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I must admit, I felt kinda bad when I teased about dipping into the ol’ Griff Bag last week, and then didn’t follow through. So this time, I decided to get started on it early, and keep plugging away at this tortuously-long edition until I was done. So here we go with another hijacking of Richard Griffin’s mail bag from the Toronto Star.

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers.

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I want to get an understanding of the McGowan’s contract. Kudos to him for showing such determination and “no quit” attitude. Did AA sign him so that he wouldn’t possibly botch or pull a Ricciardi like losing Chris Carpenter? Also, with the guaranteed contract can he still be sent down (options)? That’s what I really want to know. When and if Dustin makes his first start this season I’ll be there to give him a standing O!

Sincerely,

Kam H, Richmond Hill

The McGowan contract is certainly not indefensible, but it’s more than a little bit odd– even at such a low figure–  that the club chose to extend a player who has experienced so many injuries, and hasn’t yet given any indication that his body can hold up to the rigors of pitching every fifth day. He threw only 21 not-great innings in the Majors last year, and 35.1 between Dunedin and New Hampshire, and why they felt that, plus what they saw this spring, was enough– especially with the deal being finalized after he sustained an injury that we now are hearing will keep him out until May– to justify a contract like this, I don’t know.

Fans seem to love the deal, because they want to believe in McGowan’s great comeback story, and because of all sorts of absurd, quaint notions about rewarding his determination– as though the $1.97-million he made from 2008 to 2012 wouldn’t have done that– or making a statement to players and agents around the league that the Jays take care of their own, not grasping that the other side of such a statement– that the club willfully mismanages resources for the sake of being nice– isn’t quite so attractive.

Again, though, it’s a tiny portion of the budget, and it’s not like there isn’t a chance that the deal works out well for the club, it’s just that that chance could have been far better gauged, in my view, with data accumulated as McGowan’s 2012 season progressed. And I would have been fine with the club paying more if he had shown he could stay healthy and perform.

That said, it’s potentially money that, in one view, would have otherwise been unused thanks to the spending limits on draft picks and international free agents in the league’s news collective bargaining agreement with the players, so it’s hard to get too worked up about– y’know, unless people start twisting themselves in knots trying to escape the fact that if the Orioles had done a deal like this we’d be pissing ourselves laughing at them over it. Then it’s real easy.

McGowan is out of options, and would have to pass through waivers to be sent down, FYI.

 

Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

Why has there been no movement on MLB Network coming to Canada? It would be such a benefit to the popularity of both MLB and the Blue Jays here in Canada… and would be especially great for those of us who don’t want to sit through 25 minutes of hockey coverage to see a few minutes of baseball highlights on the major sports networks. I know there are CRTC regulations to consider, but the NFL Network has been able to make its way here. When will they show us baseball fans the same respect?

Ian Murray, Toronto

Rogers has the rights to put the MLB Network on air, but they either don’t want to, or there’s some kind of issue with shoehorning can-con into it. I’m not a cable TV person, so I really haven’t bothered thinking about it more than that. You can get highlights on the internet now, I’ve heard.

 

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

Should we be worried about Colby Rasmus’ spring? BTW, I can’t help but notice a change in your optimism. You know it’s just spring training, but the kid in you seems to think this team may just compete!

Ryan B., Toronto

Q-If Colby Rasmus continues this spring as he did last year, will he be the Jays’ centre fielder for the whole season? Would Anthony Gose be ready to replace him?

Tom Lurvey, Winnipeg

Rasmus will be given a shit-tonne of rope, as he absolutely, unequivocally should. For shit sakes, Adam Lind has gotten away with being terrible for two seasons and fans are ready to Rasmus out of town after a couple listless months. I don’t know for a fact that he’ll be fine, obviously, but the odds are still in his favour, given what he was able to do at age 23 in 2010. Even if he’s the same guy he was pre-trade last year, and he’ll be providing above average production for a CF.

I can’t wait for Gose either, but by all reports there’s still a lot of refinement needed there– with his two strike approach, in particular. He sounds exciting as fuck, but he’s still raw, and I can’t imagine him being up before the All-Star break, even if Rasmus is all kinds of awful.

 

Q-What year did the Blue Jays have their last winning Grapefruit League season? Please tell me it was in the early 90′s, if you catch my drift.

Ronnie Lucas, Belleville

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten.

Hope this isn’t a dumb question but I’ll ask it anyway does the current spring training record mean for the Jays with respect to the regular season? Are they peaking early or is this a good thing and what are the benefits? I asked my buddies the question, it has us all scratching our heads.

Alex Glowach, St. Albert

Spring Training records mean next-to-nothing. I can’t quite say “nothing”– there have been a couple interesting blog posts this spring exploring the topic, coming to the conclusion, as far as I recall, that there’s a minimal correlation (good teams do tend to win games, exhibition or otherwise)– but… it’s meaningless. Forget it.

 

Q-Long time reader, and I will throw a few short thoughts to you.

If Lind isn’t the guy at first, why not move one of the two catchers over a la Delgado, then you wouldn’t have to lose either and both can become integral parts.

Adeiny should get a look with the big club if Johnson stumbles in April, let him have a month and see if there is anything he can adjust in June in Vegas.

Good to limit the innings of the kids in the minors so that they have bullets, will they do this for Kyle as well?

Snider or Thames? Who will be a Jay in 2013 if you only keep one.

Ian Serota, Thornhill

Oh for crying out Jesus. There is absolutely no way that Hechavarria, who has never shown he can hit his way out of a paper bag, should be up any time soon, and Johnson should have infinitely more rope than the end of April– look at his numbers from 2007, 2008 and 2010. He’s a nice hitter.

As for moving a catcher to first base, I hear a lot of this, and it’s ridiculous. JP Arencibia has nice power, and over time should cut down on his strikeouts and improve his walk rate, but he just has such a long way to go to even be an average first baseman– or a DH, with Edwin Encarnacion moving to first– that it just isn’t a realistic possibility.

The median wOBA among regulars at both positions last year was .350. Arencibia’s .309 would have ranked him ahead of only Hideki Matsui at DH, and Aubrey Huff and Juan Rivera at first base. The decent guys at those positions are 50- and 60-points of wOBA ahead of him or more.

The Jays could do better on the field, and they could better manage the asset that is Arencibia by trading him. The offensive bar is set far lower for catchers, and a guy with his bat, and the years of team control left, would be useful to a lot of teams.

 

Q-Richard Stoeten,

Just got back from Tampa after spending 4 days there watching the Jays, getting some sun and the occasional adult beverage (the 99 cent beers at the Tilted Kilt is no joke). Even saw you a couple times and was thinking I should say hi, but decided against it. Hard to believe someone has to work in that stadium when it is so amazing just to be a fan.

Is Rasmus going to pick it up? He seemed to be the only guy who wasn’t hitting the ball the past 4 days, and as we sat there and watched him he reminded us of Rios, seems like he has potential, but has defintiely not put it together. Any chance he flames out this year and the team makes a move, to either Gose or someone else to fill the gap? Love your writing, thanks,

Bryan Chandler, Ottawa

Rasmus has looked shitty, yes. It’s Spring Training. It’s nothing to worry about. Jesus.

And holy shit, the beers in Florida. I was in Daytona like a year ago and stumbled upon a bar whose Thursday night special was Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys for 75 cents. SEVENTY FIVE CENTS! The mind boggles.

 

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

Love the blog! Two questions. First, I loved the way Snider and Thames performed this spring, and I’m sure the brass was too. Everyday I check the papers thinking that I am going to see one of them traded. I’m even more worried that it will be Snider. Is one of these guys trade bait right now? Second, I also love the McGowan signing, but is this more of a reward for the work he has put in during comeback, or his he really poised to be a contributer over the next couple of years?

Colin W, Ottawa

I don’t think Snider is going to get traded while his value is so low, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The Jays seem to want to keep him, and stick him in Vegas working on the mechanical adjustments he made this spring, waiting for an opportunity.

What’s to “worry” about, at this point, anyway, really?

As for McGowan’s deal, I think it’s about a lot of things: projecting a certain image to their players, spending a little money to lock up a potentially valuable asset who could walk at the end of this year, and avoiding the distraction that came with it. Personally, I think it’s not tremendously likely that he becomes a major contributor to the club, but I suppose if he was a free agent right now, and they took a flier on him at $3-million, it would be hard to complain. The only thing that irks me about the deal is the fact that they really didn’t need to do it when they did. Oh well…

Shit, maybe the Jays should offer the same extension to Snider– y’know, so they don’t get Brandon Phillips’d.

 

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I like your blog and columns, and, like you, I’m a former Expos fan. I’ll keep them in my heart for quite a bit still, I’m sure. I’m wondering about the somewhat bizarre trend in your columns and blog posts lately of avoiding to name the Dunedin stadium by its current name at any cost (the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium I think it’s called now).

Do you have a specific gripe about the current sponsor? Are you going to start naming Rogers Centre the “stadium formerly known as Skydome”? Let’s see how long it will take Rogers to get nasty with you after trying that kind of stunt a couple of times.

Patrice Maltais, Scarborough

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

It’s nice to have the vicarious thrill of hearing all Spring Training when we can’t make it to Florida. Thanks for the rich commentary. But I’ll bite on one issue: What’s the deal with all of the mentions of “the stadium formerly known as Grant Field”? Is this your personal reference to losing out on the Prince Fielder sweepstakes?

Bryan Willis, Vancouver

Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

Why do you keep mentioning the Jays are playing in a stadium formerly known as Dunedin Stadium? It is akin mentioning the stadium formerly known as the Skydome. Thanks,

Martin Hugh, Toronto

OK, I’ll fess up. I had to read Griff’s answer on this one, because… I have no idea why he was doing this. He explains it better than I could, so you probably should read it too.

“Who knew that my daily spring tribute to ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’ would cause such consternation among readers,” he begins by saying– and I can totally relate. The number of pea brains who came out of the woodwork to protest my frequent use of “So… there’s that” this winter was absolutely shocking.

 

Q-Richard Stoeten,

Something that has bothered me for months is people, some reporters included, talking about Blue Jay starting pitching depth.

While I will concede maybe by 2014 I see the type of depth I like evolving, let me pose the following to you, I will give you Romero (Cy Young candidate I believe). I will also count Morrow although he sure reminds me of a younger A.J. Burnett at this stage of his career. And I will even say Henderson Alvarez appears to be the real deal but what is the track record of big seasons by 21-year-olds?

However Cecil will not make it through the entire season throwing the way he is and I think the Jays know this. McGowan is a great story but best case scenario is he does well and gets shut down at 150 innings and worst case is he blows his arm out…..sadly this can’t be ruled out.

Who is next in line after these two? Kyle Drabek still seems to be struggling with control and I am not even counting mentally. Drew Hutchinson is young and all seem to agree he needs more seasoning?

As much as I love this team I just can’t consider them a serious playoff contender and don’t understand why they were so steadfast that they needed to acquire a number 2 quality starter when frankly I would have been happy acquiring a guaranteed “innings eater” with middle of the road ability?

Thanks ,

Mike Davies, Hespeler

Who has been talking about the club’s pitching depth and what gave you the idea that anybody should consider them a serious playoff contender?

Drabek, I’ll have you know, has been throwing well– in terms of mechanics, and controlling his emotions. And there are guys who’ll be ready to help– Hutchison, McGuire, Jenkins, Carreno– in a couple months or so, if needed, if not sooner. There are quality arms throughout the system, and they could patch together a decent rotation this year, but no, I wouldn’t say they have great depth at the MLB level– Aaron Laffey might get a look, for fuck sakes!– and I don’t know where you would have been hearing that.

 

Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

Big fan of your work and I was wondering If I am the only Jays fan who wants to see Rajai Davis get the bulk of playing time this year over Colby Rasmus.

My only concern here is fielding because we know Rasmus is the much better option defensively. My point is we already have what Rasmus can give us on the team but nobody else offers what Davis has in terms of changing a game with his speed.Also he is a career .274 hitter. I do believe and had an injury-plagued down year last year but also hit .280 and over .300 the previous two seasons in Oakland… I’ll admit there is just something about Rasmus I don’t like. I agree that it was worth taking a chance on him with the trade where we gave up very little and will gladly eat my words if he lives up to his potential but how long of a leash will he get this season because he was absolutely brutal last year even before he hurt his wrist or hand or whatever. Maybe I’m way out to left field on this one you get to see the guys in Spring Training so what are your thoughts…

Chris McMillan, Marsvilles

I’m not even reading this piece of shit beyond your first sentence. Jesus Christ on a crotch, what is wrong with people?

Now, if you want to platoon Davis with Thames, I’m all ears.

 

Q-Dear Richard Stoeten,

I have had just about enough of Adam Lind, especially against left-handed pitching. Is there any indication that if his hitting is not improved by the all-star break that we will see David Cooper, Mike McDade, or Yan Gomes in that position.

Craig Armstrong, Toronto

Yan Gomes? Um… no. Impressive spring, but no. And no, I don’t think Cooper or McDade are Major League first basemen, like… ever. I think Lind’s 2009 was so good that they won’t even take a shot on those guys– Lind’s ceiling is still far higher.

If it’s really an issue, they’ll look outside the organization, I suspect.

 

Q-Greetings Richard Stoeten,

I just finished reading your Q&A from Feb 23 and would like to respond to one of your comments. You had respond to a listener at the time that Encarnacion should be the full-time DH and nothing but that beg to disagree with you but have you ever looked at his career statistics? They are horrid! Have a look at his career statistics from BaseballReference.com and you will see a player who has never had more than 3 good months out of six each year during his 7 years in the Majors. If he was a pitcher I would consider him to be the Josh Towers or Jo-Jo Reyes from the world of DH’s or crap infielders. Please take the time and look then explain to me why you would consider him for something full-time? FYI yes it is friggin cold here in the really far south. I get to have a 20 month straight of winter….Fun Wow!!

Petr Von Rolt, The South Pole Station.

The South Pole? For real? That’s amazing. Your interpretation of Encarnacion’s stats? Er… less so.

You’re right that Encarnacion has had good stretches and bad ones, but even with the disaster that was the start of his 2011 campaign, he posted the fourth-best wOBA on the Jays, behind Bautista, Escobar and Lawrie. If there are players on this club you want to pick on for not having the resume to be a full-timer, this isn’t exactly the place to start.

In fact, Encarnacion is specifically still with the Jays because he’s never quite put a full season together that lives up to what he can do over the course of those hot-hitting months of which you speak. He’s a cheap asset with a good chance to produce a lot of per-dollar value. That’s the way the Blue Jays have to do business.

 

Q-Dear Richard Stoeten,

The Jays are reluctant to send their best young pitchers to Las Vegas for fear of hurting their confidence because the PCL is such a hitters’ league. However, wouldn’t it make sense to at least send their college grads (e.g. Jenkins and McGuire) to Las Vegas to see if they can handle the pressure? In any case, they better find a new AAA site soon since within a year or two they have far too many good young arms to leave them all at AA .

Thanks,

Bill Reynolds, Toronto

Meh. Triple-A affiliates are more like taxi squads for the big league club at this point anyway. A lot of pitchers will make the jump straight from Double-A to the Majors, as Kyle Drabek and Henderson Alvarez did last year.

Plus, the Jays’ PDC with Vegas is up at the end of the year, and I’m sure they’ll do everything in their power to get the fuck out.

 

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I totally understand the concept of options on players and making sure they are managed properly so talent isn’t needlessly lost.

Where I have trouble with AA on this is when he has those conversations with players and tells them that if they were out of options and fighting for a job, they have the inside track. I think that does a disservice to players with options and also doesn’t motivate the ones without options.

I know that in the real world where you and I work, a strategy like that wouldn’t fly.

Whatever happened to putting the best team you have out there? If a player is out of options and there is no place for him, then trade/cut him so that 1) you have the best team on the field, 2) you make the player who worked the hardest to win the job happy 3) you give the player without options another chance to catch on with another team. Your thoughts?

Mat Saturn, Toronto

You eyes say you understand the concept of asset management, but your letter says you totally don’t.

Putting the best team on the field doesn’t necessarily mean putting the best team on the field on Opening Day and running them out there 162 times. All sorts of considerations need to go into constructing the best team over the long haul– and needlessly giving away talented players who are out of options, instead of demoting marginally better replacements who aren’t, isn’t terribly smart. You’ve often got to think about stuff like service time too, before allowing a player with options left to pass someone without them on the depth chart. It’s not like you can never simply cut bait on a guy, but you have to think long-term.

 

Q-Hey Richard Stoeten,

Me, Adam Lind, and Kelly Johnson have a bet going for who you think has the best shot at winning comeback player of the year this year based on what you’ve seen at spring training. It is me right?

Colby Rasmus, Toronto courtesy of M. Siddall

You haven’t actually looked so hot this spring, Colby, from the reports I’ve been hearing, but that doesn’t mean… y’know… anything.

Personally, I don’t think they should bother giving out a Comeback Player of the Year award when all the person is coming back from is his own shittiness. If I was a betting, man, though– and I am– I’d wager on Johnson being strong out of the gate, with Rasmus warming up a little more slowly and maybe turning in the best season of the three by the end, with Lind getting a free pass on account of some bullshit excuse. And I base that, of course, on absolutely nothing.

Comments (54)

  1. I don’t know why I am defending Lind, but he nearly made an all-star last year before getting hurt in the 2nd half. If he gets healthy and gets his confidence back he can easily go .280/30/100, especially if he’s batting 4/5th.

  2. Put on your tin foil hats everyone, here’s my theory:

    McGowan’s foot is perfectly healthy. They need to put a limit on his innings and would rather have him in September than in April.

    • I’m assuming you made the tin foil hat from the foil that all the weed you’ve been smoking came in? lol

    • a win in april is worth as much as a win in september. also in september some of the arms in AA might be ready to eat some innings if guys like McGowan tail off, there might be a trade by then, etc.

      I think there’s zero chance what you suggested is true, but there is a chance that the team is being ultra conservative on McGowan’s health even if his foot injury is unrelated to his arm (shoulder?) problems.

      • I think the issue is the foot injury could become related to shoulder problems if he changes his delivery in any way to compensate for the injured foot– like, if he lands differently, unconsciously, to avoid the pain.

        The suggestion that it’s fake is crazy– and seems to me to be the dream of people who don’t want to stop believing in the comeback.

        • I think the injury is likely real, but I see where they’re coming from. Morrow went through something similar last year when he was out on the DL early, and seemed pretty ticked about it at the time, being quoted as saying he didn’t think he needed to go on.

          Ultimately, it allowed him to finish out the year on the MLB squad rather than being shut down a couple weeks early. It’s pretty easy to have the same line of thinking here, especially with McGowan’s known innings limit.

          He’s going to have to miss time, regardless so I don’t see this as being a huge deal.

        • Don’t stop believing
          Hold on to that fee-ee-ling…

        • I don’t get how thinking the foot injury is fake means you don’t want to stop believing in the comeback.

          If the Jays wanted to limit his IP by keeping McGowan in extended spring, the only way they could get him to agree to that if he was healthy was by giving him an extension. And if they’re going to place a player they just extended on the DL, the best way to shield themselves from any backlash would be to make the injury as minor as possible, unrelated to his arm/elbow.

          And I’m not too optimistic about McGowan’s chances of ever handling a full starter’s workload, so I don’t understand how this ties into blind faith.

    • Actually, I thought the exact same thing, except that his injury is real but minor enough the play through. I wouldn’t put it past AA to milk the rules in ways we have no knowledge of, former type B compensation notwithstanding.

      • no no, I’m not saying I ASSUME he will, just that IF he does, I don’t think we can sign him for what we ended up signing him for.

    • To put a feather in that tin foil hat consider this…Jays don’t want McGowan piching in the cool spring weather for fear of a higher risk factor for the shoulder. Morrow develops a blister that will sideline him for the same amount of time, and Cecil suddenly looses even more velocity. MLB is behind all this, and gives the Jays a pile of hush money that they pay off McGowan et. all.

  3. I don’t see how the “timing” of the contract is all that crazy.

    How’s this scenario:

    McGowan comes into spring, and all the coaches watching his bullpen are impressed. They see the velo, movement etc. Everything that coaches are looking for. They tell AA from their PoV, his stuff is looking really good. Now, AA goes to his medical staff for the medical assessment, and they tell him that, from a medical PoV, his arm is good to go, and he’s expected to more or less make a full recovery (this part of the scenario, about the medical staff, is true).

    So Dustin’s looking good….he’s feeling good. THe team feels that this is the McGowan we’ve all been waiting for. Now imagine he goes out there, and is great. first 5 games, he’s got solid numbers and a 3 ERA. Now the Jays come to him and offer him $1.5 million/year, what do you think he’s going to say?

    My guess is, if he’s feeling good throwing, feels strong, healthy, he says “thanks, I appreciate all the support, and I promise I’ll give Toronto priority to sign me, but I’ve got to do what’s best for my family and test FA”

    To me, that scenario is not only possible, but even likely. If they feel they know what they have in McGowan, and he in fact proves them right, he’s probably not going to sign the deal he just signed.

    • I wholeheartedly disagree.

      Not only that, you’re assuming he goes out there and pitches five healthy starts and feels great, which is a giant assumption to begin with.

    • Of course AA & the brass did their Due Diligence with respect to Dusty’s health.

      And before the Extension, I was wondering, “How come the Jays are letting McGowan pitch this year, with the possibility of SUCCESS, & then walking or costing a lot of $$$?

      This represents implicit RISK on the Jays behalf, so I was not surprised by the extension. Locking Dustin up before he shows a SUCCESSful comeback is the most cost-effective way, albeit with the most inherent risk.

      It’s a classic Risk vs. Reward scenario, and even with the Plantar Fasciitis flaring up, it wouldn’t change the model all that much, except maybe lowering the $$$ terms of the deal slightly in the Jays favour.

      In order for Jays to come out on top, they need to carefully manage McGowan, and that is with a view for the longer-term (more than 1 year), and this is also the best case scenario for McGowan. Now we can all be patient with a long-term view, & this is exactly what is needed, Especially with the rest required for plantar fasciitis.

      It’s better to lock him up for 2 years plus an option at this price, and to re-build him properly, than to force him back, going all-out, all-the-time, & Risk hurting his development & the potential to keep what could become a true Quality pitcher & a wonderful feel-good story for everyone.

    • I was only surprised by the Timing of the deal, a day after McGowan left a game with the foot injury. That may have been a time where I would have put the deal on hold.

      Still, if you’re going to extend the guy, it’s best to do it BEFORE he pitches in the bigs, in my opinion. But with a potentially nagging foot injury, the timing was highly questionable.

      I see the logic of the deal, am not unhappy about it. There is still a high possibility that we’ll be happy we made the deal, to be an optimist, and like everyone is saying, the dollars risked is minimal, & has generated a lot of good will.

  4. ” a win in april is worth as much as a win in september”

    who knew that september wins had higher values than april wins. fuck april then. bring up the AAA kids. lets see what laffey can do. let snider and cooper and gose and hendy rack up some AB’s. i think deck is ready. richmond deserves another shot. let the regulars rest up til may.

    • what are you trying to say? All I meant was that “saving” McGowan for september is ridiculous because we need him now as much as we will then, it doesn’t matter when we get his innings (however many he will end up giving us), but saving him for september doesn’t make sense because there’s a chance we will have more options then (via call ups or trades).

  5. My absolute pet peeve is suggestions that JPA could move to 1B. His bat absolutely plays at C. Move him to 1B, and he’s well below average and we lose a shit ton of value. A catcher that can hit 25-30 HR even if he only hits .220? That’s a potential all star. A 1B? That’s not nearly as attractive.

    The fact of the matter is this: Because of the position he plays, JPA could be traded (straight up, mind you) for a 1B who is better offensively AND defensively then he could ever be.

    If you want to look at the value of catching these days, look at the Yady contract. Now, I understand Yady is a fantastic defensive catcher, and that’s why it’s so high. JPA wouldn’t get that much. But if Yady’s making $15 million/per, JPA would be at least in the $7-$9 per range, would be my guess.

    And that’s without any improvements from last year, which I expect him to have.

  6. New Theory:

    A month or two into the season, the Jays realize that McGowan’s arm just isn’t quite major league ready, and he needs some more minor league seasoning. So they send him down to NH or wherever. Other teams see potential in the guy, but that second year on his contract scares them too much to make the waiver claim.

    SO

    The extra year in the extension makes it easier to send him down to the minors and retain his services.

    Also, if David Cooper keeps tearing it up in the minors, he’s gonna have to be given an opportunity to fail at the MLB level. Particularly if Lind is sucking the dick for the first four months of the season. I mean a guy who’s nearly hitting .400 does deserve a TRY in the majors, when his incumbent is playing like garbage.

    • My recollection is that Cooper was already given an opportunity to fail at the ML level, and he was quite successful in doing so.

      If Lind “sucks the dick” but the team is otherwise contending, or close to it (not sure how likely that is), then the Jays have plenty of assets, some of which could be traded for a player who doesn’t “suck the dick” at 1B or DH.

  7. I think it’s telling that your already using Rasmus as a verb for leaving town.

  8. lol @ Griff’s answer to the last question about Colby being comeback player of the year

    “Sure Colby, but in most cases there has to have been one really good year in your past to come back to in order to be a comeback candidate. Maybe you can be a breakout candidate instead”

    I guess .859 OPS and 132 OPS+ from your CF is shit.

  9. With regards to the McGowan/Carpenter thing, the Jays let Carpenter go after he missed just one full season as a 28 year old. If something happens and McGowan then misses this season, it would basically be 4 straight years he was out. If he comes back with someone else as a 31 year old and his arm doesn’t fall off you tip your hat to him. I feel like I’ve heard the same thing over and over – don’t worry McGowan will be back in May, then it’s June, then it’s August, then it’s September – whoops he missed another season.

  10. Griffin’s actual answer to the last question (from ‘Colby Rasmus’) kills me:

    “Sure Colby, but in most cases there has to have been one really, really good year in your past to come back to in order to be a comeback candidate. Maybe you can be a breakout candidate instead.”

    Uhhhhhhhh…. 2010 Griff???

  11. So here’s a thought–

    Instead of trading Arencibia, why not trade D’Arnaud?

    D’Arnaud almost certainly has more value, and can land a bigger fish. We could then plop that bigger fish somewhere else needed on the diamond and have another young and upcoming superstar to pair with Lawrie.

    Arencibia’s certainly giving us decent value out of the C-spot, and if he doesn’t continue to improve we’ve got another young catching prospect coming up behind D’Arnaud.

    Now I’m not saying we ought to do this, but I don’t like how everyone’s assuming trading Arencibia is the way to fix the catching jam.

    • I think Arencibia would provide at least as much value as D’Arnaud. GMs value catchers with power (see: Buck, John), and Arencibia is “proven”.

      Luckily, we likely dont have to worry about it for a year or so.

    • Not absolutely crazy. TDA has a higher ceiling, of course….but as you say, he could bring back a better piece.

      And it’s not like the worst thing in the world would be to be stuck with JPA as your starting C. I would guess there are probably at least 20 out of 30 teams who would love to have him right now.

      I gotta say, I really like JP, as in, the person. As a fan, it would be really tought to see him go. He seems to be integrating himself in Canadian/Toronto culture better then anybody else, that’s the sense I get from his twitter.

      of course, that’s a dumb reason not to trade him, just sayin’

      If we DO trade him, I can see Miami being very interested, and placing a premium on him. For one, he’s from Miami. But also because Miami is desperately trying to appeal to the Latin fan base, which is why they were so hard on Fielder (but not interested in the younger and cheaper Fielder) and why Stanton now goes by Giancarlo. TO have a hometown guy, who’s Latin (and an extremely marketable one at that) playing in a skill position, with the numbers JPA is gonna put up? Not to mention the many cheap years? I think we could get something real nice from Miami in return.

  12. The booze taxes are crazy in Ontario. You can buy imported stuff here that’s probably cheaper than Ontario. That’s not counting too the 24 hour anywhere availability too.

  13. Wow. In light of these crazy Votto and Cain deals, I wonder if the Jays try to work out a long extension with Lawrie this season, Longoria style.

  14. Indians best pitcher suspended. Advantage Jays.

    • I have no problems facing Ubaldo…..he’s really only had one elite season….and really, if you want to get picky, he was only elite in the 1st half of 2010. The other half he was just ‘good’

    • But he’s going to appeal, so will still be available I think.

  15. If the Reds want to make crazy moves like this, let them. The rest of the league isn’t generally going to follow them.
    We had the owner in Miami spending more with a new ballpark and low attendance.
    We had the owner in LAA spend more.
    We had the owner in Det command to get Fielder.

    What happened in Cinci? Was this a “baseball” decision or ownership?

  16. No we laugh when the Orioles go and sign Vlad Guerrero for 8 million a year to block their own prospects. This signing is quite a bit different. (and quite reasonable compared to typical Oriole contracts) Stop flogging the dead horse here, its pretty clear by now you’re in the minority on this, just as you were with the Bautista signing.

    Matt Cain got what, 120+ million today, I think having Dustin for 2 years at 3 million is a worthwhile risk.

    • The fact that you just evn slightly compared McGowan’s deal to Cain’s is retarted.

      • There’s some validity to the comparison.

        Do you think that Matt Cain will earn 40x the WAR over his deal that Dustin McGowan earns over his new deal?

      • What Rob said. In the light of the irresponsible contracts going out lately (seriously Votto for that much through age 39 is crazy, and sorry Cain is not the best RH pitcher in baseball) the numbers here are downright reasonable. And no I don’t think Cain will earn 40 times the WAR that Dustin will.

        The point is to get as much talent as you can without breaking the bank or limiting your ability to lock up your own free agents or get key free agents. Votto’s contract is going to cripple the Reds. Dustin’s will either be a nice bargain or 3 million dollars down the drain.

        Oh and one more Oriole comparison. They spent 8 million over 2 years for Wada, a guy whose profile at best figures to be Brett Cecil. I’d much rather pay 3 million instead of 8 for a guy who can still throw a 96 mph heater.

  17. even*

  18. I remember going to Daytona many years ago for spring break (let’s say 1998?) and I got a pamphlet that detailed the bars with the best beer specials each night. Some of these specials included:
    - $5 cover charge to get in and free beer
    - 25 cent drafts
    - 50 cent bottles
    - etc.

    Of course back then I could drink a case of American beer and not be that drunk.

  19. A couple points here. One the last team to go 25-3 in spring training was the 1997 marlins who went on to win the world series. NO I don’t think the jays will win it all just a interesting fact. Two , Brett Cecil should be the fighting for the number 5 spot ! The guy is a disaster and I don’t care how the jays brass try to sugar coat his loss of velocity it’s a huge concern as all pitchers work off their fastball. He will get shelled this year just like his last start against Detroit.

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