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The winter meetings thread is getting long so lets start a new one with the news that the Jays are adding Kevin Kiermaier. The terms are not yet available.

Kiermaier could play centre against right handed pitchers with Springer DH'ing or moving to right. The signing somewhat addresses two needs of the Jays, a centre fielder and a left handed hitter. Kiermaier is 32 and often injured so it remains to be seen how much he can play or how long he can be effective in centre.

Kiermaier was injured for much of 2022 and just appeared in 63 games. He did not play after July 9th.

Kiermaier's best years were in his mid twenties but he has been a 2 WAR player for the last five years.

Jays Sign Kiermaier | 320 comments | Create New Account
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uglyone - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 01:39 PM EST (#424964) #
A very nice upgrade over.....thr Tapia/Bradley/Zimmer beast.

But he can't be the Teo replacement.
Nigel - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 01:41 PM EST (#424965) #
In what likely amounts to a trade of Teo for a reliever and Kier, itís hard to argue the logic. Itís what the team needs. But, man, I canít think of a less inspired way of pulling it off. So, itís a thumbs up from me but with the biggest meh possible.
Paul D - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 01:58 PM EST (#424966) #
In 63 games last year he had a 1.1 WAR. This is a great fit.
Kasi - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:01 PM EST (#424967) #
Depends on the cost ofc but I think heís probably going to work out better for us than Bellinger would. Heís been a solid offensive contributor and still has a glove.
Gerry - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:02 PM EST (#424968) #
The Dodgers pushed hard for Kiermaier too but he lives in Tampa and preferred the east coast.
Nigel - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:11 PM EST (#424969) #
I agree that Iíd rather bet on this approach than Bellinger at $17m or more. Higher floor, lower ceiling, likely lower cost.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:17 PM EST (#424970) #
a rich man's JBJ
Marc Hulet - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:46 PM EST (#424971) #
I don't see how this is a good move if he plays every day... He's a well below average hitter. All his value is on the defensive end and is coming off hip surgery.

If he's getting more than $2 million and one year (and/or playing regularly), it's a terrible signing.
Kasi - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 02:52 PM EST (#424972) #
Hah you think heís getting 2 million on one year? Really with the contracts out there? My thoughts are one year for 10-13 or a 2/16 contract as the floor. Very little signs out there for 2 million anymore.
Paul D - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 03:09 PM EST (#424973) #
He's an exceptional Defender and league avg offence against RHP. Seems like minimal down side?
PeterG - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#424974) #
A good deal imo as long as accompanied by another OF signing, likely Gallo, Brantley or Conforto.

I now see Kirk being dealt for pitching.
Glevin - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 03:52 PM EST (#424975) #
Good if he's the fourth OFer. If he's playing regularly, to replace Teo, I hate it.
John Northey - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 04:07 PM EST (#424976) #
I like this signing (depending on terms of course, but I'm assuming a 1 year $10 mil deal roughly, maybe 2 years). Outside of his first season (1 game) he has been worth 1.1 to 7.1 bWAR. When he has played 80+ games he has always been worth 2.3+. Elite defense, to put it mildly, easily the best CF since Devon White to play for the Jays (no insult to Pillar but Kiermaier is far above him on defense). For comparison: Pillar has 3 years of BR dWAR over 1 (146+ games each time). Kiermaier has 3 years over 2 (two of those with 98 and 105 games played) and 8 years over 1 (just last year was sub 1 at 0.4 over just 63 games). Devo using old methods (as more modern measures weren't available for the 90's) 5 times cracked 2 (146+ games each time), 4 more times 1+ (100+ games everytime). For an idea of how defense leaves a guy - White had a negative dWAR season at 32, then had 3 years worth 3.1 total, then 3 negative seasons to end his career.

FanGraphs is even more bullish. K defensive scores range from 2.6 last year to 20.6 in 2015. Pillar peaked at 10.9, Devo peaked at 35.1 (1992) but by their measure also had that negative year at 32, then 3 very solid years (11-6-14) before falling off a cliff.

So basically if KK can be like Devo and rebound from a poor age 32 season the Jays will be very happy in 2023, if not then odds are his contract will be an easy one to write off. Like others have said, he can't be worse than Zimmer/Bradley/Tapia were and if he has any serious rebound he could be worth more than Teoscar. Tapia played 128 games last year, pro-rate KK to that many and his WAR goes up from 1.1 to 2.2 (same score from both BR and FG) vs the 0.3/0.3 Tapia provided last year and the 2.8/2.4 Teoscar did (BR/FG). I don't see him playing everyday, but Tapia's playing time certainly seems likely, while Zimmer's is the low end (100 games, 101 PA -0.3 fWAR) while providing FAR more value. Unless the deal is crazy ($15+ mil per year over 3+ years) or he has permanent injuries that kill his defense the Jays did a good job here.

Now, what to sign next? Another 4th OF to split time with KK? Right now I'd figure the Jays would plan on a semi-platoon of KK with Merrifield where KK is in CF when playing (duh) with Springer in RF, then Merrifield comes in to RF/Springer to CF. Merrifield splits time at 2B as well with Espinal/Biggio taking the bulk of time there depending on how everyone is playing and how healthy all are and how healthy Bo & Chapman are (both getting more days off to get Espinal in while either Biggio or Merrifield play at 2B and KK in CF). No question at this stage finding that solid 4th starter has to be job 1 for Atkins be it by trade or free agent signing (my bet is on a trade right now, but he does seem to enjoy free agents a lot) and saving the catcher trade for mid-season to fill whatever hole is biggest at that point. If another OF is signed it'll be a pure hitter type. Michael Conforto becomes tempting here on a one year 'prove it' deal after he missed 2022, a lifetime 124 OPS+ but just a 100 in 2021 - he went through surgery to fix a shoulder injury last year so if he is at 100% he could be a good fit in RF/DH as a LH hitter. Poor defense, but at peak was a 150 OPS+ hitter (2020 and 2017). I could see that working potentially. If not then Michael Brantley is a perpetual favorite of our GM (125 OPS+ last year in 64 games) but is almost a pure DH now.
bpoz - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 04:58 PM EST (#424977) #
I like the KK deal. Total $ for 1/2 years is a factor but not that big a factor IMO.

We now have speed for O and also elite D. We don't need that elite D specialist like Jonathan Davis to take up a 40/26 man spot.

Bottom line is that we are now a decent playoff contender. That is all I wanted. Good/deep pen, good enough O/D. The rotation is not ok yet. But the payroll is in very good shape.
Nigel - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 05:01 PM EST (#424978) #
They donít have the assets to acquire by trade both a starting caliber OF and starting pitching. Iím not sure thereís a starting calibre OF left on the FA market. So, Iíd say itís more likely than not heís been signed to be the larger part of a starting platoon. Effectively a starter.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 05:09 PM EST (#424980) #
I love this signing. He's a great OF and baserunner and can handle his own. Perfect guy to replace Biggio in the line up to hit 8/9.

Now the FO needs to get a top 4 bat from the left side and a SP or else this will be a poor off season in my opinion.

Marc, 2 million for KK is bananas.
Spifficus - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 05:47 PM EST (#424981) #
I'm very tepid tea about this signing - it takes care of a need, but I really wish it was hotter, more potent, and, well, came in the form of something else (coffee).
Kasi - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 06:00 PM EST (#424982) #
I hear rumors the deal is going to be like 2/20. Since with new math here a win is worth like 10-11 million it should probably work out well enough.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 06:01 PM EST (#424983) #
I love the signing. Merrifield can handle the other side of the platoon, probably playing RF with Springer sliding back over to center.  They could use a left-handed power bat  to play LF when Gurriel is hurt or playing first base and to pinch-hit. 
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 06:35 PM EST (#424984) #
Apparently the deal on the table at the winter meetings was Danny Jansen for Ryan Helsley which didn't happen because of the Cardinals signing.
Kasi - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 06:39 PM EST (#424985) #
Thatís another reliever. Very good one but still. Not sure we need to be trading assets for more relievers.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 07:17 PM EST (#424986) #
Merrifield at 7M and Keirmeir at something similar would be a less effective combined platoon than Hernandez at the the same rate. I only liked the Hernadez trade if the Jays used the money to bring in some upside.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 07:22 PM EST (#424987) #
KK was 11th best baserunner in the league. Blue Jays were ranked 25th.

KK chose TO over LAD.

KK in the same span of time (5 years since Teo joined full time) has outperformed Teoscar using WAR.

This will let Springer play more which is the best part.

I bet this is to replace Tapia and not Teoscar.
John Northey - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 07:41 PM EST (#424988) #
I don't see a top 4 bat coming, but Conforto and Brantley both are realistic options at this stage. Both will want everyday roles so might hold out another month before signing. The Jays now have mix/match at 2B (Merrifield-Espinal-Biggio) and OF (Springer the only one guaranteed a lineup spot when healthy, Gurriel most likely out there everyday, KK when healthy will be out there most of the time, then comes the gang to shuffle in and out in Merrifield-Lukes-Lopez-Biggio and even Espinal). Given the likely locks in Kirk-Jansen-Vlad-Bo-Chapman-Gurriel-Springer-Espinal-Merrifield-Biggio-KK we have 11 of 13 slots locked in with the weakest being Biggio (LH bat keeps him safe) leaving 2 slots for whatever - possible are Moreno, Lukes, Lopez with Horwitz, O Martinez, and Addison Barger also on the 40 man. No one on the Jays site listed for NRI yet.

With KK on the roster and likely playing a lot, the need for a RH bat to hit for him is there. Ideally one that can play the OF, but none of the free agents are RH bats oddly enough. So who fits the bill there?
  • Jurickson Profar: switch hitter, 111 OPS+ last year, 94 lifetime. He fits the Jays MO as he has had as his #1 position in different years 2B, LF, SS, 3B and played 10+ games in one season at 1B, CF, RF, DH, and PH at some point of his career. But last year was a LF/DH after playing all over the place in 2021 (1B/2B/LF/CF/RF/PH 10+ times each). Not a 'wow' bat by any stretch but someone who fits the mix/match style the Jays love. He opted out of his $7.5 mil guarantee for 2023 with the Padres hoping for more as a free agent. Last year was his only year of 2+ WAR (3.1). I see him as a low odds guy but one to keep an eye on.
  • Robbie Grossman: switch hitter, 80 OPS+ last year vs 101 lifetime. Peak of 128 in 2020. LF/RF who has played CF but not since 2020. Coming off a sub par year he might be cheap and switch hitting off the bench would be nice. 2021 was his only year as a 2+ WAR player, poor defense has hurt him a lot.
  • Michael Brantley: LH hitter, nearly a Jay a few years ago, LF/DH, 125 OPS+ last year, 117 lifetime. I see him as high odds just due to the Jays liking him (and Springer pushing for him).
  • David Peralta: LH LF, 109 OPS+ last year, 111 lifetime, could be solid, but nothing special.
  • Joey Gallo: LH LF/RF 79 OPS+ last year, 109 lifetime, had trouble in both NY and LA after being a solid hitter in Texas. Could be a solid get, but I'd be nervous after the disaster in NY. One where the hitting coach has to be confident he can bring him back to his old days. Might be wanting a one year 'prove myself' deal.
  • Wil Myers: RH RF/1B/LF who can play 3B if needed (not advised), 111 lifetime OPS+ vs 108 last year. As a RH bat he'd mix well with KK - one all bat, one all glove. Had a $20 mil option for 2023 but the Padres opted out of it. If no one gives him a mega deal he might sign late cheap.
  • A.J. Pollock: RH LF/CF/RF 91 OPS+ last year, 113 lifetime could be a solid replacement for Teoscar with multiple years of 2+ WAR, entering age 35 season. Probably the best choice so far. He declined his $13 mil option ($5 mil buyout) so obviously expects more than $8 mil minimum to break even. No rumors on him on MLB Trade Rumors so he might be getting anxious by now. Depending on deal wanted he might be the best fit.
  • Andrew Benintendi: LH LF 109 OPS+ lifetime/last year, just entering his age 28 season so should be after a 3-5 year deal (MLBTR forecast a 4 year $54 mil deal) so I don't see him coming.
  • Michael Conforto: LH RF 124 OPS+ lifetime, DNP last year due to injury/poor choices. Wants a 2 year deal (player option year 2). Tempting but won't sign until late unless someone gives him what he wants. I'd lean against it - all risk on the team, not the player.
Many others out there but those appear to be the biggest names left. I'd chase Pollock or Myers with an eye on Gallo (if coaches believe they can get him back to form) and Brantley (health the biggest issue). Profar is my dark horse along with Conforto. A trade might get a better overall fit - someone to play everyday in RF, but most of these guys should work into a 4 man OF/DH where Kirk eats a lot of DH time with none outside of Conforto or Benintendi eating a lot of salary.
uglyone - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 08:05 PM EST (#424989) #
KK just had hip surgery. a couple months back. 6 month recovery.
scottt - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 08:32 PM EST (#424990) #
Well, that really sucks. Maybe they get Odor as well and make it a clean sweep.

He's a 9th hitter. Projection is 85 wRC+  and around 1 WAR.
Maybe 2023 is the year I don't watch baseball?

PeterG - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 08:52 PM EST (#424991) #
KK hip surgery was on August 3.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:00 PM EST (#424992) #
If the Jays add one of Conforto or Brantley after this, then I'm fine with it.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:02 PM EST (#424993) #
Reynolds as starting CF with Kiermaier as fourth OF would make sense for the Blue Jays. The problem is that they donít seem to match up well with the Pirates, unless they can engineer a three-way trade. In any event, the team probably canít trade Tiedemann ó he is that important to the Jaysí future (possibly including the near future). And Orelvis probably doesnít have a tonne of trade value. So it will be hard to acquire a high-value MLB or high minors player from a team that doesnít need a starting catcher.
Glevin - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:05 PM EST (#424994) #
Not sure how adding Bradley helps. They need someone who can play RF, not a DH. If Jays have Of of Kiermeier, Gurriel, and Springer, who is the backup OFer? Biggio? If Brantley is DH, then second catcher doesn't get DH abs.
Nigel - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:09 PM EST (#424995) #
For those of you who are happy with this deal if Kier is the 4th OF I ask: does this team strike you as operating in a budgetary manner that would allow them to have Kier as a 4th OF? I have seen zero evidence of that.
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:15 PM EST (#424996) #
I agree that this a great improvement on the Tapia/Bradley/Zimmer position.

Another upside is the additional roster space they gain by not rostering the Bradleyís to perform the same role.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:23 PM EST (#424997) #
Maybe the Jaysí center field FA and trade options this off-season went something like this (in order of preference):

Plan A Carroll (dream scenario)
Plan B Carlson / Nootbaar / Varsho / Thomas
Plan C Reynolds
Plan D Nimmo
Plan E Bellinger
Plan F Kiermaier
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:47 PM EST (#424998) #
Nigel, they literally traded for Whitt Merrifield as a 4th outfielder making 7 million a year. KK probably wonít be making that much.
John Northey - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 09:50 PM EST (#424999) #
Agreed that Bradley is a pure bat at this point, thus only a partial help to the Jays.  Given I see LH vs RH as secondary to how well does he hit I go with AJ Pollock as a solid choice - good bat, maybe even better than Teoscar's given he had a 130+ OPS+ in 2020 and 2021 as well as 2014/15.  Can play all 3 OF positions, even if he has mainly been a LF lately.  Entering his age 35 season he might be washed up, but I doubt it. Worst I see is a semi-sorta-platoon with KK (KK in CF/Springer RF, Springer CF/Pollock RF - when Kirk catches Pollock can DH or RF with KK in CF and Springer either DH or RF).

Joey Gallo fits if we want a LH bat in RF but his 79 OPS+ last year scares me.  He has Gold Gloves recently in RF (2020 & 2021) so he provides value beyond the bat and could cover 3B and 1B in a pinch (3B not since 2017, 1B last year along with CF).  As I said above it 100% depends on what the Jays coaches think - was last year a freak show thing, that NY wasn't his town (moved to LF, fans got on him early and often).

Jurickson Profar I like the more I look, switch hitter, 111 OPS+ last year, can play anywhere, BB-SO ratio last year was 73-103 which is nice. Really what the Jays love in a player depending on what his 'intangibles' are.

Wonder who is available in a trade that would fit nicely with this team?  Arizona we've covered multiple times. But I guess by fWAR Daulton Varsho is #1 among possible targets (only RF with more fWAR are Judge, Betts, and Tucker none of whom are available), Taylor Ward would be nice to pry out of LA but the Angels shouldn't trade him (entering age 29 season with years of control left) but their catching situation is ugly at the ML level but have 2 kids as their #1/3 prospects in Logan O'Hoppe (283/416/544 in AA this year plus a short call up) and Edgar Quero (312/435/530 in A ball) - given the young status and variability they might want Jansen (vet who can teach kids) over Moreno or Kirk.  A Jansen/Espinal for Ward deal is almost dead even on the Trade Simulator (36.2 Ward vs 36.7 for Jansen/Espinal), the Angels were weak at SS in 2022 (regular had a 53 OPS+).  We have Merrifield and Biggio to cover 2B easily, but should get a AAAA type to be a backup SS on the bench if this happened.  Ward is a RH bat so that wouldn't help the LH bat thing everyone obsesses over but I think it'd clear up our 2 position overloads and give a solid RF (135 OPS+ last year, 3.7 bWAR vs Hernandez having a 2.8) and cover it for a few years (Ward isn't a free agent until after 2026).  Plus Ward can play 3B and CF - always a plus.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 10 2022 @ 11:15 PM EST (#425000) #
Brantley isn't the best fit for the way this org likes to use the roster (DH specifically), but after Conforto, I'm not sure who else is there that would help more than him. He has the ideal offensive profile that this roster could use towards the top of the lineup. He played a little under half of his 2022 games in LF, and he'd have to play some LF in 2023 for it to be worth it. If he's strictly a DH at this stage, then the fit becomes more of a concern.

Conforto should be the clear #1 option in free agency for the Jays right now, but if they miss out on him and there's no trade options available, then I think I'd sign Brantley (again assuming he can play some OF). When the options after him are guys like Joey Gallo, then I'd rather get the more talented player and find a way to make it work.
James W - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 12:15 AM EST (#425001) #
Kodai Senga signing with the Mets, 5 years, $75M
johnny was - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 12:56 AM EST (#425002) #
It is starting to feel like Kluber and Conforto are our last best hopes to salvage a completely meh offseason.

John Northey - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 01:38 AM EST (#425003) #
Senga was interesting but he has been wild in Japan. Same wildness here could doom his career quickly. For comparison...
Kikuchi: 2.85 ERA 0.7 HR/9 3.3 BB/9 8.0 K/9 in NPB
Senga: 2.59 ERA 0.7 HR/9 3.4 BB/9 10.3 K/9 in NPB
Masahiro Tanaka: 2.68 ERA 0.5 HR/9 1.8 BB/9 8.2 K/9 in NPB
Yu Darvish: 1.99 ERA 0.4 HR/9 2.4 BB/9 8.9 K/9 in Japan

The last 2 are to show what a successful ML did in Japan. Basically you need to be extremely good at keeping the ball in the park and avoiding walks in Japan to succeed in the majors. Senga is a LOT closer to Kikuchi than he is to Tanaka or Darvish. I suspect the Mets will regret this in a year or two. Gotta give MLBTR credit, they predicted $75 mil over 5 years - dead on what the Mets got him for. $15 per. IMO a 2 year $20 mil deal for Stripling would be better. Guess we'll see, although I'd like the Jays to find a better option. Rodon was predicted 5/$140 - I suspect he gets more, making Chris Bassitt a better option imo (118 ERA+ lifetime, 113 last year, entering age 34 season) a very solid #3 on this staff, predicted 3 years/$60 mil which is pricey but if he is as solid as he seems the past 2 years well worth it. Noah Syndergaard (pred 3/$36) also could be decent or better. Eovaldi a higher risk (2/$34) but very affordable probably. Bottom line there are lots of options in eyeshot of what Senga is getting ($15 per) but for fewer years and with more certainty. Japanese pitchers are exciting due to the 'who knows' aspect associated with them but it is rare for them to come and be 'wow' right away. No need to panic yet. If the Jays go into 2023 as is I'd be disappointed but still hopeful. I just hope they find a solid #4 who could be a #2 on a different staff.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 01:53 AM EST (#425004) #
Straight Outta Humidor!

A fresh bag of baseballs!

* * *

Rogers Centre renovation: Amazing to see the video. All the various projects since Rogers took over SkyDome have proven quite positive. (Buffalo & Dunedin too.)

Jersey advertisements: MLB embraces the inevitable. The Maple Leafs have done well with the Milk promotion. Unsure who might be an ideal sponsor for the Blue Jays.

Payroll: As I gather, the Chairman of the Board aims to create a separate ownership entity for the company's sports assets. Easy to accomplish with full control of the baseball team, but hindered by a limited 37.5 % stake in MLSE. (Apparently Bell & Mister Tannenbaum--the other partners--are not on-board with the scheme.)
To the point: the Chairman could increase discretionary spending if the team is separated from the main corporation, whereby absent those pesky fiduciary obligations to stockholders.
Conclusion: Normally, I never complain about payroll.

Free agency: I do not anticipate much activity here.

Trade market: Over here is where the action will be.

* * *

Rod Barajas once spurned Toronto, but later came around. In that spirit, I may be willing to overlook Kevin Kiermaier's infamous transgression.

Marc Hulet - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 08:30 AM EST (#425005) #
The problem with Kiermaier is that he's yet another free-swinging hitter with K issues (and not enough walks) in a lineup that already has too many. The club needs to find a way to give at-bats to a pure hitter/contact type like Otto Lopez. That would help the lineup be more difficult to face - more so than this 80-90 wRC+ lefty.
Katie - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 09:08 AM EST (#425006) #
I'm assuming it's 2 years and something like $8 million a year. If so, I'm a fan of this signing. His defence will be valuable in the new-look Skydome outfield and, even though he hasn't hit much recently, he's still a valuable player if he doesn't hit (and even better if he regains some of his hitting ability).

This is like Pillar (Kiermaier has a better peak, of course). While it was often frustrating to watch him at the plate, he provided value for Toronto every year he was here.
ayjackson - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 09:10 AM EST (#425007) #
I must admit I'm having difficulty seeing the plan here. But I am a patient guy so willing to sit back and watch.

But to me it looks like an outfield of Gurriel, Merrifield/Keirmaier, Springer, with Biggio and Moreno as depth.

Then further investment comes in the rotation.

I think a bold move would be Dansby, and trading Bichette (ideally keep for one year).
Mike Green - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 09:33 AM EST (#425008) #
Welcome, Katie. I agree about Kiermaier. The major issue for me is how well he recovers from his surgery.

To Marc's point, the Toronto offence had the 5th lowest K% in baseball last year and they have traded away their leading strikeout candidate. They have though sacrificed power for defence.
Gerry - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 09:37 AM EST (#425009) #

Buster Olney had an interesting point in todays column.

An assistant GM took note of something else: the remarkable lack of trades. For all the money thrown at free agents this offseason, there have been only 17 completed trades that involved at least one major league player, most of which have been relatively unimpactful. The homogeneity of baseball's front offices, all of which are adept in analytics and use similar projection models, has made it increasingly difficult to gain clear advantages via trade, the executive noted. It has prompted teams to turn to the open market for most of their needs this offseason, creating the fierce competition that has blown the lid off free agency.

If everyone values players using almost the same methodology then you can only make even value trades where it can be tough to match up exactly. There are no easy marks left out there that you can fleece in a trade.

bpoz - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 10:17 AM EST (#425010) #
I expect 1 month (mid Jan) for almost all the trades to be finished.

We know who the big spenders were/are and who did not spend.

As of now the teams with a good/decent shot of making the playoffs with/without future significant additions are:

LAD, NYM, SD, Phil, Atlanta, St Louis and 1-3 surprises.

NYY power lineup. Seattle deep pitching and good O. Houston, TB Very deep pitching. Someone from the ALC CWS/Cleveland. That makes 5/6. These seem the strongest to me but as always "you never know"

The next AL tier of playoff contenders: Toronto could have enough. LAA have the star power but need pitching. Texas spent a lot to improve. Boston "don't like to count them out". I add CWS/Cleveland because someone has to get a playoff spot.

The strong fan bases of Boston/CWS/Toronto all have high expectations based on pretty good results OR coming close in the last 3 years. In Boston's case almost always.

Correa, Swanson and Rodon will help their new team. Obviously.

Any strong addition from any team's farm will help. A great example is Cleveland's success in 2022 due to their farm.
John Northey - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 10:35 AM EST (#425011) #
I don't think having similar front offices is screwing up trades so much as a desire to clearly win a trade (risk aversion) is.  No one wants to lose a trade and look foolish (see the Vernon Wells trade as a prime example, or the one that brought Fred McGriff here).  But if front offices value players in a similar manner then trades should be easier not harder.  For example, if everyone used the Trade Simulator for value (obviously they don't) then a deal that makes sense for both teams, ala an Arizona/Toronto trade involving OF and C would have happened already.  For example, Varsho + competitive balance pick for Moreno + Espinal + Barriera (last years round 1 pick by the Jays) is a dead even trade76.7 each.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 10:40 AM EST (#425012) #
Even if both teams agree precisely on the value of players, there's plenty of room for trading based on each team's positional strengths and weaknesses and/or based on competitive windows.

I doubt, by the way, that valuations for prospects, in particular, are uniform among clubs.

Personally I think that what's happening is simply that many clubs are inclined to have larger payrolls which leads them to first address needs through the free agent market.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 10:45 AM EST (#425013) #
The Mets got an owner with deep pockets who totally upset the market, I think thatís how free agency changed.
Glevin - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 10:53 AM EST (#425014) #
I agree with Mike. I think once the free agent pool has dried up, we'll see more trades. Plenty of teams have holes to fill and only a few impactful FAs remain. I also think expanded playoffs and division layout may make a difference here. How many teams have no shot at the playoffs this year? Boston, Detroit, KC, Oakland, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cinci, and Colorado I'd say with a few more like Baltimore, Arizona, Cubs, etc... Being long shots. Because bad teams generally tank, there is so little talent in them to trade. How many Reds or Nationals are remotely interesting in a trade? This means the vast majority of teams trading are trading to try to win which makes trades harder to make.
bpoz - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 11:14 AM EST (#425015) #
I just heard an interview with T Lovullo the D Back manager. He said that he has told his IFs to spend the off season getting more athletic because they will have to cover more ground because of the shift changes. Better at moving left and right. He is probably right. Some players had bulked up and increased their strength to gain power but at the cost of agility.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 11:55 AM EST (#425016) #
Marc nails it. This team needs a pure contact hitter from the left side. I love the idea by another poster of signing a SS and then trading BB for that LHH. Imagine a Jazz Chisholm, Pablo Lopez and Jon Berti or Joey Wendle trade for BB, Cavan Biggio and Nate Pearson.

Thatís the type of balance this team needs.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 12:07 PM EST (#425017) #
Jon Heyman tweeting that the St.Louis Cardinals are chasing Carlos Rodon. I wonder what a Jesus Luzardo trade would cost us. That Miami front office has done well post Jeter. I think Groshans was a sneaky buy low candidate. What are the chances Pop transforms into an elite strikeout machine to make the trade a Win for the Jays? Bass in real time pressure moments seems to onky be an option against one handedness, at least the wag this FO used him in the playoffs.
ayjackson - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 12:43 PM EST (#425018) #
I know I don't post much any more, but it still feels harsh to be relegated to "another poster" status. Ha ha.

bpoz, i have been telling myself to "get more athletic" for the better part of my 52 years. Results have been mixed at best.
bpoz - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 12:55 PM EST (#425019) #
I expect Rodon to sign before the end of the year. I think NYY gets him. I think they are very scared.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 01:09 PM EST (#425020) #
Luzardo? How about Alcantara?
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 01:42 PM EST (#425021) #
Alcantara is one of the most valuable assets in baseball like Alek Manoah and to get him you would need to trade Bo Bichette + a Moreno or Kirk. That could be done if they had another SS or big bat brought in via FA.

Marlins if they were interested in trading SP for SS would only do it if they could get Bo to agree to a long term deal and that probably won't happen because Miami isn't contending in that division.
John Northey - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 03:26 PM EST (#425022) #
Checking the Trade Simulator it has Alcantara (140) for Moreno (53.7) and Bichette (94.1) as a fair trade.  But would Miami go for it?  I doubt it.  Alcantara is signed though 2026 with a team option for 27 and the highest he gets is $21 mil.  Bo is just starting his arbitration years and will get more expensive by the year.  Now, Miami could use a SS and a catcher pretty badly, but unless they feel they are buried in starting depth (no one ever has enough) I can't see them doing it.  It'd be a good deal for the Jays though as Espinal would be a decent SS for now (ala Manny Lee on the 1992 Jays). 
John Northey - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 04:19 PM EST (#425023) #
Just read on that Chris Bassitt has minimal teams after him.  Seems the Mets and Jays are the only teams really looking hard at him right now. The Mets are pretty full though having shot over $300 mil on the budget already, and Bassitt seems to be pushing for more years than the Jays are comfortable with.  Over the past 5 years Bassitt has had ERA+ from 113-183 - a nice range to be in. 181 IP last year is a big plus.  MLBTR had him as a 3 year $60 mil signing, entering his age 34 season.  Makes sense, but I suspect he is after 5-7 given what others are getting this crazy winter.  I could see the Jays doing a Ryu thing - going to 4 years/$80 mil but that would be their limit as odds are any 4th year would be a write off.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 05:15 PM EST (#425024) #
Does Steve Cohen have a wealthy brother?
85bluejay - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 05:19 PM EST (#425025) #
The Rangers got DeGrom for 5/185 with all his injury history - the Mets got Verlander, Quintana and Senga for about 187.7M - I think a big win for the Mets.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 07:01 PM EST (#425026) #
I agree that's a big win for the Mets vs Rangers.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 08:27 PM EST (#425027) #
Hard pass on Bassit. Pitched in two cavernous stadiums in his career. Would feel much better about bringing Stripling back.

DeGrom might be an albatross at 6 165, but then again he might win a couple of Cy Youngs and lead a team to four playoff appearances and a World Series. Seems worth the risk.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 11 2022 @ 09:26 PM EST (#425028) #
Petey, I'd agree if he didn't have such a track record for injuries to his arm. The bigger point is that the Mets upgraded for the same amount of money. Similar to what the Jays are trying to do (but haven't yet) with Teoscar.
Katie - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 09:34 AM EST (#425029) #
There's nowhere convenient to post this, but former big leaguer TJ House has come out as gay. Although some minor leaguers have come out recently, he's the first former MLBer to come out in 23 years (since Billy Bean - not the GM).

House pitched mostly for Cleveland, but also pitched 2 innings in 2017 for the Blue Jays. He was dating his boyfriend (now fiancť) as far back as 2017, as there's a photo on the internet of the two of them together and he's in his Jays uniform.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 10:11 AM EST (#425030) #
That's awesome. Thanks for posting.
Mike Green - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:11 AM EST (#425031) #
Here's a link to House's moving statement.  In 2018, he pitched in Triple A and then in independent leagues in 2019 and 2020. 
Glevin - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:26 AM EST (#425032) #
Jays' ZIPS projections are up on Fangraphs.
Paul D - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:33 AM EST (#425033) #
Two days later and as far as I can tell the details still haven't been announced. That seem strange to anyone?
Mike Green - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:54 AM EST (#425035) #
The ZiPS projections are interesting.  Matt Chapman is projected to be great and indeed the best player on the club in 2023- his age comps in order are Mike Schmidt, Troy Glaus and Darrell Evans.  Addison Barger has a very nice projection of a league average player. 

Dan Szymborski thinks they need a starting pitcher and a bat.  Can't disagree with that. 
Marc Hulet - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 12:08 PM EST (#425036) #
Kiermaier is coming off hip surgery so the physical and/or contract could be taking longer than usual.

Hopefully we'll soon get to a place where professional athletes (and everyone) can be comfortable sharing their true selves.
Kasi - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 12:14 PM EST (#425037) #
Well yes and no in regards to Kieemaiers hip. While yes he did have an injury there from the reports it was mainly a pain management issue. When he was playing injured last year before he shut it down there was no drop in his speed. It didnít seem like he was incapable of running which would worry me far more as far as injury goes.

I read a rumor somewhere that suggested 1x8.5 which Iíd be quite happy with.
Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 12:22 PM EST (#425038) #
MILB player Solomon Bates was out to his teammates, at least, and you've got to imagine the same is true for at least some players in the majors, but society is so slow to change. Looking forward to more representation, but that's a lot to ask of a person.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 12:44 PM EST (#425039) #
I think a one-year contract with a club option for a second year would be ideal. Retaining control over Kiermaier in 2024 could be valuable if he returns to full health in the coming season.
Mike Green - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 01:00 PM EST (#425040) #
The best chance for an in-house replacement in centerfield is Dasan Brown.  Mid-2024 to 2025 is my best guess for his ETA.  Kiermaier on a 2 year contract would be all right. 
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 01:46 PM EST (#425041) #
If Brown arrives in 2024, it might be helpful to have Kiermaier around that season for mentoring purposes.
bpoz - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 01:51 PM EST (#425042) #
I also like Devonte Brown. A 2022 non drafted signing. He was very successful but at Dunedin and turned 23 in Nov this year.
He is a CF who succeeded stats wise. It would be good if he also had a strong arm.

So dominating A- gives me home that he can dominate A+ and be Ok for AA. Then graduate to the Jays in 2024 at some point.
Petey Baseball - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 02:03 PM EST (#425043) #
It's not all negative with me; I do like the Kiermaier signing. So nice to have him on our side after all those years torturing us with the Rays. I'm optimistic he's still got a couple years left at elite speed and defense.

On the other hand, I continue to be so disenchanted with this regime's approach to risk. This is not a "championship caliber" team as Shapiro's coined phrase goes. The Jays seem to take inspiration from team's such as the '12 Red Sox into '13, where the core of the team stayed the same, but some saavy short term deals for vets, some internal development, and return to health helped propel them to a championship in '13. Think Gomes, Victorino, David Ross, Napoli and Koji Uehara (after he spurned the Jays) all coming up Milhouse.

A lot of luck there. I'd rather see the team leverage Rogers for all the money they can extract and spend it big. Lord knows with those TV ratings, attendance, and general buzz the team generates throughout the country (let alone the fact they're basically opening a brand new stadium over the next two years) it is certainly justified.

It feels like the JPR years a bit, since we had some good teams just not enough to make the playoffs, and an ownership group that was content with AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan as the big signings.

Now with the expanded playoffs, making them isn't a huge ask, but making a playoff run and winning a championship is the new uncharted territory that will either take incredible luck or unprecedented spending to conquer.

I guess it's better than rebuilding?
dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 02:31 PM EST (#425044) #

How much money does Rogers need to spend to make you feel like this team isn't run like the JP Ricciardi era? They were at $185,000,000 last year. If they spend $15,000,000 more per year is that enough for you? Do you need a $250,000,000 to $300,000,000 payroll to believe that this team is spending fairly?

How much did the 2022 Champions and 2021 Champions spend on their teams and what was the most Ricciardi spent?

Let us see the facts.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 02:48 PM EST (#425045) #
If you look at the Jays payrolls over the last few years of Ricciardi's tenure (2007-09) and then adjust for inflation in baseball since that time (maybe around 5% annually?), my guess is that the team payrolls in recent years are probably similar to the Ricciardi era ones.
92-93 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:05 PM EST (#425046) #
The opening day payroll last year was right at 170MM, not 185MM. Rogers has conditioned a whole section of the fanbase to all of a sudden care about the number used for luxury tax purposes, which makes payroll sound higher than it is in reality. Each team picked up another 30MM this offseason when they sold the rest of their MLBAM stake to Disney, and the CBT continues to grow at a slower rate than revenues. Every single MLB team is profitable, regardless of what you read.
Petey Baseball - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#425047) #
My thoughts exactly greenfrog, although I admit I didn't crunch the numbers.

How much money do they need to spend? Enough to convince me (and don't take my word for it, it's accepted knowledge around these parts and in baseball, and probably in ZIPS or Pecota, that this team is an 85-90 win team) that they're turning over every stone and spending the maximum that Rogers will allow them. Enough to convince me they intend to spend as much as clubs such as the Phillies, Braves, Rangers and Dodgers which they absolutely could justify doing. Enough to make me believe they know how to leverage prospects in order to bring in very good or elite big league

I'm not convinced this is the case, and, as I've said before, I believe the team's philosophical approach to risk, and some other weaknesses as a front office has put the organization into the mushy middle of the A.L. The team has/needed to make more gambles/bold decisions going forward if the gap is to be made up. Otherwise, we are a banking on a lot of luck going forward to be successful.

John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#425048) #
greenfrog - good question, lets check. Via Cot's Contracts

FYI: The first Jays $100+ million payroll was in 2013, 2012 just cracked it for Luxury Tax purposes, but for apples to apples lets stick with opening day payroll. 5% per year is based on what that rate would make the 2023 opening day payroll (currently listed at $176,628,571 - not CBT but actual, no KK on it, so add $8-10 mil for him).
  • Payroll 2007: $81,942,800 5% per year: $178,870,856
  • Payroll 2008: $97,973,900 5% per year: $203,680,702
  • Payroll 2009: $80,538,300 5% per year: $159,460,325
Huh. That went a lot higher than I expected to be honest. Sometimes I forget how fast inflation can jump things.

So if you assume a 5% MLB rate of inflation the Jays currently are a bit higher than 2007 but lower than 2008. Going backwards a $300 mil payroll this year (LAD/NYY/NYM) would be a $137 mil payroll in 2007 but the Yankees that year spent $189,639,045 which, with 5% inflation is equal to $413,958,252. Yeah, the Yankees have room to expand their payroll even more, a LOT more.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:16 PM EST (#425049) #
If the Jays are willing to spend around $200-220m annually over the next couple of years, that is fine. But they will need a robust farm system to allow for upgrades (internally or via trade) in situations where quality free agents are out of reach. Especially in the AL East.
Paul D - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:21 PM EST (#425050) #
Atlanta just got Sean Murphy
Petey Baseball - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:27 PM EST (#425051) #
It's not what a lot of people want to hear, I grant you. Many on this site would like us to be the Rays (with a much larger payroll of course) or the Dodgers, who both draft and develop at an elite level and win consistently. Many would say "hey wait a minute, didn't we finish ahead of the Rays last year?" True, but look at the previous five seasons. The Rays have been in the playoffs each of those years, and won playoff rounds consistently. They're ahead of the Jays by almost every conceivable metric.

In year seven of the Shapiro/Atkins regime, it is clear that (much like JPR) Atkins does have strengths as a GM they are mostly canceled out by a couple of key weaknesses. They've been discussed at length in these parts.

And, like I and a few others have said the last little bit around here, one way out of this quandary was AA's approach in 2015. He emptied the cupboard. He spent. He truly went for broke. I like that. In this market, I think it beats the meticulous, painstaking, risk-averse method currently being used.
Gerry - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:35 PM EST (#425052) #
Atlanta, Milwaukee and Oakland in a three way deal for Murphy.

Houston seem to be interested in Varsho but the price is steep.
Gerry - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:39 PM EST (#425053) #
Seems like Atlanta is trading two catchers to get one back. Contreras to Milwaukee, Pina to Oakland.

There is likely more to this deal.
uglyone - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:43 PM EST (#425054) #
AA's "going for broke, emptying the cupboards" resulted in the Jays losing one solid player - Matt Boyd, who was a deceent mid-to-bottom rotation starter for a few years.

Petey Baseball - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 03:52 PM EST (#425055) #
ugly, yes that's exactly my point, and I do acknowledge you have been beating this drum for a few years, not just this past one.

Polite Nate - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:15 PM EST (#425056) #
If I were Oakland I'd stop trading my elite talent to AA, track record of success there doesn't seem to be panning out.
Katie - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:19 PM EST (#425057) #
The early reports on the Murphy deal seem underwhelming to me. Kyle Muller, Esteury Ruiz, Freddy Tarnok and Manny Pina?

This seems to fit Oakland's quantity over quality approach, but I hope there's more to deal or it doesn't suggest a particularly robust market for catchers.
Paul D - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:20 PM EST (#425058) #
Passan sys Jays signed Bassit, 3 years, $63 million
Glevin - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:23 PM EST (#425059) #
A lot of money but it's only money and gives the Jays a top-4 of Manoah, Gausman, Bassitt, and Berrios and lets Kikuchi, White, and whoever else fight for one spot. Now go get an OFer who can hit!
Kasi - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:24 PM EST (#425060) #
Iím fine with Bassit. More fine than Iíd be for Stripling.
PeterG - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:25 PM EST (#425061) #
Good deal
Gerry - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:27 PM EST (#425062) #
Bassitt will be 34 years old on opening day so a three year deal would be the max he would get. The Jays will lose a 2nd round pick with this signing.

Bassitt has pitched in two pitcher friendly parks but starting pitching options were getting fewer and fewer.
Cracka - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:29 PM EST (#425063) #
I think this is a very fair deal given the market - MLBTR had predicted 3 yrs/$60M - and we didn't need to go much higher or any longer than that. He did receive a QO, so we will lose a draft pick. Bassitt is from the Toldeo, OH area -- roughly a 5-hour drive to Toronto.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:34 PM EST (#425064) #
Here is Fangraphs' take on Bassitt in their top 50 free agents list (Bassitt was #14):

Benís Take

In recent years, the start of free agency often coincides with a discussion about baseballís shrinking middle class. The stars get theirs, young players sign extensions, and the solid veterans who fit in between those two groups see smaller and smaller shares of the pie. Thatís a true story in the aggregate, but itís easy to over-generalize. Bassitt, for example, likely wonít fall victim to it.

Everyone always needs more pitching. Thereís no rotation in all of baseball where Bassitt wouldnít fit. He wonít be an ace. He might not be a no. 2 starter. But those are just labels, and no team goes into the offseason saying ďno. 2 starter or bust.Ē Bassitt will give whichever team signs him a bunch of innings, and above average ones at that. That might sound like the middle class thatís been getting squeezed, but bankable starting pitching is exempt from the crush. Itís at a premium every single year. I donít know where Bassitt will end up, but a staggering number of teams could use his services.

Player Notes

Bassitt did an about-face in 2022. Talented but injury-prone, the righty stepped up and anchored a Mets rotation beset by other maladies. Now on the verge of turning 34, Bassitt is likely to pursue the first multi-year contract of his career. Heís worth the investment, but there are a few caveats. Bassitt collects outs via weak contact, not whiffs. His ability to do so is genuine, but over the course of his career, it has been aided by two phenomenal environments: the cavernous Oakland Coliseum and Citi Field. For reasons not yet known (but often speculated about), the latter suppresses exit velocity better than any other big-league park. In this context, Bassittís career home/away ERA split of 2.68/4.26 makes sense Ė and merits pause. Moreover Ė and this is purely speculative Ė his delicate six-pitch mix could discourage or intrigue potential suitors, depending on how confident they are in their pitching development. The best possible outcome for Bassitt, then, seems like a stint with a progressive organization based in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. That doesnít mean he canít thrive in, say, Yankee pinstripes. But if Bassitt is looking to maximize a one-time opportunity, his winning ticket likely lies elsewhere. -JC
John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:46 PM EST (#425065) #
Not bad. Called it :)

Bassitt is a solid guy for the past few years - 2019-now 3.31 ERA 123 ERA+, 1.0 HR/9 2.5 BB/9 8.6 K/9. So for 2023-2025 the top 4 are set now as Manoah-Gausman-Bassitt-Berrios with 23/24 having Kikuchi signed already but not locked in for the 5 hole with White the long man/6th man through 2027. This means the prospects have to fight to prove they are more deserving than Kikuchi and White, thus allowing them time in AAA so I see Buffalo having a rotation of Robberse-Juenger-Tiedemann-Zulueta (if not in the pen in the majors)-Hatch-Thornton-etc.

With the way salaries have skyrocketed this winter getting a solid guy for $21 mil per for 3 years has to be seen as a win. His age 34-36 seasons, so some risk but not a crazy level of it. The big 'uhoh' is his FanGraph page - xFIP of 4.23 lifetime, 3.72 last year vs 3.45 ERA lifetime, 3.42 last year. Of course, having KK in CF will help keep that in good shape.

So the only move left is to get a solid LH hitter to play everday in RF. Could stick with KK in CF and Springer in RF but that is taking a MASSIVE injury risk which we'd all like the Jays to not take. Still, improving the rotation, adding speed/defense to the OF, and not losing a single prospect to do it is nice.
Spifficus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:50 PM EST (#425066) #
It's funny, when Bassitt was mentioned earlier in the thread, I was thinking, "Yeah, decent little pitcher, but aging pitcher, and those parks... avoid!"

I started looking at what his season looked like, though, and came around. He changed his profile around last year (more sliders and curves, fewer changeups, and the locations of everything looked sharper on the location heat-maps) and it showed up in a significant boost in GB, took 2mph off his already reasonably low avg exit velocity. And innings. Sooo many innings, considering the current environment.

So, I came around, and realized that he's a known quantity as a #2-#3 pitcher, a stabilizing influence who can put up a lot of quality innings while allowing Barrios to get back to normal and for the #5 slot to work itself out. Then I hear about the deal - $63 over 3 is a little more than I'd want to do per year, but a year short, so that's a net wash to me. A shame about the draft pick, but you can't hoard them all.
uglyone - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 04:54 PM EST (#425067) #
solid Stripling replacement. though with age risks.

doubt he'll put up the same numbers here but should be good.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:00 PM EST (#425068) #
Meh, i dont like this. Now this is an instance where I can nod in agreement if anyone wants to say risk averse or value driven. I'd much rather the FO went to 30 mil/year and 6 years for a better pitcher.

So the FO is over 200 mil and counting...lets see if some people can change their views by the time they're done. I don't think the pockets of an owner should determine how much a team spends. That's like expecting the richest guy in a room to order the most expensive drink. Completely unrelated for me.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:06 PM EST (#425069) #
I am ok with Bassit, not my first choice but should be a reliable mid rotation pitcher. I would have liked more swing and miss as a third potential playoff starter but here we are.

Stripling on a two year deal would be a nice way to round out the rotation. Also with the Brewers and Braves getting their catchers, Arizona is the clear trade partner for one of the Jays catchers.

I am not sure yet if the team is better than last season yet, but they will be better at keeping runs off the board. Hopefully enough to make up the difference between Hernandez and KKs offense.
John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:15 PM EST (#425070) #
Bassitt seems a lot like Ryu in the respect of having 1001 pitches and being a pitchers pitcher - a guy who had to earn his way, first chance at 25, age 28 injured/minors, still earning his way at 29, and a 125 ERA+ since (100 starts, 7 relief, 593 IP) over 5 years including freak show 2020. An All-Star with Cy votes twice. Guessing this makes it more likely the Jays hold onto Jansen as he is ideal for a guy with a wide array of pitches.
Spifficus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:25 PM EST (#425071) #
Heh, that Murphy return makes it more likely they hold on to Jansen. Ick. Lots of secondary bits, but it was missing a headliner for Oakland.

No, I don't actually think it affects a Jansen (or other catcher) trade other than narrowing down the market, but I just wanted to say how much of an un-fan I am of this trade from an Oakland standpoint. Bleh. The Braves got a good deal out of this, but the Brewers made out like bandits. Oakland needs to be really and truly bonkers for Ruiz for this to make any sense.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:30 PM EST (#425072) #
Thatís a typical Oakland trade, I mean the Donaldson and Chapman trades were similar.
Kasi - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:37 PM EST (#425073) #
Atlanta needed that to keep up with the Mets but yeah I donít understand Oakland. Their trades just never make much sense.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:38 PM EST (#425074) #
According to BTV model this trade is almost completely value neutral for all three teams.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:42 PM EST (#425075) #
I think itís a decent signing and I like that itís a three-year contract but Iím not sold on him as an effective postseason starter. I think the Jays would benefit from another front-rotation starter for that purpose (who knows, maybe Tiedemann will meet that definition by October 2023).

The team still needs another potent LH or switch-hitting hitter.

I would actually be OK if the Jays keep all three catchers for now, if they canít find a trade to their liking. Catching depth is a good thing and Jansen will be a valuable veteran to have around in 2023. Moreno offers versatility and significant upside ó I think his trade value could go up in the coming year.
John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:53 PM EST (#425076) #
Interesting trade by Oakland, very worth noting for the Jays as one more available catcher is off the market. Ex-Jay Joel Payamps was also traded as part of it by Oakland who is a nice 'meh' reliever now (130 ERA+ last 2 years, but just 6.7 K/9 over 106 IP).

A's got Kyle Muller (#56 prospect pre-2022), Esteury Ruiz (never a top 100 prospect, 30 OPS+ in 17 games), Freddy Tarnok (not a top 100, but 9.9 K/9 lifetime in minors), Royber Salinas (not top 100, 13.8 K/9 lifetime but 5.4 BB/9) and Manny PiŮa (90 OPS+ career backup catcher). Not too exciting to me for a 3.5 WAR catcher. If that is all that is being offered out there then the Jays are smart to hold onto all 3 for now.
John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:56 PM EST (#425077) #
One factor I hadn't thought of is how valuable the 3 catchers could be if another contender loses their #1 to injury early on. Suddenly the value in a trade skyrockets as there wouldn't be any other option for that club and the Jays would be standing there dangling the 3 of them like a bottle of water to someone dying of thirst in the desert. Could jump the quality of player gotten by quite a bit.
Spifficus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 05:58 PM EST (#425078) #
I think you're misreading something, Shoeless. When I was trying to put it together earlier trying to figure out what I was missing, the Braves portion was ok, but the Oak and Mil parts were way out of wack. I had to toss in Aaron Ashby to get it in range. Someone else posted a version with Devin Williams going to Oakland instead of Pina to illustrate how out of whack it is.

It's a bold strategy, anyway, and it'll be one to watch to see how it ends up down the road.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:00 PM EST (#425079) #
I am on cold medication I read a proposed trade not the actual one.
bpoz - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:04 PM EST (#425080) #
Thanks John N for the payroll & inflation numbers you produced. Do the High spenders and low spenders also fall into the parameters your particular analysis makes you comfortable with.

I know that you are busy so don't really bother.

If the financial discussion becomes passionate that is ok by me. I appreciate passion.

Chris Bassit gives us quantity in SP quality. Manoah, Gausman, Berrios, Bassit and Kikuchi are all quality "if" they play to their potential. That is 5 SPs. Of course I always expect a need for 8 SPs. 4 of the 5 are from outside the org. Our draft luck "not the farm" produced Manoah ( people can disagree with me on this).
Nigel - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:05 PM EST (#425081) #
My reaction to the Bassit signing is exactly the same as the KK signing - you canít argue the logic of it so itís a thumbs up in the thematic sense, but itís a meh to poor way of executing against the clubís needs.
Mike Green - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:14 PM EST (#425082) #
Thumbs up for the Bassitt signing from me. Makes sense to acquire Kiermaier before signing Bassitt. I wonder how often Bassitt will throw the curveball this year. It has been awfully effective.
85bluejay - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:15 PM EST (#425083) #
I'd prefer Stripling on the QO, than Bassitt @ 3/63 but I guess the FO misread the market.
85bluejay - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:22 PM EST (#425084) #
Mike Green, you are the most pleasant and agreeable person on this site but every time you give a thumbs up to a Jays transaction I get worried.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:23 PM EST (#425085) #
Law on Bassitt (snippet of his Top 50 FAs writeup): ďHeís a fourth starter, with more risk that heís a five or less than that he becomes a three, worth two years and $24-28 based on what heís done over the last three seasons but factoring in risk of durability or the tiny margins with which he works.Ē
Ducey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:23 PM EST (#425086) #
Everyone misread the market.

Obviously the front office did not want Stripling to accept and then be limited in their attempts to go after bigger fish.

Bassitt is a decent replacement for Stripling, with some control for a few years.
Kasi - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:33 PM EST (#425087) #
Law also misread the market in that snippet. So all in all not a surprise.
Eephus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:34 PM EST (#425088) #
Bassitt wasn't my first choice among this tier of FA starting pitchers (I believe in my piece I preferred keeping Stripling) but he's an interesting and likely very useful addition nonetheless. The immediate concern is how he'll adapt to pitching his home games in a good hitter's park of course, after enjoying the pitching paradises of Oakland and Citi Field.

Looking at his career splits, his road ERA is indeed a run and a half higher on the road (2.68 versus 4.26) with the largest culprit appearing to be the long ball: over his career Bassitt has allowed twice as many home runs on the road (50) than at home (25) in a similar number of innings. He has also walked sightly more people on the road, which is hard to explain beyond random bizarreness. Well... maybe part of the logic of Kiermaier being on the team is to bring back a couple of those long drives off Bassitt? They are lowering the fences, right? It's a Nostradamus-level plan!

Anyhow, there is plenty to like about this type of pitcher. He doesn't walk many, gives you plenty of innings, keeps the ball on the ground at an above average rate (great when you have Matt Chapman, not as great when Bo Bichette is beside him) and limits hard contact at an above average rate also. Factor in that, like Striping, he appears to get by on an assortment of various pitches (primarily a big-time sinker?), moxie and smarts... he seems possibly as delightful to watch. A pitcher's pitcher, as it were. It's a solidly positive something that's for sure, which could not have been said a few days ago.     
Eephus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:36 PM EST (#425089) #
Mike beat me on the Kiermaier component of the Bassitt signing, but nevertheless. It will certainly help.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:46 PM EST (#425090) #
Aren't the Jays trying to make the new dimensions work so as to neutralize the offense in the park?
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:53 PM EST (#425091) #
Murphy traded, and Vasquez market heating up. Hopefully the Jays can still move Jansen for an OF or Pitcher.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 06:55 PM EST (#425092) #
I canít see how thatís the case, Dalimon. Theyíre moving in the fences at the corners, and in straight away LF and RF. Yes theyíre going to be taller, but theyíll still be something like 25 feet closer to home.

If anything these changes will increase the run scoring environment at the Rogers Centre.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:02 PM EST (#425093) #
Twins sign Vasquez, so that leaves Arizona and Houston as teams looking for a catcher.
Gerry - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:02 PM EST (#425094) #
Christian Vazquez to the Twins.
PeterG - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:16 PM EST (#425095) #
Jays are not trading Jansen.
uglyone - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:16 PM EST (#425096) #
They need to add one more good player to replace Teo's value. Doesn't have to be a hitter could be a pitcher but he has to be legit good.

At that point then I can start convincing myself that the finesse upgrades like Kiermaier over the tapzimley beast and the bullpen add(s) plus kids will make us significantly better.
92-93 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:21 PM EST (#425097) #
If spending on Bassitt prevents them from getting Brantley or Conforto and forces them into trading a catcher to balance the lineup this is a bad signing. It's fine otherwise, but it smells more like Kikuchi/Roark than Springer/Gausman/Ryu.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:32 PM EST (#425098) #
The Blue Jays, sources said, continue to discuss trading from their plethora of catchers -- All-Star Alejandro Kirk, veteran Danny Jansen and rookie Gabriel Moreno -- with teams still showing significant interest.

From Jeff Passan
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:38 PM EST (#425099) #
Iím intrigued by Varsho. I would consider trading Moreno for him.
Glevin - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:38 PM EST (#425100) #
Now that Murphy, vazquez, and contrares are all out of play, I'm expecting Jays to trade a C. Ideally, would be a long-term OFer.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:49 PM EST (#425101) #
"They need to add one more good player to replace Teo's value. Doesn't have to be a hitter could be a pitcher but he has to be legit good.

At that point then I can start convincing myself that the finesse upgrades like Kiermaier over the tapzimley beast and the bullpen add(s) plus kids will make us significantly better.

So basically this is how I've felt since the beginning of the off season but I guess we've come to this view from different vantage points. I've had confidence that this FO would get these moves done while some others have had a "prove it first" mentality. It's interesting reading your post when I feel like you're speaking my mind yet we've been bonking heads on opinions of this FO. I've never considered the scenario that they trade Teo and don't make the team better. It just doesn't make sense to me that they would go backwards like that.
bpoz - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:50 PM EST (#425102) #
Teo means $14mil off the books.

KK + Bassit means add $30mil to the payroll. Good that Zimmer/Tapia/Grichuk are off the books.

Arb will be more expensive.

Shapiro is probably sweating.
Mike Green - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 07:57 PM EST (#425103) #
I'm the most agreeable person on this website? Well, I guess the times truly are a-changin'

It would be kind of bizarre for me to not like the Kiermaier signing when I had advocated for it a few weeks earlier. I think he's going to be better with the bat than the projections suggest.
scottt - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 08:02 PM EST (#425104) #
If they trade Kirk, they create another hole in the lineup.
Moreno would bring back a rental from a rebuilding club or a spare part from a near contender.
Ideally, they trade Jansen for a prospect or two and sign a pure DH.

dalimon5 - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 08:05 PM EST (#425105) #

Most evaluators and sites online and in the media have Moreno as the clear asset with the most value in a trade, then Kirk and finally Jansen.

Anyone know where I can find a Kevin Kiermaier jersey before December 25th? He's barely signed (and I like him) but he's already causing friction between my wife and I.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 08:07 PM EST (#425106) #
I actually proposed in March that adding ďsomeone like Kiermaier would be ideal.Ē So Iím moderately pleased (even after the hip surgery) that the team has acquired the original article.

Spifficus - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 08:11 PM EST (#425107) #
Ahhh, that makes sense, Shoeless. I had something similar before it was complete trying to figure out who the remaining pieces were announced and forgot that I still had Ashby in it, and it was looking far closer than I expected. Turns out it was for good reason.

As for how I look at things at this point in the offseason, the last piece or two I'd be looking out for are probably a lefty top or middle of the order bat, and maybe a lefty late inning reliever. I'm "Ok, at least I get it" on Kiermaier, and a complete convert on Bassitt. I'm not sure how the catching depth factors into that - the lefties I'd want on the teams looking for catchers either don't seem good enough to warrant it, or are core components to their team (for example, I'm a definite Kyle Tucker fan, but that's not happening).
John Northey - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 10:07 PM EST (#425108) #
Bassitt vs Stripling...

IP: B: 181 vs S: 134 in 2022, years of 140+ IP: B:3, S:0
ERA+: B: 113/118 2022/career, S: 129/109
Peak ERA+: B: 183 (63 IP 2020), S: 129 (134 IP 2022)
K/9: B: 8.3/8.2, S: 7.4/8.3
Age: B: 34, S: 33

So take from that what you will, but I see it as Bassitt having far more endurance and peak potential, age a non-factor (9 month spread). The biggest issue could be the park factor for Bassitt (222/284/320 home, 247/324/415 road) although it is funny to see he has a 19-20 record at home vs 27-14 on the road despite a 2.68 ERA at home vs 4.26 on the road.
greenfrog - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 10:15 PM EST (#425109) #
In my view, Stripling as swingman/#5 starter would still be a good addition for 2023. I have no confidence that Kikuchi will be effective. I think he has a bad case of the yips and the Jays should assume heíll be a non-factor next year.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:06 PM EST (#425110) #
" former big leaguer TJ House has come out as gay... he's the first former MLBer to come out in 23 years (since Billy Bean - not the GM). "

Toronto is a capital city for the pride movement. How about a home-white jersey with B L U E J A Y S spelled out in rainbow colours?

To be candid, I think it is warranted after the Yunel Escobar fiasco years ago.

The red uniforms need to go.

* * *

Cuttlefish awarded to John Northey. Hit the bulls-eye on Bassitt.

Nigel - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:06 PM EST (#425111) #
Iím concerned that theyíve chosen to spend something like $30m on Bassit and KK and they will produce something like what Teo would have produced. Now, Bassit and KK provide value in ways that the team needs so I understand the thought process but I think the team is something like the same as it was from an overall talent perspective but now more expensive.
Katie - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:30 PM EST (#425112) #
although it is funny to see he has a 19-20 record at home vs 27-14 on the road despite a 2.68 ERA at home vs 4.26 on the road.

I'm not sure if that's what you mean, but presumably because the low park factor in Oakland, which suppressed the offensive line Bassitt allowed, also suppressed the offence of Oakand's hitters, which leads to the losing record at home despite the better non-park-adjusted pitching line?

With respect to the comment about Bassitt and Kiermaier producing what Teo would have next year, in 2022 Bassitt and Kiermaier combined for 4.3 WAR to 2.8 for Teo by Baseball-Reference WAR and 3.8 to 2.4 on Fangraphs WAR.

There's no guarantee they'll produce the same figures next year, of course, and Teo also missed several weeks with injury, but Kiermaier also only had 203 at-bats in 63 games. I think it's likely Bassitt and Kiermaier produce more than Teo next year, admittedly at the cost of a second roster spot.

Chuck - Monday, December 12 2022 @ 11:49 PM EST (#425113) #
I think it's likely Bassitt and Kiermaier produce more than Teo next year, admittedly at the cost of a second roster spot.

It's probably worth including Stripling in that math. It's not clear that the team has made any genuine gains yet from last season.

Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 01:17 AM EST (#425114) #
The Jays are basically in the same situation as last year.

How has the rest of the AL east done?
Boston - Lost Bogaerts, added Martin and Jansen
NYY - Judge, Kahnle (lost Taillon)
TB - Added Eflin(lost KK)
Bal - Added Kyle Gibson - But LOADED in the minors.(The starting staff is smoke and mirrors)

I think NYY was a fluke last year and unless some of the young players like Cabrera or Volpe step up, the Yankees are just one year older. TBay is the team that scares me the most.

Thus, it is nice solid team. Hopefully, we get Vlady of 2021 again and the Jays will be in the playoffs again.

Paul D - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 07:21 AM EST (#425115) #
I'm seeing some concern that Bassit works extremely slowly, so it'll be interesting to see how the pitch clock impacts him
bpoz - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 07:56 AM EST (#425116) #
I don't understand WAR. So if you add every player on the 2022 team's WAR you should get a total WAR. That should relate to the standings as they played out in 2022. Of course there are 1 run game results that count for/against "expected" results. TOO BAD!!

I fully expect the above study to disagree with the actual results. So maybe remove all the 1 run games and then look at the record produced. Should produce new standings for analysis.

Next step +/- 10-15% WAR/team and see how it would change for next year 2023. Makes sense for the Jays because their adds/subtracts don't seem to make a massive gain/loss to me. NYM seems to have made a massive "expected" gain in WAR. For example (not trying to cherry pick) NYM loses deGrom's 64IP and gains Verlander's 175IP.

To me this sounds like part of a sensible analysis. However I could be wrong. The +/- 10-15% WAR is part of the consequences of uncertainty which I consider a major factor like predicting WAR for R Ray 2021/22.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:07 AM EST (#425117) #
The FO isn't done. Also, trading Teoscar had to so with rebalancing the team but don't forget to include as part of the equation that he's on an expiring contract. Yes they are more expensive right now but in 12 months that wouldn't be the case to keep him around.

I expect Brantley or Conforto to sign here with a trade of a C for more bullpen help. If this FO could've traded a surplus at C into an OF I think they would have done so already.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:16 AM EST (#425118) #
Shi Davidi writing about the Blue Jays FO process. They come up with multiple scenarios of what to do and then adjust to the market. KK and Bassit were plan B it seems. Heaney and Bellinger Plan A.

Jeff Blair saying that Zack Britton is throwing 99 MPH and wants to pitch in Toronto. Shi Davidi also mentions him.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:23 AM EST (#425119) #
The Jays are basically in the same situation as last year.

I'd say they're already ahead of where they were to start last year, with 2 or 3 roster spots still to be filled.

Out (assets): Teoscar, Stripling, Phelps

Out (warm bodies): Tapia, Zimmer, Bradley

In: Bassitt, Swanson, Kiermaier

And now around for full season (if useful): Merrifield, Bass, Pop, White, Moreno
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:27 AM EST (#425120) #
I expect Brantley or Conforto to sign here with a trade of a C for more bullpen help.

There's no reliever I'd be happy to trade any of the 3 catchers for. That'd be a big miss.

Brantley I think is a real option, but if I'm Conforto I'd rather sign with a bad team that can guarantee full playing time regardless of slumps.
Cracka - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:06 AM EST (#425121) #
I'm seeing some concern that Bassit works extremely slowly

I just checked the BaseballSavant "Pitch Tempo" data and thankfully don't see any such concern. Bassitt's pitch clock time over the season averaged 11.9 seconds (vs. a 15 second limit with no one on base). There are over 200 pitchers with slower average times.

On a completely unrelated note, Ricky Tiedemann posted a video of himself throwing 101 mph this weekend - it was at a Dave & Buster's arcade and likely not properly calibrated -- but still a legendary thing to do.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:06 AM EST (#425122) #
Johnny, great post about the team being in better shape already year over year.

I wouldn't trade Moreno or Kirk for a reliever but I can see the Jays trading Jansen for a Liam Hendricks type. They've already tried trading him for Halsley last week.

You're right in that Kirk and Moreno deserve a SP or OF return but I don't think the matches are there for whatever reason.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:09 AM EST (#425123) #
The 40 man is at 39. KK + Bassit puts them 1 over.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:19 AM EST (#425124) #
"I expect Brantley or Conforto to sign here with a trade of a C for more bullpen help"

Would hate to trade C for a reliever. If you look a little long-term, Jays have 4 starters locked up for next 4 years. They need to start getting some long-term offensive pieces especially OF. Gurriel is a FA and Springer and Kiermeier are getting older. Get an OFer who is under non-expensive contract for 3-4 years seems important for medium and long term goals of team.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:28 AM EST (#425125) #
Don't think you can say we're better than last year when so far we've lost two quality fulltime starters and only replaced one.

Maybe KK can be a good regular starter again but he hasn't been for a while and is old and injured so you can't at all depend on that.

If we can add one more fulltime quality starter type then yeah we could argue that the bench and bullpen upgrades make us better than last year.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:30 AM EST (#425126) #
"4 starters locked up for next 4 years"

That's top 4 starters locked for next 3 years.
scottt - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:44 AM EST (#425127) #
Bassit replaces Ryu. White replaces Stripling.
Hopefully it unfolds differently and White only makes a handful of starts.

There are a few guys on the edge of the 40 roster who could fall out.
Otto Lopez? Matt gage? Anthony Kay? Nathan Lukes?
And maybe they can put Ryu back on the IL before they sign everybody?

It seems like the Brewers would want a starting pitcher (Tiedemann?) for an outfielder.
At some point the Jays have to stop trading arms for position players with upside.

Sometimes, it's not about trade value and you need to get a third team involved to get things done.

Possibly, they can get the last of Conforto, Benintendi, Brantley.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:44 AM EST (#425128) #
One reason I like Varsho is that he's squarely in his prime (age 26) and has some MLB experience (1000+ PA). If the current window of contention is the next three years, Varsho would fit well with that. He hits well against RHP (career wRC+ 112 and 121 last year) and apparently plays an excellent center field.

His hitting against LHP is a potential weakness but the Jays have a lot of potent RH bats that could offset that.

Of course, if the Jays believe Alek Thomas is poised for a breakout in the next year or so then he could be a good trade target too.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:53 AM EST (#425129) #
Lets do some math...

Last year: Jays bWAR hitters: 31.5, bWAR pitchers: 13.7 = 45.2
Projection: Jays fWAR hitters: 29.0, fWAR pitchers: 18.5 = 47.5

For projection I estimated PA based on how much they played last year and guessed at this upcoming year. Not scientific but a good WAG. My guesses came up about 100 IP short and 600 PA shy but I figure there will be AAAA guys filling in here and there with near 0 WAR.

If those figures are close then the Jays are slightly better than last year at this point with the 3 catcher situation still here thus the ability to trade for more quality. Plus this won't be factoring in the improved defense from replacing Teoscar with KK and any other changes. Of note: FG projections had Moreno as a 1.5 WAR guy in 322 PA (I shifted down to 250 PA, assuming he plays in the majors most of the year and shuffles around). My playing time estimate has the 3 catchers at 1100 PA (figuring Kirk 550 PA, Jansen 300, Moreno 250) - I figure Kirk will DH a LOT this year unless someone else is acquired (Brantley or Conforto for example). But in the end we'll see. My other position with too many PA was 2B (Merrifield 450, Espinal 300, Biggio 300). I suspect Biggio gets less than that, Merrifield a lot of OF time.

Eh, it is a method to estimate the net effect of the changes. Far from perfect but good for a ballpark estimate. Slight drop for offense (2.5 WAR) big increase on pitching (4.8 WAR) but we all know someone will disappoint, and someone will excel but this gives me more hope that 2023 will be another 90+ win year, thus another year in the playoffs.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 11:14 AM EST (#425130) #
Ugly is just comparing subtractions as of Nov 1 and additions up to Dec 13th. He isn't including Moreno, Bass, Pop or Merrifield additions which Johnny was. Ugly comparing team end of season vs now whereas Johnny was comparing Dec 13 team 2021 vs now.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 11:22 AM EST (#425131) #
Bassitt presents some risk given his age, but that is mitigated somewhat by a 3 year deal. Otherwise, I'm fine with the way the Jays have handled the off-season so far, assuming they add another OF, which it appears they plan to. This has been a 90+ win team the last two seasons and the core of the team is still in tact. Raising the floor and improving the balance of the roster seems like a smart strategy, especially if the alternative plan was to increase the volatility with a very small chance of reaching a higher ceiling (Heaney/Bellinger). They have also, to this point, avoided any long-term commitments that go beyond 2025, so they'll presumably have some flexibility when they have to either re-sign Vlad/Bo or find their replacements. At this point if they find a capable LH OF to replace Hernandez's production (Conforto/Brantley), then it's probably a net positive overall.

I agree that trading a catcher for a reliever would be a bit disappointing. It may help the team, but there are bigger short and long-term needs, specifically in the outfield. The only issue I see there is that I don't think the Jays want to trade Kirk or Moreno, and getting a controllable outfielder for 2 years of Jansen doesn't seem all that likely, so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 11:46 AM EST (#425132) #
Thank you for your calculations John N. Lets hope Pearson affects your calculations in a positive way. It was impossible to calculate him right?

Pearson 5IP followed by 2IP... 5/2 the rest of the way like 2019. In 2019 101.2IP which is half of his total IP with the Jays organization. Wishful thinking alert!!

I am giving Houston, TB and CWS as the Division winners.

For the 3 WCs the tough competitors would be NYY especially if they add Rodon. Cleveland, Seattle and Toronto.

So 7 teams for 6 spots. I cannot see any of the above dropping out. I will add 2 more for 9 teams.

So a close 9 team playoff race. Should be very exciting. I agree that 90 wins gets a spot. It would be very disappointing if 90 wins does not get a spot.

I don't expect a significant add by the Jays but they keep surprising me. Lots of off season left.

During the season I expect changes in personnel. Atkins has had to make desperate trade deadline deals the last 3 seasons. Lucky it did not weaken the farm much. By the trade deadline we should be able to tell if we have lost anything of value from our farm. SWR, Groshans, Max Castillo are my main candidates for evaluation. They all have to make their ML team or I disqualify them.

For more wishful thinking on my part the bubble guys "have" to provide something in 2023. Those guys Hatch, Kay, Thornton, Gage and Merryweather. There will be practically 100% opportunity for any of them because there is never enough pitching. I hope I don't have to mention these pitchers for 2024 as possibilities.

Paul D - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 11:47 AM EST (#425133) #
I guess Britton 's been waiting to pitch in Toronto for over six years now
Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 12:10 PM EST (#425134) #
Sign Britton, sign Benintendi or Brantley. That should fill the "needs" category. Then wait and get a couple basement deals of pitchers who want to fight for the #5 pitching spot. You can never have too many arms.

I see lots of pitching left and with the money spent already, if a pitcher has any question marks, you might not find the same money as the ones off the board already. I would have a hard time giving the big bucks to Rodon, Syndergard or Eovaldi. (Somebody will)

I wonder if outside of Toronto, the value for Stripling is lower too. He is a 33 year old, that had a good year last year and in 2018. He might be perceived across the league as a #5 pitcher\middle reliever. That doesn't get you a 20 million a year contract.
Joe - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 12:36 PM EST (#425135) #
Just for fun, I did the same exercise that John did for the Blue Jays' opening day payrolls, but for the (damn) Yankees. (Which, now that I've done it, I see he did too. Oh well, here it is anyways.)
  • Payroll 2007: $189,639,045 5% per year: $413,958,252
  • Payroll 2008: $209,081,577 5% per year: $434,665,582
  • Payroll 2009: $201,449,189 5% per year: $398,855,615
What we see here: the CBT thresholds have (unsurprisingly) acted as a salary cap ó†exactly what the owners wanted.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 01:00 PM EST (#425136) #
"One reason I like Varsho is that he's squarely in his prime (age 26) and has some MLB experience (1000+ PA). If the current window of contention is the next three years, Varsho would fit well with that. He hits well against RHP (career wRC+ 112 and 121 last year) and apparently plays an excellent center field."

Varsho would be excellent fit. LH, power, elite D. Makes Kiermeier more of a 4th OFer/can allow Springer to DH more.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 01:15 PM EST (#425137) #
Stripling to Giants 2/25
bpoz - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 01:34 PM EST (#425138) #
I have heard Shapiro say many things and find it reasonably clear to understand him.

He clearly said "waves of prospects". I have not heard him say or even hint that this is a 3 years remaining window 2023/24/25. But he may have said that.

Long term contracts will end within 3/4 years. Ryu 1 year $20 mil, Kikuchi 2 years $10mil/yr. Springer/Gausman/Bassit will all be here until the end of this 3 year window. Hope we win a WS.

Then 2/3 year rebuild for another 6 year window. I can live with that.

NYM and other teams will also have a similar length of window.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 01:56 PM EST (#425139) #
" Stripling to Giants 2/25 "

About the same amount of money we're paying Kikuchi for the next two years. (Sigh)
electric carrot - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 02:19 PM EST (#425140) #
Have people completely given up on Ryu? I'm imagining that he has a chance to be an impact player in the second half of 2023 -- and a likely a part of the rotation in the post-season should the Jays be in it.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 02:26 PM EST (#425141) #
That may well be accurate regarding Ryu.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 02:38 PM EST (#425142) #
I have not completely given up on Ryu. 

Stripling at 2/25 is a bargain. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 02:52 PM EST (#425143) #
Apparently the Giants didnít want to put all their eggs in one Bassit.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 02:52 PM EST (#425144) #
Baseball needs to fix one thing more than anything else and it's teams like Oakland who refuse to try to compete. Why be a fan of a team that doesn't try to compete and where any halfway decent player will be traded in 2 years for junk? It's so terrible for the sport.
johnny was - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:00 PM EST (#425145) #
One might also say that the way the market is moving, the front office saw an opportunity and couldn't Bassit up.
krose - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:09 PM EST (#425146) #
Oh my! 😊
John Northey - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:15 PM EST (#425147) #
Good point Glevin about the 'why bother' teams. However, that has always been an issue. One could argue the Jays didn't really try with no playoffs from 1994-2014, the O's out of it from 1998-2011, and 2017 to today, 1984-1995 too. Pittsburgh from 1993-2012, 2016-now, last playoff win (outside of a 1 game WC in 2013) was in 1979 (went all the way). Colorado 1996-2006, 2010-2016, 2019-now. Or for super-long futility you have Cleveland from 1955-1994 then 5 straight playoff appearances, Texas from inception (1961) to 1995 hadn't made it to the playoffs with 2 big slumps since (2000-2009 and 2017-now).

Teams not trying, or seeming like they aren't has been a thing from day one in MLB. Shared revenue makes it worse (could make a profit without having anyone over ML minimum and losing 140 games). The lottery draft is a weak way of trying to stop that, but in the end no matter the method there will always be teams that suck and teams that dominate.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:24 PM EST (#425148) #
At that price, it looks like Stripling wanted to go back to California. I have to imagine the Jays were prepared to pay that.

Everyone is going to the NL this year! My AL fantasy teams are getting cleaned out! That is probably good news for the Jays.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:29 PM EST (#425149) #
Tweets suggesting that the Padres wanted Basset and were a finalist for him.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:31 PM EST (#425150) #
Of course, Oakland has made the playoffs 11 of 23 seasons this century, the Jays 4 times.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 03:57 PM EST (#425151) #
At this point Ryu will likely be more of a No. 4/5 starter so I imagine impact on his return will be minimal. He'll be a 36 year old soft tosser coming off TJ...
Ducey - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 05:00 PM EST (#425152) #
Ryu might be someone the Jays look at giving a one year show me contract once he is back throwing (assuming his stuff returns).

Worked for Verlander (yeah, I know, but still, there can be some value there).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 06:14 PM EST (#425153) #
I'm bullish on Ryu. Dude was elite and not because of his velocity. If he can come back stronger to maintain a FB in the high 80s he should be strong.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 06:19 PM EST (#425154) #
So really the 5th spot will likely be Kilkuchi, followed by one of Zuelta or Tiderman.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 06:46 PM EST (#425155) #
It's true that Ryu is a soft-tossing lefty in his mid-30s coming off TJ. Hmm, when has that ever worked before- it'll come to me.

ZiPS projects Bassitt as a 3 WAR pitcher (sub 4 ERA and 170 innings) in 2023. That means a 2 win improvement for the club. Very good.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 07:03 PM EST (#425156) #
I am impressed and "happy" by the negativism being expressed by Bauxites in general. Really I like it because we now have our vast potential for positive.

Time to dream/be positive a bit.

1) A power arm succeeds from the farm or from our Hatch/Kay/Merryweather underperformers. It can definitely happen ie there is a chance.

2) A kid pitcher Zulueta/Juenger makes the leap.

3) Pearson.

4) Good season from Gurriel/Merifield or someone Biggio?

5) Only 1 of Vlad, Springer, Kirk, Bo actually has a bad year.

6) Chapman is durable and has a great year.

7) Moreno plays as well as a good Rutschman or better. They were comparable at one time. Lets compare: Moreno 2 years younger. Rutschman healthy and great. Equally good/valuable if healthy, but needs to prove it. Moreno more versatile which does not mean much necessarily.

8) More positive than negative unknowns.

I actually feel good.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 07:25 PM EST (#425157) #
No matter what (almost) the Jays can survive a significant injury to almost anyone and be OK vs other teams. Think about it...
Almost anyone goes down and Moreno gets playing time, and more for Merrifield (led AL in doubles and SB in 2021), Biggio (tons of potential still, did have 3+ WAR in 2019 and was on pace for 5 in 2020), Espinal (all-star last year), Jansen (141 OPS+ last year) all of whom are currently in part time roles sort of (none should get 500 PA without injuries to someone). Springer goes down, we get KK playing more and Merrifield/Biggio in RF more often, giving Espinal more 2B time. Meanwhile in AAA we have a 21 year old Orelvis Martinez coming off a 30 HR AA season at SS/3B, a 23 year old Addison Barger (933 OPS last year at SS/3B), Spencer Horwitz (25, 843 OPS in AA/AAA at 1B/LF) and more. Depth is far nicer in 2023 than 2022 imo. Using Tapia in CF was a disaster (had no idea his defense would be _that_ bad). Safe to say the Jays will sign some AAAA guy to sit in Buffalo behind the plate just in case, and similar elsewhere.

Pen and rotation depth are better too imo.
Rotation: Manoah, Gausman, Bassitt, Berrios, Kikuchi/White/assorted kids like Juenger-Robberse-Tiedemann (all need to build up innings first ideally) plus any AAAA types like Hatch-Thornton-Kay who are still kicking around
Pen: Romano-Garcia-Swanson-Bass-Mayza-Cimber-Richards-Pop-cast of 1000's in AAA.

Yeah, this is better than last year at this time, with Ryu a September call-up if recovered to provide 6th man starting to give the big guns some rest heading into the playoffs (if everyone is healthy otherwise one of the 5). Hopefully Kikuchi or White figure out what made them successful in the past and bring it this spring to win that 5th slot, with the kids showing off in Buffalo until they get a chance.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 07:49 PM EST (#425158) #
"It's true that Ryu is a soft-tossing lefty in his mid-30s coming off TJ. Hmm, when has that ever worked before- it'll come to me."

see Wainwright, Adam

see Hill, Rich

see Smoltz, John

see John, Tommy

Petey Baseball - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:11 PM EST (#425159) #
How confident are we that the Jays are not in on Rodon? We've heard Shapiro talk a lot about budget and spending not being an issue.

Perhaps he is still a realistic target now that Stripling has moved on. The front office can't possibly believe they can expect to be "championship caliber" with the current rotation, even with the Bassit signing.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:28 PM EST (#425160) #
I feel confident that Rodon wonít be signing in Toronto. But I could be wrong. I think if they could sign him for 2/$70m or something, they might consider it. But not for 6/180 or 7/210 or whatever the going rate is.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:31 PM EST (#425161) #
Striplingís contract includes an opt-out after year 1. Good for him.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 08:44 PM EST (#425162) #
I do think the team needs another SP. If any of the front four gets injured (fair chance this will happen), then 40% of rotation will consist of White and Kikuchi. Thatís not good. I actually think Kikuchi should start out in low-leverage relief situations and try to re-establish himself. If he fails to do this, send him to the minors or release him. The team canít run another season-long experiment with him in the majors the way they did for most of last year. It will tax the rotation and the bullpen (and may cause a serious injury to an opposing batter).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:04 PM EST (#425163) #
I see:

Gausman #1
Manoah # 2
Berrios #3A nice bounce back
Bassit #3
Pearson #4

Mitch White, Yusei Kikuchi and Ricky Tiedeman are the 6, 7, 8 starters.

That's a damn fine rotation. If Rodon were signed then without injury you would have either a top young pitcher in the bullpen (Tiedeman or Pearson) or Bassit/Berrios becomes the most expensive #5 in baseball.
Katie - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:10 PM EST (#425164) #
The Jays reportedly had an offer out to Kyle Gibson for 10 million over 1 year, but he preferred Baltimore's identical offer.

But what if Gibson had taken that offer? Would the Jays have tried to sign another starter in the $10 million range and did they end up with Bassitt over, say, two lesser starters (such as Gibson and Trevor Williams maybe)? Would they have been in on Bassitt regardless? I know they're not at their max spending level, but if they had ended up with Gibson and Basitt, what would that have meant for their ability to sign free-agent outfielders and would that have created a greater urgency to trade a catcher for an outfielder? If they have money kicking around that they're considering for another SP, I'm not sure why they wouldn't have gone in for Stripling at that price.

I wonder if the Jays end up with Gibson, how the other dominoes would have shaken out in that alternate world.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:22 PM EST (#425165) #
Berrios ó may bounce back
Pearson ó no track record of sustained health
White ó did not look good in his stint with TO
Kikuchi ó was a disaster in 2022, possible Steve Blass disease
Tiedemann ó great prospect, ETA might be 2024 or possibly late 2023

I donít see how those pitchers inspire a lot of confidence for the majority of 2023, except for maybe Berrios.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:31 PM EST (#425166) #
You basically have 4 guys to combine for the 5th starter's slot. Pearson, White, Kikuchi, Tiedeman...something like 4-5 starts each.There's also Hatch and Zulueta. It can't be that difficult and what more confidence would you need? I'd take a rotation of 4 or 5 guys with 1-2 with huge upside over a thirty something 5th starter any day of the week. Maybe I'm in the minority but that's a no brainer for me. 5th starters aren't suppose to inspire confidence to log 150+ innings.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:32 PM EST (#425167) #
I suspect (hope) the Jays have learned from the Tanner Roark/Yusei Kikuchi fiasco s and stopped trusting the 4/5 spots to discount or experimental signings. As we found out last year, a top heavy rotation even with two All Star types can still be a bad rotation.

To expect Berrios to be any more than a back end starter given his struggles last year is wishful thinking. This team needs another quality starter. Given Katie's point about the offer to Gibson though, that doesn't exactly scream "we're willing to splurge more on the rotation."

You have to hope somehow hope they can
land Brantley as the DH/LF LH bat they so desperately need. The Conforto signing seems grotesquely astronomical; that's one player I'm actually glad the risk management algorithm didn't land on.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:33 PM EST (#425168) #
Excuse me, the Nimmo signing.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 09:56 PM EST (#425169) #
I disagree completely on Berrios. He's been very good most of his career and then had a down year in his first year relocating to a new team with a new pitching coach and a new ballpark. I think you have to believe it's more likely he bounces back to his norm than it is for him to just turn into a pumpkin during his ripe old age of...28????? Did you watch any of his starts last year? Be honest.

Berrios had 21 starts last year where he gave up 3 earned runs or less and 6 starts where he gave up 6 runs or more and 3 more starts where he gave up 5 runs ...pretending he can be more than a back end starter is not wishful thinking it's just a good bet to make. His "struggles" were inconsistency as when he blew up he blew up real good. I like his chances to turn back into his regular self more than I do of Manoah repeating his ridiculous Cy Young-voting year.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:21 PM EST (#425170) #
I donít know, if you look at Berriosís three half-seasons with the Jays (second half 2021, first half 2022, second half 2022), he did very well in the first third, struggled in the second third, and struggled even more in the last third.

He could have a nice rebound season in 2023, but there is some cause for concern. As last season went on, he basically became scared to attack with his FB because it was so hittable when it was in the zone.
Kasi - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:36 PM EST (#425171) #
Sure he has some approach issues. However he didnít lose any velocity on his fastball so Iím not thinking itís something that canít be addressed. Will he be amazing probably not no. I think heíll be a 3/4 starter which is fine. But thatís what Bassit will be too and Iíd make it a tossup which is better next year. I think we have two 1/2s and two 3/4s. Really matters who steps up to be that fifth starter or if they bring in a Kluber type for a show me contract.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:50 PM EST (#425172) #
If you look at his Baseball Savant page, you can see some concerning trends in 2022 compared to previous seasons ó Barrel %, Hard Hit %, Exit Velo, K%, xwOBA/wOBA, to name a few. The velo is still there, but there seems to be some other nontrivial issue at play.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 10:55 PM EST (#425173) #
Lets look closer at Berrios...

Sub 5 IP: 8 starts, 1 in April, 2 in May, 2 in June, 0 in July, 2 in August (consecutive games), 1 in September. Fairly spread out I'd say outside of the 2 in a row in August.

Allowed 5+ runs: 9 times: all but 2 were short starts, 1 in May, 1 in September both vs NYY going 5 1/3 IP.

Allowed 0 or 1 Run: 7 times - 2 in April, 1 in May (0 runs), 1 June, 2 July, 0 August, 0 September, 1 October. All were 5 2/3+ IP - Just one sub 6 IP (Apr 30 vs Houston).

Ideally you have the pitcher go 5+ IP with 3 or fewer runs (yeah, I'd prefer 6+ IP but lets go with this) - 21 times Berrios did this. 11 times he stunk (4+ runs), 6 times he really stunk (under 5 IP 5+ runs allowed) plus the 1 out game (4 runs).

So going through that I don't see why he should be a problem going forward. Just need to figure out why he had those spread out bad games. It'd be easier if there was a pattern. The 8 short starts were vs Cleveland twice, once each vs White Sox, Twins, Milwaukee, Angels, Rays, and Texas. So 4 vs AL Central teams he had seen a lot pre-Toronto, just 1 vs AL East, 2 vs AL West and 1 vs an NL team. Closest to a pattern is his old opponents/teammates. Hard to put much weight on that. With Kirk he had a 4.85 ERA, Jansen 5.47, Moreno 13.50. Kirk caught 21 of his starts, Jansen 10, Moreno 1. In 2021 it was Jansen 3.60 (3 starts), Kirk 12.00 (1), McGwire 3.04 (8) Not really seeing much there, beyond McGwire really seemed in tune with him over their 8 starts. Similar with Ryan Jeffers over 18 starts with the Twins in 2021 (3.08 ERA 552 OPS). Seems poor hitting pure defense catchers do well with him. But that could easily be statistical noise (IE: meaningless).

I'm sure the Jays pitching coach and team are digging through video and stats to try to figure out why he had those 8 short starts and 7 really bad games. Hopefully they figure it out, or at least figure out how to recognize it quicker and get the hook out fast if he is losing it.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 13 2022 @ 11:27 PM EST (#425174) #
Greenfrog, I'm throwing out his blowout games which surely is what is affecting the concerning trends you're referring to. Of course it's convenient of me to do so but I just can't convince myself that there is an issue with him. When I watched his starts last year the difference between Good Berrios and Bad Berrios, to me, was that the other team knew what was coming combined with getting nickled and dimed with an uncanny amount of bloop hits. Berrios consistently attacked hitters and maintained excellent velocity and command. I really just think he was tipping pitches some how. Contrast him with Kikuchi who has great velocity and stuff but he was the complete opposite of Berrios. While Berrios was making his pitches and hiving up hits, Kikuchi could not command his pitches and was just hoping his pitches wouldn't be hit.

I also felt Gausman ironically got shafted a bunch last year as well, mostly by the Jays fielders shifting too much.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 12:32 AM EST (#425175) #
Tempted to see if there is a method to see how often pitchers were helped/hurt by the shift and see how that affects the Jays. Also, the pitchers have to be cheering non-stop over KK over Tapia for 2023 in the outfield, and no more 'is he paying attention today' games from Teoscar.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 12:53 AM EST (#425176) #
Ideally, Kikuchi is the #6 guy. He has such good stuff, when on, he makes good hitters look like minor leaguers. He is his worst enemy. I wonder if we keep him in the bullpen, he could be a high leverage guy. Kind of like what the Mariners did with Brash.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 01:53 AM EST (#425177) #
Correa to the Giants for a massive figure. Nice to see more players move to the NL.
lexomatic - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 07:32 AM EST (#425178) #
<br>Tempted to see if there is a method to see how often pitchers were helped/hurt by the shift and see how that affects the Jays

I remember so many hits after blown 3rd strike calls. I don't know that it's searchable and if anyone tracked it. But it was very noticeable last year along with some very rough umping.
I feel like there's so many factors.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:32 AM EST (#425179) #
Definitions are important to me. What is "Championship caliber team" VS "playoff caliber team"?

Championship caliber: LAD. Adding Mookie Betts and in 2021 Scherzer. Atlanta won the WS with an 88 win team. So no guarantee that championship caliber team wins the WS. Playoffs are a crapshoot which is proven. This is my personal view and others can certainly differ. Even Shapiro.

Playoff caliber: St Louis and Milwaukee. I am shocked that St Louis missed the playoffs in 2018. Both teams get to play a lot of games against Pittsburg and Cincinnati.

I don't want to get into "bubble caliber playoff teams" but I can see solid record evidence for a definition over the next 3/4 years. I am very confident that Oakland will be back to contending in the next 3/4 years.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:00 AM EST (#425180) #
TB's OF always seemed have 3 CF type players. So very good defense over the years. I don't know how good their OF D will be this year.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:12 AM EST (#425181) #
There have been 11 Fa signed for $20M+ a year value so far.

AL East-3
AL Central-0
AL West-1
NL East-4
NL Central-0
NL West-3

The Central divisions act as weaker divisions where teams don't have to spend to compete. Baseball would be much better off going back to 2 divisions per league.
Paul D - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:21 AM EST (#425182) #
I think the team and Pearson would be setting themselves up for the most success if they told him he's in the bullpen all year
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:48 AM EST (#425183) #
If you look at those 20 mil contracts in the AL Judge was a resigning, Boston likely an overpay (plus they lost Borgarts) and both Houston and Torontos weee more short term contracts. For the big deals most of that is going on in the NL.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 10:05 AM EST (#425184) #
Looking at the length of contracts signed and likely the type of deal that Bo & Vlad will want I'm ok if the Jays said no and go in a different direction.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 10:10 AM EST (#425185) #
I think they resign one. Which one I donít know. I guess Vlad since heís shown an interest in resigning.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 12:44 PM EST (#425186) #
If you're going to have a successful team in any sport, you got to have star players although Tampa Rays beg to differ. If you have star players then you have to pay them, so the Jays will eventually have to pay Vlad and Bo, sign someone else in free agency, or develop more young star players.

If the Jays are going to extend long term contracts to Vlad and/or Bo, then they should do it soon because prices seem to be skyrocketing.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 12:56 PM EST (#425187) #
its been put out there that Bo does bor seem interested in resigning here.
Cracka - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 01:44 PM EST (#425188) #
I think the contract length is going to be the biggest barrier to re-signing Bo and Vlad. Correa, Judge, Bogarts, and Turner have all just signed deals that pay them until they are at least 40 years old. This is now the expectation of elite free agents: "if you really want me, pay me until I'm 40", and I wouldn't be surprised if Bo and Vlad want ~15-year deals in exchange for foregoing free agency.
Joe - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 01:57 PM EST (#425189) #
White ó did not look good in his stint with TO
Pitcher A: 56.0 IP, 3.95 FIP, 3.70 ERA, .276 BABIP, 74% LOB
Pitcher B: 43.0 IP, 3.76 FIP, 7.74 ERA, .368 BABIP, 54% LOB

Pitcher A is Mitch White with the Dodgers. Pitcher B is Mitch White with the Jays. My claim: Mitch White will be fine.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 02:13 PM EST (#425190) #
Tough call.  In his career as a starter, White has an ERA of 5.46 with a wOBA of .334 (his career FIP and xFIP are 4.13 and 4.35).  It's just 95 innings, so who knows.  A big thing for him is he seems to have some difficulty pitching out of the stretch; his wOBA with runners on is .349. 

He's a candidate for the Stripling role.  Start him off in long-relief to begin the season and then see how that goes.  If Tiedemann blows them away in the spring and gets called up in early May, White might make a good tandem partner so they could manage Tiedemann's innings. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 02:43 PM EST (#425191) #
The landscape of baseball has changed. I thinks my posts have become more abstract. It feels that way.

Robbie Ray wins the Cy Young in 2021 and gets a $115mil 5 year deal with the Mariners. C Rodon is asking for $30mil/yr for 7 years. Rays 2021 season was 193 IP 2.84 ERA and this in the AL East. Rodon 2022 178 IP 2.88 ERA but in the NL West which is considered a weaker division.

I had posted earlier about who I thought were the playoff contenders. That was the AL not NL. If I had done the NL I would have put SF as a kind of weakish playoff contender. But with the addition of Correa SF is as good any any NL team except LAD. So a huge improvement by adding 1 major part.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 02:58 PM EST (#425192) #
Reports say the Kiermaier deal is for one year and $9M.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 02:58 PM EST (#425193) #
M White was added for some kind of immediate help. Of the 4 players White was the most advanced with 149IP in the ML. Nothing great but useful. I don't know how much he can improve. I suspect very little. Just stay healthy and don't suck would be a victory I suppose.

The other players DeJesus, Frasso and Brito have a shot at the majors but have a long way to go.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:06 PM EST (#425194) #
White is definitely a candidate for 5th starter. His career XFIp is 4.28. Steamer has him a 4.31 ERA. He pitched poorly with the Jays but also had a .368 BABIP which won't happen again. Ideally, Jays would bring in one more 5th starter type and give the Jays 3 options for that position in spring (and starter depth which you need throughout the long season).
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:23 PM EST (#425195) #
Your ERA will be worse than your FIP/xFIP if you have trouble with runners on base (White is .227/.292/.346 with nobody on and .289/.348/.465 with runners on and very little of the difference is BABIP).  And so far, he's had issues as the game goes on- slash lines of .230/.292/.359 pitches 1-25, .272/.330/.393 pitches 26-50 and .279/.353/.484 pitches 51-75, with a steep decline in K/W for pitches 51-75 and a steep increase in IsoP. 

Taking a close look at it, I think that if you put him in as a starter, you've got to expect an ERA of somewhere between 4.75 and 5.00.  In relief, maybe about 4.  ZiPS projects him at 4.48 in 98 innings with 17 starts and 9 relief appearances.  I think that's a tad optimistic but within the range. 
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:28 PM EST (#425196) #
$9M is probably better spent than $13.5M on Grichuk..
PeterG - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:34 PM EST (#425197) #
KK deal is one year at 9 mil
Glevin - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:35 PM EST (#425198) #
"Taking a close look at it, I think that if you put him in as a starter, you've got to expect an ERA of somewhere between 4.75 and 5.00. In relief, maybe about 4. ZiPS projects him at 4.48 in 98 innings with 17 starts and 9 relief appearances. I think that's a tad optimistic but within the range."

Sure, that's most likely but he's also only had 150 major league innings so improvement is definitely possible. Again, I don't expect anything superb from White, but he's OK as a swingman and I'm fine giving him a shot at 5th spot (I'd have him behind Kikuchi right now)
hypobole - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:35 PM EST (#425199) #
And as per MLBTR, the KK and Bassitt signings have moved the Jays over the luxury tax threshold for the 1st time ever.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:36 PM EST (#425200) #
Payroll is almost $210M. How many more money moves do people think they have left? Maybe 1 to get up to $220? That would leave them room to get an impact player at the deadline without going over the CBT.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:41 PM EST (#425201) #
Aren't they over the threshold now at 230+ million?
lexomatic - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:44 PM EST (#425202) #
PeterG - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:46 PM EST (#425203) #
I think the fact that KK deal is one year makes it more likely that team trades for young OF than signing a FA OF.
Cracka - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 03:51 PM EST (#425204) #
... and perhaps they add Gurriel or Merrifield as part of that package for a young OF, giving $6-$7M of additional wiggle room.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:07 PM EST (#425205) #
Can Moreno be taught to play center field? That would be another cost-effective solution. The team could then extend Jansen for a few years (if the experiment works).
92-93 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:07 PM EST (#425206) #
They still owe Grichuk 4.33MM, so Kiermaier's spot is effectively costing the team 13.33MM.

The current projected opening day roster's payroll is 201MM using MLBTR's arb figures.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:23 PM EST (#425207) #
Doesn't make economic and planning sense to be over the tax threshold by 1-2M, So I expect the Jays to either get below or spend more and be easily over the tax threshold - I expect the former.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:34 PM EST (#425208) #
They still owe Grichuk 4.33MM, so Kiermaier's spot is effectively costing the team 13.33MM.

Sunk cost.  I'm a little disappointed that he's not here for 2 years.  I'll venture a guess that they start Dasan Brown in double A this year, and he'll be 22 at the end of 2023.  That's a good age for a centerfielder to begin a career because of the importance of speed to the position.  Hopefully, he's able to continue his developmental rise. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:51 PM EST (#425209) #
By the way, Addison Barger's ZiPS age hitting comps are quite good- Don Money, Jedd Gyorko and Carney Lansford.   Money and Lansford were very good third baseman with 35-40 WAR careers and peaks around 5.  Gyorko put up 3 decent years in his mid-20s as a role player.  Orelvis Martinez' comps weren't not so good- Mark Reynolds (who was about as good as Gyorko), Joe Lis (career WAR 1.7) and Tommy Murray.  On the plus side for Orelvis, the reports on his defensive ability have grown somewhat more promising. 
Nigel - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 04:58 PM EST (#425210) #
I look at it differently. I think a platoon full time outfielder (albeit likely filling different OF spots) has been created called Merrymaier where the maeir is the greater part. Thatís a $16m player. Itís hard if not impossible to argue with the concept given the need for a CF replacement for Springerís inevitable absence and a LHH. Definitely not the bums in the seats I would have chosen or hoped for though. I see very little likelihood of another OF being brought in for 2023 though. This team canít afford $16m of 4th OF salary.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 05:00 PM EST (#425211) #
"The current projected opening day roster's payroll is 201MM using MLBTR's arb figures."

MLB Trade Rumors has two articles up today quoting over 230 million.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 05:14 PM EST (#425212) #
Jays I think have 20 million that counts towards that but isnít on the salary figures. Maybe from revenue sharing or something?
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 05:36 PM EST (#425213) #
I would assume Jansen is moved for younger prospects or controllable players o get under the CBT.
92-93 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 05:40 PM EST (#425214) #
Springer 22.5
Guerrero 14.8
Chapman 12
Kiermaier 9
Merrifield 6.75
Bichette 6.1
Gurriel 5.4
Jansen 3.7
Kirk 0.7

Biggio 3.25
Espinal 2.1
Moreno 0.7
Lopez 0.7

Gausman 21
Bassitt 21
Berrios 15
Kikuchi 10
Manoah 0.7

Garcia 5
Romano 4.4
Cimber 3.2
Bass 3
Mayza 1.9
Richards 1.5
Swanson 1.4
Pop 0.7

Ryu 20
Grichuk 4.33

Feel free to disagree with an arb projection, but it's 201MM. They may indeed be at the CBT level, though.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 05:52 PM EST (#425215) #
MLBTR reports the Jays have shown interest in Johnny Cueto. I may not be the only one who thinks the team needs another SPÖ
John Northey - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 06:04 PM EST (#425216) #
Right now I doubt the Jays are moving anyone for cash purposes as they keep saying. Why? Because TV ratings were great last year and probably will continue to be as long as the Jays are a 90+ win team. For Rogers that is worth a lot more than $200-$300 million in advertising revenue/subscription fees/etc.

Mix in that the latest rumors have the Jays after more starting pitching - namely Johnny Cueto - he made $21 mil last year, SF bought out this year for $5 mil, so odds are a $10-15 mil deal is what he wants for 1 year. He'd be a solid #5 who was a #2 last year with a 118 ERA+ over 158 IP, but the last 5 years are a combined 405 IP 103 ERA+ (2 118's, plus a 79, 84, and a 101 ERA+) - basically he is a lottery ticket, could be like last year and give the Jays a killer rotation or could be the 2019/20 version and be no better than Kikuchi or White. I doubt the Jays want a long term answer for that slot, just a 1 year guy to give the minor leaguers time to get ready - if he is hurt/ineffective then Kikuchi/White get it.

As you can guess I'm in favor of it, while I'd love them to get one of the bigger names left out there I see a ton of logic in going for a 1 year guy given the big 4 are all signed long term. The rumors say they are also looking for more pen help (higher end if out there). I love MLB Trade Rumors - just fun to see what is out there.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 06:06 PM EST (#425217) #
I'm interested to see where Joey Gallo ends up and for how much - a good bounce back candidate.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 06:13 PM EST (#425218) #
According to Fangraphs the Jays have a top 5 payroll going into 2023, I didnít realize they were that close to the top.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 06:40 PM EST (#425219) #
There is a big gap between the top four (NYM, NYY, Philly, SD) and the next group but yeah right now Toronto is fifth. I would imaging LAD to sign someone to pass them. There is a bunch of teams within ten million or so of Toronto.
soupman - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 06:48 PM EST (#425220) #
the 88 wins is an aberration -they had key injuries and have averaged over 95 win pace the last 4 years. that said, they still won the division in 2021 - it's a tough division also.

with the expanded playoffs, we'll get a further test of how important regular season dominance is. imo - the teams that buck the trend (ie. it's far more likely a 100+ team wins the WS than one with
lexomatic - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 07:25 PM EST (#425221) #
<br>CBT is based on average of a contract so 1x40 and 4x10 have the same total value but different tax calculations.
Payroll isnt directly related to CBT.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 07:37 PM EST (#425222) #
There are about 10M in salaries for players on the 40man/pre arb, and another 16.5M in ďplayer benefitĒ payments. I didnít include these when I looked at the salaries. Fair enough about including the entire 40man, but itís stupid that ďplayer benefitsĒ a flat amount that each team pays, is included as a CBT expense. It just cuts out $20m of spending.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:12 PM EST (#425224) #
With the deals going fast and furious now it seems teams want to lock up their rosters by Christmas, and players want to be settled too. Good for us fans - helps for dreaming of 2023 when all that is left is tinkering at the edges (AAAA signings and the like).

So of the top free agents which deals do we wish the Jays did? Go by ranking
  1. Judge: 9 years $360 mil - ages 31-39 - **cough** Pujols. Oh excuse me. That is what I see happening. This is a guy who has 120+ games only 3 times in his career, but 5 times with 5+ WAR - basically if healthy he is worth it, but the Yankees are paying through the nose for his 30's.
  2. Carlos Correa: 13 years $350 mil - holy crap on the years. Ages 28-40 - those last few will be bad. Like Judge just 3 years of 120+ games in his career, 4 times 5+ WAR, 3 more in the 3's and 4's. So if you get half a season he is worth it so far, but you better have a good backup ready and I'd worry about how much those injuries will lead to more in the future.
  3. Trea Turner: 11 years $300 mil - 4 times with 120+ games, but never 5+ WAR, 8 times 2-4.9 though. Covers age 30-40
  4. Xander Bogaerts: 11 years, $280 mil - age 30-41. 8 times 120+ games so fairly healthy at least, twice over 5 WAR, 5 times 2-4.9, his worst years were ages 20 and 21.
  5. Dansby Swanson: not signed yet but must be drooling at the above deals. Entering age 29 season, 5 times over 120 games (160+ each of the past 2) but just once over 5 WAR, twice in the 2's, 3 times in the 1's.
  6. Carlos Rodon: still on the market, should get a nutty deal in the end for a guy entering his age 30 season with 2 years of 5+ WAR, no others over 2.0, but those 2 5's were the last 2 years.
  7. Justin Verlander: 2 years $86.66 mil - ages 40 & 41, won the Cy last year and is being paid in hopes of repeating ala Randy Johnson (2nd at 40, but never got another Cy vote).
  8. Brandon Nimmo: 8 years $162 mil - twice over 120 games, once over 5 WAR, twice more over 2. He was very tempting but that covers his age 30-37 seasons and speed/defense are his top skills - the skills that drop fastest. I suspect the Mets will regret this quickly.
  9. Willson Contreras: 5 years $87.5 mil - a catcher so lets use 100 games - over that 5 times, 4.1 peak WAR, 4 more in the 3's. This could work out well for the Cards, covering ages 31-35, but still risky.
That covers the top 10. Lots of deals I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole there. 10+ years is a nutty length and I'd hesitate before doing a 6+. Verlander is crazy dollars for 2 years but it is just 2 years. Contreras will probably be the best deal of the top 10 in the end. I'm glad the Jays did their top 10 shopping pre-2022/23 offseason. #13 was the rank for Chris Bassitt and 3 years/$63 mil is nice - over $20 mil less than Verlander with 1 more year covered. KK was a massive deal at 1 year $9 mil. Of course the biggest issue for the Jays is that now the cost for a long term deal for Bo or Vlad has gone way up (both now start at $300 mil for 10 years I'd figure).
bpoz - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:18 PM EST (#425225) #
Looks like no choice. None. The jays have to pay similar deals for Vlad. If others get these deals then he should also get this type of deal.

Will the Jays do this kind of deal? I have doubts.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:19 PM EST (#425226) #
Heís not as good as those players. Would he accept an 11/275 contract? Most Iíd go for him is the Turner deal.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:27 PM EST (#425227) #
The very long term of some of these contracts may be partly intended to reduce the AAV for purposes of limiting luxury tax penalties. And the annual salaries will become less onerous over time due to high inflation.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:33 PM EST (#425228) #
Yeah, I love Vlad but hard to justify the kind of deal he's looking for after this past season. Pujols is way ahead of Vlad as a player but after his age 32 season, he had 3.9 WAR total over 9 seasons. Cabrera, also a HOF player, after his age 33 season has -2.2 WAR in 7 seasons. It's also hard to know who Vlad is. Is he the elite, incredible MVP candidate from 2021 or just the very good but pretty replaceable one of last year.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 08:48 PM EST (#425229) #
Iíve mentioned this before, but in some cases involving star players (Pujols, Trout, Tulo) the initial extension has worked out well for the team, but the subsequent contract provides much less value. Favourable extensions for Blue Jays players include those given to Halladay, Bautista and EE. The challenge with Bo and Vladdy is that at this point theyíre probably not interested in that type of extension (that would buy out, say, 2-5 years of free agency). Theyíre probably seeking a Tatis- or Stanton-type extension ó assuming they even want an extension ó which would be a lot riskier for the team. The harsh truth is that the opportunity for an extension for Bo and/or Vladdy that makes good sense for the team may already have passed.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:12 PM EST (#425230) #
One last thing. Bo is a great hitter, but itís not clear to me that his unique swing (with all the torque it entails) will continue to be effective when he is a 30-something player. And while heís a shortstop now, that may change in the next few years. So are you going to pay him as a star SS, or an above-average second baseman?

Similarly, as Glevin points out, Vladdy was a great hitter in 2021, but his plate discipline fell off last year and he started hitting a lot of balls into the ground. It also wouldnít surprise me if he started having physical issues (wrist or otherwise) in his later 20s and 30s.

I like both players but my guess is that the team will refrain from giving them
massive extensions (that is, outside of the ďsweet spotĒ).
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:17 PM EST (#425231) #
Theyíre both really good players but Iíd much rather pay them Springer money than Turner money/term. I can just hope they find a nice happy hybrid like a 10/250 deal or something.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:23 PM EST (#425232) #
Bo is entering his age 25 season, Vlad his age 24 season. 10 year deals for them just gets you to their early/mid 30's so not to the insane stage of late 30's early 40's. Unless you do a 'lets add years to reduce the CBT level'. I could see the Jays doing that - a 15 year deal for Vlad for $300 mil guaranteeing he is a Jay for life as they seem determined to put all their marketing eggs in his basket.

For fun I checked The Favorite Toy to see what Vlad has a shot at. 12% shot at 3000 hits, 30% at 500 HR, 14% at 600 HR, 3% at 700, 2% at 715, no shot at Aaron or Bonds though. 23% at 1500 RBI, 10% at 1750 RBI, 1% at 2000 RBI (just 5 guys have that many). So yes, Vlad is still on pace to be a HOF level player with a slim shot at some crazy stats when all is said and done. Bo is older, thus lower odds. 3000 hits - 9% despite winning 2 hit titles in a row. 1 year makes a massive difference in projections.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:33 PM EST (#425233) #
Jose Ramirez is an interesting comp. Fantastic player who signed a 4/$26m pre-arb extension and then a 5/$124m extension after that.

Great deal for the team but it also shows that the player liked the city and organization. He is arguably better than either Bo or Vlad.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 09:53 PM EST (#425234) #
Yes Jose is way better but also was 30. That deal was ridiculous for Cleveland.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 10:38 PM EST (#425235) #
Glevin, Greenfrog and Kasi - I am exactly aligned regarding Vlad and Bo. The front office has said that a new contract will require "shared risk" from both sides.

My guess is that Bo wants to be the highest paid shortstop in baseball and will test the market. Now that it's exploded it likely makes more sense to trade one and sign the other. Manoah might be the gem we need to sign long term first.
soupman - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 11:32 PM EST (#425236) #
Yordan Alvarez is better than Vlad and just signed a 6-year deal for under $20m a year. people need to stop believing the hype, or hoping that other GMs haven't caught up to reality and that the Jays can trade him to a team still living in June 2021.
electric carrot - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 11:45 PM EST (#425237) #
I believe the hype. I think the Jays best opportunity to sign Vlad longterm would be this winter after his sophomore slump season. MVP type seasons on the horizon for this coming year, next year, the year after and the year after that.
soupman - Wednesday, December 14 2022 @ 11:51 PM EST (#425238) #
vlad is visibly in worse shape than he was in 2021. he doesn't leg out grounders. he underperforms his talent. bo overperforms his. neither is an ideal candidate for a mega-deal.
uglyone - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 12:26 AM EST (#425239) #
Lol we're at the "yeah it's a great idea to lose the guys who gave this team any hope in the first place" phase now.
92-93 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 12:34 AM EST (#425240) #
Alvarez is getting 26MM per year for his age 29-31 seasons. Even if the Jays were to only extend Vladdy through that age and paid him the same $ that Alvarez got for his FA years you're looking at a deal for around 8/190, because he's already slated to make nearly 15MM in Arb2 this year and around 60MM total in arbitration.
Kasi - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 12:55 AM EST (#425241) #
Iíll take 8/200 pretty similar to 10/250.
bpoz - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 07:13 AM EST (#425242) #
Vlad, Bo and Espinal.

The minor league performances of Vlad and Bo starting in 2017 was one of the greatest rises that I have seen in Jays prospects. I did not get daily reports for McGriff, Delgado, T Fernandez, S Green and others.

Espinal provides a pale comparison to Vlad/Bo. But he was also consistent in his rise to the majors. I did not appreciate his contribution as much as I should have. I am not calling him a star.

The farm should produce good players after the 2019 promotions of Vlad & Bo. Kirk is one, but probably not as good.

I have Orelvis, Barger, Leo Jimenez, Dasan Brown, G Martinez and D Palmgeiani in my top 10. I am excited about their 2021 performances and will wait and see how it plays out. And who they can replace and how well on our current team.

My hope is for a long window that is powered by the waves of prospects. This is a realistic and affordable way to have a long window IMO. Is this how it will happen? I don't know.

scottt - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 07:31 AM EST (#425243) #
I am shocked that KK gets his own thread and Bassit doesn't.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 07:48 AM EST (#425244) #
Like Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman is another example of a well-executed team extension (6/$100m, buying out the first two years of his free agency).

I just don't think those types of extensions are available in the case of Bo and Vladdy. It's not that they are better players than Bregman or Ramirez. But they are marquee players who presumably expect to get paid as such. I think Bo and the Blue Jays were far apart the last time an extension was broached (last off-season I think).
greenfrog - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 08:55 AM EST (#425245) #
One way to think about the Bo/Vladdy question is: how have the best upper-middle class teams in MLB (Houston, Atlanta) been approaching the issue of extensions for elite players? Note their willingness to extend some players early on and let others (like Springer, Correa and Freeman) walk away in free agency.

If you're in that payroll category and you want to be a perennial World Series contender, you need to be unsentimental at times.
Chuck - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:05 AM EST (#425246) #
I just don't think those types of extensions are available in the case of Bo and Vladdy.

It will be interesting to see if the FA contracts we have seen this year set a new expectation for all young stars that they should expect a contract that takes them to age 40. Not every front office is going to want to play that game.

92-93 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:13 AM EST (#425247) #
The longer term on these recent deals aren't the players getting paid more, it's just a way to spread out the AAV for luxury tax purposes. Nimmo, for instance, was probably discussing a guarantee around 160MM and agreed to take it over 8 years instead of 6. Lowering the AAV from 27MM to 20MM saved the Mets around 6MM in CBT this year.

Any extension for Guerrero, Bichette, or Manoah would subject the Jays to a 20% tax this season, because their new AAV would take the Jays over the threshold.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:15 AM EST (#425248) #
I don't know that the contract length is really the issue.  If you take someone like Vladdy Jr., his age 27-28 years are probably worth $50 million apiece and his age 38 year is probably worth $2.5 million.  Whether you give him a 10 year extension or a 15 year extension is mostly about how you amortize the total value of his contract.  And whether you want to pay him all that cash depends on your assessment of how likely he is to hold most of his value. 

The issue with any kind of extension for Guerrero Jr. and Bichette is that they come from lots of family money and they will already earn significant amounts in arbitration by the end of this year.  They have all the leverage, by virtue of the club calling them up at a young age and their family money.  I can easily see the club not agreeing to extensions for either of them, but rather with Manoah.  We'll see what 2023 brings. 
Mike Green - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:16 AM EST (#425249) #
Coke to 92-93.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:33 AM EST (#425250) #
I hope the Jays have a plan and don't wing it - I criticized this FO for not selling off after 2016 and trying to "thread the needle" - If Bo & Vlad have strong seasons in 2023 and there are no extensions, I'd want the team to listen to offers and possible trade them.
bpoz - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:52 AM EST (#425251) #
That is a decent strategy 85bluejay. It seems reasonably clear to me that the FO/owners want a playoff contender every year rather than a championship/rebuild pattern. This should provide more stability in revenues. The sure thing is playoff race revenue and bonus revenue by going deep into the playoffs.

So I want to see the "results" in replacing Teo's O. Atkins mentioned improved D. KK addresses that. Bo's D can be replaced by Leo Jimenez or Espinal I feel confident but Bo's O is a question. No clue how to replace Vlad's O.

Very tough problem for Atkins to deliver with this strategy. Maybe as Shapiro said "if they leave we will replace them".
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 10:59 AM EST (#425252) #
"The longer term on these recent deals aren't the players getting paid more, it's just a way to spread out the AAV for luxury tax purposes. Nimmo, for instance, was probably discussing a guarantee around 160MM and agreed to take it over 8 years instead of 6. Lowering the AAV from 27MM to 20MM saved the Mets around 6MM in CBT this year."

Two cokes to 92-93. This is exactly the issue. Owners are finding another way to game the system...just spreading the value over more years to beat the tax.

BlueJaysWay - I've been talking about trading Bo and Vlad if they cannot be resigned so that we maximize the return...for over a year now as I saw this coming. Bo is more valuable imho but he is a very flawed SS. Move him to 2B and he's so much better. Vlad needs to deliver this year. A successful year for him imho would be offensive production between 2021/2022 numbers and of course some decent numbers in the games that count where he was terrible last year. Worst OPS of his career at the end of the season when we were fighting for a playoff spot.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 11:18 AM EST (#425253) #
Yes. I made the same point yesterday: "The very long term of some of these contracts may be partly intended to reduce the AAV for purposes of limiting luxury tax penalties. And the annual salaries will become less onerous over time due to high inflation."

Ken Rosenthal posted an article on The Athletic on this topic this morning.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 11:42 AM EST (#425254) #
One coke for Greenfrog, right Mike?

Even without inflation though they are still just spreading high AAV (market) over longer years. It's like what the Nationals did with deferred money. Of course the players won't care because they're getting paid.
Chuck - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 12:45 PM EST (#425255) #
Yes, the motivation for the lengthy contracts is obvious, to lower the AAV. No mystery there. It's just the idea, and perhaps this is less new than I am perceiving it to be (Harper, Betts, Trout), that the expectation may now be to sign one FA contract to bring you to end of career.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:06 PM EST (#425256) #
Or beyond. Rosenthal wonders whether in the future MLB would draw the line at contracts that run through a player's age 42, 43 or 44 season.
John Northey - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:11 PM EST (#425257) #
I figure someone will try to game it too far - say a contract through a guys age 50 season - and then MLB will have to step in and say 'no'. It will probably be part of the next collective agreement - a limit on years or age for a long term deal.
Chuck - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:21 PM EST (#425258) #
The NHL long ago dealt with obvious AAV gaming where the final years of a player's lengthy contract were each for 1M and it was understood that the player would just retire long before then and simply forego the final years of the contract.

MLB's current gaming is a little different. If the Giants think Correa will really be toast by 37, say, they'll just release him and eat the remaining contract, but the amount they eat will not be negligible, even if the Giants have already long gotten the WAR from Correa that they paid for.

I wonder if the owners have all decided, in concert or not, that running out somebody until age 40 is theoretically defensible and that to push them out further would be an obvious invitation for the league to intercede.

Gerry - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:33 PM EST (#425259) #
When the new CBA comes around in five years time, a lot of teams will have these bad contracts on the books and will be looking at tax payments. Some teams could want to increase the tax level to avoid the tax, something the union would like.
Gerry - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:35 PM EST (#425260) #
Kiermaier in his press conference said he signed to be the everyday centre fielder with Springer in right. We will have to see if that is what happens when the season starts.
uglyone - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:41 PM EST (#425261) #
"Kiermaier in his press conference said he signed to be the everyday centre fielder"

wish this site had emojis.
Chuck - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:44 PM EST (#425262) #
Kiermaier just said the blah blah blah you're expected to say, and that Alex Lifeson actually did at the R&R HoF induction. Let's just see if he can get through April without landing on the IL.
uglyone - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:45 PM EST (#425263) #
well, let's pray for health.

last 2yrs: 611pa, 97wrc+, 3.6war

that's total over 2 seasons.

If he can stay healthy and maintain that performance, then he can still be a quality full time starter.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 01:49 PM EST (#425264) #
There's a big difference between Kiermaier expecting to be the everday centre fielder and the Jays telling him that he will be the everyday centre fielder.
92-93 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 02:05 PM EST (#425265) #
The team's best alignment vs. LHP would have Espinal at 2B with Merrifield in the OF.
Kasi - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 02:34 PM EST (#425266) #
Well I think thatís like saying Kirk is the fulltime starting catcher. I think Barker was suggesting 85 games at CF. I think it might go a bit higher say 105-110 or so. That leaves the remaining 55 for Merrifield and Springer. Iíd be fine with that.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 03:10 PM EST (#425267) #
Lord yes, greenfrog. I've posted they need more starting pitching.

If Johnny Cueto is the only starter they acquire before the season, I predict they will have the same pitching issues they had last year. Even with Manoah, Gausman being great all year, and Stripling being outstanding from May onwards, it was very tough sledding. It led to the bullpen being overworked. Is the bullpen better now? Yes. Perhaps that's the calculus for success the team is using. It sure doesn't scream "championship caliber."

I appreciate the fact they have a lot of faith in Berrios...they did sign him long term and all.

To me, Shapiro should really find a way corporate-speak around the payroll issue better. Just skip the part about saying essentially "spending isn't really an issue" because spending truly is an issue. The Jays were 12th in payroll last year. They're big spenders only when compared to teams that are truly small market.

dalimon5 - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 03:37 PM EST (#425268) #
"To me, Shapiro should really find a way corporate-speak around the payroll issue better. Just skip the part about saying essentially "spending isn't really an issue" because spending truly is an issue. The Jays were 12th in payroll last year. They're big spenders only when compared to teams that are truly small market."

This comment is off base four times over. 1) Shapiro never said "spending isn't really an issue." 2) Spending does not seem to be an issue...3) I have no idea why you think they have an issue spending based on their payroll and additions of millions mid-way through this off season. 4) Comparing the Jays to truly small market teams like TB and OAK is absolutely outrageous.
Ducey - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 04:16 PM EST (#425269) #

Maybe you missed the Bassitt signing?

Going into the penalty under the CBT would seem to rebut the "cheap Rogers" comment. And Bassitt is a proven innings eater, improving the rotation. They could likely use a 5th starter to push Kikuchi and White down a slot, but thats about it.

If they assemble enough arms, someone will step up. See Stripling last year.
soupman - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 04:45 PM EST (#425270) #
weren't the jays supposedly in on syndergaard last year? not only do i think there's a reasonably good chance that more of the velocity returns, but even a diminished thor pitched better than bassit has outside his home parks. i think the bassit signing is going to look really bad out as soon as they start playing games that count. hopefully i'm wrong.
Kasi - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 05:07 PM EST (#425271) #
Theyíre currently fifth in payroll. Theyíre not just spending like a mid market team. Thatís demonstrably false. What they arenít however is going into NY/crazy owner levels. But theyíre in that Atlanta/Boston/Cubs/Astros/Rangers tier of spending. (Aka around 200 million)
scottt - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 05:35 PM EST (#425272) #
That's the type of character KK is.

At best, he's a platoon and he hits 9th.
The real question is about his health.
They will have 13 players to cover 8 positions + DH.

Right now, I think it's best to start Merrield in CF and Springer in right.
They already have Biggio and Espinal to cover 2B.
Horwitz, Lukes, Jansen are the DH options.
Adding another left bat who could play in LF/DH would be ideal.

KK will be the defensive replacement and could play in every game if he's healthy enough.

bpoz - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 05:55 PM EST (#425273) #
A few things I have strong opinions on:

1) The Jays payroll is too high. $170mil would be better IMO.

2) Emojis would be nice but I would find them confusing. We win the WS and Hugs are enough for me. No kisses. I was raised in a manly era in which I DON'T cry but I may get something in my eye. "League of their own" Tom Hanks. Mike Schmidt's retirement speech. I told you I was old.

3) This is not really that relevant. If we go pitching as our strength rather than O then the games may get too long for me. I am old. Enough is enough!! I will find out the score in the morning.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 05:59 PM EST (#425274) #
If Kiermaier is healthy, I am sure that he will start against RHP all the time. He might get some starts against LHP, but it's truly a minor issue.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 06:14 PM EST (#425275) #
One thing no one has really discussed since the end of the season: how is Springer's health? He's had a lot of injuries over the last couple of years (quad, knee, elbow, significant concussion to end the season). There isn't much outfield depth beyond LGJ, KK, and Springer (arguably KK and Merrifield are fourth outfielders at this stage of their careers). I guess Biggio, Horwitz, and maybe Moreno are corner outfield depth at this point.
mendocino - Thursday, December 15 2022 @ 09:54 PM EST (#425283) #
You forgot Otto who is splitting his starts between CF & 2B for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.
bpoz - Friday, December 16 2022 @ 08:01 AM EST (#425288) #
Very exciting off season so far.

I just looked at the mock draft. J Mayo guessed Charlee Soto. He sounds wow!! Very early and a lot will change. HS 17 year old RHP triple digit FB 6'5".

Plenty of other good players too.
scottt - Friday, December 16 2022 @ 10:58 AM EST (#425291) #
Starting KK against a lefty is a criminal offense.
KK is fragile. If you push, he will break.

Mike Green - Friday, December 16 2022 @ 11:53 AM EST (#425294) #
Criminal? Litote city, baby.

Kiermaier has a 84 wRC+ against LHP over his career, and 94 and 87 the last two years. Yes, ideally you give him rest when a tough lefty is pitching, but there's no necessity to rest him if you are facing your 2nd or 3rd lefty in a row and you have a flyball pitcher throwing.
Michael - Friday, December 16 2022 @ 11:52 PM EST (#425307) #
To put the above in context Ramiel Tapia career wRC+ versus LHP is 72, versus RHP is 83. So if you can afford 433 PA of Tapia, you can afford a few of KK.

Of course, we shouldn't have really given 433 PA to Tapia last year.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 17 2022 @ 08:35 AM EST (#425312) #
Yep. Tapia was on my brain, too. Kiermaier adds much, much more defensive value (and more baserunning value) than Tapia. Even facing a lefty, he is helping you win.

It's mostly about making sure he gets enough time off to rest his body. He does play the game hard-like Springer- and it would be good to get 950-1000 PAs from the two of them.
DiscoStu - Friday, December 23 2022 @ 09:20 AM EST (#425468) #
I copied this link and then got a malware attack. I restarted and everything is fine but this link or the website has issues.
DiscoStu - Friday, December 23 2022 @ 09:22 AM EST (#425469) #
I meant the link posted by mendocino
scottt - Saturday, December 24 2022 @ 02:32 PM EST (#425606) #
The Rays contends with strong pitching, strong defense and lots of platoons. The manager has to be disciplined and not try to remake a player into something he's not. 
scottt - Saturday, December 24 2022 @ 02:48 PM EST (#425608) #
Tapia was the 4th outfielder. He played when others were injured. They got a 5th and a 6th outfielder. It's not like they wanted to play Tapia every day.

Against a lefty, it's a choice between KK or a right bat with a wRC+ well over 100.
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