Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays

This tidbit is a week old, but it’s more than important enough– and hasn’t been dealt with much elsewhere– that I don’t think I should just let it slip into the ether. Not that, y’know, at its centre isn’t a question that’s going away any time soon: what the Jays should do with Jose Bautista.

Truthfully, I have no doubt in my mind what the Jays should do with Bautista. I essentially wrote about it last week, when I insisted that Rogers must continue to spend– that jumping a year early into the coming TV-fueled explosion of salary shouldn’t excuse them continuing to spend on a level commensurate to an RSN-powered club owned by a company that just a year ago spent half a billion dollars on a sports property, and thus has a very good idea what that sort of business, run well, is worth.

I hinted about it as well when I scoffed at the questions raised about Bautista’s leadership earlier this month– not that I’m interested in going to deeply down that road again today. Besides, Stephen Brunt, speaking on Prime Time Sports last Monday, elucidated the same sort of thoughts as I have, explaining, “Now, I don’t put a tonne into the old ‘clubhouse dynamics’ stuff. You know, the fun guys in Boston with beards now are great, but they would have been the chicken and beer guys two years ago. The Blue Jays with secret handshakes would have looked great if they were winning, but I think all of that stuff’s crap.”

I might add that, this time a year ago, the story was that the Jays’ clubhouse reportedly became unhinged after their leader, Bautista, went down with a wrist injury in mid-July– though he returned and played two late-August games for the club before shutting down for good. But… whatever.

More crucially, Brunt being bang on about such silliness wasn’t nearly the most interesting thing he had to say on the matter of Jose Bautista.

Asked by guest host Elliotte Friedman if he was of the opinion that Bautista gets dealt, Brunt explained, “Well, I’m not– I’m more inclined to believe that he could be dealt than I was a month ago. Let’s put it that way.”

Yeah, it’s just– there’s just some stuff. There’s some rumbling around the team that suggests that that might be the direction they’re going to go. That’s all. Look, obviously he’s got a tonne of value. It’s a great contract– it’s an owner-friendly contract– and he is a guy who’s going to his 35 and drive in 100 for you in a bad year– and he’s still probably 40 or 45 in a good year. He plays plus outfield defence, and he’s got a great arm in right field– and, you know, a guy who remade himself. I don’t think there’s any– there are no work ethic issues with him, or anything like that. He’s a self-made player if there ever was one. But they’re going to need to deal value to get value, and the free agent market doesn’t look enormously good in terms of starting pitchers right now. And the other thing is, he’s a very large– he’s a larger than life presence on that team.

It was at that point that Brunt gave his thoughts on clubhouse dynamics. The conversation continued:

SB: Jose is a very strong, strong personality. He’s a smart guy. And he was the king in that room, and then they changed the dynamic, and it was a little uneasy. I thought he was– I talked about this in the spring– he was not quite the same guy. I think he felt a little uneasy with the surroundings and the new hierarchy there, and… I’m not sure. I’m not sure how he got along with the manager, but– he is a guy where Alex Anthopoulos would answer his phone calls. He has a direct pipeline to the front office, because when they made moves in the past, they always wanted him to be happy– to be satisfied.

EF: Well, the Miami move, certainly they went to him and said, ‘Can you sell some of these guys on coming?’

SB: Exactly.

EF: No doubt about it.

SB: So he’s got that– that’s not always– having a player who’s got that kind of power is not always desirable.

The last part is certainly true. in general. And it’s not like– whatever one may think of its value– the kind of leadership through force of personality that people usually talk about in this context comes with an infinite shelf life. Still, it was Bautista who this entire project of Anthopoulos and Beeston’s was built around, which is why these rumblings continue to seem so strange– especially since, at least on the field, Bautista appeared to be no different a personality this year than in prior ones.

On the other hand, Brunt isn’t the first one to suggest something was different in the room– which, if real, combined with Bautista’s value, gets to the nut of why this conversation continues to have legs.

Brunt and Friedman continued later in the segment:

EF: Steve, as you were making your spiel at the beginning there, I got the sense that while you understand why it may happen, you may not be 100% comfortable with the idea. What do you think? If you were writing a column…

SB: Well, I like him as a player– I think he’s a terrific player. And I actually like him as a guy. He’s a very, very interesting cat. And he’s not like your average ballplayer in a lot of ways– and he’s different than a lot of the Dominican guys. It’s funny that we all say there’s all these Dominicans there, but he’s an urban guy, he went to private schools– he comes from a different place than Jose Reyes comes from, or Edwin Encarnacion comes from. He’s a very different guy, culturally, and in terms of education, and in terms of a lot of things. I just– I really like him, as a person. And I like him as a ballplayer. And I like the story. And I like the fact that they guy has remade himself– that doesn’t happen very often. But they’ve got to win. They’ve got a three year window here, and then we’ll decide where things are going to go after that. But everything that was done last year was predicated on a three-year window, and so that was him, and Encarnacion, and Reyes, and Buehrle, and a bunch of guys– there’s a bunch of unmovable blocks there.

And then the money quote:

EF: On a percentage scale, from one– it probably won’t happen– to ten, meaning I think he’s gone, what’s your percentage that Bautista’s traded?

SB: Seven.

EF: That high, eh?

SB: I think so. I think so.


That, of course, doesn’t mean anything will happen, but it’s not like Brunt isn’t credible, either. So… it’s rather dispiriting to think that the club would actually be so seriously considering going down this road– unless, perhaps, they’d dangle Bautista, and the tremendous value of his contract, to a club looking to shed salary, and would actually take on more money themselves.

Take, for example, the Cincinnati Reds.

Matt Klaassen wrote at FanGraphs this week about the trade value of Brandon Phillips. “Earlier this week John Fay wrote that the Reds apparently had interest in Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero, who is projected to play second base in the big leagues,” Klaassen explained. “With Phillips’ perceived down performance and the organization’s reported irritation with some of his comments, reading the tea leaves could mean the team is ready to see if they can trade Phillips this winter.”

Now, per year, Bautista– who might not fit a Reds outfield already full with Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce, and Billy Hamilton, but who could certainly be a big offensive improvement over for Todd Frazier at third– makes more money than Phillips. With salary relief being a motivating factor for the Reds– who had a payroll of just $73-million in 2009, which shot to $107-million by 2013– and with Phillips having a down year in 2013, the suggestion doesn’t quite add up until you consider some other things. For starters, Phillips is owed $50-million through the end of 2017, compared to $29-million guaranteed for Bautista through 2015 (plus a $1-million buyout on a 2016 option). That certainly would save money for the Reds, though it doesn’t do much for the Jays. What might pique their interest, however, is Homer Bailey. The right-hander is, according to MLBTR, projected to make $9.3-million in his final year of arbitration, and may be intent on heading into free agency at the end of 2014, which has prompted rumours that he could be dealt this winter.

Bautista would be a hefty price for one year of Bailey and the right to overpay a declining Philips to turn double plays on the fast turf with Jose Reyes until 2017, but that kind of an exchange– plus whatever peripheral names you’d need to add to work it all out– is, in my view, probably closer to the reality of what a Bautista trade might bring than a lot of fans are dreaming.

I, of course, have no idea. I’m just spitballin’ here. But I’m pretty sure if you’re not giving a team some kind of salary relief, even on a deal as great as Bautista’s, unless you’re seriously going to limit your market to the few big spenders of the world– who wouldn’t see the same value in such a team-friendly contract anyway– you’re not likely getting the kinds of players you need to get immediately better.

I could certainly be wrong there– maybe there are revenue-neutral fits, or teams that have enough of a need for two years (plus an option) of Bautista that they’d give up excellent, cheap, immediate-impact players to get him– but it gets harder and harder to think of realistic possibilities the more you try to stick by the notion that the Jays wouldn’t be able to take on salary in a deal without selling themselves short in the exchange of talent. In other words, how best to maximize Jose’s value still very possibly comes down to money, in which case I again can’t help but wonder why the Jays– or, at the very least, Rogers– would think they’re better off creating a gigantic hole in their offence than spending in free agency. Especially when you consider how legitimately close they may actually be to having to blow this whole thing up and start dealing big league talent for prospects.

I’d maybe want to keep Bautista around for a time like that, while banking on returns to form of Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow in 2014, plus adding a free agent pitcher of some sort, while tinkering with the roster’s needs elsewhere.

Before last year Alex Anthopoulos was actually pretty conservative when it came to acquiring big league talent, so I wouldn’t necessarily put that sort of a plan past him, but… that’s easy for me to say from here. After all, I don’t think for a second that whatever might possibly be problematic about Bautista in the clubhouse is enough to justify running him out of town for pennies on the dollar (obviously– I mean… I’m suggesting they trade a supposed clubhouse problem and bring in Brandon Phillips here!), plus, more importantly, it’s not my job on the line.

Comments (154)

  1. It’s at least nice to hear 2 intelligent commentators speak on the subject and not look to the usual silly narrative to support their opinions!

    …. Even if I agree with you that Jose is way too good of an offensive player that getting equal contributing talent back and not creating a giant sink hole is next to impossible ..

    • I had to cut out a lot of Dave Perkins to make it look that way, FYI.

      “If they get a pitcher back, just make sure it’s not a National League pitcher,” he said. Or some such bullshit.

  2. I don’t think those guys understand percentages too well.

    Beyond that, I would say even if you intend to trade a guy, the odds of making a deal are probably in the 50% range at best. 7/10 is the odds I would give in like a Halladay situation where the whole world knows you are shopping the guy.

    • I don’t think you understand percentages too well. Or at least you don’t understand how obvious it was Halladay was getting dealt no matter what.

      • Well fine bad example maybe – but to say there is a 70% chance Bats gets traded is basically saying it is a stated goal of AA’s this offseason. (Even if only stated in private.)

        I find that highly unlikely for the same reasons you listed – it’s a good deal, it fits our window (in fact the window has been fit around him) and it creates a hole (Sierra isn’t going to fill those shoes yet).

        I mean it just makes no sense to say there is a 70% chance.

        • Agree with this…the 70% is way too high unless Brunt is sitting on some more info that he isn’t sharing with the rest of us.

          Brandon Phillips sounds like hes 70% to be traded…David Price is probably 50-70% to be traded…sounds like he was put on the spot…impossible and arbitrary to place a number value on his odds of getting dealt at this point.

  3. My feeling about what the Jays will do this offseason has been shifting too, as for a long time I resisted the idea. Now I really do fear that trading Bautista might be one of AA’s strongest options for acquiring big-league talent without payroll taking a huge hit. I would absolutely hate it, of course, as the Jays were incredibly lucky that a guy as talented and special as Jose essentially came out of nowhere. It would also suck because AA publicly stated he wanted to build the club around Jose, and it would be ironic if they see their best chance to win by going without him.

    Then I started wondering what the fan reaction would be if Jose returns to Toronto as part of a visiting team. I would hope he’d get a Halladay-esque ovation from the fans, but there are many examples of irrational fan hatred of former players and their perceived “abandoment” of Toronto.

    • Big league talent for big league talent. What’s the point unless we have a replacement for him that is being blocked (we don’t).

      I agree it can make sense if we are willing to take on more payroll as part of it. But unless someone offers a very good return, we can go out and spend. For all the talk of the impossibility of signing guys, Johnson has already said he’d come back. Happ signed with no guaranteed role. Jose, Edwin, Yunel all signed nice extensions. I don’t think it is as hard as we sometimes think.

    • V-Dub got a standing ovation from what I remember, so my assumption would be that Jose would be fine.

      • V-Dub got a very nice ovation on his first visit with the Angels, even tipped his cap. The boos only started when the Yankees got him and I’m sure people heard that quote about how he was always “quietly a Yankees fan”. Once he retires or leaves the Yankees (both at the same time?) all that will be forgotten I’m sure.

    • Did you read the article Elizabeth? In Stoets opinion trading Bautista would not help make the Jays a better team necessarily.

      • I did read it, thank you. And I totally agree that trading Bautista creates another hole, and the return would probably disappoint. I am not advocating trading Bautista. I think I overstated things a little in my previous comments, but I am merely starting to wonder if the org. is somewhat backed into a corner and sees dealing Bautista as a realistic option to improve the team’s pitching and defense.

        In an ideal world, AA is going to do this via free agency and keep the core of this team together. And the players acquired last offseason are going to play up to their potential. I’m just not as sure I as I once was that Bautista’s place on the Blue Jays is secure.

      • How does he know this if he doesn’t know what we would be getting back?

        This is why I dont agree with the sentiment of anyone being untradeable or it being a bad idea to trade anyone.

        it depends on who you get back. Bautista is not on the incline. He is on the decline and the last couple seasons have been wrought with injury.

        I dont think its a bad idea to entertain offers for a team that might be starved for right handed power…assuming we get back younger players of equal value. As far as his team friendly contract goes, that will be compensated for in trade with an increase in the degree of talent coming back so it would be built into the trade.

  4. While I’d love to see Bautista leveraged for a player that’ll fill in some of the crucially missing gaps the Jays need filled in order to go the distance, I’m weary on it at the same time. Imagine the backlash that would have happened after this season if they traded Bautista for Dickey? It’s a random example but I hope my point is made.

    Bautista is proven to be a successful player for the Jays. He’s a success at home and on the road. His attitude may need some adjusting but, given the adjustments he’s made in his career in order to succeed, is it that far fetched to think that the right person having the right talk with Bautista may be able to point him back in the right direction? I’d rather bank on his capacity to change than bank on our pitchers having to face him in a game. He’s too proven to gamble on.

  5. “On a percentage scale, from one to ten”


    Jesus. That’s not a percentage scale!

  6. The feeling I’ve had that the Jays might seriously consider trading Bautista grows a little stronger. It’s a “vibe” I’ve been feeling since about August. I dunno.

    This is the first time I’ve read the actual words Brunt said on that PTS segment. I’m surprised he went with a number as high as 7/10. He’s usually pretty reigned in and conservative, not the type to just exaggerate like that. Could really be happening.

    • I was amazed too. They all seemed to think it was a reasonable guess.

    • Jays do not have to trade Bautista and it makes zero sense for them to trade him for declining assets like Kendrick or Phillips as the key pieces coming back.

      If, however, they can get a young, cost controlled player who will be part of the core for the next six to ten years, then a deal might make sense.

      If its Seattle, the conversation needs to start with Taijuan Walker.
      If its Oakland, it needs to start with Sonny Gray.
      If its Texas, it needs to start with Profar and an arm.

      Then both sides add names until there is a deal.
      I no team wants to give up that kind of player, Jays should be happy to keep Bats.

  7. The casual Blue Jays fans would lose their minds if Bautista gets dealt.

    Honestly, even the non-casual, understands-the-game, realistic fan such as myself might get a little upset if Bautista gets dealt.

    I can’t see it happening, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it could happen… Interesting.

    • Wrong. The casual fan thinks Bautista is a cancer and a bad influence on Lawrie. The casual fan doesn’t understand that opening a hole in the outfield and offence 162 times a year to patch a hole in the rotation 33 times a year is illogical.

      • exactly..if they trade Bautista for a starter, we are fuked.

      • The casual fan probably wouldn’t understand that comparing the numbers 162 and 33 makes absolutely no sense either. Ever wondered why pitchers’ and batters’ WAR totals are comparable?

        That said, filling a hole by creating another doesn’t make much sense to me

      • Then thank fuck that the “average fan” doesn’t have a say in anything other than buying tickets.

      • Utter nonsense. Pitching matters far more than offensive. Plenty of teams make the postseason with holes in their offense, but not with holes in their rotation.

        It is absurd at how much offensive is overvalued on this blog.

    • I agree with the poster about the PR nightmare it could create, Bautista is still one of the most popular athletes in the city. I also don’t think he’s the kind of player that’s willing to do the team a favour, take a small personal PR hit and request a trade, which would help the team justify it (although it would lead to 100′s of other questions)

  8. While it’s possible they get a RF in a deal for Bautista, the thought of Sierra in RF every day scares me. I really don’t know what to think of that guy. His tools are intriguing, and maybe playing there every day he’d become passable, but I just don’t know if you can fix him. Is it youth or he just isn’t very bright?

  9. I think even the Red Sox were as shit as the Jays the last few years you wouldn’t hear there fans or media talking about trading Pedroia or Big Papi. SMH

  10. Nobody is a bigger Brunt fan than me but do you want to know how many times I saw him at the Dome this year? It rhymes with “hero”

  11. Shop him…. Shop everyone. If you can improve the team, pull the trigger, if not, hope for a full season from him.

  12. Chances are he stays and they try and win next year. If at the deadline that’s not happening, I could see a massive fire sale with Bautista, EE, Reyes, Buehrle, Dickey and the bullpen traded in a rebuild.

    • There is no chance they have a firesale. 0% chance.

      • Would be stupid to hold onto the high priced players into their decline if you can’t win with them. Way better off IF you can’t win to trade them for future pieces or lateral talent moves at different positions.

        • Then you’re using the term “fire sale” incorrectly. You mean blowing up the team and trading for prospects, high end ones. A fire sale is what the Marlins did when the won the World Series, and what the Expos did when they were being dismantled: trading players for peanuts, and not valuable honey-roasted ones either.

      • 0% seems unreasonable to me. On a percentage scale of one to ten, I’d say the likelihood is 11%.

      • 0% out of ten?

  13. Silliness. How are they going to replace that production? Gose and Sierra? Give me a fucking break. Unless they get an incredible/unbelievable package for him, he has to stay in order to this team to compete. If its anything less than that, AA deserves to lose his job.

  14. At the end of the year I was actually on board with trading Bautista, but after taking the time to look at major league rosters and try and find legitimate trade partners it seems foolish to trade they Jays best player. There are only three teams that fit in my opinion Rangers, Mariners and Pirates. But the Jays are unlikely to acquire Darvish, Cole or even Iwakuma making it very unlikely that replacing Bautista with prospects will provide more value in the short term.

  15. Could the Joey Bats to Texas rumours from back in the year have any legs?

    Could the Jays grab Profar and a replacement like Nelson Cruz? Does that even make any sense?

    • Cruz is a free agent. They have a weak OF too boot, so no replacement.

      Maybe Kinsler and Harrison for Jose?

    • Right, spend $$$ on a declining Cruz as a FA when we already have Jose with agreat contract and a great OPS and good D. As for Profar, while a great prospect, he is just a prospect and unproven. He did not start in the playyoffs for Texas despite the hullaballo surrounding him, and then are rumblings in Texas ( per their beat reporter) of the Rangers being unhappy with his attitude. Profar is a lot of sizzle and w/b far too risky, and besides our biggest need is pirching and more pitching. Crazy deal, no way

      • Didn’t realize Cruz was an FA. Too lazy to look it up.

        Ixnay on that type of idea.

        My point being, if you could acquire a suitable OF replacement and still upgrade an area of need, why not?

    • cruz is a FA

  16. Another possibility would be the Angels as a trade partner – a deal around Bautista for Kendrick + Ianetta/Conger. Bourjos would become their 4th OF, Bautista replaces Schuck. Of course on both teams it creates a hole, but the money equals out and it does fill holes of both teams

    • Agreed

    • Doubt Angels do that because of the fact that they need pitching. It would Probably be Happ, Stroman, McGuire and Arencibia for Kendrick + Ianetta or Conger although the’re better as a platoon with Conger batting against LHP Still not enough. Would be more effective to go after FA platoon catchers and Drew or Infante for 2B

      • This was simply a hypothetical scenario of a trading partner that matches up for Bautista, and the Angels fit this mold. The Angels do need pitching though, and I could see such a deal also including some pitching depth from the Jays (some combination of Happ, Rogers, Stroman, Hutchison, Drabek Redmond, and Nolin) with someone like Bourjos coming back the other way. I really don’t see JPA going to the Angels though – at his price tag, he doesn’t really offer anything. Maybe Thole, just because he has less of a track record of terribleness.

  17. It’s an interesting situation all around.

    The biggest questions are, how do you replace Jose, and what exactly do you get back for him? Will we get less back if other teams perceive him to be shopped because he’s a “clubhouse problem”?

    If you look at it strictly from a WAR standpoint, you can replace his WAR value by significantly improving a different position, right? If you get a pitcher, a second-baseman and a third player that add up to 15 wins for example, and Jose is worth 7, you’re coming out ahead if you don’t necessarily get back a power-hitting RF. As long as his replacement (for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s Sierra) doesn’t absolutely suck, you can still come out ahead.

    I’m not sure of all the numbers, and I’m too lazy to look it up, but didn’t the Cardinals do this type of thing when they lost both Berkman and Pujols? They didn’t necessarily replace those guys at their positions, but they improved the club in other areas and still came out in the same place in the end. Boston replaced Adrien Gonzalez with Mike Napoli and Carl Crawford with Shane Victorino – at the outset, they both looked like losses but they didn’t turn out to be (but wins came from other areas as well, like Lester and Buccholz returning to form).

    In the end, the loss of Bautista might not be the end of the world, but it could turn out to be a horrible gamble that might set the team back if they can’t make it up in their window (while Dickey, Buerhle and EE are still under contract). I’m not sure that the potential benefit would outweigh the cost. I agree with Stoeten that the best route to go is to keep the core together, fill holes as best as possible in the FA market (maybe not with elite players but certainly with good players) and try to win now.

    • Well said. To mollify the vast majority of Jays fans, casual and otherwise, you’d need a shitload back to sell a Bautista deal. To the mouth breathers that bitch about his “chirpiness”, or “lack of leadership”, just look at his fucking numbers – including his salary. You need two, or even three above average MLB players at a minimum, and even then I’d have a hard time if I was AA to pull the trigger on a deal. Maybe they do need a “culture change”, but who the fuck among us fans knows that’s what’s needed? If you’re dealing your best player, face of the franchise – when you don’t have to, you better get a great return.

  18. The ‘seven’ quote is interesting. I think Brunt may be the journalist most plugged in with Jays management (not exactly hard to see the Rogers connection). He said several times that he thought the Jays would do something ‘big’ financially this time last year, and often seems ahead of the curve on inside info.

    Even though I generally like (or even love) a great deal of AA’s moves, with not much to show for it he’s likely to have a lot of pressure on him for the 2014 season. I think it’s totally feasible he’d look to do something drastic and shocking like this if it’d improve the teams chances.

  19. I can’t imagine the fallout if Joey Bats gets traded.

    • If he was dumped for prospects or to save cash or something it’d be brutal. But in this scenario where (presumably) they’d be acquiring equal MLB ready talent back, I think it’d be OK.

  20. Somebody in the Jays Organization had to have a back up plan if this thing didn’t go right in the first year.

    Management and Ownership had to know that with the back loaded contracts from the Marlins and guys like Cecil/Rasmus/Lawrie needing raises, that you were going to have to SPEND MORE.

    Christ, they have $91 million committed to 2015 already.

    If you wanna play with the big boys, act like one.

  21. I’m sure there’s no shot of this, but here’s my Bautista fantasy. They deal him to a team for prospects. Then they package those prospects with a couple other nice pieces (Cecil? Delabar? Santos? Stroman? ) and send them to Tampa for David Price. Probably no shot, but that’s a Bautista trade I could go for.

  22. No fucking thank you.

    If, and it’s a huge if, you could move Bautista for a cheap, immediate impact player, only then would it make even the most remote sense based on how this team is structured. Now, it’s not to suggest that such a piece could be acquired, but if for the sake of fun there was a prospect like a Profar that was on the table, well a move like that gives Toronto a fuckload of flexibility that more than compensates for the sacrafice you make offensively. A piece like that is the kind of currency that puts you in discussion for the David Price’s and Giancarlo Stanton’s of the world. Does that make sense, well yah. It’s unrealistic in all likelihood, but it is sensical.

    If moving him nets you Phillips and Bailey, well then I would rather roll the dice on Joey and return to form of Morrow and Johnson.

  23. Fister + Scherzer for Buerle + Bautista. 7/10 chance this happens. Jays are all in for 2014. They give it till trade deadline then figure out if they want to blow the whole thing up.

  24. maybe this is a diversionary tactic…if they don’t find a new catcher, we are fuked.

    • Agreed…I think 50% of the rotation’s problems are caused by JPA. If there was an above average MLB catcher there, they’d have more confidence and pitch better.

      • Karl, I think you meant to say, “…if there is an average MLB catcher…”

        JPA’s suckitude is…wait for it…legennnnnnDARY.

  25. If you’re even considering trading Bautista with his contract you have to try to kill the other team in terms of return otherwise you simply create a massive hole in your lineup. I place 0 stock in the perceptions of Bautista from those outside of the clubhouse – as good as Brunt is. With Bautista there should be no discount. If a team wants him – the Jays will need a king’s ransom. Otherwise we’ll hold onto the guy who in injury plagued seasons still puts up 4 wins..

  26. It’s hard to see fans being upset for a prolonged period of time if the team actually wins. To use a cliche for the ages: winning cures all.

    If JB were traded and the team didn’t make the playoffs? Forget it.

    Otherwise, it was a sacrifice that had to be made for the good of the team. And now you’re in the playoffs (or better).

    Also, this may be the peak of his trade value, as people seem to be overlooking his partial seasons in 2012 and 2013 as well as his recently turning 33.

    Based on absolutely nothing, I have been getting the sense this year he’s becoming a pain in the ass, with a shrinking payoff.

    Emotions and loyalty aside, I’d not be surprised at all to see him elsewhere next year.

  27. I think it would be smart of AA to shop bautista… I think it is pretty clear that he has entered the decline phase (not to mention the injury issues could be viewed as a red flag)… it strikes me that his perceived value may greatly exceed his actual value – and in cases like that you have to see what the market is for a given player regardless of the sentimental attachment.

    if i’m AA I’m not moving him for Phillips and bailey… but i’m thoroughly testing the market.

    • i’m sure you are so much smarter than GMs that you see his perceived value so much higher than his actual and they don’t.

      • LOL. read much?

        “may greatly exceed his actual value…”

        in other words – they have nothing to lose by shopping him… it is the type of situation where they probably need someone to overpay… if no one will, so be it.

        • GMs aren’t stupid. shopping a player pretty much means trying to dump him. so, if you are shopping someone it lowers their value…nobody is going to overpay.

          • I don’t know how you can be so sure that no one is going to overpay… it happens… exhibit A = RA Dickey.

            he was being shopped and the jays overpayed thinking they were one piece away.

          • Like Tampa is “dumping” Price and the Tigers want to “dump” Max Scherzer”? Or how the Cincy traded Hamilton or TB trading James Shields? Teams trade players. They dont just wait for a team to offer everything they have for your top player because they want to empty their farm system. If you think GM’s arent stupid why do you respond in a way that suggests they are? You let teams know so and so is available. You also let other teams know that may also want that player, usually a big budget team so you can get a bidding war. Dont act retarded and then call someone else retarded ffs.

  28. I can’t imagine Bautista traded for anything less then a controllable (at least 2 years), front-of-rotation starter (like Latos over Bailey). I’m not sure there’s too many teams with the rotation depth that match up well with the Jays on that. I also think you might be selling low on Bautista given his injuries over the last 2 years and AA seems to avoid those deals for the most part. Interesting article and comments as always.

  29. If the team’s plan is really to trade away the best player on a 74 win team in some kind of last ditch effort to create a contender, you’d be better off blowing the whole thing up and rebuilding anyway.

    • Agree tradin Jose is dumb

    • @Brad Fullmer


      The team is built around Jose & Edwin. Trading 1 makes the offense a lot weaker.

      AA has to keep the offense intact & use any extra $$$ for pitching.

      The fan backlash of trading Jose for a “name” pitcher, would be too much.

      Like it or not, AA has built this team to win in 2014 & 2015. If he can’t get any meaningful September games, then you can start the rebuild in 2016.

  30. that would be very stupid to trade Bautista for Bailey and Phillips. as you say, far better to spend on FA and not create a vacuum in the middle of our order and in RF. that deal would not help us from a wins perspect and still suck up $ that could be spent somewhere else.

  31. I’d say it is more like a 2/10 that Bautista gets traded. I’m not sure how trading him can get us enough back to clearly help the team right now. what could we get back in return that would make up for the huge loss of offense?

  32. Like all delusions, this one isn’t worth taking seriously. They could move Crime Dog and still run a great offense out there. I don’t think that would be the case were they to move Bautista, even if they got an Alomar-esque player back (which Phillips obviously isn’t given he’s on the downswing not upswing).

  33. The Cardinals have a logjam coming up with their prospects and such. It’s probably easy to fix for 2014: Wong 2B, Carpenter 3B, Adams 1B, Craig RF, Taveras CF…but if they lose to Boston could you tempt them into a Bautista deal, maybe for Craig and one of the pitchers? I highly, HIGHLY doubt STL does anything like that but if they lose maybe you ask them. And maybe after a crushing loss they’re just a touch more open to something like that. That might be the one Bautista deal I would consider, even if it’s probably more of a pipe dream.

  34. To play devil’s advocate, in 2012 the Jays were 12th in in runs scored in the MLB with Jose Bautista only playing 92 games, and in 2013 they were 9th with him only playing 118. He’s been injury prone the last 2 years, and he’s been declining over that time frame too.

    I agree that it’s stupid to seriously look at trading Jose, but maybe it’s not as stupid as people make it out to be. It would depend on if the return included a decent LF replacement.

    Footnote: I think it’s far more likely the Jays consider moving Bautista mid-season in 2014 if the team again plays like a large-sized bag of ass, or at the end of said season.

    • Move him now! If his numbers continue to decline, you won’t get mid-season what you’d get for him right now. If his numbers go up you’d get more. But I’m not convinced they will given the operation on his wrist and so on.

    • Thats some string horse shit. Trade him, he’s regressing from a hugely fucking awesome season most players in histroy has never duplicated…must be regressing and no good. Dont use the 1 year he was unbelievable as a baseline…

    • Don’t give me that MLB average junk, the JV league doesn’t count. 9th in MLB sounds a lot better than 8th in the American League (just ten runs higher than the league average) when you’re trying to make them sound a lot better than they really are. Fact is they’re far from the offensive juggernaut that can afford to drop their best bat and still be above average that people seem to think they are.

  35. Non-Bautista related, these Iannetta rumours have me intrigued.

  36. If the 2014 season goes the same as the 2013 season – I think all bets are off as far as a JBats deal goes.
    AA put this team together to compete within a year or two…and if the Jays shit the bed again, I can see him starting to give more than cursory attention to any phone calls concerning Bautista in August. After 2014, Jose is starting to become an asset in decline.

  37. It’s a business and the front office needs to make the team better. I like Jose Bautista a lot. If he stays, fine. But if they get a big enough offer for him then they should take it. The fans will miss him exactly as long as it takes to get the team into the playoffs with his replacement(s).

    Also I’m always wary of a team with one superstar. Bautista isn’t our only hitter but he’s perceived as a +++ player. We need a lot more than one triple plus player to get us where we want to go.

    • Don’t we already have borderline Superstar players in EE and Reyes?

      At this point I don’t think we can move Bautista to first base just yet. Lind is most probably coming back because with his platoon production, his 7 million dollar option is very affordable. That leaves EE at at 1b/dh with Lind platooning at who knows what.

  38. Also I think if he stays he should be playing 1st base. Less wear and tear on him and it would give us + defence on the right side of the infield.

    • @Isabella.

      If Jose moves to 1B. Is EE the fulltime DH? . Where does Adam Lind go?

      I don’t want Bautista traded unless you get 2 front line starters which you won’t get.

      On a selfish note, my kids have been following Bautista since 2009, & it helps get them attached to the game when they grow up rooting for a particular player.

      AA would face a HUGE backlash from fans if whoever he traded Bautista did not perform.

      You can’t build a team around Bautista & then trade him. It makes no sense.

      Bautista gives the team great performance even if he only plays 120 games a year

    • that would be a waste of his great arm though….

  39. once again stoeten shows himself to be the biggest idiot on the internet

    • By stating his reluctance at trading a veritable supwerstar in Bautista which would create a hole in our lineup unless we get back a superstar worth in players in return?

  40. you have to bring back a bonafide superstar plus to move bautista.

    I guess its possible, i just think there lineup would suffer big time, unless someone like lawrie steps up in a big way.

  41. The real money quote is the one saying that in a down year buatista will put up 30/100. Has he done that once in the past three years? I love him as a player and leader, but with increasingly creaky legs and no room in this roster to DH him, and the TURF, he just isn’t providing that value here. If he can bring the equivalent of what he could provide back in a trade, it makes a ton of sense to move him. That’s really what it’s all about Andrew.

    • Isn’t that what Andrew is arguing here, trade him but only if you get a value which can replace him or more?

      BTW, he still hit 28 HR in 2012 and 27 in 2013 in injury shortened seasons.
      this over full seasons he was on rate for 47 HRs in 2012 and 38 in 2013.
      Let alone 2011 which was his career year.

      • He’s not 26, looking at what he could’ve done is kinda futile. Andrew is saying that if they get a superb offer they should trade him. That should be the attitude towards any guy in the roster. Its time to proactively shop Bautista

        • I agree that no one on the team is untouchable. But to say we should actively seek to trade Bautista does not make sense to me. If we actually get an excellent offer, one that overpays to our advantage, yes do it. But we shouldn’t go all crazy just because of conceived notion that Bautista isnt a team player or leader.

          Fact remains is when healthy, Bautista is one of the most dangerous players in the game. And at 14 million dollars a year, players like him do not grow on trees. You can’t easily replace someone like him on a lineup easily and you can only do it if some GM really wants to overpay for him.

          I don’t understand why people are so eager to trade him. Imagine the lineup without him for a second. Who do you replace on the #3/#4 slot? Rasmus? Unproven. Lind? Only hits righties. Lawrie? Still inconsistent. You lose one of the most feared #3/#4 combinations to having rather unformidable one. Even if you get say Brandon Phillips or Howie Kendrick, those kind of players do not seem to fit well in the #3 or #4 slot.

          • Perhaps. But outfield is one area where the Jays have enough depth to replace internally. I’m thinking along the lines of a Serria Gose platoon. They have no real options at second, catcher, or in the rotation.

            Besides, I have no issue with a healthy bautista. I just don’t think he can be at 33 years old, with leg problems, on turf. His percieved value is higher then his actual value BECAUSE he won’t stay healthy. The years market views him as a 35-45 homer slugger. In Toronto, 35 is his ceiling taking health into account. Other clubs see him as more valuable than he would be to us, its only logical to trade him.

    • 45/105 3 seasons ago, his last mostly full season with 149 games. dont give a shit about RBI but he was close to “your” meaningful 30 HR season the last 2 years too…yes he gets hurt. and has still come back to play well, keeping his K% down, maintaining a decent BB%, OBP and value. Not a huge fan of his defense but arm is good and 1B is currently loaded presumably. Trade him if its best for the club, if not hes got tons of value

  42. If the Jays trade Jose for Howie Kendrick and a catcher AA should walk down Yonge St with a sandwich board saying its all my fault. Having no other options but playing JP every day was his fault and he shouldn’t trade his best piece to make up for that.

  43. Though I do not advocate trading Bautista to do so, acquiring Bailey (by other means) would represent a huge coup for AA going into 2013. I’m not sure if I feel comfortable as labeling him “underrated,” however I feel under-appreciated is a more appropriate label- his performance seems to be generally over looked and I think it’s conceivable for him to become a front of the line starter. Dude is a Mother Fucker.

  44. No one wants to give Bautista away. And AA isn’t going to give him away based on the clubhouse poison argument either. He could be the biggest asshole who ever swung a bat, (well actually he couldn’t. I think that’s a tie between Barry Bonds and Albert Belle) but unless AA gets an extreme return I doubt Bautista’s going anywhere. What I think is being said here is that there is a possibility he gets traded. Which is or should be the case for any player we have. If what he gets back makes the team stronger, then it’s all good by me. And Bautista is one of my favourites. I’d hate to see him go. But I’m not the GM. His job is just and only to field the best team he can put out there. with or without Bautista.

  45. [...] Stoeten over at Drunk Jays Fans writes of the increasing voices within the Toronto media who are in the Trade Jose Bautista club. In [...]

  46. All the parts the Jays need are FA’s in 15 days.
    Buck to help JP.
    Infante on the bench and back up infielder.
    Cano for 2nd.
    Garza, Burnett, and a 1 million dollar contract to Doc with performance bonus’.
    The Jays claim they are in win now mode.
    If you are in win now mode money means nothing.
    Jays needs 140 or 150 milllion dollar payroll to compete in the ALE.
    Melky should be the 4th outfielder and Davis should be resigned as the starter.
    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your worse to first 2014 Tranna Blue Jays.

    • that sounds retardedly retarded good job

      • Reyes

        Colby hits 40 homers if it hots second all year. Brat scores a 100 hundred runs from the nine hole.

        What is retarded was for all of you to think you were a playoff team in 2013.

        Doc, Dickey, Mark, AJ, Garza

        Morrow goes in the pen.

        • Holy sweet fuck youre a moron. At least make sense or try…if we’re playing your game I say we trade for trout and Cabrera, Kershaw and ask Cano to take a 20 million for 20 years, 1 million a year…and have babe ruth resurrect and be our DH/Pitcher for inter-league. You need to stop fucking smoking meth with the sack of shit on the corner and wake up..its bad for you.

    • Oh they need 140M? That’s awesome, considering you follow it up by putting together a roster that would cost 200. Get a grip on reality.

    • “Jays needs 140 or 150 milllion dollar payroll to compete in the ALE.”

      The Tampa Bay Rays are an overwhelmingly strong rebuttal to this kind of nonsense.

      • Cano will not get 30 mil a year.
        Doc wants to come back and retire as a Jay and he isn’t gettin 20 mil in ’14.
        Buck wants to be a Jay and would sign cheap if he sees a chance to win.
        Infante will be lucky to get 6 mil.
        Brunett will get 13 mil.
        Garza probably the same.
        Pen and others 10m
        Trade Casey, Melky, Izzy,

        Reyes 18m
        Colby 5m
        Cano 25m
        EE 9m
        Joey 14m
        Infante 6m
        Davis 5m
        Buck 3m
        Brat half a mil

        Doc 1m plus incentives
        Dickey 12m
        Mark 18m
        AJ 13m
        Garza 13m

        Do the math ya drunk bastard

        • Doc has never said he wants to come back and play for the Jays, if anything indications hes made are that he likes Phillie. He definitely wont take a 1 million dolloar contract with incentives, theres not incentive for him to do that…plus by some kind of fucking retarded break down he does, and he hits his incentives he will have to be paid, which you dont add in to your little meth induced stupper.

          Cano, especially if he doesnt end up getting 20 million a year means he has a greater chance of not coming to Toronto.

          Not sure why you think Buck wants to play here either, never said anything of the sort.

          Paying Infante 6 million to sit on the bench is starting to drive up a very expensive bench of Melky at 8 million, lind at 7 million and infante at 6 thats 21 million sitting on your bench…thats like half some teams payroll sitting most of the time. No one is taking Melky off your hands for 8 million.

          burnett is 37 years old and likes Pit and said he may retire, showed no indication he enjoyed playing in Toronto and as I remember he was boo’d off the field and he tipped his cap and declined his options to get paid and go to a new team,

          Garza is better than Burnett so saying they will take the same amount is stupid, much like youreself.

          Reyes 16m
          Colby 6.5m
          Cano 25m
          EE 9m
          Joey 14m
          Infante 6m
          Davis 5m
          Buck 3m
          Brat half a mil

          Doc 1m plus incentives which will not end up costing 1 million say 10 extreme low and 14-16 on the high end (either is completely fucking stupid)
          Dickey 12m
          Mark 19m
          AJ 13m
          Garza 13m

          Morrow is making 8 million in the pen
          Happ is getting 5.2 in the pen
          santos 3.75
          Mcgown 1.5 m
          Cecil 900K
          Rogers 500K
          Delabar 1M

          thats actually 20.85 million on the bullpen
          Thats 67-73 mllion on the rotation
          Thats 85 million on the starting 9
          Lind is 7
          Melky is 8 plus whatever

          By my calculations thats roughly 187.85 million on the low end and over 200 million on the high you fucking stunned cunt. Stop trolling, learn to breath through your nose and let the grown ups talk. You are a moron. You are dismissed.

          • You missed this part dumbass.

            Trade Casey, Melky, Izzy,

            Plus Oliver isn’t returning.

            There’s 18 in savings right there.

            Lind wants to be here. So don’t pick up his option and then resign him for less.

            Buch was the only Fish happy to be a Jay and they dumped him. He had a great season because he was pumped to show the Jays what a mistake they made. If you have a star studded lineup he’d come back on the cheap if he was the starter for a 1 year deal.

            Doc would, too.

            • Uh… I probably wouldn’t be calling other people dumb if I was leaving a ridiculous comment like this one here, sport.

            • Lind isn’t going to be spurned, then resign when he can sign anywhere to the highest bidder!!! Buck sucks defensively, Doc is not coming back, to Toronto, or his former self(as hard as it is to doubt anyone, especially this man). Melky could still make that contract worthwhile, were not going to trade Izzy with out taking salary or junk, and Casey was one of our few bright spots last year. Izturis needs to be a bench player, the Jays need at least one catcher with defensive value, and a starting pitcher that isn’t in his mid to late 30′s. If AA had valued Buck in the first place, he would have retained him. And for him to think JP had a chance to be as good as him defensively, tells you how high he is on their list.

            • hey dumbass, look at my numbers, the correct ones, I didnt add in janssen or izturis and explained no one will take Melky for 8 million just because you want them too. Dude meth is bad, stop trolling and proving youre FUBAR. get of the drugs and let the grown ups talk

              • Hey dumb ass, named after a fucking country singer, I was referring to Matt’s post, and not your dried up drivel. Get bent.

                • I wasn’t responding to you digital. I’m responding to the Sam guy. Calm yourself fuck nut. I don’t control the way it shows up. Jesus fuck

  47. Good article. I dunno, Texas is looking at a similar “window” before guys like Darvish, Kinsler, etc start hitting free agency or old age.
    I mean let’s be honest. Surely Profar MUST be available. Three reasonably priced years of an elite slugger on a competitive team like the Rangers MUST be worth as much as anything they’re likely to get for him. Am I crazy in even bringing this up? Or is Kinsler going to be a full blown left fielder?

  48. I’ve been preaching for 3 years to trade Bautista. His value was even higher 2 years ago. Do it now before he declines too much.
    Remember…he was a low risk/high reward acquisition. They gave up fuck all for him. So sell high. At least as high as you can now. They haven’t won fuck all with him.
    Is he talented? Yeah ! But obviously not a great leader. Why the fuck would he take a back seat to incoming players? He’s Jose”fucking”Bautista. Guy who hit bomb after bomb for 4+ years. It’s his team…so why take a back seat? Another reason is the manager. I don’t think he believes in Gibbons. So he won’t preach his gospel. I agree. Keep Bautista and fire Gibbons. Hire Baker!!! AA is gonna sink with Gibbons. Career suicide.

  49. Sox 155m
    Tigers 149m
    Dodgers 217m
    Cards 117m

    Spend some money man.

    The Cards are a well put together club year after year.

    Tampa might play on the cheap but they never win anything.

    • what have the tigers won lately? about as much as the rays and dodgers. You are slow I feel bad treating like shit…almost

      • Tigers have been to the playoffs 3 times in the past 7 years and twice to the World Series.

        • Rays have been to the playoffs 4 times in the past 6 years and Once to the World Series.

          Not seeing much of a difference, maybe you are just a fucking idiot…

  50. Ok… let’s trade Bautista!!!! Straight up!!! For Kershaw!!! What’s that?? Won’t happen. Guess we know who our everyday right fielder is!! Unless your getting lights out starter or a package of very good players, it just doesn’t make sense. With his stock slightly taking a hit for durability issues, and the fact that he is probably salvating to show everyone that he still has the ability to be one of the best hitters in the game, I would give him a chance to show those who doubt his leadership skills just what he can do. Big year coming, I can feel it. I don’t think AA would do it, I know i wouldn’t. But I’m not in charge of a MLB team…

  51. What if Bautista is moved in a McGriff/Fernández for Alomar /Carter sort of deal to essentially replace our core?

    Swapping core players would definitely bring the team in a new direction.

    • I thought the same thing, but there is no obvious Alomar type player out there with two solid years of progression at MLB level, not to mention as good as McGriff was for so long, he never put up Bautista numbers. It has to be a team going all in to get the player, but with his recent health issues, teams will likely try to use that for leverage iin their favor. He’s listening to this overtone in the media, and fully expect him to return as a mad man on a mission. This guy, when he’s in the zone, watches every pitch, gets on base, and if you make a mistake. No doubter! He is the core of this lineup. If he returns to health, their are two huge bats in the middle of the lineup no one wants to face and seven other batters that benefit. I think someone really needs to knock his socks off(AA), to make any deal a reality. Still hoping this is the Toronto media being the sink hole of journalism it has become famous for (not on a whole, just the majority).

  52. [...] Andrew Stoeten at DJF takes a look at possible Jose Bautista trade scenarios after Stephen Brunt shockingly shared on Prime Time Sports he thinks the likelihood that Bautista will be traded this offseason is a “seven” on a scale of one to ten. [...]

  53. The pressure got to the all of the Jays last year, but really hit joey bats. He’s a guy who needs to win, not just a guy who wants to win and there’s a difference. Last year the Jays had a legitimate shot.

    Right out of the gate you had the Reyes injury and Dickey, Johnson and Morrow battled through injuries and losses mounted.

    I’m afraid of what AA will do. A GM of conviction would make the unpopular choices. Josh Johnson has talent. He’s had injuries and is a risk, but looking at last season injuries were a factor, confidence and issue…and plain old bad luck was an issue. You can sign Johnson on the cheap and this is what AA should do.

    The biggest difference in the Sox this year was a 5.19 ERA from starters in 2012 that dropped to 3.84 with mostly the same guys. Dempster did nothing to drop those numbers.

    The Jays will have very little pressure on their backs going into next season. Dickey and Buehrle were good to very good post all star. Johnson, Morrow and McGowan have talent, but all come with injury risk.

    The major glaring weakness is at catcher. Devote most of your cash to improving there. I’m not against trading for an Iannetta type, but they should at least kick the tires on McCann and see if they are not priced out. Sign a reliable starter that won’t break the bank and enter next season with almost the same team. You would have 3 higher end talent guys in Morrow, McGowan and Johnson knowing you’ll get 1 and half pitchers out of this. You have hutch and Drabek as cover Dickey and Buehrle and a signing as your other three and you piece together a starting rotation that can drop the starting ERA by a run.

    The offense was slightly above average last year with one of the worst starting players at a position in all of baseball…and average to slightly above average catcher would put the Jays offense to a top 4 American league offense.

    The Jays don’t need an overhaul,, they need a couple minor tweaks with a GM strong in convictions to believe the talent he assembled for this year will bounce back next year.

    I’m afraid that AA will take a different route though…time will tell.

  54. [...] Don’t forget about the Jose Bautista trade rumours that are scoffed at by many. Andrew Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fans says they have some merit. [...]

  55. Free agency isn’t a magic cure all, its far from it. With players uninterested in playing in Canada and/or playing on turf a good chunk of their season the Jays have always had an uphill battle trying to sign free agents. And those free agents who want to sign with a contender? How hard is that sell job getting to paint Toronto as that spot after 2012 and ’13? Its rarely just a matter of waving money at players.

    Of course they’ll consider moving Bautista, there won’t be a bounty of pitchers and catchers on the free agency market and the Jays will be sitting at the table with a short stack, they’ll have to be prepared to find what they’ll need on the trade market.

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