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Wow, new thread required.

Dustin Pedroia made it official today, and the story I read attributed the knee problems that limited his last three seasons to nine games total  to the notorious incident with Manny Machado in April 2017. I'm not so sure. I would point out that Pedroia had just had surgery on that very same knee in the previous off-season. Granted, the play with Machado obviously didn't help - Pedroia came out of the game and was out of the lineup for almost a week. He was having major problems with the knee by the second half of the season. Despite all the umbrage taken by the Red Sox at the time (though not, curiously, by Pedroia himself) the Machado slide really didn't look like a dirty play to me. It looked to me like Machado's right foot hit the second base bag and bounced up off it, spiking Pedroia high on the calf. Which can happen. It certainly looked accidental - Machado actually attempted to catch Pedroia as he was falling and was clearly concerned that he'd caused an injury.  The real problem may have been that Machado is a tank and Pedroia is a squirt.

Pedroia was yet another second baseman cruising straight towards Cooperstown when a random evil fate got the best of him. (Chuck Knoblauch got the yips, Carlos Baerga got traded to the Mets, and Pedroia's knee gave out. ) But he was one hell of a ballplayer and I'll certainly miss jeering him and calling him Ratboy.
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John Northey - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 06:54 PM EST (#394155) #
For Pedroia injuries have been a big deal - from ages 23-30 when he was the full time 2B for Boston he played 1120 out of 1296 possible games or 140 a year. So he lost half a season there at least (full season vs Cal Ripken standards). He is writing off $12 mil to retire now instead of fighting to play this year. He ends with 1805 hits, 140 HR, a 299 average - all 3 just below levels needed for serious HOF consideration. Two more years might have got him to 2000 hits and 150 HR which would've helped his cause, and got him closer to 60 WAR (at 51.6 - Jeff Kent was 55.4 for comparison, Alomar 67). Losing half a year at 31 (93 games, 2.6 WAR) and 1/3rd of a year at 33, nearly full seasons at 34/35 killed his chances. If he keeps his nose clean he might get some votes anyways and sneak in someday to the HOF but I wouldn't bet on it unless he becomes a manager and does really well (possible) aka the Gil Hodges route (43.9 WAR, 660 wins as a manager plus the miracle Mets of 69 title - died in his 40's while still manager of the Mets, not in the HOF but has come very, very close, 63.4% his final year, almost picked a few times by the Vets but never quite there).

If you want to bet on a long career do NOT pick a 2B to bet on. The best thing the Jays could do for Biggio is move him anywhere else on the diamond.
Chuck - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 07:19 PM EST (#394156) #
I wonder if the longevity of second basemen will change now that hard slides are prohibited. They were once vulnerable on blind pivots, but are no longer.

An argument could be made that second basemen are less athletic than their counterparts at shortstop, so would figure to age less well for that reason alone. Once a second baseman loses a step, where can you move him and will his bat play at a less demanding position?

Magpie - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 07:56 PM EST (#394157) #
Pedroia ended up playing 1492 games at 2b, which is a lot - he's 40th all-time. But it's fewer than almost all the HoF second baseman. He beats out Tony Lazzeri (1456) and Bucky Harris (1253) and Harris is kind of a life-in-baseball induction.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 08:52 PM EST (#394158) #
Second baseman do have the poorer angle for avoiding runners on the DP. In one way, greater athleticism is required.

Lazzeri was a comparable player (in quality) to Pedroia. Dustin was, if anything, a little better. There are quite a number of players from the 20s and 30s who are in the Hall and likely wouldn't make it today if up for election.
Magpie - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 09:16 PM EST (#394159) #
In one way, greater athleticism is required.

Ah! But if they actually possessed that greater athleticism, they probably wouldn't be second basemen. They'd be shortstops, or something.

The hazards of playing 2b have been recognized for a long time. At some point in the 2000s, I began thinking the same thing applied to third basemen. Probably because we had a raft of great-looking third basemen whose careers all seemed to fizzle out somehow: Troy Glaus, Eric Chavez, and Hank Blalock come immediately to mind. I don't know if it's actually true, or why it would be true (if it was) although it does occur to me that if you can no longer handle the position and your bat doesn't justify moving to 1b, it's all over.
John Northey - Monday, February 01 2021 @ 11:18 PM EST (#394161) #
Back to pitching - Jake Odorizzi is rumored to be the Jays #1 choice of remaining pitchers on the market (obviously they'd take Bauer but don't want to blow the next 5 years budgets to get him) with Walker as the backup. Myself, I'd lean to Walker then Odorizzi.

Ordorizzi entering his age 31 season, coming off a 13 2/3 IP season with a 68 ERA+, lifetime 4 out of 9 seasons he was over 100 for ERA+, but just in 2019 was he at 110+ (129) which looks fluky given the rest of his career. BR projects a 4.31 ERA for him in 2021. Lifetime 3.1 BB/9 vs 8.6 K/9. 6 straight years with 150+ IP (2020 ended that with injuries to his back, chest and right middle finger)

Walker is entering his age 28 season, coming off a 161 ERA+ season, lifetime 108 but just 3 years over 100 IP (102 ERA+ over those 3). 2.8 BB/9 vs 8.2 K/9 lifetime.

James Paxton is the other guy on the Jays radar that we know of - but his health record isn't that good either - 4 years with 100+ IP, but never qualifying for the ERA title. But that ceiling... 2.7 BB/9 vs 9.9 K/9 with a 114 ERA+ lifetime. Only twice below 100 for ERA+ (once a 98, the other last year's 65 with injuries - a flexor strain in his left forearm that led to more pain when he tried rehab). He would be a big risk to do nothing, or a shot at being an all-star/Cy contender. Big time dice roll there. I'd only sign him as a 'in addition to' situation. Then if he works out, woohoo, if not no big deal, just some more wasted Rogers money.

Paxton the best ceiling, Ordorizzi the better health record despite his short 2020. Walker appears the best combination plus he sounds like he liked playing for the Jays which is a big plus. Lets hope the Jays get one of them at least.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:33 AM EST (#394162) #
Let's get 2 of them:)
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 05:53 AM EST (#394163) #
My best Pedroia memory is that tv ad dubbed "Dustin vs. Playstation" in which he argues his in-game abilities in MLB 09: The Show with Kevin Butler "Director of Game Accuracy".
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 06:04 AM EST (#394164) #
I would think the interest in Paxton faded once they acquired Matz. 4 lefties in a division with so many bit right bats?

I also question the wisdom of pushing Roark out for multiple years of Odorizzi.

Walker would be alright. They could be looking for a non contender willing to spend a few buck on Roark as an inning eater.
I believe they are still in talk with Trevor Rosenthal also.

rpriske - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 08:33 AM EST (#394165) #
I have Odorizzi 3rd, behind Paxton and Walker... but honestly, I would be happy with any of them. (Or any two. :) )
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 08:34 AM EST (#394166) #
Ah! But if they actually possessed that greater athleticism, they probably wouldn't be second basemen. They'd be shortstops, or something.

Channeling Dick Williams, are we?  Many (most?) of the best-hitting second basemen end up as corner outfielders (Aaron, Raines, Betts).  It's a sensible move because the risk of injury derailing development is so high that it probably works out better in the end on average.  Even a player like Joe Morgan lost a year to a position-related injury, but overcame it and somehow prospered. 

And to tie in this discussion to the 2021 Blue Jays, I wonder whether it is such a great move for Semien to play second base (I'm not talking about from the team perspective but from his).  Everyone knows that he's a very good defensive shortstop.  If he plays third base rather than second base for a year because of the team he has ended up on, I don't see that his value will be diminished and I think that with his arm strength, he'll be a great defensive third baseman playing deeper with less risk of injury than if he is at second base.  Cavan Biggio plays second base reasonably well. One of his strengths is body awareness- he's been very durable throughout his major and  minor league career as a result. 

grjas - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:01 AM EST (#394167) #
I would be happy with any of them.

It may come down to term as I doubt Jays want to go 3 years with any of them but they would likely settle for 2.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:18 AM EST (#394168) #
They could just go with what they have and add a starter at the deadline.
They got Walker for Alberto Rodriguez and Ray for Travis Bergen.
Pretty light cost, I think.
The one that was expensive was Stripling because he wasn't just a rental, but I still think they could give him a change to start as well although I don't think his stuff plays well several times through a rotation.

April is going to be a crapshoot where you're happy if the starter gives you 5 innings and stays healthy.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:45 AM EST (#394169) #
By the trade deadline July/Aug 31 we should know how the veteran pitchers vs kid pitchers performed. I expect categories of pitching good/bad/horrible. I also expect injuries.

I hope good pitching is allowed to continue pitching. I am unsure what will be decided about bad/horrible pitching. I remember E Jackson in 2019 was in the bad/horrible range. Jackson pitched because there was a shortage.

I will laugh at any bad/horrible veteran complaining.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:47 AM EST (#394170) #
Starters' ERA last year

Ryu 2.69

Pearson 6.00
Stripling 6.32
Ray 6.62
Roark 6.80
Matz 9.68
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:50 AM EST (#394171) #

April is going to be a crapshoot where you're happy if the starter gives you 5 innings and stays healthy

The start of the season is usually like that, but it's probably going to be a longer process and may start significantly later than April. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:07 AM EST (#394172) #
UO, you know very well that ERA in such limited innings isn't really helpful information.  We know that Pearson struggled in his 18 innings during the regular season, went on the DL and then came back for the playoffs and pitched well in 1 outing, but the 6.00 season ERA tells us next to nothing- which is why ZiPS projects him at an ERA around 4.  Tom Hatch made a start and had an ERA of 0.  T.J. Zeuch made a start last year and also had an ERA of 0.  Taijuan Walker had an ERA of 1.37 in 6 starts.  Should Hatch and Zeuch be considered front-runners for the rotation and Walker offered a $25 million contract?  Of course not. 

Fangraphs has the rotation projected for an ERA of 4.52 with Ryu leading at 3.88, Ray next at 4.36 and Zeuch trailing at 5.37.  It's true that it would be useful to have another starter to be projected to be actually good.  Walker's projections are however not better than Ray's and Bauer wants a mint even though his projections are in line with his career ERA of 3.90. 
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:13 AM EST (#394173) #
Blue Jays results Last year by starters

Ryu 9-3
Pearson  1-3
Stripling 0-2 (7-1 in LA)
Ray 3-1
Roark 6-5

That's a combined 19-14. Not totally dreadful.

Matz is kinda like a lefty version of Walker.
Could go either way. If he turns like Walker did, they can QO him.

scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:23 AM EST (#394174) #
Last time I checked fangraphs had the Jays with the 10th best rotation.
The players are adamant about starting on time (to avoid injuries?).
It's going to be a marathon where the depth will be tested.
The situation with Pearson is that he will probably not last the whole year.
One of the way to deal with that is to replace him and shut him down or move him to the pen down the road. So, they need to budget to add an arm midyear.

It's not perfect but other team will have similar problems.
The Mets, for example, don't seem to have much depth.

uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#394175) #
Ya Mike you know me I can dream on pitchers bouncing back to their fippies all day long....but man, counting on FOUR of them seems a bit of a stretch even for me.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#394176) #
Paxton and Odorizzi are also bounce back candidates.
grjas - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:16 PM EST (#394177) #
“ counting on FOUR of them seems a bit of a stretch even for me.”

Exactly. They really need another guy at the outset. I hope they aren’t too frightened about term since Ryu is the only experienced starter contracted beyond this year.
Paul D - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:21 PM EST (#394178) #
It's not clear to me that Semien is good defensive SS. Given that he's only here for one year, I wouldn't be in favour of having Bo learn a new position.

(Here's a link to SS by outs above average, where Semien doesn't do particularly well).
Paul D - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:22 PM EST (#394179) #
Whoops, here's the link:
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#394180) #
Semien used to suck defensively. He worked hard with the coaches (including Ron Washington)  and was a gold glove finalist in 2018/2019. Not a bad influence for Bo on the glove side. I expect Bo to play every game at shortstop or possibly DH.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:40 PM EST (#394181) #
That's funny, Paul.  I was just noticing that at the same time.  Semien might be the only player where I have seen a substantial multi-year disconnect between UZR/DRS and OAA.  For 2018-20 (about the length of time that you need for some reliability), Semien is +17/+21 by UZR/DRS and -11 OAA (which would be equivalent to about -7 RAA). Prior to Statcast, you would normally feel pretty confident that a player with that record is above-average defensively.  Chapman is, of course, a beast defensively and there may be a positioning issue that complicates matters.  I'd have to dig deeper on that one.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:46 PM EST (#394182) #
I have found the following to be true. "ST means nothing" and "nobody is winning a job in ST". That said if healthy is 3B Vlads to grow into. Kirk's position on the team is already set. Then what about McGuire. Yates is the closer. I can see all of the above being true, especially if the season is a 150+ game marathon.

For 2021 I prefer extra playoff spots. This helps the Jays more than most teams.

I expect the pitching to sort itself out when the games count. I will not try to predict the unpredictable. I do hope that a few SPs play like #3s (ERA 3.50-4.00). Any #4/5/6 performances can be dealt with in some manner. This is fair IMO to the veterans and the kids.
PeterG - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:50 PM EST (#394183) #
I too prefer Walker to Odorizzi. I think that Paxton is too much injury risk.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 12:52 PM EST (#394184) #
Lets look at the Jays starters and depth as is...
  1. Hyun Jin Ryu: obvious #1 - Never started more than 30 in a season in the majors or in Korea  (hit 30 twice, once in Korea, once with LA) so plan on at least 3 starts missed. Minimum.
  2. Tanner Roark: just due to experience - 5 time started 30+ in majors, 5.85 IP per start even including last years 4.3 IP per start.  I suspect those innings will be needed if he can pitch better than last year.
  3. Robbie Ray: 30+ starts twice, 5.3 IP per start, like Roark he will be counted on to eat a lot of innings
  4. Nate Pearson: here is where things get dicey.  141.3 IP career (minors and majors) over 4 seasons.  Ugh.  I'd probably look at making him an opener this year (3 IP max per start) just to lock in some innings. 
  5. Ross Stripling: max of 21 starts in a ML season as he flips between rotation and pen all the time.  22 his max in the minors.  Just 4.9 IP per start career. so I'd prefer him mixed with Pearson or Ray to get a full game every 5 days vs starting on his own, but we'll see.  Maybe if he is starting on day one he can stretch out a bit.  I sure wouldn't bet on it though.
  6. Julian Merryweather: Just 19 IP over the past 3 seasons at any level.  24 and 25 starts his last 2 years in Cleveland though so he has had some stretching out in the past.  None the less, he is a pen piece I'd think now, although opening is possible.
  7. Anthony Kay: used only in the pen in 2020, but in 49 minor league starts his first 2 pro years he 5.2 IP per start (and normally year one they limit you so that is pretty impressive).
  8. T.J. Zeuch: Just 4 ML starts, but peaked at 27 in the minors (156 1/3 IP = 5.8 IP per start).  So he could be a solution, but how far down the depth chart is he?
  9. Trent Thornton: The forgotten man.  Just entering his age 27 season, has 32 ML starts so far in 2 seasons (just 3 in 2020).  4.5 IP per start (ugh).  Should be no more than a backup starter.
  10. Prospects: Eric Pardinho (A ball as high as he has been), Alek Manoah (low A), Simeon Woods Richardson (A+), and others could climb quickly and be factors by as early as June or July (remember, others have gone faster - Stieb for an extreme example started pitching one year, and was in the majors to stay mid-way through the next with a 100 ERA+ that year - if you have the skills you can do it).
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 01:09 PM EST (#394185) #
Is Thomas Hatch still being considered as a potential starter?
bpoz - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 01:15 PM EST (#394186) #
May as well guess: Borucki and Zeuch manage 5-6 innings if given the chance.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 01:32 PM EST (#394187) #
Did anyone see the data on the Rockies FA pickups? Since 2015, they have spent $281.6 million on 12 free agents. I don't remember the exact total WAR but I think it was negative pretty easily. Big signings were Ian Desmond (who also cost the #10 pick), Wade Davis, Parra, Shaw, McGee, etc...all massive failures and more importantly, none made sense at the time even. In an era when almost every team is run pretty well, the Rockies stand out as a total mess. They also have one of the worst systems in baseball. I feel sorry for their fans.
Kasi - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 01:53 PM EST (#394188) #
I don't mind them loading up on offense. Stoeten posted about this in the reaction to the Semien signing, but there is not really that much upside to when you have a certain budget trying to make a balanced team instead of doubling down on offensive strength.

So considering this offseason was tougher for getting pitching instead of hitting I don't mind the Jays going in on hitting and saying let the pitching depth work to get through the season. At this point I see the Jays getting one more mid level starter, say resigning Walker. I don't expect them to get Bauer and don't expect them to sign 2 pitchers. I also don't expect them to sign any pitcher to more than a 2 year deal.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 02:13 PM EST (#394189) #
I have it like this.

1. Ryu
2. Ray
3. Pearson
4. Roark
5. Matz
6. Kay
7. Thornton
8. Hatch
9. Zeuch
10. Stripling
11. Chatwood
12. Waguespack
13. Murphy
14. Merryweather

scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#394190) #
I never understood the Ian Desmond signing.
It's the equivalent of signing Semien to play first base.

Yes. Hitting is contagious and adding a good hitter will help a hitting team more than a defensive team.
If the 7-8-9 hitters produce, the top of the lineup can hit with runners on base and everybody gets more AB, the opponent starter leaves early, the pen gets overloaded, etc...

They already have Ryu and Pearson and got Matz and Ray. That leaves room for 2 starters only if you unload Roark AND go with a 6 man rotation.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 02:30 PM EST (#394191) #
15. Yamaguchi

uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 03:01 PM EST (#394192) #
Donaldson and Price instead of Semien and Matz.

Ah to dream.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 03:28 PM EST (#394193) #
I'd prefer Semien to Donaldson at this point in their careers.   And as for Price, his salary is $32 million for 2021 and the Red Sox chipped in $16 million for him.  I don't know that he's on the block but if he is, I do like him at $16 million.  The expectation for him is a little less than what it is for Semien. 
Glevin - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 05:14 PM EST (#394194) #
"Stoeten posted about this in the reaction to the Semien signing, but there is not really that much upside to when you have a certain budget trying to make a balanced team instead of doubling down on offensive strength."

Atkins, I think had a quote on this and it's correct. A team that scores 7 runs a game and gives up 5 is going to be much better than a team that scores 5 and gives up 4. The idea of a balanced team is fine but if it's more efficient to build a team with better offense and lesser pitching, then that makes sense.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 05:30 PM EST (#394195) #
It's funny.  I wondered about the club which won the World Series in the last 20 years with the most dubious starting pitching.  The answer appears to me to be the 2006 Cardinals whose rotation went: Chris Carpenter, did I mention Chris Carpenter?, Jeff Suppan, and the "over 5 club" of Mulder, Ponson, Reyes, Marquis and Weaver.  Hell, they only had three good players- Pujols, Rolen and Carpenter.  They went 83-79 and somehow made their way through the playoffs. 
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 05:49 PM EST (#394196) #
Not only did Tampa Rays rip off the Pirates badly in the Chris Archer trade, now they got Archer back on a one year deal worth 6.5 million.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 06:01 PM EST (#394197) #
That's a lot of money for the Rays.
Especially when you consider that he's coming back from a serious injury.

Archer used to be tough on right handed hitters.
Yankees and Jays have lots of those, so that part makes sense.

Glevin - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 08:04 PM EST (#394198) #
"It's funny. I wondered about the club which won the World Series in the last 20 years with the most dubious starting pitching. "

I always think of the late '90s Cleveland team as an example of this. They could have and should have won a World Series but they didn't. That offense of Thome, Manny, Justice, Matt Williams, Sandy Alomar, Belle, Lofton, Alomar (not all on the same team at same time but all in the same era with lots of overlap) was insane but unfortunately when Charles Nagy is your "Ace" you need an offense like that. Lest anyone say that Cleveland's lack of playoff success was due to not enough starting pitching, I would recommend looking at the Braves of the same period (and before) who despite having 3 HOF starters and some excellent hitting (Chipper, Andruw, Big Cat, etc...), only won one world series.
Kasi - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 09:54 PM EST (#394199) #
Game has changed a lot the last few years. Provided playoff games go back to similar number of days off and not the condensed schedule of last year teams with lots of relievers can do quite well in the playoffs. Sure an ace or two would be great but just having a bunch of capable relievers works quite well. And before the playoffs despite some tweaks to recent rules taxi squad pitching still works fine.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:03 PM EST (#394200) #
I can see that argument for more offense being better than a better balanced team with less run differential, but once the playoffs come and offense drops to 1 or 2 runs a game, it all comes down to pitching.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:19 PM EST (#394201) #
Conversation is moot. Pitching problems solved. Jays bring Liriano back.
Magpie - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 10:43 PM EST (#394202) #
the club which won the World Series in the last 20 years with the most dubious starting pitching. The answer appears to me to be the 2006 Cardinals

And because it's baseball and no one knows anything, that unimpressive starting crew was just fine in the World Series itself.

Game 1 - Reyes 8 IP, 2 R
Game 2 - Weaver 5 IP, 3 R (L)
Game 3 - Carpenter 8 IP, 0 R
Game 4 - Suppan 6 IP, 3 R
Game 5 - Weaver 8 IP, 2 R

That's four Quality Starts in the five games, and they lost the other one 3-1.

It was LaRussa's 2011 team that had always caught my eye, because he actually had his bullpen throw more innings than his starters in the LCS - which was pretty unusual at the time - although he didn't repeat that in the WS.
Parker - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#394203) #
Starters' ERA 2021 ZiPS Projections

Ryu 3.58

Pearson 4.00
Stripling 4.38
Ray 4.15
Roark 4.93
Matz 4.65
John Northey - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 11:11 PM EST (#394204) #
Thanks Parker - good to see their ZIPS on one post.  Easier to try to guess what is coming.  If they get sub 5 ERA's from their top 5 it will make 2021 a very good year I suspect as long as the pen holds up.

Francisco Liriano coming back.  Weird.  Sure didn't have that on the bingo card.  He was fairly effective in Pittsburgh's pen in 2019, but didn't play in 2020 at all (opted out due to COVID).  At $1.5 mil no guarantee it is a 'why not'.

A doh moment - skipped Matz on my starter list (top 5 for sure, probably #4, #2 if healthy).  Twice with 30 starts on the nose (2018/19) 5.36 IP per start in his career.  So about the same as the other guys in the rotation.  Lots of options.  I could see the Jays saying 'screw it' and just going as is for 2021 to start.  One more (or two) would be nice though.  I see pitching and offense both as geometric improvements - hitting due to needing 3 outs an inning to end it and if your guys keep going it can wear down an opponents staff quickly.  Pitching as the reverse is true as well - have a guy go 7 to 9 one day and your pen will be that much stronger the next game, in the pen if you add a solid closer then your other guys shift back a slot (ie: current closer becomes setup, setup becomes early setup, etc.).  Looking forward to this season.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 02 2021 @ 11:22 PM EST (#394205) #
The Liriano signing is a minor league deal. The salary is only if he makes the team.
Dr B - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 12:30 AM EST (#394206) #
And another forgotten man is Matt Shoemaker. I guess nobody thinks he can provide enough innings to be worth a roster spot. Could be worth a flyer when filling out the pen though.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 06:52 AM EST (#394207) #
Liriano was decent as a reliever in 2019 and opted out last year.
He has a great slider. It's just a matter of throwing enough strikes.

ERA of 2.96 with the Jays in 2016 when he brought McGuire.
Struggled the next year and brought back Teoscar when dealt to Houston.
Detroit gave him another shot as a starter in 2018 and he managed an ERA of 4.58.
The Pirates signed him as a reliever in 2019 and he had an ERA of 3.47 in 70 innings, not bad at all.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 07:31 AM EST (#394208) #
At this point the pitching plan is bet on the kids. I don’t have a lot of faith in the veterans outside of Ryu.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 08:24 AM EST (#394209) #
Outside of Ryu, nobody is going to have a long leash.

I would still like a good left handed bat on the bench.
I don't have a lot of faith in Fisher and McGuire.

Chuck - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 08:54 AM EST (#394210) #
He has a great slider. It's just a matter of throwing enough strikes.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

bpoz - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 09:44 AM EST (#394211) #
Montoyo, Walker and anyone else has to figure out the roles of the pitchers on the staff.

One role that seems successful is to send a guy in to throw as hard as he can for a short outing. Another role is to send in a guy to get a ground ball DP. Hopefully they can find guys to fill those roles and be content doing it. Getting 3+ inning or 5+ inning pitchers is more challenging.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#394212) #
A couple of bits I missed a few days back.
One a quiz:
A total of 128 players have homered in their first big-league at bat. Which of them has the most career home runs?
Hint - it was not one of the 3 Blue Jays in that group.

The second poses the question; Should a prestigious award continue to be named after a man who, despite being the long time voice of baseball, also stridently argued against integration in the game?

His own publication now says "No".
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#394213) #
Did they have a guy they could trust to put out a fire and come in with runners on base last year? I think they just brought the next reliever earlier.  The 3 hitter rule complicates things, so you have either guys who can go only 1 inning, but are needed often--hopefully--closer, setup guy, etc. and the guys who can go 1+ to 3 innings. I don't think they want any reliever to go through a rotation twice.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 10:48 AM EST (#394214) #
Taylor Spink? Never heard of the guy.
Parker - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 10:55 AM EST (#394215) #
Nelson Cruz has re-upped with Minnesota. Cruz is looking like he might actually get to 500 career home runs - it'll be a shame if he falls just short due to the lost 2020 season.

It's weird; I have never once thought of Nelson Cruz as a possible Hall of Famer when watching him play or glancing over his stats. The PED suspension and the defensive gaffe in the World Series don't help him much, but I guess he got off to such a late start that it's hard to imagine him being good enough for long enough. Like Bautista and Encarnacion, I never thought of him as Hall-calibre because he was simply going to get too old too fast to put up the requisite counting stats. But unlike Bautista and Encarnacion, Cruz has managed to stay an elite slugger into his 40's, which really is incredible for a guy who wasn't elite from a young age.

I think I'd vote for him because of the remarkable career arc.

I would've voted for Jamie Moyer and Julio Franco too.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 10:56 AM EST (#394216) #
That group has 3 Blue Jays and 4 Expos.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 11:30 AM EST (#394217) #
Wow, Nelson Cruz has 417 HR so far.  Just 39.7 WAR so most newer voters wouldn't be impressed but quite the late career spike - from age 32 up he has had a 147 OPS+ over 4427 PA's.  Before age 32 he reached 147 just once (also a 146) and that was in just 31 games.  Over 1000 OPS in the playoffs.  I'd say Cruz needs to reach 500 to make the HOF - if McGriff who could actually play in the field couldn't get in with 493 I suspect Cruz will need the magic number.  If this was the 90's or the 00's I'd be curious about how he is doing this so late but with all the testing now he might be legit.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 11:35 AM EST (#394218) #
Taylor Spink? Never heard of the guy.

Guess you weren't a baseball fan between the 1920's to the 1950's. TSN was the "Bible of Baseball" back then.
Paul D - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 12:50 PM EST (#394219) #
Just got a notification that the Jays are interested in Yadi Monlina.

Which at first seemed silly, but on second thought, maybe not? Getting a veteran borderline hall of famer here to mentor Jansen and Kirk could be useful.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 01:52 PM EST (#394220) #
Then we can have 6 catchers on the 40-man!
Glevin - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 02:12 PM EST (#394221) #
Jays don't need Molina at all. They need to get a catcher off the 40-man if anything. I think someone like Brad Miller would be a good signing. LH who can hit and play a bunch of positions.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 02:24 PM EST (#394222) #
Well, I do remember the Elias Sports Bureau.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 02:56 PM EST (#394223) #
Besides Taylor Spink, another person against integration in baseball at the time was Kennesaw Mountain Landis, MLB baseball commissioner from 1920-1944. Landis publicly said that he was not against it but it wasn't until the year after his death that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

Landis, of course, suspended 8 members of the notorious Black Sox for throwing the 1919 World Series and helped restore public confidence in MLB. An interesting story was his confrontation with Babe Ruth over barnstorming. For years MLB players had barnstormed during the offseason to earn extra money but Landis wanted to stop that practice.

Babe Ruth had arranged to go on a barnstorming tour after the 1921 season. The Yankee's ownership said it was okay but that he better check with Landis. Ruth waited until the day before the tour started to phone Landis, and when Landis said he couldn't do it, Ruth slammed down the receiver and went on tour anyway. Landis reportedly said," Who does that big ape think he is?"

Landis the suspended Ruth until May 20th of the next season and before he played his first game of the season, Landis went in person to lecture him for over 2 hours. Ruth said later," Boy, he sure can talk !"
hypobole - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 04:47 PM EST (#394224) #
Landis' segregationist stance is the reason FINALLY his name will no longer be on future MVP award plaques.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 05:01 PM EST (#394225) #
I assume a Molina signing would match a catcher trade.
However, he was making 20M each of the last 3 years, so I'm guessing they're just trying to force St-Louis' hands.

Lots of postseason experience, but an 11 year career with the same club.
They have a decent chance of winning their division.
Why wouldn't he just return?

Is Breyvic Valera coming back eventually? He's a switch hitter.

christaylor - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 05:20 PM EST (#394226) #
I don't have strong feelings about PEDs as disqualified for the HOF but they do help with career longevity. Muscles decline for everyone in their 30s and if you're starting from a higher level the lost 5% or so over that decade will have less of an impact. Even if Cruz somehow makes it to 500, I don't think he'll have much of a HOF case.
Waveburner - Wednesday, February 03 2021 @ 08:44 PM EST (#394227) #
Cruz has already been caught for PED's in the past.

I'm guessing anyone who believes he is currently clean also thinks Ortiz stayed clean. Personally I find it laughable.

The PED developers are always well ahead of the testers.
uglyone - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 12:15 AM EST (#394228) #
I lose my familiarity somewhere in the teens her but as for the top of this list I'm not sure I've ever agreed with a jays ranking as much as I agree with this one:

2021 Blue Jays Top 30 prospects, according to Baseball-America

1.Nate Pearson
2.Austin Martin
3.Jordan Groshans
4.Simeon Woods-Richardson
5.Alejandro Kirk
6.Orelvis Martinez
7.Alek Manoah
8.Gabriel Moreno
9.Adam Kloffenstein
10.Miguel Hiraldo
11.CJ Van Eyk
12.Otto Lopez
13.Estiven Machado
14.Eric Pardino
15.Thomas Hatch
16.Leonardo Jimenez
17.Victor Mesia
18.Rikelvin De Castro
19.Patrick Murphy
20.Anthony Kay
21.Santiago Espinal
22.Will Robertson
23.Nick Frasso
24.Trent Palmer
25.Dasan Brown
26.Joey Murray
27.Tanner Morris
28.Yosver Zulueta
29.Sem Robberse
30.Philip Clarke

I'm pretty stoked about that entire top ten there. Might be as good a jays top 10 as I've ever seen.
Magpie - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 03:32 AM EST (#394229) #
TSN was the "Bible of Baseball" back then.

Pretty much by default, of course. But it was a weekly publication, and they actually had reports on every MLB team.

How did we even live before the Internet? I can' seem to remember...
scottt - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 07:17 AM EST (#394230) #
I wouldn't say the top 10 is better now than when Guerrero/Bichette/Biggio was on it.
Although, they didn't rank 1-2-3.

This reminds me that Joey Murray could debut this year.
Is he really in front of Zeuch?
Clarke hasn't shown enough yet in my book.

scottt - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 08:00 AM EST (#394231) #
I guess they didn't include the last round of international signings?
Beltre should probably be somewhere in the top 30.

grjas - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 08:21 AM EST (#394232) #
Manaoh and Kloff at 7 and 9 show how deep the Jays are in top shelf prospects.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 08:25 AM EST (#394233) #
Lots of chatter online regarding a bigger acquisition soon by the Blue Jays.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 08:36 AM EST (#394234) #
Manaoh and Kloff at 7 and 9 show how deep the Jays are in top shelf prospects.

I like both of them too, but the one that leaps out at me is Gabriel Moreno at #8.  He turns 21 in 10 days, and will probably see significant time in New Hampshire this year.  He and Austin Martin are the players that I will be watching most closely. 
bpoz - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 09:32 AM EST (#394235) #
Very nice top 30 list. 4 may not get to AA Hiraldo, Martinez, Moreno and Kloffenstein. Pearson and Kirk should graduate.

So expecting 8 to not graduate. That said I can see another 1 or 2 beating out some of the 8 remaining. I would base the new stars on performance rather than speculation. Also it is possible that 1 or 2 may drop out of the top 10.

If that adds up to 14 players, I am quite sure that some will fail.
scottt - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:06 AM EST (#394236) #
Biagini to the Cubs on a minor league deal.
Fangraphs ranks the Cubs as the 3rd worst rotation behind only Orioles and Pirates.

John Northey - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:09 AM EST (#394237) #
I've put the Jays who were in the top 100 lists in a spreadsheet and I'd put 1994 ahead of this year - 3 top 10's (Alex Gonzalez #4, Carlos Delgado #5, Jose Silva #10 (a RHP). Shawn Green was #28, #66 was D.J. Boston (1B), and #99 was Paul Spoljaric.

In retrospect 1997 was better - #23 Roy Halladay, #28 Chris Carpenter, #57 Shannon Stewart, #67 Kelvim Escobar, #74 Billy Koch - heck of a pitching staff right there with 2 aces, a closer, and a guy who was effective in both roles. Plus a guy who once came in 4th in MVP voting.

2004 was solid: Alex Rios (#6), Dustin McGowan (#16 - proof of the 'young pitchers will break your heart' rule), Guillermo Quiroz (#35 played in 10 ML seasons but under 200 games), Gabe Gross (#72), Francisco Del Rosario (#87), Aaron Hill (#96)

2019 might be great in retrospect and at the time - Vlad #1, Bo #8, Danny Jansen #42, Nate Pearson #70, Eric Pardinho #84, Jordan Groshans #89, Kevin Smith #91. 3 ML regulars already out of that group, 1 who should be a starter on the staff this year, most think Groshans will be solid at 3B at the very least (ranked #34 now).

Those 2 solid 90's seasons show how having the prospects doesn't guarantee success at the ML level. I find the 1994 list really amazing given the Jays had won the World Series the 2 previous years and were in the playoffs 4 out of 5 years then. No need to tank, but sadly Gord Ash was not a good GM by any stretch and blew it royally.
uglyone - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#394238) #
Even looking back i think this year's stacks up real well.

The top 4 there features 2 pitchers with both big time front rotation stuff and great numbers, as well as 2 five tool position players with high end reputation. Those are 4 big time prospects imo with high floors and star upsides.

And then after that they get more flawed but still very interesting - two very young catchers with big time offensive tools and stats so far, a couple super athletic young infielders with power potential, and a couple of very solid high floor SP prospects.

85bluejay - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#394239) #
If there is a minor league seasons it's going to be fascinating to see what effect the lost season had on development. The lack of LHH in the entire system is glaring and not too many LHP either.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#394240) #
Lots of chatter online regarding a bigger acquisition soon by the Blue Jays. Can you point me to them dalimon? I would like some extra Jays reading
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#394241) #

* Ben. Nicholson Smith following up on the chatter:

* Tim and Sid podcast in last 30 seconds of clip Sid says something to the effect of "judging from what we're hearing it's going to be a big week for the Jays."

* Scott Mitchell Twitter account he says that they aren't done and that's "all I can say for now."

damos - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:16 AM EST (#394242) #
I think a lot of the current chatter probably comes from Jeff Blair's column from Monday:

"President and chief executive officer Mark Shapiro views the Springer deal and the deal given out to Marcus Semien as part of a continuum, with suggestions another significant add could materialize this week and that the team will have enough flexibility to be active at the trade deadline and next winter."

I imagine Blair mumbled something to Tim & Sid in the Fan590 hallways & that's what they're parrotting.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#394243) #
Considering Scott Mitchell's comments and the fact he works for a different company, combined with rumors in writing linking Jays to Paxton, Odorizzi, Walker and Molina from credible sources, I wouldn't bet against it. Journalists don't typically spread info based on a tip in the hallway from a co broadcaster.

By the way, Twitter and Instagram are the apps where the latest chatter and official signing information is leaked, such as Springer's contract details, first reported Springer deal...all revealed on Twitter first after corroborated by Blue Jays personnel behind the scenes. Semien's move to 2B and deal reported on Instagram first.

If you think Jeff Blair is that connected I think it's not accurate...maybe 5 years ago when he was traveling with the GMs and covering the meetings. He's also admitted on radio last week that he was fed information in past to help agents and Probably not a great source these days that real journalists will use as a leak.
uglyone - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:49 AM EST (#394244) #
Given that we're going with gambles in the rotation it would be nice to add a couple extra rolls of the dice in there.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:53 AM EST (#394245) #
My guess is whomever is first to accept the Jays one year offer - it's a waiting game.
bpoz - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 12:09 PM EST (#394246) #
Next off season should be interesting. We will know what worked and what did not.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 12:19 PM EST (#394247) #
Marwin Gonzalez wouldn't be a bad bench acquisition.  Switch-hitter who hits better from the left and a pretty good fielder at second and third and playable in the corner outfield. 
John Northey - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 12:19 PM EST (#394248) #
MLBTradeRumors is my favorite 'go to' site for stuff. Kind of a clearing house for rumors. Not first with it, but has the most. Right now they are saying the Cards & Phillies are the most active chasing more pitching and the Jays are of course still out there. That Roark, Gurriel, and Grichuk are on the trading block with interest in each out there (but expecting the Jays would need to eat some or Roark's contract), Odorizzi is an 'unclear' on Jays interest as they want a 1 year deal and he wants a multi-year. Walker and Paxton are both higher on the likely to sign list. Fun winter for baseball rumors.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 01:59 PM EST (#394249) #
I go to Blue Jays Aggregator which has every Blue Jays related note on the interwebs. MLBTradeRumors used to be like that but now they are usually an hour or two behind. I read something on Bluejaysaggregator then see it re-posted on mlbtraderumors a short time later. You can also filter by article, radio, podcast etc which I like.
scottt - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 02:14 PM EST (#394250) #
I think Cora was chasing Gonzalez. He lost a lot of values after leaving Houston.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 03:59 PM EST (#394251) #
dalimon5 - Looks like an interesting site, but the auto-popup video that re-pops up after EVERY action (even if just filtering) kills it for me..
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 04:06 PM EST (#394252) #
That's weird I don't get any video pop ups. I only get 2 banner ads on the desk top site, less than mlbtraderumors. I use Firefox browser.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 06:08 PM EST (#394253) #
I use firefox + ublock origin + duckduckgo privacy settings + vpn...
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 06:13 PM EST (#394254) #
Playing around with ublock's "zap" function, seems like I was able to stop it for now..
Michael - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 06:48 PM EST (#394255) #
BP came out with the top 500 dynasty baseball rankings. This is for fantasy baseball (so position matters, but defensive skill doesn't), and they are assuming 5x5 stats (so saves, steals, and BA count more) and players kept forever at equal/no cost (so salaries and free agency and the like don't matter, and it is more than just the next year's value). With those caveat here are the blue jays they list (note with 30 teams you'd expect 7 per team in the top 210, the Jays have 11):

Rank Name Team Pos
11 Bo Bichette TOR SS
16 Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. TOR 1B
52 George Springer TOR OF
83 Cavan Biggio TOR 2B (3B, OF)
109 Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. TOR OF
128 Austin Martin TOR OF (IF)
132 Nate Pearson TOR SP
134 Teoscar Hernández TOR OF
158 Hyun-jin Ryu TOR SP
190 Jordan Groshans TOR SS
193 Marcus Semien TOR SS
275 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B
282 Orelvis Martínez TOR SS
293 Kirby Yates TOR RP
338 Randal Grichuk TOR OF
377 Alejandro Kirk TOR C
438 Robbie Ray TOR SP
452 Simeon Woods Richardson TOR SP
475 Danny Jansen TOR C

A slightly different order of folks, given the fantasy focus, but still the Jays come off looking pretty good overall.
Glevin - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 10:42 PM EST (#394256) #
Cardinals trading fowler to Angels. I can see a fit with trading an OFer because they are now fairly shallow there and do have some pitching depth.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 04 2021 @ 11:45 PM EST (#394257) #
Bauer at 3 years and 90 million with opt out after year 1 sounds like a good deal to me. That's what's being reported right now. Sign him for 3 years 100 million Jays.
scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 07:10 AM EST (#394258) #
The Jays outfield is fine.

The Cards made the move to save (14.5 - 12.27) 2 million and a quarter. That's peanuts.
The Angels made the move to get a cheap outfielder.

Let say the Jays want to sign a pitcher (Walker, Paxton, or Rosenthal). They would need to free some room on the 26 roster by trading a pitcher. Trading Yamaguchi for cash consideration or a depth piece could work.

Roark is making 12M. How much of that would they need to eat? Maybe if they add a catcher. I doubt they eat 10M to sign a pitcher for 10M.

scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 07:45 AM EST (#394259) #
14.5M - 12.75M = 1.75M
85bluejay - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 08:32 AM EST (#394260) #
Here's hoping for a Cardinals and Randall Grichuk reunion.
scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 09:27 AM EST (#394261) #
The Cards are flush out of money. There's no point in trading Grichuk if the Jays have to sent money back. Grichuk can play all outfield positions and he's a solid player who can play RF when you get Hernandez to DH. He's overpriced, but he could be the best 4th outfielder in baseball. How many games will Hernandez, Springer and Gurriel miss? If you haven't noticed, Springer himself was mostly a 4th outfielder the last 3 years and hasn't played more than 140 games a year in that interval.

A swap of bad contract is possible, but it's hard to find a dancing partner. 
Teams sign guy like Roark on 1-year contract with hope of getting a prospect back all the time.
That seems possible, but for 10M it would have to be a decent piece.

bpoz - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 09:30 AM EST (#394262) #
Bauer still there.

A lot of late action that is small stuff. Paxton is small stuff because he may pitch like a #2, 4 or get injured and provide little.

Fowler is the type of move to clear a 26/40 spot. He is a backup now. If given a chance due to injury he could provide something. 35 years old next month.

St Louis has improved and nobody else in the NLC has.

How is the luxury tax calculated on Fowler SL/LAA and D Price Boston/LAD?
scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 09:51 AM EST (#394263) #
I don't think the Jays are on  Bauer anymore.

Paxton is high risk, high reward. He's usually pretty good when he's able to throw.

With the Angel, Fowler is probably a starter.

The Brewers got Kolton Wong. That's a huge improvement.
If Lorenzo Cain plays this year, that's another huge improvement.
Their pitching isn't bad.

Luxury tax. AAV for the duration of the contract. Money to and from other teams are included. Buyouts are not included. Players not on the 40 roster are included. Players benefits including health insurance, meal money, etc are included.

scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 10:05 AM EST (#394264) #
Blue Jays typically need to overpay to lure free agents.
In the case of guys signing multi-year contracts, that usually means adding an extra year.
To top 3/90M the Jays might have to go 4/125M or something like that.
Unless Bauer is a big fan of Shapiro, is really keen on pitching in the AL East, or some other personal thing. Bauer has only pitched 3-4 games in each of the AL East ballparks. He's been very good in New York but really bad in Boston. Meh.

Glevin - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 10:18 AM EST (#394265) #
Jays are not signing Bauer. BTW, saw this on Twitter which reinforces just how bad Bauer's opposition was last season. This the OPS+ of the teams Bauer faces last season.

89 (Tigers)
89 (Tigers)
88 (Brewers)
92 (Royals)
88 (Brewers)
90 (Cubs)
74 (Pirates)
90 (Cubs)
74 (Pirates)
113 (White Sox)
88 (Brewers)
116 (Braves)

This isn't to say he is a bad pitcher or anything, just that people expecting him to have a anything close to a repeat season is silly. (In contrast to Ryu who pitched 9/13 starts against teams with OPS+ over 104) In the AL East, I'd expect an ERA of between 3.50-4.50. He'll get paid like a frontline starter but I don't think he is. Combine that with his controversial and divisive personality and I'm happy the Jays are staying away.
Mike Green - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 10:39 AM EST (#394266) #
Today I learned that Ross Stripling is a wealth management consultant.  I wonder if Ryu consulted him after the big contract.

The link has a great photo of Stripling badly fooling LeMahieu presumably on a change-up.  After seeing the picture, I checked on LeMahieu's Statcast data by pitch.  He eats up 4 seamers.  If you've got a sinker throw that, a splitter throw that, a slider throw that, and use your 4 seamer sparingly unless it's really, really good. 
ISLAND BOY - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 01:02 PM EST (#394267) #
My 4 seamer is pretty bad. Still, it might look like a very slow changeup to LeMahieu if it even reached the plate.
John Northey - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 01:15 PM EST (#394268) #
Yeah, the more I look at Bauer the less I like him.

But, in his one playoff game last year he did great -  7 2/3 IP 0 BB 12 K's 2H 0 R.  Lifetime 2.94 ERA in playoff games over 33 2/3 IP (2.1 BB/9 11.8 K/9) so on the biggest stage he does perform.  Most of that was in 2016 when he was with Cleveland and had a 106 ERA+. 

Against the Jays lifetime 4.06 ERA, Yankees 3.88, Red Sox 7.71 (his worst ERA vs anyone), Baltimore 6.35, Tampa 2.57 (his 2nd best vs team).  He kills the Cubs (1.35 ERA over 39 2/3 IP).  So vs Tampa & NY you want him, against Boston & Baltimore you don't.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 01:46 PM EST (#394269) #
You guys are putting way too much stock into small sample size or stats from half a decade ago. Front offices use more precise indicators like measurements of actual pitches, hard hit rate, etc etc. What good is it to show that Bauer pitched to an X.XX ERA against the Jays when most of those stats were against a completely different line up, one, and two, when Bauer was using different approach to hitters and effectiveness?

To me the question isn't "how much do I like Bauer compared to other aces" it's instead how much do I like Bauer over trading prospect capital for someone better? Or signing an available free agent pitcher this off season or next instead of Bauer. Here are the options for 2021 and 2022 free agents:


There's 4 guys on that list who I would prefer over Bauer in a playoff game against the NYY or CWS. Syndergaard, Verlander, Scherzer and Kershaw. How much confidence do you have that any of those guys would come here? I think the veterans who have all won a series wouldn't consider it. That leaves only Syndergaard who I can see the Jays overpaying for to bring here. Yes, if we skip Bauer this year to sign Thor then sign me up, but I don't think Cohen lets him leave the NYM. So Bauer it is for me.
If you don't like his character, that's a whole other story and then you're looking at trading Groshans+ for a controllable ace at the deadline.
scottt - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 02:56 PM EST (#394270) #
Rumor is that the last offer to Bauer from the Mets is something like 40/40/30 with opt out every year.

There's no way the Jays go anywhere near something like that.

Greinke could be a target next year.
He could be open to come here to win a ring if the Jays have a super offense.

Glevin - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 02:59 PM EST (#394271) #
Bauer to Dodgers. Wonder if this means Dodgers will look to trade Price. Not a frontline starter and owed a lot but would be an upgrade for Jays. Price for Grichuk seems very fair. Not sure Dodgers need Grichuk but he's useful and does give them savings.
Mike Green - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:00 PM EST (#394272) #
40/40/30 with opt-out every year?  He did have a really good playoff outing against Atlanta last year, but whatever, Metz gotta Met. 
Mike Green - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:04 PM EST (#394273) #
And Bauer chooses the Dodgers.  I wonder if he took less money to be on a winning club!
John Northey - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:05 PM EST (#394274) #
Excellent point Dalimon5 - the question is would Bauer be worth more than other options.  But not just pitchers, but also hitters.  Spending $35 mil a year on him (which it would cost) would improve the rotation significantly and provide protection from Ryu getting hurt.  But what else can $35 mil buy?  That is more than was spent on Springer, and is more than it would cost for Yadier Molina and Taijuan Walker combined.  Maybe more than those two plus James Paxton.  Those 3 would lock down the rotation and upgrade our catching while freeing up Jansen to be traded for more help, while also being locked in for no more than 3 years for any one of them.  Or you could go to 3-4 years to get Justin Turner (seems that is what he wants and no one will give it to him - with good reason he is entering his age 36 season) and sign one of those 2 pitchers.  Thus fixing up 3B for a couple of years and making Biggio into a super-utility guy thus making the lineup super-strong and bench very deep while still improving the rotation.

Lots of choices to be made.  Bauer could be the super-high impact guy the Jays should want.  But maybe 2 or 3 pieces will get the same end result at this point.  Hard to say for sure.  I tend to look at final results so far as I'm still getting used to the newer stats (hard hit rate, etc.) but if I ran a front office you damn well bet those newer figures would be the core of any decision made (I had plans for them in the mid 90's when I was trying to get work in baseball, obviously I didn't get it, used some forms of them for my university team which was foolish enough to let me play one game - 2 K's and a misplayed ball were the end result of my tiny playing career).  

My gut is signing Paxton & Walker would be a better end result for the way the Jays are right now.  Plus saving a few mil this year and a lot more for years 2-whatever.  They would give the Jays more depth at a position where you never have enough depth.  Now, of course, if the Jays budgeted like the Yankees do (and they potentially could) then they could sign Bauer and Paxton and Walker but that ain't gonna happen.  I'd bet strongly the Jays are still in it for all of those guys and others.  They have the #1 guy they wanted (Springer) and now have an extra OF they could trade if they find the right deal.  Or they might just rotate Grichuk around as an expensive 4th OF.  If Vlad takes over 3B somehow and is competent there then Biggio also becomes a super-backup.  Then DH is the resting spot where both Biggio and Grichuk go for AB's with someone sitting everyday who could/should be a regular.  The rotation is the next big issue.  Do they stick as is and hope a kid or two steps up this year or do they fill in spots with guys who might break down (Paxton/Walker) or do they go big?   Next winter's pitchers aren't a big factor as they could sign extensions thus never hit the market.  Kershaw would be a dream but also a nightmare as he'd be a 7+ year deal at $35-40 mil a year entering his age 34 season - minimum to draw him away from LA.  Ain't gonna happen.
jgadfly - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:08 PM EST (#394275) #
Aaron Sanchez status ... last I saw he's coming off shoulder surgery and was a free agent Boros client ... any updates ?
John Northey - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:14 PM EST (#394276) #
Well, there goes any Bauer talk - signs with the Dodgers - rich get richer.  3 years $102 million $40 mil in 2021 and $45 in 2022 with opt out after 2021 and after 2022.  Not a deal I'd sign if I ran a team, but the Dodgers have money out the ying yang.  I'd bet they are looking to dump Price now for nothing or would include prospects to get his salary off the payroll.  I figure the Jays are talking to them about it among other things.  Turner should now be out of the Dodgers price range as they'll be deep into luxury tax at this point.
Mike Green - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:33 PM EST (#394277) #
It's a tad worse than a 2 year/$85 million contract. 

I love Mookie Betts and think that he's going to have as good or better career ultimately than Trout, but I think that the Padres chances of overtaking them just went up rather than down and this might be the case for a few years.  How is that?  I think that the Dodgers will cut costs and lose more value than they gain in the signing. 
grjas - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 03:58 PM EST (#394278) #
With those crazy numbers for a guy who pitches once a week...glad we missed out. I’m also intrigued about the Price option. He loved playing here and I always enjoyed watching him.

I also wonder if Bauer will follow Price’s trajectory. I was hoping they’d pony up for Price a few years ago but the Jays were smart not to pay the price.
greenfrog - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 04:37 PM EST (#394281) #
Classic baseball quote: "There's no such thing as a bad one-year contract."

Updated 2021 version: "When signing an above-average starting pitcher, there's no such thing as a bad 3/$102m deal with opt-outs after year one and year two, and a $40m salary in year one and a $45m salary in year two."
dalimon5 - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 04:43 PM EST (#394282) #
I guess I'm in the minority in thinking this is a good deal for the Dodgers and Bauer. Signing an elite pitcher in his prime for 3 years with no long term attachment is ideal. You can argue he is passed his prime, I would counter that he is just starting to post his best numbers (I don't think a "weak" line up makes much difference vs a "stacked" line up) for pitchers. If you execute your pitches and have a game plan you might see a difference one one run in a start, max.
This looks to me like the Semien deal except for a bit longer and a much better player. The Dodgers had to answer the Padres and this does that.

dalimon5 - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 04:51 PM EST (#394283) #
Updated top rotations. I count minimum 5 rotations better than Toronto with the Rays, Athletics, White Sox, Twins and Marlins all similar or better than Jays, but not on this list:
BauerBuehlerUriasKershaw(May and Price back up)

DarvishLametSnellMusgrovePaddack(Clevinger in 2022)



deGromStromanCarrascoPetersonSellman(Syndergaard missing most of season)

Adding Walker or Paxton will basically just push Matz/Stripling/ of these guys into long relief. Not a huge upgrade which we need. At some point the front office will need to trade for another #1 or #2. I'm hoping the Mets struggle and they can trade for Syndergaard at the deadline.
Glevin - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 05:09 PM EST (#394284) #
"Signing an elite pitcher in his prime for 3 years with no long term attachment is ideal."

Except, Bauer isn't elite and the salary is so large that there's no way it doesn't effect the ability to sign other players.
Hodgie - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 05:55 PM EST (#394285) #
Mike, curious about your statement on Betts. Do you believe that longevity is going to be an issue with Trout? I love Betts as well and think that he is capable of a Trout-like season from time to time, but Trout is only one year older, has been the best player in the league for a decade and he has lapped the field a couple of times in doing so. In Betts I see one of the best players of his generation, whereas Trout is one of the best to ever play the game.
Mike Green - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 07:49 PM EST (#394286) #
I think that the Mays/Mantle comparison will hold to a significant degree for Betts/Trout. Betts doesn't quite have Mays' talent but I think that he's going to be a good player at age 40 thanks to his build, his extremely broad base of skills and his intelligence and dedication. I don't expect that Trout will age nearly as well although maybe a little better than Mantle.
Glevin - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 08:04 PM EST (#394287) #
"I don't expect that Trout will age nearly as well although maybe a little better than Mantle."

Well, I assume a lot better. Mantle didn't take care of himself at all and had addiction issues. Trout seems to be a grounded guy. He'll probably move off CF at some point but I expect him to be a great player for a long time. The difference between someone like Trout and say, Pujols is that Pujols was starting at the bottom of the defensive spectrum and Trout is starting near the top. It's also why I don't worry about Springer that much. A move to say, RF still gives you defensive value.
John Northey - Friday, February 05 2021 @ 10:54 PM EST (#394289) #
I suspect the Dodgers are purely thinking playoffs now - they should be a lock for a slot and with Kershaw/Bauer/Tony Gonsolin/Dustin May/Julio Urias (among others) they have 5 guys who had a 130+ ERA+ last year.  Really don't see why they'd want to keep Price at this point.  Their #5 guy at the moment is probably better than 15-20 teams #1.  When David Price is your #7 starter you know you are crazy deep.  They should focus on the pen (get a lockdown closer maybe) and better offense at 2B maybe.  Maybe.  Dang those Dodgers are stacked.
Mike Green - Saturday, February 06 2021 @ 09:13 AM EST (#394295) #
The last 3 full seasons Trout has played 114, 140 and 134 games. That was in his late 20s. I anticipate that those numbers will  go down slowly and that he will be a very good half time player by 35, whereas Mookie will be chugging away getting  600 PAs a year almost every year for the next decade. We'll see.
Mike Green - Saturday, February 06 2021 @ 09:53 AM EST (#394296) #
Caveat to the longevity concern- the pandemic. If we get 3 short seasons in a row (always possible given our current circumstances), it may actually help Trout. He would remain in shape and the lack of wear and tear would probably be good for his body.
John Northey - Saturday, February 06 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#394301) #
Trout - 74.6 bWAR so far, entering age 29 season, 176 OPS+, 302 HR, 201 SB, 3 MVP's, CF only (other than some DH for 'rest') since age 22.

Betts - 45.4 bWAR so far, entering age 28 season, 135 OPS+, 155 HR, 136 SB, 1 MVP, a RF since his age 23 season

Both excellent players, but Betts needs to duplicate what he has done so far in order to pass Trout in WAR & HR (and would still be an MVP shy) and has just a 1 year advantage on him in age. When all is said and done Trout should be well past 100 WAR and one of the best CF ever (tough club - top 5 are Mays 156, Cobb 151, Speaker 134, Mantle 110, DiMaggio 79). With any luck Trout will pass DiMaggio this year, but will be 4 or 5 years at least to reach Mantle and at least 2 more to get to Speaker. To get to Cobb/Mays territory he'd need to duplicate what he has done so far plus a bit (!) Best CF ever is a tough hill to climb. Ruth is #1 all time by bWAR by a good margin at 182.5 - Bonds is the highest recent player at 162.8 (top hitter other than Ruth).
AWeb - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 06:34 PM EST (#394837) #
Not sure if it's been discussed here - the Jays are going to get rid of the radio broadcasters and simulcast the TV play-by-play on the radio instead? Good news is Shulman is doing it, but it seems like a way to make both broadcasts worse - the best part of a good TV broadcast is often when the announcers find the right moments to stop talking and let the game breathe. Meanwhile a good radio team needs to describe the action  almost constantly. Action such as it is during the 30-35 seconds a pitch era we suffer in - what an impossible job to fill constant 10-15 seconds of dead air all night long. No other sport has a harder job right now, IMHO. I hope Shulman has a good contract/agent and Rogers has to pay him significantly more for this arrangement, although I suspect if that was the case they wouldn't do it.
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