Whirling Darvish Rumours

Despite a report to the contrary earlier in the week, Yu Darvish claims that he’s undecided about whether he’ll ask to be posted this winter, allowing MLB teams to bid for the rights to his services, and assuring a spring 2012 MLB debut.

Patrick Newman of the awesome NPB Tracker, which follows Japanese baseball for all of us and reports on it in English, posts this super-terrific emoticon-y translation of an entry on Yu’s personal blog dated October 19th:

Articles saying “Confirmed: Darvish to the Majors!” have been appearing since yesterday.
As I mentioned on Twitter
Nothing is decided!!
I haven’t decided anything for myself so nothing can be confirmed.(^_^;)
It was an article from the Kyodo News, but what did they base their writing on?
You can say this is freedom of press, but with freedom comes responsibility.
I want a press that takes responsibility.
Every year, when I haven’t decided anything, they write “Majors this, Majors that”, but then when I don’t go they just make up excuses.
How did they write lies and escape responsibility?
Well, after the entire schedule is over, I will carefully think it over!
As soon as I decide I will let everyone know(^^)v

Delightful. But believe it or not, that hasn’t exactly stemmed the rampant speculation.

In a tweet yesterday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post listed “the Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals, Mariners and Royals as the favorites to land Darvish this winter, in that order,” explains MLB Trade Rumors. Sherman tweets that he doesn’t have the Yankees on the list because they’ve been burned too many times by high posting fees– thank you very much, Kei Igawa.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, for the record, doesn’t see a fit between the Mariners and Darvish. That’s mostly because the Mariners have a pair of great pitchers already in the majors, and a bunch of very good, young, cheap, controllable ones– Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton (yes, that James Paxton)– knocking on the door.

As for what it will take to get him, Tim Dierkes of MLBTR spoke to an unnamed agent, who figured that Darvish is in line for a five-year $75-million deal, with a $50-million posting fee, whereas Jon Heyman of SI spoke to a GM who figured it would be over $100-million between the contract and the fee.

It’s a lot of money, but it sounds like there’s good reason for it. “You know how Justin Verlander throws 93-94 and then in moments of duress pumps his fastball at 99?” a scout asks Buster Olney of ESPN. “That’s what this guy does. He’s throwing 92-93, easy, and with runners on base and two strikes on the batter, he’ll roll out a 95-96 mph fastball.”

In the same piece, Olney says this about the Rangers’ pursuit:

An AL source says the Rangers will make a competitive offer for Wilson, but they will not get into a bidding war with the Yankees, who are expected to make him their No. 1 priority. Some scouts think Wilson, who turns 31 in November, is not worth ace dollars because his 2.94 ERA this year is a by-product of his 10 starts against the Rangers’ light-hitting AL West rivals in Oakland and Seattle. As it is, the Rangers have already set their sights on Yu Darvish.

If their pursuit of Darvish falls through, the Rangers could make a run at righthander James Shields, whom the Rays might make available this winter before his salary starts to escalate. Tampa Bay always has an eye on the bottom line, and Texas has the young talent the Rays covet. “The great thing about the Rangers is they have a lot of different ways to get better,” says a National League GM. “They have money to spend and prospects to trade, and they already have a great team. They will figure it out.”

Makes sense. Judging by the comments I’ve seen around here, most fans would rather Darvish than Wilson– a sentiment I feel strongly about myself. The Rangers sound like they feel much the same way, but the Jays, as we all know, don’t have anything preventing them from landing the phenom except themselves.

Comments (109)

  1. 125 million? That’s like, 50 16 year old Venezuelans. What the hell, not my money.

  2. Where are ya Jonsey, ya little faggot? C’mon out, if you think you can take an old man who knows more about baseball and Canada than you ever will. I’m going to run you so far off this blog that you’ll be shitting bricks trying to post about FisherCats games.

  3. Keep pushing.

  4. You couldn’t make it in a Rogers shop as a janitor. I don’t waste much time with second-stringers working for third-rate networks.

  5. Keep on!

  6. I’m going to wait for Jonsey. Move along.

  7. its a huge investment, but you don’t have to give up picks or trade players for a potential top of the rotation pitcher

    the difficulty lies in determining how potential will play in the mlb. and to that no one has the answer to.

    should be interesting nonetheless to see how AA approaches the offseason.

  8. It would be very risky for the Jays to invest 125 million in a pitcher from Japan.

    If rogers decided they wanted to spend that much money, they are better off getting Prince Fielder.

    No way Rogers approves that much money for a guy who has never thrown 1 pitch in the MLB.

     

  9. The big news of the day is Chris Woodward has become a free agent.  If the Jays intend to stay relevant, I suggest they keep this guy.  Woody’s a gamer.  He can play third while Lawrie’s in the minors honing his game, and can even handle short in a pinch on those days McCoy can’t answer the bell.

  10. There is a huge difference between the way you would acquire darvish vs fielder..

    you have to assume (hope) that if fielder could be had for 125 million, he would be a jay, the reality is, he will be looking at around 200 and the jays will have to deal with boras. Not to mention Fielder has to want to come here. Fielder will also cost us a first round pick

    Where as Darvish’s team will post him and who ever wins the bid has exclusive negotiating rights to him.

    As strong as the arms are moving up in the jays system, the 2011 jays downfall was pitching. the offense, while anemic, was a major reason why they won as many games as the did.

    I understand its a huge risk, but i don’t know any FA’s that arent a risk. I mean, carl crawford and adam dunn were two of the more consistent players in the league before this year.

  11. I love the idea of Darvish to Texas, an Iranian/Asian  moving across the globe with his family to Texas.

    hee haw

  12. If AA and Beeston have been telling the truth about Rogers being willing to spend on anything they’ve committed to, money should be no obstacle here.  Of course, that may be too big of an assumption to make. Rogers has rarely thrown their money around over the last decade in an attempt to win baseball games for a reason.

    They did bid nearly $30M on Chapman who had never thrown a pitch in the majors before (and AA has called not getting him his biggest regret as a GM), though, so I guess we’ll have to see.

  13. I just can’t trust C.J. Wilson. Who doesn’t drink?

  14. 5 years/$125 million…. At $5 million/WAR, Darvish would have to pitch like 2007-2011 Zack Greinke to justify a contract of that size. And that’s assuming the Jays can be competitive if their free-agent dollars are spent with *average* effficiency (an assumption that I would consider to be debatable).

    Of course, bring that down to 5/$100 million, and Darvish only has to equal the past five years of Cole Hamels (or, allowing a bit for inflation, maybe even Mark Buehrle).

    Darvish is a high-ceiling talent, but he’d pretty much have to hit that ceiling to justify the amount of money that somebody will pay to get him. I just see too much downside.

  15. Texans are very liberal, tolerant, open minded folk.  It’ll go great.

  16. funny how I showed you with concrete facts that rogers does in fact spend money on baseball operations

    but you still come back here spewing the same, we dont spend crap..

    so either you’re choosing to be ignorant, or you just think being the proto typical toronto fan will make people agree with you?

  17. really good post Jefferee…

    I wonder if Darvish will not sign this year, making him an FA next year withought having to go thru the posting bid… he’d probably end up with more money in his own pockets, because a team would be willing to overpay him because they are saving on the posting fee.

    The reality is, that in most cases a FA is not going to live up to a long term contract, because they are getting paid based on their scarcity and teams competing for them… I mean its pretty much a lock that Cj Wilson will not be worth 100 million to the team that signs him

  18. I agree, but I would take exception with the implication that if they don’t throw money around here, they’re lying about the money, as though there couldn’t be other reasons why this wasn’t the player they wanted to spend large on.

  19. Fair point. i don’t know how much it cost to get fielder, but if you are going to spend 100 million plus on 1 player, i want proven MLB track record.

    Frankly, i can’t see how the jays give out a contract bigger than bautista’s.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if AA does a trade that involves picking up a young bat or pitcher with 2 years in the MLB & agrees to pay cash or gets a veteran with a bad contract as a way to compensate the team. Sort of like a Rivera or Teahan type.

    How would Romero or Bautista react to a darvish getting 125 million or Fielder at 200 million.?

    My bet would be that Fielder goes to the Cubs to help Theo Epstein make a splash

  20. Roy Halladay’s a Mormon.

  21. One above-average major league payroll in a decade. How’s that for a fact?

  22. I have read that. Thus it seems highly unlikely that the team would spend 125 million on 1 player especially 1 from Japan  The Vernon Wells experiment has probably scarred the jays for life.

  23. This has nothing to do with your post, but I just thought I’d share… uhhhhh.. Let’s go Texas????

  24. Sure, but if this is a player they really want (and all indications are that he is), Rogers should foot the bill.

  25. Spending that much seems very unlikely to me, but if they were ever going to do it on anybody, I actually think Darvish would be the guy.

  26. Here’s the thing:

    Quickly Googling–Jays’ 2011 payroll was $62 million. Say that you go from that to $122 million, entirely on free agents (that would put the Jays 7th in the majors, between the Mets and the Cubs). That’s $60 million/year, which will, at $5 million /WAR (typical $/WAR for free-agent signings), improve the Jays’ talent level by 12 wins.

    81 wins in 2011 + 12 wins from free agents = 93 wins. In most years, that is STILL not enough to make the playoffs in the American League.

    The Jays can’t afford to make up the gap to their AL East competition with league-average spending efficiency. They need to spend smarter, draft smarter, trade smarter, and sad to say, it’s going to take a couple more years of drafts and amateur signings to build the system they need to be competitive.

    Eventually, big-ticket free agent signings may make sense for the Jays, but at the moment it’s not an efficient way to deploy financial resources. Better to spend that money on scouts and above-slot signing bonuses in the draft and have a bit of patience.

  27. Equating dollar value to wins is completely ridiculous, but to continue with your theory… The upgrade of Thames/Snider (or whoever else) over Patterson, Lawrie over EE and Rasmus over Davis surely adds a few more wins to their total of last season. Couple in the fact of a potential 2nd wild card team and extra money spent would be the ticket to the promise land.

  28. GO FOR THE JAPANESE PLAYER!

    Do it for JAYS win!

  29. Yes, and not playing Jayson Nix for 3 months at 3B might make a bit of a difference to their win total. Also, this team would have played the last month of games a little bit differently had they been actually playing for something. 

    Anyway, if you upped the payroll to $120M as Beeston has said they can (which will never happen, but he threw that figure out there), you could conceivably get a Fielder, a Reyes, and a Darvish.  That would make them one of the best teams in baseball.

  30. Wouldn’t that be a line up…

    4 Reyes
    6 Escobar
    9 Bautista
    DH/3 Fielder
    3/DH Lind
    5 Lawrie
    8 Rasmus
    2 JPA
    7 Snider

    Just s*** my pants a little….

  31. I don’t think it should really be valued that way.  If it’s a 50 million dollar posting fee plus a 75 million dollar contract, the first part realistically is the cost of getting him, like a trade. If you were going to gauge the contract of a player who was acquired via trade, would you also count the combined WAR of the player(s) given up to get him? I don’t think you would, because they’re two separate things. At 15 million dollars a season and 5M/WAR, he’d have to pitch more like Ricky Romero to justify a contract of that size. Beyond that 50M is the cost of the acquisition. And given the very possible dollar value of Brett Lawrie’s 0-3 at league minimum plus 4-6 at a fraction of his market value, is that so insane a cost to give up to acquire a player you value slightly more than Shaun Marcum?

  32. I expect the jays will post 5mil on darvish and then offer him a 1 year deal at 5mil + an option.  This is how much alex values darvish at and he will not go above it.  Then he will offer darvish arb after 1 year and take the pick.  This is a sound strategy.

  33. Hey guys? Can we stop the whole ‘STRONG FOREARMS!’ and ‘When I was a wee youngin’, baseball players smoked cocaine straight out of the plant!’ shit? The schtick has grown old.

  34. And the Jays have claimed Jesse Chavez, for those who care. 

  35. I really don’t see why Beeston would say ‘we’re willing to go as high as $120 mil’ if that’s false.  Can anyone find a case where an MLB team president blatantly lied about payroll expectations? I mean, we’re all frustrated this team hasn’t made the playoffs in 20 years, but seriously.. that’s far fetched to me.

    You know, the Rays aren’t saying ‘yeah yeah, at some point we’ll have a really high payroll’.  They’re being honest and saying this is a good as they can do while attendance is like this.  Beeston isn’t a moron who doensn’t think anyone will remember the $120 mil comment.  McCown asks him about it every few months it seems like, for one.

    Rogers has invested a lot into becoming a sports empire.  They want to add an NFL franchise.  There’s rumours they might buy the Leafs/Raptors/TFC.  They’ve put a lot into a revamp of The Fan and Sportsnet.  It makes sense to me that they’d be willing to invest in Jays payroll – particularly since the city supported the Jays in record numbers the last time they were in the playoffs.

  36. I’m really looking forward to this offseason.

    With the Jays farm system being so good and AA/Beest talking about trades, you’ve got to think AA is going to explore some interesting trades involving their minor league depth.

    The whispers that the Jays might spend a lot of money and the Darvish rumours are pretty interesting too.

    Not sure what to expect, but I’m excited.

  37. because major league payroll is the only expense rogers takes on..

    no no scouts,  international signings and  draft bonuses are paid in maple syrup and 3 year cell phone plans that include free after 6 and weekends.

  38. so if the bidding gets really competitive, and the posting fee ends up 75+, the jays should do it? just to prove they are willing to spend money?

    I believe they call this the washington nationals style.  Jayson Werth wasn’t even worth his contract in his first year, imagine in 5 more years..but hey, the nationals fans now believe the team is committed to winning….

  39. Just for a point of clarification, the bidding can’t get “competitive.”  It’s not an auction, it’s a blind bid.  You pick a number and that’s it. 

    I’m not saying you didn’t know that, just figured it should be said anyway

  40. Beeston never said the jays “would be willing to go as high as 120 mill” 

    his actual words were that the franchise could conceivably SUPPORT that payroll given the market size. he also did not state that they could support that NOW…but implied that would be LATER when more fans came to the games, revenue improved, and free agents would be willing to sign here…the top free agents, not the ne’er do wells.

    somehow this 120 mill number has been converted into a salary target. its fiction.  he has been very careful to NEVER state what the team would spend……no floor, no cap…just that Rogers never said they can’t do something when they’ve asked…mind you im quite sure they haven’t really asked Rogers for the kind of money its going to cost to sign darvish, fielder, et al, YET

  41. “Normally, I’d like Anthopoulos to err on the side of caution. I like
    every move that has transpired to date – except the one that led to Marc Rzepczynski pitching in the World Series…”
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseba

    Seriously. How does Rogers continue to pay Scott Carson actual money? Was Nadir Mohamed a big Bam Bam Bigelow fan?

  42. the teams still get a sense of roughly whats going on.. they don’t just write a number on a piece of paper.

    the again, the next closest bid to dice k was 40 million

  43. honestly out of cox, griffin and carson..

    i hate carson the most.. atleast cox and griffin arent employed by the  actual team. Carson is a ‘stats’ guy, who doesn’t know stats, and makes bullshit fuckin articles about how brandon morrow should be a reliever.

    fuckin makes me sick.

  44. forgive me if this is a dumb question… but why is everyone so confident Darvish will be posted for over 50 million? Wasn’t the Sox bid for Dice-K much higher then the second highest bid and seen as an over bid even at the time… and it blew up in their face… like many many many other japanese players. 

  45. Simply based on evaluations of the pitcher and comparisons to the past (Dice K)… A few GMs/scouts have quoted the number so that is why it is being thrown around. There have also been a few stating that the posting number wouldn’t come close to $50mil anymore, but that doesn’t make a nearly as intriguing story for reporters to post. Unless the Yankees or Cubs make a retarded offer, I would expect the posting to be closer to $25 mil with Yu getting another $40 or so on top…IMO

  46. “I just can’t trust C.J. Wilson. Who doesn’t drink? “Josh Hamilton

  47. That’s true. If attendance doubled, they would have another 40 million plus tv ratings would be higher so another 40 million in revenue. Add 80 million of revenue to the payroll and you get 140 million payroll.

    this is what I find annoying about Beeston. He provided a hypothesis fro 120 million with numerous caveats.

    He doesn’t say that to be competitive the team needs x amount of  above average players & the team may need to sign a FA to fill a position of need if it cannot be filled .

    The jays can’t wait 7 years to draft a 1B & hope he turns out to be a Prince Fielder.

    The onus should be on Rogers to put a competitive team on the field that has a chance of making the playoffs.

    Then fans will show up & revenue will rise etc…

    My big hope for 2012 is that the team doesn’t waste 20 starts on a jo Jo Reyes type pitcher & has a Jayson Nix, or Mike mccoy or Mark Teahan in the starting lineup.

  48. We didn’t have a lot of mlb ready talent last year, which is why reyes, nix, patterson all got chances to play…

    1 year does wonders for prospects.. next year you could theoretically see the likes of gose, hech, hutchinson, molina,  and obviously a full season of carreno, alvarez, and lawrie. 

  49. Yes because Reyes and Fielder really solve our pitching solution and biggest problem.  The offense is fine.  We need pitching.

    And if you spend all $120 this year, how are you gonna be able to afford to lockup guys like Lawrie, Rasmus, Morrow, Snider, or whatever other young cheap player you wanna lockup longterm.  When Beeston says the payroll could go up that high, he doesn’t mean entirely through free agents, but rather maybe one big priced free agent, and then spending money over the next couple years retaining all our players.  Something Tampa hasn’t been able to do.

  50. I expect, in my dreams, that AA gets Votto and Darvish.

  51. You can change your numbers at any time.

    I remember for Dice-K, the number kept going up and up.  There were rumours the Yankees offered $30 million, then Boston upped there offer, then the Yankees did, then Boston upped there offer even more…

  52. Good thing Scott Boras isn’t involved.  He would be having Heyman write rumours that the Yankees are offering $80 million in posting, just to try to get someone like Texas to give $81 million.

  53. Mike McCoy and Mark Teahen will battle for you.  I know their stats weren’t the greatest, but who cares about that.  Teahen was one of the best players on the 2011 Blue Jays.  You could see confidence in his eyes, and that spread to the whole team.  You can’t teach that.  He’s the ideal cleanup hitter.  Kudos to AA for getting this guy out of Chicago.

    Now Mike McCoy.  In my mind, McCoy is an all-star.  If the Jays are smart he’ll be the starting SS next year.  He and Woody forming the left side of the infield will be a sight the opposing players won’t believe.  It’s got a chance to be the best since Schofield and Sprague.

  54. Hey, turns out Albert Pujols is a jerk! Next stop: Alex Anthopolous’s School for Wicked Boys!

  55. I don’t know if the offense is fine.  In the context of all MLB it’s not bad, but it’s still well behind Bos and NYY.  The OBP continues to be a problem.  As I said recently I don’t think anyone’s won the division with a team OBP below .340 in the wildcard era.  Tampa won the wildcard this year with a worse offense, but their pitching is phenomenal.  I think the Jays have to improve the pitching and the hitting.

    The good news is that having Lawrie and Rasmus (and hopefully KJ) all year instead of Patterson, Davis, Aaron Hill, Nix et al will be a big improvement, and so would adding a legit 1B.  So if the Jays turn Lind into Fielder or someone like that, and everything else pans out more or less how it should, then the offense might be fine.

  56. Darvish isn’t the same as a regular big-name free-agent because he’s still just 25, not on the verge of being washed-up, and not the final piece for contention that the standard sort of “name” signing would be to plug the holes after you’ve built a team that’s gone to the playoffs a few times. He’s essentially a super super high ceiling prospect, and the Jays are all about picking up young controllable talent. That’s exactly what he is, just a very expensive one. He wouldn’t be the final piece for contention, just another potentially very solid building block and one that could also make the team very interesting to watch while they continue to build into being a perennial contender, and a contender that Darvish could be a part of for years to come.
    I wouldn’t shed any tears if they didn’t get him, but I’d be stoked if they did.

  57. I’ve never seen a scouting report posted on the guy, so I dug this up from FanGraphs (note: 18 or so months old):

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs

    •He’s got velocity. Darvish usually works his fastball in the 92-93 range, but is capable of running it up to 95-96.

    •He changes speeds. Darvish’s curveball bottoms out at under 60mph, and he has other offerings in the 75-85mph range

    •He eats up innings.

    Areas of concern:

    •He throws a lot of pitches. Darvish threw 147 pitches on opening day, in a complete game losing effort. Back in July 2008, Darvish threw 165 pitches in a loss.

    •He hasn’t put up a truly dominant strikeout season. Over the last three years, Darvish has been in the 8-9 K/9IP range, but given his stuff and the number of pitches he throws, I’d love to see him put up 12-13 K/9IP seasons.

    •The amount of mileage on his arm is somewhat of a concern, though not as much as it might be. Darvish throws a lot of pitches and goes deep into games, but gets plenty of rest between starts. His career high for innings is 207.2, in 2008.

  58. “Anyway, if you upped the payroll to $120M as Beeston has said they can (which will never happen, but he threw that figure out there), you could conceivably get a Fielder, a Reyes, and a Darvish.  That would make them one of the best teams in baseball.”

    Right.  In 2012.  But it’d be an EXTREMELY short sighted move.  So, Beeston has said Rogers can support a payroll of $120M.  Great, you’ve tapped that out in year 1.  Now in 2013, 2014 and 2015, when a guys like Lawrie need a raise, Rasmus needs a raise, Morrow needs a raise, Cecil needs a raise, Snider/Thames needs a raise, Alvarez needs a raise….  where do the funds come from? Do you turn into Tampa and jettison your good young players, not because you’re stingy with $$, but because you’ve overloaded yourself with bad contracts you can’t extricate yourself from? Do the Jays then have to up their payroll to $140M?  What happens if a pitcher gets injured and has to sit out a year?

    Tapping out payroll flexibility immediately is what got Ricciardi into trouble post-2006.

    I think the Jays have to spend, absolutely, but they can’t just ignorantly toss money around.  They need to be strategic in their spending.  That’s why I think Darvish is the guy.  I’ve posted it before, but I’ll re-iterate my thoughts.

    The posting fee speculated is $50M with a $60-75M/5 yr deal coming afterwards.  That doesn’t equate to $25M/year, however… you’re looking at a $65M cost in 2012 (when payroll is already low) and $15M/yr in 2013 – 2015, which is much more reasonable and keeps payroll flexibility.  He fits in their mold of young, controllable, high-upside.

    Also, to the poster who asked what Bautista and Romero would lthink of a high priced FA coming in – I frickin’ hope they’d love it.  They both understood what they were getting into when they signed their deal, and the risk/reward associated with it.  Both guys signed to guarantee money in case of under performance or injury, understanding that they had the capability to outperform the contracts over the long haul. 

  59. The problem with the speculated posting fee it will require ($50MM) is that’s the bar Matsuzaka set, which was caused by a bidding war between the Yanks and Sox, in which the Sox won considerably. With both those teams probably not going to be heavily interested with Igawa and Dice-K being paid to do nothing, I’d see it reaching no higher than $30MM. The actual contract sounds right though.

  60. The offence isn’t fine.  It’s not bad but it’s not fine and it’s not play-off -run ready.  And there are holes all over the defense.  Yu Darvish would be nice, but the only Japanese players who really seem to have worked out have played the field.   That having been said, AA is the anti-JPR.  So I expect everyone will be kept guessing until he lands whichever player he truly intends to get.

  61. Fair point that the Jays are probably at an 85-win talent level. That’s still 10 wins short of the AL wild card in a typical year, which doesn’t really change my opinion that there’s a gap there that’s too expensive, relative to the Jays’ financial resources, to make up with free agent spending alone.

    A second wild card would put them a few games closer (can’t be arsed to look up the numbers) so that makes it possible to close it via free agent signings without completely maxing the payroll and eliminating margin for error. Obviously, that changes the situation completely.

    Can you tell me why dollar value to wins is a ridiculous way to look at payroll?

  62. japanese people are really cool

  63. You’ve got to look at the total cost of getting a player–the cash you’ll pay him plus the cash (or contract value) you gave up to get him to your team via trade. 

    In the case of Darvish, the posting fee is money that the Jays can’t spend elsewhere, so he *absolutely* has to make that value up in production in addition to his salary.

    What about a player acquired via trade? By making some assumptions about future production, it’s possible to estimate the amount of value given up to acquire a player. I’ll work through at the Lawrie-Marcum swap as an example of how I would assign contract value. Feel free to address any misconceptions that I have.

    The Jays give up Marcum, with a 2011 salary of $4 million and one more arb-eligible year in 2012. I have no idea what he’s going to get in arbitration in 2012 but for the sake of easy math let’s make it $6 million. Therefore, in 2011-12 Marcum will probably be paid $10 million total. Marcum was coming off a 3.6-fWAR season, so let’s be conservative and say we expect him to put in two 3-WAR seasons for a total of 6 WAR in 2011-12.

    On average, a free agent who gives a team 6 WAR of production over the course of a contract will get paid, in total, $30 million. Therefore, value of Marcum’s expected production in 2011-12 is $30 million (since that’s what you’d have to pay a free-agent pitcher to put up similar numbers). Subtract his $10 million expected salary in those two years, and Marcum’s contract value is $20 million.

    Since the Jays gave up $20 million of value to get Lawrie, his
    production will have to have $20 million value above what the Jays pay
    him for this deal to be successful (again, compared to signing a free
    agent). After half a season, he’s over halfway there already (and Marcum put up less than his expected production in 2011) so this is looking like a very good deal for the Jays at the moment.

    A couple caveats:
    -Free agency is an insanely expensive way to build a competitive baseball team–to be competitive in the AL East, the Jays actually need to spend far more efficiently than $5 million/WAR. 95 regular-season wins corresponds to roughly 40 WAR (a AAA team would beat a  MLB team more often than you’d think) so a payroll of $100 million would require an overall efficiency of something like $2.5 million/WAR. That’s very hard to do via free agency, hence the emphasis on young, controllable players under the current regime.

    -In this analysis, one 6-WAR player is assumed to be the same value as two 3-WAR players (or six 1-WAR players). This is untrue for two reasons: elite talent is much harder to find, and roster spots (and playing time) are limited.

  64. hiroki kuruda has been pretty good. 

  65. your blue jays want win go Japanese player for sucess

  66. “In the case of Darvish, the posting fee is money that the Jays can’t spend elsewhere, so he *absolutely* has to make that value up in production in addition to his salary.”

    Given Beeston’s statements that:

    a)  they’re likely not heading after big name FAs this offseason (AA has alluded to this as well)
    b)  Their payroll $$ figures are completely separate from their draft $$ budget

    Where else would the Jays spend that posting fee this year, exactly?  Rogers Centre refurbs? Its not like the Jays aren’t going to pay their arbitration-eligibles. The posting fee is a one-time hit that bears no impact on future payroll expenses.  Sure – they they’ll want him to make up that value, but that doesn’t have to come back in one year, and doesn’t necessarily all have to come on-field (though that’s the most important place for it to show).

  67. The OBP number doesn’t look pretty, but hopefully a switch in philosophy and hitting coaches will come and fix that problem.

    But like you said, Lawrie, Rasmus, and really any 2B for a full season is already an upgrade over what we had for much of last season.  Hopefully Farrell will also take Thames out of the two-hole, and put someone in with a decent OBP (Rasmus?) and the offense will be much improved.  And this offense ranked 6th in all of baseball in terms of runs last season.  

    If AA just finds a replacement 2B, the offense, which ranked 6th, should be even better.

    The Jays need to focus on both starting pitching (I think Darvish should be enough with Ricky, Morrow, and two of McGowan, Alvarez, & Cecil) and relief pitching.

  68. I don’t think this team is too far off from contending.

    Ideally, the Jays get Darvish and trade for Votto (there are plenty of packages the Jays can send for Votto as the system is so deep, and the Jays could even eat Arroyo’s salary for the Reds if they truly want to shed salary).  Then a redo of the bullpen, and I think the Jays are in contention.

    Now, of course that is MUCH easier said than done, but I trust AA to make some smart moves this off-season and continue to improve this team.

  69. I was just looking at some free agent relief pitchers that wont cost compensation, as the Jays are gonna have to rebuild their ‘pen, and there is some interesting guys out there.

    There are some projects like Joe Nathan (has an expensive option that wont be picked up) and Jonathan Broxton that I think would be interesting pickups.  They shouldn’t cost too much, and if they can stay healthy and pull it together, they could be effective and great pickups.  They’ve both had great success as closers before.  Nathan I think would be a type of guy that the Jays can have for a year, with an option on the deal, and if he can regain some of his past success, the Jays can get a compensation pick for him.  Meanwhile, Broxton is still young (27), and if he signs a 1 year deal with some options, could be a fit long term in Toronto.

    Then maybe a lefty like George Sherrill, who I never really liked, but a guy who has been pretty effective in his career and wont cost anything in terms of compensation.  

    Adding those three guys, and the Jays could have a decent bullpen of:

    Nathan
    Broxton
    Sherrill
    Janssen
    Litsch
    Perez
    Villanueva

    Then, perhaps Carreno, or even Francisco if they want to bring him back.

  70. If you contend and make the playoffs in 2012, the fans will come out and you could conceivably support an even larger payroll than $120M like the Phillies/Red Sox have over the last decade.

    Remember that the window that Bautista is going to be elite isn’t getting any bigger.

  71. They’ve been middle-of-the-road in spending on the draft/internationally over the last decade, too. Let’s not pretend otherwise because of the last two seasons.

  72. If AA’s team values Darvish at that amount, yes.

  73. you being stuck in 10 years ago is like complaining about mike harris

  74. No, it’s evaluating the poor ownership that this team has had since 2000.

  75. you continue to sell the AA regime short. the fact that you cant acknowledge a change says everything about you

  76. Chity Chity Bang Bang on man!

  77. I don’t disagree with you re: Bautista’s window, and I do think that they should spend… I just think the spending has to be measured, bcs if they miss on the first go around, they’re F’ed.

  78. Its true that they have been aggressive in getting draft picks/international signings, and taking on contracts like teahen’s to make trades. However, the overall budget is still relatively small, especially compared to the yanks/sox. Luckily the picture of what this team needs is a lot clearer than entering last off season, and there are new pieces at CF 3B,2B, and LF all which look to be better than what we had a year ago. Add in jettisoning wells, and that added financial freedom and I have faith that they will start to splurge in Fa’s (the one area they have not been spending). Until they do though, there will always be that little fullmer fan on your shoulder telling you “They’re never going to spend more!”.

  79. Who is against Rogers just throwing all their money at Pujols and seeing if he bites?

    I mean, if you’re going to spend $100M+ on Darvish, you might as well at least try…

  80. I’d be excited if they went after a guy like Darvish but let’s not act like his age is something completely unprecedented for Japanese pitchers. Matsuzaka was only 26 when he was posted and we were hearing some of the same stuff that we are hearing about Darvish now. Dice-K was supposed to be super durable, have great control and he was being marketed as a pitcher who was young enough so the investment in him would supposedly be not as risky if he were in his late 20s or early 30s yet both his stuff and his health have failed him.

    I think Darvish will have similar issues especially if he is going to pitch in the AL East.

  81. I love how guys who bitch and moan about having to pay 99 cents a month for SNET1, think Rogers nonetheless owes it to them to spend $125 million on a Japanese pitcher. The entitled are a ‘special’ breed. 

  82. Excellent points. Some of the posters here (a good example is Stoeten) try hard to convince themselves that Rogers ‘cheats’ them, because although they don’t pay any money for tickets to see games, or pay any money for anything else for that matter, Rogers still ‘owes’ them. Rogers is apparently supposed to rectify this ‘terrible inequity’ by blowing shareholder money to appease these parasites. 

    The Werth contract, money spent for nothing more than the appearance of being willing to spend money, is the perfect example of where playing to this crowd gets a team. 

  83. The first thing about doing satire, is that you have to actually be, you know, witty. Hopefully with maturity you’ll either develop a wit, or else learn that witless attempts at satire are worse than what they try to lampoon. 

  84. An article wondering if the Red Sox might try to lure Farrell back to Boston:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/b

  85. Boston Globe saying that the Red Sox are considering bringing back Skip Farrell.

    That would be interesting.

  86. Given his apparently high standards for journalistic competence one hopes Yu Darvish never decides to have a Richard Griffin mailbag translated for him. 

  87. “The Blue Jays, who went 81-81 in Farrell’s first season (which included
    several days away from the team because of illness), are in a rebuilding
    mode, and right now it’s more important for them to get players than to
    keep their manager.”

  88. So you would root for a team because the other is gay? Haha you fucking homophobe, it’s the 21st century son, get a clue.

  89. This would be a great way for the Jays to improve next year’s team while hurting a division rival.

    (And if we get a prospect back too, so much the better!)

  90. If Terry Francona wants to manage next year then fine, take a prospect for Farrell and bring in Tito. But fuck the Red Sox for their entire notion that it’s some gigantic promotion to get to manage in their miserable fucking city instead of Toronto. Theo took an actual promotion to go to a better city and they still balked and tried to get Garza. I guess they can have Farrell… for Jon Lester.

  91. Interesting.

    Hey, I hear Terry Francona’s out of a job.

  92. “But fuck the Red Sox for their entire notion that it’s some gigantic promotion to get to manage in their miserable fucking city instead of Toronto.”

    Amen.

  93. I’d give up Farrell in a heartbeat if it meant good compensation.

    Heck, you could probably then make Butterfield (or maybe even Sal Fasano?) manager, then move Murphy to the 3rd basecoach, and then promote Chad Mottalo to hitting coach.  I think the coaching staff will be better with that arrangement than it is now.

    Getting Mottalo has the hitting coach without having to fire Murphy (and perhaps upsetting Bautista) would be improve the coaching staff.

  94. If the Sux want him back they can have him.

    Just they’re going to be the ones to pony up for once. They’re always owed something, right? Well, they’re going to do the owing.

    What a bunch of twats in this organisation. Utter fucking twats. There’s a reason people call them Massholes.

  95. In other Boston related news, how much do you guys think it will cost to get Marco Scutaro back?  Maybe 2-years $10 million?

    I think Scutaro will be a great fit at 2B for a year or two until someone within is ready to take over.

  96. Nevermind, there are reports now that Boston will pickup his $6 million option.

  97. If the Jays lose out on Darvish (assuming they bid for him), anyone think they’ll make a play for Shields?

  98. That Farrell article is crazy.  I have trouble believing Farrell would bolt after a year, unless it was his dream to manage for the Red Sox in particular (which no doubt everyone in Boston assumes about every manager).

    Do you guys remember there was a similar rumour about JP Riccardi after his first season in Toronto.  

  99. I remember the rumour about JPR.
    Can’t see AA letting Farrell leave,especially to a division rival.A lot has been invested in Farrell’s learning curve.Even he says he had issues  managing the whole team vs just the pitching staff.
    Hopefuly he adds to the experience of his rookie season and learns how to manage.
    My surprise is that Wakamatsu wasn’t more valuable in accelerating Farrell’s managerial learning curve.( at least I’m assuming that, based on some of the decision making) 

  100. But consider what the Jays could get for Farrell.

    The White Sox got two of the Marlins top prospects for Ozzie, and Ozzie switched leagues and was not wanted back in Chicago.  Farrell doesn’t have the resume of Ozzie Guillen, but considering the Jays aren’t looking to dump him, and the fact Farrell will be going to a team within the division, I’d think the Jays should be able to get at least two top prospects, maybe three.  

    I’d trade Farrell in a heartbeat for prospects or players.  

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