Before it gets too stale, and before a fresh round comes our way– and… y’know… because there isn’t a whole hell of a lot else to do at the moment– let’s catch up on some highlights from Keith Law’s most recent chat with readers over at!

And for good measure, let’s throw in a few items from the week before– even though it was the most recent Thursday chat that really took the direct route in terms of their Jays-related tidbits.

To wit:

From Thursday, November 15th

James (San Diego)
AFL aside, what does the future hold for Aaron Sanchez?
Ace potential, but I’ve outlined my concerns with his delivery and still think that is a serious obstacle for him and the Jays.

I wrote about Sanchez yesterday, of course, and back on Thursday, and yeah… there are concerns about the short stride coming from more places than just Law. One of the issues, raised in yesterday’s piece, was about how the lack of stride impacted him, specifically, from the stretch. Funny– though certainly not “ha ha” funny– that similar concerns were being discussed yesterday about how Josh Johnson’s season went so badly awry, and that Brandon Morrow has had troubles from the stretch in the past, aaand how in today’s Daily Duce we noted a Gregor Chisholm piece where he suggested the club was re-thinking some of its player development strategy. Issues from the stretch weren’t specifically noted (and obviously Johnson was brand new to the organization this year), but still… interesting. Would be nice to see this, y’know, not be a thing.


Iain (Toronto)
Assuming the Jays look to their minor leagues for a 5th starter this year (i’m also assuming they go get a 3/4 guy somehow), where do you place your bet? Stroman? Hutchison? Drabek? other?
Stroman, probably over Hutchison as the latter may have a limited workload as he returns from injury.

This, actually, doesn’t sound as though it’s going to be the case. Last Tuesday, in our GM Meetings After Dark roundup post we noted that Alex Anthopoulos had told reporters that there wouldn’t be restrictions on Hutchison. Shi Davidi, in his post on it, figured that he could push 190 to 200 innings if the club allowed him to exceed his last healthy season’s total by 20 to 25 percent. Stroman, including the AFL, pitched just 123.1 innings this year, which would put him in the 150 range with a similar increase in workload. However, because he was suspended at the start of the year and pitching in extended Sprin Training, maybe the Jays would consider his actual total as being a bit higher.


G to the C (Toronto)
Does an Encarnacion Jannsen for Kinsler Holland trade make sense for both teams?
Not for Toronto.

KLaw notes later in the chat that “these trade ideas *never* work, by the way,” and… uh… yeah. Can we please stop with the fucking Kinsler talk? I know you know his name, but so what? He’s owed $62-million through 2017; he had one superstar year with the bat, and that was back in 2008; his huge WAR 2011 was built on a very good year at the plate, and a crazy amount of defensive value delivered, which he hasn’t come close to delivering since; and his power numbers, his walk rates, and his hitting overall (100 and 105 wRC+ in the last two years respectively) are all headed in the wrong direction. He’s still a good player, of course, but loses so much value if you’re just sticking him in a corner outfield spot, which you may have to– especially if you’re looking for a more shortstop-like second baseman– and is owed a tonne.

Now, I don’t know if I agree with Law here necessarily, because Holland’s deal looks pretty good ($25.3-million guaranteed until the end of 2016, with a couple of options), but… I’d still rather try to keep Edwin and sign a starter. And, more importantly, seriously, enough with the Kinsler hypotheticals.


Max Frutchman (Toronto)
You mentioned in a past chat that the Jays should have taken JP Crawford with their first pick this year. Do you think they can get a comparable talent at 11 in 2014 given the depth of the draft?
I wouldn’t bank on it.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance!


Rob (Toronto)
Sorry about that last question, I was in one of my drunken stupors when I wrote it.
As long as you’re getting enough to eat.

HEYO! Topical!


From Tuesday, November 5th

Johnny (Toronto)
Hitters offered less at Josh Johnson’s slider than in the past. Is that a function of his decreased fastball velocity?
I think so, although I also wonder how much of the velocity dip was due to the bone chips in his elbow.

I dunno… Johnson’s velocity this year was pretty much exactly the same as it was in 2012 with the Marlins, and he was pretty effective. Which isn’t to say I don’ think the overall notion is true– I was all for trying to keep Johnson, entirely because I think arm health probably had a lot to do with what went wrong for him this year.


Todd (Oakland)
Do you believe Brett Anderson will be a starting pitcher for either OAK or another team next year?
Another team.

One of these days the Jays are going to pick up an injury risk and actually have him exceed expectations, right? RIGHT???


zack (stl)
You seem more confident than a lot of analysts that Ubaldo’s improvement will carry over.
When I can tie it to specific mechanical or health changes, I’m far more confident in forecasting a change in performance to be real. Brandon Belt’s swing change is another good example.

I’m at the stage where I’m going to be disappointed if Ubaldo signs elsewhere. This is probably not good, on a lot of levels. Thing is, Anthopoulos will certainly do something. I mean, I can’t imagine him looking back on the offseason and wishing he’d have just kept Josh Johnson when he had the chance, right? RIGHT???


Ang_rioter (Dominican republic)
Three names that would fit in the Blue Jays uniform.
They’ll all fit. Except maybe Saltalamacchia. They’ll need to reduce the kerning or something.

Navarro certainly fits better, if you ask me. Castro would be even better, though, if you can get him for the right price.


Mayor Rob Ford (Toronto, ON)
Crack smoking is only a 50-game suspension for a first offence, right?
25 for a first offense, I think. But greenies are 50, unless you have a prescription!

I once yelled at Rob Ford as he was walking up the aisle at the Rogers Centre during a game. Of course, that was because of things he believed in completely intentionally, as a matter of choice, rather than whatever flaming nonsense is coming out of his mouth as he tries to deny reality and save his skin in the middle of the escalating train wreck that is his life. Which is to say, I suppose, that I was more into his early stuff, and now he’s gone a little too mainstream for my taste. Next thing you know he’ll be requesting formal attire or costume for council meetings, the pretentious fuck.


Dale (KY)
How scary is Tanaka with the 160 pitches followed the next day by another 18? Would any damage show up on medicals/physical?
It’s excessive, although not as much as when, say, Rice or TCU or some other college does that to a 19-year-old. Seeing damage probably requires an MRI, and even those aren’t always definitive – plus they often show damage that produces no symptoms.

Plenty of pitchers have gone years with partial tears in their elbows or shoulders without blowing out. Dustin McGowan went something like four years before his torn elbow ligament snapped. I know of guys who have tears in their shoulders and throw in the mid-90s with no pain. We know less than we think, and I’m including myself in there.

I’m getting the sense that there’s not a whole lot of reason for us to be paying too much attention to the whole Tanaka thing at this point anyway, but… there’s that. Hey, and a Dustin McGowan reference!

Comments (44)

  1. Jim Bowden is doing “a move for every team…” and this was his proposal for the Jays:

    “Toronto Blue Jays

    The Move: 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.


    • That’s not the MOST terrible thing I’ve ever seen. Dean and Gose are tough pills to swallow in that they have a lot of upside (supposedly), and Cecil is now our best Lefty in the bullpen… but yeah… sure…. I guess.

      Would prefer a deal that kept the Jays from having to pay the entirety of BPs salary though…

      • Brandon Phillips is overrated. Pass.

        • Brandon Phillips IS overrated. He is also significantly better than anyone the Jays currently have to play 2B.

          • True, but then you’re giving up players and taking on his salary. Are the Reds sending any money along with him?

            Also a guy who posted a 91 wRC+ last year, and 101 the year before.

            • as I said, I’d prefer a deal where the Jays get some salary help.
              But regardless, I’d take that deal. Average offense, which he ought to provide (with a chance for more) plus well above average defense would have a significant impact on the Jays.

      • You’d actually think for a second about moving Dean and Gose at this point?

        Maybe? I think I’d do it in a heartbeat.

        I dunno… going to do a full post on it.

        • I’d think… but then I’d do it anyway.

        • 1) Reyes, SS
          2) Rasmus, CF
          3) Bautista, RF
          4) Encarnacion, 1B
          5) Lind, DH
          6) Lawrie, 3B
          7) Phillips, 2B
          8) Cabrera, LF
          9) Hanigan, C

          Yeah… that looks like a pretty good lineup.

          • our lineup looked really good to start the year last year as well.

            unless we can pitch it won’t matter at all.

            why use any depth to get anything back beyond pitching?

          • That lineup there is one without any weaknesses besides catcher. That lineup is easliy one of the best in MLB (if we get it lol)

          • You think crybaby Philips would hit 7th?

            I mean, it makes sense… but he’s preceived as the type of player who would rally complain about that sort of thing,

            • I think the more pertinent question is, if you’re going to spend that much to acquire him, why would you bat him 7th?

              • Because you don’t construct a lineup based on how much you paid to acquire guys?

                • I’m just saying, if you’re paying that much to upgrade your offense at second base, and the new guy is getting slotted in 7th, maybe it’s not such a good trade idea after all.

                  Now if it was up to me, I’d put Phillips in 5th myself, with the possibility of bumping him down to 6th if Lawrie breaks out. I like Phillips, but I think we can do better than Hanigan, so I’d pass on this trade.

  2. “Next thing you know he’ll be requesting formal attire or costume for council meetings, the pretentious fuck.”

    Well played, Stoeten.

  3. I think I agree with your answer to Law’s answer to my question. I’m assuming Hutchison has the edge on Stroman for the 5th spot, barring a complete meltdown in spring training. Innings limits, service time clock, MLB experience, all factor in likely.

    That said we’ll probably end up seeing both of them a fair bit this season.

    • That bit from Davidi on Hutchison pitching 190-200 innings seems high.

      • Anthopoulos said no restrictions, so…

        • I find it hard to believe there’d be no restrictions after TJ surgery. Perhaps AA is trying to play up Hutch’s health a bit to make him more appealing to other teams. Obviously all teams will do their own medical evaluations, but it could help put Hutch in a conversation he would otherwise not have been in.

          Personally, I always liked the kid so I’d like to see him stick around. But I get the feeling this is posturing.

        • If AA said so then it must be true.

  4. “…I was all for trying to keep Johnson, entirely because I think arm health probably had a lot to do with what went wrong for him this year.”
    In the post on JJ 2 or 3 days ago his splits were mentioned and the fact that he got into trouble pitching from the stretch.
    Just a guess but, it sure sounds like his problem was injury related, especially since the post went on to say he couldn’t get “on top” of his FB from the stretch.
    Given all of that AA seems to be gambling that he will come up with a better #4. I wonder what JJ and his agent would’ve settled for?

    • I think they’d probably have ‘settled’ for $14 mil to stay in Toronto. It seems, on the open market, the Jays don’t think he’s even worth half that.

  5. Whether or not JJ’s performance from the stretch was injury related (note I think it was likely a factor..but not the main factor) is too big a question to throw a 14 million dollar bet on…when there are players available who have recently performed better without these unanswerable questions

    • A fair statement, but the certainty of retaining Johnson via the QO needs to be taken into account, because the availability of better options doesn’t mean that the Jays are necessarily going to be able to land them, or to land them at a price that makes sense.

      • The cost of retaining him via the QO can probably also be better judged after the offseason when we’ve gotten a better idea of the payroll parameters and what they’ve been spent on.

        I hate the idea of giving up an asset with such a high upside (considering he’s a year removed from talking about 9 figure extensions, the upside is definitely there). However, if the payroll really is tight and those 14M need to be spent elsewhere, then I guess it made perfect sense to extend the offer

      • His agent (Sosnick?) hinted very strongly that he’d be willing to settle for less. I wonder if AA even talked or just decided not to bother. I think I would’ve offered 8-10 Mill.

        • Don’t forget that he’s an agent. His hints were likely an attempt (at least to some extent) to prevent the QO tag from being hung on his client.

          Even if AA did offer something less than the $14 mill, it seemed like JJ was always looking towards rebuilding his value in a more pitcher friendly environment and would accept even less money to pitch in such a location (as evidenced by his desire to sign with the Giants or Padres).

          • To me what will be interesting is whether how much he signs for provides a hint of whether he’d have turned down the QO. He might have figured there was real risk to his longer term earning potential of pitching another year in Toronto and turned it down, even to sign in a place like San Diego or Miami for $5-7 mil.

            One year in Toronto at $14 mil, with maybe a great risk that his next contract would be another one year deal, this time at $3 or $5 mil, vs one year in, say, Pittsburgh at $5 mil with a better chance of a 3+ year contract at $10-$15 per?

      • Well, you also have a fair point . The risk is nobody worth paying ends up coming here for whatever reason. Still think that ’tis better to run the franchise in a pro-active manner with the belief that good players will sign if given market to slightly above market deals than it is to run the franchise from a defensive position (lets give him the QO because we might not entice anyone to come here)

    • no bad 1 year deals

      • That seems to be the popular thought, but if you look at it his last year with the Jays as a one-year deal (which essentially it was) then you can see how there is, in fact, such a thing as a bad one-year deal. I mean, when does it end? What if he shits the bed again on a year that you retained him via QO? Do you sign him again next year at next year’s QO price because there’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal?

  6. Does it make sense to try McGowan as a starter and hope he at least does well enough to make it to the super 2 deadline or whatever it’s called? Then if he is struggling he can have a little “rest” on the DL and we bring in Stroman.

    I’d love to see McGowan start a few games.

  7. This has nothing to do with anything, but h/t to Keith Law for contacting ESPN to help me get my Insider sub working again. What a guy.

  8. I have no idea how a Kinsler/Holland trade for EE/Janssen deal doesnt make sense for Toronto. First of all if KInsler were a free agent today he’d be getting a heck of a lot more than $62M. Unless he falls off a cliff you’d almost certainly see the 2018 option picked up for only $7 million more than the buyout pushing it to $69 million over 5 years. $13.8 per year is half of what Cano is gonna get for about 10 years. Also Holland is under control through 2018 if you pick up his very reasonable options in 17 & 18.

    To me that kind of value when you desperately need a starter and a 2b is worth 3 years of EE and 1 of Janssen.

  9. It’s been so long since I’ve seen Hutchinson pitch, I cannot remember what he was like. I would also really like to see this Stroman character pitch in the majors this year, as a 5th starter or otherwise

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