Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Like an early holiday season bonanza and your team has money to spend...



...so what's the perfect gift for that special team in your life? Hard to say.

It remains to be seen what exact direction the Blue Jays are going to take this offseason to improve themselves. Whether it be bullish optimism for potential blockbuster trades (*cough* Lindor *cough*), or like last winter with an unexpected free agent splash. Or neither of those, opting to improve around the margins with  moderate-risk flyers as their biggest moves. This is also a team (as John Northey's recent articles have well illustrated) with a lot of position players theoretically able to rotate to other spots depending on weakness. Basically, the Blue Jays could realistically make an improvement at almost any position on the field. We are still rather lingering-like in the infancy of the off-season, so who can possibly guess how any of this will play out (or if this next season will proceed normally, considering the current state of affairs).  

Before all those good times though, it is now Baseball's silly season and my piece here is for fun, either speculative fun or fun speculation. I'm going to review the top 50 Free Agents (as listed by MLBTradeRumours) and briefly nibble into how they might or might not be a good fit on the 2021 Blue Jays. This is really just my firsthand thoughts when considering these names, so I likely won't drive into specific stats too often here. Just this humble writer's take, for however many bars of gold pressed Latinum that's worth. Right, lets roll.


---


1. Trevor Bauer (SP-CIN) --- NL Cy Young, 5-4, 1.73 (2.8 WAR) 73 IP 100 SO

Yeah hard pass. I'm not into it. Without making this a debate about his off-field presence versus his talent, I just don't think he's really this good. He's been a consistently average/slightly better MLB starting pitcher with two exceptional seasons that stand out of nowhere: frankly his career Cleveland numbers are who I think he really is. Granted, even at that baseline Bauer makes the team better, and Bauer himself has said he'd be open to a one year deal so hey! There's no such thing as a bad one of those. Otherwise, nah. He's a good pitcher, but he's a considerable notch below say Max Scherzer (or Hyun-Jin Ryu, frankly) when they were free agents. Not worth the headache.   


2. J.T. Realmuto (C-PHI) -- .266/.349/.491 (1.2 WAR) - 173 AB (OPS+ 123)

Arguably the very best catcher in baseball these past few years, though I can't recall if I've ever seen him play... whatever style or presence he carries on the field with him is completely absent to me.

Regardless of my bad memory, Realmuto is an excellent player, so his fit in Toronto really depends on how you feel about one Jansen; Danny. I mean, if Guerrero Jr. can move back to third, then Realmuto can DH against lefties a lot of days when Jansen catches, giving Tellez the day off and moving maybe Biggio to 1B and.... ugh my head already hurts. In my opinion, If you can get a player like him then absolutely, you shift some things around... but I think this Blue Jays team has greater priorities to solve elsewhere on the field, and I still believe in Jansen eventually figuring out his bat (probably just misses his old glasses).


3. George Springer (OF-HOU) -- .265/.359/.540 (1.9 WAR) - 189 AB (OPS+ 140 - career 131)

Astros stink aside (and reek it shall) yeah now we're really talking. Springer is likely older than you think (31 next season) and he's likely to be better suited in RF pretty soon, but he's even a defensive upgrade on Grichuk in CF. Springer's bat of course, is the calling card. He'd instantly be the best hitter on the team, and it's not like scoring runs was the 2020 team's problem. Factor in the "championship pedigree" and "leader on a perennial playoff team" stuff and the stories will write themselves for the Toronto media (and the... ya know... sign-stealing stuff... I'm sure there will be some takes on that also). 


4. Marcell Ozuna (OF-ATL) -- .338/.431/.636 (2.3 WAR) - 228 AB (OPS+ 175 - career 117)

The perpetual "big free agent outfield bat" these past few off-seasons, Ozuna sure was on fire for those two months. He's a useful player and a good hitter, but doesn't it seem like the Blue Jays already have a few guys like this? Right-handed batter with power, best in a corner outfield spot and not a great glove there anyway, doesn't walk a ton and prone to strikeouts. Ozuna is just the premium version of that, a great complementary piece in the lineup but I'd way rather have Springer if that's where we're spending cash on outfielders.


5. D.J LeMahieu (2B/3B-NYY) -- .364/.421/.590 (2.8 WAR) - 195 AB (OPS+ 177 - career 102)

I'm... skeptical. Very skeptical.

The Yankees seem to have a habit of transforming previously unimpressive hitters (Gio Urshela, Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit) from other teams and making them into absolute studs. Lemahieu was a solid-to-good player in Colorado and he did win a batting title there in 2016 (in a season that looked nothing like anything he ever did before or after in Denver). I'm confident he would make the 2021 Blue Jays better in some way, and the more good players the better! You can play him almost anywhere in the infield, he's your automatic leadoff hitter and you know veteran-veternanness. At big dollars though, I think somebody is going to be disappointed. Expecting him to put up his New York numbers is not realistic (unless you move in that right field fence, fellas). 


6. Marcus Stroman (SP) *did not play in 2020

He's already accepted the Mets qualifying offer. Nice. Queens seems like a good fit for the guy. Rooting for him as always.


7. Ha-Seong Kim (SS-KBO)

Certainly an unknown that I, or really anyone who hasn't seen the dude play, can really comment on in too much detail. The scouting reports are intriguing, though KBO numbers don't seem to transition well into MLB. I like gambles on unknowns though, at least when it's not my money.


8. Didi Gregorius (SS-PHI) .284/.339/.488 (0.9 WAR) - 215 AB (OPS+ 119 - career 100)

I like him a lot, but he's probably not the guy you nudge Bichette off of shortstop for. He doesn't have a lot of experience at 3B or 2B either, majors or minors. Sorry Sir Didi.


9. Kevin Gausman (SP-SF) 3-3, 3.62 (1.3 WAR) 59.2 IP, 79 SO

These old Oriole pitchers... back from the dead and scattered amongst the farthest lands! Darren O'Day pitching playoff innings...! Dylan Bundy lighting it up in Anaheim...! Zack Britton watching while a lesser pitcher gives up a playoff series walkoff...! Chris Tillman is a name you maybe forgot about...! They still walk among us my friends... and my friends, now you are aware of these events... and remember my friends, future events like these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the mysterious, the unknown, the...

Oops heh, wrong speech. Anyway Gausman accepted the Giants QO. I always thought 'Manos: Hands of Fate' was way worse anyway.


10. Masahiro Tanaka (SP-NYY) 3-3, 3.56 (0.7 WAR) 48 IP, 44 SO

I expect him to end up back in New York, but if not then this is the exact kind of starting pitcher I'd go for. Aside from his rookie year he's never been the true superstar pitcher most of us expected when he came over from Japan (especially after striking out eight Jays in his ML debut), but so much of what impressed us about Ryu is similar with Tanaka: They're pitchers. Both set hitters up brilliantly and are masters at disrupting timing, whether it be Tanaka's splitter or Ryu's great changeup. Neither give away free bases very often either and well... I just like watching guys who really know what they're doing out there. You could be worried about Tanaka's HR issues, although he has spent his whole North American career pitching home games in New Yankee Stadium. It'd be a great pickup, and stealing from the Yankees would be satisfying of course... but he's staying there. 


11. Jake Odorizzi (SP-MIN) 0-1, 6.59 - 13.2 IP 12 SO

Here's one I feel like people have been talking about forever. I like it... he's a clearly useful, consistent pitcher even if he's a guy who doesn't go deep into the 6th/7th often. So, perfect for modern MLB baseball then. Sigh.

(His lack of innings this summer were the result of a back injury at the beginning of the season, a line drive in the chest that knocked him out a month, and a blister in September. 2020 is a cruel beast to many and all).


12. Liam Hendriks (RP-OAK) 1.78 - 25 IP, 38 SO, 0.671 WHIP (1.4 WAR) 14 SV

If anyone is curious, yes Jesse Chavez pitched in professional baseball this year. In the Major Leagues! It was for the Texas Rangers though... so draw your own conclusions.

A Hendriks reunion (again) would be pretty funny, and I say this not just because he's still the only MLB player in history who shares my first name. I bet you one thing Atkins is not particularly eager to pursue right now though are big money deals on relievers. Rather see what Romano, Dolis, maybe even Merryweather can do in that role. 


13. Michael Brantley (LF/DH-HOU) .300/.364/.476 (1.5 WAR) 170 AB (OPS+ 126 - career 116)

I'd actually just assumed this whole time that Brantley was 37 or 38 at this point, instead he's 34 next May. Nevertheless, a player older than me! ...a comment I'm sure many of you Bauxites are mentally throwing tomatoes at me for, and fair enough.

Brantley can clearly still swing a bat, and I like his left-handedness for this particular Jays lineup... he's just more of a missing piece on a true contender 'type of player', rather than for a young team that's starting to break through. 


14. Justin Turner (3B-LAD) .307/.400/.460 (1.3 WAR) 150 AB (OPS+ 135 - career 128)

(before the end of the World Series): "Turner on the Jays? Hmmm he's a bit old, and a Cali guy so he probably stays in LA. Seems like a decent defender though... okay maybe I could talk myself into it..."

(after the end of the World Series): "..............."


15. Marcus Semien (SS-OAK) .223/.305/.374 (0.3 WAR) 211 AB (OPS+ 91 - career 105)

Not an ideal fit either, unless you think his 2019 bat is for real and you can buy low, maybe start him as your supersub infielder and see what happens. The potential is interesting, but someone else will surely give him a better opportunity.


16. James McCann (C-CWS) .289/.360/.536 (1.2 WAR) 97 AB (OPS+ 144 - career 86)

Did you know James McCann was an all-star? I sure didn't. For the 2019 White Sox. Wild stuff, eh?

Oh yeah also, I'd rather stick with Jansen.


17. Andrelton Simmons (SS-ANA) .297/.346/.356 (0.3 WAR) 118 AB (OPS+ 95 - career 91)

An interesting one. The question is if he's an everyday player anymore, or if his last couple years have lessened his sizeable defensive impact. If he's still the guy he was there a few years ago, well yeah you shift Bichette to 2B or 3B because *unintelligible words* defense! I was too young for Ozzie Smith, but watching prime Andrelton highlights are the closest thing to that experience I can imagine. He's not exactly at the age where the range/health comes back, and his bat has never been good enough to play 3B or elsewhere really.

I could talk myself into it, with some other bigger moves and then hope Simmons can overcome his ankle issues... bouncing back to at least be a notch just under the greatest defensive shortstops of all time. On a one year deal it'd be interesting, and very fun to watch. Even bad Simmons (past couple years) would be a huge improvement over those years where the SS plan was "we've got Royce Clayton or David Eckstein and then... break glass for John McDonald".


18. Joc Pederson (OF-LAD) .190/.285/.397 (-0.4 WAR) 121 AB (OPS+ 84 - career 116)

I could see him hitting 40 bombs somewhere that isn't Dodger Stadium.... gee you know... maybe if Randal Grichuk had a platoon split... no Eephus! Bad, bad! We need a good defensive centerfielder! No!

I'd be into this, but if we're going for an outfielder I'd rather it be someone that nudges Grichuk back to RF (or elsewhere). Pederson would be a nice occasional LF/RF/DH piece and has serious power, it's just that the fit here would be better if Rowdy Tellez hadn't burst on the scene so well in 2020 (I'm extremely cool with that continuing, by the way). He also bats left like Derek Fisher! Except Pederson is actually capable of playing the outfi@#%#@%#@@#  *this part of the review was lost to technical difficulties*


*I'm also done posting stats at this point. Odds are if you've read this far, you're more capable than I of looking up the ones you want)


19. Jose Quintana (SP-CHC)

A Windy City hurler. South Side and North. I like the consistency, and he's not overly prone to dingers it seems. Plus left-handedness. Not sexy, but a better rotation option than Roark, assuredly.


20. Nelson Cruz (DH-MIN)

He's 40, he's a DH for sure... but the dude just keeps hitting. Really hitting.

If Guerrero Jr. can stick at 3B for a year, or they trade Tellez... then you've got a spot, I guess. It wouldn't be an insane move, just an odd one. The dude can seriously rake but he severely limits your flexibility considering he's played 54 total innings in the outfield since 2016 (and ZERO in 19-20 as a Twin). Like Brantley, he's a guy who hops aboard a title contender to hit timely bombs. Besides, we've got the younger version of Cruz anyway. 


21. Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF-BOS)

I like Bradley Jr. much the same way I like Simmons: you're plugging in a fringey average hitter everyday to significantly improve your defense. Granted, that didn't much help the fortunes of the 2020 Red Sox or the 2020 Angels (or even the 2019 versions of either team). Bradley Jr. seems like an excellent spare part for a good team: he's arguably as good a defender as Kevin Kiermaier, isn't allergic to walks and he's got some sneaky power. He'll strikeout a lot and his good speed doesn't really translate as a stolen base threat, but beyond Springer if we're talking free agent outfielders this is the guy I'd want to see in blue on opening day 2021.


22. James Paxton (SP-NYY)

This one is too easy. "Big Maple" is obviously a stud when healthy. I think he likes pitching in Toronto also... (assuming that will happen in 2021).

Health is always a big question with this guy, but unless it's an insane contract this is a high-risk, high-reward move I think most fans (and myself) would get behind. Forget the flag, he's a good pitcher who improves your team.


23. Taijuan Walker (SP-SEA/TOR)

Seems like he enjoyed his time here. I enjoyed his time on the mound here, and it's not his fault some outfielder can't catch a fly ball. Like Paxton he's a health risk (maybe a bigger one), but I'd gladly bring him back at something below unreasonable prices. So hurry up all ready...


24. Garrett Richards (SP-SD)

Strikes me as a Matt Shoemaker type: solid seasons as Angels, already in their 30s and constantly battling injuries. Intriguing, but I'd rather have Shoemaker. Stick with the unpredictability you know, after all.


25. Kolten Wong (2B-StL)

A clearly useful player, and one that would shore up the Toronto middle infield defense effectively. Kind of an odd player also, like he's always been the exact same guy since he came up. Doesn't strikeout much, draws walks, plays strong second base, but he doesn't hit for power whatsoever. He slugged .326 this season. Yeahhh. His career SLG% is .384. Better, but not super great either. Wong isn't somebody I'd invest a long contract into, since he seems awfully close to the Darwin Barney side of career paths, but he has some positives I like. Depends what else happens.


26. Brad Hand (RP-CLE)

Finding effective relievers at a bargain seems to be a strength of this front office, so as I said earlier I doubt they'd invest significant money in one as a free agent. If they were though, Hand would be my choice. He's a left-hander who consistently doesn't walk people and is a proven closer/late inning guy. Not saying they should, but... this is a guy who improves even the best bullpens in baseball.


27. Trevor Rosenthal (RP-KC/SD)

Not as keen on Rosenthal. He was a very good closer in the mid-2010s until wandering through baseball wilderness for a while. Even when he's right the strikezone still moves around on him a bit too much.


28. Trevor May (RP-MIN)

Useful arm, but spending money on well known setup guys is probably even less of this team's current priority. Good, because it's also the least exciting move they could possibly make.


29. Blake Treinen (RP-LAD)

Before the playoffs this is a guy I would've taken a low-risk flyer on. Pitching significant and noticeable innings on a WS winner though means somebody is probably gonna open the wallet. Hey, make that dough while you can.


30. Tommy LaStella (IF-LAA/OAK)

Hmmm, okay. LaStella has been a very good hitter since leaving the Cubs, and would profile as a useful utility piece on a good team. He doesn't walk or strikeout much, and the metrics suggest his glove seems average at best at either second or third. Contact hitting in the name of his game: maybe you'd rather have Travis Shaw, maybe not. Fact: the Angels traded him to Oakland his summer for Franklin Barreto (there's a familiar prospect name!)


31. Corey Kluber (SP-TEX)

A real roll of the dice. He was one of the very best pitchers in baseball for quite a while. Two Cy Young awards. He's also only pitched 37 MLB innings in the past two years because of injury. Pitchers, man. Sometimes they make it back, sometimes they don't. Tough call here, and a brave move for whoever makes it. The pedigree here is so good that somebody will take the expensive chance on him. Dunno if I'd want that to be us. 


32. Yadier Molina (C-StL)

As fun as it would be to be the only franchise to have every Amazing Catching Molina brother play for them, again I'd probably rather just give Jansen another year to see if can do more at this point. It'd be weird to see Yadier not as a Cardinal anyway.

(Also yes I know if Yadier went to the Angels that would also make them the only franchblah blah blah etc.)


33. Charlie Morton (SP-TB)

He's old, but has turned himself into a reliably terrific MLB starter. I'd be into it. Dunno if he would be.


34. Jurickson Profar (UT-SD)

Getting away from the Rangers organization seems to have been good for this guy (which I suspect is no fluke). Again it all depends if the Blue Jays add another infielder, or where they want to play Biggio etc. Profar seems to be one of those guys who can well play anywhere, but doesn't play well anywhere (with the glove). So the gamble would be if his bat has another gear (he's still only 27) and really become an elite super-sub. An interesting player.


35. Adam Wainwright (SP-StL)

I love watching him pitch, and he had a pretty good year... but it was his first one of those in the past six and I'm never optimistic the AL East will be as kind as the NL Central. Again, seeing him as not a Cardinal would be weird.


36. Robbie Ray (SP-ARI/TOR)

Signed sealed delivered, I'm yours!

(I wrote this article well after he re-signed, but what the hey some thoughts: I like the low stakes roll of the dice on a guy with exceptional stuff, and if he can get back to a simply bad walk rate (4 BB/9) instead of his 2020 Nuke Waloosh impression, I think it'll work fine. Granted I like him a lot more as your #4/5 guy than your #2, so the work of adding pitching is far from over yet). 


37. Cesar Hernandez (2B-CLE)

Could a decent pickup if you're definitely shifting Biggio to 3B. I wouldn't do it though... Hernandez seems a solid player but this would be an exceptionally unexciting signing.


38. Carlos Santana (1B/DH-CLE)

He's still a good hitter I'm confident enough to argue (despite a bad 2020) but there's no fit here at all. Rather see what Tellez can do.


39. Alex Colome (RP-CWS)

If you're ever going to spend significant payroll on relievers, in my opinion you want: consistent dominance, a healthy track record, a lights-out pitch, good SO/BB ratios and nothing showing significant velocity decline. Colome doesn't strikeout as many as you'd like to see from the modern uber-closer... he's merely a very good relief pitcher. He'll get a much larger contract than Ken Giles this winter though, without question. Pitching: it ain't good for ya.  


40. Mike Minor (SP-TEX/OAK)

An excellent buy-low candidate. He gives up a few too many homers though, and we've already got one left-handed reclamation project. A tantalizing option, nevertheless.


41. J.A. Happ (SP-NYY)

Good things come in threes! I bet the initial welcome would be far happier than the first two occasions he joined the team. It'd be hilarious. Dude can still pitch also.


42. Kirby Yates (RP-SD)

From 2017-19, Yates was without doubt one of the best relievers in baseball... is a true statement I suspect I am not alone in being astonished by. He was injured in 2020 and pitched only 4.1 innings. I'd seriously take a peek: high upside, low risk on a one year deal. His track record has all those things I mentioned I like to see in relievers. Elbow injuries are scary, though, no matter what they are (Yates had surgery to remove bone chips in August).


43. Greg Holland (RP-KC)

He's only 34? Wow. Feel like I was still in high school when this guy came up. Anyway thanks but no thanks.


44. Drew Smyly (SP-SF)

He's the left-handed Matt Shoemaker: if he's healthy he's a useful starting pitcher, he just isn't ever healthy enough. Maybe you luck out and get the season he finally pitches 160 innings, but the roulette wheel does not show mercy.*

*(I wrote that before Smyly signed with Atlanta, which some people seemed disappointed in that the Blue Jays didn't make that move in lieu of Robbie Ray. I'd much rather have 150 Smyly innings than Ray innings, sure that is most likely to be true. Both are risks but of a different kind: Ray is as likely to pitch 100 terrible walk and home run infested innings as Smyly is to only log 10 all year because his arm blows up again. Comes down to your taste in danger, I suppose).


45. Jon Lester (SP-CHC)

Something something pedigree something something. A great pitcher for a long time. The twilight of those times has passed.


46. Rick Porcello (SP-NYM)

True story: I watched Porcello's ML debut from the first base line at the Dome, memorable because it was also Ricky Romero's ML debut. A memorable game.

Also hardest of all passes. I'd rather have Lester (at least his weird deep reluctance to ever throw to first is memorably entertaining).


47. Cole Hamels (SP-ATL)

Cole Hamels was a Brave in 2020? Feels like he pitched for Texas about two decades ago. If he's genuinely healthy I'd sniff around: I think he's still got some decent years left.


48. Mark Melancon (RP-ATL)

The man thinks about grass a lot...

...because he runs a business on the side that specializes in artificial turf! Geez, what were you thinking...

Melancon is a good relief pitcher with tons of closing experience. Toronto signing him would be odd, only because he's one of those "NL Guys", just a player who bounces around a few teams but rarely or never crosses leagues. I bet Atlanta brings him back, regardless.


49. Anthony DeScalfani (SP-CIN)

He's definitely had a better MLB career than Henderson Alvarez, or Justin Nicolino. Bet you saw that coming in winter 2012. Aside from that, yeah sorry but not a guy you'd want to rely on. Health has been the problem (sensing a theme here), though he's been able to take the mound considerably more than the other health/upside guys on this list (Smyly, Richards, Walker). DeScalfani's ceiling isn't as exciting as those guys, however. I'd still have him starting for my team over Porcello though.


50. Chris Archer (SP-PIT) *did not pitch in 2020

Ah, the alluring option. A one year flyer on an old nemesis? If he's healthy, sign me up all day for that. The Pirates are a bad, bad team and their badness can infect others. But also... he might be toast. Pitchers: you never know.

----


That's all I've got. If I've missed somebody interesting (which I definitely have) apologizes for that, but I do hope you enjoyed my undoubtedly unscientific browsing of the market, especially if you disagree with my conclusions! Either way, it's that time of year where these things move slowly, so there's still plenty of time to enjoy the silly season of transactions. Cheers all.  




Window Shopping Free Agents | 81 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 09:53 AM EST (#392307) #
Bauer, Realmoto and Springer are definitely impact players. They are worth chasing.

I think Tanaka is the one that the Jays may snag. He is probably wanting more than 2 years. So 3. A 4 year offer would make any team a strong candidate. LAA has to go hard after him IMO.
Mike Green - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 09:58 AM EST (#392308) #
Nice summary, eephus.  I agree with just about everything; I'm not as keen on Springer and a little keener on Bauer, but otherwise almost exactly the same reactions to the players. Tanaka just turned 32 a couple of weeks ago; I thought that he was older. 

A Tanaka story.  Hiro Sushi on King Street East was a favourite restaurant for our family to go for celebrations prior to Chef Hiro's retirement early last year.  The food, the showmanship of the chef, the music (Billie Holiday mostly- I don't remember hearing anybody else) and the occasional baseball talk made the bar pretty much perfect.  One time in 2014, we were told that reservations at the bar were only available up to a certain hour.  We enjoyed the experience as usual, and as we are leaving a big black SUV pulls up.  Ichiro and Tanaka and several other people emerge from the SUV. Ichiro was 40 and playing for the Yankees that year and Tanaka was in his first year (and 25 years old- I thought that he was older when he arrived).  I remarked to my spouse that it was great to see a veteran showing a rook the ropes on the road as well as on the field. 
rafael - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 10:54 AM EST (#392310) #
Maybe Jansen's progressive Myopia has changed and whoever all overlooked his initial need for glasses are myopic all over again.
I almost feel sorry for Shapiro and Atkins having to have been the reality grinches since they arrived and now they finally have $$ and prospects to finally buy exciting things. ( Why do the pictures of Atkins holding a cel not have the same coolness as those of Alex A when its dealmaking time?).
But if its true that some $$ is available then I hope they get Bauer or Tanaka otherwise I prefer they keep their powder mostly dry for after the inevitable pleasant and unpleasant surprises due next season. A little more patience. Maybe I still remember the Ricciardi one time bu(r)st
I doubt we get Liam cause it would remind too many people of his being unexplicably given away to many people's chagrin at the time for Chavez
ISLAND BOY - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#392311) #
" he's still the only MLB player in history to share my name."

Dang, I thought your parents called you Eephus because you were slow and unexpected.
John Northey - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 01:31 PM EST (#392313) #
IMO the ones to chase are at the top - Bauer, Springer, LeMahieu (if willing to go to 3B), Masahiro Tanaka, and my personal favorite if scouts say he is for real - Ha-Seong Kim. When you can get younger and better with no cost other than $$$ you gotta go for it. One of Bauer (ace) or Tanaka (potential #1). and one of the hitters (Kim, LeMahieu, or Springer) would be a great winter for the Jays. If Springer then they try to trade one of the OF for a 3B or pitcher. Guys like Walker are nice to have but if he is the best they get this winter it won't be a good 2021 I suspect.
bpoz - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 02:40 PM EST (#392314) #
If 2020 had been a normal 162 game season the Jays would still be drafting 19th (+/- 2 spots). The 2 WC teams would most likely be NYY and Cleveland/CWS.

I suppose every teams prospects would have improved with minor league ball being played.

Manoah, SWR, Kirk and Groshans would be knocking on the door for 2021 I will assume. Bo, Vlad and Tellez for sure would have got about 300+ ABs more if healthy. As well the army of young arms would have been able to establish what they were as ML pitchers. So they and our window has been set back about 1 year IMO.

I don't think Ryu gets us into the playoffs 2020. I am quite sure Ryu was signed to help us compete over 2020-23. Atkins stated how he believed the team would progress (maybe 2 years) to the point where they "expect" to win every day.

So like the Ryu signing this off season's target is high impact and controlled for 2-3 years.

Mike Green - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 04:59 PM EST (#392316) #
Simmons hurt his left ankle in July.  I think that he'll be a good defensive shortstop for years and his bat has actually been a little better over the last few years.  ZiPS projects him as a 3 WAR player next year, and I agree with that. 

But Bo has worked hard for many years on his defence.  Maybe he would be happy moving to third base as many shortstops have done over the years. 
Nigel - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 05:17 PM EST (#392317) #
Notwithstanding that we've already started the annual interviews from Atkins about how the team is going to be making huge splashes (really guys, we mean it this year:))- I just don't see it. The risk appetite from the FO has never really been there for much of that. On that basis, I just don't see the top few names being on the table. I also think that the offseason free agency plan should start from an assumed Biggio/Bichette double plan combo (unless, as Mike noted, Bichette was happy to move to 3B). Assuming we're in the mid-tier, I'd be pretty happy with something like a Gregorius (on a shorter term deal and to play 3B), JBJ and Walker, offseason. It would help balance the line-up and add some athleticism and OF defence.
hypobole - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:10 PM EST (#392318) #
Per Wilner, all 5 open 40 man spots are now filled.

Adds: Moreno, Adams, Palacios, Tice and Lopez.

Lopez seems the biggest surprise since he hasn't played above Low A.
mendocino - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:11 PM EST (#392319) #
Moreno, Adams, Lopez, Palacios and Tice added to 40 man

https://twitter.com/BlueJays/status/1329922584125825024/photo/1
Mike Green - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:16 PM EST (#392320) #
I am glad they added Lopez. He was probably a low risk to be taken, but I think that he's got a decent chance to be a valuable player.
scottt - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:27 PM EST (#392321) #
I was expecting 3 adds.

Lopez and Palacios were not really needing protection.

They will get one spot back when they non-tender Shaw.
They'll probably try to trade a guy or 2 to make more room.
McGuire possibly or even Adams.

bpoz - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:34 PM EST (#392322) #
Palacios and Tice are as ready for the Majors as they are going to be. They need to be used as a OF fill in and another arm in the pen. Palacios bats left and can easily provide more defense than Fisher.
hypobole - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 06:45 PM EST (#392323) #
I would have been very surprised if Palacios had not been added. Both Sclafani and Mense spoke extremely highly of his hitting in Rochester.

Gerry - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 08:07 PM EST (#392324) #
Lopez would be a high risk to be selected. He can play multiple positions and he has good bat control. He could easily be the 26th man on a roster.

With the 40 man full, the Jays will need to do something to make room for new signings. They could drop players, Shaw or Adams even, or with 5 catchers, they could trade a catcher.

Mike Green - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 09:42 PM EST (#392325) #
It's true, Gerry. The larger roster makes it easier to carry a player like Lopez. When I saw him, he was very much a work in progress with the glove.
hypobole - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 09:57 PM EST (#392326) #
When I saw him, he was very much a work in progress with the glove.

Kinda describes about half our major league roster the past few years :(
85bluejay - Friday, November 20 2020 @ 11:00 PM EST (#392327) #
All of the teams in the AL east have used up their 40 man roster protecting young prospects (and 1/2 the teams in baseball) - must be expecting an active rule 5 draft and it also makes for interesting times when these teams need to make room for FA additions - could preclude a bunch of non-tenders and trades to open up roster spots.
Nigel - Saturday, November 21 2020 @ 02:18 AM EST (#392328) #
Based on what he showed in Vancouver, Lopez doesn’t really have a position but he can play 2B, SS, 3B and LF at a pinch. He’s actually one player whose highest utility might be as a super utility player.
Magpie - Saturday, November 21 2020 @ 03:24 AM EST (#392329) #
too young for Ozzie Smith, but watching prime Andrelton highlights are the closest thing to that experience I can imagine.

I think peak Andrelton was even better than peak Ozzie, but purely as an aesthetic experience the Wizard was unsurpassed. It was like watching Baryshnikov play shortstop. Simmons merely demonstrated how perfectly the position could be played, if divinities got involved. He was like some immortal come down from Olympus for the sole purpose of playing shortstop better than any mere mortal.
Chuck - Saturday, November 21 2020 @ 09:39 AM EST (#392330) #
I enjoy staring down the dWAR column for the likes of Smith, Simmons, Ripken... All the lip service paid to their defensive abilities was still insufficient to properly valuate their contributions. A penny saved has never been treated like a penny earned.

Simmons had a 5 dWAR season (3rd best in MLB history behind two guys from the early 1900s fielding cow pies with puffy clown gloves). Ozzie, had a 4.8 (5th best, at age 34!).

Simmons has seasons ranking 3rd, 5th, 15th.

Smith is first for career dWAR. Simmons is 14th.

Mark Belanger and Brooks Robinson are 2nd and 3rd all time. Imagine being an Oriole pitcher with those guys behind you. In 1973, the top Oriole defenders, all who won the Gold Glove, were Belanger 4 dWAR, Grich 4, Robinson 2.6, Blair 2.1. The starting rotation (including Doyle Alexander and Jesse Jefferson!) had a collective K9 rate of about 4.0. Just put the ball in play and let's see what happens. Different times.

bpoz - Saturday, November 21 2020 @ 11:20 AM EST (#392331) #
NY Mets added no prospects to their 40 man roster. None seem good enough to be selected in the Rule 5 draft. They signed FA Sam McWilliams.
scottt - Saturday, November 21 2020 @ 08:52 PM EST (#392333) #
Lopez has never played above A ball. You'd have to pay him the minimum for a full year, then he'd be 23 and would still need at least a year to play AA/AAA. Doesn't seem worth the effort for a utility player.

In 2010, the Jays lost Brad Emaus to the Mets.
Emaus was 24, had a great showing in the AFL, but only had an OPS of .424 after 42 PAs in 14 games and was returned in April.

We'll see if there is any interest for older players like Smith.

Magpie - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 02:32 AM EST (#392334) #
two guys from the early 1900s fielding cow pies with puffy clown gloves

One of whom, Art Fletcher, I sort of knew about - he was the shortstop for McGraw's Giants in the 1910s. He got to play in the World Series four times (including the 1912 classic that I've done my best to make famous!) and the Giants lost each one.

The other guy, Terry Turner, is little more than a name to me. He was somewhat overshadowed by his double play partner, a fellow named Lajoie. BB-Ref thinks his 1906 season as the Cleveland shortstop is the most valuable defensive season by anyone. Ever. And maybe it was. A great defensive player would have had far more impact on the game as it was played at that time than it would have had at any other time in the game's history.
Thomas - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 08:51 AM EST (#392335) #
Fangraphs has a post up about likely tender and non-tender candidates. The author thinks that Travis Shaw is likely to be non-tendered and AJ Cole is on the fence, but suggests he is likely to be non-tendered in his comments.

I'd be surprised if they non-tendered Cole, since he had a fairly good year and is only projected to make around $1 million. I don't agree with that assessment.

I could see them non-tendering Shaw, particularly if they thought they could bring him back on a bit of a discount on the arbitration projection.
bpoz - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 09:11 AM EST (#392336) #
I am trying to figure out the value in protecting Lopez at this time.

1) He is only 5 months older than A Martin. But signed 3 months before his 18 birthday. Jays did not move him fast.

2) His hitting stats are V good. High Avg, OBP and V good BB/K ratio (strike zone control). Probably not young for his leagues. But not old either.

3) Biggio seems to be the smartest player on the Jays. Good base running etc... Maybe Lopez has that too. So that as a bench player at multiple positions he will not hurt you like mistake prone players do. Pinch running, base running and adequate defense.

4) With 3 options left he can move up the ladder in hitting and overall play.

The Jays FO likes to only say good things about all players. Good policy. But actions (DFA) speak volumes.
scottt - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 09:21 AM EST (#392337) #
Shaw is gone. Hard to make meaningful moves and keep Shaw.
Cole should be safe. Waguespack, Reid-Foley, even Yamaguchi are more at risk in my book.
Fisher is at risk also.
They might also trade guys with some value to get something back.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 12:57 PM EST (#392340) #
The Jays reportedly have some interest in J.A.Happ. I was thinking that I wouldn't want another mediocre roation placeholder like Roark and Anderson, but looking at Happ's stats from last year it seemed he was fairly decent. Still, he's 37 and I would rather see more of an impact arm join the staff.

Vlad Jr. has reportedly, and pictures back it up, lost 20 pounds since the season ended, and 40 pounds since early in July. If he can keep it off ( and he wants to lose 10 more pounds) then he should be able to be more agile in the field next season. It's hard to bend over when you have a doughnut of fat around your middle.
scottt - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 04:53 PM EST (#392342) #
Happ left the Yankees disgruntled. There's some value in that.


Eephus - Sunday, November 22 2020 @ 05:28 PM EST (#392344) #
Dang, I thought your parents called you Eephus because you were slow and unexpected.

Well that does describe my pitching career, heh
ISLAND BOY - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 07:51 AM EST (#392345) #
Lol, I'm glad you took it the right way. I knew Eephus referred to pitching somehow and when I looked up the definition, I couldn't resist making the joke.
Mike Green - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 08:47 AM EST (#392346) #
I remember Terry Turner's name from an article Bill James wrote about Ray Chapman.  Turner was one of the three players (Ivy Olson and Roger Peckinpaugh were the others) who Chapman beat out for the job, although Turner had played third base mostly the year before Chapman arrived.  Turner was, if dWAR can be believed, a better fielder than Chapman.

The game was different back then.  Chapman was a  good hitter with a career OPS+ of 111.  Nonetheless, he led the league in sacrifices three times, averaging over 50 per 162 games. 
hypobole - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 11:35 AM EST (#392347) #
It's broadcast rating time at Fangraphs. TV crews only, though. Guessing there will be fewer Pat rants this year.


https://blogs.fangraphs.com/crowdsourcing-mlb-broadcasters-part-1-the-east/
ISLAND BOY - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 11:48 AM EST (#392348) #
I like Buck Martinez much better as a color commentator and Dan Shulman is great as main guy. Can't say I miss Pat Tabler at all.
bpoz - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 12:24 PM EST (#392349) #
Slow off season so far. I wish Atkins had not said that he was after an impact player. I would have preferred to be surprised. Like with the Ryu signing.

As I see current impact players on the 40 man roster if healthy I have faith in Vlad, Gurriel, Bo, Biggio, Teoscar and Rowdy. They are all young enough to improve through experience. Jansen and Grichuk are solid but have not convinced me to see impact in them. Without a track record Kirk being impact is a wish. That is 9 players that can maybe be very good. Especially offensively, except for Jansen who provides a lot with his catching skills. Any of the above can have a good year or not. I am quite sure the FO values offense at the expense of defense. There seems to be significant evidence of that to me.

Ryu and Pearson are the only 2 impact pitchers so far on the 40 man roster. Pearson because of his potential. Having about 17 ML ready or close to ready pitchers is also a sort of impact possibility. They all provide some strengths but no consistency in being good. So mainly hope. And faith in the stick to the wall strategy.
scottt - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 02:37 PM EST (#392350) #
I expect it to be slow.
We don't know what alternate rules will be in place in 2021.
We don't even know the names of the 120 minor league affiliates who will operate next year.

The NBA is set to start on December 22, about 2 months late with the playoffs ending at the end of July.
The NHL hasn't announced anything.

John Northey - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 04:46 PM EST (#392351) #
The last rumor for NHL I heard was a Canadian division and a few US divisions for next season (to deal with COVID). Good idea on their part. 7 team division in Canada, just a shame they haven't put a team in Quebec City yet to make it an even 8. With 32 teams that leaves 25 for the US divisions (including the new Seattle one). Three 6 team divisions and a 7 would be best I suspect for the US side. That would be messy for playoffs (5 divisions) but could do something like 3 teams per division plus the best non-playoff team to get to 16. It'll be a few years to get back to a normal schedule for the NHL & NBA thanks to their doing playoffs in the summer. MLB was lucky that way, the NFL super-lucky.
hypobole - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 04:52 PM EST (#392352) #
I see very few signings other than minor league deals until after the Dec 2 non-tender deadline.
Michael - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 07:18 PM EST (#392353) #
I'd be happy to have Happ back. I agree that you don't want to sign him to a huge or long term package, but he is an above average pitcher, and pitching depth is a real thing.

Of course I'd rather have the best starter and best position player, but it isn't necessarily mutually exclusive, and we aren't that likely to get our #1 impact player and I don't think other useful pieces are likely to effect the chances of getting top players. Especially in roles like pitching where there is tons of depth. It is a different story if you sign a marginally above average DH-first player, but a starting pitcher (or even reliever) can easily add value without blocking anything critical.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 07:22 PM EST (#392354) #
I agree that we will probably see no action until after the non-tender period. There will likely be a significant amount of NT's this winter, which will add more options to the free agent pool at a cheaper cost. Not to mention Ha-Seong Kim is going to be posted some time after Thanksgiving, which should be right around the NT deadline, and he figures to be one of the bigger infield free agents.
Magpie - Monday, November 23 2020 @ 11:12 PM EST (#392355) #
[Chapman] led the league in sacrifices three times, averaging over 50 per 162 games.

Chapman still holds the single season record for most sacrifice hits in a season - he dropped down 67 sac bunts in 1917, a year when the average American League team had 216 sac hits. In 2019, the entire American League was barely able to beat that, with a total of 245 sac hits. For the entire league, all fifteen teams, in a slightly longer season.

Obviously, game done changed. One hundred years ago, it was more or less impossible to score a baserunner (and a batter) with a home run. So if you were lucky enough to get someone on base, you had to get the man into scoring position. This was not up for debate. You tried to steal the next base, or you bunted him along. It was automatic.

Would we do it the same way if home runs became equally impossible today?
Gerry - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 07:29 AM EST (#392356) #
Ken Rosenthal has lots of Blue Jay news in his Athletic column today. He claims the Jays offered Kevin Gausman $40M over 3 years but Gausman opted to take the qualifying offer.

He notes the Jays are talking to George springer, DJ LeMahieu, Michael Brantley and Justin Turner.

He also notes the Reds could trade Sonny Gray and the Astros could trade Carlos Correa, who, like Lindor, is a year from free agency.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 08:11 AM EST (#392357) #

Would we do it the same way if home runs became equally impossible today?

Good question.  Somehow I don't think so.  The dynamics were different back then because of the fielding gloves and the less uniform fields. A telegraphed bunt was much more likely to result in the batter reaching by way of error or bad hop.  My best guess is that we would see more of Cardinals' 70s and 80s offence with more hitting and running, more straight steals and yes, more sacrifices.  Speed would become more prized, I am pretty sure, but the ability to reach base would remain important also.
scottt - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 08:53 AM EST (#392358) #
I totally not like Correa.
He once had an argument with Osuna because he didn't get a fastball in a fastball count and grounded out.
He attacked Fiers for outing the cheating.
I did not like seeing him abuse his pitcher who was struggling to throw strikes in the playoffs.
I'd rather not have the clubhouse run like a street gang.

scottt - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 09:01 AM EST (#392359) #
And yet, we should be seeing a lot more bunts made against the shift.
Granted, only the lefties can do that and most of our lefties seem to be power bats.
McGuire comes to mind, but do they even shift against him? I don't remember.

scottt - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 09:31 AM EST (#392360) #
It's nice to hear the Jays don't care about losing a draft pick.
Gausman was always going to take the QO. That's 18.9M for 1 year.

Brantley has a long history with Shapiro, but there's no fit there outside of DH.
Turner would be nice at 3B for a couple of years.
Springer and LeMahieu are the 2 best fit, unless they're ready to trade Jansen and sign Realmuto.

The Rays are up to trading Kiermaier and Snell.
They also need cheap catching but at best you'd get some sort of reliever.

Teams will be asking for Martin and Groshans. I wouldn't deal those 2 for a 1 year rental.
scottt - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 09:57 AM EST (#392361) #
AA got Morton for 1 year 15M. Great move.
Glevin - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 10:25 AM EST (#392362) #
"AA got Morton for 1 year 15M. Great move."

It's a good risk especially for a team that has the depth to take risky moves but Morton has huge risks. I mean, he's 38 and had declining numbers last year. He could bounce back but could also just be in steep decline which would be normal at his age. Also, clearly only a move that a few teams could make as Morton said he wanted to stay close to his home in Florida and claimed he would have retired had he not been able to.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 12:19 PM EST (#392363) #
The Jays interest in the Gausman continues their fondness for split finger fastballs.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 01:45 PM EST (#392364) #
AA seems to be on a hot streak with one year deals.- Josh Donaldson worked well (6 WAR for $23 mil) then Travis d'Arnaud last winter (2 years $16 mil had his best season last year).  Adeiny Hechavarria didn't work well (negative WAR), now Drew Smyly on a 1 year deal and Morton as well.  He is a very good GM and the Jays might have been well served to keep him but the current group is doing well so I'm not complaining.  Well, a bit.  :)   Just glad the ninja is out there doing his thing.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 01:59 PM EST (#392365) #
Cole Hamels was still a very big miss last season for AA.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 02:24 PM EST (#392366) #
According to Morosi, Ha-Seong Kim will be posted tomorrow and "#BlueJays are among the teams that have evaluated him closely prior to the posting process".
Thomas - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 02:45 PM EST (#392367) #
I think it's a little unfair to call the Hamels contract a miss, at least in so far as it suggests AA made a misevaluation.

The spring training didn't work out, but Hamels suffered a shoulder injury in spring training. There's not really anything AA could have done about that. Pitchers get injured. Hamels made 27 starts in 2019, and while he's had some injuries in the past, 2019 didn't portend that he'd be able to pitch 3 innings in 2020.
hypobole - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 03:00 PM EST (#392368) #
Concur with Thomas. It was a 1 yr deal, prorated to 60 games. Didn't work. He's gone.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 04:47 PM EST (#392369) #
Kim will be interesting to watch - I'm curious what he ends up with and who. I'm hoping he is for real and the Jays win out. A 3-5 WAR SS/3B who is entering his age 25 season would be sweet to get.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 05:54 PM EST (#392370) #
MLBTR now says we've also inquired on Realmuto.

IMHO, that would be a HUGE upgrade on our roster - solid defense AND offense. It seems too often we get one or the other, or neither (no hitting AND passed balls, etc). You need to be solid up the middle..
Add Springer, and I think we're a powerhouse..
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 06:02 PM EST (#392371) #
The baseball media have identified the Mets and Jays as 2 teams likely to spend in this pandemic offseason, so those 2 teams will likely be linked with almost every significant Free Agent - much ado about nothing.
scottt - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 07:35 PM EST (#392372) #
It really looks like the time for the Jays to spend.

The Rays are set to cut salaries, but they have some very interesting guys in their pipelines.
Incidentally, there is some domestic violence incident involving Arozarena in Mexico.

Nobody else has a farm system to match the Jays in the division.
The Yankees might be limited in how much money they can spend.
They could still do some interesting trades. Sanchez looks on the way out but might not have much trade value.
There are rumors about trading Voit. Torres has not looked good at short. There's no room for Andujar.

Every team in the division has a full roster, so there should be plenty of trades and non-tenders.

hypobole - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 09:13 PM EST (#392373) #
"Nobody else has a farm system to match the Jays in the division."

Except for Tampa, who is acknowledged as having the top farm in baseball. Ranked #1 by both FG and MLB Pipeline. Can't find any site that doesn't have Tampa #1. And Baltimore's is pretty close to even with the Jays.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 24 2020 @ 11:34 PM EST (#392374) #
For money I think the Jays have up to $70 million available for the right situation annually but would rather spend $30-$40 max this winter to keep room for next winter and mid-season. So 2 players at $20 mil each, or a $30 and a $10. Two $30 mil are possible but it'd have to be the exact right players and I don't think that exists (3B & ace for rotation). My choices are Bauer ($25 mil per to $35 per depending on number of years - IMO 3 years is ideal - FanGraphs projects $29 per 3 years), and Kim (MLB Trade Rumors projects 5 years $40 mil total ($8 mil per)). Kim as he is young and talented thus fits perfectly with the rest of the team and Bauer due to his being the #1 starter on the market.

J.T. Realmuto would be nice but expensive and the Jays have an acceptable option there already in Jansen. If they did sign him then I'd expect they have a trade involving Jansen in their pocket as well. FanGraphs projects $22 mil per, 5 years

George Springer is a popular choice around here - CF, great offense, good defense. But like Realmuto would require a trade almost immediately (one of our current OF). FanGraphs projects $22 mil per, 5 years.

DJ LeMahieu again popular around here it seems. Could fit in at 3B thus not requiring any moves other than telling Vlad his dream of 3B is dead which the Jays probably should do regardless. Signing him doesn't block other moves, but would make the budget tighter. FanGraphs projects $14 mil per year, 3 years.

Masahiro Tanaka I see as the top backup starter choice if the Jays lose out on Bauer. Reliable, eats innings, solid ERA year in year out. Ideal #2 guy. FanGraphs says $18 mil per 3 years. Also no draft pick cost.

Projections appear low to be honest. I'd add $5 mil per year to most of those estimates but there might be a COVID discount for teams that are willing to wait and take their #2 choice.
scottt - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 07:08 AM EST (#392375) #
mlbtraderumors projects Bauers for 32M a year, 4 years.
Realmuto, 25M times 5 years.
LeMahieu, 17M times 4 years.
40M over 5 years for Kim, but plus an 8M posting fee tax.
They only give Tanaka 13M times 3 years.
They were predicting Morton for 8M.

The non tender deadline is December 2.

bpoz - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 09:31 AM EST (#392376) #
$8mil for Morton seems low. Maybe Atlanta overpaid at $15mil.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 09:41 AM EST (#392377) #
I think how slow the MLB free agent market moves makes it less exciting for fans. I am very much more in tune with the NBA with how exciting the last two weeks were.
Chuck - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 10:04 AM EST (#392378) #
I think how slow the MLB free agent market moves makes it less exciting for fans.

I agree. It would seem that salary caps play a role in the NBA and NHL free agency processes moving so quickly. In MLB, teams wait out players to get favourable deals and the players wait on other players to set the market. All kinds of gamesmanship at play for which there is little room in a salary cap world.

I agree that it's nice for fans that NBA rosters are basically fully reconstructed within a couple of days of free agency starting. Even any major trades, perhaps to involve the likes of Harden and Westbrook, may only take a little longer to happen, once the free agent dust has settled. Of course it also helps that the season starts in a month.

scottt - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 10:07 AM EST (#392379) #
Neither the owners, nor the players and their agents care if it's exciting for fans or not.
Generally, fans are excited if their team spends and upset if it doesn't.
Most fans undervalue prospects and overvalue declining players.
I want a young exciting team, not a bunch of old excited fans.

In 2021, like in 2020, the minimum wage is schedule to go up only to match the cost of living.
This is calculated from October to October.
So, in 2021, the minimum wage is rising to $570500.00, a raise of $7k.

The minimum for a minor leaguer signing his first major league contract increases to $46900 and $93000 for a second major league contract.

Minor league salary, if there is a season, will be $290 to $400 weekly for rookie and short-season level, $290 to $500 in A ball, $350 to $600 in AA and $502 to 700 in AAA.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 10:20 AM EST (#392380) #
I don't know if I'd find that more exciting in the overall, though. The problem with the NHL/NBA free agent 'frenzy' is that it lasts a couple of days and that's basically it. The rest of the off season nothing much happens. In MLB the hot stove is all off season, and anything can happen, even big signings and trades, from now till February or even March. If MLB ever went to a hard cap then if would probably force everything to happen in the first couple of days of November. It would be exciting for those 48-72 hours or whatever but then.....
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 10:45 AM EST (#392381) #
Of course it also helps that the season starts in a month.

Probably, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 11:18 AM EST (#392382) #
One more good move by AA in Atlanta, after Smyly and Morton would be good. After the non tender deadline a good reliever, closer or set up would be a great move.

AA has learned a lot since leaving the Jays.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 11:26 AM EST (#392383) #
The NBA frenzy, even in a normal year, typically lasts 1-2 weeks max. Then there would be nothing going on until training camp, which would be around 3 months. In this case, the draft, free agent frenzy, and eventually training camp will all happen within a couple of weeks of each other, so it seems a lot more exciting since there will be no dead time in between.

I don't think the MLB off-season needs to be that quick, but there does need to be more excitement. I mentioned before that I think what Trevor Bauer is doing is perfect. He's engaging with fans and allowing them to be part of the process, so his free agency is building up suspense and interest during the slow period. MLB doesn't have the young social media presence that the NBA has so it's hard to create that level of interest unless someone is out there putting out content on a regular basis, which is what Bauer is doing.

Either way, I don't think I'd be too excited if every MLB move happened in the first week of November, and then the rest of November plus Dec-Feb was tumbleweeds. There are pros and there are cons.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 11:30 AM EST (#392384) #
I think the Hot Stove is media driven. AA gave very good advice. Something like "if you hear about it then it probably will not happen".
John Northey - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 02:18 PM EST (#392385) #
A trade involving a notable name today - Jeff Hoffman traded by Colorado (with Case Williams) to the Reds for Robert Stephenson (and Jameson Hannah). Hoffman sucked in Colorado by any measure - 79 ERA+, his K/9 never reached 9 over a season, his BB/9 were 4.2 and never lower than 3.6. You can't succeed with those numbers. A shame as he looked really good when the Jays signed him. The next guy drafted was Michael Conforto (14.4 WAR in the OF for the Mets), Trea Turner also drafted not too long after. So a couple of guys who would've been useful but the Jays blew nearly $6 million on Hoffman and Max Pentecost with picks 9 & 11. Sigh. Only 3 guys after the Jays picks were 10+ WAR guys in round 1 - Turner, Conforto and Matt Chapman. A weak first round that year. Going through the first 6 rounds no one jumps out that year. Of course, many are still working their way into everyday roles at this point.
scottt - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 02:28 PM EST (#392386) #
It does remind me that the Jays are still paying Tulo his last 4M in 2021 and that he's still only 36.
Sigh.

scottt - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 02:38 PM EST (#392387) #
Also, the Royals have released Glenn Sparkman who was a Jays Rule 5 draftee in 2016/2017.

The highlight of his career is a complete game shutout against the White Sox.
Walker said that the Jays loved Sparman's arm as back then the Jays weren't flushed with high 90s throwers who could be used in relief.
Like man others, Sparkman never found his fastball command.

rpriske - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 06:19 PM EST (#392388) #
I think you are way off on Bauer and Semien.

I still wouldn't go after Semien because that money could be spent on actual needs. I also wouldn't go after Realmuto hard enough to get him. They need to hit where the upgrades are obvious: Bauer and Springer. Everyone else should be Plan B.

Bauer is immediately the #1 guy (I love Ryu, but Bauer is better), and Springer would free up Grichuk to move to right (unless someone is willing to give a bag of balls for him), then trade either Hernandez or Tellez. (Whoever gives the best return. I don't care which.)
scottt - Wednesday, November 25 2020 @ 10:27 PM EST (#392389) #
I don't think they can do Bauer and Springer.
It's more like a stopgap here and an impact player there.

One of Bauer, Springer or Realmuto would be just fine.
LeMahieu won't cost as much and is harder to fit on the field, but would be just as impactful. 

Guerrero is working really hard and has lost a lot of weight.

Lots of waiver claims lately due to rule 5 roster adjustments.

John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 08:21 AM EST (#392390) #
Funny - sometimes the threads that come up on the side are good education on the past - the old Lincecum or Cain for Rios trade showed up again from the winter of 07/08. IIRC it blew up because SF had cooler heads prevail and say 'no' at the last minute. Rios from 08 on 14.3 WAR (5.9 in '08). Lincecum (who many here wanted) was Cy Young in 08 and 09 (17.6 WAR overall thanks to 4 really ugly years after 2011 just as he became very expensive). Cain who many thought was more stable (yup) 20.4 WAR peak of 6 in '09. In truth not the blowout I expected by WAR. Rios was better than I remembered and both of those pitchers had great peaks but also bowed out faster than expected. Cain was done at 32 and stopped being effect at 30, Lincecum fell apart at 28 after an insane peak and also was done at 32 (9.16 ERA for the Angels, Rangers blew $1 mil on him at 34 to see if there was anything left, there wasn't (5.68 ERA in AAA, 6.4 BB/9).
bpoz - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 01:07 PM EST (#392391) #
Cain and Lincecum are examples of players that can deteriorate and be a burden to their team's payroll. Tulo too. Signing players to long term expensive contracts is a potential danger. Donaldson had only 2 of 8 bad years 2013-2020. Minnesota giving him a 3 or 4 year contract from age 34 onwards was very risky. 2018 was a loss to the Jays but there were 3 elite/good years. So an overall win for the Jays. Only 1 year given by Atlanta was limiting risk very well. Minnesota needed an impact player now because they are in their contending window. So they were willing to take the risk.

I wonder if the Jays understand the above situation. Shapiro talked about Financial flexibility. Atkins about years of control. Excellent concepts. But EE was offered 4/$80mil to start payment in his age 34 season. EE, Donaldson. Tulo and Martin were all getting huge salaries to extend the window after 2016. Ryu 4/$80 mil for age 33-36. There is risk but Ryu opens the window to participate in the race to get into the playoffs 1-2 years early and go further into the playoffs. This results in better revenues.
John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 04:35 PM EST (#392392) #
I suspect most teams check contention windows and decide if a player will produce enough value in years 1 and 2 to justify 3 and 4's cost. IE: EE in his 4 years post-Toronto has a 120 OPS+ in 447 games good for a bWAR of 7.1 for $80 mil (if he had accepted the Jays offer). The Jays were at the tail end of a contention window with it closing fast so they would've put all the value into years 1 and 2 with 3 and 4 being write offs. 4.7 WAR those first 2 years - 9.0 the 2 before that. Given the Jays just made the playoffs in 2016 (3 games up, tied for WC) those 4 1/2 wins a year EE was worth would've been vital. But the 2.35 the next 2 years could've been replaced cheaper. Sadly they went for Morales who did 0.8 those 2 years (all in year 2) for $21 million then the Jays dumped him on Oakland while paying $10 mil more (to save $2 mil). So $31 million for 0.8 WAR - very poor choice, but EE would've cost $49 mil more and produced 6.3 WAR more which would've been a good deal, but useless or worse than uselss as he'd have helped 3 non-contending teams and hurt the contending one this year if the Jays didn't release him (70 OPS+ -0.5 WAR in 44 games vs Tellez 139 OPS+ 0.5 WAR - the Jays did have a 5 game margin in the end so it wouldn't have prevented them from reaching the playoffs but would've cost at least 1 win.

So there is the challenge. Ryu worked out this year as no way the Jays make it without him (imagine instead of Ryu every 5th day having one of the many others going and another bullpen day instead). Whoever they sign they need to have be good for 4-5 years (the time Vlad/Biggio/Bo will be here for sure) thus why I'm not too excited about Springer (nice as he'd be) or LeMahieu. Both are likely to be drags at the end of 4 years and both will want 4 years or more. Thus why I'm on the Ha-Seong Kim train (entering age 25 season and a potential all-star based on Korea stats and has been alternating between SS and 3B the past 3 years).
scottt - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 07:57 PM EST (#392393) #
Not really. If they sign guys instead of trading for them, they'll still have prospects who could take over if players get injured or decline.

The worse year for me was 2014. Many players rebounded but they had no rotation, no depth and no payroll flexibility.
I don't think LeMahieu will be a drag, but they have 3 or 4 infielders who will be able to replace him by 2023, if needed.
You can trade a guy, eat up half his salary and replace him with a guy making the minimum. It's more dicey in the outfield as there is little depth, but they can still find a 4th outfielder who can play defense.

I see Kim as a higher risk. He could struggle and be untradeable.
The Korean league is a lot like AA.

John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 08:13 PM EST (#392394) #
Scottt - agreed but sometimes high risk = high reward. 4th outfielder for defense is here already in Jonathan Davis (4.6 UZR/150 career over 275 innings, has sucked in LF but just 57 innings so I put that down as SSS). Now for Kim I'd hesitate to go above $50 for 5 years even if the scouts raved about him due to the risk (as you say Korea is basically AA) but if he is a solid SS (as he appears to be) and has the arm for 3B (again, appears to be the case) then you'd get a solid defensive player at the least, worst case a John McDonald type. Worth about $2 mil a year, not $10 mil but not a total drag like an EE with an OPS+ of 70 would be for example. Also, while you can trade bad contracts you normally have to eat a big chunk of it or take an equally bad one back and those are getting rarer in the majors now as teams get more risk adverse.
hypobole - Thursday, November 26 2020 @ 08:55 PM EST (#392395) #
Are teams getting more risk adverse or risk averse?
Window Shopping Free Agents | 81 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.