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BA published their top 10 prospects today. As expected Ricky Tiedemann tops the list.

He is followed by Orelvis Martinez, Arjun Nimmala, Brandon Barriera, Addison Barger, Kendry Rojas, Leo Jimenez, Davis Schneider (who I thought was ineligible), Alan Roden and Connor Cooke.

Cooke is obviously the surprise pick in the top 10.

Here are some random notes from the scouting reports. As we have noted, BA thinks Orelvis is headed for second base in the majors. Barriera "added mass at the expense of his athleticism". BA are positive on the improvements made by Barger in 2023. They note he closed some holes in his swing and improved his exit velocities by more than 3 mph.

Kendry Rojas has trouble maintaining a consistent delivery. BA expects that to improve with experience. BA are not convinced that Leo Jimenez's arm is strong enough for shortstop. Cooke has two above average pitches.

More to come...

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Mike Green - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 12:16 PM EST (#440093) #
ZiPS projections would likely imply Schneider as either the #1 or #2 prospect.
BA looks at these things differently, focusing on tools; sometimes they are right but sometimes they go astray when not adjusting correctly to evidence of change and in particular to translation of tools into skills.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 12:56 PM EST (#440096) #
That list is surprisingly similar to my personal more stats-based list. Even the order is similar. The only guys they have on there that i didn't rate are Rojas and Cooke, and tbh i prpbably disagree with them being there still

The 2 guys i had in my top 10 in their places were bohrofen and dejesus, with palmegiani coming in late and hot, and i'd probably stand by that. We'll see how that turns out.
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 01:28 PM EST (#440103) #
Davis Schneider is definitely ineligible by the official MLB definition for rookie eligibility. He has 59 days of service time, the max is 45 days.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 02:25 PM EST (#440107) #
I have Adam Macko in my top 10. So 4 Lefty SPs. Tiedemann & Macko are power pitchers. Barriera and Rojas will probably also be power pitchers next year as they fill out more and get stronger. The fitness complex will help a lot.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 02:39 PM EST (#440108) #
Some comments from the chat:

Fernando Perez is the best sleeper from the complex leagues.

Some scouts who weren't sold on Roden questioned the bat speed

Enmanual Bonilla will probably be number 11 or 12 prospect

Scouts outside the Blue Jays are not optimistic or Tucker Toman
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 02:55 PM EST (#440110) #
That's interesting about Roden, Gerry.  His bat did not look slow to me at all.  I'm not a scout, though, and maybe they see things I don't.  It is easy to check out on youtube, and I'd be interested to see how Bauxites feel about that. 
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 02:59 PM EST (#440111) #
I'd agree on Toman. And Roden, although a minor swing tweak might help.

I've been big on Rojas since late 2022 when I saw him pitch. Legit pitchers body, excellent stuffy esp for a lefty. Potential for 3 above-average pitches and has been up to 97 mph. Just raw.

Macko still has reliever risk IMO.

Bohrofen is intriguing but those small samples in A ball right after a college season don't mean a whole lot.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 03:08 PM EST (#440112) #
BA's comments about Barger's 2023 improvements in exit velocity and holes in his swing beg the question why his stat line might be so much less impressive.  His HR/FB rate was way down from 2022 despite pulling the ball 50% of the time and those increased exit velocities.  It's hard to figure what was going on.  It's also weird that he hit the ball so hard with a 28% line drive rate and a 42.5% ground ball rate and he ended up with a much lower BABIP and hence batting average.  If you looked at his stat line without the exit velocities, you'd think he lost 5 mph exit velocity rather than gaining 3 mph.  Maybe BA is referring to max EV rather than average EV. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 03:10 PM EST (#440113) #
Marc, have you seen video from Roden's New Hampshire's PAs with the new approach?  I thought that the tweak they made was quite significant. 
Gerry - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 03:30 PM EST (#440115) #
More chat comments:

Bohrofen will be 11-20, BA guy was lukewarm on him, said he could develop into a 45, possible ML regular with an outside shot at being a 50.

Chad Dallas is likely a reliever.

The most optimistic projection for Nimmala is to be Carlos Correa. More reasonable projection is another Bo.

Jays system is likely bottom quartile

Dasan Brown might never hit

John Northey - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 04:50 PM EST (#440117) #
IMO any list where there is a guy who had over a 1000 OPS (175 OPS+) in his first 141 PA in the majors listed at #8 either means the Jays system is very strong or they have weird standards.

BA is known for being the "tools over results" site. Makes them very useful vs FanGraphs and others who are stats over tools, but also leads to things like Alex Gonzalez rated over Carlos Delgado in 1994, Travis Snider the #6 prospect in MLB in 2009 (#11 in 2008), Nate Pearson #7 in 2020. Also remember, 2016's list had only Anthony Alford make the top 100 (#20) from the Jays. Then despite winning the AL East (thus further down the draft order) they added a stack of talent (Vlad, Gurriel, Sean Reid-Foley, and Tellez all made the top 100 for 2017 along with Alford still hanging around). Minor league systems can improve quickly - Bo & Biggio were also drafted in 2016. 2017 saw Davis Schneider, Nate Pearson, and others drafted, 2018 a flop so far but Addison Barger gives hope. So don't despair - the Jays are weak in the minors in some respects but also strong in others. For 2024 we could see Martinez & Barger get their first shots along with Schneider grabbing a spot long term. Plus, of course, Tiedemann is there.

2023 was the first year with a single top 100 Jay in awhile, other times were 2016, 2008 and that is it since the earliest top 100 I could find (1990 with John Olerud listed at 1B/LHP - remember, he went 15-0 in college as a pitcher one year with a 2.49 ERA - overall in college he went 26-4 and posted a 3.17 ERA while throwing 241.1 innings).
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 06:43 PM EST (#440119) #
BA says Schneider is “not playable in the field.” Ouch.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 07:25 PM EST (#440121) #
Well, they obviously haven't been watching the games.  Schneider may or may not be an average second baseman (ZiPS has him at +6, which does seem high to me), but unplayable is actually a bit of a joke if you've seen him.  He makes the routine play routinely and he has far from an iron glove.  He can turn a double play adequately.  His range is not great, but he's not a statue either.  The one part of his game that is well below par is tagging.   "Unplayable" is the kind of thing you would say if you were embarrassed about missing him.  At times, I pay no attention to BA and it is comments like that which turn me off.  If you've only had a few looks at him over the past season, then you might form that opinion, but he made 22 starts at second base in MLB in 2023 and was far from unplayable.  He only made 28 starts at second base in Buffalo this year, and I somehow doubt that BA got more looks at Schneider at second base than everyone who saw him in person or on TV this year in Toronto. 

Similarly, Fangraphs The Board as of today with their "updated" 2023 top prospects for the Jays.  John Kasevich is their 5th ranked prospect still and Alan Roden is their 31st.  They have a bunch of players with 2023 ETAs who obviously didn't make it and frankly may not make it 2024 either.  The only update I can see from the start of 2023 is an arrow down for Addison Barger, the 3rd ranked prospect. 

Waiting for the Battersbox list to set things straight!
John Northey - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 08:08 PM EST (#440122) #
BA obviously didn't watch much of Schneider then. OAA had him at +3 at 2B, DRS at 0, RAA +2. DRS of -1 at 3B, +1 in LF. Overall defense at +2.4. BR has him at 0.0 on defense (neutral at 2B, negative at 3B, strong positive in LF). Of course those are tiny same sizes (sub 20 innings at 3B and LF, 182 2/3 at 2B). In AAA at 2B last year he had a respectable 986 fielding percentage and 4.86 RF/G - nothing 'wow', but better than Orelvis Martinez (966-4.31) with only Barger having more range (5.00 in 2 games), and 3 guys with a better % (Barger, McCoy, Horwitz each didn't make an error at 2B, but a total of just 77 innings between them). Given what we have for stats they all say 'average 2B' not 'unplayable'. Of the 4 guys in LF for Buffalo who had 100+ innings (heck out of the 7 who played 5+ games) he led in RF/G at 1.76 making 1 error out of 59 plays. No assists though. Again, hardly 'unplayable'. For unplayable I'd look at Horwitz anywhere but 1B (1.08 RF/G in LF, 3.33 at 2B - both very poor). Sadly Lantigua appears to be almost unplayable given the few stats we have for fielding in AAA (1.47 RF/G at 3B, 3.20 at 2B, 3.00 at SS, 1.44 in LF, 2.2 in CF, 1.07 in RF) - one wonders if the evaluators for BA mixed the two up, although I'd hope they wouldn't be that poor at their job.

For 2024 I wouldn't be fearful of Schneider at 2B often, although I'd lean towards LF more depending on who the team acquires in the winter. I suspect he'll have the same role as Merrifield had this year - in the lineup a lot, but alternating between 2B and LF.

To me the big question is who are the backups - assuming LF/3B/DH are taken care of by new acquisitions. 4 man bench again, one is a catcher (Jansen or Kirk depending which starts), leaving 3 slots for IF/OF - Biggio, Espinal, Schneider take 2 of those slots (one in the field everyday at 2B or LF), last slot probably an OF who can play CF (Eden, Lukes) but Clement and Lopez are both out of options so the Jays will probably try to find a slot for them, although I can't imagine anyone taking Lopez off waivers.
Super Bluto - Wednesday, November 29 2023 @ 08:28 PM EST (#440123) #
I expect that once the list makers realize the mistake with Davis Schneider, they will add the only logical name to their list: Rafael Ohashi.
Nigel - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 03:16 AM EST (#440127) #
That’s an interesting comment on Roden. I was extremely impressed with most things that Roden did at the plate in Vancouver but I did question whether he produced enough consistently good EV, but that is different than seeing poor bat speed.

I’m probably the low man here on Schneider’s defense (particularly at 3rd but even at 2B) and I would never say unplayable. Over the long haul I think it will be below average (mainly because of the range) but that’s a long way from unplayable.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 08:15 AM EST (#440129) #
Below average at second base is a reasonable view, Nigel.  The early in-person observations (with a name attached to them!) are valuable.  Part of it, of course, is a development question.  For instance, would Schneider learn how to tag reasonably well with many infield reps at second base?  I'd love to see someone like Brian Butterfield working with him on aspects of second base defence.  I've been impressed with Schneider's self-discipline, and have formed the far-off opinion that he will do better than most at refining skills. 

The problem with comments like "unplayable" about players one has seen is that it makes you doubt comments about players you haven't seen.  Being wrong some of the time is to be expected, but gross hyperbole just makes the reader/listener tune out. Or maybe that's the Canadian in me talking. 
Glevin - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 12:13 PM EST (#440133) #
"The problem with comments like "unplayable" about players one has seen is that it makes you doubt comments about players you haven't seen. Being wrong some of the time is to be expected, but gross hyperbole just makes the reader/listener tune out."

Yeah. Schneider is a very hard guy to evaluate with limited track record, his insane August but saying "unplayable" just isn't true. I'd be fine having Schneider having regular PAs next year. I think a 110-120 WRC+ with below average defense makes him sort of like Jorge Polanco type which is very useful and that would be my best bet of where he ends up (with very wide variances). BA's top-10 is fine except for Connor Cooke. Wouldn't have a reliever anywhere near the top 10.

bpoz - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 12:39 PM EST (#440134) #
We know the 2023 O of Varsho, Chapman and Schneider. I was disappointed in the O of Varsho and Chapman. Schneider was better but a super hot August and a cold Sept means that he has to prove himself again IMO. I fully expect that he will be given that opportunity.

I don't know who the bottom 3 batters will be for us. 2 of them could be weak which will mean a weakish O.

Both Orelvis and Barger played a lot of shortstop and both have very strong arms. So I expect both to be able to handle 2B & 3B. Bo is our SS for now. Palmegiani made a great defensive play at 3B in the AFL so it seems he can handle 3B and of course 1B. Of these 3 who will be able to hit at the ML level? I expect Barger and Olelvis and maybe Palmegiani to be ready after 200 more AAA ABs. I mean good AAA ABs if not then they underperformed.
John Northey - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 12:47 PM EST (#440135) #
Baseball Cube has the top 30 from BA from last year (I'm guessing they need to wait a bit before posting). Of those 30, just 4 have reached the majors - #9 Nate Pearson, #15 Otto Lopez, #17 Hagan Danner, #18 Spencer Horwitz. #27 has yet to get past rookie ball (Enmanuel Bonilla).

2022's list has more reaching - #1 Moreno, #2 Nate Pearson, #4 Jordan Groshans, #6 Otto Lopez, #7 Kevin Smith, #11 Samad Taylor, #15 Spencer Horwitz, #18 Thomas Hatch, #24 Zach Logue, #27 Hagan Danner, #30 Josh Palacios.

2021 has highlights of Kirk #5, Manoah #7, Moreno #8, Espinal #21, plus 7 others who have reached. #2 Austin Martin is still in AAA (but on the Twins 40 man now).

This all gives some idea of how hard it is to predict prospects. Shoot back to 2010 and you see 19 reaching, 11 not with #3 Chad Jenkins never having got above A ball with all 30 retired/permanent free agents (only Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, & K.C. Hobson played professionally last year, with 2022 being the last year for Eric Thames & Ryan Goins).

Fun to look back. For fun I looked to 2000 (top 10 only, just 1 failed to reach the majors with 2013 being the last year any were pros - Vernon Wells, Cesar Izturis, and Michael Young). 1990 was a fun one - 9 of 10 reaching, with John Olerud the last to retire after 2005. 1983 is the oldest - 7 of 10 reached, HOF'er McGriff was #5, behind Tony Fernandez (#1), John Cerutti, the infamous Augie Schmidt, and a guy I can't recall in Jeff Reynolds (never reached). McGriff and Fernandez were the only ones to make it to the 2000's with McGriff going until 2004.
hypobole - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 03:01 PM EST (#440137) #
Got my Down On The Farm e-mail today, looking at Milb free agents. Started with this:

"When evaluating the hitters, I focused primarily on players who had above average sweet spot percentages, meaning they were hitting the ball at favorable launch angles, but had below average power. This is a demographic I am really interested in, because increasing exit velocity through bat speed training has been very successful, and as I found in my piece on who could improve the most with bat speed training, hitters who consistently hit the ball in the sweet spot zone for launch angle see exponential gains in their damage on contact once their exit velocity increases."

The #1 FA on their list:

"Admittedly, I didn’t know who Rafael Lantigua was before working on this exercise, but after digging into his batted ball data, I am intrigued. You don’t have to look at the more granular data to be impressed however; this past year he hit .305/.425/.469 with a 17.0% walk rate versus an 18.3% strikeout rate. The Statcast data makes the profile more interesting though. From an approach standpoint, he was in the 90th percentile of Chase Rate Over Expected (CROE), with a 7.3% rate. He didn’t whiff much, swinging through just 23.4% of the pitches he swung at, and wasn’t overly aggressive, swinging at only 42.7% of the pitches he faced. He is hitting the ball at favorable launch angles, with a sweet spot percentage of 38.3%, but he is lacking in raw power, with just a 100.3 MPH 90th percentile exit velocity. This is absolutely a player that, if he can add a few ticks of exit velocity through a bat speed training program, will take off."

The bat speed training comments I found interesting, especially in light of the Roden comment from BA. I have to think the Jays are already employing this, but it's not something I've ever heard discussed. Anyone here knowledgeable about this?
92-93 - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 03:05 PM EST (#440138) #
Schenider's September service time doesn't count towards his rookie eligibility, and he doesn't have 130 ABs.
Jonny German - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 05:03 PM EST (#440141) #
I remember there used to be an exception for September, but makes no mention of it currently.

Do you have info from some other source?
John Northey - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 06:57 PM EST (#440143) #
Right now there is TONS of talk of a Soto trade with the Yankees being the top team chasing him. But what would it take for the Jays to grab him? BTV has a Brandon Barriera & Orelvis Martinez deal as fair value for Soto. Very tempting, depending on if one thinks Martinez is a solid infielder going forward or not (I find the move to 2B concerning). With the 'win now' status of the Jays some prospects will be delt this winter to fill 3B/LF/DH - the question is which ones? Tiedemann is listed as having more trade value than Soto does which doesn't sound right, but also I wouldn't want to deal him to get Soto unless I felt he couldn't survive a ML starting role.
dalimon5 - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 07:56 PM EST (#440144) #

Those trades only make sense if SD is not looking to contend. They cant plug those prospects in to help them right away.
scottt - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 08:26 PM EST (#440146) #
A Soto trade would start with Tiedemann and Martinez with one or two other pieces like Manoah.

They want Jasson Dominguez, Volpe and Michael King or Clarke Smith from the Yanks.

A guy who could be an ace with 7 years of control is worth more than 1 year of Soto being paid over 30M.

Mike Forbes - Thursday, November 30 2023 @ 10:20 PM EST (#440147) #
Brothers and sisters, I haven't been here in nearly a decade. I thought the highlight of my Battersbox career was being associated with Grady Sizemore. Turns out we could all be about to witness the biggest signing in baseball history. Also, still upset with taking Romero over Maybin.
John Northey - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 12:26 AM EST (#440150) #
True dalimon5, if the Padres want to contend in 2024 then they'd need guys like Kikuchi in the deal instead of prospects in A ball. But that would be a much tougher deal to put together. Kikuchi, Schneider, Espinal TV says could work but I suspect SD would want more potential than that. Horwitz would easily be added of course, and Garcia. But then we are getting into a 'stack of meh for a star' deal which would be dumb for SD to take.
greenfrog - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 08:50 AM EST (#440153) #
Passan on ESPN:

" now the field for Ohtani's services has winnowed, sources said. The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, who were among the initial group of suitors, have turned their attention to other players, sources said. Among those confirmed by sources to be still in the bidding: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Angels. The San Francisco Giants have long had a fondness for Ohtani, though where they stand in these sweepstakes is unknown."
Ryan Day - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 09:18 AM EST (#440154) #
Passan also wrote that Ohtani's agent was demanding secrecy about negotiations, so treat any rumours extra-skeptically. (though perhaps indications a team isn't involved might be slightly more trustworthy)
SK in NJ - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 10:36 AM EST (#440155) #
If Passan is reporting it then it’s likely true. He doesn’t post clickbait for engagement like Morosi does. He generally only breaks news or talks about things that are actually happening. Of course that doesn’t mean the Jays will get Ohtani but it does appear that they are one of the finalists.
greenfrog - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 12:06 PM EST (#440159) #
As mentioned, I would prefer to see the Jays land (say) Yamamoto and Lee and another player or two, rather than put all their eggs in the Ohtani basket. As incredible as Ohtani has been since he arrived in the majors, there is a high risk of the "winner's curse" manifesting in this situation.

Would I still love to see the Jays land Ohtani? Yes.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 12:12 PM EST (#440160) #

We are aligned. I'd much rather see Yamamoto + "4th players" like Pederson, Rhys Hoskins, Urshela added to the line up than Ohtani. My preference would be:

1) Yamamoto signing, SP depth trade + supplement power via sub 15 million/year players on short term deals.

2) outbid, trade for and sign Soto long term (package of Varsho, Barger and Zulueta if Soto agrees to extension at time of trade).

3) Sign Ohtani

Out of the three options the 3rd makes the most sense if you want to put the brand and team on the radar. Auston Matthews would be an instant afterthought with a global superstar like Ohtani moving in.
greenfrog - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 12:30 PM EST (#440161) #
On Soto, Passan says, "The most obvious destination is the New York Yankees, who are seeking bats to spark an offense that ranked 25th in runs scored in MLB this season. The Yankees have the major league-ready pitching the Padres desire and a farm system deep enough to whet San Diego's appetite for a deal."
dalimon5 - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 12:37 PM EST (#440162) #
Remember too, the rumour is that the Yankees had a deal lined up for Varsho last year and the Jays upped their offer to get him to TO instead.
greenfrog - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 01:00 PM EST (#440163) #
It sounds as if a lot could happen in MLB over the next few weeks.
92-93 - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 01:04 PM EST (#440164) #
Good call Jonny German, it looks like September service time does count towards rookie eligibility. Weird that BA doesn't incorporate that into their rankings. I was thrown off by BR -

That's a shame, because
scottt - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 01:05 PM EST (#440165) #
The Yankees might have the pitching the Padres desire but they're not trading that.
The Padres want Dominguez, Volpe, Drew Thorpe and Michael King.
The Yankees are willing to part with Schmidt who had a 4.64 ERA.
Meanwhile the Padres needs at least 2 starters to replace Snell, Wacha, Lugo and Nick Martinez.
It's pretty thin now after Darvish and Musgrove.

92-93 - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 01:09 PM EST (#440166) #
Minus the shame part, wrong window.
John Northey - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 04:38 PM EST (#440179) #
Everything I've read says once Ohtani signs then the floodgates open. A thing to remember with the Jays is they are said to have an Ohtani budget and a team budget. Basically, giving $50+ mil a year to him doesn't affect the rest of the budget by $50 mil, but more likely by $20 mil depending on how much Rogers values the cross-promotion he'd bring. Thus a big incentive on Atkins to sign him as he'd basically for budget purposes get a discount vs other options. Say the Jays have $50 mil left in the pot. You could spend $25 per on Yamamoto, $10 on a DH, and have $15 left for LF/3B. Or $25 on Bellinger, $25 left over for 3B/DH/whatever. Or $50 on Ohtani and have $20-30 left over for the rest (3B/LF) knowing you have a replacement for Kikuchi in 2025 already in the pocket.
85bluejay - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 06:22 PM EST (#440183) #
I get a chuckle at all the optimistic predictions posters are envisioning - I expect the Jays budget to about the same as 2023 and definitely no Ohtani or Yamamoto.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 07:00 PM EST (#440184) #
Rosenthal saying the Jays are in on trading for Soto if they miss out on Ohtani. That seems more realistic to me than signing Ohtani, but I guess if the Jays got this far then maybe there's at least a small chance.
uglyone - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 07:17 PM EST (#440186) #
they'll get both.
greenfrog - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 07:31 PM EST (#440187) #
Trade Tiedemann and Francis for Soto.

Sign Yamamoto.

Predicament solved.
John Northey - Friday, December 01 2023 @ 09:10 PM EST (#440188) #
So a perfect winter - signing Ohtani, Yamamoto, trading for Soto ($50+$25+$33 mil = $108 mil ballpark for 2024), trade away either Manoah or Kikuchi either as part of getting Soto or to get a 3B.

Right now the Jays competitive tax situation is at $218,215,953 (via Cot's) which means they'd be up to $326 mil roughly putting them in the top bracket ($297+ mil) which I don't see happening (FYI: brackets are at $237M $257/$277/$297 for 2024).

If they get Ohtani then there is a chance they still chase Yamamoto or Soto, but no more than 1 of them or Chapman to set the team up with a need to fill either LF or 3B or both (with a killer rotation). If they do get Yamamoto or Snell then it is safe to say Kikuchi has to be traded to save $10 mil and to try to fill 3B or LF. I could imagine the Jays just going into the season with only Ohtani if they get him then trying to make a mid-season trade to fill LF or 3B or another starting pitcher if needed. See if Schneider/Biggio/Espinal can cover 2B/3B and LF with the kids mixed in too (Barger, Martinez, Palmegiani, Jimenez, etc.). I see some chasing of lower priced free agents to try to cover 3B especially.

Nothing happens until Ohtani signs (down to Dodgers or Jays according to reports based on teams that have moved on from him to negotiating with agents for other big names or going deep into trades - see NYY chasing Soto hard, Cubs trying to pry Bo from us). If he goes to the Dodgers (as expected) then the Jays need to decide where to chase next - do you go all in for Soto (overpaying in prospects) or do you chase Yamamoto, Bellinger, Chapman, or find a different trade to make? I'd chase Yamamoto first, Bellinger/Chapman second, Soto 3rd (Soto will cost way too much in prospects for 1 season imo).
bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2023 @ 08:27 AM EST (#440190) #
So far the GM meetings are finished and tomorrow evening the winter meetings start. I don't know many details about what was discussed in the GM meetings. My guess is that a schedule was devised for the moves.

My memory is poor. Nola was signed by his own team which can be considered an internal move. Therefore quickly in case someone made a better offer. S Gray was a significant move but it was only a 3 year contract. Bellinger & Chapman should be 5 years. I expect Ohtani and Soto to get done close to the end of the year. Montgomery, Stroman, Snell etc... are big moves so they will take some time. Most likely after the winter meetings.

I am expecting a lot of talk but little action. Dipoto is always good for multiple moves as is Preller but his hands may be tied due to payroll. AA will do something reasonably big.

Somehow I cannot figure out Atkins, but he did say subtract from the rotation but the incoming player has to be a "starter" that if optionable has to have clearly earned his "stripes". Swanson is not a SP starter but has clearly earned his stripes. Zulueta has not earned his stripes and most likely Pearson as well. Manoah should be considered as "earned his stripes" IMO but his bad 2023 is a factor. Matz had a good 2016 and a pretty good 2018 & 19 but a V bad 2020. This made him available in a trade to the Jays.
uglyone - Saturday, December 02 2023 @ 05:26 PM EST (#440199) #
Hector Gomez says jays are favorites to get Soto
John Northey - Saturday, December 02 2023 @ 06:30 PM EST (#440209) #
I suspect Ohtani will sign with someone soon. He knows he is delaying his eventual team from doing any other planning this winter the longer he waits, which could make contending harder. Seems to be a Dodgers vs Jays situation. Does he want safety & comfort of staying in LA, or to take a chance and come here? To push a 100 win team further or to push a 90 win team to the promised land?

The Dodgers had no player under 26 with 100+ PA. 0 hitters with a PA under the age of 24. They do have 5 pitchers who were used who were under 25. The Jays have 2 regulars under 25 (Vlad & Kirk), Bo was 25, Schneider 24, Horwitz 25, Eden 25. So clearly the Jays have a LOT more youth in the offense. What about pitching? Just 1 guy under 25 (Hagen Danner who saw 1 batter), and 1 at 25 (Alek Manoah).

So the Jays offense has more potential growth long term due to age, the Dodgers more pitching potential due to age. So I am guessing team age won't be a big divider for him. He clearly wants a title, and I'd figure the Dodgers would give him a better shot at it short term, and probably long term too. Was hoping for a different result but it is what it is.

So then the issue becomes how well can each team sell him on the long term potential of each team? Jays have an ownership with a strong incentive to win as Jay fans have shown they vanish for 500 teams while packing the park (and watching on TV) for 90+ win teams. The Dodgers have been at 3 mil+ since 1996 (ignoring 2020/21 of course) and have a TV contract set already for another 15 years that won't make them a penny more having Ohtani. Safe to say the money is in Toronto for him, not LA based on simple economics - the Dodgers have minimal incentive financially to sign him for silly money, the Jays have a ton of incentive.
John Northey - Saturday, December 02 2023 @ 06:37 PM EST (#440210) #
Imagine a lineup of Springer-Bo-Ohtani-Vlad-Soto, or Springer-Ohtani-Vlad-Soto-Bo. If that doesn't get the Jays 100+ wins with the rotation and pen we have nothing would. 6-9 could be Kirk/Jansen-Biggio-Schneider-Varsho. Yikes. So Biggio at 3B isn't ideal, and leaving Schneider at 2B isn't either but Espinal is around to fill in on defense and they could keep Clement up as well (seemed solid on D). Of course that would push the payroll to the $290 range and maybe over the final luxury tax barrier ($297) but Rogers can afford it if they want to. It might also be a backup plan if they can't sign Ohtani. One hell of a backup plan.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 09:00 AM EST (#440224) #
Bob Nightengale of USA Today thinks it could be a week or more before Ohtani makes a decision. He also thinks Shohei will sign with LAD and Yamamoto will sign with the Mets, Yankees or Dodgers. Here’s more from his recent piece:

“There’s just not a lot of good players,’’ one GM said. “Nobody is jumping out and grabbing mediocre players. And agents are just waiting it out to see if teams start to panic."

Baseball GMs, executives and agents remind everyone that the World Series ended just five weeks ago, and there are still two full months of shopping days before spring training.

Still, everyone seems to believe that something will happen at these winter meetings, which officially opens Sunday, and ends Wednesday afternoon.

The biggest trade that could potentially happen is the San Diego Padres desperately finding someone to take Juan Soto and his expected $33 million salary, while getting back a wealth of pitching in return to patch their tattered rotation.

And no, as much as the New York Yankees would like to add a power bat for at least one season, there’s not enough eggnog in all of Manhattan to make them trade pitcher Michael King, pitching prospect Drew Thorpe, and a handful of other prospects while also taking on Padres center fielder Trent Grisham’s projected $5-6 million contract.

“I think the most fascinating part of these winter meetings,’’ one GM said, “is to see if anyone will bite on any of these one-year guys like Soto, [Tyler] Glasnow and [Corbin] Burnes . There’s not a Mookie Betts here. The Dodgers didn’t give up anything to sign Betts and were still able to sign him to an extension.

“You’ve got to be pretty desperate, or even stupid, to give up a ton for one of these guys.’’
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 09:03 AM EST (#440225) #
Also from Nightengale:

“Teams interested in Shohei Ohtani believe he’s worth $20 million to $25 million alone in ticket sales, merchandising, licensing and advertising.

“So, anyone giving him $50 million a year in his new free-agent contract, really are paying only about half that amount.”
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 09:17 AM EST (#440227) #
He does say that Ohtani has “quietly reciprocated” the Blue Jays’ interest in him, and that although LAD is the favourite to land him, the Jays have made his decision intriguing.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 11:14 AM EST (#440229) #
"You've got to be pretty desperate, or even stupid, to give up a ton for one of these guys"

This describes more than one front office.

dalimon5 - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 11:26 AM EST (#440230) #
That last quote is how I figured the Jays would be involved. Intrigue/dark horse to the Dodgers. Biggest appeal to Ohtani that I can see is he can live in Canada instead of the US in event of a war. Reaching, yes...

Regarding Soto I would overpay to trade for him then overpay to sign him to forego free agency. The chances that Bo signs before he hits free agency are pretty much zero. How many of us think Bo will earn less than Soto in two years? Now's a perfect time to get a long term core piece like they did with Berrios.

In the random thoughts category...I heard that Berrios has an opt out after this year, is this true??? If so then thr Jays may as well start looking for a replacement.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 12:08 PM EST (#440231) #
Berríos can opt out of the contract after the 2026 season, according to the his bb-ref page.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 12:23 PM EST (#440232) #
Thanks LC
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 03:47 PM EST (#440236) #
Nightengale writes that the Dodgers are aiming to have a huge off-season. They want to land Ohtani, Yamamoto, and Cease.
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 03:48 PM EST (#440237) #
LC - that makes sense - 2027/28 are the most expensive years on his deal ($24 mil per) which he might actually get more than if he was a free agent right now. But those are ages 33/34 seasons so that would cut it down a bit. He'd probably be looking at a Bassitt type deal at that point, 3 years $60+ mil but with the usual baseball inflation more like 3 years $70 mil if he keeps pitching like he did this year vs 2022's mess. Still, that is a very low priority right now. By then Vlad & Bo will have reached free agency or been extended so the Jays will know what they have for 2027-203? depending on how long their deals are, if signed, or they will be in full rebuild mode unless kids come up and replace Bo & Vlad (can't see that right now, but who knows? Maybe Arjun Nimmala will shoot through the system and earn a ML SS job by 2026 and Enmanuel Bonilla will be Vlad v2 but in the OF, or Manuel Beltre will harness his skills and make it up. We'll see but I wouldn't bet on any of that happening.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 04:24 PM EST (#440238) #
The Dodgers 2024 payroll as of today is estimated at $134M.  That cannot stand!
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 05:53 PM EST (#440239) #
Yeah, the Dodgers payroll, via Cot's with payroll tax features mixed in, is at $170.2 mil for 2024. So they could add Ohtani and still be under the tax ($237 mil). Insane. They clearly planned for a while to be ready for this. The Jays are at $218,215,953 for comparison. So an Ohtani signing jumps the Jays to the 2nd bracket ($257+) and near the 3rd ($277). Phew.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 06:14 PM EST (#440240) #
Feels like we’re hoping for a miracle, but that Ohtani, Yamamoto, Soto, Lee, and Bellinger will ultimately end up elsewhere.

I expect the final dollar figures for the top handful of FA/IFAs to be enormous.
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