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When I was younger I used to make 'best ever seasons' for the Jays by position (a lot easier in the 80's as there weren't many years to cover).  So what about this year?

I'll start off using WAR and the like, but just as a starting point. * indicates led league.  I see these as contenders for best seasons ever at 1B/2B/SS.  The positions the Jays had guys with strong cases to be the best season ever at each.

First Base All Time..
  • John Olerud 1993: 7.8 bWAR - 363*/473*/599 54 doubles*, 1.073 OPS*, 186 OPS+*, 33 Intentional Walks*, yet came in 3rd for MVP behind Frank Thomas (a DH who had worse hitting stats outside of HR & RBI) and teammate Paul Molitor (911 OPS as a DH).  Always wondered if Olerud ran over a writers cat or something that year.  At age 24. 
  • Carlos Delgado 2000: 7.3 bWAR - 344/470/664 181 OPS+, 57 doubles*, 378 total bases*, 15 HBP* - 4th in MVP voting, 2 DH/1B including Thomas finished ahead of him (PED Giambi too), and A-Rod (he was insanely good then, still a SS with a 1.026 OPS).  Age 28.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2021: 6.8 bWAR - 311/401*/601* 1.002 OPS*, 169 OPS+*, 48 HR*, 123 R*, 363 total bases*, 2nd in MVP to Ohtani of course.  A great age 22 season.
  • Fred McGriff 1989: 6.6 bWAR - 269/399/525 924 OPS*, 165 OPS+*, 36 HR* (different era) at age 25.  Just 6th in MVP voting as back then OBP was not paid attention to by writers to put it mildly.  RBI were everything and McGriff had under 100.
  • Edwin Encarnacion 2012: 5.0 bWAR - 280/384/557 153 OPS+, probably his best season as a Jay (2015 is close in every respect but just a touch worse). 
  • Willie Upshaw 1983: 4.7 BWAR - 306/373/515 136 OPS+, 11th in MVP voting, age 26. By far his best season.
  • Checked a few more but they weren't close in WAR (over 1 lower than Upshaw) so I figured it would be too much of a stretch to put their best years onto this list.  Guys like Adam Lind, Lyle Overbay, John Mayberry, Justin Smoak)  I ignored the many DH's who had a bit of time at 1B (listed EE just because I felt like it).
  • Olerud seems to have a big lead (half a win in bWAR) but I wouldn't be shocked if many picked Delgado over him.  Vlad might pass them all if he works out hard this winter (dang would that be nice) in an effort to improve his durability so he doesn't weaken down the stretch - July 941 OPS, Aug 786, Sept 977 (bit of a comeback). 
Second Base All Time...
  • Marcus Semien 2021: 7.3 bWAR - 265/334/538 133 OPS+, 15-1 SB-CS, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, 3rd in MVP, set record for most HR by a primary 2B.  Crazy year he had. Age 30
  • Roberto Alomar 1992: 6.6 bWAR - 310/405/427 130 OPS+, 49-9 SB-CS, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, 6th in MVP, yeah, he was amazing back then even if most fielding measure say he wasn't plus that HR in the playoffs - oh that home run. Age 24.
  • Aaron Hill 2009: 5.8 bWAR - 286/330/499, 114 OPS+, 12th in MVP, Silver Slugger, stats say he was a very good fielder though but he wasn't flashy so few seemed to notice.  Age 27
  • Orlando Hudson 2004: 5.1 bWAR - 270/341/438 98 OPS+, would start winning gold gloves the next year for 4 out of 5 seasons but his 2.9 dWAR this year suggests he deserved it in '04 at age 26.
  • Damaso Garcia  1982: 4.6 bWAR - 310/338/399 95 OPS+, 54-20 SB-CS, a different era for sure.  Silver Slugger, 26th in MVP voting, strong on defense too (not Hudson level but high).  Age 25, never had a year half as good by WAR.
  • Many others have played at 2B (24 different starters in Jays history, only DH has had more) some did well Cavan Biggio, Nelson Liriano, Homer Bush , and Joe Inglett  all had 2+ WAR at 2B at least once) and many did poorly.
  • A very tough one due to Alomar's playoff performance and the 'feeling' that he was better than the stats say on defense (a shame we didn't have stuff like today that tracks it far better).  By regular season alone Semien has to hold the title for best ever, but for overall performance (including playoffs) you gotta hand it to Alomar.
Shortstop All Time...
  • Bo Bichette 2021: 5.9 bWAR - 298/343/484 123 OPS+ (and that is his worst OPS+ in 3 seasons, 144 in 2019 and 127 in 2020).  12th in MVP voting, 25-1 SB-CS, this kid is damn good.  I hope the Jays sign him long term.  Age 23.
  • Marco Scutaro 2009: 5.4 bWAR - yes, really - 282/379/409 108 OPS+, weird how rarely he got a shot like he had that year to play full time at one position (his 4.5 WAR the year before was his 2nd highest, those were his only 2 years here).  Age 33
  • Tony Fernandez 1987: 5.1 WAR 322/379/426 112 OPS+ - gold glove too - if only Madlock hadn't broke the rules and broken Tony's arm (thanks in part to the horrid field in Exhibition Stadium, and bad luck with his arm hitting the seam) late that year - safe to say he'd have made the difference in at least one of those 7 losses to the Tigers that killed that season.  He didn't hit as good again until late in his career after he was moved to 3B.  Sigh.  Age 25.  A could've/would've/should've situation.
  • Yunel Escobar 2011 4.8 bWAR 290/369/413 112 OPS+, a player that drove every team that had him nuts - skill up the wazoo but a nightmare otherwise.  Age 28
  • Jose Reyes, Troy Tulowitzki, Manny Lee, all cracked 3 bWAR, while others had good years, but not good enough to consider for best ever (sorry, Alfredo Griffin was not that good at any point).
  • I think Bo deserves the title here.  Tony I always put first before (so close to Scutaro but his long tenure here plus the injury late I see as a big deal).
Other positions have their arguments too but most are cut and dried in my opinion.  But I'm sure others can come up with good arguments.
Catcher is by far the weakest position in Jays history - hard to believe we've never seen anyone reach 4 WAR there while every other position has multiple guys at 5+.  1B/CF/RF are amazing for having multiple 'wow' seasons by multiple players with 1B easily the deepest in Jays history.

By era...
Pitchers are a whole other category, but my quick take on a rotation that would be impossible to beat: Roger Clemens 1997 (pitchers triple crown, Cy, 11.9 bWAR), Roy Halladay 2003 (8.1 WAR, 22 W, 32-204 BB-SO, just a great year in a great career), Dave Stieb 1984 (146 ERA+ to lead, 7.9 WAR, but 7th in Cy voting no one else who got votes had more than 5.2 WAR), Pat Hentgen 1996 (Cy, led in IP, CG 8.6 WAR), Juan Guzman 1996 (6.7 WAR, ERA title with a 171 ERA+ but 0 Cy votes), Jimmy Key 1987 (7.4 WAR, led with 164 ERA+ but 2nd in Cy voting), Robbie Ray 2021 was 6.7 WAR Cy award.  OK, that was 7 guys, but who do you bench from that group?  PS: Clemens was supposed to have started PEDs in '98 when he won his 2nd Cy as a Jay.

Relievers more of a crapshoot: Mark Eichhorn 1986 (7.3 WAR, 157 IP with a 246 ERA+) clearly had the best year imo, B.J. Ryan 2006 (3.6 WAR, 38-4 Sv-Bl, 335 ERA+ over 72 1/3 IP), Duane Ward 1993 (3.0 WAR, 45-6 Sv-Bl over 71 2/3 IP plus great in playoffs/WS), Tom Henke 1987 (0-6 but led in saves with 34-8 Sv-Bl, 182 ERA+ over 94 IP, plus 3 IP in All-Star Game, 2.4 BB/9 vs 12.3 K/9 - an unheard of thing at that time), , Jordan Romano 2021 (2.3 WAR, 23-1 Sv-Bl hard to complain about that ratio, his blown was his first save opportunity of the year).  Very hard to pick as ERA is so insanely variable for relievers thus making WAR very hard to use.  Saves are an opportunity thing more than a skill imo.  Put whoever you cut from that killer rotation to the pen to make it impossible good.

So opinions?  Feelings? Did I miss someone?  Let's get some good debates going.  Mix in stuff like 'leadership', 'fan favorite', etc. if you want.  Old stories of favorite players would be good in this thread.  Just going through some of these names brought back good memories (like Gruber's fog home run and his cycle where he turned a double into a single).
How Good Were Vlad & Marcus & Bo in 2021? | 109 comments | Create New Account
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GabrielSyme - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#410070) #
I did not know, and it is just absolutely bonkers that Paul Molitor finished ahead of Olerud in '93.

Usually there's something to hang your hat on when it comes to old weird voting decisions: a player on a contender, a perceived defensive edge. Neither applied to Molitor.

I also don't understand Frank Thomas over Olerud, but at least they played on different teams.
bpoz - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 06:39 PM EST (#410071) #
Sorry to be negative but how did C Carpenter do? Just wondering. Halladay and Carpenter were close friends. They should have been long time team mates.
AWeb - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 07:24 PM EST (#410072) #
Olerud, even while hitting .400, took criticism from the home announcers for 'not turning on the ball' for more power, like the 54 doubles didn't count, or the 20+ hrs he hit anyway. Based on what I recall, this all sourced from Cito who was a successful hitting coach, but hated the way Olerud hit. Despite Delgado hitting the ball harder, more often, than anyone else I ever watched in his best season, Olerud added a strong postseason with a big gm 1 homer in the world series. Home town narrative likely contributed to the weird mvp voting.

Alomar's strong postseason puts him over the top, barely.

It seems like White should have had a 8-9 win year at least once, but he, in my opinion, was absolutely crushed by contemporary coaching that saw the fastest guy in the league and thought he should hit it on the ground more (and leadoff, thankfully he was not a bad hitters, just miscast). 2:1 GB:FB ratio, but had a lot of power. But Moseby's best year was legitimately great, and likely the best of the lot.

Honorable mention at catcher to Gregg Myers in 2003 for one of the most out of nowhere prolonged hot streaks I ever saw...part time duty, but he legitimately hit like Delgado for about half the year, just ripping liners all the time. Faded at the end of the year, but still so much fun - for him too, he knew it wouldn't last forever, but seemed to enjoy the hell out of it. Ended with 2.4WAR in 369 PAs.
John Northey - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 08:44 PM EST (#410073) #
AWeb - good point on Olerud - drove me nuts that year how the media was all over the 'not enough power for a 1B' crap. Drove me and anyone else who understood the value of a great OBP up the wall. White's big issue was he wouldn't walk unless the pitcher almost forced him to it seemed. I give Cito a ton of credit for just accepting White was who he was and letting him play as his defense was insane and hit bat was enough to not be a nightmare at the top. Yeah, he belonged much lower in the order but if he performed best when given the leadoff slot (and as I recall he took pride in that) then so be it.

As to Carpenter - his years here were not that good - 6 years, losing record, 98 ERA+ overall, a WAR of 7.6 total (Dickey was 7.1 for comparison), peak of 3.2 in 2001 which many others did over the years (Mark Buehrle had a 3.4 as a Jay in 2014 for example). As a Cardinal he reached a peak of 6.5 (5.8 in his Cy year) which would've been worth a note here but it wasn't here. As a Cardinal he was amazing, as a Jay he was always on edge of being great but just couldn't turn the corner.
Nigel - Monday, December 06 2021 @ 08:47 PM EST (#410074) #
I know that the stats say otherwise, he was "only" a 1B and I'm throwing some subjective bias into it, but having witnessed every season of Jays ball, I have trouble seeing any season other than Olerud's 1993 season as the best single season in Jays history. That OBP was just unbelievable to watch day in and day out.
grjas - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 12:38 PM EST (#410079) #
This was a really interesting post John. Thanks for giving us this perspective. We certainly have had a number of excellent first basemen; Maybe Moreno can up our game at catcher.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 07 2021 @ 05:57 PM EST (#410083) #
Yeah, Catcher has been a historically black hole for the Jays.

Times #1 for the Jays in WAR (primary player at position) with average WAR for the primary player at each position over the Jays 45 seasons
  • C: 1 time (2005 Zaun) 1.42
  • 1B: 12 times (Delgado 5 times, McGriff 3, 1 time each for Olerud, Mayberry, Encarnacion, Smoak) 2.98
  • 2B: 8 times (Alomar & Biggio twice, once for Damaso Garcia, Hudson, Hill, Semien) 1.94
  • 3B: 5 times (Donaldson 3 times, Sprague & Howell) 2.34
  • SS: 2 times (Griffen & Fernandez) 1.93
  • LF: 1 time (Woods 1980) - yes, Bell got MVP despite not leading his own team in WAR - 1.62
  • CF: 6 times (Moseby twice, once each for Bosetti, White, Wells, Rasmus) - 2.62
  • RF: 10 times (Bautista 3 times, Barfield twice, Rios twice, once for Merced, Green, and Grichuk) - 2.74
  • DH: 1 time (Molitor 1994) - 1.40
Kind of surprised LF, DH, and CA all were only once the top position, and SS twice. Very surprised Biggio led the team in WAR twice in his 3 seasons, well, led for non-pitchers.

By average rank DH is actually worst - 5.84 out of 9 vs Catcher 5.76. #1 is 1B by a mile (3.64) with CF next, then RF (both 4.2's). Seasons below replacement level ranged from 11 times for 2B to 2 times at 1B. 2+ WAR (seen as an acceptable level for a regular) ranged from 13 times at DH, 16 at C, 20's for all others, max of 28 for 1B, followed by 26 at 3B (surprising). I suspect DH is so low due to it being more of a mix-match over the years than just being bad, for example - Springer is listed there this year due to his getting the most games there of anyone but his injuries kept his WAR to 2.4. Lots of platoon guys (Lind, Fullmer, Mulliniks, etc.) Encarnacion was the primary DH only 3 times. Somewhat similar to Catcher where guys rarely get 400+ PA's just due to the wear and tear of the position. Lots of greatness in RF and CF, but little in LF despite an MVP there (Fernandez had 5.1 WAR vs Bell's 5.0 in 1987). Fun to look into.

Best WAR - 8.3 (Bautista 2011 in RF), worst - -2 (Alfredo Griffen in 1981 at SS, imagine if he had a full season that year...ugh). At least one 7+ season (MVP calibre) at 1B, 2B, 3B, CF, RF. SS, LF, DH all have a 5 season. C just a 3.6 for Zaun.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 07:17 AM EST (#410086) #
Based on the formula used Biggio benefited. His bb has always been high resulting in a high OBP and fantastic SB/CS ratio. This happened in the minors 2018/19 as well. Last year he had shoulder or neck issues which hurt his hitting. Also 2B may be better for him than 3B (Semien).

Espinal looks good when his batting average is over 300. He did that in the minors 2019 in Buffalo 317 and in 2021 with the Jays. But his Hr power and other offense categories are not elite. Therefore a great bench IF due to his defense at 2B, SS and 3B for the future after a young stud takes over 3B.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 09:32 AM EST (#410088) #
"I know that the stats say otherwise, he was "only" a 1B and I'm throwing some subjective bias into it, but having witnessed every season of Jays ball, I have trouble seeing any season other than Olerud's 1993 season as the best single season in Jays history. That OBP was just unbelievable to watch day in and day out."

The 1993 team had 3 guys with OBP over .400. Batting order was weird because people didn't know any better then. (The dumbest organizations now understand more than the smartest organizations did then). Also loved Delgado's 2000. Just insane numbers. The Jays' 1B streak of McGriff, Olerud, and Delgado was quite something. Pretty much from 1987-2004, the Jays had elite production from 1B including 9 seasons of 4+ WAR.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 03:04 PM EST (#410089) #
Minor league rule v today. Jays lose Kirwir an Curtis Taylor and pickup Abdiel Mendoza from the Rangers. Can't find much on Mendoza except a few years back, he was seen as a curveball pitcher. This is lockout-level stuff people!

John Northey - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 03:18 PM EST (#410090) #
So the Mariners took Tanner Kirwer, OF from the Jays - last year in AA/A he hit 243/370/399 in his age 25 season while playing LF/RF equally. I don't see it as much of a potential loss.

Nationals took Curtis Taylor, RHP - AAA/AA last year 5.71 ERA in relief.

Blue Jays took Abdiel Mendoza, RHP from the Rangers - entering his age 23 season he was in A ball last year. 4.95 ERA mainly as a starter over 36 1/3 IP, 4 BB/9 vs 9.9 K/9. A little interesting at least vs the 2 25+ year olds lost.

Minor league rule 5's are rarely anything. The only one I can recall doing something of note was Goose Gozzo in 1989 and then only for a month.
scottt - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 06:34 PM EST (#410091) #
Taylor is a 6'6" Canadian who was part of the return for Sogard.
Hard fastball, sweeping slider. Too many walks.
He was derailed by injuries.
MLB pipeline had him close to the top 30.

Losing guys here is sort of a good sign, I guess.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 07:09 PM EST (#410092) #
The minor league rule 5 is a pretty secondary thing. Basically anyone lost the team didn't see as in their top 78 players (38 protected in the minors, 40 in majors) who are past their first 3/4 years as a pro (drafted in 2017 as a high school or signed as a IFA, or drafted in 2018 out of college). If you can't make that list you probably aren't getting to the majors for more than a cup of coffee.

Agreed that losing guys here is a good sign for the Jays as it means their very, very far down the depth chart guys are tempting to other teams. Ideally you'd lose multiple players to the minor and major league rule 5 draft every year as that would mean you have many quality players in the system.
scottt - Wednesday, December 08 2021 @ 08:55 PM EST (#410093) #
One of the guys the Jays picked from the Yankees, Hobie Harris, seemed close to a cup of coffee this year.
He became a free agent and signed with the Brewers a month ago.

Which bring the question, do the guys signed on minor league contracts (Like Mallex Smith and Matt Gage) take up one of the 38 AAA spots? If so, I'd expect them to be signed after the rule 5.

John Northey - Thursday, December 09 2021 @ 01:30 PM EST (#410094) #
If the organization decides to use one of those 38 slots on them then yes they do. I read someone lost a few who they just signed to minor league deals. I know if I was a player I'd be a bit pissed about that as minor league deals are often for not a ton, and they often pick a team based on where the minor league club is (for family reasons) or for opportunities to reach the majors (obviously a good minor league 1B wouldn't sign here unless offered a lot of cash above what other teams offered or he is from Buffalo).
Lylemcr - Thursday, December 09 2021 @ 07:27 PM EST (#410095) #

I am not sure this would have been a good idea.

It does tell me that they are interested in spending now.
John Northey - Thursday, December 09 2021 @ 10:19 PM EST (#410096) #
Agreed Lylemcr - I see health as a skill for players thus I'm down on Pearson ever being worth much. Seager has exactly 3 seasons with 100+ games. For $32+ mil per over 10 years I'd want 140+ games a year minimum. I'm wondering if between this and Freeman if the Jays are more trying to make their competitors pay more and just put a poison pill into any deal (change positions to get the cash for example) in case they do try to take the deal here.

However, if the Jays do want to blow $300+ million this winter on a star who is left?

Carlos Correa is the only one left imo worth anywhere near that (sadly only 2 times over 110 games, 2 times in the 100-110 range). His dWAR is 1+ every year, and hit 2.9 last year so he is excellent with the glove, 127 OPS+ lifetime is great - especially since Bo's 123 last year is (I think) the best the Jays have ever had at SS. He is so good that even in his short seasons (non-2020) he had 3+ WAR everytime. Entering his age 27 season a 10 year deal is still scary as heck, but with the strong defense and offense he might be worth it. Springer could tell the Jays a lot about his character and the like having both been on Houston for years so no shortage of knowledge for the Jays in all respects. If all clean and Bo is OK going to 2B or 3B then this might work.

Freddie Freeman - this one is weird - I can only see it working if the Jays really think Vlad can handle 3B again. I'd put this as very low odds.

Kris Bryant - makes a lot of sense, as he does play 3B 132 OPS+ lifetime but his bad 2020 and playing a lot in LF/CF/RF makes me nervous.

Others who might get $100+ mil are Trevor Story (Coors factor), Nick Castellanos (solid bat, limited defense).

Correa is the Jays last chance to blow $300 mil on one guy this winter unless they trade for Jose Ramirez. They tried with Cole and settled on $80 for Ryu. They tried with Lindor and settled on $18 for Semien and $160 for Springer. Will they be left at the alter again and if so will things work as well as they have so far? Of course, if they had Cole instead of Ryu they would've won the division this year (assuming all other moves were done which is no sure thing). Lets hope this lockout is done soon (sadly I expect it to last until February).
Glevin - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#410097) #
Fangraphs has their 2022 projected winning % up and Jays are #1 in baseball. I think we easily spend time thinking about the holes we have as a team but this is a really good team and much better than the team that started 2021.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#410098) #
The Jays signing another big time free agent would be surprising if it happens. Vlad and Bo are free agents after the 2025 season. In 2026, the team will have these obligations:

Springer (36): $22.5M, FA after 2026
Berrios (32): $18.0M, opt out after 2026
Gausman (35): $23.0M, FA after 2026

In 2026, Bryant will be 34, Story will be 33, Freeman will be 36, and Correa will be 31. If they added one of those players to the list of existing FA deals above, which will be somewhere between $25-35M AAV depending on the player, then they better be prepared to spend Steve Cohen money in 2026-beyond otherwise it's going to be hard to work around that while keeping Vlad/Bo long-term.

With that said, there is a clear window to win multiple division titles over the next few years, and this will be the only time Vlad and Bo will be as cheap as they are, so I can see the logic in wanting to spend now. Whether it's the best thing to do long-term is another story. Of course, if they have tried to extend Vlad/Bo already, and saw that they are either not interested or want to test free agency in 4 years, then they might feel this is the best course of action. We will have to wait and see what they do.
bpoz - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 11:30 AM EST (#410099) #
Good post SK. About a half dozen players you mentioned are a bit old and expensive in 2026. So there could be a decision to rebuild or extend the window somehow.

Kirk, Moreno and Orvelis will not be old in 2026 but as of now they have not proved enough or anything as to how good they will be by 2026.

Vlad and Bo will have results after 2022 & 23. The FO may be trying to extend now or waiting. They will not announce anything until done which is what happened with the Berrios extension. Also the Gausman signing took me by surprise.

We don't know the FO's plan. Shapiro said that he did not believe that Semien and Ray "had" to be brought back. Quite likely they tried to bring them back. Also Matz.

In the 4 years 2022-25 Gausman, Berrios and Manoah will show by their results who is best. Maybe all 3 pitch like #1s. May as well add Ryu and Pearson potentially pitching as #1s.

I don't worry about Ryu and Grichuk staying for the next 2 years or getting traded. I suppose I must worry if both or just 1 is fantastic in 2023 ie MVP or Cy young winner or top 3.

Lylemcr - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 01:06 PM EST (#410100) #
The press sees Vlady, Bichette and Teoscar, they get excited.

Personally, I look at that starting 4 (plus Pearson) and I look at the bullpen, I am very encouraged. They don't need an albatross contract weighing them down. They really are just a couple pieces away from being REALLY good.

I wouldn't mind seeing Danny Duffy coming here. He has such a good arm. More buy low kind of guys.
Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 01:31 PM EST (#410101) #
The fangraphs depth charts have the Blue Jays platooning Biggio and Smith at second base, and Espinal and Smith at third base, with both positions generating 2 WAR.  That is better than either the LF or RF position.  And the depth charts consider that the Blue Jays have 3 fine catchers, all of whom would generate 3 WAR in 500 PAs.  Moreno is not one of the 3 catchers.  Kirk has the second best projected slash line on the club....

Needless to say, my eyebrows were raised.  I'll wait for the ZiPS though before commenting further. 

Glevin - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 03:04 PM EST (#410102) #
"Needless to say, my eyebrows were raised. I'll wait for the ZiPS though before commenting further. "

Agreed but I also don't think it's a stretch to say Jays are among the very few best teams in baseball. Their Pythagorean record would have had them 5th and they are a better team then they were for most of last year and the teams in front of them all lost talent (Dodgers lost Seager, Scherzer, and could lose Jansen/Kershaw, Houston will lose Correa, etc...). How many rosters would you take over Toronto's right now?
Lylemcr - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 03:15 PM EST (#410103) #
For the Jays, it is about timing for roster. They have a really nice core of young players that are hitting their prime. 4-5 years from now, it will be hard to have that mixture because of contracts, etc. The window is now.
John Northey - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 04:42 PM EST (#410104) #
Excellent points here - the Jays do have a LOT of talent.

Guys with 3+ WAR at some point in their careers: Vlad, Bo, Teoscar, Springer, Grichuk (in St Louis), Biggio
2-2.99: Gurriel, Espinal

Pitchers 3+: Ryu (in LA), Berrios
2+: Manoah, Stripling, Romano, Phelps (2016 & 2012)

That is a lot of potential there. 8 potential lineup members (none of the catchers have reached 2 WAR yet), 4 potential rotation (obviously Pearson never has, nor Hatch), 2 relievers (very hard for a reliever to get there). All having 2+ WAR seasons at some point, most since 2018 (just 3 full seasons there). Yeah, this team could be very scary good if they all stay healthy and put together a decent season by their own standards.

Heading into 1985 (the Jays best W-L record ever, 99 wins) ...
3+ WAR: Whitt (C), Upshaw (1B), Garcia (2B), Bell (LF), Moseby (CF), Stieb (RHP), Alexander (RHP), Clancy (RHP), Leal (RHP), Caudill (RP), Lamp (RP, did it as a starter), Lavelle (RP)
2+ WAR: Mulliniks (3B), Barfield (RF), Burroughs (DH, but nearly a decade earlier), Willie Aikens (DH)

1985 had 9 in the lineup (two were at their end though in Burroughs and Aikens - both replaced during the season), and 4 in the rotation, and 3 in the pen.
Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2021 @ 04:48 PM EST (#410105) #
I agree that this is a good club, and it could well be a great one if Manoah and (crosses fingers) Pearson turn out to be what they could.  The depth chart projections are all over the map- some pretty clearly too optimistic (Kirk wOBA .359); some pretty clearly too pessimistic (Hernandez wOBA .339).  I just can't take the output too seriously, and least of all when it involves comparison with other clubs. 
Mike Green - Sunday, December 12 2021 @ 09:47 AM EST (#410106) #
As a beginner at ASL, I naturally wanted to know early on about baseball signs.  Here's a helpful video from Gallaudet University.  The sign for home run is a nice visual image; it would be cool to see a TV announcer add the sign to a home run call.    As far as I can tell, there are signs for double play, double and triple, but none for stolen base.  And there is a sign for batting average but not on-base percentage and slugging percentage, although it's easy enough to fingerspell the acronyms.

The more sabermetric concepts like leverage generally do not have a sign.  This is true of many scientific topics and makes it harder for deaf people to engage.

Curtis Pride, incidentally, is still involved in baseball as manager of Gallaudet's team. 
grjas - Sunday, December 12 2021 @ 12:13 PM EST (#410107) #
Lazy Sunday, so how about discussing a theoretical trade. What would you give up for Jose Ramirez? Would solve our third base issue for at least two years till Orevelis is ready and give us a coveted bat against righties (his career OPS as a switch hitter is about equal vs lefties or righties).

Likely too expensive to sign long term if the FO is serious about extending VG and Bichette. So almost have to assume you are trading for 2 years (which I’d rather do than sign Freeman for example for 6).

Trade simulator puts his value at 73.7 which might mean a package of Kirk, Groshan, Biggio and Gurriel to even get close. Would you do it for two years of Jose?

(I would). Would give you a power guy against right handers, leave money for more pitching, bridge the gap to the young infielders in the minors, and not mortgage the future.
John Northey - Sunday, December 12 2021 @ 02:47 PM EST (#410108) #
Yes I'd do that trade. Assuming that the teams scouts and coaches agree on it (if I ran a team I'd always consult with them). It would mean you'd have Espinal at 2B everyday and Smith as the backup. A risky move in some respects but one I'd think we'll worth it especially if Rogers will pony up $100 mil for Vlad, Bo, and Ramirez annually.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 12 2021 @ 10:18 PM EST (#410109) #
I absolutely would not do that trade. Groshans’s pedigree and potential is too high. I’d put Pearson in there instead.

Pearson, Kirk and Biggio alone would be enough for Cleveland to do that deal and if it isn’t then you wait 4 months and trade for 1.3 years of Ramirez to bring the price down.

I don’t think a single team has given up a package of players as good as Kirk, Groshans, Gurriel and Biggio…has any trade return in the past 3 years been anywhere close to that? The Dodgers gave up a package built around two players very similar to Pearson and Kirk…and they received 1 year + of Trea Turner and Max Scherzer for the rest of the summer.
scottt - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 07:51 AM EST (#410110) #
Cleveland is loaded with left  bats and would have not use for Biggio who is arb eligible.
They have 4 top 100 prospects, including 2 infielders (2B/SS/3B) at AAA, a right bat and a switch hitter, both ranked higher than Groshans. They would ask for Moreno. They might settle on Orelvis Martinez and Kirk. Adding Pearson and Gurriel would get it done, I would think, but I wouldn't do that.
I'd just overpay a good left bat to DH.

bpoz - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 10:59 AM EST (#410111) #
I am hoping the Jays will do some more this off season. Gausman and Berrios were big actions this off season. Another big acquisition can happen but I am sure that many other teams are much more desperate than the Jays.

A late agreement will cause a potential frenzy for the teams that have done practically nothing. Texas may not be finished. Jon Gray may not be enough pitching added. Houston is still looking. Verlander resigned with them but their roster is not showing it.

There will be strong competition for anyone good. Adding depth pieces to the pen, bench and any bounce back candidates will be easy for all teams to pick up.
greenfrog - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 12:03 PM EST (#410112) #
Thus spake David Laurila (on Graham Spraker):
Mike Green - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 01:19 PM EST (#410113) #
Thanks, greenfrog.  That's just what I was looking for.  I think I realized why he wasn't protected.  Spraker faced 49 LHBs in 2021 in NH and surrendered 13 hits and 11 walks; he faced 79 RHBs and was more effective.  With the 3 batter rule, he'd have to be more effective against LHBs to be significantly useful. 
scottt - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 02:54 PM EST (#410114) #
Spraker is a target for the rule 5 draft, but who knows how that draft will work out if the season is delayed past mid February. There's a lot of unsigned free agents to deal with first, then spring training and waiver claims.

scottt - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 02:58 PM EST (#410115) #
Another interesting thing is that Cleveland has loaded its roster with rule 5 eligible guys, 10 in all.
Doing a 1 for 4 trade would possibly force them to lose a guy or two on waivers.

Lylemcr - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 04:34 PM EST (#410116) #
Here is my million dollar question, I still don't have an answer for.

If the Jays are loaded, why didn't they make the playoffs last year? The run differential is too high. I think back a couple years ago when the Jays traded for David Price. The Jays run differential said the Jays should have a better record, and the trade put them over the top to have an incredible end to the season. They truly were unbeatable. What would take the Jays put over the top? Who would be that David Price?
scottt - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 09:10 PM EST (#410117) #
It's not really David Price that made the difference.
First of all, in 2015, they finished with 93 wins.
That's only 2 more wins than last year.

Devon Travis was good for 2.1 WAR, all in the second half.
Tulo was good for 0.9 WAR over 41 games replacing Reyes who was good for 0.6 over 69 games.
Navarro contributed 0.8 WAR, also in the second half.
Ben Revere took over in left field where the other guys they had tried couldn't catch routine balls.
Price was only pitching every other 5 days.
Aaron Sanchez was a huge contributor.
Stroman made 4 starts, won them all and had an ERA of 1.67.

John Northey - Monday, December 13 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#410118) #
In 2015 the best record in the AL was KC with 95 wins. Jays had 93, Texas 88, Yankees 87 and Astros 86. This year Tampa had 100 wins, then came a 95-93-92-92 then the Jays at 91 and Seattle at 90. In 2019 it took 96 wins to reach the playoffs, in 2018 97 (a division winner had 91), 2017 required 85, 2016 the Jays snuck in with 89.

So in the past few years (not counting 2020 of course) it takes 95+ to be safely into the playoffs. Why so much higher than before 2018? Simply more teams are tanking. In 2017 only 2 teams lost 90+, in 2018 3 lost 100+, same in 2019, and just 2 in 2021. That is the big difference. The more extreme at the bottom, the more extreme at the top. For example, in 1961 the Yankees won 109, Tigers 101, while 2 teams lost 100 out of 10 teams. Ouch. 40% of the league that either were super good or super bad (47 1/2 games from top to bottom). And that was pre-draft so it wasn't to get a better position in that. 4 teams were sub 10k per game, Yankees only one over 20k.

Competitive balance helps. If the AL keeps going as it has recently we'll see drops in no hope towns (such as Baltimore) as why would anyone support a perpetual loser outside of Leaf fans (OK cheap shot there)? Think about this year - despite the Jays playing in 2 minor league parks most of the year, then in the most restricted ML park (I think) they out drew at "home" 3 AL teams (Baltimore, Tampa, and Oakland - one no hope, 2 super cheap who rotate players more often than most rotate their tires). This tells me you cannot be a no hope team, and you need to keep some stars to draw fans long term. The Jays knew this in the 80's when they kept their core together (maybe too long) in Stieb/Key/Henke on the mound, Bell/Moseby/Barfield/Upshaw/Fernandez/Whitt among others in the lineup.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 08:25 AM EST (#410119) #
In 2015 the Jays played all home games in Toronto - I think people seriously underestimate the toll that playing in 3 different home parks (2 of which were MILP) had on the Jays performance.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 09:45 AM EST (#410120) #
Agreed with 85bluejay. The Jays missed the playoffs by 1 game while only getting to play 36 (?) actual home games. They had real flaws as a team (bullpen, Montoyo's decision making at times, etc), but I still believe if they were allowed to play in Toronto either all season or 1-2 months earlier than they did, then that team probably hosts the WC game. Adding Berrios helped, but it's no coincidence that the team's biggest run of the season came when they were playing their home games in Toronto. The mental grind of playing in ST and MiLB facilities for most of the year (with fans either cheering the other team or indifferent in general) was likely a real thing.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 09:48 AM EST (#410121) #
KG Dec 13 chat:

Guest: What are the chances of a jose ramirez trade to toronto and who may be sent the other way?

Kevin Goldstein: Very small; a lot.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 09:53 AM EST (#410122) #
After the 2015 trade deadline the Jays had their best winning streak ever I believe. Very exciting.

In 2021 we lost a lot of close games in June. The pen was terrible.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 10:01 AM EST (#410123) #
If the Guardians rotation is healthy then I expect them to be contenders - I expect unless someone blows them away that the Guardians will keep Ramirez until at least the trade deadline and if they move him then the return should be similar.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#410124) #
I agree on Ramirez - as much as I'd love him here I don't see it happening. The price would be sky high.

At this point I suspect the Jays are far more likely to sign Seager (LH bat, poor luck last year) on a 2 year deal than to make a massive trade. Maybe as spring gets started they make a trade with Oakland for Chapman and a starting pitcher to fill the final 2 big holes (assuming they don't sign Seager, and don't sign another pitcher).

IMO the smart move - to keep the team together and as many top prospects around as possible - you sign Seager (worst case he platoons with Espinal), and sign a starter (Yusei Kikuchi, Johnny Cueto, Carlos Rodon, heck could even try to bring Aaron Sanchez back) in hopes they could let Pearson start in AAA for now and build up his endurance a bit.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 10:37 AM EST (#410125) #
I think the Jays want impact talent to help construct a WS contender. That’s why they tried to acquire Ramirez (at the trade deadline) and Corey Seager (this off-season). The Jays have been burned with so-called “guaranteed 2 WAR” sluggers like Grichuk and I’m not sure they want to potentially go down that road again with Kyle Seager.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#410126) #
The Guardians are in a weak division and there will likely be a 14 team expanded playoffs if MLB gets their way, so I could see Cleveland holding on to Ramirez for that reason. A trade might be more likely either at the 2022 trade deadline (depending on where they are in the standings) or next winter.

As far as 3B for the Jays, I think the days of short-term stopgaps are over. Kyle Seager is someone they would have signed 2-3 years ago to plug in at 3B for a couple of years while prospects develop in the minors, but the FO's objective over the past 12 months has been adding as much impact talent as possible. I think at this point I'd be less surprised if the Jays signed someone like Kris Bryant than I would if they signed Kyle Seager. Either that, or maybe they can pivot from Ramirez in a trade and go for either Chapman or Marte. Either way, I don't think they end up with Seager unless it's a Plan D situation and they have no other real option.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 11:00 AM EST (#410127) #
I'm thinking differently, greenfrog. I'm not sold that Espinal can produce when playing full time so I'm wondering, barring a big trade, whether it would be better to sign Seager to a cheap contract for a year or two until one of the prospects is ready. He and Biggio playing second would provide two lefty bats in the lineup and Espinal could back both of them up. This would leave some money left to pursue more pitching, and you can never have enough of that.

I hadn't heard of this before today, but Jordan Romano had surgery two weeks after the season to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He says his knee is feeling like new and he figures he did the damage covering first base on a play that happened in the Jay's first game back at the Roger's Center. It's kind of remarkable that he was able to pitch as well as he did when his left leg is the one he lands on and gives him power during his delivery.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 11:02 AM EST (#410128) #
With their big splurge and Josh Jung on the cusp, Josh Smith a LH infield prospect the Rangers acquired in the Gallo trade may be expandable and I'd love for the Jays to acquire his LHB and positional flexibility - If by May, Kevin and Josh Smith are platooning at 3B and Espinal/Biggio at 2B, I'd be ok with that instead of a declining guy like Kyle Seager. I know the Jays have been going for top tier talent but I like moves like this.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 12:44 PM EST (#410129) #
There are two Josh Smiths in the Ranger system- Josh H. Smith is the infielder.  He does have a Rance Mulliniks feel to him.  He's only had 130 PAs at the double A level, but he'll be 25 in July.  His Steamer projection right now is .264/.328/.416, and we'll see what ZiPS has to say. 

The Jays club and farm system does tilt right. Separate and apart from what Smith is likely to be able to contribute to a major league club in 2022, he'd be a nice addition to the club for the next few years. 
Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 12:50 PM EST (#410130) #
I am going to eat my words. The jays in the second half in 2021 were 46 and 29.

The jays were 48 and 23 in 2015.

This is what I find interesting(which I didn't expect)
In 2021, the Jays were 15-15 in one run games
In 2015, the jays were 15-28 in one run games.

This is a stat I would like to see changed in 2022. I think maturity will help there.
In 2021 the jays were 3-9 in extra inning games
In 2015 the jays were 8-6 in extra inning games

Here is a stat that I was looking for.
- 2021 - Home record - 47-33 Away record - 44-38
- 2015 - Home record - 53-28 Away record - 40-41

The Jays were basically 500 when at Buffalo and Dunnedin. If they were at home for the whole year, it might have been added at least 2 more wins. Which means, they would have made the playoffs!

Thus, I will get off the ledge :)

bpoz - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 02:19 PM EST (#410131) #
Thanks for the digging Lylemcr.

Gerrit Cole was fantastic April and May but kind of mediocre June onwards. Matz's season was a bit worse than Cole's June onwards. Ray won the Cy Young and was fantastic basically all year.

Berrios a bit better than Cole after coming to Toronto. Ryu was bad from June onwards. Manoah had a lot of very good games but a few bad ones. Stripling was mostly bad all year. Gausman was bad in July and mediocre in Sept.

The "sticky stuff" crackdown had an effects on some pitchers it seems to me. They pitched a lot worse from June onwards.

We will know a lot by 2 months into the season.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 04:32 PM EST (#410132) #
Rollie Hemond died a couple of days ago.  He was something of a legend in the game for an awfully long time.  Here's a brief summary.    I did not know about his French-Canadian heritage, although I should have guessed from his name and his birthplace in New England (as in Nap Lajoie). 
John Northey - Tuesday, December 14 2021 @ 09:18 PM EST (#410133) #
Very nice infor Lylemcr. Got me thinking about mid-season adds the 2 years...

Price: 11 games, Jays went 9-2 in them, 2.30 ERA. Price threw 74 1/3 IP, leaving just 24 2/3 roughly for the pen, surprisingly he got the decision in all but one of the losses (vs NY, he gave up 1 run in the 8th, then Sanchez came in and gave up a 3 run homer to lose the game 4-3).

Berrios: 12 games, Jays went 6-6 in them. He threw 70 1/3 IP with a 3.58 ERA, leaving the pen 37 2/3 IP roughly. 3 of the losses I can't blame him on - 2-1, 2-0, 3-1. If the offense scores only 1 or 0 runs it is hard for anyone to win.

No question Price did a better job. But unlike Price we get to keep this one.
scottt - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 08:33 AM EST (#410134) #
Interesting to learn that Romano was playing with an injured knee.
Probably why he stopped doing his deep knee bends.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 09:32 AM EST (#410135) #
Excellent points here - the Jays do have a LOT of talent.

Guys with 3+ WAR at some point in their careers: Vlad, Bo, Teoscar, Springer, Grichuk (in St Louis), Biggio
2-2.99: Gurriel, Espinal

Pitchers 3+: Ryu (in LA), Berrios
2+: Manoah, Stripling, Romano, Phelps (2016 & 2012)

John  - any reason Gausman (with 5.2 WAR last year and 3.9 in 2016) didn't make your pitchers list? Is his contract not official / subject to the new CBA being resolved?
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 03:24 PM EST (#410136) #
John Northey, the Jays have plenty of work to do

Let’s be very precise about what goals the Jays should pursue in their remaining transactions (including at the trade deadline). How they express those goals can shape how they see their options.
1) Replace at least half of Semien’s production (not necessarily at second or third); a full season of Springer may compensate for the other half)
2) Get a younger starter with strong upside and years of control for the fifth slot - to ensure Pearson can start and develop in AAA but also to ensure that when Ryu’s contract is up, they don’t have someone else to replace
3) Move McGuire so that Kirk takes the second catching slot and so that Kirk does not need to take up many DH plate appearances
4) Move Grichuk so that he also doesn’t take up many DH plate appearances
5) Acquire a higher upside outfielder than Grichuk (both offence and defence)
6) Decide whether certain key trade chip prospects are at peak value now or could well be more valuable in July - tough I know but will Groshans, Otto Lopez, Kevin Smith, Hiraldo or Leo Jiminez be more attractive at the deadline? If so, hold off on packaging some of them now
7) Get a big left-handed bat if you can but if not, no sweat; Gurriel and Biggio will keep developing and you should assess your line-up by their balanced splits more than their left- or right-handedness
8) Get one more strong FA pitcher to strengthen the pen and to prepare for injuries

Articulated that way, I would take these further steps:
• Sign either Freeman for 1B and move Vladdy back to 3B OR preferably sign Seiju Suzuki and spread the 4 outfielders across the field and DH; this is from the money the Jays were willing to pay Corey Seager (if neither is available, wait till July and see what else you might try)
• See what you might have to offer Miami for Pablo Lopez and if excessive, sign Rodon
• Sign McHugh or Tepera for the pen
• Give Espinal and Biggio the chance to share 2B or 3B or both depending on which big bat you sign. Now is the time to resolve all those doubts about the upside of each of them
scottt - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 04:47 PM EST (#410137) #
Stripling had a Jeckill and Hydes season.

By Month he was terrible in April, OK in May, great in June, bad in July, injured in August and OK in September.

By teams, he was great against everybody but Houston and the 4 division rivals.
He was awful against Boston.

By ballpark, he was really good in the RC but really bad in Buffalo and Dunedin.
By catcher, he was bad only with Jansen.

The narrative was that he struggled out of the  box, then made an adjustment and had many good games and even in the bad ones threw close to 100 pitches. After that he had a meltdown in Buffalo when it was announced that they were moving to Toronto  and he couldn't get out of the first inning. He recovered slowly from that and got injured on a west coast trip and didn't pitch until September. He only had one bad outing then, in Tampa, I believe.

Lylemcr - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 05:24 PM EST (#410138) #

I agree with the jays needing to get a LH bat and bullpen. I am not too anxious about getting another arm. I would wait a couple months pick up another Berrios-like player at the trade deadline.

I am a little disappointed on how the jays have handled Grichuk. If you are going to trade him, play him and when his value is up, get rid of him. When the picked up Dickerson last year, I really wished Grichuk wasn't there. I just watched his value fall every day. You are not going to get much in return for him right now.

What do people think of Danny Duffy? If someone could get him straightened out and injury free, now that would be bargain basement stuff.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 06:16 PM EST (#410139) #
With Gausman, I just honestly forgot to add him in (was working off BR and they didn't list him with the Jays in 2021 obviously). Ah well.

I don't see much work left for the Jays now. SP: A 5th starter who is really a #2/3 would be nice but hardly mandatory. Yusei Kikuchi would be a decent #4/#5 guy with potential to be a #3. Carlos Rodon is a #1 but with serious injury issues. Anyone else is probably not that good, or unavailable (Kershaw), or injured (Boyd). Trades are expensive for pitching as a rule.
3B/2B: finding a solid player for either would be nice. Biggio and Espinal could cover if needed, but hardly ideal. Even if Biggio was the top on the team for bWAR in '19/20 for non-pitchers, and Espinal was at a 5+ bWAR pace in 2021. Not a bad fallback position. Not to mention minor leaguers Kevin Smith, Otto Lopez, and Jordan Groshans who all played in AAA or AA in 2021 thus are probably ready or almost ready for prime time. I'd consider a cheap signing as a 'safety measure' in Seager (LH bat who plays 3B). But unless a good deal falls in the Jays lap for either Jose Ramirez or Matt Chapman or maybe Josh Donaldson (if Minny eats salary or takes Grichuk for him) - guys who have had 7 WAR seasons.
CA: Our 4 protected catchers are all decent - this is a very good problem that is super-rare in Jays history. Jansen will start, then McGuire or Kirk will back him up and get significant playing time. Moreno will be up soon enough with luck to take it over (unless he is moved to a different position). Kirk is the easiest to trade (has significant value, Moreno is likely to be even better with the bat) while McGuire has nearly no value (all defense catcher who was on waivers last year and no one bit).

Signing Freeman is a nutty idea - no idea how they'd handle it with Vlad and Springer both on the team. More relievers is never a bad idea as long as the price isn't high.

IMO the Jays should be checking on the cost in trade for Chapman (ideally with one of the better Oakland starters) and Ramirez (I suspect that one they know all too well and it is too high). Donaldson I'd leave until spring and see what comes. The long term solution might be here already in Groshans or Moreno moving to 3B, or maybe Espinal is for real and Biggio's problems in 2021 were just injury related and he will be healthy in 2022. I'd sign a pitcher like Kikuchi if a decent starter from Oakland or Miami is too expensive to a 2-3 year deal max. I'd talk with Roden about coming here on a 1 or 2 year deal to work with Walker who did wonders with Ray & others leading to them making good money after a year or so here. In the end it all depends on what others are willing to do. But I like the default right now. With no more changes the Jays are in good shape, with one or two changes they could jump to a 100 win team potentially but they might also screw the budget for Vlad & Bo and that is the last thing I want to see happen.
grjas - Wednesday, December 15 2021 @ 10:40 PM EST (#410140) #
I think the Jays still have one big splash in them; they clearly have money left and assets to trade. The division is still very strong, and I think the FO felt burned at the end of last year. They’re hungry.

But I think it could come from almost anywhere- outfield, infield, starter or reliever..anywhere but catcher. Atkins has alluded to redirecting his sights when he has to, and they did that last year with Semien when they weren’t originally looking for a second baseman. I would be very surprised if it’s at first base but they do seem desperate for a big LH bat given they have limited LH options on the 40 man or elsewhere in the minors.

But who knows… it will come down to where they think they can get value..and if they see nothing of interest they may hoard money for the AS break.
scottt - Thursday, December 16 2021 @ 10:13 AM EST (#410141) #
The rotation is good enough. The pen could still use a couple of minors signing to protect against injuries.
The lineup is just missing one big left handed bat.
DH/3B/CF are preferred destination but LF/2B are possibilities.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 16 2021 @ 12:25 PM EST (#410142) #
Mark Shapiro's 2005 Cleveland team won 93 games, only to miss the playoffs. (Cleveland won 93 and missed again in 2019.)

In the era of 2 wildcards, Tampa Bay won 90 games but missed the playoffs in both 2012 and 2018.

* * *

1992 - David Cone - 53 innings, 161 ERA+ (playoffs - 22 innings, 8 earned runs)
2015 - David Price - 74 innings, 179 ERA+ (playoffs - 23 innings, 16 earned runs)

* * *

Jeff Kent, Michael Young, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Vuckovich...

Seems like a nice short list. (Chris Carpenter also got away.)

Yet, I fear the cost for José Ramírez!
bpoz - Thursday, December 16 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#410143) #
Should be interesting how the Jays manage their payroll for 2022. Any good FA will want years and $.

Good trade candidates will cost expensive prospect capital.

From the ML team trading Grichuk is giving up proven scoring depth. As the 4th OF he will get decent ABs even if Springer, Hernandez and Gurriel are all healthy. Any OF injuries and he becomes a regular which means another player (most likely unproven) will have to play on rest days for the 3 regular OFs.

If you trade Biggio then you have probably given up the best of Biggio, Espinal, O Lopez and K Smith.

Oakland's window was 2018,19 and 20. They were close in 2021. Short window. Depending on payroll restrictions they may part with Matt Olson who will be a FA soon I suppose. Matt Chapman will also be a FA soon and had a down 2021 so they probably take a low prospect for the salary relief. They had 5 quite healthy SPs in 2021 and acquired all from other organizations. They are a very smart organization.
John Northey - Thursday, December 16 2021 @ 04:48 PM EST (#410144) #
Oakland, like Tampa, I get nervous about as both organizations count on good trades to keep their teams afloat. Neither likes to tank for 5+ seasons anymore (Oakland 3 years playoffs, 3 ick years, 3 playoff years the past 9, since 2000 11 playoffs, 11 non-playoff years, just twice 90+ losses vs 90+ wins 10 times). The Rays since they changed from Devil Rays (10 years of 90+ losses) have made the playoffs 7 times, 7 times not making it. 90+ wins 8 times, 90+ losses 1 time (2016).

That said, the Jays did have that killer deal years ago (Donaldson for Lawrie/Graveman/Nolin/Barreto). So who will Oakland want to trade?

Pending free agents:
Elvis Andrus - SS - 73 OPS+ last year, 85 lifetime, was great on defense at one time but not any longer (negative dWAR last 2 years) - Oakland on the hook for $7 mil for him this year (Texas pays the rest), Jays would only take him to reduce the prospect cost of a trade (could be a good backup maybe, but at 33 I suspect a pure trade/release to save Oakland $7 mil is what would happen)
Sean Manaea - LHP - 104 ERA+ last year, 107 lifetime. 2.1 BB/9 last year vs 9.7 K/9 and 1.3 HR/9 (bad in that stadium). Expected to get $10 mil in his final arbitration season. Could fill the 5th slot nicely though.
Chris Bassitt - RHP - 130 ERA+ last year, 119 lifetime - 0.9 HR/9 2.2 BB/9 9.1 K/9, would be a very solid addition to the rotation, expected to get $8.5 mil in arbitration. Entering age 33 season.
Chad Pinder - UT - bats right, 98 OPS+ lifetime/2021, a super-utility guy who played mainly RF/LF last year but also spent time at SS/2B/3B (his #1 position in 2020 was 2B). Signed for $2.75 mil at age 30 then a free agent. Could be useful as a backup but at that price even Oakland won't be anxious to trade him but he could be a throw in.

Over $10 mil....
Matt Olson - Bats L, 1B (has played RF but not since 2017). 153 OPS+, 134 lifetime, expected to get $11 mil in arbitration, then has one more year of arbitration left before free agency. Entering his age 28 season. He'd be very expensive in prospects and doesn't really fit the Jays needs beyond being a LH bat.
Matt Chapman - 3B, bats right, age 29, hit 100 OPS+ in 2021 vs 120 lifetime thus why he is available at all. Fantastic on defense, under control for 2023 like Olson is, I see him as a great fit but odds are the cost would be significant. Over 7 WAR in each of 2018 and 2019.

I'd be trying to get Olsen and Bassitt but suspect to make it work would need to take on Andrus' contract as well, and maybe Pinder (who could be useful). Stephen Piscotty (RF/bats right, entering age 31 season, 78 OPS+ in 2021, 106 lifetime but 2018 was last year over 100) has been a sub replacement level player the past 2 years and is guaranteed $7.58 mil in 2022 plus a $1 mil buyout of 2023 option so he could be a condition of a trade too. With the Jays cash situation vs other clubs I could see the Jays taking on those 2 dead contracts (Andrus & Piscotty) to get Chapman and/or Bassitt for minimal prospects. It all depends on how tight Oakland is fiscally and how flexible the Jays are for 2022.
johnny was - Thursday, December 16 2021 @ 11:52 PM EST (#410145) #
There's really nothing going on baseball wise, so a random story. Kirk Rueter is an alum of the university that employs me and we talked a bit a couple of years ago. I asked him whether it was was disorienting going from small town Illinois to college ball in small town Kentucky, then getting drafted by the Expos and riding the pneumatic tube to the majors, but in a French-speaking city with distances measured in metres rather than feet. I was a bit surprised when he said he was happy to be an Expo. His take was that getting into a development oriented organization was the best thing that could've happened to him and that everything else was secondary. I do very much hope Montreal removes the Rays from their misery in TB, but I don't want the Jays to have to compete with with their current brain trust with some actual corporate money.
cascando - Friday, December 17 2021 @ 09:42 AM EST (#410146) #
Neat story about Rueter. I've always imagined that the athletes who are bothered much by things like the metric system are a significant minority. Rueter spent some time with the Ottawa Lynx as well. Briefly a teammate of Charlie Montoyo.

I'd love if the new iteration of the Expos had Tampa's current administration. They'll never be a large market team so they'll need another competitive advantage.
bpoz - Friday, December 17 2021 @ 11:24 AM EST (#410147) #
In 2016 the Jays acquired Francisco Liriano due to Pittsburg wanting to shed his 2017 salary. The Jays traded him to Houston but took Norichika Aoki as salary relief for Houston. Aoki was quickly released.

Cimber and Villar were also purchased as salary relief for Miami. Not sure about Cimber. Taking C Dickerson was the salary relief. He was valuable to the Jays because LH bat and Springer was more DH than OF.

These were trade deadline deals. Most sellers will trade expiring contracts at the deadline.

D Price was an expiring contract and maybe Verlander as well out of Detroit.
Mike Green - Friday, December 17 2021 @ 11:37 AM EST (#410148) #
Here are ZiPS projections for the Astros.  Memo to Dan:  when the computer spits out "Mariano Rivera" as the comp for a relief pitcher, in this case Ryan Pressly, please kick it until it produces a different name or breaks.  Thank you. 
Cracka - Friday, December 17 2021 @ 12:19 PM EST (#410149) #
Breyvic Valera and Jacob Waguespack have signed in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes, joining Adam Jones. Valera will get $1 million and Waguespack will likely get a similar amount. Jones made $4 million last year and was among the highest-paid players in the league - Masahiro Tanaka makes over $8M. Neither was likely to spend a full season on a MLB roster, so this certainly makes financial sense at this point in their careers.

scottt - Saturday, December 18 2021 @ 02:44 PM EST (#410150) #
And Buck Showalter has inked a deal with the Mets as their new manager.
bpoz - Sunday, December 19 2021 @ 09:21 AM EST (#410151) #
Good move by the Mets.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 19 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#410152) #
Today in birthdays- Rex Barney. I should have known about his baseball career, but he was just the Baltimore PA guy to me prior to today.  The link tells quite a story.
Kasi - Monday, December 20 2021 @ 04:37 PM EST (#410153) #
Apparently some Mets reporters were talking about the Mets clubhouse with Buck coming in and they said the most decisive player in their clubhouse was Stroman and now he’s gone and that’s a good thing. Not a surprise to me but his schtick probably wears on teams really quick.
scottt - Monday, December 20 2021 @ 06:36 PM EST (#410154) #
bpoz - Monday, December 20 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#410155) #
Mets VS Cubs = Stroman.

I personally loved Stroman!!
Kasi - Monday, December 20 2021 @ 09:11 PM EST (#410156) #
Yes divisive lol. Auto correct got me again. Anyway he keeps wearing out his welcome with teams. Hopefully he fits better in chicago.
John Northey - Monday, December 20 2021 @ 11:20 PM EST (#410157) #
When a team is 8 games sub 500 I don't think the guy who led in innings pitched by 20 (and over 80 over #3 guy) is the problem, especially with a 133 ERA+. Heck, he wasn't an issue in '15 or '16 here ... well, in '16 his 4 runs in 5 1/3 IP vs Cleveland was an issue, but he certainly didn't hurt the team overall imo.

Too much is made of personality imo. If a guy hits 300 with 70 SB no one cares if he has cocaine in his pocket (Tim Raines). If a guy hits 70 HR's you don't care if he has creatine in his locker (McGwire). If he hits 400 you live with his beating up fans (Cobb). If he is one of the best ever you live with his PED use (Bonds), or his heavy alcoholism (Ruth) or his non-stop fights with the media (Williams). I see Stroman as far less than any of those cases for problems as well as for talent. Basically the better the player the more you'll put up with. If you are, say, Shea Hillenbrand, then writing 'ship is sinking' on the board is enough to get you released - what shocked me looking at his BR page is his biggest one year contract was his final one with the Angels ($6.5 mil) after the Jays released him the year before and he had a 74 OPS+ for SF. Bizarre. For a DH who couldn't hit anymore and never even had a 110 OPS+ in a single season. Weird.

In the end for MLB it is talent first, attitude second, ethics far down the list, and it has always been that way. I am glad the guys running the Jays right now seem to care about that stuff as they dumped wife beaters quickly, and seem to take negative attitudes strongly as well. Now, if say, Vlad comes out and does something offensive and/or dumb will they act the same way? One doubts it but hopefully we'll never need to find out.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 21 2021 @ 07:38 AM EST (#410158) #
Interesting comment John N.

Osuna: May 8, 2018 put on restricted list. July 30, 2018 traded for D Paulino, H Perez and K Giles. There is value in getting 3 flame throwers. So would get something for Vlad.

Remember what we got for Shawn Green? R Clemens to NYY? D Wells to CWS? Scott Rolen to Cincinnati? I should stop this easy quiz but 1 more. J Olerud for Robert Person!!
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 21 2021 @ 10:24 AM EST (#410159) #
I have a poor memory, bpoz, so I don't know the answers to most of these trades ( eg. I know the Jays got a package of players for Clemens, one of whom was Homer Bush, but Green and Rolen I have no idea.) The David Wells trade, tough, is burned in my brain mainly because, as many people remember, the return was Mike Sirotka who had an injured arm and never pitched in the majors again.

For years I was mad at Chicago GM Kenny Williams for unloading the bum on us when I should have really been angry at Blue Jay management for not doing their do-diligence before making the deal, one of the worst in Jay's history, and also for trading Boomer Wells.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 21 2021 @ 11:05 AM EST (#410160) #
My memory is poor too ISLAND BOY. But I was researching as I made that post.

S Rolen: EE, Zack Stewart and Josh Roenicke.

S Green for Raul Mondesi. From memory and cannot find the spelling for Raul M.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 21 2021 @ 12:44 PM EST (#410161) #
Happy solstice!  The December 21 birthday team shines bright, with more good players than just about any of the birthdays.  The WAR leader is Andy Van Slyke, but the best player is Josh Gibson.  Here it is:

C- Josh Gibson
1B- John Mayberry Jr.
2B- D'Angelo Jimenez
SS- Freddy Sanchez
3B- Dave Kingman
OF- Elliott Maddox, Cy Williams, Andy Van Slyke (three centerfielders)

SP- Joaquin Andujar, Bob Rush, Danny Duffy, Mike Clevinger, Dustin Hermanson/Kendall Graveman
RP- Tom Henke, Roger McDowell, LaTroy Hawkins, Howie Reed, Josh Staumont and the other of Hermanson and Graveman

Bench: Paul Casanova, Khris Davis, Jim Doyle and some other guy

Jim Doyle was a third baseman for the Cubs in 1911.  At age 24, he put a fine season with an OPS+ of 110 and 3.5 WAR.  And then his career ends.  He died that off-season from complications from appendicitis surgery.  I ran a Stathead search to see how third baseman who performed about the way he did (105<OPS+<110 and 2.8<WAR<4.0) fared throughout the career.  I got 12 comps: Buddy Myer, Otto Krueger, Dave Chalk, Billy Johnson, Buddy Bell, Pinky Whitney, Sal Bando, Matt Duffy, Matt Chapman, Rich Rollins, Willie Jones and Manny Machado.  Johnson did it in 1943 in a wartime league so I won't consider him.  Krueger and Chalk went straight downhill after age 24.  Bell and Bando have arguable Hall of Fame cases- Bell already had 12 WAR prior to age 24 so he's not really helpful but Bando was in much the same position as Doyle. Chapman and Machado aren't really helpful for different reasons- Machado had quite a history prior to age 24 and Chapman put up his 3.2 WAR in half a season.  The others were pretty good players as you'd expect. 

John Northey - Tuesday, December 21 2021 @ 01:06 PM EST (#410162) #
bpoz - the difference between a good GM and a poor one.  A poor one can't get a good return on a 'forced trade', but a good one can.
  • Roberto Osuna - 3.0 WAR for Houston, 51-6 in saves/blown for Ken Giles - 2.3 WAR for Toronto, 38-1 in saves/blown.  prospects were David Paulino (6 2/3 IP 2 R 1 ER) and Hector Perez (1 2/3 IP 2 ER).
  • Shawn Green - 21.0 WAR for LA (but was just 1 year from free agency and likely was gone, 3.1 WAR in that year) for Pedro Borbon (0.1 WAR over 3 seasons here, sent to Houston for nothing) and Raul Mondesi (3 years 5.9 WAR) who was traded for Scott Wiggins later (2 2/3 IP 1 ER).  Not very good, but one could argue the 3 (for 1 year) vs 6 WAR (over 3 years) made it worthwhile.  FYI: if lost to LA as a free agent the next year the Jays likely would've got the Dodgers first round pick which was used on Macay McBride (-0.2 WAR lifetime) plus a sandwich pick (where the best taken was David Wright, but the other 13 sandwich picks were 1.6 WAR and less each and given who would've been doing the drafting (Ash) I'd have expected one of the bad 13 to be picked).  As an FYI: the Jays had the 15th pick and took Gabe Gross, and in the 2nd round took Brandon League.  Both no better than backups.
  • Scott Rolen was part of a chain that was kind of cool for the Jays.  Starts with Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson being traded for Troy Glaus pre 2006, then Glaus for Rolen pre 2008, then mid 2009 Rolen for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.  I give JPR credit - he kept shuffling pieces there and went from an all-star 2B to an AS 3B to another AS 3B to another AS 3B.  That chain was a damn fine one.  He screwed up other stuff, but that stretch went well.
  • That last chain beats Ash's pitcher chain of Roger Clemens (free agent - 19.7 WAR for the Yankees over 5 seasons) to Homer Bush (2.9), Graeme Lloyd (1.0) and David Wells (7.8 in 2 seasons) to Mike Williams (minors), Kevin Beirne (-0.4), Brian Simmons (-0.3), and Mike Sirotka (Sirotka was the key and he was so badly hurt he never threw a single pitch even in spring or the minors for the Jays).  Just releasing Wells would've worked out better.  Ugh.
  • Only Ash could've done the horrid John Olerud trade - paid cash too.  Olerud with the Mets was 17.3 WAR (then 17.1 in Seattle after) over 3 years.  Robert Person in 3 years was -1.7 WAR here.  Another case where releasing the player would've worked out better.  How did the Jays not lose 100+ every year under Ash?  I guess his scouting department saved his butt (Halladay, Vernon Wells, etc.), as did Beeston (who was key in getting Clemens to sign), and the deep system he was handed (Delgado, Gonzalez, etc).
Anytime people complain about the Jays GM I just think back to good old Ash and go 'yeah, this could be a LOT worse'.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 22 2021 @ 12:53 PM EST (#410163) #
An interesting article at the Athletic going over a potential Jays/Guardians trade for Ramirez between the two beat writers. Seems the two agreed a fair price is Gurriel/Kirk/Groshans/Biggio. The big questions being what Cleveland would do for promotions with the name change if they dumped their biggest star, and how they'd handle an overflow of infielders they already have when they need outfielders badly. Gurriel only being under contract for 2 more years is also a big factor.

The comeback for the Jays is an Oakland trade for Chapman that would be cheaper in prospects, or signing a free agent. Yeah, both cases would be for lesser players than Ramirez, but still reasonable options.

My gut says the Jays end up doing very little about the infield for 2022 unless Cleveland is willing to take a deal like that (4 for 1). I see Espinal/Biggio manning 3B/2B in 2022 until Groshans, Smith, Lopez, or someone else is ready to take over one of the slots. Maybe signing Seager to help at 3B (with Espinal at either 3B or 2B when a LH is on the mound, or if one of Seager/Biggio slump). All depends on budget, prospect cost, and other opportunities (relievers & starters could use up the budget first). Generally while I'd love Ramirez here, I'd go with the cheaper option unless the Jays plan on a $200+ million payroll in 2025 and beyond to allow them to keep Bo & Vlad too.
grjas - Wednesday, December 22 2021 @ 05:48 PM EST (#410164) #
Funny. That’s the same 4 I named above as a potential trade. Suspect they were also using the trade simulator.

I agree it would be a challenge for Cleveland to give up a player of Ramirez’ quality at this point, especially because they could still stand a chance in a weaker division, not to mention potential increases in the number of playoff teams post lockout. Chapman would be good; trade simulator suggest Groshan would be enough but I doubt it and not sure Oakland is anxious to trade either.

I think they may wait out Seager to see if they can get him on a short term deal as the could platoon him with Espinal. But depends on the market for him.

Espinal, Smith and Biggio could surprise us and that would be a great solution if so, but it’s definitely risky for a team with big aspirations.
bpoz - Thursday, December 23 2021 @ 08:12 AM EST (#410171) #
I like your comment grjas. "Definitely risky for a team with big aspirations". Please note that I am not challenging you. I sort of agree with you.

Minnesota 73-89 and SD 79-83. They definitely had higher/big aspirations. Signing Donaldson and trading for Clevenger is proof. SD continued to add Snell, Musgrove, Darvish. In the Darvish trade the Cubs also sent cast to SD. Don't know how much. So cash talks.

I don't know if Minnesota's window is closing. Maybe a short rebuild based on trading Berrios for good prospects.

SD is going for it but not easy with only 5 playoff spots. 7 is much easier if it happens.

The Jays have done a lot recently. Ryu. Springer and Semien. This off season Gausman and extending Berrios. The next 2 seasons have potential big extensions. Adding depth is cheap. Y Garcia should strengthen the pen as a solid/good addition. More depth in the rotation and position roster probably also happens. So win 90+ 3-10 more games and hope for a playoff spot. Easier with 7 qualifiers. 7 playoff qualifies to go for many years with our young and improving roster, currently cheap but getting more expensive.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 23 2021 @ 04:05 PM EST (#410179) #
It's not a bad trade proposal. If the Jays made that trade and also signed Suzuki, they would be much improved at third base and in the outfield.

Springer / Bichette / Vladdy / Ramirez / Teoscar / Suzuki would be an incredible top six in the Jays' lineup. Add Moreno to that group and ... wow.

scottt - Friday, December 24 2021 @ 07:46 PM EST (#410182) #
I'd hang on to Biggio.
Cleveland has no need for him and he's arbitration eligible.
Cleveland would just flip him the next day for a couple of low A prospects.

On the lockout front, I think Omicron will remove all pressure from the owners.
Starting the season in June, when this pandemic wave will be over, makes a lot more sense.

John Northey - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 12:47 AM EST (#410186) #
An interesting trade possibility just opened up.  The Mets are pretty much advertising they want to dump Jeff McNeil for pitching.  He hits left, plays 2B and 3B (and LF) 124 OPS+ lifetime but a bad year last year like most Mets with a 88 OPS+.  FanGraphs projects him to have a 114 wRC+ next year (very solid), his UZR/150 at 3B has been great (11.4 lifetime over 250 innings) but at 2B not so much (-3.2) so he'd be targeted for 3B here with Biggio at 2B and Espinal flip flopping whenever a LH is on the mound depending on which of the two are doing better.

He looks like a good fit in a lot of respects... except... in May he and Lindor went at it in the dugout - not something the Jays would want in their 'character' goals I'd think, but it depends how that incident actually went.  It seems to have come from McNeil not being good on the crazy shifts (when he is on the wrong side of 2B) which wouldn't be as big an issue at 3B.  If the Mets sell him for pennies on the dollar I say go for it.  Not a free agent until after the 2024 season so 3 years of control too.  Just one more item to keep in mind whenever the lockout ends.
bpoz - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 07:42 AM EST (#410187) #
Merry Christmas everyone.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 10:01 AM EST (#410188) #
Merry Christmas, bpoz, and everyone, too.
scottt - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 10:13 AM EST (#410189) #
Maybe not a huge character issue. If his defense is wanting, they can leave him at DH.
The Jays don't have much pitching to give away in a trade, however.

Assuming Pearson is on the team, the Blue Jays AAA depth is
Bowden Francis
Anthony Kay
Thomas Hatch
Zach Logue

Par comparison, the Yankees have a rotation of Cole, Montgomery, Severino, Cortes, German, (Taillon on the mend) and they'll probably get another starter. Leave them with  AAA depth of
Michael King
Luis Gil
Clarke Schmidt
Deivi Garcia
Luis Medina
JP Sears

That's a lot of guys who have been pretty decent in limited big leagues innings.
scottt - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#410190) #
Looking at the MLB pipeline prospect list, the players on the 40 roster don't have any pictures because they are officially locked out. Feels so weird.
bpoz - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 11:04 AM EST (#410191) #
Bowden Francis, A Kay, T Hatch and Z Logue should have a chance to be promoted to the ML rotation or pen. There are many others M Castillo etc... Hoping for some pleasant surprises. T Thornton needs to be ready when he gets a chance.
scottt - Saturday, December 25 2021 @ 05:18 PM EST (#410192) #
Francis, 6-4  4.19 ERA in Buffalo
Kay, 1-2, 5.61 ERA in 5 MLB starts.
Hatch, 0-1, 6.75 ERA in 2 MLB starts.
Logue, 9-3. 3.32 in Buffalo

Gil, 1-1 3.11 ERA in 6 MLB starts
King. 2-4, 3.55 ERA in 6 MLB starts
Schmidt, 0-0, 5.68 ERA in 2 MLB games
Garcia, 0-2, 6.48 ERA in 2 MLB starts.
Medina, 4-3, 3.67 ERA in AA.
Sears, 7-0, 2.87 ERA in AAA.

Closer than I expected, but I'm sure the Yankees prospects have more trade values than the Jays. (Ignoring Pearson, of course.)

bpoz - Sunday, December 26 2021 @ 10:26 AM EST (#410193) #
Looking at the recent teams that made the playoffs. In 2019 Cleveland 6th 93 wins and Boston 7th 84 wins. 2020 NYY 33 wins 6th and Toronto 7th 32 wins. 86 win pace. 2021 Toronto 6th 91 wins and Seattle 7th 90 wins.

If 7 playoff teams in 2022 then TB, NYY, Boston and Toronto would take 4 spots. So when ST starts we will have to determine how we stack up against TB, NYY and Boston. As long as Baltimore is super bad (1 more year I think) then the other AL East can feed off Baltimore to all get 90+ wins.

For 2023 and a stronger Baltimore, the other AL East teams need to be strong everywhere. We have the position players, the rotation has 4 in Ryu, Berrios, Manoah and Gausman. So it is the pen that needs to become very reliable. And depth of course.
John Northey - Monday, December 27 2021 @ 12:54 PM EST (#410194) #
We haven't talked much about the HOF this year. Probably because there is a very good chance no one gets in due to PED concerns and the most likely guy is a DH - David Ortiz. However, an interesting thing I found is a HOF voting by ex-players. Doesn't count, but it is being tracked and has some ex-Jays doing some voting. It is here and right now 83% of ex-players are in favor of PED Gods Bonds & Clemens getting in, with Ortiz & Schilling at 66%, Todd Helton at 63%, and over 50% for Andruw Jones, Man-Ram, Wagner, Sosa, and Sheffield. They have past years up and it looks like Bonds & Clemens would've been in long ago if players had their way.

Ex Jay ballots....
  • Gregg Zaun: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel
  • Rajai Davis: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel and if allowed more than 10 he'd also have voted for Mark Buehrle, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, Joe Nathan, David Ortiz, Billy Wagner
  • Bob File: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel
  • Jeff Frye: Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling - clearly anti-PED and small hall vs others.
  • Frank Catalanotto: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa
  • Todd Greene: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner
There might be other ex-Jays on the list, I almost missed Todd Greene (just 90 of his 1657 PA came here). Appears all but Frye are big hall guys who don't care much about PED use with Bonds & Clemens on all other ballots. Others on all but 1 are Todd Helton, Ortiz (if unlimited he'd have been on all), A-Rod, with Schilling on all lists. A bit surprised there isn't more love for Jeff Kent (most HR for a second baseman, was a big RBI guy, traditionally popular with players if you are high on both).

An interesting thing. A shame they don't have more players but nice they have as many as they do. Also interesting that there is a push by a few for Pete Rose (3 wrote a comment about him with no prompting) especially due to MLB making money off gambling now.
Dr B - Monday, December 27 2021 @ 05:43 PM EST (#410195) #
That’s a bit odd. Players like Bonds and Clemens effectively defrauded millions of dollars, with the victims being the other players.

Hard to see anyone on that list who is a clear no-doubter who is not tainted by PEDs. If I had a vote I suspect I would vote for Andruw (don’t spell correct me) Jones and Scott Rolen, if the legend of their defence is to be believed. (Roger Clemens' defence should not be believed.)
John Northey - Monday, December 27 2021 @ 10:21 PM EST (#410199) #
The main argument players use is that Bonds & Clemens played by the rules of the day - there was no penalty or testing in place for PED use and MLB hyped up like mad the obviously PED driven McGwire/Sosa HR chase in 1998 - the year both Bonds & Clemens are said to have started. Reports are that Bonds was seen being totally disgusted by how the media was fawning over McGwire that year and said 'screw it'. I suspect that Canseco was right - that most MLB players were juicing up then but Bonds was the best to go whole hog on it. Many also question how many are already in the HOF who juiced and know that virtually all since the 60's used uppers/downers which are now illegal in MLB with the same penalties as other PEDs.
scottt - Tuesday, December 28 2021 @ 02:33 PM EST (#410204) #
That is the first thing that came to my mind as well.

Doc was adamant about not wanting any PED users in the hall.
In his case, it's not that his earning potential suffered, but rather than his brilliance was eclipsed by a firmament of trash can fires.

Zaun, for example, played until he was 39.

greenfrog - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 11:57 AM EST (#410219) #
ESPN listed their best and worst free agent signings of the past decade. Their "best bargain" from last off-season's FA class? Charlie Morton, Braves (one year, $15 million).

Marcus Semien might take issue with that.
John Northey - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 02:30 PM EST (#410220) #
Typical US publication. Morton was a great bargain, but Semien was a better one. 4.0 WAR for $15 (plus 4 playoff starts, 16 2/3 IP, 6 ER) or 7.3 WAR for $18. Unless you are giving Morton a massive plus for being on a WS winner (thanks to playing in a very weak division) there is no question which was the better deal. They did notice Springers big contract so they know Toronto exists. Here is the article.
mathesond - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 04:21 PM EST (#410221) #
Typical Canadian reaction to not having one of 'their' players named the best...
John Northey - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 04:42 PM EST (#410222) #
Heh. More a 'this is kind of obvious if one looks at it for a few seconds' reaction.
mathesond - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 06:19 PM EST (#410225) #
Yep, one only has to look at they contracts they signed.
greenfrog - Friday, December 31 2021 @ 08:00 PM EST (#410226) #
Robbie Ray (one year, $8m) was also a better bargain than Morton.
John Northey - Saturday, January 01 2022 @ 06:06 PM EST (#410233) #
Greenfrog - jeez, how could we have not thought of that - talk about a 100x better deal. Cy Young, $8 mil. So cheaper and better. I think they listed Morton just so they could list him 3 times. And yes, 3 times his agent screwed up and he delivered.
bpoz - Monday, January 03 2022 @ 01:09 PM EST (#410240) #
So far no CBA and covid is a potential threat to both Major and minor league baseball, except everyone is vaccinated.

The minor leaguers are not locked out so Groshans, O Martinez for example can work out in the Dunedin facilities and the very low minor leaguers can possibly participate in Extended or Off season training camps.

Has anyone heard anything?

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 09:39 AM EST (#410247) #
The ZiPS projections for the Red Sox are out on fangraphs.  ZiPS is very fond of Kyle Schwarber having him at .257/.360/.533 with 2.5 WAR in 497 PA.  It's no great surprise given what he has done the last four years. 
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