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Things are very quiet with labor issues  hanging over MLB.  So lets start a new area for covering any oddball topics as they are bleeding into the prospects.

With Labor issues things are at a standstill as owners and players wait to see who blinks. What I personally would like but won't happen...
  • Age based free agency instead of experience - age 28 or something like that.  If signed as a teen you get it a year earlier.  Removes all incentive to hold a guy down for a minute longer than needed
  • Partial luxury tax exemption for guys who are developed by a team (IE: players who were with your organization from the day they reached the majors are only counted 50% towards luxury tax) to encourage teams to keep guys longer.  We all love to see players stick with an organization for most of their careers.
  • Restricted free agency at a younger age, 3 years earlier than full free agency (so age 25 for example) with stiff penalties if signed and right of first refusal for the original team.  IE: 5 draft picks (top 2 for 2 years, top year 3) and 10% of the contract value paid to the team losing a player (on top of the salary the player gets).  That way young stars get paid quicker, but a team that loses them (Oakland/Tampa) get a great boost to their farm in exchange.
  • International draft instead of free agency for non-US/Canadian players.  Start at age 17 instead of 16.
  • Reverse draft - top team out of play offs gets #1 pick, down to worst team getting to pick just before playoff teams do for rounds 1-3.  Kills the incentive to lose in order to stock the farm, rewards teams that try to compete even if they can't win.
  • Have a pool to help small markets keep their stars (up to 50% covered by central fund for top 2 salaries for guys developed by an organization if your team is in a 'small market').
  • Expanded playoffs to 14 teams (gotta give the owners something they really want)
  • Universal DH - as much as I used to like watching pitchers hit it can be limited to Ohtani and the oddball 'oops' case where a team needs to use their DH in the field
  • Assorted rule changes - bigger bases (increase stolen bases hopefully), limit to pick off throws (I think 2 or 3 max was proposed with any past that to a runner being an automatic base unless you get him), a universal sticky tack that is allowed, all others banned, roboumps for ball-strikes, expanded challenges as TV catches almost everything now, more microphones on the field for fun for TV (could be very embarrassing for some but I love it when it happens as you often get great TV out of it).  Wouldn't mind a deader/heavier ball to cut home runs and increase balls in play (heavier to reduce the speed it is thrown at thus making contact easier).
I think that covers a lot of core issues.  I'm sure many will disagree with these, but it is fun to discuss.  My goal is a more fun game (more balls in play, more stolen bases) with players staying with their home team longer.  I loved Molitor as a Jay back in '93 but he was a Brewer and should've stayed that way IMO.  For current players - I hope Mike Trout never leaves Anaheim, Kershaw belongs in LA, Votto with the Reds, Freeman with Atlanta, Longoria being with someone other than Tampa still seems wrong to me.

Hall of Fame....
To be announced on January 25th - only 4 guys have any real shot - via 2022 BBHOF Tracker - Oritz at 83.8%, Bonds 77.5%, Clemens 76.3, Rolen 69.4%.  Two ex-Jays, but few really think of them that way I suspect.
Note: Curt Schilling (drove us nuts in the1993 World Series) dropped badly from over 70% last year to 60.1% so far this year - he asked to be removed from Hall of Fame ballot but was denied.  Seems a lot of writers (23 so far) decided 'fine, he can wait then'.  Another noteworthy one is ex-Jay Omar Vizquel who also has a drastic drop - from 46.4% last year to 11% right now - he has lost 43 votes so far (guys who voted for him last time who didn't this time) without a single gain.  Only 2 other returning players didn't gain a single voter - Andy Pettitte (down 8), and Tori Hunter (down 4).  Everyone returning lost at least one voter from their total, adding the most is a tie at 15 for Billy Wagner (up to 48%) and 15 for Andruw Jones (up to 49.1%) - both also lost voters though or they'd be over 50%.  Right now I'd bet on Ortiz getting in, but no one else.  A-Rod btw is at 41% (skip PED's and he'd be at 90%+ I suspect).

Jays on the ballot: Clemens 76.3% (final year), Rolen 69.4%, Buhrle 5.2%, Kent 30.6%, Vizquel 11%.  Canadian: Justin Morneau 1 vote, Child of ex-Jay: Prince Fielder 0 votes (feeling a bit old - I remember his dad coming up to the Jays in '85).

Trade Talk...
The Athletic had an article talking about the Jays and A's doing a deal where the teams writers discussed a potential deal.  The end was Jays getting Matt Chapman & Sean Manaea for Jordan Groshans, Kevin Smith, Otto Lopez, Bowden Francis, and Zach Logue - the A's writer feels they wouldn't have a spot for Kirk as their top prospect is a catcher as well.  Chapman would certain solve the 3B issue for 2 years, while Manaea is a LHP who would lock down the rotation in 2022, but is a free agent after that.  I could live with this deal.  Certainly would make the Jays the favorites in the AL East this year.

Jays hire a woman as a hitting coach in minors...
Jaime Vieira was hired to be a hitting coach - most likely in Dunedin.  The Athletic has a nice article about it.  As a teen in Georgetown she had to get spinal surgery which killed her softball career so she went into coaching and found she loved it.  Earned a degree in Sports Science with her key being a project analyzing swings and what muscles were used for the strongest swings.   She joined the Jays as an intern at first - always gotta start at the bottom - and as it was ending she applied for this job and got it.  I love the deep analysis she has done in muscles and how they work to improve ones swing.  Hopefully we see some good things in Dunedin this year.

MLB in Montreal...
MLB has said no to having Montreal get a chunk of Tampa's games - Rays owner: MLB nixing Montreal plan 'deflating'.  Sigh.  Hopefully the other rumor, that Montreal & Nashville are the favorites for expansion teams via Bob Nightengale, is true and why this was killed.  Ideally a new labor agreement would include expansion and realignment so the Jays & Expos could be in a division with teams like Detroit instead of sharing with the Yankees/Red Sox/Tampa.  One can dream.

I'm sure there is other baseball news out there.  Lets see everyone's opinions on this stuff and more.
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hypobole - Thursday, January 20 2022 @ 10:15 PM EST (#410468) #
Here's one bit of news that should please you, John, as well most fans. From ESPN:

"Robot umpires have been given a promotion and will be just one step from the major leagues this season. Major League Baseball is expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A"
John Northey - Thursday, January 20 2022 @ 10:22 PM EST (#410469) #
Yep, makes me very happy.  Makes sense to do in throughout the minors first, then the majors.  The 'human element' is good for players, not for umpires.  Has anyone ever played or watched a sport and been happy when a call was screwed up (unless it helped their team, and even then only sometimes)?   Obviously in amateur leagues there isn't a choice, but for pro baseball there is.  I'd be happy if those trackers they use could tell a checked swing vs non-checked.  Have a solid rule put in place for that rather than the silly 'no real rule, but we all know it when we see it' setup right now.  Something like, if the bat passes the front of the plate it is a swing - nice and simple.
bpoz - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 07:51 AM EST (#410470) #
There was not much discussion on sticky stuff being used. And who was using it illegally.

G Cole of NYY was fantastic April & May. From June onwards he was quite bad. Chatwood was another pitcher that got very bad.
Gerry - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 08:08 AM EST (#410471) #
Jonah Keri had a pre sentencing hearing yesterday. His wife gave a victim impact statement. It was horrendous.

Sentencing will come in March with the prosecution asking for jail time and the defense arguing that he has lost his $250,000 a year job and that is punishment enough.

I wont link here but google will find it if you want to read it.
John Northey - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 09:46 AM EST (#410472) #
Gerry - thanks for the reminder on that - I forgot about it to be honest, as it vanished from sports headlines long ago.  He reads as a royal scumbag who is at last taking the courses needed to move forward but given he used to present so well (I met him years ago when he was still with Baseball Prospectus) and it never occurred to me that he could be the type to do what he did.  A reminder that we can't recognize wife beaters by sight or even words they speak as they can be very good at presenting as something they are not.  I really hope he gets jail time for what he did and not just probation.  As you said - it was very easy to find with a simple search for his name.  Losing his job is nowhere near punishment enough.  Of course, as a father of 4 daughters you can imagine why I feel that way.
bpoz - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 10:02 AM EST (#410473) #
Future Blue Jays had an interview with Joe Sclafani Jan 15. Not a lot was said but the Jays are having some Development camps. I find that interesting.
Ryan Day - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 10:31 AM EST (#410474) #
Age based free agency instead of experience - age 28 or something like that. If signed as a teen you get it a year earlier. Removes all incentive to hold a guy down for a minute longer than needed

I suspect this would just incentivize other poor tactics, like pushing guys to the majors as fast as possible, or cutting players loose as soon as they start to struggle or have a major injury. Would teams bother drafting someone like Gunnar Hoglund, who's not even going to pitch professionally for a year after being drafted? In general, it would make college draftees far less valuable, probably encouraging more players to sign out of high school.
John Northey - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 10:41 AM EST (#410475) #
Interesting point Ryan.  There are always unintended consequences.  I could see teams still signing guys like Hoglund but to multi-year deals instead of the standard 'here is your bonus' deals where teams can cut them at any point if they feel the value isn't there anymore.  IE: draft a kid from college, sign them for 6 years for $6 million instead of a $3 mil bonus plus whatever they get as they move along in the system.  Or give them a bonus, then once they are in the system sign them long term before they age out.  We'd see a lot more 5+ year deals for kids potentially buying them out of arbitration, but often guys would just never reach and get a few more years in the minors before their careers end.  A different risk/reward setup for owners and players.  We are seeing that now with guys like Wander Franco getting mega year deals as soon as they reach almost (Rays had 6 years of control still) to help teams control costs long term.
grjas - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 11:13 AM EST (#410476) #
I’d do the A’s trade as well then try to use Kirk to acquire another back of the bullpen arm.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 12:29 PM EST (#410478) #
I didn't realize until today that Angel Hernandez has tried to sue MLB because he hasn't been appointed as a crew chief. His suit has been denied twice with the judge of his appeal saying," I've seen your work as an umpire and, frankly, you should be restricted to Little League games." Okay, I made that quote up but I'm sure everybody here will agree with it.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 12:50 PM EST (#410479) #
Age based free agency by itself likely wouldn't help the players. MLB apparently offered an age 29.5 universal cut off for free agency, and the players turned it down. Something like that might help some of the players, especially the late bloomers (ex. Donaldson) but on the other end of the spectrum there would be players like Vlad who would have to wait 10 years after reaching the Majors to test free agency. If it was "six years of service OR age 29.5, whichever comes first", then that's a bit more logical.

My guess is ultimately we will see a slightly modified version of the old CBA. Maybe arbitration starts after year 2, and the minimum increases, and players making the minimum get bonuses for top 10 finishes in Cy Young/MVP. Things like that. I doubt we will see anything dramatically different. A salary cap would likely help the players more than anything they could realistically bargain for, but that seems to be a non starter for them, and as long as the owners can manipulate how much they spend, then it's probably not appealing to them either.
John Northey - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 01:25 PM EST (#410480) #
The problem with a salary cap is the owners manipulating what is 'baseball revenue' and what is non-baseball revenue. With the Jays for example, Rogers owns the team, the stadium, the TV network showing the games, etc. They could easily shuffle cash via any number of ways. The old infamous line of Paul Beeston when he was accidentally honest - "I can turn a $4 million profit into a $2 million loss and get every national accounting firm to agree with me." and that was pre-mega TV deals where the same corporation owns both TV and team.
bpoz - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 01:29 PM EST (#410481) #
Looking at the age of the Jays players, we have Gurriel 28, Teoscar 29 and Grichik 30. Springer 32 and locked in for 5 more years. It is safe to say that none will decline for the next 2 years. After that, decline should be anticipated and dealt with by being careful in extending them. Springer is a unique situation in that his bat is elite at 30-36 Hr for years 1-3 of his contract if he stays healthy. These 1st 3 years of Springer puts the Jays in the contending revenue area if all goes well.

Miguel Cabrera will play 2022 as a 39 year old. Shapiro would know that Cabrera has declined steeply as did A Rod and Mark Texiera with the NYY. Shapiro should know enough to avoid this age trap.

Our 1980s team also aged and declined. Gillick knew this and also knew that the sale of the team to Inter Brew was going to happen. I would have liked to see how Gillick rebuilt the 1992/93 WS Championship Jays team. He would have needed sufficient funds I suppose. Inter Brew would not provide that. Alomar, White & Olerud could stay a bit longer I suppose or be traded. Green, Delgado, Gonzalez and Shannon Stewart were due to arrive. I have not mentioned pitching. Guzman, Hentgen and Clemens were there.

The IF of Vlad & Bo just completed their 1st full season in the ML. Biggio, Espinal, Smith and Lopez have not done that yet.

In/by 2024 the OF will have to rebuilt. Teoscar will play 2024 at age 31 and Gurriel at age 30. Both are athletic so maybe they are good until age 34 but they probably command big money as FAs or extended.

Shapiro and Atkins have probably figured this out.

Biggio will play 2022 as a 27 year old.

It is not just the waves of young players arriving but is also the wave of 32-34 year old players departing as time goes on.
Mike Green - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 01:48 PM EST (#410482) #
Looking at the age of the Jays players, we have Gurriel 28, Teoscar 29 and Grichik 30. Springer 32 and locked in for 5 more years. It is safe to say that none will decline for the next 2 years

No.  In fact, if you take any group of 4 players aged 28-32, the odds are strong that at least one will decline over the following 2 years.  There is no reason to believe that this group would do particularly better or worse than average. 

Fun fact: Jose Bautista is one of Springer's top 10 comps per BBRef.  Personally, I don't see it but there it is. 
scottt - Friday, January 21 2022 @ 03:34 PM EST (#410483) #
The age based free agency is problematic. It does not work well for pitchers or guys who spends most of their development time injured. What would this change for Vladdy? Let him be on the opening team in 2019 and play an extra month worth of game at the lower pay rate but still get to free agency at the same age? Biggio is 27 this year. Teoscar is 29. He'd have been a free agent *before* having any success.

What does the Luxury Tax Exemption do? If you count guys who are still under control, you just raise the tax and get more free agents from other teams signed. It only helps teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers poach more talents from other teams who don't spend that much.

The hockey stuff doesn't really work here. Draft picks don't have much impact on the short term.
You could make it so that you can just poach the top prospects from the team that is signing your star, but teams could just empty their farm system before signing a restricted free agent.

The International Draft is something that MLB wants but that the players do not want.
It wouldn't work for Cuba, Korea or Japan, anyway.

UDH is something that the players want, but the owners seem to want something--like 14 teams playoffs--in exchange.

There really should be a lottery for the top 10 draft picks.

bpoz - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 07:54 AM EST (#410484) #
My comment on the 4 OF "not" declining over the next 2 years is definitely not a guarantee. I understand that. If all 4 stay with the Jays for 2022/23 or any are traded we will still see the results to judge the merits of my comment.

There are suggestions for acquiring M Chapman or J Ramirez. Both will play 2022 at age 29. Age 30 for 2023. This is a game strategy that I play among other games. I will add Semien (31/32 for 2022/23) to make it a group of 7.

I pick Grichuck as the bottom man in this group of 7 because I think he is considered the 4th OF. Only Springer had less than 500ABs in 2021. Springer's injury allowed Grichuk 511 ABs. Injuries are a part of the game.

Any of the 7 players getting 350ABs/year or less means they declined in my simple game. OR Semien in 2018 632ABs and only 15 Hr would be in the decline category. Semien had other 2018 numbers that were good. But overall played a full season that was sort of weak.

The real season is hard to predict for team results. This results in actual win totals of 91 Jays and 90 Seattle. Other odd results also happen.

grjas - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 03:34 PM EST (#410486) #
I’d like to see the league cut 15 games off the regular schedule and convert the first couple playoff rounds to best of 7 with more teams in. This would certainly encourage teams to compete harder given the revenue potential of the playoffs. Would also get rid of the foolishness of playing one game playoffs in a game of inches.
John Northey - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 07:34 PM EST (#410487) #
A good way to look at aging is to look at say, the 1987 Jays - 2 25 year olds in Fernandez and Gruber, all 3 OF were 27 (Bell/Moseby/Barfield), DH was 23 (McGriff), 1B just 30 (Upshaw). Only 2 of those guys were sub 100 for OPS+ (Upshaw and Gruber) but just 2 years later when the Jays won the AL East Upshaw and Barfield were replaced (McGriff to 1B, Junior Felix taking over RF at age 21* but probably more like 30), with the lineup age going down in some areas (Liriano takes over 2B at age 25). By 1991 the next AL East win Bell, Moseby, Fernandez, McGriff, and Felix are all gone as is Liriano, by 1993 (last WS win) Gruber is too. That young 1987 lineup was all gone, as were 3 of their replacements, by 1993 - 6 years later. In 4 years from 1989 to 1993 only Fernandez was on both as a regular (and he left for a couple of those years). Turnover is constant in baseball and needed. That strong 1987 team saw the 25 year olds last until 39 (Fernandez) and 31 (Gruber), the 27 year olds make it to 33 (Bell), 32 (Barfield), and 31 (Moseby) before retiring. All 5 were all-stars in that year (1987 Bell, Fernandez) or the one before (Barfield, Moseby, Fernandez) or 2 years after (Gruber, Fernandez). So all were strong players. Clearly Fernandez was the best just looking at All-Star games thus leading to his longevity vs all others (and I suspect he used a few enhancers near the end thus the late career boost back to All-Star status at 37).

Basically, the point is that no matter how good a player is old man time will get them. The Jays in 1987 had a team of all-stars but just two made it past 34 - Fernandez & McGriff who lasted until age 40 (a shame he wasn't healthier that year to get 7 more HR's and crack 500). Others who lasted long from that team were Ernie Whitt (already 35 then, made it to 39), Rance Mulliniks (31, made it to 36 and got a 1992 WS ring), Cecil Fielder was 23 then and only got to 34 like Bell. Liriano was 23 and made it to 34 as well. Manny Lee was 22 but only made it to 30. Mike Sharperson was the starting 2B on opening day at 25, but retired after age 33, died at 34 (first player who I followed from the start who died). So yeah, it is hard for players to make it to 35 or later at all, let alone to be productive. All-Star or no-star.

Pitchers are a different creature, but age still applies. The 1982 Jays had a kid rotation of Stieb (24), Clancy (26), Leal (25), and Gott (22). All started 23+ games, plus a 21 year old Mark Eichhorn getting 7 starts (he'd be gone for a few years, switch to a sidearmer, and come back as a reliever and be amazing). They'd make it to 40* (Stieb who retired at 35 then had a surprising comeback, catching the home run hit off Halladay to break up his no-hitter on the final day of 1998), 35 (Clancy, Gott, Eichhorn), 28 (Leal). Stieb & Eichhorn both have Jays WS rings, but Stieb while on the IL and Eichhorn after leaving and coming back ala Fernandez.

Those are some premium players I checked who were with the Jays at very young ages and proved themselves to be very good very quickly. Still effective at age 35+ are only McGriff, Fernandez. Stieb had a nice comeback at 40 but nothing 'wow' (96 ERA+ as a long man/spot starter). Thus the massive risk involved in 10 year deals - after 1987 I could imagine many would've thought Bell, Fernandez, Moseby, McGriff and maybe others were worth looking at long term lockups. But only McGriff would've given 10+ WAR.

After age 27 WAR Jays...
including others who were stars, or expected to be, before age 28 and select others who caught my eye.
  • Over 40 WAR: David Wells 47.5 (one of the dumbest releases ever by the Jays), Kent 47.5 (still worth giving him up to get Cone and a 1992 WS), Halladay 44.4
  • Over 30 WAR: Olerud 35.6 (after the Jays paid the Mets to take him...damn you Ash!), Alomar 32.5 (another post-Jays total, again, damn you Ash!), White (32.0 - starting from when he became a Jay), Delgado 33.0, Key 30.8
  • 20-29 WAR: McGriff 29.9 (wasn't an all-star as a Jay...surprised me, but had MVP votes 4 times), Fernandez 21.4, Henke 21.4, Carpenter 27.6 (all with StL), Jayson Werth 24.7 (got a massive contract well after being traded)
  • 10-19.9 WAR: Green 18.4, Orlando Hudson 18.3 (his whole post Jays career), Stieb 16.5, Kelvim Escobar 14.1, Hentgen 13.9, Barfield 13.1, Guzman 11.6, Shannon Stewart 10.3
  • Under 10 WAR: Eichhorn 9.4, Lind 8.7, Jose Cruz Jr 8.4, Rios 8.3, Vernon Wells 8.2, Stroman 8 so far, Hill 7.4, Pillar 7.1 so far, Fielder 6.7, Gruber 6.5, Clancy 6.4, Upshaw 6.1, Ward 5.5 (done at 31), Moseby 4.8, Alex Gonzalez 3.5, Griffin 3.4, Bell 3.1, Morrow 3.1 (I remember some talking of signing him long term), Lee 2.3, Hinske 1.5, Tony Batista 1.4, Cecil 1.1.
  • sub 0 or didn't play: Liriano -0.1, Damaso Garcia -0.3, Leal -0.7, Felix (either didn't make it or was always older depending on official vs believed age), Travis Snider (DNP), Romero -0.4, Lawrie DNP, Devon Travis DNP among many, many others.
Of note: Pat Borders was 42 when he finally retired (well, played at 43 in the minors) but from 28 on his WAR was -0.8, I suspect modern fielding stats would've helped him a LOT as he must have done something right to last that long. Can't believe he never became a manager in the major leagues. Jose Bautista was negative pre-age 28 but 39.7 from 28 on, Encarnacion pre-28 5.5, 28 on 29.9.

Looking at that the 3 who cracked 40 have 2 who Gillick, a HOF GM, released and traded before they became stars. 30's have 3 bad choices by Ash, 1 by Gillick (Key - let go as a free agent after 1992 as Gillick didn't think going 3 years or more for him was a good idea). Carpenter was an odd case - the Jays would've had to pay him for a full year on the IL and decided not to and released him after years of disappointment. Werth was a roster crunch situation (JPR did it - got Jason Frasor for him who got 6.5 WAR in late innings, but kept a massive OF/DH of Reed Johnson/Frank Catalanotto/Vernon Wells/Alex Rios/Josh Phelps so I can see why they couldn't find room plus I think we all felt it made sense at the time). SHowing how hard it is to predict career paths is seeing Hentgen and Stieb surrounding Escobar for post age 27 production.
John Northey - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 07:46 PM EST (#410488) #
The Star has a fun article about potential trades. I call it fun because it seems Mike Wilner, normally fairly smart, thinks trading Jordan Groshans, Alejandro Kirk and Lourdes Gurriel Jr would get either José Ramirez or Arizona’s Ketel Marte. Heh. If that is all it would take I suspect the deal would be done already. He then debates including Gurriel in the trade and suggests assorted guys instead (Adam Kloffenstein along with either Kevin Smith or Josh Palacios). I suspect Cleveland would laugh unless all 6 were included, and maybe even then laugh at the deal. Marte is more a CF now who backs up 2B as well and used to be an everyday SS a few years ago - he had a 143 OPS+ last year, 112 lifetime, and is signed very cheaply for 3 years (2 team options!) at under $10 mil per - $8.4/$8/$10 mil. That is a killer deal. I can't imagine Arizona trading him for less than the full 6 guys listed, and probably insisting on higher end talent (ala our top 3).

A classic homer article. Fun to read, but pure fluff. Reading it I felt like I put more thought into my responses here than he did into that full article he was paid for.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 08:21 PM EST (#410489) #
Groshans, Kirk and Gurriel Jr. doesn’t seem outrageously light for two years of Ramirez. Add someone like Logue or Francis or Tiedemann and I would say it’s a fair trade (maybe even an overpay).
John Northey - Saturday, January 22 2022 @ 09:42 PM EST (#410490) #
Baseball Trade Values gives it 'reality check - need at least one more high value player'. 2 years of a guy producing 6-7 WAR of value for a LF who in his CAREER hasn't reached 6 (347 games), a CA who might be good, and a SS prospect who isn't in the top 100 from BA this year? Not a chance. Add Orelvis Martinez and Cleveland would take it I suspect. Anything less and no deal. That is why I think Oakland is a better target with Chapman. The package listed for Chapman and Manaena is near perfect fit via BTV (Groshans/Gurriel/Logue/Lopez/Smith) and would solve 3B for 2 years, give a very strong 5 man rotation for 2022, weaken the OF a bit but not drastically as I figure someone could be found to replace Gurriel at a reasonable price (as mentioned he hasn't been _that_ valuable really but has potential still).
scottt - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 08:36 AM EST (#410491) #
In a lineup with no left bats to protect him, Chapman would be terrible.
I wouldn't trade Groshans straight for him.
And by that I mean I'd rather have 6+ years of Groshans than 2 years of Chapman.

I wouldn't overpay for Ramirez. It's going to be hard to rebuild the farm.
The only guy I'd happily send 6+ prospects over to get is Soto.
He still got 3 years and fills all the blanks.

mendocino - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 09:04 AM EST (#410492) #
Luis Meza, C, Venezuela -- $2,050,000
Railin Tejada, OF, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Jean Joseph, CF, Dominican Republic -- $450,000
Raudy Gomez, RHS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
Faruk De La Cruz, C, Dominican Republic -- $250,000
Kendry Chirinos, IF, Venezuela -- $240,000
Jose Fernandez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $75,000
Rodolfo Toledano, RHS, Mexico -- $65,000
Albert Millan, C, Venezuela -- $50,000
Ali Lucena, OF, Venezuela -- $50,000
Roque Salinas, OF, Mexico -- $40,000
Omar Romero, SS, Venezuela -- $20,000
Carlos Meza, RHS, Colombia -- $10,000
Ivan Gonzalez, RHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Luis Torres, LHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Carlos Vasquez, C, Venezuela -- $10,000
Jorge Guerra, RHS, Panama -- $10,000
Fernando Perez, RHS, Nicaragua -- $10,000
Omar Munoz, RHS, Mexico -- $10,000
Jonathan Bautista, OF, Dominican Republic -- $10,000
Eminen Flores, RHS, Dominican Republic -- $10,000
Aneudi Escanio, SS, Dominican Republic -- $10,000

Francys Romero@francysromeroFR
Cuban C Maikel Miñoso (16) officially signs with the Toronto Blue Jays. He trained at Y.P. Academy and is a family of "Minnie" Miñoso.
Bonus deal: $ 20,000.
bpoz - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 09:57 AM EST (#410493) #
Thanks John N for the age & decline research you did. Maybe 1 or 2 of our young core last until 37. Other 1980s Jays struggled by 33. The harsh OF surface in Toronto would have played a part in faster declines for our OFs.

Also thanks to mendocino for the Int't signings update. I did not bother to add the bonuses up. But it seems that we have a lot of money left.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 10:44 AM EST (#410494) #
I'm reading a fine and funny book called Priestdaddy.  The main character lives with her husband in Savannah, Georgia, where he works as an editor for a newspaper following the exploits of the local politicians who "all had names like Saxby Chambliss".  Reading that put me in mind of Dansby Swanson and Chris Chambliss, both of whom played for Atlanta.  Swanson was born in Georgia; Chambliss was born in Ohio and was drafted 1-1 by Cleveland in 1970. He was, of course, a cog in the Yankee clubs of the late 70s that won 3 AL pennants and 2 WS, before moving on to Atlanta to complete his career.

Reading about Chambliss' walk-off series-ending homer in the '76 ALCS, led me to George Brett who homered to tie that game in the 8th inning. I had forgotten how good  Brett was in the post-season.  Obviously, I remembered 1985 and the homer off Gossage in 1980.  Brett hit .337/.397/.627 in 184 post-season PAs.  For comparison, Reggie Jackson hit .278/.358/.527 in 318 post-season PAs and became "Mr. October". What then was Brett? FWIW, it probably comes as no shock to learn that Brett hit quite a bit better in high leverage situations over his career than he did in other situations, and walked a lot more often.  I wonder how many other players hit significantly better in high leverage regular season PAs and in the post-season than they did otherwise.  That does seem to me to be a meaningful description of "clutch". 
greenfrog - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 12:31 PM EST (#410495) #
John, Kirk was a very good prospect (50 FV) before he got promoted to the majors. So if Tiedemann were included, Cleveland would be getting the Jays’ current #4 and #9 prospects (Groshans and Tiedemann), their #5 prospect from six months ago (Kirk), plus a 28-year-old cost-controlled outfielder who posted a 136 wRC+ in the second half last year (Gurriel Jr.).

I think it’s a fair offer. In my opinion, there is no way the Jays would add Orelvis to that package to secure two years of Ramirez.
John Northey - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 01:00 PM EST (#410496) #
Nah, we don't have much cash left for IFA - the Jays had the smallest bonus pool this year due to signing Springer and position in the standings. $4.644 million (same as the Dodgers - Bauer is the 'gift' that keeps giving for them).

Totaling it up I see $4.29 million spent. A $10k or less bonus does not count against it so actual spending is at $4.19 million leaving $454k available for anyone still available, plus unlimited $10k 'Hail Mary' shots (10 so far). It'll be interesting to see if any of these guys develop into something. From guys like Vlad to Kirk to the many who never developed this has been a key for the Jays lately.
scottt - Sunday, January 23 2022 @ 02:17 PM EST (#410497) #
The Jays seems to like Venezuelan catchers.
I wonder if the signing of pitchers from Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia and Panama reflects the difficulty of evaluating hitters in lower levels of competition.

Glevin - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 10:19 AM EST (#410498) #
"I think it’s a fair offer. In my opinion, there is no way the Jays would add Orelvis to that package to secure two years of Ramirez."

They'd likely have to. Very hard to get elite players without giving up elite prospects. I think Ramirez would be insanely expensive and don't think it's really worth it for Jays at his likely cost. If they could do it for Groshans, Kirk, Gurriel +, I think deal would have been done already.
bpoz - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 11:03 AM EST (#410500) #
CBA meeting today. Maybe a settlement by mid Feb. So a delayed ST for the ML teams I expect.

Roster moves are affected I presume.

Covid has picked up since the lockout. Attendance should be affected. Maybe no baseball in Toronto and Vancouver.
Mike Green - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 11:25 AM EST (#410502) #
Today is a fine Hall of Names birthday club.  BBRef tells me that Flint Rhem, Pop Rising, Ernie Gust and Neal Finn were born this day.  We'll forgive Finn for the spelling of his first name, although in this case the ballplayer wasn't quite as good as the musician. 
mathesond - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 01:45 PM EST (#410503) #
I wonder if someone at KEXP read your comment, Mike, I just tuned in as they were playing "Love This Life".

Eh, probably just a coincidence.
greenfrog - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 02:58 PM EST (#410504) #
“Very hard to get elite players without giving up elite prospects”

Josh Donaldson. Justin Verlander. Gerrit Cole. It happens more often than you think. And Ramirez only has two years left on his contract.
92-93 - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 03:16 PM EST (#410505) #
Perhaps the Jays wouldn't add Orelvis to X package, but no prospect, including Moreno, should be untouchable in a Jose Ramirez trade. He's that perfect a fit.
scottt - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 04:54 PM EST (#410506) #
Lindor and Carrasco brought back Gimenez,  Amed Rosario, Isaiah Greene and Josh Wolf.

Gimenez and Rosario are 2 non-star everyday players.
Wolf is a pitcher ranked 22nd in the Cleveland system by Fangraphs.
Greene is an outfielder ranked 25th.

Maybe it's more accurate to say that nobody is giving up elite prospects for rental players these days.

Glevin - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 05:02 PM EST (#410507) #
"Josh Donaldson. Justin Verlander. Gerrit Cole. It happens more often than you think. And Ramirez only has two years left on his contract.

Donaldson trade was baffling. Verlander wasn't expensive because he had something like 5/$150 left on his contract as a 34 YO. Nobody was going to give up top prospects for that. Cole has 2 OK years before he was traded. His last year, he has a 4.26 ERA AND 8.69 k/9 pitching in NL central and definitely wasn't an elite pitcher at that point. Ramirez is not just amazing, he's making $25M over next 2 years which is very cheap. It's hard to find comps for Ramirez because elite players get traded so rarely except in their last year (Betts, Arenado, Lindor, Turner, etc...) or if they have huge contracts like Stanton. Yellich was not as good as Ramirez and according to Fangraphs, he brought back the #18, #52, and #87 prospects in baseball and then more. (Which would be equivalent of something like Moreno, Groshans, Kirk+
John Northey - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 05:19 PM EST (#410508) #
Glevin - agreed - too many get caught up on overvaluing our own prospects. I'm sure other teams fans come up with a 3 prospects for Vlad type deal which we'd all laugh at.

A funny one on the trade values that I hadn't thought of is Ryan McMahon from Colorado - 2 years until free agency, he is a premium defensive 3B with an 88 OPS+ lifetime. With a 98 last year he still ended up with 4.0 WAR. He bats left which is a plus. An interesting player who might be plan C or D for the Jays. The cost via that site is Lopez/Saucedo/Smith - not a killer cost by any stretch - Lopez would be the hardest to give up imo of that group. One of many options to put on our radar.
greenfrog - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 05:33 PM EST (#410509) #
"3 prospects for Vlad type deal"

Of course, Vlad is controllable for five more seasons and he's making the league minimum salary, so his trade value is not at all comparable to that of Ramirez.

Undoubtedly the Guardians would ask for Orelvis or Moreno, but that doesn't mean that a final deal (in the unlikely event that one is consummated, now or at the summer trade deadline) would include one of those prospects.
greenfrog - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 05:44 PM EST (#410510) #
Cole was a 3.4 WAR player in the season before he was traded (with 2+ WAR every year before that including 5 WAR in one season), throwing 96 with very good control, so maybe somewhat similar to Berrios in trade value (with two full years of control remaining instead of 1.5 years).
scottt - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 06:02 PM EST (#410511) #
It's unlikely that Cleveland lets Ramirez walks for a draft pick.
So, if not this year, he's traded to the highest bidder next year.
That doesn't mean that the highest bid will be particularly high.
There is always the risk that he's injured and his value plummets.
Most of the contenders are set at third base and there seems to be more shortstops this year than contenders, so someone might end up moving.

Cole was in a similar situation with nobody willing to give much for him.

As for the Jays, just pay a good left bat to DH and let the kids play third and bat 9th.
It's OK to overpay here.

greenfrog - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 08:35 PM EST (#410512) #
The Jays may be in a stronger position to make a trade in the summer, if Groshans, Kirk and others have a productive first half of the season.
John Northey - Monday, January 24 2022 @ 09:35 PM EST (#410513) #
Assorted challenges with a trade for a premium+ player like Ramirez - All the value is in the one player going one direction, while the other team gets an assortment so it can be lopsided very easily. Plus the value to Cleveland of Ramirez drops fast - he loses 50% of his value to a new team by next winter. Which teams want him? Well, everyone in theory but who REALLY needs him? The Jays obviously, Boston is set but the Yankees have Gio Urshela who has had a couple of really good years but had a 'meh' one last year. White Sox are in good shape, Houston is set, Seattle has a hole but is cheap, Angels are set, Rangers might be interested as they seem to be willing to blow everything, San Diego is set, Dodgers are set, San Fran is set, the NL Central is too cheap to pay for him with the Cubs in rebuild mode, Atlanta is very set, Phillies could use him, the Mets signed Eduardo Escobar but wouldn't hesitate to upgrade I'd bet.

So the market of teams with money and need is...
Jays, NYY (lightly), Seattle (maybe), Rangers, Phillies, maybe the Mets. That's it from what I can see. The Rangers must be near their limit though one would think.

So who would give Cleveland what they need? Farm ranks via Jays 14th, Yankees 19th, Seattle 2nd, Rangers 11th, Phillies 27th, Mets 22nd. So Seattle could provide prospects easily, but I suspect they want to build internally right now. The Rangers 2nd best prospect is at 3B (Josh Jung) and he tore apart AA/AAA last year (nearly a 1000 OPS between them). So the Jays might be in a good position to play hardball with Cleveland on this. All depends on how safe the Jays feel about going half a season or more with Biggio at 2B and Espinal at 3B with Smith/Lopez/Groshans backing them up or taking over.
mendocino - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 12:46 AM EST (#410514) #
Vladdy is in his first of four arb years
MLBTR est. 7.9m, Cots 8.75m
scottt - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 06:10 AM EST (#410515) #
The Yankees need to find a shortstop, then they have to figure out where to play Torres and Lemahieu, get a centerfielder, maybe a left bat at first base, etc... Also, the Yankees almost never trade top prospects, mostly just guys in A ball. Rangers are not trading for a guy who will be gone in 2 years.

The Mets could certain get him, but in that case let them and get the guy the Mets drop.
The Jays would be better served by going after Dominic Smith or Jeff McNeil.

scottt - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 06:18 AM EST (#410516) #
The labor dispute has progressed.
The players have dropped the year of service issue. They still want arbitration after 2 years which would be good for the Jays, but unlikely to happen. They also want a reduction of revenue sharing. That's nonsense since the highest spending teams are not limited by their revenue. 8 team lottery for top draft seems alright.
So they are getting close to just arguing over the minimum salary and luxury tax numbers.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 10:00 AM EST (#410517) #
The labor issues are painful - luxury tax will be the big battle, along with the 2 years for arbitration. To get the arbitration the players will have to give in on luxury tax.

For example: Rays 4 players who'd suddenly be arbitration eligible who aren't now. Cleveland 4 players, KC 2 players, Twins 1, Oakland 1. The Jays would have to pay out a lot to Romano & Bichette.

Luxury tax the cheaper teams only worry about when it doesn't slow down the Yankees/Dodgers/Red Sox (not many others crack it more than 1 year in a row). But I'm sure they'd all love to see it made a LOT harder and lower.

So how will it go? Hard to say. Seems a logical give/take there - players get earlier arbitration, owners get a harder cap/luxury tax but the devil is in the details. A logical way (heh - that ain't happening) would be to set up the luxury tax based on a payroll that is x times higher than the 10 lowest payrolls the season before: IE: the bottom 10 had a net payroll (via via this site of $515 million last year - so if the tax applied at 40% of that ($206 mil) you'd have a simple way to adjust year to year that would encourage the higher spending teams to push the lower spending ones. Based on that site no one was over that level (they seem to be off a bit, but the principle is there). Or you could base it on something else - those who spend 75% more than the average the year before for example. That would've hit just the Dodgers in 2021. Say a 50% tax at that level, then a 100% tax on anything over double the average. Lots of ways to adjust it so if a team is blowing others out of the water they get hit. a 150% of average would've been hitting the Angels, Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers for example, while a 50% of average would've hit Miami, Tampa, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. 25% of average would've hit just Cleveland in 2021 based on these figures. So you could remove draft picks for that, or shift their picks down 10 slots as a punishment for example.

Eh, just ideas that I know won't happen but are fun to figure out. Yeah, I love numbers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 10:04 AM EST (#410518) #
If the players are walking back in January, the owners are likely to win this round of collective bargaining too.  Personally I hope they find their spine. 
scottt - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 11:00 AM EST (#410519) #
It's this type of thinking that fuels the work stoppage.
If the players are trying to "win", they should be ready to sit for the entire year which would be a massive loss for all the highest payed players and most of them are already signed to their last meaningful contract anyway.

The players are already making 300M contracts. They should just be looking for a fair raise.
Early free agency and sky high luxury tax threshold are just smoke screens since only a handful of teams spend to that level and they are not signing more players to bigger contracts.

Raise the minimum, get earlier arbitration, remove the penalties for signing free agents who turned down a QO, install a lottery for the top 8 draft picks, raise the luxury tax a single digit percentage every year and take that "loss".

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 11:29 AM EST (#410520) #
The players' share of revenues has been shrinking for decades. The players could have accepted a deal much earlier if they wanted to stand still. "Half-in" before the pain starts is a poor strategy, and the owners aren't doing it.
scottt - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 01:20 PM EST (#410521) #
The revenue of the players is not tied to the overall baseball revenues.
The players themselves are opposed to that.
This is an asymmetric  sports with over spenders and misers.
Too much of the revenue is going to a handful of teams.
The players are very transparent in their effort to help those few teams spend more, but that's terrible for anyone who isn't a Yankee fan or the like. A majority of owners simply cannot agree to that.

The teams have a very high capitalization these days, which is a way to say that owners have money to burn only after they sell their team. The owners never hit free agency. Some teams are waiting to see where the luxury tax land before signing players. Others are waiting to see how much the payroll increases before budgeting cuts.

The easy way to increase the players' share is to shrink the pie which is probably where this is going eventually.

92-93 - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 03:10 PM EST (#410522) #
MLBTR has a piece today on the Mariners with a link to a story about Oakland asking for Noelvi Marte in any Chapman deal. Marte is BA's #18 prospect and BP's #15, so basically he's Seattle's Moreno. Granted Seattle GM's is on the record saying no chance, but it does provide some context on the current asking prices out there.
jensan - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 03:59 PM EST (#410523) #
Would make the trade for Ramirez - Martinez + Gurriel + Kirk . Than I would trade Groshans + Biggio + Lopez + Kloffenstien for Ketel Marte

Jays infield is set, and extend Bichette & Guerrero for 10 years at $45 Million between the two of them.

Jays trade for Tony Kemp and give Oakland Kevin Smith.

I hope the CBT settles at $215 M in 2022 with 2% increases for the length of the contract.

Increase the 1st year of pre-arb salaries to $650,000 , increasing by $50,000 each of the next two years.

Jays for 2022 would have a CBT of $210 Million based on the above suggestions.

The only sad part , No Canadian Blue Jays fans would be attending the games until June.

jensan - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 04:45 PM EST (#410524) #
Use Kirk and Biggio + 2 Mid Tier prospects for Ketel Marte
mathesond - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 05:30 PM EST (#410525) #
So, trade Kirk for both Ramirez and Marte?
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 06:05 PM EST (#410526) #
Captain Kirk for Ramirez. Alejandro Kirk for Marte. The Jays claim territorial rights to all characters played by Canadian actors, although have much regret that Annie Savoy was not.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 06:16 PM EST (#410527) #
Oy. Ketel Marte is a guy who had a 143 OPS+ last year, a 149 in 2019. Yeah, he has injury issues but I doubt he could be had easily.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 06:49 PM EST (#410528) #
“he has injury issues”

Hurt himself doing Ketelbell exercises?
jensan - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 07:00 PM EST (#410529) #
No read two above , where I stated Groshans + Biggio + Kloffenstein+
Magpie - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 07:32 PM EST (#410530) #
Here's how the voting went.

In the Hall

David Ortiz: 307 votes, 77.9%

Live to fight another day, unless...

Barry Bonds: 260 votes, 66% (final year on ballot)
Roger Clemens: 257 votes, 65.2% (final year on ballot)
Scott Rolen: 249 votes, 63.2%
Curt Schilling: 231 votes, 58.6% (final year on ballot)
Todd Helton: 205 votes, 52.0%
Billy Wagner: 201 votes, 51.0%
Andruw Jones: 163 votes, 41.1%
Gary Sheffield: 160 votes, 40.6%
Alex Rodriguez: 135 votes, 34.3%
Jeff Kent: 129 votes, 32.7%
Manny Ramirez: 114 votes, 28.9%
Omar Vizquel: 94 votes, 23.9%
Sammy Sosa: 73 votes, 18.5% (final year on ballot)
Andy Pettitte: 42 votes, 10.7%
Jimmy Rollins: 37 votes, 9.4%
Bobby Abreu: 34 votes, 8.6%
Mark Buehrle: 23 votes, 5.8%
Torii Hunter: 21 votes, 5.3%

Missed the cut

Joe Nathan: 17 votes, 4.3%
Tim Hudson: 12 votes, 3.0%
Tim Lincecum: 9 votes, 2.3%
Ryan Howard: 8 votes, 2.0%
Mark Teixeira: 6 votes, 1.5%
Justin Morneau: 5 votes, 1.3%
Jonathan Papelbon: 5 votes, 1.3%
Prince Fielder: 2 votes, 0.5%
A.J. Pierzynski: 2 votes, 0.5%
Carl Crawford: 0 votes, 0%
Jake Peavy: 0 votes, 0%

Hmm. Joe Nathan deserved better.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 25 2022 @ 10:15 PM EST (#410531) #
Hey, I got as many HOF votes as Jake Peavy and Carl Crawford. Gotta suck to not get even a pity vote.
Prince Fielder got more votes than his dad did - 0.5% vs 0.2%
Joe Nathan and Tim Hudson both cracked 10 votes but not 5% so no more ballots for them, or for Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Papelbon, Fielder, A.J. Pierzynski, Jake Peavy, and Carl Crawford.

Next year (and probably for the full 10 he can be on the list) Alex Rodriguez gets another shot - 34.3%, a bit worse than Bonds worst, which was his 2nd year at 34.7%.
Jimmy Rollins is the only other 'rookie' to go on to a second year (9.4%).

Falling off: Tim Hudson (sub 5%), Ortiz (made it), Bonds/Clemens/Sosa/Schilling (10 years up).

So 6 gone, 2 added. Opens up spots for 2023 when Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez are added (only guys I can see getting any real support). I'd bet on Beltran getting in and maybe Scott Rolen (63.2% this year) with Todd Helton & Billy Wagner gaining more ground (both cracked 50%).

We have a few quiet years coming up for the HOF - Highest WAR next year is Chase Utley who I don't see getting in, then Joe Mauer (same). Bartolo Colon and his 247 wins will get some votes, then comes in 2025 a possible 100% guy in Ichiro Suzuki (why wouldn't you vote for him?), CC Sabathia who will get in at some point but probably not year one, Dustin Pedroia will also have a lot of support. I like to joke about Russell Martin getting support (he did break 2 teams 20 year playoff droughts in his first year with each team after all), but realistically he probably is a one and done.

Yeah, outside of Ichiro the next few years will be a great time for guys like Rolen, Helton, Wagner, and others to sneak in. Maybe Kent gets a big boost in his final year but I doubt it - did he run over a reporters dog at some point or something?
Dr B - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 12:24 AM EST (#410532) #
I am not sure of the HoF case for Todd Helton. His career OPS is .953. That’s great. But…he played half his games at Coors. His home away split is 1.048 vs .855. That's...noticeable. .855 is very good, but hardly hall of fame worthy. For contrast consider Carlos Delgado with a career OPS of .929. Carlos Delgado got turfed off the HoF ballot at his first attempt I believe. Todd Helton only had 700 more at bats yet Todd Helton has a massive lead in WAR (62 vs. 44). It’s possible some of this difference is defence, but to me the difference looks like his home performance (which WAR may not be accounting for properly). Had Helton played all his games away from Coors would he have been better than Delgado? Can you imagine what Delgado’s numbers might have been like in Colorado? Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like Helton and Delgado aren’t really that far apart except in voting.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 07:34 AM EST (#410533) #
Several results puzzle me

1. Ortiz may be a HoFer if you are willing to look past the PED accusations. But even just looking at performance I'm not sure he's a first ballot.

2. Rolen on the other hand shouldn't have to wait this long.

3. I am a big proponent of the character clause. Vizquel and Schilling got exactly what they deserve. But apply it consistently. There is no way that a a pedophile (Clemens) should get the same # of votes as an a-hole (Bonds). In the 3nd I guess it doesn't matter since he didn't get in but this needs to start being part of the narrative around him.

If he were to go in by the veterans committee then it would instantly be in the discussion for worst documented actions by any HoF.

4. Agree that Joe Nathan deserved to stay on the ballot. The type of case that can build over time. Ditto Torii Hunter although I'm not sure he is a HoFer
bpoz - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 08:00 AM EST (#410534) #
Progress is being made on an agreement to start baseball.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 08:00 AM EST (#410535) #
Players value by on-field contributions- Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Schilling, Rolen, Ramirez and then Ortiz/Helton/Jones. After writing the Hall Watch series here for quite a while, I'm decidedly uninterested in this.

In the spirit of Wordle, current Blue Jay anagrams:

Bo Bichette- biotech bet, bite the cob
Lourdes Gurriel- slider guru role, I used gull error
Santiago Espinal- pigeon assailant (it looks like the Jays should keep the dome closed to keep the birds safe)
Teoscar Hernandez- a rash contender haze
Reese McGuire- secure regime
Kevin Gausman- making a venus, gunman vs. Ikea
Alek Manoah- hale man-oak
Jose Berrios- Series or Job, Sober Sir Joe, rbi sore jose
Jordan Romano- dorm ajar noon
Alejandro Kirk- Oakland jerk ire

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 08:03 AM EST (#410536) #
Scratch Oakland jerk ire for Kirk- an extra e there.
cascando - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 10:04 AM EST (#410537) #
Pigeon assailant is an all-timer.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 10:59 AM EST (#410538) #
Now we need Espinal to be given that nickname by the media - I mean pigeon assailant is just too cool. Would go good with the ex-Jay Dave Winfield who was the killer of seagulls.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 11:37 AM EST (#410540) #
I was thinking of Winfield for Gurriel's "I used gull error"- picturing a planned throw using a carom off a gull, but the throw goes awry.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 11:48 AM EST (#410541) #
Alejandro Kirk - a jerk drank oil
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 12:21 PM EST (#410543) #
Charlie Montoyo - moon the oily car
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 01:50 PM EST (#410544) #
Gabriel Moreno- boom linger ear
Orelvis Martinez- razor vs. timeline
George Springer- Gorge, Spree, Ring or Rogers green pig (!)
Cavan Biggio- I gain bacon avg
Trevor Richards- card short river
Ross Stripling- spring slot, sir

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 01:52 PM EST (#410545) #
Scratch Biggio. More than one n. 
cascando - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 03:49 PM EST (#410546) #
I have not laughed this hard at anything baseball-related in a long time. Planned carom off a gull that goes awry… and that’s perhaps only the second-best bird-related joke in the post. Hats off to you, Mike Green.
johnny was - Wednesday, January 26 2022 @ 08:58 PM EST (#410547) #
Jordan Groshans gets you a few good ribald ones, like A Darn Gross John or, keeping it after dark, Raja's ____ _____.

bpoz - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 09:30 AM EST (#410548) #
If "after the 2022" season the Jays acquire Juan Soto, that is an incredible (very unlikely) acquisition. Either a FA (don't know when he is a FA) or a trade 1 for 1 O Martinez. Martinez becomes very attractive because he duplicated 2021 but with A+/AA.

So V strong Jays team BUT the financial risk could "break" the Jays because Soto and Vlad probably both get Tatis like deals and injuries/poor seasons happen.

I am just amusing myself during a long off season.
John Northey - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 09:56 AM EST (#410549) #
That would be cool - but super unlikely. Juan Soto is with Washington who has the money to afford him if they want to. He isn't a free agent until after the 2024 season. If he goes to free agency there would be a feeding frenzy for him - $400+ million for 10+ years would be the likely opening bid. He is with Boros so you know top dollar is key for him and the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and anyone else with cash will be chasing him. At 21 he led the NL in Avg/OBP/Slg with a 217 OPS+ in 2020, followed by a 175 OPS+ last year. At 20 he was a slacker with a 142, same at 19. He makes Vlad look like a 'meh' player.

I suspect the Jays will blow the budget to keep Bo & Vlad, and might do so again to get Ramirez if they can. That would lock down all but 2B in the infield for a decade, leaving the OF corners and pitching as spots to save money. If they did that we'd see $90 mil a year for most of that decade going to those 3, plus Springer for a good part of that plus the pitching staff, etc. Hard to imagine the Jays making it work to be honest. Let alone adding in Soto or another top end player.
bpoz - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 10:48 AM EST (#410550) #
Good response John N. We will know a lot by the end of the 2024 season. Specifically who are the great and established young players in the league.

Trout and Othani will be too old to be considered young.

Vlad, Bo and that group are probably great and established young players.

At the end of the 2024 season O Martinez should have played close to a full ML season. The group of Kirk, Moreno and possibly Groshans may have established how good they are. I am prepared to be disappointed if this paragraphs events don't happen as I described.

I have found the thoughts of Shapiro and Atkins fairly informative to date. They had to do some very difficult things in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Then shelled out for Ryu, Springer and Gausman. Payroll will be spoken about a bit because the media will push for that topic.

Magpie - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 01:55 PM EST (#410551) #
Is "secure regime" anything like being the master of your domain?

Never going to let it go, Reese. Sorry.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 04:36 PM EST (#410552) #
Something like that, Magpie. Some of the players had anagrams that were very funny but "outside the zone".
Lylemcr - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 05:49 PM EST (#410553) #
With Salary caps, the key is always to have young players coming up with a core. You can't pay everyone 30 million a year.

Which makes the Oakland A's in the 1970s a marvel that will likely never be seen again.
scottt - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 07:07 PM EST (#410554) #
Washington has traded away many of their regulars.
They are not contending in 2022 and probably not in 2023 either.
Extending Soto would be very expensive. He's not giving out any discount.
They should trade him if they get the right package.
That wouldn't keep them from signing him back in 2025.

The Jays won't be extending every guy who reach free agency.
They might pursue all of them, but they won't be topping the best offers for everybody.
They'll have to maintain a balance of young guys and vets.

By WAR, the Jays don't have any glaring hole on the field.
CF was bad because Springer was hurt.
Biggio was hurt and I don' think he can handle 3rd.
They just need a left bat in the middle of the lineup.

John Northey - Thursday, January 27 2022 @ 10:02 PM EST (#410555) #
The A's in 1975 (their final year before things started to be dismantled, although they were above 500 in '76) had 3 regulars over 30, and used 7 starting pitchers with 10+ starts each (very unusual for that era).
Core players....
Closer Rollie Fingers: would've been a free agent under today's rules after 1974
Ace: Vida Blue: was either in his last year pre-free agency or had 2 years left depending on times called up
C: Gene Tenace: appears to be 1 or 2 years more pre-free agency
1B: Joe Rudi: most likely would've been a free agent just before 1975
2B: Phil Garner: first full season
3B: Sal Bando: probably would've been a free agent after 1973 (first year of WS wins)
SS: Bert Campaneris: would've been a free agent after 1970 so would've been long gone
LF: Claudell Washington: only 20 so way pre-free agency
CF: Bill North: 3+ years experience so not a free agent, just entering arbitration years.
RF: Reggie Jackson: Would've been a free agent after 1973 (although I suspect in modern times he wouldn't have had a cup of coffee in 1967, and been up late in 1968 thus being in Oakland for 1974 as well)
DH: Billy Williams: long past his prime, Cubs traded him there

Most of the pitching staff was probably too old to be pre-FA but few were key.  If the A's then acted like they did once FA became a factor they'd have probably traded most of these guys pre-1975 but still would've started the 71-75 cycle and might have made it all the way through via smart trades involving Campaneris first, then Fingers, Rudi, and Bando.  The A's back then were very creative and the idiot running MLB tried to kill them off by canceling trades as 'too lopsided' without figuring out that the cash would've let Finley build up quicker as would've the young players.  Sigh.
Glevin - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 12:59 AM EST (#410556) #
Jays are "linked" (which means will. Sign usually) to a top prospect in 2022 international draft Emmanuel Bonilla. Supposed to be a big middle of the order type prospect. I assume international players will have draft in new CBA but maybe not for another year.
Mike Green - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 08:06 AM EST (#410557) #
Here's more on Emmanuel Bonilla.  On the Bonilla scale, he's a lot closer to Bobby than Juan.  Power-hitting right-field prospect with good contact ability, good athleticism and a big arm.  6'3", 205 already, but the scouts think that he'll stick in right-field. 
scottt - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 09:11 AM EST (#410558) #
Some good info on Phelps out. (Check sportsnet) Completely ruptured lat. Ouch.

Also, Mike Murov is promoted assistant GM and Joe Sclafani  is the new director of player development.
Not sure what happened to Gil Kim.

BlueMonday - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 01:15 PM EST (#410560) #
Great chat on MLB Trade Rumours with Shea Hillbrand. It's a good mental health awareness story. Here's the Jay related excerpts:

Shea, do you regret or defend your "sinking ship" comments?
I do not regret writing "the ship's sinking and play for yourself" on the whiteboard in the clubhouse during a PLAYER ONLY meeting. It was a joke and I put it up there to lighten the mood of the team because Vernon wells was getting ready to rip one of our pitchers a new ass for calling him out in the newspaper.
With that being said, I was in a bad spot internally. I hated myself. Unfortunately, I attached my identity to the game and I struggle. I never owned who I was. This led to the demise of my career. Thank God I found what I was searching for then. Fulfillment. I'm excited for life!!

If you met John Gibbons now, what would the conversation be like?
I would apologize to Gibby for disrupting the chemistry of the team. Gibby is a great guy. I was 100% wrong for the actions I took. I was acting out of hurt, resentment, and pain. I could hit the hell out of the baseball but I couldn't control my internal world. I 100% own my crap. The stuff that I did, and how I treated people. UNACCEPTABLE... I was a D*CK.
bpoz - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 01:21 PM EST (#410562) #
Thanks for this BlueMonday.
Mike Green - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 03:12 PM EST (#410565) #
There's an interview with Joe Sclafani over at the Athletic.  Sclafani comments that quantifying defense for developmental purposes has taken longer than quantifying hitting or pitching, but that they now feel that they've got there.  It's gratifying (I guess) to know that the clubs have had the same issue as the analytic community had for decades, before most clubs had an analytics department.
Mike Green - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 03:16 PM EST (#410566) #
FWIW, Gil Kim is still listed as the Director of Player Development on the official website. 
Magpie - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 04:25 PM EST (#410567) #
Vernon wells was getting ready to rip one of our pitchers a new ass for calling him out in the newspaper.

I wonder what pitcher he was talking about. Anybody have a copy of the Toronto papers from 19 July 2006 lying around?

I thought as much. Let's see what we can figure out! The Jays three game winning streak had ended when they lost 5-2 to Texas the night before. The Rangers scored all five runs off Speier and Schoeneweis in the eighth inning. Speier allowed an infield single and a two out single on what was probably a blooper in front of Wells in centre field (two outs, and the runner on first only made it to second.)

Schoeneweis came in to face Teixeira, batting RH (no, Gibby no!) Teixeira delivered an RBI single, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and then the team's LOOGY allowed a two run single to Hank Blalock. Ugh. Gibby called on Vinnie Chulk, who allowed a two-run single to Brad Wilkerson. Nothing like piling on. Schoeneweis was quoted as snapping that "I blew the game. End of story."

So I'm betting it was Speier moaning that if Wells had only caught that two out blooper, all of this could have been avoided.
Magpie - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 04:34 PM EST (#410568) #
You're not going to believe this. But on the very day of that Texas game, our old chum Craig observed that Wells

has improved his defensive play immeasurably in one respect, and that's playing the ball in front of him. I don't know if he's anticipating the short ball better, or maybe playing in a step or two... He is making plays on the 160' humpback liners that he never made in years previous.

Well, no wonder Speier (?!) was irritated. "You've been making that play!"
Glevin - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 04:53 PM EST (#410569) #
"Here's more on Emmanuel Bonilla. On the Bonilla scale, he's a lot closer to Bobby than Juan. Power-hitting right-field prospect with good contact ability, good athleticism and a big arm. 6'3", 205 already, but the scouts think that he'll stick in right-field. "

Still very young so a lot can happen but these are my favourite type of prospects. Guys that can just smash the ball without huge K rates.
Magpie - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 04:59 PM EST (#410570) #
Rolen on the other hand shouldn't have to wait this long.

No kidding. But Ron Santo waited for 32 years, all in vain. And then he died. And then they put him in.

Rolen would be well advised to clear the bar next time, before Adrian Beltre shows up on the ballot.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 05:15 PM EST (#410571) #
Justin Speier. Scott Schoenewei. Vinnie Chulk. Those were the days.
greenfrog - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 09:13 PM EST (#410572) #
Good news about Bonilla. With his size, athleticism, power, hitting ability, limited strikeouts, position, and strong throwing arm, perhaps he could end up (in a dream scenario) somewhat akin to Dave Winfield. Obviously that is a very, very high bar to reach and the comp is probably not quite right, bit that is the first name that came to mind.
Mike Green - Friday, January 28 2022 @ 09:47 PM EST (#410573) #
I thought of Winfield,but physically he was very different. In his 20s, he was long and lean. Actually most of the Great rightfielders were- Aaron, F. Robby, Clemente, Kaline. Bonilla is built more like Babe Ruth. No pressure. Besides he doesn't pitch!
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 05:59 AM EST (#410574) #
It's funny that, while he played 3 years with the Jays, I have no recollection of Justin Speier at all. I remember Schoeneweis, Chulk, etc. and even Chris Speier, a decent shortstop that played for the Expos, who is Justin's father. Chris Speier is 71 years old -- I'm feeling old now.
Thomas - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 01:57 PM EST (#410576) #
Justin Speier. Scott Schoeneweis. Vinnie Chulk.

Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?

scottt - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 03:01 PM EST (#410577) #
You might not remember that well if you think Chris Speier was decent.
He played shortstop but didn't hit. OPS+ of 82, 87, 79, 92, 71, 88 and 88 in Montreal.
He was durable, but not that great defensively. Kinda like the Grichuk of shortstop.
By bWAR, 1.6, 3.1, 1.0, 1.4, -0.1, 1.0 and 1.4

Justin Speier was part of a 3 way trade with the Rockies and Tampa.
The Jays sent Mark Hendrickson to Tampa and Sandy Nin to Colorado.
The Rays sent Joe Kennedy to Colorado.
Toronto got Speier from the Rockies.

In 2004, Speier was the setup guy for Frasor. (Jays finished last.)
He was bumped to middle relief the following years and he was pretty decent in that role.
Especially after B.J. Ryan moved to closer--and eventually blew his elbow.

Josh Towers? Aaron Hill DHing?  Russ Adams trying to play short? Catalanotto and Reed Johnson outfield platoon?

Magpie - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 08:12 PM EST (#410578) #
[Speier] played shortstop but didn't hit. OPS+ of 82, 87, 79, 92, 71, 88 and 88 in Montreal.

Which, by the standards of his era, actually made Speier a slightly above average hitter for a shortstop. I kid you not. Guys like Larry Bowa and Ivan DeJesus were also among the better hitting NL shortstops. It was grim, a whole league of eight hole hitters. Guys like Roger Metzger, Mario Mendoza (as in Mendoza Line), and Johnnie LeMaster.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 08:41 PM EST (#410579) #
Mendoza at least could field the position.  LeMaster wasn't nicknamed "Disaster" for nothing.  He couldn't hit, couldn't field, was a poor baserunner, and was a career -5 WAR player.  Yet, he made the pension fund...
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 10:44 PM EST (#410580) #
" You might not remember that well if you think Chris Speier was decent."

Scottt, synonyms for decent are adequate, fair or passable. I never said Speier was an all-star or very good, and he made his share of errors, but the Expos played him at shortstop for 7 years. Overall he lasted for 19 seasons and had a WAR of 30.6 which is adequate, not great but fair, and maybe even passable.
John Northey - Saturday, January 29 2022 @ 11:41 PM EST (#410581) #
In the contention window for the Expos - 1979-1983 (within 8 games of winning the division every year, within 2 in 79/80) Speier had 4.7 WAR total, from -0.1 in 1981 to 1.4 in 80 & 83. At 2B they had Rodney Scott - 2.6 WAR over that time frame, peak of 1.0 in 79 and sub 1 every other year (but over 0). So basically the Expos of that era wasted 2 slots on guys barely over replacement level and moronically batted Scott 2nd over 120 times a year from 79-81 (well 85 times in 108 games in '81). Talk about maximizing the pain. This on a team with Raines/Dawson/Carter (3 future HOF'ers) plus Al Oliver, Warren Cromartie, Larry Parrish, Ellis Valentine. What a waste. in '78 before he came to Montreal he had a freakish 403 OBP but as an Expo he never reached 320 hitting 226/313/283 overall. Just went through the 1981 Baseball Abstract (yeah I have a lot of those) and no real mention of either Speier or Scott strangely. Got to dig through more and see if I can find some of the few I don't have again - none from 1980 and earlier as those are very low quantities. In the 1981 edition he mentions that the Jays had to be losing on purpose to be as bad as they were and the reason was so as they improved they could keep fans going with small growth (it worked).
earlweaverfan - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 12:29 PM EST (#410582) #
Ramirez, Espinal, Rodon and McHugh:
Perhaps you guys could help me out in understanding what seems to be common ground among most wise owls on this (and other) sites. It goes like this:

“We sure could use an upgrade to an elite two-way 3B player, ideally with a powerful LH bat. There is only one who may be available - Ramirez. Oh, and big bonus, his pay would be relatively cheap for the next two years. Best of all, he could single-handedly replace Semien’s lost production”

There are many yeahbuts, however, that almost everyone acknowledges (but thinks they are a price worth paying):
• Is he really available? My guess is that the Cleveland ambivalence about trading him is just a negotiating tactic to raise the price. Still, they have not shown what their wholehearted strategy is, so it’s hard to be sure
• As for the price, the debate ranges from “a lot of our best prospects” to “most of our best prospects plus Gurriel”; no one doubts this would be costly
• With, say, a 5-for-1 trade, the injury risk is skewed towards the Jays. If Ramirez goes down, that’s our one shot at a successful outcome gone; Cleveland would have 5 shots (each of lesser individual value, granted)
• This makes such a move a high-variability win-now bet at the expense of a lower-variability contend-for-a-decade play - is that what we really want?
• Because there are really no genuinely comparable alternative 3B-men, Cleveland can play hard-to-get, at least for another year
• Finally, this trade would create one more huge contract either from renewing him in two years or replacing him, if we hope to still compete for the bulk of the Vlad and Bo extension years.

Do we have an option? No one seems to doubt Espinal’s defensive chops, but he has been rated mediocre in most people’s minds ever since we got him. Absolutely no power in that bat, but someone who might get on base consistently could have value on a team where sluggers abound. Who will they drive home without enough such players?

What most people say is “he has no demonstrated ability to keep it up for a full MLB season”. True, not having been given that chance, he has not proven he can. I can only see one way to get that proof…

What if we had to fill 3B from internally as our long-run strategy? Would that likely be a Groshans bet? We may not know if that is an attractive choice until we see him play a full season of AAA. Is that a bet we prefer to make now?

IMO, the better questions must be “where do we best add WAR across the 26-man roster?” Is there any reason why we should choose possibly the most expensive roster spot to upgrade?

What other options for our upgrades do we have? A powerful fifth starter like Rodon could add a lot of WAR (high risk / high reward, costly, but only in cash). Or a lights-out bullpen performer like McHugh (lower risk, lower reward, costly but only in cash. These guys would not only contribute themselves but also lower the pressure for our offensive output, by keeping more leads longer.

As for when, wouldn’t the costs of a Cleveland deal likely be lower or lower risk at the deadline? Our prospects might be more valuable by then, our evaluation of Espinal or Groshans as his replacement might be more certain by then, Ramirez’s value might be lower as they would be trading his 1.5 year contract instead of a 2-year one.

Shouldn’t we best possess ourselves in patience on 3B while prioritizing more pitching upgrades? What am I missing?
Glevin - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 01:09 PM EST (#410583) #
"Do we have an option? No one seems to doubt Espinal’s defensive chops, but he has been rated mediocre in most people’s minds ever since we got him. Absolutely no power in that bat, but someone who might get on base consistently could have value on a team where sluggers abound. Who will they drive home without enough such players?"

It's not the power that's an issue it's that if you look at his underlying offensive numbers, they scream fluke. He had a .353 BABIP last year despite having average speed and some of the worst exit velocities in baseball (390th out of 404 hitters). That isn't repeatable. His OBP was .376. His XWOBP was .307. ZIPS has him has a .308 OBP, .348 SLG guy next season which seems pretty spot on to me. That's just not a guy I want to be penciling into the lineup regularly. His flexibility and D make it likely he will be a capable backup but if you plan on contending, you need to do way better as a starter. I'm fine if Jays prefer to add at 2B and put Biggio/Espinal at 3B to start season as they have a couple of top 3B prospects on the way and nobody coming at 2B but Espinal can't be starting the year as a starter.
John Northey - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 01:29 PM EST (#410584) #
Excellent points earlweaverfan.

Espinal: 2.8 WAR career over 312 PA - double to get a full season so that is a 5.6 pace. fWAR is 2.4 = 4.8 roughly over 624 PA

Ramirez: 34.3 WAR career over 4028 PA - 5.2 WAR per 600 PA (full season). 2020/21 9.2 WAR over 890 PA = 6.2 WAR/600 PA. fWAR 9.8 = 6.6 WAR/600 PA

Huh. How can that be right? We've basically been platooning/super subbing a guy who has been in eyeshot of Ramirez? FanGraphs has a bigger spread than BR but 4.8 is certainly possible for Ramirez (was below that in 2019, 2016, and 2013-2015 combined). So a stack of prospects and a massive cash risk for a guy who might perform no better than Espinal (yes, in a different way - more offense, less defense).

For the Jays it is of course worth kicking the tires on Ramirez (and on others like Chapman) but in truth they probably have a perfectly good solution right here right now in Espinal, assuming Biggio can hold onto 2B again (he was #1 of the Jays hitters for bWAR in 2019 and 2020 before injuries and a position change screwed him up in 2021). But paying what I figure the price would be (massive prospect haul plus) is probably not worth it. Go to the All-Star break and see where the Jays are. If Ramirez is needed, then give in and pay the kings ransom. But I think Espinal plus the kids who are almost ready (Smith, Lopez, Groshans) should work fine.

In truth the more I read the more I worry about the corner OF. Most projection systems hate Gurriel and Hernandez - putting both as sub 2 WAR players (Steamer, ZiPS) while some lesser known ones have Hernandez in the 2's (The BAT, ATC, FGDC). There are few options coming up, and no sane person would put a lot of hope on Grichuk (all have him at 1.0 or less, but above 0). Part of why I hope the Jays can get that Japanese OF - Seiya Suzuki (only ATC has a projection - at 0.6 over 131 PA = 2.7 over a full season or almost tied with Hernandez and well ahead of Grichuk/Gurriel). Should be interesting to see what the Jays do when the lockout ends and they have probably 2 weeks to put a roster together.
John Northey - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 01:33 PM EST (#410585) #
Glevin - excellent point. How projectable is Espinal? The assorted projections range from 0.4 (ZiPS) to 1.6 (Steamer) with only 1 of 6 expecting him to get 500+ PA. So that is obviously a big issue. Again, will be interesting to see what the Jays do. Ramirez imo is a pipe dream - no way Cleveland sells him at a price the Jays should pay (about half of the value Trade Values has him at). Espinal is not ideal at 3B but he has produced for 2 years now so I say give him a shot and have the other kids ready to step in. Keep Cleveland and Oakland on speed dial just in case.
bpoz - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 01:44 PM EST (#410586) #
Boston and NYY have done practically nothing this off season. That is very rare.
scottt - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 04:25 PM EST (#410587) #
The Yankees are waiting to know what the Luxury Tax threshold is.
They need a shortstop, but just as a placeholder until one of their prospect is up next year.
Judge is a free agent at the end of the year and a complicated case.

They could use a left bat a first but they have Voit for cheap.
Their weakest position last year was left field and they have Gallo for another year.
They could use some help in CF.

They have a rotation of Cole, Montgomery, Severino, Cortes and German.
Taillon might be ready for opening day.

They still have Chapman, Loaisiga, and Green. Luetge wasn't bad. Rodriguez wasn't terrible.

They have King, Schmidt, Garcia, Gil etc in AAA as back up starters.

I could see them grabbing a reliever or 2, along with whoever at short.

Boston has done a few things. Maybe more than the Blue Jays actually.
Signed Rich Hill and James Paxton.
Traded Hunter Renfroe for Bradley and 2 prospects.
Acquired Wacha.

What else do they need?
Upgrade Dalbec at first base? Triston Casas is waiting to debut.
Get a right handed bat to replace Renfroe in the outfield. A platoon might do.
Their rotation is Eovaldi, Sale, Pivetta, Hill, Wacha, Houck, Maybe Whitlock, eventually Paxton.
The pen is very similar to last year. They probably need a closer if they want to use Whitlock elsewhere.
Can use a couple of extra arms, but the pen looks more solid than the rotation which is kinda set.

John Northey - Sunday, January 30 2022 @ 09:08 PM EST (#410588) #
Always interesting to do a quick surface scan of the division opponents - NYY, Bos, and TB (Baltimore is not a factor baring a historic turnaround)  WAR totals projected by position/playing time (so a bit of Hernandez in LF but not much for example).
  • NYY Depth Chart : C: 2.5, 1B: 2.4, 2B: 3.3, 3B: 3.0, SS: 2.7, LF: 4.1, CF: 2.7, RF: 5.8, DH: 3.1, SP: 15.3 (Cole 5.8, Montgomery 2.8, Severino 2.2, Tallon 2.0, Cortes 0.9, Rest: 1.4), RP: 5.3 (Chapman 1.6, Loaisiga 1.4, Green 1.0, Rodriguez 0.5, rest 0.3 or less)
  • Bos Depth Chart : C: 2.7, 1B: 1.3, 2B: 3.1, 3B: 4.7, SS: 4.7, LF: 1.1, CF: 1.8, RF: 2.4, DH: 2.0, SP: 12.0 (Eovaldi 3.8, Sale 3.3, Pivetta 1.7, Houck 1.0, Wacha 0.9, Rest: 1.4), RP: 3.0 (Barns 1.2, Whitlock 0.9, Taylor 0.5, rest 0.2 or less)
  • TB Depth Chart : C: 3.7, 1B: 2.0, 2B: 4.6, 3B: 2.7, SS: 5.3, LF: 2.7, CF: 2.7, RF: 2.4, DH: 2.2, SP: 10.2 (McClanahan 2.3, Baz 2.0, Kluber 1.7, Rasmussen 1.3, Yarbrough 1.1, Rest: 1.7), RP: 3.6 (Kittredge 1.2, Fairbanks 0.9, rest 0.4 or less)
  • Tor Depth Chart : C: 4.0 1B: 6.0, 2B: 2.0, 3B: 1.7, SS: 5.1, LF: 1.8, CF: 4.2, RF: 1.4, DH: 1.8, SP: 13.0 (Gausman 3.4, Berrios 3.2, Ryu 2.7, Manoah 2.2, Stripling 0.6, Pearson 0.6, Rest: 0.2), RP: 2.9 (Romano 1.1, Mayza 0.7, rest sub 0.4)
An interesting way to quickly get a view.  Jays best at C, 1B (more WAR at 1B than all 3 others combined), CF.  Last at 2B, 3B (by a mile in both cases), RF, DH, and RP.  Yankees are first in RF (by a mile), SP, RP; last at C, SS.  Boston is first at 3B, and Last at 1B, LF, CF.  Tampa is first at 2B, SS, and Last in SP.

Kind of sucks that the Yankees big holes include SS where they could upgrade significantly if they open their wallets 10 minutes after the lockout ends.  Boston's worst spots are 2 easy to fix (1B/LF - find a slugger with poor defense) and 1 not so easy (CF).  Tampa is pretty stable and we all know they pull off miracles with pitching year in / year out.  Jays 2B/3B problems are well known, but projections put LF/RF/DH as a big issue as projections do not like Gurriel/Hernandez/Grichuk.
bpoz - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 09:41 AM EST (#410590) #
I expected pitching help from the 2015-2017 drafts and college selections in 2018.

2015 nothing except Saucedo left.

2016 only K Snead left to help out.

2017 Pearson, Danner, Spraker and Logue left. Maybe they can contribute.

2018 J Murray, Allgeyer.

Mainly relievers which is fine. Hope that Danner is considered/groomed as a starter. Pearson, Murray, Logue and Allgeyer are potential starters.

Our pitching depth past #15 is quite unknows.

We can compete with the other AL East teams.

Mike Green - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 10:02 AM EST (#410591) #
EWF, it's a complicated story.

First, it seems to me that the Jays are aiming for a longer competitive window than 2 years.  The signing of Berrios is one indication of that, and of course, the club has Guerrero Jr. and Bichette under control for longer.  This, of course, does not mean that Ramirez isn't an impossible add, but merely that it influences what the club is willing to give up for him.

Second, I think that you have to look at the club's 3B/SS/2B situation holisitically.  Right now, the depth chart reads Bichette/Espinal and Biggio/Kevin Smith/Groshans.  If you believe that Smith and/or Groshans are likely to add significant value this year, then the club doesn't really need to add any infielder.  If you don't believe that, then the club obviously does. An infield of Espinal/Bichette/Biggio/Guerrero Jr. with a replacement level back-up infielder is a very significant downgrade from 3+WAR third baseman, Bichette, Biggio/Espinal and Guerrero Jr. infield.  Espinal would still probably get 400+ PAs with backup time at shortstop and third base.

Third, there are several ways to introduce L/R balance into the club. A left-handed 3rd or 4th outfielder would be one way.   Ramirez is the simplest, but probably not the cheapest, way.  

Of course the club should be interested in Ramirez.  He's been an MVP candidate three of the last four years, and he's on a Hall of Fame path, with Longoria and Rolen his closest age comparables.  But I don't subscribe to the view that he's the only player that makes sense for them. 
scottt - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 12:49 PM EST (#410592) #
Those numbers include weird projection and unlikely deployment.

Catcher Jansen 45%, Kirk 31%, McGuire 11%. A name seems to be missing here.

DH Hernandez 43%, Kirk 23%, Springer 12%, ... Guerrero 0%. Yeah, no. In actuality Guerrero could DH more than Teoscar.

SS Bichette 94%, Smith 3%, Espinal 2%. Not sure if Smith will play there at all.

RF Hernandez 45%, Grichuk 40%. Split the position between the All-Star and the replacement level guy. Sure.
CF Springer 81%. Grichuk 13% Hernandez 3%, Palacios 2%, Warmoth 1%. Not sure how much Springer can play. I'm sure we won't see Warmoth here even for a cup of coffee.

They have Berrios at close to 200 innings, a bit less for Gausman,  175 for  Ryu but only 145 for Manoah.
I don't think Manoah will have an inning limit and there is no indication that he's more likely to be on the IL than anybody else. It's just some weak calculation based only on last year's numbers.

Biggio 1.7 WAR? I'd say at least 2.5 if he's healthy.
Espinal 1 WAR at 3B? He's not getting 420 PAs if he's not hitting. He was good for 2.2 WAR last year over only 250 PAs.
Hernandez 1.1 WAR in right field  and 0.9 at DH. He was worth 3.9 last year and missed time because of Covid.

Not sure why they have numbers for Groshans and Warmoth, but not for Gabriel Moreno.
It seems like they might let Moreno play 3B instead of DH on his off days, as long as they don't have a vet at the hot corner. Leo Jiminez was put on the reserve roster and will probably get a few PAs, especially if he keeps getting on base.

They need a big left bat to get 60% of DH. Guerrero, Springer, Bichette will keep getting their rest at DH.
Bichette started 11 games at DH last year,  Guerrero 28, Springer 38, Hernandez 11.
As a platoon bat, Biggio will get his PAs, but hopefully none at 3B.

grjas - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 01:22 PM EST (#410593) #
I wonder if the Jays would be less aggressive on someone like Ramirez if the playoff pool gets expanded during the talks. They may be more willing to take a chance on their existing 3rd base options- at least till the all star break- if there are more slots available. In a division featuring NY, Boston and Tampa, a potentially mediocre 3rd (and may be 2nd base) could prevent them hitting the 90+ wins they probably need to make the playoffs in the current format. But another slot or two lowers the risk a bit.
Mike Green - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 01:38 PM EST (#410594) #
The Blue Jays' chances of making the playoffs for the next few years are roughly 40%-70%.  Their chance of winning the World Series in any season when they make the playoffs is 5-20%.  Ramirez actually probably makes a bigger difference in the 2nd part of the equation than the first, which is why a deadline acquisition has some appeal. 
greenfrog - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 02:43 PM EST (#410595) #
Yes. Cleveland may wait and see how the first half of the season goes before deciding whether to trade Ramirez. And it may make sense for the Jays to wait as well.
John Northey - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 03:01 PM EST (#410596) #
Agreed on the wait and see approach - depending of course on what Cleveland is asking today vs what, say, Oakland is asking for Chapman, and any other options out there. There aren't a ton of teams looking for 3B nor are there a ton of them out there on the market so it is hard to say what the price will be. The big variable being what do the Jays think Groshans, Smith, Lopez and other prospects might do, let alone if Moreno if they move him to 3B (unlikely - but they could do it like the Reds did with Johnny Bench - where by age 22 he was playing games in LF/1B/RF/CF/3B in an attempt to keep his bat in the lineup without wearing him down behind the plate - he had 1742 games at C, 195 at 3B, 145 at 1B, and 111 in the OF (mostly LF/RF)). I could see the Jays doing that with Moreno, although more using DH than other positions depending - he might be the type who really wants to be in the field and plays best that way so C/3B/1B with Vlad at DH giving both a break now and then that way, and time at 3B so up the offense sometimes.

Should be interesting to see what the Jays do once the season gets going and we know the new rules from the new Collective Agreement. Odds are Moreno will need to be left in AAA for 1-2 months no matter what, gaining a year of control while also getting more time behind the plate.
scottt - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 06:19 PM EST (#410597) #
Moreno is not moving to 3B. He might be playing a dozen game at 3B on days he's not catching.
Normally offensive catcher play 1B or DH but 3B makes more sense for him and the team.
Kirk didn't hit enough to DH.

I don't know if Lopez can play 3B. I see him spelling Biggio at 2B, especially if someone is hurt.

Chapman has virtually no value. They are better off using whatever players they have now.
He's the equivalent at 3B of Grichuk playing RF, good defense but average bat at an offensive position.
Like Lindor, Chapman hasn't had a good season in a couple of years.
It's one thing to spend money on a bounce back candidate, but trading top prospects to gamble on one?

electric carrot - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 06:35 PM EST (#410598) #
Honestly, I am a little confused by all the talk about trading for position players. I really don't think it's going to make as much difference as upgrades to pitching -- especially a top of the rotation starter. It just seems like we have a lot of options at third base. None are as good as Ramirez but the difference between Ramirez and whatever motley crew would play instead of him is not as great as a frontline starter and whatever motley crew ends up as our 5th starter -- especially after the inevitable injuries.

I would prioritize pitching.
Mike Green - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 07:36 PM EST (#410599) #
I don't know, electric carrot.  It's about the same from my perspective.  The Blue Jay front 4 is awfully good, and yes it could be made better if they had a sterling front 5, but for playoff purposes, it's really an over-investment.  True top-of-the rotation guys are as costly as MVP candidate third basemen.

Rodon is an interesting trade target, not because he's a top of the rotation pitcher (ZiPS projects him for 107 innings and 2 WAR).  Rather because he has significant playoff value and some regular season value and he won't likely cost a bundle. 
Michael - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 08:12 PM EST (#410600) #
A 5th quality SP isn't an over investment for the playoffs because:

1. It is quite unlikely all 5 are healthy during the playoffs.
2. In the event they are, you can always have 1 or more pitch swing/relief and a quality SP is likely better than most of your bullpen inning for inning even in an unusual role.

Plus, given injuries and what not it greatly increases the chance you make it to the playoffs.
greenfrog - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 08:18 PM EST (#410601) #
Also, Ryu is at the stage of his career where his performance may start to fall off (as it did toward the end of last year), making him less of a viable option in the postseason. This may be why the Jays were trying to add Verlander or Syndergaard — more for postseason firepower than for regular-season innings.
greenfrog - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 09:37 PM EST (#410602) #
I think Anthopoulos said you should aim to have about eight starting pitchers when constructing a rotation. The Dodgers often seem to have at least five good starting pitchers. And the Rays have an apparently inexhaustible supply of pitchers who can provide 5+ quality innings.
Mike Green - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 09:53 PM EST (#410603) #
Like I said, Carlos Rodon would be a nice addition. If you split the #5 starter role between Rodon and Pearson, and have Stripling and Logue waiting in the wings, that would be fine.
John Northey - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 09:57 PM EST (#410604) #
Some very good points here. The question is a combination of what does it cost to upgrade, and how much can you upgrade.

3B: obvious area - allows Espinal to be a super-sub with Biggio also in that role - the two share 2B, backup SS, can cover 3B and even the OF/1B if needed. Otherwise we have a projected 1-2 WAR guy at each of 3B and 2B which isn't ideal by any stretch, and wouldn't allow the two of them to be used as their skills allow (super-sub). Chapman would be an excellent 2 year guy - 23.2 WAR over 5 seasons so far, 5.8 bWAR per 600 PA. Last year he slumped with a 100 OPS+ but his defense was very strong still plus his offense might look worse than it is due to the park he plays in (Oakland is deadly if you hit flyballs and has that insane foul ground). 3.5 WAR despite that 100 OPS+. I wouldn't pay a ransom, but try for a reasonable deal (Gurriel and a prospect). He had 7+ WAR twice recently (2018 & 19) so clearly could do that again, I suspect the Jays more relaxed atmosphere would help (having a lineup of good hitters plus a team that isn't penny pinching should relax a guy I'd think). Sadly it seems Oakland is asking a kings ransom so it won't happen unless they become more realistic. I suspect the Jays are going with Espinal to begin (given he did well last year and seems to be a favorite in the clubhouse) with Smith the first option after him, while others like Lopez, and Groshans are kept an eye on for if they are ready to step in.

SP: 4 very good guys right now, but Ryu is long in the tooth and was showing signs of trouble late in the season without a doubt. I don't want to count on Stripling/Pearson/Hatch to fill that 5th hole, instead having the 3 of them fighting to fill in during injuries. The question becomes who can the Jays get for that 5 hole? Guys on the market still are Zack Greinke (8.2 WAR the past 3 years is the best of any free agent pitcher), Clayton Kershaw (should be returning to LA, can't imagine him coming here), Carlos Rodon (killer year last year but hurt so big risk factor here especially after just 7 2/3 IP in 2020, and 34.2 the year before that). Danny Duffy is an interesting LHP to keep an eye on too (another injury guy). Kwang Hyun Kim was talked about by the Jays pre-lockout (LHP just 106 IP last year).

For pitchers I'm leaning towards Rodon depending how much he wants on a 1 year deal, or if he is pushing for a 3 year one (can't imagine any sane GM would give him more than that). A 1 year $25+ mil deal is probably reasonable given the market and lands under the 'no bad 1 year deal' as it wouldn't affect future signings like Vlad & Bo at all. He might only give you half a season but be an ace during that stretch. I could see him being mixed with Pearson to form a deadly 5/4 IP combo for innings to try to keep them both low so their arms might survive 162 games - as a LHP he'd mix well in the rotation which after leaning left strongly last year is now down to 1 LHP (Ryu). Kim and Duffy are both similar in the being LHP with injury risks but could mix well with Pearson to give a killer 5th starter combo. It all depends on price in the end. None require a draft pick to be given up (bonus) so all cost only cash, which I think the Jays have plenty of at the moment but nowhere to spend it. All depends on which area is the biggest potential bang for the buck.

Of course, then you get the OF situation where it seems OK right now, but projection systems all scream that Hernandez and Gurriel and Grichuk are not full-time starters (all sub 2 WAR projections). Plus you need a backup for Springer whenever he goes down. The AAAA guys signed to NRI's might be nice for a few innings here and there but not as fill ins for 300+ PA's (there is a reason they are NRI's). Seiya Suzuki could be the answer there, at a reasonable price ($10-15 mil per year) but odds are he'll be going west (favorite place for Japanese players). Nick Castellanos has the bat, but has a QO (thus costs a draft pick) and is entering his age 30 season and is viewed as a negative on defense but does have a killer bat. Jorge Soler is similar but had a bad 2021 and is also weak on defense but no QO.

Can't forget the pen - lots of cheap and expensive options still out there. Do the Jays blow a lot and get a solid closer in Kenley Jansen, thus shifting everyone down a notch and jumping the entire pen's quality or get a cheap guy to fill it out at the back end instead? My money is on the cheaper option unless Jansen has trouble getting the big multi-year deal he wants.

So in the end it all depends on what other teams/free agents demand. If Rodon can be had then the pen has to go cheap and offensive improvements will wait to mid-season or internal options I suspect. If not, then someone like Kim could be signed and use the extra cash to sign Jansen to make the entire staff stronger. For the OF I expect a few AAAA guys signed to fill out Buffalo but not realistically get a shot here, with the Jays keeping an eye open for trade opportunities unless Suzuki falls into their laps. 3B I'd be surprised at this stage to see anyone significant added unless Oakland or Cleveland decides to take what they can get and just go from there (very unlikely).
Dr B - Monday, January 31 2022 @ 10:52 PM EST (#410605) #
I mentioned this before, but Chapman had a hip injury in 2020 and hasn't been the same in 2021. You would want to check his medicals rather carefully.
I agree with most of what has been said about 3B, though I do find it odd 2B is ignored. It was great last year, but...
There are several place the Jays could improve and they should just do it where they get the best deal; if it happens to be at 3B so be it. Otherwise Espinal's defense will still have value and he can hold the fort until one of the prospects arrives.

FWIW I notice has splits by power vs. finesse. It has Biggio with an OPS of 641 vs. "Power" pitchers and 833 vs. "Finesse" pitchers.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 07:47 AM EST (#410606) #
It seems that there could be covid restrictions in place again. This would affect the Jays the most IMO. Unless I am just panicking,
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 10:12 AM EST (#410607) #
Hunter Renfroe was traded to Milwaukee.

Hunter Renfrow plays for the Raiders.

I was confused for one year.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 10:21 AM EST (#410608) #
I agree with most of what has been said about 3B, though I do find it odd 2B is ignored.

Agreed. I don't mind giving Biggio a chance to earn his starting spot back, but his trouble with high velocity combined with the power drop without the pre-2021 juiced balls is a concern. For that reason, if Ramirez costs too much (or isn't available at all), then a pivot towards Ketel Marte would make a lot of sense. He can cover 2B and CF, and the Jays seem to have a bunch of 3B options where there's a good chance one of them can/will stick (Groshans, Martinez, Smith, Moreno if he's moved to third). Of course, acquiring Marte would likely cost the team at least one of those players (not Moreno), plus more, so it really depends on what it would take to get him.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 12:19 PM EST (#410609) #
I see it as you need to fill one of those positions, and that Espinal/Biggio can platoon or something to fill the other. Biggio was clearly poor at 3B on defense so 2B makes more sense. So who at 2B is out there that could do well enough to justify it?

Checking BR's free agent list I don't see anyone who has really impressed the past 3 years (6+ WAR minimum) who played 2B. The highest WAR over those 3 years for anyone who played even 1 game at 2B was Jonathan Villar at 5.9. Ugh. Then Freddy Galvis at 4.5. For guys with 2B as their primary position #1 is Hanser Alberto with 4.4 over 3 years.

Now, of course, there are the remaining SS's who might move given the right deal/situation like Semien did last year. Trevor Story with 13.7 WAR over the past 3 years is the #1 free agent in net WAR over 3 years but has been ignored this winter it seems. Correra is 2nd with 12.6. I suspect both would want to play SS and both would demand a minimum of $200 million.

That leaves trades. I did a tiny bit of digging but no one came up as a good candidate. The horrible teams don't seem to have decent guys at 2B as their one good player, but maybe a strong team has depth I don't know about and is willing to deal. Anyone have ideas?
John Northey - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 12:27 PM EST (#410610) #
Arizona won't let Marte go cheaply. He played more in CF than 2B last year, same in 2019. Signed through 2024 at a reasonable price ($8.4 this year, team options for $8 and $10 mil the next 2 years) it would take a LOT to get him out of Arizona I'd figure. Even with his injury issues (just 90 games last year). I suspect given those issues most view him as a CF now more than a 2B. His defense at 2B via UZR/150 has been a negative for 3 years. Same in CF in 2021. He'd be nice to have but the price is probably too high. The Jays would be remiss not to kick the tires on a deal though.
scottt - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 06:22 PM EST (#410611) #
Non vaccinated players are not allowed to cross the border.
Hopefully the Jays has no such players.

scottt - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 06:37 PM EST (#410612) #
AA was a big improvement in putting up a full rotation, but he never started a season with 5 dependable starters.
Stroman got injured in the spring which opened the door to Sanchez, but Hutchison was the season opener and Norris was also in the starting rotation. Estrada was moved from the pen. Buehrle was retired before the playoffs.

scottt - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 06:41 PM EST (#410613) #
Chapman was better on the road, there's that, but he also has huge splits.
He'd be a great fit on a team with 4 or 5 left bats. Really bad fit for the Jays.

scottt - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 06:50 PM EST (#410614) #
Biggio should play second base and not be treated as a utility player.
That doesn't mean he's blocking a bench player who is hitting more than him.
Maybe you platoon him, but there's no reason to have him playing several positions--unless he's hitting more than the regulars at those position.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 01 2022 @ 07:25 PM EST (#410615) #
I see Biggio as a useful super-sub ala Tony Phillips in the 90's - a guy who can play reasonably well at multiple positions thus giving other players a day off without needing to use a guy who really shouldn't get more than 50 PA's. Biggio can play 2B/3B/1B, and LF/CF/RF. With Springer needing time off and the natural need to give infielders days off he could be that guy who makes life easy for the manger by covering everywhere.

Right now the bench would most likely be, assuming 13 hitters/13 pitchers, (if Espinal and Biggio are playing everyday and Grichuk everyday moving OF'ers to DH or Gurriel to 1B when Vlad DH's) a catcher (Kirk or McGuire), an infielder (Kevin Smith most likely), and an outfielder who is a speed demon (NRI Mallex Smith). Get an everyday 3B or 2B and then Espinal and Biggio share the other position and Kevin Smith gets more AAA time, or Mallex Smith isn't up, or at least to ensure that neither Smith gets up to the plate very often outside of blowouts.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 05:51 AM EST (#410616) #
I'm sure Atkins and Shapiro will be adding a few more players when the new CBA is settled, and one of them will probably play in the infield. Cavan Biggio was dogged by injuries all season last year and should be a lot better this season, whenever that will be.
scottt - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 07:10 AM EST (#410618) #
It looks like the players' efforts at reducing revenue sharing might end up with some of the money used to pay bonuses to guys who are not arb eligible. Right now the owners are offering 10M and the players want 100M.

I kinda like. It does reduce the profitability of tanking without leaving more money in hands of the big market teams.
How to determine who gets the bonus will be a pain. WAR is a bad idea. Needs objective bonuses such as top 10 in homeruns or batting average or strikeouts or hold. The owners are offering a smaller pool because they don't want to fund it from the revenue sharing. Instead they want to make the minimum salary a hard cap.

Not a lot regarding earlier arbitration. Easiest thing is to move the super-2 from 22%.

Regarding the "manipulation of service time" the owners are offering extra draft picks for guys who start the year on the roster. I don't think it impacts the right players. I wouldn't trade a year of Vlad for a second round draft pick. The Rays are not paying arbitration earlier for a pick neither. Teams could start a guy and send him down if he's not in line for a pick. The obvious winner would seem to be a rule 5 draftee, so status quo there. Or maybe teams could get more aggressive on the rule 5 going for a double win.

scottt - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 08:59 AM EST (#410619) #
I don't know about a few more players.
They need a left bat. They could find a spot for one in the infield but the best spot, by far, is DH.

There is no point in putting guys on the 40 roster unless they are ready to play.
There are only 14 guys on the 40 roster who aren't on the opening roster.
Positions open when guys land on the 60 IL.

There are 4 catchers on the reserve list. That's too many.
They might need a trade to open up playing time for Moreno, but once they do that, they'll have no backup in AAA.
Jansen still has options but I don't see him going down.
McGuire is out of options. So is Kirk the guy you send down to AAA for a year or 2?
The issue is probably his game calling and his familiarity with the experienced pitchers.

In the outfield, Grichuk is the 4th outfielder and Palacios is the guy they call when someone goes to the IL, which will happen.
Mallex Smith would need a roster spot. I don't see him making the team. I don't know if he has a release clause in his contract. They could upgrade from Palacios, but there is no need to do that unless Grichuk is getting too many ABs.

In the infield, they liked Jimenez enough to protect him even though he's years away.  (Has not played about A+)
Lopez has hit. Smith is on some top prospect list. Espinal has been excellent (he's older than Biggio and Jansen).
Groshans should be getting close.
The Jays have signed Gosuke Katoh to a minor deal.  He hit .306 .388 .474 with the Padres AAA

I think Phelps gets a spot if he can stay healthy.
Who doesn't like the guy?

bpoz - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 09:09 AM EST (#410621) #
So get the extra year of Vlad by starting him late (service time manipulation). Hope I understood this correctly.

If rookie Vlad misses the 1st month, we may miss the playoffs because we were 1 win short. Of course he could miss time anywhere in the schedule due to injury causing us to lose some games.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 01:48 PM EST (#410625) #
There's a definite logjam at catcher but Moreno will no doubt start at AAA, but if he hits like last year, he may force his way onto the big club.

I don't know where Kirk figures for 2022. He seemed to hit a wall in September after a great start but is young and hasn't had that many at-bats in the minors and majors combined. Do the Jays slot him as the DH and have him catch a game a week, or get rid of McGuire even if he is a lefty batter and have Kirk partner with Jansen, or do they include Kirk in a trade? Or, as Scottt suggested, send Kirk to AAA, which might not be bad considering his inexperience.

When I say the Jays will add a few players, I think it will be an infielder and a pitcher or two. I don't think the club will bet on Espinal and Biggio both filling their spots full-time, and you can never have enough pitching it seems.
Glevin - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 01:54 PM EST (#410626) #
Jays need a long-term answer at 2B. The best answer would probably be moving Bo there but that's unlikely to happen.

Really at a loss to describe how much contempt I have for baseball owners right now. it is clear that they have zero interest in negotiations and want to wait until the union cracks in order to break them. This from a business where every owner is raking in tens of millions of dollars and it still isn't enough.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 03:04 PM EST (#410629) #
Really at a loss to describe how much contempt I have for baseball owners right now. it is clear that they have zero interest in negotiations and want to wait until the union cracks in order to break them. This from a business where every owner is raking in tens of millions of dollars and it still isn't enough.

Seconded.  Cue Badlands. 
bpoz - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 04:57 PM EST (#410630) #
Adding something good has to drop into your lap. Like Semien on Jan 30/21. I am ok believing that they tried to sign him for multiple years (4). Springer signed Jan23/21 for 6 years was probably 1 or 2 years more that they wanted to give him.

Adding T Shaw, Ray and Matz is adding not that great/proven players like Ryu, Semien and Springer. Shaw/Ray/Matz are easy adds like Grichuk and Stripling were. They were all available as easy to obtain like Kirby Yates and Y Garcia.

I can see giving Teoscar a 4 year contract that does not have a big impact on team payroll. I feel budgeting the payroll is very important for the Jays.

#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 05:05 PM EST (#410631) #

The Blue Jays have signed free-agent pitcher Mark Simon from the Missoula Padddleheads of the Pioneer League according to his manager Michael Schlact on Twitter.

The 6-foot-0, 185-pound righty was 9-2 with a 3.00 ERA and seven saves, striking out 87 batters in 60 innings. He is 26 years old.

You can read more about him here.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 06:49 PM EST (#410632) #
No question long term payroll has to be a concern now for the Jays with over $60 mil committed for years to Berrios, Gausman & Springer, plus the raises coming to Vlad & Bo very very soon. Those 5 could be $120 mil combined easily by 2025/26 which makes it tight for all others. Assuming the Jays will not shoot over $200 mil anytime soon.
scottt - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 07:09 PM EST (#410633) #
Why would they need stability at second base? It's the easiest position to play whoever. They have tons of infield prospects who can all play 2B for the league minimum.
Most of them bulk up too much to play short or don' t hit enough to be regulars.
Bo has not played much 2B and might not be very good there. He sucks at placing his feet, he just throws on the run.

I keep saying it, but what they need is a good left bat.
There are lots of good right handers with bad splits to take advantage of.

Mike Green - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 07:10 PM EST (#410634) #
ZiPS projects the Blue Jays (as of today) to finish second in the AL East at 89-73, one game behind the Yankees and one ahead of the Rays.  The Astros are projected to have the best record in the AL with 91 wins.  The AL West is a weaker division than the AL East, and that accounts for the 1 win difference between the Astros and Yankees.  ZiPS says that the Jays' chances of winning the World Series at 6.2%. 

All the numbers seem reasonable to me. 
scottt - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 07:34 PM EST (#410635) #
It makes perfect sense. The players won't negotiate without pressure or leverage.
Starting the year without an agreement would be a disaster.
The players would go on strike and there would be no playoffs.

I have nothing but contempt for the Ottawa public transit. They let their drivers work without a CBA.
The drivers go on strike in the middle of the winter when it's -20 and people have to drive kids to school.
Would make so much sense to lock them down over the summer if they can't agree on a deal.
People take vacations, can walk or bike to work and there is no school.
In the end they'd probably get the same deals. It's mostly about feeling like you pushed the other side as far as you could.

So far we haven't lost anything. April and May are the worst baseball month anyway.
Covid is still raging. Things will only get better heading into the summer.

Most of the baseball problem comes from the players wanting to have those 400M deals.
So they don't want any type of ceiling or floor.

It's hard to have a competitive league if there is no level playing field.
You're depending on billionaires--like the Mets situation.
The players love that, but it's a horribly ran franchise.
The owner will try hard to win a World Series and then lose interest--and a lot of money--and sell the team.

There are too many teams tanking.
The players see too many teams with low payrolls and want to fix that but they don't care about the losing records.
Those teams could double their payrolls and lose 150 games and the players would be fine with it. 
We're lucky that the Jays rebuilt without tanking.

When the pressure rise, they'll make some tweaks and meet in the middle.

Dr B - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 10:48 PM EST (#410638) #
That's a nice story #2JBrumfield, thanks. Mark Simon is the sort of player one can really cheer for and the more lottery tickets the better, I say.
Dr B - Wednesday, February 02 2022 @ 11:11 PM EST (#410639) #
They have tons of infield prospects who can all play 2B for the league minimum.
True, but most of these candidates are also going to play at the quality minimum too. You can put up with a certain amount of replacement level, but I would certainly upgrade at 2B or 3B if such an upgrade is available. There are some prospects who _might_ be better than the incumbents but I would prefer not to bet on it, at least with ETA 2022.

I keep saying it, but what they need is a good left bat.

Well perhaps everyone agrees with you. I know I do. Maybe a Conforto or a Schwarber. It doesn’t stop you getting an upgrade somewhere else, though.

dalimon5 - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 01:51 AM EST (#410640) #
"Really at a loss to describe how much contempt I have for baseball owners right now. it is clear that they have zero interest in negotiations and want to wait until the union cracks in order to break them. This from a business where every owner is raking in tens of millions of dollars and it still isn't enough."

I think more and probably most people would have this sentiment if there weren't massively paid players doing essentially the same thing as the owners. We have owners who purchased teams from money they earned as MLB players like Derek Jeter and others. And no, not every owner is raking in "tens of millions of dollars."
Jonny German - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 05:17 AM EST (#410641) #
Most of the baseball problem comes from the players wanting to have those 400M deals.

This is nonsense. If I proposed a maximum total contract value of $200M together with a minimum annual salary of $1M, which side do you think would say no?
Parker - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 10:14 AM EST (#410642) #
I'm a little late to the party, but I thought A.J. Pierzynski deserved more recognition on the HoF ballot. I'm not saying he should be inducted, but I'm a little surprised the BBWAA virtually ignored him. He was a great catcher and one of the smartest players of his generation.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 11:43 AM EST (#410643) #
BA’s MLB organization talent rankings are up. The Jays are #19. Tampa is #2, Baltimore is #4, Boston is #11, New York Yankees are #13.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 12:37 PM EST (#410644) #
Wow, Baltimore has had a top 5 pick the last 3 years, number 11 in 2018, and Tampa is STILL ahead of them in talent.

Hopefully some of the younger players in the low minors take a step forward this year along with last year's drafted players, and with extra picks in this year's draft, maybe the Jay's talent ranking will rise again.
Glevin - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 01:46 PM EST (#410645) #
"I think more and probably most people would have this sentiment if there weren't massively paid players doing essentially the same thing as the owners. We have owners who purchased teams from money they earned as MLB players like Derek Jeter and others. And no, not every owner is raking in "tens of millions of dollars.""

Except they aren't doing the same thing. The average salary for players is falling while profits for owners are going up. Most players aren't millionaires. The average player isn't Derek Jeter (Jeter is the 0.1%). The average player is Dalton Pompey and yes every single owner is making tens of millions of dollars which is why baseball refuses to open its books. Starting in 2022, every MLB team will ger $60M a year from national TV deals. I believe most teams get at least $40M from local TV revenue (Tampa for example, was getting $35M in 2018). Tampa also gets $50-$60M a year from Revenue sharing. That's $140-$150M a year without a single fan through the turnstiles or merchandise sold, etc.... If they pay say, $70M in salaries, that's still $70-80M to pay for stadium, minor leagues, other employees, etc...And this is the worst off team in baseball. The reason teams don't spend is not that they can't afford it so owners pretending they are being squeezed are full of it.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 02:22 PM EST (#410646) #
Tomorrow's birthday club might be the worst of any day on the field, but it's a Hall of Fame hall of names club- Lou Say, Ri Jones, Germany Schaefer, Rankin (Full Stop) Johnson, Hod (Warm) Leverette, Possum Whited,  and the PG-13 pair of Rusty Kuntz and Doug Fister.  Lots of Blue Jays too- Dan Plesac, Brad Cornett, John Frascatore and Tom Mastny. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 03:33 PM EST (#410647) #
Glevin get real. The average player is not like Dalton Pompey or Derek Jeter. That's like saying every baseball owner is like the Cleveland Guardians.

As long as players are criticizing greedy owners while at the same time receiving huge sums of money from them all going towards a small percentage of players, I won't support the false narrative of rich owners and underpaid players.

If the owners gave 1 billion and 3 players took it all, is that the owners fault? It's like the NBA told the players mid 90s. We have 500 million for it all to Michael Jordan if you want, but that's our limit.

Owners put their money in an investment once upon a time and assumed all the risk. Why isn't it fair that they reap more benefits of the product they created and invested in? Players agreed to be paid by owners and signed contracts.

Calling owners greedy to me is like saying F1 drivers race too fast or that home builders are rich because they overcharge home your own home then.

Joe - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 04:17 PM EST (#410648) #
But the average player is like Dalton Pompey, at least salary-wise: 63% of players in 2019 (the most recent year we have data for) had 1-3 years of service time, meaning they were almost definitely making the minimum. source
John Northey - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 04:50 PM EST (#410649) #
The players latest proposals pretty much cover those bottom players - an increase in the minimum and a performance bonus for those with up to 2 years of service with all having 2+ years getting arbitration until they have 6 years and can become free agents. Owners still get to underpay (vs performance) for years, just not by as much. The owners want to keep paying less than market value for as long as possible for all players. That is why I have zero sympathy for owners in these negotiations, but as a fan my #1 concern is getting it done.
scottt - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 08:15 PM EST (#410650) #
I think you mean less than 3 years of service time.
The super 2 are definitively making more than the minimum, so maybe 63% is wrong.
By the way, the 2022 Jays have no less than seven super 2 arb players.

There are 2 types of players making the minimum, young players starting their career like Bo Bichette and replacement players like Breyvic Valera. Bichette missed the super-2 caught off because he got injured why playing in AAA. Valera has played in 39 games over the last 5 years. Bichette could still make over 300M before he retires. Valera's major league career is likely to end before or as soon as he becomes a free agent.

Half the players are pitchers and there's a lot of replacement pitchers since they get injured a lot.

Do you have the number of games played by each players? What's the percentage of innings played by players making the minimum? Probably a lot less than 50%.

Let's look at the Jays last year.
Who was making the minimum? McGuire, Vlad, Espinal, Biggio, Romano, Merryweather, Kirk, Manoah, Jansen, Tellez, Borucki, Trevor Richards?, Thornton, Mayza, Valera, Palacios, Smith, Adams, Jared Hoying, Lopez, Davis, Payamps, Saucedo, Castro, Pearson, kay, Zeuch, Patrick Murphy, Hatch, Beasley, Bergen, Snead, Tice, Connor Overton, Allgeyer and Bryan Baker.

Not making the minimum: Semien, Grichuck, Hernandez, Gurriel, Springer, Dickerson, Panik, Jake Lamb, Jarrod Dyson, Ray, Ryu, Matz, Stripling, Berrios, Cimber, Dolis, Chatwood, Tommy Milone, Phelps, Barnes, Brad Hand, Joakim Soria, A.J. Cole, Tanner Roark and Carl Edwards Jr.

So, yeah, lots of replacement players accounting for little playing time.

The player union is no interested in replacement players.
They want a pool of 100M to get spread out over the top performers. That's no money for the replacement players.
That's just Bichette, Biggio, Romano, Manoah etc getting paid earlier.
The luxury tax threshold is a bigger item than the minimum salary.
The minimum salary also depends on the super 2 threshold. The owners might budge on the minimum once the player agree to keep the super 2 as it is. There's little point in arguing the minimum first.

scottt - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 08:22 PM EST (#410651) #
In unrelated news, AAA baseball just went from 144 to 150 games.

I guess the minor camp will start on time?

Gerry - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 09:22 PM EST (#410652) #
Minor camp will start on time but players on the 40 man roster will not be allowed to play. So the AAA team will be short around ten players. That shortage will have to be filled by moving players up from New Hampshire. That will ripple down through the org. And then ripple again when the lockout is over and players start getting sent down.

Of course it will be the same for all organizations.
John Northey - Thursday, February 03 2022 @ 10:00 PM EST (#410653) #
Or the Jays will sign a few more AAAA types to minor league deals for a month or two.  Guys who are semi-retired but might want that final shot, plus of course the NRI's who might have wanted to be released if not making the team but will see any playing time a promising thing to show off pre-spring training depending how long this lockout goes.  That covers 4 pitchers (José De León, Matt Gage, Casey Lawrence, and David Phelps), a catcher (Kellin Deglan), an infielder (Gosuke Katoh), and 2 outfielders (Nathan Lukes, Mallex Smith). 

Guys likely in AAA on the 40 man are...
Phew.  Clearly pitching will be the nightmare for the minors if the season doesn't start on time.  Gotta figure Buffalo was counting on 9 or more pitchers from the majors to be there but now they'll be unavailable mostly.  Just the 4 NRI's and I doubt Phelps will go to Buffalo unless he really wants to throw right away.  For some guys this will be a massive opportunity as ML manager/coaches will be watching AAA/AA to see who might be worth calling up right away, or even looking at A+/A for a longer term look.  Great opportunity for AAAA guys who are not attached to a team right now too as they can probably negotiate a better deal than they normally could as teams won't want their AAA teams to suck, nor will they want to push their prospects too far too fast.  Looking at the Jays list I think Casey Lawrence is one who has the best opportunity to show off his skills as a starter to move into the 8th slot for the Jays rotation injury backup (after Stripling/Pearson/Hatch currently 5/6/7 imo) which would mean a callup at some point and maybe getting some eyes opened for another full-time job.  Hey, stranger things have happened.  Plus I'd have the Jays pitching coach work with the minor leaguers (he has done a great job with major leaguers) and see if things work out to move them up quicker.
Jonny German - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 03:56 AM EST (#410654) #
I won't support the false narrative of rich owners and underpaid players.

Uh-huh. And what do you make of this from @JoeDoyleMiLB?

The average payroll in 2011?
Roughly $93 million

The average payroll in 2021?
Roughly $104 million

Payrolls have jumped about 12% in a decade.

Meanwhile, the average value of a team has jumped 365% ($523m to $1.91b) in that same timespan.
Glevin - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 09:51 AM EST (#410655) #
"I won't support the false narrative of rich owners and underpaid players.

Uh-huh. And what do you make of this from @JoeDoyleMiLB?

The average payroll in 2011?
Roughly $93 million

The average payroll in 2021?
Roughly $104 million

Payrolls have jumped about 12% in a decade.

Meanwhile, the average value of a team has jumped 365% ($523m to $1.91b) in that same timespan."

I don't get this thinking at all. It's similar to people who think that if you pay workers at McDonalds a little better, they'll have to raise the price of the hamburger (the fault lies with people wanting a livable wage, not the corporation who made $23 billion). Even beyond the clear unfairness for the players, the MLBPA has negotiated in good faith and the owners clearly haven't even attempted to negotiate.
Marlow - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 10:10 AM EST (#410656) #
The Athletic has an article with Jordan Groshans about the 2021 season and his preparations for 2022.

here is a tidbit from the article describing his AA season

"My team had my back, my coaches had my back. They helped me grow a lot, they helped me mature. I was 22 playing with 25- to 28-year-old guys. This year was a very, very big development year for me in every aspect — mentally, nutrition, both sides of the baseball, turning me into the man and the person and the ballplayer that I want to be. It was huge, it was very big and I’m very happy with the professional strides that I made."
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 11:42 AM EST (#410657) #
"the MLBPA has negotiated in good faith and the owners clearly haven't even attempted to negotiate."


"9:51PM: The Players Association is likely to turn down the league’s request for a mediator, according to Drellich (via Twitter)."
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 11:46 AM EST (#410658) #
I think Glevin and Johnny German, you guys make some valid points, however, here is my response:

Comparing players actual salary increases to forecasted or projected values of an owners team is not a fair comparison. It's no different than comparing Vladimir Guerrero's "value" against the $50 million that Rogers paid for the Blue Jays. It's ignoring the actual value. Who cares if Vlad is worth 800 million the rest of the way if he is being paid 500 million for the rest of his life? The value that matters is what he actually earns, not what a projection system says he is worth.

If a home is valued at 2 million does that mean that it's a 2 million dollar home? To me, it does not. If a home is listed for sale at 2 million does it make it a 2 million dollar home? No. If a home sells at $2 million then yes, it has become a 2 million dollar home. That's the big difference.

a 2 billion dollar company is worthless if owners want to sell and nobody is willing to pay.
Mike Green - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 11:56 AM EST (#410659) #
Forbes lists not only team values, but cumulative earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA).  Total MLB teams EBITDA rose from $494M in 2010 to $1503M in 2020.  It's not quite 363%, but it's a lot higher than 12%. EBITDA does not include profits from "regional" team-owned sports networks; I imagine that Canada qualifies as a region for this purpose.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 11:58 AM EST (#410660) #
I just want to go on record here saying that I want the baseball season to start. I want the best players to play for MLB. I want the players to all have great salaries and support for putting their lives in the wind while chasing a career. I want to see the best players make a ton of money. Owners should make a ton of money.

Here's my issue...1) anyone complaining about people (on either side) making too much money. 2) anyone looking for hand outs

Players keep asking for more money from the owners without any leverage. You want more money? You think you're responsible for most of the growth generating more income? Then invest some money and start another league or boycott. I don't think the players will do either.

How about salary sharing similar to ownership revenue sharing? I can't stand anyone saying "well those people made more money than before so they should share it."

If I was the MLBPA I would go with a mediator, get what I could get and then start policing the union. I would identify the handful of teams that are in the sport to make money and I would instruct my players to refuse to sign with those teams. So teams like TB, Pittsburgh, Oakland etc etc, I would not let them sign any free agents and once their 6-7 year players are released of their underpaid contracts I would force those players not to re-sign with any of these teams. I would also create a pool to pay top prospects to stay in college as long as possible until fair contracts are offered to them. When 1/4 of teams are not able to sign top drat picks, free agents or able to field any competitive teams, you will see the owners turn on each other and make changes.

SK in NJ - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 11:59 AM EST (#410661) #
The increasing franchise values have nothing to do with player salaries, though. Owners can't use increased value to pay salaries or to put back into the team. They can do that with revenue, so if the argument is league revenue has increased while player salaries haven't (at least at a comparable level) then it's a more realistic argument. The owners only benefit from increased franchise value when they sell.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:01 PM EST (#410662) #
"Forbes lists not only team values, but cumulative earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA). Total MLB teams EBITDA rose from $494M in 2010 to $1503M in 2020. It's not quite 363%, but it's a lot higher than 12%. EBITDA does not include profits from "regional" team-owned sports networks; I imagine that Canada qualifies as a region for this purpose."

Mike, did you read the article you referenced? It says that owners have lots of money in liquid form. They are barely breaking even when you look at actual pocket money. Again, who cares if a company is worth a billion if it needs to sell its buildings, investments in order to cash that money out?

And look up the financials for all the teams. Take out the top 5 and then come back and tell me that they grew their income 363%...
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:07 PM EST (#410663) #
Perhaps players should be asking themselves why they haven't been directed to invest in assets like owners have. I'd be all over MLB media..wanting a cut of that company.
bpoz - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:17 PM EST (#410664) #
Groshans DOB Nov 1999, Moreno DOB Feb 2000, Kloffenstein DOB Aug 2000. In the 2021 season they played as 21,21 and 20 year olds. Definitely young. They should all develop more strength I am guessing over the next 2-3 seasons. Hope they all can make big strides in 2022.

I find Kloffenstein interesting. He, Tiedemann and I Carter are born late in the year (Aug-Oct) so they play most of the season before their birthdays. I believe that some Bauxites feel this has a little significance.
Mike Green - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:29 PM EST (#410665) #
One of the ways you can check on the valuations is to look at actual sales.  Forbes lists the average team value in 2020 as $1.852M.  There were 2 sales in 2020- the Royals at $1.000M and the Mets at $2.475M.  The Royals are definitely a team with below-average market value but not the lowest, and the Mets are definitely a team with above-average market value but not the highest.  The average of the two figures is $1.737M.  I don't know if Forbes' figure is exactly right, but the chance that it is off by any significant amount is pretty low. If you do the same thing for 2010, Forbes lists the average team value at $500M.  There was one sale in 2010- Texas for $593M.  There was one sale in 2009, the Cubs for $845M, and one sale in 2011, the Astros for $615M.  Texas and Houston are somewhere in the middle of the pack (probably a little above) and the Cubs are way above average in value.  I don't know that the Forbes average value of $500M is on the nose, but I do know that the figure is reasonably close to being right.

Owners are making an order of magnitude more than 12% over 10 years.  That much is obvious. 

dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:40 PM EST (#410666) #
By your calculations roughly 1% per year. Have player salaries gone up or down in those 12 years and by how much?
Mike Green - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 12:43 PM EST (#410667) #
Sorry, dalimon.  I just don't see your arithmetic at all. 
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 01:13 PM EST (#410668) #
Several posters have now explained why numbers of worth and projected value are irrelevant to player salaries. Going back and looking at selling prices of huge companies that are 100% of the time based on a purchase as an investment, which again brings the sold number into question and renders it useless compared to player salaries.

Since you keep bringing up numbers without addressing this point, I'm just going to pull up my own random numbers as well.

The issue for those that don't see it, is baseball owners are smarter than players and more powerful. They are essentially hiding all of the profits and money into investments which is a way of protecting the money from the players, government and taxes. Only when the team is sold will they have to pay some of those people.

MLBPA took all of their money from years past and paid it to the players and did not hide or invest much of it. Now they want MLB owners to share more money which those owners cultivated and increased. Where does MLBA want that money to go? To players as salary.

scottt - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 01:17 PM EST (#410669) #
Team values are like house values.
You don't get any profit from that until you sell or you mortgage.
Value could go up or down.
Also, new owner might borrow to buy the team, so the high price might not be an asset.

The argument that team owners can pay higher salaries based on the team valuation is flawed.
It's like expecting retired home owners to pay higher taxes because their house have appreciated.
New house owners have huge mortgages.
You can't expect cities to rake in just because the price of houses have gone up.

bpoz - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 01:55 PM EST (#410670) #
I think pitchers and catchers would have reported to ST about Feb14. Then the minor leaguers 1-2 weeks later. Regular season for Buffalo starts April 5. Again each series is 1 week long Tue-Sun. It would be nice if we got some prospect news during ST.

Joe - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 01:56 PM EST (#410671) #
John Northey - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 04:38 PM EST (#410672) #
 For teams the value is based 100% on how much profit they will provide to the owners. If a team will provide a profit of $100 million a year then someone will pay $1 billion easily for it (10% rate of return), if it provides $10 mil of profit per year then the value will be $100 million.  Of course, it isn't that simple in real life, but that is the (pardon the pun) ballpark.  Risk decides how much the rate of return is.  For example, if you are investing in something with a high risk of dropping from 10% to 5% return you'll base your valuation on the lower figure depending on your willingness to take a risk.  If, however, you expect it to grow then you'll base it on that.  MLB teams have grown 363% due to owners really sticking it to the players and it appearing like that will continue into the future.  If prospective new owners think that won't continue then values will grow slower or even reverse course and drop.

At this point I think players might be wiser to just say 'screw it' and accept a cap where they get a percentage of revenue (50% lets say) based on easily tracked stuff like attendance and national TV revenue.  Local TV revenue is a much harder creature to control for (Jays could be impossible due to the cross-ownership for example) as are other things.  So the players might push for a higher percentage of the revenue they can track without too much of a nightmare in figuring it out.  Maybe link it to revenue sharing between teams as then the teams have an incentive to not fake the figures as much due to other owners getting mad if they do.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 05:17 PM EST (#410673) #
Joe, your source is Maury Brown via Twitter who is referencing his own employer (Forbes) as a credible source. He is a writer for lot s of publishers with an emphasis on young players and prospects who are underpaid. I wouldn't see him as an unbiased source. Also, he left out 2020 and 2021 (pandemic years) from his graph. I wish a tweet and a simple graph could explain everything like he pretends. It would be a lot easier that way.
Glevin - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 06:35 PM EST (#410674) #
Ah yes, that famous left wing, pro-union publication Forbes. They'd for sure be biased against the owners.
John Northey - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 07:03 PM EST (#410675) #
The main thing I'd like out of any agreement is a long period before we have this again, and stuff to allow player movement without payroll nightmares as trades are fun to debate, but how to beat a cap isn't as much. I love the idea of a big pot to be shared among the guys who are pre-arb, and a simple method for arbitration even if it was killed already (ie: not negotiating but just 'you get $x per WAR or per whatever measurement is used). I like teams getting a draft pick for losing a quality player (small consolation, but better than a kick in the pants), but remove the loss for signing one.

Now, as to what really happens? I was betting on pretty much nothing really changing beyond a higher minimum and higher luxury tax. But now I'm not so sure. Owners seem to have a good hammer and aren't scared to use it so we might lose 2022 which would suck big time. Wonder if Bezos and/or Musk would like to set up their own league? :)
mathesond - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 07:05 PM EST (#410676) # has a guest post from Marc Normandin about the owners offer of mediation.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 04 2022 @ 08:39 PM EST (#410677) #
Besos and Musk... are they more powerful than the owners, collectively? The owner of the Braves is Liberty which owns F1...that's one owner and they don't crack the top 5.
John Northey - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 10:37 AM EST (#410678) #
From 2021 - Highest is Steve Cohen of the Mets at $15.9 billion, lowest Mark Attanasio of the Brewers at $0.7 billion. Liberty Media entirely is worth $16.2 billion, but their chairman is John Malone worth $8 billion. Like Rogers owns the Jays is worth $24.5 billion, but the chairman is Edward Rogers III who is worth $11.5 billion. So yeah, this is an underestimate but even if we double it you go from a net value of all owners of $105.6 billion to $211.2 - Elon Musk on his own is worth $232 billion right now, Bezos $164.8. In short, if either of them wanted to buy out all of MLB they could afford it and still be worth more than any current owner. There is rich, mega rich, then super scary level rich.

Now, that said, I can't imagine either of them would give a damn about MLB. They each have far bigger fish to fry (getting to Mars for example). For comparison, the richest player ever is A-Rod according to this article at $350 million or about half of the poorest owner in MLB. 2nd is Jeter at $185 million (partial owner of the Marlins now), then Ichiro at $180.

Basically, MLB owners are to Bezos and Musk what players are to owners in terms of wealth. Yikes. Imagine it cost $1 billion to build a new park, then $1 billion more to set up a team. So to set up his own 14 team mega league (using less than half of MLB players) either of those guys would "only" need to shell out $28 billion or less than 1/4 of their net worth. $1 billion would be enough to pay a full Yankee level payroll for 4 years with zero revenue. So in theory they could easily set up a competing league or leagues paying more than MLB ever would to players. Then televise it only online or something on their own platform (Telsa TV lets say) and make a killing from new subscribers. The only problem is, of course, as far as I know neither has one iota of interest.
electric carrot - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 11:03 AM EST (#410679) #
Ah yes, that famous left wing, pro-union publication Forbes. They'd for sure be biased against the owners.

Thanks Glevin -- this really made me laugh .
scottt - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 01:33 PM EST (#410680) #
Lots of player movement is done to because of financials, not hindered by it.

Nobody has an issue with teams getting a pick for losing a QOed player.
Teams that are not competing will trade their players instead and get more than 1 pick.
I'm not really hot about "poor" teams getting better picks than average teams.
In AA's days, you could get a pick for losing a player who wasn't worth the pick, so I guess it's an improvement.

Players like the idea of getting a pick for starting a top performer on opening day.
I don't think that solves anything.
Vladdy would have lost a year of service and not done enough to even earn a pick.
Who's the last Jays who would have returned a pick this way? Sanchez?
Stroman wasn't ready to be on the opening day roster. Pearson wasn't good.
Bichette was still in AA. Manoah wasn't ready either.

The last 2 years have been difficult.
We're not over Covid and limited gate revenues.
The minimum is one thing, the luxury tax only affects a few teams.
The Nats will have a much lower payroll. The Rangers have already spent.
In theory the Yankees could spent more, but what remaining free agents are a good fit?
They want a shortstop on a short contract and possibly another starter.
Not sure Boston will spend up to the threshold. Phillies?

For the most part, the owners will spend according to their results and revenues, not the luxury tax.
Wipe out a month or two and that's money the players are not making and revenues the owners are not spending next year.

Freeman and Correa are interesting cases.
I'd sign Freeman for whatever he wants with opt out every year.
He'd have to share the DH with Vlad but a year like Semien and it would be memorable.
I see Correa as a head case who wants to be the "leader" in the clubhouse.
Phillies would be a great fit with Harper keeping him in his place. 

dalimon5 - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 02:33 PM EST (#410681) #
I got a good laugh too, but still wondering what his response would be to the first part of my post, and if he thinks Forbes is credible as a source for deciding how much money owners are worth or if the tweet is unbiased (if he even read it).

I don't know if either of you actually read Forbes but it isn't considered "right wing." It is a publication owned by a Republican with writers focusing on unbiased content. The lead story right now is a critique of Donald Trump. If you read the magazine or follow the site I think you'll realize that the comment is inaccurate and response slightly off the mark if not entirely.
#2JBrumfield - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 05:15 PM EST (#410682) #
MORE BREAKING NEWS!!! The Jays have signed free agent LHP Brayden Scott. According to SI’s Mitch Bannon, the 23-year-old Scott posted a 2.73 ERA in 14 starts for the Indy League Evansville Otters in 2021. He led all Otters starters with a 10.5 K/9. A former Indiana Hoosier.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 09:08 PM EST (#410683) #
NYY expected to make a heavy run at Freddie Freeman per Heyman.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 10:46 PM EST (#410684) #
The rich player narrative is true only for the top tier of players. Of the 1670 players who appeared on a major league roster last year, 1,145 earned under a million dollars, including 771 below $500,000 and 241 under $100,000. The 100 highest-paid players accounted for 50.6% of earnings.

Of course, earning $450,000 a year sounds pretty good, but a baseball player usually doesn't have that many years to earn wages, and a lot of years after playing before retirement age.

That isn't to say I'm on the player's side. I'm on the fan's side, the fans that provide every cent of income to both owners and players, yet never have a voice when these lockouts and strikes happen. During this long, cold, Covid winter, it sure would be nice to see baseball awakening from its offseason slumber, dream of the crack of bats and fastballs thumping into catcher's mitts, and how our team is going to win it all. instead of reading of actual baseball news and rumors, all we see is two sides far apart and thinking only of themselves. And that just plain sucks.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 05 2022 @ 11:59 PM EST (#410685) #
Close to 1 million for two years... most people won't make that in 10 years...
Glevin - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 10:19 AM EST (#410686) #
"Close to 1 million for two years... most people won't make that in 10 years..."

Most people aren't in the elite 0.1% of a 10 billion dollar industry. Aside from that, this is what this career looks like
5-6 years minor leagues making negative money
1-2 years in majors making close to a million.
2-3 years in minors making no money
Retirement with no skills and no schooling. What do they do next? Live off of what's left of the 1M for the rest of their lives?

Meanwhile, owners are raking it in. What gets me about this is that players are actually asking for so little. To quote Scherzer.

"We want a system where threshold and penalties don’t function as caps, allows younger players to realize more of their market value, makes service time manipulation a thing of the past, and eliminate tanking as a winning strategy."

All of this would barely have an impact on the owners' bottom line but they are such a greedy group that it doesn't matter. They want to break the players.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 11:30 AM EST (#410687) #
I think focusing on the large individual contracts a player may sign is a poor method of evaluating the financial status of the players - the fact is baseball players have been losing ground in their share of the baseball money pie and it is made even more egregious when compared to success that players in the other sport leagues are having - baseball players have gone from having the highest percentage of the revenue pie in the big 4 sports to the lowest.

- While there are more big money contracts, median salary have dropped about 30% since 2015 - NFL median up about 25% - NBA median up about 50%
- Baseball has the lowest minimum salary of the big 4 even though it generally takes the longest for a player to reach the show.

I think if players got about the same ballpark percentage of revenue as NFL & NBA players that would be fair - I really don't care much about how it is distributed. I blame the players much more than the owners - The owners have won the last few CBA negotiations and perceive a weak union with leadership problems and are going in for the kill as most employers would do. The players should be prepared to lose the entire 2022 season and beyond if they want to regain more of the revenue pie but with such short careers asking a player to sacrifice income they may never recoup to help others in the future (as previous generations had done) is a tall order and I don't know if the union leadership have prepared them enough - I would have asked players to save enough over the last few years to survive 2 seasons without income. I expect owners to triumph once again.

As for fans, it's entertainment and we have so much content to amuse ourselves with that I'm in the "wake me up when it's over" camp - life is too short to get mad about this.
mathesond - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 11:47 AM EST (#410688) #
The owners have won the last few CBA negotiations and perceive a weak union with leadership problems and are going in for the kill as most employers would do.

What is it about employers that they feel it is best for their business to break their employees rather than work collaboratively?
John Northey - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 12:52 PM EST (#410689) #
It is the American way - ensure you get as much of the pie as possible and don't worry about how big the pie is.  Better to get 20% of a massive pie than 100% of a tiny one.  It is like a child demanding they get a full pizza so you buy them a kids size one while their older siblings share a large.  The older kids both get far more pizza than the kid but the kid can say 'I ate a whole pizza, you each only got half of one'.  MLB is the little kid wanting all of a small pizza, the players also.  No question some kind of revenue sharing method would make a ton of sense, say 50-50.  But not a hope in hell of the players agreeing as they know the owners would cheat on the definition of revenue.  But even on a bad agreement the players would probably make more than they do now, and the owners could focus more on increasing the raw dollar amount instead of fighting over who gets how much of what they have today.  But as I said, the trust is 100% gone.  I know if I was a player I wouldn't trust the owners one iota. 
85bluejay - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 01:03 PM EST (#410690) #
"What is it about employers that they feel it is best for their business to break their employees rather than work collaboratively?"

As Gordon Gekko said "Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good."
dalimon5 - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 02:00 PM EST (#410691) #
If you really believe that players are unfairly treated and that most of them do not have any skills or businesses or jobs other than baseball when their career is over...if you really believe it's a travesty that owners are getting richer and players are not...then it would reason that you think all people with money who have accrued more wealth lately...they are all greedy and in addition to baseball players, every employee in the world who has not seen similar revenue or pay increase should also have their pay adjusted. It's only fair to be consistent and demand the wealthy rich and greedy to pay up those less unfortunate...otherwise why is it okay for only baseball players to sit out and demand more money? I'm sure the stadium staff and umpires haven't increased salary as much as owners...should they be sitting out and getting increases? While we're at it, for those majority owners that don't own tv stations and networks...if those networks increase their revenue by airing mlb content, should MLB demand more money and refuse to air ball games because they want more money?
cascando - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 02:19 PM EST (#410692) #
I just don’t feel capable of choosing a side in the arguments between wealthy owners and the wealthy MLB union members they employ. To me, they both seem just about equally mercenary and equally unprincipled. There is palpable injustice in the game for sure. But I see it most obviously in international markets and minor league levels.

If the union or the ownership was really concerned with minor league salaries and supporting international teens who are swallowed up by the system, I would perhaps be more sympathetic. Neither of them seem to care. Both sides appear to be laser focused on getting 50.1% of the pie for their side and then letting the rest of the chips fall as they may. If that means $100/week salaries for milb players, or 14-year old Dominican boys signing away their futures, they do not seem to mind.
scottt - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#410693) #
Have the owners really won the last CBAs?

The players have fought against a salary cap and have won.
The players are not trying to get 50% of the revenues. They are trying to get the largest possible contracts for the top free agents. They are getting that.
They cannot get 50% of the revenues if most of the spending is limited to less than a third of the teams.

The players didn't expect that teams would stay below the luxury thresholds.
Also, a few players make poor decisions in refusing QOs.
Is that a win for the owners?

Mike Green - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 04:43 PM EST (#410694) #
It's only fair to be consistent and demand the wealthy rich and greedy to pay up those less unfortunate...otherwise why is it okay for only baseball players to sit out and demand more money? I'm sure the stadium staff and umpires haven't increased salary as much as owners...should they be sitting out and getting increases?

Excellent point, dalimon5.  Alas, the stadium staff are not unionized and if a number of them staged a work refusal, a la Koufax and Drysdale pre-union, I am pretty sure that their owner would find replacements real quick. 
scottt - Sunday, February 06 2022 @ 07:18 PM EST (#410695) #
I don't feel the need to pick a side.
The players have been told that they have negotiated "losing" agreements and are trying to show they can "win".
The owners have lost of lot during the pandemic and don't feel that they can make large concessions.
The forces of free market will play, the strength of each side will be measured by how long they are willing to wait. 

Where do you see injustice in the international market?
A draft would be far worse for these guys.

BlueJayWay - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 07:40 AM EST (#410696) #
Agreed, Glevin and 85bluejay. The players have, as a group collectively, objectively lost financial ground. The median salary has gone down (due to an increase in the proportion of pre-arb players), average salary peaked in 2017 and has decreased since then, and for quite a few years now total player salary as a percentage of league revenue has dropped - it's now below 40% I believe, whereas in other leagues like the NHL, NBA, NFL it's more around 50% (where it used to be in MLB many years ago). This while revenues and franchise values only go up.

MLB leans on it's minimum wage players far more heavily than other leagues, and this while MLB has the lowest minimum wage of the other major North American leagues, despite having higher revenues than any except the NFL.

Someone upthread said "Close to 1 million for two years... most people won't make that in 10 years..." Yeah, but most people are not key cogs in an industry that generates >$10B a year. Without the players there is no MLB as we know it.

I can see the players point of wanting a somewhat larger share of the revenue pie, and more money to go to the 0-3 year guys.

The owners are far, far richer than the players and yet continually try to squeeze them for even more. The union wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't try to reverse the course the last couple of CBAs have set.

Parker - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 08:16 AM EST (#410697) #
What is it about employers that they feel it is best for their business to break their employees rather than work collaboratively?

I hate to sound flippant but to understand, you might have to be a business owner rather than an employee.
bpoz - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 09:14 AM EST (#410698) #
NYY is doing a mini camp this week before the official minor league camp opens. The Jays are also doing something like making use of the facilities in Dunedin.
Chuck - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 09:16 AM EST (#410699) #
Alas, the stadium staff are not unionized and if a number of them staged a work refusal, a la Koufax and Drysdale pre-union, I am pretty sure that their owner would find replacements real quick.

Yes, fungibility is surely part of the calculus.

Mike Green - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 09:47 AM EST (#410700) #
Yes, fungibility is surely part of the calculus

The job description in 2035 will undoubtedly be beverage server/17th arm in the pen for those really, really bad blowouts. First you sling the peanuts, then the horsehide.

What is it about employers that they feel it is best for their business to break their employees rather than work collaboratively?
I hate to sound flippant but to understand, you might have to be a business owner rather than an employee.

I've been a business owner for many years.  It's very different when you actually work hands-on with the people you employ; if you have any kind of soul whatsoever, you don't want to break them. Not to mention that you personally suffer the effects of efforts to break your employees.  The more distant you are from your employees, the easier it is to see them simply as assets/liabilities. And this leads to the exclusively materialist philosophies that, let's face it, are a dominant force in our world mostly for the worse. 
Joe - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 10:26 AM EST (#410701) #
It's only fair to be consistent and demand the wealthy rich and greedy to pay up those less unfortunate
That is exactly what my position is, and always has been. And it informs why I'm pro-player on this issue, too: I'm pro-labour.
if he thinks Forbes is credible as a source for deciding how much money owners are worth or if the tweet is unbiased (if he even read it).
The data referred to is about the luxury tax level (de-facto salary cap), the average team's payroll, and the owners' revenue (not net worth). You can ask if the data is accurate, but I have no reason to believe it's wrong; if Forbes is wrong about financial stuff, they may as well just pack it in.

What conclusions you draw from that data is up to you.

SK in NJ - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 11:06 AM EST (#410702) #
I have said before, a salary cap would solve almost all of the PA's major issues (ex. salary floor, 50/50 revenue split, more equitable salary structure divided among the players, etc). The one thing it prevents is the unlimited ceiling for individual salaries, meaning it would hurt the players who could get $300-400m in total free agent money (i.e. the top 1%), and they place more value in that than anything else in the CBA. Essentially, they want a free market economy while dictating how buyers should view supply/demand, which they obviously can't do. The owners are clearly at an advantage with that model.

The salaries in the NBA are going up and up every year because the league revenues are going up. So while LeBron and Durant might be underpaid at $40m a year (or whatever it is), the rest of the league is eating nicely. A salary floor with a soft cap and an equal revenue split is exactly what MLB needs, but they'll never get it, mainly because the side that would benefit the most from it doesn't even realize it.

Now, the one caveat here is that league revenue might not be going up for MLB in the future with the uncertainty over the regional sports network model and the league having to pivot into a direct-to-consumer model that won't be anywhere near as lucrative. Combine that with a likely loss of regular season games in 2022 that might impact attendance/interest for years to come, and that's really the only downside to a revenue split from the players side. If owners can compensate for that with gambling and other revenue recovery methods, then it might cancel out in the end.

Other than that, I do feel a more equitable CBA for players earlier in their career is necessary. Not only is baseball losing popularity in the US, but athletes with more than one sport as an option are not going to view "grinding in the minors" and then waiting 3 years to reach a million dollars (if they even get that far) as an enticing system.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 11:55 AM EST (#410703) #
Keith Law has just released his organizational prospect rankings in The Athletic and surprisingly the Jays are ranked at no.5. Law says in his writeup about the team: " There's quite a bit of position player depth here - Cleveland might be the only team with more depth on the left side of its infield - with the next wave of pitching probably two years off."

The teams ahead of Toronto in the ranking are 1) LA Dodgers 2) Seattle 3) Arizona and 4) Tampa.
John Northey - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 12:23 PM EST (#410704) #
Island Boy - that Keith Law article shocked me, to be honest. I really didn't expect to see the Jays in the top 10, let alone top 5 just behind Tampa. After losing Martin and SWR plus graduates from the old list I figured a drop was coming. Should be interesting to see his list of top prospects for the Jays. Seems the strength is coming via international free-agency so for the Jays ideally we won't see a draft set up instead. Says 2 years until the pitching starts to look strong again, but that would work well with the rotation right now (Gausman & Berrios signed well past that, Ryu for 2 years, Manoah under team control for 6 more years). Depending what the Jays do for the 5th slot there will be one open spot in 2 years, but will there be two slots? Hard to say right now. The pen always needs arms, but most pen arms are random it seems (predicting relievers is like guessing a random number).
dalimon5 - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 12:58 PM EST (#410705) #
"MLB leans on it's minimum wage players far more heavily than other leagues, and this while MLB has the lowest minimum wage of the other major North American leagues, despite having higher revenues than any except the NFL."

What is the benefit of pointing out that MLB players have the lowest salary if you're not going to point out that they also have the highest salaries out of all the league's?

There is no side to pick, for me, it's about calling people out who project a narrative that one side is greedy while the other is not or that one side is unfair while the other is abused.

A few posters have made it clear, and written very well why there are two sides fighting to maximize profit for their "top dogs" and having the rest of their ranks as an after thought.

I do have a bit of a belief, if I had to choose a side in a hypothetical situation - as a fan, I think if all current MLB players were fired and only new players admitted, I think MLB would survive and build around the stadiums, the league and the new players. In other words, I don't think MLB needs specific players to survive long term. The players need the league or eventually will be replaced...I'm this hypothetical situation of these two sides never coming to an agreement.
Mike Green - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 12:59 PM EST (#410706) #
Keith Law has the Yankee system ranked 22nd.  There's a fair bit of diversity in opinions.

I wonder if he's ever received a boatload of comments from home fans to the effect that "you've overrated my home team's system".  Anyways, I wouldn't rate the Blue Jay system 5th among all clubs- they might be in the 10-15 range somewhere.  But I have really no idea how to value Hoglund and Tiedemann; it's interesting that Tiedemann's velocity is up in instructs and maybe Law attaches more weight to that than I would.
85bluejay - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 02:09 PM EST (#410709) #
Oh my! What are the "Keith Law hates the Jays" posters going to do with themselves - stay away from sharp knives and ledges please.
greenfrog - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 02:50 PM EST (#410710) #
Law was an early adopter with respect to Manoah and (I think) Orelvis. On the other hand, he seems to hold an unfavourable view of Biggio's potential as a player, which was borne out in 2021 at least (-0.1 fWAR in 294 PA). At this point, I don't think he's biased for or against Toronto (if he ever was).
bpoz - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 03:42 PM EST (#410713) #
Moreno being #6 on Law's list is very impressive.

I don't know who were the 5 who were ahead of him. My guesses:

A Rutschman, B Witt, Torkelson? and someone. Those top 3 players and Moreno should make an impact in 2022. But those 3 teams are not in his top 5 teams.

I like Witt best and if he wins ROY because he played the full 2022 season then I would rank KC very high.
Michael - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 05:44 PM EST (#410714) #
On the lockout I think it is a no brainer that one *should* support the following order for priorities:

1. Fans of the game.
2. Players.
3. Owners.

As in, what I want most is for fans of the game to win. That means no more service time manipulation, no more tanking teams, and accepting and allowing rules changes that are good for the game (even if we may not all agree on all of those: Personally for me: robot umpires? Yes. Universal DH? No. Changes to speed up dead time between pitches? Yes. Runner on 2nd in extra innings? Maybe. Expanded playoffs? I'd rather not go beyond the 10 teams at the most.).

As for the players versus owners there is no doubt the owners are richer than the players. Management versus labor has a clear right side to support in most places (I can only think of one obvious exception) regardless of if it is warehouse workers versus Amazon or food manufacturer versus Kellogg's or mine workers versus Warrior Met or MLBPA versus MLB. Further weight could also go to the fact that the owners were the ones initiating a lockout (I.e., this isn't a strike by the players, but a lockout by the owners.

I also have added sympathy for the players because MLB is a monopoly employer that dictates where they can play. They aren't really free to shop around and if they don't like the offer from the Yankee's they can't try to get hired by the Jays or Red Sox the way you could if you played an airline against each other or a restaurant chain against each other or the like. I mean if my employer wanted to "trade" me to an undesirable to me place to live/work I could quit and find another job in the same industry with no problem in my desired location. A MLB player can't.
scottt - Monday, February 07 2022 @ 08:03 PM EST (#410717) #
Nobody is negotiating for the fans.
As a fan, I don't want early free agency. I don't mind arbitration.
I don't want the luxury threshold to raise much, but I don't mind the minimum/replacement cost increasing.

I don't think anybody is playing an airlines against an other. These guys are unionized. Seniority is everything.
It's worse with restaurant chain. The only ones getting poached are the chefs and they are not working for chains.
A good chef often owns his own business.

Parker - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 08:24 AM EST (#410721) #
It's very different when you actually work hands-on with the people you employ; if you have any kind of soul whatsoever, you don't want to break them. Not to mention that you personally suffer the effects of efforts to break your employees.

Are you speaking of employees as individual people, or employees as a collective group? I work hand-in-hand with my people as you do, and my people never have to worry about getting treated unfairly. They have a similar mentality to me - they don't want to organize because they don't want to be part of a group that includes the lazy, the dishonest, and the stupid. Instead, each one of them has a sort of limited partnership with me, and it's up to each of them individually to provide value, and be judged exclusively on that value provided. I guess I'd be in favour of organized labour if it's only the good people organizing. But again, my whole point is that the good people don't have to and don't even want to. Their attitude, work ethic, and skills give them all the job security they need.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 08:38 AM EST (#410722) #
they don't want to be part of a group that includes the lazy, the dishonest, and the stupid. Instead, each one of them has a sort of limited partnership with me, and it's up to each of them individually to provide value, and be judged exclusively on that value provided. I guess I'd be in favour of organized labour if it's only the good people organizing.

I'd be in favour of organized owners if it's only the good owners organizing. 
James W - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 08:45 AM EST (#410723) #
Rutschman, B Witt, Torkelson? and someone.

Correct - for those curious, Riley Greene and C.J. Abrams are the other two Law has ranked ahead of Moreno.
Parker - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 08:46 AM EST (#410724) #
Which owners are the bad ones? The ones who hire coaches to "break" their players/employees because that's the way to run a successful franchise?
bpoz - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 09:21 AM EST (#410726) #
Thanks James W. It seems that I am quite impressed with the Tigers system. They will contend soon. Also no top 5 draft pick this year.

Jays impressed Law by having great position player depth on the left side second to only Cleveland. I am wondering who these Jay's position players are. Should find them on Scott Mitchell's list. FUN!!
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 09:25 AM EST (#410727) #
Jerry Reinsdorf is a peach. Tom Ricketts is salt of the earth. Charlie Monfort is fabulous. Our own Edward Rogers adheres to the highest standard of accountability in all his dealings.

The billionaire class is great- just super.

Of course, there are also ballplayers you wouldn't want to have over for dinner. Personally, I would take my chances with a random ballplayer over a random owner. YMMV.
Parker - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 09:54 AM EST (#410728) #
Being super-rich doesn't make you evil, it just turns every negative thing you do (intentional or not) into a public spectacle. If you think it takes an evil person to acquire that wealth in the first place (or in the case of inherited wealth, to refuse to give it all to the poor) that's obviously a different argument.

For me, the whole argument boils down to whether you see any distinction between pro-labour and pro-union, and whether you see any distinction between the general human right to earn a fair wage and the more specific right to play baseball for a living.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 10:26 AM EST (#410729) #
Back to baseball.  Jim Bowden in the Athletic writes that a fair return for Jose Ramirez would be Groshans, Lopez and Hoglund.  The club is short on pitching options over the next 2-3 years and I would be surprised if they would want to include Hoglund in a deal. I'm not a believer in the adage that "you can never have enough pitching", but I do agree that "not enough pitching is a serious problem". 
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 11:17 AM EST (#410730) #
Hoglund carries some risk because of the TJ surgery and lack of power stuff, but he seems like he could be a solid mid-rotation starter. He’s a nice asset to have in the team’s portfolio of prospects.

There is certainly no shortage of commentators who would like to see Ramirez traded to Toronto.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 12:03 PM EST (#410731) #
I agree with that assessment of Hoglund, greenfrog.  I guess Zach Logue is somebody I better think more about. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 01:43 PM EST (#410732) #
People in the industry have Hoglund way up on their charts. He was considered the top pick outside the first round by many and he has a future rating of 70 for control, I think, by Fangraphs which is ridiculous. If he hits that he won't be mid rotation but Ace.
Joe - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 02:00 PM EST (#410733) #
The players need the league or eventually will be replaced...I'm this hypothetical situation of these two sides never coming to an agreement.
Just one last note: this is legally not allowed, because the owners locked out the players. If the players were on strike, they could be replaced (and that's what happened in '94), but since it's a lockout, the owners get to sit on their own petard until they either relent or come to an agreement.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 02:13 PM EST (#410734) #
Control is an important skill but being an ace requires other attributes. Josh Towers probably had 70+ control (career BB/9 of 1.51) but other than his 2005 season he never really managed to break through in the majors.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 02:23 PM EST (#410735) #
You could also cite Greg Maddux and many others. Just look at Marco Estrada. Hoglund offers a lot more than finesse pitchers. He sits at 95MPH in his last pitching season so...don't worry about Josh Towers 2.0.

Also remember the control vs command line of thinking. Towers had the former while Doc excelled in the latter...

Also...did Towers actually have good control? For more than 1 pitch?

greenfrog - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 02:31 PM EST (#410736) #
If a pitcher makes 112 starts in the majors and walks 1.51 per 9 IP, then it’s probably safe to say he has good control.

Estrada had a more pedestrian walk rate of 2.84 in the majors so he’s not really a great comp. And despite some brilliant starts for Toronto, he wasn’t an ace.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 05:08 PM EST (#410737) #
Towers had good control, yeah. He throw a lot of strikes and didn't walk anybody, anyway.
The problem is that his fastball was as straight as an arrow and his offspeed stuff didn't seem to fool anyone so he was extremely hittable.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 06:01 PM EST (#410738) #
Towers 1.5 BB/9 but 1.5 HR/9 too (122 HR, 123 BB) - over 10% of his walks were intentional (13). His first 3 seasons he gave up more HR than walks each year (net of 47 HR vs 28 BB in 232 IP). His H/9 was 10.9 which isn't good. I suspect more often than not Towers would give too good a pitch when he was at 3 ball counts. OPS against with 3-0 921 (all walks, 0-3 otherwise but 35 walks), 3-1 was 313/616/667 (86 PA), full count 233/402/389 over 234 PA. For comparison Berrios in his career so far 3-0 571/949/1.143 (59 PA), 3-1 423/706/667 over 153 PA, full count 150/415/254 over 448 PA. Interesting - I was sure this would be a blowout win for Berrios but outside of full count it isn't. Tower's low 4.8 K/9 put him in trouble too often I suspect (thus the higher H/9) as he had to count on strong defense.

Interesting to look back at guys like this. Felt Towers should've done better but I suspect he needed to go to a team that played on grass and had strong defense to be effective long term.
92-93 - Tuesday, February 08 2022 @ 06:34 PM EST (#410739) #
Towers had command when it mattered most - plunking ARod. Pitched great that year Doc got hurt.
scottt - Wednesday, February 09 2022 @ 06:53 PM EST (#410744) #
The Jays have signed a lefty starter named Braden Scott from the Frontier Leagues.
Looks like they are starting to find replacements for the AAA pitchers on the reserve roster who are locked out.
Great opportunity for him.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 10 2022 @ 08:58 AM EST (#410746) #
The February 10 birthday team is filled with underrated players, save for its one Hall of Famer:

LF- Alex Gordon
CF- Lenny Dykstra
RF- Max Kepler
3B- Randy Jackson
SS- Cesar Izturis
2B- Cotton (better known as Cot) Tierney
1B- Lance Berkman
C- Omar Narvaez/Jim Keenan platoon

Bench- Travis d'Arnaud, Curt Welch, Henry Kimbro, Jake Stephens

SP- Brandon Woodruff
SP- Hideki Kuroda
SP- Herb Pennock
SP- Billy O'Dell
SP- Jim Barr

CL- Liam Hendriks
SU- Allie Reynolds
RP- Larry McWilliams
RP- Cal Quantril
RP- Bobby Jones

The team has good pitching, top to bottom, good defence, and a decent offence.  If Woodruff and Quantril can continue to develop and thrive, the club becomes even better. 
Mike Green - Friday, February 11 2022 @ 10:17 AM EST (#410756) #
I was looking at fangraphs' depth chart projections for the 2022 Blue Jays and saw a few that caught my eye.  The projection for Danny Jansen- .234/.314/443 with good defence- leads to 2.4 WAR in 399 PAs.  That's within reason but on the optimistic side- surely, you'd want him to get at least 500 PAs with that kind of performance and there's nothing to indicate that he could not do that. The projection for George Springer has him with 651 PAs, 567 of which are in centerfield.  That would be awfully sweet, but I wouldn't bet on it. 

Santiago Espinal is the one on the negative side that caught my eye.  The offensive side is heavily regressed due to the perceived (reasonably) unsustainability of his BABIP.  What got to me is that his baserunning and defence was also heavily regressed.  So far in his major league career, he's +3.4 baserunning in 312 PAs, but he's projected to be a negative baserunner.  The defence is similarly regressed by more than 1/2 from his UZR numbers (even though his DRS numbers are even better).  It seems to me that when you're heavily regressing all aspects of a player's performance, you're probably missing something.  Espinal strikes me as a very intelligent ballplayer, and if you see all the overperformance as "luck" in small samples across various aspects of the game, you're likely missing something.  That's the objective side.  Subjectively, I like Espinal even better than that; I think he's got another gear in him that will involve 10-15 homers a year without any losses to the other parts of his game. 
scottt - Friday, February 11 2022 @ 01:56 PM EST (#410761) #
Manfred has announced a couple of things.

First, that both the owners and the MLBPA agree on the universal DH. I was under the impression that the players wanted something in exchange and that the owners see it as a pro-player change. Who knows.
Going forward, that's probably a negative for the Jays. They were doing really well in the interleague as is and now that DH that they really need is probably going to be more expensive.

Second, the league has agreed to get rid of the QO. It sounds like we're going back to the old type A, type B free agent compensation. Is that good or bad? Probably helps teams who were too cheap to offer QOs. Need to see the fine print.

Mike Green - Friday, February 11 2022 @ 03:42 PM EST (#410762) #
I don't see that this club needs a DH.  Kirk could DH full-time right now, but more likely he'll be a part-time DH/part-time C, with the other DH slot taken by players (the OF, Guerrero and Bichette) needing a day of semi-rest.  You'd guess that Springer would get more DH time than the others given his age and the physical demands of the position.  They could use a pretty good left-handed 4th outfielder. 
scottt - Friday, February 11 2022 @ 04:38 PM EST (#410763) #
They need a heart of the middle left bat.
Without it, they are the same team that got steamrolled by the Yankees in Toronto, the team that couldn't beat the Rays, the team that struggled on the west coast trip.
An outfielder who can hit left and hit 7th or 8th would be nice, but that doesn't solve the problem.
Tampa, New York and Boston all have balanced lineups and finished in front of the Jays as a result.

Kirk is not a DH. His bat is good enough for a catcher but that's it.
The league has adjusted by pitching him outside and he doesn't seem to have an answer.
If Kirk was a realistic offensive catcher, he'd have a tremendous trade value.
There's nothing like that on the free agent market. Who is available in a trade?
He's not even a throw away in a Ramirez trade and catcher is a weakness for Cleveland.

Mike Green - Friday, February 11 2022 @ 06:08 PM EST (#410764) #
Kirk's xwOBA in 2021 was .378.  For his career so far, his xSlug is .514 (.515 in 2021).  His career slash line is .259/.336/.455 (and a 114 OPS+).  The Statcast numbers suggest that he was severely unlucky in 2021, and he's just turned 23.    Through age 22, David Ortiz had an OPS+ of 111 and had exhibited neither the plate control nor the power that Kirk has. 

If you could get him cheap (which you might be able to do), I'd gladly buy out a year or two of his free agency.
John Northey - Saturday, February 12 2022 @ 10:33 AM EST (#410765) #
I do find the addiction to finding a LH bat funny. Last year with Dickerson the only LH bat most of the time the Jays had a 115 OPS+, 3rd in runs scored in the AL. Would a LH bat have made that big a difference? I doubt it. #1 is quality, I'll take a RH bat with a 120 OPS+ over a LH bat at 100 everyday.

Against the Yankees the Jays were 11-8, Rays 8-11, Boston 9-10 so against 3 teams who finished with better records in their division the Jays were 28-29. Vs teams in the other divisions who were better they were 3-4 vs ChiSox, 2-4 vs Houston = net of 34-37. That really isn't bad. In 2016 when they won the WC the Jays were behind the Red Sox (10-9), Cleveland (3-4, plus 1-4 in playoffs), and Texas (4-3, plus 3-0 in playoffs), and tied with the O's (10-9 and 1-0 in playoffs) for a new (inc Playoffs) of 32-29 against superior competition. Smoak at 1B with an 88 OPS+, and Saunders in LF (116), plus Carrera (83) had 300+ PA's as LH bats or switch hitting. Then you had the ugly 42 OPS+ from Goins over 196 PA - being LH didn't help him.

2021 saw LH 'regular' McGuire 79 OPS+ (sub 300 PA but still counts as regular thanks to injuries to RH's Jansen & Kirk), Biggio (86 OPS+ over 294 PA), Tellez (66 over 151), Dickerson (110 over 140), and Panik (75 over 123). Pretty ugly group of LH hitters. So it wasn't so much a lack of LH hitting as a lack of quality LH hitting (outside of Dickerson). For 2022 we have Biggio (hopefully healthy), and McGuire on the bench or gone. Palacios is about it for LH bats otherwise. All hitters on NRI's are LH bats - OF's Mallex Smith, Nathan Lukes, IF Gosuke Katoh, C Kellin Deglan. Top prospects are mostly RH (Moreno, O Martinez, Leo Jimenez, Groshans, Rikelbin De Castro, Otto Lopez, Manuel Beltre, Kevin Smith, Hiraldo). Highest one that isn't pure RH is switch hitting Estiven Machado (#15 on FanGraphs list and in the complex leagues still). So a home grown LH or switch hitter ain't coming anytime soon unless Palacios is a LOT better than he has looked so far.
greenfrog - Saturday, February 12 2022 @ 10:51 AM EST (#410766) #
Also, batters have a range of L/R splits, so it's not always as simple as "left bat" and "right bat."

For example, Starling Marte, a RH hitter, has a career wRC+ of 121 against RHP and 108 against LHP.
scottt - Sunday, February 13 2022 @ 02:47 PM EST (#410771) #
Baseball is a game of adjustments. Those are probably harder to make as a backup catcher.
Some guys will perform well for a month or two and then become "unlocky" the rest of the year.

Kirk is very slow. Also he's going to be running hard on a ball hit to the outfield, but will just jog a few steps on a ground ball. I don't see how he could ever be lucky on balls hit on the ground.  Also, he might not have the plate coverage to foul balls that are too close to the strike zone to take. He'll try to put those in play and he'll be unlucky.

Personally, I can't wait to see Moreno.

scottt - Sunday, February 13 2022 @ 02:54 PM EST (#410772) #
It's as much about the umpires than the hitters actually.
The ump gets comfortable seeing all those right handed batters and the outside corner eventually stretches into the next batter box.
It only gets worse with the relievers.

scottt - Sunday, February 13 2022 @ 03:52 PM EST (#410773) #
There was a bit of progress on the CBA front.

The owners offered a pool of 15M for the pre-arb players award bonus (players are down to 100M).
The owners are offering a luxury tax threshold of 214M that increases to 220M by 2026.
The players are asking for 245M this year and 260M by 2026.
On that front, I don't think it would be fair to increase the limit much for 2022 given that the offseason is basically over.
The penalty for going has been reduced, no draft pick lost for the first threshold.

The owner are not offering much for the base salary. They are basically saving that money for the bonus pool.
They are offering a bit more for the guys who missed the super-two, 700K.

They are now offering up to 2 draft picks for a top 100 prospect who starts the year on the big club.
I'd be tempted to roll the dice with Moreno here. Not sure who is else is eligible, Groshans is probably not ready.
Would be weird if Pearson still qualified somehow.
Yeah, I mean, pick up 2 draft picks than work an extension.

Also adding a limit to the number of times a guy can be optioned during a year. 4 or 5.
That would hurt the Rays, but maybe nobody else.

There is also a proposed "draft and follow" concept where a guy is drafted but has one year to sign.
Not sure how that would impact the draft money pool.

Also, by submitting a pre-draft physical, a prospect would be guaranteed 75% of their slot.
Interesting. Might limit how far underslot a guy could be picked.

John Northey - Monday, February 14 2022 @ 09:36 AM EST (#410774) #
Lets hope the proposals merge quickly for players/owners.
  • pre-arb - $50-60 mil pool (vs $15 and $100 mil)
  • Arb - no real changes
  • free agency - no draft pick compensation, or minimal (no cost to sign beyond cash, team losing gets sandwich picks).
  • Increase in minimum salary ($630 vs $775) but how much an issue - guessing it ends up around $700k (middle)
  • Big question is the bonus for keeping a guy up all year vs giving that guy who does well more service time.  Owners rewards teams for good behavior, players rewards players when teams don't act well.  This is a big sticking point I suspect, but in truth it affects very few players (under 10 a year I'd think).
  • Option limits - League offered 5, players want fewer.  Any limit is a good idea though to cut down on the bonus reliever thing that has been going on -
  • Roster Physical - for draft picks, don't see any issue here. 
  • Draft and Follow - like the physical, I can't see the union fighting this hard. 
  • Lottery - 3 to 8 picks are determined by lottery, rest by the usual method.  I expect 5 in the end.
Seems to be a clear path forward with just how to deal with guys who are kept down for a month to add a year to their pre-free agency time being the tough item.  The rest are just getting the two sides to agree to a mid-point.  Might see higher mid-points to get the owners way on how to handle the just shy of qualifying guys.  Mainly because as much as the players want that win, it affects so few that the value to players of any of the other changes is drastically higher (increase in minimum affects around half of players, 1 year earlier free agency due to being held down affects maybe 10 or 20 total over the next 5 years).
Mike Green - Monday, February 14 2022 @ 09:51 AM EST (#410775) #
For what it's worth, John Northey, that compromise would amount to a shove.  If the players are satisfied with a shove, that would be disappointing from my perspective.  But, it's just a sea of bad news out there and whatever happens, the baseball lockout is just a grain of sand.  The minimum wage and pre-arb players will continue to be underpaid.  Minor leaguers continue to be exploited, and there is no drive to include them in the union or  to unionize them in a separate (franchised!) bargaining unit. 
BlueJayWay - Monday, February 14 2022 @ 11:19 AM EST (#410776) #
Yeah I think in the end the owners will get most of what they want. They've got pretty much a cap at the top end (and are pushing for steeper penalties) without a floor at the bottom end. Minimum wage will still be less than the other 'big four' leagues, yet a majority of players in MLB are pre-arb and thus don't have to be paid a dime more than that minimum. The owners proposals for increasing the luxury tax and salary structure don't keep up with inflation. We all know how horribly the minor leaguers are already treated, and news come out a few days ago that owners want to not pay them at all for spring training, citing a supposed gain in "beneficial life skills" in lieu of actual money.

I shouldn't be surprised at this behaviour and the greediness of the owners, especially after having recently read John Helyar's excellent book Lords Of The Realm, but I still can't get over how so brazen they are about it.

Whatever. Just figure out a deal and let's get baseball going in time.
John Northey - Monday, February 14 2022 @ 12:07 PM EST (#410777) #
Agreed that it isn't fair, or right, but as fans I figure we'd all agree we want to watch baseball. IMO the minimum should be around $1 million or more, arbitration should vanish over time and be replaced with formulas based on actual value (via something along the lines of WAR) with free agency starting earlier but with incentives for teams to keep their players (maybe, resign a guy to a 5+ year deal and get a bonus draft pick, 2 picks for a 10+ year deal) as fans want their favorites to stick around (my daughter hated losing Tulo and Bautista).
bpoz - Monday, February 14 2022 @ 05:31 PM EST (#410778) #
Looking forward to Minor league ST starting soon.
scottt - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 09:50 AM EST (#410779) #
We didn't lose either of Tulo or Bautista.
Toronto resigned Bautista after nobody wanted to beat the QO and give us a pick.
He wasn't very good, nowhere near the money he made and we replaced him with someone better.
Tulo went packing because he wanted to remain the regular shortstop even though he wasn't good enough to keep the job. Toronto kept paying him for years after he was gone.

Neither Tulo nor Bautista were homegrown players. They were acquired in trade relatively late in their careers. 
Both of them signed extensions. Tulo signed a long deal with Colorado but apparently didn't get trade protection.
Bautista signed an extension with the Jays which was fair considering his short history of success at the time.

scottt - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 10:00 AM EST (#410780) #
The current minimum pays about 2M over 3 years. That's not terrible for replacement players.
It's kinda like winning 1M at the lotto. You still have the rest of your life to earn a living.
It's really the minor leagues salaries that I see as problematic and these guys are not covered by the players union.
In fact, the players are categorically forbidden to advocate for players not part of their union.
Some players go up and down, but the AAA salaries for players with MLB experience are not bad, considering it's only for 6 or 7months.

Mike Green - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 11:17 AM EST (#410781) #
Dan Szymborski has an interesting piece on projecting Seiya Suzuki over at fangraphs.  Dan's chart on Playoff Probability Added requires some elaboration.  The Blue Jays are in the middle of the pack with 8.2% playoff probability added, but that is in large part due to their position right on the cusp for the playoffs.  What we need to know is how much would a 2.5 WAR 2B/3B and a 2.5 WAR SP move the needle for comparison purposes and then look at expected costs.  I would guess that either of the other 2.5 WAR players would move the needle a little more but cost more too.

The other thing, I guess, is playing time projections.  Suzuki is projected to get 570 PAs presumably based on his experience in Japan where the season is considerably shorter.  As a 27 year old with a good health record, Suzuki ought to be projected for more PAs than that, in my view.  It's a mystery to me why one would have George Springer projected to get more PAs than Seiya Suzuki. 
scottt - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 11:48 AM EST (#410782) #
Nice if you're Boston. Jays don't need another right handed corner outfielder. They already have 4 of those.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 11:51 AM EST (#410783) #
Sign Suzuki and then trade Grichuk. The team could also package Gurriel Jr. in a trade if it makes sense.
grjas - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 05:36 PM EST (#410784) #

Funny seeing this article. I was thinking the other day more broadly on how the Jays might benefit from a shorter season. Easier on Ryu. Better chance to use Pearson as a starter given inning limits. Less pressure on the bullpen that is only a couple of injuries away from a problem. And less time till the trade deadline, allowing them to experiment with their existing infielders.

I’m not hoping for a shortened season, but interestingly, there actually could be benefits to the home side.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 08:06 PM EST (#410785) #
I'm a fan of signing Suzuki - cheap vs ML experienced OF, supposed to be a strong defensive RF. His projections look like a mid-point between Gurriel & Hernandez last year which sadly the assorted projections systems seem to think is the peak for both of them. ZIPS has Suzuki at 2.6 WAR 124 OPS+ for 2022, Gurriel Jr as a 1.8 WAR 111 wRC+, Hernandez 2.0 119 wRC+. Yeah, wRC+ and OPS+ aren't a perfect match but they are similar in results and that is all I've got for each player.

Now, both Hernandez and Gurriel are free agents in 2 years, Hernandez on arbitration, Gurriel on a very cheap contract. That makes Gurriel the easier to trade of the two - given the Jays best chance for a deal for more pitching or 3B help is with cheap teams that makes Gurriel the logical trade piece. So signing Suzuki has multiple values - 1) improves from the guys we have, 2) keeps him away from the Red Sox and other competitors, 3) makes it possible to trade Gurriel or Hernandez (or give away Grichuk and eat his salary) for help elsewhere. The only cost is cash, no draft picks, no IFA money, nothing but raw cash which Rogers has mounds of. The RH vs LH thing I honestly don't give a damn about as it is secondary to actual talent so if there was a high quality LH hitting OF available sure that'd be tempting but in this case it is a RH hitting one who is available at zero prospect cost. I hope the Jays find a way to make it happen.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 15 2022 @ 08:14 PM EST (#410786) #
Thanks, grjas. I was thinking the same thing recently. The Jays seem to have a lot of players who could benefit from a shorter season. The starting rotation and bullpen. Springer and Teoscar. Maybe Bichette and Vladdy as well. I think 154 games would be a good length of season going forward (of course, there may be fewer games this season).
scottt - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 05:28 AM EST (#410787) #
Objectively, there's about  zero chances that Suzuki comes to Canada, the east coast, to play on turf.
You still wanna put an inflated offer just to make sure nobody signs him for cheap, but that's how things are.

People keep bringing Gurriel's name but he was almost a 3 WAR player despite slumping for half the year.
Trading Grichuk to sign Dickerson would be fine.
That's about what can be done in the 1 week they'll have to sort things out.
There's going to be a lot of free agents looking for any type of contracts.
There are still 200 of them unsigned.

I don't know if a short season helps anyone, but it reduces the return on signing an expensive 5th starter.
Pearson and Stripling are probably fine until the trade deadline.

As it stands, minor camps and possibly minor baseball, will take place without the players on the 40 roster.
Not sure if it impacts the Jays more than others but it does impact the affected position players.
How good will Buffalo be?
I hope they cancel the rule 5. The Guardians put 11 players on the reserve roster to protect them from the draft.

It annoys me when I keep seeing Guerrero as an example of service time manipulation.
He clearly showed that he wasn't ready at the time and he was not part of the players union anyway.
Nobody talks about Wander Franco who was kept down to avoid the super two because he signed a team friendly extension. Latino players love Florida because it's close to the islands, full of Spanish speaking communities and there is no income tax. 

greenfrog - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 07:53 AM EST (#410788) #
If Suzuki is looking at a five-year contract, then Toronto might be a good fit for him. The city and team have a good reputation, and that length of contract aligns pretty well with the team's competitive window.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 09:33 AM EST (#410789) #
If the playoffs are going to be expanded to include 14 teams, then shortening the regular season is probably a blessing. Baseball needs to adapt with the times, even if it means offending older fans or possibly impacting records. The 162 game grind made sense when playoff spots were scarce and baseball as a whole was more popular. In 2022, younger fans dislike long, marathon regular seasons, and baseball doesn't have the same amount of equity in the sports/entertainment landscape as it used to.

The NBA is only 82 games and fans consider is a chore. If MLB is going to have a structure where 14/30 teams make it in, then the regular season doesn't hold the same value, and doesn't need to be so long. In the grand scheme of things, a 14 team playoff format with a significantly reduced regular season is probably a net positive for the league/sport, and hopefully something they are considering.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 11:10 AM EST (#410790) #
The one week window to do signings, then whoever is left is almost begging for a deal during "spring" training (which I'm betting becomes summer training) should be a crazy time. I'd bet strongly GM's have discussed deals during this quiet time and planned out a few with conditions (IE: if I can't get player x to sign right away then we can do a trade of y for z), as are some free agent deals (c'mon, you don't think agents and GM's or subordinates of each aren't meeting during this time?). So I figure a lot can and will happen on day 1 when it is allowed again.

As to who is available, BR has a nice tracker. Lists WAR for the past 3 years and basic stats and age for everyone on the market. Among hitters with over 7 WAR for the past 3 years (average of 3+ per when you factor in the short 2020 season) you get Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Nelson Cruz, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. FYI: both Correa and Story have said they don't want to switch positions. Of those Bryant is the best fit for the Jays (plays 3B/LF/RF/1B). Can't see the Jays signing a 1B/DH like Freeman or Rizzo. Cruz is mostly a DH now so he is out too. So unless the Jays want to move Bo to a different position I only see Bryant as a potential match and he'd be expensive for the value he provides.

Pitching is very thin - for 7+ WAR guys you get Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and that is it. Heck, that's it for 5+ WAR. In the 4's you get Carlos Rodon, Danny Duffy, Matthew Boyd, and Michael Pineda. While I'd LOVE Kershaw he'd be super-expensive and I'd be surprised if he doesn't return to the Dodgers (or if he leaves them, odds are he goes to the Angels I'd figure). Kenley Jansen as a closer would be nice, but probably too expensive - we'll see. Steve Cishek is another good reliever out there but has been very wild lately which puts a big * beside his stats.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 11:59 AM EST (#410791) #
Colin McHugh is a name I've seen as a possibility for the Jays. He didn't have much of a pitching record until last year when he had a good season with the horse whisperers Rays.
92-93 - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 01:03 PM EST (#410792) #
This team should have very little interest in leading the market on a RH Japanese OF.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 01:11 PM EST (#410793) #
If the playoffs are going to be expanded to include 14 teams, then shortening the regular season is probably a blessing. Baseball needs to adapt with the times, even if it means offending older fans or possibly impacting records. The 162 game grind made sense when playoff spots were scarce and baseball as a whole was more popular. In 2022, younger fans dislike long, marathon regular seasons, and baseball doesn't have the same amount of equity in the sports/entertainment landscape as it used to.

The NBA is only 82 games and fans consider is a chore. If MLB is going to have a structure where 14/30 teams make it in, then the regular season doesn't hold the same value, and doesn't need to be so long. In the grand scheme of things, a 14 team playoff format with a significantly reduced regular season is probably a net positive for the league/sport, and hopefully something they are considering.

Probably all true.  I am pretty sure that younger fans don't care for the pace of games either and wish that there was more action- i.e. more balls in play.  Move out the fences substantially and make the strike zone smaller.  Have an even shorter time to pitch unless there are 2 strikes or 3 balls. 
Thomas - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 01:57 PM EST (#410794) #
McHugh had 8.9 career WAR prior to last year, which including 3 2+ WAR seasons (two as a starter and one as a reliever).

He was a solid, but unheralded, part of the Houston pitching staff in the late 2010's, including 20 postseason innings combined between 2015 and 2017. He had a poor 2019 and then missed 2020 due to injury, so he's not pitched that often the past three years, but he had a good track record from 2014-2018.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 02:02 PM EST (#410795) #
Agreed that the game can be made faster and more fun without drastic rule changes - stolen bases are fun, make them easier to get. K's and walks are dull make them both harder to happen, or less rewarding. How?

One simple change I've advocated for - a heavier ball. Thus harder to crank out of the park, harder to throw at 99 mph, harder to throw out runners, but not harder to make contact with. That one simple change would be invisible to fans but players would react instantly to it. Test it on machines first during the off-season, then in the minors. One or two years should be plenty to know the effect, heck I suspect 1 or 2 months would be. Then adjust to get it so things don't shift too drastically, but enough to make the game more fun and put it in play.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 03:06 PM EST (#410796) #
I remember Theo Epstein was interviewed last year about "fixing baseball" and he mentioned that in their surveys the 3 events that fans find the most exciting in a game are triples, doubles, and stolen bases in that order. All of those things are at the lowest they have been either in a very long time or in history. I would imagine younger people would gravitate more to the sport if those outcomes happened more frequently, in addition to improving the overall pace of play. I'm not sure how that happens, but it needs to happen even if old rules have to be adjusted to accommodate for it. I'd have no issues with limiting pick off attempts and making bases bigger if it meant stolen bases would make a comeback, for example. The league has to be prepared to upset some long time fans (myself included) because a lot of the game needs to get with the current climate.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 03:12 PM EST (#410797) #
Absolutely correct, Thomas. FWIW, McHugh was 4th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014 and 8th in CYA voting in 2015.    In his career, opponents have hit .257/.312/.414 against him as a starter and .210/.279/.338 as a reliever.  You would think that this might reflect him tiring when starting, but actually not.  He hasn't faded a bit 3rd time through the order- opponents hit .256/.304/.413 in that situation.  He's an average or slightly above starter and a very good medium-high leverage reliever.  Romano/McHugh/Mayza/Cimber/Richards/Garcia would be great.  FWIW, McHugh made 7 starts in the opener role last year- he threw 12 scoreless innings, giving up 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 12.  If the Jays use someone like Zach Logue in the 5th slot in the rotation, you could ease him in by opening with McHugh. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#410798) #
Lots of doubles, triples and stolen bases?  That sounds like a deadball era game or even the NL of the 70s and 80s.  I can't speak for the deadball era, but yes, the NL of the 70s and 80s was more exciting. 
92-93 - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 05:43 PM EST (#410804) #
Why should fans care about the growth of the game? So owners of their favourite team can continue to jack up ticket prices? The sport hasn't been a destination for America's top athletes for decades now, and it has done just fine.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 07:26 PM EST (#410806) #
I remember the 80's all too well (yeah I'm old).  The 20-20 player (SB-HR) was viewed as the ideal player to have on your team then.  Last year just 19 players had 20+ SB in MLB (Bo for the Jays).  In 1985 (when the Jays won 99 games) there were 47 (Moseby, Garcia, Barfield, Bell for the Jays, with future/ex Jays Molitor, Nixon, Mookie, Griffin, Carter, Collins, Duncan, Samuel, and Rickey all doing it as well).  Tops in MLB in 1985 was Vince Coleman with 110.  8 guys had 50+ (vs 9 with 25+ in 2021).  So much more fun to watch. 

I really hope MLB figures this part out soon as I'd love to see guys like Bo encouraged to go for it and get 40+ SB, while even snails try to get SB.  The Reds fans must have fallen asleep watching that team - 36 SB 24 CS.  Ugh.  KC still has it though with 124 SB vs 33 CS.  Triples ranged from 11 for Seattle to 37 for the Tigers.  In 1985 SB was 314 vs 96 CS for the Cardinals to 60 (39 CS) for San Diego.  Triples then were 22 for the O's to 59 for the speed demon Cardinals.  Jays were #2 in MLB for triples back then.  Then HR ranged from 214 (O's) to 80 (Pittsburgh), 2021 saw 262 for the Jays to 124 for Pittsburgh (the more things change, the more they stay the same I guess).  For K's 1596 for the Cubs to 1218 for the Jays.  In 1985 K's were 1095 for the Phillies to 746 for the Brewers.  Walks range from 621 Yankees to 421 KC.  1985 walks 648 for the Angels to 462 for Milwaukee. 

 Always interesting to look back and see how things have changed.   Walks not much, but K's and HR and SB drastically.  Worst in K's then would be the best by a mile today.  HR's have gone up, but not as wildly as K's.  SB dropped pretty drastically.  Kind of surprised that walks didn't jump.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 16 2022 @ 11:11 PM EST (#410808) #
Agreed with both Mike and John. In a weird way, I think the 70s/80s style of baseball would work very well in 2022 (mixed with some current tweaks). Unfortunately I don’t know how they can pull that off with today’s younger players growing up with the launch angle revolution and every front office being heavy into analytics. Hopefully some rules changes can help with that. I just feel baseball, especially compared to basketball and football, is too reluctant to make changes. Society has changed, and everyone (younger, older, and in between) have way more options to occupy their time. MLB should embrace change at this point, especially the changes that improve pace of play and add more action/athleticism to the equation.
scottt - Thursday, February 17 2022 @ 05:36 AM EST (#410809) #
One study I saw complains that the players are debuting their careers later which is another reason why they reach free agency too late to really cash in. Certainly, with the Blue Jays that's not done on purpose.

We're not talking service time here.
Most pitchers debut late because they have health issues in the minors.
Manoah and Stroman are 2 guys who flew through the minors. Sanchez took some time.

For hitters, the one thing that comes to mind is maybe signing more college bats and fewer high school bats.
That one is mostly on the player who are trying to maximize their drafting bonus.
Looking at the Jays, Espinal is a guy like that. Bo and Vlad reached early and I hope it's the same for Moreno.

So, on this one, I honestly think that the teams are trying hard to get the players ready as fast as possible.

grjas - Thursday, February 17 2022 @ 05:22 PM EST (#410816) #
I agree the game has deteriorated and needs fixing. I have hard time sitting through 9 innings of SOs walks and the occasional home run.

I do like the idea of limiting pickoffs. Not only would it speed up the game and increase SB’s, there would be some interesting strategies for pitchers and catchers to decide when to throw and when not to, especially early in the count.

A smaller strike zone would definitely get more balls in play and fewer strikeouts, and if robo umps arrive, it could be consistently enforced

I suspect we’d see more doubles and triples if they could cut down on the shifts. More balls would get through and more players would be content with lower launch angles. Unfortunately I suspect it would be challenging to enforce. You wouldn’t want to have circles on the field telling players where to stand, or try to judge visually how far a player is to the right or left of the bag.

The first two changes, though, might be enough to see more doubles and triples, and would be easy to implement.

John Northey - Thursday, February 17 2022 @ 07:11 PM EST (#410817) #
Agreed on pickoff limits - 90% of fans would have no idea on it being in place except for the odd time they call it (doubt it would happen often). 

Robo Umps would allow much easier adjustments to the strike zone - if too many walks are happening you could expand it easily without needing to train umps, same for the reverse. 

Adjusting the shift could be done quickly with 2 per side in the infield (inside the infield circle, could add a single white line from 2B to the circle).  Not sure how much difference it would make, but easy to put in place.

Requiring fields to be set up, especially in the outfield, to be shorter grass (ideally like a golf green) so the ball can go quicker when hit would increase the odds of doubles/triples (get past the OF's easier).  Pain for the groundskeeper but nice for watching games. 

Another easy change is base size - they are talking about it now - 1 or 2 inches per base then you make it so those super-close plays now are easier to be safe on.  Again, almost invisible to viewers but the play effects could be significant.
Michael - Thursday, February 17 2022 @ 07:41 PM EST (#410818) #
You can also consider lowering the mound if you want to help cut down on strikeouts/expand offense chances.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, February 17 2022 @ 10:25 PM EST (#410820) #
Limiting pickoff attempts was one of the new rules tried in Low A Leagues this past season. A pitcher was allowed only two pickoff attempts or step offs per batter if there was a runner on first. A third attempt or step off would be called a balk if unsuccessful.

I don't know how this new rule worked out, but it certainly would result in more steals at the major league level if implemented.
John Northey - Friday, February 18 2022 @ 12:00 PM EST (#410825) #
Lowering the mound is interesting but would also result in more home runs which would encourage more 'three true outcomes' which is dull baseball.  As part of a solution it could help, but alone it won't.  Maybe lowering the strike zone so guys have to swing at pitches that would go on the ground - thus making more defensive plays happen, ability to hit the ball through the infield (good placement of hits) becomes more important - not sure if that would work but it is a thought.
Magpie - Wednesday, February 23 2022 @ 09:53 PM EST (#410848) #
One simple change I've advocated for - a heavier ball.

My first response is to worry about the impact of a heavier ball on the arms of the people throwing them. But some of them actually work with weighted balls, so what do I know.

My two ideas have always been a) a minimum thickness for bat handles, to make it a wee bit harder to just whip the bat through the hitting zone, and b) Move Back the Mound. The pitchers have grown a little bigger and a little stronger than they were in 1893.
scottt - Tuesday, March 01 2022 @ 08:53 AM EST (#410868) #
On the eve of canceling actual games, negotiations have moved at breakneck speed.

Who knew?

Glevin - Tuesday, March 01 2022 @ 09:42 AM EST (#410869) #
"If the playoffs are going to be expanded to include 14 teams, then shortening the regular season is probably a blessing. Baseball needs to adapt with the times, even if it means offending older fans or possibly impacting records. The 162 game grind made sense when playoff spots were scarce and baseball as a whole was more popular. In 2022, younger fans dislike long, marathon regular seasons, and baseball doesn't have the same amount of equity in the sports/entertainment landscape as it used to."

Except every time when baseball expanded playoffs, there has been no growth in attendance or growth in TV viewership (only growth in $ to owners). Baseball needs to make improvements but it also needs to stop chasing theoretical fans who will never like the game. If you like high speed non-stop action, baseball isn't going to be your game and baseball will always lose if it tries to do that. Baseball is doing fine. Improve pace of play, find a way to get more balls in play, get rid of blackouts, make teams spend money so there aren't any teams not trying and the game will be fine.
Magpie - Tuesday, March 01 2022 @ 12:36 PM EST (#410872) #
Except every time when baseball expanded playoffs, there has been no growth in attendance or growth in TV viewership (only growth in $ to owners).

Well, the part in the parentheses is the whole point anyway. None of the rest matters.
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