Around the blogosphere and in the comments here there has been some consternation of late, now that he’s healthy, about why Travis Snider can’t seem to shove Rajai Davis aside and reclaim the left field job that many hoped would have been his from the start of the season.

“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll find his way back,” said Alex Anthopoulos over the weekend, according to the Toronto Sun, “but right now Raj hasn’t done anything to lose that job.”

Now, it certainly wouldn’t hurt for Snider to be back at Vegas for more than, say, a week before he gets thrown into the fire– especially when Anthopoulos told the Sun that, when he comes up, he wants Snider to play every day, not to mention that the GM has insisted before that when he’s up, he wants it to be for good… not that he has a whole lot of choice, as Snider will head into 2013 out of options.

Still, I think you can at least make the argument that Snider’s time ought to be now, and yet… there’s Rajai Davis being run out there every night– and playing pretty well, to boot. In fact, I recall, after Vlad Guerrero was allowed to walk, pointing out to a sour fan who was ready for big Vladdy to ride in on his white horse and save the season, that Davis– with his .340 wOBA and 114 wRC+ this season– has been considerably better than Vlad was last year with the Orioles– .314 and 95– and he can field a position too.

The surprise burst of value from Davis– he was worth 3.8 wins, per FanGraphs, in 2009, posting a .354 wOBA, so it’s not entirely out of nowhere– led me to speculate in yesterday’s Afternoon Snack that Davis is very possibly keeping his starting position in left only in order to showcase him as the trade deadline approaches.

Now, I don’t particularly like the word “showcase” in this sense, because– as was astutely pointed out in the comments– after nearly 2000 plate appearances in the Majors, teams have a pretty good idea of what Davis is going to bring, and aren’t going to be swayed a whole lot by an extra month’s worth of at-bats.

I think that’s generally true, and absolutely how a smart front office should approach acquiring a player at the trade deadline. Thing is… a lot of times they don’t– especially once teams start getting desperate to find the right roster pieces to put in place for a playoff run.

We’ve seen Alex Anthopoulos take advantage of such situations in each of the last two seasons, in fact, shipping career 77 wRC+ Alex Gonzalez off to Atlanta for Yunel Escobar in 2010, while he was playing like an above average hitter for the first time ever, and packaging a mysteriously-above-replacement-level Corey Patterson among the spare parts that netted the club Colby Rasmus last summer.

Escobar and Rasmus had other baggage, of course, but they too were players who were probably evaluated a little to strongly by their former teams based on small, single-season sample sizes– though it’s obviously kinda hard to fault the Cardinals, given how their season turned out.

Regardless, what it suggests to me– albeit in a small sample size of its own– is that there’s some reason to believe that there’s value in continuing to run Davis out there, believing that clubs may inflate the importance of his current play as they place more of their focus on the stretch run, rather than the long-term.  It’s hardly foolproof, but I understand why continuing to let Davis show his value may be more in the club’s interest right now than forcing Snider into the mix and hoping that he plays well enough to keep it from looking as though his continued presence in the lineup isn’t tantamount to raising the white flag on the season.

I say that despite the other pushback my suggestion that Davis is a trade chip received, which is that the changes to the CBA have drastically altered the trade landscape, with the recent trade of Kevin Youkilis being an example of just how positively limp we can expect the trade market to be this time around, thanks to the fact that prospects exchanged for rental players can no longer be recouped somewhat through compensation draft picks when the rental hits free agency.

Parkes has written about “the New Hot Stove” at Getting Blanked, and while I don’t doubt for a second that the CBA will change how trades are approached– for example, would the Cardinals had given up Rasmus for the package they received had there not been the additional compensation likely coming to them when they let Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel walk? Not likely– I can’t for a second imagine there won’t still be clubs desperate to not miss out on a fleeting playoff chance in the here and now, or to shore up a division title and avoid the Wild Card Play-In game.

Last year the Giants, for instance, dealt their number two prospect– Zack Wheeler, who was number 31 on Keith Law’s mid-season Top 50 prospects last summer– for Carlos Beltran, a free-agent-to-be who had a provision in his contract that his club couldn’t offer him arbitration at the deal’s conclusion, thus preventing them from getting a draft pick in return.

Now, this may have been a special case of lunacy– though, to my surprise, the Giants were actually four games up on the day of the deal, and not just taking one long, last, epic piss into the ocean to save their season as I thought I remembered– but it’s not like they were the only club interested, either. While albeit only one deal, the Beltran trade, I think, undermines, at least a little bit, the notion that teams are going to be so afraid to deal prospects now that compensation picks are no longer in play.

Further to that, I’m not entirely convinced that the draft picks were as much of a lure as we sometimes tend to believe– after all, under the old system we’re talking about clubs getting a pick that’s a year away, which could mean, thanks to the old signing deadline, a player two years away from even starting in pro ball– and however many years after that before they’re able to make any kind of tangible contribution to the Major League club. The Jays, who covet draft picks as much as anybody, felt Rasmus was worth passing up two of them (well… technically, as one was for Jackson, who nobody believes they were ever interested in actually keeping).

So, what I’m driving at here is, it’s still anybody’s guess as to how the CBA changes will impact this year’s trade market– including, presumably, front offices around baseball– and there is certainly at least a little bit of evidence to think that major deals are going to get done, and– going back to the original question– that the hot hand of Rajai Davis is possibly going to give him a little more value to a contending club now than he would have had over the winter, coming off a below-replacement-level campaign.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Davis is going to be traded, or needs to be traded– as was also pointed out during yesterday’s discussion, he’s a very nice piece for the Jays themselves, bringing late-game speed, OK defence, a solid bat against left-handers and a 2013 club option for $3-million to their fourth outfield spot– but I just don’t yet believe that because the CBA has changed and because the expensive husk of a player who used to be Kevin Youkilis was only able to fetch a utility man and a one-time pitching prospect who no longer looks quite as promising as he once did, that there isn’t a potential fit somewhere for Davis and that it isn’t worthwhile to do whatever the club can to maximize his perceived value.

So… that’s why you won’t see me bemoaning the current status of Snider. And why you will see me trying a figure out a way to suggest to Detroit Tigers fans how good Davis and Kelly Johnson might look in a darker shade of blue. And all we’d want back is a young starter! Huh? Huh? Huh?


Image via Abelimages/Getty.

Comments (108)

  1. +1 Stoeten. Informative on all perspectives of this issue of Rajai Davis.

    I like Rajai more than Ben Francisco. I assume everyone on planet Earth does as well.

  2. If KJ plus davis equal jacob turner then id do the deal

  3. I don’t think you can use the Youkilis deal as an example of what we can expect deadline deals to look like, as this was nothing more than a salary dump. At the end of the day teams aren’t going to trade any of their player unless they are looking to unload a salary or would be getting something interesting back. Additionally GM’s of teams feeling the pressure to go for it will still be trying to make trades.

    Therefore, the Jays will only trade players if they can get a decent return since they aren’t looking to shed salary. I expect that potential trades could include Davis, Kelly Johnson, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, or name your reliever.

  4. Good post Stoeten, and not a single F-bomb. Impressive

  5. I know inter-divisional trading is usually frowned upon, but if Brett Gardiner doesn’t get healthy the Yanks will be looking for a speedy CF… Or at least an upgrade for Dwayne Wise, which as Toronto can tell you, Davis is. I still maintain that the Jays making the playoffs this year would be like the Rays in 2008. Not unheard of, but earlier than expected. If they can unload Rajai and even Johnson (don’t really wanna offer him ARB), I’m all for it.

    • You don’t offer him arb for a comp pick.

      • Not of the off chance he accepts. Don’t feel like paying him $7-8 million.

        • No, there is no point in offering him arb. You have to extend a “qualifying offer” — 12-13 million.

          • Exactly. Which is why if there’s a chance to trade him, I’m all for it.

            I can’t tell if we’re agreeing or arguing…

          • Well, I’m just not sure why the Jays would offer him arb without the chance of a compensation pick? Arbitration would not even be a factor. He’d just be walking as a free agent. He doesn’t have any more years left of team control, iirc.

    • Inter-divisional trading is encouraged.

  6. Davis for Cole Hamels.

    I wish.

    Oh, and I love the thought-journals that have been posted today by both Parkes and Stoeten. Very well written and hermeneutic.

    Feel free to stick it on your fridge, for you get a +1.

    • These trades are still stupid. Why rent Hamels for half a year when we’re not competing? Is he going to extend? Are we going to pony up the fucking cash so he does extend?

      • Relax dude. Sarcasm is better when the detector is turned on.

        But, I’d like to see the Jays trade for him if they get a window to extend him first.

  7. It’s less about how the Jays use Davis than it is about how a contender would use him. Everyone acknowledges the value of his speed, ability to play CF, and some competence with the bat. However nobody is going to say ‘this is what we need out of LF’ and overpay for him.

    His value in a trade would be similar to Dotel and Scrabble last year. Filling a hole that is necessary to take that next step. Rajai bolsters anyone’s bench immediately. Is that worth trading a prospect for? Probably not a meaningful one. However, if a contender was going to give up a controllable young player to acquire a useful piece for the bullpen and a decent OFer, you can justify the short-term gain.

    On another note, comparing the trade market for an expensive broken down player with poor results to a useful tool like Davis is bunk. Also, teams might be more willing to make trades because of a lack of compensation draft picks coming back. There is no longer a minimum price for a previous type B FA (at least as valuable as a sandwich pick). For example, last season Jose Molina would likely have been traded for a B or C prospect, knowing he’ll walk after the year for nothing. There’s no reward for a team that’s out of it to hang onto a luxury like a free-agent effective bullpen arm .

    • He’s a 4th OF on a competing AL team, but can be a starter easily on a competing NL team. He’s a good player, and has more value I think than Dotel. Plus he has that option.

      • Nah. Even NL teams need better production out of a LFer than Davis offers. LF/1B are where you keep the big boppers. Look at Holliday last year with the Cards. Could barely field, but chicks dig the long ball. Any team who picks up Davis to be a starter LF is not making the playoffs.

  8. Trading Johnson is, to me, a bit of a no-brainer. He’s playing for a contract so he’ll play his best wherever he is and we have Hachevarria coming up through the system. Davis and Johnson might get us something back. But every GM knows we are desperate for pitching and will price their players accordingly. It would be lovely if AA pulled off another Escobar or Rasmus deal, but I suspect everyone is out there scrutinizing every pitcher who’s available or who might be. It’s a nasty position to be in.

    • Problem is that the Jays want pitching that can perform right now and for the medium-long term. Those types of pitchers aren’t really on the market when all the other team gets in return are short-term guys like Davis and KJ.

      • I disagree.

        Jays want whatever will give them the most value down the road, be it pitching or whatever.

        Don’t let the short-term distract you from the long-term.

        • Yeah, AA is going to be going for the long-term value. I can’t see him emptying our farm for some rentals to get us through the year. He’s going to be targeting players with multiple years of control. Period.

          Johnson is killing his trade value though.

    • Also, I consider it a sellers market so it is the Jays who will have the advantage and can price their players accordingly. If the team is not willing to pay the price then the Jays simply keep there players or get the price they want from someone else.

      • It is definitely leaning to a seller’s market because of the extra playoff spots. More teams are going to feel as though they are in contention — even for just a coin-flip game.

        The Jays are in a position to get rid of pieces of the bullpen and probably at least KJ, Davis and Arencibia. The problem is, how highly valued are these players? What are teams going to be willing to part with for a half year rental on a first baseman, half year (with an option) on a speedy 4th outfielder, and a catcher who has nothing to offer other than “pop”?

  9. Great article.

    No comp picks will depress the trade market a bit, but I doubt by a huge amount.

    AA is actually in a very, very good position now that comp picks have been eliminated. The Jays have been stockpiling prospects: Some of those guys in Rookie ball and low-A can be thrown in to sweeten deals. I’m thinking guys like Dickie Thon Jr, Matt Dean, etc.

    • We’ll have to see, I don’t think it will depress the trade market. No type B FA means eliminating the minimum price (tariff) on the market. Isn’t this basic economics? Won’t that mean MORE trades?

      Or maybe more trades for the former ‘type B’ and less trades for the ‘type A’.

      Who can verify this? My ECON classes were at 9 a.m. MWF, so I tended to miss a few.

      • Not like a tariff. Seems to me the presence of comp picks is more like an exogenous shock to the demand curve, i.e., under the old CBA, the demand for rental players shifts out.

        So to removing the comp picks will cause the demand curve for rental players to shift left. If you draw up a S & D graph of the market for rental players, you get a decrease in Q (rental players traded) and a decrease in P (value of players coming back in exchange).

        So, pretty basic economics (major caveat) suggests less rental player trades, and less coming back in return for rental players.

        • Yeah, from a pure economics standpoint, you think that one would follow the other. But the problem is that assumes a level of rational thought as well.

          If you’re a team, like the Cardinals, who can win the World Series by trading a young, high-upside CF to fill your roster holes… I’m thinking MOST teams are doing this. Regardless of comp picks.

          How valuable is a comp pick really? I mean, hasn’t it been said before that in an entire draft, if you get 1-2 major league players, it is judged a “successful” draft? I know that Parkes (I believe) posted a graph that compared WAR to draft selection (with higher round picks accumulating the lion’s share of WAR), but those picks are still HUGE gambles. I don’t think it is going to make that big of a difference.

          • Yeah for sure. What we know is that comp picks will increase demand (i.e., shift the demand curve), the question is how much? Comp picks don’t have zero value, so they must factor to some degree in a GMs decision, but effect is probably small because of the reasons you listed.

  10. 3 weeks ago I may have been in favor of bringing up a healthy Snider immediately (and it is my preference to have him up here sometime soon). Now, with the rotation in shambles and the likelihood of this team being able to compete at 0.1% – I say let Rajai continue to boost his value while Snider fully recovers. A few more weeks in the PCL mashing everything in sight probably won’t do much harm to Snider, and it may just set Toronto up better for next year.

    These injuries really are unfortunate because its abundantly clear that this offense is capable of making a run at a wild card spot if there was decent pitching to back it up. But with Ricky Romero followed by Cecil and the dregs of the pitching world – I suspect the Jays will start to fall back losing high-scoring games on the back of terrible pitching.

    • If the rotation is bolstered, this team can definitely compete (2013).

      EE will have to be extended… if not, I bet a qualifying offer is made, so at least something is gained in return for his departure. The almighty dollar is powerful — but I have a feeling that he extends for something a little more team friendly if it means sticking around and playing with Jose. 3-4 years at 8million AAV with an option possibly? Look at Yunel. He probably should have asked for a NTC, but that fucking contract is so damn team friendly. I remember reading a post on a blog a year ago that linked to an interview with Yunel prior to his extension. He basically attributed his success in the 2011 to “happiness.” As much as “intangibles” get reamed on sites like this one, I don’t think you can deny that it legitimately seems like these guys enjoying playing with each other.

      KJ should probably be traded at the deadline. He is absolutely killing his value right now though by playing through injury. Yunel’s hitting hasn’t been that hot this year, but we know he’s certainly capable of better. ZiPS has him at a 3WAR season at the end of the year. This is beating a dead horse, but moving Yunel to second and putting Adeiny at short stop makes sense. Isn’t this the 3rd year of Hech’s 4 year contract? I understand he’s under control for another 2 more afterwards? Does anyone know EXACTLY how this works? However, if KJ can get healthy and is not traded, he can still be a valuable 2nd baseman for the Jays for another year or two… I can’t see him getting a big multi-year deal with this kind of play.

      I think the Jays should try and sign Ortiz to a two-year deal in the offseason. I think if you bolster the production from either DH/LF you can afford to lose the pop you would get from putting Adeiny in the line-up. If Travis works out, it’s just that much better.

      • Also curious about the Hech contract. Is this an option year? Are they all option years? Is there a vastly different designation between his status as a major leaguer vs minor? I wouldn’t mind seeing him up for a week or two, hell even Omar filling in for a few starts, if it meant getting KJ healthy and returning to his performance earlier this year.

  11. It could go either way for Rajai really. If he isn’t a trade chip at the deadline, he is providing a lot of value to the Jays and will continue to do so next year as either a LFer or a 4th OFer. He can handle CF, has speed off the bench and hits LH pitching pretty well. What more can you ask for?

    I know we all want to free Travis Snider but lets not forget how many times he has shit the bed in the “Bigs.” He may very well be a Quad A player. I mean shit… if Rajai can put up 2-4 WAR seasons… fuck it, let him have the fucking job. I don’t see why people are foaming at the mouth to get Travis up, but can’t stand Adam Lind? It’s the exact same shit from both players. One good season, both have the upside, both mash AAA, both can’t put it together at the big league level. Maybe Dwayne Murphy is to blame for fucking their swing up — I don’t know.

    I say if a trade exists for JPA/KJ/Davis/Coco/Oliver/Mathis, etc. we should go for it. But most of those players, with the exception of Coco, could be solid components of a competing 2013 Jays team. KJ is doing terribly right now, but I think most of us are in agreement that he has been playing like shit ever since he injured his hamstring. Rather than hit the DL and get healthy, he, like so many others, decides he’s going to play through it. Now he’s killing his fucking value in his contract year by doing so — fumbling plays and striking out like no other.

    I don’t think the new CBA rules will really effect how GMs view trades at the deadline. “Flags fly forever.” I think a lot of teams will be willing to offer a fair sum to teams for their rentals if it increases their chances at a championship. The Beltran trade proves this point. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the offseason.

    • You bring up a good point about some of these guys being valuable pieces for 2013. It’s one I’ve mentioned before to those who want to blow the team up every time we going on a losing streak and trade them for prospects.

      With the direction this team is going I am sure AA is going to be trying to add to the core first and foremost and not subtract from it.

      IMO with Davis the Jays have a very valuable piece of the puzzle whether it’s used for getting someone else or just being here next year. A lot of it will also depend on how the club views Snider’s development and also more importantly Anthony Gose’s. In Gose they have probably have at least a Davis if not more. Gose certainly has a couple of tools that are better than Davis’ right now, those being his defense and arm. They’re probably close to being a wash in base running with Davis getting the upper hand in the hitting department at least for now.

      Does the club believe enough in Snider and Gose if they moved Davis? Is the club ambitious or hungry enough to possibly curtail some of Gose’s additional development time at AAAA f he makes the club a better team in 2013 as a 4th outfielder or platoon guy with Snider vs Lefties? If there were to think that way then there’s a real good chance that Davis is dealt because they really wouldn’t lose much in doing so.

      As for what Davis brings back,as I’ve been saying for the last couple of days it’s going to be his option for next year more than anything else that will determine that. A team trading for him is adding a valuable piece on the cheap for not only this season but next as well.

      There’s also the possibility Davis ends up being moved in some kind of three way trade with other teams. AA loves these kind of deals where he takes a player back and could potentially package that player with other pieces for a Rasmus type player.

      Personally, I’d be fine with it either way. Davis is great when he’s playing this well and he’s still a great piece to have off the bench even when he’s not hitting well simply because of his game changing speed.

      • uggh too many typos sorry

      • I really don’t see them bringing up Gose and platooning him or using him as a bench player. Playing everyday is going to be critical for his development.

        As far as Snider goes, who knows how much the club believes in him? Obviously they are willing to give Lind all the chances in the world to sort things out — no matter how costly it is for the Jays’ and their chances at competing.

        If Snider turns out to be a bust, Thames can’t handle LF, Gose’s bat probably doesn’t play out there (although, neither does Gardner’s really…) we could be left looking to the FA market. Carlos Quentin perhaps? Although with his injury history, would he want to play on the turf? Can try and trade for CarGo, but I can’t justify spending a shit-ton of farm-hands on offense when what we really need is pitching.

  12. I wish to God we weren’t playing in the PCL. Those parks are such band-boxes that a mediocre player can look amazing. And everyone knows that. It’s like PCL players have an asterisk beside their batting average.

    • There are only two AAA leagues right? I bet the Jays move their affiliate soon.

    • yah right issabell I lived in edmonton for years watching the trappers the salmons, giambis, devon whites that went through you knew were going to be stars. The PCL is a great league people should research before yapping………………sorry I get offended by people saying everything in PCL is inflated

      • nothing against the PCL but since the Jays are in the eastern part of the continent, it would make sense to me if their AAA afilliate was in the east.

  13. To those beating the Snider drum, is there more risk in leaving him in AAA, even all season, or to bringing him up. If he comes up and shits the bed, he has no trade value and no options. I don’t really see the downside of leaving him in LV since this means he’ll either build his trade value or get all of next season in the Majors with the Jays.

    • Everyone knows Snider has fucking shit the bed hard in the majors. I don’t really know if he has more value in the PCL or not. I doubt it.

    • And what if he comes up next season, a supposed year of contending, and shits the bed? Its better to see what you have him in now – if he’s deemed a non-regular after 3+ months at least you can address LF in the offseason. Seeing him for the first time to start 2013 is going to be put way more pressure on the team if he begins the year poorly

      • Disagree with this. If he sucks from April to June next year, it’ll confirm he has negligible trade value but won’t cost the team the season.

        • Laugh. Every game is fucking valuable. We’re just going to allow another black hole in LF for two months while we try and figure out what we have? This is the AL East, not the fucking NL West. We need to be ready to compete from Day One. Can’t have us sending up Adam Lind and Travis Snider to the plate “hoping” they have figured it out. We need to know going into the season.

        • How can you be so sure it won’t cost us the season? It really seems like a no-brainer to me, unless, even after 4/5 of already questionable starting rotation went down, you think this team can contend this year. If the team is clearly out of it in a few weeks, it’ll be a lot easier to accept his week or two of shittiness than it would be in mid-April

          • Fair enough. I just think there is less risk to his value and more benefit to Davis’s in leaving Snider in AAA. It may leave open the possibility of a better trade of either player if desired. The downside risk to his value of coming up and sucking is the same this year or next, but your point about the risk to the team’s competitiveness being greater next year than this is fair.

            Perhaps another factor to consider is whether Snider will be better positioned to help next year by getting a full or mostly full year in AAA this year.

  14. Give Davis until a week after the All-Star break, deal him or DH him against lefties until he does get traded. With Lind up we need someone that can hit lefties to DH while EE plays first.

  15. I agree with this .. the only thing I’m torn on is that I REALLY like davis as my teams 4th outfielder..

    Is there a better pinch runner in the game? and in late innings thats completely invaluable..

    So I agree with this all IF you get something back half decent for rajai, which I’m just not convinced with at this point.

    • Yep. Can definitely fucking help win those 1-run games. Who is going to be our 4th OF?

      Gose? Needs to play everyday.
      Thames? No speed, no power, strikes out, shitty defense, can’t handle CF.
      Ben? Can he play center?

      Not many options on that internal depth chart.

  16. The idea of pulling off some sort of pump and dump on Davis is laughable. Name one team that is going to wet their undies over an aging hit a little, defend a little left fielder. Time to move him for whatever or bench him and get on with the future.

    • Because he can fill a hole on a competing team?

      Davis can add a win or two in a few months easily with that speed and small ball. Especially on an NL team. He can platoon against LH pitching.

      It’s not hard to believe that he can bring in SOMETHING valuable.

      • Davis can bring whatever he’s going to bring today, tomorrow, last week, his value is static. No GM is gonna do something stupid over Davis’ modest skill set. Time for Rajai to go.

        • K. No team is trading Colby Rasmus for a LH reliever, Dotel, Corey Patterson and a couple months of EJax.


          • So, is Davis Patterson in that mix? Your reply is dopey. Yes, AA could bundle Davis and some other assets and trade him for other assets. What’s your point?

            I’ve never argued Davis is valueless. He has some value, whatever it is that is assigned to 31 year old journeymen, that’s it.

        • There’s at least 3 teams in the AL in the wild card hunt that he would be an instant upgrade for, those being the Orioles, Indidans and Tigers. You could add the Pirates, Dodgers and Mets in the NL too.

  17. Stupid question: Since Snider hasn’t been in the majors this year, does this
    year indeed burn an option? Like, if they keep Snider in AAA all year, doesn’t
    he make it into next year with one option?

  18. What about going for Cliff Lee?

    Maybe—-Davis, Gose, Syndergaard, Dean.

    1) needs to get younger
    2) needs to free up cash to sign Hamels
    3) I don’t think Lee is enjoying 0 wins on the year with an aging roster. He will be excited to get some run support.

    Get a veteran pitcher, who can be the ace for 2 seasons and a solid 3/4 for the remainder of the contract. Philly has eaten 1.5 years of the contract and the Jays could also ask the Phillies to kick in a little cash.

    As well this opens up LF for Snider and the Jays can finally decide if he is the LF of the future or if it is time to let him go…

    Next years rotation
    1) Lee
    2) Morrow
    3) Romero
    4) Hutchinson
    5) Alvarez

    Makes sense to me thoughts?

    • Cliff Lee has publicly stated that he never wanted to leave Philadelphia in the first place. He is happy where he is. I don’t see him leaving.

      Are the Jays really going to want to pick up that contract? 5 years, 120 million and a vesting option? If they are going to spend that kind of green, just fucking sign Greinke or Hamels in the offseason… no point in trading away Noah and Gose to take on that kind of salary.

      That rotation still has the problem of Hutchison and Alvarez. These two really do need to be back in the minors probably for a full season.

    • There’s no way Philly would do a deal like that. To get Cliff Lee, you’re starting the conversation with D’Arnaud.

  19. Perhaps AA is just waiting a week or so for Francisco to prove he can be a decent bench option (which he can be) and then he’ll trade him and call up Snider.

    I don’t see why Davis, Snider & Lind can’t share LF & DH with, for example, Snider playing 80% of the time and Lind/Davis each playing 60% of the time…plus Davis occasionally covering for Colby or Jose and Lind playing some 1B.

    If the Jays are going to have a 3 man bench (with Mathis & Vizquel locked down in 2 spots), this doesn’t seem like a bad way to distribute the ABs.

    However, if Davis can be packaged with JPA to bring LoMo into town then sign me up.

    • How do you prove that in a week?

      • Now let’s get this straight Rubble. I don’t need permission from my wife. In my cave, I reign supreme. SUPREME!

      • I mean prove that he’s healthy and able to come off the bench in the majors.

    • Logan Morrison is not very good. His stats are pretty similar to Snider’s. He’s going to finish the year with a 0.6WAR season according to ZiPS and is currently sporting a tidy -0.2WAR. What’s the point?

      At some point the Jays need to decide when they are going to compete. AA probably already has the date in mind. The foundation is there to make a run at a wild card spot at the very least with a few crafty moves. If we are planning on competing in 2013, is it the time to take on another reclamation project such as LoMo and hope it pans out?

      The best case scenario right now is that the Jays are able to package Rajai for something and Snider comes up. That way we KNOW finally what we have in Snider. If he can’t perform in the latter half of the year, we know we need to make a trade/hire an FA in the offseason to handle LF (assuming we want to win… who knows what the actual timeframe is for competing). Otherwise, we’re going into 2013 HOPING Snider is good enough to hold the position.

      • LoMo is young, plays in a brutal hitter’s park and has had injury issues all year. Let him rotate between 1B/DH and let’s see what he can do.

  20. Good article stoets! You gotta think Kelly Johnson is definitely on the trade block a long with davis. Throw in JP Arencibia to make room for D’Anaud and you have lots of big league players to move for pitching. Can’t wait to see what rabbit AA pulls out of his hat this summer. #goodbyejpa

    • Kelly Johnson and Arencibia combined might get you a starter like Vargas or clayton ri chard a number 4 type guy

    • Johnson is killing his trade value day by day playing with that bum hammy unfortunately. On the flips side Johnson’s poor play of late can also be a boon for the Jays going forward because it’s makes his bargaining power weaker if the Jays want to talk extension.

      • @night_manimal: Agree completely. The whole reason he accepted arb is to build value for a multi-year deal at the end of the 2012 season. He’s not doing himself any favors right now.

  21. Dude. The penultimate and anti-penultimate paragraphs are both one sentence each. Reading them out loud, I’m risking hypoxia. Throw a guy a bone and chuck in the odd period now and again why dontcha.

    But good article and all that.

    • Didn’t realize you were so pedant.
      Periods are over-rated anyways,commas are the wave of the future.

      • I used to correct Wilner’s grammar – especially his obsession with not ending sentences with a preposition – but he don’t read his comments no more. So I have to find outlets for douche-baggery elsewhere.

        And it’s ‘so pedantic’ or ‘a pedant’.

    • You can handle it. I believe in you!

      And thanks.

  22. It’s smart to keep playing Davis in LF. I don’t think there’s a problem with that. The poor decision was to call up Lind instead of Snider. Just let EE play first and have Snider DH. That solves every problem. Snider gets his chance to hit in the majors, Davis gets to play everyday and Lind isn’t in the lineup. Everybody wins.

    I just don’t understand the comment about how Snider doesn’t have a position if Davis is here. Put Snider at DH and let EE play 1B. The fact they’re not willing to do that, is I think more proof that the organization will do everything at their power to not play Snider. I mean seriously, who other than AA/Farrell thought Thames was going to succeed?

    • Can’t play Snider at DH if EE or Lind is playing there already. They’re obviously going to try and re-establish Lind first and foremost.

      • My point was that they shouldn’t be playing Lind in the first place, because he has no value and isn’t going to produce. It’s a waste of time. He’s not going to suddenly become useful after 3 weeks of AAA time when he’s been worthless for 2 + years.

  23. So forget about trading JPA anytime soon d’Arnaud gone for 6-8 weeks now.

  24. I doubt AA is going to deviate from his overall game plan, even with the sudden and dire situation involving the pitching rotation.

    AA wants to build a sustainable franchise that has a chance of winning year in and year out. The formula used by the Rangers is a good example. After building a strong farm system through smart trades (ie: Teixera), the draft and in particular, through the international amateur market, the Rangers have built a sustainable franchise with a strong core group. Then they went and acquired major pieces via the FA market to fill out their roster. The Jays are not there yet.

    Which is why the discussion on Rajai Davis has little importance in the grand scheme of things. Other teams perceive Davis is a nice 4th outfielder who brings a particular skill set. Sure he can be useful on certain teams. But he is not going to fetch much in return.

    In what should be a huge sellers market (especially for starting pitching), the Jays will be up against stronger willed teams who actually have a shot for a berth in the post-season. No one wants to see guys like Moyer, Laffey and Chavez round out the rotation. But at this point, its all about getting some arms that can eat up innings to finish the season.

    One can be a jackass and lay blame on AA as he had the opportunity to acquire starting pitching in the off-season. Darvish was out there. And the Jays were involved in trade discussions for Latos and Gonzalez. Right or wrong, AA didn’t pull the trigger. Asking prices were high? Perhaps. Too much faith in the existing roster to come through? Maybe. In my view, its hard to blame AA for the sudden loss of 3 starters in a span of a week in mid-season. Nor can we place blame on losing options like McGowan and Litsch from the get-go.

    Look folks, the Jays have lost 5 viable options for the starting rotation in a span of a few months. No point in dressing things up. The team’s starting rotation is fucked beyond repair.

    Perhaps AA can salvage something by trading a suddenly resurgent role player like Davis to acquire more minor league depth. Or maybe some scrub starter who can get through 5-6 innings. But let’s not get excited and start dreaming of trade scenarios that will rescue a decimated rotation. I am all for sticking to the overall plan. Lets get some scrubs to finish the year. AA is a value whore and he knows that trading in the off-season is much more efficient as compared to paying high prices for quality talent in the always crazy trade season.

    • Davis will certainly bring more than minor league depth imo. If the Jays were inclined to trade him they would certainly get a decent prospect back. It might not be a one that’s close to majors though.

      As for the rotation, I think you’ll see the Jays be bigger spenders in the free agent market than they normally would have been this winter.

    • I think AA is on the right course, generally speaking. I think that if the Jays had acquired some SP in the offseason then they would be competing this year. I hear this a lot, that the Jays’ aren’t one or two pieces from contention and I just don’t buy it. If we had acquired two more SPs in the offseason we could have competed in 2012. If we had similar injuries, trades for rentals of players like Garza may be more palatable knowing we were making a run at a playoff spot. Players like Hutchison and Alvarez would have been given the appropriate amount of time to season in the minor leagues.

      We were relying on Litsch, Cecil, McGowan… come on. AA is smarter than that. And if he isn’t, shame on him. Cecil sucks, Litsch and McGowan have always been huge injury risks.

      This season is done, but we knew that a while ago I think. Although I recall people saying that “2012″ was the year the Jays would be competing, coming into this year we knew better. As said in the GB podcast — maybe the Jays do need to look at their pitching coaches and strength and conditioning programs to ensure the health and safety of their starting rotation. There is a good chance that this rash of injuries is just a coincidence, but I think its worth some investigating at the very least.

      We just have to wait and see this offseason what direction AA decides to take us. We are going to know before Spring Training whether or not this team is going to compete based on the acquisitions made.

      • good post. The plan in 2012 was to be able to compete by 2012, but with the Jays it seems they are always a couple of years away.

        The reality is that other teams like the reds padres, angels, dodgers are getting increased resources from broadcast revenues and are willing to pay more for players than AA is.

        I agree that it’s crazy to have to pay 20 million per year for a top 5 1B for 10 years, like Votto , Teixera,Gonzalez etc..

        The Jays were hoping to get a good deal on Lind but that didn’t work out.

        The best move for the Jays would be to request a transfer to the AL Central so they have an easier time of trying to stay competitive.

        The extra playoff spot gives incentives to other teams to stay competitive till September because of broadcast ratings & gate rceipts.

        Unfortunately for the Jays, they seem to find a way of being out of any pennant race by Canada Day.

        The injuries this year expose how flimsy the argument was that they could compete.

        That being said, I don;t mind watching the offense.

  25. Wouldn’t Rajai and Kelly for Jacob Turner be awesome! Unlikely, yes, but awesome at the same time!

    • The Jays and Tigers could easily match up for a trade. Don’t think Rajai/Kelly get it done for Turner. Maybe Porcello?

      Regardless, Porcello is a Boras client. I don’t think the Jays like dealing with them~

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