Goodbye slow news day! Uh… kinda, as Jon Heyman of Boras Corp. CBS Sports suggests that, despite all the suggestions that the Jays payroll is stretched just about as far as it can possibly go, the club may understand that it’s kinda ridiculous to not push it just a little bit further in an effort to really solidify their bullpen.

Or maybe Darren Oliver is genuinely willing to walk away from the $3-million on the table, and the Jays have changed their mind, or talked Rogers into letting them reinvest that capital. Or maybe floating something like this out there is a ploy to call the bluff of Oliver and his agent, Jeff Frye. Better still, maybe the Jays can keep Oliver and add one of the non-shittacular guys from Heyman’s tweet.

To wit:

Like I say, I’m pretty sure the Jays will be looking in the non-shittacular realm here, so right off the bat we can rule out Capps and Valverde.

Farnsworth had elbow issues last year and came back a little walk-y (albeit in small sample), so I’m not sure there. Oviedo used to be Leo Nunez, and he had a down year in 2012, but he could bounce back. Then again, K-Rod used to be Francisco Rodriguez, and he had a down year in 2012, but he could bounce back– though he’ll never again be the K-Rod of 2004-07, who produced a ridiculous 10.5 fWAR over 291 innings, and may not be able to play nice with other, either.

Rafael Soriano, of course, is out there too, but– and this is something I’ve not said enough, I don’t think, in discussing him– is he such a better option than these guys that you’d really meet his demands and give up a pick?

So, I dunno… call me a raging sucker for the small sample size (and completely myopic on his awful 2011), but I’d be entirely OK with Brandon Lyon coming back, I think. Then again, Lindstrom may be even more impressive, having had no small success over the last two years, including his 2011 in Colorado, and his 2012 both in the AL East with Baltimore, and in hitter-friendly Arizona. Though I’d be a little wary of the low HR/FB rates, perchaps.

Any one of them, save Valverde (because seriously, please no), would be just fine, I suppose [read: I really don't want to look into the numbers on these guys all that much more deeply], but I’m still pretty sure the left-handed Darren Oliver would be optimal, despite whatever supposed moral failings people are going to insist he possesses.

Comments (63)

  1. Isn’t Brandon Lyon close to signing with the Giants? But yeah, of the group listed above, he would be my pick.

  2. I don’t know why we basically showed Jason Frasor the door.

    • I think we have gone over this more than enough…. He is a slow worker, he’s losing his effectiveness, and he may have had locker room issues with the Jays.

  3. read the title, NO SHIT

  4. When trying to win you must push all morality aside, especially at the baseball diamond. Pretty sure most MLB players, management and execs would agree.

    Sign Oliver and get on with it. He’s the best fit. And we’ll boo him every time he jogs out from the pen, and then cheer him every time he records an out. It will be unprecedented.

  5. Imagine an 8-man rotation plus one RH reliever and one LH reliever. Guys get paired up like we were doing in Lansing so you pitch every 4 days, but only half a game.

    Doesn’t pretty much every pitcher in baseball have a higher BA against them each time through the order?

    Anyway I know I’m crazy (first step is acknowledging the problem), but what I’m really getting at is I don’t see the value in relievers. An inning is an inning. A run in the first is the same as a run in the ninth. I’ll take Santos, Jansen types at their pay. But the idea of 10M+ for 70 innings work is crazy to me.

    • Insanity.

    • If you stick with the current 25 and 12 pitchers. You would have 8 starters and 2 RH relievers and 2 LH relievers.

      It’s crazy and the machismo of sports (not to mention agents) won’t allow it. But if 1 team did it and out performed their pitching projections and better yet won. it could catch on.

    • The reason you don’t see value in relievers might be because you assume that a run in any inning has the same value, but I don’t think that is right. The value of that run depends on how close the score is or how high of a leverage situation it is. Having a bullpen that can effectively shut down an offense and consistently win close games is worth a lot. I think fangraphs recently had a story on this and concluded that WAR for relievers is undervalued.

      • @JaysRock – yes there are situations that are more important. Either by inning as you say or by leverage (bases loaded for example). But is a reliever that much (if at all) better than a fresh Brandon Morrow? Followed by a fresh Mark Beuhrle?

    • Cool idea, but I don’t think that’s how bodies work in terms of warming up and cooling back down. In other words, if you throw Studly McStarter and Innings Von Ace for 5 and 4 innings, respectively, on Monday… that doesn’t mean that one or both of them is going to be ready to go on Thursday, at least not effectively.
      Having said that, I expect that it’s just as likely that they ARE ready to go because of the shorter workload, and experience more longevity and better effectiveness throwing less innings at a time. It’s just one of those things you have to try.

      The other problem is going to be that you’re going to have to end up using your starters as mop-up men a bit more often. Furthermore: only having two relievers would drive the manager nuts… but it would also keep him from over-managing.

  6. I think soriano is better than the rest. I know the risk in signing him (losing the pick to the skanks). However, decent chance they could regain the pick next year if soriano pitches like he should and they give him a qualifying offer. Having said that, this kind of reminds me of the fielder situtation last year when all the fans wanted him and the jays decided to be more prudent. My second pick would be lyon. The rest dont intrigue me much. MAYBE lindstrom or oviedo but they dont give me much confidence.

  7. Screw Oliver… Let him walk. Is Santos still expected to be ready by spring? Janssen isn’t a bad set up guy.. I still say let these guys play and tweak the pen or other areas as needed at the trade deadline of wen a deal presents its self.. We don’t have the bet pen but I’m content with what we got. Go Jays :)

  8. Also should be noted that Heyman is just throwing out names. Somebody on Twitter asked him about Brian Wilson and Heyman didn’t rule it out.

  9. In terms of cost relative to performance, it seems like all of the best fits were a part of last year’s bullpen: Oliver, Lyon & Frasor.

    Well, Frasor is gone.

    Many want nothing to do with Oliver for some reason.

    Let’s hope Lyon can be persuaded to sign a contract similar to Jason Frasor.

    • Coz Oliver is a little bitch… 41 and holding out for more money??? He isn’t even worth the 3mil that’s on the table for this guy. Fuck Oliver, I’d rather have Frasor back lol

      • Apparently it’s not even a coherent reason.

      • Lol yes, cuz the best left handed reliever in baseball last year isn’t worth the 3M, dumbass fairweather fans.

      • I disagree, Oliver had an amazing year last season.

        Although I partially agree with the ‘little bitch’ comment because lets face it: He signed a contract, and now is whinning about money. The money seemed to be fine last season, if anything the team is better now.

        Is 1 million dollars enough money to justify being far from your children and wife when 3 million isn’t?

        • he’s not whining about money. He wants more and is trying to get it. That is importantly different than whining.

  10. I say bring in Soriano to close!!!

    Have Jansenn and Santos set up!


  11. I’d be ok with Lyon, Lindstrom, or Oliver.

  12. What about stroman isn’t there a way to put him on the 40man to duck his suspension?

  13. I highly doubt that there would be much sustained griping about Oliver if the Jays signed him for an additional 1.5-2mil. over his current contracted amount.

    It will be more of how AA does his AA spin on the whole situation if Oliver is convinced to give up his thread of retirement.

    • only way the Jays would do a signing of Oliver was, if they had some type of sketchy extra year at 3 mill with bonus of 1.5 now, but unwritten, he must plan to retire after this year to save them next years 3 :D

      • Agreed, thus the whole AA ninjaness. Something along the lines of they worked out with Rajai that nobody really understands. Its more of a who gives a fuck how they get it done just DOO IT!

        If he is looking for market value no way it happens. If he is willing to take the 4.5-5.5mil great but the 6-9mil. that he could likely get won’t happen…IMHO

      • Same but different: They could add an option year with a buyout – with the understanding that they’ll do it all again next year (or buy him out).

  14. Relief pitching is such a volatile area. Whatever you think you’ve got, you likely don’t.
    Jays have a decent nucleus & Lyon, at the right price would be a sensible addition.

    But I would not spend a whole pile on it. Internal options may present themselves in spring training and; if not, they can get a guy later.

    Maybe they want to take a look at Jeffress:
    a guy they gave up two pieces to get and a guy who is out of options.
    If he shows decent control, he might be a bigger piece than we think.

  15. A commenter in another thread suggested what I consider to be the best way to add a good reliever while appeasing the moralists.

    Add a $1 million buyout on a $5 million team option on Oliver’s contract.

    If he sucks, the Jays buy him out but he gets another $1 million.

    If he is good, he gets $8 million over 2 years.

    If he retires after 2013, he only gets $3 million which would allow the moralists to pat themselves on the back.

    And the Jays get the best reliever available when considering cost, keeping a draft pick etc.

    Everybody wins.

    • He barely wants to come back this year, I doubt an additional year is on his mind.

    • This makes perfect sense to me. And much better than signing most of the other available relievers. I think the moralists against such a deal would forget about this and move on to something else to whine about pretty quickly.

  16. Brian Wilson!!

  17. Santos, Jansenn, Lincoln, Delabar (lefty splits), Happ, Cecil, and maybe another righty (Carreno, Stroman, Beck?). We also have Loup in the minors. I would be comfortable with any of the top 3 throwing in the high pressure late innings, and I kind of feel we have enough. If anything, I think the jays might add a risky, cheaper right handed option to provide some middle innings relief…but then again is he going to be that much better than Carreno or Stroman? We have Perez coming back at some point, as well as drabek.

    • Why do so many people still want to count on Drabek? Two Tommy John’s and he couldn’t throw strikes to begin with.

      • For that matter, I don’t see why anyone is counting on Santos either. The guy missed practically all of last year with a mysterious shoulder injury that nobody seems to really know much about.

      • +1 man. Drabek will never pitch in MLB for the jays again in my opinion
        Face it, like a lot of prospects “he has a great arm”.
        UH, yeah, ok, but he has no control of it whatsoever and thus is K/BB walk ratio is hoorendous, not to mention he has usually thrown his 100 pitch allotment by the 5th inning ( if he gets that far). plus he has worn out whoever is catching the game with all his 55ft curveballs that don’t entice any batters.
        I think the Jays know this, hence the collection of many relievers.
        Drabek belongs “out in the fields” with Kelly Johnson for fsakes

        • you really are a fukstik and no little about baseball

          • you are a complete fukin idiot-normally I wouldn’t waste my time with a member of the tormentose. If you wish to refute my argument, then do it, otherwise STFU

        • Because Drabek will always be that guy?

          I mean, sure, if he doesn’t improve there’s not a whole lot of future there, but he’s just 25, and he commanded well all the way up to 2010. I certainly wouldn’t say the chances that he finds it again and becomes the pitcher we all hoped he was when he was acquired are too strong at this point, but sometimes it takes guys a while to figure it out. Writing him off now is ridiculous.

  18. Well guess it won’t be Soriano. He was the best available, but I think it was pretty unlikely the Jays have $14M left to spend this year.

  19. According to MLB Trade Rumors it looks like Soriano will be a National so we can put that to rest!

  20. Let the Darren Oliver issue go. The rest of us have managed to move on as hard as that is to believe.

  21. Holy crap, per MLB Trade Rumors: “The Nationals agreed to sign free agent closer Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28MM contract, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter links). The deal includes a 2015 option valued at $14MM that will vest if Soriano finishes 120 games over the course of the next two seasons.” Read more at

    So that works out to $28 M gauranteed with another $ 14 M that has a good chance to vest if he stays healthy. He provided 1.2 WAR last year according to fangraphs. They project him to have a similar year in 2013, which means they are valuing him at something around $10-11 M per WAR, and they lose a top draft pick. Seems a little steep, and makes DO look like a ridiculous bargain in comparison if they could get him to play for something around $ 4.5 M. .

  22. Brian Wilson on a cheap one year deal, if he doesnt work it doesnt cost much, and if he ragains some of his old form its one hell of a deal

  23. I wouldn’t mind Brandon Lyon. I had thought previously that one of he or Frasor would return. For most of Lyon’s career, I didn’t particularly like him… but he pitched pretty well in the “small sample size” last year. Maybe he’s finally figured it out or whatever the phrase is.

  24. With Loup on the outside looking in, the Jays aren’t in a bad spot to start off the season. Janssen, Santos, Delabar, Lincoln, Happ, Cecil and Rogers is a decent ‘pen, although Oliver would definitely be a great upgrade to Cecil or Rogers. Loup will be a great late-inning reliever, so I’m sure he’ll make the team eventually. He’s got a spectacularly wacky delivery and a crazy breaking ball, so I bet he’ll be on this team for the last half of the season.

  25. Valverde may be bombastic, but he’s consistently been a good reliever for his entire career (including even last year). I’d have no problem signing him at all provided they didn’t stubbornly use him in the same way Leyland did.

  26. Why don’t the Jays just offer to add incentive bonuses to Darren Olivers contract.

    We make the playoffs… 500k
    We win a round. 750k
    We win the ship 1mil.

    Boom. If he still cries. Fuck’em.. better options out there anyways.

  27. Matt motherfuckin Lindstrom!!! Cmon AA, this dude throws smoke and puts up Ks.

  28. Eric Bedard if he’d be willing to go to the pen would be sweet maple syrup

  29. Nevermind!!!

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