McGowan Madness Follow-Up

Greetings from one of history’s greatest monsters! You know, one of those heartless assholes who sat down in a podcast studio yesterday– like we’ll be doing on a regular basis when major news breaks this season– to remark on just how odd it was that the Jays would bother signing a guaranteed deal for 2013 and 2014 with a pitcher who has thrown all of 21 big league innings since 2008.

This wholly benign and perfectly reasonable confusion has led to a tidal wave of froth coming at Parkes, Drew and I, for reasons that I can’t quite understand either– at least when they emanate from anyone who was able to comprehend what fans’ reaction would have been if the Baltimore OriLOLes had done a thing like this.

Compounding the confusion is the fact that I still actually feel the need to write about this, a deal which we acknowledged from the get-go was rather insignificant, monetarily– rather insignificant, monetarily he repeated for the umpteenth goddamn time– but was the result of processes that very obviously resonate better with fans overly hopeful that all will be right with a pitcher with so much unrealized potential than those of us who look at the should-be-completely-uncontroversial observation that 30-year-old pitchers who are trying to come back from a pair of rotator cuff surgeries have a ridiculously low success rate and say, yep, that makes sense.

Or… actually, I guess I know why I feel the need to keep writing about it: because I can’t escape this story, on Twitter, and especially in the comments of yesterday’s posts.

Yet in some minds we’re the ones forcing the issue, devoting far too much attention to something that we fully acknowledge is pretty trivial.

SIGH.

No. It’s just there has been so much incoherent pushback on this that it kinda blows my fucking mind, and I’m having a really difficult time letting it go by unnoticed. It’s about the money and not the term and the timing? We’re basing all this on one Keith Law scouting report from one three-inning start? We’re underselling the value of showing faith in a player? We haven’t seen his medicals or him pitching this spring, so we should shut the fuck up and fall in line?

My god, people. We all recognize that, at its very worst, this deal is hardly likely to ever have any kind of tangible impact on future transactions the club wants to make– save for maybe the odd bit of maneuvering at the very bottom of the roster, which isn’t nothing, but hardly qualifies as an outrage. That’s not the point.

What’s interesting about the deal, and worth questioning and debating, is the fact that the Jays have done something rather counterintuitive here by– again– guaranteeing a contract for the 2013 and 2014 seasons to a player they already control and who has pitched only 21 MLB innings since 2008.

We’ve heard a lot of interesting takes on why that might be. In fact, in the post I wrote about it, I wondered if this was indicative of a new paradigm in baseball, where what once was money allocated to the draft is being repurposed as the new CBA incentivises clubs to invest more in their big league roster. Others have suggested that it doesn’t need to be viewed any differently than a $3.5-million 1-year extension, with the added benefit of gaining extra team control and a show of faith in the player. Others still wonder if it will prevent clubs from claiming McGowan on waivers if the Jays ever feel the need to send him down, or if it might be a way to keep McGowan from filing a grievance if the Jays want to make some creative use of the DL.

All of these notions may be flawed, but they’re interesting and constructive to discuss.

What’s not interesting to talk about– yet not worth quietly swallowing, either– are those views that we need to shut up, not worry about it, admit that because everybody says so we’re wrong, stop griping about money that isn’t ours, stop telling us how unlikely it is he’ll be able to stay healthy, and just accept it, because the front office knows better than we do.

I don’t think I should have to explain to anyone why that’s so.

So… that’s where we’re at. It’s not nearly so far apart as all the histrionics might make it appear, I don’t think.

Comments (83)

  1. To tell the truth, if the Orioles signed a similar deal with Rich Harden, I would probably say “meh, $1.5M per year flier, roster spots aren’t guaranteed, no big deal.”

    Over and above the semantics of all this, I can’t help but notice that you dudes seem so offended and put-out by the pushback… when, let’s be honest, you knew damn well that this pushback was coming…. and dare I say it, you (intentionally?) stoked the fire even more with the impromptu podcast.

    I’m certainly not outraged by your take on all this, even if ithink it’s a trivial deal not worth the hysteria in the first place, but your outrage over the outrage seems…. curious.

    • It’s because the pushback has been asinine, frankly. And thanks for contributing to it.

      Impromptu podcasts are a new and to-be frequent feature. We didn’t get together and dream up some way to get people extra outraged. Jesus.

      • Well then, all that’s left is for you to call me “Champ” and I think we’re all set.

      • Your opinion is fine by me, and I tend to agree this signing seems to go against the way they do things in general and I was quite surprised when I first heard about it

        You’re making way too much out of this.. It’s sort of like waiting in line at the grocery store and the woman infront of you refuses to leave because she thinks the cashier short changed her a quarter. Bad metaphor, I’m aware, but I think you get the point.

        I’m not sure why you’re still going on about it.

      • Stoeten, be reasonable, man. Speaking personally, it’s simply a difference of opinion, and not every conversation revolving around disagreement or “point-counterpoint” is an attack on you or your views… or intended to “contribute to it”.

        • Good point. There is no need for Stoeten & Parkes to get upset at the backlash from fans.

          Dutin’s recovery is almost a miracle& it’s pretty cheap to keep him around for a couple of years.

          If we get 200 innings of 4 ERA that’s not so bad.

          I would rather watch him pitch than Jo Jo, Trevor Miller ( DFA’d again) Dana Eveland etc…

        • Not that I really want to revisit this again since all valid points that need to be made have been indeed made,

          I think it’s worth noting though that even now, you’re painting the picture that we think you’re “heartless assholes” who don’t care about this good story in Dustin McGowan, which you are characterizing that’s the beef that most of the commenters here have with you. I don’t agree.

          I actually don’t really care about the narrative and in many cases, most of the comments that have been written have been about the analysis which I think all three of you value the most, just as much as we do and very little about the fact that you are assholes for denying McGowan the money or trust or whatever the hell some dumbasses think he deserves.

          Correct me if I’m wrong but most of the comments were just the counterpoints to your arguments made throughout this blog, in the comments section, in the podcast and over at GB. There’s no need to characterize it as some sort of backlash or outrage.

          The collective commenters here just happen to disagree with you and simply furthered the discourse. There’s no need to take offense to most of the comments that disagree with you.

          Of course, the dicks, douches and jerks will always be around, but i think it’s the environment that both of the blogs kind of cultivate. DJF is supposed to be unapologetically and bluntly critical when criticism is called for.

          And unfortunately (and fortunately) the commenters here are no different.

      • This editorial group simply defines assinine as pushback against them. Childish, particularly when you consider how little value most readers surely place on the editorial contribution here. Thank God for you folks we perceive value from the aggregation services and the other commenters.

    • Same. That’s probably the Orioles equivalent to this deal and I wouldn’t view it as a bad one. Everyone’s quick to say “haha oriLOLes” and all that but this wouldn’t be it.

      • Yeah I have no idea why, for the 2nd time, Stoeten says “if the Orioles did it we’d laugh at them”. It’s as though he’s implying there is zero rationale behind AA’s decision. That it is somehow indefensible. I don’t know why else he’d bring Baltimore into this.

  2. Meh…

  3. geeze you could have just used preparation-H and just saved your self a half hour of trying to justifying your opinion. If we agreed with everything you said we would be no better than the maple dick loving homers you accuse a lot of people of being.

    • I’d just like people to comprehend what I’m saying before vehemently disagreeing with it. Obviously this was necessary.

      • That’s just the thing. It’s hard for people to comprehend your take on it because it’s blatantly contradictory. You say it’s not a big deal, but then you turn around and talk about how bad of a deal it was. If it’s not a big deal then how bad can it actually be?

        You mention how they guaranteed money to a pitcher who has barely pitched for years. While that’s of course true, they didn’t offer him much money. It’s not like they’re out 10 million if his shoulder blows up again. It seems to me to be a fairly low risk move that has the potential to pay off if he can give us 300 innings of decent production.

  4. I think the story is far more interesting in what it tells us about what the coaches, scouts, medical people and player development staff are see in him. We don’t get that kind of information out here in TV land, and whatever they know, it flies in the face of the stats we can see.

  5. Interesting that you’ve poured so much energy into something that is pretty benign, as you admit.

    Some considerations:
    1) Yes, this isn’t a lot of money. It’s hardly a footnote in their spending and even with a low probability of Dustin being a starter let alone a relief pitcher, it’s not the worst spending.

    2) It does send a signal to other clubs, players and current Blue Jays that the team does right by them. Screwing around someone doesn’t earn you any favours and given Jays being in a different country in a terrible ball park (turf vs grass, home run park, AL East batters) they can’t afford to create new reasons not to be a Blue Jay. (I personally don’t hate Skydome just echoing that we do lose free agents because of it).

    3) The idea that they could just wait and see with Dustin implies that his value doesn’t change dramatically as they observe him this year. If he flames out, his value is close to zero. If he is even reasonable as a 4th / 5th starter , he’s likely a $4M+ / yr pitcher on free market. At the end of a good year, you are not signing him for less than that $4M mark. Waiting is a gamble as much as signing now.

    4) And perhaps most importantly, this deal may have already been in the works for weeks and perhaps even partially signed by one party. The timing is odd but it’s not reasonable to imply that they went from not thinking about a deal to signed in the time between the foot injury start and the date it went public.

    • To point two, I don’t buy the notion that this is doing right by McGowan and anything else is screwing him around. Had they waited out the year, they wouldn’t have fostered any ill will whatsoever, I am very confident.

      To point three, I think you’re underselling the potential of him flaming out, but that’s not what I mean when I question the timing. They could have seen more of him, I believe, before going this route. Given his injury history, that seems to me like it would have been the prudent move.

      And to point four, I entirely agree.

      • Point three is what this whole things boils down to. Quibble about fans being too optimistic but the whole thing is about protecting a POTENTIAL asset in a contract year.

        Timing is a legitimate argument. I’m guessing management felt that if he comes back merely as a moderate back end pitcher, that free agent dollars on the open market could be much higher than just locking him up after seeing him get through games in spring training. That doesn’t include that small possibility that he returns successfully and costs the club large amounts to retain or worst case scenario, goes to a higher bidder.

        And he could totally flame out, but the investment is so low that it doesn’t matter.

        • And people probably are overreacting to your assessment, myself included. I’m guessing a lot of that had to do with the tone in that podcast which was rather ugly.

      • Had they waited the year, they don’t get him anywhere close to 1.5M. I think it’s this point that you’re not considering heavily enough.

        What is the probability you put on him being an average 4th / 5th starter? What is the value of the average 4th / 5th starter? The rest is math.

        At 1.5M per year for his contract and may guess that average would be about 4M, AA gave him a 30% chance to return. I think it’s a bit steep but it’s not crazy.

        The timing of now versus waiting is all about the degree of risk. If you wait and see, you have zero upside and zero downside and you’re just getting a free agent pitcher. if you sign now, you have high upside, high downside.

        Personally, I completely get where they were coming from.

      • Late post, and ancient history, but Jays had a similar situation with Al Lieter and after a log rehab, then some good starts, we lost him to free agency. To a lesser extent (cause hindsight is 20/20) we lost AJ Bernett (we wanted him to stay at the time).

        • To conclude, the contract means that a healthy Dustin doesn’t bolt….yes just imagine 4 years of a healthy McGowan. Or we lose a three million on guy who can’t get healty. Guys like Dustin don’t come along every day. A roll of the dice, but AA is the Man in charge….go AA!

          • As for the timming, it was reassuring that AA did it at a time when Jays fans are all thinking “oh no, not again – another McGowan injury. Hype on top of a great Spring record. Announcing it in April, is that a bigger bang for the buck?

  6. In the end, none of this really matters, as you mention. But I don’t think this contract is as bad as you make it out to be, simply because of McGowan’s upside. If he (somehow, I’m not saying it’ll happen) comes back to be the same pitcher this year that he was before the injuries, he’ll enter free agency looking for more than $1.5 million. And considering the Jays have stuck with McGowan throughout the whole recovery process, I’m pretty sure the last thing they would want would be to lose a healthy McGowan to free agency. What’s the risk? $3 million guaranteed over 2 years? Not a big deal, considering that if he does anything this year, he’s only going to get more expensive.

    Plus there’s all that “taking care of your players” stuff, if that means anything

    • Exactly. They have been paying him while he was on rehab plus another 600K this year or so. Why not protect your investment.?

      Was AA around when they let Carpenter go? If not, he must have earned a lesson from what happened to him.

  7. I’m assuming AA didn’t need to make a case to Beeston on this expenditure?

  8. I find it most amusing that people would have you shut up about such a topic when it’s one of the more interesting ones of the spring to talk about. In general if you guys weren’t here to post or pose questions what would be the point? Every discussion needs a starting point doesn’t it?.

    As I’ve stated before I think this is the next best way to put the extra dollars to use. Again there’s risks but there’s risks in healthy first round draft choices being busts too. Using FanGraphs methodology, McGowan really needs to produce little for the deal to provide value. As with stock traders, those that try to squeeze every last cent out of a rising stock usually end up getting slaughtered in the end. This was just the Jays setting themselves up for a nice return down the road imo. I am sure AA would be the first to tell you he could have squeezed McGowan into signing for less if he really wanted to and more than anything it seems because he didn’t that’s what you and Parkes have the most problem with. It certainly is a fine line for a GM to walk especially a GM that has let first round picks walk because of wanting more than what the GM’s perceived value is for a certain player.

    • Fair points all, though I don’t know if Parkes and my objections are as much about squeezing more from McGowan as getting more data on him, at very little cost, if any, before deciding to go through with the deal. I’d hope that’s their mentality for any deal, large or small.

      • The lack data is a fair argument and without question the lack of actual results does pose some risk but I imagine they are figuring that if the medicals are up to snuff the results will follow on their own.

      • Every obseration costs money because his value moves up if he does well. If he has a great April, he’s not signing for the same amount. If does poorly, he’s signing for less.

        You may be less risk adverse which is cool but it also means you have a lower upside.

        Jays can’t buy certainty. They need to take smart gambles on high upside players because certainty is out of the jays price range.

      • thats a valid point of view, but we’re risking peanuts… they always say the difference between us and the rays is we can afford to re-sign our players, so dont sweat it – this isnt a move that prohibits them from doing anything else ever – which would be the only reason parkes or yourself are outraged by it.

  9. Lol Stoeten cut your losses and shut-up. Its obvious that people think your argument against this deal is ridiculous. If McGowan works out people will not forget your ranting and raving about this, then you will look like an idiot. The team has the medical records and they must be happy with the way things are progressing. This is not a team that is carelessly throwing money around so they must be seeing things that we don’t.

    • Thanks for not reading the post.

      • Oh I read your post and your explanation of your ridiculous argument is ridiculous. Look how much money free agent pitchers are getting these days, this small financial risk they are taking is nothing in comparison.

        You don’t have the medical records. If the current medical records showed a faulty shoulder, the Jays would not be making this deal.

        • obviously the shouder is healthy right now, which means nothing. lets see how its doing after 50-100 innings in

    • Stoeten is a piece of shit. There’s your answer, look a t how this baby cried like a bitch when peop le told him what a retard he is. Look no f urther than that

  10. It certainly seems like a smarter risk than the $10 million 4 year deal for Hechevarria in 2010. He hadn’t put in any major league innings.

    • Indeed it certainly goes to show that known quantities – even if they have injuries, are just as likely to be risks as most prospects are. It’s just another way baseball is similar to trading penny stocks imo, buy 10 and hope that 2 turn out to be winners.

    • Touche! Is Hech going to be a mid season call up for injury?

  11. A story about the response to a previous story isn’t really a story.

    • Really? It goes on all the time. A story on the response to a story is one of the most common stories. Look at all that has been written about the response to Rush Limbaugh’s opinions.

  12. I think the team is taking a small gamble that McGowan will have a decent year. Decent enough that, if they took a wait and see approach which you and Parkes recommend, they would end up giving him a larger contract than this one.

    And Dustin, of course, will sign this because it’s guaranteed money if his arm does explode and candy rains from the cavity.

    This is definitely a goodwill contract for both parties. I really don’t see why this has warranted 5 posts over the two blogs. There are whiny know-it-alls everywhere and you can’t convince them to see your side of every argument.

    Moving on…

  13. While I disagreed with the main points of the podcast, I am certainly not outraged by them and I can see why the McGowan deal should be scrutinized even though I’m completely in favour of it. I do, however, find Parkes’ need to mention the fact that McGowan has diabetes utterly ridiculous. It was the weakest, least relevant and ignorant remark of the entire podcast in my opinion, and I’m amazed that he actually brought it up.

    Generally speaking, I disagree with a fair number of your points, Stoeten, but I agree with many others and for the most part I think you’re excellent at what you do. Parkes, on the other hand, comes across more and more as a cheapshot artist. I think perhaps his attitude (condescending and insensitive as usual lately) fanned the flames a little bit yesterday.

  14. Too much writing about a deal that’s rather insignificant monetarily!

  15. I don’t necessarily get the argument that this is “doing right by McGowan.” It’s really only doing right by him if he flames out–if he is successful, he could earn much more on the open market. McGowan seems to be sacrificing control for a guaranteed payday, which probably says something about where he and his agent think his comeback may end up.

    It’s definitely a small investment, but I agree with Parkes’ comments from his back and forth with Wilner on Twitter yesterday…both the odds of getting a reward and the potential magnitude of that reward seem low to me. Is it at all possible that this might be about trade value? That is, if he succeeds at the ML level this year, is he more attractive as trade bait with his current contract structure (i.e. more years of relatively inexpensive team control) than as an impending free agent?

    • trade value goes hand in hand with value to the team. The deal locks McGowan up at a small cost in case he becomes an asset

      • True enough, but I find it difficult to believe that he’ll become enough of an asset to justify him having a rotation spot ahead of Drabek, Carreno, or some of the other young talent further down the pipe in a year’s time. I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but right now I just don’t see it.

  16. Everyone hop off Stoeten’s nuts. I don’t comment on here normally just read but in the podcast thread he CLEARLY explained that he meant the terms and timing were the issue in question not the money. Not sure how many Leafs fans are here but John Michael Liles got extended in the midst of an injury and came back not the same player, granted a concussion is different than plantar fasciatis. It just doesn’t make sense when they could have played it out a few months before making this decision, regardless of how well he pitched those first few months would not have caused his value to skyrocket. Podcast was jokes keep it up homies

    • “regardless of how well he pitched those first few months would not have caused his value to skyrocket. Podcast was jokes keep it up homies”

      Regardless of how he pitched? You sure you want to stick with that?

      He’s in a contract year, if he pitched to a 2 era, however unlikely, for the first three months, you would NOT get McGowan at 1.5 on an extension. That number would be laughed out of the room by his agent.

      • But at that point you could make a better judgement if he was for real if his arm was going to fall off. Regardless everyone just needs to chill on this whole thing and hope it pans out as AA expects it to.

        • or if his arm*

        • I agree that inflammatory comments are pointless and I certainly hope that McGowan pans out and both gets his career back and returns value to the club. In terms of hoping the deal works out to compensate for the risk of giving him guaranteed years/cash, it’s so small that it really shouldn’t weigh on the mind.

    • This deal is all about timing for the Jays. If he has a productive first few months they would never get him for what they just paid. They obviously believe that he is going to be productive this year.

      If they believe that McGowan is healthy, adding a few years is smart because they know the talent is there.

      The amount of money risked here is insignificant when compared to the potential payoff.

      I guess in the end Stoeten does not see the potential that we all are seeing in McGowan.

    • It could be that the deal was signed a day before the planter fasciatis

  17. For what it’s worth at this point – AA Speaks:
    http://www.thestar.com/iphone/Sports/article/1152473

    One interesting point in there I didn’t read here was that if they were in for one year, they had to be in for two since they will be controlling his innings this year. Makes some sense of signing for two years at least.

  18. If Rogers got a nickel for every text message, tweet or post to this blog about the McGowan deal, they would have $3 million . . . . hey, what ??. . . . . .

  19. Also haven’t checked if this was posted on Getting Blanked but it’s hilarious nonetheless
    http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/article/1152052–minor-league-guy-on-third-turns-out-to-be-a-st-louis-cardinals-top-prospect

  20. Loving the drama

  21. I think you also have to take into account that this is a guy drafted by Ash who has been in the Jays’ org longer than anyone else, and he is probably at least somewhat inspirational to other pitchers that go through injuries. This isn’t a journeyman that was shown the door like a Shawn Camp. Dusty is staying in the fold.

    Also not considered is that Dusty’s camp may have said privately that they wouldn’t discuss extensions during the season. Then the Jays would have to deal with him after the year as a free agent. This is something a lot of players do (as a bargaining tactic).

  22. I still don’t understand this whole thing. It was a little strange but I see the reasoning behind it. I just think people took extreme views because it’s the end of March and we are all bored shitless and now everyone is trying to defend their initial reactions.

  23. Stoeten it’s that you, Parkes and Drew are making poor points. There were numerous good points in the podcast and your following write-ups.

    On the podcast, however, there is virtually no recognition that, you know, maybe AA actually had valid reasons for doing this now as opposed to waiting.

    Numerous people have mentioned it, and this should be obvious, but if McGowan performs well the pricetag goes up quite a bit. He’s not signing a 2 year $3.5 million deal if he performs well.

    The argument the three of you posed in regards to waiting and paying once he shows some ability to perform is valid. But acting like it’s the only way to view the situation is myopic.

    Again, TBay didn’t wait to see Longoria and Moore perform in the majors for a long period of time before locking them up. AA didn’t wait for a 2nd year of data before locking up Bautista and saved himself $100+ million in all likelihood. If he had waited a 2nd year and lost Bautista, it would have been a “defensible” move, butif it would have greatly hurt the franchise.

    Yes, McGowan is different because of the health, but it’s the same risk/reward concept. AA is working with more data than we have (i.e. medicals and numerous scouting reports). And McGowan’s contract is a relative pittance compared to Bautista, for example.

    In his presser today, AA gave the exact reasons some of your commenters gave as to why he made the move. And he added that the 2nd guaranteed year was his request because it’s going to take time to build McGowan’s innings up and AA felt he needed that extra year for all the time/effort he’s investing.

    Granted, on your actual posts and comment threads you have expressed more open-mindedness…

    • like

    • Very good post. I do think the new CBA forces AA to spend less on acquiring draft picks & more on keeping existing players.

      Also pitching is very expensive in free agency or prospects you have to give up.

      • And, quite frankly, everything is a risk. It’s just that this is a visible risk.

        At the time, an invisible risk was JP Ricciardi not agreeing to trade Jose Cruz Jr for David Wright. It later became visible, assuming what Keith Law said is true.

        AA has shown he has no problem taking unpopular risks. Examples include the Bautista extension, Wallace for Gose and Marcum for Lawrie.

        A willingness to take risks against the common perception doesn’t necessarily make AA a good GM. But it shows he’s willing to do what he feels is right for the organization regardless of how the transaction is received.

        Also, the first line of my above post should be “Stoeten it’s *not* that you, Parkes and Drew are making poor points”…

  24. For McGowan to become worth that $1.5M in 2013, he needs to put up a 0.338235 fWAR. With a full year between now and then to work on his endurance, command, and control, he should easily become worth that money.

    For comparison, McGowan had negative value in his brief 2011 stint, but was still worth $300k, half of what he’s making in 2011.

    The length of the contract is perfect for what he will be making. I know Rogers comes off as cheap fucks (I don’t think they are… yet) but a salary increase of $900k really isn’t that big of a deal. If that $4MM option was guaranteed, you may then be on to something Stoeten.

    Another way to look at it is they could have paid Beede the $2.5MM to spend 4-5 years in the minors, or spend a small percentage of it for a pitcher who has the same talent, has major league experience, and could be ready in less than 6 months (to get back to his former self).

  25. Man the season can’t start soon enough.

  26. You can let us in on the ruse now. You, Drew and Parkes just unveiled your Wrestlemania personas yesterday right – the diabetes-hating, kitten-stomping Legion of Doom, egging on the crowd to foam at the mouth and tear their hair out trying to launch baseballs at your heads as you enter the cage. This is all some Score-WWE tie-in, right??

  27. April 1st, Miami, on, wait, what Rogers PPV???

  28. I feel like in everyone’s need to say yay or nay on whether this deal was a good idea or not, the real story here may be getting missed.

    For most of the time, the McGowan will be back narrative seemed like a pipe dream, but in the past year it seems to be becoming more and more likely. And this is the biggest step yet, showing us that the Blue Jays themselves, who know more about this then any of us, even if they may be inclined to look a bit on the rose-coloured side of things truly believe Dustin McGowan will be back as a valuable starter for this club.

    And as far as I’m aware this is the first true confirmation of this. Up until now there has been nothing to really show us the Jays confidence, other than words and keeping him around on the 40-man roster all this time. But if the Jays believe he can start without falling to little pieces each time he pitches, I have much more hope for his future than I ever did before.

    • I think this hits it on the head. My guess is that several of the baseball illuminati (Parkes, Stoeten, et al.) on this site took Klaw/Griffin/Wilner’s fairly certain stance on McGowan never being a factor as gospel not just this season, but in many of the seasons. Now that it’s getting pretty likely he’ll return the “ecred” of these same individuals is taking a bit of a hit.

      As long as Dustin was a cheap why not kind of story they could surreptitiously ignore the story and simply wait for it to become a feel good/never was they thought it would be. Now that he is signed they must needs address the injury risk they all feel is a sunk cost since they believe his value is next to nil–he’s only a “bonus”/lucky player at this point.

      Those people who believed Dustin wasn’t done and used their own eyes and ears in terms of watching him throw low to mid nineties last year and his recuperation process go swimmingly believe he has a shot.

      I suppose both sides have a point but the risk reward argument seems to trump the “they could have waited”. Because if they had waited, and then he even pitched like a month of dedent outings, it was going to cost much much more.

  29. I’m just praying for something meaningful to happen so we can move on from a borderline meaningless move.

  30. One thing to keep in mind is that we’re not looking at someone who needs to take whatever he can get – he’s made a few million already throughout his career, so while this is a nice cushion for him, he’s not living in poverty.

    Now, in order to gather more data, they’d need to push closer to his free agency. If you’re McGowan, right now, and you’ve banked a few million throughout your career, and you have a chance to double your career earning knowing that it’ll probably be your last contract, would you take it? Of course you would – you’ve been hurt so much and have no idea how your arm will hold out, and a season is a long time. On the other hand, if you pitch for half the season at a decent level, are feeling good, suddenly you’re looking at only making it through another half season, and have more confidence in your chances of doing so. You know that this offseason, should you stay healthy, will likely be your only chance at significantly improving your earning potential. Is half a season a risk worth taking for what will likely be your one chance at free agency? Perhaps.

    On the other hand, even if he goes a portion of the season without incident, how much is that data worth to the Jays? Does 50-100 healthy innings make him much less of a risk going forward? I’m not so sure it does. It might make people outside the organization feel better about his health, but he’s risky, and he’ll be risky regardless of how well he starts out. That’s not to say extra data wouldn’t give any indication of risk, but because of McGowan’s particular status (both his risk and his earnings to date) I could see his leverage going up considerably in the amount of time it would take to get even a slightly better picture of his health than they have now.

    Essentially, they’re betting on him providing about a half year of league average pitching in the 2013 to 2014 period. If they feel he still has upside, that’s a small bar he’ll need to clear in order to take a chance on that upside. There’s a high bust chance, but he doesn’t even need to stay particularly healthy or pitch all that well to provide surplus value here.

  31. I think what should be clear is that this kind of “instant reaction” podcast is probably not the greatest idea. Basically, what yesterday’s off-the-cuff remarks amounted to was a lot of agreeing with each other and not-fully thought out statements.

    I figured this would be true, which is why I didn’t listen to the podcast at first. Once I saw the blow-back, I thought to see how bad it was for myself. I don’t even disagree with what you guys said, but I certainly didn’t like this kind of podcast.

    Frankly, I don’t think there’s much point to record a podcast if there isn’t any debate and there isn’t anything prepared. Just put up a post.

    I mean this in a polite way, but, if this first instant reaction is indicative of what to expect from them, I won’t be a listener.

  32. Stoten, will you be doing a pre game or post game podcast every game or will it just be “breaking news ” podcasts this season?

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