And the villabouts of the wherein Kelly!

Holy nails. Outstanding stuff on Marcus Stroman and his mechanics from Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball writing for the Hardball Times, as he tells us that the Jays’ 2012 first rounder, despite his lack of height, had comparable stuff and command on draft day than higher picks like Kevin Gausman and Michael Wacha, but “dropped because of myths he’s about to shatter.” The name Lincecum is evoked, and the suggestion is that Stroman probably starts at Buffalo for service time issues, but probably doesn’t need it. So… how many pitchers does Anthopoulos need to find this winter???

Sticking with Stroman, he finds himself twelfth on MLB.com’s top AFL prospects list, which is no small achievement– he’s ahead of Jorge Soler and Garin Cecchini– and which also sees him being touted as a starter in the big leagues this season. But it’s Aaron Sanchez who really shines, placing fourth (which is no slight– he’s behind only Byron Buxton, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell), and being called the AFL’s top starter. “He has top-of-the-rotation stuff and is ready for a move to the upper levels of Toronto’s system,” Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo write.

It’s a good news day for another former Jays first round pick… sort of. Today is the deadline for clubs to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, and Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com tells us that Deck McGuire has been added to the club’s 40-man roster in order to do so. Players not placed on the 40-man who risk selection now include Ricky Romero (fat chance), Sean Ochinko, and Kenny Wilson.

Or… actually, Brendan Kennedy tweets that the New Hampshire Fisher Cats have said that Wilson has been protected as well, even though the Jays themselves haven’t made it official.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Derrick Goold tweets (so you know it’s good as Goold) that Chris Carpenter has told the Cardinals he was retiring. Yeah… keeping a Carpenter and a Michael Young together with those mid-2000s Jays clubs might have been a thing. Taking that offer of David Wright for Jose Cruz Jr. (who they then let walk for nothing) would have helped too. Sigh. Great career for Big Carp nonetheless. Sad to see him go.

At Getting Blanked, Drew emerges from vacation jail to raise some giant red flags on Josh Johnson, as he suggests that San Diego is doubling down on risk, and questions belief in the peripherals because of factors demonstrating “an inherent hittability that doesn’t bode well for the future.” Great stuff.

Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter takes a look at some grimly realistic possible solutions to the club’s lack of a platoon partner for DH Adam Lind.

FanGraphs has some fun with DL data, showing that the Jays lost the fourth-most days to the DL in the Majors this year, and had the second-most number of total stints (in both cases behind the Yankees).

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, they’ve got themselves a handy free agent depth chart that’s worth checking out. Would be nice if they had platoon splits on there, but still worth a look.

If you’d like a slightly less rambling recap of what Alex Anthopoulos said on the radio last night than the one I provided– with video of McCown and Brunt talking to him thrown in for good measure– check out the latest from Ben Nicholson-Smith over at Sportsnet.

Mop Up Duty names three under-the-radar free agent options for the Jays that make what I called the grim possibilities in Bluebird Banter piece above look like Johnny effing Bench.

Not that I’d suggest making up fake rumours, but if you’re going to spitball a trade, you’d do well to remember these tips on how to do it from Baseball Prospetus (free article).

Elsewhere at BP, another non-paywall’d piece takes a look at ten free agents who are most likely to be overpaid.

Speaking of: Jays Journal asks the question I’m going to immediately roll my eyes at and say no to: could the Jays see buy-low quality in Johan Santana or Roy Halladay?

Not Jays-related, but an interesting exploration at Minor League Ball of whether it’s time to just stop using ERA altogether, replacing it with RA/9.

Lastly, it’s more podcastery, as this week’s Quazcast with Jeff Pearlman talks to Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo. Uh… ask your older brother.

Comments (106)

  1. Great dump Stoets. Your shit so far this off season has been amazing. Thanks for all your great work digesting all this stuff.

  2. great news about Stroman and Sanchez.

    the AAA Buffalo rotation is already stacked: Stroman, Nolin, Hutch, Jenkins, McGuire. that’s really nice pitching depth

    and that’s a heck of a lot more promising than 2013′s rotation of Justin Germano, Ricky Romero, Thad Weber, Dave Bush, and Claudio Vargas.

    the question is where does Romero go? i can’t imagine he’d be happy pitching out of the Buffalo bullpen but he really can’t be in the rotation. he’s in the way of the long-term health of those prospects and the franchise.

  3. Even without Johnson, and without huge expectations for Melky, I really feel like this team is better positioned for success than the squad last year.

    • I agree with you. All they need to do is get off to a good start, winning games out of the gate, then we’ll hear about how this years club has much better chemistry than last year(rolls eyes). There is the talent for a heavy offensive team, and prospects for break out starting pitchers. Seriously thou, I would like our chances alot better if we had another catching option then Josh and J.P.

  4. I think Halladay is done, but not so sure about Santana. Yeah his last good season was 2010, but his K/9 in 2012 was 8.5, he is only 34 and he not only had fantastic stuff, he was/is a very smart pitcher.

    Obviously without looking at his medicals, it is impossible to make an informed decision, but the Padres just took a $8M chance on JJ. Why couldn’t/shouldn’t the Jays take a chance on Santana? How much could it cost? $5M?

    • I don’t see a need for a reclaimation project cause we have so many options internally for our 5th starter now it’s not even funny. We really need to get a 3rd tier or 2nd tier pitcher to round out our rotation.

      • agreed. But if you package 2 of those #5′s plus a bullpen arm, you might get a more top of the line starter. And then you might have room for Santana.

        I certainly wouldn’t make it my first priority, but Santana knows how to pitch. Just a question of health……which is huge of course.

        • Name a team that would be willing to take two number 5′s and a bullpen piece for a frontline starter. Then to have hope that a guy who has 21 starts in the last three seasons to remain healthy. Not saying that he can’t or won’t, but the odds are against him.

  5. Come on Rogers. Give the Jays more money. They are almost there. Figure it out.

  6. Thank God johnson is gone so I don’t have to hear the whining.

  7. Boy those shortstops look really mediocre… Kawasaki has a higher avg. & obp. than Stephen Drew & apparently played better defence. He would also be ~1 WAR SS with the same playing time as Drew and Peralta (compared to their 1.9 WAR), yet they stand to make $10′s of millions and Munenori has to look for offers in Japan.

    • my mistake, that Fangraph’s link is using 2014 projections, not 2013 results

      • Shit, I didn’t realize that either.

        • isn’t it kindof encouraging that, according to those Fangraphs projections, the Jays – even without any roster upgrades – are estimated to have the 8th best Team WAR total in baseball?

          that’s also with only mediocre years from Encarnacion and Lind.

  8. Does anyone know if Happ has options? If I remember correctly he was never optioned last year.. just rehab starts? Given how much back end depth they’ve got that flexibility would be nice to have.

  9. I know it won’t happen but seriously….

    Cano and McCann are such ridiculously perfect fits it’s not even funny.

    Durable lefty power bats at our two worst positions? Are you kidding me?

    Are we sure 2 of Stroman, Hutch, Nolin, Drabek, Redmond, Happ, Rogers and Sanchez can’t be our 4 and 5 so we can go get one of these guys?

  10. Was there a chance Deck McGuire would have been picked up in the Rule 5 draft? Just curious

  11. Zaun on PTS….this line was great ‘Dickey is going to get between 30 and 40 starts’

    40? Really? 40? Hehehe

    • Between doesn’t mean one or the other. He’s probably saying he’ll get the typical amount of starts for a healthy frontline guy. IMO

      • I know it doesn’t mean one or the other. But what pitcher in the past 30 years has even came CLOSE to 40 starts?


        Just say between 30 and 35. 32 is the number, for the #1 and #2 guys. Maybe 33, if they stagger shit out of the AS break.

        40 is plain dumb.

        And maybe, so is my post.

        But, whatever…

  12. What would it take to get Hill back?

  13. That Baseball Prospectus article on spitballing trades should be required reading.
    It would cut down on the number of times you’d have to tell guys that they are out to lunch.

    • Hill everyday, over the options in place now… Think I’d take Hill at the right price. Just throwing it out there for the sake of debate, what it would take to reacquire him? Wondering if anyone would care to speculate? No harm in that. Just a fan of Hill here, wondering what people think his value is?

    • It’s great, isn’t it?

      Oh, you just said that it is. But totally!

  14. Heyman is reporting that the Tigers and Rangers are talking about a Fielder for Kinsler trade?


  15. So you’re ARod and you’ve made 353 million dollars in you’re career. Won the Series, MVp’s……
    Fuckin let it go man.
    Sick of that bastard.

    • I dunno. I have to think Bud Selig is a fucking douchebag here (along with A-Rod).

      I mean, why 211 games? Shouldn’t it be a 50 gamer like everyone else?

      And if Braun gets 65? Why not 65 for Arod then?

      I just see it as Selig wanting to fuck A-Rod and not really being very fair.

      Do I like A-Rod? No. Do I think he is a cheater? Yes. Do I really think 211 games is a fair punishment? No. Do I think Bud Selig is trying to prove a point? Yes.

      I think it is going to get really ugly though. And affect legacies of both.

      It is going to be very interesting, IMO. I await.

  16. Re: Halladay.

    Not even going to entertain the notion of him coming back for a victory lap but will use this moment to say what a goddamn fucking pleasure it was watching him pitch.

    I came of age as a Jays fan right around when Hentgen won his well deserved Cy Young over Pettite and also saw Clemens partake in his substance aided rebirth. There were some other pretty damn good pitchers during those years but Halladay was something else. Don’t know if I will ever see a better hurler in a Toronto uniform. The guy was an absolute joy to behold.

    Fave memory – Facing down Randy Johnson (in his prime) at Yankee stadium. Probably the two best pitchers in the game at that point. Halladay out dueled him to a complete game 2-0 shutout (courtesy of a Hinske two run homer – ha! Hinkse!) and afterwards Jeter declared him the best pitcher in the game.

    Although plunking Ortiz in Boston after Papelbon drilled Lind was pretty stellar too.

    Guy was an absolute beast and it legit makes me sad to watch him be anything less than the Goddamn Fucking Doc.

    *beers and happy tears*

    • *clink*

      Agree completely. Was a beauty.

    • Cheers.

      Agree with it all.

      It can be difficult as a sports fan to watch elite players on their decline.

      Its hard to watch Doc struggle the way he has the past year, year and a half.

    • Beautiful.

    • Agreed. True leader. That’s why I think he will find a way to be affective for a year or two. He should come back. 1year plus a team option. What do the Jays have to lose? Maybe they gain leadership!!

      • Good lord, Tony Fernandez.

        What makes you think he was a leader?

        • Y’know, the alleged whole ‘being a dick to everyone’ thing. No?

          • I haven’t quite heard it like that. Reputation isn’t that he was exactly approachable or rah-rah, but not a dick, as far as I’ve ever heard. But “leadership” in the way people usually think of it? Haven’t really heard that either, except of the “by example” variety. Not that I was there, though. Obviously.

            • Yeah, my choice of words may not be the best. But from what I have heard and read, he wasnt the most approachable, thats the better way to say it. Which I guess can be interpreted as being a dick, I guess.

              But yeah, not rah-rah.

              And I wasnt there either. I see clips on tv, so….wtf do I know.

    • It would be nice to see him have a bounce back year before hanging up the cleats.

    • Look up the song ‘Doc Holliday’ by Volbeat…if it existed back in the day, this song should have been his intro/entry music at the start of the game.

  17. Deck mcguire was only added because the jays have a spot open. They could just as easily take him off if they make some moves. They may also wait to see how he pitches this year before removing him.

  18. Hate to be a dick because I remember that fucking game with Halladay pitching the gem in the Bronx, but Randy Johnson was not in his prime with the Yankees. Now Johnson on the D’Backs vs Halladay 2008, now that would have been fucking something.

  19. Can someone explain how that free agent depth chart works? Those are projections for 2014 – why are the FAs in the order they’re in?

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