tanaka3

I’ve weathered many years of being called an apologist for arguing in the past that it was understandable when the Jays didn’t go after significant — or, frankly, any – free agents because of the hard lessons learned at the end of J.P. Ricciardi’s tenure, when ownership began to balk at the notion of throwing good money after bad. The absurdity of the posture, given that Rogers could buy the whole of Major League Baseball and still not bankrupt the fucking company, was immaterial; that’s the way they operate. So, with that in mind, the fear of Alex Anthopoulos having followed his predecessor down that same futile path after last season’s huge rise in spending has become increasingly palpable over this long, dim winter.

That the Jays didn’t land Masahiro Tanaka today makes it all the more so. But, of course, the winter isn’t over yet, and the Jays still have time to stop hiding behind narrow talk about value and nonsense about contract length. It would be premature of us to go rant and rave about this, our heads full of fear for what might be happening behind the scenes at Rogers with respect to payroll. But… uh… probably going to do that anyway.

It would be especially off-base if we did so, as fans sometimes have the tendency to do, forgetting that everyone operates under some conception of which costs are palatable, relative to valuation — even the Yankees, who walked away from Robinson Cano and last year from Russell Martin, and the Dodgers, who failed to make good on their reported bluster about not being outbid on Tanaka.

It’s not unfair that Alex Anthopoulos says that he values players only to a certain point. I’d say, then, that what’s frustrating is how often it seems that where he’s willing to go in an offer to a player falls short, but actually that may just be selective memory on my part and the part of other fans. For example, he overpaid, and fended off other suitors, in landing R.A. Dickey last winter, and it’s a safe bet he was the first to blink and offer an extra year to get a deal done with Maicer Izturis, and possibly did the same with Melky Cabrera as well. Ironically, those three deals are likely as reviled as any Anthopoulos has made, by the exact same sorts of people who today are aghast that the club didn’t explode the doors off the barn and go all-in on Tanaka.

The reality is, it’s easier for the Yankees or the Dodgers to blow past their valuations on top end players like Tanaka, because they have the willingness — not the resources, because just about every teams has those — to spend the money, and the understanding that more money will be there to be spent when they need another piece, or, inevitably, one of their big money deals goes terribly bad.

The Jays insist that they have the resources — Alex Anthopoulos was on the radio last week saying that there were deals he could have had done that night, if he thought the value was there — but so far they’re not showing the willingness.

I could accept that lack of willingness on a guy like Tanaka, given that gigantic offers were always bound to be coming from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and that the Jays’ interest in him may not have necessarily been mutual, but it becomes harder to take, and easier to find dubious when they try to have it both ways, like this:

Oh! So no fucking problem, then, eh???? The Jays have a shit-tonne of money to spend! Y’know, according to them. It’s just they can’t spend it, because they have a policy. A policy, that is, that we’re supposed to dumbly believe only prevents them from committing years, not dollars. Because let’s not have a conversation about where money is possibly disappearing to inside the cash-sucking behemoth of company that owns the club and doesn’t have to pay out the billions for TV rights that other clubs’ RSNs do, let’s have a talk [pushes up nerd glasses, raises voice two octaves] about value!

I mean… what a patronizing load of garbage.

In a second tweet, Lott — who, I should point out, just so we’re totally clear, as the messenger, is not the target of one iota of this ire (and also not the only one reporting it, as Shi Davidi had it as well) — adds that the club was also uncomfortable with the idea of an opt-out clause. There is certainly reason to be wary of all the back-end risk that giving the player an opt-out builds into the contract (though maybe less so when you’re supposedly only willing to go five years anyway), but what I see here is the Jays insulating themselves — and Rogers — from tough questions by using these pseudo-policies to make it look like they missed out for reasons other than money, or to make it look like they were more serious than they really were.

Their lack of comfort going beyond a certain number of years is, as I’ve said here many times, irrelevant — and that’s forgetting the fact that they’ve already admitted that they’re not necessarily going to strictly keep themselves beholden to it. It would have taken a high average annual value for the Jays to match the offer made by the Yankees ($31-million; $9-million more per season than the deal he’ll sign), but if they wanted the player badly enough, they could have matched even within the supposed policy. So by making the claim that they got scared off by the years, the Jays are only further exposing the myth. And what they’re really telling us is that any time a big ticket free agent now becomes available, they can use this facade to say that they went to their limit, had the full backing of ownership to spend lavishly, but couldn’t go any further as per their own absurd policy.

Don’t question the payroll parameters; it was the policy. Don’t say Alex isn’t out there trying to be a big time player; it was the policy. Don’t say we’re backed by a multi-kabillion dollar corporation, sitting in the fourth biggest city in North America, playing in a stadium they bought for a song with a near-billion dollar brand they bought for $160-million in 2000, stuffing millions upon millions into their pockets every year in TV rights money that they would otherwise have to pay us if the contract were actually open for bidding, and yet still operating the team like a small market organization run roughshod over a bunch of greedhead corporate jackals; it was the policy.

Why not just the truth? Because the less we hear of it, the more we get to thinking it really is closer to that dark one, unspeakable as it surely is for those on the inside of said multi-kabillion dollar corporation. [If that's it, touch your nose exactly three minutes into the Q&A portion of the State of the Franchise, Alex!]

If Tanaka wasn’t interested in coming here, why not say that? If the money isn’t there, you honestly can’t just try to sell us on the idea that for years Rogers was spending more than its payroll led on, via both the international amateur market and the draft, then point to where payroll jumped last year and make the case that even as is this is a better, deeper version of the team that everyone thought was going to be so good in 2013? If the fear is that ownership is going to take payroll backwards next winter should things not work out on the field, so you want to hedge on a potential mid-year rebuild as much as possible and don’t think the headache of adding salary is worth it… um… OK, maybe don’t say that. And if you’re just posturing for the benefit of the agents representing Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana (and Stephen Drew *COUGH*), maybe don’t say that either. But also — and this is important — maybe don’t piss in our mouths and tell us its raining.

I mean, I get that clubs can’t always be entirely truthful with fans, but don’t lob us a bag of bullshit and tell us it’s dinner.

Like… I don’t mind how the policy isn’t real, on account of how it would be monumentally fucking stupid if it were, and an affront to anyone who knows anything about the vast wealth of ownership, the value of the club, or the new economic realities of baseball, but don’t proudly hold up your soiled drawers and claim you tried real hard to make it to the big boy potty.

Because, it’s not that it wasn’t cool how you showed your willingness to overpay for somebody last year, even if it was kind of dumbly done in prospect capital and not a much less valuable asset, like cash, but don’t ask us to believe that you don’t have any of the stuff when I know THERE WAS A GODDAMN HALF BAG LEFT WHEN I GAVE IT TO YOU FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO, RANDY!

Er… OK, that last one doesn’t really work, but I think you get the idea. What happened today would have been a lot better without the whole trying to look serious while pretending we thwarted ourselves with an absurd policy thing. There would still be questions, but maybe less room for head scratching and cyncism. Losing out to the Yankees is totally understandable. Tanaka not wanting to come here, given the alternatives and money being thrown around, is unsurprising. Failing to go harder after a player you obviously wanted — enough to supposedly be interested at something near $100-million for him, on top of the $20-million posting fee — because of a ridiculous self-imposed policy is bizarre, sure, but using the supposed existence of that absurd policy to try to make it sound to your fan base like you made some kind of a run at a player you knew all along you weren’t going to get is… well… just kinda shitty. (And while, admittedly, this isn’t exactly an official pronouncement from the club… come on! It’s reasonably close-ish.)

It’s my dad’s birthday today — happy birthday, old man! — and I’m reminded of how, more than just about anything, he always taught us the value of honesty. It really does do wonders for eradicating bullshit, and keeping people from running wild and angry with whatever imperfect kernels of suspicion they can get their hands on. Again, I don’t think it’s something that sports teams owe to their fans, but I think the Jays sure could use some of it here anyway, because I’m not sure they’d be making right call if they stood pat this winter while remaining insistent on posturing that they had money all along that they simply would not spend. No, the off-season isn’t over yet, but getting fans excited for 2014 with essentially an unchanged team and the idea that they left possible payroll unspent does not sound to me like a step forward for this little baseballing project Alex Anthopoulos has embarked on, hog-tied as it supposedly is to the revenues it generates. Not in the long-term or in the short.

Or… wait, did I say honesty? I meant SIGNING FREE AGENT PITCHERS. Jays totally could use some of that.

Comments (306)

  1. Ricciardi didn’t hesitate to say that players didn’t want to come to Toronto, which was in my opinion a bad PR move to make — it only reinforced the perception that Canada/Toronto is some hinterland. It could be that AA is now going in the opposite direction by not revealing why guys don’t want to come here, though in rarely saying anything, it leaves us open to speculate (or to read about in a Davidi/Lott book a year after the fact).

    • I’m confused, what does not wanting to play in Toronto have to do with the Tanaka deal? This was all about money.

    • Except that AA has said that before (presumably it suited him then) that he’s offered more money and more years to a player who still declined ( presumably Beltran ) … or even saying they were uncomfortable going more than 5 years is still acceptable for what is a relatively unknown commodity considering the Phillies have said the same thing but by blaming the policy … its just too ridiculous.

  2. or instead of lying they could just say nothing at all

  3. Difference in the Dickey deal was that he was dealing players; not money.

  4. Amen brother

  5. Perfect

  6. John Lott says they never even got to discussing money. If true, that’s a big problem.

    • Definitely a big problem if true. If the Jays are prepared to offer a higher AAV over shorter years, but are stopping dead at the term, they need to get more aggressive.

  7. Good post.

    If something nefarious was going on at Rogers vis a vis their “policy”, I would think someone would eventually spill the beans and reveal the truth.

    • It is indeed an excellent post.
      Look at “the Policy” as political posturing: a screen to hide behind.

      They never have to say to a FA, an agent, the fans
      or even one of their own players looking for an extension,
      “We don’t like the player.”
      or “We don’t like the player at that price.”
      or “We’re not prepared to stretch the budget that far.” etc. etc.

      It can always be, “We’d REALLY like to have gone there but; you know,
      its against our policy.” End of discussion. No hard feelings,
      and the truth is the only victim in the whole charade.

      This “policy” is Beeston’s baby.
      And Beeston is a MASTER of political posturing and doublespeak.

      • I gotta stay alive and not get myself banned around here, ’cause I really want to see/hear
        Stoeten’s reaction to the following conversation, likely to occur on PTS some time
        in the second half of 2015.

        Beeston: “You know, Bob, we’ve made every conceivable effort to have grass in the dome for the 2016 season. But, you know, because of (blah, blah, blah, blah) its just not going to be possible at this time.
        But the good news is that we have Company X and Company Y working on this and they are extremely confident that we’ll have a grass playing surface for 2020 season at the latest. I’m sure every Blue Jay fan is as excited as we are about seeing this happen.

        Stoeten will go totally ballistic and we all gotta stick around for that.

        • I wouldn’t bet against that exactly happening, sadly. Where else are they going to keep pipe dreaming for the NFL if SkyDome goes permanently to baseball?

          • Except Beeston has followed through with everything he has said.
            Be upset with “the Policy” but has anybody looked up the value of players who have signed 7 to 10 year contracts and seen what the value of those players after the 5 year mark?
            AA was heralded as innovative when he engineered the Lind and Hill contracts because it didn’t hamstring the organization if they tanked..
            SI listed his dumping of the Wells contract as one of the top 3 executive moves of the year,because it was thought impossible to move.
            As it sits, with the exception of Reyes, there are no commitments past 2015,just options to consider.
            JJ was thought to be deserving of a 7/150 deal before the 2013 season.How’d that look now?
            Somebody wrote an arcticle that every pitcher signed from the Nippon League,before Darvish,declined severely in their 3rd and 4th year.Darvish MAY be the exception.
            With 23 Mill AAV added,how much room does that leave for the better crop of FA’s next year?Or the unlikely possiblity of acquiring Price and signing him to an extension?
            Are we all that convinced that Dickey,Buehrle and Morrow will rebound and Tanaka was the key to push the Jays over the top?
            Just askin.

            • You love you some sacred cows, huh?

              • Excellent rebutal.
                Gave me food for thought.
                Sacred cows eh?Summed up the whole comment in one sentence.
                Brilliant.
                Seemed last year,at this time,everybody was thrilled at the Jays direction and no mention of the Policy.
                Now they’re full of shit and the team is going to hell in a hand basket.
                Last year good moves, this year bad moves.
                More than a few other teams have made the same decisions..
                Desperate moves by the Yanks doesn’t equate to bad moves by the Jays.

            • Cots shows 50 contacts of $ 100m or more.
              If your indicator of success/failure at the back end of the contract is WAR per $,
              you are 100% correct. Mega contracts in terms of $ or term seldom work out.

              But maybe the teams that sign those contracts are not totally obsessed by WAR/$.
              Maybe they view a World Series appearance during the life of the contract
              as an indicator of success.

              14 of those contracts have produced nothing so far, but all 14 have five or more years left to run. They may or may not produce a Championship final appearance, but its too early to tell.
              That leaves 36 to consider

              11 of those 36 contracts produced more or less nothing. Count them as “did not work out”

              8 of those 36 contracts were signed by players who had appeared in the World Series with their team a year or two before signing the contract, but did not participate in another during the contract. Some of them have time left.
              Count them as you will. Lets say they go in the “did not work out” column

              17 of those 36 contracts produced one or more World Series appearances
              during the life of the contract. Count them as “worked out as intended.”
              Would the team have made the World Series without that player? Maybe.
              Was the player a major contributor to his team? Did not research it.

              If the signing team considered a World Series appearance as the primary indicator of the success of the contract, 17 of the 36 worked out. This is not, “hardly ever.”

              The only team in the last 8 years (‘06-‘13)to appear in a World Series
              without having a player on one of these contracts? The Tampa Bay Rays.

              I’m not trying to justify all of these contracts. Some of them were idiotic by any measure.
              What I am saying is that there is more than one way of looking at things and not every
              owner or every team is going to look at things through the prism of WAR per dollar.

              • Interesting analysis. I have thought a lot about something I heard Dave Cameron say in a podcast a few weeks ago about the $/WAR idea that a lot of people think define everything that teams decide upon. He said that most seasons, the threshold to make the playoffs is about 40-50 WAR, which, if we’re paying 5MM/WAR would mean that the Yankees/Dodgers would be squeaking into playoff spots. Of course you can’t expect teams to pay that.

                Also, to get to that many WAR, you need a shade under 2 WAR per roster slot as an average. So while teams can carry a big contract or two in the $7-8MM/WAR range, you need most players to exceed that average in order to be competitive. To be tied to this idea of value out of free agents fails to realize that the lion’s share really does have to come from young players who are providing value prior to hitting free agency.

                I realize that this isn’t really a comment in response to what you’ve written, but I did like what you wrote, and thought I’d piggy back off of it.

              • While impossible to analyze with any accuracy, how many of those teams that made the world series made the playoffs by less Wins than their marquee signing provided? How many other teams were close to them in W/L and had available resources and need to sign said marquee player?
                Joey Votto might not be worth his contract any more in 2023, but he would have been a free agent this offseason if not for his massive extension. Do the Reds have a chance of cracking the playoffs this year without him? Let alone considering that he wouldn’t just not play for the Reds, he’d put up that WAR for another team that would conceivably compete with the now-worse Reds for a wild card.
                There’s more to it than just saying ‘hurr big contracts always suck at the end’ but RADAR isn’t usually in the business of ‘more to it.’

                • Au contraire,mon ami Oh Beepy.
                  Perhaps read the comment more fully,rather than concentrate on one part.
                  The “more to it” part:
                  Beeston and AA have set in place, a plan and policies, that by most experts evaluations,were the Vegas odds on favorites to go to and win the WS in 2013.
                  Turned a 20th place farm system into a top 5 farm system in 2 years.
                  Were patient enough to have the space available for a 40 million boost in payroll when the right opportunity arose.Even when the fanbase was screaming “cheap Rogers”.
                  They gamed the system so much,that MLB cried foul and changed the rules.
                  At a time when getting the AAA team out of Vegas looked unlikely,they got it moved to Buffalo,surprising everyone.
                  And so on.
                  Seeing the programs,plans,and philosophy of what has been done so far and whether there is or isn’t a “5 year policy”,whether you agree or disagree,it produced what was considered the frontrunner at the beginning of 2013.Didn’t work out but it wasn’t because of bad planning or execution, on the part of the front office.
                  IF there is a “5 year policy”it’s part of the overall package and there maybe a good reason for it.Nobody here knows but I’ll bet that those in the Blue Jays boardroom do.
                  That’s my point,maybe there is more to it than just a kneejerk reaction of the fans.

                  • I love stats like WAR. I love all the advanced stats. It’s fun to me.

                    That said, the Jays having a good WAR/$$ will not make me as happy as a World Series.

    • It’s Paul Beeston’s policy not Rogers. The same policy that let Jimmy Key walk (except it was three years back then) after the 1992 season. Careful, you’ve entered the Beest’s distortion zone. Squint hard enough and you can make out the bullshit.

  8. Wait, I thought someone had trusted inside sources saying that the Jays had a “hard on” for Tanaka, or something like that?

    • Nothing I’ve heard suggests that’s not true.

      • And really, while it may be true – at least to the people who 1st heard it -, it may also be that it was a strategically planted rumour from someone in the organization. The off season marketplace is full of smoke and mirrors.

  9. I saw the John Lott tweet earlier today and had to walk away from my computer for a bit. Your post is the long form version of my long walk in the office this morning. How could we go from last year’s mega-trade (buy) to this year’s sweet fuck all?

    26 days until the first workout. My own personal fantasy has been Jimenez, Santana, AND Drew (if I’m right, that means we lose a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for those signings). There are 26 days for Tanaka money to become two-out-of-three money.

    I’m trying, trying, trying not to pull out the “cheap fucks” card. Last year proves the point they’ll play when they want to. So why won’t they play more? I mean, does Mar k Buerlhe today get $18 million per year if he was a free agent? It wouldn’t shock me.

    Like my one Toronto friend still waiting for the housing price bubble to burst, or my uncle stuck on his same old budget for a waterfront cottage: this is the price of doing business.

  10. “but using the supposed existence of that absurd policy to try to make it sound to your fan base like you made a run at a player you knew all along you weren’t going to get is… well… just kinda shitty.”

    Yup. You don’t want to sign him because of the opt out clause? Fine. Because the guaranteed money is too much? Ok, just say it. Because of the FIVE YEAR POLICY? Fuck off.

  11. Beauty rant.

    Agreed 100 percent.

    I’d buy you a mug of beer if I could. And Happy Birthday to pops.

  12. Is this actually true though? Or is it one of Lott’s sources.

    If true I’m 100% in agreement with basically everything Stoeten is saying.

    Jays could have offered a 1 Year $155 million deal if they really wanted him. 5 Year limit be damned. An extreme example but you get the point.

    All they have to say is they “didn’t value him at that price.” Pretty easy and likely possible given the cost and lack of MLB experience.

  13. If we’re not going to spend.. why not just pretend to be Tampa. Sell off the talent in their prime and stick to being the Baseball America Allstar team. Dont half ass being competitive and then make up some bullshit about why the team couldnt lock down better talent. I’m sure bautista, e5, reyes, rasmus, could be shipped off and crush any bluejays hopes that the ownership actually wants to win anything ever.

    • Because you can keep young talent and still spend moderately too?

      • One small thing that the tampa model has over teams that try and be like tampa plus spend moderately, is that because tampa is paying no one (outside longoria) any cash, they have no problem sitting someone that isn’t performing. I feel like guys that have money invested in them are far more likely to get playing time even when they shouldn’t.

  14. It came as no surprise the fucking Yankees got Tanaka. Well, tough shit I say. Still a huge investment. I mean, he’s essentially a free agent prospect and got Verlander-esque money with an opt out clause, a no-trade clause and seven fucking years. No way AA can even come close to matching those terms. Now with Tanaka off the market, it’s time for the Blue Jays to wake the fuck up and be players on Jiminez. Not as shiny and sparkly as Tanaka for certain. But he could provide the Jays with a much needed middle of the rotation boost this team desperately needs.

    Tanaka was a unique outlier situation. Unprecedented really. A 25 year old FA prospect with a shitload of sparkle. Jiminez has some rig and showed some much improved pitchability in the latter half of 2013. The Jays have an advantage in landing Jiminez. They can afford losing the pick as their first two picks are protected. And then there is the whole Dominican connection. Fuck, let’s all chip in and buy the guy a donkey if need be. They mustn’t cost too much I reckon. The Jays need to grow some fucking balls now and get this guy.

    Please, not Ervin Santana. I would rather give the ball to one of the nine or ten internal guys to fill out the rotation. Get Jiminez and let the 5th spot be a battle in ST.

  15. I know you spent a lot of time on this and struggled a bit writing it, so I’ll just say thanks. You’re bang on.

  16. So this is what they want us to believe:

    Jays – “We are willing to go five years in Contract length and will pay any amount over those five years”

    Tanada Group – “We want an opt out after 4 years”

    Jays – “No deal”

  17. Thank you for not rationalizing this. I mean this sincerely. It as nice to read your rant because it said all the things that I have been thinking.

    It is the difference between a team that views any season when they don’t win the World Series as a failure and one that views being in the conversation in September as a victory.

    It is the difference between a team that has financial leverage to success and one that is going to get the same broadcast payment either way.

    And don’t get me started on AA’s crap about ‘value’. He comes off like a portfolio manager who is justifying not investing in Apple or Google because they didn’t meet some sort of arbitrary valuation criteria. Good companies trade a premium valuations. Didn’t he learn that lesson when he missed on Aroldis Chapman? Didn’t it sink in when he didn’t even come close on Yu Darvish?

  18. The latest is that the Jays did not talk money with Tanaka because his demands were for more than five years.

    How is this not proof of a ridiculous policy that we’re talking about? Its real.

    Face Facts.

    • No sir, it’s garbage. They’ve admitted as much, and it would be irrelevant to signing anyone if they even did abide by it.

        • You, man. You.

          • Come on Stoeten, actions speak louder than words. The Jays have said more often than not that they DON’T do contracts longer than 5 years. They’ve yet to disprove that so there’s far more evidence that it is a hard and set policy than a flexible one. Hardly anybody is saying it’s a good policy to have, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the reality. You have nothing to back your repeated assertions that the Jays don’t take the policy all that seriously.

            • Assessing the long term value of a player is called due diligence. If you consider it some kind of formal policy, then I suppose you win.

  19. Well put

  20. Im completely OK with the Jays not signing Tanaka at this cost.

    Huge risk and huge dollars for one guy that may not work out. Especially a pitcher. One TJ and this could be a sunk cost. Tonnes of risk here and I’m OK with the Jays not taking it on.

    The bullshit reason why they didn’t pisses me off.

  21. Bravo Andrew. Good post. You’ve killed it this offseason on the site.

  22. This is some fucking good writing man, especially because you’re a fan of the team you’re covering. To be able to be rational and not get emotional or idiotic.

    Seriously man, just really well fucking done

  23. Great stuff Stoets

  24. Thank you for this. You’ve summed up nicely the growing frustration I have for the front office of this organization. Instead of talking lots and saying little, I’d be grateful for some straight talking baseball honesty. I’d be grateful if AA played his cards a little looser so at least the fans would have some inkling as to what the hell is going on with the franchise instead of the pap served up every year at the State of the Franchise meeting. And where the hell is Beeston? Anyway thanks for the opportunity to vent my spleen. Now, where did I put the Bushmills…….

  25. So we believe unflinchingly this source of Lott’s. Or isn’t this time also for your rant about how AA doesn’t let any information through. You may be right but I fail to see any reason that all of a sudden Lott found the el dorado from AAs camp.

    • As noted above, Davidi was saying the same thing.

      • I don’t understand what you’re saying here.

        The Policy doesn’t exist, because how could it. Jon Lott and Shi Davidi got from (at least) one source that The Policy caused management to bristle. But we don’t think that these two journalists are lying. So…their source(s) were lying to make the whole ‘we lost out on the Tanaka sweepstakes’ more palatable to the fan base?

        This seems ridiculous to me. I can’t imagine that the Jays’ Brass sits there trying to think of ways to explain to the fan base how they lost out on this signing, and comes up with The Policy as being the best reason. Honestly, as illogical and stupid as it sounds, I think that the possible existence of The Policy is a more reasonable explanation of what happened here than is the likelihood of shitty PR by the Front Office.

  26. The Jays not signing Tanaka does not surprise me and i agree with your great post Stoeten – the contract length issue is BS and the team needs to be called out on it.

    After the 2013 season, what is the Jays strategy?

    The Jays finished in last place in their division and had horrible starting pitching. They’ve done nothing so far to remedy that (except not bringing back Josh Johnson). Buehrle will be 35, Dickey 39, and the rest is a lot of question marks. The window is closing on a great lineup (last year for Colby, Cabrera) so they need to do something.

    The fact that the team is absolutely rolling in cash does not make it any easier as a fan to see them doing nothing.

  27. But the Blue Jays didn’t say they didn’t bid because of contract length. A ‘source’ said it. The Jays didn’t hold a press conference and say “here’s a made up reason we didn’t bid”, we have no idea where the line is coming from.

  28. Good analysis. As an international FA, Tanaka will be under team control for 6 years, so there’s zero incentive for him to sign for less than 6 years without getting a much higher AAV. On a 5 year deal he’d be very likely to face a pay cut in year 6 as the team could take him to arbitration, and it’s hard to imagine an arbitrator awarding the kind of salary he’s getting right now. AA and the front office clearly know this, which is just one more reason why this whole business about balking about the contract length is obvious bullshit.

  29. Wow great read Andrew and all true ……happy b/day to your Dad.

  30. You simply have become that rant-laden jays fan you so hated – but it was good to be with you on this journey of self-discovery. You find he signs with the Yankees, find one piece of confirming evidence of what you tried to repress all these weeks and run with it. I’m not saying you are wrong, but this is Cox level knee jerkity (although better written, funnier and actually filled with good points if the sources are right).

  31. We should sign this guy. Heard he’s got a wrecking ball.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xljA6zJn4I

  32. Who doesn’t love a Jays GM golden shower? Way to be the umbrella Andrew.

  33. This was fantastic

  34. Fuckin AA. Kept feeding us BS about how they are interested in top-tier rotation pitchers and then use the fucking policy as a justification for not being able to sign them. At least have the fucking balls and say it from the start that they had no chance at Tanaka than leading the fans along. Fuck you AA you piece of shit.

  35. They’ve said before they would break their policy for the right guy. Maybe Tanaka just wasn’t the guy? I think it’s been said on here before. Just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it never will.

  36. On repressing: It seems your earlier posts of “what me worry?” And complaining about most spend spend spend fans hid the anxiety that maybe they are right and that we should spend whatever on tanaka. And it wasn’t meant maliciously at all – I think it’s a good argument – except we don’t know. We have two good journalists but who is the source – is their info correct? Are they themselves reading too much into the “policy mythology” like all the others you used to rail against? Even if they felt uncomfortable about more than 5 years there may be no rigid policy. I mean, you gotta ask the question, maybe it’s not the policy but the wear and tear after 5 years? Maybe if tanaka has thrown half the innings he had this is no problem for them to do. And that’s “valuation” a potentially hollow term with AA but shiiiieeeeet – they have to evaluate somehow. So it may be an evaluative thing not a rigid policy structural thing. Hey. Have a beer on me!

    • I’d be surprised if the source wasn’t AA, but you’re right, we don’t know. The timing of it, though, is a bit of an indicator that it’s someone who a) knew what was going on, and b) who wasn’t going to tell anybody until the process was complete. Couple that with who is printing it and there’s no reason to think this is an “I know a guy who knows a guy thing.” Those reporters don’t do that kind of thing.

  37. Dammit. The dodgers signed figgins. I wish AA would get rid of the policy of not signing players who suck. Or at least be honest with us – tell us figgins sucks outright instead of feeding us bullshit that there is no policy but the value figgins would have provided made them uncomfortable to get the deal done.

  38. Here’s what I don’t get about your “There’s no policy!” stance:

    Of course they could have offered $155 million over 5 years instead of seven. That would get around the alleged policy and be much more attractive to Tanaka.

    But It’s pretty reasonable to assume that they don’t think Tanaka is worth $31 million per year. The reason why years matter is because the market will set a price for a player. Teams will bid that up, but there’s a general ballpark where it’ll land. Then there are other factors, like how competitive the team is, where it’s located, and if you believe some commenters, how good the local sushi is. Oh and one other BIG factor: years.

    Tanaka is getting $22.15 over seven years. MAYBE (and here we are forced to enter wild speculation) Rogers would be willing to go to $23 million. Maybe even as high as $25 million. But the don’t want to commit that money for more than 5 years. Whoever has to sign off on the final dollar value isn’t just going to green light $31 million per season simply because AA kept it at 5 years or less.

    So years matter. I think that’s reasonable. Or am I missing something?

    • I don’t think you’re missing anything. I think I’m maybe a bit strong when I insist that years are totally irrelevant, but the point is more that they’re not stopping the team from doing anything– and AA has said himself, “If we’re going to go seven times 10, or go five times 14, it balances out at the end of the day.”

      • Well, I don’t think there was any real chance of us getting Tanaka, but it does seem reasonable that years did hold us back this time.

        You’re looking at a player that was going to get a very high yearly salary. He knew it. His agent knew it. Everybody knew it. So the game is to see how high that price can go, and over how many years.

        It’s one thing to over pay by a couple of million a year in order to get a player under contract within the parameters of this supposed “policy”. But to get Tanaka, it would have had to have been closer to overpaying by 10 million a year. That’s just unrealistic. So in the case, it appears the policy would have been a BIG factor.

        Of course, they’ve said they’d bend for the right guy. And there are some good reasons why Tanaka might have been that guy. But that’s not the way it went.

        • Your core reason that it was supposedly BIG factor is “that’s just realistic.” Think about that for a second.

          No reason it couldn’t have been done. Policy is meaningless.

      • Why would you take that quote at face value? And of course term mattered because Tanaka ended up wanting and signing a deal that gave him the best of both worlds — the ability to have guaranteed money over the longer haul AND the option to break the bank again in four years. Most players don’t give up that kind of long-term financial security when they can get their hands on it.

        • Yes, you seem to understand the deal OK, but he wouldn’t have balked at a five year deal worth the same total money. Term meant nothing.

          You think if the Yankees offered 5/155 with the same opt-out it would have made any difference?

          • You can’t say that term means nothing. You really, really can’t. And there really aren’t any teams in baseball making those kinds of offers that obliterate the market AAV-wise so they can shorten the deal. It doesn’t make any sense for the team, and it might not make sense for the player.

          • The Yankees just spent the last two off-seasons crying poor and playing hardball in negotiations with their best player, so even though they ultimately spend the money and sometimes even outbid themselves, they care about the state of the market too much to start paying Tanaka as much per year as Justin Verlander. Slippery slope and all that.

          • I’m honestly not understanding your argument.

            You’re saying that policy isn’t a factor because theoretically they could have offered $155 over 5?

            I’m saying that if AA brought that deal to Rogers, they’d laugh at him. And rightfully so. There’s no way they’re going to go up to $31 mil a season.

            Yankees gave him $21.15 over 7. Maybe Rogers approves $22 over 5. Maybe $23. Maybe even $25. But Tanaka isn’t going to take $25 over 5 when $21.15 over 7 is on the table.

            So the policy matters because you can’t make a contract work for 5 years when 7/155 is on the table.

            Right?

            • Pretty much, trenches. I wouldn’t say that the short-term route is impossible but it’s very uncommon. We certainly aren’t getting guys through that route (mostly because we aren’t making serious offers).

              • I shouldn’t say “mostly.” There just aren’t serious offers being made.

              • The AA quote makes no sense whatsoever

                AA has said himself, “If we’re going to go seven times 10, or go five times 14, it balances out at the end of the day.

                That does not balance out at all since it is 7 or 5 years at the save overall money.

                The policy is not a myth and term is not meaningless. It is very real and meaningful as both the front office words and actions have proven over and over. The Jays are not in on long term / big money deals because they don’t want to take on that risk and they are also not willing to greatly overpay on AAV for a shorter term – which they shouldn’t be.

                The policy is not completely retarded – it is a philosophy of managed risk. With that philosophy the guys the Jays should be in on if they commit to winning are Garza, Jiminez, Santana and Drew who look to be signable at 4 years max term and wont handcuff the team so far into the future.

  39. “I mean, I get that club’s can’t always be entirely truthful with fans, but don’t lob us a bag of bullshit and tell us its dinner.”

    I swear I nearly pissed my pants laughing.

    • Ugh, did I really have that stray apostrophe in there???

      Update: I did. Also, thanks!

    • They are not feeding us bullshit. They are truthfully telling us the reason why and we are reading way too much into it and analyzing every ambiguous quote from front office words to debunk the stated truthful reason to vent our frustration over not seeing improvement in the team. The team was never going to sign Tanaka for over 5 years at market value AAV plain and simple as the front office keeps telling us and the policy dictates. If they dont sign any of the other guys available at lower terms then the question needs to be asked why not.

  40. There is never going to be a sure thing as far as free agents go, and you either have the stones to make the deal, or you don’t.

    Kudos to the Yankees for once again realising that talent costs money. I fucking hate them even more now, but I at least respect them.

    And now we get to watch the motherfucker who went 25-0 last season pitch to us all summer long.

    Serenity now, Jerry.

  41. If The Policy™ is meant to be a smokescreen it doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job.

    • Yeah, exactly. I’d rather the team tell me that ownership is just a bunch of tightwads because it’s understandable to a degree. At least, it should be unless our fanbase is totally dense.

    • It is not a smokescreen it is the reason why the Jays dont sign long term deals for high AAV plain and simple as they have always said and done

  42. Great rant my friend
    Dennis miller would be proud.

  43. AA thought it was price is right and bid 1 dollar at the very end of bidding.

  44. It they were really only concerned with years and not dollars, shouldn’t they have valued a guy like Anibal Sanchez much more than most teams? Because top of the rotation talent who can be had for 5 years don’t show up all that often, you would think the team would place a premium on guys like that.

  45. By the way, for the people trolling recently that the author of this blog is an AA apologist…

    It would have been really easy for said author and apologist to simply say yeah, that bidding price was way too steep and good on the team for flushing it down the toilet where it belongs.

    The fact that the “process” and “rational” for flushing the offer was scrutinized says a lot about the whole apologist fallacy.

  46. Exactly. This whole entire thing times 1 million. I hope every Jays fan, reads this.

  47. So it’s worse for the team to explain their fans that ownership is cheap than it is to say that some bullshit self-imposed policy stops them from going after elite free agents? How does this make any sense?

  48. What is it going to take for the Blue Jays to actually go beyond this 5 year policy? Mike Trout obviously, but who else? What if Lawrie asked for a very reasonable price for like 6-8 years? They say no?

    • Cano is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best 2Bs ever, and Tanaka is only 25. If they aren’t doing it for them, there’s good reason to believe that they won’t do it for anyone.

      • Let’s please stop talking about it like it’s a real thing.

        • Why? Where are the six plus year deals to shoot down the notion?

          • They’ve admitted they’ll do them and have offered them in the past. Plus, those are so rare that you can’t seriously cite that as your only evidence. The supposed policy does nothing to hamper them from getting anybody, and only shields them from criticism about money. It’s a sham.

            • Who did they offer that to? And this has been AA’s fourth off-season, with plenty of premier free agents to go around, and even if they’ve made one such six plus year offer, they’ve basically been out of the mix for every marquee free agent that might require that commitment, even if it’s only for six or seven years.

      • If Lawrie asked for 7 years- $70 mill I think they do it right away.

    • Nobody on the open market is my guess of when the policy is flexible.

      An extension to a rostered player under contract like Rasmus or Lawrie at a discounted AAV rate and team friendly options, a sign and trade or a trade for multiple guys with mitigating risk of many for one (like Reyes) seems to be when the policy if flexible. Top $ on open market brings the most risk which is what the Jays are trying to avoid.

  49. I get banned when I discuss rational opinions, but I feel that nobody understands just how valuable the “opt-out” clause is to a team with a lot, and a willingness, to spend dollars but has a policy of no longer than five years.
    Offer them a three year guaranteed contract, with a player option, followed by two more guaranteed years for a total of five years, guaranteed, followed by a club option with a million dollar buyout.
    Here you can even remove the inconsequential 7 year policy limit by making this a 7-year guaranteed contract, for a total value of for $215 million, and even has a player option! Hell. Make it a ten year contract worth a billion dollars.
    Here’s how it’s structured.
    Year 1: Player paid league minimum. $500,000. With these savings, the team can buy the best players willing to accept the best 2 year contract. Obviously these players are somewhat riskier players but they feel they have 2 years to prove that they deserve a bigger pay day in 2 years.
    Year 2: Player paid $3,500,000. That’s the league average. With savings, go find the best players available willing to play a 1 year contract, at any cost.
    Year 3: Player gets paid $ 90,000,000 This works out to an annual salary of over $31,000,000 a year. That is the highest annual salary in baseball, as well as the highest three year contract.
    Records earned by player so far: Highest contract over 3 years, Highest yearly salary, and as a bonus, at this point, a players option! Every agent would already say yes but some want the security of seven years.
    Year 4. Should the player not opt out, salary is $700,000. Would a player opt out of his contract if he knew his next yearly salary would drop to the league minimum? I don’t know the waiver rules, and how arbitration works, but could he have to be placed on waivers? Wouldn’t every team in the league pick up an ace pitcher for the league minimum?
    Year 5. Player gets paid $55,000,000, Highest annual salary!
    That salary would scare off a lot of teams wanting to claim him in year 4. Some payrolls were lower than that figure last year, how can a team paying 24 players less, go claim a guy like that?
    Rogers has cash. They can pay now. Other teams don’t have the cash flow resources of Rogers. To spend that much in one year would bankrupt the franchise. Not Rogers.
    Their cash flow is wealthier than the Yankees. The Yankees are owned by family money with other interests. It’s all locked up in capital projects. They spend a lot of money, yes, but it’s planned. If Rogers wanted they could surprise attack and spend cash now. Rogers is flush with cash. They can outspend the Yankees in any given year based on cash liquidity.
    Even if a team claimed him, and traded him to the Yankees who are now prepare, so what? So you lose the player. What is the average age of Dickey, arm age of Morrow, arm age of Santos, arm age of Bherle, age of Bautista, age of EE, age of the team????
    Don’t we have a 3 year window to win the world series? Who the fuck cares if we lose this pitcher in year five.
    Offer him player options every year after our window of opportunity to win the Series. He can have an opt out every year after year 3. I only want him for 3 years. Give him a seven year contract, and then make it worth his while to leave.
    Besides, club has protected itself to its laughable policy by having an opt out in year 5.

    CFA, CFP, CIM, FCSI,

    • And I must say, this is the best article, post, whatever, I’ve read about it in a long time, so came out of retirement to comment.
      This site gets better by the day.
      Not quite like old times, but great.
      Back to retirement.
      Carry on.

    • I think you are missing the point of the policy which is to limit risk. The player option introduces tons of risk so offsets not having the long term. Extra AAV for fewer years is also not so easily done as they don’t want to overpay so much.

      Finding ways to keep the term to 5 years by introducing other risks completely counteracts the whole intention of the policy so does not make any sense.

  50. This whole Tanaka episode is, for me, reminiscent of the part in Great Expectations where the entire Marlins deal was almost nixed because of Jeff Mathis, and the promises of playing time that had been made to him by AA. Alex was prepared to not make a massive trade just so he wouldn’t have to renege on a promise. If you believe his testimony in the book, it still bothers him.

    This literally just occurred to me, but what if AA has handcuffed himself, in a sense, but using the policy as a bargaining tool in past contract negotiations? Say with, I dunno, Jose Bautista? AA has shown in the past that he is willing to forego a franchise-altering move in order to not break his word. Over Jeff Fucking Mathis, no less.

    Pure speculation, obviously, but blindly sticking to the policy seems so idiotic to me, and flat out lying seems so out of character for AA to me, that I’m forced to dust off my tin foil hat.

    • Well, he obviously didn’t let it stop him with the Marlins deal, so no matter what he says about remorse, it couldn’t have been THAT bad.

      And, of course, they’re not at all blindly sticking to the policy, since it doesn’t exist.

      • Sure, but again in the book he had a bunch of people telling him he was crazy for his initial stance. Just spitballin’.

        It just doesn’t make sense. There has to be some reason.

      • Well, speaking of promises..the jays would have landed randy johnson back in 92 had they reneged on the ricky henderson deal. They were working on a deal with the mariners…it wasnt getting done…so they turn to the a’s..they have a verbal agreement with oakland to get ricky…..mariners call back and say..ok..we’ll do the deal and you get randy johnson.

        HOLY SHIT i wish they would have broken that promise.

      • Stoeten – I cant get over your insistence that the policy doesn’t exist. Almost all things can be rationalized to not exist if there is the slightest chance that they don’t while all evidence points to that they do which is the case here.

        Don’t call bs and and conjure up fantasies how this is a PR move to avoid stating real reasons and instead face facts that there is a policy and that is why the Jays arent signing big money players on long term deals. It is implicit that they are not willing to break the bank by overpaying with higher AAV for a shorter term or player options to skirt the policy as that would defeat the purpose of the policy in the first place

  51. Ok…I get it. They didn’t get Tanaka.
    I don’t really want to get all introspective and navel-gazing about it all.
    He got a shit tonne of money and a whack of years – stuff that the Jays wouldn’t match.
    Time to move on.
    My fucking brain hurts.

  52. ok wow let’s settle down here, a week ago we were all making fun of the inevitable hysteria we’d hear when Tanaka signed elsewhere, and suddenly everyone here is a part of it.

    Who cares what AA said or anyone from the Jays camp said. It’s the same stuff he’s always said. If he’s letting things out at this point of the offseason, it’s obviously strategic. I really doubt AA cares what the fans think right now because he knows the fans know nothing of what’s going on.

    friggin’ trust the guy for a couple more weeks at least, the offseason for the Jays basically started this afternoon. Did anyone here back in November plan on the Jays signing anyone other than Garza, Drew, Ubaldo or Santana?

    • @pastlives. Good post. The off-season has just begun for AA.

    • Read the post.

      • lol I read the damn post Stoeten, I get a lot of the anger is about the excuse, not the actual signing, but my point is I think there’s obviously a strategic part of why they’re releasing this info, I don’t think that they’re entirely just trying to trick the fanbase. I usually just ignore everything that comes out of AA’s mouth because he so rarely says anything important. Just let his work speak for itself, give him a couple weeks and see what happens.

        • Are you sure your read the post because the whole post is about how dumb the “strategy” is?

          • It’s not that dumb, they’re going to have to give some sort of excuse and they’re obviously going to give the most self-serving response possible. Just don’t let it bother you, I think fans are just getting impatient with the offseason.

          • The whole post is about how the stated strategy is a “myth” and is cynically inventing how what is being said is bs and is a smokescreen. In reality it seems most likely that what is being said is the truth. The Jays front office has a soft policy against taking on long term high level risk and so are not in on these top of the market long term deals. If they don’t add to payroll signing shorter term guys then all those other questions and suspicions along the lines of being cheap, not paying for talent are valid. For now the argument has to be whether or not the philosophy of avoiding long term high level risk is a good one or not. Avoiding no trade clauses and player options on even shorter terms plays into the avoiding risk as well.

  53. Ok. Now that this Tanaka side show is mercifully over, let’s get to work AA. One FA pitcher and one via trade and we’re set.

  54. Nice to see your anger progressively build as you dig into the entire situation! It’s deserved and for all the reasons you mention. Of course the odds were never good of the Jays getting Tanaka but to hide behind the worlds silliest policy is ludicrous.

    AA and the entire executive team should know by now that virtually all significant FA’s require a long term commitment both in years and dollars. To jump into this process and say the policy held them back at the end is pure BS.

    There is still time and moves to be made. Hopefully they can do something to build on the promising moves made last year that showed both willingness to gamble and add payroll. Of course the end result was disappointment but it was largely due to health and not unsound moves.

    • Doing and saying this is not BS. It is the truth and how they are running the team. Say that the policy is dumb and that they need to take on the risk and acquire the top talent if you want and there may be an argument there. Don’t say they are inventing a policy as a bs pr move to not have to account for their actions. They are accounting for them and the policy is that truthful account. The policy at its roots dictates the way that Beeston philosphically believes the team should be run to be successful. Times have changed – it is now a 5 year max while in his first run it was a 3 year max because FAs are getting longer terms now than they were in the 80s and 90s.

  55. So everybody is pissed at the way the Jays have handled the situation. Fair enough.
    But nobody is the least bit surprised that Tanaka signed with the Yankees.
    So where do the Blue Jays go from here?

    Last week, on PTS, AA was saying he thought the prices for the remaining FA’s were too high and that he thought they would begin to come down. The Tanaka contract seems more likely to have the effect of inflating prices rather than suppressing them.

    What is it going to take to sign Garza or Santana or Ubaldo?
    Are the Blue Jays going to make a competitive offer to one of these guys?
    Or two weeks down the road are we going to hear that none of those contracts “made sense” and that the Jays did not “see value” at those prices?

    I would not be surprised either way.
    Maybe AA has been saving his bullets and he’s about to fire. Would not be surprised.
    Would also not be surprised if they went to spring training
    with the roster pretty much “as is.”

  56. I think you completely nailed it in the 2nd to last paragraph.

    My worry is that they seem to be close if not already at a kind of inflection point. To me the offense is likely to be close to or at their peak for this current crop of players as a whole (Colby could be gone in 2015, Jose, Reyes and EE not getting any younger). It would seem foolish for them to squander that by not being aggressive and shoring up their pitching for this year and next. As I said earlier, I know most of the pundits, even the brighter ones like Keri at Grantland, seem to look at the Jays rotation and just see last year’s horrible results while conveniently forgetting about what came before.

    In a way I can’t blame them because it’s not easy to look at 2013 and not be doubtful going forward. However, there is a lot of talent there along with a lot of risk. I think if AA were to roll with this group as is, then he’d be taking a huge risk. Obviously nothing is certain as last year clearly demonstrated, but I like to think it’s his job to put the best team on the field he possibly can to minimize that risk. If he doesn’t sign another starter, then I think a better name for AA would be the gambler instead of the ninja because that’s what he would be doing imo. If he sees Jimenez and Santana as being too risky, then sign Drew and add to the team that way. 3 or 4 wins extra is 3 or 4 wins extra whether it comes from the field or the mound.

    I do find it interesting that the club seems willing to win the moral war and claim victory because they didn’t sign a bad deal, yet wonder why they came up short in an ever competitive environment yet again. In a way they seem to have one foot in the old bargain bin department and one in the big spender department. I know they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but at the same time it certainly seems like they’re afraid to go for it as well. I don’t know if the ghosts of 2006-2008 still haunt the front office along with the horrifying spectre of the Wells deal, but I do get the feeling that they aren’t exactly 100% committed to one particular course of action.

  57. No legit SP FA were signed after Tanaka was posted. Who wanted to wait until the market was ‘set’? Do the agents think Tanaka was going to inflate their client’s value? Did the GM’s want to wait to see if they could get Tanaka first, and then settle for one of the other guys as a back up plan?

    I’m wondering if AA seriously thought he had a shot. Could anyone have envisioned that Tanaka would receive almost 3 times what Darvish received and a 7 yr contract? I don’t know.

    If your AA, don’t you want to snag an Erv or Ubaldo before the Tanaka shoe drops? No doubt the value of those players has gone up.

    Griffin says they’re confident that they will get one of the top remaining FA starters. We shall see.

    • Pretty sure those players’ agents were saying that unless teams want to pay a premium (i.e., overpay), then their clients were going to wait until after Tanaka. Why would Jimenez sign before Tanaka unless a team was grossly overpaying. This way all of the teams who were making a run at Tanaka and still need pitching might be willing to pick up a consolation prize.

    • I actually don’t believe that the Tanaka deal will have any significant impact for other FA starters.

      • I guess it depends who is the competition for these remaining starters. LAD? ARI? SEA? CLE? BAL?? It could be the makings of a bidding war.

        Some teams may have only looked to add a “top of the line” starter, i.e. Tanaka, and will now just move on without adding any of the big names (ARI, LAD)

    • I think AA knew he wasn’t going to sign Tanaka all along since he was going to command more years and $$$ than the Jays would commit to. He is saying he is waiting for prices to come down. The Yankees signing Tanaka may be the best case for that – they are now hopefully out on the other guys and their market has shrinked. Maybe the FA SP were banking on Dodgers, White Sox, Cubs or Red Sox landing Tanaka and the market for them still being strong with the Yankees in. Now maybe the price comes down and AA has played it right and signs guys for less than it would have been before.

  58. Top 10 future Stoeten rants I can’t wait to read:

    10. The Blue Jays need more Canadian players.

    9. The lost art of the sacrifice Bunt.

    8. The genius of Cito Gaston.

    7. Legged out doubles and other gritty things “Gamers” do to win.

    6. We need more fucking bean ball wars!

    5. I hated Chemistry in high school but good teams can’t live without it.

    4. Coaching, how to turn average players into all-stars.

    3. Why Joe Carter was a clutch hitting, RBI machine.

    2. Hey guys, can we please not use foul language and put downs in the comment section, emmm k?

    1. Shut the Fuck up Radar!

  59. Relax Stoeten. The policy is BS yes. But by not signing him the Jays are simply saying he’s not worth $155 million. There not going to come out and say it but thats obviously what they believe. The Yankees will likely end up belly up on this contract just like CC, A Rod, and Tiexera.

    Take a look at what the yanks r trotting out at 2nd and 3rd base this year and tell me they couldn’t have re-allocated that $155 million a bit more wisely to capture more WAR.

    • I don’t think Jays fans should be pointing out who the Yankees are trotting out at 2B this year.

      Also don’t really understand the writing them off either. They lost Cano, Granderson, and Rivera.

      They gained McCann, Ellsbury, Beltran, Soriano, and Tanaka.

      They are a year older, granted, but I won’t ever be writing myself that they suck, at least not in the sense of how they might do in the win column. Otherwise, they really do suck.

  60. This seems like a situation where the GM is going to piss off some people no matter what he says.

    We’ve had bluntness with the Ricciardi regime.

    And now we have aloofness with the AA regime.

    Does the PR stuff really make much of a difference?

    Part of a general manager’s job is to take the heat for ownership in some instances and AA seems to handle that better than Ricciardi.

    AA’s not wrong that the overwhelming majority of these long deals fail to work out for the team.

    I’d be plenty happy with the return of the value whore and a couple of less flashy (but potentially impactful) moves to address the rotation and 2B.

    The Jays don’t need to win another offseason. The foundation is mostly in place.

    They simply need a player or two to take a step forward (i.e. Lawrie/Hutchison/Stroman), health and some luck not unlike the Red Sox last year.

  61. “At least now we’ll get a better draft pick”, reports Jays super fan Bob Feltner, while attempting to rationalize a deep, pervasive sadness.

  62. I have to wonder if Colby isn’t already as good as gone if what Gibby said about the Jays payroll today. Of course, he could just be trying to lower current expectations because the Jays brass are still in complete shock about the prices for the free agents and quite get their head around paying the going rate.

    Toronto Blue Jays ‏@BlueJaysFacts 6h

    Gibbons on XM: “We beefed up our payroll pretty good, we’re at a soft limit” #BlueJays
    Retweeted by Tony_Rasmus_IV

    However, if it’s true, and they are at a soft limit already, you have to seriously wonder if they will sign anyone else of note this winter. Furthermore, as payroll doesn’t peak for this current group until 2015, you’ve got to wonder if next winter is going to be as equally futile as this winter has been (at least for now).

    • Well if they sign Jiminez or Drew or Santana or someone else, it should tell you all you need to know about both those guys.

  63. One final thing: the Jays do spend in trades and on keeping their own players. They sorrrrrt of spend in the draft, although that’s obviously on a lesser scale and signing first round/high picks has been a problem. So why is free agency such a barren wasteland? Does ownership really care how the money is spent instead of just how much is spent? What’s the reason for this? Do they hate Ricciardi so much that the winter of Burnett and BJ Ryan can never be repeated? I don’t understand it, and it’s why place blame on AA and Beeston before I can get to ownership.

    • They Jays don’t spend any more in the draft or internationally than anyone else. Nor do they spend any more of significance on their own players than anyone else. But they did have the 10th highest payroll in MLB last year…which is significant. Unfortunately…the money isn’t always wisely spent, and I think sometimes you have to spend big to put you overself over the top. I think this was the time to do it (on Tanaka) and given the fact that Ubaldo freaking Jimenez is being discussed as now a must-have by many proves so.

      Mark my words. If the Tanaka contract was outrageous according to AA, wait till the Garza, Sanatana, Ubaldo deals get signed. The money won’t be quite as high, the terms not quite as long, but I’d put my money on Tanaka being a difference maker in the positive sense…can’t say I feel that confident in the other three to be honest.

      • They don’t have to spend more than anyone else, they just have to spend adequately and not let shit slip between the cracks because they’re cheap. Free agency is the one major area where they have let that happen, and apparently everyone is okay with it.

  64. When is this year’s state of the franchise? I’ve got to wonder what the atmosphere will be like if guys like Jimenez and Santana are signed by other teams before it happens.

    Don’t get me wrong, I largely give the team a pass for 2013 and I don’t blame them regarding Tanaka at all. Others though? That should worth a look lol.

    Also, is there a petition I can sign for getting King Bud to switch the schedule back to a balanced one? The division is going to be murder again this year and with the other teams largely improving and the Astros remaining shit, their advantage of playing them 18 times seems like it’s only going to grow in 2014. Maybe if someone tells him that A-Rod loves the unbalanced schedule and thinks it’s the best thing since HGH flavoured gummies, he’ll switch it back just to spite him.

  65. So we’re mad that we didn’t get Playstation for Christmas? Even when Mom (that bitch) totally said she’d “do the best she could”? Even when we wrote as clearly as possible, in the number one spot, that we wanted Playstation more than anything? What does she do? What do I get on Christmas morning? A fucking Gamecube.

    Sorry, but as much as I dislike the Blue Jay’s corporate power posture, I dislike the bratty reaction to the Tanaka signing even more.

    • We didn’t even get the GameCube. Christmas was canceled this year.

    • And just to clarify, I mean the reaction in general – from the radio this morning, to articles on the subject, to most fan’s initial response. First it was along the lines of “I hope Tanaka’s arm falls off,” then to the more polished “AA is the worst and I hope his arm falls off.” I don’t know. This one didn’t even sting. And if it did, it was only because we were told it was a possibility when it wasn’t. That said, I’ll be crushed if Ubaldo Jimenez goes anywhere but here, and then I’ll wish plague on AA.

    • A-fucking-men. I couldn’t agree more. 8 other large payroll teams didn’t get Tanaka. I’m sure every team would have liked him. I’m sure they all could have come up with great reasons why their team would be significantly better with him. Whatever, it is not a big deal.

      I’m pumped for him to come. He’ll be fun to watch for awhile. Hopefully he doesn’t destroy the Jays. Hopefully the Yanks implode. But if they don’t, hopefully we get to watch some good baseball along the way.

    • I’m with you. I wonder if maybe Stoeten needed to unload a bratty post just to buy some breathing room from those that deem him an apologist ..which I can understand. (Even my ladyfriend thought this was a bit over-the-top.) But yeah, moving on.

    • Agreed.

  66. Great points, this should be on the cover of the Star
    Fuck Rogers

  67. Great post, I think it echoes a lot of thoughts around here. Inability to be a serious suitor for a 25 year old stud is pretty damning for a club and ownership group that claim to have the willingness to throw their financial weight around. It’s really just been an awful year to be a Jays fan. Everything has come into serious question: ownership’s commitment, AA’s judgement, front office unity, player development philosophies, analytical savvy, training staff aptitude, biomechanical inclinations… I mean jeez when you sum up all the facts with all the nasty little rumours that have been going around, the picture starts to look pretty bleak. And I know that it all disappears if the Jays come roaring out of the gate this spring, and I know that we have a team that as presently constituted should be able to manage at least .500 ball with an outside shot at playoff contention, but Christ – I don’t feel confident about this season in the least given that the Red Sox appear to be miles ahead of us, Tampa makes a perennial habit of being better than everyone thinks, and even the Yankees seem to be impossibly good, even when they shouldn’t be. Even the Orioles, who share many of the same problems that the Jays do with regards to ownership and roster construction, seem to be on the right path and have elite level minor league talent on the horizon. And it’s not even just the division that worries me: Detroit is very good, Oakland and Texas are quite good and the Angels are due for a good season too. Additions at 2B and SP aren’t just fanciful, they’re bloody well necessary if this team wants a serious shot at post-season action.

    • and the worst thing of all, when AA inevitably goes on the Fan590 to explain himself, you can count on McCown and whatever talking head sits next to him to completely miss the line of thought in this post.

  68. You know why AA has failed at the 3 moves (Dickey, Melky, Izturis) you mention Stoeten? Because for most contending clubs, Melky and Izturis, at that money, are depth signings. And most teams arent trading the FARM for a 38 year old knuckleballer who had one dominating season.

    I mean….fuck. By NOT going after Tanaka, AA has left himself in the dangerous situation of making another move like the one you mention above. A huge overpayment for an ok pitcher (Garza, Ubaldo, Santana) who is almost…actually fuck it…is GUARANTEED to be a bad contract.

    • Way to be a revisionist. Pretty sure Dickey had three well above average seasons. Plus, it is not like the Jays went all in on Izturis and Melky. Pretty sure that Izturis was more or less a depth signing. He was set up to split time with Boneface.

    • Also, holy shit take a deep breath. You seem like the type of person that was screaming a month or two ago about the Jays not signing someone (read: everyone) like Garza or Jimenez.

      • I’m not. Been a Jays fan forever. Saw my first game in ’82.

        I’m just tired of the Jays always playing the poor brothers. I’ve been very vocal that I believe overpaying for Garza, Santana, Ubaldo, or giving up both of Stroman or Sanchez in any trade, or either one in any trade that didn’t send back a bonafide ace would be a very bad move.

        The Jays actually needed either Tanaka, or they need to let one of their young SP’s come up from AA and be the next Jose Fernandez or Shelby Miller.

        They also needed to make a play on a second baseman.

        • To me they missed out on decent players like Prince and now Cano where they needed a boost. Those guys would of signed no matter what the club status is.

    • It isn’t the same type of overpayment. At the end of the day committing 150M+ to one player over the next 7 years is completely different than trading two stud prospects from a financial standpoint.

      From a performance / futures standpoint sure those 2 prospects could save you that much money in the future performing while earning little while Dickey could bust in the near term. With the 150M you are guaranteed to have to pay that much money no matter what happens so it is entirely different. It is way riskier from a bottom line perspective.

  69. And. THE YANKEES!!!! Rogers…and all this money…lost out on the best pitcher available this offseason to the FUCKING YANKEES.

    It would be so much easier to swallow a) Rogers couldn’;t afford it or b) we didn’t need a SP so badly.

  70. We’re going to sit on Tanakas big, fat, slow, lazy, tipped off curveball.

    Simple.

    Watch replays of his curveball, he cocks his wrist under like he’s going to fling throwing stars. He gonna get crushed.

    This one’s for Pinkman. Bitch.

  71. I wonder if there will be any sort of backlash if it turns out that AA doesn’t do anything further.
    Especially after Jimenez resigns with cleveland for 4 years.

    2 things come to mind if this is the case, firstly rogers, fuck you, sell the team you cheap fucks.

    2nd thing is.. If AA knew about a strict budget that he had to work with, then last season was pretty pointless, taking on all that salary to continue to add pieces just seems moronic at that point.

    Hoping that we’re not disappointed

  72. Two things:

    1. Well done Bud Selig, mission accomplished by allowing the small markets to get in.
    2. I think maybe the Jays initially started the stupid 5-yr policy for the Jays players who is about to hit free agency and to convince them to sign for 5 or less. And now they are using the same excuse to outside free agents.

  73. Tanaka has a low 90′s fastball, a get me over slider..and a wicked splitter.

    How is he not just Uehara redux?

    how do you get through a ML lineup 3 times with essentially two pitches?

    Once the league has seen him a couple times..I think he will not be this dominant, 5 WAR pitcher everyone has him pegged to be.

    • Let’s hope so. His repertoire does sound like Uehara.

    • FYI, BA on his slider:

      “Tanaka can miss bats with his plus slider, though there were times last year when the pitch seemed to get away from him and he leaned more on his splitter. Tanaka throws the slider and the splitter to both lefties and righties, and since the splitter has such hard downward action and checks in around the same speed as his slider, there are times when scouts have trouble telling them apart.

      “It’s really, really hard sometimes to distinguish the slider and the splitter,” said a second National League scout. “On the slider, I definitely thought it was a weapon. I really liked it early in the count. It was 80-82 when he used it early in the count as a get-me-over pitch. When I say get-me-over, people think soft, but it had teeth to it. Once it gets to 85 and up, it’s dirty. Guys were straight up missing it.”

  74. While I’m disappointed the Jays didn’t make a better effort… I’m not surprised AA is just not outright saying that he couldn’t match the Yankees offer. No one could.

    Second, I’m still scratching my head on why the Dragons would give up a pitcher that goes 24-0 for a measly 20 million. They have to know something we don’t about this guy medically… will be interesting to see if Tanaka can last three years without needing Tommy John. I’m sure Yankee fans are excited but now the rest of us are hoping he’ll be the second coming of Key Igawa.

    Third, AA better do something cause standing pat will spell trouble and disgruntled fans at next week’s state of the franchise event.

    • eagles

    • $20 million is a ton of money for a team in the NBL. Plus, he wanted to go.

    • Only had one more year before he could walk for nothing. A bird in the hand and all that.

      • I read somewhere the Eagles were going to refurbish their stadium. That’s partly (IIRC) why they had to think it over after the new posting rules came into effect: They thought they were going to get a lot more initially….like $50 MM.

  75. I’d rather have Garza and Ubaldo than Tanka for $175 million. You could probably get the first two for under $150 million.

  76. A few points:

    1. I have absolutely no problem that the Jays couldn’t match the Yankees for Tanaka. $160M is a shit ton of money. But as Stoeten very excellently pointed out, saying you couldn’t sign someone WHO IS 25 because he wanted a 7 year contract is a gigantic load of horseshit. Gigantic.

    2. People need to stop worrying about the NFL and remember this (imagine it in bold): NFL TEAMS CAN NOT BE OWNED BY CORPORATIONS. Every NFL team needs an individual owner (at least under current rules, which I don’t see them changing for Toronto), and I don’t see such a man in Toronto. Unless the Fords’ crack business really takes off I suppose.

    • I’m kind of at the point where I just don’t care what the team says anymore, as long as they’re making good decisions. As exciting as it would have been to have him, I can’t really say that signing Tanaka for 7/$155 would have been a wise investment for this team. I’ll gladly wait and see how the rest of the offseason plays out before I have some kind of overreaction.

      $25 million a year probably comes close to getting Ubaldo and Drew, and they wouldn’t have to make the same long-term commitment. I don’t expect them to get both, but I think either would be a smarter use of funds while still leaving room for midseason moves.

      • If you think about it though the commitment is longer in terms of age, though not in years.

        That’s what makes so little sense to me. Why is a 4 year commitment to a 30 year old pitcher preferable over a 7 year commitment to a 25 year old pitcher, all other things being equal? In fact, the dream in baseball is to be able to lock up a young player throughout his prime and give yourself the option to say goodbye right as he enters his decline years.

        The only reason I would balk at signing Tanaka would be the obscene price he commands. The number of years he wanted seems like a plus, not a minus to me.

        • Well the whole concept behind The Policy isn’t about age… it’s about the extreme volatility and injury risk that comes with any pitcher. The risk is that, if an injury occurs (which is a huge possibility with pitchers of any age), you’re saddled with the contract for 7 years. If they sign Ubaldo for 3-4 years, the risk is much lower.

          • Thats an overly simplistic way to looking at things.

            The reality is Ubaldo would not even dream of asking for 7 years because of his age and lack of consistency in his performance.

            The best players to reach free agency now received 7-10 years. This is what the market is giving them. So if you don’t go in to that market, you are not going to get an elite player.

            So the contract for Ubaldo has less long term risk, but the risk of him living up to it vs Tanaka living up to it is pretty much the same, because their performance and consistency set the bar for the years

            • The best PLAYERS sign for 7-10 years. They best pitchers don’t.

              Here’s a complete list of pitchers who have signed free agent deals for more than 5 years in the last decade:

              Barry Zito (7 years)
              CC Sabathia (7 years)
              Zach Greinke (6 years)

              If you want to extend it a couple years, you get Kevin Brown (7years) and Mike Hampton (8 years).

              That’s not a great track record.

              • The point is not the years, it is the fucking age; the fact that we consider long term contracts to pitchers to be volatile and unpredictable is a result of the fact that pitchers sign these deals sometime between 28 and 32.

                If Sabathia had signed a 7 year deal at age 25, he would have been worth 40 WAR in that time.
                Zito would have been worth 23 WAR.
                Kevin Brown would have been worth 34 WAR
                Mike Hampton would have been worth 18 WAR

                With the exception of Hampton, every single one of those pitchers would have been worth a seven year commitment if they had been available at age 25. And that’s exactly the point.

  77. Boy, me 1 year ago was a much happier guy than me right now.

  78. [...] talk with Andrew Stoeten of DJF about numerous things, mainly #TanakaGate and Stoeten’s incredible rant article about the “5 year [...]

  79. Awesome trailer park boys reference

  80. Also, don’t worry guys, we’ll trade the entire farm system for Tanaka in 2 years once there are only 5 left on his deal. Just need to be patient.

  81. I’m so happy that the Jays drew the line and didn’t overpay for him. Yeah, he’s 25 and nasty, so 7 years doesn’t seem like an overly long contract. I think that the risk of dumping $175M on a guy who has never thrown an MLB pitch is what caused them to shy away.

    If Kershaw was taking 7yr/$175M, do you think the policy would be in effect then? Its risk management and valuation. Even if your valuation of a guy is high, there’s significant risk that he may not be the ace you’re paying him to be. To spend nearly as much on Tanaka as the Dodgers are spending on the best pitcher in baseball is crazy…

    • Remember the $20 Million is tax deductible, which is actually kind of a big deal (though maybe not in Canada? I actually don’t know that) so it’s not really a comparable figure. But ya, the price was way high on a guy who’s never faced a major league hitter.

      • True enough. Just read something from Verducci, who points out that the Yanks will pay north of $250M when the luxury tax is applied (assuming they can’t get out of Arod’s deal). The article quotes a MLB scout who compared him to Dan Haren (a very good #2 starter in his day). That is a lot to pay…

        • But they’ll be trying to get out of the ARod deal with an army of lawyers. It should be noted that probably because of ARod , the 50% luxury tax will be a problem for them for some time unless they can get a deal.

    • you’re comparing a player who didn’t reach free agency, and could only negotiate with one team to a player who could negotiate with 30 teams, actually 31 including his Japanese team.

      Do you know understand how the market works? not to mention the fact that the dodgers had to draft kershaw, so you’re paying scouts. Then sign kershaw, so you’re giving him a bonus. Then his pitching in the minors, so you’re paying for coaches and instructors and hoping he blossoms in to a good player.

      All told, you’re spending a ton of money even before a prospect makes any sort of impact. Where as in this situation you’re bidding for the services for a guy who requires no seasoning, ready to walk on the field and give you 200 well pitched innings. The comparisons to any other player in the mlb is ridiculous, its apples and bowling balls

    • Krshaw got 7 yeas 215M and that was at a discount because he wasn’t on the open market. In that type of scenario I could see the Jays extending a player on their roster to a long term deal maybe 6 years with team option/s . If Kershaw were to hit the open market that would have been more like 7 and 240M+ and the Jays would be out for sure as they wouldnt pay open market rate on a long deal because the risk is too high.

  82. I know this comment may get some hate, but whatever.

    I honestly believe Jeff Blair said it best on the Fan this morning… if you don’t want to do what it takes to get Tanaka, okay, but you damn well better grow a stable of homegrown front of the line rotation starters. The Jays’ inability to sign their last TWO top pick pitchers is a hugely under-reported story, that is not getting nearly enough attention. If you are unwilling to spend what it takes to compete in the AL East (Yankees, Sox), then make sure to develop pitchers (TB). The Jays, unfortunately, are unwilling / unable to do either.

    Can anyone honestly say the Jays can be expected to compete for an AL East title in the foreseeable future? Is this just something we are blissfully ignoring? We aren’t going to be a contender this year. Maybe when we finally grow our own front end starters, JB and EE will be old and useless. Sweet.

    • comment might get hate because its stupid.

      Their inability to sign two draft picks is nitpicking, the picks were protected and we’ll choose someone else this year, its not like it was wasted.

      secondly, the jays are a year removed from having a top3 farm system in the league, but now all of a sudden they cant develop?

      They used their farm system to get Dickey, Reyes, Buerhle, Johnson, Happ aka major league talent. Criticize the trades if you must but to all of a sudden jump on the jays drafting and developing system seems petty and moronic.

      • Not signing Bickford was in part due to the fact that they thought this years draft offered more quality picks. And wasn’t Tyler Beede widely rumoured untouchable because he was going to Vanderbilt unless he got $3 MM signing fee?

        • no one outside of that office knows exactly why things didnt get done or if they intended for them to get done.

          but the team doesn’t lose anything, so whats the big deal? we lose a year of a players development? big whoop. what does that mean for the current crop of mlb talent?

        • i agree with the OP… not signing your first round pick is inexcusable even in a climate where you get a compensation pick. you lose a year of development…

          i call BS on the bickford comment… nobody knows for sure what next year’s draft is going to look like… it might project well but shit happens and you lose some top guys and everything might be different in 12 months… and the whole beede fiasco was the same thing if you aren’t going to meet the asking price then find someone you can sign. i know some stuff came out about him being hurt… but it hasn’t seemed to impact his performance at vanderbilt so far.

          if this is the blue jays ‘strategy’ then it is a fucking moronic one… you know, similar to having an arbitrary number of years you won’t exceed in contract negotiations.

          • Kolton Wong was picked after Beede and could have been pluggin the Jays 2B hole with a good looking rookie for 2014

            • Yes but we picked stroman the very next year with the comp pick who is poised to fill our rotation…

              You have to examine what the jays sign as their compensation pick to fully assess the situation.

      • As much as the unsigned pick thing sucks in the moment, we’ve gotten value back for them. Not signing John Paxton led to Noah Syndergaard, Tyler Beede led to Marcus Stroman and yeah Phil Bickford looks like he could be good but we got the 11th pick in this years draft and that might even lead to signing Santana or Jimenez.

    • The Jays have “a stable of homegrown front of the line rotation starters”, they’re just in the low minors right now because that’s kind of how baseball works, and AA hasn’t been on the job long enough to see the fruits of his last few drafts.

      Also, the Jays failing to sign their first round picks is, if anything, OVER reported. You’re either unaware that they get a compensatory pick the following year or you just don’t care. The first guy they failed to sign is preparing to re-enter the draft this year. Instead of him, the Jays have one of the top pitching prospects in baseball who, by most accounts, is ready for the majors this year.

      But yeah, not signing first round picks is really hurting the team.

    • If we had Tyler Beede, we wouldn’t have Marcus Stroman, quit being a fucking retard, they get the picks back in case you didn’t notice

  83. Great post Stoeten.

    This was necessary. I feel like you voiced my same, sad, sorry concerns.

    What a fucking joke.

  84. One of the best Stoeten posts ever.

  85. Reference to the “policy” is not absurd. Beeston simply doesnt like long term high risk deals. Used to be 3 year max in his first reign now 5 years. Debate if that is a good idea or not if you would like but it is a big stretch to say the “policy is a smokescreen disguising the real reasons the team isnt signing these guys. NOt wanting long terms (and implicitly big money over a long time) is the reason.

    Saying the Jays could have just signed him to less years but more money does not make sense and is silly. Anyone demanding that many years will be demanding big AAV as well so the two are tied together so policy is no long term deals ~= no big overall guarnateed money, Maybe something like 3 years 90M for Tanaka is something that coudl have enticed him to sign for less but the Jays are so silly to offer him the same overall money as Yanks for less years!!

    Jays may commit to longer term deals under other cicumstances hence the stated wiggle room in the policy. An extension of a currenly under contract player at a discounted rate and teram firendly options is one (Rasmus maybe gets 6 years for instance) and a player acquired along with others that have lower term less risk contracts is another (Reyes).

    If they dont sign some of Jiminez, Santana, garza and Drew who are likely available for 4 years max then ask why and call the team not willing to commit to a winner.

    • is it really that silly? if it attracts the agent away from his original desired destination. wouldn’t you say that offer is doing exactly what it’s intended to do?

      • It is silly because it assumes that you are willing to pay a way bigger AAV than you value the player at. That is just trading off one type of risk for another so doesn’t make sense and doesn’t gain you anything. If they were willing to do that they would be willing to sign the longer term deal to begin with It would be entirely silly to offer less years for the same amount of money you could sign the player for more years at

    • Well the great thing now is whether you believe the policy is silly or not Santana, Ubaldo and Drew are kind of going to be the litmus test on this one. As we’re now pushing February and the market has still not fully developed because of draft pick loss the Jays have every advantage possible to get one of these guys.

      I still have a hard time discerning who will get more between Santana and Ubaldo but I assume Santana because of health and being somewhat more consistent. But they’re in the 4 year range of $50 to $60 million though (if they even want 4 years, maybe they sign shorter to hit the market again). For a team that wants to compete that’s not a huge gulp, nor does it go against policy.

      If the Jays really do not fancy either of them for baseball reasons (again this would be weird considering they only have 3 starters pencilled in, 1 of them a huge injury risk) then I would hate to be in their position right now. They would either look hypocritical for saying they have the money if the contract is 5 years or less or they just look plain cheap by saying they prefer one of Drabek, Nolin or Rogers.

      • I dunno which one we should choose to be honest.

        Jiminez has the highest upside, is very durable, but has poor control and is ver inconsistent.

        Santana is the most consistent, but still has massive downside, and is prone to the homerun ball, something which we suffer from

        Garza is consistent, good control, doesnt require a draft pick, but has the worst injury history of the 3, enough to worry that he might get injured again.

        If I was AA, i would sign either Jiminez and trade for a second baseman, or sign garza and sign drew, seeing how he likes to keep his draft picks. In an ideal world I would sign Jiminez and Drew but i dunno if he would do that.

      • Agree the second tier guys are the real litmus test. If Jays dont sign any of them all questions about their lack of commitment to buying talent needed to win are valid

  86. good post, stoeten… you technically right that they could go with a huge AAV and still sign a premium free agent and abide by ‘the policy’… the problem is that they have shown zero willingness to do that under the beeston /AA regime.

    it is interesting because as of right now we are stuck again in no man’s land… likely not good enough to compete unless everything breaks right… but too good to tear it apart completely and rebuild… after the trades last offseason i thought they wouldn’t allow themselves to be caught in between…

  87. The Jays has as much chance of signing Tanaka as I do pitching for the Jays this year (I haven’t pitched since little league).

    It was a near lock he was going to the Yankees. Only way he wasn’t going there was if a team went near 30 million for 7 years or offered him a 10 year deal…

  88. Brewers and Garza are linked at a 4 yr 52 MM deal, So 13 MM a season, Jays can afford more then that, you figure they had 14 MM earmarked for Johnson this season anyway and add a million or two more for Ubaldo or Santana and they can make that deal. Plus its only for 4 yrs!!!!

    • Just saw this. It’s still early but that’s much lower than I expected to see for him.

    • AA is on record as saying Garza is an obvious upgrade for any team’s rotation. I can’t imagine he envisioned him getting less than $50 million when he said that so we have to be in the neighbourhood on this one, right?

    • The Brewers aren’t a better team, they don’t play in a btter city, and their stadium is no better for pitchers.
      I see no reason why he’d choose Milwaukee over Toronto unless it was the money so either:
      a) AA did not have valued Garza at more than 4/52 (seems light, IMHO)
      b) AA has the money ear marked for other players
      c) The money isn’t there from Rogers (highly doubt it)

      I’m gonna put on my rose coloured glasses and say it’s b

  89. 4years/52 for Garza?

    Wow. that’s low.

  90. Wow Garza goes to brewers 4 years $52 million. If he only got $13 million a year and Ubaldo and Santana with the draft pick attached are expected to command less, then the Jays really don’t have an excuse now.

  91. There is a balance to the decision on AAV / total cost. Teams who consider the luxury tax will likely prefer longer contracts with a lower AAV and higher total cost. Teams that don’t buy insurance probably prefer shorter contracts with higher AAV and lower total cost. A player who isn’t sure of his performance or health wants the longer contract with lower AAV but higher total cost.

    They can’t talk about their specific valuations because it is too complex and would give other teams too much insight into their process. So we can simplified BS answers like this.

  92. This is an MLBTR quote from Tanaka:
    “They gave me the highest evaluation and are a world famous team,” said Tanaka, who said his goal is to win a World Series in pinstripes.

    Pretty much lends MASSIVE support to Sandlot’s contact and his contention that the Jays were told to not even bother. In fact it would be a great idea to pay attention to him for the next time.

    I’m getting the impression that even if the Jays offered controlling interest in Rogers Inc. that he would’ve said “no” as long as the Yankees stayed relatively close.

    It could also be that given this year’s limited FA field, they decided that next year would be a better year to go all in on a franchise Ace. (some 2015 FAs: Roberto Hernandez, Hochevar, Sheilds, Scherzer, Masterson, Lester, Bailey)

    Competing with the Yankees (and anyone else for that matter) in a field that large will be much easier and to my mind Scherzer would be easily as good or better than Tanaka.

    I’ll be happy with one of Ervin or Ubaldo and a 2B.
    Oh and what Stoeten said:
    “Don’t piss in our mouths and tell us it’s raining.” It’s insulting

    • Hold on there private..you mention staff ace and then roll out names like Roberto Hernandez and Hochevar. This must be comedy hour. In fort Bragg we used to have some guys like you….HAH.

      • Dear Colonel Sanders,

        I also mentioned Scherzer and Shields. The FA field is larger
        and IMO better than this year.

        HA HA

    • It doesn’t. Which isn’t to say I don’t believe Sandlot, but are we reading the same quote???

      I guarantee you they’re not ridiculous enough to be saving money for free agents who aren’t going to even hit the market next year.

      • “..his goal is to win a World Series in pinstripes.”
        That quote?
        It sure seems like he wanted to be a Yankee to me. No?

  93. Over/Under:

    Earvin and Ubaldo singed by Saturday?

  94. I wonder if Garza was one of the FA’s that AA said he had an agreement with to call before they signed? If so then I imagine he thinks much higher of Santana or Ubaldo than Garza or that he can get one of the two for cheaper. Hope its not that 13 MM is still to much for him to spend.

    • 13M can’t be to much to spend… it’s hard to figure that AA would have gotten Johnson and not accounted for the cost of a subsequent qualifying offer (14M).

  95. I never saw Garza as a likelihood here. I think given the last two years here, AA has an aversion to off injured pitchers.

  96. Wow the excuses are getting harder and harder to believe now. This Garza deal completely flies in the face of “the prices are too high” and “5 year contract limit”. You almost wonder if the Jays even offered Garza anything?

    • And he was the last pitcher left on the market, too, so I guess there’s no way they could have something else in mind.

      • I’m from Missouri so show me. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        • Show you what? What the Jays are going to do in the next couple of days? I’ll work on it.

          • What are you talking about? How is Garza the pitcher remaining?

            • I tried to make the sarcasm obvious…

              Complaints about the Jays not signing Garza and the team making excuses are stupid because there’s a really good chance that he’s not the one they want. If Garza had this offer on the table and the Jays are trying to sign Ubaldo, are they supposed to just one-up the Brewers offer?

          • Not saying u have a crystal ball but you’ll become a very old man waiting for the Jays to spend $60+ million in free agency. Its never happened yet. So if I complain about everything up to today, it doesn’t satisfy me to think “Oh but they’ll sign Ubaldo”, “they’ll sign this guy, or this guy” I’ll complain until it happens at which point I’ll eat crow and shut the fuck up.

    • If Garza gets 4/52 from the Brewers, I imagine Ubaldo and Ervin are looking at 5/70. Both of those two have shown a lot of durability, although they have had some up and down seasons. Would the Jays offer that?

      All three of those guys are 30-31 years old.

  97. I’m getting the feeling that the Jays are going to be starting spring training pretty much with the status quo. Getting that sinking, “oh well” feeling.

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