Reporter Mark Zwolinski is chatting with readers about the acquisition of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment by Rogers and Bell over at the Toronto Star, and a lot of what he’s being asked has to do with where the Jays fit into all of this. Here’s his view, taken from several of the comments he made in the chat…

Nadir Mohammed insisted, if that’s what you can call it, that the Jays will continue to operate as a “seperate” entity from this new deal at MLSE. That won’t ease your concerns over money for the Jays any, and to be honest, Rogers wasn’t going to increase spending on the Jays this season, any more than what the plan was the past two seasons since Ricciardi was booted out of town. And that was that a loose ceiling of about $110 to $120 million was in place for the payroll. The rest was up to AA and Beeston to deal with – that is, to make requests for more money when they felt the timing was right.

Now AA isn’t just sitting there, waiting for a free agent to happen. He went after Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee last winter, but neither player was interested in coming here. He’s a player in the Fielder sweepstakes and for sure we’ve heard him say he’s operating under financial restrictions. But AA draws a line in the sand for each and every player financially, and doesn’t cross it. He may have been indirectly complaining about Rogers, or he may have been sending a message to Fielder and his agents about using the Jays to drive up the price for the player.

At any rate, I do believe the Jays have the financial means to land a big name free agent – but they weren’t about to give Pujols or Wilson the money they got, and that’s just the paramaters AA and Beeston set for the franchise.

The thing is, he adds, if you are a top shelf free agent and looking at the Jays, why would you want to come here?

Here’s what big leaguers think about the Jays: they have an excellent reputation with their GM and their medical model – players feel the jays acutally have the best, or one of the best, training and medical staffs in the majors. That’s not a deal breaker, but it is a concern for a free agent. What most players talk about, though, is winning; they refer to it as “something special” going on with team x or team y. Everyone knows now that the Angels have “something special” going on. The Jays simply don’t, at least not to that degree. They know management is being creative through trades to build a winner, but that path has seen precious few success stories (Oakland in 2003-04, the Rays after David Price fell into their laps with the first overall pick a couple of years ago).

As long as a team tries to develop all-stars at every position, teams like the Yanks and BoSox will simply go and buy the best players. That’s the stark reality of it, especially in the American League East Division. Sooner or later you’ll have to spend – I don’t see the Jays spending [this winter] (I’ve been wrong before) – I see them going after a lefty like Gio Gonzalez, and if they get him, fight another year and try to get a step closer to the post season.

Right now, though, if you are a fan, there’s not an overwhelming sense that the Jays are anything more than a launching pad for Rogers tech, and a club that will, if it can, develop its way to a post season berth. The question is, how long to fans continue to buy that?

Comments (157)

  1. NO GIO GONZALEZ PLEASE

  2. Soooo, more of the same ambivalence from ownership?  Whatever. 

  3. “The question is, how long to fans continue to buy that?”
    Gee, does this mean that Toronto fans might give up on the Jays, and attendance will be low?

    I wonder what that’ll be like!

  4. why would players come here?  I dont know…cash?  fucking boatload of cash?  huge amount of cash?  why does anyone do anything ? cash.  

  5. “.. and a club that will, if it can, develop its way to a post season berth”

    Bingo.  It all comes down to whether you believe they can develop their
    way to greatness with one or two expensive free agent exceptions here or there.  A well-funded farm system, an army of scouts, tons of draft picks, a clever GM and enough money to sign the best products of the farm system is a pretty strong case for the optimists.

  6. Um that add sucks for two reasons:

    1) Lawrie is a Canucks fan being forced to prostitute himself for the Leafs.

    2)Brett Cecil looks eerily similar to Gustavo Chacin in that picture.

  7. I was the first to say that Milwaukee is a bigger market than Toronto. 

  8. Those Zwolinski comments have done more to clarify the Beeston/AA comments and Rogers view of the Jays than anything written the last three days. He did a great job summarizing the issues and addressing the confusion about where the team is heading. Too bad it’s nothing we didn’t already know (although the part about Crawford and Lee was interesting).

  9. Excellent article. I agree with pretty much everything. As a fan I appreciate that AA has the ability to look at things objectively. “He draws a line in the sand for each and every player financially and doesn’t cross it.” This ensures we wont end up paying stupid money. 
    I mean, as nice as it would have been to sign Pujols, I think the contract he ended up getting is brutal for the Angels and the Jays would have been dumb to offer that. I dont know what Fielder is hoping for, but as much as I have been saying the Jays really should sign him, I wouldn’t want to see him get that kind of contract either. Yes…sooner or later the Jays have to spend. That much is clear. But if its a choice between doing what the Jays are doing building a club that can win 88-91 games and then adding a big FA or 2, and doing what the Angels just did…blowing their wad on 2 big names and hoping it all gels, I’ll take the Jays way.
    What I disagree with is the Angels have something special going on. Even with Pujols, their lineup isn’t especially scary. And I dont think adding Wilson makes their pitching all that spectacular either….but maybe thats just me, Im not as high on him as some people here are. Its basically a team built to compete this year and next year and thats about it. Does that qualify as “something special” that you would want to be a part of if you were a free agent?

  10. Seems obvious with Rogers buying a chunk of MLSE that it isn’t a case of them not having money to spend, rather that they are selective abt where it is spent and won’t pay for free agents for the Jays.

    Spells on going mediocrity

  11. I guess we should just be happy to have MLB in our backyard.  Who cares about baseball in October?   When the fall comes we should put our Jays jerseys away put on our Leaf sweaters.  We are Canadian’s and hockey should be the main focus.

  12. I think the Angels pitching is pretty good. Wilson is, effectively, their number 4 starter (behind Weaver, Haren and that guy who looks like Henderson Alvarez). That’s pretty solid. They also have an amazing outfield defensively, and some good young players (Trout, Conger, Borjos). They look good.

  13. Thanks for posting that Stoeten. Excellent article by Zwolinski. AA made it fairly clear he was addressing the claims being made by agents, that Toronto had unlimited finances, claims they were making to other teams to drive up the competing bids. Made sense at the time and now. The whackjobs can interpret it instead as a conspiracy. 

  14. AA has been pulling a steady stream of rabbits out of his hat for 2 years now. everything the guy does moves the team forward. it’s really starting to add up, and the results on the field, in my opinion, will start to come in the next year or two. 

    fuck the toronto sports journalists/talking heads/ and hacks who are trying to sensationalize anything they can get they’re desparate hands on just to keep their jobs relevant. as we all know that most of these fools will be jobless as tweets and quality analitcal writers and sites will take their place. there was no greater example this than the McCowan/Elliot Jose Molina thing this week past.

    i say fuck them all. i say that we stop listening and acknowledging every single dinoasour/sensationalist/marty york type/self congratulating hack journalist/and lowest common denominator appeasing talking head.

    i suggest that the 
    DJF FRIENDS AND HELPFUL RESOURCESturns into a scathing version of Vice mag’s do’ and don’t. recommend the ones worth reading from getting blanked to grantland, etc. and have the mccowan, elliot, and evan grant types on the shit list.i don’t mean to mean to put this on you stoeten, but if we learned nothing from today it is that it’s all about content. a billion dollars was used to illustrate the point. fuck these old timers, the had their run to a point where they are giving themselves life time achievement awards. let’s set the standard, let’s be the standards and poors/moody’s of thoughtful sport journalism.i have further thought on how to implement this action if you are all interested.

    can you dig it!!!

  15. If there’s a loose ceiling of $110-$120…. why are we sitting at $70?

  16. Can’t tell if serious – or just stupid.

    Let me try my hand at this:
    We are Canadians and we should support our homegrown daterapist industry.

  17. Weaver and Haren are excellent. That guy who looks like Henderson Alvarez…lol…Ervin Santana is ok. I like Wilson a little more than Santana. Starting pitching is solid.They do have a good defensive outfield, youre right. Bourjos is ridiculous. Vernon and Hunter can still bring it in the OF. But a lot of garbage in that lineup too….Aybar, Callaspo, Abreu, Ianetta.
    Good, yes. Good enough to compete with Texas? Maybe…maybe not. They’re probably still a wildcard team in the AL West. Something special? Not really.

  18. I really don’t think this article said anything that hasn’t been said by writers, bloggers and fans in the past few days.

  19. Maybe so, but I make a lot of sense.

  20. Because he’s not going to spend money for the sake of it. As the article states, AA draws a line in the sand in terms of value, and he won’t go past it.

  21. The Angels had something special going on? They were in the same boat as the Jays until they drove a brinks truck up to Pujols. 

    A guy like Fielder has to think he can do the same for the Jays. Toronto seems like a good franchise to play for. I think Beeston and AA do what it takes to make sure the clubhouse is the sort of place that anyone can feel comfortable in.  Their minor leagues and scouting is first rate. 

    It seems fairly likely that Fielder is going to hold out for at least 8 years if not 10 and I don’t fault AA from walking away from that. 

  22. If it was not already apparent, I hope we can finally put to bed the idea that the Jays are going to be competing in ’12. I know there has been a lot of discussion here (sounding a lot like JP RICCIARDI) that if everything goes there way they will be competing but I think this is just not going to happen this year especially not now that the AL just go that much harder. 

  23. Why are we only at $70 million? I’ll tell you why. This was out of a research report commenting on the MLSE deal:

    “Our initial view is that we see the acquisition as adding little value for either company.  We point to Rogers’ ownership of the Toronto Blue Jays as an example, which after many years has yet to show any noticeable value-add for shareholders.”

    Why would you invest more (huge) money into a business when all you are getting out of it is good will. If it was your money, would you? 

  24. Really? I thought there seemed to be genuine confusion over where the Jays stood payroll-wise. I personally couldn’t tell if they were sitting on $70 million because Rogers hadn’t formally given approval for them to go beyond that for free agents, with the $120 million being a hypothetical target, or if the $120 million was actually approved already, no strings attached. Because this is the first time I think it’s been unequivocally stated that AA can indeed go up to $120 million NOW, and has been able to the past two years, without going to Rogers for permission.

  25. Dec 9 is a little early to call the season a bust, isn’t it?

  26. I’d hate for the front office to spend just for the sake of spending also.  And it makes all kinds of sense to set a value and draw a line.  The problem is, if you’re completely inflexible in that approach, you end up NOT spending just for the sake of not spending.

    A $40M gap between current payroll and the “loose ceiling” per those notes doesn’t make much sense to me.  Something can’t be accurate there.  You really think the Exec at Rogers would say to AA “Uh, Alex?  You’ve got $40M left in the budget, er, within the parameters, for payroll.”….”Nah, I’m good.”

  27. Except we don’t have an ace like Weaver. Romero’s probably as good as Haren though. Morrow’s probably as good as Santana. I think CJ Wilson is a hack, but he’s a consistent (ish) hack. But he’s a known big-leaguer. BIg leaguers like to be surrounded by known big leaguers more than unknown rookies. Mostly.

  28. God.  The perception of this offseason has gone from great to shit really quickly since those ‘payroll parameter’ comments..

  29. The idea that Toronto HAS to spend money on free agents to compete is retarded. Not every team gets to a position of perennial playoff contention because of free agent acquisitions. The Phillies core is home grown. They acquired Halladay through a trade.  Same with the Rangers. The only significant upgrade they made was Beltre and that was after a WS appearance. I think people  just need to be patient and understand the difference between the Jays and about 10 other teams is… the Jays wont lose marquee home grown players. I dont think Toronto fans ever have to worry about players like Lawrie being traded because of money issues. If Morrow turns into a Cy Young contender next year, again, no worry of him being trade for concern of his price tag.

  30. I don’t disagree with you, I’m just wondering about this new layer of confusion where Zwolinski states that they CAN spend up to $110M-$120M on payroll without needing further consent. 

    That part makes no sense to me and frankly, I don’t buy it.

  31. We can compete in ’12. We just need some of our high upside young talent to reach their potential. Is that going to happen? I dunno. Nobody does. But you don’t win the World Series on paper in the off season. You gotta play the games Cheech.

  32. Dave, I think what we’re about to watch is “The Scott Boras Show” for the next month and one-half. With the bar set at $254/10, his reputational interest is seeing how close he can come to that or even exceed it. Boras is famous for dragging things on as long as possible and Fielder may not sign until February. We can be assured that he will not be recommending any 5 or 6 year deal to Fielder and my own guess is that Alex will not give him more than 5 years let alone 8-10. I agree that he’s a walkaway. 

  33. new layer of confusion where Zwolinski states that they CAN spend up to $110M-$120M on payroll without needing further consent.

    Go ask Beeston..  oh, and back of the line, bud.

  34. It’s basically them and the cubs who have the need/budget.
    The cubs have a lot more issues than just 1B. They’re a clusterfuck of terrible after castro.

    anyway, i don’t think he gets 8 years, and if he gets more than 8, i’ll be surprised.

  35. I mean, when I think of big spending teams in the off season, I think more of the Cubs and Mets and the Marlins. Where does that get you in the long term? You have a year or two of contention and then fall off for a decade or have to trade everyone away and fall off for a decade.

  36. Just for fun. Keith Law just said that he thinks Haren is better than Weaver. Not that it matters.

  37. I don’t think that conversation happens either, because it’s not the scenario. What they’ve said is that if AA and Beeston think they can put a playoff team on the field they can spend that amount of money. They don’t think they can, nor do I. They finished 9 games behind Boston, 10 games behind TB and 16 games behind NY. The extra 40 you speak of isn’t going to get them there, at least if it’s spent on wildly overpriced free agents. Spending 25 on Fielder and 15 elsewhere doesn’t knock out both TB and Boston, and instead just freezes them for most of the next decade as Fielder declines. 

  38. The Cardinals. The Brewers. The Mariners.

  39. The Marlins won’t even compete next year. They added maybe 5 wins? Their farm system is in the bottom 5 in baseball too, so long-term success is a definite impossibility.

  40. J-Bomb: Angels rotation features Weaver, Haren, Wilson, Santana. I don’t know how you don’t think that is a good rotation. Very similar to the rotation depth of the Phillies last year. Definitely on par with the Rays too..if not better.

  41. Jonah Keri wrote a really interesting piece on Pujols and whether it is a good deal and if it makes the Angels contenders. Some interesting quotes:

    “Pujols would need to be 6.5 Wins Above Replacement in 2012 to make the deal worthwhile for the Angels…. In 2011, 6.5 WAR would have made Pujols the 15th-most valuable position player in baseball.”

    “Studies by Bill James… have found that players tend to peak in their mid-to-late 20s…..more often than not, once you hit your 30s, it’s not going to get any better from there. Pujols went from 9.1 WAR at age 28 to 9.0 WAR at age 29, 7.5 at age 30, and finally 5.1 WAR at age 31 this past season. That’s a scary trend for a team that just shelled out $250 million.”

    On the Angels contending:

    “Can the Angels then be World Series contenders in 2012? It’s certainly possible…. This is a team that featured two premium starters in Jered Weaver (6.4 WAR) and Dan Haren (5.6 WAR) last season, with a solid third starter in Ervin Santana (3.2 WAR). That rotation just got a lot stronger, with news that C.J. Wilson (5.9 WAR, higher than Pujols) has signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal to play for his hometown team….There are still some holes on the roster. The bullpen’s a little thin after closer Jordan Walden and lefty setup man Scott Downs. Vernon Wells is terrible, having posting a .248 on-base percentage last year that was one of the worst for any starting outfielder in baseball history. Third baseman Alberto Callaspo is likely to regress after a strong, out-of-nowhere 2011 campaign. Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter are getting old, and less productive. This is a good but flawed team….”

    “The Rangers should still be loaded, the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Tigers project as good-to-excellent teams, and more moves lie ahead for AL contenders. The Angels will be very good, and certainly in the mix with those other teams. Just don’t plan the parade yet.”

  42. “the Jays wont lose marquee home grown players.”

    you mean like carlos delgado?

  43. here’s the article:
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/

  44. Prince Fielder isn’t “free agentS” – he’s an elite slugger and 27. it basically doesn’t happen that this type of guy reaches the market entering their prime. the only guy who even might looks like him in the future is Stanton, and chances are he gets locked up.

    The argument has never been: do the Jays go and piss away money on a bunch of 2-3 win guys this offseason? It’s: do the Jays spend this offseason to add an elite young player to a core of emerging young talent?
    The question is about whether the Jays have enough talent in the system without Fielder. We know that no one they have at any level profiles anything like Fielder. There really are few that do.
    Signing Fielder isn’t a win-now move, it’s the opportunity cost of not signing him. That’s all the debate has ever been.

    Signing him is the risk of injury/decline. Not signing him is the risk that the system doesn’t yield 2-3 guys IN ADDITION to what’s already on the 25man that will give you 5+ WAR/year. The Jays system certainly has that potential (if they avoid trading for bits and bobs like Gio) but, it’s no guarantee in the way that Fielder is guaranteed to hit in the skydome.

    If the system doesn’t shoot out a few stars, and quickly, Bautista declines, loses trade value, and then his prime is ‘wasted’. That’s fine, but if they start moving pieces to compete with Bautista, then they end up emptying the prospect cupboards for mid-level talent, and mid-level results (most likely).

    I’m all for AA basically being risk-averse, and waiting until the system poops out 3-4 guys on the level of Bautista, Romero and Lawrie, but that might be years, even a decade before that happens.

  45. Sounds to me like AA just “isn’t” going to spend money. Even wilson at 77.5 mil was not that bad of a signing. I believe AA has unrealistic figures in his mind for some of these players…and his line in the sand is far from what some of these players are realistically worth. I bet his line in the sand for Pujols was something like 140 mil over 6 years. He’s still sitting in late ’90′s land. He needs to start taking into account inflation and move that line of his closer to the market rates.

  46. Doesn’t Travis Snider profile that way?

  47. yeah – would have to agree with you FamousAmazingGuy. Zwolinski completely dismisses the fact that the core of the championship Yankee and Red Sox teams were homegrown…sure they were supplemented with free-agents.. but the core had to be there. like you say, a “talking head”…absolutely no conception of what a strong-farm system, a strong scouting-staff, a sound business planor strategy mean to an organization.  Zwolinski is just another waste of time Talking Head.

  48. I can’t blame the Jays for not spending big money this off-season…what player would you have had them spend money on? I’d give Prince 5 or 6 years at 20-25 million, but 6 years is the absolute max I’d go and he’s unlikely to sign for that. I wouldn’t touch Wilson for that kind of money, nor would I have Buerle. Jose Reyes would have been a very nice addition, but his health issues make that a risky proposition. I don’t think this off-season is about the Jays not willing to spend the money, but that they don’t like the players that are available and aren’t willing to spend the money on these specific free agents at their costs, and I for one can’t blame them for that.

    Spending money doesn’t mean you sign good players, ask the BoSox about John Lackey and the Angels about Vernon Wells…..throw in Soriano and the Jays could have a 120 million dollar payroll and be WAY worse than they are toady.

  49. You’re right about the Phillies. They are completely home-grown……….. Except for Halladay, Cliff Lee, and oh yeah…Roy Oswalt last year. So 3 of the big 4…which was why they even made the playoffs last year…were acquired via trade or free agency.

  50. we’ll see about that. only the brewers have said they’re in, and their best offer is reportedly 6 years. The cards had a 10 year deal on the table with Pujols last year. it’s not like – he got 10, i get 10.
    people want fielder, but they don’t want him for 4 years after the age at which his father was basically a drain on the team.

  51. Something obviously has changed since that point. The Jays broke the bank the following year on Burnett and Ryan. I think it was the purchase of the Dome or something with TV. I cant remember. From here on out, looks like we are good to go.

  52. I get it man. I want Fielder too. I firmly believe that AA wants him too. (We’re only hearing about Crawford and Lee and Beede’s right shoulder now. JP would have told us ALL of that on a Wednesday with Wilner. With AA, it’s all a veil of secrecy.) But I don’t think AA is going to let Scott Boras sing an open cheque. And I wouldn’t want that either.

  53. maybe in 2008, but we’re in 2011, and he isn’t even worth g.beckham at this point.

  54. Travis Snider is likely going to be a bust. He’s certainly not going to be a Prince Fielder. Especially considering his strike out rates and his terrible OBP.

  55. Lord.
    When did the Phillies go to the World Series? Look at their roster. And I mentioned Halladay as an example of what you do.. as in trades, which AA talking about all the time. Obviously teams add pieces through free agency. But they do so when they are at the top or near it, like the Phillies did with Lee.
    You dont jump fro 80 wins to 97 just because you sign a few guys. And if you are lucky enough to do so, it comes crashing down in a year or two.

  56. Ya. But sometimes things just click for a kid. I’ll admit that “clicking” with Travis Snider doesn’t appear as certain as it did a few years ago, but I’m hoping this is the year they finally give him that opportunity.

  57. But at the end of the day, why do we need Fielder at 20 million per for a decade? The offense is not the problem. So we go from 6th in total offense to 3rd and then what?

  58. Yeah…you’re right that the Yanks were homegrown when they won those championships…for the most part….but they also added guys like Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill…and then David Cone, Al Leiter, David Wells, Clemens, Mussina, and others who were not home grown.

    then you look at ARod, Texeira, Swisher, Granderson, and they weren’t homegrown either. And even if you counter by saying they haven’t won anything in awhile…well…maybe not the WS…but they continuously make the playoffs and fill out their stadium.

    So…there’s that.

  59. post-hype-sleeper

  60. Nothing with this team is gonna change unless the fans make a statement to team management….maybe a completely empty park for a weekend series would send a message that we as the fans want something done or we won’t come out to watch a team that has no chance of winning…

  61. Do you honestly think that the Jays…if they signed Fielder this year to 6 years….that the team would be a bust in 2 years…..given all of our prospects in our system???

    Really?????

    Do you honestly think that signing Fielder to 23 mil a year will prevent this team…which has a payroll around 70 million right now….from making future moves?????

    Honestly????

    AA really has brainwashed some people into thinking that this is a small market team. I can’t believe how many people who think that signing Fielder…or another free agent….will somehow cripple this organization.

  62. So would you give Boras a blank cheque then? Fielder at any cost? Or is there a line that you wouldn’t cross also? If so, what would THAT line look like?

  63. Scott…we still scored more than 100 runs less than the Red Sox and Yanks. Last I checked they are in our division. So unless we are in the AL Central…or the NL West…it doesn’t really matter that we were 6th in runs in the Majors because 2 of the teams ahead of us are in our division and we need to close that gap if we are going to compete with them.

    Our lineup right now is good…not great. With Fielder…it’s great! Period!

  64. Signing Fielder won’t cripple them this year or next, its the 7th-10th year of the contract that would cripple the Jays…..ala Vernon Wells. I’d pay Prince 30 million a season for four years if he’d accept that, that would be the best contract for the Jays, as you are almost guaranteed to get value for that contract.

  65. My line for Fielder is 6 years 140 million. Option for 7th year….you can even call it a vesting option based on games played in prior season and performance. I could go as high as 150.

    Ideally…if teams don’t give in to Boras Corp. and shell out ‘insane’ 8-10 year deals…then I’d say 6 yrs at 132-138 could likely…and should likely get it done.

  66. I woudln’t give Fielder the satisfaction of 7-10 year deal. But 6 would be very acceptable if you ask me. And NOT at 30 mil.

  67. Also, if anyone thinks the Jays would be a better team and organization today if they signed Heath Bell for 27 million over 3 years as opposed to trading for Santos you are smoking some seriously good shit….that would have been a big free agent splash and spent some money, but they would be worse off both on the field and off.

  68. I’d do that too. It’ll be interesting to see what he actually gets.

  69. I said 30 million in a 4 year contract….you go shorter term you pay more annually, its a trade off, and I think it helps protect the team in a big way.

  70. I agree with that…I like the Santos deal going forward. Very cost effective and high upside.

  71. How can you type that the offense is not the problem? You have a lot of faith in guys not named Bautista at this point…a guy that most people’s faith in was built this past year.

  72.  I’m glad Crawford ddint sign here but the reason Beeston said was because of astro turf.
    The same astro turf he wanted to spend the rest of his career on in Tampa bay.
    Beeston is a fucking liar and no one should listen to him.
    Talking to Lees agent doesnt mean you were in on him, jesus Beeston.

  73. I know…but 30 mil a year is a lot….and I think you’re right…that would probably be the only short term deal he’d consider…but ultimately I really do not think he’s going to get more than 7 years.

    I think 7 years is what he’ll top out at…and for that length…he’s looking at 24 mil tops. No way he get to 25 mil a season.

    7 for 168 is what he’ll probably sign for.

  74. He won’t. They’ll jerk him around as soon as he wanes unless they ditch Thames and Davis. He will either have to prove himself with the same constraints he’s had all along and earn his spot, or become trade bait/bench guy. I like him, so that sucks, but that’s it.

  75. Sigh.  At the risk of going off-topic and being a killjoy, can I just
    take a moment to suggest that we as an energetic, intelligent and really
    really fun community agree on some lines that aren’t worth crossing
    with our comments?

    DFJ definitely has its charm and I love the
    balls out, go-for-broke comments that regularly get posted here.  The
    witty and pithy writing is certainly beyond my non-drunk capabilities.

    And let me be clear that I’m not trying to single “yt” out as I’ve seen similarly themed posts before.  But I can’t just sit back and passively watch as we use “rape” humour (regardless of how satirical it’s meant to be) as part of our repertoires. I’d like to think we can come to a consensus that it’s not appropriate…in any situation.  Is that a reasonable request?  What with this week being the anniversary of the December 6 Montreal Massacre, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to make this request.  Please please stick to making fun of Stoeten’s lame tag lines or Fullmer_Fan’s obstinacy and perhaps my earnestness. But don’t make fun of rape.  It’s just not cool.

    I’m partial to the argument put forth by this fella:
    http://oforganon.tumblr.com/po

    Thanks for indulging my PSA.  You folks are amazing. 

  76. There’s no way he leaves 50 million dollars on the table because of a high AAV. He could get  the same by having an OPT-out clause.
    Show me one example of an elite FA taking a deal that short. There are none, and Boras is the least likely person to accept that. He’s going to max out years. Since the Jays have already said they’d go 5 years, 4 is off the table. It’s like Fielder saying he now wants a 15 year deal. That’s not how negotiations work.

  77. Maybe. But when you see how much leash AA gives to guys that are out of options like Dana Eveland and Jojo Reyes, you’d think he wouldn’t give up so easily on a younger kid with a much higher ceiling. Giving up early doesn’t seem to be part of his MO. But we’ll see.

  78. Not to mention Cecil is a die hard Caps fan.  But I think they did it mostly on their own accord, I can’t see the team putting them up to it. I enjoyed it when it came out, as a fan of both Jays and Leafs.

  79. Yankees and redsox are not crashing signing free agetns manny and Ortiz brought the redsox to where they are
    I’m happy with what were doing but they’re other way to win, building and going all in have helped teams. More then one way to win.

  80. Fuck you.

  81. Too bad the new CBA has crushed most of even that hope.

  82. You know, he didn’t have a choice about playing on Tampa’s turf. As a free agent, he DID have a choice about what kind of surface he could play the rest of his career on. And also, if YOU were a FA and you had the choice of playing for the Jays or the RED SOX, as an American-born baseball player, who would you choose? 

  83. last year wasn’t about winning. those guys got leash because they were always just guys that they hoped could turn into something with long-term value in a trade.

    snider still has minor league options – ergo – if he struggles, send him down, since it isn’t helping anyone to send the signal that his job is safe regardless of how he plays. yes he needs ML PAs, but when Thames is there who has earned his spot, then I don’t feel bad about how he was treated last year.

    He just needs to dig deep and find the fire, and tap into the talent that brought him to where he is. I believe he can do that. He’s so close.

  84. Right but the reason Beeston siad he didn twant to come here was astro turf if he wanted to stay in Tampa which he did no matter how much love you have for the Rays if you could play on astro turf with them you would play on astro turf any where for more money, I’m glad we didnt get hi just Beeston is a fakeoff convince fans tha the;s in on all the best guys when he really is not.
    If they really wanted Crawford he would be here end of story glad he is not, but he would be here. If you have such a negative feel for this city, leave why you think people will not come to toronto is beyond me.
    I’ve been to Boston I’ll take white Vegas any day.
    If you said redsox for history and winning then yes but if it was location american or not Toronto is by far a better city to live in.

  85. Who bloody well cares if Fielder is a blimp that they have to roll up to the plate in year 6 or 7 if it gets you a championship or two in years 2-5. What point is there in worrying about what a player is going to do 6 years from now when it’s next to impossible to predict accurately what a player will do in the coming season. I mean really. The bulk of the prospects that AA has been responsible for over the last 2 years are probably 3-5 years away from making the majors anyway. That’s potentially a huge influx of cheap talent down the road. 

    Having said all of that I’d still rather upgrade the pitching more than anything. Without huge leaps forward by starters 2-5, we’re not going to be even in the top 7 when it comes to starting rotations. How many remember all the games the Yanks and Sox scored 10 or more on us last year? Jays gave up 9 or more runs in a game something like 14 times last year.

  86. If you don’t think our upgrades already, an addition of Fielder + SP (Darvish) doesn’t get us to TB/Bos…you are retarded.

  87. Statistically speaking, the offense had been quite good the last few years. Bautista may regress, but others should bring up overall production levels. Its not like the Jays finished in the bottom 10 of offense, and im just making shit up. Stats dont lie.

  88. Yeah…I can’t believe how many fans don’t think that the Jays could be very competitive in 2012…and again in 2013…if we added Fielder to our lineup with Jose. It’s crazy. We’d have one of the best offenses in the Majors. And to think that if we sign him this year…we somehow won’t be competitive in the next 3-4 years after 2012. As if the Jays somehow miraculously lose the 20-40 million in payroll which would still exist once Fielder’s contract took us to 90 mil next season. And EVERY SINGLE prospect somehow failed and didn’t help our team after next season.

    Now…we do need to address that rotation as well. But signing Fielder definitely does not hurt this team short term…or long term. Unless we are talking about an 8 year deal. Which is ludicrous.

  89. You’re right Scott…we were 6th in runs scored in 2011. But we were also behind the Sox and Yanks by over 100 runs!!! Do you think adding Fielder could close that gap??

  90. I agree with you 100%.

    I framed the comment in such a way that I thought it was clear that if taken seriously, I was making a point about how there is a perception that “hockey culture” promotes sets of behaviour (self-entitlement, etc) that has been associated with date rape. Such corellations may be attractive, but hardly consitute causation. (ie. hockey doesn’t cause date rape). So, the point i was making, if there really was one, is that: here is this horrible correlation between two things that aren’t necessarily linked by cause/effect. Instead of interrogating that relationship, however, we’re content to sanctify hockey, the nation, and so on as a project of self-making. That to me is disturbing. Perhaps here, and the form i chose, was not the best way to introduce that unease, and that topic.

    At no point was there ever any intent to make light of rape at all. I apologize to you and anyone that might be offended, it was an example chosen in poor taste given the context.

  91. Comparing Vernon Wells to Prince Fielder? What the FUCK is wrong with you?

  92. Anybody who thinks that should stop following baseball immediately. IMO Santos is the best possible thing out there. Name another RP who has his stuff, contract, etc.

  93. Wow.

  94. The core of the red sox championship teams were Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. 2 free agent signings. Plus Pedro Martinez who was going to the market and got a free agent level contract from Boston. 

  95. Okay rape jokes are out but pedos are like 1% of men and I’ve never heard a joke about that. There’s also a lot of false rape reporting too. There’s a lot more to these issues than jokes and it would be time better used than pointing out off color jokes.

  96. Im not arguing that Fielder is anything less than an elite player that would help Toronto in terms of run production. The point I am trying to get across is that for an organization to tie up 18-25% of its payroll on 1 player is a recipe for disaster. The organization can not afford for him to fall off a cliff in 3 years, or have a difficult 1st year adjustment in the AL or whatever the case may be.
    If the Jays came out and said, our goal is to be one of the top 5 teams in payroll, and at least 150 million by 2013.. then ya, sure, please sign Fatty.
    But it isnt the case. And I feel if Toronto is willing to up its payroll to 110-120 million, the money is better allocated on a variety of needs.

  97. Because spending the money for the sake of saying, “Hey look we have spent $120 million!” isn’t the point? The Dodgers spent $119, 771, 499 last year and look where it got them. In the NL West!

    Just sayin’ it’s about value, not amount.

  98. What is all this bullshit about the Jays having a good offense the past couple of years????

    They finished 5th in the AL in runs scored last year, however they were closer to finishing 9th than 4th place.  Essentially they were league average and had an offense comparable to Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland. 

    Simply they need to be better offensively to make the playoffs.

  99. Offense is a problem. The team OBP is atrocious. It was basically Joey Bats by a huge margin then Escobar followed by a few brilliant months of Brett Lawrie. 

    I think the pitching does need more work then the offense but to say the offense is fine is disingenuous.  

  100. I doubt anyone thinks they should sign Fielder at any cost. (At least not anyone sane) Prince will likely sign for a contract I wouldn’t want the Jays to get him at BUT I think Prince Fielder would be to a contending Jays team what Manny Ramirez was to the Red Sox championship teams. 

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