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Part 5 - like the last one, we have a strong incumbent but good free agents exist. Could the Jays force Biggio to go elsewhere on the field?

Here now...
  • Cavan Biggio - what a year - 127 wRC+, 119 lifetime now, big improvement in fielding at 2B (4.6 UZR/150 vs -0.2 last year), but not so good elsewhere as he hopped everywhere (1B -80 UZR, 3B -13.4, RF -18.6, CF -0.1 in 23 innings, also a bit in LF)  The ultimate team player, now up to 20-0 for SB-CS, in 159 games he has hit 240/368/430 with 112 BB vs 184 SO.  He really needs to figure out how to deal with umps calling that third strike.
  • Also had Joe Panik, Jonathan Villar, and Brandon Drury play at 2B but none are on the 40 man now, and probably won't be ever again.  I expect Espinal will be the top backup in 2021 (121 games at 2B in the minors).
  • AAA: Richard Urena was #1, now gone, Andy Burns #2, a AAAA guy, then Biggio, then Alen Hanson also a AAAA guy.  Next came ML'ers Espinal & Gurriel Jr. (forgot he was tried all over before settling in LF), Sogard and Bichette.
  • AA: Espinal was #1, Vinny Capra #2 a 20th round pick who reached AA in year 2, 229/295/309 at age 22, entering his age 24 season now - if still here he'll be fighting for a spot in AA/AAA, also played SS/3B/CF so being groomed as a utility guy I'm guessing, Logan Warmoth was #3 (listed him on the SS list).
  • A+: Samad Taylor was #1, 216/235/364 at age 20, now 22 this year.  Played 2B/3B/SS.  Will be interesting to see what happens with him as he really isn't showing a lot but was young (at 22 though he needs to reach AA this year).  Warmoth was #2, Kevin Vicuna #3 got a tiny bit of AAA time while hitting 253/318/333 overall with 20 SB vs 9 CS now age 23, more a SS than 2B.
  • Others: Tanner Morris in Vancouver will get a shot to move quickly (246/384/346 entering age 23 season), as will Rafael Lantigua in Lansing (254/302/373 entering age 23 season), LJ Talley hit terribly in Lansing but at 24 might get another shot, Miguel Hiraldo was in Bluefield (Rk) and Lansing hitting 299/346/485 and is 20 this year so he'll have a shot at Dunedin and AA this year I suspect.  The GCL Jays had Jose Rivas as their #1 (284/368/413 now entering age 20 season) - I expect he'll get a full shot to make a team this year.
  • Plus of course every guy at SS and many at 3B.
Free Agents...
  • DJ LeMahieu is the big one - 177 OPS+/wRC+ last year, 100 wRC+ lifetime (IE: don't expect that bat to repeat).  His UZR/150 was -1.0 but 4.7 lifetime so he is probably league average still on defense.  Not wow, but nice.  At 3B he was -11.2 last year, -1.3 lifetime, but was barely positive the year he played there the most (0.8 in 400 innings in 2019).  Also 4 innings lifetime at SS, 299 at 1B.  Entering his age 32 season - remember 2B do not age well so no more than 3 years unless you are willing to write off anything beyond that.  Has a Qualifying offer attached (the only 2B with that).
  • Kolten Wong - 92 wRC+ in 2020, 96 lifetime (ie: what you see is what you get) Entering his age 30 season so less of a risk to drop off quickly.  7.5 UZR/150 at 2B last year 5.9 lifetime.  In 2016 he was used in all 3 OF positions as well for just 106 innings.  So this is a pure 2B who is excellent on defense which would be a nice change of pace for the Jays.
  • Others are weak (such as Villar) and would be no more than a backup here.
No good/realistic trade prospects jumped out at me.

So basically it is DJ LeMahieu or Wong or why bother.  The minors are weak here but Biggio is strong.  Not really seeing much point unless LeMahieu or Wong are much cheaper than expected.  Wong might be (Cards didn't pick up his $12 mil option) and would work nicely if Biggio is good with shifting to 3B (not a fan of him there, but he is a known hard worker) or to a super-utility role (ie: plays at every position on a rotating basis to give everyone some rest).

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scottt - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 07:40 AM EST (#392156) #
The big improvement here would be to just leave Biggio at second.
scottt - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 08:05 AM EST (#392160) #
It seems the Jays still have Breyvic Valera on the restricted list. I don't think we'll see him again.
Warmoth and Taylor were last at AA.
Miguel Hiraldo played some second base, he just turned 20.

Some of the shortstop depth could also play at second.
Kevin Smith should be in AAA. Groshans in AA. Otto Lopez in A+ or whatever we have now.

John Northey - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 09:29 AM EST (#392161) #
Not having a minor league season in 2020 has really screwed up prospects. Top 30's will be a mess this year as 99% will be just 'here is who wasn't promoted, cutting guys who were traded/released'. Most movement would be based on rumors about how well guys did in camp, who got a tiny bit of ML time (not enough to lose rookie status), and who played in indy leagues (very few). That's why I listed who was most common at each level in 2019.

The Jays have room for one more infielder - thanks to Biggio being super-flexible and Bo willing to move if the Jays get a star quality guy there is no positional limit. Heck, Vlad is wanting to go back to 3B so technically a 1B could be acquired even (although I suspect the pitchers would complain).

I see a second base replacement as lowest odds just due to the lack of quality choices and Biggio playing much better at 2B than anywhere else based on defensive stats. Still, from a talent/cost POV Wong would be a good choice - no draft pick attached as a free agent, superb on defense, not horrid on offense (94 OPS+ lifetime), some speed (88-25 SB-CS), Probably no more than $10 mil a year for 2-3 years, would only need to move Biggio or put him into a super-utility role (ie: 3B/1B/2B/RF/LF/CF/DH rotation of some kind giving everyone a day at DH who plays one of those positions - a week long rotation so everyone could be kept fresh). Espinal would replace Bo every so often to give him a day off. Davis would be around too as a 4th OF. That could work well. 3 man bench of Espinal/Davis/catcher (most likely Kirk who'd DH sometimes). Then the Jays could have McGuire as a 3rd catcher (mostly emergency) freeing up Kirk to DH/PH easier. Hmm...the more I look at that the more I like it. It all depends on Vlad being in shape to play 3B semi-regularly though which I wouldn't want to bet the house on.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 09:42 AM EST (#392162) #
Baseball America has dropped their Blue Jays top 10 prospects.

The top ten are:

Nate Pearson
Austin Martin
Jordan Groshans
Simeon Woods Richardson
Alejandro Kirk
Orelvis Martinez
Alek Manoah
Gabriel Moreno
Adam Kloffenstein
Miguel Hiraldo

With no minor league ball this year, there is little knew to add to last years scouting reports. Scouts were blocked from going to the alternate training site so new information is limited.

The only bits of new information that I noted in the reports were that Austin Martin had the most disciplined at-bats at the alternate training site. Groshans had the most home runs at the alternate site. Orelvis Martinez was only at the alternate site for a week but hit four home runs in the first week of the fall instructional league.

Other than that it was a lost year for prospect tracking, other than those like Pearson and Kirk who made it to the big leagues.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#392164) #
Stroman has accepted the Mets qualifying offer. He says he is excited by the new owner.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 11:26 AM EST (#392166) #
Gerry, Kloff pitched in Indy ball. I think there were about 1000 fans per game so there should have been some scouting there, no?
scottt - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 11:30 AM EST (#392167) #
Why not? I'm wishing him a great year.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 11:33 AM EST (#392168) #
It seems 2nd base is the best position for Biggio. I just know that I would want him in the lineup every day. It would be nice to have Lindor but I would hate to trade Groshans and/or SWR and see them develop into stars in their own right. I guess I would make a timid GM.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 11:59 AM EST (#392170) #
Adam Kloffenstein did play indy ball - 0-6 5.06 ERA 27 games, 15 starts, 64 IP 60 H, 36 BB 60 SO, hit 3 batters and had 6 wild pitches and gave up 9 HR. I suspect the parks were smaller than the usual minor leagues. It was the Constellation Energy League, just 24 games a season so I suspect the mid-season trade was so he'd get in more games (thus the 27 games in a 29 game season). The league ERA was 4.31 with 0.9 HR/9 so he underperformed the league. He spent most of the season with Team Texas whose managers were Roger Clemens and Koby Clemens (who was in the Jays system in 2012). Checking Koby's stats in AA vs his performance in this league the next season it suggests this is around AA/A+ level. So it was a bit of a push for Kloff to be there, but hopefully a good experience for him. Appears he threw around 3 innings each time (sometimes less).
scottt - Wednesday, November 11 2020 @ 07:05 PM EST (#392180) #
Gausman took the QO as well.
Sanity prevails this year.

bpoz - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 08:58 AM EST (#392186) #
Very thin SP market now that Stroman and Gausman have accepted the QO.

After Bauer the rest of the FAs are #3s at best IMO. Tanaka. Trades would be J Gray and L Lynn from expected non contending teams.
scottt - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 09:29 AM EST (#392187) #
I still like Walker.
John Northey - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 10:17 AM EST (#392190) #
I'm wondering if Atkins and Rogers has the guts to do a big financial risk trade - Colorado is in trouble financially (they count a lot on ticket sales). They owe tons upon tons to Nolan Arenado (over $30 mil a year for the next 6 years on average $35 next year) and Charlie Blackmon gets $21 mil next year and has a player option for that much in 2022 and $10 mil in 2023 (could be over $20 mil if he does well). I'd be willing to bet they are desperate to clear that $56 mil off the books for next year - could the Jays make a deal to eat it (they could afford it) and get, say, German Marquez (a 140 ERA+ last year, his worst is a 108 since 2017) who is on a good contract ($7.8 mil next year, then $11, then $15, then $16 team option)? That would solve Colorado's budget issues and put the Jays in a much tighter bind but Blackburn would be cleared off just as the kids get expensive. Yeah, it'd kill that team but they need to clear salary and that would do it. Adds $60 mil to the Jays for 2021 (putting them at the $150 range) but they'd be the favorites to win. Like I said, big risk but potentially big reward plus it frees up one of the 3 OF'ers to be traded for other help. Vlad couldn't complain as it would be a gold glover with a great bat coming in for 3B. It would be like the Miami trade in 2013, but with a stronger team as the base.
scottt - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 10:56 AM EST (#392192) #
Colorado would need to get a lot of prospects for this.
It's much better to wait for Arenado to opt out and sign him next year if that's the move you want to make.

Overall, the Jays are better off overpaying for Lemahieu who can play 3 of the 4 infield positions. He's the MVP and he's going to decline, but that's fine if you don't backload the contract.

With enough offense, the Jays can throw their young pitchers out there.

John Northey - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 01:15 PM EST (#392197) #
Right now Colorado can't afford to demand anything for clearing big contracts - there are under 10 teams that can take on a big deal and the Jays are one of them. Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Red Sox, and Mets are the others. Maybe the White Sox and Phillies depending on the mood of their owners. If they asked for more than a McGuire level player (ie: replacement level with some potential of more) I'd hang up the phone. It'll be interesting to see if teams do shell out anything this winter.
scottt - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 01:28 PM EST (#392198) #
Perry Minasian is the new Angel GM.

He was promoted to director of scouting under AA.
With Atkins he became special assistant to the GM.
He left to rejoin AA at the beginning of 2017 as assistant GM.

Honestly, I don't think he did such a great job scouting during the AA years.

bpoz - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 02:17 PM EST (#392200) #
To be GM for LAA is very hard. With Trout they cannot really do a rebuild. Getting good pitching is very hard. It would help if Bauer and T Walker for example both signed with LAA.
scottt - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 02:48 PM EST (#392201) #
The difficulty is only in the owner mandating the signings of expensive declining players.
There is no reason for them to be in worse shape than the Yankees.
Sign shorter contracts. Start by raising the floor.

Starting pitching could get expensive fast this year.

hypobole - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 04:39 PM EST (#392202) #
Gerry posted BA's new top 10 upthread.

Future Blue Jays with some notes from BA's Ben Badler plus other stuff
Mike Green - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 04:58 PM EST (#392203) #
Thanks, hypobole.  The biggest news for me- Leonardo Jimenez is hitting the ball with more authority.  He turned 19 in May, fields shortstop well, has pretty good plate control and will hit line drives.  If he can hit a fair number of doubles and a homer here and there, you have yourself a ballplayer. 
scottt - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 05:08 PM EST (#392204) #
Right. The Nov 20 deadline for adding Rule 5 eligible players to the 40 roster is approaching.
So there may be some trades of guys who can't be protected before that.

December 2 is the deadline for non-tender.
December 6-10, the Winter Meetings. Virtual?
December 10, the rule 5 draft.

bpoz - Thursday, November 12 2020 @ 09:51 PM EST (#392205) #
For the rule 5 draft, would YOU protect G Moreno? I know, dumb question. The answer is for sure you would. I would. Except there are about 6 similar, 20 year old catchers that need rule 5 protection on all teams combined.

Isreal Pineda Washington
David Garcia Texas
Ivan Herrear St Louis
Rudolpha Duran Philadelphia
Mario Feliciano Brewers

scottt - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 07:31 AM EST (#392210) #
The GM of the Pirates is familiar with the Jays system and would probably take Moreno in a heartbeat, even if it's to sit him on the bench all year, unless somebody better is available.
scottt - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 07:45 AM EST (#392211) #
Also, this is supposed to be the year of the non-tender as teams rein in their payrolls for another loss making season.
Should be the best time to load up on rule 5 players making the minimum, especially if the season is shortened.

Paul D - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 09:29 AM EST (#392212) #
I don't know, Catcher is such a hard position to carry on your team all year. Probably the hardest to pick up as a Rule 5.
Parker - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 09:32 AM EST (#392213) #
To be GM for LAA is very hard. With Trout they cannot really do a rebuild.

Yeah, it was pretty obvious that no established GM wanted to go there. A rebuild around Trout and Rendon isn't totally out of the question, though. Pujols comes off the books after 2021 and Upton after 2022 - the end of those two contracts will add almost $50M in flexibility.
bpoz - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 09:35 AM EST (#392214) #
Both good points Scottt. Baltimore, KC, Detroit, Texas and Seattle are the teams that I think will not make the playoffs. They may even tank.

In the NL Pittsburgh, Colorado and Arizona are the bottom feeders IMO.

However Miami making the playoffs in 2020 was unexpected. I picked them for bottom 3 in the NL.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 09:50 AM EST (#392215) #
From the BA chat they also list Will Robertson as somebody who was hitting well, whom I maintain people are sleeping on.
Glevin - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 10:18 AM EST (#392216) #
"For the rule 5 draft, would YOU protect G Moreno? I know, dumb question. The answer is for sure you would. I would. Except there are about 6 similar, 20 year old catchers that need rule 5 protection on all teams combined."

100% you protect him. You don't leave top prospects unprotected just because some other team might theoretically leave a similar player unprotected.
Parker - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 11:04 AM EST (#392218) #
FINALLY, Kim Ng gets a shot at GM. Way overdue.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 11:11 AM EST (#392219) #
Wouldn't surprise me at all if the Jays trade Moreno this winter.
Magpie - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 11:13 AM EST (#392220) #
FINALLY, Kim Ng gets a shot at GM. Way overdue.

Word. Well done... Marlins?

Strange times we live in.
scottt - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 11:19 AM EST (#392221) #
The Yankees are trying to move Gary Sanchez. I'd sooner carry a rule 5 catcher than submit my pitchers to Gary Sanchez.
bpoz - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 12:08 PM EST (#392222) #
Regarding rule 5 rules and restrictions. Bergen (SF) and Romano(Texas) clearly failed in their ML trial while taking up a 25 man spot on the roster. E Luciano was not an instant/surprise success and he somehow developed an injury so he freed up a 25 man roster spot.

Could any of the above players be traded at say the July 31 deadline or is this against the rules?

We were definitely out of it by the deadline of 2018 & 2019. We reduced staff (relievers & F Galvis) and brought in prospects. To name a few Jansen, Gurriel and Tellez in 2018. In 2019 Biggio & Bichette. Also a number of pitchers. I don't know if we could have traded away or traded for a Rule 5 player. ie talent for talent.
PeterG - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 12:50 PM EST (#392223) #
I think that Moreno is a trade candidate as well.
bpoz - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 01:36 PM EST (#392224) #
I have really enjoyed C's Plus Baseball about the Vancouver team. I just reread the interview with Kloffenstein and also Futures Jays about Kloff playing for Roger Clemens. This past summer's play he did not dominate. They did not say if he gave up any HRs but he did pitch against some AAA players. 5.06 ERA. I hope Clemens helped him in his pitching development.

The C's Plus interview linked to an Aug 21 7 shutout IP game. I don't know anything about the Tri City Dust Devils hitters. If they are any good. Kloff has a 5 pitch mix C, SL, Sink, 4 Seam and an unknown 5th pitch. The 4 I mentioned are very good pitches. He prefers the SL to the C most of the time but in the 7 inning shutout 0 SL only CB because the CB was V good that day. I think G Kim said somewhere that Kloff is smart, so if the CB is great then it is smart to use it. Also 60% GB rate for Kloff. Of course that was Short Season ball no AAA hitters.

I wanted to thank C's Plus Baseball and also mention that somehow the players are improving their skills without the minor league games.
Parker - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 02:18 PM EST (#392225) #
Have you guys/gals heard about this?

The Unbelievable Story Behind Ryan Tepera's MVP Vote

John Northey - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 03:10 PM EST (#392227) #
Rule 5 picks can be traded, and have been throughout baseball history. Not sure if the Jays have, but I know it happens.
John Northey - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 04:28 PM EST (#392228) #
Great article there. I'm sure we've all done that with drop down menu's. Part of why I detest the idea of online voting or any computer voting at all for anything of consequence.
scottt - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 08:12 PM EST (#392231) #
Funny, but no more egregious than the US election.
scottt - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 08:20 PM EST (#392232) #
A this point, we have to assume we're back to the 26 roster.
13 pitchers, 6 starters and 7 relievers. For a rebuilding team who doesn't have great pitching, it's hard to carry a pitcher who can't get 3 outs.
It's a lot easier to carry a rule 5 position player rather than spend money on a vet who could be barely above replacement value. One strategy for a tanking team is to sign veterans with upside, to use as trade bait. Not much value in a veteran bench player and with 13 position players, team can hide a 5th outfielder or a third catcher.

John Northey - Friday, November 13 2020 @ 09:34 PM EST (#392233) #
I'd be very surprised if the Jays go for a Rule 5 pick this year. The roster space just isn't there with a 26 man roster. You have the starting 9, backup catcher (Kirk or McGuire), infielder (Espanol), Outfielder (Davis), and a super-utility guy (no idea - so could be a rule 5'er).

Pitching, as you said scottt - they need every arm they can get that can get 3+ outs. It is rare for a rule 5 guy to do that. The most famous recent rule 5 was Johan Santana (2 Cy's) who was up at 21 and had an ERA+ of 80 in 86 IP (started 5 times, relieved 25, 5 1/3 was his longest game, never went less than 1 inning). The team was 2-28 in his games (ugh).
scottt - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 09:37 AM EST (#392234) #
I'd be shocked if the Jays go for a Rule 5 pick.
It's hard to say how many team will. Rangers? Pirates?
Tigers should be out of their rebuild by now.
Red Sox? Possibly, they seem focused on signing minor league deals.
Orioles? Would make sense as they're not there yet.
D-Backs? Rockies? Royals?
I don't see the Mets, Angels and Nats, but their pitching is so weak that they could try somebody in the pen.
Mariners? Phillies? Giants?

With 13 position players, you practically need to run at least one platoon somewhere.
Otherwise, you have a free spot. A super utility is a guy who covers both backup infield and 4th outfielder, so having one could give you 2 spots to hide Rule 5 players. Especially a guy who could become a top 100 prospect.
The Jays had Panik and Espanol which led to Biggio playing in the outfield. Not good.

hypobole - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 10:38 AM EST (#392235) #
Future Blue Jays just posted an interview with Minor League Hitting Coordinator Hunter Mense. Some good insights on the young hitters, with this eye-popping Alejandro Kirk comment as the standout:

"We have an internal grading system for hitters, Kirky was far and away our overall leader last season Ė in fact, the was top of the list in all of pro ball."
bpoz - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 10:49 AM EST (#392236) #
I am just doing a lot of speculation and some of it is weird.

So LAA have 36 on the 40 man. Jays 35. Both teams should add 2 or 3 FAs I am guessing by mid Jan I suppose.

Kevin Maitan of LAA is slow developing but still V young DOB Feb 2000. Needs 40 man protection.

I will be eager to see the Nov 20 roster freeze. And later the Rule 5 draft in Dec.
Parker - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#392237) #
Great article there. I'm sure we've all done that with drop down menu's. Part of why I detest the idea of online voting or any computer voting at all for anything of consequence.

Fortunately in this case, nothing important was really affected. If the vote had counted for Trea Turner as intended, it still wouldn't have changed Turner's 7th-place finish; he was a long way behind Marcel Ozuna for 6th.

A little off-topic, but whenever I see one of those drop-down menu bungles it always reminds me of Microsoft's genius decision to put "Delete" adjacent to "Rename" in theirs.
hypobole - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 11:44 AM EST (#392238) #
Online voting is great! How else would I have been able to vote for the Kakapo as New Zealand's Bird of the Year? Which reminds me, only one more day for everyone else to vote for the Kakapo as New Zealand's Bird of the Year!
scottt - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 02:56 PM EST (#392239) #
There is no revenue sharing this year, thus the Rays are losing around 45M.
Tsutsugo looks untradeable. (7M)
Could be the winter they move Kiermayer who had a decent offseason.

Chuck - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 04:52 PM EST (#392240) #
only one more day for everyone else to vote for the Kakapo as New Zealand's Bird of the Year

I voted for Tepera.

hypobole - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 06:43 PM EST (#392241) #
I voted for Tepera.
Magpie - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 06:51 PM EST (#392242) #
only one more day for everyone else to vote for the Kakapo as New Zealand's Bird of the Year

I had better sit this one out. New Zealanders and magpies... it's complicated.
John Northey - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 06:56 PM EST (#392243) #
I'd hesitate to trade with Tampa. Seems they win their trades a LOT and often by a mile. Better to chase down other revenue sharing teams like KC, Pittsburgh, Oakland, etc. Big opportunity if you can take on salary and other teams are dumping. But it seems most teams have paired down their payrolls nicely already so it will mostly hit free agents. IMO players will need to figure out a way to make revenue sharing from owners to players work - it'll be hard as the owners have been very untrustworthy in the past so it'll take a lot of checks and balances to make it work but it would be best for everyone - then in crisis times like this year most of the stuff is set up already. Players would be after increasing league revenue rather than an individuals revenue to a greater degree. It'll be interesting to see how negotiations go. Lets hope 2022 isn't a short season due to it.
John Northey - Saturday, November 14 2020 @ 07:49 PM EST (#392244) #
Payroll reference - normally I use Cot's but this is much nicer. Miami now under $50 mil, many others also well below $100 mil according to this site. The lowest you can go is 26 x $563,500 = $14,651,000. The union really needs to get that minimum salary increased.
scottt - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 08:31 AM EST (#392245) #
Nobody knows what arbitration will look like this year, so there's a lot of estimation factored in.

The Rays could trade Kiermaier (possible), Snell (they could probably make that work) or non-tender Renfroe.

It's nice that the Yankees are way up there with a rotation of Cole, Montgomery and maybe Garcia and missing a middle infielder.
Angels are also way up there and have no pitching.
Boston has cut down quite a bit. Funny that they are still paying 2M to Manny Ramirez in 2021 (doesn't count against payroll).

You don't base future trades on previous trades, but trading in the division is always dangerous.
John Northey - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 10:30 AM EST (#392246) #
I see past performance as a strong indicator of future. The Rays have traditionally won most trades so if they come to you with a trade you have to double and triple check that you aren't losing 2 arms and a leg in the deal before you make it. The Yankees were in the category for years too. In truth in all trades you should be careful, but when certain GM's are known to be able to pull off massive steals you have to be careful. Same with certain agents - you know Boras will try to rip you off and if he agrees to a deal you better be comfortable with the cash you are laying out.

This will be a weird winter - Jays have the cash, there are a few FA's at key positions (George Springer in CF, D.J. LeMahieu IF, Trevor Bauer SP, Masahiro Tanaka SP, Marcus Semien SS) as well as trade options. This will be a challenge for the Jays that if they pick right they could be in the playoffs again in 2021 and 2022. Done wrong they could be tied to long term deals that hurt.
bpoz - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 10:31 AM EST (#392247) #
By year end most of the big signings are done. B Harper and Machado waited a long time to sign and Ryu too it seemed.

bpoz - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 11:18 AM EST (#392248) #
I remember Montreal trading prospect Randy Johnson for an established pitcher. Boston traded a reliever for J Varitek and a pitcher who also became good. I think Seattle was the team involved.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 02:26 PM EST (#392249) #
One thing we haven't talked about is how today's defensive shifts are making it all the more important to have excellent infield defense with an emphasis on athleticism; another reason to push a little harder for Lindor.
hypobole - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 03:07 PM EST (#392250) #
Actually I've heard the exact opposite about shifting. Plus far fewer balls are actually put in play nowadays diminishing the value of infield defence.
That said, a team with a groundball-heavy staff should strive to get quality defenders in the infield. Flyball staff focus on outfield defence.
FWIW, Jays pitchers were exactly MLB average 43.1% GB.
John Northey - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 04:09 PM EST (#392251) #
hypobole - agreed, with more K's and more shifting the need for high end defense is dropping by the year. In 1985 with 26 teams you had 22451 K's or 863.5 per team. In 2019 with 30 teams you had 42823 K's or 1,427.4 per team. So a shift of 564 per team or about 63 per spot in the lineup. That is a massive shift and a lot fewer balls in play - 6.96 per game, 3.48 per side or about 13% less. That is a big deal. That means before factoring in advanced shifting you reduce the value of your fielders by 13%, then you cut it further by having them placed where they need to be rather than leaving it up to them to figure it out (example: Ozzie Smith just played it straight, no shifting, due to his incredible skill, while Cal Ripken did a lot of shifting on his own to get to more balls as he didn't have that natural range, thus both were amazing fielders statistically Ripken peaking at 3.6 dWAR and had a 3.0 at age 34, Smith peaked at 4.8 at 34 with 4 other years over 3). Today I bet Ozzie Smith would be shifted like everyone else and would get to more due to that, but would have a net value lower than the 80's due to the higher K count.
PeterG - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 04:36 PM EST (#392252) #
I too agree that the need for defense is dropping although I still hold out hope that the shift will soon be eliminated. It is being considered by the Playing Commitee.

Shift or not, I think trading for Lindor would be very stupid. It makes no sense to give up assets for a player who should not be a top priority and who will be a FA in one year. If he was to be extended as part of a deal (to which I doubt he would agree) it would be for a nonsensical contract that would soon be regretted.

However the Lindor talk is simply media hype. I don't believe the Jays have any intention whatsoever of dealing for him although I do expect them to be active.
John Northey - Sunday, November 15 2020 @ 09:43 PM EST (#392253) #
While Lindor or any of the guys expected to or already making $30 mil a year are tempting it is hard to picture the Jays going for them. $20-25 is the range I see the Jays being willing to spend on a top player (trying for a COVID discount). As much as I'd love them to get Bauer or someone like that I expect they'll be strong on Tanaka instead. For 3B my hope is they chase down Ha-Seong Kim as he is young, talented, strong on defense, appears to have a good bat too. Put him at 3B then leave Vlad at 1B with 3B as a backup for him (IE: for days Kim needs off, ideally when a fly ball pitcher is on the mound vs a LH hitting team). Do those 2 moves and the Jays will be a lot stronger in 2021 without losing a draft pick or any prospects. Of course the other 29 ML teams might have something to say about that.
scottt - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 08:35 AM EST (#392254) #
The Jays have a lot of payroll room.
Happ was better than Tanaka this year.

The Jays are one of 4 teams interested in Odorizzi.

The forecast for both of them is around 3/40M.

Guys who can give you 30 starts and strike 8 batter/9 inning.
Roark was also in that category last year.

Tanaka will likely go back to NYY or to the Mets.

scottt - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 10:55 AM EST (#392255) #
The US got over 1 million new Covid-19 cases last week.
Things are set to implode with the US Thanksgiving weekend.
The assumption right now is that there will be people in stadium next year, but this could change.
It's possible that a clear picture doesn't emerge until February.
Quite late for the free agency.

bpoz - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 11:08 AM EST (#392256) #
Probably plan/schedule A, B and C. I suppose.
scottt - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 02:37 PM EST (#392257) #
You can also check
dalimon5 - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 05:28 PM EST (#392258) #
Smyly is the steal of the off season imho.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, November 16 2020 @ 07:55 PM EST (#392259) #
The Blue Jays LOVE George Spring, just appeared as an article on TSN.

That is something I can get behind as an impact move.
scottt - Tuesday, November 17 2020 @ 08:39 AM EST (#392261) #
Springer is a win now move. Totally changes the lineup.
However, it means moving Grichuk to RF, Hernandez to DH or simply trading Grichuk.

Eventually, Springer would have to move to RF, but those are good problems to have.

The other impact move would be to get LeMahieu to play 3rd/2rd/1st. 

Now, if Guerrero is back at 3rd and Tellez at first, you can rotate the DH.

The rotation right now looks like:


I'd prefer to start Stripling in the pen. They'll need a lot of long relief.
Merryweather could start instead.
Then you get Hatch, Kay, Thornton and Zeuch at AAA along with Joey Murray.
Murphy, Reid-Foley, Perez, Diaz and Waguespack are all pen options.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 17 2020 @ 04:15 PM EST (#392270) #
Any position player addition will require movement and/or disappointment for Vlad.
CA: Jansen 1B: Tellez/Vlad/Shaw, 2B: Biggio, SS: Bo, 3B: Shaw/Vlad LF: Gurriel CF: Grichuk RF: Hernandez DH: Tellez/Vlad/etc.

Looking at that we clearly see Shaw is going bye bye as soon as the Jays sign anyone to play an everyday position. 3B is the #1 position to fill, CF #2. LeMahieu can cover 3B/2B easily depending on where you feel best putting Biggio and depending on his demands as a free agent (no idea if he is attached to 2B or would be happy at 3B). Springer in CF means one of Grichuk/Hernandez/Tellez/Vlad needs to go away while either Grichuk or Hernandez plays RF. All depends what each can get in a trade. Technically the Jays could keep all of them with a Springer addition but then doing a lot of DH shuffling. Vlad/Tellez flip flopping DH/1B/Bench while Grichuk/Hernandez/Springer/Gurriel all flip flop OF/DH with at least one of the 6 on the bench every game. Hard to say what the Jays would be able to get for any of them in a trade. They want pitching, pitching, pitching though. I see why LeMahieu is high on most lists for the Jays to get as he fits in nicely, as would Justin Turner (free agent 3B - MLBTR has him getting 2 years $24 mil, I'd go for that), Marcus Semien going to SS shifting Bo or Biggio to 3B could happen (far, far cheaper than Lindor, no QO, MLBTR has 1 year $14 mil as estimated cost). So many variables, so many options. What will the Jays do? No one knows. I suspect they have plans A-Z right now as there are so many potentials - nice having a guy like Biggio who will move anywhere without complaint.
scottt - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 10:26 AM EST (#392277) #
Semien had one good year out of an average career.

The Jays have also checked on Kolten Wong who is a gold glove second baseman with a below average bats.
On a good year he's a 5+ WAR player and he's a left bat.
He's not a great upgrade over Biggio and if Biggio moves to 3rd the defense isn't any better overall.
krose - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 03:25 PM EST (#392282) #
Possible Jays starters for 2021: Ryu, Ray, Pearson, Merryweather, Roark, Stripling. Another free agent starter is likely to be added, perhaps Walker. Thatís a fairly good seven members, for the beginning of the season. One of my favourite parts of following baseball is watching the development of young players. Young pitchers who will also be competing for Jayís starting roles this spring include Kay, Hatch, Murphy and Zeuch. Should be interesting to watch who gets chances in the starting roles this year. One or more of the young pitchers could take big steps and become effective team members.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 04:04 PM EST (#392283) #
scottt - that is my main issue with any acquision of a second baseman or SS - it would lead Biggio, an above average defensive 2B, to move to 3B and maybe Bo to 2B (no idea how he'd be there). Or Bo to 3B. I'd much, much, much prefer the Jays find a solid 3B instead. Ideally one strong on defense. Wonder if Ha-Seong Kim is in the picture at 3B or if he really wants to be a SS in the majors and someone is willing to give him that position? DJ LeMahieu could be at 3B but no idea if he has a strong preference for 2B. Justin Turner has a strong preference for being in LA (his hometown). Of course there is always the option of going with Shaw again.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 04:33 PM EST (#392284) #
For those that didn't see it, Robinson Cano has tested positive for a P.E.D. (stanizol) and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season as it is his second offense. He will also have to forfeit his $24 million contract. This may be bad news for the Jays as it will give the Mets more money to go after Springer or LeMaheiu.
krose - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 05:41 PM EST (#392286) #
JN - Iíve been thinking the same thing with regard to moving Biggio off second base. Just makes him less effective. Makes me wonder if giving Shaw another try might be the most realistic plan. If something could be worked out for Arenado that would be wonderful. Springer in cf would also be a big improvement.
scottt - Wednesday, November 18 2020 @ 07:36 PM EST (#392287) #
Seems pretty dumb for Cano to be using when he's on a guaranteed contract.

They have a good second baseman in McNeil playing in left field and their weakest positions are catcher and shortstop. The need more starting pitchers and they still have a surplus of outfielders.

They could go after Springer or LeMahieu, but Lindor, Bauer or Realmuto would make a lot more sense.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 19 2020 @ 08:24 AM EST (#392290) #
I wonder how many players are using PEDs now, and in particular something as heavy-duty as Stanozolol.  My guess is that it is uncommon.

It also occurs to me that the testing regime may not have been as rigorous as usual this past year because of COVID restrictions. 
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, November 19 2020 @ 11:24 AM EST (#392292) #
I really butchered the spelling of Stanozolol. I may need some PED's myself.
John Northey - Thursday, November 19 2020 @ 02:15 PM EST (#392296) #
I figure Cano felt his career was slowing (he had a 95 OPS+ in 2019 vs his career 126) and couldn't accept that. Guys in the majors are super-competitive types who can't accept losing any more than a certain guy in Washington can. So facing father time PED's must look like the solution to a lot of them. It isn't like this was Cano's first time either.
scottt - Thursday, November 19 2020 @ 08:10 PM EST (#392301) #
Caffeine is fine.
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