“Mr. Crews” will do nicely. Although I can’t say the same for that winged collar.

Be sure to keep an eye on MLBTR, as all kinds of news and rumours regarding qualifying offers and the opening of free agency. At the time of this writing we’ve learned that A.J. Burnett (note: DO IT!), Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and others have not been extended qualifying offers. No offer for Bartolo Colon, either. I mean, yeah, it’s the A’s but… OK, maybe the Johnson decision looks a little more reasonable in this light?

Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, and, of course, Robinson Cano, have all been given qualifying offers, it should be noted.

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the challenges Alex Anthopoulos faces this winter, as he… well… y’know… tries to do better than this year’s disasterfuck.

Gregor Chisholm writes at BlueJays.com that Anthopoulos is likely to try to fill his club’s needs this winter via trade, and gives us an excellent breakdown of where the club’s roster is at, as the off-season begins in earnest.

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail writes about the thin free agent crop, which he suggests will test the Jays’ budget– especially with so many other big money players entering the fray this year, thanks to all the TV money that is filling the pockets of formerly small-market clubs.

Elsewhere in the Globe, a Canadian Press piece from Steph Rogers gives us some insight into how Drew Hutchison is doing, both in Fall League and in terms of his recovery from Tommy John. Interestingly, he says he’s also made a small tweak to his delivery, not throwing quite as much across his body as he used to, which worked to great success in the AFL, for whatever that’s worth.

A pair of great free agency breakdowns from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, as he looks at the class of position players in one preview, and the pitching market in another.

MLBTR lists their top 50 free agents, with predictions, guessing Josh Johnson (30) will wind up with the Royals, with Ubaldo Jimenez (11) coming here. Yeah, I’d do that.

At Bluebird Banter, Jays182 wonders whether the Jays should target free agent second baseman Mark Ellis (answer: probably, yeah), while Minor Leaguer reviews the new Shi Davidi and John Lott book, offering a few more nuggets than the ones we looked at in an excerpt last week– including more interest in Hisashi Iwakuma.

The Japan Times reports on the seventh game of the Japan Series, which Masahiro Tanaka saved for his victorious Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. That’s good! He did it a day after throwing 160 pitches in Game Six. That’s bad!

A couple of gems from Blue Jays plus, as Gideon Turk lays out his off-season plan for the Jays– which is already blown apart now that Josh Johnson hasn’t ben qualified, but which includes other interesting ideas (make a move for Jeff Samardzija? Yes. Sign Jose Molina and make Arencibia his backup? Holy shit no!)– while Alex Hume takes a depressing look at what Kevin Seitzer might bring as the Jays hitting coach, which I think is more “a friendly face for ol’ Gibbers” than anything too deeply philosophical, but there’s definitely food for thought there, too.

Speaking of Seitzer, Gregor Chisholm transcribes, at his North of the Border blog, the club’s new hitting coach’s first conversation with the media.

MLB.com is doing something called the GIBBY Awards, and, surprisingly, they are given out for neither the best shrapnel-assed walk, nor the best Boomhauer impression. Gregor lets us know about the Jays’ nominees.

At Jays Journal, Kyle Matte looks into the data and isn’t sure if, once he’s healthy, we should continue to see the pitch-to-contact Brandon Morrow that was so successful in 2012. Elsewhere there, Kyle Franzoni asks an interesting question: will the flooded relief pitching market cost the Jays this winter?

And now a bunch of stuff from FanGraphs: Jays hitters show up twice on the list of the slowest pitches hit for home runs this year, with a Jose Bautista bomb off Paul Maholm coming second behind… Dewayne Wise off of Yu Darvish? The Jays are in the bottom third of 2013 rookie classes by WAR, because obviously; the hand out their annual Jays-related Carter-Batista award, which recognizes the players whose RBI total most grossly overstate their offensive contribution; and Max Weinstein looks at whether the “change of scenery” effect is real.

Rob Neyer reminisces about Tim McCarver at Baseball Nation, and notes how in McCarver’s book he writes about the one-sided feud he had with Cito Gaston.

Elsewhere at SB Nation, Steve Goldman looks at the 2014 draft order, giving notes on each team, including some harsh ones– yet not unfair ones– about the Jays.

MLBTR lets us know that the Jays have come to a minor league agreement with Andy LaRoche– the other LaRoche, not that either is all that valuable at this point.

Not Jays-related, but Barry Petchesky of Deadspin has an awesome retrospective on the mythical “gyroball” of Daisuke Matsuzaka, and how it became such a “thing,” when, in fact, it didn’t really exist– at least not in the way that we were led to believe. Read it.

Lastly, read this, too: as our friend Mr. Fairservice branches out into other sports, writing at Fanatico about how the World Series of Poker went from boom to bust. Great stuff.

Comments (71)

  1. has the 40 man decisions been made yet?

  2. Did the 160 pitches contain Potassium Benzoate?

  3. It appears that Jimenez has been qualified, unfortunately.

    • I think Jimenez would be a perfect guy for the jays to pick up. Affordable, good upside, and although has a risk of being shit, is at least very likely to stay healthy.

  4. silly season begins tonight at 12 am btw

  5. is gibby nominated for the GIBBY awards?

  6. So the “mega-deal” between the Jays the Marlins now boils down to:



    @ a total of $45 million per season.

    And Alvarez basically put up the same rate-based numbers as Buerhle for a fraction of the price.

    Ouch. As bad as this trade looks right now, it might even look a lot worse in 3 years.

    • jose reyes is an mvp candidate when healthy

      • If you consider Alvarez for Buerhle a wash (which would be generous)

        Then it boils down to:

        Escobar, Marisnick, Nicolino + 10′s of millions of dollars (which could buy pitching) for

        Jose Reyes & his injury risk/prone hammies

        (assuming Hech cannot play in the Bigs, & descalfini is a non-prospect)

    • The trade looks fine right now. Come on with the Alvarez thing.

      • What’s his k rate?

        • Was 13.6%. Buehrle’s was a couple percent higher. But… yes, Alvarez had a pretty good 100 innings, there’s no denying it. He also had a 2.6% HR/FB. More importantly: let’s see him do it again before we start pissing and moaning or pretending we’d like to undo the deal, or would be comfortable with Alvarez and $17- or $18M instead of Buehrle right now.

          • Also, Alvarez’ numbers are coming from a season in the NL East. No way to say for certain that he would have performed as well in Toronto.

            • Yeah, let’s not overstate that kind of stuff, but there’s some of it present there, for sure.

          • If nothing else, at least Beuhrle saved this season from being a complete clusterfuck.

            Recreate the 2013 season in your mind, but instead place Ricky Romero in Beurhle’s spot.

            Beurhle wasn’t very good for the first 8 weeks, but for a good part of the summer, he was what kept that rotation from completely going off the rails.

    • Yeah but… Jose Reyes! Jose Reyes is pretty awesome. Buehrle… he’s at least consistent, you know what you’re going to get from Mark Buehrle.

    • Reminds me of the Family Guy – Peter deciding between a free boat and what’s in the box

      “A boat is a boat, but the box could be anything. It could even be a boat! I’ll take the box”

      I like takin Buehrle & Reyes instead of guys who might one day be as productive as Buehrle and Reyes.

  7. Does Masahiro Tanaka come with a free frogurt (that’s good!)?

  8. Arroyo not getting a QO from the Reds seems to make little sense from their stand point. I don’t get that. Wouldnt he have for sure rejected it and sign like a 3-$30 deal?

  9. Where’s Babar?

  10. The Jays needs at catcher, second and SP will have to be offset by losing a few of our relievers, and hopefully a team that sees the tremendous upside in JPA. Add a few bucks to the payroll and viola, we have a team that can compete for the wildcard (the second one)

  11. 4Y, $52M for Ubaldo
    2Y, $12M for Chooch
    A cost neutral deal around Janssen for Porcello (Jays would pony up more, of course)
    Trade Sierra for Beckham, give him a shot.

    Not a dream offseason, but it’d cost around $20M In 2014 and seems somewhat possible.

    • Ugh,Beckham. I’d rather they sign David Beckham.

      • Just picked him because he would be cheap. Not in my top 5 choices, though I am higher on him than most.

        • I get it, but I don’t think the team, as it is constructed right now, should be counting on people who have been complete garbage to turn it around (or turn it on, in the case of Beckham). There is too much invested in the next year or two to take such risks. I actually don’t think they should really risk going into next year with Melky as their pencilled in left fielder, though I think such an opinion might make me unpopular here.

          • Worked for Boston this year.

            • I suppose that’s true. But at least Victorino had a history of being good. I can’t remember what they had in mind with Stephen Drew. Lucky, or astute?
              In my estimation, Beckham is just a bad player. But of course, I am not a baseball GM.

  12. That Davidi oiece was jarringly negative. Not unfair or anything, just surprising from a guy people still accuse of sugarcoating things to protect the product.

  13. As you guys well know, I see the Indians alot. When Ubaldo Jimenez is good, he’s really good, but when he’s bad, he’s terrible. He doesn’t seem to have an in-between.

    I won’t miss Josh Johnson, I think his agent is full of shit if he thinks JJ will get 14 or 15 million after his back to back shitacular seasons.

    The Reds have 5 good starters even without Arroyo (that Cingrani is gonna be a stud). I liken Arrroyo to Buehrle if he had another year of shelf life. Would I want him in Toronto? Yeah, probably.

    • Back to back?

    • Arroyo is like Buerhle without the grounders. I wouldn’t mind him, but I can’t pretend I wouldn’t be afraid of him getting shelled at RC and giving us 200 shittacular innings.

      Actually, to follow up on the grounders thing, is it just coincidence that johnson, dickey and buerhle posted career worst GB% in their first years with the jays? Is there something about the park that causes guys to change their pitching approach or is the division just full of flyball-happy hitters? You’d think our bandbox of a park would make guys even more focussed on keeping the ball down. But yeah that’s what makes me nervous about arroyo, if he’s not completely right on a given night, it’ll be like HR derby.

      • Great America is a more home run friendly ballpark than RC using both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.

        If everything else remains the same, there’s really not much reason to worry about Arroyo pitching BP in the dome.

  14. Target the deepest franchise in baseball, St. Louis.
    They are loaded with pitching and prospects and I would imagine they have a desire to make a big move or two after a WS loss.

    Depending on what website you are reading on a given day, Kolten Wong, Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly, Jaime Garcia and super prospect Oscar Taveras could all be available.

    Chris Carpenter is also a free agent coming off a year of rehab. Looked good in the few innings he did put up at the end of the year. Probably could get the 38 year old vet coming off injury for pennies on the dollar. A short one or two year deal, I’d take that risk.

    • Ok

    • Hell, why were at it how about kicking the tires on Roy Halladay? He’ll come cheap, and if his shoulder strength returns he could still give you something. Risky, yes, gimmicky, yes, but not an expensive gamble. On the sentimental side it would be cool to see him retire as a Blue Jay.

  15. ” The (Jays’) strikeout rate included a combined 955 plate appearances of 29.6% from J.P. Arencibia and Colby Rasmus. Removing those two players, the Jays struck out 16.1% of the time, which would have ranked best in MLB. ”
    Surprising and a bit of good news in the sense that Cleetus will be better in 2014.
    Seeing as the Jays’ site is saying they’ll probably sign JPA, it would be nice to know if he’ll be spending most of 2014 in Buffalo or not.

    • He won’t be spending it in Buffalo if they’re tendering him an MLB contract– which they’d have to do to keep him.

    • your numbers cant be right.

      i’m too lazy to check but i’m hoping someone else will. there is no way that 2players covered that much of a difference

      • I see what’s happened– the 29% figure is just for Rasmus and JPA themselves, not the total with them included.

        In total the Jays struck out at an 18.25% rate (1123 K, 6152 PA). Subtract Rasmus (135 K, 458 PA) and Arencibia (148 K, 497 PA), and you get 840 K and 5197 PA for everyone else, or a rate of 16.16%.

        The rate with those two included (18.25%) is the 24th lowest in baseball, believe it or not. The rate for the Jays minus those two (16.16%) would indeed rank lowest in baseball– lower than the league leading Tigers, at 16.8%.

        The Red Sox, by the way, were at 20.5%.

        Hey, but who would ever want to get in the way of a bullshit narrative about the team being killed by strikeouts? Certainly not pretty much every single media voice in town!

        • Ya but removing Salty and Napoli the Red Sox now only strike out 982 times which equals an 18.4 % rate. Not trying to be a dick, but unless the Jays Rasmus or some how can find a quality catcher to replace J.P. The chances of both being gone are doubtful, thus why say well if you remove them there strike out rate goes down…. using bullshit narrative to fight bullshit narrative…

  16. So who comes off the board first at midnight? I’ll say Yankees strike first, who incredibly phone, interview, negotiate and come to an agreement with Ervin Santana at 12:02.

    Those tampering pricks.

    • Nobody.

      • For real? Gotta be some early action no?

        Hey Andrew, what website do you guys use that tracks pitchers velocity?
        I can’t find it and I wanted to look up Dan Haren. His K’s were up this year and I wanted to see if he had got some of his velocity back.

        • Yeah, I can’t remember it ever being remotely like the NHL in that regard. Maicer was one of the very, very earliest last year, and I think he was November 9th.

          FanGraphs has velocity data, as do BrooksBaseball.net and Texas Leaguers, and it’s on Baseball Prospectus player pages too.

  17. Andrew, I was thinking about what you said about the implications of losing second round pool money. If Beede were to slip to 9 and we drafted him again could the Jays really low ball him? Does he have any leverage left to say no to the Jays?

    Our 9 slot has been rumoured to be worth anywhere from 3 to 3.5 million.
    The 11 pick 2.8 to 3 million
    And our second rounder at 1.0 to 1.2 million.

    If we took Beede at 9 and offered him 2 to 2.5 million and he had to accept it then the Jays could sign a FA like Usbaldo and still end up pretty even in draft cash.

    A lot of whatifs in there I know. I just feel it would be awfully hard for Beede and his reps to play hardball again. So much risk of injury in pitchers, saying no to a couple of million would seem like a pretty difficult decision to get to.


    This prediction had him at 7, I read another where he was predicted to go as low as 13th.

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