.  Imagining how we'd react if it was real and they did this. 
vw_fan17 - Sunday, April 12 2020 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#386939) #
Anyone else planning to try Super Mega Baseball 3 when it is released in a few weeks? As a PC gamer (we do have a Wii U for the kids), it seems to be the only thing going. Apparently, if you can get past the comical heads and cartoon-like antics, it's actually a pretty good game.

I'm going to give it a try - I used to LOVE High Heat, but can't get it to run in Windows 10...
Michael - Monday, April 13 2020 @ 04:21 AM EDT (#386943) #
Everyone should check out the 3rd episode of Some Good News if they haven't already:

It's both joyful and baseball related.
scottt - Monday, April 13 2020 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#386945) #
Video baseball has been a playstation exclusive for a while now.
Bichette is representing the Jays in the MLB the show tournament. Went 3-1 yesterday.
I played a lot on PSP and Vita when I was taking the bus.
Ages ago.
We had a tournament in the US once, and one guy brought a console and we played with the kids.
Arcade style, winner keeps playing.
I was playing Gagne and striking out all the other dads 1-2-3.

johnny was - Tuesday, April 14 2020 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#386959) #
It's actually pretty easy to get free live baseball... from Taiwan. I signed up for a Twitch account yesterday and they emailed me right before warmups for the Chinatrust Brothers game against the Fubon Guardians, then it was straight to high def baseball over my morning coffee. We're pretty far from a MLB venue and I've been going to mostly NCAA DI and minor league games since we moved to a small town on old Kitty League turf four years ago, so I don't have much issue with the quality of the five-team Chinese Professional Baseball League. Cheerleaders, but no fans, and instead of post game handshakes each team bowed to the the other from across the diamond. Don't quote me on this, but it seems like games go something like 5-8 a.m. EST with the time difference. I've seen enough re-runs on the MLB Network and you could do much, much worse that this in a pandemic.

Link here for those who want it:
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 14 2020 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#386960) #
It's looking like the jays will lose a valuable year of the "Kids."

Wonder which MLB teams are in the worse financial shape?
eldarion - Tuesday, April 14 2020 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#386961) #
vw_fan17, I'm looking forward to Super Mega Baseball 3! It comes out on April 30. I played a full season online with a buddy and the gameplay is excellent and challenging. Apparently, SMB3 is supposed to be even better. :) Can't wait!
scottt - Tuesday, April 14 2020 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#386962) #
I'm more concerned about losing Giles and Shoemaker for nothing.
Most of all, I'm concerned about the prospects who won't play this year.

Michael - Tuesday, April 14 2020 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#386963) #
The Jays will not lose a valuable year of the "kids" though if there is no baseball in 2020. They will instead lose as much service time as those kids actually had in 2019. So service time manipulation and partial seasons means that 2020 will only count for partial service for some of the Jays.

"Under the tentative agreement, players will receive the same service time in 2020 that they did in 2019 if no games are contested."

For some one like Vlad that was called up within the first month, that will still be most of a season. But for some of the kids that only had half a season, like Bichette Jr, a 2020 with the same service time as 2019 may mean that there isn't a full season.
Glevin - Wednesday, April 15 2020 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#386967) #
Sad news. Apparently, Damaso Garcia passed away.
mathesond - Wednesday, April 15 2020 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#386969) #
RIP Damaso. As a young'un, I loved watching him play, even when he was setting his uniform on fire.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, April 15 2020 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#386971) #
Baseball America has its latest mock draft.

They have Georgia righty Emerson Hancock going to the Jays at number five.

Top four picks are Torkelson for Detroit, Martin for San Francisco, Lacy for Miami and Gonzalez for KC.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 15 2020 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#386975) #
San Francisco Maryland?
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2020 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#386976) #
Well, it's April and it always did seem like a 40 degree day in Candlestick at this time of year. 
Mike Green - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#386982) #
News of the day. The Athletic uses its advanced version of Suckage Index (-WAR/150) to rate the worst Sean's by a Blue Jay pitcher. Magpie's version is much more artful. Just sayin'.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported about the Halladay plane crash. Roy had, according to the report, taken amphetamines and was doing stunts when the accident occurred. It is so sad. Dan Haren said that retirement was much harder than anything he did on the mound; that was perhaps the case for Roy also.

hypobole - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#386989) #
Yeah, the Halladay report is damning. If he wasn't such an iconic baseball figure, but an ordinary citizen, I think we would take a far dimmer view of the circumstances that caused the crash.
hypobole - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#386992) #
"to rate the worst Sean's by a Blue Jay pitcher"

So Shawn Camp doesn't count?
scottt - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#386994) #
All of that was already make public last year.
It's just that now, it's official.

I'd take a far dimmer view if he'd hurt someone else along the way.

Maybe some of that is related to his injuries.
Or maybe he was a risk taker.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#386998) #
It was supposed to be "seasons" not "Sean's".  Sometimes autocorrect totally mystifies me.

Anyways, Tom Bruno made the list.  He made 12 appearances for the Jays in 1977, and I don't remember him at all.  He had a good year for the Cardinals in 1978 but that doesn't help jog my memory.  After baseball, he became a US Coast Guard Master Captain and runs a hunting and fishing outfitting company.  Sounds like a common career path for a retired ballplayer. 
Chuck - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#387000) #
Sometimes autocorrect totally mystifies me.

Mine is convinced that whenever I type "if" I really mean "of". I think this is an intentional gaffe by our AI overlords, to lull us into a false sense of safety.

hypobole - Thursday, April 16 2020 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#387002) #
I should consider myself lucky that my Commodore doesn't have autocorrect.
scottt - Monday, April 20 2020 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#387019) #
The new contract with the umpires now requires them to explain video rulings like it's done in the NFL.

Can hardly wait.

bpoz - Tuesday, April 21 2020 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#387029) #
Gerry mentioned only 120 minor league teams total in the other thread..

The Extended ST that happens every year had Gabe Moreno with 307 ABs in 2019 at Lansing but he was still improving his hitting in Extended. Similarly A Kloffenstein would have pitched in Extended ST. The 64.1 IP in Vancouver for 2019 was probably up to 100 IP when Extended pitching is added.

I strongly feel Extended ST is a great place to develop your breaking ball or change up. No pressure to get outs. Just repeat the motion until it is developed. Arm strength will come as time goes on.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 21 2020 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#387030) #
I guess I put my comment in the wrong thread so I will re-post.

According to reports Milb is willing to agree to have 120 minor league teams in total. That equals to four per major league team. So, for the Jays, possibly Buffalo, New Hampshire, Dunedin and either Lansing, Vancouver or a GCL like team.

The levels of the lower two teams would have to drop a bit. If it was Lansing it would be a mix of the GCL, Bluefield and Vancouver squads. Dunedin would be a mix of Dunedin and Lansing.

It looks like short season would go away with a possibly later draft and probably just an extended spring type camp for the month of August.

There would be a number of independent leagues in the ballparks that get left out of the realignment. But those players would not be paid by the major league team so they would essentially play for peanuts.

Of course, much of the details are just guesswork right now.
scottt - Tuesday, April 21 2020 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#387032) #
AAA is kinda unique in that this is where the vets on minor league contracts play.
I can't imagine the teams would want to lose that.

After spending all that money with Dunedin, the Jays are not moving from there.

There will probably be a lot of fighting between the teams over which leagues to keep.
However, the best facilities are in Florida.
Arizona is different because it's too hot to play in the summer.
The short season teams seems like the ones that are more likely to be impacted.

I wonder how much you save by having extended spring training over short season ball.
The real savings are in drafting fewer players.

This is a drastic change to save less than 3M per team.
It's a rounding error.

John Northey - Tuesday, April 21 2020 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#387034) #
I figure the reduction is more a long term plan to cut non-MLB player costs to the bone where possible.  If the Jays are limited to 4 I'd expect AAA/AA/A+ and Vancouver (marketing purposes to keep a presence there).  I could see MLB deciding which leagues to keep for this year while telling the others to take a year off though in which case it might be Lansing who survives.  The youngest players would be hit the hardest, and the ones on the margins.  Kids who aren't ready for Lansing would be unable to play, or would be facing much harder tests than they should at this stage (for some a big plus but most would be a big minus).  Overage players at each level would find fewer jobs very quickly.  Real prospects pushed as high up as possible to make room wherever possible.  It could get ugly quickly.  Indy leagues would be much stronger for level of play though.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 21 2020 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#387035) #
This is a drastic change to save less than 3M per team.
It's a rounding error.

Welcome to late-stage capitalism. If it's not contributing to *THIS* quarter's bottom line, we don't need it..
bpoz - Wednesday, April 22 2020 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#387038) #
Boston found partially guilty of cheating in 2018. 2nd round draft pick lost.
scottt - Wednesday, April 22 2020 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#387039) #
So, the replay reviewer was actually a scout whose main job was to decode signs used by teams *before* and *after* the games.

However, neither Cora nor any of the coaches were aware that he was updating his report on the fly.

I find that second part hard to believe. However, other teams had the same setup. (Which ones?)
Yankees? Only some players had suspicions even though the data changed during the course of the games. The scout denied any wrong doing although he was also involved in the apple watch incident.

hypobole - Friday, April 24 2020 @ 04:30 AM EDT (#387043) #
Eric Longenhagen at FG has updated his draft rankings. At #5 is HS CF Zac Veen:

Prototype outfield prospect with a build like Yelich/Maybin and the power projection to match, plus he has relatively stable bat-to-ball skills.

Full Report
Of the high school hitters in this draft with big, projectable, athletic frames, Veen has the best present feel to hit. His in-the-box actions are quiet and smooth up until the moment he decides to unleash hell on the baseball. He can clear his hips and crush balls in and he can also extends his arms and crush pitches away from him to the opposite field gap. Because of the frame-based power potential, Veen was one of the handful of high schoolers who had a chance to really blow up during his senior spring and insert himself among the college prospects atop this draft, and because high school ball began in Florida before the COVID-19 outbreak, teams got to see some of that development and Veen separated himself from the other prep outfielders more clearly.
scottt - Friday, April 24 2020 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#387047) #
Bichette is doing a decent job with the MLB The Show tournament.

It take a tiny bit of comfort in that.

scottt - Friday, April 24 2020 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#387058) #
I wonder what would happen to Rule 5 guys if there is no games this year.
Or if the season is drastically shortened.
I mean, does it count as a full year if the guy is not credited with a full year of service?

bpoz - Wednesday, April 29 2020 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#387073) #
The Int'l prospect list is out. From the list of top 30 the Jays are linked to Manuel Beltre. #23 SS, 5'10" 165 lb, DOB 6/9/04, 15 years old so one of the youngest players.

All these players as expected are projections and potential. I can't say that being tied to the Jays hurt his ranking in the list. But it probably did.

The write up said that he may be the most advanced hitter in this years class. So the writer has something to fall back on regarding his skills as a prospect evaluator just in case Manuel Beltre makes it. Hopefully as a star.

Another positive in his write up is that he is very experienced (due to playing a lot) and was able to play (starred) on the DR U14 and U15 int'l teams back in 2014 it seems. My "interpretation" is that he was good enough to make these teams as a 10,11 or 12 year old OR that he was being groomed to be a regular as he got older based on projection/evaluation.
mathesond - Thursday, April 30 2020 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#387076) #
Why would being tied to the Jays hurt his prospect ranking? Do the Jays have a reputation of not being able to identify talented young players?
bpoz - Thursday, April 30 2020 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#387077) #
I do not have proof but I believe that many list makers hype popular (big fan base) team's prospects. They seem reluctant to me to give Jays prospects a fair rank (Canadian team) on the list. This is my opinion.

TB does very well because their farm has done quite well for a few years now. IMO the list makers are not trying to be popular with TB's fans because of the small base.
bpoz - Thursday, April 30 2020 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#387078) #
Thank you for you response mathesond.

We have had some great draft picks and Int'l signings. Some 1st round successes in Halladay, Carpenter, V Wells and also later rounds like Barfield and Hentgen.

We signed and developed T Fernandez, A Delgado, K Escobar, Osuna and probably 6 more very good Int'l players. Maybe more but I cannot remember them. Vlad has not played enough in the Majors to count, for me anyway. So at the moment I am leaning towards us being weak in finding and signing Int'l players. I do expect a bright future very soon from our In'tl findings.
scottt - Friday, May 01 2020 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#387086) #
The reliever Cleveland got for Kluber has tested positive for boldenone and scored an 80-game suspension.

Yikes.  Well, that could cost him a full year of a service when it's all said and done.

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