This Zack Greinke business simply will. not. end. And while in one way I guess it beats talking about Octavio “Don’t Ask” Dotel (H/T to @theskeptictank for that gem), it’s kind of a little fucking ridiculous that now three of our last four posts revolve around a player the Jays didn’t even fucking trade for.

Yet, here we are, with Richard Griffin defending himself in the preamble to his latest mail bag for the Toronto Star– which I’ll dip into myself in due time, probably between some rum and nog over the next week or so– over the notion that he gave the Jays’ rumoured pursuit legs it really didn’t have.

“I am told that I promoted the trade of Greinke to the Jays and suggested it was a distinct possibility when in the wake of the six-player deal between the Brewers and Royals, the strong implication from Greinke was that the Jays were never in the mix,” he says. “I have been around the game long enough that when someone says that a team was on his no-trade list, that can be changed in a heartbeat if that ends up being where he wants to go.”

In fact, Greinke waived his no-trade clause to come to Milwaukee based on the way their off-season has gone, so in that sense Griffin kinda has a point. “I knew Prince only had one year left on his contract and I wasn’t sure what direction they were going to go in with him,” Greinke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But once they signed Marcum and didn’t trade Prince, I knew they were in it.”

However, Alex Anthopoulos tells a slightly different story– though he qualifies it by noting that “Part of [the confusion] is that we don’t deny trades or rumours or things like that people can run with them, and I understand that.”

Jeff Blair spoke to Anthopoulos on his Fan590 show earlier today (audio here), asking him bluntly, “At the end of the day he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause, that’s basically right, isn’t it?”

“Correct. Yeah,” Anthopoulos replied.

“And the process didn’t get as far as, frankly, a lot of us thought it did,” Blair added.

Cue Anthopoulosian ramblings:

“It was really one of those things [where Dayton Moore and I said], ‘Hey, let’s– rather than even try to engage– why engage and go back and forth with dialogue and names if ultimately it’s not going to get anywhere? Let’s make sure that the player is willing to come here.’ And my understanding was that he was going to review teams that were on his no-trade list [to see if he'd be willing to waive the clause]. … I had been told that there was a strong desire on the player’s part to pitch in the National League, and also have a chance to hit– he’s a very good athlete, he was a two way player out of the draft– so there was a lot of appeal to him [in Milwaukee].”

Comparing it to the situation he found himself in last year with Roy Halladay, Anthopoulos insists that the Royals GM was a class act, and easy to deal with. “He didn’t waste anybody’s time, and he really focussed on the team– on the teams– the player was willing to go to.”

So… yeah, there’s that.

Oh, And There Were Actually Other Things To Talk About

The rest of the conversation between Blair and Anthopoulos (which also included Mike Wilner, though he didn’t say all that much), didn’t reveal anything terribly new, though there were a few items that I thought were interesting nonetheless, most of which revolved around the concept of having a “window” for contention, and the notion put forth by panicky idiots that it could be open this year for the Jays, so they should rush towards it with the speed of… um… something really fast.

“People talk like the Yankees lost Cliff Lee as if he was on the team. They won 95 games and Cliff Lee was not on that team,” Anthopoulos points out, noting that the Yankees’ only real loss so far is Andy Pettitte. “This was a 95 win team with guys like Burnett not having a great year– and you think he’s certainly be better than he showed.”

“Our goal,” he continued, “and it’s always been this way, is to not be built like ‘there’s a small window, it’s a year or two.’ The window– there isn’t going to be a window if we do this thing right. The window is going to be never-ending.” And he’s not about to take short cuts and have to tear the thing back down again in a few years.

However, there’s a caveat: people will actually, eventually, have to start coming out to the fucking ballpark.

He says that with success attendance should rise, revenue should rise, and then payroll will rise with it. And he adds that Tampa, having been a winning club for a few years, have seen that their ceiling, with respect to attendance and revenue, only goes to a certain point, so they’ve had to make some difficult financial decisions.

“If we had had the kind of success that the Rays have had, with the kind of upside of Canada, Rogers, the market that we’re in, Toronto, and so on, you start adding all that up and we’d have been drawing three million fans,” he says.

“This place can be a powerhouse,” he assures us, and don’t take the lack of attendance in recent years to mean otherwise. “There are very few markets where you just open up the doors and the place is full,” he says.

Easy to say from this time and place in the world, but sure, sounds good.

So Who Do The Jays Add?

At the end in interview with Blair, Anthopoulos said that the main thing still on his wish list is someone to pitch the ninth inning. By now you know my policy on Dotel (don’t ask)– who the club is rumoured to be in on– so let’s think elsewhere on the diamond. Specifically, someone who’ll keep Rajai Davis from getting regular playing time, either by playing the outfield himself, or by allowing Jose Bautista to shift off of third.

The Southpaw makes an interesting case for the Jays going after Adrian Beltre, while Ghostrunner On First daydreams about trading for Ichiro.

Me? Being slightly more realistic, I’m going to take whatever dignity I have left from my flirtation with Team Derrek Lee and move it in the direction of Felipe Lopez.

Don’t all start jumping for fucking joy at once.

But think about it:

The Jays could use another guy who hits left– adding one would bring their grand total among projected regulars to three (Lind and Snider being the others)– which Lopez, as a switch hitter, does.

They could use a guy who can either play second or third– Lopez does both.

They could use a guy who, if Davis becomes the fourth outfielder, can leadoff– and while not necessarily ideal, during his career Lopez has been his team’s leadoff hitter more often than he’s hit from any other spot in the batting order, and in 2010 305 of his 441 plate appearances were leading off.

Now, there’s an issue with the fact that he’s not a great fielder– though, looking at his Fangraphs page, his negative value in the field is dragged down monumentally when he plays short, at least in terms of UZR. He’s been passable, or occasionally even decent at second or third.

There’s also the issue of his vomitous .233/.311/.345/.656 line in 2010. However, the year before that he put up a downright impressive .310/.383/.427/.810 (wait, seriously?) and there’s likely some element of bad luck in his 2010 numbers, as his BABIP was .273, compared to a career mark of .316 (and a .358 in 2009). In fact, counting only his full seasons in the majors– not the partial years from 2001 to 2004 where he never played in more than 85 games– only once before last year had he put up an OBP under .343.

He also was a Type-B free agent this year, though that’s largely on the basis of his 2009, which won’t factor into next year’s rankings. And, should you luck out and get to that point with him, you’re really going to take the chance he accepts arbitration?

Still… maybe there’s something there worth taking a chance on? I know, it’s not exactly inspiring stuff. But I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. At least that way you could hedge your bets a little– hope either Davis or Lopez is decent enough to play every day. I dunno, If you wanted me to make a prediction, I guess that’s where I’m gonna go. One day I might even get one right.

Comments (186)

  1. First!

  2. The Felipe Lopez thing was a joke, right?

    Right?

  3. I’d have thought so myself before the Re-Encarnacion. But no, that’s what I’m going to guess.

    One of these days I’ll get something right.

  4. “The window– there isn’t going to be a window if we do this thing right. The window is going to be never-ending.”

    That is one awesome quote that absolutely defines AA and his perspective about the direction this team is heading in. Every time he makes a move people like “guess” should be keeping that quote in mind.

  5. “But I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’”

    Solid post Stoeten. But stop stealing quotes from Damien Cox.

  6. Two other AA thoughts slightly paraphrased by this author:

    “I prefer trades to free agents.”

    “Prospects either help the team or are trade bait.”

  7. What the hell is a “never ending window”? Stained glass? Bay?

  8. wasn’t there some noise out of St. Louis that the Cards had serious issues about Lopez in the clubhouse?

    That was the thing that put me off considering him.

  9. all these intersections of twitter and google and who knows what the hell else is confusing – I never notice what account is in play when I post somewhere…

  10. http://www.bofunk.com/video/68

    The best I could do.

  11. Maybe a trade for a post-hype guy like Brandon Wood would be their best move…..someone with upside who is down in the dumps at them moment.

  12. I think the team needs to put the payroll (whether developing the farm or on the 25 man roster) into the team before expecting fans. At least AA knows the team needs to at least get into a pennant race before expecting fans to show up.

    Pennant race – meaningful September games – these will at least get some excitement out of the slumbering fan base.

    I’d like to see the team dump about another 10 million on international prospects this offseason. Now if the team will draft the best player available each time they select a player in the June draft and sign them (perhaps big if), then I would be okay with a quiet offseason.

  13. I like having Wood.

  14. oh for fuck’s sakes can we stop with the bad luck excuse? babip does not measure bad luck. there is no such thing as luck in baseball. holy fuck where do people come up with this shit. is this what I have to listen to for eternity? every time there is a shitty player it’s just bad luck? fuck you are a complete fool.

  15. I was thinking about Lopez for third base the other day too, as I do feel like it will be someone in that regard, unless the Jays can pry away Alex Gordon from KC. One problem – which may or may not be important depending on your view – with Lopez: didn’t he get cut by whatever team he was on with like three weeks left in the season because he was horrible in the clubhouse? So bad, in fact, that the team cut him loose despite the Type B compensation they’d get back from him, just so they didn’t have to deal with him for three more weeks or so? Just something to consider.

    If that’s the way the Jays are going – and there aren’t really many other directions to go at this point, here’s a suggestion: Bring back Marco Scutaro? The Red Sox were apparently open to dealing him earlier in the offseason, and they were looking for a reliever back. Send away one of ours, bring Scutaro back to play third base. The fans will enjoy it, and there’s a good chance he returns compensation picks after the season again.

  16. Yourmom is right. (Oh yeah, she was so right last night).

    Rogers needs to spend some money if they ever want to see that jump in revenue (ie. attendance)

    What moves would I have liked to see, that were realistic?

    #1 Sign Adam Dunn to DH and play a LITTLE 1B
    #2 Trade for Dan Uggla (he or Hill to 3B)
    #3 Sign Encarnacion as a bench player, or a 1B if Lind can’t do it
    #4 Sign 1-2 relievers at ~$5MM/yr each
    #5 Retain FLewis or get a better 4th OF
    #6 Pick up Olivo’s 2011 option to back up Aaron Cibia

    Escobar SS/Snider LF/Bautista RF/Dunn DH/Uggla 3B/Lind 1B/Wells CF/Hill 2B/Cibia C

    That would have cost Rogers ~$30-40MM annually, with Uggla extended, leaving at year’s end for comp picks or traded beforehand.

    Even with these additions, and arb raises, the payroll for 2011 would have been ~$90-100MM, and the Jays would be a legitimate contender. Of course you would not have traded Marcum.

    $100MM makes this team a contender.

    Going into 2011 with a ~$60MM payroll is fucking pathetic, especially considering the quality of the rotation and how cheap it is. Most teams would see this situation, where ~$40MM was coming off the books, as a major opportunity to add a few major pieces, and at least try to contend. Even if they only won 88-90 games, they still would drive ticket sales and interest in the team among casual fans, and may even have stayed in the hunt through August/September.

    Rogers talks a major amount of shit. They slashed payroll, and refuse to spend until the team starts drawing more fans, and that, they even admit, will only happen with contending/winning 90+ games. It is as simple as that. They are cheap cunts. Dunn and Uggla would not block anyone, or cost the future of this team a single thing, other than $25-30MM/yr.

    So the Jays’ current roster had better perform, or we will never see an influx of cash, unless it is 3-5 years from now, when (IF) our farm produces some stars that all come up at the same time.

  17. the only reason fans are still interested in this team is because of a few unexpected things, jose bautista had a monster year and brandon morrow had a breakout year and agon carried the team early on. the fans will not tolerate regression. attendance is already plummetting. if this team goes out and loses 85 games, these excuses from the jays are not going to fly and more fans will leave.

    and to the person who said rogers doesn’t owe us anything. well that’s what GM thought about building quality cars. if you dont invest in your product people have other options to spend their money. rogers has got to be the mosted hated corp in canada.

  18. I couldn’t agree more with the post above. I’ve been solidly behind the Jays, and will continue to be, listening on radio and reading here, but you won’t catch me at a game or watching a shitty Sportsnet broadcast with mind-numbing fucking commentary again till THEY make the commitment to us — and the players. THAT’s how a real business works. And unlike the phone business, they don’t have me by the balls when it comes to entertainment dollars. Already cancelled the cable account, and my phone and internet will go to Bell as soon as I can. Fucking greedy cunts is right.

  19. The Jays had significant commitments end yet sit at the bottom of this year’s spending. If it finishes like that by opening day, I think fans should be allowed to grumble a bit.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

  20. this narrative about GM is overblown by people that ignore the impact NAFTA had on the auto industry. GM’s truck plant consitently won QUALITY award after QUALITY award and still the plant closed down. The reason cited: lack of demand.
    Those trucks are now built in Mexico.

    This is often said: “people in this city are hungry for a winner” – and I think this is true. With luck, this will translate to a relationship between team and fans that is beneficial to both. Like it or not, as of TODAY: the Jays are BY FAR the least pathetic team in this city.

  21. I have been spoiled. I grew up watching jordan, magic, bird, gretsky, lemiex, marino, payton, rice, montana, alomar, delgado, stieb. I have been able to watch some of the greatest players to play their sport. as of right now I watch NO sports because most are overpaid premadonna’s who are not that good. It is very depressing.

    Jose bautista is the first jay since delgado I actually enjoyed watching. If the jays trade him it will be like going back to solitary confinement.

  22. I hope that one day you luck into having a fucking clue.

  23. It’s “prima donna” dipshit.

  24. who gives a shit asswipe

  25. He says that with success attendance should rise, revenue should rise, and then payroll will rise with it.

    how is this year’s team better than last year’s? AA’s premise is dead before it gets off the ground.

    payroll increases team performance which in turn leads to increased attendance. get it right rogers.

  26. hey stoeten do you think the earth is round or flat?

  27. The lack of anything substantial happening this offseason is seriously starting to fuck with me.

    I know the Jays have a potentially great rotation even without Marcum and the line-up will probably be better than last year even if they don’t collectively hit for power at the same rate they did in 2010 but it’s hard to get excited when Edwin Encarnacion is your key signing of the offseason.

    I can see why some casual fans are pissed, all they see is the Jays trading one of their best starters for a prospect they won’t see until 2012 at the earliest, losing their best reliever and signing a guy they cut weeks ago, etc.

    MANNY!

  28. Just like the Rays right?

  29. For those who said I was being crazy that the fan-base is really down on the team, I would suggest you read this board and all the people pissed at Rogers for their pathetic off-season.

    (yes, this IS an “I told you so” email)

    At some point, the people of Toronto are going to stop putting up with this team and we’re going to become the Expos. If AA doesn’t get it moving by 2012 (and I mean with free agent money, not just trading AAA players for A+ players and our 2nd best starter for a AA guy) I can see the long-term health of this franchise being in serious trouble. ^^^I like the Lawrie move by the way, but most people don’t give a shit about 7-year plans, they want to spend money on players and ownerships that care about the team now, bot a bunch of blowhards promising something later.

    (can you imagine any other business working like this: Rogers cell phones–sure your phone doesn’t work right now and we ask for more and more $$$ every year, but don’t worry, by 2015 the service and reception are going to be great!)

  30. Can you please just go look at what happens when you spend FA money on declining players? Just look. Big FA signings today turn into albatross contracts in a couple years. And this is all without considering that maybe some of these guys don’t want to play here.
    The key to rebuilding this team is starting from scratch, getting very good young players and locking them up for their prime years. When the time is right you can spend a bit on FA but really your core should be homegrown.
    Unfortunately for fans it’s not the sexiest thing to do. Yes I expect there will be more losses this year than last, but if this year is scrapped in the goal of sustainable success then I am all for it.

  31. You are right Fatbird. There is no such thing as luck.

    However, there is such a thing as statistical variation. If I flip a coin 100 times, I would be surprised if I got 50/50 heads/tails. I would expect maybe the first time I get 42/58, maybe the second time I get 55/45, and so on. I would expect it to vary up and down around the mean.

  32. i haven’t heard the interview myself yet but meh, more of the same, how can you say anything else. rogers is building their empire and aa is serving that and himself. my guess is that they think this crap appeals to the hardcore fan that hated jp and the fact he spent $1 over $50mil in pursuing a contender. it’s like leaf fans who think the team has to have more gritty canadians who can kinda skate but can definitely hit and fight. things have to be done “the right way” according to those people, and they are having their day.

    telling the potential fans that it’s their fault if the team doesn’t compete though is just absolute stupidity. i’ve loved the jays my whole life i follow them as the #1 pursuit in my life outside of my family and job, but my life would not end if they went away, and the vast majority of people have less interest than me. for anybody at rogers to ever even come close to blaming anything on fans is just completely insane and the height of arrogance. most of your potential customers aren’t even going to bother to tell you to fuck off while they keep walking away. and the small group of people who are saying “please sire may i have another” aren’t going to make you any money. aa/beeston and crew need to understand that in the entertainment business you invest the money, you work damn hard to create a good product and then you open the doors and hope you get it back, not the other way around.

  33. I understand the frustration. I’ve had season tix for years and watched lackluster teams shamble around the field smiling when they made bone-head mistakes. Yes, I’m looking at you Rios. There was a culture of mediocrity that bedevilled the team and it was bolstered by JPR’s constant mantra of ‘it’s almost impossible to win in the AL East’. A terrific excuse to be lousy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ricciardi was given his walking papers after a couple of seasons of Tampa Bay proving him wrong. They may have not had much choice since they finished 5th season after season, but they parlayed high draft picks into a winning team. The Jays have a lot more money than Tampa. I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t do the same thing but keep their free agents once they’ve started to perform well.

  34. I mentioned this yesterday “warning shameless blog plug” that the Jays will sign a mediocre closer, try to get a future first baseman, and another SP.

    Great reads here :)

    I also think the Jays will consider a big bat/pitcher closer to spring training if there is someone interesting left standing without a job at that point.

  35. Ummm, when are you guys going to post something about Corey patterson and the other % guys the jays signed? or did i miss it somwhere?

  36. Attendance is plummeting? Pretty sure it’s not. The only difference is that the totals that are being announced are the actual totals instead of the massively inflated numbers the Godfrey allowed to be announced.

    This is old news that we should all know by now.

  37. tampa “parlayed high draft picks into a winning team” mostly out of luck, not because of any genius.

    jp was here to serve jp, in as much as building a contending team served jp’s interests that was what he was trying to do. otherwise he wanted a big contract, and he wanted to be set for life being a gm of a team. i think he pretty much checked out after wells got signed because he knew he’d never have enough money to finish his plan, so it all became about holding onto his job as long as possible and making his resume look good.

    aa is doing/going to do exactly the same things

    believing anything else is naive, sorry but it just is.

    if aa took the team over in 02 he probably would do a lot of the same things jp did and vice versa.

  38. Tampa is the model for organizations that cannot afford $100 million dollar payrolls. Rogers doesn’t really fit the bill.

  39. Was AA saying that it’s the fans’ fault? Has Rogers said that? Pretty sure in that interview he was saying that for this to be sustainable – for this window to never end – people have to come to the ballpark. He’s not saying they have to come in droves in April, but if the team is playing well at any point, fans need to come out and support them (and we know there are tons of fans based on the TV numbers). I think that’s pretty fair, don’t you?

    I know you don’t really understand what AA is doing, but in the simplest terms, he’s avoiding over-priced and over-valued free agents in favour of young, high-potential, controllable players. The team doesn’t need to start spending money on more BJ Ryans just to make it look like they’re trying to compete. I think people are genuinely excited about the young core that is being assembled and eventually those players will earn contracts that will make people like you (who only care about the size of the payroll) happy. Just be patient, and if you can’t be patient, maybe jump on the Phillies, Sox or Yankees bandwagon.

  40. basically who cares what minor league free agents they sign. i’ll care in spring training when they start competing for jobs. it’s just a bunch filler you can’t expect a thing from at this point.

  41. Question for your male bag: Hall of Fame ballots are in. Who would you have voted for?

  42. the first paragraph is nice, and it might even be right, but it doesn’t change the fact that nobody at rogers should ever say anything like that. it’s bad enough media wants to talk attendance every time they don’t have anything else to talk about, rogers just shouldn’t ever make it sound like they are blaming their potential customers for anything.

    don’t worry i understand exactly what aa is doing. he might even get really lucky and the jays will be a contender and then he really will be set for life. but it’s not his main focus either way, just like it wasn’t jp’s.

  43. actually it’s called standard deviation. I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic but you don’t understand statistics. why dont you try flipping a coin 100 times? see what you get. you wont get anything near 42 or 55. you’d prob get 50-52. 42=16% deviation which is huge. coins have a fixed prob of 50%, players don’t. players’ probability of getting a hit ie batting avg is based on their skill not luck. now players can get hot or cold but it’s still skill. look at EE, he got hot late, does that mean he was lucky nooooooo.

    now the probability ie avg can change over small sample sizes ie <100 abs based on hot/cold hitting but once you get to 500 ab's we can have a lot of confidence in his avg. I can confidently say that aaron hill was a poor avg hitter this year.

    luck implies you know what the end result should be. so what should a hitter’s avg be? you simply DONT know because it’s based on skill and player’s numbers fluctuate wildly from year to year. so when people start saying luck it’s complete stupidity.

  44. One, I f@#&n’ love AA!! and second, the Felipe Lopez idea actually makes sense. I’d be done for that, and can picture him back in TO doing quite well.

  45. I understand that it’s nice to have a balanced left/right lineup, but why do we think this team needs another lefty bat? They didn’t hit left handed pitching for shit last year. Does a lefty bat help them on that front?

  46. hey stoeten, jbau’s babip dropped massively this year from his career. does that mean he was unlucky this year? I can’t wait to hear your answer on this one.

  47. How bout short term free agent contracts? 2 years for adam laroche or 1 year for johnny damon?

  48. Who brought out the fucking retards?

    My god … yea, if this team dumps 40M into the team they magically become contenders … because players are like, just sitting on store shelves waiting to be bought, right? and, like, I mean, the average fan TOTALLY knows the payroll, right? and so, ummm, they’ll be like “wow, they spent money, that’s great, i’m going to go to some games now” right?? because, the team doesn’t have to show itself to be entertaining … it’s all a matter of how much money they spend … makes sense.

    If you’re truly stupid enough to think people coming to games has any correlation to payroll, I suggest you leap. It can contribute to the perception the team will compete, which can possibly bump attendence, but if the team isn’t consistently playing well it’s temporary.

    Further, to those suggesting nothing positive is coming out of this off-season, how about you look a little deeper than the MLB roster … the team is building from the minors, not the majors. Building from the majors doesn’t work if you’re not a huge spender or a big draw destination … which the Yankees are both of.

    Regardless, attendance will be substantially better this year than last due to the positives surrounding the team. People that can see past the end of their nose notice these things.

    P.S. Just because Jesus didn’t exist, doesn’t mean Christmas doesn’t.

  49. Shut up, fool!

  50. Oh, and on another note, don’t start complaining if some of the prospects AA has amassed don’t pan out. The idea is that you have enough prospects that enough will pan out … the failure of a prospect doesn’t mean the approach or specific trades were failures.

  51. Batting average on balls in play (abbreviated BABIP) is a statistic measuring the percentage of plate appearances ending with a batted ball in play (excluding home runs) for which the batter is credited with a hit .

    http://www.google.ca/search?hl

    Satisfied?

  52. satisfied with what? also nice how you excluded the second part:

    Batting Average on balls in play: measures what happens when the player puts the ball in play on the field. This is typically consistent for pitchers, but will vary WILDLY between batters.: (H-HR)/ (AB – SO – HR + SF)

    SATISFIED?????????

  53. “Regardless, attendance will be substantially better this year than last due to the positives surrounding the team.” Could you, uhm, like, expand on, like, what the fuck this, like, uhm, means? The positives surrounding the team? Like, what does that even, like, mean? Is that, like, um, an a capella group? Like, you know, some kind of, like, barbershop quartet, The Positives? What?

  54. i love this

    this is like conservatism never fails, you can only fail conservatism

    so if lawrie never becomes anything it was still a great trade then

    why not try applying that to the jp regime

    i mean where do you draw the line? if in 10 years aa’s “plan” has accomplished nothing and he gets fired and 20% of his prospects pan out it was still not his fault?

  55. I think what he meant is that rogers has installed antennas surrounding the dome emitting a positve charge which will then attract negatively charged people. also rogers has implemented subliminal messages on all rogers phones commanding customers to buy jays tickets or else they will die.

  56. I understand both viewpoints.

    1) Going out this year and getting big name, big $$ FAs will most likely cost the Jays draft picks. AA has clearly stated he wants to build a foundation of young controllable players in the Jays farm that can churn out a player or two every year to keep replenishing the team and/or be used in trades. We can all agree that before AA arrived, the Jays farm was pretty barren, and farm systems can’t be entirely replenished in one year. With so many picks (6? 7? I think 6) in the first 50 or so picks, this year is an optimal time to really finish stockpiling the farm.

    Getting that many picks in the first 50 is important, as we’ve all seen the drop off in average WAR on players picked after #50 (http://www.beyondtheboxscore.c…. So, adding players who will decline doesn’t make sense this year when you’re still trying to add to your foundation.

    2) I get the thoughts about payroll, and I have every reason to believe that payroll will climb (it’s been at $100M before under Rogers ownership – there’s no reason why it shouldn’t climb to there again, and probably soar above). Ultimately the Jays are going to have to pay players to put the team over the top, and to keep core players around. As noted above, I don’t think *this year* is the year to do it.

    What gives me pause was AA’s statement, to quote the post, that with “success attendance should rise, revenue should rise, and then payroll will rise with it.”. I really think this line of thinking creates a chicken-and-egg scenario that I do not think AA meant to play out… what should come first? A payroll increase? Increased attendance?

    AA did say in the interview that he has assurances from ownership that if he needs $$ it’s there, and I do think that a payroll increase (at the appropriate time) will be the thing that creates a real, sustainable winning team, which will lead to the increased attendance Rogers is looking for.

  57. Yes. I can expand. I understand that you need to be spoon-fed.

    – Decent record last season
    – Jose’s big year
    – Talented young players
    – Endearing GM
    – New manager
    – Greater access to hotdogs at ballpark

    On another front, the first paragraph was intended to be written that way. But, you’re a champ and you knew that.

  58. did you mean jose’s big ears?

    endearing gm? what does that mean? why not just say greek gm will attract more greeks.

  59. No, clearly that’s “big picture” failure. I’m saying, on an individual level, you can’t expect all prospects to pan out. But IF, big picture, enough reach a high ceiling and you’re winning, you have to look at all the moves, as a whole, as successful.

    Absolutely, if the team doesn’t contend, it’s all been a failure.

  60. why is the Wolf dude copy and pasting his idea on every Blue Jays Blogger’s site? LOL

    Good post Stoeten. I had mentioned Lopez in my blog in November. Red Sox have 40 on their 40 man, while the Blue Jays still have 38 (37 if you assume McGowan will start 2011 on 60 day DL), meaning there are still some moves to come. I’d still like to see a 1 year + option on Lopez to ease the stop gap and create added depth to the lineup without having to use some of their kids a little too early.

    If you look at 40 man, and assume that Zach Stewart will be added at some point, makes 39 players, including McGowan. Meaning 1 more move could be in the works. At this point, we assume it’s either a closer or a player like Lopez. I would imagine closer is on their radar first, and if no one could be acquired, then infielder.

    They also have two PTBNL’s to ship off, not sure if they’ll be 40 man players or not.

    Regardless, I don’t think we’ll hear anything anytime soon. Sounds like AA is sitting on either or AND has Dustin McGowan to consider, as well. Although he will probably assume he is a 60 man candidate right away and then just waive someone if McGowan pulls off the miracle come back by opening day.

  61. if some miracle occurs and attendance is better great, but you are really just dreaming if you think it will. the average potential fan does not give a fuck about the minors, and the average potential ticket buyer isn’t going to go if the team isn’t winning or there isn’t some other buzz. you are not average, nobody who posts here is. if rogers is targeting their marketing primarily at you or me it’s going to fail. the correlation isn’t ticket buying to payroll, it’s any connection of “we’ll get good” to “when you buy tickets”. rogers people should never say anything that even sounds like that. ever.

  62. I don’t see a chicken and egg thing at all … I don’t think he intends that either has to come first … I think he feels that, as the team improves in both wins and consistency, he sees attendance rising as a byproduct of that and payroll going up because signing pieces and extending players will make sense. In other words, I don’t see him saying that attendance needs to rise before he spends money. He’s going to focus on long-term and sustainable success and let attendance and spending lead or lag as required. There’s just no business case for overspending now because the boat has too many holes to plug at the moment. When there are few enough holes that FA signings can plug them, it will make sense to ask for money.

    All he is saying is that he can’t make the case for spending

  63. Racist motherfucker.

  64. The point is that while every prospect won’t pan out, if you stockpile enough of elite level ones enough will in order to create a sustainably great team. You keep using the Rays as an example of a club that got ‘lucky’, but you can’t simply point to one failed Royals prospect, one highly successful Rays prospect and then logically draw the conclusion “AHA! It must all be a matter of pure luck then!”. The Rays will most likely take a slight step back next year, but in no way should you equate that to them having some sort of imaginary window closed on them. They still have one of the top three (second best by most estimations I’ve read) farm systems in baseball. They have one of the best pitching prospects in the game in Jeremy Hellickson and one of the best outfield prospects in Desmond Jennings ready to be broken into the majors next year. This is not a team that is going to go back to losing 90+ games a year until another of these imaginary windows opens in ten years, because they are intelligently run. Teams with deep farm systems, even teams with financial resources as poor as the rays, don’t run into this problem of long term failure following windows of success.

    And this is a team that lacks the financial resources currently, and the potential financial upside in their market that the jays possess. The jays would not have had to deal with a problem like losing a player similar to Carl Crawford, because they would have possessed the finances to hold onto that player. If AA builds this team from the ground up with a strong foundation as he has been, it won’t simply be a matter of one or two prospects succeeding or failing to pan out, because the system will be so deep that it won’t need luck to succeed. The luck you speak of is something that teams with shitty farm systems need in order to find windows of success.

    And that’s the entire point. A team built properly from the ground up doesn’t need to get lucky in order to contend.

  65. The attendance won’t be great… it will improve. At the start of last year, the attendance was brutal because expectations were non-existant. It turns out the team had a winning record. I think people expect a decent team this time around.

    Also, let’s not forget that the team draws over 500,000 viewers on television … clearly those numbers are inter-related with ticket sales for Rogers.

  66. so in your mind then aa has bought himself like 5 years before he can be judged, at least

  67. you are dreaming

    none of this will do anything to expand attendance

    even the very casual fan knows last year was a fluke, and the team has done nothing to get better

    the non fan who may consider buying a ticket only knows, if that, that some guy named marcum was traded for some guy they never heard of

    attendance is never going to go up until this team starts winning regularily and the “jays are good” bleeds back into the general consciousness outside of sports media.

  68. How are you making that jump? I’m not saying that at all … he’s going to need to show that he’s consistently improving the club as a whole … including all levels … at all times. That’s what his job is.

  69. There is another buy-low, post-hype ex-uberprospect out there in the weeds that I’d LOVE to see AA give a chance to, that would come dirt cheap.

    Mr. Lastings Milledge.

    Really, even if he craps the bed again, what’s the harm in giving him a 2011 chance? We’re not going anywhere, it bumps JB to 3rd, and makes Davis the 4th OF. Really, we sign C-Patt as a depth option (please, please, please tell me you’re ok with 500AB’s in Vegas, Corey), with Milledge sitting there still?

  70. mlse i think takes the waffle on this one

  71. because aa prospects, let alone draft picks, take years to develop. i would not be surprised if we did not see a really good season from snider, let alone lawrie, until they were 24. expecting more than that is just stupid. since aa is not adding players that are good right now, and doesn’t seem to be planning on it, where is this improvement coming from? getting lucky with minor league FA signings?

  72. as long as you realize bell aint any better; at least rogers own and operates something we enjoy – what does bell do for you at the same price?

  73. rogers owns and operates the jays in order to increase their exposure and hopefully take market share from bell, telus etc.. – it’s nothing more or less than that – and it’s the same reason that bell sponsors all kinds of events that people enjoy

  74. The best part of the commentary is mudpie admitting he doesn’t actually watch sports because of “premedonnas”

    Unfortunately, the rest is awash in Guess’ white noise commentary.

  75. You have to look at the organisation as a whole … this includes the minor leagues. You can’t judge improvement just at the major league level for the exact same reason you bring up … it takes time. We’re discussing the same thing, we’re just defining improvement differently. If you want to look solely at the major league level, sure, he has time before he can be judged. BUT, I think you look at all levels and evaluate based on that.

  76. fine but the minors can “improve” and the majors never see it, that’s possible you have to admit

    so how long do you give aa then?

  77. yes i guess i can see how i would be “white noise” to somebody who can’t find there own ass with 2 hands and a map – you should try thinking about things before you post them so you’re not wrong about everything

  78. The problem is that the least pathetic team in Toronto is usually the team enjoying their offseason.

  79. so in your mind then aa has bought himself like 5 years before he can be judged, at least

    bingo. this fellow, as well as the portly one who originated this discussion, believe that you can’t judge AA because he is thinking long term. the only way to have a discussion with these folks is to ask what they would count as success or failure next year, in 2012, in 2013 and so on.

    the “you’re not seeing the big picture” rejoinder is the last refuge of the drowning fan, clinging to toolsy prospects as he drifts into a sea of mediocrity for the next 17 years.

  80. Well we’ve had a week of every second post being some nonsense from you. Any valid point you could make is canceled out by the signal to noise ratio.

  81. I realize this probably isn’t the year to do it, given the depth of this year’s draft.

    But if you can sign a Type A free agent to a one-year deal for cheap (say, Soriano, one year, $8 Mil), you lose the first round pick, but then offer him arbitration and the next year you get back a 1st (possibly) AND a Supplemental pick.

    So, I would say that it only hurts the Jays’ future to sign Type A free agents IF they want more than one year. Soriano is a bit of a gamble (he could get injured or suck, he could sign with a team that signs Pujols/Prince, etc, bumping our pick back…) but not a huge gamble.

    Not saying we should sign Soriano. Just that if we were ever to sign a Type A, it would have to be a young guy on a one year deal, so we could receive equal or better compensation when they leave via FA. Soriano fits the bill.

    Worked out for Boston last year with Beltre. They got one incredible season for $10 Mil, and now he’ll be bringing them back a 1st Rd pick and a Supplemental Rounder.

    Though we’ll probably just go with Dotel/Rauch, which is a much safer route when trying to hoard draft picks.

  82. AA was referring specifically to what’s happening in TB. They went to the WS, are an elite team, yet still nobody goes to games. If that happens in TO, then Rogers will say fuck it, why bother.

    However, if the team starts playing well, winning, and actually making post season runs (say in 2012/2013), as a result of the young talent panning and, and at that time signing the free agents to compliment them, he would expect people to actually start wanting to come watch the games. They will do what they believe they need to do to get a winning team on the field, before expecting the fans to come out. However, once (if) that happens, if attendance is still < 2 million, why would rogers continue to throw money at the team?

  83. wow wrong on every count but whatever, if you can’t refute me just make snide remarks then

  84. horrible analogy. Service and reception don’t take time do develop, moron.

  85. i agree, i think hawpe would be an excellent target for this, unless he signed somewhere else i didn’t notice it. i think the jays should be opening up the closer role to competition among the pitchers already here though. but it would be nice to see them sign something.

    it’s not like they don’t have a ton of picks anyways that they can’t sacrifice one.

  86. You’re wrong! You can’t find your ass with a map! If you can’t get your point across then just keep posting and making retarded comments.

    The team is going no where
    Prospects are a crap shoot
    Rogers only cares about money.

    I’ve summed up all your posts in the most concise manner possible. I’d wish you happy holidays but you’ll probable spend them here posting.

  87. Can’t… get by… the irony….

    I do agree with you, though… Rogers should NOT tie the two ideas of “we’ll get good” and “when you buy tickets” together… and I think the way AA phrased what he said in the interview was misleading. He DID say that ownership has assured him that the money is there if he needs it (and I have every reason to believe that AT LEAST a $100M payroll is available to him, based only on the fact that Rogers has approved that before).

    I think if he could do it again, he should have framed the statement as “the money is there if we need it, and as we win and attendance grows we can keep bumping the payroll up because of the increased revenue”… not the other way around like he did.

  88. When the heck did Rogers blame the fans for not coming out to games?

    You guys putting more words in corporate mouths?

  89. minor league depth moves result in low blog site hits. LOL

  90. Hawpe is actually a good idea. He wouldn’t cost a pick either, but could definitely bring one back as a Type B next offseason. He has a reputation as a butcher in the outfield though.

    That’s the type we need though, someone looking for a one year deal to re-establish their market value next offseason. If they fail, it doesn’t cost you much. If they succeed (John Buck, Alex Gonzalez, etc.) you get both production on the field, and trade chips or draft picks.

    Dotel brought Pittsburgh two excellent prospects mid-season, and wasn’t even putting up great numbers at the time (4.28 era, 1.30 whip). Matt Capps landed the highly touted Wilson Ramos from Minny. Both players signed last offseason for less than $4 Mil.

  91. Really? So AA would’ve completely cut out the scouting department and only draft college players. The only point that you have a chance on holding any water on is if AA loses patience and tries to buy a team. But we’ve seen both JP Ricciardi and Brian Burke just try to do that, and look where it’s getting them.

    AA will stay the course, and the believers will shove it in your mouth and kick your asses off the bandwagon, because you don’t belong. You all belong under a bridge, so stay there.

  92. if they actually build a ws contending team that is good for a number of years and attendance does not rise then fine, maybe this city deserves no team (although i think whether or not it follows that rogers would be losing money on the jays is wayyyy open to argument, i don’t think they have to sell one ticket to be a “money making proposition” for rogers.)

    but that’s not the problem i’m talking about. nobody at rogers should ever make that point or even allude to it, it should not be part of any conversation. it’s toxic. they should do everything they can to shut down that thinking. they shouldn’t engage it with the media. potential customers are not going to respond to it any positive way. the only way the average non-fan ticket buyer is going to react to statements like that is to think “why should i go then” or “fuck you i’m never going”, the response is never “i better hurry and buy tickets”.

  93. eventually, we’ll get really lucky and Tom Tango will invent a stat that measures a players’ bat speed, LD% vs. UZR or WOWY and a bunch of other factors that measures what a players BABIP should be, then decide if the player is getting unlucky.

    In general, low BABIP does mean someone is getting unlucky, but it’s not always the case. Too many other factors to look at. The stats need to be added to, but for now, it’s all we got.

    e.g. Aaron Hill’s BABIP and LD% were extremely low, but it was more a case at swinging at outside pitches trying to pull off everything, whether it be off-speed or a fastball. I’ll admit, he was getting unlucky at the beginning of the season, but as it wore un, he was trying to swing at too much. He was digging himself a hole.

    Hopefully all he needs is a clean slate.

    But BABIP is a great argument on both ends. I see it works in a lot of situations, but a lot of times there are anomalies as well.

  94. Nah, I didn’t ask the stupid question in the first place.

  95. I’d like to see another stat pop up in popularity.

    FB hit %
    LD hit %
    GB hit %
    GB out %
    LD out %
    FB out %

    I know there’s BABIP stats out there already based on all the above, but I’d like to see stats like these referenced more often when it comes to referring to luck. Be nice to see a league BABIP average on each type, then go from there.

  96. yeah he would, because he would have been the guy at that time who had the nice story for godfrey and the board about how he was going to change everything and lead the team to glory despite the fact they wouldn’t guarantee him any kind of budget because he wanted the fucking job. why is that so hard to understand. aa is not some genius with fantastic insight, he’s just a guy who wants to be a gm and got promoted. this is not revolutionary. when your boss gets fired and you get promoted to replace him and there is general dissatisfaction with the way he did things, you sure as hell don’t endear yourself and guarantee job security by doing the same fucking things. instead you do as many different things as you can think of and push off expectations as far as possible into the future. this isn’t a conspiracy theory, this is standard office politics.

  97. well that is pretty obvious – what i am getting at is as a diehard jays fan i will support the corporation that supports/owns my passion. i personally would rather rogers gets my money instead of bell. there is minimal difference between the two companies whether it price or products or service….

  98. I think Beeston will be very patient with AA. They’re in this thing together, and Rogers will be equally patient with Beeston. They have Rogers’ trust and AA has Beeston’s trust.

    I mean, look how much time Godfrey and JP were given …

  99. Man, the at-the-game attendance is not nearly the whole piece of pie. The television numbers are great, that matters to Rogers. The branding is also huge.

    Rogers is never going to ‘lose money’ with this team. Their payroll may outstrip their gate, but that’s really no matter.

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