JPAsavage

The Aaron Cibia era– or is that “error,” said your lame dad– is officially over, as the Blue Jays have announced via a media release tonight that they have not tendered him a contract for the 2014 season. Their other arbitration-eligible players, Brett Cecil, Colby Rasmus, and Esmil Rogers, have all been tenderized. Those decisions, however– save maybe for Rogers, who kept showing up on MLBTR’s list of non-tender candidates (while Arencibia did not)– were foregone conclusions. The story here is the one of JPA, who walks away for nothing after three years holding an unshakable grip on the club’s starting catching position.

It’s probably going to be a bit too easy to revel in this. Way, way, way too easy, in fact. And I’m not going to lie, as reflexive it would be for me push back about fans striking their biggest, frothiest dickhead pose on this one, I’m going to have a hard time wagging my finger in admonition at anyone who does.

I do feel bad for J.P. Arencibia, though, in a way. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet, and will still make more money in the next year or two than I will in my entire lifetime, so not that bad, but this is a big, traumatic (relatively) event in his life. It is also, however, a traumatic event that he seems to have largely brought on himself.

I don’t mean that entirely about performance, of course. Sure, he was miscast as a full-time catcher, and given absolutely no cover by a Jays organization that seemed to become delusional about his repeating at the big league level the giant step forward he took in his second season in Triple-A back in 2010, but plenty of players have been in those sorts of situations and managed to keep some of their utility to a club. Shit, in terms of straight value, both Melky Cabrera and Maicer Izturis– somewhat stunningly– had worse seasons than Arencibia did in 2013. Emilio Bonifacio had a worse season at the plate, too, in terms of wOBA and wRC+.

The fact that those guys were new, and that Arencibia regressed for a second year in a row from a not-good-enough rookie year, may have played a part in his being a more natural lightning rod than they were, but to those of us who were on board for the entire ride it’s obvious that it was something simpler: whether because of language or because of personality, Cabrera, Izturis, and Bonifacio didn’t let the criticism get to them– at least not outwardly– whereas Arencibia proved that an utter, flaming lack of humility and self awareness is a deadly combination for an athlete with access to Twitter, a line to the team president, an inability to filter out the media noise in the midst of an historically bad season, and a transparent desire to be loved.

That last element is another reason why I can honestly say that I do feel at least a little bit bad here, in a way. J.P. postured like he didn’t read the criticism or care about the venom, then he responded to the criticism and deleted his Twitter to tune out the venom. He did care– a lot. More than was good for him.

That doesn’t excuse the defiance when it came to his “run producer” rantings, or the brazenness of actually approaching Paul Beeston in the hope of curbing the criticism, or the stupefying decision to not only announce his decision to attack Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst on the radio, but to actually sleep on it and still go through with it. But I think that it’s important to remember that– though it may have been driven purely by ego, or by whatever cognitive dissonance he felt when others’ opinions of him didn’t line up with his supremely high sense of self– he did want our adulation, and for us to understand that he had more to give, that he’s a good person, and that the criticism of him was petty and narrow (though on that last point I’m sure most of us would disagree).

On their own those aren’t necessarily detestable things– quite the opposite, in some instances– it just came off so incredibly badly when he tried to make the case.

Then again, maybe it was precisely destined to come off that way because Arencibia was too stubborn, too cocky, or too oblivious not to see that things like his too-frequent invocation of his very commendable charity work landed more on the level of distasteful flaunting than entirely sincere. Maybe, as some theorized, there was a not-unimportant parallel between his media misadventures and his seeming on-field inability to take instruction– or maybe he was getting bad advice.

Or maybe it was even simpler. Maybe, as we also saw on the field, he simply couldn’t save himself from himself– be it changing his two-strike approach, or not getting big-eyed at a curveball about to fall off the table, or getting his back up at the inference that his ability to block balls in the dirt needed work, maybe Arencibia really was simply incapable of understanding how to stop his self-immolation.

Whatever the reasons, that’s what happened in 2013. He made himself a bigger target by failing to understand that by the nature of his job he was already a target, and where some players may have been able to shield themselves from deepening criticisms with their on-field results, Arencibia sunk lower and lower into an all-time atrocity of a season. He sneered at the little people who couldn’t possibly understand what tremendous value he provided, insisted that an actual big leaguer like Dirk Hayhurst wasn’t authority enough to criticize him– bizarrely trying to take credit for Dirk’s career in the process– and, unprovoked, dragged Gregg Zaun’s name through the P.E.D. mud.

Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in the theatrics and the armchair psychology and the venom– and those, I think, are important in how this situation became so hopelessly untenable from the fans side of things– but if we’re being honest, all of that could have been fairly easily forgotten with a strong second half. Shit, they probably could have been forgotten, at least from the Jays’ perspective, if the league’s arbitration process didn’t favour the power and durability that Arencibia brings, which was going to push his salary close to $3-million.

But the process does reward players with those skills. And his season was horrendous. And maybe those two things alone would have been enough to see him non-tendered even if he was the kind of fan favourite that he hoped to be– and, frankly, once was– but I don’t know. I don’t know.

If it was genuinely in part about the other stuff, though, then… uh… good, actually!

I mean, all twisted-logic sympathy aside, if it helped create the conditions that forced him out of town then, in a weird way, I guess fans and media taking shit from this guy was ultimately worth it. Dioner Navarro may not be a replacement worth celebrating, and maybe a lot of Arencibia’s epic communication breakdown really was just genuinely misguided, but holy shit, who the fuck needed another fucking year of this shitshow, amiright? Even better: it turns out the guys who sign the cheques agreed with us all along. Y’know, eventually.

A little Shadenfreude? You bet your fucking ass. Concern that Anthopoulos couldn’t even get a bag of balls back? None. Touch of venom? Yeah, straight of the don’t piss in my mouth and tell me it’s raining variety.

Comments (199)

  1. Didn’t think it was possible he could walk…

  2. Can we celebrate?

  3. Andrew, How long do these awesome pictures take to make? You’re hilarious, ohhhh yeaaaaa

  4. His 2013 was so historically poor, AA really had no other choice. All those dingers will booberize some GM though.

  5. How many HR’s is he gonna hit for Tampa Bay next season? A trillion?

    • Probably something close to that.
      Although in order to hit a trillion home runs he’d have to hit about 317 per second, every day for the next hundred years. If he managed to do it in a season, he’d have to hit over 6 billion per game over a 162 game season. Which assumes 6 billion at bats per game, which even if it only took him 2 minutes per at bat to hit each home run and round the bases and he was the only player, and the opposing team spent no time at their at bats, each game would still take about 22,000 years.

  6. Attractive guy, good person, bad baseball player.

    Thousands of girls are crying themselves to sleep in Toronto tonight.

  7. Love that pic…..

    I thought for sure that someone would pick him up…..maybe AA should have called Dombrowski.
    I’m sure he’s going to wake up tomorrow with a pounding head and say what the fuck did I do last night!

  8. See ya! guess aa couldn’t even get a sack of used baseballs and a bag of spitz for him. Although I’m sure someone figures why trade for him when they can just sign him as a FA

  9. From the USA starter at the WBC to non-tendered in the same year.

    Would not be surprised by a bounceback season on a team where he isn’t forced way beyond his limits to play 130+ games.

  10. There goes my dreams of that hotty of his singing at the RC

  11. Finally the black hole is gone. The girls might b in tears for the Aaron-cibia to b gone but the men will b shedding tears of joy that his strike outs r finally gone!! Good luck JP

  12. Too bad. He had such great swing-and-miss stuff.

  13. Fascinating how things change. Couple of years ago Ricky Romero and JPA were basically the social media leaders of the team and now here we are. I actually feel sorta bad for Arencibia because despite the occasional thin-skin episode he no doubt tried his best. Hope he lands on his feet.

    • @brent

      +1 Romero & JPA were supposed to be 2 homegrown talented players.

      The sad part is that it is an indictment of the Jays inability to develop homegrown talent.

      • Not really. More an indictment of JPR for drafting Romero. JPA meanwhile has been healthy and just was never that good.

      • In ability to homegrow romero? please. You do know he was successful for like 3 seasons and then was figured out right? not really a problem of developing players.

        I still cant get my head wrapped around how JPR drafted Romero over Tulo.

  14. Real question: Who is the handsomest guy on the team now?

  15. Now Jemile Weeks for Jim Johnson…not sure what to make of that at all to be honest…

    • A’s got the better end there. Has weeks been relevant the last few years? Dont think he has

      • yeah plus a PTBNL but yeah still 10 mil + for a reliever/closer and 11 million a year for Kazmir ( who wasn’t in the majors year before last) seems weird for the A’s.

        • Just more evidence of the dramatic change going on in the game, with the money pouring into the coffers. We need to adjust what a dollar will buy.

          pretty much every FA signing for the next few years is going to instinctively feel like an overpay.

        • I think the A’s realize as long as these guys have short term contracts, and they perform, than they can be flipped at the trade deadline for good value (If they are out of contention at that point).

    • same situation… o’s were going to non tender Johnson… they took whatever they could get.

  16. Im not too surprised he was non tendered. I was kinda hoping they would have been able to get a 4th OF for him. Realistically though, he isnt worth a bag of sunflower seeds.

  17. Does Adam Lind have any trade value? What about Rasmus?

    • Lind, no. Rasmus, hellll yes.

      If he were a FA right now and was hypothetically limited to only signing a 1 year deal, he would prob fetch around $15 mill IMO.

      • Lind had a 132 OPS+ over 500+ PAs. He definitely has value, but nothing like Rasmus would have, because he’s either a DH or a below average 1B.

  18. It was quite amazing just how much goodwill from the fans that he pissed away this season. I would be feeling bad for the guy if he hadn’t been such a douche.

    • Bingo.
      A little humility woulda gone a long way.

      • + Billions and Billions!

        Not only was he bad, in just about EVERY category,

        But he was a douche about it AND
        thought:

        1. he was right to react like a 5 year old to the criticism
        and
        2. He was a natural leader

  19. Realistically, they couldn’t non-tender Rogers, because to let him walk for nothing would have made the Yan Gomes trade look even worse.

    • No. That`s not why. They couldn`t let rogers walk because he has trade value as a swingman out of the bullpen and with the cost of relievers this offseason, that`s valuable. Yan Gomes is valuable only because the catcher market is absolutely shit right now. Pitchers on the other hand…always valuable. Someone who can give you 10-15 games of cover when one of your starters gets injured without costing 10 million bucks…even more valuable.

      • Agree: not to mention the fact that in his career he’d never pitched more than 83 IPs and last year they pushed him for 137.2. Understandably, his ERA went from around 3.50 in the 1st 3 months to 7.07 in Jul and 7.66 in Aug. It’s a bit interesting that it dropped to 3.71 in Sep but I’m guessing that may have had something to do with pitching against expanded rosters.

  20. The fans have to wear this one.. You get the feeling he’s the type of personality that would blossom with consistent support. Absolutely feeds on emotion. In a perfect world he’s the emotional leader of the franchise, a long-term fixture and a Level of Excellence candidate. Instead he’s relentlessly tweeted negativity, picked apart by “analysts” and essentially plays himself out of town. He has to be absolutely relishing the prospect of a fresh start.

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Romero, Snider and JP, the people who put themselves out there the most, all wound up floundering here. A plugged in fanbase with nothing good to say and all the inclination in the world to repeatedly say it. Sometimes a guy is just drafted by the wrong team. Can’t blame any first round picks who decline AA’s overtures.

    Sad.

    • Yeah, it’s the fans’ fault! It really has nothing to do with those players not being good enough!

    • Sad.

      You said a mouthful.

    • Nice try JP

      • I get the sense that like the monkies in the room plunking away at their typewriters, at some point they would eventually bash out “War and Peace”; so too would JPA eventually stop swinging at pitches 2 feet outside in the dirt. But it wouldn’t happen in our lifetimes…make that our consecutive lifetimes. But even when he had finally acheived that herculian task (for him), he’d still be watching pitches skip by to the backstop and calling the precise wrong pitch to the batter who was waiting for exactly that.

    • Now that’s one hell of a stretch.

    • Romero got exposed, Snider still sucks in Pittsburgh, and JPA has regressed. Yeah, sure. It is indeed the fans’ fault, you fucking handjob.

    • Holy fuck…get real.

    • Bringing up some good points, if a bit over-the-top. I’m as happy as anyone we’re parting ways, but most of the comments I’ve seen this evening are severely lacking in even a hint of class.
      The man did a lot of good off the field, was proud to be a representative of the Blue Jays, and deserves at least some token acknowledgement. Under no circumstances should he have been our starting C next year, but the schadenfreude with JP is a bit much.

      • @Scotty

        +1. I am shocked at the venom shown to JPA>

        You may not be happy with his performance last year but part of the reason he played so much was because Henry Blanco & Josh Thole were even worse.

        Having to get Dickey a special catcher tied down the Jays.

        We had the worst production from the catcher position in the league.

    • Completely backwards. He was universally and inexplicably loved and supported here, long after it was deserved. It was only the last month or two that the disgust became palpable.

      In fact, it was prob all the support he had early on that hurt him, giving him a sense of entitlement and not allowing him to see the obvious flaws in Hus game and fix them.

      • These are good points as well. He has been a media darling, but not so much at all in the blogosphere. If he could have just taken the legitimate criticisms of his play better it would have made a world of difference, because he had no goodwill left by that point.

    • I don’t think they would have made it to the majors if the fans booing them for poor play was going to have them forget how to play baseball.

      Romero and JP are just not good enough to be on the roster, that’s it. No fan conspiracy here.

      The issue with Snider is the fans who thought he was going to be a superstar didn’t think he got enough of a fulltime chance to blossom.

    • This might be the greatest comment I’ve seen since JB posted here.

      In a perfect world he’s the emotional leader of the franchise, a long-term fixture and a Level of Excellence candidate.

      It was about here where I lost my shit, laughing at your stupidity.

      • Ahh JB
        The only person more stubborn than Stoeten.
        That alone was worth the entertainment value.
        Fond memories.

    • Apparently you were drinking with Dombrowski last night.

    • Mr. Radeberger, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • …and for the record, I have sucked JPA’s dick on many, many occasions. That, however, has NOTHING to do with how much of a fan I am of his and how unfairly mistreated I think he was while he was here.

    • Seriously?

      I disagree on almost all counts. Also, I am sure he is relishing his opportunity for a fresh start at Triple A in some other teams system.

  21. Fun fact: JPA’s WARP per game played over the last 4 years is exactly the same as Navarro’s. Both are 0.0071. (BP stats)

  22. Wow. I never thought they would cut bait on the guy.

  23. Heard it ,then read the thread ( hey that rhymes), still sorta stunned about the Fister deal.
    Talkin about the one that got away.
    Drat.

    • Don`t think he got away. I don`t think the Blue Jays had anything the Tigers wanted. We don`t really have a cheap utility guy and Robbie Ray is better than all of the Jays young pitchers that are close to the majors with the exception of Stroman and Sanchez. We did have cheap left-handers, but then I don`t think from the looks of this, the Tigers wanted Fister to play in the AL.

  24. Doesn’t the Navarro/Thole job share feel a little bit like the Izturis/Bonifacio job share at 2B last year?

    Sure, it could work out just fine or as an upgrade over what the Jays had last year.

    However, Navarro has shown an ability to be pretty shitty as well.

    As much as I am glad JPA is out, deploying two part-time players with questionable defensive abilities and hoping it works out isn’t particularly comforting.

    • I think it’s nitpicking to say Thole isn’t strong behind the plate. Plus he catches the Knuckler, so… There’s that.

    • Yeah but something had to be done.
      JPA was 2 AB’s from having the third worst OBP in the history of baseball.
      I think I read that he had a BA of .145 after the AS break.
      At the same time saying that everybody else doesn’t understand how baseball works and he is more valuable than his stats say..
      He’s delusional and in total denial.
      I hope he gets a fresh start somewhere and turns it around.
      It wasn’t gonna happen with the Jays

      • Trust me, I’m very happy to see JPA off the roster.

        And, considering the shitty options on the FA market, I actually don’t mind the Navarro signing either.

        It’s just that, you know, it’s entirely possible (maybe even probable for all I know) that Navarro, Thole & JPA are all just backup catchers and that there wasn’t really an “upgrade” made today.

        Although I do like the possibility of some platooning at the very least.

        JPA wasn’t exactly palatable vs righties or lefties.

        • I think it’s an upgrade based off of last year. I’d say realistically with those 2 you’ll get the same production you got from Arencibia circa 2011-12 (which isn’t great but won’t sink you either).

  25. This is probably one of the best tweets about JP
    @itsdgc: JP Arencibia tried to hit the door on his way out, but swung three times and missed. #BlueJays #farewellsweetprince

  26. Whatever happened to me?

  27. Does this set the stage for AA to acquire an elite catcher? Who would the potential options be?

    • Well he does have a relationship with Mike Napoli, Yan Gomes & Travis D’arnaud.

      • +1.

        The Jays have made a mess of the Catching position. AA let all those players go.

        Molina would have been an upgrade to JPA. We had John Buck last year for a few days as well.

        • It’s time to get over the Napoli and Gomes trades.

          Napoli was mediocre at best when he was acquired for Wells, pretty much a throw in. Nobody saw this coming. Plus, he’s no longer a catcher so why are you bringing this up?

          As for Gomes, scouts saw him as a lifer in the minors at best. We’ll see if he can continue with his production, but he can easily flame out. He had a great season in Cleveland and it was unfortunate for the Jays. But this happens all the time.

    • Catcher smatcher. We just got one for God’s sake. Save the “elite” status for a new starter.

  28. According to Baseball America, #Angels have signed RHP Mike Monster, a Kelowna, B.C. native whose fastball touched 97 mph during tryout.

    I used to umpire in Kelowna when that kid used to play. Never seen anyone here hit home runs so easily…. oh yeah he also touches 97

  29. Hahaha. If only Gregg Zaun was still active. He would have had tons of value in todays market compared to that of only a few years ago. If Navarro’s contributions could even come close to Zaun’s then they should be thrilled.
    Haha. I never thought I would ever think that Zaun was underrated.

  30. I for one am glad that the Jays aren’t hesitant to dump a player because of the tiresome “he was a 1st-round pick” or “what if he breaks out somewhere else” clichés. If you’re serious about winning, you get rid of your shitbags.

    I do genuinely hope he has a decent career with impersonations. That’s one thing he hasn’t struck out on yet.

  31. so the a’s just acquired O’s closer for jemile weeks and PTBNL.

    i would assume the ptbnl is a recent draft and thus cannot be included yet due to time…but I would assume its a legit prospect…otherwise AA’s theory that the value of pen arms will rise is off to a bad start

    • Johnson was going to get non-tendered… the o’s don’t have the budget to pay Johnson close to $11M next year.

  32. I get the feeling more isn’t forthcoming anytime soon

  33. Good comments by Shi Davidi.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/arencibia-a-risk-not-worth-taking-for-blue-jays/

    AA is obsessed about his assets except when he sells low on on Bonafacio & JPA.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to keep JPA with the tender & then try to trade him through spring training.

    What happens if a Jays catcher gets hurt, like Navarro who hasn’t played much over the past few years?

    What happens if any of the other teams loses a catcher in spring training ? JPA would be a more valuable trade chip.

    AA is hoarding the market on relievers, but I think some of them are out of options.

    Is there room for everyone next year? You can’t send Dusty back down to AAA.

  34. This was the passage from Shi Davidi that I found telling:

    “All that being said, it remains remarkable that the union between the Blue Jays and the 27-year-old could not be salvaged. After all, Anthopoulos is obsessive about the way he manages assets and he so rarely sells low (like he did in dealing Emilio Bonifacio to the Royals in August for cash).”

  35. Richard Griffin makes a good point about Navarro:

    “It’s one thing to hit .300 as a backup in the NL Central, and quite another to be considered a deciding factor in the red-hot crucible of the AL East. He has not started more than 53 games in the majors since 2009, and has done so just three times in his career — 2007-09 with Tampa Bay.

    Navarro, since Dec. 2, 2010, has been a free agent four times. That can sometimes be good, but other times it can just mean you were released.

    So, why now, after all those opportunities, at the age of 29, playing 2014 as a 30-year-old, have the Jays become the first team since ’09 to consider Navarro as a starting catcher on a contending team? Are they smarter than the rest? That has yet to be proven, given recent history. Navarro is a solid backup catcher. That’s it.

    Now a question is, who’s going to catch the elusive knuckleball served up by Dickey every five days? Has to be Josh Thole, right?”

    • not sure if it’s a ‘good’ point, or if he’s just being himself & creating a strawman; i don’t think anyone in the org or among the fanbase considers navarro a ‘deciding factor.’ he just needs to be not-JPA. it’s really not that tall an order to get replacement level (or even slightly better) performance from the position with a ~ 110-50 game split between navarro & thole; you know thole’s getting RA’s starts anyway, so it’s really just another ~20-ish games here & there for him.

      really not sure how anyone can be negative about this move, unless they feel AA should have gone all in on mccann (if mccann would have even considered TO), since the drop-off from him to the remaining FAs at C was pretty huge.

      IMO, AA did fine with navarro, as he’s simply an improvement on JPA in every way (even if he’s not a defensive stalwart, he’s – at worse – better than JPA) for what would have been the same money…still leaves him with assets to trade for a pitcher or 2b, or $$$ to go sign FAs.

  36. JP to redsox perhaps? Could have a Salty like resurgence

  37. As much as I am not sad to see him gone, it really makes you wonder about the Jays catchers outside Navarro. Navarro who has not had a large volume of playing time last 4 years tend to make you think, that him and Thole would be close to Platoon level. I would be shocked if Navarro, played more than 110 games. But, then the next problem is the lack of depth at catcher. You have A.J Jimenez, and then you go to guys like Mike Nickeas, Sean Ochinko, Jack Murphy, Chris Schaeffer. outside of Jimenez if someone goes down, they’re options arn’t AAAA but AA or AAA level catchers. After trading away guys like travis d’arnaud, Buck, Mathis, Gomes, Carlos Perez. Since catching is the one position, outside of Mccann, Posey, Yadier Molina, Wieters as having decent catchers really makes you wonder.

  38. Not going anywhere… #GetUseToIt

    — jp arencibia (@jparencibia9) November 16, 2012

    #EpicBad, #SeeYaLater, #JPAhole, #JPArrogance, #NavorroIsAnImprovement, #HayhurstandZaunWin, #DJFWasRight, #.227

    • That always struck me as the Jays realizing that D’Arnaud was going to be part of a trade for an elite starter and AA trying to build the confidence of a shaky asset. All of which flew right over JPA’s head and in fact went the other way and reaffirmed his sense of entitlement.

  39. It’s simple, he did not want to be here, he is from Florida , his new wife is from florida. bet he signs with Marlins. According to fellow minor league players, all he did was practice his home run swing ,thinking it was the best way to the show.

  40. Fuck ‘eem.

  41. Jose Bautista is the hottest Jay. But then he always was. JPA looked cute in uniform but when I saw the team in civvies last June he didn’t look like much. The helmet hides the fact that his face is too long and out of proportion. JB however in an expensive suit=sexy as hell.

    What bothers me is that the Jays stuck with him and got rid of everyone else in the face of a fair amount of evidence that he was as useless as a chocolate teapot. That’s on the front office.

    • I think that they saw the PCL MVP come up and smack -what?- 2 HR’s in his first game and it took awhile for them to forget that. Moreover -and this IS on them – Zaun made the point last season that they have no catching help at the MLB level. For some reason Wakamatsu was let go after 2012 and if I’m not mistaken, it took them til Sep to get Fasano in to help with JPA. Thats nuts. They should have a permanent catching advisor:especially with a young catcher like JPA.

  42. If, like he said, he really believes that Jesus doesn’t want him to take pitches, then he’s going to be uncoachable and on a rapid descent to AAA.

  43. With the Red Sox picking up A.J. Pierzynski this morning, (a nice fit with David Ross) it would now appear that the Blue Jays have gone from having the 5th best catching tandem in the Division to having the 5th best catching tandem in the Division.

    For all the reasons Stoeten listed: performance, attitude, reaction to adversity etc. it was clearly time for JPA and the Blue Jays to part ways.

    But unless there is another shoe to drop, the Blue Jays catching situation still looks pretty bleak.

    • jeff Sullivan’s piece on fangraphs said something along the lines that there are upgrades from decent to good (or great) and then there are upgrades from gawdawful to decent. both are types important.

    • This was discussed ad nauseum last year. Bringing several positions on the Jays’ roster up to replacement level will have a massive impact on this team. Spunking a ton of cash on AJP (whose initials are an anagram of JPA — clearly not a good sign) or McCann would really only result in overpaying for a player and using up cash needed for the starting rotation.
      Navarro fits the bill perfectly for our needs.

      • Agreed. Navarro, at worst, brings the catcher up to replacement level. I think a lot of people are understating his ability to be something more than just “better than Arencibia.” I think he’s capable of being league average and adding a couple wins to the team.

        • Navarro was a regular from 2007-09. He was so-so the first year, very good the second and terrible the third. Since then, he has had to total of 687 at bats in four seasons.

          If they’ve hitched their wagon to a part time player, or a player who is likely to perform better in a part time role than in a full time role, it is destined to not turn out very well.
          He’ll be 30 next year so he’s hardly a guy about to come into his own.

          I made a similar post last year when they signed Izturis to be the every day second baseman. You guys crapped all over it.
          How did that turn out?
          Check back in August. This figures to turn out about the same.

          • His two year deal indicates that he is going to be a stop gap until Jiminez is ready, so we really don’t need him to come in to his own. We need him to hold the fort in a competent manner, which I think he can do, and which is certainly worth 4 million a year. But as you say, we’ll see this time next year.

            • If the Blue Jays were in a holding pattern or rebuilding mode,
              I would wholeheartedly agree that Navarro could do the job.

              Or if one thinks of the Blue Jays as a cost conscious,
              small market team, his signing makes sense.

              If one thinks of the Blue Jays as a championship contender
              in the American League East, not so much.

              And why do we keep buying this cost conscious argument?
              Rogers is an ownership group that just spent $5.2 BILLION on hockey rights
              and resides in the 5th largest media market in North America.
              Stadium attendance and viewership on all platforms was good last year.
              There is no logical reason the Blue Jays should not behave
              as the biggest, baddest big market team on the block…along with
              the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and whomever else.

              • Except that you’re making up available catchers that make sense for the deals they signed. Would you rather have signed AJ like Boston? I don’t want him. McCann at his price? Not really….Ruiz? I don’t think he was worth the 12 or 18 million he’s getting over Navarro.
                We can’t invent solutions that don’t exist.

          • “If they’ve hitched their wagon to a part time player, or a player who is likely to perform better in a part time role than in a full time role, it is destined to not turn out very well.”

            Off the top of my head, Gregg Zaun, Rod Barajas and Charlie O’Brien all came to the Jays after being backup catchers and found success in a starting role. That’s not even taking into account the number of times it’s happened at other positions.

            Izturis not working out doesn’t mean Navarro won’t.

      • For Yankees was 17M a year for McCann over 5 years “overpaying”? McCann is elite level catcher on O and D. This was not over paying in my estimation when you consider the contracts that mediocre pitchers like Nolasco and Hughes have signed. ID rather have McCann than both of those guys. Would have loved to see McCann plug the jays biggest hole at 17M per season.

    • Not that I disagree, but why do we care about that in isolation? Do you have to be the best at every position in your division to win baseball games?

      Everyone seems hung up on “how much” the Jays upgraded at catcher. Look at what was fuckin available. They upgraded as much as was pretty well possible without spending prospects where they will be needed elsewhere. As Stoeten is want to say: that is not nothin’.

      • Brian McCann – the perennial all star and elite level catcher was available.

        • Did you not see the reports? Yankees were interested and involved in Mccann since the start of the off season, meaning the Yankees wanted him the most. Do you really think we were gonna overbid for him?

          • Yes exactly my point.

            If the Jays are not even going to entertain the idea of out bidding the Yankees for a front line catcher then how can they expect to beat them? A catcher of McCann’s status rarely becomes available and AA missed his chance to capitalize while plugging the biggest hole on the team and while seemingly not even entertaining the idea of getting him.

      • The Blue Jays will probably have the best shortstop in the division in Reyes.
        If Bautista stays healthy, he’s probably the best right fielder…but that is no guarantee.

        The other positions?
        c-McCann and Wieters
        1B-Miggy (but Davis and EE are very good too)
        2B-Cano? Pedroia, Kinsler, Zobrist
        3B-Longoria and Machado
        CF-Jones (Jennings and Rasmus may not be too far away)
        LF-Soriano
        DH-Ortiz

        The Blue Jays have several things to worry about.
        Having the best player at every position in the division is not one of them.

        • I am confused by your rankings, you state our division, but you put Miggy as 1B and Kinsler at second?

          • fielders gone so Miggy is moving back to first

            • I was talking in regarding his ranking of player with our division, the AL east, but he has put miggy and kinsler in the discussion. Inconsistencies here. His point on every position not needing to be the best in the division is totally correct though.

          • Oops. My Bad.
            Best in division would be Davis or EE.
            I might even take EE in that battle.

            And you’re right about Kinsler, too.

            • Glad we sorted that out. I would say Davis had a monster year, but I have a hard time believing he would be able to repeat his performance next year a.la Bautista. EE has the record of repeating his breakout year.

              I would say LF is a wash because no one in the AL East has a good left fielder, indeed if Melky returns to form, we may have the best one in the division.

              Our DH is actually in quite good shape. No one will come close to being as good as Ortiz, (unless Pujols becomes a permanent DH), but lind with a proper platoon is probably better then anyone else in our division.

  44. Some intriguing guys available after the non tender deadline, some of these guys will still get big league deals but a few could probably be low balled and thrown in AAA:

    Jordan Walden, Jordanny Valdespin, Justin Turner, Daniel Hudson, Jeremy Hefner, Andrew Bailey, and Mat Gamel.

    Gamel has been robbed by some freak injuries that have kept him out for a couple of years but his career minor league numbers are a preposterous .304/.376/.498. He doesn’t have much glove but I smell a perfect recipe for our next DH.

    Take a flier on this guy AA.

    • I’d like to see them pick up Dan Hudson too, even if he takes all year to recover from Tommy John. You don’t often get a guy with that kind of upside–he’s only 26!–as a discounted free agent. That guy can pitch and it looks like Arizona is trying to lowball him. Walden can pitch too but how many middle relievers can we handle? Hudson and Brett Anderson would really beef up the rotation and they can be had at reasonable salaries, though Mr. Beane won’t be giving away Anderson very cheaply I think. He usually gets above market value in his trades and he’s already got the Mariners and Indians interested in Anderson, as well as the Jays. Gamel is another interesting option. It looks like Black Friday in the baseball world today–sales everywhere!

      • Hudson has had tommy john surgery TWICE since he last pitched in the big leagues…

        he was only projected to get around $1M in arbitration and the snakes still decided against offering it to him…

        those are two pretty serious red flags.

        • Good point–I didn’t realize it was his second TJ surgery. Still, Drabek has had Tommy John twice as well, yet the Jays keep him around, even though he’s never shown anything at the MLB level, while Hudson has shown a lot. Your point about the red flags is a good one too but, as you note yourself, his salary is chump change.

    • Hell yea to Hudson, AA should be slobbering on that opportunity. If he likes Anderson, no reason he wouldn’t have similar interest in Hudson.

      Didn’t know Gamel was available, that could be interesting.

  45. Dirk Hayhurst on The Blair Show called out the organization for how they develop their talent through the minor leagues. He said JPA was not the only player who has come up to the majors with diminished skill-sets and an attitude and the organization allows this to happen ‘again and again’. If that’s the case then no wonder we’ve been in the wilderness for years and years. That really is something that must be addressed.

    • yeah, I hope this being discussed at the highest levels of the organization… farrell is a jackass but he is also a smart guy with player development experience and I thought it was eye opening that he raised this issue once he was out of the organization.

    • How do you fix a players attitude through player development? That doesnt make a lot of sense to me.

      • I’m assuming Hayhurst felt that minor-leaguers had been allowed to get away with far too much down at the farm so came up with the attitude that they didn’t have to listen to the coaches. He wasn’t just referring to JPA.

        • Yeah, I heard the interview, he was speaking more to approach than attitude (although an unwillingness to alter the former may suggest an issue with the latter), basically, the notion that JP could arrive in the big leagues with such an indifferent view on strikeouts, OBP etc and be focused solely on HRs is something that should have been corrected before he got to the majors and certainly shouldn’t have been an issue in his 3rd year as a regular.

          • the only problem with that sentiment is that jays didn’t rush Arencibia, and had him repeat AAA and win the MVP before they gave him a starting job.

            He had a .359 OBP in his last year of AAA before they called him up.

            People are so quick to jump on the organization for not developing players. At a certain point you have to blame the player. He didn’t change his swing, or his approach. Certain players have that capacity, certain don’t. Maybe the Jays have to recognize that character trait better in the draft, but to say this is the jays lack of development is a cop out.

            • They did run him out there at catcher for the majority of the games. Not like he was playing a regular position where you have time to focus on adjustments – catcher has so much other stuff to do and a split time situation would have helped a lot. Only the rare few like Posey can handle it at such an early age – dont underestimate the value Molina and even Mathis brought in the back up roles in terms of everything off the field

            • I just listened to the Hayhurst thing again. His point was (I think) that the minor-league coaches are not paying enough attention to basics. To extrapolate from that, it sounded like the players in the minor-league system are allowed to get up to the major league team without certain basic skill-sets that players in other teams–like Novarro–have drilled into them from the get go. He made it clear this isn’t just about Arencibia but about other players as well, but to focus on Arencibia it seems that he felt he didn’t need to listen to his two batting coaches and everyone else and maintained his own way of approaching the ball. It’s not likely that he developed that attitude all of a sudden after years of listening respectfully to his minor league coaches. So I guess Hayhurst thought that level of pig-headedness should have come under scrutiny and dealt with on the farm. I loathe Farrell as much as anyone and when he made those cracks about Jays development it wasn’t because he wanted to help the team. But it’s very possible that he was right.

    • What impact does the Jays development issues have an signability of draft picks? Would these guys have signed for less money with the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Cardinals, As etc? Maybe they get drafted by the Jays and evaluate they will be better off getting developed by top college program and re entering the draft later rather than get washed up with the Jays.

  46. “Dioner Navarro costs Blue Jays JP Arencibia”

    Headlines this morning are funny.

  47. Forgive me for saying, Halefuckinglujia.

  48. Great post Andrew. Nailed it.

  49. Arencibia would make a perfect tragic figure in a Shakespearean play.

  50. can we trade for Brett Anderson now or what?

  51. I don’t get the chance to get to too many Jays games being I live in Ottawa, but one of the best games I was ever at was JPA’s first game. It’s too bad he’s ended up being a decent player. I’m sure on that drunken day I would’ve sworn he was was the next Mike Piazza

  52. JPA needed to be non-tendered, all signs pointed towards this. From the obvious signing of Dioner Navarro, which suggested he would be let go to his dismal performance offensively and defensively in the last few years which only got worse. JP posted the lowest .AVG and .OBP of any player in the MLB in 2013 with 400+ PA’s. In addition he had one of the worst offensive season’s for a catcher HISTORICALLY in MLB history (bottom 10 of all time). I’m glad we can just move on and welcome to Mr. Navarro! This article may be able to shed some more light on the situation; http://www.gcconnected.com/the-end-of-the-j-p-arencibia-era-looking-back-and-moving-forward/

  53. Meanwhile…some prosepct porn for a dreary Tuesday at the office:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2014-top-10-prospects-toronto-blue-jays/

  54. So who has had the greater fall from grace: JP or Ricky Romero?

  55. Apparently Navarro credits receiving hitting tips from Joey Votto throughout the 2013 and in 2012(when they were on the reds) for his turn around at the plate, lets hope Navarro doesn’t lose his number, cause I want 2013 Navarro and not toiling in the minors for four seasons Navarro.

  56. Hanigan is going to the Rays as part of a 3-way deal. Wonder what other pieces are moving around?

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