Leading off, as always (or usual), it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (if we bother to post it). While you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too.

The Buffalo Bisons have announced that Drew Hutchison’s road back to the Majors has reached the Queen City, as he’s been promoted up from New Hampshire, and will pitch for the club on Friday.

I haven’t managed a post yet digesting all this, largely because there’s no real bombshell in it or anything, but it’s still an interesting read: the transcript of AA’s recent chat with the media via Gregor Chisholm at North Of The Border.

Still no word on the results of the MRI on J.P. Arencibia’s knee, though in a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Josh Libeskind provides a quote from the catcher that suggests he doesn’t think it’s terribly serious. That doesn’t mean Arencibia isn’t about to lose out on some playing time, though, as Josh Thole did some fine work with Josh Johnson this week, though we’re told elsewhere in the post that John Gibbons wouldn’t commit to making Thole Johnson’s personal catcher at this point– and maybe his presence had nothing to do with the success. “I was staying on top of the baseball,” Johnson said. “Once you stay on top of the baseball, you can do a lot of things.”

A pair of gems at Gamereax from Chris Toman, who writes– prior to Tuesday’s gem– that Josh Johnson isn’t nearly this bad, and then yesterday wondered just what the hell we can expect from Melky in 2014.

Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs watched Marcus Stroman recently, and came away rather impressed.

Less impressive is the abrupt removal of Aaron Sanchez from last night’s game for Dunedin, though there’s reason to not be too concerned, as @StivBators noted that in his recent chat Keith Law had noted Sanchez was dealing with a blister, and earlier had tweeted that the trainer was looking at his hand. So… fingers crossed for a blister-related issue.

One more bit of prospecting: Minor League Ball has been reviewing their pre-season top 20 prospects lists for each team, and so here we have the ones for the Mets (ugh), the Marlins (OK), and the Jays (meh).

Heading back to FanGraphs, where Jeff Sullivan looks at Mark Buehrle’s streak of years leading the league’s pitcher in pace, which is in jeopardy this year, thanks to a teammate. His pace (the average time he takes between pitches) is second in baseball, behind that of R.A. Dickey.

At Getting Blanked, Drew looks at one pipe dream that’s off the market in today’s URL Weaver– Chase Utley, who has re-upped with the Phillies. Elsewhere, he looks at the correlation of fWAR and team wins and finds that balance– something that the Jays especially do not have, with four great players, four sinkhole positions, and Adam Lind– is key. Avoid shitty players would seem to be the main takeaway here.

From last week, but worth noting: Matt Gwin is shuttering his excellent blog, House Of The Bluebird, and moving on to a new Jays blog supergroup of sorts, forming a new and improved Blue Jays Plus that will launch September 1st, along with Gideon Turk, Ewan Ross, Chris Sherwin, and Steve McEwen. Should be some interesting stuff coming from those guys, and I bet it’ll be easy as pie to leave a comment on their site, too.

For the sake of completeness, I suppose I should note that the Jays released Michael Schwimer this week, in order to clear a spot on the 40-man f0r J.A. Happ. MLBTR has the details– try to read them over without hearing the Friends theme song in your head. I dare you!

Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin talks A-Rod, Dickey, and chats with AA (in the scrum transcribed by Gregor and linked to above) in his latest Bullpen post.

Elsewhere, Griff notes that Melky Cabrera, despite being placed on the 15-day DL late last week, won’t be back until September.

Griff also had an always-interesting chat with readers on Tuesday.

Gregor takes a Griff like turn at BlueJays.com, answering questions from readers in his latest Inbox post.

Lastly, at Fanatico, Parkes absolutely nails it in a lengthy, impressive essay on Cold War hysteria and the subject of PEDs. Read it. And read the piece on the subject from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs, as well, while you’re at it.

Comments (27)

  1. It’s ridiculously stupid to say that cabrera would have gotten 2-3 times more than 8 mil. Swisher who has a much better track record and much more power only got 15mil. AA paid him pretty close to what he would have got without getting caught. All reports were that cabrera was only going to get a 1 year deal. 1 year 5mil was what he should have commanded at best.

    • Pretty sure we’re talking about the overall money – $16 million total vs. $40-$60 million over 3 or 4 years, not the average annual value.

      • He would not have gotten that. Swisher got 56 mil. Torrie hunter got 2/26 mil.

        You’re missing the point. The reason cabrera had to take less is because his numbers are in doubt. A 2 year deal is just as bad as a 4 year deal if you don’t trust his numbers.

        I would rather overpay torrie hunter knowing I can trust his numbers than cabrera’s.

    • Melky was a full win better than Swisher, per FanGraphs, in 2011 and 2012 combined, and that’s with having missed those 50 games. He’s also four years younger.

      He’d have been in line for a comparable deal, at least.

      • That’s all with the use of ped’s which makes it irrelevant.

        2008-2011 WAR cabrera 3.0

        last 4 years WAR

        hunter 17.7
        swisher 11.5

        A logical person would conclude that cabrera was using in 2011 as well given the outlier.

        • Huh? What does “would have gotten” mean if not “would have gotten if not for the suspension”? We know how the market valued him after the suspension, which was at 2/16. And… hang on, you yourself said “AA paid him pretty close to what he would have got without getting caught,” so yes, we’re talking about his contract had he not been suspended, and I’m telling you that were it not for the suspension he was as desirable a free agent as Swisher, at least, even though the batted ball outliers would have been enough to knock the price down a little maybe.

          The use of PEDs doesn’t make anything irrelevant, because that’s precisely what we’re discussing.

          Honestly, I don’t know what the hell you’re on about here.

          • It has nothing to do with suspension. The fact is he was using ped’s which makes his numbers fraudulent. You can’t trust them. It doesn’t matter if he played 80 games or 160, they’re still fraudulent.

            And Alex doesn’t make the market. Just because he offered 2/16 doesn’t mean he would have gotten that, just like izturis wouldn’t have gotten 3 year deal either.

            Cashman called him a 4th outfielder. Who ended up being right?

            • Cool reading comprehension skills, bro.

            • Dude, seriously, put together a coherent thought.

              The market for those guys is the contracts that they signed. That is how the market valued them.

              You can call Melky’s numbers fraudulent all you want, but that means shit. Yes, he was suspended. If he wasn’t, he’d have gotten a contract similar to Swisher’s, at least. How is this difficult? Nobody is saying to trust his numbers. Nobody is even talking about that. We’re saying that if he hadn’t been suspended, here is what he would have got– and you’re making a suggestion that has zero basis in reality.

              Nobody knew they were PED influenced, so it’s irrelevant whether or not you call them fraudulent now, after the fact. Again, this isn’t hard.

              • You can’t keep saying “if he wasn’t suspended”. The fact is he was which is why he got less money. And it’s not after the fact. Alex knew his numbers were fraudulent at the time he offered the contract. Alex thought he was getting a deal. He gambled and lost.

                You seem to be implying that the jays got some deal, 50 cents on the dollar or whatever. I’m arguing that there is no in between when you can’t trust the numbers. Either he’s a legit starter or a 4th outfielder which means he’s worth 14 mil or 1mil. Paying him 8 mil when he’s actually worth 1 mil is not a deal.

                • By the way , let’s see what peralta and cruz get next year. Let’s see if they get more than a 1 year deal.

    • People were ready to hand him the MVP before he was caught. He’s also younger than Swish so somebody would have paid him.

  2. Romero’s line from August 6 in case you need a laugh after looking at The Mets’ top prospects:

    3.2 IP 8 H 7 R 7 ER 2 BB 2 SO 2 HR

    Basically taking off his shoes on the mound and crying or spiking his glove at the grund like Ramon Ortiz at this point.

    • I was at that game. Ricky sailed through 3 innings giving up1 hit and looked in command.
      In the 4th with 1 out, Middlebrooks crushed a ball to center. At that point the wheels came off.
      Ricky was throwing 88-90 in the first 3 innings then couldn’t find the plate. His fastball got down to 84 as he was trying to guide it to the plate.

      After giving up the 7 runs, I don’t think I have ever seen someone look so defeated as he left the field. IT sucked big time as I went down there to cheer him on and hopefully see some progress.

      On the plus side, Pillar has an impressive arm.

      • I remember Ricky hit 95 on the gun occaisionally and was always around 93-93. I’m convinced though that apart from the slower velocity (88-90) it just takes a hard hit ball
        and his fragile psyche falls apart. I hope he can come back, but at this point it doesnt look good.

  3. Giving D’Arnaud an A- seems like a bit of a stretch and makes me wonder if Sickels is playing to the NY audience. D’Arnaud has had 2 major injuries in the past 2 years ( He missed almost all of the 2012 season with his PCL injury and broke his foot in May of 2013). As a result He hasn’t had enough playing time to warrant that high a grade.

  4. AA has traded quite a few prospects/0-3 players prior to last winter’s blockbusters with the Marlins & Mets.

    That includes former top 100 prospects Michael Taylor, Brett Wallace, Zack Stewart & Travis Snider.

    Other notable prospects/younger players include Tim Collins, Tyler Pastornicky, Johermyn Chavez, Eric Thames, Marc Rzepczynski, Asher Wojciechowski, Joe Musgrove, David Rollins & Carlos Perez.

    A number of these players have yet to play in the major leagues. Some of them never will.

    Here is how the players who have played in the majors have done AFTER being traded by Toronto sorted by fWAR

    Collins: 1.3
    Thames 0.0
    Rzepcysnki -0.3
    Snider: -0.3
    Stewart -0.5
    Wallace: -0.6
    Taylor: -1.1
    Pastornicky: – 1.2

    I’m going off memory so perhaps I am forgetting a traded prospect/0-3 player. Danny Farquhar (1.0 fWAR) was also DFA’d but acquisitions like Delabar, Perez & Wagner have made up the difference.

    Relievers aside, the “prospects” and 0-3 players AA has given up haven’t hurt him in the least prior to the blockbuster winter trades.

    Anthony Gose (0.7 fWAR) alone trumps anything AA has given up. Brett Lawrie (6.0 fWAR) takes it a step further.

    And while Snider probably didn’t have much prospect cache left when he was traded, Taylor, Wallace & Stewart did, I’d argue.

    The overwhelming majority of prospects fail.

    And while Henderson Alvarez (1.0 fWAR) may never give up a HR again, AA has a pretty good track record of not being burned by the prospects he’s yielded in trade so far.

    Considering AA had a lot more info/resources at his disposal than Baseball America et al, perhaps the trend of trading prospects right before they fail will continue with Alvarez, Hech, Marisnick, Nicolino, TDA & Syndergaard.

    • ??????
      Either you’ve lost your mind or I’m not hip enough to gey the meaning of that.
      Maybe your just drunk as a skunk and needed to yell something out.
      Like driving down Yonge St. with the window down yelling random shit at people on the sidewalk,all the while cackling like a madman.
      Or maybe I’m too old to understand ,again.
      Whatever it may be, I have no fucking clue what your talking about.

  5. Parkes is an anarchist wannabe, you couldn’t pay me to read his drivel.

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