canogum

There was some serious hotstove craziness this morning, with a slew of signings, including the massive, shocking move of J.P. Arencibia to the Rangers Robinson Cano out of the AL East, to the Seattle Mariners. I’d like to take a look at all of them, plus the implications on the markets for pitching and second base, but thanks to last night’s excellent holiday party for those of us at theScore, plus my sweating about Spain and Chile after today’s World Cup draw, I’m not quite capable of doing much beyond looking at the real earth-shaking one, and the one you’re most likely to hear Jays fans groan about– and for damn good reason.

Sort of.

Cano would have made a world of more sense for the Jays than he does the Mariners, and in the abstract there is absolutely no reason that Rogers shouldn’t have been able to pay this kind of money, and to ensure whoever is running the club that the deal wouldn’t hamstring them later on, when the contract becomes the giant flaming albatross that it’s destined to. Or maybe they wouldn’t have even had to– the contract is just not that bad.

Last month Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wrote about teams accepting dead money on a deal like this, and applied a standard aging curve to Cano to project his WAR for the next nine years. By that (obviously imperfect) measure, Cano would still likely be almost a three-win player in 2019, the sixth year of the deal. The projection suggests he’d have accumulated nearly 30 wins by the end of that season– not unrealistic– which would make the entire deal worth about $8-million per win right there. That’s fair enough value on this market, I’d say, to look at whatever production he could bring in the remaining four years– or whatever savings you could muster by eating some dollars and moving him elsewhere– as gravy.

As easy as it may be to rationalize if you want to think about it that way, though, it’s still a gigantic commitment, and you’re still staring at years of paying a guy $24-million when you know full well he’s not going to be nearly that productive. It’s an immense gamble, but one I’d have been more comfortable with the Jays betting on than Prince Fielder and his questionable body type, or Albert Pujols and his questionable age (not to mention his poor, by his old standards, final season in St. Louis).

The point, however, is moot. This year Mariners partnered with DirecTV on a $2-billion deal to start a regional sports network that will show the club’s games for the next 17 years, though there surely would have been interest from their current carrier, Root Sports Northwest, or from Portland-based Comcast SportsNet Northwest as well. The Jays, of course, don’t have the luxury of selling their rights to the highest bidder, or creating a new network for themselves, because they’re already someone else’s content– Rogers. And, as we well know (though occasionally fail, or try hard not to understand) that part of the appeal of owning the club is, for Rogers, precisely that they can get the content at below-market rates. Good for Sportsnet– it helps them save money for things that they do have to bid competitively on, like NHL rights– but bad for the Jays.

It goes both ways, though, too. There are huge incentives in ensuring the club maintains a strong brand with strong interest in it, which makes it all the more valuable as cheap content. Part of doing that is by investing in the club, and not to defend them too much, but that commitment can be seen in the jump from a $70-million payroll in 2011 to $150-million in 2015. Even factoring in the extra $26-million each team gets with MLB’s new national TV deals, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Apparently, though, the sorts of mega-deals we’re talking about with Cano just don’t fare well in the cost-benefit analysis.

It’s a shitty way to have to look at it when you know that the money just sitting there, and that the deal is not even necessarily terrible, that flags fly forever, and that ownership has just been spending lavishly on hockey, but it’s not like the recent $5.2-billion NHL rights deal, or last summer’s MLSE acquisition, weren’t subject to the exact same kind of considerations. So I get it. This is how the club is run. We can’t expect the Rogers corporation to operate like Mike Ilitch or for the Jays to be able to get their hands on the same kinds of funds or the same kinds of revenue streams as clubs who own their own RSN.

A business case needs to be made for everything, and while you can make a business-of-baseball case for Cano, I think, can you make the case that the $240-million is going to create at least that much additional revenue for the company over that span? I don’t know that you can. And it would be nice if we could separate this kind of stuff out from the skewering of Anthopoulos, Beeston, or even Rogers itself that is, if my radio is any indication, follow in the wake of this move. They are all operating within a framework. It is what it is.

And let’s be clear, that framework still allows for paths to success– and to major free agent signing– just not, apparently, ones like this. Let’s also be clear, it’s the framework, and not some silly pseudo-rule that limits the length of contracts they’ll sign, which is behind the Jays’ reluctance to be players for a game-changing player at one of their most glaring positions of need.

On the surface it seems obvious that they should have been, but in reality it should be obvious why they weren’t.

I wrote hopefully about Cano as a pipe dream back in October in a piece that I think works well as further reading on these matters.

Comments (317)

  1. The Oranje are screwed to make it out of their group.

    • Hardly. Will be tough, yes.

    • It’s not the best of groups. But if they can beat, or at least draw, with Chile, they should be okay.

      • They can beat Spain. Not the best chance, but don’t overlook the possibility.

        • Spain always starts slow, and will finish 2nd in the group. Netherlands are a great team and will finish first. Spain/Brazil quarters…coming from a Spain fan as well.

          • I like Chile to win the group, and Spain second. I’m probably under estimating the Netherlands though. They will definitely have a chance in both matches to get results against Spain and Chile.

            • Any of the three could win, and I agree that I’m not sure the Netherlands doesn’t have the lowest chance of the lot, but I honestly didn’t hate the draw. If they don’t get out of the group, then they weren’t good enough to win the title anyway.

  2. Coincidentally, it was eight years ago today that the Jays signed their own largest FA contract in franchise history: AJ Burnett for 5 years/55 million.

    We’re just playing a bit of a different game.

  3. Infante’s price probably went way up, with the Yankees maybe interesting now. I can’t imagine them not trying to upgrade over Kelly Johnson. Besides, I think the plan was suppose to have KJ play 3rd, but I could be wrong.

    But I’d still like to see the Jays make a move for Mark Ellis. Just hope the Yankees haven’t set their sights on him now.

  4. it’ll be nice not having to see him 19 times a year though! not quite as nice as seeing him in this lienup for the next three to five years and then hopefully moved just before the serious decline like the vernon wells miracle.

  5. A commenter on the prior post mentioned Cano’s stats at SafeCo, which provide some added context. It had to help them feel a little more confidence in this deal.

    Also, one has to factor in inflation to some extent, no? Today’s $25M is not the same as 2023′s. Could be the going rate for an aging but great 2B by that point.

  6. I still hate rogers as an owner. Corporations make terrible owners for the most part because they have to cater to shareholders. The owner of the jays should be an individual or a group of individuals who are passionate about fielding a winning team and doing whatever it takes to get there. Then rogers can support the funding by paying the rights fees.

    • hey man, a guy can dream

    • Your point is at least a little bit true. I don’t feel like Rogers is going to invest any more in the club than they can turn a profit on, if that means fielding a good team every year that never wins it all but makes the playoffs now and again that is exactly what they are going to do because what is the point of investing so much that you’re “guaranteed to make the playoffs” when the playoffs and sports in general are such a crapshoot.

  7. This would be easier to stomach if we spent a little cash on other FA’s instead of having interest in triple A depth players

    • Which is all that the Jays did this off-season, which for some reason this year ended on December 6th.

      Seriously, people complaining about smart depth moves and pretending that’s it? COME ON.

      • What I find interesting is the possibility of still being able to unload some salary from areas that we have depth in order to fix some holes.

        If pieces like Lind, Janssen, and Happ were traded to teams that had a need for them (and I am sure there are several), that frees up approximately $17 million in 2014. Add that to the assumed $15M of room currently available (if you actually believe that they are fixed on the $150 payroll limit), then you have $32 million to spend. That’s alot of flexibility to add FA pitching and a decent 2B (if you can take on salary – like Philips).

      • Amen. I don’t understand why so many fans are angry about the offseason when its far from over. I get that things don’t look as optimistic as they once did, but the only deal we should really envy is the Fister trade. Cano would have been awesome, but if the expectation is to match payrolls will the Yankees, people need a dose of reality…Another middle of the order bat is a luxury the Jays can’t afford when they’re greatest need is an ACE.

        • I think many fans are simply underestimating the level of talent already on the team and are thinking that massive upgrades are needed everywhere, when that simply isn’t the case.

          I think that with some creativity they still have plenty of room to spend $$$ on filling holes. But fans in this city are so desperate for a winner that they are becoming impatient.

  8. Now that it is done, I admit it is probably too expensive and risky.

    Even though I would have been happy to get him.

    At least he’s out of the East.

  9. Ryan Goins tho.

  10. It’s pretty unlikely Cano will be great, or even good, come the 2020s.

  11. If I’m AA, I’m calling the Mariners five times a day to ask about acquiring Nick Franklin.

    • So will a lot of teams– though he’s hardly perfect, he’s at least cheap. UZR hated him this year, and defensively there are issues. Got figured out badly, perhaps, in the second half. Was awful at the plate. Numbers in the PCL are dubious, but it was Tacoma, not Vegas or Colorado Springs. Hit a bit at Double-A. Better than Goins, for sure.

      I could see him going to Tampa as a piece in a Price deal, though.

      • Please kill me if we have to watch Franklin play 82 games on turf.

        • That bad, eh?

          • well, maybe don’t kill me, but defence up the middle is hugely important and Reyes doesn’t have a ton of range, so a defensive 2b is more important to me than hitting. The Jays should be looking for ground ball pitchers (given the stadium) and put a strong defensive infield in place to help the pitchers. Goins isn’t the answer cause his bat isn’t playable, as you’ve pointed out, but their focus should still be on defensive MI that could also handle SS if Reyes needs a rest. Hitting should be fine this year if the team stays healthy. So they should focus on a platoon bat for Lind and maybe a LF upgrade. I’m not convinced Melky can’t be as bad as last year…

          • Would you trade Goes for Ackley and restore Ackley to 2nd Base.

        • We’ve already watched Bonifacio and Izturis…. how bad could it be?

          • It was pretty awful. Even worse was the inability of anyone to fill SS competently when Reyes went down. So I feel like we already learned that lesson.

      • Everything I heard was that the Rays agreed to a deal with the M’s already. Just up to the M’s to confirm and signing Cano was what they were waiting on. I’m not certain it will be Franklin going to Tampa though, I really think it’s going to be Ackley.

        I also think the M’s aren’t done. Choo is a huge fit for them, especially if they trade Ackley

      • if Seattle goes “all in” on those 2 with the lineup they have, when we could have I’ll lose my shit.

        Price + Cano to the current jays lineup = Word Series over and over.

        WTF

        • Deja vu all over again.

          Seattle adds Price and Cano…and I bet the shit out of the under

  12. So is it safe to say the disadvantages of the media outlet owning the team outweigh the advantages from a perspective of fielding a competitive team in today’s MLB?

    • What advantages?

      • That’s what I thought but I just assumed I was missing the bright side of things.

      • There are significant economic advantages to Rogers owning the Blue Jays, some of which should flow back to the team. Think of the Blue Jays as an “Anchor” tenant at the Rogers Sportsnet Mall. Anchor tenants always get a break on rent. They generate enough audience that then overflows to other programming which increases ad revenue accross the media division. In addition, all of the cross-selling and co-branding opportunities also increase revenue indirectly. How many Bob McCown ads do we watch during Blue Jays broadcasts? Rogers is trying to strategically increase the Sportsnet brand. The Blue Jays are a key part of that and putting a loser on the field is a hinderance to that so they will spend to keep the club competitive.

  13. The worst part of this whole think for me is that now we’re fucked at 2B because the Yankees have to get in the pool with us now. I never thought we’d get Cano so that part isn’t disappointing. But kiss a premium 2B goodbye now, because whoever we want will swing past the Bronx first to see what they’re offering.

  14. try and get Santana or Garza before the Tanaka thing. thats what i would do.

    • Not happening without a giant overpay. I think they might wait and see if Ubaldo and Santana end up in a Kyle Lohse situation because of the draft pick, then swoop in. Or at least that’s what I hope.

  15. Goins and Izturis is not as bad as everyone thinks..

    • Banking on one player who couldn’t hit in the minors and another player coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. It might end up pretty bad.

      • Goins has defense. With the power and speed and the amount of switch hitters in the lineup, they should be able to carry his weak bat. And whos to say, he isnt viewing this season as a “must make it” season, hes getting older and prob doesnt have many chances past this. Izturis has been pretty good over his career, switch hitter who gets on base, steady glove. They gave him absolutely no consitency last season, going with Bonafacio all the time. The guy was an everyday player for the Angels, its not easy coming off the bench into different positions for a team that was mostly in a rut all year. I have faith he can perform better.

        • Goins against left handers in TRIPLE A last year: .214/.243/.310. I know they talk about “all glove, no bat” guys, but those guys have at least a BIT of a bat– a playable bat. That’s not playable unless you’re a pitcher.

          • if he can lay down a bunt can it be any worse than Bonafacio.

            His defense is stellar, and that is what is important to me. With a catcher than can get on base now, i think they are OK. Thats just my opinion though. I was all for shelling out for Cano too.. lol

            • Our defines sucked last year and people are swinging waaaaay too far on the “definese first” pendulum because of it. If half our lineup would’ve hit, and our pitchers hadn’t been shit, we wouldn’t have always been on the razor’s edge losing games because of blown plays in the field. Fix the pitching and the hitting and you’ll care a lot less about the fielding.

              • *our defence. Not defines.

                • sorry i disagree.

                  the defense it what magnified the pitching issues is actually what happened.

                  i dont have a problem carrying a weak bat at 2b, now that JP ErrorSievia is gone.

                  • I don’t think you’re quite appreciating how disgusting the bat is.

                    • hes doing work with the new hitting coach. seriously if the kid can hit 240. and play the defense he showed after his callup, he will be OK. That and why has everyone given up on Izturis?? He is not that bad.

                    • Batting average doesn’t tell the whole story. Defence is great, though yes. Still, against left handed pitching in the minors last year– IN THE MINORS– he hit .214/.243/.310. Adjust that down for playing in the big leagues and that’s pretty seriously unplayable. And I don’t think it’s something that can be coached away at this point.

                      Against right-handers he’s not much better.

                    • how old was Bautista when he was given a real chance?
                      and besides, with JPA out of the lineup.. like i said defense (especially on the shit turf where he proved last season he could handle) is the main objective in filling that hole.

                      Sure Phillips/Kendrick would be better alternatives. But its not as bad as people are making it out to be, especially with a Goins AND Izturis platoon.

                      and ya batting average is a pretty important stat for a guy that doesnt hit for power.

                      Like i said, if he can lay a bunt down properly, i already like him more than Bonafacio or JPA.

                      How Izturis shows up to play this season is another huge wildcard IMO.

            • Yes, it absolutely can.

          • Kawasaki gave good at bats.

    • If adding Jamey Carroll is a genuine upgrade– note: it is– your situation is pretty dogshit.

  16. With an AAV of $24M that Cano will be receiving, the Jays can get more than the 5-7 WAR that Cano generally puts up out of 2B and C for the same annual cost, if not less. Rarely does it make sense to dump that much money into a single player, and Cano isn’t one of those rare cases IMO.

    To me, only Mike Trout is worth that kind of term and/or AAV. Still though, if Rogers offered this kind of money to Cano and he signed with the Jays, I wouldn’t complain.

    • i agree. if you catch a player when he is young enough and you can market the franchise around him, that is the only time its worth it..
      ie Trout, Longoria, Jeter

      Its a good move for Seatlle, because they have a new face to market. With the loss of Ichiro, all they have had is Felix, similar to the situation the Jays were in with Halladay and an empty Skydome the other 4 days he wasnt playing.

    • Agree 100%.

  17. Garfoose was on the radio yesterday and made some points that I thought were really good. Basically saying that if you’re a player that believes that they can be a true global superstar, and has management people that also believe, then there are very few markets where that can be achieved. Winning a world series is one thing. But winning it a a Yankee, or with Boston, or even Texas or LA is an entirely different beast. If people are trying to make you into a global brand, they will target those markets and will never accept Toronto. He made the point that these things send ripples out into your endorsement potential, etc. In an era where players have handlers that want them to be cash machines, I think Dirk’s message rang true.

    • I think that’s nonsense, though.

      Vince Carter did pretty well, globally, in this market.

      • I don’t think basketball is the same. I think it’s the team sport where individuals are the most visible. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. But, for instance, imagine Joe Carter hit his World Series dinger for NYY?

        • I honestly don’t think it would be much different.

          • Then we disagree.

            • Scott Brosius? Aaron Boone? Big Yankee playoffs help their brand?

            • If you’re trying to create a brand for yourself in the US, then I think playing in NY or LA makes a clear difference. But if you are trying to create a “global” brand for yourself then it really doesn’t make much difference. Americans don’t care about anything outside of their boarders.

              The rest of the world didn’t care if Vince Carter played for Toronto or a US team. They just liked Vince Carter, the player. Ichiro would be extremely popular in Japan whether he played for the Mariners or the Astros. Likewise, Bautista would be no more popular in the Dominican if he played for the Dodgers instead of the Jays.

              • Global brand isn’t being liked in your home country. Bautista would be loved in the Dominican regardless. But I still think he’d be a bigger deal if he played in New York, and would probably be doing Nike ads instead of Booster Juice.

            • This thread has been reported to Webber Naturals.

          • Then you don’t understand global branding etc.

        • No basketball stars are way more individually recognized than baseball stars. Basketball is a much more global/individual game with less true stars. I guarantee you lebron makes head and shoulders above on endorsements than any baseball star.

      • Roberto Alomar.

      • Griffey Jr did just fine in Seattle. A transcendent player will resonate globally regardless of what team he’s on. More evidence… Bautista was the leading all-star vote getter in 2011.

    • Meh. They why did he sign in Seattle?

    • So why the hell would Cano/JayZ end up in Seattle????

    • Basketball is entirely different though. Bigger endorsements, more appeal globally… really, besides Derek Jeter, was any American baseball player a “global” icon. Nationality holds the bigger appeal, especially for Asian and Latin-American players; team doesn’t make a difference like it does in basketball.

  18. Its easy to say this now but the Cano possibility was never really a possibility to begin with if the max deal AA will hand out is 5 years.

    • That’s not a real thing, though, nor was it THE thing.

      • I get what you were saying in the article but if Cano isn’t the guy the Jays are gonna throw mega bucks at with everything that he is, the lack of 2B the Jays have, taking him from the Yankees then I think we can stop looking at the top top FA’s as possibilities forever because he would make as much perfect sense as anyone could.

      • on primetime Blair’s sources told him that Cano’s people did not call back after finding out that the Jays limit was 5 years. So I think 5 years was the thing

        • It absolutely wasn’t. They were never going to pay that much anyway. The rule is meaningless.

          I heard him say that too, though, it’s just– maybe it’s a chicken/egg thing, but seriously, talking about it like they’re hamstringing themselves with the rule, like he was, is beyond silly. That’s not why they didn’t go harder after him.

        • AA could have offered 5yrs at 40 mil. Piss off with the 5 yr crap.

          • Money aside. It just seems that Cano was looking for term and money based on Blairs comments, making the 5 year limit a possible factor/deciding factor in Cano’s camp not pursuing any further discussion with the Jays. The way AA operates, seems he likes flexibility and a player making 25mill+ probably does not even interest him. in my opinion.

            • I agree. The “rule” is just a way to get around explaining why those kinds of deals don’t make sense for them, or why they can’t make the case to Rogers to get them approved. Not a real thing– and definitely not a thing that’s hindering them. Driving me nuts that people are acting like they cut the legs out from under themselves because it was really just the rule that stopped them from being involved. If they wanted him and thought it made sense, the rule wouldn’t matter– AA has said as much himself (though he only suggested going to six years in his hypothetical).

              • And with the trade for Reyes it is clear that AA is not apposed to have players with longterm contracts. I agree that AA likely bends the 5 year contract “limit” for the right player.

  19. The impact for the Jays (and Yankees) here is that now Nick Franklin should be available. Ackley might also be available but since he’s the starting cf, he’s more unlikely I’d guess. I’d love to see the Jays get Franklin.

    • Cheap and young with some upside. But the defence isn’t good (yet?), the bat was garbage in the second half, and the AAA numbers are PCL-ified (albeit at Tacoma). Still a way better piece than Goins, but I don’t know that I change my offseason plans because he’s available.

      • I guess the question now is whether the end of season exposed him or whether he can re-adjust at the plate next year. What was his problem at the plate at the end of the year? He was sure hitting when he came up and in the minors, though, as you rightly point out, those pcl numbers are always questionable.

  20. I agree but I’m not sure anyone outside of Rogers and High executives at Sportsnet know how much they make from ad revenue and how much the jays really do make them. Not at hockey level but pretty high.
    Ratings re good, attendance was the largest increase in the league and with that new interest have to imagine sponsors, advertisement partners will be paying more to showcase their products

  21. It seems like since the start of the offseason, the AL east on paper has gotten a bit shittier, which is great.

    • Not to mention that Feldman and McClouth just signed elsewhere so the O’s may have to scramble now.

    • Please don’t use ‘on paper’ ever again as it causes my ears and eyes to bleed. Thanks in advance.

    • Really? I’ve had the opposite reaction. Last year it seemed we clearly had the best team. This year, I’d put us fourth, above Baltimore and behind Boston. I still think Tampa and New York have talent that we simply don’t.

      • Wait until we see what Tampa gets back for Price, maybe.

      • I think the jays are closer than you think.
        I believe they have the best right fielder, dh, and shortstop in the division.
        Rasmus, if he plays like he can, is right up there with Adam Jones and I just refuse to believe that last year is all that melky can offer.

      • But what’s changed so much from last year really? The talent is still there on the Jays. They just really need to be healthy.

        • Melky will be healthy and don’t forget WITH a tumour he hit .279!!
          RAD pitched well over 200 IPs with a bad back and battling fatigue of having to go
          to th WBC before the season. Buehrle got the idea in June and also pitched over 200 IPs.
          Hopefully Reyes will play the entire season and Lawrie won’t forget what he did last August.
          Rasmus learned to hit last year and JB and EE will hit at least 35 HRs each.

          • i like the way you think.

          • Exactly. Everyone is underestimating Cabrera. I believe that there is a possibility that he will be the Jays’ best hitter in 2014. Getting him healthy is like signing a FA

  22. For what it’s worth, someone called into Blair on Prime Time and mentioned they were disappointed AA said he wasn’t optimistic about signing an FA pitcher.

    Blair countered that he KNOWS the Jays are not out on FA pitchers, and will be looking at that.

    • That fucking Sun article. Such garbage.

      Of course he’s still interested in starters on the market.

  23. Stoeten – what would you guess is the Jays most likely move in terms of a starting pitcher?

    Price would be a good addition if they could put together the right package and Tampa didn’t mind him staying in the AL East

    Waiting on Ubaldo or Santana, maybe missing those guys and targeting Bartelo Colon.

    Trading for the Shark.

    Or maybe they’ll just wait and end up doing nothing.

    • Hopefully Chris Sale. The white sox aren’t winning anything this year

      • Unfortunately, Sale is under control until 2019, so the White Sox not winning anything this year doesn’t exactly motivate them to deal Sale.

    • Price isn’t happening.

      Shark and/or Ubaldo would work for me. I think Drew has convinced me I could part with Sanchez for Shark. I also think they’re maybe trying to wait out the market and hope the prices come down on the guys with draft picks tied to them.

      • If they pursue Shark, it would be nice if AA tried to expand a deal to include Castro and shift him to 2b.

        • Meh.

        • I’m with you. Castro at 2B could be nice and he could play ss when Reyes needs a rest. His defence isn’t the best, but 2B would be a better fit for him. His bat should bounce back…and he’s 23. Him and Shark would be nice additions.

        • Wouldn’t be opposed to Castro at second for us, but I believe the Cubs would possibly move him to open SS for Baez and seeing how the Cubs second basemen aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire not sure why the Cubs just wouldn’t keep Castro and move him to second. Assuming he would move but at that age they usually refuse, I mean even Yunel complained and he had a dreadful year and his public image took a hit, traded to new team and he complains….. not sure Castro would move to second

          • depending on what the Jays give up… they have a fairly deep starting pitching roster… todd Redmond looked stellar last year and could easily be a #5 if the Jays acquired the Shark as a #1… then the Jays still have Hutchinson, Drabek, Esmil Rogers, JA Happ, etc…have to feel pretty good about the starters even factoring in some injuries.. leaving only a weakness at 2nd base

  24. Terrible deal in the long term, but every deal longer than 5 years never really looks good. I think the Jays are snake bitten by the Wells contract they got burned on that 7 year deal, so I can see why they wont go past 5 year.

    And I think the Jays got better as a result of subtraction from the yankees in Cano and Granderson. Ellsbury stays in the division so wash and McCan is less valuable compared to Cano and comparable value to Granderson

  25. I see the Yankees only get a second round pick for losing Cano. That’s gotta sting.

  26. Bartolo Colon.

  27. The Mariners got 99 problems but 2nd base ain’t one

  28. On PTS today, Blair said that he was told BOTH by Cano’s people and the Jays that when Cano’s people checked to see if the Jays had any interest, they were told that the Blue Jays had a policy of a maximum of 5years for any free agent.

    That is a 20yr old policy that goes back to the heyday of Gillick and Beeston.
    In those days it was 5yr for position players, 3 years for pitchers.

    If they’re holding to that policy or anything like it, then the Navarro, Carroll, Vargas, Feldman types are all you’re ever going to get.
    And none of those scream “Championship”

    • Not necessarily. They would likely need to up the AAV by a big margin though to attract premium free agents which they dont do either.

      • @ afdg
        Actually, a caller asked Blair about that very thing.
        Blair responded that Cano was not signing any five year deal at any price..
        but I don’t know how he knew that.

        From what we’re seeing, from Darvish on, is that unless you’re prepared
        to go 6-7, maybe even 8 years, you’re going to get shut out.

    • Not sure I agree with that. There are many very useful FAs every year that can be had for contracts of 5 years or under. You won’t get a Cano, Fielder or Pujols…. but then again, those don’t necessarily always turn out great anyway. Your not limited to the Navarro’s of the world. That’s rediculous.

      • Absolutely.
        Strikeout machine Curtis Granderson, 33, signed for 4yr.
        Nate McClouth for 2yr and Kelly Johnson for one.
        All of those guys would fit the definition of a “useful player.”
        So too is Raji Davis a useful player.
        If the guy is going to be the 8th or 9th hitter in a strong lineup maybe you think of it, particularly is he is a strong defensive player.
        But if you’re looking for a difference maker, ya gotta shop in a different store.

        • Garbage.

          Who won the World Series, again? What did they do last winter, again?

        • Don’t really agree. To me its about resource managment. For example, a 3-year deal for a guy like Beltran together with a 4 year deal for Ubaldo could be a bigger difference maker for the Jays in the next few years than having Cano at $25 million.

          You don’t have to sell out to 10 year contracts to make your team better.

    • VW got more than 5 years.

      So…..they will bend the rules when need be.

      And Burnett at 5 years, when you state pitchers at 3 is another one where they didn’t follow your policy.

      I don’t buy into that it’s a ‘hard’ policy. Blair-Schmair, he’s a troll.

      They will for the right guy.

    • I was listening to that segment as I was writing the end of this, and I mentioned the rule specifically because of the stupidity of that talk.

      AA has said that it’s a rule that could bend. I’m sure that’s what they’d prefer, but the idea that it’s such a hard rule is bogus. If they felt they wanted a player, could afford the player, and the deal made sense, it would go out the window in a heartbeat.

    • But you could still trade for good players even if you had that contract length limit.

  29. wouldnt it just be awesome if Kyle Drabek became the pitcher we were told he could be this season…

  30. The Mariners got rid of Arod years ago because they could not aford him and did not have a team to play around him. This time they spent the money but still don’t have a team that can keep up. Good luck Mariners. Wish we would have made the deal. Going to pay somebody that much sooner rather than later or start a new league with the likes of the Padres and Marlins.

    • The Mariners let Arod go because they weren’t willing to top Texas’ (at the time) insane offer. And they then proceeded to go out and win 116 games the next year without him.

  31. Apparently Cano won’t have to pay any state taxes in Washington either. Hard to compete with that on top of the near quarter billion dollars. Big win for Jay-Z here, who’s looking like the new Scot Boras now.

  32. Stoets, why do you think the Jays weren’t on on Furcal? I’ve always liked the guy’s bat, even if he is coming back from injury.

    • He’s not very good.

      But that they weren’t should probably tell you something about how comfortable they really are with Goins/Izturis, right?

  33. Guys the no more than five years is a crutch for the orginazation purposely it gives them something to hide behind on why they didn’t go after a certain player.
    It’s easier for Beeston and AA to say that^ then we don’t feel this player is worth this much or we don’t have the money available because then there would be more venom shooting AA’s way.

    • On a side not I knew there was no chance Jays where signing Cano, but damn he’d be good here.
      It’s early but Jays need to do something this offseason you can’t have 4 positions that rank dead last in the division in terms of offensive production. And starting pitching.
      Worst
      C
      2B
      LF
      And don’t lead in any catagory( of course it’s on paper and breakout years can happen and other teams suffer from injuries and down performances) but the fact the Jays don’t stand above the pact in any offensive production at any position in the AL East.
      Rasmus, EE,Jose, Reyes are second at their positions.
      But with how bad the starting pitching was and can easily be again, not sure how Jays can realistically contend at all.
      Need all stars performances in a season at a lot of positions to compete in AL east.
      Hopefully AA is just bing coy about not having to upgrade the starting rotation. If it’s just one starting pitcher not sure how it looks any better than last year on paper.
      This season possibly SP: Dickey, Morrow, Buerhle, Anderson/Shark? Happ
      Last year SP: Dickey, Buerhle, Morrow, Johnson, Happ
      Unless that one starting pitcher is David price but if the Marniers make a run we have no chance with matching prospects and the fact we’re their division.

    • I agree with the general premise. It’s not a real rule. They don’t want to do those kinds of deals, though– or maybe they just know they can’t make the business case for it, so they don’t bother. And yeah, it makes for easy PR cover. But it’s not like they’re doing it to be duplicitous or to pocket the money.

      • Completely agree, Rogers isn’t just trying to save or pocket a chit ton of money.
        Rogers is a business first and yeah, totally agree any move they make would have to be calculated to a tee on how it would affect the franchise in the long term. Where as The Tigers owner or Nationals owner can do what they want even if they lose some money cause of the deal, where Rogers absolutely can’t stray from budget.

        AA said it last year, we made a case for the Marlins trade to ownership and presented them with statistical data they could dig up to support such a move. Maybe they didn’t feel they could make a very good case for Cano, just didn’t make sense in dollars.
        Now if the Marlins trade never happened, could have been a chance they would contemplate presenting a cano offer to ownership.

    • If I recall correctly, Pat Gillick had a policy of not signing players to contracts longer than three years during his reign as GM and everyone constantly shit on him for that.

  34. Interesting that the Fish signed fur al to play second base. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/mariners-to-sign-rafael-furcal.html

    For three million, that would’ve worked for me at second in 2014.

    • I was just going to say the same thing. The jays were not even mentioned as an interested team, which boggles the mind a little bit. Of course just cause it wasn’t reported doesn’t mean they weren’t interested.
      Furcal definitely has his warts, but given the jays’ desperation for a 2B (calling it what it is) it’s hard to fathom that they weren’t at least a little interested. Maybe just too much of a wildcard for the jays to gamble $3mill on.

      • He sucks.

        • A healthy Furcal is better than Jamey Carrol. But it’s really comparing chit to chit

        • He may be old, injury prone and bit of a wildcard given that he hasn’t played since 2012, but “sucks” is not a word I would use to describe Furcal given what the jays employed at the position last year. I would assume the jays would cast a relatively wide net in looking for upgrades, but I think it mainly comes down to the money they have to play with this offseason, and the price of FA pitching.

        • He sucks, is quite possibly better than what we had last year and have thus far for 2014.

          Steamer projects 1.5 war for 2014. And while at his worst in 2012 he put up .8 war, which is still better than last year for the Jays. And 2010 was 4.0 war.

          Is he reliable? Fuck no. Do we have a capable backup?Yes, putting Maicer where he belongs as utility guy. Would he be an improvement over last year? I think so.

          I know he is way past his prime, and this whole argument is kind of dumb since he signed elsewhere, but he was palatable to me. Cheap miss here.

      • Why would the Jays sign Furcal when they have Izturis? Where’s the upgrade?

      • That’s presuming they’re working on a $20mill budget for next year that the Navarro signing has cut to around $17mill. Actually $17mill/yr is probably the price of a Garza, Santana, Ubaldo, etc., so they may be extremely reluctant to hand out more FA dollars until the market starts to move on those guys.

    • Me too. I’ve been thinking that all offseason. No idea why they didn’t go after Furcal.

  35. Last year’s moves were based on the premise that the Blue Jays
    had a competitive window that ran from 2013 thru the end of the 2016 season.

    They spent a lot of prospect inventory
    to get some of the pieces they’d need to compete.

    If they’re not prepared to give the term and/or spend the dollars
    to acquire the quality pieces needed to fill holes,
    and sustain (well, start, actually) the run,
    then they will have squandered both the prospects and the productive years of
    Bautista, Reyes and Encarnation’c careers.

    Hard to believe they’re short sighted enough to let that happen,
    but from what we’re hearing……………………

    • Garbage. It’s December 6th.

      • Not only that but if they hadn’t have traded for pitching last off season, they’d have been lucky to get 64 wins.

      • Yeah, and it was “early” on June 15 last year
        when they were 43-52 and 13.5 games out.
        How did that turn out?

        • Might want to check your numbers there. I don’t think anyone was saying “it’s early” at that point.

          • @Gippo.

            I recall Stoeten & Wilner getting mad at fans who were upset with the 10-21 start. There was a big debate on this forum as to whether wins in april & may were important.

            Teams can overcome a weak start like the Dodgers did last year & Oakland the year before.

            It turns out that wins matter throughout the year because at the end of last season, there were 3 teams tied for the wildcard.

            The Jays slow start made a comeback difficult but they did make it to 38-36 so there’s that.

        • Are you mentally disabled?

      • @Stoeten,

        It may be 4 months away from opening day, but some players are already signed for next year.

        Do you think the Jays will go trade route for pitching or sign free agents?

    • But what makes you think they won’t make the investments to upgrade the team this year? Just because they didn’t sign Cano to a rediculous contract? It’s still December 6. Besides, there biggest problem last year was health, not spending $$$$

  36. This contract is just not that bad. And the idea that the Mariners are not “one player away” is pretty fucking stupid considering ITS A TEN YEAR DEAL. They have stud starters, stud big league ready pitching prospects….whose to say that in two or three years they WONT be a Robinson Cano away? Only he wouldnt be available then..and they have him now.

    • good point. being in Vancouver im excited to see how this team develops. and now i have a late game to watch. cheering for the As is hard when thier players turnover like 80% every season. lol

    • Exactly! This is exactly the point the Jays missed years ago when they failed to bring in Gio, Latos, Greinke, etc. which is exactly why they are where they are now.

  37. Anyone else see the show on Sportsnet today where the New York media started dumping on Cano? Said he didn’t hustle and wasn’t worth the $$…
    There’s absolutely nothing to like about that franchise.

  38. Maybe Cano will be traded to Jays(sign an trade) or a starting pitcher will sign for more than five years and then be traded to Jays because the Jays won’t dish for more than five years but will trade for them. Didn’t Reyes have six?
    And I would have totally taken Todd Redmond in the Starting rotation with Buerhles contract off the books and towards Cano. Could have traded Cano in two years if we weren’t competing instead of having Marky B make 19 mill a year

    • not sure why Beuhrle gets all the hate being the best most consistent starter for the Jays last year.. post all star break he was basically lights out. keep him. hes reliable.

      • I agree with you. After the bad start, I think Beuhrle was great last year. I’m glad to have him back next season.

      • I like him and last year he was well worth the money but now into the backloaded part if the deal and a very set budget it makes it harder to look at the money he’s making. But if he throws 200 innings, he’s worth it again. I would move him next year,I mean that arm has to fall of eventually………right?

        • ride him out. only workhorse pitcher they have at the moment..save RA I guess..

          if Morrow can stay healthy
          If Hutchison or Drabek can put some pressure on Happs job.
          and they are able to get one really good RELIABLE starter

          who knows right? lots of ifs tho.

    • Sign and trade? Are we talking about the Raptors or something?

      • at least they are setting records…

        never gave up a 27 point lead before..

        that was hard to watch.

  39. RedSox interested in LoMo but what about their teams chemistry. I mean this why they won the World Series, that and of course………Farrell

  40. I think it wasn’t a bad deal for the Mariners if they combine it with other things like Price or another FA starter and outfielder. They’ve certainly got the impact prospects to fill the holes where needed.

    As for the Jays, I’d rather see them spend the $24 million on multiple players. I think that would have made the team stronger overall going forward. To be honest, outside of a 2nd basemen and two starters, I would love to see them use some of their cash to lock up Colby now. The sooner the better. He’s due to be one of the more attractive free agents next year.

    It was interesting to see that the Angels beat writer for MLB said that the Angels had offered Kendrick to the Jays but were turned down. Hard to say if it was for $ reasons or if the Angels were just asking for too much.

  41. I still expect a big move from AA. Another crappy season and his job is on the line. Another crappy season and the crowds will recede again, the TV ratings will drop. There’s too much on the line for him to stand pat.

  42. Jose Reyes is a jay
    Huh.

  43. MLBTR has a piece up that they call Market Reset
    It compares the FA spending this year with previous years.
    Make of it what you will.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/market-re-set-2013-14-free-agent-spending-to-date.html

  44. Did you see the BP article on the Jays farm system? Jason Parks loved it. Lots of lottery tickets. Lots of trade chits.

  45. Cano at 30 for over 200 million and 10 years?

    I’ll pass on that like 29 other GM’s.

    Second basemen don’t have the longest shelf lives.

  46. 8 years/240 and Cano is a Jay?

  47. Cano made a lot of sense for the Jays and

  48. I neither love nor hate Rogers as the owner. Ilitch is a great owner too but even the Tigers seem to have payroll limitations. These rich dudes who are willing to throw out unlimited sums of money always interfere in operations, to the determent of the team, for example Ilitch bringing in Fielder and pretty much everything Moreno has done.

  49. Mike Napoli’s new contract when added to his one yr deal totals more for the three years then the deal they originally had with him that they voided. Funny

  50. You think the Jays could swing a Jose Bautista and Mark Buerhrle to Seattle for Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackley, Erasmo Ramirez. Here is my rationale:

    The Mariners need RH power. They also need an established starter. Right now they need to spend more money to get these on the open market. Their window of winning is between 2014 and 2016. Buerhle and Bautista are players that fit into all of those considerations and are probably more affordable than making long-term commitments to other free agents.

    From the Jays standpoint, getting two pitchers, and a second baseman plus a guy like Ackley who can play CF, 2B or 1B could be extremely valuable to the Jays. Plus clearing all the payroll would allow the Jays to go out and bid and sign Masahiro Tanaka and get a power hitting right fielder like Nelson Cruz or get a right handed bat like Corey Hart that could play 1B or RF. Trading high on Bautista could be a good move long-term this type of deal could help the Jays get payroll flexibility while getting top level players at 2B and in their rotation.

  51. Feel free to point out flaws in this.
    I can’t understand why they were not all over Cano. I think there would have been so much marketing potential in basically having most of the WBC champion DR team together (plus Bautista!). Handing out half DR/ half Canadian flags..DR nights every so often at the Rogers Centre (music,food), etc. A love affair between the 2 countries can only help the Jays as the DR is a major pipeline for talent and what DR teen wouldn’t have the Jays as their favorite team and dream of playing for them in the future?
    Frontload Cano’s contract a little and it still becomes a moveable asset if it doesn’t work after a couple of years (no way should they give him the full no trade that Seattle did). Trading him and Reyes could practically restock your farm system for a rebuild if needed.
    I also don’t get the 150M payroll limit. You’ve gone this far, why not go all in with this and take it as close to the luxury tax threshold that you can? You created a buzz in the city last offseason and fans came out. There was a glimpse of how popular this team can be. You are running the risk of completely squandering momentum without a buzz worthy move or 2 this offseason. Is the extra 40 or so million worth that? We need pitching too, so sign Garza, trade Sanchez + for Shark and see what happens in the next 2 years.

    • Running close to the luxury tax threshold limits your flexibility to make other moves, so it’s doubly daft to fly as close as you can to the luxury tax.

      • Doesnt bother the Yankees. Their luxury tax % reset after last season and they have no problem paying it for the 1st year (17.5% on the amount over 189MM)…it’s chump change to them.

    • @blaxon.

      Cano to the Jays would have helped them making the Jays the Dominican MLB team.

  52. Shit, forgot to mention the ramped up rivalry with the Yankees after “stealing away” their best player. A fairly reliable source on a message board I frequent who lives in the DR and has some connections to Cano’s family said that TO would have been his second choice after the Yanks due to his friendships with the players..Esmil Rogers especially. Fuck this seems like such a wasted opportunity to me.

    • @blaxon.

      I wonder IF AA will try & get other players from the Dominican Republic based on their friendships with Bautista, Edwin , Reyes etc…

      A few years ago, I think the Jays were trying to get David Ortiz & Manny ramirez to sign with the team based on Bautista being friends with Ortiz.

  53. Wow the Yankees are signing Beltran and Sox are getting Napoli. The AL East is retooling big time.

    • Napoli was already in boston

      • He was a free agent, so any team could have had him. Technically.

        • That just goes to show how spending money doesn’t just automatically lead to success. But you are very likely to never succeed by being cheap. So high pay-roll = chance of success. Low pay-roll = no chance of success. Still no guarantees.

          • @liloowens.

            Low payroll teams can succeed if they develop their young talent properly like the Tampa Bay Rays.

            It also helps if you can have a team playing in a weak division.

            The Oakland A’s would not be as successful if they operated in the the AL East every year.

  54. Beltran to the yanks. 3 yrs/46m. What a crazy week. Cant remember a week ever this busy. Hopefully will continue in the winter meetings.

  55. Yankees have spent 300 million dollars so far on Christmas presents and probably aren’t done yet.

  56. We’re not even at the Winter Meetings yet!

  57. Signing free agents is dumb. Better to trade prospects for players who you then pay equivalent dollars to. That seems to be the plan anyways.

    • @Guapo.

      I assume you are being sarcastic.

      The Jays would have never got Reyes,Buerhle or Dickey or Johnson as free agent signings.

      The Jays should have opened up the wallets this year because they are in a “go for it mode”.

      On the other hand, long tern they need to keep the prospects & develop them properly, so we can watch some exciting baseball after 2015

  58. Just finished reading about the Yankees forfeited their 2 2nd round compensation picks (for Cano and Granderson) because of the McCann Ellsbury and Beltran signings. A tiny consolation prize.

  59. We all know that Beeston has an agenda to fight the inflation MLB salaries. His open war on Scott Boras when he was Prez of MLB probably hurts this club more than people realize. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that although agents aren’t stupid to lock out any teams, that we only seem able to sign highly questionable guys like Melky, or guys at the end of the line like De Rosa. We haven’t seriously been linked to a real premier FA in years. Although agents don’t care about us signing their “lower tier” guys, they aren’t proffering up their marquee boys to the Jays.

    Until Beeston goes this probably won’t change.

  60. I’ll try to find it, but I read an article a while back where Selig stated that the Jays next television contract would be reviewed by MLB. The brass is aware of the scam that Rogers is trying to pull by giving themselves a discount which has resulted in less income for the Jays which prevents them from competing with other teams that are using new TV money to land big free agents like Seattle just did. The party is over for Rogers, the next TV contract is going to be put under a microscope by MLB.

    • @peter

      +1.
      I believe that article was posted here last year before the Jays did the Marlins trade.

      MLB was changing the rules on what constitutes a big market. The Jays were deemed to be a big market under the new rules regardles of low baseball revenue.

      The Jays were getting about 200K per broadcast game from Rogers which is far below what other broadcasters were paying teams for the same TV ratings.

    • Rogers was doing this previously to exploit the revenue sharing system. That’s all gone now and the Jays are no longer eligible.

      What Rogers pays the Jays now is irrelevant to what they decide to spend on payroll or their ability to compete for free agents. Its all their money anyway – just transferring it from the left pocket to the right. They have a pretty significant payroll right now if you’ve noticed

  61. Just running out and spending money isn’t the answer. There has to be more to it than that. Even the ’90s Yankees had a core of players that had come through the system and they spent money to complement that core. They didn’t just bop out and buy the whole damn’ team. Spending way too much money on one player is dumb. He breaks his leg tripping over a seam on the turf and what does that leave you with?

    Who do we have in the minors who can hit as well as play the infield? Because I surely hope we’ve got someone. Preferably more than one…

    • @isabella

      +1. Look at Reyes. Let’s say AA had signed him as a free agent for what he got paid in 013.
      He got hurt after 10 games & was out till the end of June.

      It would have been a disaster from a marketing perspectice.

      Come See Jose Reyes at the Rogers, oops, he’s done.

      A big problem in 2013 was the falloff in performance between regular starters and their replacements.

      Brett Lawrie missed time & his replacement Izturis could barely play 3rd.

      Reyes went down & Kawasaki couldn’t replace him.WAR wise.

      Bautista went down in August & was replaced by Sierra,Gose etc.

      Jays need more depth in 2014.

  62. “A business case needs to be made for everything, and while you can make a business-of-baseball case for Cano, I think, can you make the case that the $240-million is going to create at least that much additional revenue for the company over that span? I don’t know that you can.”

    I wonder if Rogers does any research on the marketability of players from a fan response.

    Would signing Cano increase ticket sales? Has Rogers being lulled into a false sense of security based on last year’s attendance.

    I would love to know what season ticket sales, flex pack etc are this offseason.

    Let’s assume that sales are strong, then perhaps Rogers doesn’t feel the need to spend more to than the estimated 150 million.

    Would AA rather take the 24 million and use it to lock up Colby Rasmus + get a decent pitcher for a couple of years.?

  63. Eric Thames has signed on to play in Korea.
    He seemed like a nice kid who was just not quite good enough.
    Wish him the best of luck over there.

    • @stw

      +1. I met Eric in 2011 at the Jays camp night at Roger Centre. He was vey friendly. His fielding skills were poor but he had some offense skills.

  64. I, like many have you have taken a few things from the transactions that have taken place this offseason:

    1) There are free agents out there who could definitely help the Jays but their prices are astronomical and appear to be unrealistic.

    2) AA plans to try to shore up his clubs deficiencies (outside of catcher)through trade.
    Though acquiring Kratz was a trade as well.

    Many on here and many in the media seem to look at 2013 as a huge risk move, a lottery ticket, that the trade was pushing all the chips into one bold but hazardous pot. I’ve since listened to people say that he needs to pull back and play it safer in ’14.

    I disagree, I think the only market inefficiency left to exploit (especially for a team with cash restrictions) is risk. If Anthopolous is going to make this team better, and I don’t mean competitive, I mean a contender for the division or wild card he needs to make some risky trades.

    New York, Boston and Tampa all got better. Baltimore is rumoured to be pushing very hard on Usbaldo and Santana. Jays could stand pat and hope that 2013 was just an injury riddled aberration but even when they were healthy in ’13(albeit rarely) this team had serious shortcomings. We’ve dealt with one behind the plate, here are my ideas on how to address the others:

    Dodgers have quite publicly placed 3 outfielders on the curb yelling “come get our shit, it’s free you just need to cover the cost”. Crawford, Ethier and Kemp are all available. They can shove Crawford and Ethier up their ass, I want Kemp. Unfortunately although Crawford and Ethier can be had for free, Kemp will cost (via ESPN) two mid level prospects but the Dodgers will include some salary. Fuckin do it. Send them Norris and Smoral and then run to the airport. (even if they wanted a third mid level guy like Robson, do-it)
    Kemp is owed 126 million over the next 6 years, if LA kicks in 15-20 million then you are looking at around 18 million over the next 6 years. I can love that, especially for a guy who is one year removed from .303/.367/.538 slash, and only 2 years removed from an MVP year of .324/.399/.586. incidentally that was the last year he was fully healthy, I think it’s probably closer to the real Kemp then his latest performance. There is obvious risk there but how else are we going to have the opportunity to possibly acquire a 5 tool MVP in his prime without some.

    Kemp plays left, Colby Centre and Bats in RF, I’ll address Melky and Lind later.

    Trade 2, and this is the one that hurts. Pull the trigger on Shark, send them
    Aaron Sanchez, Jairo Labourt and Dwight Smith jr.

    Sigh.

    Sanchez hurts, but according to most evaluators he’s 2 years from pitching in Rogers Centre. Yes he could become a star but he is two years away, and still trying to fully find his control. With pitchers natural high attrition, the fact that he still needs to find his control and, that he’s 2 years away, make it Sanchez as the prospect and not Stroman that I’d give up.

    Finally I’d make a play for Jose Altuve. Houston is in full rebuild, they have Ryan Jackson at the ML level and a few highly touted 2b prospects so I could see Luhnow being interested. From what I’ve read though he wants to start putting a better product on the field for the fans so this trade would require MLB level assets as well as a prospect.

    Send Franklin Barreto, Ryan Goins, and one of Moises Sierra or Kevin Pillar (their choice).

    Again steep, but again we are using Depth to trade for great athletes that are locked up long term. The trades make guys like Barreto, Goins, Sierra and Pillar redundant anyway because there are great MLB players occupying their positions long term.

    Lastly I’d try to trade Lind to Pittsburgh for Andy Oliver. Big Lefty, hard thrower with some command issues. Though Lind was very good last year he’s had 3 prior years of shit and could have been had a few times through waivers for nothing. He also becomes redundant after the move of Melky to DH.

    So the Jays would go into 2014 with a lineup like this:

    1) SS Jose Reyes
    2) 2B Jose Altuve
    3) 1B Edwin Encarnacion
    4) LF Matt Kemp
    5) RF Jose Bautista
    6) CF Colby Rasmus
    7) 3B Kid Dynamite
    8) DH Melky Cabrera
    9) C Dioner Navarro

    Starters:

    RA Dickey
    Brandon Morrow
    Jeff Samardjia
    Mark Beuhrle
    Hutchinson/Stroman

    - Give the ball to Hutch, let him run with it, he deserves it. First arm soreness (because I refuse to believe we’ll have a starters injury this year) Stroman gets the call.

    Lots of depth at each position, lot’s of bullpen, have a swingman in Esmil, tons of fuckin bat. Like probably the best hitting lineup in the AL East.

    It would require AA to give one of the bench positions to a guy capable of playing first so EE can DH or have a day off on occasion. (I refuse ot say in case of injury) But there are plenty of those types of guys out there that you can get at the league minimum or close to it. Baker, Kotchman. McGhee, Youk, Overbay etc….

    Now I know MANY things need to fall right for this to work but outside of the Altuve move the other trade prices have been basically broadcasted by their respected GM’s.
    Kemp for a few kids, Samardjia for a top prospect and few other upside guys.

    This seems very doable and would give the Jays a legit shot in my mind, and it would only put us over about 10 million of the proposed “salary ceiling”. Our prospect depth is top 10 and though it would take a hit in these moves we have 2 picks in the top 11 in June.

    Kind of wish I’d posted this yesterday because I love when Stoeten uses colourful curse words to describe my logic. But that said, I think he’d find most of this reasonable.

    I’m sure “sons”, “dc” and a few others will carve me a new ass but I welcome the discussion.

    • Smasher you were drinking no way in help they rip the farm completely to do all this. I would go hard after Altuve but the shark i would not touch.

      • We need a pitcher. Not too many teams are deep on the mound. St Louis has 6 starters, Dodgers have 7 and maybe 8 if they sign Tanaka which I think they will if he gets posted.
        Problem is, I don’t know if a Jo Kelly or a Ryu would be better then the Shark.

        I do have a man crush on Altuve. Love that little Hobbit. He can be our poor mans Pedroia.

    • I’m with you on Kemp. Especially at that price.

    • It’s interesting to hear that the A’s and Rockies were working on a trade for Anderson yesterday but couldn’t get something worked out. I guess that means the Jays probably aren’t – at least for the moment.

      I do think this team, if healthy, and yes it’s a big if, is 10 games better than last year alone. Unfortunately, that leaves them in the mid 80′s in the win department. Obviously, that won’t be enough.

      I really like the thought of making a move for Franklin, I think it fills the current season’s needs and also future needs. Lets face it, the Jays farm system isn’t exactly shitting out position players of any particular quality. I would have no problem with them giving up a quality arm, that’s not Stroman or Sanchez for Franklin.

      As far as the rest, two more starters would make me wet myself. Do I see it happening? Probably not. My natural skepticism, and I know it’s too early for it, leads me to believe that the team is going to make the same mistake and not make a significant upgrade. The backtracking from AA on going after free agents concerns me. I don’t expect him to say “Don’t worry boys! Dead Ted’s wallet is wide open!” but I wonder if they’re going to make the same mistake as Rogers did after the 2008 season. If you remember that year they had a record payroll of $97 million won 86 games with the best pitching staff in the AL and still finished 4th. Instead Rogers went on to cut the payroll by $14 million, they won 75 games, kicked JPR to curb and initiated The Great Rebuild. Maybe AA is a little gun shy after last year. Maybe Rogers is actually pulling back on the budget. I do know for a fact that Beeston himself said AA was “very, very humbled” after last season.

      I know the situations are not completely the same, payroll has gone up, even if that is due to inflating salaries as opposed to bringing on more talent, but I wonder if the results will be. Personally, I would love to see AA double down and trade for what he needs even if it costs him someone like Sanchez.

      I don’t see Sanchez contributing until at least until mid 2015. If he were to trade for someone like Anderson or Samardzija then the bulk of the rotation is good until 2016 anyway. At that point, you’d have additional high ceiling reinforcements ready to move into the rotation to fill any holes.

      • “Don’t worry boys! Dead Ted’s wallet is wide open!”
        I shit a little bit. Nice.

        I like Franklin too, he would fit in well with the timeline agreed.
        The great “get” will obviously be the pitchers and who he sets his sites on. Anderson fits in well with what I was talking about, getting a good talented guy cheaper because there’s risk attached. Love to see one of thes guys on the carpet in ’14.

  65. Grantland does a bit on the Top 50 most desirable trade targets in MLB.
    Last year, Lawrie was 21st on the list and Bautista 25th.
    This year, neither made the top 50.
    Only Blue Jay on the list was EE at 47.

    Their GM’s have no intention of trading most of the guys on this list,
    but it makes for an interesting read on a quiet weekend and may
    give some insight as to what the Jays might expect to get and to have to give up in a trade.

    Here is a link to Part One
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10074900/mlb-trade-value-rankings-part-1

  66. Jeff Blair goes negative on AA in today’s Globe & Mail. AA’s final act??????

    “It has been a different tack for an organization and a GM that stood the game on its head last year, with a 12-player trade and another deal to secure knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. But the bottom line remains, it’s the second act on the field that matters more than the second act in the off-season – especially since the regular season could turn out to be the GM’s final act.”

    I doubt Beeston would fire AA if they didn’t get into the playoffs this year.

    I am sure Rogers would be satisfied with an 80-85 win season at a minimum.

    • Maybe it’s just me but I think 80-85 wins would be seen as a failure by the fan base unless the entire ALE regresses this coming season.

      • Agree, we’ve had 20 years of alternating levels of competitive, rebuilding or downright shitty teams. Time to pony up or attendance will backslide to pre 13 numbers.
        Fuck, even the hardened fans may tune out.

      • @Tom.

        i think the AL east is more competitive now than its been in a long time.

        Before 2013 started, Stoeten made a good point that it was possible to have a few teams in the division win mid to high 80′s wins because they would beat up on each other.

        i think there are no weak teams in the Al east, so 85 wins could be 3rd place or 2nd place

    • Is that what we’ve talked ourselves in to? 80-85 wins?

      I think it’s obvious now that they are up against it in regards to payroll, which is fine. 135 million or so is nothing to sneeze at and much better than days gone by. If all you can do is finish .500 with a 135 million dollar payroll then you probably should be fired as the GM.

      I know he’s had some tough luck and when you look at the roster there isn’t a bad contract there, even Buehrle’s isn’t totally awful, but they still don’t look to be a contender for much of anything.

      I think it’s a watershed year, AA deserve’s a year of good health so hopefully he gets it.

    • For an intelligent guy who has been around the game for so long, sometimes Blair’s opinions and narratives seem awfully forced… but I guess that’s part of the business.

    • I seriously doubt AA is going anywhere if the team wins 85 games which is what I see them doing right now or even 80 games . The one thing about corporate ownership is that they don’t make a lot of reactionary moves at the upper levels as long as things are relatively profitable and the GM isn’t a blustering clown to the media.

      The only reason to change GM’s would be if the team needed to go in a completely different direction as they did when they canned Ash, hired JP then canned him and hired AA. There were distinct shifts in strategy each time. Outside of doing a complete rebuild, which there would be no way to sell to fans so soon, I see them holding course. For all of Beeston’s promise of a playoff team I see Rogers being perfectly content with the team being competitively mediocre. Sure winning would be great but not winning and being relatively profitable also works.

      At this point, I think AA has done pretty much all he can do in getting what he can, it’s up to Rogers to continue to supply the resources.

      • I agree with most of what you said Sandlot with the exception of Rogers being happy with the team being mediocre.
        The team being profitable,as a separate entity, isn’t important.As has been shown around the league,the content the team provides is extremely valuable.
        Hardcore fans will be there but as the team’s record improves the casual fans really jump on board.Look at the beginning of last year. Look at the discussions even this off season.
        4 years ago, fans were so apathetic that not all Jays games were televised.Rogers has 7 sports channels. people are watching games on their phones. They broadcast Bisons games on 590 for additional content.4 years ago they couldn’t get enough eyes to put all the games on cable.
        ST games on FX Canada( not available through Bell, they’ll tell you).Games on SNO but not on SNW, why not subscribe to our full sports package?.
        Just because the “official” TV rights are lowballed doesn’t mean that Rogers wants lower rated content. They want people to demand more content with a successful team.And they will obilge, just sign up for one of their packages or surf more or watch games on your phone or subscribe to SN magazine for the real inside scoop.Make sure to visit the SN.ca with the lastest from Davidi.

        • Good speech you old goat. Agree entirely on the causal fans showing up when the product improves.

          As DJF royalty who get’s mentioned in posts, I’d be interested to get your 2 cents on the fuckin novel I wrote above.

          • Liked it a lot, FWIW.
            Liked the lineup and the rotation and how you got there.
            Made logical sense.
            While it’s doable, like you said ,the problem will be.
            “Now I know MANY things need to fall right for this to work ”
            Some will rip it but thats the fun of analysis and the ensuing debate.
            Makes people think about all the possibilties.
            And of course I’ll add.
            IMHO
            LOL

      • @sandlot

        +1.

        AA’s moves were justifiable.

        You won’t have defensive chaos when you get grass in the rogers centre in 2018.

  67. If there is one statement I’m sick of hearing it’s (choose any one head honcho from Rogers or any mid-level Interbrew clown who got stuck with the Blue Jays) say ‘our goal is to win a World Series’. I am so sick of those easy words backed up with not a lot. If they really cared about winning a World Series they would have had some straight words with Paul Godfrey about Ricciardi’s abilities and the on-field performance long before JPR took a deep breath, tuned up the Halladay Circus, and fired himself with a year’s salary in his back pocket. Did anyone from Rogers talk to the front office severely after this year’s debacle?

    • JPR was hired to “stop the bleeding of cash”.As Beane’s assistant, it was thought he was capable of using the same philosophy to exploit market inequities and produce a winner on a budget.
      He wasn’t capable.
      Then when it wasn’t going to plan,JPR started screaming about not having a large enough budget, giving us the likes of BJ Ryan.
      Beeston is the one who convinced the board that this was the direction for 2013.
      And while Rogers probably isn’t happy with the on field results, they are very happy with what Beeston has delivered.
      A viable,content producing, sports product. He’s turned apathy into eyeballs.
      And Rogers wants more eyeballs.
      Preferably with ketchup. ( sorry couldn’t resist)

    • +1.

      You can’t be taken seriously if you just say you want to win a world series when optons are available on the free agent market & you don’t take them.

      Jays management should say the goal is to produce watchable content.

  68. It’s still early.

  69. However the 2013 performance may have gone far to turn eyeballs back into apathy.

    • True statement Isabella.
      But let the offseason end, see what moves are made and then let the Sportsnet hype machine go into overdrive.
      I was thinking about it the other day, reading all the negative comments from various sources( radio, print,blogs).
      While the common fan is incredibly misinformed,they are fans with buying power influence.And of course,they’re all experts with an opinion.
      But they panic and want it fixed NOW.AA seems to be more methodical in his approach,looking for deals that won’t hamstring future decisions.
      Once the team starts winning,the boat will be full again.
      Optimism is at it’s greatest at the beginning of the season.
      Call me crazy ( wouldn’t be the first time thats happened) but I don’t think it’s unrealistic to see a tranformation of some of the current players in 2014.
      But then again, I thought JJ was going to be lights out in 2013,so what the fuck do I know.

      • You’re right in that it’s early and I strongly believe this team is will definitely bounce back some compared to last year. The question is, will be of the dead cat variety or is it something that takes them to 90 wins as they are now? The irony is last year, everyone finally thought we had stability in the rotation with the addition of Dickey, Buehrle and Johnson. I know I believed they had the potential to be great. Obviously that wasn’t the case after all was said and done, but again I think that had more to do with bad luck than anything else. Now, AA seems to be quietly putting out comments that we’re being told that 60% of the rotation should be back to what everyone believed it could be and the other 40% is more of a roll the dice/pick your poison type of scenario. I think that’s as risky as doubling down and investing more into your rotation. Also, is it really the right time to be letting 40% of the rotation try and prove itself? The thought of Happ getting 30 starts alone is kind of stomach churning, but Happ just has that effect on me lol.Of course AA might not have a choice either.

        Anyway, the good thing is the rotation might not need to be as lights out as we all would like it to be. Just healthy and reasonably competent. If you look at the offense, I think it’s going to be one of the better ones in the AL this coming year, again if everyone stays reasonably healthy. The were still right in the middle of the pack in runs scored and that’s with losing the following number of games to injuries:

        Reyes – 69
        Lawrie -55
        EE – 20

        Melky – 74
        Rasmus – 20
        Bautista – 20

        That’s 303 in total. Add to that the historically poor seasons from your catcher and 2nd basemen and it is kind of amazing they didn’t finish dead last.

        • sorry 306 in total.

          • There is reason for optimism.
            Bautista isn’t getting any younger and there is an urgency before the window closes.
            Rasmus is entering his FA year and seems to have TLR and his Dad out of his head.
            The misdiagnosis of Melky and surgery to correct what ailed him, also entering the 2nd year of a two year contract.
            Lawrie has changed his outlook, from being a guy who didn’t think he needed to alter anything, to a guy who quieted his swing and had an amazing August.His Sepyember may have been enough to keep him humble.
            What can a fully healthy Reyes do?He admitted that the ankle bothered him up to seasons end.
            EE.IMO,Is underrated defensively and hitting his stride offensively.
            Which Morrow shows up?
            Can Dickey adjust?
            With a little more health, they should rebound.
            There’s more depth in the 6-10 SP.
            Even though I think he’s a great manager, I’m concerned that Gibby is over compensating for his previous reputation.That may be an issue.

  70. If it’s that cheap then, yes please:

    From Dave Cameron ESPN under “trades that should happen”.

    Cincinnati Reds trade: 2B Brandon Phillips
    Toronto Blue Jays send back: LHP Brett Cecil

    While the Reds suggest that they are open to keeping Phillips long term, it seems like this is a marriage that has soured, and a relocation may be best for both parties. Enter the Blue Jays, who have a glaring hole at second base and are in no position to shrink back from trying to win in the short term given their current roster. Jose Bautista won’t be an elite slugger forever, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle aren’t getting any younger, and the Jays’ window to win is going to get shorter if they don’t make some real upgrades this winter.

    Phillips represents a massive upgrade for Toronto, given that they have no good internal options at second base, and taking on the remaining $50 million due to Phillips over the next four years doesn’t seem that crazy given what free agents are signing for this winter.

    The Jays have enough bullpen depth to ship the Reds a quality arm in exchange for Phillips, and getting an above-average second baseman should help the Jays try to win with their current core before Father Time catches up with them.

    As for the Reds, this would give them some salary relief, and they could possibly use speedster Billy Hamilton at second base. He came up as a shortstop but was converted to the outfield because his arm was below average for a shortstop. Some believe his optimal position is second base. And Cecil provides them with another good lefty arm for the bullpen if Aroldis Chapman ever moves into the rotation.

    • Ok

    • If all it cost was Cecil I could see the Jays doing it, but I doubt would be that cheap unless the Reds were desperate to clear salary so they could sign Choo.

      Philips definitely isn’t the hitter he once was but he still plays good D. Also without moving additional salary I think that might end the chances of the Jays getting another starter. Personally I would rather get one of the FA’s or guys like Anderson and Samardzija and try and trade for Franklin or sign a guy like Ellis.

      It will be interesting though to see what AA does with the bullpen surplus. I hope he just doesn’t leave it too late and have them DFA’d right before the season starts for nothing.

    • Also I would love to know who the Angels asked for in return for Kendrick that caused the Jays to turn them down.

  71. And now JPA has gone to the Rangers. He might do ok there. It’s a hitters park…

    • well, he doen’t hit much, really, mostly misses. Also, his D sucks in every park and I think that unless he really improves that aspect of his game in the next year or so, he’ll end up back in AAA or out of baseball. At the moment he is roughly a -1.1 WAR player even with the HRS. I think he’ll hit .214 or so, it’s whether the Rangers can live with all the “clanked” balls off his glove and rollers throug his legs that get charges as WP’s to the pitcher at the time instaed of being easy blocks. Ask Smasher about the importance of blocking “dirt” balls as opposed to swinging at them as JPA is mixed up

    • He used to play at Rogers Centre, you know…

      • Yeah but the RC was full of negative suckholes draining his confidence and getting in the way of his greatness. Maybe TX will understand better The Way Of The Whiffer.

    • Isabella …really I believe Rogers Center is as good a hitting park as there is in baseball and why i think the Jays should go all in on guys with average and 20 homer potential.

    • @isabella

      JPA has a career OPS of 1.040 at Rangers Park vs 716 at Rogers Centre.

      Adam Lind has a career OPS above 1.000 at that park as well.

      I hope JPA does well with the Rangers. He’s a good guy.

      I will be outraged if he gets booed at the Rogers Centre.

      • I’m not the booing type, but I would have no issue with Jays fans who choose to boo Arencibia when he returns.

        I agree he’s not a bad guy, but he was (is)a bad baseball player, at least at the Major League level. He showed absolutely no desire to improve his batting or defensive approaches until the end of this season, and called out fans and the media who criticized his performances.

        Obviously he did some great charity work and for a little while served as a decent ambassador to the city for the Jays. He’ll be booed based on his on-field performance, nothing else.

        • @JT.

          I concede the point that he lashed out at the media . I don’t recall him bashing fans.

          Obviously, he should have kept quiet about being a top ten catcher etc.

          I was excited about him as a prospect & his debut against the Rays with 4/5 2 Home runs was exciting.!

          I wish him well in Texas.

          I do want to visit Arlington stadium one day

      • I dunno Oakville. I was a bit miffed about him declaring himself a natural leader when in fact if he was, he wouldn’t need to declare it. But then when he went running to Beeston about Zaun and Hayhurst criticisms, well that did it for me. He may in fact BE a good guy, but I’d need more proof.

  72. I think if the Jays fail next season, AA will be allowed to rebuild this thing.

    • @Canard.

      I agree. I don’t think AA should be fired.

    • If the Jays fail this year, the only thing that needs rebuilding is the pathetic coaching staff… starting off with that disastrous excuse for a manager. Until Gibby is gone and replaced with someone who has actual post-season experience… this team isn’t finishing above .500

  73. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I hope the if the team shits the bed at the start, that they don’t waste any time packaging and selling players to get some incredible returns. Imagine what EE and Jansen would get. Or burley and Bautista.

    I really hope that AA is the one to do it. Just like in a fantasy team, Not every player is available to you to make a perfect team. It’s not always going to work out. You might come last one year and win the next. I think he’s a smart guy and I trust him to do it again.

    But in The mean time it’s SP for me. Lots of names out there and I’m not worried yet.

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