Warning: apc_store(): Potential cache slam averted for key 'w3tc_blogs.thescore.com_1_sql_a52fdaa35edb378c79bab9d662643d34' 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_bd03d6a483e0f8f6247de1d771a2d2bb' in /opt/blogs/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Apc.php on line 41 How Do The Jays Fix Their Rotation? | Drunk Jays Fans | Blogs | theScore.com


Remember flexibility? Remember how vital to his project Alex Anthopoulos thought roster and payroll flexibility were?

Well, now he’s kinda fucked.

Over at Cot’s, they have the Jays listed as committed to $110-million already for next year. That doesn’t include an arbitration raise for Colby Rasmus that will take him into the $7-million range, the $4-million option for Casey Janssen, or the $5-million difference between Adam Lind’s buyout and the cost of picking up his option, nor does it include smaller arbitration raises for guys like Esmil Rogers, Brett Cecil, and J.P. Arencibia (assuming you even bother tendering him a contract– which, if we’re being honest about this mess, they pretty much have to).

So, if you’re simply maintaining this fugly status quo, that’s another $16-million plus, taking the payroll well above the $119-million Cot’s lists as the club’s 2013 number. And that’s before you factor in a potential $14-million qualifying offer to Josh Johnson (which would certainly still have to be in the cards, if he’s capable of fixing his issues from the stretch in the season’s final two months).

Shi Davidi wrote about this for Sportsnet today. “Unless a significant payroll hike from the current $120 million or so is coming for next year, or they manage to move some money through trades now or in the fall,” he writes, “the Blue Jays could have very limited financial flexibility.”

Now, it’s reasonable to think that when Anthopoulos won ownership approval for the Miami Marlins blockbuster last November he also gained a tacit nod that the club’s payroll would be expanded in subsequent seasons to accommodate a pricey roster’s growth.

But given 2013′s underachievement and the potential implications upon 2014 sales, might that be scaled back? The link between revenues and payroll has certainly been underlined repeatedly by team president Paul Beeston in the past, and expecting a boost to $130 million may be too much to ask.

Obviously that last bit is just speculation, but coming from Rogers’ own main insider it certainly carries some weight.

So… where do they go from here? Maybe nowhere in the next couple of days, despite the opportunities presented by the trade deadline. And wherever it ends up being, it’s hard to envision it being easy to recapture the optimism of last winter as the club lurches forward into 2014.

That’s because the club appears to have spent themselves into a corner, and as Davidi suggests, may not be able to convince ownership to bail them out by throwing good money after bad– which is exactly the position that for years Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston weathered criticism to avoid being in, by not being stronger players for big ticket free agents like Prince Fielder (who, incidentally, currently is behind Colby Rasmus by .27 points of OPS in 2013).

The biggest payroll bloat, unless you count the unmovable $16-million owed Ricky Romero and Melky Cabrera, belongs to next year’s highest-paid Blue Jay, Mark Buehrle, who makes $19-million– aka the cost of doing business when you give up a boatload of prospects to nab Josh fucking Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio (plus, of course, the fantastic Jose Reyes, who, with $82-million owed him from 2014 through 2017, proooooobably shouldn’t have needed such a hefty opportunity cost, hindsight being what it is and all).

Arbitrary endpoint alert: over 14 starts since May 11th, Buehrle has posted a 3.36 ERA. He would certainly have value to a contender here as the trade deadline quickly approaches, but the contract is just so hefty that if the Jays were desperate enough for the salary relief to move it– and they might well be– they’re going to have a hell of a time getting anything of use for 2014. They might have to eat some money just to get another club to take it, and even more if they want to get a decent piece back, which, if the object is salary relief, will reach a point where the whole enterprise kinda stops making sense. Especially since, y’know, he’s been the club’s best starter.

An AL East rotation led by a 35-year-old Buehrle, decent as he’s been, is pretty thoroughly uninspiring, though– especially with rumours swirling that the Red Sox may add Cliff Lee. So much so that one wonders if Anthopoulos might have to swallow hard, trust his original instinct, and bank the 2014 season, and his job, on returns to form from Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson.

I know, I know, those of you fans whose frustrations have slipped across the line into pissing shitting negative insanity probably just choked on your own scorn, but there don’t appear a lot of other ways out of this mess– at least to those of us not privy to the high level trade talks going on this week– and the notion maybe really isn’t as bad as it seems. Provided, of course, Johnson can figure out whether he’s tipping his pitches, or whatever mechanical issue is preventing him from being remotely effective from the stretch.

Yes, it’s a giant if, and maybe the reason we haven’t heard about Buehrle getting scratched from his start tonight in Oakland, but there’s a reason Anthoupoulos believed enough in the player to make a deal. There’s a reason the price was so high– and so prohibitive a year ago this time. There’s a reason Johnson, without his old, dominant stuff, was still a 3-4 win player in 2012.

I’m not saying I’m banking on it, myself, but he’s hardly a write-off just yet. Nor is Morrow, whose ugly injury history isn’t quite as bad as fans want to think: In 2010 he missed getting to 200 innings because he was shut down early in an effort to protect his arm, as he transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation; in 2011 he didn’t debut until April 23rd, but pitched healthily for the rest of that season; and in 2012, of course, it wasn’t arm trouble but a strained oblique that sidelined him.

Those are big question marks to bank on, but if you believe Johnson can figure it out, the one-year $14-million qualifying offer they’d be on the line for with him is a whole lot more palatable than Buehrle’s two-year deal– especially with guys like Happ, Rogers, Drabek, Hutchison, Romero, Nolin, Stroman, and eventually even Sanchez, ready to step in and fill the other gaps in the rotation much better than the scrubs we saw this season.

Of course, if you don’t believe in Johnson, you could always try to use that money on one of this winter’s free agent pitchers, but in a weak-ish crop, not a lot of the plausible signees have the potential in their arm that Johnson does– they all come with question marks, not the least of which will be escalating prices on the market, not to mention that the better ones will have very valuable compensation draft picks hanging around their necks.

According to MLBTR, some intriguing names include: Roy Halladay, Jason Vargas, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, Tim Lincecum, Hiroki Kuroda, Colby Lewis, Tim Lincecum, Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Bartolo Colon, Scott Baker, Bruce Chen, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo.

The big ones, even if you assume they’re coming here (which they almost certainly aren’t) might make your salary situation worse– especially if your payroll is expanding enough to keep Buehrle– and the loss of the draft pick and the pool money is probably a non-starter anyway. Garza and Nolasco, then, become attractive, but 1) good luck with that, and 2) it’s not like you can build such a crucial off-season around landing guys who can sign their own ticket. Not if you’re the Blue Jays, at least.

And the thing about the lesser names is, do they provide you more than Johnson? Than Buehrle? You might get better value for your dollar, and you might be able to use some extra money to strengthen some of the other holes on the club (hello, anybody but J.P. Arencibia behind the plate!), but are you a better team going back to the drawing board, trying to complement a shaky Brandon Morrow at the top of your rotation, with Dickey now looking more like a four (with, still, a lot of upside), and the young question marks in behind? Given how this season has gone, actually maybe! But given what the Jays gave up last winter, just to find themselves back at square one? That would be tough for even the most ego-less GM imaginable to swallow, and I’m not saying AA is that.

The Astros timeline lines up better than most with where the bulk of the Jays’ prospect pipeline lies– in the low minors– so maybe you think about overpaying in Lansing Lugnuts to go get Bud Norris– who also fits the Jays’ big league timeline. But fuck that hurts. The Cubs might be willing to listen if you want to break the bank for Jeff Samardzija, too– and that sounds like a pretty terrific idea to me, though the latest scuttlebutt, changing-by-the-minute as it is, has the Cubs not interested in dealing him– but the cost would be Dickey-like.

Managing to find a guy like that, though, sure would free up the club to divest themselves of whichever one of Johnson or Buehrle they were looking to keep. (They could divest themselves of those two anyway, but as frustrated as they are, that’d be a hard sell to fans who are expecting to contend for reals this time in 2014). And those are the sorts of resources that could certainly be put to use helping the club elsewhere, but making a deal like that happen– or waiting for free agency and finding precisely the right bargain– isn’t as easy as it sounds. And it would still mean hoping for the same basic things they’d be hoping on if the status quo was maintained: health from this year’s injury cases, improvements from this year’s disappointments, and one of the young starters really taking a step forward.

That would seem to be the boat they’re in, no matter how they arrange the deck chairs.

I’d say that it could be worse, but with the spectre of “payroll parameters” now likely baked back into every decision that’s going to be made between now and next spring, it’s not exactly an enviable position either. Hey, but at least a day from now we may know a little more about how the club intends to move forward out of this mess! So… y’know… there’s that.

Comments (97)

  1. At least JP riccardi is gone..

  2. Wait until Beeston hears about this one!

  3. The big challenge for AA this off season is trying to accurately measure what he has here. It’s hard to think how this year could have gone any worse, and while this isn’t the 95-win juggernaut some had hoped it would be entering the season, I still can’t fathom that this roster is as bad as they’ve shown. I have zero answers, or real sense, of what direction the team should take, but I suppose I’d lean towards 2013 being too absurd to use at as a barometer for 2014, and to take the same core into next season.

    • I’d have a hard time arguing that. But yeah, I’d have a hard time arguing against whichever direction they might go, I think.

    • Agree completely

    • Remember when 2012 was the year that EVERYTHING went wrong? What do we call 2013 at this point? 2013 makes 2012 look like a pennant winner by comparison.

      As was pointed out, we are back so far into a corner here when you combine payroll commitments, a weak free agent class and a depleted farm system that, save for some circa 2010 AA magic, we are left with no choice but to roll with some combination of Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ, Rogers, Romero, McGowan, Drabek, Hutchison, Stroman or Nolin as our starting five next season.

  4. Jays should be trading Darren Oliver for anything they can get for him. I’m sure there is a contending team that needs a veteran LHP in their bullpen. He’s already said he’s not coming back next year and Santos should be back very soon to take his spot in the bullpen.

    • Agreed. Oliver and Rajai at the very least should be moved. Absolutely no reason for them to be here for the next two months. Take the best you can get for them.

      • Does Oliver have a no-trade clause? I think I remember that being part of luring him back here. I have no idea but maybe he doesn’t want to move.

      • Why does everybody look at it as an “extra” $14M for JJ? Dude is making $13.75M this year. I realize it isn’t factored into the committed money for next year, but you are essentially getting 2014 at the cost of 2013 JJ.

        That is a shit list of FA pitchers. None of who you can put big dollars into and feel confident to give you solid numbers. Pretty well have to ride this team in 2014. They have to trade Black Magic, but they aren’t going to get anything but a project bullpen arm or a low minors prospect. The masses are going to hate the trade.

      • ^ Sorry, replied to the wrong comment thread.

      • I agree. Even if you have to throw in one of your better bullpen arms like Janssen, Cecil or Delabar in order to get a reasonable piece back, its worth it. You’ve goota think Cecil and even Janssen are at the height of their value right now.

      • I’d like to keep Rajai, he is useful at least. Bonifacio on the other-hand…

  5. How sweet would it be if Rickey goes into spring training next year nailing it, makes the rotation and goes back to the Rickey of a few years ago?

    Yeah, its come to this.

  6. Hilarious. 2 days ago Stoeten was saying without question JJ would be given the QO. Now he claims there are payroll issues and if he fixes his issues. What a joke.

    • Are you honestly that dumb?

    • These things aren’t mutually exclusive. Qualifying JJ, having him pitch better to end the year, getting the money approved to qualify him…. they all play their part.

      I don’t understand people who think the payroll exists in a vacuum. Stoeten never said that.

    • Unless JJ gets TJ’d he’s getting a QO

      Stoeten’s right. There is too much potential in his arm to let him walk for nothing..

      I really like the idea of a $12M contract with a couple $17M or $18M options and a $4M buyout. JJ guarantees himself a couple extra million by giving the Jays options in case he figures things out.

      Can’t remember who floated that idea a while ago but makes sense to me.

  7. TV Contracts next year will up every MLB’s revenue by 25 – 30 million next year. Attendance is up 5K/game or 400,000 fans or about $10 million. TV has been disappointing, but that is purely related (it seems) to the win-loss record. Rogers Q2 revenue numbers for Media are profitable.

    For me, that indicates that Rogers would be willing to spend the $25-$30M extra revenue from TV contracts on the bulging payroll. They would still be profitable if attendance remains at this year’s level AND the team starts to win.

    From my opinion, JJ’s problem (as you identified) is his pitching with men-on. And RA Dickey’s issue is pitching at home inside a very friendly park for hitters. I don’t know if there is a cure for a knuckleball. Would a team be willing to take Dickey’s contract, especially a pitcher friendly park.. I think JJ is fixable. I don’t think RA is.

    I agree Buerhle is expensive and probably should remain on this team for next year. He can eat innings.

    I would trade Dickey and eat some of his contract. I would acquire another FA in the offseason as the #1 starter. Hope that Morrow comes back healthy. Hope that Johnson’s issue with men on is resolved. Then fill the rotation with the plethora of #5/AAAA starters.

    • Too small a sample to say that pitching at home is the problem with Dickey. And there’s no way you’re getting a #1 through free agency this season, even if you think Rogers is willing to put those extra revenues into the club– though I would suspect that they actually put them in a year early and that they aren’t going up another $30- to $50-million from the $120-million they’re already at.

  8. You can’t win ‘em all I guess. Still, for whatever reason we just cant catch a break. We are due for some best-case scenarios in the near future. Big time. I’m talking back-to-back Series wins here. With Tampa a non-factor in 5th place losing 100+ games like they should be and Chris Davis behind bars for excessive PED use and Blue Jay pitcher sodomy

  9. Get Johnson back and then sign one of these ace-caliber guys to a 100M contract.

    If things go to shit again in 2014, you can probably unload either the ace you just signed or Buehrle at the deadline for salary relief.

    Or, if Romero, Happ, Drabek, Nolin, etc are all doing so well and yapping at the heel of Mr. New Ace or at Buehrle, then you can still get rid of them for salary relief.

    • Was trying to look at scenarios that are actually realistic.

      • You mean because we don’t have the payroll or because we can’t land an ace?

      • How many of us thought that the last off-season would have ever happened?And AA knew at the beginning of the year what the salary commitment would be for 2014 — he had a calculator. My guess is that AA told Beeston and Rogers what the commitment would be for 2014 if the team stood pat.

        But that’s only a guess.

        • That’s a good point. None of these salary issues are new points or suddent surprises for the Jays. They very easily could have been estimated before the year even started.

    • Point being that Miami unloaded Buehrle and even we unloaded Wells. There are a lot of bad contract, but only a small % of them are truly unmovable.

  10. My internet bandwidth overages.

  11. Perhaps. I think a study of Dickey’s pitching at home vs on the road is warranted however and the coaching staff of the Jays certainly would know more than us mere mortals.

    They can’t put in extra TV revenue a year early. The MLB revenue doesn’t start coming in until next year as a pure cash payment. The Jays increased payroll by $30 million in the offseason. The offset of that right now is $10M from increased ticket sales and an unknown amount for increased ad revenue over last year’s numbers.

    The Rogers Media Q2 statement accounted for the player salaries and showed a modest drop in profit as a result, but Media was still profitable.

    With Melky being useless as a LF this year, I think a trade of Adam Lind might be afoot with Melky going into a DH role. Rajai might finish the year in LF (he’s good enough) with a promotion of a Pillar/Gose/Sierra in the off season.

    But WTF do I know?

    • The home/road splits are what I’m referring to– he hasn’t pitched enough in the dome to say yet it’s the problem.

      I think you believe a little too much in what Rogers say publicly. You seriously don’t think payroll was raised in anticipation of the payments?

      Rajai should be dealt. He’s a free agent, so no point keeping him here if you can get anything for him. I’d be all for dealing Lind, too, but I think his market is limited because of his position and the fact that he’s a platoon player and not as good as his numbers suggest.

      • I think (aka, guessing) that the payroll increase for 2013 was based partially on the increased TV revenues for 2014.

        You published an article a few days ago about TV numbers being down and what Rogers’ expectations were given their incvestment.

        I think that Rogers believed that the rest of the expenditures would be made up from increased ticket sales (true, 5K more / game = $10M) and Sportsnet TV revenues from a winning club.

        Who knows what Rogers and AA will work out in the off-season?

  12. I’m 100% in the boat that you need to stick with the group for next year and see how it goes. You don’t lose much in terms of value by waiting until next year and trading next July if things are still shit. There are some obvious pieces to move if you can get value back (Oliver, Janssen, Lind?, Davis) but keep what you’ve got and trust the process.

    More to the point with Buerhle though is that I’d think his value might even go up next year if he puts up similar numbers to this year (which he seems to do conistently) and has one less year of commitment. It’s really a no lose scenario if you keep him. He either solidifies the back of a great rotation and waves to fans at the parade down Yonge st. or gets traded next year for as much, and possibly more than he’d get now.

    • That’s a fine point about Buehrle having more value next year.

    • Very good point.

      “Years of control” aren’t really a benefit when paying out your nose for them.

    • The problem with this line of thinking is that at their ages (Beuhrle/ Dickey) are not like wine I.e they won’t get better with another year. Neither of these guys is Clemens on roids.

      So what you have to factor in is degradation due to age.

      I’ll be pissed if Beuhrle costs us signing Rasmus.

      My only other wonder is how much of this is due to JPAs shitastic game calling. I mean a lesser overall quality pitching staff seemed better to be better than this one with Molina back there. For fuck sakes on the 2010 team we had Gregg, Tallet and Camp!

  13. Get ahead of the next Marlins fire sale and pick up Jose Fernandez now

  14. Pat Hentgen must become the full time pitching coach.

    • Because we know so much about what a great coach he is, right?

      • Stoeten, I have to question Pete Walker on handling this starting pitching staff. The preparation of the starting pitching this year has been atrocious. Were these guys even ready to go after spring training? I don’t think so, we are in last place.

        We have witnessed two different pitching staffs this year, with the starting pitching being so weak and the bull pen being strong.

        • And you’re basing this on what?

          • I don’t know what the answer is, but it seems like the largest area of responsibility for the debacle that is the 2013 rotation should be put on Walker’s shoulders. Whether it’s his fault or not, bottom line is that the rotation has sunk the whole season – as BlueJayFan said, one of the pitching coach’s main responsibilities is to prepare the starters for each game. He’s also responsible for ensuring the pitchers make adjustments when it appears they’re about to get bombed, and clearly he hasn’t been able to figure this out as it’s been one bombfest after another bombfest on the mound. That’s on Walker, so I think he has to be the first scapegoat/fall guy if management is looking for one.

            • That’s seriously on the pitching coach? Come on.

              I do agree he’ll be the first scapegoat, but you’re talking about ghosts with this stuff.

              • The results are pretty conclusive, no? They’re far underperforming their capabilities and adjustments are not being made. Who’s to blame for that? Walker.

                Complete spec, but perhaps Walker isn’t being viewed as one with gravitas by the veterans on the pitching staff. First year as a pitching coach in the bigs after one year as the bullpen guy. Probably a reach but something needs to happen to shake up the rotation and bring out the best in each pitcher to give the team a chance to win.

              • Stoeten, you are scaring me with this. Look at the box scores and standings.

          • Stoeten you make a fair point regarding the coaching, how does the lay observer measure the impact of a coaching staff? However, this is a point I have wondered myself, regarding Walker as the pitching coach. Having one starter under perform is surely nothing to get up in arms about, but having an entire rotation that ranks among the bottom of the league in almost every metric is a huge problem, especially when they were projected to be among the best, and having multiple underachieving starters is a big coincidence. Sure, we cannot quantify the true impact of a good coaching staff, but I would wager that it is more than none. It seems to me that a lot of times this impact is written off because it cannot be quantified. To be fair to Walker, there have been a lot of injuries this year. The counter point being though that 4/5 of the rotation is still intact at this moment (Dickey, Buhrle, Johnson and I figure Rogers’ results are equal at least to what we expected from Happ/Romero) and they are still lacking results. I think it is fair at this point to wonder whether a change of coach may bring about an improvement in results. Hentgen may or may not be the right guy, but he at least deserves a shot, especially after his work with the pen and with Rogers crediting him with the development of his sinker, which has essentially allowed him to be as effective as he has been.

      • You often use this argument, and I understand that we don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes and have no real idea about what effect a coach has on its players. However, when a sales team collectively fails, it is often the sales manager that is let go; when a company fails, it is often the CEO that is blamed; if an advertising campaign fails, it is the creative director that will take the hit. My point is, yes, it’s true we don’t know exactly the effect a pitching coach has on a staff, but I think it’s at least somewhat reasonable to say that an ineffective staff made up of previously-effective pitchers is not being appropriately coached. Otherwise, how do you evaluate a coach?

        • You made a giant leap there. Yes, those people are often blamed, but that doesn’t mean they should be. You can only evaluate a coach internally, we have no idea, which is why I shut down anyone trying to say that a coach needs to be fired. It has nothing to do with the results– if coaches magically improved results in some kind of dramatic, tangible way they’d be paid a whole lot more and a whole lot less interchangeable. The failure is on the players. If the coach has issues working with people, we won’t see that. Fans want to think they can see things like unpreparedness or inability to adapt, but they really have no idea.

          • I agree that for the most part it is on the players. They’re the ones paid the big bucks, they’re the ones that should be held mostly accountable. However, as you astutely point out above, it is not so damn easy to solve the player problem; but it is pretty easy to solve the Walker problem. I am not suggesting we burn him at the stake or run him out of town, but I do think it’s reasonable to replace him. Whether it ultimately falls on him or not, he is not getting results. He is not being effective. It’s possible, even likely, that someone else may step in and face similar results; but it’s worth trying because you’re losing nothing by replacing someone who has been ineffective in the execution of his job.

            If it was one pitcher, that’d be different. If it was a slew of young and unproven pitchers pitching ineffectively, again that is something different. But that is clearly not the case.

            • But that assumes it’s a problem, and we have no idea whether it is. He’s not getting results? No, the pitchers aren’t.

              • Reasons for not firing Walker: pitchers are sucking. Coaching has no impact on performance.
                Reasons for firing Walker: pitchers are sucking. Coaching has no impact on performance.

    • Inanimate weighted balls for pitching coach!

    • How much coaching does Dickey need anyway, he’s 38 and throws 2 pitches, if he’s not ‘ready’ its on him. I suppose you could argue something for Johnson BUT who the fuck really knows.

      • The issues with Dickey is on AA really. Dickey is not a #1 starter in the AL East and the Jays should have never have made him the anchor of the rotation. At best he should be in the 4 spot in the rotation.

  15. I really hope AA does something before the trade deadline, even minor moves to clear a little payroll or get iffy prospects, If it passes with nothing happening, I’m going to be disappointed.

  16. This is an excellent and balanced assessment of the situation. Looks like any help from the farm (Sanchez, Nolan) will be a year or more away.

    WDM’s suggestion has merit: In for a penny; in for a pound. Qualify JJ and start with Dickey, JJ, Buehrle, Morrow & Happ. Slot Drabek and Hutch into Buffalo and hope that they get a rebound from Romero, JJ or one of the youngsters.
    Logical alternatives seem hard to come by.

    Melky has to be the DH. It is painful to watch him hobbling around out there. At the very least, they are going to need a second baseman and a left fielder. And that does nothing to address the issue behind the plate, the over reliance on the home run, and the shoddy defense…unless the new guys can address some of those issues. Robinson Cano anybody? (Just dreaming; ain’t gonna happen)

    I do think if they would just get on with it and put in grass, that might solve some of the defensive issues. But that is not likely to happen either.

    Short of trading one of the big bats and creating one hole to plug other holes, AA has is work cut out for him, that’s for sure.

  17. Wow, this is depressing. There is only one way out of this: spend some more!

  18. Trade Lind

  19. There’s the possibility of heavily backloading a contract for a FA starting pitcher. In 2 years, Johnson will be off the books I assume, and so will Buehrle. You could probably afford to pay someone like Garza something like 25M in 2016 if you’re only paying him 5M in 2014.

  20. I don’t think there is anything that can be done. What we have is what we have you can do a tiny bit of fiddling with the roster but the core players on this team will all largely be back next year.

    Right now I’d probably try to trade Jannsen, Oliver, Davis, Iztarus, and Lind and use the proceeds to get as good a second baseman as I can find.

  21. I think you basically have to segment the entire team (nobody should be immovable) into three categories:

    Willing to dump for nothing but salary relief: Buehrle, Johnson, Oliver, Rajai, Lind, JPA, Bonifacio, Romero
    Willing to move for decent value (salary relief and/or A/B prospect depending on who it is): Janssen, Reyes, Cecil, Cabrera, Loup, Lawrie, Delabar, Dickey, McGowan, Perez, Rogers, Thole, DeRosa, Izturis, Santos
    Willing to move for a king’s ransom (multiple premium prospects): Bautista, Encarnacion, Rasmus

    From the first group at least half should be movable. From the second, you probably won’t get many takers on anyone other than Janssen. Not sure about the third but they should be listening. The starting rotation is a shambles — we’re not contending in 2014 or 2015. There isn’t enough money or prospect capital to retool and they won’t get building-block pieces for anyone in the first two categories, so as much as it hurts, I think they need to seriously consider making some strategic trades of very good players to try to develop a core that could contend a few years down the road.

  22. Clearly, you just go out there and sign an ace or package all the garbage on your roster and trade for one. Bonofacio+Oliver+Lind = King Felix. Easy.

    Then, blame and fire staff without being able to quantify the impact they have on the team with any solid points. Then, you preferably replace them with a name player from your youth. Sure, you have no idea how he can teach or lead…but…he gave you memories, man!


    I’ll have your job now, Alex.

  23. i’d seriously look at trading bautista to texas if i’m AA… if you can get profar and something else that helps you next year it isn’t really a white flag thing more moving assets around.

    this could be the perfect storm of bautista’s value being high… with nelson cruz a FA and possible suspended this year… texas is desperate for RH hitting power.. and profar not tearing it up in limited mlb ABs.

    they probably wouldn’t consider it because of the PR angle… but there is probably a good baseball trade to be made there somehow.

    • I don’t disagree that there is probably an OK baseball trade here…. But it’s not gonna happen.

      It would have to be Profar+ Holland/Harrison+ a haul of prospects. Maybe chuck in Oliver to improve the prospect haul.

      Bautista is a premier power hitter with some decent years of cheap control left. Tonnes of value there.

      AA does find a way to make the splashy move though.

      • Texas doesn’t do that.

      • Sure the Rangers should send the keys to their executive washroom too?

        This trade was funny when it was just Profar and Holland yesterday……………as the Rangers would be bat shit crazy to consider that.

  24. Stoeten you’ve mentioned that Dickey doesn’t have enough starts in the Dome to warrant it being the reason he’s been sub-par. Would digging up any of Wakefield’s stats for his starts at home/AL East parks help indicate that pitching in the AL East as knuckleballer is probably going to be a shit show for said starter?

  25. No trade rumours at all could it mean something

  26. Never mind
    @Ken_Rosenthal: Source: Bonifacio #BlueJays player most likely to move, but team mostly quiet. Jays also shopping Melky, per @BNightengale on @MLBNetwork.

  27. Maybe instead of trying to put band-aids on the starting rotation we should consider moving the good hitters that we have for prospects.

    The Cards and Rangers will need an outfielder this off-season, maybe move Bautista and grab Profar or Colten Wong…

    I’m sure we could also drop Reyes an Encarnacion on the Red Sox for Bogarts and Jackie Bradely.

    It might hurt now, but who are we kidding, we can’t find 4 new starters for next year with no money and little prospects to trade…

    • We don’t need four new starters.

      How would that possibly help?

      • let me re-phrase. We need everyone other then beuhrle to pitch like they are 4 different starters. How many of them can actually do that? Morrow probably, Happ could be good, but I just don’t know how likely it is that Dickey and JJ bounce back.

        Perhaps I overstepped but Stoeten, if we are sitting in this same spot next year, would you then consider pulling the trigger on trading some of our main guys?

  28. It’s a three year plan. It’s a three year plan. It’s a three year plan. *Rocks back and forth in chair, stares into distance*

  29. One quibble with the piece with re to replacing Johnson with a fa: jays could have a protected pick

    • GRAN, it doesn’t work like that. One, the salary number in the article doesn’t include Josh’s salary. Two, there’s no pick if the Jays don’t offer Josh a qualifying offer of 14 million. And the way he is pitching, do you really think he would refuse? I don’t think there is a team in baseball that would pay him half that.

  30. It’s reasonable to expect that Buehrle will win 12-13 games next year, Morrow will pitch about as well and as much as the last two years, and Dickey won’t suck quite as badly as this year. The bottom line for AA is that he needs to decide whether he wants to reevaluate his original assessment of Josh Johnson. If JK is the new Ricky Romero, then he might not want to offer Josh that qualifying offer because the worst thing that could happen is he takes it.

    In a world without JJ, the Jays’ chances for 2014 then depend on the fortunes of Brandon, RA, Mark B and 2 of Happ, Romero, Hutchison and Drabek. Oh, and maybe Rogers if they keep him around. And given how things have gone so far this season, it’s entirely feasible that 2014 could be a lot better or a lot worse. The only thing I’m sure about is that next season is not going to start with a whole lot of optimism.

  31. Guaranteed Salaries plus Arby-3s plus Arby-1s plus the Pre-Arby puts this Team into the early $130′s MM. You still have to make a decision on 2B or Infielder for Bench, D.H., 4th OF and Top Starter. That’s easily $155. MM or more. You don’t go there, you don’t get there (Postseason).

  32. [...] Jays are already committed to $110 million next year, which thanks to translation from Andrew Stoeten at DJF we know doesn’t include Colby Rasmus‘ arbitration raise, the option for Casey Janssen, [...]

  33. Ok tell us where the extra 14 mil for JJ comes from genius

  34. From moving Buehrle or from the payroll actually going up, genius.

    Seriously, please try to comprehend the things you’ve attempted to read before shitting on people about them. You might need to give it two or three re-reads judging by the level of skill you’re working with here.

  35. @ flip flop
    Why so angry?

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