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So, Kim goes to SD, as does Snell and Darvish - glad the Jays aren't in that division. All other NL West teams should look at doing a dump and run. So now what?

Jays clearly are after an infielder - ideally a star level one or a very young one with potential for that.  Young potential stars are normally impossible to trade for so lets look at what is possible...
  • Free Agents
    • DJ LeMahieu - mostly at 2B but 11 games at 3B last year and 52 in 2019 so he is flexible.  Coming off a career year with the bat (177 OPS+, career 102) and going into his age 32 season (so any long term deal carries a lot of risk - most players are in serious decline around 32 and keep dropping, sometimes off a cliff - see Roberto Alomar 150 OPS+ at 33, 90 at 34, 80 at 35, just 56 games at 36 and done).  He will be expensive as he wants to stay in NY, but stealing a star from the Yankees is very appealing on the surface (weaken them, strengthen the Jays).  He is demanding $100 mil over 5 years (wayyyy too much). 
    • Tomoyuki Sugano - star pitcher in Japan (sub 2 ERA many times) who is projected to sign here for $24 mil over 3 years which I'd take in a second.  Entering his age 31 season, he rarely walks anyone (1.8 BB/9 lifetime) K's a fair number (8.0 K/9 lifetime), and keeps the ball in the park (0.6 HR/9 lifetime).  Rumored final teams in the race are SF Giants, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and (of course) the San Diego Padres.  Decision has to happen soon or he goes back to Japan for 2021.
    • J.T. Realmuto - the catcher the Jays are still rumored to be after (I see him as a 'if we can't sign anyone else, lets upgrade behind the plate).  123 OPS+ last year, 111 lifetime, entering age 30 season, over 100 games in 5 straight seasons pre-2020 so fairly durable.  Gold glove in 2019, lots to like.  But asking for $125 over 5 which is a bit rich given we have decent young options already behind the plate.
    • Trevor Bauer - the star of this offseason, a real #1 pitcher who apparently wants a shorter term contract, as short as 1 season.  Entering his age 30 season, a 3-5 year deal would be reasonable, but he will want $30 mil+ a year.
    • George Springer - a CF who can hit.  140 OPS+ last year, 131 lifetime, positive dWAR lifetime and the past 2 seasons, but gets a fair amount of time in RF each year too.  Entering his age 31 season.  Houston, Mets, and the Jays are the favorites for him.  5 years $125 is what is expected to be needed to get him.
    • Masahiro Tanaka - a solid starter with a 114 ERA+ lifetime, 120 last year, the Yankees don't seem too interested in re-signing him for some reason (low BB/9, decent K/9, high HR/9).  One site projects 4 years $52 mil, another 3 years $39 mil.  So we know the ballpark and I'd grab him at those prices.  Yankees are still expected to sign him in the end, with the Angels, White Sox, Jays, Phillies, Red Sox seen as possible destinations.  Maybe even the Cubs if they decide to replace Yu Darvish.
    • Justin Turner - appears nearly ideal - older 3B (entering age 36 season) who hits a ton (135 OPS+ last year, 128 lifetime) with decent defense (slight negative on UZR/150 but over 0 lifetime), but he wants to stay in LA.  Was projected at 2 years $24 mil but is demanding a 3rd year right now.
    • Liam Hendriks - an odd one to see the Jays chasing (as they are reported to be) as he is a closer who used to be here.  Last 2 years saw a combined 13.1 K/9 vs 2.0 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 over 110 IP and a sub 2 ERA.  He'd make the pen that much more solid but, like Realmuto, seems to be overkill given the decent in house options vs the ugly ones at 3B/CF/SP.  Entering his age 32 season he seems to be likely to cost 3 years $30 mil which isn't a bad deal all things considered.
    • Jackie Bradley Jr.- long rumored to be a target, solid in CF for defense but just a 94 OPS+ lifetime (118 last year) appears to be costing a 2 year $16 mil deal which isn't bad at all imo.  But clearly a plan B or C guy.
    • Many others are out there like SS Marcus Semien, SP James Paxton (often injured), Taijuan Walker (did well for us in 2020), and many, many others who all would be plan C or lower for the Jays I hope.
    • Kolten Wong - like Bradley is a plan C I figure, great D, no offense (94 OPS+ lifetime, 87 last year).  Entering his age 30 season, he was released by the Cardinals ($1 mil buyout vs $12.5 mil option).  So he would be probably under $10 mil per on a 1 or 2 year deal. Very affordable.
  • Trades
    • Francisco Lindor - the one that would cost a fortune in all respects - at least 3 top prospects plus $300+ million over 10+ years.  Massive risk, but just entering his age 27 season as a gold glove, silver slugging SS.  4+ WAR every season but 2020 (pace of 3.0), peak of 7.8 WAR.  A wow player no matter how you cut it but the cost is high.
    • Trevor Story - Rockies need to face reality, they are in the NL West with 2 monsters right now so rebuild is smart and Story has just 1 year left on his deal.  Entering his age 28 season he won't be cheap either, but should be less than Lindor both in prospects and long term deal due to being 1 year older and a bit less of a player (still star level).  114 OPS+ lifetime, 118 last year.
    • Nolan Arenado - Rockies again, Entering his age 30 season with a 120 OPS+ lifetime but just a 84 last year (ugh) but still a gold glover at 3B.  He has a long term deal through 2026 for $35 per year but 'just' $32 and $27 the last 2 years.  He does have an opt out after 2021 but hard to imagine him using it (risking $199 mil less the $35 for 2021).  Before 2020 he would've been untouchable, now they want to dump him.  Colorado has been sub 500 and 4th out of 5 teams the past 2 years in the NL West and no one expects that to improve anytime soon. 
    • I'm sure there are dozens of other possibilities but these seem the strongest right now (and most talked about).  Basically take any decent high priced player on any non-contender and the Jays are probably looking at them.
Hopefully this thread will be out of date quickly and the Jays get one or more of these players so we have something to really talk about.  Who would you give up in a trade among the Jays top 5 prospects?  How many would you give up for Lindor (assuming he signs an extension)?  For Story (same condition)?  Would you give up anything of value for Arenado?  How much for each of the prized free agents?  I'd go to 3 years for Turner knowing the 3rd year is a likely write off (I figure he could move to DH/1B if needed or be a backup 3B/1B/DH in year 3).  $125 for Springer or Realmuto, $100 for LeMathieu?  It will be interesting to see what happens with Sugano (should be the next to sign) and Tanaka (since the Yankees are ignoring him it seems based on various sites) either of whom would be nice #2's.
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85bluejay - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 04:39 AM EST (#392959) #
I think any team that signs DJ LeMahieu except the Yankees will regret that deal - he hits really well at home and his swing takes advantage of that short porch in RF.

-Try to give away Grichuk (maybe Atlanta if Ozuna signs elsewhere) and Roark.
-See if the Reds really need to cut payroll- what would Castillo cost if the Jays take Mike Moustakas's entire contract and stick him at 3B.
-Engage Pittsburgh about Joe Musgrove.
-Engage Cleveland about Carlos Carrasco (it might cost Gurriel and I'm ok with that)
-I expect Springer to the Mets, so sign Bradley to platoon with Davis to improve outfield defense.
-I'd like Sugano but I also expect a west coast or New York signing.
-I'd somehow like to get Michael Brantley's bat into the Jays lineup.
-sign Profar to be multipositional backup

RF - Hernandez
CF - Bradley/Davis
LF - Brantley
1B - Guerrero
2b - Biggio
ss - Bichette
3B - Moustakas or Didi Gregorius
DH - Tellez
C - Jansen/McGuire

Rotation
Ryu
Castillo/Joe Musgrove
Carrasco
Garrett Richards/Walker/Sugano(wishful)/Paxton
Ray

It's a start.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 05:54 AM EST (#392961) #
There is pressure on this front office to simply get some big moves done. Similar to last season theyíre whiffing on the first round of moves, while San Diego is showing they can get things past the finished line.

I think it was a mistake to make a move for Ross Stripling instead of getting the Joe Musgrove deal done at the last deadline.
scottt - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 06:56 AM EST (#392962) #
I'd take Musgrove over Stripling, but not at any cost.

The Padres had a near decade of futility to build their farm system and they're spending a lot for a team getting competitive draft picks.

Machado 33.3M
Darvish 23M
Hosmer 20.8M
Will Myers 22.5M
Snell 11M
Pomeranz 8M

Right now they seem to be around 157M compared to 168M last year.

Maybe it pushes Cronenworth to LF or they are banking on having a DH.
Cronenworth is a proven left bat and I wouldn't get on Hosmer's bat.
Tommy Pham is their older  player at 32.

If anything, it might be putting pressure on the Dodgers to sign Bauer.
Incidentally, Bauer is unlikely to sign for a single season.
I think he'd do it for 40M, but otherwise, he's going to take as many 30M+ years as he can get.

I don't see any point in trading for a single year of Lindor or Story or for Arenado's monster contract.
If they really want to, the Jays can sign a free agent to a 10/300M contract next year without throwing away top prospects. Snell has 3 cheap years. Darvish makes only 20M in 2022 and 19M in 2023.
What's keeping Cleveland from signing Lindor to a 10/300M contract and trading him away later?
They're afraid they'll get stuck with the contract.

This is a down market and the best strategy is to invest in players who will be forced to sign for a discount.
They just need to get one elite veteran who can have a greater positive impact on the team than Caleb Joseph.

Even if LeMahieu goes back to New York, helping him get more money will be a victory as the Yankees needs 2 or 3 starters and are close to their 3rd year over the luxury tax threshold.

Thomas - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 07:38 AM EST (#392963) #
All other NL West teams should look at doing a dump and run.

The Dodgers may disagree this approach.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 09:11 AM EST (#392964) #
SD is getting stronger by spending money and prospect capitol. A high number of wins will generate more revenue.

I expect the Jays to do something similar but not that big when the time is right.
scottt - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 09:26 AM EST (#392965) #
Well, maybe they think they'll have fans in the seats in April.
I fully expect every team to be deeply in the red this year.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 09:45 AM EST (#392966) #
Profit/loss is a factor. There are probably other factors as well. Maybe getting into the playoffs and winning the WS, even in covid times. But what are the priorities?
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 10:24 AM EST (#392967) #
The Dodgers may disagree this approach.

I concur wholeheartedly this view. Solidarity in the with-free movement for 2021.

It wouldn't shock me at all if Austin Martin is the third baseman on the big club for most of next year. He turns 22 in March, and I am going to assume that the development he had in camp last year was pretty much equivalent to the low minors work he would have had in the second half of 2020. 

Alex Bregman was called up in late July of the year after his draft, but really could have been called up in June after dominating double A for half a season.  Bregman started off his major league career hitting .053/.143/.053 after 10 games before taking off (a reminder about patience!). Martin's batting record in the SEC was better than Bregman's. 
John Northey - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 10:48 AM EST (#392968) #
My dump and run was implying that is due to the Dodgers as well as the Padres. With Two monsters in a division it gets very hard to make the playoffs as we've seen with Yankees and Red Sox for years and with a 3rd team in the Rays who keep sneaking up on everyone with no budget.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 11:10 AM EST (#392969) #
Agreed John N. Atkins should not have said anything. Impact player created high expectations for me because Ryu was a successful impact player acquisition.
scottt - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 11:12 AM EST (#392970) #
Somehow, I'm not worried about the Giants.
The Rockies have always been more a curiosity than a successful club and Arizona has been playing yo-yo for years.

Diamondbacks results
2010 65-97 5th
2011 94-68 1st
2012 81-81 3rd
2013 81-81 2nd
2014 64-98 5th
2015 79-83 3rd
2016 69-93 4th
2017 93-69 2nd
2018 82-80 3rd
2019 85-77 2nd
2020 25-35 5th

They could easily sneak through in a couple of years.
It's going to be interesting to see how long the Padres can stay near the top.
They don't operate quite like the Rays.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 11:22 AM EST (#392971) #
When AA traded for Rasmus he got a stud. He gave up relievers and role players. Nothing elite or even young. Just useful quantity. St Louis gave up the stud player but at least no real sting due to the WS title.
johnny was - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 11:22 AM EST (#392972) #
Matching up with Cincy for Moustakas, or perhaps better yet Eugenio Suarez, and Sonny Gray would probably be a decent move to salvage the off-season. In an event, we're about to find out very soon how much the front office valued being a playoff team for about 23 hours in 2020.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 11:36 AM EST (#392973) #
I wouldn't characterize Kolten Wong as "no offense".  From 2017-2020, he has hit .273/.356/.398.  It's about league average, which is pretty good for a fine-fielding second-baseman. 

Which pitcher of the following three would you prefer to have, assuming dollar values are not significant?  Tanaka, Walker or Sugano. ZiPS would probably have all three in a comparable range (it has Tanaka and Walker at about the same numbers- with Walker having the better ERA and Tanaka more innings). 
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 12:24 PM EST (#392974) #
"When AA traded for Rasmus he got a stud".

I'll agree that AA didn't give up much for Colby Rasmus, bpoz, and even received Brian Tallet, who was a useful pitcher, in the deal, too, but I would never classify Rasmus as a stud. In fact, if you look at Rasmus's stats and Randall Grichuk's, you'll see that Grichuk's is a bit better both hitting and fielding wise, and I haven't seen anybody on here call Grichuk a stud.

I did like Colby Rasmus but he just seemed like a player whose head or heart or maybe both weren't completely in the game. In his one playoff appearance he was 4 for 9 batting so you wonder if he played with playoff intensity all the time what kind of player he might have been.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 12:33 PM EST (#392975) #
One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the effect of last year on pitchers. Even the top of rotation guys just pitched 60-80 inning range. The players union wants a full season while team managements want less. Will pitchers be able to throw double or more the amount of innings this year without injury? I can see having at least 8 to 10 major league starting pitchers available as a necessity.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 12:55 PM EST (#392976) #
San Diego's chase seems a lot like the Jays 2012-13 offseason where they got Reyes, Buehrle, Dickey, Johnson, etc. at a big farm system cost. Didn't help. Some really bad deals in retrospect too (Gomes for Rogers for example, in addition to the well known Syndergaard for Dickey). Increased wins by 1 from 2012, no playoffs. However, it did put in a base for 2015/16. San Diego has the advantage of being in a much better position to start, but like the Jays back then they have a monster in their division in the Dodgers vs the Yankees for us. Funny thing is in 2012 the Red Sox finished behind the Jays, the Jays did all the moves, the Red Sox won the division in 2013. It would be funny if the Padres fell back in 2021 (injuries, guys getting old) and someone else, like say, the Diamondbacks, ended up winning the division.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 01:06 PM EST (#392977) #
The Jays were likely on Darvish's no-trade list or I think they could have matched offer (which was significant but no studs). One of Springer or DJM and another pitcher or two and I'll be very happy with the off-season.
Parker - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 01:07 PM EST (#392978) #
As well, it was partly a trade of addition by deletion for St. Louis. The Cardinals had Jon Jay to take over in CF and Rasmus had a reputation for being uncoachable (other than by his father) and clashed frequently with "universally-respected" manager Tony LaRussa.

I remember being excited about that trade because like ISLAND BOY said, the issues with Rasmus always seemed to be mental and I was hoping he just needed a change of scenery. He turned out okay, but Jon Jay actually did a lot more for the Cardinals than Rasmus did for the Blue Jays. I always wondered if Jay was discussed in the Rasmus trade talks, or if the Cards (or the Jays) had already made up their minds about which one they wanted.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 01:33 PM EST (#392979) #
For me (8 years later) AA was young but did not lack confidence. He was the ninja!! All of the media were drooling at his great moves. It did not work.

Elite talent that was approaching its past due date. The payroll parameters were strained. Injuries happened. But were they unexpected?

That covers the Miami and Dickey trades. To continue ... Stroman out in 2015 ST due to unexpected injury. But on the positive Donaldson got better in Toronto and the player cost did not amount to much. Donaldson's salary was also good. Fantastic 2015/16 seasons due to a lot going right. Unlike 2017/18.

For 2017/18 many Bauxites accurately predicted an older Jays team being injury prone.

How about the farm. AA inherited a weak farm from JPR. AA built it and traded a lot of it. Shapiro inherited a decent farm and improved it. Both AA & Shapiro are using the Int'l market for a strong farm. Seems like they know how to make a strong farm.

How about Oakland they went down and rebuilt. They are good now.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 02:06 PM EST (#392980) #
Last year of our FO's contracts.

Re-sign them?

Y or N?
hypobole - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 05:14 PM EST (#392981) #
Shapiro Y
Atkins N
scottt - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 05:39 PM EST (#392982) #
Rasmus vs Grichuk is an interesting comparison.

Rasmus could always play center field. He was ran out of St-Louis because he didn't want to listen to the coaches.
He kept his dad as his personal coach.
Grichuk doesn't quite run well enough to be in center. He's not the type who dives to make spectacular play, but neither was Rasmus. Grichuk has holes in his swing but he does listen to the coaches and work hard.
Totally different guys in the clubhouse.

Eephus - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 05:48 PM EST (#392983) #
One advantage of the Rasmus trade was that it freed us from the Corey Patterson Experience.

I can see how they're comparable hitters (Rasmus and Grichuk): easy power, low batting average/OBP guys with pounds of strikeouts. Defensively it's not even close, Rasmus was a legitimate CF when he was here and rather smooth to watch, Grichuk is a solid RF imitating a CF. I also found Colby's personality far more appealing than Randal's, but that's just me.
scottt - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 05:52 PM EST (#392984) #
The Cubs fans seem pretty upset.
In 2013, the Jays bought from a small market team.
This week, the Padres bought from a big market team that didn't seem out of contention on paper.

Winning is probably one thing that could make more free agents want to come to Toronto.
It's been a while since 92-93.

The package for Darvish had 2 outfielders. The Jays don't have many of those.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 06:06 PM EST (#392985) #
Eephus, I did look up the stats when I made the Rasmus/Grichuk comparison and Grichuk has a career .990 fielding percentage compared to Rasmus at .985 %. Stats may show that Rasmus had more range but for all he looked more like a centerfielder, he doesn't seem better than Grichuk.

Justin Smoak is signing in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants for 6 or 7 million. Good luck, Smoakey!
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 06:26 PM EST (#392986) #
Shapiro I'd re-sign for sure.

Atkins I don't think it matters. In fact I think he might be an automaton.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 06:29 PM EST (#392987) #
Renew Shapiro and replace Atkins, not because he's bad but because someone else who can challenge Shapiro will be better.
Eephus - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 07:30 PM EST (#392988) #
Grichuk has a career .990 fielding percentage compared to Rasmus at .985 %

And Danny Valencia had a career .994 fielding percentage as an outfielder. Granted, I prefer guys who make fewer errors over the Teoscars and Derek Fishers of the world, but I think with outfielders and that particular type of sample size... a bit more information, statistical or visual, is required to reach a conclusion. To each their own, I'm no expert on advanced defensive stats regardless.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 08:30 PM EST (#392989) #
I'd renew Shapiro and listen to what he had to say about Atkins.  The substantive decision-making has been pretty good. I have no idea whether Shapiro is happy with what Atkins has done- I am guessing that he is.
subculture - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 08:46 PM EST (#392990) #
I enjoy reading this forum and rarely post, but have to vent about the Jays not signing Kim. If reports are true that he wanted to, and would have signed here with a clause preventing demotion to the minor leagues (that every other team offered), then I don't know what the Jays were thinking. If you believe enough in a player to offer 4+ years and at least 30 million, and that player is willing to sign with you despite having to move from SS, you don't let this sink the deal. The upside is far greater than the downside.. Kim is an established still-improving star player leaving his country and uprooting his family, and he isn't risking a slump putting him in the minors. Unlike with almost every other free agent, the Jays had an advantage over most teams with Ryu already here, and a strong local Korean population. Even if Kim's bat turns out to be only league average, his other tools on defence and speed apparently will play very well and keep him in the lineup. Put him and/or Biggio at 2nd/3rd, develop Austin Martin as a CF and you have a young core at every position with upside. Instead it's looking like the Jays will be lucky if they overpay Springer or Bauer and convince him to take our money. When Shapiro and Atkins started talking big this off-season, I was glad to hear it but also wondering if it was wise for them do so... not only cart before the horse, but what was the advantage in talking about it (except to generate some positive PR). I mostly think they have done a decent job with the Jays, but in this aspect I think AA's ninja stealth would have made more sense. I hope I'm proven wrong, but think they really whiffed on Kim.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 09:27 PM EST (#392991) #
The farm systems are always a crap shoot - you can't know how good they really are until years later. How much was inherited from the past GM, how much is the current one?

Focus on mostly the young ones, Current Roster...
  • AA drafted: Davis, Tellez, Jansen, SRF, Murphy, Borucki
  • Atikins drafted: Bichette, Biggio, Zeuch, Pearson
  • AA amateur free agent: Vlad
  • Atikins amateur Free Agent: Kirk, Gurriel
  • AA traded for: no one on the current roster afaik
  • Atikins traded for: Hernandez, Grichuk, Espinal, Waguespack, Thornton, Stripling, Merryweather, Kay, Hatch, and others
More of AA's drafting still kicking than one would expect given it has been 5 full seasons - you'd think they'd all be fully developed now but SRF is still a work in progress, and we are just starting to figure out Vlad, Jansen, Tellez, and others. Also more of Atikins up here already producing than one would expect given it has been just 5 years. Looking at 2015 I see Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, Ryan Goins, Brett Cecil, Drew Hutchison from the JPR drafts (mostly 2009's). It'd be fun to do a real study on this and I might someday but not today. Of course, a GM who loves to trade would have fewer leftovers 5 years in than one who hates to trade.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 09:56 PM EST (#392992) #
I'd definitely renew Shapiro and from his interviews he's given every indication that it's a done deal but not yet publicly announced - Shapiro decides Atkins fate and I'd be shocked if Atkins is not back - I think Atkins really needs to improve his communication skills but has done a solid job - my biggest criticism of this FO so far was that they didn't start the retool after the 2016 season (and I mentioned this at that time) but we don't know if ownership wanted to keep the turnstiles moving.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 10:04 PM EST (#392993) #
Kim may become a solid MLB player but I would not have given him that clause preventing demotion to the minor leagues because I think he may need an adjustment period and it would put the team in a bind if he struggles initially - also I think that Jurickson Profar will outperform Kim over the next 3 years - so just go sign Profar for less money and come out ahead.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 29 2020 @ 10:16 PM EST (#392994) #
Hadn't considered Jurickson Profar. 113 OPS+ last year, 91 lifetime. Played LF/2B/RF/1B/CF/DH last year. SS was his #1 position in 2018, 3B in 2016 so he has tons of flexibility. 100+ at 2B & SS, 50+ at 3B/LF, 10+ at 1B/DH, a few games at RF/CF. He has started a game at all of those positions so it was never just a 'fill in for 3 innings' situation. Sounds like a guy Atikins would like that is for sure. Not a 'wow' guy but a solid one to have. I'd see him as a plan C or D.
scottt - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 06:38 AM EST (#392996) #
Kim is basically a top 100 prospect. Many of those need some time in the minors to make some adjustments.
Just look at Gurriel. Instead, if he struggles to hit, he'll be used as a defensive replacement.
The Jays, as a team, didn't hit the 96+mph fastballs very well. Kim hasn't seen many of those.

The Jays still have 2 top 100 prospects who can play 3rd base, Martin and Groshans.

Reports are that Bauer is looking for 36-40M, 4 to 6 years.

Glevin - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 08:59 AM EST (#392997) #
It's hard to know what happened with Kim but I will say two things. First, if that's what he got, it's clear nobody loved him too much. Every team likes a bargain and Padres didn't pay much. Any team could have offered more easily. Second, a clause not to be able to be sent to the minors is huge for a team that wants to compete. What happens if Kim struggles out of the gate? You just have to keep him in the roster and not play him? Anyway, this to me is a case of trusting the team because we don't know what happened. If the Jays thought Kim was going to be a stud, they would have signed him.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 09:12 AM EST (#392998) #
Shapiro and Atkins are a modern front office with collaboration, joint decisions, etc... so it's hard to seperate them for the baseball decisions. I think you resign Shapiro and let him decide if he's happy with Atkins. I think the team is in a good place long-term with some great young talent, a deep system and no onerous contracts.(Grichuk contract is bad, but it's not going to stop the Jays from doing anything). Next couple of seasons will be key to see if the team can make the next leap. I mean, this team completely rebuilt after 2016 with an old team with very few prospects and in 2020, made the playoffs (and not because they were expanded) so that is a pretty good turnaround.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 10:29 AM EST (#392999) #
We don't have a Hall of Fame thread, so I'll post this here.  It's a fascinating year for the ballot.  Here's Jay Jaffe's ballot and reasoning. 

My ballot: Bonds, Clemens, Rolen, Schilling,  Andruw Jones, Helton, Abreu, Sheffield, and Pettitte.  The only players who clearly qualify on baseball merit are Bonds, Clemens, Rolen and Schilling.   I don't choose players who I believe would not have made the cut without the use of steroids- McGwire, Ramirez, Sosa....  In my view, Bonds and Clemens are players who qualify easily prior to their known use of steroids. As for Schilling's reprehensible views on everything from hanging journalists to vaccination to transgender rights, I'd rather that he be remembered as a great baseball player who helped his team win and held those views. While the Hall is at it, it can expand its coverage to the other better side of baseball with help from Ichiro Suzuki, Billy Bean, Hank Aaron and many others.

For the close cases, I use the following principles.  I don't believe that you should be bound by unwise previous decisions- the standards for relievers are way too low is one example.  While Billy Wagner was a great reliever, he was not a great player.  Post-season performance matters- Pettitte delivered enough extra value in the playoffs to push him just over the line while Buehrle (sadly) did not.  Incidentally, it was only 11 innings, but Wagner stunk it up in the post-season.  It's one of the things about closers- with the exception of Mariano Rivera, none really added significant value in the playoffs although if anything the role ought to be more valuable.  Buehrle and Jeff Kent are short of my Hall bar.

So, like Jay Jaffe, I end up with nine players on my ballot for the first time in probably a decade. 


subculture - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 11:40 AM EST (#393000) #
I understand the reasons why teams would want the ability to send someone to the minors, but exceptions sometimes make sense. The analogy is not perfect but very few proven MLB players would sign a contract with a KBO team if there was a chance they would end up in the Korea Baseball Futures League (their minor leagues).
Now that SD has signed Kim, Profar likely is available and I think he would be a decent switch-hitting option for the Jays. Though apparently after 2 shoulder surgeries his defence is diminished and speed is only average. Despite his #1 overall draft status, his upside is now well below Kim's imo. However, the only way he comes to the Jays is if they overpay him (either extra $ or year) so this is unlikely too. Which was my point about Kim... he was the rare option where an overpay was not required.
Stating he is a top 100 prospect is accurate but for the money SD and the Jays offered, they clearly think he is closer to a top 20 than a top 90-100. Sign the guy and if he clearly struggles to adapt, diplomatically work with him to find a solution... at only age 25 he's going to realize spending his career as a rarely used utility man is not what he came over for. Another big picture benefit is that your ace Ryu would actually have someone to talk to, and eat delicious food with on road trips ;)
bpoz - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 11:46 AM EST (#393001) #
Sometimes it is said that the Jays are a big market team.

Based on payroll NYY & LAD outspend them. Prior to LAD winning the 2020 WS I think they were desperate to own a title. That only leaves NYY as desperate IMO. Huge fanbases and the revenue that goes with it don't like to do a rebuild. NYY did a V fast rebuild by trading A Miller and A Chapman.

The Jays did a rebuild (95 losses in 2019). The rebuild is not yet complete IMO. Boston lost in 2020 because the luxury tax was more important than winning.

Over the last 5 years the whole AL except NYY, Boston, Cleveland and Houston were rebuilding. Cleveland is now rebuilding by trading expensive players. It should be quick IMO. Practically all the NL somehow rebuilt. Pittsburg did by trading for C Archer as proof IMO. Cincy got Bauer. Arizona signed Bumgarner, Rockies Arenado. Now there may be about 5 NL rebuilders.

Successfully opening the window is good for revenue except TB. A playoff race until the last week or 2 should generate revenue. Going far into the playoffs will also generate revenue. Few teams have gone far into the playoffs. NYY, Boston, Houston, Cleveland and the Jays (2016). Therefore really don't expect it.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 12:20 PM EST (#393002) #
Keeping Shapiro long-term is a no brainer. If he wants to keep Atkins around, which I assume he will, then that's fine with me as well. I wouldn't be against trying to upgrade on Atkins, but I think he's done fine overall. Despite not starting the rebuild sooner (which was likely out of his hands), they were able to right the ship within three seasons (with only one outright tanking year), and are now in a pretty good spot for long-term success.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 12:43 PM EST (#393003) #
Regarding Atkins and Shapiro: Who actually got the Ryu signing done? I remember Beesten got the Clemens signing done. Atkins was not involved when LaCava signed Happ and Estrada. I thought the 2016 draft was a good one, Atkins and his draft team should get credit for that.

Atkins only made significant trades this past trade deadline. He needed SPs and got 3 in Ray, Walker and Stripling. Atkins also kept spending low. They are probably a group of some kind. Shapiro at the top then many branches from Atkins downward.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 01:58 PM EST (#393004) #
"I understand the reasons why teams would want the ability to send someone to the minors, but exceptions sometimes make sense. The analogy is not perfect but very few proven MLB players would sign a contract with a KBO team if there was a chance they would end up in the Korea Baseball Futures League (their minor leagues)."

Because major leaguers are way better than KBO players. There are only a handful of players from the KBO who would make the majors at all and every players in the majors and most in AAA would be good enough for the KBO. I mean, Mel Rojas Jr was the best hitter in the league last year. The comparison doesn't make sense.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 02:11 PM EST (#393005) #
I was really hoping for Kim to come here, and am disappointed in the end result, but I think the Jays were wise to make demotion a red line. We've seen many players come from other leagues who didn't cut it right away and the Jays don't want to have a guy with a 150 average playing everyday if they can avoid it and they don't want to have a $30 mil investment sitting on the bench rotting. SD might regret putting that clause in.

As to the Jays management team - I'm impressed - from 2016 to 2020 they took apart a team and rebuilt it - that is crazy fast, especially considering they didn't really get moving on the rebuilt until after 2018. Atikin's first draft produced Biggio, Bichette, and Zeuch. His next got Nate Pearson. The rest we need to see still, but the minors are ranked 7th according to MLB.com at mid-season 2020. So I'd say they are doing something right. Especially after the nightmarish Ash & JPR years (no playoffs, lots of messed up opportunities).
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 02:37 PM EST (#393006) #
It's hard to know how Kim's offence will translate.  Here's Jung Ho Kang's register from BBRef. Kang's slash line in his age 25 season in the KBO was .314/.413/.560 with a 71/78 W/K and a 21/5 SB/CS. In his age 24 season, Kang had hit .282/.353/.401. Kang played two more seasons in the KBO and increased his power at the expense of some strikeouts.  Kim slashed .306/.397/.523 with a 75/68 W/K and a 23/2 SB/CS in his age 24 season. It looks to me like he was slightly ahead of Kang (Kim's age 24 season was actually 6 months younger than Kang's age 25 season).

Kang delivered two good seasons in MLB (6 WAR in less than full-time play) before a knee injury after a nasty takeout slide and a series of DUIs derailed his career.  On the other hand, it looks to me like Kim maybe could use a little more high-level play- Kang did have those two years. 

I would have been glad had the Jays signed him, but I am not willing to describe the failure to do so as an error. 


PeterG - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 02:50 PM EST (#393007) #
An article just published in the NY Post says that Springer's decision will be made in January and is between 2 teams- the Mets and the jays
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 02:52 PM EST (#393008) #
If you compare the rebuild to other teams, the Jays started theirs later than Detroit's and are far ahead. KC started theirs the same time and Jays are ahead, and the CWS started before and are ahead. So really they have generally outperformed 2 of the those four teams and are on par with the other.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 03:55 PM EST (#393009) #
What I really like about Shapiro and Atkins is that they have shown success prior to the 5 year mark. AA and Beeston, in my opinion, did not to a good job until after they were told they were being released at the end of the year, at which time they proceeded to sell some of the farm, get great players and make a run.

AA gets a lot of rope for being risky and forward thinking and generally almost all around better than any other GM the Jays had since Gillick. Generally though, he made risky trades that sometimes panned out and sometimes didn't. The biggest weakness of AA, in my opinion, was Beeston who would not allow him to spend any money on free agents. Despite not signing anyone, AA and Beeston always told us "Rogers has given us as much money as we want." The one time they opened up the purse strings (before not having their own contracts renewed), AA and Beeston made probably the worst trade, taking on all of those Miami players and finishing worse off the following year. It's since been leaked that the Jays never accepted the offer until after Miami leaked the trade and put pressure through media and fans for the Jays to push the deal through...

I really don't want to hear a bunch of people defending how great AA is. I also think he was great but I like Shapiro's approach better and feel Beeston was a dinosaur preventing AA from doing special things.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 03:59 PM EST (#393010) #
CBS Sports is saying Springer and Mets are still far apart. Sounds like he's giving the Mets time to match or beat the Blue Jays offer, if both reports are accurate.
johnny was - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 04:12 PM EST (#393011) #
My inner pessimist reads that as a 100% chance he signs with the Mets...

We shall see about Kim Ha-seong soon enough. If he produces like pre-injury Kang, it will have been money well spent by the Padres and our loss. There are a couple of reasons I'm sour. First, I still have AA's lament about not pursuing Aroldis Chapman more aggressively ringing in my ears a decade after the fact. Second, you could make an argument that the shrewdest signing this FO was made was when they dipped into the international market and got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for seven years at $22 million. Promising overseas players don't cost goofy money anymore thanks to the Daisuke Matsuzakas and Rusney Castillos of the world. Is the $25 million spread out over four years the Padres gave Kim even a gamble any more? That's about what the Jays were going to pay out to Tanner Roark and Randal Grichuk heading into last season alone.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 04:26 PM EST (#393012) #
Shoeless, I am not sure that the White Sox are ahead of the Jays once you adjust for the very different strength of the divisions.  We'll probably get a better idea this year. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 06:37 PM EST (#393013) #
If your inner pessimist is right johnny was you have my admiration.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 06:55 PM EST (#393014) #
The White Sox had 4 position players with a higher WAR than the Jays best and their #5 and #6 leaders were tied with the Jays #1 and #2 respectively. Luis Robert
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 07:42 PM EST (#393015) #
I know, Shoeless. WAR does not adjust for strength of competition, and the difference between  the Centrals one one hand and the Easts and Wests was very large. With no play outside the division, it's extremely hard to compare player performance except within the 3 zones.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 07:49 PM EST (#393016) #
Accuracy of defence stats with WAR is also off the rails.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 10:08 PM EST (#393017) #
With WAR I try to be careful about not letting single season take any control. It is long term it is useful for - like comparing how the farm does one year vs another year, or to give broad strokes on deciding great players. IE: a sub 50 WAR player should never get in the HOF (sadly many have) and a 70+ one should always get in (sadly some are not) while inbetween you get the argument cases (great peak short career like Roy Halladay, great longevity but no peak like Don Sutton, very very good but not 'wow' like Tony Pťrez, etc.)

One season WAR gives freak show stats like John Olerud cracking 7 twice (1993 here, 1998 in NY), but otherwise his peak was 5.6. Or Lloyd Moseby 1984 with 2.3 defensive WAR , otherwise never over 1.2.

For drafts you see clear spreads - Jays 2000 a disaster with just 1.4 WAR total thanks to 3 negatives and 2 positives (best 1.6 for Dustin McGowan) vs say, 2010 which is listed at 59.4 WAR but inflated by DNS Bryant and Chad Green (30 WAR between them) but still slaughters 2000 despite still growing (Syndergaard, Sanchez, Dyson all doing well) despite wasting the first pick on Deck McGuire (over Chris Sale among others...sigh, but better than the Rays who drafted the wrong Sale - Josh). The 1990 one produced just 9.9 WAR (Steve Karsay 11.2, a few negatives dragged it down, but he was key to the 1993 WS as he was traded for Rickey and nearly was traded for Randy Johnson...ah what could've been if Gillick wasn't so honest - had a handshake agreement for the Rickey trade when Seattle called agreeing to the deal for Johnson).
John Northey - Wednesday, December 30 2020 @ 10:26 PM EST (#393018) #
From what I'm reading about Springer is he wants $150 million over 6 years. Seems a high risk to take imo. $125 over 5 seemed risky enough but adding that 6th year for another $25 mil and you aren't getting any real COVID discount. He'd be great to have in CF, free up one of the other 3 OF'ers to be traded for pitching or infield help, but that is a lot to risk (plus a draft pick of course). The Jays can easily afford it though. I'd probably try to do a front loaded deal as 2021 and 2022 both run a risk of being shortened thus you'd pay out less then plus the Jays payroll those years will be more flexible than later once Bichette, Biggio, and Guerrero hit arbitration.

Should be interesting to see what happens. Jays and Mets the finalists (as others said above). If the Jays miss out expect a hard press on to get LeMahieu (and push up the price for the Yankees if the Jays fail to get him too), and if they miss out there then probably we'll see Realmuto end up here. The Bauer market has been super quiet lately - maybe due to his request for a five- to six-year accord worth $36MM to $40MM per season (no way any team is nuts enough to do that). 5 years $30 mil I could see, but not at $36-40.
bpoz - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 07:48 AM EST (#393019) #
I honestly don't think that we will succeed in signing any of the big FAs listed on our poll. IMO they don't want to come here and spending stupid is stupid.

TB does quite well in the ALE following a different plan.
scottt - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 08:32 AM EST (#393020) #
Trying to emulate the Rays make no sense. They have no attendance.
Their players like to spent the entire year in Florida and don't mind signing team friendly deals and they complain when they get traded.

Players are using the Jays to make other teams raise their offers.
That's what free agency is about. That's expected.
Springer and Realmuto are worth the money. LeMahieu is probably not, but it's close.
I don't see Bauer signing here for less than 40M per year.
Could be worth it, but very risky.

With both the Yankees and Rays cutting payroll and the Red Sox still trying to put a rotation together, this is a year in which overspending could be worth it.

bpoz - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 10:03 AM EST (#393021) #
Why do you think copying the Rays makes no sense? The basis of my argument below is that they avoid financial risk as much as possible and have players that have enough experience and talent. Morton was expensive. Supported /combined with Snell, Glasnow and Yarbrough for V good quantity of quality innings.

They won 97 games and the ALE in 2008. Since then they have competed quite well in the ALE.

Other teams have poached GMs and managers from their system and they don't seem effected.

I don't think since they started winning their drafts are super great. They do get extra picks because they are a poor team.

They trade their good players for multiple high valued prospects. Some work out and others don't I guess. They add talent via the draft and Int'l signings and spend money signing these acquisitions. They cannot have much in the way of super bad contracts because they don't give those out. Snell pitched 107 innings in 2019 so if healthy he would have been more valuable for the money he received. Trading Snell was them doing their thing.

M Margot for E Pagan was an exchange of inexpensive players to fill a need. Margot is a role player that is easily acquired and fitted in. More of a 4th OF. TB never wins the off season unless they were to make 2 + signings like Morton.

The opener strategy and moving someone like Derek Lowe into the OF/IF seems to work.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 11:00 AM EST (#393022) #
It's true that the Rays operate efficiently, bpoz, but their operational model isn't for everybody. It is smart to trade a player a year early rather than a year late ( eg. Josh Donaldson) but Tampa trades players still in their primes like a former Rookie-of-the -year, Will Myers, and now a former Cy Young winner in Blake Snell, who still has 3 years left on a very reasonable contract.

These trades can work out if the prospects turn into good players, but if they turn into good players they are immediately traded and the merry-go-round continues. How would the fan base in Toronto react if Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio get traded when they are 27 or 28 years old? The Rays won 96 games in 2019 and still drew 600,000 less fans than the Jays who lost 95 games. Either the continuing turnover of the roster alienates fans, or the residents of Tampa are too old and lethargic to attend games.

There's no reason in the world that the Jays need to copy the small market ( in attendance) Rays except in drafting and developing good young players. They play in a large market (normally), have a strong fan base, and can afford to pay their stars in their prime years and hopefully add a few good free agents. The Rays may continue to have success in what they do but it depends on trades like the Chris Archer fleecing of the Pirates. A few bad trades and drafts and a team can deteriorate pretty quickly.
Parker - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 11:07 AM EST (#393023) #
I wonder if the Jays could convince Tampa to give them Kiermaier.
John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 11:46 AM EST (#393024) #
I feel the Jays can't follow the Tampa modal as a big part of that is to trade stars for kids every chance you get. That works well for making a competitive team but doesn't work for building a fan base. Fans like to have players they know on the team. Oakland follows the same method (3 straight playoff appearances, 1 in the 20's, 5 in the 10's, 5 in the 00's - Billy Beane took over before the 1998 season) and has for a longer time. But since 2006 has cracked 2 million just once, barely (by 3k) in the 3rd year of playoff appearances in a row. In the same market as SF who cracked 3 million 9 years in a row before falling short of 3 mil in 2019. TV ratings say the A's in 2018 were sub 1 for ratings 18k households watching per game vs SF with a 3.9 rating 96k watching - a year the A's made the playoffs and the Giants were 4th out of 5 in their division after finishing dead last the year before with 98 losses. In the early Bean days before that cycle was made obvious they had 2+ million a year for 5 straight years (2001-2005) during a time when SF got 3 million a year. So it isn't just the Giants stealing all the fans but also finding ways to hold those fans.

So looking at that I'd say just winning isn't the formula for success - you need to engage the fans with players they know (my daughter is starting to lose interest in the Winnipeg Jets as players she cheered for a couple of years ago leave for example). That is why the Jays held onto Bautista a year longer than they should've, why they tried to overpay Encarnacion, why they held onto Donaldson too long. Not just trying to extend a playoff window but also to keep fans watching. Note that in 2017 the Jays had over 3 million in attendance, but after dropping all known players they dropped to sub 2 mil in 2019. That is why they marketed the heck out of Vlad (and now Bo & Biggio). They know fans want to have players they follow and cheer on for years. I know in the 80's the 'outfield of the 80's' was a big deal as was WAMCO in 1993 (Molitor the only new guy in that group). Toronto needs a winner, but holding onto fan favorites can help in TV ratings and attendance when things are slow. Trading them too soon can produce a fan base that stops caring. Tampa & Oakland have shown that (both win but cannot draw flies to games). The hardcore base will show up no matter what, and bandwagon fans come to some degree for a winner but if they know that everyone on that winner will be gone in a year or two Tampa & Oakland have proven the fans won't stick around either and will eventually just quit coming.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 12:07 PM EST (#393025) #
Kiermaier to the Jays (just taking on his contract) would be the move that would improve the team the most, easily. The defense, insane. The base running, insane. It would be like having two Biggio's on the team, just a veteran version with elite defense.
bpoz - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 12:15 PM EST (#393026) #
Thanks for the excellent responses to my suggestion about using the TB method. I actually knew the flaws in the TB method. Well explained thank you.

I forgot the point about the 2017 great attendance feeding off 2015/16. Thanks John N. Definitely a major factor. $$$$$.

Don't want to start any argument BUT R Halladay's starts did not improve attendance over another SP. This according to other Bauxites saying so. I believed. Winning anyway possible seems to generate fans and interest in Toronto. Also I followed Doc and Carpenter as EX Jays because I wanted to. D Wells too.

I willingly would accept and join in complaining about Carpenter's success with St Louis rather than the Jays. He was highly regarded unlike Woody Williams and M Young (Texas). Williams and Young had unexpected success.

bpoz - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 01:26 PM EST (#393027) #
In 2-3 years some of the position players will arrive. A Martin, Groshans, O Martinez all high potential. Now Kirk. 2021/22 Kevin Smith who could be solid with Ok power.

2021/22/23 the pitching should arrive and try to be closer to # 1/2 rather than 4s.

But why wait. Add something now. Stripling/Thornton can be traded in another off season for good talent if they produce at #3 over 2021-23. Just keep the flow going. We cannot contend without good talent.
John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 01:28 PM EST (#393028) #
Oh, I figured you knew that but I felt like checking that my gut was right too. As to individual stars, yeah, they don't jump attendance on their own. But I see it as a mix - you need that connection to build, but without winning the effect is minimal. Tampa & Oakland have shown that winning without building fan loyalty via player loyalty is also a losing strategy financially. You need both (see Jays of the 80's and early 90's - big turnover pre-1991 but fans accepted it was needed and some were still kept like Gruber who was a fan favorite before he seemed to be hurt all the time at some point in 92, Olerud who gained a lot of fans quickly, Stieb & Key both kept in rotation, Henke/Ward in pen).
Eephus - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 01:30 PM EST (#393029) #
Poaching Kiermaier from the Rays (an agreeable Plan B if George Springer decides to go to Queens) got me thinking first how a trade like that would work, but then mulling again about Jackie Bradley. Kiermaier and JBJ are almost exactly the same age (born within three days of each other in April 1990), are both left-handed batters with notable platoon splits (Kiermaier slightly more so) and are stellar defensive outfielders. Defensive WAR seems to love Kiermaier way more, though JBJ is of course no slouch either.

Assuming you acquire Kiermaier as a salary dump (unlikely and even so... the Rays will Rays it up and turn someone like Kevin Smith or Chavez Young into Arozarena) and considering JBJ only costs money not prospects... I'd lean toward Bradley Jr, assuming he isn't looking for 14 million bucks a year or something (KK is owed about 23 for the next two seasons plus a team option). Kiermaier is the better player (though a slightly lesser bat), but he's also been injury prone in the past while Bradley Jr. has been able to appear in 80 percent of his teams' games the last five seasons. 

I'd be content with either to be honest., but forget that just go get Springer.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 01:33 PM EST (#393030) #
Has anybody ever suggested signing a big name for the sake of increasing attendance and profit? I believe it's implicit and obvious that any suggestion to go after a big name goes without saying that the expectation is for the wins to go up to attract the fans, not for more fans to watch a losing team with a great player on it. I've never seen any poster make that claim here in the 15 or so years I've been reading here. I've only read lots of posters arguing against the suggestion (which I've never seen suggested).
John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 01:34 PM EST (#393031) #
Agreed on the flow bpoz - the Jays need to build up and pay attention to how it was done in the 80's/early 90's - build up the minors and trade from strength (McGriff/Fernandez ready to be replaced by Olerud/Lee for example) while still chasing talent (Delgado an amateur free agent ala Vlad for example) and watching for steals (White was viewed poorly by his team for whatever reason, thus they took Junior Felix for him). But be careful to not get into the Ash trap (meh talent at many spots, overpay to keep someone, trade in panic mode).
John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 02:00 PM EST (#393032) #
Kiermaier is very tempting - he has averaged 2 dWAR a year in his career despite cracking 100 games only 4 times in 8 years. Compare that to Grichuk in CF (negative dWAR) and you have 2-3 wins right there and a much happier pitching staff. His contract would be a non-issue to the Jays ($13 per over 2 years or 3 years at $12 mil per roughly - 3rd year is a team option). If the Rays are willing to let him go at a reasonable price I'd jump on it. JBJ is good (0-1 dWAR a year) but not Kiermaier level. Kiermaier is Devon White level good out there (White, with less advanced metrics, averaged just shy of 2 dWAR a year here).
bpoz - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 02:02 PM EST (#393033) #
Hardly any chat about the pen at the moment. Back in the Joey Mac days I learned to be tense. Shilling expressed tense V well when Mitch Williams (?) took the mound. Tyler Clippard brought back bad memories of bases clearing HRs.

Same old, same old except for the new math.
John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 03:14 PM EST (#393034) #
I'm guessing most of us feel fairly safe about the pen right now - Dolis did well if a bit wild, a few kids could fill in slots nicely, plus the Jays generally have done well putting in a group of good arms and seeing who could do it. Right now we have Ryu/Roark/Ray/Pearson/Stripling in the rotation (lets say), with Merryweather, Thornton, Hatch, Zeuch, Borucki, Yamaguchi, Kay, Waguespack, Romano, SRF, Murphy, Perez and whoever is given a NRI this spring all fighting for slots. That is 12 guys+ for 7 or 8 bullpen slots. Not bad. Plus if/when the Jays sign more pitching help that number fighting will increase. Liam Hendriks might come back but would you want to blow $10+ mil a year on a closer for 3 years?
85bluejay - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 03:53 PM EST (#393035) #
Including his buyout, Kiermaier is owed about $26M, while MLB Trade Rumors is projecting Bradley at 2/16 and you don't have to give up any assets for Bradley, so Bradley is an easy call for me.
scottt - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 04:01 PM EST (#393036) #
Tampa is the opposite of Toronto. Everybody wants to play in Tampa. The taxes are low.
There is no winter. Wives have no problems with moving to Tampa.

scottt - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 04:09 PM EST (#393037) #
Martin was a god in Quebec.
It's pretty clear that signing him increased sales.
Rogers even had the Jays play the last 2 pre-season games at the big O to showcase Martin every year he was here.
And catcher was not a real weakness. They needed outfielders and starting pitchers.

I can't think of anybody that would have a similar appeal.
The Big Maple would be alright, but I don't think they'd play a spring series in Vancouver.

hypobole - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 04:11 PM EST (#393038) #
Has anybody ever suggested signing a big name for the sake of increasing attendance and profit?

I did, last off-season.

dalimon, I agree with you that it's not a smart idea - in 99% of cases. But last off-season for the Jays was unique. Attendance had plummeted. The new FO was absolutely reviled by sizable portion on the fanbase and especially the casual fanbase. And in Toronto, that casual fanbase is huge. They are the difference between 1.5 million and 3.5 million attendance figures. This isn't Atlanta where 3 90 loss seasons in a row still brings in 2 million fans per season, but winning the division twice in a row only added just over half a million.

The "Sh**kins" narrative was one of outsiders replacing the beloved AA with little interest in spending or winning. The new FO absolutely had to change that narrative and the Big name needed to be added to do so.

John Northey - Thursday, December 31 2020 @ 04:27 PM EST (#393039) #
Kiermaier - peak 7.1 WAR, 1.7 last year, over 2 every year otherwise (except his 1 game audition his first season), UZR/150 30.7 last year, 15.8 lifetime.
Bradley - peak 5.8 bWAR, 2.1 last year, just 1.9 in 2019. UZR/150 5.5 last year, 6.3 lifetime

We are talking two very different players. Kiermaier is fielding at Devon White+ levels in CF, Bradley is more peak Vernon Wells. Both very good defenders but one is far better than the other. IMO if you are trying to squeeze out every win you can you go after Kiermaier with JBJ your backup. Springer would give you insane offense for the position so he is #1. Of course it all depends on what the Rays want in exchange. If they want to get top prospects screw it, go for the lesser JBJ and use what you have to upgrade elsewhere, but if the Jays can get Kiermaier I'd go for it - that kind of defense in CF would fix a lot for the pitching.
scottt - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 08:43 AM EST (#393040) #
Also, Kiermaier is more injury prone than JBJ.
The only way I see Kiermaier traded over just signing Bladley is as part of a package with more coming both ways.
I guess the Rays could still use a catcher, but I don't see them as a good fit for a trade with Toronto.

scottt - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 08:47 AM EST (#393041) #
We should be very close to a Sugano decision now, to leave him enough time for his physical.

I'm not very hopeful. I could see the Jays going after Walker or Paxton on 2 years contracts.

Apparently Tanaka would rather return to Japan than sign with a team other then the Yankees.
The Angels should be all over him. Offer him a 1 year deal and he'd probably bite.

grjas - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#393042) #
Glad to see more baseball execs talking about banning the shift. The combination of shifting, a strike zone thatís too small, and a dearth of base stealing has really dulled down the game in my opinion.

The entertainment value of hockey soared with the change in centre line rules. Time for a radical change or two in baseball.
scottt - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 01:26 PM EST (#393043) #
They can't really ban the shift. They're not going to put Xs on the field where the players must stand.
They're talking about having 2 infielders on each side of second base.
That's still going to results in some shifting.
Also, they might force infielders to stay  off the grass. That would really handcuff the best shortstops.

And hitters who had success with launch angles will keep swinging for the fences.

John Northey - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 01:43 PM EST (#393044) #
Two infielders on each side of 2B and staying in the infield for infielders and outfielders staying in the outfield would certainly cut it down some. But the biggest way to change things is to adjust the ball - make it heavier so home runs are harder and so it is harder to throw 99 mph too. That would cut home runs down, but put more balls in play. Also make it easier to steal bases. All positives imo.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 03:06 PM EST (#393045) #
I think we are going to see significant change in the game sooner than later. Prior to 2019 MLB was going to use the Atlantic League to experiment with rule changes, and I distinctly remember something about moving the mound back 2 feet and banning the shift. Not sure how that experiment went, or if they even did it at all, but I could see both of those things being implemented in MLB soon.

Also, James McCann on a YouTube video talked about how in Double-A down they have implemented a rule where a pitcher now has to step off when trying to pick off a runner. He was told that the logic was that analytics have destroyed stolen bases, and that's something they are doing to bring that back to the game. I don't watch Double-A or below games, so I don't know how that works, nor have I even heard of that prior to McCann mentioning it.

In any event, MLB seems fully aware of the flaws in the current game, and I think we will see some radical changes about it soon enough.
scottt - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 04:13 PM EST (#393046) #
Socrates Brito has inked a minor league contract with the Yankees and Bauer is having a meeting with Pete Walker.

I assume a team like the Rays would be all over any rule changes and  try to exploit them to the maximum while establish players would try to keep playing the game the "right" way.

Magpie - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 04:52 PM EST (#393047) #
I think we are going to see significant change in the game sooner than later.

If possible. I think it's because baseball has been so reluctant to make even minor changes, like forever, that major changes - to the ball or the bat or the distance to the mound - may be needed now. The contrast with the NBA is instructive - there the rules have been tweaked quite regularly over the last fifty years or so. It was probably easier there because didn't have All This Tradition hanging over them. Widen the lane? Sure. Widen the lane again? Sure. A shot clock. Go for it. Zone defenses? Hand-checking? Whatever the moment requires.
John Northey - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 05:22 PM EST (#393048) #
MLB has been very, very reluctant to change anything. Tradition is massive in this sport - thus why the NL didn't use a DH until 2020 (outside of interleague games). I suspect the wholesale changes that fans accepted in 2020 will show MLB that you can change things without hurting the fan base. 7 inning double headers? Great! Lets keep them. Could see the runner on 2nd becoming a regular thing, but maybe in the 11th inning and beyond (personally I'd like 11th a runner on 1st, 12th a runner on 2nd, 13th and beyond runner on 3rd).

I think a change in the ball is the easiest way to make changes that no fan sees directly - a small change in weight or drag could drastically shift things quickly - more movement of pitches, but a slower fastball, harder to hit home runs, harder to throw guys out on the bases. All leading to a more fun game to watch. Changing the mound height would drop offense significantly (see 1968) but would also jump K's even higher. We'll see what they do, but changing the distance between the mound and home, or the distance between bases I see as a non-starter.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 05:51 PM EST (#393049) #
No question that baseball has been very reluctant to change (especially with Selig...Manfred at least seems to know that change is necessary), but I think 2020 opened Pandora's Box. They were able to incorporate the 3 batter minimum (which was going to be done regardless), and then due to the pandemic were able to experiment with the runner on 2nd, DH in the NL, and 7 inning doubleheaders. It might be easier to start tweaking more things now that a precedent has been set.

At some point MLB is going to have to risk the feelings of their older fans in order to attract a younger generation. Making bat flips and showing emotion 'acceptable' during games is such a minor thing in reality, but for baseball it is huge. The league has rightfully doubled down on it. However, in order to attract the younger generation, the game cannot continue to be dominated by the TTO. It needs more balls in play, more stolen bases, and just more action in general. There are ways to do that without sacrificing the purity of the game and without forcing teams to stop being so driven by analytics. They just have to implement it (ex. moving the mound back, unjuicing the balls, regulating the shift, etc). At the end of the day, baseball is baseball, and fans will either love it or not, but the game can definitely use some tweaks to make it better for 2020-beyond.
John Northey - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 06:04 PM EST (#393050) #
Another site mentioned the draft pick cost for the top free agents - this year the rules are complicated.
via MLB.com - Any team that signs a player who has rejected a qualifying offer is subject to the loss of one or more Draft picks. While a team's highest first-round pick is exempt from forfeiture, any additional first-round picks are eligible. The cost skyrockets if you went over the luxury tax level (not an issue obviously). A team that receives revenue sharing will lose its third-highest selection in the following year's Draft (not a factor).

The key bit for the Jays is ... "A team that neither exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season nor receives revenue sharing will lose its second-highest selection in the following year's Draft as well as $500,000 from its international bonus pool. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its third-highest remaining pick." - this is the Jays. So $500k lost from the international pool, and 2nd highest pick (late in 2nd round). If the dollar amount is over $50 mil then the team losing the free agent gets a pick between rounds 1 and 2, if less then between rounds 2 and 3. It is complicated, but not too bad to figure out. So the Jays lose round 2 pick if they sign one big guy plus $500k international money, rounds 2 and 4 are lost if they sign 2 guys plus the $500k international money. Thus signing 2 big free agents is significantly cheaper than 1 in each of 2 seasons. Just the 4 on the poll have QO's attached to them still (Stroman & Gausman took the QO, no others offered it). So if the Jays can take two on it would be smart from a player cost POV. Springer & Bauer seem to be their top choices ($50-70 mil a year it seems they could cost). Realmuto & LeMahieu are high on the Jays list too but I don't see anyway they get 3 of them or all 4.
scottt - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 06:30 PM EST (#393051) #
Baseball has changed a lot without the rules changing.
There used to be 4 men rotation and a starter could reach 300 wins.
The games are played differently because everyone wants to emulate the winning strategies.
Teams control offensive parameters by altering the size of their ballpark and the playing surface (a team with ground ball pitchers would grow the infield grass longer).

The worst thing is the long breaks between innings so we can see the same ads a fourth or fifth time.

There will be advertisements on NHL player helmets this season.

mathesond - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 07:59 PM EST (#393052) #
Enforce the goshdang pitch clock. If pitchers don't have the time to dial up the strength to throw 98mph every pitch, you'll see more balls in play, especially if the batters can't take the time to undo and re-do their batting gloves between each pitch.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 01 2021 @ 08:21 PM EST (#393053) #
I don't think banning shifts is needed (BABIP is the same as before teams did all the crazy shifts) but a lot of other changes are.

A pitch clock is years overdue. Years. I'm glad they put in the 3 batter minimum rule, and I like the runner at second base in extras. MLB has to do something about the constantly increasing K rate, pitches per PA, time between pitches. All of these variables have only been moving in one direction for years, and it's not going to stop unless change is forced onto it. Changes to the ball itself or lowering the mound (it's been done once before) should also be on the table.

But the main thing I'd like to see, first of all, is keeping the batters in the box, the pitcher on the mound, and some time limit to throw the ball.
Michael - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 02:53 AM EST (#393054) #
A consistent robot strikezone is the change I'd like to see. That could put more balls in play, or less, if "good" pitchers are not given the benefit of the doubt and if pitch calls are not different 3-0 versus 0-2.I

As for shifts, who cares, the right way to fix that is reach players to hunt and/or slap it in the gap. If people are effective at that the shifts go down.
Parker - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 12:04 PM EST (#393055) #
The Rays just traded Jose Alvarado in a three-team deal with the Dodgers and Phillies in exchange for Dillon Paulson, a first base sorta-prospect you've never heard of. Alvarado is young, has upside, and is cost-controlled; he sure doesn't fit the type of player you normally see Tampa trading away. He's entering his first arb year but hasn't put up any big numbers yet, so it's not like he's going to get an enormous raise.

Five years from now we're probably going to be comparing Dillon Paulson to Jeff Bagwell...
Mike Green - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 12:12 PM EST (#393056) #
Alvarado is a reliever with a walk rate north of 6 the last two years.  He'll be arb-eligible next year.  The Rays are selling low and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the big thing they get in return is cash...
Parker - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 02:21 PM EST (#393057) #
The Rays never sell low, though. You could be right that Tampa looked at the walk rate and figured if someone else wanted to try to fix him, fine, let them try. I'm not saying Alvarado is anything special or that the Rays should think he's something more than what his stats show. I'm just saying that maybe this ends up being remembered as the Dillon Paulson trade rather than the Jose Alvarado trade. Tampa does have a history of pulling off stuff like that.
John Northey - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 03:28 PM EST (#393058) #
Alvarado catches me as one of those 'million dollar arm 10 cent head' types - walks a tons, K's a ton. If he learned where the strike zone is he'd be deadly, but it ain't gonna happen. It is rare for a pitcher with those sky rate rates to figure it out - Nolan Ryan did but he was 33 when he finally had a BB/9 rate sub 4 per 9 innings and never was below 3.3. Randy Johnson was 29 when he finally got below 4 (not counting his 26 inning rookie year in Montreal), then below 3 at 31, and below 2 at 40 - now there is a rare bird indeed. From 40-end he was 2.1 BB/9 vs 8.9 K/9, in his 30's 2.8/12.1, 20's 5.2/9.4. Teams dream of that from all of their crazy flamethrowers as when they do get it they are multi-Cy Youngs. But it is rare and almost never in their first 6 years when the team has cheap control.

In other words, I think Tampa is smart to sell off some of their fire arms - teams value them as lottery tickets that could pay off massively but odds are they'll blow out or reach free agency before finding the strike zone. If there is one thing we know about the Rays is they always, always, always do the highest odds choice in every action. Emotion can't rule in any of their choices or they will end up in 5th place and be stuck there (see 1998-2007 with 90+ losses every single year).
John Northey - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 03:58 PM EST (#393059) #
Bauer met virtually with the Jays braintrust. Wonder how far they would go for him? The Jays were in eyeshot on Garrit Cole with a $300 mil offer last winter according to reports, and did sign Ryu for $80 mil. Bauer though has just 2 years with a 110+ ERA+ (2 of the past 3 years though, and both were 190+). $20-25 per year for 7 years would be my max (and that is beyond what I'd be comfortable with) but the Jays might be willing to go to $30 per for 7 ($210 mil) I'm thinking but $25 per over 7 I suspect is their max ($175 mil) with a target of no more than 5 years (at $30 per would be $150 mil). Based on FanGraphs $/WAR calculations Bauer is easily worth $20+ a year (has been at/over that 5 years in a row if you round up 2020 from $19.9). If 2020 was even 100 games he'd probably be on his 3rd straight year of $25+ mil of value. The more I look the more I like the idea of going for it with Bauer. But there is the NL Central factor (weaker competition) to mix in, and the injury risk every pitcher has. Still, this is far more fun to debate vs the old days when it was 'what can we get for the good players?'
scottt - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 04:56 PM EST (#393060) #
Cole is making 36M per year and Bauer is looking to top that, but on a short contract.
I expect he'll end up far over  25M/year.
80M is not close at all to 300M.

It will be interesting to see where the market goes, but so far, pitchers have been paid.
Bauer is an impact player, but he's a special character.

scottt - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 05:23 PM EST (#393061) #
Alvarado will make around 1M which is still (almost) twice what his replacement will be making.
As a bonus, the Rays will probably get some cash back.

Alvarado was good in 18, bad in 19, worst in 20, but he only threw 9 innings because of shoulder inflammation.
That is not the type of players the Rays pay.
Mostly, they needed a 40 roster spot to complete the Snell trade. 

The other sides of that trade are actually less obvious.
The Phillies traded a lefty for another lefty. The one they got will cost more and is not someone you can depend on.
Garret Cleaving must be good enough for the Dodgers to bother and acquire him.
The cost is apparently low, but still.


PeterG - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 05:50 PM EST (#393062) #
I wouldn't object to making Bauer the highest paid player in the game by AAV as long as the contract is shorter term (3 years max). The Jays should be willing to spend more in short term with any FA in order to reduce term.
Magpie - Saturday, January 02 2021 @ 06:01 PM EST (#393063) #
I like both Bradley and Kiermaier but I'm as skittish as a young fawn about both of them. So much of their value is defensive, so much of that is based on their speed, defensive value probably peaks earlier (and certainly declines earlier) than offensive value, and they'll both turn 31 next April.

I do like them, but...
bpoz - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 10:03 AM EST (#393064) #
Signing Bauer to about a 5 year contract could be very risky if he cannot perform as expected. This also applies to other expensive & long term FA contracts.

However there could be factors in the contract that are positive/negative for both the player and signing club. Opt Outs for the player for example. Also trading the player before the contract is finished. If allowed.

greenfrog - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 11:08 AM EST (#393065) #
I would be fine with

(1) Sugano, (2) Realmuto and (3) JBJ (or other decent CF)

(1) Sugano and (2) Springer

(1) Bauer and (2) Realmuto/Springer

(1) Bauer and (2) JBJ (or other decent CF)

I don't love Springer and Bauer but they would likely be helpful additions over the next 2+ years. Although the Jays arguably have less need for a catcher, I like Realmuto better as an overall player/teammate and FA in this class.
John Northey - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 12:30 PM EST (#393066) #
Lets say, for sake of argument, the Jays have $50 mil to spend on an annual basis. Lets also say that players will sign here for what is projected and not worry about years. Also a few I upped a bit as you know Turner won't leave LA unless given an incentive (probably an extra year).

Who do you sign from this group...
  • Bauer ($35 per)
  • Springer ($25 per)
  • Realmuto ($25 per)
  • LeMahieu ($20 per)
  • Sugano ($10 per)
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. ($8)
  • Tanaka ($15)
  • Jake Odorizzi ($13)
  • Liam Hendriks ($10)
  • Justin Turner ($15)
  • Taijuan Walker ($10)
It is a tough mix of options. Sugano will be known in a few days (January 7th is the drop dead date for his ability to sign with a MLB team) plus he apparently is scared to come to the US due to the COVID mess. A shame Ontario has backslid so badly or we'd have been able to argue how good and safe it is here. (no politics...must resist)

With $50 mil I'd say no to Bauer as he'd eat up way too much at $35 but at $30 I'd consider him. Springer might be up to $30 thanks to the Mets chasing him hard. Sugano I'd be pushing hard and maybe up to $15 if scouts feel he will adapt well. Realmuto is looking more and more like who the Jays will end up with due to high competition with Springer & LeMahieu. Then I'd chase JBJ to solidify CF (I'm ignoring trades here) and pocket the rest for now or push for a few mil more to sign Walker back (or trade away someone to gain the space). In truth I'm thinking the Jays have up to $60 but want to stick to $40.
scottt - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 01:04 PM EST (#393067) #
Shapiro doesn't believe in opt outs and player options.

bpoz - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 01:13 PM EST (#393068) #
Thanks scottt. Good to know. Is that wise of Shapiro? I kind of like trading the player with a couple of years left.
scottt - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 01:22 PM EST (#393069) #
For Turner, it depends on the Dodgers.
By default they have Edwin Ross who belted 8 HR in 80 PAs playing 3rd for the minimum.
The Dodgers can afford to spend more, but it would be better for them to use that money on pitching.

For Springer it's more like an extra year. I don't think he'd go for a large 2021 salary since the season could be shortened.

If they get Springer, they need to flip Grichuk.
If they get JBJ, things get a bit more complicated. Grichuk can start against lefties and be like a 4th outfielder.
One catcher need to go as well, 2 if they end up with Realmuto.

If Sugano is afraid of Covid, the Jays are not in a good spot as they might have to start the season in Florida.

John Northey - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 02:07 PM EST (#393070) #
Opt outs and player options give all the power to the player, none to the team. If the player has a terrible year or two they get the rest of their contract guaranteed, but if they overperform then the team gets no benefit past the first couple of years (depending when the option hits). Same in reverse for team options - players hate them as they get no benefit from them. I remember the option (now illegal) that Beeston gave Clemens to get him to sign here - giving him the right to demand a trade after 2 years to the team of his choice pretty much (Texas and NYY were his two choices iirc).

I'd see player options/opt outs as a last resort if a player was someone you really, really need and there aren't any other realistic options. I think that only applies when you are on the cusp of a WS appearance and need that one piece and only one guy is available via free agency that fits. That is a rare case.
scottt - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 02:16 PM EST (#393071) #
On a free agent contract, all the risk is on the team.
Players coming to Toronto generally don't ask for no-trade clauses.
An opt out makes the player harder to trade.
Let's take Realmuto. He could ask for an opt out every year which he could take if a team he likes needs a catcher.
That could potentially leave the Jays with a hole.
This is basically what Martinez got from Boston and that's because he was frustrated that Boston was really the only team willing to pay him that year.
The Mets gave several opt outs to Cespedes and it ended very poorly for them.

scottt - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 03:17 PM EST (#393072) #
Morosi reported that Sugano has arrived for his physical and that the 3 teams in competition to sign him are the Mets, the Blue Jays and the Giants.

Probably Giants, then.

John Northey - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 03:59 PM EST (#393073) #
Well, making the final 3 is better than not being in the conversation. One of these times the Jays will win out - like they did for Gurriel Jr a few years ago and I'd say that one worked out well.

Although last winters Shun Yamaguchi win wasn't really much of a win (55 ERA+, but those first 2 extra inning games really killed his season. Take out the first 2 and last 2 and you get a 4.91 ERA which is still poor out of the pen but not a nightmare - big part of that is the 7 run 1 1/3 IP game vs NY in the 20-6 loss. Only 6 times did he provide a negative WPA vs 10 positive and one 0.000 game. I still see hope there for 2021.
earlweaverfan - Sunday, January 03 2021 @ 06:55 PM EST (#393074) #
With that budget and those annual salaries, I would go Realmuto, Sugano, Hendriks and Bradley - I know, that is 3 million over, but you get to trade Jansen and Grichuk for, e.g., an up-and-coming AAA outfielder. Presto - your net budget comes back to $50M.

I am sure if they needed to do $60M, the team would be ok with that.

Oh and here is how/when I think you can do a player option. Offer a major FA player a contract where the last one or even two years of the five have a player option. Say, after 3 years of Realmuto or LeMahieu, they are still killing it. You may be happy to extend some more or more likely to lose them with Moreno/Kirk and Groshans/Martinez to replace them at a much lower price. You have the budget to pay your rising stars like Bichette what they are worth.
scottt - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 09:10 AM EST (#393075) #
Evan Drellich of the Athletic's wrote that the season is expected to start on time.

I don't believe that, but if that's the players' stance, we might see no DH in 2021 and all the other normal rules in place.
Also, at best they can try to start spring training on time but they still need a set of Covid-19 protocols, rights for players to opt out if they feel for their health and then we'll see players test positive and chaos ensue.

bpoz - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 09:24 AM EST (#393076) #
The Jays are linked with major rumors because they have very good financial flexibility. This is always reported. This puts them in the rich spending group. But there are only 4 super expensive FAs. So supply and demand is a huge factor.

Bauer is promoting himself. I suppose he likes the publicity because he has produced videos. His personality should entice advertising which means big cities. There is no shortage of big cities.

The other 3 expensive FAs will also attract attention from the handful of big spenders. The Jays probably are the last or close to last preferred destination of big spenders.

When the big 4 are signed then the next tier will be in play by any team that did not get a big 4.

I don't know how soon decisions will be made because of the uncertainty of the 2021 season's format.



scottt - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 09:50 AM EST (#393077) #
Players now like to wait as long as it takes to get their way.
January is late if you think the season will start on time.


SK in NJ - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 12:10 PM EST (#393078) #
Heyman reporting that Sugano will make his decision by tomorrow, and that the Mets are out of the running, leaving the Giants, Jays, and "others" as the likely destinations. I would think the Jays offer would have to be substantially better to beat a Cali/West Coast team.
John Northey - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 12:39 PM EST (#393079) #
Once Sugano decides then the 2 biggest 'cheap' options are off the board (him and Kim) so the big money guys should start going at that point. I suspect a lot of position players are getting close - Springer seems closest from rumors with LeMahieu next. I expect Realmuto and Bauer will be signing in February, thus making life difficult for all the other free agents out there. A mad dash of signings once all 4 big names are gone will happen in the last few weeks of February.
scottt - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 02:05 PM EST (#393080) #
I don't think it's the big 4 that's holding the market.
I'm sure many players have offers but don't like them.
The Yankees are pretty close to the luxury tax even after just signing LeMahieu.
LeMahieu could be a response by the Dodgers to all the moves San Diego has made.

I could see vaccinated players allowed in Toronto.
That could be ideal if many teams have players who aren't able to cross the border. :)

When will spring training start? When will paying fans return to stadium?
That's what limiting the money available and teams who spend too much too early might cry foul later.
Pitchers need to sign early enough to report in time or they won't be getting full pay for 2021.

Also, Lindor, Story and maybe Bryant are on the trading block for best offer.

dalimon5 - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 02:29 PM EST (#393081) #
Any one want to predict the landing spots for the "Big Four," now that we are into the new year with more information? Here are the current payrolls for each team as a guide:

LAD 181
NYY 166
LAA 152
SD 150
BOS 143
HOU 143
WSH 137
PHI 133
NYM 133
SF 131
COL 129
CHC 122
STL 117
ATL 110
CWS 107
CIN 109
MIN 79
KC 76
ARZ 63
TOR 66
MIL 63
TEX 65
OAK 60
DET 57
SEA 52
CLE 52
TB 41
MIA 42
BAL 42
PIT 31


Trevor Bauer - I don't think the top 3 payroll teams will want to go over 180M so that removes NYY, LAD and LAA. SD doesn't need him, BOS is not in a good window. WSH is interesting because he can revitalize an aging rotation and cover for the oft- injured aces. NYM can use him. CWS are stacked already. I see Toronto, NYM and Washington as the most likely landing spots. I will go with NYM since this would get them to NYY payroll territory and net them the best FA in the market for new ownership.

DJ LeMahieu - It's gotta be NYY, LAD or STL. I will go with NYY because it's the logical landing spot and replacing him with anybody else isn't really an option for the Yankees.

George Springer - reports have him deciding between Toronto and NYM. Toronto will land him with an overpay but solidify their CF defense and find their lead off hitter for the first time in decades.

JT Realmuto - Phillies. LAA would be ideal but they don't have much payroll space and there isn't as much as you might think coming off the books (Rendon, Upton taking up anything left after Pujols and Iglesias leave)

Personally, I hope the Jays go after Bauer only. Then turn around and trade from prospect pool for 3B and OF.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 02:32 PM EST (#393082) #
"Also, Lindor, Story and maybe Bryant are on the trading block for best offer. "

Scott, I think that you're accurate in this comment. There are a lot of high, franchise altering players available on the block right now. You can add Arenado to that list of Lindor, Story and Bryant.
PeterG - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 02:41 PM EST (#393083) #
It has been reported that Liam Hendriks was seen at the Jays complex in Dunedin today.
John Northey - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 02:47 PM EST (#393084) #
Very odd not to see any teams over $200 mil - since 2013 the Dodgers have been over $200 mil for luxury tax purposes in all but one season (2018, shy by $5 mil). The Yankees have been over every year but one since 2012 (as far back as it is listed on Cot's) only missing 2018 (by $7+ mil). So both being as low as they are right now is very odd.

Boston only cracked $200 3 times. Jays peaked at $167 in 2018 ($133 last year). The luxury tax has benefits and a couple other things included that regular pay doesn't. Right now the Jays are projected at $93 mil so they have TONS of payroll space. Base payroll is at $76 mil right now ($11.9 for minimum guys, estimates for Hernandez & Stripling who are both in arbitration).

FYI: Figures for 2020 were based on a full season, not the 60 game version we got.

So it looks like no one is going over $200 this year (dodgers might once you factor in the extra stuff which is normally around $15-20 mil).
scottt - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 03:12 PM EST (#393085) #
Mookie's salary is back loaded, so they save 7M over what they payed him last year.
Funny enough, Price is their most expensive player at 32M.
Seager is playing is last year of arbitration.
They might get to pick between him and several other top shortstops next year.

johnny was - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 03:21 PM EST (#393086) #
Take this for what you will, but we got a surprise work email from our uni president this morning letting us know that we are on track for a late January/early February vaccine rollout for faculty and staff. If it really is coming to small town Kentucky this early, I'd feel pretty optimistic about all players getting vaccinated before spring training begins and a hearty portion of the fan base by Opening Day. Unless something truly horrible happens, 29/30 teams might end up getting a fairly normal season in 2021.
Mike Green - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 04:01 PM EST (#393087) #
The overall vaccination record so far has been well below projections.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if vaccination rates in small town Kentucky as of April 1 are higher than in NYC, Los Angeles and Chicago. 

Biden is promising 100 million injections (i.e. 50 million vaccinated) within 100 days of his inauguration (by roughly April 30).  Maybe he is vastly underpromising, but somehow I don't think so.  Of course the players will somehow find their way near the front of the line...
scottt - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 04:37 PM EST (#393088) #
In Florida, vaccination is handled by Eventbrite. Ticketmaster, basically.
Should be able to scalp some.

johnny was - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 04:44 PM EST (#393089) #
True, but the one and done Johnson and Johnson vaccine that doesn't require ultra cold storage accelerates everything quite dramatically. Apparently we'll get the efficacy numbers soon, likely this month.
grjas - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 05:08 PM EST (#393090) #
J&J with good efficacy would be awesome. Itís also a one shotter.

The interesting question in terms of ball players coming to Canada is what to do with those that opt out of receiving a shot. I doubt that MLB will ban them from playing given attitudes to vaccination in the US. I suspect a reasonable number could opt out.

So an interesting decision by our governments on how to handle this. Weíll be no where near herd immunity in Canada in the spring. Perhaps theyíll be willing to rely on Covid tests preboarding for those players that opt out. Time will tell.
John Northey - Monday, January 04 2021 @ 08:41 PM EST (#393091) #
For the anti-vaxxers - could have the players get some insane fine if they leave the dome (advantage of a hotel being there) outside of on the team cab/bus to and from the airport (Island one ideally). Hit the team with it as well if any players break the rules thus jumping their incentive. Pretty much what was proposed a year ago when COVID was still new and little was known. In truth I'd be fine with telling them no shot, no border crossing and ship any anti-vaxxers here down there to wherever it is worst. If someone has a legit reason (ie: allergic to it - it is rare but does happen) then they are exempt but otherwise screw them.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 12:20 AM EST (#393092) #
Kentucky getting vaccines early / earlier is one of the most UNSURPRISING events of the last 12 months, IMHO. Mitch McConnell is a senator for Kentucky.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 08:35 AM EST (#393093) #
In the ALE only TB seems to be active. They have made many moves. The other 4 teams are quite inactive. Strange.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#393094) #
Kentucky doesn't strike me as a state that will be huge adopters of the vaccine, meaning their requirements should be easy to meet. My guess is that the Rand Paul mentality will be pervasive. I would be happy to be proven wrong.

The subject of pro athletes refusing the vaccine will be interesting to watch (I can't wait for Kyrie Irving's wisdom on the subject). It will certainly be their legal right to refuse, as it will for people in mainstream society. I can't believe that employers will have any power to enforce vaccinations. I'm not even sure that nurses in hospitals are mandated to get flu shots, which you think would be a condition of employment.

The drama of "anti-vaxxers having rights too" is sure to be something we see play out throughout 2021. Oh joy.

scottt - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:20 AM EST (#393095) #
Well, TB has not spend much money. They mostly traded away.

Boston has made some minor moves, which showcase that they're not looking at spending much.
They will get some starting pitchers eventually.

Baltimore is not spending yet. Not one penny.  They might wait until Chris Davis is off the books.

They Yankees are waiting on LeMahieu.

Incidentally, Turner wants 4 years and the Dodgers are not interested beyond 2.
That explains the Dodgers interest in LeMahieu.
Turner is a good fit for the Jays but not on a 4 year contract.

scottt - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:29 AM EST (#393096) #
My wife gets the flu vaccine every year as she works in a retirement home.
It's very mandatory (but I'm sure there's religious excemption and the likes). Along with TB testing. That is way worse.
My wife went so far as getting the permission to get chest X-rays for TB.
She gets her second Pfizer shot later this week. I think only 60% of staff went to get the vaccine.
They had a meeting with the on-site doctor trying to convince everyone.

This thing is very contagious. Anti-vaxxers will get the disease, it's as simple as that.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:36 AM EST (#393097) #
Chuck is way too optimistic!  This article was buried on page 15 of the Globe and Mail but reported widely in a number of media.  The South African variant is well and truly scary- more transmissible, higher viral loads, very dangerous to under 15 year olds and good reason to believe that current vaccines may not work.  Given the timing of the travel bans, it is reasonably likely that it is already in the United States and in Canada.

Very fine scientific work has been done in the UK and in the US, but without political leadership, it has not done its citizens much good.


John Northey - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:38 AM EST (#393098) #
scottt - glad to hear your wife got the shot. Hopefully everything goes well for you and your family. Such a tough time. Here my big headache is my 2 kids still at home (grade 1 and 10) having to do school from home this week. Watching the grade 1 class is showing me that this is not a good way to teach kids that age. My grade 10 is doing well, she is getting work done and showing it to me as a check before showing the teacher. But at least I have little fear of any of us catching COVID at the moment.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 10:05 AM EST (#393099) #
Mike - now that is scary, a more powerful version that current vaccines won't work on. Glad the US is getting an adult in charge at last so maybe there is a chance of a speedy response.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 10:06 AM EST (#393100) #
Thanks Mike Green for the info on covid mutation.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 10:35 AM EST (#393101) #
The article says that Public Health Britain mentions there is no evidence that the current vaccines won't work with the South African mutation of the virus. Article also references quotes from the vaccine companies themselves who flat out say that adjustments can be made to their vaccines to tweak for mutations within 6 weeks.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 10:54 AM EST (#393102) #
I like both Bradley and Kiermaier but I'm as skittish as a young fawn about both of them. So much of their value is defensive, so much of that is based on their speed, defensive value probably peaks earlier (and certainly declines earlier) than offensive value, and they'll both turn 31 next April.

I do like them, but...

On the other hand, Springer turns 31 (checks BB Ref) last September.  And he was never as good a defender as Bradley and Kiermaier.  They are likely to be competent three-quarters time CFers and to be paid accordingly.  He's likely to be a fine hitting competent RF and to be paid, if anything, as though he was better than that.  They need a centerfielder, not a corner.

Bernie Williams was a better hitter than Springer, and yet wasn't worth that much in his 30s in large part because they left him in centerfield way too long.  It didn't help the club either. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 11:50 AM EST (#393103) #
Playing center field can cause a lot of wear and tear. If you are going to invest in a player like Springer (early 30s; big bat), it might make more sense to move him to right field to preserve his health so that he remains a valuable offensive player. If you try to keep him in centre, you may end up with the worst of both worlds: suboptimal performance both at the plate and on defence.

Incidentally, it will be interesting to see who generate more WAR over the next five years: Springer or Kim. I would guess that the much-cheaper Kim has about a 30% chance of coming out ahead.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 12:00 PM EST (#393104) #
If the Reds really are looking to cut payroll (uncertain), then I'd be really interested in Shogo Akiyama - his numbers are underwhelming but he really came on as the season progressed after some adjustment to his hitting approach - 2 years left at a very reasonable $7M - Heck, I'd try to build a package for Castillo/Moustakas/Akiyama taking all the money owed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 12:29 PM EST (#393105) #
Akiyama is turning 33 in April, and the Reds played him in LF more than CF last year.  Why would you prefer him to Bradley (or Kiermaier)?
scottt - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 01:48 PM EST (#393106) #
Kim is basically a top 100 prospect. We have a couple of those in Martin and Groshans.
Springer has been compared to Rendon because the WAR/year production.

I don't think there's a 30% chance that either of Martin or Groshans produce more than Rendon over the next 5 years.
However, I expect them to be better in 2025.

Kim will probably have to make an adjustment and if there are only 2 wild cards, he might not get the PAs to make it.

I expect Springer to stay in center for a couple of years, top.
That's why they would need to move Grichuk. 

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 01:48 PM EST (#393107) #
Only deal the Jays should be entertaining with Cincinatti is to take Joey Votto and Castillo for a throw away player.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 01:57 PM EST (#393108) #
ZIPS projects Kim to be about a 4 WAR player. And remember that he is entering his prime, while Springer is exiting his.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/re-projecting-the-2021-san-diego-padres/
Eephus - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 03:02 PM EST (#393109) #
Only deal the Jays should be entertaining with Cincinatti is to take Joey Votto and Castillo for a throw away player.

As much as I love, love, love Joey from Richview, my favourite active player... you'd be paying 82 million over the next three seasons (including a buyout) for a 1B entering his age 37 season, and he's been merely just above average instead of awesome since 2018 onward. Castillo I'd be all over, of course, but I doubt they'd give him up in a straight salary dump of Votto (that's a Marlins fire sale level of penny pinching). The optics in Cincinnati would be awful (can't imagine Reds fans being happy with that trade in any way).

If we're talking Reds position players, somebody like Suarez probably fits the Blue Jays' needs way more anyhow. Or buy low on Senzel and see if going back into the infield unlocks something. 
bpoz - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 03:32 PM EST (#393110) #
Cincinnati made the playoffs last year and are not a lousy team IMO. I don't understand why they would throw in the towel now.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 04:33 PM EST (#393111) #
Eephus,

The only reason to take Joey Votto in a trade is so you can get Castillo without giving up any prospects. It's essentially taking on a bad contract to pay for the premium player, in this case Castillo not Votto.
scottt - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 05:23 PM EST (#393112) #
I think that ship sailed away many years ago.
Votto is happily established in Cincy and I expect him to stay there until he retires.

scottt - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 05:28 PM EST (#393113) #
Sugano is taking longer than expected.
I wonder if he's just going to stay in Japan after all.
The Yomiuri Giants have offered him a contract with a yearly opt out, so he could decide to wait out the pandemic.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 05 2021 @ 09:37 PM EST (#393114) #
AFAIK, the new South African mutation has already been detected in NY, CO and CA..
bpoz - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 08:54 AM EST (#393115) #
LAD are making good moves this off season to be strong in all areas. Good O,D, SP and pen. Counting D Price they have 6 experienced SPs that have had success pitching in the majors. They are making moves to have a deep and experienced pen. Treinen just signed. Also trading surplus parts for kids.
scottt - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 09:39 AM EST (#393116) #
Saw that Tommy John is in the hospital taking oxygen yet claiming that Covid-19 is overblown.
His oxygen level is so low that it impairs his motor functions yet he think he could just walk out if he wanted.
His son is an extreme anti-vaxxer who doesn't believe in germs.
That's the last thing I'd want to hear from a chiropractor.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 09:54 AM EST (#393117) #
Kaitlyn McGrath has a fine article on Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the voice of the Lugnuts, over at the Athletic.   He describes well the fun of watching kids progress, and that's definitely part of the pleasure for minor league watchers. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 10:11 AM EST (#393118) #
Just realized that Lindor (28), Seager (28) and Story (29) may all be free agents next winter. That's huge. Age is parenthesis is age as of next free agency.

Lindor wants to test the market, I don't see him resigning with Indians or team he is traded to. It will likely be similar to Manny Machado who went to LAD then was signed by the Padres for $$$$$.

Seager I think will be resigned by the LAD.

Story likely tests free agency, but being from Texas he likely would want to stay somewhere on the West Coast.

Point is, there is more reason now to pass on infielders like DJL and focus on SP market and CF.

My adjusted hopes for this off-season:

* Sign Tommy Lastella or Andrelton Simmons for INF
* Sign Sugano or Bauer for rotation
* Sign/Trade for CF: Bradley, KK or young prospect
* Sign Hendricks
* Trade for Musgrove or Taillon


Ryu
Ray
Sugano
Musgrove
Pearson

Biggio
Bichette
Vlad
Hernandez
Gurriel
Lastella
Tellez
Kirk
Bradley

Grichuk
Davis
Jansen

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 11:00 AM EST (#393119) #
I would prefer the Jays sign one or two of Sugano, Walker and/or Odorizzi rather than overpay for Bauer. I think the big need is at third base so maybe Turner for 2 years, not 4 as he reportedly wants. Vlad had 4 errors in 9 games in winter ball so I don't think his future is at third.

Actually I'd like to see someone sign anyone and get things going. There's so much uncertainty about the season/spring training that nobody wants to end up overpaying for what the market price will be for this year.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 12:37 PM EST (#393120) #
If Turner would sign for just 2 years he'd be ideal for 3B but he won't. LA has offered that (apparently) and wants to stay there so to get him a minimum of 3 years is needed. I'd think $50 over 3 is what it would take, but I doubt the Jays go that far for him (ages 36-38). BR has a projection of 277/364/465 for him in 2021, but you can expect a significant drop in 2022/2023. He could be solid the whole time, or he could drop off fast at that age. I hesitate on years from age 32 up. But sometimes you need to swallow hard and just accept it as the cost of doing business. We'll see. After his winter effort I'd say the Jays have to know Vlad at 3B is not a good option. With what Turner wants you might as well just spend the extra and get DJ LeMahieu imo.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 12:52 PM EST (#393121) #
I think LeMahieu is just using the Jays to drive up his price to the Yankees, and Springer the same with the Mets. Third base seems to be the biggest hole right now and I agree the chance of getting Turner is remote.
scottt - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 01:25 PM EST (#393122) #
LeMahieu is a real possibility for the Dodgers. Turner has lost a lot of lateral mobility.

The Jays seems to have the top offer for Springer but he's asking for 150M.
At some point someone will twitch in the staring contest and it could be the Mets getting an infielder instead.


bpoz - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 02:37 PM EST (#393123) #
Just get a good relief arm. Maybe Hand.
johnny was - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 03:57 PM EST (#393124) #
A Vernon Wells contract for George Springer makes a whole lot less sense to me than banking some cash and then making a run at any one of Lindor, Story, or Baez next winter.
scottt - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 04:31 PM EST (#393125) #
Rogers does not bank money.
The Blue Jays have a budget for this year and the next and they have to try to bring back revenues.
So this year, they can increase the payroll by 30M or more but they need to win more games and generate attendance once things start to clear up in the summer.
Also, shortstop is not their priority. Bichette is an interesting shortstop.
Orelvis Martinez could be a top 10 shortstop in 5 years.
Miguel Hiraldo will probably move to second base and could be a top 10 2B in 5 years.
Groshans will probably end up at 3rd and could be a top 3B in 2025.
The outfield is pretty sparse. In 3 years, Gurriel, Hernandez and Grichuk will be free agents and nobody in the system looks like a top outfielder.
So, even if they move Springer to a corner, he'll still fit the team. 


Eephus - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 05:32 PM EST (#393126) #
A Vernon Wells contract for George Springer makes a whole lot less sense to me than banking some cash and then making a run at any one of Lindor, Story, or Baez next winter.

If we're talking long term contracts, I agree I'd prefer any of those three (and I feel like I'm Da Box's "George Springer Cheerleader" at this point). My only concern with that thinking (aside from Lindor, who the Clevelands are obviously trying to get rid of) is the possibility of any of those guys (plus Corey Seager) signing an extension before next winter, making a promising free agent crop perhaps not so vast. It's obviously a different league economically, but the Raptors trying to hold cap space for 2021 and letting a good player like Serge Ibaka walk, only for all those marquee free agents to sign extensions and leaving you with a lot of money to spend but no one to spend it on. 

MLB free agency works much differently, of course. I guess my real point is, if you can go get a really good player now and it only costs money: go get the really good player. Because you never know what the future looks like.
scottt - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 05:55 PM EST (#393127) #
Toronto is not a place where players come and ask for a no-trade clause.
If things change, you can trade Springer away in a year or 2, although that shouldn't be a problem.
Springer can play right field better than anybody the Jays have, so they'd probably trade somebody else.

Lindor most likely had his best year during his early twenties.
I don't know much about the raptors, but I assume they don't have young studs waiting to take over.
This is more like the Maple Leafs who need some good defensemen but choose to add more forwards instead.

It's a very slow winter and I guess it's a good thing the Nats are not playing right now.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 06:02 PM EST (#393128) #
Given the lack of news I suspect Tomoyuki Sugano isn't signing with a MLB team this year, although he has 24 hours left. I wonder if that will make things move with other pitchers - either way (he signs or not). Each piece removed from the board makes the rest matter more.
grjas - Wednesday, January 06 2021 @ 08:48 PM EST (#393129) #
The outfield is pretty sparse.

I agree. Thereís not much of excitement anywhere in the system, and their experience in developing outfielders in the last number of years has been painful. Alford, Fisher, Pompey, Davis, Smith, McKinney, Sierra, Snider. What a nightmare.

The infield is young and solid other than third base and there are good options in the near future. Just needs a bridge. Iím good with blowing the bank on Springer.

Interesting winter for the Jays, most fascinating in years. Money, potential and fewer competitors than normal. Still, lots of strong suitors for the guys they want so still iffy theyíll get a truly impact player.

Iím also fine with Realmulto if nothing else works, but only if they turn a catching prospect into something of value in the outfield.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 08:49 AM EST (#393130) #
There may be a flurry of activity in the next two weeks, but somehow I doubt it.  Owners and players are understandably cautious to commit to things in the face of 4,100 dead of COVID yesterday in the US and super-spreader riot/insurrection on top of that. 
scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 09:15 AM EST (#393131) #
Let say Martin can take over center in a couple of years, Springer would be a great mentor for him.
It's all part of having that mix of veterans, core in its prime and young players.

scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#393132) #
Smoak going to play for the Yomiuri Giants. 1/6M. Best of luck to him.

The Jays might have the best offer on Sugano which would explain why he's waiting to the last minute for the Giants to match it.

85bluejay - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 10:09 AM EST (#393133) #
I'm expecting Sugano to take the 4 year deal from the Yomiuri Giants.
scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 10:20 AM EST (#393134) #
Apparently he wants more than 4/56M. That's quite a bit of risk.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 10:27 AM EST (#393135) #
Springer cheerfully went to the White House after the Astros' World Series win.  Correa and Ken Giles took a miss, and Altuve made his displeasure known.  Springer's a fine player, but I can think of a few players I'd rather have mentoring Austin Martin. 

As for Martin in CF, the Blue Jays have him at third base and he was given a 55 run scouting rating when he was drafted.  It's possible to be a good centerfielder without being particularly fast, but the good ones usually are quite fast at age 21.    
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 10:36 AM EST (#393136) #
We're really at a point now to question the character of a player that visited the White House? A bit much.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 10:49 AM EST (#393137) #
YMMV, but there is a line there somewhere.  Athletes sometimes have not competed for analogous reasons, let alone taking a pass or making displeasure known at a ceremonial event hosted by a racist. 

Personally, I don't have respect for white players who don't stand with teammates in the easiest of all possible circumstances.  White Red Sox players didn't support Betts, Bradley Jr. and others in similar circumstances, and I feel the same way about them.

I'm not saying that the Blue Jays shouldn't acquire Springer for this reason- merely pointing out that I don't want him as an example to younger players.   
grjas - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#393138) #
Have to say, I was really disappointed Alford couldnít make the jump to the majors work. A highly talented athlete that picked baseball over football, was fleet of foot in the outfield and dynamite on the base paths, but it was not to be. Rotten injury luck didnít help.

He sounded like a really decent guy who would have added some more diversity to a team that could use a bit more.
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 11:16 AM EST (#393139) #
Nice thing for Alford is he is now in Pittsburgh and is the favorite to start in CF if they don't trade/sign anyone else. In his 13 PA for them he hit well, for what it is worth (not much) with a HR, triple, single, and a walk.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 11:17 AM EST (#393140) #
Springer attending the White House Ceremony doesn't even register on my radar as anything - I personally wouldn't knee or commit other similar gestures but I would explain that it's because I think it's lazy and unproductive and let's leadership/politic1ans/big business etc. and people who can actually change society off the hook too easily - I'm done with symbolic actions by themselves.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 12:01 PM EST (#393141) #
" A highly talented athlete that picked baseball over football"

That is not exactly true. Alford was considered a first round talent going into the 2012 MLB draft but made it known he was going to play college football which allowed the Jays to get him in the third round. Alford played some minor league baseball for the Jays when he had time off from football and, after 3 years with little success on the gridiron, he finally decided to focus on baseball.

In hindsight there's doubt it would have benefited Anthony to concentrate on baseball only. Those three years of partial seasons and a host of injuries really set him back in development. I always pulled for him and was disappointed that he never made his mark with the Jays.
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 12:05 PM EST (#393142) #
Sugano chasing that four-year, $56MM deal that Yusei Kikuchi signed to join the Mariners apparently. A lot to risk, but might be worth it. Kikuchi didn't earn his yet with a 0.7 bWAR after 2 seasons, but his ERA in Japan was 2.77 3.3 BB/9 8.0 K/9 0.7 HR/9 vs Sugano's 2.34 1.8 BB/9 8.0 K/9 0.6 HR/9.

I'd look at a 5 year deal for him - if he is as good as hoped (#3/2 starter) then he is easily worth $15 mil a year so 5 years $60 mil might do the trick and leave some money in the bank.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 12:09 PM EST (#393143) #
Can you give me an example of something a white ballplayer has done to advance the cause of racial equality in the US that you do respect, 85bluejay?  I am sure that there is something more than not attending a White House ceremony, but I'm hard pressed to think of something that wasn't symbolic or about supporting teammates (which I don't consider symbolic at all).  Maybe something like Dale Murphy's statement referred to here.
uglyone - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 12:38 PM EST (#393144) #
Lindor+Carrasco to the Mets.

I bet you we were SOOOO close! Unlucky!
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 12:39 PM EST (#393145) #
The Mets are finalizing a deal for Lindor and Carrasco according to all the big baseball media types. That's going to have huge ramifications on the rest of the off-season, for the Jays and others. I don't think that takes the Mets off Springer, but that's a lot of money they are adding on, and they would have to extend Lindor beyond 2021 at big money.

Maybe now things will start happening.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 01:16 PM EST (#393146) #
That's my point Mike Green, I cannot and that's the problem for me - I want to see actions by whomever (white ballplayer, non-white ballplayer, owner, GM) that actually helps the disadvantaged get better opportunities and through all the marches/protest/kneeling etc. I've yet to see measures by anybody that will help the disadvantaged and I am worried that like in previous protest (60's), people will get tired, distracted and move on and the disadvantaged will be in the same place or worse.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#393147) #
I think it's probably best if we all try to avoid judging players and why we may personally not like them based on our personal view of them. "I don't want Springer mentoring our players because (insert your political reason here). Mike this isn't directed to you, just in general.


dalimon5 - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 01:25 PM EST (#393148) #
Anybody have a comparable suggestion that the Jays could have offered vs the Mets package?
85bluejay - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 01:36 PM EST (#393149) #
That's a very nice splashy trade for the Mets and they can afford to extend Lindor and survive if the back-end become an albatross (replacing Cano's money) - I wonder if they are now not as inclined to after DJ LeMahieu.
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 01:41 PM EST (#393150) #
Amed Rosario - entering age 25 season, 91 OPS+ lifetime, 50-25 SB-CS slight negative SS on defense (4 seasons, peak of 101 OPS+)

Andres Gimenez - entering age 22 season, 102 OPS+ in 47 games last year at SS/2B/3B, 7th in ROY voting. Very solid defensive stats (0.5 dWAR, positive UZR/150 at 2B & SS, sub par at 3B). So a bit weaker than, say, Biggio/Bichette but not as far off as one would think. Suggesting at least one of those 2 would've been needed in a deal.

Prospects: right-hander Josh Wolf (age 20 season going into, 1.1 BB/9 vs 13.5 K/9 in gulf coast league at 18) and outfielder Isaiah Greene (2nd round draft pick last year). They are the Mets #9 and #10 prospects according to MLB.com

So it would've been very expensive - one of our big 3 kids plus Miguel Hiraldo and Adam Kloffenstein I'd lean towards. Not to mention the risk of Lindor not signing.
scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 02:22 PM EST (#393151) #
I believe Cleveland wanted Gurriel and maybe 2 or 3 prospects better than the ones the Mets sent.

It's a very good news.
Carrasco gives them another starting pitcher, so their rotation might be complete.
Their chase of Springer might now depends on the DH in the NL.

Lylemcr - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 02:36 PM EST (#393152) #
I think this is great news. Mets were considered in the running for some of the other free agents the Jays were after. This could make them a leader for players like Springer
grjas - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 02:41 PM EST (#393154) #
That was my reaction. Much is I like Lindor, I donít think moving Bichette off shortstop would be wise, and now there may be less bidders for other key players.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 02:45 PM EST (#393155) #
The Mets will have to give Lindor a huge extension ($250-300M most likely) to keep him around long-term. Cano's money is back on the books in 2022-23, and all of Stroman, Syndergaard, and Conforto are free agents after 2021. This trade doesn't rule out Springer going to the Mets, especially since Cohen is both wealthy and motivated, but I wonder just how much more long-term money the Mets want to spend after this move. They could probably get Bradley to play CF and sign Hendriks for the same AAV as Springer alone, and they might view that as a better long-term financial move than guaranteeing $125+ million on Springer.

Springer to the Mets is still the likely scenario, but the Jays chances might have improved a tiny bit.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 03:34 PM EST (#393156) #
I use baseball tradevalues.com to get a better idea of what decent trade value is, and they nailed this deal as they have 40.10M of future value going to Indians and 41.60M of future value going to the Mets.

Data aside I like this deal better for the Mets than the Indians.

johnny was - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 03:50 PM EST (#393157) #
Cleveland had no chance of re-signing Lindor, though, making the balance look quite different.
clark - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 04:25 PM EST (#393158) #
I feel like the Jaysí comparable package would have looked something like Gurriel, Groshans, Van Eyck, Dasan Brown.

Young big league players are Gurriel and Rosario. Top 100 prospects are Gimenez and Groshans. The other 2 prospects going from the Mets were their second round picks from 19 and 20. Rough equivalents to Van Eyck and Brown I would guess.

Iím not sure how Iíd feel about giving up that package. Iím a big Carrasco fan but I wouldnít be too excited about listening to incessant media speculation about whether or not Linder resigns. Kind of burned out on that with the Kawhi saga.
Glevin - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 04:41 PM EST (#393159) #
"Data aside I like this deal better for the Mets than the Indians."

It's a very Cleveland trade of the last few years. A bunch of decent prospects for great players. Look at the returns for these players (different circumstances for each in contract, FA, age, etc...but still)

Kluber-Clase and Deshields
Bauer-Puig, Reyes, Allen
Clevinger-A bunch of pretty good prospects
Lindor and Carrasco-Some decent young players.

That's trading away immense talent without getting any elite talent back. Maybe this trade works out but Cleveland as a franchise is broken. They cut Brad Hand to save $1M. They didn't offer qualifying for Brantley he obviously would have rejected because they didn't want to risk a one year affordable contract. They are one of a number of teams in the MLB that need new owners.
bpoz - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 04:43 PM EST (#393160) #
Great move by the Mets. They are willing to spend big money. The new owner talked big too.

They have the pitching to match Atlanta and Washington. I see Miami as a cheap team the will rebuild as best as they can. Philly has no pitching.
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 04:58 PM EST (#393161) #
No question for Cleveland this is what they need to do (like the A's and Rays). All 3 are small market teams (or at least operate like it) and have limited fan bases. Funny thing is Cleveland showed they will come out for a winner that holds onto their players in the 90's (from 1996 to 2001 they had 3 million plus in attendance a year - a newer park helped). But now they are hovering around the 2 million mark - better than TB and Oakland, but not where they once were. In spite of making the playoffs 4 of the past 5 years they only cracked 2 million once.

IMO this is more proof of the value of having players stick around - the 90's team signed at a young age their core of Belle, Lofton, and others. Despite the big 1994 strike they still had massive crowds and tons of enthusiasm. Now, with a top team they have trouble drawing. I'll guarantee there is a link, and these 3 teams show it. The Jays are helped by this as it makes more quality players available and hopefully the Jays make the right choices.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:07 PM EST (#393162) #
Sugano has decided to return to Japan.
christaylor - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:17 PM EST (#393163) #
Good for the Mets. I like this as a baseball move. If I'm the Jays I lean toward doing nothing and because there is cash in the coffers be interested in everyone to scoop any bargain. Canada's lackluster (even compared to the US) roll-out clinches this perspective for me. Vague prediction I'm mildly surprised if the Jays are playing in the dome in July and not at all surprised if they play all their games in Buffalo again this year. I hope this post ages badly but 2021 won't feel very different from 2020 until Q4.
subculture - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:21 PM EST (#393164) #
Playing center field can cause a lot of wear and tear. If you are going to invest in a player like Springer (early 30s; big bat), it might make more sense to move him to right field to preserve his health so that he remains a valuable offensive player. If you try to keep him in centre, you may end up with the worst of both worlds: suboptimal performance both at the plate and on defence. Incidentally, it will be interesting to see who generate more WAR over the next five years: Springer or Kim. I would guess that the much-cheaper Kim has about a 30% chance of coming out ahead.

I agree with this, and also think it's a big factor why Springer won't come play on turf unless our offer is significantly higher. It's another reason why the Jays should have accepted a higher risk for Kim, as Springer would only be a short-term upgrade at CF even if he came. As for Lindor, great player but SS is probably the position where we need an upgrade least... I think Bo's disastrous last game defence has made many folks forget what a great 2-way player he is on the way to becoming. Kim, or Arenado or elite potential pitching makes the most sense for the Jays. I would start with DJ but think the chance he comes here is nil.

On the one hand, I am optimistic that many current favorable factors put the Jays in a good position to sign quality free agents (relative down year for other AL East teams, many MLB teams hesitant to spend due to unknowns or weaker finances, good young core and stable management that has declared intent to spend and improve). On the other hand, I'm wondering if Shapiro/Atkins have underestimated how difficult it is to convince top tier FA's to sign here, in the only non-American market, on turf, with worse weather (meaning families unlikely to move here during year), potentially higher taxes. There's a reason why the Raptors leaned so heavily on international players with less ties to the US. Players are more likely to re-sign with the Jays once they have developed some roots and appreciate our culture, but why move here if your preference is for somewhere else.
scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:44 PM EST (#393165) #
The Bisons will be playing in Buffalo this year.
If they have to, they Jays will likely play out of Dunedin.

John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:54 PM EST (#393166) #
Kind of expected that from Sugano once I read what his demands were and what his team in Japan offered him. Now the question is do the Jays go all-in for Bauer or work on a trade with someone (say, LA for Price who is excess there). Should be interesting to see what happens.
scottt - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 05:57 PM EST (#393167) #
Shapiro/Atkins ran into this right away with Encarnation.
The difference this time is that the Jays are willing to wait it out.
Walker and Ray both wanted to come back.
For Springer, the turf might matter less if it's his last contract and all the money is guaranteed.
Right now it looks like 5/125M which is more than the Jays have ever payed anyone.
BTW, they've replaced the turf over the winter. It's supposed to be better now. We'll see.
The Mets might not want to go that high if they still want to spend on the bullpen.
It's true that Stroman will be off the books after next year but they'll still want to replace him.

It's interesting that Sugano made the trip just to say no.
I still think he had an offer he liked but not from the team he wanted.
Let's just hope Yamaguchi bounces back.

christaylor - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 06:31 PM EST (#393168) #
Fair enough. That's worse.
Paul D - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#393169) #
If the Jays are taking on money from the Dodgers, I wonder if they could get Kenley Jansen too. Assuming the cost is basically nothing
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 08:02 PM EST (#393170) #
Jansen is getting $20 mil in 2021. Insane for a closer. But if it is needed to get the Jays something else then it works. The Dodgers in 2020 had a solid 5 man rotation (dumped Springer on the Jays to cut down to 5) with all 5 having a 120+ ERA+. Given LA owes Price $16 mil a year for each of the next 2 years (Boston paying the rest) I'd certainly look at doing that. $36 mil for a closer and a starter isn't bad. I figure that is plan B or C for the Jays, A being Bauer or Tanaka for the rotation, B Walker or one of the others who have issues (Paxton for example with his injury issues). C is trade but who is available other than Price?
greenfrog - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 08:59 PM EST (#393171) #
There is a tidbit on the Jays and Springer in MLBTR:

In the wake of the Lindor/Carrasco trade, the Mets arenít necessarily finished making big-ticket acquisitions, though itís ďless likelyĒ they will sign free-agent outfielder George Springer because of an unwillingness to exceed the $210MM luxury-tax threshold, Andy Martino of SNY writes. New York is in the $190MM payroll vicinity at the moment, and it would like to open the season around $5MM to $10MM under the $210MM mark, Martino reports. The Mets have been tied throughout the offseason to Springer, arguably the top position player on the open market. The former Astro wants a deal in the $175MM range, but the Mets have been short of that at around five years and $150MM, according to Martino. The Blue Jays, who have also been in on Springer, are in the five-year, $115MM range, Martino relays."
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 09:04 PM EST (#393172) #
Springer might have overplayed his had with this Lindor trade. He was down to the Mets and Jays and Andy Martino of SNY writes that the Mets offered Springer 5 years $150 mil, Jays $115 mil over 5 years. He was after $175 mil over 5. I could see the Jays going to $125 but right now they know they have the power as the Mets only have about $20 mil of payroll left before hitting the luxury tax and their owner apparently doesn't want to hit it. I kind of hope the Jays play hardball with him on this. Springer is a 'nice to have' but not critical imo. I think the current team is very smart about picking a line in the sand and sticking to it. Might not always work out, but will keep them from making a major mistake ala JPR with Vernon Wells (made improvements very hard to do with the budget blown).

Right now I'd put LeMathieu and Bauer higher on the list as LeMathieu covers 3B (or is at 2B with Biggio at 3B) while Bauer would obviously make a killer 1-2 punch in the rotation. But the Jays have their hard line so I doubt either will get signed, but the Jays will help insure whoever does sign them pays more than they want to. Then at the end of the winter Realmuto or Springer running out of options gives in and signs for whatever the Jays feel is a good deal.
John Northey - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 09:05 PM EST (#393173) #
Coke to greenfrog - price of typing when thinking of a dozen other things. Single parenthood in the time of COVID in Ontario sucks btw.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 07 2021 @ 09:17 PM EST (#393174) #
NYM owner just went on the air and said the report to stay under the threshold is false. This team has stupid money to spend.
John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 12:37 AM EST (#393175) #
DJ LeMathieu is probably off the Mets list no matter what their money situation is at this point I'd think. The Dodgers are looking at him (probably to replace Turner or Enrique Hernandez at 2B (83 OPS+ in 2020, 98 lifetime but very strong on defense and able to play anywhere so a very solid backup but not really an everyday guy).

Right now though it is the Yankees #1 for LeMathieu, Jays appear to be #2, and Dodgers would be #3 - but for the Jays I'd say the Dodgers are ideal if he won't sign here as that would get him out of the AL East, make the Dodgers want to clear payroll space as they'd be over the luxury tax, and maybe make Turner more available who I think is the best option for 3B right now.

With Lindor being traded, Kim signed, and Sugano back in Japan it is time for some of the top guys (the ones in the poll) to start signing I think. It'll be interesting to see who goes first (I think Springer) and last (Realmuto) and to which cities.
bpoz - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 08:25 AM EST (#393176) #
The 2021 WS champ could be from the NL. More #1 pitchers in the NL seems to me.
John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 09:32 AM EST (#393177) #
Fun thing about the playoffs is anything can happen...
  • 2020: Dodgers: dominate 121 OPS+ 141 ERA+ Kershaw 196 (!)
  • 2019: Nationals: 103 OPS+ 106 ERA+, Scherzer 154 but 2 other starters over 130
  • 2018: Boston: 112 OPS+, 118 ERA+ Sale 209 (career year) but ERA over 5 in WS
  • 2017: Houston*: 123 OPS+ 99 ERA+ Keuchel 141, no other starter over Peacock 136 in a swing role, otherwise lots of meh or worse.
You get the idea. The best pitching team doesn't always win, nor do the best pitchers beat the best hitters each time. In a short series anything can and does happen. Of course, having multiple aces does help (Arizona in the early 2000's comes to mind right away with Johnson & Schilling) but you can win without (Jays 1993 no starter with an ERA+ better than 112).
scottt - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 09:35 AM EST (#393178) #
A lot can happen, but between the Mets, Dodgers, Padres and Braves, the power seems to have shifted to the NL.
It's not really a good look for the Marlins.
I'm really looking forward to playing teams not from the east divisions.

Mike Green - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 09:43 AM EST (#393179) #
John, the 2017 Astros did have Verlander in the playoffs, and it mattered.  The first 4 or 5 pitchers on a squad take on disproportionate significance in the playoffs due to the extra days off (2020 was unusual in that respect). 
bpoz - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 10:05 AM EST (#393180) #
The last 4 WS champs had "established" #1s ie Sherzer, Kershaw. This is not a pattern because there are also a few V young #1s Buehler, Snell some won the WS and others have not yet.

1993 Guzman was good. We player CWS and Philly. I don't know if CWS had a good #1 but Shilling was the #1 for Philly I think. Our closer was better in 1993. Henke may have left in 1993.

So a trip down memory lane. A young #1 most likely sometime soon will dominate the playoffs. Old J Morris in 1991 and young J Guzman in 1992/93.

scottt - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 10:11 AM EST (#393181) #
Lots of people overreacting and expecting the Mets to sign both Bauer and Springer or the Jays to panic and trade top prospects for a starter. I don't really believe that Springer would have turned down 150M from the Mets.
Still a lot of good players available and asking more than what teams want to pay.
Hendriks reportedly wants a 4 year contract.
Turner wants 4 years.
LeMahieu wants 5 years.
McCann got 4 years.
Kim is maybe the only guy who signed at a discount.

I still like Happ, Walker, Kluber, Paxton.
There's a number of infield options.
The outfield is pretty bare outside of Springer and JBJ.

John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#393182) #
One thing I like about this management team is after the mistake they made with Morales/Encarnacion they learned to pick their targets, and to stick with their plan. No panic moves. While I'd love to see them sign a batch of guys from a pure fan POV, the logical side knows that they could be screwed if they do that - imagine if they gave Kim the guarantee of a ML job and he flopped, or if they hand out extra years to someone and get burned when the payroll starts to grow in 3-4 years as Biggio/Vlad/Bo all hit the expensive years of arbitration? As a long term fan I much prefer them to play the long game. As a fan who wants another WS now, now, now!!! I want them to sign everyone at any price :)
bpoz - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 10:50 AM EST (#393183) #
Shapiro and Atkins have not said anything really since the beginning of the off season. Something meaningful but small is what I expect.

Ryu for 3 more years is good for the team if he is healthy and performs. The current core will get a lot better with experience so I will wait for that. The young pitching on the 40 man roster has the quantity to produce enough good 4/5 to 1 inning pitchers. Pearson is a high ceiling SP prospect. The only one considered a potential #1. In 2022/23 a few more high ceiling SP prospects will be ready to challenge for a rotation spot. We always get disappointments but also good surprises. So a transition period unless we can sign #1s this year and next.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 11:23 AM EST (#393184) #
They probably could have approached this rebuild a bit better. I would have preferred if they signed Vlad, Biggio and Bichette to long term deals ala Evan Longoria and the Rays. If you put enough money they will sign on the dotted line. That would make it easier to build the rest of the team through free agents. Right now we are hearing excuses through the media. "They need to keep money available for when the young core gets expensive and needs to be resigned."
ISLAND BOY - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 11:31 AM EST (#393185) #
The Mets project to have a pretty good rotation this year - Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman and David Peterson ( a young guy who had good numbers last season). Noah Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery last March so he might make it back this season.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 11:59 AM EST (#393186) #
BREAKING: Gerrit Cole is a cheater (among cheaters)
John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 12:05 PM EST (#393187) #
For rapid turnover take a look at the 2018 team (I randomly called them up on my computer looking for how to spell Morales) - 8 of the top 10 in bWAR have non-Jay caps on (they show the most recent cap for a guy on that part often). Only Grichuk and Borucki are left. #10 was Aaron Sanchez 0.9 WAR that year. 2019 has 8 still here (exceptions are Galvis and Sogard). 2017's list has 2 in Jay hats but both aren't here now (Stroman & Estrada) probably due to the minimal time they had elsewhere since then (Stroman only 59 2/3 IP for the Mets so far, Estrada 23 2/3 for Oakland then retired).

No question this management team, when they decided it was time to do turnover did it fast and completely. Doubt many teams have done that big a turnover that fast outside of the Rays (who do it annually it seems) or Marlins (post 1997 they seemed to dump everyone who made 10 cents above minimum).
bpoz - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 12:17 PM EST (#393188) #
RIP T Lasorda.
scottt - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 01:17 PM EST (#393189) #
Vlad, Biggio and Bichette are not Longoria.
They haven't played enough to show what they can really do and yet they're not going to sign extensions unless they get paid. Extending any of them now could fall into a Vernon Wells mistake pretty quickly.
Vlad will probably not age that well. I like the idea of having him year to year to keep him motivated.
Biggio is a tad older. He's not going to get a 10 year contract when he reach free agency.
It might depends on his role on the team by then. I don't see a rush there.
Bichette is the one that might be worth extending earlier, but I have no idea of what he wants.
 

scottt - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 01:18 PM EST (#393190) #
The end of a long road for Lasorda. He saw his Dodgers win another World Series this fall.
RIP.

scottt - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 01:22 PM EST (#393191) #
I wonder about Kiermaier. Once Springer and JBJ sign, he's probably the top option left in center and the Rays might not ask for much besides clearing his salary.
uglyone - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 04:04 PM EST (#393192) #
For those consoling themselves that Shapkins didn't do this deal because they were being smart in not wanting to give up comparable longterm value for these aging expensive players......well about that....

FWIW, the Blue Jays were the runner-up for Francisco Lindor. Don't know specific players, but I'm told their offer had what is probably a higher ceiling yet was centered on long-term prospects. Cleveland chose the package from the Mets b/c it balanced short- and long-term help.

— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) January 8, 2021
John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 04:17 PM EST (#393193) #
Makes sense - the Jays wouldn't give up short term useful players as they are starting their competitive window right now - thus guys like Gurriel Jr, and Biggio (both whom I'd figure Cleveland would've been after) would've been off limits unless the Jays signed another player to replace them (thus in a treadmill situation). Sounds like being smart to me. Much like AA in 2014/2015 - gave up only guys who were being replaced or were excess (Reyes, Lawrie, Lind) or minor leaguers (Boyd, Norris). Might get you to the playoffs short term but those minor leaguers can hurt (Syndergaard) later. Still, generally it is better to give up potential for present just don't get silly (maybe the worst ever was Boston trading a 1B with potential for a reliever (Larry Andersen - 22 very good innings plus 3 poor ones in the playoffs) years ago led to Houston having Jeff Bagwell).
John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 05:58 PM EST (#393194) #
FYI: Mets signed Brandon Drury to a minor league deal so we don't need to worry about him eating playing time in 2021. Guess they needed someone to cover the infield after trading away two of their regulars in 2020. Wonder if Drury can take away as much value as Lindor adds?
grjas - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 06:17 PM EST (#393195) #
Sounds like being smart to me.

Yup. Sounds like they took a good run at a top player and didnít line up with the other teamís needs. Cíest la vie.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 06:47 PM EST (#393196) #
Any suggestions of next best "packaged returns," which the Jays can go after? Here are three I can think of:
* Trevor Story/Marquez (Colorado Rockies)
* Corey Seager/David Price (Los Angeles Dodgers)
* Kris Bryant/Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs)



John Northey - Friday, January 08 2021 @ 08:33 PM EST (#393197) #
If the Cubs are in full dump mode then I'd jump all over Hendricks - a very good pitcher133 ERA+ lifetime, 155 last year, who is signed very cheaply ($14 mil a year next 3 years then a $16 mil option vs $1.5 buyout - complicated it seems though). They'd be foolish to trade him for less than a kings ransom. Bryant I'd kick the tires on. They might look at it if the Jays ate Craig Kimbrel's contract ($16 mil in 2021 plus $1 mil buyout of 2022 contract - he has sucked the past 2 years with 15 saves, 4 blown, 75 ERA+). I suspect the Cubs also would love to dump Jason Heyward like the Jays did with Vernon Wells (one good year after a few 'meh' to terrible owed $65 mil over the next 3 years) he had a 129 OPS+ last year but is at 90 for his Cubs career - price of going long on a guy who really wasn't as good as many hoped - maybe if they take Grichuk who is owed $31 mil over the next 3 years and we get something good as well.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 11:21 AM EST (#393203) #
It sounds like Cleveland will plug the 2 guys they just acquired in their infield while they wait for the other 2 prospects.
The Jays didn't have anyone to trade away that is still cheap, under control and not part of their core.
Now, imagine someone like Kevin Smith or Warmoth had made it to MLB and put out half-decent numbers, things would have been different.

In the end, the Mets didn't give up very much.

James W - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 10:42 PM EST (#393210) #
The 1993 White Sox had 4 very good starters, led by Cy Young winner Jack McDowell. Wilson Alvarez, Jason Bere, and Alex Fernandez (all 23 or younger) all pitched well for them that year.

Duane Ward was the Blue Jays closer in 1993.
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