The Carlos Conundrum

After putting up a fantastic line in last night’s shutout victory over the Rays, the speculation has only increased about what the Jays ought to do with free-agent-to-be Carlos Villanueva. The right-hander continued a fantastic run of now eleven straight starts, in which he’s posted a 3.53 xFIP, and 65 strikeouts to 17 walks over 65.1 innings, leading a whole lot of folks to wonder if the Jays might have a ready-made mid-rotation starter sitting right under their noses.

Yet there remain a number of reasons to suggest that maybe he isn’t, and the club is running out of time to make a crucial decision on him, especially since Villanueva, despite spending most of his career as a reliever or a swingman type, quite rightly wants to be paid like a starter.

In and of itself that wouldn’t be so bad, so long as the club could absorb the financial hit and not have to guarantee Villanueva a rotation spot– and such an idea isn’t entirely far fetched. But if Villanueva balks at being cast as mere insurance for the club in case they come up short in pursuit of two arms this winter, or the possibility of battling JA Happ for a rotation spot next spring, I’m still not entirely convinced the club should give him the kind of multi-year deal that they’ve said assures Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow of their places in next year’s rotation.

It’s undeniable how good a job Villanueva has done when pressed into a starting role this season, but as ready as we are to start hoping the Jays hand him a pile of money, we need to keep in mind that we’re only talking about 11 starts, and fewer than a hundred innings in total on the year. That’s a pretty light workload for a guy pegged to be a full-time starter, especially considering his recent injury history. He suffered a mysterious circulation problem that sent him to hospital in spring training, after he woke up feeling a cold sensation in his right hand the day following a bullpen session, and trainers couldn’t get a blood pressure reading. Prior to that, he missed most of last August with a right forearm strain.

According to Baseball Prospectus, his injury history before 2011 is remarkably clean, yet that may partly be a function of the fact that his career high in innings pitched as a pro is 181.1, and that was back in his rookie year of 2006, where the bulk of his work was split between Huntsville and Nashville in the Brewers’ system.

That said, this year’s great run isn’t entirely an anomaly. Villanueva pitched to a 3.67 ERA, holding opponents to a .648 OPS in nine starts in 2011, before things started to go off the rails, ultimately leading to his DL stint with the forearm strain– about which he later admitted that there were nights before he would start he was unsure if he would be healthy enough to pitch.

Because of that, we could give him a mulligan on his final four pre-DL starts of 2011, in which he pitched to a 9.31 ERA, but… I don’t know. It sure as shit doesn’t seem reasonable to judge his readiness to succeed in the 2013 rotation based on nine and eleven very good starts, with four awful ones, a DL trip, a return to the bullpen, a circulation issue, and another half season in the bullpen between them.

Yet, even if we’re gung-ho to see that glass half full, another, perhaps bigger issue still needs to be addressed: the fact that Villanueva’s stuff just isn’t overly impressive. I think RJ Anderson of the Rays blog Process Report kinda hit the nail on the head after last night’s game, lamenting that “few things in baseball are more annoying than watching a pitcher shut the Rays down by throwing soft stuff up in the zone.”

“The more the game progressed, the less likely Rays were to see a fastball—a smart and necessary strategy on Villanueva’s part,” he continues. “If only Villanueva had located his changeup down in the zone, the loss would be easier to accept. As it is, you can’t help but wonder how he got away with it.”

Add in the fact that our man on the ground, Mr. Drew Fairservice, has it on authority that the Rays didn’t get to their hotel until five in the morning on Thursday, and that they barely conducted a batting practice before the game, and maybe we start to see why Villanueva was able to have so much success in his outing. I don’t want to take too much away from him, because, as Anderson points out, his strategy with pitch selection and his ability to throw off-speed stuff for strikes were both absolutely key, and it’s not like he hasn’t succeeded many times before last night, but maybe it gives us pause?

Maybe it helps us remember what we probably rightly thought Villanueva was before his two excellent stretches as a this season and last– and that’s certainly no worthless asset, but a guy you commit to as a starter? Not without being resoundingly clear to him that the club’s goal is to add two more guys who are better than he is.

The money shouldn’t be a problem, at least in theory for the Rogers-backed club– the cost, and therefore the risk, is still plenty low, and he’s shown that a tremendous upside exists, if he can keep up what he’s been doing in a starting role– but if Villanueva is unwilling to accept a deal on those terms, or the Jays are unwilling to break a promise to him, should something better comes along later in the winter, I just can’t believe that locking the club into him– and presumably also JA Happ– amounts to a winning strategy.

But are those terms really so untenable? That, it would seem, is what they call the rub. If they’re able to retain him while not committing entirely to giving him a rotation spot, there’s absolutely no reason not to get him extended.

Comments (81)

  1. Sign him for 2 years plus a club option, promising him a spot. Then sign 2 more pitchers, promise them spots. You don’t promise JA Happ anything because we control him. Send Alvarez to AA to work on his long-term value…..I mean an out pitch.

    If he sucks it up, you are justified to move him to the bullpen and Happ into the rotation.

    • Absolutely agree with Alvarez. For a sinker ball pitcher, that HR-rate is far too high.

      Let’s also remember that Hutchison/Drabek coming back, granted they’re also not locks for the rotation but it’s only fair to give them a shot in Spring Training to prove their worth.

      I’d be comfortable with the 2 + option if Villanueva is comfortable with earning his spot in the rotation in Spring Training.

      • Neither Hutchison nor Drabek will be back for Spring Training. Tommy John recovery is about a year, which puts Drabek at late June and Hutch at early August at the earliest– and they’re probably not going to hit the ground running.

        • So is it just a question of pissing off Alvarez and Happ then? Or the potential overpay for Carlos V taking away money from signing another 2 FA pitchers?

          • Piss off Alvarez?….

            1. The guy is 22 years old. If he can’t handle a send down, well, he need to learn to suck it up.

            2. You cannot survive in the big leagues with two pitches, and while I do have a soft spot for Henderson, he HAS to go down to AA or AAA to work on that slider.

            I would personally let Carlos explore the market. He’s expressed interest in staying, and also, this is probably one of the few teams where he’s almost absolutely assured of a starting job next season with Hutch and Drabek (though I don’t see him starting again anyway) on the shelf for much of next year.

        • Anyone who thinks Drabek and/or Hutchison should Pitch for this Team before 2014 must be desperate. Drabek’s second Tommy John may not turn out well, not many second ones do. But to have any chance of being an effective pitcher, Drabek will not be ready in 2013, neither wil Hutchison. And this Team, if properly constituted, should not need them either.

      • Um… yes, it is VERY difficult to survive in the majors with only two pitches…

    • I’m hoping we can send Alvarez to AAA Buffalo…

    • My biggest concern with Los Del V is that he’s never surpassed 115IP in a season, and even this year, with the Jays going to a 6-starter rotation for September, he’s not likely to pass 120IP either. The Jays have a policy not to let any pitcher exceed their previous innings maximum by more than 20%, so on a 3-year deal, how much production can we reasonably expect from him?

      2012: 120IP (projected)
      2013: 120IP + 20% = 145-150IP
      2014: 150IP + 20% = 180-185IP

      So, if we give him a 3yr deal, he won’t even be a true “innings eater” until the third year of the deal. If you can’t count on him for 200IP, he’s hardly a proper 3rd or 4th starter, especially in the AL East.

      I’m all for bringing him back as a swingman – start him as the long guy in the bullpen, and move him into the rotation when the injuries start to hurt us. That will keep him fresh and avoid putting too much strain on his arm, but we can’t give him a Morrow-type deal to come out of the ‘pen. The value just isn’t there, better to let another GM give him a 3yr guarantee, and enjoy maybe 300-400IP over the course of the deal. In the meantime, we sign a FA like E-Jax or Anibal Sanchez for a little more money, but at least we can count on a decent 500-600IP in over three years from one of those guys instead.

  2. With the scarcity of pitching available and how badly injuries (mainly pitching) crippled this team in 2012, I don’t see how you can’t take a flier on an effective 3-4 guy if the price is right – which I imagine it would be.

    • I think the worry is that the sample is too small. He may be pitching like a 3-4 guy now, but may actually be a 5 or a swingman.

      Does he get paid like a 3-4 on the open market? I think more like a 5, and I am happy to pay Carlos V as a 5.

      • Once he gets to free agency, all bets are off. There will be at least one idiot owner who will over pay and then we are out of it. Better to meet him halfway and pay him like a 3 with the understanding from him that he might not even be a starter if certain other things happen. I think he’s basically said as long as he’s paid like a starter, he’s OK with not being one if circumstances dictate such

        • I agree. In this case, AA needs to stop looking for the perfect deal and just sign him. His deal won’t cripple the team and it sends a good message to guys that shoulder the load when the chips are down. There’s no guarantee that free agents will want to come to a foreign country. I see Villanueva as a 4/5 next year. I like him. I like his composure on the mound.

        • That’s the clincher. In a pitching starved league, a guy with CV’s repetoire will garner a lot of attention. He can long and mid relieve and start. And do more than credible job at all of them. Pay the guy and that premium you keep harping about when you try to lure FA’s is taken care of.

  3. I agree. I would rather have Happ then him (lefty, proven to be more durable) and you probably don’t make the playoffs with both in the rotation. Carlos has been great this year, I hope someone gives him a nice contract, just not the Blue Jays.

  4. Well he’s said straight up and publicly that it’s starter money he wants not a guaranteed rotation spot and based on the type of guy he seems to be (because of course we don’t know him) I tend to believe him. He seems to be willing to suck it up for the interest of the team as long as he’s getting his. Worst case he’s an overpaid but pretty damn good swingman. I have trouble seeing the downside.

    • right on.

    • Dillon!!!!!

    • Fuck finally and this impacts us signing other starters because (said with sarcasm) we are a small market team without an owner with deep pockets. Sign CV FOR INSURANCE. Which we didnt have this year. That’s what championship calibre teams do.

    • Very good point. It’s not like the Jays have surplus pitching, so they are lucky that someone is willing to stay with the team.

      Drabek/Hutchison aren’t available till 2014. Mcgowan??. Cecil will probably end up in the bullpen.

      I don’t think any “overpay ” on Carlos V would cripple the Jays.

      The cost of starting pitching is very high.

  5. Let’s start under the assumption that they find a really good pitcher somewhere else on the market. A #2 or #1 (if they can’t do that, it won’t be pretty). Then, guaranteed spots are

    1) the # 1or 2
    2) Morrow
    3) Romero

    And for the 4 and 5 spot, we take the best of everyone else: Happ, Alvarez, Drabek, Hutch, McGowan. Would adding Villanueva to that list make it better? Certainly for the first half of the year, when the last three are probably still not available, it would be helpful. I don’t think they’d mind putting Happ and Villanueva in the rotation to start the year, and start Alvarez in the minors. Then as Drabek and Hutch get healthy, we’ve got some competition to make the rotation good.

    But if Villanueva wants a guarantee that he’s going to start for the entire year (what it sounds like), I don’t think they’ll do it. That eliminates the competition part. If he wants to get paid like a fifth starter and a guarantee that he’ll *start the year* in the rotation (but not necessarily spend the whole year there), I think it might work for the Jays.

    • Actually CV has said he doesn’t care whether he starts or relieves. He just wants to be paid like a starter. So I that case

  6. Does the Big V remind me a lot of ‘Closing Time’ Marcum, from his time in TO? Hell yes!

    Do I think he and Marcum are equal more or less, in ability? Yup. Carlos now has better stuff as well, IMO.

    Is Marcum older, will be more expensive, and will get a 5 year deal from somebody? Yup reprise.

    Why don’t we shoot to trade for/sign just 1 pitching stud to join Ricky, Brandon, Carlos, and J. A. ? I’m dreaming on Greinke. Open the vault, overpay, the man has the best FA stuff out there, and is maybe a year older than Morrow and Ricky, probably less. Nobody is gonna whine about another player cashing in bigger than they did. They want the money spent, The big talent on the club on longer deals are already set for life.

    Trade for a younger type big arm and groom him in the swing man slot? Absolutely.

    • Because, like the post says, there are a lot of red flags on Villanueva.

      • Every pitcher is an injury waiting to happen. This guy is in way better shape this season. He was stretched out properly in spring training this year. Name me another FA 4/5 guy as good, who will be cheaper and easier to sign?
        Quit squeezing the nickels and dimes, wake up and smell the coffee. All FA pitchers are overpaid because the demand way exceeds the supply.

        • + 1 million. Everyone here is arguing about “red flags” when the only so-called “red flag” is Roger’s cheapness. Haven’t we seen what injuries do this season? You don’t need 5 starters, you need 8. Everyone acts like the number 5 is the limit. Look at the AL East. Just pay him. (And that other sound you here is the justification coming from people who still think we’re a small market team.)

          • +2. Jays need at least 8 people that can start. Romero may not return to ace stuff. Morrow missed half a season.Jays can’t afford to waste 2013 without a proper rotation.

      • Aren’t we paying McGowan a couple million to go through rehab again ?

        If the Jays aren’t willing to take the chance of Carlos V becoming an overpaid swing man… I don’t know how they can continue to justify the McGowan extension. Especially after we saw how injuries can decimate a staff this year.

        Red flags be damned.

    • Marcum was miles ahead of CV not an apt comparison at all…

    • great post pete im with you. the marcum comp. is bang on.

    • Marcum had one of the best changeups in baseball, I don’t think V is anywhere near that

    • The thing that may be forgotten about Marcum was he had trouble with AL East teams. Maddon found out that his switch hitters hit better against him batting right handed. He’s a few years older now and maybe his stuff would play given the different lineups but the coaches wouldnt forget. On the other hand, at some point there will be a balanced schedule which may change everything.

  7. His mechanics scare the shit out of me. I would love to see what he could with a full years of starters innings but I feel like good ol Tommy J is in his future.

  8. Promise him a shot at the rotation and nothing more…

  9. I say the Blue Jays should pony up the dough and sign him up to a three year deal plus a club option. Tell him he’ll have every opportunity to earn a rotation spot but there’s no guarantee. I’m thinking he’s the next Doyle Alexander circa 1984-85. Yes, I’m old. And overly impressed by guys who can get big leaguers out with slop. Bring back Marcum!!

    • Yes, you are old if you remember Doyle.
      Doyle was a horse and could give you a shitload of innings and keep you in the game. Can CV do that?Is he durable?
      At least thats how I remember him.
      Fuck I’m old.

      • I remember him and his herky-jerky delivery. Scoop definitely remembers

      • @RADAR,

        Well I remember sour-face Doyle. Are you saying I’m old? Bastard!
        Which reminds me, I heard you on the radio, you’re the youngest sounding old guy I’ve ever heard. I’m skeptical. You live in my neck of the woods, maybe we should get drunk together. Never know where that might lead though…

        • Umm…your move RADAR.

          • I need some advice here guys,it’s been 17 years since i’ve gone a courtin.

            I don’t want to appear too eager,how would Stoeten handle this?
            The usual I know,have an extra shower,get a new suit,put on some Old Spice,extra strength Poly Grip,trim nose and ear hair,maybe eyebrows too.
            But what’s in style? Belt or suspenders?Solid or striped bow tie?
            What wine should I bring? Baby Bear or Baby Duck?
            Is it too much to demand dinner at Red Lobster?
            I don’t want to seem easy.I want to be wooed..
            Help.
            Betcha this happens to Stoeten all the time, being a celebrity , he’d know what to do.

  10. Stoeten, what do you think the max the Jays should spend (in some mix of years and dollars) on Carlos V if he is OK with not having a guaranteed starting spot?

  11. well lets see – if you think you have a championship calibre bullpen, and you think you have a championship calibre lineup – you probably want to start adding championship calibre pieces to your starting staff.

    Is a guy who has never pitched 200 innings in a year championship calibre? i don’t think so.
    somewhere there is fair value for CV, maybe its at 5th man- swing man money. Maybe an extra year thrown in as a show of loyalty.

    I would not guarantee him a spot long term, but probably give him the 5th spot next year out of spring training and tell him its his to lose.

    You don’t give him 3rd or 4th in the rotation kind of money though.

    ..and that’s just one man’s opinion.

    • and I agree with it.

    • OK, but the Jays have Romero who has pitched poorly this year & Morrow who is excellent but missed half the season. Morrow has yet to pitch a full season of 30 plus starts.

      It’s unlikely they will get Greinke who refused to come to Toronto 2 yeas ago.

      Jays have trouble attracting free agent pitchers, so Carlos V seems like the best alternative.

      I can’t see AA doing a lawrie-Pineda deal for a starting pitcher.

      He would have to give up escobar & JPA for a young pitcher.

  12. Bang on stoeten

  13. CV is getting $2.77M this year, I’d have no problem with a 3 year 4/5/6 contract. None of his peripheral numbers scream lucky (slightly high LOB rate)

    At worst (assuming health) he’s a valuable swingman.
    At best he’s Hiroki Kuroda.

  14. Carlos, take lead, double time it.

  15. Alvarez going to AA isn’t going to magically improve his changeup/slider.

    He throws them a healthy amount, and while it may not be good for his confidence to get rocked at the major league level, he’s still not scared to throw them.

  16. So what do people think Carlos V will actually get contract wise? I’m thinking something like 12-14 mil over 2 years (7-8 mil club option)? A decent reliever gets ~4mil on a one year deal, so I’m guessing he is going to cost in the 6-8mil range per year to keep.

  17. I laughed at the Rays blog complaining about the Rays not being able to hit the softer stuff from Carlos. Boo fucking hoo. It’s not like he’s Jamie Moyer striking out a couple of guys per 9 with 80 mph shit. He’s obviously doing far more than that through deception, control and enough changing of speeds with his off pitch selections to keep the hitters off balance. His K rates are fantastic this year. If this was Cecil dazzling them with his 86 mph heat then he might have a point.

    There’s been plenty of great pitchers down through the years that have done exceptionally well doing those things. We’ve seen guys like Marcum here in Toronto succeed with a similar arsenal and his stuff was even softer than Villanueva’s.

    I don’t think this is a case where BABIP regression is going to bite him in the ass and the FIP estimator shows he’s likely to continue putting up similar numbers.

    As others have said I am all for signing him even if we can get an additional 2 starters. The fact is he’s pitching like a #2 right now. If he’s going to be my # 4 or # 5 then fuck, you won’t find me complaining. I do find it amusing that people are so quick to pencil in Happ as the 5th starter on the back of only 2 good starts and 3 shitty ones. Not to mention the body of complete crap he’s put up with the Astros the year and a half. Even his rookie season FIP with the Phils showed that worse was yet to come and it did.

    Happ is your perfect 6th starter and the Jays shouldn’t settle for him being their 4th or 5th starter when you have guys like Villanueva around. Of course there’s risk, but so what? This isn’t a really small market team like Tampa that has to be sure that their larger gambles pay off because of their limited payroll.

    This team is rolling in cash right now. Time to put it to use I say. This team has shown it can be bold with trades and spending in the draft. Why not show a little testicular fortitude when it comes to signing a potential free agent now? 2 years at $6 mil per with a club option isn’t a huge risk compared to when AA was spending $4 million a year for guys like Coco or Frasor and their potential 60 or so innings. Lastly how many players come right out and say how much they would love to stay in Toronto first and foremost? Not a lot. The downside is you spend a couple million more per season for a single reliever. Yawn.

    • @night manimal.

      Very good point,

      There was an article in a quebec newspaer yesterday about the Jays having trouble attracting free agents because the top marginal tax rates in Ontario were 46% vs 35% in the USA.

      The border problems are serious. Hayhurst complained about paying high cellphone bills wwhen he played with the jays & had to call his wife in the USA. Rogers doesn’t pay cellphone bills for players

      • Holy shit the extra $30 for the North America plan is going to bankrupt major leaguers!

        • @m2. Hayhurst complained about the high cellphone bills when he played for the Jays on the radio two weeks ago.

          Why doesn’t Rogers pay for the cellphone bills of some of the players?

  18. After this year I’d be afraid to let anyone that doesn’t totally suck go.

  19. There is no way they can “guarantee” CV a starter role-just too many balls in the air for the next few months to guarantee anything If they can sign him for a reaonable number 5 starter amount but with no guarnatees , say 3yrs for 17m or so then I think they;ll do it.
    After all, we just paying that fukstick Cordero 4.8m, Teahen 5.5m, FRASOR for Fuksakes. 3.5 m, and Oliver 4.2m for like 40 innings, so yeeah I think they should do it and get it from the f’in $$ we gave HOME RUN Frasaor.
    I Think CV understands we need 2 more SP’s that are better than he is but he can still contribute. Besides he’s alot better than FUKSTICKS, Cecil and Drabek

  20. I think it doesn’t really matter to the 2013 Blue Jays chances what they do with Villanueva. It’s how many #2 quality pitchers they will bring in by hook or by crook.

  21. One danger of not signing a guy like Villanueva is that say AA strikes out in his attempt to either sign or trade for a free agent pitcher then where are we? It’s entirely possible that the prices for someone like Brett Anderson or Gallardo turn out to be just as high as the price Latos or Gonzalez last winter and AA can’t stomach it. Then there’s chance that any potential free agents says no thanks to an offer in the same ballpark as an American city. If that scenario becomes a reality then you’re looking at Happ being your potential #3 and Alvarez being your #4. That’s not a scenario that’s likely to produce a playoff team in the AL.

    Remember, there’s a good chance Toronto is going to have to overpay for top starter as it is. There’s just as much if not more risk when you’re tying up that much money in a single pitcher. At least with Carlos you’ve got a guy who can fall back as a reliever.

    Lets face it. Drabek when fully healthy was always hit or miss with the majority being miss. Hutchinson was starting to look very good but still is very inexperienced. Counting on them while healthy is a risk all on it’s own. Counting on them coming off TJ surgery sometime after All-Star break, and that’s being highly optimistic, is just as silly.

  22. Sorry, I dont understand the risk in extending CV. Even if he bombs next year as a starter they can always move him back to the bullpen where he has proven to be very solid as well. Just give him a reasonable offer of say 5-6M per yr for 3 yrs (3 yrs 15-18M) and I think he would agree. Its only an issue if AA wouldnt want to pay him that much which seems ridiculous for a team in this market. This is not the oakland A’s. They should be able to afford paying a good and/or valuable pitcher 5-6M. Thing is, they should do it asap before his price rises later in the season or in the offseason when other suitors will come up. If they wait till the offseason thats when the risk of overpayment becomes real.

  23. If cv keeps something like this up for the rest of the year, someone is going to give him 3/20+. book it. Take a look at the staters available this winter, it’s not pretty

  24. Ihate the thought of letting him go and then not getting the FA starters that the Jays hope to get during the off season, and finding the team in the same mess they are in this year

    Let him start the season as a starter. He’s shown he’s able to last at least a half a season, and if he starts to fade, we will have Hutchison or Drabek back from the DL

    I think he has value, and he has indicated a desire to stay in TO. 2 years plus a club option would be worth it.

  25. I said two months ago Carlos would get something like 2/15 in free agency. Toss on an 8m club option or something but that doesn’t change much. Got called crazy. At least one other GM is going to look at him and think ‘and he did that in the AL East’.

  26. I will admit everything.

    I’ve had too much to drink and I’m in the middle of Zoolander. “Moisture is the essence of wetness. And wetness is the essence of beauty”

    I didn’t fully read the article (and I always read the article because it’s always exceptional but as previously stated I’m drunk and my attention span is minuscule ) and I didn’t read any other posts….but I look at resigning Carlos as a no-brainer. Even last year when he filled in as a starter (’till he got injured) he was still solid. Getting the equivalent of Carlos in free agency is going to cost 1.5x as much….

    Just my opinion….sir.

  27. I don’t get the numerous Brian Tallet comparisons when CV seems closer to Shaun Marcum as others have said.

    The difference, and it’s a big one, is that Marcum’s “breakthrough” year as a starter came after he was already fairly built up as a starter in the minors. Milwaukee never gave CV a fair shake (kinda sounds like Morrow in Seattle with lesser stuff obviously) and he wasn’t built up to start in 2011.

    It should be noted he jumped from 67 innings in 2010 to 108 in 2011 and is on pace for around 140 innings this season. 30 starts and 180 innings in 2013 would seem like a reasonable jump.

    Every move is a risk. If it takes 3 years and $15-20 mill with a club option to get him signed, the Jays would be foolish not to roll the dice imo. Best case scenario he’s a mid-rotation starter. Worst case scenario he’s a mildly expensive swingman who could quite possibly be worth 1 WAR throwing 80 – 100 innings a year even in that limited roll.

    Of course, he could get injured and lose effectiveness altogether like every other pitcher in baseball. And perhaps he has greater risk factors. If the Jays actually have to worry about a $15 – 20 million sunk cost then Rogers is even cheaper than we thought.

  28. i’m a little more willing to believe that Charlie V can repeat his success after reading that Trevor Bauer interview over here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-trevor-bauer-pitching-genius/
    which confirmed for me a long held theory that mixing speeds is much more important than pinpoint accuracy and the whole “pitch to contact” rehetoric.

    Obviously nothing beats pure stuff but having a guy like Charlie V around can’t be a bad thing for the young guys coming up to learn from. Chuck has mastered the art of deception and is excellent at keeping hitters off balance so for that reason I could see him being able to repeat his success.

    Also, I gotta think that his relatively clean injury history has something to do with throwing mostly soft stuff. It’s gotta be easier on the arm, no?

  29. I don’t see how anyone who watched the 2012 Jays’ season could consider not re-signing CV.

  30. I can just see it now. The Jays sign CV after all the fans beg for it. After he gets hurt, or shits the bed half way through the season. Said fans will be complaining that AA should have known better, and that they don’t have enough depth.

    Having said that, I really hope they do re-sign him, but he starts the year as the swingman/#6 starter. Bring in 2 guys behind Morrow and Romero, with Happ as the 5. Then you have CV and Alvarez as depth when the injuries come.

  31. I really have no idea where the Jays are going to find 2 more quality starters. Free agency? Highly unlikely. Look at the contracts given out last year, plus everyone has extra ESPN money to spend. those contracts will get bigger and longer, not smaller. By trade? Look at what the Nationals gave up to get Gio Gonzalez or the Reds for Latos? Who do the Jays have to offer to match that? All of their top minor league talent has been exposed/injured this year. D’Arnaud and Jimenez have been injured. You’re not going to get much for players like Gose, Sierra, Hechavaria, even Marisnick. They have to rebuild their value in the minors/majors. Our next batch of quality players are still 1-2 years away from becoming a strong trade chip. If you want to trade for a player like Gio, starting point is D’Arnaud and ending point is one of Lansing 3, plus another decent talent in between. And by decent, we are probably talking Lopes, maybe the youngster Tirado.

    Realistically, the Jays have no choice but to sign Villanueva. Villanueva and Happ will be in the rotation next year. Fifth spot will probably be a fight between Lincoln and whatever injured pitcher returns or scrap they can come up with. I don’t see what other options exist. That is not to say they don’t have a chance. Look at what Baltimore is doing this year. We can always get lucky. But I just don’t see this team adding 2 quality arms in the offseason. Price of pitching is too high, look what we gave up for Happ. If were lucky, we can sign an aging DH/1B/LF who can still hit. That’s about it.

  32. Ya. 11 starts is only a third of a season so not significant.

  33. I’ll have my opinion simple: Sign him, whatever the cost.

  34. So 11 starts = not enough time but that Carlos looked like he pitched poorly in this one outing but got away with it isn’t an even ridiculously smaller sample size? What if we only get him to pitch against teams that don’t sleep well or the rays?

  35. And the rays blog post guy is a reliable source. I mean, it’s not like their offensive woes could account for his bias that they should be hitting more or that there were so many mistake pitches that they missed. Seems that if the jays out up little offensive output I too would be suggesting they are sucking and are missing so many hittable pitches ergo the pitchers faced aren’t very good.

  36. fuck greedy 5 fingers carlos. lets bring back towers and score another top 10 draft pick next year too

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