Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Mid-Afternoon Snack…

Matt Klassen of FanGraphs looks at the market for Manny, who he thinks could work out well for a team willing to take a low-risk chance on him, and tosses the Jays into the four-AL-Team mix, noting that, if Manny looks anything remotely like Manny, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind don’t exactly pose giant obstacles to him getting playing time. He’s not wrong.

At Getting Blanked, Parkes notes that this week MLB owners will meet for the last time before the self-imposed deadline to decide whether or not to expand the playoff field for this season, or to just wait until 2013. Could this decision be holding up the market for Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda, and many of the other pitchers out there?

On the weekend Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that one of the many, many Jays’ former catchers of the future who are still roaming freely around the earth, Kevin Cash, was actually still playing pro ball, but has now retired. And he has joined the Jays as their Major League advance scout. ” Cash is one of those guys you always thought would wind up being a major league manager,” Cafardo writes.

Over at the Tao of Stieb the Org Guy says that the Jays are doing something right by going out once again on their Winter Caravan– or whatever the fuck they call it now. Should I give enough of a shit to be writing about this dog and pony show? I hope everyone has fun, and I think the Org Guy is right that it’s a great/smart thing the club has returned to doing, it’s just… meh.

At Minor League Ball, John Sickels looks at the Oakland A’s top prospects, where Michael Taylor (remember him?) checks in a number twelve, a C+. Anthopoulos might have done alright spinning him for Wallace and then Gose, huh?

Returning back to Getting Blanked, the Common Man– who you may also be familiar with from the awesome Platoon Advantage– gives us an excellent, Hall of Fame- and US politics-related version of his Monday Metaphors segment.

Lastly, at Bluebird Banter, Woodman663 looks at the A’s Brandon McCarthy as “the new Bautista.” (As in, a guy who had a stupendous breakout season out of nowhere).

Comments (53)

  1. The whole Saunders-for-Wallace-for-Gose thing reminds me of that guy who supposedly had a paper clip and kept trading up until he eventually got a house. AA wanted Gose in the first place but Philly said no, and he still ended up with Gose anyways, without giving up any additional value whatsoever.

    I really don’t understand how anyone can be pessimistic about this team when the GM is pulling off moves like that.

  2. @MikeCormack:disqus #jays
    AA: “As I sit here today I don’t see us doing anything else, but we’re
    still open to dialogue,” pointed to additional bullpen arm.

  3. Stoeten — to be clear, there isn’t THAT much to write about with regard to the Winter Tour.  Mostly it was just standing in line, trying to keep my kid entertained for a couple hours, but that wouldn’t have made for much of a blog post.  In any case,  I don’t think the Jays blogging community (particulary the childless ones) is the target demographic.  But it was good to see a big crowd there of the type of fans who spend far less time thinking about the team.  Hopefully it gets them to maybe think about the team a little more.

  4. I think (based on Wilner’s version of the quote) that AA meant he’s done with the bullpen, not with the offseason as a whole.

  5. We need more posts about stupid twitter rumors.

  6. “I really don’t understand how anyone can be pessimistic about this team when the GM is pulling off moves like that.”

    Nobody is pessimistic because of the GM; they are worried about ownership’s intentions. I’m fairly certain almost everyone recognizes the tremendous job AA has done with the resources he’s been given. We just wish he had a little more to make his job a lot easier.

  7. That’s ridiculous though, because you have no idea what resources he has been given. 

  8. Kevin Cash!

  9. We know he cut 12% on payroll expenditure in Year 2, and that it now appears unlikely the Jays will return to even their Year 1 spending under AA in Year 3.

    I think it’s ridiculous to keep pretending that AA has all these resources and he just hasn’t found the right opportunity to use them.

  10. So who would you spend money on right now? And please don’t just say Fielder.

  11. Jack Morris gets 67%.   Do not like his trending upwards. 

  12. gms who are rebuilding with no pressure to add talent which will immediately net an improvement can often make such moves.

    when he has to start making moves that specifically help the MLB Team (rather than the organization) it will be interesting to see if his moves are still (universally) acclaimed as successes.

  13. ” Cash is one of those guys you always thought would wind up being a major league manager,” Cafardo writes.

    I’m sure by “one of those guys” he means a shitty catcher.

  14. I think people often miss the fact that non-moves can be major successes, too. Avoiding Lackey and Bay even though Beeston/Rogers reportedly would have supported those signings? Those are a couple of AA’s best decisions, as far as I’m concerned. And as much as I love Prince Fielder, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the same category in a few years.

    BTW, how about picking up Lawrie, Rasmus, and Johnson last year? Or signing ridiculously team-friendly long-term deals for Bautista, Escobar, and Romero? Those are all moves that immediately (or almost immediately) impacted the major league roster in a pretty major way, and will continue to impact it for years.

  15. It’s hilarious that Beeston says the Jays could have signed Bay & Lackey and you gobble his bullshit. Could they have signed Lee & Beltre too?

  16. I would have spent money on Beltran, Willingham, and Bedard, to name some contracts already signed. If the team is only allowed to sign 1 year deals, you can probably still get Oswalt, Kuroda, and Pena. Cespedes & Soler lurk as international FAs after the Jays struck out on Darvish.

  17. “I think it’s ridiculous to keep pretending that AA has all these resources and he just hasn’t found the right opportunity to use them.”

    I think it’s equally ridiculous to assume that for every dollar AA shaves off of payroll (which is more likely a function of the types of players he’s acquiring as a model of his rebuild – young, high ceiling, lots of controllability – than a function of any edict from above…. but again, assumption)  he needs to spend that money elsewhere.

    My point being:  we simply don’t know.  Everything is speculation with regards to how much money is actually available, if AA actually wants to spend $100M+ now, etc.  I guess that’s why places like this exist, but there’s not much evidence to suggest that Rogers has some sort of low-end spending cap on AA currently (similarly, there’s not much to suggest that they *don’t*).  Sure there are Beeston’s comments, but again we don’t *know*.

    Would I like Rogers to spend money?  Yep.  Would I be disappointed if Fielder signed somewhere for 5 years or less?  Yes.  But until something like that happens, I’m not going to be truly disappointed in where things are at currently.  I take the fact that the Jays will eat the $5.5M as a positive… its not the same as a big splash, but its something, as stoeten said.

  18. How do we even know they could have afforded Lackey/Bay a few years back. That could have been AA/Beeston making shit up to defend rogers. Fact is, its been a bummer of an offseason. On paper, its true that lawrie, rasmus, and johnson are better than rivera, nix, patterson, hill etc. However, those players are either young (lawrie) or inconsistent (johnson and rasmus) We dont really now how those 3 will perform. Thats why its important to add and not solely rely on them to improve the team. The team could definitely use another big bat like Fielder and another #2 or #3 starter. So far, AA has done 1 good move(santos) and some other smaller ones. Yankees and Red Sox, and Rays have done nothing. Jays have done almost nothing. They so far have missed an oppurtunity to better themselves

  19. Meh – Jason Bay would be an okay signing in my book. Like ARam, a lot of the dent in his value atm is because of injuries. If he has a terrific 2012, will anyone be surprised? He might actually be a good trade target for the Jays now that i think about it, especially if the Mets would eat some salary.

    Lackey was over-valued based on the games he’d Won in a pitcher’s park with a team that has generally had terrific defense…and, until recently gone to the playoffs most years. That was a foreseeably bad move, i think. it’s like the CJ wilson contract…that’s not the kind of deal the jays should be concerned with now. it COULD pan out, but it may not.

    it’s easy to cherry pick examples as to why signing free agents is a bad idea, but truthfully, it isn’t often a guy who has never had a bad season, who is elite, who is currently 27, who has not only never been injurred, but often plays EVERY GAME in EVERY YEAR…comes on to the free market. seems odd that there are so many injury concerns given his track record of health. someone is going to get a relatively FAIR deal here. anything under Teixiera (given inflation) is going to look fine, i think. especially if you assume the last 2 years are going to be a wash. 5 years of fielder would be great. i dont’ get anyone who wouldn’t want to see him suit up for the jays.

  20. no because lee and beltre wouldn’t have come here..

    just like cj wilson and albert pujols wouldnt have come here

  21. But Lackey & Bay would’ve, because it fits the narrative? Stop it.

  22. Jayson Werth: Wouldn’t go to washington because they only won 69 games the year before. see, we’re all smart, but players are dumb and they decide what teams are worth playing for based on wins.
    hurf durf.

  23. Beltre wouldn’t have come here because of the turf. He wasn’t open to playing DH full-time and with his knee injuries, he’s probably the worst possible fit for one of the only two teams in the league that plays on an artificial surface. I think Beltre was a fantastic pickup for the Cards, don’t get me wrong, but there’s absolutely no way he would have come here. I thought that was just common sense.

    Willingham signed for 3 years at $21 million. Willingham is 32 years old. Willingham is basically a 2-WAR player at a position where the Jays will be overwhelmed with depth in the next year or two. Seriously? Willingham?

    In a vacuum I like the idea of Bedard, especially at that price, but the fact that the Jays passed on him should make it clear that they consider their internal options to be superior to Bedard. Neither of us know whether or not that’s true, but obviously the Blue Jays know a lot more about them than we do. I think he would have been a decent pickup but hardly a season-breaking loss.

    As for the other three, I’d be happy to get Oswalt or Kuroda on a one-year deal and I have no reason to believe the Blue Jays aren’t interested in both of them, but again, they’re not exactly world-beaters who are going to thrive in the AL East either. They’d both make nice one-year additions to the staff but pretty much half the teams in the league likely feel the same way, so it’s not exactly like AA just has to say “yes” or “no” here. And I don’t think Pena has enough upside at this point to be worth the investment.

  24. The Jays aren’t overwhelmed with depth in the corners. Encarnacion & Lind haven’t shown anything that makes them deserve everyday jobs. Willingham is a better hitter than both of them, and 7m per year for a 2 WAR player is very reasonable.

    “the fact that the Jays passed on him should make it clear that they consider their internal options to be superior to Bedard.”

    If I said the the fact the Jays passed on him should make it clear that AA has no money to spend, you’d laugh it off. 

  25. I’m not saying signing free agents is a bad idea, but long-term contracts have a much higher likelihood of being bad investments than good ones. It’s incredibly risky to sign anybody for that long, and I can’t blame AA for not being interested in 7-8 years of Fielder (or anyone, for that matter).

    5 years of Fielder would absolutely be great, and if he ends up signing somewhere for 5 years, then I’ll agree that the Jays missed a great opportunity. But he’s asking for a lot more and he’s most likely going to get it.And can we please stop pretending that Fielder’s track record of good health should somehow erase the fact that he weighs 300 pounds? That’s not how joints work. He’s going to break down eventually.

  26. great example, herp derp.

    if jayson werth had multiple big contract offers, would he have went to the nationals?

    no, realistically he went there because it was a moronic contract offer amongst decent money..

    the point was, that offering the biggest contract for certain FA’s doesn’t garantee you the player.

  27. did i say that? I was just refuting your claim

    also before you make bogus claims about payroll being down 12%. why not factor in the extra money put in to international signings, drafting, and scouting, which all dont show up on a major league payroll.

  28. $7 million per year for a 2 WAR player at LF/DH is absolutely not reasonable, it’s stupid. Those are two of the easiest positions to get production from, and there are a limited number of roster spots. Why waste them on a guy with such little upside, especially when he’s going to cost you $7 per year for his age 33-35 seasons and blocks your top prospects as he declines? And what do EE/Lind have to do with the left field situation? Snider, Thames, Gose, Marisnick… you seriously would rather have Willingham for the next 3 years than some combination of those guys? And Willingham will literally cost almost 20 times more than any of them. That’s just silly.

    And yes, I would laugh that off, because AA paid $4.5 million for Oliver after he “missed out” on Bedard. If he wanted Bedard that badly, we already know for certain that he had at least $4.5 million to spend, enough money to sign him. Thanks for trying, though.

  29. Because those aren’t a part of payroll expenditure, hence making my “bogus” claim true?

  30. WAR factors in position. You can’t use it and then discount a player’s WAR because of the position he plays. That’s idiocy.

    We also know for certain that AA wanted to improve the bullpen, so not spending 4m on Bedard could’ve been because he had already allocated those funds towards finding a FA RP.

  31. Its still money being spent, saying payroll has gone down 12% omgg rogers cheap ahhhh.

    why don’t you look at the full picture. so you have a more accurate view

  32. the angels didn’t sign pujols to play as a 5-12 WAR player for 10 years. but “he isn’t coming to LA” would be what they’d say unless they met that price.

    similarly, the Jays can choose to take the relatively safe bet that they’ll get fair ‘value’ (a laughable term given how inflated money in baseball is relative to what i make for busting my ass) out of fielder for 5 years, with the relatively (to pujols’) small downside of only having to take on ~2 years of a guy in his decline….even then i’m not sure fielder falls off a cliff or anything when he’s 32, i’m just saying, i don’t really see that much risk there

    they signed bautista last offseason and stoeten and parkes thought it was a trainwreck of a deal. far too long, far too much risk. now people point to it at the drop of a hat as an example of AA’s brilliance. even HE said he didn’t think Jose was capable of the season he had in 2011.

    we KNOW what fielder is capable of, and that he does it year in and out. the only question is: are they even going to bother going after him. knowing how AA works, we might still be in for a big surprise this offseason, but as with all things, i won’t bank on it.

    i think it’s sad that people look at fielder’s body instead of his track record. if/when he ever gets injurred it will be because ‘he’s fat’ and not just because players sometimes get hurt. there are so few comparables to him that the sample size makes any kind of predictions meaningless. either you go for it or you don’t. players sometimes get hurt. halladay could get hurt. anyone can. everyone will break down. you have absolutely no proof that fielder will get hurt or when he will, or that it will be sooner than anyone else other than ‘he’s fat’. which to me is just being as stupid and biased as saying “he has a good face”

  33. Oswalt, Kuroda and Pena are spent and over-valued, and we already have an over-crowded OF. With that said, I’d explore options for a kid like Soler.

  34. pretty sure Jayson Werth was offered lots of big contracts, but he took the biggest. It was an overpay by a team that won 69 games. A team that was “putting the cart before the horse” because, i dunno, maybe it thinks that these nobodies (Strasburg and Harper) might actually want to win while the Zimmermans can still play or something.

    maybe another team that is in a similar position with all this young talent that is supposedly good, might consider adding a prince fielder-type player to its roster.

  35. (Sorry, just addressing to anywhom, not you LunchBox)

    Bedard signed pretty quickly for some reason. In Pittsburgh of all places for $5 MM. I’ve guessed he did so perhaps because there was very little interest in him. It’s not as though it was his hometown team yada. I noticed Law & Folk have opined that you should not expect more than 120 innings out of him.

  36. Willingham is not the Jays future. He’s nobody’s future. He’s the kind of guy you add for outfield depth if you’re an absolute contender, which we’re not.

  37. You want the full picture? We have no reason to assume the Jays spent more on scouts in 2011 than they did in 2010. What we do know is that they spent less in the draft and in international signings. So yes, expenditures went down.

  38. Well, they didn’t sign their first round pick (Beede) so that’s 2-3 MM decrease. They signed Adeiny Hechavarria previously and didn’t last year, so there’s some drop there, no?

  39. My point exactly. This kid is so busy drinking the Rogers Kool-Aid and calling my accurate description of expenditures “bogus” that he doesn’t even realize they spent LESS on the 2011 draft and international market than they did the year before.

  40. But for reasons that are not nefarious. Agreed, yes? 

  41. Nefarious is an odd word to use there. Nobody has ever implied that AA is purposely holding the Jays back from getting better.

    All I’m saying is that the “Rogers IS spending money meme” loses a lot of wind from its sails when you actually realize that they DECREASED spending from 2010 to 2011.

  42. There’s a massive gaping hole in any arguement that puts forth the equation that more money spent = greater success. Mets, Cubs, White Sox anyone? There have been absolutely no indications that this rebuild isn’t going to be successful because of so called payroll restrictions. Saying as much is pure speculation.

  43. I fail to see how not signing Beede because the amount of $ they would pay him is influenced by a believed shoulder issue is Rogers decreasing spending. I don’t see a big issue with a  decrease in International spending because the ’11 total comes after a big commitment was made to Hechavarria the year previously.

  44. Straw man alert. Nobody said spending more = greater success. I said AA’s job would be a lot easier if he had more resources to work with.

  45. Spending less on the draft and international signings is decreased spending. You can come up with all the reasons for it that you want, it’s irrelevant.

    “also before you make bogus claims about payroll being down 12%. why not factor in the extra money put in to international signings, drafting, and scouting, which all dont show up on a major league payroll.”

    I mentioned the decreased spending to directly counter this point by Lunchbox45. He claims extra money was put into those areas. I pointed out that’s absolutely false. End of story.

  46. You’re not exactly building a case with bricks and mortar my friend. There is absolutely no proof that budgetary restrictions are holding Anthopolous back from doing exactly what he wants.   

  47. Spending less on the draft and international signings is decreased spending. You can come up with all the reasons for it that you want, it’s irrelevant.

    Right. Got it. You want to believe or imply it’s because of cutbacks, when in fact it could be due to something obvious and completely sensible…Or perhaps this isn’t one of those days where ‘Rogers are handicapping Anthopoulos’ But that’s the tone I was reading earlier today.

    I’m not supporting the ‘payroll monies being shoveled into draft/Int. signings’ what not. Completely separate from what I was underlining in your comments.

  48. Are you retarded bro? NYJ is saying Rogers spent less on the draft and international signings in 2011 than 2010. That’s it.

  49. True.. But bedard was far from a top free agent…

    I would have loved bedard on the jays..

    I’m not being apologist , I just dont by the oh we should have signed pujols and Cj , Rogers is cheap!

  50. Thanks fuck you. 

  51. Exactly,

    The spend money for the sake of it crowd..

    If there’s no international fa available?.. That’s ok, give 10 million to some Dominican kid just because

  52. How is it a bummer offseason when we have a good bullpen now? 

    I would still bet on another move or two before opening day. No way all of Thames, Snider, Davis and Francisco are on the team in April.  

  53. he’s implying more than that douche bag 

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