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It's time for a new thread, and I have some trivia! I saw it on Twitter! It's got to be true!

Evidently, Greg Maddux made 236 starts in which he didn't walk a single batter. It's the all-time record, way ahead of the second place fellow (Robin Roberts with 167).  Pete Alexander (168), Christy Mathewson (167), and David Wells (149) are the next three names on the list.  Maddux made 740 starts in his career, which means he didn't walk anyone in 31.9% of them.

Naturally, I wondered (for approximately two seconds) which Blue Jays pitcher would place highest (during their careers as a Blue Jay.) Approximately two seconds, because it's obviously going to be Roy Halladay. 

Toronto starters have had 925 walk free outings in 7229 games, a percentage of 12.8%,. It's nowhere near Maddux, but I'm guessing it's fairly average. Maddux was extremely not average, but there are actually a few Blue Jays who can top Maddux's percentage of walk-free starts, although none of those fellows even made 100 starts for Toronto. But it's nice to know Joe Johnson had something going for him. Just two of the Toronto starters who can top Maddux's percentage even make the franchise top 50 in starts, and you only need 40 starts to clear that bar. Ross Stripling, with 15 walk-free outings in 45 starts (33.3%) edges Josh Towers (29 of 89, 32.6%) for best percentage, but Kevin Gausman could go by both of them this season.

But yes, Halladay tops the list with 75 walk-free outings in 287 Toronto starts, a pretty fair 26.1% - he's followed by Jimmy Key, naturally (62 in 250, 24.8%.) Jim Clancy, Towers, and Wells fill out the top 5. But the man I want to single out is Erik Hanson, who made 45 starts for Toronto and walked someone in 44 of them. Noted control artist Al Leiter can beat that. So can Luke Prokopec, Jose Nunez, and Luis Andujar.

There was a time when I thought Erik Hanson was a good idea. Never let me forget.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 11:00 AM EST (#425914) #
One of my favourite games I attended at the Dome was a Buehrle vs. Halladay classic on 5/31/07. I believe it was the first (and only?) time in MLB history where a pitcher lost without a runner ever actually being on base - Buerhle gave up 2 solo HRs to Frank Thomas and Aaron Hill, but otherwise gave up no hits or walks. Doc was also walk-free over his 7 scoreless innings, but alas Jeremy Accardo walked someone in the 9th while picking up the save. It was Doc's 100th career win and it came only 3 weeks after his emergency appendectomy. The game took only 1:50.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 12:41 PM EST (#425919) #
For fun, I used the Baseball Cube to check a few other Jay starters this year.

Manoah: 8 starts without a walk out of 51 regular season and 1 post season start. - 6 were in 2022.
Kikuchi: 6 games in 2022 without walks, just one was a start. None were 5+ IP.
Berrios: 3 games with 0 walks, 2 games with 3 walks, none with 4+ over 32 starts. He should be helped with the added OF defense as it clearly wasn't walking that was his issue last year.

Won't bother with Stripling and Gausman since those are covered already.

Clearly avoiding the walk is a key element in the Jays pitching. A good thing to push, but Kikuchi needs a LOT of work on it.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 12:58 PM EST (#425920) #
92-93, I was at that game as well. When I lived in Chicago I saw a couple of Halladay/Buehrle matchups at New Comiskey (or whatever corporate sponsor got suckered into paying for naming rights). Also saw at least one Hudson (with the A's)/BUehrle matchup that went by quick as you please.
Magpie - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 02:10 PM EST (#425922) #
it came only 3 weeks after his emergency appendectomy.

The original estimate was 4-6 weeks.

Chuck suggested that Halladay should have his appendix out more often.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 05:49 PM EST (#425927) #
If you compare the Murphy and Devers extensions, it looks like Atlanta is getting the better deal by far. It’s remarkable how well Anthopoulos has done in extending players on favourable terms — one of his superpowers as a GM.

Bichette and Vladdy seem more likely to command Devers-like extensions (they may even require more years and dollars).
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 04 2023 @ 10:54 PM EST (#425931) #
Big difference in team control for those extensions.

The key is getting them done early.
Glevin - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 12:26 PM EST (#425934) #
Chris Black (a fantastic Twitter follow) has a great thread on Varsho and a possible swing change and more.
John Northey - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 01:04 PM EST (#425935) #
Love the hard hit fly out over Rogers Centre and Fenway especially.
Rogers Centre...


Looking at those pictures my first thought is the Red Sox should've chased hard after him as at least 14 of his outs would've been home runs or doubles at Fenway (if I counted correctly). SkyDome sees 8 more HR at least, maybe more. So as a Jay, if you assume he has 4 more HR due to the dome you get a line of 243/308/473 - 781 OPS which is nicer than the real one of 235/302/443, but at Fenway you'd up that to 256/320/525 845 OPS. And both assume road parks are the same as the NL West (which they aren't obviously - no Dodgers Stadium out here). Varsho could easily have a career year this year and make the trade look very lopsided for the Jays ala the Donaldson trade way back when. Could Moreno & Gurriel make it look like the old McGriff trade? Doubtful unless Varsho has a career ending injury, Gurriel a career year, and Moreno becomes a superstar (yeah, can't imagine any trade being that lobsided today).
John Northey - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 02:33 PM EST (#425936) #
The Baseball Cube's twitter feed has been fun the past few days.
Most times used as a pinch Runner: Zimmer was #4 in the majors with 24 times used that way, Billy Hamilton #1 with 35. Since 1957 #1 is Don Hopkins in 1975 used 74 times. Top Jay is JJ Cannon in 1980 42 times used as a pinch runner - 9th most in that time frame.

Most pitches in a game 2022: Manoah's 113 pitch game was the top Jays one, #23 in the majors. #1 was Miles Mikolas for St Louis with 129. New Jay Chris Bassitt had a 114 pitch game for the Mets.

For most inherited runners no Jay was on the list, but for 1957-2022 Mark Eichhorn 1987 had 96 inherited (5th highest for that time frame)

For most foul balls per PA Bo does a lot... #8 last year at 0.84 and in 2021 he had the 4th highest ratio since 1957 at 0.96. Knew he fouled off a lot, didn't know it was that high historically. The entire top 10 are since 2011. Tapia fouled off a lot too at 0.81 per PA last year good for 21st. New Jay Varsho was #17 with 0.82.

I could go on but there is so much there it is crazy but fun. Bo's fouls caught my eye the most.
Cracka - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 02:57 PM EST (#425937) #
Roster Move! RHP Junior Fernandez was claimed off Waivers from Yankees, who claimed him from the Pirates in November, who claimed him from the Cards in September. Anyway - 98mph sinker with a high GB rate and really ugly BB/K rates. Could play a mid-inning role but nothing to get excited about.
Glevin - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 03:36 PM EST (#425938) #
"Roster Move! RHP Junior Fernandez was claimed off Waivers from Yankees, who claimed him from the Pirates in November, who claimed him from the Cards in September. Anyway - 98mph sinker with a high GB rate and really ugly BB/K rates. Could play a mid-inning role but nothing to get excited about."

Jays are clearly loading up on guys who throw hard. Confusingly so as they signed Julian Fernandez before getting Junior Fernandez. But with the Fernandezes, Pop, Pearson, Merryweather, and more, their entire AAA bullpen looks like it will throw high 90s to triple digits. Hopefully one or two of those guys can harness their stuff and become a solid major league reliever.
Lylemcr - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 05:13 PM EST (#425939) #
I do think it does show one of the big holes in the bullpen in 2022. They really do need that guy to come in a strike out a key batter to get out of a jam..
Mike Green - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 05:43 PM EST (#425940) #
I saw the Varsho article, but I wondered about the translation of the fly balls. Phoenix is at enough altitude that the ball likely carries better there than in Toronto or in Boston. 

It is interesting that at the end of the season, he was hitting curveballs much better due to a change in approach.  It's the kind of thing that I would anticipate seeing from a late-developing converted catcher.  The Blue Jays have had success with one of those before...
greenfrog - Thursday, January 05 2023 @ 06:54 PM EST (#425941) #
I imagine having a father who played in the majors for eight seasons helps as well. This is from a recent Arden Zwelling article on Sportsnet:

Varsho describes his mindset as “fast and physical.” The same mentality he carried as a football player growing up in Wisconsin. If he’s pursuing a baseball in an outfield gap, tracking down a pop up behind home plate, or trying to go first-to-third, he’s doing it with a full head of steam. And who does Varsho credit for that instinct? Well, who do you think?

“I learned a lot of those things from my dad,” Varsho said. “He’s the guy I go to every day. He’s the one that I’m able to bounce some things off. He’s been there from the beginning to the end of understanding my swing, understanding an adjustment, helping me out with outfield play, and understanding the little things that go on with an everyday game. There’s not really many people who are going to understand going through a 162-game season, the ebbs and flows, and what that’s all like. So, it’s nice to have that resource.”
whiterasta80 - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:46 AM EST (#425942) #
So basically we have acquired Colby Rasmus again.
Gerry - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 09:08 AM EST (#425943) #
Does anyone want a good news Friday?
Gerry - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 09:11 AM EST (#425944) #
The Blue Jays top 30 Prospects returns on Monday.
Gerry - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 09:15 AM EST (#425945) #

This will be the 19th year of the Batters Box top 30. The first list was produced by Jordan Furlong in 2004.

Aaron Hill was #1 and Adam Lind was #28. So there is hope for players at the bottom of our list.

You can see the old list here.

bpoz - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 09:27 AM EST (#425946) #
Thanks Gerry and the staff for the work put into the prospect list.

Rainer Nunez won ROY in winter ball. He made adjustments to his swing to produce more fly balls last off season. Exit velo as high as 114 in 2022.

The Jays do a lot of off season development camps and use the development complex. I don't know much details. We have seen improvements in young players. Tiedemann is the #1 example of success. Dahian Santos I spent the winter in Dunedin. Dasan Brown finished 2022 very strong.
greenfrog - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 11:24 AM EST (#425947) #
Following up on Glevin's post, I took a look at Varsho's splits last year.

First half: .233/.299/.409 (5 SB, 4 CS) 97 wRC+

Second half: .239/.306/.487 (11 SB, 2 CS) 118 wRC+

Basically, he was a valuable defense-first player in the first half, and an excellent two-way player (as a result of a significant uptick in power and base running success) in the second half.

I'm trying not to read too much into these splits (I've been burned before by overestimating the predictive power of a player's first half / second half splits from the previous year). But it is noteworthy and could suggest that this positive trend will carry over into 2023.
Glevin - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 12:01 PM EST (#425948) #
"I saw the Varsho article, but I wondered about the translation of the fly balls. Phoenix is at enough altitude that the ball likely carries better there than in Toronto or in Boston."

I agree. There are other factors for sure. However, Varsho was much better away than home (119 WRC+ to 93 at home) so there is some hope that moving away from Arizona will boost his numbers.
Cracka - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 12:34 PM EST (#425949) #
I think it's important to remember that Varsho was a catcher during the 1st half - he made 18 starts and caught 30 games total, and only became a full-time outfielder after the all-star break. Catchers have significantly more daily responsibilities than outfielders and simply cannot focus as much on their own hitting, swing mechanics, and in-season adjustments. I think the D'backs realized that Varsho wasn't going to be a great hitter with these added responsibilities and I'm excited to see what he can do for an entire season as an outfielder. This will be the first Spring in which Varsho isn't reporting with the pitchers & catchers and spending most of his time in Feb/March catching bullpen sessions. I'm optimistic.
uglyone - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 01:27 PM EST (#425950) #
Last year Varsho:

* RF: 256pa, 98wrc+, 5.1war/650
* CF: 177pa, 107wrc+, 6.6war/650
* C: 90pa, 120wrc+, 4.3war/650
* DH: 60pa, 112wrc+, 1.1war/650
* PH: 9pa, 139wrc+, 7.2war/650
Mike Green - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 01:31 PM EST (#425951) #
I agree with these thoughts about Varsho. has an article about Rainer Nunez who was just named the MVP of the Dominican Winter League after a dominating offensive performance.  For prospect watchers, I highly recommend reading the article and watching all the video.  Here's his Fangraphs stat line which provides further batted ball information and puts the slash line in context. 

My thoughts about him.  He turned 22 a month ago.  His line in 2022 was compiled when he was 21 years old.  He's not old for his level.  Looking at the video, he's quite a bit bigger in the Dominican League video than earlier in the season.  You'll see from the breakdown of the 2022 statistics that he has an ongoing issue about a tradeoff between high GB rate and good plate control, versus a more even GB/FB and poorer plate control.  He does however hit the ball very hard. 

He has work to do, but it would not shock me at all if he is the Blue Jays starting first baseman in 2026 or even 2025.  He is roughly on the arc of Jeremy Pena, whose offensive development was slowed in 2020 and 2021.  Of course, Nunez is not a shortstop and he does not run well, but I think that he could be a significantly better hitter.  Good teams have a viable Plan B and Nunez could easily be it. 
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 03:10 PM EST (#425952) #
Looking at Rainer Nunez' BR page I don't see dominance in winter league - 263/303/445 - he won 'rookie of the year' thanks to leading the league in homers. Last year in A/A+ he hit 304/340/484 which is nice in those leagues. A bad sign is at 20 he had a BB-SO of 23-26 (very nice), but at 21 24-109. At 17 he played a lot at 3B but since has been a 1B/DH only. To make it as a 1B/DH he needs to hit more - 30 HR type power (which he showed in the winter league - 7 HR in 37 G = 30 in 162) plus more walks to support his ability to hit 300 - then he'd be a top prospect. As is he is nice in the minors but has no path with Vlad & Kirk at 1B/DH.
Marc Hulet - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 03:21 PM EST (#425953) #
The winter league is filled with players 10+ years older than Nunez so you have to take that into consideration when reviewing his stats. He's not predominantly playing against 21-22 year olds

His development, while slow, has picked up over the past year which offers some hope.
Dr B - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 04:07 PM EST (#425954) #
I look forward to the top 30 prospects. It's going to be pretty thin pickings though this year. (Perhaps we should just go with a top 10...?) Here's last year's
10. Manuel Beltre
9. Adam Kloffenstein
8. Samad Taylor
7. Leonardo Jimenez
6. Otto Lopez
5. Kevin Smith
4.  Gunnar Hoglund
3. Jordan Groshans
2. Orelvis Martinez
1. Gabriel Moreno

No less than five top prospects traded. Lopez probably doesn't qualify as a prospect any more and The Kloff probably doesn't qualify as a prospect any more. I think we all know who is going to be the #1 prospect now (Mister Strike Out), and, probably by default, who is going to be #2 (Mister Strike Out). Then it's anyone's guess.
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 04:36 PM EST (#425955) #
Another signing - 2015's opening day starter is returning, Drew Hutchison. Better get the WS parade route figured out. Or not.

He threw 105 IP in Detroit last year with a 84 ERA+. Not a great pitcher, but a good depth signing imo. He can eat a few innings if needed as the #7/8 guy for the rotation. Helps ensure we don't push a kid to the majors too soon. A slight upgrade on the earlier Casey Lawrence signing. Neither uses a 40 man slot unless called up so zero risk signings.
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 04:44 PM EST (#425956) #
Kaitlyn McGrath of the Athletic tweeted the Jays also signed the following to AAA deals...

C Rob Brantly, 68 OPS+ lifetime in majors over 8 seasons 456 PA
RHP Julian Fernández: 6 2/3 ML innings, 4.14 ERA lifetime in minors, with 4.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 rates. A pure reliever (0 starts ever) entering his age 27 season
LHP Paul Fry: 177 IP in majors, 94 ERA+ but a 68 ERA+ over 13 IP last year, 4.9 BB/9 vs 9.8 K/9 lifetime.

Nothing wow, but all nice pieces for Buffalo. Who knows, maybe one of them will 'click' with our coaches and become something useful. Odds are against it but Brantly almost certainly will be watched closely in spring to see if he can cover when a catcher gets hurt this year (it seems inevitable with catchers).
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 04:49 PM EST (#425957) #
FYI for catchers: last time the 3rd catcher had under 100 innings was 2020 (Kirk 52), for a real season 2016 (Dioner Navarro 47 innings), before that 2012 (Yorvit Torrealba 61 2/3 innings, Yan Gomes 49 1/3). 2011 was the last time only 2 catchers were used all year by the Jays (J.P. Arencibia and José Molina) so it is safe to say a 3rd will be needed at some point for 50-200 innings. Varsho can cover that but safe to say the Jays don't want to use him beyond as an emergency late innings in that role.
jerjapan - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 06:04 PM EST (#425958) #
Varsho as third catcher is a huge flexibility advantage, and this FO values versatility as much as anything. I imagine we sign one more legit position player, and imagine he brings versatility.

I like the focus on versatility, tbh. The TB model
scottt - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:20 PM EST (#425959) #
I've read that Varsho's arm isn't great. MLB pipeline ranked it at 45.
Not good enough to play right field.

It also showed in his catching evaluation. Athletic, good at receiving and blocking, poor at throwing.
Moreno was better than Kirk and Jansen. Varsho is probably not going to be able to hold runners.

scottt - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:22 PM EST (#425960) #
Hutchison could be a decent spot starter if he doesn't have an opt out.
greenfrog - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:23 PM EST (#425961) #
Irrespective of on-field performance, I’m pleased the Jays chose a free agent with strong character (Springer) before the 2021 season. After the events of the last couple of years, I can’t say I’m surprised LA released Bauer.

Varsho seems to be another player with good intangibles, based on what has been written about him in recent weeks.
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:24 PM EST (#425962) #
I suspect the one they like most is Jurickson Profar (switch hitter, plays everywhere, LF only last year but 10+ games at 1B/2B/CF/RF in 2021, SS his main position in 2018, 3B his main in 2016, 111 OPS+ last year, 94 lifetime) but he was looking for $10+ per year which is probably more than the Jays will go. But dang if he wouldn't fit nicely. Robbie Grossman would've been a good fit but just signed with the Tigers for 2 years $10 mil total. Dang that would've been a nice budget fit too. But the Tigers can play him near everyday and the Jays can't. Brian Anderson is an interesting option - mostly at 3B but plays a lot of LF/RF and can back up 2B/1B as well with a tiny bit of time at SS even. Just an 87 OPS+ last year but 105 lifetime. But hit LHP 247/321/425 last year, which is much better than his career 238/316/386 line. Not a perfect fit but is there. Others are AJ Pollock (91 OPS+ last year, but 134 the year before and 113 lifetime, plays all 3 OF positions), Andrew McCutchen also plays all 3 OF positions still, 99 OPS+ last year 129 lifetime. Safe to say most of these guys are after full time positions but in a month they'll get desperate for a deal if still out there.
Cracka - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:43 PM EST (#425963) #
I believe Grossman is still available; he signed previously in 2021 with the Tigers for 2 years, $10 million, but has not signed anywhere yet this off-season. And I expect he wants another multiyear deal with probably be higher than $5M/per year, otherwise he would be a very good fit here. I can't see the Jays giving him a 2 year deal as a backup.
greenfrog - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 08:53 PM EST (#425964) #
I have no idea if Pollock has anything left in the tank, but he's been very good against LHP in his career (129 wRC+), and even better than that against LHP in recent years. He would seem to be a good choice for a fourth outfielder if the Jays believe his skills are mostly intact.
John Northey - Friday, January 06 2023 @ 11:56 PM EST (#425965) #
Doh - good catch Cracka - the article was from last winter. I saw Jan 5 and ignored the 2021. DOH!!!! Odd that MLB Trade Rumors came up with that when I searched to make sure he hadn't signed yet.

So yeah, Grossman who I see as a very good fit is still out there. Pollock also is a nice fit - RH hitter, over 600 PA just once in his career (11 seasons), in 2020 he was an everyday player too, and last year with 500+ PA, but all other seasons were sub 500 PA and 4 times sub 350 PA/100 Games (*plus 2020). 4 times in the 400's with 112-137 games played. Basically he is in the Tapia role more often than not in his career. But he wants $8+ million since he opted out of his $13 mil option for this year ($5 mil buyout). So I see Grossman as a great fit (less cash demand probably given his last deal, just once in 10 seasons with 500+ PA but 5 times in the 400's).

I guess the question is do the Jays feel a guy like Nathan Lukes mixed with Lopez, Merrifield, and Biggio can do the job? I suspect they do feel that way thus won't make any offers to these guys unless it hits spring and they are coming to the door begging for a deal.

For 5th starter I suspect the same is in place - they have 2 decent AAAA guys now, plus Kikuchi and White.

The pen they want more high level help for, but what is left? Andrew Chafin looks good - a LHP just 11 saves lifetime, but always a reliever (473 career games in relief) 132 ERA+ lifetime, 9.5 K vs 3.5 BB/9, but 10.5 K/9 last year vs 3.0 BB/9 so not getting weaker as he hits his age 33 season. If signed I think he'd finish the pen off nicely. We'd have 2 left handers to go with a lot of solid RH pitchers. From MLB TR - "Over his past 126 innings, Chafin has a 2.29 ERA with a 25.7% strikeout rate, a 7.5% walk rate and a 47.9% grounder rate. His strikeouts (27.6%) and grounders (51.3%) in 2022 were particularly impressive." Yeah, he'd be ideal to finish off the pen.
grjas - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 08:59 AM EST (#425966) #
I do hope they add a serviceable OF. Two thirds of the outfield is subject to injuries that don’t heal quickly; odds are the fourth outfielder will often be in the field and the drop off looks significant.

Similarly, one injury to the starters could lead to two big holes: Hutchison and Kikuchi in the 4 and 5 hole is a scary thought.

I’m less worried about the bullpen as there are a number of reasonable options that could step up.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 10:22 AM EST (#425967) #
I mentioned this earlier this off-season, but there has been an odd lack of discussion of Springer's health. Between his quad, knee, elbow, and concussion (and that is just the last two years), his ability to play regularly and effectively is a real question mark for 2023. He could come back strong, or he could have a challenging season. Even if all of his other injuries have healed well, the head injury could have lingering effects.

I can envision a 2023 season where where Varsho plays 140-155 games and Kiermaier and Springer play something like 120-140 games each.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 11:24 AM EST (#425968) #
I fully agree that we can expect to need our 4th and 5th outfielders to play a lot.  I've never understood the notion that just because Springer moves to RF that he will all of a sudden be capable of playing 150+ games. And Kiermaier is an even riskier bet.
However I have a bit more faith in our ability to fill this role than most.

Whit Merrifield is being severely underrated here- he gave us a 118 OPS+ last year and that is pretty consistent with what he was giving the Royals before he was beaten down by losing.

Cavan Biggio still has potential, Otto Lopez is pushing, and I don't see why Addison Barger couldn't be tried in the OF (or Orelvis if he makes big gains). Even if none of these players work out, a generic bat is one of the easiest things to get at the trade deadline.

Personally I'd rather find the OF equivalent of Drew Hutchinson and spend whatever resources we have left on the bullpen- which I am still not sold on.
John Northey - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 01:51 PM EST (#425969) #
The big issue with a 4th OF being of any quality is that they will want some guarantee of playing time. But with 3 everyday guys out there already plus Kirk at DH that isn't possible. Yeah, we can assume KK and Springer will have significant IL time but what ML player would risk their career on that happening? The upgrade possibilities from free agency will all want that everyday role being available or at least a platoon role. The only way we get them is by them not finding that and it hits March and they are 'oh crap I need a job'. Merrifield is here regardless and can play the OF as well as 2B. Biggio also. Worst case if/when someone goes down is using those 2 in a platoon situation in RF or LF. If 2 go down for any stretch it'd be a nightmare no matter what. It'd be nice for Lukes to get his shot as the 4th/5th OF - he stalled out in AAA with 3 full seasons there hitting a decent 273/342/406 at AAA and last year was 20-3 in SB-CS. Entering his age 28 season he doesn't have much time left before it ends. I love cheering on guys like him who have paid their dues and deserve that shot. I suspect he'd be a fine 4th OF who can play all 3 OF positions, pinch run, pinch hit, you name it. Why not give him a shot? A pure hitter you can get at the trade deadline if needed, by then we'll know how healthy this team is and if Merrifield is a decent backup for the OF (speed, able to hit doubles, tons of endurance as he didn't miss a single game over 3 seasons).

Nah, my biggest concern right now is the pen. One more high quality arm would make me feel better, especially a LH one. Thus why I suggested Andrew Chafin earlier. He is probably the best free agent left standing - a sinker/slider/fastball pitcher with high ground ball rate (over 50%) and high K% at 27% with his BB% sub 10% - slightly lower K% than Romano, but a better BB% and higher GB%. I'd love that finishing touch. Romano-Swanson-Garcia-Bass-Mayza-Cimber-White or Kikuchi plus Chafin. Richards would be dumped in this as I can't imagine Cimber, Mayza, Romano, or Swanson being sent to AAA and the Jays will want a long man in the pen in Kikuchi or White with the other the 5th man in the rotation (I strongly prefer both sharing that slot - max of 2 times through the order each, then the rest of the pen covers whatever is left plus the transition between them). Remember, for the pen we still will have Pop in AAA (who should be in the majors but who do you send down?) plus Yosver Zulueta (hotshot kid with a flamethrowing arm)

Rotation? Meh. We have a very solid top 4 imo (Berrios 2022 was a fluke I'm sure and having a strong defensive OF should be a massive help), and 5th slot can be Kikuchi/White until a kid is ready. If/when an injury happens it'll suck but hopefully that won't happen until a kid is ready for a shot, or one of Hatch-Pearson-Hutchison-Lawrence-Thornton is able to cover for a start or two. Phew, lots of backup in AAA. I suspect Pearson will be given short starts, 3 IP max, to stretch him out a bit followed by Zulueta. Plus mid-season we might have Ryu back too.

Yeah, I think the Jays are set for 2022 now, with minor tinkering left. If a quality starter or 4th OF is sitting around hunting for work come March the Jays might sign him. If Chafin is available at a good price he'd fit in the pen nicely. But right now I see the Jays sitting back and letting free agents come to them, letting other teams come to the door with trade offers but zero urgency to do anything right now. Spring battles will be for backup positions and kids trying to catch coaches eyes.
uglyone - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 03:53 PM EST (#425970) #
We're well covered defensively imo. The priority should be adding a pure bat.
John Northey - Saturday, January 07 2023 @ 07:16 PM EST (#425971) #
For pure bats it wouldn't hurt to chase down a few career AAA guys who never seem to get much of a chance - Matt Davidson has 1000 PA in the majors 94 OPS+, but in AAA over 8 seasons he has hit 253/335/479 - 815 with a 310/414/644 - 1.058 line in the PCL last year. The White Sox gave him nearly 2 full years at DH (plus some 1B/3B) and he had a 95 OPS+ with 330 K's. In the majors RHP killed him (683 OPS) but LHP are his bread and butter - 256/331/475 - 806 OPS. Sign him to a AAA deal and give him a real shot at the team in spring as a RH PH for KK primarily. With the depth on the bench that is all he'd need to do, the odd time being the RH DH. If hitting is all we need, especially vs LHP, then this guy could be the super-cheap option the Jays want. With a bench of Lopez-Biggio-Merrifield (or Espinal instead of one of the last 2) we have 3 guys who can play anywhere but catcher (that is what our LF is for and our DH). So no fear over having a pure bat on the bench who only hits for KK in pressure situations vs a LHP. I mean, what else do we need on the bench really? I'm sure there are other guys out there, Davidson just jumped out at me when I did a quick dive. One has to think there are other pure bats who are of minimal defensive value out there who are helpless vs RHP but kill LHP or are just very good hitters who can't field. Pure DH's who can't find a job in this era of utility.
John Northey - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 12:38 AM EST (#425972) #
Well, one of the potential 4th OF is gone - AJ Pollock signed with the Mariners for 1 year $7 mil. The article says he will likely platoon in LF with one of the Mariner's kids (all their young players are LH hitters, thus why they traded for Teoscar).
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 06:04 AM EST (#425973) #
Whitt Merrifield is the 4th OF, we are looking at a 5th outfielder and part time DH.
Chuck - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 09:50 AM EST (#425974) #
Whitt Merrifield is the 4th OF

Given the amount that the 4th OF is likely to play, Merrifield serving this role is fine and well if he's closer to the 120 AB guy he was with the Jays than the 1000 AB guy he was with KC over the past two seasons. I'm wondering if too much faith is being placed in his strong September.

His ability to play 2B and the OF makes him a useful bench player, but 4th outfielder, as we saw last year, is damn near a fulltime job.

dalimon5 - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 11:27 AM EST (#425975) #
Let it be known I'm in the *rare?* camp that believes Whit Merrifield will be the starting 2B and that Espinal and Biggio will spend more time as back ups and bench players.

It's hard to keep up very good performance when you're on a trash team with nobody around you to help in KC. Unless he gets injured or he aged a ton in the last 2 years and his time with the Jays was a fluke...I think it's very likely that he will be a solid regular for the Jays.
electric carrot - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 12:08 PM EST (#425976) #
Steamer projects Merrifield to have a WRc+ of 97 in 2023. I guess that's fine for a fourth outfielder. To me the projection seems reasonable and I'm only really excited by it insofar as it's not in the Tapia range. I will withhold judgment about the 4th outfielder till I see the BB prospect rankings. I think ideally, we'd have Schneider give some reps to Biggio in the outfield during spring training and thus have a trio of potential fourth outfielders that include Biggio, Merrifield and maybe an in season call-up. Schneider does seem unwilling so far to countenance Biggio in the outfield -- which does seem odd to me. His hitting projects to be about the same as Merrifield.
scottt - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 12:51 PM EST (#425977) #
Merrifield has never hit 20 homeruns, but he lead the league in hit in 2018/19 and he led the league in stolen bases 3 three times--last just in 2021. He had a 118 OPS+ in Toronto last year, which is just shy of his best year (120).

Overall his numbers are on a curve which peaked in 2018 when he was 29.
That was all in KC with a really bad team. 
An OPS+ around 100 with a high OBP and lots of baserunning value would add up to 3~4 WAR.
Espinal has been worth around 2.5 WAR.

dalimon5 - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 02:22 PM EST (#425978) #
Exactly. He is clearly our starting 2B. Hard to back up the OF when you're playing another position.
John Northey - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 02:24 PM EST (#425979) #
BR has lifetime WAR/162 G of 3.0 for Biggio, Merrifield 3.1, Espinal 3.2 - I like that, all 3 lifetime 3+ WAR per 162 games. But FanGraphs has them Merrifield 3.3, Biggio 2.5, Espinal 2.9 and projects them for 2023 as Merrifield 1.2, Biggio 0.8, Espinal 2.2.

So for 2023 the 3 combine for 4.2 fWAR which isn't much for 3 roster slots but for 2B alone would be great but the G/PA is 322 games, 1393 PA so 2.0 fWAR per 650 PA or basically what you'd expect from a full-time regular, split among 3 guys so basically we have a good bench is what it implies by having those 3 share 2B.

Now, will Merrifield be better now that he is settled into Toronto and knows for the first time in his career he is starting the season with a playoff contender? I doubt it'll make a big difference, but it shouldn't hurt.
John Northey - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 02:43 PM EST (#425980) #
As to backups - it really doesn't matter if Merrifield is the everyday 2B as then when a 4th OF is needed he could go out there while Espinal or Biggio goes in at 2B depending on who is better suited for that game (need more defense, Espinal, tough RHP Biggio).
85bluejay - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 02:52 PM EST (#425981) #
It's being reported that the Marlins are making 4 of their starters available - too bad the Jays may not have what the Marlins want as I think any of the 4 would be a welcome addition to the Jays rotation - I am partial to the potential and years of control of Cabrera & Luzardo - I would be interested in the value the Marlins place on Bichette , Jansen, Kirk, Espinal & Biggio.
uglyone - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 03:10 PM EST (#425982) #
"but 4th outfielder, as we saw last year, is damn near a fulltime job."

actually I disagree here - one of the huge flaws the last couple years is only having one guy that could play CF, with Springer needing time off this forced us to play our 4th OF much more than we should have. This is part of the reason why Tapia as a 4th OF was so bad - because due to roster construction our 4th OF in particular was a near full time role.

Last year PA as OF:

Teoscar 490
Gurriel 429
Tapia 416
Springer 393

This year that shouldn't be the case.

Varsho should be 600+ pa in the OF this year, while Springer should see less time at DH. Kiermaier does have an injury question but if he avoids another major injury he should be good for at least ~400pa out there too, and maybe more than that.

That would leave the 4th OF as more of a 200pa role than a 400pa role this year. And more importantly we should never have to play a 4th OF for defensive purporses (i.e. to play CF), they will only ever need to be a corner OF and likely only ever a LF. This makes Merrifield and Biggio's likely league average bats more than enough to fill in that slot.
uglyone - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 03:11 PM EST (#425983) #
Of course, it also lets is get a bigger bat as the 4th OF with very little defense value required.
John Northey - Sunday, January 08 2023 @ 04:51 PM EST (#425984) #
uglyone - wow, didn't notice none of the OF'ers had 500 PA last year in the OF. Springer & Teoscar cracked 500 PA overall but had some DH time obviously. Zimmer actually had more games in CF than anyone else (88 games but most were of the 1 to 2 inning variety late in games). Tapia was 2nd in innings in LF and RF and a close 3rd in CF. JBJ also had over 100 innings in CF. Teoscar was the only player with 1000 innings in the OF overall, dead on 1000 (966 2/3 in RF, 33 1/3 in LF), Tapia was 2nd with 935 1/3 innings. Gurriel next at 896 2/3, then Springer at 677 1/3. What a mess. Merrifield also cracked 100 I noticed as I dug in a bit more - 132 1/3 innings between all 3 positions so clearly he can handle the 4th OF position if needed.

I can't imagine 4th OF will get nearly 1000 innings again. In 2021 we saw Hernandez 1138 innings, Grichuk 1065 2/3, Gurriel 943 2/3, Springer 333 2/3, with 200's for Dickerson and Davis, while 100+ innings for Biggio. Palacios had 91, Dyson 55, while Jared Hoying & Kevin Smith each played less than a games worth of innings.

2019 saw Grichuk get over 1000, Hernandez come close 991, then 500+ for both Billy McKinney & Gurriel, with 3 guys in the 200's in Fisher, Davis, and Drury while Socrates Brito, Biggio, Alford, Sogard, Pillar, Hanson, and Urena all had time out there too.

Basically, it is odd to have your planned 4th OF get that much time despite not playing well like happened last year. We saw injuries to Hernandez and Springer which skyrocketed his time, but he was so poor on defense that Zimmer got into 88 games in CF. What is tough is that both years Springer has been here we've seen our 4th OF get regular playing time. Now with KK and Varsho both being CF'ers along with Springer the situation isn't the same. We can have a 4th OF who is a pure LF or RF easily or just use converted IF'ers out there. But there is a high risk of both KK and Springer going down at the same time. This is where prospects are needed. Merrifield playing everyday out there we could make work (Espinal/Biggio sharing 2B) I suspect. But if 2 positions need to be filled who fills the other one? Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger are the 2 best hitting prospects who are close but neither has time in the OF. Nathan Lukes is the top guy on the 40 man for the OF but entering his age 28 season the odds of him being more than an emergency cover is minimal. Zach Britton is the most interesting one - climbing fast over his first 2 minor league seasons and should be in AA to start but if he hits like he did last year he'll be in AAA before you know it and ready for his shot. He is the best hope for a regular OF'er from the system imo.
Glevin - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:43 AM EST (#425986) #
I think Barger might be an important piece of the team this year. Excellent numbers across all levels of the minors last year and can play all over infield (and hits L). ZIPS has him as a 2 WAR player playing regularly. If he can play regularly at 2B and backup at 3B vs. R , it would be a huge help and give the Jays way more flexibility (i.e. Merrifield more full-time 4th OFer) .
ISLAND BOY - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 12:41 PM EST (#425990) #
The Jays might want to give Barger a bit more time at AAA and see how the roster shakes out as the season progresses. Much as I like Cavan Biggio, he may be on thin ice if he doesn't produce this year and Barger may definitely force his way onto the roster.

Best wishes and hopes for good results for Chicago White Sox pitcher, and former Jay, Liam Hendriks, who announced that he is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkins Lymphona.
PeterG - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 08:58 PM EST (#425995) #
Brandon Belt signed for one year
JohnL - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:00 PM EST (#425997) #
Seems Don Mattingly has a side gig, according to Bob Nightengale's Twitter as a baseball advisor to the Nashville Stars group which is lobbying MLB for a franchise (expansion or move.) Dave Stewart is the front man.

The Nashville Stars was the name of a Negro League team located there, and the ownership group seems to be focused on building the Black community around their planned stadium. The large group (minimum stake: $25,000) is 42% Black. Source:
PeterG - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:09 PM EST (#425999) #
9.3 mil for Belt
uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:11 PM EST (#426000) #
yeah that's a good signing. surprised he came so cheap.
uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:13 PM EST (#426001) #
I can now say the team is most likely legit better on paper than last year.

I'm surprised he came so cheap. He could easily end up our best hitter without it being too big a surprise.
uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:24 PM EST (#426002) #
Now we are finally good enough that we have good starter quality on the bench. This is actually exciting.

2yr Stats

* RF Springer (33): 925pa, 135wrc+, 4.7war650
* SS Bichette (25): 1387pa, 125wrc+, 4.5war650
* 1B Guerrero (24): 1404pa, 149wrc+, 4.2war650
* DH Belt (35): 679pa, 130wrc+, 3.3war650
* C Jansen (28): 453pa, 124wrc+, 5.7war650
* 3B Chapman (30): 1243pa, 110wrc+, 4.3war650
* LF Varsho (26): 907pa, 104wrc+, 5.0war650
* 2B Espinal (28): 737pa, 104wrc+, 3.7war650
* CF Kiermaier (33): 611pa, 97wrc+, 3.8war650

* UT Merrifield (34): 1270pa, 89wrc+, 2.3war650
* UT Biggio (28): 597pa, 90wrc+, 1.3war650
* C Kirk (24): 730pa, 123wrc+, 4.0war650

More than happy leaving the last spot open for kids to fight over.
scottt - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:26 PM EST (#426003) #
Here's the DH we needed.

381 PAs in 2021, 298 last year.
He's going to be 35 and doesn't need to play every day.

He's going to get a few start at 1B when Vlad is the DH.
Can pinch hit off the bench here and there.

Only 84 games in LF vs 1144 at 1B, but will probably get some starts there.

uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:33 PM EST (#426004) #
hasn't played OF in years and coming off another knee surgery I doubt he ever does. It'll be rare enough to see him at 1B I'd guess.

On another note we have to be solidly in the Tax now. Hard not to be pleased to finally see us there. It's about time.
vw_fan17 - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:36 PM EST (#426005) #
Wow - we've gone from having the following LHB available to choose from:
Moreno - switch hitter IIRC, OPS 733 (but wasted as DH, questionable as OF).
The rest were all below 700 (highest value of OPS+ of 92 for Collins and Biggio): Collins, Biggio, Tapia, Zimmer, JBJ

To now, we could field an all-LHB outfield of Belt, Varsho, Kiermaier (or swap the last two). All of which seem likely to match or beat Biggio's OPS+ of 92 at minimum.

Not sure if Belt is still serviceable in LF, though..

Add in Biggio at 2nd for tough righties, and we could have 4 "reasonably legit" LHB in the lineup, whereas we struggled to find ONE last year.
Gerry - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:37 PM EST (#426006) #
He will be 35 shortly after the season starts. He probably could play in LF with a strike out pitcher on the mound but I wouldn't bet on it. It will allow the catchers more rest time than they got in 2022 and he can DH against RHP. $9M seems like a lot but it depends if he can bounce back from a not so good, injury impacted, 2022.

I wonder if Biggio or Merrifield are on the way out now.
johnny was - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 09:40 PM EST (#426007) #
He was a beastly hitter in 2020 and '21, but the projection models don't see much of a bounce back this year. Probably no need for him to bring a glove to ST if the plan is to have him appear in 100 or so games as the strong-side DH with Kirk and Jerry taking on the lefties.

I wouldn't put $18 million of my own money into the geriatric versions of Belt and Kiermaier, but this could maybe work out.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:04 PM EST (#426008) #
Ugly is happy and that makes me happy. Greenfrog, what say you?
Chuck - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:15 PM EST (#426009) #
I wonder if Biggio or Merrifield are on the way out now.

Merrifield's right-handedness seemed redundant in 2022 but suddenly seems quite valuable in 2023. Biggio could well be squeezed out of playing time with Belt's arrival, as Belt would now appear to be the go-to to spell Guerrero at 1B (32 of Biggio's 49 starts came at 1B in 2022).

Eephus - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:22 PM EST (#426010) #
As Da Box's shameless lover of LH long-time National League first basemen (Votto, Freeman, Rizzo etc), I absolutely love buying low on Brandon Belt. At his best, in my opinion he's the exact missing piece this offense still lacked (a dangerous LH hitter with significant on-base skills) since Kiermaier and Varsho are still more on the free swingin' side of the ledger. Belt was also an excellent defender at 1B back in his heyday, but you have to figure all those knee injuries have limited his range at this point. As an additional something, he joins George Springer as the only players on the current roster to have won a World Series (Yimi Garcia and Kiermaier have both played in one for the losing team) so take that as being however valuable as you like. 

Belt will be 35 in April, saw his power numbers dip in 2022 and combine that with the constant knee problems that have diminished his still impressive career... you can see the risk and the reason he came so affordable. I'm not sure playing him in the OF at any point is particularly wise, both for his health and for the fella on the mound. There's certainly a path to getting him plenty of ABs at 1B/DH regardless, and perhaps semi-regular duty (three-four starts a week, plus pinch hitting opportunities) helps keep his creaky knee from barking at him too much. It's essentially the Greg Bird role we were all envisioning last spring before the team ditched Bird at the last second, except with way more established upside.

If you can keep Belt on the field at a level reasonably close to his career levels (nevermind his 20-21 production) you've got a bonafide middle of the order bat. He's seriously such a darn good hitter with an absolutely gorgeous, effortless swing. It's not my dream of freeing Joey Votto from the Reds, but it'll do just fine for now. 
uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:25 PM EST (#426011) #
"I wonder if Biggio or Merrifield are on the way out now."

Hope they just keep everyone and never have to play any bad players ever.
greenfrog - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:25 PM EST (#426012) #
I like this move. Potentially very good LH bat off the bench. Decent chance of having a solid rebound season and crushing it in the RC. Having him might lessen the need to use a catcher at DH, which might help keep Kirk and Jansen healthy. It might help other players stay more rested too.

Didn't PeterG propose this move several weeks ago? Nice call.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:38 PM EST (#426013) #
If his name was mentioned at all in our roster speculation, I'm sure it was by no more than one person. This sets up a radically different team than last year -- definitely more left-handed, better defensively, less fun loving. The front office decided they needed to go in a different direction and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field.
scottt - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:40 PM EST (#426014) #
Merrifield is the back up CF. Biggio is possibly the backup RF.
Espinal is the infield UT.
They can DH a catcher if they want more right bats against a lefty.

There's still one spot left on the bench.
I got Nathan Lukes penciled in for now. Late inning replacement in blow outs.
Pinch runner and the like but Biggio can also be used late in a key spot. 

Looks pretty good on paper.

uglyone - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:42 PM EST (#426015) #
We have something like $10m left before hitting the next tax threshold.

It seems surreal that we're actually approaching $250m.

F'ing finally.

Let's F'ing GO!
Nigel - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 10:50 PM EST (#426016) #
I like Belt and that’s a reasonable number but such a weird fit for this roster. Appears they’ve done a 180 on the idea that the DH spot should be used to rotate regulars through.
PeterG - Monday, January 09 2023 @ 11:27 PM EST (#426017) #
It is likely that Otto Lopez will be the 26th man.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:30 AM EST (#426018) #
"ppears they’ve done a 180 on the idea that the DH spot should be used to rotate regulars through."

that was always just an excuse to run a weaker roster, though.

get a real DH. build a good enough team that you can actually rest players instead of wasting the DH spot on middling hitters.
Jonny German - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 04:35 AM EST (#426019) #
Excellent. I had Belt on my bingo card of potential additions, but didn't think they'd be able to make it work with the amount of money and playing time he'd command. Nice to see them flexing the big market muscles.

The expression "Prospects are for poor people" most often comes up when talking about trading young players for established ones. But it also applies here - Addison Barger and Spencer Horwitz and Otto Lopez could potentially contribute to a World Series champion in 2023, but for a big market team like Toronto they shouldn't be Plan A or even Plan B.

A few weeks ago the Box seemed pessimistic about how the offseason was going and I predicted they would be Over on 2-1/2 more additions to the 40-man. Now it feels like I was too conservative. Technically they've already hit the over with Varsho, Belt, and Junior Fernández. I think they'll still add a righty outfielder (McCutchen, please) and quite possibly a reliever too (I like the idea of taking a flyer on Zack Britton).
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 06:42 AM EST (#426020) #
I haven't been more vocal for a series of non-baseball reasons (among them, I am now retired and wish that John Tory would join me). But I was positive about what the club had done before, and indeed have been wondering whether a LH bat like Belt was a higher priority than a RH outfield bat like McCutchen. It was close, and both would be useful.

The off-season has been quite purposeful- improve the outfield defence, balance out the lineup, and improve the bench. They may also have been trying to break up the Barrio, although that would be stoutly denied. The D'Backs insisted on Gurriel Jr.'s inclusion in the Varsho deal. We swear.

So let's count out the roster. Kirk, Jansen, Guerrero Jr., Belt, Espinal, Biggio. Merrifield, Bichette, Chapman, Varsho, Kiermaier, Springer. That makes 12. Biggio's role is quite attenuated unless he is used in the corner outfield when Springer or Kiermaier is resting or injured and a RH pitcher is starting. They've got a couple of good choices for the 13th position player.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 06:58 AM EST (#426021) #
I am somewhat relieved that the Jays appear to have abandoned the “use DH to rest regulars” approach. It lead to far too much Tapia last season and the team is much better off with a middle of the order DH. This likely means Kirk only DH’s against LHP most nights, and Jansen will be more of a backup when everyone is healthy. The depth on the team will be substantially better this season, and if Belt bounces back in 2023 (far from a guarantee due to age) then he’s exactly what the lineup needed. I wasn’t banking on the Jays spending this much on a bat given how close they were to the CBT threshold but glad to see that’s not an obstacle for the FO or more importantly for ownership.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 07:36 AM EST (#426022) #
Happy with the signing as it now gives Jays three lefties and another legitimate bat. I do believe there is no such thing as a bad one year deal. Like others, I am now struggling to see Biggio's place on the roster. Third string 2B? Backup DH? He does have options left though and might be more use going back and forth in the QEW than what he'd bring back in any deal.
grjas - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 08:12 AM EST (#426023) #
Good to see a semi=permanent DH. Didn’t like the wear and tear on Kirk which appeared to show in his second half numbers. Even in an injury riddled year, Belt still had a first half OPS of 781 in 2022. Still has gas in the tank.

Won’t be surprised if they add a 4th outfielder which could also give them 2 solid PH’s off the bench- one on each side- in addition to the spare catcher.
lexomatic - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 08:24 AM EST (#426024) #
from a recent fangraphs article on SF, apparently the stadium is the WORST in the league for LH power with a park factor of 87. Playing a few games in fenway amd Yankee stadium could be huge. I imagine that Roger's centre is fairly neutral fie LH so would present a significant increase. I wouldn't be surprised by Belt pushing 20 Hr with close to 400 PA (though not expecting it). But SF very slightly boosts other offense so only seeing reasonable room for more HR The Fangraphs projection seems reasonable given age and health, but certainly more upside than normal for this signing. And he's being paid to be a 1 win player
Parker - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 09:17 AM EST (#426025) #
I love the Belt signing, not just because I like him as a player and feel he's a good fit for the Jays, but also because it shows that veteran free agents are actually willing to sign with the Jays in a support role. The contract looks like a fair deal rather than an overpay on the Jays' part. Great move by the team.

Looks like Johnny Kuato is off the board. Too bad.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 09:51 AM EST (#426026) #
Congratulations on retirement Mike Green - A reminder that municipal elections are only 4 years away and it takes time to build a base.

Happy about balancing of the lineup as I've been banging about the lack of LHH the last few years and I also felt the team lacked maturity (maybe an old person's gripe), so I'm not upset about the breaking up of the Barrio even if there was no causal linkage.

My expectation is that Otto Lopez is the favourite for the 13th position player especially if his stint in CF during winter ball was acceptable.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 10:02 AM EST (#426027) #
The lockout last year put smaller transactions on hold. Tapia was acquired March 24 and Zimmer April 8. I don't know how much either hurt a 92 win team.
electric carrot - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 10:12 AM EST (#426028) #
No complaints here about Belt. Seems to give Schneider lots of options for lineups and pinch hitters etc ... and a little wiggle room if there are injuries. His acquisition also seems to give even more reason for Biggio to be used as a backup outfielder at times. Belt's a slugger (one hopes) but doesn't seem to be have much value as an outfielder.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 10:17 AM EST (#426029) #
I hope he can bounce back this year. Right now I see a lot of dark blue on his baseball savant page. 4th percentile sprint speed means he’s likely done with the OF, and his 2nd percentile arm strength also reinforces that point.

For the optimists in the group. It looks like he had an especially terrible end to the season. Basically a reverse Bo. His last 250 PA are dark red (great) for the first 80% and then a deep dip at the end. It certainly looks like he was affected by injury towards the end of his season
uglyone - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 11:36 AM EST (#426033) #
I never had much time for the "balancing the lineup" thing. The Jays were excellent vRHP last year and may in fact be worse vRHP this year despite more LHH. though admittedly there are some other benefits of lineup balancing like making opponents make more pitching changes (even if those changes are based on tradition instead of present reality).

I just like that we have guys who have been top quality, even elite, starting players in the recent past....that will be forced to ride the pine when we are healthy.

The biggest benefit of this depth is that we can both rest everyone liberallly, but even more importantly we can avoid the worst matchups for most everyone, and use them all in their more favourable matchups, which should make all their stats look a little prettier.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 11:41 AM EST (#426034) #
Thanks for the 12 man position roster Mike Green.

I too like the B Belt addition. A 1 year deal is a short term commitment. Last year of control of Ryu, Belt, KK, Chapman, Bass, Merrifield and maybe others. They are depth when there are injuries. The 2024 payroll will have money to spend with the above players coming off the books.

The hope is that by the mid point of 2023 the farm has produced some kids that are ready to graduate. That will help 2024 with replacements for the departing players.

The payroll has increased a lot this year. I don't know if the penalty is light or heavy for that. We had a chance in 2022 to be in a pennant race, make the playoffs and go deep into the playoffs. The 2023 team has a lower chance to achieve "make the playoffs" than the 2022 team IMO due to Seattle and Texas being "equal to Toronto" this year on paper rather than worse. But 2023 does have better depth, RH/LH balance and no Tapia/Zimmer than 2022 IMO.
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:22 PM EST (#426037) #
The way the roster is currently constructed, I see Merrifield as the 4th outfielder as we have 2 lefties in the outfield and wouldn't make a lot of sense to use Biggio there semi-regularly. With potential injuries, lefty starters, Springer's occasional DHing, the 4th OF would likely see a lot of at bats. I see Biggio playing more 2B with some Espinal and some Merrifield.

The 13th position player would ideally be lefty mashing outfielder who would primarily pinch hits, but likely going to someone like Lopez who pinch runs, fills in at different positions in blowouts to give the regulars some innings off their feet. There's already enough defence and speed on the roster that a bat is more preferable for the 13th spot.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:25 PM EST (#426038) #
I must say the F.O is rapidly turning this off-season around for me. Having spent some summer evenings watching the Giants late into the night, I'm really happy we're going to have Belt. When he's healthy, there aren't too many hitters in the entire league that will work a pitcher over more. Being a power hitter in that ballpark in SF isn't easy and you have to think given enough at bats, he'll drastically diversify and ultimately strengthen the Jays offense.

Hopefully the Jays can now flip Biggio for a reliever or an extra outfielder.

PeterG - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:44 PM EST (#426039) #
Jays have traded OF Chavez Young to Pirates for Zach Thompson

Junior Fernandez DFA.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:44 PM EST (#426040) #

The jays have traded Chavez Young to the Pirates for Zach Thompson.

NOT pending physicals.

— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 10, 2023
Had a decent year as a swing man the year before last, but that was probably a fluke.
James W - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 12:49 PM EST (#426041) #
Speaking of pending physicals -- Carlos Correa and the Twins have come to agreement at 6 years, $200 million, with 4 additional years possible through vesting options. Is the third time the charm?
bpoz - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 01:03 PM EST (#426042) #
I really liked Chavez Young but Z Thompson gives us the immediate help that we need just in case.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 01:21 PM EST (#426043) #
Feels like just getting some AAA starting depth and someone who can make a handful of starts in case of injury without killing you. Young had an 86 WRC+ at AAA as a 25 YO so no big loss.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 01:45 PM EST (#426047) #
Like the Thompson trade, much like I appreciated the Drew Hutchison signing before it. Nice AAAA depth which is underrated in a 162 game season. 

I just wish that the front office could find an equivalent for a right handed hitting OF.

That said, I really like what we've done this offseason.
Waveburner - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 01:50 PM EST (#426048) #
Thompson has all of his options remaining from what I can see. For whatever that is worth.

I count 40 names on the Jays roster and Belt has not been added yet. I'm guessing one of Hatch, Merryweather or Thornton will be released to make room.
Cracka - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 02:58 PM EST (#426050) #
I just saw this about Correa: "As part of Mets offer, Correa would have to take an annual physical which would guarantee the following year if passed. So 6/157.5 was conditional on him passing every annual physical.". Correa's knee must be really, really bad to go from offering twelve guaranteed years to only guaranteeing one year at a time - which is unprecedented to my knowledge! Will be interesting to see how this plays out... kudos to the Twins for taking the risk though.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 03:15 PM EST (#426051) #
Waveburner - makes sense, I suspect Merryweather might be the one cut as I don't see a path to him making the 2023 roster short of tons of injuries and he is out of options so they might lose him in late March anyways.

Bullpen: Romano, Garcia, Swanson, Bass, Cimber, Mayza, Richards, White/Kikuchi (depending on which is in the rotation) with Pop, Gage as the first guys up, then prospects like Yosver Zulueta, and Pearson among others.  So I have trouble seeing how Merryweather makes this team before being exposed to waivers.  Heck, Thornton was more effective in 2022 than Merryweather was.

I am wondering if there is a chance Kikuchi ends up in AAA now given he has options while White doesn't.  One of them will be the long man I'm sure, but if the Jays sign another starter or new guy Zach Thompson wins the 5th starter role or if a kid emerges in spring and wins it then something has to give.

The rotation is getting nice and deep now.  Manoah-Gausman-Bassitt-Berrios as the big 4, Kikuchi-White-Thompson fighting for the 5th role (losers are 6-7) with Lawrence, Hutchison, and Hatch in AAA fighting for a shot as well gets us up to 9 guys with ML experience as a starting pitcher.  Add in kids like Nate Pearson, Sem Robberse, Hayden Juenger, Ricky Tiedemann, etc. and you get a real dogfight at the ML level and in AAA with some of those kids now needing to look at starting in AA this year instead.  Buffalo I see as Lawrence, Hutchison, Hatch, Thompson and one of the kids right now (maybe 2 kids splitting the 5th role).
uglyone - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 03:26 PM EST (#426052) #
Merryweather DFA'd to make room.

Thornton remains. Like a lingering cough.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 03:40 PM EST (#426053) #
Thornton still has options. That's the difference.

In other news, Trevor Story out for season after TJ surgery.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 03:48 PM EST (#426055) #
I am expecting that Merryweather will be claimed by some team. Teams always love velocity.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 03:51 PM EST (#426056) #
"I am expecting that Merryweather will be claimed by some team. Teams always love velocity."

If I were a team like the Pirates or Oakland, I'd give him a shot too. His velocity is great but his fastball was just too flat. If someone can fix that (big if), and he can stay healthy (also a big if), he'll be an elite reliever.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 04:00 PM EST (#426057) #
Good call on JM, John Northey.

I’m actually happy for merryweather, he’s been so snakebit.

The depth is shaping up nicely. Young was expendable with KK and varsho able to Play cf. hope fernandez makes it through waivers, but we likely turn over the last few 40 man spots… hatch, gage, Lukes, Thornton … lots of guys could go,

I think we might be close to done, but if another value option like belt appears, we can still act.

Honest, for once I’m glad the FO is conservative / risk averse temperamentally … feels like the market was overheated?
uglyone - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 05:55 PM EST (#426058) #
"For the optimists in the group. It looks like he had an especially terrible end to the season. Basically a reverse Bo. His last 250 PA are dark red (great) for the first 80% and then a deep dip at the end. It certainly looks like he was affected by injury towards the end of his season"

he was probably also a heavy heavy shifts guy, for what it's worth.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 06:33 PM EST (#426059) #
I like FanGraphs take on the Belt signing...
Brandon Belt Has One Job For the Blue Jays
Basically Belt kills RHP who throw breaking balls - a weakness for the Jays in 2022.  Everyone in the lineup it seemed was a fastball hitter.  So it wasn't so much needing a LH bat as needing a guy who could mash breaking balls.

So new roster...
C: Kirk
1B: Vlad
2B: Merrifield
3B: Chapman
SS: Bo
LF: Varsho
CF: Kiermmaier
RF: Springer
DH: Belt
Bench: Jansen (C), Espinal (IF), Biggio (IF/OF), and a battle between Lopez (IF/OF), Lukes (pure OF), and whoever is invited to spring training.

So now I expect 2B to be a merry-go-round with Merryfield-Espinal-Biggio all splitting it.  OF to be the big 3 with Merrifield the 4th and Biggio mixed in now and then.  DH to be Belt vs RHP, Kirk vs LHP, Jansen when a LHP is against the Jays and Manoah is pitching.
LHP will see Merrifield over KK or Varsho depending who needs a day off most (KK most of the time), Espinal at 2B, Jansen behind the plate, Kirk at DH.
RHP will see Biggio at 2B quite often if his bat comes to life, with Belt at DH and Kirk or Jansen behind the plate. 

Basically everyone on the bench will have a clear regular role outside of the 26th man whose job is just to pinch run (for Belt, Kirk, or Jansen), come in and give someone a rest in blowouts, that sort of thing.  I suspect Lukes will get it if the Jays feel Lopez needs playing time to be ready as an injury cover for the 3 at 2B.  Also probable that the Jays sign a AAAA OF (or older vet who accepts that role) who bats right so he can hit for KK late if needed and Merrifield is already in the game.  

Btw, for other news, Corey Dickerson signed with Washington (1 year $2.25), Marlins signed Johnny Cueto (1 year $6 with club option for 2024 for $10.5 mil or $2.5 mil buyout).  So an ex-Jay and a guy a lot wanted signed for 5th starter are both off the table now.  I'm still hoping for an Andrew Chafin signing (LH reliever) and Robbie Grossman (perfect RH OF to backup our guys) is still out there too.  I suspect the Jays are waiting for those 2 and/or others to reduce their demands or to make a trade for a RH OF or LH reliever.  Otherwise I'd say this winter is as mission accomplished as possible. 
John Northey - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 06:42 PM EST (#426060) #
Just thinking through the 1-9 order...
RHP: Springer-Bo-Vlad-Belt(L)-Kirk-Varsho (L)-Merrifield-Chapman-Kiermaier (L)
That gives the usual top 3, then LH surrounding Kirk which should help him a bit, then 2 speedy guys before Chapman (lots of RBI chances for him) and KK because he has to hit somewhere.

LHP: Springer-Bo-Vlad-Kirk-Merrifield (LF)-Varsho (CF)-Chapman-Jansen-Espinal
Again, the usual start, then speed in Merrifield, the lone LH in Varsho, followed by 3 RH bats.  sometimes Varsho will sit and KK in CF vs LHP but not often I suspect.

If a RH bat is added who can play RF or LF then he'd be in the lineup instead of Varsho with Springer going back to CF (and a much weaker OF defense overall) but I suspect Varsho will play vs all comers except when he needs a day off for rest, with Merrifield the 4th OF instead of signing a new RH bat.
scottt - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 06:54 PM EST (#426061) #
With Correa, it doesn't appear to be the knee.
He fractured his right fibula at 19. He had extensive ankle surgery.
It could have remained vulnerable--he limped after stealing a base last September--or it could be that something with the ankle causes him back pain. 

scottt - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 07:01 PM EST (#426062) #
Chavez Young wasn't on the 40.
He had no immediate path to play in Toronto.

It's all about Gabriel Martinez and Dasan Brown now.
Others would need to hit their way in. (Like Horwitz or Lopez)

Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 07:33 PM EST (#426064) #
This is the most complete Jays team since 2015.
Magpie - Tuesday, January 10 2023 @ 10:28 PM EST (#426067) #
I'd rather find the OF equivalent of Drew Hutchinson

Kevin Pillar?
soupman - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 08:26 AM EST (#426072) #
pundits had the jays as world beaters last year going into the season. this year's jays team is, in my view, much improved on paper - but far less hyped so far.

i could see this team winning 100 games because they have lots of ways to win, but more importantly: fewer ways to lose. i think the last position player bench spot that people talk about a lot here is far less of a concern than the bullpen which is still just okay to my eyes. if they're where they should be in the standings by June, i think they should go get an elite reliever. i also think the lack of a left in the rotation is a glaring weakness.

ultimately, i think the team looks good going into the season. plus, if it works out they're set up for the next couple of years.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 09:57 AM EST (#426076) #
Boston is having a very hard time improving. T Story injured and Bogaerts gone. The rotation is players hoping for good health.

The Jays could be in a situation where their stars depart as FAs. There are also injuries to deal with C Sale/Ryu. The Jays adjusted by adding. Boston had bad luck regarding Sale. Seems to me Boston is weaker this year compared to last year.

Nothing is for sure but it seems to me that the AL West has stronger overall playoff contenders than the AL East.
Cracka - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 10:14 AM EST (#426077) #
I'd be very happy to see Kevin Pillar back in the organization if it was a two-way, non-roster invitee contract like he had last season with LAD ($2.5M salary in MLB, ~$500k in minors). This is how big-spending teams (like us!) build elite AAA depth. He probably doesn't have much left in the tank but would certainly be worth a look on a non-guaranteed deal.
soupman - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 10:32 AM EST (#426081) #
houston just won the WS after spring and correa left. i don't understand why fans here are so set on giving nearly a billion dollars to two players that have yet to win a single playoff game.
scottt - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 10:40 AM EST (#426083) #
2015 was not a very complete team.

Reyes was the SS. Played 69 games. Terrible defense. They got Tulo late. He played in only 41 games.
Ryan Goins had 69 starts at 2B, OPS+ 83. Devon Travis was good for 62 starts.
Collabello tried to play LF. Ezequiel Carrera played in 91 games. (OPS+ 88)
The backup catcher was Josh Thole, OPS+ 36.

Hutchison was the starting pitcher. Made 28 starts. ERA+ 103, but only 150 innings.
Buehrle made 32 starts, ERA+ 108, was left off the playoff roster.

Was the pen better than now?
Bo Schultz,
Steve Delabar,

There were a lot of guys getting chances (Jeff Francis, Todd Redmond, Scott Copeland, Miguel Castro, Colt Hynes, ) and they still acquired 2 (or was it 3) relievers at the deadline (LaTroy Hawkins, Mark Lowe, ?)

uglyone - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 11:30 AM EST (#426089) #
Come on now. Sure they had some injuries and one hole in LF but that was a very complete team.


* 3B Donaldson 711pa, 154wrc+, 8.0war650
* RF Bautista 666pa, 148wrc+, 5.1war650
* DH Encarnacion 624pa, 150wrc+, 4.7war650
* 1B Colabello 360pa, 143wrc+, 2.5war650
* 2B Travis 238pa, 136wrc+, 6.0war650
* C Martin 507pa, 115wrc+, 5.8war650
* CF Pillar 628pa, 94wrc+, 3.8war650
* SS Tulowitzki 183pa, 92wrc+, 4.3war650
* LF Revere 246pa, 102wrc+, 1.9war650

* 1B Smoak 328pa, 108wrc+, 1.4war650
* OF Carrera 192pa, 90wrc+, 0.3war650
* IF Goins 428pa, 85wrc+, 2.0war650
* C Navarro 192pa, 94wrc+, 0.5war650
* OF Pompey 103pa, 82wrc+, 0.7war650

* X Valencia 173pa, 127wrc+, 4.9war650
* X Reyes 311pa, 94wrc+, 2.1war650
* X Saunders 36pa, 47wrc+, 0.0war650

* SP Price 32gs, 60era-, 7.0war32
* SP Stroman 4gs, 41era-, 6.8war32
* SP Estrada 34gs, 77era-, 2.9war32
* SP Dickey 33gs, 96era-, 2.4war32
* SP Buehrle 32gs, 94era-, 2.0war32
* SP Hutch 30gs, 137era-, 0.2war32

* RP Osuna 68gs, 64era-, 1.5war65
* RP Sanchez 41gs, 79era-, 1.7war65
* RP Lowe 57gs, 49era-, 1.5war65
* RP Hendriks 58gs, 72era-, 1.4war65
* RP Cecil 63gs, 61era-, 1.3war65
* RP Hawkins 42gs, 75era-, 0.7war65
* RP Schultz 31gs, 88era-, -0.1war65
* RP Loup 60gs, 110era-, -0.1war65
* RP Tepera 32gs, 81era-, -0.3war65
* RP Delabar 31gs, 129era-, -0.6war65

bpoz - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 11:43 AM EST (#426091) #
I now understand what scottt means by complete team. Quality backups. Atkins is good at finding spare parts from other teams, especially St Louis A Diaz and Grichuk.

The pen has never been very strong since the 2018 rebuild. Our opening day rotation has only been good on paper since 2022 Manoah, Gausman, Ryu, Berrios and Kikuchi with Stripling #6. 2023 has Manoah, Gausman, Bassit and Berrios. So only 4 compared to 6 for Opening day. A Matz or Stripling type surprise would be good. A Ray type surprise would be fantastic. I know that surprises happen. Manoah to me counts as that type of surprise.

We have the depth for a surprise like Hutch/Thompson and a few other veterans. I think Juenger can do 120 innings and Robberse 140 in 2023. Long shot I know.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 12:12 PM EST (#426092) #
I am on UO's side about the 2015 team. My reasoning below.

1) 221+ run differential. If accurate (doubtful) but WOW!! Best by far in all of baseball.

2) We definitely had stars on offense.

3)Pitching: Great pen. Our rotation Dickey 214 IP, Buehrle 199 IP, Estrada 181 IP and Hutch 150 IP all #2s with 3 in their 30s. No #1 until D Price also 30s.

At the trade deadline this team was not strong in the standings. We all know that the deadline trades were the difference.

Rogers is to blame for the mid level payroll. They probably did not believe the fans would generate the revenue and had to be convinced. Halladay probably had to be convinced as well I think.

Shapiro is benefitting from the philosophy of the payroll increase. I never thought payroll would go as high as the 2023 estimate.

The 93 win 2015 team still has recent bragging rights.
electric carrot - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 12:35 PM EST (#426094) #
I agree with the consensus that this is the best team we've seen for a while. Let's hope the pitching holds together!

For me the sour note in all of this exuberance about the 2023 team is that MLB is still a league where the team that spends more money has the better shot to win. Now we're the big fish. But longterm I would love to see a model where there was greater equity between the haves and the have-not teams.
Magpie - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 12:45 PM EST (#426095) #
the consensus that this is the best team we've seen for a while.

In times like these, I always try to remember the wise counsel of WInston Wolf. I can never forget how the 2013 team looked all shiny and wonderful and had us all pretty excited. Until they actually started playing the games.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 01:42 PM EST (#426099) #
At least they're actually trying this offseason. I was scared they'd be robbing peter to pay paul, and the teoscar trade scared me in that way, but it looks like they're not willing to rest on their laurels this offseason after 1 or 2 moves.

With a bit more room left before the next Tax threshhold, it would be nice to see them finish off with one more solid add. And really it could be anywhere - the bench has a spot open, the #5SP slot could use a better 1st option, and the pen could always use the help.

At that point all my complaints about their philosophy and tendencies will be moot, as they'll have definitely decided to go all in for the first time.

Unfortunately the biggest issue on the team is the $30m sunk into Ryu and Kikuchi which is likely to be completely wasted this year (and might actually hurt us on the field if we care too much about trying to recoup that money somewhow).

Of course, this being baseball, either of those guys becoming a good 5th SP this year wouldn't be a shocker, either.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 01:45 PM EST (#426100) #
An interesting question to consider is whether this has the chance to be the best defensive Jays team ever. I'm pretty sure we've never had a team with 3 quality defensive CFs patrolling the OF. We also have gems behind the plate and on the corners. SS would seem to be the only spot where we're subpar defensively.
grjas - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 02:43 PM EST (#426108) #
The 2015 team was a different one after AA worked his magic at the trade deadline. Comparing April 1 lineups, I think this is a better team (on paper) with better defence and base running.

I’m probably in the minority but I still worry about the rotation this year. They only have 3 guys that right now are reliable, 2 of whom are not spring chickens. If one of those 3 gets injured for an extended period and Berrios and Kikuchi don’t turn it around then it could be trouble. There is a wide variety of outcomes for the latter two, so hopefully last year’s troubles are behind them.
scottt - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 04:29 PM EST (#426111) #
The 2015 team was .500 at the deadline but in contention in a weak division and AA planning to move on.
It was a team with glaring holes in several positions. Donaldson, Bautita and Encarnation were the best trio in of hitters in baseball, but that didn't make it a complete team.

The Yankees finished second with 87 wins. Orioles were third with 81.

Magpie - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 04:45 PM EST (#426113) #
The 2015 team was .500 at the deadline but in contention in a weak division and AA planning to move on.

After the games of 28 July, they were 50-51. Good for fourth place, 8 games back of the Yankees. Outer fringes of contention, I suppose. Anthopoulos wasn't planning to move on - he was expecting to get fired unless something really remarkable happened. Like the team winning 14 of their next 15 games.
Magpie - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 04:53 PM EST (#426114) #
I’m probably in the minority but I still worry about the rotation this year.

If you're in the minority, that doesn't speak too well of the majority. The rotation - the pitching in general - is the obvious spot where the team needs to get better. Only one team in the AL scored more runs than the 2022 Jays. But they were very average at preventing the other guys from scoring. Just in terms of run prevention, they had the eighth best rotation and the ninth best bullpen.

I think it's unreasonable to expect Manoah to be as awesome as he was in 2022, but I also think it's unreasonable to expect Gausman to be as throrughly snakebitten as he was. It seems to me that they're really counting on two things: a) Berrios recovering his form, and b) better defense making all the pitchers better. The rising tide lifting all the boats (a cliche I've never before had occasion to use. What a day this is!)
scottt - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 05:17 PM EST (#426115) #
In fairness, AA fixed LF by trading Happ to Seattle for Michael Saunders who didn't make it out of spring training.
He also fixed 2B by trading Anthony Gose for Devon Travis.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 05:46 PM EST (#426116) #
"The 2015 team was .500 at the deadline "

...with the best run differential in baseball.
scottt - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 05:49 PM EST (#426117) #
When I started watching the Blue Jays, it was Roy Halladay and pray for rain.
Then they increase the payroll to be somewhat competitive, they won more games but still finished 3rd or 4th.
They still had only 1 or 2 decent starters beside Doc.

Last year, they had 4 starters with double digits wins.
Berrios was 12-7. He could pitch a lot better and do a lot worse this year.
The 5th starter not lasting long enough is an issue only if the same thing happens to the 3rd or 4th starter.
The Yankees have a better rotation.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 05:56 PM EST (#426118) #
Magpie, I think there are a few other things that could help the rotation stay competitive:

1. Kikuchi improving (have the Jays found him a sports psychologist?)

2. White improving (he doesn’t have to be great, just fifth starter quality)

3. Ryu making it back by mid/late summer

4. Tiedemann earning a promotion by mid/late summer

5. Pearson getting healthy

6. One of the AAA arms (Zulueta?) or AAAA arms being adequate for a stretch of time if called upon

Each of these may have a modest chance of happening, but the team may only need one (maybe two) of them to happen. And the team should be able to find a mid/back rotation starter at the trade deadline if necessary.

Also the stronger defense should help everyone’s performance and lower the stress on the pitching staff.
JohnL - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 06:05 PM EST (#426119) #

I agree with the consensus that this is the best team we've seen for a while.

With all the enthusiasm lately about the Jays' season, I feel that I should have a dram of single malt in honour of Mylegacy.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 06:05 PM EST (#426120) #
It would be nice to have one more arm, though. Someone with good control (like Eflin) would be handy. You have to assume the rotation depth will be tested.
Magpie - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 06:27 PM EST (#426121) #
I think there are a few other things that could help the rotation stay competitive

Oh, for sure - I figure they're just betting that Berrios bouncing back and the improved defense are the ones most likely to work out.

Hey, Mitch White might turn out to be something. He didn't show me much last year - but the Dodgers stuck him in their rotation for two months, which in itself is enough to make me believe in him.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 07:05 PM EST (#426122) #
RHP Jay Jackson signed to minors experienced reliever.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 11 2023 @ 08:46 PM EST (#426123) #
Jay Jackson is another flame thrower it seems - 12.5 K/9 in the majors vs 4.8 BB/9 (ouch) and 1.4 HR/9 (ouch). Fits nicely in AAA until needed with so many other good arms. Depth in the event of injuries (inevitable) seems to be the thing Atkins is going for right now. Get that AAA team stacked with quality backups. The AAA team now has Jackson to go with Julian Fernández (low K/low HR), and Paul Fry (high K/high walk) for NRI's then you add in Pop, Gage, and whoever else is in AAA this year (such as Zulueta) and we have a stack of relievers to choose from when someone goes down. The rotation has Kikuchi/White for 5/6, then Hatch, Hutchinson, Pearson, Bowden Francis, Lawrence, Allgeyer, plus the kids like Hayden Juenger, Trent Palmer, Sem Robberse, Ricky Tiedemann, etc. who will probably be in AA to start.

I'm liking the depth we're seeing here. A lot of these guys will be just 0 WAR filler but that beats having guys come in and stink up the place due to a shortage of options. Just gotta hope someone is hot whenever a guy goes down.

IMO the top need now is a LH reliever to finish the pen (as I've said a few times now), then a true 4th OF (power hitter ideally), and a good 5th starter (not a meh guy, we have those already). But as is I'm good with the Jays going into the season and seeing what they really need as the season moves along (is the pen OK as is? Can Merrifield be a solid 4th OF? Can Kikuchi or White fill that 5th starter role?).
Original Ryan - Thursday, January 12 2023 @ 03:58 PM EST (#426138) #
In times like these, I always try to remember the wise counsel of WInston Wolf. I can never forget how the 2013 team looked all shiny and wonderful and had us all pretty excited. Until they actually started playing the games.

For me it's 2004, back in the Zombie-Like Cult's heyday. The Blue Jays had an exciting young team coming off an 86-win season where Halladay won the Cy Young and Delgado could've been MVP, had just added a few veterans to complement the existing group of players, and even unveiled fancy new uniforms to take the team into the 21st century. I remember posting somewhere before the season (either here or on Baseball Primer) that I thought the Blue Jays would be challenging the Yankees for the division that year. I definitely didn't expect the team to lose 94 games.

Magpie - Thursday, January 12 2023 @ 04:10 PM EST (#426139) #
For me it's 2004

That was special indeed. The Blue Jays version of Joe Pesci becoming a made man in Goodfellas.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 01:45 AM EST (#426148) #
MyLegacy, what ever happened to said poster?
scottt - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 10:33 AM EST (#426151) #
In 2004, Vernon Wells fell back to earth and only Delgado was better than the average hitter.

The Jays just won 91 and 92 games.
No hitter had a career year last year except maybe Danny Jansen and he's only the backup catcher.

With the current lineup, 2 or 3 guys could be in slumps at any given time and it wouldn't matter as long as they continue to play good defense.

It's actually great that the Yankees are predicted to win the division.
It takes a lot of pressure off the team.

Gerry - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 12:36 PM EST (#426154) #
Today is arb filing day.

Reports say Jansen and the Jays have settled for $3.5M, Mayza has settled for $2.1M and Trevor Richards for $1.5M.
uglyone - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 01:02 PM EST (#426155) #
Espinal $2.1

Thornton $1.0

Thornton persists.
Gerry - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 01:42 PM EST (#426156) #
Romano $4.5M
Varsho $3M
Gerry - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 02:07 PM EST (#426158) #
Biggio $2.8M
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 02:38 PM EST (#426159) #
Still waiting for Vlad and Bo for Arb. Then we will know the payroll amount.
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 03:18 PM EST (#426160) #
I don't know how much Thornton will play for the Jays.
Gerry - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 04:58 PM EST (#426161) #
Cimber $3.15M
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 09:52 PM EST (#426163) #
Vlad gets $14.5M, which is 300k under the MLBTR estimate.
Only Bichette and Swanson remain from the arb eligibles.
Gerry - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 10:28 PM EST (#426164) #
Swanson $1.25M
uglyone - Friday, January 13 2023 @ 10:31 PM EST (#426165) #

Blue Jays and Bo Bichette are headed to an arbitration hearing after failing to reach agreement ahead of today’s deadline.

The club struck deals with its 11 other arb-eligible players.

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 14, 2023
John Northey - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 12:33 AM EST (#426166) #
Just looked at Cot's Contracts to see what they estimate Bo at - $5.75 million. They haven't updated it yet with the signings. Right now their $ vs signed...
  • Vlad: $14.5 both
  • Biggio: $3 est, $2.8 act
  • Cimber: $2.85 est, $3.15 act
  • Espinal: $2.3 est, $2.1 act
  • Jansen: $4 est, $3.5 act
  • Mayza: $2.35 est, $2.1 act
  • Richards: $2.4 est, $1.5 act
  • Romano: $3.5 est, $4.5375 act
  • Swanson: $1.6 est, $1.25 act
  • Thornton: $1.05 est, $1 act
  • Varsho: $2.55 est, $3.05 act
Total: $40.1 estimated, $39.4875 Actual

So not a big difference (not sure if they adjusted Vlad's to the real figure or if they really estimated dead on, it is still in grey as estimates are there). Basically the Jays are $610k to the good, not enough to mean anything, and Bo could shift that way off either way depending on his hearing. In the past the Jays had a rule of if you file (as he has now) then they go to the hearing or they agree on a multi-year deal. No one year deal agreement after today. It'd be nice if they did a long term deal so we wouldn't need to think about his being a Jay for a few years but I don't see it happening.
Michael - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 03:59 AM EST (#426167) #
The Bo Bichette gap is the largest in the league with the Jays offering $5M and Bo wanting $7.5M. If Cot's is right that would be a clear win for the Jays as being much closer to the estimated number.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 06:42 AM EST (#426170) #
I have a feeling that Bo is going to be going to arb every year. That's not a criticism.

He's been a better player than Vlad Jr. so far and it rankles him to get paid about 1/3 because of service time issues.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 08:37 AM EST (#426171) #
Yes. Bo is a highly valuable player. He's 24 and has already piled up 11.8 WAR. I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit free agency looking for a $400m+ contract (in 2026 dollars).
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 09:48 AM EST (#426173) #
Resign him or trade him before 2024.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 12:26 PM EST (#426176) #
Depends what the return is. If the team is realistically in a three-year window of contention, then maybe you go year-to-year with Bo in an all-out attempt to win a WS in 2023-25.

If you think you can be a perennial contender (like NYY) beyond 2025, then you could consider trading him for a player(s) with more years of control.
Magpie - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 01:30 PM EST (#426177) #
I have a feeling that Bo is going to be going to arb every year.

He and his camp anticipated this a year ago. You will recall that he and Manoah both rejected the team's offer (based on a scale for pre-arb players) last year. It meant both players actually took less money than the team was offering, but neither wanted to go on record as agreeing with the team's valuation of them.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 02:01 PM EST (#426179) #
Early in his Jays tenure, Anthopoulos discovered a loophole for acquiring extra draft picks (until MLB adopted what came to be known as the “screw you Anthopoulos” rule). AA’s latest talent seems to be persuading talented young players to sign team-friendly extensions.

The Jays seem to be in a very different situation now. If their star players want to chase the big dollars, then they may as well skip the extensions and adopt a “win now” approach — and then reset until the next window of contention.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 02:22 PM EST (#426181) #
This FO doesn't meed to trade Bo for years of control. They can acquire a player of similar value and same or less year's of long as they are willing to sign here long term unlike Bo.
Magpie - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 02:42 PM EST (#426182) #
They can acquire a player of similar value and same or less year's of long as they are willing to sign here long term unlike Bo.

Are there really a lot of those guys wandering the streets, looking to play shortstop for someone? If Dansby Swanson gets $177 million, if Xander Bogaerts gets an 11 year deal at age 30, Bichette has a license to print his own money. No matter what the arbitrator decides, he's a ridiculous bargain.

The arb hearing will go something like this. The Jays will point out that Corey Seager took $4 million his first time through the process, Xander Bogaerts took $4.5 million, and an arbitrator awarded Carlos Correa $5 million. The Jays love Bichette so much that they're offering him $5 million as well.

Bichette's camp will point out that all this was several years ago. Plus their man has been measurably better than Bogaerts was. Furthermore, he isn't coming off Tommy John surgery (Seager) and hasn't missed more than 50 games in each of the last two seasons (Correa.) So let's talk instead about Washington willingly offering Trea Turner $7.5 million when he likewise had three years and change of service time. And our man Bo has a) been a better hitter than Turner and b) done a better job at staying on the field.

And the Jays will say, ah but this was actually Turner's second time through the process, because he'd been a Super-Two and was already making almost $4 million....

And so on and so forth.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 03:57 PM EST (#426183) #
When trading Bo it doesn't have to be for another shortstop. Secondly nobody is arguing he is valuable right now, it's about losing him for nothing if he decides to test free agency...again the idea of trading him only exists if he has no interest in resigning here.

Third, you can't compare him to Swanson or any other defensively elite SS, at least not yet seeing how is is nowhere near their comparable defensively.

There are lots of guys available of similar value. Juan Soto, Julio Urias, Eloy Jiminez, Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Tyler Glasnow ... you get the idea.

For direct comparables in age and contract you have the following:

Dustin May
Luis Robert
Kyle Tucker
Eloy Jiminez
Freddy Peralta

There probably isn't a one for one swap anywhere but I'm in favour of retaining top tier talent long term rather than losing a massive piece for nothing after an arbitrary window...not least because it's the player who wants to test and not due to the FO making a fair offer.

Yeah, I understand Bo can make a gazillion dollars but most teams that are able to find ways to sign players on team friendly or market fair deals (as opposed to paying the most or more than any other team to sign the player) end up being successful and competitive longer. If Bo is being unreasonable then ship him off for comparable talent that can be around long term however that be.
Magpie - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 04:26 PM EST (#426184) #
Bichette would have to be nuts not to test the market in 2026. (One assumes he was paying attention this winter.) For one thing, unlike this winter, he'll probably have it all to himself. All the remotely comparable shortstops will either be locked up (everybody who signed this winter, Lindor, Franco, etc.) or still under original team control (Pena, Witt...) I think the team would need to make a completely insane offer to keep him from discovering his market value, which doesn't seem their style.

And that's the thing. There may be players of comparable value. There are always lots of bats. You still need a shortstop.
Waveburner - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 05:02 PM EST (#426186) #
Speaking of Bichette, interesting article on his baserunning decline last season.
John Northey - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 07:54 PM EST (#426187) #
I keep wondering if people haven't noticed what part of the success cycle the Jays are in right now. This is the contending stage, when you trade prospects for guys like Bo, you don't trade Bo for prospects. If Bo walks in a few years, so be it. He is under team control for 23/24/25 regardless so #1 is to enjoy his cheap productive years and if he walks, he walks. If in 2025 the Jays implode then trade him, teams in playoff contention are always desperate for high end players even if they might leave in 2 months. Yeah, you might get Donaldsoned and end up with nearly nothing, but that is a risk worth taking when you are trying to win the World Series.

Plus of course, there are only so many teams that can sign a guy for 10+ years before we start seeing buyers remorse and teams pulling back - in the 70's there were lots of super-long term deals but by the mid 80's those cut back to 5 years max as a rule (sometimes up to 7) until the A-Rod/Man-Ram deals in the early 2000's started (and stopped) those long term deals again, then more recently they started up again and in 3 years teams might be going 'oh crap, what did we do'. Or the teams willing to go 10+ years will be maxed out at SS.
scottt - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 08:43 PM EST (#426188) #
I look at it the other way. Many teams will have shortstops already signed to long contracts and won't be interested in Bichette. The Mets have Lindor. The Yankees have 2 young controllable guys. Houston has a young shortstop. Same with Seattle. He'd love to play for Tampa or Miami but those teams don't pay.  Tampa will flip Franco before he makes 22M in 2027. Will they keep him in 2026 at 15.5M? I don't know.

Also, it's not like Bichette is a guy that can be moved around easily. He might be OK at 2B. He can't play 3B.

The market in 2026 will depends on what he does in 2025. If it's a down year he could be looking at a short contract. The Jays would be nuts to extend Bichette if better players are on the market for the same money.
Also the Jays seem to be drafting shortstops every year. It's not like the outfield. 

scottt - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 09:02 PM EST (#426190) #
Bichette missed time due to injuries twice. That's very significant. That cost him the super-two status.
Franco was worth only 2.6 WAR because he only played 83 games.
Tim Anderson was worth 1.3 WAR in 79 games, but he's a 18 WAR player.

WAR is a bit misleading here. Shortstop gets a huge positional bonus.

Jeremy Pena was worth 4.8 WAR.
Xander Bogaerts was worth 5.8 WAR.
Jorge Mateo was worth 3.4 WAR.
Kiner-Falefa was worth 3.0 WAR in 142 games.
Bichette was worth 3.6 WAR in 159 games.

It's pretty significant that the Jays were able to reach agreements with everybody else.

Gerry - Saturday, January 14 2023 @ 10:43 PM EST (#426191) #
Trey Mancini to the Cubs. Had been some rumours putting him with the Jays.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 15 2023 @ 09:19 AM EST (#426192) #
Bichette struggled offensively for much of the season but was still worth 3.6 bWAR. In roughly the same number of PA in 2021, he was worth 5.9 bWAR.

Probably he'll have between 4-5 bWAR in 2024 if he stays healthy. Maybe more. That is a very good player, providing valuable marginal wins for the team.
bpoz - Sunday, January 15 2023 @ 11:47 AM EST (#426194) #
In 2021 Moreno(minors), Kirk and Jansen missed a fair bit of playing time due to injury. Lucky we had R McGuire. Jansen also missed time in 2022.

The 2023 team is getting expensive due to necessity. Bassit gives us a solid SP for the rotation but is expensive for 3 years. KK and Belt are $9mil/yr which is expensive compared to Varsho $3mil VS any prospect that might play a lot in 2023.

Also increasing Arb totals for 2023.

By the end of the 2023 season we will know what we have and what we need for 2024. A big contribution from the farm could decrease 2024 payroll VS a small contribution from the farm increasing payroll. I also think a sufficiently low contribution from Jansen/Biggio could result in a non tender or 2024.

Chapman is a key piece that could move on for 2024 IMO.
scottt - Sunday, January 15 2023 @ 12:43 PM EST (#426195) #
Jays officially signed Emmanuel Bonilla for 4.1M. Should mature into a corner outfielder with hit and power.

Padres got a top catcher for 5.6M, Mariners a top SS for 4.7M and the Yankees a top outfielder for 4.4M.
Rays also got an outfielder for 3.7M.

greenfrog - Sunday, January 15 2023 @ 12:53 PM EST (#426196) #
Apparently it's "Enmanuel," not Emmanuel.
bpoz - Sunday, January 15 2023 @ 02:16 PM EST (#426197) #
There are a few more signings. D Perez, A Barvosa, S Acuna, J Rosas, A Meza, J Montealto and S Colmenares.
James W - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 08:40 AM EST (#426212) #
Many teams will have shortstops already signed to long contracts

That didn't stop the Mets from agreeing to a contract with Correa, and it didn't stop the Red Sox from signing Story. Heck, it didn't stop the Blue Jays from signing Semien.
Mike Green - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 09:09 AM EST (#426213) #
I visited Chicago recently as part of a longer trip and made the required pilgrimage to Wrigley Field. Two comments: Gate 1 is at the corner of Addison and Sheffield. That got a smile from me. And the statues, including the one of Fergie Jenkins, are good but not as well done as the ones in San Francisco.

Chuck - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 10:02 AM EST (#426214) #
and made the required pilgrimage to Wrigley Field

I did the same about five years ago and watched a game in May. I imagine the temperature was similar to what you recently experienced.

scottt - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 10:04 AM EST (#426215) #
Still better than the Rogers statue.
Katie - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 10:23 AM EST (#426217) #
Matt Buschmann has left the Jays "to pursue other opportunities."
John Northey - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 11:04 AM EST (#426218) #
An interesting bit of info Boras says Jays “Were Really After” Xander Bogaerts. What does this say about the team right now? Do they see Bo as very likely to leave as soon as he is a free agent and are planning around that already? Jays haven't said anything about this afaik which isn't a shock. I remember all the Lindor talk back when he was traded to the Mets.

Next winter should be very interesting. It'll be the ideal time to extend Vlad and/or Bo, Chapman will be a free agent, we'll have a much better read on Orelvis Martinez & Addison Barger among others. If either of Martinez or Barger is ready they'll take over 3B in 2024 most likely. If both are ready the Jays might look into trading Bo depending on how extension talks go (and every indicator says they aren't going to go well).
scottt - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 11:44 AM EST (#426219) #
Buschmann is only 38. He's married to Sara Walsh who works on the NFL Network.
They have twins who will turn 6 next month.
In his place, I'd probably look for work closer to home.

Best of luck to him, whatever he does.

scottt - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 12:01 PM EST (#426220) #
Bo is one of the worst defender at SS.
Lindor is one of the best.
Less shifting might put more pressure on Bo.
We'll soon see.

Bogaerts was very good in defense in 2022.
When moving from Chapman to a young player at 3B, it would help to have a premium defender at SS.

Contenders try hard to hold on to their top prospects, so Bo would probably bring back 2 or 3 B prospects.

A Bo extension seems totally out of the picture.
Vlad seems interested in staying but he will be expensive.
I see Vlad as someone who could be mentoring young Latino players as they graduate.

Mike Green - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 12:15 PM EST (#426221) #
1C and moderate wind, Chuck. Needless to say, I preferred Savannah and New Orleans. I was disappointed to see a beautiful new ball field in Savannah unused on a sunny Friday afternoon at 21C. What do Canadians have to do to be able to access it? Does the maple syrup pipeline need an extension? Or should we send Robbie Robertson on a goodwill mission?
Kasi - Monday, January 16 2023 @ 02:40 PM EST (#426227) #
My thought John is that after the Jays tried to extend Bo last year and it didn’t work that they don’t think he can be extended. So I assume the idea was bring in Bogaerts and trade Bo. Not a bad idea but obv from the article Jays weren’t the top choice again which speaks to the fact that Toronto needs to pay a premium to land top FAs.
Parker - Tuesday, January 17 2023 @ 08:41 AM EST (#426229) #
I wonder if the Jays are in on Zack Grienke? The Royals are reportedly trying to lure him with a heavy incentive deal but I wonder if he's holding out to join a team with a stronger postseason outlook?

Ken Rosenthal hints at teams willing to top whatever KC offers.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, January 17 2023 @ 11:37 AM EST (#426230) #
Grienke is kind of eccentric but his teammates love him. I remember one story about him where he was chatting with another player on the bench. This is just roughly how I remember it:

Teammate: I like dogs better than cats. I think cat owners are weird.

Grienke: Yeah, you're right.

Teammate: I have a dog at home. You have any dogs, Zack?

Gienke: Nah, I just have 2 cats.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 17 2023 @ 12:41 PM EST (#426231) #
I like the condition our team is in so far except for C depth in case of an injury. A solid defensive C in the minors could be needed.

4 solid SPs with Kikuchi, Thompson and White all having ML experience for #5,6,7. Our pen is deep.

IF is deep. OF may be ok with Biggio, Espinal, Lukes and Lopez backing up Springer, Varsho, KK and Merrifield.
Parker - Tuesday, January 17 2023 @ 01:02 PM EST (#426233) #
Yeah, Greinke's a legendary character. My favorite is where he calls his catcher to the mound during a game to try to sell him on a fantasy football trade.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 17 2023 @ 03:46 PM EST (#426234) #
Looks like the Jays are serious about turning their new improved OF defense into a distinct home advantage.

The Blue Jays aren’t sharing the exact dimensions of their new OF just yet but a tour of the dome amid ongoing reno work makes clear it’s going to play much different:

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 17, 2023
bpoz - Wednesday, January 18 2023 @ 10:12 AM EST (#426235) #
Cubs claim Merryweather. Junior Fernandez passed through waivers I believe.
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