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Well, the first big free agent signing by the Jays has happened. Five-years, $110 million.

The Jays have been after Gausman for a long time.

Like Ray he had a career best season - 145 ERA+, 192 IP over 33 starts, 6th in Cy voting, All-Star, even some MVP votes (21st overall) - all firsts for him at age 30. However, he has had success before.
  • ERA+ over 100 in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 (108 to 119)
  • 170+ IP in 2016-2017-2018
  • 100-115 IP in 2014-2015-2019
  • over 10K/9 IP in 2019-2020-2021
  • under 3 BB/9 in all years but 2014 (3.0 exactly) and 2017 (3.4)
  • his big issue though has been home runs - last years 0.9 HR/9 IP was his first sub 1.2 since 2014.
Overall, probably a solid signing. Just over $20 mil per over 5 years is pretty good in todays market for a potential #1. A solid Ray replacement. Both carry the same 'was 2021 for real' issue, but Ray had wildness to a big degree in his very recent past, Gausman doesn't. A big bonus is no draft pick compensation needed as he took the QO last winter. So if this means Ray goes then it is basically a trade of Ray for Gausman & draft pick & whatever the spread in pay is between them. Not bad.

More signings going on as I type...
  • Rangers sign Kole Calhoun for $5.2 mil for 1 year
  • Angels sign Michael Lorenzen for $7 mil for 1 year
  • Marlins Agree To Extension With Sandy Alcantara $56 mil over 5 years. (a guy I hoped the Jays could trade for)
  • Rangers Sign Jon Gray for $56 mil over 4 years - dang, at that much I'd have liked the Jays to grab him, $14 mil per year, not bad.
  • Rangers Sign Marcus Semien $175 mil over 7 years (many commenting in another thread on this)
  • Marlins Sign Avisail Garcia for $53 mil over 4 years
  • Rays Sign Corey Kluber $8-13 mil (incentives) for 1 year.
  • Twins, Byron Buxton Agree To Extension $100 mil over 7 years
More coming I'm sure. Everyone seems determined to sign before a lockout hits.
Blue Jays Sign Kevin Gausman | 209 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:12 PM EST (#409783) #
Great work by the Jays to get Gausman on a good deal. The Mets have reportedly offered Max Scherzer a 3 year deal at over 40 million a year.
Nigel - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:15 PM EST (#409784) #
98% of my memory of Gausman comes from watching him as an Oriole. It’s going to take some time for me to accept he’s worth that contract:). I’m not saying he’s not, just that I won’t subjectively believe it for some time.
Glevin - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:18 PM EST (#409786) #
Gausman wasn't even that bad as an O. Just a 2-3 WAR guy rather than a 3-5 one he became with the Giants.
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:20 PM EST (#409787) #
Quality signing.

Now don't make the same mistake as last year - one more impact signing please.

Then you can spend the rest of the offseason making the clever depth adds.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:22 PM EST (#409788) #
The Mets reportedly offered more than 5/110
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:24 PM EST (#409789) #
greenfrog - to go to the Mets I figure players are now demanding a big premium, but it is nice to know the Jays aren't the bottom team to free agents.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:27 PM EST (#409790) #
Another bonus to signing Gausman (apart from the draft pick issue I mentioned in the other thread) is that he sounds like a good guy. He should fit in well with this Jays team.
uglyone - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:39 PM EST (#409791) #

No one managed to get 240 swinging strikes with a single pitch type last season...except for Kevin Gausman who got 272 with his splitter.😍

— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 28, 2021
raptorsaddict - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:43 PM EST (#409792) #
I like the signing, as it seems like the Jays are paying him to be somewhat better than he was as an Oriole, but not paying him like someone who they expect to produce at the same level as last year over the duration of the contract. Given what some of the other deals have been(i.e Semien, Garcia, Loup), I was expecting him to get like 6 for $130-145, so I think this is a very reasonable price to pay for someone who should be at least a mid-rotation guy while having the potential to be even more.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:44 PM EST (#409793) #
The Gausman deal is less than I thought, considering what the market has been like for pitchers this winter. Good deal.
I assume this means they're out on Ray, but I'd like to see them add another good SP which will probably have to come via trade (one of the Oakland guys would be nice). Still have to add an impact infielder at either 2B or 3B and maybe another reliever.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:47 PM EST (#409794) #
Hopefully the hundreds of splitters thrown annually haven’t shredded his arm.
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 10:54 PM EST (#409795) #
Interesting at MLBTradeRumors - Mets favorites to get Max Scherzer - $40 mil per over 3 years is the dollar figure being guessed at. Seems the Dodgers and Mets are tossing money around like it is nothing to try to get Scherzer. Glad the Jays signed someone today before that deal is done. I'm sure Ray's agent is hoping the loser goes nuts on his client to try to make a splash. IMO seeing good pitchers go to the NL instead of the AL is great for the Jays. I keep wondering when the Yankees and/or Red Sox will jump into the free agency waters but no real rumors about either yet, beyond 'interested in Ray' type stuff. Weird.
dalimon5 - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:08 PM EST (#409797) #
I predict Ray to the Red Sox or Angels.

I just don’t know what the FO is thinking when it comes to 2B/3b and a lefty bat.
dalimon5 - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:14 PM EST (#409798) #
NYY have been meeting with Freeman. They need to keep room open for resigning Judge who is a free agent next year. Judge, Stanton and Cole… just $80 million right there.

greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:33 PM EST (#409799) #

“The Mets are nearing a multi-year contract with Max Scherzer, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi writes (Twitter link). Based on multiple reports from earlier tonight, Scherzer may be on the verge of signing the largest average annual value contract in baseball history. SNY’s Andy Martino reported earlier tonight that the Mets were prepared to go beyond $40MM in annual salary, and in Martino’s latest tweet, he writes that New York is offering Scherzer $42MM over either three or four years. Scherzer is represented by the Boras Corporation.”

Interesting times we’re living through in baseball.
John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:33 PM EST (#409800) #
2B/3B if they want a LH bat is limited. Kyle Seager is affordable I figure but a 100 OPS+ bat from a guy who is going into his age 34 season isn't exciting. Matt Chapman in Oakland is a RH bat. Jose Ramirez is a switch hitter who'd cost an arm, leg, and $300+ mil over 10 years to resign after 2023. Kris Bryant is a RH hitter, the SS's are either mega expensive (Correa RH, Seager LH) or right handed (Story, Javier Báez). Kind of limited. LH or switch is basically down to Kyle Seager (cheap but meh), Ramirez ($$$ + prospects), Corey Seager ($$$). Anyone have better ideas?

If I was to bet I'd bet on sticking with the guys we have now (Biggio & Espinal) with the kids pushing them and some cheap vets invited to spring to compete for the backup roles. The OF has tons of options but are any workable before someone is traded (we do have 4 everyday OF'ers as is).
greenfrog - Sunday, November 28 2021 @ 11:43 PM EST (#409801) #
Ramirez is probably the best fit. Offer Cleveland some combination of prospects other than Moreno and Orelvis (such as Kirk, Groshans, Pearson, Beltre, Jimenez, Tiedemann) and see if a deal can’t be made.

Chapman could potentially be a good addition, if his health looks like it will be better in 2022. If healthy, he could be a difference-maker offensively and defensively for the Jays.

Pass on Kyle Seager. As for Corey Seager, it’s worth monitoring his situation to see if his market develops as expected.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:03 AM EST (#409802) #
If Ramirez is a free agent in 2 years then I would offer a package around one really good player with upside like Groshans or Martinez. Then add high ceiling prospects, like 3 or 4 of them.

If you have the money and you think you can afford all these guys plus resign Bo and Vlad for $30+ million per then might as well keep your prospects and go sign Seager.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:18 AM EST (#409803) #
I do love this starting 4 with Pearson, Stripling, and whoever as #5.
  • Jose Berrios: 122 ERA+ in 2021, 108 lifetime
  • Kevin Gausman: 145 ERA+ in 2021, 105 lifetime
  • Hyun Jin Ryu: 100 ERA+ in 2021, 124 lifetime
  • Alek Manoah: 136 ERA+ in career (2021)
  • Stripling: 91 ERA+ in 2021, 104 lifetime
  • Pearson: 106 ERA+ in 2021, 86 lifetime
Gerry - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:00 AM EST (#409804) #
Two things:

Teams have lots of money.

Pitching is scarce and comes at a very high price.

Based on the above I am happy with this signing.
Jonny German - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:35 AM EST (#409805) #
Shapiro and Atkins are on a roll. They’ve gotten financial commitment from Rogers and have turned the franchise into an attractive destination for players.

I agree that 3B is likely the next priority. Ramirez would be a fantastic fit, but I expect the cost would be prohibitive. A trade for Matt Chapman feels more realistic.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:00 AM EST (#409806) #
A lefty swinging, and young Corey Seager fits with this young core.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:41 AM EST (#409807) #
After signing a top FA SP, I think it's more likely now that the team ends up trading for a position player. The 3B/2B market in free agency is lackluster. The SP market, while very competitive, is strong. Being able to sign Gausman gives them the ability to go a bit cheaper for the final rotation spot (ex. find the next Matz, find a SP who wants a pillow contract, etc), meaning they don't have to use their best trade assets to acquire a SP who can slot in the top 2-3 in their rotation since they already signed one in free agency. I still think Ramirez is their main target, but obviously a lot will depend on his availability and/or cost to acquire.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:53 AM EST (#409808) #
Thumbs up on the signing.

In 1995, Jerry Reinsdorf gave Albert Belle a fat free agent contract after the owners cried poor during the strike. This time it's happening before the lockout. Give the billionaires credit for taking chutzpah to ever-higher places. Shameless.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 08:10 AM EST (#409809) #
An interesting rumor is that Matthew Boyd is going to be non-tendered by Detroit. Seems he is hurt and will miss 1/3rd of next season so they didn't see a point in paying him to rehab and not getting a draft pick back next winter as he wouldn't have enough time to look worth $18+ million. Doubt the Jays will be interested, but who knows?
scottt - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 08:27 AM EST (#409811) #
Got a starter and a high leverage bullpen arm.
Just missing a middle of the order left bat.

Still like Swarber splitting time at DH and LF.
Gurriel can play 1B when Guerrero DH.

Lylemcr - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 08:58 AM EST (#409812) #
Gausman. Nice pickup. I am curious how the Jays and Ray did not work it out. That being said, nice pickup. The Starting staff is really good now. If the Jays had Manoah and Berrios for the full year, they would have been in the playoffs. If Pearson gets healthy, that starting 5 is lights out.

Semien... Wow! Good for him. I am happy the Jays didn't do that. And he couldn't have landed in a better spot for the Jays. It will be a nice high pick.

After signing Gausman, I don't think the Jays need to do a lot more this off season. I think the big thing is maturity. The worst case is that the gaps are filled at the trading deadline. The Jays need a solid Left bat in the lineup and some vet bullpen. I would also like to see some more experience off the bench. Corey Seager would be my choice.

I think the biggest problem the Jays have is that they need to make room for Moreno. (Good problem to have). I would also like to see one of the outfielders traded and get one that bats left.

bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:17 AM EST (#409813) #
Signing K Gausman 5/$110mil definitely proved me wrong. But well done. No draft pick or prospects lost. I was very concerned about the payroll flexibility but with other teams giving VERY expensive contracts it seems that the financial cost went sky high.

Berrios I believe is cheap year 1 & 2. Ryu is off the books in 2 years. Big extensions to Vlad, Bo etc... could happen this year or not because there is time.

Springer's year would have been fantastic if he was able to stay healthy. Any big contract being unable to play or underperforming has the potential to be drastic. For example D Price, Kershaw and Bauer would break this team and heads may roll.

I feel good about being wrong about affording and actually acquiring a big FA. I still don't know why Gausman picked the Jays. He should have been able to choose his team and still get the same money.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:29 AM EST (#409814) #
“ I would also like to see some more experience off the bench. Corey Seager would be my choice.”

You must be talking and Corey’s brother Kyle.

Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:41 AM EST (#409815) #
The Jays are a playoff team as it stands right now. A big pickup (at infield) would obviously boost them more but also don't think they need it if cost is too high and can make some modest upgrades. I'm a bit torn because the Jays prospect depth has dwindled and you want to keep the depth both for internal promotions and for trades if you have a need that emerges late in the year. I think a trade for say, Chapman would not cost much and would be a clear upgrade. Obviously, Ramirez would be best but I think cost would be something that would leave the Jays system pretty barren.

I think Jays have a few more moves. I think they'll sign one more free agent of some note and the rest will be trades.

I really like the fact that the Tigers, Rangers, and other non contenders are spending money. One of the biggest problems in baseball last few years was that there were a handful of good teams, a handful of mediocre teams, and a ton of teams just not even competing. Having more teams trying to win is good for the game and if they are not in AL East, good for the Jays.

greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:44 AM EST (#409816) #
I agree that adding an impact position player is a good idea. I also think that adding another quality starting pitcher would be prudent. This would give the Jays an excellent rotation of Manoah, Berrios, Gausman, Ryu, and (new acquisition). Pearson can be developed as a multi-inning bullpen arm and Stripling can be the #6 starter (which is where he belongs on the depth chart, in my view).

Having another quality arm in the rotation would provide redundancy in the event of injury to one of the front four, and it would provide some insurance against a decline on the part of Ryu, and rotation strength after Ryu's contract ends. It would also help the Jays avoid in 2022 what happened last season (being good but not quite good enough).

The Jays could look to Miami (Lopez, Rogers), Oakland (Bassitt, Manaea, Montas) or Cincinnati (Castillo) to address that need.

As I mentioned in the other thread, there is no law that requires that the #5 pitcher on your depth chart has to be mediocre.
grjas - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:49 AM EST (#409817) #
Ok totally off the wall thought. Sign Ray, trade Ryu to recover 10 to 15mm of his salary and use the balance for a reasonable 3rd baseman. Can always dream I guess.
bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:54 AM EST (#409818) #
No trade clause for Ryu I believe. There may be ways to still trade him.
grjas - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:58 AM EST (#409819) #
It’s a partial no trade clause, whatever that means. Trade for Ramirez and his team friendly salary and a very good team becomes frighteningly good. Anyway, fun to dream I guess.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:07 AM EST (#409820) #
The CBA expires on Wednesday. In advance, the Blue Jays have locked up 2 durable starters. Good work.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:14 AM EST (#409821) #
What do Beauxites think about Conforto?
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:22 AM EST (#409822) #
" Pearson can be developed as a multi-inning bullpen arm"

If this is the plan, you need to trade him. There are teams that likely still see Pearson as a potential frontline starter and the value you can get in a trade would be much higher than having a bullpen arm. Start him or trade him for something you need more. Pretty sure the Jays will get another starter and there are still a bunch out there that fit like Danny Duffy or Alex Cobb or Kikuchi.
bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:24 AM EST (#409823) #
Some trades and signings don't work out.

J Morris 3 year contract but only good for 1 year. D Cone trade was good for the Jays with the J Kent great career an acceptable loss. M Young was an unknown player that unexpectedly became great. Halladay trade not good. Donaldson trade good. All considered big moves except M Young.

Martin and K Morales were only paid for 1 year to go off to another team. Tulo got paid for multiple years after leaving. Shapiro understand this as did AA I believe.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#409824) #
I would also trade Pearson if you don't view him as a high potential ace starter. Trade him or a lefty bat infielder.

Marlins are looking for OF help so trade Teoscar (severely underrated in my books) or Gurriel for one of their top arms not named Alcantara.

92-93 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#409825) #
On first glance 5/110 sounds like A LOT for a guy who has had one (and a third elite) season(s), but when you consider the 42M AAV ballpark figure being thrown around for Scherzer it's just the cost of business these days for a solid SP with top of the rotation upside.

Conforto and Schwarber are nice fits for the roster if you can get either on a 3-4 year deal. Conforto has a QO attached, though.
85bluejay - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#409827) #
While I certainly see the attraction of adding Ramirez, trading for Jose Ramirez is going to require tremendous assets and I'd rather use some of those assets to acquire a quality young controllable starter and don't deplete the farm system that it becomes barren as you need cheap young talent continuously coming up for an extended run and I'm also more bullish on the Jays young infield talent (of course, not as good as Ramirez) - I think the Jays will manage to have productive infielders coming up. I'd also be extremely reluctant to trade upside prospects like Moreno, Martinez and Groshans( I'm probably higher on Groshans than most).
92-93 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#409828) #
Pearson has 9 AAA starts under his belt. The Jays will be in good shape once they add another SP, allowing Stripling to work out of the bullpen as the long man and giving time for Pearson to work on his command in the minors.
bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#409829) #
I like the Alcantara contract I don't mind acquiring him. But Miami may not want to trade him.

Teoscar and Gurriel are both quite good and not that expensive compared to this crazy market. Teoscar could get expensive. We must wait and see what he gets paid prior to FA. Miami is still a cheap organization IMO.

Miami has 4 good young SPs to count on. Alcantara, T Rogers, P Lopez and Sixto Sanchez. M Meyer probably develops and I don't know about J Luzardo. They want to be in a window starting now before it gets expensive.

Edward Cabrera is a young pitcher that may not crack the Marlins rotation. He may not crack the Jay's rotation. The Marlins can use Grichuk probably more than the Jays can. Both teams have the payroll to pay him I believe.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 11:02 AM EST (#409830) #
I ran a Stathead search for comps on Gausman.  He has thrown about 1130 innings between age 23 and 30 with an ERA+ of 107.  I used 1100<IP<1250 (to adjust for the shortened 2020 season) and 104<ERA+<110.  I got 12 other pitchers from after 1950:
Julio Teheran, Aaron Harang, Randy Wolf, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Carpenter, Cliff Lee, John Montefusco, Scott Sanderson, Mark Mulder, Bob Ojeda, Oil Can Boyd and Jim Abbott. 

Most of these guys had already faded by age 30 or were poor comps for other reasons (Keuchel).  The ones who are somewhat reasonable comps (Harang, Carpenter, Lee, Ojeda and Boyd) break down into two spectacular (Carpenter and Lee), two below average but some value (Harang and Ojeda) and one blowout (Boyd).  No one said that buying pitching was for the faint of heart. 
SK in NJ - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 11:22 AM EST (#409831) #
I liked Conforto when I thought he'd sign a one year deal and wasn't going to be qualified, but it appears he wants a long-term deal and he rejected the QO, so a pick will be attached to him. I'd prefer Schwarber either way, but I think he'd be more difficult to sign. Unfortunately I do not see many LH bats that can help the team aside from those two.

As far as Pearson, they absolutely have to view him as a SP, even if he's not one of the top 5 to begin the year. The Jays have to get lucky with a young SP. They can't go into every off-season looking to spend $100M+ on a SP. Manoah panning out is huge, but they need more. Pearson is much more valuable to the team as a starter. If he can't cut it in that role, or gets hurt again, then they'll have to pivot after that, but at this point if they view him as a reliever, then I would agree that trading him to a team that still sees prospect shine on him would be the better move.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 11:43 AM EST (#409832) #
"Most of these guys had already faded by age 30 or were poor comps for other reasons (Keuchel). The ones who are somewhat reasonable comps (Harang, Carpenter, Lee, Ojeda and Boyd) break down into two spectacular (Carpenter and Lee), two below average but some value (Harang and Ojeda) and one blowout (Boyd). No one said that buying pitching was for the faint of heart."

Always a risk but I do think Gausman has a pretty high floor as well. Obviously, don't want to be paying $22M a year for a middle of the rotation starter but even if you take his pre-Giants days, he had XFIPs of 3.77-4.19 in 5 out of his 6 years. That's the range where Ryu, Manoah, and Matz were in last year which is still quite a useful pitcher.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 11:45 AM EST (#409833) #
I can see the logic in not wanting to trade for Ramirez due to the likely cost. The Jays do have to be careful in not giving up too many top prospects since a "next wave" is critical in any sort of sustained contention, especially in the AL East. It all comes down to the cost. I would agree that Chapman makes a bit more sense from a cost standpoint, even though he's not as good of a fit (RH, K's a lot). I just don't think Atkins ends up settling for someone like (Kyle) Seager. Not that he's a bad fit necessarily, but he just doesn't move the needle and it's clear the FO is aiming a lot higher than expensive stopgaps.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 11:48 AM EST (#409834) #
One thing to remember is that with the looming changes coming to the league, there's a realistic possibility that young prospects and players will reach green agency sooner or start making more money sooner. This would work against the Jays with all their young players and prospects if their window is moved forward.
greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:25 PM EST (#409835) #
The Mets and Scherzer are reportedly finalizing a three-year, $130m contract, which averages out to about $43m per year. He'll be 38 in July.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:29 PM EST (#409837) #
The league wants an age based plan while the union likes experience based. If the league wins then Vlad will be waiting longer for free agency, if the players do then things will be pretty much as is but Vlad could be a year earlier if players get a 'no sneaking an extra year' rule put in place somehow.

Bottom line to my thinking - the Jays are done spending this winter beyond 1-2 year deals. I doubt we'll see any major trades unless it gets them someone under control already for 5 years and even then I could see the Jays being hesitant. The smart move is signing Bo, Vlad, Teoscar long term if possible. Get the base locked down. Then figure out what to do beyond that - I expect 2B to be Biggio, 3B to be Espinal with Smith, Lopez, Groshans and others to fight it out. Blowing $30 mil a year on Ramirez is tempting but the Jays need to decide who will be the face of the team in the next 5-10 years. If you go all in on Ramirez then Bo & Vlad will be hard to keep (financially). Others like Chapman are tempting in trade but you can't give up Groshans or other top prospects if you want to contend in 2025 (for example). Signing Kyle Seager to a 2 year deal makes a lot more sense in this situation. Affordable, can be in a platoon at 3B with Espinal if needed, or can help in LF/1B I suspect (hasn't played there but the learning curve isn't insane), has played 2B and SS in the past so is an emergency backup if needed there too. My gut is saying that is the way the Jays will go now. Fiscal flexibility is key to future success, and we know our current president and GM both grew up on that in Cleveland.
Lylemcr - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:29 PM EST (#409838) #
Is anyone else concerned about Ryu's sluggish ending of the season?

I think the Mariners are having trouble signing free agents. Send Ryu to Seattle and then get Ray. Boom! Problem solved! :)

For 5th starter, I am truly hoping Pearson takes it. Stripling is a good enough backup plan and a trade deadline acquisition would fill in nicely if needed. We are talking about a 5th starter.
bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:31 PM EST (#409839) #
A while back Shapiro said that he does not believe that we have to bring back Ray and Semien. I suppose he was letting the fans know that they may go elsewhere. But he also said that they have a list of targeted players and that we would be competitive.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#409840) #
Jays just signed a batch with spring invites...
  • C Kellin Deglan
  • RHP José De León
  • LHP Matt Gage
  • RHP Casey Lawrence
  • OF Nathan Lukes
  • RHP David Phelps (yay!)
  • OF Mallex Smith
Very happy to see Phelps signed up again. He'd be a very solid #6 in the pen if healthy.
85bluejay - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 12:52 PM EST (#409841) #
I'll admit I have a soft spot for Jose De Leon - once a hotshot prospect derailed by injuries - hopefully he's healthy, the kind of guy I want to do well.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 01:05 PM EST (#409842) #
The Mets signed Scherzer to a 3 year, 130 million dollar deal. Might be enough for them to win the NL Least next year.
greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 01:08 PM EST (#409843) #
Kevin Goldstein thinks that Gausman's pitch mix will play just fine in the AL East.
bpoz - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#409844) #
40 man is full when Y Garcia and Gausman added.

D Phelps on a minor league contract is good. He will have to compete for a spot.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 01:33 PM EST (#409845) #
Like having Phelps back. Jays bullpen looks pretty deep now.

Romano, Garcia, Mayza, Cimber, Phelps, and Richards and then probably Stripling (if he isn't in rotation). Then, a bunch of guys like Merryweather, Borucki, Anderson, Hatch, etc...for the inevitable needed depth. Ideally, you'd have a second lefty in the pen but Jays would have to make some moves to make that happen.
Thomas - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 01:45 PM EST (#409846) #
I agree with John, and everyone else. Phelps is a very solid minor league signing.

The others are good depth additions. I assume Mallex Smith will resume the Jarrod Dyson role, if it's needed this year.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 02:09 PM EST (#409847) #
Saucedo and Snead should be good depth LH'ers in AAA ready to call up if needed. Borucki will fight hard to make the team I'm sure - it'll be interesting if by some miracle all 6 of Romano/Garcia/Mayza, Cimber, Phelps, and Richards are healthy opening day then it'll be a major fight for the 7th & 8th slots with Stripling a lock for one (if all starters healthy and Pearson or Hatch makes the rotation over Stripling), Merryweather and Borucki both out of options, Anderson likely to be claimed if sent down.

I'm liking this team more and more as the winter progresses.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 02:18 PM EST (#409848) #
Ideally, you'd have a second lefty in the pen but Jays would have to make some moves to make that happen.

Yes.  It's more of an issue if your rotation leans right as the 2022 one will.  They could use a LH long man.  I wondered about Anthony Kay and took a deeper look at him.  He's been significantly better (and almost passable) in the rotation, and terrible in relief.  In his career, he's made 7 starts.  The first time through the order, he's faced 63 batters, struck out 21 and walked 3.  He's given up 1 home run.  Those are all excellent numbers, but he's given up quite a few runs the first time through the order courtesy of a .459 BABIP.  I wonder about using Kay as an opener for Pearson in the #5 slot in the rotation. 
Magpie - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#409849) #
I am curious how the Jays and Ray did not work it out.

We've had this enormous amount of early FA signings precisely because of the impending lockout, which could easily go into February or March (or later.) So naturally teams and players are both trying to avoid the ensuing feeding frenzy of filling out the roster or finding a place to play at that time. But it looks like Ray is pretty confident that he'll do just fine anyway. With Scherzer, Gausman, Gray off the market he's probably right. But the Jays, obviously, didn't want to take a chance and wait for him, hoping he'd agree to come back, and then end up being completely stuck if he didn't. They needed someone who'd sign a deal today or tomorrow.
uglyone - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 02:46 PM EST (#409850) #
Just trade for Donaldson. Should cost peanuts.
Magpie - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:23 PM EST (#409851) #
Or maybe Robbie Ray just wanted to go west.

I wonder about using Kay as an opener

I would hesitate to bake in any strategy that uses an opener until we see the new CBA and any rules changes. If you lose the DH when the starting pitcher comes out of the game, life grows complicated.
dalimon5 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:23 PM EST (#409852) #
"I think the Mariners are having trouble signing free agents. Send Ryu to Seattle and then get Ray. Boom! Problem solved! :)"

Ray to Mariners.
greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:27 PM EST (#409853) #
5/115 with an opt-out after season three. I think I prefer Gausman at 5/110 with no opt-out.
PeterG - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:40 PM EST (#409854) #
Gausman with no opt out and a draft pick makes more sense than Ray. Well done.
electric carrot - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:44 PM EST (#409855) #
I like Gausman just fine but if I have a chance to switch contracts with the Mariners for Ray instead I do it in a heartbeat.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 03:51 PM EST (#409856) #
I value Ray and Gausman similarly. Jays get extra 2nd pick and no opt out means Ray's contract is something like $20-$25M more than Gausman's in value.
rpriske - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:10 PM EST (#409857) #
I wasn't overly excited about signing Ray because I thought he was going to be way overpaid. At THAT price, I would they could keep him.
greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:15 PM EST (#409858) #
As good as Ray was last year, he does have a history of high walk rates (career BB/9 of 3.94). I would have some concern that he might go through some periods of regression, or that his FB/slider approach might lose effectiveness over time (as it did at the very end of the season in a crucial game).

One nice thing about Gausman is that he has excellent control (career BB/9 of 2.64). Of course, his FB/splitter combo might also lose effectiveness over time.

I'm sure we'll be comparing these two contracts for years to come.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:24 PM EST (#409859) #
Jays will officially have four picks from 23-somewhere in the 65-75 range (unless they sign a free agent and lose one) That gives Jays incredible flexibility to go after hard to sign guys that slip as well as just being able to add a bunch of quality prospects.
uglyone - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:26 PM EST (#409860) #
I have new faith in the FO. But if it turns out that they chose gausman over Ray for the draft picks that's not good at all.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:33 PM EST (#409861) #
No question, with the close dollar value these 2 deals will be fun to compare over the next 5 years. Ray at $115, Gausman $110 both over 5 years. Both had career years in 2021 but what did they do before?
Ray: 103 ERA+, 4.3 BB/9 11.1 K/9 1.3 HR/9 over 842 1/3 IP
Gausman: 100 ERA+, 2.7 BB/9 8.5 K/9 1.3 HR/9 over 985 1/3 IP

In 2021 Ray dropped that BB/9 rate to 2.4 with HR/9 at 1.5 and K/9 at 11.5 very comparable to his career averages.
In 2021 Gausman pushed his K/9 to 10.6, dropped his HR/9 to 0.9 and dropped his BB/9 to 2.3 (eyeshot of normal for him).

Which looks more likely to keep succeeding in the future? My gut says Gausman due to improving across the board. Ray is 1 year younger which is a big plus though. Really, hard to go wrong at just over $20 per year over 5 years each (vs the $43.33 the Mets will pay Max Scherzer over the next 3 years - basically you could have both Ray & Gausman for less than what Max makes over those 3 years).

Just read that Phelps gets $1.75 if he makes the team. Not bad at all for the Jays. I like this offseason. I just hope we get a 2022 season in full.
Paul D - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:37 PM EST (#409862) #
Two things I wonder:

1 - will the Rangers look to trade Isiah Kiner-Falefa now that they've signed Semien
2 - will his exceptional defence translate to 2b?
Paul D - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:42 PM EST (#409863) #
Well the Rangers just signed Corey Seager for 10 years, $325 million, so I'm thinking Kiner-Falefa will be available.
BlueJayWay - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 04:54 PM EST (#409864) #
This has been quite the free agent frenzy. Maybe MLB should have a lockout every winter.
Lylemcr - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:03 PM EST (#409865) #
Kiner-Falefa is a Right handed bat. Meh. I would take my chances with Biggio.

Ray to the Mariners. With Flexen, Gilbert, Gonzalez and now Ray.... that is a nice starting 4. They have some nice arms coming up. I expect them to get a big bat. I put my money on the Mariners getting Bryant and another top free agent. Maybe the AL west is opening up. The Angels don't have pitching, the Astros are going in a different direction, A's are selling, Texas are buying bigtime. With the good young players the Mariners have, if they filled the 3rd\1st with a solid option, they will have it made.
Lylemcr - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:10 PM EST (#409866) #
I like this idea of getting Donaldson. I wish he was more durable.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:10 PM EST (#409867) #
Well the Rangers just signed Corey Seager for 10 years, $325 million

Congratulations, Mr. Seager, on the fantastic contract.  Now, about that union solidarity that is going to be so important in the coming months....
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:14 PM EST (#409868) #
I would hesitate to bake in any strategy that uses an opener until we see the new CBA and any rules changes. If you lose the DH when the starting pitcher comes out of the game, life grows complicated.

Fair point.  But does anyone bake in anything with respect to the #5 slot in the rotation these days?  Isn't it one of those slots that managers usually try various options for at least half a season?    Maybe that will change.  We'll see.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:15 PM EST (#409869) #
I mean, good for the Rangers I guess but they're still like a 70-80 win team. I am happy Yankees and red sox are running out of impactful targets though.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:24 PM EST (#409870) #
I think the Rangers are going to take a bath on the Seager contract, and indeed that Semien will add more value over his 7 years than Seager over his 10. 
grjas - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:38 PM EST (#409871) #
Jose Ramirez is still an interesting trade candidate depending of course on price. He has 2 years left at 12 and 14mm respectively so am sure would fit in their budget, and as long as they kept one of Groshans or Martinez the can let hm hit FA in a couple of years.

But of course with the price of infielders these days, the cost in prospects may be too high.
scottt - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:49 PM EST (#409872) #
1. DH Willie Calhoun
2. 2B Semien
3. SS Corey Seager
4. CF Adolis Garcia
5. 1B Nat Lowe
6. RF Kole Calhoun
7. C Johah Heim
8.  LF Billie McKinney
9. 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa

That's a huge improvement over last year.
They have a top prospect in bat first, third baseman Josh Jung ready to take over and push IKF to the bench.
They've been accumulating prospects for several years. Now they just use those prospects to patch the holes or in deadline trades.

I like that the rest of the league is getting more competitive.

greenfrog - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 05:58 PM EST (#409873) #
These free agent contracts make the Franco extension look that much better from the Rays’ perspective. And they may make it less likely that the Jays extend Bichette and Vladdy. I’m glad the team is trying hard to compete over the next five years (probably their true window of contention).
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:00 PM EST (#409874) #
The Rangers are going nuts aren't they? So far 4 free agents signed. Semien (2B/SS 7 years $25 per), Seager (SS 10 years $32.5 per), Gray (RHP 4 years $14 per), Kole Calhoun (RF 1 year $5.2 with club option). Phew. Added $76.7 mil for 2022, and $71.5 for the 3 years after that to their payroll roughly (there are details in each contract that would shift that). Cot's has their payroll for 2022 still only at $104 + Seager = $137.3 million which is lower than the Jays who are at $159.1 million.
scottt - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:09 PM EST (#409875) #
Phelps was great. Good to have him back.
De Leon is a case of you-never-know. He's from Puerto Rico. Lots of Ks. Too many walks, too many hits, too many long balls.
Gage and Lawrence are AAA/AA depth.
Lukes is an outfielder who bats left.
Smith has excellent speed.

Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:19 PM EST (#409876) #
Kiner-Falefa is a good defender at shortstop; Seager is not any longer.  Of course, the Rangers will probably run out Seager at shortstop. 
Lylemcr - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:19 PM EST (#409877) #
I like the Garcia signing. He has some good heat. You can't have enough good bullpen arms. Phelps. Nice addition. A couple more of them would be nice.

The other free agents... A little injury depth. Smith could be useful as a baserunner in September.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#409878) #
Mlb has their 14 team play plan and it's as dumb and gimmicky as possible. I hate expanded playoffs but if you make incentives super strong for finishing higher(eg lower ranked team has to win all three games in series, higher ranked needs to win just one ) , you can do it I guess but this plan is just tons of teams and this dumb "choose your opponent" thing which is a tiny advantage and seems geared to try to create gambling opportunities. Manfred really doesn't like baseball.
vw_fan17 - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 06:54 PM EST (#409879) #
Any thoughts on looking at DFAed Colin Moran as a bench option? LHB, plays 1B and a not-so-great 3B, almost any other position in a pinch, career OPS+ 101, with a nice 114 OPS+ in 2020.
Glevin - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 07:44 PM EST (#409880) #
I think Espinal and Biggio will be bench/start in one spot so the need is to upgrade a starting spot rather than add another utility guy.
John Northey - Monday, November 29 2021 @ 09:20 PM EST (#409881) #
14 team would be 7 per league - best record in the league gets to skip the first round (best of 3). The division winners and best wild card get all 3 games at home. The two division winners who don't get to skip round 1 have to pick who they play from the 3 wild cards with the worst records, the best wild card gets whoever is left. I suspect if done last year no one would've picked the Jays as an opponent for round 1 with Ray/Berrios/Manoah/Ryu in the rotation. So the Jays would've been in Boston playing the Red Sox. Tampa and San Francisco would've had the first round off.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 12:14 AM EST (#409882) #
Jon Heyman says the Jays are one of the teams in on Yusei Kikuchi. That would be a good addition, I think. Manoah / Berrios / Gausman / Ryu / Kikuchi would be a good five-man rotation.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 02:44 AM EST (#409883) #
The Jays FO must really like Gausman - this is the third offseason in a row they have tried to sign him - hope Gausman can add a third pitch as hitters in the AL especially the east are a tougher bunch. It would be interesting to know if Ray/Matz are vaccinated as that would have probably been a nonstarter.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:05 AM EST (#409884) #
Baez is a good player and entering his age-29 season, but six years for a shortstop with a career 4.8 BB% and 29.3 K% (33.6 K% in 2021) seems very risky. How good will he be offensively and defensively in three or four years, let alone five or six?
bpoz - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:33 AM EST (#409885) #
Kikuchi is a #4/5 and in the AL East he probably gets worse IMO. As a FA that rejected $13 mil he probably signs for 2/$20 mil.

He would have to win the 5th rotation spot. If he cannot then he is in the pen.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:33 AM EST (#409886) #
Apparently it's a seven-year deal for Baez.
DH - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:09 AM EST (#409887) #
Kikuchi and Gausmann are both pitchers the FO had previously sought and targeted. I wouldn't be surprised if they think they can unlock another level.
Glevin - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:28 AM EST (#409888) #
$6/$140 for Baez. He's a good player but man, it's hard to see him aging well. he's all power and great D and those are things that fade pretty early. Still, good to see the Tigers trying to improve. With E-Rod and Baez and a ton of top prospects, they're on the upswing for sure. Which top free agents are left? Correa, Bryant, Freeman, Story, Castellanos, Taylor, Rodon, Kershaw, Conforto, a couple of closers and then you're into the second tier players I think. Yankees and Red Sox have both been super quiet so far which is good. Trade market will probably only develop after lockout is over but Jays are in a good spot regardless.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:50 AM EST (#409889) #
Baez contract may be risky given his profile but I prefer his contract to Seager's 325/10.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:53 AM EST (#409890) #
Statcast says that the most similar pitcher to Kikuchi in velocity and movement is Robbie Ray 2021.  I don't see it personally; Kikuchi's most effective pitch against RBH is his changeup and whil his slider is also very good, it is nowhere as effective as Ray's against RHB.  I imagine that any club that signs him would want him to cut out the cutter or at least dial down its usage substantially.  I would expect any club that picks him up increase four-seam and changeup usage against RHB and reduce slider and cutter usage against RHB, and increase four-seam and slider usage against LHB and reduce or eliminate cutters. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:55 AM EST (#409891) #
I think Today is non-tender day - will be interesting and if any of those players sign before the lockout begins - I suspect there has been some behind the scenes contact between agents of players on the bubble with other clubs.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:07 AM EST (#409892) #
6 years $140 for Baez? Tigers are nuts with that imo. $23.3 mil a year for a guy with a lifetime 104 OPS+ who K'ed 184 times last year vs 28 walks (clearly terrible strike zone judgement). The one good thing is he is just entering his age 29 season so 6 years covers 29-34 which means he shouldn't fall apart. My first thought is Shawon Dunston when I look at his profile - low BB, high K, all-star SS. At 29 he got hurt and only played 25 games between ages 29/30 but had a 100 OPS+ over the 6 years (29-34) over 454 games he played (the 94 strike was in there too) but only worth 3.3 WAR vs 8.8 before that. Of course, Dunston's defense was meh at best (killer arm iirc, but poor range).

Boy, Carlos Correa & Trevor Story's agents must be drooling right now. 3 top shortstops signed for more than expected by 2 teams not expected to be tops in the battles for free agents, leaving the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and others desperate to get a top shortstop having few options left. Andrelton Simmons is out there for someone wanting a pure defense guy, but if you want it all then Story & Correa are it.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:10 AM EST (#409893) #
Another rumour has the Jays (among other teams) interested in Chris Taylor. He seems like he could be a useful player to have. He's a RH hitter but his career splits against LHP/RHP are fairly even.

My guess is that (like many other FAs this off-season) he'll be overpaid in AAV and years and end up with a team other than Toronto.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:16 AM EST (#409894) #
If Yusei Kikuchi is similar in raw skills to Ray then the Jays should be all over him. 70 ML starts so far, 365 IP = just over 5 IP per start. As a LHP he might match up nicely in a mix with either Pearson or Stripling (one going the first 4-5 the other going the rest of the way). 3.2 BB/9 vs 8.0 K/9 so not a Ray like level of K's (or walks). The Mariners decided not to pick up his 4 year $66 mil option, and he didn't take the $13 mil player option. I'd consider a 2 year $20 mil deal, or 3/$30 if the Jays really believe in him. The good news is I read that Pete Walker is deeply involved in all pitcher trades/signings. I see it as a nice idea to lock in a very tough rotation (he would be #5 after Gausman, Berrios, Ryu, and Manoah) with Stripling and Pearson as the #6/7 guys. Could work well. As always it all depends on the cash and years.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:16 AM EST (#409895) #
leaving the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and others desperate to get a top shortstop

The Dodgers already have Trea Turner to play shortstop.

Chuck - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:23 AM EST (#409896) #
Chris Taylor... seems like he could be a useful player to have

I concur. Given the uncertainty around 2B, 3B and CF, he'd slot in very nicely and likely the see the equivalent of fulltime action. It would also free up the team to move on from Grichuk whose role as "only viable caddy for Springer" would become superfluous.

With the seeming market inflation, however, he seems set to make a whole lot more than did his similarly versatile ex-teammate, Kike Hernandez, last year.

greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:29 AM EST (#409897) #
Also, Taylor has a proven ability to perform in the postseason (128 wRC+ in 236 PA, including 209 wrC+ in 2021). That's going to drive the price up even more.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:35 AM EST (#409898) #
6 years $140 for Baez? Tigers are nuts with that imo.

I concede that watching Baez hit all season would be painful ("Stop chasing those sliders low and away!"). But he's been good for 13-18 WAR (per FG, BBRef) over the past 4 seasons, including the abbreviated 2020 where he hit poorly. He really is a top shelf defender.

Given how Seager and Semien were valuated, and given how their contracts run them out into their late 30s, is this Baez contract really so out of line? To my mind, the Seager contract is the likeliest to result in buyer's remorse, though history tells us that a great many of these FA contracts will. Today's optimism is tomorrow's regret.

bpoz - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:36 AM EST (#409899) #
The expanded playoff structure with more teams and games will generate a lot of revenue. Easier to stay in the playoff race and more teams getting in. It seems a sure thing that all team executives and owners knew about this.

How to maximize the revenues if you get in??

1) Win.

2) Keep winning.

Therefore build a team that can win in the playoffs. The playoff teams are 3 division winners and 4 WCs so the Jays have a shot at 5 playoff spots. The 2nd,3rd and 4th WCs don't play at home in the 1st round so that 1st WC is nice to have.

We need to figure out how to build a playoff games winner within payroll parameters.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:43 AM EST (#409900) #
Therefore build a team that can win in the playoffs.

Indeed. If you think 86 wins can get you into the post-season tournament, then you build your team less for the marathon that is the regular season and more for the playoffs. So you concentrate on talent at the front of the rotation, rather than fret over spots 4 and 5, and you invest in a bullpen that will get far more usage in the playoffs than the regular season. The White Sox appear to be doing that right now, paying 37M in 2022 to Graveman, Kimbrel and Hendriks for innings 7-8-9.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:55 AM EST (#409901) #
I ran a Stathead search for Javier Baez, using ages 25-28 playing shortstop at least half the time,  with an AB/SO of less than 4, dWAR between 5 and 10, and OPS+ between 105 and 121.  I got one comp- Trevor Story!  And actually when you look at Story's road batting line, it's actually not as good as Baez' and quite similar except for less power.  Story is perhaps a slightly better defender, although BBRef's DRS numbers don't think so.  Story is pretty good baserunner too, although not as exciting as Baez.

Baez could easily end up as a good deal for the Tigers in this market. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:13 AM EST (#409902) #
One trend I don't love about Baez is his K%:

2018: 25.9
2019: 27.8
2020: 31.9
2021: 33.6

With a BB% ranging from 3.0 to 5.1 during that span.

His 3.6 WAR was fuelled in part by a .352 BABIP. Steamer predicts a 2.0 WAR season for him in 2022.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:25 AM EST (#409903) #
Baez's contract is for 6/$140m with an opt-out after year 2 and a limited no-trade clause. Yikes.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:26 AM EST (#409904) #
Of course, if Baez is the apple of your eye, you point to the SSS with the Mets where he improved on his K% (28.5%) and B% (7%).
Glevin - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:35 AM EST (#409905) #
"Therefore build a team that can win in the playoffs."

Atlanta just won with a mediocre bullpen (who were amazing in playoffs) and no healthy starters beating a team with no healthy starters so I don't think it's easy to just build a team to win. Honestly, just get in the playoffs and anything can happen and that's exactly what teams will do. Just try to make the playoffs and get hot. Baseball is by far the most coin-flippy of all games. To match the NBA's better team wins, one study showed that baseball would need to do a best of 75 series. This is why it was a game that was never designed for lots of teams to make the playoffs. It's going to be wonderful when a 102 win team loses a couple of games at home to a 79 win team and gets eliminated after a pointless 162 game season.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:36 AM EST (#409906) #
Yeah, he was hot for the Mets for one month (September). He hit poorly for them in August.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:38 AM EST (#409907) #
Baez hits the ball about as hard as anyone and runs about as well as anyone, so if there's anyone who you would expect to have a high BABIP, it would be him. From 2017-19, it was .345, .347 and .345.  He has a lifetime IF hit rate of 11%, and last year led the major leagues in that department.  His xwOBA last year was .324 and that's 10 points better than league average even with all the Ks.  It's true that his wOBA was 20 points higher than his xwOBA last year, but that is also true over his career.  For a fine fielding defensive shortstop, I'll take the over on 2 WAR for next year.  Indeed, I would take the over on 3 WAR. 

I guess that the most worrisome thing for him is that his contact rate on pitches in the zone is down to 73%, and he still swings at over 40% of pitches outside the zone.  It has been known to happen that a player like this will learn to be just a little more selective. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:52 AM EST (#409908) #
Last year, Trevor Story hit .203/.292/.426 on the road with 77Ks in 288 PAs.  Over his career, he's at .241/.310/.442 on the road with a .317 BABIP and a 98 wRC+.  Apparently some team may give him $300 million.  May it be the Yankees...
bpoz - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 12:11 PM EST (#409909) #
Very nice response Glevin.

I did the following for some fun. I wanted to get Halladay into the playoffs so I randomly picked 2007 (83 wins). It looked like a pretty good team. It was a bit difficult to find a bad Jays team from that era but on my 4th try I found 2002.

Crappy 2002 team (8th place) had 19 game winner Halladay and 2007 good Jays team had "pretty good not great Halladay 16 wins, Marcum 12, D McGowan12 and Burnette 10 wins.

Continuing my game just for 2007 I boldly chose that the 2nd and 3rd best teams did not choose the (Jays) as opponents. So NYY vs Toronto in NY for 3 games.

greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 12:12 PM EST (#409910) #
If Baez excels over the next two years, he’ll presumably opt out. If he is mediocre or poor, the Tigers will be stuck with him for four years after that. That is not a deal I would want my team to make.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 12:35 PM EST (#409911) #
I see baseball as 2 seasons - there is the regular season which I LOVE, then the postseason which I am 'meh' about. Every year 6 teams win divisions - so 6 teams fans can feel really good about it. 4 teams get wild cards, those teams fans still have a lot of regular season fun. Post-season 1 team wins it all, so 9 teams fans will be frustrated despite a good year if they base it all on how their team does in the playoffs. I first went to a ML game in 1978 (Jays lost to the Yankees 11-3 iirc). Became a BIG fan late in 1983 when I found the Baseball Abstracts at the library and read them cover to cover (1981-1983 editions). Due to this I learned that the playoffs are a crapshoot decades ago and stopped worrying about them. I still enjoyed/was in pain during 1985's playoffs, and was very frustrated in 1991's (when Candiotti forgot how to pitch), and LOVED 1992/93's but I know to enjoy them for what they are - short series that aren't determining who is the best but who is hot at the right time.

I suspect we'll see teams do a mix of things now. 1) be good enough to get in, needing 85+ wins, but build for 90+ to increase your odds, much like today. 2) once you are at that level work on getting stronger role players and bigger stars, especially on the mound. In 2015 having speed on the bench in Dalton Pompey helped the Jays a lot or so it seemed at least back then - he stole 4 bases without getting caught but never scored a run. Weird. A strong pen seems to be a big asset, but how to set one up? Too often relievers are interchangeable parts with the rare exception (Rivera). The Jays first WS win had a deep strong pen (Henke/Ward/Wells/Timlin/Eichhorn) and the 2nd had a deep one as well (Ward/Cox/Eichhorn/Timlin/Castillo who was a solid LH). But so too did 2015's which didn't go all the way (Osuna/Sanchez/Hendricks/Cecil/Loup/Lowe/Hawkins - Cecil wasn't used in the ALCS though, was he hurt, I can't remember). Go figure.

FYI: Yan Gomes signs with the Cubs $13 mil over 2 years so there goes the only decent catcher in free agency (I think) thus upping the value of the Jays 3. Kendall Graveman signs with the White Sox 3 years $24 million so clearly the White Sox feel a deep pen is critical ($8 mil for Graveman, $16 for Kimbrel, $13.5 for Hendricks - so just 3 relievers = $37.5 million). 2 of whom used to be Blue Jays and were not valued much here. Go figure.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 12:43 PM EST (#409912) #
I don't like the opt-out either.  I just think that 14 WAR over the next 6 years is likely at the low end for Baez.

Speaking of projections, we have the 5 year ZIPS for Gausman and they're really nice- as in 16 WAR nice.  Trigger warning: the link includes both "Gausmania" and "Gausman-ian distribution".  That's what happens when all of your contract projections are wildly off, I guess.   
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 01:03 PM EST (#409913) #
I think the Jays will make an aggressive bid for Taylor. They like versatile players and having Taylor, Biggio and Espinal on the roster would be helpful in addressing the 2B/3B conundrum. Plus the team would not have to burn prospects to fill this need. And his veteran presence and postseason experience could come in handy in the next few years.

I'll guess he receives around 4/$80m from somebody (maybe even five years).
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 01:24 PM EST (#409914) #
" This is why it was a game that was never designed for lots of teams to make the playoffs. It's going to be wonderful when a 102 win team loses a couple of games at home to a 79 win team and gets eliminated after a pointless 162 game season."

I am of the opposite opinion, Glevin, Did the San Francisco Giants feel any better being put out in the first round of the playoffs this year after winning 107 games just because their opponent, the Dodgers, won 106 games? I highly doubt it. From what I read about the proposed playoff structure, the best team in each league would get a bye into the next round, That would mean the Giants, who scratched and clawed all season to stay ahead of the Dodgers, would get rewarded.

Baseball really needs to allow more teams in the playoffs if it is going to survive. It's not 1950 or even 1970 anymore. Fans in summer months aren't going to go to games, or watch them on T.V., if their team has realistically been eliminated because there is only a few playoff spots available. There are too many other things for people to do besides sitting for 3 - 3 1/2 hours watching a meaningless game. More playoff spots means more teams competing for them and more fans following them.

And finally, it doesn't matter how many games a team wins in the regular season, the playoffs are a whole new ball game. Wins and losses totals are reset to zero and it's how you play when it counts that is important. This year the post season team with the least regular season wins, and from the weakest division, won the world Series. Did that make the 162 game schedule pointless for the other playoff teams? Nope, it just meant they weren't good enough when it mattered, and anything can happen in the playoffs. Did the current system that left a 91 win team, our Toronto Blue Jays, one of the best teams in baseball the last 2 months of the season, on the sidelines make the playoffs better? I think not.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 01:46 PM EST (#409915) #
Chris Taylor is interesting. Entering his age 30 season, only 3 times has he cracked 500 PA's. Yet he has a 109 lifetime OPS+ with 258 games at SS, 186 in CF, 177 in LF, 124 at 2B, 36 at 3B, and 11 in RF. Only missing 1B, C, and pitching. Rdrs/Yr (a fielding metric at BR) has him below average at SS/CF and very bad at 3B. But solid at 2B and well above average at LF/RF. His UZR/150 is -12 at 2B (ugh), -7 at 3B (better than Biggio), -4.2 at SS, -8.3 in CF, but +9.3 in RF, and +11 in LF. So basically he is a very good RF/LF who can play in CF (much like Grichuk) who can also play at an acceptable level at SS/3B and an endurable level at 2B. I wouldn't go nuts for him, but dang if he isn't what we all hoped Biggio would be (except from the right side of the plate).

I'd have trouble signing Taylor for $15+ a year over 4 years as MLB Trade Rumors thinks he will get. If he hit LH he'd be more tempting, but he also costs a draft pick (rejected QO) so with the pick, the years, the dollars, and the fact he isn't a 100% perfect match (batting RH) I don't see him coming here. Just too many factors pushing against it.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 02:01 PM EST (#409916) #
Agreed completely with ISLAND BOY about expanded playoffs.

The days of fans loving the "grind" and "marathon" associated with a long regular season and small playoff window are over. Baseball doesn't have the equity in sports and entertainment that it did 50 years ago. Expanding the playoffs is going to water down the regular season a bit, but the point is to get more teams in contention, and if contention leads to even a modest attendance spike for teams, then it would be worth it. There's also the issue of ratings, which will become more important as RSN's start to fade out and they use other methods (DTC or otherwise) to put their content out there. People may not watch an average team that has no shot, but an average team that can sneak into a WC spot? It becomes a more desirable product for that fanbase.

MLB gets a large chunk of its revenue off attendance, and once the RSN bubble bursts (more than it already has), then it's going to have to be offset by something. Playoff content is the most valuable content for any sport. Baseball doesn't have nearly enough to make it as profitable as it can be. The NBA just added a play-in tournament, so now 20 of the 30 teams make the playoffs in a league where only 2 teams have a legit chance to win every year. In baseball, in a field of 14 teams, practically any team can get hot and go on a run. Fans aren't going to care if that team won 82 games or 88 games or whatever. The Braves won with 88 wins and their fans went bonkers over it, while the Jays won 91 games and sat at home.

If 2021 had expanded playoffs, we would have seen the Rays get a bye, the Astros and White Sox choose their opponent, and the Red Sox hosting whichever team the Astros/White Sox did not pick. So hypothetically, it would have been something like HOU/SEA, CWS/NYY, BOS/TOR on the AL side, and something like MIL/CIN, ATL/PHI, LAD/STL on the NL side. That doesn't look very offensive to me. Even if Philly making it would be "rewarding mediocrity", you'd get to see Bryce Harper, Realmuto, Wheeler, etc, in a playoff series.

Much like any decision baseball makes, fans will be upset by it initially, but either grow to like it or accept it. My guess is the former more than the latter.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 02:54 PM EST (#409917) #
I really don't enjoy the current playoff setup.  Call me a geezer but I preferred the old way.  I will however acknowledge that with 30 clubs, you don't want two 15 team leagues and one winner advancing.

I wonder whether baseball (or sports) will ever be concerned about the climate change aspects of all the air travel.  I can imagine a different set-up with 4 conferences and 2 four team divisions in each conference.  Something like this:

Eastern conference- northern: NYY, NYM, BOS, PHI; southern BAL, WSH, ATL, MIA (later Charlotte when Miami is underwater). 
Central north conference- Lake Ontario/Erie division: TOR, CLE, DET, PIT;  Lake Michigan division: CHI, CHW, MIL, MIN
Central south conference- Midwest division: STL, KC, CIN, Indianapolis; Bayou/Ranch division: TEX, HOU, New Orleans, Tampa (or Nashville later on)
Western conference- northern: SEA, OAK, SF, COL; southern: LAA, LAD, SD, ARI  (alternates in the northern: Portland, Salt Lake City)

No interconference games. 38 games against divisional rivals and 12 against teams in the other division.  Series last 6 games typically, with a travel day in between.  Playoffs are 7 game series in a 3-4 format with 1 travel day in the middle and at the end (i.e a total of 9 days for each round). 

85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 03:16 PM EST (#409918) #
My guess is that Baseball (or sports) will say, "Climate change!, whatcha takin' bout Willis?"
Glevin - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 03:53 PM EST (#409919) #
"I am of the opposite opinion, Glevin, Did the San Francisco Giants feel any better being put out in the first round of the playoffs this year after winning 107 games just because their opponent, the Dodgers, won 106 games? I highly doubt it. From what I read about the proposed playoff structure, the best team in each league would get a bye into the next round, That would mean the Giants, who scratched and clawed all season to stay ahead of the Dodgers, would get rewarded."

Come on, you're talking about a tiny bit of unfairness (but not really even unfair. SF didn't play wildcard round and faced Dodgers at home and just lost to a great team) and saying "We might as well just make it completely unfair". I don't think people understand how random baseball is. There is always going to be some unfairness with missing the playoffs but I vastly prefer that occasionally a very good team doesn't make the playoffs over every decent team makes the playoffs.

This proposed system gives a big advantage to 1 team that is best record in the league. After that, you just get a mashup of good teams and mediocre teams tossing coins to see who advances. You want to do expanded playoffs? Fine, make the regular season 80 games. You want to tell fans that every game matters and you should go to the games or watch them on TV, you can't say well, half the teams also make the playoffs and mediocre teams are going to win the World Series all the time and your team that wins 95 games has no better shot at winning the world series than a team who wins 85 games so who cares if you win 95 games? Seriously, why watch? It's like hockey regular season except double the length with even flukier outcomes.

I know MLB sees dollar signs with expanded playoffs which is why they want it but I disagree that it will just pass. You can't water down your content forever and after a few years when everyone is used to making the playoffs, that thrill will fade for fans as well. Owners also want this because they know it will reduce spending. There is literally no need to go for marginal win. Because there's so little advantage of being a 96 win team over an 87 win team, why chase more wins?

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 04:22 PM EST (#409920) #
That's undoubtedly right, 85bluejay.  But perhaps they won't be given a choice.  Canada now has a vaccine requirement for pro athletes, and maybe just maybe at some point we'll look at things like what is happening in BC right now, and decide that athletes need to be heroes/examples in different ways than they used to. 
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 04:46 PM EST (#409921) #
I don't see MLB using climate change as a reason for change, but profits instead. As time goes by gas costs will keep climbing and that will make flying more and more expensive thus leagues will have an incentive to minimize travel. The easiest way is to regionalize it - plus that helps regional rivalries. I hope for a form of radical realignment soon so the Jays can be somewhere other than with NYY/Boston/TB
Here is a map to help visualize it

To work today with 5 team divisions you'd need...
East: NYY/NYM/Philly/Boston/Pittsburgh(some poor sucker will be stuck here)
Central 1: Toronto/Detroit/Cleveland/Cincinnati/Minnesota maybe or Milwaukee
Central 2: ChiSox/Cubs/Royals/Cardinals/Other of Minny-Milwaukee
South East: Miami/TB/Atlanta/Baltimore/Washington
South West: SD/LAA/LAD/SF/Oakland
Leftovers (Mid-West?): Colorado/Arizona/Houston/Rangers/Seattle

Seattle is a mess no matter how you cut it. I suspect Arizona would fight this too. Colorado is messy due to their oddball location, and the 2 Texas teams are a group. If TB moves to Montreal then you want them in a Jays division, if A's move to Vegas no shift needed.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 04:52 PM EST (#409922) #
Hmm... Can we get 5 divisions of 6 teams instead?
  • East: NYY-NYM-Philly-Boston-Washington-Baltimore
  • South: Miami-Tampa-Atlanta-Houston-Rangers-Arizona
  • West: LAD-LAA-SD-SF-A's-Seattle
  • Central 1: Toronto-Detroit-Cincinnati-Pittsburgh-Cleveland-one of Minny/Milwaukee
  • Central 2: ChiSox-Cubs-Royals-Cards-Colorado-other of Minny/Milwaukee
I think I like that better. Only Arizona is screwed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 05:28 PM EST (#409923) #
That would be a step forward, John Northey.  But I'm not sure how the playoffs would work with 5 divisions, maybe with 3 wild cards?  That gives weak divisions a big advantage. 
scottt - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 06:01 PM EST (#409924) #
The Blue Jays are one of the teams to have reached out to Freddie Freeman.
Yeah. That would work for me.

Michael - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 06:42 PM EST (#409925) #
If there were only 5 divisions of 6 you could do a 5 team playoff with one of my favorite rare playoff formats (you could do the same to each league if there are 5 teams per league with the eventual winners in each league then facing):

Round 1
Game A: 2 vs 3 (at 2)
Game B: 4 vs 5 (at 4)
Loser of game B is eliminated.

Round 2
Game C: 1 vs Winner of Game A (at 1)
Game D: Loser of Game A vs Winner of Game B (at Loser GA)
Loser of game D is eliminated.

Round 3:
Game E: Loser of Game C vs Winner of Game D (at loser C)
Loser of game E is eliminated.

Round 4:
Game F: Winner of Game E plays winner of Game C (at winner C)
If winner of game C wins, they win it all. If winner of Game E wins, they have to play again as it is the first loss by the Game C winner, so now both teams have one loss and play for the win.

If the above was hard to understand essentially it is single elimination for teams 4 and 5 while double elimination for teams 1, 2, 3 with a further first round bye for team 5. All of the above I said "game" but it could be "series" instead with the same mechanism, obviously.

If I remember correctly I first saw this approach with rugby league in Australia in the early 1990s, although there could well be others who have used it. But it is IMHO a nice compromise with 5 teams playoffs that reward each team for the exact spot it finishes with 1 better than 2 better than 3 better than 4 better than 5 but all have a chance and all are in the playoffs.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 07:36 PM EST (#409926) #
The Freeman rumor is odd. If signed I picture Vlad going back to 3B in 2022 - as ugly as that could be - thanks to the Jays promising him a shot if he was in shape (I think it was if he won a Gold Glove at 1B but realistically we all knew that wasn't going to happen). Vlad at 3B in 2019 (bad shape) had a -14.6 UZR/150. Biggio lifetime is a -9.6 suggesting the spread is about 5 runs a year between an out of shape Vlad and Biggio. Espinal is a big upgrade on defense at +13.9 lifetime at 3B (nearly 2 wins a year better than out of shape Vlad).

So the question becomes - is it wise to sign Freeman and put him at 1B most of the time (sometimes DH) and put Vlad at 3B (sometimes 1B, sometimes DH) with Espinal backing up at 3B (playing when a ground ball pitcher like Ryu is on the mound for example) and Biggio at his better position (2B +1.2 UZR/150 lifetime). It would make for an insane lineup to go with a strong rotation and decent pen. Manoah and Berrios both having 10 K/9 as Jays last year and Gausman also doing that in SF suggests it could work. Ryu and 5th guy would get the better defense while Vlad is at DH or 1B. Grichuk would probably find himself with very few PA unless a trade happens in this case. Thus trading Grichuk's bat for Freeman's while also trading Biggio's messy D at 3B for Vlad's messy D at 3B but an upgrade at 1B for D.

Well, that would be an interesting solution the 3B issue and adding a LH bat to the lineup. It would take a 6 year $30 per deal probably to get him though - ages 32-37. Hrm... not a fan of that idea. Still...dang would this team be scary in 2022 and for a few years after.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 07:46 PM EST (#409927) #
5 divisions - no more AL/NL (with no DH there really isn't a point anymore). So with 14 teams (as MLB wants) you'd get...
Best 2 division winners - bye in round 1
Weakest 3 division winners + 9 wildcards = 6 mini series of 3 games each. 3 division winners and best WC pick opponent, 2nd best WC gets whoever is left from the bottom 5 WC's. All games at division winner's home park (or best WC team in those 2 sets).
Round 2: everyone in who is left. 8 teams. #1 vs #8, #2 vs #7, etc. Or have another draw for the best 3 teams to pick opponents (suddenly might want the team that played 3 hard games rather than one who slaughtered their opponents in 2).
Round 3: 4 teams, 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 or have #1 pick opponent.
World Series: best 2 still standing.

Yeah, travel could become messy as you could have SD vs Boston (I think that is the longest possible). But you also make it possible for any 2 teams to meet in any round depending on how their season goes. Could have a Jays/Tigers World Series, or any other combo. To make it fit maybe shrink the regular season back to 154 as it was pre-1961 (adding a week of time to the schedule).
electric carrot - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 07:50 PM EST (#409928) #
Put me down as a yes to Freeman at first Vlad at third. That's a WS team right there.
grjas - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:00 PM EST (#409929) #
Freeman as DH would work though awfully expensive especially 3 years out when payroll flexibility is needed. Guerrero at 3rd is the last thing we need in an infield that has no particularly strong defenders.

I hope they have better options.

electric carrot - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:06 PM EST (#409930) #
My guess is that Guerrero - 40lbs is a better defender at third than Guerrero + 40 lbs.
grjas - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:08 PM EST (#409931) #
If they are willing to fork out 30 mill a year for 6 years which is the FF rumour, I’d have much preferred Semien or Ray who were both much more logical fits for this team.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:16 PM EST (#409932) #
There is no chance that Freeman is coming to the Jays - this is likely being put out by Freeman's agent to pressure the Braves just like the Braves are leaking their supposed interest in Matt Olson - Freeman apparently wants 7/175 to stay with the Braves and would require at least that to sign with the Jays - for that you can probably sign Schwarber, Kikuchi and Taylor - a much better use of the money.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 08:55 PM EST (#409933) #
Matthew Boyd was non-tendered.  He would fit here if the price was right. 
bpoz - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:25 PM EST (#409934) #
B Valera released. S Anderson has cleared waivers and gone to Buffalo.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:35 PM EST (#409935) #
Still a few good FA left unsigned.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 09:39 PM EST (#409936) #
I doubt there is any real chance of a Freeman signing. He will get more money elsewhere, and the Jays are kind of set at 1B. Chris Taylor seems like a realistic possibility. There isn't much out there as far as infielders.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 10:31 PM EST (#409937) #
I still think people are sweeping the Vlad extension under the rug. Bo too. How much will these two get, $70-80 million per year? When does that start, 4 years or possibly sooner with the new agreement on tap?
John Northey - Tuesday, November 30 2021 @ 11:40 PM EST (#409938) #
7 guys offered a QO who are still available. Slash line is for 2021, OPS+ is career, R/L/S how they hit. Pitchers are ERA 2021, ERA+ career, R/L throw, other details. Listing all who were in the top 25 via MLBTR who haven't signed yet.
  • Nick Castellanos RF: 309/362/576, 115 OPS+, R
  • Chris Taylor CF/LF/2B/SS: 254/344/438 109 OPS+, R
  • Raisel Iglesias RP: 2.57 ERA, 142 ERA+, R 34 Sv 5 Bl
  • Carlos Correa SS: 279/366/485, 127 OPS+, R
  • Michael Conforto RF: 232/344/384, 124 OPS+, L
  • Trevor Story SS: 251/329/471, 112 OPS+, R
  • Freddie Freeman 1B: 300/393/503, 138 OPS+, L
Also, no compensation but still available...
  • Kris Bryant 3B/LF: 265/353/481, 132 OPS+, R
  • Marcus Stroman RHP: 3.02 ERA, 116 ERA+
  • Kyle Schwarber LF: 266/374/554, 119 OPS+, L
  • Carlos Rodon LHP: 2.37, 110 ERA+
  • Seiya Suzuki OF: 319/436/640 in Japan, 943 OPS lifetime (age 18-26), R
  • Anthony Rizzo 1B: 248/344/440, 127 OPS+, L
  • Jorge Soler RF: 223/316/432, 111 OPS+, R
  • Kenley Jansen RP: 2.22 ERA, 164 ERA+, R - 38-5 Sv-Bl (just outside of top 25 but interesting)
  • Kyle Seager 3B: 212/285/438, 112 OPS+, L (also outside top 25 but many think the Jays want him)
There are many, many more but those are the biggest and the ones most interesting I think who are still out there. Who will the Jays sign? I doubt any of the ones with compensation unless a weird thing happens (especially Freeman, as much fun as it would be). Bryant looks like a good fit, but I doubt it (too many years and too many dollars due to reputation vs reality), Jansen looks tempting but is going into his age 34 season so the deal couldn't be too big, but he would shift the pen down a slot across the board (IE: improve it across the board). Seager looks like the best fit - LH hitter who plays 3B but his bat dropped bad last year (a very poor BABIP 46 points below his normal - at his career pace his season numbers go up to 258/331/484 roughly which is much better). Grab those 2 (Jansen & Seager) and you get a very solid team imo without breaking the bank or losing any prospects.
Magpie - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 06:56 AM EST (#409939) #
I doubt there is any real chance of a Freeman signing.

Me too. Just rattling the cage a little. Hey, we paid Kirby Yates $5 million for two innings in the spring and he goes off and signs with you guys?
scottt - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 07:36 AM EST (#409940) #
Boston signed Paxton.
Baltimore inked Odor.

When is the lookout again?

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 07:37 AM EST (#409941) #
The Jays tendered all their arb-eligibles including Trent Thornton. This was expected.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 08:03 AM EST (#409942) #
Well, Raisel Iglesias just signed last night - 4 years $58 million (and the Angels lose a draft pick). So one closer gone. Wonder if the Jays are interested in Jansen? It would help charge the pen imo giving us a new closer but keeping the old one (Romano) as a setup guy - thus pushing everyone else down a notch and giving the team a strong pen top to bottom.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 08:23 AM EST (#409943) #
My guess is that the Jays would prefer to allocate the $15-20m AAV it would take to sign Jansen to a player like Taylor or Kikuchi.
Chuck - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 08:45 AM EST (#409944) #
Raisel Iglesias just signed... and the Angels lose a draft pick

No draft pick lost. Iglesias was an Angel.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 09:40 AM EST (#409945) #
Roark, Ray, Semien, Yates, Phelps, Dolis, Chatwood and others are off the books. So approximately $40 mil less.

The additions of Gausman, Garcia, arb and extensions to Berrios and any others have used up a lot of the $40 mil.

I am not expecting any expensive long term additions but I could be wrong. I am expecting a lot of speculation in the media that the Jays are in on a number of players.

I think there may be trades because Atkins said "addition by subtraction". This has caused a lot of confusion because many don't know what exactly this means IMO. I look forward to this new technique of his bearing fruit.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 10:01 AM EST (#409946) #
The first description of Graham Spraker's current stuff I have read, courtesy of an article on breakout AFL prospects: "The 31st-rounder from NCAA Division II Quincy (Ill.) in 2018 saw his
stuff improve after he became a full-time reliever this year, and he now
operates with a 92-95 mph fastball with good carry and an upper-80s
krose - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#409947) #
Richard Urena to the Nationals. Guess they can’t keep everyone. Hope he gets a chance in the majors. He signed a minor league contract.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 11:53 AM EST (#409948) #
Chuck - doh! Should've double checked. I just paid attention to his rejecting a QO which always seems strange to me for a reliever but it looks like it worked well for him.

As to relief options, yeah, Jansen might be too expensive for the Jays tastes (tend to be sub $10 mil a year for relievers which I tend to agree with). The big question now is what the Jays have for a 2022 budget and what guys will demand. Yusei Kikuchi is damn tempting as a #5 starter if he'll take $10 mil or less per for 2-3 years. That would also lock in Stripling as a reliever/6th starter.

FYI: Gausman's deal is 100% final now - $21 mil per for 2022/2023, $22 in 2024, $23 in 2025/2026.
AWeb - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 11:58 AM EST (#409949) #
"My guess is that the Jays would prefer to allocate the $15-20m AAV it would take to sign Jansen to a player like Taylor or Kikuchi."

I thought you were talking about the Jays catcher Jansen here for a minute, and I was baffled. I mean, sure, I'm still a believer (1.165 PS in the 2nd half! in 65 ABs, but still), but that seemed like a lot to pay for Danny Jansen. On that note, I think Jansen is the most likely guy to have a huge season among those that haven't had one before. And now that I look, this roster is pretty loaded, so only a few guys haven't had huge seasons - Jansen/Kirk/Mcguire, Espinal (I think 2021 might be his ceiling, but I'm happy to be wrong), Grichuk (technically possible!), Biggio (is he healthy? can he put together his skills all at once?)...I hadn't really appreciated how loaded this roster is recently.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 12:41 PM EST (#409950) #
There's a good article on by Shi Davidi outlining the contentious issues between owners and players regarding a new CBA and where each side stands on them. I'm thinking this new CBA might be a real watershed point for the sport of baseball and I'm not optimistic it will be settled any time soon.

Glevin, I appreciate your answer and opinions on the current playoff structure. I disagree with a lot of them, lol, but we'll see what happens going forward. The article I mentioned above says that playoff expansion is favored by the owners, and that the players will use it as a tradeoff to get something they want.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 01:28 PM EST (#409951) #
Agreed with AWeb that the position players on the 40 man roster are a major asset for the Jays. All home grown or acquired when young and cheap. Springer is very expensive but he should be our best OF by far. McGuire, Espinal and Grichuk were acquired when young and cheap.

None of the catchers Jansen, Kirk or McGuire were able to stay healthy enough (Jansen/Kirk) to take the job. McGuire was given his chance when Jansen & Kirk got injured and was able to show that he was basically even with the other 2.

Moreno, Smith and Lopez have shown that they as ready as they can be for ML play. They need little to no minor league development. Palacios can't stay healthy enough to establish any Major League worth. L Jimenez convinced me that he deserved rule 5 protection.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 02:11 PM EST (#409952) #
Lineup best seasons by WAR (year in bracket unless 2021)...
  • C: Jansen 1.3, Kirk 0.9, McGuire 1.0 (2019)
  • 1B: Vlad 6.8
  • 2B: Biggio 3.0 (2019)
  • SS: Bo 5.9
  • 3B: Espinal 2.5
  • LF: Gurriel 2.7
  • CF: Springer 6.5 (2019)
  • RF: Hernandez 3.9
  • OF: Grichuk 3.1 (2015)
Heck, why not check the rotation...
  • Berrios: 3.4 (2018)
  • Manoah: 2.85
  • Ryu: 4.8 (2019)
  • Stripling: 2.5 (2018)
  • Gausman: 5.4
So between the rotation and lineup the only guy not to have his best year since 2018 is Grichuk (forgot he had been around that long). Bit surprised to see Jansen's best year was 2021 and that McGuire's wasn't. Of course, this is BR WAR, FanGraph's might be different (will be for pitchers).
JohnL - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 03:02 PM EST (#409953) #
Happy to see John Lott named this year's winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Jack Graney Award.. Really, really well deserved. And I really, really miss his writing. Nobody else local measures up for me.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 03:17 PM EST (#409954) #
Indeed.  Congratulations to John Lott on a much-deserved award. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 04:17 PM EST (#409955) #
Thanks John N for the stats.

I suppose that Springer wants/forces the team to bat him leadoff. Therefore great Runs Scored but not the best RBI. Walks, Power and Avg is V good. Also he should get the most ABs.

Vlad's 6.8 is better than Springer's 6.5 but quite close. So playing CF gives you more credit than 1B. For Springer 2019 is his best because of his 39 Hr .292 Avg and .383 OBP. The 122 games played and 479 ABs was quite lower compared to other years. Nice formula but those variables maybe not so nice.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 06:03 PM EST (#409956) #
It looks as though Taylor is re-signing with the Dodgers.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 06:20 PM EST (#409957) #
Stroman now in 'serious' talks with the Cubs. I suspect tonight could be busy with transactions. Hopefully we get a final nice surprise from the Jays before midnight.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 06:47 PM EST (#409958) #
I'm good with Taylor staying with the Dodgers. Have trouble with paying over $20 mil a year for multiple years for a guy who doesn't check off multiple boxes - his 109 lifetime OPS+, 110 last year, doesn't excite me, while versatile his UZR/150 is negative at all but LF/RF, and he bats right, not left or switch which is what the Jays really want.

Mix in a draft pick for compensation and I really don't see how Taylor fit the Jays beyond 'he can play anywhere' - we already have that in Biggio (107 lifetime OPS+), except his positive position is 2B (a bigger need than LF/RF) and he bats LH.

I am far more interested in the Jays getting one of the other guys they have been rumored to be talking with at some point this winter - Yusei Kikuchi, Freddie Freeman (see that as a 'lets make the Yankees pay more if they want him), Chris Bryant (would fill in 3B nicely but a bit expensive), Kyle Schwarber (LH hitting LF with a lifetime OPS+ of 119 154 last year), Kenley Jansen (RH closer), or Kyle Seager (LH 3B). Freeman is the only one of those who had a QO, the rest cost "only" cash. I'd have my list as Freeman (no idea how they'd make it work with Vlad, but dang that would be a scary lineup), Jansen (make the whole pen stronger), Kikuchi (lock in a strong top 5 rotation), Bryant (really good 3B), Schwarber (would require trading 1 or 2 OF), Seager (decent 3B). I'd probably leave Seager until the lockout ends as he will probably still be looking for a job then, thus leaving trades open to fill in 3B or to just go with what we have. Bryant would be scary expensive but could be a 4-6 WAR guy with any luck. Schwarber I see as a nice compliment to the current OF but defense is ugly.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 06:56 PM EST (#409959) #
I'm intrigued about the possibility of the Jays thinking they can help fix Yusei kikuchi and I'd like them to add the LHB of Kyle Schwarber (in addition to keeping him away from the Red Sox) - Schwarber will probably hold out to see if the NL adds the DH and increase his market.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 07:06 PM EST (#409960) #
Marcus Stroman to Cubs - good for him - Stroman pitched well for the Jays, yet they were happy to dump him while he was still in his prime - Stroman pitched well for the Mets, who threw wads of cash at Scherzer and tried to bring back Matz yet seemingly made no attempt to sign Stroman - Interesting that teams that have had Stroman in their clubhouse have not wanted to keep him there.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 08:47 PM EST (#409961) #
3 years, $71 million, opt out after 2 years. $25 per year first 2 years with $2 million incentives both years. 3rd year is his option on $21 million. I thought he'd get a Ray/Gausman type deal.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 01 2021 @ 09:02 PM EST (#409962) #
Incentives appear to be for 160 IP each year.
bpoz - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 06:58 AM EST (#409963) #
Zack Greinke is still available. I wonder how much he would sign for? Also draft pick compensation?
Chuck - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 07:31 AM EST (#409964) #
Zack Greinke... draft pick compensation?

No compensation. Greinke was not eligible to receive a QO, though I can't imagine that he would have received one anyway.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 07:48 AM EST (#409965) #
Hunter Renfroe for Bradley is interesting - I'd been mulling a Grichuk for Bradley as better fits for both tems.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 07:50 AM EST (#409966) #
Major League Baseball has officially locked out the Players Union.

"And here come the pretzels!"

* * *

2022 Doubleheader Probable Pitchers

Game 1 - "Some Guys"
Game 2 - "Some Gaus"

Parker - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 08:02 AM EST (#409967) #
Interesting that teams that have had Stroman in their clubhouse have not wanted to keep him there.

"Sports do not build character, they reveal it."

The crucible otherwise known as the 2021 Ny Mets (everyone's favorite squadron) clubhouse probably showed the organization everything they needed to know about Stroman's character.
Chuck - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 08:03 AM EST (#409968) #
Gonna be nothing but tumbling tumbleweeds around here for a good long while. Work stoppages in professional sports always seem like the height of hubris to me though I do concede that concerns that a sport will suffer long term consequences rarely seem to be realized. So maybe there is less at risk than I naively assume.

It's been a quarter of a century since MLB has been down this path, and while baseball seems to be on the decline as an entertainment product, you wouldn't know it from the last couple of weeks of free agent contracts.

As an ex-Montrealer, the last two stoppages have been particularly disruptive. Forty years ago, there was the whole Blue Monday thing. And twenty-five years ago, the Expos seemed to finally assemble a WS caliber team before being denied the chance to prove it. And thereafter the team would embark on its pitiful demise.

Social media wasn't a thing during the last labour disruption, so it will be interesting to see how it gets used this time, especially if negotiations falter. Billionaires and millionaires may find themselves slinging mud more publicly than ever before, each attempting to curry favour with growingly weary fans.

Magpie - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 08:29 AM EST (#409969) #
tumbling tumbleweeds

Sure, but how about those Leafs?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 08:42 AM EST (#409970) #
"How about those Blue Jays?" has been a staple for diverting conversations away from awkward turns around my home for decades. It's a family joke at this point.

"How about those Leafs?" would have a dark undertone that would defeat the purpose.

I am sure the lords of the realm and their serfs will take my situation into account.
mendocino - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 10:02 AM EST (#409971) #
Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft canceled, AAA phase will still take place.
lexomatic - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 10:43 AM EST (#409972) #
I had a a toddler erase my message. This is a common criticism of outspoken black men, and I think nits highly suspect. I like what I know of Stroman
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 11:13 AM EST (#409973) #
“ I am sure the lords of the realm and their serfs will take my situation into account.”

Great PC strategy game.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 11:14 AM EST (#409974) #
It's been a quarter of a century since MLB has been down this path, and while baseball seems to be on the decline as an entertainment product, you wouldn't know it from the last couple of weeks of free agent contracts.

The average MLB franchise was apparently worth $296M in 2002 and $1.905B in 2021.  That amounts to an increase of 643% and a compound annual growth rate of 10.5%.  Decline as an entertainment product perhaps, but...
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 11:45 AM EST (#409975) #
For comparison, MLB average salaries doubled during the period 2000-2022.  That amounts to a compound average growth rate of 3.5%.  Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and the king aint satisfied until he rules everything.
John Northey - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 11:51 AM EST (#409976) #
lexomatic - very good point there. Stroman publicly appears to be a good guy. No worse than many other ex-Jays. The media seems to have built a narrative of him being a negative. Donaldson has more reason for that from what I can see - has been on 4 teams, a high number for a near HOF level player, twice traded for less than many felt he was worth (the Jays was more a panic sell), and now seen as an expensive luxury item in Minny, not leading them anywhere. Yet he seems to be seen as a better guy to bring back than Stroman who was an excellent pitcher here and in his year+ in NY as well. I'll be cheering him from afar (very glad he isn't a Yankee or Red Sox, odds are low he'll affect the Jays anytime soon beyond 1 or 2 regular season starts over the time of his contract baring radical realignment).
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 12:11 PM EST (#409977) #
Good move for Stroman. According to Passan, he makes $25M in 2022, $25M in 2023, and then has a player option for $21M in 2024. He has $2M escalators for 160 IP in 2022 and 2023. Obviously, pitchers are an injury risk regardless of previous track record, but based on his history of dependability, he is a solid bet to reach 160 innings, which means he could make as much as $54M guaranteed over 2 years, and then go back on the market at age 32. He could have probably gotten a 5 year deal with a smaller AAV, but he went for the big short-term money and bet on himself to remain effective 2 years from now. We'll see how that works out for him.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 12:25 PM EST (#409978) #
I would be shocked if this FO brought back either Stroman or Donaldson under any circumstances - I think they believe that both players are not what they want in their clubhouse - that doesn't make the players bad people.
Glevin - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#409979) #
"I would be shocked if this FO brought back either Stroman or Donaldson under any circumstances - I think they believe that both players are not what they want in their clubhouse - that doesn't make the players bad people."

Agreed. The 2015 core with Stroman, Donaldson, and Bautista was extremely intense. This team is laid back and fun. Neither is right or wrong but they don't mix well.
electric carrot - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 12:50 PM EST (#409980) #
If I could take that contract for Stroman that the Cubs signed and transfer it to the Blue Jays I would do it in a heartbeat. The guy is a winner and he's also durable and an interesting character to me personally. I would love to have him back and I would bet that there are a tonne of players who are way worse to have in the clubhouse than Stroman. (The fact that the Mets didn't sign him is a positive in my mind. Those guys don't strike me as having a really strong sense of accountability/ethics/acumen.)
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 01:05 PM EST (#409981) #
Donaldson is the only player of the three who has had other players and teammates remark about how he is a bad teammate and a bully.
cascando - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 01:05 PM EST (#409982) #
To me, Stroman seems to exhibit sort of a hyper-charged version of a classic little man’s complex that he uses to motivate himself and is not at all reluctant to talk about. It’s weird, and maybe a bit off-putting at times, but his approach clearly works and never seems to be negative to anyone in particular. I don’t recall ever hearing that he was a bad teammate. Agreed that if the Jays could transfer that exact contract over right now, I’d do it.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 01:15 PM EST (#409983) #
"The average MLB franchise was apparently worth $296M in 2002 and $1.905B in 2021. That amounts to an increase of 643% and a compound annual growth rate of 10.5%. Decline as an entertainment product perhaps, but..."

These numbers are often made on "worth" based on maximum potential future value. The reality is lots of these companies lose money or turn smaller profits while growing the brand or "worth," of the company. That only pans out if someone buys you out for that worth. The NYT made over $90 million in profit in 2019 and has tons of assets and over 8 million subscribers. They are worth a fortune, but if there isn't a buyer out there that wants to inherit or invest in 8 million newspaper subscribers then the company is only actually worth what they could sell their printing business for which is based on actual profits each year which is far far lower.

A company like Oculus or Twitter or Uber or any of these money losing start up companies have insane worth values because of their potential for growth and increased revenues...if they are scooped up by a giant company like Google or Facebook. Otherwise it's just another start up going broke before they could be bought out.

I'm not saying owners aren't making more, just that it is much more complicated and it's a bit shallow to throw around numbers based on relative company worths. It's like a baseball contract. Just because there is a number on it doesn't mean the player is worth that contract value.

TB and OAK are worthless organizations until a buyer decides they are desirable.
DavidtheDeuce - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 02:14 PM EST (#409984) #
I am very happy for Marcus Stroman. I hope he continues to succeed in Chicago.

If we are citing past examples to help us to define his character I would like to point out that Marcus Stroman accelerated his ACL surgery rehabilitation to help the team down the stretch in 2015. If memory serves, he also completed his degree at Duke whilst rehabbing.

Marcus Stroman is a big game performer. His body of work includes starting game 5 of the 2015 ALDS, starting the AL Wildcard game in 2016 and he was also named the MVP in the 2017 World Baseball Championships.

I hope he returns to pitch for the Blue Jays in the future.
Cracka - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 02:33 PM EST (#409985) #
Stroman did have a childish Twitter "argument" with Randall Grichuk last summer. There were accusations that Stroman kicked 30 minor leaguers out of "his" weight room in order to skip rope (2019 ST). He and Grichuk bickered. Neither player looked good. Stroman has also made comments on Twitter about both of his past employers (Jays, Mets), which isn't very common from free agents.

He's one of the most outspoken players in baseball - it's part of his personality, he's completely authentic, and that's why he's adored by fans. But that's always going to rub some people the wrong way and cause some level of tension in an environment where most people just keep their mouths shut.
hypobole - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 02:52 PM EST (#409986) #
Stroman also supposedly had a falling-out with Aaron Sanchez while with the Jays. He's currently embroiled in another controversy by apparently "liking" a post calling a beat reporter an Italian-American slur.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 03:27 PM EST (#409987) #
I would want Marcus Stroman on my club.  He's hard-working, competitive, athletic, intelligent and creative; those combination of qualities are going to lead, I think, to a long and successful career.  Yes, he's brash and eager to promote and self-promote.  He also speaks his mind on matters of public importance.  My observation is that he has quite a few friends in the game, and at least a few players who don't care for him.  To which I say, so what?
grjas - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 04:05 PM EST (#409988) #
I liked Stroman at first then tired of him by the end of his tenure here, but then to each his own. Rightly or wrongly, there do seem to be perceptions of him around the league. He is regularly a top 3 finisher in the annual “most over rated player” vote by the other players, the Mets all but ignored him this off season, and his new contract seems to be one of the few that undershot expectations.

I don’t dislike him but, personally, I’d rather watch Ryu or Berrios go about their business.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 04:28 PM EST (#409989) #
I will take the bait and weigh in on Stroman. He is the rare athlete who is immature yet wise beyond his years. Diminutive yet overpowering. The media reports about his character and painting of him as a malcontent is way way way overblown.

He's everything I wanted Vernon Wells to be as a personality and has done nothing out of sorts on the baseball field. His social feeds have gotten him in trouble and that is his issue. I've got no issue with on field personality like Manoah staring down a hitter or Stroman jawing at Buck Showalter.
Thomas - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 05:57 PM EST (#409990) #
I really like Marcus Stroman. His trolling of Yankees fans on Twitter a few weeks ago was highly enjoyable. I think Mike Green summarizes him quite well.

I was surprised by the length of his deal, but in retrospect I shouldn't have be. If someone was going to have the confidence to bet on himself with a short contract in his age 30 season, rather than getting as many years as he could after a strong year, Marcus Stroman would have been on my short list.
scottt - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 06:42 PM EST (#409991) #
Stroman is fine, but I've never shared a clubhouse with him.

I think it's fine to give draft picks for losing departing free agents, but I don't think the teams signing them should be losing picks.

Also, the competitive draft picks should be tied to the team's payroll.
That would be one way to reward non-competitive teams for spending.

Earlier free agency is a non-starter.
That's like an incentive to keep young players in AAA an extra year.
The guy is not even on the 40 roster, the team is not competitive, why waste a year of service?
There is no such thing as service time manipulation.
The guy is not even a member of the union yet.
If I land a job to replace someone starting in April and sign now, can I sue the employer for not starting me now?
Obviously not.
Could I negotiate something to start earlier? Yes, but I'd have to give something to the employer.
And so you have those contracts signed at the beginning of a player's career.
I haven't seen a useful PA proposal on that.

Schwertzer talked about needed more competitiveness, but then he signed that huge contract with the Mets, before the lockout.
The end of the CBA has not preventing the signing of large contracts.
It looks like some teams--the Yankees--are waiting to know exactly what the tax threshold will be.

99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 09:08 PM EST (#409992) #
I really don’t think that analogy holds Scott. MLB teams already own the rights to those players - they can’t go sign anywhere else (get another job) so they are effectively employees. The comparison is that they’re being denied shifts despite having a good employment records and expressing a willingness to take on extra work.
John Northey - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 10:36 PM EST (#409993) #
I like the idea of draft picks as compensation but not losing them for signing a player. Might be good to make it based on a player getting a deal for over a certain point IE: top 1/3rd of all salaries on a per year basis then you get a pick between rounds 1 and 2, middle 1/3rd of salary you get a pick between rounds 2 and 3, bottom 3rd you don't get a pick, or something like that, perhaps a year component too - if just 1 year then knocked down a level, 3+ years up a level. Doesn't affect the signing team but gives a reward for losing a good player to the team that loses them.

The age based level for free agency I like too - removes all incentives to keep a kid down longer than necessary. No more holding a kid in AAA for April so you gain a year of control. The challenge is what age? I think a max of 10 years from high school (ie: age 28) makes some sense (4 years in minors, 6 in majors based on traditional method of moving a kid through the system), but would screw guys like Vlad who now are in the majors at age 20, but would help guys who are left down for far too long then finally get a shot such as Frank Howard who was first called up at 24, not full time in majors until 26 - he'd have become a free agent after just 3+ years in the majors under an age based system instead of needing to wait and wait - he still did well, but if Philly hadn't been extremely stupid with that early extension they gave him he'd have been screwed.
scottt - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 08:19 AM EST (#409999) #
They are not denied work. They are working full time... in the minors.
They are not being promoted as fast as they would like.
In theory, they can go work somewhere else, but the situation is not unique.
It works like that in the army, for example.
My employer has lots of opportunities which I can't follow because most of them are not in Canada.
It's mostly the youngest people who are open to moving around often and it's mostly the experienced people who are in demand across the world.
When you go work for another company, you start with 0 days of service.
You don't usually get 20 times the salary either. Most promotions happen internally first.

There are a fixed number of MLB positions, exactly 26 x 30. Every time a prospect who is not part of the union yet is promoted, an actual member of the union is demoted.

All promotions have to be merit based and the determination of that merit includes consideration like the best return on the player's years of control. That's a fact. Unions do not factor in merit determination.  Unions are only concerned with seniority.  Let's say a singly day counts as a year. Would Franco have debuted in April of this year or in April of next year? I imagine they would have started without him and assess the situation and since they were winning the division they would probably have kept him down the whole year. 

As a fan, I prefer that players stay with their original teams as long as possible.
I am all for earlier arbitration, but in fact, only a handful of teams hold their prospect to the super 2 deadline.
Tampa is one of those teams, but Tampa players seem happy enough, from what I can tell.
Do they just lie to please the fans that don't come to the games?

99BlueJaysWay - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 08:49 AM EST (#410001) #
We’re just not going to see eye to eye on this.

The point is they’re denied the opportunity for extra pay despite demonstrating the capability and willingness to do more. It’s about the spirit of the law, which courts do consider, not just the letter of the law. Of course by the letter of the law it’s ok. Just like how a company doesn’t owe you extra shifts or a raise for good performance. But, those are the right things to do when you have a star employee you want to keep, and help to succeed.

In your other examples, like moving, you’re missing the element of choice. You’re choosing not to pursue opportunities outside Canada, or to move elsewhere for a better opportunity. That’s a huge difference. MLB teams own the rights to these players. They cannot take another job (in baseball) anywhere. They’re options are: play where we put you, or retire. They have zero choice
BlueJayWay - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 10:42 AM EST (#410008) #
I agree with Island Boy and SK about expanded playoffs.

The playoffs are definitely being expanded in some form. The owners have asked for 14 teams, and even the players last proposal offered 12. They'll land on one of those two I'm sure, though we don't know what the exact format will be. Like like SK said, people will complain about it, then eventually it'll be normalized and not a big deal.

I get the idea of watering things down and baseball is so frickin' random that just about anyone can win if they get in, but I don't mind a slightly larger playoff field. More teams in a playoff race = more interest, at least up to a point. It's not good for the sport to have so many teams slogging through July-Sept without any hope. I also don't think it's good if a 91 win team with as much talent as this years Jays had misses out. Were the 2021 playoffs really better with the Jays not there?
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