Somebody just SIGN me already!!!

Welp. We really are back to square one this off-season, aren’t we? Sure, Tanaka and Garza are off the market, as are a whole hell of a lot of other names, but in a lot of ways it might as well be November, because that seems to be about where the rumour mill is at. And maybe the pitching market, too, if the latest on Ervin Santana from Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish is to be believed.

According to Cotillo’s source, Santana is now drawing interest from several teams, the Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees, and Dodgers chief among them, with the Cubs and Marlins on the periphery, and the Diamondbacks, Royals, Tigers, and Jays still expected to become involved in a process that’s reportedly “still early.”

Still early!

Of course, it’s not terribly difficult to see whose interest it would be in to suggest that some kind of bidding war may be heating up. And if that’s the case, there seems to be one club in particular being nudged to make a deal — albeit from a different source, according to how Cotillo’s piece reads:

One source notes that the Blue Jays are the “most obvious fit” for Santana, and that “the fans in Toronto will be very disappointed” if the team fails to sign either Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez. There is a belief that the Jays will try to wait for Santana’s price to come down before making a serious pursuit, but a source cautions that other teams are “going to leave the Jays wishing they had pulled the trigger”.

Cue fans screaming for the Jays to just do it already before some other team comes in and scoops him up, which… I kind of totally don’t get.

Other teams having more interest as the price gets lower is perfectly natural. Maybe there are clubs willing to pay more than they’re leading on, much like we think/hope the Jays are, and waiting for Santana to have a firm offer he’s willing to accept before bidding the price back up some. But they’re going to be lurking in the reeds whether that offer comes at $60-million, as was reportedly the asking price a week ago, or if it happens at $35-million. The fact is, if the Jays are willing to pay more for him than anybody else, they’re willing to pay more for him than anybody else. If they’re not, they’re not.

That’s especially true because their “advantage” from having a protected first round pick maybe isn’t quite as big as it seem. Of the teams listed above, the Yankees have already lost three draft picks (though they’ve received others for their own departing free agents) and given up $483-million in total contract dollars this winter, making it seem reasonably plausible that they’re at the end of their rope… but they’re the Yankees, and they’re long past the luxury tax threshold, so I guess you never know. The Mariners have a protected first rounder, but have lost their second round pick spending heavily on Robinson Cano, which may have sapped their wherewithal for more spending and another blow to their pool of draft money, but maybe not. Like the Jays, the Rockies have a protected pick, as do the Cubs and Marlins — though Cotillo’s report suggests that even the loss of the second rounder may be too much to for Chicago — and the Royals, of course, wouldn’t need to surrender a pick to re-sign their own player.

Should that stop the Jays from be interested? Of course not. I’ve written about the differences between Santana and Jimenez before (just scroll past the Tanaka wishcasting), and came to understand why the Jays might prefer Ervin to Ubaldo, and that was even before I’d bothered to check out a piece from around the time of the trade deadline by Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs. Giving us another nugget to consider, he explains:

Last season, Santana’s fastball declined, and while he never went on the disabled list, he acknowledged he experienced some elbow discomfort. It’s not the first time he had some issues with his elbow, but he’s bounced back in 2013 and right now he’s pitching strong and easy. Santana’s pitching with familiar arm strength, and that seems to be driving some truly promising results.

The worry about Santana, in addition to the home runs — which are a problem at the best of times, though perhaps now mitigated by the use of the sinker I wrote about in the piece linked above — is precisely that atrocious 2012 season, and Sullivan certainly isn’t wrong about the velocity trouble, or about the bounceback:


It’s hardly proof that we no longer have to worry about the problems that haunted Santana that season, but it has to make you feel at least a little bit better about it, doesn’t it?

Is it reason enough to be whining that the Jays should just give him the $60-million already without seeing how low his price might really go? Obviously not. But if a thing like that goes as far as looks possible towards helping to explain away the one major blip Santana has on his recent track record, he might be better than some are giving him credit for. And that might make it harder for Alex to eventually explain why he didn’t go harder after him. But, for fuck sakes, let’s hope not it doesn’t get to that.

Who knows, though.

No, literally who knows? Not even Ken Rosenthal seems to have a read on where the Jays are at, writing this in the latest for Fox Sports:

Quiet for much of the offseason, the Jays remain a leading candidate to sign Santana or Jimenez assuming that they A) like the pitchers and B) view the price as right.


So… there’s that.

Comments (195)

  1. I wish the “Ballpark Pass” got you into the SOTF.

  2. Not sure if you saw it but there us a nice piece titled “Blue Jays need Santana or Jimenez” at ESPN Insider or at FanGraphs+ (membership required to read it). It breaks down their pitch usage in an interesting way.

    • Kinda makes it sound like they prefer Ubaldo.

      • Kinda looks like everybody prefers Ubaldo. Probably because he’s the better pitcher or something…

        • Yeah, it’s not complicated at all. Whatever DL says is probably right, no need to waste time on words explaining it.

          • Just because the rumour mill is back to November levels, doesn’t mean any of the thousands of pages of analysis that we’ve read since then have changed. The players haven’t tossed any innings in the intervening time. Think a little more about the intelligence of your readers, maybe, rather than just shit on em when opportune.

            But if it’s words you want, the fact that Santana’s gone over 1.5 HR/9 twice in his career and hasn’t been below 0 in that stat since 2008, whereas since 2008 Ubaldo only went over 1 HR/9 once very well might be the tiebreaker for me. Limiting the long ball at the dome is crucial. If they’re very comparable, I draw the line there. Happy?

            • Stoten writes an entire post on why Santana “might” be the better option and you write 1 sentence to try and dismiss it all. You’re entitled to your opinion, but Stoten has every right to bitch at you for it.

            • “Think a little more about the intelligence of your readers, maybe, rather than just shit on em when opportune.”

              You got shit on because you were being a shit, not sure if you noticed while you were busy working up some dumb-as-fuck editorial advice to try to shirk away from the comment.

        • Thanks for the sarcasm.
          Now go actually read the post.
          And maybe read some of the other work people have done on this topic.
          And see if maybe you’re wrong about there being a consensus on Ubaldo being the preferred option.

          I personally like Ubaldo better, but it’s hardly so cut and dry. Nor does it warrant a smartass remark from you.

          • It’s January. The differences, stats, banter about health and fitness have all been exhausted on these two because they have been the two best pitching free agents on the market since day one. Sure, I could rehash some of that in a post or I can just say I believe given everything I’ve read (and watched) Ubaldo is the better pitcher.

            • Door is on the left, then. WAHHH.

            • I should add that yours is an especially poor stance because there is just so much information out there that pretending that you have it all and that it’s all a rehash is rather bullshit. Looking at the game-by-game velocity from Santana, and the HR-suppressing park factors in KC were a couple new factors I’ve added to my own thoughts about this from prodding around in this post and the comments on it.

              Oh, but I guess DL has already thought of absolutely everything and made his decision so we should all be so incurious — and apparently we should take shit from him while we’re at it, too.

              • Great piece today Stoeten.

                What did you find in looking at the game-by-game velocity? I’ve been wondering about the underlying differences between good year and bad year Santana. Has it been a matter of velocity with some luck sprinkled in?

              • Or you can accept an opinion and disagree with it, Andy.

  3. The more I think of it, I am not sure what would be the bigger gamble, taking a chance on starting the season with their current pitching and 2nd base poo or signing one of these guys with their question marks for 4 years.

    • Why would you want them to do the former? Save the $ for something else??

      • Exactly, who the hell are we saving money for? There’s like no one left after jiminez, santana and drew.

        • That’s kind of what I was wondering. If the option is one of them or nothing at all.
          I’ll take one of them.

          I mean, there’s a limit, but… yah…. spend some cash dammit.

      • I don’t want them to do the former. I am saying there seems to be a growing chance that if the price doesn’t fall into this value zone that AA’s got in his head, then they could stand pat. To me that would be a huge gamble because of a number of factors.

        At the same time those 2 represent a gamble because it’s probably going to take 3-4 years to sign them for one thing, and two, if cash is as limited as people claim, then could it be used for something less risky like signing Drew for a couple of years because lets face it the Jays have nothing in the 2nd base pipeline and the free agent market for 2015 is just as shit.

        If I had my choice it would sign Ubaldo, sign Drew and trade Happ. If the Jays are as high on Hutchison as some would have you believe, then he’s a perfect candidate for the 5th spot. $14 million a year for Ubaldo, $12 million a year for Drew minus Happ’s $5.2 million and possibly $4 million for one of Janssen or Santos and you’re back down to $17 million. And before everyone freaks out about trading Janssen or Santos remember that the two areas where the Jays are actually deep is back end starters and legit bullpen arms.

        In the end you’d get a starter, 2nd baseman and other pieces back for Happ and Janssen, whatever those might be for a net of $17 million this year.

  4. Yeah, the thing about Ervin Santana is that he isn’t that good. He’s got about two things going for him this winter, his ability to throw strikes and his minimal injury history. If some team out there is willing to give the guy $60M for that, you have to let them.

    • Two terrible attributes for a pitcher to have obviously. If the price really is $13m a year, your’e paying him to be a 2 WAR pitcher which sounds perfectly reasonable to me

      • The guy has a history of home run issues in home parks that suppress home runs. How do you think that is going to work out in the Rogers Centre?

        • Increased sinker usage, increased GB%, and an even or better HR/9 on the road in every year but one since 2008. So it’s not like less favourable HR environments exacerbated the problem, though to be worse when pitching at home given those environments is perhaps a bit disconcerting. And, of course, much of that was pitching a lot of road games in Oakland and Seattle (particularly before the fences moved in).

          Still, nearly 600 road IP since 2008, and a 1.06 HR/9 and 10.2 HR/FB%. Probably too warped a way to reach a conclusion I’ve already decided I want to reach, but there it is. Palatable enough.

  5. Hmmm. I’m not exactly filled with happy confidence about Santana given the health record of Jays pitchers. I know they switched out their strength and conditioning coach but I can’t believe all that mess was just down to one man unless he had an iron-clad philosophy that he wouldn’t allow to deviate and all the other coaches did just exactly what he said. The injuries over the past couple of years suggest something systemically wrong there and I would rather not hire anyone and make sure that was fixed than hire another pitcher and watch him go down like a 9-pin.

    • Santana isn’t a prospect. He knows Gus routines like Dickey any Buhrle and the Jays systemic issues here shouldn’t be in play for veterans.

  6. When do you guys think we see them sign? Hoping to get back from the Caribbean next week and see us with one of these two and a legit 2B.

  7. It really is an odd off season. I’m hoping those Billy Butler rumours heat up again (even though he just left on the Royals fan caravan).

  8. I mean, Ubaldo kind of straight up IS the better pitcher even if you take out his insane Colorado years. Better upside, historically a better ground ball pitcher AND a better strikeout pitcher. It would be nice if he could keep himself under control, but it’s not like either of these guys is Pedro Martinez or anything.

    Plus, and this is based on absolutely nothing, but can’t you kind of see Santana signing with us and pitching 175 innings of replacement level baseball for 4 years? I’ve just never thought he had much upside beyond durability. But Ubaldo is more of a workhorse anyway.

    • 175 innings of replacement level pitching for 4 years would actually maybe be an upgrade for the team…. *sigh*

    • Santana has been the better groundball pitcher for the last two seasons, and while Ubaldo certainly has the strikeouts, the better stuff, the stretches of dominance, and the better looking FIP, the fact that Santana has routinely outperformed his FIP — or, at least he has for four straight years, though not before — makes me wonder if there’s something to that. If there is, I think the question of who is better is more complicated than some here are acknowledging.

      • Maybe the question really is who is better suited to the Rogers Centre?

        • Ubaldo, if he’s the “good Ubaldo” we saw in the second half of last season (and not the three half-seasons previous) is pretty clearly that (even though his GB% was down), and definitely has the upside based on that. But you have to weigh all that with how much you believe in the half season of renewed success.

          Santana would be the more conservative pick of the two, for sure, though he’s hardly without risk, either. The FanGraphs piece that’s linked to elsewhere here is interesting in that regard. It, rightly, points out that Kauffmann suppresses HR about as much as Anaheim does, despite being more hitter friendly overall. The HR rate for Santana still went down in 2013, which — as Keith Law has pointed out, and as I wrote about in the post linked in this piece — is likely attributable to his slider. But to give him extra credit for doing so while moving to a more overall hitter friendly park, as I did, seems to be incorrect given the park factor isolated specifically for HR in KC. And so again you worry about how that would translate to the fuckin’ homer dome. Maybe enough to have me change my mind on this for about the fourth time.

          Here’s the piece:
          And for reference, the park factors I’m looking at are from Stat Corner:

          • Stoeten, the thing is Ubaldo had more than just a good *half* season. From the rest of the year onward after his April 21st start @Houston he had a 2.61 ERA. In other words that’s 5 months (plus one start in April) or his final 28 starts of the year (32 starts total) representing 7/8 of a full season. That’s a pretty sustained period of good and I don’t think saying “a good half season” does it justice when he also pitched 2.61 ball for >5 months.

            • FIP by month starting in April: 5.29, 3.99, 4.36, 4.62, 2.50, 1.09.

              Opponents had a .328 wOBA off of him in May, and .338 in June.

              If you want to play arbitrary end points, from that April 21st start through his first start after the All-Star break he had a 3.63 ERA. Decent, but not quite the first half of 7/8 of a purely dominant season. Santana’s ERA on the season was 3.24, FYI.

              So… not buying that, sorry. Even if I did, not really that long a period regardless.

              • I get what you’re saying about arbitrary endpoints and it being an inexact game to play but I’m simply starting from his 5th start of the year to end of the season. And even weirder was that there was an 8 day gap between his 4th start and his 5th as if there was extra rest or a mechanical adjustment needed.

      • To be fair, it’s not like it’s obvious and undeniable which one is better. If you have faith that the Santana who played last year with the Royals is ready to pitch like that consistently, I wouldn’t begrudge you that preference.

        But why in the world we would assume that is beyond me. Since neither pitcher is anywhere near a sure thing, lets take the one with the higher upside. That’s how I see it anyway.

        • Because the equation isn’t quite that simple. You have to factor in the likelihood of them actually hitting that upside, not just what the ceiling is.

  9. If AA wasn’t simply blowing smoke up our asses when he said that he’s been talking to an agent and they’ll get back to him before they accept an offer from another team, then we should be reasonably comfortable that whomever he prefers from Santana and Jimenez won’t be stolen from under our noses for a song.

    • That could have been Garza for all we know. Maybe Garza got back to AA and AA said “welp. Best of luck to ya”

      • I think AA basically came out and said he needs to do a better job of avoiding such serious injury risks, so I kind of doubt Garza was THE guy this winter. Perhaps a guy they were keeping tabs on, but I just can’t see him as THE guy. Santana and Ubaldo have their warts, but they offer a lot of durability, which is at least something.

    • And it only makes sense that an agent would do this, if… y’know… they want to get the most money for their client. Like I say, if the Jays are willing to pay the most for him, they’ll get him. The notion of them getting Fistered (heh) on this one is a bit panicky.

      • My understanding is that only GMs, not agents, are into Fistering. The agents are looking to take a lot more.

  10. Also this piece from Fangraphs last week from Tony Blengino on the next tier of UFA pitching. Compares Garza, Ubaldo and Santana

  11. And for the record I think I’m on the Ubaldo side as well. He groundball rate really nosedived in 2012, but if you trust PitchFX it looks like he completely rebuilt his slider in 2013, adding a lot more depth (and looking a lot more like his glory years) which was likely a major contributor to the rebound in groundball percentage. It was basically a frisbee in 2012.

  12. In an effort to give another angle to consider: do you remember the last time the Blue Jays “needed 2 starters” and whiffed?

    It was the 2006 offseason, when the Cubs snagged Ted Lilly and the Royals nabbed Gil Meche. In 2007, the Blue Jays got 440 innings from a trio of young pitchers: Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, and Jesse Litsch. They got 5.2 rWAR (or 5.5 fWAR) out of them.

    The 2014 Blue Jays don’t have Roy Halladay and AJ Burnett at the front of the staff, but they also (hopefully) won’t be giving a total of 30 starts to Josh Towers, Tomo Ohka, and Gustavo Chacin-types.

    Stroman and McGowan might be a toss up, but I don’t think it’s hard to argue that 2014 Drew Hutchison and Sean Nolin are viewed in a better light than 2007 Shaun Marcum and Jesse Litsch were entering that season.

    It’ll suck if we whiff again, but hey at least there’s a positive precedent.

  13. Extremely intelligent commentary from Rosenthal…
    “Urgent news bulletin: The Toronto Blue Jays, if they feel like it, might sign a free agent.”
    Sounds like a mighty slow news day for that nugget to pick up steam.

  14. Both Ubaldo and Santana have their issues, I think either of them upgrades our rotation but they both seem volatile.

    The International FA market this June has been widely viewed as “very strong”. So much so that the Yankees have allready said they plan to go over the International Cap despite the penalties as 2015′s draft looks much weaker.

    I’m wondering if AA took a simialr approach and used the “suspected remaining” 15 million dollars in spending money on a bunch of IFA’s it wouldn’t be better spent.

    As I said I believe both Santana and Ubaldo could be very helpful as Jays but both have been extremely shitty in the not so distant past. At this point considering the options remaing that could help us, the options that would have but we missed on, I would probably pass on both these guys and chase the International guys.

    Let Hutch, Drabek, Stroman Happ, McGowan and later Sanchez battle for the 4/5 spots.
    Hope for a return to form from Morrow, Dickey.
    You know what you get from Beuhrle.

    It’s all been pretty dissapointing but I’d rather see AA try to lock up some young guys with upside then blow his wad on these question marks.

    • and later Sanchez

      You mean the kid who hasn’t pitched above A-ball and walked 5 guys per 9 innings when doing so? Maybe pump the brakes a little bit.

      • I know Sanchez isn’t someone you can count on to contribute to the team in 2014, but haven’t most recent prospect evaluations considered him a candidate for a mid-season call-up?

        • BP has his “ETA” as 2015, which suggests a late-season callup at the end of next year. Can’t expect him to reasonably contribute before 2016. Hope for earlier? Sure. Expect? Not so much.

          • Marc Hulet at FanGraphs says “If he can add the necessary polish, Sanchez could reach the Majors by the end of the season,” with obvious caveats about performance, control, etc.

            I don’t expect that to be the case, since I think he’ll be given a chance in Buffalo first even if he manages to find that necessary polish, but I don’t think it’s a ridiculous opinion to think that he may contend for a starting spot by the end of 2014.

            • Not a lot of contending for starting spots done at the end of seasons, Philbert.

              • There is when you’re counting on Brandon Morrow as a starter. HEYO!

                But seriously, good point. I guess I meant as an injury replacement who pitches well enough to stick, a la Wacha/Kelly in St. Louis the last couple years.

              • Stoeten is it the wrong time of the month or what?

          • I’ve read in a few places that Sanchez was expected to battle for a rotation spot in ST 2015.

      • Ok Drew, you picked Sanchez out of all that to jump on, probably deserved.
        But don’t tell me the thought of Santana or Ubaldo on a 4 or 5 year deal doesn’t scare the shit out of you. I know it’s all about calculated risks but this looks more like desperation.

        If you take a girl home from the dance do you still brag about it when she was one of the last 2 muts covered in bruises from 10 foot poles?

      • And Drew, I’d consider the Arizona Fall League quite a bit better then “A Ball”.
        Small sample or not, the kid was fuckin lights out against some of the best prospects in all of ball, many of which at higher levels and much older then him.

        • You shouldn’t.

          The AFL is a total mixed bag, all the way from complete scrubs, up to top prospects, leaning more heavily on the former — it’s not an All-Star league. Which is pretty much exactly why everybody says to pay no attention to AFL stats.

          And “much” older? No. Certainly not the guys who are any kind of legit prospects. Some of the best ones were a couple years younger, in fact.

          • Some were younger but the talent was pretty evident:

            Bryant, Cron, Urrutia, Deshields, Almora, SOler, Addison Russel, Cecchini, Rosario, Williams……that I can think of.

            Quite a few of the top 100.

            Give him some credit. In fact I believe you did in a post precisely about his AFL performance.

            • That was Stroman. And yes, there are some prospects in the league — there’s also Buxton. But four of those guys aren’t slam dunk top 100 guys — cross referenced with today’s release of the BP 101, and Cron, Urrutia, Deshields and Williams aren’t on it — and three who are, plus Buxton, are younger than Sanchez. And with Sanchez just barely making the cutoff for age-20 players this year, a bunch of the age-21 guys aren’t much older.

              Also: they don’t all exactly fill up a roster, do they?

              I give him plenty of credit — he looked pretty alright in the AFL against AFL calibre competition, which was, as is always the case, a mixed bag filled with plenty of scrubs. No need to go overboard.

    • It could potentially be a good use of the money but it does nothing for this year’s team or next. We’re only just now starting to see guys like Sanchez as possible help for the team in 2015. There’s such a long lead time for these guys. Also those latin players are younger on average and take even longer to get to the majors. You could be looking at 4-5 years as a minimum before they enter the conversation.

      That said, I hope the Jays blow their brains out on the international guys just like the Yankees. Really, if you want to look at return on dollars spent, going large in latin america seems like a great deal even if just one or two turn out to be good.

    • Would that be a smart move with the Yankees already are going to try to sign everyone decent on the international market?

      No. No it would not. But hey, one of those international free agents you want to chase might look real good here eight years from now (the others all having busted somewhere along the way).

      • I think he (AA) intends on spending a significant amount on IFA’s… if he didn’t why bother with the trade he made at the Rule 5?

        • Remember the money that came out of that trade is for the 2013 group of prospects. It has to be used before they spend on this year’s crop.

        • That trade gives him more money to spend before reaching the cap. If he planned on blowing by the cap and accepting the penalties anyway, why would he have bothered to acquire more space?

          I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to go all in and absorb the penalties if a team like the Yankees is going to do the same. You would end up taking the penalties for future years and still not getting a lot of the players you want. I would guess that the Jays trust their international scouts enough to make so really smart signings while staying within the cap constraints.

      • Maybe they are years away but they are still assets that can be flipped for established pitching later.

        Am I really wrong to say that both of these options aren’t that palatable.

        We all agreed that this was a good team a year ago. They were injured as fuck in 13.
        I’d rather give them a mulligan and see what they can do healthy instead of taking on expensive question marks.

        • Pretend either is that much more of a question mark than any other pitcher if you really want to, I guess, but no. Add talent, please.

          • Ok, i’m interested.

            If it were your choice which of the two would you take and at what as max $ and years.

            For awhile this offseason I let myself believe that Rogers was going to be the owner we always wanted. I somehow delude myself into believing they had become Mike Illitch.
            But as the FA’s went off the board and the unsubstantiated rumours of having maybe 15 million to spend cam out it became more apparent that the Jays still need to be very concious of how their dollars are spent.

            So to me giving 50-60 million to one of these two guys looks like it could really hurt us when all these young talented pitchers we have start hitting MLB in 15/16. I feel like getting married to one of these two guys long term is akin to picking for need at the amateur draft instead of taking the best player on the board. We have 3 solid pitchers, we have 3/4 solid options for a number 4 and we have Stroman who looks like he deserves a chance. Keep the cash and see how it pans, and if we happen to be close mid season you have the funds there to take on a contract or two.

            I think everyone is underestimating how much better we will be with a healthy Melky, Morrow, Dickey, Lawrie. And the latter is going to have a monster year.

            • There is an expectation that “all these young pitchers” won’t be hitting MLB anywhere close as seamlessly as you’ve planned, if at all. And certainly flooding the rotation. If it becomes a problem that either of the two is blocking the path of a more talented youngster, that’s an astoundingly good problem. It’s not one that you’re going to run into as a matter of course.

              Who even are all these young arms expecting to be better then either of the FAs by 2015/2016? Sanchez, maybe if he ever stops walking everybody, and Stroman, maybe if he shows he can actually keep the ball in the ballpark and bucks gigantic odds in staying a starter at his height. Who else? Kyle Drabek, if he finds a time machine and goes back to where he was at three years ago, and buck his own set of giant odds by remaining a starter following two Tommy Johns (or even, really, staying a big leaguer following a second one)? Drew Hutchison, who is constantly given a break because he was so young and so shortly removed from A-ball when he pitched in the big leagues, posting a less-than-stellar 4.60 ERA/4.48 FIP over 60 innings? Who else? Osuna and Norris, neither of whom has gone above A-ball, one of whom is recovering from his own TJ surgery, and the other who has had exactly one good half season as a pro?

              There is a lot to like about a lot of arms the Jays have accumulated, but let’s not pretend there’s some tidal wave they’ll be needing to get an Ubaldo/Ervin out of the way of. They’ll be lucky if one of these guys comes remotely close to his ceiling as a big leaguer. That’s just the way it goes.

              Add talent, please.

              • Ok, that does make quite a bit of sense. When spelled out like that I have probably over valued the production our prospects can provide. (sad to admit it)

                I can still hope that one of them turns in Shelby Miller or Wacha but hope in one hand and shit in the other……

                And I know there’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to signing FA’s, I just wish the two we were discussing had a little more reliable history.

                As it is, I won’t be upset if we sign one of them. Here’s hoping their latest trends are the true trends.

  15. Yankees are net down 1 pick. They lost 3 due to their signings of free agents, but got 2 back for Cano and Granderson.

    • Which is one of the reasons they are going to go on a spending spree in the Latin American market like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Tijuana. They’ve flat out admitted their farm system is a mess. It’s the one area where the new CBA actually worked when combined with their wild prospect trading habits.

    • The system works!!

    • Good point. Thanks.

  16. To me Garza was the best option for the Jays because he is most likely to provide the best results if healthy. If this was last year when the Jays had no depth, I would agree with signing Ubaldo or Santana.

    This year, for once the Jays were better off gambling on high performance because if there are injuries, there are many candidates that could step in to try and fill the void. Based on recent performance, there is significant risk that Ubaldo and Santana are mediocre or worse going forward. The Blue Jays have plenty of mediocre available as fill ins already so I don’t really see how signing either of these two is worth the risk, especially when the talk is of 4 year deals.

    Does anyone really think that these pitchers are going to be capable of excelling in the AL East? If this was where they were going to end up at, I think they should have just rolled the dice giving a QO to Josh Johnson, since he has more potential upside than either of these two and again, they have more depth this year if he is somehow still terrible. The chance to sign a “high end” free agent starter has already passed so I only see AA signing one of these two if he thinks he needs to do something to appease the fans. Not a great place to be.

    • Why would we ever assume Matt Garza is going to be healthy, though?

      “Based on recent performance, there is significant risk that Ubaldo and Santana are mediocre or worse going forward.”

      There is also significant upside, way beyond any reasonable expectation for any of the Jays depth possibilities in 2014.

      Third paragraph went even more badly off the rails.

      • Garza has produced 14.8 WAR in 1182 innings to Ubaldo’s 20.4 in 1275 innings. 7.5 in 2010. Why is Garza so ahead of Ubaldo?

      • Good points, but I’m not assuming he’s going to be healthy. I’m hoping he will be close to that. Obviously you can’t quantify this, but my feeling is that the Jays would be taking less risk hoping for a healthy Garza than they would be hoping for strong performance from Ubaldo or Santana.

        Not sure what’s so “off the rails” about the third paragraph. I wouldn’t be surprised if Josh Johnson was better than either of these two this year and I don’t think many other people would be either. Even if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, there’s far less risk for disaster giving JJ 1 year than Ubaldo or Santana 4, while the upside for all 3 cannot be that far off from one another.

        • I don’t know where you got your impression of how good/bad Ubaldo and Ervin are, but it’s warped.

          I’ll take the guys who actually looked like they had a clue how to pitch last year, and graded out as above average MLB starters, thanks.

    • “To me Garza was the best option for the Jays because he is most likely to provide the best results if healthy.”

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Even if Garza is a slightly better option, isn’t he basically Brandon Morrow? I love Morrow (and I’m definitely not on the “Morrow is made of glass” team), but I think they need someone who can provide very good results for 30+ games more than some who they’re hoping stays healthy enough to match those results.

      • I agree with Brett. Garza has been a great pitcher whenever he is on the mound and maybe is a better fit for Jays. Santana and Jiminez have both had stints of below average pitching while having shown inconsistent flashes of performing at Garza’s level. Morrow and Garza are not the same – Morrow has pitched poorly when he has been on the mound. With Garza it is almost a lock you are getting quality performance when he pitches – it isnt a matter of upside it is strictly a matter of health for the most part. The risk is whether or not he will be able to make the starts – if he cant pitch then mediocre to average performance is waiting in the wings with all the fringe starters.

        • That’s simply not reality, Nick.

          • The stats seem to indicate it is true. To pick a couple indicators at random (not going to look up every stat and think these are good indicators);

            Garza in past 8 years ERA+ has been over 1 and WHIP under 1.3 every year except last year (94 and 1.32). In his rookie year it was 78 and 1.7

            Santana in the past 9 years has had ERA+ of 91, 79, 87, 74 and a WHIP of 1.4, 1.55, 1.48, 1.32

            Jiminez in 8 years has had ERA+ 93, 77, 72 (77 and 72 in 2 of past 3 years) and WHIP of 1.44, 1.4, 1.38, 1.46, 1.6

            By the stats Jiminez and Santana have been hit and miss throughout their careers while Garza has been steadily above average while he has been able to pitch (expect notably last year). Lots has been discussed of mechanical changes etc and reasons to expect wither to be good or bad – at the end of the day the track record suggests performance risk for those 2 and much less for Garza

            • I’d rather look at their WAR, since they neutralize the benefits guys would get from their fielders, their park, league, etc.

              Baseball Reference WAR (since 2010)

              M Garza: 1.7, 2.8, 1.2, 1.4
              Santana: 3.0, 3.0, -1.3, 2.9
              Jimenez: 7.5, 0.7, -0.6, 2.7


              M Garza: 1.6, 4.9, 1.6, 2.2
              Santana: 1.9, 2.6, -1.0, 3.0
              Jimenez: 6.5, 3.3, 0.1, 3.2

              Part of the difference is due to innings, but still, we’re comparing them eight times (four seasons by each metric), and Santana has been more valuable than Garza in five of those (and fWAR may underrate him because he seems to have a knack for outperforming his FIP), while Jimenez has been move valuable than Garza in half of the comparisons. Add 2008 and 2009 (which I personally wouldn’t, since we’re going back considerably, and nobody expects the kind of six win seasons that Santana and Jimenez put up anymore) and the story doesn’t change much.

              Of the eight numbers we’re looking at on each pitcher, Garza’s been above 2.5 twice, Jimenez and Santana five each. Lower it to 2.0 and Garza goes up to three. Make it 1.5 and he’s “achieved” that in six cases compared to five for Ubaldo and six for Santana.

              Yes, that’s an imperfect/weird way of slicing, and yes, Santana and Jimenez both had poor 2012 seasons and may in fact be more prone to volatility when actually on the mound, but the kind of “quality” you’re talking about him being a lock for has less often been in the same category as the other two when they’re at their best — certainly not “having shown inconsistent flashes of performing at Garza’s level.”

              • I think using WAR misses a bit of the point of the original poster because of the IP differences. If Garza is hurt and only pitches 100 IP his WAR will be lower than guys pitching 200IP but his replacement for the other 100IP hopefully wont completely stink it up either with the depth the Jays have and the overall WAR not too bad – which may be close to worst case if you consider Garza’s consistency over his career and assume one of the fringe guys will be decent. Jiminez or Santana may give you -WAR or only as good as the fringe guy looking at the inconsistency in their careers.

                To the point the WAR shows big swings with Jiminez and Santana – there is more of a risk on what performance you will get.

                Looking over their whole career rather than past 4 years adds to support of Garza. Garza did have a mediocre year last year so maybe he is losing it / injuries catching up. And there has been lots of analysis supporting the other two and why their previous poor years can be discounted to some degree.

                • Looking farther back doesn’t add support to Garza, because Jimenez and Santana each have massive WAR years that Garza hasn’t touched.

                  Plus, half a season of Garza– whose WAR totals even in many 190+ IP years are sometimes not terribly impressive– plus a replacement level pitcher isn’t the answer, for obvious reasons. And again, Jimenez and Santana have both fairly regularly been better than Garza — not just “decent.” Volatile, yes. It’s just different kind of risk. But what I object to is the idea that Garza has shown himself to be a level above these guys when healthy. Not true.

                  • I’ll admit, both Ubaldo’s and Santana’s numbers are better than I thought they would have been, but I still maintain that Garza has the highest floor when on the field and that is most important to the Jays this year; a year in which they have to compete. Imagine the terrifying scenario that Santana pitches to his floor with half his games at the Rogers Center. I’m sure the Jays are. Ubaldo’s control issues are also frightening in a park where a couple of walks can hurt much more when that would be fly ball in most parks sails over the fence. You may be absolutely right though that the volatility is worth the upside.

                    You’d think though that If the Jays were really high on either player, they probably would be signed already.

                    • You kinda can’t separate it out to floors “when on the field” when one of the guys you’re talking about can’t stay on it. Have to factor that in.

                  • I think the point is the volatility of Santana / Jiminez. They have been great and poor. Garza has been consistently good if not great but is out due to injury lots. One of Drabek, Hutch, Stroman etc can be expected to reasonably cover if he is out and not be completely terrible. If Santana or Jiminez are having one of their poor years they aren’t going to ride the pine for a guy from the minors so the worst case is much worse with them and more likely as well is the argument. Getting Jiminez instead and the potential upside he has is a risk that may be worth it despite the volatility.

                    • Santana was poor because of injury. Jimenez was poor because he lost his mechanics. There are reasons to think they’re both past it, so the volatility question isn’t necessarily so much bigger than Garza’s injury questions, especially since I just don’t think it’s fair to assume you can just add a bunch of Stroman starts to Garza’s totals but not the other guys’.

    • A pitcher surviving in the AL East can be a bit misleading especially if you want to go strictly by the thought it is the relentless pounding offenses that make those teams so strong.

      By runs scored, the AL East teams (not counting the Jays) scored an average of 737 runs in 2013 and 2012. The AL Central teams scored an average of 681 runs and 704 runs or a difference of 0.2 runs per game and 0.35 runs per game. The AL West teams scored an average of 692 runs and 726 runs or a difference of 0.28 runs per game and 0.07 runs per game.

      As you can see for the pitchers the run environment while harsher isn’t nearly as bad as what we’re lead to believe. Obviously if you combine that with their pitching then it becomes a different story for the teams as a whole.

  17. I still have this sneaking feeling that there’s going to be some major trade that we have had no idea about. Some pitcher that we have never even spoken of all of a sudden gets traded to us and with that.. Voila.. it’s neither Santana or Jimenez…. Just a gut feeling

  18. There’s been so many reports citing the jays as ‘ waiting for the prices to drop’ before getting involved.

    I’m curious, is this true or is it just another rumour that builds steam because of AA’s tight lip policy?

    I just can’t fathom a scenario in which the jays abondone the ‘prospect route’ and take on so much salary last year and not be able to take on anymore salary the year after.

    • It may not be the current budget but how the signing of Santana or Ubaldo may affect future signings and that budget.
      It’s like when the salary of Delgado inhibited the team from jumping into the FA market.
      Just spitballin, of course.

    • I’m pretty sure every single team is waiting for the prices to drop. That’s probably why Ubaldo and Santana haven’t signed yet. If someone had an offer on the table that matched what they were looking for, they probably wouldn’t be free agents today.

      • Despite the departure of JJ and the Jays dropping 13.5 MM in salary from last year, the signings of Rasmus Rogers and Cecil took a large chunk of that. Having said that like all MLB teams they’ve gotten (or will be getting?) a nice TV revenue increase so they should be able to afford to replace JJ. Ubaldo is said to be asking for 4/60 and Sanatana is said to be asking 16/17 MM for 4 yrs.

        A lot of teams have asked after Santana: (from MLBTR: ” Eight teams, including the Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers, have interest in Ervin Santana…”)
        in spite of the draft pick attached, but no one seems to be bidding. This means IMO that his price (plus a draft pick) is too high.

  19. How do you not get the fans desire for the Jays to sign Santana before he gets snatched up?

    Fans want results and the requires proven pitchers. I think we’ve been put through enough shit watching Morrow et all go on the DL year after year.

    If the Jays don’t sign either of these two guys then this off season is clusterfuk.

    • It’s not the going after him that I don’t get, it’s the part where he’s going to get snatched up like the last PS4 at a Black Friday sale. Doesn’t work that way.

      While we’re here, please don’t perpetuate the Morrow garbage.

    • “the fans want results and that requires proven pitchers.” Says who? fans? Pretty sure we don’t want to listen to them. The Tampa Rays and Cardinals beg to differ to this “proven pitcher” theory.

      • That ‘s true if you’re the Cards or the Rays. However, the Jays farm doesn’t necessarily develop like the Cards or the Rays.

  20. Didnt the Garza deal with the Brewers fall through or did i just imagine that?

    If he failed one medical he’s probably looking at a serioulsy discounted deal now

  21. Alex is like a guy leaving a bar at 2:10am right now. Sure one girl has a spare tire and yet, by some cruel miracle, no ass to speak of and the other bears a striking resemblance to Tony Ambrogio in a wig, but what’s left?

    It’s hard to get excited about either of these options and I think he’s right to hold out and see just how little he’ll have to commit before bringing one home.

    • What’s left?
      He goes back the next day when there’s more to choose from.

      • Nope.

        • Just speculating.
          Looking at the current rotation, is everybody convinced that Dickey,Buehrle and Morrow are due to have a great year?
          How is Dickey’s back and can he figure out to give up less HR’s?
          Will Morrow evolve into an ace that everyone has been waiting for?
          Does that mean that Buehrle is the ace of the staff?
          And does adding Santana or Ubaldo put them into a contenders position?
          Not trying to be negative but looking at the other side of the coin.

      • Or you call an ex girlfriend you know is lonely. Unfortunately Halladay and Marcum both arent’ responding to texts these days

  22. Last year the Jays went all-in and missed. I admired AA for having the guts to create some excitement and momentum going into the season last year.

    This year I’m not sure if the Jays are still “all-in”, or beginning a process of rebuilding…because if they were still trying to win, in my mind they need to spend on free agents and take a risk, just like last year.

    The “status quo” of doing little or nothing to the Jays roster is frustrating to watch. I do hope they still plan to make a splash with a starting pitcher and a second baseman, to show that the Jays are still going for it.

    Just read Lindy’s baseball 2014…Jays predicted to finish last in the east again…

    • I hope they do it to make the team better, not to show anybody anything.

    • The problem with that is that the Jays didn’t go all in to win exclusively in 2013. The plan backfired in year one… a year in which almost everything went wrong. There’s no point in rebuilding right now, and I don’t think that’s the plan at all. I think they’re looking to improve the team for a reasonable cost, and if they’re obviously not in contention by the deadline in 2014, then they’ll likely sell off assets and build for the future. Or… that’s what I would do, I guess.

      • That’s tricky.. If the Jays are out of it by July does AA actually get a chance to sell off assets and try his hand at another rebuild? Does he deserve the chance?

        • Of course he deserves the chance. Not sure if that’s precisely how they’d go, though.

          • I agree that the team may not go that route and any sell off happens in the off season. But why exactly does AA deserve another rebuild attempt?

            He had his bullets (marlins/mets trades) he used them and he failed, in this grim scenario. In my mind his time has run out.

        • I can’t see them giving him a chance in that scenario, but I really hope they would. I’ve mentioned it here before, but if the Jays decide to go into rebuild mode, there isn’t really anyone I would rather see in charge than AA. He acquired a team with very little in the way of valuable pieces and turned it into one of the best farm systems within a couple of years.

    • Well lots of people predicted them to finish first last year, so these predictions aren’t exactly science. Maybe things break in the other direct for the Jays this year and they outperform reasonable expectations.

  23. Look at us, look what late january with no huge additions has done to us?
    i miss the love in of our mid season ten game winning streak.

  24. I just want to remind everyone that Happ had a strong April last year, then almost died, then had 3 strong starts in September.

    One of Stroman, Hutch, Drabek, Reddmond, etc. is going to look good out of Spring Training.

    They Jays are not in a position where they have to overpay for starter.

    • How about just adding talent that’s better than what they have?

      • That would be great, but things aren’t so dire if they fail to find some value to their liking. Now I must say that it sure would be nice to have some of those quality arms in AAA for when the injuries strike. Adding a starter sure makes the quality of the depth start to shine.

      • If the value of the free agent can be matched to acquisition cost (lost pick)/salary/term of contract relative to regression then, well, maybe……. but probably not.

        What you are not considering is the opportunity cost lost of the 4 or 5 SP candidates that is being wasted if they don’t see MLB innings if indeed they are fit to have them.

        That is poor asset management.

        • There will still be a rotation spot, there will still be injuries, and there won’t be nearly so many candidates who warrant MLB innings — but if there somehow are, I’m pretty sure they haven’t banned trades. It’s not poor asset management at all to continue to add quality assets.

          • There are 4 starters for 2 spots. That leaves room for 2 injuries to be given to the 3rd and forth best candidate. Then there is the pool of Stroman, Nolin and company if they are in a pinch. That is plenty.

            Trades rarley happen in the first few months of the season. That AA talking not me, but while we are on the subject, how do you expect to get a decent return from Happ, Stroman, Hutch, Drabek, Reddmond, etc later in the season if they don’t get an opportunity to pitch MLB innings?

            Assets have to be showcased properly to be sold at a good price. Do you think the Cardinals have interest Marc Rzepczynski if he’s buried in the minors and just given the occasional call up?

            These “quality assets” you speak of are a terrible idea if they add to the lowering of the value of your other assets and have a price tag that mitigate their worth.

            • You have a hilariously warped view of the value of Redmond, Drabek, Nolin, Happ, et al. If those guys didn’t pitch a big league inning this year it wouldn’t just be completely inconsequential, it would be great.

              • I said that there is potential value in “Happ, Stroman, Hutch, Drabek, Reddmond”. Nolin was in the emergency pool if you took the time read carefully.

                You gotta see what you got in these guys before…..

                A) depending on them for the full year

                B) trading them

                C) cutting bait on them (except Stroman)

                Happ and Redmond did some good things last year, and Drabek and Hutch a like by the org for a reason.

                I don’t see why you think that is funny.

                • You don’t at all have to see what you have in them. Not at the big league level. Not at the expense of actually adding talent. Stop saying ridiculous things please.

                  • I think this deserves a post Stoten. Like you you say, adding talent, not ERA or WAR is the point. Stats can measure talent, but the point is talent.

                    • And in that post would be interesting to see analysis on the value of adding talent given the “window of contention” and current roster make-up of the club rather than strictly a $/WAR approach or whatnot. Makes more sense to “overpay” with the team so close to legitimate contention?

                  • Famous –> What about the opportunity cost of not having the young guys contribute close to their max in the rotation in the future when they are fully developed and still making league minimum? Instead of having them make the minimum while they are still improving in the MLB and having to pay them in arbitration when the are contributing closer to their max value. Of course there is a flip side that they blow out their arm and never contribute anything in MLB.

    • Josh Johnson sure looked good in spring training last year……

      • Difference this time around is there is more depth.

        Last year after JJ was hurt/bad Romero was first in line.

    • Just puttin this out there but there’s no way they’d allow Hutch or Drabek to pitch a full season after their TJ’s

    • What about Chad Jenkins? I’m still hoping he gets more starts in the majors, 5 of his 6 starts in the majors he pitched 5 inning and allowed 2 runs, I know he gets lit up in AAA for some reason, but why wouldn’t you let a guy take a few starts that seems to keep his earned runs at 2 for 5 innings every time he starts in the majors. I don’t care if its smoke and mirrors, keep the magic showing going until someone figures out there’s fake legs in the box.

  25. Whether it’s Santana, Ubaldo, or someone else, I would be pretty disappointed if the Jays didn’t add at least one starter at least of mid rotation quality.

    Considering how relatively ‘all in’ the Jays went last offseason, I think it would be nuts to rely on internal upgrades for the rotation. Yeah, Morrow may be healthy, and yeah some of Happ, Stroman, Hutchinson or Drabek may have solid years. But I think that’s some thin fucking ice there.

    I’m not saying it couldn’t work out, but you’re spending $135 mil (so far) on a team with Reyes, Bautista, EE and Colby in the lineup, and (probably) excellent pen. I genuinely think this team is a solid rotation away from contending. Spend a bit more and get yourself a bit of security in the rotation.

  26. Well Ubaldo isn’t heading back to the Rockies. We’re really narrowing this thing down!

  27. Stoeten,some excellent analysis today.Good reading,point-counterpoint.

  28. The Jays badly need another pitcher in their roation. They have depth this year, but not a whole lot of quality. I think if they can land Ubaldo or Santana and keep their heads afloat with a terrible second baseman, they might be able to take on an expiring contract in July to fill that need.

    It’s just a shame that money seems to be a hurdle again.

    • Dickey, Morrow and Buehrle are of very good quality.

      Did you forget that they were on the team?

      • Very good? Perhaps

        But in the scheme of things, jays currently have the 4th best rotation in the division. They may have the best or second best offense in the east if the major players can stay healthy, Lawrie progresses and melky comes back to a fraction of the player he was in San Fran .

        • A healthy Dickey (y’know the Cy Yonge winner in 2012) and Morrow (the guy with ‘fuck you’ type ace stuff who had learned how to pitch to contact) along with Buehrle doing what he has done for a long time narrows that gap with division rivals significantly. Happ and Redmond alone showed us last year that they can be worthy of back of the rotation starts.

          I agree with your quick assessment of the offence, but it’s for that very risk of injury that not over paying for a starting pitcher begins to make even more sense.

          • While I agree with the need to not panic.

            You keep saying ‘overpaying’ like it’s a thing. If they have to give ubaldo 5 years 90 million then I agree. But by all accounts it’s not going to take anywhere close to that.

            The jays shouldn’t be desperate, but they should be aggressive, ee, jb and Reyes are not going to be elite forever. So if you have to ‘overpay’ a few million or add in a vesting option, you have to get it done. Or else what the fuck was the point of last offseason?

            Hindsight obviously, but if we aren’t going to continue to add talent we would have been better off with nicolino, Alvarez, darnaud and synder

            • Best case scenario this is a 150 mil payroll team, maybe 160 down the road if they are coming off a great year. That’s pretty much what Beeston said, and despite him taking his sweettime, the guy has pretty much delivered.

              So AA pretty much has around what? 15 mil to play with?

              So to answer your question , I would not burn my last big acquisition budget bullet on a SP until I know what I got with the many decent candidates.

              You take away the opportunity for Happ, Stroman, Hutch, Drabek, Reddmond, etc. to build trade value

              You take away the opportunity for Happ, Stroman, Hutch, Drabek, Reddmond, etc to perform well at a low cost.

              You pay top dollar for performance of the free agents.

              You give years to the free agents that you would not under other circumstances.

              You take away resources from improving the offence mid season if necessary.

              You lose slot money in the draft.

              You lose creative flexibility in picks in the draft.

              You lose an opportunity to select “sign ability” players who fall in the draft.

              So in my assessment, overpaying is a thing.

              • If you dont “overpay” for a SP you lose the opportunity cost to win in 2014 is the main argument here Famous. Rationalize all the reasons not to you get paralysis bu analysis and you are left with a mediocre roster that has an outside shot at competing for the upcoming season.

              • That’s a really linear way of looking at things. Buerhle isn’t signed for ever , players can be traded etc. so I really doubt this is his last 15 million to spend

                Might just be the last 15 for this offseason

    • Izturis batting ninth playing second really isn’t the end of the world. He had a long stretch of being valuable before he got here and he’s still young so he shouldn’t have declined that rapidly.

      With low expectations and no pressure, hoping he can just come in and settle down the position. Sure we can use and upgrade, but I’m not convinced it’s as dire as people think

  29. Hey Andrew, is there a way to do a side-by-side on Ervin and Ubaldo’s stats at the Rogers Centre? Who’s performed better? I feel like Ervin has owned us when he pitches there.

    • I could write one, but the samples are too small to really matter. The splits are there on their Baseball Reference pages. I had the same thoughts about Ervin, but it was really just a great run of starts, mostly in 2010-11, I think. Otherwise he’s been knocked around some, and the ERA is like 4.50 or something.

      • Isn’t the crux of the issue more ground ball verses fly ball rates? And doesn’t Ubaldo have the edge career but Santana the edge more recently?

      • Thanks Andrew. Yes I was thinking of those great starts too in 2010-11. Appreciate it.

  30. It’d be tough to swallow if we got neither of the two.

    The fact we have no draft picks to lose, and Rogers being as rich as it is, it would definitely send a signal of intentionally not trying if they let both slide.

  31. Wish I could attend the SOTF event just so I can call AA and Beeston cowards for not having the balls to try to improve this team.

    I wish Rogers would stop penny pinching and actually go after a free agent especially since our draft picks are protected!

    It’s a shame the Jays 5 year policy doesn’t apply to GMs and Presidents because I want these bums gone! They can toss Gibby out while they’re at it! Fire them all!

    • ok then

    • The Yankees spent $175 million on a guy who has never pitched in MLB. Is that good management?

      There are 29 other teams not jumping in on this pitching market today so I would think AA is in some good company

      • ohzoombe: my penny pinching reference has nothing to do with Tanaka, I would have passed on that price regardless of the 5 year policy was in place or not.

        I’m referring to the fact that the Jays are going to risk missing out on Santana just to see if they can save a few bucks. That is what’s pissing me off. If you think he’ll make the club better, stop pinching for pennies and sign him already!

        Also Bobby Valentine got fired for finishing last with the Sox. Our team was picked by Vegas to win it all and we finished last… how is Gibby still employed? He should be fired.

        • How are they risking missing out on him, though? Either they’re willing to pay the most for him or they’re not. It’s not like someone’s grabbing him off the shelf while they’re strolling down a different aisle.

    • Ugh.

      • What part of that did you have a problem with Andrew?:

        1) AA is a coward for not willing to gamble on someone, anyone in free agency.

        2) Rogers is cheap. How they treat their customers and employees is proof of that.

        3) Our draft picks are protected, this was the best time to spend some money without having to lose a top pick over it. Instead this chance is squandered.

        4) AA and Gibby should be fired. A team picked first to win by Vegas and finished last would warrant that kind of dismissal anywhere else.

        • All of it is incredibly ridiculous. Every single point horrifically off-base. You have no basis on which to call Anthopoulos a coward, because you don’t know what his restraints from above are, and the off-season is not even done yet. Rogers is shitty as fuck, but they spent on hockey rights, they spent on this team last year, they’re not always cheap and, again, you have zero basis for saying that’s what’s happening here. As for the draft picks, again, haven’t seen all of the pitchers sign yet, have you? And let’s not forget that the 49th pick is still pretty damn valuable, as is the money attached to it. It’s not nothing. And most laughable of all is the results-based process-ignoring garbage about why AA and Gibbons should be fired. Just hysterical nonsense pretending to speak for how the “real” world works when it absolutely does not. Companies don’t fire employees who do an excellent job of putting themselves in a position to be successful, only to be shat on by a tonne of random variance — not until that becomes a patter, and this is hardly that.

          • Andrew, AA isn’t open with the fans and keeps his budget top secret… so whose fault is it when we are unable to understand him? Mine for not being a mind reader?

            Yes, I agree Rogers is very shitty. They can spent billions on hockey rights and millions for the Marlin’s leftovers but can’t give AA the right to go after Santana for full price? Or go after other top free agents while our top picks are protected? That’s cheap in my books. Rogers can’t toss us a bone one year and then give us nothing after that… that’s bullshit and smacks of someone buying his girlfriend pearls just to shut her up. It will take more than one off season for me to think Rogers is serious about competing. Their unwillingness to be active this off season is proof that they are not in it to win.

            Also, I was against Gibby’s hiring right from the start and he should have been fired when this season ended. I honestly believe managers (actual good managers) could have taken this team (injuries and all) and competed last year. There were some really good managers out there last off season, some that even had World Series experience. Gibby’s hiring was AA’s worst move EVER and I honestly don’t think this team will complete until he’s fired and someone more capable is hired in his place.

            • It’s your fault for calling him a coward based on nothing.

              And “go after Santana for full price”???? What are you talking about?!!!?!??! They should spend money unnecessarily for absolutely no reason? Nobody else has signed him, so what’s the problem? Whichever team is willing to pay the most for him will get him, period. If that means waiting a little and saving millions, how is that a bad thing?

              As for Gibbons, again, you are basing all that on absolutely nothing.

              • Andrew, AA has not signed anyone from free agency for more than 8 million a year while other teams taken risks and make the playoffs instead of the Jays. To me, AA’s unwillingness to attack the free agent market and go the trade route every time does really look like cowardice to me. He’s unwilling to take chances and he has to if he wants to compete. I’m not saying he has to spend like a drunk sailor, but his fear of the free agent market and his unwillingness to spend there is hurting the team and our chances to make the post-season. We shouldn’t have to give up good prospects every time we want to get a good player… we should get a free agent every now and then and not trade for everything.

                My criticism of Gibbons is not baseless. Anyone who has a team that Vegas picks to win it all and then finishes dead last deserves to be fired. That team should have at least finished third to warrant keeping his job. I honestly believe that other managers out there who were available (even Valentine or Guillen) would have finished with a better record last year than what Gibby did with the Jays. In almost every other city, Gibbons would have been sent packing for how poorly that team did.

                Last year’s result was caused by poor management, both on the bench and in the front office. So not only do we have another season with a shitty manager but AA is cowering in the corner again, refusing to sign any free agents because of a 5 year handcuff that he created himself. This is why the Jays are failing and until AA is replaced by someone who is willing to take chances and put their best foot forward rather than what if themselves out of the market, this team will never succeed.

                • Sorry, but you are beyond out to lunch on how much a manager matters, how they’re viewed in the game, and how likely it is Gibbons would have been kept in another city. To look so narrowly at results and results alone is just not how smart decision-makers work, nor should they. A lot of variables went into what happened last season. Pretending it wasn’t enough magic coming from the manager’s office is ridiculous.

                  You’re also missing where “the Policy” comes from (and that it’s fake)– it’s Beeston, not AA, so you can’t call AA a coward for it. You also can’t call him a coward for his lack of use of the free agent market, because– once again– you don’t know his restraints, and you’re also missing the fact that he has very much not been a coward on the trade market. You can’t have it both ways, but worse still, you shouldn’t be TRYING to have it both was and trying to equate this hysterical frustration with how the club is going with some kind of logical assessment of it.

                  • Andrew… I think you’re seriously out to lunch if you don’t think a manager matters. Are you honestly going to say with a straight face that the Jays would have had the exact same record last year if someone like La Russa. Torre or Cox were managing them? Managers do make a big difference because they shape a team and they lead a team. We had players who couldn’t be bothered to sit on the bench the last week of the season… that’s a result of poor leadership and that starts with the Coach/manager. Boston got the manager they wanted and look how well it turned out to for them. So don’t you dare try to tell me that a manager’s impact in minimal because that is absolute horse shit!

                    In order for the Jays to compete, they have to make a splash on the free agent market. When we are being outspent by teams like Oakland and Kansas City, then there is a problem with our front office. AA needs to grow a pair and take a chance on Santana rather than hope his price will come down because it’s not. If there are other teams involved, that price is never going to come down. If this guy will help our team they need to nut up and sign him or they will miss out on getting a pretty good starter without losing prospects or a top pick.

                    It pained me to watch the Jays get outbid by Texas for Darvish, who have made it to the playoffs more times in the last few years than the Jays have in the last twenty. Was it foolish for the Tigers to overspend on Fielder? Maybe, but my friends in Detroit got to root for their team in the playoffs the last two years and I haven’t been able to since I was in high school. Taking chances does bring in results… and that means going out and playing the free agent game. If AA doesn’t have the nuts to do it, he should step aside for someone who can and will.

                    Yes, I am very frustrated… and for good reason. This team is capable of doing a lot but won’t as long as the GM refuses to play the free agent market and we have a crappy manager at the helm. I have every right to be upset as do a lot of Jays fans. We did our part and came out last year, buying a lot of tickets and putting our asses in the seats. Now it’s Beeston and AA’s turn to return the love and they’re balking. From my standpoint, I hope they’re both fired when the Jays don’t make the post-season and another year is wasted.

                    • Yes, I’m going to say that. Managers don’t make much of a difference. Talent has so much more to do with results on the field that their impact is beyond minimal compared to the silliness you’re regurgitating, like they’re some kind of magic talisman capable to coax winning out of whoever they meet. I won’t say their impact is nil, but there is plenty of reason to believe it’s closer to that than to what you believe– especially considered relative to other managers at the level we’re referring to.

                      And once again, since you don’t know how responsible Anthopoulos is when it comes to his activity on the free agent market, you can’t call him out on it. Maybe Rogers or Beeston doesn’t let him, they are three separate entities with separate agendas. Nobody’s telling you not to be frustrated, but maybe aim your frustration in a rational way. Pretending Gibbons is the problem on the field — the reason, apparently, all those players got hurt, which apparently they wouldn’t have under your magical breed of manager — and pretending you know Anthopoulos is driving the decision not to enter free agency because he needs to “grow a pair,” even though he clearly takes risk on the trade market and with re-signing his own players, is absurd.

                      If you’re not interested in even trying to understand the dynamics involved in running the club, why bother having such a passionate opinion about it?

                  • Hey Andrew and Peter, good conversation, good to read it, learned some stuff from it Andrew, no joke dude: you’ve got a cool site going.

  32. Wake me up with the words “Jays sign…” appear on a story.
    Until then, it’s all just blahblahblah.

  33. Even though you can never have enough pitching….Cards really do have a surplus…instead of a FA signing I wish the Jays could do something like a Shelby Miller or Lance Lynn trade, but hard to think what the Jays have to matchup well to give back though….

  34. [...] Stoeten at DJF and Minor Leaguer at Bluebird Banter both digest the Santana rumour. ML’s piece links to a [...]

  35. [Professional Sports Team] remain a leading candidate to sign [Free Agent[ assuming that they A) like the [player] and B) view the price as right.

    Can I work for Fox?

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