Nick Cafardo sure seems to know where his bread is buttered. Earlier this month I’d pivoted off something that the Boston Globe man had written as I explored the notion that the Jays could have interest in Bronson Arroyo, beginning the post like this: “We had posts on this site in MayJune, and August, that referred to something Nick Cafardo had written about as ‘insanity.’ If you wanted to surmise that I’m somewhat suspicious of his attempts to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks (note: most likely shit), that should tell you everything you need to know.”

So… the same caveats obviously apply with his latest from the Globe, but it actually makes a lot more sense than Arroyo, or claiming free-agent-to-be Justin Morneau on waivers for no reason, or whatever the other stuff was about.

To wit:

6. Signs point to the Blue Jays spending to acquire another big bat, two starting pitchers, and a bullpen piece. And maybe I’ll pick them again.

Yeah, sure, maybe that’s coming straight from the mouth of an agent, or completely made up, but I’ll sure take it! And there’s more!

7. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds — USA Today first reported that Phillips was being shopped. There’s no shortage of teams looking for a second baseman, including the Dodgers, Orioles, Royals, and Blue Jays. Imagine a Phillips/Jose Reyes double play combination in Toronto. Phillips looked tired at the end of the season. At 32, he may not be what he was, but the Reds should get some feelers.

And another!

9. Josh Johnson, RHP, free agent — We all know about Johnson’s poor season and season-ending elbow surgery (bone spurs), which is why it’s not far-fetched he could return to the Blue Jays to make amends. The Jays had so much hope for Johnson, who was virtually unhittable in spring training. The dilemma they face: Do they make Johnson a qualifying offer in hopes he reverts to his talented ways? The Jays, according to two of their baseball operations staff, need two quality starting pitchers to go with Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey.

OK, so the second two aren’t maybe the newest of tidbits, but they’re still somewhat interesting. I mentioned Brandon Phillips as a possibility for the Jays earlier this week myself, though it came when I spitballed some kind of a blockbuster involving Jose Bautista. Like everybody else, I’d be wary of that contract, especially after a down year– which is why I included Homer Bailey coming this way too in my little hypothetical– but it’s not like 32 is a death sentence, and it could be an opportunity to buy low. On the other hand, it’d be a risky opportunity– and it’s not like risks have been working out so well for Alex Anthopoulos lately– especially considering that you not only would have to imagine a Reyes/Phillips double play combo for the Jays right now, you’d have to imagine it in 2017, too, when they’re 34 and 36 respectively (and, if we follow through on the hypothetical, probably worn down from years of playing on shit turf, too).

I don’t know if Phillips, defensively, is even the guy you’d want at second base for the future anyway– I think Alex Anthopoulos was probably right when he admitted at the end of the year that you’d probably like to have a guy on the level shortstop there, at the very least, and while Phillips is well-regarded at second, I think it’d be a worry. But… whatever, that’s not really the most important tidbit in Cafardo’s piece anyway.

The stuff about Josh Johnson is interesting, if a little obvious. I understand that the gaping negative suckhole fucks who follow this team are probable aghast at the prospect of bringing back a pitcher who looked so terrible this season and trying to pass him off as one of these two “quality starting pitchers” that the Jays’ baseball operations staff members have told Cafardo they’re aiming for, but those people probably don’t see a future in Brandon Morrow, either, and are simply too hopeless to worry about. With the depth the Jays should maintain behind their front five– especially if they’re not dealing away the Stromans and Hutchisons of the world– grabbing a guy like Johnson on the cheap is a no-brainer.

There’s a certain set of fans who mistake sarcasm for wit, and think it’s sufficient to just dumbly joke at the idea of the Jays again relying on pitchers who have such health concerns, but it takes a pretty large disconnect from reality to think that it’s remotely possible to construct a rotation without those kinds of guys.

Shit, look at the rotation the vaunted fucking Red Sox put together, for example. Clay Buchholz has made as many big league starts since 2010 as Brandon Morrow. John Lackey pitched exactly zero innings in 2012 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and he missed three weeks in April of this year with a biceps strain. Even Ryan Dempster, who has a pretty good track record of health, was on the DL for three weeks with a shoulder problem around the time he was dealt to the Rangers last year, after which he pitched to a 5.09 ERA (though the FIP, xFIP, and other peripherals did look better).

Then they went and traded for Jake fucking Peavy!

Hey, but Ben Cherington looks like a genius now, right? And Anthopoulos is a ninny who can’t wrap his head around risk, right?

I wrote the following before the season (a passage I’m totally going to keep dragging out):

Even the Red Sox– who will hit, especially in their ballpark, with Pedroia, Napoli, Gomes against lefties, and full health from Ellsbury and (eventually) Ortiz– need only for Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz to regain their form of two years ago in order to be a club capable of winning the division themselves, really. It’s a tall order, but I suppose the point I’m trying to make is, so is having Dickey pick up where he left off in 2012, keeping Johnson on the path to regaining his dominance, getting a healthy season from Brandon Morrow, and keeping the regression demons at bay when it comes to Mark Buehrle.

Uh… can we not somewhat reasonably envision a world in which the roles are reversed next spring, if– to bring things full circle– the Jays do continue to spend, don’t spread their assets too thinly, and manage to do better than dogshit at second, in left, and behind the plate? A lot of people refuse to believe that we can. A lot of people are kinda ridiculous.

Not that that’s a reason to believe whatever “signs” Cafardo is supposedly seeing about spending, but seriously they should. No excuses.

Comments (122)

  1. What about Melky + pen piece for VMart? Jays get “big bat”, Tigers get LF + bullpen arm

    • Uh… why would anybody possibly trade for Melky until he shows he’s healthy and last year was an abberation?

      They wouldn’t.

    • VMart had a .340 wOBA this year, and he’d be replacing Adam Lind, who had a .368 wOBA. Martinez wouldn’t require a platoon partner like Lind does, but that still seems like a lateral move at best, if not a downgrade. And then it creates a hole in left field.

      That’s all assuming, of course, that the Tigers would want to trade for Melky at all – which seems pretty unlikely given how this past year went for him.

  2. As far as bats go..who do we “guess” (since we really have no idea) as to who the jays would be going after. (assuming its a free agent and not a trade).

    I would hope it would be Choo Choo train. Bat with on base skills and solid corner OF defense.

    he is going to command some money..but the rub with him is the years. rather pay him like 36 million for 3 than 50 million for five.

    • Where do you play him, though?

    • Don’t kid yourself if you’re thinking Choo will come to Toronto for anything less than $100 million contract. He is one of the top-free agents available and, with Boras as his agent, he’s looking to get paid for the 4/5 seasons in which he has posted an OPS above .800, while reaching 20-20 plateau 3 out of those 4 times.

      Choo is a machine at the top of the order, he can probably be had for a Werth-like contract, but we all know how scorned that deal was. Then again his OBP skills are a tool that’s desperately needed on this ball club. Would be a perfect two hitter behind Reyes.

    • Choo @ 5 for $50M? Try doubling that.

      He and Ellsbury will be getting 9 figures.

      • technically i said 3/50 million

        and you dont pay player based on years passed. you pay them base on what they are likely to be going forward..and he is over 30. no way i give this guy 5 years and 20 mill per..are you crazy?

        • You also don’t just take them to the checkout like you’re at the supermarket. I could see teams doing four with him, and then the one willing to go five gets him– maybe even higher. Welcome to the free agent market.

  3. Cabrera will bounce back in left. Johnson will bounce back on the mound. The Jays will pick up one new starter and a veteran catcher, and carry Goins’ anemic bat for his solid defense, reassessing the need for an upgrade in July.

    Also, I saw Jesus in my toast. I suspect these are unrelated.

    • No Goins.

      • You can’t always get what you want. And we need a catcher more than we need a 2nd baseman. Because Goins can give you + defence. I’d like to see both, but if it’s a choice than I would keep Goins and get whichever catcher is likely to be and to continue to be an upgrade on JPA. It’s the ‘continue to be’ bit I’m concerned about with some of the names being bandied around here…

        • You can get both, it’s not a choice. Don’t be silly.

          You’re talking about upgrades on absolutely replacement-level nothing.

          • Indeed in the case of second base, below replacement level replacing. I mean the options on the free agent market are not very palatable, but I’m pretty sure AA is going to do everything to make sure he fixes every hole, and have as little question marks as possible ala Red Sox.

            That means 2 starting pitchers, Catcher and second baseman. And he’s going to do it with a combination of trade and free agency.

            • Don’t forget to look at the SS options on the market, too. Not that it makes it that much better.

              • So the best options for 2b/SS Stephen Drew, Uribe, Peralta, Ellis and Infante.

                That is one group of very unsexy players.

                • Sadly, though, they’re likely pretty solid upgrades on the nothing we got from the position this year. And that’s all we really need.

          • I’d be ok with a platoon of Mark Ellis and Goins for 2nd (assuming Ellis is gone after the Dodgers signed Guerrero). Would be a relatively cheap option. Ellis is a career .780 hitter against lefties with above average D at 2nd, and Goins has hit righties better throughout his minor league career (as per Minor League Central) and in his SSS at the big league level, with plus defence.

  4. Steal salty from the Red Sox will be a start

    • Steal him with millions and millions of dollars and then watch him turn back into Arencibia ca. 2012.

      • Anyone but JP would be fine actually

      • Colour me insane, but watch JP will pull a Saltalamacchia like season out of his asshole next year with another team and have AA get shit all over for “giving him away”.

        Anyways, as was already noted, Salty = Arencibia pre 2013.

        • I wouldn’t be shocked, just because that’s been this team’s luck (or whatever systemic bullshit that keeps them from being able to see and fix things other teams can sometimes), but that’s OK. I’d have no problem with Arencibia having a nice career, it’s just completely untenable here.

          • Yup fine with me. It’s the kind of deal where the absolute WORST thing they could do is invite him to spring training with the idea they can fix him.
            Because they can’t.

  5. I’m all against trading Bautista.

    However, you talked about Bautista in a blockbuster for something like Phillips and Bailey. But if you are trading Bautista, wouldn’t a package of say Kinsler and Harrison make more sense and be better? The Rangers have interest in Jose, it would appear, and I’d take Kinsler over Phillips, and even take Harrison over Bailey due to the contract situation. And Kinsler and Harrison doesn’t seem all to far fetch for Bautista.

    But I still wouldn’t do that deal. I want them to keep Jose.

    • You have to consider what the other team would want to do when making up hypotheticals, which is why I rarely do it. The Rangers wouldn’t do this. The Reds work– in theory, though probably not reality– because they want to save money on Phillips and may not think they’ll be able to re-sign Bailey next winter. Harrison has got a very good contract. Far too good to make up for flipping Kinsler and Bautista.

      • You think even with Harrison’s injury concerns, they value him that much?

        I don’t know anything about how his recovery is going or now anything about how players recover from his injury though. And it is a great contract.

        • what about Janssen + Bautista for Chapman, Phillips and Bailey? Bailey doesn’t have that much value over the ~10m he’s going to make next year, and Phillips doesn’t have much surplus value either after the down year. If they’d swap relievers as well, could be interesting.

          • No chance the Reds trade Chapman.

          • Why does that make more sense for the Reds than doing it without?

            • It doesn’t, but it doesn’t make sense for the Jays to do Phillips and Bailey for Bautista. For 10M/year, the Jays should be able to get a pitcher of Bailey’s calibre. And for 50M, the Jays should be able to do better than Phillips, he really doesn’t have that much value, does he?

              • I should clarify, for the contracts that those guys have, I’d rather just go to the free agent market. 50M should be more than enough to get Infante, and for 10M a year, it shouldn’t be hard to get a pitcher of Bailey’s quality. Why give away Bautista?

                • You can’t get a Bailey quality pitcher for $10-million on the free agent market. And as for Infante, he hasn’t been as valuable as Phillips, and you have to actually convince him to take your money. It’s not that simple.

                  And no, that’s not giving Bautista away at all.

                  • I’m simplifying things, but I just think it’s easier to find something of Phillips + Bailey quality on the FA market for the combined 20M a season they’re going to make than to find something of Bautista’s value.

                    • I think you’re misreading the FA market, then. The game is flush with cash– look at the Hunter Pence contract, for example. And that wasn’t on the open market. Things will very possibly get nuts.

                    • Well I agree, things might get nuts for a guy like Choo, so I’d rather keep Bautista than opening a hole in the outfield that we would then have to fill. Outside of Choo, I don’t see anything too interesting, so there would have to be ANOTHER trade. I’d rather just keep Bautista, and gamble that even if bidding for Infante gets crazy, there’s no way it would go near 50M.

              • He does. But sure, that deal maybe doesn’t make sense, you’re right. Adding the relievers sure doesn’t help, though.

                • Well he does have value, I would take him as my second baseman happily, I just don’t think it would require Bautista. Fangraphs still had Bautista in their top 50 most valuable players near the end of the season, I think somewhere around #35. We can do better than Bailey/Phillips.

                  • Maybe.

                    • I compare Phillips to Buehrle….you’d love them both on your team, but not at the money they’re making. Buehrle came to the Jays as kind of a wash, it’s good to have him, but considering the contract I would have been just as happy without him in the deal.

                    • Phillips’ deal is not nearly as problematic. And he’s only 32.

                    • as long as the Jays keeeeeep spending noone should ever care how much the Jays spend on X player .. “I would never pay more than 50 mill for Infante” … who cares?

                      Infante seems like a great fit for the Jays .. and as always the FA market is going be crazy .. you point out the extension given to Pence for one .. his agent obviously had some leverage otherwise the Giants don’t get to that # ..

                    • What is this leverage you speak of?

                      I agree about the other stuff, though I’m always wary that Rogers can just cut off the tap whenever they choose, and for whatever dubious reasoning they want– which is why I think it’s important to be a bit of a broken record about all the money they’re saving/making under the new CBA and TV deals.

                    • I have to assume there is some leverage .. right????

                      Agents don’t just say HUGE #’s and get GM’s to say YES .. so GM’s must know that the combo of Lots of $ in MLB Universe + Lack of Great FA options + Whatever = at least some Agent Leverage

                      The Giants are good franchise flush with $ .. they have definitely handed out some dubious FA contracts e.g. Zito, former White Sox CF guy, etc. .. but ..

  6. Account holders can start renewing their Fan Passes on 28th October , months ahead of the usual time line . Seats will be same as last year but hopefully what’s on view will be better and they will spend more if it improves the team

  7. Sign Carlos Ruiz!

    From every where I read, he doesn’t sound like he would cost all that much. Tim Dierkes expects him to sign for 2-years $14 million. If that is accurate, that to me seems like a bargain. I’d even push up an offer to $18 million over two years for Ruiz, or add a 3rd year at $7 million per, if that is what it takes to sign him.

    Then bring in Jose Molina to back him up. Ruiz probably wont be able to start anymore than 100 games, and Jose does somewhat know the Jays starters (he was pretty much Morrow’s personal catcher). I wouldn’t imagine Jose costing anymore than $5 million on a one year deal, and that may even be high for him. Sign him, and start him the other 62 games.

    Non-tender or send to AAA JP.

    • What is with the Molina obsession? Seriously?

      • Mostly pitch framing, but also general defense, and his hysterically funny slowness on the basepaths.

        I’d take Jose over JP as a backup. I just can’t stand to watch JP anymore. But then again, I guess there isn’t much difference between Thole and Molina as a backup.

        • JP isn’t going to be a backup. The Molina thing… he’s getting old. It just seems like the old “he used to play here so we should get him back!” thing that never made any sense to me.

        • Um I may be misremebering, but i think JP’s pitch framing stats are actually better than Jose Molina’s. I know it sounds crazy, but I think the stats say that pitch framing is actually the only thing JP is decent at.

          • So which one of those guys gets to catch RAD?

            Unless you want to trade RAD, you have to keep Thole.

            ps Doug Mirabelli is 43

  8. Chris Iannetta and Howie Kendrick for Janssen, Nolin, Happ and give them back Izturis. (Results in about $2M in excess salary in 2014).

    Sign Ubaldo – Jays will be one of the few teams that won’t have to give up their first round pick to get him that also seem like possible contenders.

    Sign/trade for one more risky pitcher on a one-year deal – like a Josh Johnson, Tim Hudson, or guys like Brett Anderson or Brandon McCarthy, who shouldn’t cost much in a trade. If they bust, plenty of depth in Stroman, Hutchison, etc. to give a shot to.

    That’s my plan. Only would mean ~$20M or so in additional payroll, bringing them to about $150M for 2014, without having to backload Ubaldo’s contract much.

    If it doesn’t work, almost everyone on the team is a free agent (or has an option) by the 2015 offseason (minus Ubaldo and Reyes), so tearing the thing apart and dealing guys for some value would still be quite possible.

    • It’s not the worst idea, though I can’t imagine the Angels taking that deal, and Ubaldo still carries huge risk for me.

      • Is the deal that unfair?

        I kind of look at Happ for Iannetta as a pretty even swap. Both under control for two-years, both roughly ~2 WAR players, and fill needs for both sides.

        Then it’d be Kendrick for Janssen, who would be a big boost for the Angels bullpen, and Nolin, who fits what the Angels want in young, MLB-ready pitching, plus Izturis, whose obviously more of a salary dump (though he’d give the Angels some infield depth, and they used to like him at least).

        • Kendrick for Janssen would boost the bullpen… at the cost of a starting second baseman. I don’t see it. Ask an Angels fan, but seems way low for me.

          • Well, I think part of the reason the Angels might move Kendrick is that their top prospect is a 2B who hit pretty well, supposedly with great defense, in AA this year, in Taylor Lindsey.

            He’s probably a stint in the PCL away from the Majors, so they’d most likely be happy to replace Kendrick with a stop-gap, or give Grant Green a shot there, until he’s ready.

      • Ubaldo’s definitely risky, so this is obviously a matter of taste, but personally I’d be willing to take that risk, because even bad Ubaldo still gave innings. Not really any free agent pitchers on the market without their warts, and it was at least rumored that the Jays had a lot of interested in Ubaldo in the past.

      • you couldn’t envision those arseholes taking Wells either but they did.Not all GMs are as sharp as a atck and Dipoto of LAA is one of the dumbest. Maybe they would take a couple of BP pieces for those 2 but my real interest w/b Kendrick only as IMO , both Ianetta and Conger don’t represent much above JPA, but yeah , Kendrick for Janssen and Nolin or equivalent I could live with. The rube who said s’thing similar for Joey Bats is on crack

      • The Angels seem like they will be willing to move higher salary players (Kendrick Lamar) to free some space to sign that fish guy to an extension.

        So it’s likely a deal would get done with less than what OP had said.

        Hanging on to Happ would be nice, as would keeping Janssen.

        Kendrick, and Conger (not Ianetta pls) for Aaron Sanchez, Nolin, Izturis and cash might actually interest the Angels.

        After what K-Law had to say about Sanch, I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing him while he still carries some value, especially with two protected top 11 picks this year.

        • If the Angels could only deal with the Jays you might have a case. Because they can trade with anyone, I doubt you’re looking at less.

          As for the Sanchez stuff, I don’t think it’s quite that dire.

          • In a vacuum of course; but even beyond that, that list of teams isn’t going to be all 29 other teams.

            Probably looking at 3-5 teams that would seriously get in the mix for a 2B, being Us, the Royals, Orioles, Braves and maybe the Yankees if they want something other than Cano if he walks.

            So out of those teams the Royals already have some depth there Getz, Boni, and Giovatella.

            The Orioles have Schoop, Flaherty, even Brian Roberts.

            The Braves seem to be our only real competition in the 2B trade market seeing as they have great pitching depth in the minors. However, they are also a decent landing spot for Cano should he walk, so they might stay out of the 2B trade market all together.

          • Sanchez could easily come back next season and post ridiculous numbers.

    • If you throw in stroman instead of happ, im sure the angels will be very intrigued.

    • I would imagine, even with health concerns, Brett Anderson will cost a lot. Too much for his health risk.

      • If he does cost a lot then obviously I’d have no interest. I figure though the A’s would mostly be looking to dump him at this point, $8M for a small-market team with no real holes in their rotation to spend on a big injury risk probably makes a lot less sense for them than it would for Toronto.

    • Ubaldo gave up five earned runs in Sept. pitching against Bal (after the bats went cold)
      KC, CWS, Hou, CWS and Min. Pretty anemic batting orders.

      On June 7 his ERA was 5.03 and then he rode a hot streak and a favourable schedule
      to a final ERA of 3.30. He could be good but he’s a risky pickup. Would not want to count on him at the top of the rotation.

      Beware of any guys who pitched in the AL Central. Their stats could be padded by the number of times they faced the Sisters of the Poor from Chicago and Minnesota.

      The more we talk pitching, seems the key to success in 2014 may well come down to getting a healthy season out of Morrow. AA might be able to find two pieces to go with Morrow, Dickey and Buehrle, but if you take Morrow out and have to pick up three…not at all sure he can do that.

  9. billy butler apparently being shopped. that would be a nice add for any AL team but i suppose DH isn’t a huge area of concern for toronto. in terms of pitching, i like the rumoured interest they have supposedly had so far in brett anderson and jeff samardzija. on the few occasions when healty, anderson is a legitimate number one pitcher.

  10. When you look at the money being thrown at pitching these days the $14 mil one year deal for the potential of Josh Johnson doesn’t sound so bad (If that is still an option?). No bad one year deals, no?

  11. The interesting part to me in this story is that they want, not just one, but two starters to go with Dickey, Buerhle and Morrow. In fact Cafardo mentions it twice.

    In almost every AA post season analysis he refers to the failure of the starters as being the teams main downfall. I could see them offering on Johnson and trying to sign another free agent pitcher( Jiminez?).

    It just seems he’s had enough of the Rogers , Redmonds and Happs of the world.

    • I just don’t think he’ll guarantee one of those guys work. But with Johnson, or someone like him, presumably being one of the two, and Morrow here, even though I hate the scoffing about injury stuff, it’s not like there won’t likely be some opportunity for those types to get work. Johnson plus one more quality starter would seem like a very good rotation to me.

      • Exactly. And then they have Happ as the #6 starter and Hutch at #7. Rogers would need a bullpen role (long relief?) as he does not have an option, but I think Redmond does.

        If AA can get Johnson at about $8m and then add another #2 type guy, he’d have a good group of starters and better depth than we’ve seen in some time.

  12. I know I will be laughed at again. But I like the idea of Brandon Phillips on Jays. At least he told the reporter to his face what he thought of him, not use Twitter or to a third party media outlet.

  13. I like Bret’s take. Pitchers are inherently risky.

    If you want a guarantee go to Wal Mart……

    • I cannot accept Ubaldo Jiminez as solution. People have already forgotton how truly awful he was for a prolonged period of time. On other hand, I would jump at a chance to acquire one of the guys mentioned through trade – Brett Anderson or Samardzija – and even if it meant parting with Stroman, Gose or Jansen.

      • Jeff Samardzija is not the guy we want. Pretty atrocious control, with good K/9. He seems like he’s poised for a Ricky Romero type collapse at some point in the future.

  14. I think AA needs to make one big deal to address the 2b and C holes which involves trading relievers and prospects. He just doesnt have the prospect capital to make individual trades for a C, 2b, and SP. I think atleast 1 if not 2 of those holes will have to be filled through free agency.

  15. Truly awful for a prolonged period of time?

    Here’s his FXIP since becoming a full time starter in 2008


    Yes he was bad in 2012, yet very good without hardly missing a start in all the other years. Let’s just say your definition of awful for a PROLONGED period is somewhat different than mine.

    • Referring to Ubaldo?

      He was terrible for like a year and a half, and the velocity isn’t back to where it used to be, though this year he was certainly good– just hard to view him as having righted the ship, with no concerns about what the hell happened during that period. (I know this wasn’t addressed to me, but I do think a year and a half is pretty prolonged).

      • Hello Ubaldo, welcome to Toronto. Your uniform and weighted balls are in your locker.

      • Ubaldo Terrible ? His xFIP in the first half of 2013 was 4.16, slightly below average yes, but calling it “terrible” is obvious exaggeration. His second half xFIP was 2.99.

        Yes he’s lost some velocity ( not unusual for a pitcher at his age – see Josh Johnson), and like all pitchers he can be inconsistent at times ( tired arm, pitching through injury- who knows?). He does have a lot of moving parts to his delivery which also may lead to some variance in performance.

        He certainly adjusted well down the stretch though and was quite dominant at times. Listen no pitcher is ever going to be perfect ( and you build that into your free agent offer) , Jimenez tends to walk too many guys at times , but the key stat for me is that despite some diminished velocity he misses bats ( strike-out rate) at a very high ratio, which is a key harbinger for future success.

        As I said earlier if you want an absolute guarantee, go to Wal Mart.

        • I’m talking about 2012.

          • I’m talking though about the larger, more meaningful sample of 2008 -2013.

            You have to wonder though what happened in 2012, he certainly was shitty.

            The funny thing is that his strike-out rates are higher now, despite the decreased velocity loss, than in his earlier years. Maybe he has learned to use his breaking stuff a little better?

            To give some context, Ubaldo is ranked at #4 in terms of A.L. starter strike-out ratios


            • I don’t think that sample is particularly meaningful, as you’re talking about two different pitchers, essentially. The pitch usage is quite a bit different now (way fewer fastballs, way more sliders, mixing in a splitter, half as many curves and changeups), so that’s one thing. Also, in 2011 his velocity dropped and has never returned– kept going down, even. At first his FIP/XFIP were still good, though the ERA went way up in the back half of 2011. Then he struggled by every measure in 2012, and was quite bad through the first half of this year as well. I can’t give him credit for what he did prior to 2011 any more than I can give Josh Johnson credit for what he did prior to the velocity drop, and really that means only about a half season for Ubaldo being really good. For the money and the draft pick, I’d look elsewhere. He might have genuinely figured it out this year, but I’d be very wary.

              • Fair enough. I just think despite the velocity drop ( basically starting after the 2010 season per his Brooks baseball card) his underlying peripherals have remained strong, even in 2011 with an xFIP of 3.71 ( much like Josh Johnson). Jimenez wouldn’t be the first guy to have to adjust to learning how to pitch at 92 verses 97.

                I’d certainly make some inquiries with his agent regarding term and cost. I’m just not sure there’s a lot of other guys out there with a much higher ceiling?

  16. Trade Lind, let Melky DH

    • If Melky can’t hack it in LF, you have Gose/Pillar/Sierra waiting in the wings, at least. If Melky can’t hack it at DH and Lind is gone, what do you do then? Unless you’ve filled in LF with someone pretty damn good, it’s going to be a major problem.

    • and replace left field with???

      And who would trade for Lind anyways, I don’t see right handed platoon DHs being very attractive on the trade market.

      • I say keep Lind and sign a guy like Jeff Baker (absolute lefty masher) on the cheap to platoon. Baker has at least a bit of positional flexibility, would come cheap, and has for the most part in his career pounded left handed pitching.

        This way we can leave Melky in left and see if there is anything there at all, and then let the young guys start in AAA. If Melky craps out, you can call up whoever is raking in Buffalo.

        • Far from the worst idea I’ve ever heard. Cleveland had a lot of success with Ryan Raburn, a similar kind of guy in a similar role. Worked out so well they re-upped him for another year.

  17. Trade Bautista. To texas. for profar+gallo+pitching.
    suck it

    • Awww. And just after I referred nicely to your comment under a different name.

      If you think the Rangers are actually that dumb, I have no idea how to help you.

      • Looking forward to a 4 game sweep by the Cards (not a prediction, just a hope) so we can hurry up and get to the 5 days after the World Series Free Agent bonanza .. unfortunately for any Toronto team this always seems like the most fun time of year!

      • Definitely no Profar in that lol, but I’m okay if we deal Bautista to Tex and get Gallo and say, Alex Rios back?

    • lol troll

  18. The offseason is so exciting! Keep it up Stoets. I’m almost ready to renew my flexpack!

  19. Phillips at 32 is still a good ball player. Remember when everyone thought Molitor was on the decline when Toronto got him at 36? He just went on to hit 332 and 341 the next two years and won a WS MVP.

    • WS MVPs are meaningless (see: Borders, Pat), but point taken. Though what happened to one guy won’t necessarily happen to another. David Ortiz has defied people thinking he’s regressing for years, but would I say he’s a reason to expect anybody else to be able to do that?

      • From what I’ve seen and read, longevity seems to have a lot to do with body type and the guys who last longer are usually the “Star” type of ball players who maintain a high fitness level (guys who can make adjustments to counteract slower bat speed etc… Phillips would fall into this category in my books

        Which makes Ortiz even more of surprise. He looks like he flips burgers in a greasy spoon but instead he smashes eveything in between the batting circles.

        Phillips still looks like a football player and can still crush the fastball. His downturn in slugging looks like it came from a drop in doubles as his homers have been the same for the last 4 years. He also stole a career low 5 bags, so I’m guessing here, but I’d say the lack of SB attempts and lower doubles is a sign of a drop in speed which could have come from playing through some sort of leg injury.

        If it were my fantasy ball league he’d be a prime bounceback candidate in my books.

        All of this of course does not factor in salary, I think he definitly has value at 10-11 million but he’s do for 1 million salary raise increments yearly until 2017. If AA could get Cincy to include 5-7 million in a deal then I think he’d be a steal at that price. The bigger question is who we’d have to give up.

  20. I think phillips ends up in New york. No way do the Yankees sign Cano to that ridiculous contract which means they`ll need a cheaper option at 2b. If Rodriguez does get suspended, then they`ll have enough cash to go get Phillips.

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