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Small stakes bring you where you're caught in a rut
You feel uptight you just wanna throw it all up
Small stakes hit you with the minimum blues
Can't think big, can't think past one or two
so come on

With all the uncertainty surrounding the expiring CBA and what exactly a new agreement between owners and players will look like (or how long it will take to reach one)... the baseball news of this upcoming winter appears likely to move at an even slower pace than usual. With plenty of extra time for idle speculation... have some idle speculation!

This will be like a piece I wrote last year, when I ran through MLB Trade Rumors Top 50 Free Agents and judged their potential fit on the Blue Jays. Toronto ended up signing 4 of those 50: George Springer (#3), Marcus Semien (#15), Robbie Ray (#36) and Kirby Yates (#42), while making a mid-season trade for another (the infamous Brad Hand, #26). Semien and Ray worked out brilliantly of course, Springer was equally great when he could play, while Yates never threw a regular season pitch for the team. 3 outta 4 is pretty good I'd say. Can they do something as successful again? And who should they target? Lets dive in.

1. Carlos Correa (SS-HOU) --- AL Gold Glove (Shortstop) .279/.349/.485 (7.2 WAR) OPS+ 133 (career 127)

No doubt he's a heck of a player. The type that, if you get him, fitting him into the middle of your lineup is the easy part. I admit I wasn't aware how consistently terrific he's been defensively, as among Astros infielders the guy who always stood out more to me via the eye test was Bregman. He's also been healthier than I thought: in a three year span between 2017-19 he missed over a full season worth of games, but has been in the lineup quite a bit more (58/60, 148/162) the past two years. 2022 will be his age 27 season and if he keeps up this level of production for another six or seven years there's a real shot at the Hall of Fame here. Don't think he'll be continuing that path in Toronto: the Blue Jays already have a good hitting shortstop who while not the same caliber of defender as Correa, has notably improved and (more importantly) is significantly younger and cheaper.

Just don't go to the Yankees though, please.

2. Corey Seager (SS-LA) --- .306/.394/.521 (3.7 WAR) OPS+ 145 (career 131)

Same thing. Please don't go to the Yankees.

The Younger Seager offers a bit more bat than Correa but not quite as much glove (seems to grade about average by most accounts). Likewise he also has his own checkered past in regards of staying healthy, playing only 92 games this past season while missing nearly all of 2018 due to an elbow injury.

Still though... especially if you could convince him to change to another infield position (*cough* third base *cough*)... Seager seems like the exact kind of bat this Toronto team needs. Left-handed with well above average plate discipline (career .367 OBP), contact ability and gap power. Strangely enough he's hit better in Dodger Stadium throughout his career than on the road by about 50 OPS points... not that imagining him peppering balls over that joke porch in New Yankee Stadium becomes any less gross. I'm not completely all in on Corey Seager as I was this time last year for Spring Shoes, but if you're looking for a high upside play to replace Semien this would be a pretty good one. Some folks are projecting contracts in the 300 million range but considering Seager's susceptibility to injury, that level of money and term would surprise me. He's still a LH 28 year old shortstop with a career OPS of .870 though... he's gonna get some cash.

3. Freddie Freeman --- (1B-ATL) .300/.393/.503 (4.7 WAR) OPS+ 133 (career 138)

Aside from adding Joey Votto, nothing would make the fanboy in me happier than the Blue Jays bringing forever honourary Canadian Freeman up to Toronto. Between the two you would also obviously rather have Freeman, Votto's resurgent 2021 aside, since Freddie is six years younger. I'd love it to death and then some, his presence would make this lineup completely unfair and ridiculous, but with Vlad here and a bunch of outfielders who should probably DH fairly often... I don't see it. Mega contracts for first basemen in their 30s tend not to age well either, even if this is a good one to bet on. Damn you, rationality.

4. Kris Bryant -- (3B/OF-CHC/SF) .265/.353/.481 (3.3 WAR) OPS+ 124 (career 132)

One thing I think MLBTR gets right is that Bryant seems to have settled in as an extremely good player instead of a superstar one. One thing I think they get wrong is predicting Bryant gets 160 million this offseason. That's a lot of coin for a guy about to turn 30 with helpful positional versatility, but isn't exceptional at any one position. He can really help a ballclub still, and he does happen to play a few positions (3B, CF) the Blue Jays need depth at. Plugging him into this Toronto lineup though, while beneficial, is another RH hitter with power who also strikes out a ton... Bryant's considerable ability to draw walks of course nothing to sneeze at. I'd be absolutely fine with adding Bryant, duh, but it also depends on other moves and the cost/budget of course. I've always really liked his swing... looks he's waving an enormous baton, there's something appealingly elegant about it.

5. Kevin Gausman -- (SP-SF) 14-6, 2.81 (5.4 WAR)

Last year I compared the resurrection of Gausman's career (and all those mid 2010s Oriole pitchers) to that of the zombies from Plan 9 From Outer Space. Well he showed me.

I'm still not convinced. At least, to the point where I'd want my team to be the one handing out a massive deal to him. His overall numbers on the season impress but he faded towards average-ish in the second half (5-3, 4.42 in 15 starts). He throws hard, he's got a good hard breaking ball... somebody will take the chance he's genuinely as good as he's been as a Giant. Huh... sounds familiar... Gausman's pants aren't tight enough though.

6. Marcus Semien --- AL Gold Glove (Second Base) (2B-TOR) .265/.334/.538 (7.3 WAR) OPS+ 133 (career 110)

We know this guy and what he's about.

I do think his age (31 for most of next year) will be what knocks his contract down compared to the likes of Correa and Seager, both in their mid/late 20s... despite that in 2021 Semien was certainly more valuable than Seager (staying in the lineup counts) and pretty close to Correa, depending on how much you want to measure shortstop defense versus second base. Obviously would love to see Semien back... I'd be somewhat concerned how he'd age on a long contract but as already proven, betting against him seems foolish. He's a ballplayer's ballplayer.

7. Robbie Ray --- AL Cy Young (SP-TOR) 13-7, 2.84 (6.7 WAR)

We know this guy and what he's about.

I'm sure the history of baseball free agency is littered with pitchers cashing in on one big career year and then reverting back to whatever they were before, or worse (Jordan Zimmermann comes to mind). I'm not sure how many did so by simply correcting a problem that has plagued so many electric arms since the game itself has existed: throwing more quality strikes. I certainly want to believe it's a real improvement, and it isn't crazy to think it is. Even if he gives you a few years of his Arizona peak instead... that's still plenty useful. Ray is exactly what the team needs anyway, and we've turned his career around here. Make it so.

8. Trevor Story -- (SS-COL) .251/.329/.471 (4.2 WAR) OPS+ 103 (career 112)

Admittedly I've never understood the love many people have for Story (it's not like I watch a lot of Rockies games...). I don't think he's entirely a Coors Field mirage but his career home/road splits (.972 OPS versus .752) are seriously alarming, and 2021 especially so (.203/.292/.426 in 71 road games). He's without question a very good fielding shortstop with power and relatively young still (29 next season), but man. I just really wonder if he's even a league average hitter playing his home games elsewhere. Nolan Arenado saw his OPS drop by 100 points moving to St. Louis, and Story was never the same level of hitter as Arenado.

9. Max Scherzer -- (SP-WSH/LAD) 15-4, 2.46 (5.2 WAR)

Would it cost about 35+ million a year? Yup. Will Scherzer turn 38 next summer? Yup again. Are the odds pretty much zero that he would sign in Toronto or that we would offer him that kind of contract? Also yup.

Would it be insanely fun though? Oh you're damn right it would be. Mad Max is one of a kind. 

10. Nick Castellanos -- (RF-CIN) .309/.362/.576 (3.3 WAR) OPS+ 136 (career 115)

We're slipping into the second tier of players here, which in many other years would be a top tier but this free agent class is rather loaded. These are still star level ballplayers with considerable warts, which Castellanos headlines the description of perfectly.

The fella can flat out hit, for average and for power, and is about as fiery a batter you'll see (we're talking Jose Bautista stuff here). You love to see the passion on your side, and the man just does not like to get hit by a pitch. He's also an absurdly atrocious defender. I've heard some people suggest signing Castellanos and arguing "ah, it's just right field... or play him at third? We've seen Gurriel Jr. after all! How bad could it be?" Uh... really, really bad. Gurriel Jr. at least covers a lot of his mistakes (bad jumps and balls over his head mainly) by being so athletic and having an absolute missile for an arm. Imagine Lourdes without the cannon and half the foot speed... that's Castellanos. I don't even wanna think about him at third. He's only 30 next year and probably veering into a part-time OF/DH role sooner than later. If he keeps hitting like he this you definitely live with it... there's an eerie career parallel to J.D Martinez here that sows optimism. Worth a splurge on behalf of the Blue Jays though? A stretch.

11. Marcus Stroman -- (SP-NYM) 10-13, 3.02 (3.6 WAR)

Escaped the fire tire (tire fire?) of the Mets with one of his best seasons. Go get paid, fella.  

12. Javier Baez -- (SS/2B-CHC/NYM) .265/.319/.494 (4.5 WAR) OPS+ 117 (career 104)

An incredibly fun player to watch. Electric in the field, clever on the basepaths (him psyching out that Pirates first baseman is a highlight of the 2021 season) and about as swing happy a player you'll ever see. He's walked just a bit more in his career than Joey Gallo did this past season. Baez ain't getting aboard by watching that's for sure. Don't think it's happening, unless you think he's your second base solution (I don't). It's not impossible though, if the new undervalued market asset  is sheer explosive fun. 

13. Starling Marte -- (CF-MIA/OAK) .310/.383/.458 (4.7 WAR) OPS+ 132 (career 116)

I absolutely love guys who can steal bases (not something the Blue Jays have much of beyond Bichette) and Marte was top 6 in both the AL and NL this past season, finishing with 47 to lead MLB. He's coming off a really good year but I'm wary of the idea: he'll be 33, which is a year older than Springer and Marte hasn't ever been Lorenzo Cain to begin with. Which one moves to a corner? Replacing Randal Grichuk with Marte... sure that improves the team a lot. Making it happen: not quite so direct or simple.

14. Eduardo Rodriguez -- (SP-BOS) 13-8, 4.74 (1.8 WAR)

Quite intriguing. Rodriguez is still young (29 next season) and has multiple very good seasons under his belt already. Plus any move that directly hurts the Red Sox certainly works for me. He's never been great at limiting walks or hits (1.31 career WHIP) yet is remarkably consistent: he's never had a season with an ERA below 3.81 or above 4.74. Probably about as dependable a back-end starter as you can find on the open market, especially if you think there's more there to unlock.

(EDIT: signed with the Tigers for 5/77)

15. Kyle Schwarber -- (LF-WSH/BOS) .266/.374/.554 (3.2 WAR) OPS+ 148 (career 119)

Still on the safer side of 30, and in non COVID shortened seasons has been a reliably good hitter. Lots of LH power, lots of strikeouts and a healthy dose of walks. If not for the defensive limitations he'd be a perfect fit in Toronto... alas he's limited mostly to LF and isn't too quick out there (it works better in Fenway). He's played some first base also. Schwarber got 10 million/one year from the Nationals last offseason and I figure he'll be expecting more in salary and years this time around. It's a bet I'd be willing to entertain in a vacuum, as I do think this club needs a lefty power bat more than some folks realize. I liked what Corey Dickerson gave the club (and am cool with bringing him back) but he's not really a middle of the order guy anymore.

16. Chris Taylor -- (UT-LAD) .254/.344/.438 (2.6 WAR) OPS+ 110 (career 109)

I'm always somewhat skeptical of guys like this. Utility players that become indispensable to a particular team for a few years in the latter stages of their prime, after not doing much with significant playing time before. Taylor was notably unremarkable playing mostly shortstop as a Mariner (a .593 OPS in 256 PA) but as a Dodger has flourished (.779 OPS in 2700 PA) operating as a "plug in anywhere" everyday piece. Considering their infield and centerfield depth issues, Taylor would be quite useful on the Blue Jays assuming he continues to hit as he has in Los Angeles. Not sure how much I'd want to commit to him (he'll be 31 next August) but there's a bit of Ben Zobrist to his game that I like, only with more shortstop/centerfield ability but less bat (and is only a RH). You could talk me into it.

17. Raisel Iglesias -- (RP-LAA) 2.57, 38 SV (2.8 WAR)

Once the Reds salary dumped him last winter I'd completely forgotten about Iglesias... nevermind notice he had a terrific year for the Angels. His numbers certainly catch your attention: A career 10.9 K/9 rate, ERA under 3.00 in five of the past six seasons and a .216 batting average against. As a Red I don't recall him being quite so dominant or automatic at the end of games, though one certainly can't deny the Cincinnati bullpen was a flaming car wreck in 2021 without him. I suppose going after Iglesias depends on your preference on spending 15+ million a season on relievers, particularly one who will be 32 in January. He's clearly a very good one, but I'd pass.

18. Carlos Rodon -- (SP-CWS) 13-5, 2.37 (5.0 WAR)

Seemingly the Marcus Semien of the 2021 offseason: a potential superstar many expect to take a one year "prove it" deal so to set himself up for the big payday next winter. Unlike Semien, the concerns around Rodon also include injury risk or diminished velocity on top of the "fluke season" question. If Matz and Ray are elsewhere, Rodon would certainly be an enticing high-risk high-reward gamble at a high price tag for a season or two. Not my money and all that.

19. Jon Gray (SP-COL) 8-12, 4.59 (1.3 WAR)

Somewhat like a less consistent, RH, older Eduardo Rodriguez. Signing Gray to a significant sum would be an upside play: you get him out of the thin Denver air but he still gives you the same results... you're probably a bit disappointed. For what it's worth, his career numbers on the road aren't much different than his home numbers. All that in mind, the floor seems to be a decent 4/5 starter, with potential upside considering he still throws hard. On a reasonable deal it's worth a look.

20. Seiya Suzuki (OF-NPB)

I've never seen him play and know nothing about him beyond the numbers: a power hitting RH bat in Japan with a good defensive reputation and excellent plate discipline. It's impossible to predict how that'll transfer over... but I like the profile. Hope the Reds get him to replace Castellannos.

21. Anthony Rizzo (1B-CHC/NYY) .248/.344/.440 (1.7 WAR) OPS+ 111 (career 127)

Another one of my favourite players (clearly I just like LH NL first basemen) and while his better offensive days seem behind him at 32, he's still a good (and smart) enough hitter to help a club as a secondary star... plus he's just such an alert defender at the first sack. His batting approach would fit perfectly on the Blue Jays (take that, shift!) but his limitation of only playing first base sadly does not... damn it.

22. Anthony DeSclafani (SP-SF) 13-7, 3.17 (3.9 WAR)

The Rodney Dangerfield of free agent starting pitchers... no respect! True, his track record has some bumps on the path and he's never been one to rack up strikeouts. Aside from 2021 you're looking at a "solid but not great" mid rotation guy. Gotta figure he'll look to take advantage of his best season and cash in as a 32 year old free agent pitcher... I wouldn't be lining up for that. It's possible he's the next Ryan Vogelsong, which works best when playing for the Giants obviously. It's wild all these years later that of all the young pitchers Toronto traded in the winter of 2012... DeSclafani had by far the best MLB season in 2021. Baseball... you just never know.

23. Justin Verlander (SP) - did not pitch in 2021

Who knows what he has left after missing so much time... he'll also be 39 before opening day 2022... but damn I'd be pretty excited if the Blue Jays gave him a look. Unlike when they tried out a clearly washed Johan Santana in Spring Training (who hadn't been good in years even when healthy), Verlander was still one of the very best pitchers in the league when we last saw him. It'd be darn nice to see him pitch a no-hitter for the Blue Jays at least. He'd instantly become one of the greatest pitchers to ever wear the uniform.

(EDIT -- re-signed with Houston for 50 million over two years. Much as I like Verlander that's a pricey tag on a fella who hasn't pitched since 2019)

24. Avisail Garcia (RF-MIL) .262/.330/.490 (2.9 WAR) OPS+ 117 (career 105)

A nice player who had a nice year. Sort of a poor man's Teoscar Hernandez (with less bat and more glove). The King of Vibes wins that comparison.

25. Jorge Soler (OF-KC/ATL) .223/.316/.432 (-0.3 WAR) OPS+ 97 (career 111)

Someone, somewhere... made a bet before the season that Jorge Soler would win the World Series MVP. Maybe they were an extremely optimistic Royals fan, maybe it was a random joke bet... but you know somebody did.

26. Alex Wood (SP-SF) 10-4, 3.83 (1.3 WAR)

Owner of one of the funkiest deliveries in baseball, Wood put up a very nice 2021 for the Giants after struggling badly in 2019-20 when he could even take the hill. A career National League guy, it's difficult to say how Wood would perform in the considerably more hitter friendly environments of the AL East, not to mention the injury risk. His windup is so weird and deceptive though it'd at least be cool to watch. You gotta figure San Francisco will bring back at least one of their free agent pitchers and Wood might be the most likely with that group.

27. Steven Matz (SP-TOR) 14-7, 3.82 (2.0 WAR)

We know this guy and what he's about.

It seems unlikely we'll see Matz return north, although if Toronto misses on Ray and he's still on the board I bet they'll circle back for another shot. I think 2021 is basically who he is and has always been... you can do a lot worse.

28. Kendall Graveman (RP-SEA/HOU) 1.77, 10 SV (2.1 WAR)

A curious case indeed. After a few seasons as a dependably solid starting pitcher for Oakland, Graveman fell into the abyss. As a low strikeout, plenty contact pitcher, the margin for error combined with injury seems to have closed around him. He spent a season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery for the Cubs in the minors but was released later that winter having thrown just six innings in 2019. Seattle gave him a shot in 2020, and while that season didn't impress anybody either the Mariners brought him back for 2021 exclusively as a reliever. Suddenly he became unhittable, surrendering just 15 in 33 innings with just 3 earned runs for Seattle. Graveman wasn't quite as good in Houston (seemingly used more as a setup man there) though he turned in some very effective postseason work.

I suppose you could bring him in as sort of the "Closer B", perhaps if Romano needs a day off. One season isn't a great body of work to judge upon but you can definitely squint and see a pretty good relief pitcher in Graveman, who will be 31 next season. Something like the deal Blake Treinen signed with the Dodgers wouldn't be that crazy. Anything insane... would be just that (it's like these words describe themselves).

29. Kenley Jansen (RP-LAD) 2.22, 38 SV (2.3 WAR)

Too Many Jansens! Having turned 34 in September, the Kenleyliest of Jansens isn't looking at another 5/77 deal like the one he signed in 2017. A 12 season veteran of the Dodgers, the blowing leaves suggest he'll be slinging that heavy cut-fastball for a different team in 2022. Would you want it to be in Toronto? Jansen has been a consistently excellent pitcher his entire career: he's nearly impossible to take out of the ballpark, is stingy giving up hits and has always struck batters out, even as his velocity has dipped. Presumably you'd be signing him to be "the 9th inning guy" and not as a "mix and match" late innings piece... a perhaps tricky balance considering you're also probably not getting "peak" Jansen (his 2012-17 run is pretty nuts). If going forward he's more his 2021 self and less the worrying decline we saw in 2019-20 (where he was much closer to average than elite) he's an arm you want to finish games.

30. Mark Canha (OF-OAK) .231/.358/.387 (2.5 WAR) OPS+ 111 (career 114)

I really like the OBP marks the past three seasons: .396, .387, .358. I don't like that he'll be 33 next season, and while versatile seems a very average fielder that you're best off hiding in a corner. He's a good fit for somebody (the Reds!) but don't think it's here.

31. Kyle Seager (3B-SEA) .212/.285/.438 (2.0 WAR) OPS+ 100 (career 112)

The batting average and especially OBP are pretty alarming: a .285 OBP is Randal Grichuk territory. Fortunately for Older Seager, his body of work suggests this was more of a blip than a flaw in the design (although he is a 34 year old third baseman with steadily declining BABIP, if that means anything). The fit for Toronto seems too good to be true: a veteran LH bat who can significantly shore up the defense at the hot corner and still pop a few dingers out for ya. Really the perfect #5/6 hitter on a team loaded with right-handed bats... if the blip is more real than the decline.

32. Michael Conforto (OF-NYM) .232/.344/.384 (0.8 WAR) OPS+ 101 (career 124)

A high on base LH bat with considerable power and proven hitting ability, coming off a down year? Yeah that sounds good. Conforto, 29 in March, is maybe another one year "prove em" deal. After what Marcus Semien did in 2021, we'll be inventing these types of one year deals for at least half a decade. Why wouldn't you?

I really haven't seen Conforto play much, no characteristic or moment jumps out at me (it's my Realmuto blindspot I guess). The numbers suggest he's a terrific hitter. If the Blue Jays went and got him, I'd like the gamble.

33. Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD) 10-8, 3.55 (2.4 WAR)

We can dream, right? It's not happening though. It would be entering a portal into some irregular universe to see Kershaw wearing any non-Dodger uniform. Still, he looks good in blue...

34. Yusei Kikuchi (SP-SEA) 7-9, 4.41 (1.7 WAR)

I definitely remember this guy dominating the Jays in Seattle one late lost summer evening. Kikuchi, an all-star in 2021, faded so brutally the final few months his numbers don't look worth a major league guarantee. He suffered a suspicious drop in spin rate halfway through the year and opposing batters absolutely hammered him (an opposing OPS of .906, which is pretttttty bad). Considering the pitcher friendliness of Seattle's home park (whatever it's called now)... yikes.

35. Eduardo Escobar (3B-ARI/MIL) .253/.314/.472 (2.4 WAR) OPS+ 109 (career 99)

Whoa, a switch hitting infielder who can play anywhere with multiple 20+ home run seasons? What's the catch? He'll be 33? He hasn't played shortstop in six years? Ah whatever. If the team decides to prioritize the budget towards pitching, Escobar could slot in super easily on the 2022 Blue Jays. His ability to play either 3B or 2B certainly leaves your options open. Seems almost too obvious... maybe.

36. Brandon Belt (1B-SF) .274/.378/.597 (2.7 WAR) OPS+ 160 (career 125)

An absolutely terrific hitter when healthy, which has been an issue. Seems unlikely he's leaving San Francisco regardless. (EDIT: He didn't)

37. Noah Syndergaard (SP-NYM) 0-1, 9.00 (2 ip)

As with Belt, Syndergaard probably accepts the qualifying offer so to better cash in next winter..... (EDIT) except no! He rejected it and signed for 21 million with the Angels. So much for my brief moment of clairvoyance)

38. Corey Knebel (RP-LAD)

A quality reliever, lots of strikeouts and lots of free passes. Meh?

39. Alex Cobb (SP-LAA)

Probably had a better season than you think (8-3, 3.78 in 18 starts) as getting the heck off the Orioles seems to have been good for him (as it would be for anyone). Cobb has never been somebody you can rely on for innings, but at an appropriately low cost he'd be a fine depth addition/lottery ticket. Also not sure if he still uses that supremely bizarre slow and toe-pointy leg kick (I hope so).

40. Zack Greinke (SP-HOU)

Yeah, I know he struggled pretty badly down the stretch of 2021. I don't care, sign me up. The unusualness of his pitching style in this modern age of high octave fastballs, combined with the endlessly unusualness of Greinke himself,...would just be so delightful to see in Blue Jay blue. It does seem like the hitter-friendly confines of his home park didn't help him much in 2021 either. It's not crazy to think he could help the 2022 Blue Jays.

41. Eddie Rosario (LF-CLE/ATL)

A good, not great, major league hitter. Pretty limited defensively, and with a low walk rate is a LH version of a few guys the Blue Jays already have. Better than Grichuk, probably.

42. Hector Neris (RP-PHI)

There's a bit of Rafael Dolis to Neris' profile (I mean 2020 Dolis, not the ghastly 2021 version). Low contact, doesn't know where the ball is going sometimes, lots of swing and miss. Dolis never gave up home runs as frequently as Neris though.

43. Jonathan Villar (UT-NYM)

Had a good year in Queens. No thanks.

44. Mark Melancon (RP-SD)

The grass man continues to get it done, presumably due to complete moxy and location considering his diminished stuff. I like Melancon quite a bit... I could see him getting another 100 saves as an NL closer or washing out of the American League by July as a Texas Rangers failure. Don't do it Mark!   

45. Ryan Tepera (RP-CHC/CWS)

Has really made himself into a dependable bullpen arm, while his joke MVP vote last season adds to the charm and legacy.

46. Corey Kluber (SP-NYY)

I think he proved two things in 2021: he can still pitch pretty well when healthy, and that he's never going to stay healthy. Much like Alex Cobb, you're adding Kluber in hopes that he gives you 100 good innings.

47. Nelson Cruz (DH-MIN/TB)

Didn't hit nearly as well for Tampa Bay as he did in Minnesota, because of course the Rays are just no fun. I don't quite see a fit in Toronto since he's purely been a DH for quite a while now, but you never know. The Rays did try him at 1B for a game. Cruz is only 51 homers away from 500... even though he's 41 years old it's not insane to think he could actually get there. What an odd career. 

48. Danny Duffy (SP-KC*) *traded to the Dodgers but never pitched for them

A dependable backend starter with some health question marks. Hey, we stopped shopping at the front shelf about 1200 words ago.

49. Yan Gomes (C-WSH/OAK)

I didn't realize we hadn't seen a catcher until now. That being a position of depth (and almost certain trade) for the Blue Jays, a Yan Gomes signing is the least likely occurrence on this entire list. I'd wager their odds of adding both Corey Seager and Scherzer higher... high enough? Damn.

50. Andrew Heaney (SP-LAA/NYY)

Already signed with the Dodgers.

Honourable Mentions? Why Not!

James Paxton - Recovering from Tommy John surgery. Would love to see him here but... yeah.
Joc Pederson - Still has some power, still not a great outfielder. You could do worse as a 4th OF, you could do a lot better.
Tommy Pham - He'll be 34 and his defense seems to be slipping into badness. Still gives you some power and OBP skill, an improvement over Grichuk at least.
Michael Pineda - The big fella must have the largest pants in the league  the anti-Robbie Ray). Solid starter when able to pitch the last few years, as depth I'm down.
Brooks Raley - You can never have too many lefty relievers who strike out tons of guys. Seems a bit better than the ERA suggests.
Tomoyuki Sugano - Quiet news on this front compared to last winter. Probably staying in Japan.
Johnny Cueto - Was entirely decent for SF in 2021 after a few years in the darkness. I love watching him pitch (the shimmy!) but moving to the AL East at 36 would be a tall ask.
Josh Harrison - Could be a decent 2B/UT pickup if the team misses out on everyone else I've mentioned.
Rich Hill - 42 in March and just pitched the second most innings of his career (158.2). That big curveball is pretty neat, you could sell me on that.
Daniel Hudson - Was really good for the Nats, not so much for the Padres. Is striking out a ton of guys (103 in 71.2 innings since 2020). Could be a sneaky good pickup.
Joe Kelly - Never been a Kelly fan, though he is coming off a pretty effective year. Meh.
Aaron Loup - A 2.8 WAR season? A 6-0, 0.95 mark will do that. Sure, why not?
Andrew McCutchen - He can still hit a little and get on base. You'd probably want him to DH more often than not but he can help a team still.
Brad Miller - Good LH bat, can play a bunch of positions in theory but isn't particularly good at any of them. As a bench piece could be useful.
Andrew Chafin - Lefty reliever who had a great year between the Cubs and A's. Honestly never heard of him before.
Tyler Anderson - A pitch to contact 31 year old LHP who probably doesn't excite many. Maybe as a swingman but the Jays already have one in Stripling. 

Colin McHugh - Yes.

That's all I got. Feel like I went through half the league. Have at it.

Window Shopping The 2021 Free Agents | 274 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 12:13 PM EST (#409506) #
Thanks for the article.  I was debating it but didn't want to go through all 50.

So last year was #3/15/36/42.  This years equivalents are Freddie Freeman (no way I see that happening), Kyle Schwarber (a chance), Brandon Belt (took QO), Hector Neris (possible, another solid reliever is always a good thing).

So the Jays won't sign the exact same slots this year (one is gone, 1 is a no chance).  Which of the top 10 is most likely?
  1. Carlos Correa I put at no chance,$300+ mil and plays SS just like Bo.  Of course, if Bo indicates he is A-OK with moving to 3B or something...
  2. Corey Seager: same as Correa.
  3. Freeman I cover above - no chance for the same reasons - Jays don't want to lock Vlad into DH and neither should be anywhere but 1B/DH.
  4. Kris Bryant: I see a potential match here - Mostly 3B but also LF/CF/RF/1B and even played 2 innings at SS this year.  A 124 OPS+, decent defense at 3B, all depends on contract demands and how costly alternative options are.
  5. Kevin Gausman: Very interesting possibility and the highest odds of the top 5 imo especially if Ray goes elsewhere.  Like Bryant contract demands are key.
  6. Marcus Semien: I'm betting on him going out west somewhere to be near his family, but would be happy to be wrong.
  7. Robbie Ray: would require a similar deal to Berrios I suspect.  $140 over 7.  Will the Jays go there?  I'd be very, very nervous to do that.  Best case is he is like Randy Johnson who also emerged at the same age, then was a superstar for a decade+.  Worst case is he reverts to 2020 form.  Big risk, big reward.
  8. Trevor Story: the guy they traded Tulo away to make room for.  Never played anywhere but SS in the majors but did play a decent amount at 3B and 2B in the minors but not since 2015.
  9. Max Scherzer: very tempting - no draft pick compensation, just would need a 2-3 year deal.  But for 3 years you'd be looking at $100 mil to get him here.  Doubt anyone will offer a pitching going into his age 37 season 3 years but the rule of thumb is the Jays need to go 1 year beyond their comfort range to get someone.  His 11 games in pressure packed games for LA he went 7-0 with a 208 ERA+ about 6 innings per game showing he still has it. But in the playoffs he seemed to tire by the end.  Him and Ryu would both be best in a 6 day situation vs the usual 5 I suspect.  Doubt it'll happen but damn would it be nice. A lock for the HOF even with 'just' 190 wins - safe to say he wants those 10 more to crack 200.  Has a WS ring so nothing left to accomplish beyond upping his career totals and bank account.
  10. Nick Castellanos: A RH hitting RF coming off a career year.  I'd skip unless he is still there late and takes a cheap deal out of desperation.
I take note of pitchers as that is what the Jays are REALLY after...
  • Marcus Stroman: if not for the negatives when he left he'd be a good fit - eats innings, solid ERA+, solid track record. 
  • Raisel Iglesias: reliever, would be in the closer role, thus shifting everyone else down a notch which is a good thing.  140-21 in saves-blown lifetime.  Hard to complain.  Odds are will get $10+ per year so no way the Jays sign him.  I don't like the idea of risking that much cash on a reliever not named "Mariano"
  • Carlos Rodon: damn tempting - 183 ERA+ in 133 IP last year, but has never thrown more than 165 innings (once in 2016, otherwise always sub 140) and that limits his value drastically.  If Walker thinks he can keep him healthy then go for it, but otherwise let someone else take the risk
  • Jon Gray: very tempting - shouldn't be too expensive vs some others, but has been effective in Colorado - always impressive when a pitcher does that. 
  • Anthony DeSclafani: has had 3 excellent years (120+ ERA+) and 4 sub 100 ERA+ seasons.  So a crapshoot.  A guy I'd put on the 3rd tier for the Jays.  Sign if available in February and all better options are gone.
There are a LOT of options out there.  I covered many earlier in a different thread and these are my current thoughts but they will change as I think more about them or read more.  Biggest shocks would be resigning Stroman or signing Freeman.  Top 10 I'd say Bryant is highest odds of the Jays getting, outside of keeping Ray with Semien my 3rd most likely of the top 10.  My surprise signing hope is Scherzer just due to his year demand most likely not being nuts and fitting nicely with when Vlad and Bo get expensive (IE: runs out by then).
greenfrog - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 01:17 PM EST (#409507) #
I enjoy going through these lists. This looks like a pretty good free agent class. Ray, Gausman, Semien, Seager (Corey), Scherzer, Marte, Taylor, Bryant, Escobar, Rodon, Iglesias, Matz and Graveman are some names I could generating some interest in the Jays front office discussions. No doubt Ray is at or near the top of the list.
85bluejay - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 01:56 PM EST (#409508) #
I'm assuming that Ray and Semien will not be back. Having locked up Berrios, I don't see the Jays making a huge financial commitment to another pitcher - I'd be ok with Gray but with the Miami Marlins having such a bevy of quality controllable starters and the need for bats, I hope the Jays go hard after a trade with Miami (Myself, I'd be willing to give up Vladdy in the right deal but I don't expect the Jays will).

I hope the Jays can acquire 2 of Conforto/Schwarber/Winker and maybe Eduardo Escobar on a short term deal - I'd try to move on from Grichuk and Gurriel

Likely a catcher will be moved and because Kirk hasn't shown an inclination for conditioning I expect him to be the guy.

Also, with Kevin Smith and Otto Lopez near MLB ready, I think this puts Santiago Espinal, coming off a nice season in play.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#409509) #
I’m not sure why you would trade Vladdy. He’s 22 and just came off a 6.7 WAR season. He’s controllable for four more years (longer if the team extends him). He’s a positive presence on the team and hugely popular among fans.

The next few years is prime time for the Jays to compete. I think they’ll make a substantial bid for another top-tier free agent or two (possibly including Ray).

Miami has some excellent young starting pitchers but they’ll be difficult to acquire. Every GM would love to land Alcantara, Lopez or Rogers. The nice thing about those players is that they’re controllable for more than a year or two.
John Northey - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#409510) #
No question #1 should be trying to get those guys from Miami but free agents are tempting as they cost only money and maybe a draft pick. Perfect world to me is trade to get Alcantara, sign Mad Max, then figure out something from bargain bins for 3B/2B to mix with Biggio/Espinal/kids, and more dumpster diving for relievers (max of $5 mil). Then the team would have financial flexibility mid-season if needed, and next offseason too while having a killer rotation and lineup. I expect Alcantara would cost Kirk (solid hitting catcher), Gurriel (Cuban defector who is a solid player? Gold in Miami plus affordable for 2 more years), and prospects (I'd give up Pearson too). Expensive but probably worth it.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 02:56 PM EST (#409511) #
If I were Ng, I would ask for Moreno plus a couple of other pieces for Alcantara (controllable and cheap #1 starter).

rafael - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 04:13 PM EST (#409512) #
There was that announcement yesterdau that Canada will no longer allow unvaccinated athletes into country after Jan 15th, so I imagine Jays would be doing their best to avoid contracting any. So I think that rules out Steve Matz - and probably some others
John Northey - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 04:23 PM EST (#409513) #
It will be interesting to see who is and isn't vaccinated should that hold into the summer. Hopefully the vast majority of players are smart enough to be. I mean they are exposed to many people by way of their job so the only sane choice is to be vaccinated. The fact Matz got COVID doesn't mean he wasn't vaccinated, it increases the odds but not to a no doubt level.
85bluejay - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 07:02 PM EST (#409514) #
I've read many post amiable to trading Nate Pearson, I would have agreed perhaps a year ago but I think his value has plummeted so much that I'd lean towards keeping him.
John Northey - Sunday, November 21 2021 @ 10:32 PM EST (#409515) #
With Pearson it would all depend on how much the other team values him. If they see him as a 'must add' to get a guy the Jays need/want then I say use him. If he is seen as a 'throw in' then no way. Or if he would be used to get a role player. Only for a key piece would I give him or Kirk or Gurriel up.
bpoz - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 07:28 AM EST (#409516) #
I feel that TB may be strong again. They have been using the strategy of trading or releasing expensive players and replacing them with cheap players. This allows them to meet their payroll parameters. The cheap players acquired are unproven but have the raw baseball tools that could make them successful.

Snell for Patino.
Morton for payroll reduction.
Arozarena for Liberatore. This is an exchange of young cheap talent. Arozarena was considered surplus by St Louis which was similar to Grichuk being surplus.

LAD traded for Betts then gave him a monster contract. Time will tell if Betts produces better for Boston or LAD.

The above are examples of 2 successful teams that have vastly different payroll parameters.
John Northey - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 07:59 AM EST (#409518) #
Ugh. Bad news most likely. The current ownership has been good about letting the Jays budget stay in the top 10 range of MLB, future owners could decide to go cheaper as revenue sharing guarantees a profit if you keep payroll in the Tampa range. The sad incentives MLB has in place.
rpriske - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 09:33 AM EST (#409519) #
"I'd be willing to give up Vladdy in the right deal"

What possible deal could THAT be? I wouldn't trade Vlad for Ohtani. Trout if he was healthy and LA paid a bunch of his contract?

Vlad should be the only player on the team that is ABSOLUTELY untouchable.
JohnL - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 10:04 AM EST (#409520) #
Even worse: “If Rogers did decide to sell a portion of the Blue Jays to an individual, the sources said company chair Edward Rogers is a potential buyer. ”

I didn’t realize Shapiro reports to him, not the Rogers CEO of the day. I also learned that Edward’s sons are Blue Jay batboys at spring training. How cute.
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 11:02 AM EST (#409521) #
I have no idea about whether it would be good or bad, but we might get more of a handle on how much the real revenues associated with Blue Jay broadcast rights are.  It sure would be nice to have journalists who looked into that....
greenfrog - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 12:22 PM EST (#409522) #
It looks as though Alcantara has agreed to a 5/55 extension with Miami. Nice move by Ng.
cascando - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 12:32 PM EST (#409523) #
Trading Vladdy at 22 because he might age poorly as he approaches his 30s seems unwise. If there is no chance of a reasonable extension, they can trade him in 3 years and might get a package similar to what the Red Sox got for Betts. That seems like a much better outcome than whatever you might get for trading him now.

I hope that they are working on an extension that buys out his arbitration years and the first 2-3 years of free agency. Vladdy could still be a FA at 28 or 29 and in the meantime guarantee himself in the area of $120-150 million right now.
Glevin - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 12:33 PM EST (#409524) #
"I'd be willing to give up Vladdy in the right deal"

I mean, no one is untradeable but the deal for Vladdy would have to be insane. Jays are in a window of contention now and Vlad isn't a FA until 2026 so trading a 6.5 WAR with tons of control player really doesn't make any sense at all.
JohnL - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 01:17 PM EST (#409525) #
Good point about unearthing the value of Jays' broadcast rights, Mike.

I don't know how good or bad any of the possibilities in that story might be. My worries are a) short-term, all the mess around Rogers and potential uncertainty about ownership might discourage some free agent signings, and b) longer-term, Mr. Rogers' actions recently and in past years do not leave one with much confidence in him as owner - directly or indirectly.

I should add a nice quote from the article. The now (interim) CEO and then CFO, Tony Staffieri said in 2017 that the company was “looking at ways to better surface the value of the Blue Jays.”
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 02:17 PM EST (#409526) #
"Surface the value" said the organization that had absolutely no role in keeping its value hidden beneath murky waters. 

Over 50 years ago, the Carter (no relation to Joe) Commission said that "a buck is a buck".  There is no reason for capital gains to be taxed at lower rates than business or (even worse) employment income.  But that is what we do and what we have done.  One of the results is that it creates an incentive to depress operating income artificially on profitable businesses, as the real money comes on the sale.  Don't get me started on the principal residence exemption!
/tax policy detour
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 03:23 PM EST (#409527) #
Trivia question.  How many of the following sixteen players had negative bWAR for their (playing) careers:

1.   Yuniesky Betancourt
2.   Jorge Cantu
3.   Darnell Coles
4.   Doug Flynn
5.   Terry Francona
6.   Pepe Frias
7.   Butch Hobson
8.   Cito Gaston
9.   Von Joshua
10. Pete LaCock
11. Johnnie LeMaster
12. Mike Matheny
13. Ken Reitz
14. Dale Sveum
15. Tom Veryzer
16. Marvelle Wynne

And the bonus question: which of the sixteen had the lowest career WAR?
Chuck - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 03:35 PM EST (#409528) #
Feels like a trick question. All of them?

The lowest? Francona?

85bluejay - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 03:45 PM EST (#409529) #
I do remember that Doug Flynn was putrid with the bat - won't survive today.
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 03:46 PM EST (#409530) #
Correct. All of them.  I saw Dale Sveum's name, and thought that he would have the lowest career WAR total of any player with over 700 games.  He is not the correct answer (and wasn't close), but neither is Terry Francona. 
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 03:47 PM EST (#409531) #
Correct.  Doug Flynn.

Too easy, I guess.  I'll stick to something other than trivia.
Chuck - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 04:11 PM EST (#409532) #
Cito is interesting. Of that lot, he alone, surely, has a 5-WAR season on his resume.

Many players from my youth represented on that list. Many Expos.

  • Frias the reputation as a glove man. Check out his 1978: 73 games, just 17 PA. Why are there no more guys named Pepe any more?
  • Doug Flynn was going to be the defensive whiz at 2B to finally settle the position for the 1982 Expos. Hah.
  • Terry Francona hit .346 in 1984 before getting hurt. No one at the time would have known about the 360 BABIP. And few would have discussed the lacks of walks, though Bill James was in the throes of changing the way we fans saw the game.
  • Butch Hobson felt like a star with a 30/112 season as a 25-year old, though that amounted to an OPS+ of just 101. Back in the day, the two numbers that were slashed were HR and RBI. Seems quaint now.
  • Pete LaCock -- full name Ralph Pierre LaCock -- had a then-famous father, Peter Marshall, who was host of the Hollywood Squares. Wiki tells me that is lives still and is 95. This conjures memories of Paul Lynde and Wally Cox. What a waste of grey matter to remember this.
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 04:16 PM EST (#409533) #
My Hall of Fame ballot:
Bonds, Clemens, Rolen, Schilling, Andruw Jones, Todd Helton

As usual, I'd vote for Bonds and Clemens because of their performances prior to 1996.  I wouldn't vote for Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz because neither of their careers were on balance likely to have been achieved without steroids.  It's a tougher call with Rodriguez- he admitted using steroids with Texas over a 3 year period, but performed so well in Seattle prior to that. You could persuade me that he ought to be voted for on the same basis as Bonds and Clemens- players obviously headed to the Hall of Fame prior to involvement with steroids.

Hudson, Buehrle and Kent are close but no cigar. 
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 04:19 PM EST (#409534) #
Yes, Chuck, lots of Expos and four players who became managers later. 

I did not know about the Hollywood Squares connection.  It is terrifying that those of us of a certain age will remember Paul Lynde long after we remember where we left the soup ladle. 
85bluejay - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 04:38 PM EST (#409535) #
No doubt in my mind that Alex Rodriguez was a hall of famer without steroids, so if you are voting for Bonds and Clemens ( which I would) then I think you have to include Alex ( awesome in Seattle) - Ortiz, probably I'd vote no but I expect his likability and Boston media will get him in.
John Northey - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 04:53 PM EST (#409536) #
For the HOF I generally use the rule that if you weren't caught then who cares in regards to PED use - much like with the old spitball (Gaylord Perry) and cored bats. Especially in the 1998-2003 stretch when it was well known to be used but no real effort was done to discourage it, heck, the media celebrated it (see: Mark McGwire).

So I'd vote for Bonds (only took after watching the joke that was McGwire's 70 HR season and how the media drooled even when drugs were found in McGwire's locker), Clemens (only person I think that has accused him was a scumbag who never should've been around baseball, and even if he was 100% correct Clemens only started after his first Cy season here), A-Rod - a bit trickier as he was caught post-2003 sorta (more investigated and agreed to a years suspension, afaik he never failed a test) but he was so far ahead of everyone it is hard to keep him out (he was like Mike Trout but at SS instead of CF). Scott Rolen (stats demand he gets in, but tbh I never really saw him that way during his career), Todd Helton, Sosa & Kent are both tempting but their career WAR is sub 60 which makes it hard for me to support them especially when they both had issues (Sosa corked bats and PED fears, Kent a jerk who was a key part of the Bonds Giants so I find it hard to believe he never used and given how he is borderline those items push him just under for me but some years I am in favor - the definition of a borderline case). Curt Schilling I find to be a very repulsive human being so under the character clause I'd leave him for the vets to put in at some point in the future, ManRam was caught more often than anyone on PEDs - so no to him. Marginal guys: Andruw Jones had HOF defense but his career ended so fast it is hard to put him in, Gary Sheffield was caught iirc and was marginal anyways so easy to cut, Andy Pettitte is another PED guy who is marginal so a cut, Bobby Abreu - how the heck did he get 60 WAR? A solid player but not a HOFer imo. Mark Buehrle is so close... if he hung on for a few more seasons he'd be over the line but as is he is just under.

Then we get to the guy many honored and want in badly so he'll get in but David Ortiz was a career DH with just 278 games at 1B in his career and was terrible in that tiny time there. 2 or 3 more years and he'd have cracked 600 HR/2000 RBI's but he didn't. Like Harold Baines (inferior player) he needed to crack a few milestones to be worthy. For a career DH to get in I'd like to see overwhelming stats - he NEVER led in OPS+, only in OPS and SLg his final season (weird), OBP once, never in average, 3 times in RBI, 1 time in HR. When your bat is all you have then you need more bat based black ink. Vlad had won as many HR titles, as many Slg%, OBP, and OPS titles after just 3 seasons while starting nearly as many games in the field as Ortiz. IMO he is short. Well short. And that is even before touching his PED use.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 05:12 PM EST (#409537) #
Seems hard to keep Ortiz out now that Edgar is in, especially when his post-season resume is remembered. As it should be.
scottt - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 05:51 PM EST (#409538) #
According to Fangraphs, both Merryweather and Anderson still have an option.
Glevin - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 06:08 PM EST (#409539) #
Huge difference bwteen Arod and Ortiz for me. Arod has inner circle Hof numbers and a career WAR of 113. Ortiz is a very borderline case anyway with 51 WAR. I'll take the steroids guys like Clemens and Bonds and Arod who were elite but not the guys like Ortiz (or palmeiro and Sosa who are both better than Ortiz) but still not elite.
92-93 - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 06:28 PM EST (#409540) #
Desclafani is off the board for 3/36. Even that would be too much for Matz, but it's closer to his market value.
AWeb - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 06:30 PM EST (#409541) #
Since MLB and the players set up the testing and punishments for PEDs, I'm happy to just ignore PEDs for those that got caught. And those that weren't caught, well, nothing to do about it now. The punishment could have been a lifetime ban. It could have been ineligibility for postseason awards (HoF isn't quite this, but it is similar), or postseason play. Both sides chose to let cheaters come back and play again, I don't see any reason I should (hypothetically) be tougher on the players.  The punishments were served among those that got caught and trimmed years off of careers in some cases. I think it is fairly safe to say at this point that there aren't any gruesome health consequences for these players in general, and may indeed end being beneficial - faster recovery from injury and assumably less pain as a result is good for your health. So PED stigma is really just leftover 1980's drug scares and some horror stories from early steroid users who didn't know how to do it.

Longwinded way of saying I'd vote for everyone. I've even come around on Schilling, who is a terrible person for whom I have no sympathy. My ballot is always full...Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Rolen, Rodriguez, Sheffield, Sosa, Pettitte, Schilling, Kent.   Closers, meh. DH's- Ortiz might be #11 on my list, might not.
greenfrog - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 06:48 PM EST (#409542) #
After the Verlander (2/50), Syndergaard (1/21) and DeSclafani (3/36) signings, maybe we need to (upwardly) revise our views about what constitutes “market value.”

It might not be as easy for the Jays to wade into the FA market and obtain a couple of quality FA starters as some people assumed.
cascando - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 08:24 PM EST (#409543) #
2/17 for Aaron Loup. Good for him.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 09:50 PM EST (#409544) #
Palmeiro and Sosa who are both better than Ortiz

They obviously were not as good as Ortiz when it came to hitting. But Palmeiro did win a Gold Glove and Sosa threw out a few baserunners...
mathesond - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 09:55 PM EST (#409545) #
And what a well-earned Gold Glove it was, too!
John Northey - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 09:58 PM EST (#409546) #
Ortiz: 286/380/552 141 OPS+ 541 HR, 2472 H only 278 games in the field (all at 1B). 289/404/543 in the postseason.

Edgar Martinez: 312/418/515 147 OPS+ 309 HR 2247 H 564 games at 3B, 28 at 1B, 4 seasons was a positive on defense (BR fWAR). Playoffs 266/365/508

AH you say, but Martinez didn't play as long - only 2055 games vs Ortiz 2408 that has to count doesn't it? Yes. But take Ortiz's best 2055 game stretch (roughly 2002-2016 289/384/566 146 OPS+ - all of his Boston time plus his last year in Minny) and Edgar still comes out on top even before factoring in defense and that he had more OBP vs Slg which is a positive when evaluating offense.

So Edgar was a better hitter, by far the better fielder, and never had a PED concern. Ortiz gets a plus for his post season work (Edgar was good, but Ortiz was better). bWAR sees it as Martinez 68.4 vs Ortiz 55.3, fWAR Martinez 65.5 vs Ortiz 51.0. By both WAR's it is a blowout. Or Miguel Cabrera (68.7) vs Evan Longoria (57.4) right now if both were done. I can't imagine anyone saying if Cabrera gets in that Longoria should be and Ortiz vs Martinez is a bigger spread (both played a lot at 3B even if most of us had forgotten Cabrera did but he has 697 games at 3B including both his MVP years).
greenfrog - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 10:32 PM EST (#409547) #
Matz is expected to choose a team this week. Per MLBTR:

“Interest in Matz has been robust, with the Red Sox, incumbent Blue Jays, Mets, Dodgers, Cardinals and Angels among teams already rumored to have interest. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network adds the Tigers, Cubs and Giants to that mix.”
greenfrog - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 10:55 PM EST (#409548) #
A contract in the range of 3/39 to 3/45 seems plausible for Matz at this point.
greenfrog - Monday, November 22 2021 @ 10:58 PM EST (#409549) #
Maybe 3/48 if the market really has blown up.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 12:18 AM EST (#409550) #
2/17 for Aaron Loup.

Wow. Words fail me.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 12:22 AM EST (#409551) #
Re Abreu,  you'd be surprised how far consistently hitting 300 with 20 hr and 20 sb with 100 walks and reasonable defense gets you.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:07 AM EST (#409552) #
Former Blue Jay coach and minor league manager Omar Malave died yesterday in Dunedin at 58.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:10 AM EST (#409553) #
As for 2/17, the fans aren't yelling "Loup", they're screaming "whoop".
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:32 AM EST (#409554) #
Marcus Semien reportedly looking for a 7 year deal. I don't think the Jays will go for that.
AWeb - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:50 AM EST (#409555) #
Good on Loup for cashing in on his career year - low BABIP and HR rates despite no change in exit velocities or batted ball profiles would indicate he's not going to post a 422 ERA+ again anytime soon, but maybe he's just one of those guys that will keep going forever. The great LOOGY elimination  (3 batter min if not ending inning) didn't get rid of him, which was bit surprising to me, but then teams are quickly switching to all relievers, all the time (seriously, were half the postseason games this year just bullpen games?), so they need a lot of guys for that.

He's also got to keep climbing that HBP leaderboard - not as prolific in 2021 as he normally is - and as a reliever that's really just 1-2 guys different in 50 innings - but still made the active top-50 in only 400 IP - no one else in the top 100 has as few innings. At the top, I didn't realize active leader Charlie Morton hit that many guys - if he can go 3 more years, he could crack the top 10 all time.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:58 AM EST (#409556) #
As for the seven-year starting point for Semien, it sounds as if Boras is using the "anchoring" technique used in other negotiations.
AWeb - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:00 AM EST (#409557) #
A 7 year deal would be crazy for Semien unless he just wants to really spread out the dollars from a 4 year deal. He's 31, had two great years in 2019 and 2021, and there are only a few examples of guys who become very good/great hitters at age 28 (never before) and then keep going. As a JAys fan, I am familiar with a few recent examples of that type of career path, of course, but chasing the Bautistas and Encarnacions is a suckers game.  As always, the length of deal doesn't mean much without the dollar demands attached. I'd do 7 years, 140 million for Semien, because I'd probably do 3 years 100 million and then not worry about the next 4 years much. But if he's looking for $200 million, which would be my guess, that's a no.
scottt - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:26 AM EST (#409558) #
7 years could be backloaded with an opt out. Meh.

Angels bought high on Loup who had a stellar year with a losing team.
They also bought high on Syndergaard.
It looks like they will run out of money before addressing all their needs.

Most predicted DeSclafani to make more than Matz.

bpoz - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 09:39 AM EST (#409559) #
I believe the winter meetings start Monday Dec 6th.

Some cheaper FAs have signed. I expect more to sign like Matz (rumored) by the start of the winter meetings. Good SPs like Berrios and S Alcantara are offered/signed extensions. Verlander 1 year + player option. He may decline if he has a good year. He knows how his arm feels at the moment.

I have not heard that the Jays are willing to spend big. Did not hear about Ryu but did hear about Springer (impact player sought). They will definitely spend small like Roark, C Anderson for 2020. Roark was given 2 years guaranteed so they had reasonably high expectations for him. Ray and Semien were small and big signings. I guess you win some and lose some.

The mega contracts will be a long waiting period before signed I expect.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 09:55 AM EST (#409560) #
I would expect Matz to be around the same value as Alex Wood - If I'm Matz I'd lean towards the Cardinals with that superior defense.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 10:17 AM EST (#409561) #
Fangraphs has Matz as the #31 FA, with Ben Clemens predicting 3/$42m and the median crowdsource at 3/$38.3m.

They have DeSclafani as the #36 FA, with Clemens predicting 2/$20m and the median crowdsource at 2/$19m.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 10:29 AM EST (#409562) #
The Angels are just being themselves - setting the team up for failure when they finally got out from that horrible Pujols contract. If I was them I'd have used that $38 million towards a big deal for a top talent instead of using it on Loup and Syndergaard. If they get very lucky they get 150 IP from Syndergaard and 100 from Loup over the next 2 years with a 120 ERA+ overall. I'd put a big IF beside that. Especially since Thor is sub 100 ERA+ over his past 200 IP over the past 3 years (missing a full season). For 518 innings Thor was great - 132 ERA+ over 4 seasons - but even then he averaged just over 100 IP per year. Loup is a crazy case imo - never thrown 70 innings in a season, his last 60 IP season was 2014. He is entering his age 34 season. Big time credit to his agent getting that deal. I suspect when he told Loup about it he signed it faster than anyone could imagine (lifetime salary of $10 mil before this contract).

So glad the Jays don't have the Angels owner - he has tons of cash but is great at blowing it (or hires bad GM's - take your choice). In the 2009 draft they took Randal Grichuk one pick ahead of Mike Trout. The Jays a few picks before that took Chad Jenkins (1.4 WAR, pitched in 4 seasons for the Jays). Clearly no one really had a clue how amazing Trout would be, not even the Angels.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 11:19 AM EST (#409563) #
My opinion on trading Vlad, as outlined in my post, is based on the inability to resign him to a reasonable contract. I wouldn’t sign him here long term if it means overpaying him like Vernon Wells or Carlos Delgado. If he wants record setting money I would trade him.

If I was offered a healthy Trout or Ohtani for Vlad I would sign that deal in a heart beat. Vlad was amazing last year but has also lost control of his mechanics many times. There is also the conditioning issues of the past. To me he falls somewhere in between a Frank Thomas or Prince Fielder. I wouldn’t want to have heavy money invested in him past age 30. If he signs long term I expect him to look for $35-$40 million/year for 10+ years. Why? Because he is becoming bigger than the game and someone will pay him that money.

The biggest issue I have with Vlad (if we’re trying to find something wrong with one of if not the best pure hitter in the game)… he’s all offense one way player in a game that is trending the opposite way. If I offer him 10 years and $30 million and he scoffs then I would trade him for the entire Marlins staff and a boat load of prospects. Probably then resign Semien and another infielder.

Bo is a more challenging case for me. I would invest more in him, he really wowed this year with his improved defence and clutch hitting. At the same time I wouldn’t be opposed to a challenge trade. Bo Bichette to Detroit for Casey Mize and Riley Green or something along those lines, then resign Semien long term.

I really like Semien and think him and Springer are insanely talented and natural leaders for this team. I agree that the best case is probably riding Vlad until we get closer to his free agency then trade him if no good deal is made.

The original post was never about finding a way to trade one of your best players, it was about protecting future payroll and competitiveness of the team and getting out in front if you know Vlad so t be here long term without a kings ransom, which none of us knows.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 11:34 AM EST (#409564) #
Aaron Loup has had a weird career if you look at his stats. He was actually pretty decent the first three years he was in Toronto, but then his WHIP started climbing every year and he had several over 1.5. Then he went to Tampa Bay 2 years ago and it went down again ( Did they change his delivery/ suggest he add a new pitch?) and last year he was terrific. ( Under 1 WHIP)

Andruw Jones was mentioned as being HOF eligible this year. To make everybody feel old I will point out that his son, Druw, is eligible to be drafted this year. He is a month short of age 18 and is a 6 ft. 4, 180 lb. outfielder/rhp and is ranked 5th on the list that I saw of high school players in the U.S.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 12:02 PM EST (#409565) #
I would not make that hypothetical Vlad for Mike Trout deal. Vlad is 22 years old and just finished second in MVP voting while Trout is 30 years old coming off a season he missed most of because of injury. Also he is due to be paid 37 million a year for the next 8 years.

Chuck - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 12:20 PM EST (#409566) #
Did they change his delivery/ suggest he add a new pitch?

His BB and K rates in NY were his career norms, so no real improvements there. He was better than usual in BABIP and HR/FB rate, but would you bet 17M on seeing that repeated?

greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 12:56 PM EST (#409567) #
In the current market, 2/17 seems more like a bet on competence rather than stardom. Besides, Loup has been pretty good from 2018 on.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:06 PM EST (#409568) #
The fangraphs piece on the Loup signing talks about pitch usage change. Increasing use of a cutter has upped his strikeout rate.
Thomas - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:16 PM EST (#409569) #
So glad the Jays don't have the Angels owner - he has tons of cash but is great at blowing it (or hires bad GM's - take your choice). In the 2009 draft they took Randal Grichuk one pick ahead of Mike Trout.

For what it's worth, the Angels have always maintained they had Trout second overall on their draft board after Strasburg. I'm not sure I necessarily believe that they would have gone that far away from the consensus if they actually had the second overall pick.

However, they have always said that if they had one pick in the first round of that year's draft, and not two, they would have taken Trout and gambled that Grichuk fell to the supplementary pick where they took Tyler Skaggs. The story I've heard is that they promised Trout's advisor he'd be taken with the first Angels pick and then decided to prank him by taking Grichuk first.

You can believe or disbelieve the story, but that's what I've read. In any event, whether the Angels would have taken him first or second, none of the more than 20 teams ahead of them recognized his combination of talent and potential.

Glevin - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:22 PM EST (#409570) #
" Vlad was amazing last year but has also lost control of his mechanics many times."

Yet, he finished with a 166 WRC+. Maybe that means that if he doesn't "lose control of his mechanics" he can be even better. Even if you think he's more of the second half hitter than first, he still has a 142 WRC+ which is still a top-10 hitter in baseball.

"If I was offered a healthy Trout or Ohtani for Vlad I would sign that deal in a heart beat."

Vlad is worth more than Ohtani who is riskier and hits free agency 2 years earlier. Trout isn't close because he has a massive contract for another 9 years. I just don't get this line of thinking at all. We have a generational talent on a cheap contract for for 4 more years and the Jays are trying to compete and you're trying to trade him in case he chooses free agency in 5 years? The only players I think are comparable to Vlad in contract friendliness/talent and theoretically I'd listen to offers are Tatis, Acuna, and Soto. It isn't going to happen.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#409571) #
For what it's worth, Statcast says essentially that 3/4 of Loup's "improvement" last year was blind luck and 1/4 was actual improvement in K rate, W/HBP rate and quality of contact.  His xwOBA was at  .274; prior to last year, his xwOBA was .300.  His wOBA last year was .229; prior to last year it was .310.  He also controlled the running game a little better than usual.  His SB/CS was 2/2.  Prior to last year, it was 23/15.  It's a tiny thing. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#409572) #
MLBTR on the Wander Franco extension:

"ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that a deal of 12 years and $185MM in guaranteed money has been agreed upon (Twitter link). The contract can max out at $223MM — presumably depending on incentives, escalators and/or an additional option year (or years)."
johnny was - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:36 PM EST (#409573) #
Just checking now whether Franco and Ozzie Albies share the same agent. Horrible deal for the player.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:36 PM EST (#409574) #
Once again, Kudos to the Rays FO - with Baltimore farm system gaining steam this division is going to be wicked - The Jays need to maintain a quality farm system if they are to sustain a winning program.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:42 PM EST (#409575) #
It seems that it's the Latin players coming from impoverished backgrounds that get suckered into these deals & their agents are probably afraid that a Boras type will recruit the player as he nears FA.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:42 PM EST (#409576) #
Law has said in the past that Trout going behind Grichuk was just a function of slot value and wanting to get him for less. Also, the weather in the northeast was supposedly miserable that spring, so in an area that is already relatively under-scouted it meant fewer looks on Trout for the scouts out there.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 01:55 PM EST (#409577) #
I don't see the Franco deal as a case of him getting "suckered." Is he leaving a lot of career earnings on the table? Potentially. Is he now financially set for life (probably many times over)? Almost certainly. It's a reasonable agreement to make at the outset of his career.
grjas - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 02:26 PM EST (#409578) #
Must be an interesting decision for a young player coming from a poor background. On one hand, you have a player agent who likely is trying to maximize career earnings over time to maximize his cut, and on the other side a team trying to keep costs down by telling the player he can be guaranteed huge dollars now, be set for life (for him and his family) free of injury risk. It’s hard for any of us to wrap our minds around $200 million dollars; must be doubly difficult for a youngster with humble beginnings. And one who is being pulled in multiple directions by a team, his agent and probably his family. (Not that I feel sorry for them..)
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 02:38 PM EST (#409579) #
I’m sure Franco had other people to discuss the decision with (family, friends, teammates and coaches, mentors).
Jonny German - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 02:52 PM EST (#409580) #
Good for Franco and good for the Rays. This is not a case of the team taking none of the risk.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 03:27 PM EST (#409581) #
This deal isn't that bad for Franco. I don't recall when he was called up, but knowing how the Rays operate, it was likely after the Super 2 cut off, so he had six years of control left and three arbitration years. If he were to get $60 million in his 3 arb years (which is on the high side), then his free agent years would have been bought out at 5/122 with a $25M option for the 6th year. If he ends up becoming as good as people expect over the next decade, then a $25M AAV in his free agent years would be on the lower side, but not criminally so.

The real downside for Franco is that if he does end up being as good as advertised, then he likely would have beaten the Lindor deal in 6 years, so he potentially cost himself over $100 million over his career, but that's in a best case scenario and was 6 years away (so anything could happen).

If I was advising him, I probably would have told him to wait, or give up fewer of his FA years in an extension, but this is not Albies or Acuna in terms of exploitation.
Thomas - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 03:51 PM EST (#409582) #
I think you can argue Franco is leaving closer to $150 million on the table. Lindor earned about $50 million pre-free agency, and Franco's deal, so in his first 12 years he earned $50 million + 6 x 35 million for about $260 million. When you incorporate inflation to that contract, it's going to result more savings to the Rays. And Franco will hit free agency at 32, so he may not be able to command the same commitment into his late 30s at a high salary.

However, as good as his major league performance and prospect star is, Franco has less than 300 major league at-bats and is guaranteeing himself nearly $200 million.

I think this is a more equitable trade-off of cost savings for the team with guaranteed money for the playoff than the Albies and Acuna contracts, both of which I have been highly critical of. I would have advised him against taking it and that going year-to-year is likely to be more financially rewarding (and also that there is no benefit to including a team option), but I would have said that I don't think it was an unreasonable extension like the other two were.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 04:03 PM EST (#409583) #
Remember when Clint Frazier was viewed by some as a player the Jays should aim to acquire in trade talks for Happ? He was just released by the Yankees. A good reminder that many prospects do not work out.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 04:18 PM EST (#409584) #
"I understand why the union has stringly advised B Bichette not to take a longterm extension" - Peter Gammons
John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 04:22 PM EST (#409585) #
For fun I checked the year Franco signed with the Rays as an IFA. This is where the Rays have a BIG advantage over the Jays thanks to how MLB works. Teams in 'small' markets get extra IFA cash to spend each year. The Jays got the #5 ranked IFA in Eric Pardinho for $1.4 mil. The Rays got Franco for $3.825 mil (out of their $5.25 mil limit). Yankees got #4 Everson Pereira ($1.5), Red Sox Daniel Flores (#2 $3.1 mil). Jays that year also signed Miguel Hiraldo, and Leonardo Jimenez. Jays had $4.75 mil so they potentially could've signed Franco. They instead signed Leonardo Jimenez (Rookie/A 320/523/392), Alejandro Melean (A/AA 5.16 ERA 4.0 BB/9 10.1 K/9), Miguel Hiraldo (249/338/390 in A), Jose Rivas (rookie/A 255/428/321), Ronald Govea (nothing since 2019, 2.56 ERA over 63 1/3 IP 2.1 BB/9 6.4 K/9), Geyber Jimenez (nothing since 2019, career 253/339/338), Williams Moreno (nothing since 2019 4.00 ERA 6 BB/9 vs 7.2 K/9), Jose Ferrer (A/AA 125/198/167 as a catcher), Miguel Olivo (nothing since 2019 2.66 ERA 2.3 BB/9 vs 6.8 K/9), Erick Teran (pitched in 2018 only 2.81 ERA in rookie ball in Dominican), Alexis Carmona (last seen in 2019 4.20 ERA over 90 IP 2.5 BB/9 vs 6.5 K/9), Luis Pena (3 games in Dominican and that was it), and Jhon Solarte (Rookie/A 177/320/271). Ah well. Maybe we'll get lucky and Jimenez is for real with that 500 OBP and he'll become a legend someday. Nah.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 04:42 PM EST (#409586) #
"Vlad is worth more than Ohtani who is riskier and hits free agency 2 years earlier. Trout isn't close because he has a massive contract for another 9 years. I just don't get this line of thinking at all. We have a generational talent on a cheap contract for for 4 more years and the Jays are trying to compete and you're trying to trade him in case he chooses free agency in 5 years? The only players I think are comparable to Vlad in contract friendliness/talent and theoretically I'd listen to offers are Tatis, Acuna, and Soto. It isn't going to happen."

That's interesting, I don't agree at all. I would bet on Ohtani being healthier that Vlad. He is one of the best athletes in the league vs Vlad who is one of the worst.

The reason you don't get the line of thinking is because you somehow are reading it as "lets trade Vlad now for Trout" versus "lets trade Vlad now for Trout if we can have Trout for 9 years on a cheaper deal than Vlad for 9 years on a more expensive deal."

It's rather simple. Don't limit the comparison for the next 5 years. Look at it for the next 9 years and you will see that we will be paying more money for an inferior athlete not projected to age as well as Trout or Ohtani.

To be sure, I am not advocating trading Vlad for no reason, just to trade him if we can't keep him on a team friendly deal from 2025-2030.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 05:04 PM EST (#409587) #
Graveman to White Sox, 3/$24m or thereabouts. Fangraphs’ Ben Clemens had predicted 1/7 and the median crowdsource prediction was for 2/13.

I think the Jays may have misread the market when they chose not to make a QO to Matz.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 05:23 PM EST (#409588) #
Vlad is entering his age 23 season and had to be tied to a chair to miss a game this year. Ohtani is entering his age 27 season and in 4 years has played in 120+ games once (his 44 in 2020 is the equivalent of 119 in a 162 game season, Vlad played all 60). Yes, Ohtani pitches as well. I get that. But that also jumps his injury risk no matter what type of athlete he is. As a wise man once said 'we're not selling jeans here'. Vlad worked his butt off last winter to get into top shape. In bad shape he played every game of the 2020 season. In good shape he was the best hitter in the game. If he repeats that effort this winter lord knows what he will do in 2022. It has been shown in past studies that the best predictor of a players health is their past health. If so then Ohtani is screwed and 2021 might be remembered as a wonderful season never to be repeated.

Short the HOF announcements will happen - David Ortiz was never mistaken for an athlete I suspect, but he might be in the HOF shortly. David Wells was also never an athlete but lasted 21 years in the majors. Being an 'athlete' is a good to have, but not critical to being a long time successful ML player. Ohtani is a great one, no doubt, but no way on earth I'd trade Vlad for him 1-1 right now. I'm confident that Vlad will have the better overall career due to age, health, and the lower stress by being focused on 1B/hitting instead of the pitching/hitting mix Ohtani has. When Vlad is 32 (the risky age - the super-athletic outfield of the 80's were all done or nearly done by that age) Ohtani will be 36. I like Vlad's odds of making it to age 32 more than Ohtani's to make it to 36 at a star level.
scottt - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 05:29 PM EST (#409589) #
Ohtani is a pitcher. I expect him to spend significant time on the IL every year.
And because he plays DH instead of resting, like the other pitchers, he's more at risk of injuries than an average pitcher.

Ohtani is 6' 4". That's a good size for a pitcher, but that's also a size at which one can  get hurt just running the bases.

He played 155 games, mostly because he was chasing the MVP on a losing team.
If the Angels are contending and he's not 100%, they'll be tempted to rest him more often.
He averaged 105 games his first 2 years.

scottt - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 05:37 PM EST (#409590) #
It's normal to see high contracts early on, but it's kinda funny that both players and owners are rushing to beat the lockout.

Will that series of big contracts be interrupted by a lockout just to resume on the down size once the players agree to a new CBA that is supposed to give them more money?

In previous years, it's the big contracts--handled by Boras--which have stalled signings until late in the spring.
By signing early, the players are showing a lack of faith in the agreement that their union is negotiating.

The strategy for GMs is usually to make aggressive bids on key players and then wait for deals with the remaining players.

scottt - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 05:48 PM EST (#409591) #
High inflation might mean lower revenues for teams, because the average Joe has less money to spend at the park.
There are escalators in Franco's contract, so it unclear how much he will actually make.
Players like to play in tax-free Florida, especially Dominicans, it's a short flight home.
The important part is to lock 60M for the first 6 years.
After that, the Rays will probably trade him for a big package.
He's only 20, but the big difference might be on how much he's able to get in his next contract versus having signed a 10 year contract at 26.
Let's see how much Correa gets.

hypobole - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 06:53 PM EST (#409592) #
Maybe Ben Clemens misread the market.

From MLBTR:"
The 30-year-old (31 next month) looks as if he’ll come in just a touch shy of MLBTR’s three-year, $27MM projection, but his deal falls right in line with the general area for high-quality setup types of recent offseasons. Will Harris ($24MM in 2019-20), Adam Ottavino ($27MM in 2018-19) and Joe Kelly ($25MM in 2018-19) have all landed three-year free agent deals right around this territory in recent offseasons."
Nigel - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:09 PM EST (#409593) #
The market distortion in favour of useful, but nowhere near elite, set up men (see Graveman and Loup contracts vs the DeSclafani contract), should be exploitable in some way shape or form by a smart organization like the Rays. I would suspect that the Rays will start shipping out some of their seemingly never ending string of high K RH relievers for prospects pretty soon.
Hodgie - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:29 PM EST (#409594) #
"Look at it for the next 9 years and you will see that we will be paying more money for an inferior athlete not projected to age as well as Trout or Ohtani."

Not projected by whom? Time remains undefeated last I checked, and while it is possible that a 30-year-old player that has missed 231 of his team's last 708 games over 5 seasons is going to age well it is not the most likely outcome. I'm placing my cuttlefish on young Vlad in that contest.

85bluejay - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#409595) #
I wouldn't trade Vlad for Trout and that contract but I'm certainly open to trading Vlad.
cascando - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 07:52 PM EST (#409596) #
I remember there being a contingent of fans that wanted to trade Vladdy last offseason as well, because they were quite sure he would never be a star. That obviously would have gone very badly.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:06 PM EST (#409597) #
There was no “contingence” of fans advocating for a Vlad trade last year. Just me. This year 85Bluejay has said he would be open to trading Vlad. I’d say close to 90% or more of the posters on this site would not trade Vlad and think he will be more valuable than any other player in the league. I don’t agree and think the industry also would share my opinion as a popular opinion. Vlad wasn’t even the best offensive player on our team this year, that would go to Semien and Springer if he was healthy. Vlad also wasn’t far and away better than Bo or Teoscar either. I’d take Berrios and possibly Manoah over Vlad. I guess im alone in seeing “new baseball” moving away from offense first 1B?

Franco is a much more rounded player and after his contract is far more valuable unless Vlad signs a similar deal. Again, I predict Vlad will sign $300 million +. I don’t want to be a part of that.

If best meant “the guy that can hit the ball the farthest and most often,” then yes I’d be inclined to agree with the consensus on this board. Fact is, Vlad is average at best in defense and baserunning.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:19 PM EST (#409598) #
2021 oWAR totals:

Vlad 6.6
Semien 6.0
Springer 2.4 (in 342 PA)

Age-22 oWAR totals:

Vlad 6.6
Semien 0.1
Springer n/a
cascando - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:39 PM EST (#409599) #
There was no “contingence” of fans advocating for a Vlad trade last year. Just me.

It’s a view I saw expressed in a few places last offseason.

Again, I predict Vlad will sign $300 million +. I don’t want to be a part of that.

I also don’t want the Jays to give Vladdy $300M, but there is quite a bit of room for reasonable views between wanting that and thinking it may be a good idea to trade him now. Or between thinking Vladdy is an incredibly valuable young player that would be very difficult to trade for fair value and thinking that he is “more valuable than any other player in the league.” You may be attempting to rebut an argument nobody is actually making.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:42 PM EST (#409600) #
Green, for the 416th time, I do not use WAR as an accurate measuring stick for players.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:45 PM EST (#409601) #
Age-22 oWAR totals:

It's easy enough to think that young Vlad is a finished product and this is what he's going to be. But it's also possible that he still has a lot of growth ahead of him. A lot. His takeaway from 2021 has to be a: "Wow, it sure helps when you get into shape" and b: "162 games is a long season." I'm really, really interested in seeing how he responds to it all.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 08:56 PM EST (#409602) #
And the growth may occur on more than one level (offense, defense, baserunning, leadership, etc).

Springer and Semien are edging past their prime. Vladdy is just entering his.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 09:17 PM EST (#409603) #
This discussion about Vlad is all mute because this FO is not trading Vlad in the next few years.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 09:29 PM EST (#409604) #
There is no such thing as an untradeable player. Babe Ruth was traded. Wayne Gretzky was traded. Both while in their primes (Ruth in the early stages, Gretzky late stages but both in prime years still). Yes there were extenuating circumstances in both cases, but there always are. What would Vlad get in trade?

One method is checking Baseball Trade Values which has Vlad at 79.8 which is very good, but Bo is at 127.7 due to Vlad going to arbitration a year earlier I guess. Ohtani they have at 108.5 (guess they assume good health) and Trout at 80.4. Manoah is at 76. Moreno 56.5. No one else on the Angels is over 50.

On their list the top value is Acuna Jr at 321.4 due to that great contract. Then Wander Franco at 301.8 (again, see contract). 200's are Tatis Jr and Juan Soto (just 3 years of control). Corbin Burns is 160.8, Luis Roberts at 148, Bo at 127.7, 100-119 has Ozzie Albies, Walker Buehler, Kyle Tucker, Shane Bieber, Freddie Peralta, Brandon Woodruff, Ohtani, and Brandon Lowe. Good contracts for the team are obviously key here. The worst? Over 100 to the negative (155 the worst) are Stephen Strasburg, Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon, then at -78 is Trevor Bauer (boy did the Jays dodge a bullet by not signing him). Big bad contracts really hurt. Basically this method says that if the Dodgers wanted to trade Bauer they'd need to include someone of Vlad's value to be at a break even point (IE: to get a AAAA replacement player in exchange). Strasburg is the danger of long term deals for pitchers (owed $35 mil a year through 2026, but threw just 26 2/3 innings the past 2 seasons with a 74 ERA+ and is entering his age 33 season - ugh) as it would take the equivalent of Vlad & Manoah to do a break even trade for Washington to get rid of Strasburg. Now that is an ugly situation. In reality no one would trade for him as there is virtually no break even method that would make sense. Maybe the Yankees would to get rid of Stanton hoping that Strasburg would start pitching again while figuring their offense would be fine without Stanton (IE: better use of poorly used resources).

I'm sure there are other methods out there to estimate probably future value for players and convert that to dollars so you can estimate trade value assuming teams want to maximize production per dollar (seems a reasonable assumption). This method says there is no way on earth Tampa would trade Franco for anyone but Acuna Jr - maybe. Tatis Jr (contract and a 160 lifetime OPS+ signed through 2034 - boy do the White Sox look bad for trading him for Jamie Shields in 2016) and Soto (160 OPS+ lifetime, just reaching arbitration) are also near impossible to do a match with. Vlad is tough, but possible. I wouldn't as another year like 2021 and his value goes way over 100 despite losing a year of control.

To me a 10 year deal for Vlad makes sense despite his low defensive value. It would cover ages 23-32 - prime years. Prince Fielder is the nightmare people think of but he played through his age 32 season - 24.5 WAR over those 10 years. If he was signed for 6 years they'd have hit all his full seasons of play and got 24.4 WAR (in todays dollars worth roughly $220 million) and lost only 2 years of free agency which I'm sure the Brewers would've been happy with. I see that as Vlad's worst case. Best case is an Albert Pujols situation - 23-32 worth 79.3 WAR (!) or $714 million roughly. Now, I wouldn't expect Vlad to do that (I mean, who has outside of Puljos?) but that is a range to work with - 24.5 to 79.3 WAR - massive range, but worth $200+ million regardless. To sign him I'm thinking it would take $300 million. I guarantee the Jays are debating it and have touched base with him as if he has another MVP type season that number only goes up. Same for Bo - he won't sign anything until this years crazy SS season is over as that will give him a range to work with. In both cases they don't NEED the money like some others who signed early might given their dad's were ML players who made millions. But I guarantee both like the idea of a long term deal so they can focus on just baseball and not think at all about contracts for a long, long time.
JohnL - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 09:59 PM EST (#409605) #
FYI, this Thursday, Adam Bunch is launching an online course on the history of baseball in Toronto. 4 weekly Zoom lectures (can be streamed later.) $75+tax I signed up.

Adam is a knowledgeable and entertaining teller of Toronto (and Canadian) stories. He wrote two great books on Toronto lives: The Toronto Book of the Dead, and The Toronto Book of Love, and produces the Canadiana series on YouTube. More about some of his projects on the above page.

Some of his past baseball posts are here:
JohnL - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 10:08 PM EST (#409606) #
"Babe Ruth was traded."

Even worse, he wasn't traded, but just sold for cash. The only good that came from it apparently was money for the owner's Broadway interests.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 10:21 PM EST (#409607) #
This discussion about Vlad is all mute

Somewhere, Dewey is grimacing just a little.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2021 @ 10:42 PM EST (#409608) #
Well, it is in a blog so no ones voice can be heard - that is mute. To turn off the mute we'd need to meet in person or do a zoom meeting.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:11 AM EST (#409609) #
Matz to St. Louis, 4/$44m
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:19 AM EST (#409610) #
With incentives that could push the total to $48m (per Jeff Passan).
Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 02:56 AM EST (#409611) #
Matz to St. Louis, 4/$44m

Good for him. This is the first, and possibly the only, chance he'll have at getting paid. Got to take that opportunity when it comes around. And while the idea of going home to New York was surely very tempting, he just received a year-long lesson in the advantages of working for a stable, quality organization. So he gets that as well.

And for Jays fans... he's been thoughtful enough to go to the Other League, where he won't bother us much.

Super Bluto - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 02:58 AM EST (#409612) #
"Ohtani is 6' 4". That's a good size for a pitcher, but that's also a size at which one can get hurt just running the bases."

Big time disagree.

For one, tall players with longer legs require fewer strides to run the bases. Every step Ohtani doesn't take is one less opportunity to get hurt. Also consider this: The taller the player, the lower the relative height of a base. A mouse running full speed into a base would do serious damage his body. Is that an absurd example? Possibly. But base obstructions are the sort of thing a lot of height can overcome.

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 04:43 AM EST (#409613) #
Counter point: the bigger you are the more strain you place on your joints with each stride. Remember that he’s already had left knee surgery.

He’s also already had Tommy John, and I believe he was shut down from pitching in mid-September due to arm soreness. Maybe it’s just fatigue from trying to complete his first full season, maybe it’s something more. We’ll find out next season I suppose.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 07:29 AM EST (#409614) #
If the Jays won’t trade Bo or Vlad then it likely means that the FO believes they will resign them or let them walk and fill their positions with guys like Groshans and Martinez or Moreno in a few years.

The reason I’ve been bringing up Vlad and Bo being possible trade candidates is two fold:

1) you don’t have enough budget to keep the team together. Hernandez, Gurriel, Vlad, Bo, Semien, Ray, Springer, Berrios, so you’re going to have to trade someone soon unless you start spending Dodgers money.

2) if you decide to trade Vlad or Bo because they want to play in a premier market or want more money, then this off season would be the one to sign a free agent or two with the found money. Someone like Semien or Correa.

Just with arbitration alone our team finances will be jammed with the above players by 2023.

If you plan on going for it for 2022 and 2023 then that’s a plan but what will happen starting 2024? Does the window close because we went all in in 2022?

What is happening with Kirk, Groshans, Martinez, Moreno etc over the next 2 seasons? Will they all be traded for expensive add ons or will they be blocked? What happens with Nate Pearson? Ace reliever, top starter or bust?

These are questions I’m sure the Jays are considering and I hope they don’t wait until the last possible moment to execute. Decide on Vlad and Bo before they get close to their free agency lr bigger arbitration years, move on from Pearson before you let him spend a year lowering his value (or sign him before he gets better), etc etc.
scottt - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 07:33 AM EST (#409615) #
11M/year for Matz. I think he would taken the QO.

The Jays still need another starter and hopefully they can bring Ray back or another pitcher with similar upside.
It makes sense to use Pearson and others in the back end instead of Matz.
They just need to find 5 or 6 innings of league average production.

mathesond - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 07:48 AM EST (#409616) #
They just need to find 5 or 6 innings of league average production.

Huh. I had Matz pegged for around 150 or so innings.
smyttysmullet94 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 07:51 AM EST (#409617) #
Franco is 20 years old with fewer than 300 AB and just got $200 million in a state without income tax...maybe settle down with the racist "Latin players are constantly getting taken advantage of because they're poor/stupid" Twitter takes.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 07:58 AM EST (#409618) #
Matz actual contract: 4/$44-48m

Matz contract predictions:

Ben Clemens: 3/42
Median Crowdsource (Fangraphs): 3/38.3
MLBTR: 3/27

It's too early to say whether FA prices have substantially increased this off-season. But overall it looks as though the price for pitchers (which of course includes AAV and length of contract) is somewhat higher than many commentators expected.
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:00 AM EST (#409619) #
Quebec will tax the hell out of that $200m though
Paul D - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:41 AM EST (#409620) #
Trading Vlad may or may not be a good idea (I don't think it's a good idea, but so be it). It will never happen, as it would be an absolute PR disaster.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:41 AM EST (#409621) #
The price for pitching is exactly as expected based on the last couple of winters. Matz may have gotten an extra year, and good for him. He will likely excel in St Louis. It’s a good look on the Jays when guys like Semien, Ray, and Matz can make a quick pit stop here and then earn nice contracts in free agency.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:51 AM EST (#409622) #
"The price for pitching is exactly as expected"

MLBTR: "Teams’ affinity for the 30-year-old is also evident in the eventual contract terms, as Matz’s deal fairly handily tops MLBTR’s three-year, $27MM projection entering the winter."
scottt - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:54 AM EST (#409623) #
Yeah, but it's lower than the 3/42M from Fangraphs.

It's all about how you view the disaster that was his 2020 year.
Funny that the Mets was one of the team chasing him.

scottt - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 08:59 AM EST (#409624) #
This front office is all about culture and development.
I imagine it would take a massive overpay or owner ingerence for core players to be traded early.
I don't even see them moving Biggio or Gurriel.

grjas - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:08 AM EST (#409625) #
Not sure why there is a rush to trade Vlad. He’s not a free agent till 2026. The Jays like any team will expend big dollars and/or trade capital to bring in top players for only 3 or 4 years with little hope of extending them. Why not take the same view for a young star who is still incredibly cheap, and who might still be an option to extend in a few years?

Could he be traded in the near future? Sure, but it would have to be a real stunner for any GM to want take that risk.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:17 AM EST (#409626) #
Defense at 1st base is underrated. I think Vlad has improved his defensive play.

* * *

"Former Blue Jay coach and minor league manager Omar Malave died [Monday] in Dunedin at 58."

I am terribly sad to hear this. Omar Malavé devoted his life to the organization. Adiós, amigo.

Glevin - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:17 AM EST (#409627) #
4/$44 seems a lot for Matz but Cardinals is great fit for him because of their elite D and the fact they are in weakest hitting division in baseball. Wish him well but doesn't make sense for Jays. I don't mind the Jays overpaying for Ryu or Springer but don't like overpaying for complimentary pieces. I have faith the front office and Pete Walker can find someone cheap who can help rotation. They do need a top-3 starter though. Kershaw and Scherzer will sign elsewhere (West Coast/Texas) so that leaves Stroman (Jays won't sign) Gausman, Rodon, and Ray as options in free agency. I think 50/50 Jays sign one of those guys but if not, I'm sure they make a trade.

The expanded playoffs will make a difference too because if they do get expanded like I dread and expect, Jays don't really need to make any moves except get some guys to eat some innings. I think as of right now, Jays are around an 85-88 win team (yes, loss of Ray and Semien but full season of Berrios and Springer and better bullpen and Jays were a Pythagorean 99 win team last year) which will be a playoff team in expanded playoffs. Just make the playoffs and anything can happen.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:39 AM EST (#409628) #
Again nobody is rushing to trade Vlad, just discussing if there is a way to get out in front of a potential problem which is all imaginary right now.

Matz at $18 mil per year is too high. I think the Jays chose wisely so they could allocate that money elsewhere. Signing him to multi year deal would have been nice because of his upside and other benefits. Agree he will excel in St. Louis.

“ maybe settle down with the racist "Latin players are constantly getting taken advantage of because they're poor/stupid" Twitter takes.”

Nobody has said anything remotely racist. Stupid, ignorant and biased, definitely but that doesn’t mean racist. Your hot take needs to be cooled down.
cascando - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:41 AM EST (#409629) #
It looks like the Cardinals stepped up with an extra year to close the deal with Matz. It's not a bad risk for them -- Matz has been mostly healthy for the last four years. Also they have some money to spend right now with Carpenter and Miller off the books. Mikolas will be done in two years when the Matz contract is more likely to be dead money. Although I've wondered before with Matz, if he isn't able to stay healthy as a starter, would his stuff play up in the bullpen? If so, $11M/yr for a late inning LHP is not even that much of an overpay.

I like the move for both the Cardinals and for Matz. The AAV is good, but I would not have wanted the Jays to give him 4 years.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:46 AM EST (#409630) #
I wondered about Wander- specifically his age comps.  So, I looked for shortstops who at age 20, got at least 250 PAs, hit at least .275, had an IsoP of at least .150 and generated at least 3 WAR.  I got 4 others- Alex Rodriguez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Carlos Correa and Willie Wells from the NNL.  When I lowered the WAR requirement to 2.5 WAR, I still got the same list.  When I expanded the position to include second basemen and third basemen, I got Adrian Beltre in addition.    When I lowered the IsoP requirement to .130, I got Rogers Hornsby and Manny Machado.  I was really struggling to find a player who was a significant disappointment.  When I lowered the WAR requirement to 2.0, I got the same list. 

So here's the challenge.  Find a player who was reasonably similar to Franco who was not a good player or better at age 27.  There must be somebody who did it.  If you look at infielders at age 21 and run the similar search, you do get Ryan Zimmerman and Bob Horner in addition to Lindor, Mathews, Santo....

My feeling is that the risk to Tampa is very low, in the usual sense of getting poor value for Franco's bought-out free agency years.  Perhaps it is greater in the sense that Tampa may end up buying out free agency years at more than they would typically pay at the time given their low budget. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:50 AM EST (#409631) #
The contract for Matz is about what I expected, basically the equivalent of 3/39 plus 1/5+incentives.  In my view, his contract is a little richer than DeSclafani's, bearing in mind that both are pitchers and that extra salary of $9 million + for the 4th year is something that a pitcher of their quality and age ought to leap for. 
bpoz - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 09:51 AM EST (#409632) #
Well thought out post by dalimon5. It covered a lot.

1)Budget restrictions: Agreed that there would be a restriction. This off season we will know if Ray and/or Semien resign with the Jays. I expect neither will be back.
I do expect the Jays to add 2-4 players this off season. How expensive and how long? Berrios extension was expensive and long.

2) Continuing youth movement: Kirk, Moreno, Martinez, Groshans and Pearson all "not traded" means that they have 2-4 years to prove they earned a spot on the Jays. Kirk and Pearson either earn or not earn their spot on the team in 2022. If not they are players that may have missed. It happens.

3) Going for it in 2022 and 2023: I consider winning the WS a goal that most often fails for all teams. Shapiro and Atkins have not said anything about going for it in 2022 and 2023. However their actions will speak louder than their words IMO. So far they have said very little and their only action is extending Berrios Which surprised me and also did not.

Personally I believe that they want to have a long window and are planning as such. This would create long term high revenues. The Jays losing/winning has an effect in the revenue as many have concluded.

greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:08 AM EST (#409633) #
It would be interesting to know whether the vaccine mandate played a role in Matz's decision to sign with a US team.

Who do people like among the remaining free agent SPs? Scherzer, Ray, Gausman, Rodon, Kershaw? I'm not sure any of them are likely to sign with the Blue Jays.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:28 AM EST (#409634) #
If Matz is not vaccinated then the Jays likely weren’t involved considering he’d miss half the season. It’s possible he himself is vaccinated but his wife and kids aren’t, which would also pose a problem to a family man.

This isn’t a direct comparison to Wander Franco, but Brett Lawrie posted 4.5 to 7 WAR (fWAR/bWAR) over his first two seasons in 168 games. He probably wishes he signed one of these supposedly exploitative long-term contracts.
johnny was - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:48 AM EST (#409635) #
Brett Lawrie. I wish him well, but he reminds me of that Fear and Loathing quote, "One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."
Glevin - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:50 AM EST (#409636) #
"Who do people like among the remaining free agent SPs? Scherzer, Ray, Gausman, Rodon, Kershaw? I'm not sure any of them are likely to sign with the Blue Jays."

Scherzer will stay west coast, probably Dodgers. Kershaw will be Dodgers or Texas (where he's from). I like all of Gausman, Ray, and Rodon.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 11:04 AM EST (#409637) #
Given that Gausman's breakout season was with SF, he might prefer to sign with a West Coast (non-AL East) team. The Giants, Mariners, and Angels (along with the Blue Jays) have reportedly shown interest in him.
Dewey - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 11:31 AM EST (#409638) #
‘This discussion about Vlad is all mute’

Somewhere, Dewey is grimacing just a little.

Chuck is right, as usual. The confusion is between “moot” and “mute” -- not the same words, at all. (And John, your lawyering is ludicrous.)
Dewey - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 11:31 AM EST (#409639) #
‘This discussion about Vlad is all mute’

Somewhere, Dewey is grimacing just a little.

Chuck is right, as usual. The confusion is between “moot” and “mute” -- not the same words, at all. (And John, your lawyering is ludicrous.)
85bluejay - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 12:48 PM EST (#409640) #
Given the speed with which pitchers are signing along with the prices, I think the Jays should buy bats and trade for controllable pitching.
Paul D - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:29 PM EST (#409641) #
I like the Friends "it's a moo point. A cow's opinion, it doesn't matter".
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:34 PM EST (#409642) #
When I hit the moot button on the tv remote, the tv turns off.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:39 PM EST (#409643) #
I would go after none of the pitchers on that list since I want flexibility to resign our own players and some big bats. I'm drooling over the prospect of an above average lefty bat on this team which we haven't had since Corey Dickerson, I mean Rowdy Tellez, check that, Lyle Overbay...OK since Frank Catallanotto...

I would try for Iglesias or Jon Gray or trade.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 01:43 PM EST (#409644) #
Who do people like among the remaining free agent SPs? Scherzer, Ray, Gausman, Rodon, Kershaw? I'm not sure any of them are likely to sign with the Blue Jays.

Of the SP's listed there, I think the only two who would realistically sign with the Jays are Ray (for obvious reasons) and Rodon (who is a Boras client and they usually sign with the highest bidder). I would expect Scherzer, Kershaw, and Gausman to stay where they are in all likelihood. Ray and Rodon scare me for different reasons. Ray for performance volatility, and Rodon for injury concerns. The latter might make him more affordable relative to his upside/performance. The Jays have been lucky so far with Ryu staying healthy despite having injury red flags before signing. Rodon would be in a similar category but without Ryu's track record of success, so a bit riskier.

I still like Jon Gray as a target, but ultimately, I could see the logic in trying to trade for SP help while signing bats in free agency. The Reds are apparently putting Sonny Gray on the trade block (and not Castillo), so maybe there's a reasonable trade that could be made there.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 02:06 PM EST (#409645) #
Dewey, there are a few lawyers who would try to argue that "mute" is an acceptable word choice there but all they would get are eyerolls from the vast majority of us.  Accurate use of words, especially words common in the legal context, is an essential part of the job description. 
Glevin - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#409646) #
I saw interesting post about Matz who was great in second half but 11 of his 14 starts were against bottom teams. Look at his last 11 starts. Cle, LAA, Sea, Det, Det, Bal, NYY, Min, Min, Bal. That is an exceptionally easy run. Compare say, to Berrios' last 6 starts. Oak, NYY, TB, MIN, MIN, NYY. In fact, from June 30th to end of season (16 starts), Matz faced an above average league offense twice. That's not to say Matz isn't the pitcher we think he is, just that his improved second half to me points to facing easier teams rather than some improvement.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 02:45 PM EST (#409647) #
Is there a team out there that needs a bat like Teoscar's and has an SP with similar value and the same 2 years of control? It seems unlikely that Hernandez is part of the long term plan that will include Springer, Berrios, Guerrero, and Bichette. Trading him would open a spot for the Jays to add some much-needed LH balance to the lineup.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 03:37 PM EST (#409648) #
There is definitely a logic to deciding who they want to keep- Gurriel Jr. or Hernandez? 

It's funny though.  I see Hernandez as able to play right-field for 140-150 games a year for the indefinite future.   Springer has played 135 games or more in the outfield only once in his career, and these things usually don't get better in your 30s.  It may be that he'd be less likely to get injured as a full-time corner. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 03:52 PM EST (#409649) #
Hernandez could get you a very good starting pitcher. Not Alcantara but maybe if of the next two Miami pitchers.

uglyone - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 04:15 PM EST (#409650) #
I'm very good with getting outbid by one year on a midtier FA like Matz.

As long as something similar doesn't happen with the top tier FAs.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 04:16 PM EST (#409651) #
Hernandez probably lands you a bigger fish without needing to attach prospects like Kirk to the offer. The fancy stats and projections may tell a different story, but over their careers they have pretty similar results.

Gurriel (1371 PA) .282/.324/.492
Hernandez (1996 PA) .260/.320/.501

Hernandez can play RF but he isn't particularly good at it, even if he's improved a bit lately. Ideally the Jays add a LH CF that keeps Springer out of the middle half the time and allows the team to manage his workload as effectively as possible. Maybe there's a creative way to get Bradley Jr. for Grichuk.

greenfrog - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 04:19 PM EST (#409652) #
Matz is no great loss. But the team does need to address the rotation. My hunch is that Ray, Gausman, Rodon and Scherzer will all sign elsewhere. Too much money and too many years (along with a likely preference for the US) for the Blue Jays. One option would be to sign a quality FA bat (Semien), bolster the bullpen via FA/trade, and then acquire a SP for Kirk plus lesser prospects.

I think the team should keep Teoscar, as they don't have much outfield depth and Springer is a perennial injury risk.
scottt - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 05:34 PM EST (#409653) #
The Jays have no outfielders in the prospect pipeline, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to trade one.
They'll have to make longer term decisions eventually, but not before knowing the details of the next CBA.

It looks like the non-tender deadline will be moved to Nov 30 so that players know where they stand before they get locked out on Dec 1 or 2.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 05:43 PM EST (#409654) #
Teoscar provides good protection in the batting order for Vlad, too.

Probably one of the reasons the Mets owner was so angry on losing out on Matz is that they aren't in the mix for any free agent tied to compensation.

Because they didn't sign their first round pick, Kumar Rocker, last year, the Mets get the number 11 pick in the first round as compensation. If the Mets signed any free agent who turned down a qualifying offer then they would forfeit their second highest pick which would be their pick for this year, number 14 in the first round. For obvious reasons they don't want to do that.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#409655) #
The Mets getting mad at Matz seems petty. His agent looked for the best deal, the Mets didn't have it or Matz wanted to go to St Louis, or hated being a Met or something. In the end, that is the way it works. Whining about it doesn't help (Beeston should've known better before doing that in the 90's when Leiter left).
Lylemcr - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:52 PM EST (#409657) #
What do you think about trading for Kimbrel? I think that is an arm I wouldn't mind Pete Walker straightening out.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 10:58 PM EST (#409658) #
Why do we even talk about trading Vlad? Is this a Yankee or Red Sox site?
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, November 24 2021 @ 11:06 PM EST (#409659) #
I mean, it’s hard to say without knowing the specifics. From the Twitter exchange, it seems that a Matz had verbally committed to sign with the Mets, then signed with St Louis without circling back. I would be pissed too. Certainly taking to Twitter isn’t a great look, but based on the limited info we have it appears that the Nets are justified in their anger
bpoz - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 06:34 AM EST (#409660) #
I did not know that the Mets would forfeit pick #14. That is a danger for any team.
dalimon5 - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 09:02 AM EST (#409661) #
“Why do we even talk about trading Vlad? Is this a Yankee or Red Sox site?“

Did you go through all the comments on this subject? For the same reason we talked about trading Donaldson and Encarnacion or the same reason that the Red Sox or Indians talked about trading their best players like Millie Betts or Francisco Lindor. We don’t want to resign them with an over pay and don’t want to get back unfair value at the end of their contracts, more importantly we realize there are not enough spots or dollars for the players we have and it seems virtually impossible not to trade one of our top young players who will be commanding top dollars. Just do the math, it’s been highlighted up (or down) thread. Hope that answers your questions.

cascando - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 09:17 AM EST (#409662) #
It's the offseason, so I would say any topic goes, no matter how silly.

My view on it continues to be that if the Jays definitely can't re-sign Vladdy, then they should seriously consider trading him after the 2024 season. The package will be lighter, but still probably very good, and in the meantime, they'll probably get 15-25 WAR out of him during what looks like a legitimate window of contention.

But of course the better option is to do everything to extend him now. Not one of these lifetime deals like Tatis Jr.'s, but something similar to the deal Mike Trout signed after his age 22 season that bought out the first 2-3 years of free agency.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#409663) #
Actually, Donaldson is a good example of why it may be better to wait 2-3 years before trading Guerrero Jr. (assuming the Jays do not extend him). The return the A's received for four years of Donaldson was pretty pathetic, whereas the reported offer the Jays subsequently received for a year of Donaldson (Flaherty plus a prospect) would have allowed the Jays to receive excellent production from JD and also acquire good prospect value for him before he left via free agency.

Similarly, Betts and Lindor were traded with a year left on their contracts.

As I've said before, my preference would be that the Jays extend Vladdy along the lines of the Trout, Tulowitzki and Pujols extensions (that is, the initial extensions given to those players, not the second ones).
bpoz - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 11:01 AM EST (#409664) #
Talk of trading Vlad is not coming from the Jays FO. I personally put no truth in what these writers are saying. The media seems to always spout ridiculous content just to cause interest. AA warned that "if you hear about it then it is not happening". Those were wise words.
scottt - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 11:05 AM EST (#409665) #
I think it starts with Gurriel and Hernandez.

Berrios might be here until 2028, but has little bearing on Vlad.

Springer is here until 2026.
Gurriel and Hernandez are under control until the end of 2023.
Vlad is under control until the end of 2025.
Extending Hernandez until 2026 could help sign Vlad for an extra year.
Maybe a longer contract with an opt out after 2026 would work too.

I don't think Vlad will mind going to an arbitration hearing after the year he had.
Paying year to year and getting excess value is not a bad outcome anyway.

In the bigger picture, the production for Moreno, Martinez and the next wave of prospects matter an awful lot.

Boston did more than trade Betts. They remade their entire outfield.
It's the same recipe, a mixture of vets, guys in their primes and younger players.
The Jays don't have any aging stars and nobody trade their young stars.

dalimon5 - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 11:26 AM EST (#409666) #
Cascando, Scott and Greenfrog basically all posted together strong arguments that are sensible and I think which can put the falsely named "trade Vlad" side thread to bed. Donaldson trades from OAK and TOR both were not ideal for the team trading him away, so that's a good point, since greenroom points out that Oakland seems to have fared worse off.

The best post is by Cascade imho since it summarizes three options in order of preference. I was never advocating trading Vlad unless options one and two were exhausted or not feasible.

"My view on it continues to be that if the Jays definitely can't re-sign Vladdy, then they should seriously consider trading him after the 2024 season. The package will be lighter, but still probably very good, and in the meantime, they'll probably get 15-25 WAR out of him during what looks like a legitimate window of contention.

But of course the better option is to do everything to extend him now. Not one of these lifetime deals like Tatis Jr.'s, but something similar to the deal Mike Trout signed after his age 22 season that bought out the first 2-3 years of free agency."

At the same time I would add that if they can't resign him now to a reasonable contract then I would still be aggressive and look for an insane return as 85BlueJay has also alluded to. I think to understand this aggressive approach you need to open your mind to the possibility of getting back better players, which I understand many people won't think possible when trading Vlad. I do think they can get back better value and I'm still not 100% sold that last year's Vlad is the Vlad of the future. I see him as a future hall of famer, which is something between his 2020 and 2021 numbers, not his 2021 numbers alone which would make him the greatest hitter in the history of baseball with projections going forward.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 12:18 PM EST (#409667) #
I agree, Dalimon, that it is difficult to predict Vlad's future stats. I'm willing to bet that they'll be closer to this year's than 2020 though if he continues to maintain his conditioning. Along with hitting the ball hard, he has the innate ability to think along with the opposing pitcher and catcher on what they're going to throw.

I was impressed this year how Vlad has turned himself into a decent first baseman. Last year he looked pathetic at times on pop-ups, yet this year I don't remember him missing one.

I also agree that a contract taking him to his age 29 or 30 season would be the way to go. His next contract would be the one that could be dangerous, but the Jays will have won the World Series 2 or 3 times by then, right?

dalimon5 - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 01:21 PM EST (#409668) #
“Why do we even talk about trading Vlad? Is this a Yankee or Red Sox site?“

Did you go through all the comments on this subject? For the same reason we talked about trading Donaldson and Encarnacion or the same reason that the Red Sox or Indians talked about trading their best players like Millie Betts or Francisco Lindor. We don’t want to resign them with an over pay and don’t want to get back unfair value at the end of their contracts, more importantly we realize there are not enough spots or dollars for the players we have and it seems virtually impossible not to trade one of our top young players who will be commanding top dollars. Just do the math, it’s been highlighted up (or down) thread. Hope that answers your questions.

dalimon5 - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 04:56 PM EST (#409669) #
Don't know why this posted again.
John Northey - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 06:34 PM EST (#409670) #
I remember in the 80's how the Jays had killer young talent then had to start making room. Trading Alfredo Griffin after age 26 season to make room for Tony Fernandez (very good decision but poor return, as they got a 'closer' who went 14-5 Sv-Blsv). Then the OF was so crowded they traded Mitch Webster at age 26 for Cliff Young (never pitched here). Webster would have a 131 OPS+ that year. Ouch. Then in 1989 they traded Jesse Barfield at age 29 early on for Al Leiter (age 23) - an excellent trade to make room for Junior Felix (who we thought was 21 but was actually probably older than Barfield) with other kids like Rob Ducey, Glenallen Hill, and Mark Whiten all charging hard (none of whom would be regulars here it would turn out) Later Derek Bell would come up with TONS of hype but ended up being traded for Darrin Jackson (one of the dumbest trades in Jays history imo) followed up by Jackson being traded for Tony Fernandez 2 months later (an excellent trade).

The Jays OF in the 1985-1993 stretch was killer quality yet very little home grown talent made it and stuck without being traded fairly quickly. Felix was traded for Devon White (seemed dumb at the time, but was fantastic). Hill, Whiten, Ducey, and Bell all were traded quickly before they established themselves as good or not. All had reasonable careers. Bell looked best before his operation shutdown.

Hmm...maybe I need to write an entry on individual position history here - my favorite is 1B - Ault (hero of opening day), Mayberry (early star but never had 2 WAR in a season here), Upshaw (rule 5 pick, becomes all-star, then kept too long), Fielder (never a regular here but became a star in Detroit), McGriff (near HOF), Olerud (near MVP in '93, near HOF career), Delgado (near HOF career), Overbay (quality guy, but not 'wow'), Encarnacion (we all remember), Smoak (decent, but not great by any stretch), Vlad (oh yeah - shot at best ever 1B here which is a tall mountain). That has been a killer good position. One season wonders were Lind, Hinske, and Ault. Every other one got multiple seasons at 1B. Over 45 years just 12 1B (lowest number for any position here). The opposite is true at 2B with 24 'regulars' over 45 years (longest was Damaso Garcia at 7 years, then Aaron Hill & Roberto Alomar at 5 each, all others at 3 or less)
lexomatic - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 07:19 PM EST (#409671) #
Re resigning Vladdy. Sometimes it's not even the 2nd extension that's the problem, but the 3rd one before the 2nd one is even finished that's BRUUUTAL.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 25 2021 @ 09:19 PM EST (#409672) #
Speaking of extensions, you know who had an unsung but otherworldly year this year? Trout. His defense fell off but his He hit .333/.466/.624 with wRC+ 190 (best of his career) and wOBA .451 (best of his career). BABIP of .456 (!), though.

Let's hope he returns at full health in the spring.
bpoz - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 08:07 AM EST (#409673) #
Thanks for the history John N.

I remember 1B, OF was always loaded.

We had our elite SPs. Stieb, Key, D Wells, Hentgen, Guzman, Carpenter, Halladay all home grown. After Halladay (picked by Ash) we had a dry spell. AA drafted some good ones. Atkins era also has a few that may develop (Manoah for now).

We have had a few very good but not elite. Stottlemyre, DeSclafani, Musgrove. This type has great value to a rotation.

C was great in the beginning (expansion draft) Whitt, Cerone, Ashby and a few others. We could only develop Borders and Myers after a long time and have started again.

Not overly successful at 3B and SS.

BlueJayWay - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 11:29 AM EST (#409674) #
Reading this thread it feels like I'm taking crazy pills.

The Jays are not trading a 22 year old who just put up a 1.000 OPS and was billed as a generational type talent coming up through the minors, when he has four years of control left and the Jays are entering a competitive window. Other guys mentioned in this thread like Lindor and Betts were not 22 years old with 4 years of control left. The Jays might end up trading Vlad but it will be down the road a few years. It's certainly not happening now.
Glevin - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 11:48 AM EST (#409675) #
The guy I'd love for Jays to try to get is Ketel Marte. great contract, 3 more years under cheap team control and plays 2B. I love Jose Ramirez but I think 3B is just in a much better place for the Jays long-term (Groshans, Orelvis, and even Moreno options soon.
bpoz - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 12:27 PM EST (#409676) #
Vlad just had a great season so we should talk about him this off season.

For a few days I wanted to ask but always forget to. How does this 2nd best MVP season compare to other recent MVPs and their season. I compared J Donaldson's 2015 when he won the MVP. Both seasons seemed close to me.

Also did Porcello really pitch that much better than Verlander to snag the CY Young in 2016? I finally checked. AL A Sanchez, JA Happ, Porcello, Verlander, M Tanaka, C Kluber. The lowest ERA A Sanchez 3.00 and highest of the above group Happ 3.18. Only Verlander may still be good BUT he missed 2020 and 2021 so I will not say he is still good.

The NL had better 2016 pitcher records. I suppose DH vs pitcher hitting. 5 years later in 2021 only Scherzer is still good #1 category. This means that just about everything changed in my sample size of 1.

greenfrog - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 12:57 PM EST (#409677) #
BA's current top 10 prospects for the Jays are:

1. Moreno
2. Pearson
3. Orelvis
4. Groshans
5. Hoglund
6. Lopez
7. Smith
8. Beltre
9. Tiedemann
10. Jimenez

Apart from Moreno (and maybe Orelvis and Hoglund), I could see any of those players being traded.

The question is how best to mix-and-match those trade chips to generate the best return. Here is one approach:

1. Sign Semien

2. Sign Ray

3. Move Moreno to third base

4. Trade one or more young players (Kirk, Groshans, Orelvis, Biggio, Lopez, Beltre, Jimenez) for (a) a good young starting pitcher, (b) a quality fourth OF/utility player (LH bat -- Michael Brantley type), and (c) a high-leverage reliever.
Lylemcr - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#409678) #
If fantasy leagues won baseball games, the Jays would win the world series.

Here is the question I want to know. How are the Jays and the Mariners both competing for the wildcard? They definitely did not have the hitting or pitching the Jays did. I live in Seattle, so I see the Mariners. On paper, they should not be in the same sentence.

I would like to hear other peoples thoughts.

My thought: it is the intangibles
1. Close games. I would like to see the stats on who won close games. I think the Jays crushed alot of teams, but I don't have the stats to support it. The mariner didn't crush many, but won.
2. Defense and mental errors. Baseball is a simple game. And if you do the simple things right, you win games. I am not sure how to measure this.

Give these two issues, I could understand why we would want to talk about trading Vlady and even Bichette. I see alot of mental errors and the defense is so so.

I think maturity will help. I wouldn't be too reactive here. I also think a good vet could be priceless. A Kevin Millar type. We don't have to break the bank.

I think getting Ray back is a good thing. That would be my #1 free agent.

I like Semien, but he is not the guy I am going to break the bank with. I would like to see a spark plug. I hear about the trade for Marte. That is the one I like. Then sign Seager for 3rd base. He is a solid vet that does the little things right. I always liked him.

Last, sign a bunch of vets for the bullpen. I like the idea of trying to get Kimbrel back on track.
Mike Green - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 02:58 PM EST (#409679) #
Ketel Marte is going to cost a bunch- he's a 4 WAR player per the Steamer projection and that seems about right.  At this point, he's an average defender at second base and a helluva hitter.  It should be noted that unusually for a switch hitter, he has extreme platoon splits, he's been very, very good over his career (and stupendous in 2021) against LHP but merely average-ish against RHP.  Somehow the National League has allowed him to face left-handed pitching 1/3 of the time.  If you added Marte to the already right-leaning Blue Jay lineup, there would be a powerful incentive for opponent managers to sit as many LHPs as you can.  Marte is more valuable to a lineup that has some effective LHBs already...

Incidentally, normally switch-hitters who have such an extreme split will revert to hitting from the right-side alone.  Which might make Marte a better hitter than he is already. 
Thomas - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 03:00 PM EST (#409680) #
Reading this thread it feels like I'm taking crazy pills.

I understand what you mean. It's insane to me that we have people saying that their prediction is Vlad is a Hall of Fame talent, but if we can't sign him to a reasonable extension, the Jays should still be aggressive and trade him now, pre-arbitration, because they may get better talent in return for a 22-year-old Hall of Famer.

scottt - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 03:10 PM EST (#409681) #
Jays won 91 games. Mariners, 90.

The Jays should have won more.
There was that game in which Semien, literally, threw the last out away.
There was all those games in which the bullpen imploded and just walked runs in.
Grichuk stepped on Gurriel's hand when he was the hottest hitter in baseball.

The Mariners played in an easier division and of course, the Jays didn't play well against the Mariners, to boot.

Mike Green - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 03:23 PM EST (#409682) #
It's true.  Guerrero Jr. is just 22 and no really knows how good he can be at this peak.  He could easily be as good as Frank Thomas or even Foxx or Gehrig. 

The experience with McGriff and Olerud illustrates the tension point. Both are near Hall of Famers.  Gillick waited with McGriff and traded him coming off a good season with Olerud ready to take his place, and got Roberto Alomar in his prime while McGriff settled into a typical age-related decline.  Ash waited with Olerud too long and ended up settling for Robert Person, as Olerud had a lull in his career at the wrong time and then turned it on after he left Toronto.  Had Ash traded Olerud after the 1994 season, he would have a) gotten a much better return and b) opened up a spot for Delgado. 

It seems clear to me that we are not at that tension point with Guerrero Jr.  It would be nice to lock him up for a medium-term extension, but if that can't be worked out, the best thing is to just let him play another year and try again at the end of the year. 
Glevin - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 04:06 PM EST (#409683) #
Yeah, Vlad trade thing is silly. It just doesn't make a lick of sense. Maybe in 2 years if the Jays are struggling and want to rebuild or have an amazing 1B prospect ready to play everyday and weaknesses elsewhere, a trade could make sense, but the Jays should be competing for a World Series every year for the next four years and trading for prospects or lesser players sets the Jays back and doesn't even save money. I don't know why when you have a generational talent, hen you're trying to compete and with four years left on his contract, trading him would even cross your mind. I doubt teams even ask about his availability because why would you?
lexomatic - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 04:37 PM EST (#409684) #
Olerud had a lull because the team wanted him to be a pull homerun hitter.
Hodgie - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 05:22 PM EST (#409685) #
"I see him as a future hall of famer, which is something between his 2020 and 2021 numbers, not his 2021 numbers alone which would make him the greatest hitter in the history of baseball with projections going forward."

I am not saying it is the most likely outcome, but Vlad was arguably the greatest hitting prospect the game has ever seen so ......

SK in NJ - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 05:51 PM EST (#409686) #
With the Mets signing Escobar and apparently still pursuing Baez, I wonder if a Baez re-signing would make McNeil gettable in a trade. Although I guess it’s possible in that scenario they’d move him to the outfield.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 06:05 PM EST (#409687) #
I think the real issue is people can’t seem to read through a full post if it involves the words “Vlad” and “Trade.” Nobody is advocating to trade him right now for no reason.

Maybe it’s easier to ask posters how they think it will be possible for the TBJ to sign free agents and still have the ability to resign a good portion of Vlad, Bo, Teoscar and Gurriel to new contracts over the new time few years. Perhaps they are content to sign cheap one year deals hoping for more breakouts like Ray and Matz and magically that will get us over the hump while loosing Semien and Ray. One thing I will not budge on, the Jays can’t afford and won’t resign Bo and or Vlad if they sign any other $20 million/year contract this Off season for any of the top 10 or so free agents. Nope, not gonna happen.

Some posters think it’s crazy to talk about trading Vlad but in reality the suggestion is to resign him and if that ain’t possible then look at next best alternatives. Most teams with similar players find ways to sign their best players before letting them get close to free agency. Look at the Rays. Look at the Braves. Look at the Padres. Does it mean you trade Vlad this off season if he doesn’t sign long term? No, but it means you better start planning on something in the coming year or two if you can’t keep your best players in tow.
Magpie - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 06:27 PM EST (#409688) #
Jays won 91 games. Mariners, 90.

This isn't complicated. Seattle played a ton of close games and won far more of them than they had a reasonable expectation of winning - they went 33-19 in one-run games. This is pretty well always a case of good luck, a lot of random breaks breaking their way.
Nigel - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 06:27 PM EST (#409689) #
I wouldn't dare speak for anyone else, but I think trading Vladdy is a complete non-starter for optics and marketing reasons, leaving aside the baseball part. How would you sell fans on the idea of having traded a generational hitting talent making league minimum? There's just no way to explain that to a casual fan that you are trying to market to. None.

On the baseball side of things, I believe there is no such thing as untouchable so the trade of all players in all circumstances should be a possibility. But Vladdy is probably standing right next door to untouchable. For me, the issue is that the marginal value of superstars is just so valuable and hard to find. Two very good 3.5 WAR players are not as valuable as one star 7.0 WAR player. And player salaries are not linear. Superstars almost always provide huge surplus value over their annual salaries even if they're making $30m+ a year. Why not give yourself as much time and as long as possible to get him signed? Even if he doesn't want to sign a long term contract today, he might tomorrow. All of this also ignores that there is almost no one in baseball who would have assets available to give you a package of players that would equal the value that Vladdy will provide over his pre-UFA years.
John Northey - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#409690) #
A minor possible 3B/2B solution is off the table - Eduardo Escobar signed with the Mets for $20 mil over 2 years. Meh on defense, meh on offense. A guy who can keep you from looking bad. 3 times has had 2+ WAR in a season over his 11 seasons. I would rather let Espinal play everyday at 3B - at least his defense looks great - and Biggio at 2B (feel he still has potential).

Kind of quiet right now. Rumours abound of course, with Gausman, Ray, and others on the radar. It'll be interesting to see which big guns signs in the next few days before a lockout likely happens (thus freezing all transactions).
Magpie - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 08:07 PM EST (#409691) #
Vlad workout video!

He wants to work harder this winter? Show up in better shape?

This is like Blue Jays porn....
Glevin - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 08:38 PM EST (#409692) #
Weird moves by the Mets. Escobars and Canha are both fine players but the kind you can usually get later in the offseason and often for cheaper.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 08:51 PM EST (#409693) #
“ There's just no way to explain that to a casual fan that you are trying to market to. None.”

“It’s 2024 and he wasn’t willing to resign for less than 35 mil per year so we traded him.”

“He didn’t want to resign here.”

Did those two options come across because those are the circumstances we’re using when talking about trading him. You have to think management has explored an extension with him and I wonder why he hasn’t signed yet.

Reminds me of Shawn Green getting traded for Raul Mondessi or Alfonso Soriano for Alex Rodriguez. Sure one great player is better than two good players but I wouldn’t put Vlad in a category as great. He’s not a 5 tool player, enough said.
Glevin - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 09:15 PM EST (#409694) #
"but I wouldn’t put Vlad in a category as great. He’s not a 5 tool player, enough said."

What? Five tool is meaningless. Vlad was the second best player in baseball this year. How is that not great at the very least?
scottt - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 09:15 PM EST (#409695) #
Russell Martin was also an infielder converted to catcher and I don't think he would have  had a career at third base.
The best return is to have Moreno take over behind the dish ASAP.
There's not a lot of catchers available in free agency, so they want to move Jansen or Kirk, now is the time.

Biggio at second, good defense at third and a big left at  DH will produce more than Semien for a fraction of the cost.

I doubt Lopez and Smith have much value.
Beltre is 17.

dalimon5 - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 09:19 PM EST (#409696) #
How in your right mind can you say Vlad was the 2nd best player in the league? He wasn’t even top 2 on his own team.

Springer (if healthy)

I’d put all those players ahead of Vlad unless he starts stealing bases or playing 1B like Freddie Freeman or Paul Goldschmidt in their prime.

Let me guess, you’re going to use WAR as a judge of who is the most valuable…
Glevin - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 09:34 PM EST (#409697) #
WAR is a good rough guide and way better than some 1963 version of what makes players valuable but you don't need WAR to see Vlad's value.
grjas - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 10:04 PM EST (#409698) #
The Vlad conversation has been beaten to death.

In terms of Moreno, I would be very disappointed to see him at third. He has the potential to be a franchise catcher, and Groshan and Orevlis are great options medium term for 3rd..and may be SS. A two to three year bat in the infield is what’s needed for next year.

In the mean time, hopefully Jansen’s bat is real, carries the fora year or two and then traded for an asset when Moreno arrives.

John Northey - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 10:16 PM EST (#409699) #
dalimon5 - how do you see those 5 as more valuable than Vlad? 2 different WAR measures don't - BR has Vlad behind Semien and just ahead of Ray, miles ahead of Bo and Springer (even if you extrapolate his stats over 162 instead of the 78 he actually played) and Berrios isn't in any version of this conversation. FanGraphs has Vlad #1, Semien #2, and everyone else far behind. The players vote had Vlad among the top 3 (they don't list totals just top 3 and winner, Ohtani won of course) in MLB, not just the AL, not just the Jays, the whole of MLB.

So if you are going to say Vlad is only 6th best as best on the Jays you gotta give reasons. More than 'not a well rounded player' as I suspect we'd all take a player like Vlad over a 5 tool guy who hits 300 with 10 HR and steals 10 bases with decent defense anywhere on the diamond. Vlad hit for average (311 - 3rd in the league), he took walks (tops in OBP), he hit for power (led in HR), he took extra bases as much as the league (34%, league around 35%), when he got on he scored 32% of the time which is above league average (30%), he stole 4 bases and only got caught once - not a gazelle but he did make use of what he has. He won the Hank Aaron Award for best hitter in the league. He was 2nd in Total Zone Runs as 1B (no idea how good a measure it is, but shows he wasn't helpless at 1B). I'm having trouble finding holes in his game here. Yes, he could be #1 in all categories but that is rare. He could've been a gold glove shortstop, but I suspect people even then would complain (they did about A-Rod who was that).
dalimon5 - Friday, November 26 2021 @ 11:26 PM EST (#409700) #
I never said those 5 players were better. Re-read, maybe I should have been more clear. Two players were better than Vlad (Semien and Ray). I think that’s consensus when you see what they bring. Personally I would subjectively put the other 3 names ahead of Vlad also. I’m not a big fan of one dimensional players no matter how good unless it’s a pitcher.

To me, Vlad is overrated because of his age and his last name. I think Conor Mcdavid is overrated as well. Doesn’t mean I don’t think these players are good, just don’t think they’re as good as advertised.

You guys really want to say Vlad is better than these players?

Fernando Tatis
Juan Soto
Trea Turner
Carlos Correa
George Springer
Marcus Semien
Mike Trout

No way I put Vlad ahead of any of these guys. Springer played hurt for half his games and his numbers followed. Healthy Springer over a full season is more valuable than Vlad.

Vlad is an all star on a hall of fame path because of his bat, but please stop this “sky is falling” narrative because a blue Jays fan on a blue Jays message board is expressing that GASP! Vladimir Guerrero Jr isn’t the best player in baseball.” He can’t field strongly, can’t run based very well and is a liability anywhere other than 1B. If there was an accurate way to measure offense and defense value of a player he wouldn’t even crack the top 20.

85bluejay - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 07:15 AM EST (#409701) #
Interesting strategy by the Mets going early after the position players while everyone else seemed focused on the arms and I don't think they overpaid for any of the 3 - Marte, Canha and Escobar.The Mets went hard after Springer last year so will be interesting to follow - Springer (31) @ 6/150 or Marte (33) @ 4/78 - who ages better - injuries will probably be the deciding factor.
bpoz - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 07:54 AM EST (#409702) #
Very nice moves by the Mets. Stroman, Scherzer, Kershaw and others don't have QO attached so 1 or 2 of them would make the Mets very strong.

I hope they don't give up the #14 pick in the draft. S Cohen has agreed to spend. They should do better this off season compared to last year.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 10:03 AM EST (#409705) #
Finding comps for Marte is an interesting process.  He has played about 55% of the time in left-field, 45% in center, has an OPS+ of 116, has stolen 296 bases in his career and generated 35 WAR.  I used this for a Stathead search and it generated only one comp- Max Carey.  Carey hit until he was 35 and generated 13.5 WAR during the 33-35 period.  When I changed the position playing time criteria slightly, I got 3 other comps- Cesar Cedeno, Lenny Dykstra and Clyde Milan.  All of these three had shown very significant decline by age 32, while Marte has been better from age 30-32 then he was from age 23-29.

Johnny Damon is another good comp and he too held well, generating 14 WAR during the age 33-36 period. 

BBRef lists Marte's #1 comp as Jacoby Ellsbury.  Ellsbury was coming off poor seasons age 31 and 32, so I am not that concerned about him.

On balance, I think that the Mets will do very well with Marte.  What I see with him now is a player with a broad base of skills who has developed gently into his early 30s- better plate discipline, more power and better ability to pick his spots when stealing bases (he went from leading the league in CS twice in his 20s to going 47-5 stealing bases last year).  The real question is his ability to stay healthy. 

Lylemcr - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#409706) #
I am thinking Vlad is Cecil Fielder. If he can get super serious, he could be Albert Pujols.I am not sure that is in his personality. This is why I can understand people wanting to trade him.

But, if you could have Albert Pujols at his prime... I don't think any trade return is worth its price.

The question I have for the Jays is what is Maturity going to mean for these young stars.
dalimon5 - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 10:57 AM EST (#409709) #
"I am thinking Vlad is Cecil Fielder. If he can get super serious, he could be Albert Pujols.I am not sure that is in his personality. This is why I can understand people wanting to trade him."

This. So this. No need to call each other crazy, just different views on the same player. That, and for me, the act that he doesn't offer anything beyond a bat.
cascando - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 11:20 AM EST (#409711) #
I think Marte would have been a career long CF until now if not for playing with Cameron McCutcheon for so many years. But he’s probably getting close to the point where he will need to move (back) to the corner. I think the deal will likely look decent for the Mets for a year or two and not so good for the remaining years— but that’s free agency. And the NL East is so weak that the Mets should absolutely be spending what it takes to get to the top in the next two seasons.
bpoz - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 12:02 PM EST (#409712) #
This is a great thread for speculation. There is a lot of it.

Thanks to greenfrog for providing a 10 Jays prospect list.

My top 10.

1) Moreno. Incredible 2021. 200+ ABs so maybe another 100 at AAA in 2022.

2) Pearson. I thought that he had graduated. If healthy should produce well as speculated.

3) O Martinez. Incredible power. Just turned 20. Hope he can master A+ and get a fair # games in AA. But maybe I am expecting too much too soon.

4) Groshans. Still can't stay completely healthy. But pretty much matched O Martinez in doubles. BUT Martinez is 2 years younger. BUT Groshans has a better bb/k ratio.

5)Leo Jimenez. Only 6 months older than O Martinez. More bb than Ks which always impresses me. Great batting average. Also seems to have good baseball "smarts" like Biggio and Kirk.

6) K Smith. Good package as a ballplayer. Does not need any more minor league time. BUT will probably go up and down the way Tellez and Gurriel did. Also Teoscar showed great power in 2018 and 2019 but with low batting average and OBP. Needed about 900 ABs in those 2 seasons in the ML to become who he is now.

7) O Lopez. No power but is very versatile.

8) S Roberse. Stayed healthy and dominated A+.

9) L Quinones. Does not get hit. Strikes out a ton but also walks a ton. This means that he throws a lot of pitches and so cannot last long in a game. BUT he did improve when he went to NH. 8 AA starts and 4 were shutouts. So he dominated. I have no idea how he compares to Juan Guzman but I am going to think of him that way. Guzman was a slow and deliberate pitcher ie longish games. Quinones may also have longish games.

10)Adrian Hernandez. Incredible 2021. Dominated at 3 levels. I don't know how a HS kid who signed after the 2017 season is over is eligible to be taken in the rule 5 draft.
bpoz - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 01:05 PM EST (#409713) #
11) A Kloffenstein. Young, With pedigree. Not good A+ results.

12) Hoglund. Good pedigree does not make my top 10 without results to back it up. Hoffman, Deck, C Jenkins, D Purcey.

After my top 4 there was a big drop off. So I gave marks for getting to AAA or AA and there were other factors.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 04:12 PM EST (#409714) #
I think this post of dalimon's is pretty I threshing but I disagree fundamentally.
Until this year, Vladd Jr s performance hadn't matched the hype in MLB. But last year he absolutely matched
expectations and exceeded them.  There's also the whole issue of looking at precedence of performance by age and minor leagues and what that suggests about future performance.Sure someone like Springer a greater track record but I'd have a hard time taking him over Vlad. Ignoring contract stuff, Springer health is a real issue, and the difference in defensive value might close quickly. His offense has never approached Vlad's performance.
Anyway, no disagreements that Vlad isn't the best player, but the players on the list in the original al post, od only take Trout, Soto,and Tatis before Vlad.
John Northey - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 04:43 PM EST (#409716) #
Heh. Vlad is Cecil (or Prince) Fielder? Uh no.

Cecil's BEST OPS+ ever was a 167 his first year back from Japan when he hit 51 HR. 133 was his next best. His dWAR was negative every year but his rookie one, his scored 30% of the time only in his last 2 Jays years. 25% overall. 2 SB vs 6 CS. Best WAR was 6.5, next a 3.8 then a 2.8, then 1.9, rest were sub 1.

Prince's best OPS+ was a 166 at age 25, 4 years over 150 - pretty good (over ages 23-28 missing age 24 + 26 when he 'only' did a 130/135). His defense was negative every last season of his short career. He NEVER scored 28% of the time reaching base, but was 18-11 in SB-CS surprisingly (expected that to be under 10 SB honestly). Best WAR was a 6.3, then 2 in the 4's, a 3.6, and 2 in the 2's.

Both Fielders at 22 were rookies who didn't do great (45 OPS+ for Cecil, 110 for Prince). Cecil didn't fully break out until he spent a year in Japan, Prince at 23 emerged - funny both had their breakouts with 50+ HR's.

Vlad at 22 was 2nd in MVP voting with a 169 OPS+ (better than either Fielder ever did), 6.8 WAR (better than either Fielder), scored 32% of the time, going 4-1 in SB-CS. He wasn't like either Fielder on the bases, no Rickey Henderson, but not a Fielder.

Pujols is a best case for any hitter in their 20's. Came up at 21 and was a star immediately with a 157 OPS+, his first sub 150 OPS+ was at age 31, his final year in St Louis (sadly it was a hint of what was to come as he never reached 150 again, the next year was a 138, then never even a 130 again). His scoring was 36% at age 22, taking extra bases 53% of the time. Wow. Of course, he played 3B as a rookie, LF the next 2 years before settling in at 1B at 24 with the exception of 14 games at 3B since (including one in 2021 for 1 inning), and 1 game at 2B so his fielding is a big step up from Vlad's. In his 11 years in St Louis he hit 328/420/617 - 1.037 - 170 OPS+ overall. Wow. Somehow "just" 3 MVP's. Vlad in 2021 hit 311/401/601 - 1.002 - 169 OPS+ - so Vlad at 22 had a year that was comparable to what Pujols did for a decade+. He 'just' needs to keep that up for another decade to be compared to Pujols.

Basically Vlad is clearly better than either Fielder, but also clearly not as good as Pujols. Is he one dimensional? No. He walks, he takes extra bases, he doesn't get thrown out doing stupid things (just 1 CS), his defense is improving but has a LONG way to go but he seems determined to get there. Yeah, he isn't a shortstop or a catcher or a pitcher but he hits the crap out of the ball, he takes walks, he hits for average. Often 'one dimensional' means HR's with a 220 average ala Grichuk last year (ah, but he is able to play CF, despite not being good on the bases with 0 SB vs 3 CS, and takes the extra base and scores less often than Vlad, but he looks like an athlete).

OK rant over. I just hate seeing anyone who is a big home run hitter compared to the Fielders. I saw Cecil when he played in '85 and he was big and slow even then and outside of his year in Japan never seemed to take fitness seriously. Prince was similar but did put more effort into it. Vlad last year woke up and decided to work on it and it sounds like he knows he needs to keep that up this winter if he wants that $300+ million contract. I suspect his goals are 50+ HR and a gold glove. He knows for an MVP he needs to really be amazing as long as Trout & Ohtani are in the league. I hope Bo and others paid attention and are working their butts off this winter.
92-93 - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 07:44 PM EST (#409718) #
"There is not one person in baseball, not one executive, who believes Albert Pujols is the age that he says he is," - David Samson, former Marlins President

“I actually hit it off Octavio Dotel, I think I told you that. I was about about 12, 13, almost 13 years old,” Pujols said. “And we go back, you know, 28 years later, and here I am.” - Albert in 2018 on his first HR

Pujols' career arc makes a lot more sense if you consider he may be 3 years older than his official age.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 08:10 PM EST (#409719) #
The record for home runs in a season at age 44 is 5 held by Julio Franco and John Henry Lloyd.  Carlton Fisk hit 3 for 3rd place.  If Pujols is 3 years older, he's just blown that mark totally out of the water.  The great Julio Franco, by the way, managed to hit .294/.372/.452 at age 44 in 222 PAs.  Which is truly remarkable. 
John Northey - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 08:17 PM EST (#409720) #
Good point, forgot about that with Pujols. Not as extreme as Junior Felix (thought to be off by 10 years iirc), but still significant. He is only one of the best ever vs the greatest ever if he had actually been 21 when he came up. I figure if he was his listed age then his peak might have lasted a few more years, adding 50 or so more HR, 100-200 more hits, so he'd be around 3500 hits and 700+ HR's right now - vs needing 21 more HR to get to 700 and 200 hits for 3500 (to be top 5 in both categories - like Hank Aaron is). I suspect he wants to play long enough to get there but I doubt anyone will give him a shot in 2022. He is pretty washed up now. His last year as a significant positive (over 1 WAR) was 2016 Age 36 (or 39). At 41 (or 44) it is hard to imagine a comeback to keep going now. His final PA might be the 2 K's he had in the playoffs for the Dodgers. A sad end to a great career, but it is very rare they get to end it the way they'd all like to - hitting a game winning home run in the World Series. Has anyone done that? Ted Williams hit a HR his final PA but he only got the WS once in the 40's (and lost).
greenfrog - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 08:23 PM EST (#409721) #
Nelson Cruz just hit 32 home runs in his age-40 season (he's now 41). It will be interesting to see how long his career lasts, especially if the universal DH is adopted. Tough to make it to age 44 in the majors (let alone as a productive hitter), though.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 08:25 PM EST (#409722) #
And regarding cascando's comment about Marte's defence.  Statcast's numbers suggest that he is still above average in centerfield, and his sprint speed is above the 80th percentile.  I think he can make it through his contract as an average defensive centerfielder or later a good defensive left fielder.

The other thing is that his power potential is still not fully tapped.  His maximum EVs are in the 87th percentile and yet he hits the ball on the ground 56% of the time.  It wouldn't shock me if he joined the flyball revolution and hit 30 homers once or twice.  He's also drawing more walks. 

All of which is to say, unlike almost every 32 year old, I think that Marte has another gear left. 
greenfrog - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 09:37 PM EST (#409723) #
The Jays have signed 31-year-old reliever Yimi Garcia.
grjas - Saturday, November 27 2021 @ 11:13 PM EST (#409724) #
Good to see them spend some bucks on the bullpen given they have an inexpensive closer and set up guy. After last year’s BP debacle they needed more depth. Some injury history with Garcia, and challenges after the trade to Houston, but another veteran with generally good strikeout and walk ratios is always welcome. Now get Gausman or Ray.
85bluejay - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 01:32 AM EST (#409725) #
It's been reported that Javier Baez wants to sign before the lockout freeze on Dec. 01 - Hope the Jays put in a strong bid.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:09 AM EST (#409726) #
I thought Gausman was going to be a big target for the jays last off-season. Like the Giants they have targeted guys with big splitters in the past.
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:20 AM EST (#409727) #
Count me as a no on Baez. He just doesn't strike me as someone who is going to age well at all.
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:14 AM EST (#409728) #
Good move by Atkins to get a reliever.
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#409729) #
Javier Baez doesn't catch me as a Jays target even though he plays 3B/2B (but mainly is a SS). Why? Right handed hitter with low OBP and high strikeouts. Hits as the type of guy they'd sign if they felt no one else would sign.

Yimi Garcia seems expensive for a 5th guy in the pen, 3 years with 25+ innings (all 55+) over 7 seasons. His 2.1 BB/9 vs 9.5 K/9 is very nice though, but his 1.5 HR/9 is scary. 2 years plus option isn't bad, but $5+ mil a year easily makes him the most expensive piece in the pen.
92-93 - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#409730) #
The encouraging thing about the Garcia signing is that it suggests the team has many more shekels to spend. They definitely needed to add relievers, so if this is the guy they like it's a good price. It's also nice to read that Garcia left a better offer on the table to come north.
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#409731) #
Much before our final game there was speculation about improving the IF. Mainly 3B with a good player that most likely would have cost a lot in $ and/or prospects if traded for. I have not heard Atkins talk about adding an impact position player.

Atkins was clear that he was going to improve the pen. He also said "addition by subtraction" but he was not specific. Still it is good to see that he has struck quickly with the addition of Garcia.
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:52 AM EST (#409732) #
John, don't think Jays see Garcia as fifth guy in pen. To me, he looks like a guy who who will compete for 8th inning work and be most likely to fill in if Romano goes down.
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 12:04 PM EST (#409733) #
C Kluber 1 year deal with TB.
scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 12:33 PM EST (#409734) #
Garcia was my pick at the last deadline.
Would have been better than Hand and Soria.
Ironically, I find him very similar to Payamps.
They both sit around 94mph wit the fastball and have decent K/B numbers.

uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 02:17 PM EST (#409735) #
All I'll say about a Gausman signing is that, always and forever, Stroman > Gausman.
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#409736) #
So what is the pen now? Using basic stuff for a quick look. Saves-Holds-blown saves, *=left handed, traded guys I list full season stats. Listing only if on the 40 man roster. I used FIP instead of ERA+ as ERA+ is close to meaningless with under 100 IP IMO, while FIP is more based on what they did and is a better predictor of future performance.
  • Romano: 63 IP, 23-5-1, FIP: 3.15
  • Mayza*: 53 IP, 1-19-3, FIP: 3.09
  • Cimber: 71 2/3 IP, 1-7-1, FIP: 3.07
  • Richards: 64 1/3 IP, 1-6-5, FIP: 4.20
  • Yimi Garcia: 57 2/3 IP, 15-4-3, FIP: 3.88

  • Merryweather: 13 IP, 2-1-0, FIP: 6.48
  • Borucki*: 23 2/3 IP, 0-1-1, FIP: 5.66
  • Saucedo: 25 2/3 IP, 0-1-2, FIP: 3.60
  • Castro: 24 2/3 IP, 1-2-1, FIP: 4.02
  • Pearson: 15 IP, 0-0-0, FIP: 4.64
  • Snead: 7 2/3 IP, 0-0-0, 2.52 FIP
  • Shaun Anderson: 23 1/3 IP 0-0-0, 5.57 FIP, why did the Jays grab him?
  • Kay, Hatch, Thornton, & Stripling: all long men if used in the pen. Doubt more than 1 will be in the pen at a time.
  • and kids now on the 40 man: Zach Logue, Bowden Francis, Hagen Danner who are targeted for starting I think, but Francis is entering his age 26 season so he might be shifted to the pen quickly (was part of the Tellez trade).
Looking at this I suspect the Jays will be getting 1 or 2 more relievers thus leaving one or 2 open slots at most for the gang below the line.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 02:50 PM EST (#409737) #
i think it’s unlikely that the Jays land any of the top SPs. There is too much money and too many suitors for those arms. The Jays will have to get creative to fill out the rotation.
Mike Green - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 04:39 PM EST (#409738) #
Garcia added a couple of clicks to his four seamer and kept the spin, but it was much less effective last year.  He was hit even harder than his ERA would suggest.  If you look at the 2020 and 2021 heat maps for his four seamer, it's easy to see what happened.  In 2020, he was able to hit his spots well and was rarely down the middle with it.  In 2021, he added velocity, but fired it down Broadway all too often. 

He's got a full arsenal and a very effective change against LHBs.  It's easy to imagine him as a multi-inning guy.  You could even try a mid-career starter conversion with him.  When was the last time someone tried that?  I remember Jeff Fassero, but surely there must be a few since then that I have forgotten.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 04:57 PM EST (#409739) #
Semien apparently agrees with the Texas Rangers. Seven (yes, 7) years.
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:00 PM EST (#409740) #
It should be interesting how the pitching plays out next year.

I am expecting the pen to be better than 2021.

Without Cy Young Ray the rotation is probably not as good. But I don't expect Ray to repeat his great 2021 no matter who he plays for. Manoah and Berrios give us 2 rotation arms that we could not equal on Opening day 2021. Often things don't work the way you planned sometimes better (Ray) sometimes worse (Pearson).

Atkins believes in depth. You should require about 8 SPS. 2021 Ryu, Ray, Roark, Matz and Pearson with Stripling being the swing man (per Shapiro) that could earn a spot in the rotation if any of the above 5 faltered. Roark and Pearson faltered. Behind Stripling was Zeuch, Kay, Hatch and Thornton.

For 2022 our 8 should be Ryu, Berrios, Manoah (all locks). Stripling probably is given a rotation spot to lose. Pearson is given a rotation spot if he is healthy. He pitched his 1st game May 9 and 2nd game Sept 3. Nobody know what condition he was in for his May 9 start. The 5 walks that game told the story. I believe Atkins said he hopes Pearson is in the 2022 rotation. I don't think Atkins has said anything about the rotation. I expect 1 or 2 bounce back rotation acquisitions. I don't see depth rotation additions being given any preference the way Roark and Matz were. Matz was able to hang on to his spot and Roark on a short leash could not.
scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:01 PM EST (#409741) #
You're missing a ton of *.

Stripling is either in the pen or starting.
They need to add another starter so Pearson and Stripling can compete for the last spot.

Borucki is out of options. If you push him below the line, he's gone.
If Merryweather is healthy and throwing 100mph, he has to make the team.

So, overall, I don't see a point in getting more relievers unless they are better than Garcia, which I doubt will happen.
We're talking about the mid-relief corp. The guys who throw when the team is behind.

They have a number of interesting young arms for the pen, like Danner and Curtis Taylor.

grjas - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:07 PM EST (#409742) #
Good for Marcus but boy 7 years is the new 5 years.
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:10 PM EST (#409743) #
What a weird contract because usually as a team you pay for extra years in order to get good years up front but Rangers aren'tnfoing to be competitive for at least a few years. Good for Marcus, but not a contract I'd sign as a team.
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:13 PM EST (#409744) #

After his age-30 season, Semien’s now former Toronto teammate, George Springer, received six years at $150M. Semien gets the same AAV after his age-30 season, but for 1 more year — 7 years, $175M. #Rangers

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 28, 2021
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:13 PM EST (#409745) #
7 years for Buxton with the Twins.
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:15 PM EST (#409746) #
Everyone below the line I see as 'meh' - they need to earn their slot on the team. If healthy (heh) Merryweather should be a lock but for him that is a MASSIVE if. Borucki being out of options just means he is of little value now as he can't go on the shuttle between AAA/ML so unless he gets back to his 2020 form (remember, that was under 20 innings) he really isn't worth worrying about. Can't believe I missed doing a * beside Snead and Saucedo especially since I was thinking about it with Saucedo. Kay of course is a LH too but as a long man/6+ starter it is secondary.

Really, I see the core 5 there, then a batch of guys who are interchangeable - if any are lost it lands under 'meh'. Anderson is a waiver wire grab and might vanish via it too. Hatch & Stripling are really fighting for rotation slots with Pearson while Kay & Thornton also want another shot.

My guess is the Jays sign/trade for one starter this winter (be it a big gun or a minor one) and one or two more for the pen (has to be better than Richards & Garcia or supercheap thus easy to cut in spring).
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:19 PM EST (#409747) #
WOW. crazy deal for Marcus - happy for him though. 7 years, $175M is a LOT. $25 mil per. Boy the Jays did good with the $18 mil for one great year plus a draft pick. The Rangers lost 102 last year so this seems totally insane to me. Big upgrade for them, but their team OPS+ was 84 last year, ERA+ 92 so they are a LONG way from contending. By the time they are competitive this deal should be getting to the 'dang, how do we dump him' stage.
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:33 PM EST (#409748) #

The madness is just beginning. This is gonna be a whale of a 24 hours.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 28, 2021
Kelekin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:34 PM EST (#409749) #
Happy for Semien. Genuinely surprised he managed to get a 7-year deal, but if he's getting that, it'll be interesting to see what Seager and Correa go for.

For SPs I'm resolved to be okay with not getting Ray or Gausman, nor do I think they are great choices and represent a lack of available high-end SP talent in the FA market this year. So many of the top pitchers this year have one full season of real success - very different from the confidence you get paying for a Ryu or Berrios who were solid year in and year out. While it's easy to go "the Jays have the money to spend", we also have to make considerations for the very expensive arbitrations that are creeping up sooner rather than later.

I feel overall Shapiro and Atkins' gameplan has been strong, and they talked about building to be competitive year in and year out. Sometimes to be competitive means the option of having the liquidity and not using it which gives you optionality later.

Trading is likely our best option (with Oakland being the known preferred target due to having SPs and a potentially available 3B to boot), and between that and some prove-it deals it feels a lot more likely, and ultimately, we may be better for it than signing certain FAs just because we can.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:44 PM EST (#409750) #
Given these FA prices, Tampa's acquisition of Kluber at 1/$8m (plus incentives) looks pretty reasonable. And the decision not to QO Matz may come back to bite the Jays, as 1/$18m really doesn't seem like much money/term in the current inflationary environment.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 05:55 PM EST (#409751) #
Avisail Garcia:

Fangraphs prediction: 1/$15m

Median crowdsource prediction: 2/$18m

MLBTR prediction: 3/$36m

Actual contract: 4/$53m
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:18 PM EST (#409752) #
This is reminding me of the 2000/2001 offseason - when A-Rod signed his first mega deal ($250 mil over 10 years), and many others signed big deals (ManRam $160 mil 8 years with Boston for example) - this was over 20 years ago remember, almost no internet revenue and cable revenue was big but not like the past 5+ years.

So what should the Jays do given this is going on? The Berrios deal is looking REALLY good now. They should keep working on Vlad, Bo, Teoscar, and anyone else they can sign on the dotted line for 5-10 years. The question becomes how big to go for Ray or any other pitcher they are after - Gausman is a big target it seems (rumor is he'll sign with someone shortly). Mad Max is likely to sign in the next 48 hours too, so do you offer him $100+ over 3 years? Right now I'd be damn tempted to do so. Or do you wait it out and hope things calm down in January/February and bargains are out there then.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#409753) #

“Because Semien rejected Toronto’s qualifying offer, the Rangers will have to give up $500K in international spending pool money, as well as their second-highest pick in the 2022 draft. The latter is a pretty significant concession on the Rangers’ part, as Texas’ second-highest selection is the third pick of the second round.”
scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:29 PM EST (#409754) #
This is the pen they finished the year with.
Phelps, Dolis and  Chatwood have already been replaced.
I think at best there's another waiver wire claim in there.
There's a pile of guys to compete for 2 or 3 spots with the losers pitching in Buffalo and potentially getting a shot later.
No need for more guys like Chatwood or Dolis.
I prefer to grab a top arm at the deadline than sign a guy for more than one year.

What they really need is a guy who can clean up after the starter and strand runners.
Not that easy to find.

Mike Green - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:44 PM EST (#409755) #
For what it's worth, I would subjectively rather have Semien for 7 years than Seager. I think that Semien is more likely to be healthy for almost all of those years than Seager despite being 3 years older.
scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:45 PM EST (#409756) #
The Rangers were in their more competitive phase last year except it didn't work out.
They have a new ballpark and they are trying to increase attendance.
I'm tempted to say that the expiring CBA is working quite well here.

Josh Jung is going to take over at 3B.
They are trying to follow the Jays, not the Orioles.

7 years for Semien is a little crazy, but I don't mind it.

scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:51 PM EST (#409757) #
Buxton is interesting.
He's quite good when he's healthy, which is almost never.
He barely reached 7M through arbitration. 100M over 7 years is fine.
They have a lot of cheap pitching in the pipeline.
They should be a contender in April for all of those 7 years.

bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:53 PM EST (#409758) #
Avisail Garcia 4 years $53 mil with Miami. He and Grichuk are the same age. I also think that they are about equal but I don't know how to tell. So health is the crucial factor and one having a bad or good year compared to the other.
scottt - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 06:56 PM EST (#409759) #
Semien will likely fade when the bat speed and eye coordination fail him.
Kinda like Bautista. He doesn't hit for average, so when he stops hitting homeruns, his production will suffer.
An other possibility is that teams stop throwing to him inside...

85bluejay - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:03 PM EST (#409760) #
I read a note that the Jays are finalist for Gausman followed later by another tweet that the Giants are looking good to sign him - Gausman's agent trying to squeeze another year out of somebody?
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:13 PM EST (#409761) #
I think seven years for Semien is pretty risky. We are probably going to see more than a few instances of “winner’s curse” in relation to the contracts being handed out this off-season.
bpoz - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:25 PM EST (#409762) #
NYY and Boston have been quiet. Their fans will not stay calm for long.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:27 PM EST (#409763) #
I predict Gausman to SF on a five- or six-year contract.
Mike Green - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:38 PM EST (#409764) #
I agree, greenfrog, that 7/175 for Semien is risky. I think he will get the 18 WAR over that time that makes it a fair deal. But, I'm seeing 10/300 for Seager and that's a whole other level of risk.

Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 07:51 PM EST (#409765) #
"I agree, greenfrog, that 7/175 for Semien is risky. I think he will get the 18 WAR over that time that makes it a fair deal."

Which is why Rangers are such a weird team to do this. That's probably 8-11 WAR in two or three years before they are competitive and 7-10 WAR in 4-5 years when they might be competitive. If say, White Sox did this, I'd get it.
Mike Green - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 08:23 PM EST (#409766) #
You might very well be right, glevin.  Their minor league system seems to be pretty barren and giving up the second round pick is probably not the best idea.

They did lead the league in attendance in 2021, and maybe they are doing to keep the $ rolling in.  Which assumes the lockout is going to be a non-issue. 
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 08:58 PM EST (#409767) #
Morosi says Gausman is expected to get ablut 5/$100m.

It sounds like a deal is getting pretty close. I would be fine if the Jays gave him that amount. But I expect him to sign with a US team.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:03 PM EST (#409768) #
Jays to sign Gausman, per Ben Nicholson Smith
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:04 PM EST (#409769) #
5/$110 official.

Can't complain about that.
grjas - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:07 PM EST (#409770) #
Nicely done.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:10 PM EST (#409771) #
Bonus — assuming Ray signs elsewhere, the Jays will receive two draft picks as compensation for Semien and Ray (with the pick from the Rangers being quite a high one — third pick in round two). And the Jays will not have to give up a draft pick for signing Gausman.
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:11 PM EST (#409772) #
Jays definitely going for it and I love it. Gausman, Berrios, Ryu, Manoah, and Pearson/ Stripling is one hell of a rotation and I think Jays will probably add another pitcher to compete for 5thspot.
SK in NJ - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:13 PM EST (#409773) #
I actually expected Gausman to get more than $110M in this market, so it looks like a solid deal at first glance. The biggest organizational need from top to bottom is starting pitching, so to lock up Berrios and now have Gausman for 5 years is a nice starting point to the off-season.
PeterG - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:14 PM EST (#409774) #
I don't think they will try to sign Ray at this point. Can get another starting pitcher via trade. Possibilities could include Kirk + to Miami or Gurriel somewhere if a FA OF is signed.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:15 PM EST (#409775) #
So, Manoah, Berrios and Gausman should be our 1-3 starting pitchers for the next few years at least. Very good. Probably add Hoglund in 2023-24. If Pearson breaks through in 2022 we could have a pretty fine rotation on our hands.

I like that Gausman is only 30. Five years carries some risk, but it’s a good gamble by the Jays I think. Even if he reverts to being a 2 WAR per year pitcher, it won’t be a ruinous contract for the team.
grjas - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:19 PM EST (#409776) #
Now they need an infielder with a solid bat and they’ll be in darn good shape. Kirk and Groshan based package should give them some options.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:27 PM EST (#409777) #
One more impact position player would be great. But I would say the team as currently constituted is now a postseason contender.

A big question is whether to commit to switching Moreno to third base. If the team wants to do this, they should decide soon so that Moreno can adapt his training and preparation regime accordingly.
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:29 PM EST (#409778) #
Don't make the same mistake as last year.

We need one more big add. Preferably a bat.

Then spend the rest of the offseason filling in depth.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:46 PM EST (#409779) #
Some moves the team could still make:

- Impact position player (Ramirez?)

- Quality fourth outfielder / utility player (better than Grichuk)

- Quality bullpen arm

- Quality starting pitcher (Pablo Lopez?)
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:54 PM EST (#409780) #
If Oakland is selling off assets, there could be a match there (for example, Chapman or Bassitt).
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 09:59 PM EST (#409781) #
See one Ifer, either 3B or 2B as a must and a # 5 starter type but there are a ton of those out there so that seems like the easy bit. Also, think the team gets a guy who can DH and hit left handed. Would love Schwarber or Conforto.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:11 PM EST (#409782) #
If the Jays are shopping for another SP, there is no reason he has to be a typical mediocre #5. They could actually get someone good like Lopez or one of the better Oakland SPs.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:17 PM EST (#409785) #
Atkins/Shapiro have said they're looking to balance the lineup with a few left handed hitters. There's not that many lefties available as free agents so a trade might happen.
dalimon5 - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#409796) #
Great signing. Don’t love the player but love the contract and stability it brings to the rotation for the next 3+ years.

This team needs a lefty impact bat.

Kirk and Groshans package would get you almost any player in MLB outside the top 10 on good contracts.

Jonny German - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 08:17 AM EST (#409810) #
Semien takes over the Adrián Beltré role of respectable player on the trash Rangers.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:40 AM EST (#409826) #
The trash Rangers sounds like the name of a kids environmental camp- "aren't you excited to spend August in the woods picking up plastic bags?". 

It does seem off brand for Texas to have an admirable second baseman.
greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:28 PM EST (#409836) #
Like Odor, you guys aren't pulling any punches.
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