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Well, not a ton of stuff but what we do have is big.  Owners and players fighting over compensation for players should MLB get going again.  Also time for anew thread that is purely about what is going on now in baseball, even if it isn't much.

  • MLBPA Plans To Counter Leagueís Economic Proposal In The Coming Days
    • Players not happy with the owners trying to cut their pay by more after slashing it already to be based on games played vs per year.
    • The cut the owners want is from 8% for league minimum players to a 56% cut for the richest players over and above the per game cut they accepted.  Gee, what a shock they are saying 'screw you' to that proposal
    • It is expected the players will propose an expanded post-season which is pure revenue for the owners, little for players (they get some but vs a regular season game it is pennies).  Players like to play, so going to a 14 or 16 team playoff would probably be fine for them even if baseball goes to December.
    • As Jay fans here we all know Rogers hides most of the revenue it makes from the Jays in Sportsnet and other areas.  Given they own the stadium, the TV network, and the cable company that shows the network they have lots of ways to shift revenue from the Jays to their other arms.  If i was a player I wouldn't trust them one iota either.
  • The Jays Turned A Free Agent Whiff Into An Elite Pitching Prospect
    • Fun article to read - talks about how Edwin Encarnacion screwed up (and so did the Jays) on free agency and how it led to the Jays drafting Nate Pearson.  Yeah, I'd say that worked out well.  The Jays were 10+ games under 500 each of the 3 years EE wasn't here and if he signed that deal the Jays would've owed him $20 mil for this year too (so far they would've got 7.6 bWAR (still not enough to get the Jays to 500 any of those 3 years even if all in the same year).  Instead the Jays got a couple of bad years from Kendrys Morales (0.8 bWAR) then for Kendrys Jesus Lopez (nothing much) plus international FA money (not sure who it was used on) not to mention drafting Pearson.  I'd say that worked out well.
  • Blue Jays Including More Staff In Draft Process In 2020
    • A very good thing imo - you keep all your employees working, and you get more eyes on the potentials for the draft.  As long as they make sure each person has a clear purpose (IE: Joe Office gets video for the coaches and scouts to review, but doesn't get 2 cents in on who is good or not).  For example, all the pitching coaches in the system should be digging through the pitching prospects and making evaluations on issues and if they can be fixed by coaching or not potentially. Same for hitting coaches and hitters, fielding coaches and fielding so you can determine if a guy is a future SS or DH.
  • On the 'this sucks' category - The Blockbuster That Brought The Tigers Their Most Valuable Trade Chip
    • An article about how the Jays sent Matthew Boyd as part of the David Price deal which I felt at the time was giving too many prospects away, but still was needed after over 20 years of no playoffs.  Boyd I liked in the minors as he always seemed to get a LOT better after getting settled in at a level.  I was hopeful he'd be solid after having a poor first year in the majors (he hadn't reached yet at that time).  His first year in the majors he stunk (54 ERA+ in 57 IP) but a 97 ERA+ since then and 2 years of control left.  A very solid mid-rotation guy now.  Ah well.
  • On the 'oh yeah' category - Oaklandís Meager Return For A Superstar
    • All about the Josh Donaldson trade.  Lots thought Brett Lawrie  would be a solid guy at 3B for a long time, he wasn't.  Sean Nolin would be a decent ML starter, just 6 starts for Oakland and minors ever since.  Franklin Barreto we feared would make the Jays regret the deal - he didn't - 80 ML games so far 60 OPS+and -0.2 dWAR.  Go figure, the best guy Oakland got was Kendall Graveman who gave them 5.5 WAR in 4 years and now is to be paid $1.5 mil if baseball gets going this year plus a $500k buyout for 2021 (or $3.5 mil if Seattle who now has him chooses to keep him).
  • The Western Canadian Baseball League canceled its season
  • Can't find news on the other Canadian minor league teams right now - feel free to add them below for fans of them.
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scottt - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#387186) #
Well, it goes like this.

The players are losing at least 50% of their earnings because they're not playing half of the games.
That's not even a concession.

The owners claim they are losing 85% of their earnings by not playing half the games and not having fans in the stands. I don't know about those numbers. That's what they are claiming.

MLB is a 10 billion industry. Players salaries are about 4 billion.
If it's down to 1.5 billion this year, how much of that should go to the players? Not 2 billion, obviously.

What I would love would be for players to be allowed to opt out this year if they don't like the conditions. Some players don't want to lose a year of control this year. Some don't want to lose a year of salary. Maybe give them 2 types of opt out. Over a third of the players--including many Jays--make less than 600K.

It will be interesting to see how much Mookie gets over the winter.
I'd love for the Jays to go and get him, which is extremely not likely.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#387188) #
South Korea has had a spike of cases and is now reintroducing restrictions, although not on baseball yet.  They have a total of 735 active cases.  The US has 1.16 million.
John Northey - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#387191) #
As I mentioned the owners have many ways of hiding revenues and they have done so many times in the past. If the owner of your company told everyone working there that they were slashing pay by 8% to 56% how would you react? If they then lied about their financial situation would you be happy? MLB makes most of its TV revenue from the post-season (national revenue which is universally shared). Local deals can be major if a team gets high ratings or is seen as important for getting subscriptions for a sports channel. If teams play half their games with no fans in the stands then they still get half of that TV money for local plus 100% or close to it of the national TV money. Hard to say how merchandise sales (universally shared) are affected, but probably not slashed in half.

In the end, for MLB, I'd be shocked if they actually are down 50% in revenue vs last year once all is said and done. Fans in the stands does add up to a lot, but if you had, say, 2.3 million fans show up at $33 US a seat (the average price in 2019 and the median attendance) that adds up to $75.9 million per team - not chump change but hardly 50%+ of revenue otherwise many teams would be bankrupt based on a median payroll of $128 million last year. Plus, of course, if they go for a central location or locations then you save on travel, on stadium costs (ticket takers, cleaning, etc.), and other costs.

If I was running MLB I'd probably look to play in spring training parks for the season until fans can go in the stands again. Teams own those parks anyways and they are set up for TV cameras and with fewer stands it won't look as bad on TV for emptiness.
Gerry - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#387192) #
Here are some various thoughts about where we are with the business side of the game.

We all know baseball is a business but up until a few years ago much of the business was hidden or out of sight and it didn't become such an everyday part of following the game.

Under commissioner Manfred that seems to have changed. The owners are no longer spending money to win, they are mostly trying to maximize earnings. The relative importance of TV money helps this, teams can make money with a poor team, hence the rise in tanking.

What we are talking about here is how to share the pie. The game brings in revenues and they end up getting split between the owners and the players. Over the last few years the owners have taken a bigger and bigger share of the pie, leaving less to the players.

The owners have the advantage of being able to think long term. The players have short careers and so are motivated to take whatever is on the table today, rather than risk a strike or a lockout.

The owners are now doubling down on their strong position. At some point the players would hit their limit and say stop but the owners are looking for the bottom.

The owners are looking to save money in the draft, in international fee agency, in cutting back the minor leagues. All while making record profits. Greed begets greed.

The sporting press is not sophisticated financially. So the owners will talk about all the revenues the are missing but revenues does not equal profits. Many reporters do not know the difference and parrot the owners lines.

I have to say that the owners search for profits has turned me off somewhat. In their search for profits they are putting the screws to the minor league players, the minor league teams, drafted players and now major league players. Should I go to more games and give the owners more money? I am not so inclined.
Gerry - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#387193) #
I should have added that the owners proposal is designed to split the union in two and weaken it. That's nefarious.
scottt - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#387195) #
Right now I'm taking 10% off.
It's bad, but not as bad as a bankruptcy where it takes years to get parts of the money you're owed.

scottt - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#387196) #
Not exactly.

The owners proposal saves money where there is money to be saved.

Cutting large salaries saves more money than cutting small salaries.
If anything, that's progressive, like a tax.
If you look at the Jays, Ryu makes 20M, so would make around 5M.
Grichuk makes 13M, so would make over 3M.
Roark is at 12M.
Giles, 9.6M; Anderson, 8.5M.
Shoemaker 4.2M, Travis Shaw 4.0M stand to lose about 200K.
Yamaguchi, Gurriel, Panik (which the Jays have guaranteed his salary) are not losing much more than 100K.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#387197) #
Thanks, Gerry. 

When the pandemic is over, I hope that independent minor leagues have increased interest. 
scottt - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#387198) #
There's another factor here.
Many of the fans don't have the money to spend this year.
I'm not sure how it impacts the teams, but some people have canceled theirs subscription and many will not renew them this year. Merchandise sales will be down.

According to Forbes, tickets sales account for 30% of revenues.
They've lost 50% because they've canceled half the games.
Taking 30% off the remaining games leave 35%.

Contracts with FOX, TBS and ESPN generate 1.7 billion., and brings in another billion. Now, those will certainly be affected.
The rest of the tv revenues comes from the Regional Sports Networks.
That's whatever Rogers is paying Rogers. Overall, that's 90% subscriber fees.
Personally, I always cancel my subscription after the World Series, and I obviously haven't resubscribed. Is anybody paying to watch all those old reruns?

Gerry - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#387202) #
Expect a lot of minor league player releases over the next few days. There will likely be no formal minor league seasons in 2020. Instead there will be games and workouts at the Dunedin facility. There will be fewer players required for those games and workouts so many will be released.

Also, don't expect the Jays to sign their normal 40 players after the draft. The Jays don't need that many new players and don't need to fill out rosters. I would expect the Jays to sign 15-20 players, and it could be less than 15 with many players opting to stay in college or go to college.
John Northey - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#387203) #
Yeah, that makes sense. Most players are just filler. Sometimes that filler gets to the majors (Graveman for example) but most never reach the AA/AAA level even. So expect anyone not on a top prospect list to be released soon. I expect teams to basically do something like extended spring at their complexes - once allowed, have their top 60 or so prospects and draft picks playing vs each other - maybe 4 teams plus workouts. Catchers and pitchers will be the big issue, everyone else will just play. Teams will track how they do vs each other but won't let other organizations know. A smart club will try to raid front offices of teams with top prospects this winter so they can find out who did what in their system to better enable trades.

You could have prospects split into rookie and A vs each other, AA/AAA vs each other with some guys bouncing back and forth as needed to fill benches. So prospect watchers, who would you pick for 4 15 man teams in the minors? (9 in lineup, 5 starters, 1 reliever, another 5 relievers/bench guys bounce around and could even switch sides during a game - not like they count in any standings although I'd certainly let the players feel that it counts in some way - maybe a cash prize for the winning team each game or something).
JB21 - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#387204) #
"Across baseball, hundreds of minor league players were cut today and lost their jobs, sources tell ESPN. Hundreds more will be released over the next week. In the end, upward of 1,000 players could see their baseball careers end. The minor leagues have simply been devastated." - @jeffpassan
JohnL - Thursday, May 28 2020 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#387206) #
Didn't see this posted here. I know Esteban Loiaza might be one of the most unpopular former Blue Jays here (often for good reason), but doubt anyone wanted or expected him to end up in prison. A bizarre story here:

I remember one of the things he got criticism for, from many directions, was talking on his cell phone from the dugout during a game. I think he said his girlfriend was sick. This story might explain what was going on.
John Northey - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#387207) #
For the draft and minors a quick and easy way to get an idea of how many make it is to look at the draft. BR makes it easy... for the Jays... listing all with 2+ WAR
2000: 5 made it none over 2 WAR
2001: 7 made it, Gabe Gross and Brandon League
2002: 8 made it, Dave Bush
2003: 7 made it, Aaron Hill (20+), Shaun Marcum (10+), Ryan Roberts
2004: 7 made it, Adam Lind (10+), Casey Jansen, Jesse Litch
2005: 3 made it, Rickey Romero
2006: 5 made it, Travis Snider
2007: 8 made it, Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepczynski, JPA (under 2 barely)
2008: 8 made it, Eric Thames
2009: 13 made it, 10+: Yan Gomes, James Paxton (DNS), Jake Marisnick, 2+: Aaron Loup, Ryan Goins, Ryan Schimpf, Ryan Tepera
2010: 12 made it, Kris Bryant (DNS 20+), Noah Syndergaard (10+), Aaron Sanchez, Sam Dyson, Chad Green (DNS) - note: 4 first round picks, 3 second round
2011: 14 made it, Aaron Nola (DNS 10+), Kevin Pillar (10+), Anthony DeSclafani, Daniel Norris, Joe Musgrove - 5 first round picks, 2 second round
2012: 7 made it, Marcus Stroman (10+). 5 first round picks
2013: 10 made it, Matthew Boyd, Kendall Graveman, Danny Jansen should crack 2 this year.

I'll stop there as I'm hitting prospects still growing here. Over 14 seasons we saw 2 20+ WAR guys get drafted (one didn't sign). 8 10-19.9 guys. So 10 who actually would've been expensive as free agents, and 33 total (including DNS guys and the 10+'ers) who got to 2 WAR which I'd put at the minimum to be worthwhile developing from scratch or about 2 a year.

So pre-AA we saw sub 10 a year from the draft, AA had 10+ make it most years, FYI: 2014 looks weak, and 2015 only has Travis Bergen reaching so far.

Now that costs around $10 mil a year in bonuses and probably more to develop over the years. Is it worth it for the majors? Overall I'd argue no. For individual clubs it works out and is needed, but if I ran MLB I'd be trying to cut back here too. The new 4 team maximum and a shorter draft should serve the owners well. The trick is for it to be universal. We'll see more guys go to indy leagues and then get put into the organized minors and make it to the majors than currently, but a lot fewer guys in systems overall.
scottt - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#387208) #
Another thing is that NHL plans to run a playoff run in parallel with the baseball season, from July to September. Not sure how that affects the Jays, but in Canada, I presume a lot of people wouldn't be watching the Jays. Maybe the NHL viewership would recover the loss of not having baseball?

The NHL proposal is weird. It penalizes teams that won't make the playoffs since they'll also lose games next year. How do you social distance in hockey? What will happen if a Canadian city advances past the first 2 rounds? I mean, can you win the Stanley Cup and expect no gatherings?

SK in NJ - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#387212) #
MLB is not being run like a sport that wants to grow and become more popular, it is being run like a business. The issue there is that they don't have to choose one or the other. They can do both. Unfortunately, MLB has decided that one is vastly more important than the other. That one being short-term gain/money. The fact that they don't care about optics and are willing to push fans away for the sake of a dollar is not a good sign long-term. The owners could easily afford to take a bit of a hit this year, give the players their prorated salaries, bring the game back on July 4th weekend to drive home baseball being "America's national past time", and use this time to come up with creative ways to grow the game when potentially more eyeballs are going to be on the product. Creating new fans during this pandemic is the only positive that could come out of this, and coming back the first week of July with no competition for a few weeks (until the NHL/NBA resume) would be a great way to do it. I still expect logic to take over and the 2020 season to happen (2022 seems like a lockout waiting to happen, though).

It's unfortunate about the minor leaguers and the minor leagues in general. Combined with the gutting of the draft rounds, there will be a lot of baseball players who never get an opportunity. Unfortunately, with MLB having the antitrust exemption, it's not like a competitor can swoop in and give these players jobs. Baseball is going to live or die with MLB, and the barrier to entry for amateur talent just got bigger.
scottt - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#387214) #
Revenues are considerably down this year.
They'll be lower in 2021 than in 2019.
No lockout. Not sure if the players will be in the mood for a strike after 2 down years.
For those guys already signed to 30+M a year, it's just throwing money away.

Michael - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#387215) #
ESPNís E:60 on Roy Halladay debuts today.

"What fans didnít know was that a back injury in 2011 led to Halladay obtaining prescription opioids. His back injury was so bad, Brandy says, that Roy shrunk three inches. That led to shoulder surgery, which led to more dependence on painkillers.

John Northey - Friday, May 29 2020 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#387217) #
The contract ending after 2021 is a big issue. Owners will push hard for a salary cap based on what they consider revenues. Players will push for no cap, let the teams pay what they want. The luxury tax should be the middle ground they stick with but maybe a harder one. I suspect the players will push for a 5 1/2 year wait before free agency vs the current 6 year thus making service time manipulation at the start of a season harder to do. Owners will want it to be 6 1/2 years I suspect. This issue could be big. Minimum salary and arbitration will come up but we'll probably never hear about it vs the other issues until after the deal is signed.

Right now I'd expect no strike/lock out but would put a lock out higher on the odds chart than a strike.
AWeb - Saturday, May 30 2020 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#387221) #
Assuming a luxury tax stays, the players need to find a way to push it much higher relative to team spending. It was originally something only the Yankees worried about, but having only gone up ~22% in the past decade, multiple teams end up basing personnel decision and free agency on it. Total mlb revenue went up closer to 70% in the past decade.
Mylegacy - Saturday, May 30 2020 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#387222) #
Covid-19 strikes again.

Regarding Latin America (as reported this morning by CNN) "This is the new epicenter,...920,000 cases and nearly 50,000 deaths across the regions 33 countries, but those numbers are fast on the rise."

Any Dominican, etc. players who aren't out now - may not be getting out for however long. Is Vlad this side of the border(s)?
scottt - Saturday, May 30 2020 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#387223) #
Maybe that's part of the reason Doc retired as a Blue Jays.
The Phillies years were not all that rosy.

scottt - Saturday, May 30 2020 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#387224) #
It's always hard to predict the owners, because whatever rules will advantage the richer teams will also cripple the other ones.

Rich teams don't mind early free agency.
I don't see the owners pushing for a salary cap.
If anything, the players should be pushing for a minimum payroll.

When I look at the owners vs. players, I can't help but think of Jeter.
A rich successful player becomes an owner and the first thing he does is trade every contract away--including firing a bunch of scouts, one with cancer.

scottt - Sunday, May 31 2020 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#387228) #
Latin America is mostly Brazil here which is competing with Russia for second place behind the US.

The Dominican is naturally isolated being on an island.
They're doing better than the GTA.

The Jays have extended pay for the minor league players to the end of June.
They have released 29 players. I haven't seen a list.

scottt - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#387229) #
The players counter proposal is in.

It's not very attractive if you're an owner.

The players would play a 114-game season and collect their full salary for every day on the active roster.
So if the teams were losing 600K per game played they'd be losing 40% more.

Also the players would be allowed to opt out and collect full salary if they feel for their health and are at risk. Definition of at risk include having children, spouses, or other live-in family members with existing health conditions.

The players are also open to playing in an All-Star game and Homerun Derby.

Personally, I think the owners should just restart their AAA teams without players who are in the Players Association.
I'd watch that.


Mike Green - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#387233) #
In the next CBA, the players should demand not only a higher luxury tax threshold, but also a minimum payroll equivalent to what teams get just for being in MLB without any live attendance, merchandise/food etc and "local" TV revenue. They also need to have a lottery for draft order.  In other words, removal of tanking incentives is needed.
Glevin - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#387234) #
"In the next CBA, the players should demand not only a higher luxury tax threshold, but also a minimum payroll equivalent to what teams get just for being in MLB without any live attendance, merchandise/food etc and "local" TV revenue. They also need to have a lottery for draft order. In other words, removal of tanking incentives is needed."

I don't think a draft lottery is needed in baseball. Baseball drafts are crapshoots and nobody is tanking to get #1, they're tanking to not spend money and to get a better prospect. Anyway, just look over at the NBA and see how much the draft lottery has stopped tanking. Salary floor is a must though.
John Northey - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#387235) #
The best thing for the players to push for imo is a higher minimum wage for major leaguers - the higher it is the higher the basement for team budget is. The more players it helps too as the vast majority never gets to 6 years of service and free agency, or even to making mega bucks in arbitration. Owners have generally been open to that in the past as they fear the mega contracts.

Lottery draft is silly imo. MLB's draft is a crapshoot to a bigger degree than any other sports. I'd prefer a flipped draft - team that comes closest to making the playoffs without getting in gets the top pick, 2nd closest the 2nd pick and so on until all the non-playoff teams get a pick then it goes from worst to best for the playoff teams. Maybe no loss of a draft pick when signing a free agent, but teams get a sandwich pick if they lose one based on some formula (amount player gets, player's WAR, player's age, whatever) ideally with the best ones providing a between 1st and 2nd round, solid ones getting a pick between the 2nd and 3rd.
Gerry - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#387236) #
I am not sure how much negotiating will happen. It looks to me that the owners are giving the players a take it or leave it offer. The owners know they can play the long game and wait out the players.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#387237) #
A draft lottery wouldn't solve the tanking issue, but anything that makes it less desirable to tank should be considered. Maybe penalize teams who lose 100 games in back to back years, or something like that. There is no perfect answer, but creating an incentive for teams to add marginal wins would help veteran free agents get signed and decrease the likelihood of a team trying to pull off a Baltimore Orioles rebuild. If bad teams are just bad rather than historically awful, then that would improve the quality of the sport and maybe wouldn't turn off the hopes of adding new fans.

The main issue for players is the same as it has always been, and that's salary from years 0-6 of service. The MLBPA should not be mad that owners don't want to spend for free agents over 30, but rather be mad that players are grossly underpaid in their primes and then have to hit the open market when they are closer to decline. Whether it is starting arbitration earlier, increasing the minimum, or forcing teams to put players on the 40 man roster sooner, the emphasis has to be on giving the players more money in their early years. That way if the owners don't want to spend free agent prices down the road, then that's fine, at least the players would get paid more fairly prior to that.
scottt - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#387238) #
Technically, the agreement the players signed in March gives them pro-rated salaries for the number of games the league schedules. So they've already approved this proposal.

The only thing the players might need to approves is the expended playoff format.
It shouldn't be a problem because that's the only thing that was in also in the PA proposal.

Fewer games, smaller risks, but if you don't play, you don't get paid.

scottt - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#387239) #
There can't be a salary floor without a salary cap and the players will never agree to that.

In a way, there is already a penalty for tanking, reduced attendance.
The tanking teams offset that by not spending, but if you're forced to spend, where would you spend that money? Pay more for average vets who will reduce playing time for the developing players, which will kill the rebuild or spent it all on one big star? Those type of moves don't really seems to pay off either. Greinke is a good example. Still, if I spend more money, I want a guy who would have made one the competitive teams.

Some of the tanking teams already carry some huge dead contracts.
Cabrera, Davis even Pujols is keeping the Angels out of contention.
That's a big part of the problem. Almost need some way for the teams to opt out of those...

mendocino - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#387240) #
released players from MiLB "May" transactions. They only list 26.

New Hampshire
RF Aldo Ovando
3B Jesus Navarro
1B Kacy Clemens
1B Christian Williams
RHP Turner Larkins
1B Jake Brodt
CF Hunter Steinmetz
LHP Juan Diaz
RHP Juan Acosta
RHP Yunior Hinojosa
LF D.J. Daniels
GCL Blue Jays
3B Jose Zepeda
RHP Miguel Olivo
1B Pedro Hurtado
LHP Warnel Valdez
C Francisco Ruiz
RHP Santos Moreno
DSL Blue Jays
RHP Joneivy Polonia
SS Gustavo Gutierrez
C Junior Ramos
RHP Jorman Gonzalez
LHP Junior A. Guzman
RHP Brayan Aquino
RHP Ronald Govea
LF Yeison Jimenez
RHP Juan Martinez
PeterG - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#387241) #
There is no-one on that list that I will miss.
John Northey - Monday, June 01 2020 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#387242) #
He was never going to make it I suspect, but still sad to see Kacy Clemens career probably at an end. A first baseman who hit 145/247/169 in AA and 204/294/350 in A+ at age 24 is never going any further and probably got further than he should've. Heck, a gold glove catcher would have trouble making it with those batting numbers.
scottt - Tuesday, June 02 2020 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#387243) #
The one question about Clemens is "Will he try pitching?".

He was once a highly rated pitching prospect before he tore his labrum.
I don't know if he can throw at all at this point, but if he can he would be intriguing as a reliever.

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 02 2020 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#387244) #
Those are good suggestions, sk in nj.  You could allow players to choose free agency or arb for years 3-6 or 2-6.
PeterG - Wednesday, June 03 2020 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#387248) #
Joel Sherman is reporting that pessimism regarding a 2020 major league season is at it's highest at this time, June 3.
scottt - Wednesday, June 03 2020 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#387249) #
The owners have rejected the PA proposal and no counter offer is planned.

It seems like the MLB with go ahead with implementing a shortened season according to the March agreement. Current number of games being floated is now 48 to 54.

I supposed the PA could fight it, but the results will not be more games.
I don't see how a judge could order the league to play into football season with no revenues.

Gerry - Wednesday, June 03 2020 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#387250) #
Corey Copping was also released by the Jays. Copping came over from LA a couple of years ago in a trade for John Axford.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 03 2020 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#387251) #
48 to 54 is the range I was expecting awhile ago. Sucks, but it is realistic with the limits we have. If they do it as games vs just their own division you get 12 games vs each team (48 games). If you have 2 divisions then the variables get a lot bigger (12 vs each in your own gets 48, 6 vs each of the other gets another 30 for 78 games; or 6 vs all 9 other teams = 54 games; 9 vs your own and 6 vs the others = 66 games; 8 vs each of your own [2 4 game sets] and 6 vs the other = 62 games; 8 vs your own, 4 vs other = 52 games).

So many ways to divide it - especially if everyone plays in one area (locked into Florida or something). Easy to picture them choosing to play in a red state as those seem most inclined to let COVID slide thus more likely to allow fans in the stands. So a few hundred get the disease and some die - at least the owners make a few more dollars (ugh).
Gerry - Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#387253) #
Richard Urena has been released by the Orioles.
scottt - Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#387254) #
Well, I haven't heard of any players getting sick during the shutdown.
Hopefully, you just put a bunch of healthy people together and everything is fine.

Traveling is a big issue. They need to start some sort of camp now but any player traveling back to the US should isolate for 2 weeks first.

I don't have a problem with a short schedule as long as they play mostly their own division.
48 games against random teams would be a joke.

scottt - Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#387255) #
Axford has only been in 5 games and pitched less than 4 innings since that trade.
scottt - Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#387256) #
He was probably a bit too expensive for the Os.
They'll probably have an historically bad team if they play.

scottt - Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#387257) #
Or, as it seems, Urena wasn't released after all.
John Northey - Friday, June 05 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#387263) #
Well, looking more and more like the owners are digging in their heels on 48 games - so just in your division 12 games (2 home and away series vs each opponent). Big advantage for the Yankees & Rays, as the O's are very weak and the Jays and Red Sox are in transition mode (Jays going up, Sox going down). 0-48 for the O's would be funny to watch :)

Of course, in a 48 game schedule anything can happen. In 1988 the O's started 0-21, the next year they started 26-22. The Jays in 1989 started 12-24 but won the division with 89 wins in the end.

This short season will make for a weird end result, but should be fun, assuming the two sides agree to something. We'll probably get someone with stats that'll be fun in a game but no good for projecting - some guy with Bonds type numbers or a pitcher doing their best Bob Gibson impersonation.

Fun stats for 48 games - Roger Clemens 1986: 10 starts, 9-0 2.64 ERA (had a 3 game stretch allowing 4, 5, 5 earned Runs but won 2 of the 3 games by going 7+ in each and having the offense do the job. This was his breakout year. 1997: 9-0 over 10 starts 1.81 ERA (pre-PED's according to the guy who said he provided them to Clemens).

John Olerud 1993: 391/485/609 after the Jays first 48
Tony Fernandez 1998: 394/489/544 after the Jays first 48

Those were the best examples of hot starts that came to mind - anyone else able to come up with great ones from the Jays perspective, or other teams?
John Northey - Friday, June 05 2020 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#387264) #
Just thought of another few good ones (non-Jays) for first 48 games for their teams...
PED division (what can happen if you juice up - in Bonds case if you do it to a HOF'er)
Mark McGwire 1998: 323/493/839 24 HR
Barry Bonds 2001: 319/471/910 25 HR in 45 games (he had 3 days off). Wow.
Barry Bonds 2002: 347/571/851 but 'just' 17 HR
Barry Bonds 2004: 364/616/828 'just' 13 HR (34 intentional walks)

Pedro Martinez 2000: 8-2 over 10 games 1.05 ERA (!) lost a 1-0 game, and 3-2 game.
Greg Maddux 1994: 8-2 over 11 games 1.47 ERA

or going for the last 48...
Orel Hershiser 1988: 7-3 0.96 ERA - allowed 8 runs (5 earned) the first game, then an 0.44 ERA over the last 82 innings that year. His final regular season game had to go to extras so he could set the record for consecutive scoreless innings - 10 innings, 0 runs, his team lost in the 16th inning but I don't think anyone cared that much.
scottt - Friday, June 05 2020 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#387265) #
We could hope for a .400 hitter, but pitchers will be at an advantage here.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 05 2020 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#387267) #
I can't wrap my head around why the owners and players cannot accept their losses in 2020, play a meaningful amount of games this year, and try to use this situation to both grow the game for future seasons and create more revenue recovery methods at the same time. If they were the first US team sport to come back, especially during the holiday/4th of July weekend, then it would be the easiest publicity grab of all time. They would have a month to themselves (until the NBA reopens July 31) where the entire sports world would be focused on them. That type of opportunity is the definition of making lemonade out of lemons. Keep in mind, youth leagues have been cancelled. College baseball has been cancelled. Minor league baseball has been cancelled. The only way to attract fans is to either have them playing the sport or watching it, and if they are doing neither until the beginning of next year, then it might lead to losses far greater than 2020 revenue over the next few years.

I don't think MLB fully realizes what the sports landscape is going to look like next year. They are butchering this whole situation.
John Northey - Friday, June 05 2020 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#387271) #
Had to find a way to get a 400 Jays hitter over 48 games..
1993 John Olerud: 411/515/699 over 48 games from June 8th to July 31st.

Olerud actually was at 400 after 107 games that year: 400/500/685 after the game on August 2nd. So yeah, in a short season 400 is very possible for someone to do.

Tony Fernandez was at 400 in 1999 after 78 games - 400/485/549, but he slumped after that - just 248/365/339 after and went to Japan for the 2000 season before his pinch hitting season in 2001. In 1998 he played from June 1st to the end hitting 348/406/486 so basically for just over a full season he was a monster with the bat. In 1998 before that he was just hitting 261/347/399. Weird how those 2 seasons went.

Guess those 2 answer the question of can someone do 400 over an 82 game season (if that happens) as the answer is an obvious 'oh yeah'.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 06 2020 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#387275) #
John Lott has a superb and moving story in the Athletic on Anthony Alford's journey into activism.
Forkball - Wednesday, June 10 2020 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#387311) #
If Meyer is indeed the pick, I'll be happy. I like the sound of him more so than Hancock who seemed to be the favorite until recently. If not Meyer, and assuming Lacy is off the board, I would go with one of the bats - Veen and then Gonzales, assuming Torkleson and Martin are off the board.

Given the shortness of the draft it'll be interesting to see if the Jays try to cut a deal at #5 to move money around to later picks and try to scoop up highly rated players who might go to college. Doesn't appear to be any hint of that so far, but obviously was done recently with Groshans and Kloffenstein so it's not out of the equation.

Also, looking way out, with the cap on players beyond round 5 you would think the 2023 will be loaded with college players.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 10 2020 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#387317) #
I think I've talked myself into Meyer. Was a little worried about upside then I realized I was actually saying that a guy with a triple digit fastball and a Wipeout slider at 21 doesn't have enough upside, which is dumb.

It does remind me how bizarre it was that Pearson wasn't in the convo for top-10 on draft day, tho.
scottt - Saturday, June 13 2020 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#387472) #
So the PA has decided to stop negotiating to force the owner to start the season as soon as possible. It's clear that the commish will start the season according to the March agreement once the number of days left mandate no more than 50ish games unless the players agree to further cuts.

So far the owners have offered 1.2B and than 1.4B. While the players have asked for 2B and then 2.2B.

Also to keep in mind

1. The rosters will have to be expended in some way. The last offer from the League had a 30 roster for 2 weeks, than 28 another 2 weeks and then down to 26 for the remainder of the year. That's a few extra players collecting paychecks. Also the 40 roster could start at 60. I'm still confused about that. Those players will have to be playing somewhere to be call up from.

2. The Republican states are heading the wrong way with daily rises in the reported cases.

3. The Blue Jays have not announced that they'll be playing from Dunedin. If they do play there, where will the minor leaguers play?

Gerry - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#387473) #
The players and MLB still need to agree on back to work protocols. Given that the owners have stuck it to the players in regard to pay, how difficult will it be to agree on the protocols?

Also, will any players take a stand and refuse to play?
Gerry - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#387474) #
Interesting big read about Jordan Groshans on Sportsnet.
ayjackson - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#387475) #
I think at this point, if they play, Pearson has to be in the rotation from the get-go. Innings won't be a concern; development will be. Unless they have some kind of a developmental schedule (like Extended Spring Training) for the guys on the 40 (or 60) man roster, Nate should be starting from day one.

scottt - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#387476) #
The agreement is that only vulnerable players are allowed to skip and not lose both pay and year of service. Anybody else will probably end up on the restricted list with his contract frozen.

The players don't want to discuss any back to work protocols because every day that goes by  moves them away from their goal of getting full pay from July to September. They want the League to decide every aspects and then they want to sue and get compensated for everything that is not to their liking.  The owners are now reviewing the Union's refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement.

It's estimated that the Dodgers will lose 200M in tickets sales, the Yankees 175M, Boston 180M.

Unrelated, but interesting, a court has ordered the Yankees to unseal a 2017 letter from Manfred discussing sign stealing. The Yankees claim significant reputational injury could results.

scottt - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#387481) #
I guess the 50ish season will count as a full year of service?
Is that prorated?
They can't wait a month to bring him up, but what if 2 starts cost a full year of service?
 I'd lean towards the full season but it depends on what the other starters will be doing.

John Northey - Sunday, June 14 2020 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#387484) #
With 50 games there is a big question about service time. We know being up all year counts as a year so if a guy is down for 10 days would that be the same as missing all of April normally, thus get the magic service time to add a year before free agency? If so then that is just 2 starts and I'd leave Pearson down for that and have him work in extended spring with the other prospects. No way 2 starts is worth as much as a years service time even in a short year like this. If, on the other hand, you have to leave him down for 30 days then it gets a lot more questionable as that would be 6 out of a possible 10 starts and in a short year that could be everything.

This will be a weird year and we'll see all kinds of odd things. I wouldn't be shocked to see some kid drafted this year up before the end of the season for someone. Odds are teams will have everyone working out together among their top prospects and playing intersquad games to keep fresh and build up reps. Might find an A ball or rookie level player who is actually ready to play AAA guys or even the majors via that. Some kids will step up big time, some will flop. Osuna was ready at 20, some kids are ready as teens, some aren't ready until late 20's. This will be fun to see what happens.
ayjackson - Monday, June 15 2020 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#387498) #
I think pitching is more important than service time for Pearson, who is really short on innings for his career to date.
bpoz - Monday, June 15 2020 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#387505) #
If we have baseball this year it will be different from previous years as we all have said.

1) 3 batter limit rule.

2) Taxi squad. 30? man active roster so more pinch hitting if the manager likes that. Openers and bullpen days. More than 13 man pens probably.

3) Other?

Star pitchers like Verlander, Cole, Kershaw may accept an opener or being pulled after 4-5 innings. Bumgarner will not. The benefit for Verlander would be that he can pitch full out if he knows/accepts that he is on a 4-5 inning limit. Of course he may not qualify for the win.

For the Jays only Ryu may make a fuss. Everyone else is a no name pitcher.

Kevin Cash mastered this pitcher usage. Many other managers will use this if they see it as an advantage.

A 50 game schedule is basically a pennant race of some kind.

The Jays need a hot month!!
John Northey - Monday, June 15 2020 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#387518) #
For a roughly 50 game schedule options are...

1) 2 home & ways vs each team in your division (4 x 6 x 2 = 48)

2) 1 home & ways vs each team in your division (4 x 6 = 24) plus 1 home & away vs each team in another division (5 x 6 = 30 more) = 54 games

3) 1 home & ways vs each team in your division (4 x 6 = 24) plus 1 series vs each team in 2 other divisions (10 x 3 = 30) = 54 games

Option #2 is the most likely result - East vs East, Central vs Central, and West vs West.
scottt - Tuesday, June 16 2020 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#387522) #
Manfred turns around and claim there's going to be no baseball unless the players waive the right to appeal the fairness of the negotiations.

BTW, with respect to revenues and profits, we have the Braves which are publicly owned.

Last year they reported revenues of 476M, up 8 percent.
Payroll was at 136M, but 160M with respect to the Luxury Tax.
This year it's up to 147M.

Profits were 54M before depreciation and amortization but after removing those, along with stock based compensation, they suffered a 30M loss. None of that is money going back to the owner, although some of it goes to the executives, which isn't the same. The depreciation and amortization is the capital cost spread over a period of time, which is normal. The Jays would have all the money spent in Dunedin reflected here.

They played only 3 games in October and reported revenues of 23M.
That shows how profitable the post season can be, but I don't see how that helps the teams that don't make it.

It's going to be interesting to see how high the Braves losses will be in 2020 and how much cost cutting they'll have to do in 2021.

bpoz - Tuesday, June 16 2020 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#387523) #
I am fine. Hope everyone is healthy and happy.

Regarding baseball: ST ended a long time ago. There is a lot I cannot remember.

Arb got completed. Betts and Stroman caused LAD and NYM to give up prospect value and they probably have to pay salary too. We got lucky.

I listened to the ST games on the radio. I know/believe ST means nothing regarding who makes the team. I remember 2 things clearly 1) Vlad getting thrown out at 2B. 2) A Kirk seemed to win games for us. Stole a base and I think scored on a surprising move.

Kirk always seemed to get great results. I doubt he started any games. His ABs would have been against ML starters that were working on just getting ready or not too good relievers or minor league players being used to complete the necessary 9 innings. But he showed a lot of alertness. Outstanding actually.
scottt - Wednesday, June 17 2020 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#387543) #
Saw that a condo owner is complaining Tellez has not been paying his rent.
The owner tries to portray Tellez as a millionaire who got a large signing bonus and a salary of over 500K. That signing bonus was a long time ago and Tellez is not getting paid his salary right now.
In the end, Tellez will probably have to pay, but the owner of a condo on Blue Jays Way is probably worth more than Tellez.

PeterG - Wednesday, June 17 2020 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#387548) #
John Heyman has tweeted that MLB and PA closing in on deal that will begin play in 2020....includes pro rated pay and extended playoffs
scottt - Wednesday, June 17 2020 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#387551) #
Manfred said that they have agreed on "a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement."

Clark hasn't said anything though.

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