Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
OK, this is getting silly and it is time for a new thread anyways. The team clearly needed offense going into the offseason and what have they added this winter? Defense.

First bringing back a defensive 'wow' in Kevin Kiermaier. Now, signing for 2 years Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 2 years $15 mil is the deal. This puts the Jays just shy of $230 mil in payroll.

IKF has played well at 3B/SS/2B but has a lifetime 81 OPS+ (78 last year) so I'm not seeing anything more than an expensive version of Espinal here. This really is a major head scratcher. Between Espinal-Biggio-Schneider-kids the Jays are stocked with meh at 3B/SS/2B why blow $7.5 mil on a defensive specialist? He cracked 3 bWAR twice (2021/2022) but fWAR sees him as never being a 2 WAR player. I mean, this is a guy who has very little to offer. A spring invite on a minor league contract? Sure. 2 years guaranteed at $7.5 per? No way. I hope the scouts saw something fixable in his swing or something that suggests there is more there because right now I see a lesser version of Espinal when I look at him.

So clearly the Jays are actually doubling down on defense for 2024. This suggests either a hard chase after Chapman (who is amazing at 3B on defense) or thinking IKF can play everyday there thus leaving 2B to Espinal/Biggio while Schneider splits time all over the place ala Merrifield in 2023.
Are the Jays trolling us? | 266 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 02:13 PM EST (#441103) #
Maybe it's more defensive replacement, start at third with ground ball pitcher.
IKF is a much better base runner than Espinal. He stole 14 bags last year.
So they can probably do some creative things like having him run for Kirk and stay in the game at third.
Offense was a weakness, but running the bases was their worst weakness.

I see much less value for him with Chapman at 3B than a platoon of Barger and Orelvis Martinez.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 02:24 PM EST (#441105) #
I keep hoping the Jays call up Pittsburgh and make a deal for some of their infield excess - they have a young locked in infield right now with Ke'Bryan Hayes at 3B (signed through 2029 at least), Oneil Cruz at SS (doesn't reach free agency until post 2028), Liover Peguero at 2B (80 days service time), Ji Hwan Bae backup (not a free agent until after 2028). Jared Triolo looks like a really good 3B potentially - I'd love the Jays to find a way to get him. I'd look at sending a few pitchers like Yosver Zulueta, Nate Pearson, and Chad Dallas to them as they are hunting hard for pitching from what I've read. I'm sure a deal could be put together that helps both clubs. Then IKF could be at 2B with Biggio/Espinal on the bench while Schneider goes in as needed for LF/2B/1B/DH.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 02:47 PM EST (#441109) #
IKF is an improvement over Espinal, but that's not something the Jays should be spending $15M on. I don't see the point in this move. If he's starting at 3B, then that's even worse.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:00 PM EST (#441110) #
Still a chance that we add an arm?

Have we been linked to Montgomery or Imanaga at all?
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:09 PM EST (#441111) #
There's a big move coming.

Agree with dalimon, from the last thread. The IKF deal looks like a precursor to a trade.

Dr B - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:18 PM EST (#441112) #
The IKF deal looks like a precursor to a trade.

..of IKF, hopefully.
Ducey - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:30 PM EST (#441113) #
"Between Espinal-Biggio-Schneider-kids the Jays are stocked with meh at 3B/SS/2B"

2B in abundance, but no 3B.

Schneider doesnt really have a defensive position. He is barely adequate at 2B. I am worried his bat was a flash in the pan until the league figured out he could not lay off the high cheese.

I thought Biggio looked ok at 3B at seasons end, but they tried to give him the job a few years ago and it was a failure. His arm and actions were lacking.

Orelvis may not be ready, and it sounds like he is better suited for 2B (according to BA). Barger had the bum elbow last year, and is more of a bat first player anyway.

Espinal took at step back at all defensive positions last year. He was -1 DRS at 3B. BR has him at -10 RS per 1200 innings.

IKF was at +3 DRS last year and +14 per 1200 innings at 3B.

So the difference between Espinal and IKF at 3B is 24 runs saved over a season. Is that worth the $5 M difference in salary? I dont know. Its worth something.

$5 million on a payroll of $250 million is 2%. Pretty sure its not worth worrying about.
Michael - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:40 PM EST (#441114) #
24 runs is definitely worth $5M, if it really is 24 runs. Very loosely 10 runs are a win and a win above replacement is about 10 M, so a true 24 runs might be 24M value.

I question a little the reliability of defensive numbers, but 5M for 24 runs gives a large margin of error.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 03:59 PM EST (#441115) #
Honestly I agree with most people where it feels like we’re riding out the end of a window with defensive filler pieces. They’ll probably take a year to see if any of the AAA position players make a leap, what they actually have in Schneider and if Kirk or Varsho can turn back into major assets again.

However I would still trade Manoah or Tiderman for a younger infielder or outfielder. If your building defense, then trade your pitchers.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:03 PM EST (#441116) #
Kiner-Falefa's Statcast numbers hold out some hope for him offensively.  His EV was up noticeably last year to league average, while his speed was off (leading to poorer SB/CS despite the changes to the pickoff rules and fewer infield hits).  His launch angle was up a bit, but not enough to take advantage of the increased oomph.  His HR/FB rate was up to 9.1%, but still not many homers because he has so few fly balls and so many ground balls.  His line-drive rate was a healthy 25% but he pulled the ball only 35% of the time. 

It may be that the analytics people think that with a move to Toronto and the shorter fence in left-field, they think that a tweak or two to his swing might result in more pulled fly balls and better results. 
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:03 PM EST (#441117) #
Just the same I can see a JD Martinez deal next.
scottt - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:17 PM EST (#441118) #
Schneider had no problem with the high cheese. He just couldn't hit outside sliders that are called strikes by bad umpires. He saw a lot of those.
Sometimes the umpires decide to give the outside corner against right handed hitters.
Whenever that happens the Jays are at a huge disadvantage.
Bichette is able to hit those. Guerrero is not. So I don't expect rookies to work miracle either.
It's not like Chapman had a solution.

Some hitters will cheat and crowd the plate.
I don't see any of that with the Jays.
That's what kept Encarnation-Bautista-Donaldson from earning a ring.

greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:18 PM EST (#441119) #
I would be happy with JD Martinez, Imanaga, and Hicks as the next three acquisitions to the team.
scottt - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:19 PM EST (#441120) #
If you think 14/5 is a bad ratio, what do you call Bichette's 5/3?
johnny was - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:23 PM EST (#441121) #
In news that shouldn't surprise anyone, Martinez has a social media history that would not play well in Toronto.
scottt - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:29 PM EST (#441122) #
They need to develop a Hicks instead of spending money on one.
Mayza was actually better.

J.D. Martinez was hitting between Freeman and Muncy.
It was the same thing in Boston.
Put him between 2 right bats and don't be surprised if you see the guy who was struggling in Houston 10 years ago.

greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 04:33 PM EST (#441123) #
Soler could also be an acceptable choice on the right contract.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 05:05 PM EST (#441124) #
Brother.  I said a "poorer SB/CS ratio despite the new pickoff rules".  If you go from 20/5 and 22/4 to 12/5, that's a poorer ratio.  His speed is not what it was, and so a 50% ground ball rate is suboptimal especially when he is hitting the ball harder. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 06:26 PM EST (#441126) #
I expect a big bat to be added at DH most likely.

This team definitely wants to compete for a playoff spot as Shapiro has said forever. Belt helped the O last year but he is gone and not replaced so far. KK replaces himself. IKF I expect will be given the 3B job to replace Chapman for the 1st half of the season anyway. Any high ranked prospect that is called up has to play everyday rather than sit on the bench. Orelvis & Barger came through the minors as SS/3B so I expect that is their position. Gurriel ended up a failed IF. 2B/3B for Orelvis gets his bat into the lineup. 2B/3B/OF gets Barger's bat into the lineup. None are allowed to be bad on D the way EE was at 3B.

I don't think our O will be as bad as it was last year.
Ducey - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 06:30 PM EST (#441127) #
Nicholson - Smith lists: J.D. Martinez, Rhys Hoskins, Justin Turner, Teoscar Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Joey Votto, as potential bats the Jays could sign.

Hoskins is coming off a torn ACL, so maybe needs a prove it contract, or something cheaper with a player option. He is 30 and would be my target. Maybe would want to play 1B.

Turner is 38 and a RH hitter. Has been pretty healthy.

Martinez is likely looking for the career ender at age 35. Nice power but doesnt walk a lot.

Pederson is a LH hitter who was just .6 WAR last year. Hit 15 HR. He will take a walk and does not K a ton. Was DH a lot last year. Is 30.

Soler was 1.8 WAR with 36 HR. 2022 was brutal. Pretty inconsistent, but is 31.

Votto will be 40. Looks to be done. 202 and 205 the last 2 years.

Pederson and Hoskins and the Jays might be done.

Eephus - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 07:59 PM EST (#441128) #
Votto will be 40. Looks to be done.

I fervently reject any rational notion that my man Joey is "done", damnit! This is my irrational blindside and I will defend it to the last with honour! Thems pistols at dawn words!

Besides, 2023 Votto was a heckofa lot better than 2022 Belt... (respective ages again be damned)

dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 08:41 PM EST (#441129) #
I'd also welcome Votto. His power was strong in '23 coming off injury and rehab.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 08:57 PM EST (#441130) #
What a career Votto has had. wOBA as high as .438 a couple of times in his 20s. By way of comparison, Ohtani’s wOBA last season was .433.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2023 @ 10:28 PM EST (#441131) #
This does feel like a 'cover in case' deal with IKF. He and KK are both backup+ I'd say - guys who should get 300-400 PA but not play everyday. Mixes well with guys like Biggio & Espinal who also shouldn't play everyday. Schneider at his age and with what he showed for a month (wow) vs that ugly 0-31 stretch but still wow stats overall, needs to play often, 400+ PA unless that 0-31 occurs again.

So what is the lineup now?
  • C: Kirk-Jansen
  • IF: Vlad (1B), Schneider (2B), IKF (3B), Bo (SS)
  • OF: Varsho-KK-Springer
  • DH: ??? - Horwitz the default for now
  • Backup used often: Biggio-Espinal (both cover the infield and can play the OF but not ever used in CF)
  • Backup used rarely: one of Clement, Lukes, Eden, whoever (probably an OF, Lukes fits nicely as he has no prospect value at this stage)
  • Rotation: Gausman-Bassitt-Berrios-Kikuchi-Manoah
  • Bullpen: Romano-Green-Swanson-Mayza-Richards-Garcia-Cabrera-White
  • Rotation backups: White, Tiedemann, Francis, Zulueta, Adam Macko (on 40 man but unlikely to be used unless he 'wows' everyone)
  • Pen backups: Pearson, Danner, Pop, Brendon Little
  • Also on 40 man hitters: Addison Barger (RF/3B/SS), Leo Jimenez (IF), Otto Lopez (IF/OF), Orelvis Martinez (2B/SS/3B)
  • NRI: Max McDowell (C), Steward Berroa (OF), Rafael Lantigua (listed as OF but tons of time at SS/3B)
A reminder: 0 options for Lopez, White, and Clement

So DH is up in the air right now, 3B as IKF seems like a poor choice - might be better than Espinal/Biggio (as others have stated) but I feel he is a poor choice still. 2B is Schneider/Biggio/Espinal and if a 3B is signed (Chapman) then IKF goes to 2B I suspect pushing those 3 into backup roles.

Looking at IKF more last year he was in CF the most, so potentially the Jays could skip having a 4th OF on the roster who can field at any decent level and instead sign 2 pure hitters (pushing Horwitz and the 4th OF who is rarely used anyways off the roster) to split DH instead. Can't see Teoscar taking a part time DH role, Soler is a RH bat who fits the keep off the field idea but can cover LF/RF if needed here and there. JD Martinez is a LH bat that could finish a platoon off but he won't sign for that job, nor accept that little cash (sub $10 mil). Rhys Hoskins is damn tempting as injury experts said he is 100% ready and healthy (via Mike Wilner's podcast) - he is a RH 1B/DH who'd play everyday pretty much. Turner is a RH bat who can play 3B/1B sometimes but not often now but is a good bat still. Belt is almost certainly retiring. Votto is a LH 1B/DH who emotionally would be nice to have here but realistically? Over his last 2 year (618 PA) he has a 204/317/394 line (93 OPS+) - might as well DH Biggio, at 40 he is unlikely to have a dead cat bounce year too. So I'd be looking at any of the RH bats (Teoscar, Soler, Hoskins, Turner) and just go with Horwitz as the LH bat. If Belt wants to come back, or Martinez comes cheaply, or someone feels the Jays need 'veteran presence' in Votto, there really isn't a point in signing a LH DH from what is in free agency imo. I'd let the RH bats just sit around until February now and see who goes for a sub $10 mil 1 year contract unless the scouts feel one of those guys is worth a full-time shot.

For trades - hunt for a young 3B who can stay there for 5+ years, or a vet who can pound (not many out there). The pickings are slim, but Chapman won't give in until March probably for a reasonable 3-5 year deal at $20-$25 mil per, by which time I suspect someone will get desperate and sign him at stupid money levels (6+ year deal for $150+ mil). I'd be quite surprised if the Jays trade/sign a starting pitcher at this point unless a high end one falls into their laps ala Seimen at 2B a few years ago.
John Northey - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 12:27 AM EST (#441132) #
For 3B the options are limited as I have mentioned all too often. José Ramírez would be amazing (2nd highest fWAR among 3B last year) but isn't available (he signed long term in Cleveland as he feels staying in one place his whole career will help his HOF case - which is true). Others in the top 5 are Austin Riley, Gunnar Henderson, Alex Bregman, Isaac Paredes - none are available at pretty much any price - even a silly lopsided trade might not get them, and we don't want that anyways. #6-10 in order are Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Jeimer Candelario, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Eugenio Suárez. Chapman is a free agent asking for crazy money, Machado is signed for 10/$333 mil which is insane, the others you couldn't get outside of, again, very very lobsided trades.

Next group is 3.1 fWAR to 2.5 - Rafael Devers, Max Muncy, Nolan Arenado, Josh Jung, Jake Burger - again, none available. After that we might as well stick with IKF mixed with Biggio/Espinal and kids.

So the options are - resign Chapman (probably for more years or cash than desired), trade for Machado (Padres would love to dump that contract I'm sure), or stay as is. Dreaming of Ramirez is silly as Cleveland ain't trading him, and even if they did he isn't accepting any trade no-way, no-how. IMO finding a hidden gem in the minors from a team that is very set at 3B but has a kid ready to go now is the best bet for an upgrade outside of signing Chapman back. Pittsburgh and Jared Triolo (entering age 26 season but a 116 OPS+ last year in the majors, 284/370/439 in the minors lifetime, but Steamer only has him at a 90 wRC+ and ZIPs has him at 85 OPS+ so maybe he isn't as good as I thought). Sigh. 3B is going to be a challenge unless Chapman returns or the Jays go nuts and take on Machado's contract. Anyone know of a prospect who is blocked ala Triolo who is better? If only Martinez or Barger had earned the organizations confidence at 3B for the majors (they seem destined for 2B-RF respectively right now). Sigh.
bpoz - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 08:46 AM EST (#441133) #
I checked the AAA schedule July, Aug, Sept for the playing time/position of Jimenez, Palmegiani, Orvelis and Barger. Jimenez only played SS and made errors. Palmegiani mostly 1B no errors. Orelvis 2B,3B, SS he made errors. Barger 2B,SS,3B & RF he made errors. My guess is that the position moving around was for Orelvis & Barger to get ABs and develop familiarity. IMO April & May will be similar position use. I don't know who will be the best or good enough of the 4 at O. Also D is very important. All will rest using the DH spot. Jimenez SS, Palmegiani 1B, Orelvis 2B,3B & SS, Barger a lot of RF, 2B, 3B & SS.

A 30 HR pace for the 3 sluggers and for Jimenez we take what we get. I did not notice bad D for anyone.
bpoz - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 09:08 AM EST (#441134) #
Atkins has been good at keeping quiet so far this off season. The proof is the surprise signings of KK & IKF. No trades yet but he mentioned trading from SP strength and that he does have available prospects.
Parker - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 10:51 AM EST (#441135) #
The only thing that's keeping me optimistic here is that the Jays tend to fall flat on their faces when they "win" the offseason. An offseason this disappointing and confounding must mean they're going to cruise to an easy 125 wins in 2024 and sweep their way to a championship without making any significant additions.
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 11:04 AM EST (#441136) #
I love it Parker
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 11:21 AM EST (#441137) #
Or it could be Maple Leaf Syndrome - keep everything pretty much the same and hope for better results, also known as the definition of insanity.
bpoz - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 12:23 PM EST (#441138) #
I love Parker's optimism. I can't see any problems with D & the pen. SP problems can happen to all teams. We have not added anything to improve the O. I expect a replacement for Belt which will make the O the same as last year IMO.

The O can be a lot better because Orelvis, Palmegiani, Roden and Jimenez were not at AAA in 2022. Barger was injured a lot in 2023 but his bb/K ratio improved while other O numbers did not. I consider this quality depth.

Our SP problem is depth #5,6,7 & 8. A 2022 Manoah at #5 makes a big difference. Tiedemann, M White and B Francis are projected here and 1-3 will most likely be used in 2024. We are not overloaded. Only Miami seems to be.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 02:46 PM EST (#441139) #
Atkins has been good at keeping quiet so far this off season.

Another good reason for optimism. Eventually, something will happen and take us all by surprise.

SK in NJ - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 03:58 PM EST (#441140) #
I think Mike Green might be on to something with the possible reasoning behind the signing. IKF made adjustments in 2023 specifically to swing harder and generate more power. He sacrificed some K's for that, but from May 16 onwards last season he had a 99 wRC+ (278 PA) after an awful start to the season. According to him in an interview he did last season, he was ready to give up that new approach when the results were not there, but stuck with it and saw the power spike as the season went on. Is there a league average bat in him? I wouldn't bet on it, but it looks like the Jays are. You don't give someone with a spotty track record guaranteed money/term like this unless you believe there is more to unlock. If they wanted a bench player who could give a 0.5-1.0 WAR and play multiple positions, they could have just kept Espinal and hoped for a bounce back.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 04:33 PM EST (#441141) #
Hopefully not a repeat of excitement over Kendrys Morales’s solid exit velocities enticing the Blue Jays to sign him as a free agent.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 04:44 PM EST (#441142) #
Excitement, no.  But, there is a glimmer of hope.   According to BBRef, Kiner-Falefa has been a great defender at third base.  Adding that to league average-ish offence would be a 3+ WAR player.  Fangraphs has him as just a good defender at third base and hence he needs pretty good offence to be a truly valuable player.  BBRef uses DRS, Fangraphs uses UZR.  In this case, the Statcast data sides with DRS.  The one thing the systems agree on is that he was a below-average defensive centerfielder.  It's a strange thing to do- trying to move a player from third base where he has been great to centerfield just as he is losing speed.  It's not often that the Yankees flirt with .500 and moves like this one that didn't help them.
Chuck - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 05:05 PM EST (#441143) #
It's a strange thing to do- trying to move a player from third base where he has been great to centerfield just as he is losing speed.

I think the Yankees were motivated out of sheer desperation into pushing IKF into the outfield. The guys who could be expected to be often injured were in fact often injured and Cashman had no backup plan in the OF beyond a host of fringe players. He really planned poorly last year.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 06:03 PM EST (#441144) #
2019.  And last in the series.

The folks in the white hats from Washington (how often can one say that?) defeated the rascally varmints from Houston in a memorable World Series.  The hero was Howie Kendrick, who is our subject for today.  Kendrick came up at age 22 in 2006 for the Angels, as a fine-fielding second baseman who would not take a walk, but hit .300 with some power.  Very good player.  The Angels made it to the playoffs every year from 2007-9, but were bounced twice by the Red Sox and once by the Yankees.  In 2011, Kendrick had a big year at age 27, hit 18 homers and slugged .464 and was an All-Star.  The Angels won 86 games with Peter Bourjos in centerfield.  The following year Mike Trout was their centerfielder and posted a very lovely 10.5 bWAR.  The Angels went up from 86 wins to 88 wins.  Trout would do that or something close year after year.  But the Angels made the playoffs only once in 2014.  That would be the year when Kendrick played 157 games and was good defensively, so put up a 6 bWAR season.  Alas, they lost in 3 games to the Royals in the ALDS and that was that.  Kendrick moved over to the Dodgers the next year (Ohtani was following in his footsteps!).  He didn't do much for them in 2015 and 2016, and didn't play much for the Phillies and Washington  in 2017 and 2018 but did slug .475 and .474 at age 33 and 34 (career highs).  His age 35 season was something different altogether.  He hit .344/.395/.572 in 370 PAs setting career bests across the board, most notably in Isolated Power (by a mile).  If that happened 20 years previously, I would have been wondering about PEDs.  I like Howie Kendrick and he was wearing a white hat, so I won't wonder.  And in the playoffs, he continued, winning the MVP of the NLCS and then hitting the clutch homer the opposite way in the 7th inning of the 7th game.  Which reminds me of Vladimir Guerrero's 1st home run, the first video in my series. 

For music, Brittany Howard's "Stay High".  Complete with Terry Crews being Terry Crews.  Brittany Howard was a brilliant and exciting vocalist when she emerged with the Alabama Shakes in the early teens.  She has developed as a musician in so many ways since then.  I am very curious about what her  record in 2024 will offer.

Dr B - Thursday, December 28 2023 @ 09:35 PM EST (#441145) #
IKF made adjustments in 2023 specifically to swing harder and generate more power. He sacrificed some K's for that, but from May 16 onwards last season he had a 99 wRC+ (278 PA) after an awful start to the season

...and for an encore followed it by an awful end to the season. For what it’s worth IKF’s OBP/SLG/OPS by month in 2023 (courtesy of baseball reference.)

Apr/Mar 245/200/445
May       304/492/797
June      309/412/721
July        419/354/774
Aug        274/295/569
Sep/Oct  270/235/506

Arbitrary cutoff’s or sample sizes don’t tell us a lot except beyond that he has hot stretches and stretches where he could warm himself up on one of Neptune’s moons.

Being able to play shortstop is worth something,  maybe quite a lot, but that’s all I expect from IKF.

Mike Green - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 07:56 AM EST (#441146) #
I looked up IKF's game logs. May 16 was the game in Toronto when he homered.
bpoz - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 09:51 AM EST (#441147) #
I currently expect signings of B Snell and similar SPs any day now.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 10:22 AM EST (#441148) #
Curious to see where Shōta Imanaga signs, with the Yankees, Mets, and Giants in the latest rumours.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 11:20 AM EST (#441149) #
I used that cutoff because it was when he started to turn things around, as he attributed his bad start to trying a different approach at the plate. Month to month samples are hard to get a read on since many players are streaky and will have hot and cold stretches, but yes he did struggle down the stretch. My point was simply that with his improved hard hit and exit velocity, that the Jays might feel there is still some clay to work with and possibly mold into something better. Would I bet on that? No, but hey, we have to find some positive in this.
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 11:36 AM EST (#441150) #
Someone may already have pointed this out, but IKF is a career .278/.328/.463 hitter at Rogers Centre (59 PA). So he's at least comfortable in his new home ballpark.
electric carrot - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 12:01 PM EST (#441151) #
Put me down as not a fan of the IKF signing. I don't see the point. In almost all cases I prefer to play Biggio over IKF and I see this move as one more sign that management does not trust Biggio. I find when Biggio is given a little bit of rope he rewards the team and when he is used as a bench player he loses nearly all his value. My thinking would be to give him the super sub job where he plays most days and if he fails to deliver then look for a replacement.
Mike Green - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 12:03 PM EST (#441152) #
I was thinking that the club may have been influenced by seeing him on that day. I am not as negative on the acquisition as many here. On balance they are likely marginally overpaying for IKF. It's not a huge deal.

If the club uses Horwitz regularly at first base against RHP, the defence should be a little better than last year. Which will help things for the pitchers. In particular, it increases the chances that Tiedemann more than holds his own.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 12:14 PM EST (#441153) #
Wander France fired his lawyers and then failed to turn up in court in regard to charges of having an improper relationship with a minor. Police are now searching for him but haven't found him yet. There is new information that shows he had a dalliance with more than one minor and his perversion has cost him 182 million dollars. Thankfully we'll never see him on a baseball field again.
Ducey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 12:37 PM EST (#441154) #
"Put me down as not a fan of the IKF signing. I don't see the point. In almost all cases I prefer to play Biggio over IKF and I see this move as one more sign that management does not trust Biggio."

The point is that Biggio cant play 3B. They gave him the job in 2021 (52 games) and he was so good they went and traded for Chapman that offseason.

Paradoxically, he graded out pretty well that season per DRS with 12 runs saved per 1200. That certainly did not match the eye test. But he does not grade out well defensively anywhere (last year his DRS was -10/ 1200 at 2B and -11/ 1200 OF) and has not had an OPS+ over 100 in 3 years.

So maybe there is a reason not to trust him.

I'm cheering for him, but GM's dont last long hoping against hope.

Worst case scenario for this signing is that Biggio finds his game and makes IKF unnecessary. But so what? Its just $7.5 M.

More likely is that IKF provides a floor at 3B and a few others (maybe even Biggio) compete with him for the job there. If they are better, great, then you have a super sub who can spell others off and cover injury.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 12:38 PM EST (#441155) #
* SS Bichette
* DH Belt
* 1B Guerrero
* RF Springer
* LF Teoscar
* 3B Chapman
* C Jansen/Kirk
* 2B Biggio/Schneider
* CF Varsho/Kiermaier

* UT Biggio/Schneider
* OF Varsho/Kiermaier
* IF Falafel
* C Jansen/Kirk
Dewey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:09 PM EST (#441156) #
Ugly, time is precious. Why do you waste ours with 'posts' like this? Crap.
Do you have something you'd like to say here? Something intelligible?
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:16 PM EST (#441157) #
I’m fine with UO’s post. I interpreted it as suggesting that the position player component of the roster could be adequately (if not ideally) completed by making a couple of more feasible/affordable moves (Belt and Teoscar).
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:18 PM EST (#441158) #
Belt, Teoscar and Chapman, I mean (three acquisitions not two).
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:23 PM EST (#441159) #
Dewey, time is precious, why would you waste all our time with petty nonsense like that?

Please be better in the new year.
Dewey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:31 PM EST (#441160) #
That’s nice, greenfrog. (It only took you seven minutes to defend ugly this time when I criticized him. You’re slowing down.)

But the main point remains: why should a post have to be “interpreted”? Can’t the writer make his point clearly? Ugly’s habit is a very self-indulgent one. I risked saying so.

Your response is lame, ugly. And I suspect you know it. The criticism is valid, not ‘nonsense’. Shape up, yourself.
christaylor - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:31 PM EST (#441161) #
Personally, I like the inclusion of Falafel by uglyone. Toronto's excellent and inexpensive falafel has been under-utilized by baseball ops for many decades.

Happy New Year. I think Dewey's point is that it's worth providing at least a line or two of commentary.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:34 PM EST (#441162) #
"It is possible and would be nice to add all of Chapman, Teo, Belt".

There you go, Dewey. No more interpretation needed. Happy New Year.
Mike Green - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:39 PM EST (#441163) #
I think it's a coded late Christmas wish request, Dewey, along with a lineup suggestion. I could be wrong.

The bottom line is: UO prefers offence to defence and has an affection for old friends (and acquaintances). It's almost New Year's and seasonal. I however promise to never link to Auld Lang Syne.
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 01:40 PM EST (#441164) #
I disagree, Dewey. I think UO's way of making his points is unique, but not wrong. He was evidently mapping out how the roster would look after his three proposed moves. Arguably, that approach (which admittedly requires the reader to draw inferences) is more enlightening or suggestive than stating a proposal in a sentence or two.
bpoz - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 02:00 PM EST (#441165) #
I think Chapman and Teo will want 5 year contracts. Chapman probably deteriorates in O & D. Teo hopefully can hit for 5 years. I think Teo $17mil per year for 5 years. But I could be wrong.
Dewey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 02:03 PM EST (#441166) #
Ralphie tells me backchannel that Ovaltine has a new decoder-ring for ugly’s posts. I’ve already ordered it, and can hardly wait to use it.
Nigel - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 02:13 PM EST (#441167) #
Count me as sceptical that 29 year olds with over 2000 career PAs will magically become something that they are not (league average hitters). Of course it does happen, so hope springs eternal. I suspect IKF is the near every day 3B this year. You could do worse as I’d guess he could put up between 1-2 WAR in that role. I just don’t see the point at the cost (given the internal resources). Even a one year deal for that role would make far more sense. At this point in the offseason, running it back with a slightly worse roster seems to be the plan. It makes a lot of marketing sense but a little less so from a baseball perspective. Let’s wait to see where they’re at in the spring.
johnny was - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 02:24 PM EST (#441168) #
Every time I see mention of IKF, my mind translates his name to "Ralph Kiner's Falafel." There's no cure for this.
electric carrot - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:06 PM EST (#441169) #
I thought uglyone's point was quite obvious. Also, I will note that I can be quite obtuse. I'm not saying anything grand here. Just one pointed orange vegetable mumbling into the void. I recognize there are a lot of different colors and shapes.
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:19 PM EST (#441170) #
Teoscar's stats are trending in the wrong direction, including his career-high 211 strikeouts last year. I would pass on him (unless he's available on a one-year contract).
scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:29 PM EST (#441171) #
Biggio doesn't have the arm for third base.
I think Schneider was actually drafted as a third baseman but I don't think his arm is any better.

Barger has the arm, but maybe not the glove.

I have no problem with IKF at 3B.
They probably feel that they need elite defense at 3B to help Bichette.
Chapman is too expensive and was a better offensive player only in April last year.
I keep repeating this, but April is like spring training, you can't trust those numbers.

Also, with IKF, you can platoon him and pinch hit.
He's comparable to Espinal with the bat, but he's a better defender at third and he can steal a base and lay down a bunt.

92-93 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:33 PM EST (#441172) #
From May 1st through the end of the '23 season:

Chapman .205/.298/.361 49R 12HR 33RBI (467pa)
Kiner-Falefa .250/.316/.366 35R 6HR 35RBI (308pa)

Justin Turner played a competent 3B in '22 but didn't play there last year because of Devers. His bat tailed off in September but he still finished with a strong .276/.345/.455 line. If the Jays think he can still handle 3B he makes a lot of sense on a 1-year deal because they could add him and another OF/DH bat and be pretty well covered across the diamond. They shouldn't go anywhere near Chapman at his predicted price tag.

i'm always amused by uglyone's stats-based posts without even an attempt at a conclusion. This time I figured he was outlining what a horrendous offseason plan would look like, one that would hamper the team's payroll for years to come. Nice theoretical for '24, though.
Mike Green - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:37 PM EST (#441173) #
Varsho has been a better player than Teoscar over the last year, the last two years or the last 3 years, and he's 4 years younger.

Teoscar is a better hitter, but that’s only one part of the game. Kiner-Falefa is likely a more valuable player than Teoscar this year. And I like Teoscar.
scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:39 PM EST (#441174) #
Don't need Chapman at this price.
I don't think Teo is ready to be a full time DH and he would be redundant with Belt.
I would welcome Belt back, but I'd settle for Joc Pederson as DH.

With the current configuration, they can still use a LF who bats right to platoon with KK.
I don't think that's Teo.

scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 03:44 PM EST (#441175) #
The Teoscar trade was a good trade even if Macko never puts it together.
Swanson has been great and is in Toronto for 2 more years.

SK in NJ - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 04:59 PM EST (#441176) #
According to Enrique Rojas:

"Source: Blue Jays have taken the lead in the race for the services of cuban pitcher Yariel Rodríguez, who is close to making a decision about his future"
mathesond - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:06 PM EST (#441177) #
"I however promise to never link to Auld Lang Syne."

I dunno, Mike. This version seems to always get me in the spirit of the season.
Dr B - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:24 PM EST (#441178) #
Justin Turner played competent 3B...

Great idea. I wish they'd done that. But then where would that leave IKF? (Yes, I know: on the bench. But then why bother acquiring him?)

I'd be ok with Chapman for a year even if he is overpriced.  But in the long term I'd like to see the Jays best prospects. Which brings me to a related thought. Baseball is, in the end, entertainment. In the short term IKF is a better player than the replacements from the minors. Wouldn't you be more entertained to see the prospects get a chance though? I'd be willing to sacrifice a little bit of WAR for a little bit of entertainment.

Ducey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:26 PM EST (#441179) #
Chapman .205/.298/.361 49R 12HR 33RBI (467pa)
Kiner-Falefa .250/.316/.366 35R 6HR 35RBI (308pa)

Wow, that's an eye opener.
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:41 PM EST (#441180) #
Blue Jays have taken the lead in the race for the services of cuban pitcher Yariel Rodríguez

As someone wrote on MLBTR about this rumour, "Ugh, with these 'taken the lead with XYZ free agent' reports."

I feel the same way.
Dr B - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:45 PM EST (#441181) #
Wow, that's an eye opener.

Well I guess it depends what conclusion one is led to here. April did also happen after all.
John Northey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:48 PM EST (#441182) #
Yariel Rodríguez is interesting - had a very good year in relief in Japan in 2022 (1.15 ERA over 56 games 54 2/3 IP) but took 2023 off to force free agency. Was a solid starter for Cuba for years. Is entering his age 27 season. I wouldn't guarantee him a position in the rotation, but in the pen he'd be solid. The question becomes who goes to make space? White is the obvious choice, but I keep hoping the Jays find a home for Garcia and/or Richards so a slot or two could open up for Pearson and a spring surprise or for this guy.

IKF I'm warming up to the more I see here. Glad so many are also digging into stats to try to find what there is there vs what we had in 2023 and earlier, vs what we have now. A shame we don't have better AAA fielding stats. Checking his assorted splits at BR I see high leverage he hit 311/377/356 vs 228/295/359 in low leverage. Vs power pitchers a sOPS+ of 48, vs finesse a 92. Fly ball pitchers, a 75, ground ball 106. He was 2 for 3 on bunts. The teams he hit best against were the Jays (224), Mariners 223, and O's 159. A night time sOPS+ of 108, daytime 32.

So nighttime, facing ground ball pitchers is the best thing to do with him. Days off should be vs Fly ball pitchers on day games. Since he bats right, lets check Biggio as a mix/match...

Biggio: Power 81, mixed 127, finesse 83. Fly ball 92, avg 112, ground ball 71. Day 103, night 90. We might have a good mix - Biggio vs guys who are neither power or finesse, during the day, who aren't ground ball pitchers.

Espinal: Power 88, mixed 64, finesse 82. Fly ball 81, neither 81, ground ball 55. Day 108, night 50. So we have our daytime hitter, who should never face a ground ball pitcher or a guy who isn't power or finesse.

So to maximize their skills, Power pitchers you use Espinal, mixed P/F Biggio, Finesse IKF. Fly ball Biggio, mixed F/G Espinal, Ground ball IKF. Nights IKF, day Espinal. Mix and match as needed with those in mind and you should maximize their skill sets. I recall reading somewhere that vs Power/Finesse is a strong skill set, same for Ground ball/fly ball facing - that those are stronger than LH/RH. So maybe IKF is a good mix - kind of weird how much daytime trouble he had last year, guess the Cubs were not a team he should ever play for :)
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 05:57 PM EST (#441183) #
Signing Yariel Rodriguez and trading Manoah/Tiderman for an Isaac Paredes sort of trade would be a good way to salvage the offseason.
Glevin - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:16 PM EST (#441184) #
Turner can’t play 3B. He’s 39 and was atrocious in his few appearances there last year. He’s a DH.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:18 PM EST (#441185) #
No teams are trading their top prospect anymore. I son't expect Tiedemann to go unless its for Jose Ramirez or an undervalued player of that caliber.

uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:24 PM EST (#441186) #
"rom May 1st through the end of the '23 season:

Chapman .205/.298/.361 49R 12HR 33RBI (467pa)
Kiner-Falefa .250/.316/.366 35R 6HR 35RBI (308pa)


i'm always amused by uglyone's stats-based posts without even an attempt at a conclusion."

and i'm always amused to see grand conclusions attempted to be drawn from, say, a half-season's worth of stats.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:27 PM EST (#441187) #
"But then where would that leave IKF? (Yes, I know: on the bench. But then why bother acquiring him?)"

he makes the same amount as Whit did last year. KK makes the same amount as he did last year.

Those guys weren't signed to be full-time starters last year, so I doubt they're signed to be full-time starters this year.

christaylor - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:37 PM EST (#441188) #
I'd take the under on any predictions on a Chapman contract. He may even need to take a pillow contract. Ditto on Bellinger. Baseball folks know the hot April and bad batted ball info...
dalimon5 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 06:52 PM EST (#441189) #
KK had a great interview with Mike Willner. He discussed that he was injured battling foot issues that made him contemplate retirement. He also said he basically had no other offers in free agency which was a bit shocking. Lastly, I must admit he talked about the turf and how it is an issue for any outfielder, so other posters were right to assume he didn't want turf if given another option.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 07:06 PM EST (#441190) #
A Tiderman/Manoah for Nolan Gorman deal works for me as well.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 07:37 PM EST (#441191) #
Tiedemann throws 96-102 MPH from the left side of the mound.

He strikes out hitters like crazy.

He has three good to elite pitches right now.

He has control as good as Blake Snell.

There is no way the Jays trade him unless they are getting back a player like Jose Ramirez, Luis Robert, Fernando Tatis Jr or Mike Trout + tons of cash.
Nigel - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 07:38 PM EST (#441192) #
The conclusion I reach from those numbers is that both Chapman and IKF sucked at the plate from May 1 on. Is there any other conclusion to be drawn from that?
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 07:48 PM EST (#441193) #
I guess the argument the contrarians are advancing is something like, why pay a large amount of money to Chapman when you can get Chapman-lite offense and defense from IKF at a much lower price.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 08:00 PM EST (#441194) #
The question is whether you should be drawing any conclusion at all from a small, selective sample like that.

(the answer is no, you should not)
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 08:08 PM EST (#441195) #
I like Kiermaier but it sounds as if the injuries are starting to add up at this stage of his career. The Blue Jays should acquire another competent outfielder so that in 2024 they can practice proper load management and strategic deployment of Varsho, KK and Springer.
christaylor - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 08:18 PM EST (#441196) #
There is no random sampling in baseball stats. Arbitrary and selective endpoints in reporting baseball stats are problematic, yes, but the mere selection of the time window reveals what one believes.

The argument that the last half-season of observed stats is a good predictor of what we'll see in the next half one is not a terrible one, especially given the two players being compared.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 08:47 PM EST (#441197) #
As much as Tiderman throws the ball amongst his peers, Nolan Gorman also hits balls just as hard, and he’s not hurt all the time.
scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 09:01 PM EST (#441198) #
Chapman was with the Jays 2 full seasons.

Offensively, he's had an OPS between .716 and .757 the last 3 years.

That's a bottom of the order bat.

scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 09:08 PM EST (#441199) #
Most teams don't believe that Yariel Rodriguez can be a starter, but he's exactly the type who could compete with Manoah and Mitch White for the 5th starter and long man role.

He's thrown 0 innings last year, 54 the year before and 33 the one before that.

scottt - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 09:15 PM EST (#441200) #
The only team I heard that could be interested in Chapman is the Yankees.
LeMahieu is currently penciled at 3B.

Mike Green - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 09:58 PM EST (#441201) #
Thanks, mathesond. Happy New Year!
dalimon5 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 10:41 PM EST (#441202) #

Left handed starting pitchers that throw that hard and strike out that many are extremely rare...can you name any players that do this? The closest would be Shane McClanahan. Ricky is the 4th ranked pitching prospect in baseball and that was after he was knocked down lower because of his injury. He has since returned and won pitcher of the year in the Arizona Fall League. I expect him to be named the #2 pitching prospect after phenom Paul Skenes after the next update.

Nolan Goreman has an average exit velocity of 91MPH...he doesn't crack top 50 in the league and he ranks very poorly in strike percentage. I don't think there's any chance the Jays trade Ricky for him unless theres another piece or two added to the return.

John Northey - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 11:37 PM EST (#441203) #
dalimon5 - left handed starters who throw hard who are often injured (for whatever reason) rarely become what we dream of - yeah, the odd one becomes Randy Johnson, but most flame out well before that happens.

FWIW trade values had a Gorman for Tiedemann/Manoah deal as fair for both teams. I'd be very hesitant to deal Manoah right now after his worst season, but if the Jays get that Cuban pitcher then it'd be very tempting although the net does disappear for the pitching staff then. Gorman appears to be a 3+ WAR 2B/3B if he plays everyday with potential for more and has under 2 years service time in the majors so 5 years of control left. Very tempting but very risky - odds are Gorman won't blow up (hitters are fairly predictable) but the risk is Manoah gets back to Cy form and Tiedemann does the same.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 29 2023 @ 11:53 PM EST (#441204) #
There haven't been enough LHP with his talent and pitches to even have comparables. I can only think of the TB Ace. You just cant trade a potential #1 LHP, period. I think you guys are severely undervaluing both Rocky's floor and ceiling. He's nothing like Pearson.
Ducey - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 12:02 AM EST (#441205) #
IF (that is a big if) Gorman was a stud 3b MAYBE you trade Manoah and Ricky T for him. But he has been largely a 2B so far. To give two potential aces for a 2B when the Jays have lots of options there, would be folly.

I'll take my chances with Schneider/Biggio/Orelvis/ Manaoh/ Tiedeman providing more value than 2B Gorman.
John Northey - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 01:01 AM EST (#441206) #
FanGraphs rating for each - Tiedemann peak so far is a 55 (this year and last), a 40+ before that. Pearson 2020 & 2021: 60, 2018 & 2019 a 50, no Pearson before that.

Based on that I'd say Tiedemann isn't quite at the level Pearson was for hype yet. Now, could he be with one more year in the minors? Sure. Just remember, Pearson was a 'sure thing' a 'don't trade him' guy. IMO better to trade a year early than to be screwed a year late. Pearson now has minimal value. Could Tiedemann become a Cy winner? Sure. Heck, Robbie Ray did, then his arm fell off (luckily with someone else paying the price).
bpoz - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 08:42 AM EST (#441207) #
Regarding trades most of us are giving Arizona a slight advantage in the Moreno trade. We probably need 2 more years of results to be sure.

It is hard to continue being patient with Pearson. He is considered a reliever now. Tiedemann is a SP with outstanding minor league numbers. Manoah had 2 outstanding years in the ML. Both Pearson and Manoah have something to prove in 2024. They have to be healthy and 2 months of ML results will decide how good they are. Same for Tiedemann but in the minors.

N Gorman is a good player and probably ranked high on the top 100 prospect list. Orelvis, Barger and Palmegiani have not ranked high on the prospect list. None are SB threats, all have power. Maybe Gorman has the most power and maybe he has elite D while our prospects have not convinced anyone that their D is good.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 09:36 AM EST (#441208) #
Gorman has only played 2B because of Nolan Arrenado, he is a third baseman. He lost a lot of value playing 2B, as he really doesn’t have the foot speed. He has 70 power and 40 hit peaking at 38 as a top prospect. Where as Tiderman has a 60 fastball with 50 control. They’re both extreme prospects in their own rights.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 09:55 AM EST (#441209) #
Interesting that Goreman is not a 2B by trade, I did not know that. I also didn't see that power rating. That's also very rare and impressive.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 10:58 AM EST (#441210) #
Regarding Kiermaier’s interview where he mentioned the lack of interest in him this winter from other teams and a foot injury, I’m wondering if they actually did bring him in to be the 4th OF. Last season they seemed to promise him CF so there wasn’t much wiggle room but it doesn’t appear that sort of promise exists this season. A bench of Kiermaier, IKF, Jansen/Kirk, and Biggio would be deep and one of the best in the game (granted probably one of the more expensive ones as well). Of course that means they’ll still need to get a LF, DH, and 3B. A 4th OF will almost always get about 400 PA due to injuries, rest, etc, so Kiermaier would play a fair bit regardless. Hopefully that’s the plan because Varsho should be in CF as much as possible.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 12:03 PM EST (#441211) #
Speaking of somewhat cryptic posts, here’s another one:

Alex Anthopoulos is entering the final year of his contract extension with Atlanta.

Discuss (if you wish).
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 12:13 PM EST (#441212) #
I'd like to see two more players, one an outfielder and the second mainly a DH with some power.

Speaking of power, The Athletic did a summary of wacky hitting stats and at the top was Kyle Schwarber. His final 2023 numbers: .197 batting average, 47 HRs, 104 RBIs, 108 runs scored, 126 walks.

So, looking at his numbers, you figure he'd best slot in at 4,5, or 6 in the lineup. However, on June 2 the Phillies batted him leadoff and left him there the rest of the season. During that time, he has an OPS of 1.056 and the Phillies went 65-41. Also, despite the .197 average, he had an OPS+ of 122. There was a batter who had an average of .306 that finished with an OPS+ of 123, none other than our own Bo Bichette.

And finally, because Schwarber is not exactly a gazelle in the outfield, he only had a WAR value of .6 ! Does this call into question the true accuracy of WAR? His team was 24 games above .500 with him batting leadoff, a 99 win pace over a season. Surely he must have been worth more than half a win above replacement.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 01:21 PM EST (#441213) #
Absolutely WAR is massively overused and not comprehensive or even accurate to me, but helpful.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 02:34 PM EST (#441214) #
AA winning again. Chris Sale to the Braves.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 02:35 PM EST (#441215) #
Another trade for the Ninja:

Red Sox have traded Chris Sale to Atlanta for prospect Vaughn Grissom.
christaylor - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 03:30 PM EST (#441216) #
Imagine the outcry if the Jays front office traded any sort of prospect for a very broken Chris Sale. I suppose this is the sort of move a team can make when a they are set long term with position players.

Red Sox fans are very happy with this New Year's gift.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 03:42 PM EST (#441217) #
Easier to make that claim about Sale when he wouldn't easily be your 2nd best starter on your team if you acquired him.
John Northey - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 03:53 PM EST (#441218) #
Impressive for AA - getting a Cy contender (record holder for most K/9 lifetime) for a prospect. Trade Values feels it is an overpay for Atlanta, but in eyeshot (they had Sale at -$5.7 mil of value vs +$17.1 for Grissom, $17 mil added in by Boston to balance it out somewhat, but still an excess pay of $6 mil roughly). If Sale is healthy though this could be a major steal for AA - Sale still has a $20 mil option for 2025 (locked in if he is top 10 in Cy voting and not on IL at the end of the season).

Meanwhile the rumor mill was the Jays being interested in Gio Urshela. Seems odd with IKF in house now, but as a mix-match guy it could work. He has a lifetime 290/328/445 mark vs LHP, enhanced by a 373/377/490 line last year. His sOPS+ in high leverage last year was 129, 812 OPS lifetime (something this team could certainly use - sOPS+ isn't there for career numbers). Vs power pitchers he had a 142 sOPS+ in 2023, but drops to a 697 OPS lifetime (vs his lifetime 804 vs finesse pitchers, 742 last year). Last year he hit fly ball and ground ball pitchers about the same (106-104 sOPS+), slightly better vs fly ball pitchers in his career 747 OPS vs 722 (ground ball pitchers). The clutch stats make one think this is what the Jays are looking for (ahem, 0 playoff wins this decade). But his 91 OPS+ last year isn't hopeful, nor is coming off an injury. Last year he played 3B/1B and a bit at SS/2B. He did play a game in LF back in 2019, and as an infielder odds are he could handle it as part of a mix-match out there.

Like IKF he is more like what we have here but a bit stronger at 3B than Biggio/Espinal/Schneider/assorted kids. Basically he'd raise the floor for this team, but not help raise the ceiling. IE: reduce the odds of a disaster season but not jump the odds of a 'yahoo' season. As a bench guy he'd be nice in the playoffs with those clutch stats (lord knows this team needs that) but his postseasons stats lifetime suck - 211/247/342 - outside of the ALCS in 2019 (828 OPS) and the ALWC round of 2020 (967 OPS). Very tough to know if he is useful or not, the more I look into it. Basically if signed then Espinal HAS to be dumped, with Schneider at risk of being sent to AAA. I doubt he'll be signed, but he might be a backup plan if no trade or signing of Chapman happens so the Jays have more 3B options in 2024.

Btw, for those who want to hear from KK he is on the Mike Wilner Podcast and is VERY enthusiastic on it. One wonders if he is part human/part squirrel given the high energy he radiates throughout the interview. He had some foot issues late last season and is working on ways to avoid having that happen again in 2024, He sounds like a guy who really takes health seriously after all the issues he has had, and wants to prove the other 29 teams were dumb not to sign him this winter. Seems he is a bit frustrated about how few contacted him at all. I mean, here is a gold glove CF who is a positive force for the clubhouse - any team with kids should've been chasing him hard as he helps the pitching staff, young OF, and with his positive attitude would help in media relations too - looking at you Pittsburgh (they have a nice kid in CF but his defense is rated poorly, so put the kid in RF and let him play once or twice a week in CF).
John Northey - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 04:30 PM EST (#441219) #
Looking at the trade simulator it is nuts what Atlanta has thanks to good signings by AA. 3 guy over 175 - Acuna, Harris, and Strider. Basically guys so valuable vs contract that you almost can't put a package together for them. 3 more over 50 - Riley, Albies, and Olsen. 4 in the 20's, 4 in the 10's.

For comparison the Jays have 1 over 40 - Bo (55.9), 2 in the 30's (Tiedemann, Gausman), Kirk is the lone 20's, 6 in the 10's (Orelvis Martinez, Jansen, Manoah, Varsho, Nimmala, Schneider)

Of course, Atlanta only has one minor leaguer at 10+ in Hurston Waldrep (15) vs the 3 for the Jays (Tiedemann, Orelvis, Nimmala) but with that massive talent surplus in the majors they don't need much from down there.

With those long term deals there is a risk of ugly deals hanging around. Atlanta has 2 at -10 or worse in Joe Jimenez and David Fletcher (neither at -20). Jays have Berrios at -30, Springer -24, and Green at -11.7. Basically you'd need to pay someone to take them this site suggests. Hard to argue on Springer, Green it depends on if he is at 100% this year or not, and Berrios, well, skip 2022 and he'd be a positive projection I suspect but that year did happen thus the negative view.

Of course for really ugly look to the Angels with Anthony Rendon -84.7 and Trout -69.7, Mariners have Robbie Ray -43.1 (phew Jays were smart to take Gausman instead), Padres with Machado -132.9 and 3 more in the -20's (Bogaerts, Cronenworth, Darvish), Phillies with 2 bad ones (Trea Turner -50, Castellanos -46. Rangers have an ugly one in Jacob deGrom -85.6. Rays have Wander Franco (was a 100+ positive pre-getting caught, -163 now as he is seen as having no value), Red Sox have Trevor Story -66.2. Rockies Kris Bryant -124.9 (a guy many here wanted the Jays to kick tires on at least, me included, thankfully they didn't touch him) plus 3 more -20 or worse. Royals worst is Salvador Perez -32 (local favorite so they felt they had to sign him). Tigers have Javier Baez -83. Twins Carlos Correa -45.7 and Byron Buxton -24. White Sox only have one real ugly in Benintendi -39. And our favorites, the Yankees, have Giancarlo Stanton -80, Carlos Rodon -30, and D.J. LeMahieu -19.6 - another I'm glad the Jays didn't sign.

Those ugly deals are all reminders of how 'winning' the offseason sometimes can be a curse instead. I see a very good chance that the Ohtani deal could shift from +66 now to a big negative easily, same for Glasnow (if he lives up to the first part of his name yet again - has never thrown more than 120 innings in the majors - at age 23 he did get to 155 IP between AAA and Pittsburgh somehow), and Yamamoto's 12 year deal carries MASSIVE risk (there is a reason HOF GM Gillick refused to go past 2 years with pitchers for a long, long time) - heck, look at Manoah for a prime example of how it doesn't even take an injury for a pitcher to go from Cy to AAA.

In the end it might be for the best the Jays kept being unable to get anyone to take their money. More flexibility next winter when they have to put a big push on to sign Bo & Vlad long term and maybe go after Soto. I suspect they still will keep the door open for Bellinger and Chapman, but odds are low either will sign here at this point (to be honest Chapman is the one I'd prefer at this stage).
greenfrog - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 04:31 PM EST (#441220) #
I'm guessing the point of trading for pitchers like Glasnow and Sale is not to try to get 170+ regular season innings from them. Rather, it's to try to keep them healthy for September-November, when their stuff and experience will matter the most.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 05:01 PM EST (#441221) #
One nice aspect of the trade from Atlanta's perspective is that Sale is under control for 2024 with a club option ($20m) for 2025. Not sure if Baseball Trade Values captures the significant value that the 2025 club option represents for the Braves.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 05:40 PM EST (#441222) #
Atlanta also receives $17 M in cash.
Glevin - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 05:54 PM EST (#441223) #
Sale has upside so I get why braves made the trade but downside is enormous and grissom is a real piece. Sale has pitched around 150 IP in last 4 years combined and will be 35 next season. I get the trade for them but also think it's a good one for Boston.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 06:14 PM EST (#441224) #
The memo for Grisham is he can't play SS and can't turn a double play as a 2B so who knows how useful he will be.
lexomatic - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 06:38 PM EST (#441225) #
I think it was clear Grissom no longer had a place on the team. Fwiw I hear the defense is DH bad everywhere, and thr bat maybe not good enough for that. Sure there's upside, but it makes sense for both sides. Maybe the Green Monster inflates Grissoms ability. Or they decide to live with his defense.
scottt - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 08:30 PM EST (#441226) #
I just saw a picture of Vladdy in the gym dated Dec 17 and he looks incredibly fit.

scottt - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 08:39 PM EST (#441227) #
I'm sure they looked on Urshela before signing IKF.
Urshela has not played since last June after breaking his pelvis.
He might be ready for spring training but he might take a long time to get back in form too.

John Northey - Saturday, December 30 2023 @ 11:27 PM EST (#441228) #
Yeah, pretty sure Urshela was a backup choice to IKF. Right now the Jays pretty much are set for backups with Biggio-Espinal-IKF-Clement for the infield, Lukes-Eden for the OF before you get into the prospects (Orelvis Martinez, Barger, etc.) and Schneider (who I hope plays everyday more or less at least to start the season). So really what they need is a 4th OF who'd cover for the frequent days off KK & Springer both require (could be Schneider or Barger), a 3B who play everyday or nearly everyday so not too much time is required from IKF there. and a pure hitter as DH (plenty out there so no rush).

Yeah, the A team in FA is gone (Ohtani, Yamamoto) but Chapman and Bellinger are still out there, as are Snell, Montgomery (no QO), Imanaga (no QO), and even Teoscar (I don't see a real fit, but who knows?). I'm expecting a couple more minor moves unless a big trade comes together - a RH OF to be the 4th who'd get 300+ PA and can hit but is a meh or poor fielder, a DH as well.
mendocino - Sunday, December 31 2023 @ 09:12 AM EST (#441229) #
Don't forget about Otto, batting over .300 this winter, games played 2B-17g, CF-6g, LF-2g.
92-93 - Sunday, December 31 2023 @ 12:46 PM EST (#441230) #
IKF was likely signed to be the starting 3B and replace what Chapman gave them the last 5 months of '23. It would be weird if they went after Urshela too.
Nigel - Sunday, December 31 2023 @ 08:15 PM EST (#441231) #
Agreed - IKF is very likely to be the starting 3B this year. I don't like the signing but if it was a choice between IKF and Urshela, then the FO made the right choice.

Happy New Year to Bauxites. Another enjoyable year on this site - one of the few public forum's of its ilk where the signal to noise ratio is tilted the right way and where civility still holds court. Compliments to the administrators and the community in general.
John Northey - Sunday, December 31 2023 @ 11:50 PM EST (#441232) #
The latest rumor makes more sense than Gio Ursela. Joc Pederson - a LH DH/corner OF. He had a 150 wRC+ through June 1st but then got hurt, when he returned June 18th he had a 92 wRC+ the rest of the way which hurt his value drastically (ala Chapman playing while hurt late in the season). The biggest issue was his BABIP dropping from 317 to 247 during the slump. I see him as a solid option as a LH DH using whichever catcher has the day off as the RH DH, or giving Springer or Vlad a day off the field.
So what would this make the lineup?
  • C: Jansen/Kirk (in whatever order)
  • 1B: Vlad of course - backup Biggio and others
  • 2B: Mix/match of Biggio-Schneider-Espinal
  • 3B: IKF - backups are Biggio-Espinal
  • SS: Bo - backups are IKF and Espinal
  • LF: Varsho - backup Schneider
  • CF: Kiermaier - backup Varsho
  • RF: Springer - backup Biggio
  • DH: Pederson or whoever is signed mixed with whoever doesn't catch, Springer, Vlad
That leaves a slot open so they could potentially sign a LH and a RH DH - wouldn't be the best idea imo, but it is there.

One more thing to look at - kids. The Baseball Cube has spring training stats, which are of limited value but can provide insights. Orelvis Martinez has been in 3 ML spring trainings so far - 29 games, 45 AB's - 333/423/778 line. Over 1000 OPS every one of those 3 seasons (11-13-21 AB's in those 3 seasons). This kid can hit decent pitching. I'm hoping the Jays give him a real shot in spring. He could win 2B (where they seem to want him to play now), he has lots of experience at SS and 3B too. He could be ready and if so the Jays might have the power they were looking for with him at 2B and Schneider in LF, put Varsho in CF most of the time and have KK spend a lot of time on the bench. The potential is there.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 12:19 AM EST (#441233) #
Happy New Year! Nigel, let me echo your compliments to Batters Box. The best place for civilized discourse.
bpoz - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 10:25 AM EST (#441234) #
Still a lot of off season left. The good SP FAs like Stroman, the DH power hitters like Pederson and trades for teams that cannot afford FAs. Should be exciting.
Marc Hulet - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 10:28 AM EST (#441235) #
The last time the Jays rushed Orelvis, they almost ruined him. He only had 50+ games at AAA and was only 5% better than average. I'd leave him at AAA to force his way up. IMO the spring stats from past years are meaningless as hitting prospects typically play late in games when the AA pitchers are also in the game... so not MLB caliber pitching.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 10:46 AM EST (#441236) #
I'd also agree to keep him in the minors for extended time. The Rays keep their prospects down for a long time until they feel they can't improve further. Snell, McClanahan, Franco and Longoria all followed this pattern.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 02:52 PM EST (#441237) #
I don't think Orelvis is ready yet. The Jays don't seem to view him as a 3B anymore and I don't see him being a better option at 2B than Schneider at this point (who has a 2 WAR, 113 wRC+ projection for 2024). If he forces his way up mid season, then that's a good scenario for the Jays.

Joc Pederson would be a good signing for DH, and if needed LF (though he's bad there).
Mike Green - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 03:48 PM EST (#441238) #
To be clear, both Steamer and ZiPS project Schneider to be a 2/3 to 3/4 time player. Steamer has him at 2 WAR over 2/3 of a season. ZiPS has him at 2.9 WAR over 3/4 of a season. He does not have significant platoon splits or injury history. There's no reason to play him less than full-time if he performs as projected, as he has a better projection than any position player on the club other than Bichette.

Of course, many people doubt his ability to meet these projections because he was streaky.
John Northey - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 09:13 PM EST (#441239) #
I agree Schneider should play everyday to start the season until/unless he shows he can't handle it. I just see Orelvis as being very, very close to the majors. If Schneider earns full time play and Orelvis shows he is ready then the Jays have a good problem. Put Orelvis in at 2B and put Schneider in LF more or less full time with Kiermaier mix and match out there, Schneider going to 2B or 1B or DH on days KK plays maybe. Just a shame Orelvis seems to have lost the Jays confidence in him playing at 3B.

Of course if Chapman is resigned or another 3B is brought in then things get very complicated quickly. Then I suspect Espinal will need to be traded with IKF taking over the RH infield backup role. Chapman's market isn't the best right now - Jays, Cubs, Giants with the Mets, Angels, Yankees, Mariners as slim possibilities. The MLBTR poll has him going to the Giants with the Cubs & Jays tied for 2nd pretty much. Signing for $100-125 mil (28%), 25% think it'll be $75-100 mil, 20% in the $126-150 range, and 16% think he is screwed with $75 mil or less (basically a 1-2 year deal). Just 11% think he'll get over $150 mil. If he signs for sub $125 mil I'd love for him to return. He is a solid 3-4 WAR player with potential for more. $150+ I'm going 'no thanks, good luck elsewhere'. 5 years MAX, ideally 3 years (if he tries for a pillow deal of 1-2 years the Jays would be very happy to accommodate I'm sure). Really seems the Jays are being smart to hold off on him, wait until he comes to the them with an offer the Jays like. I'm sure they gave him parameters for a deal (short term 1-2 years $25-$30 mil per, 5 years at a total of $100-$125 mil) but nothing in stone.

As to what I'd like right now - see Richards or Garcia traded (both have the 'proven reliever' tag), then sign back Jay Jackson who was very good in relief last year and has yet to get any nibbles it seems. Heck trade both and then get Hicks back as well (his contract wouldn't be any worse than those 2 combined). If any team likes those 2 relievers I'd be trading them for minor league lottery tickets in a second (those can be useful mid-season in trades, more so than relievers who aren't used as setup or closer can). The Jays have a deep pen, time to clear out some of the expensive guys who are 6/7 on the list.
John Northey - Monday, January 01 2024 @ 11:03 PM EST (#441240) #
Btw, this could've been a lot worse of a winter. Rays just saw Franco arrested - no way he is ever coming back.

MLBTR has a free agent spending by team summary up. 4 teams have spent $0 on FA - Yankees & Cubs among them. The Rays have spent more ($1.1 mil) than the Yankees on Free Agents thus far this winter. Who'd have thunk it? Yeah, they did the 'wow' with getting Soto, but that's about it (sigh, if only the Jays did that, but then our thin minors would be empty). Craig Kimbrel was a good grab by the O's with their closer out for 2024 (one year deal too). Jays just the 2 we all went 'wha' about (KK & IKF) to improve defense. The Royals & Reds both went over $100 mil this winter (surprised me), #2 in spending is the Phillies at $172 mil for Nola, while the Dodgers shattered all records at $1.043 billion.

Lots of pitching on the market - from Snell, Montgomery, Imanaga (has to sign soon or return to Japan), Stroman, and Kershaw (all would be fine signings by the Jays, but I'd be surprised if they signed any of them now) to assorted has been's and never were guys like Spencer Turnbull and Matt Boyd who are decent AAA guys for #8/9 on the depth chart now (wasn't long ago Boyd was seen as a guy you'd want to trade for but his last good year was 2019). Tons of relievers out there of course from a solid closer in Hader, talented scum like Chapman, solid setup guys like Stephenson & Hicks, guys from overseas like Woo Suk Go (so easy to see a mean fan base using his name badly), plus lots of ex-Jays like Ryan Tepera, Brad Hand, Liam Hendriks (out for most of 2024), Derek Law, Aaron Loup, Jay Jackson, and Hicks of course. Not hard to imagine the Jays signing Hendriks with an eye towards him helping late in the season and in the playoffs. If Boyd would go for a AAA deal I'd sign him (might need a ML level salary, but the Jays can afford that).

Yeah, most of the moves now are not 'wow' things, but depth is important. The biggest 'wow's left are bringing back Chapman, adding one of Imanaga-Montgomery-Stroman-Yariel Rodriguez to fill the rotation (make a starter available for trade - those guys all don't have QO attached unlike Snell). Bellinger is still there but I can't see that happening now with KK back. Another guy or two for AAA starting pitching. Plus a LH DH like Joc Pederson. We know a trade has to be on the way, but for whom? I guess it depends on where the last few big FA's go. I'm hoping for a young 3B who can mix-match with IKF as he gets broken in. Remember, the Jays won in 1993 with a kid at 3B who never had played full-time in the majors (Sprague) so it can work.
Michael - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 02:08 AM EST (#441241) #
I expect KK to be worse this year than last, but I still like the signing. So far the offseason seems reasonable even if we missed the biggest prizes. Still should be another move or two, but even in the worst case of this is the team we have as is, that is a decent team overall, with then wanting/needing kids or question marks (like Manoah) to come through. A good reasonably priced/reasonably short contract for a bat at DH/3B/LF and a good SP would be very nice to have to push the kids and question marks to depth/nice surprises rather than part of plan A.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 10:05 AM EST (#441242) #
Mike Wilner (who despite not being on the radio with the team anymore, remains on the day-to-day beat and definitely would have some insight) keeps bringing up Jose Ramirez as a possibility.  The Bally Sports fiasco will hurt the Guardians financially, who are already small market.  The Guardians have replaced Terry Francona with a rookie manager in Stephen Vogt, which might make it more likely the Guardians and their ownership (and Ramirez, who has a no trade clause) would be open to a trade.  According to MW, no trade clauses are not as much of a barrier to moving someone if there are two motivated parties involved.

I tend to agree with Wilner, although with how weak the AL Central is every year, it would be very tough for Cleveland to make such a move. They seem to always have enough pitching to get by. Their front office has also have made recent statements saying Ramirez will retire a Guardian. It would be smart for the Jays to exhaust this avenue, given their need for offensive thump, and a third baseman (I'm not including IKF, who could easily slide into a utility role). 
Glevin - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 10:20 AM EST (#441243) #
Right now, this is who I think definitely makes the team on offense:

Kirk, Jansen, Vlad, Schenider, Biggio, Bichette, IKF, Varsho, KK, Springer

I don't really see the point of Espinal on the roster at this point. He isn't the best or even second best choice at any position. If there's an injury to Bichette, I'd rather go Ernie Clement and IKF. Pederson would fit nicely as a LH bat with ability to play LF on occasion. All 3 starting OFers can play CF and IKF can play any position on the field and Biggio can play a bunch as well so they have a lot of flexibility. Ideally, I'd still like to see a trade for Polanco (+for Manoah?). If not, signing a couple of players who can hit would be great. Jays probably should have someone who can backup 1B. Belt back would be fantastic but seems unlikely. Hoskins and Pederson as short term adds would be amazing. Sure, there isn't theoretically room for everyone but in reality, shuffling guys through and injuries means everyone would play a lot. Also fine with Joey Votto as a part-time player to see if he can capture some hometown magic. Teoscar on a short-term deal would be great too. Can DH against most RH and play LF vs lefties. Still lots of options to make team better.

I think Jays definitely get another 1 or 2 fifth starter types. Yariel Rodriguez makes a ton of sense. I think I like Paxton the most as a fit of the major league guys. I also don't mind bringing Ryu back. I think bullpen is pretty set with Romano, Swanson, Green, Mayza, Garcia, Richards, Cabrera, and Pearson/White/Francis/6th starter. Jays definitely have some decent depth there.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 11:05 AM EST (#441244) #
I don't really love the idea of Pederson... he's not the worst option but he's really let his body go the last two years (there's enough of that on this roster) and likely will fall off a cliff quicker than most. He's also really slow and has negative defensive value.

Ideally they don't clog up the DH this year and use it instead on a rotational basis for Springer, Kirk/Jansen, etc... but they need to get another 3 promising bats - including two more OF.

If looking solely at a DH type, I'd rather role the dice with Hoskins' recovery from the knee injury. Also slow and limited defensively but he was a major power source/impact bat before missing 2023.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 12:26 PM EST (#441245) #
Looking at a handful of obvious disappointing players, lets see 2023 vs 2024 projections using FanGraphs...
  • Vlad: '23: 1.0, S: 4.1 Z: 3.0
  • Springer: '23: 2.2, S: 3.0 Z: 2.5
  • Kirk: '23: 1.6, S: 3.2 Z: 2.9
  • Varsho: '23: 2.1, S: 2.7 Z: 1.9
  • Manoah: '23: -0.4, S: 0.9 Z: 1.3
So for the disappointments net: 2023: 6.5, Steamer: 13.9, ZiPS: 11.6 - +5 wins to +7 wins. No real drops outside of the 2 big changes, IKF vs Chapman ('23: 0.2 v 3.5 S: 0.8 v 2.6) eats up 2-3 WAR right away. DH is a loss too (Belt 2.3 in '23 vs at 0.4 [0.9 in Belts playing time] plus lots of DH time for the backup catcher) of around a win. I'm sure the pitching staff outside of Manoah will be a drop too ... lets see ... Gausman-Berrios-Barrett-Kikuchi 2023: 13.5 S: 11.3 - 2 more wins toasted. So down 5, up 5-7, net +0 to +2. Not bad overall given the lack of big moves. The OF is the same but Merrifield replaced by Schneider pretty much ('23: 1.5 v 2.0 proj but Schneider '23 was 2.0 so depends on who replaces his playing time I guess). Biggio/Espinal same roles as last year - 23: 1.0/0.1 S: 0.9/1.0 = +0.8 (Espinal was much worse than expected). The pen is always a crapshoot (nice to lose Bass, gain Green for a full year, gain Cabrera lose Cimber). Lots of tinkering which should end up pretty much where they were last year, right around 90 wins. The big issue is the mid-season gain of Ryu when Manoah was written off, same with adding Green late as a bonus, having Francis & Jackson both be solid fill in's for the pen, the 'holy crap' of Schneider emerging in August out of nowhere (no one had him in their top 10 prospects, few in their top 30).

In the end I'd say the shuffling is a net gain or loss of 1 or 2 wins at most, factoring in the expected recovery by Vlad/Springer/Kirk/Varsho/Manoah. Now, if Manoah goes back to 2022 that would be a 4.5 win gain vs a 1-1.5 gain. Same for Springer (4.3 in '22 vs 2.2 in '23 gain of 2.1 wins vs projected 0.3 to 0.8) so the potential is there to jump to 95 wins if healthy and productive. The big question is health and if that core will recover from a poor '23. Not to mention adds that are coming (Pederson could be a 1.5 via Steamer vs the 0.8 a full time Horwitz could be = 0.7 wins more), plus a better 4th OF or 3B (shifting Schneider to full time 2B vs Biggio/Espinal being more than backups). Biggest challenge is preparing for the unknown. Having someone there for the Green/Ryu roles - ready in August to be equivalent to big trades for upping the pen/rotation if needed. Liam Hendriks could be that for the pen (could be back in August but could be out all of 2024). Quite amazing looking at the long list of TJ guys. Might be just hoping Tiedemann or another kid is ready if needed rather than risking millions on a guy rehabbing just in case.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 03:18 PM EST (#441246) #
In the MLB Trade Rumours latest chat, the moderator said emphatically that the Guardians won't trade Ramirez, for what that's worth.

Wilner has also been advocating for Luis Robert to be acquired.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 03:41 PM EST (#441247) #
Look at it from Cleveland’s perspective. Why would they trade Ramirez to Toronto? How would it improve the team’s standing over the next few years? They would have to receive a *lot* of prospect talent in return to make the trade worth it, especially in a relatively soft division like the AL Central.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 04:10 PM EST (#441248) #
"Wilner has also been advocating for Luis Robert to be acquired."

Great player but absolutely not the right fit for the team. A lot of his value comes from excellent D in CF where the Jays already have 2 amazing CFers. With the package it would take to get Robert, Jays would be much better served getting someone whose value is mostly offense or can play a needed position (i.e. 3B). You're absolutely wasting a lot of his value on this team and would be trading most of your system for that.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 05:02 PM EST (#441249) #
Cleveland would definitely trade Ramirez for a haul, in my opinion. The problem is they don't really need a haul centred around Ricky Tiedemann since they already have 4 legit young starters in Gavin Williams, Tanner Bibee, Triston Mckenzie and Logan Allen. That's on top of Shane Bieber.

I'd imagine they want to trade Bieber for help on offense and would want offensive output back as well if they trade Ramirez. Here is their projected line up:

Kwan OF
Giminez 2B
Ramirez 3B
Naylor DH
Laureano OF ... bad
Naylor C
Rocchio SS ... bad
Straw OF ... bad

Short of having a stud young SS or OF to send to them, I don't see them trading Ramirez. Maybe if you squint then you can imagine a package of Martinez, Barger, Zulueta and Horwitz getting it done if they want the quantity over quality approach.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 06:07 PM EST (#441250) #
If Cleveland took that trade their GM would be hung in effigy that day. As a Jay fan I'd be good with it.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 06:23 PM EST (#441251) #
Wilner is a part of the media. I don't mind him. Simmons on the other hand I believe likes to upset a fan base that is hurting by rubbing salt in the wounds.

Before the WS champion was crowned the media started the hot stove circus. The hot stove is still simmering away with made up/false rumors. Most of this stuff does not come true. The Jays signings were surprises. LAD was strongly rumored to sign Ohtani as early as last years off season. Sale to Atlanta was another surprise. Soto to the NYY was not a surprise but it still got some press.

IMO the Jays can't win the off season (not 100%) but I will always settle for a successful season.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 06:56 PM EST (#441252) #
He's going into his age 32 season. Safest thing for a small market team losing its TV deal would be to deal him and Bieber for best package possible.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 07:24 PM EST (#441253) #
Or make another run with him in 2024 and then reassess the situation? He's under control for another five seasons.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 07:28 PM EST (#441254) #
Good point. Basically the Guardians are in the drivers seat and in a position of strength for competing against their division due mostly to their superstar 3B and best in baseball young arm rotation. When Gavin Williams pitchrd against us it looked like Roy Halladay.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 09:10 PM EST (#441255) #
On third thought, Jays could just build a package around Vlad and trade for Ramirez if they feel '21 is the outlier. Sign Bellinger or JD Martinez for first and another power bat for DH and call it a day.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 09:23 PM EST (#441256) #
Vladdy was actually traded for Ramírez a couple months ago…in winter ball.
scottt - Tuesday, January 02 2024 @ 10:44 PM EST (#441257) #
I totally love the idea of Pederson.  Not Pederson himself, but this team could really use a platoon DH who can bat in the top/middle of the lineup. The platoon itself leaves enough ABs for Springer/Kirk/Jansen, none of which hits enough to be in the DH role anyway. I don't want Pederson to play defense and the lack of speed doesn't matter if the bench is used properly.

Promising bats who can play a position are at a premium and don't do anything to improve the defense which is already the best in baseball.

Hoskins is a good, not great right bat. He fits on tons of teams that have lots of left bats with too many strikeouts. I don't see the fit with the Jays.

The problem with the Jays was the bad  baserunning. That's not really going away since the main offenders are Kirk/Jansen, Guerrero and Bichette. IKF is a plus. He's a 3 times Hearts and Hustles winner. KK also help. Part of the problem is the philosophy of grounding baserunners if the top hitters are at the plate. If you do that, you might as well play the slowest guy in the 8th and 9th spot. I'd like to have a guy with wheels in front of Kirk, not after him. Same with Jansen.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:45 AM EST (#441258) #
Agreed scottt - I'd love a LH bat to be brought in with zero regard for defensive skills - being able to play LF or 1B would be a plus though.

Checking wRC+ projections (Steamer as I can sort that one easily) - Vlad is listed as 6th best in MLB (lets hope), Ramirez is #17, Trout #18 (both might...might be available if their teams decide cutting costs is critical - IMO LAA should just say 'screw it' and do a full rebuild now, no way are they contending this year or for the next few years as their farm system was ranked 28th after the trade deadline, and their ML team just lost the league MVP for a draft pick after an 89 loss season). Their major competition in the market just took their MVP and has 100% of the media on their side now, so basically I expect the Angels to be looking at 100+ losses and an empty stadium with horrid TV ratings unless a miracle occurs. But Trout's contract is ugly (to put it mildly). Manny Machado with the Padres is available for peanuts if someone would eat that insane contract ($333 mil over 10 years for age 31-40). All those guys are RH bats, all would be expensive in either prospects or dollars or both. The top LH bat I found that might be available is Josh Naylor (Cleveland) - a LH Canadian from Mississauga, free agent after 2025, 1B/DH who can play RF, pretty much neutral in defense at 1B (neither good or bad), negative in the OF. He'd be a really good fit imo if Cleveland is wanting to cut a few million - depending on what the Jays and Guardians feel - Schneider, Manoah, Orelvis Martinez, Jansen, or Varsho all could be 1-for-1 possibilities according to Trade Values. I'd rather go with 2 or 3 lesser minor leaguers though as anyone ready for the majors we want to keep if possible given the Jays current window of opportunity. Perhaps Leo Jimenez & Yosver Zulueta which comes up as a fair trade (opens up a 40 man slot too which could be important if the Jays have to do the bullpen rotation this summer to keep guys fresh, I have trouble seeing Zulueta as being ready to help in 2024). Michael Brantley, who is a free agent, is still projected for a 120 wRC+ year despite a poor 2023, and he'd work well as a LH DH who might be able to go into the OF now and then.

So my choices would be Pederson (119 wRC+ projection) or Brantley as both cost only cash, or trade for Naylor (if Cleveland is dumping salary - imo they'd be dumb to do that, but it isn't my money) as he'd be the better hitter most likely.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:18 AM EST (#441259) #
I doubt Cleveland trades the older brother of their newly minted catcher who had a very successful debut.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 10:13 AM EST (#441260) #
A couple of ZiPS comparables one might not have expected:
Davis Schneider- .230/.333/.430
George Springer- .254/.238/.432

Danny Jansen- .244/.327/.473
Bo Bichette- .292/.333/.471

If Jansen and Schneider stay healthy and get 600 PAs,they might very well lead the club in position player value. It baffles me that Jansen has not been extended yet. 
Gerry - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:01 AM EST (#441261) #
Ross Atkins met with the media today. He hopes to add one more bat but he believes the 2023 team just had a down season and is betting on basically the same team performing better next year.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:09 AM EST (#441262) #
Well, based on that presser, I guess I'll call my "do nothing" offseason as correct. The FO faced a similar situation when they first came on board and made the same choice so probably not surprising at the end of the day. From a marketing/non-baseball perspective its also has some logic.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:09 AM EST (#441263) #
I hope Springer's OBP is a typo!
bpoz - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:13 AM EST (#441264) #
Thanks Gerry. DH I presume that may or may not be a decent OF.

4th OF is possibly IKF, N Lukes or Biggio and others. I prefer IKF at 3B due to his D.

I wonder if that proposed trade of one of our SPs will occur.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:35 AM EST (#441265) #
I assumed IKF was going to be the starting 3B as soon as they signed him for that money. And it certainly sounds like it.

After missing on Ohtani, Plan B is to not over-commit beyond 2024 and sell at the deadline or next winter (Bichette, maybe Vlad) and begin a rebuild.

At the end of the day, the org has not been able to develop a true star calibre player through the draft or international free agency and the stars just don't want to play here. And teams aren't trading those types of prospects anymore.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:37 AM EST (#441266) #
Several weeks ago Atkins was praising the abundant Rogers resources and talking about adding at least one 5-win player this off-season.

What happened to that strategy?
Nigel - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:55 AM EST (#441267) #
Greenfrog - the offseason isn’t over so anything’s possible but it’s also possible that Atkins wasn’t being entirely honest about the offseason strategy. A GMs job in the offseason is to help with ticket sales.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:01 PM EST (#441268) #
Today's quotes better be free agent posturing.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:03 PM EST (#441269) #
"I assumed IKF was going to be the starting 3B as soon as they signed him for that money. "

It's a very sad statement if a $7.5m free agent salary means "starter" for the blue jays.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:21 PM EST (#441270) #
Atkins is Bullshitting unless he plans to walk a plank amid upset fans paying more money for essentially same product as before. Sounds to me like Bellinger or Pederson/Soler signing followed by a trade to strengthen the lineup. I suspect Manoah, Romano are all in play.

Remember there is the Cuban pitcher we are the front runners for. Perhaps Atkins will sign Pederson if we get the Cuban pitcher or go for Bellinger if we don't.

Mike Green... would you bet your house on Schneider and Jansen outperforming Bichette and Springer? I feel very confident in Springer bouncing back. I've had a concussion and it took me a year and a half at a younger age than Springer to fully recover. I can't imagine how it affects timing. Look at Anthony Rizzo...took the season off, off season and he may still need some more time. I've also had newborns and holy bananas it stops you in your tracks. I expect George to kill it this year.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:25 PM EST (#441271) #
30 sacrifice flies, no walks and no HBPs.  Never been done before, mathesond!  I don't know why I thought that was comparable to Davis Schneider's walk-heavy and sacrifice fly-free line. 

I've updated my chart. I use ZiPS projections (and Steamer for IKF for the time being).  I don't share the pessimism about the offence.  The club's wOBA last year was .324, 5th in the league.  My numbers come to .329, using ZiPS projections and my playing time estimates.  Most of that results from the projected improvements from Guerrero Jr. and Varsho, and platooned usage of Horwitz.  The defence is very good.  Cam Eden makes the club as a pinch-runner and 5th outfielder (Jansen is the 4th and back-up catcher).  The pitching staff isn't that great, but the defence lifts them up.  I have 780 runs scored, 660 runs allowed and 93 wins.  Subjectively, I don't like the club to that extent.  I am skeptical of Guerrero Jr.'s improvement to even his career norms (which is basically what ZiPS suggests).  I am also doubtful that John Schneider will use the lineup optimally (full-time job for Davis Schneider, platoon usage for Horwitz).  They start at 91 wins for me. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 12:35 PM EST (#441272) #
I wouldn't bet my house on anything.  Subjectively, I believe that if Jansen was given a job most of the time in left-field, he would be the leading hitter on the club.  I don't think he will be given that job.  He struggled throwing out runners last year, and I really believe that it would be freeing for him to be not behind the plate.  I am very impressed that he has grown as a hitter despite his injuries, and I think that there is a whole other level there.  Similarly, I think that John Schneider will not give Davis Schneider the chance he deserves.  When he slumps, he'll ride the pines even though he is a better player, in my view, than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. right now, who cannot be benched for more than a day even when slumping.  Sad to say.  The club's marketing of its stars gets in the way of optimal usage (VGJ as a DH most of the time). 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:07 PM EST (#441273) #

I see Jansen as a very good hitting C with durability issues. I don't think he is strong defensively or even adequate as a baserunner. We can't use sprint speed as a determining factor. What upside does Jansen provide versus a Pederson or Soler in LF? All three are downgrades overall vs Varsho.

Danny Jansen, I see a hitter that has to cheat by pulling the ball and crowding the plate. There's a reason he keeps getting hit on the hands and I expect it to continue again this year unless he stops crowding the plate, which when he has tried that in the past he has not hit.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:23 PM EST (#441274) #
There have been good hitters who crowded the plate and were hit by pitches a lot- from Frank Robinson to Craig Biggio.  It's more about keep his hands (and head) out of the way. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:35 PM EST (#441275) #
I wouldn't expect the Jays to commit to an expensive longterm contract until the future of Bo/Vlad comes more into focus - Bo/Vlad heading elsewhere likely means a retool/rebuild unless
some of the unheralded young players breakout and become potential core players.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:40 PM EST (#441276) #
An extension for Jansen would probably be $15M X 4 or something like that, at this point.  Yandy Diaz signed for $10M per year last year with a 12M option.  Jansen does not have a better record than Diaz had, although he is a couple of years younger. 

It's a gamble, but a low stakes one for the club. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:45 PM EST (#441277) #
As it turns out, Vlad and Bo heading elsewhere does not necessarily mean a long retool and rebuild.  They just (sadly) aren't that valuable and the money freed up can be used for some other purpose. Practically, however, it's likely that the club will change management at that point and a retool will happen.  But it's a kindness to new management to have a valuable (prime-age) player around at a reasonable price.   And better yet, it would be nice to have Jansen around in 2025 with Bo and Vlad.  He might even help them win a World Series....
Ducey - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:47 PM EST (#441278) #
I am not sold on Schneider or Horwitz as they, along with a lot of the Jays AAA hitters (Lantigua, Clement, Lukes, and others) put up some incredible OBP's. They had the benefit of the robo umps, so they could lay off pitches and not worry about the ump making a bad call.

In MLB they get the double whammy of being a rookie (so not getting the call) and the borderline/ bad calls being made against them.

And MLB pitchers can exploit any uncertainty by pitching in the same spots just out of the zone.

I think that was factor in the Schneider slump. He has to show he can manage this. I am not sure he has.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 01:51 PM EST (#441279) #
"There have been good hitters who crowded the plate and were hit by pitches a lot- from Frank Robinson to Craig Biggio. It's more about keep his hands (and head) out of the way."

Different eras. 96 MPH+ on the hands with pitchers who all pitch to your weakness inside on the hands will not lead to the longevity or success of those aforementioned players who incidentally were hall of fame players.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 02:16 PM EST (#441280) #
Craig Biggio was plunked by Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and many other very hard throwers.  And yes, they were trying to come inside.  And once, he thought he broke his forearm

For what it's worth, Jansen has missed time in the last 3 years due to hamstring, oblique, groin, finger, wrist, forearm and hand injuries. Some of those injuries were related to hit by pitches and some not.  For instance, the finger injury on September 1, 2023 that knocked him out for the rest of the season and the wild card series was sustained on a foul ball while catching.  The chances are pretty good that if you moved him out from behind the plate, he would be injured considerably less often.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 02:50 PM EST (#441281) #
Hmm... it is a good question - what happens after 2025? Vlad & Bo are free agents as are many others then (Bassitt, Green, IKF, Romano, Biggio, Mayza, Swanson, Cabrera). Talk about a full team reset - a starter, 5 key relievers, all-star 1B & SS, and 2 key utility players. Phew. QO only likely for Bo, Vlad, and Romano (Bassitt already had one so he cannot be offered one again), well, unless Biggio or IKF suddenly become stars (very unlikely). Post 2024 we see Kiermaier, Kikuchi, Richards, and Jansen hit free agency. Jansen is the only one I see as a strong desire to resign and the one most likely to find work elsewhere (I suspect he wants to be the clear #1 catcher for someone).

I seriously doubt Jansen is wanting to move to LF on a regular basis even though many here seem to think that would be a good thing for him. In the majors Jansen has caught 380 games, pinch hit 25 times, DH'ed 18 times, and pinch ran 7 times (probably for Kirk each time). In the minors and fall leagues he has caught 359 times, DH'ed 9 times, and never used anywhere else (don't see pinch hit or pinch run totals but those are secondary). So basically this is a guy who hasn't played in the OF at least since 2012 outside of _maybe_ in spring training (those stats are very limited). The idea that he could suddenly be a competent OF at this stage seems a bit pie in the sky to me, especially with Schneider, Biggio, Espinal, IKF all able to play out there (Espinal was used in RF often pre-2023 as part of the shifts the Jays used, so still listed at 2B but actually in shallow or even deep RF) not to mention the kids (Barger especially). I see Jansen/Kirk as being the catchers and lots of DH time from the right side (leaving the LH side to Biggio, Horwitz, and/or potential free agent signings).

As is the team appears to be a 90 win team again. The big questions are who will outperform, who will under perform, who will get hurt, who will surprise from the minors. With good luck a 90 win 'true talent' team can crack 100 wins, with bad luck they flop to sub 500. The question is which will the Jays get this year? Last year good luck was the pitching staff health, bad luck was most of the hitters flopping. Mix in some pen issues early (Pop, Cimber both sucking, Bass living up to the last 3 letters of his name), and Manoah forgetting how to pitch makes it amazing the team made the playoffs. Bo & Vlad both have very strong incentives to have very good years (push for a long term deal a year before free agency), as does Jansen (going to free agency). We'll see what comes.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 02:51 PM EST (#441282) #
88 wins next year will put the Blue Jays above .500 in franchise history.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 03:17 PM EST (#441283) #
If the Jays are going to aim low this off-season, as seems to be the case, I hope they at least make an investment in their medium-term future by adding someone like Yariel Rodriguez (in addition to signing an outfielder or DH).

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if the front office doesn’t love its options this off-season (lengthy and expensive free agent contracts; exorbitant trade demands).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 03:17 PM EST (#441284) #
Judging by his baserunning last season I'd guess he would just pull his hammy's rather than break fingers from foul tips.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 03:29 PM EST (#441285) #
I don't know.  Jansen grades out as an average baserunner per Fangraphs.  I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  It looks so far like the club intends to let Jansen go in free agency.  If so, we'll see what happens when he gets to another club. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 03:39 PM EST (#441286) #
Agreed greenfrog - the Jays need to plan for 2025 and beyond, not just 2024. Yariel Rodriguez would be a good move in that direction, like Yamamoto would've been (but obviously at a much, much higher price point, plus like Ohtani he decided early he was going to the Dodgers and the Jays were nothing more than negotiating for more Dodger Dollars).

I'd like to see at least one more kid get broken in this year like Schneider was last year, and ideally see Schneider play nearly everyday this year - assuming we see a combination of early and late Schneider, not purely the 0-31 version. Barger looked 'wow' last spring (even though his final line was 'just' 294/351/441) at times and Orelvis Martinez as I mentioned earlier has always impressed in spring (over 1000 OPS each time). I figure by mid-season at least one of those 2 will be ready for a call-up. Maybe even earlier. Neither will start 2024 in Toronto though. I'm sure Arjun Nimmala will be pushed hard this year (rookie/A, chance at A+ if he really gets going) as they want options for 2026 if Bo leaves. All young players who might be able to cover Bo & Vlad will be given every chance to climb the ladder in 2024/25 due to that need. Leo Jimenez will be given a shot too in 2024 at some point (options almost used up so it is make or break for him - Steamer has him as a 83 wRC+ player right now). The pen and rotation will need kids soon too - but generally they get mixed in due to injuries which normally are inevitable it seems (last year being the exception to the rule).
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 03:45 PM EST (#441287) #
I used to be a strong advocate for extending Jansen (and Chapman). Now I’m not so sure. Jansen has had a lot of injuries, including his latest — a fractured knuckle that required significant recovery time. It wouldn’t surprise me if the injuries started to affect his performance, starting as soon as 2024.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 04:33 PM EST (#441288) #
Once up to speed I have always thought that Jansen was at least an average baserunner. However, I think it takes him longer than average to get to full speed. That is all just subjective viewing of course. If true, not sure how that would play out if he was an OF.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 04:41 PM EST (#441289) #
I've seen him chase foul pops many times. He'll be fine. His instincts on balls in the air are excellent and will more than offset a slow first step.

Chapman, by the way, would be a fine shortstop. He'd be good value for a club willing to let him make the Wagner conversion.
scottt - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 05:55 PM EST (#441290) #
I didn't watch much postseason after the elimination, but I caught a segment in which they were showing an "ump cam". I assume it was on the ump's helmet. In the shot I saw, it was embarrassingly easy to tell if the ball was outside or not. It seems to me that a lot of those bad calls are made on purpose.
Hodgie - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 06:01 PM EST (#441291) #
"It looks so far like the club intends to let Jansen go in free agency."

If that is indeed the case that makes the Moreno trade especially egregious in my opinion. I was not in favour of the trade given the return, but could at least console myself with the thought that Jansen and Kirk would make a good tandem for years to come. Whoops.

Ducey - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 06:23 PM EST (#441292) #
"It seems to me that a lot of those bad calls are made on purpose."

That's ridiculous. Give your head a shake.

It seems to me that you ought to go sign up to be an umpire for fastball or baseball this summer. Like a lot of things its a lot harder in real life than it looks on TV.

I have coached lots of girls fastball and been pressed into service a few times. I had lots of challenges at 50 mph and a larger ball (although shorter distance to the plate). Tracking a 90 mph slider away from the side the ump is set up on must be pretty much "best guess"
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 06:50 PM EST (#441293) #
I don't understand the idea at all to put Jansen in LF. Makes no sense. You need two catchers. You have better OFs on the roster as is. Do you see the O's moving Rutschman to LF or 1B? Do the Jays move Guerrero Jr to 3B?

This guy is not a LF. Take a look at LF's around the league...

He averages less than 300 ABs a year and had an OPS over 800 twice, one time it was .801. He's not a left fielder...not on a contending team anyway unless you think he can provide top of the league defense.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 06:55 PM EST (#441294) #
It could also be that Atkins and Shapiro don't have "exceptionally" strong belief in this Blue Jays roster. They accept that it is a good, not great, roster, and they want to field good teams in 2025 and beyond. Therefore, they want to conserve prospects and resources (including payroll space and draft picks and pool money) so that they can field 84+ win teams in those future seasons and thereby continue to attract fans to the RC.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:11 PM EST (#441295) #
Greenfrog - does anybody think this core, without a couple of talent injections is a true contender? I don’t. I think they are exactly what they have been - an 88-92 win WC contender. From a baseball perspective they should either be pushing chips in to try and improve the team or selling now. Both of those options would likely lead to a retool/rebuild (now or in a couple of years if they emptied the cupboard). From a marketing perspective that’s a problem though. I believe Rogers’ one true direction to any FO is “don’t suck”.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:21 PM EST (#441296) #
The skipper needs to chew out the umpires. Charlie Montoyo rarely got heated, but was memorable when he did. John Schneider needs a bit more Earl Weaver.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:23 PM EST (#441297) #
Nigel, I agree, more or less. Although I would describe the 2023 roster as roughly an 83-91 win team.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:27 PM EST (#441298) #
2024 roster, I mean.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:28 PM EST (#441299) #
Nigel, I’m not sure what a true contender really means.

The Arizona Diamondbacks made it to the WS on 84 wins. The Jays project to win more than 84 wins, so shouldn't that make them a contender?

bpoz - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:30 PM EST (#441300) #
A retool for 2026 would not surprise anyone if the players indicate that they will leave. John N produced a pretty good list. Ownership will tell the FO what they hope for and the FO will tell the ownership what is possible. So take the new possible team of 2026 and then add FAs to help get the WC position. A potential #1 like Ryu, then Ray & Matz at cheaper 1-2 year contracts. A 1 year Semien will be good and maybe go for a 5-6 year Springer. Then be competitive so that money is made. I sort of compared 2026 to 2021, but 2021 probably was good luck rather than bad.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 07:44 PM EST (#441301) #
Why then don’t all teams aspire to win 84 games? Why have the Dodgers acquired Ohtani, Yamamoto, Glasnow, Freeman, Betts over the last few years? Marketing aside, I assume this is because they’re pursuing excellence — trying to be the best team in MLB — while the Blue Jays are satisfied once they reach “good enough” (whether or not the front office admits this to itself).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 08:08 PM EST (#441302) #
"The Arizona Diamondbacks made it to the WS on 84 wins. The Jays project to win more than 84 wins, so shouldn't that make them a contender?"

No, it means that a team that was not considered a contender ended up making it to the World Series. It happens but the chances of it happening are less likely than the teams that are contenders. You know this. It's why there are sayings like "contenders" and "pretenders."

Santiago Espinal is a back up player in MLB. He was an all star in 2022. Your logic would say "he was an all star, so wouldn't any player that performed like him be an all star?" It's relative as well. Maybe he was elected because there was a shortage of good performances that season, maybe it was because of other reasons... It doesn't become the new reality that Santiago Espinal is an all star.

Your reading and explanation is literal. Everybody else's in figurative. Nobody is going to write "a team that can win 90+ games and vie for 1st in the division and compete in the World Series without any luck," when they can just say "contend" or "be a contender." That's what they mean...
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 08:44 PM EST (#441303) #

IKF was signed to be a utility player. Source? IKF.

Atkins wants to add 2 more bats, most likely at DH and OF.

Matt Hague added as capital A Assistant Hitting Coach

Posted by Ben Nicholson Smith on "X"
mendocino - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 10:11 PM EST (#441304) #
Baseball America's International Bonus Board is up.
Top 50 players ranked by projected signing bonus.
Jay's have 4, looks like they're spreading the wealth this year.
35 Franklin Rojas, C (#27 MLB top 50)
40 Junior Arias, OF (#34 MLB top 50)
46 Pascual Archila, OF
50 Angel Guzman, SS (#32 MLB top 50)

Kennew Blanco, SS (#9 MLB top 50) not listed, might be getting bumped to 2025 signing (bonus?), same thing happened to Junior Arias last year.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 10:31 PM EST (#441305) #
Well then I just disagree. Anyone making the playoffs in the MLB has a chance to win it all. There is a lot of randomness in the MLB playoffs. Making it is the most important factor. I 100% agree that many teams try to optimize to give themselves a better shot, I just think these gains are a lot more marginal than is being implied.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 03 2024 @ 11:15 PM EST (#441306) #
What exactly can the Jays do after losing out on Ohtani, Soto, and Yamamoto? The free agent market is awful and they can't afford to trade significant prospect capital because the system isn't deep/strong enough to absorb that. So you're left with the only reasonable option, which is short-term veterans. Now, you could argue the Jays made the wrong decisions there, as Kiermaier is redundant with Varsho, and IKF isn't very good offensively, but even the alternatives to those two signings aren't exactly great. The one area the Jays should absolutely be able to get a good free agent is at DH, but aside from that, it's really trying to find the best value they can with what's out there. I'm actually relieved that the FO didn't do anything reactionary like overpay for Bellinger or Chapman.
Michael - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 05:15 AM EST (#441307) #
I think a reasonable threshold for contender is are you more likely to make the playoffs than miss it. I think the Jays as currently made up are slightly more likely to make the playoffs than miss it - but the majority of the time they make it they are the wild card. That is a contender in my book. There is a level above that as favorite where it would be fairly surprising if you didn't make the playoffs and you are arguably the best team in baseball, or at the very least one of the best two in your league and the best in your division. I.e., it more likely than not that you not just make the playoff but that you are more likely than not to have a bye in the first round. That certainly isn't the Jays, but would be the Dodgers for instance.
bpoz - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 09:20 AM EST (#441308) #
With the 2023 season over we can look at the NL standings and do the math to see who was a contender decided by individual definitions of contender.

My definition says that the 1987 Jays were a contender but sadly and oddly missed the playoffs. The 2021 team was also a contender because the last game of the season was the decider.

Boston was also a contender the last year T Francona managed them because they lost enough/many games to blow their lead.

The 2023 NL had the Phills winning 90 games to take the 1st WC. The next 2 WCs were Arizona & Miami with 84 wins. Then the Cubs 83 wins and lastly Cincy & SD with 82 wins. Arizona lost their last 4 games but got in by hanging on to their lead. Miami & Cubs lost their last game. Cincy lost 2 and SD won their last 5. SD was not a contender because winning the last 5 games did not matter. I did not look at the math of SD's last 10 games because it is too hard for me. But it could have mattered if there were enough "IFs" near the end of the season.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 09:54 AM EST (#441309) #
In the years when there were two wild card spots, the median win total for the last wild card team was 90.  In the last 2 years (small sample size), the last wild card team has won 84, 86, 87 and 89 wins.  I anticipate that the median will end up as 87 or 88 wins, but so far it looks like 87 is more likely.

Competing for a wild card spot is a low bar, certainly in the AL East.  The chance of winning a World Series from a Wild Card spot would be about 6%, if all games were a coin flip.  Which they are not.  Luck is an important element, but the better one's club, the better one's chance of winning.  Realistically, the chances of winning a World Series from a wild card spot would be 3-7%.  Texas would be an example of a 7% team (Pythagorean-97 wins and arguably the best team in the American League).  Arizona would be an example of a 3% team (Pythagorean-78 wins and certainly the least of the teams in the National League playoffs).  Texas was, of course, competitive for the division championship and that, in itself, ought to pass the bar.  I would think that a true talent 90-92 win team would ordinarily have a 5% or better chance of winning a World Series, and would often be competitive for a division title.  You want to be better than that, of course.

By that standard, the 2021 Blue Jays and 2022 Blue Jays were just competitive, and the 2023 Blue Jays were not quite.  All three teams were very close to the line. 
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 10:08 AM EST (#441310) #
I think the fatal flaw in 2021-2023 was the front office’s lack of ambition or aggression in making the one or two additional big moves that could have put those teams over the top. This could have been signing Semien to a four-year deal (as was reportedly considered at the time) instead of a one-year deal. Or adding a Seager or a Freeman. Instead the team ended up with players like Tapia playing a too-large role.

Is the front office making the same mistake again this off-season? Time will tell.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 10:16 AM EST (#441311) #
Caution is definitely an attribute of this FO.  For instance, Matt Hague has been hired as an assistant batting coach for the big club.  I am glad that he's here, but even a slightly more adventurous FO would have made him batting coach.  It brings me back to the transformation of Pat Gillick.  He was known as "Stand Pat" until one week in December 1990 when the Devon White/Junior Felix and Alomar/Carter/Fernandez/McGriff trades changed all that.  These guys are many things, but not Gillick yet, unfortunately. 
bpoz - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 10:28 AM EST (#441312) #
Thanks mendocino for the Int'l prospect info.
bpoz - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 10:48 AM EST (#441313) #
Matt Hague coached Orelvis in 2022/23. The 2023 NH hitting coach should get some credit for Orelvis's good 2023. Barger in 22 & 23. L Jimenez & Palmegiani in 2023. Buffalo players hit well in 2023. So Hague should help. The NH hitting coach also did well.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:10 AM EST (#441314) #
On the remaining free agents, David Schoenfield of ESPN predicts Pederson to the Jays, Chapman to the Giants, Bellinger to the Angels.

He writes: "The Blue Jays signed Kiner-Falefa, adding to their arsenal of utility infielders for some reason..."
Glevin - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:14 AM EST (#441315) #
The Jays are just in a very tricky place because their young talent has all seriously regressed. Ohtani would have been amazing but throwing massive amounts of money and Bellinger? Meh. They're caught a bit in between. Team is good and if players bounce back, could be great but if they don't, they don't have the core to win. This year will be huge for the team. If some of the players like Vlad, Kirk, and Manoah bounce back, they are a World Series contender. If not, they might not be a playoff team and may have to tear things down.
John Northey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:18 AM EST (#441316) #
No question losing out on Soto and Ohtani made a massive impact play near impossible this winter. I wouldn't blow $150+ mil on Chapman or Bellinger. As others have said the prospect capital isn't there for massive trades. Nor are there many, if any, impact players available in trade.

IMO the Jays are doing the best they can with the hand they've been dealt. If SD held off for a few more days the Jays might have been willing to dump the farm for Soto, but the Jays were in it to the end for Ohtani. Thus we now see a tough situation where they are a 90 win team on paper which means an 80-100 win window. Given past experience watching baseball 10 wins either way seems to be the standard variability for clubs. So that mean they could win the east with luck, or if all goes wrong they could be a sub 500 team. With Soto or Ohtani they'd have been a 95 win team so their worst case would've been 85 and on the edge of the playoffs. Chapman could put them close to that but 5 years for him would be foolish.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:27 AM EST (#441317) #
Hypothetically, if the Jays had traded the farm for Soto and then he didn't sign a new contract here, it would have left the Jays in a bad position for the 2025 season. The Jays also might be laying low this year and plan on making a big push for Soto in free agency next offseason.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:46 AM EST (#441318) #
Is this the hand the Jays have been dealt, or the team that the Jays have themselves constructed over a period of years?
Gerry - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:51 AM EST (#441319) #
Alex Anthopoulos is spending like a drunken sailor. He just gave the oft injured Chris Sale a 2 year $38M contract.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 12:04 PM EST (#441320) #
Unless Soto is a disaster in NY, I don't think the Yankees would let him go after giving up quality assets to acquire him and certainly not to another team in the same division.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 12:40 PM EST (#441321) #
The Jays FO cannot control free agents unless bigger markets are not interested in said player. Nobody wanted to give Springer a 6th year or Martin a 5th year or Ryu a 4th year. Simple as that...if someone else did then the Jays wouldn't have signed them. It's the same issue they had with BJ Ryan and AJ Burnet and Gil Meche, etc etc.

Soto...a bigger market will match the Jays and they won't be able to sign him.

Seager ... we have to assume the Jays were picked over just like Ohtani

Freeman .... again I would assume they were picked over..

Gerrit Cole we know he picked Yankees over Jays for similar money..

Verlander picked Astros over Jays

KK picked TOR after nobody else offered...

The narrative is clear, players will pick a stronger US market unless they can make more money in Toronto.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 01:08 PM EST (#441322) #
Personally, I'm not focused on free agent acquisitions as we don't know enough about the position of the players involved.  It's a whole suite of things where the FO has been quite cautious- trades, extensions, hirings/firings of coaching staff, and even baseball philosophy.  "Positional flexibility", for instance, is a mantra here and while it has value, it can represent just a way of doing things for the sake of doing the same thing when it is taken to extremes. 
Ducey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 01:22 PM EST (#441323) #
IKF's $7.5 M (plus some unknown incentives) doesnt look so bad against the $10.5 M just given to Harrison Bader by the Mets. Dude had an OPS+ of 69 last year and cant stay healthy.

Its only a year, but still...
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 01:38 PM EST (#441324) #
Alex Anthopoulos is spending like a drunken sailor. He just gave the oft injured Chris Sale a 2 year $38M contract.

Gerry, I'm not sure about the numbers there.  Here's the money quote from Jeff Passan:

"Sale's previous contract ran through 2024 and guaranteed him $27.5 million -- though $10 million of it was deferred, bringing the present value down to around $20-21 million -- with a $20 million club option for 2025. The new deal bumps Sale's present-day guarantee significantly, giving him $16 million in 2024 and $22 million in 2025, while the Braves add a buyout-free $18 million club option for 2026. The Braves' commitment to Sale, who will turn 35 on March 30, was already clear when they traded Vaughn Grissom their top hitting prospect, to the Red Sox for Sale and $17 million."

It looks to me like the result is that Atlanta is on the hook for $38M for 2024 and 2025, while previously they were on the hook for $18M for 2024 only.  It looks to me like it's the equivalent of a one year extension at $18M with a one year club option at $18M with no buyout.  Have I got that right, or am I missing something? 

If you look at the overall picture, Anthopoulos has signed a large number of players to long-term contracts at moderate prices- Riley, Olson, Acuna, Strider, Murphy and Harris are all signed with options that carry them through to 2029 at the earliest (Harris goes until 2032). He even has Albies until 2027.  Full credit to him for that. 
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 01:40 PM EST (#441325) #

It looks to me like the result is that Atlanta is on the hook for $38M for 2024 and 2025, while previously they were on the hook for $18M for 2024 only.

Ack.  Previously, they were on the hook for $20M for 2024 only. 
Gerry - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 01:52 PM EST (#441326) #
You are correct Michael. I got caught up in the $38M and still think I am in 2023.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 02:14 PM EST (#441327) #
Thanks, Gerry.  The lead of the article does speak to a 2 year, $38M extension, so it is understandable.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 02:22 PM EST (#441328) #
The interesting thing is that you can be overly cautious by giving out a lengthy contract. That's arguably what the Jays did with Grichuk, giving him a 5/$52m contract to secure what they thought would be an outfielder with upside and a high floor. If memory serves, the Jays did this despite Grichuk being under control for at least a couple of more seasons.
John Northey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 02:43 PM EST (#441329) #
In the end I suspect this era of the Jays (Shapiro/Atkins) will be remembered for the minimize risk approach.

They have taken risks...
  • José Berríos was 2 of those risks, first sending 2 top 100 prospects to get him (Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson) - Martin has only 159 games as a Twin with just 9 HR, 3 triples, 25 doubles. That is nowhere near enough power unless he is a top defender in the infield and given his 14 games in LF, 12 in CF, and 39 at 2B last year it is safe to say he isn't wowing them on defense. His 54-10 SB-CS makes him interesting as a leadoff hitter, but I would be surprised if he ever provides the value dreamed of - peaked at #19 BA prospect pre 2021. SWR has a 67 ERA+ in the majors, 4.91 ERA in AAA with under 8 K/9 last year vs 4.8 BB/9 - not a real prospect now imo - peaked at #61 on BA pre 2020. The 2nd risk was the big 7 year contract $131 mil which he promptly made the Jays regret in 2022, then start to feel good about in 2023.
  • Springer signed to a 6 year deal, injuries years 1/2 and poor performance year 3 have cut the value drastically. 8.4 bWAR over those 3 years is less than the Jays hoped for from that 6 year $150 mil deal. Odds always were the last 2-3 years could drag down the value, but the Jays hoped for 10-15 WAR by now I suspect.
  • Ryu signed 4 years $80 mil, no one else wanted to give him a 4th year. Without that 4th year though the Jays would've let him go pre 2023 (due to TJ surgery) and he wouldn't have been around in August when the Jays gave up on Manoah. Those 11 starts, 123 ERA+ over 52 IP was critical for the Jays to make the playoffs. One game the Jays won by 1 run, Ryu gave 4 2/3 shutout innings during it, that there could've been enough to make 2023 not end up like 2021. I'd prefer a 2 game and out playoff to not getting there at all. 5.0 bWAR for $80 mil is not good, but 2020 was shortened and again, without him they don't make those weird playoffs. He was on a 7-8 WAR pace that year.
  • Gausman was a big one - Ray won the Cy here and was a fan favorite with the tight pants and stuff. The easy thing would've been to resign Ray but instead the Jays went for the guy they liked more in Gausman and made the right choice - nearly identical contract and Gausman has been a big success while Ray is having TJ and hasn't done well when healthy. In 22 fewer innings with Seattle than he had in Toronto he has walked 1 more, K'd 58 fewer, and allowed 10 more runs for an ERA+ of 98 vs a 147 here. Gausman has over 150 innings more than Ray in those 2 years, 2.1 BB/9 vs Ray's 3.1, 11.1 K/9 vs Ray's 10.1, 125 ERA+ vs Ray's 98. By any measure that was a perfect flip.
  • Teoscar Hernández for Adam Macko and Erik Swanson - Hernandez had a 2.1 bWAR season in Seattle and is now a free agent without compensation. Swanson had 1.4 bWAR here and is here for 2 more years, Macko shows a good arm (11.1 K/9) in A+ but had a poor ERA (4.81). This will be a win in the end for the Jays baring a major shift in fortune for Swanson.
  • Trading Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno for Varsho - hated by many as Moreno looked really good this year (4.3 bWAR), Gurriel had his best year on defense (3.0 bWAR) then resigned with Arizona as a free agent. Varsho's bat vanished but his glove was 'WOW' resulting in a 3.9 bWAR. This deal looks like it'll be a bad one in the end, but really, where was Moreno going to play here with Kirk & Jansen ahead of him behind the plate? Was there a better deal? We'll probably never know if a better one was available.
  • 4 prospects for Matt Chapman - big win here. Gunnar Hoglund, Zach Logue, Kevin Smith and Kirby Snead have done nothing so far - the 3 who made the majors have negative lifetime WAR's (Hoglund hasn't made it and with an ERA over 6 last year I don't see him doing anything anytime soon). Chapman gave us 7.9 bWAR over 2 years.
  • Randal Grichuk for Tapia & Adrian Pinto - crap for crap. Pinto is entering his age 21 season, yet to get above A ball, at 2B with lots of speed, no power.
  • Max Castillo and Samad Taylor for Merrifield - not bad. 2 prospects, neither doing much (both negative WAR lifetime), for a guy who was used a lot here.
  • Yennsy Díaz, Sean Reid-Foley and Josh Winckowski for Matz - Matz was good here (2.2 bWAR in his 1 year), Winckowski had 1.9 bWAR last year for Boston and might make this look lopsided if he keeps that up. But without Matz 2021 wouldn't have been such a nailbiter of a year.
  • t Kendall Williams & Ryan Noda for Stripling - Strip did really well here, critical in 21/22. 3.8 bWAR overall. Noda was grabbed off waivers by Oakland and produced in '23 to the tune of 2.3 bWAR. Dang he'd be nice to get back as DH now wouldn't he?
  • Rowdy Tellez for Trevor Richards - this one keeps flip flopping in my mind. Tellez has a net value of under 1 bWAR but his LH power was exactly what the Jays have pretty much needed since a year after he was traded away. Richards has -0.3 bWAR here for his career but he sometimes seems on the edge of being really good, other times you can't get him off the mound fast enough. In the end this will be a forgotten trade I suspect, but I feared what Tellez might do when it happened.
Those were a few from recent years that jumped out to me. There were others of course, a few of these seem very minor now but seemed bigger at the time (Grichuk for Tapia seemed very odd then, and I wonder if Grichuk was here if the Jays might have won that game they lost in 2022's playoffs as Tapia's defense was horrid and clearly led to at least 1 run). The big one they'll be remembered for is Varsho for Moreno though. Varsho might win 3 gold gloves (should've had one this year) but unless he hits up a storm or Moreno gets hurt he won't measure up to what he is being compared to.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 02:49 PM EST (#441330) #
I'm generally not in favour of giving out long-term contracts to players with extremely poor plate control who play a position at the right end of the defensive spectrum.  In Grichuk's case, it wasn't a huge gamble but not exactly cautious. 
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 03:05 PM EST (#441331) #
It was cautious because the Jays wanted to lock in the 2-3 WAR/year that they thought Grichuk would safely provide.

It would have been less cautious to go year-to-year with him (recall that Keith Law viewed Grichuk as a fourth outfielder when he was traded to Toronto), knowing that there would be other opportunities to acquire a better outfielder.

Even trading away Grichuk didn't end the adverse consequences of that contract for the Blue Jays, as the best deal they could get for him was Raimel Tapia.
92-93 - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 03:25 PM EST (#441332) #
It's interesting that this front office hasn't bought out a single year of free agency from a homegrown talent, something they did with success in Cleveland. Was it a lack of faith in their own talent, a refusal from the players, or a mixture of both? Maybe the rich kids weren't interested and Manoah started too well, but it shouldn't have been that difficult with Jansen (and Kirk). Stroman would have been a candidate too.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 04:29 PM EST (#441333) #
Agreed, 92-93.  It's a good point that they didn't act that way in relation to extensions in Cleveland.  It may be that the characteristic is more true of Atkins than of Shapiro. 
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 05:41 PM EST (#441334) #
Incidentally, I hope that Daulton Varsho in particular spends a fair bit of time with Matt Hague.  I suspect that he might be the right person to help him on pitch recognition on the high fastball outside the zone.  It's pretty clear what he has to do in order to be an average hitter. 
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 05:48 PM EST (#441335) #
Jansen not being extended by now is a surprise. I thought it was a given when Moreno was traded. If they are content with letting him walk and only having Kirk in 2025-26, then I'm not sure that's a good idea. If anything they can use Jansen in a Mitch Garver type of role where he catches and DH's in order to keep him healthy. Given Jansen's injury history it shouldn't be that difficult to find a reasonable common ground. The lack of extensions to young players combined with the suspect farm system is certainly not a good indicator for long term success, so I'm not exactly sure what the plan is. Maybe 2024 is the year we start to see the team be a bit more open to playing young players.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 05:55 PM EST (#441336) #
More than handing out extensions to the current roster players, I think the organization needs to improve its drafting / acquisition of prospects and also effective development of those prospects.

Some other teams seem to be much better at this. (Credit to the Blue Jays for developing some very late round prospects like Horwitz and Schneider.)
scottt - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 06:22 PM EST (#441337) #
I think you're missing the worse trade, Mitch White for Nick Frasso.

You can only trade for players that are available.
Teams that are not competing trade their older players for prospects.
Some low budget teams, like the A's and the Rays trade their good players when they become expensive.
Some teams trade in the off-season to patch holes or get into their budget.
And then the Mariners trade because Dipito can't help himself.

The Hernandez trade is a big win because Teoscar couldn't handle left field.
They hunted Gausman for years before signing him.
Ryu was a calculated risk.
Berrios is one guy they wanted. He's good and durable.
He was also willing to sign an extension.
Springer was in a class of his own as one guy who could provide offense, hit lead off and play centerfield.
Tellez is not dependable enough to hit high the order.

I don't lose sleep over players that are traded. Especially older players like Gurriel and Hernandez.
I'm more annoyed if an interesting prospect is traded at a low value., like Frasso.

Guerrero and Bichette were never going to sign extensions.
Biggio wasn't worth extending.
Manoah had never faced adversity as a pro, so wasn't willing to sell himself at a discount.

Extending players is something the Rays often do but not the Yankees.
Being over the luxury tax, this shouldn't be a concern for the Jays.
I imagine a catcher like Jansen would prefer to stay with a team and pitchers he knows rather than sign with a different team where offense would be more challenging. He'd have to learn to work with a completely new staff and possibly face pitchers he's not familiar with.

John Northey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 06:28 PM EST (#441338) #
I think there are a few factors in the no extensions lately thing. In Cleveland they worked with a tight budget thus long term deals early was the only way to hold onto talent. Here in Toronto the team has shown it can afford $100+ million deals so outside of generational talent the Jays can afford to go head to head with anyone, and even then the Jays can match (see Ohtani, Cole) even if they don't win. The Jays aren't Cleveland, KC, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, etc. - the Jays have the money thus don't need to take the long term risk on guys when they are 22, instead they can wait until 25 to see if they are worth it. If Vlad has another 110-120 OPS+ season then he clearly isn't worth the long term deal the Jays would've given him after '21 or '22. If he has a 150+ again then he might be worth it, but the Jays can debate it for another year before saying 'ok, here is the deal'. Plus, of course, Vlad & Bo both come from fathers who made millions in the majors thus don't have a need to sign long term. Both have the luxury of waiting it out, knowing if they get a career ending injury or play poorly they still will be OK for the rest of their lives.

Manoah is a different case - pitchers are ALWAYS crapshoots. For every Nolan Ryan who lasts decades after surgery there are hundreds who don't. For every guy who has a 30+ WAR career, there are hundreds who peak with a 4+ and never, ever get close again. Right now Manoah is in the Mark Fidrych category - a year and a half of 'wow', then the rest was 'blah' - for those who don't know Fidrych was a sensation, rookie of the year, 2nd in Cy Young, All-Star as a rookie and as a 2nd year player. Then injuries hit, then ineffectiveness. Just 16 starts after those 1 1/2 amazing years. Nowadays people look at the 24 complete games at 21 and go 'no wonder he blew out' but in the 70's that was normal. Stieb had 7 at 21 (his second year pitching), 14 at 22, 65 from ages 21-25, 1122 innings. But had 7 more years of 30+ starts in him before his arm blew out at 33 - then 2 years total of 118 2/3 IP before giving up for 4 years and having that amazing comeback at 40 for 50 1/3 IP, ending his career catching the home run hit off Roy Halladay when he was 1 out from a no-no on the final day of the '98 season (caught in the bullpen) - the thing Stieb was most known for (3 times in 2 seasons 1 out away). Now picture if the Jays gave Manoah a massive deal - they'd look pretty dumb right now, much like Ash did after he gave Halladay a multi-year deal then Halladay repaid him with a 10.64 ERA.

The worst multi-year deal given out in Toronto has to be the seven year $126 mil one to Vernon Wells. Given after his career best season, with a year to go before free agency (the situation Vlad & Bo will be in after this year) he'd only have 2 more solid years in him - 2 years later (a 2.0 bWAR season) and 4 years later (a 4.0 season) after which he was traded as the Angels showed how badly a team can be run in 2011 as a hint of what was to come (they paid over $68 mil for 3 bad years, negative WAR). That is the nightmare for extensions, well, that and the Wander Franco deal Tampa signed.

Free agent deals go into a whole other world of nightmares - see Albert Pujols with the Angels as a prime one (12.8 bWAR for $240 mil over 10 years, just 3 times of 2+ WAR over those 10 years, twice with negative WAR). I can see why Shapiro & Atkins are very, very careful with those deals. The risk is sky high, the rewards can be great if you are smart & lucky (see AA in Atlanta), but the risk is bad (see Angels).
John Northey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 06:36 PM EST (#441339) #
Mitch White for Nick Frasso I probably should've listed, but neither was seen as a big deal at the time as I recall. White has flopped, Frasso has looked good in the minors but until he reaches the majors who knows if that is a good or bad trade. Frasso at 24 had a 3.77 ERA in AA/AAA over 25 starts, just 93 IP (under 4 IP per start). Right now he hasn't shown enough to make me go 'yeah, that is a star', he could be but he reached 6 innings one time all year, the most batters he has faced is 27 (5 2/3 IP couldn't get out of the 6th), then 21 3 times. Without dominance like we've seen from Tiedemann (16.8 K/9 last year vs Frasso's 10.4) I have trouble getting excited about him. He'd be nice to have kept, but I don't see Cy Young contention from him anytime soon.
scottt - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 06:49 PM EST (#441340) #
We know they tried to trade Jansen (or Kirk) and keep Moreno.
They might have concluded that there is very limited interest in Jansen, so no real need to extend him.
When the year is over, we'll see what teams are looking for a catcher and who is available.

The shock for me was when the Mets passed on Realmuto to sign the Detroit catcher who had a good offensive year. Realmuto has produced 3.5, 6.5 and 3.6 WAR for the Phillies after being resigned,  while the Mets got -0.3 WAR and -0.1 WAR for McCann before switching to Nido who gave them -0.8 WAR and Alvarez who gave them 1.0 WAR last year. The logic at the time was that the Mets had 5 left bats and 2 switch hitters and wanted to get Springer to balance their lineup so they saved money on catching. Complete nonsense. Realmuto being an elite right bat.

scottt - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 07:05 PM EST (#441341) #
The Jays are not bad at drafting and developing if you take into account where they draft.
We're only seeing the effect of the latest CBA changes now.

Take the Dodgers for example, they have Will Smith, James Outman and Gavin Lux.
With a rotation of Buehler, Miller and Sheehan. Plus Caleb Ferguson in the pen.

The Jays have Bichette, Guerrero, Jansen, Kirk, Biggio, and Schneider with a rotation of Manoah plus Romano and Mayza in the pen.

It just looks worse because they traded some first rounders.

greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 07:06 PM EST (#441342) #
Before the 2021 season, I strongly argued the Jays should sign Realmuto (ahead of Springer, Bauer, etc).

He would have been a good choice (he was brilliant in 2021-22, and his contract is a bargain) but the Jays needed an outfielder more than they needed a catcher. Springer has also been good as a Blue Jay — when healthy — but his myriad injuries seem to be catching up to him.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 08:09 PM EST (#441343) #
CBS Sports lists the Jays as one of five contenders that need to “wake up”:

“5. Toronto Blue Jays
What they've done: Re-signed Kevin Kiermaier, signed Isiah Kiner-Falefa

What they should do: Sign Bellinger. The Blue Jays made a run at Soto, and that didn't work out. They made a run at Ohtani, and that didn't work out either. Then they tried for Yamamoto, and were not among the finalists. The Blue Jays get an A for effort, but at the end of the day, they came up empty. Re-signing Kiermaier was a good move and Kiner-Falefa is useful in moderation. Otherwise this is another team that has subtracted (Chapman, mostly) more than it has added this winter.

Clearly, Toronto has money to spend. It was willing to give bundles of it to Ohtani or Yamamoto. Even with Kiermaier returning, Bellinger is such a clear and obvious fit for a Blue Jays team that still lacks a DH, and needs left-handed contact bats to balance out the righty-heavy lineup. Manager John Schneider could rotate four outfielders (Bellinger, Kiermaier, George Springer, Daulton Varsho) through the DH spot and hey, maybe that'll help keep Springer on the field.

The rotation is set -- Chris Bassitt, José Berríos, Kevin Gausman, and Yusei Kikuchi form a strong foursome -- and the bullpen is sneaky deep. The Blue Jays can prevent runs. Scoring them has been an issue at times, in part because their lineup is susceptible to bat-missing righty relievers. Bellinger addresses so many needs for them. Lefty bat, athleticism, excellent defense. I'm not sure there's a better match between player and team in free agency right now.

Why they should do it: Although they're still so young, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are only two years away from free agency. Gausman and Springer only have so many peak years remaining too. Toronto is still looking for its first postseason win of the Bichette/Vlad Jr. era and there's something of a ticking clock here. The Blue Jays can't kick the can down the road any further. The time to win with this core is now, not in two or three years.”
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 08:36 PM EST (#441344) #
I do think Bellinger is a pretty good fit for the Blue Jays. He’s not a perfect player, but he would improve their chances of making and advancing in the postseason in 2024-25. I think I would prefer him over some lead-footed right-handed hitting DH. Besides, at least one or two of the outfielders are probably going to spend time on the IL this year. It would be nice to have Bellinger on the team as depth when that happens.

I think the Jays will regret not making a move like this if they struggle again and end up squandering the lengthy 2021-2025 window of contention.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 08:53 PM EST (#441345) #
If they squabble this year then they can quickly retool by trading Vlad, Bichette, Romano, Bassitt, Springer and Janssen. I think they'd quickly be a top 3 farm system again with a sub 100 million payroll going into 2025.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 09:19 PM EST (#441346) #
I don't get Bellinger.  His bat is, um, extremely iffy.  His xwOBAs the last 3 years were .281, .278 and .331. And he's averaged about 480 PAs per season over the last 3 years.   You can play him in the outfield but it's not clear to me that he's a noticeably better player right now than Varsho, Kiermaier or Springer.  You can play him at first base and he's likely an upgrade on Horwitz of a little less than a win over a season. And how much do you have to pay for that, and for how long? 

If they hadn't signed Kiermaier, I could see at least the advantage to it.   If he's interested in a pillow contract for a year or three, I'd think about it.  But as it stands, pass. 
John Northey - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 09:29 PM EST (#441347) #
IMO if the Jays are going to blow $100+ million then go for Chapman over Bellinger. I would've said the opposite a few months ago but as the winter has progressed and I've dug in more and others have too (love the group here - makes me think twice on a lot of issues) I see the massive risks with Bellinger and fewer with Chapman. fWAR projections below...
  • Chapman: ZIPS 3.6, Steamer 2.6
  • Bellinger: ZIPS:unk, Steamer 2.4
Bellinger might also demand to be in CF even though he'd be the 3rd or 4th best option in CF for the Jays on defense. Mix in the nightmare 2021/22 he had (0.8 fWAR total) and I see all kinds of potential downside with him. Chapman's worst full season (100+ games) is last year's 3.5 fWAR (1.1 in 2020, 2.6 in 2017 as a rookie in 84 games). The risk/reward with KK & IKF here now is by far in Chapman's corner, all else being equal. Yeah, Bellinger is younger (entering age 28 season vs Chapman age 31) but results matter as do other options.

As to DH - Michael Brantley is who I'd be after now (LH OF who has mainly been a DH lately, was sub 100 wRC+ last year, but 117 lifetime and projected to be a 120 next year by Steamer, 114 OPS+ by ZIPS). He should be fairly cheap and would fill that LH DH slot with the advantage of being used in the OF here and there (give someone a day off) if needed (he'd be after Biggio and Schneider I suspect). Alternates for 3B... are there any? IKF, Biggio, Espinal is all the Jays got. Gio Urshela is probably the next best free agent at 3B, and despite the fever dreams of some José Ramírez is NOT available in trade. Manny Machado is the best in trade available (if you'd eat $333 million in which case one might as well sign Chapman). After that it is VERY slim picking. Far easier to find decent OF than 3B.
christaylor - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:21 PM EST (#441348) #
Bellinger makes no sense. I've mentioned it here before, but I'd be much more in favor of giving Snell a heavily front-loaded contract with an opt-out in 2025. If he's great for two seasons it's all on Vlad/Bo/Springer to put it together.
If he's terrible he'd be a cheaper part for years 4-6 or have some trade value.
If Manoah doesn't bounce back and Kikuchi and/or Berrios of 2022 show up he'd be a blessing. Given the Yankees are pushing hard and will face heavy tax penalties he's an even more appealing target. Lastly, pushing up Yankees offers only helps the Jays and could hamstring their resigning of Soto.

I'm not a big Snell fan but I'm trying to see a downside other than Snell's arm blowing up again and I can't make anything out.

I am not a fan of run prevention baseball as entertainment (Yes Mark, I'd rather see you hit dingers than know the terrifying truth.) but the team, may as well lean into what it is likely going to be the next two years than spend on Bellinger or Chapman.

The Cuban pitcher would be a good add. A DH bar only makes sense, but if the Jays want to make a splash with an add or even merely make life difficult for a rival Snell is a good play.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:24 PM EST (#441349) #
I'm firm on wanting a 4+ WAR player via trade or free agency. Also get a clean up hitter and one of the two needs to be a left handed bat.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 04 2024 @ 11:34 PM EST (#441350) #
Reasonable points. As counterpoints in favour of Bellinger, I would note that the Blue Jays are unlikely to get 1100 PA from Springer and Kiermaier in 2024 (as they did in 2023), adding Bellinger would create excellent outfield defence while also allowing multiple players (including Vlad) to regularly rotate through the DH slot, and Bellinger would give the Jays a good outfielder in 2025 when they will need one even more.

Pretty obvious that Bellinger isn’t going to happen, though. The Jays would rather save their cash and sign someone like Pederson instead.

As for retooling, I highly doubt that would happen just after the stadium reno and with a year remaining in the window of contention. In any event, those players wouldn’t command a whole lot on the trade market with only one year of control remaining and a robust FA market next off-season.
85bluejay - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 08:00 AM EST (#441351) #
I'm starting to lose hope on the Yariel Rodriguez front - It's starting to look like that "jays in lead for Yariel Rodriguez" headline was designed to merely light a fire under competing bids.
mathesond - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 08:30 AM EST (#441352) #
I feel better about the Jays offseason after seeing Jim Bowden give the Jays a 'D' grade for their work.
Glevin - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 10:06 AM EST (#441353) #
"I don't get Bellinger"

I don't really either. Steamer projects 2.6 WAR and 108 WRC+. I'd take the over but maybe like 3 WAR and 115-120 WRC+? That's a fine player but not a difference maker and that's the peak he will decline from. Some of his perceived value seems derived from his 2019 where he was a superstar but he's a different player now. I significantly preferred Nimmo who ended up getting a 8/$162 contract. I'd be fine signing him but like Chapman, it would feel like signing a good player who is a slight upgrade to an expensive and risky long-term contract.
greenfrog - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 10:14 AM EST (#441354) #
The Jays lineup is going to be pretty easy to pitch to in 2024, especially once they suffer a couple of injuries.
bpoz - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 12:47 PM EST (#441355) #
You make a good point greenfrog that the Jays lineup will be easy to pitch to and would get easier if injuries happen.

Atkins made the point in his interview that the top 5-6 spots in the lineup will be good. That would include a good bat at DH I expect.

1-5/6 + last 3 IMO are Springer, Bo, Vlad, Kirk, DH, IKF to start, Varsho, 2B & KK another OF. I expect IKF at 3B and we have multiple options at 2B. Injuries to Bo, Vlad will hurt a lot. Leo Jimenez probably can do the D at SS and bat 9th. 1B I expect Horwitz (LHB) and Palmegiani (RHB) after 200 AAA ABs. There may be others. Barger can replace Springer and maybe Roden. I expect a 3rd C.

Other expected contenders have the same risk. Orioles & TB probably do ok. For pitching injuries TB & the Jays survive I expect.
Leaside Cowboy - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 01:23 PM EST (#441356) #
Michael Brantley has retired.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 01:28 PM EST (#441357) #
Michael Brantley has retired.
I guess he was looking for a 1-year deal, and the Jays offering 2 years didn't appeal to him.. I.e. now players are retiring rather than playing for the Jays. Yikes.
christaylor - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 02:03 PM EST (#441358) #
Oh, c'mon now. He's broken and done. Good player but He's had a half season in two years.

We should let the gloom into 2024 if the Jays look as frustrating as they did in 2023.

There's one more signing and then we can all marvel how Vladdy, Manoah, and Kirk are all in the best shape of their lives.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 03:12 PM EST (#441359) #
One reasonable Jays' lineup per ZiPS with OPS+:

Springer 110
Bichette 122
Schneider 111
Guerrero Jr. 134
Jansen  120
Varsho 109
Kirk  109
Kiner-Falefa 88
Keirmaier 90

Other players: Horwitz 103, Biggio 96, Barger 96, Lukes 96, Clement 95, Roden 95, Espinal 93, Orelvis 93

The lineup is not threatening, because there is no locus of danger, but it's not changed much by adding someone like Bellinger.  What changes the dynamic would be (say)  if three young players (perhaps Guerrero Jr., Schneider and Varsho) perform at their 80th percent projection and three players perform at their 20th percentile projection (say Springer, Jansen and Kirk).  The lineup then becomes:

Bichette 122
Schneider 128
Varsho 130
Guerrero Jr. 157
Roden/Springer 94
Horwitz/new DH 103+
Jansen/Kirk 94
IKF 88
Kiermaier 90

Which is considerably better, and much easier to improve upon with the normal variation in distribution of young player development.  The problem with the offence is not the depth, but the uninspired 50% projections for the top offensive players. 

greenfrog - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 03:51 PM EST (#441360) #
Seems like a complicated set of variables to having a strong lineup.

Also, compared to a team like the O's (which has a deep pool of high-minors prospects), the Jays don't seem to have a lot of impressive offensive talent that can step in if there is an injury to a key player or two.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 04:38 PM EST (#441361) #
The O's do have that. But they overperformed Pythagoras last year and they don't have Bautista this time.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 04:42 PM EST (#441362) #
Old friend Robby Ray is on the move.. Traded to the Giants for Mitch Haniger and older friend Anthony DeSclafani..
greenfrog - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 05:21 PM EST (#441363) #
Bellinger may be a flawed FA, but he’s 28 and has had four seasons of 3.5+ WAR (and one season of 7+ WAR). There aren’t that many players who can claim to have done that.

I’m not sure what the future holds for him, but he is an interesting player who could be quite useful for the Blue Jays in 2024-25.
85bluejay - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 05:36 PM EST (#441364) #
Indeed, Bellinger could be very useful to the Jays in 2024-25, the problem is that the Jays would likely have to add 6 more years to get him to Toronto and that could be a retooling/rebuilding phase - remember the Phillies excruciating wait for Ryan Howard's contract to end or the Tigers with Miguel Cabrera's contract.
Nigel - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 05:46 PM EST (#441365) #
I'm not being flippant when I say this but when you've reached the "if everything goes right we have a good team" part of the offseason you know your offseason hasn't been great. If you want to consider the alternative - what happens if the key members of the pitching staff were to have an average or worse spate of health next year? Instead of getting 120+ starts from Gausman, Berrios, Bassitt and Kikuchi, imagine 80 starts from that group. I am expecting a regression next year (to the good for the offence and to the bad for the run prevention) in about equal parts.
scottt - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 06:17 PM EST (#441366) #
Gotta keep things in perspective.

Bellinger might be the best guy available and the top guy might have gotten 700M but that doesn't mean Bellinger is worth upwards of 200M.

Bellinger is a Boras client and Boras does not mind waiting. March, April, June. It doesn't matter to Boras.

Back to perspective.
I've heard of 2 guys being used as reference points.
One is Brando Nimmo, an other Boras client who waited it out to get 8/162M 2 years ago.
The other is Carlos Correa who failed 2 physical and ended up with 6/200M. Correa has vesting options for 29-33.

Nimmo was good for 5 WAR in 22 and 4 last year.
Correa fell down to 1.4 WAR last year from 5.5 the year before.

Bellinger was worth 4.4 WAR last year, but 1.2 last year and -1.7 the year before.
He's only 28, but he's not a full time outfielder. He played only 84 games in the outfield last year.
He might end up with a shorter contract with opt outs but he might prefer to roll the dice elsewhere if he has to do that. There's the Canada thing and the turf thing to consider.
Overall, I feel it will take an overpay to bring him here and I don't think he's a guy I want to overpay.
I'd rather save the money and chase Soto next year.

greenfrog - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 06:26 PM EST (#441367) #
Bellinger is available now, probably with only a few real suitors.

You think Soto is going to choose the Jays over all other bidding teams next off-season? It seems unlikely he would choose Toronto, particularly at the tail end of the current window of contention. His peak seasons could end up being for a non-contending team.
Ducey - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 06:39 PM EST (#441368) #
Bellinger WAR

2017 3.9
2018 4.2
2019 8.6 (juicy ball)
2020 1.5
2021 -1.7
2022 1.2
2023 4.4

3 of the last 4 years have been average, or worse.

If Bellinger would sign for less than 5 years, great. But he wont because he likely doesn't believe he can put up 4 WAR consistently either.
greenfrog - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 06:53 PM EST (#441369) #
Or maybe Bellinger is feeling better physically and confident again as a result?

And don’t free agents generally try to obtain as many years and as much money as possible? I don’t see how his unwillingness to sign for fewer than five years would be in any way a reflection of lack of belief in himself.
bpoz - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 07:06 PM EST (#441370) #
Nice to see some trades. I like the Seattle trade because Ray is off the books except cash was also sent to SF so I can't do the math. DeSclafani may get in as the 5th starter but he has competition from B Miller, Woo and E Hancock. So a deep rotation.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 07:13 PM EST (#441371) #
Soto is as much of a pipe dream as Ohtani was. Another team will do 10 or 15 years at 35-40 million per.
scottt - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 07:42 PM EST (#441374) #
Othani was going to the Dodgers no matter what.
Soto will go to the highest bidder.
Soto is a bad defender who will end up at DH sooner than later.
He's not going to cost more than Othani.

Othani was never traded. Soto has been traded twice.

The worse case scenario for Bellinger is Chris Davis.
I don't see how he could become the biggest signing in Jays history with that record.

dalimon5 - Friday, January 05 2024 @ 08:11 PM EST (#441376) #
If Ohtani was going to the LAD no matter what then he wouldn't have leveraged 3 other teams to increase the offer. Maybe he had his heart set on the LAD but thats not the same thing.

Just like a major market bigger than Toronto wanted Ohtani another major market bigger than Toronto will want Soto. Sure Toronto can be seen as a country, huge broadcasting rights, big money, big market but when you factor in the "global attraction," and prestige of a city along with baseball prestige and history Toronto falls behind at least New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. There's at least 3 teams there that could pay more for Soto that would be a bigger attraction - and that's not factoring in Steve Cohen. One of those teams will want him just as much as Toronto, will offer him just as much and will be a more attractive place for him to sign and brand himself.

You also cut him down because of defense, but his hitting is really really good and he hasn't hit his prime.
Are the Jays trolling us? | 266 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.