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Well, that was unexpected.

The Jays have signed Marcus Semien to a 1 year, $18 million contract, reportedly to play 2B.
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Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 06:51 PM EST (#393874) #
At 8 million a free agent war and roughly a 3 WAR projection, seems like good value. However I think he hits closer to his career norms that 2019. The pitching sure lags behind the lineup now.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 06:58 PM EST (#393876) #
One year contracts are nearly always good. I like the signing, the money doesn't matter.

Apparently the Jays had to give him more money to play second instead of his preferred shortstop.
JB21 - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:01 PM EST (#393877) #
I couldn't agree more with Gerry's comments
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:05 PM EST (#393878) #
Right now Grichuk is the 4th outfielder?
The one thing I like is the depth. Players will be fighting for ABs.
One of Paxton or Walker is next?

We don't need Semien to be the team MVP.
20 HR in the AL East seems possible.
Galvis hit 23 the year he was with the Jays and Sogard hit 10 HR when he was in Toronto and 15 more the rest of his 10 year career.
I suppose Dunedin is a hitter's park?

scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:11 PM EST (#393880) #
The money only matters if they run out before getting another pitcher.
The depth is really good. He'll start at SS here and there for sure.
I wonder if they let Guerrero play 3rd when Bichette gets a night off.
Lineup construction is Montoyo's problem.

Eephus - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:12 PM EST (#393881) #
Really hard to see the negatives of a one year deal. Semien is still a very useful if his absurd 2019 was a fluke and he's really more the player he was from 2015-18. Definitely an appealing upside play here, and insurance at shortstop if Bichette misses any time. I also wonder if playing home games in Oakland has depressed his offensive numbers somewhat as has been known to happen, though on first glance he doesn't seem to have much of a career home/road split. Curious to see how his glove looks at 2B (he played there a bit with the White Sox).

Anyways I like it. Really need some pitching though.

Parker - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:14 PM EST (#393882) #
I love it. If you're a pessimist, he's a league-average bat who can play both middle infield positions. If you're more optimistic, he's an MVP candidate.

All he cost was money.
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:23 PM EST (#393884) #
It's a bit weird to think he'll be making 3M more than LeMahieu this year.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:23 PM EST (#393885) #
Thumbs up. The lineup tilts right heavily, but that's the only modest negative I can think of. The team defence should be better than last year and they will score runs and it's no small thing to have a capable offensive and defensive shortstop behind Bichette.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:37 PM EST (#393888) #
This makes a lot of sense and still keeps a few areas open for improvement  The payroll is around $144 mil (factoring in everything for payroll tax purposes) then for 2021 which leaves room for more if desired.  I love deals that are pure cash for 1 year deals (no compensation attached to Semien, who will get his name misspelled and mispronounced a LOT I bet)  Projected fWAR is from FanGraphs Depth Chart page

New lineup with projected fWAR...
CA: Jansen 2.2
1B: Tellez 1.5
2B: Semien 3.1 to 3.9 but that was at SS not 2B
SS: Bo 4.3
3B: Biggio 2.6 or Vlad 3.0
LF: Gurriel 1.8
CF: Springer 3.9
RF: Grichuk 0.9 (ouch)
DH: Hernandez 0.8 or Vlad (2.6 over 550 PA at DH)

Boy that site doesn't think much of Grichuk or Hernandez does it?  If their projections are right the Jays would be smart to find someone to take Grichuk and Hernandez and put Vlad at DH full time.  Right now though if nothing lineup wise changes I expect the Jays to give Vlad a shot at 3B in spring for 2 weeks, then if acceptable leave him there, if not move to 1B/DH.  Biggio could end up a super-utility guy going all over so other guys can DH for a 'day off' with Vlad at 3B.

Now I hope the Jays go out and sign Walker to help solidify the staff (projected at 1.2 fWAR) and someone else (an injury risk guy like Paxton or a guy trying to keep going like Adam Wainwright or Mike Minor or Rick Porcello among others).  I figure the Jays have about $10-15 mil left before Rogers says 'enough'.  They might try hard to dump Grichuk on someone to free up some space, or just hold off until mid-season and see where they are at. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:38 PM EST (#393889) #
The FO has used free agency very well so far. Springer, Semien, Yates, and Ray is a really nice haul. The have added depth and considerable upside simultaneously.
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#393891) #
who will get his name misspelled and mispronounced a LOT I bet

Just hoping he has a chip on his shoulder and not a monkey on his back.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:51 PM EST (#393893) #
I like the move a lot, but it seems unclear who the starters will be at third base, first base, and in the outfield corners -- and how much defense the team can expect at those positions.

Also, the team needs a capable left-handed bat. And probably at least one more good starting pitcher.

It will be interesting to see whether the team pulls off any more significant moves in the coming weeks.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:53 PM EST (#393894) #
What are the odds that one club would sign in successive years Joe Panik (at the Disco) and Marcus Semien (Mobile Disco)? As Thomas said, this was not expected.
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 07:56 PM EST (#393895) #
Historically, he's hit the Jays very well, but not at Rogers Centre.

grjas - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:06 PM EST (#393896) #
Mixed views on this. While they have improved at second, I don’t think they have a good option at third and are unlikely to buy one now. Anyway, onwards to pitching.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:06 PM EST (#393897) #
Two things imho... people are way to high on Bo with 75 career games at MLB. I wasn't any more impressed with him than I was by Hernandez, Gurriel or Biggio last year. The way the media and prognosticators are talking about him you would think he's the next coming of Mike Trout.

Second... the Jays won't be better than 3rd best in their own division until they can put a rotation together. If you don't have a minimum of 2 guys who can shut down your opponents in the playoffs then you don't stand a chance. Hanging your hat on Ryu and Pearson in this scenario is not a good plan and will lead to us having someone like Shoemaker starting a key game again.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:10 PM EST (#393898) #
Very nice.

Now just get a good SP and we can go toe to toe with anyone.

Fangraphs' combined Depth Charts projections:

SS Bichette (23): .334obp, 115wrc+, 4.4war/650
3B Biggio (26): .348obp, 105wrc+, 3.2war/650
CF Springer (31): .359obp, 127wrc+, 4.4war/650
DH Guerrero (22): .356obp, 127wrc+, 3.5war/650
1B Tellez (26): .327obp, 111wrc+, 2.0war/650
C Kirk (22): .341obp, 108wrc+, 3.2war/650
2B Semien (30): .336obp, 104wrc+, 3.2war/650
RF Hernandez (28): .311obp, 108wrc+, 1.3war/650
LF Gurriel (27): .314obp, 107wrc+, 2.1war/650

PH Grichuk (29): .298obp, 101wrc+, 1.6war/650
OF Davis (29): .305obp, 77wrc+, 1.0war/650
IF Espinal (26): .299obp, 73wrc+, 1.2war/650
C Jansen (26): .324obp, 97wrc+, 3.6war/650

And this would work just fine as a rotation:

RH Bauer (30): 3.85era, 4.2war/32
LH Ryu (34): 3.87era, 3.8war/32
RH Ray (29): 4.33era, 2.9war/32
RH Pearson (24): 4.38era, 2.9war/32
John Northey - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:14 PM EST (#393899) #
I love that the cost (other than dollars) for the 4 guys signed is just a 2nd round pick and $500k in international bonus money.  Here are the lost/gained from the off-season so far via Baseball-Reference.
I'd say that is a good overall change of players.  Wouldn't be shocked if they ask Shoemaker to come back or resign Walker.  Joseph might be signed again to be in AAA if he wants.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:15 PM EST (#393900) #
The Yankees rotation is a disaster outside of Cole. Options #2-#7 in their rotation all together threw less than 100 innings in 2020.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:18 PM EST (#393901) #
Paxton: 4.07era, 3.3war/32 projection
subculture - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:33 PM EST (#393903) #
Really happy with this move, and it makes me optimistic the Jays will sign either Bauer, or 2 guys like Paxton/Walker.

After terrible first 2 weeks of 2020, Semien hit like 2019 numbers.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:39 PM EST (#393904) #
I like the player and I like the contract. He won’t be as valuable to the Jays as he would be in theory because he’ll move Biggio off 2nd (thereby likely reducing Biggio’s value) and the RH redundancy to the lineup. Frankly, I’d be more willing to move Bichette than Biggio. I probably would have spent this money on some pitching but there might not have been any pitchers whose arms are attached to their bodies who will take their money. So, no complaints
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:45 PM EST (#393905) #
I do wish they'd gotten a club option at ~$20M, though.. Just in case he turns out to be really good again.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:46 PM EST (#393906) #
While I like the signing, I am surprised they are saying 2B instead of 3B. Is his arm not good enough? Biggio is better at 2nd than 3rd.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:49 PM EST (#393907) #
If Semien has a good season, the Jays can at least make him a QO — unless there is a new CBA and the QO rules are changed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:49 PM EST (#393908) #
One year contract is perfect- it allows Austin Martin to get some upper minors experience and be ready to go in 2022 or later in 2021 if an injury happens.
grjas - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 08:52 PM EST (#393909) #
Yeah I can’t say I like an infield of Biggio at third, Bichette at SS, Semien at 2nd and Vlad at 1st. Two guys are out of their normal positions, one guy is average at best and the other guy is below average. And let’s not even talk about Vlad at third. Would prefer they move Bichette and keep the others in their best positions. But seems unlikely to happen.

Better get a fly ball pitcher.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 09:00 PM EST (#393910) #
A side benefit of the signing is that it should allow everyone to get more rest days without sacrificing too much production on the field. For example, when Bichette has a day off, the Jays can use a middle infield of Semien/Biggio instead of having to use someone like Espinal or Urena at those positions.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 10:03 PM EST (#393912) #
"A side benefit of the signing is that it should allow everyone to get more rest days without sacrificing too much production on the field."

Jays had to use Drury and Espinal at SS when Biggio was hurt last year. Injuries can happen but that's much better when it's your 3rd option and you're not immediately weak with one injury.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 10:15 PM EST (#393913) #
Is there a realistic scenario where the Jays acquire a quality third baseman (say, Bryant along with Hendricks)? What would the team do with Biggio, VGJ, and Tellez if that were to happen?

And what about the rotation? 2021 is now a prime contending year for the Jays. I’m sure the FO doesn’t want to risk squandering the season with mediocre starting pitching. (And remember that you usually need eight SPs, more or less, to get through a season.)

All this suggests that more moves are pending.
grjas - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 10:29 PM EST (#393914) #
Is there a realistic scenario where the Jays acquire a quality third baseman (say, Bryant along with Hendricks)?

That was the deal I was hoping they’d do originally as Hendricks has 3 years remaining on his contract. Might be too pricey now..not only in prospects but dollars...given everything else. Still, if they salary dumped Grichuk that would free up cash.

Not sure Cubs would want to trade Hendricks though and I suspect this move shows the Jays have given up on that option.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 10:46 PM EST (#393915) #
For weird the Trade Simulator says a Fisher for Bryant deal is acceptable for both sides. If the Cubs would take that the Jays would be nuts not to. I somehow doubt that would happen though. It also says a Roark & Fisher for Bryant with the Jays sending $8 mil would work, or save $6 mil by adding Thornton. Kimbrel is super-available I'd figure (listed as -$10.8 mil in value) and he'd allow the Jays to keep Thornton. Again, an interesting one - Cubs clear out $30 mil while taking on $10 (net of $20 mil saved for them) Jays get their 3B position covered for 2021 and get one more project for the pen. But then the Jays would be at their limit and still need starting pitching.

Nah, at this point I figure the Jays are dumpster diving for pitching and accepting 3B as a bit of a dogs breakfast for April/May/June (Vlad & Biggio) then hoping Groshans or Martin is ready to take over. In 2022 you flip Biggio back to 2B and one of the kids takes over 3B full time long term while Vlad & Tellez share 1B/DH. Ideally Semien has a great year and the Jays can justify a QO thus get a draft pick out of him. Although at this point I wouldn't be shocked if it is changed to 'get a pick between rounds 1 and 2 if player signs for $x over y years' or something instead of needing to make the QO with the team signing not giving up anything but cash.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 26 2021 @ 11:20 PM EST (#393916) #
The HOF vote is out and no one made it btw. Curt Schilling was closest at 71.1%, up a tiny bit from last years 70.0% (being a jerk can cost you), Clemens & Bonds seem to have hit their limit at 61% each roughly, no real change from last year. All 3 of those guys will get one last chance then they are off the ballot and A-Rod comes on.

Jay content: Scott Rolen 52.9% (35.3% last year); Omar Vizquel 49.1% (52.6%); Jeff Kent 32.4% (27.5%); Mark Buehrle 11.0% (first time); A.J. Burnett 0 votes.

I figure Rolen will get there in a few years, Vizquel going down is probably due to the domestic abuse situation with his wife, Kent will inch up but probably not make it (2 more ballots), Buehrle will probably be on for 9 more years but not quite make it. Burnett is a 1 and done.

Of note: Billy Wagner, Todd Helton, and Gary Sheffield all cracked 40% which puts them into the 'might make it someday' category; Andruw Jones jumped into the 30's, Torii Hunter and Tim Hudson both get a 2nd ballot like Buehrle does.
StephenT - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:12 AM EST (#393917) #
Pronunciation is SIM-ee-inn according to 2021 Bill James Handbook, page 305.
Thomas - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 03:30 AM EST (#393918) #
I do wish they'd gotten a club option at ~$20M, though.. Just in case he turns out to be really good again.

I wouldn't be surprised if they had tried, or at least raised it at some point, but Semien wouldn't agree. From Semien's perspective, it seems he's looking for a pillow contract in light of his poor numbers in 2020 and the potential impact of COVID on the offseason.

Most predictions had him signing a 3/4 year deal, which would have made sense given his age. I suspect he chose a pillow contract over that, with the intention of hitting free agency next year and then signing a 3/4 year deal. If there was a team option, it could delay his free agency to 2022, which would make him 32 when he was a free agent again. It would also take him past the 2021 offseason, when a bunch of teams will have openings at shortstop due to the free agency of Lindor, Correa, Seager, Story and Baez.

Jonny German - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 05:29 AM EST (#393920) #
Thumbs up from me. I love the fact that he's a shortstop - before today the backup shortstop by default was Santiago Espinal and any injury to Bichette would have been disastrous.

It's weird that they're talking about him as the starting second baseman, but I expect that will sort itself out early in the season if not already in spring training - if Biggio and Vlad look unplayable at 3rd there may be a re-shuffling. Or it could even get sorted out before then, with a new third baseman coming in and an outfielder getting traded, making Biggio a super-utility playing everywhere except SS and C. I was a little surprised recently when I compared Biggio's numbers to the league averages by position - he's hit better than the average at all positions in both of his seasons.

Is this the first time a high-end player has chosen Toronto when signing a pillow contract?
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 07:18 AM EST (#393921) #
If Grichuk is the fourth outfielder and Simien the second baseman, the depth is pretty amazing.
Another left bat on the bench would be nice, but still.

Hitting is contagious. This is could be an exhausting lineup.
Can't wait to see the slimmed down Guerrero.

This is AA's type of signing.
It has worked really well for him.
Getting a QO pick on top of everything would justify the overpay.
Simien has a very high floor. Around 95 OPS+.
He could take a while to get going, new division, lots of pitchers he hasn't see too much, etc.

Thomas - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 08:10 AM EST (#393922) #
Jonny, I can't think of another high-end player who has signed a one-year pillow contract in Toronto.

Mid-rotation starters, etc... but we normally see career bench players or older veterans. And nobody who is a year removed from 3rd place in AL MVP voting.
Jonny German - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 08:27 AM EST (#393923) #
Maybe the most similar was Jose Canseco in 1998? I don't remember the circumstances. He didn't sign until February 4. Seems likely that he wasn't looking for a pillow contract, but rather that it took him a while to accept that the market didn't see him as a star anymore.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 08:49 AM EST (#393924) #
I wondered about Cavan Biggio playing third base.  The move brought to mind Jeff Kent who was a second baseman who moved to third base a couple of times early in his career; in the end, it didn't seem to affect Kent adversely at all, as he had his best years in his 30s.

Biggio has played 81 innings at third base in his career so far.  He was below average but not atrocious- about what you would anticipate for a player moved to a new position in mid-season.  He now has two months to focus on the position and his career path so far is of a player who has squeezed every ounce out of his abilities by studying. If you look at his abilities (an average arm- less than typical for a third baseman, pretty quick first step, pretty good hands, good positioning and instincts, average athleticism), I don't see any reason why he couldn't be a perfectly fine defensive third baseman.  He's not going to be Mike Schmidt or Graig Nettles out there- he doesn't have the arm for it.  But, hey, Brooks Robinson didn't have a great arm either and made up for it in other ways.

Very early longshot prediction: the highest wRC+ on the 2021 Blue Jays will belong to Rowdy Tellez. 
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 08:59 AM EST (#393925) #
Shaw and Panik were guys who had early success, struggled, and came to Toronto to try to relaunch their career.
Arguably, they didn't have many offers to choose from.
Which might be what brought Semien here. Maybe he had several 2/18M, 3/31M offers.

They talked to Wong, Simmons, etc.
MLBTR predicted Semien would get 1/14M.
That's what Gregorius got last year and he probably wants a longer deal now.
Part of the overpay is the cost of getting him to move to second base.
Simmons was predicted for 1/12M and settled for 1/10.5M.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:12 AM EST (#393926) #
Who comes off the 40 man roster now? We got rid of Drury, maybe it's time to say goodbye to Derek Fisher?
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#393927) #
The issue of whether Biggio can play third base is significant. If he can play the position adequately, so much else falls into place:

Biggio 3B
Springer CF
Bichette SS
Teoscar RF
Guerrero Jr. 1B (DH)
Gurriel Jr. LF
Tellez DH (1B)
Semien 2B
Jansen/Kirk C

Not sure whether it would be better to have Gurriel Jr. in left field and Teoscar in right field, or vice versa. Or perhaps Gurriel Jr. (LF), Teoscar (CF), Springer (RF).
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#393928) #
Also, if Biggio can play third base reasonably well, then Martin could play 2B/CF in 2022 and beyond. This might make more sense if Martin continues to have throwing issues from the left side of the infield.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:30 AM EST (#393929) #
"Also, if Biggio can play third base reasonably well, then Martin could play 2B/CF in 2022 and beyond."

I think he should be OK there and it definitely gives the team some short-term and long-term flexibility. Ideally, I could see a trade like Grichuk for Kyle Seager being very helpful (get a real 3Bman and another LH).
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:30 AM EST (#393930) #
Brian Butterfield was a magician as an infield coach here, teaching Hudson, Hill and Lawrie to play second and third base extremely well.  It sure would be nice to have him around now. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:35 AM EST (#393931) #
I suspect that Semien picked 2B over 3B looking at the market this year and next. This winter we've seen a star at 3B not get anything over 2 years offered (he is a bit older though), while a 2B got a 6 year deal. Next winter we have a pile of high dollar SS's out there but not much at 2B I think with only Starlin Castro listed on's upcoming list. SS has Francisco Lindor, Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story. Third has Nolan Arenado (opt-out), Kris Bryant, Eduardo Escobar, Kyle Seager (club option), José Ramírez (club option). Looking at that I can see why Semien would've swallowed hard and shifted positions. A bigger deal should be out there for him next winter thanks to that - it also would up his value as a guy who is willing to do what it takes to win (shifting positions).

So with that the challenge is the Jays are getting close to what most of us think their budget is ($150 roughly - should be around $144 at the moment according to Cot's) But if you go by raw payroll you get $125 mil (the other $20 is due to averaging of contracts, benefits, etc.). To shave dollars the easiest would be to find a taker for Roark and his $12 mil (pitching always in demand, but his market might be best late spring when someone has an injury to deal with) or Grichuk (if someone thinks he has potential still). I expect about $15-$25 mil to be spent on rotation options still (Walker &/or Paxton or others) then outside of spring invites the Jays are done until mid-season when trades become an option to fill in any holes. As I've said a few times I'm hopeful Groshans is ready mid-season to take over 3B and shift Biggio into a super-utility role while Vlad and Tellez share 1B/DH. If nothing changes though 3B will be a Vlad/Biggio share (bulk Biggio but we'll see), DH/1B a Tellez/Grichuk platoon (other of Vlad/Biggio at DH or 1B or someone else at DH with Biggio going to their position).
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:07 AM EST (#393932) #
Ben Clemens of Fangraphs has a post up on the Semien signing, including ZIPS info.
Steve02 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:22 AM EST (#393933) #
This line from Craig Edward's FG piece last November stuck out to me:

"For Semien, his seven playoff games would have upped his wRC+ by 15 points to 106. If instead of a 91 wRC+ and 1.2-WAR season (3.2 WAR pace), Semien had a 106 wRC+ and 1.8 WAR (4.8 WAR pace), we might be looking at the context of his free agency in an entirely different manner."
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:24 AM EST (#393934) #
Why of why does an elite SS defender need to play 2nd base for a hot shot rookie who hasn't demonstrated an ability to field the position well and who has a track record in the minors of poor fielding? Seems silly to me. Just move Bo to 2nd or 3rd and put Semien at SS and then find your long term SS next off season when you have a ton of proven options.
I don't think Bo will product more offense than Story, Seager, Lindor, Baez...
grjas - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:28 AM EST (#393935) #
I was thinking the same thing John Northey- salary dump Roark or Grichuk and sign two starters. I hope they don’t dawdle on the SP add as I suspect things are going to heat up quickly and they need at least one more and preferably two both for quality and quantity.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:33 AM EST (#393936) #
Who do you posters think will take on Gruchuk or Roark without sending back a bad contract? Are you willing to include a good prospect to offset the salary?
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#393937) #
Doubt anyone will take Grichuk. Roark probably could be moved if the Jays included a decent prospect or two.

As I wrote back in June 2019, "If the team doesn’t expect to contend for a few years ... then why extend Grichuk (an inferior player who will be past his prime in a couple of years)?" As I recall most Bauxites were pleased with the Grichuk extension. Pretty much guaranteed 2+ WAR per year, etc.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:55 AM EST (#393938) #
Now there is the question dalimon5. I can see Roark being easier to trade due to the demand for pitching always being there and injuries happen. FanGraphs sees Roark as a 1.1 WAR starter - IE: a guy who fills a #3/4 slot on most teams. Nothing 'wow', but good enough if you are short to avoid wearing down your pen and minors. Based on pure WAR expected he'd be #3 for the Pirates, and in eyeshot of #1 (their best expected is Jonathan Brubaker at 1.6). If they want to save their kids arms he'd be useful, but the problem is right now so would a dozen free agents I suspect who'd sign for less. Thus why I figure Roark is a panic trade late in spring (some team has a starter or two go down, it always happens, and the Jays have the spare starter ready to trade)

Grichuk is a LOT harder. You'd need a GM who thinks he is better than every indictor says he is. Sadly most of those GM's are long gone now. I suspect for him you'd have to take back a bad contract or give up prospects. I don't see the Jays giving up prospects to save cash though. Trade Simulator has Grichuk at -$12.6 mil of value, Roark at -$8.4. Springer and Ryu it also has as slight negatives ($5.2 and $2.8 respectively). Manoah it sees as a balance for Grichuk at $12.4, Hiraldo for Roark at $8.5. I don't see the Jays sending those guys along in order to get rid of those bad contracts. FYI: it has Bo as +$104.7 mil of value as #1 in the system, Vlad at $93, then Biggio at $53 and Martin $50.3.

Trade simulator is a fun tool. Not perfect of course, but useful to get a more realistic look at trades. So if the Jays were desperate to dump Grichuk who might work? A's have Stephen Piscotty who is a 0 WAR guy in RF who is owed $16 mil over the next 2 years net value of -$11.2. So a challenge trade of him for Grichuk would save the Jays about $2.5 mil this year which might be helpful, while the A's might see Grichuk as having potential for them. The Cardinals have 6 guys at -$5 mil of value or worse so they might be an option. The way it could work is the Jays get a lower dollar amount to pay out in 2021 but might have more years or a worse player to deal with. Grichuk is still a solid #4 OF and might be good in a platoon role. A reliever that a team doesn't need might be useful here or easier to hide than Grichuk or Roark would be. No matter how you cut it those 2 are a pain on the roster right now though.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:56 AM EST (#393939) #
The ZIPS percentiles chart is very encouraging.
At worse he's a 98 OPS+ bat. At best, an MVP candidate who hits 36 HR with a 145 OPS+.
The most probably outcome as him as a 4 WAR player hitting 30 HR.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:02 AM EST (#393940) #
Thanks, Steve02, for posting.  The playoffs count, and all the more so in a short season like last one.

If Bill James had invented a similarity score for baseball names, Marcus Semien and Marcus Stroman would probably be each other's closest comparable. 
hypobole - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:03 AM EST (#393941) #
Brian Butterfield was a magician as an infield coach here, teaching Hudson, Hill and Lawrie to play second and third base extremely well.

Mike, although I agree That Butterfield was great and would be a positive addition, it was Mike Mordecai who went to Vegas specifically to work with Brett Lawrie on his 3rd base defensive play. Lawrie was pretty well a finished product by the time he arrived in Toronto.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:04 AM EST (#393942) #
While Vlad and Biggio's numbers  are based on at least a season's worth, Bo's is based on half a season. Too small of a sample size.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:12 AM EST (#393943) #
Grichuk is a great 4th outfielder.
Roark is wasted in the pen.

Grichuk spent some time on the bench with a sore back.
So did Hernandez. Tellez played only 35 games.

They shouldn't trade any decent prospect just to clear a bit of payroll.
Grichuk got an extension because he's a positive guy. They value attitude.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:12 AM EST (#393944) #
Good question, what did we all think of Grichuk's extension at the time? April 2nd 2019 it was announced and some were in favor.
  • grjas "Smart move re Grichuk given their questionable OF depth in the minors."
  • Shoeless: "That is a great contract extension for Grichuk, less than 10 million for his first three free agent years seems like good value."
  • Gerry: "Agreed, seems like a reasonable price for Grichuk. It averages to $10.4M per year for five years. That level of pay expects him to be a 1.5 WAR player. He was a 2 WAR player last year."
  • Vulg: "Not a bad bet I guess, but comes with some risk."
  • Mike Green: "Thumbs up for the Grichuk extension."
  • SK in NJ: "The Grichuk extension isn't a bargain"
  • Jay Jaffe has his view on the Grichuk extension over at Fangraphs - $5 mil to $6 mil per win expected.
  • greenfrog: "Probably the Jays feel Grichuk has the potential to elevate his game a bit and become a 2.5 - 3.5 WAR player."
Sadly I cannot find my own comment on it. Most seemed to want the Jays to do a few more extensions for Stroman (would've been OK), Sanchez (disaster), and Giles (massive disaster).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:13 AM EST (#393945) #
Springer press conference is being streamed live right now on Twitter or Facebook. 1.4K people watching while the TV stations show replays of Connor McDavid all morning.
On Semien: "I can't comment on that process right now. It needs to continue playing itself out."

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:32 AM EST (#393946) #
My comment in that initial thread was a guess at the Jays' likely rationale for the extension. It was not an endorsement of the extension.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:36 AM EST (#393947) #
"There's still some flexibility, but the bulk of our heavy lifting is done."
Shapiro's answer to Chisolm asking him if there is more money left for rest of the off season. I guess Bauer is not in the cards.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:37 AM EST (#393948) #
This is what I wrote on 4 May 2019: "The FO has been adding some good talent to the farm and it has made some good value additions (like Shoemaker), but at times they play too defensively / scared for my liking. I did not like the Grichuk extension at the time and I do not like it now."
Glevin - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 12:01 PM EST (#393949) #
The way the Grichuk extension was done with the biggest salary upfront, his contract is now about neutral. 3/$31 means he needs to be like a 1.5-2 WAR/year player which I think is very doable (ZIPS has him at 1.5 WAR) especially if he doesn't have to play CF much. The contract isn't great by any means because there won't be a lot of excess value but it's not close to being an albatross either.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 12:10 PM EST (#393950) #
Has anyone compared that lineup to the 92-94 jays?

I think we need to get one more starter. Then, in the middle of season, pick up a Scherzer or a Syndergaard.
grjas - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 12:12 PM EST (#393951) #
The Jays have had problems fielding good outfielders for years, other than JB who frankly was a fluke. And at that time, little of substance had come up through the minors and there wasn’t much under development. So at that date, yeah I’m still fine with it.

The “problem” since then is the rebuild has happened quicker than I expected and the contract is now a bit of an anchor. Nice problem to have I guess.

I also don’t think he’s a 4th outfielder at this point. Put him in a corner and he’s not that bad. Average hitter. Average corner fielder. Overpaid. C’est la vie.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 12:44 PM EST (#393952) #
"I think we need to get one more starter. Then, in the middle of season, pick up a Scherzer or a Syndergaard."
Sounds good in theory but right now those two teams will likely be as competitive as the Blue Jays and looking to add at the deadline as well. Cueto, Gausman, Kikuchi, Duffy, Richards...maybe Bundy...that's who is likely to be available at the deadline.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:01 PM EST (#393953) #
I thought the Grichuk deal was meh at the time and it’s still meh. It’s no albatross. He is becoming even less valuable as the lineup continues to tilt even more RH. I think he’s closer to being a 4th OF than an everyday player on a contender but, on this team, he should be in a corner nearly everyday because he’s still the team’s second best defender out there.

The issue for Biggio at 3rd is gong to be arm strength and first instinct quickness. With his other skills, he probably won’t be terrible. Moving Biggio over Bichette is a continuation of the FO’s decision making to value other factors over defence. They might be right but it’s not my favourite attribute of theirs.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:10 PM EST (#393954) #
The Grichuk deal at the time has a potential of being really good or really meh. Sadly we got the meh. I look at it as an albatross more due to it being the one bad contract that runs past 2021. Roark is done after this year. Both deals made sense at the time but moves afterwards made both poor. The fact neither player lived up to advance hype hurt the most. Over 206 games in 2019/2020 Grichuk is worth 0.8 WAR. If he did that in 150 it would've been a poor deal. Over 200+ it is worse. He has some use - I see a platoon with Tellez as his future for now (Grichuk in RF, Hernandez DH vs LHP, with Vlad at 1B, vs RHP Hernandez in RF, Vlad at DH, Tellez at 1B).
Glevin - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:28 PM EST (#393955) #
An albatross contract is one that will prevent you from doing other things. Having an above average major leaguer making $10M a year for 3 years is definitely not an albatross. If Grichuk were a FA, how much would he get? Maybe something like 2/$15M? 1/$9M?
electric carrot - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:31 PM EST (#393956) #
Here's what I don't like about the Semien deal: It looks as if it's going to force Biggio to third -- but just for one year. I feel like that's not a good plan developmentally for him or potentially for Vlad who was talking a good game about being ready for third. I understand it if you get Bauer and say okay this is our year. But if you don't, I think it just adds enough chaos in the mix that in my mind offsets his net advantage quite a lot.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:40 PM EST (#393957) #
I love that they're not messing up with Bichette.
He's going to turn 23 around the same time Guerrero will turn 22.

Semien didn't solidify his defense until he was 27, didn't explode offensively until he was 28.

Biggio is the same age as Jansen and Tellez.
He's a lot more mature.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:42 PM EST (#393958) #
I have no issue paying $10m for a good bench player like Grichuk, who could well be as good or better than our starting corner OFs this year anyways. he's not overpaid for his value.

we're a rich team. it's not a problem.

it's no excuse not to go out there and spend more money on pitching though.

bpoz - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:43 PM EST (#393959) #
2017 & 2018 had injury issues to Travis, Tulo, Martin and Donaldson. This explains the low wins.

I don't know what the 2019 plan was. Not competing it seems. Galvis was a good move. Shoemaker was a good gamble if the could stay healthy. Buchhols and C Richard were not innings eaters (means pitching a lot of innings?). We went to Edwin Jackson out of desperation.

8 playoff spots for 2020 is uncommon.

This off season we have added talent to help with any injuries. Our 4th OF is a lot better offensively than than our 5th OF. Semien gives a lot more production compared to who would be below him.

There is a big gap behind whichever veteran SP is next after Ryu.

Catcher has not been improved.

We have improved our odds of making the playoffs as a WC or the ALE winner.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 01:55 PM EST (#393960) #
Marcus Semien - very solid signing with great upside especially in the AL east bandboxes - only wish he was a lefty - Didi Gregorius probably didn't want to move off shortstop on a one year deal.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:14 PM EST (#393961) #
The jays probably have to wait until Marcell Ozuna signs and hope the losers take a shining to Grichuk at a reduced price - I don't think Grichuk will be happy as a 4th outfielder - alternatively, with such a strong RHH lineup and 3 well regarded RHB (Martin/Groshans/Kirk) potentially joining the lineup over the next 2 years, I'd keep Grichuk as a sunk cost and try to package a deal built around Hernandez or Gurriel for a quality starter - I'd also see if I can get the lefthanded bat of Joc Pederson on a pillow contract.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:40 PM EST (#393962) #
In that one game last year, the Jays caused Ottavino to be booted out to Boston--he's apparently a life long Yankees fan.
To replace him, Cashman just signed Darren O'Day.

With the 3 pitcher rule, I will miss not having more another lefty bat or two.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:49 PM EST (#393963) #
The everyday lineup looks to me to be set, as does the pen.  A starter upgrade would be great, as would a left-handed bat/pinch-runner off the bench especially for Jansen/Kirk. 

ZiPS projected ERAs for starters with # of starts in brackets: Ryu 3.58 (24), Pearson 4.00 (24), Ray 4.15 (29), Stripling 4.38 (16), Thornton 4.62 (22), Borucki 4.77 (17),  SWR 4.90 (24), Murphy 4.91 (17) Roark 4.93 (25).  ZiPS does not have a projection for Manoah.   For the free agents, we have Bauer 3.60 (30) and Walker 4.40 (20).  

Jonny German - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:56 PM EST (#393964) #
Here's what I don't like about the Semien deal: It looks as if it's going to force Biggio to third -- but just for one year. I feel like that's not a good plan developmentally for him

Maybe for some players, but I think Biggio can handle it. In his breakout season, 2018 in New Hampshire, he started 65 games at 2B, 34 at 3B, 22 at 1B, and 2 in RF.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 02:59 PM EST (#393965) #
I’m fine with Grichuk as a 4th OF. Great teams usually have good players in depth spots so he’s useful in that role. Would he be happy in that role? Probably not. Should the Jays try to get out of the contract if they can? Absolutely. Either way, he’s likely not a trade asset at his current contract but also not someone who is going to hurt the team in a reduced role. Roark has the potential to hurt the team, so dumping him is probably a more beneficial move at this point, unless they think his velocity will climb back and performance will get better with a full ST and non-regional schedule.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 03:00 PM EST (#393966) #
So when exactly will posters lose their cool this year? When Cole mows through our elite line up or when Glasnow does? Ryu is not going to shut down the Yanks or Rays.

I hope that management isn't relying on a twenty something year old with a screw holding his arm together and only 18 innings pitched last year to shut down top offenses in the playoffs.

scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 04:24 PM EST (#393967) #
They improved more that I thought they would.

christaylor - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 04:54 PM EST (#393968) #
No one should lose their cool when the best pitcher in the game mows down any lineup. Ryu can shut down a team as well as anyone if he is on. I'm coming around on this being it for the offseason for the Jays. I would have liked them to snag Kluber, but otherwise, two good adds to the line-up are fine. Perhaps bad memories of the 2013 "all-in" offseason still linger with me.
johnny was - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 05:06 PM EST (#393969) #
Aside from feeling as though their most useless starter at present is probably the only one who'll be healthy for the entire year, things are looking pretty good. They clearly have to add another starter now, preferably Paxton, but Walker would also be fine. Apparently Odorizzi is asking 3 years and at least $36 million. Hard pass on that. 
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 05:39 PM EST (#393970) #
It's the same for everyone this year. It's going to be hard for starting pitchers to stay healthy.
The Braves did very well despite losing most of their rotation early last year.
The Jays have lots of interesting arms, it's nothing like 2013 with Morrow, Happ, Josh Johnson falling apart.
Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, the ghost of Chien-Ming Wang and Ramon Ortiz picking up the slack.
Also, Semien is no Bonifacio.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 05:44 PM EST (#393971) #
Overall I am very, very happy with the Jays right now. They didn't do everything I hoped for, but did improve a lot at minimal (player) cost. Semien is a near ideal choice to sign - covers a year while the kids work at getting ready then heads off into the sunset. Biggio can play anywhere pretty much, and Vlad can have his shot at 3B in spring - if he can handle it great - Biggio moves all over the place to give guys days off, if not Biggio goes there and Vlad is the DH/1B with Tellez. The pen is improved.

The only big issue is the rotation. What to do there? Ryu/Ray/Roark/Stripling/Pearson/Thornton and a cast of dozens. I'd check in with a few guys to see if spring invites are enough to get them here (Shoemaker for example) and if the cash is there grab Walker and/or Paxton and/or Odorizzi but no way at his current demands (3 years). Hmm...wonder if the Dodgers would like a Grichuk ($10.3 per for 3 years) for Price ($16 per for 2 years owed by LA) deal? Pretty much balanced cash wise, and Grichuk would be a good 4th OF for them (they have a strong big 3 but their 4th [Joc Pederson] did poor in 2020) while spreading the money over 3 years instead of 2, which for the Jays isn't an issue but the Dodgers are dancing on the luxury tax edge and have 5 strong starters already.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 05:55 PM EST (#393972) #
It's been a pretty good offseason. Still wish they would add one more good starter.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 06:45 PM EST (#393973) #
Price is the highest salary on the Dodgers payroll and the only player signed for longer is Mookie.
Price didn't play at all in 2020, so how good will he be? He's 35.

The Dodgers' core is a bunch of arb and pre-arb players.
This is where the Jays are and need to keep focusing.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:36 PM EST (#393974) #
Steven Matz

Not the pitching add i was looking for.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:42 PM EST (#393975) #
Winckowski, SRF, Diaz for Matz

Only problem is that Matz ain't good.
johnny was - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 09:49 PM EST (#393976) #
$5.2 million for Matz in 2021. On the surface, that really doesn't look like a great investment.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:04 PM EST (#393977) #
SRF and Diaz are relievers, and not guaranteed to make it.

Winkowski has potential but is a long way away. Fangraphs had him as a depth arm, he has potential but wasn't a listed prospect.

I dont think the Jays gave up too much and it helps them with their 40 man roster squeeze.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:06 PM EST (#393978) #
Pete Walker has a lot of responsibility this season. He has to fix both Matz and Robbie Ray.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:09 PM EST (#393979) #
One other point.....if the Jays have depth in the system its in potential bullpen arms. They are dealing from an area where they have other options.
Waveburner - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:10 PM EST (#393980) #
Matz is an irritating target. Only 2 healthy seasons in his career, barely averages 5 innings per start and is really a #4/5 starter at best. This feels like a much more conventional Atkins move - boring and barely moves the needle.

SRF and Diaz aren't big losses as likely relievers if they ever make it, but I don't like losing Winckowski for such a meh player.

Much rather have signed Walker, similar injury risks but with some upside left and you don't give up any prospects.

This better not be the last pitcher they add before the season.
Eephus - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:15 PM EST (#393981) #
I'm okay with it. Reid-Foley is probably a reliever now and (as Gerry beat me to it) you clear a 40 man roster spot for the Semien signing which you would've had to do anyway.

Matz was serviceable enough in 2018-19, though his issue giving up home runs is a four alarm bell even in those better years. Seems like a "change of scenery" gamble on a former top prospect and those can occasionally work out, though I'd still like to see the Jays add one more experienced arm *cough* Taijuan Walker *cough*. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:22 PM EST (#393982) #
Id rather have Roark starting and Foley out of the bullpen that Matz in either.

Why are the Jays helping the Mets clear salary for Bauer?
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:26 PM EST (#393983) #
Clearing out roster spots and gaining a guy who can give you innings in a season when you are likely to need many starters and a potential change of scenery guy - a reasonable gamble.
grjas - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:28 PM EST (#393984) #
I hope this isn’t what the Jays defined as “creative.”
christaylor - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 10:30 PM EST (#393985) #
Matz has decent K/9 and BB/9. It's the HR and babip that make him look worse. As lefty he may find something more as he ages. Happ is a comp through age 29. That's a decent upside.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 27 2021 @ 11:19 PM EST (#393986) #
I get the trade. Pretty Meh for me but it can make sense if the Jays sign another starter or move into some tandem starting. Could be less official than that but that sort of lefty/righty switch with starters only going 4-5 innings can really stretch a staff and maximize the pitcher's abilities.
5-Thornton/Roark/bullpen game
Thomas - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:15 AM EST (#393987) #
I don't particularly like this move, but it stems more from a concern the front office sees Matz as the final missing rotation piece than what the team gave up.

I'd rather have saved those three arms for a deal at the trading deadline, but I'm sure the team can find a throw-in third or fourth piece if they need for a final deal.

As another poster said, I'd rather have Walker on a reasonable two year deal (and he seems quite interested in returning). Maybe the front office is still interested in signing a final rotation piece, but I'd rather have Walker than Matz.

I had thought Kay was the lefty longman/tandem guy, but maybe the front office doesn't have much faith in him. Or maybe they feel they need two of them. If the Jays think the rotation concerns are solved by Ray and Matz, I'm not convinced of that at all.
Jonny German - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:39 AM EST (#393988) #
Head-scratcher, feels like a poor use of a roster spot at this point. I guess they're convinced they can fix him.
rpriske - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 06:50 AM EST (#393989) #
I don't mind Matz as a reclamation project.

Trading SRF for him?

Uh, no.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 06:59 AM EST (#393990) #
I like the Matz acquisition.  His velocity on his sinker was up over 1 mph last year and movement was reduced.  That's a better problem to have, and kind of understandable in the weird year that was 2020.  It's a move like Stripling and Ray- and actually I subjectively like their chances of getting Matz back to where he was more than the other two projects.  If that fails, I have every confidence (as much as you can about any pitcher) that he can be a one-inning left-handed guy, and they can promote Borucki to a longer relief or starting role. 

They had a roster issue with the Semien signing; obviously you would prefer not to give up 3 pitchers who have some reasonable possibility of being useful in a deal like this but something was going to be lost anyways.

The club decided that they didn't want spend to $36 million per year (or more) on Bauer.  I agree with that decision without reservation.

scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 07:20 AM EST (#393991) #

SRF was on his last option and still had a bit of value. A reliever now. Still struggling to throw strikes.
Diaz suffered a lat injury in the spring and spent the year on the IL. At that point it was decided that he would only be a reliever going forward. A single inning middle reliever type.
Winckowski had a great year  in A+ in 2019, but he was left out of the "alternate site". He probably needs to start back in A+. With a lot of patience, he could turn into something, but he's behind a lot of guys.


He was horrible in 2020. He went on the IL for shoulder discomfort.
Even in 2019, he was an interesting guy. Great most of the time but would get shelled here and there. Especially against the Phillies.

He sits 92-94mph and tops at 95. He throws a sinker that misses a lot of bats but also results in a lot of flyball.
He has a great curve and a decent changeup. His slider is very hard, 90mph and doesn't miss any bats. He does however get lots of ground ball on it. (Great when you need a double play ball.)

I don't like that the Metz were focused on trading him, but if they thought he was done they could have non-tendered him.
I still think they need to trade a catcher.
Maybe they wait until the deadline?

Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 07:25 AM EST (#393992) #
The Metz

Nice one.  Works for the organization generally, and perfect for the trade.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 07:27 AM EST (#393993) #
SRF is a reliever. Nobody sees him as a prospect anymore.
As a reliever, guys like Tice, Snead, Rees, etc are ahead of him.
Also, they got Cole and Mayza.

Jonny German - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:21 AM EST (#393994) #
Keith Law has his top 100 prospects up. Surprisingly he leaves off both SWR and Jordan Groshans, but he does still include 5 Jays:

#5 Nate Pearson
#13 Austin Martin
#79 Alek Manoah
#92 Alejandro Kirk
#98 Orelvis Martinez
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:34 AM EST (#393995) #
Those rankings are consistent with his long-held views- he really liked the Martin and Manoah drafts.  It is reasonable to maintain your opinions after the 2020 non-season in the minor leagues; I think that you see it with just about every evaluator.   
grjas - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:36 AM EST (#393996) #
Atkins: “ we're at the point now where if we were to acquire two major pieces, it would require likely subtracting from our roster. “Not for financial reasons, but just because of opportunity reasons,”

Makes sense. So why then add I guy who’s upside based on history is an average number 4/5. I don’t get it. Hopefully they’re not done and add something interesting or I fear the great moves to date may be in vain.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:46 AM EST (#393997) #
What Atkins said is baloney.  If they could sign Bauer for a Semien-like pillow contract for $18 million/1 year, they wouldn't refuse because they might have to release Tanner Roark or Jacob Waguespack or Derek Fisher.  They might not do it for non-baseball reasons.  If they could sign Taijuan Walker on a pillow contract for $7 millon/1 year, I am sure that they would do it. 

They have spent quite a bit already.  There's no shame in saying that "we are near the limits of what we want to spend now" (and leave open the possibility of taking advantage of opportunities in-season). 
electric carrot - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:50 AM EST (#393998) #
I like "The Metz" trade. It seems like a big maybe whether it works but if it does I see it as an impact acquisition. I'm not an optimist about the back end of the rotation. I am concerned that the implication of the trade is that we are done looking for top of the rotation guys.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:50 AM EST (#393999) #
The Jays have likely inquired about every SP that might be available in a trade. The fact that they ended up with Matz means they weren’t willing to meet the asking price for other pitchers. This suggests that the organization remains focused on the long term, despite the recent moves to improve the team. This is a good thing, in my view.
Cracka - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#394000) #
Matz was a legitimate non-tender candidate in November - he accepted a one-year contract with basically no raise from his Arb 2 salary and it's NOT guaranteed. He can be cut in Spring Training for 1/6 of his salary. And for this we gave up three prospects, including two with ML experience.

So I imagine the asking price for other Starting Pitchers on the trade market would involve "untouchable" prospects or assets.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#394001) #
I think it's the wrong team for SRF. He could benefit from getting some innings with a team like Baltimore or Pittsburgh, but I don't see him getting meaningful innings on a contender. Same with Diaz, really. In a way, I think they took those to make the deal look better on their end and the Jays threw them to clear space.

There is a good chance that whoever they draft in the 3rd round would have slotted in front of all those 3. 

Lots of lefty arms on the Jays, not enough lefty bats.

Glevin - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:27 AM EST (#394002) #
None of the pieces they gave up were valuable which is why I don't mind the trade. Could one become something? Sure but with relievers that can happen with any of them and you can't hold on to every single reliever hoping they figure something out. Matz is interesting. He probably will be mediocre (4.15-4.35 XFIP 3 straight years is OK) but I can see the Jays thinking they can help Matz find a different level.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:31 AM EST (#394003) #
Mike - c'mon, we all know Bauer ain't signing for less than $35+ for a single year. Plus, unlike Semien, he costs a 3rd round pick and $500k in international bonus money. No way do I see the Jays doing a one year deal in that situation unless he by some miracle decided he had to come here at a deep discount.

As to budget, you never admit how much is left. You hint at it but never say. I suspect the Jays are near that limit for now - maybe $10 mil for one more starter but maybe not. The roster is in a crunch situation now, the only non-starting infielders are Otto Lopez and Santiago Espinal. I think we'd all be A-OK with a Derek Fisher DFA, Jonathan Davis is borderline, Josh Palacios is a 'meh' didn't make the top 39 prospects from FanGraphs so he could be dumped.

Pitching is the big 'what do we do with all these guys' area. 21 of them before last nights trade. Plus of course a stack of non-40 man guys like SWR, Manoah, and more who space will be needed for soon. Trading 3 who had no spot on the team at the moment for 1 makes a lot of sense. I don't think any of us saw Josh Winckowski, Sean Reid-Foley, or Yennsy Diaz making the roster this year other than as depth (IE: they were no better than the 14th best option on the team). I'm not excited about Steven Matz as he doesn't look like much, but he is a LHP which the team is a bit short on, has a live arm (10.6 K/9 vs 2.9 BB/9 last year) and twice in the past 3 years started 30 games which for the Jays holds a lot of value right now. Worst case is he is the LH reliever this team could use I figure, best case is he is a decent starter who doesn't go deep but is effective.

Funny, the pen is strongly right handed but if Matz is a starter we'd have 3 LH starters in him, Ryu, and Ray. Could work out nicely with the RH pen. I'm going on the optimistic side here and think the Jays bought low. SRF I've been a fan of but at this point he was not going to be more than a middle man in the pen.
Glevin - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:34 AM EST (#394004) #
Pirates looking to trade Adam Frazier and he's a guy I can see the Jays getting. LH bat, good defender at multiple positions, and can hit a bit. The kind of guy you'd like at the end of your roster (ahead of someone like Espinal). Wouldn't give up a top-25 prospect to get him though.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:47 AM EST (#394005) #
In the short term, McGuire is out of option but could be bumped by Kirk down the line.
Hopefully he hits enough to be traded for some return.
Fisher is still on the roster and his left bat is not worth anything if Grichuk is on the bench with him.
A left bat with more experience would be more useful than Espinal.
Valera? I don't think he hits enough.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:53 AM EST (#394006) #
I'm not sure of anything, John, but I think you're right about Bauer's likely contract.  What I am saying about the rotation improvement is that it is about the money, not the "lost opportunity". Shapiro's comments make sense to me; Atkins' do not.  
85bluejay - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:56 AM EST (#394007) #
I take prospect listing with a large grain of salt but looking at fangraphs listing for the Tampa Bay Rays makes me drool - 13 players at 50FV or higher, list of 63 prospects and team coming off a WS appearance - no wonder so many owners are stocking their FO with Rays talent - Somebody should mention at the players association meetings that the more the Rays win, the more the players wallet lose.
uglyone - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:58 AM EST (#394008) #
Atkins: “ we're at the point now where if we were to acquire two major pieces, it would require likely subtracting from our roster. “Not for financial reasons, but just because of opportunity reasons,”

Ach. Leave it to this guy to leave me with a bitter aftertaste even after this offseason.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 10:10 AM EST (#394009) #
Why doesn’t the media ever challenge Atkins on these types of statements? For the most part, baseball journalists in Canada are so feckless.
Nigel - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 10:36 AM EST (#394010) #
My view is similar to Glevin’s, this deal likely amounts to nothing for either side but youneverknow with pitchers. This year is likely to require volume as much as quality on the mound. In assessing FA pitching moves I think you have to grade on a scale here - I’m just not sure that there are a long list of FA starters who want to come to Toronto to pitch.

You really need to ignore the FO’s press conferences and interviews. They aren’t intended to provide actual information.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 10:39 AM EST (#394011) #
A lot will depend on heath and whoever the Jays end up getting after this, but it wouldn't surprise me if Matz is used as a RP. Chatwood looks like a RP as well, but he had incentives baked into his contract based on IP. The team might just be stockpiling as much depth as possible, and role will depend on availability and need.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#394012) #
"The Jays have likely inquired about every SP that might be available in a trade. The fact that they ended up with Matz means they weren’t willing to meet the asking price for other pitchers. This suggests that the organization remains focused on the long term, despite the recent moves to improve the team. This is a good thing, in my view."
This is likely what has happened and if it's true then I am glad we made this trade rather than trading from our top prospects for pitching. Smart to wait until the deadline or next off season.
Chuck - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:07 AM EST (#394013) #
You really need to ignore the FO’s press conferences and interviews. They aren’t intended to provide actual information.

Yes, corporatespeak masquerading as communication.

Paul D - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#394014) #
I think SP depth will be vitally important this year. How many pitchers will log 200, or even 180, innings? I don't mean on the Jays, I mean in all of mlb. I wouldn't be surprised if that number was less than 5, given possible covid shut downs and lack of innings pitched last year.

That's not a reason to get excited over Matz or Chatwood, but does possibly speak to the need to relievers who can start - I strongly suspect the Jays will use at least 10 starters this year.
Nigel - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:14 AM EST (#394015) #
They’re infomercials not interviews - right down to (in many cases) the interviewer also being a Rogers employee with the output disseminated on a Rogers platform.
grjas - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:35 AM EST (#394016) #
“ Among starters projected to put up more than five starts next year, new Blue Jay Steven Matz has the 206th-best Quality of Stuff (based on velo and movement) according to numbers from @Moore_Stats”

I don’t care about corporate speak- the 3 GMs before Atkins weren’t much better. My issue is with the logjam forming of questionable starters. Why add another one with seemingly limited upside- and little ability to shuttle him down if needed? If they are out of dollars in the budget, I would have rather spent money on a top FA pitcher than add an 18 mm infielder to an already strong lineup.

Anyway, I hope another-better upside- pitcher is on the way otherwise I worry a terrific lineup might be wasted. Beyond Ryu, the next 4 have a tonne of question marks.
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:55 AM EST (#394017) #
I find Atkins statements pleasantly challenging to understand but also quite insightful. I pay attention to solve the puzzle. AA was similar to that as well "if you hear about it then it won't happen". I liked AA and he was much clearer than Atkins.

To me Atkins meant that at this time of the off season (late Jan) IF he added 2 more major pieces due to "opportunity"/availability then financially it is not a problem. But due to the 40 man restriction he would have to free up 2 spots and he is ok with that. No details were given on who and how he would make room on the 40 man roster.

IMO the media is starting to understand. The "years of control issue" in the Stroman trade confused the media but they finally understood.

John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:05 PM EST (#394018) #
Boy did Reid-Foley's star drop. Pre-2017 he was on everyone's top 100 lists, and was the Jays #2 prospect according to this site. Behind Vlad, ahead of Bo and many, many others. Dropped to 8th the next year, out of top 10 after that. A reminder of the old saying 'there is no such thing as a pitching prospect'
Ducey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:10 PM EST (#394019) #
It seems apparent that there are not going to be a lot of pitchers on any team capable of going 150+ innings this year given the limited number of innings they had last year.

Add in some rustiness and unpredictability and a lot of rotations are going to be a mix and match of way more than 5 starters.

Perhaps the Jays have simply embraced this. They certainly don't like to have their starters go thru the lineup 3 times anyway. If so it makes sense to have a pack of guys who can go 3+ innings more regularly. Matz might fit this well.

You can have 5 starters pitch 180 innings in an ideal year, or have 9 pitchers (or so) pitch an average of 100.

In any event he is likely ahead of any thing that the 3 pitchers sent away will achieve. All project to be mid relief guys and the Jays have shown that those are easy to pick up on minor league deals.

Having said all of this, I would sure be happier if they signed T. Walker again.
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:16 PM EST (#394020) #
We lost Urena and got him back because he was unable to break into anyone's lineup even as just a 40 man spot. Maybe about 400 ABs in the minor leagues will help him succeed.

This could happen to SRF and Diaz over the next 4 years. A live arm always gets another chance.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:18 PM EST (#394021) #
10 starters I see as the minimum - 12 last year, 21 in 2019, 14 in 2018, 14 in 2017, 7 in 2016, 12 in 2015, 9 in 2014, 13 in 2013, 12 in 2012, 12 in 2011, 11 in 2010, 12 in 2009 (Roy Halladay one of those 12).

So since Halladay was here we've seen under 10 in a year just twice. Once barely (9) and the other was a playoff year. 15+ we've seen once (21 in 2019).

I'd put the over/under at 12 starting pitchers, but would bet on over. Ryu/Roark/Ray/Pearson/Matz/Stripling the top 6, Merryweather/Kay/Thornton/Chatwood/Zeuch being the next batch, then kids (SWR/Murphy/Pardinho/Manoah etc.) and lord knows (AAAA pick ups, surprises in the low minors who climb fast, etc.).
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:19 PM EST (#394022) #
Matz has better underlying numbers and perceived upside than Walker and will cost significantly less annually and for one year only. He essentially stopped throwing his fastball the last 2 years and it worked against him. He has developed a strong curve ball this off season according to Davidi.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:50 PM EST (#394023) #
Here's Matz' Statcast breakdown.  He has rarely ever thrown 4-seamers.  He did throw fewer 2 seamers last year (53% instead of a high of 68% when he first came up), but it's understandable because he was so ineffective throwing it.  His curveball has always been an effective pitch for him, even last year.  His changeup has been very ineffective for several years and he uses it quite a bit- I am sure that they will adjust that in some way, maybe by reducing usage to maybe 5-7% instead of 20%- 25%. 

bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 12:58 PM EST (#394024) #
The pitching staff for this years team will be a challenge on how to use it. That said they seem to really want to compete for a playoff run and hopefully a playoff spot. In 2019 they had no such ambitions.

I they are competing at the trade deadline then they add some help. If they are not competing then something went wrong in that they spent a lot of money and failed. I still believe financial losses/control are serious concerns to the owners. For example Boston and Dombrowski parted ways because of this IMO.
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 01:09 PM EST (#394025) #
Tanaka back to Japan.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 01:43 PM EST (#394026) #
Klaw is back with more commentary on the pitching mechanics of Jays prospects. Here’s what he said in today’s chat about SWR: “Significant reliever risk there. His arm is extremely late relative to his front leg landing.”
damos - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 02:06 PM EST (#394027) #
Also in Klaw chat:

Q: "Which players outside of the top 25 would you say are most likely to top your list in the next year or two?"

A: "Orelvis Martinez, Jasson Dominguez, Robert Hassell could all make huge leaps."

Not bad.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 02:43 PM EST (#394028) #
Originally, Reid-Foley was looking like a first round pick and he eventually dropped so much that the Jays picked him in the second round. He's always had trouble throwing strikes. As long as the Jays were trying to fix him, he was a possible middle of the order starter. But as soon as he becomes a reliever, his value drops a ton.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 02:55 PM EST (#394029) #
Like a lot of posters, I see the rotation as the weak part of the team now. There's several might-be-good if things break right starters. It's like the Jays have been souping up the car but are neglecting to put on a good set of tires.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:07 PM EST (#394030) #
I was looking over Hyun Jin Ryu's splits and I came across a little nugget.  He's been awfully good in high leverage situations (.252/.291/.333 in 541 PAs as compared with .247/.296/.406 in 1226 low leverage PAs).  The difference is that he keeps the ball in the park when the heat is on- only 4 home runs vs. 37 in the low leverage PAs.  A home run rate four times less might happen purely by fluke, but not very often. 

He's 26-10 with an ERA+ of 179 over the last 3 years (332 innings). If he stays healthy and can throw 180 innings, he might win 20 this year. 
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:16 PM EST (#394031) #
I think it's rightly called a sinker. It still has a 20% whiff rate.
The change was being missed 32% of the time in 2020. That looks OK to me.
The curve ball was actually less effective last year. 17% whiff instead of 26%.
Does the putaway % means 22% of his changeup were outs?

He was hit really hard last year.
No doubt about that.

greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:23 PM EST (#394032) #
I would prefer to see Ryu throw 140-150 regular-season innings and be healthy for the postseason. At some point soon his health is likely going to break down.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:29 PM EST (#394033) #
He still threw the sinker more than all the other pitches combined. Not what I would call "stopped throwing his fastball".
He threw it harder last year by about 1mph and the vertical break was down by almost 2 inches.
It was hit very hard. So was the curveball, it seems.
His slider is a pure 12 to 6 drop and seemed to be effective.
Could be just a matter of locating.

Lylemcr - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 03:34 PM EST (#394034) #
Every year, the Jays high picks get pushed up into the top 10 future stars, and to be honest, most fizzle out. SRF needed a new home.

Matz. You can never have too many good lefties. It is a good gamble, IMO. Especially, when it frees up roster spots. Who were the jays able to keep because of it?

Maybe the Mets can sign Bauer now and the Jays can move on to option 2. Don't get me wrong, I would like to get Bauer. I just don't want to be left option 6 as the starter. With the recent acquisitions, the Jays have to be considered playoff bound if they got one (or two) more quality starters.
uglyone - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:02 PM EST (#394035) #
Please get us one more semi-dependable SP with front rotation upside.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:06 PM EST (#394036) #
It seems to me that the Jays haven't done as well with the international pitchers.
They also have developed  more catchers/infielders than outfielders.
It would be nice if the areas of strength could be used to address the areas of need.
Not that they need another outfielder right now.

The lack of pitching options goes back to 2016.
They've put together a nice core but the pitching takes longer to develop.
The front office seems to be careful about giving out long contract to pitchers.
I can't really blame them. There will be a full rotation in Buffalo able to contribute at the right time.

Walker seems to have become a highly respected pitching coach.
I'm less sure about the other coaches, but I think there is a good mix.
I do like that the front office cares about the clubhouse culture.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:09 PM EST (#394037) #
It's true, greenfrog.  Ryu has had the labrum surgery and the TJ and the elbow debridement.  You do want to maximize the chances that he's healthy for the playoffs.  Chris Carpenter was able to come back from both labrum and TJ and throw 200 innings in the regular season for 3 years running and then 35 very good innings in the playoffs in 2011. 
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:16 PM EST (#394038) #
Looks like Aaron Loup is now The Loup on Wall Street (the Metz have signed him).
uglyone - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:32 PM EST (#394039) #
Mets preferred loup to matz.
PeterG - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 04:44 PM EST (#394040) #
Shapiro suggesting Jays not done in interview.....may be more in next 10 days but won't be any more big contracts

as he was asked what he meant by heavy lifting

want to save some FA flexibility for next year
Mike Green - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 05:22 PM EST (#394041) #
Well done, UO and greenfrog.  We're on a roll.  Better to make fun of the Metz than to lament (or get angry about) the Jay starting pitching. 
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 07:55 PM EST (#394042) #
Just randomly picked what should have been a bad year for the Jays. 2008. But they won 86 games and had the best Runs Against in the AL. Halladay 246 IP, Burnett 221 IP, Litsch 176 IP, Marcum 151 IP, McGowan 111 IP and Purcey 65 IP. This if fairly impressive. I expected Halladay and not much else.

I understand that times have changed.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 07:55 PM EST (#394043) #
Loup looks OK until he comes out and hit the first hitter he faces.

scottt - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:12 PM EST (#394044) #
Burnett was a decent number 2.
Litsch was an aberration. Drafted in the 24th round. Came one out from a complete game in his debut.
He pitched a shutout in May 2008. He had TJ the next year. Came back in 2011 but came up with an inflammed shoulder. He received a plasma injection to speed up the healing but developed a serious infection that resulted in emergency surgery. The next year he received a bone graft and cartilage replacement from a cadaver. (I'm not a doctor.)
That was it for him. He threw a ceremonial first pitch in 2014. He's a pitching coach now. I bet he was one of those high spin rate guys.
Marcum was a pretty decent finesse pitcher.
McGowan was a power pitcher who never got it quite right, but early on he looked like he might.
Purcey was a lefty who struggled to throw strikes. Kinda like SRF.
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:46 PM EST (#394045) #
Burnett a #2!! I can buy that. He was very good for Pittsburg, maybe ok/good for the Jays and quite bad for NYY.

By the end of 2021 we will know how our veteran pitchers compare to the 2008 group. No Halladay comp for me because it is unfair. However 90-110 IP is a possibility for Ray, Roark and Stripling. Litsch, Marcum and McGowan I think will beat them. Later I will look at 2010 Romero, Cecil, Morrow, Marcum and Zep from 2009.

We have a lot of young pitchers like Thornton, Zeuch, Kay, Hatch and about 5 others that are in the mix in case of failure. Somehow Montoyo and Walker have to figure this out. I might be nervous.
Glevin - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:48 PM EST (#394046) #
I understand why the Jays want to be flexible for next year as well. This is their first year trying to be an elite team but you need to add talent every year and next year has some amazing FAs. Here are the SS who are free agents next year Francisco Lindor, Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story. Other players: Freeman, Rizzo, Scherzer, Syndergard, Kershaw, Verlander, Greinke, Conforto, Bryant, and more.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 09:59 PM EST (#394047) #
Pitching is a crapshoot. For proof just look at the Jays career leaderboards.

bWAR: Stieb (drafted as an OF in 5th round), Halladay (1st round pick), Key (3rd round), Hentgen (5th round), Clancy (expansion draft), Guzman (gained in a trade for Mike Sharperson - a failed prospect who had a 43 OPS+), Clemens (OK, free agent paid a record salary), Henke (free agent compensation), David Wells (2nd round draft pick), Alexander (released by Yankees, signed by Jays 21 days later).

So the Jays top 10 has 1 first rounder (16th overall), 1 second rounder, 1 3rd rounder, 2 5th rounders, a released guy, a weak trade, free agent comp, expansion draft, and a mega free agent. Of those only Clemens and Halladay gave you a strong reason to think they'd be good day one. Every other team in baseball could've grabbed any of the others as a draft pick or for very little in trade.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 10:26 PM EST (#394048) #
Remarkable stat: Clemens had a combined 18.9 fWAR in his two-season pillow contract with the Jays in 1997-98.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 11:20 PM EST (#394049) #
His 1st season is #1 for bWAR all time for the Jays by a mile (11.9) his 2nd is #4 for bWAR all time for the Jays (his 8.1 is beat by Hentgen's '96 8.6 and Bautista 2011 8.3, tied with Roy Halladay's 2003). Fangraphs is different (can't find a team leaderboard). Hentgen is at 6.0 for his great year, Clemens 2 years are 10.7 and 8.2, Bautista's is 8.1, Halladay's 7.0 in 2003 (6.8 twice, a 6.7 as well), Donaldson's 2015 is 8.7 (2016 7.6), Devon White 6.4 in 1991, Delgado 7.4 in 2000, Olerud 1993 8.1. That covers the peaks I could find.

So for Fangraphs it goes Clemens 1997, Donaldson 2015, Clemens 1998, Bautista 2011/Olerud 1993, then a handful in the 7's.

FYI: Donaldson's 2015 is only a 7.1 from BR, Olerud's 1993 7.8. Both have Jesse Barfield peaking in the 7's in 1986.

Clemens was a WOW for those 2 years. I remember at the time dreaming of him spending the rest of his career here - dang that would've been nice, him and Halladay as a 1/2 punch in the 2000's.
John Northey - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 02:11 AM EST (#394050) #
FYI: digging into the top 100 lists for a future article I did a simple ranking (100 points for 1st, down to 1 point for #100). For Baseball America which has been doing top 100 lists since 1990 the best year for prospects was 1994 by ranking them (3 top 10's in Alex Gonzalez, Delgado, and Jose Silva, plus 3 more ranked). Last year had the most prospects (7 - Bo & Vlad in top 10) which is nice. But dropped to 3 last year (Pearson/Groshans/SWR) and rebounded to 6 this year (adding Martin, Kirk, and Orelvis Martinez) but none in the top 10.

Fun to dig through. Got thinking about it when Lylemcr said the Jays seem to get pitchers pushed up the ranks so I thought I'd check. It is leading to a much bigger thing to measure the Jays prospects over the past 3 decades (have major work to do on it still when I find more time). Only 2 guys have been top 3 prospects in MLB for the Jays Vlad (#1 and #3), and Olerud (1990 #3); 3 guys were #4 (Delgado, Alex Gonzalez, and Vernon Wells - geez did the Jays waste them); only Delgado a #5; Green Rios, and Snider were all #6's. Pearson the only #7 ever (highest ranked pitcher); #8 only shortstops (Gonzalez & Bo twice); #9 no one; the only #10 is Jose Silva (RHP 1994). So clearly Jay pitchers haven't been pushed to top 10 given only 2 have been there in the past 30 years, just 1 in the past 25 years.

Note: Halladay peaked at #12 (also ranked #23), Pearson dropped to #14 this year, Dustin McGowan #16, Daniel Norris (LHP) #18, Kyle Drabek (RHP) #25. That's it for pitchers in the top 25 (just to spread out the net a bit more). So 6 pitchers over 30 years made the top 25 (8 times). Not a lot, and few recently with 1 HOF'er, 1 too soon (Pearson obviously), a couple of meh (Norris 0.6 WAR still active, McGowan [1.6]), and a couple of flops (Drabek [-0.1 WAR], Silva [-0.9]). Not a great track record for pitchers in the top 25. Hitters were a lot more successful with flops being Anthony Alford (so far) & Eddie Zosky; meh being Travis Snider & d'Arnaud (in the 4's for WAR), with a lot of All-Stars (Olerud, Delgado, Green, Wells) and 10+ WAR guys (Whiten, Derek Bell, Alex Gonzalez) while Bo & Vlad's stories are still to be written but both have already reached 'meh' career if their careers ended now. So if I was going to bet on prospects no question hitters over pitchers.
Michael - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 04:11 AM EST (#394051) #
Definitely hitters over pitchers. With all but the very top prospects there is enough uncertainty that there is a good argument for quantity over quality. I.e., 3 pitchers in the 90s for best prospects likely give you better odds than a pitcher ranked 25th best prospect. It is similar, but not that extreme, for hitters. This doesn't apply to the very tip top of the prospects (say the top 10, and certainly the top 3), but it happens faster for pitchers than for hitters which is one reason there are usually way more hitters than pitchers at the top few spots in the prospect lists.

Looking at 30 years with 30 mlb teams means that the average team should have one player-season at each spot (so one #1, one #2, one #3, etc.). It doesn't mean 30 different players in the top 30 prospects over the past 30 years because many players would count multiple times (like Vlad #1 and #3).
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 08:25 AM EST (#394052) #
Nolan Arenado to St. Louis is gaining momentum per Rosenthal. AA has had talks with the Rockies as well.
Mike Green - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 09:23 AM EST (#394053) #
I was thinking about how I would use starting pitchers during the season to set them up for the playoffs, anticipating that you wanted them to throw 140-150 innings during the regular season (thinking of Ryu and Pearson).  For the sake of argument, let's imagine that you want Ryu, Pearson, Ray and Stripling to be your starters in the playoffs. 

I think that I'd do something like this.  I would pair each of them up with another pitcher- let's say Merryweather with Ryu, Borucki with Pearson, Chatwood with Ray and Matz with Stripling.    I don't know what you would do with the 5 slot- perhaps a straightforward tandem of 4-5 innings apiece with Thornton and Kay; it's not really important for the playoff preparation piece.

You may need to build starters up depending on the length of spring training.  Once they are built up, I'd imagine a 3 times through the rotation for each pairing.  The first time through they'd pitch a regular long outing for them, the second time through they'd pitch 5 innings max and the third time through they'd pitch 2 innings.   The 2nd guy would pitch 0-3 innings in the first outing in a typical start depending on how far the 1st pitcher went and the leverage of the situation; he would pitch 1-4 innings the second outing depending on how far the 1st pitcher went and the leverage of the situation; he would throw 4 innings in the third outing.  You do want to stagger the pitchers short starts.  So the first 29 games might go something like this (assuming that you want to build Ryu and Ray up to 6-7 innings in their long starts and Pearson and Stripling up to 5-6):

Gm Pitch 1 (IP) Pitch 2 (IP)
1 Ryu (4-5) Merryweather(1-4)
2 Pearson(4-5) Borucki(1-4)
3 Ray(4-5) Chatwood(1-4)
4 Stripling(4-5) Matz(1-4)
5 Thornton(4-5) Kay(4-5)
6 Ryu (5) Merryweather(1-3)
7 Pearson(5) Borucki (1-4)
8 Ray(5) Chatwood(1-3)
9 Stripling(5) Matz(1-4)
10 Kay(4-5) Thornton(4-5)
11 Ryu(5-6) Merryweather(1-4)
12 Pearson(2) Borucki(4)
13 Ray(5-6) Chatwood(1-4)
14 Stripling(2) Matz(4)
15 Thornton(4-5) Kay(4-5)
16 Ryu(2) Merryweather(4)
17 Pearson(5-6) Borucki(0-4)
18 Ray(2) Chatwood(4)
19 Stripling(5-6) Matz(0-4)
20 Kay(4-5) Thornton(4-5)
21 Ryu(6) Merryweather(0-3)
22 Pearson(5) Borucki(1-4)
23 Ray(6) Chatwood(0-3)
24 Stripling(5) Matz(1-4)
25 Thornton(4-5) Kay(4-5)
26 Ryu(5) Merryweather(1-4)
27 Pearson(2) Borucki(4)
28 Ray(5) Chatwood(1-4)
29 Stripling(2) Matz(4)

In this layout, you'd be inclined to let the 2nd pitcher go longer in the middle of the short starts (for instance in Game 28, you'd want Chatwood to go 4 innings to complete the game if you could in order to spare the remainder of the bullpen in most instances.  Similarly in Game 17, you'd be extremely reluctant to not pitch Borucki because of the short starts in Game 16 and 18.

Once the season gets rolling, Ryu and Ray would be on a 6-7, 5, 2 innings pattern for his starts for an average of 27 innings per 30 games or 135 innings after 150 games.  Pearson and Stripling would be on a 5-6, 5, 2 innings pattern for his starts for an average of 25 innings per 30 games or 125 innings after 150 games.  You'd probably want to feel comfortable with the 2nd pitcher going 5-6 innings if the first pitcher gets knocked out early. 

There's no magic in most of the names.  You could switch Matz with Ray or Kay or Borucki (or Roark/SWR/Manoah for Thornton at some point in the season). 

scottt - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 09:54 AM EST (#394054) #
Kinda weird. The Cards lost Wong, Wainwright and Molina and the market for those guys never developed much.
Mike Green - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 10:16 AM EST (#394055) #
Incidentally in the layout I have, you'd have Romano, Dolis and Yates for the high leverage work.  If one of the games goes into extra innings, you'd have to use one of the 2nd pitchers.  For instance, if Game 11 goes into extra innings and you need another arm, you'd probably use Chatwood and then restrict him to 1 inning in Game 13. 

Adjustments, of course, have to be made depending on game cancellations due to weather and COVID, injury and so on, but it's handy to have a framework. 
Glevin - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 10:46 AM EST (#394056) #
Mike, I mostly agree with you. I would have Ryu go 6 and maybe not be piggybacked (instead use any of the righty relievers). But I think the Jays are setup for a fluid, Tampa-like way of using starters. Jays apparently looking to get rid of Roark and honestly if they don't find a taker, they should cut him and sign someone like Walker to replace him. The team would be greatly improved.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 10:56 AM EST (#394057) #
"Jays apparently looking to get rid of Roark and honestly if they don't find a taker, they should cut him and sign someone like Walker to replace him. The team would be greatly improved."
Where did you get this information from? Front office has said anything but.
Mike Green - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:23 AM EST (#394058) #
The difference about Ryu, glevin, is simply about what his arm is likely to be able to take and still be good for the playoffs.  I really don't know what the right answer is, but I do tend to agree with greenfrog that the chances of him throwing 180+ good innings in the regular season and 35+ good innings in the playoffs isn't great in light of his arm injury history.  

The object is to win it all, and it's more difficult to win it all once you are in the playoffs as it is to make the playoffs in the first place.  The situation is completely different than it was when I grew up.  Winning a pennant was a huge achievement, and winning the World Series once you were there was essentially a 50-50 or at worst a 60-40 proposition in almost all cases.  Clubs would line up their ace starter (and maybe their #2) near the end but no one would plan a season based on what it would take to win in the playoffs.  
Glevin - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:36 AM EST (#394059) #
@Mike I think this is why some teams are talking about going with 6 man rotations which honestly also would make some sense to me. I saw Roark thing on twitter quoting Shi Davidi but can't see original Davidi quote so maybe made up.
bpoz - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:40 AM EST (#394060) #
Jays have 7 pitchers and Semien on contracts that expire at the end of 2021. That will free up $40 mil or more as well as 40 man spots.

So at least 1 expensive FA is affordable next off season.

A pitcher like Waguespack has to earn his 40 man position for next season as well as Fisher & McGuire. McGuire and Fisher also must be on this years 26 man roster.

Most likely only Kirk (position player) projects to earn more playing time as a regular.

Our young 40 roster pitchers are equally good/bad as all the veteran pitchers except Ryu. Pearson has to perform or get passed by a prospect or FA. He has options to fall back on.
Mike Green - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:52 AM EST (#394061) #
Yes, glevin, 6 man rotations are an option.  You could do something like Ryu, Pearson, Stripling, Ray, Thornton, Matz, with Ryu and Ray aiming for 6-7 innings, and Kay behind Pearson and Thornton for 1-3 and Borucki behind Stripling and 2nd in line behind Matz and some RH reliever 2nd in line behind Stripling and right behind Matz.  It's nice to be able to build in at least 2 days rest for the 2nd guy. 
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:53 AM EST (#394062) #
Matt Moore to Phillies. Love this deal for them as well as Smyly to the Braves.
mendocino - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 12:04 PM EST (#394063) #
"Matz makes it one major piece and, speculatively, the Blue Jays could move Roark to free up both the opportunity Atkins mentioned, and perhaps some money, as well."

Pirates writer for the athletic
SK in NJ - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 01:12 PM EST (#394064) #

From the above article, 1) the Jays are interested in Trevor Rosenthal, and 2) two players drawing interest from other teams are Gurriel and surprisingly Grichuk.

Given the really cheap years of control, I don't think the Jays move Gurriel, but curious to see what type of market there is for Grichuk.
Glevin - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#394065) #
"Given the really cheap years of control, I don't think the Jays move Gurriel, but curious to see what type of market there is for Grichuk."

I think the Jays are more likely to move Gurriel than Grichuk. Grichuk would be a salary dump which the Jays don't need to do. Gurriel would be a trade to move talent from one area where they have a lot already (power hitting, low OBP RH) and get it somewhere else (SP or 3B). The question is would you rather have Grichuk and say Plesac or Gurriel and some extra money. That being said, if the Jays could trade Grichuk for a salary somewhere they need like Kyle Seager it would be the best move.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 03:15 PM EST (#394066) #
Gurriel has more trade value, and I wouldn't be opposed to trading him depending on the return, but he makes $13.4M over the next three years. That's just as attractive to a team devoid of OF talent up and down the organization (the Jays) as it is to other teams. I don't think they would move him unless the deal was a slam dunk.

Shapiro was on Writer's Bloc talking about the off-season, Matz, and other things, and he mentioned maintaining flexibility for future moves. Transcribed as best I could:

Shapiro: "While I certainly thought, and Ross thought, that this winter was a moment of opportunity, we look at the continuum of opportunities of next trade deadline and next off-season, particularly with the free agent class of next off-season, and want to be sure that we are positioned to continue to supplement and add around our core. So some of the desire to hold off or some of the length of contracts is built around maintaining some of those opportunities and flexibility".

If the team wants to keep adding elite players (next year's FA class is deep) then having cheaper controllable assets like Gurriel is going to be very important. Grichuk is more of a hindrance in that case, which is why a deal that gives them some salary relief (either in 2021 or beyond or both) would be preferable. The Jays could sign Pillar for a few million to be the 4th OF to replace Grichuk and we probably wouldn't notice the difference from a wins standpoint.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 03:20 PM EST (#394067) #
That's a really good point SK.

Mendo, thanks for the link, that answers my question.
uglyone - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 08:56 PM EST (#394068) #
I would hope we would be the team taking the more expensive/less value but better player back in any trade.
scottt - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 09:38 PM EST (#394069) #
Fangraphs has a rotation of Ryu/Ray/Matz/Stripling/Roark as 10th in depth ranking.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 10:58 PM EST (#394070) #
Arenado gone. Let's see this front office go get Story.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:03 PM EST (#394071) #
He has 6 years left at $199,000,000 or $33 million/year

Rockies are kicking in $50 million so St. Louis ends up paying $25 million/year.

Makes the Springer deal look even better.
hypobole - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:05 PM EST (#394072) #
Fangraphs loses another writer. Craig Edwards has accepted a position with the MLBPA.
85bluejay - Friday, January 29 2021 @ 11:47 PM EST (#394073) #
Will be interesting to see how Arenado performs offensively away from Coors field. If the Rockies are going to rebuild, the Jays should certainly inquire on German Marquez - the cost is going to hurt but he's a TOR guy on a very reasonable contract who has been better away from Coors field.
John Northey - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:17 AM EST (#394074) #
Wow, $25 mil a year but Arenado is a top notch defensive 3B (last year and the year before are his 2nd and 3rd best years on defense by UZR/150) vs Springer being a solid CF but nothing 'wow' and likely to move to RF at some point. But on offense Springer wins easily. Arenado wRC+ was a horrid 76 last year, 120-133 the 5 years previous. Springer was over 140 3 of the past 4 years with a 119 mixed in (that was his worst offensive season).

So bottom line, Springer far better on offense, Arenado far better on defense. Both cost $25 mil a year for 6 years. Houston's park has ranged from a 94 to a 103 park factor vs Colorado's 116-118. I am a fan of Arenado but if the choice was one or the other I see a lot of reasons to pick Springer over him. Plus, of course, I haven't seen what the Cardinals are giving up in prospects/players for him.
Thomas - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 05:54 AM EST (#394075) #
Arenado also has an opt out after 2021 and the Cardinals agreed to give him one after 2022, as well.

The Cardinals might have dealt all that for one or two years of Arenado, if he chooses to exercise the opt-out, or for a player who is declining and owed $150 million from your ownership alone, if his 2020 numbers are indicative of the future.
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 07:32 AM EST (#394076) #
MLB Pipeline has updated their 2021 top 100.

10. Pearson
22. Martin
46. Groshans
87. Simeon Woods Richardson

They say Martin took reps at short, second and centre field and was hitting line drives to all fields.
Groshans led the team in home runs and still looks like a third baseman.

To compete long term, teams needs these guys with their cheap competitive years.

dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 07:41 AM EST (#394077) #
Arenado had a pinched shoulder last year. I don't think you throw out 7+ seasons worth of data for 60 games in which he clearly played injured.

Great move for STL except for added year to contract.

While no more Coors, the hitter's parks of the Central should balance out the numbers against the Pitcher's parks of the NL West.
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 07:50 AM EST (#394078) #
Arenado has a  no-trade and demanded an extra opt out.
This would have been an interesting year with Arenado--who has complained that the Rockies do not respect him since they don't spend enough to be competitive--having a chance to opt out.
With the Cubs stepping back, somebody had to do something in the NL central.
As long as they are doing this, they could have traded Story too.

dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 08:11 AM EST (#394079) #
"Arenado--who has complained that the Rockies do not respect him since they don't spend enough to be competitive--having a chance to opt out."

Actually, Arenado is claiming that he resigned under the verbal agreement from ownership and front office that the Rockies would be competing to win and adding to roster and payroll. They haven't done that.

That off season in 2019
bpoz - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 08:43 AM EST (#394080) #
I believe that the $50 mil will count towards the Rockies Luxury Tax threshold. It should be interesting how that will be handled.
grjas - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 08:59 AM EST (#394081) #
I agree the Springer deal looks good in comparison. I hope the turf doesn’t do a number on his ageing legs, as it would’ve nice to he have him in centre for 3 of the years
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 09:07 AM EST (#394082) #
Apparently, the deal includes all kind of money deferments which the union only agreed to once they added a second opt out and an extra year at 15M.

The projections is that Arenado is a 4 WAR player this year, and that by 2023, he's an average bat and the glove starts to love value as well. The Cards had Carpenter at 3B, so it looks like a sensible win now moves which pay by itself depending on the playoffs structure.

Players sign extension with mediocre teams all the time. Check the Angels or the Reds.

Chuck - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 09:24 AM EST (#394083) #
Is 6/150 for a 31-year old Springer a better deal than 6/150 for a 29-year old Arenado?
Mike Green - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 09:32 AM EST (#394084) #
Kirk's omission from the MLB Pipeline list got me to thinking more about him.  If I had a little more time now, I would write a longer article and offer it as a guest here.  Instead, I'll give the notes version:

- subjectively Kirk looks to me to be a great hitter, one who could in a few years hit .280-.300 with plenty of walks, few strikeouts and 30-40 homers in full-time work
- there is nothing in the objective information that is contrary to that subjective view; the Blue Jays internal statistics found him to be the best hitter in the minors period in 2019
- subjectively he's going to struggle to be an adequate catcher; his receiving and throwing should be at least OK but he's so slow that other aspects of catcher defence will be very negative for him
- I think he'll hit enough to be very valuable as a DH but the Blue Jays are backed up with good candidates for that role
-the careers that I'd talk about when thinking about him would include Ernie Lombardi, Bill Skowron, Cliff Johnson, Jim Leyritz, Mike Piazza, Prince Fielder and Mike Napoli; ultimately Fielder's career is most helpful for understanding him, I think.  Fielder was so bad defensively at first base that he might as well have been a DH, and was a similarly advanced hitter (but with more power and less plate control) at a young age. And he had the same body shape issues that Kirk has.

I did not realize how good a hitter Cliff Johnson was with the Astros in his prime.  From age 26 to 29, he had 1300 PAs and hit .260/.374/.485, for an OPS+ of 145 (in other words, he was about as good as David Ortiz at the same age span).  But he didn't have a position- he was terrible defensively wherever he played and there was of course no DH. 

Kirk's time is likely quite limited, and I hope that the Jays find a way to make sure that he gets 500-600 PAs per season over the next 5 years.  Or trade him to an organization (the A's?) with a tight budget in the AL.  I am pretty sure that there aren't 100 prospects in the minors who I like better, but that's just a sideshow.

dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 09:49 AM EST (#394085) #
"Is 6/150 for a 31-year old Springer a better deal than 6/150 for a 29-year old Arenado?"

Arenado's deal is better when you compare it like that, but Springer had a bonus that brought his salary down to roughly $23 million/year which makes him cheaper. I forgot Arenado is only 29, so I'd prefer him over Springer especially since the cost was minimal in prospect capital. He has an extra year tacked on to his deal now at $15 million which makes it even better.

I like what St. Louis is doing...hard to buy low on superstars yet that's what they have been doing.

Eephus - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 09:58 AM EST (#394086) #
I seem to recall the last time the Cardinals traded for a disgruntled elite defensive all-star third baseman it turned out pretty well.

Arenado's career numbers at Coors are, unsurprisingly, totally insane (an OPS of .985 in 543 games). What is more interesting though is that he's had considerable success in other NL West parks, including pitcher havens like San Diego (.861 in 256 PA) and San Francisco (.819 in 267 PA). His career road OPS is .793 and a lot of that seems to be dragged down by poor performance against the NL East and various interleague parks, for whatever that means.

I dunno what to expect from him in St. Louis, but a gold glove 3B who can put up a .270/.330/.475 line is still a mighty useful player and probably an all-star. For what it's worth I'm not nearly as bullish on Trevor Story (whom I assume is next out the Colorado door). Story's home/road splits are even more extreme and a .250/.315/.445 line is closer to what I'd except from Marcus Semien.

The Coors Effect(TM) is hard to quantify... guys like Larry Walker and Matt Holliday could mash the ball in any home park, while Vinny Castilla and Carlos Gonzalez made careers almost exclusively on their ability to hit in that one place. Then you have somebody like DJ LeMahieu who immediately explodes after leaving Coors Field and well who knows...
greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 10:15 AM EST (#394087) #
Omitting Kirk's 3 PA in Rookie ball in 2017, here are his wRC+ stats over the last few years:

2018 (R): 160
2019 (A): 173
2019 (A+): 153
2020 (MLB 25 PA): 166

To do that, especially as a catcher, is very impressive. He turned 22 in November.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:08 AM EST (#394088) #
"Probably an all star,"

I ran some numbers from Faragraphs to see if Arenado would be on a hall of fame pace like Jeter and Tulowitzki both were through their age 29 seasons... One excelled into their 30s and the other succumbed to injuries forcing early retirement.

To seriously be considered for the HOF in the future, in my opinion, you need numbers up to 60 WAR, with great defense, longevity and durability factoring into the selection unless you have an extraordinary playoff reputation like Halladay (who didn't have the longevity). Tulo hasn't been eligible yet but he won't be elected with his WAR totals, lack of playoff reputation and career cut short.

Here are the comparisons of the 3 through age 29:

Jeter 41.8 WAR averaging 684 PA (8 seasons)

Tulo 32.7 WAR. Averaging 511 PA (7 seasons)

Arenado 32.3 WAR averaging 570 PA (8 seasons)

Tulo's numbers are short 1 season as he didn't start fully until age 22.

Rest of career WAR:

Jeter 31.2 WAR (11 more seasons)

Tulo 5.5 WAR (3 more seasons)

Arenado tbd WAR (signed for 8 more seasons)

Jeter had total WAR of 73 and was a first ballot HOF inductee. Arenado needs 31.2 WAR to catch Jeter or 18 WAR to get to the 60 WAR I think you need for the HOF.

Derek Jeter's defense and stacked Yankees lineups are biggest arguments against how great he was. His biggest plus was playoff record, longevity and durability.

Tulowitzki still has I believe the 1st or 2nd best fielding percentage ever for a SS after Vizquel.

Arenado will likely land somewhere in between these two in WAR since he doesn't have the serious leg and hip operations Tulo dealt with before ripping up his ankle. Moving to St. Louis will get Arenado to the playoffs which will only help his chase of becoming a HOF inductee.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:23 AM EST (#394089) #
The players who I think of as comparable to Arenado- Boyer, Rolen and Brooks- were all very good in their early 30s.  I think that he'll give them 4-5 WAR per season, if he doesn't opt out.  I think that the opt-out will probably happen, making the contract valuable to the Cards but not as valuable. 

I've been thinking some more about whether the Blue Jays are done buying.  It occurs to me that they are in a different position than just about anybody during 2021 because of the broadcast relationship between Rogers and the club.  In a pandemic, it's not known how many games will actually be played and unlikely that there will be many (if any), fans in the stands.  But broadcasting a winning club when people are spending a lot of time at home is likely to draw even more fans than before.  And the Blue Jays broadcast market is huge. Both in direct revenue and in the branding benefit (particularly with the Raptors likely to be in a down phase for a while), they stand more to gain than most teams from winning this year.

My idle thoughts on what the club could do now- sign Bauer on pillow contract or sign Walker, and trade Roark and a few bucks for Frazier, or trade Teoscar for a pitcher and sign JBJ and trade Roark and a few bucks for Frazier.  Ahh, winter dreams.

scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:30 AM EST (#394090) #
A large part of the deal is how little the Cards gave in 4 prospects.
A couple of pitchers who project towards the end of a rotation and 2 physically impressing prospects who haven't put it together yet.
There's also the culture.
The Jays once traded for a disgruntled player from the Cards.
It had its ups and downs.

Ben Clemens at fangraphs goes over Arenado's projections for the next 5 years.
4,3.4,2.9,2.4 and 1.7 WAR.

If you recalculate ignoring the poor 2020 shortened year, you get:
5.0,4.3,3.6,2.9 and 2.1 WAR.

Of course, as we've seen with Tulo, the older the player, the more health comes into play.

Mike Green - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:34 AM EST (#394091) #
Tulo is a different case.  He had durability issues throughout, whereas Arenado has not.  Third base is a position where it is relatively easier to stay out of the line of fire (unlike catchers, second baseman and to a lesser degree shortstops).
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:44 AM EST (#394092) #
Then there's Mike Trout with his 72.5 WAR through his first 8 full seasons not including last year's shortened season... that's just silly, even if you don't believe in defensive value metrics. He has a chance to crack the top 10 if he keeps up his pace.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 11:49 AM EST (#394093) #
The Jays might not have as much competition with the Raptors this year, Mike, but the Leafs will be playing longer into the spring with the regular season ending later and then they'll have a long playoff run ending with winning the Stanley Cup. Aw, shoot, I've been a Leaf fan all my life and even I don't believe that!
Mike Green - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:02 PM EST (#394094) #
Hockey fans are hockey fans in Canada.  They'll be there.  In 92-93, the Leafs were very good but that didn't stop the Jays from packing them in and drawing large TV audiences.  The broadcast numbers for a World Series contender now would be substantially higher.
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:15 PM EST (#394095) #
As we've seen with Donaldson, past injuries raise the probability of future injuries.
It's safer to accept that 2020 will limit what Arenado will do in the future than it is to bet against it.
That's what I like about the Yankees.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:18 PM EST (#394096) #
Totally, there are more non Leaf fans than Leaf fans in Canada. There's probably more Habs fans alone than Leafs fans...don't pretend like the Leaf's are some big market team that benefits from the country like the Jays...not even close.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:23 PM EST (#394097) #
"As we've seen with Donaldson, past injuries raise the probability of future injuries.
It's safer to accept that 2020 will limit what Arenado will do in the future than it is to bet against it.
That's what I like about the Yankees. "
I guess we better write off Bichette and Pearson's careers since they were also injured last year, and what is it about those Stantonless and Judgeless line ups that you like about the Yankees?
grjas - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 12:35 PM EST (#394098) #
"Is 6/150 for a 31-year old Springer a better deal than 6/150 for a 29-year old Arenado?"

It’s the opt outs I don’t like. Bad memories of the Clemens situation I guess. Having said that, I wouldn’t complain having Arenado in a Jays jersey, that’s for sure.
Chuck - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 01:44 PM EST (#394099) #
I think that the opt-out will probably happen, making the contract valuable to the Cards but not as valuable.

Help me out here. I don't this as so obvious. You believe Arenado will believe he can make more on a new post-2021 contract than on his current contract?

Mike Green - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 02:05 PM EST (#394100) #
Yep, Chuck.  Teams are typically paying about $7-$8 million per win this year.  It's probably going to go back to $10 million per win next year or the following.  Arenado may not do much better by AAV, but, if he does well the next year or so, he'll probably get a Springer-like contract to carry him further into his 30s.
uglyone - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 03:12 PM EST (#394101) #
The immediate projections are pretty similar for both Springer and arenado. Both about 4-4.5war players --- actually a slight edge to Springer this year by near a half war per 650

Obviously we're looking at the coors effect here.

Arenado Career: 128wrc+ home, 108wrc+ road
Springer Career: 131wrc+ home, 138wrc+ road

With Arenado having more defensive value.

Paul D - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 03:35 PM EST (#394102) #
Keep in mind that the Coors effect includes lower than expected roadstats
uglyone - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 03:59 PM EST (#394103) #
Marquez may now be an ideal trade target.
John Northey - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 04:26 PM EST (#394104) #
Third base is a tricky one. 2B are notorious for short careers (double play injuries build up I guess) - Alomar, Chuck Knoblauch, Ryne Sandberg, Delino DeShields, Damaso Garcia, Robby Thompson - all were all-stars who had big career dips or ending in their early to mid 30's. The first 4 were all on pace for 3000 hits at times before things fell apart. DeShields, Garcia, and Thompson were all amazing players in their 20's who fell apart fast.
SS - not as bad, you of course have Ripken, the iron man, who moved to 3B late in his career. Nomar Garciaparra ended early (87 OPS+ post 32, 130 before), but he was the only one that came to mind right away for a SS who had a shorter career than one would expect (other than Tulo).
3B: First guys that come to mind are Schmidt, Brett, Boggs who all had long careers and great ones. Hmm...Tim Wallach was a star to 32 (110 OPS+ 5 ASG) then dropped badly 87 OPS+ the rest of his career) but did last until age 38. Gruber for the Jays (neck injury no one believed as iirc it was bones fused which caused pain but wasn't obvious until many looked at it). Hard to think of guys at 3B who had short but 'wow' careers.

Yeah, the only positions I'd be scared to give a long term deal to are 2B, CA, pitcher. Too many injuries happen at all 3 thus making short careers the norm, not the exception. Odds are the Cards won't be in deep regret about this deal unless Arenado's levels in 2020 end up being his new norm. Although those projections from Scottt show a range of 15.3 to 17.9 which woudl be over $10 mil a WAR before factoring in the $50 mil the Cards are reported to get, which would cut it down to $9.7 to $8.3 mil per WAR (ignoring year 6's WAR). Springer's projections at FanGraphs is 16.5 for those 5 years, which would work out to $9.1 mil per WAR. So they are in the same ballpark - in both cases assuming year 6 is a write off, which I'd hope any organization would be smart enough to do when making these 6+ year contracts (if you don't get full value after 5 for the total contract you shouldn't sign it - risks are too big otherwise unless the guy is in his early 20's and even then you should be super-careful).

So both deals are, by projection systems, decent ones. $9 mil a WAR is reasonable pre-COVID, so it all depends on what you think is likely going forward. It does suggest the Jays aren't paying a gross premium at least.
John Northey - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 04:40 PM EST (#394105) #
Funny - love the random stuff that comes up on the side sometimes. One of them mentions the Jays getting Glaus and how we had 2 of the best from round 1 of the 1997 draft here at the time (Vernon Wells & Troy Glaus). Of the top 5, 3 were Jays at one time. Those 2 plus Jayson Werth who the Jays traded for Jason Frasor before he became a solid ML'er. Sigh. Lance Berkman was the best of that draft, #2 was unsigned (JD Drew). 1996 the Jays had the #2 guy from round 1 play here (R.A. Dickey), but that was a weaker draft. 1995 the best played here - Roy Halladay (#2 was Helton), next best to play here was #7 Jose Cruz Jr (19.6 WAR). 2007 saw the #1 and #2 both play here (David Price & Josh Donaldson), not bad given the Jays drafted Brett Cecil, J.P. Arencibia, Trystan Magnuson, and Justin Jackson in round 1 (Jackson 3 picks before Donaldson was taken...argh). Hard to find another draft right now where the Jays got the top 2 performers to play here at some point, let alone at the same time.
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 05:00 PM EST (#394106) #
Last year, the only Cards players who hit above average were Goldschmidt, Bader and Brad Miller at DH.
Miller is currently unsigned. Might not be a DH in the NL.

Bichette's injuries have tempered his projections.
There's no doubts about that.
It probably also factors into signing a shortstop to play second base.
Just playing a full year would fix most of that.
I wonder what Devon Travis is doing these days.
Is he retired or looking for a minor league deal?

greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 08:34 PM EST (#394107) #
LAA has poached David Haynes away from the Jays.
John Northey - Saturday, January 30 2021 @ 08:53 PM EST (#394108) #
Rangers To Sign Sam Gaviglio - not a big deal, but good to see he is getting a shot somewhere.
Jonny German - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 08:35 AM EST (#394109) #
Shapiro in a TSN interview this week:

We're trying to build a sustainable champion where every single year we when leave spring training we've got an objective reason to believe we're going to contend for a World Series championship. If we try to do that all in one off-season — and probably, maybe, even in an off-season before we had expected — then we're going to limit our flexibility, we're going to limit our opportunities to adapt to one of the best free agent markets in history coming up next year. (And) to make the trades we need to make at the right time.

I think this makes a lot of sense, and I’m happy that it makes it clear they’re not in on Bauer. Odorizzi as well, for that matter - I don’t think he’s good enough to commit multiple years to.

A one year deal for Taijuan Walker or James Paxton would be good. Jake McGee would be a nice addition to the pen. I agree with others that Adam Frazier would fit in very nicely as a utility guy.
scottt - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 08:39 AM EST (#394110) #
Paxton would be the 4th lefty in the rotation. I think that's a bit much.
Walker can probably get a 2 year deal.

bpoz - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 09:38 AM EST (#394111) #
We definitely have to believe Shapiro now. The Jays proved that they are willing to go after good players that cost a lot. Ryu, Springer and Semien.

I also like that they are paying about $30-50 mil on contracts that expire in 1 year to fill areas of weakness. SPs like Ray, Roark and Matz have a chance to strengthen the rotation or they can do nothing and not cripple the team. So $25 mil for something uncertain but extremely short range.

Yates, Chatwood, Dolis and Cole provide experienced bullpen arms that can be strong or provide nothing and not hurt. Also extremely short term.

Someone really cheap like Borucki, Murphy, Kay can step up and become valuable.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 11:06 AM EST (#394112) #
Uglyone, with Arenado gone the Rockies could be enticed perhaps with a package for Marquez built around Martin or Groshans. I would perhaps do Groshans,
John Northey - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 11:44 AM EST (#394113) #
In 1989 iirc the Jays started the season with 4 lefties in the starting rotation plus Dave Stieb.
Key/Flannigan/Musselman/Cerutti but Musselman had 3 very poor starts and was demoted (7 IP, 0 in his last start, 10 runs, 8 BB 2 SO) despite a 123 ERA+ the year before in 15 starts. Maybe 4 was too much, but the team recovered and won the division with the other 3 getting 30+ starts each. Todd Stottlemyre got most of the starts, with Goose Gozzo showing up for a bit, super-prosepect Alex Sanchez (boy was he hyped) got a few, Al Leiter got a start in between DL stints, etc. Kind of fun to look back at it.

So basically I'm not scared of 4 LHP, as long as they are all decent pitchers. In the end that is what matters most. Doing a quick check the Yankees had just 1 LH last year (Gardner) among regulars, the Rays had 6 regulars last year who were LH hitters, the O's just 1, 4 for the Red Sox. So it isn't a big advantage vs some years when the Yankees would load up on LH hitters. Plus we all know the Rays shuffle everything constantly.

Still, in the end I say if Paxton will sign a cheap deal for 1 year (say $5 mil plus incentives) then go for it. If not, then keep looking.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 12:09 PM EST (#394114) #
"Uglyone, with Arenado gone the Rockies could be enticed perhaps with a package for Marquez built around Martin or Groshans. I would perhaps do Groshans."

Did you see the return for Arenado? While Marquez has more trade value because of the contract, I think plan A should be to bring back a bad contract to offset the prospect cost. Example, keep Groshans, add lesser prospects and take back Blackmon.
Nigel - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 12:26 PM EST (#394115) #
Shapiro has said some version of that statement for years now. It always makes me laugh. Only the very top payroll teams stand a chance of competing every year by outspending the vagueries of their development systems. Even those teams aren’t always able to outspend the natural downs of the success curve. The Jays aren’t in the top payroll camp so they need to actually leverage where they are on the success curve by spending on the upswing and leaning into rebuilds. Rogers isn’t interested in that approach, which is fine, I just wish Shapiro would stop peddling that line. Now, not spending more this off-season makes sense to me because the market for pitching is pretty thin right now and the pitching staff isn’t one starter away.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 02:05 PM EST (#394116) #
Nigel, why do you feel that this front office is peddling lines about spending and competing long term? Now doesn't seem to be the right time to question if they can outspend the "vagueries of their development systems." In fact, I don't follow your reasoning at all when you make all or nothing statements such as "Rogers isn't interested in that approach," or "even those teams (top payroll teams) aren't always able to outspend the natural downs of the success curve." Have you been following the Dodgers, Yankees, Nationals, and now Mets? Just because a team like the NYY are spending $180,000,000 instead of $210,000,000 does not mean they are not "outspending the natural downs of the success curve." The Red Sox seem to be the exception, not the rule. Your statement about Rogers intention, especially at this time after the expenditures...well you have me scratching my head...but it is dry in my home so thanks for that.
scottt - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 05:32 PM EST (#394117) #
It's not really the market or the state of the other 29 teams that dictate the spending.
It's the current level of spending and the success of the previous year, that does that.
If the team is bad, spending moderately is enough to plug the most obvious holes.
If the team is good, elite players are needed to move the needle and those are very expensive.

I'm always amused with the crowd that wants a bad team to spend nothing, put the money is a Swiss bank and keep fielding a horrible team until they own the top farm system and then trade everybody and spend to the last accumulated cent. There's a lot of teams these guys can watch. How about Baltimore?
They tried to defer money on their arbitration eligible players this year.

They'll start looking at expending players soon.
I don't see anyone with enough of a track record to base an expansion on right now.

John Northey - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 07:28 PM EST (#394118) #
Oy vey. Lets look at 2000 to now....

Poor Teams...

Tampa since 2008 - 6 playoff appearances, 5 year stretch where they were not competitive (over 12 games out each year, but just once in last). Pre 2008 they were last every year.

Oakland since 2000 - 11 playoff appearances, 2 slumps (4 and 5 year stretches with multiple playoff appearances in the middle)

Rich Teams...

Boston since 2000 10 playoff appearances, 3 last place in the AL East finishes.

NYY since 2000 17 playoff appearances - OK, they used their money well.

LA Dodgers - 8 straight division titles, but from 2000-2012, 4 playoff appearances, 8 times missing it.

NY Mets - 4 playoff appearances. Just twice dead last in NL East.

Now on the 'yeah they suck' side you get
Pittsburgh - from 1993 to now just 3 playoff appearances, all in a row (2013/2014/2015).
KC - from 1986 to now just 2 playoff appearances (2014/2015)
Baltimore - 1998 (after they fired Pat Gillick & Davey Johnson) to now just 3 playoff appearances (2012/2014/2016)

Phew. Some ugly stuff there. Jays also - just 3 playoffs since 1994
John Northey - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 09:59 PM EST (#394119) #
Playoff Appearances by Market (via # of households) since 2011 (10 years)...

---- Big Markets - 10 teams - 70 appearances ----
NY (Mets/Yankees) - 2/7
LA (Dodgers/Angels) - 8/1
Chicago (Cubs/White Sox) - 5/1
Philadelphia (Phillies) - 1 (2011 so just made it)
Dallas/Ft Worth (Rangers) - 4
SF/Oakland/San Jose (Giants/A's) - 3/6
---- Middle Markets - 10 teams - 35 appearances ----
Washington (Nationals) - 5
Houston (Astros) - 5
Boston (Red Sox) - 4
Atlanta (Braves) - 5
Toronto (Jays) - 3 based on 2 million households in GTA, but 5 million in Ontario would shift to #3, ahead of Chicago. 12.4 million in Canada would make them #1 with as many as NY & LA combined.
Phoenix (Diamondbacks) - 2
Tampa (Rays) - 4
Seattle (Mariners) - 0 (last in 2001, 4 times ever)
Detroit (Tigers) - 4
Minneapolis (Twins) - 3
---- Small Markets - 10 teams - 31 appearances ----
Miami (Marlins) - 1
Denver (Rockies) - 2
Cleveland (no names) - 5
St. Louis (Cardinals) - 7
Pittsburgh (Pirates) - 3
Baltimore (O's) - 3
San Diego (Padres) - 1
Kansas City (Royals) - 2
Milwaukee (Brewers) - 4
Cincinnati (Reds) - 3

Bit surprised how Tampa isn't in the bottom 10, they are actually #12 for households, thus the team's marketing sucks royally. Yeah, the park location isn't ideal but that shouldn't affect the biggest source of revenue - TV.

So based on # of appearances there is no question the top 10 have a big advantage. Funny though, Oakland helps more than any but the Dodgers & Yankees despite acting like a very small market. So a top 10 market has a 2-1 advantage in playoff appearances which is big, but not insane. Even the smallest market gets in 30% of the time (the Reds). Seattle is hopeless but that I'd put down to poor management. The Angels & White Sox also have very poor management and I'd put Philly as the worst - biggest market that is all to themselves but they still blow it - only playoff appearance was with Halladay (the year after he threw that no-hitter in the playoffs, ended the last Philly playoff game in that great 1-0 duel he had with Chris Carpenter...ah what could've been...)
scottt - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 10:06 PM EST (#394120) #
Listened to Eric Longenhagen on Sportsnet.

He said the Jays system is bottom half because of the graduation of Bichette, Guerrero and Biggio.
That doesn't add up to me since all those guys graduated in 2019. I think Kay and McGuire graduated last year. The same top is still there: Pearson, Groshans, SWR, Moreno, Martinez. Maybe Pardinho has lost his shine but they added Martin. The top of the system looks better than a year ago. There's no way around it.

He said player ETA is purely based on when they are added to the 40 roster. That doesn't make any sense since the top guys are only added to the 40 when they are ready to come up.

He did say that Martinez's incredible bat speed plus the ability to play shortstop gives him a very high ceiling. 
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 31 2021 @ 11:02 PM EST (#394121) #

Catchers Jansen, Moreno
1B Vlad
2B Martinez
3B Groshans
SS Bichete
RF Martin
CF Springer
LF Gurriel
DH Hernandez
UTL Biggio

Kirk and Tellez redundant with this line up

Michael - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 01:07 AM EST (#394122) #
"Shapiro in a TSN interview this week:

We're trying to build a sustainable champion where every single year we when leave spring training we've got an objective reason to believe we're going to contend for a World Series championship. If we try to do that all in one off-season — and probably, maybe, even in an off-season before we had expected — then we're going to limit our flexibility, we're going to limit our opportunities to adapt to one of the best free agent markets in history coming up next year. (And) to make the trades we need to make at the right time.

I think this makes a lot of sense, and I’m happy that it makes it clear they’re not in on Bauer. "

The quote doesn't really say why not to be in on Bauer to a one year deal. If you sign Bauer to one year $35-$40 mil deal you don't limit what you can do next offseason.

Heck, if he wants to go as if in a 4 man rotation, on a 1 year deal, you let him.

There may be reasons the front office doesn't like him (in terms of baseball) or doesn't like him (in terms of club house fit) or has decided they don't want to spend that much money. But a 1-year deal doesn't block next year, and would have a significant impact on this year.

I don't think they'll do it, obviously, but the reason of we have to save some for next year and you can't do it all at once doesn't really make sense if you are considering a 1-year deal. It would make sense if you are considering a long term deal.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 07:14 AM EST (#394123) #
MLB is proposing to delay the season by 27 days. The proposal has a number of other aspects which may not be acceptable to the PA.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 07:52 AM EST (#394124) #
The PA wants to be compensated for extra playoffs game.
The league is offered 8 paid games that are not played, basically those make up for the extra playoffs games. That and the NL DH.
The PA wants extra money in exchange of  extra playoffs game, in excess of extra gate revenues.
Moreover, the PA is afraid that if they give Manfred control of the start of the season, they'll play less than 154 games.
I think the key point is to agree to a Covid-19 protocol so they can play at all.
Once a team or 2 is hit with an outbreak, they'll be a flurry of doubleheaders.
It's easier to make up a dozen games over a 6 month schedule.

bpoz - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:08 AM EST (#394125) #
1st ST game is Feb 27. So official ST starts maybe 10 days earlier. Many players are probably already working out in Dunedin or somewhere. Therefore not much time left to make possible decisions.
Glevin - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:28 AM EST (#394126) #
"MLB is proposing to delay the season by 27 days. The proposal has a number of other aspects which may not be acceptable to the PA."

Same as last year. MLB makes joke proposals to the union and hopes that the media and fans turn on the players. MLB wants players to take on expanded playoffs which is a massive loss to them in return for...being paid what they should be paid? Getting a DH which is a pretty marginal benefit. If the owners want expanded playoffs which will massively drive down salaries, players need to get something like salary floor back in return. I really really hate the expanded playoffs though (162 games to eliminate half the teams is idiotic and completely devalues what is currently the best regular season in sports.) It will also never stop shocking me how much baseball owners seem to dislike the game. MLBs biggest issue is that they need more Steve Cohen/Mike Illitch type owners instead of all the Ricketts/Nutting owners they have (billionaires trying to squeeze ever cent of profit out of their teams and not caring if the team wins).
Parker - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:38 AM EST (#394127) #
The Jays land the top hitting free agent this offseason and one of the top pitchers last season, and Jays fans are still ready to get out the pitchforks and torches because the Jays probably aren't going to sign Trevor Bauer, who carries far more risk than your average free agent pitcher, and when a ridiculous number of starting pitchers are hitting what is looking like an insane buyer's market next offseason?

I guess there's just no pleasing some people.
mathesond - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:45 AM EST (#394128) #
Well Parker, I guess LA Guns said it best...
John Northey - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 10:42 AM EST (#394129) #
Too many are wanting the Jays to go to $210 mil then go over the cap to ensure a title. Of course, as LA & NYY have shown, you can blow all you want and still come up empty. From 2010-2019 (the 10's) neither won a title despite one or the other always being #1 in payroll I believe. They did bookend it - Yankees in 2009 and Dodgers in 2020. Still 2009 was the last time the Yankees got to the World Series - only the second decade without winning it since pre-Ruth (over 100 years - the 80's they didn't win a title in), the first decade without even making it.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#394130) #
I entirely missed LA Guns.  You learn something new all the time at da Box. 

This is an interesting article on the NFL and COVID- upshot: even before the new variants, the 15 minute close contact rule was not sufficient.  The NFL did learn and imposed tighter masking rules and isolation requirements.

I did not know that Dunedin Stadium is asymmetric- 363 ft to right center and 380 to left center.  You definitely want to make sure that you've got a left-handed bat with some pop off the bench...

scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 10:48 AM EST (#394131) #
There is no such things as "turning on the players". People don't support individual players, they support teams. You cannot buy a Bauer season ticket.

How is expanded playoffs a massive loss? For some players it mean a shot at playoffs they they wouldn't have otherwise. How is that a massive loss? Those who play get a percentage of gate revenues. More games played, more money. The Nats got a little less than 400K each 2 years ago.
It's a very good deal for players making the minimum 600K a year.

Teams make more money in playoffs games than players. I am not sure if that is a problem.
I have no idea how it works in other sports. I wonder how much those Dodgers rings will cost.
Owners have to gamble that they'll make revenues in the playoffs. Players have huge guaranteed contracts.

Not all the teams can win. Half the teams needs to be losers. The current model has been stable.
No teams are declaring bankruptcy or moving around. We have an idolized player who owns one team, the Marlins. That should be the model for how every teams are run, no? Instead people dream of clueless owners who would sign contracts for half a billion every year. The Phillies tried it when they signed Harper. Cohen is a hedge fund manager. He makes money by putting people out of business.

At a time when Baltimore is tanking, Boston is retooling and the Yankees are struggling to field a complete team, I find it shocking that people complain on a Blue Jays site about other owners.

scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 10:52 AM EST (#394132) #
Haven't heard of LA Guns since the late 80s/early 90s.
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#394133) #
You mean since the Jays' last World Series appearance?
Parker - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#394134) #
You can add the Mets to that list - they might always be spending in the Yankees' shadow, but I'd say their failure at going all-in has been even more pronounced. One thing these organizations all seem to have in common is/was a reputation for meddling ownership.

I'd like Jays fans to keep in mind is that you really can't plan long-term by spending like a drunken sailor on leave in any one offseason. When the Yankees came away from the 2018-19 offseason having signed only J.A. Happ to bolster their rotation, a lot of Yankees fans were losing it over missing out on Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel. Those fans obviously jumped back on the bandwagon the next offseason when the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, an actual elite pitcher. Hopefully the Jays have a similar plan.

As far as the one-year Bauer deal, I just don't see it happening with any team. The guy talks a lot, but it's not like he's firing his agent and handling the negotiations himself.
Parker - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:16 AM EST (#394135) #
L.A. Guns, now there's a blast from the past. The only reason I even remember them is because Columbia House kept trying to send me one of their CD's. No thanks; by 1989 I couldn't stand any hair bands other than GNR and Motley Crue.
John Northey - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:17 AM EST (#394136) #
I'd take Bauer if possible, but don't see the Jays doing it now. The cost is high in dollars, his abilities are great, but not Cole level. I like the Jays sitting back and waiting to see on him now - try to pounce early in the off-season and see if he can be had, but if not you move on to plan B.

Springer has been consistently up there thus established value. Bauer, like most pitchers, is variable thus riskier. He might go for a one year deal in the end but only for high $30's. I expect a 3-5 year deal at this point as the number of teams willing to spend on him is shrinking and most won't want to lose a draft pick for a single season.
bpoz - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#394137) #
As far as off season success goes. The Jays won the 2013 off season. I don't know about 2015 but we added Donaldson and Martin. 2020 was Ryu and so far 2021 both seem big winners. Especially the 2020 off season because no pitching IMO.

We also successfully contended in the farm team rankings. Especially before Vlad and others graduated.
hypobole - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:51 AM EST (#394138) #
Kevin Goldstein has been hired by Fangraphs in the wake of Craig Edwards' exit to join the MLBPA.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:52 AM EST (#394139) #
I don't think the Jays have spent like drunken sailors yet, Parker. George Springer should provide good value for his contract and the rest like Yates and Semien are only 1 year deals. I'd be more worried if they had signed several aging players to long contracts. That's where you get in trouble.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:01 PM EST (#394140) #
Late 80s and early 90s were lost to me musically.  I was knee deep into Raffi and Sharon, Lois and Bram.  Nirvana barely happened around my house...

Until the first long car trip (and ergo mixtape) in 1995.
grjas - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:04 PM EST (#394141) #
I was knee deep into Raffi and Sharon, Lois and Bram.

Ha. That sounds familiar.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:06 PM EST (#394142) #
That's a solid intro from Kevin Goldstein.  I'll be reading his work.
bpoz - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:26 PM EST (#394143) #
Rumor that LAA is asking the Orioles about Alex Cobb.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:30 PM EST (#394144) #
Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement.  I guess that he's a nice example of the longevity hit that the average second baseman takes.  Pedroia was a great player in his 20s, durable (600+ PAs every season but one between age 24 and age 30) with a broad base of skills.  He put up 41 WAR through age 30 with some great years there.  He was on a Hall of Fame course, but he had only one more All-Star quality season after age 30 and a couple of injury-shortened ones and then he was effectively done at age 33.
hypobole - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 12:51 PM EST (#394145) #
And one of Goldsteins first questions is a Teoscar question:

It's taken a few years. But it looks like Teoscar Hernandez might be a bit of a guy, after all. How did the org value him before the trade?

Kevin Goldstein
12:06 I feel like at times I'm going to fall into "KG story time" mode, so let me know if it gets annoying. My first trip for the Astros was to instructs in the fall of 2012. First guy to catch my eye was the GCL outfielder with the crazy bat speed. It was Teoscar. Liked him from there, and always was a big fan of him as a person. GREAT guy with a great work ethic. I got him wrong. I thought he was going to be a really nice fourth outfielder, but it's important to note that when you think about players that exceed expectations, makeup is often a big factor in that. The reverse is true as well.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 01:22 PM EST (#394146) #
Teoscar is always smiling. He's a positive guy to have around as long as you ban sunflower seeds from the dugout.
Paul D - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 01:46 PM EST (#394147) #
Thanks for that, the article and chat from Goldstein are both great reads.
John Northey - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 01:59 PM EST (#394148) #
On pure stats and logic I'd prefer the Jays trade Teoscar while he seems hot, but as a fan I hope he sticks around a long, long time. Me and my daughter saw him play with the Jays in Minnesota early in his Blue Jay career and he played well so he became a household favorite. With Donaldson, Bautista, and Tulo gone he is one of the few she feels an attachment to. Slowly getting into Vlad and others but I fear if the Jays trade Hernandez she'll lose all interest in the Jays. Which helps explain why I became a strong fan in the 80's (the Jays tended to keep guys and not do trades much then) and why the Rays are screwed.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 02:30 PM EST (#394149) #
Seems like Baltimore got a decent prospect for Cobb.
They just wanted to unload him.

The Angels are making me feel better about the rotation.

uglyone - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 02:32 PM EST (#394150) #
It would seem to me to be a valid criticism if the team spent all that money but then entered the season with only one SP that posted a sub-6.00 era last year.
bpoz - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 03:20 PM EST (#394151) #
I agree UO. 1st Ryu $20/mil/yr to a 95 loss team. Then Springer and Semien $40 mil/yr to the 7th best team in the AL. Houston was worse but Verlander played in 1 game and Osuna in 4. So we were more lucky than good. 5 playoff teams in 2020 means we would be out most likely.

Without Ryu our SP pitching is veterans that are trying to rebuild their careers. Roark and Anderson failed to do well. T Walker did rebuild his value but pitched for a bad team so he was available. His contract with Seattle was $2 mil which was possibly lower than Buchholz in 2019.

I saw the 60 game schedule with 8 playoff teams as a "take the opportunity to win" and not bother to develop the kids. The following kids outpitched the veterans: SRF, Murphy, Zeuch all got low innings but had an ERA under 2. Borucki and Hatch were both better than the vets with ERA under 3. Merryweather ERA 4.15. Stripling, Roark and Anderson were all horrible. Shoemaker got injured again with pretty lousy ERA of 4.71. Thornton as a rookie in 2019 pitched 154 innings with an ERA of 4.84.

"Taking the opportunity to win" at the cost of development is bad for rebuilding but good for positive publicity.

Semien 1 year and go, traded mid season or get a QO is a good move.

85bluejay - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 03:33 PM EST (#394152) #
I would like the Jays to offload Grichuk & Roark, trade Teoscar to a contender for prospects, add some of their own prospects and send to the Rockies for Marquez - Sign Bradley (I'd overpay for 1 year as I think Martin will be ready next year) to play CF.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 04:06 PM EST (#394153) #
I see it as an opportunity to keep developing the pitching prospects.
Kay, Thornton, Hatch, Zeuch, Waguespack, Murphy will be in AAA.
SWR could start in AA
Luciano and Manoah could be in A+. I hope we get to watch some Vancouver games.

PeterG - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 06:30 PM EST (#394154) #
Murphy might be in the Jays pen if they have decided he's a reliver and I think they have. Optionable arms are needed in the pen.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:16 PM EST (#394160) #
Merryweather was given an extra option. So we got the Merryweather/Murphy/Waguespack  shuttle.
All 3 could fill the 2-3 inning relief role.

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