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.
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.