Holy shit, MLB Trade Rumors, is that seriously poor Willem Defoe being hunted down like a dog by the VietCong after somehow surviving fucking Tommy B’s three shots to the chest and then having the whole cocksucking platoon retreat without him on fuckface Berenger’s orders?

It is! Well, then, I guess for some reason there must be yet another new update to your magnificently reverse-engineered Elias Rankings, which means that it’s time for us to check out how Alex Anthopoulos is doing in his quest to game the free agency compensation system for as many draft picks as possible…

C

Jose Molina’s improbable run up the rankings continues, as he now projects as a Type-B free agent– and not even the lowest-ranked one! Jason Varitek is behind him. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Francisco Cervelli are behind him, on the outside looking in.

It’ll be interesting to see how Molina’s status plays out over the course of the final two months of the season. I’ve said it for months, and I’m going to go out on a limb and maintain Molina’s numbers– a .372 OBP!?! an .802 OPS!?!– are bound to regress to the mean. He has a .286 career OBP for fuck sakes! This could be an issue.

To maintain his status, one assumes he’ll need to keep playing at least a little bit. But if he does, it’s hard to believe he’ll help his case, except with whatever counting stats are used to produce the rankings among catchers. [According to a 2007 MLBTR post, the stats used for catchers are PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, Fielding percentage and Assists.]

Complicating matters is that JP Arencibia is rising through the ranks, with just six shitbags ranked between him and Varitek. If Arencibia knocks someone out of Type-B, it makes it that much more difficult for Molina.

There is, of course, also the issue of whether Molina declines arbitration– if he’s even offered. Molina makes $1-million this year, and would be due a raise through arbitration, and looking at the list of free agent catchers who signed last season, I think there’s a decent chance he declines. The only two catchers to sign Major League contracts for less than $1-million last winter were Will Nieves (-0.4 WAR in 2010), and Matt Treanor (0.1 WAR in 2010), so… Molina’s 1.3 WAR through just 132 plate appearances looks pretty salable– especially so given that John “$18-million deal” Buck is just behind him, with 1.2 WAR in 370 plate appearances. [Note: Hahahahahahahahaha!]

1B/OF/DH

Not much to see here, as the only Jays to qualify for this category are Jose Bautista and Adam Lind, who are both locked up long-term. (They’re also the team’s two highest salaried players this season. The next three highest? Aaron Hill, Mark Teahen and Frank Francisco. Then Jon Rauch, then Adeiny Hechavarria! Yikes– glad there aren’t a bunch of morons in this city who think there’s a direct relationship between high salaries and winning baseball.)

2B/3B/SS

For some reason, Aaron Hill still projects to comfortably be a Type-B free agent, though he’s been so terrible these last two years– see Yesterday in Morons– that what he stands to make through arbitration far outweighs what he’ll be worth on the open market, no matter what you heard from some shittacular, pageview-whoring, shit salad of a dump of a that-horseshit-passes-for-analysis? of a fucking moronic slideshow of a worthless turd stew of a snake oil-covered shitshow fake sports site.

(For those who are curious about the Jays’ impending hole at second base, Kelly Johnson of the Diamondbacks remains a Type-A free agent in the National League, but he’s only barely ahead of the lowest-ranked Type-A, Jimmy Rollins. Nipping at their heels are Jeff Keppinger, Chipper Jones, Freddy Sanchez, Casey McGehee and Dan Uggla. If Johnson falls back into Type-B status, look for the Jays to target him in the off-season– even though he’s in the midst of his second .300-ish OBP season of the last three. In 2010 he got on base at a .370 clip and was worth a shade under 6 WAR.)

Things aren’t much better on the Edwin Encarnacion front, as Dustin Ackley, Jed Lowrie and Robert Andino have moved between him and Type-B status– and Ackley certainly won’t be falling behind him anytime soon, and perhaps neither will the others. Adam Kennedy, Cliff Pennington and Erick Aybar are also between E5 and Mike Aviles, who is the last ranked Type-B.

There isn’t a whole lot separating any of those guys (or the ones just in behind Encarnacion– Omar Vizquel, Alexei Casilla, Chris Getz) as, as far as their Elias “scores” go, so there’s a chance Edwin can keep on moving up the ranks, but with all those guys to get ahead of, and Ackley shooting for the top of the rankings, it’s not going to be easy.

So… maybe when it comes to who they should sit when Brett Lawrie arrives, the Jays don’t have such a difficult decision after all…

SP

Nothing to see here– none of the Jays’ starters are impending free agents.

RP

Some changes here, as– did you hear???– the Jays shipped out a couple Type-B relievers– Jason Frasor and, rather unbelievably, Octavio Dotel– in order to make the Colby Rasmus acquisition happen.

Additionally, Shawn Camp has dropped out of Type-B status entirely– a precipitous fall, seeing as he was a Type-A at the end of May. These rankings, however, come at a time where his performance has ebbed, with seven earned runs in his last 3.1 innings. I’d expect him to pitch a little better going forward, which should still give him a great chance to get back to Type-B. Y’know… as long as he doesn’t keep sucking.

Then there are Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch, both of whom seem will end the season comfortably as Type-Bs. The big issue with them, then, is whether the Jays will offer arbitration.

Or… seemingly it’s an issue. I mean, a lot is made of how teams need to make this calculation, but really, there shouldn’t be any reason why the team and a Type-B player can’t have a handshake agreement about how to handle the offering of arbitration. It makes no difference to the player if he’s not offered arbitration or if he’s offered and then declines– either way, he’s a free agent– but obviously it makes a huge difference to the team. Unless an agent wants to torch his relationship with a club, there’s no reason the club shouldn’t be able to trust his answer if they came to him and said, “Hey, if we offer your client arbitration, is he going to accept? Because if he is, we’re not going to offer it.”

It’s different when a player is a Type-A– as we saw with Rafael Soriano a couple years ago, when he surprised the Braves by accepting arbitration– because the fact that teams give up their own picks to sign Type-A free agents, when completely warps the market for their services. Type-B though… why wouldn’t they?

Or perhaps it doesn’t even need to be a handshake agreement. Jon Rauch has a $250K buyout in his contract– might they have already agreed that, if the Jays don’t want him back, he’ll agree to decline arbitration if he’s Type-B and they’ll kick in the extra cash?

It’s certainly possible. And for Jays fans, let’s hope so– because, the way they’ve pitched this year, there’s no guarantee that the market for those guys look so rich that they’d decline arb.

Francisco makes $4-million, and Rauch $3.75-million, which would make them both due more than $4-million through arbitration. Last season the following relievers received contracts of more than $4-million: Soriano, Rivera, Putz, Jenks, Guerrier, Gregg, Fuentes, Downs, Crain, Contreras, Benoit and Balfour.

You could say that the Jays’ two are at the very least comparable to a few of those names– *cough* Kevin Gregg *cough*– but are they slam dunk candidates to decline arbitration? Doubt it.

Comments (10)

  1. this is not relevant at all, but i needed a forum where i could say this:
    c-patt starting in cf for the cards today, ahahahahaah!

  2. i feel like FF is pretty likely to get an arb offer if that handshake agreement hasn’t happened yet.  there’s no way that he’s as bad as he’s pitched so far this year (right?), and he’s a big scary dude who throws real hard.  I’d be fine to see him walk for a pick, and wouldn’t hate to see him back next year either.

  3. You need two of him in CF to make an average CF.

  4. I could imagine the Jays and Molina having/making some kind of handshake agreement for him to decline arbitration. Jose’s made his money, and should be able to find a job somewhere in the big leagues next season.

  5. When the Jays were 26th 0r 27th on the list for quality of the farm system,it was great to get those extra sandwich picks to replace the crap we had.The farm has been restocked and the system is rated in the top 5.Do we really need those picks?We now should concentrate on quality vs quantity. After all in any draft, out of 50 players drafted,AA is hoping to get 2 impact players instead of the usual 1.

    The drafted players need 4 to 6 years to develop and the existing players (eg. Hech and Gose) shouldn’t be replaced by the extra 5 or 6 sandwich pick players until you know what you got .And the Jays have already added another minor league team to absorb some of the previous draft picks.
    We even have some of those prospects developing at the major league level.
    Enough with the “high upside” tease and 6 year away prospect porn, bring me some meat.
     

  6. @Radar Yes we do. Yes we need all those extra picks. AA wants a perpetual contending team. For that to happen, Jays need a constant pipeline of elite prospects either to replace current players or use as trade chips at the deadline. Plus, the Jays aren’t a contender yet. They’re probably at least 2-3 yrs away from making some serious noise as being a World Series contender. Guys like Drabek, Lawrie will need 1-2 seasons before they really break out into full fledge stars – if they do (see Rasmus) and there are too many question marks elsewhere (2b, LF, DH, #1, 4, 5 SP, CL) that will take time to fill at a level the Jays can contend.

  7. As long as the extra picks don’t come with the gamble of carrying a bunch of reclamation projects on the big club, waiting to see if they can become type A or B  or wash out. All the time the Jays could be moving up the ladder.I also don’t want those reclamation projects blocking what we already have.

  8. Why wouldn’t you want extra draft picks in exchange for crappy relievers walking at the end of the year?  It’s not like the Jays are contenders this year, so I say let whoever needs to play for 2 months in order for AA to keep milking the system for picks.  You can never have enough prospects even when you are contending, you can use prospects in trades to complete the final piece in a playoff push.

  9. Most likely the whole compensation system is due for some sort of overhaul when the CBA expires in December, so while we may not “need” them (you can always use draft picks especially compensatory ones because they tend to come within the first 100 picks or so, which is where the “meat” of any draft is), it is taking advantage of the system that is currently in place, and won’t be for much longer…And that’s a smart strategy. I think it’s a strategy in place until the next CBA’s in place, and then AA and his army will find ways to game that one too.

    As for your meat comment, what it sounds like you really want is pudding, and as the schoolmaster says at the end of that old Pink Floyd tune: “You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat” among other things like “Stand still laddy”.  ;)

  10. I’m guessing that Molina, Rauch & E5 are the most likely to decline regardless ’cause I bet AA made that a deal when he signed them as free agents. I mean, if you’re AA and there really isn’t much seperation between relievers or utility-type players, why not sign the ones that are a means to an end (i.e. relievers who agree to decline arbitration as type B’s). Espescially when you have something very valuable to offer these bums: roster spots.

    As long as the current system is in place, this declinining arbitration rule should be part of the contracts for replacable players (i.e. middle relievers, low-end regulars, utility players etc).

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