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OK, just AJ Cole, but hey things are quiet.

Minor league deal - $1 mil if he makes the team with $200k in incentives. Guess letting him go for a bit instead of arbitration was a good money saver. Well, in baseball terms probably not much but something.

Hopefully we get a significant deal soon as things are going so slow this winter it is painful.
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Thomas - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 09:23 AM EST (#393199) #
It's not clear to me that this was a money-saver with regards to Cole's salary. MLB Trade Rumours listed his projected arbitration salary at $800,000 to $1,100,000. Cole was signed at more than the mid-point of that range, with additional performance bonuses he wouldn't have received with an arbitration award.

I don't think it makes a lot of difference, since we're talking about a couple of hundred of thousand and the parties may have settled prior to an arbitration hearing, but I don't think the Jays really saved anything with this move. Hypothetically, if he makes the team and hits half of his bonuses for argument's sake, the Jays are paying him $1.1 million as opposed to, for argument's sake, $950,000 at the projected arbitration salary midpoint.

However, the two potential benefits I see, which may well offset paying Cole slightly more than he may have received at arbitration are the fact that Cole won't take up a 40-man spot until he's added to the roster at the end of spring training and if he has an awful spring training, they don't pay any financial penalty for releasing him nor the same rate of salary if he's sent to the minors.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 09:29 AM EST (#393200) #
Geez, it was never mentioned in the media that the Jays were pursuing A.J.Cole. They really messed up there.
mathesond - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 09:56 AM EST (#393201) #
Actually Island Boy, it was the rare case of not wanting to risk posting something unsubstantiated on Twitter that slowed the media in this instance. Heaven knows they wouldn't want to look foolish on a deal of this magnitude!
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 10:39 AM EST (#393202) #
It's nice to see more guys who want to come back.

There might be a possibility he starts the season in Buffalo as an injury replacement.
If that's the case, paying him a bit more would compensate for the few weeks he'll be down there.

Also, they'll eventually need spots whenever they sign a regular or two.

scottt - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 03:04 PM EST (#393204) #
I now wonder how much Hand will go for and if it wouldn't have been wiser to pick up his option.
grjas - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 03:11 PM EST (#393205) #
“However, there is “increasing industry chatter” that Bryant could be traded somewhere “as soon as this weekend.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up here as a one year rental while we wait for the kids to mature. Given the Jays supposedly aggressive play for Lindor, and now with the Mets being likely uninterested, it seems like a reasonable opportunity at a lower cost given his 2020 numbers. And with the short term nature of the commitment, it wouldn’t preclude buying another shiny toy.
John Northey - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 03:21 PM EST (#393206) #
Agreed grjas - Bryant would be sweet to have, but boy what is going on in Cub land? I mean, that is a massive market, with solid TV deals I'd think. They should be able to afford anyone and won their division last year but now they've dumped their ace for a guy 1 year from free agency and a batch of kids, and now are talking of getting rid of a former MVP who is under 30 but 1 year from free agency and the rumors are they are wanting to dump anyone making any real money. IE: going full Tampa Bay but with weaker management (Theo Epstein having resigned this year - probably after being told to cut payroll).

Hopefully the Jays are talking with them - one way to get something might be to take on the insane Jason Heyward contract ($65 mil over the next 3 years) which I'm sure they want to dump (he has a 90 OPS+ as a Cub, but did have a 129 dead cat bounce last year). Would be complicated but might be able to work something where the Jays take on some dead payroll from the Cubs in order to get a talented player. Who knows?
bpoz - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 04:41 PM EST (#393207) #
I am not surprised by the Cole signing. It is a good depth move and I expect a few more.
John Northey - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 09:53 PM EST (#393208) #
So... which free agent would have the biggest impact? Using FanGraphs projected WAR for 2021 (Steamer)
  • Realmuto: 4.1 vs Danny Jansen 2.2 = spread of 1.9
  • LeMahieu: 3.4 vs Kirk (at DH, can't play if Vlad/Tellez 1B/DH but if Vlad at 3B he is the logical next at DH) 1.6 = spread of 1.8 (could probably add another full 1 WAR due to Vlad being at 3B instead of 1B/DH)
  • Springer: 4.0 vs Grichuk 1.6 (assuming he is traded and the other guys stay at their positions) = spread of 2.4
  • Bauer: 3.8 vs Thornton (or whoever is #5) 0.5 = spread of 3.3
1001 variables not factored in but it gives a quick and dirty look at the value of the big 4 free agents. Bauer #1 in impact vs any #5 starter here, LeMahieu (or Turner's 3.2) would help almost as much in part due to making Vlad go back to 1B/DH.
bpoz - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 10:33 PM EST (#393209) #
Unless I hear Atkins or Shapiro say it I am putting practically no stock in it. Atkins said impact which has degrees of impact. Shapiro said strike thrower.

Last year and this year I did not hear Atkins or Shapiro say how close their offer for trade or FA was. Shaw was a pretty good pick up for a 95 loss team. But Rowdy matched Shaw offensively. Ryu was incredible. The other pickups better than the previous year. Roark vs Buchholz.

The media wasted a lot of their time IMO.
John Northey - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 10:56 PM EST (#393211) #
The media needs to fill inches/get clicks so they aren't wasting time by making speculative articles which draw eyes. An article that says 'Jays did nothing this week' gets zero clicks, one that says 'Jays talking with Bauer' gets lots of clicks. The media here I'm sure wants Bauer to sign as he is busy on social media which hands them easy to write stories good or bad. Check his YouTube for some funny stuff - his Jays fans one is good - seems Jay fans aren't begging like others are but very creative according to him.
bpoz - Saturday, January 09 2021 @ 11:32 PM EST (#393212) #
True. Always a lot of noise.
Thomas - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 08:27 AM EST (#393213) #
Schwarber's deal with the Nationals contains a mutual option with a buyout. I've always assumed that where there's a mutual option with a buyout, the team decides first and if the team turns down the option, the player receives the buyout. However, if the team exercises the option, and the player declines it, the player doesn't receive the buyout.

Does anyone know if that's accurate, as I read something that suggests the player receives it anyway.
Parker - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 10:12 AM EST (#393214) #
Nah, the contract can only go two ways. 1) Both parties agree on the option and it is picked up by the team, or 2) either or both parties (doesn't matter which) decline the option and the buyout clause is invoked. The contract guarantees that one of the option year or the buyout is definitely paid out.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#393215) #
Generally, mutual options include a buyout owed by the team if it does not exercise its end of the option. If, instead, the player declines his side, he usually sacrifices some or all of the buyout.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 10:49 AM EST (#393216) #
So, in practice, only 2 thing can happen.

90% of the time, the team will decline the option and pay the buyout.

The rest of the time, the team and player will either agree to an extension that pays more than the option or the player will simply go back to the free agency pool without collection the buyout.

AFAIK, no parties have ever agreed on a mutual option as contracted.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 10:53 AM EST (#393217) #
I asked myself when was the last mutual option exercised and it looks like it was Aramis Ramierez in 2015.
bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#393218) #
I am enjoying the intellectual exercise of the Jays rebuild. The AL East has a V high standard. The Jays rebuild was very fast. Mosby provided encouraging words about 2019 being an unavoidable step that his team also had to go through. 95 losses in 2019 was softened by the 2020 playoff gift. But IMO the gift came with a price tag. Only 200 ABs for the young core and V little opportunity for the huge group of young pitchers to prove themselves. Hatch with 26 IP was the most.

During 2021 Ryu has nothing to prove. The number of games will determine the growth of the young position core. Improvement in Vlad'd defense and Jansen's offense. The veteran SPs behind Ryu are on short term contracts and are ranked below #2s. So is the potential of all the young SPs except Pearson. If Pearson gets injured then he is moving to a short reliever role most likely. Murphy with his stuff seems to be someone that could be a horse in the rotation IMO.

Stuff matters for a SP. The better power stuff seems to be with Manoah, SWR and Kloff who probably don't pitch for the Jays in 2021.

The possibility of playoffs by the 2020 trade deadline was a strong incentive to be a buyer. Atkins announced very strongly about what he was hunting for. He successfully got 3 SPs and Villar. So a good haul of strength and insurance for pitching. Villar's strength was offense. Horrible defense. So offense is more valued it seems.

Parker - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 11:39 AM EST (#393219) #
I asked myself when was the last mutual option exercised and it looks like it was Aramis Ramierez in 2015.

Yeah, actually uses his case as an example of one of the rare times a mutual option was picked up, on their page defining and explaining the mutual option clause.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 12:04 PM EST (#393220) #
If Pearson puts it together, things could look very good.
If not, there's a lot of average or so arms that can round out the rotation.

We won't see Manoah or Kloff in 2021.
SWR is closer. He could start in AA.
Joe Murray and Josh Winckowski are closer still, but none of them are on the 40 roster.

It's going to be a great year to watch the farm and I do hope Rogers is smart enough to show many Cs games.

bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 12:13 PM EST (#393221) #
According to the 2021 schedule the 1st game is late Feb and the season starts Apr 1st.

The Dunedin facility is probably open now or soon. So pre-ST workouts. Then the waiting game for decisions on the 2021 details. The timing of player movement is still uncertain but everyone is preparing.

The Jays FO probably has a plan for every possibility.
bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 12:46 PM EST (#393222) #
Pearson's health prevented him from showing his perceived dominance. Jansen managed to show the little values like throwing out runners. Vlad showed negatives like out of shape and heavy, poor defense and struggles (below his best) at the plate. All 3 get to try again in 2021.

Manoah, SWR & Kloff get the chance to dominate the minors. Other pitchers not on the 40 man roster led by J Murray, Winkowski and M Castillo should get to AA and prove that they have earned a 40 man spot or even a ML spot. I think M Castillo can be promoted to the ML pen to do 2-4 innings of long relief. Max throws strikes, gets GBs and probably has 4 pitches that he can use.
John Northey - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 01:04 PM EST (#393223) #
Looking to 2021 what is the expected WAR for the guys we have at each position? Using Steamer projections from FanGraphs website

  • CA: Jansen 2.2 / McGuire 0.3 / Kirk 1.6
  • 1B: Vlad 4.0
  • 2B: Biggio 2.9
  • 3B: ???
  • SS: Bo 4.1
  • LF: Gurriel 1.8
  • CF: Grichuk 1.6
  • RF: Hernandez 0.9
  • DH: Tellez 1.5
  • IF: Espinal 0.5
  • OF: Davis 0.1

  • SP: Ryu: 3.1
  • SP: Ray: 2.1
  • SP: Roark: 0.8
  • SP: Stripling: 1.6
  • SP: Pearson: 1.6
  • SP: Thornton: 0.5
  • SP: Zeuch: 0.3 (only with 62 innings)

  • RP: Romano: 0.4
  • RP: Dolis: 0.3
  • RP: Borucki: 0.3
  • RP: Hatch: 0.1
  • RP: Yamaguchi: 0.0
  • RP: Kay: 0.0
  • RP: Merryweather: 1.0
  • RP: Cole: 0.0
Many more RP possible to put it mildly.

What seems clear is we have a weak pen. No one expected to get 0.5 WAR even other than Merryweather who is more a split pen/starter. Liam Hendriks is at 1.1 projection so I can see why the Jays might chase him - odds are he'd push a sub 0 guy out of the pen thus be a net of more than 1 maybe 2 wins. Getting Bauer would knock one of the many 0-2 guys out plus his projected 3.8 so he should add 2-3 wins plus the cascade effect improving the pen. Pitching really should be #1 after figuring out what to do about 3B.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 01:25 PM EST (#393224) #
Nate Pearson looks like the 2nd coming of Aaron Sanchez to me. I'm much more excited about SWR.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 01:51 PM EST (#393225) #
Pearson could certainly flame out as a pitcher, but his minor league stats include a 32:146 BB:K ratio in 123.1 IP total. That is more Syndergaard (*better* than Syndergaard, in fact) than Sanchez.
bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 02:40 PM EST (#393226) #
How do Vlad and Bo out perform 4 WAR? Hernandez's .9 WAR probably suffers from his defense history. Gurriel's major league ABs are 50/50 IF/OF. In his 3 year history there are impressively long hitting streaks but his fielding position was a learning process.

Grichuck and Biggio both play like veterans as did Smoak so they probably don't have a breakout in their future because they are at the top of their games. Biggio could breakout if his eye at the plate gets the respect it deserves from the umps.
jgadfly - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 03:59 PM EST (#393227) #
RE: trading for Luis Castillo ... FWIW M2C ... two weeks ago when I was searching for background on Castillo I came across a list of "most similar" pitchers ( which I haven't since been able to locate ). I was surprised to see that of the five or so pitchers listed three of them had ties to the Blue Jays.

The list included Taijuan Walker, Joe Musgrove and surprisingly Aaron Sanchez. Two of those, Sanchez and Walker require only money as they are 'free' agents. Musgrove would require prospects but nowhere near the quality required by trading for Castillo. Perhaps the Jays could acquire all three for under $15M while not using any of their top 10 prospects and hope that they get lucky and catch the proverbial 'fire in a bottle'... 'Minimalish' risk for possibly 'highish' reward ... a definite high end gamble but never the less would it not be an improved pitching staff ?

Also, acquiring David Price's contract would allow the Dodgers to go after Lemahieu and keep him out of the AL East or at the least prevent the Yankee$ from accessing the free agent pitching market.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 04:59 PM EST (#393228) #

Those are nice stats you pulled up. We have to go with those numbers. I don't think he's the 2nd coming of Sanchez anymore. I didn't realize the type of control he had. Thanks for pointing that out.

bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 07:26 PM EST (#393229) #
We all know that there is something about pitchers and arm problems. Pearson and Zeuch overcame basically a lost year of development. Borucki more than a year and Maese even longer. However D Wells had similar injury issues in the minors and survived to pitch many years.

At the moment Pearson and Zeuch are on our top 30 lists. Maese was and dropped out. H Danner is a pitcher that has a unique history on the prospect list.
John Northey - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 07:29 PM EST (#393230) #
What will be interesting is to see how losing 2020 affects prospects and amateur players. How many kids who would've been doing intense baseball practices for the first time were instead doing zoom calls with friends? How many prospects did just workouts all summer instead of playing? Will it save some pitchers arms (a year of build up but minimal throwing) or will it destroy them? Will prospects be helped who were at the summer camp to a big degree vs others who weren't there? Most of these questions are impossible to ever know for sure. But teams will be trying to factor them in.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2021 @ 08:10 PM EST (#393231) #
The pen is young. Predictors undervalue young players.
Hatch shouldn't be in the pen at all.
Same with Kay, really.
Merryweather, Murphy, Tice.

Maybe Hand is a better fit since he's a lefty and could be signed for 2 years.
Hendriks wants 4.

scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 06:36 AM EST (#393232) #
LeMahieu is frustrated with the lack of progress with the Yankees and has told his agent to negotiate with a number of clubs, including the Blue Jays.

The Springer talks with the Mets seems to have died down since the Lindor transaction.

Bauer said he wants to sign with a team who wants to win it all. One that will be making improvements every winter and at every deadline. 

bpoz - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 11:29 AM EST (#393233) #
The 2019 season was very transparent. The FO had no intention of winning. Only the off season Galvis acquisition was good. No good in season moves.

2020 was a lot better Roark and C Anderson in the off season. Then great moves at the Trade deadline.

For 2021 the Jays adding Ray is better than any ALE rivals but that is just a factor of us striking first.
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 01:36 PM EST (#393234) #
Latest rumors
  • LeMahieu is being courted strongly by the Jays and he is getting more open to it. He wants 5 years and $110 mil "at least".
  • Bauer wants a team that has shown it will do trades mid-season to improve and in the offseason so he never has to be on a rebuilding team again. He also is building his online brand as a key part so it depends if he wants to go international or wants to focus purely on the USA or if he feels the Jays aren't want he wants. I'd say his odds are dropping.
  • Springer wants $175 mil but Jays are at $115 with the Mets around $150 - might be a years more than annual value issue there.
  • Realmuto has little news - he wants to stay in Philly given a choice, but that is about all that is out there.
  • Kris Bryant was being talked about by the Mets before the Lindor trade but that is probably dead now. Given the Jays are reported to have been 2nd for Lindor might they chase Bryant now?
Lots of noise, but little actual happening. LeMahieu is looking a lot more likely to come here now I'm thinking. Bauer I'm putting lower on the list with Springer 2nd on the likely category. Realmuto is the 'if no one else will take our money' choice.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 02:30 PM EST (#393235) #
Actually, regarding Realmuto, Michael Hill (former Marlins GM) went on the radio here in Toronto last week and said that he knows JT Realmuto very well and that Realmuto is supremely confident in his own abilities and will wait for someone to pay his contract demand. He cited having a hard time signing Realmuto long term when he was a rookie because he thought he deserved Mauer and Posey money at the time. Hill went on to say that Realmuto has told him he doesn't care where he plays so long as he gets paid the highest amount out of the bidders. Simple as that, according to Hill. So there is no advantage to Philly for Realmuto unless the money is the highest. This was on "Writer's Block," with Jeff Blair last week, Thursday or Friday.
From what I have gathered reading and listening:
DJLM: wants to go to NYY but is disheartened that they don't want to pay him top dollar and is now open to non NYY signing. Toronto seems like a B option if they are the highest bidder.

Springer: wants to go to NYM because it is close to his home. I'm sure there are other teams he wants to go to but they don't need him (NYY, CIN, CHC, etc). He does not seem to want to be in Toronto.
Bauer: no legitimate indication, only him saying he wants to be on a continually winning team. Stop the presses.
JTR: He wants to go to the highest bidder and doesn't care about anything else.
From that break down it looks like DJ Lemahieu and JT Realmuto make the most sense as targets to chase.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 02:31 PM EST (#393236) #
Lindor is open to an extension but only if it happens before the season starts. Says "I live life day by day".
That could really divert the Mets' attention.
He was never a guy who could have been extended by the Jays.

scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 02:41 PM EST (#393237) #
The DH in the NL is the X factor.
The Mets have less needs for Springer if there is no DH.
Right now, there seems to be no concession that the players could make to bring back the DH in 21.
Owners want the playoffs in their own parks with spectators.
That likely means no expanded playoffs and no baseball in November.
It sounds like spring training will start on time until the situation shuts it down.
Interestingly, Biden takes over in less than 10 days.
He might bring national restrictions.
Either way, I don't think New York will have spectators in arenas in the spring.

Mike Green - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 03:12 PM EST (#393238) #
LeMahieu is probably good for about 9.5 WAR in the next 5 years (3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 0.5).  5/110 is really out of the question.  That's $22 million per and he's worth about that for the first 3 years. 

Kolten Wong is going to go for a fraction of that (2/20?), and is a lot better value.  They'd probably get 2 WAR out of Wong and 3 out of Biggio as a super utility guy beginning at third base until Austin Martin is ready. 
dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 03:51 PM EST (#393239) #
Mike, you must believe MLB front offices use WAR as a guiding principle for player values to compare DJLM and Wong. These two players couldn't be farther apart in value in my humble estimation.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 03:54 PM EST (#393240) #
If the Jays view Martin and Groshans as their long-term CF and 3B options by 2023 (likely earlier for Martin), then a Wong + JBJ tandem would be a boring, yet perfectly reasonable off-season for the position player side. Of course it's too early to go that route because the top FA's are still out there. That has to be the Plan B. With that said, I'm not a fan of the $150-175M price tag for Springer, and I don't think LeMahieu is seriously considering the Jays at all (likely just using other teams to get a better deal to stay with the Yankees). I don't see this FO going crazy with FA deals so it's a matter of where the prices for those players land.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 05:03 PM EST (#393241) #
If that's the case then the best scenario would be to sign Bauer, Realmuto (or both) and augment with JBJ, Semien (3B), La Stella, Gregorious (3B) and sign some relief pitchers while you wait for the "waves" of prospects to grow into that core.

John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 05:22 PM EST (#393242) #
WAR is a good guideline to start from. LeMahieu isn't a high pick for me, but he might work out. He is a crapshoot - is his last 2 years his real level (a 6.6 WAR/Year level) or is his previous level right (2.5 WAR/year level)? Or do you split them - 4.6? Roughly 10 mil per year per WAR is a good rule of thumb. He also is entering his age 32 season.

He catches me as a high risk signing. More than 4 years is writing off the 5th and beyond. Heck, I'd want a 3 year deal. 5 for $110 mil is expecting 11 WAR over those 5 years. He had 15.9 in the 8 years before joining the Yankees. Hrm... Seems very risky to me.

Wong is entering his age 30 season, had 5.2 WAR in 2019. Average of 3 WAR a season in his career. On the surface a better bet to hold value due to being 2 years younger and not having a surprising jump after switching teams (has always been with St Louis). But he also was in the NL Central (an easy division) vs the AL East. His value is almost all on his defense. His offense is league average roughly. But odds are he'll be a 3 WAR guy slowly dropping.

So do you sign the weaker player and spend the rest improving elsewhere or do you spend it here? I'd lean towards the cheaper player and spend more on pitching and/or SPringer or Realmuto.

As to guys signing with whoever offers most - the Jays right now can afford the most if they want to. The question becomes planning for 2022 and beyond. The Jays don't want to be locked in to a bad deal.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 05:24 PM EST (#393243) #
Wong is not a 3B.
LeMahieu can play 3B and 1B.

Interesting comparison. LeMahieu has mostly hit first or second and Wong has done that but has mostly hit 8th or 7th.
It's really not the same type of player.

SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 05:35 PM EST (#393244) #
I think Bauer + the JBJ/Wong scenario would be a very strong off-season. You could replace Wong with someone else (Semien, La Stella, etc) depending on cost/term, but either way the point would be to have short-term options at CF and 2B/3B to bide some time. Bauer being the one FA overpay of the winter would be more sensible since SP's are risky as is, but SP prospects are even riskier, so Bauer is not going to be blocking anyone while also providing the potential for front of the rotation performance. Of course that comes down to cost as well. If he's looking for more than Gerrit Cole AAV, then it's going to hard to justify given his pre-2020 history (which was very good but not "best in baseball").
dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 06:20 PM EST (#393245) #
There's an interesting video on YouTube showing that Bauer was pitching with no pine tar mix for 2018 and 2019 then in 2020 he switched to it and his numbers were better than Cole. It talks at length about why Bauer and Cole are comparable pitchers and how one was using pine tar mix for years and the other not until recently. Here is the link:

Bauer is likely as good as Cole since the pine tar mix gives him higher spin rate. Of course, nobody knows what this exact mix is.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 07:18 PM EST (#393246) #
From what I've seen, the only secret about the pine tar--70% of pitchers are rumoured to be using it--is how to make it work properly in cold weather.

John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 07:29 PM EST (#393247) #
If cold weather is an issue then the Jays should be a good choice for Bauer with the dome here. No cold weather for home games then, or rain delays for that matter. It will be interesting to see where he ends up - odds are it will be just for the most money but he might factor in park/competitiveness/etc.

The mix should be interesting - JBJ/Wong/Walker/Hendriks would cost around $40 mil a year with no one going over 3 or 4 years. Would improve all 4 areas - OF/IF/SP/RP, or go big with Bauer and one of those 4, or DJ LeMahieu and 2 of them, or Springer and 2 others. Lots of options, depending how the Jays feel about who is here now and who is almost ready.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 07:55 PM EST (#393248) #
Bauer would be *really* expensive and wouldn't leave much money to fill the other holes.

Part of the strategy is to get some veteran leadership on the team.
Lindor has already declared that he's not the kind of guy who will carry a team but he will do his part.
Springer fits here because he was on a championship team.
Also, Springer can move to a corner spot later.
Lemahieu might have to take over DH/1B down the road, that's not as good.
Realmuto would remain behind the dish.

Taxes in Texas 37% federal.
In Pennsylvania, add 3.07% state tax for about 40%.
In New York, add 8.2 state tax for about 45%.
In Ontario, 33% federal + (13% x 56% overtax) for about 53%?

No state taxes if games are played in Dunedin.

dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 08:02 PM EST (#393249) #
"Expensive," is relative. I think $12,000,000 for Tanner Roark is expensive.

On Hendricks, I don't know how much confidence this front office has in finesse pitchers who have feasted on weak NL Central teams. 85-87MPH fastball in the AL East... has anybody thrived with that speed as a starter going 7+ innings and putting up dominating numbers?
dalimon5 - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 08:07 PM EST (#393250) #
Wrong poster and wrong Hendricks. That last message regarding Hendricks was for John not Scottt, and it's incorrect because he meant Liam not Kyle Hendricks. I'm cutting down on my coffee intake apparently.
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 08:33 PM EST (#393251) #
Scottt - yeah, taxes are a factor which is part of why AA did that big Florida trade - those players were signed thinking they'd only pay US federal taxes and ended up paying Canadian instead. Since about half the games are here and, as I understand it, the players pay tax based on where games are, they would need about a 10% premium for Canadian taxes all else being equal. So a $100 mil deal for a player needs to be $110 to come here and be equivalent. Thus why it is a good idea to develop our own players. Now, the question becomes are any of these big 4 worth what they would demand? Bauer looks crazy expensive so I doubt he is coming. I'd put LeMahieu as most likely since the Yankees seem to think he isn't worth nearly what he thinks he is worth. Springer next as the Mets were his other top spot and they must be getting low on cash at this point.

In the end I expect a trade instead of a free agent, if they want a big splash. However, the 4 I listed earlier would work fine imo.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 08:48 PM EST (#393252) #
Once the Mets are done, the Jays might be the only team with money to spend.
I really don't see a trade  happening other than Grichuk could be surplus and they need to trade a catcher.
Springer becomes more interesting if you can free some of Grichuk's salary to pay for it.

The Yankees want to resign LeMahieu and get under the luxury tax.
That doesn't leave enough money to pay him what he wants and nothing for the rotation if they get him.
The Braves mostly want another big bat but don't have much room left.
The White Sox and the Astros are going to spend but maybe not top dollars.
Philadelphia looks like they'll take whatever is left for as low as they can get it.
We've heard very little from the Dodgers. Maybe they just want Turner back on a shorter contract.

Sugano gave up because the market was slow and he wasn't getting what he wanted.
He will probably try again next year.
Other top players might also just go with a pillow contract, but that doesn't seem very wise for aging players.
Also, you don't want to lose a draft pick for just one year.
In the end, players will probably settle for shorter contracts with options, possibly vesting ones.

John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 09:11 PM EST (#393253) #
Another factor for players is the basic agreement is up after this season. So 2022 could be a strike/lockout year quite easily. Can't imagine the owners want that nor the players after losing lots in 2020 and owners likely to lose more in 2021. If players are seen to have leverage maybe guys will expect a better market next year, but if you think owners have leverage then a harder cap could be in place thus removing a few teams from the competition for free agents. Hard to decide for them I'm sure. LeMahieu knows this is his big shot and he will take whatever he can get. Bauer though might go for as little as a 3 year deal if the money/situation is right (I expect a 5 year over $150 mil deal in the end).
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 10:27 PM EST (#393254) #
Hmm... given the Jays might not find a free agent which pitchers are available? Looking at bottom feeder teams who have players either near free agency or are making a lot more than they want to pay out...
  • Arizona: last in the NL West (a nuclear division now with SD & LAD). Madison Bumgarner was signed to push them over the top but ... 71 ERA+ in 2020 after a 108 in 2019. Owed $79 mil over the next 4 years. Entering his age 31 season a bounceback is likely (lifetime 118 ERA+) but his K/9 and BB/9 figures went south last year which is a bad sign. I'd hesitate but he is an inning eater (207 innings in 2019). Arizona would need to throw in a lot of money and/or a prospect or take Roark & Grichuk to make it work. Archie Bradley is their closer and in 3rd year of arbitration and free agent after 2021 so he might be good to try to take as well.
  • Colorado: Another team in the NL West with issues - owe a ton to Nolan Arenado (superstar defense & offense but off year in 2020 at 3B), Trevor Story (SS all world but free agent post 2021), others are under contract or have at least 2 years before free agency.
  • SF: Evan Longoria: still a solid fielder and decent hitter (around 100 OPS+) but 2 years at $38 mil ($31 owed by SF) total. Entering age 35 season, but might be a nice bridge to kids (at least would be great on defense).
  • Baltimore: Alex Cobb: has sucked the past 2 years but was good before that, owed $15 mil in 2021 then a free agent, could be worth kicking the tires on.
Ugh. Not great options left out there unless a contender is willing to give up someone or someone is willing to trade a guy who isn't coming off a weak year or is a few years from free agency. Tanaka would be nice but appears likely going to Japan or back to the Yankees (ugh). Walker might end up being the best option left if neither Bauer or Tanaka sign here (as is likely). Not thrilling, but might work out in the end.
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 10:59 PM EST (#393256) #
Hendricks off the board - $54 mil over 3 years with a $15 mil option for a 4th year. By the White Sox who seem to be spending stupid imo. I saw Hendricks as a $10 mil per year guy, not an $18 mil per over 3 years. Glad the Jays didn't go that far. Insane.
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#393257) #
More details...
It is a three-year deal that will pay Hendriks $39M in those first three years. But both the buyout and fourth-year option salary are $15M, so Hendriks will receive $54M regardless of what White Sox do. Insane.
bpoz - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 11:16 PM EST (#393258) #
In Feb 2021 L Hendricks will be 32 years old. He has been pitching in the majors since 2011. But some years less than 50 innings. Anyone's arm can break down.
Cracka - Monday, January 11 2021 @ 11:37 PM EST (#393259) #
Hendricks was DFA'ed & outrighted in June 2018 - he was just short of 5 years of service at the time. He was recalled when rosters expanded in September 2018 and has been outstanding for ~9 months of baseball since his recall. But the largest annual value contract ever to a reliever??? Kudos to him and his agent for pulling this off.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 07:27 AM EST (#393260) #
Right. Hendriks got his 4 years even though it sounds like 3.
If he sucks, they'll pay him his remaining 15M over several years to stay away from their team.

The AL Central is a fight between the White Sox and the Twins.
If Cleveland can't compete, they'll start a fire sale soon.
They still have great players in Ramirez and Bieber.
The Tigers will try to be competitive next year.
The Royals are years away.

So far, everybody is getting paid, but the money will run out at some point.

bpoz - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 07:57 AM EST (#393261) #
Considering psychology due to covid:

No or severely restricted customers at games, concerts, restaurants if you follow the rules.

When covid ends by lets say spring 2022 then the rule following masses will explode in the joys of escape. I think this is a possibility.

So increased attendance and even a possible increase in ticket prices. Scalpers may become greedy.

Btw I assume season ticket purchased for 2020 were refunded!!

John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 09:14 AM EST (#393262) #
I always find 'the money will run out at some point' funny. In MLB people have been saying that since the 70's when free agency started. Yeah I'm old. Gord Ash's first (well, maybe 3rd after the 2 Cone trades in 1995) big mistake was assuming the market would cool off after the big strike in 1994 thus holding off on extending Alomar assuming it would be cheaper to wait. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Ah well. If he had signed Alomar then he probably would've done another when that one ran out and paid an arm/leg for the years Alomar was finished.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 09:31 AM EST (#393263) #
For me the Bonds contract was shocking/insane.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 09:41 AM EST (#393264) #
I don't know about 95, but this year, it will definitively happen, which is why the market is so slow.
The Mets and the Padres are bucking the trend. The White Sox, to a degree.
Ultimately, I want LeMahieu, Realmuto and Springer to get paid.
I'm not expecting the Jays to land anyone at a deep discount, but none of these guys might be getting what they're asking.

I don't understand why every team passed on Hand for 10M.
It would have been a great pick for the Jays.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 09:41 AM EST (#393265) #
If MLB free agency plays out like the NHL free agency then the middle tier players are going to get squeezed financially. In the NHL there were numerous decent players unsigned until the last few weeks before the season started, and most of them had to settle for contracts for 1 year for below what they'd normally receive money-wise. If this happens in MLB, the Jays might be able to scoop up some bargains during spring training.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#393266) #
Thanks ISLAND BOY. Something to watch for.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#393267) #
Hand was odd, especially given the nutty deal just given to Hendriks. $10 mil for a shutdown closer seems a good price to me. Very weird. Wonder if there is more there than we know (hidden injury, unstable personality, who knows?)
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 11:22 AM EST (#393268) #
I don't think there's anything wrong with Hand that only the 30 GMs know about.
It's more likely that the market has not gone as planned, mostly because this was all before the vaccines were approved.
Right now it sure looks like they'll try a full 162 game schedule with as many fans as the authorities will allow.
Hopefully Biden will put some national restrictions.
This means the Jays will start the season in Dunedin.
This should work since the AAA team will be in Buffalo.
I'm not sure about the AA/A camp. Is that normally held in Dunedin as well?
That will be delayed and maybe Vancouver players will get permission to play there if vaccinated but without fans it could be better to stay in the US. We're looking at minor league baseball without gate revenues.

No DH, no expended playoffs would be fine.
However, they're going to need Covid exceptions and a protocol to deal with sick players.
Probably more 7 inning double headers to catch up on missed time.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 01:01 PM EST (#393269) #
Good points Scottt.

At this point it'll be hard to put a DH/expanded playoffs in place especially given the basic agreement is up at the end of 2021.

Dunedin is where I expect the Jays to be in April/May with June being possible for a return to Toronto, maybe July.

Dunedin has multiple fields so the big team on the main field/area while minor leaguers are on the other fields (5 full fields, 4 mini fields from the satellite images on Google) so it should be workable. Guessing Vancouver would share a park with one of their competition in their new league, maybe use one of the parks freed up by all the folding teams until deemed safe - the late start might do the trick here.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 02:43 PM EST (#393270) #
Multiple fields is good, but they will probably need to segregate the players once the minor camp starts.
More costs.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 02:51 PM EST (#393271) #
Hand is still on the market because his velocity is down for a 2nd year in a row and he doesn't throw very hard any more. Front offices like to value these hard core numbers and analytic indicators more than the results of ERA or strikeout percentage. Hendricks maintained or increased his velocity and has great under the surface numbers that support his surface level numbers. Add them together and it speaks to dominance. Hand, on the contrary does not have this.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 02:52 PM EST (#393272) #
It looks like Boston is trying hard to turn the page on Benintendi.
He's due 5M for 2021 and still has his last year of arbitration after that.

The Jays had 11 Free Agents at the end of the year and only have been signed so far, both by Toronto.

scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2021 @ 07:09 PM EST (#393273) #
MLB plan to allow fans seated in pods with mandatory masks and social distancing in lines.

State and local authorities and teams can impose additional restrictions.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 13 2021 @ 10:18 AM EST (#393274) #
5 more years of Shapiro. Official

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