Warning: apc_store(): Potential cache slam averted for key 'w3tc_blogs.thescore.com_1_sql_95ee78392381ffbfe4b66e3133ee6205' in /opt/blogs/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Apc.php on line 41 Warning: apc_store(): Potential cache slam averted for key 'w3tc_blogs.thescore.com_object_9ee1addf54ad00867451ed4d367f2c40' in /opt/blogs/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Apc.php on line 41 Layin’ Down The Law: Friday, December 21st | Drunk Jays Fans | Blogs | theScore.com

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper laying down of the law around here, mostly– I suspect– because the Jays weren’t a particularly interesting team to talk about for the majority of October and November, and also because he does his local radio hits on TSN radio now, and their archive is so much more frustrating to work with than the Fan 590′s is.

But with the Jays being perhaps the biggest mover and/or shaker of them all so far this off-season, all kinds of Jays content made it’s way into KLaw’s latest chat with readers over at ESPN.com, and I was there (or… well, I am now) to scoop it all up. (Though, of course, you should read the whole thing, and subscribe to ESPN Insider for all of Keith’s outstanding work.)

Ron (NYC)
Klaw, do you see TDA continuing at C long term, or do the Mets need to think of him in the outfield or first base (and trading / mivng Ike Davis). If he can stay healthy and at C, the Dickey trade was a no brainer for the Mets, but if not …

Klaw
d’Arnaud is a catcher. He’s not Posey where the bat might play elsewhere and still make him a star.

Iain (Toronto)
So where do you rank Toronto’s farm system now? 1-30

Klaw
I haven’t done firm rankings yet, but top of my head I’d say 16-20 range.

Kevin (Toronto)
Do you agree that d’Arnaud is a “scouting” prospect, as some have recently suggested? I’ve seen his numbers, from the hitters-friendly PCL, compared unfavourably to Yan Gomes and Jeff Mathis.

Klaw
You largely have to discard hitters’ park numbers (it’s not the PCL specifically, but certain parks, like Vegas and Albuquerque) for top position players and focus instead on performance at other levels and the scouting reports. The main problem is that non-prospects can rake there but top prospects still face a ceiling on their overall stats – a natural .250 hitter might hit .320 in Albuquerque, but a natural .330 hitter won’t hit .400. I’ve seen d’Arnaud, and I believe he can hit and he’s coming into some power. He needs to play more than 88 games a year.

Chris (Toronto)
Can you elaborate on why you feel A. Sanchez is a much superior player to Syndegaard

Klaw
Better stuff across the board, better delivery, better athlete. Does that cover it?

It should be noted that in a November chat, Law said that he actually ranked Justin Nicolino in between the other two members of the “Lansing 3,” so… stick that in your disappointment and smoke it.

Bill (ON)
Who you got? Norris or Osuna and why?

Klaw
Osuna. Norris’ arm action has never impressed me and I think it’s behind the varying velocity and lack of command.

Mike P. Moffatt (London, ON)
Are there any obvious adjustments JP Arencibia make to stop being a total out machine?

Klaw
I can’t imagine a guy with plate discipline that bad suddenly figuring out how to get on base.

Oh, don’t worry, JP fans. Keep reading, it gets better…

Jack (ON)
Thoughts on Stroman as a starter?You think DJ Davis will ever be able to hit enough to be a good outfielder?

Klaw
Stroman has the stuff to start but his fastball is pretty flat, a function of his height. I think he’s got all the mental variables you’d want to see in a starter, but he might just end up too homer-prone to stay in the rotation.

Erich (CT)
I thought the biggest issue in trading d’Arnaud was not necessarily losing him, but being locked into Arencibia behind the plate. Does he still hold value because of his power? Should there be a time share with him and Thole?

Klaw
Arencibia shouldn’t start for anyone, and I think the Jays are well aware of that.

Yowza!

Steve (Nebraska)
By my count, six catchers had a higher BR WAR than Arencibia. When you say “he shouldn’t start for anyone”, maybe you’re overvaluing the catching market?

Klaw
More likely WAR isn’t the be-all and end-all for discussions of player value, amirite?

Gruber’s Mullet (Toronto)
Is 2013 “make or break” for Colby Rasmus? Have to think the Jays org will make a decision one way or the other with Anthony Gose seemingly ready to play full time CF.

Klaw
Yes. If he’s not already broke. Gose ain’t ready for full-time duty, though. The paperboy just put a little spin on Gose’s morning LA Times and Gose swung and missed.

(That joke worked much better when newspapers were a thing.)

Matt (MN)
Who are the next two best pitchers not in the Hall of Fame?

Klaw
I have said this before but Dave Stieb belongs in the Hall before Jack Morris. This shouldn’t even be in dispute.

Boom.

Dan (Tulsa)
How surprising to you is the lack of development of Rasmus? Does TLR & co. get most of the blame, or does it fall more in the category that some guys just don’t pan out as expected?

Klaw
Have to put some blame on Rasmus at this point. He got out of St. Louis and hasn’t improved.

Thomas (Nashville)
Do you think Toronto will continue to bet on precieved “lower character” guys like Rasmus and Yunel now that both haven’t really panned out?

Klaw
I don’t think they were betting on bad-character guys so much as they were betting on guys who appeared to be undervalued by their then-current teams.

Drew (Calgary)
In your write up of the Dickey trade you made the point that, despite the extension, the Jays were only trading for 1 year of Dickey. But wouldn’t it be correct to say that the Mets are only offering 1 year of Dickey (since that’s all they own the rights to), but that when judging the Jays side of the trade it should be assessed against 3 years, $31M since the trade was conditional on the extension?

Klaw
No. The Jays acquired one year of Dickey for the players they gave up. They paid him for the other two years. This comes up every time there’s a trade-and-sign deal and the answer will never change.

Yeah… I get this one, but then again, I kinda don’t. I understand not assessing the deal based on the extension, but I’m not entirely clear why there at least isn’t some kind of value attached to the negotiation window that the deal was contingent on. I get that the window isn’t something the Mets “gave up,” so in the strictest technical sense it really is just one year of Dickey coming the Jays’ way, but it’s also not like the Jays were doing the deal for one year and hoping for the best regarding an extension. I don’t know… not that it really matters, but to me it’s kind of irrelevant whether it happened to be the Jays or the Mets who signed Dickey at those terms– the contract was as much a part of the trade as the prospects. Though… sure, since the Mets weren’t going to sign him at those terms, I suppose it’s not fair to their end of the assessment to act like they were giving up more than the single year.

Ultimately, of course… whatever. R.A. Dickey!

Comments (145)

  1. Stoeten
    Are you still scheduled for TSN radio at 2:45?

    • Ha! No. Turns out even THEY think I’m a Rogers employee.

      • @ Stoeten
        Jeez, there’s a lotta people confused about that.
        Did you tell them the contrary and they didn’t believe you?
        Maybe they were intimidated by somebody who actually knows something about baseball and used the Rogers thing as an excuse?
        I thought you were on TSN Radio a couple of weeks ago.

      • Did you tell them that you weren’t?

      • TSN is arrogant and vindictive.
        They probably didn’t like you knocking their archives.
        Probably not though.
        it’s a damn shame. You’ve got a face perfect for radio.

    • Agreed about the extension. I think it’s disingenious to see trading for Dickey as 1 year of Dickey, like say, 1 year of Josh Johnson. That presumes that (a) Dickey would not have signed an extension if traded to any other team and (b) Dickey would have signed for 2/24 and an option with the Jays as a free agent next winter. Two incredible leaps of faith. The Mets aren’t losing Dickey past 2013, although they likely do forfeit a compensation pick by trading him, but I don’t see how Dickey from 2014-16 shouldn’t be considered part and parcel of the trade for the Jays.

      • I think Klaw is wrong on the trade/extension for one key reason; the trade doesn’t happen without the extension. So to act like they’re not connected is ‘off base’….

        • This was my understanding as well. No extension, no deal. At least, no deal the way it was constructed.

        • Yeah, what he said about the extension doesn’t make a lot of sense. “They paid him for the other two years”? Um, they’ll pay him for the first year too.

          Maybe he has a point, but he did not express it well.

    • TSN and baseball? Hahaha good one. Were you going on to talk about the Leafs and the lockout?

  2. yup, sanchez looking better to me by the day, and of course there’s two sides to every prospect. TDA and Syndergaard still with MUCH to prove.

    Whatevr..RA DICKEY!

  3. For the Dickey trade, from the Jays perspective they traded the prospects for 3 years of Dickey + an option. From the Mets perspective, they traded 1 year of Dickey for the prospects. I think that is the only logical way to look at the trade – assuming the Mets gave up all those years of Dickey isn’t right, and assuming the Jays simply traded those prospects for 1 year of Dickey isn’t right either.

    • The Mets really traded 3 years of Dickey too, because it was well know that they could have signed him to a 2/$26m extension at any time.

  4. I work in a jersey store and we just got in melky and Reyes jerseys and I am fully torqued.

  5. The jays have up more knowing he extension wouldnt be that much unfair to not take that in to account

  6. Really interested to see what his farm system rankings look like. especially how former jays prospects w the astros, mets, marlins get rated in other systems.

    Also, I’m kinda with him re: Gose. Not sure what all the love is for. That swing needs a ton of work for him to even get close to Rasmus level production.

    • Well, he was straight up better with the bat than Rasmus in August and September– SSS, I know, and especially weak to look at September numbers… but still– and does everything else so better enough that he doesn’t even have to be that good with the bat to provide more value.

      Rasmus has the ceiling with the bat, and a full year in Buffalo surely will help Gose, but there’s a lot to like, I think. More than I realized in August/early September, I think.

      • That’s true enough. I think a lot of my problem is perception. Gose’s swing is so loopy and just looks ugly…and he can look very outmatched at the plate.

        Worse, in my head I imagine a mid-summer Rasmus who was absolutely killing it. Crazy to believe with all the hype after the signing he hasn’t had more success.

        A full year of seasoning will do Gose some good, and hopefully by then we know what Rasmus really is (if we dont already).

      • When you say that Gose was better than Rasmus in Aug and Sept, I think its kind of unfair because clearly Rasums was playing through an injury in the last two months. I think the July Rasmus is the real Rasmus.

        • I think Rasmus takes a better route to the ball, gose has a little of the rajai Davis shuffle in him. Admittedly I am basing that on watching gose only a few times.

        • How could you say that 1 of the 8 months from Rasmus as a Jay was the real Rasmus? He has been between bad and terrible for the majority of his time in TO.

  7. 1) Wouldn’t the entire Dickey trade have fallen apart if the Jays weren’t able to get an extension done? So in that sense, it really was that they were trading for 3 years of Dickey. I don’t get how “in the strictest technical sense it really is just one year of Dickey coming the Jays’ way.” With you on this one Stoeten.

    2) Re: JPA – I like to bash him as much as the next guy and his constant pronouncements of how he knows his “value” to the team are getting annoying, I was struck by the fact that he had a 987 OPS with RISP last season. If clutch hitting is a thing, then JPA had it last year. That’s worth something.

    • strictest sense meaning: what the met’s will have their fans believe

      • Not necessarily. Did the Jays give up all the years of the Halladay extension when dealing him or just their one last year of control? Could they have signed it themselves and kept him instead?

        • I think the Dickey and Halladay deals are different. Whereas all the indications we got after the Doc deal suggested he would not have signed another extension with Toronto, Dickey signed in Toronto for the exact deal he was asking the Mets for. The Mets absolutely gave up 3 years of Dickey, because they had the option of signing that contract and keeping him that long.

        • no they did not.
          I don’t think he would’ve signed it with the jays, i forget all the circumstances though.

        • No to Halladay, yes to Dickey. Halladay wasn’t re-upping. Dickey would have. Mets had a choice of 3$31m for Dickey or the Jays prospects.

          The Jays had no such alternative for Halladay. PHillies were acquiring half a year, plus exclusive negotiating window. There were maybe three teams that Halladay would have signed an in-season extension with so Phillies had to out-bid those teams.

    • there is strong doubt that clutch hitting is a thing. in fact, stats say a person *should* be hitting better with runners on base.

    • Re: JPA: It’s not really a thing, though.

      Clutch hits happen, for sure, but players consistently over-performing their overall numbers in clutch situations? It doesn’t– and even when it looks like maybe it does, there’s nothing to suggest that it’s anything other than random variance. There is really no such thing as a “clutch player.”

      • Statistically youre right. No doubt. However, you do realize that that flies in the face of over 100 years of sports coaches and players? I mean, its kind of hard to prove, much like heart, leadership and all the other intangibles. Just because the game can’t be broken down enough to statistically account for guys trying harder and caring more in certain situations or for guys who just get it done when it counts……..i mean, i know a lot of it is confirmation bias, but I don’t by the stats guys lines that its totally without meaning. A little critical thinking would amalgamate both ideas into one. To say clutch performers, guys with heart, leadership, coaching. etc. all mean nothing is ridiculous. That being said, ,much more is made out of those things than they are really worth.

      • But there are a few players around whom I would prefer to have at the plate in a clutch situation rather than say, Kelly Johnson or Adam Lind.

      • Stat heads grasped onto the mantra ” no such thing as clutch hitting” and refused to let it go.
        Truth is, that data sets had not evolved enough to make the proper anaylsis,when the statement was made.
        Don’t believe me?How about Bill James?

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/11/30/james.clutch/index.html

      • Whatever it is, there just are some players who seem to dial in a bit more in these type of situations. Like everyone else said, there are no stats for it, but its hard to argue that it happens. Just one of those things in sports that make it so much more fun to watch.

        Some guys seem to want the ball in their hand in the late innings, or find ways to get hits late in a game. Some guys really like the pressure of overtime and find “that extra gear”. No real reason why, but I really think clutch performers are a real thing.

        • The problem is that there just aren’t really guys like that. The difference between ‘hustle’ and ‘clutch’ is that clutch should be measurable, since we’re talking about fairly well-defined situations with clear outcomes.

          So when the stats don’t bear out the story, you can’t go the intangible route (like hustle, or leadership, or whatever) because clutch HAS TO show up in the stats.

          You can think heart is a real thing. You can think hustle is a real thing. (Rogers certainly hoped you did.) But clutch can’t be based on a feeling.

          • everything can be measured but not everyone can measure. You’d have to define ‘clutch’ in order to measure it.No offense but I’ll trust my eyes over the general population’s understanding of mathematics.
            Kirk Gibson vs Eckersley, that’s what clutch means to me.

      • I believe clutch hitting is a thing.
        Some guys grip the bat tighter when it’s a big situation.
        Some guys have an uncanny ability to rake it with the bases loaded (Like Pat Table) while some guys always popped it up (like Wells).
        Juan Beniquez was a guy I remember who would suck if he started, but have him pinch hit with the game on the line he was money.

        Of course, no proof and can’t provide basis to argue, but it’s a feeling…

        • Dude, sample size, Tabler had under 90 abs with the bases loaded, Wells is a career .280 hitter with the bases loaded, higher than his normal career average.

          • So what your saying is, population statistics can’t reliably measure Pat Tabler’s clutchiness. Because there’s no fucking way you can say Pat Tabler wasn’t clutch with the bases loaded. Sample size doesn’t mean the shit didn’t happen.

      • This clearly is the dumbest thing you have ever said or its just you have never played sports. Every sport has clutch players and every team has clutch players. I will agree that Just Past Arencibia has not proven to be a clutch player

        • The innate problem with saying someone is or is not a clutch hitter is the sheer number of non clutch plate appearances players accumulate.

          You just cannot get a large enough sample size to prove the variance is anything real.

          This does not mean it is not real. Just means it hasn’t been proven.

          Personally I dont care if someone is clutch or not. I just want them to be good.

          technically a guy with a 100 ops that ops’s 250 in the “clutch” is a clutch hitter.

    • Well, the problem with reasoning within the framework of “did we trade for one year of dickey or three?” is that it’s not a zero-sum game. The Mets gave up one year of Dickey for prospects. The Jays got three years of Dickey in exchange for their prospects.

  8. of course the Jays traded for Dickey AND the extension. Had they not got the extension they would not have closed the deal, no?

    • Yes. Law is just being pedantic and petulant. Remember: if you think that WAR is the best stat to judge catchers on, you’re a tedious idiot, but the Jays totally traded two of their best prospects for a guy with one year left.

      • Hilarious that you call someone petulant, then immediately follow it up with that sentence.

        Not that you had any credibility on the matter anyway, but it makes the worhlessness of your opinion all the more striking.

        • Ah thats pretty funny. Still, I think Law is right to dismiss war at least a bit, I mean, people do act like its all that matters when at best its a rough guide of a players value. I also think that Law is a bit of a jerk. He acts like everything he says is indisputable and has kind of an internet commenting tone to people who disagree with him. I think JPA can start because the Jays have potential allstarts at every other position except 2nd and Dh and if he hits 25 hrs, even if barely gets on base, isnt that ok? I dunno, maybe its not, I think it is.

        • You really are a piece of shit. Law knows exactly what he is doing – he loves it, he REVELS in it. That’s one of the reasons why he is such a fun read. And he doesn’t need you to stick up for him, asshole.

          You don’t EVEN know what you’re worked up about this time. “Credibility on the matter” — what matter, Stoeten? That Law likes trolling his readers? Please don’t think that he or I actually give two shits about how AL catchers “rank” in the middle of winter.

          You really are a giant load of piteous human garbage, and I wish you continued incalculable misery in 2013. Eat a dick.

          • Admit it. Your ice cream fell off the cone right Johnny?

          • didn’t someone use those exact same words – pedantic and petulant – in a previous post in a prior thread? feels like someone is at home alone playing 1-person scrabble and looking for an argument to insert those words into

          • someone got a thesaurus for Christmas.

          • @ Ice Cream Jonsey

            Your website looks like it was made in 1994 out of Barney the Dinosaur turds.

            that is all

      • @Jonathan Johanson

        Hey, you are a cretinous piece of shit I respect even less than a fat bearded blogger. Congrats, you win the prize of my balls on your chin till the Sun blows out. How do they feel?! Reply in erotic detail.

    • I think maybe you have to look at it asymmetrically:

      The Mets got some really good prospects for 1 year of Dickey.

      The Jays gave up some really good prospects for 3 years of Dickey.

      • Mets had three years of Dickey. It was no secret they had that option.

        • Klaw is incorrect about what the Mets traded.

          The deal had less value (Jays would have walked away) without a reasonable extension being negotiated.

          The value of Dickey to the Mets in a trade is therefore higher with a negotiated extension. It is basic economics.

          I really don’t understand how he could state anything else, it doesn’t make sense.

  9. I wonder with two of “Lansing 3″ gone if Sanchez was someone the Jays wouldn’t give up, or he was someone no one wanted?

    • I’m sure it’s not that no one wanted him but I would be interested to know if the Mets insisted on Syndengaard over Sanchez or if the Jays did. Or if it was mutual.
      They seem to flip flop in a lot of people’s rankings.

    • The former.

  10. Andrew, your reasoning about there being some sort of value in the negotiation window is correct. The negotiation window represents a form of optionality and probabilities, and in the world of finance and numbers, optionality always has a value assigned to it.

    Now if you can excuse me, I need to re-focus my attention on manipulating LIBOR.

    • Yeah I agree, theres clearly value in a negotiating window. For instance, do the Jays really make this trade if there is not a window to sign an extenstion? Don’t the Mets have to grant permission to give an extentsion? If so, then clearly they are being compensated for it. I read Laws answer and I do not agree with it.

  11. I think Law is dead wrong about the Jays trading for only 1 year of Dickey. I am not sure the Jays make the same trade if the extension falls through. Say Dickey doesn’t agree to extend with the Jays because he doesn’t like Toronto or something, then the Jays are willing to pay less (in prospects) for him.

    I would agree with him if the trade did not hinge on the Jays signing Dickey to an extension.

    • Agreed. Seems like a strange position to take.
      Jays gave up prospects for 3 years of Dickey.
      Mets got prospects trading 1 year of Dickey.
      Don’t think it’s that difficult to evaluate it in those terms.

  12. 1st time commenting, and it’s only to point out how ridiculous DVH’s comment is.

    • LOL, seems like a weird time to introduce yourself to commenting over such an uncontrovercial post.
      I think DVH’s point is fair enough.
      It seems obvious it’s the Jays who wouldn’t want to deal him, but it’s also possible that other teams just valued the other 2 more.
      Who the hell knows.

  13. Yeah, I think it’s a case where it feels like there are two truths when it comes to the Dickey trade. The Mets gave up one year of Dickey for two top prospects and yet the Jays gave up two top prospects for 3 years of Dickey. I think to insist that when analyzing the trade that you must look at it as 1 year of Dickey for two prospects is to rely on strict logic at the expense of acknowledging the actual real-world result. I know this whole thing is of no consequence since, as Stoeten said, “Whatever. RA Dickey!” but it just feels intellectually dishonest to interpret the trade that way and it’s bothering me for some reason.

  14. Rasmus in CF until Gose is ready is a good situation. He’s got the plus defence and his offensive streakiness will balance within the rest of the line-up IMO.
    We are not at the point with Rasmus where any evaluator would be surprised if Rasmus fills his earlier projected potential.

    • A quick fangraphs peek revealed a .257 BABIP for Rasmus last year. Although admittedly a lot of it was weak contact, you gotta think we’re in for more than a 1.4 WAR season (although it now looks like his standout 2010 may have been very BABIP fueled)

      • Just based on observation he did seem to hit alot of line drive right at fielders if I remember correctly…

        • We saw a lot more of the “Maddon Shift” last year than we had ever seen before. A lot of left handed batters were losing hits to the shift. Tex and Hosmer were two who were affected a lot. What effect does the shift have on the BABIP of left handed batters? To what degree is Rasmus affected? What percentage of his batted balls are fly balls instead of ground balls? If the shift thing sticks, it is going to require re-thinking inferences made from a guy’s BABIP.

    • Not yet, for sure. Getting there, but not yet.

      The big thing for me is that rather than being counted on to be the fourth best hitter in this lineup, as it was looking when the season ended, Colby is now what? Sixth at best? I think that probably helps him, and it certainly helps the team.

      • Andrew: What do you think about BABIP.
        To me it seems like a very stupid metric that has no real meaning. When a player is ‘seeing’ the ball well and making solid contact because his mechanics are correct he’s going to be able to earn a much higher BABIP! It doesn’t make sense to me why people equate BABIP with luck.

        • well, it is luck and it isn’t luck….the data exists to help you ferret it out.

          there are players who can hit line drives at a higher rate than other players. these players will tend to have higher babips than those who hit fewer line drives.

          within those subsets, however, there is an expectation, within each batted ball type, as to what percentage will fall in for hits.

          If a player maintains his line drive rate, yet his babip drops…luck is likely a factor.

          if a players line drive rate drops and his babip drops by the same degree, then you have, potentially, diminishing skill..

          i guess my point would be this:

          each player has an inherent babip tendency of their own. it is the deviation FROM THAT that is luck. not the number itself

  15. Geez dudes! (oops..AND dudettes!) What is the point of all the navel gazing over whether the Jays traded for 1 or 1 plus 2 or 3 years of Dickey? He’s here. The future is now!

    • Carl Sagan, I never thought I’d see the day when you discouraged debate and analysis. There are billions and billions of reasons to navel gaze.

  16. Kind of amazing that Zwelling says that DJ Davis is our highest ranking position prospect now.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/12/21/zwelling_on_bluejays_farm_still_prosperous/

    • Well, he doesn’t really say it, but yeah… I think it works out that way with the BP rankings, too. Gose would be ahead of him had he not graduated, but… yeah.

      And yeah, we’re really starting to see how heavily they’ve drafted pitching since AA came around. Can always trade it for a bat, I suppose.

      • We’re definitely going to have to do that because other than Lawrie, I don’t really see a bat in our lineup that will still be a core piece in 5 years (Bautista, EE will be 35-37, Melky might be playing for another team, Rasmus is Rasmus, etc). Not that we have to worry about 5 years from now, but it’s something to think about.

  17. Didn’t AA say there wouldn’t have been a Dickey trade without the extension – so Law’s argument of it only being for one year is moot.

    Of course, it’s easy for AA to say that after the extension was signed, to avoid listening to the braying idiots who would have said it was too much for one year (which it likely would have been).

  18. JPA is pretty bad, but there seem to be a few catchers who are worse offensively and starting. Anyone know what Law is judging this on? Pitch framing? Defense?

    If the Jays indeed feel the way Law claims, you would think we will see them add another catcher by ST as insurance.

  19. FWIW, wuote from Maxx Tissenbaum (Padres minor leaguer who put up .403 OBP in NE league) about facing Stroman:

    Having faced Marcus this summer while he was in Vancouver, even if people think his fastball is flat (it doesnt have as much depth for obvious reasons) it has a good amount of width, and his slider comes out of the same arm slot and on the same plane…pair that fact with the plus fastball and he’s not a guy I think will be home run prone even as he moves up

  20. The one comment I have for JPA debate is that the potential is still there. When he is on, he is like very few catchers offensively – witness his half month of May last year (15 games, 1.075 OPS with 6 HRs and a .356 OBP) or the 7 game stretch vs. Baltimore and the Stanks in September (1.330 OPS). Yes, these are cherry-picking stats, but they are glimpses of the talent that he possesses, unlike many other catchers. People act like there is nothing there with the guy.

    Obviously the consistency is the problem, but some on this board had torches out for EE not 1 and 1/2 years ago and we all know the long gestation period of one Jose Bautista. This not-yet 27 year-old player with less than 900 PAs deserves a little more time to find his game, no?

    Pat Borders OBP in 1992 and 1993 was .290 and .285 respectively. Didn’t stop the train from rolling.

    • Angels won WS in 2002 with Bengie Molina’s .245 OBP, White Sox won 2005 WS with AJ Pierzynski and his .308 OBP, 2006 Cardinals won in 2006 with Yadier Molina’s .274 OBP, in 2008 the Phillies won with Carlos Ruiz’ OPS+ of 63!!

      You don’t always get blessed with a Jorge Posada or Buster Posey or even Varitek, but it can still be a-okay.

      • Varitek sucked though

        • Varitek: 4 of 5 seasons with over .850 OPS (2001 to 2005), 2004 WS year (.296/.390/.482), career OBP of .341 (with some deterioration at the end that dragged down those numbers; 4 of his last 5 seasons were bad).

          That’s a good kind of suck.

      • The difference is all those catchers you just named are gold glove caliber.

        But I see yer point

  21. Keith Law has always hated on Arencibia ever since he was a prospect, not at all surprising to see the hate continued now.

    If JPA’s defense keeps improving (which it did significantly last season) and his bat plays a bit better (breaking both your thumb and hand in consecutive seasons has a tendency to hold offense back), I don’t see any reason he can’t be a starting option here or elsewhere.

    • I think that the TDA was so hyped up that jays fans just assume the Arencibia is a big bust

    • Keith Law also had Arencibia on his Top 100 MLB prospects one year – I believe at #99.

      I don’t think he hates the guy at all, but it’s a little hard to get super excited for the guy’s skill set. There’s value in his power to be sure & that power has been acknowledged but his approach at the plate doesn’t appear to have changed…at all. No plate discipline, no OBP & mediocre as a defender (though I’d concede that he did improve in that regard last year).

      • And there is no reason to get super excited about him.

        The problem is that people have been picking so long at his flaws in expectation that TDA was coming up and going to be better than him (no guarantee considering those poor K/BB numbers in Vegas and varied scouting opinions of TDA’s defense), they’ve forgotten that he’s still a young, seemingly improving catcher with major power potential that may not have even fully been unlocked yet due to hand injuries. The OBP may never get over .300 beyond a big season or two considering his poor contact rate, but if he slugs around .450, you’re still looking at a bat that plays pretty well at the C spot. Whether he gives the Jays good value will come down to what level he’s able to improve his defense to.

    • It improved to the level where he was still bad and worse than league average, he’s never going to be good behind the plate

  22. Thole should be the starter vs RHP & when Dickey pitches. JPA should only start vs LHP.

    The Jays received an underrated asset in Thole, while the incumbent is, quite frankly, one of the most overrated catchers in baseball.

    JPA, to date, doesn’t even mash lefties so he’s not even a great platoon partner. A sub .300 OBP vs lefties. The fuck?

    By the same token, there should probably be a platoon in CF as well. And it’s entirely possible that Gose/Davis would provide more overall value in CF than Rasmus/Davis considering that Gose is an elite defender while Rasmus is maybe a touch above average.

    2013 is about maximizing wins. Not player development. Not trying to increase Adam Lind’s trade value.

    A strict DH, C & CF platoon would add an extra win or two and Gibbons’ track record suggests he is open to it.

    • Thole has a career .691 OPS vs. RHP (and is coming off a season with a .591 OPS vs. RHP).

      Arencibia has a career .688 OPS vs. RHP (and is coming off a season with a .688 OPS vs. RHP).

      If there is a difference at all here, it’s negligible. Arencibia should and will get the majority of the starts.

      • Also JP had 28 Hr’s compared to 6 for Thole vs righties in roughly the same amount of at bats.

        Thole is like a defensive middle infielder at the plate.

        • Arencibia had 18 home runs in 2012. And as you can see from the rest of those stats, he didn’t do much else.

          I’m still hoping the guy can improve, but I suspect WYSIWYG.

        • J Thole is actually a very good fit at the bottom of the Jays lineup. Doesn’t sell out for power, .350+ OBP a possibility in 2013. I wouldn’t mind him being Dickey’s personal catcher and catching another start or 2 every week.

      • Jpa will catch 120 games

        subtract 30 RA starts and some night to day back to backers.

        pending good health thats my guess

      • Im not a huge JPA guy but he will be just fine this yr people need to chill out. A lot of his struggles at the plate last yr came after he returned from injury he struggled to find his stroke.

        He was picking things up near the tail end of season and to say he shouldnt start on any team is just plain fuckin stupid

      • @BFF

        Why would you use OPS?

        Thole’s 275/345/347 vs RHP is FAR better than JPA’s 216/273/415 line. It’s not even close.

        And that is with Thole playing half of his games in a pitchers park & JPA playing half of his games in a hitters park.

        Thole is also one year younger than JPA

        Further, Thole was hitting 284/356/370 overall last season before suffering a concussion. His post-concussion numbers really tanked and that isn’t an Adam Lind excuse injury. That is an injury where the performance drop is completely justifiable.

        I have yet to see a good reason for giving the plate appearances against RHP to JPA.

        A CF platoon is less needed, I agree. But Lind HAS to be platooned and there isn’t a shred of evidence to suggest JPA deserves to hit against RHP ahead of Thole.

        • Why use OPS? Pretty much to illustrate my point better that any difference between the two vs. RHP is quite negligible. If Thole hit for any power at all and there was no good reason to think JPA could ever improve from here, I’d totally agree a platoon would be in the team’s best interest from the start. And maybe we’ll find down the road that it does make sense if Thole starts hitting like he did in 2010 again.

          But at this point, JPA should get the majority of the starts for much the same reason that Rasmus should to start the season. If you want to talk injuries where performance drops are justifiable, look no further than his JPA’s broken thumb in 2011 that he played through for much of that season and his broken hand in 2012. Based on that, there is good reason to believe we haven’t yet seen all that JPA can offer vs. RHP or overall. I fully expect the Jays will give him the chance, especially now that TDA is out of the organization.

          • @BFF

            If you want to show that the difference is negligible, there are much better stats than OPS.

            Just break down the components if you want to keep it simple. Thole is likely to hit for better average & walk more while JPA is likely to slug more against RHP.

            But the OBP is more valuable than the extra slugging.even if they somehow end up with the same OPS.

            And why exactly does JPA have more upside than Thole? He’s not younger, for one thing.

            I’d argue last season’s hitting approach is indicative that JPA is about to become a backup catcher & the light side of a platoon.

        • I assume BFF used OPS because it is a better indicator of “mash” (your term) than your use of OBP in your original post.

      • stop with the ops. its a shitty stat. equally valuing slugging percentage and on base percentage when it comes to run creation is a huge mistake.

    • As for Rasmus, if he’s still not hitting LHP by June, then sure, platoon him. But just because this team is contending now doesn’t mean they should completely throw away all of their goals of player development (particularly with a player as potentially valuable as Rasmus).

  23. ZOMG! First KLaw answers my question and then I see my name on DJF….. SQUEEEEEE!!

  24. The trade was contingent on the extension. It couldn’t be more important to the deal since if there wasn’t an extension of some sort – the deal wouldn’t have happened at all.

    They explicitly stated that they would not trade for 1 year of RA Dickey. Since that was never on the table at any point – how could the Jays be trading TDA and Syndergaard for one year? The entire deal was contingent upon the contract NOT being 1 year.

  25. Is anyone else reassured by how minuscule the things that we are now “worrying about” really are for this team?

    A little over a month ago we had no idea who 3/5 of our starting rotation would be, we didn’t know who would be playing LF. The middle of the infield was a huge question mark, etc, etc, etc.

    Now are biggest concerns are:
    - Can we find another lefty for the bullpen in case Oliver doesn’t come back
    - Who’s going to take the roughly 150 ABs against Lefties that might otherwise go to Lind
    - How good or bad will our Catchers, who will in all likelyhood never bat higher than 8th in the order be, with the range being “slightly below league average” to “slightly above league average”

  26. JPA is being super undervalued. He’s played what, 2 years in the big leagues? Give him a chance to make some adjustments. Just because he will likely never be one of the top 3 catchers in the game doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have an All-Star season or two in him.

    It also doesn’t mean he’ll ever be a great on-base machine, but with a power swing and half his games in the Dome, there are at least as many – if not more – reasons to believe that he will progress and get better than to believe that he will regress.

    It wasn’t that long ago that he was being talked about in a similar way to how TDA is being talked about now.

    I mean, sometimes players get better, right? It wasn’t that long ago that Bautista and EE were scrubs… Not everyone will progress, but JPA’s shown an ability to hit for power and to be good enough to start in the big leagues. That means he’s proven himself capable of making adjustments to better pitching, and that there’s at least the potential that he will improve his offensive numbers in the bigs.

    • As a prospect, JPA was never talked about in the same way as TDA.

      • If that’s the case, then I’d say it’s only because there wasn’t as much internetting/blogging/prospect porn going on.

        JPA was talked about as an impact MLB player with All-Star upside for a loooong time from what I followed.

      • Bull fucking shit he wasnt. Maybe not as high rated but the fans sure sucked on his cock the same way.

  27. HE IS NOT POSEY… now,,, everyone needs to get that through their thick skulls.

  28. “More likely WAR isn’t the be-all and end-all for discussions of player value, amirite?”

    Dear Stoeten… that’s for you

  29. I was reading the comments section yesterday, and KLaw ripped someone a new one for trying to suggest what a lot of people here are suggesting about the Dickey trade:

    The Dickey trade in essence was a deal for three years.

    For an ESPN guy, he was really out there in his responses to “ignoramus” commenter’s. He’s such a douchebag, it’s rather sexy.

    To be totally honest, he seems adamant in his logic, but I don’t quite see it as hard and fast a rule as he may.

    • Sorry for seemingly spamming but I found the comments:


      A1227K
      wrong keith. it’s the equivalent of the mets signing dickey to an extension and then trading him to the blue jays. with a trade conditional upon an extension, there are only two scenarios:

      1. blue jays trade prospects for dickey at 3 years/31
      2. blue jays do not trade for dickey.

      there is no third scenario under which the blue jays acquire dickey and THEN negotiate a deal. they assumed none of the risk.”
      ———–

      “K_Law
      I enjoy when readers like A1227K offer the same, tired, incorrect explanation as if I’d never considered it before in my ~11 years in the business. It’s still the wrong way to look at the question, but at least it’s funny for its earnest ignorance.
      4 fans like this.”

      • The whole thing is really semantics as AA would not have done the trade without the extension.

        But that’s Keith style. It attracts some and annoys others. On the whole, I still like his work.

        • Comes across as smug if you ask me, atleast in a situation like this where he is quite clearly refusing something that is obviously not quite so cut-and-dry like he’s making it seem.

      • I understand what he’s saying, but I just have a hard time understanding why he thinks it’s logical.

        • He’s correct when it comes to the literal account of what happened.

          jays trade prospects for Dickey who has one year left on his deal.

          jays then extend Dickey for two more years and club option.

          The fact that the jays signed him to an extension does not mitigate the value of the prospect currency sent the other way. that value is constant.

          you then evaluate the dickey contract extension under its own rubric.

          bottom line, it doesn’t matter in the end. arguing about this is just done for the sake of flexing logic proof muscles

  30. Also for those holding hope, and perhaps postulating (including Stoeten in some previous posts) about whether Arencibia will get better (even if just a little) I think there’s something better we can hold out hope for. That is, this team is still really good with a replacement level catcher….. and Adam Lind (sigh)

    • JPA is no Posey, but I think it’s silly to think of him as a replacement level catcher.

      • I normally agree with Keith Law but I think its too early to be talking that kind of shit about JPA. Honestly, I know hes a no nonsense kind of guy but I think that was being too harsh.

        Yes he is stubborn as a mule when it comes to hitting instruction it seems but if Mottola can get through to him, he could stand to have a pretty good year. His defense will also improve I feel because he sees the club around him, he’s heard all the criticism and he knows deep down that to stay in Toronto, he has to get better and quick.

        Having a hitting like him in the 8-9 hole isnt exactly rough times though, just saying.

  31. its not that the mets “gave up” the value of the extension but more like Dickey “gave up” the right to go on the open market next year for security and the chance to play with a sustained winner. i think he clearly would have gotten more on the open market than he signed for so the Jays got that value, but not from the Mets, from Dickey.

  32. on JPA, i felt like he was really coming around about June and July prior to the injury. his first year the team told him to forget about offense and just get better defensively. by all accounts he did that. now he has the opportunity to focus on the complete package. i’m optimistic that he, like other catchers will continue to improve through his late 20′s. I think a slash something like .260/.310/.480 is doable and very valuable if he can provide league-average defense.

    • not sure a .260 BA is doable for JP. hasnt even sniffed .250 so far, and with a 29% K-rate, its unlikely to get better. league average defense is a little optimistic too, he has improved in that respect, but to my eyes still doesnt set a great target, stabs at balls near the corners of the zone instead of keeping his hands soft, blocks pitches in the dirt at maybe an average level, and is below average at throwing runners out.

      the most damning indictment is the fact that I have never heard anyone outside of jays fans, front office members and media fan-boys ever speak highly of his defense. the general consensus is that while he has improved from being quite literally unplayable, he still sucks. i think stoeten had it right a couple posts ago when he wrote (paraphrasing) that part of JP’s value to the jays may be the fact that he isnt a star, and thus is someone they can simply run out there without much concern for health or productivity. i dont mean this in the harshest sense, like the jays dont care if he gets hurt or something, just that he doesnt have to be babied like a posey or mauer, whose bats are absolutely essential to their teams chances. dont get me wrong, I’d take either of those guys in a second, but the way catchers decline quickly and suffer a greater than normal number of injuries, at least you know that JP is not someone absolutely critical to the functioning of the team.

  33. Keith Law is an imbecile. Everyone feels this way right? I don’t want to live in a world where this person is respected. His answer to that last question is undeniable proof of what an insignificant person this is, or perhaps you prefer his “WAR doesn’t matter if it disproves my point” argument about Arencibia. Guess I have to read through the rest of these comments to make sure everyones just laughing at this guy… .

    • Yes, KLAW is a dumb fuckin nobody. You are right. I mean, the audacity to say that the Jays are LOLworthy for trading their #1 and #3 guys for ONE year of Dickey takes a special level of shortbus that we have honestly never seen before.

      I can’t imagine saying otherwise unless you were desperate for page views, frankly.

  34. I wouldn’t care much for JPA’s set of skills on offense if he can call a game intelligently. What’s his reputation on this aspect, is there a quantifier to measure how effective he is calling and interacting with the pitcher?

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