“At this point in the off-season, perhaps it’s time to look at the possibility that the Toronto Blue Jays standing relatively pat is more than just negotiation posturing by Alex Anthopoulos,” opens Shi Davidi’s latest from Sportsnet.

Time to look at the possibility? Sure. Time to believe it, though? I just can’t see how that’s possible. Especially with the one place in the one positional market that he needs to be in on still completely unresolved. The high-end starting pitchers still remain.

Now, if you told me he was ready to take a pass on the trade market, that I’d believe. I mean, if Anthopoulos actually feels he has the latitude to do so, it can be certainly argued that future will be better off with him not blowing his brains out for a guy like Jeff Samardzija. And how much worse will 2014 be, really?

Sure, they’d be better off with two years of Samardzija instead of keeping J.A. Happ in the rotation, or rushing Drew Hutchison back from injury, or Marcus Stroman to the big leagues too soon. But there is already so much uncertainty hanging over this roster that it’s hard to view a Samardzija– who Davidi reminds us the Cubs are still insisting on Stroman and Sanchez for– as the sort of one-guy-to-put-us-over-the-top acquisition that the Jays felt justified the similarly-astronomical cost of R.A. Dickey over a year ago.

The temptation must be there to double down on what they did last winter, but the cost goes beyond the just the precious upper-end talent they’d be further depleting their system of. And thinking about the true cost of moving a package like that is kind of what makes it, to me, doubly weird that the anyone thinks with any kind of certainty that the Jays aren’t going to take a big run at one of the remaining free agent starters.

Thing is, guys like Stroman and Sanchez– not to mention Nolin, Hutchison, Norris, Drabek, and others– are cheap pieces of future rosters. While the idea of paying for a big free agent arm right now may not seem palatable in a vacuum (at least by those of us governed by at least a little bit of realism about the Jays’ financial situation internal to Rogers), consider that not only will Samardzija alone make about $5-million this year and then something in the $7-million ballpark in 2015, but that after that comes either a big money extension, free agency, or a qualifying offer at about $15-million for the 2016 season.

The kind of $20-million-per-season expenditure it will likely take to land a top-of-the-class free agent that is not, but it must also be factored in that by further thinning the cheap top-end talent in the system, the Jays may well be consigning themselves to future free agent markets just to keep the rotation afloat.

Free agent rotation talent isn’t getting any cheaper or more plentiful, and you sort of have to wonder if the Jays would be putting themselves in as bad a spot by offloading key, cheap prospects as they would be by taking on a “burdensome” contract now. Especially since the 2016 version of the club currently has only $27-million in guaranteed commitments, which are entirely comprised of the Jose Reyes contract and several buyouts.

That number could jump to $59-million if options for that year are picked up on Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and R.A. Dickey, and adding a major pitching acquisition this winter would push it towards $75- or $80-million just for five players. But with ownership evidently OK with payroll reaching $150-million, isn’t $70-million or so for the remaining twenty spots pretty alright? Especially with Sanchez and Stroman there on the cheap, as well as pre-arb or first arbitration year deals to potential pieces like Hutchison, Loup, Goins, Gose, Jimenez, Nolin, and Pillar? Even Lawrie, Delabar, Drabek, Kratz and Perez will be heading into just their second trips through arbitration by then, with only Thole, Cecil, and Rogers among those on the current roster set to be hitting their relatively expensive walk years.

Obviously there would be more turnover of the roster than that, and you’d have to account for possible extensions for guys like Colby Rasmus and Brandon Morrow, who would otherwise be off the books by then, but… doesn’t that look workable? And doesn’t it maybe look better than making the deal and ending up in the same situation minus the $20-million free agent commitment, minus Sanchez and Stroman, and either minus Samardzija– who would by then have hit free agency– or with him for something on the order of $15-million, as either a qualifying offer or part of an extension?

And aren’t you better off in 2014 and 2015 too, by keeping Sanchez and Stroman around and adding via free agency? And doesn’t the money kind of work now, too? I mean, the Jays made a cash-neutral deal to upgrade behind the plate, and have held frustratingly firm at second base, in left field, when it comes to finding a platoon partner for Adam Lind, and everywhere else this winter. Word is that payroll could go to about $150-million, and they are currently sitting on a projected $135-million– plus, if they really needed to they could divest themselves of upwards of $13-million more by moving the attractive contracts of Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos and J.A. Happ.

A commitment in the $20-million-per-year range to a free agent pitcher can work here. Just as importantly, it can work in the future, and it may actually save the club money down the line by keeping the heir apparents of their rotation on the roster for dirt cheap. At the very least it would be a lot closer to cash-neutral, I think, than a more rudimentary look at the budget consequences would suggest. (It should, however, be noted that money would be a bit tight in 2015, with current commitments at $96.2-million before the theoretical free agent addition, plus $16.5-million in options on Lind and Morrow still to be exercised, and Rasmus either needing to be extended or off the books– but that leaves a lot of time to find a creative way to get under budget.)

Now… does the equation change if the price for Samardizja, or whoever else such extraordinary demands can be made for, comes down? It does. But with still-huge uncertainty hanging over both of the Jays’ key prospects, I’m not even sure that picking one or the other to bank on is the best path. Keep them both and just spend the damn money.

Of course, all of that is easy to think when it’s not my job, my money, or my budget on the line. It’s easy to say “just go sign a guy” when the expectation is that the club should actually be able to go out and do it and not be left holding a bag of what should have been Gil Meche’s money. Whatever happens there depends on the demands of the marketplace though, too, and the Jays may well come up short. If they believe, as I think they should, that free agency is the answer– and the fact that they have yet to blow their budget flexibility or pull the trigger on a trade suggests that they might– it does mean that their options are very limited, and they’re hardly going to be the only club fishing in the same pond. However, a number of teams have already finished their winter shopping, or extended their budget too far to add another massive piece.

How can the Jays have possibly?

They also, let’s not forget, have led on that they would be comfortable losing a draft pick in order to sign a player (since their two first-rounders are protected), and that they have agreements with agents to be notified before the player agrees to anything with another club. And they’ve, perhaps surprisingly, given very little pushback towards the many published whispers about their budget number being in the $150-million range.

In many regards, then, they’re doing what they can to temper expectations, but have left open some powerful signs that it’s very possible this is exactly how they’re thinking. The fact that it makes all the sense in the world should only add to that feeling.

That said, we’ve conditioned ourselves, for good reason, to believe that the Jays can’t and won’t be big spenders. We’ve also reached points in the past with this organization where it seemed to make all the sense in the world to rip open the purse strings, only to see those quietly come and go. It’s not easy to let ourselves believe that Anthopoulos, who has so avoided free agency in the past and speaks so dispassionately about value for value’s sake, might really be gearing up for a run at a top free agent pitcher. But at this point how can he not be?

How can he seriously not be?

(The answer, by the way, to once again be unequivocally effing clear about it, is not because of the club’s pseudo-policy limiting contracts to five years or less. Because that is horseshit.)

Comments (391)

  1. I agree. How can he not be?

    Tanaka, anyone?

    • biggest issue i see with Tanaka that no one ever seems to mention is the 20 million has to be paid in a lump sum after the contract is signed essentially adding another 20 million to this years payroll (whether it counts against it or not, its still money being spent to acquire talent which has to come from the team) plus his salary for the year which is expected to be around at least another 17-20+ million…if they have 40 million like that to spend this year i would want to see more done with it I think than just Tanaka…

      • Okay that’s how the posting fee used to work that the bid would be a transfer fee to be paid within 5 business days of the reaching an agreement with the player. The new official rule is the release fee “will occur in installments, the timing of which depends on the size of the release fee” – so not exactly clear …

        • It really won’t matter too much, the posting fee now gets applied to the luxury tax calculations over the life of the contract even if it is all paid up front. $20 million over 5 or 6 years isn’t going to break the bank. From a corporate perspective I am sure they can just use accounting tricks to book the fee many ways.

          • Not sure what you meant by the luxury tax implications as Jays definitely won’t be in luxury tax territory and the installments could be over 5 or 6 years or 5 or 6 months in which case you’re paying it all out this year but again that’s all very vague. I suppose they could back date it to last year but since they already went above and beyond last years expected payroll so don’t know if that’s an option either.

      • Or might it be added to the 2013 payroll?

        • Intriguing point.

        • Guys, can we at least be realistic? there is no way in hell we’re getting Tanaka . . . move on.

          We’re looking at bottom-feeders at this point; my best case scenario is Matt Garza for something like 1 year $16M as he tries to rebuild value since so many people seem worried about his shoulder.

          Barring that, it’s gonna be innings-eaters for 2014, and waiting for a Stroman/Nolin miracle in mid to late season. Sanchez won’t be up this year at all either, the guy has barely touched AA.

          And Drabek? Really? I think if he can be a functional 6th/7th innings reliever at this point I’d b shocked. He’s the pitching version of Travis Snider: minor league numbers blur what you see in front of your face, which is a guy who is over-matched at the major league level.

          • i agree that Tanaka is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean they’re reduced to bottom feeders

          • Aaron – that was all kinds of dumb

            • Well said SJF! Especially the part of Garza signing for one year. Worst case scenario, he gets a three year deal. Really thou, everyone is waiting to see where the Tanaka cards fall, as these pitchers agents are trying to provide a service to their clients, and want to see what kind of value these guys have in this market. Nothing new. Happens every year!

    • How are you people honestly this stupid? Tonka’s not even being posted, that info leaked days ago

      • Ummm. Tanaka says he is going to pitch in the majors next season. Does his team really want to force him to stay when he’s ready to go. Doesn’t seem like an ideal situation to me. But hey, I’m stupid, so what the fuck do I know.

  2. Great article stoten. I still think the biggest issue is 2B. Ja happ and one of our surplus bullpen pieces for ackley? Then hope ubaldos price comes down due to the draft pick

  3. I firmly believe that the Jays have targeted SP’s in their sights either through FA or trade and are quietly waiting for the best bang for their buck. Patience is a virtue in this game when it’s a sellers market.
    I would rather see us go for Tanaka and use Goins and Izturis at second than take a chance on what’s available on the FA market. We can than hang on to our prospects and see where were at in July.
    I’m confidante that our luck is going to change and I like the look of this team moving forward. We are a couple of pieces away from contending.

    • “I would rather see us go for Tanaka and use Goins and Izturis at second than take a chance on what’s available on the FA market.”

      I don’t get this. It’s funny how Tanaka is viewed as less of a risk than pitchers that have proven themselves in the major leagues for many years. Sure, there’s some injury risk w/ Garza and some consistency risk w/ Ubaldo, but I think people are seeing the success of Darvish and assuming Tanaka will be of similar success. He may be, for sure (though doubtfully as good as Darvish, but only because Darvish is just very, very good), but I just don’t see how a guy with a ton of innings on his arm (which Tanaka has for his age) – zero of those innings having been thrown in the major leagues – is a safer bet than some of the guys out there. Interesting perspective though.

      • The big reason why everyone wants Tanaka so much is because he’s still so young. Even if you give him a 7 year contract you aren’t facing nearly as much risk that he’ll be useless at the end than if you sign Garza, Santana, or Jimenez.

    • m2m: I tend to agree with your thoughts. Although I would trade for a 2nd baseman (Phillips) but keep the pitching prospects.

  4. Seriously though. How could he not be?
    A 2b can be got during the season. I would be very surprized if the primary focus wasn’t on getting at least one SP.

  5. Agree Andrew. I will say though, the Jays didn’t exactly show any “pushback” a couple years ago during the Darvish sweepstakes.

    Reading into what the Jays may be thinking is a near impossible task.

    A BIG run at Tanaka would be huge for this organization at this period of time, considering the roster, considering the future salary commitments, considering Rogers investment into (trying to) build a sports empire.

    Besides….money? Phhhht. This GM traded Vernon FUCKING Wells. What is done can be undone.

    “Flags Fly Forever”…and shit. If the Jays win the World Series I might even switch my cell and cable plans over to Rogers. Not on a contract, though. Good luck ever getting out of one of those.

  6. Gil Meche! Completely forgot about that guy

    • Also, looking at his stats, was a much better pitcher than I remember

    • What do you mean by pushback? If the fans got their panties in a bunch because the Jays didn’t get Darvish , that’s the fans fault. Anthopoulos shouldn’t have to babysit fans because they get themselves worked up over rumours. He doesn’t have to answer to every stupid rumour created by every stupid newspaper hack (not looking at you Howard Eskin ) to help a GM create some sizzle on a player.

  7. I know that ultimately I am probably dreaming in thinking we have a legitimate shot at a Tanaka but it sure is a nice one to have. I think the Jays will be able to match bids with anyone but not the cache of the other teams. We just don’t have the winning pedigree right now or the appeal of other cities that capture the imagination like LA or New York.

    Not sure if you the saw the link I posted in the previous thread to the ESPN article on a Tanaka but it’s worth the read.

    In some ways the new bidding system blows.

  8. That was a really odd article written by davidi. Its December 18th right now. If it was january 18th, write an article like that. Guess he needed some topic to write about. Yes, I would have liked AA to have done something by now but AA doesnt do stuff to pander to impatient fans like myself. It appears the starting pitcher market is taking a loonngg time to develop unexplicably due to this tanaka mess and posting system. Plus, the nixed santos deal would have netted them a starter. So I dont think AA is looking to stand pat at all.

    • the reality is, the agents for ubaldo, garza and santana are probably just feeling things out, in no way would they get in to deep discussions with a team unless it was an outright overpay. They are all sitting waiting for this tanaka bs

  9. I don’t see a need to panic yet. the pitching market hasn’t moved at all, everyone is waiting on Tanaka.

    if garza, ubaldo, tanaka were off the table, then maybe some concerns grow. but until then, lets just sit and wait.

    I really hope that he can over spend on garza or ubaldo a bit instead of including stroman and sanchez in a deal that doesn’t bring back Sale or Prize. that would be a tough pill to swallow

  10. Nice article. You’ve done all the thinking for us, so we don’t have to. . . .But, okay, we’re not privy to all the new shit, so uh, you know, but that’s what we you pay for.

  11. I still feel that the indians are a good trade partner for us.

    They need bullpen help, and SP needs. A deal for Masterson, that involves Santos or Delabar + Happ should be a good starting point.

    • I can’t understand why Cleveland would do that. They want to be good this year.

      • Masterson’s going in to his walk year, if they don’t think they can re sign him, it would be in there best interest to move him now.

        Once the season starts and he can no longer be offered a QO if he’s traded, his value goes way down.

        If they think they can sign a garza or ubaldo and move Masterson for some other pieces, why wouldn’t they do that? obviously the trade would need to be worth it from there end, but jays definitely have the pieces.

        • yeah but why would they trade him for aging relievers? if they realize he’s going to walk next offseason they’d try and trade him for prospects like the Cubs are doing with Shark (and they did with Garza at the trade deadline) and the Rays with Price.

  12. Here’s a question: could that 2nd rounder (which will likely be in the 40-50 range) be worth MORE than Sanchez or Stroman? In case we’d forgotten, Sanchez himself was drafted at 34th overall, and Stroman at 22nd overall. Is there a future Sanchez/Stroman at that 2nd pick?

    Now, obviously, to bank on actually landing that kind of quality piece at that pick is a bit optimistic, even with the Jays recent successes in the draft. But surely that has to factor into Anthopoulos’ decision making, right? When he signs a big free agent, he’s not getting one for nothing, he’s trading a potential Stroman/Sanchez for them.

    And given that, one might better understand why he views the trade market as positively as he does, with cheaper contracts and such–he could trade potential Sanchez for a free agent who’s unlikely to outperform his contract, or he could trade actual Sanchez for a more cost-controlled player on a shorter contract.

    This would also explain why he’s unwilling to give both Sanchez and Stroman up in any one deal–if that were the case, then going the free agent route would mean only giving up one player and would be far superior to giving up two players.

    • It’s a good point. I’d hope he sees the advantage he has in not having to give up a player nearly as good as other clubs in that regard then, plus the fact that he still keeps two top 11 picks, plus the fact that the pick isn’t worth the same, because it’s a guy you’re not even going to get into your system until the middle of the summer, and won’t likely contribute for years after that.

      Still really valuable, though, you’re right.

    • TBH I don’t believe giving up that 2nd round pick is very likely to happen. The chats have failed to sign 2 of their last 3 first rounders, and while I get that the picks are protected, and I get that they get more $ added to their draft cap, I think it’s massive for them to get their 2 first rounders signed this year.

      So, to be going around giving away that draft cap $$$ is big. It puts more pressure to throw away picks in rounds 3-10.

      So, essentially the cost of acquiring a Garza could be the contract, the 2nd rounder, and whatever picks you need to throw away in rounds 3-10 to have enough money to not have to play it safe on this 2 first rounders.

      • They’ve said they’d do it. It’s completely believable– huge advantage for them because the hit they take on it is so much less than for other clubs.

    • Thats a key reason why I think Garza should be their primary target based on performance (including AL East) and no comp pick.

      • Whoops, yes I didn’t mean to suggest Garza was tied to comp. I typed Ubaldo and my stupid IPhone corrected to Garza…or more likely a brain fart.

        So….now our options are:
        -Don’t trade Sanchez or Stroman
        -Don’t lost the 2nd rounder
        -Do get a starter

        That leaves Garza, Tanaka, or Ninja

      • The pick is what is likely to drive down their upfront price in comparison to Santana or Ubaldo in the first place. So in essence your getting a discount now and getting a return on your investment in the near-term with far more certainty than what your draft pick might ultimately turn in addition to the higher upfront cost a Garza is likely to command. There is potential value in both. As the jays are looking to win now I would say the edge would still remain with a guy like Ubaldo.

        • Agreed and I completely get your point. I was just pointing out that there’s more to just the pick itself you lose. The 1.5 million or whatever it is in slot money is significant.

        • I like Garza the best as a pitcher, but I like Ubaldo as the best investment. The thing with him is that you have to convince yourself that his 2nd half improvements are real and not just a byproduct of shitty opponents. You also have to convince yourself that his diminishing velocity is not a sign of arm problems. His transition from neutral or groundball pitcher to flyball pitcher over the last 2 years also doesn’t make me feel great either. All that said, at least with Ubaldo you have something to dream on and at least the possibility of surplus value. And at least he can strike guys out (notice I did not say miss bats).

          • I know this is nitpicking, but it wasn’t really “second half” so much as everything after April.

            The era and whip around 1, and the 11 k/9 in September could probably be more attributed to that but it’s still very impressive.

      • The market for him is so, so, so much bigger because of the lack of the pick, though. He’ll be the most expensive of the three by far.

  13. Not to mention the fact that salaries for FAs has really jumped the last couple years and they might continue to do that. The 18-20 Mil you give a guy now might be a relative bargain next year or the year after, like Buerhle.

    • Yes, but the reason the salaries jumped this season was because of the influx of TV money. It’s possible we’ll see the salaries jump next season simply from all the teams that were slow to capitalize on the TV money this season, but I don’t see the trend continuing in the long run, at least not any faster than it does in any given year.

  14. Jays are standing pat this offseason. Tank for picks and start a rebuild.

  15. A lot of valid points made here. But until a big free agent actually gets signed, I am forcing myself to believe that our rotation is likely set for 2014

  16. There are reports this morning that Tanaka will NOT be posted.

    Even if the Jays were not going to be in on the bidding for Tanaka, that would mean (if the reoprts are true) that there will at least one additional team now in the bidding for the other remaining free agent pitchers.

    • while i dont doubt the Golden Eagles’ efforts are desperately trying to keep Tanaka in Japan, the player himself has repeatedly said he wants to pitch in the MLB next year. and the owner has said he’ll respect his final decision. and it’s not just about the money – there’s the chance of facing the best competition in the world.

      • Indeed, right now he is best of Japan. But he dreams of pitching on the highest level in the world, perhaps dreaming of beibng the best there. Plus he’ll be paid quite handsomely to do so. I don’t see why he wouldnt want to do it.

        • It is not about whether he wants to do it… It is about whether his current team will actually allow him to go.

          • Well it’s not that simple. If Tanaka really wants to go, then theres a possibility of bad blood (and faith) if the Rakuten had already promised Tanaka they would post him this year. Regardless of what Tanaka may say, there will most probably be resentment and that may carry over in the regular season with the eagles.

          • it would be foolish not to post him. if they keep him, next year he’s going to walk anyway and they’ll miss out on $20 million, plus they’ll have to endure the bad press that will come from keeping Tanaka against his will.

            • Bad press? I seriously doubt that his current team gives a shit about bad press coming from American media outlets, and I can’t imagine why any Japanese media outlets would give the team bad press for deciding to keep one of the best players in the league to entertain their fans and help the team possibly win a league championship instead of selling him for $20M.

            • they can post him again next year, and won’t lose the 20 million.

  17. I agree with Shi Davidi. I think there’s a good possibility AA stands pat going into the season and if he does that’s fine with me. If he can get Tanaka or Garza I’d be very happy. If he can’t, and he’s thinking of the trade route, I’d much rather he waits until the season is well underway before he starts in with that. The nature of the game is that players are taken on based on past performance but the situation is so volatile that past performance may not always be a good indicator of current worth. As we saw this last season.

    • If they aren’t looking at past performance to judge asset value then what the heck should they be looking at … Genie and Crystal Balll?

  18. boom
    @Ken_Rosenthal: Tanaka will not be posted according to several reports out of Japan, per @nytimes.

    • He’s passing along something he read, not reporting it. Jesus.

      He may still not post, but that’s hardly as definitive as, y’know, an actual report from Ken.

  19. Truth be told – I’m perfectly alright with AA deciding NOT to lose a lot of our young prospects in order to grab a starter for 2 or so years.

    • I obviously don’t want to see the Jays make reckless moves, and obviously in a perfect world they keep their prized prospects…

      But isn’t there also some big risk in just ‘standing pat’ and balking at the prices in trade or FA? Yeah, the team should be better than it was last year with some regression and health, but it’s not going to be the team we expected it to be a year ago. Not without Johnson and what we now have to adjust our expectations to for Dickey, Cabrera, Izturis, Morrow, Happ/Romero, etc.

      As of now, they’re not the 90+ win team they were on paper last year, and they’re not the 74 win team they turned out to be. Is it safe to split the difference and call them an ~82 win team?

      Obviously that’s rough guessing, and an 82 win team can overperform to a playoff team or underperform to a wreck, but the most likely outcome is that they’d be a decent but not great team. And with the age and contract status of most of the Jays key players, a decent team next year probably sets them up to be sellers in a year, not to be planning their next try at upgrades.

  20. With the news that Tanaka (seemingly) isn’t being posted, is the free agent market really a good bet for Toronto? I totally agree that it makes sense for them to be interested and willing, but realistically, what are the options there?

    The two three starters available are Jimenez, Garza and Santana. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I think the Jays should stay very clear of Santana, whose home run problems just make him a very risky fit in the Roger’s Centre. Garza, who doesn’t have the same ‘reputation for HR problems as Santana, but is somewhat HR prone himself, in addition to injury woes that might give the Jays pause.

    I’ve been on the Ubaldo bandwaggon for a long time, and I still think he’s the type of gamble that would be perfect for them. But if it’s not him… what are the real options? You could sign a Garza or Santana, but I’d personally wonder if the risk-reward is worthwhile. After them and JImenez, you’re looking at Bronson Arroyo and Paul Maholm, which don’t even seem like upgrades, though maybeee you could talk me into Maholm as a pure innings-eater type for a year.

    • (Errr… I totally forgot about AJ Burnett there… no clue if he’d come back to Toronto but if so that would be awesome.)

      • Burnett’s not coming here, he says if he’s coming back to pitch, it’ll be the Pirates or possibly the orioles since its close to his home

        • Eh, if Toronto offers more money than those two apparently cash-strapped teams, along with the chance to go to a place he, I’d imagine, is comfortable, could work with Doc in ST, and maybe he liked Gibby, maybe they’ve got a shot.

      • It’s been pretty clear over the course of the offseason that Burnett will either stay in Pittsburgh, sign with Baltimore, or retire.

        • I’m not certain about that. All Burnett originally seemed to say was that it was Pittsburgh or retirement. Since then, Baltimore seems to have jumped in.

          Anything can happen, but the guy just came off a 4 WAR season. Kudos to him if he decides to call it quits, but there’s also plenty of reason for him to have set on getting a nice, short-term market value contract, and I’m not sure he gets that from Pittsburgh or Baltimore.

          • The only reason baltimore rumours (not even confirmed) have popped up is because the stadium is 40 minutes away from his house. Unless we magically wave a wand so his family lives in toronto happily, I don’t see it happening.

            • Not saying it’s likely, just saying it’s possible.

              • True, anythings possible, but I wouldnt even hope for it. That way it’s a pleasant surprise if it does work out, but your not going to be disippointed cause your not dreaming about aquiring such a long shot.

                • The GM of the team I support tells people that Ryan Goins is going to be his second baseman next year. Without dreams, what do I have?

                  • LOL, a goins/ izturis platoon is not the worst option, though mariners have a now glut of potential second baseman so I imagine we’ll make a run there.

                    AJ is arguably the best option but it’s not like he’s without red flags as well like perhaps regression and age. At least there are palatable options teat we’ll probably be able to get.

                    • I dunno… the Steamer projections give Goins + Izturis a grand total of 0.4 WAR next season. That’s less than Emilio Bonifacio’s 2013 WAR.

                    • It’s better then nothing, but I still think we’re making a trade run for an upgrade.

                      Btw, Boneface made -0.4 war with us, then proceeded to make 1.0 war with the royals. Our luck seriously sucks


  22. The cost of trading for a top pitcher is ridiculous. Reportedly, the Rays asked Cleveland for Santana, Salazar, Lindor and one or two other pieces. Apparently, the conversation was short.

    Undoubtedly, the Jays have calculated the $/WAR, factoring in decline over at least a six year period for Santana, Gara and Ubaldo. It is quite likely they did not like what they saw and thus do not see the value in signing such a contract. They are probably right in that.

    However, as Stoeten points out, while a decision to stand pat is might make sense in a vacuum, there is the competitive window of Bautista, Dickey, Reyes, EE and the rest to consider. If they stand pat will they be a better team than last year’s? Yeah, probably.

    Will they be good enough?
    Only if everything breaks their way and they get a healthy Morrow
    plus production from the 4-5 slots to go with a healthy every day lineup.
    That is a lot to ask and it is highly unlikely to happen.
    Heck, for the Red Sox, things pretty much broke their way but they still had to overcome season ending injuries to two closers , significant DL time for Ellsbury, Victerino and Bucholz along with a season long broken thumb for Pedroia
    and a lack of performance from Middlebrooks.
    Stuff happens and it will happen to the 2014 Blue Jays too.

    The one thing that does make sense is to drop a whole crapload of money on Tanaka.
    Do whatever it takes to sign him. Whatever it takes.
    It gives them a chance to win and it gives them an asset.

    If it does not work out, they can always trade him.
    And in a couple of years the $ figure on the contract won’t look all that crazy.

  23. But what if Davidi saying that AA isn’t posturing and is willing to stand pat is actually posturing in itself?

    More seriously, with the absolute breadth of arms in the lower levels of the Jays’ system, and the seeming “win now” window open for a couple years, make trading Sanchez or Stroman (preferably not both, obviously) a little more tenable? Just knowing that the next wave of support will be coming around the time their current commitments are ending kind of makes sense to add a front of the line starter now.

    • I pretty much agree with what you’re saying, but Samardzija isn’t a front of the line starter. If the rumoured asking prices are true and it will take Sanchez AND Stroman to get a mid-rotation starter like him, they’re better off just holding the prospects. and moving forward with what they have.

      • Or signing a free agent pitcher.

      • Agreed, and I’m not advocating trading both those guys plus more for the shark, even though I think he’s better than his numbers indicate, kind of like a pre-2013 Scherzer lite.

        However he’s also not the only starter out there. Not saying trade a top prospect for the same of it, but that I think it makes sense to do it now if the right opportunity arises.

  24. [...] Shi Davidi at Sportsnet writes that the “Blue Jays seem serious about in-house options” and the possibility that Anthopoulos will choose to stand pat this off-season is increasingly probable. Andrew Stoeten responds at DJF with plenty of reasons to think the Jays won’t stand pat. [...]

  25. From Ben Badler of Baseball America:

    “No decision yet from Rakuten on Masahiro Tanaka.”

    This is getting really irritating. Just post him or not, fuck. This is like the Darvish thing a couple of years ago with waiting till announce who won the bid.

    • Yep, couldnt they have sorted this shit out in november? Fuck

      • Well the posting process wasnt finalized since like monday so yeah.

        But i do agree its an agonizing wait.

        • They thought they were going to get 50 million, not 20 so it’s understandable. Having said that, WTF was MLB thinking when they went ahead and signed the original deal?

  26. I’d sell the farm for Sale if Chicago will even discuss him… but I probably wouldn’t go all in on the guys with 2 years of control (samardzija or price).

    in other words, I hope AA is serious about not caving to the asking price for samradzija or price. reports were that AA essentially gave in to the mets price on dickey last year… so I suspect other GMs may feel that he could do the same this offseason…

    • I wouldnt go near Price simply because it’s within the division, a guarenteed overpay and we suffer from the inevitable fallout witch is our former prospects destroying us from the stupid Rays.

      At least with other teams you’re not going to see your top prospects as much.

  27. how close is Stroman and Sanchez to getting Cliff Lee? If they didn’t have to eat much salary, would it be close?

    • A lot would probably depend on how much salary Philly would eat. I just can’t see the Jays trading both even for him. Would probably be one and lesser prospects.

      • i think that the lowe years high AAV is exactly the situation where Jays can take advantage

        • This talk about Lee is crazy. Why would you trade the farm to get a guy who is in his late thirties and owed an astromical amount of money in the next two years while balking at signing guys who are 30 for 5 years saying they will be shit at the end of the deal? I know the FAs available aren’t as good but come on. Payroll is already committed and likely maxed out the next two years but we are talking about adding 25M+ / year for one guy. Could sign 2 or 3 guys, backload their contracts, not give up prospects (or at least only 2nd and 3rd round pick) and still give as good of chance to win in the next two years. If they do win payroll likely goes up when stands are filled again and you can afford to keep those two guys at higher rates at back end of deals and still be competitive / sign more guys because you havent traded the prospects that will be making the minimum but contributing to the team. If they dont win you blow up the team trading vets in a year or two getting back prospects and can afford to have a couple guys getting paid at the back end of their deals if they arent tradable.

          • in my opinion, the longer you project out, the more risk there is, and the lower the expected value of the contract. By paying more over a shorter term, you are reducing the risk and increasing the expected value of the contract. It’s safer. And its cliff lee

            • I agree with what you are saying at a high level and would love to see Lee in the rotation but at the end of the day it is crazy to think that this is going to happen given all the things in play here.

      • phillies have a policy of not eating an portion of a contract in a trade.

    • Cliff Lee is owed a ton of money. 25m for EACH of the next two years, and 27.5M option with a 12.5M buyout. There would have to be money going back if the Phillies were to move Lee for a higher end prospect.

      • says who? where else can you get a top 5 MLB pitcher on a 2 year deal, regardless of the AAV?

        • If they dont eat money the prospects that are going back will be much lower in quality, that’s just the way those deals work, there’s numerous recent examples.

          So basically Philly would have to decide why they were dumping him. To clear money? Or to actually rebuild. Philly is set to start a very big TV deal in the next couple of years so I doubt money is going to be the issue going forward. Their problem is largely being stuck with rather large contracts for guys like Howard and Rollins who are putting up poor numbers. Their farm system isn’t exactly all that strong either.

          • all I’m saying is if the Jays are ok with 2 years 50M, there is an inefficiency that AA can take advantage of. Most other teams will require cash back

            • They could take advantage of it, but I just don’t see it costing them that much in players at that price point.
              I would be happy to have the Jays get Cliff Lee, but Philly has to pay for that salary relief, not the other team involved. If Ricky went back the other way, I could see sending some higher end prospect talent.

            • How about Sanchez, Gose and Romero? They would have to eat RR 16mil over next two years…

    • The problem is Cliff lee is a true ace on a fair salary, but the phillies aint moving him unless they get a sizable return and they dont eat any salary.

      So unless we fleece amaro, we aint getting him. period.

  28. No moves says another 10 years of not making the playoffs. The window for making the playoffs is 3 years and then we start all over again.

  29. I really get a kick out of people throwing sanchez”s name out there for every name that comes up. Last year in all the trades AA made Sanchez was guy other teams wanted and he said NO. Sanchez has not regressed and is closer to bigs so why would Alex change his mind now unless he was blown away. I personally think Sanchez has a “this is my guy” sign around his neck from AA

    • Different times, different attitudes

    • another years has passed he still has a lot of trouble throwing strikes and he was very limited in the innings he threw once again.

      don’t get me wrong, I love the talent… but at some point he is going to have to make a leap forward and turn potential into reality.

      • Anyone see the piece Stoeten posted yesterday on Sanchez and Stroman?
        There was a bit from BA about how Sanchez was not getting on top of the ball and because of that wasn’t throwing enough strikes. They then decided to shorten up his stride so his arm could come over top and his ball would be more in the strike zone and would have more downward plane. He’s now walking less batters and the coaches will start lengthening his stride gradually.
        Reason I took note of that was KLaw was all over Sanchez’ shorter stride a month or so ago without knowing why and that’s the explanation..

        • sure yeah… I’m a BA guy but I file that sort of stuff under the same category as the inevitable ‘best shape of his life’ stuff in spring training… no matter how you break down his season he walked too many guys all year.

          the OP mentioned that he hasn’t regressed… I’m not so sure… he is a year older than he was last year and hasn’t answered the big questions about him as a prospect namely control and durability. at some point in the near future all the easy velocity and great arm action will have to give way to results.

          I like sanchez a lot… and the upside is enormous, potentially… I just think we have to temper our expectations with he and stroman a little bit.

    • Because the team he assembled last year won 75 games and needs to improve within this window or else there will be 20K people at the games again and payroll would need to go back down and we are in for continued mediocrity if we keep the current guys or a rebuild. Of course things could break right and the team could win without acquisitions but there is significant risk there.

      Anyone else thinking that AA hasn’t convinced Rogers that they should further add to payroll in order to win and keep revenue increasing and that is why we are seeing all these tempered expectations in the media. It would be a hard sell after they basically doubled payroll last year and still only managed 75 wins. It led to revenue gains so maybe the bottom line wasn’t impacted too much but that isn’t sustainable unless they actually win this year so there is a strong case but a hard sell. Payroll is off the books in a couple years maybe Rogers is backing out thinking the risk is too high.

      • Nope

        • Hope you are right but you cant deny that there is a lot of tempering of expectations going on while earlier there was a different tune being sung. Dividi does seem to have some inside information sometimes or at least very on point insight lots of times and isnt just blowing things out his ass to write an article. I do think they are gonna get a SP and agree with Stoeten that there is lots of reason to not expect them to stand pat.

          Team better get off to good start if they don’t make a splash in the offseason because a lot of the fan base – casual bandwagoners added last year and many long time fans – might not buy tickets if they are doing poorly at the start of the year and many may not simply because no off season addition was made.

          If that does play out please lower the price of beer so I can drown my sorrows sitting in an over half empty stadium without breaking my bank. I promise not to heckle or barf if Dickey gives up god knows how many bombs in one game in April again.

          • Davidi is an excellent source of information and does seem to have an ear inside the Jays FO.He’s correct most times and I’m not questioning his credibility but he has been wrong before,not on purpose, because the situation has flexibilty.
            I agree that the fanbase is generally skeptical but they are not apathetic.
            More than ticket sales, Rogers needs the content to be relevant and watchable.
            Nobody knows,but I tend to agree with Stoeten that the Jays won’t stand pat.
            At the same time, they aren’t going to panic buy either. Some very smart people are analyzing the possiblities, not just for now but for the future.And included in the analysis is the effect on the team’s success and the content it supplies.
            While we know no contract is untradable. The contract can hamstring moves that need to be made right now.
            The moves will be made by the time ST arrives.
            If things go right this time, then September 2014 should see the Jays in contention,at bare minimum.
            And if they make the playoffs/playin, then anything can happen.
            Also, a lot of questions are going to be answered by the 2014 AS break.Making it clear what to keep and what to upgrade.
            Going to be a fun year.

  30. Makes you look back to the Shawn Marcum trade straight up for Lawrie. At that time he was our opening day starter. Has the market for pitching gone up so much that two plus prospects are reuired for a number 2 starter?

    • Price > Marcum and Lawrie was a top 5 prospect.

      • wasn’t thinking Price, a true number one. Marcum was more of a 2 or a 3 on a good team. Samardzija was more the comp that I was thinking. I even think they both had 2 years on their contracts. We got a solid prospect for Marcum while the Cubs want two of them.No wonder AA thinks it’s too rich. In hindsight, the Marcum trade makes Dickey’s trade a little heavy but AA used the Haliday trade as the comp.

    • Good point.
      Supply and demand.
      And it seems, the longer it goes, the more the price escalates.

      • supply and demand go both ways. Limited supply of prospects teams are willing to give up and demand for SP goes down as teams sign FA. TB and cubs want the prospects and we have them. Of course the supply of prospects and demand for pitching does go up at the trade deadline but supply of pitchers teams want to move also goes up then too.

    • Marcum was a top 40 pitcher when we traded him in 2010. Lawrie was ranked the #40 prospect in 2010 per baseball america.

      was it an overpay for the brewers? I wasnt around when they traded for him, what was the general consensus of the fanbase?

      • My recollection is that it was a win-win. Brewers allegedly soured on Lawrie’s personality, saw Marcum as a #2-3 pitcher, which they needed. They also didn’t think he could stick at 2b and weren’t sure the bat would play at 3b.

        • Thanks, so basically everyone in baseball wants to get a return like the Rays did with shields. Great.

        • I don’t think his bat was ever in question- at the time the question was if he could even be passible defensively as a corner outfielder. He got a lot of Ryan Braun comps.

  31. They were thrilled to have Lawrie. He was Canadian and all and a gamer etc etc. I always liked Marcum as a pitcher but a lot of people didn’t so I don’t remember a huge outcry when he left.

    • I was pumped when Marcum got shipped.
      he was one of those guys I couldn’t quite figure out how he kept maneuvering through lineups, I was just kind of waiting for him to fall apart.

      • Control was Marcum’s calling card. Hutchinson is very similar in how he pitches.

        • True, but Hutch has more fastball than Marcum. Hutch was touching 95 in his last couple of starts just before the TJ, sitting 90 – 92. Marcum in the last year we had him was touching 89, sitting 86-88. Marcum’s fastball was SHORT.

          • True hutch has a little more juice but his calling card is his control as well and why he accelerated so fast through the system. He reminded me of Marcum when he came up keeping the ball down and on the corners.

            • More fastball will give him more room for making mistakes. Marcum seemed incredibly good at putting the ball right where he needed to and really messing people up with a ridiculous change-up that he did not tip at all.

  32. i’m sure that they want to stand pat but, given the cirmstances, it seems as though they might not have any other choice. i wouldn’t give up anything close to what it supposedly will cost to get a pitcher in samardzija who is not even elite- not yet anyway. the modus operandi of the cubs seems to be to suggest that a player is available but then ask for half your resources in return. and the free agent options available are, at best, number three starters who each has his own separate potential for implosion. plus, at least one of them costs a draft pick. and the only 2nd base trade option remaining seems to be phillips now that the angels dealt trumbo and likely will keep kendrick. i am still somewhat surprised that toronto did not go out and acquire brett anderson for someone like drabek or hutchinson. and a little surpised still that they did not throw some money at josh johnson. two guys who are always uirt but have number one upside.

  33. So there’s finally an update on the Tanaka situation, which is to say, they havent reached a resolution yet as per updated by their president.


    • Incompetence. Cant believe they couldn’t resolve this sooner.

      • Maybe they are delaying to gain some sort of leverage?

      • Incompetence on whose part? Rakuten doesn’t have a deadline and they want to keep the player. The posting deal was just ratified 2 days ago.

        What incentive does Rakuten have to rush to post Tanaka? Whether they post him today or in March they are getting 20 million.

        The incompetence lies with N.A. baseball fans (and sadly, some writers) who think this is taking unnecessarily long.

        • Oh god March?!?!?! God I hope it doesnt take them 4 months to make a decision whether to post a player.

        • How are fans incompetent? They have nothing to do with the process. The incompetence is on mlb and NPBs part for taking forever to negotiate the posting system. Which delayed this tanaka shit. Then, I cant believe how his team still doesnt know what to do with him. Theyve for sure known hes wanted to leave for the last year. Its been all over the media. But i guess your right, its not a priority for them unfortunately.

  34. You should also consider the possible future scenario that the Jays have a bad season this year and end up moving a contract like Rasmus, Bautista, Dickey, or Encarnacion at the trade deadline.

    One of those moves would open up more space in the future payroll though AA probably won’t be around to use it if 2014 goes south.

    • I agree, I think AA will add a starter without losing a pick or a key prospect for phase 2. I think that if we’re not in the playoff picture by July that we could see a mini rebuild with AA shipping out some of our veterans .

      • If we tank again this year why try a mini rebuild? That will just lead to more mediocrity for many years. The players are almost all past their prime and regressing. If they couldnt win last year or next year no reason to expect them the year after after trading a couple assets for a mini rebuild which means you get less back in return for current team. If they tank trade them all doing a full blown rebuild so that we could have a bunch of higher level talent coming up at the same time. That is if the goal is to win.

        • I see your point but my thinking is that AA could refocus with an altered core. Having lawrie, Reyes and Rasmus lead the way. And lots of youth in the rotation .

          • I see your point too but think that is likely just to lead to more mediocrity. Im more of a fan of go all in now trying to stack the MLB team or go all out trying to stack the minors for the future and not the in between. Being a Toronto sports fan has led me to being pessimistic in this way with the mediocrity shown by the leafs and jays my whole life. Id rather see the team be really bad for a few years while rebuilding then be a legitimate contender for years rather than a bubble contender half the time. But alas the Raptors just seem to be bad every year.

            • Trust in Masai, he seems to know what he’s doing

              And you know what, so does AA. He may have very little Major league ready talent in the minors, but that will change in a couple of years, right when we are projected to lose the “3 year window”

              • Its a 5 year window. And it was a 2 year then a 3 year.

                I thought AA seemed to know what he was doing too but now have to admit I’m a bit on the fence. I mean they did just bump up payroll, get these declining vets for an “all in” type season then win 75 games. Looking at some of the trades they really didn’t work out in Jays favour while some the tale isnt still being told. Seems clear that there are many many baseball and business reasons for big improvement on MLB team this year and signs point to that not happening. Ill keep my faith and hope that owners let him stick around if things go south in the short term and see what the longer term turns into.

                Did we think Riccardi knew what he was doing? He did put together a good team that came close with 85 wins in 2005 or so when the Yanks and Sox were absolute power houses. From my recollection the hardcore fans had his back just like AA. His regime did produce some solid MLB regulars something AA has not done although it is too early to judge especially with the change in philosophy getting the high schoolers.

                Colangelo seemed to know what he was doing and had the best track record and look where that got us.

                Maybe Ballard just pissed off the sports Gods so much that we are doomed no matter who is running the show!

  35. Yanks have blown 311 Million on 5 players so far. Barf.

    • As is it stands now, they also have a rotation with serious holes in it, and they lost the best closer of all time.

      Yanks have spent some coin, but it the season starts today they probably are the worst team in the division.

      • Yeah its definitely not the best spent 300 mill.

        • Locking up elite level talent in their prime is money well spent if you have it I would say. McCann and Ellsbury are huge assets. Beltran on three year deal is solid. Easy to say not money well spent but they put themselves right back into contention likely for years to come with these acquisitions. Still have lots of holes but plugged a couple very important ones in C and CF with all star talent.

      • Disagree. Yankees have higher floor than Jays or Orioles because their bench is so strong. Dont see big differences in their starting rosters. Under rated in my opinion and were along with the Sox last year as well.

        They had tons of injuries last year just as much or actually moreso than the Jays and managed to do OK. They are old, regressing and injury prone – so are the Jays. They havent gotten any worse and have arguably gotten better. Rivera, Pettite, Cano, Granderson out and Pineda, McCann, Ellsbury, Beltran in. Lots of unknowns with some star players but decent backups all over the place (position player wise anyway). Expect Texiera, Jeter and maybe even ARod to make comebacks and be pretty good if not great.

        • Their rotation is not good. Sabathia’s stats and velocity don’t suggest he’s going to bounce back, especially with how much mileage he has on his arm.

          Is pettite back? I cant remember. but Kuroda is the only one they should feel comfortable with on the mound.

          thats kind of shitty for a team with a 200+ million payroll.

          • The projected team WAR puts the yankees in 4th place, behind the jays and above the orioles, but we’re all about 3 WAR apart.

          • Pineda is a big wildcard who could be an ace

          • 200M+ payroll doesnt mean the money spent this offseason was not spent well – McCann and Ellsbury are all stars in their primes. Jeter, ARod etc these were bad deals, not signed when the guys were 30 but when they were 35+ so that was money not well spent.

  36. Wonder if a package of 3 or 4 of any of Happ Drabek Hutchison Nolin Perez Redmond could land you a 1,2 starter?

    the Jays have a good surplus of bottom rotation starters, and bullpen..maybe they can trade from that strength?

    • Is this serious?

      • Picture Doc in his prime and ask yourself if you’d trade him for all the number 5′s in the world.

      • yes. lets say an organization is in need of young controllable pitching, has a good starter but are not in win now happens.

        • you and I remember that trade very differently

          • refresh my memory. because I havent really seen any significant pieces the Jays picked up being anything but future maybes..

            • you’re looking at it in hindsight which is not a fair way to do it
              kyle drabek was their best pitching prospect, his value four years ago and his value now are different… hopefully he rebounds but by no means was he a number 5 guy.
              travis – superstar catching prospect, who we ended up trading for a guy coming off a cy young
              Michael Taylor – who became Brett Wallace – who became Gose- who at the time was thought of, and still could be, a superstar center fielder

              if you think that was some #5′s and bullpen pieces, that’s your own interpretation, i just wouldn’t consider it correct.

            • The point was that they didn’t take back a bunch of #5 starters. They took back 3 young prospects, 2 of which were highly regarded. But that’s the gamble you take with prospects.

              • Exactly,
                theres too many people on here that are convinced that if you take shit and pile it high enough, somehow its worth a lot.

                • so Drabek, Happ, Hutchison, Nolin are just shit now?

                  im sorry if i disagree but i think there is some organzations that are in sell mode that may take those 4 back for a 1,2 pitcher that is on a short term contract.

                  just my opinion though..

                  • Kevdog, you’re right.
                    maybe there is an organization out there that has a stud ace that they are willing to trade to cheaply fill out their rotation with guys who are #5′s and no other major prospects….
                    I hope there is, I would trade every Todd Redmond int he world for Chris Sale

                  • The only way this happens is if the ace has a bloated / big contract like Lee without any salary relief. Not sure its the best move for the Jays but if payroll can go up 20M Id be tickled pink but I do think the whole thing is crazy talk and that younger FA SP on longer term is better way to go. Also not sure the Phillies would do it with Amero at the helm.

                • You mean it’s not?
                  What am I going to do with the pile in my backyard?
                  Been hoarding it for over a year now.
                  Thought I was a millionaire.
                  Guess I’ll just keep it until the price goes up.

  37. also, the fact that the Cards had a rookie playing some pretty important games in the playoffs last year has me thinking maybe Stroman or Sanchez can just step in and be a factor. thats a big maybe though…

    a return of 2012 Dickey would be nice too…

    and a healthy Morrow for once…

    • major difference is that the Cards arms were more polished, they do a great job of drafting and developing.

      they also have a lot of stability in their rotation, they moved a lot of the young arms in to the bullpen to start their pro careers.

      Relying on a rookie to come up and give you 180 quality innings is a different story.

      • good point. the Jays should figure that out lol..

        maybe hire Doc as the pitching coach and get him to teach his cutter to everyone..

        • Halladay as a pitching coach? Maybe, but I have strong doubts he would be suited to that.

        • Given his intensity and work ethic and over all demeanor I’d predict Doc isn’t suited for coaching.

          I could see that same skill set translating into GM duties though

  38. A few things:

    2nd base: Not gonna happen. I am pretty sure the Jays have already accepted they are going with what they have…yeah.

    Starting Pitching: Who the fuck knows but I suspect the Jays are getting anxiety about any considerations on the Japanese posting bullshit and are ready to overpay in early January.

    The farm: Sanchez is gone by Jan. 20th

    Fee Agency: The Jays will do a sign and trade that will involve the above named Sanchez to become a member of the __________Rays?

    Comments: I have none.

    Side note: I have none

  39. The entire reason we are even having this debate is because the Jays SUCK at growing their own starters. Who’s the last homegrown starter who made a difference? Romero? When did that happen? 5,6 years ago?

    So yeah, let’s not get too quick with the trigger finger with Sanchez and Stroman. I would even say the same with Hutchison.

    One of the FA’s is undoubtably the best route to take.

    • Romero was contributing as far as 2011, Marcum 2010.

      • McGowan was incredible until the injuries. Who else…Brett Cecil, Scott Downs, Janssen, Frasor, Jessie Litsch.

        Want someone younger…hmmmm…didn’t Henderson Alverez throw a no hitter last year?

    • Sanchez and Stroman are less sure of a bet than any of the midland oft injured pitchers left. Don’t you think? Just throwing it out there.

    • I fail to see in any way what issues of the past have to do with Stroman, Sanchez or any other prospect.

      People are so wrapped up in things like development and use it as a the reason for success or the reason for failure.

      The reality is, if you have the right talent, work ethic and skill set, no team can make you or ruin you. They could make you a little better or a little worse, but being drafted by a team doesn’t determine your future.

      Mike Trout is Mike Fucking Trout because of him, not because of some magic development formula the Angels have, same with Stephen Strasburg and on the otherside same with Mat Gamel and Brandon Wood.

      So to say that because other pitchers have failed in the toronto system that Sanchez and Stroman are headed down that same path is ridiculous

      • It’s not always about talent rather than adjustments to the big leagues and timing. What once was gold can be turned to shit at times and at other times AAA gold just does not work with the big boys. Yes there is no magic formula but that’s what keeps us guessing.

        • You’re right, the player makes the player. But winning clubs….even the Yankees….grow some of their own starters. You hVe to have impact at a low cost in the rotation otherwise you end up trying to compete with J.A. Happ as one of your starting 5.

      • Tell that to John Farrell who is a great baseball mind with great success in player development and was saying that the jays lack player development and simply focus on scouting which he believes is a big deficeincy with the organization

        • A great baseball mind? Please tell me more.

          • After being a player he became a University pitching and recruiting coordinator for 5 years for a team that won its conference championship each year and made it to the college world series 2 of those years. He was then extremely highly regarded as the player development director for the Indians for 6 years significantly contributing to two consecutive awards as MLB organization of the year. Then he was highly regarded as the pitching coach for the Sox – a marquee organization – for 5 years. Then he was brought in to manage the Jays. Then last year became the manager of the last place Sox who became the world series champions.

            I think it is pretty safe to say that he has the credentials to qualify as a great baseball mind despite his inability to help the jays overcome injuries and a spotted roster in his one year as manager and our disdain for him leaving to go to a highly coveted position as manager of the Sox.

            He said only one negative thing about the Jays organization after leaving – the player development system is not good. And he is a guy that is very qualified to make an evaluation of that nature

            • Well screw him, he was with the organization for roughly the exact amount of time AA was GM. Of coruse he’s not going to see the results of an improved draft only 2 years into his tenure.

            • this is the dumbest shit I ever read

              Cito gaston won 2 world series, is he a great baseball mind?

              its the fucking players that go out at win. Make me the pitching coach for the 1990s braves and I’ll look like a fucking genius.

              • Well you sir have your head completely up your ass. Give respect where respect is due. Based on your logic there is not a need for any coaches or managers.

                • based on your logic, any 1 person is solely responsible for a team championship that 25 people win.

                  your logic is stupid, Farrell is not a baseball genius, he doesn’t even know how to look at splits or manage his bullpen.

                  Maddon is easily the best manager in the majors and doesn’t have a world series to his name.

                  • When did I ever say one person is responsible? A track record of continued success when involved in any venture is a strong indicator of competence and worth. This player development and coaching stuff isn’t all or nothing. Coaches help players get better. Like you said at the end of the day it is the player and his ability that are the biggest factor but it doesn’t mean that coaching them has no value or impact on how well they play

                • Yeah, that’s what this is about and not your full-on swallowing of what an ex-employee now working for a competitor said about the organization– a man who was exactly supposed to help bring some of the qualities he now says were lacking.

                  That said, obviously Farrell is very respected in the game, though, and people here trying *so hard* to be petty about it, even though they know damn well the credentials he had when he was brought in, are being more than a little bit transparent. Just because you can’t run a bullpen doesn’t mean you don’t know anything.

                  • it may not mean you don’t know anything, but Farrell’s credentials don’t make his criticisms of the Toronto system in any way legitimate.

                    The guy went back to Boston and made some comments about the competition, why should that in any way taken with validity from him? and to call him a great baseball mind is truly a fucking stretch.

                    The Red Sox system has produced some legit talent, but have also had their blunders just like every other organization, its not like they are the fucking cardinals, who are they to criticize us.

                    Sometimes i feel like even though you agree, you still like to disagree and take shots at my opinion.

                    • That wasn’t a response to you, I’m pretty sure.

                      Wait, was that even a response to me?

  40. The Jays under AA have predominately drafted starting pitching. It is taking time but we are finally seeing the fruits as baseball analysts are pissing all over themselves about the number of arms and the quality of them at the lower levels.

    I think a little patience is required and soon we could be flush with solid slingers not unlike the Rays. I think people believe that everything that was the “Anthopolous plan” culminated in the Florida/Mets trades of last year when in reality they have little to do with it. Anthopolous clearly has been totally engaged in asset acquisition. He has come up with clever ways to get extra picks, spent lavishly internationally until the International cap and has been innovative at the draft.

    AA said it would be 3 to 5 years to turn Toronto into a winner. With everything I’ve been reading about the talent in this organization (that’s 2 years or less away) coupled with the young talent on the ML team I think he looks to be keeping his word.

    The trades from last year looked to be opportunities too good to pass up and probably had little to do with his 5 year plan. We lost some quality prospects in those trades granted but they net a Cy Young winner, one of the top 5 SS’s in the game and one of the most predictably consistent starters in the game.

    The organization has never been this loaded in quantity, some could argue that it has had years of higher end talent at higher levels, but never this fuckin deep.

    Take a breath, have a smoke, drink a tumbler full of whiskey. And then think, have the Jays ever had a combination of this much current ML talent and this rich a farm at the same time?

    As a Jays fan I know it’s hard to hear “a little patience please” because it’s been 20 years. But this situation is unique and so is AA’s plan and perspective.
    So, a little fuckin patience please. And maybe a smidge of trust?

    • Slow clap.
      Raise whiskey glass and salute.

      • Agree Smasher. There was a gaping hole in pitching between MLB and AA’s 1st draftees in 2010. He had to restock and he did. He made some pretty interesting moves to get as many draft picks as the system allowed and the rest of the GMs decided they didnt like it and changed the CBA. He’s drafted a lot more pitchers than others but thats because there’s always a huge market for pitching.

    • i agree. And I really dont see how the MLB team with the players it has at the moment (sans JPA thank god) can be any worse than last year..

      Everyone they brought in last year has now had a chance to see life in the AL East and what it takes to succeed. I have hope they will be much better this season.

      But I do think one more top end starter would be the difference in a run at the playoffs in 2014.

    • As an old boy baseball fan (and Smasher I’m sure you know) it takes luck and a lot of other things to fall into place. I don’t have a clue what the right thing is for the Jays to do right now. I do know one thing the casual TSNish fan (and yes they are the majority) will walk the fuck away if AA stands pat and come into July as potential also rans. I think to split the difference might be the right move….stand pat on everything BUT sign the best available FA pitcher right fucking now at all cost. By the way who the hell is that again?

      • The jury is out on who the best pitcher available is. (outside of the orient express)

        I’d like to see a slinger signed as well but I won’t lose sleep if one of these high priced question marks doesn’t get inked.

        Though the record didn’t show it in ’13 I’ve been very impressed with Anthopolous. He’s been innovative, taken risks, and compiled and impressive amount of talent. Outside of his patient approach with JPA I really haven’t been able to bitch about his moves. Some of the players yes, but he’s given this team every chance to succeed.

        As for the fair-weather tsn fans, they’ll always be just that. Jays win, they’ll show, Jays lose, they’ll go.

        • As I am taking the antagonist approach to this conversation let me ask the following. Who gives a fat fuck what AA is or has done? I am the average fan who has heard this bullshit before………..Once again, I know something about baseball but how would you answer to the fan who wants nothing but wins? GO

          • I can’t.

            But being a fan of the game I realize that 30 clubs with incredibly intelligent management teams, math wiz’s from MIT and lawyers looking for loopholes all share the same goal
            An incredibly hard to achieve goal.

            I think a great deal of frustration would be satisfied with a post season berth. Can the Jays accomplish that with the rumoured 15 million bucks left to spend? Maybe.

            Assuming they could sign one of the pitchers left, lets say Usbaldo, it would definitely help our one glaring weakness. I’m sure AA realizes that fact.

            But what I don’t want to see is us mortgage the future for middle of the rotation type starters (Samardjia…etc) just to allay the fears of a frantic fan base.

            If AA were to give into the Cubs demands and give Stroman, Sanchez and a piece for Samadjia we may squeak into the playoffs, get smoked and then be right back to this argument in 3 years.

            This team underperformed by the opinion of just about every baseball analyst in the game.
            There’s a few wins right there.
            Subtracted a coiling shit log from behind the plate.
            There’s a win or 2.
            Have gotten our starters healthy.
            I would guess that Morrow will provide a few more wins.
            And I’m quite sure AA isn’t done. He has 3 months to continue being innovative.

            While you are playing the antagonist, I find none of this conversation antagonistic.

            My family are extremely passionate fans. My dad lives in Florida and once walked by JP Ricciardi in the stands in spring training and said “you need to trade Borbon, he’s a piece of shit”. We understand frustration. I just really believe in what I’ve seen AA doing.
            Maybe I’ve drank to much Kool-Aid.

            • So what’re you trying to say ?

              • Stay at it and let it unfold?

                • That shit will not work from a “fans” standpoint will it? Nor will replying to my own shit.

                  • Fans, you, me, even fair weather have every right to be frustrated.

                    Being a fan of the Jays the last 20 years has kind of been like dating a beautiful girl that isn’t that into you. She’ll toy with your emotions, use you, get you excited and then crush you. And then, just when you’ve gathered enough dignity to walk away, she does something really nice and fills you with hope.

                    For me AA is that hope, and the fucker has me smitten.

                    • Is there anything more pathetic than the hero worship directed towards fucking MLB GMs? Particularly when its aimed at the likes of “ninja” Anthopolous or “JeDi” down in LA, two guys whose teams have done fuck all? Its pretty laughable.

                    • Agreed the hero worship can be pretty pathetic. Its about being a fan and being optimistic supporting your team to some degree too. Goes both ways and the attitudes that these guys are morons and that they don’t have a clue etc is pathetic too. These guys are obviously pretty bright for the most part and work hard and know what they are doing better than us except maybe the odd one like the Seattle guy apparently. It’s not an easy job and lots more at play than we likely realize.

                      That said go sign or trade for some fucking all star free agents aa you moron we need to win now

                    • @ El Guapo

                      Anthopolous has in 3 years given Toronto one of the strongest minor league systems in baseball. And while 2013 ended up being a sack of shit, most pundits thought he had assembled a world series team.

                      Actually why the fuck am I bothering to address an ignorant piece of shit like you?
                      Instead of debating anything I said you call me pathetic.

                      You’re just a sad and angry little man.

            • Right on the money, Mr Smasher.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head Tom that a splash is needed for the hype / PR and keeping the casual fans involved just as much or even moreso than it is needed to improve the club’s chances of winning. Yes winning sells tickets but last year was not a winning season. Its not a normal season after everyone got a raging hard on last year with the hype and prospects of seeing a winner for the first time in so long. I’ve been reading comments from the other articles and man are the fans pissed. And they aren’t bluffing when they say they arent going to games if a move isnt made just like the jays dont seem to be with starting Goins at second base. Some of my buddies who know ball pretty good and are big fans are pretty pissed too. And as others have said here there is justification for being pissed when objectively considering the situation.

        To be an unrealistic conspiracy cynic maybe all these tempered expectations are an avenue to make a bigger impact and re-ignite the hard ons when the acquisition happens.

        • That is kinda my point whether it be wrong or right. Bring a winner now or the whole build up is fucked. Anyway I am repeating the same shit over again but we all know we are hard core Jays fans so whatever happens I will always be there. Put the metrics away and understand it is all about putting a fucking winner on the field….the wife is in the kitchen cookin up my last asshole so …….luv the Jays fan!

    • Well said Smasher!

    • I can smash a uterus while reading this poetry, and come out feeling like a beatnik. Very well said, Smasher.

    • Agree with everything you said, but I will say they had just as much talent in the years right after the strike. Not sure who was still left from the world series teams, but wasn’t there a time when they had delgado, green, stewart, even gonzalez at ss with his glove was passable. That’s not even mentioning doc, carp, escobar. I’ve always maintained if they had kept more of the likes of alomar, key, cone…they could have kept up the momentum after a couple of down years and kept on winning. But then again i might be wrong as Im playing off of memory here and its been a while. So if anyone wants to correct me, feel free.

    • You have a big poster of AA in you bedroom don’t you? You creepy shit.

  41. Well said, good sir.

  42. All your points about cost and/or opportunity cost are right on point, but that’s exactly why I mused that we should have been all over Colon; you pay in either cash, prospects or both if you want to add young high-end talent, and if you don’t have those assets to spend, your best option is to find short-term players who don’t cost prospects or draft picks and still leave room on the payroll to do what needs to be done down the road (2016).

    I’m not totally against going to camp with Happ as the #4 and an open competition for the #5 slot and bullets in the gun for a deadline deal, but I’d be more comfortable with an upgrade at second if that has to happen.

  43. AA is going to do jack shit and the Jays will finish in last place.

    • Tell it, double-dizzle!! 74 win teams, that stand pat in the off-season, with fingers crossed that last season was just a anomaly, don’t challenge for the post-season.

      • Unfortunate that you are both idiots and calculated out you will still be idiots in 2014 do to the average idiot commentary. Aloha.

  44. David Price would look good in the blue and white..

    • Sorry your not allowed to say that here because the experts have “own division issues”.

    • I’m dreaming on Price too and would have no problem giving up Sanchez and Stroman plus some of our 11-20 prospects for him. Really that is a pretty solid return and the Jays match up well with the Rays to acquire Price minus the division thing. This guy is a true ace and would really solidify the 2014/2015 blue jays into contenders. Doesn’t want an extension with the jays? Trade him in 2015 at the deadline and get back at least half of what you gave up. Thats the thing people seem to miss – at a minimum he is going to net a compensation pick if no extension and the smart thing to do is trade him at the deadline and get back big return.

      Trade Sanchez, Stroman and 2 B prospects then get back a Sanchez and 1 B prospect a year and a half alter. A year and a half of Price with this team in this window for Stroman and a B prospect plus the ~ 20M in salary you would pay I think is worth it.

      And whos to say the return trading Price in a year and a half wouldnt be much more than half of what it is now?

      • Most GMs don’t like to deal within the division because if one gets taken, then the team that beat him comes back 18 times a year to remind him of it. It’s a career shortener and it’s something AA probably doesn’t want. To say nothing of the fact that the Stroman and Sanchez and 2 b prospects probably wouldn’t do it. You’d probably need a MLB level guy too.

        • The trade within division thing seems like horse shit nonsense to me. So you trade price to the jays then they have to face him what 3 to 5 times a year for seven innings on average? That is a drop in the bucket over 162 games. At the end of the day you would think they need to take whatever they think the best package is that will help their team. The players you get from them that help you should on average offset the drop in the bucket impact the guys you traded have against you anyway. And if not your guy teams are likely to get some other guy anyway and be close to as strong of an opponent against you anyway. GMs job is on the line based on how the team and business do not based on if they trade a guy to a competitor who ends up having some good games against them. if he isn’t confident enough that the guys he gives up don’t have more value than the guys he’s getting then shouldn’t be making the trade in the first place. And if you are to chicken shit to deal a guy to a competitor when you think it will make your team better maybe shouldn’t be a gm in the first place

          • No, trading Stroman and Sanchez and probably more is just dumb. Its an overpay from a general trade perspective and even worse intra division. Sanchez and stroman will give us 10 years of cheap pitching. Price will give us guarenteed 2. not even factoring in what else we’re giving up for him.

            Don’t forget that while we get price for 2 years, they get sanchez and stroman for probably 6 years (super two). We are guarenteed to wail price on them for 2 years, the rays will wail on us our top prospects for 6 cheap years. It’s just not a smart move, asset management wise and from an interdivsion perspective.

            • Point is whatever it would take to get him is not a complete loss since you can trade him in a year and a half for over half what you gave up to get him. So you lose six years of one of a Stroman or Sanchez not both. The inter division thing is a non factor when considered with comprehensive analysis. Plus the value of six years of stroman or Sanchez is not known it could be lots it could be much less ala drabek (although I think drabek still has a chance to be a solid pitcher). With price you know you have an ace for the next year and a half with high probability and that it will solidify team into a contender without breaking the bank. The fa don’t have that high probability they could be average

              • That is also not true, what you get back in trade after half a year makes up for the huge overpay you made in the beginning? Youre forgetting unknowns work both ways. Just as price could contribute, he also get injured, get worse. Our proecpects turn out even better.

                And sorry its not 6 years of prospects, it’s 12 plus whatever more it’ll take to get price.

                one for each top prospect. Not. worth. it.

                The shields Myers Odorizzi easiest comp. Myers is going to give more war over the 6 years at a much cheaper rate then Shields alone, not to mention Odorizzi will give them cheap innings. It’s just not a smart move. And that is stilll not factoring interdivision, which very real, or else you would see interdivision trades alot more often.

                • Ill agree to disagree but continue to argue!

                  There is way more volatility in the outcomes of Sanchez and Stroman over the course of their career then what Price will deliver in the next year and a half to two years.

                  The premise is based on the fact that the move would significantly improve the chances to win the world series in this window where the other veterans are with the team while when those prospects are big contributors beyond what Price is giving the team at the time the team is not likely to have the same talent on the roster and be as close to serious contention. Many fans are frustrated with AA constantly talking about value of contracts and acquisitions and the price being too high because this logic seems to discount the desire to win the world series but rather aims towards fielding a decently competitive team year after year that will only win if everything breaks right while everything has broken wrong in recent history. Talk of balking at supposed overpays means that the team that is close to serious contention will not improve and likely not contend and hope that by constantly seeking out maximum value it will add up to a sustainable winner which has not been seen to happen. It was fine while the team was building up but now is seen by many as the time to solidify the roster to be serious contenders.

                  Considerations of whether or not it is an overpay are not taking into account the fact that Price still has value as a tradeable asset after a year and a half that would most likely significantly recoup whatever assets were lost getting him in the first place. It is short sighted to say that you are giving up Sanchez and Stroman plus whatever else for Price for 2 years while not considering you could be giving up Sanchez, Stroman plus whatever else for Price for a year and a half plus the significant assets Price could return after a year and a half. It will net at least a compensation pick after 2 years with high likelihood and that pick could easily be as valuable as either one of them.

                  Saying that teams don’t trade within the division does not justify a position that it is a dumb idea. Argument ad numerum is a classical fallacy. Sure the “numerum” are a select group of very knowledegable and credible people but their decisions are often driven by non logical considerations like people will think they are stupid even through they aren’t. The facts of the matter and consideration and analysis of the impacts show that reasons for not doing it are bullshit or at least not very significant. Same argument can be made to say HR and RBI are most important because that is what arbitration and many GMs reward financially. The Moneyball story is an example of stupid thnking prevailing due to people not wanting change. Oakland and Texas are trading within division and have good GMs that seem to see that it really doesn’t amount to anything real and the premise that it does is dumb and they don’t care what other people will say because they are secure in their jobs.

                  • You can’t just look at it in a vacuum, though. Can absolutely be bad idea, because the GM concerns aren’t limited to on-field matters. He has to think about the strength of the brand and his own job security, etc.– these just can’t be dismissed as not logical considerations. The intra-divisonal trade thing can’t be used alone to call it bad, but those are legit considerations. I don’t know that they are compelling reasons not to do it if you feel very confident in your reasoning for doing the deal, but this one would seem to be tough to view as a straight-up on-field value slam dunk on either end, so of course that stuff can come into play.

                    For the record, though, I’d do it if I’m the Jays, but I’d expect the Rays to be seeking a more win-now package and key players who don’t profile as strongly to end up in the bullpen, where their value is so limited. We don’t want to think about it that way, but if I’m a competing GM, that’s absolutely how I try to knock those two. We all want Sanchez’s command to suddenly click and for Stroman to become the third 5’9-or-under righty since 1960 to make more than 30 starts in his career, but when you’re selling those to a guy dangling David Price and weighing other offers, those concerns will rightly be massive.

                    In other words, I think you’re missing the real reason why it doesn’t work.

  45. Grrr. Hmmm. Fuck JPA. What? Shut up! Poker face. Biding time. Bird in the hand….

    What?! Chuck Knoblauch? No, he’s too old and beats wom-hic, wome-hic, beats females….

    Huh?? What boat? Fuck the boat. Huh? Ohhh THAT boat, yeah I’m on it. Fuck yeah. **hic**

    • Insightful analysis.Meanders a bit but reading between the lines,I really have no fucking idea what you’re trying to say. That being said, maybe it’s not what you’re saying but in how you traverse across spectrum of knowledge with verbiage that shows us all, what the message should be and shall be in the future.

      Profound.very deep.

      Either that or you’re a TSN commenter who got drunk as a skunk and worked up the nerve to enter the den of iniquity known as the comment section of DJF.

      • I dont think its a tsn commenter. To belong to that “cult”, you need to have 3 fundamental beliefs:
        1) Gibby should be fired.
        2) AA should be fired.
        3) JPA is good because he hits homers.

        • @ afdg
          Excellent observation, I hadn’t considered the obvious.
          In my eagerness to parse the cadence and sentence structure as belonging to a specific dialect of the genus TSNcommentus, I missed the diction and syntax errors commonly associated with that species
          My bad.

  46. Hmm. I’m no longer as much of an AA fan as I was. But I’m not a fan of making a deal just to make a deal. If the Tanaka equivocation goes on much longer, the big free agent pitchers will get antsy and tell their agents to start looking around. And the prices will start to drop.

  47. I just took a look at the 2015 FA’s and there is some big name pitchers that will be available. I would hate to see us tie up a big chunk of payroll on a 2-3 starter with issues just to keep the fans happy.. So do we go with what we got this year and roll the dice next year on a Sheilds or a Scherzer if they don’t sign with their respective clubs or pick up a Garza etc. this year.
    I think Tanaka or nothing this year and hold on to our prospects, but that’s just my thoughts.

    • I was wondering about the FA class of 2015.
      Some will be re-signed no doubt but I tend to agree with you.

    • Well 2015 isnt here yet, so alot teams could sign them to extensions and there would be little free agent pitchers remaining. Kind of dumb to wait and stand pat to try and sign free agent pitching a year from now when there not even guarenteed to be available.

      • True,but all the FA pitching available this year seems to have their own warts.
        And anything long term has the potential to block either future moves or prospects who have reached their potential from being called up.

        • players will always have warts, whether it be health, inconsistency, being too expensive. No player will ever be perfectly balanced.

          Our need will change in a year as well. We need quality pitching and standing pat doesnt solve that need, it gives us more unknowns.

    • Let’s not forget our roster is filled with regressing older players and that the win now argument is very valid

    • Kennedy’s words are an opinion, not a fact. Wouldnt get too bummed out about it.

      • So to sum that article up: forget about Tanaka; forget about getting The Shark (which is good news to me!); forget about getting a 2nd baseman; however the chances of landing a right-handed bat to platoon with Lind are excellent!

        I don’t think Kennedy is that far wrong. Doesn’t make me lose any sleep either.

  48. I think AA will pursue the trade route until mid January or so (and for the rest of his career–the guy’s a trade junkie and can’t go more than a month without trading somebody or signing somebody. That’s one of the things I like about him. He’s always willing to roll the dice). He HAS to add at least one impact player though or the team will lose a ton of revenue and much of the good will built up last year. If he hasn’t managed to acquire an impact player by mid January, it will be time to bite the bullet and sign a Ubaldo/Garza type or, if that fails, make a trade for Brandon Philips, who would appease the blood lust of the mouth-breathing, casual fan somewhat. I also expect the usual flurry of AA deals in spring training as well. I just hope he doesn’t panic like the Mariners did in outbidding the Yankees (and everyone else) by 75 million for Cano. I think the best window of opportunity for this team comes in 2016 when a lot of the bad money comes off the books ( eg.Romero, Buerhle’s contracts) and all those low minor guys start to arrive. His biggest challenge is not finding a good pitcher or second baseman but hanging onto his job long enough for the low minors calvary to arrive. The bench players largely suck as well and need to be upgraded and will be before spring training ends. I don’t expect anything under the tree or before New Year’s though.

    • It’s interesting, AA has definitely played the strategy of waiting for the free agency market price to drop. He’s probably looking for the next kyle lohse in terms of pitching.

      We would have easily improved and become probably on par with the red sox if we turned dodgers and signed both Cano and Mccann. It’s a shame rogers are too money consious for their own good.

    • If the best window of opportunity for the Jays is 2016 and forward (I agree) then they need to start Tank Nation yesterday. Trade EE, Bautista, and Rasmus for prospects and the rest for salary relief. They shouldn’t be keeping anyone from the current team except maybe Lawrie. Trading the three guys who still have positive value now could yield a few top-tier prospects whose windows could align with the others coming up in the next few years.

      I don’t think Rogers has the sack to spend with the big boys and what we’re seeing this offseason, with the refusal to address glaring holes even at a reasonable cost (Ellis anyone?), is buyer’s remorse — somewhat understandable given the 2013 shitshow. What they need to do going forward is adopt the Tampa model — hold on to their prospects until they hit about year 2 of arb and start getting really expensive, then flip them for more prospects. No free agency at all except for the occasional “value” signing (same as AA’s model now) and no trading prospects for over-the-hill veterans, because you need those guys to be the core of your team going forward and eventually be traded for the next wave of prospects.

      I don’t think they’ll actually do this — they’ll stand pat and hope the team outperforms its talent level, which was basically the JPR approach. That should get us about 82 wins and fourth place, if even that (I actually think the 2013 result was a lot more reflective of the team’s true performance level than most people do). But it’s a terrible strategy. They need to be all in or all out.

      They need to at least do something with Rasmus this offseason, because he loses a ton of value if traded during the year (no QO) and they have no chance of resigning him if he hits free agency. Either trade him or sign him to a reasonable extension — which would still allow them to trade him mid-season if they decide to do Tank Nation, and probably actually enhance his trade value. He just can’t be allowed to walk for nothing, and waiting until the middle of the year like they did with EE is pretty risky.

      • Wow dumb, thats not what he was saying at all. And tank nation would sending the exact opposite message rogers wants to send now.

        We dont need to be the rays, we have alot more payroll then they do.

        And considering how badly our roster uderperformed, our roster just performing to their norms would be enough to contend so stop equating this roster or the mindset to JPR.

      • @ CG
        If you’e actually serious.I totally disagree.
        In fact, you’re nuts.
        2013 was reflective of the true performance level?
        Reyes playing with a bad pin?Melky playing with a spinal tumour?All the other injuries?
        You do realize that the Jays were fielding a AAA team in Sept.?
        Tank Nation?You still don’t know what you got with the existing players, so dump them?
        Jeez,why did I even bother to respond to this drivel

        • To be accurate I said “closer to their true performance level than most people think.” There are a lot of people here who think the current roster is a playoff contender even without upgrades.

          They won 74 last year — I would say their true talent level was probably an 80ish win team.

          Reyes has a very long history of injuries.

          Nobody really has any idea what Melky’s true level is now, although it’s probably a lot closer to his 2009-2010 numbers (combined 0 WAR over 2 years) than 2012. He may not even come back from the injury. Of course we didn’t know about that a year ago, but we did know he was going to be off the juice and coming back to the AL East, so it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to believe his contribution would be marginal. It certainly would be extremely unreasonable to expect much out of him in 2014.

          Rasmus, Bautista, and Lawrie get hurt every year. It’s completely unreasonable to expect them to play more than 100-120ish games a season at this point.

          Izturis and Bonifacio were utility players that AA tried to make into regulars. Not remotely shocking that they got chewed up. Goins is just as bad. He’ll be a bit better defensively but his bat is just fuckawful.

          JPA has always sucked shit. He did have an amazingly poor year even for him, but if you think Navarro is going to be the savior, that’s ridiculous.

          In terms of pitching, aside from the JJ clusterfuck and Happ’s injury everything else was pretty unsurprising. Buehrle probably did a bit better than we could have anticipated. Dickey got kicked around a lot more, which should have been entirely expected moving to the AL East and pitching in a homer dome. Morrow finds a way to get hurt every year. We knew Romero was done. We also knew we had nothing behind those guys since Hutch, Drabek and Perez were all recuperating. We were actually quite lucky to get halfway decent performances out of Redmond and Rogers, from whom we had no right to expect anything.

          I guess I’m struggling to see how we take basically the same roster (minus JJ, JPA, and Bonifacio) into 2014 and expect 88 wins. The guys who sucked last year are just as likely to suck, and the guys who were hurt are just as likely to be hurt again. The Jays would need major, major upgrades — at least two solid starters and a second baseman who could hit at least a little — to have any hope of contention and it would still be a long shot. Given all this, why is Tank Nation, which would allow us to monetize the assets we’re currently wasting and build on all the low minors depth we do have, such a bad idea?

          • My god hindsight central here. JPA, Boneface and JJ all contributed negative WAR so addition by attraction first. And I dont see how expecting 100+ games from bautista, lawrie and rasmus is COMPLETELY unreasonable.

            And actually we didnt know Romero was COMPLETELY done either, we thought he was depth. Crappy depth, but depth nonetheless.

            Your stance is assuming the worst case scenario so its no wonder your so pesimistic about this team. You could do this with every team in MLB and they would also suck, including the red sox.

            The talent on our roster is really good, all the Jays have to do is hit their career norms even accounting for age regression and they would be a playoff contending team. You don’t even have to assume the best case scenario, just a normally distributed scenario would work out just fine.

          • At the beginning of the 2013 season,most experts disagreed with your assessment.
            With the injury issues last year,it would been less than prudent to judge the teams talent level based on that.
            Let’s see what happens with evryone healthy for 2 months.
            Tank Nation suggests that the team blow everything up,to gain draft picks.
            The Jays already have 2 of the top 11 picks this year and a top ten rated farm system.
            Rogers interest is to produce hype in the team to provide viable content for all Rogers platforms.Tanking doesn’t provide that type of content.

      • EE Bautista Rasmus Reyes these are the guys that give us a chance to compete in the three year window so doesn’t make sense to trade them now to compete in 2016. Without them we can’t compete in 2016 unless you expect to be able to sign similar fa

      • What a load of shit, CG.

  49. In looking at the team heading into 2014 and starting with the outfield,I’m feeling a bit more positive.
    Bautista,even though he’s getting older,is still one of the best players at the RF position.
    Rasmus is entering his FA year,seems to be learning how to adjust.Is farther away from TLR being out of his head.According to the metrics,is in the top five centerfielders.Depends what he does this year,it will mean 10′s of millions.
    Melky’s performance with a tumour on his spine makes me wonder what he can do without it.It was painful watching him at the end of 2013,yet he was pushing himself to play.Woulda been easy fto shut himself down.Also entering his FA year,

    • I have a hunch that Bautista is going to have a beast of a year.

      • we can hope

      • If Bautista’s goal is to make the post season, he knows it’ll be harder to perform as he gets older.
        Melky has something to prove and a shit load of money at stake. If he didn’t give a shit, he coulda pulled himself from the line up last year.
        Rasmus is entering his FA year. If this year,he proves himself to be an actual top 5 CF then a 100 million contract isn’t out of the question.He also seems more adaptable to changes in his swing.And FWIW Tony Rasmus tweeted that Colby has been working out and plans to steal 30 bases this year.Colby knows Gose is being touted as the heir apparent so he needs a good year to up his value.

  50. If the 5 year contract limitation is horeshit why has it been brought up by AA?
    Why even publicly say such a thing? To temper fans expectations? Maybe, but at this point the fans want to see a winner we don’t want “contract value” rhetoric..

    This should be AA’s last kick at the can, he’s made 2 good trades since he arrived, 2 trades in what now his 5th season?

    The Jays have the viewership, in stadium fans, merchandising and enough buzz to act like a big market team.. time to be one sign Garza already you cheap bastards.

    • I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but I’d be excited to hear what two trades you consider to be AA’s good ones.

      Bringing in Morrow? Dealing Wells? Thames for Delabar? Olivo (sandwich pick) for cash? Rasmus for spare parts? Santos for former prospect Nestor Molina? Marcum for Lawrie?

      • So Troll is the euphemism for ” I don’t agree with you”.. whatever bud.

        Dealing Wells and that insane contract
        Moving spare parts for Rasmus.

        Until Lawrie can produce well, regularly we don’t know what he is.
        Morrrow spends more time on the DL than off it
        Santos – see above
        Delabar? Who cares

        • Marcum now sux, lawrie is 24 and plenty talented and has already outproduced in terms of WAR the past two years of Marcum and a much cheaper rate. Win AA.

          We traded morrow for brandon league, win AA

          Nestor molina is a nonprespect now – win AA

          Thames is now playing korea, Delabar is a killer set-up man with a potential to be a shut down closer for minimum, win AA

          • With the possible exception of Lawrie, none of these are earth shattering. What is Morrow exactly? Maybe wait for another season of Delabar before proclaiming he’s killer.

            • It doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you, it means I don’t agree with stupid. You didn’t ask for earth shattering deals. You asked for good deals. Every single one I listed was, at the very least, a good deal.

              If you’re going to argue that Morrow is a bad deal because he spends lots of time on the DL (which is horse shit), shouldn’t the Lawrie deal be a terrific one because Marcum just spent a bunch of time on the DL?

          • You could’ve stopped at Thames is in Korea, and it would be a win for AA already

        • Yeesh.

          This “Morrrow spends more time on the DL than off it” bullshit is fucking mind-numbing to read.

          My God people. Actually take a look at his stats since becoming a jay, and his games started. None of his injuries are really related.

          Let me guess, you listened to guys like Greg Zaun say he should play through things and now we can’t think for ourselves? I don’t get it really. I just don’t.

    • 5 years was a company policy imposed after the wells disaster and rightly so. Very rarely do you get a player that is worth 6 years or more on a contract. Free agent market wise anyways

      • I find it interesting that even the Yanks and Bosox don’t seem to be signing 10 year contracts anymore.
        They don’t have issues with the cash total, just the term of the deal.

        • They’re getting smarter, not a good thing

          • So it’s not a money thing that limits them it’s that the contract may hamstring them in the future. Even the Yanks can’t afford to buy out ARod or sit him.
            They weren’t willing to compete for Cano but had no problem with McCann or Beltran on a shorter term.
            Could it be that Beeston’s and AA’s policy is really the smart way to go?

            • Signed Ellsbury for seven years which is about as long as any contract other than cano

              • 7 years is still smarter the 10 years. Soon they’ll be putting on 6 years as their standard

                • There is competition. As long as there are some team is willing to go to longer terms the players will get those terms and teams like the Yankees may do it even if they think it isn’t the greatest idea because they want the player. The AAV likely goes down as the term goes up so it is not necessarily a bad idea it depends on what the AAV is. At the extreme of course you sign a 25 year old guy for 15 years for 1 dollar a year rather than sign for 5 years at 2 dollars a year. The term Vs AAV and what teams are willing to do will be fluid. The only way that contracts start to get limited to a certain term is if there is a conspiracy / cartel amongst the owners or there is some regulation in the CBA

                  • Robinson Cano would be a Blue Jay if they were willing to offer him more than the $240-million Seattle did. Same with everybody else on these sorts of contracts. And same goes for the Yankees. Term is completely irrelevant.

                    • Why in the world would you offer 240m over less years than 10 if a term of 10 years at the 240m gets a deal done? You can’t lose by having a player under contract for longer for the same amount of overall money, if anything it is better even if they don’t even play at the back end given inflation

                      I see what you are saying that overall guaranteed money is what the players are striving for and term is somewhat irrelevant.. In ellsburys case say someone offered 145m over 5 years instead of 153 over 7 you would think ellsbury would take that hoping he can earn more than the 8m difference in those two years. Or how about 60m over two years you would think is something the player would consider.

                    • Or to go to the extreme to illustrate the point do you think ellsbury would have turned down 152m for one year because it was less than Yankees deal? Term is relevant. Players you would think would have to evaluate risk of higher aav over shorter term vs less aav over longer term unless they are very slow and their agents are manipulating things to get more commission

                      There was an aa quote during winter meetings which basically said term is not relevant and all that matters is overall amount. I hope that was a misquote and he doesn’t go sign someone for four years instead of six for the same amount of overall money!!

                    • You’re arguing that term is relevant in the sense that shorter deals can be more attractive, which is, of course, completely irrelevant to the conversation here, since people think the problem is that the Jays are hurting themselves with a too-rigid policy about longer terms. You’re not wrong, so fine saying term is irrelevant isn’t technically right, you’re just being pedantic as fuck. *wank-off motion*

                    • Ah ok yeah I was out to lunch in terms of argument at hand if it was about the five year policy. I was stuck on the aa quote about aav vs term and what I had said previously there, unrelated to five year policy but just about AAC vs term in general

    • Did you click the link to the post where I explained all this?

      No, you did not.

  51. Youkilis to the Rakuten Eagles, what??? He’ll be a superstar there

  52. So the M’s have an overstocked infield and need relievers and outfield hitters. Maybe they’d have some interest in Sierra. If not, I wonder if they would let Ackley go for 2 relievers, say Janssen and Jeffress or Santos and Perez or some combination like that.

    Ok I’m gonna suggest a crazy scenario, for fun, which would require some more payroll flexibility and as always, depends if team needs match up.

    Supposedly Kendrys Morales’ market isn’t developing all that well for him. If we could sign him for an aav of 10 or less by offering multiple years, even backloading a bit, I would like to see Lind traded to the Pirates in exchange for them sending one decent prospect to someone we want a pitcher from, ie a 3 team trade. It would save a roster spot (no DH platoon), Morales defense isn’t that much worse than Lind’s, his injury risk is better imo, and it would lighten the prospect demands in trading for a SP.

    Same could be done with Happ (yes I mean a 4 team trade). The market for reliable back end starters is going to increase as the market settles (waitin on you, Masahiro). I wouldn’t mind letting Happ and Lind go if we were bringing in Morales and a SP upgrade who can handle 200 IP. Again, only possible if team needs match up.

    Too far out there?

    • Correction, I wouldn’t mind letting go of Happ, Lind and 2 of Sanchez/Stroman/Nolin/Norris if we were bringing in Morales and a solid SP. That’s the only way I can see trading for a starter without demolishing the farm.

      • Two of sanchez and Stroman nolin and norris, jesus we better be getting an awesome pitcher or something cause thats crazy.

        • That’s the furthest extent I would consider “not demolishing the farm”. It’d have to be someone like Hamels or Lee. For example, Sanchez, Nolin and two other prospects that work for Philly, who the Pirates and another team value equally or lesser than Lind and Happ, respectively. I also wouldn’t consider giving up Stroman and Nolin, because they both may contribute this year. I’d like to have at least one.

    • Wouldn’t give up a pick for Morales. He’s just not very good overall as a player and doesn’t fill a need. If you’re the Jays you have a pretty good situation at DH/1B already with EE who’s a monster and Lind who rakes righties. Sierra as a platoon partner for Lind and otherwise using the spot to rest Bautista, Cabrera, seems like a great course of action. They could also bring in a guy like Jeff Baker, who mashes lefties and could potentially help out at 2B as well.

      • He can hit, plain and simple. Doesn’t need a platoon partner. I just don’t like Lind’s annual back problems and lack of ability to hit lefties. It’s a liability and it costs an extra roster spot. If you could move him and at the same time use that value to acquire a SP, allowing you to keep value in young pitching which we need so badly, I like that option. Baker would be a great platoon partner, but he doesn’t help us bring in a pitcher. That’s the need. A better way to phrase is, why should we need to platoon? 7M would be fantastic value if he could hit both-handed pitching. Kendrys’ injury was a one off, albeit with some complications, but is the kind of injury that came about as a freak accident, not a systemic weakness as with Lind. But hey I’m no doctor. Who knows what he’ll even sign for. Thanks for reading.

    • Morales’ injury risk is better???

  53. So, now that I can not pine for big, fat Bartolo Colon. I think I am going to turn my attention and focus on to Jeff Baker.

    Fuck me, does this guy make sense as a lefty masher to platoon with Lind. And the fact that he could play 2B just makes so much sense given our….lack of depth there.

    Do it AA.

  54. Love the “Real” Jays fan’s passion nomatter my fucking opinion lady’s and gentleman let me say:

    Stoeten: You have done an absolutely incredible job of keeping us Jays junkies alive and informed.. you sir have a great future and I plan on following your writings all the way.

    Fellow DJFers: Because of the fact my wife is not buying my bullshit of ‘I am working on a new project” I might have to stay away for a day or two?

    Point being: I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and safe Holidays!

  55. Merry Christmas to you guys too but I will be back.

    Working on a bathroom reno so I tell the wife I’m just checking out installs before I do them.
    Buys me hours on here. Stoeten I agree your writing and personal opinions are the best I wish I would have found this site years ago.

    I’m just flying around this computer now, the kids are ecstatic I’m not bugging them for help.

  56. Small Potatoes I hope you have a well stocked cabinet during your forced hibernation.

    • yeah, heard this at 8pm tonite-strange that Stoeten hasn’t commented on it. On the surface, not a big deal, apparently pissed the Jays did not offer him the first base coaching gig, but down deep, is the fact that he is gone completely rule out any chance of the Jays signing Tanaka?
      I mean after Andrew writing about how he coached the guy in Japan and knows the time of day this guy even farts and how it might benefit us in some way well……
      Also , what if Marty goes to the BOSOX or whatever-does this now give them the proverbial “leg up” HMMmmmm?
      In the meantime i have my 45$ at 45-1 for the Jays to win the WS and $5 at 20-1 for the pennant and I mentioned how I was confident Alex would do something big to knock those odds down and make me look smart? Tick Tock, Tick Tock

      • That’s a pretty tall order, fukstik.
        It’s enough to make even the baby Jesus cry.
        Would you settle for just the lowering of the odds?

        • I read a couple of times the Red Sox were set at pitching and also after Daisuke theysoured on Japanese pitching. But I wouldnt be surprised if Brown’s been talking to someone else. This is very sudden.

  57. Even Davidi didn’t have any inside information on as why Brown resigned.
    The first base position on the jays was filled awhile ago ( couple of weeks?) so the timing seems a little weird.
    Guess we’ll need to wait a little bit.

  58. According to this analysis Ubaldo looks like the better option of Garza/Santana/Jimenez for the Jays, especially given the RC and his ground ball rates.

  59. @Stoeten.

    Will you be doing a post on the new Jays flexpack ticket holder policies?

    I just got my card in the mail & apparently you won’t be able to print your tickets at home & show up at the game or print tickets & sell them or give them to family & friends.

    You have to present your flex pass card at the gates 4 or 12 & your card & photo ID.

    It looks like if you want to transfer your tickets to someone else , there will be a $5 or $10 fee, which is annoying.

    I guess the Jays are trying to crackdown on people who were reselling flex pack tickets.

  60. Grant Balfour is NOT happy with his deal with the Orioles falling through:

    “Two well respected physicians said I am completely healthy – because I am healthy. I’m a fighter and a winner and I would have given you your best chance to win.’”

    Would love to know what’s really going on there.

  61. Choo to the Rangers, more importantly for us Heyman is saying that might put them out on Tanaka.

    • Jays will not even bid on Tanaka. My official bet for our SP signing:

      Scott Baker, 1 year $4M, with some incentives.

      • If they don’t plan on bidding the $20 MM, then don’t bother bidding at all but I think they will. Don’t see them winning if my understanding of the new process is right but take the shot anyways, this team needs more talent to win the 90+ games it’ll take.

        • @Lamp.

          +1. Jays would look silly not bidding on Tanaka. It is refundable if you don’t get Tanaka.

          This is a better pr move for the jays even if they don’t get tanaka.

          With Darvish, it was up to the Jays to make a strong bid for him.

          • Under the new system, the Jays would have had a chance to negotiate with Darvish. They bid 21 million for him according to the speculation at the time.

      • I’m pretty sure everyone in the universe knows that Scott Baker probably sucks. The Jays are not going to bring someone in who is probably worse than Redmond, Rogers or Happ.

        • I am not pointing for Scott Baker, but he is better and has/had a better pedigree than those guys.

          If the guy is healthy, far more upside than those three. It’d have to be real cheap, for me.

    • Tanaka unlikely to post, I bet.
      More intriguingly, the Choo deal is a good indicator of what Colby will look for next year.

      • @Cantona.

        I would rather see AA lock up Colby with any extra cash than get a mediocre pitcher.

        Colby is happy here & he plays hard. Excellent defense & the a beautiful Home run swing.

        Would Colby accept 5/90?

        • I agree and hope he would.

          • @Cantona.

            The price for Colby went up in the past month based on these new free agent signings.

            AA should call Rogers and tell them that 150 million budget is not enough to compete in the AL East unless he has the Tampa Rays development team.

            AA got bargains with Bautista & Edwin. If they were free agents today , they would get close to 20 million each per year.

  62. Nows the time AA swoop in Nelson Cruz is there for taking . another monster (potential monster bat in Rogers center) Screw the pitching lets ride the young guys and mash away this year

  63. Was hoping the Jays would do something batshit crazy and sign Choo to play LF/DH with Melky, but alas, they play it safe. Hopefully we can get a pitcher or two that represent upgrades to the scrubs that round out the bottom two spots.

  64. This Choo deal is the same sort of thing the Jays should be doing. Instead of making another trade to improve your offense at the expense of your pitching staff most likely the Rangers instead sign the best remaining bat and leave their starters alone. The Jays still seem content to trade value away (prospects or relievers) to get value in return instead of keeping their original talent alone and just adding to it by spending money. I know its not the simple regarding FA, like it looks like Choo wanted to go to Texas, but still.

  65. You know those really cool lookin’ beige Jays hats? …Just bought one in Nanaimo.

    Hey kids what the fuck is wrong with having a curved rim? Do I want to look like fucking Fernando Rodney…no. The rim on this piece of shit is made of titanium I suppose. So anyways I am fucking pumped ‘cuz it’s the kind of hat that could be worn to one of these groups the crazy wife drags me to but I have to look like I wanna fuckin’ rap a little ditty.

    Love, Tom

    • Try rocking one of these no-rim puppies…
      (Plus, there’s room to hide an ice-cold six pack inside.)

    • Hey Tom, where did you go to get your hat in nanaimo? I went to sports chek last weekend. They have a 6000+ square foot store, and they only had two tiny racks of hats. They had one style of Jays hats, and I couldn’t even find canadian hockey team hats, besides the Nucks and Leafs. But they had the bruins, flyers and wings. Manager asked me if I needed help with anything? I told him no, not until they actually got a selection of caps. You think they would want to make as much money as possible this time of year.

  66. Rim,



  67. According to Jeff Passan:

    “Teams are barreling toward $2 billion spent on free agents this offseason.”
    “For those surprised, don’t be. Baseball’s economic system, as presently constituted, guaranteed free-agent salaries ballooning to unfathomable levels.”
    “…the mechanisms in place … more or less force teams to spend their money on free agents. Simply put: They can’t spend it anywhere else.”

    Do you suppose that this works north of the 49th?
    Two words AA–Masahiro Tanaka.
    Tell Rogers you were ‘forced.’

  68. Pretty well said article by shi in my opinion. Getting a lot of hate on the message boards but think it takes an intelligent look at the offseason so far…

    • Pretty rational look at things. I wouldn’t be terribly upset going into the season with in-house solutions. A mid-season trade, if needed, might make more sense. Think about it, the Jays prospects will presumably have another few months of development and be that much more appealing, and the guys coming back will have a few months less control. Maybe come June the costs come down.

    • Also, with the fairly significant number of pitchers playing the waiting game it only takes one of them to make a mistake and wait out too long and see his value plummet. That would be a good time to pounce.

  69. Stoeten standing pat with his number of posts until the off season.

  70. Because this gets brought up from time to time:

    I’m not sure I see one player in that list the Jays traded for Happ.

    • If you looked at that prospect list, its kinda loaded…

      • You’re a fuckin douche. And calling someone a Jap is no different that dropping the N bomb dick wad.

        • Please don’t give this piece of shit the attention he so pathetically craves. (I know, I shouldn’t either.)

    • funny because people want to trade sean nolin for a TOR starter, but Asher Wojciechowski is basically the same guy and we call him nothing.

      We didn’t give up much in the Astros deal, but we also didn’t get much back either, especially when you factor the salaries we took back.

    • You mean in the WORST TRAED EVAR???

      Loaded system, sure, but that narrative is so beyond worthless.

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