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So, given we know the Jays have had issues at Third Base this year (to put it nicely) what are the options for an upgrade?

Using FanGraphs (easy sorting for players at a position) there were 19 guys who played at 3B who qualified for the batting title.  I think it is safe to say the Jays will be looking for an everyday player and not a platoon or injury prone guy or someone who needs lots of DH time (100+ games at 3B to be lisited here). Lets look at the 11 who had 3+ fWAR (thus guys worth more than one would expect from Espinal or Biggio both of whom I figure would be adequate at 3B everyday - in the 2 range for WAR).
  • Jose Ramirez: the big one.  Everyone wants him, but Cleveland will want a mint to give him up.  Rightfully so.  137 wRC+, a strong defender as well as a great bat.  6.3 fWAR last year and signed cheaply for 2022 and 2023, then expect a $250+ mil deal.
  • Rafael Devers: Boston - not available, not a free agent until after 2023.
  • Yoan Moncada: White Sox - not available, signed through 2024 with a 2025 team option, and the White Sox can easily afford him
  • Manny Machado: Padres - still a great player, 5.1 WAR in 2021 but the Padres are in a 'win now' mode and he is owed $224 mil over the next 7 years with a player opt out after 2023
  • Austin Riley: Atlanta - not available, not even in arbitration until the 2023 season
  • Nolan Arenado: St Louis - last winter he was available sorta, but had a no-trade clause iirc and wanted to go to St Louis, no way he moves again.
  • Justin Turner: LAD - not available, was a free agent last winter, signed for 2022 with a team option for 2023
  • Kris Bryant: Free Agent - here it gets interesting - he played a LOT in LF/RF and a bit in CF & 1B (even at SS for 2 innings).  Which is something the Jays probably would like.  Entering his age 30 season, had a bad 2020 but a 124 OPS+ this season, and had a 1.147 OPS in the playoffs.  I suspect SF will try hard to hold him.
  • Matt Chapman: Oakland - after losing their manager it is expected the A's will begin a full rebuild now.  That makes Chapman very available.  Just a 101 wRC+ last year, but has a 120 OPS+ lifetime and is entering his age 29 season.  Strong on defense, has 2 gold gloves and solid defensive scores for 2021.  Not a free agent until after 2023, but his pay is growing in arbitration beyond the A's means.
  • Jeimer Candelario: Detroit - had an excellent 2020 and 2021 with the bat but his glove is made of stone.  A switch hitter which is a plus for the Jays, but defense makes him a low possibility, plus Detroit can afford to keep him if they want.
  • Eduardo Escobar: Free Agent - 109 OPS+ last year splitting time between Arizona and Milwaukee, played at 1B as well, 2B in 2020, and a tiny bit at SS in 2020 and 2019.  Entering his age 33 season I see him as a 'if no one else signs or the budget is blown on pitching' guy.
  • Josh Donaldson: under 100 games at 3B this year (34 at DH) but I'm listing him anyways.  127 OPS+ 124 wRC+, his defense took a big hit in 2021 (-19.4 UZR/150 vs lifetime 4.2, 11.9 in 2020) but I'd suspect he'd still be adequate there.  From 2013 to now his worst season long OPS+ is 119 (his final injury prone season here).  Signed for $21.75 mil each of the next 2 seasons plus a $16 mil option ($8 mil buyout) for 2024.  His contract I'm sure the Twins would like to dump and he seems to want to come back here from all indications.  He might be a good fit - 3B most of the time with Escobar or Biggio being his backup for 60-70 games when he DH's instead (Springer or Vlad get the other 90 or so games at DH).  A risk as his personality seems to be in conflict with the go-easy attitude we see here now, but maybe that is needed to push the team to the next level.  Hard to say.
So what is the cost?  Escobar & Bryant are free agents without compensation (Bryant traded mid-season, Escobar would probably take the QO), Donaldson would be a low level prospect at best (Minny trying to cut payroll I suspect),  The A's are also in cost cutting mode so Chapman would be cheaper than he should be.  Or you go for the gold standard and spend a TON of prospect capital to get Ramirez.  My bet right now is Chapman or Donaldson if Bryant won't sign at a reasonable price.  Or the good ol' internal options

Internal Options...
  • Cavan Biggio: had a bad year due to injuries.  I felt he was misplaced at 3B. -8.8 UZR/150 (vs -13.4 in 2020).  Might improve more but really belongs at 2B or as a super-utility guy.
  • Santiago Espinal: had a great year despite injuries at the end.  Great defense at 3B 13.9 UZR/150.  If his bat can keep going he should be out there, but few would bet on that.
  • Kevin Smith: looked terrible in his brief callup, but tore AAA apart - 20.2 UZR/150 in just 78 innings for what it is worth.  Steamer projects him to hit 239/297/425 if in the majors in 2022, so if that defense is real he might be a solid player.  If.
  • Breyvic Valera: yes, he is still on the 40 man but I don't see why.  81 wRC+, 17.3 UZR/150 at 3B, might be useful as a backup but I can't see the point.
  • Otto Lopez: more a 2B/SS/OF than a 3B, projected by Steamer to hit 269/319/388 so worth keeping an eye on, but more for 2B than 3B
  • Vinny Capra: 3B/LF this year, Entering age 25 season, steamer has him at 239/294/361 so he need more seasoning most likely and is probably a backup only.
  • Jordan Groshans: 3B/SS - entering age 22 season, steamer has him at 255/314/380 and is viewed as strong on defense.  He'll have a shot if no one is traded for or signed.
  • Samad Taylor: 2B/3B/LF/SS - entering age 23 season, steamer has him at 235/304/384.  Seemed to jump his game this year so 2022 should be interesting to watch.  I expect him in AAA ready for an injury anywhere.
I expect Biggio/Espinal to share either 3B or 2B and Smith/Lopez/Groshans to fight it out for 3B if no trades/free agent signed.  We'll see.

Of course, there is always the option of signing one of the big free agent shortstops and putting them at 3B or 2B ala Semien last year.  But that is a bit too much speculation for now - wait until February for that.  If any of those guys are still hanging around the Jays might then grab one again.  Guys like Trevor Story (73 games at 3B in minors, 29 at 2B), Corey Seager (6 games at 3B in majors, 20 in minors), Carlos Correa (never a game anywhere but SS), and others.  I see Story as the most likely to not find an adequate contract due to his 'meh' year this year (103 OPS+) and the Colorado factor.
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Steve02 - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#409022) #
Your look underscores that there's not a ton out there available. I don't see the Jays making Bryant one of their longterm locks. I think Ramirez is a dream unless the Guardians surprise me accepting something less than all the prospects. Also agreed Donaldson is likely available but he's not the fit this front office wants.

I think the Jays will be interested in Escobar as long as the bidding doesn't get silly. He can also help cover 1B when VladJr is the DH and is also a switch-hitter. Chapman is the other candidate from a team perhaps willing to deal. Brian Anderson from the Marlins too as he is into his arb years but I don't think they are worried about salary, especially his. Gregorious might be an interesting rebound candidate if the contract could be balanced but I did not see him play this past year to say much about him.

If the Jays do nothing here, they might even be OK in the infield if Espinal can continue good defense and just hit enough and if Biggio rebounds at 2B and if Bo stays healthy all year and some of their minor league depth turns out alright. Lotta if's.
John Northey - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#409023) #
Agreed Steve02 - lots of 'ifs' at this point, as always early in the off-season. I kept thinking about what are the options at 3B and there really weren't as many as I expected. Kind of like the LF Gold Glove - it is mostly a 'take what you get' situation. Either blow a fortune on the best of the best, or roll the dice on someone else. If I was betting I'd go Chapman #1, Donaldson #2, "in house" #3, ... #10 (roughly) Ramirez (just due to how hard he'll be to pry out of Cleveland).

Need to do this for 2B next. I suspect the field is even thinner but could be wrong as I haven't really dug into it.
Jonny German - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#409024) #
The answer youíre looking for is Kyle Seager.
Mike Green - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#409025) #
The Mariners have a club option on Seager at $14.6M.  I'd think that they would exercise it, and wouldn't be particularly driven to trade him. 
electric carrot - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#409026) #
I have a great idea for third base:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

I know he was bad defensively at 40 pounds heavier -- but at his present weight I wonder if makes sense. Normally, I would say don't tinker with a superstar -- but in this case it's actually his normal position, and he's so young, if it works there is a ton of upside for him and the team. One advantage is that you pencil hitting machine Kirk in the lineup more often I expect.
92-93 - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#409027) #
Seagerís option is for 20MM (escalators) with a 2MM buyout. Considering the fact that the Mís president said 2021 would be Seagerís last year with Seattle and that Seager and Dipoto havenít spoken in 4 years it would be pretty surprising if they picked up the option.

Seager is a good target for the Jays though on a much cheaper deal.
Nigel - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#409028) #
Following the M's somewhat closely here on the West Coast, I agree its unlikely that Seager is back with the M's. I've always been a Seager fan, but his offence might have started a huge fall off a cliff. I would say that his terrible BABIP in 2021 was only partly bad luck. When I watched him this year, he appeared to have sold out completely for launch angle and some remaining power (for a new FA contract). Any kind of velocity at all got him out pretty easily. Maybe its correctible, maybe a change of approach would help, but it sure looked like Father Time was standing behind him at the plate with a stop watch.
Dr B - Friday, October 29 2021 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#409030) #
Both Chapman and Seager had down years with OPS 715 and 723 respectively
(though I believe in pitcher's parks). With hindsight youíd rather have
2021ís version of Espinal (OPS 751). Chapman is 29 with a career OPS of
808; Seager is very near 34 with a career OPS of 763 though he does
better against righties (career OPS 782) which would be a plus in the
Jays lineup. You would suspect Espinal would regress a bit (his MILB OPS
is 736) but given Seagerís age itís hard to see him moving the needle
much. I probably wouldnít bother and save my bait for a bigger fish (at any position of need). It
would be interesting to know if Chapman has recovered from the hip
injury he had in 2020. He was not himself in 2021.
bpoz - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#409033) #
Close to 1 month since the Jay's last game. The FO has probably already decided on their player targets. FA options and talked to other teams about trade possibilities.

Every eliminated team will have done the same.

Melvin is the new SD manager.
scottt - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#409034) #
This is probably the right time for Cleveland to trade Ramirez.
There is not much out there, so his value is high.
They really need a franchise player to replace Lindor.
They finished 2nd with 80 wins, but the Twins are expected to bounce back, the White Sox have arrived and the other 2 teams are starting to ascend as well.

The problem is the CBA. I wouldn't trade top prospects unless I know that there is a season.

Moreno is 9 for 19 in 4 games with 3 extra base games.

Add Raminez, sign a good starting pitcher and I would call it done.
You can always add more pen arms during the season .

greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#409036) #
Would a package of Kirk, Groshans and Jimenez (maybe with a low-minors lottery ticket thrown in) get it done? Remember, we're now talking about two years of Ramirez (not 2.5 years as was the case before the trade deadline).

To my mind, that is a pretty good collection of young talent for two years of a player (even a star-level talent like Ramirez). I'm not sure that offer would be surpassed by any other team in the majors.

Probably the Guardians would counter with a request for something like Kirk, Gurriel Jr., Orelvis, and the lottery ticket prospect.
John Northey - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#409038) #
Excellent question greenfrog - checking Baseball Trade Values (which factors in expected production vs cost and adds in years of control) I get a 'no way' to Kirk/Groshans/Jimenez as Jimenez is lowly valued right now (2) while Ramirez is high (73 - only Vlad & Bichette are worth more on the Jays with Manoah close). Martinez is at 25, Groshans 24.5, Gurriel Jr 18.6, Kirk 15.8 to give an idea of values listed. This is a neutral site so it removes our 'fanboy bias'. It said Berrios for Martin & SWR was an insane overpay by the Jays, so it tends to overvalue hyped prospects. I think it depends what Cleveland wants/needs for its future - do they have a hole at catcher? At SS? If so then they might value some of those guys higher.

It says to add Orelvis Martinez to get the trade done. I don't see the Jays doing that. Groshans yes, Martinez no. But an interesting possibility it comes up with is Martinez/Groshans/Gurriel/Kirk for Ramirez & Triston McKenzie (a 24 year old starting pitcher with under 2 years in the majors 96 ERA+ lifetime, 10.4 K/9 vs 3.9 BB/9) - listed as a minor overpay for the Guardians. Given Cleveland's top 2 catchers had OPS+ sub 60 each they might really want Kirk. Their OF was weak so Gurriel's cheap contract and decent bat would be welcome, Groshans would take over 3B, and Martinez would give them future hope. Jays get a good young pitcher and a star at 3B. Hmmm.... might work for both nicely.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#409040) #
John, has Baseball Trade Values reset Ramirez's trade value to reflect that he has only two (not 2.5) years of control remaining? That would seem to be an important factor in evaluating potential trades.

I think it's important to remember that there are factors that that site may not take into account, such as a prospect trending upwards or possessing certain traits that make him an undervalued player or potential breakout candidate. For example, I wonder what the site would have made of the Doug Fister / Robbie Ray trade at the time. I imagine it would have said that was an egregious overpay by Dombrowski, but it looks great for DD in retrospect.
Glevin - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#409041) #
The trade values site is useful but not exactly accurate. For me, I'd make a run at Ramirez if it doesn't gut the system and if I didn't get him, would be happy with a one year deal for Seager or a Chapman trade for a lower prospect or more for Chapman and a starter. 2B is a far bigger concern for me because Orelvis and Groshans are likely both 3B so the position looks pretty good long term.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#409042) #
Corey Seager might be another good option if he agreed to switch to third base. He's a career .297/.367/.504 hitter and he's only 27. He has had some injury issues (including a hand fracture in 2021 that caused him to miss 65 games), so there is some risk there.
dalimon5 - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#409044) #
The Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco trade to the NYM is probably a good barometer for a Ramirez trade. I donít think anyone will argue that he is more valuable at 2 years left vs 2 combined years left of Carrasco and Lindor.
John Northey - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#409045) #
I see trade values as a useful reality check as we can easily over value our own prospects and undervalue other teams players. Much like how our own kid is the greatest at everything, or the biggest nightmare on earth but really isn't either but somewhere in the murky middle.

For the Jays the question becomes which is better...
  • Trade the farm and get the #1 3B in baseball for 2 years
  • Trade a solid prospect or 2 for Chapman
  • Trade next to nothing to get Donaldson and hope he is able to integrate well and stay healthy.
  • Spend a lot and sign a free agent
  • Keep the $$$ and prospects and pray that Biggio & Espinal are ready for full time play in 2022, or that a kid is ready to step in.
I'm thinking a trade for Chapman or Donaldson is most likely, or waiting until February and signing whoever is left when musical chairs is done for infielders on the free agent market. Donaldson's contract runs out when Vlad & Bo should be getting real expensive so that would work well if he stays healthy. Big if. If the demands for Chapman are low then he might be the best choice (he was a 7+ WAR guy just in 2018/19). Maybe being around a team that doesn't K much would help him (202 K's in 2021).
greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#409046) #
Another good option:

- Sign Semien to play second base
- Rely on Espinal at third base (with Groshans a potential addition around midseason)

It would cost the Jays a lot financially, but the Jays would get to keep all their prospects (potentially for use in acquiring another player). Or they could target both Semien and Ramirez in an effort to construct another dominant offense for 2022-2023.
SK in NJ - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#409047) #
The more I look at that list of 3B, the only two scenarios I seem to like are: 1) trading for Matt Chapman (assuming the cost is minimal due to his struggles with the bat the last two seasons), or 2) moving Moreno to 3B. I'd be fine with trading for Ramirez if something like Kirk and Groshans were the only top prospects going the other way, but I would imagine they'd want more. The Jays need to be careful with trading prospects now because with recent promotions and the Berrios trade, we are starting to see the system thin out a bit after the top 3.

I think I'd actually prefer the scenario where Moreno moves off of catcher. The injury risk is too high and if he's as good as advertised with the bat then you want him playing as much as Bo and Vlad. Worst case he can catch when necessary, but mostly play the infield (assuming he can play there defensively). A scenario with Moreno at 3B opens up the option of either keeping Kirk to play with Jansen, or trading Kirk for a SP instead of for someone like Ramirez. This scenario also allows the Jays to use more of their payroll space on pitching, which is a far greater short and long-term need within the organization.

I just don't think the FO wants to do that (move Moreno off C) so Chapman is probably the more realistic of the two.
Glevin - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#409048) #
Corey Seager would be good but my guess is someone will give him option to play ss. My best bet would be Chapman and Manea trade and I don't think it would take that much. MLBTR projects them to make $20M combined in arbitration which is a lot for Oakland and both are free agents in 2 years. In fact, take on Andrus' or Piscotty's contract and you can probably reduce the amount you have to give. Use that financial space to take on bad contracts and get good players.
Jdog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#409049) #
Plan C

If they fail to acquire an upgrade and go with their internal
candidates, I see them giving Gabriel Moreno a lot of time at 3B in the preseason and early minor league season. His bat seems special and though his C defense seems good as well,he might be a good enough bat where you get more value from him outside the C position.

They played him a few games there before the injuryÖ.and if they believe in either Jansen or Kirk maybe its a consideration
greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#409050) #
I understand the logic behind trying Moreno at third base, but I also question whether it's the right move. Unlike many other good hitters who have been moved off of catcher (such as Delgado), Moreno seems to be shaping up as a good defender who also has leadership skills behind the plate. It's not clear that the conversion would be a success, and you run the risk of messing with a prospect who is almost 22 and clearly on track in every way. The fact that the Jays already have solid catching depth is a separate issue to me.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#409051) #
I really don't know, greenfrog.  Reports about catcher defence are even more unreliable than those for other positions.  If I knew somebody I trusted who watched him for 40 games in a year and they told me that Moreno was good behind the plate, I'd put stock in that.  But the one-off comments don't assure (or scare) me.  The one thing I do know is that Moreno has already missed time for a fractured finger This injury is,  in the language of my trade, an ailment characteristic of his position as a catcher. 
Glevin - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#409053) #
For me, it comes down to Moreno's D. If it's excellent then that's a lot of his value and it doesn't make sense to move him. If it's only ok or pretty good, then I'd rather help him avoid injury and move him elsewhere. Also, I'm ok with this decision not being made this year.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#409054) #
Those are good points, Mike. Another argument in favour of moving Moreno off catcher is the possibility (probability?) of robo-umps arriving on the scene in the next half-dozen years, which would make catcher defense that much less important. A further argument is that the C position is just grueling on any player (wear and tear on knees, banged up hands, the inevitable concussions and/or subconcussive impacts, etc). So if you have a truly gifted hitter, itís worth considering whether a position change is appropriate.
dalimon5 - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#409055) #
Why would Oakland trade two of their best players when they narrowly missed the playoffs and are not facing a ton of backlash from fans for letting their manager walk?

John Northey - Saturday, October 30 2021 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#409057) #
dalimon5 - because Oakland is preparing for either a new park or moving to Las Vegas soon. Perfect time to do a rebuild - as we saw here better to start a bit early than a bit late. Imagine if the Jays had traded Donaldson before he got hurt (and got more than Julian Merryweather - rumor was that St Louis offered Jack Flaherty who would've been sweet in our rotation [8.6 WAR from 2018 to 2021]), didn't sign Kendrys Morales (total waste of money), and traded Happ after 2017 instead of mid-way into 2018 (getting just Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney). Of course, some trades in 2018 worked out - Steve Pearce for Santiago Espinal (looked bad then, but damn good now Pearce 0.5 WAR and retired, Espinal 2.8 so far).

Billy Beane is a very, very, smart man - he knows when to cut and when to grow. Right now the A's need to start getting ready for their next run and to be set ASAP. Chapman is only there for 2 more years and odds are any move or new park won't be until 2024 or 2025. If Chapman has a great year his value would jump, but if he repeats 2021 his value will plummet with only 1 year left.
bpoz - Sunday, October 31 2021 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#409060) #
I would prefer 1 good SP added and 1 or 2 projects like Ray/Matz. Pearson is an extra possibility if healthy for 100IP. Then solidify the pen with a few reliable arms to add to Romano, Cimber, Richards and Mayza. Borucki and Merryweather if healthy should do a great job IMO. Hatch & Kay have proven nothing to me. Thornton has to earn playing time IMO.

The above should be affordable. Bringing in a good short term fix at 3B will take up some payroll. This team has already proven that they can beat the crap out of most teams with what they have minus Semien. So we have enough offense unless injuries occur to key contributors. Vlad, Bo and Cavan all got promoted part way into 2019. Bo had his 1st full season in 2021. Cavan still has not had a full ML season. The 354 ABs in 2019 is the most he has had in any 1 ML season. He needs to have 600 ABs in a season to prove what he can do. Also as Kasi has said all year there were too many games where they could not score late in the game to get a win. They will need to fix that if possible.

Ryu faded as the year wore on. 12 games were mediocre or bad but he ate innings. Hope he can do better for the rest of his contract.

scottt - Sunday, October 31 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#409064) #
It seems to me they really want those left bats.
What's the last time a team has done well in the playoffs without a single plus left bat in the lineup?
I know the Jays did poorly without left bats in 15-16.
Even the Yankees have struggled with their mostly right lineup and I expect them to go after some big left bats.

John Northey - Sunday, October 31 2021 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#409065) #
To me a bat is a bat outside of trying to have some diversity in sluggers vs OBP guys. Perfect world you have 9 switch hitters who have 400 OBP and 500 SLG but that ain't happening.

For 2022 on the left we have McGuire (ugh), Biggio (if healthy good), but not much else in the majors or high minors. Could resign Dickerson maybe, or for 3B trade for Ramirez (switch), or sign Eduardo Escobar (switch). Really limited options for LH bats at 3B it seems.
scottt - Sunday, October 31 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#409066) #
To a pitcher, facing a left bat or a right bat makes a huge difference.
Some pitchers are not even trusted to face batters unless they are on one side or the other.
The success of the Rays is based on using as many as 4 platoons, instead of 4 bench guys.

That's the one thing AA learned as he picked up Rosario and Pederson.
And that was with a team that already had Freeman and Albies who switches.

Magpie - Sunday, October 31 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#409067) #
And indeed the Mariners have declined Seager's option.
greenfrog - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#409069) #
Comment by KG today on Kyle Seager:

12:51 Bort: Teams like Toronto and the Yankees should be looking at Kyle Seagerís home/road splits and salivating, no?

Kevin Goldstein: I mean, I get the 35 tanks, but he also had a .285 OBP this year. Hard to salivate."
cascando - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#409070) #
For the record, Seager hit .261/.323/.538 with 23 of his HR on the road vs. .159/.245/.329 at T-Mobile Park. BABIP of .169 at home and .278 on the road. Pretty pronounced differences that might make me think again about Seager (who I was not previously interested in). His K% was pretty similar at home and on the road.

Mike Green - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#409071) #
It's better to look at longer term trends.  Seager has been a good hitter on the road for a few years now.  Strangely, he has actually hit better against left-handed pitchers on the road for his career.   He's slugged .600 over his career at the RC (120 PAs).

Steamer projects him as a 2 WAR player.  At $12 million for a couple of years, he'd be a useful addition, but let's guess that he will want $15 million plus. And that's where budgetary constraints come in. 
John Northey - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#409072) #
If Seager would sign for 1 or 2 years he might make sense at $10-15 mil a year max. His batting left is a plus, his defense a mild plus - right around 0 dWAR for the past 2 years, but 2014-2019 he was 1+ dWAR in 5 of 6 years. His lifetime OPS being 80 points better on the road suggests he could do a lot better in Rogers Centre than he did in Seattle. Might be a good buy low opportunity, if the Jays feel one of the kids will be ready soon. A 2 year deal might be perfect for the Jays, year 2 might be a write off, but only if one of the kids is ready. And after year 2 Ramirez could be a free agent if the Jays want a big upgrade. Wasn't a fan but the more I look the more I like the idea.
greenfrog - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#409073) #
Speaking of budgetary constraints, the division could be pretty tough again next year if the Yankees sign Correa (adding a 6 WAR shortstop who can really play defense).
greenfrog - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#409074) #
Another interesting KG comment:

Al Avila: Which SS should Detroit target this winter? All due respect to Semien, it has to be one of the big-3 youngsters, right?

Kevin Goldstein: I think the industry sees Semien as a 2B at this point, and rightly so. Heís wonderful, but heís not a SS.

If the industry sees Semien as a second baseman, there would seem to be less likelihood that he'll turn down the Blue Jays because he has an opportunity to be a shortstop elsewhere.
greenfrog - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#409075) #
In terms of recency, Seager was better on the road in 2021 and 2019. He was better at home in 2020 and 2018.

I would be more concerned about age-related decline. He really hasn't been an excellent hitter since 2016. He'll be 34 in a couple of days. He could be a decent fill-in for a year or two, or he could be average or mediocre. Either way, he's probably not the type of impact player the Jays need to surpass the fierce competition in the division.
John Northey - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#409076) #
In the end if Semien resigns this is all academic as 3B would then be a Espinal/Biggio platoon more or less. But if Semien signs elsewhere then Seager mixed with Espinal might work well at 3B for 2022. A 1 year $10 mil deal might be perfect - easy to cut if needed, no long term commitment so if a kid emerges mid-season he can take over easily enough. Still, unlikely imo to be what the end result is. Hard to know what will happen with the lockout being possible. If that happens then Semien's odds of resigning skyrocket as he would already have had preliminary talks with the Jays I'm sure and could agree quickly if free agency doesn't start until February.
scottt - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#409078) #
Seager is a left bat, but not really the type of left bat we're looking for.
Low OBP. Reverse split. We can probably get better than 2 WAR from Espinal.
The Jays don't need to replace Semien's homeruns.
They need a guy who gets on base.

Also, Seager should be looking for maximum total money.
The Jays need a guy on a short contract, not another Grichuk.

greenfrog - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#409079) #
ďThey need a guy who gets on baseĒ

Semien offers excellent overall offense, defense, baserunning, baseball IQ, durability, leadership, and proven performance within the AL East. Iím not sure why you would fixate on home runs as the thing he brings to the table.
John Northey - Monday, November 01 2021 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#409080) #
For 3B as I mentioned above the options are very limited. OBP over 350 at 3B in 2021: Yoan Moncada (375), Austin Riley, Justin Turner, Jose Ramirez, Kris Bryant, Yandy Diaz, Rafael Devers, Josh Donaldson, and Jeimer Candelario. Bryant, Donaldson, and maybe Ramirez are available. Chapman and Escobar were at 314 last year.

Now, if we want a strong defender with a great OBP (376) we got it already in Espinal - yeah, shocked me too. Biggio was at 322, Semien 334.

An interesting bit there. Espinal looks better and better the more I look. But... was that a one year illusion given his 344 OBP in the minors over 1695 PA vs his 361 in 282 ML PA's. Still, even 344 isn't bad. His full minors line is 286/344/392 vs ML 301/361/390. The Jays could do a LOT worse than just leaving Espinal there for 2022 and see if he can do it while waiting until the hotshot kids in the minors are ready.

Geez, I flip flop worse than a politician on this. Espinal/Biggio at 3B/utility with Semien resigned for 2B might be the ideal situation (repeating 2021 except not experimenting with a batch of never were guys at 3B like Joe Panik, Breyvic Valera, and Jake Lamb (those 3 started 43 games at 3B). Instead having Smith, Groshans, Lopez playing in AAA trying to earn a shot with Biggio/Espinal being at third and super-utility status (they can cover SS/2B/1B/OF if needed) - whoever is hottest comes up in the event of injury/ineffectiveness. I suspect the Jays will sign a backup infielder (ideally a high speed guy who can pinch run, and also can bunt).

Ideal Lineup?
C: Jansen/Kirk; 1B: Vlad; 2B: Semien; 3B: Espinal/Biggio; SS: Bo; LF: Gurriel; CF: Springer; RF: Hernandez; OF: Grichuk; DH: Mix/match of everyone listed earlier. There are 11 of 13 hitters (mandatory 13 hitters in 2022 right now). Could keep McGuire on the roster then, and a bunt/run guy (regardless of his ideal position, or if he can hit his weight). AAA for injuries you have C: Moreno; 1B:Spencer Horwitz (might be AA); 2B: Otto Lopez/Samad Taylor; 3B/SS: Jordan Groshans/Kevin Smith; IF: Vinny Capra; OF: Forest Wall; Josh Palacios; Chavez Young; and probably some AAAA guys mixed in too (that OF looks pretty bad). Deep middle infield, weak 1B/OF but that is easy enough - get some of those IF'ers playing CF as a backup position for them (build more versatility). Hopefully the Jays sign some promising guys from foreign leagues or career AAA guys to make Buffalo stronger and push the kids a bit.

Everything subject to change based on trades, free agent signings, lockouts, whatever could screw it all up.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#409081) #
Weíre talking about the wrong Seager. Go big and sign Corey to man 3B. Then sign any of Syndergaard, JV or Scherzer. And biggest priority should be Berrios.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#409082) #
Corey Seager was discussed upthread (I suggested him as an alternative to Ramirez). The two reasons I think heís unlikely to end up in TO are: (1) price tag, and (2) injury history. Also is he willing to switch positions at this stage of his career.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#409083) #
We know that the WS will be decided by Wed. Then over time FAs will be declared, QOs will be offered and decided upon and other "actions" will happen. Matz QO?

As happens every year there will be a lot of speculation & rumors in the media. I do look forward to the discussions on da Box responding to everything until mid Jan when much should be settled.

Shapiro has said that he wants to compete in 2022. I sort of expected that.

I look forward to actual moves made by all the teams. Someone will win the off season on paper. SD? The real winner of the past off season was the Jays IMO.

Other actual stuff: Who gets protected prior to the rule 5 draft, who the Jays sign from Int'l players and the 30 prospect list from da box and individual members.

ST will start and covid will still be around. The CBA.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#409084) #
The CBA is the massive, massive elephant in the room this winter. Until one is signed odds are few moves will happen. If a lockout happens (seems very likely right now) then the odds are high that guys will take QO's if given, unless they are in a Ray/Semien situation where multi-year deals are a lock even if all is shut down until 2 weeks before spring training. So a Matz QO is almost certain to be taken under those circumstances vs a normal winter where he'd probably get a 3 year $30-$45+ mil deal without an issue.

Also if there is a lockout suddenly the odds of resigning guys jumps too as there wouldn't be a lot of time to finalize details, for players to be wined and dined by prospective teams, etc. Can't recall how things went in the tiny free agent window that happened after the '94 strike. A list of those free agents is at this page. Larry Walker was probably the best of the batch, and he switched from Montreal (no budget) to Colorado in what was a great move for him in the end.
scottt - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#409085) #
Well, the QOs will be handed and accepted/rejected long before the CBA is set.
The CBA discussions won't get anywhere until days before the deadline.

The Union has 4 association reps and 4 pension reps.
Andrew Miller, Scherzer, Lindor and Semien for the first group and Britton, Paxton, Jason Castro and Gerrit Cole in the second.
It's a bit of an odd group. Miller is a free agent, but he could be close to retirement.
Lindor and Cole are signed for the next decade.
Scherzer is a free agent, but he's not getting a long contract.
Paxton's pillow contract was a disaster.
Britton has another year with the Yanks, but he won't be playing.
Castro has another year as a back up catcher with Houston.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 02 2021 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#409086) #
I suspect how the players feel about the CBA negotiations will be a big factor. If it looks like no team will sign anyone until a deal is done then free agents will have that tough decision to quickly make. One year deals will be impossible, and giving up a draft pick for a guy who may not play in 2022 due to a season long lockout would be a big risk. Plus any smart agent will try for a smaller salary for 2022 and bigger upfront bonus (paid regardless of lockout). Actually, it might be a good time to try to get Vlad and/or Bo and/or Hernandez to sign a long term deal now with the uncertainty - get an upfront cash bonus (team amortizes over the length of the deal but player gets it now) then they don't need to worry about finances.
Glevin - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#409099) #
"The Union has 4 association reps and 4 pension reps.
Andrew Miller, Scherzer, Lindor and Semien for the first group and Britton, Paxton, Jason Castro and Gerrit Cole in the second."

This is one of the big problems MLBPA has always had. They prioritize free agents being able to maximize contracts over everything else so sacrifice a ton to get very small victories for a handful of players The perfect example is draft pick compensation for free agents which doesn't matter for 99% of players. Last season, only 6 players received QO and only 4 turned it down. 2 re-signed with their team (DJL, Realmuto), Springer and Bauer got big contracts where giving up pick had no effect. Stroman and Gausman were the only players who were maybe effected by the QO but you don't know that for sure because they didn't test free agency. Draft pick compensation continues to be a focus for players for some reason.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#409100) #
Agreed - the union is very top heavy. I remember years ago that Orlando Hudson said how he wanted the minimum salary to jump as it would make a massive difference to him (he was in the first couple of seasons in the majors) and to many others. Early on the union was formed largely to get better pensions, which they now have very gold plated ones - iirc you start to qualify after just over a month in the majors and max out fairly quickly (maximum is around $175k a year). Full lifetime medical comes even faster, I think just being called up gets you it. In the USA that is a massive big deal.

For the union to be stronger long term they need to focus on the majority of players. Doing a fast check via the Lahman Database I see for pitchers all time there have been 2920 who played at least parts of 6+ seasons (thus qualified for free agency), 4293 who played at least 3 seasons (thus could've qualified for arbitration), 7019 who played in more than 1 season, and 2974 who only came up in one season. For guys who started since 1990 it becomes 1086-1685-2875-959 for FA-Arb-2+-1 only. So for 72% of the 3834 pitchers making millions via free agency was never more of a reality than it is for any of us. For 56% any improvement to minimum salary and improving retirement benefits would've been the only helpful thing the union could've done for them. I suspect I'd find the same for hitters. Sometime I'll have to try to do a more in depth check (this was a quick and dirty one which might have many errors - such as hitters pitching being included, but I figure those are minor and wouldn't significantly change the result). Remember also these figures are not as extreme as they really are as most players are not up for a full season every year thus the 1086 who had 6 seasons would be lower - in fact probably much lower. Plus, of course, most of them didn't perform at a high enough level to get a significantly over minimum salary contract after 6 years. A quick check of a couple of guys that came to mind - Chris Woodward played parts of 12 seasons but never made $1 mil in a single season - from 1999 to 2007 his pay ranged from $200k to $850k (net of $4.7 mil which isn't chump change but a big part lost to taxes, another part to agents, large amounts on training offseason I'm sure, etc.) - I'm sure if he hadn't made it again as a manager (for Texas) he'd be very thankful for the retirement plan (and probably is still thankful for it). On the 2002 Jays there was also Joe Lawrence who had his one and only ML season then - just 105 days in the majors. Safe to say any pension benefits are massively important to him (went straight to the minors after high school, 7 years in the minors for next to nothing in pay before his hundred day shot). His $907k bonus as a 1st rounder helped I'm sure but again agent/taxes would've ate a big part of that so 7 years as a pro and probably made under $1 mil or $143k a year on average but paid maximum taxes on the bonus which was the vast majority of it. Nice but not retirement level nice and without a college degree.

I'm not saying we in the 'real world' should be putting together a gofundme page for these players, but the union damn well should do something better than that. A higher minimum salary (in the $1-2 mil range) and better benefits earlier for retirement would be big pluses. I think they have something for draft picks to go back to college but that should be an automatic for all players who reach the majors and don't last 5+ years imo (the vast majority of them) as the ones who didn't get a massive bonus as a draft pick will need it almost for sure. Make sacrifices on the 6+ year guys to help the majority instead.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#409101) #
Stay hot, Moreno. Per ("Tuesday's top offseason prospect performers"):

"Blue Jays: Gabriel Moreno, C (MLB 32), Mesa Solar Sox
Another game, another multihit effort for the Toronto backstop. Moreno drove in two runs on a pair of doubles, putting him in a three-way tie for the AFL lead with six. All four of Morenoís multihit performances have come in the past seven games, pushing his slash line to .366/.460/.585 with eight RBIs, eight walks and seven extra-base hits in 50 plate appearances."
bpoz - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#409102) #
I am very excited about Moreno. He seems to have recovered from his injury.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#409103) #
Should be interesting to see how the Jays react to Moreno this winter. If they believe in him then 1 or 2 of the 3 ML catchers should be traded, with a AAAA guy (pure defense, poor bat) put in AAA as an emergency call up if needed, backup for Moreno. But after Moreno I don't see any decent catching prospects so that makes things a bit more risky to go all in with him. That might make the Jays a bit more unwilling to trade any of the 3 catchers they have now (could DH Kirk a lot and make McGuire a 3rd catcher who plays rarely, but not ideal by any stretch). I'm expecting Kirk to be traded, McGuire on the edge of being released once Moreno has had a month+ in AAA thus giving the Jays an extra year of control.

Catching depth is really nice right now: Jansen - Kirk - McGuire - Moreno - ???. A need to start a new kid in low A to work his way up to backup Moreno in a few years if needed.

1B depth is secondary - Vlad, then whoever wants to play there
2B depth is decent - Biggio - Espinal - Otto Lopez - Miguel Hiraldo (low A, entering age 21 season 249/338/390), plus all SS prospects it seems
SS depth is really nice - Bo - Espinal - Kevin Smith - Jordan Groshans - Orelvis Martinez - Leonardo Jimenez (A-, rookie 320/523/392 in his age 20 season)
3B is messy - Biggio - Espinal - Vinny Capra - plus all SS/2B prospects can also be put here
OF is a mess after the majors - Teoscar - Springer - Gurriel - Grichuk - ... then who knows?

So a crazy deep CA/middle infield but no OF (many SS are playing in CF/2B/3B it seems). I give the Jays credit for trying all their top prospects at a stack of positions to see if they can do well there, and thus creating tons of flexibility in the future.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#409104) #
BA had a very positive report on Moreno from the same game. In summary:

-With a few prospects out of action, Moreno is currently the top prospect playing in the AFL
-One of the doubles was hit off a 97 mph fastball, opposite field down the line
-The other double was pulled into the LF corner
-ABs were impressive, he worked the counts all day to get his pitch to hit, saw 26 pitches in five PA
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 03 2021 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#409105) #
For those interested in younger prospects, Luis Meza (17-year-old Venezuelan expected to sign with the Jays this winter) could be part of the next wave of good catching prospects after Moreno.
Hodgie - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#409106) #
I suppose it is possible that Moreno could get moved off C to 3B but I think it would be highly unlikely. The organization specifically converted him to C, and now that the conversion has been such a success, with some like Baseball America believing he is the best C prospect in baseball, they are going to move him off the position when he is one step away from the majors? Count me skeptical. That doesn't even account for the fact that other top prospects like Groshans and Martinez look destined for the hot corner. Me, I'll gladly dream on the next Buster Posey.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#409107) #
Here are the AFL team pitching lines.  The walk rates are about 6 per 9 IP, and Mesa's is over 7.  Evaluating Moreno, Mesa's catcher, in that context is just about impossible.  All you can really say is that he looks healthy and he's dominating weak competition with his bat, and he looks OK behind the plate.  With a team ERA a run higher than any other club in the league and the highest walk rate in the league by quite a bit, the Mesa pitching staff has been terrible and a little of that rubs off on the catchers, you would think. 

You can dream on the next Buster Posey (and actually Moreno is fairly similar to Posey as a hitter), but I'll believe that Moreno has Posey's defensive abilities when I see evidence of it myself.  In the meanwhile, the clock is ticking for the big league club and Danny Jansen looks to me like a perfectly good catcher right now with Reese McGuire a perfectly good back-up. Posey's career is illustrative.  He was a great hitter, who played more than 140 games every year between age 25 and 30 and not more than 115 at any other age.  According to BBRef, 2/3 of his value was with the bat and 1/3 was defence including position.  It worked well for the Giants, as they won 3 World Series with Posey a key player, as Yogi Berra was for the Yankees 60 years earlier.  Posey was a good handler of pitchers, as was Berra.  There is little evidence of that for Moreno.

bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#409108) #
Moreno is playing C and DH. As well he started late in the AFL and has caught up quickly. It seems he either hit the ground hot or became hot after a very few games. Top pitching prospects are having a hard time. Example Jackson Rutledge.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#409109) #
BA's top 30 prospects for Toronto comes out on Nov. 10. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about Moreno (offense, defense, baserunning).
Hodgie - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#409110) #
That is one way to frame it Mike. Another is is to acknowledge that SF manipulated his service time as a rookie, that he lost his second year to a play so horrific that MLB changed its rules regarding collisions at the plate, he had concussion problems that stemmed originally from a HBP to the head, and a hip injury also suffered by SS Nick Ahmed and myself (two people that are not MLB catchers). Despite all of that, he is a HOF player and the driving force behind 3 Championship teams. I think I would be good with that.

Defensively, the foundation for Posey's greatness coming into MLB, as a converted shortstop, was his athleticism, strong arm, and quick release. Sounds vaguely familiar. While we have only limited evidence of Moreno's defensive skills behind the plate, that is way more evidence than we have of his capability to play the infield in MLB. I may have missed something, but I have not seen any reports anywhere suggesting that he would need to move positions due to his defense. Lest we take for granted the difficulty in playing 3B, Edwin Encarnacion may have some thoughts on that learning curve and the impact that can have on one's performance at the plate.

As for Danny Jansen, I have always liked him but I would like to see more than 200 competent PA from him, as well as before being comfortable having a potential cornerstone player switch positions to accommodate his playing time.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#409111) #
We'll see, Hodgie. 

One pitcher who has had success in the AFL is Graham Spraker.  He's 26 years old so not a hot prospect, but he's thrown 7 shutout innings allowing 2 hits and 2 walks with 12 strikeouts.  He had a good season in the New Hampshire pen this year with significantly improved K rate.  Can anyone tell me more about what he is throwing now?
scottt - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#409112) #
Pearson had surgery for his hernia.
Hopefully he's healthy enough to start some games, but he will probably have a low inning cap.

Hodgie - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#409113) #
For what it is worth, in addition to Baseball America listing Moreno as their #8 prospect in baseball, here is what Keith Law had to say about Moreno in July ...

Moreno broke his thumb in mid-June, which might be the only thing stopping his ascent to the majors right now, as he hit .373/.441/.651 in 32 games in Double A as a 21-year-old before the injury, while showing plus defensive skills across the board for the Fisher Cats. Moreno has quick hands and excellent bat control, with a short swing that should produce average power but a ton of hard contact, while heís made substantial progress as a receiver. His hand strength may not be all the way back until next year due to the injury but itís not a factor for the long term. Heís a future star.

bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#409114) #
Kirk graduated fast 206 ABs in rookie ball 2018 and 310 ABs in full season 2019.

Moreno also moved very fast. Missed 2020 covid and injured much of 2021.

Great news about Pearson. Full recovery expected I presume on hernia surgery. Should be a fast recovery as well I presume.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#409115) #
The article I read said Pearson should be back throwing in a month's time so he should be well ready for spring training if some other injury doesn't happen. The Jays might be hoping that he can take the fifth spot in the rotation but, to me, he still looks more like a thrower rather than a pitcher at times.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#409116) #
Shi Davidi recently reported that the Jays have been giving Moreno some reps at third base. We'll see whether the team is keeping its options open or whether they're moving more definitively in that direction. I wonder whether the front office may be influenced in its decision by the moves it makes this off-season.
bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#409117) #
Moreno in 2022 if healthy hopefully should start to dominate AAA after the 1st 100ABs and then hope to be promoted to the Jays. In AAA I see zero top pitching prospects that he will be catching. Snead, Saucedo, Baker, Logue with AAA experience. No Kloffenstein, S Robberse or CJ Van Eyk. He will see M Castillo again and E Luciano. Maybe a few others. But in ST he should see everyone.
John Northey - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#409118) #
I suspect the Jays are keeping options open right now. With Kirk and Jansen you have a slugging catcher and a defense first one. If both are here in April and no one is signed to play 3B or 2B (putting Biggio/Espinal back at 3B) then moving Moreno would make a ton of sense for the Jays in 2022/2023/2024 (Jansen a free agent after 2024, Kirk after 2026 unless he is sent down for 48 more days then 2027).

Tough choices coming. The Jays in the 90's left Delgado behind the plate too long thus costing him a shot at the HOF and wasting his 94/95 seasons as they played with him in LF/C before finally moving him to 1B. They acted a LOT faster with Vlad moving him from 3B thanks to the pandemic. If Moreno can be a solid catcher and Kirk is traded then it makes a ton of sense to keep him there. But if he isn't a solid catcher and both Jansen/Kirk are here in April then it makes no sense to keep pushing it. Unless, of course, his best position is 1B which then would be a problem.
bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#409119) #
I like Hagen Danner (Vancouver) as a hard throwing (98/99 mph) reliever or possibly a SP. He can also catch in an emergency.

While looking for H Danner I found Hayden Juenger (6th round 2021). For Vancouver 11 games 7 games were 2 IP. Throws hard with absolutely incredible numbers. According to da Box writeup he breezed through 2021 Missouri State this year as well.
bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#409120) #
H Danner had an incredible year except he missed most of June & July. As a reliever he did pitch some 2 IP games and the odd 3 IP game.

I expect him to be rule 5 protected and begin 2022 in AA and could be in the Majors in 2022. Of course I am very often wrong.
scottt - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#409121) #
With the 13 pitcher limit, it's going to be hard to hide a pitcher on an MLB roster in 2022.
Even bad teams need innings and a bad pitcher who can't be optioned does not provide innings.
There's no point in having a relief pitcher who can't contribute on the reserve roster.
On the other end, I see about 15 teams teams who could draft a position player in the rule 5, especially if there is a DH in the NL.

bpoz - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#409122) #
Good point scottt.
Glevin - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#409123) #
"The Jays in the 90's left Delgado behind the plate too long thus costing him a shot at the HOF and wasting his 94/95 seasons as they played with him in LF/C before finally moving him to 1B"

Delgado was wasted because Cito HATED playing young players. In 1995, Carter was 35 in LF and Moliter was 38 at DH. Neither should have been playing full-time. Delgado had a .403 OBP and .610 SLG in AAA and 99 PAs in the majors. Even when Delgado was up and hitting, Cito wouldn't play him against lefties giving guys like Juan Samuel PAs. This was a pattern with players like Green and Stewart as well. Look at 1997 when Nixon got 464 dreadful PAs in CF. Jacob Brumfield got 190 pathetic PAs too. Shannon Stewart also got 190 despite being 23 and already a pretty good player. Cito was a good manager to get the Jays to the series, but bad at sitting veterans or giving young players a shot. (It's perfectly normal to have a decline at end of career like Joe carter did, it's not normal to be played full time for 4 years while it happens. From 1994-1997 with the Jays -1.9 WAR with his best season being 0.4 WAR in 1994. In 1994, he could still hit a bit but by 1995, it was clear he was toast except for an occasional HR and the Jays gave him 1,953 PAs in 3 years.)
John Northey - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#409125) #
Glevin - an old wives tale that falls apart under scrutiny.
  • 1989: Junior Felix given a shot, after 18 games was hitting well when Cito took over but from Cito's first day (May 15) to the series in Boston when he showed he belonged he hit 233/270/317 over 14 games/63 PA. He was supposedly just 21 (actually closer to 30). After Mookie Wilson came in it wasn't Felix who lost playing time but vet Moseby moved to DH instead taking time away from vet Rance Mulliniks. In September he played youngsters Rob Ducey/Glenallen Hill a lot as well - on a contending team fighting for a playoff slot. Todd Stottlemyre left in the rotation all year despite many struggles, Duane Ward given a real shot at setup, same for David Wells, Mauro Gozzo called up and did great for a bit until the regular starters were healthy again.
  • 1990: Pat Borders the everyday catcher for the first time (broken in well the year before), John Olerud with 0 minor league games playing at DH over many vets. Hill and Myers both getting lots of playing time despite being kids too.
  • 1991: Mark Whiten given a good chance before being traded, Ed Sprague broken in this season, Juan Guzman given a shot and became the ace as a rookie. Mike Timlin broken in and given 63 games (11 wins, 3 saves, 9 holds so not no-pressure games)
  • 1992: First WS win with Jeff Kent and Derek Bell both given real shots early before being traded (Kent) or flopping (Bell), a young Mike Timlin closed the final game.
  • 1993:Ed Sprague broke camp at 3B everyday, Randy Knorr (a rookie) the backup catcher, Pat Hentgen (2nd season) was lined up to pitch game 7 if not for the home run.
  • 1994: Carlos Delgado started everyday in LF (disaster on defense, once his bat cooled he was sent down)
  • 1995: rookies at C:Sandy Martinez, SS:Alex Gonzalez, RF: Shawn Green, with Delgado & Tomas Perez & Shannon Stewart getting some chances too. Pitching was a mess that year.
  • 1996: Tomas Perez the regular at 2B, Delgado finally set at DH
  • 1997: Shawn Green an everyday player (135 games), Stewart getting lots of time, Chris Carpenter getting his feet wet (13 bad starts), Kelvim Escobar at 21 the closer
I don't see a guy who refused to use kids. I see a guy who even when fighting for the playoffs would mix them in and give them a shot (platooning is a good way to break them in and not put too much pressure on a kid). Carter was Cito's blind spot without a doubt - a good GM would've taken that toy away from him, sadly we had a nightmarishly bad GM then.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#409126) #
I have to jump in on behalf of my all time favourite Jay - Paul Molitor.
He put up a slash line of .270/.350/.423 for an OPS of .772. OPS+ of 101. He had more walks than strike outs, and still put up respectable numbers for extra base hits. He was the teamís 5th best hitter by OPS+.
He also had two more excellent seasons in Minnesota, only falling off in the power department as a 41 yo (still strong avg and obp though).
binnister - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#409127) #
I was wondering if some of the big baseball brains on this site might comment on electric carrots suggestion of Vlad for 3rd base?

For me, I salivate at the idea of Vlad's kind of production at 3rd base, as it has historically (i believe?) been easier to get a big lefty bat to slot in at first in the past.

As EC said, he's played the position coming up and he's 'in the best shape of his...' MLB career.

Is this just a case of Videogame-itis? (plugging in players where we think they fit). Do the possible negatives (i.e. Vlad's production crashes at the 'new' position, defensive liabilities, etc) outweigh the possible gains?

Ryan Day - Thursday, November 04 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#409128) #
I'm not sure catching really slowed down Delgado's career - he still jumped from AA to MLB at 22. The problem was that once he moved off the position, he was destined for 1b/DH, where he was blocked by the guys who finished 2nd & 3rd in MVP voting in 1993.

On the other hand, Moreno could claim the catching job if neither Jansen nor Kirk lock it down, or he could move to 3b if the Jays don't add anyone long-term.  He could probably impersonate an outfielder a lot better than Delgado did, if needed.
85bluejay - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#409129) #
With the Reds "aligning their payroll with their revenue resources", I would guess that Luis Castillo who had a rough first half in 2021 and is arbitration eligible is available and has 2 years of control - Also I wonder if the jays take Mike Moustakas's salary (38m including 2024 buyout) and send back Grichuk (20.76m left) how much that would lower the cost of Castillo.
Mike Green - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#409130) #
Leo Jimenez was removed from last night's AFL game after one PA. 

I agree that Moreno could likely play the outfield a lot better than Delgado- he runs better and doesn't have the shoulder injury that inhibited Delgado's throwing.  To electric carrot's suggestion that Guerrero Jr. could be moved back to third base, I'll say this.  Obviously you would hate to mess with something that worked.  On the other hand, he stayed in shape all season and played a decent first base.  He's got a good arm and when in shape, there's no reason he couldn't also be a decent third baseman.  However, he did wear down some as the season wore on and I would worry about him being able to be effective with the bat playing 150+ games as a third baseman. 
bpoz - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#409131) #
Regarding Vlad breaking down as the season wore on seems correct. He even admitted that he was tired and maybe had aches. So I checked the monthly numbers. In July and August his AVG was under 300. Over 300 in Sept and Oct was a SSS. So he did break down. I am leaning towards thinking that this is an acceptable normal. Also this is only an observation without me having an opinion.
bpoz - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#409132) #
Last night in the AFL M Dominguez started and had a great game.
Glevin - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#409134) #
"I don't see a guy who refused to use kids. I see a guy who even when fighting for the playoffs would mix them in and give them a shot (platooning is a good way to break them in and not put too much pressure on a kid). Carter was Cito's blind spot without a doubt - a good GM would've taken that toy away from him, sadly we had a nightmarishly bad GM then."

It's just not true. It wasn't just Carter. It was any veteran player. Green is another example. He had a 115 WRC+ in 1995 as a 22 YO in 279 PAs You'd think, "great, we have a young everyday RFer now." Nope. Cito never gave him close to to full time PAs for 3 years. Instead, the next year, he gave Jacob Brumfield 340 PAs. He would play younger players if there were no veteran around but the second there was an alternative, the veterans played more. Look at 1997, Cito's last year. Delgado was finally playing everyday because he was one of the best hitters in the league and Olerud was gone. Jays had Green, Cruz Jr, and Stewart in OF. For non-contending team, that's great. Let the young guys play. They combined for around 900 PAs. Carter, Nixon, Brumfield, and Merced combined for over 1,500 PAs. (The first group combined for 3.6 WAR, the second group combined for 1 WAR).
bpoz - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#409136) #
34 players on the 40 man roster currently. I can see a few being dropped somehow, "addition by subtraction" as Atkins said.

Veterans like Valera and Grichuk may be subtractions.

Palacios had only 35 ABs due to injuries mainly. Moreno, O Lopez and K Smith had few to no ABs due to not quite being ready. Depth I suppose.

B Baker, A Castro, T Saucedo and K Snead were used because the pen was weak. Arms were needed and they provided that. Hatch, Kay and Thornton had limited ML pitching due to poor performance. 3 lefties and 4 righties. Hope someone make good use of any opportunities presented next year.
scottt - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#409142) #
Schwarber is a free agent. He'd fill many needs as DH/LF/1B.
I can't imagine he's getting a huge contract.

John Northey - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#409143) #
Geez Glevin - the guy played rookies over and over again - giving kids their first chance in the majors but without pushing them too hard (Olerud, Green, Delgado, etc.) but I also remember how everyone complained he played the vets too much but check it out - 1996: at 23 Green had 465 PA vs Brumfields 340. Brumfield did well at first - 263/324/481 over his first 44 games. He still wasn't horrible after that - 250/308/414 over his last 46. Green in his 2nd year was off to a very slow start - 219/291/342 in April/May. Pre-ASG he had 252 PA (pretty close to full time) despite hitting poorly (231/298/397 at the break). From the AS break to the end though... wow, 337/394/508 over 213 PA. Looks like Cito was mostly platooning him then to rebuild confidence after that horrid start. So did he hit well in spite of that or because of it? That is the question.

As I said, Cito had a big blind spot around Carter (I'd guess mainly due to the HR in 1993 and being a big key to both WS wins). That I put on the GM - when your manager has a clear blind spot you remove it. His contract had run out after 1995 (1996 was a team option year) - a perfect time to let him go as a free agent, but instead Ash took up the option and gave him an extension (!!!) after a 88 OPS+ season at 35 (253/300/428 with 76 RBI. Imagine if Ash had half a brain that winter and just let Carter go, then left Olerud at 1B and Delgado at DH (or vice versa). But the team back then was worried about media reaction to the World Series hero going away (sigh) and was owned by a cheapskate owner (Interbrew). That $6.5 mil would've been far more useful on anything else. Imagine if our current GM kept Joe Panik on the roster despite all the evidence he was washed up? That is what Ash did back then.

Looking back I think Cito did OK with the kids - it was more the GM giving him garbage and wasting the little payroll space he had on Carter (among others) and then wasting prospects on meh vets (see pre-1997 when they tried to become a contender by trading for...cough...Carlos Garcia (87 OPS+ at the time), Orlando Merced (113 OPS+ in LF and in his final year before free agency), and Dan Plesac (a LOOGY coming off a 4.09 ERA season) - 6 prospects for those 3 ML'ers. Ugh. After a 74 win season. Of course, they also signed Roger Clemens as a free agent (very good move) that winter. And traded away Olerud (and paid his salary!) for a nothing prospect who flopped.

The Gord Ash era was a sad period. The Jays had a deep farm when he took over and he blew it, alienating the guys running each area (Epy Guerrero the most infamous mess in 1995 shortly after Ash was left alone to run the team). By the time he was gone the farm was empty and the team a mess. Sadly the next GM was pretty bad too. But now 2 good ones in a row helps a LOT. Whenever I hear people complain about Atkins I just remember the nightmare Ash years and go 'could be a LOT worse'.
grjas - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#409145) #
Whenever I hear people complain about Atkins I just remember the nightmare Ash years and go 'could be a LOT worse'.

Yeah no kidding. He was a disaster. I feel the same way when people complain about Rogers. Interbrew didnít know the difference between a baseball and a hockey puck. Rogers seems to be ponying up a reasonable amount these days especially considering their revenue is largely C$ and their expenses are not. Iím sure they realize that a lot of subscribers are primarily retaining their cable subscriptions in the streaming era because of live sport content. So they have an added incentive that most other potential Canadian owners would not.
Glevin - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#409147) #
" Looks like Cito was mostly platooning him then to rebuild confidence after that horrid start. So did he hit well in spite of that or because of it? That is the question."

Not really. Green had a good career and Brumfield was out of baseball shortly after. The point is that when you are a rebuilding club the way the Jays were for the last 3 years of Cito, you need to be giving your young prospects playing time and Cito didn't sat them way too often in order to give bad veterans ABs. I remember it well. A lot of people were frustrated at the time because they wanted to see Green, Stewart, et all and Cito kept playing veterans. Every crappy 35 year old who came through got played. Ruben Sierra? Sure! Mariano Duncan. Absolutely! Juan Samuel? Sure, why not give a 35 YO DH 200 PAs in a 56 win season? Ash deserves a lot of blame for not moving on from these veterans and forcing Cito's hand to actually play youngsters but Cito still chose to give ABs to inferior veterans.

I mean, how can you justify, on a 74 win team, giving Nixon 575 PAs, Carter, 625 PAs, and Brumfield 340? Green never even got 500 PAs under Cito. His only 2 full years with the Jays, he got at least 689 PAs in both and had a combined 9.4 WAR but sure, it made sense for a 5th place team to get Jacob Brumfield lots of PAs. Green, Stewart, and Delgado combined for 1,250 PAs in 1997 and combined for 3.6 WAR. The first year after Cito left, they combined for around 1,900 PAs and 12.2 WAR. There are endless examples in the 1995-1997 period of Cito giving way too many PAs to bad veterans instead of young talented players.
John Northey - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#409149) #
A 74 win team? Yeah, the Jays sucked that year but they clearly still thought they could contend. Rotation of Hentgen (Cy Young), Juan Guzman (171 ERA+), a free agent they signed (Erik Hansen) who had been decent before, Timlin was a solid closer (31 saves). Clearly the Jays thought they were still contenders and had reason for that. But they never had a winning month in 1996. May 5th was the last day they were within 5 games of the lead.

Clearly by the end of May they should've been clearing out all vets and giving kids full time play. July 1st they were 10 games out of the wild card and going nowhere. Instead the only vets traded were Tony Castillo and Domingo Cedeno (middle relief, backup infielder) and got nothing significant. Why he didn't trade Guzman (ERA champ that year, one year until free agency) is beyond me. Timlin they traded mid-season the next year. But in 1996/97 offseason they pretended they were contenders again by signing Roger Clemens after trading the farm for 3 guys to fill holes (Garcia 2B, Merced LF, Plesac LHP). For some reason I thought they had traded Samuel and Duncan mid-season but the didn't. If they had then playing them would've made sense (up value to get more prospects). But at the time there was some logic there - Green had a horrid start in '96 then came to life when given a lighter workload. Nixon was it for CF unless you thought Green was a CFer (heh, hardly. Stewart was marginal in CF as well). The parts that were there sucked but I feel Cito did the best he could with it.
John Northey - Friday, November 05 2021 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#409150) #
Back to the topic...
Who should play 3B in 2022? Lets look at projections from FanGraphs/Steamer...
  • On Jays: Biggio: 100 wRC+; Espinal 90 wRC+
  • Minor Jays: Smith: 92; Otto Lopez: 86; Vinny Capra: 76; Jordan Groshans: 87; Orelvis Martinez 69 (still far away)
  • Free Agents: Kris Bryant: 113; Eduardo Escobar: 99; Kyle Seager: 99; Chris Taylor: 101;
  • Trade Targets: Jose Ramirez: 136; Matt Chapman: 107; Josh Donaldson: 128;
  • SS Free Agents: Carlos Correa: 131; Corey Seager: 133; Trevor Story: 107; Marcus Semien: 117; Javier BŠez: 94;
Quite a few options there eh? 120+ wRC+ guys: Ramirez, Donaldson, Correa, Seager; our guys are 90-100 in majors with prospects in the 85-95 range (Smith, Lopez, Groshans). Right now I'm thinking if Donaldson is as cheap in prospects as he seems to be the Jays should grab him - his salary would be off the books quickly (2 years plus option) and if he is healthy he would easily be worth it. That gives time for the kids to develop and if Biggio/Espinal can't hold 2B then the kids go there instead or you go big next winter and try hard to get Ramirez or someone else. My gut says Semien won't resign for less than $25 per over 5 years (maybe $30 per) which I don't see the Jays doing. Chris Taylor is a tempting target if cheap enough (plays literally everywhere).
bpoz - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#409151) #
Thanks for the history Glevin and John N. I love talking about Jays history.

So 1995-1997 and 2017-2018 our record was telling management that that they should 1) Try to extend the window. OR 2) Rebuild.

Between 1994-2014 we came close but did not actually succeed in making the playoffs the odd decent year.

The 2 playoff years of 2015 & 2016 were not achieved by a rebuild. I say this only because the team was not young. We traded for stars and signed good FAs. Donaldson and Martin. This got is into the playoffs.

Our current window is built on the farm. Vlad, Bo etc... Signing FAs Ryu, Springer, Ray and Semien. Trading for stars/good players Berrios and Matz.
bpoz - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#409152) #
I was wondering and sort of concluded that Biggio was good at 2B and much weaker at 3B. Is that true in the guessing department?
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#409154) #
I can't see the Jays trying to acquire an aging Donaldson ( 36 in December) who is making 21 million for the next two years plus a club option of 16 million for 2024 with an 8 million buyout option. I'd much rather put the money toward resigning Semien if he's open to coming back if the annual average is not above 25 million a year. Espinal and Biggio could platoon at third and frankly I'd rather leave Guerrero at first, although having Vlad at third and signing a slugging, left-handed first baseman is a tempting idea.

The sad part for us is that we'll probably be talking and speculating for another 3 months until this CBA mess is sorted out.
PeterG - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#409155) #
Correct about the speculating but not about Donaldson. He did not part on good terms with FO. As with Stroman. I see no way they would ever reacquire him.
John Northey - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#409160) #
Semien is NOT coming back at under $25 mil a year. I'd LOVE to be wrong, but I'm pretty confident he is after $30 mil per for 5 years, but the Jays won't go that far. Funny, looking around MLB I have trouble finding where Semien is likely to sign - most contenders with money have decent SS's already or theirs is a free agent and if they are going to blow $30 mil per they will hold their own guy. Guess we'll see what happens.

Vlad moving back to third I don't see happening. Kind of surprised when I checked FanGraphs defense at 3B and Donaldson came in dead last. Guess he lost a lot on defense after leaving Toronto - if this is true then no way the Jays trade for him, I was assuming he was still at least league average - normally high end defense doesn't drop _that_ fast. Biggio was 8th worst among guys with 300+ innings at 3B, Espinal was solid - 8th best among 300+ inning guys - #1 by UZR/150 (Biggio 7th worst out of 47 players, Donaldson dead last).

So many variables for the Jays to juggle this winter. I'm thinking now that they will wait and see with the top SS/2B/3B free agents with a decent offer out there for Semien and keeping a similar one out there for guys they like with the condition of moving to 3B or 2B. With Espinal/Biggio and all the kids there really isn't much pressure on the Jays from a baseball standpoint to grab anyone for 2B/3B unless the terms are right. I expect far more of a push on Ray and other pitchers.
John Northey - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#409161) #
bpoz - same here. I get a bit heated at times, but the thing is we all have opinions and while I'll fight for mine, I do respect others and if anyone feels I didn't please let me know either here or privately.

Good question on makeup of the team.
2015: Lineup - Developed Here 2 (Goins, Pillar); Waivers 1 (Smoak); Trades 5 (Reyes/Tulo I count as one, Donaldson, Revere, Bautista, Encarnacion); Free Agents 1 (Martin)
Pitching Rotation (10+ starts) - Trades 4 (Dickey, Buehrle, Price, Estrada); Developed here 2 (Hutchinson, Sanchez) - could add Stroman but he only had 4 starts in 2015, Norris 5 starts, 4 other guys had starts too.
Pitching Pen (20+ appearances) - Developed here 5 (Osuna, Sanchez again, Cecil, Loup, Tepera); Trades 3 (Hendricks, Delabar, Lowe) Waivers 1 (Schultz)

So overall (counting Sanchez just once) - Developed Here 8 (5 in the pen); Trades 12; Waivers 2; Free Agents 1.
One can argue Encarnacion should be listed as a free agent since the Jays traded for him, lost him on waivers, signed again as a free agent (last 2 were over about a month in a weird thing to clear roster space I guess).
Mike Green - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#409162) #
Gabriel Moreno is playing third base tonight for Mesa.
Chuck - Saturday, November 06 2021 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#409163) #
Funny, looking around MLB I have trouble finding where Semien is likely to sign

I see Houston, NYY, and Anaheim being obvious landing spots for expensive shortstops (and Houston has just made an offer to Correa). Further, Detroit and Texas may decide to spend some money as well.

So that makes five potential destinations for Correa, Seager, Semien, Baez and Story. And Semien and Baez could sell themselves as second basemen should they be willing to move off their preferred positions, perhaps putting the White Sox in the discussion.

bpoz - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 07:12 AM EST (#409164) #
Good way to break down the 2015 Jays John N. Trades, homegrown etc...

I just looked at the current 40 man roster pitchers. Of the 18 total only 7 are home grown. The good ones are Manoah, Romano, Mayza (does well enough) and hopefully/potential Pearson. Which leaves Borucki, Snead and Saucedo who are all lefties. These 3 also have a big unknown factor attached.
scottt - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 07:49 AM EST (#409166) #
I picture Semien playing second base for the Giants.

The Mets have given the QO to syndergaard and Conforto.
It would make sense for both to accept.
Conforto might be tempted to look for a rebound somewhere else, but I wouldn't give a pick to sign him.
It looks like the Mets would have given a QO to Matz, had they retained him.

Paul D - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 10:10 AM EST (#409168) #
If I'm reading it right, stat cast has Donaldson at average in outs above average, which I'm led to believe is the best publicly available measure of defence
scottt - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#409169) #
Josh Winckowski hit pirate prospect Smith-Njigba in an AFL game.
The hitter immediately charged the mound and seems to have landed at least a couple of solid punches.

scottt - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 10:27 AM EST (#409170) #
I'm not sure if that's the best but by definition, it's above average.
Mike Green - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#409172) #
There is some disparity in one year defensive stats for Donaldson.  The originator of UZR, Mitchel Lichtman, would urge us to use three year stats to get sufficient sample size.  Over that period, Donaldson is -2/150 per UZR, +5/150 per DRS and +5 Outs above average or 3-4 Runs above average per 150 by Statcast. 

Projecting him to be average defensively in 2022 seems reasonable. 
John Northey - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 12:57 PM EST (#409176) #
Houston: If they are spending what it would take, they'll just resign Carlos Correa. If he leaves then they'd have Semien on their list of replacements.
NYY: Just resigned DJ LeMahieu last winter for 2B, If they already gave up on Gleyber Torres I hope the Jays trade for him - 114 OPS+ lifetime, poor defense at SS but an excellent bat (his poor 2021 was a 93 OPS+ at age 24).
Anaheim: Yeah, I missed how bad they are at SS/2B - they could use Semien badly and they have the money and the location.
Detroit: weak at 2B/SS and has money but just 77-85 last year - I see them chasing the younger guys more unless they really think they are close (in the AL Central they might be).
Texas: with just 60 wins they have 1001 spots to upgrade before they blow the wad on someone like Semien.

While I feel most spots aren't a match, that was dumb of me not to think of Anaheim. They look likely despite just 77 wins. Now that Pujols is off the books ($30 mil) they can add salary again. Semien and one of the many other middle infielders would be an ideal situation for them.
John Northey - Sunday, November 07 2021 @ 01:13 PM EST (#409178) #
Defense is such a mess to measure - if I ran a team I'd go based on how far the player ranges from the time the ball is hit until it gets to them/past them. Then count on coaches/stats guys to provide the positioning data for the players to follow. Not sure which system does that type of measure but it seems to be the easiest way to cut down to just what the player does and not factor in what the team does. Of course, at 3B you also get 110 MPH screamers and bunts to deal with so lots of variables.

As much as I'd love to be doing that for a living - dang it would get complicated trying to pull out who is where on the defensive spectrum.

As to the Giants Donovan Solano has been solid for the past 3 years for them (113 OPS+, about average/mildly below average on defense, 4 WAR) but is going into his age 34 season. He is a free agent though, who I'd sign as a backup (can play 2B/SS/3B, tiny bit of speed, can bunt it seems) but not as an everyday player at his age. Yeah, they might be a good fit - didn't notice as I didn't realize until I looked closer that Solano is a free agent. I could see Semien signing there for less to be close to home, and accepting 2B easier than here. That makes a TON of sense (assuming the Giants have budget space of course).
Michael - Monday, November 08 2021 @ 01:43 AM EST (#409188) #
A lot depends on who they sign for 3b/2b as well as other positions. Assuming they don't sign anyone obvious, and assuming Vald still wants to play 3b, then if he comes into spring training lighter/fitter than last year, I'd let him play something like 25% of the games at 3b, 60% at 1b and 15% at dh. Certainly wouldn't count on him sticking, but it is a good combination reward/motivation for him to keep on his fitness, and also gives us a chance to see can he stick there at all or not in the longer term (and if any games have to be played non-DH or with more offense, perhaps with a flyball/strikeout pitcher on the mound, it is an option there too).
scottt - Monday, November 08 2021 @ 07:12 AM EST (#409190) #
There is defense at 3B and then there is the shift.

Semien won the gold glove at 2B. Gurriel won it at 1B.
I'm still haunted by that errant throw that Semien made that ended up costing a win.

scottt - Monday, November 08 2021 @ 05:56 PM EST (#409203) #
Gone are Jacob Barnes, Travis Bergen, A. J. Cole, Rafael Dolis, and Dany Jimenez who has signed with Oakland. Bryan Baker has been lost to the Orioles.

A bunch of guys are minor leagues free agents, notably Jon Harris, Demi Orimoloye, Reggie Pruitt, maybe Kevin Vicuna and Jacob Waguespack.

I'd expect Hagen Danner to be added to the Buffalo roster to be protected from the minor league draft.
Fungible guys Kirby Snead and Tyler Saucedo are candidate to be outrighted but not until the space is needed for a  new signing.
Samad Taylor is a lock to be added to the reserve roster. I think they roll the dice with Hiraldo.
Graham Spraker has been decent in the pen all year and has not allowed a run in 8+ AFL inning. They will think hard about adding him. Same with Bowden Francis.

mendocino - Monday, November 08 2021 @ 08:25 PM EST (#409205) #
From Milb (so far). Baseball America should have full list next day or two.

Buffalo RF Gregory Polanco elected free agency.
Buffalo C Juan Graterol elected free agency.
Buffalo RHP Casey Lawrence elected free agency.
Buffalo CF Mallex Smith elected free agency.
Buffalo LF Christian Colon elected free agency.
Buffalo RHP Hobie Harris elected free agency.
Buffalo 1B Nash Knight elected free agency.

New Hampshire RHP Reilly Hovis elected free agency.
New Hampshire 1B Kevin Vicuna elected free agency.
New Hampshire RHP James Dykstra elected free agency.
New Hampshire RHP Jon Harris elected free agency.
New Hampshire LF Reggie Pruitt elected free agency.
New Hampshire RHP Johnny Barbato elected free agency.
New Hampshire RF Demi Orimoloye elected free agency.

Vancouver RHP Justin Maese elected free agency.
Vancouver C Andres Guerra elected free agency.

Dunedin RHP Juan De Paula elected free agency.

DSL Blue Jays C Jommer Hernandez elected free agency.
mendocino - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 01:14 AM EST (#409207) #
more from Milb

Buffalo RHP Jacob Waguespack elected free agency.
Buffalo CF Forrest Wall elected free agency.
Buffalo 2B Richard Urena elected free agency.
Buffalo 1B Tyler White elected free agency.
scottt - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 08:38 AM EST (#409210) #
Waguespack is certainly good enough to eat some innings for a non contender.
scottt - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 08:42 AM EST (#409211) #
I expect Harris to make his MLB debut next year.
Mallex Smith is a guy they could try to retain as a AAA backup.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 03:41 PM EST (#409224) #
Serious question.. 
Is Eugenip Suarez a reasonable target. 60 million until 25 when he'd be 33 Huge collapse in offense last year except in HR, but was also moved to SS.He could presumably play an average 3B.
Is his offense fixable? Sure another RH hitter is not ideal, but high upside.Reading that maybe Cincinatti has big payroll constraints.Can a trade be made that protects from no bounce back?Strikeouts (increase)and babip (drop)have collapsed in 20/21. But still walks.Hard to tell from numbers if there's a mechanical change to make Last 3 years he's hitting for a higher launch angle

John Northey - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 06:01 PM EST (#409228) #
An interesting one I hadn't thought of lexomatic. Eugenio Suarez is signed for 3+ years (year 4 is a team option) at a reasonable price $11.3 mil per year, year 4 is $15 mil or $2 mil buyout. But his offense went from a 131 OPS+ in 2019, to 100 in 2020, to 80 this year. Ugh. His K's are sky high (189 in 2019, 171 last year). His defense doesn't appear good based on BR's numbers, although FanGraphs has his 3B defense as OK in 2021 (+0.7 UZR/150) although his SS defense has been ugly (-9.1 lifetime). This is a case of what do the scouts say? Is his swing toast or is he easily fixed? A 1-1 trade of Grichuk for him would make sense for the Jays from a resource POV - gain a 3B/emergency SS lose an OF but Grichuk is only signed for 2 more years vs the 3+ for Suarez so again, you'd have to feel his problems can be fixed. Would he listen to the Jays hitting coaches who preach contact (as do the hitters here)? Maybe with that approach and peer pressure he could do a lot better (cut out 50 K's and just hit for a 200 BABIP on those 50 PA's and you'd add 5 hits = another 20 points of OPS (713 to 732), 6 points of OPS+ (80 to 86) assuming all singles (unlikely). His BABIP was pretty bad in 2021 (224 vs career 299) suggesting some improvement should be automatic. Switch to his career rate and his numbers would've been 244/326/473 (assuming all hits gained were singles again) and OPS+ of about 104. There is real potential there but it depends on A) glove, B) how well he listens to coaching/teammates, C) cost - if Cincinnati wants to just dump him for mild savings then it could work, but if they want any prospects then no way. Mike Moustakas costs them even more ($16 and $18 the next 2 years plus $20 mil option or $4 mil buyout) but he is a LH hitter (just a 66 OPS+ last year) so that would be a much bigger risk I think, even if he does fit in better with the desire to have LH hitters.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 06:25 PM EST (#409230) #
Pass on Eugenio Suarez - he's been putrid in both 2020 & 2021.
scottt - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 07:17 PM EST (#409232) #
Mlbtraderumors has put their top 50 free agents predictions up.

Correa to Tigers or Phillies for 10/320M.

I think he's going to the Yankees. He might not get that much.

Corey Seager 10/305M to the Yankees.

I think he stays in LA.

Freddie Freeman 6/180M. Braves or Red Sox.

Huh. I'd hate to have Freeman in Beantown. Can't AA hate us that much?

Kevin Gausman 6/138M Giants.

Semien 6/138 Red Sox, Dodgers or Angels.

I don't see him with the Angels. I'd really hate to see him in Boston.
I still think he fits best with the Giants or even the Mariners.

Robbie Ray 5/130M Blue Jays

I could live with that.

E-Rod 5/70M Twins or Tigers

I think Boston would keep him for that price.

Schwarber, 4/70 Rockies, Blue Jays or Nationals

He's my DH.

Raisel Igglesias 4/56M Dodgers, Astros or Blue Jays

Too pricey for me. I'd bring back Hudson.

Steven Matz 3/27M Red Sox, Angels and Nationals

I figure the Jays already offered him more than than.
I don't see him looking for the abuse in Boston, but he'd be a nice fit in LA.

Kanley Jansen 2/26M Blue Jays or Royals

I don't see how he ends up in Toronto. I think he'll try for a place that will let him close.

Kyle Seager 2/24M Blue Jays or Mets.

Pass. Wrong profile and it would be super annoying if his brother ends up in the division.

Eduardo Escobar. 2/20M Nats, white Sox or Blue Jays.

He'd be an acceptable placeholder as long as they get a big left bats to DH.

Yan Gomes, 2/10M Yankees or Rockies


cascando - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 09:41 PM EST (#409234) #
I like the creativity of moving Grichuk for another overpaid player, but I think with both Moustakas and Suarez, there is too much of a risk that you will end up with a player no better than Grichuk who makes even more money. And Iíd expect that if the Reds really need to cut payroll, theyíll find a way to do it without taking a bad contract back.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 09 2021 @ 10:51 PM EST (#409235) #
cascando - agreed that the Reds will try to avoid taking any payroll back, but to do that they'd need to pony up a prospect or two. Last time the Jays did that they got Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez (for Drew Hutchinson plus eating Francisco Liriano's salary), then they traded Liriano for Nori Aoki (salary dump) and Teoscar Hernandez. Yeah that all worked out very well I'd say and all with the current GM during a tiny contending window in 2016 and a dump period in 2017.

Any deals for contracts (adding prospects at the same time) like that I suspect will be plan D or lower this winter. Something done in February or March after all the targets are gone, if the Jays still have a chunk of potential payroll space and no one to give it to. Plan A is Ray & Semien with a deal for Ramirez I suspect, followed by dealing Biggio and/or Espinal for more pitching. Plan B other quality free agents to cover those slots, Plan C Biggio/Espinal playing everyday at 2B/3B and finding any half decent arms to fill out the rotation. Plan D trade for crazy contracts where you think you can get the guy to recover here (ala Liriano in 2016) and just hope to dump him before he becomes a pumpkin again (ala Liriano in 2017). Of course, that leaves a TON of space for nearly every player out there to be considered, but details are for another day.
scottt - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 07:21 AM EST (#409237) #
Moving Grichuk just creates a hole for another centerfielder.
They spent a lot on Springer, so they have to hope he's generally healthy, but it looks like he'll need a lot of load management. He's on his way to a corner spot.

They already have a bounce back candidate in Biggio.
They don't need another.

Add a solid DH bat and they might not need more at 3B.
They have to keep a close eye on Ramirez.
Maybe they can have the best offer without overpaying.

Jonny German - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 08:57 AM EST (#409239) #
You say hole, I say opportunity. What if the Jays had a backup outfielder who could actually contribute something that the starters don't?

Grichuk is not an elite defender.
Grichuk is not a threat on the bases.
Grichuk is not a lefty bat.
Grichuk is not a guy who works the pitcher.

He's a decent 4th outfielder, but he's a particularly bad fit for this team.
scottt - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#409243) #
Centerfielder are hard to sign because they don't age well.
The Jays already overspent on a centerfielder and are set in the corners as well.

Grichuk was worth 0.8 WAR, he played more than expected and he had a significant down year offensively.
Grichuk is expensive but there is no easy way to get any of that money back, especially after last summer where he didn't hit enough.

Maybe they can trade a catcher for a 4th outfielder and ship Grichuk out with some cash for a low yield prospect, but, in effect, that doesn't really impact the team. We're talking give or take half a win.

The real need is probably to have a guy at AAA who can play CF if Springer goes on the IL.
That's the Jonathan Davis role and I'm still amazed that he played 12 games for the Yankees.

bpoz - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 11:33 AM EST (#409247) #
I see Grichuk's value as Offensive depth in case someone very good gets injured like Springer or Vlad. Then his 20+ hr/yr will be helpful. Last year 3B was a weak offensive spot in the lineup due to the injury to Biggio who should provide good OBP. I doubt a defensive specialist like Janathan Davis will be on the team taking up a valuable spot from the 13 man position players unless Teoscar and Gurriel cannot catch routine fly balls..

C would be good for 20 Hr/yr with Jansen & Kirk when he is catching. The offense of Semien will be missed. If 2021 was a career year then he does not duplicate it. With Boras as his agent Semien will probably cost too much for the Jays.
lexomatic - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 12:03 PM EST (#409249) #
I found an article that looks at hard hit and spray angle that talks about Suarez a lot. Def gives me pause. Would need to see medicals and get smarter people to see if there's mechanical changes to be made.
Apparently he had shoulder surgery in 2020, and author speculation was that it hadn't healed fully (still power bit general contact gone). Also that there were significant stance changes in random swing comparison. So a potential buy low but extremely high risk.  I think it would be worth examining,  but also be willing to walk away quickly with injury signs/trade cost too high, stubbornness with mechanical issues.

scottt - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 02:02 PM EST (#409251) #
If it was just about HRs, they 'd sign Seager and that would be that.

Jansen has an 106 OPS+ for the year. 107 for Kirk.
I'm hoping Moreno can do better than that.
If Moreno is hitting .350 in AAA at the end of April and Jansen is still hovering around .200, it will be an easy decision.

Michael - Wednesday, November 10 2021 @ 05:20 PM EST (#409257) #
When you have two catchers putting up OPS+ of 106+ hoping that a 3rd is better than that seems a little greedy to me. Not that I don't also hope the same happens.

I mean of the C with at least 50 G last year Jansen was 12th in the majors, Kirk 13th in terms of OPS. I'd be happy enough with the same result next year.
scottt - Thursday, November 11 2021 @ 09:21 AM EST (#409265) #
I'd be more happy to see the Jays win the division than finish 4th and having the best offensive catcher in MLB would go a long way towards that.
bpoz - Thursday, November 11 2021 @ 10:05 AM EST (#409271) #
After thinking about it I am pinning a lot of my hope on Pearson becoming a dominant pitcher in 2022 but on an innings limit.
Glevin - Thursday, November 11 2021 @ 10:32 AM EST (#409272) #
"After thinking about it I am pinning a lot of my hope on Pearson becoming a dominant pitcher in 2022 but on an innings limit."

I am very open to trading Pearson in the right package. There's a ton of upside still but also a lot of downside. If I could use him to get a good starter with less control (Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, etc...) or as a major piece to get Ramirez, I'd do it.
scottt - Friday, November 12 2021 @ 08:30 AM EST (#409284) #
Pearson + Kirk for a good pitcher entering arbitration would seems fair to me.
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