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And then there were four...

The fact that every team that won more than 90 games has been eliminated before we even got to the LCS, never mind the World Series, has prompted some discussion - about the meaningless of the regular season or the impact of the layoff before the Divisional Series began.

I think it was just One of Those Things. Certainly, the layoff didn't bother Houston very much. Tampa Bay and the Dodgers were both considerably weakened by the absence of key players (not always by injury) at a most inconvenient time. While everyone loves the Orioles' young talent, no one was all that impressed with their pitching. And while there has been grumbling about Atlanta's core and how it misses the leadership of Freeman and Swanson, it seems to me that their real problem is Bryce Harper and the Phillies.

So it's Texas vs Houston...

and Arizona vs Philadelphia.
The League Championship Series | 259 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#439149) #
Rangers in 5. As the old saying goes, great hitting defeats good pitching.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#439151) #
L-C likes Houston to win.  The Astros have a pedigree.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#439152) #
Space Cowboy for a week?
John Northey - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#439153) #
Cheering on Philly with their Canadian manager. Hoping for a Texas/Philly final as Texas has never won it all. Houston has their tainted title and their Dusty title, that's enough. Arizona winning would cause all kinds of Jay fans to lose it, especially if Moreno and/or Gurriel have key hits for them, but I see it as likely to have Gurriel brain farting a fly ball away in the OF leading to the winning run for Philly to score in a game.
Marc Hulet - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#439155) #
Let's go: Astros vs D-Backs in WS
hypobole - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#439156) #
Rangers-Phillies for me.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#439157) #
Rangers-Phillies rooting interest for me too.
lexomatic - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#439158) #
I'm only rooting for Semien. Ibdisloke all these teams too much.
Eephus - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#439159) #
I kinda like the Phillies... not my first choice among NL squads but a lot of players I like to watch. Harper, Schwarber, Nola, Turner... plenty of fun there.

Arizona is a big meh from me but that's mostly because their uniforms have always been terrible (though I love that 2001 team). The battle of Texas can go either way and I'll be cool but rooting for Marcus Semien definitely pushes it in a certain direction.
John Northey - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#439160) #
I'm sure with some effort I could find something to cheer on with each club left. After all, no NY or LA teams are left :)
  • Philly: Canadian manager, Bryce Harper one of the HOF'ers of this era getting another shot on the big stage, lifetime 1.017 OPS in the playoffs but no rings yet. Taijuan Walker seemed like a good guy when he was here. Jeff Hoffman after years flopping around finally seems to be set as a setup man (the biggest part sent of the Tulo trade way back in 2015).
  • Arizona: Ex Jays in Gurriel & Moreno (plus Miguel Castro who was also part of that Tulo trade), a chance to see young star Corbin Carroll on the big stage, Evan Longoria getting another shot at a title - last time he was in the WS was as a 22 year old rookie in 2008.
  • Texas: Never has won, ex Jay Marcus Semien, Max Scherzer making a comeback attempt during the playoffs, Jordan Montgomery dumped by NYY and StL (both missed playoffs) a chance to shine, Corey Seager the MVP runner up to Ohtani but would be happy with a WS ring instead I figure.
  • Houston: not much to like here. Justin Verlander having a successful return is about all I can think of. ex-Jay Graveman is hurt so there goes that one area to cheer.
OK Houston was tough, but the rest I found decent stories to follow at least. So come on anyone but Houston!!!
John Northey - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#439161) #
OK, found one for Houston - trying to be the first repeat champs since the 1998-2000 Yankees, before that was the 92/93 Jays, then 77-78 Yankees, then 75-76 Reds, 72-74 A's - the 70's were repeat champ city, but since it has been rare.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#439162) #
Vegas has Houston (-145) as a slight favourite over Texas for game 1, plus the Phillies (-170) over Arizona.  ESPN lists the Astros 59 % chance to win.
John Northey - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#439163) #
Fangraphs has Astros at 56.5% to win the ALCS, Phillies at 50.2% for the NLCS.

Astros 32.4% to win it all, Rangers 19.1%, Phillies 31.7%, Diamondbacks 16.7%. Given how the playoffs have gone so far I guess that means the Diamondback are going to win it all.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#439165) #
Sorry, those NLCS and WS odds together don't make any sense to me.  Particularly in the NL. 

When I look at the fangraphs page, I see different numbers. Rangers, Astros and Phillies all with between 28-29% odds and D'Backs at 14%.  That makes some sense to me. 
John Northey - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#439167) #
Funny, they seem to have different odds in different spots - probably different variables used. I went to this page.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#439168) #
The fangraph projection mode at this point in the season isn't reliable.  They have Evan Carter at wRC+ of 89.  You ought not to be projecting him at his major league results to date, but you do need to adjust your pre-season projections.  Season-to-date is more reliable at this point. 
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#439169) #
J. Verlander was good, but J. Montgomery better.  Texas leads 2 - 0 in the 7th.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#439170) #
Bochy's decision-making there was perfect.  Montgomery had gone 90 pitches and was throwing a shutout, but after a loud long foul ball and a lineout to center, he pulled him.  Many would have gone another batter.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#439171) #
This baseball game is certainly more entertaining than the football game.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 15 2023 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#439172) #
Texas wins 2 - 0.  The Astros managed just 5 singles.  Texas had 6 hits, including a double and homer.
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#439173) #
Houston hit quite a few balls very hard down the left field line and to left center. Not into the boxes, which was a mistake they paid for. Carter put in a Varsho-like game with a hustle-double challenging successfully Tucker's arm, and ranging both ways to make impressive defensive plays, and holding runners with his arm.
Paul D - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#439174) #
Kim Ng and the Marlins have parted ways. That's interesting
dalimon5 - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#439175) #
Yeah very interesting. I think she likely has many offers on the table and is simply moving to a better organization. Probably the Red Sox or Yankees. Maybe and assistant GM with promise to be new GM.
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#439176) #
I was having a look at the Arraez-Lopez deal.  At the time the deal was made, Arraez was 3 years away from free agency and Lopez 2 years.  Their 2023 seasons were worth about the same in value (leaving aside the post-season for a moment).  But in April, the Twins signed Lopez to a 4 year extension at $73M or about $18M per year.  That's an excellent deal for the team both in AAV and length.  One can compare it to the Berrios extension, and see the value to the team in extensions with some time left to run.  Some risk early on to avoid much more risk later. 

And the post-season highlighted Lopez' value.  A reliable starter in the post-season has a ton of value because of the off-days.  Lopez appears to be that pitcher. 

As of today, it appears that the Twins got the better end of the day.  Of course, Lopez is a pitcher and that means this assessment could change at any moment. 
scottt - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#439177) #
The  biggest variable here is probably the Marlins, which keep a very low payroll.
Their only position player who was signed directly (or drafted) is the back up catcher Nick Fortes.
They still have 4 starting pitchers which were signed (2 international, 2 drafted) plus another on the 60IL, yet only 1 reliever.

The only question for the Marlins was which starter to trade, so it makes sense that they picked up an extra year of control on the deal.

Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#439178) #
That's true, Scott.  The Marlins are a pretty desperate franchise, aren't they?  I wonder if Orlando is a better market than Tampa or Miami now.  From the Marlins salary chart, it looks like Kim Ng's problem was the Soler signing in March, 2022.  If your budget is about $80M per year, you don't want to be spending $13.5M per season on Soler. 

Nigel - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#439179) #
ABH - anybody but Houston.
jerjapan - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#439180) #
I'm finding it hard to care much about this postseason, and, due to laziness on my part (I have yet to set up my new Sonos system), I was listening to sports radio Sunday morning. 

It's always football, Sunday morning, and this guys take resonated - baseball is a regional sport, now, with the new playoff format.  Like the NHL, unlike the NFL (and the NBA, imo, he just never commented on basketball or I missed it).

Sure, more teams could play in the World Series, but who really cares about Arizona?
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#439181) #
Tonight's starters:

Texas (Nathan Eovaldi) vs. Houston (Framber Valdez)
Arizona (Zac Gallen) vs. Philadelphia (Zack Wheeler)

The conventional wisdom suggests to keep betting on a win-streak until it's snapped. So, Texas is the better play here. Eovaldi has been good.

L-C also likes the Phillies chances in game 1.
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#439182) #
Carter is out of the starting lineup this afternoon against a lefty.  So far, he's 0-10 with 6 Ks and a walk against LHP.  That seems to be the extent of his weaknesses.  

He reminds me of a young, better Shawn Green.  Level swing, tall and lanky, and couldn't hit lefties as a very young player.  Green was nowhere near the defensive player that Carter is.  Carter is my early pick for MVP in 2030, and might win one or two before that.  I learned that his nickname is "Full Count Carter", which fits.  I can't think of a nickname quite like that though.  Dave Stieb's nickname was not "One Hit Dave". 
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#439183) #
I wondered about Johnny Vander Meer.  Apparently "Double No-Hit" was one of his nicknames, but "The Dutch Master" is definitely better. 
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#439184) #
" Everyday Eddie " Guardado pitched every day!
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#439185) #
Good call, LC. 
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#439186) #
FWIW, Heim's homer was 408 feet to straight-away leftfield.  Way gone everywhere, broadcast crew. 
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#439187) #
The Astros are getting the benefit of the strike zone calls, and it isn't enough for them. 
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#439188) #
Texas leads 5 - 3 into the 8th inning.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#439189) #
Here comes A. Chapman.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#439190) #
Texas holds on to win 5 - 4.
Mike Green - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#439191) #
The bullpen is pretty shaky.  They definitely need someone other than Chapman to pitch the 8th inning. 
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#439193) #
Schwarber strokes a lead-off homer 408 ft. and Harper answers with another 420 ft. shot. The Phillies set the tone early.
Nigel - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#439194) #
What a phenomenal AB in the 9th by Moreno.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 16 2023 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#439195) #
Phillies win 5 - 3.  The over/under was 8.5 runs.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#439197) #
Brittany Ghiroli at the Athletic notes that the AL East teams may kick butt in the regular season but October hasn't been kind lately. Baltimore has lost their last 9 post-season games and the last time they won a post-season series was in 1983. Tampa Bay and Toronto have both lost their last seven games and their last four series. The Yankees have lost their last six games and their last three series. Boston's the nearest thing to an exception, having merely lost their last three games. Granted, they've only made it into the post-season once in the last five years.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#439198) #
Another way to look at it- the AL pennant winner has come from the AL East 7 times in the last 20 years.  That's just a smidgen more than would be expected if the divisions were totally evenly balanced.  Which they are not.   However, if you go back 25 years, the AL East has provided the champion 11 times.  Which seems about right.  Having the greatest reliever ever by a mile in the AL East from 1996-2010 has something to do with it. 

soupman - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#439199) #
Did anyone read the Keith Law article in the AFL? I cancelled my athletic subscription because it wasn’t worth it for Sean McIndoe and the odd article every few months. Why do they have so many resources devoted to covering games? That content is available many places and should be funded by the teams since it’s marketing. /rant
Gerry - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#439200) #
I read the Keith Law AFL article. The only Jay he discussed was Tiedemann. While he likes Tiedemann he has concerns with his delivery. He has two concerns, first if Tiedemann can stay healthy enough to be a starter, and second, will his command be good enough?
John Northey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#439201) #
Yep, that is how I read it - stuff any of us could've said given everything we see from other sources. Same with the silly 40 man roster coverage the Athletic had - they even made a mistake with Yimi Garcia saying his option could be picked up for $5 mil or a $1 mil buyout, when it was guaranteed with 60 IP this season (he threw 66) and is guaranteed at $6 mil due to that. No mention of who might be added who isn't on the 40 man (such as Mitch White and assorted prospects). I'm certainly debating cutting the Athletic soon as I'm cutting costs wherever I can and I figure there are many other services more interesting at the moment.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#439202) #
Yes, I was hoping for some discussion of who might be added to the 40-man roster, such as Roden.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#439203) #
The Phillies have won 5 playoff home games in a row.  Let it ride.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#439204) #
Dombrowski is somewhat controversial but he’s making his case for being a Hall of Fame baseball executive.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#439205) #
I agree, greenfrog, about additions to the 40 man roster.  One needn't worry about Roden, though, as he is not eligible for the Rule 5 until 2025.  If he's added before then, it will be when he is ready to be called up (personally I'd like to see that be at the end of March 2024, but that will depend on how he shows in spring training in part and the org would not likely do that). 
bpoz - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#439206) #
What I would like to see from the Jays is better management decisions. I still am not over the move to pull Berrios. I will wait until after the 1st 2 months of next year. So June 1 I would decide if the Jays are managing well or not.

I was happy to see Shapiro take responsibility for the whole management team. I am sure he will have meetings to review basic management decisions. Be more flexible about in game decisions. The Twins were more shocked than anyone by the move to pull Berrios. Shapiro probably also had a hand in making the the decision to make the team better defensively at the cost of some offense. This plagued us all year.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#439207) #
Dombrowski has had a heck of a career - GM of the Expos at 31, built them up so they could have their great early 90's run before being torn apart post strike, left them in late 1991 to run the Marlins who he got to the WS in 1998 and built the foundation that helped them win again in 2003 (left in 2001 to run the Tigers), tore the Tigers apart, they lost 119 games in 2003, made it to the WS in 2006, another WS appearance in 2012, dumped in 2015 after 4 straight playoff appearances (none since). Those 5 playoff appearances are it for the Tigers since 1987. Took over the Red Sox next, won a WS in 2018, then dumped in 2019. Took over Phillies late in 2020 now might get to his 2nd WS with them.

So 2 WS titles directly attached to him, 5 times in the WS, 10 times in the playoffs. Gillick (HOF) has 3 WS titles (last was with the Phillies in his final year as a GM). I think he should go in someday as he had success all over the place and set up success where he didn't win a title.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#439208) #
Before the Expos, Dombrowski was Farm Director from 1980 and then Assistant General Manager from 1982 of the Chicago White Sox under Rollie Hemond.  The White Sox won 99 games in 1983 (Carlton Fisk had a great year at age 35 and was just beginning his long second act- he was considerably older than Dombrowski).  Dombrowski had a useful apprenticeship one might say. 
John Northey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#439209) #
For the Jays, I am a bit tired of the Berrios thing at this point - been overanalyzed imo. The big key going forward is which version of Vlad, Kirk, Springer, Bo, Varsho, Biggio, etc. shows up in 2024. If we get pre-2023 versions then the Jays will be fine on offense, if we get the 2023 versions though...

So the questions are LF, 3B, DH, and to some extent 2B. I see 2B as set due to the number of options (Biggio, Espinal, Schneider, etc.), DH a lower priority thanks to Horwitz and the ability to shift everyone around into that slot if he flops or is 'meh'. 3B has plenty of options internally potentially in Biggio/Espinal (not ideal) and assorted kids (Martinez, Barger in particular) while LF has fewer options internally (Roden might be ready but is more likely a year or so away, Schneider could go there as could Barger, technically Horwitz has played there a fair amount in 2023 in AAA but isn't seen as more than a backup option there due to defensive limitations).

Backup slots I'm not too concerned with. I expect the Jays to sign a few AAAA types and to hold onto Lukes, Clement, Eden as fill in options/4-5th OF/6th IF. Right now Espinal has to be seen as the super-utility guy, Biggio as one too, with Schneider expected to take over 2B. IMO job 1 for the Jays this winter is finding a solid hitter for LF who isn't horrible on defense and to make a decision on how many rookies/near rookies they feel safe letting play going into 2024. Ideally Martinez, Barger and Roden will be in AAA for at least April/May to build up their skills and show they are ready. So expect a stop gap 3B option to be signed and a platoon guy for LF while Biggio & Espinal get lots of LF/3B time in spring. I'd love a big signing (such as Bellinger) but don't expect it.

With 14 teams (last I heard) having no TV contract due to that regional network flop in the USA (teams affected were Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Guardians, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers) there could be some bargains as those teams will probably be very limited in spending (either no budget increase or a payroll cut needed). There is talk MLB will just keep control of all TV rights and work on gaining full control of all teams TV rights to remove blackouts, avoid messes like this, and make teams far more equal funds wise.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#439210) #
Cathal Kelly of the Globe is not really my thing, but I liked one of his observations about Shapiro's press conference:

“We need to be okay making mistakes,” Shapiro said at another point.

What he actually means by that is something slightly different – ‘You need to be okay with us making mistakes.’
Ducey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#439212) #
Good summary John. I agree that should be the plan. The focus should be to get a bopper for LF and someone who can do some defensing at 3B.

I dont think they want Merrifield back, but I wonder if they were to exercise his option, whether he would have any trade value. He is likely looking for a multiyear deal (maybe 4 yrs, maybe longer if teams go all Mets and try and prorate over many years) if he is a FA. Maybe a team would prefer to just have one year for $18 million and not have to worry about the drop off in year 3 or 4?
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#439213) #
Merrifield on a 3 or 4 year deal?  He'll be 35 in January, and he's been a slightly below average player the last 2 years.  Maybe some team will give him something more than a 1 year deal, but I hope that it's not the Blue Jays. 
John Northey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#439214) #
At his age and skill level Merrifield would be lucky to get a deal totally $18 mil over 3 years, let alone 1 year at that. He is at best a 1 WAR guy at this point, who can fill in at 2B/LF at an adequate level. I suspect he gets a 1 year deal at $7 mil, maybe with an option for year 2 (that vests if he gets 500 PA or something).

Belt, if he decides to keep playing, probably gets a deal similar to his one for 2023, $9-12 mil for 1 year.

Chapman - harder to guess, depends on how much a team values defense and if a team thinks his offense will be at a 110 OPS+ level or at a 90 level. I suspect 4-5 years at $20 per is what he is looking at. Probably with incentives that could push it higher (MVP votes, Gold Gloves, etc.)

Of course, traditionally middle tier guys like Merrifield and Belt get squeezed big time when teams cheap out which is likely with nearly half the league having TV revenue issues. That could shift a lot of things. My bet for the Jays is chasing down that RH power to get time at DH/LF/1B, maybe a second RH hitter who can play adequate 3B too (to semi-platoon with Biggio). I'm guessing the big guns I'd love to see won't come. Justin Turner might be a good one to chase (entering age 39 season, RH power bat who plays 3B/1B/DH 114 OPS+ last year, 125 lifetime, I suspect playing time will be a big factor to him at this point, he has a ring from 2020 so not sure that being a contender will be critical to him). He'd fill in 3B until a kid is ready and if one is could shift to DH/1B easily enough and can fill in at 2B if needed.

My guess right now is the Jays chase the biggest guns (Ohtani & Bellinger) but won't toss enough to take them away from other big markets. Then will chase down a high end starter to lock down the rotation (and maybe open up a trade of another pitcher) and sign guys like Turner to fill in holes until kids are ready. Not ideal, but might work if Vlad/Kirk/etc. can figure out which end of the bat to use in 2024.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#439215) #
Trevor May's retirement comments were a welcome breath of fresh air.  "To the A's organization.  I love every one of you except one guy (the owner)...Sell the team, dude".
John Northey - Tuesday, October 17 2023 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#439216) #
Ouch to the Arizona/Philly game today - 10-0. Poor Arizona, gets to the NLCS just to be embarrassed. 5-3 loss, now 10-0. They still have a chance, but if this trend continues a 15-0 game is next.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#439218) #
As far as adding players there are teams that had very disappointing 2023 seasons. NYY, SD and St Louis. They need to do something in the off season IMO. Then there were the teams that were close but not good. Cubs, Cincinnati and SF that were close to the 84 win Arizona and Miami teams.

This will make for an interesting off season. Will the close NL teams regard SD and St Louis as having fluke bad seasons.

NYY had young players like A Volpe, O Cabrera and O Pereza play a decent amount. Volpe was handed a starting role. In the AL East this is probably dangerous.

I expect that the Jays will consider how to bring youth into the lineup. I think the youth will not really be handed jobs but some positions will be easier to win jobs at depending on off season acquisitions.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#439219) #
Ohtani would give the Jays a massive lift and is exactly the type of player they need. An aircraft carrier, as Barker puts it. There’s no reason why the Jays can’t be the high bidder for his services - esp with a “new” stadium they want to drag people out to at 3X the cost as last year.

Will it happen? I’m doubtful. I do think they will bring in impact talent though. They can’t afford not to.

If they have off-season in line with John’s expectations, that will be a failure in my books. If Horawitz is our full time DH, what are we even doing ?
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#439220) #
Horwitz. Apologies to Spencer!
Glevin - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#439221) #
Jays need someone who can hit in LF, move Varsho to CF where he's more valuable. Hard pass on Merrifield. He's fine as a utility player but Jays have some of those coming up through the minors with more upside/cheaper.

Free agency is rough so pretty hard to get better there. What I would do is probably try to trade Romano. I don't think teams regret trading closers very often and you should be able to get someone of real value there. Would you trade 2 years of Vlad for 1 year of Soto? Might be an interesting challenge trade.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#439222) #
James Click is reportedly being considered for the Red Sox GM position.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#439223) #
If the club acquires a starter for left-field, who is the 4th outfielder?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#439224) #
It's also being speculated that James Click may not be interested in the Red Sox position for a number of reasons, chief among them being the hierarchy in Beantown being similar to the Astros where you have an owner who relies heavily on their manager to make decisions.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#439225) #
Lets not forget that winning the off season is nice but that does not necessarily mean that you will have success in the real season.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#439226) #
"similar to the Astros where you have an owner who relies heavily on their manager to make decisions."

To clarify: Their manager to make off-field decisions, as in who to target in free agency.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#439227) #
Of course I was referring to the off-field decisions. No FO has any say in on field decisions, except here of course.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#439228) #
Total bs narrative that Atkins made the call, as much as people think he did, because they despise the guy.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#439229) #
And dilimon, sorry if you were being sarcastic.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#439230) #
"dalimon, not dilimon.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#439231) #
I imagine that it is common for Anayltics Departments to weigh in on on-field matters.  Maybe more in generalities, but it wouldn't shock me at all if quite few Analytics departments would weigh in on the playoff pitcher usage question.

As for Soto for VGJ straight up.  Interesting.  Soto is fairly straightforward.  He's going to be 25 in a week and he's coming off a season essentially at his career average- .275/.410/.509 wRC+ 155  in 2023 vs a career average of .284/.421/.524 wRC+ 154.  He's a somewhat below average baserunner and fielder.  It all adds up to a 5.5 WAR player in an average year.  Maybe he's going to be a little better on average due to entering his prime. He was paid $23M last year, and I would imagine in his final year of arbitration, he'll get a little less than Ohtani got last year ($30M).  Vladdy is harder to project.  Let's say you throw out his first two partial seasons and look only at the last 3 full seasons.  If you take an average of them you get a 3.4 WAR player with poor defence and baserunning combined with lesser hitting the reasons.  If you weight them with recent weighted higher, you get significantly less.  He's going to get paid $20M in 2024 and if he plays at the average, more than that in 2025. 

If you believe that the value of each win above replacement is not linear- i.e. the difference between a 5.5 WAR player and a 3.5 WAR player is much more than the difference between a 3.5 WAR player and a 1.5 WAR player, then there's a pretty decent argument for Soto.  Equally, if you believe that VGJ's 2021 season is out of context with his career and giving it a 1/3 weight is too much, there's a pretty decent argument for Soto also. 
Nigel - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#439232) #
I don't think its a bs narrative and I don't despise Atkins in the least. I think Shapiro made it quite clear that it was an organizational decision to pull Berrios early (although at what batter was left to Schneider). They'd all talked about it and Shapiro at least had the guts to say that he was in the loop.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#439233) #
The Jays are in weird spot with Vlad. He has two years of control left. If he turns into 2021 Vlad in any of the next two seasons, then it's going to take $300M plus to sign him, which does not seem like a wise investment given what he's been in 4 of his 5 seasons. If he's the same non-2021 Vlad over the next two seasons, meaning a WAR between 0-3, then at $20M plus per season, he would not be surplus value or even equal value in a cost/performance standpoint. I'm not really sure what the right answer is here. Keeping him and hoping he becomes 2021 Vlad again in 2024-25 might work, but it also might not.

Soto is far more likely to put up a 4-5 WAR in 2024, and since it's his FA year at age 25, it wouldn't shock me if he does better than that. So I think I'd make that trade acknowledging that there's a good chance it's a rental. I'd probably have no issues giving Soto $500M from a team building standpoint as I think given his age/profile, he's far more likely to age gracefully with the bat than some others, but whether Rogers would want that is a separate issue.

If the Jays end up keeping Vlad, then they have to add an impact talent somehow. That way if Vlad turns into the 2021 version again, then it's just gravy rather than a necessity. My guess is if the Jays were interested in Soto, it would be to pair with Vlad and Bo rather than to replace one of them, so more likely to see prospects being moved, IMO.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#439234) #
Maybe they could trade Vlad for Moreno.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#439235) #
Personally, I would trade Vlad for Soto. I think Padres might as well though. I think 1B would be pretty easy to fill with either Belt or Horwitz/Palmegiani. Also, I think Soto is just way better and I'd rather have 1 year of 5-6 WAR than 2 years of 2 WAR by a long-shot. It's hard to even imagine how different this team would look like with someone with a .410 OBP and .519 SLG in the middle of the lineup.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#439237) #
Soto is a Boras client.  Can the super-agent persuade the Chairman to sign-off?
John Northey - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#439241) #
The trade simulator says Vlad is down to a value of $0.3 mil over what he'd be paid. IE: he has no trade value now unless a team thinks he has massive potential still. At this point it makes sense for the Jays to just hold on and hope he gets back to the Vlad we all saw before 2023. If someone offers a batch of top quality prospects and/or a star then yeah, go for it, but odds are very low of that happening.

Right now the TS has Gausman and Bo both over $50 mil in excess value, then Tiedemann at $33.8, Manoah at $16 mil, Swanson $15, Martinez $14.5, Kirk $14.3, Romano $14.2, Jansen $12.5, Mayza & Varsho $10.1 each. Everyone else is sub $9 mil. Remember, this is expected value over what they will be paid while under team control. Not what they are worth. IE: Vlad will get around $20 mil from arbitration, so it says he is likely to provide $20.3 mil in value to the team. Mayza will be paid around $3 mil, but is expected to provide about $13 mil in value.

Soto on the other hand is at $22.9 in excess value (expected to produce around $50 mil in value, or 5-6 WAR). Now, something it can't factor in is how much of a budget crunch some teams are in. SD might be tight due to no playoff revenue and being a mid-sized market spending like a big market. Years like 2023 they can't afford as easily as the Jays can. They don't own their TV network, SD's old deal was worth about $60 mil a year and instead will have their games shown on and local TV (with MLB setting up deals for now). In the long run they might make more from this, but for now it has to be a hit to their revenue stream. With Soto being a free agent post 2023 and demanding big bucks (Ohtani level he wants it seems) it'll be interesting to see what they get should they choose to trade him. The Jays should be kicking tires there, but I wouldn't go nuts. A possibility is taking on Robert Suarez's contract to help - he is getting paid $10 mil per in 2024/25 and $8 per (player option) for 26/27 but is a meh middle reliever right now. He was an ace closer in Japan, and had a solid first year in SD but blah in 2023. Take him with Soto and the simulator says they'd do it for Garcia ($6 mil in 2024, then free agency) - now there is a trade I'd do in a split second.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#439242) #
Mad Max Scherzer returns.
scottt - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#439243) #
So you say a Soto/Manoah deal is workable? 23M vs 16M, just need to bridge the last 7M.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#439244) #
Did he pick up smokes while he was out?
John Northey - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#439245) #
In theory a Soto/Manoah deal is possible. Add in Kikuchi and you have it according to that site. Now, in reality I don't see it happening but SD is losing Snell most likely thus needs starting pitching so maybe... It'd be interesting
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#439246) #
The announcers missed that Jung could have had Maldonado's shot.  It was hit hard, but Jung just missed the short hop.  The initial camera angle wasn't good at all.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#439247) #
I don't think there's a chance the Jays land Soto without trading away Tiedemann. Vlad for Tatis Jr is far likelier, though I've been dreaming on Soto for a few years to fix our middle line up and handedness issues.

One guy who they can likely trade Vlad for easily is Mike Trout, and that's a deal i'd do all day.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#439248) #
I could actually see a multi-player trade with SD. They have needs in SP, reliever, and 1B. What about Vlad, Manoah, and reliever for Tatis? Long-term contract but expensive and Padres might be trying to save money.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#439249) #
The problem is Tatis is listed as having massive bonus value - over $100 million which few have due to that long deal. Of course, it also carries high risk so it would depend on what their priorities are. Odds are they wouldn't take less than Bo, Manoah, and Tiedemann (system allows it but says the Padres are overpaying).
bpoz - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#439250) #
I am not going to pay much attention to all these media rumors. AA taught me that if you hear about it then it won't happen. The media is making up all these rumors.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#439251) #
Agreed bpoz, but right now we don't have much to yak about so potential trades are fun to dream about :)
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#439252) #
The Winter Meetings take place Dec. 4th - 7th in Nashville.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 18 2023 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#439253) #
If Vlad came up 5 years earlier he wouldn't be seen as a potential superstar after his first 5 years in the show. Analytics has given him 2nd superstar half life. His exit velocities and barrel rates and other such metrics tell is he is simply unlucky. If analytics wasn't so prominent then I'm convinced he'd be viewed as a Prince Fielder or Delmon Young type...maybe a Justin Upton profile. Instead he would likely have a line up of teams willing to gamble on him based on his analytics and Babe Ruth esque minor league numbers.
bpoz - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#439256) #
If we are going to speculate that should be fun.

My speculations are:

Our rotation will have 5 starters. If there is a problem with the rotation the #6 is in play. Bowden Francis, Tiedemann, C Dallas, M Dominguez and others. Hopefully someone will grab the spot.

The bottom guy in the pen can ride the Buffalo/Toronto shuttle. We have many of those.

For position players we have many fringe or utility types. O Lopez, D Schneider, S Horwitz, C Eden and Tanner Morris in AAA. They can ride the Buffalo/Toronto shuttle. Espinal and Biggio hopefully earn full time playing time. Barger, Orelvis, Roden and Palmegiani have to play everyday so they will not be going up and down. Leo Jimmenez should also play everyday.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#439257) #
Fringe players like Davis Schneider? Absolutely. Also, George Springer, Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jordan Romano. They do indeed have many players who could safely be sent to Buffalo if it weren't for those strange option rules.
bpoz - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#439259) #
Davis Schneider has 116ABs in the majors. His August was incredible but his Sept was very bad. From Sept 13 to Sept 23 31ABs 0H 1bb and 13K. Maybe the umpires squeezed him I don't know. He will get his chance and will take the job if August Schneider is who he is but again I don't know. I am rooting for all of these fringe/utility players. I used the fringe/U phrase to distinguish from the impact prospects like Orelvis. We have the quantity and some Fringe/utility players could be better than the impact players.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#439260) #
He will get his chance and will take the job if August Schneider is who he is

In August, he hit .426/.526/.894 which would have been Rogers Hornsby's second best month in 1924.  I guess that's good enough. 
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#439261) #
Tonight's starters:

Game 3 - Philadelphia (Ranger Suárez) vs. Arizona (Brandon Pfaadt)
Game 4 - Houston (José Urquidy) vs. Texas (Andrew Heaney)
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#439262) #
Today's Immaculate Grid should come with a timer rather than a rarity score.  One minute would be possible.  I'm pretty slow and it was about two minutes for me. 
Jonny German - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#439263) #
I’m pretty bad at immaculate grid, other than when Toronto is in it. And I frequently come up with answers by using Blue Jay connections. Marlins-Mets? Delgado! Angels-Rangers? Napoli! Mariners-Pirates? Borucki!
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#439264) #
Today's Immaculate Grid doesn't have the players with two teams, which sometimes can be very hard.  It's more about players on a club with milestones. And this time, all of the clubs are not expansion clubs.  So, (not today's Grid), SF with 500 career homers, 200 career wins and 20 win season or Red Sox with .300 career average, 3,000 career hits and 200K season.  You get the idea.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#439265) #
You left out September: .174/.321/.406. 33%K rate. 98OPS+, and a rolling xwOBA that went from 435 to 237 over his last 50.

So, did the league figure out? Is it an adjustment period? Bad luck?

We don’t know. I’m with bpoz that caution is warranted when it comes to our expectations for his future performance.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#439266) #
Caution, sure.  Labelling as a "fringe/utility" player coming off a very good season in Buffalo, followed by a superior (short) debut, is, um, ill-considered and anti-mustache. 

Schneider continued to hit well through September 12.  He had a bad streak for a week Sep 13-19.  After that, he had opportunities on September 21, 23, 29 (one PA) and the final game of the year.  A similar thing happened in August.  After a blistering hot opening, he went cold for ten days (Aug 7-16). He next got a shot on August 19, hit a homer in 4 trips, but didn't get an opportunity again until August 26, when he went on another tear.  He's definitely streaky, but if management treats him as a fringe/utility player despite the overall performance indicators, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  And that is what they did, to their discredit. 

bpoz - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#439268) #
My use of "fringe/utility" is harsh for Schneider. He had a fantastic season in Buffalo. 21 HR + 8 HR in Toronto, then 72 +21 bb in Toronto. He did out homer Orelvis. Maybe he does win a full time job in Toronto and has very good offensive production. Getting cold for a short time is acceptable as he adjusts to being in the Majors. He did start off sizzling hot and deserves credit for that. If he can beat out Espinal and/or Biggio that is a good thing. If all 3 are on the roster their performance can be judged.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#439269) #
Cito Gaston is on the Contemporary Era Committee Hall of Fame ballot, along with 7 other non-players. Congratulations to him.

Joe West is also on the ballot. Let's put down my preference for Cito to hometown bias.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#439277) #
Pfaadt foolishly yanked.
Gerry - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#439278) #
Does it remind you of anyone? At least Pfaadt went five innings.
Gerry - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#439280) #
Having flashbacks here.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#439281) #
Here comes Arizona.
rafael - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#439282) #
Genuinely feel great for Gurriel.
John Northey - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#439283) #
Right now, given what we've seen (ability to hit like Bonds on PEDs for a month - his first month in the majors he hit 397/514/845, then an ice cold 155/290/362 to finish), I'd go with Schneider to start and give him April and May at 2B or LF (might be doing the Merrifield thing). Biggio deserves playing time too - and looked good at 3B this year after sucking hard in the past. If his defense is for real then put him at 3B to start and have Espinal and Clement as the backups until Orelvis or Barger look ready to take over at 3B or 2B, then let the juggling begin.

With those 3 the Jays have a big advantage - they can sign a 2B, 3B, or LF and let those 3 split what is left (along with the kids) depending on what they can sign this winter. Heck, Martinez and Barger also have tons of flexibility so the only limit is who they can sign/trade for. I see worst case as signing Kiermaier for CF and keeping Varsho in LF with the kids plus Biggio/Espinal dancing around 3B/2B.

An interesting one came up as I dug in looking at free agents for fun - Rhys Hoskins - lifetime 125 OPS+, didn't play in 2023 due to a torn ACL during Spring Training. Entering his age 31 season he'll be looking for a 'prove it' contract (1 year). He bats right, plays 1B mainly but was an everyday LF in his first 2 seasons (17/18) but would be purely an emergency guy there. I see him as a RH DH for a similar deal to what Belt had this year. You don't miss a full season and get $20+ mil as a rule. Joc Pederson makes a lot of sense - everyday LF with a 116 OPS+ lifetime, 111 last year. Bats left. Max Muncy would be decent at 3B - 115 OPS+, 121 lifetime, but a 212 avg (he strikes out a lot) appears to be decent at 3B defensively although what I'm reading says he was seen as, at best, a work in progress (-3 DRS in 2023, but +7 in 2022). Evan Longoria is a free agent too - but 93 OPS+ last year, declining defense, and entering his age 38 season - might be worth it as a spring signing if needed but he'd be an option D or lower to me. Ex-Jays Teoscar & Gurriel are non-starters for me as I can't imagine either being happy in a backup of 90% DH role and the idea of watching one of them butcher the OF again daily is not appealing.

Always fun to dig into potential free agents, but it'll be more fun after the WS when we know who becomes one and who has their option picked up/gets resigned by their current team/retires/etc. Plus, of course, there are the non-tenders as always - if lots of teams are short cash as expected then there could be more of these than normal, or at least decent guys available for trade for cheap.
John Northey - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#439284) #
Kind of annoying how baseball works - Arizona won 5 fewer than the Jays this year but are still playing thanks to winning those 5 in rounds 1 and 2 and if they win tonight will finally have more wins than the Jays after playing an extra 6 games. I really hope MLB looks at going to a round robin someday - put 16 teams into it and the top 2 go to a best of 7 to win it all. Screw divisions, leagues, just have the top 16 fight it out. The dividing line would've been the 82-80 Yankees and Padres - one gets in, one doesn't.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, October 19 2023 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#439285) #
D. Baxter the Bobcat is the Diamondbacks' mascot.  Very disturbing.
dalimon5 - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#439288) #
JD Martinez should be a floor for offensive output.
bpoz - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#439289) #
Very nice analysis. In 2010 the Jays with Cito won 85 games.

What IFs:

What if Halladay was with the Jays in 2010. That was a fun team. The mustache day game was great.

We signed FA Springer. There was a Batters Box poll about the FAs. I don't know what I voted for. Philadelphia signed Realmuto and maybe he outperformed the other big FAs. NYM did not sign a big FA.

Interesting to think about this stuff.
scottt - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#439290) #
Arizona scored 2 runs. The Jays only managed 1 in 18 innings.

The Jays probably need a new hitting coach.
And maybe a permanent base running coach.

dalimon5 - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#439291) #
Or they can get more than 1 player with consistent above average offensive and base running ability. That's not Gurriel, Teo, Vlad, etc.

This team needs a guy like Brandon Belt to be the 4th or 5th best hitter, not one of their top 2 hitters. I think at this point they need to acknowledge that Springer and Vlad are possibly 4th or 5th best hitter types rather than top 3. Kirk is a bottom order hitter as is Varsho.

This leaves Bo as best hitter, Vlad and Springer as solid 4th or 5th best hitters and then a bunch of good guys that can fill the 5th to 10th best hitters om the team. So they're missing about 2 hitters of Bo or Brandon Belt's caliber.

Im referring to batting grades with numbers not to be confused with batting line up positions.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#439292) #
Toronto team hitting - MLB rank:
1423 base hits - 6th
292 doubles - 8th
19 triples - 21st
188 home runs - 16th
550 walks - 11th
1303 strikeouts - 24th
746 runs scored - 14th
705 RBI - 16th
99 stolen bases - 22nd
34 caught stealing - 6th
129 GIDP - 4th
John Northey - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#439293) #
Looking back and playing what if is always fun (painful sometimes, but fun).

Looking back, what I generally see for Realmuto is "if he signs for less than expected" as the consensus here (including me). For 2021-2022-2023 his bWAR is 3.5-6.5-3.6. Realistically the Jays were only going to sign him or Springer, not both. Springer those 3 years is 2.3-4.0-2.1. Backups would've been C Jansen/Kirk (one would've been traded then, then Moreno traded later on), and CF Grichuk (ugh), if still traded Tapia in 22 and now probably no trading for Hernandez as a RF would've been needed in 2023. Those 3 were 0.7-0.3-2.1

What does that mean? A Realmuto signing we'll never know what Kirk would've gotten in trade (assuming he was the one traded) or if he'd have been put at DH full time. But add Realmuto to the 3 OF replacing Springer and you get 4.2-6.8-5.7 vs Springer & Kirk (0.9-3.9-1.9) at 3.2-7.9-4.0 for a spread of 1.0:-1.1:1.7 - better as is in 2022, better the other way in 21-23 so going for Realmuto instead of Springer might have made the playoffs in 2021, same playoff slot in 2022, maybe played the Rays in round 1 instead this year. Not a massive spread by any means, depending on what the Jays got for Kirk of course, and assuming no change in CF otherwise (I suspect they would've found someone better than Grichuk and Tapia or felt a LOT more pressure to those 2 years).

Looking back to 2020/21's Free Agent rankings the Jays could've done a LOT worse. #1 was Trevor Bauer who the Dodgers had to regret signing. Marcell Ozuna was #4 ranked (Realmuto #2, Springer #3) and signed with Atlanta to be a DH/LF with -0.1:-0.8:3.3 WAR over those 3 years. Ouch. DJ LeMahieu was next and was a prime Jays target all winter but the Yankees got him. 1.5:3.7:1.3 so 'meh' is how I'd describe his years. #6 Stroman took qualifying offer. #7 Ha-Seong Kim - wanted to sign here but Jays wouldn't guarantee him ML roster space. 2.1:5.0:5.8 bWAR Grrrrrrr. Didi Gregorius #8 1.2:-0.8:-0.4 - phew. Kevin Gausman #9 - Jays wanted him but he took his QO that year and came here the next. #10 Masahiro Tanaka went to Japan ERA's of 3.01-3.31-4.91, losing record every year.

It'll be interesting to see if the Jays do sign one or more of the top 10 again this year. Ohtani-Bellinger-Chapman-Teoscar-Snell-Hader-Stroman-Gray-Yoshinobu Yamamoto-etc. If an unlimited budget then sign Ohtani, Bellinger-Yamamoto and keep Chapman, but that is 100% unrealistic. Yamamoto is so tempting with his 1.16 ERA this year, sub 2 each of the past 3 years. FYI: not an Ohtani (who is?), he is 0-10 as a hitter with a sac bunt. Bellinger is the best fit for the Jays current needs, and Ohtani is the 'WOW' the Jays want for marketing and to take pressure off Vlad & Bo in the lineup. It'll be interesting to see how open Rogers wallet is this winter.
John Northey - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#439294) #
dalimon5 - that is a bit unrealistic to have Belt 2023 be the 4th or 5th best hitter on a team. He had a 138 wRC+ this past year, 15th among guys with 300+ PA. Only for Houston (Alverez, Altuve, Tucker) & Atlanta (Acuna, Olson, Tucker) would that be 4th best. Others with 1 better - LAA (Ohtani), NYY (Judge), Tex (Seager), Rays (Diaz), SD (Soto), Philly (Harper). Dodgers had 2 (Freeman & Betts). Pretty hard to have 3-4 of those guys here. In 2021 he'd have been 3rd here (Vlad, Springer, better, Teoscar right behind him), 2015 he'd have been 5th (Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista, Colabello - yes, really). The 1993 WS winners he'd have been 4th best (Olerud, Molitor, Alomar). That's about it (I checked quite a few other Jays seasons, all playoff years, a few other key years for offense, kind of surprising how often the Jays had 1 really good slugger and a lot of good hitters but not 130+ guys).

It'll be interesting to see what the Jays do this winter. I listed a few possibilities earlier, but maybe doubling down on pitching/defense might be best and hope Bo/Vlad/Kirk/Springer/etc. do better in 2024 (one has to think they won't do worse) especially given the market this winter - lots of premium pitchers, few hitters.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#439295) #
I’m bullish on Springer. His first offseason since he was signed where he can focus on getting better instead of rehabbing an injury. That should be a massive difference.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#439296) #
Adolis García hits a 3-run homer (396 ft.) and the Texas Rangers take the lead 4 - 2 into the 7th.
Eephus - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#439297) #
His dropped ball aside… Semien’s diving play up the middle to save a few runs (while the Astros were already up 2-1 with the bags loaded) may very well end up being the true turning point of the series.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#439298) #
A. Chapman looms in the bullpen. Buckle up!
Mike Green - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#439299) #
The umpire seems to have lost the strike zone.
Eephus - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#439300) #
Dusty Baker refusing to leave the dugout even after getting tossed is so old school I love it. And he has a point of course: it makes no sense (beyond a moment of brash foolishness) at all that Abreu would hit a guy on purpose in that moment.

Emotions beginning to run high, as they say.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#439301) #
In the regular season, Dusty Baker has 26 ejections in 26 years as a manager.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#439302) #
Eephus - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#439303) #
Un-believable. Wow.
Gerry - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#439304) #
Chapman's inability to get through the eighth made the Rangers bring in Leclerc earlier than they wanted.

Garcia's reaction to being hit generated an 11 minute delay that didn't help Leclerc.

Dusty Baker refusing to leave made Leclerc wait even longer.
Mike Green - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#439305) #
The big problem, I thought, was the pitch selection to Singleton. He wasn't chasing off-speed stuff. Just throw him a 2-0 or 3-2 fastball. This wasn't Yordan Alvarez.
Eephus - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#439306) #
The Astros are just good at this playoff baseball thing, huh.

Of course, if Semien hits that liner about half a foot higher….
John Northey - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#439307) #
Wonder if Texas might be a sucker this winter in trades for relief pitchers? That pen needs a full rework. How they won 90 with it is beyond me. Dead last in the majors in save % (30 saves vs 33 blown, Jays were #1 at 51 saves 18 blown) and showing it this series. If they don't blow you out their pen can blow it. Given the Jays depth in the pen (weird to type that) we might be able to dump Garcia on them (free up $6 mil) along with Richards maybe.

As I type Gurriel makes what looks spectacular with a jumping catch in deep LF. A good LFer is standing against the fence and catches it without jumping. Typical Gurriel. Fun to watch, but scary on defense.
greenfrog - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#439308) #
It's interesting to see the Rangers expressing their outrage about Garcia getting hit, given that in 2015 they felt it was appropriate to punch Jose Bautista in the face for similarly celebrating a clutch three-run home run in the postseason.

Anyway, good series between these two teams.
scottt - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#439309) #
It's misleading because they reworked the pen all year long.
What they had to start the year was really bad.
They gave up Ragans to get Chapman.

Adolis freaking up didn't help his team.
That looked like a routine hit by pitch.
I've seen a lot worse this year on the Jays side, including a pitch that hit Springer's helmet.

I think Baker played it very well.
We don't need managers thrown out in the playoffs.

scottt - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#439310) #
They didn't punch Jose for the bat flip.
They hit him in the regular season and Jose was so upset that he tried to steal second where he got into a fight with Stinky.

greenfrog - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#439311) #
Last year Trea Turner had a 210 wRC+ in the postseason. This year he has a 274 wRC+ in the playoffs (before today's 1/1 start). He has really turned around his fortunes in that department. He was a pretty bad hitter in the postseason from 2016-2021.

James W - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#439312) #
It wasn't a stolen base, it was a ground-ball force play at 2nd.
James W - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#439313) #
I wasn't watching, but I read a recap on the ejections. When I read that Garcia hit the go-ahead homer in the 6th, admired it, slammed his bat down, then started trotting, I knew he was hit intentionally.
Chuck - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#439314) #
given that in 2015

The 2015 guys were a different set of guys who happened to go by the same team name and wear the same laundry.

John Northey - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#439315) #
If he was hit intentionally then that was super-dumb on Houston's part which isn't how they play. I mean, you are losing by 2 late and a runner is already on with no one out. Bases empty 2 out then maybe. But not in that situation. The 9th saw Altuve hit a go-ahead home run then the NEXT PITCH came inches from the head of the next batter. THAT was intentional, but Houston was smart and let it go - they knew that pitcher was having troubles and wanted him to stay in. The Houston batter didn't act like a 2 year old over it, he just got back into the box and kept hitting. Hit it hard the next pitch but it was like watching a Jay hit (right at the LF).
uglyone - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#439316) #
Lol Moreno trade is the worst trade in baseball history.
dalimon5 - Friday, October 20 2023 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#439317) #
A bit of an exaggeration Ugly. Maybe 2nd worst. "The kid's a star."
Katie - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 03:34 AM EDT (#439318) #
Postseason OPS of .953 as 23-year-old.

Remember we can't judge the trade after one year, we need to wait until Moreno hits his prime to truly evaluate it.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 06:39 AM EDT (#439319) #
Right and Bautista sorta did an illegal slide at second, popped up and shove Stinky.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 06:43 AM EDT (#439320) #
Romano did his part of that this year, a closer should never walk the 9th hitter with a 2 run lead.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#439321) #
It might have  been done intentionally, as in walking the guy with only 1 pitch because he's a threat to go deep, but I don't think it was a case of putting the guy in his place. The pitch wasn't high and he walked into it. He seemed to be upset with the Houston catcher, not the pitcher.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 06:56 AM EDT (#439322) #
i don't think they could have done anything to please the fans here.
Kirk and Jansen had been on the trading blocks for months and they couldn't get anything back.
They didn't want to start the year with 3 catchers and Gurriel in left field.
They had already signed Kiermaier, but he's not an every day player.

dalimon5 - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#439323) #
They has a high pedigree catcher. Elite arm, good game calling potential and great bat. They decided to play him in the OF as a super utility to extract for value. Call me silly but I would have kept him, played him in platoon at catcher and traded away either Jansen who is going to be a FA soon or Kirk who seemed like a bat only C at the time to me.

Moreno will provide calue like Bo Bichete moving forward, to put things in perspective. Varsho eill likely provide extremely good value as well but mostly on defence only. You traded a guy that can handle being a top 3 batter on your team for a guy who will bat bottom three in your line up.

That's a downgrade.
bpoz - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#439324) #
The Moreno trade looks like it will hurt the Jays. He was a good enough prospect to rank #1 on the top 100. I loved his arm best of all his tools. If/when you have 3 good catchers a team has to decide which to trade by using their baseball intelligence to evaluate the talent of each C. We on da Box had our poll. This FO is very cautious IMO. Did they play it safe by keeping the 2 most experienced Cs? 2019 was the only season Jansen had 300+ABs.

Alfredo Griffin and Dave Collins were traded so that Tony and G Bell could play. So we kept the better player according to history. I don't know how the Borders/Myers decision was made.

I wish Moreno, Gurriel and Varsho well. As of now they are all pretty good players. Moreno may become a great player. Moreno beat out Carson Kelly to become the #1.

Arizona is loaded with good young OF prospects. Any prospect that gets to AAA and is doing well has to be promoted to play with some ML team. Trades will happen.
85bluejay - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#439325) #
As I posted when the trade was made - the Diamondbacks made an excellent trade. I was willing to move Kirk and/or Jansen in trades but weary of moving Moreno except for prime talent ( eg. Carroll) in return.
bpoz - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#439326) #
I agree with 85bluejay about Carroll for Moreno.

Miami and Arizona could be good trading partners. Pitcher for OF.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#439327) #
Since we could all use a pick-me-up after watching the 23-year-old and controllable Moreno surpass Varsho as a MLB player, here's a positive BA update on an AFL Jays prospect:

CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Blue Jays: Injuries have plagued the last few seasons for Van Eyk. He missed all of 2022 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Van Eyk returned late in 2023 and is looking to make up for lost time. He continued his standout Arizona Fall League on Thursday, going five scoreless innings while allowing one hit, walking none and striking out five. He primarily mixes a 92-94 mph four-seam fastball with a low-80s power curve and a mid-80s gyro slider.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#439328) #
Leaside Cowboy's favourite player is Daulton Varsho.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#439329) #
Today's Immaculate Grid is harder- a 40 double season for the Blue Jays is one thing, but for the Mets.  I guessed wrong- chose a guy who had seasons of 39 and 38 doubles. 
James W - Saturday, October 21 2023 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#439332) #
Bryan Abreu suspended 2 games for intentionally throwing at Adolis Garcia.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#439333) #
Hockey Night in Canada showed Buck Martinez in the crowd for the Maple Leafs / Lightning game in Tampa Bay last night.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#439334) #
Funny that TB drew more fans to an early season hockey game than a playoff game for baseball earlier this month. Speaks volumes to what fans think of the low payroll models when given an option to spend their money elsewhere.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#439336) #
WWE promoted the up-coming Royal Rumble as " the fastest-selling event in Tropicana Field history. "
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#439337) #
Houston (-120) is the favourite for game 6.  L-C leans Texas (+100) with Nathan Eovaldi to push it to game 7.
scottt - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#439338) #
Kirk is excellent defensively. It's the running that such which impacts his offense.
A fast runner with his bat to ball skills would be a very talented player.
A power boost would help. Or even the ability to foul more strikes and take a walk.
As is, I never liked him as a DH.

Moreno has athleticism and an amazing pop time.

John Northey - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#439339) #
Kirk is really torn apart for being slow isn't he? A 24 year old catcher who has a lifetime 112 OPS+, been an all-star, won a sliver slugger, was #1 in the AL for DRS for a catcher last year, #3 in dWAR (BR) for catchers in the majors. This is a damn good player most teams would kill for. Yeah, Moreno was #1 in dWAR in the majors this year (BR) and for catchers in DRS. Both are great players. Could be the top 2 catchers in baseball in 2024. Sucks the Jays had to clear out one, and yeah it looks like they got rid of the better of the 2. Still, would you have wanted to go into 2023 with a rookie catcher as your #1? Of course not even if in retrospect it might have been a better idea. Yeah, the Diamondbacks made the playoffs with him as their #1 but that was the NL side where 84 wins did the trick, in the AL they'd be enjoying winter vacation without a single playoff game.

Don't forget Varsho is fantastic on defense too. Despite being in LF most of the time he was #1 in the majors for DRS, #1 for OF in dWAR. I fully expect him to shoot past 30 DRS in 2024 in CF full time if healthy.

If by some miracle Varsho & Kirk both can get back to their pre-2023 form with the bat the Jays should be scary and that trade will no longer be seen as one sided. Especially if Gurriel goes somewhere other than Arizona as a free agent.
85bluejay - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#439340) #
As the saying goes - If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Magpie - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#439342) #
Moreno trade is the worst trade in baseball history.

I'll see your Moreno trade and raise you one Robinzon Diaz deal.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#439344) #
Jeff Bagwell would like a word and the memory of Lou Brock is still fresh.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#439345) #
A pair of home runs put the Texas Rangers ahead 3 - 1 in the 5th.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#439346) #
John, you're giving a lot of credit to Kirk for defense which is based on still as yet unproven measurements. If you go by offence alone, Moreno is much better. He has better contact and similar or better pop with more projected to come. When you factor in base running it's not even close.

In my opinion, Kirk is a singles hitter who cannot hit in the top 5 of the line up because he's a liability running. He also is becoming very streaky where he goes weeks to months (!) being a black hole. Moreno is much more consistent and best of all, he doesn't require a special pinch runner to be carried on the team just to try to stay out of double plays.

Watching Vlad and Kirk roll over into double plays this year as often as they did was a real ugly thing to see for me this season.
Eephus - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#439347) #
Interesting decision to let Eovaldi face the order a 4th time. The Rangers bullpen is terrible, of course… but I like it regardless
Eephus - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#439348) #
Stole an out, at least. The pitching line isn’t the flashiest but I think he pitched great. The definition of “battling out there”, and beyond the pitch to Dubon he never gave the pesky Astros a whole lot they could hit in key moments.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#439349) #
Buckle up for A. Chapman.
Eephus - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#439350) #
Oh, and obligatory “that’s why you trust your starting pitchers” comment. Not that I’m referring to anything specifically. Nope.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#439351) #
Hmm . . . no Chapman.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, October 22 2023 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#439352) #
Adolis García. Wow.
Magpie - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#439357) #
You may have seen the pictures of all the 100 level Rogers Centre seats stacked up in a scrapyard as the renovations proceed. What caught my attention in this article about it was the following:

a new configuration that reduces foul areas and brings fans closer to the action

Reduces foul areas? Interesting. The hitters will be happy.

Mike Green - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#439358) #
It should do that. But we'll see what happens with offence in the aggregate. No one anticipated that the RC would play as a pitcher's park, but it did last year.

It's nice timing for smaller foul territory with Matt Chapman, who is so good at tracking down foul pops, about to leave town.
Mike Green - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#439359) # reminds us that today is the 30th anniversary of Joe Carter's touch-em-all homer. It was indeed the biggest of his life. Would be kind of fun if the City proclaimed it Joe Carter Day or something.
krose - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#439360) #
Nice at bat from Moreno in the first.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#439361) #
Joe Carter deserves a magnificent statue.
Ducey - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#439362) #
Not sure, but it looks like the the foul territory will shrink mostly in the outfield.
John Northey - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#439363) #
No question that is how it reads - "Foul territory will be reduced by approximately 3,000 square feet total, between the middle of the infield dirt (just past the bases) to before the warning track on both sides of the diamond". From the images they show I expect more fan interference calls too in the deep outfield as they'll easily be able to reach into the field of play on deep fly balls that aren't home runs. I suspect the ticket prices for the bowl will go up too.
Magpie - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#439364) #
Let's see if I can do this. 

We'll be going from this:

to  this

Magpie - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#439365) #
Didn't realize those two pictures were so radically different in size.

Obviously foul territory down the lines in the outfield is almost gone, but it looks like they'll be trimming a little bit from the infield as well. The dugouts will be probably be a few feet closer to the field and so on.
bpoz - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#439366) #
We/I have the off season to figure the ballpark out. Nice. More D people in the OF?
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#439367) #
Arizona forces game 7 tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Texas takes the early lead in Houston.
Eephus - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#439368) #
It’s been a wild and fun series…. Figures that Game 7 would be a laugher.

Wonder if Kyle Tucker invests in a larger glove next season, just cause.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, October 23 2023 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#439369) #
Adolis García. Amazing.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#439370) #
So Texas gets a shot to end a 'never won it all' streak (going since 1961 when they were the new Washington Senators), their first WS appearance since 2011, 3rd time overall (also there in 2010). I'm sure their fans are happy they avoided playing the Jays in the playoffs this time (knocked them out the last 2 times they made the playoffs). They lost the 2 WS to the Cardinals (4-3), and to the Giants (4-1). Their last WS they had a 2 run lead in the 10th inning of game 6 (leading 3-2 in the series) and blew it, 2 run lead in the 9th with 1 out as well and blew that (96% chance of winning at that point). Ouch.

Arizona or Philly - which will it be? 1 game to decide. Philly has Ranger Suárez with a 0.64 ERA in the post season going but averaging under 5 IP per game. Arizona has Pfaadt going 2.13 ERA this postseason but barely over 4 IP per start. Odds are high the pens will decide it.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 05:38 AM EDT (#439371) #
Arizona or Philly - which will it be?

Philadelphia (-170) is the betting favourite with 64.3 % chance to win according to ESPN analytics. Weather forecast: partly cloudy and 58 ° F / 14 ° C.

greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#439372) #
What a signing Seager has been for Texas so far. He has posted 10.4 fWAR combined in 2022 and 2023. He's hitting .333/.483/.644 in the postseason this year.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#439373) #
Too bad he didn't want to sign here...
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#439374) #
It’s hard to know what is true based on reported rumours. Springer and Martin probably didn’t want to sign in Toronto either—that is, until the Jays added an extra year and more money.

But my post wasn’t about the Jays not signing Seager. It was a recognition that that move has worked out brilliantly for Texas so far (the back half of the contract may turn into an albatross, though). Other free agent signings, like deGrom, have not worked out for them.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#439375) #
Good points greenfrog.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#439376) #
Credit to Texas' GM and owner for both being willing to spend and then spending on the right guys. Semien's contract I thought would be an albatross for them - instead at 31/32 he has had seasons of 5.7 and 7.4 bWAR (!!), of course they have 4 more years of $26 mil plus a $20 mil season at age 37 to deal with still, but at 13 WAR so far odds are it'll be a net profit for Texas in the end. Seager is signed through age 37 as well at over $31 per ($35 next year and this). But his first 2 were 3.9 and 6.9 bWAR seasons so hard to complain. Again will probably work out to net profit for Texas but boy will those last years look bad I suspect but that is a 2031 problem. Right now a WS awaits which makes it all worth it.

Right now Texas is projected to be $14 mil below the payroll tax level (via Cot's). deGrom is an expensive mistake it seems ($30 mil this year in the toilet, $40 each of the next 2, $38 and $37 mil the next 2 - ouch) but as long as they don't make many more of those they'll be fine.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#439377) #
Wheeler and Schwarber are some other star performers this postseason who were reportedly FA targets of the Jays.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#439378) #
Seager's away hitting line over the past 2 years has been completely consistent with his career to date.  His hitting line at home and his fielding have been significantly better than ever.  He has hit 45 homers at home and with a very good average, far better than any 2 season span.  Globe Life Field is a better hitter's park than Dodger Stadium, but he has been especially able to take advantage. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#439379) #
Arizona has an early lead in game 6, with Moreno contributing to the rally.

Thinking back on some of my December 2022 posts in the days prior to the Moreno-Varsho trade. I feel like these early intuitions were mostly correct, before I became somewhat supportive of the trade (although I never liked the inclusion of Gurriel Jr). First thought, best thought, as they say.

"I would actually be OK if the Jays keep all three catchers for now, if they can’t find a trade to their liking. Catching depth is a good thing and Jansen will be a valuable veteran to have around in 2023. Moreno offers versatility and significant upside — I think his trade value could go up in the coming year."

"Can Moreno be taught to play center field? That would be another cost-effective solution. The team could then extend Jansen for a few years (if the experiment works)."

"You could argue that Moreno for Varsho makes sense, though it might be too steep a price for the Jays to pay given that Varsho is a career 101 wRC+ hitter and has struggled against LHP."

"You can make a good argument that this is an overpay. Moreno could end up being a very, very good catcher in the majors."
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#439380) #
Greenfrog...we can all go back with hindsight.

Guys like Seager, Freeman, Cole and Verlander were all hard targets for the Jays to over pay because the other teams in the league were willing to overpay. Essentially these players could play where they wanted and be overpaid.

My observation watching this ARZ team is " that's what the Blue Jays thought their offence would look like. Stealing bases and using hit and run to build runs around two star players. Reality must bite for Atkins and Shapiro.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#439381) #
Arizona leads into the 7th inning.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#439382) #
Will Ross watch the WS? Maybe he’ll take a pass on this one.

Congrats to Arizona, well deserved.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#439383) #
Yeah congrats! Good for baseball. Glad Atkins has to eat this right now. Hopefully it motivates him to do better.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#439384) #
We've gotta think he thinks he got the best player in the deal. It's entirely possible that Atkins gave up the best two players and received the third best player in the trade.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 24 2023 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#439385) #
Moreno might prove to be a more valuable core player (factoring into total contributions on offense and defense) over the next half-dozen years than anyone on the Jays 2023 roster.
Nigel - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#439386) #
I think there’s a very very good chance Moreno will be better than any current Jay over the next 3-4 years on a per 162 game/700 PA basis. Given the number of games that C’s play plus the likelihood of injuries to Cs I’ll still be surprised if Moreno outperforms Bichette on a seasonal basis. Of course Moreno will cost a tiny sliver of what Bichette will cost over the next 3-4 years.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#439387) #
Also, now that Kirk's offense has waned and Jansen's injury history becomes a real concern, the Jays look less strong at the catcher position.

They acquired a center fielder in Varsho, but unfortunately he's a poor hitter, making him a lot less valuable.

I don't see how the team (and fans) can have confidence in Atkins/Shapiro's ability to make significant trades after this one.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#439388) #
Yup I'm right with you on that.

1) the inability to trust results over analytics this year...they never added offense when it was clear they needed to because they were "trusting the process." Also the Berrios fiasco and batting Vlad 4th all year.

2) Moreno trade

3) Bass response and comments from FO

I'm no longer enthusiastic about this FO

*Bo is still much more valuable than Moreno to me but Moreno is much more valuable than Vlad or Varsho
Gerry - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#439389) #
A few days ago it looked like a repeat World Series was in the cards. I am happy to see two "new" teams in the WS. I am tired of watching Houston. I don't have a personal favourite. We can call it the Ross Atkins nightmare series.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#439390) #
Youneverknow. It might be that the decision to choose Manoah over Carroll turns out worse than the Varsho for Moreno/Gurriel Jr. trade.

Personally I am not rushing to judgment on either although subjectively I like what I see from Moreno now that he has seemingly recovered from the wrist injury.

The handling of Manoah is another story. Management handled the matter with kid gloves, and that wasn't what was needed.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#439391) #
I'm with you on Manoah, Mike.  I won't generalize about Manoah's mental state as a person, but we certainly do see a lack of resilience in young people as a demographic.  And I won't even second guess the way-too-soon promotion, although I know you and lot of others hated it from the start. 

But I see the largest org leadership failing coming after his second demotion.  All the prevaricating was unbecoming.  Kid appeared to say no to leadership, and leadership appeared to acquiesce to said kid. 

Count me as interested in this playoffs again.  Gerry, I second your opinion.  Someone's gonna win it for the first time.  That's the best. 

I couldn't care less about Anthony Bass, tbh, and I don't really get the drumbeat keeping that 'story' alive. 

'Young athlete has dumb ideas' isn't news in the first place.  Please note, the guy just retweeted something, likely without watching it.  I'd have no friends left if I had to cut people off for stuff like this.  In no way does Bass' action equal violence, or hate speech, and so this is a free speech issue, and opponents of free speech, to me, need to be making the case here.  Just because 'wokeness' is trending doesn't make it right. 

To me, complaining about how the brass handled Bass is pot calling kettle black.  They handled it like they handled it because the climate of our times is constant noise and forced binaries.  You want more honest discourse?  Start by challenging group think in your own circle. 

Andrew Stoeten did an entire podcast on Bass.  Anyone think Andrew Stoeten should be opining about morality? 

'Stick to sports' Stoeten, since you can't do sociology. 

Sorry for the rant, not pointed at anyone.  But free speech man.  This shit is important.  Anthony Bass may be a jerk.  So what?
uglyone - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#439392) #
Congrats to Shapiro and Atkins for building a world series club (in arizona).
bpoz - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#439393) #
AA decided he had to win in 2015 and he did.

Shapiro wants to "compete" every year because it gets the good revenue that leads to next years payroll being good. Shapiro probably never says that lowering payroll is the goal.

Regarding Moreno we had a poll. I can't remember the results. There have been some great catchers in the past like Yadia Molina. Does Moreno have a better arm than Molina? Maybe. Ivan Rodreguez was probably the best at throwing out runners. Is Moreno as cat quick as Borders? Maybe not. Moreno was also possibly a good hitter before being traded but not in the ML due to SSS. I listed the skills a C needs to be good. Health will be an issue and a bad season now and then.

Shapiro/Atkins had all this info before making the trade. So they are now able to make a conclusion. All our GMs have tried to draft Cs because they are very valuable.

85bluejay - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#439394) #
Surely the Diamondbacks owe Shapiro/Atkins a very generous Christmas gift! As the playoffs are proving, just get in.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#439395) #
It's not about Bass it's about understanding and communicating with your customer. Nobody is talking about Bass' beliefs. If you think anyone cares what he thinks instead of what the team they are helping to support with $$$ believes then you're way off. Even in the closing presser for the season it looks so bad when you just say "no comment," when asked about it then in the next 45 minutes you can talk about ticket sales, season attendance, how imp. The fans are to you, etc etc.

No different than buying a car from a salesman who wants to tell you everything about the car to make the sale and refuses to apologize for the mechanic who insulted you because firing the mechanic was enough.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#439396) #
Dreaming on a player's hit tool developing over time is a dangerous habit. Blue Jays front offices have done this with Gose, Grichuk, Tapia, Varsho. It often doesn't work out (although it did with Teoscar).
scottt - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#439397) #
I think it's more a nightmare for Varsho than for Atkins.
He was traded for 2 guys to a better team and he underperformed.
Now his previous team is in the World Series without him.

Is there anything about the Rangers? Seager not signing here? Semien?
Semien was a great signing that didn't work out.
They had several guys who could play a good second base but nobody stepped up at third and I will always remember Semien for tossing the last out of a game away which led to the Jays missing the postseason by one game.

The nightmare for Atkins is now trying to improve via free agency while being over the tax threshold.

So, 2 new teams but a team that spent massively in free agency after spending on a new stadium versus a team that doesn't really look like it belongs there, finishing with the 11th best record out of a weak division.   

greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#439398) #
The nightmare for Atkins would be if Varsho, Kirk and Jansen fizzle out over the next couple of seasons while Moreno becomes a low-cost star in Arizona for the next 5+ seasons.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#439399) #
I agree with you completely then, dalimon.  For sure, it's BS spin.  The new normal in corporate speak. 

but plenty of people are talking about Bass' beliefs. 
Both the regular fan stuff - he sucks, the org is BSing about him - and the PC cancel culture stuff give each other oxygen.  
That little fracas when he complained about how his wife was treated?  Everyone just concluded he and his wife were spoiled rich people.  Who knows?  Nobody but the parties present. 

Frankly, I though Bass got a bad deal.  I thought his meeting the Pride leadership person, his willingness to throw out the first pitch and face the boos, that felt like a real moment of reflection and contrition, to me.  In contrast with the FOBS.  I forget the person he met with, but I followed that stuff.  It seemed genuine to them, as well.
Too set all that up, then cancel, cut, stop talking about him?  Corporate cowardice.  Bass is a fall guy.  Bass may or may not be a jerk.  I have one piece of evidence to suggest yes, another, larger piece to suggest, no, the guy appeared to feel badly not just for causing a problem to his team, but to the LGBTQ+ community as well. 

Corporations branding themselves as woke and then prevaricating about the details is nothing new, but it is relevant to the fanbase, and us nerds here on the Box.

bpoz - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#439400) #
We had the discussion on Teoscar a few years ago about his poor D. Some of us decided that the FO valued offense at the cost of poor defense in those days.

The Moreno/Varsho, Gurriel trade happened Dec 23. The KK signing happened Dec 14th. So we already had our CF in KK 9 days earlier but he probably cannot give a full season. Teo was traded Nov 16th. Belt was signed Jan 10 to replace the O of Teo/Lourdes but he too probably cannot give a full season. There is a time line involved which I am trying to establish. We get our OF D after trading Teo. KK should be considered a semi regular as should Belt and Springer in CF.

I don't know about other Bauxites but my post is getting a bit complicated for me. Continuing I see a great defensive team. Jansen & Kirk are fine on D & O for catchers. Chapman may be the best 3B at D. KK & Varsho make a great improvement on D especially considering the changes to the Sky Dome but KK is a semi regular. We definitely had to deal with that. Varsho seems to not be a great bat but is a great D. Anyone who suspected that the O has been weakened would be proven correct. Which means that this off season we need 1 or 2 big bats just to improve the O so that we can better compete. Practically all Bauxites are saying this.

Please correct the analysis I have provided because I probably made some mistakes. Also be kind if you can. Thanks.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#439401) #
KK and Chapman are gone? KK is for sure he needs to play on grass. I see Chapman getting a qualifying offer me. I hope we spend on a big name fill the other holes with AAA guys go get Ohtani, Bellinger, I forget that big game Japanese dude.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#439402) #
Daulton Varsho is a fine player.  Arizona won the trade, but it's not totally lopsided.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#439403) #
LC - agreed - at this point Arizona has won it, we'll see what happens over the next few years. Remember, Moreno's 114 games this year (majors & minors) is his highest by a lot. His next highest is 87 in 2022, then 82 in 2019. He gets hurt a lot. That makes him a high risk especially at catcher.

On the bizarre side of the deal - Gurriel Jr got a positive defensive rating from BR (0.6 dWAR -1.1 lifetime) Varsho got a +2.8, his highest this year. Moreno led the NL with a 3.1 btw while Kirk was 1.7. Basically all of them were strong on defense in 2023, but going forward I sure wouldn't bet on Gurriel (it'll be interesting to see who signs him - MLBTR has him as an option for the Yankees) being strong on defense - I figure this was a blip for him.
85bluejay - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#439404) #
Unfortunately, Japanese players that have a choice want to play in the USA not Canada.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#439405) #
'Young athlete has dumb ideas' isn't news in the first place. Please note, the guy just retweeted something, likely without watching it.

No, he watched the video, and doubled down on his support for it when asked. He just tried to insist that calling people "demonic" and "evil" wasn't hateful:

As for free speech? Most people who make public comments that offend a significant portion of their customer base will be shown the door, and most businesses wouldn't even bother with the pretense of it being a business decision. Bass still has his right to free speech; however, he never had the right to play in MLB.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#439406) #
Bass - sheesh, given no one gave him a job after the Jays dumped him (only would've cost the ML minimum) says a LOT about how he is viewed. June 5th was his last game - the fact a contender like Texas with a nightmare pen didn't pick him up for free says a lot.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#439407) #
My hope for Varsho is that he can refine his hitting approach a bit and get back into the 100 wRC+ range, catapulting him back into the 3-4 WAR range as a player.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#439408) #
If the Jays go after Ohtani or Bellinger and fail to sign either then IMO they should have a backup plan. I don't know what that would be.

Miami was looking for offense. They may have parted with a young starting pitcher for Gurriel. They are desperate.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#439410) #
As I have indicated before, the bWAR ratings for Varsho (and Moreno) are very different from the fWAR.  BBRef has Varsho as a 4 WAR player this year, behind only Bichette, Chapman and Kiermaier, despite his poor offensive year.  There is good reason to take an average of the bWAR and fWAR numbers.  Using this approach, both Varsho and Moreno were 3 WAR players in 2023. 

Varsho was having trouble getting on top of the high pitch.  It wasn't the Ks, but the pop-ups that did him in.  The easy thing is to  not swing at high pitches out of the zone, and to lay off high pitches at the very top of the zone with less than 2 strikes.  He can do that, and I think that it's mostly the approach that needs modification.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#439411) #
Varsho seemed to have a few discrete weaknesses at the plate in 2023, including:

-Tendency to chase high fastballs

-Tendency to chase fastballs up and away

-Tendency to chase secondary stuff down and out of the zone (such as changeups down and away)
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#439413) #
If Varsho is a 100 wRC+ player as the primary CF, and his defense is on par with what it was the past two seasons, then he’d be a 4-5 WAR player (essentially what he was in 2022). I think it’s way too early to say this deal won’t work out for the Jays. Of course Moreno performing well in the bright lights and Arizona making the World Series is going to make the deal look worse for the Jays short term.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#439414) #
I don't mind chasing the secondary stuff down and away fairly often.  It means that he misread a low pitch, which he can handle.  When he chases the high pitch out of the strike zone, it means that he's trying to do something that he shouldn't be doing at all.  It's an approach issue, rather than a "being fooled" issue. 
Nigel - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#439415) #
Varsho will be almost 28 at the start of next year and Moreno has two additional years of club control. The second point is huge. Unless Moreno tanks or gets injured (both possible) there is very very little chance that the trade works out for the Jays. However, for all the good reasons mentioned above (mainly the defence) there is also very little chance that the trade is a disaster.
Nigel - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#439416) #
Subjectively, I really have doubts about Varsho's ability to be a league average hitter. He turned in a huge number of uncompetitive ABs last year against pitchers with any kind of velocity. But as Ryan Day and others have pointed out, the H/R splits might give you some reason for optimism.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#439417) #
It depends on what your definition is of "working out for the Jays". If Varsho is a 3-5 WAR CF for the next 3 years, then even if Moreno is equally as valuable or better at catcher, I don't think you can say it didn't work out for the Jays in that scenario. They wanted to consolidate their catching depth for a CF, knowing that they were getting two fewer years of team control. Even if you consider 2023 to be a wasted year for Varsho, it's not like Moreno would have helped the Jays any more than Varsho did, so from a 2023 wins standpoint it barely registered as a difference making deal.

The only way this trade looks awful for the Jays is if Varsho is a 80 wRC+ player moving forward. Hopefully that is not the case. A Jansen extension to maintain the current catching tandem for at least another 3 seasons would help as well, and should be a top priority for the FO.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#439418) #
I used to favour an extension for Jansen, but in light of his latest injury issues, I might reconsider this position. It's a bit like Springer. You can only sustain so many injuries before your body (and performance) starts to break down.
soupman - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#439419) #
I think he’s a guess hitter. Switching to a contender hasn’t helped. I don’t think this a a major league bat - and I haven’t seen evidence that he has a good arm despite having come up behind the plate.

I think if we had developed this player everyone would love him. The price paid will hang over his head especially if Moreno continues to perform as the best catcher controlling the bases while also being able to have competitive at bats. Something WAR doesn’t track fwiw.
soupman - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#439420) #
Interesting. I’m surprised to find that Varsho saw the second most (after Chapman) pitches per PA.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#439421) #
What is the bar for disaster in a trade... hmm...

Ash level: - the standard of ugliness
  • Shawn Green (1 year of control, 3.1 bWAR, signed extension, gave LA 21 WAR total) for Raul Mondesi (4 years of control, 8.5 bWAR, 5.9 as a Jay (traded for Scott Wiggins who threw 2 2/3 IP in his career 0.0 WAR). Not a disaster, but not good either given the $$$ Mondesi made vs his value
  • 6+ years of Michael Young (17.2 bWAR) for 2 1/2 years of Esteban Loaiza (3.7 bWAR) - long known as 'he who must not be named' who was easily the most painful pitcher to watch in Jays history
  • David Wells (1 year control, 1.3 bWAR coming off a 3rd place Cy result and high demand) for Mike Sirotka (never threw a pitch here, even in spring he was that badly hurt)
  • Woody Williams (3 years of control 7.9 bWAR) for Joey Hamilton (promptly given a 3 year extension 0.3 bWAR)
  • John Olerud (1 year control 4.1 bWAR) for Robert Person (-1.7 bWAR).
Thinking back through Gillick, JPR, and AA I have trouble finding stuff that ugly. JPR actually did decent trades (inc the Bautista one), AA had his meh and flops and wows as he never hesitated to take a chance. Ugly was Yan Gomes (12.3 WAR) for Esmil Rogers (0.1 WAR), infamous was R.A. Dickey (7.1 bWAR over 4 years) for Noah Syndergaard (13.7 bWAR over 6 years) (others involved but those 2 became the keys) - Travis d'Arnaud was seen as the key at the time but only 1.9 WAR over 7 seasons for the Mets.

Basically the worst it gets for the Jays is around 14 WAR lost in a deal (Young for Loaiza). 10+ is rare. Nothing like the steals done here (McGriff + Collins [team MVP in '84] for 2 relievers (negative WAR for the Yankees) easily the biggest steal - 4.7 bWAR for Collins here, 19.4 bWAR for McGriff here, 32.1 pre-free agency - just Collins would've been a steal).

Unless Varsho gets hurt or forgets how to field I don't see how Moreno for Varsho could ever reach most of those bad deals in the past. Heck, right now Varsho vs Moreno is a near wash by WAR (FG or BR) and only gets lopsided due to Gurriel having a good year. We'll see going forward and it could become a 10+ spread if Moreno improves more and Varsho doesn't, but right now I'd expect it to be a decent value for value deal in the end. Still wish the Jays found a way to get Carroll (wasn't going to happen)
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#439422) #
They could have drafted Carroll instead of Manoah. I believe that greenfrog and maybe others advocated for it at the time.

Evan Carter is my favourite young player in quite a while. Carroll is a close second.
Michael - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#439424) #
One of the bigger wow trades for me from AA was:

Vernon Wells + $3M


Juan Rivera + Mike Napoli

Vernon Wells was owed close to $90M over the next 4 years (26.2M in 2011, 21M in 2012-2014). He produced -0.5 WAR, 0.5 WAR, -0.1 WAR (baseball reference war) and then was out of baseball.

Juan Rivera had 1 year $5.25M and produced 0.5 WAR in that year (unfortunately -0.2 in the first half of the year, and 0.7 in the second half after we sold him back to LAA).

Mike Napoli was arbitration eligible with the first year at $5.5M and the second year at $9.4M and he produced 5.5 WAR and then 1.8 WAR for 7.3 WAR total (Unfortunately that was all for Texas since we traded him for Frank Francisco).

So if you just look at that deal and if you value 1 win at about $10M dollars for easy math the Jays had to pay $3M (cash) + $5.25M (Rivera's salary) + $5.5 + $9.5M (Napoli's 2 year salary) and for that $23.25 M they received (even if they didn't keep) the value of 7.8 WAR or about $78M in value so that is a surplus $54.75 M or a surplus ~5.5 WAR from even. However...

LAA "received" a need to pay about $86M dollars and received a total of -0.1 WAR. So that makes them about $87M losers from even (or -8.7 WAR).

So the "value" of the trade for the Jays was 54.75M surplus - -87M which is $141.75M value or more than 14 WAR stolen.

What's more, all of the players traded were major league players with known histories, so this isn't the prospect that works out or what not, this is players that had immediate short term impact (positive and negative) and most "smart" people thought Vernon Wells was untradable due to the contract *AND* most "smart" stats people thought Napoli was one of the most undervalued players in baseball because his bat was so strong but the catcher defense view in LAA was blocking him getting enough time.

But that is one of the craziest WOW deals done IMHO. Even when the Jays lost out by flipping Napoli for much less than he was worth, the deal is still a killer deal thanks to the contract values.
Nigel - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#439425) #
100% correct Michael. Offloading that contract for valuable assets rather than having to add assets to move off a hugely underwater deal was a master stroke.

SK - I have always said that the theory of the Moreno deal made all kinds of sense. As you say, filling a position of need with an average to above average player can absolutely be considered "working out for the Jays". I can see that. Although I will note that they had already filled the position of need (a LHH OF providing elite defence) for 2023 prior to making the trade. So they had already undercut part of the value of the deal before they even started. I meant "working out for the Jays" as having traded an asset and received something of equal or better value back. I'll repeat what I said before. If Moreno and Varsho are roughly equivalent players for the next 3-4 years this will be a pretty bad trade for the Jays. Varsho has to outplay Moreno over the remaining years of his team control for this to "work out of the Jays".
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#439426) #
"I used to favour an extension for Jansen, but in light of his latest injury issues, I might reconsider this position. It's a bit like Springer. You can only sustain so many injuries before your body (and performance) starts to break down."

Greenfrog...I don't think it's fair to put Springer in the same camp as Jansen. He's been a lot more durable and doesn't get injured as often. He's coming off the most games he's ever played this season since he was 26. He played a lot the year before too. For the first time in his career his OPS+ has dropped below .800.

Being a father with newborn kids myself, I'm willing to give him a chance to rebound in 2024.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 25 2023 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#439428) #
Nigel, no disagreement from me that acquiring Kiermaier first and then making the Varsho/Moreno deal was a huge mistake. I actually think that was the worst part of the deal. They either should have made the Varsho trade and not signed Kiermaier, or signed Kiermaier and not made the Varsho trade, but they ended up doing both, and it ultimately hurt the team (offensively) and as you said undercut Varsho's greatest value to the team. However we can't turn back time on that one, so the Jays are going to have to wear that mistake.

Varsho in 2021 (prorated) and 2022 was a 4-5 WAR player. If the Jays get something like that in CF next season then I'm not sure they care what Moreno does (unless he suddenly becomes the best catcher in baseball or something). In that scenario they'd be more concerned with Kirk/Jansen's performance, Kirk in particular needs to bounce back to 2021-22 levels as well.

It's one of those deals that from simply an asset for asset standpoint it was probably a bad deal from the get go, but from a value standpoint still has a chance to prove to be useful if not good.
bpoz - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#439433) #
I wonder if payroll was the issue last off season.

No Ryu for the 1st half of the season. Injuries happen. There were questions about the effectiveness of Berrios and Kikuchi so getting Bassit was an smart move. Then there is a high probability that Manoah and Gausman would be outstanding. We know what happened. The rotation was outstanding but extremely expensive. Swanson improved the pen to the point of being good. C Green was more help signed Jan 30 but injured. I don't know how much he was paid.

Looks like the FO was very scared about OF defense. KK is a part time player but the Jays got a lot of playing time from him. I am just going to say that the offense was gutted.

I believe that the payroll was above the luxury tax cutoff. If so then no more acquisitions IMO.

I think Shapiro delegates responsibility to various individuals but I don't know how. Would the analytics department have input on player acquisitions?

Lucky we made the playoffs so that the payroll should be good. I expect the payroll to be lower. We will know by ST.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#439434) #
Dan Shulman and Jacques Doucet are among the nominees for the Frick award for baseball broadcasting.

Doucet and Claude Raymond created new phrases in French for baseball expressions. One of the pleasures of being Canadian in the early and mid 70s was watching Expos games in French. In Toronto, they were on CBLFT.
Jonny German - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#439435) #
Andrew Stoeten did an entire podcast on Bass.  Anyone think Andrew Stoeten should be opining about morality?
'Stick to sports' Stoeten, since you can't do sociology.  

Help me understand here... you feel it's self-evident that Andrew Stoeten shouldn't be opining about morality, but you listened to his entire podcast on Bass anyways?

Some years ago I checked out the Birds All Day podcast with Stoeten and Drew Fairservice, and I thought it was garbage - not so much because of the baseball content, but because it was a steady stream of cursing.

That was my impression of Stoeten for a long time, and I ignored him. But then he started a podcast with Nick Ashbourne who is probably the best writer currently covering the Jays. And it turns out Stoeten (unlike Fairservice) has some interesting things to say when he's not just spewing f-bombs.
James W - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#439436) #
Someone's gonna win it for the first time.

Or for the second time, in Arizona's case.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#439438) #
The best writer currently covering the Jays...

...outside of Batter's F'n Box. Thanks, Magpie.

Texas vs. Arizona?  Texas in 5.  It wasn't until the 6th game that the Houston pitching staff was beat.  It will take less time for the Rangers to do that to Arizona's.  It truly is a devastating lineup when everyone is healthy.  When you have Taveras, Seager, Semien and Heim down the middle of the diamond, you have the basis for a fine defence and a superior offence.  Which is what they have.  That's 65-70% of the game, and their pitching is good enough to hold Arizona to 4 runs per game, while they score 6.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#439439) #
I’ll (irrationally) take Arizona in six. I like underdogs and I think Arizona might have enough talent and moxie to pull off an upset.
dalimon5 - Thursday, October 26 2023 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#439442) #
I'll go for Arizona in 5. End of season Texas that pooped the bed will show up and they will run out of gas. Bullpen is an issue and ARZ will pitch around Garcia and Seager. ARZ will run the bases like they did in the 2nd half of LCS against Philly.

Philly had a stronger line up than TEX, better bullpen and better pitching. They were a better team than TEX and ARZ beat them.

I think Corbin Carrol is WS MVP and carries the Diamondbacks off the skill he's shown at the end of the LCS.
jerjapan - Friday, October 27 2023 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#439459) #
you feel it's self-evident that Andrew Stoeten shouldn't be opining about morality, but you listened to his entire podcast on Bass anyways?
I did indeed Jonny.  I do think he does some great stuff about baseball, and prefer the nicer version of the guy.  But yeah, skip that podcast unless you are a free speech glutton for punishment like me. 

As for free speech? Most people who make public comments that offend a significant portion of their customer base will be shown the door, and most businesses wouldn't even bother with the pretense of it being a business decision. Bass still has his right to free speech; however, he never had the right to play in MLB.
Dude's a 35 year old middle-reliever, he could be done.  Perhaps he didn't want to resume play this year.  Or perhaps he never got the shot because it would be a distraction. 

But Ryan Day, define significant portion?  I only see the content producers talking about it.  Unless you count the same sort of absent-minded sharing of stuff on social media as evidence of offense?
This is unprecedented times, in terms of social media, AI, dis and mis information. 
Parker - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#439485) #
I don't think you can ignore Travis d'Arnaud, as he was the only asset of ANY value that Anthopoulos got back from trading Roy Halladay. If D'Arnaud doesn't count for anything, Anthopoulos gave away a Hall of Fame pitcher in his prime for nothing.

Speaking of that trade, I'm really hoping by this time next year that this front office will be cleared out and the new regime will be the ones allowed to trade Guerrero Jr. I don't trust these clowns to put their own shoes on the right feet at this point, but the team needs to move on.
greenfrog - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#439487) #
Halladay was only controllable for another year or two (I think). Moreno is 23 and controllable for six years (or more, if Arizona extends him).

I think AA was offered Carlos Carrasco for Doc. Carrasco plus d’Arnaud would have been a very good return for Doc. Kyle Drabek was the sexier prospect at the time, though.
Mike Green - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#439488) #
Halladay was coming off 6.2 and 6.9 bWAR seasons for Toronto and gave Philadelphia two MVP quality years of 8.5 and 8.8 bWAR and then two years of replacement level performance.  And he made 5 post-season starts with a 2.37 ERA.  For this, the Phillies paid $75M.

Moreno will not cost us much for the first 6 years, and may or may not deliver the same value (in large part depending on whether one considers WAR to be linear).  And Varsho has already delivered more value than d'Arnaud did.  d'Arnaud never played with the Blue Jays and was sent to the Mets with Noah Syndergaard (who was the far bigger item) for R. A. Dickey and Josh Thole. 
greenfrog - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#439490) #
Yep. Great trade for Philly (and another example of the Blue Jays trading away a star player for an inadequate return).

Carrasco was an elite starting pitcher from around 2014-2018 (posting about 5 WAR annually in three of those seasons). That would have been helpful during the Blue Jays peak years, had they acquired him instead of Drabek in the Doc trade.
Michael - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#439491) #
You can read at where there was one year left and Halladay was basically demanding a trade to either Philadelphia or New York (Halladay then signed an extension with the Phillies that he wasn't going to sign with Toronto given where Toronto was in the success cycle). In the context of that, the trade was reasonable. You can certainly judge it poorly for how it turned out in terms of the eventual value of Travis D'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor were thought to be a reasonably valuable set of assets.
John Northey - Monday, October 30 2023 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#439492) #
There is a rule in trades - he who gets the best player wins.

Not 100% of the time, but quite often that is the case. Prospects often flame out. The Dickey deal was an oddity with Syndergaard becoming far better than expected far quicker than expected. Lands under 'it happens'. d'Arnaud (#81 BA, climbed up to #6 on MLB prospect list by 2013) and Kyle Drabek (#16 BP, #25 BA) were both very highly rated prospects at the time (pre 2010), as was Taylor (#29 BA, #20 BP). Taylor was flipped that day for Brett Wallace (#27 BA, #44 BP) who was traded that summer for Anthony Gose (who the Jays really wanted in the first place - peaked at #39 in 2012, he still is active as a pitcher for Cleveland (TJ surgery cost him 2023, is signed for 2024 though). 4 years after that deal the Jays traded Gose for Devon Travis (1-1) who was ranked #84 by BA at the time, but sadly had so many injuries his career never really got going.

Phew, that Halladay trade was a mess to get through wasn't it? Cool that Gose is still kicking, I think he and d'Arnaud are the last who were involved in anyway for that deal that are kicking. FYI: d'Arnaud peaked at 2.8 WAR in 2022, no other year over 1.5. The biggest given away prospect I think was Michael Young (24.7 WAR in exchange for Esteban Loaiza) or Jeff Kent (55.5 WAR but had already played 65 games here before the trade and that trade for David Cone was a big boost to the 92 WS win) depending on where you draw the line. Best coming here was easily Fred McGriff (52.6 WAR as a throw in for 2 relievers) for guys with 0 ML time.

Pitchers are such a crapshoot. Sometimes they look done like dinner and reemerge (Chris Carpenter) or they look like solid performers who flop (Randy Myers). It is a risk to trade for them, or to trade them away. But every team needs a LOT of them to survive.
Jonny German - Tuesday, October 31 2023 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#439497) #
I think AA was offered Carlos Carrasco for Doc. Carrasco plus d’Arnaud would have been a very good return for Doc. Kyle Drabek was the sexier prospect at the time, though.
Yep. Great trade for Philly (and another example of the Blue Jays trading away a star player for an inadequate return).

Carrasco was an elite starting pitcher from around 2014-2018 (posting about 5 WAR annually in three of those seasons). That would have been helpful during the Blue Jays peak years, had they acquired him instead of Drabek in the Doc trade.

Mix hearsay with hindsight for a delicious combo! Except...

The hearsay is obviously incorrect, as Carrasco had already been gone from Philly for 5 months when the Halladay trade was made.

The hindsight conveniently ignores the fact that Carrasco's first 5 years in Cleveland added up to 238 innings with a 5.29 ERA. The naysayers would have been incessant with their moaning about what a bad return Carrasco was for Halladay.

(Credit to those smart guys in Cleveland who stuck with Carrasco until his breakout in 2014, and extended him on a team-friendly deal... let's see, says here the president was a Mr. M. Shapiro).
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 31 2023 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#439504) #
Jonny, I recommend you do some actual research before wigging out. Halladay was traded in December 2009. But trade discussions with the Phillies were also held in the summer of 2009, when Carrasco was reportedly considered.

This is from a July 26, 2009 ESPN article:

The Blue Jays have rejected the Phillies' latest offer for Roy Halladay, a source familiar with the two teams' discussions told

On Saturday -- after the Phillies informed Toronto they would not agree to a proposal that would have sent pitchers J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, plus outfield prospect Dominic Brown to the Jays for Halladay -- the Phillies countered with a four-for-one offer.

The Phillies took both Drabek, their top pitching prospect, and Brown, their top position-player prospect, out of the deal. Instead, they submitted an offer of Happ and their three most advanced prospects -- outfielder Michael Taylor, pitcher Carlos Carrasco and shortstop Jason Donald.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 31 2023 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#439505) #
Why does it not surprise me that J.P. Ricciardi rejected that deal? He was still GM until October 2009. The Jays on July 26th were 12 1/2 games back in the East, 11 back of the lone wild card slot - so 100% out of the race, no reason to keep Halladay at that stage. If JPR had done the trade Halladay would've had his WS ring most likely as Philly made it to the WS that year and lost 4-2 to the Yankees. Wow, forgot how insane the Phillies rotation was that year - for the WS it went Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez, Cole Hamels, then a big drop to Joe Blanton (4 runs in 6 IP) - have Halladay there and I bet the Phillies win that game (lost 7-4) meaning if all else stayed the same it'd have been a 3-3 tie boing to a game 7. I suspect Halladay would've been #2 after Lee, pushing Pedro to game 3 (they lost game 3 8-5) and Hammels down to game 4, which might have meant the Phillies win in 6 as Halladay in game 6 probably does better than Pedro did (4 runs in 4 innings with the first reliever giving up 3 more).

Yet another reason to be annoyed about the wasted JPR years after the horrid Ash years. No wonder we were all 'screw the future' in 2015 when AA sold the farm and put the team in tough $ situation a few years later.
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 01 2023 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#439518) #
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