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More than 200 comments? It's definitely time.

The roster seems more or less complete at this stage. I'm starting to wonder how often the team expects to see Varsho catching. I'm sure it's Option C, that it mostly allows Schneider to feel safe using one of his catchers as a DH without fretting about running out of catchers and/or losing the DH (Not that it's even worth worrying about.)†

BUT Kirk went on the IL twice in 2021, Jansen went on the IL twice in 2021 and 2022. It seems reckless to expect them both to make in through six months without incident. When the inevitable inevitably happens, how will they proceed?
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ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 11:56 AM EST (#425730) #
There's always fairly competent AAAA catchers available like Tyler Heineman last year. I'm sure Atkins will grab one before spring training.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 12:17 PM EST (#425731) #
Agreed ISLAND BOY about AAAA catchers. Probably a D first C.

I am waiting for prospect lists to come out from all the sources. Catcher Phil Clarke is interesting V good bb/k ratio in AA and probably improves going forward. I would like to know what his D is like.

Ben Cherrington said that if they master AA then AAA is not hard to master. I have seen that but Cherrington should have mentioned that for ML success it does not apply. So Hatch, Zeuch, SRF had success at AA/AAA but not yet in the ML. Max Castillo seems to have had some success at the ML level.

AA/AAA success has been achieved to some degree by T Morris, Barger and Horwitz. Let us see if they can take the next step. Kevin Smith has not been able to succeed in the ML so far.
Cracka - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 03:32 PM EST (#425734) #
I'm willing to bet that Varsho makes zero starts at catcher (his last start came in early June 2022) and plays less than 20 innings overall behind the plate. I don't think he catches unless someone gets hurt or if Kirk gets pulled for a pinch-runner late in a game. There's a significant dropoff defensively with Varsho catching and I don't think we will see it very often. Closer to spring training, there will be several veteran catchers amendable to non-roster invitations on split contracts; there's very little chance that they'll use a 40-man roster spot on a 3rd catcher.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 06:22 PM EST (#425736) #
I'm hoping at least the mere presence of Varsho removes the temptation to waste a 25-man spot on a Heineman type twiddling their thumbs on the bench all year.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 07:23 PM EST (#425737) #
It had certainly better.
Kasi - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 07:38 PM EST (#425738) #
I donít think they will ever out Varsho in the lineup as a catcher. (Well maybe doubleheader exception but even that no) I think he is there as a backup to allow more aggressive use of the DH for the backup C. If an injury happens I expect a catcher to be called up and not for Varsho to suddenly become the third catcher.
Joe - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 07:55 PM EST (#425739) #
Just in case you missed it, from Stoeten's piece quoting Shapiro:
we're going to spend over the luxury tax this year, which is the first time in the history of the franchise.
Shapiro's done a good job of managing ownership these past 3-4 years. The Jays are top 5 in payroll this year, which hasn't been the case for decades.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 27 2022 @ 10:26 PM EST (#425741) #
Sean Murphy extension. 6/$73m with a $15m club option for a seventh year (no buyout). AA does it again.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 07:33 AM EST (#425742) #
Eovaldi to the Texas Rangers. I consider them a contender now. Houston, Seattle & Texas. Not sure about LAA.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 08:22 AM EST (#425743) #
I am thinking that the AL will have maybe 8 strong playoff contenders.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 08:33 AM EST (#425744) #
If the above is a fair extension for 28-year-old Murphy coming off a 5.1 fWAR season, what would a fair extension for Jansen (who is almost the same age) coming off a 2.6 fWAR season look like? And are Bichette and Vladdy really
deserving of contract extensions four or five times as large as Murphyís?
bpoz - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 09:09 AM EST (#425745) #
Great questions greenfrog. I don't know but we will find out soon enough I expect.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 11:12 AM EST (#425747) #
Good that Shapiro mentioned that the payroll was very high. There are people that could have figured out the value of this payroll VS last year and come up with the difference.

I am leaning towards stating that 2023 payroll is too high but it was unavoidable. Ryu, Gausman and Bassit $20 each. Berrios $15mil, Kikuchi $10mil and Springer $25mil. The other SP Manoah is a lot less.

I am guessing about $45+mil comes off the books after 2023 in Ryu, Chapman, KK and Merrifield. For 2024 payroll could go higher or lower than 2023. Increased Arb and expensive extensions to existing good players will add to payroll. Cheap help from the farm will reduce payroll like an SP that gives 130-180 good innings. Relievers and 1/2 position players that can contribute as regulars.
Joe - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 11:19 AM EST (#425748) #
Payroll is too high? I'm not sure what you mean, bpoz. This feels to me like the correct model for a rebuild: bring up prospects, see if they can perform, and then bring in much higher-paid veterans to round everything out. Teams are money-printing machines, after all.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 11:51 AM EST (#425749) #
Thanks for your response Joe. Your point is correct about bringing in veterans to support the team.

Here are some examples to explain myself:

1) KK $9mil for 1 year to contribute with 400-500 ABs. Well spent money for that amount of ABs. Merrifield $6mil for 500 ABs also well spent money. Big IF that Gabe Martinez & Dasan Brown make the team in 2024 or 2025. A bigger IF is Robert Robertis, Devonte Brown who I think both will start in Vancouver. I also like JC Masson to start in Dunedin and then get promoted to Vancouver. I think I am being reasonably conservative with this group or 4, but expect disappointments too.

2) How will Chapman be replaced and at what salary? He is a key part of the team. Maybe Barger or Orelvis make it for 2024 which will be cheap. Or a FA/trade, not so cheap.

3) I will not mention the pen making a payroll impact. But the SPs Manoah gets arb, Berrios gets paid more and we still have $20mil for Gausman and Bassit. A stud SP from the farm that is v good (not mentioning names because I don't want to jinx it).

4) Vlad and/or Bo get big extensions and the payroll is huge. Never mind coming down.

Just my opinion basically. To recap, if the farm comes through the payroll gets a break. Little to no help from the farm then I strongly feel Shapiro and ownership will pay whatever it takes to rake in the revenue produced by a winning/playoff contending team.
Joe - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 01:57 PM EST (#425750) #
I strongly feel Shapiro and ownership will pay whatever it takes to rake in the revenue produced by a winning/playoff contending team.
Exactly! I think this point means that worrying about payroll is really a red herring.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 09:18 PM EST (#425752) #
A couple of other hopeful notes about Varsho.
His numbers with shift: .306 WOBA .388 SLG
Without shift: .347 WOBA, .518 SLG

Last year, Arizona's park graded as a little below average offensively and for lefties it was even worse for hitters. Now one year park factors aren't super reliable but it is interesting to note especially due to Varsho's splits.

Home:.293 OBP, .406 SLG, 93 WRC+
Away: .311 OBP, .475 SLG, 119 WRC+

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 09:26 PM EST (#425753) #
If the above is a fair extension for 28-year-old Murphy coming off a 5.1 fWAR season, what would a fair extension for Jansen (who is almost the same age) coming off a 2.6 fWAR season look like? And are Bichette and Vladdy really
deserving of contract extensions four or five times as large as Murphyís?

Good questions.  After the trade of Moreno, an extension for Jansen makes sense.   You'd think that he would benefit from the shifting limitation rules, by the way. 
Kasi - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 09:35 PM EST (#425754) #
Articles out that Ryu is going to be back at the all star break. Could be a nice second half pickup as our new ďfifth starterĒ.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 28 2022 @ 11:14 PM EST (#425755) #
Who needs an extension and before when?
  • Chapman - free agent after 2023 - high priority unless you think one of the kids on the farm will be ready. He has 4 years of 100+ games played (145+ in each) and has fWAR of 4.1-6.3 in them. IE: this is a damn good player. WAR is going for more than ever this past winter it seems. Brandon Drury got $17 mil for 2 years with his 3.6 fWAR lifetime (3.0 last year). One has to think the minimum for Chapman is double the per year for double the years or $17 mil per for 4 years ($68 mil), while the max is Correa 12 years $315 mil ($26.25 per) but I'd go with half the years and similar per year (Correa's is discounted due to the # of years). So 6 years at $26 per = $156 mil. Ages 31 (2024) to 36. I think that'd be a big risk, but the middle ground is 5 years $21.5 per = $107.5 mil which I could see working out for both. Defense drops first as a player ages normally, but does it at 3B? Best ever was Mike Schmidt whose last good year on defense was age 34 (10.8 on def at Fangraphs) then was negative every year after that except for a massive blip at 37 (+10.4). For comparison also lets see who was at 3B last year - the 2 oldest were Josh Donaldson and Justin Turner. Donaldson was a +5.5 on defense, 1.6 fWAR overall, Turner a slight negative on defense, 2.4 fWAR overall. At 36 and 37 respectively they were the only guys listed at Fangraphs at 3B who were 34+ last year who had 300+ PA. So this is a big risk to assume A) Chapman would be playing at 3B in 5+ years and B) that he'd be an effective player.
  • Ryu - free agent post 2023 - might be worth seeing if he wants to sign for 2024 at a drastically reduced rate to be the #5 but I don't think so. Hopefully kids will be ready and Kikuchi or White or both are looking like better/cheaper options by then
  • Kiermaier - no extension yet, but by mid-season the Jays should know if they want a second year or not out of him and the contract potential would be based on that.
  • Kikuchi - free agent after 2024 and right now we are all good with that, but if he pulls a Ray in year 2 we'll be thankful for his 3 year deal, but if he performs as he did in 2022...
  • Jansen - free agent after 2024 - hard to say right now, but 2 years of control means it isn't a rush. If Kirk can get up to 120 games behind the plate by 2024 then Jansen can go without fear, but if not and if no other kids emerge then resigning becomes an issue.
  • Richards - free agent after 2024 - right now I suspect he is in danger of being released more than an extension.
  • Free Agent Armageddon 2025 - post 2025 we see Bassitt, Vlad, Bo, Romano, Biggio, and Mayza all become free agents. Ideally the Jays sign one of them long term this winter, another next, then deal with what is left in the 25/26 off season. Biggio and Mayza obviously are secondary to the rest. Vlad & Bo the big guns but Romano will be important too.
John Northey - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 12:25 AM EST (#425756) #
As to 'real contenders'....
Recent WS winners (as contending as it gets) from 2010-2022

sub 90 wins: 2
90-94: 4
95-99: 2
100+: 5 (out of 23 - note: between 3 and 4 per year for 2017-2022, but before that 1 or 0 each year for this window) FYI: 37+ wins in 2020 counts as 100

Top team in regular season: 4
Top team in their league: 6
Won division: 10
Wild Card: 3

So in the last 13 years 3 wild cards won it all - 23% or just shy of 1 out of 4 WS. 2 years had just 1 WC per league, 9 years with 2 WC per league, 1 year with 3, 1 year with 5 - total of 56 WC teams over 13 years, 3 division winners per year = 39 division winners, 26 'best in league', and 13 best in baseball. Ignoring ties as I just don't feel like checking that right now.

Breaking it down by 'if you are this what is your odds of winning it all'
WC: 56 of them, 3 won it all = 5.3% chance of winning, but 23.1% of WS won by them
Division winner: 39 of them, 10 won it all = 25.6% chance of winning, 76.9% won by them
Top in league: 26 of them, 6 won it all = 23.1% chance of winning, 46.2% of WS won by them
Top in MLB: 13 of them, 4 won it all = 30.8% chance of winning, 30.8% of WS won by them

So cutting out overlap and counting each team in the best category they achieved you get...
WC: 23.1% (2-10 teams/year, currently 6), Division winner: 30.7% (4 teams per year), Top in League: 15.4% (1 team/year), Top in MLB 30.8% (1 team/year). So yes, WC teams do win often but not as often as the best team in MLB. Being the best of the best vs being a division winner is a massive advantage obviously. So the playoffs aren't a pure crapshoot, but 1 in 4 years you get a WC winning, and about 15% of the time a sub 90 game winner pulls it off.

Of note: the past few years (2017 to now) have seen a big jump in 100 game winners. If that doesn't go back to the 'old ways' then this could all be messed up. But in those 6 years we did see an 88 win team win it all (Atlanta) so obviously it hasn't killed the odds of a weaker team sneaking in.
grjas - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 08:06 AM EST (#425757) #
Comparing teams across divisions by win numbers will be more meaningful this coming year when there is a more balanced schedule. Winning 90 games in the ALE a couple of years ago was a heck of a lot more impressive than winning 88 games in Atlantaís division.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 10:49 AM EST (#425758) #
Per the Athletic, Bowden Francis has a new slider and is tearing up the Puerto Rican Winter League.  Youneverknow.
Gerry - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 11:23 AM EST (#425759) #
I saw that Mike. I am not sure how much faith to put in numbers from the Puerto Rico League. It is good for him to get experience with the pitch.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 12:13 PM EST (#425760) #
For me, Gerry, it's a little weight on the numbers, a little more weight in a new and improved pitch, combined with the knowledge that sometimes pitchers just emerge from the ether unexpectedly in their late 20s. Besides, Bowden Francis is a cool name- maybe more cricket than baseball, but I'll take it.
Gerry - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 12:27 PM EST (#425761) #
I see ten umpires are retiring this off-season including seven crew chiefs. There will be lots of rookies on the job in 2023.

The crew chief retirees are: Ted Barrett, Greg Gibson, Tom Hallion, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Bill Welke.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 12:48 PM EST (#425762) #
I found this quote from the 54 year old Greg Gibson enlightening:

Gibson said he also didnít want to be the veteran who stood in the way of a young umpire ready to make the move to MLB. ďA young man on my crew, Nick Marley, came up from Triple-A. Hopefully they hire him in the offseason. I remember being that young guy. Itís my time to get out of the way. It was the right time.Ē

Umpiring has taken a physical toll as well. Heís had multiple concussions from foul tips smacking off his facemask and head. Gibson said he thought his career was in jeopardy when he had four concussions in 2009. Three of the head blows came within 12 days, he said.

He missed the 2020 season after suffering an offseason knee injury and has missed games this season with long-term COVID issues.

Baseball is a relatively safe sport.  That doesn't apply to catchers, umpires and pitchers.  And umpiring might be more physically risky than catching.  I never thought about it that way until now. 

bpoz - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 01:44 PM EST (#425763) #
FA Armageddon is for the 2026 season per John N. Will be wild but probably addressed ahead of time. But still interesting.

Bassit will be 37 for that year. Mayza 34 and everyone else younger.

Some prospects from the farm should be good. Especially pitching because at the moment we have 3. Manoah, Romano and Mayza.

All those long term deals will be 3 seasons older. Judge, Verlander/Scherzer if still playing. I expect contracts will still be high. So we could trade some stars like Springer, Gausman and Bassit who would be cheaper per year and have 1/2 years left.
John Northey - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 02:15 PM EST (#425764) #
Good point on the long term deals for other contenders starting to look bad by then - many of those players (such as Judge) will be in their mid-30's by which point most players are in decline, even HOF'ers. For every Paul Molitor there is a Robbie Alomar or Ryne Sandberg, for every Dave Winfield there is a Vladimir Guerrero (last season was age 36) or a Griffey Jr (last 1+ WAR season was age 35, need to go back to age 30 for another). Betting on players in their 30's is a poor bet. Doing a 10 year deal today for Vlad (age 24-33) or Bo (age 25-34) isn't horrid for risk vs an 8 year for Judge (ages 31-38 - guaranteed to hit decline phase and looking at Griffey Jr could be 100% decline).

For fun Baseball America has a projected 2026 lineup for the Jays up. Obviously needs adjusting as it has Moreno on it, but they see Vlad at 1B, Barger at 2B, Orelvis Martinez at 3B, Bo at SS, LF they still have Gurriel (replace with Varsho), Springer in CF, Gabriel Martinez in RF, Kirk as DH with a rotation of Manoah, Berrios, Gausman, Tiedemann, Zulueta, and Pearson as the closer. has Tucker Toman as the #4 prospect and Brandon Barriera as the #3 (both fairly new to the top 5 I think). Their top 10 are Tiedemann (LHP), Orelvis Martinez (SS/3B), Barriera (LHP), Toman (SS/3B), Zulueta (RHP), Sem Robberse (RHP), Hayden Juenger (RHP), Adam Macko (LHP), Gabriel Martinez (OF), and Josh Kasevich (SS) for 1-10. Clearly a focus on SS (3) and pitching (6) right now which is smart imo (SS can move almost anywhere on the field, pitchers always in high demand). The only catcher on the top 30 is Luis Meza (18 in rookie ball - was a top IFA ranked #33 before signing in January '22).

FYI: Currently on the 40 man there are 10 UDFA's (Undrafted Free Agents, aka international players signed at 16 quite often ala Kirk & Moreno) (4 from other franchises, 6 Jays UDFA). For comparison the Yankees have 18 (9 from other teams, 9 of their own) - I suspect due to drafting so low that the UDFA market is critical for them. As a team becomes a contender the regular draft becomes harder to use as you draft later than others and have a lower budget due to the hard cap. Tampa gets bonus cash and picks each year for the draft but still has 19 UDFA's of which just 5 are their own. They really live on trades don't they? Only 5 of their hitters aren't UDFA's originally.
John Northey - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 03:40 PM EST (#425765) #
An interesting summary of Luxury Tax for 2023 - the Mets are the only top tier team, Yankees the only one in the 2nd highest, Padres the only one in the 3rd highest. The basic level (just over it) is where the Jays are with Phillies and Atlanta (funny, the 3 teams in the 92/93 WS). Phillies are $2 mil shy of the 2nd tier (Padres). Just shy of the CBT are the Dodgers (by $100k) with the Rangers, Angels, Cubs, Red Sox, Astros, Giants, and White Sox all over $200 mil by the measure used for the CBT.

Hard to argue the Jays are being cheap this year with a top 5 payroll. I suspect someone will take advantage of the Dodgers and take a big contract from them along with a prospect or two (ala the Jays in 16 taking Francisco Liriano's contract with Reese McGuire and Harold RamŪrez as prospect capital to balance it, then sending him off the next year and eating Nori Aoki's contract to get Teoscar HernŠndez - can't think of a nicer sequence of trades beyond the gross theft Gillick used to do in the early 80's).

Chris Taylor could be useful from LA - just an 86 OPS+ last year but 105 lifetime and is a super-utility guy (LF/2B/CF/RF 10+ games each last year, plus time at SS and 3B), double digit steals each of the last 2 years totaling 23-2 for SB-CS. He makes $15 mil this year, $13 each of the next 2, then a $4 mil buyout or $12 mil team option for 2026. If the Jays can eat that salary then they might get a solid prospect or two from LA to create the budget room they need while adding that 4th OF we could use (he bats right but had a poor year vs LHP last year with a 608 OPS vs lifetime 774). Just a bit of outside the box thinking there - of course, the ultimate would be to eat Trevor Bauer's contract for LA in exchange for a few very high end prospects then just release him 2 minutes later and eat the $26 mil he is owed this year. Blake Treinen is a lower end one (owed $8 mil as a reliever but injured) as a 'we will help your budget but you give us a prospect' deal.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 04:10 PM EST (#425766) #
At this point for me is which pitchers in AA/AAA or on the 40 man can strip this year and reliably fill the 5th starters role or a setup role. Zuelta, Tiderman and Juenger I think will be asked to step up as a bridge from Kilkuchi/White to when Ryu gets back at this point.
John Northey - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 05:50 PM EST (#425767) #
Yeah, who the backups are is quite important now as the 26 man is mostly set with 1 or 2 shifts possible.

#5 starter: Kikuchi, #6: White, #7: kids depending who is doing well Hagen Danner on the 40 man, as is Yosver Zulueta so those 2 will be probably 8/9 favorites with Thomas Hatch the emergency starter (IE: kids aren't ready for a shot, White & Kikuchi both just used so he is the one you risk blowing the arm out with). For the pen Nate Pearson, Trent Thornton, Matt Gage, Julian Merryweather, Zach Pop all fighting for a slot should someone in the core not be ready to go opening day (Romano-Garcia-Swanson-Bass-Mayza-Cimber-Richards-loser of 5th slot battle between White & Kikuchi). Merryweather has no options left so he probably gets first crack but might just be risked on waivers at the end of spring or dealt as a minor deal with someone who is desperate for pen help for a non-40 man guy ideally although extra cap space for the UDFA period might be taken instead or an extra pick if possible in the regular draft (some picks can be traded).

For the lineup things are more messy - most backups are already in the majors (Merrifield, Espinal, Biggio can all cover the field pretty much, while Varsho can cover C if necessary). But top injury covers are Otto Lopez (like Espinal but a step down), prospects Addison Barger (SS/3B/2B), Leo Jimenez (SS/2B but hasn't made it to AA yet), and Orelvis Martinez (SS/3B) (none seem ready yet, but might be by mid-season). Spencer Horwitz covers 1B/LF/DH if needed, Nathan Lukes is a decent OF backup at all 3 based on his minor league record (mostly in CF but 100+ games in both LF and RF). These guys are all on the 40 man. Guys not on the 40 will need to really prove themselves to break in I suspect outside of AAAA types (which I expect a catcher to be signed to be the IL cover should Kirk or Jansen go down for a few weeks, and a couple of others to ensure Buffalo is competitive all year).

Nice to be debating 4th OF and relief depth and 5th starters (and beyond) at this point. For years we were wondering who'd be starting at multiple positions or who would be getting 30+ starts in the rotation. Much more fun when the debate is down to fine tuning as that normally means the team is a contender and the GM has done a decent job filling in holes. The 4th OF is clearly the biggest need now - Lukes might be it but I doubt it, and I doubt the Jays really want Merrifield to be in the Tapia role in 2023 (doubt his defense could be worse). IMO the big issues are if someone goes down for more than a short IL stint. There are backups but of course no backup will hit like Vlad or field like KK or pitch like Manoah unless we get very, very lucky with a kid (Tiedeman being the best bet to pull that one off, followed by Zulueta and Danner I think).
bpoz - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 06:40 PM EST (#425768) #
In ST last year the 3rd C was Heineman because Moreno missed ST. I expect 1/2 other Cs will be the extra C in ST.

Other position players that we will pay attention to should be O Lopez, N Lukes, Barger, Horowitz, L Jimenez, Orelvis and maybe Capra, T Morris. A few hot shots for sure. The out of town ST games will be where they get playing time.

For ST pitchers Adrian Hernandez and any hard throwing pitcher that can find the strike zone. Lefties!!
PeterG - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 07:45 PM EST (#425769) #
I expect Lopez to be on the team from the getgo but none of the others.
Glevin - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 09:44 PM EST (#425770) #
Jays signing Julian Fernandez as minor league free agent. Was awful but throws close to 100 so exactly the guy you should be taking a chance on and see if he can improve his control.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 09:48 PM EST (#425771) #
Question, would the team be better off swapping Santiago Espinal and Bo Bichette at SS/2B. Most metrics have Espinal as overall a better infielder, and could be what puts the Jays into elite at every defensive position.
John Northey - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 10:03 PM EST (#425772) #
Flipping Bo and Espinal might make sense on paper but this is not a video game, I can't see Bo accepting that or taking it well - doing it would almost guarantee he leaves as soon as he can.
Kasi - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 10:15 PM EST (#425773) #
Same reason why the lineups with hyper specialized lineups vs lefties or righties arenít really valid either. Letís put this guy in the number one spot against lefties since heís awesome there but against righties either sit him or bat him seventh. Baseball players like consistency (just like anyone else does).
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 10:43 PM EST (#425774) #
I'd offer Bo an extension and move him off SS if he doesn't want to be here long term.
PeterG - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 10:55 PM EST (#425775) #
I would look to trade him if he shows no interest in trying to negotiate longer term.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 29 2022 @ 11:05 PM EST (#425776) #
I would probably ride it out with Bo and Vladdy either way. The team is well positioned for a three-year run at a WS. If the stars donít want to negotiate an extension, then embark on a rebuild after 2025.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 05:35 AM EST (#425777) #
Atkins and Shapiro have repeatedly said that they want to build for sustained success. If Vlad and Bo don't want to sign extensions, then they'd probably be traded. I can't see a scenario where they would be allowed to walk away for nothing.
Glevin - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:08 AM EST (#425778) #
Jays will have a lot of guys who throw high 90s in AAA. Pop, Fernandez, Zulueta, Pearson, and Danner all are flamethrowers. Having one or two of those guys make it would be amazing and more in line of what other teams are able to do with their relief prospects.
bpoz - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:12 AM EST (#425779) #
I would definitely trade Bo. I would keep Vlad and offer the QO for the draft pick. His bat could get us a WS.
Glevin - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:20 AM EST (#425780) #
As for trading Bo/Vlad I think that's something Jays will look at after this season as an option. They are in the middle of a contention period and don't have any internal options to replace either so I don't think trades are very likely.
greenfrog - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 09:05 AM EST (#425781) #
I donít think the return for Bo or Vladdy after 2023 will be as high as some people think. Two years of those players during their high-AAV arb years isnít worth nearly as much on the trade market as, say, four years of a cost-controlled star player. This off-season we saw how much four years of Varsho was worth (a lot).
bpoz - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 09:09 AM EST (#425782) #
I tend to lean towards "sustained contending" rather than a short 3-5 year window followed by a rebuild.

When Shapiro took charge in 2016 the team was ageing. Eventually he chose to rebuild. That has gone quite well except that in my negative view we got very lucky 2021 by having a few outstanding years by a handful of players.

For 2023 and going forward we have traded Teo and Gurriel who had just 1 more year of control. These and other moves have kept the team strong for 2023. Keeping the team strong for 2024 will be a challenge again.

So no real proof yet for a short or prolonged window IMO.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 09:52 AM EST (#425783) #
"I donít think the return for Bo or Vladdy after 2023 will be as high as some people think. Two years of those players during their high-AAV arb years isnít worth nearly as much on the trade market as, say, four years of a cost-controlled star player. This off-season we saw how much four years of Varsho was worth (a lot)."

This is the reality of new baseball. Hernandez and Gurriel just didn't have so much value to teams without control...they all want lots of control. Definitely diminished returns as each year passes.
bpoz - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 10:33 AM EST (#425784) #
I accept diminished returns. Cherry picking alert!! Semien signed for a QO value that Oakland did not want to pay. Ray and Matz had great 2021 seasons but only Ray was deemed worthy of a QO.

My conclusion is that we can never be sure how things play out. BTW NYM gave Syndergaard a QO and LAA signed him and now he has been signed by LAD $10mil for 1 year. Matz's 2021 was better than Syndergaard's 2022.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 11:34 AM EST (#425785) #
Okay, here's a question. Ryu is targeting July to return from his Tommy John surgery. What should the Jays do about the fifth spot in the rotation ? Use Kikuchi or White, depending on who looks better in spring training ? Sign a maybe better option like Johnny Cueto ? And what happens with Ryu when he is ready if, in a dream scenario, all 5 starters are pitching decently? He's a veteran with a 20 million dollar contract and it would be hard to consign him to mop-up duty.

To me, I think the Jays should go the better pitcher route. The fifth spot in the rotation doesn't get as many starts as the rest do, but a game is a game, and I saw too many frittered away by Kikuchi and White rotten starts. That's not to mention that there's always injuries and I'd hate to see those two, unless they pitch better, make up 2/5 of the rotation. As for Ryu, I don't know the answer. I don't have much faith in him being effective coming off the surgery but I guess we'll see how it plays out.

electric carrot - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 11:44 AM EST (#425786) #
"Okay, here's a question."

I agree. I'd like to see more and better options for the #5 role. We all know #5 is going to be #3 at some point in the season -- we need depth. Let's also hope Tiedemann pushes the envelope and has a debut similar to Manoah.

I'm feeling good about this team.
Gerry - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 12:07 PM EST (#425787) #
Will it be the Ryu who was struggling to stay in the rotation or the first year of the contract Ryu? And how do you know which one it will be?
Marc Hulet - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 12:16 PM EST (#425788) #
You can't go into a season thinking you need 5 or even 6 starters... You're likely going to need 8-10. Better to have too many than not enough.

Best case, someone among the top 4 is going to miss a number of games.

Ryu's ETA is best case... Can't count on him in July. Can't expect Tiedemann to be as good as 2022 (and stay healthy the entire year).

IMO the Jays still need two more starters... In the vein of Cueto/Wacha for the MLB experience... And then another option-able arm.

Unless a very different Mitch White shows up in the spring, he likely won't last the year in the org with the lack of options.
christaylor - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 02:22 PM EST (#425789) #
Given the major league roster is set who are folks betting on having a surprisingly productive season?

This coming year I can see Merrifield taking over at 2B and running with job. Given the small sample at the end of last season it seems plausible. It'd be do wonders for the lineup if in 23 we saw a Merrifield resembling 18/19.

PeterG - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 02:24 PM EST (#425790) #
The major league roster is not set.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 02:41 PM EST (#425791) #
I think Merrifield spends more time in the OF than at 2B. Heís the only 4th outfielder on this roster, and KK and Springer are going to miss time in the field.
PeterG - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 02:50 PM EST (#425792) #
Another OF will be signed.
ayjackson - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 03:02 PM EST (#425793) #
biggest question for me is do we get .800 OPS Vlad or 1.000 OPS Vlad
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 03:26 PM EST (#425794) #
I agree ultimately we go as far as our star player.
Jonny German - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 04:26 PM EST (#425795) #
Best case, someone among the top 4 is going to miss a number of games.

Realistic case, sure. But best case is something like 2016, where the top 4 started 123 games. Thatís 1 less than Manoah-Gausman-Bassitt-Berrios started in 2022.

IMO the Jays still need two more starters... In the vein of Cueto/Wacha for the MLB experience... And then another option-able arm.

The Jays could definitely use more starting depth, but signing veterans is not a practical way to do it. You simply run out of roster spots - the Jays are already there on paper, with no room for Zach Pop / Nate Pearson / Julian Merryweather (this last guy is a stretch as I donít think heís a major league pitcher, but he is still on the 40-man).

Which teams have the kind of depth youíre hoping for? The Dodgers are the only team that comes to mind for me.

Unless a very different Mitch White shows up in the spring, he likely won't last the year in the org with the lack of options.

Mitch White didnít pitch well in Toronto, but he was also extremely unlucky. If you google it you can see a compilation of bad defensive plays behind him that didnít count as errors but did count as earned runs. His FIP was 3.76 as a Blue Jay. Steamer projects him for a 4.28 ERA in 2023.
Jonny German - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 04:32 PM EST (#425796) #
PeterG speaks the truth. There is a ton of outfield playing time still to be spoken for when projecting this team, and planning to fill all of it with Merrifield / Biggio / Lopez would be as foolish as rostering 3 starting-calibre catchers. Very low hanging fruit to go sign a lefty-mashing outfielder.
92-93 - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 04:34 PM EST (#425797) #
Itís almost as if this roster needs a Teoscar Hernandez.
Lylemcr - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 05:03 PM EST (#425798) #
If I was Wacha, why would I want to sign to be the 6th starter? Cueto maybe. Come on the team. Sign for 15 million and if Berrios fails, it is yours. In the mean time, go down to Buffalo. I have to believe they can get better offers than that.

We need another guy like White that is a bullpen guy that can do spot starts. Then hope one of the young arms push them to move them to the majors.

bpoz - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 05:24 PM EST (#425799) #
To elaborate on "sustained contending" I am intrigued by the big spenders in this regard.

I will cherry pick Robinson Cano, Judge and F Lindor. By 35 years old these players quite possibly deteriorate.

Cano missed 2021 and was bad in 2022. Whatever he was paid he was not worth it. He was also older than 35. It seems very possible that Judge and Lindor will not be elite after age 35. Yet they will get big money, also sort of require a spot in the everyday lineup and also on the 26 man roster. I see a potential big problem here for a team that wants to contend. I will not speculate at this time on the nature of the "big problem" (sorry).

Boston finishing last in the ALE in 2022 is true but something that I did not expect. While not expecting the big spenders to finish last I cannot rule that out.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 05:47 PM EST (#425800) #
"Itís almost as if this roster needs a Teoscar Hernandez."

Where do you propose they find a 1 year rental with bad defense and good hitting power? Why do you think they need a "defense-last" OF like Teo when they clearly want a new floor standard for defense?
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 05:59 PM EST (#425801) #
The Jays are not using an extra bench spot on an extra outfielder early in the season. The pitchers wonít be built up, they have a questionable 5th starter and more pitchers theyíd like to hold on to.

Very few lefty mashers out there. AJ Pollock is out there, but he will want more than 8 million and might not take on a 5th OF/ part time DH role.

I have come around on giving Lopez more run, he has hit lefties well in the minors and can play a lot of positions.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 06:35 PM EST (#425802) #
"biggest question for me is do we get .800 OPS Vlad or 1.000 OPS Vlad"

I also just want to highlight this overlooked and important to the success of the team. Was 2021 a Dunedin Mirage?
scottt - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 06:54 PM EST (#425803) #
The only way to get a 14th pitcher on the roster is to develop one as a  2-way player.
Hagen Danner could be used that way. As a 3rd catcher, he'd be allowed to pitch in blowouts.
I'll believe that when I see it.

Players on the 40 roster have to come up for a cup of tea eventually.
If they are not using the bench, they may as well rotate a prospect in the last spot rater than sign a vet--who will be unhappy--and have to outright a prospect anyway.

PeterG - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 07:21 PM EST (#425804) #
They Jays or any tean can only carry 13 pitchers and 13 position players. They will absolutely sign and begin the season with another OF. Most likely guys I think are Brandon Belt or Jurickson Profar.
Chuck - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 07:52 PM EST (#425805) #
another OF. Most likely guys I think are Brandon Belt or Jurickson Profar.

Brandon Belt could give the team a nice 300 AB as a LHB DH and 1B sub. But he's no outfielder, and certainly not the RHB that they probably need out there to pair up with the two new guys.

PeterG - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:03 PM EST (#425806) #
Belt is now being considered as an OF and back up 1b.
Kasi - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:29 PM EST (#425807) #
Sure a batter like Teoscar would be fine for this team as the fourth OF. Aka occasional RF/LF duty and some DH. However since heís incapable of playing LF and likely wouldnít take a backup role then not a good fit. And if you had him then there would be a bigger hole in our bullpen. Looking at what even average reliever have gone for this offseason. Iím fairly sure we can get some RH OF type who plays as crappy defence as Teo for like half the price if youíre willing to give up 10 points of WRC. The person we wanted to keep was Gurriel but oddly Arizona really wanted him.
Nigel - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 08:45 PM EST (#425808) #
Are people seriously suggesting that KK is likely to out perform Hernandez next year, so that Hernandez would have been the teamís 4th OF? Umm, ok.
Kasi - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 09:28 PM EST (#425809) #
No the point is you have to move Springer off CF to keep him healthy. Teoscar lost his position to Springer who is a better hitter. Itís not unreasonable to think that KK in center plus more games of Springer in RF is better than Teo in RF and a more injured Springer. And since Springer has been hurt at least two times here from plays in CF I think thatís valid. I think the KK signing is valid regardless even if they did have Teo because we saw last year that Tapia got 400+ ABs. But also likely he would have gone with Dodgers if we couldnít guarantee him a starter role in some respects. I guess you could move Springer to LF and heíd probably be fine but for some reason that has never been considered.
Nigel - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 10:38 PM EST (#425810) #
If Varsho is the elite defender we all hope (if he isnít then thereís trouble in River City) - then Varsho in CF when Springer needs to move to a corner was the answer. I just donít see any rationale that the team wouldnít be better not having made the Hernandez deal (and I am the longest serving member of the ďHernandezís defense is badĒ club). Now, as a salary dump, the Hernandez deal might have been necessary. Thatís a different argument. Or, they sequenced their transactions badly and didnít know that they would get Varsho - thatís also a difference argument. Both may be valid. But, the argument that the team is better off without Hernandez? No chance.
Kasi - Friday, December 30 2022 @ 11:11 PM EST (#425811) #
It still doesnít matter since neither Springer or Teoscar play LF. I assume Springer could learn but heís played a total of 3 innings there his whole career. Iirc we did see Teoscar play there and it was his worst OF position defensively. All my point was is that Teoscar doesnít fit here right now as a starter and that has little to do with KK. Varsho takes CF and Springer RF and Teo canít play LF so no spot for him. Like I said if Springer took LF then sure but I donít know why his whole career heís only posted 3 innings there. And the reason to make the deal is fairly evident with average relievers going for 10+. To get a guy in there who will likely be second guy in the pen with Romano.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 12:49 AM EST (#425812) #
Even if Teoscar didnít take the field he would make a fine DH, he would be a passable if not below average defender in LF. Overall he is a better player than KK, but alas they did get solid value for him in a trade and the team wanted to go in a different direction.

I have resigned myself to fact that even if a KK/Varsho LF/CF doesnít work out the easiest position to acquire in baseball is a RH hitting left fielder. In Varsho they at least have the hardest position in the OF filled for the next 4 years even if he is not playing there currently.
Kasi - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 01:18 AM EST (#425813) #
I donít think they want a full time DH either. They want to use Kirk, Vlad and Springer there. I think itís fairly easy for them to find a 115-120 WRC RH LF who plays defence better than Teo. There is a bunch of them out there. Weíll see if the Jays value that enough to be a priority.
John Northey - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 01:18 AM EST (#425814) #
The amount of love for a guy who has had 1 really good year and a very good 2020 is a bit crazy. Hernandez was not going to be the difference maker in 2023, nor was Gurriel. Both were solid players but to get to the next level the Jays need higher potential. Varsho is easily that, KK not as much but on defense he should be amazing and if his bat can be lifted to a 100 wRC+ (which it was in 2021, 2016/17 and 2014 then things could be really amazing. Not betting on it in his age 33 season, but who knows? I figure he has similar odds as Gurriel or Hernandez of having a 3-4 WAR season. Just needs to be healthy really. While Varsho is a FAR, FAR better bet to be at 3-4 or higher WAR. And that is before factoring in having another solid reliever in Swanson or another prospect in the system. Moreno is a big loss potentially but as I said in the other thread the odds of him producing in 2023 or 2024 isn't high as most rookies need time, especially catchers. I really need to do some solid research on that to confirm or break my assumption.

Howsabout a quick check of some HOF catchers (inducted in the 2000's who were not from 60+ years earlier) using fWAR for their first 7 seasons (ignoring seasons of sub 50 games which are probably Sept call ups) Using 7 seasons to cover pre-free agency, assuming some extra minor league time in there but I don't think all of them had that.
  • IRod - 0.7, 2.3, 2.4, 3.0, 3.0, 5.6, 6.2 = 23.2
  • Piazza - 7.4, 3.8, 6.0, 6.6, 9.1, 6.6, 4.5 = 44.0
  • Carter - 3.2, 1.1, 5.3, 5.1, 5.9, 6.0, 3.9 = 26.6
  • Fisk - 6.6, 3.7, 2.7, 3.1, 4.2, 7.6, 5.7 = 33.6
  • Simmons - 0.5, 3.8, 4.9, 5.8, 4.1, 5.7, 3.8 = 28.6
So 2 of the 5 got off to slow starts (sub 1 WAR) while 1 had a decent start (Carter) and 2 had 'wow' starts (Fisk & Piazza). By year 6 all were having 'wow' seasons. All produced 20+ WAR pre-free agency (by modern rules) it appears. Piazza was a monster obviously, but if any Jay catcher was going to do that path it was Kirk (all bat, no glove was Piazza's rep, but Kirk has shown a decent glove to go with his bat, at least as far as 2 Cy contenders were concerned).

So if Moreno is a HOF level catcher who gets off to a strong start the Jays were mistaken to trade him, but if he is more a solid catcher then the deal is a decent one, if he is a poor one the Jays won by a mile. As I mentioned before the last hyped up catcher pre-Kirk/Moreno was Travis d'Arnaud who is at 16.5 fWAR so far with just 2 seasons of 3+ fWAR out of 10, just 4 of 100+ games. Before him Delgado was the only other one with this much hype and with good reason - he was a near HOF'er but as a 1B/DH. His first 2 full ML seasons (after 2 frustrating call ups and a brief 2 game first try) were sub 2 fWAR each, then he broke out with a 5.7. Those were the only Jay catchers to be ranked in the top 20 ever I think. Hard to argue anyone else should've been - Pat Borders just has 4.5 fWAR lifetime despite a WS MVP (never 4+ fWAR in a season, 3+ just once). J.P. Arencibia was -0.5 fWAR lifetime and never had a +1 season. Greg Myers was solid often, but just 7.7 fWAR lifetime, never as high as 2.0. Yan Gomes has probably been the most successful catcher developed by the Jays with 16.8 fWAR lifetime, peak of 5.1 his 2nd full season - boy did the Jays screw up there with his getting 4.4 his first year away then the 5.1, net 0 the next 2 years, and decent but not 'wow' since. Kirk's 3.8 last year might be one of the better Jay catcher seasons, with just 7 guys having more lifetime fWAR as a Jays catcher than Kirk. 3.5 fWAR would put him in the top 3. Jansen is #4 (peak of 2.6 last year, lifetime 6.6), Ernie Whitt an easy #1 with 21.8 fWAR here - peak of 3.6 in 1983. 2nd is Russell Martin with 11.1 (peak of 4.5 as a Jay in 2015, 7.9 overall as a Dodger in 2008), 3rd Greg Zaun with 8.1 (peak of 2.0). So the Jays haven't had much behind the plate ever, so the Jansen/Kirk/Moreno situation was a unique one here. Closest we'd seen was late 80's with an aging Ernie Whitt while Myers and Borders were appearing ready to take over. I wouldn't be shocked if in 4 years as he reaches free agency if Kirk is #1 for Jay catchers all-time in fWAR. Or Jansen could be if his bat in 2022 is for real and he stays healthy. Or both could by liberal use of the DH.
grjas - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 08:20 AM EST (#425815) #
As another poster said, I think the issue is less how well Moreno does and more what Varsho ends up bringing. Few fans bemoan trading Kent for a few months of Cone. Varsho may never be a Cone level player but we have him for years and if he is 5+ WAR player and a good LH hitter mostly in centre, then it was a good deal regardless.

What I do wonder about though is the ďtruismĒ that you always draft the best player available regardless of need. Itís rare to see young, top level players traded for similarly talented players at other positions. So in the first few rounds, does it really make sense stocking up over the years on, say, top ranked infielders at the expense of outfielders?
greenfrog - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 08:50 AM EST (#425816) #
If Varsho produces 12 WAR (3 WAR per year on average) the trade will have worked out pretty well. If he averages 4+ WAR per year (which is possible), he will be in very select company. By comparison, Springer averaged 4.7 fWAR during his age 26-29 seasons.
bpoz - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 09:28 AM EST (#425817) #
Very good analysis of Cs historically John N.

Trades have just started to pick up. The Jays were 1st early in the off season with the Teo trade and also close to 1st after the winter meetings with the Varsho trade. AA hit on S Murphy.

Going forward Miami needs to do some big trades using their excess pitching for O if they hope to contend.

A 3rd big trade by the Jays would be very surprising to me. Quite possible but IMO we don't have any quality surplus ML players to trade. We do have good prospects.
uglyone - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 10:50 AM EST (#425818) #
Teoscar MLB rank in wRC+ last 3yrs: #26, #29, #32

Not sure why people are pretending he's not one of the best hitters in any lineup in baseball.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 10:56 AM EST (#425819) #
Teo may be entering his decline phase. Declining wRC+, defense, baserunning, high K rate, oblique injury last year...might be a good time to trade him.
Glevin - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 11:00 AM EST (#425820) #
Two is very likely to age very poorly but might not be for a year or two. Jays massively improved their D and base running, improved their rotation and bullpen and downgraded their offense. Overall, I think this is clearly, on paper, a better team than last year.
scottt - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 11:05 AM EST (#425821) #
You might be able to squeeze 6 starters on a team by using one as a long relief guy.
The Jays already have White in Kikuchi for the 5th and 6th starters.
Starters 7+ have to start the year in the minors.
It's not just that they invested a lot in Kikuchi and White, it's that both can pitch a lot better than they did last year.
I imagine each will get a few starts.

Kikuchi is willing to go to the minors if he's struggling.
I don't think he'll be so inclined if he pitches well in spring training.
Ryu might be back and the Jays can acquire another arm at the deadline if he isn't.
Rather than waste resources on Cueto/Wada, I'd just stretch Thornton.
He was an average starter before he ran into elbow problem.
He's got no value in the pen.
Tiedemann might not be ready but Zulueta, Pearson, Francis and Juenger are close enough to get a few starts each.

grjas - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 12:08 PM EST (#425822) #
Jays massively improved their D and base running, improved their rotation and bullpen and downgraded their offense. Overall, I think this is clearly, on paper, a better team than last year.

Agreed. And their offence may not even deteriorate in aggregate, especially if they add a reasonable RH OF bat. Varshoís offence I think will be at least as good as The combination of Gurriel and Tapia. If Springer and Jansen are healthier, VG moves closer to 2021, Chapman hits like the second half and Kirk like the first halfÖyes a lot of ifsÖbut in that scenario the offence may actually improve. An MLB writer ranked them the second best offence in the AL even after the Hernandez trade.
grjas - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 12:21 PM EST (#425823) #
As well, I think Jays fans have gotten used to their best teams of the last 7 years winning primarily due to their starters and thumpers. And when one of those two could decline, thereís concern. This team can beat their opponents with their starters, the long ball, the running game, defence and/or even their bullpen. It has the potential to become the most balanced Jays team since the 90s.

But yeah, thatís just on paper. Itís up to the players now.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 01:02 PM EST (#425824) #
"Not sure why people are pretending he's not one of the best hitters in any lineup in baseball."

Nobody has said anything about his hitting skills not being exactly that.
Dr B - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 01:39 PM EST (#425825) #
It would appear they didnít see keeping Hernandez long term, and got
something while they could. In isolation the outfield is a bit worse and
they could use a righty masher (maybe someone who looked just like Teoscar Hernandez). But any discussion of Hernandez cannot
discount the real value they got back. It is hard to compare a reliever
against a position player; you would expect a position player to be
worth more. (Baseball reference had Hernandez at 2.2 WAR in 2022 and
Swanson 1.8 FWIW). I believe the trade made the team slightly worse in
2023 but better in 2024 when they still have Swanson and donít have
Hernandez in either case.
Kasi - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 01:52 PM EST (#425826) #
And you can get a facsimile of Teo a lot more easily than one of Swanson.
There is no FA reliever out there with numbers like his or close. But there are a bunch of OF guys with decent bats out there. A bunch have already been signed but there is still some available and you can get them all on one year contracts (or 2 for the better ones).
John Northey - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 02:04 PM EST (#425827) #
Teo's bat has been good, but the overall package is just an average ML'er - 2-3 WAR per year - due to his defense (sometimes wow, sometimes ugly) and baserunning (same). I loved cheering him on - first saw him play when I went to a game in Minnesota years ago with my daughter and he became a favorite of hers then. She is quite sad to lose both Teo and Gurriel this winter. But as a numbers person myself I see the value they both are replaced with and I figure the team is better off, especially given both are free agents post 2023 and odds are neither will be offered a QO unless they have a great year in 2023, beyond anything they've shown before.

The big question now is 4th OF and can they upgrade elsewhere. Any pitching upgrades at this stage will require a take away. 4 slots in rotation locked in with Kikuchi/White fighting for the 5th slot with all the kids on the farm and Pearson (if by some miracle he is healthy). The pen is full and then some (Romano-Swanson-Garcia-Bass-Cimber-Mayza-Richards all locks pretty much with either White or Kikuchi for the 8th slot and Pop the 1st up from the farm). So if you bring in, say, Phelps or another vet then someone has to be cut. I figure Richards is first on the cut list. If a trade happens there almost certainly needs to be a corresponding one to clear out someone. So if the Jays can get a Miami pitcher (for example) we'd need to send them a vet for their pen or a 5th starter (Kikuchi or White) or make a second trade with someone to get rid of one of those guys. Steven Okert in the Miami pen would be nice (LH high K's but high walks and HR over 1 per 9 IP) and is listed at 0 for value on the Trade Values site so he'd be a great throw in. We know Alcantara isn't available (value over 100), but Pablo Lůpez might be (2 years of control left, starting to get expensive, with a 106 lifetime ERA+ and 180 IP last year so ideal for our rotation) but the cost would be high (valued at 38 which is more than Tiedemann for example). I think it would depend on the Jays willingness to eat a contract Miami wants to get rid of (such as Jorge Soler who is owed $15 mil for 2023 and has a $9 mil player option for 2024 but has been worthless the past few years (0.4 bWAR last year, -0.3 the year before, 0.2 in 2020 but had 48 HR in 2019) but as a RH hitting OF/DH he might be useful as a backup here (overpriced, but if he helps get a solid starter he is worth it). AvisaŪl GarcŪa hit even worse (65 OPS+ last year) but was better in 2021 (119 OPS+) overall in the past 3 years a 1.6 WAR player but owed $36 mil over 2023-2025 plus a $5 mil buyout of 2026 - he can play CF (was an everyday one in 2020) but is mostly a RF now. But mix in one of those OF'ers and you might make this work with just minor leaguers in return to Miami, thus giving a solid 5th man who is really a 2/3 starter and getting a 4th OF and maybe a decent reliever too. All depends on the Jays willingness to eat salary and give up a couple of prospects. But do it and we'd have a very solid rotation for the 23-25 window that is for sure. Trick then would be finding a taker for 2 of Kikuchi, White, Richards - the 3 weakest pitchers right now.

Not so sure that can be done - it would rely on Miami being very tight on cash (not a big assumption) and being willing to give up talent to clear payroll (might be a big assumption), and the Jays being willing to take on another $10-20 mil a year for 1-3 years (big assumption). MLBTV suggests a deal of Lopez/Okert/Soler for Espinal/Doughty would work - Miami needs infielders badly and we have a bit of a surplus at 2B. Lots of others could be used instead of Doughty (our 2nd round pick last year) but that deal worked on their system and would finish off the 2023 team nicely imo. Switch to Lopez/Okert/Garcia for Espinal to remove the prospect and the deal goes through but the Jays need to commit a LOT more money but get a slightly better defensive player who had a good year more recently (2021 vs 2019) and save that prospect. Wonder if Miami would go for either deal or if the Jays would? Our rotation would be killer with Berrios shifted to #5.
bpoz - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 02:06 PM EST (#425828) #
I see 8 teams that are strong contenders for the 6 playoff spots. I will count Houston as the best team but the other 7 I see as having an equal shot. Should be a great September.
John Northey - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 02:37 PM EST (#425829) #
The AL has a few good battles...
AL East: the beast - NYY, Blue Jays the strongest 2 while the Rays can never be counted out, the O's had a big rebuild last year but probably will take a step back this year, Red Sox if healthy will be a wow but that is a massive assumption.
AL Central: Cleveland, ChiSox both strong but the rest are weaker - Twins lost Correa (probably), Detroit should rebound but needs 20+ more wins to contend, and KC is rebuilding
AL West: Houston, Seattle both contenders, Texas should rebound but like Detroit has to gain 20+ to contend, the Angels are the Angels (very good on paper but never seem to be in reality), and the A's are in the rebuild phase still.

So I see 6 teams fighting for division titles (NYY-Jays, Cleveland-ChiSox, Houston-Seattle), plus 4 more having realistic shots (Rays, O's, Red Sox, Texas) giving us 10 teams plus the Angels (need to have everything break right some day right?) and Twins (were in eyeshot last year but I'd be surprised if they finish over 500 this year).
bpoz - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 05:18 PM EST (#425830) #
After the 1st 2 months of the season we will have some idea about the standings. I would enjoy seeing NYY and Boston positioned 3-5 in the ALE. I expect a big year from Texas.
uglyone - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 06:06 PM EST (#425831) #
"And you can get a facsimile of Teo a lot more easily than one of Swanson."

Certainly should be harder to find a consistent Top-30ish MLB hitter than it is to find a releiver with one good not great season on his resume.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 06:23 PM EST (#425832) #
Agree or disagree, this is from the Fangraphs writeup of the trade:

ďShipping Swanson away isnít ideal for Seattle, given his fantastic performance this season: a 1.85 FIP in 53.2 innings. But the teamís usage of him in the postseason ó he only threw one inning in five games of play ó suggests that heís seen as expendable, making him an easy choice to include in a trade for a top-30 hitter. After all, even if the Mariners love Swansonís pedigree and stuff, itís always worth trading middle relievers for productive hitters, even if they have only one more year of team control.

ďThat said, Iím a firm believer in Swanson. His whiff rates on his four-seamer and splitter are both well above average, and he seems to have perfected how to use them to go with his above-average extension and straight over the top delivery. The Jaysí most glaring weakness was their bullpen, so if their goal was to improve it, then they have succeeded.Ē
PeterG - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 06:25 PM EST (#425833) #
Hernandez was a good hitter but below average at everything else.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 06:38 PM EST (#425834) #
Itís worth checking out Swansonís Baseball Savant page. It gives a pretty good idea of why the Jays wanted to take a chance on him.
John Northey - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 07:47 PM EST (#425835) #
greenfrog - that is an interesting page. Swanson's percentile ratings are almost all dark red (very good). Chris Bassitt has a lot more blue on his page than I'd like though but I do love that exit velocity and hard hit % levels - both suggesting a strong defense will help him. Gausman clearly relies on getting hitters to chase stuff and not walking people. While Manoah is more like Swanson (reds all over especially in a low hard hit rate). Romano as our resident closer is a bit scary with the poor exit velocity and hard hit % but the rest looks good. Scary items to have issues with as a closer. Wonder if Swanson is going to be groomed for that role (or as the backup for it).

For hitters Moreno was middle of the road for what they have outside of pop time to 2B. Kirk has lots of red (good) outside of the obvious (sprint speed at 3) but his framing is elite (94), as are many other stats. Teoscar as a pure hitter looks great but his K%, whiff% and OOA are all sub par by a lot. He really should be a DH who plays RF once in awhile only. Gurriel shouldn't be a surprise with excellent exit velocity, but terrible for walks, outfield jump, poor barrel %.

Fun stuff to dig into.
Kasi - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 09:59 PM EST (#425836) #
I donít think Teoscar will be a top thirty hitter or close to it this year. Regardless my point is if youíre looking for a RH hitter who can do well against LHP which is what you want it is a lot easier to find batters who can do it close to Teoís numbers (140 career) on the FA market vs finding anyone who can itch close to Swanson. I mean sure get all the Phelps and such you want but weíve seen how those guys do. If the Jays pay 10-15 million dollars they can find someone for a year with a 125+ WRC against lefties. They canít spend similarly to get someone like Swanson since those players just arenít available for less than 3 year deals right now.
scottt - Saturday, December 31 2022 @ 11:50 PM EST (#425837) #
It's not unusual for the closer not to be the best reliever.
A traditional closer gets the 3 outs in the 9th and does nothing else.
It's more about performing with the highest pressure than being the best.
Often the more important outs are in the 7th or the 8th.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 09:13 AM EST (#425838) #
Evan Longoria is signing with Arizona. While a few have mentioned him as a possible Jay's target, mainly because he still hits left-handers well ( .812 OPS last year), his lack of durability and limited position possibilities never seemed to make him an option. The most glaring need for the Jays seems to be the 4th outfielder role and either A.J. Pollack or Robbie Grossman might be a fit.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 10:10 AM EST (#425839) #
This trade will be easier to grade after we see the players. I khow very little about Swanson. Where will Teo hit in the SEA line up and will pitcher's pitch around the guy in front of him like they did with Vladdy? If they stop challenging Teo with fastballs then it could be a down year for him.
bpoz - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 10:57 AM EST (#425840) #
If we don't add an impact bat then we basically have our 2023 batting lineup in theory.

In 2022 I counted on Teo and Gurriel to be reliable bats. With both gone their replacements are KK and Varsho. No significant gain or loss in O IMO due to the speed element. Merrifield is a better 4th OF IMO. He also has speed.
John Northey - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 01:03 PM EST (#425841) #
For fun lets check Teo & Gurriel vs Varsho & KK's batting lines as projected for 2023...

Teo & Gurriel: 265/315/446 : 762 fWAR: 2.3 + 1.7 = 4.0
KK & Varsho: 232/294/411 : 705 fWAR: 1.2 + 3.5 = 4.7

Big item to consider is projections have TG at 1176 PA vs KV at 1020 - 156 PA to be covered by someone else (currently Merrifield projected at 260/307/385 : 692 fWAR 1.2)

So a spread for sure but not as extreme as I expected, but very significant. Can defense make up 57 OPS points? I think so - elite defense vs poor defense should easily make that up as shown in the WAR totals : 0.7 to the new guys favor.

Btw, Playing time: G/PA is Teoscar: 143/616, Gurriel: 130/560, KK: 100/434, Varsho: 136/586, Merrifield: 121/525. Might be optimistic for KK but we'll see. I like these neutral projection systems as there is no fan bias mixed in, we all have it either pro or anti and even if we try to hide it, it still comes through. I want to like the new guys, but these sites help me make sure I'm not just dreaming in technicolor. Of course, these don't factor in the opportunity cost of losing Moreno (projected at 277/336/418 2.1 fWAR) or gaining Swanson (they expect him to do a lot worse, 3.78 ERA 0.6 fWAR vs 1.68 ERA last year with 1.7 fWAR) or the new prospect added to the system (who won't produce anything for the Jays for a few years unless traded). Factor in the gain/lost players and it goes to Old guys: 6.1 vs new 5.3 but of course Moreno wouldn't be getting 78 G/312 PA here unless Kirk or Jansen were hurt/traded (I suspect they adjusted the playing time post-trade) unless he was put in LF or something.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 03:23 PM EST (#425842) #
Shapiro has said that spring is when extensions are often discussed with the player in question. It'll be interesting to see what extensions, if any, are proposed in the next few months. Candidates include Chapman, Jansen, Manoah, Vladdy, Bichette.

If the team is looking to contend for at least the next three years, you would think that extensions for Chapman and Jansen would get some consideration. I would be comfortable with the Jays offering each player something like a five-year extension (with a club option for a sixth year and no opt-out clause). Think the Sean Murphy extension as a rough starting point, but with a bit shorter term and maybe a higher AAV for Chapman.

I guess it depends how much the team believes in Orelvis and Barger as viable replacements for Chapman in 2024.
lexomatic - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 05:59 PM EST (#425844) #
bpoz - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 06:48 PM EST (#425845) #
Will we have prospect list?

I am very intrigued by my list regarding 1 third advancing. I have a list of 12 advancing in 2022. Also have a list of 12-15 that may advance in 2023.
Gerry - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 08:51 PM EST (#425846) #
The top 30 prospects will be back in the next few weeks.
bpoz - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 09:59 PM EST (#425847) #
Thanks Gerry.
uglyone - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 11:15 PM EST (#425848) #
"Shapiro has said that spring is when extensions are often discussed with the player in question"

O really, Mr.shapiro, that's when they are often discussed?
uglyone - Sunday, January 01 2023 @ 11:16 PM EST (#425849) #
"I donít think Teoscar will be a top thirty hitter or close to it this year."

Ah, the perfectly timed drop off.
John Northey - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 01:33 AM EST (#425850) #
Baseball America has theirs out for the Jays already. A bit too early as it has Moreno as #1. Another site did a full report on each of the top 10 (I suspect BA wouldn't be happy with the way they did it - clearly stealing from their for pay section), so I might as well list that top 10...
  1. Moreno - obviously will need to be removed and #11 brought into the top 10
  2. Ricky Tiedemann
  3. Yosver Zulueta
  4. Brandon Barriera
  5. Addison Barger
  6. Orelvis Martinez
  7. Tucker Toman
  8. Cade Doughty
  9. Hayden Juenger
  10. Nate Pearson
It'll be interesting to see other top 10 lists as they emerge. The Baseball Cube lists the top 10 each year on the link I provided along with the top prospect each year for each list (they have BA, MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs for 2020 only for some reason, and it goes all the way back to 1983 (Tony Fernandez #1, Fred McGriff #5 with 7 of the 10 reaching the majors most doing little but a HOF and near HOF'er make up for that).
Kasi - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 01:49 AM EST (#425851) #
The decline already started from his 142 in 2020 to 129 now. I expect with that ballpark heíll end more in the low 120s. If he was an actual 140 hitter that would be one thing but he only did that in the covid season. Heís turning 31 next year so I donít have any reason to think heís going to get better at this point.
Jonny German - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 07:47 AM EST (#425852) #
2 things can be true:

1) Teoscar is a great hitter.

2) The outlook for the 2023 Jays has been improved in part by moving on from Teoscar.
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 08:06 AM EST (#425853) #
I don't really get the swipes at Shapiro at this point. Payroll is up, the RC is getting a complete overhaul (at the cost of about $300m), the Dunedin facility has been modernized (through joint funding by the Jays and multiple levels of government in Florida), the team is signing quality FAs (Gausman, Springer, Semien, Bassit, Ryu) and IFAs (from Kirk and Moreno in 2016 to Emmanuel Bonilla in 2022) and is now making aggressive prospect trades (Berrios, Varsho). They've replaced Montoyo with Schneider and added Mattingly to bolster the coaching staff.

Could they have spent a bit more and added (say) Verlander last off-season or Nimmo this off-season? Have they made some mistakes (drafting Warmoth in the first round, the Grichuk extension, the Kikuchi signing)? Yes. But in the big picture, I think it's clear that Shapiro is doing a good job.
bpoz - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 09:40 AM EST (#425854) #
I don't consider Pearson as a prospect any more. Some sites do and some don't. With Moreno traded there are 2 open spots in the top 10.

I like to wait for results before adding new draft picks. Barriera did not pitch so #11, SSS for Toman in which he was good for the FCL #12. High college picks like Kasevich and Doughty did well enough but were old for the FSL. This leaves lots of room to move up.

My end of 2021 list had Hoglund #11, Juenger #22 because he was impressive to me. Nobody else from the 2021 draft made my top 30. Therefore lots of room to move up. Tiedemann took advantage as did others but Irv Carter did not.
Chuck - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 09:57 AM EST (#425855) #
I don't consider Pearson as a prospect any more.

Definitely fair. He'll turn 27 this summer and his days as a SP are almost certainly behind him. A lofty goal would be 60 competent major league innings, in relief, with perhaps an eventual elevated role in terms of responsibility. But you can't do any of that from the IL.

uglyone - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 10:15 AM EST (#425856) #
"The decline already started from his 142 in 2020 to 129 now."

The 26th ranked 142 came in the small sample short season. Slightly inflated over that small sample thanks to an unsustainable power surge.

The last two full years he's been at 132 and 129 both ranked right around 30.
Parker - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 10:40 AM EST (#425857) #
Since when do you care about sample size?
ISLAND BOY - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 11:36 AM EST (#425858) #
" I don't consider Pearson a prospect any more."

Just what I thought when I saw him at no.10, bpoz. I'd say he's more of a suspect at this point.
bpoz - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 11:59 AM EST (#425859) #
I will give Pearson 1 more year. Hope he has a chance to show what he can do.
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 12:25 PM EST (#425860) #
UO makes a good point, having Teo (or LGJ) would probably be helpful right now. But maybe Swanson (controllable for three years) plus Macko plus whoever replaces Teo/LGJ in 2023 (still TBD) will make the front office's series of moves this off-season worth it. Even if no further moves are made this off-season, acquiring an extra RH bat is probably one of the easier moves a team can make at the trade deadline.
PeterG - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 12:32 PM EST (#425861) #
I still expect additional moves this off season.
Kasi - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 12:35 PM EST (#425862) #
Iím not disagreeing trust Teo is not a good hitter and we canít use him. Itís just there is an outfield crunch and he lost his spot to Springer. Would I like him as our half time DH and backup fourth OF? Sure Iíd like that. But the Jays could just spend money and replace his bat against LHP with a one year commitment that only costs money. My thought is how much the Jays put in to that shows how much theyíre caring about losing those offensive numbers for 400 AB.
scottt - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 12:44 PM EST (#425863) #
Teoscar was the cleanup hitter for 52 games, 5th for 57 games and 3rd in 6 games.

KK was all over the place in Tampa.
Lead up, 16 times
6th, 17 games
7th, 9 games
8th, 7 games
9th, 5 games

He started 57 games and came in as replacement in 6 games.
His OBP was only .281 against RH and .276 against LH.

I am expecting very little here. This won't  be a more hitter friendly environment.

Varsho should be better than Gurriel, otherwise they made a huge mistake.

scottt - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 12:50 PM EST (#425864) #
What they need is a DH. mlbtraderumours calls pinch-hitting (1.4 bWAR), the Jays weakest position last year.
That's from DHing Kirk, which made the DH looks good.
More offense from the bench than Zimmer, Bradley, Tapia.
That's not a huge ask and it doesn't have to be a vet. 

John Northey - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 02:47 PM EST (#425865) #
Nah, DH is Kirk/Vlad/Springer with Bo mixed in now and then. Zero reason to see it as a concern. From the DH slot, via Baseball Reference we can see the Jays DH slot hit 251/334/425 - 758 overall. Good for 9th overall in MLB by sOPS+ with a 114 (OPS+ vs other DH's) - no shock #1 was the Angels with a 138 (Ohtani). A bit more surprising was Cleveland being 2nd last with a 66 but still winning their division with 92 wins.

Checking the details for Jays DH you can see for guys with 10+ games as DH that Gurriel hit well (149 sOPS+) as did Springer (119), Vlad (116), and Kirk (111), while Collins (76) and Hernandez (67) dragged it down. I was a bit surprised that Bo was only DH for 1 game all year. Overall I don't see a concern as Springer/Vlad/Kirk are all here for 2023 and I suspect they'll split DH again. Kirk was in 51 games, Springer 40, Vlad 32. I expect another player to be acquired who will get DH time and split some OF time with KK and Varsho (giving those 2 days off basically vs tough LHP).

So who is there vs LHP as a RH (or switch hitter) who can play the OF? Checking FanGraphs I see a few...
A.J. Pollock: 161 wRC+ vs LHP in 2022 - 91 OPS+ overall, played 10+ games at all 3 OF positions but probably go to a team that offers him full time playing time at age 35. But his overall 91 OPS+ in 2022 suggests no one will give him that offer. So I see him as a guy the Jays need to keep on - let him know they are interested and will give him a lot of playing time (pointing out Tapia last year plus Springer & KK's injury history, plus DH time). Surprisingly Randal Grichuk hit LHP well last year (141 wRC+) but I don't see a reunion. Robbie Grossman has also been brought up - for good reason, he had a wRC+ of 157 vs LHP last year vs his overall 80 OPS+ while playing the OF corners. Going into his age 33 season he will be also wanting a full-time job but probably won't find it. Lots of other guys on there but I keep having to dig to find out if they are available or not so I'll stop here for now with the 2 most obvious guys. Pollock or Grossman both would be ideal fits and should be cheap (sub $10 mil on a 1 year deal). I'm certain there are a half dozen more who can be gotten in a cheap trade or signed as a free agent (could even be a guy coming back from Japan or Korea or a AAA guy who has never been given a chance who pounds LHP but can't hit RHP).
scottt - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 03:21 PM EST (#425866) #
Chapman wasn't as good defensively last year. Most of his value came from hitting 27 HR with a decent BB to walk ratio.  Barger is supposed to have an amazing arm.
I think you wait the year to see what goes and then make a QO to Chapman if you can.
That takes away a lot of the risk and the cost won' t be higher.

Jansen has played 107 games in 2019, but never more than 72 otherwise.
It's wise to go year to year with him. He had no trade value.
I don't think it make sense to pay 2 full time catchers.

He's done well with Ryu and Stripling and he's the guy I want catching Bassitt, Kikuchi and White, but he's not a core piece to sign on a long contract.

PeterG - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 03:43 PM EST (#425867) #
Jansen had plenty of trade value and was coveted by several teams. Led team in OPS and valued defensively as handler of pitchers. Leader. Team record 20 plus games over .500 with him behind plate and under.500 with others despite Kirk having advantage of catching Manoah.

I recognize he needs to avoid injuries but it is a high risk position. Kirk is an injury risk as well.
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 03:43 PM EST (#425868) #
Chapman looked great defensively last year. Not sure if the radical shifts used by the Jays messed up his defensive metrics.

One good thing is the Mets (Correa), Rangers (Jung) and Padres (Machado) should be set at third base in 2024, so at least three of the big spenders probably won't be bidding on Chapman. The Yankees and Phillies might be in on him, though.
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 03:54 PM EST (#425869) #
In my opinion, now is a good time to extend Jansen. He's a valuable catcher offensively and defensively. He's respected by the pitcher staff and his other teammates and he's still relatively young. His track record is a bit uneven due to injuries and eyesight issues and the adjustments he's made over the years. For that reason the Jays might be able to sign him to a team-friendly extension (as Atlanta did with Murphy).

The Jays suffered for many years with substandard catching. Now they have two good MLB ones. But the controllable one (Kirk) may be more of a catcher/DH. And the depth beyond them is basically nonexistent. So I say extend Jansen and enjoy the considerable benefits of having a couple of good catchers, who complement each other well, on the roster for the next five years or so.
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 03:55 PM EST (#425870) #
* pitching
John Northey - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 04:35 PM EST (#425871) #
Defensive metrics such as pitch framing love Kirk. But agreed he is going to be used a lot at DH due to his solid bat. Jansen was a bat first guy when he came up but developed very well on defense. I wouldn't be opposed to a 3 year deal for Jansen but I doubt he would go for it. Odds are he wants to become a free agent and get a #1 job elsewhere. Ego is a big thing in sports and knowing you are #2 behind the plate unless Kirk turns into a pumpkin (unlikely) won't help in signing Jansen long term.

Long term deals need to be attempted with core pieces like Vlad, Bo, and Manoah. 10 years+ for each I could see happening. I also doubt Bo will sign one for less than $300 mil after this past winter, same for Vlad. Manoah is a bit more of a wild card - he signed for $4.5 mil when drafted, but otherwise I don't think was from a wealthy family. A long term deal would set him and his family up for life, while an injury could end it all for him. Bo & Vlad are from wealthy long term baseball families so they don't have that concern. Of course, the Jays have money up the wazoo so if they want to risk losing guys to free agency they can take that risk as they can afford $300+ mil to resign a guy. With Bo the question becomes how many teams can sign $100+ mil deals for shortstops with so many doing that this winter for well past when Bo is a free agent his market size has shrunk a fair amount unless he is willing to go to 2B.

Jansen, Romano, Chapman, and others are nice to sign if you can but hardly a high priority right now. Few teams have a 1/2 punch at catcher like the Jays do right now, closers are always risky to sign to long term deals, and there are 2 kids on the farm who look almost ready to take Chapman's job in Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger with more coming (such as Tucker Toman who is years away most likely). Signing guys long term is a challenge for ML teams - do you have someone in the wings who can take over for a LOT less? Is this guy likely to age well or poorly (very hard to guess)?
greenfrog - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 05:03 PM EST (#425872) #
Kirk is unusual because of his body type. He may not be a good catcher for that many more years. And he already may be unable to withstand the rigours of being a traditional starting catcher. He might he mostly a DH by 2025 or 2026. If that happens, who will be the Jays starting catcher then?

For now, I would probably assign responsibilities as follows:

1. Jansen. Starting catcher (80-100 games) and occasional DH.
2. Kirk. Second catcher (60-80 games) and sometime DH
Cracka - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 05:28 PM EST (#425873) #
Practically speaking, this split works really well if Kirk is the primary catcher for Manoah & Berrios and Jansen handles the others. This was generally the arrangement last season and probably not coincidentally, it pairs Kirk with the two Spanish-speaking starters.
John Northey - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 06:37 PM EST (#425874) #
Guessing who is going to age well is a crapshoot I've found in the past - who'd have predicted David Wells (very overweight always) would have his final game at age 44, while Dave Stieb and Roy Halladay (both always fit, models of what an athlete should be) wouldn't get close to that? Wells had 21 years in the Halladay & Stieb 16 (Stieb barely played in his 40's - with his coming to camp as a coach and feeling so good he unretired).

Kirk is 68" tall, so I took the Lahman database and filtered to all players who were under 70 inches tall (5'10") to see how long they lasted. Longest was Omar Vizquel (69" 180 lbs) who played 2968 games. Kirk is easily the heaviest of these guys at 265 lbs, next heaviest is Brayan Pena at 240 (638 games), Miguel Tejada though was 220 and played 2171 games. Other short players over 210 lbs who played 1000+ games are Ronnie Belliard, Alberto Callaspo, Dioner Navarro, and Wilbert Robinson. Quite a few given there are only 15 players who were sub 70" tall and weighed 210+ lbs. Navarro is the best one to use for comparison - 5'9" 215 lbs and a catcher (but nowhere near as good a hitter - lifetime 83 OPS+ with 1 really good year of 134 OPS+ over 89 games). fWAR of 0.0 (quite the trick for a whole career). 4 times over 100 games in a season (ages 23-25, and at age 30 for the Jays). Kirk did it at age 23, and we hope for 24-27 as well. He is a free agent after 2026. If the Jays can get him to make it through his age 27 season healthy and hitting then he could become someone else's problem if he starts to break down should the Jays not give him an extension at that stage, or could adjust to him being a DH mainly/3rd catcher after that (catching only Manoah maybe).
christaylor - Monday, January 02 2023 @ 08:05 PM EST (#425875) #
Probably and yet they are highly unlikely to affect the starting 9.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 02:09 AM EST (#425876) #
Yeah hard to break into this starting 9 I'd say. Weakest spots are 2B and CF (KK's bat isn't much). But at 2B we have 3 guys who have all had good seasons recently - Biggio in 2019 was over 3 bWAR, and over 2 in 2020's short year (equal to a 5 in a full season) but has had 2 poor years in a row but still has a 162 game average WAR of 3.0. Espinal was an all-star last year with a 162 game average WAR of 2.1 in his career. Merrifield was an all-star in 2021 with 3.1 WAR, lifetime average of 3.1 so when your weakest spot has 3 guys fighting for it who have 2 guys with a 3+ WAR average lifetime and a guy who was an all-star last year you are in pretty good shape.

Basically a good RH OF/DH would be the final piece and there are a few of them hanging around right now.

The bench for 2023 (assume Kirk DH Jansen C and Espinal 2B) will be Biggio-Merrifield (both super-utility guys), with 2 slots to be determined, one for that RH OF/DH, and another for a 26th man (pinch run, pinch hit, defense, good at giving back rubs...who knows?) probably Otto Lopez or Nathan Lukes (both on the 40 man, Lukes has a decent bat and can cover all 3 OF positions, Lopez can cover anything pretty much with 191 games at 2B, 127 at SS, 72 in CF, 66 in LF, 24 at 3B, 12 in RF, and 7 at DH as a pro. His composite line minors/majors/winter is 302/369/410 - he actually hit worse in winter leagues than in the minors. I'd be surprised if he isn't on the roster at this point. I'm sure there will be some long term AAAA guys in spring and guys who have had a few cups of coffee in the majors or who are career backups in camp too fighting for a slot or to show enough to be in consideration if/when someone gets hurt.
scottt - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 08:41 AM EST (#425877) #
Gausman pitches significantly better with Kirk. Kirk is better at framing low balls.
Jansen jabs at Gaus' splitter and it doesn't look good.

With respect to aging, Kirk has 4 more years of control after which he'll be 28.
Jansen has 2 more years after which he'll be almost 30.
A good defensive catcher would pair with Kirk just fine and that would open up the DH spot for a better bat.

greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 09:03 AM EST (#425878) #
Kirk is "an everyday big league catcher right now, but he may have an abnormally early decline phase": Eric Longenhagen (2021).
bpoz - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 10:09 AM EST (#425879) #
I am excited to see who will break into the top 9 position players. Barger seems close. Orelvis and Leo Jimenez I hope make big strides forward in 2023.

The pen usually changes as the year progresses. Maybe Juenger, Pearson and Zulueta become bulk inning relievers. We have a lot of LH relievers that are progressing like J Robbins, J Burnett and maybe T Wallace.
Parker - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 10:30 AM EST (#425880) #
Spencer Horwitz should get a look this year as well, hopefully.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 10:57 AM EST (#425881) #
"Kirk is "an everyday big league catcher right now, but he may have an abnormally early decline phase": Eric Longenhagen (2021)."

Maybe but Molinas aged well so I don't think it's a given by any means.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 12:26 PM EST (#425882) #
Itís not a given but do you feel comfortable trading Moreno and letting Jansen walk in free agency and then handing the starting C reins to Kirk at that point?

Also, it looked like Kirk was dealing with a sore shoulder for part of last year. Itíll be worth seeing what injuries crop up for him in the next couple of years.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 12:37 PM EST (#425883) #
I would prefer to extend Jansen.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 01:02 PM EST (#425884) #
Atkins has had to scramble to fill our pitching needs. When the short schedule 2020 season started he only had Ryu (4 years) for a good SP. He must have figured that Ryu would help prevent 2019 level bad teams. But making 1 of 8 playoffs spots was not overwhelming, except that by the trade deadline we were still in it but with terrible SPs. He made trades.

2021 was the add of Springer. Semien, Ray and Matz were 1 year deals that could not have worked out better unless you add Manoah. Then winning the Berrios sweepstakes. Wow!! Atkins was very lucky. Our C situation in 2020/21 was not resolved. We needed bull pen help and Atkins got it.

2022 was a mix of good and bad luck. I keep mentioning luck because I am not convinced Atkins is a genius because of Roark, Hand etc... From uncertain C situation we had 3 stud Cs. Could be a 1 year thing. I give Atkins credit for Gausman & Chapman. But Kikuchi did not work out. Again Atkins traded for bull pen help.

I am really pleased with 3 good years in a row but Atkins had to make trade deadline improvements. For 2023 I sort of feel as confident as the start of 2022. "Rose colored glasses" most likely. No Semien, Ray, Matz and Ryu was lost for 2022. Ryu still lost.

2023 can be considered possibly good because of us being tied for 3rd best in the AL with a legit good record in 2022. With all the off season moves making Texas, CWS & Seattle better we are 1 of 8 fairly equal strength teams. Texas has improved the most IMO.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 01:16 PM EST (#425885) #
A AAAA C may get a lot of playing time if there are injuries to Kirk/Jansen.
Magpie - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 01:59 PM EST (#425886) #
Molinas aged well

They surely did but I don't know that they're very relevant to Kirk, who really is one of a kind. All three Molinas - who were three pretty different players - were notably taller than Kirk, and only Jose was carrying as much weight. And Jose was a) six feet tall and b) a career backup, who never caught as many games as Kirk did last year until he was 33 years old (and then only because Posada suffered a major injury.)
johnny was - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 03:32 PM EST (#425887) #
Baseball Almanac lists 2006 Bengie Molina at 225 lbs, which would mean he weighed less than Scott Downs or Lyle Overbay. In photos he certainly appears wider than the really big dudes like Glaus and BJ Ryan, so I'm really not buying that number. I suppose Bengie didn't carry all the extra weight around from the start of his career, but he did stay reasonably productive for quite a few years as a 30+ larger fella.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 03:54 PM EST (#425888) #
Casey Lawrence is back again as a minor league FA signing..
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:17 PM EST (#425889) #
If the club extends Jansen and Kirk ages well into his late 20s, Kirk would still be valuable as a second catcher/DH. I don't see a downside.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:21 PM EST (#425890) #
Lawrence is a good signing for AAA. He was good in his role as an emergency starter, inning eater when needed for the big club while being an ace for Buffalo. Guys like him are needed to keep the kids from being pushed too far too fast.

Last year we saw 5 guys with 20+ starts in Manoah, Gausman, Berrios, Stripling, and Kikuchi. 8 by White, 6 by Ryu, then emergency starts by Richards (4), Castillo (2), Phelps, Merryweather, Banda, and Hatch. In most of those emergency starts there was a need for innings and Lawrence averaged 3 innings per game in his 6 relief games which helped the 'real' relievers when it was most needed. 3 times he was used in a double header (5 2/3 IP in one, 2 and 2 1/3 in the other 2). There was a 12-3 loss he ate 4 innings of to finish it off, saving a few relievers for winnable games too. Yeah, he isn't going to win games for the Jays but he can help protect the pen in blowouts/double headers which could help win future games.

The 5 we started 2022 with started 120 games, leaving 42 which were eaten a lot by our #6 Stripling (24), traded for starter White (8) and the others (10 starts). So 7 real starters needed plus 10 bullpen days basically. For 2023 we have Manoah, Gausman, Berrios, Bassitt as the big 4, with the remaining 3 you need to plan on being Kikuchi, White, and assorted kids with Lawrence, Pearson, and Hatch mixed in too. Perfect world the Jays get a 5th solid starter and make Kikuchi and White #6/7, making the kids and AAAA guys emergency only. However, we don't live in a perfect world so I suspect this is how it'll start. If I ran the Jays I'd be planning on piggyback starts for Kikuchi/White, one gets the start and goes twice through the order maximum, then the other comes in with the same restriction. Have a reliever ready to step in if the starting one fails to do the twice through thing, then 2 more to finish the game if needed. Hopefully Manoah will be going after them or Gausman as both have shown an ability to eat innings when needed.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:39 PM EST (#425891) #
I strongly disagree with the idea that the 10th best hitter in the AL since 2020 and 21st overall (minimum 1000 PA) is easily replaceable but a reliever like Swanson is hard to find.
Magpie - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:46 PM EST (#425892) #
The Molinas were all burly. Bengie was the slowest player I have ever seen (Yadier could actually run a little, when he was young.) But Kirk is round. So was Kirby Puckett, but Kirby could also run when he was young. And even Kirby wasn't as round as Kirk, at least not until he had to retire. Still, Puckett's the most similar body type I can think of. And he's not really similar enough. I have no idea whatsoever how the years will treat Kirk!
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:48 PM EST (#425893) #
I think there is around a 25-50% chance Jansen signs an extension this spring.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:49 PM EST (#425894) #
I totally agree 92-93. I'm here for the argument that as a salary dump the Teo trade made sense for asset reallocation purposes. But some of the arguments above are pretty wild. Just accept it was a salary dump and the contortions become easier.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 04:51 PM EST (#425895) #
Itís not teo vs. Swanson, itís contract vs contract, plus a prospect.

Iím also glad to see Lawrence back, and my gut tells me the guy ends his career as a Bison and moves right into coaching for us in the minors
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 05:11 PM EST (#425896) #
Longenhagen on the Varsho-Moreno trade:
Magpie - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 05:12 PM EST (#425897) #
I strongly disagree with the idea that the 10th best hitter in the AL... is easily replaceable

Definitely not easily, and they almost certainly haven't replaced the bat. (They may have replaced the entire package, albeit at the cost of the system's best prospect.) Some of it probably is salary dump/reallocation. I do think a lot of it is placing a bit more emphasis on outfield defense. And maybe, just maybe, breaking up the barrio.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 05:37 PM EST (#425898) #
"I strongly disagree with the idea that the 10th best hitter in the AL since 2020 and 21st overall (minimum 1000 PA) is easily replaceable but a reliever like Swanson is hard to find."

People who believe in WAR belleve he's replaceable. People who still look mostly at offensive categories think he's a top 20 player or so and can'f fathom a defensive player like KK even being in the same equation.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 05:45 PM EST (#425899) #
I'm not in the slightest confused about measuring players by WAR and their all around player profiles.
Kasi - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 06:07 PM EST (#425900) #
My point was that he has no spot in the OF here due to his atrocious defence and the need to have Springer take his spot in the field. Would I like his bat as the DH? Sure although his offensive numbers sucked last year at the DH spot. Also we have the matter of Kirk who I think is as good a hitter and especially brings hitting skills this team needs more needing DH time as well. So sure Iíd like him as half DH and half fourth OF.

But I also like Swanson, a prospect and 10+ million dollars which likely went to Bassit more. Even if we had kept him and decided to play him in the field we would have still needed a good fourth OF. Maybe if wouldnít have been KK but it would have been someone of similar salary.
electric carrot - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 06:13 PM EST (#425901) #
"I'm not in the slightest confused ... "

This response made me laugh.

My presumption on the Teo trade was that the Jays' brass really liked Macko, saw Teo as a diminishing asset (with only one year left on contract) and also wanted to prioritize relief pitching. I will miss Teo and I think he will put up good numbers in Seattle in his "earn his next contract" year. But I do also think Varsho looks primed to have a great year on a contending team and does seem to be a better fit. The player who worries me a little is KK.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 06:53 PM EST (#425902) #
"Just accept it was a salary dump and the contortions become easier."

Can't follow you when you use a term like "salary dump" on a team passing or close to the luxury tax.

You also need to do a better job explainung why Teoscar is better than what is currrently here otherwise who cares if it was a salary dump or not? If we trade Ryu and promote Tiedeman are you going to say it's a salary dump too? Ohjthe contortions this front office subjects us to!
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2023 @ 07:21 PM EST (#425903) #
Probably it was somewhat of a salary dump, though the team liked Swanson and Macko and had a plan that likely involved multiple moves. The offensive downgrade stands out a bit more because the team lost both Teoscar and Gurriel Jr. and is now short a RH bat (and may have to settle for a lesser hitter than those two and give up prospects or extra cash to acquire one).

The lineup could end up short if a couple of position players go down to injury (with Springer and Kiermaier among the most likely to get hurt).
John Northey - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 12:56 AM EST (#425904) #
I get the feeling we'll be debating this all season, or at least until someone either goes nuts or sucks royally.

Bottom line: are the Jays chances better or worse with the changes? Moreno wasn't going to play here often with Kirk & Jansen here - maybe the Jays could've gotten a quality OF for one of them instead but that would've HURT the Jays chances vs trading Moreno (few catchers have great first ML seasons). Teoscar & Gurriel were/are both free agents post 2023 which would've been a distraction this year and means their value post 2023 was 0. This winter the key things were 1) improve the rotation, 2) improve the pen, 3) add a LH hitter middle of the order, and 4) improve OF defense. 1) Bassitt, 2) Swanson, 3) Varsho, 4) Varsho & KK. Cost 2 RH hitters who were poor fielders by all measures, 1 top prospect at a position where the Jays have an all-star and a guy with a 141 OPS+ in 2022. Show me the problem. All key areas addressed, cost was players who would've at best been injury replacements/platoon guys in 2023 given our teams lineup. I don't count Stripling as a cost since he was a free agent and could've gone anywhere he wanted.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 06:55 AM EST (#425905) #
Anyone looking ahead can see a potential lack at C & OF.

How often does a team need a 3rd C? Jansen was on the IL twice in 2022 for a little over 1 month each time. Maybe he does not get hurt over the next 2 years.

Our OF had only 1 year left of Teo and Gurriel. KK & Merrifield also have 1 year contracts. Springer is here for 4 more years but does a fair bit of his playing at DH. Varsho, KK, Merrifield and Springer should be able to play the bulk of the OF playing time. If others need to step into the OF there is Biggio, Espinal and a few prospects to do that playing.
Jonny German - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 07:19 AM EST (#425906) #
Varsho, KK, Merrifield and Springer should be able to play the bulk of the OF playing time. If others need to step into the OF there is Biggio, Espinal and a few prospects to do that playing.

Nope. Too thin. Andrew McCutchen, AJ Pollock, Adam Duvall, Trey Mancini, Robby Grossman are all out there as straight up low cost improvements to the current roster.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 07:49 AM EST (#425907) #
"Andrew McCutchen, AJ Pollock, Adam Duvall, Trey Mancini, Robby Grossman are all out there as straight up low cost improvements to the current roster." These guys are all on the down swing or past thwir beSt before date. Maybe Grossman makes some sense. There's a reason they're still sitting in the market...because there are minor league players on every team that can serve the same role.
Jonny German - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 08:11 AM EST (#425908) #
there are minor league players on every team that can serve the same role.

Are you saying that of those 5 only Grossman will get a guaranteed major league contract?

Who are the Blue Jay minor leaguers who can fill the same role?
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 09:24 AM EST (#425909) #
John, I appreciate your assessment of our starting rotation and where we will get the necessary backfill. What I remember hearing about some months ago was that the Jays were seriously considering inserting a few pitchers to complete ~3 inning stints, with Zulueta, Pearson and
bpoz - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 09:54 AM EST (#425910) #
In 2019 Pearson pitched 101 innings. He did a pattern of 2 innings then 5 innings with 4 days rest in between each outing. Zulueta in 2022 55IP. Juenger 88IP in 2022. I expect the jays to manage their innings in some kind of way.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 09:55 AM EST (#425911) #
"Are you saying that of those 5 only Grossman will get a guaranteed major league contract? "

Nope, I am saying that teams believe it is more beneficial and valuable and that there is more upside to use internal options from their AAA and AA rosters. For example, TOR would prefer to promote Lukes, Horwitz, Barger or Lopez and develop those players in a 4th or 5th position rather than sign one of your 5 guys who want to play full time and will cost probably 5 million dollars a year or more at minimum.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 10:38 AM EST (#425912) #
This is also why (I believe) the Jays didnít want to include Gurriel Jr. in the Moreno trade. The available RH outfielders are either declining or deficient in some way. The Jays would have to relinquish a prospect(s) or cash to acquire them. Maybe the player wouldnít even be as effective as someone like Lopez or Horwitz. One of those players, Profar, has been projected to receive around 2/20 or 3/30 on the free agent market.

In contrast, Gurriel Jr. is a competent hitter in his prime. He might even be a very good hitter if he can combine his pre-2022 power hitting with his 2022 contact approach. Heís cheap ($5.4m) and low-risk because there is no contractual obligation beyond this year. And if Lopez/Horwitz or someone else in the organization breaks out in 2023, he can be traded *for* something of value (maybe a competent reliever at the deadline).

Itís a relatively minor problem right now. But if the Jays end up making a serious push for WS contention, they may be in the market this summer for a good RH hitter ó just as they were in the hunt for a good LH hitter at last yearís deadline.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 10:44 AM EST (#425913) #
One thing that has gone under the radar is LGJ's injury. I'm not even sure what the injury was as there have been conflicting comments and reports. Here's what I recall and have heard:

He missed significant time during the 2022 season which was one of his best when on the field.

He did not return and missed the playoffs and some people are speculating that didn't sit well with the clubhouse possibly.

He injured his hamate bone and this could be difficult to come back from. See Erik Hinske and Vernon Wells as well as Lyle Overbay.

Perhaps the FO is selling secretly high. Perhaps they just really like Varsho and had to include LGJ or else carry 3 catchers or acquire a lesser return elsewhere.

Lastly I've heard that Shapiro has been more involved this off season than previous ones and his relationship with Mike Hazren in ARZ helped cement the Varsho-Moreno deal.

*information is from podcasts mostly or the radio with guests
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 11:03 AM EST (#425915) #
My guess is that Moreno-for-Varsho was proposed. Arizona demanded that Gurriel Jr. be included. The Jays resisted but eventually conceded and agreed to that demand.

I think LGJ had surgery on his wrist after the season.
92-93 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 11:16 AM EST (#425916) #
The Jays are two injuries away (which can be reasonably expected given track records) from fielding a lineup with Biggio, Merrifield, Kiermaier, Espinal, and the 3rd C in the 5-9 spots. This team still needs offense.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 11:57 AM EST (#425917) #
Iím not against getting another OF bat, however at this point I would prefer to give ABs to Lukes and Badger, and re-assess at the deadline.

They can get a better hitter at that point, and will have a better idea of what they have.

Do people really think that Grossman or Profar will dramatically outproduce our internal options? I donít. Weíre talking about players who might put up 1-2 WAR. Why not wait until the deadline to pick up someone who is having a good year and is more likely to provide a boost?
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 12:06 PM EST (#425918) #
Let's think about the kind of player who would be ideal for the Jays at this point, both now and beyond 2023. An outfielder who can play a corner OF position well (and maybe center field as well). A good hitter. One who is controllable for at least a few years. Could be a RH hitter, a LH hitter, or a switch-hitter. Someone who could slot in as a fourth OF this year (and probably get a lot of playing time) and as a full-time OF in 2024 and beyond.

Who best fits that description? Bryan Reynolds? One of the Cardinals outfielders? I'm not necessarily talking about a trade right now (which is unlikely), but possibly one this summer or next off-season.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 01:05 PM EST (#425921) #
"The Jays are two injuries away (which can be reasonably expected given track records) from fielding a lineup with Biggio, Merrifield, Kiermaier, Espinal, and the 3rd C in the 5-9 spots. This team still needs offence."

How many teams in baseball have a team that meets these expectations? 2?

Greenfrog, you've listed the best available player the Jays need for an ideal dream OF. Problem is they will need to trade 2-3 very good prospects plus a prized prospect like a #1 draft pick to make it happen.
Kasi - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 02:12 PM EST (#425923) #
The Yankees are two injuries away from having their best hitter being Torres. No one builds their team around having to deal with their two best players being injured. (By WAR last year Springer and Varsho would be 3 and 1) There just isnít enough money to go around for anyone. Heck look at the Mets. If Scherzer and Verlander go down (not unreasonable given their age) how does their pitching look like? I do expect them to get a good bat 4th OF from the list of names mentioned in this thread.
92-93 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 03:37 PM EST (#425924) #
The Yankees actually have really good depth. Their bench is basically LeMahieu, Higashioka, Hicks/Cabrera, and Falefa/Peraza. Behind that is Anthony Volpe, one of the best prospects in baseball, and Jason Dominguez, another Top-100 guy who might be ready this year too. An injury to Judge would obviously hurt, but their lineup wouldn't look much worse with two injuries to other players.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 05:22 PM EST (#425925) #
Looks like the Red Sox blinked on Devers. An 11 year $331M deal.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 05:29 PM EST (#425926) #
I have never been a fan of Teo. I think he was good when Semien was here and he got to bat just after Bo, Vlady and Semien. He had a lot of good pitches to hit. Last year, when Semien left, the pitches weren't so good and he wasn't so good.

In fact, I predict that Teoscar is a bust in Seattle. It is a tough place to hit and T-mobile park gets in your head. They are going to depend on him to be a 4 or 5 hitter and he just isn't that.

The good news is that we will likely be able to sign him next year at a discount if we truly want him back.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 06:09 PM EST (#425928) #
To contend any year you need health and luck. Luck being the key thing once you have talent in place.

  • C: Kirk/Jansen then oh crap. No other catchers on the 40 man. Chris Bec is probably next in line - Entering his age 27 season with only 11 games in AAA his minors line is 217/325/302 (clearly a glove only guy). In AA they had a guy Ryan Gold who hit well at 24, well he showed power - 214/313/445. Basically the Jays have a few backup catchers coming through the system, glove first/only guys. I fully expect a AAAA type to be signed at some point before spring training (all glove, no bat).
  • 1B: Vlad, then Biggio, then Merrifield with Spencer Horwitz in AAA waiting for his shot (275/391/452 last year entering his age 25 season).
  • 2B: Espinal-Merrifield-Biggio the regulars, then Lopez, Capra, etc.
  • SS: Bo then Espinal then... Orelvis Martinez entering his age 21 season needs to make contact to get a shot, Addison Barger shot up the lists last year and might get a shot if Bo goes on the IL at some point should he keep his 900+ OPS going, but I'd expect Espinal to get SS everyday if Bo goes down for a stretch.
  • 3B: Chapman, then Espinal-Biggio (Merrifield hasn't played much 3B, just 31 innings in his ML career, last in 2017). Orelvis Maritnez and Addison Barger are the kids who will be trying to prove they deserve a shot in 2024 with Lopez and Capra most likely called up if Chapman goes down unless one of the hotshots is off to a great start.
  • OF: Varso-KK-Springer the starters, Merrifield-Biggio the backups, Lukes on the 40 man, Horwitz has played LF a bit (and probably will get more time there if the Jays let him in AAA - he was interviewed on Deep Left Field podcast and said he wants to be used at more positions than 1B/DH). Again, I fully expect some AAAA guys signed for Buffalo who might be used should injuries happen. I also figure the Jays are sitting back and waiting for the remaining free agents to get realistic on their expectations come mid-February and then come to the Jays with hat in hand and accepting a $1-3 mil deal for 2023 as the 4th OF.
That is how I see the backup situation right now. Biggio-Merrifield-Espinal being critical as they can cover a LOT of areas if needed with Lopez & Capra being similar players to those 3. Lukes I see getting a shot at some point if he doesn't make the team opening day (should no other OF be signed I expect him to get a shot right away). I'd say the Jays are in reasonable shape with backups for hitters all-around. Just sign 1 or 2 AAAA catchers for when Kirk or Jansen get hurt (it happens) and they should be OK.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 06:26 PM EST (#425929) #
Excellent analysis John N.

I have nothing to back me up but I see Leo Jimenez as very high as a ML replacement. With good health, what could he have done? Same with Groshans, Pardhino, Pearson & Moreno. Leo has elite D but need to stay healthy.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 08:10 PM EST (#425930) #
Leo Jimenez is an interesting one - just 2 options left, 2023 and 2024 so ideally he'd do well enough to earn a call up this year. His overall minors line is 273/398/375 but in A+ last year just 230/340/385. The Jays due to having just 2 options left will need to push him to AA this year, AAA next even if he sucks just because they'll lose him otherwise. Might as well push the crap out of him and see if he responds.
bpoz - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 10:59 AM EST (#425932) #
I too hope they can push Leo over the next 2 years. 244 ABs is the most he has ever had in a season which is worse than Groshans. Their O profiles are similar. Good bb/k, Avg and very little power. Groshans arm is a bit better but not sure about his D at SS or 3B. Jimenez has elite D and a bit more speed than Groshans.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 11:50 AM EST (#425933) #
The front office must see something special in Jimenez since they added him to the roster in 2021. They were obviously afraid that he might be picked in the Rule 5 draft, even though it didn't take place because of the labor strife. It seemed unusual to me that someone at a low level would be protected, and I don't know if he has done anything since to make it look like a good idea. Gabe Martinez, for instance, had a pretty good year at Dunedin and Vancouver, but safely passed through this year's Rule 5 draft.
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