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Part 2 - the big position for question marks, with not a lot of options out there.† Third base.


Guys on ML roster this season...
  • Travis†Shaw: 0.0 bWAR, 0.2 fWAR so not worth much this year, 3.6 UZR/150 in 2020, 2.1 lifetime.† So a decent fielder (as he appeared) but not a wow one.† 95 wRC+, 95 OPS+.† Basically a treading water guy, doesn't hurt but doesn't help much either.† Made $4 mil and will get more via arbitration this winter - a small non-tender chance, free agent after 2021.
  • Brandon†Drury: now a free agent (yay!) ; -1.0 bWAR, -0.5 fWAR; -7.4 UZR/150 at 3B (litetime -3.3); -6 RC+; 0 OPS+ (yes, zero);† I wouldn't resign him for AAA let alone the majors at this point
  • Cavan†Biggio: We all know this guy, but at 3B he had a -13.4 UZR/150 (ugh).† So ideally the Jays should leave him at 2B (4.6 UZR/150 this year).
  • Joe†Panik: -0.4 bWAR, 0.3 fWAR; 86 wRC+, 79 OPS+; -27.4 UZR/150 (yikes!).† Soon to be a free agent.† Good backup but not at 3B it appears.
  • Santiago†Espinal: 0.2 bWAR, 0.2 fWAR; 76 wRC+, 77 OPS+; 0 UZR/150 (just 7 innings) so not much known about his ability at 3B but a solid SS (7.3 UZR/150).† No more than a backup.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: No time at 3B this year, but in 2019 he had a -14.6 UZR/150 (similar to Biggio this year).† So if any infield shuffling happens it should be Bichette going to 3B as clearly Biggio & Vlad are not good options there outside of a game here and there, ideally with a flyball pitcher on the mound.
So Shaw is really the only ML option.
Minor leaguers (using 2019 stats of course, and levels, anyone with 10+ games at a level) Ages are for 2021 season (as of July 1st)
  • AAA
    • Andy Burns AAAA guy who has 7 years in the minors and 10 games in the majors, 266/334/423 career minor league line - basically a good backup to have around in AAA but if he gets a chance there is a big problem
    • Patrick Kivlehan 132 ML games, 799 minors - an organization type guy, you bounce him between AA/AAA wherever you need to fill a hole
    • Alen Hanson† see above 2
  • AA
    • Vinny Capra: Age 24, in 2019 he hit 229/295/309, a 20th round pick in 2018, he might not have long left to prove himself
    • Nash Knight : Age 28, 252/365/381 in AA, like Vinny needs to impress quick to keep playing
    • Cullen Large :Age 25, split 2019 between rookie, A+, AA and hit 260/340/388, a 5th round pick in 2017, I suspect he'll get a full shot in spring to prove he belongs in the system
    • Kevin Smith :Age 24 Made BA top 100 (#91) going into 2019, but hit just 209/263/402 in AA.† A 4th round pick in 2017, he will repeat AA I suspect
    • Brandon Grudzielanek :Only played 13 games, hit for a 369 OPS so he might be done.
  • A+ - lowest level worth checking for potential ML'ers in 2021, #1 guy was Cullen Large
    • Nick Podkul : split between A/A+ hitting 244/356/344.† A 7th round pick in 2018
    • Jesus Navarro : he better be amazing with the glove as he hit just 509 for OPS.† Ugh.
    • Samad Taylor : 216/325/364 Don't see much point in digging in here.
  • Others of note
    • Jordan Groshans: A top 30 prospect in MLB (via BA) going into 2020, he was in A ball in 2019 and summer camp this year.† Hit 337/427/482 in 2019 in just 23 games.† To make the team he'd have to have had an amazing summer camp and then would need to impress like mad in spring.† I don't see him reaching until 2022 unless he tears apart the minors in 2021's first half and forces the issue.† He could be a SS too as he has played more there than at 3B.
    • Austin Martin: the top draft pick this year, his position is in drastic flux.† drafted as a SS, but in college played 3B/2B/CF/1B
Free Agents
  • Justin Turner:currently with the Dodgers, 128 lifetime OPS+, 135 at age 35 last year.† 140 wRC+ vs 130 lifetime.† Made $20 mil this year.† -3.5 UZR/150 in 2020, 0.3 lifetime.† Basically, if the Dodgers want to keep him there isn't much the Jays could do.† Would want a 2-3 year deal most likely so it depends where the Jays see Groshans and Martin and if they think Turner can keep the clock at bay entering his age 36 season.
  • not much else out there that I can see.
Trade opportunities (outside of guys who would force multiple moves like Lindor)
  • AL East: Yandy DŪaz (TBR - in prime, just reaching arbitration, no way they trade him), Gio Urshela (NYY - years until free agency - bloody hell, what a mistake by the Jays selling him to the Yankees), Rio Ruiz (Bal - 77 OPS+ lifetime, why bother), Rafael Devers (just reaching arbitration, no way he is traded unless they have gone nutty) - so no targets in our division
  • AL Central: Josh Donaldson (Min - signed long term there), Yoan Moncada (ChiSox - signed long term), Jose Ramirez (Cleveland - signed through 2023 cheaply), Maikel Franco (KC - free agent after 2021, 109 OPS+ last year, 94 lifetime, entering age 28 season, 3.3 UZR/150 in 2020, -1.9 lifetime) the first potential target, Jeimer†Candelario (Det, their #2 guy in games at 3B, but also played a lot of 1B, 135 OPS+, 93 lifetime, 9.3 UZR/150 in 2020, 2.9 lifetime - 3 years of arbitration control left, doubt Tigers would trade him at a reasonable price, but who knows)
  • AL West: Matt Chapman (3 years of arbitration left, doubt they'd send a 3B to Toronto again after the Donaldson mistake they made), Alex Bregman (Houston - signed through 2024), Kyle Seager (Sea - 1 year pre-free agency, 122 OPS+, 114 lifetime, entering age 33 season, -0.6 UZR/150 in 2020, 3.2 lifetime $18.5 mil in 2021, option for $15 mil in 2022 - a good target imo), Anthony Rendon (signed through 2026, forget it), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Texas pre-arb, 77 OPS+ lifetime, nah).
  • NL East: Austin Riley (Atlanta negative bWAR so who cares plus still pre-arb), Brian Anderson (Miami - just entering arbitration, doubt even the cheap Marlins would trade him now), Alec Bohm (Phillies - first season and had a 136 OPS+, no way he is available), J.D. Davis (Mets - 4 years of control left, not available), Carter Kieboom (Washington, 47 OPS+ lifetime, pre-arb)
  • NL Central: David Bote (Cubs, signed through 2026), Eugenio Suarez (Cin, signed through 2025 cheaply), Matt Carpenter (StL - signed through 2022, but a 77 OPS+ in 2020, 125 lifetime, entering age 35 season, makes $18.5 mil in 2021, $2 mil buyout or $18.5 mil in 2022, -2.6 UZR/150 2020, -3.6 lifetime, no interest), Eric Sogard (Mil - team option for 2021 but 52 OPS+ in 2020 so more likely a free agent under the 'who cares' category, did good here before), Ke'Bryan Hayes (Pittsburgh, rookie in 2020, not available)
  • NL West: Manny Machado (SD, signed until 2028 for $32 mil a year), Evan Longoria (SF, signed through 2023, $38.3 minimum, 2023 is an option $13 mil or $5 mil buyout, 97 OPS+ last year, 16.4 UZR/150 in 2020, 8.7 lifetime - hmmm), Nolan Arenado (Col: owed $199 mil over 6 years but has opt out after 2021, gold glove every year 120 OPS+ lifetime but just 84 last year, team suspected to be looking to save money), Eduardo Escobar (Ari, 61 OPS+ last year 97 lifetime, entering age 32 season, last year of contract but just $7.7 mil 0.7 UZR/150 in 2020, 0.9 lifetime)
So a few potential targets - Franco from KC (a meh choice), Seager (Seattle) who is potentially best (1 year, good bat, good defense), Longoria would be interesting (SF) with a decent bat and great D, Arendo would be amazing but expensive, the rest are either not available unless the Jays send far too much back or the teams GM goes insane.† Longoria looks like the best option - league average offense, great defense, on a poor team (4 years under 500 now) and owed roughly $43 mil ($7 mil paid by Rays, $5 mil is to reject his option in 2023) over 2 years (option for 3rd is for $13 mil) but entering his age 35 season.† If the price isn't high I'd go for it.† Would give kids time to develop and would be a solid defensive player in the infield.

So, what are the box's thoughts?† Do you all like the Longoria idea, or maybe Seager, or go for Turner?† Or blow a ton on Arendo?† Or none of the above and hope to get another year out of Shaw while waiting for Groshans or Martin or someone else, or do the 'trade for another position and move everyone else around'? .Lots of options.
2021 Third Base Options | 132 comments | Create New Account
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DiscoStu - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#391825) #
Maybe Tsutsugo?
scottt - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#391826) #
MLB ranks Martin as the 16th prospect in baseball. Martin could not win the shortstop position at Vanderbilt and was moved from 3rd base to center field.  It looks like he's either a second baseman or a centerfielder. Plus plus hit tool.

Groshans is ranked the 70th best prospect. He has still be playing shortstop but scouts think he profiles better at third base. Plus hit, plus power.
scottt - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#391827) #
Turner would fit nicely. Not sure if he gets a QO.
LeMahieu can play third.
LaStella is a decent left bat.
Astrubal Cabrera.
Marwin Gonzales

Mike Green - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#391830) #
Martin had a shoulder injury which prompted the move off shortstop.
John Northey - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#391831) #
For simplicity I see 3B and CF as the best options for an upgrade on the team - SS/2B/1B/DH all locked in and we have 3 OF's who belong on corners. CA is the oddity with a good kid in Jansen, a potentially great bat in Kirk, and a all field one in McGuire. Merge the 3 and you'd have a super-star. But separate are they enough? Pitching is the big area.
Eephus - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#391832) #
Iíve always really liked Seager the Elder, except heís on the wrong side of 30 and his glove (once elite) seems to have slipped some. Factor in his salary (19 million plus an option/buyout in 2022) and Iím not incredibly convinced heís enough of an upgrade on Shaw to justify that $$$ commitment. If Seattle were convinced to eat some of that money... now weíre talking.

Interestingly, Seagerís career home-road splits have been either even or reversed the past couple years. Strange when considering how SafeCo (or whatever itís called now.... I canít keep up with these boring corporate name changes) has a reputation as a pitcherís park. Small Sample Size rules apply, of course.
scottt - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#391838) #
Chapman will go somewhere sooner than later. The A's have a small payroll.
The Yankees and Red Sox are set at 3rd, so at least it's nothing to worry about.
Right now, It would take Austin or Groshans and 2 or 3 other prospects. I wouldn't do that.

The Seattle GM is addicted to trades, so he'll make some this winter.
We did get Walker from there, but it probably makes more sense to sign a free agent than to trade to get Seager.

earlweaverfan - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#391840) #
John, you have me convinced that it is a waiting game until Groshans arrives at 3B and Martin at CF. If we try to upgrade with anything other than a 1-year stop-gap solution at either position, we pay too much, we get too little and we end up with somebody mediocre who clogs up the path for rising stars to get their chance. Call this the Roark/Anderson strategy. Iím not a fan!

Meanwhile, most of the guys we might want to trade may have little or no market (Grichuk, McGuire, Thornton...). Tellez might be an exception.

So, letís keep Shaw; get by with Jonathan Davis and Wall/Palacios as back-up OFs and look for other improvements (at pitching spots?).

Question - is there any chance to land Realmuto? If we did, we could trade Jansen, who likely does have a modicum of market value. Combined with Tellez, could we get an up-and-coming starter we really want?

This all sounds like the time for real contention will be 2022 and beyond...
85bluejay - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#391844) #
I'm in the camp that believes that Groshans at 3B and Martin in CF is perhaps a year away, so a stopgap measure may be the way to go - Jake Lamb/Travis Shaw for one year at 3B - I think the relationship with Tanner Roark is probably broken and maybe swapping him for Ender Inciarte as change of scenery guys - use a Inciarte/Davis platoon in CF - of course I wouldn't mind seeing Didi at SS and Bo at 2B but it looks like the Jays will placate Bo by keeping him at SS. Anyways, please make the lineup more left-handed.
John Northey - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#391845) #
The big question is are any of the kids nearly ready? We of course have no idea how Groshans did in camp this summer - did he perform well enough to start 2021 in AA or AAA? If so then he is very close and could be ready mid-season. If he didn't then he could be a full season plus down there. Same with Martin. I hate not having stats to look at for the kids.

If Groshans is almost ready then you might as well stick with Shaw as, if needed, dumping him mid-season would be fairly painless. If he is further away then I'd try to get Seager. If you feel he isn't going to end up at 3B or is far away (IE: starts 2021 in A+) then I'd go for Longoria (2 + option). What the Jays do will tell us a LOT about what they think of Groshans vs what they say publicly (which of course is 99% positive about all prospects).
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#391847) #
I like the idea of signing Ha-seong Kim from the KBO. You give him a year to see if he can be a regular at 3B, but if not he could be a solid back-up infielder when Groshans/Martin is ready.
John Northey - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#391848) #
Good catch Shoeless Joe. Forgot about international Free Agents/posted players as there is normally very little info on them.

Ha-Seong Kim has been in the KBO since he was 18 in 2014, he is now entering his age 25 season so lots of potential still. His career numbers are 295/373/494 for a 868 OPS. 20-30 SB most years, 134-38 for SB-CS. Mostly at SS (775 games), but a lot of time at 3B too (105 games) and a tiny bit at 2B (6 games) and 1B (1 inning when he was 18). 309/401/529 last year in 616 PA's. 23-2 SB-CS. If his defense is solid (I'd assume it is) then he would be a good target.

Kim is posted. At his age/experience level he can be given a ML contract of any dollar amount. How much the Jays should risk on him is hard to say, but all he costs is cash. No players. The posting fee is based on what he signs for. The rumors have him going pretty much anywhere as being a SS/3B opens up all kinds of options. Is he worth a 5 year $25 mil contract? 5/$50? Posting rules are 20 percent of the contractís first $25MM to the Heroes (his KBO team), plus 17.5 percent of the next $25MM and an additional 15 percent on any dollars guaranteed beyond $50MM.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#391850) #
Kim will likely get more than 50 million and potentially up to 100 million.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/ha-seong-kim-has-big-mlb-aspirations-and-projections/
scottt - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#391852) #
Not  sure. Ryu only got 36 million. Kim could sign for a shorter contract with some team options.
Tsutsugo signed for 2 years 12M.
Most teams are set at 3rd or shortstop or don't have the budget to spend.
The Angels, for example, should be using their money to try to fix their rotation.

The worry here is that Kim might not be able to hit 95+mph fastballs.
That has been an issue with the Jays.
Hernandez and Bichette are good fastball hitters.
In theory, Guerrero should handle those as well.
Grichuk has always had problem dealing with high heat.
That was also a concern with Tellez, which might the reason why he hits lefties so well, he's better against offspeed stuff.

Jonny German - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#391853) #
Brad Miller is a free agent worth considering.

Justin Turner is likely out of LA with Edwin Rios ready to take over 3B.
Mike Green - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#391854) #
Every year of his career, Tellez has hit fastballs.  2020 was the first year that he held his own against off-speed stuff.    He still has trouble with a good slider from a lefty, but then what left-handed hitter doesn't?
John Northey - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#391856) #
I see $100 million as wildly optimistic. KBO players are hit and miss - even more so than Japanese players. Checking a few who started in the KBO before coming to the majors... (Byung-hyun Kim for example was in the majors for years and finished in the KBO, Ji-Man Choi & Shin-soo Choo have never played in Korea as a pro)

Seunghwan Oh: played briefly here in 2018 - honestly I totally forgot about him. 3.63 ML ERA, 1.76 ERA in the KBO, 2.25 in the NPB. But he didn't come to the majors until he was 33.

Hyang-nam Choi: posting was won for $101 - hasn't made it to the majors.
Hyun-Jin Ryu : posting won for $25.7 mil - Currently our ace.
Jung-Ho Kang : posting won for $5 mil - 113 OPS+ over 1028 PA, 886 OPS in KBO - 298/383/504, a SS/3B, came to majors at 28, legal issues killed his career though - missing all of 2017 and most of 2018 (sexual assault, plus a high-speed DUI-induced hit-and-run), he played in 2019 but just a 58 OPS+ so Pittsburgh dumped him. Probably the best comparison (other than the legal issues)
Byung-Ho Park : just shy of $13 mil posted, only 1 year in majors with an 82 OPS+ and negative WAR. In the KBO his last 3 years before coming over he had a 1000+ OPS each year with over 550 PA each year. He is the warning - stats from KBO might not translate.
Kwang-Hyun Kim : 3.27 ERA in KBO, 1.62 in majors over 1 season. Nice grab for St Louis.

5 others were posted but not signed to ML deals - either the team in Korea rejected the amount as too small, or the player couldn't make a deal with the ML club.

There are others of course, but those are the ones that I quickly found. So is Kim like Byung-Ho Park who flopped, or Jung-Ho Kang who was doing well until he acted like a scum bag and lost his career. I'd be very careful if I ran a ML team on this - you could get a great player or you could end up with a flop. ZIP's projections are nice though - 117-121 OPS+ the next 5 years with 3-4 WAR a year (18.7 over 5 years). Easily worth $100+ million if you think that is what would happen, but I don't see any ML team risking that much given Byung-Ho Park's disaster and how Kang was great for 2 years then was a legal mess. $50-75 million depending on how well scouted he has been by multiple ML teams. If you have 2 or 3 teams decide he is likely to give them 20 WAR over 5 years then he'll get closer to $100 million, but odds are they will cut it in half for projections so base a deal on 10 WAR which could still be worth that much, but in a COVID world I'd expect half. A case worth watching this winter.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#391857) #
I donít think thereís any chance Kim gets $100 million or anywhere close to it. Hard to determine what his value is since we donít know how organizationís value KBO numbers and projections, but this off-season seems like it will be more tame from a spending standpoint due to the circumstances.

I agree he would be a fit based on age and position, though. At age 25 if he can come in right away and contribute at a position of need, then that would be a great outcome for whoever gets him. Whether he can hit MLB velocity is definitely going to be a question mark.

Speaking of short term 3B options, if the Cubs are stripping it down, then Bryant as a rental would be an interesting option. My guess is the Cubs go for it one more year (Epstein is leaving after the year anyway) but if Bryant becomes available then thatís as high of an upside rental as you will find aside from Lindor.
John Northey - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#391858) #
Bryant is interesting but his defense has been going down (Cubs played him him a bit in LF/1B), but his UZR/150 was 3.9 at 3B (career 0.0). He'll make $20+ mil in 2021 and is a free agent after that - if the Cubs want to keep him they will as money should never be an issue there. He'd be interesting but I can't image he'd be cheap in any respect.

The more I look at Kim the more tempting he gets. A pure cash situation, no draft picks or players going away to get him, young, probably good on defense (based on the limited information and having been at SS mostly), but a high risk due to the difficulty in translating KBO stats to the majors. Hopefully the Jays are pouring over video of his season and seeing what he has trouble with, what he is strong at, and if he can make the transition. 5/$50 I'd risk, but I can't imagine the Jays going much higher ... maybe 5/$75 if they are certain he is for real but that'd be the limit.
scottt - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#391859) #
We barely have a year of data on Tellez, 147 games started.

johnny was - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#391860) #
Turner would be my preference, Kim would be intriguing, but a plan C might be shuffling the entire infield--Biggio to third, Bo to second--and signing Semien to play short. That was some crash for him in 2020, but SSS and it will probably deflate his market. You certainly don't bring Shaw back if the intention is to field a better team in 2021. I'd prefer LaStella if they go with the poor man's option.


Michael - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 04:40 AM EDT (#391861) #
Paying a lot of money to short term rentals is even higher risk this offseason since there is no certainty what the 2021 season will bring with respect to Covid-19. In the happy world, baseball is back with fans for the start of the season. In the more likely outcome, the 2021 season happens but still has no or limited live fans and risks of outbreaks and possibly modified schedules to minimize travel and contamination risks (maybe longer series against teams to minimize risk; maybe more unbalanced than normal, or even the all East thing again). In the really bad world the 2021 wave is even worse than the 2020 wave was and the baseball season is cancelled or curtailed.

And a similar, but likely even more problematic situation, is present for minor leagues and developing players. Does that make less than very top prospects less valuable if they can't play in the majors and may miss multiple years of effective development?

So given all that, this is one more reason why a lot of teams might be gun shy of offers, and a team that is willing to spend $ or take risks might be able to do well, but also may come out looking silly.
scottt - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#391862) #
Biggio is fine at second and below average everywhere else.
The first thing to do to improve defense is to leave him at second.
Then you stay away from back up middle infielders who can only play second.


scottt - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#391863) #
The biggest issue for the Jays might be the NHL playing their games in the summer.
We're about to get into another drought with no sports on TV and then the baseball and hockey season will overlap again in the spring and summer.

Other teams are probably affected more by the limited attendance.
Rogers didn't report huge losses from its entertainment division.
They're losin money on the lack of roaming fees.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#391864) #
Agree with what Michael said. Decisions have to be finalized between mid Dec and mid Jan. ST may start late. A shorter season with 8 teams making the playoffs which start earlier.

The question may be, how to max revenues in each situation.

rpriske - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#391865) #
Justin Turner is the obvious 'best' choice here, but he will be awfully expensive and in high demand.

The rest come down to scouting. Was this year a blip for Nolan Arenado? If so, try to 'buy low', otherwise go for Kyle Seager.

Just don't sit back and wait for Groshans. Prospects are not guaranteed. Waiting is a setup to lose. (That doesn't mean trade him, or anything silly like that...)
bpoz - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#391866) #
When the window closed the Jays had no intention of winning. The 2019 team was constructed as a waiting team for a young core of position and pitching prospects to develop and graduate. 2020 was not expected to compete for a playoff spot based on the old schedule and playoff format.

Under the 2020 actual season size and playoff format the Jays had a chance to be one of the 8. In 2019 Boston, CWS, Seattle, LAA and Texas all had better records. So I don't think the Jays were considered better than them unless anyone thinks Ryu gave them a stronger chance than the above mentioned teams. Montoyo and various players did a lot of talking about being good enough to make the playoffs with 8 teams in.

For 2021 I believe that we will be stronger than 2020 and will compete for an expanded playoff spot.
cascando - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#391867) #
I don't think there are any real long-term options out there. The Jays could try to bring in a middle infielder, maybe Lindor, and shift Bichette and/or Biggio. But I like Bichette at SS. At this point, I'd be inclined to see if Groshans or Martin can be the long term solution in a few years.

For short-term trade options, I don't think Maikel Franco would cost too much in trade and he'd be an OK stop-gap. As a former top 3B prospect that hasn't really excelled, Franco has a bit of an EE vibe to him.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#391868) #
I mean really the best move is DJ Lemahieu, but you would have to win a bidding war with the Yankees.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#391869) #
Given the economics of the game and continued uncertainty (at least until a vaccine), I expect a glut of non-tenders along with a very slow moving free agent market - it will be a buyers market but which teams will spend? I am skeptical about the Jays willingness to spend with the uncertain economic conditions - The Yankees are signalling they want to get below the luxury tax for a reset. It will be a long offseason with much rancor.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#391870) #
Another point ownership has to consider - The Jays may be stuck on the road for another season.
scottt - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#391871) #
Turner will be 36. Had a 135 OPS+ this year.
Arenado had an 84 OPS+, btw.

Turner would probably like to be on a contender.
Brewers? Cubs?
Not a lot of possible destination and he's not getting a long contract at 36.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#391872) #
Jonny mentioned Brad Miller as an option.  It looks like he was DHing most of the time for St. Louis, and when he played third base, he wasn't good.  Mind you, the sample size is small and he really hasn't had much time there. 

The thing is that even if you end up bringing Austin Martin in June or July to play third base on a more or less full-time basis, you can find a good use for a player like Miller.  He hits well and bats left, he plays a bunch of positions and he can still run reasonably well.  He'd probably be better than Travis Shaw. 
hypobole - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#391873) #
Nothing to do with 3rd base, but the Jays and Marlins were the biggest overachievers in MLB this past season vs ZIPS projections. Marlins 6 wins better than projected, Jays 5, but the Jays wins were 87th percentile vs Marlins 86th .

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-2020-zips-projection-wrap-up-part-i-the-teams/
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#391874) #
I thought the ZIPS projections were a little low for the Jays.  Keith Law had them at 29 wins, I had them at 30, and I think we were closer to begin with. 

The Jays were efficient- going 13-10 in one run games and 8-7 in blowouts (games decided by 5 runs plus).  They were massively outscored in blowouts courtesy of some super-blowouts.  They could easily have ended up 30-30. 
hypobole - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#391875) #
FWIW, Vegas had the Jays at 28 wins.

Statcast and UZR had Miller as Vlad bad at 3rd base both in 2019 and 2020.

scottt - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#391876) #
ZIPS undervalues minor leaguers and the Jays are the youngest team out there.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Marlin' excess value came from their youngest players but I'm not going to check.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#391877) #
I don't think it is so much that ZIPs undervalues minor leaguers as new kids have so much variability - past studies I've seen showed that after 3 years in the majors what you see is what you get as a rule (aging being a part of that). But for kids coming up the range is massive. For example, would you expect a guy in AAA at 22/23 who hit 251/291/446 to be a league MVP 4 years later? That was George Bell. Or a guy at 24 in AAA hitting 321/369/578 would only qualify once (at 30) for the batting title? 271/321/482 lifetime figures look good but a major jump at 30 during the steroid era puts a big question mark on that late jump (260/313/457 from 24-30, then 282/330/510 after that 1996-2001). That was Glenallen Hill's career. Not a flop, but not what was hoped for either.

Basically AAA and lower numbers do have meaning but there are a lot of if's mixed in. A guy can look great there and be 'meh' in the majors, or could be meh in AAA and wow in the bigs. Most will be in eyeshot (with adjustments to park, league, etc.) but many still go way off.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#391878) #
Marlins just poached a couple of Yankees minor league coaches, including one, Phil Plantier, that directly ties into the OP here involving Gio Urshela.

Did the Jays make a mistake selling Urshela to the Yankees? In a vacuum yes, just as the Pirates trading Bautista seems a mistake or both the Jays and the A's waiving Edwin was a mistake. Except the mistake all those teams made wasn't the transactions, it was their hitting coaches not being able to bring out the potential in each of those players.

Jose didn't become Jose until Dwayne, with Cito's help and Vernon's finishing touch, remade him as a pull hitter instead of the slappy up-the-middle hitter the Pirates taught him. Edwin didn't take off as a hitter until he reworked his swing with Robby Cano's off-season hitting coach.

And Urshela may well have remained a decent field, no-hit waiver fodder guy if the Yankees Triple-A hitting coach Phil Plantier hadn't reworked his swing after the Yankees picked him up.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#391881) #
Coaches value is one of those things that is darn hard to measure and teams grossly undervalue imo. If I ran a team I'd be tempted to hire 26 coaches - one for each player on the ML roster. Their job would be to work with their player on every detail. Go over video, dig into stats, work on their nutrition and workout routines, you name it. You'd also have head pitching, hitting, and fitness coaches who would work with those other coaches to ensure everything is OK. As guys go up and down they'd work with the new player and be available for calls from their old one(s). I think it could work well if done right. You might go with 2 or 3 players to a coach but the cost/benefit in theory should be high. Small improvements can shift a player from AAAA level to ML regular to All-Star (see Bautista) but you need to be careful too - too much info can screw a guy up.

I remember in university tossing tons of stats at our players (early 90's so before the web and before most people knew much beyond HR/RBI/Avg) from percent of balls swung at and missed (one guy was under 10% but wouldn't swing harder, he always choked up and would hit weak grounders) to pitches in each quadrant of the strike zone/outside the zone (helped a LH control pitcher learn that guys swung and missed at pitches outside the zone all the time so he stopped focusing on throwing strikes and instead on misleading hitters). The old lead a horse to water but they won't always drink. I think individual coaches could do the trick for some players - a guy they could count on and get used to instead of constantly being in line for the main guy. Would cost less than a rounding error on a big contract.
scottt - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#391886) #
Are the young Jays better than expected? I don't think so.
Guerrero is certainly a lot worse than expected.

ZIPS was predicting pedestrian numbers for what is supposed to be the team's core.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#391890) #
After watching Corey Seager win the World Series MVP, I see the gold standard for what Groshans potential can become.

In comparison to Martin I think even Groshans might have more potential to play SS at the ML level. The shoulder injury for Martin does not explain why he did not get a single start at SS in his freshman year.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#391891) #
Here are Snell's career splits.  He's generally been reasonably effective three times through the order.  He has only faced a batter for the fourth time 8 times during his career.  In those 8 times, he has six caught stealing (and no stolen bases), one walk and two strikeouts. 

Snell was on track to go 7 innings without leaving his comfort zone.  Beyond that, the judgment becomes much more nuanced.
James W - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#391892) #
Mike, I don't know what those caught stealing numbers are, but they don't make any sense. In 2019 they're listing him with 3 games of 4th+ PA in game, 0 PA, 3 CS. His game log shows him with a high of 26 batters faced so he couldn't have been on a 4th time through at all.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#391894) #
It did seem awfully weird, JamesW.  It's probably a glitch in BBRef's program.
Paul D - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#391904) #
Well the price for Justin Turner probably just got a whole lot cheaper.

On the flipside, my interest in him is a lot less.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#391906) #
The Rangers plan to decline the option on Kluber, so he will be a free agent (unless they re-sign him before the FA window begins). There are going to be a lot of free agents this winter with options not picked up and non-tenders.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#391907) #
Kluber pitched 36 innings over 2019 and 2020 courtesy of 3 right arm injuries- an oblique strain early in 2019, a fracture after being hit by a line drive later in 2019 and a muscle tear in his shoulder in July 2020.  Can he come back?  Do you feel lucky?
PeterG - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#391908) #
How about signing Kolton Wong, now a FA as option declined by Cards, and moving Biggio to 3rd for now.
hypobole - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#391913) #
On declining options, should I be concerned no announcement has been made on Anderson's? There should be no way it doesn't get declined.
Gerry - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#391914) #
How do teams come up with a budget for 2021?

They first have to forecast when the season will start. With many forecasters thinking COVID will peak around March, will spring training take place as normal?

Will the Jays play in Toronto?

Will there be fans in the stadium, and if so, will the numbers be limited?

If I was forecasting, I would assume a spring training in April and a season starting in May. I think the Jays will play some of 2021 in Toronto but attendance will be limited, either by government order or fan nervousness.

Therefore less revenue will be coming in so I expect the salary budget to be cut.

I also believe that the budgets will be cut for nearly all 30 teams so there will be a lot of one year free agent deals signed at discount prices. The free agents will be counting on a vaccine returning things to normal for 2022.

Will free agents wait it out and hope for a recovery or grab whatever is offered? I imagine a lot of low ball offers early so free agency will likely be slow.

So look for more uncertainty and maybe a slower free agent period until the new year when there is a clearer path to the 2021 season.
cascando - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#391915) #
On Anderson, I think a decision is due by tomorrow. Declining it is a no-brainer; perhaps the delay is due to the team trying to work something out with him at a lower value.

I imagine a lot of players do not want to be part of the FA pool this year.
John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#391916) #
I see this winter as one of opportunity for teams that think in longer terms. The Jays hopefully are one of those. Might be a perfect time to get a deal on quality players - that Korean SS/3B Kim might be available for half the usual expected cost so I'd put him high on the list right now. Any pitchers that teams make available due to budget reasons should be looked closely at. I'd suspect the value of good young talent (pre-arb) should be sky high this winter while vets on long term deals will be cheap as dirt. The big question is will the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox all decide to go short term cheap or will they be thinking long term? Right now after winning the WS I could see the Dodgers holding onto Turner and not going after anyone else (pressure is off to fight now with that title in hand). The Red Sox have an excuse to take a year off and let the kids develop. I see the Yankees trying to be aggressive but outside of resigning DJ LeMahieu where would they spend? I expect them to be the big ones after J.T. Realmuto as Gary Sanchez had a 69 OPS+ last year so that is an obvious spot for improvement, although his 116 lifetime mark suggests it might have been a fluke but he also flopped in 2018 (89 OPS+) so he might be trade bait if they get Realmuto.

Lots of variables. I'd think most teams will sit back and wait until mid December at least before signing guys. An aggressive approach could pay dividends.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#391917) #
In mid-March, I told a friend that I anticipated that the pandemic would last 15 months and I am sticking with that, more or less. 

The weather forecasters tells us that in this La Nina year, we can expect cooler than normal temperatures and more precipitation than normal this winter.  I anticipate that camps (similar to what we saw this year rather than full-bore spring training) will open in May and the season will begin in June with fans in the stands distanced and outside.  What happens after that will depend on the progress of the vaccine- my expectation is that it is unlikely that a safe vaccine will be produced and widely distributed in time to make a significant difference for in-person baseball for most of the season. 

The winter is likely to be very, very hard in Canada (stay safe, everyone).  The 2020-21 NHL season is, in my view, a very dubious proposition.  Which will make the return of baseball in the summer perhaps more of a balm than ever for Canadians.  So there is an opportunity to build something useful for the owners if they take advantage of that. 
hypobole - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#391918) #
Don't think all teams will cut budgets. Teams hurt most will be the traditional high attendance teams. Cards already saying budgets cuts are happening. But some teams have very low salary commitments, Marlins for instance.

Offers will be lower, and more short terms. But I think we may see some heavily backloaded contracts as well.
scottt - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#391919) #
There are no postings anymore. That brings the cost down considerably.
The Korean club only gets a fixed percentage of the player's return.
You could see high risk players option for shorter contract and there's nothing the offering clubs can do about it.

There is no way the Jays are spending close to the 80M they gave Ryu.
Gurriel signed a 7 year 22M contract with the Jays and used a chunk of that to pay the people who got him out of Cuba. Dolis signed for 1M plus 1.5M. Yamaguchi signed for 2 years at 6.3M.

Would the Jays go over 10M per year? Only in team options.

ramone - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#391920) #
Keith Law's top 40 free agents article is out today in the Athletic. He has Ha-Seong Kim as his 17th top free agent overall with some warnings though. He thinks he projects more as a super utility guy rather than a regular and thinks his swing may be too long to handle MLB velocity.
John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#391921) #
For Kim I'd think $10 mil a year should be the limit as there is such a big risk with guys from that league - remember, Eric Thames went to that league for 3 years and hit 349/451/721. He was decent, but not that good. His 3 years immediately after that he hit 241/343/504 for Milwaukee before going to Washington last year and hitting just 203/300/317 ($3 mil plus a $1 mil buyout as I can't imagine Washington paying him $3 mil this year).
scottt - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#391922) #
Marlins already spent a lot last year. I don't expect them to go after top free agents.
The Nationals have been a top spender and they got a lot of players leaving, but they might take it easy for one year.
The Mets have a new owner, but Citi Field is owned by New York City which is hurting from the pandemic.
The new owner, Steven Cohen, is the former employer of a felon--insider trading--who might not be deemed qualified to operate a commercial venture on city-controlled property.
The Rangers wanted to spend big to raise attendance to their new stadium, but it's not happening and they look to be in full rebuild now.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#391923) #
Keith Law released his top 40 free agents and the name which seems interesting to me is Kevin Gausman. The Jays seems to have been targeting pitchers with split finger fastballs lately in Shoemaker, Dolis, Yamaguchi and Walker and Gausman throws a really good one. Law describes mechanical changes in San Fran which could translate to a J.A. Happ late career revival.

After Bauer and Stroman he is probably the third best free agent starting pitcher for me, Walker is probably close though.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#391925) #
I'd rather put up with Travis Shaw at third and put any available free agent toward pitching this offseason. I'd like to see Tijuan Walker back and possibly Robbie Ray. Shoemaker has been good but has trouble staying on the field. I do think we need two more starters, at least.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#391926) #
This seems like it will be an off-season where if you are a team that has a bunch of minor holes to plug and don't have to drastically reduce payroll, then it will be relatively inexpensive to add multiple 2-3 win type players on the roster. The Jays should be very cognizant of that and avoid handing starting spots to players because of salary (Grichuk and Roark specifically). Those spots can easily be upgraded, possibly significantly, for much less by an expanding free agent pool that is only going to get bigger, in a market where supply will greatly exceed demand.

If Rogers is willing to spend a bit this winter, then this market could greatly benefit a team like the Jays who are set inexpensively in many position (C, 1B/DH, 2B, SS, LF) but need to add some quality pieces around that. They can go big (Bauer/Springer) plus fill the depth pieces around them for much less than it would have cost in normal years.
bpoz - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#391928) #
The Jays did some housekeeping. Players like Panik elected Free Agency. So 35 players on the 40 man roster including T Thornton and Y Diaz (60 day DL).
scottt - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#391929) #
Not really housekeeping. Players on expiring contracts always elect free agency.
I don't know what the alternative is, play for the league minimum? Be outrighted to the minors?

Panik, Villar, Shoemaker, Walker, Ray, Bass and Giles are gone.

Giles didn't pitch this year, but they might want to replace or resign Bass.

The Jays have 5 days to pick or decline options.
Dolis is easy. Anderson is not. Maybe you put him in the pen, but you can get a better reliever for cheaper.

John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#391930) #
Dolis is $1.5 mil, yeah a brain dead option to pick up.

Anderson is $9.5 mil vs a $500k buyout - I'd take the buyout given his last 3 years FIPs are 5.22, 4.83, 6.16 (ERA's better the first 2 years, but this year was a disaster). I don't see much potential value there.

The 2021 payroll (assuming Anderson is bought out) is estimated to be at $73 mil according to Cot's factoring in estimated arbitration and minimum salaries for the pre-arb kids. The Jays have TONS of room to work with.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#391932) #
Well you can get Brad Hand on a 1 year 10m option as the Indians have put him on outright waivers - I wonder how many teams will put in a claim - I'm sure the Indians already gauged the trade market.
scottt - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#391934) #
They decided they're not paying him 10M for 2020 so if someone else pick him up they save the 1M buyout.

I don't know if all teams can put in claims or if it's done in order.
Red Sox, Nats, Mets, Angels are early in the claim order.
Any bad team with money to lose could pick him up as a future trade chip.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#391935) #
In a normal year the options for Wong, Hand and OíDay would be no brainers. Iím fully expecting a slow moving market with very few dollars being handed out over 1 year deals.

Also interesting with Osuna being released today that Giles and Osuna basically had similar career arcs since the trade.

Osuna: 92 IP, 2.45 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 186 ERA+,
Giles: 76 IP, 2.83 ERA, 13.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 159 ERA+
John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#391936) #
The Giles/Osuna trade worked OK for both teams, but neither got as much from those 2 as hoped. The Astros did win a WS though which is a massive plus.

Osuna: 51 saves vs 6 blown plus 3 playoff saves vs 1 blown (got the win that game). Roughly for $12.85 million (adjusting this year and covering half his pay in 2018)
Giles: 38 saves vs 1 blown, no postseason play. Roughly for $12.16 million (same as with Osuna for adjustments)

Boy, cost was close and stats as close as one could ever hope for in a challenge trade. Both lost for nothing in return. However, the Jays did get David Paulino (released in 2019) and Hector Perez (1 2/3 IP this year, still a prospect at 25 in 2021) as well. If Perez becomes anything the Jays should be very happy, but the Astros did get that WS win at least in part due to Osuna. So a win-win trade in the end even with such similar stats.
mathesond - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#391937) #
Pretty sure Osuna was on the Jays when Houston won the World Series.
John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#391938) #
mathesond - doh! You are right. Osuna came in game 7 of a WS but made a 1 run deficit into a 2 run one.
bpoz - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#391948) #
I think we were involved in 23 one run differential games. That way or may not mean anything in a 60 game season.
Thomas - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#391953) #
The Jays declined Chase Anderson's option.

Earlier in the offseason I had speculated this might be a tough decision, but I think this is absolutely the right move. Even ignoring the fact the Jays should be targeting more meaningful upgrades to the rotation as a first option, the baseball landscape has been impacted by Covid to some degree.

In a free agent world in which Kolten Wong's $12 million option isn't picked up, Chase Anderson isn't worth roughly the same amount.
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#391954) #
That's not surprising.  They next have to figure out what they are doing with Travis Shaw and Ross Stripling, but there may be acquisitions along the way before that.  The club's payroll before the arbs and pre-arbs currently sits at $51 million.  That covers Ryu, Grichuk, Roark, Gurriel Jr. and Dolis. The significant arb issue aside from Shaw and Stripling is Teoscar who BBRef marks down for 5.3 million. 

They have some very pleasant decisions to make.
85bluejay - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#391955) #
Chase Anderson was such an easy call for me even in pre-covid times - I'd non-tender Shaw and there's no way the Jays are letting go of Ross Stripling after trading Kendall Williams and a PTBNL for him.
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#391956) #
The Athletic has a Kaitlyn McGrath interview with Keith Law about Blue Jay youngsters.  Law is high on a whole bunch of them and had some comments of interest to me. His  opinions:

  • Austin Martin should stay at third where he has a chance to be a plus plus defender.
  • Jordan Groshans will not likely be ready until 2023
  • They should let Alejandro Kirk play in the majors now
  • Pearson, Manoah, Kay and perhaps Murphy are starters, with SWR the greatest risk of ending up as a reliever
  • Kloffenstein was worked hard in high school and may benefit from the enforced year off due to COVID
  • Orelvis Martinez is a potential star

I had thought the same thing about Kloffenstein.  I'm inclined to believe that the year off may help SWR also, in the long run. 
SK in NJ - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#391957) #
I agree that Anderson's option would have been declined even in a pre-Covid market. He was not good at all in 2020 and $9 million is too much for a SP like him. Stripling will definitely be tendered as they not only gave up an actual prospect for him, but he also has two years of what should be inexpensive control left.

Shaw is the one question mark remaining. If I were the Jays FO I would non-tender him as the market is going to be flooded with infielders, most of which will likely be better than the 2019-20 version of Shaw. He had good exit velocity/launch angle numbers in 2020, and Atkins seems to love that profile in a hitter, so it wouldn't shock me if he's brought back, but I don't expect it in this market.
Paul D - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#391958) #
The Jays had a $1.5 million option on Dolis, which they exercised.
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#391959) #
I am pretty sure that Stripling will be tendered as well.  He's a project though. 
hypobole - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#391960) #
Jays might still take Shaw to arbitration and cut him in spring training. Will be a tough sell to sign FA's since the team doesn't and won't know where home will be. Pitchers should be somewhat easier because of the abundance of FA's, so a few will just take the money, but the 3rd base pool is much more limited.

At The Athletic, Law didn't seem to realize Kloff played indy ball this year. And the reason for his not great 2019 where he was topping out at 94 was due to a shoulder impingement. Was healthy and regularly hitting high 90's this year. Apparently his issue this year was having to relearn his secondaries due to his added velocity.

Not surprised about Groshans. Reading between the lines of what I read elsewhere, nothing really negative came up, but the praise wasn't overly effusive either, the way it was for guys like Martin and Kirk or especially the unprompted praise for Palacios.

With SWR, I really hope the Jays have hired or will hire someone who can actually teach a breaking ball.

Cynicalguy - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#391961) #
Looks like with the arb estimates, the Jays payroll is going to be around 81M for 2021. That leaves about 40M spending if the payroll is about the same as last year (pre-covid).
Kelekin - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 05:35 AM EDT (#391962) #
Not sure if it had been noted but I believe Grudzielanek was released in May 2019.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#391963) #
That's pushing it a bit. I saw comments from Dodgers fans who were missing him in the World Series.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#391964) #
We'll see when the kids start playing again.

There might be a scattered start to the minors, with AAA going first and AA going into camp once AAA has vacated and so on. One proposed way to have smaller bubbles.

scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#391965) #
Can you have a plus plus defender with an average arm? At third? He gets to every ball and then eat them?
That's from the guy who didn't think Biggio was a major leaguer?

scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#391966) #
Murphy should probably start in AAA. He's got decent velocity on the fastball, but doesn't command it.
He's got a nice curve, but no real third pitch.
With command of the fastball, he could certainly start, but all the work spent on the delivery doesn't make me hopeful.
Meanwhile, the Jays could use a reliever that doesn't throw a slider.

scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#391967) #
Shaw ended as a slightly below average bat. He's not a great defender and doesn't run the bases well.
He's a left bat. That's his main thing.
There's another month to the non tender deadline.

bpoz - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#391968) #
C Morton is an interesting FA. He will be 37 soon. No long term contract.
bpoz - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#391969) #
This week I believe the Jays finished their FO meetings. The fans will probably not be told what the various outcomes were. Just clues about some vague areas.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#391970) #
I don't see Morton coming out of Florida. Certainly not to play in Buffalo.
He'll probably sign with the Rays for less money.

hypobole - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#391973) #
Yeah, Morton's family lives in Bradenton. Talked about things like being able to drive his kids to school during the season.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#391974) #
At least the Jays don't have any really bad contracts on the books like Chris Davis in Baltimore ( 21 million/year the next 2 years ). Probably Roark ( 12 million for one year) and Grichuk ( 9.3 million/year the next 3 years ) are the only ones not earning their salary.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#391976) #
I thought Murphy deserved another year in the rotation, but Atkins has said he will be a reliever going forward.
Parker - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 09:17 AM EST (#391978) #
Was anyone else surprised at the Yankees' declining Gardner's option? I mean, from a pure financial standpoint it MAYBE makes sense; it just seems like really bad optics to kick him to the curb like that. They could have brought him back at $10M but instead decided to buy him out at $2.5M, presumably to try to bring him back cheaper. Seems like a really bad PR way for a proud and wealthy organization to treat a productive veteran and career Yankee. They're already probably going to lose LeMahieu too so it's not like they have a logjam in the outfield, either.
Chuck - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 11:58 AM EST (#391980) #
Was anyone else surprised at the Yankees' declining Gardner's option?

It does indeed seem very odd. One could look at the Yankee outfield, Frazier/Hicks/Judge, and suggest that Gardner would be an expensive 4th outfielder, but Hicks and Judge lose a lot of playing time to injury (and Stanton as well, of course). Even elevating Frazier to a full-time starter sill leaves plenty of playing time for the bench players.

Perhaps this is a sign that everyone, including the Yankees, is going into 2021 looking to cut costs.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 12:31 PM EST (#391981) #
I agree its a sign that there will be very a very limited amount of money in the offseason. I suspect teams like the Jays might get some great hauls by taking on some bad contracts.
Chuck - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 12:41 PM EST (#391982) #
I suspect teams like the Jays might get some great hauls by taking on some bad contracts.

But they'll be looking to cut costs, too. Somebody mentioned Charlie O. Finley* in another thread. This is his happy world. Very few team options being picked up mean that there will be a glut of players on the market, so prices will be pushed down.

*Hard to believe how the culture has changed. Fifty years ago, Finley had to bribe players into growing mustaches, to make his team look less square**.

**Square used to be a pejorative meaning conservative. Do young kids know this term?

John Northey - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 12:50 PM EST (#391983) #
This winter will be a very interesting one. The Mets are seen as likely winners as they have a new owner who wants to make a splash. Teams willing to spend will be able to get great talent for a lot less than they would've paid a year ago.

Cot's has the Yankees at $175 mil for 2021, Boston $171 mil, Dodgers $182 mil (including estimates for arbitration). That covers the top tier of payrolls - the luxury tax is $210 million so everyone has room this year to sign a big name if they want. Should be interesting to see if any of the big guns go for it.

So will the Jays pony up or hold off this winter? I'd go for Kim (the more I look the more I like the potential and big bang teams won't chase him due to low marketing value). Yankees set at SS/3B, Boston too. If Dodgers resign Justin Turner they are set. Cubs have money while their SS had a horrid year (Javier Baez, 59 OPS+ career 102) so they are a potential. I see potential for a big bargain here.
bpoz - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 01:21 PM EST (#391984) #
TB has started their off season moves already. Catcher M Perez has been claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh. They have only 1 catcher left R Hernandez, 23 on Nov 11 and probably not the #1 catcher for 2021.

I would like to see the Jays make a big move if possible. They may or may not be able to accomplish this. A few small moves are possible and I would like that to happen. I expect depth to be added in NRIs. I don't know how D Fisher and T Shaw can "earn" a position on the Opening day roster. They are something like insurance for depth IMO. Both would bat way down in the order. Fisher would add nothing offensively or defensively if he plays, based on his history IMO.

We can add pitchers and position players from other organizations that need 40 man protection and will not be given it. We have a few of our own like Palacios (AAA) and G Moreno (A) who may or may not be added.

Pompey was a great prospect that came up with Pillar. Stuff happened to Pompey while Pillar completed half his career. So Pompey was a potential impact player.
Chuck - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 04:03 PM EST (#391985) #
Fangraphs has a nice payroll tool.
Gerry - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 07:53 PM EST (#391986) #
Six players get qualifying offers. Bauer, LeMahieu, Realmuto, Springer, Gausman and Stroman.
Parker - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 09:23 AM EST (#391991) #
None of Brantley, Semien, Gregorius, or Andrelton Simmons considered worthy of qualifying offers.

The Yankees' decision on Gardner no longer looks so strange.
Chuck - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 09:33 AM EST (#391992) #
I was surprised enough by Stroman, who missed an entire season and might, I thought, suffer some retribution for having opted out. But Gausman? Gausman?
ISLAND BOY - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 11:29 AM EST (#391993) #
Bueller?.....Bueller?.....Bueller?
scottt - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 11:50 AM EST (#391995) #
Well, the guys who should be the Jays top targets, Bauer, Springer and LeMahieu all get QOs.
Predictions are:

Springer 5/125M
LeMahieu 4/68M
La Stella 2/14M

Stroman and Realmuto where going to get QOs for sure.
I don't see Stroman taking it and he should still get a decent contract somewhere. Angels, possibly?

Gausman is a stretch and he should just take it.

Predictions for Robbie Ray is 1/6M.
Taijuan Walker 2/16M
Paxton 1/10M

Bauer 4/128M
Odorizzi 3/39M (Seems way too risky for me. Not an inning eater.)

Kluber 1/12M
Same for Mike Minor. 1/6M.
And Happ. 1/6M. Happ was good for a 3.47 ERA this year and didn't have as much fun in NY this time.
Porcello 1/5M
Hamels 1/4M
Chris Archer 1/4M


scottt - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 11:53 AM EST (#391996) #
Semien and Simmons are below average bats. Brantley is mostly a DH now.
Gregorius is borderline. His market value is around 3/40M.

Gardner was their 4th outfielder. And he's not getting younger.

John Northey - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 01:57 PM EST (#392001) #
Right now it is such a major crapshoot as teams are rumored to be ready to cut almost anyone on arbitration. BR thinks the Jays will sign DJ LeMahieu for 4 years $68 mil. That Kim will go for 5 years $40 mil to Texas (plus $7.6 mil posting fee), Stroman to Angels for $68 mil over 4 years, Jake Odorizzi to come here $39 mil for 3 years, Walker to the Angels for $16 mil 2 years (I'd take that over Odorizzi over 3), Ray to the Brewers for 1 year $6 mil, JA Happ to Seattle 1 year $6 mil. I don't agree with most of those, but it is interesting to see a neutral 3rd parties view of who the Jays will go after, where current Jays and ex-Jays go.

My gut says the Jays chase pitching at the higher end and touch base on guys like Kim who could fit in long term, but are mostly going to be bargain shopping for high end talent - if a solid guy who can help comes down in price they why not, but generally it has to be a top 10% of the league guy to be worth chasing. I doubt they sign a guy costing a draft pick unless he is really, really good (ie: Bauer). I doubt LeMahieu is high on their list, fun as it would be to take a guy from the Yankees (the draft pick hurts for a guy entering his age 32 season - you could easily end up regretting it quickly).
scottt - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 02:59 PM EST (#392003) #
That's not a posting fee. It's just a %cut.

Odorrizi is a backend starter who can't give you more than 5 innings.
That would not help at all here.
I'd much rather just roll with Walker at half the price.

Second round pick means nothing here if you can turn a weak position (3rd?) into a strong one.

It's not really a neutral view. You put name to some free agents and see where others fall.
Yankees going after a cheaper/better catcher would make sense.
Also it's not clear what they do at shortstop and they need a better starter than just keeping Tanaka.

clark - Monday, November 02 2020 @ 08:41 PM EST (#392008) #
Iíd like to see the Jays try and sign Didi Gregorius to play third. Moving from short heíd likely provide high end D at third. Heís a viable replacement at short in case of injury. His lefty bat helps to balance out the lineup. Adds a solid power bat as well.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 07:46 AM EST (#392011) #
As I've mentioned before I think Didi would be a great fit and he doesn't have a QO attached - Also I've always liked Jurickson Profar and he will only be 28 next year and I think coming into his best years - I'd be willing to sign him to a multiyear deal as a multipositional player.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 09:04 AM EST (#392012) #
Gregorius and Profar are both decent hitters, but come with big defensive question marks.  According to Statcast, Gregorius has difficulty with the ball in front of him.  That's probably a bigger issue for a third baseman than for a shortstop.  His DRS and Statcast numbers in 2018 and 2019 were bad, but 2020 was better.  Profar spent most of last year in left field- and has been a poor defender for several years.

The club can use left-handed bats and it may be that Austin Martin has the third base job some time after six weeks into the season (or whenever it is that the Blue Jays get an extra year of service time);  I am not opposed to getting a player like Gregorius or Profar instead of Travis Shaw. 
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 12:36 PM EST (#392017) #
I think the F.O. is going to be as aggressive this off-season as any in recent memory. Based off everything we've heard from Shapiro and Atkins, it seems likely to me that we'll see at least one blockbuster trade to improve the club drastically this off-season.

I disagree with the notion that times have changed and free agents regard Toronto with lukewarm enthusiasm. Outside of Ryu and Happ, the Jays have not had a player (at least on the pitching side) make a long term commitment to them. Their runs at Cole, Sabathia, et al that we've all read about were not reciprocated, and I find it highly unlikely a Bauer or a Springer would choose Toronto to sign with long-term unless there was a significant overpay. If people want to bank on Martin, Groshans making this team better in their rookie years or that signing Jackie Bradley Jr. makes this team closer to challenging the Rays and Yankees, I think they'll be disappointed.

Forgive me for the cross-sport reference, but I see the Blue Jays in a similar situation to the Raptors a few years ago. They definitely have some good things going for them, but they will have to do unorthodox things to acquire elite players to fill holes, and be willing to mortgage a lot of money and prospect capital to get a championship the next couple years. If it takes trading Groshans, Pearson or Martin (or more than one) to get Arenado or Lindor here, if you're the Jays you almost have to gamble that.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 01:13 PM EST (#392018) #
I never considered DJ LeMahieu an option, primarily because I always assumed (and still think) he's going back to the Yankees, but since MLBTR brought it up, he would be an interesting target for the Jays. He plays all over the infield, so he can start at 3B and also cover 2B and 1B. Offensively he brings a very unique (in today's MLB landscape) profile. His home/Yankee Stadium numbers were drastically better, but xwOBA has been excellent the past two seasons and that likely plays wherever he goes assuming his Statcast numbers remain consistent with 2019-20. Plus, the Jays could move him around depending on which prospects are ready (Martin and Groshans in particular), so he wouldn't necessarily block anyone.

For the more realistic options, it depends on what the Jays want to do with Bichette at short. If they want to keep him there, then they'd have to ask someone like Didi to move positions, which he may not want to do and it may not even benefit the Jays if Didi's defense keeps sliding. Semien would likely to good value and he wouldn't cost a pick, but you would have to believe in his SS defense long-term because offensively he might be closer to average than what he showed in 2019.
scottt - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 02:18 PM EST (#392019) #
Lindor just had a terrible year and is not signing an extension unless you offer him something like 10/340M.
Arenado has an opt out after 2021. Shapiro hates opt outs.

For one year, you should be able to get Kris Bryant.
At least the price might be workable.

The goal is not to get a championship team over the next coupe of year and then burn the house.
The goal is continuous improvement over another 5 years.

They probably need to extend Hernandez before the end of 2021.

At any rate, I'm expecting a really, really slow market.

bpoz - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 03:05 PM EST (#392020) #
Agreed scottt. They want a long term window. This means both talent and a decent payroll. The FO knows what payroll category they are in.
JohnL - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 03:06 PM EST (#392021) #
Pretty interesting interview with Vladdy here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Torontobluejays/comments/jnfird/highlights_of_recent_vladdy_jrs_interview_where/ (Spanish, English subtitles). He talks about losing weight (he apologized to his teammates for not being in shape), and says this year, third base is his position.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 03:38 PM EST (#392022) #
Thanks JohnL.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 03 2020 @ 03:52 PM EST (#392023) #
If he can get in good shape and handle 3B at a close to league average level that would be fantastic. Tellez is better on defense at 1B, then DH could be rotated around.
Guess we'll see but I'm not holding my breath.
scottt - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 09:31 AM EST (#392025) #
They could overpay for LeMahieu and have him move around or play primary 3rd if Vladdy is struggling.
If the Yankees have to overspend on him it's a victory given that they  have question marks at short and catcher and need a couple of starting pitchers.

hypobole - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 11:19 AM EST (#392026) #
The Jays really don't know what they'll have in 2021 3rd baseman Vlad. 2019 overweight Vlad was awful and 2020 morbidly obese Vlad was unplayable there. From the interview one would assume he'll report in good condition, maybe very good condition. If the Jays think the most likely scenario is that he'll be at least adequate, the infield may be set and the Jays can spend whatever money Rogers gives them on pitching and hopefully a CF upgrade. It is a quandary though.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 11:37 AM EST (#392027) #
Personally, I find Vlad Jr's. attitude toward this question immature.  He's screwed up two seasons running, and now he's offering public opinions in November  about what position he should play next year? 

It's absolutely fine if he goes to Charlie Montoyo to tell him what he wants, but it's obviously the Manager's decision not Guerrero Jr.'s. 


bpoz - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 11:46 AM EST (#392028) #
I think Atkins hinted that Vlad my play some 3B. So 3B, 1B and DH. In 2020 he played almost all the games. So he was healthy enough. DH/1B.

I expect him to play a lot because his bat is/can be V good.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 12:19 PM EST (#392029) #
Counting on Vlad to be a 3B would be near insanity at this point. Let him get reps there in Spring Training, and if he shows improvement then maybe he can play there occasionally, but itís time for him to work on 1B defense and fundamentals. He lacked both in 2020 (though not entirely his fault). Thatís his long-term position. Focus on that.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 04 2020 @ 12:44 PM EST (#392030) #
I expect the Jays FO and coaching staff are making contact in the off season with all the players that are under their control.

We have Vlad, Teoscar and Y Diaz in the DR. Maybe Tinnish or someone there is checking on their off season workouts.

The Gurriel brothers are in Florida I believe working out under their father and older brother.

Someone should keep in touch with Groshans and Kloff in Texas. I believe they workout together.

Also new pitching technology (Rapsudo?) is a popular tool that many use in the off season.

If a player does not have a guaranteed spot on the Opening day roster eg McGuire and Kirk they should arrive in camp ready to compete. Kirk has not much to lose but McGuire could be cut or demoted. If #1 Jansen gets injured then there is competition for that opening. Cannot fully count out R Adams either. Adams should be a 2021 Sept call up at the least I expect.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 17 2020 @ 11:02 PM EST (#392272) #
Interesting - MLB Trade Rumors lists Kris Bryant as a non-tender candidate. Very interesting. If he is made available for nothing but cash I'd have to think the Jays would be all over it. 134 OPS+ lifetime, but just a 73 in 2020. I'd still be surprised if he is released. If he is then I could see many teams offering 5 years at $50+ million, but he'd want $100+ for 5 years. I suspect offers are going out to the Cubs right now from teams with a condition of being able to sign him long term if the Cubs want more than a bucket of balls.
mathesond - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 07:56 AM EST (#392273) #
If you believe the billionaires that own the Cubs, they can't even afford a bucket of balls. Fortunately for them, writers at MLB.com are sharing the story of their plight.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 09:28 AM EST (#392274) #
Something possibly going on with the Cubs. Theo Epstein has stepped down.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 09:47 AM EST (#392275) #
Epstein stepping down plus the owners crying poor due to no fans at games (claiming 70% of their revenue is from fans at the game which sounds like a load of cow manure given some teams make over $100 million a season from local TV revenue and the Cubs should be one of those) suggests to me the Cubs are doing a rebuild now and Epstein wanted no part of it given they just won their division. If they are doing something that dumb, then the Jays should ask them about guys like Darvish who are getting $20+ mil a year ($59 over the next 3 years) and are still very good. Huh, checking the Cubs their closer was Jeremy Jeffress, yes the ex-Jay from 2013/14.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 10:25 AM EST (#392276) #
Lots of posturing?? The question is did the teams take a financial loss OR were revenues drastically reduced but no actual loss? Then which teams actually had a loss and how bad. Still more is that with no revenue sharing TB would be in the most danger of massive revenue reduction unless they got a lot of playoff money by going to game 6 of the WS.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 10:28 AM EST (#392278) #
I'm sure teams took a big hit but also I'm equally sure they are exaggerating the degree of hit they took. There is a lot to gain (in the millions) by claiming they lost more than they did, and to use it as an excuse to hit players hard this winter. I suspect many teams are unhappy with the Jays for signing Ray for $8 mil as it suggests business as usual. If Bryant is released then it screams 'financial issues even for rich teams'. So we'll see what happens.
scottt - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 10:39 AM EST (#392280) #
There was no team playoffs money this year as there is no attendance.
They had extra expenses.
I believe players still get some extra money.

The revenue sharing are for gate revenues.
Teams already get their share of national broadcast contracts.
Those seem to include the playoffs.
I don't think we would have had this huge fight over extra playoffs games and revenues if only some teams were collecting.

bpoz - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 10:57 AM EST (#392281) #
I am 99% sure that LAD will have to pay for those WS rings. If so then TB ownership is happy. Sort of.
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