AAreyesPC

Given the game of chicken that Alex Anthopoulos is currently engaged in with various player agents and competing GMs, and how unusually deep into the winter it has taken him, it entirely makes sense that Jays fans are getting a little bit antsy about just what they may end up finding themselves devoting their time and energy to this summer. And holy shit, if they saw three of what I’d call the most important pieces of Jays-related writing to come along this week, their outlook probably didn’t get a whole lot less bleak.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star paints a picture of Alex Anthopoulos as a GM who has lost his way, not to mention the ear of his rivals.

At Blue Jays Plus, Gideon Turk gets inside sources, like current and former teammates of Jose Bautista (and others), to go on record (anonymously) about the way he operates behind closed doors, and the comments are hardly going to put any alleged issues to rest.

Meanwhile, over at Baseball America, Ben Badler handicaps the race to get Masahiro Tanaka’s signature on a contract, and in so doing makes it clear that he doesn’t think very highly of the Jays– not in terms of their chances of landing the Japanese ace, and also not in regard to their chances of being competitive in 2014.

In actuality, though, are things as grim as these pieces seem to suggest? I’m sure you won’t be shocked to discover that I really don’t think so — though, to be fair, my rosy disposition is mostly because I’m determined to be entirely sure that the Jays won’t be adding a front line pitcher for 2014 before I completely lose my shit on this organization — but that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth looking at a little more closely.

It’s maybe not going to be the gong show promised by the title of this post, but nonetheless… shall we?

Griffin on Anthopoulos

Did Richard Griffin ever really believe that Alex Anthopoulos was “the game’s rising star, a 32-year-old with unlimited vision and the vigour of youth,” and “one step ahead, ready to re-invent the GM position”? Writing such things at the beginning of his Toronto Star piece, I suspect he’s speaking more of the “ninja GM” perception that many fans have had of Anthopoulos at varying times during his tenure, and not so much about his own personal opinion. But it’s a nifty trick he uses — swiftly moving outside of his own viewpoint, building AA up before the big teardown — and not the only time in the piece where he guides the reader towards a perception that he gives no evidence he actually believes.

The dots he’d really like us to connect are the fact that the Jays missed out making a deal for Doug Fister earlier this winter, and that “One executive at the recent winter meetings indicated that other GMs now realize that when they are talking to Anthopoulos about a potential trade, it may just be information gathering. Some have become more careful in their conversations. Maybe it’s time to adjust.”

It’s a fair enough point, taken literally and narrowly, but coming as it does immediately after the Fister stuff — “Would he have been given the opportunity two years ago?” Griffin asks, rhetorically. “Perhaps,” he answers — the insinuation is pretty clear.

Jays Journal falls into the trap:

As Mr. Griffin details, Anthopoulos has lost the art of surprise with his fellow general managers, mainly because of the way he’s dealt with them in the past. He’s spent far too much time hoarding information rather than actual dealing, putting off other teams while trying to put himself into a stronger trade position. Rather than continue to be a pawn in his moves, other GM’s are apparently shutting him out.

That was evident in the trade that sent Doug Fister to the Nationals for what appeared to be a pittance. The Blue Jays could have easily been major players in such a deal, and Fister would have made a remarkable addition to this rotation. However, Anthopoulos was never even considered and was caught off guard by the move, something he has rarely been on the receiving end of.

That sure is what Griffin would like to imply, but it’s not at all what he said. What he said was that, according to a single executive, GMs are being a little more guarded with Anthopoulos these days, and then for good measure he added some pure speculation about whether the Jays would have been able to get in on the conversation two years ago– and wouldn’t even commit one way or the other as to what he actually thinks about such speculation.

Me? I think that if Anthopoulos is being frozen out, there must be a shitload of GMs pissing their rivals off with the same kind of information gathering. Because the Jays are hardly anywhere close to the only team who would have absolutely fallen all over themselves to obtain Fister at the price the Nationals did. It’s absolutely gutting that Fister was moved for the price he was, and I bet Anthopoulos is as upset about it as you or I– and probably equally as culpable in the club’s failure to land him, too.

 

Anonymous Teammates On Bautista

Gideon Turk has done some great digging into the issue of Jose Bautista’s clubhouse presence, and while it’s maybe an issue that we’d all rather just be put to rest (or most of us anyway), especially after the publication of this piece, I don’t think we can just yet.

As you might expect, much of what we hear doesn’t exactly break new ground. Some of Gideon’s sources — particularly younger players (“prospects” he calls them while noting that they’ve been in the big league clubhouse with Bautista) — are actually very positive in their comments. Another person, simply labelled a “Major League source,” and not necessarily a player, cites anger in the clubhouse over Bautista’s arguments with umpires as the main issue, which is at least as dumb as it is unsurprising. Others still bring up the notion of the “Latino clique” in the clubhouse, and while I don’t think that’s particularly atypical of big league clubs, it certainly provides the juiciest moments in the piece.

To wit:

An industry source with direct knowledge of the goings on in the Blue Jays clubhouse said that Jose acted as a leader strictly for his Latino brethren, but when it came to all the other players on the roster, he could care less.

One veteran player, gone from the team now, even went as far to tell Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos that his team would never win if it featured a Latin clique like the one present over the past couple of years.

That player is, of course, an idiot. And here’s where, if I weren’t being lazy, I’d suggest that there’s still enough merit in what the player is saying to take it seriously, and I’d make a bunch of statements about how it literally makes zero sense to think that such a thing would have anything to do with winning baseball games, and couch it with a bunch of stuff I don’t really mean about how it maybe-possibly-could have some non-zero something to do with something, just to keep the beer league doofuses who’ve felt something and the swallowers of every empty sports platitude ever uttered about team chemistry off my back, but… sorry, the statement is just dumb and I couldn’t possibly care less if a bunch of young guys from the Caribbean and South America plopped into a North American culture they didn’t grow up in, or speak the language of, getting paid millions of dollars to play sports get a bit cliquey.

I don’t give a shit if the Christians or the big game hunters or the Japanese guys or anybody else on a given team find themselves hanging around with each other, either, and frankly I don’t think it would be the subject of nearly the same amount of commentary were it one of those other groups. In fact, with all the talk about Masahiro Tanaka this winter, the idea of there being multiple Japanese players on the same team is seen as a selling point– as was the notion of the Jays and their Latino contingent, back when that characterization was convenient.

The stuff about not caring about players outside the clique is a little more concerning maybe, but pardon me if I can’t muster too much of a shit about that, either — this team needs Jose Bautista hitting home runs, not playing to some kind of role that mostly exists in the minds of petty teammates — nor am I even particularly troubled by the biggest nugget from the piece. You can go ahead and be troubled by it, of course, but I don’t think it’s terribly hard to understand…

One player, who was involved in an on field accident with an opposing Dominican this past season that resulted in an injury for the other player, was shunned by his Latino Blue Jays teammates for many days after the play. The entire Dominican contingent would not talk to him for days because of this incident.

I have zero doubt in my mind that this is a reference to the Colby Rasmus slide to break up a double play in the fourth inning of a Max Scherzer start that was already 5-0 that sent playoff-bound free-agent-to-be Omar Infante for x-rays*. This slide. Yeah, it was a baseball play, and I was OK with it — still am — and I think the reported reaction, if true, was certainly too much. But sometimes I also think our notions of how teams actually work are pretty hilariously quaint, too. I can get that if you’re friends with a guy, even one on the other team — and don’t kid yourself, these players can run in pretty tight circles — maybe not appreciating the not-entirely-necessary threat to his livelihood on a play like that.

Sorry again from combating stuff your minor hockey coach told you with some common sense, though. Flame away!

*(Or, I did have zero doubt… until it was pointed out to me in the comments that the piece says the incident involves a Dominican, and Infante is from Venezuela.)

 

Badler On The Jays

Lastly we have Ben Badler of Baseball America, who includes the Jays among the “lurkers” for Masahiro Tanaka, but evidently he doesn’t quite understand why they’d bother.

Even if the Blue Jays forecast Tanaka as a frontline starter, do they have enough talent to put around him to shoot for a playoff spot next season? Tanaka would help them beyond the 2014 season, of course, but after winning 74 games last year and looking at this point like the worst team in the American League East, is now the time for the Blue Jays to invest north of $100 million in one pitcher?

I’d quibble — and have — with the notion that the Jays are the worst team in the AL East, though I will grant that without another starter they’re very clearly with the O’s and Yankees in the second tier, but I get the sense that Alex Anthopoulos would probably be OK with this sort of characterization– not of his club, but of his willingness to pursue Tanaka.

It’s certainly the pervading thought. Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com (Insider only) ranks Tanaka’s suitors based on who has the most to gain in acquiring him and doesn’t include the Jays, while Ken Rosenthal highlights potential landing spots at Fox Sports, as well, and similarly neglects to include the Jays.

Or… “neglects” may be the wrong word. I don’t think it’s malicious so much as the industry simply doesn’t see the Jays as players for Tanaka the way that they do the Mariners (who have far fewer dollars committed in the coming seasons, even with Robinson Cano now on the books), or the Yankees (who are the Yankees). There will be no hysteria over this Japanese ace the way there was over Yu Darvish two winters ago — at least not in this city — and while I don’t think that means they’re any more likely to actually make a strong play for him under the cover of the silence of lowered expectations, I don’t think it’s nearly as far out of the question as a lot of people do.

They’re saving their bullets for something — though, yes, it’s more likely one of the guys who’ll require a draft pick (the prices on whom may be dropping, at least according to MLBTR’s latest) — and they’re not going to be stymied by their phony policy restricting contract length (and anyone who even mentions that nonsense without pointing out that term is meaningless anyway, as it’s all about total dollars, ought to be immediately tuned out).

Then again, Badler thinks it’s possible that they may even not, which he suggests as he twists the knife:

If they consider themselves far enough behind the rest of the AL East, they could hold off on major free agent acquisitions for at least another year until they’re ready to contend.

Ugh.

He explains in the piece that the coming of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez will go a long way towards making 2015 a year in which the Jays can contend, so that’s kinda terrific, but still… I think they’re going to sign somebody, and are probably much happier being under the radar while they work towards it– especially since that will make it a whole lot easier for fans to swallow if they miss. Would the front office take that outcome in stride, though? I highly doubt it.

Comments (287)

  1. “… they could hold off on major free agent acquisitions for at least another year until they’re ready to contend” from Badler’s piece sounds insane given the ages and salaries on this team. So I’d have to think that’s no more than speculation.

    • Oh, it’s all entirely speculation. It’s not THAT crazy though. Not ideal, but it’s not like they’re on the verge of becoming decrepit, even if that’s the way a lot of people want to think about it.

      • I don’t really see how you envision a wide window for this team Stoeten.

        Our two best pitchers are 39 and 35 respectively. Even though both pitch styles that age well I have trouble seeing how they don’t get at least noticeably worse in the coming years.

        As much as I love Jose, each of the past two years he’s gotten hurt more and made worse contact on his swing. Do I think he can turn it around? Absolutely, mostly because I will remember that 2011 season forever; but he is 33 and his performance decline has looked a lot like an aging curve.

        Jose Reyes is one guy people don’t discuss enough when considering the 2014 Jays. Last year, by the time he came back the season was basically over. If he plays a full year we get at least 2 wins more than last year by WAR and probably more because our backups kind of suck. But he’s over 30 too. And there’s no reason to think that he’ll get LESS injury prone as he gets older.

        The bright side is that Edwin is a superduperstar, Lawrie looked good in fall, Rasmus could make the leap and Morrow – well who the fuck knows, but he’s talented. But Rasmus will be a FA next winter, and Eddy and Morrow will follow the next year.

        For that matter (thanks Cot’s) HOLY SHITBALLS our team thins out in 2015. Realistically, you have two choices here; go for it right now or hope these guys can put it together this year and if not grab some one year guys and push for 2015 (the second choice would usually be tear the fucker down now but I doubt AA has that leeway unfortunately).

        My question is this; why in the fuck would you not do anything in 2014 but try and go for a run in 2015? Who’s showing up in the interim? Stroman, sure – but is he going to be good enough to offset whatever performance decline our older guys will have? Gose? Sanchez? If you don’t think we’re good enough in 2014, there is no reason in the world to think 15 will be better.

        • Well put.

          • Would have been better put if it actually addressed anything I suggested.

            • I actually agree with everything you suggested. Was just agreeing with the original commenter’s statement that Badler’s idea made no sense and pushing back against your notion that “it’s not as if they’re on the verge of becoming decrepit” which, unless you take it literally, they kind of fucking are.

              If that wasn’t clear I apologize; I’m under the impression that you’re firmly on team sign a pitcher in which case we agree completely on the direction of the 2014 Jays.

  2. griffin can go away with his trolling work just for pageviews imo

  3. And in other news, oh those crazy Dominicans and their donkeys:
    http://instagram.com/p/isRqWZEHEU/

  4. Omar Infante is Venezualan. So maybe it was someone else.

  5. Guesses on which player talked to AA about Latino clique? I would think it would have to be a position player. Mark Derosa? The only other veterans gone from 2013 who are gone now are Darren Oliver and Rajai Davis.

    • Laffey, Bush, Langerhans, Johnson. Few more options than just that, to be fair. (Also to be fair: not entirely positive on the status of those guys, but assuming they were minor league free agents, and not particularly interested enough to go look it up).

      • Note it doesn’t say specifically that the veteran player was on the team’s roster within the last two years. My money’s on Gregg Zaun being the one who said this, if it in fact was said at all. He’s not much of a fan of cliques and he has voiced strong opinions about clubhouse stuff in the past.

        • Pretty sure he’d put his name to it, and I don’t for a second think they’d be so disingenuous in their presentation if that was the case.

    • I could see Darren Oliver being a “get off my lawn” type. Grumpy old fart.. Or he could be a delightful, middle aged grampa.. who knows. Fun to speculate.

      De Rosa certainly had plenty to say in post-season interviews. He definitely gave the impression that he had the ear of people in the org – though he specifically noted in a post season interview with Wilner that he thought the talk of any clubhouse issues was bunk. he thought the Jays had a great clubhouse, especially given the trouble they had on the field.

      • Could be different being anonymous, but good point.

        • “… if it featured a Latin clique like the one present over the past couple of years.”

          That’s the quote from Turk’s peice. From that, it seems like the “veteran” was there longer than DeRosa. He was only there for the 2013 season.

    • I could see it being Josh Johnson.

  6. Re: Fister…

    Given the “pittance” received for Fister I suppose this means that there are a lot of GMs in baseball that “need to adjust” how they operate… right?

    Yeesh.

  7. Can’t see Jays getting Tanaka, seeing that he’s probably going to get 6 years, close to $20M, plus $20M posting Fee. No way that fits into AA’s valuation.

    I could see them getting Ubaldo or Santana though. Seems like their prices are dropping enough.

    • They are?? What are the prices like now?

      • There have been reports of demands that are lower than the initial ones reported, but you make a fine point that we don’t know. And to add to it, they’ll probably go back up once a few teams end up holding giant bags of money after someone else signs Tanaka.

        • Even so it was reported that Ubaldo wants a 4 year deal in the $17-$20M range, which isn’t crazy in itself. I think I would do that.

          • Bowden said yesterday that he figures Ubaldo gets 3 years at 14 mil per

            • Seems like exactly the type of deal Jays would be comfortable with. Puts them nearly right at rumoured budget of 150M too.

              • The one thing that scares me about Ubaldo is that his WHIP is pretty high, his control can be erratic at times, and he relies a lot on key strikeouts to strand runners. In other words, he sounds a lot like Ricky Romero in his last couple of years before his epic collapse. That’s about the only reason I’d have concerns about giving him a 3 year contract, especially at 14M+ per. It’s bad enough that the team’s still on the hook for 14.5 over the next 2 years for Ricky.

    • Don’t be fooled by the talk about strict valuations. I’m sure he’d bend for the right piece. Not sure Tanaka is it– I agree, much more likely to be one of the others– but there’s no way in my mind he’s that rigid, even if we haven’t seen it yet (though on the trade front I’d say we have in the form of the Dickey deal).

      • Any chance the market on Stephen Drew has gone down too? Could he be signed to play 2B (after AA figures out the rotation)?

      • Seems like valuations aside the jays simply aren’t interested in big money long term deals like tanaka will get. Reyes is the only one jays have on this type of deal and he was part of a trade package that included other short term low risk assets

        Only see the jays in on tanaka for shorter term higher aav type deal which is even tougher to see with tanaka given the post fee

        • Just because they haven’t in the past doesn’t mean that they’re not interested. Don’t be silly.

    • I beleive that not only is there very little chance that Tanaka signs with the Jays, but that it is also the right decision not to sign him.

  8. There is little doubt that if the Jays “starting nine” stay healthy,
    they are as good as anybody’s and better than most.
    Problem is, there will be injuries and capable replacements are hard to identify.

    There are no top position player prospects banging on the door looking for playing time.
    They don’t have veteran platoon players who can be pressed into everyday service
    and their “depth” guys like Morel, Kawasaki and Tolleson
    are move waiver wire fodder than anything else.
    If guys like Gose and Pillar get MLB time,
    they will get it by default not because they have earned it.

    There is still time left in the off season to address this issue,
    but as it sits today, the position player situation is very thin.
    There will be injuries and the team needs to be able to deal with them.

    • Teams don’t have star backups.

      • I would agree save for the Yankees. Not that they have stars – but they always get their pick of aging-but-somewhat-useful players who want to try to win while letting their wives live in Manhattan.

        • To me that’s the biggest benefit of having a $200 million dollar payroll. You can pay your bench players regular player money in addition to paying your superstars.

          Of course having a winning history or a good shot at winning in the coming season certainly helps attract the right bench players too.

      • They don’t have to have star players.
        They have to have competent major league players.

        The Red Sox have Carp and one of Gomes/Nava on the bench.
        They might have Middlebrooks in AAA.
        The Indians have Aviles and one of Rayburn/Murphy on the bench.
        The Royals have Bonifacio, Valencia and Maxwell.
        And some teams have top prospects just waiting for a chance.
        Having those types of players makes a difference.

        What happens when you don’t have those types of players?
        See the Toronto Blue Jays 2012 or the Toronto Blue Jays 2013.

      • In the last 3yr, Bautista has played in 149, 92 and 118 games
        and he’s playing on turf with back and wrist issues at 33yr of age.

        Reyes has played in 36-133-126-160-93 games in the last 5 yr.
        The broken ankle might be a fluke but he has a history of hamstring issues.

        The “every day” catcher has played in a total of 224 games
        in the last four years and was horrible in three of the four.

        Then there is Melky with the back tumor removed
        and who know what they are going to get from him.

        Lawrie has toned down his act and may be able to play a full season.
        But the fact remains that he has never played more than 135 games as a pro.

        Then there is Lind’s back, EE’s wrist and toe issues, Cobly’s oblique and
        a starting second baseman who figures to be a black hole with the bat.

        For a team with this kind of resume to contend,
        a deep system with a strong bench is not a luxury.
        It is a necessity.

      • Andrew Stoeten says: 01.03.14 @ 10:57 AM EST
        REPLY
        “Really doesn’t matter that much.”

        The back ups guys get on average 1200 ABs a season and for Jays last year it was over 1800. Good piece from Sportsnet about this sometime back that you posted. That is the same impact as 2-3 starting players so yes it does matter that much. JPA being run out there last year putting up terrible season should be fresh in our minds as reminder how important the bench is. Not to mention the gains when platooning two solid players.

        http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/why-blue-jays-must-improve-bench-depth/

        We can gripe about Goins being starter but at least he can play D (I hope for the love of the Jays this guy is not the starter). As stands we have very poor backups who aren’t good hitters or solid defenders so the lack of bench depth is like 4 times the issue that Goins being the starter

        Good teams do have quality backups whether it be vets like Yankees or other teams with young guys pushing to make the team. Jays have neither. Boston last year didn’t have a lot of injuries but did have both and would not have been crippled by injuries to position players

        • Soooo, your point is that you would rather have better bench players for those 1200 ABs than worse players. Got it. Jesus, how has no MLB team snatched you up to run their team already?

          • My point was that people saying the bench is not important is not correct and the bench is in fact very important. My second point is that you are an asshole.

            • Well, you have made one correct deduction, perhaps I was too harsh. I am starting to get on board with your theory about a good bench making the jays a better team though. Lo Viste, bitches.

        • I just gotta say, I am growing tired of ‘Go For Dickey’ and the know it all type of lengthy posts.

        • I hear that the tigers have an opening in the front office, if you catch my drift. Wink wink.

        • Jesus, I am with you man 100%. All of these guys saying the bench isn’t important, that’s bullshit. The bench is totally important.

          • No one is saying it’s not important at all– you have to make the pieces fit and obviously the more talent you can get the better– but to act like it’s some kind of make or break thing when every team’s bench is a similarly replacement level-ish collection of guys who aren’t prospects (otherwise they’d need playing time), aren’t good enough to start, but have some kind of MLB-level skill or two, it’s just not worth bothering about unless somebody is looking for something to be a blowhard about. It’s a non issue.

  9. Literally 28 fucking teams are pissed about not getting fister for that price.

    Sure it would have been nice to land him for cheap, but this had more to do with the player not being shopped around as opposed to AA somehow being ‘shunned’

    I don’t get how some of these people who write this shit have fucking jobs.

    • Completely agree. Its very clear that Detroit valued the pieces being offered up enough that they felt like trading Fister, out of the American league for that price was worth more than anything that they would get elsewhere.

      I remember an interview where AA mentioned that some GMs like to keep things very tight when making a deal. He talked about the Miami deal like that. Other GMs want to talk to everybody to make sure they get the best price. I don’t understand how baseball writers wouldn’t even at least concede that the most likely scenario is that the discussions probably only ever happened between DET and WAS until they had a deal they liked.

    • Exactly. Wasn’t there also a piece where AA said the problem was that the Jays didn’t have the “right pieces” that Detroit was looking for? It wasn’t even about anyone being frozen out, it was about the Tigers targeting a specific prospect who happened to be in the Nationals system.

      • That’s ALWAYS how Dombrowski operates, too. You can’t outbid for a player on a Dombrowski team, he isn’t interested in maximizing value, he decides which outside players he wants and pays what it takes.

        Either Griffin doesn’t know this, and that’s embarrassing considering how long he’s been around, or he’s pretending not to and that’s double god damn embarrassing.

        • Downright scary if he’s pretending, but he’s not the first to stoop that low. I’m still kinda disappointed in him though.

          • I don’t normally equate real world deals with sim/fantasy stuff, but Fister is one of those situations where as a “pretend” GM, I totally understand how someone could just be frozen out of a deal. Sometimes a couple GMs are tight and work something out without any of the players hitting the open market, and other times you’ll put a good package on the table and for whatever reason the GM will accept a slightly different or subpar offer. It’s irritating, but on the other hand bitching and moaning about every GM who doesn’t give you a chance to bid up the price isn’t going to improve your leverage.

            • Maybe Detroit was just really high on the Nationals guys more so than the analysts and targeted those guys in a trade specifically as their first option and when they got it pulled the trigger

  10. Stoeten is the eternal optimist on like everything.

    He seems to tow the Blue Jays party line on almost every point.

    Gibbons is still manager and basically under contract for two more years – Great! He’s such a fantastic manager.

    Anthopolous is on thin ice as GM? Heavens no! Poppycock! Not true, all hail AA

    Bautista is maybe not the great leader people though? Lies! Simply not true.

    Having all big Latino/Dominican clique in the clubhouse just might be a negative thing? Not true, at all, so not true, this is Toronto, the most multi-cultural city in the world, the ethnic breakdown of the team has zero effect on the success on the field.

    All hail the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club!

    • hey jesuscristo, fuck off ok

    • All hail the morons who only believe the negative things they hear about the team. Reason can go fuck itself!

    • You’re saying that Stoets TOES the party line? Not always…but to a few people who spend a bit more time delving into the backstories of the Jays, there is a method to what they’re doing. I think he’s quite charitable to the people who rag and bitch and kneejerk every time there’s a story or rumour going around – Stoets tends to remind people to look at the big picture – especially when all they can see is their lower colon.
      Gibbons was a decent manager, considering what he was given. No spring training, per say. Missing out on his starting left infield for half the season…no second baseman, a crippled left fielder, 3 starting pitchers AWOL for most of the year, and a giant sucking hole of ineptitude behind the plate. Here’s a big giant steaming pile of chicken shit, Gibby…we would like you to whip up some delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu, if you please.
      A GM is NEVER secure in his job….another disastrous start and Gibby is probably gone, and if they don’t right the ship, AA will be gone by 2015 or so.
      PS…you’re an idiot.

    • The problem with being a rational centrist is that no matter what you opine, you’re beset by screaming fucking idiot extremists on all sides.

  11. Anyone know when BC became a part of the Dominican? Seems like Lawrie, Bautista and Reyes have had quite a few twitter interactions this off season. Or is it just a non-English as a first language clique?

    • And there was definitely something about Lawrie following Encarnacion around during the season, too.

      • speaking of EE.. he posted a pic of him riding a donkey yesterday on instagram.

        he also looks like he’s lost about 15 pounds.

        • I posted the link to said donkey photo up there^^^.

          • Maybe the clique is actually donkey lovers vs people who prefer horses?
            Holy shit — the only thing worse than a sports writer dropping the race card? A sports writer dropping the reverse race card. You get away with not being called racist, even though the implications of what you are thinking probably are.

      • While we are on the topic, Bonifacio could have been traded on his performance, but it seems odd to just dump a player like that at his lowest possible value. Could he have been a problem? As they say all it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the rest.

  12. I think a lot of people have a hard time looking at the context of trades/signings and just look at a player and say “He’s better than what we have, so get him.” If Tanaka signs for $20 million a year somewhere else, people will complain that AA didn’t try hard enough. If Garza/Jimenez/Santana each get $18 million a year, people will complain that the Jays weren’t willing to pay more. I want to see one of those four come to Toronto, but the cost has to be reasonable, and I think there are a lot of people who just don’t care how much money they have to spend to make it happen (like when Fielder/Pujols were free agents).

    • The other side is, if AA pushes and gets one of those 4, and it doesn’t work out, people will want him gone just as much or more. I personally don’t want any of them, because they all have more risk than this team can bear. At those prices? Not a chance.

      • I don’t mind the Jays overpaying a bit for the right fit, but I hate the way most fans seem to evaluate moves. It seems like everyone wanted the Jays to sign Pujols or Fielder, was pissed when they didn’t, and gives the team no credit for avoiding such a headache even though they would now be blaming AA for ruining the team if they had signed one of them.

    • Yes, but that stuff works both ways– you can’t just operate in a vacuum of strict $/WAR (or however you assign value) limits either. It’s more about how much you’re willing to bend, because you’re going to overpay, or you’re just not going to get the best talent– and sometimes that’s OK. Like I mentioned in a comment above, it’s like the Dickey deal. Yes, we’d all probably like to take it back now (I think), but at the time, after the initial shock wore off, the reasoning was pretty well understood. You just so rarely get the opportunity to add Cy Young calibre talent, and that was the cost.

      • Oh I completely agree, I guess I just didn’t expand enough. The price a team is willing to pay is obviously based on circumstances, but it can only go so high. If the Jays value Garza at $15 million, for example, and he’s the pitcher they want to go for, then it makes sense to pay $15 million per year. If they think he’s a huge upgrade over Hutchison, then maybe they push that total to $16-18 million to make sure the team is in contention. If they have to get into a bidding war with the Yankees, maybe they’re willing to add an extra million or two to keep him away from a division rival.

        At the same time, if they think he’s only a slight upgrade over what they currently have and they’re concerned about his injury history, maybe they offer the $15 million and leave it at that. Those are all legitimate situations, but if that’s how they feel and Garza signs for $20 million with the Yankees, people won’t care that it was a huge overpay and that the fit, at that price, didn’t make sense for the Jays. They’ll just call for AA’s head or write articles about how he’s on thin ice.

      • What is a better example is the Marlins trade – here players/prospects were given up to get bloated contracts. Reyes and Buehrle make a pile – OK now saying Buehrle’s $18m a year is reasonable. At the time you would have been hard pressed to justify the salaries of these guys on a $/WAR basis.

        The thing is unless you develop in house stars or steal players in trades there is no way to win otherwise than paying people the money the command on the market. Plain and simple. Say no point getting a SP because you have to overpay all of them is saying no point in winning

        • I actually started to type out a similar response using the Marlins deal as an example. The reactions are priceless. First, you get the “Stockpiling prospects isn’t going to help the team now” and “This team is in a perennial rebuild” crowds. Then the trade goes down and everyone is ecstatic and giddy and can’t wait for the season to start. Then the team sucks and it’s blamed on AA as the “Should have kept the prospects and done a proper rebuild instead of spending it all on overpaid players who are always hurt anyway” crowd comes out of the woodwork.

          I know it’s the nature of sports fandom, but I really wish people would take a minute to think things through. I get the impression people are so much happier when they’re pissed off about something.

          • Fine point. Think people are just pissed off that their team is doing poorly and venting. All the fans want to see a winner and the criticism of the team is the nature of the game when it comes to passionate fans.

            • Of course, I just don’t think the criticism being leveled at management is fair (even if it’s wholly expected following a season as disastrous as the Jays 2013).

              A GM’s job is to put together a winning team, and Anthopoulos hasn’t done that in his time in Toronto. However, there’s not a whole lot any GM can do other than assemble the best team on paper, and Anthopoulos came pretty close to doing that last year. In the meantime, he’s maintained one of the better minor league systems in the game, even after “depleting the system” to improve the major league roster.

              To me, there’s absolutely no reason Anthopoulos should be considered “on thin ice.”

              • Who else can the criticism go to? Management put the team together and easy to say its the best on paper but at the end of the day paper isn’t worth anything beyond maybe revenue gains last year with the hype. Wins and increase to revenue / bottom line are. Cant blame every player. Someone needs to be held accountable.

                Think if AA is on thin ice a large part of it is the business side with revenues vs expenses. If payroll was 80M wouldn’t be the same and he made decision to jack it up last year with the trade making case to ownership. Not having a successful track record doesn’t help either rightly or wrongly. If he were a 20 year vet GM with successful track record like others in the league don’t think it would be the same.

      • I wouldn’t want to take back the Dickey deal. I think he’ll work out for us. Back end of the season he pitched well and consistently if I recall correctly.

        • I completely agree Isabella. He was also battling an injury for about 1/2 the season. I think he has a big bounce back this year.

    • Also don’t forget a lot of the deals that look expensive this year will look like downright bargains in another year or two.

      • I’m ok with overpaying on top tier players (of course, since it’s not me paying). It’s the only way to get them. Our hockey-centric writers in this city completely underestimate the accomplishment of making the playoffs in MLB, or even of contending for them in September. They’re used to a game where you get points for losing, and everyone makes the playoffs, so spending a bunch of cash to get bounced in the first round is dumb to them.
        In MLB, making the first round is massive. Can you imagine what those games would be like? Fuck, imagine just making the one-off wild card game? That’s a huge deal.
        Paying above the bar to contend in baseball is just fine. I would certainly risk some shitty back end years if I thought we’d make the playoffs even once in the front end.

  13. Gideon Turk is a highschooler and has sources who are current and former Jose Bautista teammates?

    Let’s not talk about Griffin.

    Would Kyle Lohse be such an awful idea as a trade target? Likely less of an asking price than Shark, he would bring consistency, experience and stability to a rotation full of risk. His contract is reasonable to take on, and I think that, being a control type pitcher, he could adapt to the division much like Buehrle did. In fact, in a lot of ways, I think it would be like adding another Buehrle, and having Mark and R.A. around would probably help him figure out strategy. They went through it last year, and that was with a shitty catcher.

    I just think that low injury risk and high pitching intelligence is the smartest way to go, if we can’t afford Lee or Hamels.

    • “Gideon Turk is a highschooler and has sources who are current and former Jose Bautista teammates?”

      Sure, why not? Is it that hard to believe that someone could tweet/e-mail a guy saying “I blog about the Blue Jays could I shoot you some questions in an e-mail”… and get a positive response? I mean his sources were a former player, a minor league guy, and a non-player affiliated with the org… not exactly the folk that have publicists and require media credentials to get a quote from.

      • Exactly. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get people to talk to you if you reach out to them. With the success of Chris Cotillo the High School crack doesnt carry much weight.

  14. I had to laugh at the Badler piece. I think we know better than anyone what a shit season the Jays had last year, but do people really think it was because the talent wasn’t there? I mean forget about the pitching, we know that was a disaster due to injuries, but a number I keep going back to is the one regarding the position players. They lost 306 games or roughly 21% of playing time to injuries and whatever else. Considering the talent level of the players injured, again we’re not talking losing Macier Izturis for half the season, you’ve got to think that the team has the potential to be a ton of games better just from the position players alone.

    As for the Griffin piece, I’ve got to believe it’s just so much bunk. People have to remember where the Jays are in the team building cycle and what transpired the past couple of seasons. With regards to the Fister trade I am sure there was 28 other GM’s scratching their heads about that trade, to ding AA for not getting it done is typical media BS.

    Maybe it’s a good thing that all the pundits are overlooking the Jays based on last year. Maybe it motivates the players instead of having everyone blowing hype smoke up their asses like they have done the last 2 spring trainings.

    • Fair point but another fair point is that the roster is filled with older injury prone players that should be expected to miss time. Reyes has gotten hurt his whole career. Bautista has the last two years. Lawrie is so intense he is liable to get hurt drinking from his water bottle. Lind has chronic back problems. Rasmus has been hurt extensively the last two years. Navarro has played much in three years and is the starting catcher. Cabrera came of PED so ? there maybe. You cant just look at it in a vacuum and say it is unlucky there are so many injuries. Easy to look at Yanks and say of course they have injuries but why not Jays? Really wouldn’t it be lucky if the Jays had an average amount of injuries.

      • …and not to mention the fact they play on turf. You have to question the logic of getting a bunch of old vets to play 82 games on turf. How can they stay healthy?

  15. Great writing, Stoeten!

    While pitching reinforcements would be lovely, I wonder what the Jays chances of landing Asdrubal Cabrera might be, and what he might cost? I read that he’d be an ideal fit for the Yanks or Jays, as he’s played 1300 innings at 2B.

    Really looking forward to what the Jays might do before Spring Training.

    • Cabrera makes for an interesting fallback option if the Jays fail to get any of the top free agent pitchers. Last year was an off year for him and he’s only 28. He’s got one year left on his contract at 10 million, an affordable price for a guy who would really solidify the infield if he can play second base and have an average (for him)year. I’d try to extend him if I had him on my team. I didn’t realize he’d played so much second base.

  16. Has anyone here ever lived in a country where English wasn’t the official language? And when you lived there – did you only make friends with native language-speakers or did you tend to find people who speak the language you speak to hang out with? And when you were hanging out with your English-speaking buds in that foreign country, did you happen to stumble upon any people from Canada or even your home-City that you somehow became instant-best-friends with? Because that would be the “least” common travel story in history and I can’t for the life of me figure out why all these Dominicans hang out together when they play baseball in Canada.

  17. Any chance we see hard late slides go the way of catcher collisions at some point in the distant future? You defend them in the original post with “that’s baseball”, which sounds a lot like what the guys defending catcher collisions are saying.

    I get the need to break up double plays, but as Tony pointed out, with Davis running to first it’s not like there was much of a chance of a d.p. anyway, so kind of unnecessary.

    • I’d be totally fine with getting rid of them.

      • The thing to enforce is sliding away from the bag and not straight into it or straight into it but legs up in the air. Guys go so far as to stack their legs cross wise to hit a guy who has stepped away from the bag towards outfield or mound. Make them jump and not get as much on throw or side step and take more time but dont slide three feet away from bag to force a colission and hurt the guy, It is so bad they dont even have to touch second base to get the out because if they did everyone would be going down.

    • Sliding is out of the game within five years. Too much at stake financially.

      • Well you cant eliminate sliding completely – that would cause more injuries not to mention making the game silly with people slowing down going into bases,

        But yeah there is no reason for serious injuries from collisions on double play balls. If you slide normally the infielders can get out of the way and you still impede ability to turn the double play. Need to figure out how to enforce what is acceptable and what isn’t though. The old guard baseball guys would object to this more than the home plate collisions. Guys get broken legs in rec ball from people intentionally colliding with infielders outside of baseline and it is deemed part of the game so there would be push back for sure from MLB players and managers. Silly that to help with problem infielders dont even have to touch second base to make the out.

  18. Reminds me of Chicken Little.
    The sky is falling…The sky is falling.

    Nothing significant is happening so it’s a conspiracy?

    And Griff is using stats to back up his case without considering the conditions or the goals of the club at the time.
    People wonder why I take stats with a grain of salt?
    Never thought I’d see Griff sink to this level. Even though I rarely tweet, I did and told him so.
    Just horsecock and green apples bullshit.

    Yeah, let’s get the fanbase riled up and get those pageviews.

    If AA signs one of the major pitchers available, these guys will be the first on the bandwagon screaming PLAYOFFS.
    What a crock of shit.

    • Agreed Griffen is really grasping at straws here and disappointed as I always thought he was a pretty good writer overall.

      The core of his point / message may be valid but this was not good writing. Other GMs maybe aren’t talking to AA as much simply because he is wasting their valuable time. Fister example is without any substance and stupid on many levels. AA may be on the hot seat as well but nothing he wrote really objectively says why or justifies that position.

  19. whats absolutely amazing to me about this offseason is the general outlook compared to last year. I get that emotion is involved when people talk about their favourite team, but people need to be more rational.

    Last year after the big trades, jays were considered to be contenders. After a collective dump was taken in 2013, 2014 all of a sudden looks grim and bleak.

    the reality is, that its pretty much the exact same team that was projected to fight for a title last year, minus JJ. It’s not like we lost anything more specific then that, There is so much room for improvement from the same team, It’s still a very good team, and baseball is a sport where, from an individual perspective, a bad year can be isolated.

    I hope we get another pitcher, of course, we could use the innings, but people need to calm the fuck down.

    • With the addition by subtraction (read JPA), and the healthy(?) return of Hutchinson & Drabek, I’d say they are better – on paper – than last year.

      • Nonsense, this version of your team doesn’t have a potential CY contender (JJ) and the defending CY winner (Dickey), ones no longer there, the other is a 38 year old coming off a mediocre season. Your bench looks worse too.

        • and so a “mediocre” season discounts what he’s capable of? His “mediocre” numbers weren’t that bad. I give you JJ, but he had question marks last year – potential Cy? uh huh. The bench is a wash and an unfinished product. To remove one starter and say this team is significantly worse is nonsense. Can they suck again? Sure. But they can be what many thought last year too.

          • “To remove one starter and say this team is significantly worse is nonsense”

            Uh, what? Where did I say that?

            You claimed they’re better on paper this year, That’s false for already stated reasons.

            I didn’t “discount” Dickey, he’s naturally not as highly thought of (on paper) coming off a mediocre year as opposed to a 5 war cy year. That’s not a controversial statement.

            JJ had questions sure (who doesn’t) but given health he was not at all an out of left field cy choice. That’s not a controversial statement.

            On paper last years BJ’s had, potentially a top 5 1-2 punch in the rotation, this year……Not so much. That’s not a controversial statement.

            • well, since JJ is the only player not there from last year, and your claim is they are weaker, then, you basically said that. The rest is just your perception of Dickey. No one expected a repeat of his Cy Young year, and there is no reason to discount him from him having a better year in 2014

            • PS – “that’s not a controversial statement ” is another way of saying “that’s my opinion”, it’s not fact. One anyone can disagree with an opinion.

        • Is the bench worse? I hardly think so. Gose is a wash for Davis, his bat is weaker but his D is better and I would say the base running is a wash.

          Kratz can’t be any worse than Thole was last year and if not Kratz then Thole is unlikely to be any worse than he was.

          Same applies to Izturis as well.

          Sierra has the potential to be solid IMO if not valuable if his bat continues to play well.

          Depending on what transpires with the relievers without options you could add one to the bench.

          It’s maybe not the best bench but it’s hardly worse than last year’s.

          • Bench looks like a wash but that is not a good thing. It was a deficiency last year the poor bench and position player depth in AAA which hopefully is improved and could make the team a lot better.

            The pitching depth looks good and if one of the 4 SP is added pitching would seem to be improved overall even without Johnson and lower expectations for Dickey. Otherwise maybe a wash I agree although was easy to be pretty optimistic last year with Dickey and Johnson

      • I’m not sure they’re better on paper… their ceiling isn’t as high, but I’d say they’re certainly deeper.

    • I reckon this is the most concise summary of the 13/14 offseason I’ve read thusfar. However, repeating this sensible but dull wait-and-see adivce to fans, punctuated by the odd Morel-type signing, doesn’t put the Griffin kids (or grandkids) through college.

      Contrast with the excitement of 12/13, it was pretty easy to repeatedly write and sell the optimism, nay, expectation that the 2013 Blue Jays would still be playing baseball in Oct.

      I say Griffin’s article more than anything reflects his own frustration with the lack of BJ material he can take to press.

      • I don’t agree at all. Not that I don’t agree with the premise of his article just with what he wrote to justify it. Pure rubbish plain and simple. Could have had journalistic integrity using factual material and not so unjustified / opinionated – or at least not opinion disguised loosly as objectivity

        • Because I’m pretty sure you and I are singing from the same song sheet, I’ll clarify what I wrote. The offseason summary I’m lauding is Dc’s – definitely not Griffin’s.

  20. Kudos for not taking a jab at BlueJaysPlus for the absolutely terrible grammar and writing in that article. It should be mentioned though because it really is bad enough that it warrants it.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way about my writing. I’m always looking to improve, so if you’d like to give me pointers and not just bash it, that’d be appreciated. Thanks.

      • It needs serious editing. There are problems in the construction of many of your sentences that obscure the points you are trying to make. Even just having a friend proof-read for you before you publish might help if you do not have an editor you submit to first.

  21. I hope people don’t believe this thing about jose Bautista it sounds like absolute crap and just a story since there Is nothing else to talk about right now.

  22. That badler piece is complete BS. Has he looked at the jays roster? Holding off competing for another year? No chance.

  23. If Bautista “could care less” about non-latinos, it means that he cares about them.

    Read into the words, people

  24. Did anyone notice that the Phillies just signed a new local TV contract?
    Numbers were not reported, but the deal it is REPLACING was for $35m/year.

    Does anyone know what Rogers pays the Blue Jays?
    I thought I read somewhere that it was about $ 125K per game.
    That would be $ 20.250m for 162 games and well below market value.

    I’m beginning to suspect (with nothing to base the suspicions on)
    that the new regime at Rogers may have capped the budget
    at the 2013 level and that AA may not have many bullets.
    In the next six weeks I guess we’ll see.

  25. I really dislike writing that chooses to ignore facts if they don’t quite fit the story you’d like to paint. It’s just really irresponsible writing and a lot of people seem to have a hard time recognizing it as one persons opinion based on speculation.

  26. Remember the good old days when we would get a collective boner when nothing was happening? No news was goods news back then.

    I don’t think it’s AA that has changed much at all, I think that we’re the ones (media, fans, etc.) who’s perspective is changing.

    Welcome to the world of following a team that no longer acts like a small market. Bigger moves and bigger money takes more time.

  27. Griffin’s article was stupid. Jim Bowden addressed the article on the radio. He said that every GM tries to obtain as much info as possible – that’s part of the job. Gathering info is part of the job! Bowden also pooped on the GM who remained anonymous, and said that no GM should say that about another, because it’s part of the job!

    • Agreed. And just WHAT is Griff’s interpretation of the word
      “indicated”. Did he wink once for “yes” and twice for “no”?
      Or did Griff even talk to the guy at all?

  28. Happ knocked Cano out for a few games no?

  29. You know, with the amount of money coming OFF the books after 2014 and 2015, you would think the Jays could might as well go ahead and blow their load all over Tanaka.

    I mean, why not? At least if he works out you head into ’16 and onwards with Tanaka, Sanchez, and Stroman in your rotation and filled with other backend guys (Hutch, Nolin, etc).

    A case can be made for a SERIOUS run at Tanaka. It would take a 1 year spike in salaries and a bending of the club’s self-imposed 5-year contract limit (which is a fucking joke anyways).

    • Yes this the Jays should save their bullets for 2015 is complete nonsense. That has to be the stupidest baseball analysis I can ever remember seeing.

      If they aren’t good enough this year to bother adding a couple pieces they sure as hell wont be next year when guys are further past their primes unless Sanchez and Stroman are big big contributors which is no lock at all. Need to go for it in 2014 & 2015 if they have the cash because the core players are mostly old regressing and only around for a couple / few more years.

      If it doens’t work out they aren’t committed to big payroll beyond 2015 anyway. This 5 year window talk before was a bad omen I thought didn’t make baseball sense and was about Rogers not committing more money to payroll nwo we hear baseball analasis saying this and I am puzzled.

    • Stop talking about the supposed contract limit, please.

  30. Just one second there. How come the Jays are now ‘the worst team in the AL East’ when last season, with very similar personnel, they were gonna win the World Series? That really doesn’t compute. Yes, they performed as the worst team in the AL East in 2013. But that meant that just about the entire bunch performed at way less than their previous levels all together. If they simply regress to the mean, they probably are not the worst team in the AL East. Especially since possible factors for their decline like playing in a different and tougher division on the kind of surface that used to decorate my Auntie Dora’s family room in the ’60s are now moot. They’ve played in the toughest division in baseball for an entire season. And they’ve at least gotten to know the seams and the speed on Auntie Dora’s carpet…

    • Absolutely. I like the Jays to compete for the AL East title next year, based on: healthy Reyes, healthy Lawrie, reasonable performances from their pitchers, and improved offense from 2B/C. Here’s the thing – Goins might not be a great offensive 2B, but he’s not abjectly awful, and provides great D.

      Remember how we were pissing on the Red Sox last year? We are last year’s Red Sox – coming off a terrible season, tinkering with a big league roster with a lot of talent that underperformed.

      We’re going to the ALCS in 2014, and you can quote me in October.

      • Agreed we are last years Red Sox. They were way underrated and I personally predicted them to win the division and it wasn’t really hard to – in the pool I am in many others did or had them near top of division too. Jays were overrated and are underrated now. Yanks seem underrated this year especially if they get some SP and if they do they seem like favorites to me. Division is very strong maybe more than ever overall.

        Boston really beefed up their team with FA signings though which we haven’t yet – Jays get a good SP or two, a quality 2B / or some solid bench guys and maybe we are last years Red Sox. We don’t have the position player depth they had both in MLB and in the minors.

  31. and they’re not going to be stymied by their phony policy restricting contract length (and anyone who even mentions that nonsense without pointing out that term is meaningless anyway, as it’s all about total dollars, ought to be immediately tuned out)

    Term or total dollar “policy” essentially mean the same thing. They don’t want to take the risk of dropping a pile of money on one player which means that any guy that can command a long term deal (like say more than five years with some flexibility) they are out on. Don’t call one thing meaningless while the other being “what it is all about” when they both are saying essentially the same thing. Jays are out on top tier guys that command big dollars and long terms plain and simple. If they insist on getting a guy for less overall money they will have to pay though the nose for their service for fewer years.

  32. Most writers thought that the 13 Jays were a postseason team, and most think the 14 Jays look like a truck stop toilet bowl.

    Most reporters thought the 13 Athletics would be last.
    Most thought that BJ Upton would do well and Victorino would be shit.
    Most thought that the Dodgers were done in June and Mattingly needed to print off some resumes.

    Everyone thought that Puig was a ridiculous overpay and that the Dodgers were insane to give a Cuban out of a ball a year that kind of money.

    It doesn’t bother me that most reporters are down on the Jays, because more often then not they are wrong.

    • I never did follow the logic that suggested if you take journalism in school and get lucky enough to get full time employment, you are now a master prognosticator at whatever sport you cover.

      • It seems, especially in Toronto, conventional media sports coverage is not about integrity so much and the more engaged fans don’t even read it and stick to blogs like this and f that take what they say and objectively evaluate fact and truth. Good on Stoeten and the others, Jays have great objective coverage via unconventional media. But alas we are the minority and the casual fan drives the revenues and they write silly bs sometimes and when they dont the casual fan rips them for writing the truth.

  33. Well said, Smasher.
    At times it appears that reporters are paid by the word….and not by content. We could summarize, and save a ton of ink and trees – so far the Jays have stood pat, filing a catcher hole and making a couple of depth moves. I suspect the final disposition of Tanaka will also start the Jimenez, Santana, Garza signings. There…that’s just about summarized the off-season to date.
    Basically, the majority of stories are just rumours or opinions…and opinions, just like assholes – because everyone’s got one and it’s usually full of shit.

  34. I am loving the fact that Dombrowski made the single dumbest baseball trade in the last five years and is transparently trying to use the press to spin this as some sort of after-school special life lesson for AA. Ha ha ha!

    • Wow I hope that is sarcasm!

      Maybe the Tigers front office should be respected and given credit for their track record of putting together a perennial contender. All of the baseball analysts publishing scouting reports are not employed by MLB teams so why should we give them more credit than the Tigers for their projections of prospects? Pretty premature to say this is the worst trade in the last 5 years in MLB and are you serious he is using the media to try to spin?

      • Haha, yeah, we should definitely give the Tigers a lot of credit for the specialized talents they showed in building a contender. Drafting Verlander (who was clearly the best player in the draft) then using this secret cache of knowledge nobody else had to trade for Miggy and sign Prince. :)

        There was probably someone sticking up for Duquette after the Kazmir/Zambrano trade, too.

        • Oh you were serious!!!!!

          Tigers record in last ten years
          Year W L % Place
          2013 93 69 .574 1 ALCS
          2012 88 74 .543 1 AL Champs
          2011 95 67 .586 1 ALCS
          2010 81 81 .500 3
          2009 86 77 .528 2
          2008 74 88 .457 5
          2007 88 74 .543 2
          2006 95 67 .586 2 AL Champs
          2005 71 91 .438 4
          2004 72 90 .444 4

          Don’t you wish that was the Jays record? They are not with payrolls through the roof either. I suppose they must have been lucky right? Oh or they are in central so that is why. Make any excuse you want or justification for your views at the end of the day this is a very successful front office in a city that is bankrupt. Thinking you know better than them and that they just made the worst trade in the past 5 years in MLB is retarded arrogance plain and simple. You can cherry pick certain trades or moves of any team to paint whatever picture you want as you did there and even one of your cherry picks was insane

          “then using this secret cache of knowledge nobody else had to trade for Miggy”

          What did the Tigers give up for Fister to begin with? Why didn’t you mention that trade? Wonder what they said about that one?

          “The Mariners today made a trade with the Detroit Tigers, sending right handed starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley to the motor city in exchange for outfielder Casper Wells, left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush, Double-A third baseman Francisco Martinez and a player to be named later (PTBNL).

          Right now I’d call the trade fairly even, with a potential edge to Seattle if Furbush pans out as a starter. If he ends up as a decent reliever sitting in the low 90′s, he’s a nice long term piece to the bullpen, but his value is significantly lower.”

          • You got me. It was a great trade for Detroit. The Nats gave up too much. The players they gave to Detroit are probably awesome, after all, that’s the same keen eye for talent that assembled a 43 game-winner once.

            (You just probably forgot to include that team while sperging out the records of every other historical Tigers team in the last 135 years because Krol and Lombardozzi were able to help you type in your post at the keyboard, seeing how they otherwise won’t be doing anything else to help Dombrowski in the next 5 years.)

            • I can’t believe you are wasting your talents posting on a baseball blog!!! You should go on tv and be mr Cleo and justify your prophesies based on hundreds of years of irrelevant history while ignoring recent history.

              Jays could learn something from tigers woes fifteen years ago maybe? Perennial contention for a decade is worth some poor seasons in my book rather than two decades of mediocrity

    • RAJ trading Cliff Lee after he got Doc is the single dumbest trade in the last five years

  35. High expectations last year and they shit the bed. Low expectations this year and – PLAYOFFS!

    • Agreed. I am loving this team as it’s presently constructed. Stroman and Sanchez will probably be up in May. Izturis is unlikely to hit at a 60 OPS clip and if he does, at least Kawaski can work a count. I’d love another starting pitcher of the guys that are left, but what team wouldn’t? I’m not feeling any gloom about this season at all, I can’t wait.

      • I suspect Sanchez will stay down for the majority of the year unless they get desperate.

        • I sure hope he does unless there is some serious improvement in his control / command. Better off bringing up the guy with better control like Hutchinson, Stroman, Nolin for instance. Needs to be in minors to learn command or who is to say he just doesn’t bring his best stuff he can command to stay in MLB and never develop the command of the secondary stuff? From the past Litsch or Alverez (although he was brought up without a third pitch).

        • No sense rushing him and he’s got some control ssues to fix. Bsesides, Stroman is supposed to be ahead of him in development.

  36. I’m at a point now where I want even click the link to anything he writes. In a small way that supports Griffen’s drivel.

  37. Forget about playing chicken with “various player agents and competing GM’s”. how about the game of chicken that organization is playing with their fans? I personally will not spend a single dime on this team, especially on tickets when every game is on TV for free.

    No real shock on the comments re: Bautista only being a leader to his Latino brothers. You can see that every time the TV camera scan the end of the bench aka The Latin Quarter.

    Where’s Beeston, by the way?

    • They added probably 50 million in payroll,
      what exactly do you think they owe you?
      a guaranteed world series?

      • Just playing around with the numbers here but of the starting 8 (excluding pitcher) players, the C – JPA, 3B – Lawrie, and CF – Rasmus are the only ones who aren’t hispanic. That’s 37%. So how surprising is it that he would be with the other 63% of the starting lineup (EE, Izturis, Reyes or Melky)? Now obviously that’s by no means a scientific conclusion but it’s every bit as legitimate as someone throwing accusations around from anonymous sources.

        • The latin clique thing seems both unfounded and who gives a shit if it is true. This sort of clubhouse chemistry speculation is completely pointless since we cant know if there is bad chemistry or whether it has an impact.

          The ump thing may be more relevant. Whether it is true the umps are shafting them or not just them thinking that is the case could impact their ability to hit. Not chemistry speculation related at all – player mentality related and pretty strong argument that if a player is thinking about strike zone being expanded unfairly it could impact their performance.

    • I think you have a good point Knox. After talk early in off season about need to improve rotation now if there are no acquisitions the off season will be seen as a failure by many and drive fans away before season starts rightly or wrongly.

      Beeston will chime in to create some buzz if acquistion is made? Pretty bold statement a couple years ago was it when he said 3 of 5 seasons of playoffs, Good way to alienate fans when you make promises then don’t deliver. Then changing story from 2 year window to 5 year etc ……… but the story hasn’t played out yet so no harm in keeping faith for me.

      No shock on Bautista I say as well but does it really matter on the field? Apparently one MLB player thought so and don’t think we are in a position to qualify any potential impact any more than an actual player but easy to dismiss one player’s opinion as well. So at end of the day none of us know much at all and only have opinion that is likely more BS than Griffen’s article. Any opinion on clubhouse chemistry impact from us is pure speculation whether based in rational logic or not. Can point to examples where it appears to have big impact and where it has little impact and use logic that it has impact or doesn’t. Can observe that some teams we played on or other groups in life have suffered from bad chemistry but it isn’t the same thing as pro baseball in MLB.

  38. Sometimes I wonder if some people even read the verbal horse shit that spews off there keyboard.

  39. In terms of Bautista only being a leader to Latino players, that time that Lawrie cussed out Lind and then threw a shit-fit in the dug-out, it was Bautista who came running down from the other end lickety-split to defuse the situation and move Lawrie away from an irate Gibbons. Last time I looked, Lawrie isn’t Latino. Neither is Gibby or Lind. I imagine the Latino guys do hang together because it’s always easier to speak your first language instead of your second. But I’ve never seen anything during a game to suggest Bautista shuts out non-Latino players. They all look fairly cosy on the bench. In fact last season when they were playing like shit and losing and losing I thought they all looked too damn’ cosy on the bench!

  40. do you think Grady Sizemore gets a major league offer somewhere? or will he settle for a minor league deal with an invite to spring training and incentives?
    if it’s the later I’d love to take a flyer on him…. if he’s even half of his former self he could be a great player. Nice way to give Colby a few days off if he needs it, let melky dh against lefties.

  41. i wanna see jeffress and mcgowan and stroman and maybe drabek all stretched out as possible starting pitchers in spring training next year. and trade for wandy rodriguez and sign scott baker and oliver perez. and possibly offer rick ankiel an incentive laden deal to return as a pitcher. no need to spend big bucks…

  42. Remember me?

  43. Do here’s my tiny little nugget of irrelevant banter:

    I work in the airline industry and had close sources who flew with the Blue Jays during their charter flights.

    The source said that Jose and the rest of the Latinos got the back of the plane and only hang amongst themselves. A very noticeable clique.

    Considering what I have witnessed watching huge intra team commraderie over the years amongst Latinos, I think It’s plausible that Rasmus was ostriciszed by his fellow Latin players.

    If so true, that’s major bullshit.

    • If, and I think it’s a major IF, there is actually any truth to the story that Latino Jays alienated a player for hurting a Latino on another team then I think it’s much more plausible that it was Happ for plunking Cano.

      Encarnacion is friends with Cano. I have read articles about the two working with the same hitting instructor but I can’t find any connection to any of the Dominican Jays and the Venezuelan Infante.

      To be honest, I think it’s probably bullshit. To alienate a guy for a hard slide that is as bread and butter as hitting behind the runner? It’s literally taught in little league to go in hard.

      I can buy the Spanish clique thing. It seems apparent on TV. But so what, I’m sure Kevin Youkilis will be hanging out with the few other Americans on the team while he’s in Japan this year. It’s just easier, but it shouldn’t effect performance.

      • Pretty much. At the end of the day, does it really matter?

        I recall Travis Snider, JPA, and Brett Lawrie as pretty tight brahs a couple of seasons back. How many reports came out where Jose Bautista felt he was excluded and “legit jealous” that those young caucasian homeboys hung out at absolute dives and arcades without him?

        2013 was a miserable season for the Blue Jays. You’re telling me that the clubhouse was a rank and miserable place to be in with the mounting losses? Shocking.

      • Wasn’t it Granderson that Happ injured when he plunked him ths year? Maybe there was a Cano plunking that I don’t remember as well. Not that it matters really, if it was a baseball play and not a deliberate attempt to injure someone then alienating one of your teammates is horseshit if you ask me.

    • Who gives a flying fucking fuck?

      Meaningless.

  44. Wouldn’t the Tanaka monies be better spent trying to procure first line Cuban talent ?

  45. I’m repeating myself. But “workplace chemistry” matters in every other workplace in every other job the world, and I still think it’s really naive of you to say that it doesn’t matter in baseball because “they make more money” or “it’s a more individualized sport”. If you have a shitty boss (Gibbons), or if you have cliquey co-workers, there’s a pretty good chance that overall workplace productivity will be affected. I haven’t heard you (Stoeten) ever address this in any way other than saying “Baseball is individual” and “That’s dumb”.

    NOT THAT this means that this hearsay about the Dominicans is true, and NOT THAT I’d know the first thing about fixing it of course. It’s just WAY more of a grey area than you give it credit for.

  46. It’s been shown at various sites.

    Dickey’s knuckleball colourized to show the lack of spin.
    It gives a better prospective.

    http://i.imgur.com/ENDjUBu.jpg

    Amazing what some people can do with a gif.Kudos to the person who did it.

  47. Great article from ESPN on Edwin…

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove13/story/_/id/10231984/edwin-encarnacion-baseball-most-underappreciated-player-mlb

    It’s behind paywall, small excerpt:

    Since the turn of the century, just five other players have done what Encarnacion accomplished in 2013, which is to hit at least 36 homers while striking out fewer than 62 times. Two of those players — Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols — rank among the best who have ever played, and two others — Todd Helton and Gary Sheffield — will have strong Hall of Fame cases to make when they become eligible. Only six qualified hitters struck out at a lower clip than Encarnacion did last year, and they were mostly Marco Scutaro types, not power hitters, with none coming within 100 points of Encarnacion’s .534 slugging percentage.

  48. I don’t follow Tony Rasmus on twitter but Interesting comment ( from today) if it’s true.

    @willy9a I do know Colby’s been told to be prepared for a possible trade because AA has really been trying to improve the team via trade.

    — Tony_Rasmus_IV (@FlorenceFalcon0)

    http://jaysjournal.com/2014/01/04/colby-rasmus-told-blue-jays-prepare-trade/

    • Tip of the hat to the lovely and always entertaining karen for the retweet of the original JJ tweet.

    • @Radar. I would not be happy if Colby was traded. I would like to see him get a long term contract with the Jays. Could AA get a young starting pitcher for him if he was traded ?

      If not, then why even consider the matter.

      Colby is happier here than he was in St Louis. I think AA would be better off keeping him since he doesn’t seem to be the type of player that would go for the biggest dollars in a big market.

      Colby is one of those players who AA could get to stay here more cheaply than trying to get a Colby Rasmus type player on the free agent market.

      # Keep Colby in Canada

      • Put another way, he may just agree to a fair market value offer as opposed to offering another player that plus a “premium” for moving to Toronto.

    • Pretty interesting re Colby.

      Would hate to see him go, but I do wonder what kind of starting pitching you could get in return.

      Then again, not sure Gose is ready to fill in. CF could become quite a hole.

      • I’m pretty sure Gose can defend and run the bases well enough to be roughly average in CF – in the mold of a Peter Bourjos. Would not be afraid to deal Colby – he has an intriguing skill set, but his value is basically tied to his ability to make enough contact so that his power plays, an ability that hasnt even been close to consistent over his career. He wouldnt be my first choice of player to give a 4-6 year deal to.

      • Whatever the case if Rasmus is traded and whatever the return is doesn’t turn to gold…it’s very bad for AA. I’m not sure any deal gets done with Rasmus and _____ unless it involves a true 1 or 2 starter. I am in the camp that claims the Jays don’t really have a true number 1 SP hence my dreams of David Price.

        • @Tom

          I agree. Trading Colby for a 4th or 5th starter or a couple of relievers or a utility infielder would be bad news.

          I suppose AA could try & justify it if it turns out that Colby did not want a contract extension here.

          Gose is not equal to Colby. He can barely hit.

          • If this was the plan all along, wouldnt you think AA would have kept rajai around? Or at least signed someone to play some outfield when gose struggles?
            Also, Tony seems like a bit of a fame whore so I’m reading this with a grain of salt.
            Lastly, if what I’m hearing is correct, wouldn’t they be better off simply signing ubaldo for 14 per and keeping their outfield together? I have a lot of faith in AA and unless he is blown away with a deal, Cleetus is staying put. I’m calling BS.

            • I’ve never understood the fascination with Rajai. He’s a 4th outfielder at best, strictly platoon. He’s great against lefties and a game changer on the paths but if he plays everyday his defense and ineptitude against rights will kill you.

              All that said I think he’ll have a great year platooning with Dirks in Detroit.

            • I’m calling BS too. They’re either expecting HUGE years out of Sierra Pillar and Gose or there’s no deal. Don’t forget also that you don’t get a lot back for a guy with only one year of control left

              • Let’s pretend its a decent #3 pitcher in return. Which would you rather have?
                Newly acquired pitcher and gose starting…
                Or
                A free agent starter, or hoping one of the ten capable guys we have can start as a #5 and colby.
                I’m taking option #2 and hoping a guy like happ can win the job in spring training.

                • With apologies to Smasher , Rajai was better than Pillar, Sierra and Gose and we all know that Rasmus is better than him. I dont relish the idea of watching any of those 3 flail around in the field next year and I’m assuming neither will AA or Gibby.
                  ps..Gose was absolute crap in the Venezuelan winter league.

                • OK, but what if it’s Colby & a reliever for a #2 starter? Or Colby, reliever, and a prospect or two for Shields or Lee?

                  I trade Colby and rely on Gose if someone values Colby enough to give me something amazing in return.

            • @Poons.

              I agree with that. Colby is in a contract year & will be motivated to perform.

              Gose would be a downrade from Colby.

              Rajai would be an upgrade over Gose.

              Sign one of the remaining free agent pitchers & get to Florida.

        • Why even bother dreaming about a guy like Price??? Seriously, I know he’s a great pitcher, but they better win in the two years he’s here, because there isn’t going to be anything worth while in the system after he bolts until 2018, 2019 area. We would be well served to sign one of the adequate SP on the market(not name Ervin), and keep our current and future assets in tact. I could see trading Rasmus, being he has one year until his payday. Maybe we can trade him, and then resign him next year. Better chances of that then of acquiring Price from within the division. Discussion over, Mr. Dubya!

    • My girlfirned will throw a shitfit if Cletus is traded. Fingers crossed to keep the AlabamaBomber with the Jays (yes I know, I know, but GeorgiaBomber doesn’t roll off the tongue so well)

    • Tony clarified: the comment didn’t come from the Jays organization.

      Not that it would have mattered if it did.

  49. I guess I’ll be the first person to post that Hentgen has been replaced as Bullpen coach.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2014/01/04/blue_jays_hentgen_replaced_as_bullpen_coach_for_family_reasons.html

    It would appear Hentgen requested this, due to his father’s health issues.

  50. Don’t forget that “Coldy’s” frosty start helped bury the Jays last year.

    • They all played like shit. Colby didn’t sink this team the pitchers did.

      • Wasn’t just the pitchers.

        • Despite Buehrle and Dickey each pitching over 200 innings, the Jays rotation had the 28th lowest IPs (899) of MLB. the next highest to Buehrle and Dickey was Rogers at 106. They had fill ins for the 1/2 of the rotation almost all year.
          The Jays rotation was in the bottom 5 of all MLB of almost every category and in ERA (4.81) was 29th, FIP (4.69) was 27th, HR/9 (1.36) was 29th, and WAR (6.9) 26th.
          IMHO JPA had a lot to do with the poor results of the rotation, and was a major disappointment offensively as well but they were the biggest problem

          • I agree, the pitchers were the main problem. And I also agree that JPA was a big part of that problem. I don’t think they trusted him and that always leads to bad results for the guys on the mound. But the infield defence especially on the right side was a complete clusterfuck. I think everyone except the bullpen deserves a share of last season’s shit spatter.

  51. It gets pretty fucking annoying at times with people and their displeasure with Jose. Boofuckingwho Jose didn’t tell me I look good in my jock. Wtf? Personally I think Griff is getting silent treatment from Jays and this is his response.

  52. Interesting tweet from Rasmus senior concerning Tim Hudson a family friend. He apparently spoke to his family concerning the Jays but decided to go to San Fran as he felt they had a better chance of winning.
    Looks like AA has been busy but no luv yet.

  53. So Stoeten.

    When are you gonna man up and host a Drunk Jays Fans party?

    For fuck sakes, be a true leader, make Hunter S. Thompson proud, and gonzo this site!

    I

  54. Whole Lotta Rosie:

    “The Blue Jays, quiet for much of the offseason, still figure to acquire one and possibly two starting pitchers once the logjam caused by Tanaka starts to resolve. The Jays are a leading candidate to sign either Santana or Jimenez; they have two protected first-round picks, Nos. 9 and 11, and would sacrifice only a second-rounder and the accompanying pool money for one of those free-agent right-handers. The team also remains involved in trade discussions for Samardzija and other starting pitchers; a rotation of, say, Santana, Samardzija, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Brandon Morrow would be much more formidable than they Jays had last season.”

    • @Bluejay way

      +1. I doubt we get Tanaka but I would be happy with Garza or Ubaldo .a bit less so with Santana.

      • My preference would be:

        1) Tanaka
        2) healthy Matt Garza
        3) Ubaldo
        4) Santana

        Might flip 1 and 2, not sure how good Tanaka will actually be. We’re not getting The Tanak though so this is just a hypothetical.

        I’d prefer Ubaldo over Santana because he’s more of a groundballer.

        • AA’s been scary quiet about Tanaka which makes me think…TOO quiet.
          On the other hand, too damn much $$ for the risk and that’s typical AA.
          But!
          MLBTR keeps saying Jays are faves for Ubaldo and/or Santana.
          I think that’s legit. I think they could very well be waiting for the Tanaka
          deal to conclude to figure out what the demand will be afterward.

        • A healthy Garza would be awesome, but I think it’s just so much more likely the Jays will sign Jiminez or Santana (of the three). So many teams will avoid those two because they won’t want to lose a pick, and with the Jays pick protected. Big advantage there.

    • To be honest all the top free agents scare the hell out of me. If Ubaldo is the same Ubaldo that finished last year he is easily #1 on the list. Still a ton of risk out there. We can only hope the jays start seeing some rewards for taking some risk.

    • Sounds great but im not a fan of either jimenez(walks) or santana(inconsistency). Would much rather have garza.

  55. Baseball free agency is such a long, tedious, boring Borasshole process.
    I’d punch Scot Boras right in the balls if given the chance.
    I’m impatient at the best of times so I’d just love to see Alex ink some slingers.

    I know, I know, still 2 months………

    I know bringing up hockey on this site is an offense that can get you excommunicated but as a fan of both sports I much prefer how all the big FA’s are off the board in the first week of NHL free agency and it’s pretty much wrapped up in 2 weeks.

    • I know it pisses me off as well. These GMs and agents work so slow.

    • I was going to say there’s a little Damien Cox in all of us… until I thought about it.

      Then I thought…

      meh, things are pretty slow around here.

    • Well, it’s usually not this slow. Generally most of the action has happened well before Xmas. Tanaka really slowed things down.

    • How dare he try to get the most money possible for his clients!

  56. Am I the only one who wants no part of Santana? At all. Regardless if the Jays can’t sign anyone better. Unless he goes to one of those silly NL pitchers parks, I think he’ll be a massive bust.

    Jimenez would be great though.

    • Santana has had stretches where he has been completely fucking awful. That definitely worries me if Im giving 15-17M to a guy.

      • I agree afdg if it isn’t Tanaka than Jimenez or Garza ….I just don’t have that feel good with Santana at the RC.
        I have high hopes for Hutchison and Draebek this year.

    • I agree 100%… I want no part of Santana! I’m also not pro Garza, however I’d be more than happy with any FAs not named Ervin Santana.

    • I’d be fine with either guy, and I don’t care if the Jays overpay. If you’re going to go for it, then go for it. Bad contracts are pretty easy to unload these days if you want to.

      I’d say Santana looks a little more reliable based on the last few years. But… whatever. Either would be fine. Coupled with a trade like Rosenthal suggested, and you could be looking at a pretty decent looking rotation with depth (something like Dickey, Morrow, Santana, Samadzija, Buerhle with Hutchinson, Stroman, Drabek, Redmond, Rogers etc waiting in the wings. Probably not an ace in there, but that rotation could be good.)

      Jiminez (Age 29)
      2010: 2.88 ERA, 221.2 IP, 1.15 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 3.7 BB/9
      2011: 4.68 ERA, 188.1 IP, 1.40 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
      2012: 5.40 ERA, 176.2 IP, 1.61 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 4.8 BB/9
      2013: 3.30 ERA, 182.2 IP, 1.33 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9

      Santana (Age 31)
      2010: 3.92 ERA, 222.2 IP, 1.32 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
      2011: 3.38 ERA, 228.2 IP, 1.22 WHIP, 7,0 K/9, 2.8 BB/9
      2012: 5.16 ERA, 178.0 IP, 1.27 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9
      2013: 3.24 ERA, 211.0 IP, 1.14 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9

      • Agree. Either is ok with me. I’m also ok (because they’ve got a decent offence already) if they want to go to ST with just Goins and Izturis at 2B.

  57. re: Rasmus’s dad tweeting about Colby preparing for a trade… he followed up with this:

    “@BlueJaysFacts looking back over that tweet let me make one thing clear. Colby didn’t hear that info from AA.”

    Goes in to say it wasn’t from anyone in the org… amd it was a generic piece of advice bcs hes one year from free agency.

    • Thx Allisauce.
      I thought it was something that a little weird to casually toss out there.

      • If you go to Jays Journal and trace the group of tweets. It starts with the fact that
        Colby’s going down to Dunedin early this year to practice. I love it. Colby will have a chance at a pretty good start for 2014.

  58. Some food for thought between Ubaldo Jimenez and Santana:

    Angel Stadium: 2012 – .759 (25th), 2011 – .789 (25th)
    Kauffman Stadium (2013 only): .708 (29th)

    Ervin Santana’s HR/9 in that same time frame:

    2013 – 1.11
    2012 – 1.07
    2011 – 1.02

    Progressive Field: 2013 – 1.078 (12th), 2011 – .925 (20th)
    Coors Field: 2011 – 1.354 (2nd)

    Ubaldo Jimenez’s HR/9 in that same time frame:

    2013 – 0.79
    2012 – 1.27
    2011 – 0.81

    Ervin has a career HR/9 of 1.22, and an xFIP of 4.24 while pitching in home pitcher-friendly parks his entire career, where Ubaldo has a career 0.73 HR/9 and 3.96 xFIP while pitching mostly in home homer-prone parks his entire career.

    Also, Ervin has produced an fWAR above 3.0 three times in his 9-year career, and only once in the last five seasons. Ubaldo has produced an fWAR above 3.0 five times in his 8-year career, including four times in the last five seasons.

    Ervin Santana has been a replacement-level to slightly-above average pitcher for the majority of his career in pitcher-friendly parks, whereas Ubaldo Jimenez has been a good to very good pitcher while in hitter-friendly parks his entire career.

    Anthopoulos, please sign Ubaldo Jimenez and don\t be fooled by the mirage that is 2013 Ervin Santana.

    • Should have pointed out that the stadium figures are their HR rates of that season.

    • Hm! Interesting…I admit my understanding of stats is a little weak past stuff like ERA, WHIP, K/9 etc.

    • Thanks for posting this, some great information.

      What about throwing in Garza’s stats just for comparison sake?

      • HR/9 rates

        Wrigley Field: 2013 – 1.115 (11th), 2012 – 0.962 (19th), 2011 – 0.987 (15th)

        Matt Garza in the same time frame:

        2013 – 1.16
        2012 – 1.30
        2011 – 0.64

        2013 may be a bit skewed because he did pitch for Texas too. 2011 was a great year for him, but he has’t come close to repeating those numbers in the last two seasons. He has a career 1.03 HR/9 while pitching in Tropicana for three years, and an additional 130 innings for the Twins while still in Mall of America. His career xFIP has come down considerably over the last three years to 4.00, but was well over 4 while in the AL East.

        He’s posted an fWAR over 3.0 twice in his 8-year career, with an honorable mention to his 2009 season, where he had a 2.9 fWAR. He’s posted more than a 3.0 fWAR only once in his last five seasons.

        To me, Garza is pretty good at missing bats in an inferior NL, is good at limiting walks, and eating innings. But that’s about where it ends for me.

        There’s other stats that one can look at for these guys, but Ubaldo has been able to limit home runs in his career while pitching in homer-prone parks. Home runs are pretty common in SkyDome, so limiting them is kind of important. Santana and Garza haven’t been able to do it with nearly as much success.

    • Doesn’t xFIP account for park factors, so saying so and so pitched a certain xFIP while in a pitcher’s park not mean anything?

      • I think it does in a quasi kind of way. It moderates the HR/FB rates of a pitcher to 10.5%, which I guess is usually the league-average. It does mean something as it’s still influenced by HR/9. It also gives you a general idea of where a pitcher’s ERA should have been if his HR/FB was not skewed one way or another.

        • Park factors are almost completely driven by HR/FB rates, IIRC. xFIP should be fairly park neutral.

    • I’m not doubting your stats. You are very thorough.
      But there is another factor at work here.

      From the 1st of July on, Ubaldo faced two playoff teams: A’s & Braves once each.
      Santana faced five: the Tigers twice, Oakland, Boston, and Cleveland.

      They both faced Miami, Texas, Baltimore and Toronto.

      For his remaining starts, Ubaldo got KCx3, Sea, LAA, Minx2, CHWx2, and Houston
      Santana got Yankees, Minn, Mets, CHW, Washington, and Seattlex2

      There is little doubt that Santana faced the tougher lineups.
      Either of these guys could work out.
      But IMHO, the teams that sign them
      will both be experiencing buyer’s remorse before long.

      • [If you spotted a different response of mine that was originally here, I deleted it because I only half-read the teams in question, FYI.]

        Average wRC+ faced over that span: Santana 102.9, Ubaldo 90.1.

        However, I’m pretty sure results render the difference rather pointless.

        Santana in the second half: 3.07 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 3.92 xFIP, 6.44 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, .299 wOBA
        Ubaldo in the second half: 1.82 ERA, 2.17 FIP, 2.99 xFIP, 10.71 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, .271 wOBA

        • You had me at “Some food for thought”! I already knew I perfered Jimenez out of the three guys not named Tanaka, but after reading the comparisons…… Sign the guy already. I’m just waiting to hear what rediculous amount Tanaka will get. In an offseason where Elsbury gets 157 million, wouldn’t surprise me if he signed a 150 million dollar deal.

  59. after Tanaka it goes Jimenez then arroyo for me. Arroyo as a last resort would be low ceiling high floor kind of signings similar to 2014 red Sox.

    the only way I would go for Garza is with an inning eater like arroyo. which would give 3 pitchers that can throw 200 innings.

    at 37 it’s a risk but I am as shaky on on Jimenez on even a 4 year deal as I am arroyo on a 2.

  60. Christ almighty you fucking drunks….I was saying sign Jiminez two months ago and nobody *hiccup* fucking listened.

  61. Would signing both Jiminez AND Arroyo be out of the realm of possibility for the Jays?

  62. You know that Blue Jays Plus is written by a teenager. Who goes to school full time. Who does not work in the industry. Who has no more contacts than you or I do.
    I wouldn’t take anything that blog says seriously. It’s all made up.

  63. I have learn a few just right stuff here.
    Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.

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