Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The winter meetings have started. There are a few official meetings but many one on one meetings between teams and between teams and agents. There are few very good free agent hitters so will trades be a bigger part of the meetings than in the past?

Will Ohtani sign?

Will Soto be traded?

Whither Matt Chapman?

And the rule 5 draft comes at the end of the meetings.

Hopefully these meetings will run their course, unlike the GM meetings recently that were cut short by a rampant stomach bug.

We need some news to discuss, lets get going!

Winter Is Here, Meetings that is | 384 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 07:36 PM EST (#440242) #
Well, no HOF for Cito this year.  Jim Leyland made it despite having a losing record in his extra games managed and only having 1 WS title vs Cito's 2.  Ick.
soupman - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 09:07 PM EST (#440244) #
Cito was also the first black manager to win a series and between his back to back titles Marge Schott was giving us a window into why there were so few black managers. I’m really surprised that so few see Cito as a better fit than many of the others that they do (Leyland being an obvious example, but Pinella and others with fewer championships and more notoriety also come to mind)
Gerry - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 10:47 PM EST (#440245) #
The first trade of the winter meetings. Jarred Kelenic to the Braves. Details to be announced.
Gerry - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 10:52 PM EST (#440246) #
Ken Rosenthal and Kaitlin McGrath have a story in the Athletic about the Jays and their sense of urgency this off season. They note the Jays don't usually play at the top of the market and wonder why it seems they are playing there this off-season. They suggest a number of reasons:

The bad finish to 2023

The Rogers Centre renovations and the need to sell premium seats

The restless fan base

Vlad and Bo's ticking contracts, and

Shapiro and Atkins feeling the heat with 2 and 3 years left on their contracts.

I believe all of those have been discussed here on Da Box.

John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2023 @ 11:33 PM EST (#440247) #
Agreed Gerry - no shock as we are all addicts here and with no news we've been gnawing these bones hard. Free agents after...
  • 2024: Jansen, Kikuchi, Garcia, Richards
  • 2025: Vlad, Bassitt, Bo, Green, Romano, Biggio, Mayza, Swanson, Cabrera
  • 2026: Springer, Gausman, Kirk, Varsho, Espinal, Pearson (maybe)
I'd say that makes the window pretty damn clear. 2024/2025 with a small bit of hope for 2026 depending on who comes in, who resigns, and any prospects coming from Schneider to guys in A+ ball in 2023 (high end guys in A+ in '23 should reach for 2026). So yeah, high pressure on the Shapiro/Atkins team with the $100 mil spent on Dunedin and $300 mil spent on SkyDome.
85bluejay - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 07:50 AM EST (#440248) #
I think the Jays are one of the more desperate teams and I expect them to overpay in trades and signings.
85bluejay - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:08 AM EST (#440249) #
My hope for the winter meetings

- Matt Chapman signs with another team - the media reports of the Jays willing to offer over 100M to Chapman just annoys me.

-Ohtani does the inevitable and signs with the Dodgers, allowing the rest of MLB get on with business.

- The Jays move either Kikuchi or Bassitt as I expect regression next year and don't sell low on Manoah.

bpoz - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:10 AM EST (#440250) #
AA said "we are trying to win a WS". I cannot find anything wrong with his statement.

Regarding the Rosenthal/McGrath article the facts are that renovations done to Dunedin and the Skydome being expensive are accurate.

As far as feeling pressure to win by/or making a big move IMO there is pressure on many FOs. SF has not made the playoffs in 2 years, St Louis in 2023, Cubs in a few years. In the AL NYY no playoffs in 2023 and no WS in a while. Other AL teams have already fired FO personnel like Detroit, CWS, KC, Boston, Texas and LAA.

Regarding Seattle and the Jays. Seattle failed to make the playoffs in 2023 but nobody was fired probably because they were so close. The Jays under Shapiro/Atkins have had regular season on field success since 2020 but no playoff wins to show for that time period. I would say Schneider is on the hot seat as the 1st casualty.

The 11W 17L May 2023 was V hard on everyone. IMO nobody knew what was wrong. June's record of 16Wins and 11Losses righted the ship a bit. Going forward we easily figured out that this team could not score. This was the fault of Shapiro/Atkins for sacrificing O for D.

IMO a bad start for 2024 will get Schneider fired. Many the other teams that are considered contenders that have a bad start will also fire people. You can't fire the team I understand. The Baltimore manager is probably safe as is Arizona & Miami.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:37 AM EST (#440251) #
What could Kikuchi net us?
John Northey - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:38 AM EST (#440252) #
Some good points bpoz - I agree Schneider can't afford to have the team suck in 2024, a 1989 nightmare start (12-24) or even a sub 500 record on June 1st could cost him his job. Who is next? Internally a few choices - Mattingly, Hale, Casey Candaele in AAA seems popular with players, Cesar Martin in AA is there too. Buck Showalter was fired last year and has a good rep overall, wonder if Bob Brenly would be interested in a second shot (4 years in Arizona back in 01-04, a title, and that was it), heck could even bring back Cito for a 3rd go around as he hits 80. I'm sure there are other, more practical options too.
Glevin - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:01 AM EST (#440253) #
Mariners have freed up around $30M in basically salary dumps. I find it so annoying how many teams are choosing not to compete but rather just keep teams cheap. I hope jays take advantage and take on salary from teams looking to do the same but it's bad for baseball.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:05 AM EST (#440254) #
Are we prepared to deal any prospects? Ricky Tiedemann is the blue-chip.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:11 AM EST (#440255) #
I would rather deal Tiedemann for Soto, and then have one good shot at the Blue Jays making the World Series in 2024, than do nothing and have the team field middling teams over the next two seasons. Desperate times, desperate measures.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:20 AM EST (#440256) #
The tricky part is that Tiedemann might also be a valuable player for the Jays in a postseason effort in 2024.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:40 AM EST (#440257) #
What could Kikuchi net us?

Kikuchi could be traded for an infielder (3B) or outfielder (LF) as needed. Tampa Bay Rays Isaac Paredes is one more name linked to the Blue Jays. Tampa is sketchy to do business with, though the players have a certain ilk. Toronto aims to be a high-roller.

bpoz - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 10:11 AM EST (#440258) #
I like Seattle's chances of getting Soto. He should like playing with J-Rod so maybe agrees to an extension.
Ryan Day - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 10:14 AM EST (#440259) #
It's hard to see Tiedmann still pitching in October - he'll probably pitch 80-100 innings if he's starting, which means he probably get shut down for the year by late summer, maybe with a few relief appearances at the end. (Unless he misses a chunk of time with injury again, which would certainly hurt his long-term prospects)
uglyone - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 11:15 AM EST (#440260) #
Remember this when blue jays cry poor.
Ducey - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 11:25 AM EST (#440261) #
No reason to trade Kikuchi. The pitching is the backbone of this team. And like every team, they need more of it, not less.

As it stands they likely need to add another starter.

I try to remember that if they would have simply had the offense that was expected last year, they would have been much better.

A bounce back from Vlad and Kirk will do much to improve the record. Add in a Urshela (to compete with the kids at 3B) and Lourdes and they should be a playoff team. After that its a crap shoot.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 11:35 AM EST (#440262) #
AA recently said that he disagrees with the idea that a team's postseason chances are simply a "crapshoot." He's been working on ways to improve Atlanta's chances in the playoffs (as opposed to in the regular season).
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 11:45 AM EST (#440263) #
Well, Atlanta had the worst record of any postseason team in 2021 and ended up winning the World Series. Last year they had the most wins in the regular season (104) in MLB and lost in the first round. Seems like a crapshoot to me.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 12:06 PM EST (#440264) #
Consider how much our understanding of baseball has evolved over the years (remember when batting average and pitcher wins were key statistics)?

Isn't it possible that someday we will evolve beyond the "postseason is a crapshoot" and "draft is a crapshoot" lazy ways of thinking? At least AA is curious about this. His curiosity is no doubt an important reason for his success as a baseball executive.
uglyone - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 12:22 PM EST (#440265) #
sounds like AA is about to swoop us for Ohtani.
Ducey - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 12:27 PM EST (#440266) #
Tyler O'Neill is apparently on the trade block. Given that the STL GM publicly said he would be traded, presumably he will be cheap.

Hit 231/312/403 last year in 72 games, but hit 286/352/560 and won a gold glove in 2021. Cant stay healthy.

Maybe coming home to Canada sparks a rebound.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 12:53 PM EST (#440267) #
Tyler O'Neill could be a useful player. He can play a bit of CF. Another Boras client.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 01:21 PM EST (#440268) #
Why is is " the postseason is a crapshoot " a lazy way of thinking, greenfrog? The literal definition of crapshoot is a venture with an unpredictable outcome.

No team has won the World Series twice in a row since the Yankees won 3 times from 1998 to 2000. No matter how good a postseason team is they can be eliminated by a lesser team ( statistically) just from key players getting injuries, overall poor play at the wrong time, or just plain bad luck. A lower ranked team can have it's best run of the season at the right time, or an average player can perform like a superstar.

No matter what statistic is invented to measure a player's performance, there is no guarantee that said player will actually play to that level in a higher pressure situation. And finally, if the postseason was predictable, there'd be a lot more people making money betting on games.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 02:23 PM EST (#440269) #
Island Boy, everything that you say about the playoffs is exactly true for the regular season as well. So playoffs are not a crapshoot unless you also characterize the entire season as a crapshoot. Maybe it's more accurate for you to say that "MLB is a crapshoot," rather than specifying playoffs as if it's unpredictable compared to the season that precedes it.

I believe the playoffs are another animal and not a crapshoot. Of course luck and injuries can have an effect but I believe team strategy and better players go a long way.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 02:24 PM EST (#440270) #
I'm getting the distinct impression that the Toronto Blue Jays are effectively a leverage team...
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 02:48 PM EST (#440271) #
Braves are saying they are in on Ohtani because White Sox GM isn't giving up their real target Dylan Cease without a high price.
Gerry - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 04:07 PM EST (#440272) #
Latest rumours are that Ohtani won't sign until the end of the meetings or next week.
soupman - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 04:29 PM EST (#440273) #
craps has defined odds. obviously it is more likely to roll 7s than any other number with two dice. winning 100+ games is like rolling for 7s. "crapshoot" isn't synonymous with RNG - or at least it should not be since it is elementary to show that teams with good records win more WS than those that squeak in.

imo a major problem is that the jays are not a 'prestige' brand that is going to draw fans regardless of what's on the field or what the record is. and while the ratings are good for now, how long can Rogers get away with trying to entice people to pay for the same service 3 times (cellular, internet, cable)? i have my doubts.
John Northey - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 04:32 PM EST (#440274) #
What I read was the Ohtani sweepstakes is down to a final group of Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, Blue Jays, Giants, and Atlanta. He is meeting with each this week - Giants went first. I like the Jays being the only AL team other than the Angels - if he doesn't sign here then the NL is ideal with the Angels being next (not likely to ever contend) - very happy the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox are no longer on the list.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 05:07 PM EST (#440275) #
Leaving aside the question of what "crapshoot" means, it is unquestionably the fact that luck plays a more important role in the playoffs for two reasons:

1. the difference between the quality of the best team and the worst team in the regular season is much larger than the difference between the best team and the worst team in the playoffs
2. the role of luck is diminished by the # of reps and the difference between 162 and 3 or 5 or 7 is huge.

Let's say the best team in the majors wins 2/3 of the time in the regular season, the average team wins 1/2 of the time, and the worst team wins 1/3 of the time.  The chance that the best team in the majors (let's say the Dodgers) is going to finish behind the worst team in the majors (let's say the Rockies) in the regular season is extremely small- likely involving three or four key players out for the season.  At a minimum.  But the worst team is not in the playoffs and the average team is unlikely to be (the Diamondbacks were an average in 2023).  Can an average team triumph over a significantly better team in a short series.  Of course.  It happens all the time during the regular season in short stretches.  If Arizona plays Los Angeles for 7 games over a week in a home and home, they'll win 4 or more of them maybe 25%-30% of the time.  Maybe a Dodger or two is battling the flu or something and that plays a role, but it doesn't take that much. 

Is there something special about winning in the playoffs that is different winning in the regular season?  Of course.  In the regular season, teams routinely have 5 starters who throw most of the innings and about the same number, and most of those innings (even from the 5th starter) are medium leverage innings.  In the playoffs, the #5 starter is unlikely to get a start and the #4 starter is likely to pitch less due to the frequency of days off.  The quality of the top 3 starters matters more in the playoffs.  Similarly for the top 3-4 relievers.   On the offensive side, the differences are less noticeable.  The defences are almost always average-ish at least, which means that hyper-aggressive baserunning is more likely to be punished in the playoffs than in the regular season.  The pitching is unlikely to be terrible and it is harder to string together 5 or 6 hits for the big inning.  But not impossible.  Hitting home runs is generally an easier way to score runs in the playoffs.  Duh.  But, Atlanta hit 307 home runs last year to lead the major leagues by a country mile and little good did it do them in the playoffs. 

Atlanta has been in the playoffs 23 times since 1990 and won 2 World Series championships.  During that time, they have had plenty of good top 3 starters and power hitting, and average or better defences.  I doubt that Anthopoulos will find out anything earth-shattering about winning in the playoffs.  With typical luck, they probably would have won 3 World Series championships rather than 2.  It's just the nature of the beast, I think. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 05:11 PM EST (#440276) #
Oh yes, and having Mariano Rivera is worth an awful lot in the playoffs.  The role of the out-of-this-world ace reliever is hugely magnified in the playoffs, particularly if your club is good enough that you can use the regular season as a warm-up for the playoffs for your ace.  Now,, if Anthopoulos has managed to find the key to finding the next Rivera, then he'll have something. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 05:29 PM EST (#440277) #
And your trivia question for today.  BBRef's franchise page for Atlanta features players for Milwaukee and Boston before them in their top 24 players by WAR.  The top row of 12 has mostly Atlanta players- Henry Aaron, Kid Nichols, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Andruw Jones, Dale Murphy and Freddie Freeman.  The bottom row is a series of old, old pictures with only one player who played for Atlanta.  Who was that player?
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 05:50 PM EST (#440278) #
If you take your top line up, top 3 starters, top 4 relievers....prorate a season of just these players playing...I bet you the results of playoffs vs regular season is remarkably consistent.

Sure when you factor in the other 10 players on your team and the "other 10 players) on opposing becomes easier for better teams to play better. The playoffs are not that.

Example, take top 3 starters of Minny, Houston, TB , Tor etc all and you see they are all mostly good/great and all capable of winning any given day. It's not a surprise that the games are close and teams that typically do better when their "depth" carries them in regular season do not show up in playoffs since that depth is effectively erased.

mathesond - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 06:22 PM EST (#440279) #
Well Mike, I had to go to the page to see the pic, but I recognized him when I did. Funny how the Braves are probably 3rd or 4th on the list of franchises I'd associate with him.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 06:42 PM EST (#440280) #
Bob Nightengale
Los Angels manager Ron Washington, when asked if he has been following Shohei Ohtani’s free agency:
‘I don't have much to say about that yet, because I don't want to let anything out the bag.”
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 06:42 PM EST (#440281) #
That's true, mathesond. I am just old enough to remember seeing him on the Game of the Week when he was with Atlanta.

St. Louis had so many great players in the 70s, but they seemed to have trouble converting the talent into a great team. Between Flood's departure and Ozzie's arrival, they didn’t really have a defensive core. They had quite a few players suited to be corner outfielders and corner infielders.
uglyone - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 06:56 PM EST (#440282) #
Atkins had to turn a press avail into a zoom call because he sas too busy. (Aka welcome to toronto shohei).

Per Hazel:

I asked Atkins if landing a Marquis FA means he can’t add another:

“I think it would be exceptionally difficult for us to land, you know, two players..”

Ownership has been clear, Atkins has their full support to make the team better.

it would be exceptionally difficult for us to land 2 players that are, don't hold me to this figure but that are five wins and above, $25 million AAV and above. Two of those to add to our roster would be exceptionally difficult to pull off."
Gerry - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 07:15 PM EST (#440283) #
Atkins talked to reporters via zoom. When he was asked if he was in Nashville, he declined to answer.

Rumours suggest he is in LA to meet with Ohtani and/or his representatives.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 07:19 PM EST (#440284) #
That's about the clearest I've ever heard Atkins. Someone at the FA forgot to connect him to the bull shit simulator 3.0 before the zoom call I suppose. Refreshing!
uglyone - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 07:24 PM EST (#440285) #
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 07:57 PM EST (#440286) #
Buster Olney mentions one MLB player who is convinced Ohtani will re-sign with the Angels.

Interestingly, the psychic who before 2018 correctly predicted Ohtani would sign with LAA is again predicting that he'll re-sign with them.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:16 PM EST (#440287) #
"MLB Insider" X account accurately predicted the Freddie Freeman signing. They claim Dodgers, Giants and Jays are only teams who have not been told they are out of Ohtani sweepstakes. Jays have the highest offer right now.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:25 PM EST (#440288) #
Potentially career-defining moment for Shapiro and Atkins.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 08:39 PM EST (#440289) #
Breaking: Shohei Ohtani just started following Logan Webb on social media.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:30 PM EST (#440290) #
Tongue and cheek if it isn't clear...
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:31 PM EST (#440291) #
In! Tongue IN cheek. Damn mobile experience.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:47 PM EST (#440292) #
The Athletic surveyed 16 agents:

3. Where will Shohei Ohtani sign?

Dodgers: 8 votes

Cubs: 3 votes

Giants: 2 votes

Blue Jays: 1 vote

Rangers: 1 vote

Somewhere on the West Coast: 1 vote
John Northey - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 09:55 PM EST (#440293) #
Should be an interesting couple of days coming up. If the Jays made the biggest offer, the Giants are probably 2nd, with the Dodgers a distant 3rd. The Angels being Munenori Kawasaki's prediction even though he hopes Ohtani goes elsewhere as he wants Ohtani in the playoffs as does pretty much every sane baseball fan.

Right now I'd say, if he doesn't come here I hope it is the Dodgers as then he is as far away from here as possible with zero effect on the Jays playoff chances until the WS.

I'm guessing, from Atkins comments (thanks uglyone) that this is an either-or situation. If the Jays can get Soto and sign him long term that would be a heck of a consolation prize. My gut says if no Ohtani, the Jays will lock in the deal with SD a day or two later. If no Soto then they go full on for Bellinger or Chapman or a surprise trade. I can't see the Jays going into mid-December without adding a 5+ WAR potential player to the roster. Ohtani is obviously their Plan A, Soto Plan B, from the talks I'm guessing Chapman is plan C with Bellinger Plan D (maybe they are worried about his 2021/22 vs solid 23), at which point they need to go after a surprise (Yamamoto, or a trade) with a bigger risk factor. My guess is Ohtani used the Jays to push up the bid from the Dodgers, and the Jays get Soto and risk losing him next winter but do a big push to sign him long term fast.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 10:08 PM EST (#440294) #
The important thing is this FO seems to recognize it needs 5 WAR from a left handed bat single player...this is important and what many here have been calling for (Seager, Freeman, Chisholm Jr etc).

Ohtani holding all his meetings in Cali makes me think he's very comfortable there and will sign there.

I'd prefer Soto (traded for then signed) or Yamamoto to help extend the core/window past 2025.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 10:13 PM EST (#440295) #
Who knows what will happen with the Cubs, but I think signing Counsell was a great move that will help attract players. Someone described him as the best manager in baseball.

greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2023 @ 10:18 PM EST (#440296) #
Mark Feinsand, half an hour ago:

“The industry consensus all offseason has been that Ohtani will wind up moving 30 miles up I-5 to Dodger Stadium, but sources say that two other teams -- the Blue Jays and Angels -- remain firmly in play.”
Nigel - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 01:36 AM EST (#440297) #
I don’t think there’s any chance that Ohtani will leave the West Coast and I think it serves both Ohtani and the Jays to have it reported that they are talking.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 03:08 AM EST (#440299) #
Serves Ohtani, sure, more teams seriously interested means more leverage for whatever he wants in a contract. But how does it serve the Jays?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:22 AM EST (#440300) #
“In the clearest sign yet of the Blue Jays’ interest in Shohei Ohtani, club officials are believed to have met Monday with the Japanese superstar at the team’s spring-training complex in Dunedin, Fla.” -Rosenthal (The Athletic)
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:10 AM EST (#440301) #
Nigel, it's about time to take your blinkers/blinders off.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:35 AM EST (#440302) #
Here's hoping he decided to take a physical while he was there,..
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 08:33 AM EST (#440303) #
The draft lottery is today. Hope Oakland gets the top pick. Rule 5 tomorrow.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 08:37 AM EST (#440304) #
Shohei is listed 6' 4" and 210 lbs., which is ideal for a ballplayer.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 08:53 AM EST (#440305) #
It helps the Jays in 2 respects. Just like Ohtani, If they are engaged in other negotiations it doesn’t hurt to have the other party believe you have other options and look at the amount of media buzz this is generating (and the number of posts here).
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:14 AM EST (#440306) #
I am the farthest thing from an expert in PR.  That aside, being a "finalist" for Ohtani has two potential PR benefits.  One, as Nigel said, is to generate buzz.  The other is to provide cover- when people complain that the organization is not willing to spend enough money on big-name stars, this can be part of the reply ("we want to, but it's highly competitive and not all big money players want to come to Toronto...").  Seeking cover seems to be a noticeable part of the modus operandi of this front office. 
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:14 AM EST (#440307) #
By the “rules” of this thing, isn’t Ross telling the Toronto media he wasn’t in Nashville enough to get them booted from the negotiations?

He basically said it without saying it. They could have cancelled the media chat or sent an assistant GM if they thought the avail was so important. I feel like they held it in that way to show their in on Ohtani, and according to the media reports about his preferences, it seems to me that those actions are sufficient to rule them out. I hope to be wrong !
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:20 AM EST (#440308) #
Whether or not they succeed, the Jays do seem to be making a real effort to land Ohtani.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:43 AM EST (#440309) #
How entitled and vulnerable are some of us...already finding reasons to explain why this won't happen to protect ourselves from the hurt of the potential signing not actually happening. There's clearly an agenda and "duty" to expose the motives of this FO when faced with the very real prospect that (shudder to think!) they want to sign a really good player who can help them win and increase profits...because no good business ever conducted themselves this way and it would be inauthentic because they aren't doing it for your own pleasure as a fan watching at home.

Come on guys lets try to look past the vitriol of the past and see what this FO is trying to do along with ownership.

mathesond - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:49 AM EST (#440310) #
On a completely unrelated note, I came across this story of 19th century Toronto baseball lore.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:51 AM EST (#440311) #
My comment was an attempt to answer Jonny's question.  I have no opinion on whether they will actually sign Ohtani or not.  And as for whether it's a good idea, I've already said my piece on that.  Essentially, it depends on the amount of money involved.  Shocker!
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:07 AM EST (#440312) #
Ohtani is apparently a workout freak so the Dunedin complex may appeal to him. Whatever happens, there's no denying the Jay's front office has gone hard after him.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:10 AM EST (#440313) #
I would imagine teams are given a bit of a mulligan on Ohtani rumours when all the reporters can tell GMs are missing from something as high priority/visual as the winter meetings. I saw one report saw up to 5 GMs were MIA so far - all from teams linked to Ohtani... And the media stuff is all speculation. They Jays never said Atkins was in Florida. He actually could have been at the dentist.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:15 AM EST (#440314) #
Looking like a big Free Agent player is good for optics, but you can't get too clever about this stuff - agents, players, and other teams are going to know who's serious and who's just trying to look cool. No one wants to waste time, and there's only so many times you can say "my client also has an offer from the Jays" before other teams start laughing in your face because they know it's not a real thing.

Obviously we should remain skeptical of rumours, but you can take that approach too far.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:18 AM EST (#440315) #
Leaving aside the question of what "crapshoot" means, it is unquestionably the fact that luck plays a more important role in the playoffs for two reasons...

Now you've got my attention! Two things occur to me, and drag me back into baseball-related discourse.

Do we actually get more close games in the post-season? We certainly should, and Mike provided the reasons. But has it actually happened? In the post-season does the number of close games rise above the normal 30% that we see in regular season action?

While they always say "crap shoot" it's not really the best metaphor. When you're throwing dice there are a range of possible outcomes, some more likely than others. What these games give us is much more like a coin flip. There are only two possible outcomes, and each is equally likely assuming you flip the coin often enough. But in the short sample of a season, or the tiny sample of a post-season series, weird things can happen.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:31 AM EST (#440316) #
potential PR benefits

I think there are also some downsides of making a big effort to sign Ohtani. Other teams and free agents now know that Rogers has a lot of money to spend, that the front office is desperate to land a five-win player, and that Ohtani is the Blue Jays' first choice for an acquisition.

If the Jays miss out on Ohtani and then turn to other players, some of those players (like Yamamoto or Lee or Bellinger) will already have been extensively courted by other teams and may prefer to sign with one of those teams. And teams like San Diego will have newfound leverage in their trade discussions with the Jays.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:34 AM EST (#440317) #
dalimon - I think you need to ease back on making assumptions about posters motives for making a comment. My point that I don’t believe he will sign anywhere but the West Coast is one shared by the vast majority of baseball people and happens to align with his first crack at signing when coming from Japan. I have zero issue with the Jays FO participating in the process, even if for purposes beyond winning the Ohtani race, for the two reasons I mentioned. It makes good business sense to me - there was zero implied criticism of the FO in my comment. But please - assume away.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 11:03 AM EST (#440318) #
There is no downside for the Jays to be a known finalist for Ohtani. Even if he ends up signing with the Dodgers, the fact that the Jays were a serious contender for the biggest FA in MLB history can’t be spun negatively. To even have a seat at the table with him at this point means ownership is willing to spend half a billion or more. That says a lot. Unfortunately the FA market stinks after Ohtani so they can’t use that money for anything close to an elite hitter via free agency (unless they wait a year for Soto), but the Jays are serious about adding impact/elite talent, which is a good thing.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 11:07 AM EST (#440319) #
The Yankees have to be considered a prime landing spot for Yamamoto. Apparently they have kept the number 18 open for the past year, which is the number that Yamamoto wears in Japan.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 11:24 AM EST (#440320) #
19th century Toronto baseball lore.

An entertaining history lesson!

John Northey - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:02 PM EST (#440321) #
My gut is if they don't sign Ohtani they trade whatever it takes to get Soto, then do a big hard push to sign him for 10-15 years (after 10 years it is to average out the money for luxury tax purposes really). I suspect they'd start at $400/10 years and go from there with him. Perfect world they get Kim in the deal also so 3B can be covered as well. Then it is just minor pieces to fill in the blanks the rest of the winter.

If Ohtani does sign then LF/3B are still vacant and there isn't much cash left. I suspect the Jays then go for secondary free agents (Gio Urshela) or trade for younger cheaper players using whatever they can, or say 'screw it' and put Schneider in LF and Biggio at 2B with kids fighting to take those slots.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:08 PM EST (#440322) #
Another team I wonder about is the Red Sox who have been quiet.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:20 PM EST (#440323) #
Thanks, mathesond.  That's a great story. 
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:43 PM EST (#440324) #
the fact that the Jays were a serious contender for the biggest FA in MLB history can’t be spun negativelly.

If I didn’t know better I’d say You must be new here. The cynics will find a way!
Magpie - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:45 PM EST (#440325) #
In the post-season does the number of close games rise above the normal 30% that we see in regular season action?

It does, although not by all that much. There have been 691 World Series games played, and 221 were decided by a single run (and three were tied.) The percentage of close games has risen to 32.4% (regular season figure is 30.3%).

You can normally predict the outcome of a group of close games by assigning half the outcome to the quality of the teams and half the outcome to random chance. Dumb blind luck. A coin flip. But if there's no significant difference in the quality of the teams - (Mike's central point, and bad teams simply don't make it to the World Series) - well, we're just flipping coins much of the time, aren't we?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 12:59 PM EST (#440326) #
Bob Nightengale
The Chicago Cubs’ optimism of landing Shohei Ohtani has now significantly waned, one high-ranking executive said, leaving the LA Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants as the likely finalists.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 01:04 PM EST (#440327) #
Yep. I will say this though. You might think that a Wild card team with 90 wins (Texas) was closely matched with a Wild card team with 84 wins (Arizona). But Texas underperformed Pythagoras by 7 games and Arizona outperformed Pythagoras by 5 games. And Texas added Evan Carter very late in the season. By the time the series rolled around, the clubs were not evenly matched. Still one-run games would probably split no more than 52-48 for Texas. That's a guess. They played only one of them which Texas won in 11 innings. That game was a pure coin flip really.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 02:37 PM EST (#440328) #
" You might think that a Wild card team with 90 wins (Texas) was closely matched with a Wild card team with 84 wins (Arizona). But Texas underperformed Pythagoras by 7 games and Arizona outperformed Pythagoras by 5 games. And Texas added Evan Carter very late in the season."

Absolutely but Arizona was not a good team and still made the World Series. It definitely is a crapshoot. In the NBA, the better team advances around 80% of the time. For MLB to have the same rate, you'd have to have a best of 75 series. You can definitely build your team a little better for playoffs. Dominant top of the rotation and bullpen matter more but the impact is limited. I mean, in the last 3 years, the World Series winner has had the 8th, 2nd, and 12th best record in baseball defeating the 5th, 11th, and 12th best records.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 02:46 PM EST (#440329) #
Cubs never made much sense - one WS win since 1908. 3 straight years out of the playoffs, no real signs of a team on the rise imo. Ohtani wants cash, to win, and to be comfortable. The Cubs at best could've offered cash (beautiful park but it is an outdoor one in a city that gets real winters).

Hard to picture anyone being really in it outside of the Dodgers (location, 3 straight 100 win teams) and Jays (3 out of 4 years in playoffs, tons of cash, dome to keep him warm, high end training facilities - Dodgers share theirs with the White Sox). The Angels & Cubs are historic losers (2 titles between them since 1908). Despite their better record since 1982 the Dodgers and Jays have 2 WS wins each (1 Dodger title was in the joke year of 2020 too). I see the Giants as a wild card now - keeps him on the west coast, in a market that is about to grow (Oakland losing their team so the Giants will step up into it as well) and has been a contender and champion not too long ago (3 titles in 2010-2014) but has been 500 or less the past 2 years.

Yeah, this is all a crapshoot right now. The biggest questions are what is #1 in Ohtani's mind? I'm sure Vlad tried to sell him while he was in Dunedin (Vlad is there all winter working out) and hopefully his old school friend Kikuchi is also pushing hard.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 03:16 PM EST (#440330) #
Getting in the holiday spirit here.  Peter Moore, the sound engineer for the Trinity Session, died on November 11; his obit was in the Globe and Mail.  And so,  here's a really beautiful live version of Sweet Jane by the Cowboy Junkies.  Better than having a Chestnuts Roasting Over An Open Fire sing-a-long, in my opinion.  This version was one of my go-tos this year.  I even listened to it once or twice with the video for the game on and the audio not as good as Margo Timmins' voice and the band. 
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 03:37 PM EST (#440331) #
Dave Roberts running to the mikes to say that the Dodgers ALSO met with Shohei.

sounds a little desperate tbh.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 03:42 PM EST (#440332) #
Sorry, but Roberts version of Sweet Shohei just doesn't measure up. 
hypobole - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 03:52 PM EST (#440333) #
Wasn't that long ago I remember posting that we would have an annual offseason long Festivus here, airing our grievances against Rogers.

As much as Shapiro is disliked by many, he's gotten ownership to be willing to spend. The chatter now is much better than constantly discussing payroll parameters.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 04:47 PM EST (#440334) #
dodgers panicbutton.gif ?

Brandon Wile
"Roberts spoke freely and relaxed for 20 minutes, but his face became serious as he spent several moments reading a text message on his phone after his session. He immediately huddled with Dodgers’ public relations officials."
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:06 PM EST (#440335) #
Somebody please tell me what is happening! I don't understand. I am old!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:11 PM EST (#440336) #
I recently heard the Trinity Session version of Sweet Jane on a 100k system and it was insane.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:12 PM EST (#440337) #
Wait a few days for the season finale of LA Bachelor. All will become clear.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:17 PM EST (#440338) #
Bachelor?? What year is this?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:17 PM EST (#440339) #
Basically we are speculating that since Ohtani told his suitors not to speak publicly about negotiations or meetings, and since Dave Roberts just came out and broke that rule (after LA was tight lipped about it up until now), perhaps they are panicking and sensing they are not going to land Ohtani anymore, compounded by the comment that Roberts looked frazzled by a text message followed by a huddle.

Are we reaching? Yea. We're reaching.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:21 PM EST (#440340) #
That is fantastic reaching though.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:23 PM EST (#440341) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets:

" Sunday evening - a private jet goes Anaheim-Clearwater Monday afternoon - the same jet flies from Clearwater-Anaheim Monday evening 50 minutes after Ross Atkins’ zoom call ends - a different private jet goes Clearwater-Nashville. "

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:23 PM EST (#440342) #
some excellent flightracker sleuthing here as well.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:25 PM EST (#440343) #
I owe LC a coke. Perhaps with some of Jobu's rum.

johnny was - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:25 PM EST (#440344) #
Meanwhile, earlier today I found a dead cardinal while I was sweeping my back patio and choose to interpret this as a sign that Atkins is going to imminently trade for Tyler O'Neil. It's science, people.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:40 PM EST (#440345) #
Bob Nightengale
Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes said he was surprised by manager Dave Roberts’ candidness about Shohei Ohtani and their private meeting.
He steadfastly refuses to talk about their pursuit.
5:08 PM · Dec 5, 2023
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 05:53 PM EST (#440346) #
Cleveland wins the draft lottery.  Cincinnati 2nd.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 06:11 PM EST (#440347) #
Dave Roberts panic button confirmed by his own GM!

let's GOOO!

uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 06:13 PM EST (#440348) #
Contrast with our cool, confident, dapper, astute and dare I say rather handsome young GM:

Ben Nicholson-Smith
Asked whether the Blue Jays are aware of a timeline for Shohei Ohtani's decision, GM Ross Atkins said “Not one that I’m comfortable sharing ... we're fortunate to be one that's being considered”
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 06:19 PM EST (#440349) #
Thomas Hall
Tom Verducci said on MLB Network that he believes Shohei Ohtani's market is down to 2 teams: Dodgers & #BlueJays
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 06:31 PM EST (#440350) #
If Ohtani actually flew to Dunedin to check out the Blue Jays ST complex, you would have to think he’s seriously considering the Jays. Ohtani doesn’t seem like the kind of person to take a gratuitous flight across the country in an effort to persuade another preferred team to increase its bid.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:08 PM EST (#440351) #
A whole lotta posters may have to eat a mouthful of coal pretty soon. Possibly.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:20 PM EST (#440352) #
If the Jays were to sign Ohtani, which would be a tremendous accomplishment (I have given them very little chance), then it would behoove them to go all in - go after Soto, Yamamoto etc - We saw how the Angels squandered the best years of Mike Trout & Ohtani.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:40 PM EST (#440353) #
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 07:45 PM EST (#440354) #
oh hey there Rogers, welcome to the big leagues.

Brandon Wile
"The fact that the source suggested the team is willing to go well north of $500 million US (and yes, headed towards a billion Canadian) puts them squarely in the mix monetarily.'
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 08:23 PM EST (#440355) #
They were always in the bigs. Now they're rolling with the 1%.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 09:19 PM EST (#440356) #
Alex Verdugo is going from Boston to the Yankees. It's not usual that those two teams trade with each other.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:44 PM EST (#440357) #
A reminder that the Jays have set records for players pay before...
  • 1991: sign Jack Morris to a 2 year $10.85 mil deal, just the 4th deal over $5 mil per season (reading a 1991 article I see Mitch Williams resigned with the Phillies that same day, how appropriate)
  • 1996: sign Roger Clemens to a 3 year $24.75 mil deal ($8.25 mil per year) - a record for a pitcher at the time (potentially 4 years $40 mil), much to the shock of everyone as the Yankees were expected to get him (and they would 2 years later)
  • 1999: sign Carlos Delgado to a 3 year $36 mil deal (10th highest per year in baseball at the time with an out clause after 2000)
  • 2000: sign Carlos Delgado to a 4 year $68 mil deal ($17 mil - highest ever at the time - this was right after Rogers took control - sadly JPR would complain daily about it once he took over)
So the Jays do have a history of spending to win.  It isn't an unusual thing here.  Just since Delgado they have had more trouble getting guys to sign on the dotted line (rumored to have matched the Yankees on Cole for example).  If they don't get Ohtani it will not be due to cash, but due to him wanting to stay on the west coast most likely (LA or SF). 
Marlow - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:46 PM EST (#440358) #
This courtship of Ohtani feels very similar to when he first came from Japan. We all got our hopes up and when he did not pick the Jays, it was pretty deflating.

The lyrics of the song "Last Christmas" are wringing in my ears..."This year, to save me from tears I'll give it to someone special"

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 10:50 PM EST (#440359) #
Nightengale’s latest:

“NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mystery and secrecy of the Shohei Ohtani free-agent sweepstakes was finally lifted Tuesday with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays emerging as the co-favorites for baseball’s biggest star, while the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels still remain in the picture.”
John Northey - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 11:44 PM EST (#440360) #
OK, I took FanGraphs data and put it all into MS Access so I could play with it. Checking wRC+ of 150 pre age 29 for qualified players (502 PA now, fewer pre 1961) - Ohtani has done it twice, as did 162 other players in MLB history. Of those in years they qualified post age 28 Barry Bonds did it 10 more times, 9 times each for Buck Leonard (Negro Leagues), Willie Mays, Babe Ruth. So a 10 year deal almost certainly won't see 10 seasons of 150 wRC+ happen (duh). Out of 163 just 18 reached a wRC+ of 150 5 or more times the rest of their career. 89 of 163 reached it at least once more. Of the 74 who never did it again post age 28 a few are active (Trout, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Juan Soto for example) but others are interesting - Jose Canseco, Will Clark, Jim Rice, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey Jr., Fred Lynn, Darryl Strawberry, Pete Rose, Dave Parker - all of whom seemed safe bets when younger to have 'wow' kicks at the end, but none did.

An interesting tidbit from that data - only counting full seasons (not injury filled, or sub 502 PA ones) Ohtani's wRC+ is 157 - there are 10 guys with 2 times cracking 150 wRC+ before age 29 - of those 10 only 5 would do so again - once Sam Jethroe (Negro League in the 30's, never had 150 PA then, 3 solid years in the NL but not as wow as his Negro League stats), twice Albert Belle, 3 times Lance Berkman, 4 times Jeff Bagwell, 7 times Manny Ramirez*** (3* for the 3 times he was caught on PEDs).  Doing it 5 times was Willie Mays who had a 157 wRC+ in his full seasons pre 29, who did it 9 more times.

So what does that tell us? That there is a big risk of Ohtani not coming close to producing at his current level, but I figure most here knew that going in. It is interesting to see guys who produced at that level pre 29 who never did again though (in a full time role).
John Northey - Tuesday, December 05 2023 @ 11:47 PM EST (#440361) #
On Twitter I read (take with massive grains of salt) that the Jays have told their store to prepare for extra hours next week, and have a big chunk of the store blocked off and hidden right now.  I'd figure it is just in case, if true.  No question if he signs the demand for Ohtani jerseys for Christmas will be through the roof.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 06:44 AM EST (#440362) #
Both Rosenthal and Olney have posted columns in the last twelve hours strongly critical of the cone of silence around Shohei's free agency.

Sounds like a couple of paper tigers just a little bit sour they'll be crossing Canadian customs a few more times a summer than they'd like to see I right?

I'm only half kidding I guess....
bpoz - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 07:56 AM EST (#440363) #
Ohtani is a Japanese superstar. This could increase revenue from Japanese sources. I don't know how. Honda, Toyota and other Japanese companies probably get luxury boxes. If I remember correctly many Japanese people moved to Vancouver in the 1980s and 90s. The strong Japanese economy was driving this move. Canadian properties were bought up by Japanese people because it is cheaper and Canada has more area than Japan.

So I have bought into Ohtani coming to the Jays for reasons that can improve the profits of Rogers.
mathesond - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 08:39 AM EST (#440364) #
"Sounds like a couple of paper tigers just a little bit sour they'll be crossing Canadian customs a few more times a summer than they'd like to see I right?"

I doubt that's the case. They want him to sign so that other moves can happen and they will have something to write about.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 08:39 AM EST (#440365) #
Another financial point may be that Rogers can get broadcast rights into Japan and also advertising in Japan. Strong revenue there.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 08:53 AM EST (#440366) #
Olney and Rosenthal are likely the two most prominent baseball writers of the last 20 years.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 09:01 AM EST (#440367) #
The Jays store story makes sense but you can't read anything from it... it's just smart business to plan ahead for a possible impact as they await the decision.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 09:46 AM EST (#440368) #
Olney and Rosenthal are likely the two most prominent baseball writers of the last 20 years.

Most prominent?  Maybe.  But it's just a reminder to me of the greatness of Roger Angell.

Here's some beautiful high harmony from Amanda Shires, and excellent musicianship all the way around. 
Glevin - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:19 AM EST (#440369) #
"Both Rosenthal and Olney have posted columns in the last twelve hours strongly critical of the cone of silence around Shohei's free agency."

I agree with them. Privacy is one thing but this level is secrecy is a bit silly.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:23 AM EST (#440370) #
I don't think Dave Roberts admission about the Dodgers meeting with Ohtani have any effect on where Ohtani signs but if the Dodgers don't get Ohtani many Dodger fans and pundits will point to that admission as a major reason - also Roberts unilaterally announced that Mookie Betts would be the Dodgers everyday second baseman while the FO was saying Betts would play both 2B/RF - Is Roberts disgruntled? Maybe he wanted an extension and won't mind getting fired.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:26 AM EST (#440371) #
Jays very much at risk of striking out on both Ohtani and Soto now with talks reportedly gaining momentum to a SD/NYY deal. Which would not go over well whatsoever...
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:28 AM EST (#440372) #
I have to agree with Olney & Rosenthal - the NBA gets so much media buzz with their Free Agency. MLB gets so much wrong it's no wonder the sport has a shrinking audience.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:33 AM EST (#440373) #
If the Jays strikeout on Ohtani and Soto it's not the end of the world - I like Yamamoto , Lee amongst others - Teams that win the winter rarely win the summer season.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:44 AM EST (#440374) #
Also consider that a Soto/NYY trade may be advancing because SD believes the Jays are going to land Ohtani.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:48 AM EST (#440375) #
MLB is growing not shrinking. You can't go by stadium seat sales, that's not where the growth is.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:48 AM EST (#440376) #
I don't know that anyone would be too upset if the jays landed neither of them.

But i disagree that missing on Ohtani wouldn't be a big deal. Landing Ohtani would be a seismic shift in the Jays' status and perception. It would change most everything.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:54 AM EST (#440377) #
I think the Soto/NYY trade may be advancing because some teams that are also interested in Soto like the Jays are currently focused on the Ohtani sweepstakes and the Yankees have likely improved their offer.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:17 AM EST (#440378) #
Yanks with Soto, Verdugo and Yamamoto would be a big improvement.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:17 AM EST (#440379) #
Indeed, landing Ohtani would be a seismic shift in the Jays status and perception - I'm not sure how much it will impact winning as the Angels found out with Ohtani & Trout - Baseball is the team sport where the individual players don't have as much impact on the outcome of the game as other sports. Also, I'm leery of Ohtani's future on the mound due to the 2 significant arm injuries.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:25 AM EST (#440380) #
85bluejay, what would you do this offseason?
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:36 AM EST (#440381) #
I would imagine Verdugo would be part of the price for Soto.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:38 AM EST (#440382) #
Ohtani to Toronto would be the biggest surprise since . . . ?

Jayson Werth signed with Washington after 2010.  (For some reason, that one comes to mind.)
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:41 AM EST (#440383) #
85, nothing is certain in a vaccuum but adding one of the best players to ever live to an already good team should have a nice impact on on-field success, all things being equal.

But even restricting ourselves solely to on-field value - signing Ohtani changes absolutely everything about our chances of retaining and attracting players now and in the future, without having to necessarily greatly outbid everyone else. This includes keeping and attracting prime talent like Bo and Vlad, but also filling out the bottom of the lineup with cheapo vet flyers who suddenly see the jays as a much more fun and interesting option in their later years.

And that doesn't even touch on the off-field and financial windfall of landing Ohtani, in gate, merchandise, and tv revenue, which could end all talk of payroll parameters by one of the richest owners in baseball, forever.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:51 AM EST (#440384) #
The thing with Ohtani is he has 2 seasons of 5+ fWAR with just his bat so far. If he stops pitching, he might be a 5+ WAR LF ala Soto but with tons more publicity. Plus getting Soto right now doesn't mean he is there for 10 years, it just means you get to talk with him about it now. Lots to factor in, but clearly the Jays are all-in on Ohtani which is fun to see. Signing him would be the biggest 'wow' since Clemens signed here in late 96.

I'm wondering for the rumor about the Jays shop - they could be getting ready as the Jays are set to either sign Ohtani or trade for Soto - might be a 'we are getting at least one of them' situation, and either would be a jump in sales at the store immediately - just need to be ready to make those jerseys at top speed the moment a choice is made. Rogers isn't known for leaving money on the table.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:57 AM EST (#440385) #
I think Soto ends up with the Yankees.

Have the off-season stakes for the Jays ever been higher than they are right now?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:58 AM EST (#440386) #
If Verdugo is included in a Soto trade, it might end up that he will have been traded for Hall of Famers twice.

It has been done before. Doyle Alexander was traded for Frank Robinson and John Smoltz (and also Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Andy McGaffigan, John the Count Montefusco and Duane Ward). Anyone else who has been traded for Hall of Famers twice?
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:58 AM EST (#440387) #
" I'm not sure how much it will impact winning as the Angels found out with Ohtani and Trout."

The problem was that the front office had no idea how to fill out a team behind them. They had a weak farm system and went out and signed a pumpkin like Anthony Rendon to a huge contract that produced little results.

Note: I'm not sure why I said pumpkin but it might have something to do with Cinderella.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 12:11 PM EST (#440388) #
I expect Seattle to get Soto.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 12:39 PM EST (#440389) #
en Nicholson-Smith
Asked about the Blue Jays, Scott Boras says “Ross (Atkins) has been flying around” trying to make the team better
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 12:40 PM EST (#440390) #
Soto deal being finalized. King and Thorpe + going the other way. That is like Orelvis Martinez, Alek Manoah +.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 12:47 PM EST (#440391) #
If Soto has to go to the Yankees I hope it hurts them a LOT. Stack of prospects plus he doesn't sign there after 2024 and has a bad year for them on top of it. That'd be fun.
krose - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 12:50 PM EST (#440392) #
Mike G. Thanks for Amanda Shires and the Highwomen. Chills!
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 01:09 PM EST (#440393) #
Glad you enjoyed. There's something about live performance- better than Memorex (for the veterans here). It goes for baseball too, especially in a smallish venue.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 01:10 PM EST (#440394) #
dalimon5 - yeah, King & Thorpe is rejected by MLBTV as being a gross overpay for Soto - King alone is worth more in trade value according to them. But if SD can suck that out of NY then great for them. Latest rumors say King & Thorpe (#99 in MLB top 100 prospects) plus 2 more (if they get any 2 of Jones, Dominguez, Pereira, or Hampton - all are higher ranked than Thorpe in the top 100, that'd be wonderful). King was a solid setup man for them/6th starter - 104 2/3 IP 127 K 32 BB 6 saves, 8 holds, 4 blown saves. Good on SD if they can get that.

Of course, the Yankee OF could be killer for offense and scary (for their pitchers) on defense. Judge in CF, Soto in RF, and Verdugo in LF. Verdugo lifetime in LF is at 21 DRS (0 last year)/-4 in CF, 7 in RF (9 last year strangely). Judge is -1 in CF for DRS, 58 in RF (-3 last year). Soto is -16 in LF (-6 last year), +1 in RF (no innings there last year). So by DRS it sounds like the right way to juggle these guys but odds are other teams will have fun hitting flyballs out there and will take a lot of extra bases should this happen. Plus pushing Judge hard on defense by putting him in CF increases the injury risk to him I'd think (see Springer for an example).
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 01:20 PM EST (#440395) #
Rule 5 draft coming up - I see the Royals & Rockies have opened up 40 man spots to be eligible to draft a player - I think more players are going to drafted than expected. Hope the Jays select someone.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 01:48 PM EST (#440396) #
If the Jays miss out on Ohtani, which still seems the most likely outcome, that more or less puts them back to where they stood at the beginning of the offseason, when I don't think any of us saw Ohtani as a strong possibility.

I think this team needs more work than we think. The Jays overperformed their baseruns record by two wins, and were quite lucky in terms of overall health and the performances of replacement-type fill-ins (Heinemann, Francis, Jackson, Horwitz, Clement) who provided not just above-replacement but above-average production. We shouldn't regard the team's baseline as 89 wins - probably more along the lines of 84 or 85.

I think that argues for a more aggressive offseason - landing Ohtani would certainly qualify, but if that doesn't happen, the trade market looks like the best way to strengthen the lineup. I'd certainly make Kikuchi, Romano, Mayza, Berrios and Kirk available.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:12 PM EST (#440397) #
No Blue Jays selected in the rule 5 draft.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:14 PM EST (#440398) #
Rule V no Jays taken in major league portion and Jays didn't pick anyone. Bunch of Yankees taken though.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:26 PM EST (#440399) #
Wonder if the Yankees will extend Soto. Seems likely that they'll try to do this.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:32 PM EST (#440400) #
Love that the Yankees lost a lot of depth in the draft - 3 players, all RHP (Mitch Spence, Matt Sauer, and Carson Coleman). The Red Sox lost 2 (LHP Shane Drohan & RHP Ryan Fernandez), Rays 1 (RHP Anthony Molina), Rangers a RHP (Justin Slaten), the Mariners a RHP (Stephen Kolek), plus the Marlins (SS Nasim Nuñez), and the Diamondbacks (3B Deyvison De Los Santos). 7 RHP pitchers, 1 LHP, 1 SS, 1 3B. 8 of the first 10 to have a shot took someone (Angels & Pirates skipped), plus the Padres & Rangers. I'd expect the A's and Royals picks to stick (why not, it isn't like those teams are winning anytime soon) thus 2 Yankees gone forever. The Rays guy was taken next by the Rockies.

The Rangers taking Carson Coleman makes a lot of sense - solid reliever in A+/AA in 2022 (13.5 K/9) who missed 2023 (guessing recovering from TJ but can't find confirmation yet) if he is recovered he'd be due to reach this year and their pen needs every arm it can get.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:34 PM EST (#440401) #
Without Tiedeman our farm system is bottom 5 according to Kiley McDaniel
Gerry - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:51 PM EST (#440402) #
In the minor league phase of the rule 5 draft the Jays lost two players, Trevor Schwecke and Angel Del Rosario. They selected Alexis Hernandez, an OF from the Red Sox.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 02:53 PM EST (#440403) #
Where do the Blue Jays stand with respect to the 40-man roster?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 03:09 PM EST (#440404) #
The brief report on Alexis Hernandez.  He's a converted pitcher, and played right field mostly in A ball this year (he had only 174 PAs there).  He just turned 21.  He seems to have pretty good speed (11-1 stealing bases), and apparently a good arm (not really a surprise).  He hit .252/.345/.364 with a 11.5% W rate and a 21.8% K rate.  The batted ball rates are pretty decent- a 26% LD rate, a 50% GB rate, 4% IFFB and 12% HR/FB.  He's chopping down on the ball, but he may have enough pop to aim for a more even distribution of fly-balls and ground balls. 

I can see a player there.  Good choice. 
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 04:13 PM EST (#440405) #
Few minor league rule 5 picks ever make it - most are just to fill spots of need in the minors. The biggest Jay based exception was Goose Gozzo in 1989 - came up and was given 3 starts and went 3-0 20 IP 18 H 4 R 3 ER 5 BB 8 SO in a pennant race. The Jays were 2 back at 500 on the nose when he was called up. He won his 4th appearance (relief in the 13th inning) and had a 1.23 ERA and the fan base was going nuts (ala Schneider). Sadly the fairy tale ended - 5 more games, 9 2/3 IP 17 H 3 BB 2 SO 13.03 ERA the rest of the way. He played for 3 more ML teams and had a 5.46 ERA over 92 1/3 IP and was done as a pro ballplayer after his age 29 season in 1995.

Can't think of any other minor league rule 5 picks who made it. But boy was his story fun to follow that year.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 04:14 PM EST (#440406) #
So much time invested in Ohtani...

NYY gonna get Verdugo, Soto and Yamamoto added to their team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 04:30 PM EST (#440407) #
Really hoping for Ohtani. It just feels like he's going to choose the Dodgers in the end. West coast team, fabulous track record of success, big budget, consistently great farm system, tons of marketing opportunities.

I still hold out hope that he'll choose the Jays and all the good things they have to offer, though...
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 04:33 PM EST (#440408) #
That's definitely true about the minor league Rule 5 draft.  The best players to come out of the minor league phase in the last 15 years are Omar Narvaez and Richard Bleier. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 04:47 PM EST (#440409) #
I also think Ohtani to Dodgers. I was fine with it because I figured Atkins would pivot and get Soto which would set up an amazing 2024. Now I'm preparing for the prospect of Soler, Rhys Hoskins, Michael A Taylor and maybe Chapman returning..."Plan C" again like last year where they thought they signed Yoshida and then missed and had to give up Moreno in trade for Varsho.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:04 PM EST (#440410) #
Looking like the Yankees are going to 'win' the Soto sweepstakes. I put that in quotes as the price is really high. The price now appears to be King, Thorpe, Brito, Vasquez and catcher Kyle Higashioka. Yankees get Soto & Trent Grisham (95 OPS+ lifetime, 87 OPS+ last year, appears to be a backup for the inevitable Judge injuries). Trade Values puts it as 'rejected' with the Yankees giving up $57 mil of value for $34 mil. Skipping Grisham and the value he adds (about $10 mil) the Jays equivalent would be Tiedemann & Orelvis Martinez. Yikes! Still, I hope SD pulls even more out of the Yankees of course.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:07 PM EST (#440411) #
If they can get him to sign on the dotted line then it's a win for them. Otherwise it's a terrible move since it doesn't put them over the top.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:12 PM EST (#440412) #
It’s a likely win for the Yankees because their farm system will just crank out more pitching prospects as they have done in recent years, whereas Soto-calibre players are very hard to find.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:17 PM EST (#440413) #
The loss of King could hurt. He was excellent last year. He’s never pitched 105+ innings before, though.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:24 PM EST (#440414) #
True enough greenfrog - as always #1 is does he sign there or not after 2024. If Soto walks, and especially if he goes to the Red Sox or Mets, the Yankees lose unless they win the WS in 2024. Anything short of a WS win in '24 will not be enough for the fans or front office. And they don't appear to have the horses to do that imo although they might still go get the pitching they desperately need, but lets hope not.

Sure does up the pressure on the Jays to sign Ohtani though.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:25 PM EST (#440415) #
Kimbrel for 1/$13m is a nice pickup by Baltimore.
electric carrot - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:27 PM EST (#440416) #
Count me among those who don't think Toronto is getting Ohtani. I would be very happy if they did. But LA is the city for people who want to be global superstars. I get the feeling that's what Ohtani wants.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 05:41 PM EST (#440417) #
Bringing Chapman back with the unspent money is not going to help fix the offense.
scottt - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 06:34 PM EST (#440418) #
That's right. Might as well spend the money on Yamamoto.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 06:35 PM EST (#440419) #
I can't see the Jays returning without one of Ohtani, Soto or Yamamoto.

For the Jays to come away empty handed I would predict that the following would have to happen:

Steve Cohen decides to sign Yamamoto

Angels resign Shohei

Yankees trade for Soto
scottt - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 06:44 PM EST (#440420) #
The Yankees couldn't sign Judge before he hit free agency.
I don't think the Soto situation will be different.
If they don't get any discount, they might as well wait and see how he does in the Bronx.
Soto is not a good defender, but he can probably handle left field in NY.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 07:01 PM EST (#440421) #
Uh oh - Jays in trouble now of losing a free agent to the Angels - Adam Cimber in talks with Angels. Gulp!

Will Sammon of the Athletic reports that seven teams have stepped forward as the key players in the Yamamoto bidding. That group includes (listed alphabetically) the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Mets and Yankees. Two other “mystery teams” are also involved. So the Jays are in on him still too. He is coming over this weekend to start serious talks. His free agency is expected to go far quicker than Ohtani's has, with the Mets being the early front runners as Cohen seems determined to get him and has cash to burn. If I was the Jays I'd invite him to Dunedin to see the facilities and make sure pitchers on the current team, and past ones, are there. Ryu would help sell him on how the Jays helped him come back from TJ as would Green - any pitcher has to be aware that is a risk they all face. Gausman and Bassitt could tell him why they came over and why they are happy here. Kikuchi similar but with a Japanese POV mixed with his nightmare year in 2022 and his comeback this year and how the Jays never really gave up on him. Respect goes a long way in Japan and the way the Jays treated Kikuchi (vs Manaoh who I'd keep away from all free agents) would be seen as a plus I'd think. Need to keep working on a plan B, C, D, etc.

Plan A is Ohtani, B was Soto, C is probably Yamamoto, D is Bellinger, E is Chapman plus, F is 'oh crap we're screwed'.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 08:55 PM EST (#440422) #
"Olney and Rosenthal are likely the two most prominent baseball writers of the last 20 years."

Rosenthal? Really? Jayson Stark, Peter Gammons, Evan Drellich, David Laurila, Jeff Passan, Bill Shaikin, Marc Topkin... Rosenthal was more of a news breaker for the first half of his career and only started doing actual writing after joining the athletic. Reporting on signings, news and speculative posts does not make a writer.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 09:00 PM EST (#440423) #
So what is best case for each position of need now?
  • DH: Ohtani - backup Soler, JD Martinez, Garver, Hoskins, Votto
  • LF: Bellinger - backup Lee, Teoscar, Gurriel
  • 3B: Chapman - backup Candelario, Urshela, Turner
  • SP: Yamamoto - backup Snell, many meh options
Jays are still said to be in the running for all of them, but no way they sign more than 1, maybe 2 (if Rogers really opens the purse strings). Many other backup options exist but few are good enough to be worth the cost imo.
Marlow - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:14 PM EST (#440424) #
Ideally it would be great if we could get Ohtani and Lee and resign Ryu to a 2 year deal. Then listen to see if there are any offers for Manoah that would blow down the doors.

Bellinger is a bit risky considering his 2 seasons before signing with the Cubs., I am not sure the Jays should sign Bellinger and forgo the lost 2nd and 5rd draft picks, plus $1 million international signing cap space (which could impact their rumoured signing of Kennew Blanco)
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 10:57 PM EST (#440425) #
Well it looks like the Yankees have traded for Soto.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, December 06 2023 @ 11:21 PM EST (#440426) # " Soto will become just the sixth position player to have accrued at least 20 career WAR through his age-25 season and played for at least three teams, and the other five all played before 1900. "
mathesond - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 04:35 AM EST (#440427) #
The Soto deal is huge for the Jays - it gets Kyle Higashioka out of the division!
Jonny German - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 04:58 AM EST (#440428) #
Obviously Soto is a great acquisition for the Yankees, but it seems crazy that they're committing to playing their giant of a franchise player as an everyday centre fielder, coming off a foot injury, flanked by 2 iron gloves. Feels like they would have been way better off signing Kiermaier than trading for Verdugo.

I'm glad they paid a real price. King might be overrated at this point, but Thorpe is a legit prospect and the other 3 players are all useful depth that the 2024 team may suffer from not having.

I don't see what the fit would have been for the Jays to match the Yankee offer. Maybe a pacakage with both Tiedemann and Manoah. I wouldn't do that.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:30 AM EST (#440429) #
People criticized Dombrowski’s moves before the 2022 season for the same reason (exclusive focus on offense). The Phillies went on to make the World Series that year.
Gerry - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:42 AM EST (#440430) #
Jeimer Candelario seems to be off the market too, the Reds agreed to sign him for $45M over 3 years.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:22 AM EST (#440431) #
King looked nearly as good as Cole in the last two series we faced him. Filthy. Thorpe was minor league pitcher of the year.

Dombrowski and Philly isn't a great comparable. They already had better pieces than the Yankees and were in a weaker division. Where do the Yankees rank in the AL East after these moves...3rd at best? Most importantly, DD signed extensions with the elite players like Harper and Turner...unless Cashman can convince Soto that the Dodgers, Jays, Giants, Red Sox et all arent going to pay him more, he's strictly a rental and for that he overpaid.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:27 AM EST (#440432) #
As Bowie says, another song.  Live performance is great, and music in Berlin does have a history that makes it special.  

It's hard to believe that he was 55 years old at the time.  Maybe Ohtani will hit 40 home runs as a DH at age 40. 
Chuck - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:41 AM EST (#440433) #
Maybe Ohtani will hit 40 home runs as a DH at age 40.

And be a 40ish hero like Jet Li (if not quite a 50ish hero like David Bowie)?

Grisham is more than just a throw-in in the Soto trade. Given Stanton and Judge's injury history, I expect Grisham to log the most playing time in CF and offer up a cheap 2-3 WAR in the process, as he has done the past few years. Soto will find himself at DH a fair bit, I would imagine.

Chuck - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:44 AM EST (#440434) #
Jeimer Candelario seems to be off the market too

The team with already too many infielders is not where I expected Candelario to land. This is definitely an odd one.

dalimon5 - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:56 AM EST (#440435) #
They're going to trade infielders for Cease, Bieber or Burns.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:29 AM EST (#440436) #
Eduardo Rodriguez goes to the Diamondbacks for 4 years/ $80 million. Nice addition to a good team.

This Ohtani watch is getting excruciating. I'm afraid that if he goes to the Dodgers, the Jays will circle back to Matt Chapman and sign him for too much money and/or term.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:40 AM EST (#440437) #
It does appear like if the Jays miss out on Ohtani that the most likely scenario will be circling back to Chapman on a contract the team will likely regret in a couple of years. Then again if you gave me the choice of Chapman for $150M or Bellinger for more than that, then I could live with Chapman. I’d prefer neither.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:45 AM EST (#440438) #
I don't see Chapman coming back. I bet they get Urshela.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:49 AM EST (#440439) #
" First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin. "
greenfrog - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:57 AM EST (#440440) #
USA Today (Nightengale):

NASHVILLE, Tenn. − There have been few signs or hints in Shohei Ohtani’s mysterious free agency tour where he may ultimately choose to play, but perhaps the strongest indication yet that the Los Angeles Dodgers could be the favorites is by the organization’s recent request.

The Dodgers telephoned veteran reliever Joe Kelly this week to ask if he would surrender his uniform No. 17 to Ohtani.

Kelly, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Dodgers last week that has yet to be officially announced, informed Dodger officials that he’d be honored to switch uniform numbers for Ohtani. Ohtani has worn No. 17 since signing his first MLB contract in 2017 with the Los Angeles Angels.

The uniform request may mean nothing.

Or it could mean absolutely everything.

One GM told USA TODAY Sports that the Dodgers would have no reason to request a player to change his uniform number unless they truly believed Ohtani was signing with them.

The Dodgers and Ohtani’s representatives declined comment.
mathesond - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 09:57 AM EST (#440441) #
I suspect that the Jays have made the most lucrative propsal, but either Ohtani or his team prefer LA and are waiting to see if the Dodgers will up their offer.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:03 AM EST (#440442) #
The Ohtani jersey number thing is likely another case of a club planning ahead, not unlike the rumor the Jays told their store to be prepared to work overtime. Better to find out what number is available before they start asking. It's a bored writer trying to read too much into things.
Chuck - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:30 AM EST (#440443) #
It's a bored writer trying to read too much into things.

Yeah, that crap doesn't play around here. /s

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:39 AM EST (#440444) #
" Mets owner Steve Cohen reportedly flew to Japan recently to meet with Yamamoto. "
Ryan Day - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:40 AM EST (#440445) #
It would be an interesting story if Kelly's answer was no, he wasn't going to give up his number for anyone. "Journeyman middle reliever picks fight with international superstar" would at least add some drama.
jgadfly - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:53 AM EST (#440446) #
just seeking clarification on a small matter ... did the Blue Jays go over the 2023 luxury tax threshhold ?
also Gerry ... did Bonilla and the other DSL prospects make it over for the Fall Instructional League activities and how did Maroudis and Watts-Brown showcase?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:57 AM EST (#440447) #
"First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin"

Excellent, LC. You've presaged tomorrow's musical distraction. It would be appropriate especially if the Ohtani negotiations are complete.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:04 AM EST (#440448) #
I would not be disappointed if the jays don't get Ohtani despite Ohtani being the supreme talent that he is - Ohtani alone doesn't make the Jays a serious contender and I don't think the Jays are prepared to spend enough to augment the talent level - I think Ohtani is more a marketing ploy for ownership to sell those expensive tickets/boxes and hope the team does well - I'm leery about Ohtani's future on the mound - If Vlad/Bo leave in 2 years, I could see Ohtani being traded ala Soto. Ohtani is going to cost about 55m/year and I'd rather see that money spread around to build a more balanced team - Yamamoto,lee,Hicks,Imanaga,Taylor etc and move some players - Bassitt,kikuchi,Romano.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:13 AM EST (#440449) #
I would have loved to see the Jays absorb money to pick up Kelenic as the Braves did - great gamble by AA. Also I think the Yankees did very well in the Soto trade, the only negative being if Judge plays too much CF - would not be surprised if the Yankees eat salary to move Stanton and open up the DH spot to rotate players.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:19 AM EST (#440450) #
We could certainly look back on this off season 5+ years from now and breathe a sigh of relief that Ohtani didn’t choose the Jays if that is in fact how things shake out. His age combined with contract length, AAV, and uncertain future on the mound is certainly a lot of risk. The Dodgers churn out prospects like nothing so it’s less of a concern for them, but the Jays farm system is still in a transitional phase from call ups over the last 4-5 years. It’s going to be more difficult for them to surround a $50-60M AAV player with the right talent every year for the next decade than it would for the Dodgers. With that said, it would still be preferable to have Ohtani on the Jays for many reasons. I’m not anywhere near as confident about that as some MLB reporters seem to be, as no one knows what Ohtani is thinking so everything online is speculation for clicks.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:24 AM EST (#440451) #
I'm not sure Stamton has any value to anyone even at a lower dollar. He could barely walk last year let alone run. He made Belt look like an Olympic sprinter.

The Yankees offense is very good and getting Verdugo for peanuts was another good move. But the Yankees pitching depth is not great now - just 15 arms on the 40-man and they lost a lot of AAA depth in the R5. And 5 catchers and 10 OF/DH... not good balance IMO
Ducey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:28 AM EST (#440452) #
I guess we can only get excited when Jose Berrios is asked to give up his number.
John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:35 AM EST (#440453) #
I keep seeing this 'spread the money around' stuff, but I suspect those saying it haven't paid attention to the past or recent statements by assorted people.

A) The Ohtani money is only for him - this is a special budget item due to the massive potential revenue streams for Rogers. IE: He doesn't sign the Jays can't then go and sign 2 guys for $250 mil over 10 years each (Yamamoto & Bellinger for example) as the marketing potential for those guys isn't in the Ohtani ballpark.

B) Spreading the cash around rarely works. You have 9 position players and 5 starting pitchers who have large impacts on the team. It is very rare someone outside of those 14 can contribute more than 2 WAR. So you need to maximize each of those 14. A normal regular should produce 2 WAR, an Ohtani can produce 10+ (using 2 spots) potentially. Signing a batch of 2-4 WAR guys instead of 1 5+ guy seems to work on paper but fails in reality as some of those guys will be on the bench and not get the playing time, or their potential minimum salary replacements would've produced the same or better (see Schneider [1.8] + Clement [1.0] vs Biggio [0.8], Merrifield [0.7], & Espinal [0.5] for an example SC cost the league minimum for 2.8 bWAR vs BEM costing $11.6 mil for 2.0 bWAR).

The challenge is when your stars have bad years - Vlad at 2.0 bWAR hurt the team as we were expecting 4+, same with Springer at 2.1 - however, over time the stars will normally be worth their pay while the $10 mil guys will be forgotten and replaced with salaries eaten (see Randal Grichuk as a good example of that - 4 years of $10+ mil for 2.5 bWAR).

I saw the Jays try this 'spread it around' crap in the early 00's and it flopped. Dumping Delgado so they had the money to spread around like manure - it stunk and didn't do much and wasn't fun to watch. At least Delgado & Halladay were fun to watch and gave hope that if the Jays could just find quality around them things could happen, much like the Angels with Trout & Ohtani. But in both cases nothing good happened, you need the kids to come up and be stars (Bo & Vlad) or decent backups (Biggio, Espinal) then supplement with free agents (Gausman, Bassitt, etc.) then swing for the fences with a mega star if you can (Ohtani or Soto - SD looked to do it right but then ran out of money, the Yankees are going backwards - sign stars then try to fill holes much like they did in the 80's, if your kids develop it works but if they don't ... ).

In the end I really hope the Jays pull it off. Ohtani has a tough choice to make, worth hundreds of millions plus it will define the rest of his career and how he'll be remembered (gotta figure he doesn't want a Trout legacy). He could end up a Pujols type who signs then flops but still produces value, just a lot less than expected. He could go Bonds (superstar still after he signed with the Giants for his age 28 season, and had a 182 OPS+ during his pre-PED years for them from 93-98, ages 28-33 49.6 bWAR).
Gerry - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:36 AM EST (#440454) #

I don't know the answer to your questions. Fall instructional league has changed a lot since the "old days". These days players are brought in for specific instruction and to use the hitting and pitching labs to target areas for improvement. Playing games is a much lower priority these days.

Having said that I would assume that Bonilla was over for some work and to get him acclimated to the complex and the labs.

I don't know much about Maroudis and Watts-Brown although BA in their chat last week were complementary of Maroudis and had him as one to watch in 2024. No mention of Watts-Brown though.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:37 AM EST (#440455) #
Stanton can still hit a lefty. The Yankees could run out an outfield of Verdugo, Grisham and Judge with Soto DHing against RHP and Soto, Grisham and Judge with Stanton DHing against LHP.

An expensive short side of a platoon, but at least they get some value from him.
electric carrot - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:38 AM EST (#440456) #
I get the reservations about Ohtani. Still, for me what's interesting about the game isn't just the actual playing of the games. I follow baseball partially for its characters. And maybe I'm just an old guy yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, but I really find there are fewer and fewer dynamic characters in the game than I remember. The players seem a little blander to me. And so I know this may sound perverse, but even if Ohtani is a giant mismanagement of the budget, I personally as a fan would be interested in him as a character -- someone who has a little personality and breaks the mold of what we expect a player to be. And if it costs some billionaire a few more dollars -- I'm just fine with that mismanagement of money. As an aside, one thing that I find a little alienating about this site is how many of you seem to align with the goals of management to be cost-effective at all costs (including the cut-throat management of human beings.) Sure, I understand you want the team to be well-managed and thus potentially more competitive. And I do align with that to some degree. But at times I find it a little extreme (ok perverse) and I feel like it loses sight of the joy of the players and the game at the expense of squeezing every molecule of value out of the billionaire's dollars who own the team.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:38 AM EST (#440457) #
"I would not be disappointed if the jays don't get Ohtani"

yes you would.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:39 AM EST (#440458) #
preach it, Mr.Carrot !!!

amen, brother.
Chuck - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:47 AM EST (#440459) #
I personally as a fan would be interested in him as a character... And if it costs some billionaire a few more dollars -- I'm just fine with that mismanagement of money.

Indeed. Bread and circuses. Rogers is teeming with bean counters. The fans don't need to assume those duties.

John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:49 AM EST (#440460) #
The Ohtani watch is getting silly - the Dodgers have asked a reliever - Joe Kelly - if he'll give up his number should they sign him (he agreed). Berrios has the number here, I'd be shocked if he fought it.

Kikuchi has been spotted in Toronto it seems, odd for this time of year. Speculation is he could be there as part of a welcoming committee of course. I just hope the decision is made soon - as much fun as all this speculation is it'd be fun to move forward and start trying to figure out how the Jays deal with LF/3B in 2024 as well.
jgadfly - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 11:55 AM EST (#440461) #
Thanks Gerry ...
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 12:19 PM EST (#440462) #
Electric Carrot, I'm with you on there being less characters in the game. I'd consider our own George Bell as one of them. ( Kiss my purple ass!)

However, I don't think anybody on here worries about how much money is allotted to players with the view that it's hurting Roger's. It's more due to the fact that there is a soft salary cap in baseball where you lose draft picks and international signing money if you spend too much. That being said, I have no objection to paying Ohtani any amount if he comes here.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 12:45 PM EST (#440463) #
The collapse of regional sports network has cost many MLB teams significant money and those teams are probably looking to cut cost and I'm hoping the Jays target those teams in trades.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 01:08 PM EST (#440464) #
Last year our rotation did well. 4 SPs. Then Atkins strengthened the pen at the trade deadline. But our offense was the weakness and that was not addressed. I think Varsho and Chapman were the worst offenders regarding the offense and they had to play everyday. Biggio/Espinal did not contribute a lot but they were not expected to. Good for the bench I guess. All old news ie History. Which we have to learn from.

The DH & OF players will be signed late I expect. So we have not missed out.

hypobole - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 02:55 PM EST (#440465) #
"The collapse of regional sports network has cost many MLB teams significant money"

2 of those teams are the Padres and Mariners. In the Mariners case, their games are now on a premium cable service costing an extra $20/month. Ownership has no idea how many will shell out the extra money. That uncertainty has been the driver of the cost cutting moves they've made.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 02:57 PM EST (#440466) #
Apparently Kikuchi actually lives here all year...
Ryan Day - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 04:04 PM EST (#440467) #
Don't know if anything has changed since then, but this article from February says Kikuchi spent last off-season at his home in Arizona.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 05:15 PM EST (#440468) #

Shohei Ohtani has -120 odds to sign with the Blue Jays on @BodogCA. That’s an implied probability of 54.5% 😳

Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 05:39 PM EST (#440469) #
The Hall of Fame ballot this year is a puzzle.  I have no issue with 7 names: Abreu, Andruw Jones, Helton, Mauer, Petittteand Utley.  After that we get into the weeds of various kinds of bad behaviour- Beltran, Ramirez, A-Rod and Sheffield.  

Beltran's behaviour, of course, the sign-stealing at the end of his career; he was qualified well before that thanks to a variety of skills and superb post-season performance.  It was not the first time that sign-stealing had occurred; Hank Greenberg and other Tigers famously benefited from it during one World Series.  His post-playing career was sabotaged by his sign-stealing, and that, it seems to me is probably enough.  I would recognize him for his greatness as a player.  And as for the other three, I just don't know if they would have qualified without the PED use. In A-Rod's case, I have no confidence about when it began and whether his hitting prowess from the beginning was significantly related to steroid use.  I suspect that he would have been good enough without steroids, but I do not know. 

So, eight votes on my ballot. 
John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:05 PM EST (#440470) #
So 3B is shrinking with Candelario to the Red (3/$45). Chapman still out there and so is Gio Urshela. I'd expect the Jays to end up with Urshela (much cheaper, should only need a 2 year deal). That would leave room at 3B should one of the kids prove themselves, but if they don't he'd be solid for 2024/25.

Hard to find 3B who are available in trade who are decent. I'm sure the White Sox would love to dump Yoán Moncada ($24.5 in '24, $5 mil buyout or $25 mil for '25) who after a 4.0 WAR year in '21 has been under 1 each of the past 2 years but is decent on defense and not a total disaster on offense (106 OPS+ lifetime but dang does he K a lot). Don't see much else. If the Padres ate a TON of cash then Manny Machado would be great but he is owed $332 mil over the next 10 years (age 31-40) and we all know SD is broke - still might be an opportunity there (would require some creativity in a deal but who knows?).

We all know 24/25 is the big window the Jays want to win during. Rogers just blew around $400 mil on upgrades to 2 stadiums and wants to see a return I'm certain. Ohtani is the quickest way there, but if they can't get him then they need to fill these holes with decent players.
mathesond - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:18 PM EST (#440471) #
Machado also has a no-trade clause, but he might enjoy facing the O's again.
mathesond - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:21 PM EST (#440472) #
Pettitte's PED use doesn't bother you, Mike? Even without it, I also (without checking the stats) felt he was an above-average compiler, Jimmy Key with a longer career.

Beltran's playing career is good enough for me, though. As much fun as it is to rag on players for being imperfect, he was one of the more talented players of his era and it showed.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:33 PM EST (#440473) #
LA Times headline today: “Los Angeles vs. Toronto in a free-agency battle for Shohei Ohtani? It’s on!”
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 06:51 PM EST (#440474) #
Good catch, mathesond.

Pettitte admitted (immediately) to using HGH on a one-time basis when recovering from an injury. It was a time when the rules weren't clear and HGH was likely the lesser of the PEDs.

Pettitte threw 279 good innings in the post-season. And his peak was quite a bit higher than Don Sutton's. Less bulk in the regular season though.

If the competition was stiffer, I would leave him off.
John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 07:05 PM EST (#440475) #
No-trade clauses are easily covered most of the time - no player wants to the last one standing in a losing situation and SD is moving that direction quickly. Like many US teams, their TV contract died mid-season and given SD had to take out a line of credit to pay their players in September you know that club is slashing wherever it can, however it can. Safe to say they'd dumb Machado & Bogaerts contracts in a split second if someone would take them on. Tatis is less of an issue as his contract doesn't crack $20 mil until 2025, $25 in 2027, and goes to $36 in 2029 so unless he stops playing well there would be demand for him throughout that window of time. Kim is very cheap this year ($8 mil + $2 mil buyout [mutual option]) no idea if he has an out clause to become a free agent post 2024 though so I doubt he is traded. Darvish has to be on the block too - 5 years $83 mil as he enters his age 37 season after a 90 ERA+ season and just 24 starts.

Machado and Bogaerts are the only ones likely on the trading block that I'd take on as the Jays, but in both cases I'd demand something extra (cash or prospects) to make it worthwhile and the Padres might be desperate enough to give up something to help it happen.

The Twins, Diamondbacks, and others are also in that 'oh crap' situation. The Twins have been careful and their big expense is Correa who no sane team wants to risk (his injury risks are sky high with $166.7 mil left to be paid over 5 years) especially with his bat dropping so badly last year (from 138 OPS+ to a 94...yikes!). Arizona seems to be on a 'steady as it goes' situation right now and doesn't appear to have any anchors on payroll. Others are the Braves, Marlins, Tigers, Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Royals, Angels, Guardians, Rangers, and Rays. Obviously Atlanta isn't cutting but the rest I'm sure the Jays will be checking on.
scottt - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 07:09 PM EST (#440476) #
Seems broken because the Dodgers odds are even better.

scottt - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 07:11 PM EST (#440477) #
Apparently there are several suitors interested in buying the Orioles.
That team with a rich owner would be scary.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 07:48 PM EST (#440478) #
If Ohtani takes much longer to decide the jays better win his services because their plans B or C may be gone.
John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 07:50 PM EST (#440479) #
Jays are doomed now - Cimber signed with the Angels. 1 year, $1.65 ML contract it seems. Good for him, and hopefully he does well.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:10 PM EST (#440480) #
5 stages of free agency:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:27 PM EST (#440481) #
You forgot “elation”!
scottt - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 08:56 PM EST (#440482) #
It's not wrong, but in free agency, bargaining is the first stage.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:25 PM EST (#440483) #
No Adrian Beltre on your Hall of Fame ballot, Mike Green? 21 seasons, 2933 games, 3166 hits - he is projected as a near unanimous choice for the Hall this year.
John Northey - Thursday, December 07 2023 @ 10:32 PM EST (#440484) #
HOF ... the past few years have been kind of dull imo - once the old guard writers left (ones who didn't always know who the players were) things became a lot more predictable. Mix in the loss of most of the PED era guys and the end of ballotgeddon where we had 20 qualified guys and now only a few where you see the name and instantly go 'oh yeah, he deserves to be in'.  I'm generally a 'so what' to the PED use, as the rules were no suspensions, no rules on 'no HOF if caught' (not even today).  Now, a guy gets caught multiple times I do hold it against him (ie: he is a total idiot), a single catch will shift borderline cases off my list (Pettitte lands there, his 'but I only did it for rehab' sounds like an excuse we've heard many times before).

So my locks: A-Rod, Beltre, Beltran (the sign stealing is a 'so what' to me as it has always been done)
My close but for horrid judgement guys: ManRam (3 times caught, c'mon man! Everyone has a limit on that I suspect), Jones (wife beating moves a guy from borderline to off), Sheffield (again, caught on PEDs, borderline otherwise so off), Pettitte (mentioned above)
My close but not quite good enough (could be talked into them): Chase Utley (very interesting, but never saw him as a HOF'er when playing), Todd Helton (I keep flip flopping on him, he is borderline), Bobby Abreu (very good player, but not HOF level, never top 10 in MVP, just 2 ASG, surprised he had 7 5+ WAR seasons), Jimmy Rollins (won an MVP, but 5+ WAR just twice, 3 ASG, 4 GG), Mark Buehrle (Mr. Consistent, just once got Cy votes, excellent career but not HOF), Joe Mauer (too short a career, from 26-30 was WOW but then moved to 1B with a sub 110 OPS+).

IMO a HOF'er is a guy with a big peak and some length.  The shorter the career the bigger a peak is needed.  10 WAR seasons are a BIG plus imo (A-Rod had 1 plus 3 9.4 seasons).  I really wanted to put Mauer as a 'in' but there just isn't enough there.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 06:37 AM EST (#440485) #
Yes, Beltre obviously should go in. That was a clerical error on my part.
bpoz - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 07:48 AM EST (#440486) #
The Ohtani saga has been very intriguing. Should resolve itself soon.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 08:11 AM EST (#440487) #
Lots of silly (maybe) Ohtani speculation so I'll add mine. Someone at Reddit r/baseball is reporting that there is a private plane leaving Anaheim this morning at 9 am heading to Toronto and arriving at 3:54 PM. Apparently private flights between these two centers are not that common and it is a type of plane that Shohei Ohtani has used in the past.
ayjackson - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 08:24 AM EST (#440488) #
If not this month, then next.
jgadfly - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 08:46 AM EST (#440489) #
OH NO ! ... "arriving at 3:54 PM" ... After sitting in Toronto's rush hour traffic for hours upon hours, he will change his mind and sign with the Dodgers
Marc Hulet - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:10 AM EST (#440490) #
I'm not sure I'd put much stock in the plane story. It doesn't take that long to fly from California to Toronto.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:11 AM EST (#440491) #
Friday afternoon traffic in the GTA is probably way lighter than traffic in LA at that time.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:12 AM EST (#440492) #
The timing seems about right after accounting for the time change.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:20 AM EST (#440493) #
I don't put much stock in the plane story but if it's leaving Anaheim @ 9am California time and arriving @ 3:54 pm Toronto time it's within range.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:23 AM EST (#440494) #
We'll celebrate the end of the Ohtani saga appropriately when it happens, but until then, here is today's musical distraction.  If you had told me in 1985 that my favourite female vocalists 30 years later would be named Brittany and Brandi (with an i yet), I would have responded with an acidic comment about ascent of the Valley Girls.  Wrong about that, and so much else.

Speaking about the future, I ran my numbers on the Blue Jay club as it stands today and it was better than I expected.  They run out an infield of Biggio/Espinal, Bichette, Schneider and Horwitz/VGJ with Kirk/Jansen catching.  The DH is VGJ against RHP and Jansen against LHP.  The outfield is Lukes/Eden, Varsho and Springer.  I used ZiPS projections with small adjustments offensively to reflect platoon usage  What surprised me was the defense was above-average (even adjusting down the Schneider defensive projection with a big gain from using Horwitz as first baseman most of the time).  The offensive slash line was actually a little better than last year with improved numbers from VGJ and Varsho the key.  For the pitchers, I used ZiPS numbers for Gausman, Bassitt, Berrios and Kikuchi and divided the remaining starts as follows: Francis 14, Manoah 12, Tiedemann 16 and White 7.  It doesn't matter much because the projections for all four are quite comparable.  I used the ZiPS numbers for the relievers and ended up with the right number of innings.  The club would allow 620 ER, 10 more than last year. 

My ballpark has them scoring 4.8 runs per game and allowing 4.21.  That's a 90 win club.  I figured that it would be below 85, with both offence and run prevention noticeably poorer.  It's not easy to improve the club significantly.  Ohtani would do it, as would Yamamoto.  None of the third base options would do more than 1/2 a win or so.  Lee would probably improve the club by 1 win. 

Marc Hulet - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:25 AM EST (#440495) #
I was assuming both were eastern times...

Someone should stake out the Rogers Centre to see if there is a flurry of non-construction activity...
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:25 AM EST (#440496) #
Maybe team Ohtani was waiting to see if the Dodgers would come close to the Jays offer and they haven't. This would be a great get for the FO and the marketing department.

BTW, while I was out jogging last evening I think I saw pigs flying!
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:26 AM EST (#440497) #

Shohei Ohtani’s cloak-and-dagger free agent saga has held up the top end of the free-agent and trade markets alike through the offseason’s first several weeks, but a decision from the two-time AL MVP is “imminent” and could be announced at some point today, per’s Jon Morosi. In a segment on MLB Network (video link), Morosi adds that the Blue Jays have improved their standing in the Ohtani derby this week and are a finalist alongside the Dodgers, at the very least.

At last check, the Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Cubs were all involved in the bidding. The possibility of a dark-horse suitor that’s flown under the radar to this point can’t be ruled out, given the secretive nature of Ohtani’s free agency. Anecdotally, it’s of note that Friday marks six years, to the day, since Ohtani made his last free-agent decision, when he signed with the Angels.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:29 AM EST (#440498) #
If Ohtani were to sign then I think Yamamoto is out as Atkins said it would be unlikely for the team to sign two 25m plus players (though Ohtani @ 50-55m would be 2 25m plus). Lee would be nice.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:32 AM EST (#440499) #
One more thing about the club as it stands now.  There's quite a bit of give in the case of injuries.  The three best starting pitchers- Gausman, Bassitt and Berrios- are projected for 510 innings (170 innings each).  If Gausman went out with a season-ending injury in spring training, that would be a huge loss.  Otherwise, ZiPS projects that they could endure a typical injury pattern (one of the top three is out for much of the season say) without too much effect.  The same goes for the position players with the exception of Bichette. 
dalimon5 - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:39 AM EST (#440500) #
"Friday afternoon traffic in the GTA is probably way lighter than traffic in LA at that time."

As someone who has lived in LA, Toronto and Montreal I can say without a doubt that Toronto is the worst for traffic followed by Montreal and then LA.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:55 AM EST (#440501) #
One fan base is going to be thrilled today.

Several other fan bases are going to be severely disappointed.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 10:45 AM EST (#440502) #
Most fun i've had as a jays fan in the Shapiro era. I am enjoying the ride.

The Dec.8 "day of luck" (when Ohtani signed his previous contract too), and the Kikichi 50-person Sushi reservation for tonight are my current favorite rumours.
Paul D - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 10:57 AM EST (#440503) #
I think my favourite is that the Kikuchi restaurant thing is being reported by a Canadian opera singer.
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 11:18 AM EST (#440504) #
All we need is someone to stake out Ohtani's home and see if he leaves at 8'ish to go to the airport.

Another person to be at Anaheim airport to see him getting on the plane.

Someone at Pearson to see whoever is on the plane getting into a limo and maybe someone to tail the limo from the airport.

There are bauxites all over North America, right?

Seriously, if it is to be the Jays you won't hear anything until 5pm or 6pm so back to work everyone.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 11:37 AM EST (#440505) #
I heard a rumour that Gerry has a new thread already prepared and the headline reads: "Ohtani signs with the Jays. Sushi for everyone!"
Ducey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 11:38 AM EST (#440506) #
Interesting that the talking heads are saying the decision is "imminent." That would mean the decision is not made yet.

That would be inconsistent with a restaurant reservation or press conference to announce the decision.

It could be he is coming to Toronto to assist in making the decision. If so, I'd ask those of you living in TOR to clean up your front yards, shave, put on some nice pants, and concede the right of way to limos.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 11:44 AM EST (#440507) #
And don't drive in the HOV (Here is Ohtani's Vehicle) lane.
jgadfly - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:11 PM EST (#440508) #
Small jets can fly into the Island Airport ... yes ? ... this is fun !
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:16 PM EST (#440509) #
The flight from California to Toronto is the most tracked flight on flight aware right now. More than 4,000 people are tracking it.
Ducey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:28 PM EST (#440510) #
A couple of rich snowbirds coming back for Christmas are going to land in Toronto to be met by paparrazzi, and wonder, WTF?
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:38 PM EST (#440511) #
Ohtani's decision may well be imminent, but I doubt Morosi has any special knowledge of the situation.
Cracka - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:47 PM EST (#440512) #
Small jets can fly into the Island Airport ... yes ?
Yes - but not this one. Billy Bishop's runway (4000 ft) is long enough for this jet to land, but not long enough for it to takeoff fully loaded with fuel. So it's has to go to Pearson... and I'm sure there will be people there waiting for it to try to get a glimpse of the passengers, albeit much more challenging there than at Billy Bishop.
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:52 PM EST (#440513) #
For fun...
Plane Tracker for the flight he is supposed to be on (now about 30 minutes behind)
#OhtaniWatch on Twitter

FYI: The Jays shop custom jersey's are not available at the moment - kind of odd with just 17 days until Christmas. Plus, of course, Yusei Kikuchi reserves entire upscale sushi restaurant near Rogers Centre for tonight. Reservation made for 50+ people - no truth to the rumor it was just for his wife's birthday (her birthday is apparently in June). There are rumors it could just be for their anniversary (Dec 23rd it seems) but this would be a bit early for that.

Boy, lets hope one way or the other a decision is made today as this is getting totally nuts.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 01:59 PM EST (#440514) #
This silliness is so reminiscent of the Kawhi Leonard (Raptors) free agency - that one ended in heartbreak for Toronto and short-term joy for LA - of course, LA hasn't won anything with Kawhi.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 02:01 PM EST (#440515) #
This time JOY for Toronto!!!
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 02:03 PM EST (#440516) #
Ohtani reportedly signs with Toronto
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 02:06 PM EST (#440517) #
Biggest hint so far - Dodgers Nation says he signs with Toronto. It say "Key to Rogers’ pitch was something no other team could offer: the ability to command the attention of an entire country."
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 02:12 PM EST (#440518) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith
Source tells me and @ShiDavidi there is at present no decision made by Shohei Ohtani, nor is there a timeline for a decision

#BlueJays are a finalist. We'll see where it leads.
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:01 PM EST (#440519) #
Yeah, nutty time - I suspect we'll hear all kinds of silly stuff until a real announcement happens.
Marlow - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:15 PM EST (#440520) #
Any suggestions for a celebration song or a consolation song?
Marc Hulet - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:16 PM EST (#440521) #
Ohtani probably saw all the crazy plane and restaurant stalking and got cold feet....
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:22 PM EST (#440522) #
I was planning on Brandi Carlile's 2008 live version of Hallelujah from Newport for either event.  It's a marvel of improvisation.  She comes out for an encore and asks for requests- just her and an acoustic guitar with the band being naked in the change room.  Someone says "hallelujah"; she thinks to herself (I'm guessing- "wtf"), pauses, says "what the hell" and it takes her roughly 30 seconds to figure out what to do to make the song her own.  She evidently finds the divine in some of the same things as Leonard Cohen did, but with her it's so much more interesting and, um, passionate.  It helps that she is 27 and her voice is just a touch better than Cohen's. 
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:27 PM EST (#440523) #
And yes, I have heard the song enough but this version is something else, in my humble opinion. 
scottt - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:31 PM EST (#440524) #
I dunno. Could be that the Blue Jays have the best offer, so he's waiting on his preferred club to ante up.
johnny was - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:49 PM EST (#440525) #
The consolation song (for Dodgers fans) should of course be Lou Reed's Waves of Fear.
Marc Hulet - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 03:59 PM EST (#440526) #
The weird thing about the JP Hoornstra article is that he's a BBWAA member so not just some random blogger. And he cited multiple sources...
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:04 PM EST (#440527) #
Morosi is now saying Ohtani is on his way to Toronto but he hasn't signed with any team yet.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:07 PM EST (#440528) #
I've been wondering whether Ohtani could play left field at some point next year. I don't know what level of throwing would occur 8-10 months after this kind of surgery.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:12 PM EST (#440529) #
Morosi, who I am usually skeptical of as source, is saying Ohtani is on route to Toronto with nothing signed yet. I don't want to get my hopes up, but traveling to Toronto at this stage of the negotiations if he'd prefer to play elsewhere would be unlikely, but who knows how Ohtani operates. Hopefully it's a good sign. I don't care if this contract looks bad 5-6 years from now. This would change baseball in Canada forever, and the perception of the Jays (especially internationally) would skyrocket. Hopefully they can cross the finish line here.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:23 PM EST (#440530) #
Holy crap we actually did it.

Our wise, strong President Mark Shapiro, Esquire, along with his young, dapper, oh-so-handsome GM Ross Atkins, just landed arguably the best player of all time.

Absolutely insane.

greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:25 PM EST (#440531) #
This is such a fascinating story.

I am super-excited about the prospect of Ohtani joining the Jays.

I hope there is some cash left over to add a couple of more pieces. I'm guessing the Jays will be too tapped out to sign Yamamoto, but that would be the dream scenario.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:27 PM EST (#440532) #
Done deal.

Adam Seaborn
Press conference 6pm

Ohtani 🤝Jays
Glevin - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:28 PM EST (#440533) #
Absolutely unreal.
Nigel - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:33 PM EST (#440534) #
If true, I will happily eat crow:) A crazy turn for Rogers to take.
jgadfly - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:44 PM EST (#440535) #
Barker & Blair at 5 on Sportsnet
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:46 PM EST (#440536) #
If this is true, none of us can ever again complain about the Jays or Rogers being cheap. Those days are over.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:48 PM EST (#440537) #

but also true - "Payroll Parameters" was always, ALWAYS, complete BS.
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:48 PM EST (#440538) #
So, if true, what is next? Gotta figure that's it for premium free agents this winter. Tyler O'Neill for LF and Gio Urshela for 3B? Both decent fill in's until a kid earns the job who could be decent backups after that. Then AAAA guys to backup the rotation, hoping no one goes down and Manoah is back.
electric carrot - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 04:57 PM EST (#440539) #
Whoop! Love it!
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:03 PM EST (#440540) #
There were payroll parameters when the bean counters were running Rogers. Once Edward took control he became just like any other rich owner, spend, spend and win.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:05 PM EST (#440541) #
I would re-sign Chapman for sure now. And that's about it.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:08 PM EST (#440542) #
Adam Seaborn (whoever he is) doesn't seem credible. Press conference in less than one hour...?
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:19 PM EST (#440543) #
Nightengale is saying Ohtani is not in Toronto and not on a flight to Toronto.

The issue with determining who to believe between Nightengale and Morosi is that neither one has credibility to begin with.
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:19 PM EST (#440544) #
Party over. Everyone back to what you do do.

It did provide entertainment on a grey December day.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:20 PM EST (#440545) #
Jim Bowden
One more time: Ohtani is NOT in Toronto. There is no agreement anywhere. No decision is imminent. People need to stop lying and guessing. He has not made his decision. Again carry on.
5:14 PM · Dec 8, 2023
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:21 PM EST (#440546) #
Well, that was a fun 5 minutes.
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:24 PM EST (#440547) #
Maybe we can all do this again tomorrow or Sunday.
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:29 PM EST (#440548) #
This all started on someone noticing a flight from LA to Toronto. I don't believe anyone said there was information from an inside source that he was signing here.

The JP guy in LA tweet came late in the day and it looks like Morosi was guessing.

Lesson learned.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:30 PM EST (#440549) #
Don't worry we got him.
Gerry - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:32 PM EST (#440550) #
The opera singer was wrong, shocked I am.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:32 PM EST (#440551) #
If Morosi's source was Reddit (which had the plane information stuff first, I believe), then I can't imagine how his credibility survives this. There is a massive difference between Ohtani being in California and being "on his way to Toronto". He either lied, got bad intel, or tried to piece something together without the facts. Either way that was very irresponsible on his part.
greenfrog - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:35 PM EST (#440552) #
Didn't Jon Heyman do this last off-season with Judge (announcing he was signing with the Giants)? Or something like that?

Lessons learned, to be sure.
Nigel - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:39 PM EST (#440553) #
This is highly reminiscent of 6 years ago when Ohtani first posted to join MLB. The Jays were the favourites (according to mainly local media) until suddenly he was signing in LA.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:57 PM EST (#440554) #
Premature exultation.
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:57 PM EST (#440555) #
Don't recall Ohtani being seen as this close though then.

Love being able to look up stuff...
Jays were listed as out on December 3rd 2017. Seems Joel Sherman was the guy who first knew Ohtani was going to the Angels - so if he says anything he'd probably be the one who is right.
Petey Baseball - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 05:58 PM EST (#440556) #
I would imagine John Paul Morosi will have some explaining to do.

If the Blue Jays front office is watching this circus unfold, what must they thinking right now.
Four Seamer - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 06:06 PM EST (#440557) #
Ah well, the Shohei Ohtani Era was fun while it lasted. Will go down as the only team legend to never suffer a defeat in Jays' silks.
Sherrystar - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 06:13 PM EST (#440558) #
Just threw up in my mouth at Chapman coming back on a multi-year $100M+ deal.
John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 06:15 PM EST (#440559) #
I'd think after this if the front office had any doubts about if Ohtani deserves the $600 mil they should be gone now. Clearly demand for him is sky high.
jgadfly - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 07:17 PM EST (#440560) #
Watch out for that barrel ... roll up that carpet ... stop that carousel, I need to get off ... what did that great mind, GHWB have to say, "Fool me once ..." yeh, it seems all too familiar, and yeh I'm reduced to that level ... the all to brief glimpses of hope was fun while it lasted but we've been there and got a whole bunch of stickers, picked off second again ... I'm off, back to my cave, to sleep, perchance to dream ... Wake me up in the Spring ... hopefully, the Clowns will be long gone and DJT will be where he deserves to be ... is that too much ?
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 08:38 PM EST (#440561) #
Boston Red Sox acquire Tyler O'Neill from St. Louis.
Marc Hulet - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:32 PM EST (#440562) #
Both Verdugo and especially O'Neill were acquired for very little. Really not sure what St.Louis is doing.
Eephus - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 09:59 PM EST (#440563) #
Genuinely liked O'Neill as a "buy low" candidate for LF/4th outfield guy. Not sure about his launch angles/whatevers but I can't imagine being a RH batter in Fenway hurts you all that much.

I'm probably as caught up in the Ohtani stuff as anyone, but keep in mind there are two potential HoF LH hitters the Blue Jays could sign this off-season that would make me equally happy should they snag either one. I mean... sure a particular one would be just a bit more a significant move than the other... but for my own rooting interest please just get one of them. 

Frankly I'm delighted Candelario is off the board (to my Reds? Because they clearly need infielders???) because I had no time for that whatsoever. No clue what Cincinnati is thinking here (even moving Steer to the outfield gives them too many guys on the dirt) and so my dream of somehow snagging Matt McLain for Manoah lives on. Jonathan India could be a useful piece as well, though I think the Reds would have to offer more. I figure Elly is off the table, they just signed Candelario, Christian Encarnacion-Strand is a likely future 1B/DH and then Noelvi Marte... actually yes I'm very into that also. Marte wouldn't automatically be your incumbent starter at 3B, but he is super young...

...bah I'm just trying to distract myself, although I think a lot of this makes sense. Carry on.

John Northey - Friday, December 08 2023 @ 10:53 PM EST (#440564) #
With Cincinnati I'm wondering if they have a trade possibility with one of their current IF thus why they signed Candelario. Jonathan India is interesting - his defense at 2B looks poor but he did play a lot at 3B in the minors (1185 innings). Nothing much there though that isn't super-young pre-arbitration thus few they'd be willing to trade. Ah well, was worth looking at.

So who do the Jays attack either way? Options are coming off the board with each day so they need Ohtani to make up his mind already. Hmm... wouldn't it be funny if he came and hid while the Jays did a final walk through of the stadium with him or something? AAAAAA too easy to get back into this stuff!!!!!
LouisvilleJayFan - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 07:00 AM EST (#440565) #
I've found myself wondering about the Jays chances in AL East even with Ohtani.

New York's offense is likely the best in baseball now.

Baltimore's young core has barely scratched their surface.

Tampa Bay is going to Tampa matter how unlikely they may seem they always find a way to win and develop talent.

Boston appears to be the "worst" team in the division, but counting out a team with those kinds of massive financial capabilities and fan base is never a good option.

jgadfly - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 07:30 AM EST (#440566) #
Upon reflection ... did we all just get picked off 2nd base ?
jgadfly - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 08:03 AM EST (#440567) #
12 hours later ... I just reread my original reaction ... I didn't realize that I had included 'the 2nd base pickoff' analogy at that time ... Is it shock, trauma, poor sleep or my ADD ? Oh, I just realized that 'analogy' includes the word 'anal' ... hey, I just answered my own question !
jgadfly - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 08:18 AM EST (#440568) #
30 minutes later ... you know 'us' spells 'U.S.' ... CRAZY TIMES we live in ... too early for Scotch, medication it is then ! ... My apologies to all for using this sight as psychotherapy ...
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 08:20 AM EST (#440569) #
Winning the off season does not mean that a team will be good. Another observation is that the results on the field have the most bearing on the standings.

I am now thinking about the Buffalo-Toronto shuttle. Who if any are the impact players. On the 40 man are Orelvis & Barger with proven power and other O talents. L Jimenez gives great D, versality and strike zone control. D Schneider had a great 2023 power, strike zone control, SBs in 2022 and he works V hard. Of these 4 Schneider has burned zero options.

The pitching may finally arrive from the farm. Pearson & Pop have to be healthy and not be sent down. Danner has to be ready until he gets his chance. I don't know what Zulueta's role is but he could be ready. Tiedemann could/should help in the rotation.
Paul D - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 08:29 AM EST (#440570) #
The Yankees were 25th in runs scored last year. Soto is amazing and Verdugo is good, but I doubt they'll even have the best offence in the AL East next year.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 09:15 AM EST (#440571) #
New York's offense is likely the best in baseball now.

I seriously doubt that.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 09:34 AM EST (#440572) #
This procrastination by team Ohtani makes be think that they got the Jays to set a contract mark and now are trying to get their preferred destination (Dodgers) to match or at least make an offer within an acceptable range of the Jays offer.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 09:48 AM EST (#440573) #
"This procrastination by team Ohtani makes be think that they got the Jays to set a contract mark and now are trying to get their preferred destination (Dodgers) to match or at least make an offer within an acceptable range of the Jays offer."

Ding ding ding ding ding. We have a winner. This is exactly what's happening or maybe he's trying to get SFG to ante up as Jays are maybe his 3rd choice after money is removed from equation.
Gerry - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 09:50 AM EST (#440574) #
Any planes flying from LA to Toronto today?
Ducey - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:08 AM EST (#440575) #
I saw an Ohatni drinkin a pinata colada at Trader Vics.
electric carrot - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:09 AM EST (#440576) #
"did we all just get picked off 2nd base ?"


Also, I feel like such a cheap date who (once again) fell for the corniest pick-up lines.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:13 AM EST (#440577) #
People need to relax a bit. The rumor was originally from sources that Ohtani would decide Friday or into the weekend. He likely did tell everyone involved hence the Dodgers writer going off on what he heard. But Toronto and Ohtani are not going to announce anything until the contract is written, signed, and physical done. Those can't be done until after Ohtani picks his team.

Also reading between the lines in Keegan Matheson's comments last night it sounds like the deal is in place and people just need to chill a bit and be patient. He also takes time to mention his girlfriends birthday party was last night and he wS able to go... so something with work is keeping him busy. As an MLB/BlueJays reporter, he would likely be more inside on this than anyone else in the media.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:15 AM EST (#440578) #
That's *wasn't* able to go.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:21 AM EST (#440579) #
Please, can some team please sign Matt Chapman so the Jays don't foolishly spend over 100m.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:30 AM EST (#440580) #
Drake supports the cause.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:31 AM EST (#440581) #
None of us knows where this is headed. None of us is privy to the negotiations.

My prediction (read: guess) all along has been that Ohtani will sign with the Dodgers. (I also predicted Soto to the Yankees, a logical guess.)

Here’s hoping I’m wrong and that Ohtani chooses the Blue Jays.
John Northey - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 11:04 AM EST (#440582) #
So, if they lose out on Ohtani, then what is the question? Safe to say the Jays will want a PR positive quickly - Bellinger, Chapman, Yamamoto is about it for free agents who could give them that. Yamamoto is just starting negotiations so he couldn't be a quick one. Bellinger is looking for $250+ million which would be nuts given his 2021-22 seasons. That leaves resigning Chapman who it seems would sign for $150 mil/5 years which seems high to me. Hopefully the Jays have a decent trade we don't know about on the plater waiting to see what happens with Ohtani. Checking the top players on FanGraphs the best who might, emphasis on might, be available is Francisco Lindor if the Mets want to slash payroll after a horrid 2023 (owed $272 mil over 8 years). There really isn't much available out there to put it mildly. I'd say Bellinger and Chapman have the Jays (and others) over a barrel right now. If Ohtani goes elsewhere plan B is going to be very hard to put in place I suspect.
Paul D - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 11:26 AM EST (#440583) #
I could see Hoskins as part of a plan B
soupman - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 11:29 AM EST (#440584) #
I know O’Neil is brittle and apparently doesn’t play when they goto turf stadiums, but I would have preferred he went somewhere outside the division. I guess we will see if the turf toe fears were the player’s or the team’s since two of the division rivals play on concrete slabs.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 11:39 AM EST (#440585) #
I wouldn't mind seeing Lourdes Gurriel back. I know he can be iffy on defense and runs hot and cold at the plate, but he had good overall numbers last year and has a strong arm.

The Mets have been pretty quiet so far. Could there be a tug-of-war going on between them and the Yankees over Yamamoto?
Jonny German - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 01:01 PM EST (#440586) #
Real loser energy for Blue Jay fans to be opining that the only reason a top free agent would express interest in Toronto would be as an attempt to get more money from some other city.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 01:20 PM EST (#440587) #
there were a couple of reports yesterday that didn't seem to have anything to do with the twitter rumours of flights and restaurants and what not.

most notably the report from Hoornstra.
soupman - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 01:38 PM EST (#440588) #
I also wouldn't mind a reunion, but would prefer to see Teo back.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 01:42 PM EST (#440589) #
Hoornstra today:

Ducey - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 02:05 PM EST (#440590) #
Dodgers Nation doubling down. Their only real option. They have 50% chance of rescuing their reputation.

Assuming Ohtani is a Jay (I am not guessing just an assumption), I would be very happy with Urshela and one of Teo or Lourdes
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 02:26 PM EST (#440591) #
If no Ohtani then Jays need to go get a package like Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez then sign a Yamamoto or Snell to have an A+ off season.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:08 PM EST (#440592) #
Ohtani just signed with the Dodgers.

fire shatkins.

uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:09 PM EST (#440593) #
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:14 PM EST (#440594) #
Smells like a last minute high bid to me.
Gerry - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:16 PM EST (#440595) #
At least we had plane, opera singer, restaurant day.

But anyway booooo.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:17 PM EST (#440596) #
for those who were worried about the tax ceiling stuff:

Jeff Passan
Shohei Ohtani's contract has significant deferrals that include most of his salary -- an idea, a source said, that was Ohtani's. In deferring the money, it reduces the cost of the competitive-balance-tax hit and will allow the Dodgers to build a better team around him.
Nigel - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:17 PM EST (#440597) #
Sad but unsurprising news.
Gerry - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:19 PM EST (#440598) #
Could the Jays have afforded $700M without hamstringing them for ten years?

If Ohtani was suggesting how to structure the contract he must have decided this several days ago.
smyttysmullet94 - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:20 PM EST (#440599) #
Wait but I thought twitter and Reddit were excellent sources of accurate information!
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:22 PM EST (#440600) #
& $ # ! % @ *
99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:23 PM EST (#440601) #
It’s almost twice the AAV that people predicted. Crazy.
Gerry - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:31 PM EST (#440602) #
Mike Trout got $450M over 12 years.

Last season Aaron Judge got $360M over 9.

Ohtani $70m per season.

Judge $40M per season.

And they say there is no money in baseball. Thats a of inflation.
John Northey - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:43 PM EST (#440603) #
Crazy. Biggest sports contract ever. I suspect the Jays and Dodgers both kept upping it but once it crossed that line he was satisfied. Now the Jays need a quick pivot to plan C as Soto was B.
Polite Nate - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:45 PM EST (#440604) #
I don't like the concept of dodging the luxury tax with huge deferrals like that. Lots of signings in recent years getting cute with that. MLB should tighten up the rules around this.
hypobole - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:47 PM EST (#440605) #
All the Dodgers had to say was"Whatever they offer, we'll match". It was obvious, to me at least, his preference was west coast. The Jays offer must have been tremendous if it took $700 million to land him.

Good on our FO for doing their best. Maybe now that San Fran has the entire bay area, the Jays would be able to move to San Jose.

I'm kidding, somewhat.
Eephus - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:49 PM EST (#440606) #
Good try at least. Alas, my apathy mode towards this franchise has been re-engaged.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 03:50 PM EST (#440607) #
So what do Bo and Vlad get us in trades.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:01 PM EST (#440608) #
The Jays offer must have been tremendous if it took $700 million to land him.

Same. Going into this off season predictions were around $500M for Ohtani. Then word was he had several offers "north of $500M." Then speculation it could hit 600+. The fact it ended up being 700 suggests that the runner-up bid was probably at least mid-600s.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:09 PM EST (#440609) #
$700 M U.S. dollars is approximately $950 M Canadian dollars.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:20 PM EST (#440610) #
Thank You Shohei Ohtani - you made the best decision for yourself, for the Dodgers and for the Blue Jays and their fans even if they are currently upset. With that contract the Jays were not going to be able to surround you with quality help and their farm system is currently weak and it would likely have been the Alex Rodriguez to the Rangers fiasco all over again. I always felt this was a marketing play by Rogers and I'm focused on wins and championships and now I think the FO can concentrate on that. Also with all that deferred money, the contract is probably closer to $600m.
Nigel - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:25 PM EST (#440611) #
Hypobole - that summarizes exactly where I’m at on all of this. At least this seems to suggest that the FO understands that this offseason is an inflection point for this version of the roster. Either invest significantly in it or move on.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:44 PM EST (#440612) #
I’m disappointed but not surprised. The Dodgers always seemed like a better option for Ohtani, if you look at current payroll structure (space to add more talent), organizational financial clout, farm system quality, front office talent, team W-L record over the last decade, likelihood of future team success, geography/climate, natural grass stadium.

I wonder what Yamamoto’s contract will end up being. $300m? $350m? I would still like to see the Jays pursue him, although people have been predicting he’ll end up in a major US market like New York.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 04:49 PM EST (#440613) #
Seems like there's some money in baseball
Mike Green - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:01 PM EST (#440614) #
If Ohtani went for $700M over 10 years, a significant portion would have to reflect his value to a franchise in marketing opportunities to Japan.  Yamamoto and Lee would be a very good offseason, if they can pull that off.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:05 PM EST (#440615) #
Nigel, I understand your logic, but do you think there is any chance of the Jays moving on after a $300m stadium renovation and large ticket price increase? I think the Jays are in it to win it in 2024, one way or the other (even if their roster ends up being suboptimal).
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:07 PM EST (#440616) #
$400m for Yamamoto wouldn’t surprise me, especially with the Yankees, Mets and Giants involved in the bidding.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:09 PM EST (#440617) #
And as promised, the musical distraction at the end of the Ohtani affair.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:31 PM EST (#440619) #
So what do Bo and Vlad get us in trades.
Do something crazy? Machado (50% offset / retained), Bogarts and Tatis Jr..
Nigel - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 05:45 PM EST (#440620) #
greenfrog, my early off season view was that the FO would do what they did the last time the roster was at an inflection point (ie nothing) for the same reasons now as then - the marketing rationale of doing nothing superseded the obvious baseball need to do something/anything (invest or blow it up). This pursuit of Ohtani might suggest a different path, time will tell.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 06:13 PM EST (#440623) #
I think the best path would be to sign Yamamoto (and Lee, if possible) and then make additional moves as needed. Double down on pitching and defense and also try to make a couple of offensive improvements.

Yamamoto and Lee are also good choices because they’re young and should perform well for many years.
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 06:21 PM EST (#440624) #
Time to be honest!! Atkins did not spill the beans. The media is at fault.
Gerry - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 06:39 PM EST (#440625) #
Depending on the deferrals the actual value to the Dodgers could be a lot less. We don't know what the deferrals are or what interest rate will be used for valuation.

Lets say Ohtani takes $35 Mil a year for 20 years (Bonilla style). $35M in 2044 will be less important to the Dodgers than $35M in 2024.
scottt - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 06:44 PM EST (#440627) #
The Jays were willing to overpay but the Dodgers were willing to match up.
And probably more.

There is a very familiar scenario. It goes all the way back to Encarnation.
Dexter Fowler, that the Jays chased in the winter of 2016, but that the Cards overpaid 5 years/80M.
`He got them 1.8 WAR in 2017, than -1.4, 1.4, 0 and -0.2 (for the Angels).

I am not even sure that the Dodgers really needed a DH that bad.

scottt - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 06:47 PM EST (#440628) #
As long as it counts as 70M/year for the luxury tax.

hypobole - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 07:03 PM EST (#440632) #
My familiar scenario was 2014. It was March and Ervin Santana still hadn't signed because he couldn't get the $14 million he wanted. AA did some of his wheeling and dealing and scrounged up the money to meet his price. So Atlanta simply matched the Jays offer and Santana signed there.

Thanks suckers for getting me what I wanted.
soupman - Saturday, December 09 2023 @ 10:12 PM EST (#440650) #
Watched to confirm she also butchered this. I find BC’s singing over-wrought and do not understand the praise. The live version Joni Mitchell did of both sides now is rendered unlistenable to me by this person’s absurd “choices”. I’m only posting this because I hope someone knows of a version without the inane “tell em, Joni” and other absurd vamps because it really is a phenomenal performance destroyed by that nonsense.

electric carrot - Sunday, December 10 2023 @ 12:26 AM EST (#440653) #
Yo Soupman, you can't really call me a Brandy Carlile fan and no I don't love her vamping on Joni either but to say she ruins it is kind of over the top. She barely does anything. Joni kills it and Carlile works in a few small things -- seems a bit improvy -- but it's a live performance for chrissakes. Some of it works some of it meh. But the spirit is fun and light and maybe the whole thing doesn't actually care if you thought it was pristine or not.

Of course, Joni would never countenance anything overwrought and clearly Carlile does. But on the other hand, let's be clear -- Joni is the queen of absurd choices. That's what makes her great and one of the most original singer/ songwriters of her time. Taking out some of the histrionics I like most of Carlile's absurd choices. They surprise me. She doesn't play it safe. And how many singers these days can you say that about?

One day I was in the car and heard this corny John Denver song "Country Roads" come on the radio. I hate that song. I almost turned it off. But then I was like -- what in the heck is going on? The whole thing got turned on its head. When I got home I looked up who did it and that was my intro to Carlile. And yes the choices are completely absurd.

Winter Is Here, Meetings that is | 384 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.