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!!!

Several things from Nick Cafardo’s latest insufferably-paginated mammoth for the Boston Globe:

Cafardo give a list of potential targets for the Red Sox– many of which could apply to the Jays.

He also suggests that the Sox won’t look at Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler because he doesn’t have MLB experience (I guess that means in any capacity, given the fact that they’re interviewing Tim Wallach and Brad Ausmus).

On John Farrell, he notes that “he keeps saying he is the manager of the Blue Jays, but as colleague Pete Abraham notes, he never comes out and says he’s not interested in Boston.” Because, y’know, Abraham is the only person to have pointed that out. On that subject, someone in the comments the other day quite rightly pointed out that it’s not really in Farrell’s interest to rule out Boston, as he can use their interest as leverage in negotiating an extension with the Jays.

“Toronto’s prospect talent base seems to be greater than Boston’s,” he adds. “While the Red Sox appear to have more resources, the Jays may be ready to spend. So is the Boston job better?”

David Ortiz, he says, “might accept a two-year deal for $26 million-$28 million if offered. The sides are talking and hope to have a deal before free agency. But if the Sox can’t go two years, Ortiz may very well roll the dice and see if the Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rangers bite.”

Unlike the many bleating clowns who’d insist that a debate on whether the Jays should deal for big-time pitching this winter would be merely academic, Shi Davidi writes at Sportsnet that the tremendous cost of last year’s deals has to be weighed heavily. The Red Sox and Diamondbacks, he figures, were worse off for the pitching deals they made last winter, and the A’s much stronger because of them.

Oh yeah, and Davidi adds that the package for Gio Gonzalez would have been “likely built around Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, plus catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and one of the Lansing Big Three.” Jesus!

In anticipation of the onset of free agency five days after the World Series ends, FanGraphs has begun crowdsourcing the potential terms of free agent contracts. They did pretty well in the exercise last year.

At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer talks to Ben Wagner, the voice of the Buffalo Bisons.

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus looks at recent comments from Jim Leyland regarding Jose Valverde, which suggest that we’re probably going to be stuck with the conventional idea of a closer for a while.

The Org Guy covers for the Tao of Stieb– congrats, Tao!– and answers a Tweet Bag.

Somebody at something called Rant Sports thought it was worth writing a post wondering if Shelley Duncan, just released by the Clevelands, might be a fit for the Jays. Okaaay?

CSN New England points out that Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun thinks that John Farrell isn’t very good, and sadly, I bet some people in Boston are going to think that’s not just the worthlessly sharted-out opinion of an astonishing tool.

Lastly, speaking of awful horseshit in the Toronto Sun, Bill Lankhoff indulges his inner insufferably impatient, pissy fuckface of a fan, moaning through dreadfully misleading garbage about the Jays’ supposedly failed drafting, and smugly running through a rather intellectually dishonest assessment of the club’s depth compared to the Yankees and Cardinals.

Comments (65)

  1. - “Oh yeah, and Davidi adds that the package for Gio Gonzalez would have been “likely built around Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, plus catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and one of the Lansing Big Three.” Jesus!”

    Is Davidi speculating or does he know this as a fact? If he is speculating, he is just as accurate as a DJF commentator guessing what it would take to acquire gonzalez. Anyways, I would have no problem trading alvarez and drabek in the same package. I never really liked those two. One of them cant miss bats and the other cant throw a pitch over the plate. If they could trade those two plus a positional prospect or maybe arencibia for a top starter then id do it in a heartbeat.

    • Only problem is drabek is hurt now obviously.

    • I don’t believe he’s speculating, as he later states that we don’t know what the package would have been for Mat Latos.

      • We know that AA was shocked at the asking price for Gio and Latos. We have heard this reported before.

        • doesn’t make any sense. What did the Nats end up paying for him? It wasn’t nearly that much, was it?

          • i imagine that mlb GMs have relationships with each other and each others’ teams. if other GMs are friends with Cashman or Friedman, etc.etc…if you trade an ace to the Jays, you’re also affecting what your friends have to do to win…and if your friends are pissed at you because you’re helping their competitors, you’re hurting your friends…so it makes sense that some teams would have to vastly over-pay to get a deal done for certain players.

            so, since most of those relationships are hidden (to us) all you can do is speculate. which, since it isn’t quantifiable is likely to get you ridiculed by those who can’t think holistically, or only do so when they’re pained to.

            i guess the question is whether teams have actually moved so far towards an audit culture that those kinds of social relations (that brian burke prides himself on, for example) have been done away with or not. based on keith law’s simpering response to being called to task by michael lewis as to how he no longer thinks that numbers are everything…my head and heart both say that you’ll never eliminate them totally, and that gio trade offer suggests to me that aa and rizzo probably aren’t pals.

          • The Nats gave:

            RHP Brad Peacock
            RHP A.J. Cole
            LHP Tommy MIlone
            C Derek Norris

            At the time of the trade 3 of the 4 were Top 10 (in B.America) prospects in the Nats organization.

            Peacock was their #3 prospect
            A.J. Cole was the #4 prospect
            Norris was the #9 prospect


          • Nats gave up the #39 ranked hitting prospect, #23 and #39 pitching prospect, plus Milone (not ranked in top 50 pitchers)

            For comparisons, One of Lansing 3 ~= #23 prospect (slight edge to Cole), Hutchison ~= #39 prospect (slight edge Hutchison), d’Arnaud ~= Norris (significant advantage d’Arnaud). You end up with Drabek and Alvarez being equated to Milone, which at the time would seem like a bit much, but now probably not.

    • FWIW, on his radio show Jeff Blair often says that Syndergaard was a must in any deal for Gio.

      • Blair has been saying that for awhile. Indeed, Syndergaard was a deal breaker.

        Blair has also suggested that AA feared Gio’s high BB rate and had concerns about his record vs. AL East rivals.

        Along with the high asking price for other pieces,as suggested by the Davidi article, AA declined on trading for Gio.

    • “If he is speculating, he is just as accurate as a DJF commentator guessing what it would take to acquire gonzalez”

      I’m going to take a wild guess and surmise that his “speculation” is built around what he *knows* about the potential deal, versus a DJF would speak to what s/he *feels* the deal was about. Given his employer, I’d be willing to bet he’s pretty close to the truth. Also, being a reporter (and journalism teacher) he has to couch his statement unless it’s with absolute direct knowledge.

    • If only there had been a young, talented, controllable player available for cash who couldn’t choose another market if the Jays paid him the most money.

      The Latos/Gonzalez excuses are so tiresome. Of course it was expensive to acquire young talented pitchers in trades. But this is already starting to sound like preemtive excuse making – Shi Davidi is aware that free agency exists, right? Its on Anthopoulos and/or ownership that they didn’t move on Darvish last winter and it’ll be on them if we come into next season with Alvarez/Happ as our 3-4 starters.

      • Why do you think they didnt “move” on Darvish? For all anyone knows the Jays could’ve bid 50.5 million for the negotiating rights.

  2. Cooper example who was drafted by J.R and 18th in a down year is poor example. All he really did was point out the obvious that the draft was a crap shoot, implying the jays suck at drafting under J.R no shit.

  3. Good lord, the Rant Sports piece was terrible.

  4. “Oh yeah, and Davidi adds that the package for Gio Gonzalez would have been “likely built around Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, plus catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and one of the Lansing Big Three.” Jesus!”

    In a late-season interview, AA brought up the fact that more and more teams want major league players in trades, as opposed to prospects. I’m assuming this is a direct result of the second wild card and more teams feeling as though they are “in it.” It also hurts teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, who really don’t have many spare major leaguers to go around, and most of their elite minor league depth is playing A-ball.

    The trades for Gio and Latos seemed like overpays to me. The Pineda for Montero swap didn’t seem so bad, even though both teams really aren’t getting much value out of either player. This may be shitty analysis, but a position player has more value to me than a pitcher does. If you are lucky, that pitcher will give you 30 starts in a season. They are not everyday players and are only going to affect the outcome of those ~30 starts (if they can stay healthy). If I were to trade away 4 top players from the Jays farm system, I’d be looking for an elite level bat, something that will have an impact on every game.

    This is not true in every situation, mind you. But the Jays are in a position where they need 3-4 starting pitchers. Should we really be trading away the farm to add one or two arms to a rotation where the rest of the spots are filled with question marks? Even Morrow lovers have to acknowledge he has had a problem staying healthy and has yet to pitch 200+ innings in a season.

    It may not seem like it for the Jays, but money is a less “finite” resource than elite level prospects. I’d much rather seem them go the free agent route for pitchers this coming season. So many things have to break right for them to be competitors next year regardless, why mortgage the future?

    • there are two main stats in baseball. runs scored and runs allowed. each has a 50/50 weighting. really rough estimates are offense about 50%, pitching about 40-45% and defense 5-10%. starting pitching is at least 2/3 of the 40-45% for any given game for a total of 25-30% (sometimes it is the whole 40-45% – complete game or a blow out either way). Each position player has about a 5-8% impact on winning a game (9 players, 55-60% impact). this is really rough/nonscientiifc, but you can see that a starting pitcher is of similar importance as a position player. the fact of the matter is if your pitching really sucks you aren’t going anywhere fast. there is also a good saying…good pitching beats good hitting. You can see that in the AL playoffs so far….

      • I don’t deny that if you are looking at a SINGLE game.

        But look at the value of that ONE pitcher over the course of a season.

        That pitcher can only play so many games. The position player has the potential to impact EVERY SINGLE GAME.

        • simple math. If you agree a SP has about 5x more impact than a position player in a single game and plays 1/5th as many games it works out….

        • A position player (offensively) can only effect the game once every 9 batters.

          Is 4 at bats every game for valuable than 27 outs every 5 games

        • tell that to verlanders mvp award

          • Just popping in to point this out to wow:

            ” starting pitching is at least 2/3 of the 40-45% for any given game for a total of 25-30% (sometimes it is the whole 40-45% – complete game or a blow out either way). “

          • DJS, my response about the complete game (27 outs vs. 4 outs was to jaysball, not yeah).

            As far as Verlander, fine. But you think Verlander would have saved this team this year? Fuck we could have two or three Verlanders and still would have been 4th or 5th place.

            What I’m trying to say is that yeah, starting pitching is important, but I’m reluctant to say we should be trading the Big 3, Osuna, Norris, etc, etc, for a pitcher or two. Those are the types of moves we need when we’re on the cusp of competing. Adding one or two pitchers to this rotation, when in reality we need 3-4, is not going to turn this team into competitors next year.

            Although we do not need an all-star in every position, we have holes at 2B, 1B, LF and the only two guaranteed rotation spots are Morrow and Romero. Who knows if Romero bounces back? Morrow has yet to stay healthy for a full season.

            Lawrie provided league average offense. Yunel sucked. Colby had 6 hot weeks. Will Bautista have a power-outage to start the year coming back from surgery? Will EE regress? I mean shit, do we really want to mortgage our future by trading away 4-5 highly rated prospects for a single pitcher in our current situation? Seems foolish. Now as part of 4-5+ additions? Sure.

            This is what bothers me about last offseason. We had the perfect opportunity to add a big-bat (Cespedes) and a top of the rotation starter (Darvish) that would have only cost cash. Both are young and controllable. Again, cash is less of a finite resource than elite prospects in the world of baseball, imo. A lot of our questions would have been answered with the addition of those two, and we wouldn’t have had to sacrifice draft picks.

      • what about it djs? be a little more specific. do you think SP is less or more important? do you think it is impossible to even roughly quantify?

        • Yeah,

          Baseball is funny because there are so many paths to victory. Guess that could be said about all sports. You only need one more run than the next guy to win. This can be accomplished many ways… lucking out, superior offense, superior defense, balanced approach, etc…

          Starting pitching is important, and the Jays are in desperate need of it. I just think its foolish to sell the farm off to add an arm or two… I don’t see that making us contenders when we’re running a line-up out there where the majority of players have a <300 OBP.

          We don't want to build a team that lucks out one year like the Diamondbacks in 2011 (and probably the Orioles and A's of 2012). We want sustainability. This may mean waiting until the Big 3 are ready for the big leagues…

          • no because Bautista will be gone by then. do we have another Bautista in our system only a couple of years away? i really doubt it.

          • If it were one or two additions, that would be one thing.

            But as I’ve repeated, this team is not a pair of key players away. How much of the farm system are we willing to give up in the trade market for a chance of competing next year?

            I don’t know how many Latos/Gonzalez deals we can do without mortgaging the future. Perhaps just one.

            Fuck, I thought for sure Comer and Asher would have netted us something a little better than JA Happ.

  5. AA spoke today you know.

  6. True about that Lankhoff piece. Not exactly the finest example of analytical journalism.
    The Jays suck at the draft because Posey was picked 13 spots ahead of Cooper?

  7. Is that price supposed to be high for Gio? It wasn’t. I’d gladly have given up one of Drabek/Hutchison/Alvarez + dArnaud + Nicolino/Sanchez/Syndergaard.

    Our last two premier prospects have been Snider & Drabek. The sooner people realize just how often top prospects busts, the quicker they’ll be willing to accept trading of prospects for established MLB talent that can actually help the team win in the present.

    If the formula is to wait around until the prospects carry them to contention it isn’t going to work.

    • davidi says “likely built around Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, plus catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and one of the Lansing Big Three, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino”

      i would suggest those 5 players would be significantly more than what washington gave up.

      • If that’s what he meant, fine, but I have a feeling the majority of “enlightened” Jays fans would have balked at my price as well. Which is a problem when the team refuses to hand out long term deals for elite FA talent. If you can’t do that you have to be willing to overpay with prospects.

        And I have a hard time believing Oakland was asking for Drabek, Hutchison, Alvarez, dArnaud, and Nicolino/Syndergaard/Sanchez for Gonzalez based on the package they ultimately received.

        • Take out Drabek, and that is very similar to the package Oakland did receive.

          • You can’t just remove a 23 year old former first round arm that was a consensus top 30 prospect going into 2011 from the equation.

          • I’m not, but that would likely be the starting point with the end result sliding towards what they actually got for Gio (i.e. that package minus Drabek or Alvarez).

    • My interpretation was that they wanted all three in Drabek, Hutchison and Alvarez PLUS D’Arnaud and one of the big three. That’s pretty steep, I think.

    • Hindsight is 20/20.

      Remember that Gio had a huge problem finding the strike-zone in 2011. There were concerns that he could make it in a hitter’s park like SkyDome.

      • Exactly.

        Considering our package is less valuable now, and their package is more valuable now, it’s all too easy to say “AA should have done it”

        Remember, Alvarez was a boy wonder with mid 90′s heat, great sinker, and impeccable control, who came up at 21 to pitch to a 3.50 ERA in the AL East. Drabek was coming off a poor year, but NOW he’s coming off two poor years and a TJ.

        And Gio was merely thought of as a solid #2 with poor comman. Now, he’s a CY Young candidate.

        I would do that deal now. No way in hell would I have done that deal then.

  8. Wow, Davidi’s piece has more holes than a block of swiss cheese.

    - The entire thing implies that there are only two options to build a pitching staff; trades and standing pat. Edwin Jackson and Yu Darvish don’t count, I guess.

    - The article seems to be saying that the volatility of these pitchers makes high profile trades regrettable. But none of those teams (except maybe Arizona) would take back those trades! Even the Sox had no use for Josh Reddick, and I suspect that soon neither will the A’s.

    - Davidi points to the A’s as some mythically brilliant team that traded declining assets for gold at just the right moment. Leaving aside the fact that Beane spent a decade being a moron, in no way did those trades make the 2012 A’s objectively better (Sox trade excepted, but come on, Josh Reddick?). He even says Millone “essentially replaced” Gonzalez before listing stats showing that he was ‘essentially shittier’ in every way. Just because Billy slashed the payroll, struck gold on a few prospects and jammed a horseshoe right up his ass doesn’t mean he outsmarted the other teams.

    Mostly I’m worried that this is the first salvo in a new ‘established pitching is overrated and the best teams find their own depth’ narrative to explain a complete lack of movement on the rotation. If it is, Shi Davidi’s smug certainty would certainly be the way to begin.

  9. i feel sorry for you, Stoet, that you have to read the Sun articles to see if there is any Blue Jays content. pretty brain dead note from Lankess.

  10. Its bad enough we had to revisit the Travis Snider debate already, so WHY THE HELL are we re-visiting the possible trade avenues of a year ago whether we should have or not? It’s really getting tiresome

    People, we are not 1 top pitcher or 1 top batter away from contending. This team has improved annually by acquiring some pieces at current calculated risks. Detroit was a Prince Fielder away from really contending. The Nats and CIN were another top end pitcher away from contending.

    What would these same morons who blame us for not getting Gio, Latos, etc say if we traded 5 young pieces away and were left with what we have today? How would you feel today still finishing 4th in the East with Gio on our roster and no Hutchinson, D’Arnaud, or Syndergaard among others?

    • yeah, you don’t trade away the farm unless you are 1 piece away from being a strong contender. otherwise you are stuck in perpetual mediocrity for 40 years without ever winning anything because you are trading away all young talent (i.e. like the Maple Leafs).

    • I disagree. I see no reason why the Blue Jays couldn’t make the playoffs if they added an Ace and a mid-rotation starter to the team they already have. Think about it, with their offense and defense when healthy, and the bullpen they’ve assembled, they would win a wild card or more if the rotation was something like: Price, Morrow, Romero, Jackson, Alvarez.

      • that would be incredible if we got Price and Jackson. what are our chances of that happening though? our offense has been good for years but pitching has really let us down. I agree our positions are ok as is for the most part with only minor tweaks/decisions required. i’d much, much rather the focus is on SP than positions!

      • I wouldn’t call Gio or Latos an ace

      • I suspect Mark, the Jays were close to trading the farm for Garza than backed off due to health concerns. If you look at Gio he had a good year but when you consider facing a pitcher once every 9 at bats did his stats get that much better?

    • Bingo.

      Now I would argue that eating the last expensive year or two on a couple workhorses is worth it. Gives us a better chance in the present and buys a little time until some of our really high end pitching talent is ready.

  11. OK Mark, thought about it and you’re wrong

    Price would have been nice to have, but aside from the mountain of our top prospects, he was unattainable from TB in the winter of 2011. There is no relevance there. However, I’ll play along

    If Gio or Latos were commanding those packages, what on earth would Price have costed being on a competing division team? Swap out Drabek out of that package and add another of the Lansing 3.

    With Alvarez in his first full season and the lack of depth to provide support to a struggling Romero or even 1 key injury let alone 5.

    Can someone please tell me what’s sexy about Edwin Jackson? He’s an upgrade to our bottom of the roation but If his playoff performances with St Louis didn’t tell you something about how he performs on the big stage, I hope his Washington playoff numbers do.

    • I’d agree he’s not overly sexy compared to someone like Gonzalez but he’s very reliable with some nice upside if he’s pitching from the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. I don’t think you can understate the importance of getting close to 200 solid innings from those spots in the rotation. You chances of winning games over the course of season improve pretty nicely compared to running out Brett Cecil types in those spots. Add to that the bonus of not having to use up your pen nearly as often when the Cecil types pitch over a long season and it makes a huge difference.

      From the Jays perspective you can add the additional bonus of not having to rush prospects like Hutchison and Alvarez that probably weren’t completely ready to the majors.

      • You’re right night_manimal, he has been fairly reliable if pitching as a #4 or #5 guy. My concern is why pay a guy over $10M like he is asking to be your #4-5 guy? He is making $11M this year and I’m sure Boras will be holding out for another raise for his client. To me, there is a reason he didn’t get a long term deal he wanted last off season, and that will likely be why he’ll struggle to get that long term deal this offseason.

        • I just think that’s the cost of doing business for starters these days. The fact that he was getting $11 million for one year speaks volumes about the costs. Also I think with new TV money on the way and 2012 as a perfect example of having more chances to make the playoffs, teams will be more likely to snap guys like him up. In the end I guess it depends on how much depth each team has.

          Looking at Washington who traded a large part of their pitching depth away for Gonzalez it obviously made sense to add to it by spending. I think the Jays are in a very similar situation heading into 2013. On one hand some of their depth is injured and not likely back for most of 2013. On the other hand their depth might be eroded further if they make a trade.

  12. I am hoping that AA can engineer a trade for someone like Masterton (not sexy, but reliable innings eater who should thrive with the improved defence scheme in Toronto) and a reliable FA acquisition.

    As for second base, I am wondering if the Mets would be willing to entertain offers on Murphy. The Mets have Valedespin and are rumored to be offering Wright a hefty extension this offseason. Wasn’t JPA a Riccardi pick? Fuck em, send them JPA.

    • EDIT to correct: Masterton as in Justin Masterson

      • Masterson and Choo would fit real nice around here.

        • Choo’s wRC+ vs. left handed pitching: 78

          Damn right he’d fit in!!!!!!!!!!!

          Plus he’s a Boras client. No thanks.

          • Choo/Davis platoon in RF.

            He’s a Boras client sure, but Boras can’t squeeze blood from a stone. It’s very simple, really. You do internal analysis of what the max you would pay for Choo, then try to get him as cheap as possible. If the price passes the established threshold, you walk away.

          • His career wRC+ isn’t terrible vs LHP and he’s killing RHP. I’ll take my chances.

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