Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Not a whole lot going on this afternoon. Not a whole damn lot at all. Unless you actually want to talk about the series that the Jays just finished with the Mariners, which… why the hell would you? So… here’s… whatever’s here…

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm passes along the latest on Edwin Encarnacion’s wonky ankle, which will be keeping him at DH for the time being, and the fact that the Jays may really, seriously, be considering moving to a six man rotation, for some reason.

In his latest fortnightly infographic at Getting Blanked, Craig Robinson of Flip Flop Fly Ball looks at position player WAR throughout the Majors to this point.

At the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian muses openly about whether or not the Jays need to spend to contend. Similarly, at Jays Journal, Matt Germain wonders about the correlation between attendance and payroll.

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Ben Lindbergh wonders about the insight of Gregg Zaun, who expects big things from Jeff Mathis, who has had his offfence unleashed now that he’s away from the defence-first Mike Scioscia.

Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun looks at the reverse splits of the newest Jay, Steve Delebar.

Lastly, the Ack does some boat-rocking, as he begins to question the long-term vision of Alex Anthpoulos.

Comments (91)

  1. I can not believe the amount of Blue Jay fans and writers who are so horny for Travis Snider? Yes, his development may not have been handled perfect but by now we should have seen more if he was to become a superstar.

    It is embarrassing. It is just like the pathetic Philadelphia people who still think Buddy Ryan was a god. Meanwhile, the Eagles won ZERO playoff games with him as a coach.

    Move on guys…

    • Some bloggers like the Lincoln deal for the Blue Jays:

      http://mopupduty.com/brad-lincoln-trade-073112/

      The Jays know Snider better than most. Ultimately, no one knows how he will adjust playing in Pittsburg. Not sure if AA did the right thing, but in order to get quality MLB pitching, you have to pay up.

    • I definitely am a Snider fan, and I don’t like the trade, but you’re probably right. He might put it together, but there’s a strong chance he won’t. Clearly that’s the opinion of Jays scouts.

      The negative reaction to the trade seems to be at least partly ‘but, we like him’ rather than thinking he’s actually going to be the middle of the order bat we all thought he could be.

      • I think the ghosts of Roy Halladay and Carlos Delgado haunt our perceptions of what Snider may have become as a Blue Jay: two superstars whose paths included initial success followed by a return to the minor leagues (Halladay for a complete mechanical and philosophical overhaul) followed by ascent into baseball stardom. I think with Snider having completed 2/3 thirds of that journey many expected that ascent into stardom was soon to follow. Now we wait to see.

      • Who cares what the fans want, it’s who is best for the team.
        As I belive Bobby Knight said best, when you start listening to those in the stands, you will soon be sitting with them…

    • Here is an even more interesting question, do we have prospects that are better than Snider? I mean, its not like he was the only guy in the organization that has talent.

      • Outfielders? Marsinick. Gose if he learns to hit…

        • Marsinick is the guy for sure, but he’s years away. Learns to hit?? Ya….that’s an easy thing to do. Should have kept Snider. He’s the best guy to fit that spot and has been all year. Also, there’s still the off chance that he turns out to be who we all thought he’d be. He still a fucking kid in the baseball sense.

        • right now Gose is nowhere near as good as Snider. The question wasn’t will he be better. Presently there are no outfield prospects in the system that are anywhere close to as good as Snider is at this moment.

    • ..so agree.

    • Buddy Ryan was, but as a defensive coordinator, not as a coach

  2. The Snider trade seems like the first AA move that has shaken the faith of fans in AA a bit.

    • I disagree I remember the outrage when Wallace was traded for Gose. People went nuts and that blew over. In fact people are pumped up the trade since Wallace can hardly crack the Astros teams lol.

    • I agree. The thing about the Snider trade is that, just a week earlier, he pulled off that widely-panned deal with Houston, which compounded the reaction towards the Snider deal.

      Obviously AA can still regain the fans’ confidence, but I think we’ve entered phase 2 of Anthopoulous’ reign with this recent trade deadline.

  3. Ship is sinking

  4. I was never a Snider fanboy, so the trade doesn’t bother me as such. But with Plan A (Snider) and Plan B (Thames) both being traded, I suppose the deadline felt more like an implicit admission that the good ship Blue Jay is being taken in a slightly direction, which in itself is not a bad thing. Good teams, bad teams and those that remain somewhere in between do this all the time. It’s just that after spending the last three years being told to believe in a particular program the perception that this particular program is beginning to unravel is a little unnerving.

    • A different direction? These are bit pieces. If the Jays were going in a different direction, that would be a cornerstone player traded. Not 2 fourth outfielders.

      • Bit pieces? Maybe. But until recently I don’t think many thought of Snider as simply a fourth outfielder. Like I said, I don’t think the trade itself was all that bad but one can understand how trading both Snider and Thames on the same day would give off the public PERCEPTION that AA’s plan is undergoing some change. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.

        • You’re right. Until recently he wasn’t a 4th outfielder – he was in AAA.

          • What? Really? You mean his .335/.423/.598 was not his Toronto slash line but instead his Vegas slash line. Well, this changes everything…

      • so agree with you Stanley.

  5. If Wilner is still confused as to what ‘butt hurt’ means, he should read the series of lamentations in relation to Snider that have been written by commenters on this blog over the past couple days.

  6. Surprise! Eric Thames is excited to be in Seattle! #sarcasm

    Thames seems like such a positive person that he would be excited even if he was suddenly demoted to A ball.

    • Thames is someone you can’t root against. Not convinced he has the talent to be an every day player – but I hope he does well in whatever role he develops into

  7. Yup.

  8. Maybe it’s just me, but the reason I think ppl are so adamant against the Snider deal is the simple fact that we also gave up Thames, and therefore depending on whomever you thought was going to be the starting right fielder in 2013 (most thought it would be Snider) they are now gone. Which, again, is okay because we got some pitching help. However, it is SUPPOSED to be okay because of “our depth in the outfield.”…but do we really have the depth we think we do? Maybe? Davis is a non-starter for the outfield (literally), So then its either Gose or Sierra…seriously, those are the options (barring any other moves) for starting RF in 2013. And that’s the big problem about the Snider deal IMO..
    If Anthony or Jake were a little older and a little more developed then ppl wouldn’t be losing their fucking minds over the Snider deal.
    It’s kinda that simple. Had we acquired Upton ppl wouldn’t have cared. The entire pt is that the rhetoric was “both the Pirates and the Jays were dealing from a position of strength”…and that isn’t exactly true….yet.

    • ..sorry, messed up right and left….happens when you’re bombed

    • I would imagine AA is going to ride out Davis and Moises for the rest of the season. Unless Moises simply runs away with the job, a play for Upton may be forthcoming in the offseason.

      • Until Arizona asks for one of the big three and Gose or Hech and AA shits himself over such an outlandish request, then it’ll be “the price was too high”

  9. People who cite Forbes’ numbers have clearly never been anywhere near a financial spreadsheet. Any company, ESPECIALLY one with as many business groups as Rogers, can make any branch of their organization seem profitable and/or unprofitable as required. Forbes’ writers are by definition talking out of their asses because they are limited to what they can learn from the company’s intentionally obscure quarterly earnings reports. There are probably 15 people in the world who know exactly how much Sportsnet ‘should’ be paying the Blue Jays, and if they told Forbes they would be commiting a major felony.

    So enough with trying to extrapolate absolute conclusions (ie the Jays are unprofitable, they can afford $X in payroll) based on these fragmented data points. I know bloggers love statistics, but when they start going on about corporate finances they are WAY out of their depth.

    If you’re going to try and speak to financials the best you can do is speak in relative terms (attendance is up X%, 18-35 ratings are X) and assume that, as a profit making entity, the company should be able to increase expenses by some factor of that increase without hemmorhaging money. Even that makes some major assumptions, but anything else is no better than raving about how Rogers makes billions in overall profits and should buy all the free agents. Both reflect a similar understanding of the individual finances of Rogers business groups.

    • …so agree with you Ray.

    • yes but… we can compare (after normalizing the household/viewer factor), third party, or in the case of the Nats, related party TV contracts handed out to other clubs based on their value of the viewership and associated ad revenue AND using the broadcast as an anchor to promote/lift up other programs on the network.

      A quick peek at the Rangers, Angels, and Nats TV deals would suggest that Rogers could spend more on the Blue Jays than they currently are IF they would attribute the Market Value of the exclusive anchor broadcasts back to the team.

      • No, we can’t because we have no idea exactly how valuable the Blue Jays media properties are because they are buried in the Rogers Communications financial reports. There’s also no point in comparing to other teams, because the advertising market is so different in Canada its just apples to oranges. The situation where a sports TV station buys the team it covers is also very rare and complicates the financial disclosure statements further.

        The only way to even approach making an accurate assumption of the team’s cashflow is to compare year over year numbers. Anything else is nothing more than a shot in the dark.

    • Really? the team with the 5th largest pop. market and largest TV market (NY, LA x2) isn’t the 27th most valuable franchise? shocking

      • Context, coach. Miami has a bigger market/population than their hockey team’s relative value, and we totally get that, no? You may have a big market where many people simply don’t like the sport very much.

        I’m not saying that’s the case here– based on past successes I doubt that’s true at all. But that doesn’t mean your scoffing isn’t a little glib.

    • Well said. If I hadnt been getting nauseous from typing in the car, I would not have presented those pieces without comment.

    • Some good points Ray. I nearly stopped reading when he started quoting Forbes. All we have to do is look at all the recent transactions of teams being sold and then go back and look at how much Forbes undervalued them. They’re not even close.

      The same goes for the reference to how MLB monitors what revenues are generated from TV rights. It`s fine for other teams like the Angels or Rangers who get paid via a third party but when the team is controlled by the network or vice versa then it doesn`t apply at all. There`s a nominal amount that is charged as revenue but that`s not even close to the true revenues generated. The YES network is a prefect example of this. This is the reason why the Jays were removed from revenue sharing this time around in the CBA. MLB knows there`s much more revenue there than what`s being reported. As a result they went to market size instead.

    • The Forbes numbers for valuation of the franchise is much lower than what the franchises are selling for.

  10. Nothing this gm does makes any sense anymore. Why not trade snider last offseason when you could have gotten more? Why not let him play out this season and then trade him? Why was thames given the job over snider ifyou planned on trading him. Why not trade thames last offseason? He’s trying to tell us these trades only came up now?

    And relievers are no guarantee either. They flame out just as often. Look at evan meeks.

  11. AA is clearing outfield space for Josh Hamilton….

    • hahaha – man that would be outstanding – I’m going to pretend this has a chance of happening and use it as a way forget about Seattle – thanks for the lift

    • Hamilton could just stay in the Skydome Hotel and never ever have to face his demons at all…

  12. “I would imagine AA is going to ride out Davis and Moises for the rest of the season”…and that’s the point, right? Because when you’re claiming to your fanbase that you’re a serious team, with the resources to win and yet, you HAVE to play one of those two guys as a starting outfielder..well, then you’re probably not a playoff team.

    ..And if your not a playoff team, let alone a team that’s going to do fucking well in the playoffs – then you should probably stop with the whole playoff talk…

    • How many seriously contending teams out there have no questions at this point in the season?

      By that logic how dare Detroit claim to their fanbase that they’re a serious team, that they have the resources to win and yet, they’re playing Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch as starting outfielders.

      Toronto is probably not making the playoffs (barring a 2011 Rays-like September run), but I can guarantee you the reason they’re not has nothing to do with them having to play Moises Sierra for a week because Joey Bats had to extend his DL stay.

      • Slow agreeing clap

        • Wait, sorry, my post should have been threaded with my other one above. Either way, I don’t disagree you at all. My entire pt was ppl are losing their entire shit over losing Snider only b/c we lost Snider AND Thames. The common opinion was that we made trades using our depth of system at certain spots to shore up shortfalls in others…but that we don’t actually have all that much current depth at the outfield spot (since we are playing one, if not two, of Gose, Sierra and Davis all the time).
          The playoff comment is more of an aside, and while I agree “not many teams know right now where they stand,” us fans, that read and post on fan boards, should understand that the playoffs are not happening in 2012 (and maybe not even 2013), and that our true depth really lies in us being contenders in say 2016. Other Joe Q public fans (you know, the 25000 of them that aren’t avid followers of Jays bloggers and yet still pay full ticket price for games) need to be told “playoffs – soon and payroll increases are not an issue” or they will stop showing up to the ‘dome.
          My post is kinda just pointing out AA’s dilemma; for I am hopeful actual fans (the ones who post on here for instance) can see the reasoning behind these deals as opposed to the fuckbag fans (who post shit on TSN./Sportsnet comment sections)

          • There’s no reason to write off next year. I’m very hopeful that they can be a contending team IF they make some moves and spend some money in the winter. If they don’t then I’ll be one of those fans who wont show up to the dome anymore. I’m not saying I expect that to happen, but this winter is the time to shit or get off the pot if you’re AA. And if we’re fed the “he didn’t want to DH, or he didn’t want to play on turf, or he wanted to play on a contender, or the price was too high in prospects” bullshit again, then I’ll vomit everywhere.

          • I do agree that this offseason will be critical.

            The injuries in 2012 have derailed the team from reaching its true potential.

            AA has made a 180 degree turn on bullpen construction from paying 4 million to sign aging relievers that perform very well ( Oliver ) or very bad ( Coco).

            The new strategy is trading prospects for young power arms.

            I also think Santos may be in worse shape than the Jays are letting on, so Lincoln & Delabar are the replaceents.

            Writing off 2013 is premature.

            The upside of 2012, is the Jays stayed competitive for 1 more month than usual.

  13. Have to read the article Getting Blanked put up about comparable players….The three players who had most similar starts to their career as the great Travis Snider (who I do like but not love)-

    Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien, and Chad Hermansen

    • Yeah but Travis walks on water and turns it into wine while he does it. He’s better than Jesus and John Lennon combined. Waaaaaaaaaaaah…

  14. There are some good pieces on the Blue Jays, but let’s not kid ourselves, the pre-injury 2012 team was not built to make a deep playoff push. AA is addressing some of the weaknesses with the recent flurry to acquire reasonably priced power arms for the bullpen. And the Happ trade could provide the Jays with a serviceable 5th or 6th starter going forward.

    The Jays were not set at LF, with Thames ‘winning’ the job over Snider in spring training. I doubt AA has or had either of them in mind when assembling his core group. Davis or Sierra profile as 4th outfielders and Gose needs more time in AAA next year.

    AA will need to address LF, 2B and the starting rotation. Last but not least, what to do with 1B. Is EE the answer or do we keep trotting out Lind and his wonky back out there?

    Looking at the Snider trade in isolation hides the fact that the Jays are missing more pieces than most are willing to admit. To win a postseason berth in the AL East, its not enough to field a really good team. You have to field an awesome team.

  15. people are pissed about the snider trade because the best we can hope for from lincoln is 60 very good innings a year… where snider ceiling is an above average corner OFer.

    AA et al. must believe that lincoln has an exponentially greater chance of reaching his peak value… otherwise AA got hosed.

    the other factor here is that there is no one in the organization who is ready to be the everyday LF… despite AA’s love in for gose on the bobcat’s show post deadline… so there is a good chance we helped the bullpen but created another hole in the 25 man roster in LF. (assuming no one really believes that davis is an everyday player)

    so for this to be a win… lincoln has to be good… snider below average… and AA has to fill the gaping hole in LF. all of that stuff could well happen… but people are starting to doubt AA’s ability to fill holes on the big league roster after last offseason and this trade deadline.

    • I am not a fan of the trade either, but if you’re basing an argument on ceilings…well Lincoln’s currently reaching his (unless you think he can start, which, from the evidence, he cannot) so you know he has/can hit the projected ceiling, we still don’t know if Lunchbox ever will…

      • lincoln’s been great… but 37 relief innings this season is still a pretty small sample…

        my main point is that when you consider overall value you have to be both pretty sure lincoln is the real deal and pretty sure that snider is not to justify the trade… AA et al. obviously are pretty sure… people that don’t like the trade are less confident of one or both evaluations.

    • Very good post. The 60 innings that Lincoln pitches better be high leverage shut down innings.

      Losing a full time LF. who probably hits 260, with above average defense & 25 HR power is tough.

      The only thing that worried me about Snider was his injury risk.

      Davis is not a full time LF.

  16. The Snider trade reaction is interesting. It’s like a metaphor for fan frustration you could sense starting to simmer in the off-season with all the hoo-ha surrounding free agents AA was allegedly in on (or not).

    The team is improving, IMO – even if it’s slower than most are hoping for.

    The winter ahead will be fascinating to watch, both in terms of what the Jays do to add more pieces, and the fans patience.

  17. While we may not agree, there has been a significant change in AA’s rhetoric about this team. HE is saying the club is turning into a contender and that is why the bullpen is more important this year (lip service), but next year for sure. I have never heard him say this before. Now that he has put that pressure on himself, I believe he will ask for the money to get a FA starter this winter.

    • At some point the AA fan boys will turn on him.

      Didn;t JP Riccardi have as much suppor in the early years as AA.

      What baffles me is the rumors that AA is turning down money from Rogers to build the team more quickly.?

      Next year is year 4 of the AA era & his picks & trade acquisitions will be examined.

      If Gose & Hech bomb, what happens next??

  18. So here’s a question: which of the following would be more beneficial to the Jays, long-term?

    1) Jays go on a late-August/early-September run, coming within one game of the second wild-card, and keep up the chase until the last series of the season, when they lose the last three games.

    2) Jays lose three or four more players to injuries like broken shins and other, non-performance threatening stuff. Playing the entire Las Vegas starting lineup, they lose 30 of the next 40.

    In scenario one, the Jays benefit from heightened fan interest, which boosts ticket sales, which boosts revenues, which theoretically increases the amount of money AA has available to spend in the offseason. The Jays as a near contender become ever so slightly more attractive as a free agent destination. Fan interest remains strong into spring training, and the Jays make more profit from ticket sales in April as a result.

    In scenario two, the Jays benefit from a top 10 draft pick. This improves the farm, which gives Anthopoulous yet even more prospect capital he can either develop or use someday to acquire someone good. This is countered by lower ticket revenues, and potential depression amongst the players in the clubhouse.

    • Its early August and we are considering tank nation?

      I think that AA will keep playing Gose and Sierra for two reasons, mostly to evaluate them and look for progress in their development. And two, playing them (with the hope that they do show development) so that they can be shopped as trade chips.

      I get the feeling that Marisnick might be the true untouchable positional prospect (along with d’Arnaud). Gose, on the other hand, could be packaged and seemingly, no one would really notice.

      • I think tank nation has to be at least considered. The Jays were a .500 team when they were healthy for the first two months of the season, and are a .500 team now.

        With a better rotation, and a healthier team, the Jays will look pretty damn poised for a decent shot at a WC in 2013. For now I think it’s about getting a better draft selection and letting the kids play.

        • I have no issue seeing the young ones play. But let’s not forget that the Jays have some intrigue lurking at SS, 2B and 1B.

          I see no problem in seeing Yunel return at SS next year. He hasn’t posted his projected numbers, but he’s still a quality SS with a decent bat.

          As for KJ, with the new CBA provisions calling for qualifying offers ($13M range), one wonders what AA will do at 2B.

          Oh, and then there is that Lind guy at 1B.

          Yeah, definitely play the kids that merit the promotion to evaluate their progress and potentially prop up their value. But there should also be some critical eyes on our infielders (save for Lawrie).

      • I was under the impression my post illustrated why scenario one is clearly better.

        • I see your point, I just doubt AA is going to build his whole strategy over a September attendance spike.

          While we all like to blame Rogers as being cheap fucks, AA’s payroll parameters notwithstanding, much of the recent restraint in the FA has to have come from the front office.

    • This isn’t hockey.

    • `AA & Beeston would favor scenario 2. It is easier to blame injuries for non performance .

      AA “got lucky” this year because no one will blame him for all the injuries.

      Luckily no one follows the diamondbacks so the trade of Kelly Johnson for Aaron Hill is not being analyzed.

      Hill is hitting 300 in Arizona.

      • How the fuck can you possibly say with any certainty that scenario #2 is perferably to Beeston & AA?

        You’re telling me they prefer the Jays to have lower revenus and, therefore, a smaller payroll?

        AA got lucky this year?

        I find it baffling that people are blaming AA for not fixing JP’s mess as quickly as they’d hoped.

        I have no problem getting behind the “Rogers is cheap movement”. But, seriously, people are completely taking what AA has done for granted.

  19. Indeed. Trading two LF’s back-to-back made me think that AA had big plans for the position (J Upton, for example). Now, it’s anybody’s guess. By the way, does anyone really think that Steve Delabar will even be with on the 25 man roster in 2013?

    • There’s a part of me that still wonders whether Delabar was acquired with the idea that he’d share his magical velocity improvement program that added seven MPH to his fastball with Cecil and the rest of the staff.

    • I see a bullpen of:
      Janssen Closer
      Oliver 8th inning/high leverage LOOGY
      Santos 7th/8th inning
      Lincoln 7th inning
      Delabar Mop up
      Happ Loogy/Long man/spot starter (Perez/Villanueva job from this year)
      and probably Frasor (with a paycut), or maybe Lyon (with a paycut) (6th/7th inning)

      Loup/Cecil- Sitting in AA getting ready for a callup, Perez recovering from Tommy John.

  20. Anthopoulous: (loosely reconstructed) “The thing about trades is you can control the ages of the players you get back, and when they hit their primes.”

    Significant Players AA has acquired, and their ages:
    Morrow: 27
    Gose: 21
    Escobar: 29
    Lawrie: 22
    Rasmus: 25
    Santos: 28
    Happ: 29
    D. Carpenter: 26
    Lincoln: 27

    It’s possible this means nothing, but notice the trend of moving away from acquiring very young players, and towards acquiring “beginning to enter their prime” players. One could interpret this as meaning that AA believes that next year, or the year after, is the year he’s going for it.

    • you might be on to something there… All 22-30 next year. Remove Gose and it is 23-30 and that is a ripe group.

    • By going for it, I think you are saying the WC playoff spot, correct?

      • I would hope that AA would aim for the division. Sure New York looks tough right now, and sure if they didn’t look tough they’d just buy whatever they need, but most of their players are on the wrong side of their prime. Jeter and the rest of them have to retire someday, don’t they?

        • I don’t see how this team jumps to the division leader without significant additions to payroll.

          This year the Jays stayed competitive till the end of July which is an improvment from the usual June awoon.

          Even if you use the old standards of 1 wildcard position , then the Jays are within 5.5 games which is the usual guide of competitiveness.

  21. Can I get clarification on the WAR calculation. Is the Avererge Replacement is the ‘mythical’ AAA player? For example Encarnacion’s WAR factor is against the AAA League Average SS, and not Hecheveria.

    • Guess no one knows

      • The stats get thrown around this site pretty good, and are often used to defend positions or attack other’s points of views. Seems when you drill down on it, nobody really understands the methodlogy behind the math so must of what you read is just crap

        • It isn’t that people don’t understand the methodology, though there is some dispute over the way the defensive metrics are factored into WAR (which gives rise to competing WAR values — fWAR vs rWAR for example).

          Basically, the “replacement player” is the average going-nowhere AAA player, or a scrub picked off the scrap heap. The replacement player is fictitious (in a sense) — he isn’t the *actual* replacement that would be used. For your example, the replacement player for Yunel Escobar isn’t Hechavarria; he’s a no-name Player X who fields about league average and doesn’t hit that well.

        • Or nobody gives a shit if you know what WAR is or not.

    • Yes, if EE was a shortstop.

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