Yes, yes, we’ve been a little bit completely fucking lazy this week. (Or, actually, Parkes and I have been busy as beavers over at The Score, running Getting Blanked and the Buzz respectively, but go ahead and call us lazy if you really want.)
Part of that, of course, has been that there really is shit all happening with the Jays right now—unless you count every name in baseball being linked with their open managerial position. (Though, actually I guess we could have gone to the trouble of pointing out names being crossed off the list, like Tim Wallach earlier in the week, and Eric Wedge today.)
But fear not! (You were never feared, were you?) All the while I’ve been collecting various links and things, in the hope that one day I’d manage to suck it up (and/or feel guilty about the neglect of this site) long enough to share them with you. And unless I give up halfway through this exercise and decide to totally mail it in (that is, mail it in more than I’m already mailing it in), today is that day!
So, without further ado…
Holy fucking shitting fuck! Business Insider’s new Sports Page (new home by former Deadspinner Dashiell Bennett, and, in the case of this piece, Cork Gaines of Rays Index) has listed baseball’s 20 Most Expensive Busts in 2010 and… wait for it… Vernon Wells didn’t make the list!
Basically, what they’ve done is compared the difference between players’ WAR Dollars (via Fangraphs) and their actual salaries.
The list is headed by the Astros’ Carlos Lee, who you’ll probably recall is always mentioned, along with Vernon, when the topic of the worst contracts imaginable comes up. In 2010 Lee and his –0.8 fWAR were worth a $3-million loss to the Astros using the vaguely-scientific WAR Dollars formula. For an asset of such incredible value, Drayton McLane dished out $18.5-million, making for a total shit flushing of $21.5-million.
Alex Rodriguez was next, with his $32-million salary far outstripping his $15.4-million “value.”
Vernon, you may be surprised to know (y’know, given that he was pretty much fucking useless for a solid three-and-a-half months during the season), put up the second best fWAR of his career, 4.0, making him “worth” $15.9-million—and making the difference between his salary and his “value” far too small for him to make the list (which also included Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter, and Ryan Howard.)
Bud Wants Playoff Changes?
Commissioner Bud Selig has confirmed baseball is studying possibilities to expand the postseason field. Eight teams currently go, but there is strong consideration being given to increasing that number to 10, beginning as soon as 2011. The new games would provide programming for the MLB Network and allow fringe teams to remain competitive deeper into September.
They also add this nugget from Walk Like A Sabermetrician:
In the 32-league seasons since the wildcard was implemented (1995-2010), the average W% for the best team in the league is .620. The second-best division winner averages .583, the third-best .556. The wildcard team is .573 on average, while the team that would be the second wildcard averages .548.
This, of course, should make Jays fans rejoice. You know, seeing as, under a 10-team format, the Jays would have made the playoffs a whole one times—the 1998 Tim Johnson season—since the Wild Card was introduced in 1994.
Layin’ Down The Law
It’s a week old, but in case you missed it like I did, here are the Jays-related nuggets from our friend Keith Law’s most recent (i.e. October 7th) chat at ESPN.
If the Cards are seriously stupid enough to trade Rasmus, what is a realistic haul for him.
If they are that stupid, they shouldn’t deal him without getting one major-league ready impact prospect in return. For example, if the Blue Jays call, it’s “Kyle Drabek or GTHO.”
The Jays would be crazy to sign Bautista to a long term deal this off season coming off 54 homers, right?
Yes. I hate the idea of signing a player long-term off one good anomalous year. Doing that helped sink Josh Byrnes here in Arizona between his brother* Eric and Mark “3TO” Reynolds. (*not actually his brother.)
Isn’t the wisdom of a long-term deal on Bautista a function of price? You’ve called his HR over under for next year about 28, if he signs 3 years at $8-9M per, that’s not bad for an athletic OF with decent OBP and power. Just don’t pay him as though he’ll hit 50 again.
I’m assuming that he wouldn’t sign for that; his agent would discourage it, the union would have a coronary, and he’s got an awesome arbitration case for 2011 that will ensure he gets plenty of money either way.
Anthopolous said something to the effect that Zach Stewart was right there with Drabek as a prospect. I seem to recall you being impressed by Stewart in his AA playoff start, but also by Drabek’s. Big difference between the two?
Different styles. Not a huge difference in potential. Drabek’s a shade better.
Chris (Park Ridge)
Travis Snider or Colby Rasmus long-term?
Do you think Yunel Escobar for Rasmus is a reasonable offer?
Tim Dierkes of the great MLB Trade Rumors, over in his side gig at Roto Authority, asked a bunch of the best-known baseball writers out there to try and predict the number of home runs Jose Bautista will hit next year.
The lowest guess, submitted by Ken Davidoff of Newsday, was 27, while the highest , 36, was from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Obviously these guys don’t think Bautista’s out-of-nowhere value will completely fall off a cliff. Even on the absolute low end of that spectrum, he’d be a pretty valuable player, given everything else he brings to the table. Still… will the Jays regret not moving him if he falls back to earth like that? Maybe, maybe…
So I guess there’s only one thing for Jose to do: prove ‘em all wrong.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun lists every single person the Jays have interviewed for their manager.
Elliott also has a nifty preview of Jays prospect Kellen Sweeney, from Wednesday’s Sun.
Sticking with prospects, Batters Box takes a detailed look at their version of the Jays’ top ten.
Meanwhile, Mop Up Duty looks at the baseball cards of the players just drafted by the Jays this June—most notable for the fact that it proves, once and for all, that they actually still make baseball cards.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com chats with Lyle Overbay, as he prepares to hit free agency for the first time after ten seasons (though the first three were only partial—very partial in some cases) in the majors.
Ghostrunner On First, who I should note is also a contributer at Getting Blanked, meaning that there’s a least one person on there who isn’t hatable, feels lost in the same kind of malaise we do as the Jays front office lays low during the playoffs.
Lastly, it’s old, but if you haven’t read it, this Tao of Stieb FJMing of Brue Dowbiggin is a beautiful thing.