That’s what ESPN’s Matt Meyers says in an (insider only) piece, posted today as part of an ESPN.com series taking an early look at free agency, that’s kind of mind-boggling for a few reasons.

First of all, it’s an ESPN piece that not only actually paints the Jays in a positive light, but correctly identifies Toronto as being a large market, and notes that “part of the reason Toronto stopped being a big-spending club was the fact that the Canadian dollar was so much weaker than the American dollar, but that is no longer the case.” True that. Seriously, is this really ESPN???

Secondly, it actually gets straight to the fucking nut of exactly what this debate has been about among Jays fans themselves. Meyers makes three main arguments: that the Jays have the need for Prince Fielder, that they have the money, and that can’t waste Jose Bautista’s prime waiting for prospects to develop in behind him.

Third, and most mind-blowingly, for me at least, it points out that Fielder is actually a year younger than Adam Lind. How the fuck had this never occurred to me?!??!?

I’m not saying that Meyers alone has pushed me off the fence on this one, but the argument about wasting Bautista’s prime, coupled with Lind’s befuddlingly vomiticious second half, simmered with a pinch of supreme confidence that Alex Anthopoulos could make even the worst contract in the world disappear, if it ever came to that, thrown in for good measure? It’s more than a little fucking enticing.

And frankly, on the days where I side with those who fiercely believe in the image of Alex’s spend-shy stay-the-course farm-first philosophy the most, I suspect it’s mostly because I tend to quickly forget just how aggressive he is, how ruthless he can be, and how often he gambles– on the Bautista contract, on Adeiny Hechavarria, on trading a fan favourite like John McDonald, on the promise of a Yunel Escobar or Brett Lawrie over the hot stick of Alex Gonzalez or the arm of staff leader Shaun Marcum.

Anthopoulos manages the Jays’ assets smartly, but certainly not passively. I wouldn’t at all put the prospect of going hard after Fielder– who is seventh in the NL in wOBA and wRC+ and whose down years have still been 100 points of OPS better than the Jays’ second best hitter– past him.

Sure. Why not?

Image via Google and some guy on some website who didn’t credit it.

Comments (86)

  1. If we get him, can we force his walkup to be “Purple Rain”?

  2. Could AA go after Fielder? Perhaps. Should he. NO.

    Well, okay, let me qualify. If Fielder wants any more than, say, a four year contract (and I imagine he would), then AA should hang up. Players with Fielder’s body type tend to fall apart violently and spectacularly. The Jays don’t want to be on the short end of that.

  3. Go get him. Playoffs 2012. 

  4. Prince ain’t coming. Hates dad, won’t follow his footsteps to Toronto.

  5. Cecil Fielder played as a part-time player for like three years in Toronto. He’s remembered as a Tiger. How exactly is that going to prevent Prince Fielder from taking the Jays’ money?

  6. And there’s my favourite giant ridiculous conclusion jump of all time.

  7. I’m very happy with AA’s plan thus far.  Love how quickly he’s turned the farm system around and accumulated draft picks.

    Having said that, I think it’s time for a move like this.  It shouldn’t impede the continued restocking of draft picks and prospects as far as I can see.  Yeah, we might lose our 1st round pick as compensation, but with the Jays going nuts on the international market, that gets lessened quite a bit.

  8. If they jays want to break the bank, i’d send them after Darvish.  They need starting pitching way more than they need anything else. 

  9. Maybe this is a make-good article after the pos sign-stealing tripe

  10. Not saying he wont for sure, but gotta be logical about this. I doubt he’s coming.  Combination of his father playing here, and being in the AL East, AND playing DH will keep him from coming.

  11. This entirely. Not to mention, Fielders numbers are inflated by the ballpark in Milwaukee and playing in the WORST division in baseball.

  12. I’d be happy if they got him, but the Jays are 5th in MLB in offense and 24th in pitching this year.  If they’re going to go after only one free agent, maybe they should look at a starting pitcher.

    (Welcome Tim Wakefield and Zach Duke to the 2012 Jays!)

  13. Name a Japanese starter who has come over and been considered a success

  14. Not to weigh in on the pitching vs. hitting debate for the Jays, but I do agree that I would rather spend on Darvish than Fielder.

  15. If the Jays can really spend 130-140M a season as they’ve claimed, they shouldn’t have any problem signing 3+ free agents. That’s how low their current MLB payroll is. 

  16. I’m a fan of the idea of Darvish, but if we were to rank them by preference, I’d rather put my money into production that you know will be elite (Fielder).

  17. Snider/Rasmus/Bautista in the OF, Lawrie/Escobar/Johnson/Fielder across the infield, Arencibia behind the plate, and a Lind (vs R) / Encarnacion (vs L) platoon at DH. Rajai Davis on the bench as a right handed complement to Snider for tough lefties as well as pinch runner. Retain Mike McCoy to be the utility player / 25th man and hope McDonald retires. Sign a veteran backup catcher (or keep Jeroloman up?), because Molina has looked his age this year.

    Trade Thames for a controllable pitcher to reinforce the bullpen.

    The lineup could look something like:

    1. SS Escobar (R)
    2. CF Rasmus (L)
    3. RF Bautista (R)
    4. 1B Fielder (L)
    5. 3B Lawrie (R)
    6. LF Snider (L)
    7. DH Encarnacion (R)
    8. 2B Johnson (L)
    9. C Arencibia (R)

  18. Somebody pointed out that the Blue Jays are underpaying a lot of players, so that might justify giving in and getting Fielder. I have the same fears as others, that in a few years he’ll just be a DH, but I’m tempted to say just go for it. Especially after seeing Lind regress again (and I really like Adam Lind).

  19. Can’t pencil Snider in anymore than you can count on Drabek. Don’t be surprised if they go after an outfielder in the off season.

  20. Don’t forget that the jays have two frist round picks next year the protected pick being the pick for Beede which would probably be higher then what they will end up with after this season

  21. would be nice to field (no pun intended) an actual MLB team at some point. 

  22. Is Fielder “elite” though? I guess that’s the question. He’s an elite hitter, no doubt, but he’s a first baseman, and the defensive metrics don’t love him. Over the past five years, he’s put up fWAR (in order) of 5.1, 1.7, 6.4, 3.4 and this year, 4.0 to this point. Let’s assume he winds up this year with a 4.5 WAR, and he averages 4.22. 

    That’s very good, but is it elite? Going through FanGraphs WAR leaderboard, and adding a few tenths of WAR to players to assume what they’ll end the season with, some players around 4.22 are Mark Teixeira (down year by his standards), Bourjos, Escobar, Longoria (down year), David Ortiz, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Bourn, Lance Berkman, Rickie Weeks, Chris Young, Brian McCann and JJ Hardy.

    A lot of great talent in there, but I’m not sure how many of them are elite, or having what one would consider “elite” seasons. 30 offensive players pace to end the year with WAR higher than 4.22.

    Probably just debating semantics, but my point is mostly that while riskier, Darvish may have the better chance of becoming elite. Fielder is a great player, and would be a huge upgrade over Lind, I’m just not sure the elite term applies to him, and with his size and defense, is likely to apply even less when he’s in his 30s.

    If you can pay him like a 3.5-4 WAR player (assuming decline, which should begin in a few years for Prince), he’d be a strong pickup for the Jays. But if Boras is going to demand Adrian Gonzalez or Carl Crawford money, I’d probably be scared away.

    I think the absolute highest I’d be willing to go on Prince is 6 years/$120M, and I don’t think that would be enough.

  23. I’m with the group that wants Darvish over Fielder.

    But with that said, that’s with the idea Darvish will be significantly cheaper than Fielder.  If Prince is unable to get his 8 years $200 million that keeps getting floated around… I’d take a look that way.

    I mean, I’d be worried about him clogging up the basepaths in front of, say, Lawrie; or that the list of people who continued to produce after getting massive bucks in free agency is much, much shorter than the list of people who didn’t; or that we’d be paying our second-best hitter twice as much as what we pay our best hitter.  But hey, if AA signs him, I trust him.

  24. dude, Japan has never seen a pitcher like Darvish (who by the way, is only half Japanese).  Have you ever seen him pitch?  Can you show me another pitcher in the history of their league who has similar numbers?

    I agree that Fielder would be more of a guarantee for elite level production in the first few years, but what about by year 5, 6, or 7? (which is the length of deal he’d probably be after)

    Given that the Jays were willing to drop north of 20 million on Chapman  a couple of years ago and AA’s proposensity for high risk high reward type of moves, I would argue  that going after Darvish makes a lot more sense for the direction the Jays are moving in than would going after Fielder.  Also,  the ammount of TV Money the Jays would get from Japanese media covering all of his starts would way significantly reduce the financial impacts

  25. Realistically Fielder is the best available 1B. Since 09 the only guys better than him are Pujols, Miggy, Votto, Adrian Gonzalez and Youk. Unless St Louis doesn’t pay up for Pujols, Fielder’s the best available 1B on the board. And there really isn’t that much separating Fielder from Youk (.6 runs) over a  3 year period. 

    I hate overpaying a guy, but when you figure the Jays have no long term guys outside of Yunel/Bautista/Romero/Lind, it’s not going to cripple the payroll. Nobody else is making serious cash over the next few years, and if the choice is flipping prospects for a bat or cash I’d rather overpay in $$’s. I’d rather not overpay in either situation, but the point is more what the article was suggesting, that the Jays can afford to spend.

    I guess what I’m saying is I don’t trust Darvish as much as I trust Fielder. Rather go with the known quantity in this case, who is a top 5 1B at a position the Jays do need some help at. 

    The Jays do need to fix their rotation though. Romero’s really the only guy I trust at this point. It’s getting to the point where we have a large enough sample size to suggest Morrow isn’t going to pitch to his FIP, for reasons unknown (sequencing issues, high LD%, high FB% is all I can come up with since FIP doesn’t take these into account). I’d be really happy to see him prove me wrong. And the other guys are very big risks, although some of them do come with some upside.

    Gonna be a very interesting offseason.

  26. The thing that I like about Fielder: He is consistently good..

    The most frustrating thing about being a Jays fan is the inconsistency amongst guys like Overbay, Wells, Lind, Hill, Glaus, Rolen, Rios, etc…. They all were good one season, crap the next, maybe good the next season, probably crap the next…

  27. the knock on darvish is that while his 10 pitch mix fools hitters in npb, he doesn’t really have the single ++ pitch that most ‘true aces’ ^tm in the mlb have.

    with that said, he’s younger and consistently better than dice-k was, and while i tend to think that npb is probably closer to aaa than mlb in terms of #s, what he’s done is still nothing to sneeze at. you get a rotation-ready, and pressure tested arm in its prime.

    with that said, they owe lind 10 million + buy outs, and no one in the system, in-so-far-as i can tell projects to have anywhere near the power that either fielder or pujols have, while at the same time, there are lots of exciting arms in the system at the moment – just none that (as alvarez indicates) are ready to dominate in the aleast…yet

  28. Screw the body type argument.  Prince is 27 and arguably not even as rotund as his dad, who hit 39 dingers as a 33 year old (before promptly falling off a cliff in his 34/35 seasons).  That’s six years away for Prince.  If it takes a 7 or 8 year deal to get him, yeah, it’s risky and could really suck for a couple seasons.  I’d still prefer 4yrs/115 with some creative team and player options, but this team needs a significant improvement over old-man Lind, who can’t be trusted.
    And Prince is a much, much, much better hitter than his fat dad.  He’s averaged about 90 walks and 35 home runs in his six full seasons.  Career OBP of .388, SLG of .536 – an OPS 100 points higher than daddy.
    Over the All-Star break, he relented on his previous assertion of not wanting to DH.  He’ll follow the money, play 1st base for as long as it makes sense, and then DH – and probably be quite happy to do so as his gut grows and knees weaken.
    Sure, the Jays offense is fifth-best in the league.  But it’s third best in this division.  The Sox have an expensive but thin rotation.  They’re where they are thanks to their offense.  Who’d have thunk that with the Yankees’ old, cobbled-together rotation, they’d be 2nd (?) in ERA, thanks to a dynamite bullpen, so there’s a few ways to skin a cat.
    And if you think this wouldn’t fit the AA blueprint, I invite you to enlighten us as to what that blueprint is, ’cause you don’t know scat from skeet about that.
    It would be a fucking tragedy for Jays fans in general and Joey Walks in particular if this was a middling team again next season because AA didn’t swing for the fences.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… – And he doesn’t even do this shit anymore!  

  29. You have to understand that contracts are also about paying players for past performance. 

  30. What a dumb comment.

  31. We have a LOAD of starting pitching talent at the major league level and coming up. I’d rather get a bat, and then may be a middle of the rotation guy. Maybe a Buerhle.

  32. Pujols is also going to be available to the higher bidder. That’s a player you know will be elite.

  33. When you sign yunel to a 4/20, bautista to a 5/65, romero to a 5/30 contract, and these are your BIGGEST commitments, you sure as hell can throw a truckload of cash at fielder. I’d be happy if we signed fielder to something like 5/120. For those speculating it will take some megadeal like 8/200, who is going to pony up that kind of cash for fielder? Most of the big spenders are set at 1B (Yanks, Sox, White Sox, Detroit, Philly), while a lot of the others look to be at the top of their payroll ( Tex, LAA) or not in the right point of a rebuild to sign a 1b like fielder (Mets).

    So that basically leaves the cubs as the only apparent large market competition for fielder.

  34. Dice-K when he made his MLB debut : 26
    Yu Darvish today : 25

    The age difference – mere months – would be negligible; certainly not worthy of being a pillar of a pro-Darvish argument vis-a-vis the Dice-K cautionary tale.  If you had mentioned the actual mileage on their arms, then you’d be on to something.

    I would, however, like him here.  I’d love Prince here more, though.

  35. His curve looks pretty ++ to me.  In fact,  I’d aruge that his stuff is somewhat  similar to  Halladay

  36. Pretty much. With as much cost-controlled talent as they have and as much money as they (supposedly) have to spend, now is the perfect time to go after someone like Fielder.

  37. really?  with a starting rotation of 1. Romero 2. Morrow 3. Cecil 4. ??? 5. ???  If you slot a new 1 in front of that, it starts to look pretty good.  They do have some decent tallent coming up in the minor but no one that’s going to be slotting in the top 3 for at least a couple of years

  38. It’s really hard to predict that Darvish would be elite in Toronto considering the track record of Japanese pitchers in the majors. Even if he was only slightly better than Dice-K (at least the first two years of Dice-K), I still think such a contract would be worth it for everything else he would bring the organization.

  39. Pushing someone ahead of Romero might be a tall order, the way he’s going, but attempting to get at least close would help move the Jays a good distance out of that #24th in the MLB in pitching spot.

  40. Something about Prince big frame on the shit-tastic turf of the Skydome Center really doesn’t sit well withme and a long term contract…

  41. Why can’t we have Darvish and Prince?   Lets shove it up the Massholes and the Yukkees asses.

  42. also – there are two big 1b names this offseason, so the jays are going to look bad in the eyes of a lot of people if they don’t go and get one this year. especially when few of us are holding our breath for mcdade to get here, or lind to ‘bounce back’.

    adding one of them to the lind, encarnacion, thames, snider, etc. pool of 1b/lf/dh guys already around seems like a bright idea if the team wants to compete in the next 3 years. but what do i know?

  43. @Dainers_Hubris:disqus
    - fwiw – he’s for all intents and purposes a year younger than dice-k was. (11 months). i actually thought dice-k was 32 this year though, so that’s my mistake.

  44. If the Jays sign Fielder as a Type A, and the Beede pick is protected, they’d have something like picks 15, 22, sandwich picks for the relievers and then… what they’d give up like the 70-something-th pick overall for him??

  45. As long as they finish with the 16th best record in baseball or worse, than yup, that’s right.

  46. i’m no scout tbh. i think he’s interesting, but i would hesitate to compare someone who has thrown exactly zero mlb pitches to the best pitcher in the last 10 years.

  47. what a system that would allow them to get away with that…

  48. One thing about AA and Prince Fielder. AA has been after him for a looonnng time. Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah.

    Let’s go back to draft day 2002. A young (25ish) Greek Canadian punk is working for the Montreal Expos. Every five minutes or so Alex Anthopoulos picks up the phone to talk to Scouting Director Dana Brown at the Expos draft table. “Take Prince. Take Prince. Take Prince.” Let’s just say the history is there…

    …Now, that was when Prince Fielder was 18 years old, and only a $2.4 million signing bonus (which would probably have been prohibitive to the nearly extinct Expos, but that would ruin the story) stood in the way of getting him and having six years worth of major league control over him.

    The question becomes: does he feel the same way about Fielder at age 27 with Fielder looking for a max term and dollars contract that would start in his age 28 season? My guess is that AA would view him much differently now given the crazy contract figures that will get thrown around. My concern is not the dollars. The payroll needs to go up. My concern is the term. If you sign him to eight years or thereabouts, he becomes an immovable asset (in more ways than one), possibly even to Abracadabra Anthopoulos.

    If by some miracle he can keep the term to five years or less, I’m good with it. I’m way more concerned about how long he’ll sign for than how much money he’ll make per year, provided we don’t get into highest paid player in the game territory because he ain’t worth that, as illustrated by the following:

    Guys who’ve primarily played first base from 2008 through last night and have a better fWAR than Prince:

    Albert Pujols, Joey Votto (By the way, I like the cut of your jib bringvottohome), Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, and Lance Berkman.

    Is the eighth best 1B in the game really worth a top five players in the game contract? I don’t think so. I must admit, I too go back and forth on this one too. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens I guess. Post too long. Sorry.

  49. we made all those points to you over the last 6 months.  you just didnt want to hear it unless it was posted on espn.com

  50. fair enough.  I’m no scout either but I do see some comparables.

    More than anything i just want the jays to get some pitching.   Their offence is already good and is likely to further improve with the development of Lawrie, Rasumus, Thames/Snider.

     I’d be ok if the jays got fielder and could then turn around and trade Lind and a couple of prospects for a youngish near elite starting pitcher but those types of players are just hardly ever traded

  51. I like 5 years for somewhere between $100 and $125 million. It’s probably an overpay in dollars, but holding down the term is the key. Over his last 5 years fangraphs says he’s been worth $89.1 million, and given that he’ll only be 32 in the final year of the deal, he could prove to be worth that kind of money or close to it. It is a position of need on this team as well. I’d definitely explore the option of a Votto trade first though (not just because he’s Canadian Stoeten – because he’s I hear he’s really fucking good). I have to accept that both scenarios might just be pipe dreams though, given the fact that Jocketty would demand a shit tonne for Votto, and Boras might want a lot more than 5 years. As many have said, this offseason is going to be fun.

  52. Fielder 2012 is destiny. it just makes too much sense on both sides. his contract isn’t going to be ridiculous, not when sharing a year with Pujols and limited Yankeesox involvement. and i don’t mind paying a ton for elite players anyway. we have lots of ‘extra’ value in Escobar, Bautista, etc. – lets use some of it.

    and people just assume he’s going to age badly because he’s fat – he looks like he’ll break down. he’s always done well in the GP/injury avoidance department. and since he can DH here…

  53. pitching will be an area of need, and we’ll see what happens. the Mariners don’t look as though they’re going to let go of felix anytime soon with the promise that their young players have shown this year, and the dodgers may be out of the woods by the start of next season – so snatching kershaw during a firesale is probably also a pipe dream.
    Those are really the only 2 situations i could see justifying a “sell the farm” situation in the next bit, but maybe that’s just me.

  54. he turned down 5/$125 million from the Brewers already. Mo money required.

  55. Hang up the phone.

  56. Let’s check interleague OPS
    Pujols 1.017   635 PA
    Fielder .913 399 PA
    Votto .923  235 PA

    +1 to Pujols then

  57. “Fielders numbers are inflated by the ballpark in Milwaukee”

    You do realize that He will be playing 81 game sin the Rogers Centre and 18 more in Fenway/New Yankee stadium, right?

  58. All this hummin and hawing over overpaying for Fielder.

    When don’t you overpay for a FA.

    If AA is looking at 2012-2014 as years when he can be impactful and can take this team to the next level, then it absolutely makes sense.

  59. 5 years for $100 to $125 million is already an overpay though, considering what Fielder brings to the table, so I wouldn’t go any higher than that. Boras and Fielder may not see it that way now, but they may not have too many dance partners come the offseason.

  60. Yeah I get that, but its not like Toronto is a ‘go to’ destination in the MLB right now for FAs.  They may need to take someone on as a sort of loss leader to get that ball rollin’.

  61. If the choice is between building and signing free agents to contracts of ridiculously long terms, then I say keep building, and use that farm depth to trade for your needs at the big league level. That building effort will push the win total up, and as that happens, more free agents will want to come here.

  62. To me, Fielder is a take it or leave it kind of offer with whatever GM AA thinks he is worth to the team. You could probably swing a better trade by taking on salary than outbidding others for his services. Teams seem more interested in losing sunk costs now, IMO.

  63. If you want Rogers to spend like the Stankees, then Pujols is the guy.

  64.  Hope Mcdonald retires, so you can keep Mike Mccoy?

    everything else sounds fantastic

    also I’d take a look at cj wilson because the rotation does need a look

  65. I do buy the majority of your argument but the thing is that he may only be the 8th best 1B, but he’s the 2nd best FA available..

    If teix, cabrera, youk, gonzalez or votto were available then fielder is a consolation prize at best. .

    but they arent available,and the majority of them are locked up to long term deals.

    also the point about the albatross contract is less of an issue, given AA’s ability to shed the worst contract in baseball already.

  66. Tony, this has been discussed 101x and is an awful argument. I wont debate it with you as its been done too many times.

    If Fielder wants a 6 year deal and he plays like he has for 4 years of that contract (nothing to suggest he wont) while in the peek of the Jose era and the Jays win (as they should) then one of the richest owners in baseball, in one of the biggest markets (fans will return) eats half the $ amount on the final two years and walks away. No harm, no foul. We’re not a small market team, (we’re the tier bellow the Yanks, Sox)

    What are you going to do, ride Lind to nowhere?! You do the math

  67. On the list of free agent targets, I think Fielder has to be behind C. J. Wilson, Yu Darvish, and even Pujols (who, as a generational talent,  I hope will age better than mere mortals).  If we are spending money on 1st/DH, I’d rather take a run at Thome or Berkman before Fielder – they’re both great hitters, and they won’t require a huge multi-year deal.  Fielder worries me, in that we have to question his likely aging curve, and that there is little potential for high upside on what is sure to be at least a 6/150 deal.

  68. I want the Blue Jays to spend money. I want the Blue Jays to spend money soon. But fuck Prince Fielder. Defense & baserunning count and he simply isn’t as good as some people think when these factors are considered.

    I want Joey Votto. I don’t care if AA gets him this winter, next year’s trade deadline, the following winter, the following trade deadline or the winter of 2013. Signing Prince Fielder fucks up my dream scenario.

    And it’s not simply because Votto is Canadian. It’s because I can see him outperforming his $20-25 million AAV putting up 7-8 WAR annually.

    Prince Fielder might be sexier than Adam Lind, but is he going to be worth $15 million more/year for the next 5 years? He is pretty fucking unlikely to be worth the 2nd half of his monster contract as well.

    Adam Lind has been in a huge fucking slump, but a couple of months ago he was on a tear and everyone considered 2010 the anomaly (largely based against his ineptitude vs left-handed pitching). Adam Lind is largely a question mark (like many players), but I’m going to bet Prince Fielder isn’t going to be worth an extra 5 wins/yr for the next 5 years. Fuck, for all we know Lind is battling through the back issues from his 1st yr at 1B. If the Jays give up on him and his potentially team-friendly contract, it should be for a true superstar.

    Votto is in the truly elite boat. If AA is going to upgrade and spend money, do what the Red Sox did with AGon and use prospects as currency.

    Fuck Prince Fielder and his “intimidating” presence. Fuck Jose Reyes and his limp hamstrings. Fuck CJ Wilson and his $100 million contract.

    If the Jays start spending money, use prospects in trade and get Joey Votto, King Felix etc.

    If there isn’t a 5th playoff spot next year (and it doesn’t sound like there will be), don’t bother spending until 2013. The Jays are pretty unlikely to jump from 80-85 wins into the 95-100 win boat in one year and they aren’t taking down the Yankees or Red sox without 95+ wins.

  69. Eventually it’s going to get to the point that we can’t pay too much attention to dollars per win.  We need talent.  Lind has been about a 0 WAR player for the last two years combined.  That’s not going to cut it.  Fielder was born to hit and, as Stoeten mentioned, is a big time power and OBP machine in the middle of the order that can be counted on for consistent production more than anyone other than Jose.  If you look at Mark Teixeira’s WAR compared to his contract, it’s not all that pretty, but he’s got a skill set and production rate that can be relied upon and the Yanks don’t have to worry about that position for awhile.  While Fielder obviously doesn’t have that same defensive production, the overall idea is the same.

    Acquiring Votto will cost us much more in terms of compensation, especially if our first rounder is protected, and it’s possible that he would only be available if we sent Bautista the other way.  The reason why the Gonzalez trade worked for Boston is because Jed Hoyer is still being paid by the Red Sox — he basically said as much when he claimed that the Padres wouldn’t trade Gonzo if the deal with Boston fell through.

  70. PLEASE, fuck off. Ugh.

  71. Stop saying Youk man.

  72. What’s that about Alvarez not dominating? Ya.

  73. Did you just say you’d rather take a run at Thome?

  74. the thing i like about going for prince is that the market is so flat. everyone thought it would take snider to get rasmus, but aa played it cool and got rasmus for what aa wanted to pay. mlbtraderumors just ran an article outlining why every club in baseball would have reason not to go for prince.
    the big market teams are all clogged up, leaving only st. louis and the cubs to bid on pujols and prince, with maybe the nats and orioles as dark horses.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/
    i actually think boras may advise him to sign a shorter deal so he can hit FA again at a better time, maybe a manny-esque 2yr @50m.

  75. I don’t like the assumption that the stud free agents will be available and or willing to come to the Jays when they determine they are “ready to compete”.  I think the Jays should be in on trying to sign all elite free agents and take what they can get, that is as long as they don’t have to significantly overpay to sign them.

    If I were the GM I would pursue all of the following guys:
    - Albert Pujols
    - Cecil Fielder
    - Yu Darvish
    - CJ Wilson
    - CC Sabathia

    I’m not saying they should sign them all, just that I think if you focus on one or two of them you may end up with no one. 

  76. Even if Fielder drops off by year 5 or 6, if AA is still here, he’ll just call up the White Sox or the Angels and dump the contract on them…

  77. “Fielders numbers are inflated by the ballpark in Milwaukee”

    Fielders Career Splits:

    Home .284/.396/.558
    Road .279/.379/.515

    I think you may be understating his road statistics, an .894 OPS on the road is pretty damn good.

  78. Fielder is going to want huge money but when his knees blow out because hes 500 pounds he becomes the new David Ortiz and just smashes balls the rest of the way while occasionally and awkwardly playing 1B in an inter league game.

    The Blue Jays have said they CAN spend as much as 180 million dollars on payroll for the right players. So its not a stretch at all to say Fielder, Darvish and/or Wilson would be easily attainable.

    To the guy above that suggested Snider in and Thames out in a trade, please…. Thames is a born hitter showing a LOT of promise in his first season, no chance on that and if anyone gets ahead of him in the depth chart is Adam Loewen not Snider, Snider has to earn his way back in and wont be given anymore “top prospect” showcasing.

    Bullpen wise theres some guys out there this coming off season, Papelbon for starters (even though the yankees will likely sign him because thats what they do), theres also a few other possibilities. 

  79. Does anyone think that Pujols would sign in Toronto?  Personally I think he’ll end up in a bigger market.  For some reason I think that signing Fielder is more realistic.  If he wants 8 years at $200 then I say pay the man.  Signing Wilson would be a perfect addition to the starting rotation.  Can’t wait to contend next year.

  80.  f

  81. Why would Joey Votto cost Jose Bautista? There are already rumours about the Reds moving him since he’s 2 years away from free agency. He signed a 3 year deal for a reason. There is a very good chance the Reds trade him in the next 2 years. If they do, he’ll go to the highest bidder. The Blue Jays have the pieces to be the highest bidder.

    People would suggest the Jays signing Fielder, for example, would show Rogers commitment to spending to build a winner. Fuck that! AA trading prospects/young players to get a better player by Votto, signing him to an extension and then spending a cagillion dollars on the draft would prove the commitment more! Fuck the fat fuck formerly known as the Prince is what they’ll say!

  82. The only rumor I’ve heard for Votto involves Bautista going the other way.  The Reds have a really good young nucleus and sure as hell aren’t looking to move Votto next season.  The whole ship will have to be sinking in 2013 for him to be moved then, so you’ll have to wait.  I understand that Votto is better but Fielder is no slouch, you’ll give up less to get him and we KNOW he will be available.

  83. Signing Fielder is simply a mistake. It would be an over-reaction. You don’t need a hulking first baseman to win championships. A full season of Lawrie already provides as much of an improvement over this year as adding Fielder would do.

    I don’t know how Romero would react to the Jays acquiring a top-notch starting pitcher. If they can find a very effective SP whose ego wouldn’t dominate the room, then that would likely be the best investment. Then if they get off to a .550 start with lots of blown saves, they turn around, bend over, and lube up for whatever it takes to get a reliable closer. /That/ is where you overpay, typically because you have no choice, and hope for the best. Either that, or you look for this organisation’s Tom Henke.

  84. Ugh.  You’re just spewing out false statements and myths.

  85. I’m not saying the Reds will move Votto this offseason…but, yes, I think there is a good chance he’s gone before the end of 2013 when he’s eligible for free agency.

    As for the Prince…is it really worth it for the Jays to pay him $20+ million in 2012 if they are not contending (and I don’t think they will be barring a 5th playoff spot and a JP Ricciardi special where “everything goes right”). There is no rush, IMO, to lock up the easiest position on the diamond to fill, certainly not for someone who isn’t a 5+ win guy annually. I’d rather the Jays offer David Ortiz $25 million to DH in 2012 than sign Prince. And I obviously don’t want that either.

    I am in no rush for Votto. There isn’t a point to overpay this winter if that’s the only way the Reds move him…unless AA is hellbent on contending in 2012, which I doubt he is. The time will come when he is available and the silent ninja will pounce!

  86. No, I don’t think I am.

    Plenty of teams have won Championships without big, hulking first basemen.

    Lawrie has set a pace of anywhere from 3-6 fWAR per season, and I use “3″ as a very conservative lower bound because he will have a 100-PA-long slump before too long. Lawrie over Nix/Encarnacion/McDonald/McCoy provides more value than Fielder over Lind, even if Lind is maddeningly inconsistent.

    Romero has emerged as a leader on this team, at the very least among the starting pitchers. To ignore how he’d feel about signing a SP who’d expect to walk in and become the leader would be stupid; that’s not myth, that’s managing people.

    The closer “position” — how I hate to write that — provides the widest risk/reward profile, which we’ve witnessed in Toronto first-hand, from Caudill to Henke to Ward to Myers to Batista to Ryan. It’s effectively a crap shoot. Many championship-contending teams have 2 or 3 closer-calibre pitchers and hope that one emerges each year as “the man”. Some teams are lucky enough to have developed closers, but if you don’t have one handy when you’re on the cusp of winning, then you have to drive a Brinks truck to whoever’s hottest, and pay them what they want; otherwise, you call a rival GM and give him four prospects.

    None of this is even controversial, let alone myth.

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