johnsonjuly

Matt Sosnick is about as upfront as it gets. And while I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of dealings with player agents in the baseball world, I suspect that’s a fairly rare quality. It certainly makes him an excellent radio show guest, especially at a time like this, with his client and his team struggling so badly, and that’s why I’m hardly surprised that he said something noteworthy when he appeared with Jeff Blair on the Fan 590 yesterday morning (audio here).

It’s certainly not how I heard it, but the description of the conversation on the Fan’s audio on demand page tells listeners that “despite an awful season thus far, Matt Sosnick still expects that his client, Josh Johnson, can sign a monster contract if they elect to choose free agency this off-season.”

Sosnick did use those sorts of terms at one point, though I don’t think expects is the right word at all.

“He’s a guy who had a chance, going into the season, to sign a Sabbathia-type contract if he went out and had a Cy Young-type year,” he says, early on in the interview– “had,” I think, perhaps being the operative word.

“If he’s over [his past injury issues], he’s a guy who can sign a monster contract,” he added, and then later emphasized the anomaly that this season has been for Johnson, and says that his sense is that he’s going to turn it around this year.

I suppose you could combine the fact that he expects him to turn it around with the fact that a healthy and productive Johnson would be in line for a monster deal and come to the same conclusion that the Fan did, but later on Sosnick got much more realistic about what’s in store for his client, given the way things currently stand.

Calling this winter’s free agent pitching market possibly the worst in the last ten or fifteen years, he added, “It doesn’t look like Josh will be part of it now.”

Hello?

The reason he says so, which is pretty obvious, ties into an explanation that followed a minute or two later.

Asked whether he’d had any talks about an extension with the Jays for Johnson, with the thought of sticking around and pitching his value back up, Sosnick replied:

I mean, so… here’s the thing. Based on the way the collective bargaining agreement was negotiated, Alex has the right to offer him a qualifying offer. I think this year it’s going to be just south of $14-million. And if Alex believes he’s a one or two starter, and he believes the team he put together is capable of winning a World Series– and, I’ll be honest with you, I believed before the season started that Toronto was going to win the World Series. If he thinks that guys are going to bounce back, and that the team he has is the right team– and there’s nothing Alex has done as a GM that would lead me to believe anything besides the fact that he has a master plan, and the master plan is going to work– he’s probably going to tender Josh and hang a compensation on him. As you saw with Lohse, it certainly effects– you know, teams are a lot more willing to give up a draft pick for a guy with a three-five [note: a 3.50 ERA, I assume] than a four-five. And it certainly effects their value, because teams guard not only that pick, but the pool money that comes with it. So, for Alex, if he puts the tag on him– I think he will– he’s basically saying, “Hey, I’m willing to roll the dice for $14-million on Josh Johnson again, because if he’s who I think he is, he’s a one or a two starter.” And one and two starters, a one-year, $14-million deal for a guy like that is a great deal.

I think it’s pretty realistic, at least given the way things stand here on July 26th.

Anthopoulos clearly believed in the talent and would surely hate to see Johnson rebound next year in another uniform after letting him walk for nothing. And even with the dearth of free agent pitching options, Johnson’s market is looking like it would fairly soft even without the draft pick tied around his neck.

Maybe Sosnick is doing a little negotiating through the media here, playing to Alex’s ego while figuring that a $14-million pillow is about the best his client is going to be able to do– he’s an agent, so you’ve got to be at least somewhat skeptical– but I really do think it’s just an honest assessment.

Judging by all the guffawing at umpteen thoroughly unoriginal “the next bus outta town!” cracks I saw this week in response to my post that asked, Where Does Josh Johnson Go From Here?, a lot fans aren’t going to be happy if it turns out that a qualifying offer deal is just too much in the interest of both parties for either to turn down, but it sure sounds great to me.

No, really. As bad as it’s been this season– and I’m not trying to pretend it hasn’t been horrendously awful– I still believe there’s talent there, and that you just don’t normally get arms like his without being on the hook long-term and for a lot of money. I mean, think of the extension scenarios fans were dreaming about over the winter, and when Johnson was in the midst of a spectacular Spring Training. Giving him $14-million to see if this season is just a blip and he can go back to being what he was in 2012 (understanding, of course, that without the velocity the days of his being a true number one are long gone) really isn’t so bad. It can’t go worse, right? I mean… probably, right?

Comments (112)

  1. It’s hard to see them getting a much better deal for pitching this offseason than Josh Johnson on a 1 year/14M contract. They should definitely at least offer it to him. If he agrees, it would be a fine outcome for the Jays.

    That said, there’s over a third of the season left. There’s still enough time for him to build up his value to a point where he wouldn’t have to take that and sign elsewhere.

    • Either way The Jays will have something coming out of the 14 MM scenario. They either get JJ and the potential to become a 1 or 2 starter again, or they get a draft pick, Because even in a weak market, someone will sign him. I think I might even go for a one year with team options or perhaps a team/player option combination after that.

      • JJ a number 1 or 2? In which career? The one that he was healthy for and took place in an alternate universe?

        Maybe I’m just too hard on JJ but I really think a number 1 or 2 has more than one season with over 200 innings and starts more than 30 games a more than twice in a 7-10 year span.

        Johnson has never been reliable enough to be a number 2 and nowhere near a number 1. Now that he’s lost 5 Mph on his fastball (depending on the day more) he looks like he might be able to be a number 3 if things go right.

        • Get him on the weighted ball program!

        • He hasn’t lost 5 mph, not even close. He was a true ace and number one for a few seasons. He’s still young too and just last season he pitched as a number one or two.

        • JJ, last year, started 31 games and pitched 191 innings. He had an ERA of 3.81 and was worth 3.5 fWAR. That’s a pretty good #2 pitcher on most teams.

          Last year his fastball averaged 92.8 MPH. This year it averages 93.0 MPH. He never averaged 98MPH or wherever the fuck your magical missing 5MPH is coming from.

          The facts aren’t that difficult to look up. I understand the skepticism when it comes to him being able to turn it around but, at least take the time to inform your opinion rather than sounding like Damien Cox

          • JJ averaged 95.62 mph. on his fastball in 2010 but it wasn’t so much the average I was talking about even though losing 2 Mph on one’s fastball on average IS a lot.

            I was just talking about were it tops out and that seems to be around 94 now when was one time is was 99.

            He doesn’t have that extra zip to blow it by someone when he really needs to. That and his velocity is down on average. While we are talking about averages too this is a guy who averages 122 innings a year. That is a back of the rotation starter who has never been counted on to carry a load going into a season and actually paid off.

            Being a 1 or 2 isn’t just about having decent rate stats one or two years. It’s about consistently taking the ball every 5 or 6 days and that is not something that can be said about JJ.

            • I don’t think anyone is expecting JJ to return to his cy young caliber years. The facts are that he was succesful last year with similar velocities as this year. Velocities that aren’t in the junkballer range.
              He can be a shadow of what he was in 2009/2010 and still be a very effective pitcher. Even a #2.

            • Yup. No smarmy replies, what a surprise. Jock sniffers, step off. Jj is a 3 at best

  2. +1 to Stoeten. Excellent post. I agree that AA should offer him the qualifying offer of 14 million.

    He will probably take it.

    Given that Morrow has been shut down & Romero is still in AAA, it’s not like the Jays are paying millions to pitchers that aren’t helping the team.

    AA must know by now that you can never have enough pitching,

    2014 will need a Josh Johnson comeback year to help make the playoffs.

    • Getting JJ on a short term contract really isn’t the worst case scenario for how this could’ve worked out. The team is really well poised (assuming everyone stops being shit) to be competitive until 2016/2017 when some of the big contracts stop expiring. Being able to commit money to just that window is something that I’d imagine AA and Rogers values.

      With the moves that they’ve made, it’s probably beneficial to spend as much as possible to take advantage of their sunken costs without committing too much long term. I think Stoeten’s idea of the option with a sizeable buyout is even more to the point if you’re going along this line of thinking.

      As for blowing up the team. You’ve got to tough it out for another year or two and see if the product matches the process (which a lot of us commended AA for at the time). If it doesn’t, the team will still have a lot of assets on their hands in a year or two when its time to admit failure and try again.

    • Agreed. You start with Dickey, Johnson, Buhrle and Happ in the rotation.
      Drabek, and Hutchinson are optioned to AAA to join Romero.

      Not sure what Morrow’s option status is, but if he has one, put him in AAA (or on the dl) too, and try to find a # 2 starter to round out out the rotation.
      Just can’t rely on Morrow, regardless of his potential.

      Do that and they have a rotation that could get it done
      and they’d have some MLB ready depth in the minors.

  3. In theory, past 2014 we have lots of pitchers coming along anyway through the system.

    Question: can you only do a qualifying offer once on a guy? Or can this just keep looping year after year?

  4. the idea that jj wouldnt be tendered a qualifying offer is ridiculous. while he has shown he is somewhat injury prone there is a sustained history of excellence and success.

    i STILL feel today like when JJ takes the mound he gives us the best chance to win out of any of the starters currently on the staff. if we played a 1 game winner take all tomorrow and you could start anyone you take your chances with josh.

    maybe im way off with this but i just get the distinct impression he doesnt want to be here. he probably accepts the qo with eyes on a monster deal in 2015.

    the qualifying offer from the jays end is a NO BRAINER

    • well he was all set for a monster deal if he does well this year, and that didnt work out.

      Its not as easy as saying “its his walk year hes gonna be grat” cause its not as easy as just flipping a switch

    • How’s the weather on your planet, nice this time of year? The only place for JJ is the bullpen, period.

  5. Im not so sure abojt Sosnick being so “up front”

    Personally I read this as Sosnick trying to discourage AA from offering the QO, knowing the kind of payroll crunch we’re going to have, and hoping AA cant afford to take a gamble on 2013 JJ for $14 million.

    Theres no doubt at this point if the season ended now, and AA extended the QO, hed be terrified JJ would accept. So putting the word out there that he would would probably at least make AA think twice.

    • There is no way this is true. As bad as Johnson’s results have been, his peripherals are half decent, and there is definitely plenty of room for positive regression. I think AA would be happy either way it goes (getting the pick or getting Johnson), though I would imagine having Johnson next year would be his preferance – basically, a reset on this season and go again.

      • look at the payroll:

        According to Cots, the Jays 2014 is currently $110 million. That’s NOT including Caseys option which will be picked up, so thats $114 million. And NOT including the arb guys, three of which are 1st year eligible (Cecil, Rogers, JP). All of those guys should make at least $1 million. Cecils an AS, Rogers broke out as a starter, and as much as we hate JP, power pays. So let’s conservatively add $3 million. We’re at $117. Colbys arb 3 and due for a big raise from his $4.6. I think $7 million is fair.

        So we’re at $124 million and that’s only paying for the same team that sucks now MINUS Josh Johnson. To get the same team (more or less) i.e. to keep JJ, we’re paying $138 million. I jusr don’t know if AA is willing to take that gamble. That’s a lot of money for basiclly the same team that’s 9 games under .500.

        Most people think we’ll need to add something in the offseason. Barring a big trade (unlikely as we dont have much to trade) and extending the QO to JJ pretty much ties up any possible extra money and I’m not sure AA can gamble on getting 2013 AA. If you have a $200 million payroll, sure, you have more room for error.

        I don’t think it’s a given he even extends the QO. Especially if he thinks he’ll accept it.

        • Holy shit. That’s a big payroll.

        • You’re neglecting the highly likely possibility of off-season (or even mid-season) trades that will alter payroll.

          • I don’t see this as “highly likely” at all.

            Who makes enough money that would make a difference and would be traded? I don’t think he’s moving EE or Bautista. Buerhle has negative value so we’d have to eat a lot of money.

            Plus, altho overpaid, Beurhle is stil very useful as a baseball player, and we need the pitching, frankly.

            Who else would we trade?

        • Good point but I could see 135-140 million for 2014.

          The fans are still showing up. Tv ratings are okbut if they get off to a better start in 2014 you could be looking at 1 million viewers per night

    • What payroll crunch? How can any fan possibly know what the ‘payroll parameters’ are for this team after the huge increase last season.

      If ,someone told you 12 months ago, when the pays payroll was below 100 million that they’d have a 120 million payroll in 2013, would you have believed them?

      There is no payroll crunch. No one could possibly know that but AA and Beeston, et al.

      • Yes I would have believed them, because it’s pretty clear given market size that the team could support way more. $120-$130 million sounds about right. The big jump this offseason was simply bringing payroll to where it should be. But they’re not going to make up for lost time by having $150+ million.

        No, we do not know the exact numbers of the budget, but rest assured, there is a budget. The huge increase last year made it LESS likely of a huge increase this year, not more so.

      • Last year, MLB signed massive TV contracts that will more than double TV revenue. They signed an agreement with ESPN, FOX and TBS totalling 12.4 billion over 8 years. The revenue will be split equally among all 30 teams. In essence, each team is going to receive a bump in revenue of AT LEAST $25 MILLION (6 billion / 8 years / 30 teams = 25 million).

        The end result of this is teams at the bottom of the payroll barrel like Houston, Tampa, Oakland will have the ability to sign a couple of major free agents each without afffecting their profitability.

        Look for a hyperinflated free agent market in the winter. A QO to Johnson is in order unless AA can outbid another team for a major starter in the offseason.

        It’s a major point to be made. At least an extra $750 million dollars is going to be availble for player salaries due to the TV contracts.

        • Just a point on this, you’re not going to see smart teams like Oakland or Tampa suddenly splurge on major free agents since I think they recognize that signing FAs who are already 29-30 years old to massive contracts is a bad investment. Instead, you’ll see those teams spend that extra money for things like international free agents (i.e. Cespedes) or in signing their homegrown guys to extensions (i.e. Longoria, Moore, maybe even Price though he’ll still likely be traded a la Shields)

    • “Payroll crunch”?

      Says who?

  6. Unless JJ gets hurt, rolling the dice on a QO is a no brainer. From a PR front I think that’s better for AA than JJ walking away for nothing. I’m probably crazy, but I still think its possible the Jays give him a QO and end up with a draft pick. There is not a lot of pitching hitting the market.

  7. Sign me up for a 1 year QO to Johnson + an offseason commitment to the weighted ball program. If anybody could utilize 2-3 extra MPH on his fastball to great effect, it would be Johnson.

    • + Billions and Billions Brumfield…been saying this all along. And I’m sure there was a camera shot of him the other night with a weighted ball in his hand. Not only would (will) it increase his velocity, it seems to protect against injury. (with the comensurate strengthening of various muscles in the arm and shoulder region)

  8. There was a shot of JJ sitting in the bullpen chatting with Hentgen and a few of the guys down there during last nights game.

    And he had what looked like a Weighted Ball in his hand. Maybe hes been convinced, given his injury history and recent dip in velocity, to at least give it a shot.
    #WeightedBalls (THAT would make for a pretty good novelty Jays t-shirt).

    Im all for giving JJ the QO after this season. If he accepts, you have to believe he will be better than he’s been this year. I remember talking to buddies after the Trade who werent familiar with NL guys, and I said to them “Im really excited about Johnson. If hes healthy, he can be easily be the ace of this team.” Hasn’t exactly worked out like that, but maybe theres another season where he can prove me right.

  9. Is it weird that I think we should be giving him a four year contract for $60M if he’d take it?

    • Yes, that’s pretty weird, especially since his agent just said he’d probably be willing to take 1/14. He’s been pitching like a #5 starter AT BEST so far this year. There’s a chance he could turn it around, but also a chance he’s done. At 1/14 you can maybe afford to take that gamble — at 4/60 you can’t.

    • I think there’s a good chance Johnson would turn that down, look for a one-year deal to re-establish his value and then shoot for a lot more than 3/45 next year.

      • Why on earth would he take 3/45 over 4/60? Doesn’t he want to make more money? Do you really think that as a 32 year old free agent, he might wind up getting more than $15MM/Year? Do you think he’s so confident (and that his agent is so confident) in his ability to increase his value that he would suggest he turn down the additional year?

        I doubt it.

        The short-term contract makes it a gamble worth taking. Going longer, at this point, is foolish. He could be another Ricky Romero: an expensive player on a $50MM+ contract who can’t pitch at replacement level.

    • Not entirely, it would depend on the final 1/3 of a season. But not ridiculous at all if he is solid down the stretch.

    • No prob here if they’re all team option years. Or two team option and the last player option.

  10. He’d still got top 15 type velocity, averaging 93 mph on his fastball this year. It’s not like he’s become some shitballer. The only difference seems to be that he doesn’t have the ability to really ramp it up to 98 like he could. My thought is that once he learns to get by without having that ability he’ll return to being a top of the rotation pitcher.

    • No shit. I checked fangraphs and you’re right. I never think of him as still having that type of juice on his fastball anymore.

    • The thing is that Johnson used to throw in the upper 90′s. The velocity is not what it used to be for him, top 15 not withstanding.

      Looking into past potential is the worst thing for a fan to project from for the future.

      JJ should be signed as they someone to take the ball but fan fantasies about him winning the Cy Young are just that: fantasies.

    • It strikes me as a foolish gamble to expect that he can ‘learn to get by’ without his velocity. Pitchers don’t do that often. More often, once they begin to lose velocity, they begin to disappear from baseball. I hope that doesn’t happen to him, but let’s not pretend like he’s never tried locating his pitches, throwing breaking balls, working to weak contact, etc in the past. The fact is that he’s had success in doing all of those things in the past simply because he threw hard as fuck. Losing that hurts his abilities to perform at a top level, and eventually, at replacement level.

  11. Do it, and if he is really good next year you can trade him due to surplus in the systme

  12. Even if Johnson was playing for another team this year, I have to believe AA would be sniffing around to see if he could get him on a Melky-esque re-build your value deal. The QO is a no-brainer given how bad the FA market is. The question (rather hilariously) will be whether it + the draft compensation pick will be enough to ward off other teams.

    Before this season it would cost teams a hundred million bucks to take a chance on Johnson. Even with 1 win and a sky-high ERA there HAS to be teams who see him as a huge upgrade to their rotation.

    It may almost be a blessing that at least Johnson was bad during a year where the rest of the team struggles, because it at least gives us a shot at keeping him. As has been said above – hopefully he gets on the weighted ball program and can at the very least strengthen his shoulder and CONFIDENCE.

    I thought the most interesting thing that Sosnick said was that often for GM’s free agency is an emotional deal. Its like buying a house in Toronto. The place may not be worth the huge price next year – but that doesn’t stop anyone from getting attached to it, and swinging for the fences in order to outbid to land it. You’re buying the best case scenario.

  13. A weighted ball off-season for JJ? BTW, twitter reports had Hutchison (who apparently did the weighted ball thing in his rehab) sitting 93-96 and touching 97 last night. (8 k’s in 4ip).

    • Hutch didn’t throw that fast before, did he? If I recall he was low 90′s?

      • I think he was touching 94/95 on occasion just before he got hurt (leading some to speculate that was the cause of his injury). I certainly never saw 97.

  14. Those that said “the next bus out of town” were both predictable in their execution and also in dire need of finding the bigger picture that they so often miss. Often times, Toronto sports fans (or just sports fans in general) expect the best of what they’ve seen of someone in the past, and if they don’t get that they’re ready to move onto the next one without thinking that perhaps they may not have lost all their talent and are just having an off year. These are the same people that would be hanging AA out to dry if JJ was, say, on the FA market last year and AA didn’t sign him for 5/85. Fickle, fickle fuckers.

    This sentence (or partial sentence) nails it: “and that you just don’t normally get arms like his without being on the hook long-term and for a lot of money.” And that is what the “next bus out of town” fans just don’t seem to comprehend.

  15. The key is the new CBA. Teams that would sign JJ ( assuming he gets the QO which is likely) give up their first draft choice and lose the resulting pool money in the draft which may even affect their ability to sign other draftees. While it is possibe, I doubt any team would do it for a guy who might come off of 1/3 of a decent season with an ERA well into the 4′s even if he pitches half ass. That’s why he w/h preferred to be traded , now, as the recieving team would not be able to give him a QO and thus get a draft choice, thus opening up the possibilty of JJ getting a multi-year deal. No, the Jays are the only ones who have that right and they won’t give it up easily

    • Great point. This also suggests that JJ’s value to the Jays is higher than it would be for basically any team in the MLB, since he can fetch Toronto a draft pick that he can’t fetch for anyone else.

  16. Bottomline is you cannot count on JJ. They need to get a LF, 2nd baseman and catcher plus a pitcher or two. CFer is not my cup of tea but I’ll live with him for now. There’s still lots of holes and JJ’s cash could be used to help fill ‘em. I expect trades to fill the rest.

  17. I think Bill Cosby said it best when he said, “Never challenge ‘worse’”.

  18. Would you rather have Tim Lincecum on a one year pillow deal (say $14 millionish) or Josh Johnson on a one year pillow deal (via qualifying offer)?

  19. I like Johnson a lot. He’s still got good stuff. He’s just so damn fucking frustrating to watch sometimes. Stop nibbling and throw your damn slider for a strike!

    • I can’t help but think that JPA is part of the problem … Josh has slowed down from one of the quicker to one of the slower pitchers this year and looks confused and frustrated in between pitches … that could be due to not being synced with his catcher and the team having some committment or other agenda with the catcher that does not easily allow them to use Thole for a few JJ starts to see what happens … watch to see if this begins to happen. I really don’t like to see pitchers thinking on the mound and it looks like he is not only doing that, but that it is definitely NOT working for him … he is clearly able to dominate if he is willing to throw fucking strikes without hesitation … I was happy to see him sitting in the bullpen holding that special ball … ANYthing that will change the current not-working situation is an improvement …

  20. Didn’t Anibal Sanchez get like 90 million from the Tigers? In such a weak free agent year, especially if Garza gets taken off the market, and with teams getting more revenue from the tv deal, I think JJ could still do better rejecting the qualifying and signing a decent deal. Hell, if he pitche’s decent from here out, he can sign a big deal.

    I wouldn’t mind AA trying to resign JJ now to a multi-year deal, while his value is low.

  21. While I’d certainly be in favour of JJ returning for another year at $14 million in a vacuum, I don’t think bringing back more or less the same fairly old team for $150 million is a good bet.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dEZTVThQdHRaV0dIanNORDBtaDZFY3c&output=html

    Adding Johnson ($14 mil), Rasmus ($7 mil), Lind (+$5 mil), Janssen ($4 mil), Davis ($2.5 mil), JPA ($2.5 mil), Cecil ($2 mil), Rogers ($1.25 mil), Derosa ($0.75 mil) & the 0-3 players would take the major league payroll past $150 million.

    And all of those guys have legit cases for coming back at those figures though I’d personally trade Lind & Janssen for prospects simply to reallocate the payroll.

    What would be the true talent level of that team? 80-85 wins?

    • The payroll wont be $150 m if jj is back. You have a point, but im sure AA will be making moves to save some $ on payroll. I would not be surprised at all if buehrle, lind, and jpa(arb eligible) arent back. That saves some coin depending on who you replace them with.

      • As I stated earlier, each team is going to get a $25-$30M boost in MLB revenue sharing due to the new TV contracts starting next year. The Rogers Q2 financials (released Wednesday) for Media showed an increase in revenue and expenditures mostly due (according to Rogers) to Blue Jays revenue increased due to ticket sales and player salary increases.

        There is no reason to expect Anthopolous to dump salaries in the off-season. At minimum, you would expect AA to use that extra TV revenue to pay for its current contracts and have the room to pay for JJ’s contract.

        Teams at the bottom of the payroll spectrum (Houston, Tampa, Oakland) will likely be making some huge splashes with that increase in revenue. I think the addition of TV revenues will just spark more importance on homegrown prospects who cost $500K/position vs 5+ million/year. I think player salaries will expand greatly due to the market being able to afford bigger salaries.

        Actually, what might work for the Jays is a trade of Dickey for a starter with a great sinking fastball. Looking at Dickey’s splits it is becoming apparent that the deep fly ball which results in HRs at Rogers Centre are just fly balls at pitching friendly ball-parks. Dickey has allowed 17 HRs at home and 6 on the road. AA may realize that Dickey has much more value in pitching friendly parks and would be a tremendous asset to an west coast team (Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, LA, San Diego). Dickey does not have control over where in the zone his knuckleball ends up, and teeing up a knuckleball in Toronto might be a home run, while teeing up a knuckleball at Citifield is just a deep fly ball.

      • I don’t for a second think that all of these guys are coming back.

        But the guys not factored into 2014 payroll are not the problem.

        It’s Buehrle, Dickey, Morrow, Romero, Happ, Cabrera…there are a lot of guys that might not have positve trade value if AA wants to clear money for something else.

    • why are you adding all of these #s on top of the existing payroll #? They are already part of the current payroll. You should only add the difference between next year and current year salaries to next year payroll for them.

  22. Offering jj a QO is a no brainer. Put the guy on the weighted ball program and see if he can ramp his velocity up to 94-96 as opposed to 92-94. My only concern is rogers giving AA the payroll flexibility to offer the QO, even if its for one year.

  23. Shouldn’t that be “it certainly affects– you know, teams are a lot more willing to give up a draft pick for a guy with a three-five [note: a 3.50 ERA, I assume] than a four-five. And it certainly affects,/b> their value”

  24. I have to agree with some of the others. JJ’s days of being a true #1 on a contending team are long gone and we can’t think of him like that anymore. He should be considered a good mid-rotation pitcher (with substantial injury risk…get him on the weighted ball program!) I think $14 mil for one year is still around the going rate for a mid rotation pitcher these days…

  25. People thinking JJ will have a bounce back year is JOKES. Do you guys say that every year about a player? No wonder why Toronto never wins. The blind leading the blind.

    • Yes, that’s why Toronto loses. If fans would think otherwise, we’d win the World Series every single year. Besides, no player in the history of forever and ever in MLB has ever had a bounce back year. So yeah, that is why this team is fucked. Good analysis, bro!

  26. In general, I’d rather bet on a good pitcher who’s been hurt over a bad pitcher who’s been healthy. As for betting on JJ’s health, this is why I’m glad I’m not the GM

  27. For what it’s worth (and it’s not worth that much this far in advance, and with this organizations track record of health) but the Jays might have a lot of rotation depth next year: Buerle, Happ, Morrow, Johnson, Dickey, Hutchison, Drabek, Nolin, Stroman, Romero (?).

    • Sorry to play devil’s advocate but,
      Romero is still having problems
      Stroman,acccording to Law, is still 2 years away.
      Nolin still 2 years
      Drabek is coming off his 2nd TJ.
      Hutchinson coming off his first and still rehabing.
      Dickey needs to learn to pitch in the dome and cut down on his HR,BB, and increase his SO’s
      JJ has to stay healthy for a full year and it’s yet to be determined why he’s not the stud pitcher when he is healthy.
      Morrow needs to pitch a full season healthy and decide whether he’s gonna air it out and last 6 innings or hold back so he can go 8.
      Happ seems to be okay.
      Buerhle is Buerhle.
      A lot of question marks and a lot of “hope they’ll get better” and “this is an off year”
      I’m a little concerned but my blind faith in AA says he’ll address the situation.

      • Oh agree with the skepticism. For the record though, Law said that Sanchez is two years away, not Stroman. (But Law thinks that Stroman will be a reliever.)

        • And personally, I don’t think Nolin’s two years away either. I mean, he’s already made a start in the big leagues.

          • I put the (?) beside Romero because I’m not sure he’ll ever get it back. BUt you know, I never thought Cecil would get it back. I never thought Lind would be even remotely productive again. I thought they should have released E4 a few years back, and I thought it was pathetic that they were running a journeyman utility player out there as their everyday right fielder (Jose Bautista). So clearly, I know fuck all….

            • No need to get defensive pete.I said i was playing devil’s advocate.
              You coulda added Wagner and perez as huge surprises after both had 2 seasons of 5+ eras in AAA.
              Some that SP depth will rebound.
              But really,from all the guys you mentioned,do you think you can construct a rotation good enough to go to the WS?
              It needs to get better not hope it gets better.
              I have doubts with the current depth the Jays have.

              • I wasn’t trying to sound defensive, merely agreeing with some of your sentiments. Like you, I have a lot of doubts about the Jays rotation going forward, but I do think there’s reasons for optimism. (I like Hutchison, like, a lot.)

      • I agree with Radar’s assessment.

        I don’t think Dickey will “learn” to give up less HR at Rogers Centre. His knuckleball is uncontrollable and once in a while, hitters will tee up a ball. In a pitching friendly ball park, that’s a fly ball, but it’s a HR in Rogers Center. His worst game in terms of HRs last year was in Cincinnati in a very hitting friendly ball park.

        Is it possible to trade Dickey given his contract, even straight up for a pitcher who will do better in a hitter-friendly ball park?

      • Agree with what RADAR says about the questionable health of these guys. As for performance, I’d like to see them playing in front of a decent defense.

        Its not just the errors, its the plays that are not made: getting one out instead of a DP, failing to get to a ball and it get ruled a hit etc. etc. Put out an excellent/good/serviceable/satisfactory defense and the numbers might look a lot better.

        AND PUT IN GRASS!
        For 2014.
        Lawrie can handle the speed at which the ball gets to him on turf. The rest of them: not so much. Do what they have to do with the Argos, but give these guys a chance by playing
        on a surface they can handle.

        Might make the pitching look a lot better.

  28. I’ve already figured out which song/slogan the Jays should use for their 2014 season:

    #StartedFromTheBottom

  29. Sign burnett

  30. Stoeten, it would be interesting to see a crowd sourced result on what JJ will get.

    Can you do a one-year with an option? Assuming you can, knowing AA’s love of options, my bet is on a one- or two-year with one or more options. JJ’s performance so far this year may help striking a nice risk-sharing balance between the club and the player.

    My input is 2/$22. I don’t know about the option, I’m obviously pulling this out of thin air.

  31. I think JJ will be a better investment next year than Lind. I really hope AA moves Lind by Wednesday. Not that I don’t like him, but even $3 mil to turn down the option seems like money down the toilet; maybe there’s a team that wants him and his option for next year?

    Basically what Jays2010 said above. “I’d personally trade Lind & Janssen for prospects simply to reallocate the payroll.”

    In the event Johnson is back next year, I wonder what that would mean for Morrow. I don’t think the rotation next year should have two guys with such a significant chance of needing down time during the season.

  32. Jays have the most stupid fans and all on this blog. Here is the no brainer:

    2014
    romero bust
    morrow bust
    JJ bust

    all for just 30 mil and the jays sitting in last place and all we’ll here is how great this team is and so much potential.

  33. Lol, I remember you disagreed with me about qualifying him maybe 2 months ago and even mentioned debating that with me on the podcast that day.

    I will accept a soda in compensation for this, I prefer Sprite. <3

    Great post, as always. Love the show and blog!

  34. i like how we hold out hope for McGowan for like 6 years, think Romero is going to bounce back, ignore the fact that Morrow cant stay healthy and think that the collection of #5s we have in AA/AAA is going to come to the rescue

    but on the flip side, we’re willing to throw out JJs last 4 years and assume that he’s crap

    • All of this is true.

      What gets me the most is when people rattle off all the names in AAA/DL like they’re going to help.

      Drabek is my personal favourite, as I think he has little to no chance of being a decent number 5.

      If things go right Hutch could be a number 4 I think but I have been wrong before.

  35. Why is it I get the feeling we’re all being held hostage by this guy?

    • By who? I don’t see what cards he has in his hands to hold anyone hostage.

      If the Jays don’t want to deal with him all they have to do is tell him to fuck off when the year is over. If they feel like his services are worth 14 million then they can offer him a contract.

      There really isn’t anything else to it.

      • True, but it would be just our luck to have him walk away and sign a minor league deal with the Yankees or Red Sox and go 19-6.

  36. No question they extend the qualifying offer to Johnson. The real question for the next five days is whether they can find some way of unloading Buerhle. His contract is hugely back-loaded and his good start yesterday may lead to a few nibbles. He goes to 11 million next year, then 18 million and 19 million the following two years. He makes Vernon Wells look like a good deal. Unload him and Lind and whatever middle relievers we can for a second baseman, catcher and/or decent prospects. I like Buerhle but somebody please call the Dodgers or the Angels and get out from under that impending financial disaster. Let one of the kids take his spot for the rest of the year.

    • Most teams looking for a pitcher for the stretch run usually see how X pitcher did against the Astros so they know what to expect in the playoffs.

      Then you have to find a team in the playoff race who thinks Buerhle will actually help.,,,,,,,well help even to justify his obnoxious contract.

      My guess is that AA is left holding his sack on this one.

  37. Johnson’s best chance is for the Jays to let him walk and that’s what his agent is trying to accomplish. He’s threatening to take the qualifying offer to scare AA from making one. That’s all it’s about Stoeten. He’s not being upfront Stoeten, he’s trying to scare them from making an offer.

  38. $14 million for a guy who has won 1 game all year and and ear approaching 6.00? Somebody is out of their mind!!!

  39. Let’s face it the Jays need a new manager, new hitting coach (tired of seeing Jays hitters (particularly Bautista) wailing away trying to hit a home run with men on base instead of protecting the plate and getting a hit to drive in the base runners) and above all a NEW MANAGER who can do more then have his hitters swing away no matter what the circumstance!!!

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