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It's those guys again.

Yeah, they're good. They've slipped to second place in the AL East, mainly because the Yankees - without Gerritt Cole, mind you - have become the toughest team to score against in all of baseball. Just as everyone expected.

It wasn't that long ago (three years ago) when Cedric Mullins seemed like the only decent player in the Baltimore lineup - he was an All-Star, a Silver Slugger, he finished top 10 in the MVP voting. Now, at the tender age of 29, he's become the Black Hole in their lineup. They get by. They've got other guys. Sometimes your team is terrible, you get the first overall pick, and Adley Rutschmann falls into your lap. Sometimes your team is terrible, you get the first overall pick, and you end up with Spencer Torkelson. Or Casey Mize.

The Orioles just put two of their starting pitchers - John Means and Tyler Wells - on the IL. They're both scheduled for UCL surgery, are done for the year, and can now provide closer Felix Bautista company in the Rehab Room.

Means used to be their best starter, but they've learned how to get along without him. His latest setback means he'll have started just ten games in the last three seasons. The Orioles are expecting Dean Kremer to return before June is over. For now, Albert Suarez will fill in.

Suarez is 34 years old and was last seen in North America back in 2018, pitching in AAA Reno for the Diamondbacks organization. He'd had a shot at the majors with San Francisco in 2016 (3-5, 4.29) and 2017 (0-3, 5.12). He went to Japan in 2019, and spent four years pitching relief for the Yakult Swallows. He moved on to Korea and spent two years as a starter for the Samsung Lions. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal last September, and he began this season in AAA Norfolk. He was added to the MLB roster in April when Tyler Wells went on the IL. Suarez didn't allow a run in two of his three starts, which probably was why he stayed in the majors when Kyle Bradish was ready to get his season started. Suarez made 7 appearances out of the Baltimore bullpen, pitching 10 innings with an ERA of 0.90, and when Dean Kremer went on the IL, Suarez moved back into the rotation.


Mon 3 June - Rodriguez (5-2, 3.53) vs Gausman (4-3, 4.14)
Tue 4 June - Burnes (5-2, 2.35) vs TBD
Wed 5 June - Suarez (2-0, 1.57) vs Berrios (5-4, 2.78)
Thu 6 June - Bradysh (1-0, 3.18) vs Kikuchi (2-5, 3.66)
Orioles at Blue Jays, June 3-6 | 200 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
soupman - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#446925) #
What's the plan for tomorrow? Francis, I would assume. I saw a story the other day that floated Macko as an option for Manoah's spot, but since he pitched Saturday I doubt that is the move at least for this turn. He got touched up, but he still struck out a lot of batters.
scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#446926) #
Baltimore is 4th in starters ERA and 11th in relievers ERA.
Maybe that goes with the offense being down this year and the Jays pitching having been worse than it feels.

Which reminds me, how do the folks who wanted to Sign Blake Snell feel about his terrible season?

Gerry - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#446927) #
I noticed at the weekend that Francis was on the bench with the starters, as opposed to sitting in the bullpen. I took it as a sign.

The other option is Yariel Rodriguez.
92-93 - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#446928) #
Presumably both Francis and Rodriguez will rejoin the team and soak up the majority of the innings.

The Orioles pen was used a lot this past series, so it would help getting to them early and often in this 4-gamer.
soupman - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#446929) #
cy young to cy yuck is a surprise. i didn't think it would be a good signing, and i don't remember there being a lot of people (at least around here) worried about the jays rotation this year. with the giants quickly falling out of it and snell chalking his struggles up to missing spring...could be a great buy low candidate at the deadline.
Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#446930) #
How do I feel about Blake Snell's terrible season?

You never know with pitchers, but there was a reasonable chance that he was going to be a pitcher of sufficient quality that he would have helped them a lot in both the regular season and more importantly the post-season. They certainly could use another starter.
Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#446931) #
Snell especially hurts for the Giants. They forfeited a 3rd round pick in 2 weeks to sign him.

And they forfeited their second rounder for Chapman
Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#446932) #
The good news for the Jays is that the Twins play 3 vs the Yankees starting Tuesday, so the Jays should not fall too far back in the WildCard.
electric carrot - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#446933) #
Anybody else getting Greg Luzinsky vibes from Vogelbach? I tried to post a side by side picture but I guess I don't know how to bring in pictures on this site. Right now Vogelbach is my favorite blue jay to watch.
christaylor - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#446934) #
I think the point of anyone arguing for Snell (myself included) was not him per se but the easily realization that the Blue Jays were not going to get as much health or performance out of the top 4.

Snell and Montgomery were the biggest/best FA out there. Manoah, Tiedmann, Rodriguez are all walking wounded too.

Maybe they could have swung a better deal and nabbed Sale? Theu whiffed on their hitter targets. The KK, Turner, IKF money could have been deployed to shore up the staff.

On a more positive note: Vlad is arguably in the conversation for best 1B in the AL.
92-93 - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#446935) #
It's pretty crazy how bad the AL 1Bs are this year. Josh Naylor is the only one on pace for a decent counting stats season.

Jose Abreu is hitting .116/.172/.163 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. He signed for 3/58.5MM prior to the 2023 season.
Chuck - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#446936) #
Anybody else getting Greg Luzinsky vibes from Vogelbach?

If you are referring to physical appearance, Vogelbach seems more like Chris Farley to me. I wonder if he sleeps in a van down by the river.

If you are talking hitting profile, not so much. Luzinski hit .300 during his peak. Luzinski's worst batting average ever is the same as Vogelbach's best. Both players are/were very poor defensively.

Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#446937) #
Baseball Reference says that Luzinski was 6'1", 220 and Vogelbach is 6', 270.  Luzinski had legs like tree trunks.  Vogelbach has those, but is a lot bigger in the upper body. 
Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#446939) #
Luzinski was a good full-time player.  He was done by age 32, but amassed 26 bWAR in 7000 PAs by then.  Vogelbach is 31, has mostly been a part-time player and amassed 1.5 bWAR total in under 2000 PAs so far. 
John Northey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#446940) #
Wow, didn't notice how bad at 1B the hitting has been - 6 of 12 qualified for the batting title are sub 100 for wRC+, 2 more at 110 or less. Vlad's 133 wRC+ is 3rd in the AL for 1B. Mountcastle at 136 and Salvador Perez 149 are ahead of him, with Josh Naylor at 122 a bit behind. Cut down to 50 PA and we get 25 players, 17 sub 100 wRC+ with Boston's Triston Casas tied with Vlad at 133. Wow, given 1B is normally a pure hitting position that is bizarre.
John Northey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#446941) #
Funny fact - Vlad is listed with 1 DRS for yesterday's game at 3B. In 2019 he was -3 DRS over 824 innings. At 1B this year he is at -2.
electric carrot - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#446942) #
"Luzinski was a good full-time player."

I think you all may be misinterpreting the word "vibes." I don't mean that V is or will ever be as good as Luzinski -- who was a truly great player and who at the same age would represent a real upgrade from Vogelbach.
Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#446943) #
A propos of nothing, John listed at 5'10" 170 lbs by BBRef. He was a lot lighter in his Padre days than later.
Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#446944) #
Prince Fielder is listed on BR as 5'11" 275 lbs. Not sure how accurate that is
lexomatic - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#446945) #
Wow, didn't notice how bad at 1B the hitting has been

It's been a few years like this. Somw stars, for sure, but lots if scrub afterthoughts
Nigel - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#446946) #
The Oakland A's and Scott Hatteberg say "you're welcome":).
scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#446947) #
Facing Burnes, the objectives should be to soak innings, regardless of the scores.
Also, put Turner and KK in there.

scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#446948) #
Chris Davis was 6-4, 255lbs, but still the same type of player.

greenfrog - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#446949) #
I don't mean to be overly pessimistic, but I think the O's are going to crush the Blue Jays this series.
Magpie - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#446950) #
Greg Luzinski's defense inspired an all-timer from Bill James in the Revised Historical Abstract:

... the worst outfielder I ever saw, bar none.... in addition to being a big, slow guy, he had no arm at all. He couldn't throw the ball across a room.... He had dreadful hands, and he had no confidence in his ability to make a play, so he played everything timidly except the wall, which he seemed to be in denial about. ... If a ball was hit deep he had no idea whether it was going to hit the wall and come back or not, so he would chase fly balls to the wall, only to see them rocket past him on their way back to the infield. Everything hit out there was a surprise to him; nothing was ever easy.

It was like having Herman Munster playing left field.

Incidentally, David Wells is still listed at 6-3, 187. Maybe they weighed him in high school.
GabrielSyme - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#446951) #
Gausman has always given up relatively solid contact, but this season they are really lighting him up with a .435 xwOBACON, way above his career .392 number; and I'm not sure why. The movement on his pitches is pretty much the same - or even slightly better - than last year. Perhaps it's the drop in velocity, but it's less than a mile per hour, and he has gained a little in velo over the course of a season in the past, so the difference is less when you consider where we are in the season.

Perhaps it's just a combination of some bad luck and some drop in velocity.
Eephus - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#446952) #
On that point, Baltimore was hitting Gausman hard all game. Been getting away with most of it until Hays got him.
greenfrog - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#446953) #
It seems as though the Blue Jays have had a few pitchers rush back from injuries early this season (Gausman, Swanson, Romano), with adverse consequences to them and the team.
Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#446954) #
Mmm. Bacon
scottt - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#446955) #
Not getting them to chase the splitter.
Also, the ump not giving him the call on a good high fastball when Varsho got a call on one that was right at his shoulder affected the AB.

Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#446956) #
Geez Bo. Doesn't get much more routine than that.
Ducey - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#446957) #
Vlad is having a game.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#446958) #
It was like having Herman Munster playing left field.

Herman Munster had a tryout with Leo Durocher and the Dodgers.

Mike Green - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#446959) #
Everything hit out there was a surprise to him; nothing was ever easy.

The origin of the well-known aphorism that  "a can of corn is in the eye of the beholder", remains a mystery, but surely the Bull played a part.   
greenfrog - Monday, June 03 2024 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#446960) #
he had no arm at all

He wasn't really a throwback ballplayer.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#446961) #
Richards is opening today
John Northey - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#446962) #
Oy. I was sure Francis was going to start today. Last started on the 28th, so proper rest, 3 2/3 IP 1 H 1 unearned run, 1 BB 5 SO 1 HBP, 55 pitches. Sounds ready to me to go 4-5 today. Certainly of more value than Little would be. Little has all 3 options so that isn't the issue. Burr has 2 so he could go back down easily as well - unless they have clauses saying they need to be released if sent down of course. But neither would be a massive loss.

Somedays it just seems the Jays are in no rush, feel no urgency over anything. Sigh. Moments like this I think a 4 game sweep by the O's might be needed to kick some people in the butt in the front office.
Ducey - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#446963) #
All the rumours are that Francis will be the bulk reliever.

So there's that.

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#446964) #
Personally I prefer the descriptions as opener/main event.  Bulk reliever sounds like something one picks up at a discount at no-frills.  I think the opener should be required to give a James Brown style introduction for the main event when he walks off after the 1st inning. 
John Northey - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#446965) #
Of course, given how this year has gone, and might go if things don't get better soon, bulk relievers might be needed. Picturing Atkins at a Costco getting the basket filled with generic long relievers, feeling he got a heck of a deal.
soupman - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#446966) #
he had no arm at all He wasn't really a throwback ballplayer. i felt the need to react to this. good one.
scottt - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#446967) #
Normally, you give the bulk guy a clean inning, you don't bring him in the middle of a jam.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#446968) #
Bowden Francis has had an issue with the longball this year.  Ryan Mountcastle slugs over .600 in the RC.  The irresistible force met the very movable object with predictable results.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#446969) #
I hope John Schneider is making some sound investments because he’s never going to manage in the major leagues again.
scottt - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#446970) #
Also, the whole point of the opener is for the bulk guy to not start with the top of the order.
Sometimes, the manager just loses the plot.

Starters are used to a clean inning, taking a long time to warm up and often do better once they've thrown 20 pitches or so.

Also, I don't understand why Bo didn't try to steal. There was 2 throws to first and Burnes was trying to stay off the plate. He takes forever to the plate.

greenfrog - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#446971) #
Blue Jays extra base hits + walks so far tonight: 1

Spencer Horwitz extra base hits + walks so far tonight: 2
Nigel - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#446972) #
While this is painful, I do think there is considerable upside to what is happening. My preseason prediction was that the Jays would miss the playoffs but be a fringe WC contender. That’s the mushy middle and could have, conceivably, led to another “do nothing” offseason. I think “do nothing” is being taken off the table by the play on the field.
greenfrog - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#446973) #
It looks as though the five-year window of serious contention may actually have been a one-year window (2021). Too bad the team traded for the disastrous Brad Hand that summer instead of going all-in to improve the bullpen. Anthopoulos learned the same lesson in 2015 when he turned down a Tellez-for-Zobrist trade that could have propelled the Blue Jays to the World Series.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#446974) #
Well, no matter what I still count 2022 and 2023 as successful - making the playoffs is a success. How you do in them is largely random, and can be (was) painful. 2022 should've been a tied series but literally everything that could go wrong did in game 2. 2023 was just a crap show in the playoffs which could be blamed on the manager and everyone being happy just getting there rather than putting pressure on success in the playoffs (see the party on the last day of the season after a loss instead of getting ready).

Right now it is clear a new direction is needed. The Jays at best will split with the O's but right now I'm expecting them to be swept unless Berrios or Kikuchi can have a 'wow' game. Then comes the weekend vs Oakland which should be a 2 of 3 or sweep (should be...), then the Brewers and Cleveland for the next 6 (both contenders playing FAR better than the Jays). My birthday is during the Red Sox series which is a must for the Jays if they don't want to be looking at a last place AL East finish in 2024. Then Cleveland, Red Sox, Yankees to finish June and maybe finish this season unless things drastically change.

Right now Shapiro has to be thinking about replacing the GM - no way he can let Atkins do the turnover if needed, and he'll be after a name GM (someone who has won). WS GM's ... not easy to find. Brian Sabean (age 67) is not a GM right now, he is the executive assistant to the GM for the Yankees - unlikely they'd let the Jays poach him. Theo Epstein is similar with the Red Sox but with an ownership share it seems. Sandy Alderson appears to be in a light advisory role with the Mets but at age 76 I can't imagine he'd want the GM role again. Dayton Moore would be seen as radioactive (said nice things about a child molester who was a pitching prospect). Jeff Luhnow is an interesting one - his suspension over the garbage can Astro stuff is long over, he was a solid GM though - I'd certainly consider him unless he is viewed as toxic in the industry, which he shouldn't be given the players who actually did it aren't, nor is the manager who did it (A.J. Hinch who now is managing the Tigers). If interested he might be the best bargain out there.

Realistically though I expect no major changes even if the Jays lose every game in June. Unless things REALLY turn around, I expect Kikuchi, Garcia, Kiermaier, Jansen, Richards to all be traded if the Jays get any decent offers for them before the deadline on July 30th, with the Jays eating some cash if needed to get decent prospects back (especially with Kiermaier). If Turner gets his bat going then he'd be traded too, as would Vogelbach (in both cases I'd take 35+ level prospects - guys who would be around #25-#35 on a teams prospect list, Kikuchi is the only one I see getting a 45+ guy, maybe Jansen if a team is desperate for a catcher who can hit - pitchers are always in high demand).
soupman - Tuesday, June 04 2024 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#446975) #
Coppolella did a great job rebuilding the Braves (aside from some of the methods). He turned a bottom of the league farm system into one of the top-2, and AA inherited a team that went from 90-losses to a division winner with very little done that off season. He's available and they should have hired him yesterday. The results speak for themselves. Meanwhile, Cleveland won 1 division the entire time Shapiro was there and have won it 4 times since he left. He's not a bad exec, but he is far from the level this organization requires to win in this division. The Jays had the 6th hardest schedule coming into this weekend and face the 9th hardest going forward. That sounds impossible...but it isn't. The solution appears obvious and happens to not have an MLB job at the moment.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#446976) #
My birthday is during the Red Sox series which is a must for the Jays if they don't want to be looking at a last place AL East finish in 2024.
My birthday is during the previous series.. June birthdays FTW :-)
John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:54 AM EDT (#446977) #
Yep, June is a great month to be born - many in my family are in that month as well. A few HOF'ers from that month includes: Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter, Wade Boggs, Harmon Killebrew, Lou Brock, Carl Hubbell, Billy Williams, Bill Dickey (was seen as one of the best catchers of all time for a long time), Roger Bresnahan, Bill Foster, Willard Brown, Eddie Gaedel (OK, not HOF but damn famous), Tip O’Neill (Canadian whose name is on the Canadian baseball player of the year award); ex-Jays Carlos Delgado, Tony Fernandez, Corey Koskie, Ernie Whitt, Manuel Lee, Dave Parker, José Reyes, Lance Parrish, Kendrys Morales, Mike Stanley, Bud Black, Pat Venditte (the switch pitcher).

Didn't remember that Tony Fernandez was a June kid, nor Delgado & Whitt. Could make a damn fine Jays team from the players born in June. Hmmm... that might be a fun Hall of Numbers thing to do someday - best month for Jay players. June has all-stars as Jays at C/1B/SS, a solid middle IF in Lee, Koskie is good at 3B, Reyes a bit of a scum, the rest weren't here long though but famous names there.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:56 AM EDT (#446978) #
Coppolella is interesting - he was banned for life over his actions with Atlanta (cutting illicit pre-draft deals with amateur players) but was reinstated in 2023 by the commissioner. I agree he'd be worth looking at if the Jays want to make a change, especially given his age (just 45).
Magpie - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#446980) #
Surprised you didn't consider the fellow who replaced Luhnow in Houston.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#446981) #
It doesn't seem like Hames Click wants to work here. He does everything form his home iso he can be closer to family.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#446982) #
Luck is the residue of design, Orioles version. It's true that the 2020 draft class was weak so that the Tigers ended up with Torkelson and the Orioles Kjerstad after him at the top of the draft, rather than a player of Rutschman's quality. But the O's had a Competitive Balance pick that year and turned it into Jordan Westburg. They've had so many very good, very young players that the odds were much improved that some of them would turn into stars.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#446983) #
Good catch Magpie. Click? How about LaCava?

If the plan was to be competitive every year until the end of the season then Atkins has done that. Building a WS championship team cannot be planned. In 2023 TB (99W) and Baltimore (102W) getting swept by Texas (90W) is a SSS, but counts. I cannot remember how far Atlanta & LAD advanced in 2023.

Sucking/tanking was a good strategy to get a high pick but with the lottery that does not really work and that is a strategy I expect the Jays to not follow. But Houston, Baltimore and a few others followed it and have had success. So it works and creates a longer and cheaper window. The Jays strategy was to drastically reduce payroll and then spend on FAs Ryu, Springer etc... Looks like Springer's 2024, 25 & 26 salary will be a negative impact for the success of the team because of the inevitable decline in his play.

So a new plan is needed especially since some long rebuilds are close to over. Boston is rebuilding somehow and have not spent a lot of money . I look forward to our plan to become more competitive. FAs like Snell are much more expensive. Nola & Wheeler got expensive extensions by Philadelphia. I am sure that fans were happy with that and will not be happy when age/injury affect them. How about Harper.

Glevin - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#446984) #
There's really no point making trades now. Teams not really buying until July but don't see the point of trying to get second wild card. Orioles and Yankees are so much better. I don't think you need to tank or anything but I think Jays need to say "we are looking at 2026" and then make moves accordingly. They have a lot of pieces with value. My concern is Rogers wants to be in playoff hunt every year so they'll instead want short-term moves that don't move the needle and Jays will end up with 75 wins and 13th pick for the foreseeable future. I don't mind the Jays being bad if it's being bad for the right reasons and in the right way. The good news for the Jays is that AAA is full of guys who should get a shot in the majors. The team has enough talent, assets, and money where I think they can turn things around in a couple of years. Anyway, I'd much rather watch Barger and Horwitz at this point than Biggio and Turner.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#446985) #
Yep, this is why the Blue Jays didn't make the postseason between 1993 and 2015. If the organization makes a bunch of David Wells (Sirotka) or JA Happ type trades (Drury and McKinney) in an attempt to stay relevant in the short term, they probably aren't going to get anywhere. If you're going to rebuild, do it right.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#446986) #
Are you sure Rogers wont consent to a rebuild?

I mean its likely that no one recently asked them. The last they heard from Shapiro was for money for the stadium and Ohtani.

It will cost someone their head, but I could see Rogers being quite happy to cut $200M from payroll for a few years.
soupman - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#446988) #
He was reinstated last year. That doesn't mean much since there are other people (Bonds for example) that are defacto black balled without it being official - so who knows? Coppy came up under Hart, the same Hart that handed the keys in Cleveland to Shapiro - so there is a bit of an old boys' connection there as well.
scottt - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#446989) #
The blueprint for MLB teams is that when they spend money on renovation/new stadium, it's because they expect to have high attendances in the short term.

I don't see any scenarios that leads to a rebuild short of a plane crash.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#446990) #
bottom 10 by record, bottom 5 by run diff and other underlyings.

top-5 payroll or close to it at least.

that's gotta be a fireable offense.
scottt - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#446991) #
Any team can win a 2-game postseason series.
You can dream of dominating the division, but that might not happen in a hundred years.

The Jays isn't the only contenders who are struggling.
Houston, Texas, Tampa makes half of last year's AL playoff teams.
And Minnesota isn't doing that well either.

John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#446992) #
A rebuild, no. A retool, yes. In late July I could see the Jays doing a lot of trades to get young talent (AA or higher) so they can quickly be back in the playoff race, ideally in 2025 (ala the 2020 team - not good enough to win but good enough to sneak in) with an eye to 2026/27 being the 'lets do this' time.

The challenge will be clearing out deadwood, and getting in something of value. That will require trading good players near free agency (Kikuchi, Garcia, Richards, Bassitt, Jansen), and seeing if you can dump some salary (Springer, Kiermaier, Turner), while taking offers on quality guys who could still help here (IKF, Gausman, Green). Springer and Gausman are both in the mid-$20 mil range for 2024/25/26 thus might be attractive even though neither is having a good year (that $47 mil a year the 2 earn would help sell a deal to Rogers). Green & IKF are close to free agency but valuable to the Jays so someone would need to overpay to get them. Kikuchi is a dream to trade partners (LH starter, only making $10 mil), Garcia at $6 mil is a deal too. Bassitt's $22 mil is about what he is worth but an inning eater like him has bonus value to a team fighting to survive the summer and make it to the playoffs - but also has value to a team rebuilding due to that thus needing a strong offer to get him. Jansen in theory is the best player on the Jays that is available given his bat but demand for catchers is never easy to call - a team that contends with a weak catcher would love him - Cleveland's catchers have a wOPS+ of 78, ugh, same for Texas. A deal is possible, but will it get much?

Sigh. I much prefer talking about how the Jays will improve the everyday lineup/pitching staff for a playoff run, but realistically that ain't happening this year unless something drastic changes fast.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#446993) #
"The blueprint for MLB teams is that when they spend money on renovation/new stadium, it's because they expect to have high attendances in the short term."

Attendance as of games of June 4:

* 2023: 25gms, 36296
* 2024: 29gms, 32338 (-11%)

and last year the jays were actually competitive and moderately increased their attendance the rest of the way by about 1000 per game.

I can only imagine what will happen attendance-wise as they keep on playing like they're playing.

Not sure Rogers Inc. was looking forward to a 15-20% drop in attendance in year one of the Cup Holders Era.

soupman - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#446994) #
seems like that was/is the succession plan? i know he has the ring, but i don't really know much about him other than he has a reputation as a numbers guy.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#446995) #
The Blue Jays era of contention was supposed to be 2020-25, a down-phase for both the Yankees and Red Sox and the hoped-for prime of Guerrero Jr. and Bichette.  How's it going so far?  They are 332-274, a .548 pace or an average of 89 wins.  In their best season, they won 92 games.  During the same period, the Rays are 355-252, a .584 pace or an average of 95 wins.  And that wasn't the beginning of their run- they had won 96 games and 90 games the years before hand.  The O's were bad through 2021, and then went 83-79 in 2022.  Let's count that as the beginning of their run.  So far, they are 223-160 or a .582 pace, for an average of 94 wins per season, a noticeably better pace than any 2+ year period for the Blue Jays.  The Rays have had good management through the entire period, and the O's acquired good management later.  The Blue Jays' management, sadly, is noticeably not as good, and it costs them probably 3-5 wins per season at least, once you account for the payroll differences. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#446996) #
It's not just about winning percentage. Other relevant benchmarks arguably include postseason success and farm system strength.

Arguably, one lesson from 1991-1993 and 2015-2016 is that the window of significant contention in Toronto tends to be short: 1-3 years. If the front office is fortunate enough to have a team that rises to that level, as the Blue Jays did in 2021, they should do everything they can to strike while the iron is hot and double/triple-down on the roster in an effort to win a World Series. It is generally a mistake to hold on to your Tellezes and Orelvises in an effort to build a "sustainable contender."
soupman - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#446997) #
they lost a lot of seats in the reno of the first level, no? but they also jacked up prices; so, in terms of lost revenue they might not be doing as terribly as the gate numbers seem to suggest.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#446998) #


* 2024: 21st
* 2023: 9th
* 2022: 7th
* 2021: 9th
* 2020: 11th
* 2019: 16th
* 2018: 21st
* 2017: 19th
* 2016: 7th
* 2015: 5th

Run Differential:

* 2024: 24th
* 2023: 13th
* 2022: 7th
* 2021: 5th
* 2020: 17th
* 2019: 21st
* 2018: 23rd
* 2017: 22nd
* 2016: 5th
* 2015: 1st

When you look at both numbers it seems pretty clear that the only years these new Jays were contenderish were 2021 and 2022, and even in those years they were outside contenders, not favorites. Last year in 2023 they were just an above average team - a bubble team that squeaked into the playoffs. In 2020 they were just a plain average team with a record that outperformed the underlying performance.

If you generously want to say they had a four year window between 2020 and 2023, they averaged 9th in the standings and 11th in run differential over those 4 years. An above average, bubble-type team over that window, not even really an outside contender.

In no year have they put out a product as good as the team they inherited in 2016 - a team they famously didn't make any major investments in in the offseason or at the deadline.

And obviously nothing nearly as good as that 2015 team before the new regime took over - a team Shapiro famously criticized for sacrificing Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Norris, Miguel Castro, and Matt Boyd to build.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#446999) #
I don't see that farm-system strength in the long-term tells you much about management if it doesn't convert to wins at the major league level. The Blue Jay farm system of the mid to late 90s was very strong, but...

Post-season success is a valid point, but there is a significant element of luck to it. The Rays have done a lot better than the Blue Jays over the same time frame. Better teams will, on average, do somewhat better than lesser teams.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#447000) #
The window of contention from 1985-1993 was not short. It hasn't been for the Rays. Rather, it's a reflection of the characteristics of the team that has been built and the quality of management. The 2015-16 club had good management, but was built on older players rather than prime-age or younger ones.
Ducey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#447001) #
"I don't see any scenarios that leads to a rebuild short of a plane crash."


1)A finish in the bottom 4 of the AL with OAK, LAA, CWS and a run differential of -100 is foreseeable this season.

2) Add to that the exodus of some of the team this year (including one of the their best SP, their best RP, their starting catcher)

3)Then Bassitt, Bo, Vlad, Romano, Mayza, Green are gone after 2025

4) a weak farm system with few game changing prospects

5) some difficulty signing free agents likely to be exacerbated by the above

6) a GM who has not show much acumen to convert vets into useful prospects (Teo and Espinal are about it)

Thats pretty plane crashy.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#447002) #
The Blue Jays had a number of good teams from 1985-1993, but was it a continuous window of contention?

In any event, that period is something of an anomaly in the overall period of 1976-2024. There has been no other period in which the team was a serious contender (really good team) for more than a year or two.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#447003) #
Is there a reliable list of pending FAs MLB-wide that someone could share?

If the Jays tear down I’d like to see the potential replacements
bpoz - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#447004) #
The last dozen posts are suggesting 1) Trading players like Kikuchi, Jansen for something of value. 2) Also trade Springer for salary relief. 3) Maybe no FA signings until we are ready. It seems to me FAs got more expensive last off season. The Gausman/Ray FA 5 year deals could be more expensive for Gausman and less expensive for Ray. But by how much? Remember 2022 & 23 Gausman was quite good. 4) Miraculously turn our farm system elite or V good.

When do we start this? This off season? Kikuchi & Jansen would get us something at the trade deadline but would weaken the team's chances of competing until the end of the season.
Glevin - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#447005) #
The worst thing a rebuilding team can do is trade salaries for relief. If the Jays rebuild, the team payroll will go down. Getting lesser assets to pay off salary is just a bad move. Jays need talent not salary relief.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#447006) #
"There has been no other period in which the team was a serious contender (really good team) for more than a year or two."

and only one period in which the team replaced their GM in the MIDDLE of that "year or two".
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#447007) #
Plausible Best Lineups...

Using This Year's Stats

* 1. 2B Schneider 197pa, .345obp, 130wrc+, 4.0war/650pa
* 2. 1B Guerrero 265pa, .389obp, 137wrc+, 2.9war/650pa
* 3. C Jansen 128pa, .352obp, 142wrc+, 6.6war/650pa
* 4. CF Varsho 212pa, .297obp, 115wrc+, 5.8war/650pa
* 5. 3B Falefa 189pa, .309obp, 101wrc+, 3.8war/650pa
* 6. LF Biggio 131pa, .323obp, 88wrc+, 2.5war/650pa
* 7. DH Turner 198pa, .298obp, 87wrc+, -1.3war/650pa
* 8. RF Springer 231pa, .303obp, 85wrc+, 1.4war/650pa
* 9. SS Bichette 240pa, .288obp, 82wrc+, 0.5war/650pa

* X. PH Vogelbach 71pa, .282obp, 78wrc+, -1.8war/650pa
* X. C Kirk 113pa, .292obp, 70wrc+, 4.0war/650pa
* X. IF Clement 109pa, .252obp, 70wrc+, -0.6war/650pa
* X. OF Kiermaier 119pa, .259obp, 63wrc+, 0.2war/650pa

Using Past 1 Calendar Year Stats

* 1. 2B Schneider 338pa, .370obp, 149wrc+, 6.2war/650pa
* 2. 1B Guerrero 694pa, .357obp, 121wrc+, 1.6war/650pa
* 3. C Jansen 297pa, .347obp, 140wrc+, 6.3war/650pa
* 4. DH Turner 583pa, .328obp, 109wrc+, 0.6war/650pa
* 5. LF Biggio 372pa, .356obp, 107wrc+, 2.8war/650pa
* 6. RF Springer 662pa, .321obp, 99wrc+, 1.8war/650pa
* 7. CF Varsho 549pa, .291obp, 98wrc+, 3.8war/650pa
* 8. SS Bichette 560pa, .306obp, 97wrc+, 2.1war/650pa
* 9. 3B Falefa 415pa, .319obp, 95wrc+, 2.7war/650pa

* X. PH Vogelbach 255pa, .314obp, 107wrc+, 0.3war/650pa
* X. IF Clement 157pa, .297obp, 95wrc+, 2.1war/650pa
* X. C Kirk 370pa, .311obp, 87wrc+, 3.7war/650pa
* X. OF Kiermaier 358pa, .293obp, 81wrc+, 2.7war/650pa

Using Fangraphs' Combined Depth Charts Rest-of-Season Projections:

* 1. 2B Schneider 353pa, .337obp, 121wrc+, 3.9war/650pa
* 2. 1B Guerrero 428pa, .364obp, 142wrc+, 3.9war/650pa
* 3. SS Bichette 419pa, .325obp, 121wrc+, 4.0war/650pa
* 4. C Jansen 257pa, .324obp, 123wrc+, 4.8war/650pa
* 5. DH Vogelbach 62pa, .335obp, 114wrc+, 1.0war/650pa
* 6. RF Springer 379poa, .324obp, 113wrc+, 2.9war/650pa
* 7. CF Varsho 370pa, .302obp, 111wrc+, 3.9war/650pa
* 8. LF Biggio 216pa, .325obp, 98wrc+, 1.5war/650pa
* 9. 3B Clement 163pa, .304obp, 97wrc+, 2.0war/650pa

* X. C Kirk 195pa, .344obp, 116wrc+, 5.3war/650pa
* X. PH Turner 295pa, .326obp, 109wrc+, 1.3war/650pa
* X. IF Falefa 247pa, .307obp, 90wrc+, 2.1war/650pa
* X. OF Kiermaier 264pa, .294obp, 88wrc+, 2.5war/650pa

Other interesting options based on these projections:

* X. 1B Horwitz 18pa, .323obp, 119wrc+, 3.6war/650pa
* X. OF Lukes 44pa, .322obp, 102wrc+, 1.5war/650pa
* X. UT Barger 53pa, .306obp, 99wrc+, 1.2war/650pa
* X. 1B Votto 84pa, .272obp, 96wrc+, 0.0war/650pa
* X. IF Jimnenez 4pa, .315obp, 92wrc+, 0.0war/650pa
* X. IF Martinez 71pa, .276obp, 89wrc+, 1.8war/650pa
christaylor - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#447008) #

There are some rose-colored glasses in looking at 2016 here. The 2016 Blue Jays pulled the same sleight of hand as the 2023 Blue Jays; their starters made a ton of starts and threw a ton of innings, all at a high level given the expected numbers for a 1-5 rotation.

Investing after 2016 would have meant giving EE a big contract, having the foresight to know Bautista would crater (which they did), and signing 3 SPs (again, having the foresight to know at least one would, and did, get injured).

Take a look at the 2016-2017 top FAs on mlbtraderumors. There are a lot of landmines there, but not much quality. Maybe they tried to get Justin Turner, then? None of those pitchers seem appealing.

Maybe a deadline deal gets them to top the Cleveland team, but 2017 still happens. I don't recall much in the farm to pull off what happened in 2015.

The 2024 team evokes 2017 vibes, and I would not be surprised if they ended up with identical records. On June 9, 2017, the Jays had a 29-32 record. With a win today, they're 29-32.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. Hopefully, the FO can get more than a player like Hernandez, but who knows? I believe the team is entering a rebuild, which is a more difficult one, given the Vlad/Bo decisions.

I wonder how long replacing AA will be a thing that stings for some fans. It made sense at the time, he didn't want to lose power over the team to Shapiro and wouldn't play nice -- one statement that he embraced a player-development philosophy and the obvious (that he went all-in for 2015) and AA might still be the GM.

It does seem like the time to move on from Atkins, but as has been pointed out here before, change is tricky. Sometimes, you get a Gord Ash... or worse, JP and his clown show, which was light-years worse than this era.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#447010) #
Good point on the nightmare that could happen if Atkins is fired - Gord Ash was by far the worst GM we've seen in Toronto, with JPR, who followed, not much better (far worse on drafting/IFA plus made Halladay want out very, very badly - so badly that his wife refused to have his plaque have a Jays hat).

The 1983-1993 stretch was an amazing one - every year except 1983 the Jays were listed as either favorites or near favorites to win it all by virtually every publication. That was NOT a 1-2 year stretch, it was more Gillick retooling after 83-90 didn't win a WS and going after guys seen as 'winners' like Winfield, Morris, Carter and getting in undervalued guys like Alomar (few remember how his brother was thought of as a better player at first back then) & White (Angels had demoted him to AAA the year before the Jays got him). Jimmy Key, Manny Lee, Rance Mulliniks, Kelly Gruber, Dave Stieb, & Tom Henke were the parts left from 1985 in 1992 (Mulliniks as a pinch hitter only by the end, Stieb was on the 40 man but injured, Lee and Gruber were very minor parts of '85 so Key & Henke the only ones who were significant on both). Lots of turnover in that stretch with some old guys coming back (Eichhorn, Fernandez in '93).

2015/16 was a VERY short window - 83 wins in '14, sub 500 in '17. AA had a TON of pressure after the big deals leading into 2013 that flopped. His farm building didn't work too well (tons of picks but most wasted) - his 10+ WAR picks were Noah Syndergaard (all for others), Kevin Pillar (32nd round miracle), Joe Musgrove (all for others), Anthony DeSclafani (all for others), Marcus Stroman, with Kendall Graveman (mostly for others), Danny Jansen, and Matthew Boyd (most for others) all on the cusp of 10 WAR. Jordan Romano might get there too but that's it. 3 who were traded away before doing anything here, 1 shocker (Pillar), and 1 who was a high pick who did it here (Stroman). For 5 years that isn't too impressive for the help it gave the team directly (indirectly was nice in David Price, JA Happ, RA Dickey, etc). For 2016-2024 we have Bo Bichette, ... ummm ... yeah. Alek Manoah might get there (in the 7's as is Biggio who will probably need a chance elsewhere to get to 10).

So... what does that tell us? That Atkins has SUCKED at the draft, that AA wasn't great but had TONS of picks (he was good at getting those extras until the loophole was closed that he used). The International Free Agents gave us Vlad (AA), Kirk (Atk), Yariel Rodríguez (Atk), and indirectly Varsho (via Moreno (Atk) & Gurriel (Atk) trade). Clearly Atkins has flopped on the draft/IFA market post 2016 but did nicely this past winter getting Yariel Rodriguez (very early days on that one though - and was more of a regular free agent with not much of a track record). His biggest flop was not signing Kim when he wanted to sign here (Ryu had him all set) over a guarantee of a roster slot. I've defended Atkins in the past but the more I dig the worse he looks - like a guy who had some nice advantages to start then wasted them and held on thanks to getting a massive influx of cash ala Ash in the late 90's to sign Clemens or JPR with his splurge around 2006.

The concept of grabbing from a team that overachieved on small budgets was good, but maybe Atkins was the wrong choice for GM. Shapiro has done a great job getting pockets loose from Rogers (see stadium, spring training, and the payroll), but the draft and IFA (leading to a weaker farm)... those were Atkins responsibility afaik.
Glevin - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#447011) #
Jays got super lucky in 2016 with starting pitching and it made the team look like it was in better shape than it was. It doesn't matter who was in charge, there was no way to extend that window. Jays had absolutely nothing in the upper minors and the core was old, declining, and in key cases becoming free agents. The Jays were just not going to compete in 2017.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#447012) #
One key to the 1983-1993 stretch (in addition to having Pat Gillick at the helm) was the Blue Jays’ competitive advantage in Latin America. Players like Fernandez, Bell, Garcia, Lee and Guzman contributed greatly to the team’s success.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#447013) #
That's definitely true, greenfrog.  The club's strength in the DR at that time resulted from Gillick's willingness to "fish in many waters" and his emphasis on great scouting, as the profile of him notes.  Epy Guerrero was the key in the DR.  Gillick had hired him in 1967 when Gillick was with the Astros, and they had a long-running friendship prior to Gillick's arrival in TO. 
scottt - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#447014) #
If Atkins has sucked drafting what about Detroit, Chicago, LA and Oakland?
Even Tampa hasn't done well in the draft, they're all about trading guys when they reach arbitration.

mathesond - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#447015) #
"If Atkins has sucked drafting what about Detroit, Chicago, LA and Oakland?"

I'm not sure that's the bar they need to be clearing.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#447016) #
Yeah, the question isn't how do the Jays do vs the worst, but vs the best. 10 WAR guys drafted from 2016 to now by...
  • Yankees: none - 5+ are Anthony Volpe, Garrett Whitlock, and that's it.
  • Orioles: Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson 5-9.9: Austin Hays, that's it - I expected more given how they are doing but that's it. 2019 was a very, very good draft for them (the big 2)
  • Tampa: 5-9.9: Nathaniel Lowe, Taylor Walls, Shane McClanahan, Joe Ryan - no 10+'s but a fair number of solid contributors, very Rays.
  • Red Sox: 5-9.9: Santiago Espinal (thanks), Tanner Houck. That's it. Might explain why they have struggled so much.
  • Houston: Jeremy Pena 5-9.9: Chas McCormick, Josh Rojas.
  • Atlanta: 5-9.9: Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider - 2019/20 picks.
I could go on, but those are the AL East and the team that has been the class of the AL for awhile, and AA's team.

After doing that I feel Atkins might have been judged harshly by me earlier. Harris & Strider were available for the Jays to take, but everyone else ignored them until Atlanta took them. Henderson was a 2nd round pick. But overall, not a lot of talent these past few drafts that have made it so far.

10+ WAR guys round 1: 2016: 1, 2017: 0, 2018: 2, 2019: 1, 2020 and beyond: 0 so far.; round 2: Gunnar Henderson (2019), Daulton Varsho (2017), and 2016 (Pete Alonso, Bo Bichette, Bryan Reynolds, all within 1 WAR of each other, weird). So just 9 guys with 10+ WAR drafted in rounds 1/2 from 2016-now and 1 was drafted by the Jays (Bo) while they acquired another (Varsho). Far better than I expected it to look.
JohnL - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#447017) #
“ The Blue Jays had a number of good teams from 1985-1993, but was it a continuous window of contention?”

Well, there was only one year where they finished more than 2 games back: 1986, and I think they’d kind of been in contention for first into September.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#447018) #
And they didn't have any high draft picks at all during that era, of course. 
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#447019) #
2017 inherited players = 21.1war

* Donaldson 4.9war
* Stroman 4.1
* Smoak 3.5
* Osuna 2.1
* Estrada 2.1
* Martin 1.7
* Pillar 1.2
* Tepera 0.9
* Barnes 0.7
* Loup 0.5
* Carrera 0.5
* Travis 0.4
* Ramirez 0.3
* Tulo 0.2
* Goins 0.2
* D.Smith 0.2
* Santos 0.2
* Alford 0.0
* C.Smith 0.0
* Sanchez -0.1
* Mayza -0.1
* Parmley -0.1
* Saunders -0.2
* Urena -0.2
* Cole -0.2
* Rowley -0.2
* Dermody -0.2
* Lawrence -0.4
* Bautista -0.9

2017 Debatable Players = 3.0war

* Happ 3.0

2017 Added Players = -1.5war

* Leone 1.7
* J.Smith 0.9
* Biagini 0.6
* Anderson 0.4
* Koehler 0.4
* Liriano 0.3
* Hernandez 0.3
* Lopez 0.3
* Aoki 0.2
* Ceciliani 0.1
* Campos 0.1
* Pearce 0.0
* House 0.0
* Ohlman -0.1
* Harrell -0.1
* Valdez -0.2
* Sparkman -0.2
* Latos -0.2
* Tepesch -0.2
* Morales -0.3
* Beliveau -0.3
* Howell -0.3
* Refsnyder -0.5
* Saltalamacchia -0.5
* Bolsinger -0.5
* Montero -0.5
* Barney -0.7
* Coghlan -0.7
* Grilli -0.7
* Maile -0.8

Nigel - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#447020) #
The one area where the Jays have been very poor and significantly behind some (not all) of their key rivals in the past 10-15 years is in the IFA market. For example, Houston built a rotation of very to good to elite starters out of the IFA market.

In the current context, as Mike noted, there was supposed to be a window of contention for this team in the sort of 2021-2025 timeframe built around some elite prospects (Vladdy, Bo, Kirk, Pearson, Moreno). Those prospects have failed to develop as envisioned and the rest of the division hasn't had any interest in just laying down and letting the Jays take the division over. Maybe its been bad luck, maybe overhyped prospects or maybe poor development. I really don't know. In the end, the team hasn't had the talent pool that was hoped for and the talent has been combined on some oddly constructed rosters and, when so constructed, hasn't been used particularly efficiently, such that the sum of the parts has always been slightly less than you might expect.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#447021) #
Magpie has argued that the Shapiro-Atkins regime actually did the rebuilding part well from '17-20 (do I have your timeline right, sir?) it's the mistakes/inaction/bad luck after the rebuild that has brought upon the dark clouds currently swirling around the organization.

By the same token.Jeff Blair says a lot of things on his yakety yack show, and his general grumpiness is an acquired taste (I liked him much better when he was the beat writer for the team for the Globe). However, he's often mused that the club's unwillingness/inability (whichever the case, we'll probably never know) to get long term deals done for Vladdy and Bo ultimately caused a fracture in the relationship with the front office to which either side has ever recovered. I think there is something to this....which of course we can never quantify. It's just always struck me as odd, that after the '21 season, with both of them coming off stellar second full seasons in the bigs, that neither was signed long term.

Even the next year, when their numbers both dropped a bit, it made sense from both sides (the team to buy out the arbitration years, and be able to set payroll parameters for the future, the player to avoid arbitration and be paid handsomely until they hit free agency) and yet nothing ever got done.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#447022) #
I agree with that.

Glevin - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#447023) #
"2017 inherited players = 21.1war

* Donaldson 4.9war
* Stroman 4.1
* Smoak 3.5
* Osuna 2.1
* Estrada 2.1
* Martin 1.7
* Pillar 1.2"

This isn't a team that's going to win under any circumstances unless you're adding like multiple 5 WAR players.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#447024) #
Orioles last year

* Rutschman 5.6
* Henderson 4.7
* Bradish 4.7
* Bautista 2.9
* Santander 2.6
* Hays 2.5
* Gibson 2.3
* Cano 2.3
* Mullins 1.9
* Kremer 1.9
* Mountcastle 1.7
* Rodriguez 1.6
* Wells 1.6
* Coulumbe 1.5
* O'Hearn 1.5
* Hicks 1.4

Maybe we should have tried adding good players I dunno.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#447025) #
Magpie has argued that the Shapiro-Atkins regime actually did the rebuilding part well from '17-20 (do I have your timeline right, sir?)

OK, no one over the age of 16 is allowed to call me "sir." Unless you're making fun of me, of course.

My timeline is 2019 (95 losses) to 2021 (91 wins), which I submit is a pretty quick turnaround. My objection was in wasting 2017-18 hoping the aging remnants of the 2015 team could rouse themselves for one last hurrah. Which is extremely clear in retrospect - I can understand why it was difficult in the moment. They were still stuck with the Tulowitzki (and Marin) contracts. And if Atkins had traded Donaldson after 2016 or even after 2017, he'd probably have had to go into witness protection. But obviously, they waited too long to get on with it.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#447026) #

The Toronto Blue Jays are now tied for the 4th-longest 1st-inning scoring drought in MLB history (back to 1901), at 27 games.

— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) June 5, 2024
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#447027) #

* Gms 01-10: 4-6, -17rdiff
* Gms 11-20: 7-3, +4rdiff
* Gms 21-30: 4-6, -10rdiff
* Gms 31-40: 3-7, -24rdiff
* Gms 41-50: 5-5, +13rdiff
* Gms 51-60: 5-5, -11rdiff

* Gms 01-15: 7-8, -23rdiff
* Gms 16-30: 8-7, +0rdiff
* Gms 31-45: 5-10, -23rdiff
* Gms 46-60: 8-7, +1rdiff

* Gms 01-20: 11-9, -13rdiff
* Gms 21-40: 7-13, -34rdiff
* Gms 41-60: 10-10, +2rdiff

* Gms 01-30: 15-15, -23rdiff
* Gms 31-60: 13-17, -22rdiff
christaylor - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#447028) #
I don't think one could make a good-faith argument that any FO could have made 2017 a contender. There wasn't much out there in FA and (because of AA) the farm was depleted of desirable (not to be confused with good) prospects.

The FO did, from the outside looking in, to try to make the 2024 team better. Somewhere in the multiverse maybe they land both Ohtani and Soto.

Here in this reality, by January we had to hope for a repeat pitching performance (like in 2017) to imagine a WC.

A comp of the 2017 Jays and O's seems like a total bad-faith comparison. One needs to find an old team that added multiple top FA, preferably not named the Yankees, to be even in the ballpark.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#447029) #

OK, no one over the age of 16 is allowed to call me "sir." Unless you're making fun of me, of course.

Pre-pandemic, I was on a machine in the weight room at the University of Toronto gym.  Maybe it was the slightly vacant look on my face as I rested between sets, but an undergrad was evidently worried and asked "is there anything I can help you with, sir?".  I knew then that I was officially old. 
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#447030) #
The only bad faith I see is people pretending 2017's failures didn't have more to do with management not bothering to add anything other than replacement trash for it's first 2 years while it's inherited team was busy trying to contend despite them.
christaylor - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#447031) #
OK then please do go to the MLB trade rumors (or your preferred site) and identify the players the Jays should have added to make 2017 and/or 2018 competitive for the division.

Then, if such a hypothetical squad exists, add up the dollars of those contracts and see where that team would rank in payroll for those years.

That would be good faith not suggesting the Jays of 2017 could have added a Rutschman or a Henderson.

The downturn from 2016 wasn't a management failure, is my hypothesis, merely that the 2016 was a lovely season of beautiful pitching that rarely happens plus some aging bats.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#447034) #
The Blue Jays snag the W. Good job, team.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#447035) #
I guess you could go with the "no good players were available for two years". I disagree.

anyways, nice win. Tomorrow for the split - biggest game of the year!
Magpie - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#447036) #
I think the management failure was in not recognizing after the 2016 season that the team they had was pretty well toasted. Maybe it's hard to see that when you just went to the ALCS, but they were toast. They went out and proved just how toasted they were in 2017, but still Atkins refused to pivot and get on with the future. But old players just get even older, whether one likes it or not.
Kasi - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#447037) #
Agree with Magpie. That team offensively was barely hanging on and got carried by starting pitching that year. JD was doing okay but the rest were already in decline. Add in the farm was depleted by years of moves and there was nothing coming up to help in the near future.

However that does mean both AA in 15 and Atkins in 16 should have gone all in more. Like in for a penny in for the pound, I’m sure AA regrets not trading for Zobrist. Maybe an extra trade either year pushes the Iays over the top. But by 17 they were going to be bad and anyone could see that.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#447038) #
carried by starting pitching that year.

Carried by two starting pitchers who went 35-6 between them. Which leaves 54-67 for everyone else.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#447039) #
This narrative is getting silly tbh. The 2016 team did feature a couple of starting pitchers who had great years but plenty of pitchers who were below their usual as well. The pitching staff ranked 11th in fwar and 7th in ra9war.

Meanwhile, the position players ranked 6th in wrc+ and 5th in war in all of baseball in 2016, better than the pitchers.

Stop backfilling your memories with skewed data. That team was still legit elite, despite the FO not even bothering trying to help them.
Kasi - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#447041) #
Yeah but they ate up innings and let the bullpen not get burnt out. They won a lot at the margins there. Ofc they were going to try and run it back in 2017, but age quickly happened and the team bombed.
Kasi - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#447042) #
Sure Atkins should have traded for more to help that team. I don’t think anyone is arguing that. Anyone could look at a calendar and the trends for the Jays hitters and see what was coming. It was a question on how steep the cliff was going to be. Turned out to be pretty steep. By 2017 the only two good Jays hitters were JD and Smoak. They were never going to not suck 2017 and on but maybe some trades could have pushed them over the top in 15 or 16.
JohnL - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#447043) #
"I knew then that I was officially old."

For me, it was the kid sitting behind me at a concert asking "do you have an extra joint, sir?". And that was many years ago...

That, or when Charlie Hough retired. Last player in MLB that was older than me.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#447044) #
The big issue wasn't 2017, but post 2017. You don't go to the ALCS and dump everyone right after. But mid-season 2017 (AS Break) they were in last in the AL East 8 1/2 back. Just 2 WC then and 5 back of that. They lost the last game pre-break 19-1. I mean if you were looking for a sign that it was time to rebuild that was it. Justin Smoak was hitting well (294/360/575), as was Josh Donaldson (261/383/485) and Russell Martin (235/378/403). Marcus Stroman was his usual solid self (3.28 ERA over 18 starts), as was J.A. Happ (3.54 ERA over 11 starts). A few 'who' guys in the pen were having solid years (Dominic Leone, Danny Barnes, Ryan Tepera). So who got traded? Francisco Liriano for Nori Aoki & Teoscar Hernández (great trade), Joe Smith for Thomas Pannone & Samad Taylor. That's about it. Ugh. That winter no vets were traded for prospects. In 2018 during the season (a lost year for sure) they traded Steve Pearce and cash for Santiago Espinal (very good); J.A. Happ for Brandon Drury & Billy McKinney (ugh, right idea, bad choices); Roberto Osuna for Ken Giles, David Paulino & Hector Perez (forced trade in many respects but worked out); John Axford for Corey Copping (flop); Aaron Loup for Jacob Waguespack (flop); and sold Gio Urshela to the Yankees (yikes!); Josh Donaldson & cash for Julian Merryweather (waaaay too late); Curtis Granderson for Demi Orimoloye (Flop).

No question Atkins screwed the pooch in 17/18 with his choices/lack thereof - 2 good players (Teoscar Hernandez, Santiago Espinal) and a lot of 'who was that' guys.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#447045) #
It's simple to get everyone to agree. Atkins has failed to maximize "the window" and his strengths are weakened by the fact he is working with a higher payroll than any of his predecessors. In hindsight I view him at the same level as Ricciardi as he was extremely limited with payroll at a time when NY and Boston were spending like the Dodgers.

Atkins is being outpaced, outsmarted and generally outclassed at this point by his predecessor, competition and potentially his former assistant in Ben Cherington. Lets move on and hope for improvements to the coaching and general managing of this team.
Magpie - Wednesday, June 05 2024 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#447046) #
The pitching staff ranked 11th in fwar and 7th in ra9war.

They also gave up the fewest runs in the American League, which ought to count for a little something as well. It's how they keep score.
Nigel - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#447047) #
As I said this past offseason, the 2016-17 offseason was very much like this past offseason. A good but not elite team facing the prospect of a decline in talent (in 16-17 it was mostly age related; this team is losing talent across the spectrum). It’s an inflection point. You either need to empty the bucket to add resources to the team (and face the consequences down the road for emptying the bucket) or you need to accept the decline and start selling. It’s revisionist history to say it was obvious in 2016-17 that they should not have added. It’s obvious now. What was obvious at the time was they absolutely had to do something. This front office elected to do nothing in 16-17. Doing nothing was a road to nowhere. Even Shapiro has acknowledged that. This past winter was exactly the same. They needed to empty the bucket to try to make the team better or they needed to start selling. They did absolutely nothing and it is again a road to nowhere, Just like last time, they will very likely accept it hasn’t worked and start on the rebuild this upcoming winter. Let’s hope the turnaround time is quick. There is a real risk that what can be mined in selling key pieces will be a lot less now than this past winter. Like last time, non baseball reasons almost certainly drove the “do nothing” decision.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#447048) #
Suggestions of non baseball motives is inconsistent with this ownerships track record and payroll. They wouldn't have authorized the trades in 15/16 or even 2012 and certainly wouldn't have rebuilt their stadium and gone over the threshold for Jon baseball reasons. Why on earth would ownership spend the money that they did on the player development complex? What's the conspiracy there? To line their pockets with the year round visits from rehabbing players???

I enjoy the critical takes but the slights to ownership for being cheap or having ulterior motives that involve "pretending to want to win," are silly to me.
Nigel - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#447049) #
I’m not slighting ownership at all. I believe that ownership will make decisions in their own financial interests as they are entitled. I accept that as the rules of engagement for being a fan of professional sports and really do not find fault in that. My point was that, having just completed stadium renovations, they were unlikely to want to acknowledge (by selling players) where they were at on the success curve. 2016-17 and 2023-24 are two cases where revenue maximization and prudent baseball decision making were at odds. I don’t criticize ownership for choosing generation. But it’s also fair to note those were bad baseball decisions.
Michael - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#447050) #
A lot of litigating how good/bad the past teams were (I'm with uglyone, the 2016/2017 AA team was elite and not a screw of system and not a real sell of farm), but I think we should have more comments on the excellent win today.

Another really nice CS throw from Kirk. Several good AB and hits from Turner (suggests he isn't done, but rather the sucking in May was a result of the extended virus after effects). Vlad had a good start to the 1st-2nd-1st DP on defense too. And (unsurprisingly) a good start from Berrios. Walk off line drive from IKF. All in all a good day for the Jays.
bpoz - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#447051) #
All excellent comments by everyone, but of course based on your personal evaluations. I will not name GMs for their good and bad moves. But we can all figure out who they are.

In 2019 pick #1 & 2 were Rutschman and Witt Jr, Henderson #42. In 2023 #1 Skenes. All prospects when picked. Therefore not yet stars. Trading Halladay and allowing Carpenter to leave is allowing star players to leave your organization. I think Carpenter hurt the Jays but maybe not Halladay (being charitable). Should a team allow this to happen? We did this with Stroman too.
Glevin - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#447052) #
"As I said this past offseason, the 2016-17 offseason was very much like this past offseason. A good but not elite team facing the prospect of a decline in talent (in 16-17 it was mostly age related; this team is losing talent across the spectrum)."

Two important differences.
1) Extra wildcard means that you don't have to be very good to make playoffs.
2) The 2017 and later decline was inevitable after 2015. The core was old, declining and entering free agency and the upper minors was barren (I don't know why people keep trying to argue this because it's factual that the Jays got 0 WAR from their system in 2016 and 2017). 2016 team being still very good made it impossible for Jays to make moves to rebuild when they should have. This 2024 team obviously had holes but this isn't an old team, this isn't a team that was going to lose its core after this season. The issue this team has had the last few years is serious regression among young talent. Vlad, Bo, Manoah, Kirk. In 2021 with no Manoah, they were worth around 12 WAR. In 2022, those guys were worth around 15 WAR. In 2023, it was half of that. In 2024 so far it's 2.1. You can predict that a team whose core is in their 30s will decline, but predicting that a bunch of players in their mid 20s will just keep getting worse and worse... I don't know.
bpoz - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#447053) #
Lets speculate about extending Stroman for 5 years. He was good but did sit out 2020. Would they still have signed Ryu? In 2021 Stroman, Ray, Manoah & Matz. 2022 Stroman, Manoah, Gausman, Kikuchi. So pretty good rotations.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#447054) #
In the good news department, IKF has been a little better than reasonable expectations- hitting at about the rate of an average player with very good defence and good baserunning. The four best position players on the club have been Varsho, Jansen, Schneider and IKF. Which is a comment on their progress, and the performance of others.
Ducey - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#447055) #
Vlad 1.5 WAR
Bo -0.3 WAR
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#447056) #
The bigger differences between 2016-2017 and now are:

- the 16-17 teams were much much better
- the 16-17 teams were much much cheaper
- the 16-17 teams had many fewer longterm commitments to old players
Glevin - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#447057) #
- the 16-17 teams were much much better
- the 16-17 teams were much much cheaper
- the 16-17 teams had many fewer longterm commitments to old playerS"

Well, this is unsurprisingly selective and not really true. the 2017 team was worse than this team. They had 2 hitters with above 99 WRC+. they had Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney getting regular ABs. Their rotation was also worse. Bullpen was much better though. The Jays also have some long-term commitments to veterans but aside from Springer, all are fine contracts. In 2017, Tulowitzki had maybe the worst contract in baseball. Springer's is bad but not in the same category. Also different from 2017, the Jays have plenty of talent under 30. In 2017, only Teoscar who the Jays acquired during the season was under 30 and didn't suck. You look at the 2017 team and you think, how could this team possibly be good within 5 years? They just have no young or even prime talent. In 2024, Jays have Vlad, Bo, Jansen, Schneider, Kirk, Varsho all under 30.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#447058) #

* 2024 Ages ------> 2017 Ages (asterisk = added by new FO)

* Turner 39 ------> Grilli 40*
* Bassitt 35 -----> Bautista 36
* Springer 34 ----> Happ 34
* Kiermaier 34 ---> Morales 34*
* Gausman 33 -----> Martin 34
* Kikuchi 33 -----> Pearce 34*
* Garcia 33 ------> Estrada 33
* Green 33 -------> Liriano 33*
* Mayza 32 -------> J.Smith 33*
* Romano 31 ------> Tulowitzki 32
* Richards 31 ----> Donaldson 31
* Vogelbach 31 ---> Barney 31*
* Berrios 30 -----> Smoak 30
* Swanson 30 -----> Carrera 30
* Jansen 29 ------> Tepera 29
* Falefa 29 ------> Loup 29
* Biggio 29 ------> Goins 29
* Clement 28 -----> Pillar 28
* Varsho 27 ------> Biagini 27*
* Cabrera 27 -----> Barnes 27
* Pearson 27 -----> Maile 26*
* Manoah 26 ------> Travis 26
* Bichette 26 ----> Stroman 26
* Kirk 25 --------> Leone 25*
* Guerrero 25 ----> Sanchez 24
* Schneider 25 ---> Osuna 22

Man look how old and decrepit that 2017 Jays team was.

Imagine if the new FO hadn't decided to add a whole bunch of really old guys to that team.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#447059) #
"the 2017 team was worse than this team."

* 2024: .475w% (#20), -0.7rdiff (#23)
* 2017: .469w% (#19), -0.6rdiff (#22)

both had the exact same 29-32 record at this point in the season.
Glevin - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#447060) #
"And obviously nothing nearly as good as that 2015 team before the new regime took over - a team Shapiro famously criticized for sacrificing Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Norris, Miguel Castro, and Matt Boyd to build."

Again, misrepresenting the valid criticism. The criticism is not that the Jays traded prospects, it's that they traded top prospects all for short-term. Did those guys work out? No but that's not the point. They had incredible value and instead of getting good long-term value for them, they traded 2 top-100 prospects for a rental and one of the worst contracts in baseball. I really don't get this "emptying the system" thing because it's objectively true. This isn't a debate in 2018. We know the numbers. Jays got 0 WAR from the system in 2016 and 2017. 0. The only players left in the system at all who have had non-fungible careers at all have been Vladdy and Jansen. for 4 years, the most WAR the Jays got out of any player was 2.5 out of Danny Jansen,

Look at it this way. Top WAR by players coming out of Jays system since 2016.

AA's system has given the Jays around 25-30 WAR. Atkins/Shapiro has given the Jays around 60 WAR.

Vlad-13 WAR
Jansen-11 WAR
Romano-4 WAR
Mayza-3 WAR

Bo-16 WAR
Kirk- 8 WAR
Gurriel- 7 WAR
Biggio-6.5 WAR
Manoah-6 WAR
Espinal-4.5 WAR
Schenider-3.1 WAR

That's not even mentioning Moreno who was traded for Varsho (Nobody in Jays system from AA had trade value). Not mentioning Teoscar because he wasn't a rookie although he could easily count as well. The system AA left was objectively extremely weak. It's almost impossible to build a winner if you are getting almost nothing from your system. (like 3.5 WAR a season since he left) Atkins hasn't drafted well and the system isn't in good shape, but the it's still miles ahead of what AA left.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#447061) #

* 2023 Ages -----> 2016 Ages

* Ryu 36 --------> Dickey 41
* Bass 35 -------> Grilli 39
* Belt 35 -------> Bautista 35
* Jackson 35 ----> Floyd 33
* Bassitt 34 ----> Happ 33
* Merrifield 34 -> Encarnacion 33
* Springer 33 ---> Martin 33
* Kiermaier 33 --> Chavez 32
* Gausman 32 ----> Estrada 32
* Cimber 32 -----> Tulowitzki 31
* Kikuchi 32 ----> Donaldson 30
* Garcia 32 -----> Barney 30
* Mayza 31 ------> Smoak 29
* Chapman 30 ----> Saunders 29
* Romano 30 -----> Cecil 29
* Richards 30 ---> Carrera 29
* Swanson 29 ----> Thole 29
* Jansen 28 -----> Tepera 28
* Biggio 28 -----> Goins 28
* Espinal 28 ----> Storen 28
* Varsho 26 -----> Pillar 27
* Manoah 25 -----> Biagini 26
* Bichette 25 ---> Travis 25
* Guerrero 24 ---> Stroman 25
* Kirk 24 -------> Sanchez 23
* Schneider 24 --> Osuna 21

Look at that geezerific 2016 team.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#447062) #
"AA's system has given the Jays around 25-30 WAR. Atkins/Shapiro has given the Jays around 60 WAR."

Kirk was signed by a longterm Jays and AA scout at the end of 2015. I don't think he goes in the new guys' ledger.

And of course after back to back elite seasons, after only 6 years in charge, the cupboard would be a tiny bit more bare than the next FO's who have had near a decade of drafting and rebuilding so far.

uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#447063) #
just moving Kirk to the AA column, by your numbers, makes it 39war for AA's guys and 43war for Shapiro's. basically even. And AA left nearly a decade ago.
Gerry - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#447064) #
Even though it's a 162 game season, I think today's game is a big one.

If the Jays win they come back to split the series, go head to head against one of the big boys in the division and come out even, and head out on the road with a 2 game winning streak.

If they lose, they lose the series, and have not been able to handle a division rival. The west coast flight is a downer.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#447065) #
UO, I don't really care about this and it is painful to look at Devon Travis' name and age in 2016, but there's really no comparison between 28 and under talent in the 2023 team and the 28 and under talent in the 2016 team.  It is fair however to see that the development of the significant young players on the 2016 team (Stroman, Sanchez, Travis and Osuna) was, on balance, disappointing, for one reason or another. 
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#447066) #
Using BR ages (which factors in playing time) you get...
Hitters: 2016: 30.1 2023: 28.8 2024: 29.1
Pitchers: 2016: 29.8 2023: 30.6 2024: 30.9

Surprising how old that the 2023/24 teams are with all things considered. Sure didn't seem that old, but they are. Checking the overall Jays page this ranks 2024 as tied for oldest pitching staff (with 2013) and 13th oldest batters (between 1993 and 2013).

Yikes. This team is very old. Now, Turner (39), Kiermaier (34) and Springer (34) are the oldest hitters with only Vogelbach also over 30 (31). Of them only Springer is likely to be here in 2025. Pitching ain't getting younger for a bit though as the oldest are Bassitt (35), Kikuchi (33), Gausman (33), Garcia (33), Green (33), Mayza (32), Romano (31), Richards (31) - only Garcia & Kikuchi are free agents to be. Berrios is also 30, as is Swanson and both should be here in 2025.

Kids on the farm who are close aren't that young outside of Orelvis (22) with Barger being 24, Horwitz 26. Tiedemann is just 21 but Yariel Rodriguez is 27 already. Good thing Rogers is willing to blow $200+ mil a year as that is what it'll take to stay at the high 80's level of wins imo.
soupman - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#447067) # the MLB team was a division winner at the time which gave strengths to deal from. the team is objectively worse now, and has a worse farm system without even making any "all-in" type trades. vlad was a 1-1 level prospect and there is no one in the system that is even a top-50 prospect in baseball at the moment based on the latest rankings.

if we want to do a more fair comparison, maybe compare what AA inherited and how long it took him to make a division winner, with the current FO's performance. then you see what an actually non-existent farm system looks like.

As for other assets, AA came in and was forced to move Halladay or watch him walk. He also had to deal with Beeston, who wouldn't let him talk to Scott Boras, and wouldn't let him (until very late in his tenure) sign anyone over 3 years - which made talking to Boras moot to begin with.

also, AA got Vlad at a time when Atlanta and Boston (and Houston?) all had MLB discipline for their actions in the IFA market. So either he's simply better at covering his tracks, or he was able to game the IFA market while others simply broke the rules.

For some reason, even after winning 7 division titles in a row going back to the 2015 Jays, people here still want to speak ill of AA. Shapiro took over Cleveland in 2001. They had just won the division. Under him, they won the division 1 time (2007) despite it being widely (and I think correctly) regarded as the weakest division in baseball. Shapiro has now been a GM or President for 23 years and won the division 1 time (assuming the Jays don't put in the cheat codes tomorrow is probably a safe bet).

It's just strange how basic facts that are easily quantifiable escape so many of the fans that are happy to slander arguably the best GM this franchise has ever had. Shapiro has done less with more money, and less with more time, and less with a better prospect pool and MLB roster to deal from. Full stop.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#447068) #
I wonder what Ryan Mountcastle's avg. EV is vs. Kikuchi as compared to the rest of the league. 
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#447069) #
basic facts that are easily quantifiable escape so many of the fans that are happy to slander arguably the best GM this franchise has ever had.

Yeah, Pat Gillick would like a word.

I think it's an easily quantifiable fact that the 2010-2015 era was five and a half years of middle of the pack mediocrity and two months of incandescent greatness. Describing that record for what it was isn't slander. And in the end, he did something that worked, which neither Ash and Ricciardi could do.

Which Atkins now needs to do (and probably quickly.) I think his 2021 team was better than the 2016 team, and it obviously had a much more promising future. But that future simply hasn't happened.
christaylor - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#447070) #
Pat Gillick was the best GM, full stop. L Look at what he started with... it's not slander to question what AA did here
Those who dislike the AA boosting nearly ten years on have a reason to be annoyed by some alt-history where AA chooses to stay. The SA haters were vulgar and reactionary from day 1 and have some magical thinking that he could have done more with the 2017 or 2018 teams.

On the positive side, because this team is on the cusp of getting there it seems... more of the please Vladdy. Also, it was cute to see Lisa Loeb comment on how she made the connection between getting royalties from Toronto when Yusei was on the mound.
mathesond - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#447071) #
Bloop there it is!
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#447072) #
Mountcastle 3rd PA EV vs. Kikuchi- 99.1 mph.  A moral victory for Kikuchi!
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#447073) #
Decisions. Do you bring Kikuchi back for the seventh? Hays-Norby-McCann are pretty unthreatening, although it's only his ability to punish LH pitching that's keeping Hays in the majors at this point.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#447074) #
Oh, forgot Santander who hits LH pitching quite a bit better than RH. In that case, job well done. Go pound some Budweiser.
soupman - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#447075) #
In Gillick's first 6 years the Jays never finished better than 6th in the AL East. They won the division in the 8th year. AA was shown the door after 6 years and a division winner that they ran back (Price-less) and still made the playoffs and won a series. Shapiro and Atkins have not won a playoff game with a roster that they have constructed in Toronto.

When Gillick *did* win, it was with the highest payroll in all of baseball. AA won the division with the third highest payroll in East, and at 62% of the Yankees'. Today, the Jays are spending 75% of what NYY does, and more than another else in the East. They are last in the division. When the Red Sox were the second highest spenders in the AL East they won 4 world series in 15 years and the division 5 times.

Shapiro and Atkins have run payrolls higher than AA's 2015 6/8 years. We can go deeper into the numbers, but we'd also do well to understand how much they have spent on the James Clicks and Ben Cherringtons for the wonderful insights that have led to his last place team. I think that it's good that they are doing these things, but I also think it is worth mentioning that AA's success required rebuilding the entire franchise that JPR spent the better part of a decade dismantling before he arrived. My overall point remains that the current front office was handed a much better situation than AA had, and have done less with more.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#447076) #
"UO, I don't really care about this and it is painful to look at Devon Travis' name and age in 2016, but there's really no comparison between 28 and under talent in the 2023 team and the 28 and under talent in the 2016 team. It is fair however to see that the development of the significant young players on the 2016 team (Stroman, Sanchez, Travis and Osuna) was, on balance, disappointing, for one reason or another. "

Talent is far closer than you state.

But you've come close to something very true - there was some extreme bad luck that all of Sanchez Osuna Travis had their careers simply snuffed out so early.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#447077) #
and what's scariest about the age thing is that most seem resigned to the fact that Bo and Vlad are going to be traded anyways.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#447078) #
and Amen, soupman, Amen.
Kasi - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#447079) #
The AA love is a bit silly. His record here speaks for itself. Then he went to learn from the best and inherited a loaded team. He’s certainly better than Atkins now and then, but there is not that much difference between them circa 2016 as there is now. AA has improved a lot since then while Atkins stagnated. One consistent thing with both regimes is a weakness in developing from within. Both teams had to make major FA signings or trades to be competitive which is something you can’t say about our rivals.

I’m totally behind firing Atkins and getting someone better in. I doubt Shapiro goes but he’s got to do a better job of picking a GM who knows how to build an org good in player acquisition and development. The recent drafts and player development has been awful and sure Atkins has been good on the FA and trade market but development is a black hole and he should be fired for that alone.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#447080) #
If it's silly to love the only GM to build us a legit contender in the past 30 years (i.e. since salaries exploded in the early 90s), then call me super silly.
christaylor - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#447081) #
Give your head a shake. Gillick inherited less than nothing or had about what the Mariners had at the time.

Also, if you want to get quantitative how many World Series has AA won?

I politely ask you to stop being daft or not appreciating history.

Are we going to debate the relative merits of AA and Branch Rickey now, that almost as absurd a comp.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#447082) #
uglier than it needed to be but take the win and the split.

Now let's sweep the fricken A's and give us something to finally hope on this year.
soupman - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#447083) #
Shapiro has never won. 1 division title in 23 years running MLB teams. That's a strange record for a club that says it is trying to win, and a strange choice to leave in charge when you are consistently spending so much for such middling results.

AA wasn't permitted to make FA acquisitions for the most part which necessitated his trade-heavy strategy, which played into the strength of scouting. If we are going to credit JPR with anything it should be that the organization did well identifying misfit toys in the MLB and upper minors.

So, FAs were not a major arrow the 2015 team had in its quiver. Famously, you'll recall that going into 2015 the hat was passed around so they could sign Ervin Santana on a 1-year deal, because Rogers balked at increasing salary. AA's biggest FA signing was Russ Martin. 5 years for 80million. A signing he credits to the lesson DeRosa taught him about managing the room. This narrative that AA left and "learned" is demonstrably false, and contradicts what AA has said about what changes he made while in Toronto and how he implemented them.

By contrast, the 2021-2024 Jays have relied much more heavily on free agency to field a starting rotation. This year's rotation is (3/5) free agents. Times have changed since Beeston was here limiting deals to 3-years with the exception I mentioned.

It's hard to know where Shapiro stops and Atkins starts. For that reason, I think the record should examine Shapiro's entire body of work which increasingly looks lacklustre. He hired Atkins. He had the resources AA never did. He has simply not delivered the results.

Again the results under AA speak for themselves: less time than any GM here, more division wins and more playoff wins than anyone other than Gillick who was here for ~3x times longer. Rebuilt the organization. Rebranded the team. Rebuilt interest in the city. Before AA arrived, Rogers was happy to collect rent on the team. It's because of him that they are now apparently willing to invest, and not just demand revenues exceed expenses year-to-year. Shapiro has squandered what AA handed, and the last thing any fan should want is for the coffers to close up again.

So, I do not think that recognizing the role AA played in making this an actual competitive organization is 'silly'.
christaylor - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#447084) #
You are silly. There, I called you silly but with affection. And you're ignore that the Jays have been contending since 2020 (obvious caveats apply). That's happening under SA.

Was AA partially responsible for some of what this team is? Sure, but don't conflate emotion with reason.

Love is love -- you do you. This thread has crossed into Bizzaro land, with AA being compared to Gillick.

How about this game! A split! .500, here we come. The WC is in sight, and with all this negativity, the baseball gods might smile upon the 2024 Jays and see them in the WS, which is possible but also silly, because silly is fine and dandy in fandom.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#447085) #
In Gillick's first 6 years the Jays never finished better than 6th in the AL East.

Well, that makes me wonder if you're familiar with the concept "expansion team."
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#447086) #
hey you can call being a borderline top-10 team for a few years "contending" if it makes you feel less silly!

we're all silly in our own special ways!
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#447087) #
It's 40 years since the McGriff heist, and I still get pleasure from it. Every single one of us has the devil inside.
soupman - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#447088) #
I was in favour of them blowing the team up in 2015. Either improve it, or move on. That's not the attitude the f.o. had then, and it's not the one they have now. They showed from the get go what the m.o. is, and it isn't winning championships. That isn't magical thinking - they have been clear: the strategy they believe in is to sneak in with a ~90-win team and see what happens. Sure, that *could* result in a world series win eventually, maybe...i mean, it has not for the 23 years Shapiro has tried it so far, but it *could*, it's certainly a better strategy than never making the playoffs which was the Ash and JPR net results. So, the current management idea is that if you don't make too many errors, more times than not, the other guys will. It's reflected on the field with the roster construction (minus the two stars that are allowed to make all the mental errors anyone could think of).

Gillick is a legend because after over a decade, he made the tough call to trade a future hall of famer and a career 45WAR SS for a kid and a downgrade in power. Does anyone honestly see them trading Vlad or Bo? I do not.

I don't need to envision an alternative history where AA stayed. He left, worked with the Dodgers where they won the West twice, and then put the Braves at the top of the NL East for 6 years. He's got a ring from the year Acuna blew out his other knee. That team had the 9th highest payroll in baseball.

The Jays are paying more for less.
Ducey - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#447089) #
I'm not sure why people are arguing about who or what was better in the past.

In the present, it looks like Vlad is back on the beam, hitting homers, playing 1B and 3B. His HR was the key to the win.

Unfortunately Bo is still imitating Manny Lee with the bat, and playing his usual lousy D as well. Maybe he needs to sit a game or DH a couple to shake things up/ allow him to reset.

An old timey manager might shift him to 2B in the hope he can at least provide above average D there. Or sit him for swinging wildly at the first pitch regardless of category or location.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#447090) #
Every single one of us has the devil inside.

Pleased to meet you.

Hope you guessed my name.
mathesond - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#447091) #
Pleased to meet you.

Hope you guessed my name.

One of Motorhead's finest songs!
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#447092) #
Looking forward the option isn't having AA or Atkins run the ship - that is looooong gone as an option. Now it is Atkins vs mystery. Shapiro had a clear task - get the revenue streams to be stronger and setup the potential for long term success - mission accomplished with the park fully renovated, and spring training fully set up, plus locking in Buffalo long term as the Jays AAA affiliate (full marks to everyone who got us Buffalo in 2013, but with the renos done for 2020/21 and other stuff they are now very locked in I suspect). Now with those tasks done he can focus on what to do about the ML team and getting it to win. Safe to say Rogers has zero interest in replacing him right now.

For history - Shapiro ran Cleveland from 2002-2015 either as GM or president. Just 2 playoffs, 1 division title (lost ALCS 4-3) and 1 WC (lost play in game). He had 6 managers in that time - Eric Wedge getting the bulk of the time, Terry Francona brought in at the end (2013 when they won the WC). The 3 years after he left (with his players and farm pretty much) they made it to the WS (2016), and twice lost in the ALDS, all 3 division titles. You can't give him zero credit for 2016 and then give zero for Cleveland's success in 16-18. As to the Jays record - 2021-2023 saw 2 playoff appearances, twice over 90 wins, averaging just shy of 91 wins a year. The 6th and 7th best records in Jays history in there. The 3 playoffs in 4 years is only matched by 91-93, 90-93, and 89-92, and beat by 89-93 (4 in 5 years). Yes, back then no wild card and with one things would've been different. Maybe the Jays don't push for the same guys they did as the pressure to win the division wouldn't have been there. The Jays of that era had the advantage of a historically weak Yankee team (dead last in AL in 1990, sub-500 1989-1992 every year).

So going forward can this group put together a strong team for 2025 and beyond? Perhaps. But the farm has a lot of issues right now that need fixing by better drafting/trading/IFA signing, and perhaps better coaching as well (hard to measure that one). Can this 2024 team make the playoffs still? Yes. 3 1/2 out of a playoff spot at the moment, about to go to Oakland for 3 gives one hope. And once in who knows? If Gausman, Berrios, Kikuchi, and Bassett are on when it hits then anything can happen.
soupman - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#447093) #
AA had the option of having Atkins' job, which is why I reject the idea that Atkins is running the ship in the ways that are commonly discussed. As much as I think Coppollela would do a better job, I don't think that the GM job under Shapiro is the same as the GM job in Atlanta. Take the Berrios pull from the playoffs last year. I could say I don't know who made the call, but I know: it was black boxed, because it's entirely likely that most decisions are algorithmically ordained. That's an organizational strategy, and I can see why it is popular on this board given its history and mission.

No one is thinking AA would come back. Yet targeting Atkins as the source of any and all issues related to the team and its composition has become the discourse. The organization is rife with experts and expertise. It's totally opaque how all that is being managed, and what Atkins role in that is.

For me, I think the strategy amounts to one reflected in the on field team: make fewer mistakes than the other guy, and you'll win more times than not. It is risk averse and rational. It's easy to get down on the team when it's losing, but the you're right to emphasize the positive.

Even if the team has been swept, firing Atkins would likely accomplish little given that there is a coherent, i think and hope, organizational strategy in place. Any new hire is likely going to be brought in to do the same job as Atkins, and follow the same set of thinking, rather than takes risks or reinvent the wheel. I do not think that this strategy is one that is going to produce the results that the front office is promising, however. There are simply too many well-run organizations operating in a similar manner. Until I can understand what the Jays do better than any other team, or paths they are experimenting, or risks they are assuming...I will hold this opinion. It's a middle of the road strategy, and it has netted a lot of 3rd place (middle of the division) finishes.

I think what's hard to understand is that, if the reports were correct, this is a team that was prepared to hand out a 700million dollar contract to Ohtani. That's a lot of risk on a player on the wrong side of 30 who is just had an(other) elbow surgery and may never pitch again. I think I tend to prefer more risk-tolerant approaches, because I view them as having a higher likelihood of leading to championships.

For me, I think the persona of Vlad is the biggest issue I have with the team. Today he hit a ball hard and lumbered out of the box - he began running about 3/4 of the way to first when it looked like it might offer an opportunity for a double, he had to put on the brakes, but it's a common occurrence. It's something most of us had coached into us at an early age. It didn't matter today, but it's something he does a lot. Let's say there was a chance to make it a double, let's say the score was flipped. I mean, he might just get picked off scratching his ass at second like he did in the playoffs, but these small things make a difference. For him, it really doesn't matter. He's going to play every day, he's going to be the best hitter on the team. For the team, those are potential wins. If I was running the team, I'm taking the eye test data, and making a really hard decision as soon as I can get fair value.

I don't see this team making those kinds of moves, and as I say elsewhere here, that's exactly what AA learned to do when he was here, and he's still doing it. Generating a 'genius loci' in Toronto, imo, requires excising the spirit from the algorithmic machines. That doesn't mean making baseless decisions based on a guys' face alone, but it does mean that someone, and not a black box has to be at the end of a decision chain.
scottt - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#447094) #
That isn't magical thinking - they have been clear: the strategy they believe in is to sneak in with a ~90-win team and see what happens. Sure, that *could* result in a world series win eventually, maybe

Yeah, when's the last time a 90-win wildcard team won the World Series?
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#447095) #
With the caveat that no one knows anything, not really, I assume Atkins is the GM and is the person making the GM decisions. Mainly because I don't think the team president has that kind of time. I don't think he's on the phone to the various GMs, and I don't think he's the one going over the minor league reports, and I don't think he's the one talking to the assorted scouts in his employ. He's got his own job to do, it's enough for one man, and Shapiro's been around long enough to know it's enough. (The first thing he did when Anthopoulos walked was appoint an interim GM while he looked for a permanent replacement, and it was the interim guy who signed JA Happ, which wound up saving the 2016 season.) He surely gets involved, especially when large commitments of cash are involved. So did Beeston when Gillick was negotiating contracts. But he's not the GM, and I very much doubt he's doing the GM's job.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#447096) #
Yeah, when's the last time a 90-win wildcard team won the World Series?

I'll see your 90 win wild card team! I bid an 88 win team with the fifth best record in their own league! When was the last time, etc etc
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#447097) #
In general I think the org is really big on "collaborative" decision making, and I'm sure every decision gets enough consensus that no one person is ever sticking their neck out.

i'm sure atkins does the talking to other gms legwork but i doubt any decision he makes doesn't heavily involve Shapiro and others.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#447098) #
Yeah, and I did like the word "opaque" as an adjective to describe their whole process. But while there are doubtless other voices chiming in, I doubt Shapiro is as up to speed on actual baseball matters as would be required to really be one of them.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#447099) #
I've been thinking about Gillick a bit - unless you were there and paying close attention, you wouldn't believe how many things he did that seemed weird, bizarre, and occasionally incompetent. He's in the Hall of Fame, of course, so who knows anything. We all look back fondly on the two championships here and the five first place finishes.

Which is all well and good, but look - someone wins the championship every year. Lots of teams finish first every year. I'm thinking that the most impressive thing about Gillick's record is the eleven consecutive seasons winning at least 86 games. (And not just because the Blue Jays haven't managed that many such seasons in the 30 years since he's been gone.) As far as I can tell, only four other GMs in the history of the game can match that accomplishment, and three of them worked for the Yankees (Barrow, Weiss, Cashman.) The other is John Schuerholz. Did I miss anyone? The old Chicago Cubs (1904-13) didn't even have a GM.
christaylor - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#447100) #
Yeah, soupman... I'm legit concerned about your memory. Wetr you going through a rough time last October?
scottt - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#447101) #
It's really scary to look at how little was left on the career of the 2016 Jays.

Dickey played another year, was completely average which is valuable but not when you need a dedicated catcher.
Grilli played in only 26 games the following year and wasn't good.
Bautista had a .674 OPS at age 36. He had a bit of a rebound at 37, but had an OPS of .593 with ATL and wasn't going to get much money after that.
Floyd never played after that. Not even in the minors. That was it at 33.
Happ was great for the rest of his contract, was an All-Star in 2018, got traded to the Yanks and resigned there. Started to struggled at 38--not surprising for a fastball heavy pitcher--and was done at that point but still made 30 starts that year.
Encarnacion had 3 great years left--the Jays offered him a very fair 4 year contract which nobody ever beat--and was done after a down year at 37, which basically matched Bautista.
Martin was an average bat at 33, just an 86 OPS+ at 35 and down after a becoming a backup catcher for the Dodgers at 36.
Chavez kept trucking until he was 40. Pitchers do that.
Estrada, however, was done after the Jays. Back issues, I think. He only started 5 games for Oakland at 35. Was never good after 2016, however, ERAs of 5+.
Tulo was done at 32. His return with the Yankees at 34 ended after 5 games. Makes me wonder about Bichette.
Donaldson played until 37--like Bautista and Encarnation--but he had that awful 2018 season that robbed him of any meaningful trade value.  Also, never hit after 35.
Barney had another year with the Jays and was out of baseball after 31.
Smoak was just an average bat at 32 and was done after failing to hit in the short Covid season at 33.
Saunders had that crazy 2016 season, on fire in the first half, but slumping the rest of the way. Only played in 73 games at 30 and retired after 38 minor games the following year.
Cecil signed that crazy contract with St-Louis. Did he had a career ending injury half way through? He was done at 31
I don't know why Carrera was on this team. He wasn't good and wasn't resigned once he reach arbitration. Ended his career at AAA at 32.
Thole was only there to catch Dickey. He was done right there in 2016 at age 29. He played in AA ball until 32.
Tepera was a decent reliever for Toronto until he became a free agent. He pitched until last year (struggled badly) at age 35. Probably done.
Goins was able to sign cheap contracts on rebuilding teams until he was 32. Didn't hit at all in a short sample and then spent 3 years at AAA.
Storen had a bad year with the Jays in 2016. Did better with Seattle. Kinda average with the Reds after that and was done at 29. Tried a comeback at 31 but only played in AA.
Pillar is still going at 35. He has an insane OPS with the Angels after being dumped by the White Sox.
Biagini was done at 31. He was last seen in Buffalo in 2022.
Travis was done at 27. No idea what he does nowadays.
Stroman is still going strong.
Sanchez has struggled since leaving. He had a decent string of 9 starts with the Giants in 21. He's currently in Buffalo where he sports a 11.81 ERA.
Osuna suffered an elbow injury in 2020 and was released by Houston. He has played overseas since. He's now a closer in the Japanese Leagues. His numbers are not bad. He's 29.

Kasi - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#447102) #
Yeah people saying wild card teams can’t win the World Series when that was what the Braves did is pretty amusing. It’s cool that AA is doing well but his predecessors left him a loaded farm system. That clearly didn’t happen here when AA took over or Atkins took over.
Magpie - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#447103) #
Travis was done at 27. No idea what he does nowadays.

Coach in the Atlanta system last I heard.
christaylor - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#447104) #
I was too young to know enough to recognize a weird or out-of-the-box until about 1991-1993. I remember liking the Alomar/Carter trade despite sports talk wags hating on it at the time.

Gillick seemed pretty savvy to my pre-teen self by the 90$. What moves (or years of off-season moves) were weird/incompetent? I'm just curious... refusing to fix 2B in the 80s comes to mind. The Glenalan Hill trade seems like a bad move in hindsight.

Again just curious about folks, such as yourself, who recall what was going down with the team from 84-90 thought of moves in the moment. Of course, it all worked out but even the best GMs mess up or do things that go against the grain.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#447105) #
I also like the word "opaque" in this context.
uglyone - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#447106) #
In the end I often wonder if the "Big Trade" Gillick made actually made any real difference.

The player quality wasn't much different. Nor the player styles.

We ended up needing a shortstop after that, and while moving crime dog did open up the ability to sign epic 1B/DH types like Molitor and Winfield, we could have likely signed similar types to play LF instead.
greenfrog - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#447107) #
The Blue Jays needed a jolt of energy, and the electric Alomar provided that. Hitting, defense, baserunning (49 and 55 SB in 1992 and 1993), plus some youthful confidence/swagger. He was the best player in the trade at the critical time. Carter was a solid/adequate player who delivered one of the biggest hits in franchise history. Great trade.
pooks137 - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#447108) #
Reading some of the comments made me reflect whether the Jays as an organization have any identity in 2024 as a broader "this is Blue Jays Baseball" philosophy as they may have had in the past.

Trying to think about examples in the past often had me mixing metaphors between examples of roster construction, approaches from individual executives, payroll constraints, etc.

The late 80s Jays were known for their Dominican pipeline, but this may be more talent acquisition than organizational philosophy.

JP Ricciardi in the aughts was brought on a Moneyball promise of extracting value on the cheap, famously favouring cheap college seniors over toolsy high schoolers in the draft. And building a bullpen on the cheap from castoffs (or at least until they signed BJ Ryan).

John Farrell made passing reference that he disagreed with AA's player development approach upon his exit for his dream job, alluding that the Jays weren't in the business of developing raw players properly.

I feel at some point in the middle of the last decade, the Jays as an organization had a leaguewide reputation of trying to teach each prospect and new acquisition to throw a changeup.

Prior to the shift after playoff failure with the Teoscar & Varsho trades, the Jays for decades had an organizational reputation of being an Earl Weaver-style team, waiting for the 3-run homer while ignoring small ball and defense.

But in 2024 with the current club being heavy on defense and starting pitching while being starved for power, what is the larger picture "Blue Jay Way" in 2024?

What does the club emphasize more than other clubs? What are they known for? What's being pushed at the shiny Dunedin compound? What changes when someone from outside the org suddenly becomes a Jay?
Nigel - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#447109) #
I was in my mid twenties during that 84-90 period that you refer too, but I was going through a transformation of my baseball knowledge as I had just discovered Bill James a year or two before that. It’s hard and complicated to go through the Gillick moves of the time and offer too much intelligent insight because he did a lot and a bunch of it was hard to divine and some of it was downright weird. What was obvious to even my infant (from an analytics perspective) brain was that Gillick was mining “freely available takent” (Rule 5 picks and international free agents) better than anyone else (by a lot). That talent acquisition was making up for a fairly iffy draft record. As for the “big trade”, I was pretty upset because the Crime Dog was my favourite Jay at the time. I will say my sadness only lasted about a week as I pretty quickly got why Gillick was so interested in Alomar.
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2024 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#447110) #
Thing that annoyed me the most with Gillick was his stubborn loyalty to guys at times - Willie Upshaw was done after '85 (2.2 WAR) but was given full-time play in '86 (2.0) and '87 (1.6) when McGriff and Cecil Fielder were there gathering dust (minors in '86, platooning in '87) - in '87 McGriff was at 1.4 WAR in 356 PA, Fielder 0.4 in 197 PA = net of 1.8 over 553 with no defense (both DH'ed the vast majority of the time at age 23). Upshaw's value was all defense (87 OPS+ at 1B). Doesn't reach the waste at 2B that year with Garth Iorg and his 44 OPS+ (210/262/284 as an near everyday player and the final out of the season) with better players like Gruber & Mulliniks put into platoon play at 3B so Iorg could be in the games. 2B was an obvious hole all year but never filled (first Sharperson early on who flopped, then Liriano to end the season who started strong then flopped). Best deal was getting Flanagan from the O's on the last day possible (Aug 31st), then in late September doing a minor league deal of Sharperson for Juan Guzmán.

1987 was a great and frustrating year. Followed by the Stand Pat time of '88 (zero trades that calendar year, despite being close to the playoffs and coming off a 97 win season, but did sign Carlos Delgado as an IFA that fall). '89 saw Barfield for Al Leiter (super hyped prospect from the Yankees, wasn't happy as I loved Barfield but it was needed after over a year with no real trades), then the deal for Mookie Wilson was loved quickly by most. Post '89 dealing Ernie Whitt away was very sad, but again needed as he was near the end (despite a 120 OPS+ as 37 year old catchers rarely have much left, and he only had 274 PA left with a 48 OPS+). Then came the BIG ones - Junior Felix+ for Devon White I hated at the time as I thought Felix was a LOT younger than he turned out to be, as much as I loved Fernandez & McGriff that deal got me very excited as I knew Alomar was something very special (guys with an above average OPS at age 20 in the majors playing full time are super-rare and often become HOF'ers, as he did). The deal for Tom Candiotti in 1991 made sense but was a flop (Whiten & Hill & Boucher all early in their careers). Candy Maldonado seemed irrelevant to me at the time but worked out nicely. The David Cone deal in 1992 had me jumping for joy as I was certain that was the final vital piece needed to win it all (it was). Trading Derek Bell for Darrin Jackson seemed stupid to me, but worked out indirectly as Jackson was later traded for Tony Fernandez (critical to victory in 1993). The Rickey Henderson deal looked good at the time even if I hated that he was on our team (he was a great villain) made worse when we learned if Gillick waited an hour or two he'd have gotten Randy Johnson instead for the same players. Sigh.

Gillick mostly had good trades - it was his biggest strength, but he hesitated too much in '87/'88 or the Jays might have had a couple more division titles. Few deals were hated at the time, although there was no shortage of dummies who were 'Fernandez/McGriff for Carter/Alomar - who is this kid Alomar? His brother yes, but this one?') but anyone who knew their baseball knew the Jays did great on that deal. Reports were that the media applauded when it was announced - 4 all stars, no prospects - the type of deal no one thought could happen. His free agents were popular at times (Morris, Winfield, Molitor) mostly due to them being Jay killers and 'proven winners'. His draft record sucked (outside of Moseby in the first round and some luck later like Key, Stieb (5th as an OF), Wells, etc.)
uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#447111) #
Good posts all.

Can anyone do a quick breakdown of the main Gillick players (both the mid 80s version and the early 90s version) and how they were acquired?

uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#447114) #
Past 1 Calendar Year

* Springer 661pa, 97wrc+, 1.6war/650pa
* Varsho 549pa, 96wrc+, 3.6war/650pa
* Falefa 419pa, 95wrc+, 2.8war/650pa
* Bichette 570pa, 94wrc+, 1.8war/650pa

So yeah we were all worried about Springer falling due to age....

.....but what the heck has happened to Bo? this "slump" doesn't look like just a slump anymore.
bpoz - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#447115) #
Great question UO. Here are a few.

Mid 80s: Drafted Key, Stieb, D Wells, Stottlemyre, Cerutti, Eichorn Barfield, Mosby, Borders.

Expansion draft: Whitt, Clancy

Rule 5: G Bell, Gruber, M Lee, J Acker

Trades: Ward, Flanagin, McGriff, Mulliniks, C Fielder,

Int'l FAs: Fernandez, Liraino, Campusano.

Other: Henke (Compensation pick).
Gerry - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#447116) #
As I noted in the minor league update Spencer Horwitz was pinch hit for in last nights game by another left handed hitter, an unusual move.

Pat Malacaro, the Bisons broadcaster, was just on with Blake Murphy and he said he knew nothing about why Horwitz came out of the game. Usually when a broadcaster says he knows nothing he is hiding something. Lets see if Horwitz ends up in Oakland this weekend.
Mike Green - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#447117) #
That was precisely my thought, Gerry, when Horwitz left the game for a pinch-hitter.  Plane to catch.  I'm hoping so, anyway. 
uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#447118) #
thanks bpoz.

I thought I read somewhere that Horwitz was expected by some to be on a plane to Oakland even before the game.
John Northey - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#447119) #
If Horwitz is coming then who is being demoted/released? First thought is the most direct comparable which is Vogelbach (76 OPS+, but 122 sOPS+ the last 28 days). Turner has turned a corner it seems (1.220 OPS past 3 games) so he ain't going away. Wonder if it is Biggio going off to AAA or being traded for next to nothing? From May 28th to now he has just 6 PA (0-6) so clearly not being used much, 4 of his past 5 games he was brought in as a pinch runner - never a good sign when you aren't the fastest guy in the first place. His overall line is 200/323/291 - still taking walks, but not much else there.
christaylor - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#447120) #
I really like this question. The first thing that comes to mind is identifying SPs to acquire from outside the organization and (probably) providing good coaching to help them make adjustments to their repertoire in the majors. Not exactly a "Blue Jay Way" and it has not worked for Manoah, but in this window, that seems to be a theme the FO and Coaches have excelled at.
uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#447121) #
yeah i'd guess it would be Biggio if it happens. Especially with Schneider looking comfortable at 2B.
pooks137 - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#447122) #
The first thing that comes to mind is identifying SPs to acquire from outside the organization and (probably) providing good coaching to help them make adjustments to their repertoire in the majors.

Certainly a possible candidate for a current 2024 "Blue Jay Way".

Buck talked on the broadcast yesterday how the Jays rebuilt Yusei Kukichi by quieting his delivery and re-introducing a curveball.

I suppose looking at the rest of the roster, a case could be made in part for tinkering with Trevor Richards and Yimi Garcia as well. Perhaps being somewhat responsible for Jordan Romano's sudden success late in his development (as players who were acquired or spent time outside the org, only to return as more successful players for the Jays).

If the Jays do have a pitcher whisperer organizational philosophy as an identity in modern times, the next question would be how much does this extend passed Pete Walker and does it continue to exist after he leaves?

SK in NJ - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#447123) #
They are playing Horowitz at 2B to increase his versatility, so I would assume if he does come up and it's not Vogelbach being released, then it will be Biggio somehow as their roles would be redundant.

Horowitz, Barger, Martinez, and Jimenez can replace Biggio, Vogelbach, Kiermaier, and Turner on the roster tomorrow, and I think the team would be better off, short term and long term. I'm surprised no one at Rogers is questioning the insanity of being a luxury tax team while they pay those four that I mentioned $30M in 2024.
Nigel - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#447124) #
It won't really matter because they aren't playing him anyway, but it would be pretty silly to release Biggio (if that is in fact the plan) ahead of Vogelbach, Turner and maybe even Clement. This team isn't exactly awash in league average LH bats.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#447125) #
Turner shouldn't be in the equation if you're not including Bo as well.
Gerry - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#447126) #
Shi Davidi says Horwitz is on his way to Oakland.
Mike Green - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#447127) #
For what it's worth, If they are calling up Horwitz (as they should), I would be releasing Vogelbach.  Biggio should be getting some starts in RF, 2B and 3B, and they need pinch-runners also. 
John Northey - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#447128) #
What roster construction makes the most sense? 13 hitters
  • C: Jansen, Kirk obviously
  • IF: Vlad/Bo/IKF/Schneider are obvious, Clement/Biggio on the edge with Horwitz coming up
  • OF: Varsho/Kiermaier/Springer are locks (Schneider also here)
  • DH: Turner/Vogelbach - in June Turner is 400/438/467, Vogelbach 267/267/333, but 16/15 PA each.
Seems clear Vogelbach, Clement, Biggio are the cusp guys. For recent - past 2 weeks Clement 182/217/227 in 8 games/23 PA, Biggio 188/278/375 in 8 games/18 PA. Biggio has 3 options left, Clement & Vogelbach are optionless (IE: released if demoted). My guess is Biggio at this point.
Mike Green - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#447131) #
If the club is worrying about the fact that Vogelbach can't be optioned and Biggio can, rather than their utility to the team in 2024, that is a problem. 
uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#447132) #
I think Vogelbach is a better hitter than biggio.
Mike Green - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#447136) #
It is entirely valid to take into account that Vogelbach may be a better hitter than Biggio, but is also likely a lesser hitter than Horwitz.  Does the club want a pinch-hitter/occasional DH or a versatile sub/pinch-runner/lesser pinch-hitter?  That's a good question.  But options should have nothing to do with it.  They're not at that stage. 
uglyone - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#447139) #
with Horwitz playing 2B and OF in AAA, maybe they don't think he's any worse a fielder than Biggio anywhere.
Mike Green - Friday, June 07 2024 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#447141) #
The club's MO is to treat players like Horwitz as utility players. If they keep Vogelbach, they will continue to use him as DH most of the time against RHP. I hope they are changing after the Davis Schneider experience, but I am not holding my breath.

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