Um… hhhhhhWhat?

Buster Olney lays down some knowledge on Twitter, presumably via the fucking sieve that is the Red Sox’ front office:

At first it’s kind of surprising– and disappointing that the Jays didn’t take Bailey just so that we could say that the Red Sox, in a roundabout way, ended up trading Josh Reddick for a fucking manager, though I suppose it’s funny enough just knowing it was an option– but ultimately there are reasons why it entirely makes sense.

For starters, you can imagine how the Jays might have puked in their mouths a little bit looking at the medicals of Bailey, who spent most of the year recovering from thumb surgery, strained a lat during his entrance exam in Spring Training, and who in the past has had Tommy John, additional elbow surgery in 2010, a DL stint of over two months in 2011 with a forearm strain, plus microfracture surgery on his knee, and various other ailments.

There’s also the fact that he was brutal when healthy in Boston at the end of the year, and in the first place maybe wasn’t quite as great as his sparkling numbers from his days with the A’s made him seem, as he had quite a dramatic difference in his splits between pitching in Oakland and elsewhere.

By FIP he was a run worse on the road in 2009, and two runs by xFIP. In 2010 there was less than half a run difference by xFIP, but a full run by FIP. And in his last year in Oakland, 2011, he posted a 1.18 FIP and 2.42 xFIP at home, and a staggeringly awful 5.22 FIP and 5.07 xFIP on the road.

Sure, we’re looking at relief splits, so there’s not a tremendous amount of data in any of those individual numbers, but there’s definitely a trend that suggests he was being helped by pitching in Oakland.

Of course, Olney also points out what must have been a key reason for the Jays’ decision: the flexibility Aviles gives them to deal one of their other middle infielders. I especially think I see where this is going, after seeing how the A’s managed last week to deal Cliff Pennington (along with prospect Yordy Cabrera, mind you) in order to acquire an underrated asset in Chris Young.

Pennington and Aviles aren’t entirely dissimilar; they have about the same number of career plate appearances, the exact same fWAR for their careers, and have varied in terms of defensive value– Aviles actually has accumulated more in his career, per UZR, though much of that came from his four-win 2008 season, and he’s also logged about 1500 fewer innings at shortstop, spending that time at second and third base. Aviles has an additional year of service time, but the two are reasonably interchangeable, and the A’s just demonstrated for us that Pennington, thanks largely to the position that he plays, certainly has some kind of value.

And Escobar has even more, by any measure, even when hitting as poorly as he did in 2012.

The Jays therefore, by choosing Aviles, very possibly helped themselves more than I think people realize– and likely more than they would have by taking Bailey, unless he completely returns to Oakland form. Plus, despite the fact that they seemed so enamored with relief arms in their acquisitions this summer, it’s still just a bullpen piece we’re talking about, and an especially volatile one at that. And one that stands to be more expensive than Aviles by about $3-million, which would have limited that much more of the club’s flexibility on the market this winter.

So, y’know, you can probably put the pitchforks down, even though I’ll entirely grant you that it might initially strike one as a surprising choice.

Comments (111)

  1. Bailey and Santos are a solid 8-9 inning punch on the all-DL team

  2. I’d prefer Aviles over an injury plagued reliever as well. Though, I really, really hope that the Jays don’t think he’s any kind of adequate replacement for Yunel Escobar (or even that Hech is, at this stage of his career).

    • You’d almost be an adequate replacement for 2012 Yunel Escobar.

    • Yeah, I don’t really get how this opens up a trade, unless it’s Aviles that gets flipped.

      If Esco gets traded, you have to go with either Hech or Aviles at SS, then find another 2b.
      If Hech gets traded, nothing changes, Hech was never going to be a back up this season, and Aviles is develop into a better SS than Esco.

      • I’m pretty sure Aviles could play 2B if Escobar gets traded. Though a Hech/Aviles middle of the diamond tandem seems awfully pointless offensively.

        • I’m not so sure. If Hech can hit anywhere near the way he was at the close of last season (in before ‘he was facing minor league pitching) then I’d say it’s worthwile

  3. They should have gotten Bailey. He could keep McGowan company.

  4. When I first saw this tweet I thought too that the Jays should’ve picked Bailey. Then after careful meditation, I have come to the conclusion that they made the right choice.

  5. The Jays bullpen is pretty good as is, so they could have looked into acquiring Bailey and then flipped him. And then seeing if, in that deal, they could acquire a player more valuable than Aviles.

    Maybe Bailey doesn’t have more value than that at this point though. Or maybe he wouldn’t have passed his physical.

  6. Of course it seems like the correct move if go by the premise that they needed a middle infielder more than another pen arm. BUT…there is no question who is the better talent and I’d rather go with talent above strict need. If nothing else, take Bailey..and then use him as a piece in a trade that gets you something much better than Mike Aviles. Weird thing is that is exactly the way AA usually acts. Talent over need. Assemble as many high value pieces as you can and then deal from strength.

    So basically Im wondering if this is total BS and Bailey was not on the table.

    • Bailey’s talent is useless if he can’t stay on the field, so I don’t think that fits into his philosophy at all. And I’m not sure why you figure other teams wouldn’t see the same red flags.

  7. Maybe AA found out Bailey’s “dream” job is closer for the Boston Red Sox

    • that made me laugh

    • +1 And his dream manager can fix all of his problems. After all, Farrell already has ideas how to fix Lester, Buccholz and Bard, that he no doubt formulated while managing the Jays.

    • +1.

      AA would have been blasted had he gotten another damaged reliever.

      AA already has enough injury prone pitchers.

      Aviles has the 2nd lowest OBP in the AL . I am shocked that the sabre hipsters haven’t brought out their pitchforks blasting the greek ninja.

      AA made it very clear that he was not involved in selecting the player from the red sox.

      It was done at the ownership level.

      AA was probably given a choice of 3 players & he picked the least worst guy.

      • Fuck it’s not a weekday unless Oakville spits out some of his ridiculous, unsubstantiated horseshit.

  8. Second basemen who were as good or better than Mike Aviles last year who are free agents next year;
    Jeff Baker
    Adam Kennedy
    Freddy Sanchez
    Jeff Keppinger (swoon)
    Kelly Fucking Johnson

    So don’t give me that crap about flexibility Blue Jays. The only reason I haven’t already lit my torch and started marching down Spadina (beautiful day for a riot too) is because there are some SERIOUS red flags about Bailey. Honestly though, at the end of the day this comes down to saving a few bucks by not having to pay Bailey and saving on signing a FA middle infielder. If that money goes towards team improvements, then awesome. Otherwise this winter will have been so disappointing I’ll forget that instead of extracting a real pound of flesh from the Sox we accepted their handful of magic beans.

    • Freddy Sanchez didn’t even play this year, you dolt. Baker was below replacement level, and Aviles was worth a win more than Kennedy and Johnson.

      So… um… huh?

      Yes, Keppinger was surprisingly decent.

      • More WAR than Kennedy because Kennedy missed half the season. Less oWAR than Johnson – forgive me for not buying into defensive metrics that turn Yunel Escobar into a more valuable overall player in 2012 than Derek Jeter.

        That’s not even the point. All I’m saying is it’s not like Mike Aviles is anything more than a strictly league average 2B. Bailey is potentially more. The difference comes down to injury risk for Bailey and, by extension, cost. I don’t think anyone disagrees with that assessment, do they?

        • I do.
          If you want to look at “potential” Aviles was a near Rookie of the year at one point and put up 4.4 WAR (baseball-reference that season)… that was 2008.

          Bailey hasn’t been healthy since 2009 and even then didn’t put up 4 WAR.

          I’m not by any means suggesting that Aviles is going to go back to being a 4 WAR player, but he has “potential” and as an everyday player rather than a reliever the potential is amplified.
          Bailey’s status as a reliever, an unhealthy one AND one who’s showing his stuff isn’t there even when he is “healthy” doesn’t look to have all that much potnetial to me.

          plus we had a greater need for a MI than for another late inning reliever IMO.

          • Never gauge a pitcher by WAR

          • Fine. But with other measures my point stands. Bailey is barely more of a proven commodity than Aviles and when you add that to the fact that Bailey can’t stay healthy and even when he does can only contribute ~60 innings/year. Aviles is the more valuable acquisition.

        • We’d never forgive you for not accepting defense as a suitable metric for gauging a players worth, because that’s just your ignorance, and sometimes we can’t help being ignorant.

      • After Googling the world dolt I’ve concluded you are as hipster as Parkes

    • +1. I wonder if KJ had not played for he Jays in 2012, would AA have tried to make an offer for him in 2013 as another Value Village pick up

      AA loves bargain hunting, so he could show fans that KJ had a successful 2010 & had played through injuries in 2012.

      The fact that Jays fans are excited about Aviles is sad. Isn’t he Mike Mccoy with a spanish accent?

    • I would think aviles is more likely Omar replacment than an starting 2nd basman. And he is a big upgrade over OMar that the utility postion.

  9. Of course the Blue Jays made the right choice!

    Bailey makes more money, and we all know that AA, Beeston and Rogers are allergic to taking on more salary.

    A middle infield of Aviles and Hech will be, um, lights out.

    • Mark Teahen begs to differ that the Jays don’t take on salary.

      • Beltran and Darvish would argue that fact.

        But we’ll see who is right this off-season, now won’t we?

        I hope that you and your homeboy Teahen are correct.

        • So because the Jays didn’t outbid every other team in baseball for Darvish, they are ‘allergic to taking on salary’?

          And wasn’t the story that they offered more for Beltran than he eventually took, but he wouldn’t come here because of the turf?

        • For fuck? They offered Beltran more money and years than the Cardinals, reportedly.

          • I thought that story about Beltran had been debunked.

          • For fuck sakes, the jays never made beltran an offer. He said so himself. Everyone talks about it like its a fact.

          • And for fucks sakes people what was “debunked” was no formal offer was presented to him, meaning they said “3 years $50 million* (hypothetically)! Let us draw up some papers!” Carlos then said “Naw I will go with the offer on the table of 2 years and $26 million, fuck that turf.”

        • Where’s all your “jays are too cheap now” now? Losers

    • +1.

      Luckily AA disn’t have to talk to Paul about this move because Paul told him “chicken or fish” etc…

      Poor AA. he has been exposed as a corporate lackey.

      Rogers will happily let him make any move on his own which cuts payroll.

      • Fucking moron.

        AA is paid to do a job. That job requires working within a budget.

        Nobody gives a shit if you have a less than optimal time at Blue Jays games this year.

        Rogers does not guarantee you happiness.

      • “coporate lackey” as in he works for a company? Well than you would be correct. See there are these things called ‘jobs’ and when you have a ‘job’ you have an ‘employer’ than employer tells you what he expects you to do at that job. How well you meet those expectations, is how you keep your job and maybe eventually show them your ideas about how to do the job better.

  10. I’ll take a Toyato Camry that works over a Jaguar that’s always broken down anyday.

  11. Aviles plus Izturis would make a really nice and cheap platoon at 2B.

  12. Should have got both

  13. Can we start counting how many times we hear controllable from AA this year off-season…. my over/under is 27…

    • +

    • +1. AA ” Young , controllable with high ceiling” Best stuff in the system.

      Someone ahould do an AA parody video on you tube with all the canned platitudes that comes out of his mouth.

      feel sorry for the kid. He went to LCC with my cousin. Dad died young. Very sad.

      He has a dream job but he has to be careful that Rogers doesn’t make him a scapegoat in 3 years if the jays don’t make the playoffs.

  14. Quick question about home/road splits for xFIP. My understanding is that the difference between FIP and xFIP is that xFIP normalizes the pitchers home run rate – so basically it just measures walks, strikeouts, and fly balls.

    I don’t get how a home/road split of xFIP tells us anything. Basically we’d have to assume either that Bailey gets nervous and walks more & K’s fewer on the road (unlikely) or he gives up more fly balls, right? And given that his FIP and xFIP are pretty close on the road, it doesn’t seem like more balls are flying out of the park. So I might argue that if he could stay healthy that those home-road splits don’t necessarily mean anything. Right?

    • You really shouldn’t be using FIP to measure what occurred anyway. It’s an estimator. If you want to use it to say that a pitcher’s FIP or xFIP indicates he might not pitch nearly as well as his recent ERA suggested IN THE FUTURE then that’s totally fine. Studies by the BP guys and someone else recently (sorry don’t have the links handy right now) show that FIP and xFIP aren’t even the best estimators to begin with. Also the studies show that FIP and xFIP don’t do nearly as well over smaller reliever type sample sizes. Again using a stat to measure what just happened that totally ignores the fact that a lot of pitchers, even the power ones, pitch to contact on a regular basis and therefore rely on their defense is just silly imo. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of the estimator, I think they work pretty well all things considered, but they just shouldn’t be used in the context measuring past performance. I’ll try and post the links that discuss FIP, xFIP and other better ones like SIERA a little later.

      • Isn’t that what we’re doing? It’s not like we’re assessing whether Bailey deserved the ROY award or not. I think Stoeten and Ray bring it up in the context of how he’d perform in Toronto going forward. To answer Ray’s question, I’m fairly certain you’re correct and the home run component isn’t park-adjusted. So the home run component would be identical in the calculation of both splits, and the BB, K and HBP components are the only variables in the calculation.

        Night_Manimal, I thought Colin Wyers had a good piece on SIERA and how it may actually not be much more useful than FIP or xFIP.

        • Thanks for the article. I’ll add that to the others I have.

          The problem I had was in the context they were used. He chose to use FIP for the prior years as measurement of how he performed which is wrong imo. The proper way to have used FIP in this case would have been to take the latest numbers for 2012 and see if they foreshadowed a problem or possible improvements for 2013. He should have stuck to ERA or even better ERA+ to show what he did in prior years. Baseball Reference does a great job with their version of splits even though it’s shown as OPS vs batters instead of ERA+. Looking at his career splits Stoeten isn’t wrong that he’s pitched better at home than away but that’s not overly unusual for pitchers in a pitchers park. Using FIP in this case magnified the differences which is what I had the problem with. Yes Bailey was better in a pitchers park but worse on the road. Just not as bad as the FIP numbers would have you believe.

          As for SIERA being better than FIP I was going on the studies that showed the lower RMSE especially in smaller sample sizes where it’s more pronounced which is why I mentioned that particular fact in the first place.

          However, the real thing that sticks out that most fail to realize is the part I put in caps

          ” Simply producing a lower standard deviation doesn’t make a measure BETTER AT PREDICTING FUTURE PERFORMANCE in any real sense;”

          Again it’s less to do with the differences but everything to do with the context in how’s it used. We shouldn’t be going back and using FIP to discuss what occurred in 2009 or 2010 or 2011 unless we specifically say something along the lines of “his FIP in 2011 pointed to the good chance of a breakout season in 2012″.

          They are estimators. They’re not something that’s particular good at accurately describing at what’s actually taken place.

          I know it’s pretty nitpicky but we all get on others when they quote things like batting average as being a good measure of a hitters prowess. To me misuse of FIP is no different.

          That’s a link to another good article and it even references the one you linked to in the beginning which I missed the first time I read it.

  15. In the circs I’m amazed we got Aviles. It’s extraordinary to me that last week I was writing all about how the Jays held all the cards and shit when in fact…they held nothing. They knew Farrett was gonna go, had one foot out of the door already in 2011. I think they didn’t do badly.

  16. I think I wouldve picked bailey. Despite the injuries, hes a pretty dominant reliever. I think its harder to find a dominant reliever like that than a sub .300 obp shortstop like aviles.

    • However, if you consider the current jays roster its not an easy call and i cant say taking aviles was a mistake.

      • The jays don’t really suffer too much of a reliever shortage…and with the amount of injury prone players already on the roster, the risk far outweighed the very teeny weeny reward.

    • My first instinct was to take Bailey too. However, in the context of the the Jays needs and also the additional options he gives them for making a trade to fill other holes, I like the Aviles pick better.

      If this had been prior to the deadline without the Delabar and Lincoln trades I might have said Bailey all the way. I know Santos is a big unknown right now but if he’s healthy the Jays would have the 7th to 9th locked up pretty tightly, at least on paper. Obviously there’s never any certainty with a bullpen.

  17. Seems like an entirely reasonable choice.

  18. Back to the manager issue, if y’all will indulge. I was surprised to read the venom in the Detroit sports rag blog about Leyland. I always had the impression he was a good manager? Is it generally known that he isn’t?

  19. Do we know who made the decision. As in, did AA ask for Aviles or Bailey and the Sux chose Aviles? Or did the Sux offer Aviles or Bailey and AA took Aviles?

    Or, did AA ask for Bailey, the Sux countered with Aviles and AA said OK?

    • @Ravelo.

      AA told Mccowan that the deal was done at the ownership (Beeston) level.

      He had very lttle input into he player. He was not allowed to stop Farrell from going to Boston.

      Thus, Boston gave him a list of 2 0r 3 players & was told to pick from there.

  20. AA basically fire all the coaches after a 4th place finish, with Aviles traded for Carpenter. Save ~ 4M at 2B that the team can use to acquire pitching. Hech can now start 2013 season in the minor delaying his free agent yr by a season. AA can even trade Eskobar in season when he is hot, get back a haul instead of trading him during the off-season, without experiencing any dropoff in the major league team, as Hech should be ready by then.

    Jays/AA is a winner

    Farrell get a 3 yr deal he otherwise will NOT get from AA

    Farrell is a winner

    BoSoxs got an under-500 manager that made questionable moves throughout the season

    THAT is priceless

  21. Bailey = red flags

    Jays just spent a season in which their entire pitching staff got injured.

    Now you’re wondering why they took Aviles over an injury-plagued reliever?

    Choosing Aviles over Bailey isn’t exactly surprising.

  22. I think from what happened this season and with the moves AA has made so far that AA is going after depth, big time. He doesn’t want to get caught with his wanker so far out like it was this year. Platoon at 2b looks like a probability from where I am sitting and I am okay with it if other holes are plugged more solidly.

  23. I just thought I’d put my 2 cents on who the next mgr will be. Considering it seems farrell was hired as the anti cito, a guy who could communicate well with players, it seems the next mgr will be an anti farrell who meets the following criteria:

    1 – not a former pitcher

    2 – preferably a former catcher

    3 – some mgmt experience so there is no learning curve again

    4 – committed to blue jays

    5 – a known guy who already gets along well with alex

    6 – somebody who you could sign cheap to a one year deal

    who fits that criteria? that would be don wakamatsu. I believe alex is terrified of fucking up again so will go with a safe pick that he can control.

    • Well, Wak seems pretty underwhelming. I think you need someone who wasn’t on the current staff to give a fresh start to the team. Fasano or Redmond would be a way to accomplish this if you don’t want Alomar or Ausmus more.

    • @farrelstick.

      This is sad but true.

      If he does pick Wakamatsu, he will be setting himself up to be fired by 2015.

      Wakamatsu had horrible in game tactics with seattle.

      Wasn’t he MR Sacrifice bunt?

      It would be an indication that AA is afraid of his own shadow if he picked wakamatsu.

      I think he picks Alomar & hopes for the best. Maybe a Latino Manager can get through to the Latino players.??

    • You know Sandy Alomar fits a lot of those criteria as well.
      1) Not a pitcher
      2) A former catcher
      3) Has coached for a few seasons, including bench coach this season and interim coach after Acta got fired
      4) Has a brother who is in the Hall of Fame wearing a Blue Jays cap
      5) Supposedly made the shortlist the last time, when we hired Farrell
      6) I doubt he’d be expensive

    • Almost no one with a pulse is gonna sign a one year deal.

  24. Totally fine with picking Aviles over Bailey. We have a lot bigger fish to fry then finding a 2B/utility player…If this is our teams most important issue, I think we are all screwed this off season/next season.

  25. You can’t second guess Alex without access to those medical reports unless Bailey is ready from Spring Training and throwing well. By then, no one will care though…

  26. Bailey would’ve made more ,money through arb, that’s why AA chose Aviles, and for 2 mill he gets an everyday 2nd baseman.

  27. Regarding Beltran, he obviously meas no official offer on paper was made. I would say the vast majority of contracts are NOT made on paper until there is a verbal agreement by both sides, so the fact that he says the Jays didn’t make an offer doesn’t mean anything. He said the same thing about the Giants even they

    “After Sunday’s game, Beltran reiterated his claim that conversations never took place between his agents and the Giants after last season. He was a free agent and signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Cardinals on Dec. 22.

    The Giants have a whole different view of what happened last winter.

    “I didn’t hear from the Giants,” Beltran said. “In my case, being a free agent, I had to make my move. I had to find a place I could be.

    Read more:

    and then the Giants said:

    “For the first time publicly, a Giants official responded to Beltran’s stance that the team did not contact him or show any interest. Assistant general manager Bobby Evans, when relayed Beltran’s comment that he didn’t hear from the Giants, told The Chronicle he had approximately 12 discussions with Beltran’s agent, Dan Lozano, including one face to face at the winter meetings. Plus text messages.

    “I don’t know if Lozano never conveyed that we had a dozen or so conversations,” Evans said. “It’s a great mystery. I’m very pleased we were able to acquire Cabrera and Pagan for the same money (that Beltran makes in 2012), but to say we didn’t have conversations (with Beltran’s agent) is a falsehood. It’s just not true.

    “All I can speculate is that Lozano didn’t convey the conversations to the player.”

    No offer was made to Beltran, but Evans said, “We talked in dollars and years, but ultimately the timing was not right. They wanted to wait and feel out the market, and we needed to execute business.”

    So Beltran saying the Jays didn’t make an offer doesn’t mean anything.

  28. Uh, why do my comments need to await moderation now? Is this for everybody or am I on the blacklist?

    I’m pretty non-controversial. Seems odd.

  29. Perhaps u inadvertently, thru no fault fault of your own, became a fukstik. We are trying to unlaod the rest of em so beware

  30. Bees ton is useless, what would be different if he wasn’t around?

  31. The Jays have to figure out how to play -
    Aviles, Hech, Escobar, JPA, Gose & Rasmus all at the same time…. We could end up with 6 players with a sub .300 OBP in our line-up….

    I’m getting excited

  32. So, basically Aviles is Omar’s replacement. He’s a decent-ish fielder, but he just needs to learn how to walk. KJ at least knew how to do that, and even though Kelly’s strikeouts were horrible, he wasn’t the rally-killing groundout king that Aviles was for Boston last year. Personally, I’d be 100% comfortable with Hechavarria starting at second, but if that’s the Jays’ plan, they’d better get a fricking upgrade elsewhere in the lineup, either in Left or DH. There are some upgrades available this offseason, and AA needs to get at least one of them.

    • I wouldn’t be too sad to see Hech or Aviles start at 2nd though I would say both are completely suitable for the Utility role. My first concern would be spending the bulk of available dollars on pitching to fill any holes you might have left after a possible trade. Ideally I would love to see 3 starters signed or added to avoid having Happ start.

      The thing with Hechavarria and Aviles is that both are getting paid already and while it’s not a lot, roughly $4 million combined, why spend more there if money is limited and there is bigger fish to fry? Short of getting Scutaro or trading for someone of similar potential any money spent on what’s available in free agent market isn’t going to get you a very big upgrade at 2nd.

  33. I don’t see the “flexibility” piece either, since I don’t see how Aviles becomes an everyday SS. I’d prefer to see Hech in that role, or at least platooning with Hech at 2B, but I don’t understand how acquiring Aviles means Escobar can be traded with Aviles slotting in as the replacement.

    You can also look at this way – acquiring Bailey can also give you the flexibility to deal from your bullpen – you can trade Janssen at the height of his value by trading for Bailey at probably the low of HIS value. It also covers you in the event that Lyon, Frasor and Oliver aren’t back. I know they can backfill the ‘pen by adding to the rotation too, so this could wind up moot. We’ll see, I suppose.

    You could make the argument that Bailey is the better player (though most of this may be because of brand recognition). I think you go with the better player in a trade like this; it’s not like getting a bullpen arm would hurt you.

  34. Remember when people thought Scutaro couldn’t stick as an everyday player?

    • Well he doesn’t profile nearly as well as an everyday SS, which was his role on the Jays in 2009, because his D isn’t that exceptional and he has a pretty mediocre arm.

      At 2nd those concerns are mitigated and his overall value is more. Don’t really remember anyone doubting his offensive abilities.

  35. Wow, this is such a brutal article on so many levels. oh right, you are paid by Rogers. So…Aviles is suddenly valuable because Arizona decided to overpay for Pennington? Jesus Christ gimme a break. No one else is going to give that kind of value for a scrub like pennington or aviles. We missed the boat, oakland caught it..we should have made a deal with ARI but now its too late. Keep telling yourself Aviles is valuable though…whatever makes u sleep better at night.

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