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This is going to be a big discussion with the Jays looking to make big trades and/or signings over the next few months in an effort to win now. How risky are prospects? Are top 100 ones safe bets? Top 10? What about the Jays own top 10? Lets check.

Lets start with the best of the best...
Jays in the top 10 Baseball America list ever.† Years are the upcoming season (named in the offseason)
#1: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the only one here in 2019
#2: No Jay ever ranked here
#5: Delgado1994
#6: Shawn Green 1995, Alex Rios 2004, Travis Snider 2009 (oops)
#7-10: Nate Pearson 2020, Alex Gonzalez 1995, Bo Bichette 2018/2019, and Jose Silva 1994

Vlad, Olerud, Delgado, Wells, and Alex Gonzalez #1) with only Alex Gonzalez was a non-star (11.2 WAR 8 years as an everyday player plus 5 more with part time play or injuries)
#6-10 was still dang good but not a lock 4 stars/regulars (Green, Rios, Alex Gonzalez, Bo) plus 1 total flop (Silva had negative WAR for his career), 1 failure (Snider - 4.3), and 1 TBD (Pearson with negative WAR so far in his career but still too soon to write him off).

So top 10 overall was a safe bet as a rule to at least play everyday and all of them made the majors. Jose Silva reached with Pittsburgh but was part of a package that got Carlos Garcia, Orlando Merced and Dan Plesac (geez was Gord Ash a terrible GM).

What about the rest of the top 100?
#11-25 includes...
Big success: Wells, Halladay (twice), Derek Bell, Vlad
Made it: Travis d'Arnaud, Daniel Norris, Mark Whiten
Fails: Snider, Dustin McGowan, Eddie Zosky, Anthony Alford (technically could still become something good but very unlikely)

TBD: Pearson, Austin Martin

26-50 includes...

Big success: Shawn Green (twice), Chris Carpenter, Steve Karsay, Halladay, Shannon Stewart
Made it: Aaron Sanchez (twice), Alex Gonzalez, Felipe Lopez (twice), Billy Koch, Josh Phelps, Dustin McGowan (twice), Travis d'Arnaud, Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie, Danny Jansen, J.P. Arencibia, Glenallen Hill
Fails: Brett Wallace, Kyle Drabek, Dalton Pompey, Jose Silva, Guillermo Quiroz, Anthony Gose, Marty Janzen, Nigel Wilson
TBD: Jordan Groshans (twice)

51-100 includes...
Big success: Vernon Wells (twice), Marcus Stroman, Shannon Stewart (twice), Aaron Hill, Carlos Delgado, Mike Timlin, Jayson Werth (twice), Derek Bell, Orlando Hudson, Chris Carpenter, Aaron Hill, Marcus Stroman, Chris Carpenter (only #100 in Jays history)
Made it: Alex Sanchez (twice), Steve Karsay, Alex Gonzalez, Kelvim Escobar, Felipe Lopez, Cesar Izturis, Jake Marisnick, Brandon League, Brett Cecil, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Billy Koch, Travis d'Arnaud, Ricky Romero, Daniel Norris, Paul Spoljaric
Fails: Travis Snider, Anthony Alford (twice), D.J. Boston, Jeff Hoffman, Howard Battle, Gabe Gross (twice), Jose Pett, Sandy Martinez, Guillermo Quiroz, Eddie Zosky, Francisco Del Rosario, William Suero, Jose Pett, Deck McGuire, Jason Arnold, Dustin McGowan, Kevin Witt, Joe Lawrence
TBD: Simeon Woods Richardson (twice), Nate Pearson, Alejandro Kirk, Sean Reid-Foley, Eric Pardinho, Jordan Groshans, Nate Pearson, Kevin Smith, Rowdy Tellez, Orelvis Martinez

So by the bottom 50 you get lots of fails while the big successes often were ranked here early and climbed up higher before reaching and staring. Lots of 'made it' which I see as never being a real star but was a solid producer for awhile or a reliever. One can argue about exactly where to put guys but flops are 'best is Travis Snider', for made it best is Aaron Sanchez types (very good but uneven will always be someone you go 'what if' with), Big success = thank goodness we didn't trade him or 'curse you Gord Ash'

What about the Jays top 10-30 every year?† Let's look.† Using Baseball America as they have done this the longest and are well regarded.
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Rank 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
1 Vernon Wells Vernon Wells Josh Phelps Dustin McGowan Alex Rios Brandon League Dustin McGowan Adam Lind Travis Snider Travis Snider Zach Stewart Kyle Drabek Travis D'Arnaud Aaron Sanchez Aaron Sanchez Daniel Norris Anthony Alford Vladimir Guerrero Jr Vladimir Guerrero Jr Vladimir Guerrero Jr Nate Pearson Nate Pearson
2 Felipe Lopez Felipe Lopez Gabe Gross Jayson Werth Dustin McGowan Aaron Hill Ricky Romero Travis Snider Brett Cecil JP Arencibia JP Arencibia Deck McGuire Anthony Gose Roberto Osuna Marcus Stroman Aaron Sanchez Conner Greene Anthony Alford Bo Bichette Bo Bichette Jordan Groshans Austin Martin
3 Cesar Izturis Cesar Izturis Jayson Werth Kevin Cash Guillermo Quiroz Guillermo Quiroz David Purcey Ricky Romero Kevin Ahrens Brett Cecil Chad Jenkins Anthony Gose Jake Marisnick Marcus Stroman DJ Davis Jeff Hoffman Vladimir Guerrero Sean Reid-Foley Anthony Alford Danny Jansen Simeon Woods Richardson Jordan Groshans
4 Michael Young Joe Lawrence Dustin McGowan Francisco Rosario Gabe Gross Francisco Rosario Adam Lind Ryan Patterson JP Arencibia Justin Jackson David Cooper Travis D'Arnaud Daniel Norris DJ Davis Mitch Nay Dalton Pompey Richard Urena Conner Greene Nate Pearson Eric Pardinho Alejandro Kirk Simeon Woods-Richardson
5 Josh Phelps Bob File Orlando Hudson Brandon League Francisco Rosario David Purcey Josh Banks Curtis Thigpen Ricky Romero David Cooper Henderson Alvarez Zach Stewart Justin Nicolino John Stilson Franklin Barreto Franklin Barreto Sean Reid-Foley Richard Urena Lourdes Gurriel Jordan Groshans Alek Manoah Alejandro Kirk
6 Gary Glover Chuck Kegley Eric Hinske Alex Rios Aaron Hill Russ Adams Casey Janssen Francisco Rosario Justin Jackson Kevin Ahrens Jake Marisnick Asher Wojciechowski Aaron Sanchez Daniel Norris Daniel Norris Max Pentecost Jon Harris Rowdy Tellez Eric Pardinho Nate Pearson Orelvis Martinez Orelvis Martinez
7 Brent Abernathy Brian Cardwell Brandon League Russ Adams David Bush Dustin McGowan Brandon League Brandon Magee John Tolisano Brad Mills Josh Roenicke JP Arencibia Noah Syndergaard Matt Smoral Roberto Osuna Roberto Osuna Rowdy Tellez T.J. Zeuch Danny Jansen Kevin Smith Gabriel Moreno Alek Manoah
8 Andy Thompson Pasqual Coco Alex Rios Vinnie Chulk Vince Perkins Zach Jackson Francisco Rosario Jesse Litsch Curtis Thigpen Ricky Romero Brad Mills Carlos Perez Deck McGuire Anthony Alford Alberto Tirado Richard Urena Max Pentecost Bo Bichette Logan Warmoth Sean Reid-Foley Miguel Hiraldo Gabriel Moreno
9 Kevin Witt Jay Gibbons Kevin Cash Gabe Gross Russ Adams Josh Banks Curtis Thigpen David Purcey David Purcey Marc Rzepczynski Justin Jackson Aaron Sanchez Drew Hutchison AJ Jimenez Dawel Lugo Miguel Castro Justin Maese Jon Harris Richard Urena Cavan Biggio Anthony Kay Adam Kloffenstein
10 John Sneed Matt Ford Tyrell Godwin Guillermo Quiroz Brandon League Gustavo Chacin Vince Perkins Balbino Fuenmayor Ryan Patterson Brad Emaus Carlos Perez Jake Marisnick Asher Wojciechowski Tyler Gonzales Sean Nolin Sean Reid-Foley DJ Davis Justin Maese Ryan Borucki Miguel Hiraldo Adam Kloffenstein Miguel Hiraldo


So the #1's have... (WAR in brackets), SS=Silver Slugger, GG=Gold Glove, AS=All-Star
Big Success:† Wells (twice 28.6, 3 GG 3 AS, SS), Rios (27.3 2 AS), Vlad (3 times, 9.4 AS and probably SS this year too)
Did OK:† League (2.7 - AS reliever), Lind (12.7, SS), d'Arnaud (4.4, SS), Sanchez (twice 9.5 AS), Norris (5.4)
Flop: McGowan (twice 1.6), Snider (twice 4.3), Stewart (-1.7), Drabek(-0.1), Alford (0.0), Phelps (3.2)
TBD: Pearson (twice -0.1)

Ugh, not as good as I hoped - 6 flops (not really regulars, platoon at best or meh start/relief) covering 7 seasons out of 22 (roughly 1 in 3 seasons).† For a prospect to be worth holding you want a guy getting 5+ WAR lifetime or doing something of note (AS, regular for a long time, whatever)

113 unique players in the #2-10, by my rough count 12 made All-Star teams (easily could've missed some) - Aaron Hill; Aaron Sanchez; Alex Rios; Bo Bichette; Brandon League; Brett Cecil; Henderson Alvarez; Marcus Stroman; Michael Young; Noah Syndergaard; Orlando Hudson; Vladimir Guerrero

So a fair amount of success there.† Suggests a 1 in 10 chance roughly of a guy in the top 10 being a future All-Star (although a few were of the reliever type where one lucky first half could sneak you in).† A lot of 'never were' guys there too plus one who became a damn fine manager in Kevin Cash.† I'm sure if we check the #11-20 and 21-30 we'd see less success (logically). but this gives you an idea of what quality you get from a top 10 prospect.† Some years were better than others obviously (the mid 00's were a nightmare as one can see).

So if the Jays give up one of their top 10 prospects we are looking at a 1 in 10 chance of them being really good.†† 1 in 3 for the #1 guy of being worth holding.

Current top 10 via MLB.com in order...
Gabriel Moreno, Orelvis Martinez, Jordan Groshans, Gunnar Hoglund, Otto Lopez, Miguel Hiraldo, Adam Kloffenstein, Estiven Machado, Kevin Smith, Manuel Beltre - 6 are listed as SS (plus 3B 3 times, 2B once), Lopez as INF/OF, 2 pitchers, plus a catcher in Moreno.† History suggests a majority won't make it as a regular, that Moreno has only a 1 in 3 chance of being a very solid guy (10+ WAR or All-Star).

So how much do you risk if you trade, say, Martinez and Groshans and Kirk (lets imagine him as a top 10 prospect still)?† All 3 would be top 100 guys, but not top 10.† Lets be generous and say they are all top 50's.† 11-50 had 26% shot at stardom (Green), 44% at 'meh' (JPA), 29% at 'crap' (Snider).† If you get a star for those 3 you are giving up roughly an 80% chance of having 1+ star out of them for super cheap, a near lock that at least one would be 'meh', and an 88% chance of one failing.† This isn't a perfect evaluation but it does give a strong idea of what kind of risk the Jays would take if they sent 3 top prospects to get 1 all-star.† If they sent 2 of them then the odds of losing a star drops to 54%, of having one of the 2 flopping 59%.† Both flopping = 8.5%, both stars = 7.2%.† However, the other end is you need stars NOW (possible for Kirk or Groshans), not 3-5 years from now (Martinez likely window).† If they are top 10 in MLB then the risk goes through the roof of giving up a star for short term gain.† The latest rumors suggest the Jays want Ramirez &† Bieber &/or Clase (odds are Cleveland will be rebuilding until those guys are near FA again).† Might mean a 2013 type trade where a lot of kid talent goes away but it might also push the Jays deep into the playoffs in 2022 and 2023.† I doubt it happens but boy would it be nuts if it did.

What will the Jays do?† I suspect it depends on budget.† Given we suspect it is high I expect them to be aggressive in free agency for 3B (try to get a guy to convert from SS) while living with Biggio/Espinal at 2B or vice versa.† Groshans will have a chance to play in AAA as will Lopez (sharing SS/2B/3B with Smith) creating a logjam which will be used to acquire more pitching most likely.† I expect when they do give in and make a trade they will accept that one of the guys lost will be painful in a few years but reaching the playoffs would cut that pain a lot.† I know in the 90's it hurt to see Kent be a 50+ WAR guy in exchange for a few months of David Cone but that 1992 WS banner will hang forever.
Prospects - How valuable are they really? | 41 comments | Create New Account
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ISLAND BOY - Saturday, October 23 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#408890) #
Some have mixed views on WAR value but I added up the combined WAR of the top ten list from 2011 which I reviewed on the other thread and it totaled 32.9, and probably won't get much higher. The 2018 top ten has reached 30.6 WAR already. Of course, Vlad and Bo have 9.4 each, so that helps.
Gerry - Saturday, October 23 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#408891) #
The Jays have traded a lot of prospects in the last two years. When you look at the current top ten listed above, I believe that once you get past the top two, there are questions about the rest of the list. And I think there is not a huge amount of trade value there. There is also not a huge amount of value among the graduated players who were not on the major league roster for most of the season. Guys like Thomas Hatch and Anthony Kay don't have much trade value. Nate Pearson probably has some value but not as much as a couple of years ago.

As a result I don't think the Jays will be trading a lot of prospects this off season, they will have to focus on the free agent market to fill their needs.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 23 2021 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#408892) #
Iím not convinced the Blue Jays will field a much better team in 2022-2024 than the one they fielded at the end of the 2021 season.

In any event, I would be fine with the Jays going all in for 2022-2023 (perhaps with a chance of also being good in 2024). Sign two or three good free agents, execute an impact trade and maybe a lesser trade or two, and try to be really good in the short term. To riff on Keynes, in the long run we are all uncompetitive. Put differently, make hay while the sun shines.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#408893) #
I think there are a few questions for the Jays this winter...
  1. What is the budget this year and down the line? Bo, Vlad, and the rest will get expensive soon. You don't want to be maxed out when that time hits.
  2. Can you extended any of the kids long term? I doubt it given their family histories which would suggest fiscal issues are minimal for them, so the risk for them is small to wait.
  3. What is the quality of the kids on the farm? Are any ready to take over 2B or 3B in 2022, thus allowing Espinal and Biggio to share the other position (RL platoon) or having one of them split the other position with a kid leaving the other to play full time if he earns it. Otto Lopez had one PA in the majors to go along with a 315/379/437 line over 508 PA in AA/AAA; Groshans hit 291/367/450 in AA; Smith 285/370/561 in AAA (plus a really bad ML OPS+ of 6 over 36 PA). Any of those 3 could be ready for 2022, I think risking it on one of them isn't a horrid idea with the other 2 fighting to take that guys job.
  4. What is the price for a player? Semien and most other free agents will be $20-$30+ mil a year for 5+ years most likely for a solid all-star calibre player. In trade the cost could be scary in prospects. If a FA is signed the cost is $$ and a 2nd round or sandwich pick (gained from losing a FA, so easy come-easy go).
Pitching is a different animal. There are so many variables it is impossible to be 100% confident they have the right or wrong guy until the season gets going. Berrios/Ryu/Manoah are a solid top 3. Ideally get someone else signed (Matz or Ray or someone else) via free agency and leave #5 for Pearson/Stripling/Hatch to fight over with the other 2 being #1/2 in depth. Cheap option is to have those 3 fight for 2 slots and sign a few AAAA type guys but I really hope they don't go that route. Offer Matz a QO then if he takes it and you don't need him you can always trade him and eat some of his salary. Ray I fear will be way too expensive - I could see him getting $30 mil a year over 6 from someone desperate (LA maybe who proved you really can't have too much pitching, or either NY or many others). Should be interesting. My gut is they make the QO to Matz/Ray/Semien and if Matz takes it great. If not, then they try to sign someone older to a 2-3 year deal at mega bucks so he is off the books when Vlad & Bo get really expensive.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#408895) #
I would expect team payroll to be around 10th - 15th in MLB over the next few years.

The team doesn't have a tonne of pitching (in the majors or on the farm), so resources will need to be deployed on that front if the Jays are going to aim for the postseason in the next few years.

In those circumstances, I think the Jays should push hard for a championship in the short term (in each of the next 2-3 years), rather than be an 83-88 win team for the next five years.
bpoz - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#408898) #
If the Jays record is 83-88 over any 5 year period going forward I suspect that this FO will be replaced. Shapiro should be aware of that possibility. With TB winning 90 games fairly often and NYY/Boston doing so as well there will be a lot of very bad press towards this FO.
bpoz - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#408900) #
Thanks John N for all the work required to produce this.

Looking at the 2021 top 10 list shows Pearson (1) and Kirk (5) if healthy helping a lot on 2022. The only other prospect is Moreno (8) helping in case of injury, trade or being outstanding. Martin & SWR have been traded. Manoah & Kirk have graduated. I don't see Groshans, O Martinez, Kloffenstein or Hiraldo helping in 2022. Great top 10 with Manoah performing like a stud. If Pearson can provide 100 great inning in 2022 and Kirk provide similar results with more ABs in 2022.

The latest list and my list has only O Lopez and K Smith as making any contribution in 2022. Would be a minor contribution. They only get playing time in case of injury I suspect. So Atkins firming up the IF probably means a solid bench IF like Panik while Smith and Lopez play everyday in AAA.

Regarding good FAs or good acquired in trade players ... I pretty much have no idea.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#408901) #
It isn't the record, but do they make the playoffs which will determine the FO's longevity. 90 wins used to always make it (except in 1987). In 2019 it was 96 wins, 2018 97, 2017 85, 2016 89, 2015 86, 2014 88, 2013 92, 2012 93, 2011 90 (if 2 WC's but just 1 so 91). That covers the past decade, the entire 2 WC era, skipping the bizarre 2020 season.

In the 10's it was: 95+ twice 90-94 3 times, under 90 4 times, 92 this year so 3/3/4 for 95/90/80s - fairly evenly split but 90+ since 2018 (3 straight years). I suspect what we are seeing is teams adapting to the conditions - MLB has set it up so there are big rewards for sucking bad and no penalties beyond a bad record that year, plus big rewards for sneaking into the playoffs.

Has the NL been the same? 95+: 2015, 90-94: 2021, 2018, 2013 80's: 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011 1/3/6 for 95/90/80s. Very different.

Thus why I think radical realignment is needed. Boston/NYY/Tampa being in one league (imagine if the Angels spent wisely, Houston is a perennial powerhouse now too) The NL has the Giants/Dodgers right now (but Giants missed the playoffs for 4 years in a row before this year) - they are the Red Sox/Yankees equivalent, the Cardinals are the Tampa equivalent (but weaker), the Padres are the Angels equivalent (lots of money, poor use of it). No Houston equivalent.

Merge the leagues, new divisions of 6-8 teams depending how you do it, expanded playoffs, 2 new expansion teams. Cut the incentives to suck (I like the idea of best non-playoff team gets the #1 pick, and it goes down from there to kill the race to the bottom - then the Jays get #1 overall, Mariners #2, and the O's get the last pick before playoff teams). Sadly I think MLB will increase the 'suck' incentive by putting an international draft in place vs the current IFA method. Sigh. The players union is too weak to fight that and will see it as a 'meh' concession to get something else (higher minimum salary or something).
Magpie - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#408903) #
No Houston equivalent.

Detroit's working on it, we'll see how it goes.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#408905) #
NL equivalent, not AL potential. Tigers aren't anywhere near Houston right now. If Detroit achieves it in the AL then things get totally nuts.

Radical realignment could help. In a set of 8 team divisions (2 expansion teams) you get 4 divisions.
East: NYM/NYY/Bos/Wash/Balt/Philly/Jays/Expos (ouch)
Central: Pitt/Cleve/Cin/Det/ChiSox/Cubs/Brew/Twin
South: Miami/TB/Atl/Hou/Rangers/Cards/KC/Colorado
West: Seattle/A's/SF/LAD/LAA/SD/Ari/expansion team

Ugh. The East would be deadly - two NY teams (unlimited budget), Boston, Philly (big budget), Washington (big budgets), Jays, leaving the O's and Expos in trouble and needing to be Tampa level excellence. I wanted to put the Jays in the Central but East made the most sense. Maybe if TB moves to Montreal and an expansion team goes to Charlotte you could change it so Jays/Expos go Central and Charlotte and Atlanta go east. 2 open south slots go to Cubs & Sox (Cubs have historical rivalry with Cards) then the Jays have a MUCH easier path to the playoffs (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Brewers, Twins, Rays-Expos & Jays).
Magpie - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#408907) #
Tigers aren't anywhere near Houston right now.

Working on it, I said. So far, they've achieved the Multi-Year Extended Tank. They've hired A.J. Hinch. Now... they just need to get good.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#408908) #
Ah yes, the easiest part. Getting good :)

Joking aside, they had 5 top 100 prospects (all top 31) coming into this year including #5 for BA (currently #4 for MLB.com) Spencer Torkelson who in his first minor league season climbed from A+ to AAA, hitting 267/383/552 overall, while at 1B/3B/DH. Current MLB.com rankings also have them with #7 and #46. Jays are #32 (Moreno), #44 (O Martinez), and #55 Groshans. 5 for the Rays (of course), 4 Yankees, 4 Red Sox, and 5 O's (including #1 Adley Rutschman)
pooks137 - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#408909) #
The Jays have traded a lot of prospects in the last two years.

I found this assertion interesting because I certainly didn't have this impression beforehand.

Trading two top prospects for Berrios was obviously a huge statement that the days of prospect hoarding are over and the contention phase has begun.

In some ways, the Jays used SWR to transfer one-and-a-half years of control of Stroman while the team was awful into the same rental of Berrios. Of course, the exchange came at great cost, as they also had to use a top-10 draft pick in Martin to push it through, only being left with a post-hype Anthony Kay whose stock has dropped and is uncertain if he will provide any future value.

The QO options for Stroman and Berrios are most a wash, as the Mets lost Stroman for 2020 due to COVID opt-outs, but kept him for an extra year in 2021 with the QO but receive no future compensation. The Jays still control Berrios' fate with a potential QO for 2023.

Beyond that, I struggled to think of many other big prospects traded over the last two years. They traded a 2nd rounder in Kendal? Williams for multiple years of control of Ross Stripling, which helped team depth.

The 3 players traded for Matz was mostly about clearing 40-man spots. Josh Winckowski? is probably the one that might get away, but was also never a highly-ranked prospect and was traded to the Red Sox almost immediately after the Matz trade, suggesting he was just a guy to the Mets.

Griffin Connine was traded at the 2020 deadline, but remains a risky player without success above A all.

The result of the trades for players like Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker, Adam Cimber, Trevor Richards, etc have done a decent job bringing in major league help in exchange for either Travis Bergen types or for non-Top 30 prospects that I've never heard of.

pooks137 - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#408910) #
I took a scan down the last 3 years of BBRef Jays transactions.

The only other prospects of note traded I forgot were:

1) Riley Adams to the Nationals. A trade for a former closer for a team that desperately needed late-inning bullpen help. Worked out disastrously, but Adam was 4th or 5th on the Jays catching depth chart and was taking up 40-man room.

2) Cal Stevenson going back to the original Derek Fisher trade in 2019. Stevenson's already been traded again, had a decent 2021 in AA with a 771 OPS but is already 25.

3) Alberto Rodriguez, a Dominican RF traded to SEA in 2020 for Taijuan Walker. Decent season in low-A ball in 2021, but someone no one had ever heard of at the time of the trade.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#408911) #
This gets me thinking about who was in the Jays top 10 in 2016 when Atkins took over and what happened to them?

Using Baseball America's top 10 (I have it handy)...
  1. Anthony Alford: Flop 0.0 WAR lifetime, lost on waivers
  2. Conner Greene: with Dominic Leone to the St. Louis Cardinals for Randal Grichuk
  3. Vladimir Guerrero: Whatever happened to that kid? :)
  4. Richard Urena: Now in AAA, 0.1 WAR lifetime
  5. Sean Reid-Foley: traded with Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Diaz to the New York Mets for Steven Matz. -0.3 WAR lifetime
  6. Jon Harris: still in minors at 27, did well in AA (2.93 ERA over 40 IP) but not a prospect anymore
  7. Rowdy Tellez: 0.7 WAR lifetime, traded to Brewers for Bowden Francis (AAA starter, 25 years old this year) and Trevor Richards.
  8. Max Pentecost: retired, didn't get past AA
  9. Justin Maese: was in A+ this year at age 24, 4.75 ERA in relief.
  10. DJ Davis: Got to A+ but was stuck there for 3 years and hasn't played since 2018
Hmm. One star and 9 never were or never will be with Tellez having a slim shot at being something still but for a different team. The guys traded got us Grichuk, Matz, and Richards. Interesting eh?
Gerry - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#408912) #
I don't want to get into the semantics of what a lot means or top prospects means but I am working on the new Batters Box top 30 and there are eight players traded away from the last top 30.
Glevin - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#408913) #
I can see Jays trading prospects but either the already graduated Kirk/Pearson type or maybe a Groshans. They have a solid system but need some younger guys to develop to fill it in. I see a couple of medium to large free agent signings and one significant trade and maybe a couple of minor ones. There are many ways to go but I am coming around more to a trade with Oakland for Chapman plus a pitcher like Manea. Oakland can't spend money and those guys are getting expensive. Can fill two needs at once and then sign free agents for other holes.
John Northey - Sunday, October 24 2021 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#408914) #
Glevin - good idea there. Chapman (2 years pre FA) and Manaea (1 year) are both guys who are getting too expensive for Oakland thus it is time for them to refresh again. Adrew Chafin in their pen is also good to look at ($2.75 mil might be a bit much for the A's for a setup man given their tightness which seems silly to me, but that is how it is - he has a mutual option for 2023).

Oakland could be one-stop shopping for 3B/SP/RP help. Trade Simulator puts their values at Chapman 24.1, Manea 18.5, Chafin 0.0 (his contract matches his value). Kirk (15.8) and Gurriel Jr (22.9) make it work and give the A's immediate cheap help which I'm sure they want badly. The Jays then could move Hernandez to LF and Grichuk to RF full time in 2022 or get another OF to play one of those positions and put Grichuk back to #4 giving everyone rest here and there.

It is a thought.
pooks137 - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 02:55 AM EDT (#408915) #
I assume you are talking about the 2019 BB Top 30 as IIRC there was no 2020 version due to no minor league season.

I quickly Googled the 2019 BB Top 30 and counted 7 players traded away and two more lost to waivers (Patrick Murphy and TJ Zeuch).

The seven that I counted as traded away were Riley Adams, SWR, Hector Perez, Josh Winckowski, Griffin Connine, Yennsy Diaz and Kendall Williams.

Most of these subtractions have more to do with managing 40-man roster issues and prospects aging out rather than raiding the farm for rentals.

The jury is still out on SWR and it could potentially look bad down the road, but for better-or-worse the Jays chose to go for it this year and are now back in contention mode.

Hector Perez was DFA fodder and traded to Cincy. He walked something like 11 per inning in AAA this year IIRC. Yennsy Diaz similarly was going to lose his 40-man last winter and was a chip to rent a rejuvenated Steven Matz for a year.

The Jays obviously had concerns with Griffin Connine's viability and while Villar was a bust, Connine doesn't currently fit the Jays window or positional need.

Kendall Williams may turn into something as a 21-year-old 2nd rounder, but also doesn't fit the current window, had a mediocre year in low-A and was traded for a cromulent Ross Stripling.

Josh Winckowski might be the guy the Jays miss most. It would be nice to have a non-40 man SP to stash in AAA for depth.
bpoz - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#408917) #
Agreed pooks137 that mainly low value prospects/players have been given up.

Very good point about 40 man list management. Many pitching prospects I liked were unable to succeed enough to stick. Zeuch and Murphy because of injury and lack of success will try to make it with other teams. Similarly other teams unsuccessful pitching prospects will get tryouts here.

J Barns, T Bergen and AJ Cole have moved off the 40 man list this month. More will be cleared off the 40 man list at the end of the playoffs.

I tried to follow SRF and Y Diaz this year hoping that they can make is which would make our farm look more productive.
bpoz - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#408918) #
For me it seems that we were not getting much from the Latin market for a long time. They started to arrive and produce with H Alvarez, Hecheveria and more recently Osuna, M Castro, Vlad & Gurriel. Some hard throwers like Labourt and Tinoco did not make it.

I am hoping for more successes soon.
greenfrog - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#408919) #
The problem is not just that some prospects have been traded. Itís that some were promoted while others stumbled in 2021 (for example, Pearson, Hiraldo, Kloffenstein, Van Eyk). Of course, some others, like Moreno, had good seasons.

It remains to be seen how much the loss of Steve Sanders impacts the farm system in the coming seasons. Hopefully Shane Farrell proves to be a good scouting director.
Gerry - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#408921) #
As I have said above I do not want to get into semantics and whether player X was traded or lost on waivers. My main point is that the Jays do not now have a strong farm system and they do not have much trade value in the minor leagues.
bpoz - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#408922) #
Agreed Gerry and thanks for your effort.

Top 4 or 5 is easy. After that I have no idea. I will just take stabs at various players based on emotion and guesswork.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#408935) #
There is definitely a significant drop off in quality after the top 3 right now (Moreno, Martinez, Groshans). That's mostly due to recent promotions (Manoah, Kirk, Pearson) and the Berrios trade (SWR, Martin). I don't think the system is in bad shape by any means, but will need more than a few prospects to take a leap forward next season. On the whole, 2021 was a pretty subpar year for the system.

I think Kirk is going to get moved this winter. Moreno is very close, Jansen has 3 years of control left (with possibly some offensive upside still), and McGuire is a very cheap backup. The team won't get any trade value in return for Jansen/McGuire and they're not going to trade Moreno, so that leaves Kirk in the position of being somewhat expendable while also having the most trade value of the players they'd actually trade. I guess they could put Kirk at DH, but with Springer's lower body injuries, plus the team likely wanting to use DH to rest certain everyday players (Vlad specifically), my guess is they wouldn't want to put Kirk there full time. Maybe a CA/DH hybrid role is possible, but if they acquire a LH bat (which it sounds like they will) and keep all the existing OF's, then DH becomes less likely for Kirk. If the team could turn him into a SP or 3B with multiple years of control, then it would certainly balance out the roster a bit better.
bpoz - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#408937) #
Anyone can be moved. Kirk does look like a piece that can bring back something. But what? Pitching is nice. SP and relief ace. I suspect relief aces are signed as FAs more often than traded for. Young SPs are probably more prospect expensive and likely unavailable M Kopech (CWS), from Miami S Alcantara, S Sanchez, T Rogers and P Lopez all are young and have some success in the majors. Kirk can hit and seems to have helped pitchers with their pitching unlike G Sanchez (NYY) so it is possible he can be a regular C in the Majors. All these young players have proven a bit in the Majors.

Jansen and McGuire are good backup Cs so far. Good defense and other catching skills but with a little bigger sample size. So far proven backups rather than regulars.

Would Atkins go for it (trade Kirk) and wait about mid year for Moreno?
Glevin - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#408943) #
I see Kirk as the obvious trade piece because he's a RH C who is valuable but third in the system long-term there. Personally, I'd also be open to trading Pearson. I am sure there are still plenty of teams that believe in him as a starter and for those teams, he has a lot of value. My worry is that he has another year like this and then he just becomes a relief guy which kills his value. Jays system was pretty disappointing on the pitching side this year. None of their pitchers except Manoah progressed. Pearson, SWR, Kloffenstein, Van Eyk, Pardinho all took big steps back or didn't advance. I think Jays probably have some real talent in the low minors but they need to advance levels to look like prospects.
pooks137 - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#408945) #
A closing thought to the high turnover of the Jays prospects since the last 2019 VB Top 30 is something that I'm sure I have harped on here before.

Personally, I would like to see the Jays protect LESS Rule 5 eligible prospects every winter other than the uber elite ones such as Moreno to permit more offseason and inseason 40-man roster flexibility, prevent the early burning of options on players not certain to contribute to the MLB squad at present and to prevent loss of marginal prospects when spots get tight during FA signings and inseason injuries.

Obviously, this strategy will lead to losing a prospect for nothing from time to time. But the Rule 5 provisions are so restrictive that only the most tankiest and committed of teams can possibly hope to keep the average Rule 5 pick on their roster.

In contrast, there are hardly any restrictions or downsides for teams to pick up your prospects you protected on your 40-man once you inevitability have to waive a few at some point to create space for active MLB contributors. At this point, it only costs claiming teams a waiver fee and a 40-man spot.

There's certainly a case to be had that the departure of players like Patrick Murphy, Yennsy Diaz, Riley Adams, Hector Perez, Ty Tice and perhaps to a lesser degree someone like TJ Zeuch were all precipitated in part by early 40-man roster additions for Rule 5 purposes.

Obviously, prospects need to be added to the 40-man upon their MLB debut. But adding them preemptively for Rule 5 protection reasons accelerates their development cycle and for many starts the clock on their departure from the org if they don't perform immediately.

Riley Adams might still be in the org if he hadn't been added last winter, as the Jays may have called up someone like Juan Graterol to caddy for Danny Jansen out in Oakland for a few days while waiting for Reese McGuire to get clearance.

A lot of these guys are older, post-hype and likely marginal, but the Rule 5 protection process causes teams to start the MLB clock on players based on asset management needs in the short term, not necessarily what is best for a player's development and often leads to prospects being jettisoned when new short term MLB roster crunch needs arise shortly down the road.
scottt - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#408947) #
Looking at the roster.

Bullpen is limited to 8 as you teams can only carry 13 pitchers in 2022.

Romano
Mayza
Cimber
Richards
Merryweather
Borucki as the second lefty
Stripling as the long man
That only leaves one spot, for the Buffalo shuttle or a veteran free agent.

Borucki is out of options.

AAA options
Castro
Saucedo
Snead
Baker
Harris if he doesn't get picked in the Rule 5.

Rotation
Berrios
Ryu
Manoah
Pearson
Needs a Free Agent to slot near the top.

AAA options
Hatch
Thornton
Kay
Bowden Francis (Rule 5 eligible)
Murray (Rule 5 eligible)
Logue (Rule 5 eligible)
Sean Wymer (Rule 5 eligible)

Pardinho is an interesting case. Rule 5 eligible and someone could try to stash him on the IL all year, still only 20.

Jansen/McGuire and Kirk for 2 or 3 catching spots, but Moreno should be up so one will have to go. Maybe two.
Vlad is set at 1B
Biggio is probably back to 2B
Bichette is set at SS
Need a good left bat at 3B or can just run Smith there with a lot of UT help.
UT is set with Espinal. Smith, Valera, Lopez and Samad Taylor (Rule 5 eligible)

Outfield is set with Hernandez, Springer, Gurriel and Grichuk as the 4th outfielder.
Palacios is the AAA backup.

Still need a left bat to DH most of the time.
Could play a bit of 1B or even LF.
Spencer Horwitz is looking decent in the AFL, but at least a year away.

Relatively few needs.

I sorta covered the rule 5 situation.
This is the year to worry about position players.
Samad Taylor and Miguel Hiraldo are the guys I see being added.

In the AFL, Leo Jimenez has played 3 games at 2B and hasn't hit.
Moreno has played 2 games behind the plate. He's 1 for 5 with 4 walks and 3 Ks. He retired one of his 3 baserunners and he's made one error, but he's got a high 30 put outs.

Regarding trades, I see the new CBA as an obstacle.
I would hate to trade a top prospect for a year of a guy who is not going to play.
But teams might not be willing to wait forever and be stuck with the expiring contract.
I'd go with low offers before the new CBA and high offers after.

John Northey - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#408948) #
pooks137: that is a change from not that long ago when the 40 man was a secondary concern during the season. Used to be 25 plus 10-15 extras (1985: 40 total used, only 15 pitchers; 1992: 40 again, 17 pitchers; 2003: a year of promise that fell flat in '04 40 used, 22 pitchers; 2015: 52 used, 28 pitchers; 2021: 62 used, 38 pitchers).

Yikes! Might be worth a study sometime, but in 2021 only 24 hitters used vs 2015 24, 2003 18, 1992 23, 1985 25 hitters. So the # of hitters hasn't changed since 1985 really - within a few with 2003 being the oddity. Pitchers though...yikes! By decade: 15-17-22-28-38 That jump from 2015 to 2021 is the scariest and explains the issue. Now, was that a brief blip due to COVID or is it long term? That is the question. 2019 had 39 pitchers but that was a non-contender with 3 guys getting 10+ starts with ERA+'s of 77 or less - heck 2 hitters pitched (Luke Maile & Richard Urena with ERA+'s of infinity and 17, net of 3 IP 4 R/ER).
pooks137 - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#408950) #
That's an excellent point John.

The 40-man roster limit has stayed static while the active roster size has increased to 26 and the AAA shuttle is being abused at levels never before seen.

Inevitably, if you cycle through 38-39 pitchers in a season, obviously you are going to have to cut a whole bunch of them, some being prospects, off the backend of your 40-man roster just to cycle through the next freshest, intact arm.

I've never heard rumblings of negotiations to increase 40-man roster size. You would think the MLBPA would be in favour, as it increases their membership ranks.

As a concession by the owners, it would be relatively small potatoes as while 40-man minor leaguers get some perks like a raised minimum salary floor while optioned down, they still get paid on two-way contracts that rarely reach six figures.

It would also play a very small role in improving minor league conditions as it would add n = X multiplied by 30 teams' minor leaguers who are suddenly making a living wage.
John Northey - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#408951) #
Reliver usage is up vs any time in the past.
2021: 3.43 relief games per start (same as 2020)
2019: 3.41 relief games per start (so much for it being a COVID thing)
First time at 3 was 2015, it has been above that ever since.
First time at 2.5 was 1997, the next year it dropped a tiny bit, then back above ever since.
First time at 2 was 1990, you guessed it - above ever since.
First time at 1.5 was 1964 but it went up and down a lot from then to 1985, but no year before 1985 was using as many relievers and none since have used fewer.
Why? 1986 was the year TLR took over Oakland and in 1988 started a run of strong success thanks in large part to his massive pen usage (vs others) and that has kept going ever since. At least that is my best guess.
scottt - Monday, October 25 2021 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#408955) #
The players are trying to get a bigger slice of the pie, not more fingers into the pie.
In reality, players on the reserve list are all making the minimum when they play in the bigs and less than that when they play in AAA. The players scored a minor point when the roster was increased to 26, but if the increase is all reserve players in part time roles, it's only dragging the average salary down.

Consider that the players are opposed to any type of salary floor because they think that moves them closer to a salary cap.

John Northey - Wednesday, October 27 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#408979) #
Kind of fun when old threads show up on the side - the Blue Jays 2012 Top Prospects: 10-1 were pretty good.  How we ranked them and WAR in brackets
Pitchers: Marcus Stroman (#10 18.4), Daniel Norris (#9 5.4), Roberto Osuna (#7 8.8), Justin Nicolino (#5 -0.7), Noah Syndergaard (#3 15.9), Aaron Sanchez (#2 9.5).
Hitters: DJ Davis (#8 never reached), Adeiny Hechavarra (#6 5.1), Jake Marisnick (#4 11.3), and Travis d'Arnaud (#1 4.4).

Lots of debate there about the pitchers.  Current ranking is #10, #3, #2, #7, #9, #5.  We all thought d'Arnaud would be a lot better than he has been, I doubt many saw Stroman being the best of those 10 though.  Just 2 total flops in Nicolino and Davis which I suspect is a very good result.
Paul D - Thursday, October 28 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#408983) #
Not sure where to put this with the current threads... but did anyone see Josh Donaldson troll Toronto Leaf fans a bit?

https://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2021/10/former-jays-hero-josh-donaldson-troll-leafs-toronto-loving-it/

Makes me think he'd be content to come back to TO.
bpoz - Thursday, October 28 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#408984) #
Interesting comment Paul D and this thread is a good one to put it.

Regarding trades:

1) Donaldson cost a lot it seemed at the time. Lawrie and Barreto were the big pieces given up. Graveman and S Nolin the filler pieces.

2) D Price had a big price tag.

3 Halladay I don't know how the Philly fans felt about the package given up. I hated that the Jays gave $6 mil to the Phillies.

In Price and Halladay the acquiring team knew that they were getting a great player and it worked out for them.

Smaller trades are harder to judge. On the rare occasion someone becomes more than expected. M Young to the Rangers is 1 example.

scottt - Thursday, October 28 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#408997) #
In the Doc trade, I believe Toronto go only prospects who had not made their debut.
Lawrie and Graveman had looked like MLB players.

The Donaldson trade was great.
It's the Dickey trade that I don't like.
The point was getting a cheap ace for 2013/2014.

John Northey - Thursday, October 28 2021 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#408999) #
Paul D - gotta love that. Especially given he plays in Minnesota where they have an NHL team. I got a feeling he really wants to come back given how he was spending all that time with Vlad when the teams played each other and right now is stuck with a losing team. Odds are the price would be low due to his big salary ($21.75 per year the next 2 years, then a $16 option or $8 mil buyout). But he is a productive player still (3.2 WAR last year) and solid on defense (0.1 dWAR) so mixed with Espinal to give him lots of time off, plus DH time, it could work nicely for a year or two until prospects are ready to take over. I suspect the Twins would give him away for a C prospect if the Jays ate his salary.
Paul D - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#409010) #
The plot thickens... according to the Star, that photo was taken in Newmarket. Donaldson was visiting some friends.

I know some have commented on whether or not he's a bad influence on the clubhouse (and certainly Liam Hendricks didn't like him), but acquiring him is definitely an option worth considering.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#409018) #
I saw an interview with Mark Shapiro on Tim and Friends a little while ago and he said that he and Ross Atkins try to avoid having "Richardheads" ( He didn't want to say Dick) on the club. He said that helped through a trying season with the two moves, and despite having to deal with the changes and uprooting families during a season, nobody complained and the team maintained a positive attitude.

Whether Donaldson is a "Richardhead" I don't know. I always admired his play and his fierce desire to win, but I don't know that the Jays would want to pay him a lot when other areas, especially pitching, are going to eat up the budget.
bpoz - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#409020) #
Thanks ISLANDBOY. It is good to know what personality characteristics Shapiro and Atkins want.
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