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Dan Szymborski has posted the 2007 ZIPS projections for Toronto.  The projections, both for the pitchers and the hitters look quite favourable.  Can you guess which hitter has the best projection?
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John Thomson was signed by the Jays today. Thomson had rough seasons in 2005 and 2006 due to a blister and shoulder problems respectively.  It is generally a good idea to have around extra veteran starting pitching, but anything Thomson delivers will be a bonus in light of his health issues.

Thanks to TA for the tip.

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Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken were elected to the Hall of Fame, each with over 95% of the vote.  Goose Gossage fell narrowly short with 70%, while Mark McGwire garnered under 25%.

Gwynn and Ripken were pretty obvious selections. The vote next year should be very interesting when Tim Raines is added to the ballot.

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With Goose Gossage seeming to have increasing popularity as Hall of Fame candidate, I thought that a preview of my thinking about relievers for the Hall Watch series was in order.
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Everyone all recovered from a night of New Year's revelry? Good -- then let's look to the (immediate) future and fill a thread with our predictions about the 2007 baseball season. (Hey,. every newspaper columnist in every paper in the free world is writing this story today. Why not us?)

Just a few minor "rules" ....

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It's time for the annual question (see last year's version if you want "proof") ...

So what baseball-related gifts did people get?

Don't be shy -- Christmas "loot" is all about showing off, so  ... what'dja get???

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Last minute holiday gifts for baseball fans are always a bit problematic.  It is the off-season after all.  How about a book?
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Okay, it's official: the 2007 Toronto Blue Jays cannot lose. Why, you ask?

My new secret weapon:

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Ted Lilly apparently will not be pitching for the Blue Jays next season, narrowing his decision to the Cubs and Yankees.

Jason Schmidt cashes in today - 3 years, $47 million.

UPDATE (9:45 pm): Lilly to the Cubs is official now.  Four years, $40 million.
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The old thread has enough miles on it, so here's a new one.

those gentle voices I hear
explain it all with a sigh

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Here's a new thread for discussing all the moves that are unfolding at the Winter Meetings.
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The results are in.  Blue Jay fans considered John McDonald and Vernon Wells as the best defenders on the club.  Aaron Hill did very well on my ballot, but I probably sneaked in some consideration of his superior pivot on the double play into the "instincts" and "release" departments.  Surprises?
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On my blog, I'm holding up the Jays' McDonald, and the Expos Angel Salazar as possibly the best fielders around who couldn't hit MLB pitching.  When discussing McDonald, I said:

It must be a virtual certainty that hes a great fielder, since hes never had 300 PA, has come into the league at almost age 25, is now 32, has 1146 career PA, his career OPS+ is 56, with a career high of 75.  His career high in salary is 500,000$. Hes also had SIX different managers on three teams.

And, here is the criteria:

1 - has been in the league for at least 5 seasons
2 - has played in at least 300 games
3 - has averaged less than 4 PA per game (preferably under 3)
4 - has a career OPS+ of under 60
5 - is a 2B,SS,3B,CF (i.e., not a catcher, and Id be shocked if you could find anyone at another position)
6 - better than league average fielding percentage

Peter Bergeron of the Expos is another that qualifies.  So, are we in the midst of seeing McDonald be the best at this?

Our own Leigh Sprague got the ball rolling with his fictional take on the Barajas/Zaun affair. Now, Protrade's Ryan Wilkins weighs in with haiku concerning the Manny Ramirez to LA trade rumours. We take poetry very seriously here at da Box, and the possibilities this off-season are endless. A player. A team. A general manager (I'm still searching for rhymes for Hendry). So, let's have them, Bauxites.
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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays have signed Royce Clayton to a 1 year, $1.5 million deal. The deal is pending a physical (and Clayton not switching agents at the last minute).
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