I guess it maybe makes sense when it’s a guy who could still potentially return to his old club, but I completely don’t get some of the terminology that gets thrown around at this time of year– the horse race-like “frontrunner” stuff when we know nothing about what anybody is even offering to make us believe they “lead” in the “chase” for some player, or what we’ve got tonight from Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, where the Jays, Twins, or Rockies might “steal” Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the “incumbent” Red Sox.

Is that really what’s going on? Or are these just teams that supposedly have some interest in a free agent who the Red Sox may not quite see the value in, seeing as– as Heyman points out– they’ve got “some decent catching prospects on the way, especially Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.”

In fact, Heyman full-on acknowledges that the “Jays have checked in, but the extent of their interest is uncertain.”

So… what are we learning here, exactly? Pretty much nothing. The small number of teams still looking for a starting catcher, I guess?

The market behind the plate seems to, indeed, be developing more quickly than others– which, naturally, has a bunch of Jays fans on edge at the possibility of J.P. Arencibia actually returning, remote as that may be (we hope). Brian McCann, who doesn’t appear to have ever been an option for the club, and Carlos Ruiz are both off the market, having gone to the Yankees and Phillies respectively, each for probably one more year than most other clubs– certainly the Jays– would have preferred to go.

Geovany Soto was gone early, and Jose Molina and now George Kottaras are both off the market as well, with Molina signing a two year deal to stay in Tampa this week, and Kottaras being acquired by the Cubs after being D’d FA last week by the Royals. Both of those guys had been pined for by Jays fans for various reasons– partly, I’m sure, because one has the right passport and the other was the “one that got away.”

I wouldn’t quite characterize Molina that way, personally. Yes, the explosion of interest around pitch framing has certainly featured him prominently, suggesting that the Jays may well have undervalued him (and I’m being generous here) during his time here. However, the club drafted supplemental pick Tyler Gonzales after Molina departed as a Type-B free agent, so he served his purpose and there was no way he was ever actually staying. Not that he was even a full-time option then, let alone now.

The same can be said of Kottaras, though he was definitely an interesting name, beyond even the local connection. Ewan Ross of Blue Jays Plus made the case for Kottaras– a guy who I’d basically call J.P. Arencibia plus 10% more walks a 10% higher walk rate (which… actually, isn’t so bad at all, is it?)– earlier in the week, but even still conceded that he didn’t feel he was “a viable alternative for the starting job.”

As a backup, though, or even in a more generous time share? Since Kottaras is a left-handed hitter and has caught the knuckleball before, that could totally work… except Josh Thole has the same story, and one of the too-many inexplicable contract extensions of the Anthopoulos era. Sure, I could be fairly easily convinced to take Kottaras over Thole, but that’s not really the main issue anyway, is it?

The Jays need to find an everyday guy… I think. I mean, of course they do, but there is going to be some measure of risk in anyone they go after. We looked at Dioner Navarro as a plausible option this week, but’s not like he’s had a tonne of full-time work in the last four seasons either. Maybe the Jays should have taken a chance on Kottaras getting every day at bats, but I just don’t think that’s the kind of gamble they’re interested in with such a key position at this point in time. Navarro has at least been a big league starter before.

Thing is, if that’s the limitation the Jays are going to place on themselves it leaves the market increasingly bare.

They’re not out of non-Arencibia options, mind you, but there’s certainly a reason why Navarro and now Saltalamacchia are seeing their names connected here. The Jays have to do something, and beyond those two– at least in terms of free agent possibilities– the list gets grim rather quickly. John Buck? A.J. Pierzynski? Kurt Suzuki? Kelly Shoppach?

There are, of course, trade targets, too– like Ryan Hanigan or Chris Iannetta, both of whom seem like far more plausible acquisitions than someone like Jason Castro, whose name seems to have left the rumour mill entirely, or Wellington Castillo, whose name I don’t believe was ever floated, though plenty of fans have pipe dreamed on the possibility, given that the Jays have supposedly been talking to the Cubs on Samardzija.;

Of the realistic possibilities remaining, irrespective of cost, I’d say Salty, Navarro, and Iannetta are fairly clearly in the top group. And with Boston, as Heyman says, potentially looking to find a player for not quite as long as the three- or four-year deal Salatalamacchia will surely command, and– as he also points out– with the Rockies already having Willin Rosario (though they’d prefer to move him out from behind the plate), and with the Twins having Yosmil Pinto perhaps ready to take over now that Joe Mauer is moving out from behind the plate permanently (and since, y’know, Ryan Doumit is awful there), maybe there actually are still enough options out there for the Jays to actually find a way to do well for themselves by continuing to wait out the market.

Many of the better value deals do seem to typically end up coming from the tail end of the market, and it’s not like the Jays have to do a whole lot to massively upgrade on the value they got from behind the plate last year anyway, so it wouldn’t necessarily shock me if waiting it out a bit longer is really their plan. But holy shit, is that ever going to make for even more nervous times as we continue to sit and hope to be relieved of the spectre of another goddamn year of J.P. Arencibia, eh?

I mean, I can’t imagine anybody believes he could possibly be as bad again in 2014 as he was last year, but does anybody believe that’s a risk worth banking on??? Do the Jays???

I still can’t bring myself to believe that they do. I get the feeling they may test my faith here though.

Comments (151)

  1. I’ve said this before but I’m a fan of getting Salty. If only because he knows the Boston pitchers and players inside and out and knows how they think and how they play. Outsiders can get an idea of what goes on but this guy was their catcher and controlled their game via the manager and the bench coach. It’s not like there are wonderful catchers out there waiting for us to hire them. I would *really* like to see us get that guy.

    • Dare I ask…

      … why does any of that matter, exactly?

      • because…MAGIC!

      • Ha, exactly my thoughts… just less sarcastic.

      • Knowledge is power. And that information is not an intangible. The catcher gets the signs from the bench doesn’t he? He will therefore know patterns of behaviour on the field and off the field. On the field patterns can be noticed by shrewd outside observers. Off-field patterns aren’t so easy to pick up. I get that it isn’t a measurable number. But for me, any way you can find into how an opponent thinks is a useful way. If there was someone else who could be a more effective catcher I wouldn’t want Salty. But so far there really isn’t.

        • the Red Sox lured three coaches away from the Blue Jays, you don’t think the Blue Jays changed their signs after that? i think the Red Sox might consider changing their coaching signs if Saltalamachia signed with Toronto.

          • I’m not talking about signs…

            • While there may be advantages, they would be marginal at best, it’s not like while Farrell was with us we had some amazing edge on the sox.

              • Given his sense of loyalty to the Red Sox, it’s not like Farrell would have given away any trade secrets. Salty might.

                If you’ve got a better idea, then fine. Salty isn’t the world’s greatest catcher. But I just don’t see anything out there that’s available and better than he is. So any advantage he has then comes into play.

                • I like Salty based on his stats and defense alone, while he isnt going to blow anyone away, he’s clear upgrade on JPA and that alone is enough.

                  The fact he comes from the Red Sux should be an afterthought not a determining factor.

            • if you want to do damage to the Red Sox “system” hire Bill James or one of the Assistant GMs or analytics people away. they’d give you a lot more info on how to run a successful team than Saltalamachia.

              • Curious as to what kind of “trade secrets” you think could be so crucially important that it would increase Salty’s value to the Jays? Especially the type of trade secrets that couldn’t be changed due to circumstances such as a former key player signing with another team in the same division?

                I get what you’re saying, I just don’t know if such trade secrets actually exist.

                • I think any player that signs with a team that plays within his division can bring something to the table for his new team that may be slightly over and above what he might bring to a team in another division. After all, you play the teams in your own division more than you play the others so this is not specific to the Sox and the Jays.Whatever info or insight he may have might be useful info and insight to a team that plays in the same division as his former team.

                  • I get what you’re saying Isabella. It’s only logical that a catcher knows all his pitchers better than anyone else on the team and the league. He knows their strengths and weaknesses and even though every team has a “book” on every pitcher they face, a guy like Salty could add a lot to the Red Sox book of whoever picks him up.

        • #maninwhite

    • Ridiculous. Also it’s one fucking team out of 29 we face.

  2. I can’t see Anthopolous giving 4-5 years and $10 Million AAV to a slightly better version of Arencibia and outbidding 3-4 teams to do so. Especially when, at some point in 2014 or 2015, you have see what you have in AJ Jimenez at the major league level.

    One year of Hanigan or a Free Agent catcher makes some sense. Heck, I’d take John Buck back at this point. I believe he’s a plus defender and with the power he’s basically a more well-rounded, older, balder Arencibia. and you don’t have to give up anything for him. Thole could take some of the at-bats against righties too. I don’t know… it’s pretty awful suggesting they sign Buck again but that’s what Arencibia has done to me.

    • Jimenez shouldn’t factor into it in the slightest. Lots of people think he’s a backup. That’s fine. Let him force the issue, don’t anoint him already.

      Plus, 2014 is kind of important for this club.

      Can’t imagine Jimenez being a consideration at all.

      • yeah you’re right. it’s just the thought of giving 4 years to either Salty or 3 years to Navarro seems too risky, given their inconsistency. Navarro is projected to put up basically the same fWAR as John Buck and will probably cost 50% more on AAV and at least an additional year. Navarro’s value and performance probably is only going down, so that’s why I think they should be hesitant to sign him.

        • Tough to sign him after his best year by far since ’08, I agree. Maybe I should have put Buck among the top ones, too.

          • See, I don’t think signing a catcher like Salty or Navarro to a multi-year deal is a risk; the catching market is so fickle that even if they don’t pan out exactly as you want, or if a kid comes up that you want catching everyday, a veteran catcher is still tradeable. I mean, why else are we talking about Ryan Hanigan, or guys like Jose Molina or John Buck having value?

      • Can’t imagine Jiminez not being a consideration. On what planet do you hand out a fortune to a guy that one of your chief competitors just jettisoned, without seriously considering your internal possibilities? Oh wait. On the planet where Dumbo the Banner lives. Ban me some more Dumbo. It’s working well so far.

    • I’m mostly with you, though I hope they don’t have to reach for John Buck.

      But yeah, I don’t see them spending on Salty, unless they wait this out real late in the offseason and his price drops a ton. Like second base though, it certainly looks like there’s some interesting names on the market and not as many teams that look like great fits, so I hope the Jays can land a nice pair of upgrades.

      I think Iannetta is my preference of all the options, if I had to choose. While we obviously don’t know exactly what he’d cost in a trade, I think he’s the best balance for the team. He’s less risky than Navarro (who is kind of a big risk/reward guy in the bat) and Hanigan (because you worry about his drop-off last year and how much IBBs impacted his walk-rates), and the salary isn’t high.

      • yeah i hear ya. the thing about Hanigan is that his acquisition cost is really low because of his poor performance. he’s exactly the kindof guy the early Anthopolous would buy low on. with a bunch of money tied up in a few players, the Jays still need to do stuff like that. you might be able to get Hanigan for a reliever. then you free up the cash to sign Ubaldo Jimenez or even Nolasco and potentially Mark Ellis or Omar Infante too.

        • Yup. I would have no issue with Hanigan. By the projection systems he looks like a stronger bet than Iannetta, and the defense would be nice. I just think Iannetta is kind of a lower risk (and probably lower reward too) option, and given the way the rest of the team shapes up, that’s more than alright with me.

    • I’m not a big Salty fan, and am kinda meh on signing him, but wouldn’t worry about signing him to a 4 year contract- provided it’s at a reasonable value.

      No sign that the catching market is going to improve in the near or medium future (so hard to find quality catchers), so even if you sign him to a four year deal, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a taker for him after a year or two.

      This is why the Blue Jays contract-duration-limitation irks me so; as long as you sign a player to a reasonable AAV, the duration of the contract shouldn’t be of much concern. Highly doubt we’re going to see deflation in MLB over the next few years.

      • Really? The number of years you’re using up a roster spot on a guy whose utitlity has gone south would seem to be exactly the concern, more than money.

        • The roster spot is only a concern if the player in question regress’s to the point of being untradeable (a la Ricky Romero) or sustains a career theatening injury (more of a concern with pitchers).

          If rumours are to be believed, EVEN JPA has trade interest- catching market is that thin. While there is risk involved to signing a catcher for 4 years, think it’s rather unlikely you wouldn’t be able to trade him in 2 or 3 years- even if it’s just for a bag of balls/salary relief.

  3. Heyman being slightly ridiculous in his wording of things?

    Say it isn’t so!

  4. Isn’t a regressed jpa a better option than a regressed Dr. Saltalamacchia? Especially when you look at contracts past 2014?

      • holy crap. JP Arencibia has a career .250 BABIP. I guess that’s what a ton of fly balls, pop ups and piss poor speed will get you these days. that’s the 7th worst BABIP over the last 3 years.

      • When you throw in the last 3 years it doesn’t really reflect what the OP was saying. If you take the previous two (with the “regressed” players), then Salty only has a wRC+ lead of 6, which wouldn’t justify the massive dollar/years difference.

      • Thanks for that. Its the 372 babip from last year that alarms me most. I find it hard to separate the fact that jpa has a personality that grates on me from what the stats seem to say… If you look just at 2011-2012, their wOBA look eerily similar and jpas yet to run into anything approaching a league average babip let alone a run of luck like salty just had… Anyway keep up the good work!

      • I am quite new to these WAR metrics. Does Salty’s 17.5 Def make him a good, average, or poor fielder? The higher number seems to me that he is better than JPA anyway. Thanks for the help, guys!

        • it’s middle of the pack over the last 3 years. Matt Wieters and Yadier Molina put up defensive measures over 50 in that time.

          the thing to keep in mind though, is that defensive metrics, especially for catchers have alot of uncertainty – especially when we don’t yet have a way to quantify game calling and things like that. i dont think the fangraphs D metric includes pitch framing either. and Salty is above average there.

          all that being said, Salty is a much better defender than Arencibia. but he’s not elite.

          • Thanks, sk! I do enjoy the stats (in fact, my background is in math!), but I just have not had the time to look into sabrmetrics. I have also been slightly discouraged from knowing how often my applied mathematics consistently turned out incorrect in the long run! :)
            If the Jays do “steal” Salty, I’ll be happy to know he isn’t too bad a defender.

            • no problem. that’s cool about your math background. if you want to get a job in baseball you should use that. work on research on catching metrics. try and develop a method to measure pitch sequencing’s impact on a game. there’s Gold in that! Gold!

              • That’s a good idea about pitch sequencing. A job in baseball would be a dream, but I don’t flatter myself that it is very achievable. If I ever find the time, I may look into your gold suggestion, but for now I will just enjoy chatting about the game and working to pay the bills! :)

    • That’s kind of where I stand, too. They were very similar catchers before going in opposite directions in 2013. I’m not so sure $50 million for four or five years of Saltalamacchia is a better option than $3 million for one year of Arencibia.

      • How about just the 2011-2012 then:,5557

        Salty still has an undeniable edge– though not a huge one, admittedly– and then 2013 happened.

        • He definitely has the edge. I’m just not sure if it’s a $50 million edge.

          If they both repeat 2013 then it would be a good investment, but if they both regress towards their 2011-12 performance then I don’t think it’s a smart move.

          Having said that, Saltalamacchia will be 29 when the season starts and both his offensive and defensive numbers have improved each of the last four seasons. Maybe I’m expecting him to regress more than I reasonably should be.

      • I think Salty, especially when you factor in defense, is quite definitely a big upgrade to JPA.

        If you don’t trust the stats over the past 3 years, take a look at the Steamer projections:
        96 wRC+ vs 79 wRC+. Their WAR projections (which are admittedly shakier) are 2.9 vs 1.0. That’s a sizeable gap.

        96 wRC+ is an above average hitting catcher (I believe). That’d be really nice to have,

  5. If you expect JP to be even marginally better next year, then (as you and everyone is grudgingly alluding to) is it worth the extra 6 or 7M to get someone who is only marginally better?

    It’s only worth it in my mind if we get a clear upgrade defensively. Where guys can have an off year offensively, a good defender should be pretty consistent year to year.

    My fear is JP does better elsewhere than the guy we replace him with. So let’s at least be 100% sure we are getting better defense. Or else let it be and accept that JP at least is young, healthy and familiar with our pitchers. And use the savings for Cano. Or a free agent pitcher.

    On that note, what did Josh Johnson make last year? I mean we at least have that much payroll room right?

    • I don’t quite get where this “marginal” stuff comes from. As linked above, he was pretty clearly better offensively in the two years prior to this one, then absolutely destroyed JPA this year as they both went different directions completely. Defensively the metric used by FanGraphs sure likes Saltalamacchia a whole lot better, as does Matt Klaassen’s method (if you look at the actual total runs above/below average, and where the leaders are, rather than just placement on the list):

      Neither of those are the be-all end-all, and I know the reputation defensively on Salty isn’t great, but all things considered, the edge he has wouldn’t fall under what I’d define as “marginal.”

      • Fair enough – I won’t be upset at all with Salty. More talking to some of the other names thrown around like Buck.

        • Don’t get me wrong I can’t stand Jon Paul Aren, but I would rather have him back and hope that he bouces back, than sign the likes of Uncle Buck. JPA has got to be better than he was last year, doesn’t he? doesn’t he..?? DOESN”T HE?????!!!

    • the Fear of Aaron doing better with another team is one i share also.

      Here is my thought, and i know i dont comment much anymore, but…

      Salty is a good fit….
      Yes he will cost more, but we yet to know how much more. Is he really going to get 10mil a year? Prob not. But he is a better defender and hitter, yes not by much, but still….

      now take into account that we might be able to get something for JPA – even if we get a couple mid level prospects, that still something, or we work him into a deal for a SP.

      It might sound like a pipe dream, but a #3/4 SP for one of our young arms, and JPA, clears up some money.

      just thinking out loud here, but there are good things to be dreamed of in a Salty switch up.

      • to add to the money part……whats JPA the home run hitting catcher going to get when the hr drivers the arb price sky high these days….

  6. Minor clarifying point- Kottaras is JPA plus 192% more walks. Or, stated differently, JPA plus 10 percentage points more walks.

    • Good point, if slightly pedantic.

      • Not pedantic at all! That’s a huge difference. I was like, who gives a shit about 10% of 20 or so? 2 extra walks a season? Who cares? But 192% higher is much, much better.

        • You seriously didn’t get what was meant??

          • Fixed it either way. Thanks guys.

          • Actually not, but reconsidering everything, I lay the blame on myself. I am used to working with numbers a bit, but not very up-to-date with the sabr lingo, so mine was an outsider’s point of view. I should have thought of things in context.

            • Not a “sabr lingo” problem. It’s a problem of not using the language correctly.

              “10% more walks” means going from 20 to 22. That’s what it means. Sorry. “10% higher walk rate” means going from 5% to 5.5%. Again sorry. Blaming the reader for your poor choice of words: weak. You mean a walk rate 10 percentage points higher. That’s unambiguously what you mean. Don’t blame your readers. Not knowing Kottaras’ walk rate off the top of my head, it took me a while to infer what you must have meant.

              All this for only one reason: you’re better than such sloppiness, and you’re better than blaming the reader for not understanding your sloppiness.

              And while we’re at it: it’s a fucking difference, not a differential. You’re not doing fucking calculus.

              OK. That’s out of my system. Back to regular programming.

  7. Salty doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade from JPA, especially after going over the numbers on fangraphs. Is there any hint of what Salty is asking? And what would the Jays do with JP and his contract in the meantime? Can he be sent to Buffalo?

    I shudder to think of another season with JP but I’d rather see the team invest in some solid pitchers if they had to pick one or the other. Or maybe I’m just completely misguided on this one.

  8. Is Kurt Suzuki actually available? He’s actually a pretty decent option.

  9. Isn’t the tender date in the first week of December, prior to the Winter Meetings?

    If that’s the case then I can’t imagine we have much longer to wait before we know for sure if JPs coming back. Although I suppose theoretically JP could be tendered a contract and then subsequently DFA’d down the road before a salary is agreed upon, maybe.

    • It’s Monday, and with everything about to go very quiet (likely– usually does) for US Thanksgiving, you may be right. I could still see them tendering him and subsequently trading him, though.

      • Thats the frustrating part about following the baseball offseason. Everything takes so long to develop. I dont know what these gms and agents wait for exactly. They have a shitload of time to prepare. In other sports, free agency is essentially done after a few weeks. Even in the winter meetings, we will hear the same shit about groundwork being done. Like, cmon.

        • Tanaka is holding a lot of things up, perhaps.

          • Fangraphs put up an interesting article where they found over the past three years, most transactions take place in december/january. I think we are just spoiled because a) last year we made such a huge splash a very early time and b) we have made no significant transaction as of yet and we are nearing december.

  10. JPA won’t be back. At least, not as the first catcher…and since AA already said he wouldn’t return in a backup role, I think he’s gone.

    It might be different if the Jays were rebuilding and would hang onto him to see if he can rebuild some value and then flip him. But since they’re ostensibly in ‘win now’ mode, I don’t see them rolling with JP again in such a crucial year.

    • But what can be done with the guy? If he wont be back as a starter, wont play backup and I cant imagine any team taking him on unless the Jays agree to eat up a chunk of his contract…what the hell do you do with him? It might be easier if the market for catchers was terrible this year, but there seem to be enough options available on the free agent market that aren’t JPA so the guy has absolutely zero value.

  11. Id say the order of priority should be ianneta (good obp, cost certainty), navarro (hits lefties well), salty(gonna get overpaid), and hanigan (hits worse than kottaras). Nobody on this list excites me but ianneta would be an upgrade at a not much higher cost. Maybe AA finds someone we didnt know was available. Thats always possible.

  12. What was the deal with Salty being benched in the playoffs? Is this a point of worry (should the Jays acquire him) or simply playing the hot player, or some John Farrell voodoo intangible mumbo-jumbo hocus-pocus?
    After reading about all the options here, I hope for the return of John Buck, or whatever’s in the box (ie something secret no one has thought of yet)!

  13. Really not a fan of Salty or Perzy.

    Rather take my chances with Navarro, Hannigan or Ianetta.

    • “Perzy”? You can call the rest of those guys Navarrey, Hanney and Ianey just to keep this ridiculous catcher nickname thing going.

  14. I think now that Kottaras is off the market, Navarro would be my preferred target. A switch-hitter who crushes lefties while not being completely useless against righties and should sign for a fraction of what Saltalamacchia goes for. Oddly enough, on Fangraphs’s Steamer projections, the only difference in 2014 WAR between the two is playing time.

  15. But Kurt Suzuki can fix Romero, which is kind of like getting a replacement level catcher AND a #3 SP.


  17. Re the difference between Salty and JPA, based on 2013 numbers Salty was over 4 wins better (3.6 WAR vs -0.6 WAR). Steamer has a 1.9 win difference for 2014, which is fairly clearly worth the extra $6-7m AAV. The only odd thing about Steamer is JPA’s projection of 1WAR is based on 81 games, suggesting it’s even closer on a full time basis.

    My conclusion from this is.. who the hell knows

  18. Every catcher sucks that is “available”. It’s a pick your poison market for sure.

    • realistically, how many good catchers are there period anymore?

      Most good bats get moved from catcher early on in development now a days or soon after to keep the bat in the lineup.

      last year only 4 catchers had an OPS over .800 and one of those was Mauer who isn;’t a catcher anymore.

  19. The more I think about it, the more I like Hanigan. He’s a been a better hitter in his career than he showed last season (not a GOOD hitter, but a better hitter) and his defense would be a welcome addition on this club. With this kind of lineup when everyone’s healthy, you can live with one below average bat at the bottom.

  20. at this point, if it costs more than they’d like to ink salty (if he’s even considering TO), then it’s likely worth it, simply to guarantee that JPA is gone.

    on a side note…i climbed this mountain once. it hurt. took hours, it was rainy, cold, miserable, and every step for 6+ hours was on jagged, sharp granite, which, despite proper mountaineering gear, killed the feet. finally, on our descent, we came upon a nice flat spot of actual earth…the wind/rain had died had down by then…and we just stopped, and stood on that soft, solid, flat earth. we called it ‘not-rock.’ it was magnificent…it felt like angels were caressing my feet. i swear i could hear a harp.

    that mountain, and the misery that accompanied it, is JPA. the flat earth/not-rock (i.e. not-JPA): salty (or any other non-JPA catcher who’s actually half-decent). he (or any of them) may not be spectacular, but it would just FEEL SO FUCKING GOOD to get off that mountain. and so worth the extra cost.

  21. A guy you didn’t mention, who might be available because he had a down year and makes a bunch of money, is Miguel Montero. Even if last year is his true talent level, that’s still a vast improvement over JPA. You’re paying a lot for it, but maybe that means he won’t cost that much. Plus, he could bounce back, and if you’re going for it for the next two years, may as well actually go for it.

  22. What’s left out there that represents a marked upgrade from JPA that doesn’t cost the team a fuckton of money or talent? While I’m certainly not advocating JPA’s return to the 2014 edition of the team – I’m wondering if we’re reaching the point of diminishing returns?
    Is it worth the assets/money for someone who’s just like JPA or barely better – but without all the….you know, leadership, etc?

    • there aren’t many names you can put up that are a worse option then JPA

      Trading for a catcher when we are looking at trading for a pitcher seems wrong with how weak we are in the farm after last year, doesn’t make sence, unless we get a catcher in the deal also.

      JPA has taking a step the wrong way, both on O and D, at this point, we dont have an option for catcher if you ask me. FA might be the only option we have then trade JPA for something or non tender.

      I dont want to see him go for nothing, but i can’t watch him bat or catch again, i just can’t do it. I do fear he takes a big step forward after being traded, but man, he was the worst in the league last year.

      its frustrating and i am glad i am not AA.


      the list is long for a must win team if you ask me.

      • It’s a shame the 2b market is not larger as it would represent the clearest upgrade to our team besides catching, you add anyone at 2b that has positive value and then you add to your win total easily.

        • 1 year deal with Michael Young?

          • Young? Maybe, he’s a potential bounce back candidate. But if he doesnt bounce back, then you’re stuck with another black hole, even if it’s one year deal. 2014 is not our year for uncertainty.

            • Mark DAROSA!!!! was?

              the more i think about young, the more i like him

              plays all the infield, couple play LF if asked, better bat then DeRosa, that Vet guy that AA seems to value more then anyone else……

              ok, im sold, lets go get him

      • Healthy, cost controlled, coming off 3 years of low babip… Sounds like an undervalued asset more than a noose. Thus team won a ws with both pat borders and manny lee as everyday players. I just don’t get the panic around catcher when there are no major upgrades to my eye on the fa market.

        • anyone is a major upgrade of JPA both with the bat and glove. i think Thole was ranked ahead of him had he had enough ABs this year…..and that says….wow.

          • Last year zips products projected a 233/282/457 line for jpa. It had salty as 227/290/431. So if you believe in regression… You probably think they are basically the same with the stick in reality. Calling jpa worse than thole with the bat is simply silly.

            • silly is saying there is no good options to replace JPA with….thats Silly

              saying thole was better was a silly comment to be silly in reply to you saying silly things, you silly

      • not every position needs to be filled in order to compete.

  23. It seems like to me that the Jays should just accept that they aren’t going to have a good catcher in 2014 and look to improve the club elsewhere. I mean sure JPA as been awful and his attitude doesn’t make it any easier to bare, but it doesn’t look like you are going to get a legit everyday bonafide star at the catching position, McCann was the only option here.

    Last year JPA was worth -.6 WAR and in 2012 he was worth 1.1 WAR Split the difference and he’s a minimally plus WAR player ( +1/4 of a Win)

    Saltalamacchia was worth 3.6 last year, and 1.9 the year before, split the difference and you have a 2.75 WAR catcher.

    Obviously a team looking to contend should look to upgrade as many positions as possible, but does the contract that you have to hand out justify this?

    The team can find those 2 Wins from 2B. LF and of course from starting pitching or just from having bautista back for a full season.

    If anything I’d prefer them bringing in a really good defensive catcher as opposed to mediocre defender and an above average bat.

    • The problem is all of the available good defensive catchers have terrible bats. Like putrid level.

      You think you suffered with JPA? think again.

      • but if your catcher is going to be an awful bat and bat ninth, wouldn’t you want him atleast plus on the other side of the ball?

        • DC, i am with you
          C and 2b that hit 9th are on the team because they are plus defenders…..whats JPA?

        • But Catchers like Salty and Pierzynski have the combo of an good bat with ok defense. A clear upgrade over JPA. A defensive first catcher would only give us a marginal upgrade over JPA.

  24. Best option i have heard is a trade with the Angels for Ianetta and Kendrick.

  25. AA has repeatedly said that they have “checked in” on all of the FA’s of interest to them but that they have not yet made an offer to anyone.

    Given that at any minute, any FA could sign a contract with a rival, it has me wondering if they’re really not all that interested in signing any FA… least not any who are looking for serious dollars and/or term.

  26. were do we stand with SP add on this year? I have googled and googled and googled.

    I see Scott Kasmir and the trade with the cubs, but nothing really knew.

    The more i think of ways to beat up JPA in my mind…..the more i remember we were above ave in runs hitting, hrs, blah blah, and in the tank in terms of Pitching,

    anyone know something about were our SP is going to be at in 2months?

  27. I don’t get why nobody is interested in signing AJ Pierzynski. He’s going to be signed in the range of 6.5M for one year. He hits righties well and ranks ahead of Salty on Klaasen’s catchers rankings and provides positive value by both FanGraphs and B-Ref’s WAR.

    Maybe JP Arencibia recovers in this year sheltered from right handed pitching and we can trade him to someone who thinks he’s a starter after the year. He might even be able to hit lefties if he can remember what that’s like. Maybe we find out Jiminez can actually hit and will be the catcher of the future over the course of the year and we don’t have a contract with Salty weighing us down.

    If it doesn’t work out, we can make a play for Hanigan, Soto or Russell Martin next year.

    Signing Pierzynski is a low-risk, high reward move that I’m shocked nobody is at all considering. Even if his bat does not recover from a down year, he’s a durable defender that would still help the club.

    Most importantly, it would allow the team to commit its resources to a starting pitcher to bolster the team’s largest weakness from 2013.

    • I’d be fine with AJ if he accepted a 1 year deal. Catchers regression hits hard and fast and you don’t want to be left holding the bag of bad knees.
      Problem I see though is that catching is so slim AJ will probably get 2-3 years.

      • I don’t think anyone’s giving a 37-year old a three year deal after a year in which he declined. Two year’s is a stretch too. Beyond the Box Score and MLB Trade Rumors pegged him at 6.5/1

    • From MLB XM radio about 2 weeks ago: ”AJ Pierzynski is a hacker at the plate with not great defense, sure he can hit .260-.270, but he doesn’t walk and he’s not what the Jays would be looking for in a catcher.” Ouch

  28. I honestly don’t want to see a trade for catcher right now. Everyone knows we needed one yesterday. It’s not like JPA is a closely-guarded secret. So someone with a catcher to trade is likely to ask a lot and expect to get it. I’d much rather we went onto the fa market. There isn’t much out there. I get that. But I don’t want to denude the farm right now. And at this point, a decent defensive catcher would suit me fine even if he can’t hit.

    • i agree

      trade for pitching
      buy a catcher
      sell JPA for whatever we can get
      sign Michael Young…..

      all is right with the world

  29. Kind of a bitch that we let go of Gomes and d’Arnaud last offseason.

  30. Guys. I’m developing an irrational fear that AA’s next spirit animal is going to be Michael Young….

    • Michael Youngs Bat at 2Bs is an upgrade over all 5 guys we put there last year. His D is going south sure, but if we are going to suffer threw JPA, then i like young….ya know for the club house part of it

      • I can’t tolerate the defense.
        In my opinion there are better uses for that roster spot.

        the clubhouse is fine.

        • if the last two offseasons have shown us anything its that the 1 year vet deal is going to happen. wouldn’t you like to see the best bat for that 1 year we can get. Young is that option.

          • If it’s truly as inevitable as all that, then yes I would concede that he is a decent option.
            But i hope it’s not so inevitable.

            • Wouldn’t he be a good platoon for Lind at DH? Spell goins at 2B….insurance at 3B if/when Lawrie goes down for a short period. Seems like a good fit to me, but not a major piece by any means

      • young hasn’t played more than 125 innings at 2b since 2003… he has been sub replacement level (fangraphs) the last two seasons. I would be beyond shocked if AA signed him.

  31. I talk myself into being ok with a defense first catcher hitting ninth… but then i start thinking about actually having to watch them take 500 ab’s a year. I’d be ok with 0 power as long as he worked the count and made contact.

  32. A defense-first catcher would be fine if we upgrade 2b. Otherwise, I’d prefer someone who could hit a little and catch ok… I’ve always liked Piercynski, but he’s getting up there in age, but in all honesty, anyone is better than JPA. I really hope he’s non-tendered.

  33. Whatever happened to the Wilson Ramos rumour?

  34. Anyone talking about Michael Young as a possible replacement for Derosa and a DH partner for Lind against LHP? Well…I guess I’m talking about it but anyone else?

    • I know I’ve had a few tonight, but fuck, this doesn’t sound like a terrible fuckin…prospect either…
      I mean goddammit I know he pretty much is….fuckin terrible at this point…but he can play a few positions….
      One of you guys check that there FanGraphs for me…..

      Then there’s the whole fuckin…leadership in the clubhouse asdnasdjsdj (mumbles and passes out)

  35. It’s kinda quiet on the A. J. Pierzynski front.

    Just say’n.

    • Fuck.

      I’ve been sayin’ all along that A,J, is the guy we should get. Fuckin he’s old man….fuckin…but he can still hit a bit you know…and fuck (hiccup) he’s still pretty decent defensively.

      God dammit it’d be great if we could sign him for only one fuckin year you know?

      Fuckin pie in the sky I know….fuckin..pie in fuckin skyreg….(drunken mumbling)

  36. the funny thing is how AA’s comment’s on j.p not backing up does not imply he won’t platoon. unless they go via trade my bets on buck.

  37. Geez…. after last year’s trades and signings I feel like were in a bloody vacuum around here.

  38. The guy I think we should get is Bret. Why waste Bret’s talents in an unpaid intern position, or positng endlessly about himself on the internet, when Bret could be our starting catcher? I say sign Bret.

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