Got Melk?

In the middle of a career year, Melky Cabrera was suspended for fifty games last season after he tested positive for high levels of testosterone, which indicated usage of performance enhancing drugs. After being found out, and while appealing the ban, Cabrera had a website setup to reverse-engineer a digital trail that would make it appear as though he had purchased a legal supplement in good faith, aiming to argue that he’d ingested the drugs through no fault of his own. He was quickly found out, failed to get the ban overturned, and when it expired five games into the playoffs, the San Francisco Giants declined to add him to their playoff roster, despite having an anaemic offence– which obviously didn’t hinder them very much.

So… why sign him?

Oddly enough, it’s kinda mostly because of that.

No, drug-suspended guys aren’t the new market inefficiency, except… maybe they kind of are.

Cabrera was getting MVP whispers before word of the suspension surfaced, and for good reason. He was worth four-and-a-half wins through just 113 games in 2012, with a .346/.390/.516 line and his best-looking defensive metrics since 2009, thanks to the Giants’ astute realization that he’s nobody’s centre fielder.

But even without the drugs or the suspension there was a problem, as those numbers were powered by an stunningly high batting average on balls in play. Melky hit safely on 38.7% of the balls he put in play in 2011– well above his career BABIP of .328, which is itself now skewed by the 2012 number and the abnormally high .350 he posted in 2011.

To add some perspective, BABIP is Ichiro’s calling card, for example, and even he’s only topped Cabrera’s 2012 rate once in his career.

So… it’s fairly safe to assume that Cabrera won’t ever reach those kinds of BABIP-driven numbers again– even the typically-bullish Bill James Handbook projections have him at a considerably-declined .295/.348/.432 for 2013. But while that kind of additional reason to expect regression may sound like a double-whammy for those who are PED wary, but the reality just isn’t so simple.

It’s understandable that many folks look at the suspension, coupled with the career year Cabrera had in 2012– not to mention his next best season by far having come in the year previous– and conclude that he took drugs, got better, and is certain to turn back into a pumpkin now that he’s been caught. And frankly, I can’t with any confidence say that there isn’t a chance that we’ll never see the same Melky that we did in 2012– in fact, we probably won’t. I can’t even say that his 2011 won’t ultimately be an aberration as well. But I’m far more concerned about BABIP aspect of it than the PEDs– I mean, isn’t the whole steroid narrative that they’re supposed to make you stronger? Give you more power?

That certainly wasn’t the case for Melky– he hit just 11 home runs in his suspension-shortened 2012. And it certainly isn’t the case, if you look at league average BABIP numbers through the PED era of the late-90s and early-2000s, that players being juiced up appears to lead to a higher percentage of balls in play falling for hits. To me, that means there’s reason enough not to completely dismiss the notion that Cabrera changed something about his approach or his swing, and that maybe some not insignificant level of BABIP skill he displayed in the last two seasons is genuine.

And even if not, it remains an shrewdly calculated risk for the Jays to be hoping the answer isn’t as simple as the reductive “no PEDs, no production” line. Especially when you factor in the money.

I’m sure it will never stop feeling weird to suggest that a sum like $8-million isn’t a crapload of money, but in terms of an MLB payroll, it’s really not. Especially a payroll that now looks like it may genuinely reach north of $120-million. Cabrera’s deal will take up just one fifteenth of what the club spends on salaries in 2013, and the $8-million figure means that the club isn’t even paying him to be average– the cost of one win above replacement on the free agent market is generally cited as being in the neighbourhood of $4- to $4.5-million, though Cleveland president Mark Shapiro recently said placed the figure way up at $9-million.

Say what you will about the accuracy of those figures– the wide variation makes clear that it can certainly be debated, and I’ve never seen the value in taking that stuff as gospel– the fact is, the Jays are getting a major discount on a guy capable of the production Melky’s provided in the past two seasons, especially by getting Cabrera to agree to two-year deal, and much of it is down to a PED stink that, to me, isn’t nearly as troubling as it may seem on the surface.

It’s a fantastic deal, all things considered– doubly so considering the beautiful shit fits and convoluted logical twists its sure to provoke as the local hacks try to wrap their minds around it. It’s one that will hardly kill the club even as a worst case scenario, and one that was entirely made possible by the Marlins deal that preceded it.

To a free agent like Cabrera, having a shot at being a part of a fantastic, winning team matters. Playing in a very hitter-friendly park in your first season post-PED-suspension surely doesn’t hurt either, but it’s not nearly so easy to envision Cabrera agreeing to join the Jays had it not been for the reinforcements brought in this week, and the commitment ownership has shown. That’s precisely why Alex Anthopoulos had his back against the wall this winter, before he pulled a Marlins fire sale out of his ass.

The Jays now have a fantastic pair of switch hitters at the top of their lineup– two former NL batting champs, if you can fucking believe it!– which should provide ridiculous opportunities for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to drive in runs.

Shit, even Adam Lind and whoever they bring in as his platoon partner (Jonny Gomes you very much?) will get in on the action, assuming the club goes in that direction. You could even DH Rajai Davis against left-handed pitching and be entirely fine. Crazier still, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus (who, if he has another 2010 in him– not that he has to– look the fuck out) were perhaps being counted on to be the third and fourth best hitters on the club as of a week ago, and are now looking at hitting sixth and seventh in the order. And Travis d’Arnaud is coming. Aaaaand whether it’s Izturis or Bonifacio who ends up taking most of the at-bats at second base, they’ll get on base a decent enough amount to get things going again with the ridiculous, video game dream top of the order– two batting champs, followed by two 40 home run sluggers.

Best of all, there’s so much talent, one through nine, that everything doesn’t even have to break right. Down years out of half of these guys will still give you a very nice lineup, and it’s still only November 16th– can anybody outside of the front office really believe at this point that Alex is ready to put his feet up? We may still see a DH move.  We may still see Ricky Romero pushed down into the fifth starter’s slot.

I mean… holy shit, pinch me!

Comments (603)

  1. You know what’s awesome? We’re talking about making trades to clear up some money, when we honestly have no idea how high it can go. Remember when we were talking about saving a couple million on relievers could go to Johnny Gomes, who would be our biggest pickup this year? Remember that?

    Note: I still would like a Gomes pickup. I’m just jacked that that would be like the 8th best guys we got this offseason.

  2. I’m getting an Anthopoulos jersey

  3. Brett Anderson joke to Stanton’s pissed tweet:

    https://twitter.com/BrettAnderson49/status/268520018378104833

  4. The best part about all of these signings is not having to worry about hearing about Gavin Floyd’s cousin’s trade rumour on twitter all winter.

    • yeah, i think even stoeten would admit that was a low point

      remember when stoeten said the source’s twitter avatar picture looked honest?

      and then the punking, oh the punking

  5. I just had a dreadful thought: What if the new manager is Buck Martinez?

    *shivers*

  6. Wak as manager I think

    Here is an interview with him

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGdmxYfDPYU

    Stoeten or Scott: sweet picture of Wak at 1:04 mark of the video, might want to capture that or track it down for future fun use

  7. Marlins sign Pierre – that’s Juan way of dealing with the angry fans

  8. Hmm.

    So here are the facts of the day

    1. Reports are jays close to hiring new manager.

    2. Stoeten, very active posting on this site in recent days, absent today

    Coincidence? I think not. ….

    congrats on your managerial position stoets…dont forget us little people that helped get you there.

    • LOL!
      Stoeten’s too excited to let the prospect of hiring Jim Tracy to be the manager

    • Allow me to put my name forward for the position of !st base coach–it looks a doddle. I hasten to add I don’t normally slap every man’s ass in my general vicinity, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do I guess. How hard can it be?

      ~~~~~PS-I have my own stop watch. (now if only I can locate the instructions.)
      ~~~~~PPS-I typically shop at the Big, Tall & Rotund Store–do you carry uniforms in a ‘mature’ man’s size?

      I eagerly await your reply, Dear Leader Of Mine.

      • uhh Nick Leyvas’s body type? got you covered

      • Spud at 1st and Radar at 3rd, I’d become a season ticket holder just to watch Stoet go out of his mind. Stoet – first Manager with a calculater to do his sabermetrics before any substitution and a great dosposition for easy rapor building with, you know, difficult players; Spud you would pass on so much knowledge to the baserunners on first they’d all get picked off just listening to you; and Radar does all the pre-game radio show cause he can talk like he knows what the opposing teams strategy is but rally has no idea. I give Stoet about a week before he spontaineously combusts

        • What am I, chopped liver? First female bench coach in the major leagues. I’ll keep a sharp eye on unexpected developments on the other team and make sure Stoeten spits neatly and stays hydrated.

          • I wasn’t certain if we could have to Reyes’s on the team at once. Having thought about it, if you speak Latin, wear eyeblck, and can write obsenities on them, you would fit in perfectly. I’ll give AA the call!

        • I am literally the world’s worst third base coach.
          Runner hitting second on the fly.
          I signal go.
          Then stop.
          Then hold.
          Then go back
          Then go.

          I’d have the runner spinning in a spot somewhere between 2nd and 3rd. wondering what the hell is going on.

          Although I’ve never seen somebody spontaneously combust,I am very curious about it.I wish Stoeten no harm but for the sake of science,it’d be interesting.
          Oh, you meant figuratively,yeah that would be cool.

        • Naw, RADAR belongs as the BP coach. He would stand a better chance of scoring with the chicks that hang out to watch BP. Plus, he would be closer to the ice cream concessions.

  9. carl crawford 102 mil war 0.4
    josh beckett 31 mil war 0.7
    adrian gonzalez 127 mil war 3.2

    dodgers took on 260 mil for a war of 4.3

    jose reyes 96 mil war 2.8
    josh johnson 14 mil war 3.1
    buerhle 48 mil war 3.2

    jays took on 158 mil for a war of 9.1

    haha that’s hilarious. I didn’t even want to rub it in and use bonificio’s 0.5 war as well

    • You’re on the side of the angels now Big Mouth (I trust that won’t confuse you. Not John’s ‘Angels’, the real deal). Don’t be drinking ‘Backslider’s Wine’ if you know what’s good for you. (Luckily for you, I can recommend a great many substitutes in the wine category.)

      ~~~PS-Rubbing it in is always OK, particularly when directed towards our Masshole Brethren.

      As you were.

      • Potatoes-easy on the lonsome Charlie there youngfeller. I know the Jays could drive you to drink inthe past but ye have to get over it.
        We will even the score with the evil empire Jr this year and their traitorous new commander in chief who goe by the name of Johnny “loose nucking futz farrell”.
        Carry on my wayward son, they’ll be peace when you are done

      • I’m looking for some cheap wine actually. recommendations are welcome.

  10. Seriously, Anyone who thinks AA is going to let his manager choice leak is fooling themselves. The Riggleman and Tracy as finalists rumour drops and within 20 minutes Riggleman is saying “I wasn’t even contacted”. This to me says Riggleman & Tracy are not going to be managing the Jays next year. Think about it. I bet they were “finalists” to be interviewed or something. If Acta isn’t named manager I’ll be surprised.

    • have no idea why so many people seem to love acta so much.

      • He was with the Expos when AA was there. Coached DR in world baseball classic. He has had shit teams in the past so dont know if he can do it with proven talent.

        • your name is offensive.

          …and those are shit reasons. so far his biggest accomplishment in his managerial career is netting the nats strasburg and harper by finishing worst in the league for 2 years in a row.

          his teams have gotten worse while he’s been there. he’s been fired after less than 3 years twice. dr didn’t win the wbc…. i can’t think of a worse choice.

          • I can Jim Tracy, yes lets hire a guy who walked a way from a team.

          • He’s also the only candidate that has a proven history of not managing according to tradition. Presumably means, he will platoon where appropriate, and pitch his best pitchers in the highest leverage situations, and not give away outs by bunting in the first inning.

            …and his name is offensive.

          • I think its more offensive he didnt tell his sexual partners that he was HIV positive but thats just my opinion.

          • @Alomars HIV … That’s wildly illogical, those two things are in no way exclusive. They’re not even related.

          • Gil Fisher,

            “not managing to tradition” is not a valid argument. show me some evidence that he did anything on the field to make his teams better.

            i honestly don’t give a crap about this decision, other than being annoyed by the spurious arguments so many are making about stuff they cannot possibly know anything about.

      • I don’t think a Manager makes much difference either. I believe they can do some harm over the course of a season by not maximizing your chance for success. “Managing to tradition” is a poor way to put it, but he in not entrenched in old practices like holding your closer for the bottom of the ninth, that are plainly and clearly inferior strategies.

        • i think we’re in agreement. i’d like to see someone that is going to incorporate more modern analysis into what they do on the field, but i guess my frustration is reading so many people who seem to feel they have unique insight into all the other (more important, probably) things that fall under the manager’s bailiwick.

          anyway, i’m glad you didn’t take the comment personally because i didn’t intend it as an attack on you, just the idea that fans have meaningful ways of assessing the manager – and i think we are seeing eye to eye on that.

  11. Just heard that farrell is on suicide watch.

  12. While the Farrellball references are delicious, AA has made me forget about him. I just want this trade to be announced and other shoes to drop.

  13. what a hack.
    didn’t even get the title right…
    Got Melk.
    period.

  14. Huh huh what did I tell you Melky fuckin Cabrera ! If the jays get one more starter it would be sick but its looking pretty stacked now. Still not crazy about Lind being our first basemen but I’m not going to pick holes in this masterpiece

  15. Funny think is, as much as I used to complain about E5 and his dreadful throwing,overall he is a better 1B than Lind, so in a worse case, I think EE plays first and at best Sleepy gets a few games at !B. I also think Cooper is a better hitter than Lind, qho can at least manage lefties and he is willing to take a walk. I think when Lind made that comment last year about walks being over-rated he showed himself to be an ass and selfish. It’s one thing to not walk if you hit like Josh Hamilton, it’sanother thing to not walk if u are Adam fukin Lind or Eric Thames or T. Snider.
    Note that both Snider and Thames are gone. ‘Nuf said.

    • Yeah I never thought I’d say this but EE plays half-decent 1st base. Better than Lind and his wonky back.

  16. OK…maybe one more starting pitcher and maybe a leftie hitter.
    But what about depth? Someone said that you probably go through a 20 pitchers a year, given injuries and whatnot. Who is on the AAA pitching roster this season – if there’s ANYONE left after The Black Death blew through the pitching ranks in 2012? Is there anyone left that can perhaps step in for a start or two – should Mr. Murphy decide to populate the DL lists again?

  17. I believe that AA will be quiet on the acquisition front until the big pitcher names have signed if he doesn’t get Grienke, and take advantage of a desperate team by getting a controllable starting pitcher for nuts and bolts

    • There’s a couple of teams out there that seem to be desperate for catching…and we’ve got a few options there, too. I still think a guy like Buehrle is a great dangle, too – especially if he’s not keen on TO. Get young guy back, who’s got a decent upside and is under control for a few years…even if he doesn’t make much of a contribution this season, he’ll be helpful to bridge the years before the Lansing boys get here. Plus, that Buehrle money could go to re-signing JJ for a few more years.
      But I’m sure this is a scenario that the Greek Assassin Ninja has in the back of his mind someplace.

  18. Sooo Jose Reyes has posted a photo of him wearing Blue Jays gear on Instagram.
    Exciting!

  19. OK…it’s been like three days or so since the Jays did anything. Is it just me, or is anyone else hitting refresh a couple of times a day – and being disappointed to see nothing else has happened?
    This is gonna be the longest off-season EVER.

    • I think AA has other things in the pipeline, but needs this deal to be made official before he pulls the trigger on the next deal. That might involve flipping on of the players, or trading surplus catching.

  20. I can understand all the secrecy, to an extent, with regards to AA and his working on trades and things of that ilk, but what is with all the secrecy with regards to hiring a fucking manager?

    Is one of the final guys in contention going to say “ummmm ..screw this…i thought me becoming your manager was going to be a secret..now the word is out I might be the guy..fuck you…im no longer interested”

    sometimes i feel AA thinks he is in a spy movie

    • There’s no rush.
      It’s business and the new manager might be predicated on the trade going through.
      Better to stay quiet and let things play out.
      The trade will go, but Bud could demand that it be altered.

  21. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/toronto-blue-jays-top-15-prospects-updated/

    Updated top 15 prospects in the Jays system at Fangraphs. Still so much to love in that list. You have a guy like Smoral as the 11th best prospect – with the body-type of a Josh Johnson. He’s one I’m excited to see move up the list. Jays now have 3 catchers in their top 10: D’arnaud, Jiminez, Nessy.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/prospect-impact-toronto-blue-jays/

    impact of the trade on jays prospects. Good read.

  22. From MLBTR

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/silvermans-latest-greinke-royals-rays-blue-jays.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Jays might still be in on one of the bigger name pitchers. I’m also curious about some of the players the Royals are reportedly shopping. Hosmer coming off a down year maybe?

    • Yeah just saw that, really surprised me. They say even Wil Myers might be in play, which I almost can’t believe.

    • I think I would absolutely wet myself with excitement if the Jays went out and added another pitcher along the lines of Sanchez or Jackson. My personal preference is still to roll the dice with someone like Haren if they go the free agent route. If they could get him for two years that would be fantastic. That said, any of a group that included Sanchez, Jackson, Haren, McCarthy or Marcum would pretty damn awesome.

      Of course there are also the trade options as well. I was thinking last night that since things were going so well if they were able to snag two of those guys they could turn around and flip a combo of Buehrle and Lind to the Angels for something like Kendrick and Morales. If the Angels don’t get Greinke they are going to be seriously hard up for starting pitching in 2013.

      While keeping Buehlre might be the best thing for Jays in 2013 because he is very cheap at the rate of $10 million, dumping him now for someone like Kendrick solves a couple of future problems. One being they avoid the obvious pricey escalation in Buehrle’s 2014 and 2015 salary. The other being it would be lock in a 2nd baseman for the next three seasons at a decent price. Middle infielder depth is still lacking in the Jays minor league system though it’s not such a huge problem with Bonifacio and Izutris at the Major League level. Kendrick’s bat is a bit up and down but his fielding and base running are very steady. Morales, another switch hitter, would fit very nicely into the Jays lineup with the chance of him regaining his potential likely higher than Lind’s.

      Getting Kendrick would push Bonifacio to the 4th outfield spot and render Davis completely expendable as part of another trade which could be used to shore up depth in other areas. Bonifacio and Izturiz would easily be the heart of a fantastic bench of super subs for the Jays.

      For 2013 you’d be saving about $5.85 million if you do count Davis in a secondary trade. For 2014 the Jays could lop off $25 million – Kendrick’s $9.375 million for a net savings of $15.625 million which could be used towards a Josh Johnson extension and possibly one for Morales. I didn’t count Davis’ salary as he is a free agent in 2014. Even if it was just a straight up Buehrle for Kendrick trade the Jays would fill a hole for 3 years at 2nd and have more flexibility without Buehrle’s inflated contract. With Hutichison and Drabek likely back and fully healthy in 2014 your starting pitching depth would not suffer too much.

      Again a deal like that would be predicated on the Jays getting 2 pitchers first and that’s something that before the trade looked to be unlikely. Just some idle rosterbation for a Sunday afternoon.

      • they can always sign one of these clowns and sell them later, unlesss they go the way of john lackey, etc.

  23. Maybe AA knows he talks a lot and may say too much, so he says nothing until its done

    • So you think it’s Ozzie…

      • In one way I kind of hope it is. Ozzie vs Farrett would be entertaining as hell…

        • I would think a Latin Manager is the right mix, but Ozzie is too much of a risk right now. If you lose with him its to easy to say ‘what were you thinking?’

          • I know. I’d be amazed if that happened. No way AA hires him. But Ozzie, whatever his faults, is all-in. If he took this job he’d bleed blue and he would take what Farrell did to ‘his club’ personally. And Ozzie doesn’t keep his mouth shut so he’d start taking shots.

  24. There hasn’t been a peep from Beurhle or his agent, which makes me think he might be flipped.

    • Reyes seems to be pumped up about the trade. Buerhle, not so much.

      This has been discussed in other threads, but let me say that the interview with Johnson’s agent with Blair seemed abit strange. I think Johnson’s agent was suggesting that AA could flip someone over and suggested that his client could be the one shipped to New York or some other big market club for a substantial return.

      I think it came across as a boatload of wishful thinking.

      AA should retain Johnson and let him play out the year. Offer him an extension and if he refuses to negotiate, make a qualifying offer at the end of the year to at least recoup the draft pick.

      All that AA needs to do now is to find an extra MLB arm for the rotation, some minor league depth, and Jonny Gomes.

      • That’s the thing: The trade and the improvement in the team (hopefully) in 2013 should be enough that NEXT off-season, you can add the elite free agent pitcher, whether that guy is the JJ extension or another top-level pitcher, or even a couple older pitchers and position players from the list of people who might be available to fill out a very good roster without as much of a concern about whether people will sign in TO.

        http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/2014-mlb-free-agents.html

        • Looking at the 2014 list, Jesus fuck yes, Casey Janssen, $4M club option for 2014.

          AA is a fucking genius.

  25. Why isn’t the trade happening, what’s going ON GUYS!!!

    • Can’t expect the Commission to work on a WEEKEND, do you? Reyes just got back on Friday from vacation….so it’ll be Monday, more than likely.
      Would be interesting to see what happens AFTER it becomes official…then the Jays could officially move a player involved in the first deal around – should they decide to go that route.

    • Bud Selig doesn’t work weekends, relax. Monday for sure….

  26. Look what I found….

    http://instagram.com/p/SLRjo7zVfp/

    • what’s with the plastic covers on the chairs?

      • Someone with a weak bladder? I didn’t know Radar hung with Reyes. That guy gets around I tell ya.

        • @ NM

          A mature mans best kept secret.

          Depends.

          Just like the commercial says ” they feel like real underwear”.
          I can hardly wait for the boxer version.

          • I’ve changed plenty of adult diapers RADAR, no need to be embarrassed.

          • @RADAR

            Rock a nice muumuu from the Big, Tall & Rotund Store and no one’s the wiser.

          • A word to the wise–

            Avoid hot air vents like the plague. Your ‘Marilyn Monroe Moment’ might not be quite as iconic as hers.

      • Shoe’s on in the house too karen…your into psychietry what do you make of this. There is no consistency here, clean chairs dirty floor hmmm…

      • My guess, He’s moving

      • He’s a man rich in daughters. Messy little creatures who don’t always know their place at the doll table on the right.

        I wonder if he’s got doilies on the living room chesterfields?

        Frilled Victorian coverings on the piano legs?

        • Open cardboard boxes in the background. I’m guessing he hadnt quite gotten settled down there…good thing too!

  27. FYI there’s WBC baseball on SN1. New Zealand and Taipei.

  28. People sure misinterpreted that manager search tweet.

  29. Enough’s enough, this place needs some weekend content.

    #FreeArchie

  30. Morneau’s available. The Sux like him for 1st base. I would too…

    • guy was a beast away from target field (or whatever it’s called now). maybe jose bautista can teach him how to hit there too.

  31. I wonder what the ninja’s doing?

  32. Buster Olney tweet:

    @Buster_ESPN: Manny Acta has been strongly reviewed by Jays, who are expected to soon announce their manager.

    • It wouldnt surprise me if they hired him. I likes his stats mind, but at the same time worry about clubhouse issues in previous jobs.

  33. Maddon isnt worried about the additions to the jays. With this roster, they better be able to beat the rays more consistently this year.

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/rays-joe-maddon-doesnt-worry-about-toronto-blue-jays-moves/1262132

    • @afdg.

      Imagine what Maddon could do with a Jays lineup.

      Acta is fine. He is a former expos coach & with the Domincan All Star team in the lineup, I am sure they would love Acta.

      Can’t wait for Sports Net -Dominican Republic with Spanish simulcast of Tabby & Buck

  34. wtf…this has been a slow weekend in Baseball…

  35. Maddon was just being general about it. If they get a catcher with a wicked throwing arm, we know they ARE worried.

  36. The more I read about Manny Acta: the more I want them to hire him.
    Dude is very intelligent, understands sabremetrics and small sample sizes.
    Hope he’s our guy. Keep Waku as Bench coach.

  37. I say still give me alleged hard ass Sandy Jr. I really don’t need to see anymOre clubhouse revolts.

    • I think one way to inspire a clubhouse revolt is to hire a hard ass. Nobody likes to be treated like a child. Not that I think Sandy Alomar Jr. is a bad choice… just saying I wouldn’t be hiring a manager based on their ability to run the club like a drill sergeant would.

  38. Yankees fans are hilarious, theyre still saying the Yankees are favourites in the east.

    - No 4 and 5 guys in the rotation
    - No closer
    - No right fielder
    - No catcher
    - No DH
    - Aging Jeter and ARod
    - Not a ton of financial flexibility if they want to stay under the luxury tax.

    How exactly are the Yankees still the favourite?

    • Well, if you shut one eye, squint with the other and hold your mouth just right…..na, doesn’t work.

      • Sure they have a lot of time but if they want to stay under the tax, there’s no way in hell they find above average players for all of those spots.

        My predictions:

        4 and 5 guys in the rotation: Joe Blanton, Shaun Marcum
        Catcher: Kelly Shoppach
        RF: Delmon Young or Andruw Jones
        DH: Eric Chavez
        Closer: Rivera ( he will get hurt 20 games in )

        That’s what they can afford in my opinion whereas Yankees fans are predicting AJ behind the plate, Hamilton in right, and so on etc etc because they all seem to want to ignore the fact that the team isnt willing to spend in a care free lottery winning type way anymore (thank you luxury tax)

        Think about it.. Arod, Sabathia, Chavez, Rivera and now possibly Jeter are all injury risks. I just dont see a good year out of what they have on the roster right now.

    • the Jays could probably sustain a big injury, whereas if Sabathia goes down the season is officially over for the yankees. As of today I think the Jays are the favourites, but New York will make their roster better as well the Rays to a lesser extent.

      it bugs me how there is some kind of aura of invincibility about the Yankees though. their line up isn’t that scary anymore.

      • It is still scary in the middle and more so at Yankee stadium but there’s no possibility of the usual 1-9 threat that the Yankees have had in the past.

        • Until proven they can be beat consistently, and until we show that our improvements DO improve the team’s performance it’s pretty easy to have NYY listed as the favorite to start the season. Lucky for us, favorites in November mean absolutely nothing

          • pat tabler must have the ultimate veteran boner for the yankees. their locker room is like an old folks home

  39. Y’all gon’ make me Acta fool, up in here

  40. TSN.ca has an article about the managerial search. One of the commenters wants them to bring “Ceto” back.

  41. This has the potential to be the best free agent signing of all time for the Jays (considering market prices, adjusted historically), if Melky continues where he left off in SF, pre-website design days.

  42. Welp the eve of what could be another big week for the Jays. The great rubber stamping ceremony, a new manger perhaps and maybe another little AA bomb…who knows.

    • What is this new manger you and so many others speak of Tom? You’ve made your bed, now you’ll have to lie in it? Am I close?

      • And lo, a manager was laid in a manger…dressed in swaddling clothes of home whites. And while the lights shined at night games, then did three wise men appear. Their names were Alex, Paul and Nazir – and they did promise to deliver the Jays from the desert where they had wandered for 20 years to the Promised Land.

        And a merry Xmas to all.

      • Sheets? Larry Sheets is a candidate?

  43. Does anyone else comprehend how two guys that have completely denied any contact with the Jays organization could be labeled as the finalists?

    I love how MLBTR will report ANYTHING from so many guys that seriously dont have any more or less information on some things than any average Joe. Speculation is not a source or rumor

  44. farrell’s reaction to the melky signing in toronto

    http://lovemeow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/jLPRt.jpeg

  45. using my own w/l formula for pitchers I had anibal with a 21-8 record

    I would give him his 6 years. backload most of it, then trade buerhle next year so it won’t really affect the payroll

  46. [...] prime, has Melky ‘figured it out’?  The always excellent Andrew Stoeten over at DJF mused on Melky’s numbers and how they were driven by a ridiculously high BABIP, not only in 2012, where his .379 would have [...]

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