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Well, it is official - no first week of baseball in April - the first 2 series are cancelled now.

More details about that late night negotiating and how the owners tried to pull a few fast ones on players via Ross Stripling...

“It got to be like 12:30 and the fine print of their CBT proposal was stuff we had never seen before,” Stripling said. “They were trying to sneak things through us, it was like they think we’re dumb baseball players and we get sleepy after midnight or something. It’s like that stupid football quote, they are who we thought they were. They did exactly what we thought they would do. They pushed us to a deadline that they imposed, and then they tried to sneak some shit past us at that deadline and we were ready for it. We’ve been ready for five years. And then they tried to flip it on us today in PR, saying that we’ve changed our tone and tried to make it look like it was our fault. That never happened.”

So now the opening series vs Baltimore and home opener vs Tampa are canceled. The next 2 to be lost are a home series vs Texas and a road 4 gamer vs the Yankees, then a home series vs the A's, and a road series vs Boston. After that comes series vs Houston/Boston/Houston. So losing April from a competitive stance is probably a net positive as the Jays lose series vs bad teams twice (O's and Rangers) and vs good teams 7 times (depending how one rates the A's who might be tanking in 2022 or might not have time to tank before games actually start).

In the end this really sucks. We should be debating the results of the first few spring training games right now and wondering how the new guys (and ones the Jays couldn't get) are doing. Instead I've canceled my Sportsnet online subscription (to watch games) and will avoid Rogers products where possible.
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dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 02:05 PM EST (#410876) #
Avoid Rogers products... ill be doing the opposite. Love it when the owners open up the purse springs and sign big and long term contracts in back to back seasons. Nothing but praise from me.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 02:26 PM EST (#410877) #
So 6 playoff teams per league have been decided.

Don't understand the draft pick compensation but it is also a done deal I think.

Minor league schedule starts April 8th. I am looking forward to that.

Some of the injured pitchers are healthy now. Pardinho and Murray. Maybe no rule 5 draft. Selected players would have been locked out.

Good enough for me.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 02:31 PM EST (#410878) #
The twitter feeds of baseball journalists are interesting.  Almost all of them, even the mild-mannered ones, are speaking up about the owners handling of the talks.  And people like Dan Szymborski take the view, as I do, that the players' position is pro-owner and the owners' position is even more so. 

It would be nice if many players simply played in Japan (as Bryce Harper intimated he would be willing to do), or somewhere else in the world, indefinitely. Yeah, the time zones would be an issue, but I'd watch online. 
John Northey - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 04:46 PM EST (#410879) #
I figure this will last until the end of June at which point the owners will make a 'final - final offer' (or whatever they want to call it) that will piss off the players even more, then end the lockout and basically dare the players to strike. We might get part of spring/signing season done before players strike then, but strike they will as the owners will set it up so they get the bulk of their revenue but the players don't if they refuse to strike. Alternatively the players could call the bluff and push it - make the season proceed until late September then strike. Strike date of September 20th or something so they can maximize their own revenue while hitting the owners where it counts - the playoffs.

In the end, all I want is for something to be settled. Millionaires vs billionaires gets boring. The owners are grossly rich (every club is worth over a billion now). The players controlling the union are very rich (mostly guys with lots of experience, thus have had big paydays). Lets just play ball. Even if it is the scenario I list above, at least we'd get something this year. Sadly I suspect the owners are after a 2004/2005 NHL level win - where they get to set the terms and put in a salary cap/revenue sharing where they pick what revenue to share. But to get it we all know the players would have to miss at least 1 full season, and maybe 2+. Cities that build stadiums should have clauses for when a strike/lockout happen to get revenue from clubs and should maximize those clauses. For some teams this will make no difference as they were just going to suck anyways (Baltimore, Arizona, Pittsburgh for example) but for us Jays fans this really stinks as it takes away time from Bo & Vlad's career and time together here. Got to figure teams that are strong contenders (Tampa, Boston, NYY, White Sox, Houston, SF, LAD, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Toronto, St Louis) would all push for a deal quickly, as would any over leveraged teams which are pushing debt situations (Mets for example), and teams with stars whose time is limited to maximize profits from them (LAA with Ohtani & Trout). That gives 13 teams who want a deal quickly before factoring in others likely to want this over with (Texas who just signed a ton of players, Philly who isn't that far away from playoffs) That gets us up to 15 who should want a deal quickly out of 30. But Tampa and Milwaukee will push hard for anything like a cap (the CBT being a big issue left on the table) and who will fight tooth and nail to keep minimum salary as low as possible (again, another big issue). Right now us fans need the Yankees and other big markets to whom a CBT and minimum salary are not issues they would fight to the death on to push their weight hard (Yankees and other big markets should demand less revenue sharing, or find ways to hide their revenues from other clubs) so a deal can get done. The Tampa's of the world want to make sure they have minimal costs and maximum revenue (from others) and are perfectly happy to skip a year or two if that is what it takes.

Best case at this point, imo, is a deal mid-April and games by the end of May. Ideally with 2 new expansion teams as a win for both sides (more jobs for players, more up front cash for owners - around $2 billion or $66.67 million per team - I suspect with 'screw you sucker' clauses for those teams where they don't get revenue sharing for a few years or something). Sadly I suspect we are on an NHL path of union breaking and 2022 will be lost.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 05:11 PM EST (#410880) #
And people like Dan Szymborski take the view, as I do, that the players' position is pro-owner and the owners' position is even more so. 

Yeah that's the thing. The league could accept the players proposals and would still come out huge winners in this and keep the gains they've made the last couple of CBAs. That's not good enough apparently. They appear to want to crush the union and grind them underfoot completely. And they're willing to set their own league on fire to do it.

Really a shame this had to happen when the Jays were getting really good, and when Rogers is so willing to open up the purse strings.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 05:53 PM EST (#410881) #
That's the amazing thing to me - when I look at what MLB is offering and what the MLBPA is asking and reasoning that the eventual settlement will be somewhere in-between, the owners have already won - the only question is whether they win big or spectacularly - I also noticed that it seems there were no discussion about additional revenue streams that may be added during the life of the next CBA (such as gambling relationship and uniform advertising.)
AWeb - Wednesday, March 02 2022 @ 07:00 PM EST (#410882) #
It's mind-boggling to me that the players union has, as it's in-room negotiators, most active players. The owners might be nickel-pinching b@stards, but why wouldn't the union have one, or many, big time lawyer types to do this for them? The only time the union ever made real big gains was with Marvin Miller in there and as the visible union head.

Tony Clark, former really tall hitter and guy who might get a law degree someday, is not what the mlbpa should have. Owning a baseball team means you're stinking rich, which means you've figured out how to pay workers far less than the value they provide as a basic qualification to be an owner. Maybe the mlbpa has guys in the room in a non-visible role?
scottt - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 05:48 AM EST (#410883) #
There seems to be 3 main issues, minimum salary, pre-arb pool and luxury tax.

Teams spend anywhere from 5M (Yankees) to 15M (Orioles) on pre-arb salaries.
Jays and Rays spent around 7M last year.
So we're looking at an increase of roughly 1M per team. The league should be able to give quite a bit here.

The pre-arb pool at 30M is as much money as the player salary increases.
Not totally sure where the money is coming from--share revenue impacting recipients of revenue sharing?--so I don't think the league will move much here.

Now, the luxury tax.
Contrary to what people will have you believe, this is not about the owners and the union.
It's about owners fighting owners.
The rich new Mets owner has already committed over 260M for 2022.
Most owners don't take kindly to people who just buy a team and want to be buy a championship.
It's a slap in the face of those who have worked to build sustainable competitors.
They will fight vigorously to make sure the Mets don't avoid the penalties that are coming to them.
Obviously some team like the Yankees and Dodgers are probably open to higher spending level.
Depending on the result, the Yankees could have from 15M to 60M to spend for the current year.
I've read that Boras has been whipping his players to focus on the tax.
So, we'll see.

Can the owners end the lockout? For kicks and giggles, I guess.
Well, unless the players agree otherwise, every team would have to pay its players for every game missed.
I don't know why the players would agree to play the remaining games at a pro-rated salary that is lower than the one they rejected.
So, I think it's either a new CBA or a canceled season.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 06:44 AM EST (#410884) #
" why wouldn't the union have on, or many, big time lawyer types to do this for them?"

The MLBPA do have a lawyer, Bruce Meyer, who has over 30 years experience in sports law and is known as a tough litigator. He has participated in both NBAPA and NFLPA CBA negotiations and also worked for the NHLPA. I would think he is the lead negotiator in a lot of the current talks.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 07:42 AM EST (#410885) #
Many owners think Boras is leading the union, not Clark.
Gerry - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 08:09 AM EST (#410886) #
The current Blue Jays never explain which side of the issue they are favouring. In the old Beeston days the Jays were often a moderating force against some of the more aggressive owners. I recall the Jays being against replacement players for example.

However, with Ted Rogers now formally in charge, and with his Trump loving ways, I have no confidence that the Jays remain a moderating force.

At least we will have minor league baseball.
AWeb - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 08:29 AM EST (#410887) #
I have missed that Bruce Meyer is in there, my bad. I'm mostly just annoyed that negotiations didn't start until it was too late to expect a full season, and that baseball isn't happening, possibly any time soon. The Owners have been offered what should be a big win, but they're going for the kill, as usual.

Also annoying - once again, any players hoping to achieve career milestones are losing games and opportunities. Nelson Cruz already lost his best chance at 500 HR due to the COVID season, but losing part/most/all of another season closes that door entirely, I would think. I'm not sure he gets a full-time DH shot, although maybe the NL teams will need them too now?. Stanton needs every healthy chance he can get to achieve milestones - I'd love to see him set the hitter K record, which somehow remains Reggie Jackson's. Joey Votto's career 'bulk' takes another hit, for anyone looking at his HoF chances. 

Plus the young Jays' chances to build to career milestones takes another hit ( after 100 games lost 2020). And past work stoppages have resulted in lost seasons and careers for developing players, who have already been subject to a really weird two years of circumstances. Pitchers never get to build in-game arm strength, which will likely push the game even further into the aesthetic nightmare of constant bullpen games and unrecognizable faces.

Ugh all around. I've been a reader/lurker and occasional poster here for...20 years this OCtober? Congrats to Da Box for keeping it going this long, hope the lockout doesn't kill the game and the site.
rpriske - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 08:32 AM EST (#410888) #
I am going to over-share here a little bit, but I think you will all get it.

I am a poet. (I was once named the Poet Laureate of the Batter's Box!)

The other day I was working on some edits for a book I am working on. The particular poem was about how baseball saved me back in 2016, in my first year of my Stage 3 Cancer diagnosis, going through chemo and all that.

I finished my edits, picked up my phone and saw on Twitter that Rob Manfred was cancelling baseball games with no clear cut idea when baseball will return.

Last year I had my second surgery and at the time, my oncologist told me that I would be lucky to live five more years. (Things are looking a little better than that, now, for full disclosure, but still...)

At least I still have baseball, right?

A contract dispute between rich people shouldn't cause me depression, right?

But still...
scottt - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 09:31 AM EST (#410889) #
"aggressive" and "moderating" are a bit too abstract for me.

I sure hope Shapiro is representing Rogers, here.

The Jays did raise minimum salaries recently, so there's that to take comfort in.

bpoz - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 09:44 AM EST (#410890) #
Stay strong everyone. I am diving right into the minor leagues.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 09:58 AM EST (#410891) #
"However, with Ted Rogers now formally in charge, and with his Trump loving ways, I have no confidence that the Jays remain a moderating force."

Ummm... Ted Rogers has been dead for over a decade.

His sons has been one of the heirs who wants to spend more on the baseball team, unlike the rest of the family or the board director he booted out who would not increase necessary budget to the Jays.

I remember inter brew as an owner, I'll take Rogers in a heart beat.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 10:01 AM EST (#410892) #
However, with Ted Rogers now formally in charge,

It's Edward of course (it has been a long 2 years, hasn't it?).  You would think that the Blue Jays would want this settled for simple business reasons.  They have 2 stars who will be cheap this year and surely don't want this year to go into the dustbin.  I am pretty sure that Ted would have seen the dispute in this light and I don't think Edward is foolish enough to disregard the team's interests to support broader anti-worker principles.  But, youneverknow. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 10:43 AM EST (#410893) #

Keep fighting man, we're all behind you.

scottt - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 11:45 AM EST (#410894) #
Actually, I think the Jays want to be competitive over the entire CBA, not just this year.
No reason to settle for things that will make the team less competitive just to get a few more games in 2022.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 12:30 PM EST (#410895) #
Eugene Freedman and Justin Heyward on twitter report that owners have a particular interest in the lockout continuing for a month.  Local television contracts typically do not require teams to rebate anything until 25 games are lost.  So, if the first month is cancelled, the owners keep the local TV revenue and don't have to pay expenses.  We'll see if that's what they do...
John Northey - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 01:30 PM EST (#410896) #
My guess at options...
  1. I'm hoping the owners plan isn't a 'break the union no matter what' as that would require 1 or 2 full seasons being lost.
  2. I'm guessing at the 1 month as the next big window - so a deal before March is done thus allowing games by June 1st and avoiding TV penalties.
  3. The next deadline would be August 1st for a 60 game season ala 2020, but the players wouldn't be happy with that idea by any stretch so we might shift from lockout to strike at that stage (owners saying at the end of June they want baseball so they are ending the lockout, daring players to go on strike).
3 options, I'm really hoping for #2 to be the case, thus being similar to the 1981 big strike (owners had insurance against a strike, and almost to the minute it ran out they settled). The owners are very greedy people, you don't get to be a billionaire otherwise, but also very smart. They will be looking to maximize revenues by any means necessary. In 2020 they learned with 0 attendance profitability could still happen in some cases. TV rights are everything. I'd bet on players agreeing to 14 teams in the playoffs to get more cash into the pre-arb pool. The big killer is the CBT I suspect. If owners go for keeping it at $220 this year, then going up 5% to 10% a year after for the 5 years of the deal (thus being in eyeshot of inflation) they might get a deal done while still hitting the Mets nicely (thus covering what scottt mentions) and avoiding a mass surge in free agent deals in the week after a deal is signed. So that would be $220-$231-$243-$255-$267 for a 5 year deal or $220-$242-$266-$293-$322 over those 5 years. I suspect a 5% increase would work in the end. Pre-Arb same thing - start at $35 mil then 5% per year so $35-$37-$39-$41-$43...hmm...a bit slower than I suspect players would be happy with so 10% = $35-$39-$42-$47-$51 - yeah, that I could see working.

That way owners get the massive TV revenue added in, players get more cash for kids and for FA's. A win-win potentially. Next time players could push harder on the pre-arb pool and the pace of increase for both that and the CBT, owners push for a harder CBT. That only leaves minimum salary, but I suspect that will be the easier item to settle around $700k. The deal exists, but the owners need to want to settle. I'm guessing they want to push it so at least half of April is lost, if not all of it, then start up in May after April is spring training.
bpoz - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 02:04 PM EST (#410897) #
Baseball is now a game of information. Shifts, openers and technology. Also the payroll budget is very important.

Info does not really help with successful drafting it seems.

But the minor league ST is going on now and the farm people have had minor league camps throughout the off season. They have more info on their prospects. H Danner and H Juenger have touched 100mph for example. But I am intrigued by Max Castillo who has handled the minor leagues quite well without as good a FB as the other 2 pitchers. He would gain luster if he could get his fb to 94-96 I think. Z Logue got his FB to about 94 but he is a lefty.
jerjapan - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 03:43 PM EST (#410898) #
What Dalimon said, Rpriske.  That's a tough road you are walking. 
John Northey - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 04:23 PM EST (#410899) #
So, how about those Bisons eh? Wonder what that team will look like on opening day with no 40 man players available (thus no Gabriel Moreno, Leo Jimenez, Otto Lopez, Kevin Smith, Josh Palacios, or many pitchers). I suspect most NRI's will be there, outside of Phelps (spent the whole year either in the majors or on the IL so I think he isn't allowed to be in the minors until the lockout ends). So 3 pitchers (José De León, Matt Gage, Casey Lawrence), a catcher (Kellin Deglan), an infielder (Gosuke Katoh), and 2 OF (Nathan Lukes, Mallex Smith). Not 100% sure on the rules, but Phelps not being qualified to be in AAA is part of it I'm fairly sure. I figure the rotation will include Bowden Francis, Zach Logue, Lawrence, and others. The staff will be a mess in Buffalo though as the Jays will need to sign a lot of AAAA guys to fill it out until the 40 man guys can join in. The infield also will be a mess with so many on the 40 man. The outfield will be however they planned though. Catching will be an opportunity for someone to impress while Moreno isn't allowed to play. Boy does that suck as I'd love to see him get a shot to play everyday.
scottt - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 04:35 PM EST (#410900) #
Apparently there was some anti-shifting measures, a pitch clock and larger bases thrown in as well.

A lost year would be terrible for prospects on 40 rosters.

Thomas - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 06:30 PM EST (#410901) #
rpriske, I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. My deepest sympathies for what you are going through.

I've always enjoyed your contributions and I hope I continue to do so for many more years. :)
John Northey - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 06:38 PM EST (#410902) #
rpriske sorry to hear that. Hopefully you can duplicate my mother - she has beat cancer twice so far, 2003 with lung and 2021 with ovarian (now on pills instead of chemo). Keep upbeat - we'll all be here for you to yak with and the like.

What a time eh? Cancer can be beaten now, I remember when it always seemed like a 'that is it' thing in the 80's, then we started seeing minor ones beaten and now bigger ones. Meanwhile we have others who see wearing a mask as too much. Sigh.
Dr. Zarco - Thursday, March 03 2022 @ 09:29 PM EST (#410903) #
rpriske, best of luck. As one of the (presumably) few oncologists who read/lurk/occasionally post, I wish you best of luck in a world I deal with every day. Baseball would be the great distraction for all of us, especially you!
Dr B - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 12:18 AM EST (#410904) #
repriske, even with no baseball, battersbox is a friendly respite from the world out there. I respect your posts; keep ‘em coming.

Dr B
(Not an oncologist...not even a medical doctor...I do have a day job.)
AWeb - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 06:22 AM EST (#410905) #
Dorktown doing a really deep dive on Dave Stieb on youtube. Really deep...part 1 is 40 minutes.

Good luck rpriske!
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 08:01 AM EST (#410906) #
I'm sorry to hear of your battle with cancer, rpriske. I wish you all the best in the future.
electric carrot - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 08:13 AM EST (#410907) #
Be well rpriske!
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 08:19 AM EST (#410908) #
" Not 100% sure on the rules, but Phelps not being qualified to be in AAA is part of it I'm fairly sure. I figure the rotation will include Bowden Francis, Zach Logue, Lawrence and others."

John, there is an article at Blue Jays Nation by Tammy Rainey ( Who posted on here years ago as Tamra ) dated February 28 that lists a possible roster for the Bisons. It says that any player with a minor league contract not on the 40 man roster MLB team roster can play in the minors this year, regardless if they played in MLB in 2021, and that David Phelps will be part of the Bison's staff.

Also, Zach Logue is on the 40 man roster. A name to watch, although he'll probably start in the low minors is Yosver Zuleta who tore the ACL in his knee in his first start at Dunedin last season. His fastball has hit 99 mph in the past but I don't know what his control is like.
Mike Green - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 08:45 AM EST (#410909) #
It seems to me that the stars are aligning for a poetry day (thanks for the reminder, rpriske, and all the best).  Spring is coming and we see all aspects of human nature (good and bad) very clearly on display.  Whether it be a sonnet, a limerick, haiku, senryu or some other form, can we offer up something baseball-related to help us change the channel?  I'll start.

Spring is late this year
Crocuses ballplayers and
Hope will come after
85bluejay - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 09:04 AM EST (#410910) #
Best of luck rpriske - cancer has become so pervasive.
85bluejay - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 09:09 AM EST (#410911) #
Apparently four teams - Angels, Diamondbacks, Reds and Tigers voted against even raising the CBT to 220m (which was rejected) - I'd be curious about how the non-baseball assets of these owners are doing.
greenfrog - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 09:19 AM EST (#410912) #
Thank you for that post, rpriske. My best to you. I hope you get to enjoy some major-league baseball soon.

Your message made me think of "What the Doctor Said" by Raymond Carver.

He said it doesn’t look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I’m glad I wouldn’t want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I’m real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn’t catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who’d just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong
John Northey - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 11:11 AM EST (#410913) #
Thanks Island Boy - I forgot to double check the 40 man pitchers so I forgot Logue was on it. Sucks for him right now. The minor league season is going to be a mess in April as guys are promoted higher than they should be in order to fill rosters, recently retired guys drawn out of retirement to fill slots in AAA, stuff like that. I'm sure we'll see some guys emerge who most never gave a thought to before as they go from A to AAA or something to fill in rosters and protect 'real' prospects from being pushed too hard. Should be interesting at least if MLB doesn't get going for real until May or June (or later).
SK in NJ - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 01:19 PM EST (#410914) #
That's the thing that bothers me the most; the owners win even if they took the MLBPA's proposal, at least on the majority of the issues. I could maybe understand the reluctance of small market owners to increase the CBT since it could cause more imbalance in team payrolls, but there's no reason for them to be so far apart on something like the pre-arb bonus. The difference between what the owners asked for ($30M) and what the players asked for ($85M) is less than $2M per owner. If one side wanted a salary cap like 1994, at least that would be a huge change to the structure and it would be easier to rationalize missing games for that, but in this case, it's just money. They should be ashamed to be missing games over this, especially as it will likely cause them to drop even further in popularity (which will eventually hurt business...and that's bad for both sides).

With that said, if it's a game of chicken, then the owners are going to win. It's just a matter of when the players cave. The financial difference is not worth it for the players to miss an entire season for it, and I think the owners know that. The owners can lose a season and come out fine in the end. The players, especially since most of them are pre-arb, likely cannot.
Mike Green - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 02:18 PM EST (#410915) #
This lawsuit is going on too, and oligarchs all around the world may be nearing a low ebb of popularity.  Baseball owners are not endearing themselves to anyone, and that may not be as risk-free as they perceive.  Changes in baseball have often preceded changes in wider American society, and it would make perfect sense for a conservative Supreme Court to do away with the anti-trust exemption.  If they are going to eviscerate Roe v. Wade, as it appears they will, this would show a different side. I'm not in any way suggesting that the Sherman and Roe precedents are of similar social importance. 
Mike Green - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 02:22 PM EST (#410916) #
I appreciate that the Supreme Court is not likely to hear this case any time soon, but if the cards break right and the union hangs in for the duration of 2022 and into 2023, then something good might come out of all of this nonsense. 
85bluejay - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 02:39 PM EST (#410917) #
Have to disagree with you Mike Green - Baseball owners individually and MLB itself have a lot of political clout ( especially of the conservative persuasion) and I would be shocked if this court does away with baseball's anti-trust exemption.
Magpie - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 04:48 PM EST (#410918) #
It's about owners fighting owners.

It's always about owners fighting owners.
Mike Green - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 04:53 PM EST (#410919) #
Hard disagree.  The owners unanimously voted for a lockout, and if they didn't know where this was headed, they're even less bright than I thought.  Which is saying something. 
John Northey - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 05:57 PM EST (#410920) #
When it comes to this the owners are counting on their own group battling over things like the CBT to force players to give in. Forced discipline. Then their negotiators can just say 'sorry the CBT is a no-go'. At which point the players need to push hard for a bigger pot for pre-arb and for minimum salary. Less for the top players, more for the rest. Next time then could be the all-out war over a cap vs no cap. Safe to say the owners are setting it up that way. The owners like others have said, can afford a dark year far easier than the players can.

As to real baseball, the Jays signed a minor league SS who was Lindor's replacement in 2019 when Lindor was out for a bit - Eric Stamets. A pure glove/speed guy with no bat. In the minors he is 81-15 for SB-CS. His minor league numbers are 245/310/363 and his ML OPS+ was -38 in 2019. Should be nice for the kids in AAA to have a solid defender at SS behind them, could be a 26th man on the bench (pinch run/cover SS/3B/2B when required)
whiterasta80 - Friday, March 04 2022 @ 07:42 PM EST (#410921) #
What is frustrating here is that the owners are proceeding with this lockout with the view that baseball was able to fully recover from its last work stoppage.

It hasn't.
bpoz - Saturday, March 05 2022 @ 11:32 AM EST (#410922) #
Next years prospect list should have O Martinez and Groshans battling for the #1 spot. After that there will be many surprises for me.

Pearson and Moreno should have graduated. K Smith and O Lopez possibly don't graduate because it will be hard to get playing time. I make my list based on results rather than where drafted because 1st rounders like L Warmoth, Jon Harris and Deck McGuire are very disappointing.

scottt - Saturday, March 05 2022 @ 07:15 PM EST (#410923) #
Zero owners want a strike that wipes out the playoffs.
That's how it should be.
Only tanking teams would have a reason to start the year without a  CBA.
This is all good an encouraging.
Had they done this in 94, the Expos might have stayed in Montreal.

4 owners voted against the last MLB proposal.
It takes 23 owners to approve a deal, so you can sweeten the pie a bit, but they can only lose 2 more owners.

There's only a handful of teams that benefits from a higher luxury tax threshold.
So a concession has to be made to the other owners, not the players.
The players are losing nothing.
If you are Toronto, what would you ask in return for changes that favors Boston and New York?
An international draft? Competitive draft picks extended to teams that don't contribute to revenue sharing?

John Northey - Saturday, March 05 2022 @ 07:33 PM EST (#410924) #
An international draft would hurt the Jays as they are strong in international free agency right now - a draft rewards the lazy as all they need to do is check the ratings and then they can grab the best players before the Jays get to pick. Ick. The Jays are a larger market so higher CBT might help them in a year or three as Vlad and Bo get expensive. I suspect the Jays would be more on the Yankee & Red Sox side here - pushing for stuff that hurts tankers like the O's and cheapskates like the Rays.

Jays might want expansion quickly so there is a new Expos as a regional rival and to fill Sportsnet programming even more. Perhaps in exchange for allowing that team to take over a chunk of their TV space, they are required to be broadcast on Rogers channels. I could see that being a condition the Jays owners ask for. Where the 2nd expansion team goes - the Jays wouldn't give a damn. How many players they can protect would be a big issue though. I wonder if the Jays would rather be in a central division (vs Tigers, Cleveland, etc.) rather than a NY/Boston one? I'd rather the central so they can sneak into the playoffs more often, plus I prefer them playing the Tigers. The next expansion will probably kill off NL/AL completely and just become regional divisions instead (I want a killer division of NYY/NYM/Boston/Philly and ideally Washington/Baltimore - a real nuclear division with poor Baltimore needing to tank for a few more years).

Wonder what it would take to get Detroit onside? More revenue sharing? The expansion fees would help. Guess we'll see. Hopefully in not too much more time. My perfect world is an agreement ASAP, expansion by 2 teams (52 more player jobs plus big cash up-front to owners), I figure a 14 team playoff is a lock now. CBT growing but slowly (around $5 mil a year) while minimum salary goes up more (to the $700's then climbs by 5% a year). That might get a deal done. The 14 team playoff is in exchange for the pre-arb bonus going up to $50 mil, climbing after that by 5% a year as well. Might work. But right now I fear the owners want a complete ugly win requiring all of 2022 to be missed.
scottt - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 09:39 AM EST (#410925) #
An international draft has little impact on the Jays as they haven't sign anyone that were ranked in the top since Guerrero.
It has a major effect on the Yankees who draft top ranked prospects almost every year.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 10:06 AM EST (#410926) #
An international draft would definitely hurt the Jays at this point in time. The international amateur market has supplied a lot of their best propects lately. Two of the Jays best prospects right now (Moreno and Orelvis Martinez) came internationally, and then there's a bunch of other guys among their top 20 and 30.

Heck, Keith Law was a guest on the Spin Rate podcast the other day and said that, in his estimation, the Jays might be the best team in MLB right now at identifying and developing international amateurs. And Law's a guy that tends to not go overboard in praising the Jays. A lot of that advantage is reduced if the (now) wide-open market is limited by a draft.

bpoz - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 11:36 AM EST (#410927) #
It still seems that it is not common knowledge about how Int'l prospects are acquired. Writers and executives like A Tinnish give very broad hints that players are committed/owned by teams at a very young age that may be 14 or younger. They are fed, housed and trained by the ML team and their affiliated training partners. These factors are definitely in play IMO. However there is much I do not know yet. I don't expect this info to be made open.

Moreno was an athletic kid and Kirk was not. Both got low signing bonuses of which maybe 40-60% went to the trainer. Vlad & Gary Sanchez got very big bonuses for some reason. The reason probably was a high perceived ceiling. How much went to Vlad and G Sanchez, I don't know.

Those 14 year olds and younger did benefit from their trainers facility and expenses paid for by specific MLB teams. This is an investment in facilities to produce G Moreno. We paid nothing for Bo except salary and expenses to the scouts. Bo got his bonus from the Jays upon signing (portion to agent).
greenfrog - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 01:30 PM EST (#410928) #
My guess is that a 14-team playoff format would make it less likely that the Jays expend significant prospect capital to acquire someone like Ramirez or Chapman. If almost half of MLB teams are going to make the postseason, then it would seem to make more sense to be very good for five or six years, rather than being excellent for two or three years, followed by a relatively barren period of mediocrity.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 01:53 PM EST (#410929) #
It is already the case that it is harder to win a championship once in the playoffs than it is to make the playoffs. This change would reinforce and strengthen the dynamic which favors longer periods of competition. Of course, the Blue Jays were competitive the last two years.
John Northey - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 03:24 PM EST (#410930) #
The big question becomes how much does a handful of stars change your odds of going deep into the playoffs? With a longer playoff depth in the rotation and bullpen becomes much more important than today where you can sit on a big 3 rotation or a strong pen and be fine. Picture a 3 game start, 5 game ALDS, 7 game LCS, 7 game WS = 22 games - in a 5 man rotation that would be 4-5 starts each, 4 man 5-6 starts each, 3 man 7-8 starts each. A day between each series means if you go best A, 2nd best B, etc. to E for 5th man...

Mini: A-B-C
ALCS: A-B-(day off)-C-D-A-(day off)-B-C
WS: D-A-(day off)-B-C-D-(day off)-A-B

So one start for your 5th guy, Ace gets 6 starts in a max it all out situation. Putting your best starter around 40 starts total in a season and very worn out. Next question for the Jays especially is does a premium hitter change that equation at all? Pushing offense up so there are nearly no holes might make it so you pound the crap out of their D/E starters (not helpful in a mini WC series, but very helpful otherwise, especially in an ALDS). Wear out their pen and suddenly you could multiple your wins before they can recover.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 04:22 PM EST (#410931) #
What's a star worth over an average player at a position?  Maybe 3 wins.  A true talent 95 win team does not have much greater odds of winning in the playoffs than a true talent 92 win team.  They do have significant better chances of making it to the playoffs.  The greater crapshoot element of the playoffs is hard to overestimate. 
John Northey - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 04:36 PM EST (#410932) #
FYI: the only time a Jay started 40 games was Jim Clancy in 1982 (4 man rotation, 2 had 38 starts - Stieb and Leal, 4th guy was Jim Gott with 23 starts, then 5 others getting a total of 23 starts).  Most starts/IP in Jays history regular & Post Season

  • 2016: Stroman & Happ: 32 regular season, 2 playoffs = 34 total each
  • 2015: Dickey 33 starts plus 2 playoff starts = 35 total
  • 1993: Guzman 33 regular &  4 playoff = 37 starts (221 IP regular, 25 post season = 246 IP total)
  • 1992: Morris 34 regular, & 4 playoff = 38 starts (240 IP regular, 23 IP playoffs = 263 IP total)
  • 1991: Stottlemyre 34 regular & 1 playoff = 35 starts total
  • 1989: Stieb 33 regular & 2 playoff  = 35 total starts
  • 1985: Stieb 36 regular & 3 playoff = 39 total starts (265 IP regular, 20 playoff = 285 total)
  • 2003: Halladay: 36 starts, 266 IP (his peak here, 2010 in Philly he was 33 regular 3 playoff, 250 IP + 22 IP playoff = 272 IP)
Most starts regular season
  • 1982 Clancy 40 starts 266 2/3 IP
  • 1982: Stieb & Leal 38 starts 288.3 IP & 249.6 IP respectively
  • 1987: Clancy 37 starts, 241 IP
  • 36 start club: Stieb 1983/1985, Key 1987, Clancy 1984, Halladay 2003, Alexander 1985,
  • 35 starts: David Wells 2000, Pat Hentgen (96 & 97), Erik Hanson 1996, Key 86, Stieb 84, Leal 84 & 83, Alexander 84
  • 34 starts 18 times with Clancy 3 times the most, R. A. Dickey in 2013 & 2014 the most recent.
  • 33 starts: 15 times, last in 2017 by Stroman & Estrada
Most starts post season
  • 3 by Stieb in 1985
  • 17 times 2 were done by assorted guys.Marco Estrada in both 15 and 16
  • Most all time is Juan Guzman with 8 post season starts (51 2/3 IP)
  • Next is Marco Estrada with 6 starts (41 2/3 IP)
  • 5 starts: Stieb, Key, and Stroman.
  • Most IP in post season without starting is Duane Ward 24 1/3 IP - no wonder his arm fell off in 1994.
Fun digging into those.  This suggests that it could become a big issue having such a long post-season for starting staffs unless you have a Jim Clancy type who can endure a TON of innings year in year out.
FYI: for all teams the most post-season starts ever in one year is 6 done 8 times. 2020 for Tyler Glasnow & Blake Snell for Tampa, Verlander in 2018, Kluber in 2016, Bumgarner in 2014, Chris Carpenter in 2011, Schilling in 2001, and Pretzels Getzien in 1887 (very different game then).  Most IP is 71 by Bob Caruthers in 1887 (8 starts).  #3 is 52 2/3 by Madison Bumgarner in 2014 on top of his 217 1/3 regular season innings = 270 IP total (an early 1980's IP total).  Didn't blow his arm out though as he had over 30 starts each of the next 2 years.

So what is the bottom line?  Pitching depth, which used to be irrelevant in the post season, is again a big issue.  I could see a team that counts on one guy breaking that 8 start post-season record by really pushing it with someone.  Doubt we'll see the 71 IP record broken but the modern 52 2/3 IP record is in danger I'd say.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 06:23 PM EST (#410933) #
Having a talented SP who hits his stride in the postseason can be worth an awful lot. For some reason I always think of Madison Bumgarner in 2014 in this context. Here is Bleacher Report’s summary of his postseason that year:

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner almost set too many records to count during his epic postseason run, which ended with a five-inning save in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the World Series.

For starters, his save was the first of five or more innings in postseason history and only the 12th of its kind since the statistic was first kept in 1969, per Elias Sports Bureau (via

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Bumgarner is the first player to record two wins, a shutout and a save in a single World Series, which doesn't exactly come as a surprise.

He finished the series allowing just one run over 21 innings, good for a 0.43 ERA that's the lowest in a single World Series (minimum 15 innings) since Los Angeles Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax posted a 0.38 mark over 24 innings against the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series, according to MLB Stat of the Day.

Having also dominated in his two previous appearances (2010 and 2012) on the game's biggest stage, Bumgarner now owns a 0.25 career ERA through 36 innings in the World Series, making him the all-time leader among all pitchers who have thrown 25 or more innings, per MLB Stat of the Day.

As for records spanning an entire playoff run, Bumgarner set the all-time mark for innings pitched in a single postseason, with his 52.2 surpassing Curt Schilling's 48.1 from 2001, according to MLB Stat of the Day.

Of course, Koufax and quite a few other pitchers likely would have gone well above 50 if not for the fact that the League Championship Series was only implemented in 1969, with the League Division Series added in 1981.

Still, Bumgarner's 2014 postseason was likely the finest by any pitcher since the advent of a division series and has a solid argument to be considered the best of all time.

His 1.03 ERA was the third-lowest ever for a single postseason among pitchers who threw 30 or more innings, per ESPN Stats & Info. Only Burt Hooton (0.82 in 1981) and John Smoltz (0.95 in 1996) have done better, and Hooton only tossed 33 innings, while Smoltz's Braves lost the '96 World Series to the New York Yankees in six games.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 06:45 PM EST (#410934) #
Yes.  A talented SP who hits his stride can be very important.  But to be clear, Greg Maddux never did that in the playoffs, and John Smoltz did.  Josh Beckett did, and countless better pitchers never did.  It's pretty much impossible to predict which good starting pitcher will perform better in the post-season.  If you're acquiring a good one like the Astros' acquisition of Justin Verlander, on the basis that he will upgrade your starting 3 in the playoffs, that's a very reasonable move, but if you're expecting that he will be dominant in the post-season, that might happen but it just as well might be another pitcher on your staff already. 

I mean, Alek Manoah or Jose Berrios or Kevin Gausman could be a beast in the playoffs.  Or not. 

greenfrog - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 07:08 PM EST (#410935) #
No argument from me on any of those points. Shapiro has expressed (in general terms) a similar view, saying the goal is "just get in" -- presumably, because anything can happen once you're in. Of course, you want to tilt the odds in your favour as best you can, but for most organizations it's not efficient to burn all your resources to stack your team for a year or two in an effort to go all the way. It would be even less efficient to do this in a 14-team postseason format.

In any event, I still think the Jays will be hard-pressed to construct a better team than the one they fielded in game 162 of the 2021 season.
bpoz - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 07:24 PM EST (#410936) #
I too agree with everything said about playoff success possibilities.

Vlad & Semien were strong MVP contenders. Maybe Bo too a bit. Ray certainly was the pitcher that could have been hot.

Gurriel in a 30 game hot streak would also count also.
John Northey - Sunday, March 06 2022 @ 10:55 PM EST (#410937) #
For single season playoff performance, 24 Jays have ERA's of 0 (most IP 9 1/3 by Dennis Lamp in 1985), Dave Stewart & Juan Guzman both threw 25 Innings in 1993 (Stewart 25 1/3). Just 16 have 10+ IP in a single playoff - Of those Jimmy Key is easily the best for ERA in 1992 with 0.72 over 12 innings (just 1 start) - boy were the Jays dumb to let him go that winter. 8 have 20+ IP - Juan Guzman 1992 the best ERA at 1.71, then Marco Estrada 1.98 in 2016.

Worst ERA: A. J. Cole 54.00 in 2020 (1 out, 2 ER). Worst with 10+ IP: Doyle Alexander 1985 8.73 (10 ER in 10 1/3 IP) - I think we all forget how he fell apart after being Mr. Clutch in the regular season. For 20+ IP anyone who watched the 1992 playoffs would know it is Jack Morris 7.47 ERA over 23 IP when he was signed specifically due to his 'clutch' performance in 1991's World Series. Exhibit A in how random the playoffs can be.

For a playoff career as a Jay Jim Acker wins best ERA over 10+ IP (0.72 over 13 IP - 1 ER). 3 other guys in the 1's: Roberto Osuna, David Wells, Tom Henke. Marco Estrada should be Mr. Playoff though with his 2.16 ERA over 41 2/3 IP, or Juan Guzman with his 2.43 over 51 2/3 IP. Dennis Lamp has the 0 ER over 9 1/3 IP, current players Nate Pearson & Tom Hatch each have 2 shutout innings.
John Northey - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 12:07 AM EST (#410938) #
For hitters...
the best single season playoff: OPS of 3000 - Al Leiter hit a double his only PA. 10+ AB: Paul Molitor 1993 447/851/527 - 1378 OPS over 47 AB - yeah, he was the playoff MVP. Others with 10+ AB and OPS over 1000: Rance Mulliniks 1985 (364/462/727), Josh Donaldson 2016 (417/462/667), Devon White 1993 (373/429/686), Jose Bautista 2015 (293/408/659), Pat Borders 1992 (381/404/595 - OK 999 but won the WS MVP for it).

Go to career figures and we get... (10+ AB)
Molitor #1 (same as above), Josh Donaldson (325/402/597 over his 2 years), Michael Saunders (381/409/571), Roberto Alomar (373/429/492), Jose Bautista (243/364/541) to cover the 900+ OPS guys.

Worst: Justin Smoak 0 for 10 in 11 games. Ugh. Not even a walk or HBP. Other sub 500's are Devon Travis (083/083/083), Darwin Barney (067/125/067), Fred McGriff (143/143/143), and Garth Iorg (133/188/133)
Notables: Edwin Encarnacion (280/372/480), Jesse Barfield (280/357/440), Tony Fernandez (333/378/402), Pat Borders (321/342/422), John Olerud (284/373/389), Dave Winfield (239/321/413 including the game winner in game 6 1992), Joe Carter (252/282/445 including the HR), Lloyd Moseby (255/352/340), George Bell (271/275/396), Troy Tulowitzki (215/253/380), Rickey Henderson (170/316/255)

Now, doing bad for us doesn't mean they always were bad. McGriff in his career was 303/385/532 in the playoffs. Since the playoffs expanded in 1969 the best OPS is 1634 by Lloyd McClendon (625/696/938) then ex-Jay Colby Rasmus (423/571/1038), then Bo's dad Dante Bichette (588/611/941). Hopefully he has tips for the kids next time they make the playoffs :) Ex-Jay Carlos Delgado did well (351/442/757) and Don Mattingly made the most of his one chance (417/440/708 to end his career in 1995). 13 guys were 0 for their post-season career over 10+ AB's: Most games is Max Scherzer (0 for 13), Tom Brookens was 0 for 18 for the worst line. Justin Smoak is the only Jay on the list of 0's.
scottt - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 06:10 AM EST (#410939) #
Obviously, the sustainable contender vs the all in champion team is mostly about having large attendances every year.
Not that it's a bad thing.

John Northey - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 10:58 AM EST (#410940) #
Good point on large attendance. Some attendance stats
1st in AL: 1987, 1989-1994, 2016, 2017. Only 3 times had they not been in the playoffs the year before - 1987 (were almost the best in baseball but for that horrid final week), 1989 (moved to dome, won division), 1991 (won division). Clearly making the playoffs is a big factor in the following years attendance. Other years following playoffs - 1986 (2nd in attendance, very frustrating team that year), 2021 (we all know why).

The Jays have a high base vs most teams - never finished lower than 12th for attendance and that was last year, and in 2010 (cut payroll by $20 mil, team won 85 but still just 4th). 3 times 11th - 1981 (as bad a team as possible), 2002 , and 2005 (big payroll cut, team sucked in 2004). Every other season the Jays have been a top 10 in attendance. Top 5 19 times, 6-10 20 times, 11/12 5 times, plus 2020. Do a chart of the Jays attendance per game vs previous years winning percentage and you see a clear pattern of it being higher when they were winning the previous year. Combine the previous years winning percentage with the current year and the trend is stronger. Remove 2020, 2021, 1977 from the equation and the trend is painfully obvious. Exceptions to the rule are 2017 (post 2 playoff years, but really stunk so attendance still solid), and 1995 (after a decade of greatness and the strike year - everyone thought the Jays would be back to 1993 form but they weren't even remotely close). Outside of those 2 and 1984 (teams 2nd solid year in a row after non-stop sucking) the Jays saw 30k+ every year they had a combined winning percentage of 1.065 (ie: 2 years above 500), and sub 32k in all but 2 years they did worse (30-31k in 1996-1998, 2013) Those years are easily explained as 96-98 were the afterglow of the 83-93 teams and 2013 they won the offseason (big trades, payroll bump).

No question the Jays fans show up if they are given 2+ years of decent ball (over 500, contender in one of the years), and the long tail after the 83-93 stretch shows how fans kept coming for a long time after sustained success.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 11:19 AM EST (#410941) #
I think the Jays were poised to have a huge year attendance-wise in 2022. With covid restrictions on crowd size lifted, people were keen to get back to the ball park and see a winning team that missed the playoffs by one game. That's not to mention that they're a young, exciting team that's fun to watch.

Some on here have predicted that there will be no season and I thought, " Nah, they ( owners and players) aren't that stupid." Now I'm thinking, " Yeah, they might be that stupid." It's like they are firefighters and they're letting the house burn down because they're arguing about who gets to put the most water on it.
John Northey - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 11:34 AM EST (#410942) #
Excellent way of putting it Island Boy. So frustrating. The 2004/2005 hockey lost season kept me away from the NHL (I only pay attention when my daughter is interested otherwise I pretty much ignore it). A lost season loses fans for a LONG time. I think this is a case of 'screw you, I want it all' from the owners - they are willing to permanently drop the value of this massive asset (now worth over a billion per team) in order to get a bigger piece of the pie. Me, I prefer increasing the pie size, then a smaller slice would still be bigger than you had before. You can see the owners putting the screws on now - players make an offer, owners say 'move more', or 'you went backwards'. Players now need strong discipline to avoid being royally screwed. In the end though all I care about is getting baseball back.
AWeb - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 02:17 PM EST (#410943) #
I see the league is throwing our pitch clocks as a possible rule change again. First, I assume this is an attempt to get a few more people on their side since the PR hasn't gone so well for them. Second, I am fully supportive of the 14 and 19 second pitch clocks (bases empty and full)! Most of the 'cheats' to get around the clock such as pitcher's stepping off the mound, anyone involved calling time, etc., call be solved by my pet rule proposal - time out limits for baseball.

Every step-off, step-out, hold-up-my-hand-I'm-not-ready-to-bat-yet, we-can't-agree-on-the-signs catcher stand up and start over - those are all time outs. If you limited teams to, say, 1 per half inning, I bet players would immediately figure out they don't have to do any of them and leave them to the manager to call (I'm rolling mound visits into timeouts - they count against the 1 per inning total too). Baseball has never had a timeout limit, but for the first 60 years they were racing against the setting sun and it wouldn't have occurred to anyone to try and slow the game on purpose. GAmes will never be as fast as the 'old days' (pick pre -2000 time period of your choice) because even most bad hitters work counts these days, and even bad pitchers are trying for K's. But enough with full commercial breaks between pitches.

If this lockout can't even come back with a more watchable product for the owners to sell...
John Northey - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 03:44 PM EST (#410944) #
To kill off the delay over signs having the headset/handset thing that has been used in college ball in the USA would be a great idea - then no question about what is being called, no chance of a trash can situation, no more looks to the dugout. Remove the ability to cheat and you improve the game.

I suspect letting owners just bring in rule changes could really make the game better quicker. Require consultation with players, but in the end just get those changes put in place. Pitch clock, bigger bases, headset, etc. Changes that will speed up the game and encourage fun play - more SB (bigger bases), less wasted time (pitch clock, headset/watch), more fun (7 inning double headers, ghost runner). As long as it doesn't directly impact players health in a negative way I'm all for changes.
Michael - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 03:58 PM EST (#410945) #
Headsets are a little hard to make work because sometimes it is the dugout calling the pitch, sometimes it is the catcher calling the pitch, and sometimes it is the pitcher more or less calling the pitch or shaking off the pitches. So you need input to be able to come from all three (without the batter or others being able to hear or see enough to read lips).

On the pitch clock and limiting step out/off I'd rather just say that other than foul balls, there should be no such thing as a step out. If the pitcher wants to pitch the next pitch and the batter isn't ready due to some silly routine, let the pitcher pitch. If the pitcher takes too long to pitch the next pitch: automatic ball (and possibly balk if there are baserunners). That way both pitcher and batter are responsible to always keep the at bat moving at least until or unless there was contact. If the batter hits a foul ball you might have to let them step out if they either hit the ball off themselves, or more importantly to the timing, if it was borderline fair/foul and they took off down the line to 1st (or possibly broke their bat on the foul ball). Now you have to give some reasonable time to the batter to make it back to the plate and continue, shouldn't be forever, but should be more generous than a routine ball/non-contact strike.
AWeb - Monday, March 07 2022 @ 05:06 PM EST (#410946) #
See, I don't think you need to explicitly eliminate step outs and step offs, as long as you start counting timeouts and drastically limiting them. With a pitch clock, the only way to stop it would be a timeout. I'm fine with extra timeouts costing a ball or strike. New way to intentionally walk someone too! MLB should love it.

And I frankly don't care how teams decide to call pitches, as long as it's quick.
scottt - Tuesday, March 08 2022 @ 04:34 PM EST (#410947) #
Tiedemann is throwing 96-98 mph in camp.
Connor Cooke, the 10th round pick has been sitting 98-99 mph.

scottt - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 08:18 AM EST (#410948) #
As I speculated, the owners have made higher luxury tax thresholds conditional to an international draft.
It's worth noting that there are not international players on the negotiating team.

John Northey - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 10:01 AM EST (#410949) #
The international draft, as proposed, is quite interesting.
  • A 20-round Draft with more than 600 selections (regular picks, plus competitive balance selections), which are guaranteed because clubs cannot pass on its selections
  • Each slot in the Draft would also carry a guaranteed signing bonus amount the first pick would be worth $5.25 million
  • Draft picks could be traded between clubs
  • The age for eligibility draftees would remain the same as players eligible to be signed under the current CBA. All draftees will be drug tested
  • Each club would be randomly assigned to a group of six clubs, and each group would then rotate through Draft order over a five-year period
  • Clubs would receive supplemental selections for drafting and signing players from non-traditional international baseball countries
This could work well for the Jays in the end as I see them doing lots of trades for more picks given their past success with it, and other teams being hesitant to draft guys who they'll need to wait 5 years to know if they are any good (short term savings for long term pain). The bonus picks for getting players from non-traditional areas could also be a bonus as the Jays are willing to hunt in new areas.

Other items...
  • 2022 CBT...
    Base: $230m
    1st: $250m
    2nd: $270m
    New 3rd: $290m
    Goes up for base to 232, 236, 240, 242 so I'd assume other levels go up the same each year.
  • Minimum salary: 700, 715, 730, 750, 770
  • Top 2 Rookie of Year vote getters can get a full year of service.
  • A team that brings up a player for Opening Day can net 3 draft picks over time, one pick per year, if that player does well in voting
  • Players can be optioned max 5 times before being exposed to waivers
  • Small markets can pick in draft lottery for two straight years before sliding to 10th pick.
  • Large markets can pick only one year in lottery before going to 10th
  • All rule changes MLB would want could be expedited
  • Draft lottery at 6 picks. MLB was at 5 previously.
  • MLB is tying removal of the qualifying offer to instituting an international draft.
  • $40 mil with no increases for the pre-arb pool which counts against the CBT equally for all teams (like the player benefits package does now).
This appears to be getting close enough that the players will probably propose shifts upward for CBT and minimum and the pre-arb pool but nothing crazy. Lets hope!
bpoz - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 12:05 PM EST (#410950) #
Thanks for the summary John N.

Much I don't understand. Hope we can discuss so I can learn more.

Each team will have 6 clubs to choose from?? I ran into a list of "clubs". I think they are clubs. For example the development clubs of Jose?, Pedro? and Luis?. Hope this is what is meant.

Lets assume the Jays are assigned club Jose? + 5 others to draft from. Arizona gets 1st pick from their assigned clubs Pedro? + 5 others. Woo Hoo!! Vlad, W Franco, Soto and Tatis Jr are "not" in Arizona's assigned clubs. Oh Oh Too bad. Acuna and G Moreno are on their clubs assigned. Since both got low signing bonuses (not sure about Acuna) Arizona does not pick either. They go in the 7th and 11th round.

So not a fair system. Vlad is the 1st player picked from his club by Baltimore because they sucked and managed not to blow the pick.

I assume there will be a scouting prospect ranking for each of the 30 development clubs.
AWeb - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 12:08 PM EST (#410951) #
It seems to be a common language on both sides so I guess they are OK with it, but I hate having player service time, franchise benefits (draft picks?) and compensation tied to something like rookie of the year voting, or Cy Young or MVP voting later. It's been my impression that 'homer' votes have gone down in recent years, but this looks like you could curry favour (or avoid pissing off) management and players with your vote a little too much? Draft picks are worth millions, service time the same. Ah well, awards in other entertainment arenas live with it...
John Northey - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 12:49 PM EST (#410952) #
The groups of 6 clubs means the 30 teams in MLB will each be randomly assigned to a 'group'. For example, I just did a random draw for the 30 teams and got the Jays in group 4 with Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants. That would mean the Jays would be in a group with those others where each year they'd be randomly shuffled among themselves to determine who picks first, 2nd, etc. but that group also would be rotating around the 5 group slots each year. If I read it right in 5 years they'd reshuffle everything. So this year they might be group 4 (drafting in slots #19 to #24) next year in slot 5 (#25-30), then in slot 1 (#1-6). So no tanking to climb up, no way to predict which slot you get each year beyond 'top 6, bottom 6, etc.'

Trades can happen involving those picks, so if you know, say, a group with the Padres will be in the top slot next year you'd know trading for their pick gets you a top 6 draft choice - very valuable - or that if they were slotted in the bottom then you'd be getting a 25-30 pick. I could see the Jays working on grabbing first round picks from teams as part of deals regularly (or at least asking for lower rounds as that is where they would've grabbed Kirk for example). A very useful tool in trades I'd think - teams rebuilding might stock up on these picks so they can pack their minors, contenders might trade them away in an effort to improve now. It'd add a new element that I think would be fun to watch over time as teams are hesitant to trade a guy close to the majors who is a top prospect, but someone who is 16? You know you have at least 3-4 years and probably 6+ before they are ML ready and most GM's don't have that kind of time/security. I can imagine the Jays trading for the top overall pick and getting another Vlad type, or a team trading that pick away then kicking themselves hard.

Lets look at 2015 and how they were ranked going into it.
  • Eddy Julio Martinez - never reached majors - Mexican league last year
  • Yadier Alvarez - never reached, was in rookie ball last year
  • Lucius Fox - In AAA last year
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - we know this one
  • Starling Heredia - never higher than A+
  • Jhailyn Ortiz - A+/AA last year
  • Gilberto Celestino - in majors with a 26 OPS+, -0.3 WAR last year
  • Wander Javier - in A+ last year
  • Seuly Matias - in rookie, A+, AA last year
  • Cristian Pache - in Atlanta, -5 lifetime OPS+, -0.8 WAR
#22. Juan Soto
#27. Fernando Tatis Jr.

In a draft with trades someone could've potentially grabbed all 3 of Vlad, Soto, and Tatis. Now that would've been interesting eh? Also, if you had the #1 pick but didn't believe in Martinez or Alvarez you could trade down and grab Soto or Tatis later in the draft ala how the NFL/NHL/NBA does it. Odds are given how high the Jays always were on Vlad they'd have traded up to grab him if they were able to. This also shows how hard it is to evaluate kids that young with Soto and Tatis so low. Much like how Halladay was a #16 pick in the regular draft with many duds taken before him (3 never reached, 4 had negative WAR, only 2 had half his career WAR or more - Todd Helton #8 and Darin Erstad #1 with Erstad barely there at 32.3 vs Halladay's 64.2). Drafts are no guarantee but dang are they fun. I kinda want it to happen just for the fun of seeing if the Jays get the guts to do trades to gain more prospects, and to see who dumps their future and at what cost.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 01:00 PM EST (#410953) #
If MLB wanted to help teams losing quality players without impeding free agency then simply keep the QO and teams that have players declining the QO and signing elsewhere would get an extra pick before the 2nd round starts while there would be no penalty on the signing team but since this approach would not act as a drag on free agent contracts the owners are probably not that interested.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 01:18 PM EST (#410954) #
Thanks John N.

I did not interpret it that way. Assuming that you are correct then your random group #4 would have picks #19-24. The best team 115 wins in a random year could get pick #1 due to being in the #1-6 picks group. The worst team 60 wins could get pick #30 ie the last pick of round 1. Would they also get the last pick of every round? If we don't know yet then never mind.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 02:41 PM EST (#410955) #
If this international draft goes through, I wonder how this will affect the Jay's rumored handshake deal with one of the top 15 year olds, Emmanuel Bonilla?
John Northey - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 03:05 PM EST (#410956) #
I suspect the international draft would take a year to start as you'd want to give teams time to get set for it vs how things have been done. If not, then the Jays might trade up quickly so they can sign him.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 05:31 PM EST (#410957) #
via Bob Nightengale...

The MLBPA is now proposing $710,000 and rising to $780,000. MLB proposed $700,000, rising to $770,000.

They are total of $22 million apart in luxury tax thresholds

MLB: $40 million, no growth
MLBPA: $65 million increases by $5 Mil per year
MLB:    $230M, $232M, $236M, $240M, $242M
MLBPA: $232M, $235M, $240M, $245M, $250M.

Biggest issue is owners wanting the international draft in exchange for removal of draft pick compensation for loss of a free agent. Sooooo close.
scottt - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 06:45 PM EST (#410958) #
International draft would start in 2024.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 07:37 PM EST (#410959) #
My scrolling marquee screensaver (remember those?) said for many years: "Baseball, chocolate mousse and Jimi".  It was a reminder to me of some of the pleasures that I derived from my labour.  But for the first one now, the thrill is gone.  I'm going to take a break for a few years, I think.  The professional game just reminds me of oligarchy now, and I've had enough of that. The oligarchy has been present for a long, long time, of course, but there was more to the game than that. That other part is fading fast. 
Cynicalguy - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 09:43 PM EST (#410960) #
I think an international draft would level the playing field for all the teams, but from a selfish point of view, I hope they don't implement it as there's a few of Vlad's siblings and cousins who are going to become eligible soon and would think some would be more likely to sign with the Jays :p
John Northey - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 10:41 PM EST (#410961) #
Another week written off according to owners. So frustrating. Games through April 14th are cancelled for now. Lines of communication appear to still be open though which is promising. It seems the International Draft is now the last straw for both sides. Players from outside the US/Canada/PR are not part of a draft right now and they want to keep it that way. For the Jays that might be good, but I get why the league wants that to change. I also see why players want future players to be able to pick who they sign with. No idea who will blink on this - I thought the players would screw over future players for present benefits without a second thought as they have in the past (limits on bonuses for example) but this time they seem a lot stronger on it. As a fan that sucks, but I do respect the stance - current players gain nothing by doing it, but they are doing it for kids who are 14 and under. As a parent I love that, even if the baseball fan in me loves the idea of a draft where picks can be traded and where you are in the draft has zilch to do with how you played the year before.
Cynicalguy - Wednesday, March 09 2022 @ 11:48 PM EST (#410962) #
It's really stupid they couldn't hammer out a deal today. The gap between MLB's and PA's numbers are so small. This international draft demand really seems to have crept up at the last minute. I say the players give the 14 team playoffs in exchange for no international draft, or something like that.
scottt - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 06:12 AM EST (#410963) #
The players are opposed to a 14 team playoffs because that makes it too easy for large market teams to make the playoffs without spending to the maximum of their capacity. They would entertain it only if the division winners are granted "ghost wins", that is starting a best of 2 or 3 series with the division winner already being credited a win or two.

The players are divided between a QO system and the international draft, two measures that are meant to level the competitive field.

The players have not agreed to not being payed for the 2 weeks canceled, so this will add a new layer to the negotiations.

Cynicalguy - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 06:41 AM EST (#410964) #
Players proposal on the 14 team playoff makes more sense, even though it's a bit odd to start a series 0-1 without playing a single game. There could be a huge gap between the 2nd best team in the league and the worst wild card team in terms of regular season wins who end up playing each other in the playoffs, and then for that 2nd best team in the league to have the season end just because they lost 2 out of 3 games after 162 game regular season would be harsh.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 11:42 AM EST (#410965) #
The Jays have inked ex-Jay Joe Biagini and former Yankee Greg Bird to minor league contracts. Bird has had his career derailed by injuries but he profiles as a power left-handed bat and could find his way to the big club at some point in the season, if it ever gets going.
John Northey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 12:24 PM EST (#410966) #
Not bad guys to add for minor league depth.
Biagini threw 3 innings in the majors last year (2 H 1 BB 2 K 0 R) but wasn't good as a starter in AAA (22 games, 19 starts, 5.50 ERA 4.2 BB/9 8.3 K/9 1.4 HR/9) - he might be an emergency reliever should the need arise who can go 3 innings if needed. I see him starting until the 40 man can be used, then in the pen in Buffalo.

Greg Bird is a 1B with a lifetime 94 OPS+, 0.6 WAR over 700 PA at 1B/DH. At 22 he came up and looked good with a 135 OPS+ over 46 games, but didn't get up the next year and got worse with each call up after that. Last year was with Colorado in AAA and hit 267/362/532. Left handed hitter, he is nice to have in Buffalo. If he can find the form he had at 22 he could be a useful piece, if not he gives Buffalo a decent cleanup hitter. He also caught 3 full games in the minors at one point (age 19) so he is an emergency catcher as well I'd assume (unlikely to ever be needed, but if injuries on the team he is playing with happen he could end up in there).

Boy we are stretching for baseball news aren't we? Lets hope cooler heads prevail today and a deal gets done. Seems to just be the international draft that is left - both sides seem to want to punt that for the season then settle it next offseason it is just under what conditions that is the question. Seems if an agreement is made free agency reopens immediately btw according to Tom Verducci. Half an hour ago the owners sent the players a new deal - lets hope both sides like it.
John Northey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 12:34 PM EST (#410967) #
Oops, seems the owners are preparing their deal still, but will get it to the players today in response to the players proposal from this morning. No details yet on what is in each (a good thing, few leaks means it must be close). The big leak is there is a deal on International Free Agents - keep negotiating on that until mid-season then if no deal it stays as is along with draft pick compensation for free agents (QO).

If settled, I'm thinking the Jays move very fast to settle 3B/5th starter/OF/bullpen. My hopes are Bryant/Rodon/Seiya Suzuki/Jansen (cost per year - $27/$25/$11/$13 = $76 mil expensive but possible given Rogers is reported to have upped the budget for 2022 and beyond). Cost nothing but cash, no draft picks or prospects. Then in 2 years they can chase down Ramirez as a free agent (no compensation) if the budget allows. Bryant could move to LF, let Gurriel/Hernandez leave as free agents if not traded before then.

Realistically I don't see the Jays signing all 4 but those 4 are the ones I'd be chasing (depending on internal metrics and scouts reports on them of course). While I'd love to see Freeman or Correa as Jays I don't see the Jays fitting them in either due to budget or lineup issues (Vlad & Bo are here after all).
Michael - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 01:25 PM EST (#410968) #
In depth primarily positive article on Manoah worth a read:
John Northey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 02:07 PM EST (#410969) #
Latest info... from owners via Ken Rosenthal
Luxury-tax thresholds - $230M to $244M over course of five-year deal. (increase of $2M in final year from last offer)

Pre-arb pool: $50M (increase of $10M)

Minimum salaries, $700K to $780K. (increase of $10K in final year)

3 p.m. “deadline.”

Fingers crossed it works and there aren't any poison pills in there that cause players to reject it. I could see the players pushing for the International draft to require the pre-arb pool to grow each year as well as removing the Qualifying Offer/draft pick compensation thing but pushing that mid-season (international draft to be settled in July has been agreed upon by the two sides already today).
John Northey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 02:43 PM EST (#410970) #
Via Jon Heyman's Twitter...
MLB did put a poison pill in there again - to stop lawsuits against the A's, Rays, and the Pirates for not spending their shared money on winning but on profits instead, and the 2020 Covid lawsuit be dropped as well. Argh!!!

Word is there are a couple Mets players concerned about the CBT, and one or two are arguing against accepting the MLB offer. Mets look destined to pay the biggest tax, and it’s possible they are concerned fourth tier relax could inhibit spending.

Still, players are voting enmass on this proposal and there is a good chance it is accepted. Lets hope. So bloody close. How many more sneaky moves though will the owners try at the last second each time? I mean, c'mon, there has been no talk of these lawsuits until now that has been made public. Hopefully they were factored into everything so it isn't a big deal now, but damn!
Ducey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 03:00 PM EST (#410971) #
John the lawsuits are not new. They were likely just filed to get leverage in the first place. They likely suffer from jurisdictional issues (normally employment issues go to a tribunal or arbitration rather than court) and become somewhat moot if there is a new collective agreement.

Clearing the underbrush of past litigation as part of a new CBA is pretty standard stuff.
John Northey - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 03:14 PM EST (#410972) #
That makes sense Ducey - I'm no lawyer and my only union involvement was over 20 years ago (a group tried to unionize the office I worked at, it failed and the company folded about a year later anyways). It just sounded like a last second 'hey lets sneak this in' thing.

Good news - votes coming and and Heyman says most in favor so far despite the executive voting against it. Could be the closest a vote has ever gone for the MLBPA - just like the owners wanted I suspect. As a fan though I just hope it gets resolved and we get baseball.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 10 2022 @ 03:21 PM EST (#410973) #
Baseball is back according to Passan and Heyman. League and players have finally agreed.

Time to start talking baseball again.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 17 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#420102) #
In March I wrote: "I still think the Jays will be hard-pressed to construct a better team than the one they fielded in game 162 of the 2021 season."

I'm sticking with that assertion, and I think that it may hold true for 2023 as well, unless Bichette, VGJ and Teo become 4-6 WAR players again and Springer somehow has a healthy season. The rotation is probably going to be a question mark as well. It's strange that we might look back on the missed-postseason year of 2021 as halcyon days for the post-AA Blue Jays.
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