phillipsdugout

Jim Bowden is doin’ some spitballin’ this week at ESPN.com, suggesting one move that he thinks each club should make this off-season, and… um… I don’t think we should take any of it particularly seriously– after all, he’s suggesting the Tigers pay Joe Nathan 24-million goddamn dollars over two years, and that Cleveland should go for Fernando Rodney for two and $18-million– but his work isn’t entirely without value, either. He’s been spot on when it comes to free agent values in the past and, well… who doesn’t love a good hypothetical trade? (Non-Ian Kinsler division, of course).

That’s what he proposed for the Jays in today’s AL-focussed One Move piece at ESPN.com (Insider only), putting this one together:

Trade Brett Cecil, Ryan Goins, Matt Dean and Anthony Gose to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for second baseman Brandon Phillips and backup catcher Ryan Hanigan.

On the surface I’d think that the names make a whole lot of sense. The Reds are looking to move Hanigan anyway, and they’re reportedly listening on Phillips, mostly for the sake of salary relief, while the Jays wouldn’t be moving any of their high-end pitching prospects, or anything terribly significant off of their big league roster.

However, there are some pretty major issues I’d have with this particular idea, coming from both ends of it.

For starters, Billy Hamilton exists. He moved to centre last season, which would kinda make Anthony Gose redundant.

Speaking of Gose, dealing him while taking on the kind of salary Phillips is still owed ($50-million over four years) creates an even bigger money issue for the club a year down the road by removing the cheap, natural replacement for Colby Rasmus. That’s not to say that I necessarily think the Jays should be banking on Gose, but it’s nice for now that they can hedge– and nicer still that they’re not locked into adding as much as $25-million in terms of 2015 payroll on just Phillips and Rasmus alone, which they may well be, in one fell swoop, were Bowden’s hypothetical deal ever actually come to fruition.

There is also the issue of Phillips’ performance, and his age. His defence has been consistently excellent by UZR (by DRS he’s alternated between slightly above average and excellent), which is what continues to drive his impressive fWAR numbers, but he’s firmly on the wrong side of 30 and could be into his decline years at the plate. His walk rate bounced back in 2013, but is still down over the last two years compared to his already below-average peak from 2008 to 2011. And in terms of wRC+, his 2013 was more in line with 2006 and 2008 than it was with even his 100-ish wRC+ years in 2007, ’09, ’10, and ’12– and certainly not the 122 wRC+ 2011 season that looks rather clearly to be an outlier.

That year no longer carries enough predictive value, even, to make the Steamer projection on his FanGraphs page look palatable. It pegs him for .266/.317/.408, a wRC+ of 99, and a WAR of 2.4. Sure, he’s shown he can do better than that, but it’s not exactly a thrilling amount of production for the salary, even if the cost in terms of players– with apologies to Matt Dean fans (though, I mean, sure, Dean had a very good repeat year at Bluefield, but he’s still a long way away from the Majors, and is probably behind Mitch Nay on the organizational depth chart)– isn’t even a whole hell of a lot (at least by my estimation).

Yeah, Phillips is a recognizable name– which, as with Ian Kinsler, is I think the primary reason we hear so many people spitballing about him– and a good defender and maybe not even so dramatically overpaid, given the way that salaries appear to be going, but… I don’t see it. Not in a deal like this. Now… if, instead of Gose, the Reds liked Kevin Pillar?

Comments (162)

  1. after hearing DeRosa talk about the Skydome’s aluminum infield, it makes me appreciate Goins’ glove and range. I know Stoeten, you’ve already decided that he’ll never hit, but if he does, he’ll be another “found resource”

    • Yeah, and if a frog had wings…

      .257/.311/.369 as a 25-year-old at Buffalo. I appreciate the derision, but he was pretty fucking terrible.

      • i wasn’t being derisive. it just feels like you’ve closed your mind to him to the point you feel like 50 million dollars of Brand Phillips is a good idea.

        • Again derisive.

          Why would I open my mind to a guy who can’t fucking hit, is the thing.

          • same way we all thought EE was make-weight in the Rolen deal and now we’d rather trade Bautista. Things change hombre.

            • Oh, well since you said “hombre” I guess that means your opinion can’t possibly be ridiculous.

              • and yours will be so buried under a mound of dross that no one will notice when you’re wrong.

                STILL not being derisive – having a discussion, expressing an alternative point of view and commenting on a general lack of accountability in your field.

                • You’re not expressing an alternative point of view, you’re pointing to a horse and suggesting that if we wish real hard it might turn into a unicorn.

                  And buried under a mound of dross? Accountability? Because you’re butthurt that I won’t relent on the point that the guy who sucks at hitting is almost certainly going to continue to suck at hitting? For real??? Hahahahaha.

                  • Every time you say “butthurt” you equate yourself to some raging 12 year-old commenting on a Youtube video/playing an online video game. Please fucking grow up, and try and berate someone like a man.

                • Yeah, sorry jeff. Whether your point is valid or not, you’re being kind of a dick here…

            • EE and Bautista are the rare exceptions.

              At some point, we can be pretty sure that a player who hasn’t hit, will continue to not hit. At any rate, you cannot count on every player to turn it around, simply because EE and Bautista have. Those examples are so rare that they simply cannot factor into evaluations of other players.

          • He seems like he might be able to play a consistently good 2B in Skydome even though he can’t fucking hit. I’m also not sure the good glove outweighs the shitty bat, particularly if the shitty bat gets much shittier once he’s been seen.

            • Actually EE showed signs of being a decent hitter. His defense left a lot lacking, but there were reasons that people hoped his power would shine through and become consistent.

              • Buh? I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about Goins. Goins is a crappy hitter with a good glove.

          • Because he plays really good defense and other viable options are limited? Let’s be conservative here and say that he continues to hit poorly, but making some marginal adjustments hits like a better (70-75 wRC+). Let’s say he continues to play stellar defense, but not at the blistering pace UZR and DRS have him pegged at, and he ends up being a 0.5-1.0 win player over a full season (if you bought the UZR and DRS projections, which again I’m not suggesting you should, he was on pace to be a 2-win player). He only costs you 500k and that’s still a 3.5-4 win improvement over the production they got at 2B last year (-3.1 WAR). Do you really want to pay someone like Phillips $10.5 million more for what will amount to a 1-2 win improvement at the most in 2014 and much less in the future? Especially when that’s likely eating a lot of your budget?

            • If the concern is payroll, you still have alternatives. If it’s less a concern, then yes, you should.

              I mean, you’re suggesting you’d be satisfied with a 0.5 win player? Because that’s setting the bar spectacularly low. And you really shouldn’t believe whatever projections you’re seeing, simply because of the sample they’re looking at– if you even mean projections and aren’t just extrapolating. Chances on defence aren’t distributed evenly, and just because Goins had the opportunity to blow up his UZR with some tremendous plays doesn’t mean that he’ll get those opportunities as often over the course of a full year. Look at what the Steamer projection on his FanGraphs page has him at: a tenth of a win above replacement level over half a season. That seems a whole lot closer to correct to me than two wins.

              Even still, aim higher. At the very least it would be nice to hear people say that their love for Goins is just irrational fan stuff, rather than twisting themselves in knots to try to show that he might not be terrible.

              • I don’t care if any of you guys think he can hit, truthfully I’d be more concerned with whether the scouts think he can hit. Not so long ago we had this young catcher who nobody thought could hit, and then he went to a new team and hit. Numbers mean a lot, it would be crazy to dismiss that, but to say a guy can’t hit based on his track record only indicates that he can’t currently hit, not that he can’t possibly improve and learn how to hit.

                I don’t mean to imply Goins will be Yan Gomes redux, just to say that we can’t conclusively say he will never hit. There are always exceptions, guys who make that one adjustment and improve significantly. I don’t think Goins has the physical tools to become a great hitter, but I lean towards anybody having the athleticism that is required to be a great fielder could potentially translate some of those physical abilities into improved skills at the plate.

                • You’re still talking about a 300 PA sample from Gomes.

                  Bigger point, though, is that of course there are exceptions and surprises. It’s a great game that way. But let’s see him, I don’t know, maybe not fucking suck at Buffalo before we go waxing poetic about his athletic ability translating to hitting potential. There are plenty of tremendous athletes who can’t hit big league pitching.

              • I don’t think you read my post clearly. I wasn’t suggesting Goins was going to keep up the pace he had last season. If he did, he’d end up being a 2 win player, but like I said, I’m not trusting metrics over such a small sample. What I suggested was that he’d provide a lot of defensive value (not at the insane level he did in 2013) and marginally improve with the bat but still be really bad. In the end, a 0.5-1.0 win player. Also, you’re not asking the right question. It’s not about whether or not you’d be satisfied with a 0.5 win player at 2B, it’s about whether or not you’d be satisfied with a 0.5 win player at 2B with the acquisitions you could make at SP and C with the assets/money you didn’t devote to 2B. If you take out Goins’ contributions, the production we got from everyone else at 2B was close to -3.5 wins last season. Even having a player who’s only worth a little more than replacement level is a huge upgrade.

                I’m also not sure how I suggested he wasn’t terrible. Would you not classify a 0.5-1.0 win player as bad? Because I clearly stated that’s what I realistically expected him to be, and that’s well below average.

                • So then why are you arguing to keep him?

                  • Because I think SP and C are greater areas of need and, like I said, even a realistic projection of Goins where he ends up being a bad player represents a huge upgrade at the position (4 wins). Brandon Phillips could be 1-1.5 wins better than that, but is that really worth 11 million when you have limited resources? If you could get Ubaldo for 13 million per at 4 years, wouldn’t that be more bang for your buck? I think 2.5 fWAR is a reasonable estimate for him. That represents a much bigger upgrade over guys like Rogers (replacement level) for not much more money. If you sign someone like Pierzynski to replace JPA and project him to be a 1.5-2.0 fWAR (again, something I think is reasonable) at 1/6, that represents a bigger upgrade than Phillips (2.0-2.5 wins) at a much lower cost. Could they make all three of these moves? I’m not in the room so I’m not in any position to say they can’t. But I have more reasons to believe they can’t (or are not willing to).

                    I think there are better opportunities to upgrade at those SP and C given what’s available and the fact that they Jays have limited resources. If they can improve at all three positions, I’m not saying they shouldn’t. And if they can sign Ellis to 2/10, I’m all for it. But Phillips over Goins doesn’t make sense to me in terms of the improvement he’d provide vs. what he costs, when you consider the team’s other needs.

    • I think if AA can make the appropriate upgrade at catcher both offensively and defensively and + a healthy melky I think Goins can play and hit 9th the Jays offensive can still be productive and even really good (as long as theres no subtractions… Bautista) and if needbe AA can look to acquire a 2b at the 2014 trade deadline.

      Offseason plan: Sign Ubaldo, trade for catcher

  2. Brandon Phillips is also 32 years old though. On the surface, I hate the idea of giving up young talent for veteran talent.

  3. It’s not a ton to give up, but I’d rather spend $13M/year on a pitcher a stick Goins at second than make this deal.

    • .252/.264/.345 in 121 MLB plate appearances. Two walks. SSS, yes, but he wasn’t much better in Buffalo.

      Goins bat just isn’t going to be as palatable as people want to believe.

      • Not trying to say Goins is going to be good, just that I’d rather have a $13M Pitchers, and live with Goins as is, as opposed to trading for Phillips.

        • Put Goins in Buffalo and give him another year to develop the bat.

          If it does not come along they can decide next year whether or not
          to sign him as a “defense only” backup a la Brendan Ryan.
          Meanwhile, he’s insurance.

          Rather than acquiring aging & expensive vets who are already in decline,
          I’d rather see AA go after a Dustin Ackley type for 2B
          and a Hank Conger type for catcher.

          We’ve heard rumours about Conger before and Ackley,
          a former top prospect, has been displaced by Nick Franklin.
          Neither should cost a king’s ransom.

          At least they both have some upside.
          If they’re not working out, he won’t have enough invested in them
          that he can’t change direction during the season.

          • Not sure why those teams are so keen to give those guys up. The Angels and Conger especially– you’d think Iannetta is the guy they want to move.

      • Ryan Goins = John MacDonald. Fun to watch play defense, and barely better than a pitcher with the bat. He’s a great backup utility infielder who does not deserve to get more than 150 PA per season in the big leagues. If the team were in rebuild mode, I’d be all for giving him a spot to hold down until a better fit were there, but this team has to behave like a winner, like, yesterday. John MacDonald is not the starting shortstop on a World Series Team, and while Pete Kozma was, he shouldn’t have been. Ryan Goins doesn’t belong there either.

      • 0.4 fWAR in 34 games. SSS again, but maybe there is something to Goins here. No, he probably won’t ever even be an average hitter, but one can’t completely dismiss the value he provides defensively.

        • It’s all based on defence, and it was quite inflated by the number of opportunities he had for big plays. You can’t just prorate his defensive work over the course of a full season. Which isn’t to dismiss the value– he certainly provides a lot with the glove– but I don’t think we can extrapolate like that.

          • I do agree with you. Goins really wouldn’t be my first choice to put on the field every day, but I do think he’s a better option than Phillips at this point. If the Jays decide to play Goins in 2014, I’m okay with that. But there should be better options out there than a guy who has declined a couple years in a row now, and is still owed quite a bit of coin.

            Maybe a Jhonny Peralta would make sense?

            • Goins a better choice than Phillips?????

              • I have to disagree with you here Stoeten.

                I do understand and realize Goins can’t hit, and I don’t think his defense is even that great but we ranked 9th in runs scored and 27th in runs against. I think making a defensive decision at one position may be a decent idea, not to mention the extra cash could go towards a pitching improvement.

                I’m not here to absurdly say Goins is a good idea there, but going with the internal guy making under 500k who may be replacement level over 400+ PA may not be such a bad idea. We also have Maicer Izturis who I think can be a 1-2 fWAR guy.

                Like I hate using lame tools to prove a point, but .220/.275/.300 with average base running and slightly above average defense (On a scale of 1 to 7 with 1 being best, I chose 3.) he is replacement level, which I will take.

                Again, you can’t justify doing that at every position, but I’d rather sign a solid #4 starter than get Phillips, and his contract. As much as I like aging, expensive .260/.310/.396 hitters, I would rather go internal with this one.

                Then again if we can net a guy like Phillips who is under team control, I’m game.

                • Getting a non-black hole behind the plate then becomes an issue, though. Also, I’m not sure why I’m supposed to believe replacement level is adequate, or why the need for the either-ors: Phillips or nothing? Phillips or a #4 starter? Goins or nobody else on a cheap contract?

  4. I’m not taking Phillips’ salary on if the Reds aren’t taking Romero’s. Would much rather they just spend that sort of commitment on McCann and keep Cecil & Gose.

    • This is a very reasonable comment.

      • Except for the McCann coming here bit.

        • Stop tramplin’ on our dreeeeeemz!

        • *sniff sniff* ;(
          Is McCann going to get a lot more than Phillips is earning?
          (I know, he probably wants to go to another team…)

        • I haven’t read anything that suggests McCann will do something other than follow the dollars. Ricciardi had no problem bringing over the FAs he wanted when Rogers didn’t have him in handcuffs.

          • Not happening.

            • Agreed. McCann will follow the dollars, but I’m not paying the 5/100M he’s asking. I’d rather get Brad Pitt to star in a Jays themed movie and spend the remaining 10M on a starter.

              • It would be tough to fill up the 90 minutes since the 2013 Jays season ended so much sooner than Billy Beane’s second last rendition of good A’s teams.

    • why would they trade phillips if they have to take back a shitty contract? At least we would be getting a serviceable player. They would literally just be performing charity work picking up RR. Im sure there are no organizations out there think Romero has a reasonable chance of turning it around. Even in his BEST years he was graced with fluky numbers.

      • Because they’re getting back Cecil & Gose, and should be paying for that if you determine that while Phillips’ contract isn’t a sunk cost, it has virtually zero surplus value.

  5. Let’s be intellectually honest with ourselves here. Any player the Jays sign or trade for is going to fall off the face of a cliff and have a career-worst season. I base this on nothing more than a wounded, scarred psyche.

  6. The two things I take away from this aren’t even related to the trade:

    1) I don’t like the idea of trading Gose because it really destroys their flexibility in deciding what to do with Rasmus.

    2) If Nathan and Rodney are actually worth anything close to that (and I find it hard to believe they are) then I think Janssen’s value may be a lot higher than we’ve been thinking.

    • Good point on number two.

      • I still believe a package I threw out there a while ago (Janssen, Happ, Nolin, Izturis for Kendrick, Iannetta) wasn’t too ridiculous. Looking at it again I think it might be a little light, but not drastically.

      • Aren’t Rodney and Nathan hard throwers? Don’t GMs still typically value hard throwers more than results?

        • I’m too lazy to check facts, but I’d be surprised if Nathan still threw very hard. He can’t still be throwing faster than 92ish, can he?

          • Maybe not. I was too lazy to check as well. Shall we go with “big name” then? I honestly don’t think they could get too much for Janssen.

            • FWIW, a few mlb highlight videos show Nathan hitting 94 on the radar gun, so that’s faster than I was thinking.

              But yeah, big name, “proven,” etc. are likely big factors too.

        • Rodney had a great K rate of 11.1/9 innings last year. But his walk rate of 4.86/9 innings indicates to me that he’s living on borrowed time as a closer.

      • Any way to spring Wong from the Cardinals? He’d be someone I’d be ok with giving up Gose for, and they are going to have a terrible defensive OF next year.

        • I wasn’t too lazy to look it up. Joe Nathan’s fastball this season averaged 92.3 MPH in 2013. His career average is 93.5.

  7. My first thought when I heard this was “Maybe without Gose”, so yeah, Pillar instead of Gose would be fine with me too.

    I’d also want some sort of confirmation from Rogers of increasing the payroll sufficiently to ensure that acquiring another bad contract in Phillips wouldn’t preclude them from doing anything else, and that’s the part that I’d be extremely hesitant about.

  8. I know you’re not big on Goins, but given the limited budget, may he be the least of alternative evils?

    It seems as if a corner needs to be cut a somewhere to save on cash. Shedding salary aside, it seems using that cash for starting pitching and catching might be the highest priority.

    • I’d be far more willing to bet on Maicer than Goins next year, personally. If they are cutting a corner, I’d say planning on giving Maicer the majority of at bats over Goins would make more sense.

      • Even with a bit of a bounce back, Izturis’ slash line would look a lot like Goins’ this year, with considerably worse defenae, admittedly at the expense of a roster spot. I’m not sure I can stomach Izturis as the every day 2nd baseman again.

        • If you look at Izturis’s career rather than just last year, Goins should be thrilled if he manages to be close to as proficient with the bat as he is. You can make a solid argument that Izturis was a better hitter than Goins last year, and that’s Izturis’s worse year with the bat…ever.

          • Yes, if you look at Maicer’s career, his defensive stats break down more favourably at second base than at either shortstop or third base.

            I personally wouldn’t be unhappy to see Maicer left alone at second base and the financial resources be allocated to picking up a SP and C instead. Consider that Maicer was yanked all over the infield at the beginning of the year with the Lawrie and Reyes injuries and that it was his first year on the home turf, so it’s no wonder he started off brutally when he didn’t have a regular position or a chance to get fully acclimatized at any one of the three positions on a lightning fast turf.

            Put him at 2B and leave him alone, don’t budge him away from there… see if he doesn’t have a nice bounce-back season with an increased comfort level.

            • A quick look at the stats on Fangraphs:

              It’s not much, but Izturis’ defensive metrics at 2B is 1.8 UZR/150 (that’s even with the -26.7 from this past season included) as compared to -0.3 at 3B and -3.1 at SS.

              Maicer has had a bounce-back season before – he was at -5.9 at 2B in 2011 and then was 32.3 in 2012.

      • at least goins can defend the position… izturis is the rare combination of awful defense coupled with bad offense and poor base running.

        • he was this past year. I don’t think, historically, that has been the case…

        • Not really, no. Look at his career rather than last year exclusively. I also think there’s something to telling a guy he’s going to play the position exclusively, rather than jerk him around all over the infield.

        • He’s better than you think.

  9. Just to throw this out there, another team that has a catcher and second baseman apparently available in trade is the Angels.

    Chris Iannetta: 30, 2 WAR average over last 3 years, owed 2Y/$10.5M
    Howie Kendrick: 30, 3.8 WAR average over last 3 years, owed 2Y/$18.85M

    Ryan Hanigan: 33, 1.5 WAR average over last 3 years, owed ~2.3M in arbitration for 2014 (free agent afterwards)
    Brandon Phillips: 32, 4.0 WAR average over the last 3 years, owed 4Y/$50M

    The price for Iannetta and Kendrick would be a lot more, presumably, which makes sense since their younger and offer better contract terms. So what’s the point of this comparison… I’m not exactly sure. But looking at 2014, you’d be getting similar talent for about the same salary (again, just in 2014).

    • I was championing this type of deal with the Angels a while back… problem is, I’ve read they want “young pitching” in return

  10. Player A .263 .343 .316
    Ryan Goins (AAA) .257/.311/.369

    Player A is the great Manny Lee, 1992 Blue Jays WS ring wearer

    flags fly forever

    • Completely different era, Lee was barely passable, and he STILL has 32 points of OBP on Goins in TRIPLE A. And yet this is the argument you’re choosing to make?

      At least look at Goins’ less awful Double-A numbers, for fuck sakes.

      • Why do people think he’s good?

        • Hitting streak at the front end of his callup, and a failure to pay attention to how bad it got by the end, plus the fact that he definitely played excellent defence, I suspect.

          I understand the idea of a defence-first guy there, and I think it’s a good one for the Jays, but that doesn’t make any old bat palatable. I just don’t see why fans are so insistent on settling or banging the drum about priorities as much as they do. They can quite easily fill their needs.

          • I think most people think he is good because that is what they heard from the announcers. If the announcers say things enough..people tend to start just believing it. As I recall, he also had an inordinate amount of “clutch” plays both in the field and at bats early on.

            So really its just bullshit

      • Manny Lee was terrible.

      • I think the lesson here should be that even the WS teams can carry one crappy bat. The problem here is JPA and that would mean two crappy bats. It might be easier to get a 2B in this market than a better catcher (as hard as that is to believe with Arencibia`s basement-defying numbers) for cost.

        • Sure a team can carry a crappy bat and get away with it. However, why set out trying to do that? Shouldn’t they aim higher?

        • No the real issue is that goons would make arencibibro look like a good hitter comparatively if exposed to a full season. Arencibibro embarrasses triple A pitching and goons is terrible there…… Having goins would be like arencibias bat, minus about 20 home runs. Hell I’d be willing to bet even John McDonald would look like a good hitter comparatively

    • The fact that they had a poor offensive player on the team in 1992 doesn’t mean they should be happy to have one in 2013. I’m sure they could make the playoffs with Goins at 2B, but they should still be looking to improve.

    • .343 OBP is quite good, and if goins could post that number over a full season he’d be everyone’s starting 2B in a heartbeat. However he neither makes enough contact or walks enough to have that kind of number in the big leagues. I think the more you play him, the more he gets exposed, like JPA. Best suited as a super sub, and it will be fantastic to have a bench player who can actually play defence.

      The only reason I would hold out hope for goins’ bat, is if Kevin Seitzer can work some magic. It’s a remote possibility, but I think Seitzer’s model of hitting fits players like goins perfectly, and he is still young enough to learn and improve.

      It’s the kind of lightning in a bottle theory that should not preclude the jays from finding someone who can actually reasonably hold down the position for a season or two.

    • I think your right. We need to clean house and go with a 2014 starting lineup of

      C Jack Murphy
      1B Jim Negrych
      2B Ryan Goins
      3B Andy Laroche
      SS Muninori Kawasaki
      LF Ryan Langerhans
      CF Kevin Pillar
      RF Moises Sierra
      DH Luis Jimenez

      Flags Fly Forever bra

  11. a couple of points:

    in this scenario Hamilton could move back to the IF and take over 2B… his skill set is probably better suited to 2B than SS.

    i’d be reluctant to take on Phillips decline phase unless the reds were taking back some dough… romero would be great but happ is probably makes more realistic.

    I think the worst suggestion was for the A’s to trade Reddick for didi gregorius when they are probably a year away from having addison russell take over SS and have a perfectly good place holder in lowrie.

    • I think they lose a lot of the value of Hamilton’s speed by putting him at second, and it’s not like he was a wizard at short anyway, so I’m not sure about that.

      You’re right that some of the suggestions are pretty bad, though– especially the A’s one.

      • Wait… this trade DOES make sense for the Reds. With Hamilton and Gose in the outfield, they don’t need a third outfielder. Five infielders and a bunch of ground ball pitchers.

        Genius.

      • in a vacuum you are right about Hamilton’s speed playing better in CF… but the reports on him weren’t great on him out there last year. makes me wonder if he’s a guy like rajai with great speed but poor OF instincts… or maybe he just needs more reps in the OF.

    • Don’t give up on Happ so easily, or compare the current Happ to the current Romero.

      There is only negative value to the current Romero contract.

      There is still surplus value in Happ’s contract, and plenty of miles left on his arm. With the FA market looking to shape up as it probably will, Happ’s contract is going to look even better.

      This being said I hope Romero rebounds.

  12. The Reds do apparently like Billy Hamilton at 2B if they move Phillips.

  13. I don’t want Phillips. I just have an unrational hate for him.

    Plus paying him $13 million seems excessive.

    • I don’t think the issue with Phillips is his contract so much (I really don’t think it’s terrible…he really only has to put up 7 WAR total over the next 4 years to make it a reasonable FA contract to hand out), but the thought that you would give up anything significant for what can, at best, be considered a “not terrible” contract, seems pretty questionable to me. I’m genuinely curious to see what the Reds get for him.

      • Given the cost in prospects wouldn’t it make more sense to just go out and get infante? The quality isn’t that far off, and cost maybe not either, but younger and no prospects to get him…. I hate the idea of trading for Phillips. Old slugger maybe, but old middle infielder whose value is inflated by RBI totals because of votto

  14. He’s certainly not my favourite 2B option, but I think I’d prefer to sign Omar Infante rather than sending out some fairly significant value for Phillips. MLB-TR projects Infante as getting ~25MM/3 years this offseason, as opposed to Phillips’ 50MM over the next 4. Infante is half a year younger and has had pretty much the same value as Phillips over the last 2 years (better stick, worse glove)…I don’t know, I just don’t see Phillips as being all that special anymore. Even if Phillips is a win or so better than Infante in each of the next 3 seasons, I think I’d prefer to take Infante’s lower production in exchange for the extra dough and getting to keep Gose et al.

    • May be underestimating how much infante will cost. MLBTraderumors has him at 3 years $25mill, but given there are few 2B options on the market, would not surprise me if he gets 4 years $40mill. I thought Phillips was a lot more expensive, but you’d actually be getting him for 4 years $50mill, so assuming the run of crazy FA overpays continues, Phillips might not be a bad investment at all.

  15. Any thoughts of having an offseason Hotstove online chat?

  16. If what Griffin said earlier in his post is true, which it must be to some degree, then I don’t see how the Blue Jays could pass on pursuing Cano.

    Stealing Cano away from the Yankees would certainly be a huge boost to attendance & would probably guarantee huge crowds for the first few months (regardless of winning or losing).

    In terms of roster management, signing Cano would not only seal the defensive hole at 2nd, but it would be enough of a boost to the overall offence that it could make trading other pieces much more reasonable. For example, Rasmus could be expendable and valuable piece and his offensive value would not be missed when Cano is replacing it, plus some. It would also make playing Anthony Gose/Kevin Pillar everyday much more reasonable.

    Just for thought, the Jays could, hypothetically, sign Cano, sign Ubaldo (b/c at this point I think most of us think this would be a good idea), and use Rasmus + to address another void, in the rotation or behind the plate. This would be a good way to upgrade the current roster without sacrificing crucial minor league depth.

    They have the overall payroll flexibility in the coming years to handle an albatross contract, if it were ever to get to that point. However, it remains to be seen whether those resources are entirely available to the Front office. If AA and Beeston can convince Rogers to spend at the limit of the Luxury Tax, which the conglomerate can undoubtedly afford, then it shouldn’t be much of a decision of whether or not to go for it.

  17. What about Mark Ellis. he is old but is sound defensively, 3 war last year and 2/12 million might do it. It would cost in prospects or draft picks.

    • Mark Ellis has two seasons with an ops+ over 100 in the last ten years.

      he sucks and last year was about as good as it will get for him

      not buying this dude as anything more than a utility spot starter.

      • I’m pro Ellis as well. Platoon him with Izturis to take advantage of the platoon split and he doesn’t look so bad. Plus he would still be way better than either what we could expect from Goins or from what we got last year.

  18. I agree with the retaining Gose sentiment. Too much uncertainty with Colby and contracts and lets not gorget Colby has also struggled to get through a whole season healthy. We need Gose in case (esp) for this year. We can not bank on healthy season from all our players. That being said. I am optimistic that we will see a rejuvenated Milk Man in LF. After looking more into his issue (as much as we have been told) it does sound as if the tumor played a major role in his overall health. We as a fanbase ought to be feeling good about him. That being said, if we can obtain a better catcher or 2b, one more starter, I feel good about our chances to at least compete. I do think there are worst things starting the year with JPA still behind the dish.

  19. Would not cost in prospects or draft picks.
    I

  20. Why would the Reds wanna do this trade? Salary dumping purposes? None of the Jays player in the list are that good. (well Cecil is a no doubt sell high candidate)

    I would much rather expand this deal to include a SP from Cin. The Reds have starting pitching to deal if they move Chapman into a starting role , Philips plus any SP to TOR for any combination of Delabar/Cecil/Jessen, Gose, Hutch, any pitching prospect not name Sanchez/Stroman. Heck if the Reds have doubt about Billy Hamilton maybe even throw Rasmus in there instead of Gose. I don’t know.

    AA: please find a way to make this work

  21. Rogers opening up their wallet to acquire talent could also mean overpriced contracts in trade a la Phillips.

    Of course the pieces going the other way can’t be significant if your adding inflated contracts. So I agree the package above is probably too much for the Jays to give up. Subtract Gose though or sub in Sierra or Pillar as mentioned for example and it makes more sense.

    Are there better C and 2b in free agency that only cost money? Probably. But will they take the Jays money and are they better value long term?

  22. i would rather sign Infante then even consider phillips or kinsler

  23. No NL stiffs please

  24. Infante will end up making close to what Brandon Phillips, at least on a yearly basis. Kinsler is locked in for 5 years at 67 mil, or 4 at 60 million. 4 years at 50 million for a gold glove second baseman. Ummm, really, he would be an amazing addition to this team, and we would fill our two lineup holes with one trade. The only way this trade makes sense thou, is if the Jays can re-up Rasmus, off setting the lose of Gose, or as Stoeten suggested, Pillar might make more sense for both clubs.

    I doubt this would happen, but it is a deal I could definately live with.

  25. Agree that this trade makes no sense from the Reds perspective. Cecil would be the third best lefty out of that bullpen (fourth if Cincinnati keeps Parra) behind Chapman and Marshall. Gose and Hamilton are at this point essentially the same player (Gose has a better glove, Hamilton the better speed) Goins doesn’t have a place on the Reds at all (not with Schumaker and Hannahan on the bench) and Dean is too far away to really be a factor here anyway.

    Also, the Reds would be trading away their best RH hitter without getting a proven MLB hitter back. Not gonna happen.

  26. How about just sign Navarro, Ubaldo and Mark Ellis?

    Keep all assets.

    • Navarro has been kinda awful most of his career. I’d prefer pierzynski as a someone who is a good bet to hold down a starting job.

      • pierzynski had an obp of 297 last year, has only had a WC+ over 100 3 times in his career and only once in the past decade, and he is roughly 1,000,000 years old in Catcher Years.

        Navarro, although his lows have been lower, has also had higher highs…. and he is not 1 million years old.

  27. Interestingly enough, Tom Verducci just posted a similar idea in what he thought AL/NL teams with severe needs ought to do. He had the Jays with the worst 2B and LF in the AL, but curiously not the worst catcher (that went to Chicago).

    Anyways, he suggested we ought to trade for Brandon Phillips, and give Melky one more tumour-less year in left, to see if it really was all about the health.

  28. Second base is one of those odd spots for Toronto. I mean, they’ve got holes in their rotation and catcher, and if it were me, I’d worry about those spots before 2nd. Not because we’re set but because if we go into the season with some form of Izturis/Goins at 2nd, I’d be okay. I’m probably the only one, but I’d be fine. The early season was plagued with bad defense and he did well in that department. Sure, he can’t hit, but I’d be willing to sacrifice the bat at 2nd for good D, especially if we find a catcher that can hit reasonably well.

    Again, it’s probably just me though. All this talk of Kinsler and Phillips seems pointless when we should be looking at the rotation.

  29. hmm

  30. Fuck it! Throw Chapman in and we got a deal!

  31. I’m not sure why people feel the jays need to fill holes at 2b and catcher before the holes in their rotation.

    No team has a solid 1-9, Red Sox won the World Series with salty, drew, and a few other weak position players.

    Jays have a solid top and middle of the order. They don’t need to go crazy looking for a second baseman, izturis batting ninth is just fine. Get pitchers

    • Get a starting pitcher. Pitchers??? I would add a catcher way before added multiply pitchers, when there seems to be an abundance of starting pitchers that have enough upside(Stro, Hutch, Drabek), or who emerge last year(Redmond, Rogers), not to mention whatever depth is going to be added over the course of the winter. We have a huge need of having a starting catcher whos name isn’t J.P. or Josh.

      • Everything you said is wrong

        Relying on stroman and Hutchinson going in to next year is absurd. They should fight for the 5th spot max

      • I’m not actually opposed to relying on Stroman and Hutchison. There are worse things the Jays could do. I mean, at the least you’d hope they could do better than the 4.26 team ERA the Jays pitchers put up last year.

        I’m not advocating that as a first choice preference; just saying putting those two into the rotation isn’t that bad of an idea. Hutchison was a pretty good prospect once upon a time.

  32. I like Philips but never at the price of Gose. At worst, Gose’s floor is a Rajai Davis with a canon arm and great fielding. He can be an asset anywhere in the outfield. He’d be the natural successor to Bautista in right if Bautista is traded and is the natural successor to Rasmus in CF. He’s also the logical successor to Melke in left if Melke doesn’t rebound this year. Rasmus had a good year last year but he has the arm of a thalidomide baby and his stats hide a lot of balls he missplays into hits, not errors. AA spent so much time and energy getting Gose, I can’t see him being traded in just about any scenario.
    As for Izturis/Goins, given his salary and history, Izturis is clearly the current incumbent at second, not Goins, who is merely a good defensive sub at this point. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he at least starts the year at second. Now that he’s had time to adjust to the turf, the city and his new team, he’s likely to bounce back this year. I think bailing on him or getting Philips and his big contract at anything less than a discount would be a bad idea. The same is even more true of Kinsler. If you/re willing to spend that much money on that little talent, go all in and see if you can get Cano for 5 years at 150 million or work something out for Andrus/Profar in trade. Up until last year, Izturis was a pretty good Swiss Army knife of a utility outfielder and I was glad when the Jays signed him. Going all in on Philips or Kinsler smacks of desperation to me. Cano would give a giant boost to fan interest, ticket sales and the on field team but he’s a pipe dream probably. I’d rather see the Jays go after a young, relatively inexpensive lottery ticket at second (eg Kozma, Ackley, Tejada, Jemile Weeks) than have them pay dearly for over the hillers like Infante, Philips or Kinsler.
    As for pitching, I don’t agree with the premise that we need two more starters. The Jays will be much deeper next year without doing anything at all. Morrow should be better, and we add Stroman, Hutch and Drabek, none of whom were options last year. If I were to trade a pitcher, it would be Buerhle with his huge back-loaded contract or Happ. I’d really be looking to trade Lind and (obviously) Arencibia, if I could get anywhere near book value. I’d also be dealing middle relievers like they were going out of style but I’d make them pay dearly for Jansen who is an under-rated closer, even by Jays fans. I wouldn’t be trading any prospects in our top five and I’d keep those two first round picks in a fine draft year too.
    In short, I think the Jays need to give the team they assembled last year a chance to perform like we thought they would last year. All those new players take time to gel, especially when so many of them get hurt. Get a catcher and a pitcher and then reassess at the end of June. Pressing the panic button and making wholesale changes is not the smart play here. Baseball is a team game and players need to get used to each other, their stadium, their fans and opposing pitchers before you can make an accurate assessment.

    • Well written, IMO (although I can’t hardly wait for Stoets to poke about a billion holes in it)
      Good luck trading Buerhle and that 37M deal, though. Mind you, it’s only for 2 years.
      I’m also not in favour of burning through any more of our prospects. I’d hate to give up Gose, for the reasons you stated…even if my grandmother can hit better than Gose. He’s a logical fill-in in the outfield – and could easily slide into any of those positions. I’m not sure what Melky will do next season – we could see a revitalized guy, or another crap season. Either way, AA has a few outfield decisions to make after 2014, and it would be nice to have a guy like Gose in your back pocket.
      Give me one starter, an upgrade at catcher….and a guy or two off the bench. I think DeRosa’s absence will be acutely felt. Veteran presents, and all.

  33. The Jays need to fortify defensively first, and while Phillips is by all accounts, one of the better defenders at his position, that price tag doesn’t really fit. The Cubs have a couple low key position players who could fit, namely; Welington Castillo, a great defensive catcher in his second year, and Darwin Barney, a very solid fielding 2B, who could platoon with Goins.

  34. Good post Roy. The only thing that I would add is that a good catcher makes your pitching staff better. Keep our prospects and get young controllable talent. Someone to Seattle for Ackley and some young pitching.

  35. This would be an awesome deal for us. At least he comes up with better trades offers for us than some Toronto media guys. Jeff Blair suggested dealing Bautista to the Reds where the main thing coming back was Brandon Phillips. Apparently Jeff is not a fan of the OPS stat.

  36. And why are we so down on making a move for Kinsler? Profar has to play SOMEWHERE…

  37. I didn’t hear the PTS interview, but Ben Nicholson-Smith tells me on the Tweeter that AA thinks JPA’s bat will rebound and that they’ve not considered him as a backup.

    • ya AA was either trying to polish a rock before trading as a gem or truly believes JP is in line for a comeback season. One really valid point imo was he pointed out that Pitbull was the only starter the he worked with last year all season from start to finish and Buehrle had a Buehrle season by all accounts. I can see what he is saying as MB has said before when he pitches he looks at what the catcher calls and throws the ball. that being said I don’t know if he was being honest with willing to bring him back as a starter next year.

    • If you are a Jays fan, it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.

      Ugh….

    • Yup that’s what I got from it too so don’t be shocked if JPA is still a possibility as the main guy next year.

    • I just saw the “Ask Bob” segment at the end. By the sounds of it, AA as much as said JPA would not be retained as a back-up. However, he did not say that he would not be retained.

      Some of it will be a GM not killing his own players, but AA basically said JPA is the starting C next year or he’s gone. (So I guess it’s not that newsworthy…)

      Stoeten, the whole AA interview and the Brunt/Bob segment at the end would make for a great post (hint, hint).

    • That’s not how it was said at all.

    • Kiss of death?

  38. question: can we accept a JP return? I may have drank the AA Kool-Aid…

    • I guess the question is, would the fans at the RC boo him right from the start?

      I wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t bet there wouldn’t be a lot of irate fans. And that could get unpleasant really quickly as the media will jump at asking JPA about the boos. I think it’s a pretty untenable situation to keep him here.

      And he’s terrible…so that’s an even better reason to move on…

      • This is not the question, because you guys aren’t reading between the lines here.

        • No…I understand the need to not take what a GM says about his own assets as literal gospel. I would suggest that IF Arencibia WERE retained, there would LIKELY be a fan backlash, which SHOULD be taken into consideration just on the basis of brand management.

          That’s a lot of conditionals…I look forward to reading your dissection of the whole spot. Don’t forget to factor in the Brunt/Bob part though (if you can) because that’s partly what is fuelling this particular type of response.

        • yes that was my question. it has nothing to do with the interview and everything to do with soliciting open conversation on whether we as a fan base could stomach seeing him one more year. that is all. there are no lines to read in between…

  39. Seriously though, Gose should never replace Rasmus. Hitting et all

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