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John Northey - Thursday, December 02 2021 @ 11:50 PM EST (#409994) #
Well, winter leagues start soon I'm guessing. We also can speculate on the team as is and where they might improve still. Cot's projects the Jays payroll as is being at $159 million after arbitration is done ($18 mil between Hernandez and Vlad). My gut says that is about it for now. Hard to see the Jays going to $170+ this year but who knows?

So 3B is Espinal, 2B is Biggio, backups are Lopez, Smith, Groshans, and whoever they sign to AAA deals to fill in the roster. #5 starter will be a fight between Stripling, Pearson, Hatch, and others (Kay, Thornton, whoever else is around). The pen is Romano, Mayza, Cimber, Richards, Garcia, Phelps, Merryweather, Borucki (if all are healthy) with Castro, Saucedo, Snead, etc. fighting for a chance when someone goes down/is ineffective. Lineup is set mostly but catcher will be interesting with the 3 guys fighting it out for playing time - Jansen #1 most likely with Kirk #2, but McGuire has a lot of support in the front office it seems. I expect DH to be a rotation of Grichuk giving days off to the 3 regulars (mostly Springer) so they can DH plus Vlad going there with Gurriel going to 1B those days. Palacios and other AAA guys will fight it out for backup slots. I expect some AAAA type guys to be signed to be the backup IF - Leo Jimenez is on the 40 man but hasn't played above A, right now I suspect Kevin Smith will get that backup IF position as he has played SS/3B/2B/LF/1B/RF in the minors and is entering his age 25 season so odds are not much more development left in him mixed with his 67-15 SB-CS suggesting he is a good baserunner which is useful to have on the bench, plus he actually has some sac bunts on his resume (a nightmare here lately - 4 in the minors, 21 in college in 177 games).

So a 9 man lineup which is set (list Grichuk as DH even though he'd be in the field most of the time), a 4 man bench of Kirk, Smith, another infielder or outfielder with the final slot being an extra who rarely ever plays or McGuire as a 3rd catcher.

Rotation of Berrios/Gausman/Ryu/Manoah plus the war for the 5th slot
Pen as listed above (all 8 set with a batch of others waiting for a shot plus Stripling if he loses the #5 starter job - I expect Pearson & Hatch to start in the majors or in AAA).

Phew. Things far more set than I noticed. Yeah, a full time 3B or 2B would be nice, but I don't see it at this point unless something drops into the Jays laps. That Freeman talk was just to up his price I suspect. No way the Jays push $200 mil in payroll for 2022 IMO. I wouldn't complain if they did, but I sure don't expect it. They might sign one more starter to finish the rotation and force Stripling to the pen (or a trade), or a full time starter at 3B (Seager is my bet), or do a trade to get a LH hitting OF (losing one of their current crew). Still possible changes, but I doubt many will happen between now and July at which point they'll reassess where the team is at. My big hope when the lockout is over is for the Jays to sign Vlad and/or Bo and/or Teoscar long term.
Gerry - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 04:36 AM EST (#409995) #
Now that we are in a lockout I wouldn't expect much activity until February. In cases like these there is usually no settlement until the last minute.

So what is the last minute? A February 15th settlement would allow spring training games to start March 1 and the season to start on time. This would be the most likely scenario.

However the owners don't make a lot of money until mid season so if they want to stick it to the players they can afford to sit it out for longer. The only reason for the owners to settle by mid February is the PR hit of losing some of the season.

So save the tumbleweed picture, you probably will need it again in January.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 06:39 AM EST (#409996) #
Yep. A long lockout. It's not easy to pick who one likes, but easy to pick who one dislikes. I am learning ASL- the thumb flicked from the chin with the slightly gagging tongue encapsulates the way I feel about the owners.
bpoz - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 07:44 AM EST (#409997) #
Thanks Gerry for speculating on the Feb 15 date because now I don't have to pay attention to a lot of talk about the lockout ending.

K Bryant & Freeman are in limbo for now.

Very nice breakdown John N. Guessing who will get injured is almost impossible to get right BUT some players definitely will. Expanded playoffs make it easier to bear key injuries.

Worst case to deal with is 2 stars (Vlad/Bo) + 1 starter (Gausman) + 2-4 relievers (Romano, T Richards, A Castro & K Snead).

The offense takes a big hit. More pinch hitting is used and the defense stays the same. K Smith for Bo.

The loss of the 1 starter means more bullpen days and more pen use. Someone could step up from our quantity of pitchers. Same for the 2 good relievers lost.

Atkins will patch up what needs to be patched up at the trade deadline like he did in 2020 and 2021. We still have a chance with expanded playoffs.
scottt - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 07:58 AM EST (#409998) #
Shouldn't this thread be locked?
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 08:19 AM EST (#410000) # will not have any news nor images if current players.

I wonder if players will get creative with
social media- broadcasting their own games and other means for building positivedirect links with fans.
Glevin - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 09:07 AM EST (#410002) #
Also don't expect much movement until January. There are two major things I hope get fixed 1) How many teams don't even try. Like, what's the point in being a Pirates fan right now? Their biggest deal ever was 6/$60 for Jason Kendall. Edwin Encarnacion was the biggest contract in Cleveland history. And their owners are billionaires. Too many owners see baseball as just a way to make a profit. They don't care about baseball. Don't even like it. Don't try to win ever. 2) Players need to get paid earlier in their career. There is always so much focus on bad contracts meaning players being overpaid and almost none on how much every player gets screwed early in their career. Juan Soto, for example, has made around $9M. he has given the Nationals around $141M in value. Can you imagine someone signing a 4/$141M and giving $9M value? How much would that be talked about. How many articles? Pay players fairly earlier in their careers, give them free agency earlier, arbitration earlier and then pay less for decline contracts.

Here's a great thread by Travis Sawchik about a lot of issues.
85bluejay - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 09:17 AM EST (#410003) #
Wish I could be a fly on the wall because you know there's going to be back channel chatter between agents and teams and amongst FO regarding potential trades - I don't know if there are rules specifically banning contact between agents and teams - I expect a flurry of activity once an agreement is reached which unfortunately may be late February/March - I'm expecting a late start and shortened spring training - BTW, I view Rob Manfred as a take no prisoners, go for the jugular kind of guy - Players are facing a tough slog - I wish them well.
85bluejay - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#410004) #
My idea which will never happen - let players get a guaranteed percentage of revenues and let players have a major say in how the money gets distributed.
John Northey - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 09:45 AM EST (#410005) #
I suspect a LOT of 'mystery lunches' will occur where by pure coincidence a team representative goes for lunch at the same place at the same time as a player agent. And they just happen to sit down together to discuss the weather, their kids, etc. and by pure chance they discuss terms for a potential deal for a player on a theoretical basis of course. :)

Given the Jays are now near $160 million, and their peak payroll ever was $167 million in 2018 I really don't see anything happening beyond salary neutral (or reducing) trades as we all know Atkins and crew love fiscal flexibility. The only guy becoming a free agent after 2022 is Ross Stripling - estimated to get $4.25 mil in arbitration.

In 2023 we get...
  • Guaranteed Contracts: A $5 mil drop in Springer's contract (nice move by the Jays to put more money down in 2022 when a lockout could cut his pay), Berrios goes up by $5 mil (so the 2 of them break even on payroll for net effect). A $900k increase for Gurriel, a $1 mil increase for Garcia (pretty minimal effect on the team).
  • Year 3 of arbitration: Teoscar Hernandez, will be expensive and might be part of a longer term deal. Cimber also, but middle men rarely get massive jumps in pay.
  • Year 2 of arbitration: Vlad, Biggio, Jansen, Mayza, Richards, Borucki. This part could be expensive.
  • Year 1 of arbitration: Bo, Thornton, Romano, McGuire. From $3 Mil roughly to $15 mil probably. Ouch.
In 2023/4 offseason the 2020/21 outfield - Gurriel, Hernandez, and Grichuk all become free agents along with Ryu & Cimber under current rules.
In 2024/25 free agents are Jansen, Richards, Borucki.
In 2025/26 the big guy is (Vlad) along with Biggio, Mayza, Bo, Romano, Thornton, and Mayza.

So under current rules the killer will be the winter of 2025/26. Under new ones who knows? But clearly a few cash crunches are coming with relief after 2023 when the current OF and Ryu's contracts could be removed from the team. Of course, also an issue is who plays the OF then outside of Springer (probably in RF by then)?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 09:55 AM EST (#410006) #
Los Angeles - 2029 A.D.

Robot Umpires become Self Aware...

"I'm sorry, Dave Roberts. I'm afraid I can't do that."

SK in NJ - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 10:27 AM EST (#410007) #
Agreed that the earliest the lockout will end is probably mid-February. Usually the threat of losing money is what makes people more inclined to get a deal done, and that urgency simply isn't there in December for either side. It will be there in February. The optics of missing any games would be awful for a sport that needs to appeal to younger people. This isn't 1994. There are more entertainment options in the world, and Gen Z's will move on without blinking if baseball decides to miss games. MLB and the players need to be very careful about how they proceed. The sport can't afford for this to cost them regular season games.

Having that December 1 deadline to make moves created an exciting FA period, and it will be exciting again if they end the lockout in February and every team starts signing players and making trades within a few weeks. In Feburary, when the Superbowl is over and the NBA regular season starts dragging into the finish line, MLB could really capture a lot of headlines with a massive off-season flurry of moves, which will directly lead into ST and then the regular season (assuming they are smart enough to get this over with in time). That's really the only (unintended) benefit I see to this.
BlueJayWay - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 10:44 AM EST (#410009) #
And now we play the waiting game....

Ah the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!
92-93 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#410010) #
The numbers being thrown around here are way off.

Springer 28
Gausman 21
Ryu 20
Berrios 10 (+5 signing bonus)
Grichuk 9.3
Gurriel 4.5
Garcia 4 (+1 signing bonus)

The Jays have around 103M in committed salaries for '22. Arbitration for Guerrero, Hernandez, Stripling, Biggio, Cimber, Jansen, Mayza, Richards, and Borucki shouldn't cost more than 30M. The Jays have plenty of room to spend, even if they can only max out at the previous high for payroll, which obviously should not be the case.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 12:03 PM EST (#410011) #
Technical question.  The players want arb after 2 years.  If they get it, what happens with players who currently have 2 years and are not super 2s (like Bo Bichette)?

Either way, I do agree that the Jays are nowhere near $160 million in committed salaries at this point.   
grjas - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 12:51 PM EST (#410012) #
I have little sympathy for either players or owners, just fans. Thereís been enough bad news over the last two years so this is a pretty crappy time for what will likely be a long strike.

I hope the union as a common view on what their most important asks are and what they are willing to trade. They have a long list of wants, and if there are major disagreements on the asks, it will be a long lockout. Similar issue for the owners on whether there is common agreement on how they respond.

Old established, well paid players vs young underpaid ones. Big market owners vs small market ones. There will be interesting discussions within the two sides in addition to between them.
pooks137 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 01:13 PM EST (#410013) #
The discrepancy between John Northey's quoted 159 million dollar current payroll and other posters suggesting that the number is actually much lower, closer to 137 million, is explained right in the Cot's contracts link John provided in his first post.

The spreadsheet in the link lists the current projected 26-man payroll including arb estimates at 137 million.

However, the spreadsheet also calculates how real world 2022 salaries count differently against the luxury tax (namely that salaries across contracts are counted as AAV and that the CBT estimate includes 16 million dollars worth of non-salary player benefits that also count against the cap).

So comparing the two spreadsheets, the main discrepancies are the extra 16 million tacked on to represent payments for player benefits and the fact that Berrios' 2022 luxury tax hit jumps from 11 million to over 18 million due to him signing his extension.

So if 2018 is considered the Jays historic high water payroll mark, you would have to assume they have at least 16 million in wiggle room left since the 2018 record at least publicly wouldn't include the 16 million reserved for player benefits unrelated to salary.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 01:31 PM EST (#410014) #
On a lighter note, December 3 might have the weakest all-birthday team of the year.  The three best players all have the same career bWAR total (proof of intelligent design if ever I saw it!).  Daryl Hamilton, Wayne Garrett and Clay Dalrymple all ended up with 16.7 bWAR.  Paul Byrd had 16.2 bWAR, Joe Collins had 12 and after that it's players like Manny Corpas and Damon Berryhill (who weren't very good but did have significant name value). 
Paul D - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 01:41 PM EST (#410015) #
Apparently the Brewers proposed Bradley for Grichuk:

The Milwaukee Brewers discussed a one-for-one trade that would've sent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Randal Grichuk, sources told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
92-93 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 02:08 PM EST (#410016) #
I proposed that idea on this site two weeks ago, shame they couldn't figure something out. Keirmaier is supposedly available too. The Jays need a LH CF really badly, more than they need an infielder.
pooks137 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 02:08 PM EST (#410017) #
On first blush, I would have jumped on the opportunity to dump two years of Grichuk for one year of JBJ for better salary and roster flexibility.

I quickly remembered though that I read that JBJ has an 8 million buyout on his mutual 2023 option, meaning that money is essentially a wash, making the deal much less attractive unless Milwaukee threw in something else of value.
Glevin - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 02:25 PM EST (#410018) #
"The Jays need a LH CF really badly, more than they need an infielder."

When you have a 35 WRC+, it doesn't matter what side of the plate you hit from. The Jays need a lefty or two but they need them to be guys who can actually hit and will play regularly. Adding JBJ isn't going to help balance the lineup less than Reese McGuire did (Which is to say, not at all). Also, JBJ, was worst player in all of baseball with 400+ PAs last year. Maybe he bounces back a bit, but there isn't any upside there.
92-93 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 02:33 PM EST (#410019) #
The difference, of course, is that Bradley Jr. is an excellent defender that would keep the team's star OF out of the middle. Springer has never played more than half a season in CF, and expecting him to start doing so at 32 is a really bad idea. If Grichuk is the 4th OF the temptation will be there to keep Springer in CF as much as possible, whereas a guy who can handle centre better than he can changes the equation.

If Grichuk and Bradley Jr are both effectively sunk costs, might as well get the better defender and baserunner at the cost of some offensive upside.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 02:40 PM EST (#410020) #
Bradley Jr. has throughout his career been able to hit a fastball from a RHP.  His xwOBAs in that situation were .419, .374, .417, .393 and .381.  Last year, it was .275.  That's no fluke or random variation.  If you believe that there isn't a fixable problem there, he's not going to hit enough to have value beyond a late-inning defensive replacement.    In the NL, the pitch mix to him was a little different- many more breaking balls, fewer off-speed and fastballs.  He was swinging and missing at breaking balls (against both RHP and LHP) at historic highs for him, and that might have affected his approach.  
Glevin - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 03:26 PM EST (#410021) #
"The difference, of course, is that Bradley Jr. is an excellent defender that would keep the team's star OF out of the middle."

he had a -0.8 WAR last season. He isn't good enough to play regularly anywhere and he might not be good enough to even be a backup. Look at Baseball Savant. 1% percentile in expected OBP. 1% in expected SLG. He was historically bad last year. Bottom 20% in Ks, BBs, Barrell %, whiff %. Also, his OF jump rate has gone from 91-93% percentile in 2016-2018 to 85th percentile in 2019 to 78th percentile last year. This is normal when players hit the wrong side of 30. Even if his offense rebounds a bit which I expect it to, he is not someone you want to get anything close to regular ABs.

"In the NL, the pitch mix to him was a little different- many more breaking balls, fewer off-speed and fastballs. "

It worked so I expect pitchers to just keep doing it.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 03:34 PM EST (#410022) #
FWIW, Grichuk has slightly better Steamer projections but whether he would actually help the team win more than Bradley Jr. is a good question.  Some other option would be better. 
Lylemcr - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 03:54 PM EST (#410023) #

I couldn't imagine. Get that international money lined up.
Lylemcr - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 04:06 PM EST (#410024) #
I agree with this

Romano, Cimber, Mayza and Richards were great. A veteran like Kimbrel would be incredible, plus a lefty. Wow, with that starting 4 (plus Pearson?), the Jays should be in every ball game.
John Northey - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 04:17 PM EST (#410025) #
Now Kevin Kiermaier is very tempting - $12.17 mil this year, $13 or $2.5 mil buyout for 2023. Lifetime 98 OPS+ with gold glove defense in CF. Put him out there for 80-120 games, less pressure to DH him when not in CF thus leaving Vlad more DH time. Grichuk would obviously be ideal to trade, but TB would be trying to reduce salary thus making it impossible to do a Grichuk/Kiermaier one for one deal. $20.6 mil owed over 2 years for Grichuk, $14.7 for Kiermaier (assuming option dumped). Before factoring in that Kiermaier is the better player. Also before factoring in that TB always does well in trades.

Btw, for team payroll I was going by the payrolls listed at which does factor in that extra cost for benefits.
grjas - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 05:49 PM EST (#410026) #
Doubt they trade/sign a CF unless they trade one of the 4 ML outfielders. Of course itís still possible they package Gurriel with prospect(s) for an infielder, Pitcher, or even a CF.

Iím sure the FO has several different contingencies for the remaining holes, and it will depend what trades or signings are doable and make sense to them.

Potential holes or weaknesses in no particular order- infielder, CF, No 5 SP, LH bat, and more BP depth. Unlikely they fill all of them, but every team has a few.

Now we just wait. And wait. And wait.
scottt - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 06:48 PM EST (#410027) #
I sure hope Kiermaier gets booed every time he steps at the plate in Toronto.
Tampa really needs to get rid of his salary, so I doubt we'll see a lot of him going forward anyway.

Glevin - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 07:06 PM EST (#410028) #
"FWIW, Grichuk has slightly better Steamer projections but whether he would actually help the team win more than Bradley Jr. is a good question. Some other option would be better."

This isn't the kind of move a contender should make. Pay off 2/3 of Grichuk's contract in a trade and then go get someone who can actually help you. It's eating maybe $13M over 2 years. The team can afford that.
Chuck - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 07:09 PM EST (#410029) #
I doubt we'll see a lot of him going forward anyway

Unless the Yankees pick him up. He'd be a good fit.

John Northey - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 07:18 PM EST (#410030) #
I think the big question is if the Jays have $10-15 mil left how to spend it? Popular targets below... No Qualifying Offer unless mentioned.
  • Kenley Jansen: closer - 2 years $26 mil expected price. Entering his age 34 season, 350 lifetime saves with 38 last year. 164 ERA+ lifetime. This is a premium guy who I suspect will get a 3 year deal in the end despite his age. His walks jumped to 4.7/9 vs career 2.6, his K/9 was crazy still at 11.2 vs career 13.0. A bit scary though as since his insane 41-1 sv-bl year of 2017 his BB/9 have gone up every year. Still, depending what Walker sees I'd go for it.
  • Carlos Rodon: RHP - 183 ERA+ last year suggests he should be getting a mega deal, but injuries cost him that. Entering his age 29 season he is expected to get $25 mil on a 1 year deal
  • Yusei Kikuchi LHP - 2 years $20 mil expected but 3 year deals were on the table before the lockout hit. An ace in Japan but 86 career ERA+ here, you can count on 150-160 innings from him, about 5 IP per start. Mixed with Stripling in the 5 hole might work well.
  • Kyle Seager 3B - hits left (ideal), but is entering his age 34 season, had a 100 OPS+ last year with an insane 161 K's vs 59 BB. On defense he was solid for years but last year was a 0.0 dWAR, 3.9 UZR/150 - so decent but not a wow. 100x better than Biggio or Vlad there, but worse than Espinal. 2 year $24 mil expectation for a deal.
  • Kris Bryant 3B/CF/LF - hits right, was a 6 WAR guy in 16/17 but now is more of a 3-4 one. 4.5 UZR/150 last year at 3B, 0.3 lifetime. Very expensive though - $160 over 6 years is his expected price. as he enters his age 30 season after having a 124 OPS+ last year.
There are many others of course. Also trades. But this is a good starting point imo. If the Jays only want to spend $10-15 mil more I'd lean towards Jansen to lock down the pen and hope Stripling/Pearson/Hatch can hold the 5 hole in the rotation. If nervous about those 3 then go for Kikuchi to give an affordable 5th starter (Rodon is too high imo). I see Seager as more realistic than Bryant even though I'd love Bryant at 3B/backup in CF/LF. It is possible one of the SS's (Story especially) could fall through the cracks and become available at 3B but I wouldn't count on it.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 10:14 PM EST (#410031) #
I think kk is a great player to have. The type of player Toronto needs. He would be our best defender since Johnny Mac, offers timely hitting and incredible baserunning skills, and that armÖyowzers.

If you could plug him into your bottom 9 then youíre certainly doing something right. TB would never trade him here but would love to see him in a Jays uni.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 03 2021 @ 10:34 PM EST (#410032) #
I think the Jays will split their focus on high end talent and high upside talent potentially under values.

Here are my predictions for Jays targets:

High end targets:

Freddie Freeman - he offers the most value to boost your club on the field by most measure and he fills the left handedness this team lacks. Itís possible with Vlad but it would force Springer and anyone else to have to play the field unless Vlad goes back to 3B which would be a step back for player and team. I wouldnít do it but you have a generational type talent available from the left side. I could see him DHing and splitting time at 1B with Vlad. 5 year deal for Semien type money.

Trevor Story - his numbers suffered last year which was a down year by his standards and he still ranks as top 3 left on the board. Similar profile to Teoscar Hernandez, but for the infield with lots of speed. Only drawback is 1) handedness and 2) Corey Seager just got 10 years and Story will likely get Semien type money

High Upside/FlawedTargets:

Jed Lowrie
Alex Dickerson
Franklin Barreto
Joc Pederson
Tyler Anderson/Matt Boyd
Chris Devenski

Kyle Seager is unranked and in between. He averaged 4 WAR the past 2 years when combined which is quite decent, though mostly on defence. Interesting.

bpoz - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:13 AM EST (#410033) #
Just went through our list of prospects. Glad that there is no Rule 5 draft this year.

Is anyone else analyzing our prospects?
Jonny German - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:39 AM EST (#410034) #
I think the Jays would be happy to sign Kyle SeagerÖ for 1 year. And itís possible that he finds himself without any multi-year offers.

I think it makes sense to trade Kirk, but itís not obvious where thereís a good fit for him - Oakland, Miami, and Cincinnati are the teams we keep hearing about as potential trade partners, but they all have good starting catchers. It could be McGuire that gets traded instead, and then potentially Kirk goes mid-season if Moreno is forcing his way up.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:52 AM EST (#410035) #
I tend to agree with KG about Kyle Seager:

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

Kevin Goldstein: I mean, I get the 35 tanks, but he also had a .285 OBP this year. Hard to salivate.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:54 AM EST (#410036) #
BA recently posted an article on 10 hitting prospects with intriguing analytical characteristics. One of them is Orelvis. Here's an short excerpt from the section about him:

"Hitting the ball hard is the substance that cures all ills. As Martinez began to refine his approach and define himself as a hitter he began to materialize into the slugger many envisioned. His underlying metrics say just thisóas he became more patient and expanded less he began to drive the ball with greater authority. Martinez is a promising power hitter with a long-term corner infield profile and the plus-plus power to make it work."
grjas - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#410037) #
Seagerís career OBP is somewhat better. He would give them the LH bat with reasonable defence to pair with Espinal, and when not playing provides an LH thumper off the bench. If they can get him for a year or two, he would help bridge the gap to the talented left side in the minors.

His age is an issue and He has his challenges, but they may push him to a shorter term contract which may fit well with the Jays plans. He may, though, have higher salary expectations than the Jays and if he signs here it may well be near the end of the off season when all other avenues have been closed.
92-93 - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 10:08 AM EST (#410038) #
Seager had a .298 OBP vs. RHP last year, a .323 OBP on the road (.861 OPS), and sports a career .917 OPS at the Dome. He is a solid it for the Jays on a 1 year deal in the 8-10MM range provided they don't have the right mix of prospects to land a Ramirez/Marte type of talent.
Paul D - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#410039) #
I'm sure the Mets would trade Cano for peanuts, unfortunately he's got two years left on his deal.

If we don't think the FO would want Stroman or Donaldson, I can't see them going for Kiermeier
John Northey - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#410040) #
Wow, Seager was much better on the road.  261/323/538 vs a 573 OPS at home (ugh).  Lifetime he is 262/323/478 on the road and 238/319/402 in Seattle.  At SkyDome lifetime he has hit 296/317/600 - actually a tiny bit worse in OBP but that Slg is sweet.  A 135 tOPS vs a 90 in Seattle.  (tOPS is vs his total OPS).  Clearly it would be in his best interests to sign a 1 year deal here ala Semien last year.  And we might hit that point for him once the lockout is over.  Ideal for both parties - if he hits like he can then the Jays can just cut him loose after 2022 as odds are high multiple kids will be ready to take over by then and get a QO out of the deal ala Semien. 
greenfrog - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 11:47 AM EST (#410041) #
I could see a scenario where Seager is worth adding (Bryant is overpriced, the prospect cost for elite trade targets like Ramirez is prohibitively high, and Seager is available on a one-year contract). He could have a decent or rebound season and slot into the lower half of the lineup.

Just don't expect him to be the player he was in his 20s. A season WAR in the 1 - 2.5 range seems likely at this point.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 11:58 AM EST (#410042) #
Since we can't do much except speculate about team moves as there obviously won't be anything happening team-wise for a while, I'd like to speculate about Alejandro Kirk. He is a good hitter, maybe adequate catcher, but he really tailed off in September, so much so that a lot of trade proposals on here seem to include him.

So, what happens when baseball gets going again? Does he start at AAA with Jansen and McGuire forming the L/R tandem at the major league level? He hasn't had many minor league at-bats.

Does he start with the big team and force a trade or release of McGuire? Would the Jays carry 3 catchers? ( Doesn't seem feasible)

Is he traded sooner or later? He has the afore mentioned Jansen and McGuire ahead of him, and the Jays number 1 prospect, Moreno, coming hard behind him. Additionally. could he stand the rigors of a full major league season? I don't know if he'll have a very long career if he doesn't lose some weight. Running and squatting is hard on the knees if you have extra pounds. It will be interesting to see how it plays out with him.
Glevin - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 12:17 PM EST (#410043) #
"Just don't expect him to be the player he was in his 20s. A season WAR in the 1 - 2.5 range seems likely at this point."

That's what I'd expect. Seager wouldn't be a difference maker but would be an upgrade at a reasonable price. I'd obviously prefer Chapman if his cost is not too steep.

With Kirk, depends on what the Jays do with Moreno. If he sticks at C, hard not to see Moreno and Jansen at catcher by mid season. You really want your DH to be more flexible than just 3rd catcher with small benches so it's hard to see where Kirk fits. It's why I think a trade makes a lot of sense (Oakland, Cleveland, etc..) McGuire is a non factor.
John Northey - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 02:01 PM EST (#410044) #
The 3 man catching crew makes a lot of sense to me...
As I mentioned above the lineup is set, with Grichuk giving all OF'ers rest time and Gurriel giving Vlad rest at 1B.  Biggio & Espinal can play pretty much anywhere (Espinal the backup SS).  So any bench players will be sitting most of the time.  Current rules say 13 man pitching staff is the limit so the bench has to be 4 guys.  Smith is the most likely to grab a slot (last year played at 1B/3B/LF/RF/SS and played 2B in 2019 so he covers pretty much everywhere).  Mallex Smith is a NRI who has crazy speed (120 SB - 34 CS in majors in 442 games), played all 3 OF positions (mosty CF) but just an 88 OPS+ lifetime so might be the ideal 5th OF - heck he has 14 sac bunts in the majors too.  So that leaves 2 open slots.  One has to be a catcher and I feel using both for catchers makes sense - I'd have both McGuire and Kirk work out at 1B/3B/LF in the spring to see if either can handle a second position as an emergency backup.  But with Espinal/Biggio/Smith I doubt it would be needed as they cover everything but catching, while Springer/Grichuk/Hernandez/Gurriel can play any of the 3 OF positions, as can Mallex Smith if he makes the team.  The flexibility this team's roster has is fantastic.  So 'wasting' a slot on a 3rd catcher isn't a crazy idea.  Then you can pinch run for a catcher late/in extras if needed with no fear.  You have a real catcher in the bullpen warming up the relievers (so he gets to know them better).  You can DH Kirk now and then without fear too.  Really, imo, any other choice makes no sense.  How much would a 6th infielder ever play?  Or a 6th OF?  Probably no more than a 3rd catcher or even less.  Late in a game who do you need to run for?  The catcher, and maybe Vlad.  Who needs to be pulled for defense?  Gurriel and Vlad maybe.  Biggio if he is at 3B.  Now, putting Kevin Smith on the roster might hurt his development one could say, but at 25 how much more can he develop?  I say mix him in now and let Lopez and Groshans develop in AAA instead.

Of course, trades and free agents could shift things - but I suspect if Seager is signed then you just have him and Espinal split 3B, with Espinal and Biggio sharing 2B and Smith goes back to AAA so no change to roster construction.  If MLB decides to allow 9 man pens then with one less hitter you'd probably not want 3 catchers, but with a 4 man bench I don't see why the Jays wouldn't with the talent on the team today.
Chuck - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#410045) #
He is a good hitter, maybe adequate catcher, but he really tailed off in September

It's worth remembering that this was his age-22 season and that he has had all of 56 minor league plate appearances beyond A-ball. He is still awfully green. Yes, I do concede that his physical stature could be an impediment.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out with him.

Yes. If the Jays do not have the will to determine exactly what Kirk is, other organizations surely will.

grjas - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 04:47 PM EST (#410046) #
Seager wouldn't be a difference maker but would be an upgrade at a reasonable price. I'd obviously prefer Chapman if his cost is not too steep.

Iím still worried about the infield. I like Biggio and Espinal but Iím not sold on them as full timers at second and third, and Smith hasnít proven himself. Chapman would be great- though right handed- but given the price of FA infielders I suspect the asking price will be high. Seager would be reasonable insurance if he agrees to a short contract.
Glevin - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:40 PM EST (#410047) #
3 catchers on roster, none of whom can play other positions, makes zero sense. You have a 4 man bench and half of it is to backup one position. Did any team play with three catchers last year?
greenfrog - Saturday, December 04 2021 @ 08:47 PM EST (#410048) #
Alternatively, you could view Kirk as a DH who can catch, while Jansen and McGuire are the primary catchers.
bpoz - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 08:32 AM EST (#410049) #
Ryu preferred Jansen as his personal catcher. Ray seemed to be best with Kirk I believe. This may be a factor in having 3 catchers.
cascando - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#410050) #
Sending Kirk to AAA to work on his defense is probably a reasonable idea, even if his bat can help the team now. Itís a long season and both McGuire and Jansen have missed significant time to injury in the past. He wonít be down long. And if Moreno passes him on the depth chart, so be it.

Iíd be looking to move Grichuk and add a 4th OF who can play premium CF. Grichuk is a below average hitter and canít really play CF, which is the position where the Jays 4th OF is most likely to spend a lot of time. Heís not a good fit.

I would have been willing to trade Grichuk for Bradley. I think itís unlikely that Bradley suddenly canít hit and wonít ever again. Itís a moot
point because the Brewers were able get a much better asset than Grichuk from Boston, although they had to give up a decent prospect too.
scottt - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#410051) #
What difference does the extra position player on the roster make?
What do you do different with an extra guy on the bench?

Maybe you bring a dedicated DH. An extra guy means you can have a proper backup for every position.
So you have 8 regulars + 1 cacher + 1 outfielder + 1 middle infielder + 1 corner infield/LF.
Sure seems like you can waste a spot on high OPS, bad defense type. I don't see Kirk hitting enough for that. Or Grichuk. Or Smith.

Maybe you have more platoons. A bench full of defensive replacement  types means you can't pinch hit against those 2 pitch relievers with the nasty slider.

Even after they traded Tellez, they still had Dickerson. It's hard to imagine starting the year with just Biggio  batting from the left side.

Mallex Smith is basically a pinch runner. Nice to have on the bench, but probably not until the second half.
I'd be curious to see what Chavez  Young does, assuming they're on the same team.

Most teams have moved to solve their problems behind the plate, so the return on a catcher does not look great.
Cleveland could still use an upgrade. So do the Yankees, but I don't see them as a trade partner.

Glevin - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 12:33 PM EST (#410052) #
"Alternatively, you could view Kirk as a DH who can catch, while Jansen and McGuire are the primary catchers.

You're still carrying 3 players who can only backup one defensive position. Even if the Jays don't want the flexibility, I'd much rather they go and get someone like Anthony Rizzo to play DH than carry three catchers. You at least get a good lefty bat in the lineup. ideally though, the Jays would get someone like Conforto or Schwarber who can DH and play some OF. Even if Jays want to go cheaper, Id rather have someone like Corey Dickerson who can play OF or Brad Miller who can play all over than carry three catchers. It's just a massive hindrance to flexibility and you leave yourself extremely vulnerable and...for what?
greenfrog - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 01:13 PM EST (#410053) #
Bradley is a good gamble for the rebuilding Red Sox, but I'm not sure he makes that much sense for the Jays at this point. He was the least valuable player in the majors last year (400+ PA), posting -0.8 fWAR. His offense would have to rebound in a big way for him to become even a moderately valuable player on a first-division team.

Kiermaier would be a great fit, but it's hard to see the Rays trading him to Toronto.
John Northey - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 01:20 PM EST (#410054) #
I think a big question is what is the bench going to do in 2022?
Pinch hit?  For who?  McGuire and/or Jansen, maybe Espinal or Biggio in certain situations or Grichuk.  Maybe.
Pinch run?  For who?  Catchers of course, maybe Vlad sometimes.  That's it.
Defensive replacement?  Gurriel was pulled late often.  Maybe Vlad.  That's it.
Platoon?  With who?  Biggio and/or Espinal if they each are out there everyday.  Catcher of course.

So outside of defensive replacement, all cases are mainly to replace catchers.  Thus why I see one infield and one outfield backup on the bench as plenty for those positions.  Especially when you  have multiple guys who play multiple positions.  Heck, Gurriel in an emergency could cover any infield position.  Biggio, Espinal, Kevin Smith (if promoted from AAA) all play pretty much anywhere on the diamond.  Vlad can cover 3B if needed, Gurriel covers 1B and SS/2B (emergency), 3 OF'ers can play all 3 OF positions half decently at least (only Gurriel hasn't played in CF/RF).  If Mallex Smith is kept as a 5th OF then he covers all OF and pinch running very nicely.  Kevin Smith is a fast enough runner to be used as well.  So outside of a 3rd catcher what else do you put at the far, far end of the bench?  What need would they cover?  Maaaaybe a pinch hitter but Kirk covers that nicely.  So I'm at a loss as to what you do with the 26th man other than 3rd catcher.

Also with 3 catchers you can dedicate them as desired.
OPS against with each catcher - not a perfect measure but gives an idea if a catcher/pitcher combo worked well or was a total flop.
  • Ryu: Jansen 716 (419 PA), Kirk (0 PA), McGuire 750 (233 PA)
  • Manoah: Jansen 600 (73 PA), Kirk 504 (175 PA), McGuire 688 (211 PA)
  • Berrios: Jansen 627 (77 PA),Kirk 1.222 (18 PA), McGuire 669 (196 PA)
  • Stripling: Jansen 1.008 (125 PA), Kirk 678 (47 PA), McGuire 712 (259 PA)
  • Pearson: Jansen 746 (31 PA),Kirk 616 (20 PA), McGuire 929 (20 PA)
So from that it appears Ryu was slightly better with Jansen, but not enough to notice.  Manoah was best with Kirk by a good measure.  Berrios with Jansen, Stripling with Kirk (never let Jansen catch him), Pearson with Kirk.  Huh.  Different than I expected.  Kirk with 3 pitchers, Jansen with 2 (Ryu & Berrios), and McGuire 2nd best 4 times (outside of Pearson).  Go figure.  Clearly Krik shouldn't catch Berrios and Jansen shouldn't be paired with Stripling.  No idea on new guy (Gausman) obviously (did better with SF's backup catcher vs Buster Posey, done the best in his career with Curt Casali catching, a career backup with a 92 OPS+ who has been a free agent 4 times despite still being arbitration eligible).

The evidence says 3rd catcher for 26th man, however that slot is fairly secondary.  McGuire would just be on the bench 99% of the time I suspect and only used late if Jansen or Kirk are pinch run for and the Jays are trying to give the other guy the day off.
johnny was - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 02:46 PM EST (#410055) #
League average sprint speed is 27 feet/second and the slowest of our expected 2022 regulars was actually Lourdes at 26.6. Vladdy was at 26.8, essentially average, and your foot race winner would be Teoscar at 28.5.
scottt - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 03:42 PM EST (#410056) #
Springer can't play everyday, not even if you move him to a corner spot.
He's never done it. Good CF are very hard to find, even backup ones.
So right now, that means a game or 2 a week  with Grichuk in center.

They like to use the DH to cycle guys, and give them some rest.
It has happened a lot with Vlad.

Boston has Martinez.
The Yankees have Stanton.
The Rays have Meadows.
Right now, the Jays have Grichuk.

Ryu likes a guy who calls the right pitch quickly.
Ray had only 2 pitches, so the calling game with him was a non-issue.
It's very similar with Gausman, he throws mostly fastball/splitter.
Berrios and Manoah mix it a bit more. Kirk lost a game once by calling for a breaking ball in the dirt and not blocking it. He learned from it.
I don't know how much Berrios and Manoah let the catcher call the game.
I know Kay was too predictable with Kirk.
I still think Jansen is too focused on framing and does not offer quality targets.

Which guys could be pinch hit for? The ones who are asked to bunt instead because they are no pinch hit options.

A pinch runner who can actually steal bases would also be nice.

greenfrog - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 03:48 PM EST (#410057) #
If Grichuk is still a 102 wRC+ player (his career line), that would be fine for a fourth outfielder along with his adequate defense. He really struggled in the second half last year, though (65 wRC+). He mentioned that this was because he tried some mechanical changes that didn't work. The question is whether he can get back to (and stay at) a better place mechanically that works for him and allows him to be a productive player.
earlweaverfan - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 04:46 PM EST (#410058) #
One of my favourite (underexplored) topics about baseball is to wonder what factors enable some players to develop far beyond their initial talents, while others get to a level and then stop.

When I first came on this site years ago, I got the sense that many people believed that oneís performance in the minors was oneís (hard cap) destiny. You could not outperform your limits or at least your trajectory that you demonstrated in AA/AAA. Then Bautista and Encarnacion came along and seemed to take big leaps forward that their previous teams must not have imagined. Did the Jays even know at the outset what their potential really was?

Then I heard about some pitchers who were seen as two-pitch pitchers (like Ray) along with others who were always tinkering and seeking to add to their arsenal. Or batters who struggled for years to reach their potential but then broke through (e.g., Smoak). And others who just keep honing their craft on both sides of the ball (I put Hernandez in that category).

Are some people more teachable? Are some more flexible mentally or physically? We know that Pete Walker knows how to support the improvement of some pitchers. Are there others he canít get through to? It would be great for Battersbox to interview him some day.

And is it harder to coach batters to grow up to a higher level or just different?

Does Grichhk have another gear or two he just hasnít accessed yet?

So many questionsÖ

bpoz - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 05:33 PM EST (#410059) #
Very thought provoking earlweaverfan.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 06:45 PM EST (#410060) #
ďYankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox Reportedly Most Aggressive Suitors For Seiya SuzukiĒ -MLBTR

I would be pretty happy if the Jays landed Suzuki post-lockout.
Magpie - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 07:49 PM EST (#410061) #
what factors enable some players to develop far beyond their initial talents

It's an interesting subject. I do think that in the specific cases of Bautista and Encarnacion it wasn't so much a matter of developing something new so much as finally figuring out how to harness what they had all along - Bautista's bat speed, Encarnacion's raw power.
Magpie - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 07:53 PM EST (#410062) #
New Hall of Famers: Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are still here to enjoy it. The honour comes too late for Buck O'Neil, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, and Bud Fowler.

Dick Allen missed by one vote. And Bill Dahlen, who played his last game 110 years ago, is still on the outside looking in.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 08:50 PM EST (#410063) #
Santiago Espinal is a test case for the development issue.

Bill Dahlen still out?  Yes he was Bad Bill, but he wasn't that bad. 
JohnL - Sunday, December 05 2021 @ 10:34 PM EST (#410064) #
I could have sworn I saw a very small tumbleweed tumbling back and forth in the intersection of Church & Wood in Toronto this afternoon.

Sorry I didnít get a pic
bpoz - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 08:26 AM EST (#410065) #
covid is getting more active and dangerous. Another wave is sweeping the world. This may impact attendance & the start of the season if so revenues would be expected to be low. Less games mean the players will not receive full salary. Extended playoffs will help revenues. But for who? Owners or players.

By the way the winter meetings would have started now except "you know".
Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 09:06 AM EST (#410066) #
COVID and the RC.  Rogers is offering "private rooms", presumably boxes, with the purchase of 8 tickets ($960 for a "regular" game).  Ah, the new social contract text exchange.  "Wanna go to a game on the 15th with A, B,C,D, E, F, G and me in a room, with the usual vaccine and mask rules" ..."I forgot the rules"..."shared vaccine/boost certificates, 5 minutes per hour rotating drinking break and no eating, N95 masks at all times except when drinking, digital signatures on everything"...."sounds like a blast!"
92-93 - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 11:20 AM EST (#410067) #
Sounds like an awful way to live your life.
Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 11:51 AM EST (#410068) #
I guess that I should have put the "/s" after it; it was mostly sarcastic.  It is however true that if omicron turns out to be as dangerous to under 5 year olds as it may be, almost all of us may be taking even more precautions than before come baseball season.  Everyone is of course hoping that it turns out to be milder than previous variants. 
bpoz - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 12:36 PM EST (#410069) #
greenfrog mentioned O Martinez from a BA article as a potential great hitter. I don't count Vlad because his potential was higher than great. Bo on the other hand is worth a comparison.

At 19 years old both did v well well at low and high A ball. Bo had a much better Avg so advantage Bo for me. Except Martinez could not play as an 18 year old due to covid. Without covid he has a chance to play AA at 19.

Checking Moreno, he is not as big built as Bo and Orvelis which showed in his Hr power lagging those 2. They all have good bat speed.

Groshans is the best built but injuries have prevented him from having even 1 full season.

Kirk signed when he was almost 18 so a bit older for a Latin player but same age as HS draft picks. Got injured and did not play his 1st year as a pro. Then rocketed through the system, Due to injuries he only has 189 ML ABs. Those ABs show that he has the bat to be a regular C. He gets criticism for his defense yet somehow Cy Young Ray liked him as a catcher.

Too much variability to conclude anything.

Then regarding personality Bo is NOT laid back. He seems to be the leader.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 10:18 AM EST (#410075) #
Having an under-5 year-old (in addition to a 16 and 14 year-old), I can tell you, and you will likely recall, that if they are susceptible to contraction and spread of omicron, they will have all had it before we even knew what hit us.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 11:32 AM EST (#410076) #
For next season, I offer Jobu refreshing Chesterfields inspired by baseball stars Stan "The Man" Musial & Jackie Robinson.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 12:07 PM EST (#410077) #
What is concerning, ayj, is that South Africa is reporting increased risk of hospitalization of under 5s far greater than in previous waves, despite positivity numbers among under 5s that are not exceptional and indeed lower than among teens.  It may just be a statistical blip, but more data is required. 
bpoz - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 12:31 PM EST (#410078) #
Thanks for the info updates on the virus activity. We are all concerned about the health of our families.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 01:20 PM EST (#410080) #
Ben Clemens has a helpful chart over at fangraphs with current league-wide 2022 payrolls.  The Blue Jays stand 11th.  The 4-9 teams include the Padres, Red Sox, Phillies, White Sox, Angels and Astros and sits in the $170-$190M range as of today, likely with upward mobility depending on the outcome of the CBA negotiations. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 03:41 PM EST (#410081) #

C: Johnny Bench
1B/DH: Pete Alonso/Tino Martinez
2B: Hobe Ferris
SS: Ryan Theriot
3B: Eric Chavez
LF: Alex Johnson
CF: Shane Mack
RF: Yasiel Puig

Bench- Ozzie Virgil (C), Rich Coggins (OF),  Tony Piet (IF),  Don Johnson (IF)

Rotation: Kyle Hendricks, Dick Donovan, Denny Galehouse, Don Cardwell, Tom Lovett
Bullpen: Bo Belinsky, Jim Austin, Ed Morris, Saul Rivera, Brian Johnson

The offence is solid- power from both sides, .300 hitters and on-base ability, and some speed.  The infield defence is quite good with Ferris and Chavez both better than that.  The starting pitching is better than one would think.  Dick Donovan is not a household name, but in his prime (1955-62) he averaged about 200 innings per year with an ERA+ of 116.  The bullpen isn't great, but the first three were serviceable pitchers.  They would win quite a few 5-4 and 6-5 games. 

grjas - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 07:43 PM EST (#410084) #
Too bad AJ Cole signed in Japan. Would have been a nice depth piece stashed in Buffalo but I can understand him wanting more security.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 10:08 PM EST (#410085) #
1Mike - very useful to see - the Mets have gone nuts - shooting over $250 mil yet probably still not going to win the weakest division in baseball. Dodgers and Yankees safely over $200 million too. Padres on the edge of it at $199 mil, with Boston the only other one at the $190 mark. $150 gets you into the top 10 with the Jays at $140. 15th is SF at $126, 20th is Colorado at $104, Oakland is 25th at $85 mil, and dead last is Pittsburgh at $39 mil. Cleveland is the only other one sub $60 mil at $49. Baltimore plus Tampa is $145 mil, well below NY and Boston and barely ahead of the Jays (for now).

I see the players reason for complaining about the bottom handful who never spend unless forced. The bottom 4 (Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) are all sub $70 mil when everyone else is $84+.

Basically you have the big 5 ($190+ mil), then 4 who like to spend ($170-$181), then contenders but not willing to be silly (St Louis, Atlanta, Toronto $140-$150), willing to spend to be mediocre ($104-$140 - 10 teams but only SF was really good in 2021), cheapskates (6 teams $84-$91 mil including Tampa & Oakland), and 'screw it we'll be profitable on revenue sharing' (4 teams $39-$69). The contenders not willing to be silly will shift to the 'like to spend' group post-lockout probably (just add $20-$30 mil in payroll - Atlanta a lock if they hold onto Freeman, Jays if they get 2 more guys, St Louis I have no idea on). So 12 teams willing to spend big, with 10 more on the edge who might under the right circumstances but tend to like being 500 I suspect. Then 8 who won't spend unless forced.

I like where the Jays are - yeah, it'd be nice to see them with a $260+ mil payroll ala the Mets but being smart is better - as long as they hold Bo & Vlad long term of course.
grjas - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 09:00 AM EST (#410087) #
Set a floor, say 80mm. Adjust the cap. Add some teams to the playoffs. Use a combination of age and service time to set free agency. Increase the minimum wage. And get on with it.

Whatís really frustrating is both sides have known for years that a strike was looming and still dicked around. The league was shut down for months during Covid, which should have been an ideal time to bang some of the key items out. Instead we have both sides proposing solutions that are clearly untenable to the other side.

I hope the fans hurt them at the box office- as we did in Canada in the mid 1990s - to show both sides that we are fed up with this nonsense. Unfortunately thatís very unlikely to happen.
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