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As expected the Jays have decided to go with AAA Buffalo, AA New Hampshire, A+ Vancouver, A Dunedin (lowest level of the minors now). Goodbye to Lansing (who should find another affiliation - probably Oakland it appears), Bluefield, and GCL Jays. The DSL team might survive though.

What does this mean?
  • No more short season teams - Vancouver is now a full season team (140 games roughly)
  • Tons of teams now will be shifted to indy leagues or close down
  • A list of all AAA/AA affiliates
  • A new Draft League is now formed using some of the cities that lost affiliation. 2 Short Season, 2 full season A, and 1 AA (Trenton Thunder, formerly affiliated with the Yankees) are parts of it with a 6th team to be announced.
  • Some leagues, such as The Pioneer League will still work with MLB and be a kind of half way house between affiliates and indy league teams. Some might remember Medicine Hat was part of the league for years as a Jays affiliate in rookie ball. The Atlantic League, the American Association and the Frontier League are also getting that odd status where they get help from the majors to survive for a few years as MLB decides how much they need those teams.
Big shakeup, but expected. Should be interesting to see how this changes things in 2021 and beyond.

Edit: Full list for 2021 affiliates but 1 team to be named still - Colorado's Low A affiliate, they made an offer but that team isn't interested yet.
Minor League Affiliates Picked | 84 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 03:44 PM EST (#392631) #
I hate this stupid realignment. More baseball is just better. More towns and cities with teams is better for baseball. How many people became fans because they went to games in their small town or nearby? This is just the Manfred era in a nutshell. Make small amounts of extra money for greedy owners right now with no regards to long-term health of the game.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 04:12 PM EST (#392632) #
As a baseball fan I found indy leagues more fun to watch - no one plays because they are a bonus baby or because the ML organization demands it, or is pulled because they hit 100 pitches or 70 or whatever number is in vogue this week. In Thunder Bay they have a college team (US college players only) which is fun to watch. If the team stinks it is because they stink, not because their best player had a mandatory day off or was called up the day before.
Parker - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 04:19 PM EST (#392633) #
I hate the MiLB contraction plan in general, but at least now I'll be able to see the Canadians more often.
christaylor - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 05:03 PM EST (#392634) #
Contraction seems like a necessary evil given that MLB wants to mandate higher grade facilities and provide reasonable wages. I understand the argument that more opportunities to see love baseball can attract fans but the evidence is against it given the attendance for some teams. It's not a good look but overall it probably leads to a better experience for players who have a shot at MLB. Some first-person narratives of players in the minors are depressing in how players at the lower levels are treated for chasing their dream.
scottt - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 05:41 PM EST (#392635) #
Overall, I think it stinks, but of the Blue Jays affiliates, only Bluefield is negatively affected.
It seems positive for both Dunedin, as they do instructions there and Vancouver.
Lansing is going to the A's.
Strangely, there's only 119 teams listed.
I'm not sure what it means for Ottawa.
Hopefully they find a spot in the Pioneer League before the demolish that nice stadium to build condos for the homeless. (It's a really nice stadium in a commercial park close to a big mall.)

Cynicalguy - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 06:25 PM EST (#392638) #
Always found it odd that baseball had so many levels of minor leagues, where other leagues had 1 or 2 max. NHL has 2 levels or more like 1.5. NBA didn't have one till 2001 and started with 8 teams. NFL still doesn't have one.

There's plenty of stories of minor leaguers who spent close to 10 years and never make it. Will be interesting to see how teams operate with less teams. I guess each team would be more concentrated with real prospects and organizational fillers would be shifted to independent leagues where they would get playing time based on how well they perform and not on how high they were drafted. Instead of players drafted in the 30th round making the majors, there would be a few who come through the independent leagues route who make it.
scottt - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 07:04 PM EST (#392639) #
They get rid of short season (2 rookie teams and one A level short season mostly for players drafted out of university.)
The replace that with instruction leagues, which will be similar to what they were doing this year.
I'm not sure there is a huge impact here. On the MLB teams anyway.
The biggest impact is on the drafting of players who never made it to A ball.
Instead of back filling 3 short season teams, you only back fill your A- team which will also take international players.
So maybe 20ish players in total and you can still get undrafted players to fill the holes.

What that does really, is push the development of players to universities.
Teams will draft fewer high school players. This cuts out the kids who don't have the money.
So, the biggest impact is probably fewer black players who will stick to football and basketball.

There are probably rules that prevent teams from signing undrafted high school players and giving them a tuition to play in college. Otto Lopez left Montreal to go play in the Dominican so he could sign as a free agent.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 10:14 PM EST (#392643) #
"How many people became fans because they went to games in their small town or nearby?"

Probably not as many as you think.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 09 2020 @ 10:24 PM EST (#392644) #
If I ran MLB (be glad I don't) I'd probably tell teams to cut to 3 ML teams max instead of 4. A/AA/AAA. Let the indy leagues develop the AAAA guys instead (do a buy option from them when you see a guy you could use). Shrink the draft to 5-10 rounds max and let colleges develop the players. Why waste money & resources on all of those extra minor league teams? I'd probably rename the minors too - A/B/C like they used to be at one time - makes more sense than the old rookie/A-/A/A+/AA/AAA. The best players would still show up, but you'd miss the odd one who was a true surprise (Orlando Hudson & Jeff Kent come to mind - neither a low pick due to signability issues like Tellez was, nor were they friends of the family guys like Mike Piazza was - he'd have been signed as a free agent by the Dodgers I suspect in a 5-10 round draft system).

Basketball & Football were smart - they let colleges do 99% of development (NFL lets the CFL do some, NBA has a small minor league). The NHL lets leagues like the OHL/WHL/QMJHL do some development, have a small minor league, and often have kids sit on the bench at first to learn in the majors.

Back when Branch Rickey set up the minors as we all know them with many teams feeding the majors things were very different. You could sign dozens of guys for next to nothing and make money off those minor league teams as well. If 1 in 100 made it you were laughing. But now the money is significant and you don't put dozens of 'meh' guys together to see if one develops, or you shouldn't. With the scouting, advanced metrics, and the like it is harder for a Piazza to sneak through. I'll miss having 7 or 8 minor league teams to look through for hidden gems, but from a dollars and cents POV it makes tons of sense.
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 06:46 AM EST (#392645) #
I used to post quite often here and still read "The Box" a few times a week. I remember this being the first site I posted on asking questions about Jays prospects when the partnership between Lansing and Toronto began. The first game featured a Casey Jansen start where he threw seven no hit innings if memory serves me right. Since then I have been treated to seeing several up and coming Jays including a lot of the young Nucleus that has climbed up the ranks and currently are the hub of the future for Toronto.

While it sucks to lose the Jays as a development partner, I get it. You can't have a team that you claim to be a national entity not be affiliated with the only affiliated Canadian team.

I'm excited and disappointed in the MiLB announcements yesterday and I think I might even have more questions now than I did before yesterday. The new Mid-Atlantic league looks like a logistical nightmare to me and seems to spit in the face of geographic alignment to cut travel, but I digress.

I'll still be watching the Jays. They definitely gained a fan in me.
AWeb - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 06:56 AM EST (#392646) #
A lot of pitchers in A or A+ levels have been on pitch and innings limits. Assuming teams are going to stick with that, how does Vancouver find 140 games worth of innings?
rpriske - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 08:31 AM EST (#392647) #
Affiliated minors had gotten out of hand. I support this change.

Having said THAT... no more Lansing Lugnuts? I will still wear the hat proudly...
scottt - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 08:39 AM EST (#392649) #
You can look at Korea and Japan as developmental leagues if you want.
Very few players make it from there to the MLB.
That's because you can dominate at the AA level and not be an average player at the MLB level.
It's easier to evaluate skills in other sports.

Still, the point is not how much money MLB is saving but how fewer players will be Americans as international players are not affected by these cost reductions.  I can see that backfiring in the long run.

The NHL is funny like that. Teams don't care about local prospects but local players who win the Stanley Cup organize rallies and parties with the cup.

scottt - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 08:42 AM EST (#392650) #
The Lugnuts are now an A's associate. 
scottt - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 08:51 AM EST (#392651) #
The same way Dunedin did. The D Jays played 137 games in 2018 and 135 in 2019.
There is a bit of rescheduling towards the end of the year as the best prospects are moved to contending teams.
With fewer teams, there won't be a shortage of arms.

Not sure the C's will be able to play in 2021.
Where do they play  if the border is closed?

The tough part  lately was for players on minor contract stuck at the alternative sides.
Not a great situation for young families.

Lugnut Fan - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 08:58 AM EST (#392653) #
From what I've read, the length of season is going to be different at each level. From what I read, low A and high A will have a 132 game season, AA will have a 138 game season and AAA will have a 144 game season.

I'm thinking the season will be modified and shortened next year. I don't see the minors playing more than 120 games. Partly because of the pandemic, partly because of the lost development year. That's just my thoughts on it though.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 09:37 AM EST (#392654) #
Thanks, LF. It's really good to hear from you.
scottt - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 09:52 AM EST (#392656) #
I've heard of a proposal to have layered spring camps. MLB, than AAA, than AA, etc. To keep the players in their own bubbles.

Florida, of course, is a raging Covid-19 inferno.
They've just sent a SWAT team to raid Rebekah Jones' house prompting a republican prosecutor to resign.
The daily death count is now over 3000. Some hospitals show 100% occupancy.
Florida has topped  1 million cases and is approaching 20K death, although they count things very conservatively.

The US plan talks about 100 million vaccinations by the end of March, but will all those people who don't believe in the disease get the vaccine?

Mike Green - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 10:08 AM EST (#392657) #
It's not clear to me whether Biden is talking about 100 million people vaccinated or 100 million vaccines in arms (and 50 million people vaccinated) in the first 100 days of office which runs until mid-April.  It seems to be the latter.

In New Zealand, public shows take place but everyone attending has to leave QR codes at the door for contact tracing purposes.  The US and Canada are a long, long way from that even with the vaccine. 
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 10:24 AM EST (#392658) #
I don't have an issue with this. I have long felt there are too many levels in minor league baseball, and in turn, too many players that water down the overall talent pool. In theory, if you condense the minors (i.e. weed out the org guys with no future), pay the players more, improve the facilities, and streamline the travel, then it's going to improve the quality of the sport. Maybe the next Pillar won't come from a minor league affiliate, but it could come from an Independent League, or maybe more US players will go to the KBO or Japan (like Carter Stewart). The cream will find a way to rise to the top.
hypobole - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 10:58 AM EST (#392659) #
One positive is that MLB teams will control where their AAA affiliates are located. The old MiLB control led to ridiculous situations where Jays and then Mets were stuck in Las Vegas for a 10 year stretch. 2019 Nats AAA team had to play in Fresno, California. MiLB should have dealt with this absurdity years ago, but never did.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 10:59 AM EST (#392661) #
Or maybe a significant number of fans will say "screw MLB and high ticket prices/parking etc", and Indy leagues will thrive on their own.  Is it more fun to watch a game with major league players on the TV or to watch a game in person near where you live with players at almost but not quite the same level for more money but something you can comfortably afford?

And a question, are the production costs for video of a baseball game on the internet (via Youtube or Facebook Live or some other platform) prohibitive for an Indy league?  I would have guessed not, but I really do not know. 
pooks137 - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 01:12 PM EST (#392667) #
It seems positive for both Dunedin, as they do instructions there and Vancouver.

Obviously, Dunedin was never in danger of contraction given its status as the Jays' ST facility. However, if this realignment was actually done on a pure economic basis, Dunedin would have been at the top of the list of teams to be contracted

Recent Dunedin attendance history

2019 - 203 fans/game, last in the league

2018 - 450 fans/game, last in the league

2017 - 573 fans/game, last in the league

2016 - 767 fans/game, 11th in the league

So while Dunedin is a good draw for snowbird Canadians in Feb/March during the Grapefruit League, it is a real dog once the Jays head North.

It's hard to imagine this situation being improved by moving the team down a rung in the minor league ladder.

These numbers also suggest that the Jays, with generous contributions from Dunedin itself, built a shiny new stadium to play ST games in for six weeks a year that has virtually no economic case once the MLB team heads north.

John Northey - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 01:37 PM EST (#392670) #
For video costs - properly done for indy league teams it should be cheap. Cameras are cheaper by the day, so the only significant expenses would be to hire 2 people, one to manage the video feeds and one to call the games. Cameras are almost to the point of being automated - I suspect it is possible now to have them set to follow the ball (3 cameras ideally - one on the 3B side, one behind home, one in the outfield), and then another to follow the hitter or baserunner depending. IE: if it is a snail on base you follow the hitter, if it is a speedster you follow him. So maybe hire a camera operator or two as well. Could use students from a local school at minimum wage to gain experience (I could see that selling well with AV clubs who would be well versed in YouTube/Facebook Live and alternatives I'm certain) where the kids would rotate between cameras and managing which is on the live feed. The broadcaster could be an injured one/backup for the club who wants to get experience just in case for their future (thus paying for him anyways). Lots of ways to keep costs low while producing a product people could enjoy. I could see YouTube creating a special space for it 'Indy League Baseball' which has a quick listing of all live games. Set it up so in-between innings ads come on which would help make money for the club and for YouTube/Facebook Live. Win-win.

Honestly, I'm surprised we don't see this already instead of the pay per view nature of the minors right now. I went looking for indy league games online last year and the cost was way too high to make me want to watch (I'm not shelling out $10 a game or $100 for a season of a team that I might watch 2 or 3 innings of here and there). Kids at local high schools even would jump at the chance to do it I'm certain (I know I would've back then) so the net cost per game, if you had, say, 3 kids on it for 2 hours each, could be under $100 a game. (3 x 2 x $15 = $90). Heck, with modern phones the kids could set it up using their own phones and a base computer that gets the feeds from all of them. Thus reducing costs even further.
John Northey - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 02:10 PM EST (#392671) #
Rule 5 draft done and a few surprises. For the 2nd straight year Dany Jimenez was drafted (this time by the A's), minor league portion cost the Jays Jake Fishman (LHP - to Marlins); Zach Jackson (RHP last seen in AAA in 2019, 3rd round pick in 2016, top 30 Jays prospect in 2018); Yorman Rodriguez (A's, C, 889 OPS in 2019), Justin Dillon (Mets, RHP, briefly reached AAA in 2018). Jays took Sebastian Espino, SS (Mets) in the minor league portion (minor league picks are kept no matter what) who hasn't shown a lot with the bat and has yet to get out of rookie ball, but is just entering his age 21 season.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 03:09 PM EST (#392673) #
For fun, I wondered what Ontario universities were doing with broadcasting.  They seem to have something like Gameday with spray charts and so on.
John Northey - Thursday, December 10 2020 @ 09:05 PM EST (#392678) #
Nice to see, even if they are a few decades behind. Back in 1992 I did spray charts, pitch selection, and tons of other stuff for the University of Guelph (including newspaper reporting). Tons of fun (and yes, I didn't have a girlfriend at the time) and I even got into 1 game (LF, 0 for 2, misplayed the one ball hit near me). All done on my tiny Radio Shack portable calculator which had a mini-programming mode that I used a ton (amazing what you can do with 32kb of memory). Plus typing up weekly sheets on a normal old school typewriter. My only computer back then was a C=64 so more than that wasn't going to happen. I'd type up game stories and drop them off at the 2 local papers and the university paper. Got on the front page of the sports section once. Great for my ego, even if they didn't print my name on it (curses!). The school paper always did put my name on my articles though. Probably still have all the sheets buried around here somewhere. Got an interview with Stats Inc. in 1992 out of it, flew to Chicago on my own dime, but dummy me just flew in and flew out same day instead of staying overnight which would've let me do tests with them which might have got me in the door. Probably lucky I didn't as 2 years later the strike hit and I'd have lost the job which would've sucked.
tercet - Friday, December 11 2020 @ 03:51 AM EST (#392681) #
Doesn't seem like Vancouver will be ready to play in April due to CV-19 restrictions, so do they play out of some other NWL team location that isn't affiliated in 2021?
tercet - Friday, December 11 2020 @ 03:58 AM EST (#392682) #
Also semi surprised the Jays didn't move Zach Jackson to AAA to protect him from the MILB r5 draft. He throws 94-98 with an overhang curve from a over the top / wonky arm angle, but has never been able to throw strikes consistently.
pooks137 - Friday, December 11 2020 @ 12:17 PM EST (#392695) #
Also semi surprised the Jays didn't move Zach Jackson to AAA to protect him from the MILB r5 draft.

I don't think protecting Zach Jackson was as simple as moving him to AAA.

Information on the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft seems vague at best and has mostly eluded my Google-fu.

My understanding of the Minor League Phase of the Rule 5 is as follows

1) All phases below Triple-A were eliminated at some point, so a lot of prior rules no longer apply

2) Players are no longer "assigned" to minor league clubs or levels once their seasons end and options are recalled. Prospects on the 40-man effectively automatically get called back up to the MLB level at season's end awaiting assignment again next spring (hence burning another "option" if required). Prospects not on the 40-man are essentially in limbo and not on any roster over the offseason and similarly await assignment in the spring, but do not require options.

3) The modified single phase minor league Rule 5 portion occurs after the major league Rule 5. Each team creates a 38-man reserve list of additional prospects that are Rule 5 eligible but not on the 40-man MLB roster. I believe these players don't have to necessarily have reached the AAA level anymore, so each team essentially protects its Top 38 prospects.

So losing Jackson was less about simply moving him to AAA and more about the fact the Jays had 38 other prospects they rated more highly than the soon-to-be 26-year-old reliever with a career BB/9 of 5.5

bpoz - Friday, December 11 2020 @ 12:37 PM EST (#392697) #
Thanks for the explanation pooks137.
John Northey - Friday, December 11 2020 @ 01:38 PM EST (#392698) #
Pooks137 - that makes a ton of sense. Really, if a guy isn't among your top 78 guys with 4-5+ years experience (depending on age when drafted or signed as an amateur free agent) then why keep him locked up in your system. Very few minor league rule 5's make it - most notable I can recall is from 1989 in Mauro 'Goose' Gozzo. Went 4-0 in his first 4 games and became a bit of a legend (1.23 ERA in those games over 22 IP but 6 BB vs 8 K's was a warning of what was to come). Just 5 more games that season, over a month, losing the final game of the season (meaningless) 9 2/3 IP (3 BB 2 K's 14 ER). The next year in a bizarre mid-September trade he was part of a package to get Bud Black. 92 1/3 IP more in his career with a 5.46 ERA and 3-6 record and 1 save. But for the month of August in 1989 he was a wonder which helped the Jays win the AL East (won by 2 games).
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 12 2020 @ 10:41 AM EST (#392707) #
I'll be quite honest, with the MLB putting less of a focus on development while the NBA is putting a great focus on theirs sports analytics obsession in shifting between sports.
Mylegacy - Saturday, December 12 2020 @ 05:53 PM EST (#392717) #
John, Rule 5 draftee: George Bell - by the Hogtown Jays. He turned out OK (and then some).
John Northey - Saturday, December 12 2020 @ 09:00 PM EST (#392718) #
Mylegacy - I was talking about the minor league portion - Bell was ML portion thus had to sit on the roster for a year but at least it was the easiest year to put a guy on pre 2020 - 1981. 69 OPS+ but 8th in rookie of the year voting somehow probably because his 5 HR in 163 PA was tied for the most in the ML for rookies (the 2 he tied with in the AL did it with 200+ PA's each, the NL leader was Tim Raines with 5 to go along with 71 SB in just 88 games played). It was a weak year in a lot of respects.
GabrielSyme - Sunday, December 13 2020 @ 07:09 PM EST (#392729) #
Florida is just about average for the USA overall, and significantly below average in recent days. Inasmuch as the US as a whole is a raging COVID inferno, I suppose you could say the same of Florida, but it seems silly to single them out.

The COVID Tracking Project gives Florida's data an A, and the CDC's excess death estimates don't suggest Florida has missed any more COVID deaths than other states.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 13 2020 @ 09:24 PM EST (#392732) #
Cleveland will no longer go by the name “Indians.” Good to hear.
scottt - Sunday, December 13 2020 @ 10:30 PM EST (#392733) #
Florida peaked around July 17 at  over 11 000 cases. It was down between 2 and 3k in September and October.
The number for December 12 is 10385 cases. It's up considerably from a week ago at 8175 cases.
The death count is over 100 per day. It's just hitting the post thanksgiving surge.

The US plans to hit 100M vaccination by the end of February.
That is good news. Maybe just 50M people?
The way this works, immunity is considered acquired 28 days after the first shot.

Will MLB buy vaccines for the players? Will foreign players need to be vaccinated prior to entering the US?
I could still see a few months of delays to the season.
If players are vaccinated, they might be allowed to play in Toronto.
Could be issues with the families though.

scottt - Sunday, December 13 2020 @ 10:38 PM EST (#392734) #
Yeah, I usually go by Cleveland team but I still had to type the archaic name to find the teams stats.

Parker - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 10:02 AM EST (#392740) #
I was looking over the ZiPS projections for the 2021 Jays and noticed that Cavan Biggio's comparable is Sweet Lou Whitaker. I would take that.

Vlad Jr. gets a comp to... Paul Konerko. Hard "meh" on that one.

Amusingly, Santiago Espinal's comparable is Charlie Montoyo. Robbie Ray's is Al Leiter.

I'm disappointed that the Rangers grabbed Dahl for $3M. I would've been okay with the Jays paying twice that amount. Prove me wrong, Jon Davis.
Glevin - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 11:28 AM EST (#392746) #
"I'm disappointed that the Rangers grabbed Dahl for $3M. I would've been okay with the Jays paying twice that amount. "

Why? Where does Dahl play? He had a WAR of -0.8 last year and career 2.9 in over 1,000 PAs. This is the type of player a rebuilding team should take a chance on. A team in the situation the Jays are in shouldn't be trying to hit on long shots, they should be trying to improve. Dahl doesn't improve the Jays at all.
85bluejay - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 12:55 PM EST (#392751) #
I disagree - smart teams take chances on players like David Dahl often - the contending Dodgers have taken on Justin Turner, Chris Taylor , Blake Treinen in recent years to great success, the contending Yankees took a chance on Gio Urshela - just to name a few.
scottt - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 01:32 PM EST (#392752) #
The Jays are full of players with upside. They need vets who can be counted on.
Dahl is the type of players the 2015 Jays should have tried in left field.

Boston signed Hunter Renfroe for 3M. He'll play a solid corner freeing Verdugo and Benintendi to play in center.
A good move for Boston. One less contender for Bradley.

Gerry - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 03:27 PM EST (#392756) #
Arden Zwelling fills us in on the new Dunedin complex and the various development camps that have been happening this fall. Read it here.
scottt - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 05:45 PM EST (#392758) #
The Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel have sued Desantis for violating the Public Record Act by blocking the release of the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports headed by Mike Pence.
Yeah, definitively not average. Apparently the December reports urge stricter restrictions.
Meanwhile, positivity, hospitalizations, and deaths are trending upwards.

John Northey - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 07:35 PM EST (#392760) #
Right now the Jays have 'meh' or better players at every spot but 3B. Over a 110 OPS+ for the regular at every position but 3B and CA last year with Shaw gone (95 OPS+) and Jansen likely to improve (85 last year, can't imagine he'd have a 190 average on balls in play again).

No question #1 for me with the Jays is a 3B who is strong both on offense and defense. Or at least average on one, strong on the other. As much as I want it, I don't see Vlad being that. After 3B the Jays need to find strong starting pitching and then let the pen sort itself out (as seen last year you can get no shortage of decent arms for under $2 mil).
GabrielSyme - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 07:43 PM EST (#392761) #
Florida certainly isn't good either right now or overall. The US isn't good. Most of Europe isn't good. It just is in no way an outlier. The way this works, immunity is considered acquired 28 days after the first shot. This is a reasonable thing to say to people who are getting the vaccine, if a little conservative. But for the purposes of epidemiology, I'd be shocked if the median time to immunity is anywhere close to 28 days. Was it the NHL which secured vaccines for its players? I'd imagine MLB will want to do so as well, and if it's possible, you'd think they'd do it.
GabrielSyme - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 07:53 PM EST (#392763) #
Definitely not average: Florida's deaths, infection and hospitalization rates are all currently running below the US average, and while they're certainly not looking great, its death and infection curves both look better than those of the US as a whole at the moment.

Again, Florida isn't doing an amazing job; I'm just saying it's odd to single them out when there's nothing exceptional about their COVID outcomes either currently or overall.
scottt - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 08:06 PM EST (#392764) #
The first shot does not produce immunity. The second shot happens on day 21 Many people will probably spend day 22 sick at home. The wife is eligible for the vaccine this week. She might pass as we already got Covid-19, so she might already be immune and we don't know much about the benefits in that case.  Still pondering.

Regarding Covid-19, Florida has some advantages; there are no large cities, you can spend a lot of time outside where the breeze blows the virus away. It has some disadvantages; high density of population, homeless people sleeping on the streets and potentially not having access to health care. However, there are no measure in place there. People don't practice social distancing, don't wear mask, gather in large groups, etc...

GabrielSyme - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 10:49 PM EST (#392766) #
The first shot does not produce immunity.

Good news! The first shot does produce immunity for about half of those who get it. The second shot boosts that up to about 95%. So you can't count on the first shot, but on a population level, about half of people getting the first shot will become immune.
Parker - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 11:25 PM EST (#392767) #
Dahl doesn't improve the Jays at all.

If Dahl recovers from his injury, he's a league-average hitter who can play center field. If you don't think that Dahl is an upgrade over Jon Davis or Josh Palacios, I really don't know what to tell you.
Glevin - Monday, December 14 2020 @ 11:50 PM EST (#392768) #
" If you don't think that Dahl is an upgrade over Jon Davis or Josh Palacios, I really don't know what to"

Neither Davis or Palacios are going to play an important part with the Jays and it's possible neither plays at all this year and you don't pay $6M to upgrade unimportant pieces. Dahl is a mediocre defender at best so he doesn't make as much sense as Davis does on the team right now as Davis is a legit CFer if needed. And why would Dahl go to a place where he would be the 5th OFer when he could have a chance of starting and trying to make something of himself somewhere else? It makes no sense for him either to go somewhere where he won't get playing time.

Jays will look to add a starter in the field somewhere I believe so it makes it even more pointless. Let's say they sign Springer or Ozuna or Brantley. Or they trade for Lindor or sign DJM and have Biggio playing OF more. Where does Dahl fit in on the roster? And what about Dahl is so enticing anyway? Maybe he figures something out but that could be said about dozens of guys. Steamer has him as a -0.6 WAR player over 455 PAs. Sure, fine risk for the Rangers. Pointless for the Jays. Pointless for Dahl.
Michael - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 02:24 AM EST (#392769) #
Nice article on the minors. I agree that next season will be interesting health wise. It is unlikely that most people get the vaccine until late spring or summer. Athletes and sports teams may manage to buy their own priority to keep the major league players safe, but that doesn't mean the fans are safe nor that things like spring training in feb/march would be safe.
Lugnut Fan - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 07:20 AM EST (#392770) #
I don't write much about COVID or the vaccine, but after watching the news a bit about this, I'm certain there is going to be a decent percentage of the population that is going to screw this up. It sounds like Moderna's vaccine will soon get approval and join Pfizer's which just received approval. You can't mix the two, so if you start with Pfizer's, you have to stick with Pfizer's and vice versa. They also have different times to the booster. You get your second shot 21 days after the first with Pfizer, but it's 28 days after the first shot for Moderna's.

I'm certain the business that I work for will probably have on site vaccination (as I'm certain most businesses will do), so that will probably be vetted for me, but for those that don't have that luxury you're really going to have to pay attention.

My faith in humanity is gone after watching all this unfold. I've learned if it can screwed up, it will be.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 07:45 AM EST (#392771) #
Thanks for the info and wisdom LF.
Lugnut Fan - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 08:30 AM EST (#392772) #
Oh trust me, there is definitely no wisdom here. Just typing what I have heard from the folks with the wisdom have stated on the news.
scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 08:57 AM EST (#392774) #
It's more like it produces some immunity to everyone that gets it.
The first doses should go to vulnerable people and health care workers.
This should cut down mortality and hospitalizations, but might not affects the general population for a while.

MLB could get vaccines but I wonder how that will work for Dominican players currently not in the US.
I don't think they've even started to talk about the parameters of the 2021 season.

I'm expecting a dark winter followed by a long spring.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 09:50 AM EST (#392775) #
Per the Globe and Mail today, the Federal government projects that 8% of the population will be vaccinated by the end of Q1 2021, 40-50% by the end of Q2 and 100% by the end of Q3.  You'd have to treat these projections as the best-case scenario, I would think. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 11:48 AM EST (#392776) #
"My faith in humanity is gone after watching all this unfold. I've learned if it can screwed up, it will be."

Billions poured into research to come up with a vaccine in less than 9 months, I have the exact opposite reaction to you. It shows how much can be accomplished with support. They're already talking about how much cancer research will be affected (positively) by all the research from Covid 19, not to mention a lot of the work done this year on the vaccine was based on 25 years of research and development to cure cancer which has been focused on local, dormant muscle vaccines.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 12:12 PM EST (#392777) #
Mike - I'm hopeful on that. Once the most at risk get done by the end of Q1 we should see cases drop significantly and deaths drastically. By the end of Q2 (mid-season) most will feel like this is in the back window of history and by the end of Q3 (playoffs/hockey starts) things should be back to 'normal' (in quotes because some will be permanently changed - shopping online was a thing but now will be locked in for many, eating out will be drastically reduced long term I suspect as well, and movie theaters will be cut in half I expect sadly enough as I love going to the theater).
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 12:17 PM EST (#392778) #
Yes, there are signs that well-funded scientists have done a fine job although we do not yet know how long the immunity provided by the vaccine will last.  However, one thing we have learned this year is that it is not enough that scientists do a good job for a society to manage illness well.  The graph in this article illustrates the point- life expectancies in the US were below 2014 levels in 2019. By the end of 2021, they will probably be at about 2000 levels or worse. 

We don't see things quite the same way in Canada, and as the graph illustrates, there are good reasons for that. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 12:21 PM EST (#392779) #
That might happen, John, but personally, I don't expect to feel that the virus is history by the end of June.  I do expect that enough has been done by then that the light at the end of the tunnel will appear to be quite close.  And speaking personally, I can say that I don't mind restricting my activities to outdoor ones in the summer if it means wiping out the virus as soon as possible. 
bpoz - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 12:47 PM EST (#392780) #
dalimon5 I think you are right. There are people all over the world that have high standards and work hard. The brainy ones. They do seem to be a force in making society better in medicine and other areas. Then there are the people that are not doing that.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 01:26 PM EST (#392781) #
By the end of Q2 (mid-season) most will feel like this is in the back window of history

While I appreciate the optimism, there is still a real concern that not enough people will take the vaccine for herd immunity to take effect, so the virus will still be out there, particularly in red states. And of course, this is a global problem. Until the furthest reaches of the planet are vaccinated, the virus will be boarding international flights again and landing on everyone's shores.

There's no doubt that the world is in a better place with these vaccines. I just think that "normal life" is further off than we want to admit to ourselves.

scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 02:18 PM EST (#392782) #
As expected, MLB is hoping to push the start of the season into May.

MLB and the owners want all players and personnel to be vaccinated before arriving at spring camp.

So, maybe 130 games? Maybe 120?

scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 02:25 PM EST (#392783) #
The Jays have signed Tyler White and Forrest Wall to minor league contract with invitations to spring training.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 02:27 PM EST (#392784) #
At the very least the players would have to be vaccinated before the season starts so that they can (in theory) avoid stoppages of play when a single player from a team tests positive. So delaying the season a few weeks for that makes sense. If owners are waiting for fans to be allowed in, then even May seems pretty optimistic.
scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 02:53 PM EST (#392785) #
They should be starting spring training within 1 week of having all/almost all players vaccinated.
I wonder if we'll see some anti-vaxxer players opting out.

After that, they'll probably have some scheme to let *some* fans into the stadiums a month later.

The biggest issue is to get the players to agree on pro-rated salaries for a shorter season and not pushing the playoffs into November. 
hypobole - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 04:15 PM EST (#392786) #
Just want to thank Gerry for the excellent Arden Zwelling article he posted on the new Dunedin complex. The complex really seems a crown jewel and brings the Jays into the forefront of player development.
tercet - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 04:26 PM EST (#392787) #
Good point about the anti-vaxxer's scott. The Jays have one minor leaguer is who extremely pro-trump, anti-vaxx and anti-mask on social media. You think he will suck it up in order to play or die by his beliefs so he can be famous on social media/end his baseball career?
scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 04:38 PM EST (#392788) #
I'm not sure if MLB can force players to be vaccinated, but I think Ottawa can easily do something to keep unvaccinated players out of Toronto.

Fauci predicts that it's going to take until the end of summer until the whole population is vaccinated and fans can go into stadiums. It sounds like Bidden will put Fauci in charge by the end of January.

Michael - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 06:54 PM EST (#392790) #
It is worth remembering not everyone can be vaccinated. There are health conditions that may make the vaccine contra-indicated, which is one reason it is important for everyone else to get it. I suspect there will be more ballplayers who are anti-vax than have genuine health reasons not to (unlikely to be many pregnant MLB players), but there still might be some with legit reasons not to.
scottt - Tuesday, December 15 2020 @ 08:42 PM EST (#392792) #
It's probably more likely that coaches have legit reasons than ballplayers.
I have no problem with vaccinated people traveling.
People on exemptions, for whatever reason, should have to self-isolate.
Otherwise, we're going to keep importing cases until the whole planet achieve heard immunity--the virus will probably mutate before that.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, December 16 2020 @ 05:46 PM EST (#392797) #
Nice to see MLB recognize the Negro Leagues as major leagues, it's a long time coming.
scottt - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 08:43 AM EST (#392801) #
Yeah. That sounds good. Not sure what that actually means.
There is a Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Will it get founding from MLB? Become affiliated with Cooperstown?

scottt - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 08:57 AM EST (#392803) #
The Rays have re-signed Zunino.
He made 4.5M this year. They had an option for the same.
Instead he'll be making 2M with a option for 2022 and a 1M buyout.
There's a lot of escalators to the contract, but it looks like all it does is boost the option which the Jays will decline anyway.

Cracka - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 11:18 AM EST (#392804) #
Presumably, this means that Negro league statistics are now MLB statistics. Josh Gibson will have 238 MLB home runs. Satchel Paige will have either 143 or 174 wins (but not 28) depending on who you ask. It's actually a fascinating new challenge for baseball historians, as Negro league statistics were not kept in the same way as MLB statistics, and so there will need to be further research and consensus before these records are "official". I actually think this will be one of the tangible outcomes of this decision: increased interest & resources focused on capturing & preserving the historic details of Negro league baseball.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 11:26 AM EST (#392805) #
It would be nice if MLB made an appropriate donation to the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City.  Hell, in the modern age, there could be a video linkup from Cooperstown to Kansas City and vice versa. 
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 12:17 PM EST (#392806) #
There is an ongoing article in The Athletic naming the top 100 players outside the Baseball Hall of Fame and there was a player from the Negro Leagues ranked at 37th whom I had never heard of before. His name was Alejandro Oms and he played there in the 1920's before the so-called Golden Era of the 1930's which featured players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson,etc. While not as famous because of this, he was a prodigious hitter, batting over .400 several times and becoming one of the first players inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame.

Oms was nicknamed " The Gentleman" because he refused to argue with umpires. He avoided fights and confrontations in the Negro Leagues by pretending not to speak English. People would yell at him and he would shrug as if to say," I do not understand". The ruse, according to Negro League historian James Riley, was revealed when he got hit in the head with a pitch and, in a daze, muttered as clear as day, " Give me some water". Also, if games got out of hand on the scoreboard, he would keep the crowd interested by doing tricks like catching the ball behind his back.

Also in the 30's in ranking was Kevin Brown, who as a pitcher amassed a career WAR of 76.5 which is higher than many in the Hall. He has never received many votes because, as a noted grouch, he was generally hated by teammates and media members.
John Northey - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 01:30 PM EST (#392807) #
Alejandro Oms has very limited stats available on BR. Just 1121 PA, with a 324/409/488 line suggesting the 400 seasons were mostly his games against lower level talent (barnstorming against local semi-pro or low level pro teams which was common in the 20's). Never 200 PA in a season that are recorded, thus very shaky ground to judge anything on. Hopefully with the Negro leagues becoming official we'll see more research and better statistical records to help judge their careers on.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 02:33 PM EST (#392808) #
Brown was named in the Mitchell report, and I imagine that his suspected steroid use has more to do with the Hall vote than his grouchiness.  But the grouchiness doesn't help either. 
John Northey - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 06:49 PM EST (#392810) #
Brown had a number of strikes against him. Just 211 wins, only once over 20 (21 in 1992). No Cy Young awards (2nd and 3rd place finishes). Only once reached 9 K/9 IP. 4.19 ERA in the playoffs, 0-3 in 4 starts in the World Series (got a ring anyways with Florida). -11 OPS+ as a 'hitter' so no bonus there either. 6 All-Star appearances is good but not 'wow' by any stretch (Dave Stieb had 7 iirc). A very good career but nothing to make it stand out from dozens of others.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 07:15 PM EST (#392811) #
You know something, I'll take Pillar on a one year deal for 2021 and put that savings towards pitching or Realmuto and trade the surplus catching. He had a sneaky good year last year and would compliment this line up.
scottt - Thursday, December 17 2020 @ 07:29 PM EST (#392812) #
Bradley should go for 2 cheap years. I assume that's the backup plan for the outfield.
Not that many teams looking for CF and Boston can just move the guys they have.

The backup plan at catcher is too keep what we have.

There's a lot of possible starting pitchers and infielders out there also.
Any guy who can deliver 2WAR would do.

One of the 4 impact players available and some role players to shore the weak spots.

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