It was revealed prior to the All-Star break by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet that the Jays never actually made a formal contract offer last winter to Carlos Beltran, who is enjoying a great season for the St. Louis Cardinals– news that was greeted in some quarters as yet another affront to the good faith of the club’s fans, who only want to see quality Major League players brought into the team, regardless of cost.

It wasn’t, of course. Beltran’s unwillingness to go to an American League club that primarily, or even as a part-time solution, saw him as a DH, rendered the Jays’ interest moot– and the fact that a formal contract was never drawn up doesn’t mean in the slightest that Beltran, or his representatives, didn’t understand where the Jays were willing to go with him. Nor does it mean– to my mind, at least– that we ought to think twice about giving the club credit for having interest or being willing to spend.

What it does illustrate, however, is one of the main problems the Jays have when it comes to acquiring players on the free agent market. As a team still not yet at the level of serious contender, players may not be as willingly shoehorned into the Jays’ lineup as they would be with the Yankees or the Red Sox, for example, and– just in case you didn’t already realize– the club also faces issues regarding playing in Canada, playing on turf, playing in an outdated, too-often-empty stadium, and constantly looking upwards at the best teams in the toughest division in baseball.

Sure, they could overpay to overcome some of these obstacles– though there seems to be a trend among players away from signing with whoever bids $1 more than the next guy– but on principle the Jays don’t, and as much as certain types of fans love to slay them for it, it’s not difficult at all to see why, as overseers of a business with their eyes on long-term success, they hold so tightly to their valuations.

When it comes to trades, however, the rules of the game change significantly. Except for the few with no-trade clauses, players have little-to-no say in where they end up, and are acquired in exchange for a kind of capital that the Jays have in abundance. The need to add dollars to compensate for Canadian tax rates or to keep a player from choosing the Yankees does not exist; the Jays simply have to make the best offer to the club that’s looking to deal.

Trades are essentially straight-up auctions, with few extenuating circumstances in play– though intra-division deals are still exceedingly rare. They’re not unlike last winter’s Yu Darvish situation, which, I kinda seem to recall, appeared so favourable to a team in the Jays’ position that one or two people around here may have gotten a little worked up about the possibility.

Of course, the Jays had plenty of prospect capital to use on the trade market last winter, too, and failed to make a deal for starting pitching. Those failures, along with the failure to splash cash on Darvish, has made a lot of fans insufferably negative in their speculation about the club’s intentions– and especially insufferable when they try to extrapolate from last year’s non-dealings what they expect will happen in the future. Some people just can’t process failure without raging out against whatever ghosts swim closest to their grasp, I suppose, but fortunately for them and their fragile ability to comprehend long-term thinking, 2012 looks very much like the year when things are going to be different.

It’s certainly the year when things should be different.

Much griping was made over the Jays’ inability to land Mat Latos from San Diego or Gio Gonzalez from Oakland this winter– especially during the latter’s dominant first two months of the season. While there’s no denying that either pitcher would have been a terrific addition to the Jays’ staff– particularly in the cold hard reality of the club’s pitching injuries– Alex Anthopoulos felt that the asking price was too steep. I tend to believe that’s fair, though those kinds of valuations are certainly open to debate. Still, something important to keep in mind that will differentiate how Anthopoulos behaved then and what to expect between now and April 2013 is that they were partly a function of knowledge he had of his own prospects at the time, the volume of the pool of prospects he was dealing from, and his knowledge of the club’s active roster roster at the time.

With several months of additional prospect data, in addition to better knowledge of the long-term shape of the MLB roster, and a number of prospects added to the system through this year’s draft, Anthopoulos ought to be much more comfortable with what he can and cannot bear to part with.

For example, when it comes to the young pitching that he’ll surely need to part with in order to upgrade his Major League roster for the coming years, Anthopoulos has all sorts more options on the horizon than just the big arms at Lansing– Sanchez, Syndergaard and Nicolino.

There are potential high-end replacements for that trio in Dan Norris and Matt Smoral. Norris is teammates at Bluefield with other intriguing teenage arms, Kevin Comer, Joe Musgrove and 17-year-old Roberto Osuna. There are also teenagers Tyler Gonzales and Adonys Cardona in the Gulf Coast League, and Marcus Stroman, who may still end up a starter, in short season A-ball in Vancouver, for now. Asher Wojciechowski and Sean Nolin provide more intrigue in Dunedin, as does Anthony Descalfani in Lansing, and there’s also potential Major League viability on the Fisher Cats in the recently-promoted John Stilson, as well as– to a lesser extent still– the struggling Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins.

Those are hardly all the arms in the system, but the best ones are among them– almost exclusively in the lower minors– and there’s a lot of overlap there. Of course, that’s partly by design, to combat the ridiculously high attrition rate of pitching prospects, but there is certainly enough depth there to consider dealing a few arms in order to improve the MLB roster– especially since Anthopoulos isn’t only armed now with a deeper system, but armed with that much more knowledge of his own talent than he was over the winter.

And it’s not like it’s necessarily going to require catastrophic damage to the club’s pitching resources to make a deal, either. That’s not to suggest that it would be easy, but many fans and observers could use reminding that, based on deals we’ve seen in the past, much of the wealth of pitching the Jays possess would almost certainly be left in tact at the end of their GM’s wheelings and dealings, and that depleting it shouldn’t be the kind of barrier to a trade that it has been in recent years.

The pitchers going the other way in the Latos deal, for example, were 24-year-old MLB-ready reliever Brad Boxberger, and the once-promising 29-year-old Edison Volquez– position players Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal were the key there.

Trevor Cahill cost the Diamondbacks 25-year-old reliever Ryan Cook, and Jarrod Parker, who has had an excellent start to his Oakland career, but who was Arizona’s fourth-highest pitching prospect (and fourth overall), according to Baseball America, at the time he was dealt.

Even in the Jays’ recent history we see that Brandon League brought back Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek was the only pitcher acquired for Roy Halladay, and in the deal that netted Colby Rasmus it was reliever Jason Frasor and middling prospect Zach Stewart who brought back rental Edwin Jackson (and the supplemental draft pick that was very likely attached to him), who was then flipped to St. Louis along with mildly-promising swingman Marc Rzepczynski.

Sure, Gio Gonzalez cost Washington its top two pitching prospects (and third and fourth overall, per BA) and a throw-in arm in Tom Millone, and obviously there were position players involved in these deals as well– sometimes very highly regarded ones– but clearly these sorts of big acquisitions can be made without completely decimating a farm system. Especially one as deep as the Jays possess, and especially so if some of the better-regarded position players are on the table, as they should be for Anthopoulos, given their status on the depth chart in many instances, and the premium teams often place on receiving MLB-ready assets in trade.

The club could find configurations to accommodate them, but the spectacular play of Colby Rasmus, the contract of Yunel Escobar, and the ascendancy of Travis d’Arnaud will force Anthony Gose, Adeiny Hechavarria, and JP Arencibia in to unideal positions, to be miscast as backups, or out of the organization. Sure, they could deal the better-established (or, in d’Arnaud’s case, better-regarded) players in a sell-high gamble, but either way, these situations make for some seriously attractive candidates to be dealt, I think.

Toss in a group of relievers, mid-level pitching prospects and back-of-roster guys like Rajai Davis, Yan Gomes, David Cooper and Eric Thames to lubricate things, and you start to see all kinds of possibilities.

Of course, just about every team still within a sniff of the extra Wild Card spot wants to acquire pitching, so it’s not like it isn’t going to cost a painful price for Anthopoulos to improve his club, but few have the ammunition he does to get a deal done, and few could make a trade so transformative to his club.

No, I don’t mean the kinds of pie in the sky things we often hear about fans magically returning to the ballpark in droves to salivate over a shiny new player, but a deal now could truly kick-start a new, and much-needed, phase of talent acquisition.

Pieces are in place to build around. Bautista, Encarncacion, Lawrie and Rasmus form the core of the lineup, with Escobar and d’Arnaud as, at worst, nice auxiliary pieces. Morrow and Romero anchor the pitching staff, and with the addition of someone like Matt Garza right now, not only do the Jays give themselves that much more of a shot to hang around in the 2012 playoff race, and that much more of a shot to be competitive next year, but they become a much more appealing destination for one of the many free agent pitchers who are slated to hit the market over the winter– including Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda, Colby Lewis, Brandon McCarthy, Jake Peavy and Anibal Sanchez.

If he can make a deal without dealing any of those core players, without breaking up the trio at Lansing, and without touching Norris, or (obviously) the just-drafted Smoral and Stroman, Anthopoulos very nearly has to do it. That’s a tall order of course, but even if he has to touch one of his elite young arms, the time has come. The system is deep enough to absorb the hit, and the benefit to the Major League roster over the next two seasons far outweighs the loss of one long-term lottery ticket– especially when remembering that the Jays ought to have a significant advantage in terms of knowledge of their own system to rely on.

Perhaps the numerous free agent options available in the winter will depress the trade market for pitching, making it a more ideal time to get heavily involved, but it would be a gamble to once again wait for then in the hope that something better comes along. The asking prices are reportedly high right now, but the arms are there in the Jays’ system to replace what they may have to give up, and with so much of the core of the team finally appearing as though it’s really here, the time to start pushing clubs around with the prospect capital Alex has built up is now. There’s simply no reason for it to not be a fantastic next six months in the player acquisition department, and a time in which the braying from the insufferably impatient sectors of the fan base could finally, finally be given a long rest.

 

Image by Katherine Wakely-Mulroney via The Grid (and, y’know, Google Images).

Comments (197)

  1. Justin Upton is the the guy though isn’t he. or shouldn’t he be? thats the guy you try to sell out to get. doesn’t mean you try to get pitching, but an under control superstar, or fringe superstar has to be your first target.

    • Justin Upton would be nice. Problem is, I don’t see AA trading for two potential superstars. I can see giving up 3-4 prospects, but 6-8? That’s a lot. Not to mention that in that recent interview with AA and McCown, it seems that more teams want major leaguers in a deal, not just prospects.

    • Getting Justin Upton in left field would be absolutely fantastic, and I think would give the Jays hands down the best outfield in baseball. If the D-backs want a third baseman, trading Hech, Snider and/or a mid-level pitching prospect (Asher W…) would be doable for a Chase Headley. He could then be included with Anthony Gose, Ben Francisco (throw-in) and a top pitching prospect for Upton. A lot to give up for one player, but it might be worth it…worth dreaming about anyway

  2. Awesome article. Do you see the Jays going after any position players for the MLB roster or is it just pitching from here out?

    • I think AA just looks for value, tbh. Pitching is a huge concern, but if you can buy low on another Rasmus, I think he pulls the trigger on that deal.

  3. “The need to add dollars to compensate for Canadian tax rates”

    Such a myth.

    Canadians pay more in taxes, but only because the brackets are smaller. But if you are making $10 million a year, no matter what, you are in the top income tax bracket. The top income tax bracket in Canada and the US is a very similar rate.

    It varies state to state, but generally the income tax for an athlete in the top bracket playing in Toronto in about the same as any other US city. Of course some states have no state income tax, like Florida, but the difference is not very significant, especially if you consider property taxes. Hell, I’m pretty sure if you live in New York City, you will pay more in income tax in the top bracket than you would in Toronto.

    • In New York you certainly do and they have fewer loop holes for protecting your money. Ontario is actually on par with all States except Florida in the MLB-team states.

    • As someone living in NYC, I can’t say you’re wrong as far as outrageous tax rates (read Canadian level). However, I wonder if it’s more complicated if you are an american playing in Canada. Wouldn’t you still be subject to US tax rates (per citizenship) and maybe an additional foreign tax? I don’t know the answer, but I do imagine it’s a bit more complicated.

      • It isn’t really more complicated (except a couple more thousand to your accountants). Essentially if someone wants to bring money into your country you let them. They then spend it in country which makes for a better economy.

      • Canada and the US have some deal in place (might be part of NAFTA) to ensure you are not double taxed bringing income from one country to another.

      • Just after doing some quick research (I’m an accountant, but not a tax guy), the US is one of a few countries that requires all citizens to file a tax return, regardless of where they live.

        If a Canadian is living and earning an income in the US, they don’t have to pay Canadian income tax, just American. However, Americans living and earning income in Canada, have to pay income taxes to both countries. This is stupid. It is one thing to prevent people from going to tax havens, but it is another thing for people living in a country like Canada. Not sure what the rate is that is charged or if it is substantial or not…

        • Exactly, this is what I was referring too. The key question though is does Canada hit you with some levy as well if you are earning money in the country as a foreigner – my guess is yes, it would almost be negligent not too. Getting dinged twice is probably what athletes gripe about.

          • You pay full Canadian income tax.

            The US portion that you would pay would be the levy. This portion though is apparently very small because the US grants tax credits for Canadian income tax paid. But on someone earning $10 million, it might make a difference.

        • I’m told they have to file a tax return, but often don’t have to pay very much if any in tax. Under the Canada-American Tax Treaty, often if any tax is owed, it is just removed out of the amount paid to the CRA that was already withheld from the pay check. However, if you don’t file a tax return, you are subject to large penalties.

        • AFAIK, earnings Americans make in Canada are taxed at American rates. Any tax owing to the IRS must first subtract taxes paid to the CRA. You don’t pay tax twice, you pay the American government only if they have a higher rate.

      • You only pay the difference if you are paying lower taxes in your foreign jurisdiction.

        • Are you only looking at federal tax? Our provincial tax rate is higher … BUT THE BIGGEST BALL KICK IS OUR LIQUOR TAX.

          WHY DO PEOPLE PUT UP WITH $1/beer TAX!?!@?!?!?

  4. I’ve been saying for a while, if I was AA, I’d be more than comfortable dealing Hech or Gose. With Rasmus and Escobar already on the team, and to lesser extent Marsineck in AA.

    • Hech and Gose should be the first two out the door, just because of the major concerns regarding those bats.

      D’Arnaud should also be shopped around. There are definitely going to be injury concerns surrounding this kid. Him being out for the rest of the season does not help his development.

      • You make some compelling reasons as to why the Jays should be eager to get rid of these guys. They are, unfortunately, also some strong reasons why other teams won’t place an exceeding amount of value on acquiring them.

        • The difference is that we are strong in CF and SS right now. Some teams may have placeholders/fringe major-leaguers in those positions and be willing to take a gamble on Hech/Gose.

          • No doubt. I’m not saying no one will want them. All I’m trying to point out is that the notion that we should go through our organization and pick out those pieces that we don’t want, and trade them for gold is ridiculous. If you think that Gose and Hech have hitting issues, and that D’Arnaud is injury-prone, there are front office staffers all over the MLB who think so too. While they may be willing to ‘gamble’ on any or all of them, they will be viewing each of those players as discounted assets, as you are. Therefore, the return on selling those assets, without throwing in something more valuable, will be reduced.

          • That’s fine, I can agree with that.

    • I would deal JPA now. He is at best a mediocre catcher in terms of offence. People think that he is good because of the HRS but there are a lot of one dimensional catchers. I am not so sure you can label d’arnaud injury-prone. The last two injuries resulted from being hit by a pitch and someone falling on his knees at 2nd base. Those are not like chronic back issues or something more unlucky than anything

      • Agreed, deal JP. It will be very difficult to make a post season run or have success in the post season with a catcher is his calibre.

      • Completely agreed. Brings nothing offensively except the occasional hr. His obp and plate disipline is bruuutal. I would keep darnaud over him for sure.

  5. As long as it’s not for a rental, I’m fine with making a deal. I also trust AA’s judgement that what was wanted for Latos and Gonzalez was too much.

    I’ve mentioned it before (and it’s mentioned in this article) but we really shouldn’t under-estimate the value of players that we think have no value. There are a lot of dumb GMs out there.

    • You mean, somone out there thinks Lind is good?

      • Shrug, sometimes a little time in the minors can give these guys a reality check and help straighten them out. EE? Halladay? Not saying it works everytime… (Cecil).

      • Don’t get me wrong – i’m not confident in Adam Lind. not yet.

        But, wouldnt we have all said the exact same thing when we traded Aaron Hill to AZ? how badass would our lineup be if he was mashing like that with us again?

        • As lame as it sounds, sometimes a change of scenery — new stadium, new coaches, etc. can work wonders. Especially when you’re moving from the AL East to the NL West.

          The Jays should not have infinite patience for every player that has ever flashed signs of being above replacement level. But when there aren’t really that many other options available (at an affordable price)…

  6. Stoeten, you just made me the happiest girl at the dance

  7. We need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Garza would be nice but you have to believe that given AA’s propensity for making ninja-deals, it might be somebody else. I completely agree that now is the time to go out and get a starter – now as in ASAP.

  8. This explains why I’m constantly refreshing my twitter feed at work instead of, you know, working.

    AA loves prospects, especially those that he and his team have drafted or signed. With the exception of Brett Wallace, the prospects that he’s traded to this point were carryovers from the previous regime. To this point, I’ve thought of AA as a ruthless (almost heartless) talent manager. He’s made his decisions with no regard to feelings or personality or comraderie.

    I think what I’m feeling is a sense of fear. I worry that it was easy for him to be so ruthless because he was shpping out the assets acquired by JP’s team.

    • I think the fact that he shipped out Wallace when it was determined that he wasn’t going to be the long term solution shows that AA absolutely is okay with parting with talent he’s acquired.

      • Hope you’re right. It’s his ability to not get attached to particular players that has gotten him this far.

    • he was part of that team, you know. im sure whatever attachement he feels for his draftees was there with the players JP drafted.

  9. Rational, thought-provoking, and overall well-rounded intellectual piece you have written here Stoeten. Once again you have nailed it.

    I joke every day asking if the Blue jays have traded for Upton yet, quite simply because:

    • The Jays’ offense is quite sporadic after Edwin, or, dare I say, after Lind (SSS aside and all).

    • Rajai Davis is in LF. He’s an awesome player to have on the bench, but he’s not an everyday player. The defense would be much improved – though UZR says otherwise – as would the offense, if his struggles get resolved.

    • Team-control if a trade did happen. He’s got I believe 3 years left on his deal, on a contract that is similar to how Bautista’s was perceived: a bargain if he produces, not the end of the world if he’s just a 2-3 WAR player.

    • Availability. The Blue Jays are not on his no-trade list.

    The Blue Jays desperately need pitching, preferably in the starting rotation. Trading for one of the big fish – Garza, Greinke, Hamels – is a bit of an idea that probably shouldn’t be thought about too much, as we have no idea how they perceive the team, city, and fuck, the country. They could be had for way more valuable prospects than what anyone would want to see let go, and for any of those, you’d figure the teams would hold out for d’Arnaud to be in the package, even if he’s done for the year. Personally, I’d rather see the Jays make a play for Liriano, or Dempster. Both would be much cheaper as they have poor track records.

    In short, if the Jays managed to land a short/long-term piece in Upton, and a short-term (cheap) piece in Dempster or Liriano, the Jays could really open some eyes in a hurry.

    • +1 for Liriano

      Garza is the number one guy I want, but Liriano would be my Plan B.

      • He really intrigues the hell out of me. His walk rates are insane, but his velocity is back, he’s missing bats, he’s left handed, and he has shown consistent command in his career (see: 2010).

        With a little work, he has a solid chance to get back to his 6.0 fWAR self.

      • Liriano is exactly the type of inconsistent guy the Jays should not be going after. He’s the ultimate “Buy High!” candidate.

        • It depends on how you look at it. Liriano’s numbers are fugly, but they were once much better (when he wasn’t injured). The velocity is there, the missed bats is there, it’s really only his walks that have been his undoing – walks that are far more unforgiving at other parks, hence his terrible road splits.

          Since his numbers are kinda bad, I don’t know what you consider to be “buy high,” but he’s worth a couple middling prospects and not much else right now.

        • He is the ultimate AA type guy – see Rasmus, Colby and Esobar, Yunel – 2 guys that were once top prospects and had MLB success that were struggling. Liriano could be a buy low and with a change in scenery could be electric with the Jays.

          • Problem is both those guys were playing like dog shit when we bought low on them.

            That’s not comparable to fucking Liriano at all.

          • Liriano:

            5+ BB/9, 4.93 ERA (I know we don’t care about ERA, but management does), 3-8 record (again, we don’t care, but management does).

            For stats we care about: 3.88 FIP, 12.8% BB%, LD% 22.5%, 4.08 SIERA.

            He’s just not that good right now, but you never know if he could turn it around. It’s not like the Jays have any better options right now. I’d rather have him pitching every 5 days than Laffey, that’s for fucking sure.

          • That’s all season, including his time in the pen. He’s been doing a lot better recently.

          • I would rather have hepetitis than Francisco Liriano. This is actual baseball in 2012, not my 2007 fantasy team.

          • I’m going to be lame and use the small sample size card regarding how he’s been doing well of late, which I will not dispute.

            Personally, I just have the opinion that, while looking at his season totals and troubles, he’s just not that valuable as you claim. If he were pitching the way he has the last month or so all year, then we’d definitely be in agreement.

            We can always agree to disagree though.

          • You’re right, Liriano is not “as valuable.” Problem is, he’s doing really well now. Are the Twins going to take fucking McDade in trade for Liriano? No, they are probably going to see if he returns to form and resign him if he does.

    • I really can’t see a trade for d’Arnaud happening. He is our catcher of the future, a #5 in the order type bat, with defensive skills. I think he is one of the “core” pieces of the team that you could add to Romero, Morrow, Lawrie, Colby, Bautista and EE. No?

      • I can see selling high on D’Arnaud. JPA is already improving. He only hit 0.9WAR last year, he’s already at 1.0. Projected at 1.9… that’s not too shabby. He just needs to see the ball a little better.

        I like JPA’s durability. D’Arnaud has been out every fucking year with some sort of injury. That doesn’t worry you?

    • Why are we trading for rentals again?

      • Jays are 1.5 games back of the 2nd WC?

        • Oh ok, lets trade away the farm for a coin toss. Sounds legit.

          • Are you trolling, or just fucking stupid? Upton is for long-term. Liriano would be for a coin toss and would cost almost nothing, maybe a top 15-20 organizational prospect.

          • Love these kids coming in saying we’re going to trade our 20th best prospect for Liriano when he’s totally “buy high” right now.

            Upton is one thing, a rental pitcher is another.

          • BTW,

            Rumor had it that the Rockies wanted more than McDade for Guthrie if that tells you anything about how pitching is being priced right now.

          • Seeing as the playoffs as a whole is a coin toss, I fail to see your logic.

            Trading for a Greinke or a Hamels is one thing, Liriano is completely different. I suggest looking at his FanGraphs page, consider he was bad last season, consider he was so bad that he was banished to the bullpen for a month this season, think for 5 minutes, and then come back and give us one reason why Liriano is worth a top 10 prospect at this very moment.

          • It’s one thing to win the division and at least you know you’re getting three fucking games.

            AA’s goal should be winning the World Series. Not emptying the farm for one fucking game.

  10. its time to make a move WHEN I SAY IT’S TIME TO MAKE A MOVE!!!

  11. The fact that this makes so much sense, will make it harder to take if (I’m only saying if) nothing is done on the trade front for the rest of the season. By the sounds of it though, it makes too much damn sense for something not to happen.

    I am bitter about Beeston and AA lying about offering Beltran a contract though. Notwithstanding the turf thing and all of that. Refusing to even offer a contract to Beltran cause he wouldn’t play left field is absurd. He should have been able to foresee that Thames would be who he showed he was this year. And he obviously didn’t mind not playing Snider there all year. This club would be much, much better with Beltran in the lineup. If they did offer him a contract and he turned it down, that’s one thing. But to not offer him one and then lie about it is as bad as when Riccardi said Ryan’s back wasn’t injured to “protect” the fans

    • Can you provide factual evidence that they lied about this? I don’t recall them ever saying that and it’s a pretty big accusation to claim that they did offer a contract when they did not.

      • AA at State of the Franchise:

        The one free agent the Blue Jays appeared to have a lot of interest in was Beltran, who signed a two-year deal in St. Louis. One fan wanted to know why Toronto didn’t take a risk on such a short-term contract, and Anthopoulos responded with an indirect answer that provided plenty of clues about how the negotiations went down.

        “With a lot of players, at times, some of them don’t want to play on turf, no matter what money,” Anthopoulos said immediately after being asked about Beltran. “Some of them don’t want to DH at no matter what money, and some of them have health concerns from the medical staff that the club may feel they have to DH, and if they have to DH, they’re unwilling to sign no matter what the dollars are.

        “At that point, I don’t know what you can do, other than taking the shot.”

        That’s about as close as you can come to confirming you offered a contract without admitting it outright. Why say that if you never offered a contract in the first place?

        Beltran also denied the turn had anything to do with it, something AA (see above quote) tried to use as a huge excuse as to why Beltran turned down their contract offer (that was never made)

        Beltran:
        “When you’re healthy you don’t care, you can play on concrete and it’s fine,” he said. “Turf, natural surface it’s the same, all I was thinking was being able to be with a team that had the opportunity to maybe be in the playoffs.”

        and before you tell me the Jays weren’t viewed as a playoff contending team this year, a lot of writers had them as a sleper, and grabbing a pitcher or two would have greatly upped the perception most players would have had about the Jays’ chances.

      • I can’t remember the quote but I put it up here recently. AA was listing players and said something along the lines of, “Beltran, players like that, if we were to offer them a contract…”

        So he never said they offered him a contract.

        • Do you guys honestly believe Beltran and his comments? In the same breath where he stated that the Blue Jays did not make a formal offer, he also stated that San Fran didn’t even contact him to make an offer.

          Let us think about this for a second. San Fran, a team that traded its top pitching prospect for a half season of Beltran’s services, did not even pick up the phone to ask about his availability in the following season?

          Beltran would not be the first player who was not completely aware about the negotiations his agents were having. I take Beltran’s comments with a grain of salt.

  12. I think Upton should be our #1 target right now. Yes, we NEED pitching more right now then offense, but IMO you need to add elite talent whenever given the chance. There is no pitcher available right now in the same league as Upton in terms of pure talent (save perhaps Grienke or Hamels, and I don’t see AA going for a one year rental). GUys like that simply do not come along very often.

    Add to the fact that 2013, not 2012 is most liekly the year for us to finally start our breakout (not saying give up on 2012, but I’m not expecting anything). And as mentioned, there is a whole lot of good, FA pitching available this offseason. You forgot Marcum, Liriano,Guthrie and a bunnch of other guys who’s options are probably not all going to be picked up, like Peavy, Floyd, Santana, and Haren

    • Jake Peavy should be our realistic target next offseason IMO. In my more sober moments I realize that we have no real shot at getting Greinke or Hamels. But Peavy has been amazing his entire career when healthy and would be a spectacular 2/3 pitcher behind Ricky and Morrow.

      In addition, yes, Justin Upton is a total no-brainer unless they litterally ask for everything. Anthony Gose’s ceiling is to be 1/10 of the player Upton already is.

      • Are you comfortable with Morrow and Romero as your 1 and 2 pitchers? I’m not. neither one of them are a proven ace, which is what we should really be after. Morrow and Romero in all honesty are #2 and 3 pitchers in a strong rotation, if you put this lineup with a pitching rotation which features Romero and Morrow as your #2 and 3 starters, you are going into the season as a serious contender for the division title, you’re automatically favored over tampa and pretty close to even-odds with the Yankees in my opinion.

        • Ya, I’m pretty resigned to the fact that its unrealistic for us to expect to get a true #1 top 15 in MLB type pitcher. I’d be okay with just having 3 pitchers who are kindof 1b/2 (ie Morrow, Peavy, Romero) and count on the offense to carry us. That’s pretty much the Texas model right?

          • Sort of, but Darvish has been an ace at times, and he’s 25 and its his rookie season – his chances of being a legit ace (consider how dirty his stuff is) are very good. And not only that, but if you recall Texas did get Cliff Lee for their playoff run a couple years back.

          • Out of curiousity – what about it is unrealistic? Philly has had 3 of them the past 2 yrs, aces become availible often enough.

          • I just think – call it payroll parameters, cheapness responsibility, whatever – that we shouldn’t expect ownership to sign these guys to 150MM contracts. This makes it unrealistic to trade for them, since ownership wants no part in the optics of picking up a guy then letting him leave because we couldn’t afford him. Some of these names – Felix, Johnson, etc – are intriguing, but I feel like its more realistic to expect a good, but not great pitcher.

        • Agreed. It would be awesome if the Jays could get that top 15 in MLB-type ace…if not, I guess two mid rotation guys.

          • If you’re serious about being a conteder forthe division every year (in this division) you need an ace, in my opinion. this isnt the AL West with all do respect to Texas, and they’ve got a 25 yr old phenom in Darvish.

          • Boston and Tampa Bay have done fine without an ace

  13. I’m not expecting much until at least the next 2 series are over, because a losing streak, even a small one, between now and the trade deadline could spell the end of the playoff hopes for this year, so I doubt anthopolous is in any kind of rush.

    • I disagree because I think they’re after players that will help the team beyond this season. I still don’t think the Jays are overly concerned with making a run for it this season.

      • If they’re not, they should be. One and a half games is not very many. Its not like last year when we would’ve needed a superstar to even sniff the wildcard chase.

        • One and a half games and 50+ of the next 70ish are played against the AL East? We’re not competing.

          • Sorry, think its 44 against the AL East.

          • Yeah and not only that, but the only realistic chance for the Jays is to win a WC, which just gets you a guaranteed one game anyway. I’d hate to mortgage a big part of the future for a coin flip game. Just stay the course.

          • I believe the stat is 64 of their next 67 games are against teams that have records over .500 as of this moment.

          • There are only 3 AL teams with records under .500 so really all you’re saying is “the Jays will be playing AL teams in their next 67 games.” There’s also degrees of ‘over .500.’ For instance, I feel pretty confident that the Orioles are a sub .500 team in all but record. Ditto the Clevelanders.
            I understand the logic at play here, but there’s just no point in expecting that the Jays will continue an exponential rise in the standings until we are the clear favorites in the AL East. It just isn’t a thing. The Jays should grab with both hands at any chance at the playoffs.

          • Any chance of the playoffs? Are you serious?

            Might as well empty out the coffers, MIGHT GET INTO THE WILD CARD OVER HERE.

            Besides, you can talk all you want about how the Orioles are a sub 500 team. Didn’t stop them from sodomizing us earlier in the season.

          • You’re right, because every series is perfectly representative of the talent levels of the respective teams – that’s why we’re so much better than the Yankees! Holy fuck man, for someone who’s watched the Jays not make shit for 20 years you’re awfully willing to completely dismiss playoff baseball based on some arbitrary decree on how many games represent a ‘coinflip.’ Plus, I’m pretty sure the marginal usefuleness of the ‘rental player’ you decry would be much greater in a one game playoff than in a 5 game coinflip.

  14. Rentals and B/C level pitchers are being overvalued now because of the buyer/seller imbalance caused by the 2nd wildcard. That would not have as much of an effect on a truly elite controllable pitcher like Felix Hernandez. Seattle is not a contender and won’t be for at least another 2 years. They are silly not to entertain an offer for Felix. Gose, Escobar (at his age I’d rather keep Hech) and Arencibia plus one of the elite young arms should do it. If its not an ideal match, I’m sure Arencibia and Escobar would bring back significant young arms or position prospects from 3rd teams. zduriencik may have an irrational attachment to Felix, but this should be a win/win trade of a team built to compete in the next 2-3 years and one that likely isn’t. Bring Jaso back as a stopgap to pair with Mathis and Gomes for this year and let the d’arnaud era begin next year.

    Felix, Romero, Morrow and 2 of Hutch, Alvarez and Cecil to round things out sounds pretty good. Of course if we do this, Felix will go down on the 9th pitch of his first outing.

    • Can’t really trade JPA now since D’Arnaud is out for the season.

      • Sure you can, for the right offer. Mathis can play damn near everyday. Gomes can back-up.

      • you absolutely can trade JPA right now. Mathis has a much higher OPS than him anyways, albeit in less than half the # of PA’s, but regardless – this season is a wash because of the injuries.

        • If the Mariners said yes to that offer, I’d pack JPA’s bags myself and would be happy bringing Greg Zaun back to catch for the rest of the season.

          • So you’re saying Gose, 1 of Escobar or Hech, JPA and 1 of our elite pitching arms for Felix?… If I’m seattle, i’ve already decided I should trade him.

            I might accept that offer.

    • Seattle has Franklin at ss. Zunino at catcher. They would want a 3b and outfielders. Don’t think that would come close to getting that done.

  15. Shields (now or over the winter) + J. Upton (assuming he’s really available)! Even if it “depletes” the system (ie takes them from top 5 farm systems to the bottom half or even third), that would be a sacrifice I could get behind.

    • Rays wouldn’t trade him within the division. That’s a moot point, although, he’d be nice to get.

    • I doubt Shields gets traded to a team in the division. He has one year of control remaining. He’s a rental. Who says he doesn’t fucking walk after that? The Rays aren’t idiots, so you are definitely giving up players like the Lansing Trio to obtain him. Then what? Shields doesn’t resign with the Jays and we’re still looking at Dunedin to produce players like Osuna?

    • My view on Upton is that he might not be THAT much better than what Snider will give you starting next year going forward. If Dbacks really just throwing his name out there again like they did in 2010, then forget it – the price will cost too much relative to the difference from what Snider can be.

      • The real problem is that we never found out what Snider can realistically produce in a full season at the majors. Thus, we’re not sure whether or not we need a player like Upton, or Quentin, or whoever the fuck else in LF.

      • I don’t understand why so many are so bullish on Snider. He’s a young, potential talent for the team. That’s it. He’s had minimal sustained success at the big league level, and has struggled mightily with strikeouts over his brief career. Yes, he could potentially develop into an all-star, one day, if he figures some things out. I get it. But you know who else could? Justin Upton.

        Oh wait, he already has. And Upton is older than Snider by less than six months.

        • Here’s the difference:

          Snider is in our system jerking off in AAA.

          Justin Upton is going to cost you 3-4 prospects.

        • In my above comment what I was saying is that Upton may not be worth it depending on the price Arizona is asking, and if they’re simply dangling him again like they did 2 years ago with no serious intent to move him, then you can assume the price is going to be somewhere between pretty damn high and retardedly high. While Snider has struggled badly with the curveball and offspead in particular, I still have this feeling he’s going to figure it out.

  16. Is what makes Garza even more valuable via trade the fact that he’s under control for 2013? Thus if he leaves via free agency after he turns down the “qualifying offer” the Jays make him, he nets the Jays an extra draft pick because he was on the Jays roster the entirety of 2013, correct? Do I understand how that works properly?

    So it’s no longer about trading for guys who become free agents this year, but about trading for guys who become FA’s next year so we can get the draft pick, right?

    • Yes, that’s how it works. Just depends on how much you value one season of Garza. Let’s face it, this season is pretty much a wash.

    • Maybe. I would also add that, typically, the further the player is away from unrestricted free agency, the easier (less expensive) it is to sign him to an extension.

    • He has a FIP above 4 this year, i dont think he’s the pitcher AA shops for. You want a proven ace, not a proven #2 with 1 yr remaining like Garza, plus the price sounds like its way too high right now anyhow.

      • I think AA is just looking for a player at the right price. Regardless if they are a #1 or a #5 starter.

  17. If memory serves, Beltran expressed his disdain for playing on the Rogers Center turf, perhaps this was one of the reasons the Jays didnt make a formal offer to him.

  18. Nice article. Just a small question: It’s pretty exciting to know that the idea of a big trade for the Jays is in the near future (before the trade deadline), I’ve been checking almost everyday to see an article with the title “Jays acquire Zack Greinke” or something along those lines.
    I’m sure AA has been on the horn talking to other clubs, but when in how long do you think these trades might actually happen? Next week? July 30th?

    • I don’t know why people want to fucking sell the damn farm for 2 months of Greinke. Doesn’t even make fucking sense.

      • He’s just the first guy that came to mind… any proven MLB talent, under team control for at least 2013 would make my day. Especially a top of the rotation starting pitcher

        • Greinke is not under control next year.

          AA needs to be looking for pitchers with 2-3+ years of control left on them, because that’s about the time that we expect to see some results out of the Lansing 3. (or 2 or 1 depending on how that trade goes…).

    • Why in gods name would you want AA to acquire a rental player? If he trades for a pitcher, it better be someone under contract for at least next year.

      • One year really is not enough. Unless Deck and Chad start showing significant improvement, we’re not going to be seeing any pitching talent out of our system for 2-3+ years.

    • You’ll find a headline of “Jays Acquire Zack Greinke,” or something along those lines probably NEVER. Milwaukee is likely to want a shit ton of talent in return and Toronto is on his no-trade list (granted Milwaukee was on there too at one point) so there’d have to be a lot of convincing done. Nothing is impossible I suppose, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

      • There really is no point in bringing Greinke in. If AA wants Greinke, he should just sign his ass in the offseason. And we all know that ain’t happening.

  19. The under the radar play is Josh Johnson. I can’t see AA getting into a bidding war with the pitchers that are known to be available, because he’d be paying full value.

    • yes, Josh Johnson is another elite controllable pitcher whose value will be unaffected by this year’s 2nd wildcard chase. those should be the targets along with possibly a placeholder like guthrie.

      • theres absolutely no way they trade JJ. with the new stadium and the huge money they just pumped into their payroll, no way. it would ahve to be MLB-ready players only going borh ways and thats not what the jays are looking for

        • That’s fair – the point is if you’re putting a package together for Garza or Grienke it will be an overpay because of the competitive nature of the process.

  20. The next few weeks should (hopefully) be exciting, the time of trade-rumour boners. It’s that time when the trade-curiosity stiffy is thoroughly engorged, but is also sometimes be followed that “petit mort” of post-trade deadline flaccidity if the team’s needs are not adequately addressed.

    It will be nice to see if AA adds another piece to the puzzle, whether it’s a Garza, Dempster, Liriano, whoever, I’m just excited about the whole rumour thing.

  21. I really don’t know why people believe that AA won’t make a move. Look at the deals he has made to get Escobar, Rasmus and Lawrie over the last 2 years. The Silent Assassin has made great trades at every deadline, not to mention the Roy Halladay deal he had to make. He lives for Deadline Deals and I expect this season to be no different now that he has even more assets. 4 of the 6 ‘core’ players you mention Andrew came in via trade the last 2 years (all at the deadline I believe) so this crazy notion that AA will sit out this round blows my mind.

    • Because it fucking takes two to tango? Because with the extra wild-card spot, every jackass team in the league thinks they’re in it? Listen to that recent interview with AA, stating that teams are not just content with prospects-only in trades anymore, they want major leaguers as well. Who are we going to trade off the ML roster? And don’t say Davis. Only one *MAYBE* is JPA. And then you’re turning full time catching to Mathis/Gomes for who knows how long.

  22. And according to MLBTR, the four teams currently on Upton’s no trade list are NYY, Boston, Cubs, and Indians.

  23. Two can play this game! Though if you’re going to do some rosterbation, you may as well go all in. I mean, why sell off a little bit of the farm and “sorta contend” when you can decimate it and seriously contend for a title?

    1) Trade Snider and Kelly Johnson for Castellanos and A. Westlake. (Allow Detroit a window to try and negotiate an extension for Kelly Johnson as part of the deal.)
    1a) Trade Castellanos, Hechavarria, Nicolino, and Carreno for Justin Upton.

    2) Trade Gose, Wojciechowski, Jenkins, and Comer for Brandon Phillips.

    3) Trade Syndergaard, Sanchez, Norris, Marisnick, Jiminez, Thames and Musgrove for Halladay and Lee.

    4) Trade Y. Escobar for Zach Lee
    4a) Trade Zach Lee, McGuire, Cardona, Cooper, and Osuna for Tulowitzki

    5) Sign Hamels, Grienke, and David Ortiz in the offseason.

    Congratulationss! Your 2013 Toronto Blue Jays line-up now looks like:

    3B Lawrie
    CF Rasmus
    RF Bautista
    DH Ortiz
    1B Encarnacion
    LF Upton
    SS Tulowitzki
    2B Phillips
    C D’Arnaud
    Bench: Davis, Arencibia, McCoy, Gomes, Lind

    SP Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Greinke, Morrow
    RP Santos, Oliver, Romero, Perez, Villanueva, some other random crap
    Closer: Janssen

  24. Excellent article Stoeten. I espescially liked this line: “There’s simply no reason for it to not be a fantastic next six months in the player acquisition department.”

    Whether it’s before the deadline or over the winter the time to strike has clearly come. It’s not just about wasting Bautista. It’s about wasting an offence and defence that could easily improve (LF/DH/C come to mind), even though it’s already bordering on elite.

    There are two insufferable groups that will hopefully be quieted in the next 6 months.

    The first, as you mentioned, are the “Rogers are cheap” crowd.

    The second, and equally annoying group imo, will hopefully be the perpetual rebuild/finding surplus value according $/WAR twats.

    There is a buttload of surplus value already on the roster. Time to pay 3 win pitchers $12 – $15 million if necessary to secure their services. Time to punt Lind if he returns to the suckage he is most likely destined for and get an actual DH.

    Fuck off Parkes!

    • What are the options for DH realistically? FA its like, David Ortiz or nothing. Don’t be surprised to see Lind here next year, even if he’s playing like shit.

      • Or you could move EE to LF, Lind to 1B and sign Ortiz. sha-bang.

        Although part of me hates that idea.

      • Well it could be a new 1B and make EE more of the DH.

        You’re right, it would not be surprising if Lind is the (hopefully platoon) DH if he continues to play well.

        I’m just saying that more likely than not, Lind will suck. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee, just the most likely outcome. In which case they should cut bait.

  25. Until recently I was really against the rental players like Greinke but as I think about it, it is not such a bad idea. The cost of Grienke for two months should not be exceptionally high. You also give him a chance to get a feel for the organization and the players on the team, and a chance for him to see how he fares in the AL East. If the audition does not cost too much and both sides are happy, it could give the Jays a tiny leg up when it comes to signing him. We also have some exclusive time to negotiate with him.

    He is a stud, and I think he could be the right kind of pitcher for the AL East. He has four good pitches (well five if you count the cut fastball he brought back this season) and decent velocity. His ground ball rate has gone up every season he has played which is well suited to our infield defense. And he has a nice low HR/FB rate. I guess those things would play anywhere, but we need guys with a decent arsenal to compete. There are lots of “proven” pitchers who cannot pitch in the Beast. I think he could and I think it’s worth an A and a B prospect at least to find out and get in early on him as a FA.

    • You’re assuming his value “should not be exceptionally high” give an example of what you would be willing to give up for 2 months of ZG. The correct answer is Yan Gomes.

      • I did. An A and a B prospect (last paragraph). But how about Dan Norris and Chad Jenkins (I would even throw in one of Cooper/Thames/Davis)?

        • For 2 months and an early-bird shot at re-upping him for 120M?

          I cant think of a time in any sport when a team gave up as much assests for an exclusive shot at signing a player. I think you have to look at it that way because ZG’s value this season is next to nothing for us. We’re in this to win the division.

          • You are probably right, but I don’t think two months of Greinke pitching is worth nothing at all.

    • Logic tells you it shouldn’t be high, but just like in real estate or the stock market, there’s always a very good chance that someone out there is willing to overpay. The danger then becomes if that price sets the market.

  26. Bring on the trades.

    There are no slam dunks in out system anyway. Let’s bring in the proven commodity for the lottery ticket.

  27. Outstanding post! Well said.

  28. The real question is this: If they don’t make a significant move over the next 6 months, will you call them out on it or will you continue to defend their actions?

  29. i agree it’s time. i think i’d rather trade for a #2B pitcher with 2 years left on his contract than a legitimate #1/2A ‘rental’ if the prices are similar, though. 2013 is still more important than 2012. plus, with how ravaged our staff is right now and how much we’re hitting, even a middling guy provides a notable upgrade in terms of actually winning games (and if Middling Guy is only the #4 or #5 starter next year because we fixed our rotation more, great!)

    and i’m definitely hoping Arizona goes insane and sends us Upton and would take that over a non-extended-star pitcher if i had to choose. that’s a really, really pretty lineup. i don’t see why it couldn’t lead MLB in runs scored as long as the non-EE side of 1B/DH isn’t a complete sink.

    • we’re 9.5 games behind the Yankees for the division, and oh yeah we’re fielding a 50% AAA rotation/pen. You can’t spend anything on this season right now, we’re not in this to finish runner-up for a 1 game playoff. we want the division.

  30. I’d like the Jays to get Brandon McCarthy. But mostly b/c he’s really funny on Twitter. Not sure that’s reason enough.

  31. Why don’t more people suggest Halladay as a trade candidate to Toronto? Philly is out of the race and they could use the money saved on Doc to resign Hamels. There are already reports saying they want Hamels back but it is going to cost at least a Matt Cain deal to get it done. I doubt the Phillies want to be over the luxary tax level to field a sub 500 team. Surely Doc would love to come back to TO and have a better shot at competing than he currently does in Philly.

    • Are you sure he’d want to come back to Toronto right now? he’s super low-key and that move would be anything but. And also, are you sure AA wants to playing a declining ace 20M?

      • Obviously we don’t know what Doc wants, but looking at the Phillies right now and looking at our offense and pitching staff with him on it, doesn’t it seem he’d have a much better chance at a ring in TO?

        On the other hand, Philly has been contending every year until this year and are not conducting a firesale even if they trade Hamels. So perhaps he considers it a better chance annually at the playoffs.

        We have no idea what Doc wants. But I feel pretty confident that there are only a small number of teams he’d consider playing on and the ring is his first priority.

    • I suggested this a month or two ago and I don’t know why people don’t consider it a possibility.

      Plus, we have a centrepiece (Gose) with which we could part and the Phillies would probably love to replace Victorino. And it’s hard to know exactly what Doc’s trade value is considering his age, early season velo decline and recent injury. It certainly is lower than what it was 2.5 years ago.

    • Because it’s not happening.

      • I just think it makes too much sense for both teams. We reacquire our homegrown ace and ship back a CF and P prospects and that makes it easier for Philly to resign their 28 year old homegrown ace

        • At this point it must look a lot more attractive to Philly to keep 28 year old Hamels and receive prospects for 35 year old Halladay versus the other way around. ESPN reported the Phillies are pushing hard to resign Hamels but that would probably push the payroll over 200 mil

          • I was just yesterday relaying a story a friend of mine told me about a visit to a Carribean resort and a guy there called “Soup Can”. Awesome.

      • Good point Stoeten!

  32. wants to be paying*

  33. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see what he does. At the end of last season and then again this winter when AA said he would look to the trade deadline to use his prospects to acquire players I thought the comment odd. The reason being is what we’re seeing right now with the extra competition of the second wild card and the deadening mixture of the new CBA that longer brings compensation for players that will be free agents. There are so many teams in it now that surely prices for players are going to be higher from the competition. Add to that the realization that if you do go after the rental player what’s left of the season is all you’re going to get.

    That said, everyone is in the same boat. I just find it odd that he thought he would get the best value for his prospects at this point in time. As much as I would love to see something happen, I am definitely not sold on trading any players of worth for mere rental players when the odds are so long and the holes on this team are many. If you also factor in the utterly ridiculous unbalanced schedule the Jays really have a tough slog ahead this year vs teams like LA and Detroit. You’re starting to see those teams separate themselves a little more from the majority of the AL East with their weaker schedules. I think that aspect will certainly come into play as we go deeper into the season.

    As for what he could get back to help immediately, it’s hard to see what’s out there. I will admit that I never saw the Latos and Gonzales moves coming this past winter. I figured those players were untouchable due to their age and the years of control they had left. However, even if you include players like that, the list is certainly small right now. When anything is rare the price is high.

    It’s going to be an interesting thing to watch what Jays management will do. Do they risk not doing anything and try and buy some arms instead? Or do they pay the piper’s exorbitant price now? The one benefit of going after free agent arms in the winter imo is that the short-term and long-term future of the club is left relatively intact giving you flexibility for future trades and payroll to move in whatever direction you need (not talking mega contracts). Obviously the risk with doing that is if you strikeout and can’t sign anyone you’re right back where you were the season ended.

    At least for now as Stoeten said they Jays really do have a lot of good prospects with reasonably high ceilings. Trading some of them away should still leave plenty for future needs.

  34. You would have to think his value is about as low as it has been in 10 years and Philly might be inclined to move his contract out. 20 mil is a lot considering his possibly declining health/skills but I still believe Doc at 60 percent is still better than 80 percent of the pitchers available

  35. Where the hell is Brad Fullmer Fan?

  36. Like others have said, the only trades I’d want are for players under control beyond next season. No to Greinke, no to Hamels and no to Garza.

    I would however like it if the Jays just threw a stupid amount of money at Greinke in the offseason. He doesn’t like Toronto? Pay him to the point where he will like it.

  37. Hey I just wanted to say that before reading this article, I was reading Richard Griffin’s Bullpen. Considering one is a “blog” and the other is written by a “connected” baseball “columnist” I just wanted to say the results were hilarious.

    Griffin: Employing no critical thinking and writing as if he Reggie Jackson would not actually punch him in his stupid beard for what he wrote if he did.

    Reggie Jackson, how dare you be one of the only interesting people still left in the sports world and not a watered down placating platitude serving robot.

    Stoeten: Employs critial thinking, looks at more than just the present and offers a variety of differing thoughts and comments without once being a smug asshole.

    Bottom line: How the fuck does Griffin have the nerve to call himself a writer ? And, Stoeten really should be publishing in the Star or something. At least I hope youre getting paid dude.

    • How does Stoeten’s scrotum taste?

    • Because a reputable news source would expect him to be somewhere and do something every day not just roll out of bed at noon and spend the day on the couch. A reputable news source would also have guidelines to follow, an editor and so on and so on rather than just saying whatever he wants whenever he wants.

      You know those days where we dont get a game threat that takes all of 10 minutes to do up,,, those days would also be gone for him as I mentioned above that he would be actually expected to work for a living.

      Not taking shots at the man but this is all very true stuff.

  38. I love all these people and their hopes, dreams, theories and thoughts, reminds me a lot of myself before I completely lost faith in AA.

    AA wont be making any moves at all for the current team needs, it simply will NOT happen, there will be no serious pitching acquired before the deadline apart from perhaps a couple Joe Blow type guys to help in the pen, but no one notable. If everyone could do me a favour and look at some of the trade deadline moves made for top level starting pitching over the past 5 years or more, can you really say you would be comfortable with giving up the insane amount that some teams have given up over the years? My thought is hellllllll no.

    The only deal I can see happening is the Upton deal, I see this as only a moderate possibility but it reminds me of the Rasmus situation but this time around it will be for more than spare parts which makes me wonder if its worth it. To give away guys like Hech or others with a huge future upside would be like taking candy from a fat kid for AA. The possibility of having the best outfield in baseball is just not enough to entice AA to part with any of his main prospects. But if this deal does happen, itll be more for a long term solution rather than a rental.

    This offseason AA will pursue a starter, but I dunno if he will go after any of the big names on the block, instead I think itll be Marcum coming back for a reasonable price and then there will be some money spent on the pen as well. A rotation of Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Marcum and maybe Villanueva or Laffey depending on the health of others would be a rotation good enough to compete. I dont think AA will be willing to give out 20+ million a season for the guys available but Marcum would be wonderful to have back.

    Thats how I see it, but anyone expecting major moves for pitching etc before the deadline should rethink.

  39. this classic piece of bullshit the DJF keeps dripping out its arse — “another affront to the good faith of the club’s fans, who only want to see quality Major League players brought into the team, regardless of cost.” — is such a fucking insult to actual fans who understand that the entirely misused qaulifier “regardless of cost” is total weak sister hedge.

    the cost to sign actual quality MLB-ready players — not AAA players in disguise, or risks like converted fielders, or headcases or what have you — is set by the market and if you’re fielding an MLB team, you’re gotta pay MLB prices.

    it’s just so sickening to read this egghead, endless apology of the club. rather than objective analysis, we get a stream of pussified insults and ill informed equivocation.

    according to this blog, no MLB player or pitcher has ever really been worth signing by the Jays. and yet we have a single decent starter in action right now, and a bullpen in shambles (despite “smart affordable moves” by our “ninja” GM)… reading this shite is almost as fucking painful as reading Doug Smith write about basketball.

  40. Welp, Luis Perez is gone for the duration as well…..

  41. @ Stoeten. Good topical post.

    AA has to make some moves but there are many holes to fix on the roster We cannot expect to see AA delve into the trade deadline season (where the acquisition cost is often the highest) to address all of the needs of the ball club. AA will need to address more in the offseason. I have always perceived AA being a want GM and not a need GM. AA tends to roll the dice on players he covets (or wants) as opposed to addressing glaring needs on the roster. The Blue Jays are in a pretty strong need mode right now. It will be interesting to see how AA navigates the ship in the coming weeks as he now has to address needs and not want.

    Note. Draft signees cannot be traded for one year once they sign with the big club. Thus, many of the pieces mentioned in the post would not be movable assets.

  42. I love reading this piece now. It was prescient and I am grateful.

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