kinsler

And here I was getting set to write a big post about how nothing particularly interesting came out of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event.

I’ll share a bunch of thoughts on AJ Burnett, defensive shifts (yes to both), and the like tomorrow, but tonight Shi Davidi dropped something of a bombshell on us, and it’s one requires some more (relatively) immediate examination. According to his latest for Sportsnet, he reported that, in addition to the one for Brett Anderson we’d already heard about, the Jays had a deal fall apart that would have landed them Ian Kinsler, who was then with the Texas Rangers, but has since been moved to Detroit.

Or… “fall apart” isn’t quite the right terminology. He writes:

“A potential deal was scuttled by the three-time all-star’s no-trade clause, leaving the Rangers to look elsewhere, and the Blue Jays to anoint rookie Ryan Goins as the front-runner at second base.”

Fair enough on Kinsler’s part. It’s his right, and it’s hard to begrudge him that. Potentially this relates back to something that actually came up earlier today, when Sports Illustrated mistakenly called Toronto a “loathed city” when passing on a CBS Sports report that actually said it’s “a place some others are loathe [sic] to play.” There is definitely a sense out there that Toronto isn’t the place where a lot of guys want to come — at least not until they’ve played here — and we’ve all heard the issues before. Of course, we have no idea if Kinsler wouldn’t drop the no-trade clause for anything to do with any of that, or if he was simply hoping to avoid the turf, or to stay in Texas.

Whatever the reasoning, avoiding getting a player who doesn’t want to be here isn’t the only thing to feel good about here (which is especially good since that’s kind of a dumb way to look at it anyway). Actually, there are sort of a lot of things to like.

For starters, look at what the Rangers ultimately ended up getting for Kinsler: a big power bat in Prince Fielder. He’s lefty one, but I’m not so sure they would have been dead set on just that when clearing up the log jam in their middle infield, especially since it was to offset the loss of Nelson Cruz and a hole at DH. Plus, this was happening before they signed Shin-Soo Choo. Yes, they had obvious interest in J.P. Arencibia around that time, and the Anderson deal would have seen Sergio Santos land in Texas as well, so maybe Alex could have formed a significant enough package to land Kinsler without including the kind of player the Rangers ultimately landed for him, but there’s one name that jumps immediately to mind when you think about what they ended up getting, and that’s Jose Bautista.

I have no idea if that’s really what the deal was, obviously, but the needs match up, it’s not like the rumours about Bautista haven’t been out there, and the money matches up, too — better, even, than it would have with Detroit, who ended up having to send the Rangers a tonne of cash to offset the cost of Fielder. Jose makes $14-million for each of the next two years, with a $14-million option for 2016, while Kinsler’s next four years are guaranteed at an average of $14.25-million, with a $10-million option at the end of the deal (and a $5-million buyout).

If these two really were the key to the idea — and we’ve certainly heard about the Rangers sniffing around Bautista and Encarnacion before —  I’m pretty tremendously glad it didn’t materialize.

Not that Bautista isn’t in a noticeable decline either, but over the last two seasons Kinsler has seen his value trend in the wrong directions on the basepaths, while dropping off significantly from his 7.3 fWAR 2011 season both in the field, and at the plate. The baserunning component of his fWAR has gone from 9.5 runs above average in 2011, to 4.6, to -0.5 last year, as his stolen base totals dropped from 30 to 20 to 15. His defence, by UZR, has slumped over the same period from 16.0 (a large outlier, it should be noted), to -0.3, to -1.0, though DRS liked his defence in 2013 (+11) almost as much as in 2011 (+18), and much more than the year in between (+1). At the plate, since two well above average years in 2010 and 2011, where his wRC+ hit 114 and 123 respectively, he’s been just about a league average hitter — 100 wRC+ in 2012 and 105 in 2013.

Add it up and, among the 33 second basemen with 350 or more plate appearances, he ranked just 14th by wRC+ and 15th by fWAR (though at 4.9 for 2013, the version of the metric at Baseball Reference likes him nearly twice as much as FanGraphs does (2.5)). The year before those rankings were 14th and 10th.

So… he’s not bad, and certainly a giant improvement. He just hasn’t been quite as good as the reputation that precedes him. He was on the DL for the first time since 2010 this year, too, missing games with a rib cage stress fracture, though he was also bothered by a sore lower back on multiple occasions the year prior. Of course, Bautista has injury issues of his own, obviously, but he’s been worth nearly two full wins more over the last two seasons, despite playing 83 fewer games (though by rWAR, Jose has only been a half win better), and his contract is much more favourable.

If it was some other kind of package that was discussed — as it just as easily could have been, just as it could have involved more than just Bautista and Kinsler alone —  then sure, it hurts a bit more. But there’s still positive to be taken from all this, I think. It almost certainly means that the Jays were willing to take on money, for one. Plus, it shows that the club understands better than they lead on that their second base situation is kind of terrible, which is tremendous as well.

Granted, the timing of this leaked bit of information may be a little bit curious, at least to the cynic in me — I mean, thanks to the State of the Franchise, the club is going to be a little more visible in the next news cycle in this country, and this sure ought to make fans feel a little better about the off-season, sad as that is, than clips of Beeston and Anthpoulos trotting out their well-worn platitudes — but that’s still not enough for me to not see all the positive in it, even if I suspect a lot of fans are going to think differently.

Comments (189)

  1. Highly disappointing that big name players are averse to playing in Toronto. No reason is acceptable and if it’s a perception they have without ever having spent a significant time in the area, then I would deem them profoundly ignorant. I mean, for God’s sake, do they really think Cleveland, Oakland or Kansas City would be a better place to live? Sorry, I just had to vent.

    • Sorry, but it’s his right, and the choice is absolutely acceptable. He may not have wanted to uproot his family. He may not have wanted to cut his career shorter on the shitty turf. He may have looked at the last 20 years of the AL East and taken a pass. Perfectly reasonable all of it.

      • It’s his right and you can’t begrudge him for using his right. However, I can agree with the sentiment that it’s frustrating and upsetting that Toronto is in his list. Hopefully it has to do with the turf and the teams performance but I think it’s engrained in our Canadian insecurities to wonder if it’s because the American doesn’t like our city.

        • As an American, we as a majority love Toronto. However, I’m not from a backwards-ass state and have a solid geography background and know that Toronto isn’t a frozen muskie pond in the Arctic. Sadly, most American do not know this – and the majority of baseball players are from Florida and California.

      • Sure it’s his right – in North America, many things are his right. It’s easy to dismiss it as acceptable because it’s his right to say no to something. That’s an easy argument.

        What I don’t get is the difference between playing in Detroit or playing in Toronto, especially seeing as Toronto is a good couple hours down the 401 and not a complete shitdump of a city. Not to mention, the recent legitimacy of the AL Central renders the “I don’t want to play against the Yankees/Red Sox/Orioles” argument moot, especially seeing as he’ll be playing those teams regardless at a near-similar frequency. You think any of the Americans/Dominicanos on the Jays wanted to uproot their families to play here? Probably not (Mark Buerhle…..), but that’s professional sports and unless you somehow manage to grow up, go to school, and play professionally in your hometown, suck it up. As a Torontonian first and baseball fan second, this is a slap in the face.

        • If you’ve spent any time in the state of Michigan you would know that downtown Detroit is a dump (outside of the sports venues and finance district, but not between them!). However, the suburbs of Detroit are still flush with cash and very nice places to live. Go south a bit and you are looking at prestigious cottage country. Downtown Detroit = shithole. Surrounding Area = Affordable luxury.

        • Yes except that it would be easier and more lucrative for him to get endorsement deals if he plays for a US team and he would have a higher profile if he plays for a US team. Even on those MLB promos and ads you see on tv before the start of the season and before the AS game, you’d be hard-put to find a Jays player. Generally it’s Bautista but he doesn’t feature until close to the end of the ads. It’s Kinsler’s right to use his no-trade clause and it’s the Jays duty to turn this team into a club where players want to come and play.

          • A pretty common refrain when guys DO play in Toronto is that it’s a hidden gem in the MLB, and guys absolutely love it here in the end.

            Not a lot of players live/have lived here year-round though; I think Lyle Overbay was the last guy (and I heard he lived in Oakville). Seems like Buerhle would live here year-round if it weren’t for the province’s ridiculous pitbull laws.

            Oh well. Players will want to play here again when two things happen; when the Jays start to win consistently (in the late 80′s and early 90s, everyone wanted to play in Toronto), and when the career-shortening turf is gotten the hell out of there.

    • to be fair, we don’t know the exact terms of his no trade. He could have had 20 teams on it, and either felt Detroit was a better fit for him or didn’t have them on the list so had no say.

      No real reason to get upset.

      • Think i read it was a 10 team no trade clause.

        • The problem with the “uprooting family” explanation is that he shortly thereafter uprooted his family to the bankrupt and largely abandoned Detroit. Grass could be a reason, but I think its probably more closely related to the fact that he doesn’t want to play in Toronto. The AL East factor is an interesting thought, but there are two wild cards now, so its not the same deterrent that it once was…I’m not saying it wasn’t the deciding factor, but it seems like a stretch. Point being, as much as I’m sick of talking about it, we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss American nationalism and the notion that many Americans don’t want to play/work in a foreign country…despite how un-foreign Canada feels to us. That said, all I know for sure is that I’ll take boom boom Bautista and his umpire antics over Kinsler every time.

          • You don’t know a whole lot about Detroit, eh. The metro area is still massively populated, just not the inner city. Also: they may not have been on his no-trade.

            Your assumption that it’s Canada-related is wholly baseless, too.

            • No, i’ve been to Detroit enough times and understand that the suburbs are really nice, but nobody can argue that Detroit compares to Toronto. Chicago and Toronto are widely considered to be on the same level, but I can’t remember the last time an athlete chose Detroit over Chicago…or even worse, refused to play there. And while making a blanket statement that Toronto or Canada is THE reason Kinsler triggered the no trade is baseless and annoying, I don’t think it can be dismissed as a major contributing factor… Whether we like it or not, there will be guys that don’t want to play in Toronto simply because its Canada. I think its a fact of life. That said, I couldn’t care less. It didn’t stop the Jays from winning two world series and it is not an excuse for any sports team in Toronto.

              • Actually, not a reply only to Fraser, but to all of the above whining and hand wringing, as a former Torontonian — born and raised — all this silliness is plenty reason enough to be over joyed at having escaped your neurotic numbers. What a bunch of self-absorbed babies.

            • And if it is Canada related then it makes him a bit of an idiot anyway so why get up in arms about it..

              • Reply fail. Meant to reply to 1st discussion.

                • No offence guys, but if I were a player I’d consider vetoing a trade to Toronto and accepting a trade to Detroit. It has nothing to do with the city, and everything to do with wanting to win. That’s generally what drives athletes.

                  The Jays have been a shit team for a long time now and last year was pretty close to the bottom. Now, I know a lot of players significantly underperformed and there is reason for cautious optimism, especially if they add Jimenez and upgrade on Goins. But the fact remains, Detroit is stacked, has routinely been the postseason, and represents a much better chance of winning.

            • No I get that Detroit has nice suburbs… in fact I studied the city during my urban geography degree from U of T. Believe me, I’m sick of hearing people whine about guys not wanting to play here and I find it pathetic when people in Toronto worry about what some athlete thinks about us, but it doesn’t change the fact that some guys don’t want to play in Canada. Who knows why Kinsler put toronto on the list, but I’m pretty confident that if the Jays made the playoffs last year, he would have waived it. The fact that he agreed to go to Detroit instead just makes it sting a little.. That said I hated that trade for the Tigers…at least in the short term.

    • I wouldn’t lump Oakland in there. That’d be a nice place to be because you just live down in San Jose / Silicon Valley and commute the half hour to the park.

    • I guess Kinsler hasn’t seen Anthony Bourdain’s portrayal of Detroit.

      • “This city is screwed. The only place I’ve ever been that looks anything like Detroit does now is Chernobyl.” – Anthony Bourdain.

      • I went to university in Michigan just outside of Detroit. While some of the metro areas are nice (if you live in gated community), as a western Canadian I can assure you that Toronto is a much nicer city overall.

        Nes makes a good point on the winning thing. That would make sense.

    • No he probably passed on Cleveland and 10 other cities too. I won’t take this too personally until I find out we are the only team he turned down.

      Mind you… Detroit? Yikes. Who would willingly raise a family there over Toronto?

    • Oakland is in the Bay Area and a great place to be?

      Detriot however is fucking post-apocolyptic hellhole.

    • TWO WEEKS TIL PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT BITCHES!!!

    • Oakland’s got its nice parts. There’s also that little town across the bay…

    • Have you considered the possibility that people in Cleveland, Oakland and Kansas City might consider you to be similarly ignorant?

  2. I know all fans seem to overvalue their own players but to me a one for one seems like a massive overpay on our part. If it was truly Joey and Kinsler then I feel there had to have been a pitcher coming back in the deal.

    I’d more believe it was Lind that was one of the pieces instead of Bats. Lind hits like Babe Ruth in Texas and the Rangers seemed to have lost faith in Moreland.

    • Why have one lefty platoon DH when you can trade a guy you could otherwise use to land Prince effing Fielder and get a second one, amiright?

      • A Baker/Lind platoon for instance would produce the same or better for a fraction of the cost of Fielder plus the flexibility of not having to commit for 7 years not to mention the other pieces Kinsler would have brought. Finally leaving them money to do other things like in the pitching department.

      • I did say Lind as a possible PIECE in the deal. And you yourself had said how much of an impediment Fielders contract will be as soon as half way through it.

        Pujols and Fielder would probably clear waivers if either were placed on them.
        I look at it more as, in order to get rid of Fielder Detroit HAD to take Kinsler.
        Lind and a scrub would probably have been fair value when you factor in the bad contract.

        • I’d love to have Kinsler, don’t get me wrong. He’s obviously miles ahead of anything we have but if it were Jose for Kinsler I’m glad Kinsler used his no trade.

          • Detroit kicked in cash for the fielder trade. 30 million and fielder is a far better package then Santos, Lind, Arencibia. It had to have been more from the Jays end me thinks

            • With the kicker Texas still owe him 138 million over the next 7 years.
              They’ll be paying him 18 million when he’s 36.
              You seen his body NOW right? Imagine him at 36.

              • fielder is a committed vegan and a decent athlete for a guy his size.

                The thing is, he’s ALWAYS been that size. so its not really concerning, if he came to the mlb at 190 lbs and now weighs 270, he’s always been around that size, no real reason think he’s going to get worse because of his body type.

              • Meh, $18 Million then will be a lot different than it is now, both in terms of actual value and market value (at least the way free agent contracts are going). So a 36 year old DH who will still likely be around an .800+ OPS (especially in that park) isn’t the worst thing in the world. Especially when you traditionally get the value in those deals in the early years. I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem that bad to me.

            • The thing you are forgetting is what else they could do with the extra fielder money. Could they have gone harder after Tanaka for instance or had the room for Price perhaps? Again those guys are just speculation on our parts. Maybe their was an arm or a prospect involved. Too many outcomes to know for sure but it sure is fun rosterbating lol

  3. Very skeptical that Rogers employee Shi Davidi ‘found’ this nugget. Sounds more like Bluejays management using the media to score some potential points from irate fans. Seems a little fishy that this ‘report’ came out on the same day as the State of the Franchise.

    • Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen even if the timing was to the Jays advantage. The fact that they had a deal speaks volumes to me.

  4. Cue shirtless idiot at Tigers games next season attempting multiple times to stir up a KINSLER SUCKS chant.

    Thanks again, Alex….

  5. Dunno if both trades were being discussed at the same time or not, but if you’re Kinsler and you have the option of going to Toronto or going to Detroit, you’re definitely going to the team that’s a playoff regular over the team coming off back-to-back disaster seasons.

  6. basing it solely on what they ended up getting.. I think it makes perfect sense that it was either Bautista or EE.

    I do think Kinsler is a bit overrated though.. or at least overpaid. The last 2 years he has been good but far from great. Not sure if I would give up Bautista for him. Bautista posted the same WAR as Kinsler last year, but bautista only played 92 games.

    its cool that this got out though, we seldom get to hear of failed trades and stuff. I’m guessing it was released to get some of the people screaming for things to happen to calm down a bit.

    • sorry not last year, 2 years ago. last year bautista was almost 2 full wins better, in less games and for less money.

    • It makes no sense for Bautista or EE. Fill one hole and create another one.

      Not to mention that Kinsler is far inferior to both those players.

      Fielder is a helluva hitter, he’ll be much better then Kinsler the next few years offensively IMO but the only reason Texas gets him is because of the huge contract burden.

      EE and Bats contracts aren’t burdens and they are much better offensively then Kinsler.

      Makes no sense.

      • you werent landing Kinslder for nothing.

        And texas is a win now team and probably wanted major league players.

    • I have to disagree that the eventual trade for Fielder suggests Bautista or EE were part of a possible trade with the Jays. Texas took on an extra $76M in payroll by exchanging Kinsler for Fielder + $30M. A trade for Bautista would save them $20M over Kinsler, and EE even more than that. That’s a near $100M difference in salary for similar offensive production, and better defensive performance. That suggests that they valued Kinsler quite a bit less than Bautista or EE. So much so that he wouldn’t even have been the best centrepiece of the trade if the Rangers were to make up for that perceived $100M difference in value.

  7. Gibbons said lefty J.A. Happ is all but guaranteed to join R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Morrow in the rotation, leaving one spot up for grabs, unless the Blue Jays make an acquisition.

    “I like what [Happ] can do for us, and I think he is going to be really big this year,” Gibbons said.

    This makes me sad a panda. I just hope my lack of belief in him works in reverse they same way my belief in dickey Johnson and morrow did last year.

    I keep hoping they move him to free up salary for Drew, then again I hope for so many things i will never get.

    • Happ has had some mlb success, not consistently but some well pitched games.

      They’ll give him the ball and see what he does with it. I assume with the depth they have, their will be shorter leashes for those landing the 4/5 spot

      • That’s a good point about the shorter leash. If they do land a FA that leaves quite a few young guys looking for a spot to shine.

    • It’s Gibbons speaking in January. I wouldn’t worry about it just yet.

    • I think that’s fair based on the pitchers they have right now. If they add another one, then you’d think he would have to battle for the 5th spot.

      I think there’s something to be said about having Happ start as the 4/5th guy so the younger guys can get a few starts in AAA first. It’s not like you couldn’t make a move if he struggles.

    • Meh they probably said similar about Romero last year this time.

    • Meh… All the projections have him being roughly average this year, in varying numbers of innings. That’s perfectly fine to have at the back end of your rotation

  8. Blue Jays Plus has a great summary of their SOTF….

    http://www.bluejaysplus.com/thoughts-state-of-the-franchise/#sthash.pgQHKGwc.dpbs

  9. It’s heartening that they tried, though it’s disappointing they may have tried to trade Bautista.

  10. Is there anywhere on the internet that we can find out about players’ no-trade clauses? I would imagine that the Blue Jays are on many of them. What about other stories of players that have exercised these clauses and where they have declined to go?

  11. Not necessarily blue jays related but free agent pitcher related. Bronson Arroyo is passed lol
    http://emsite.thescore.com/mlb/news/419777

  12. Omg. What the duck is fucking?

  13. Well, it’s just another kick in the ‘nads to an already thin-skinned Canadian populace.
    The perception out there is that guys in ANY sport dominated by Americans do not want to come to Canada to play – for whatever reasons. We’ve heard ‘em all…the weather, the taxes, the travel, the border, and that darned metric system and all that Canadian history being taught in Canadian schools (thank you, Antonio Davis).
    I have no problem with what Kinsler decided – like you said, he’s got a family and seniority, so all’s fair…but it’s just another nudge in the ‘nads, showing us that we gotta grossly overpay to get the Yanks to swallow their gorge and venture north.

  14. Based on this report, it’s hard to tell what stage of trade discussions this thing fell apart in. It could conceivably in the earliest of stages like this:

    The Rangers go to Kinsler after the season ends and tell him they think they need to move on and ask him to provide a list of teams he is willing to go to – Toronto is not on the list.

    AA calls and asks about Kinsler. Rangers tell him Kinsler won’t go to Toronto. Both parties hang up the phone and go on with their day, 10 seconds into the call. No names are exchanged or discussed by either side.

    January 29th of an inactive offseason rolls around and a Jays front office lackey seeks to do some damage control by dropping a nugget in Shi Davidi’s ear about a Kinsler trade being “scuttled”.

    • I’d usually say maybe, but the fact is a lot of the buzz around the Jays the past few days (buzz i’m sure season ticket holders would’ve no doubt heard) has been about the Jays being very in on free agent pitching. That would have essentially the same effect as a nugget about a trade that maybe almost happened four months ago, no? And if anything, doesn’t this news just kinda discourage the fanbase in the sense that it appears, for whatever the reason may be, Kinsler didn’t find the Jays an attractive option for himself?

  15. Could have been a package based on Rasmus rather than Bautista.

    • I thought this from the very beginning. With the way Rasmus raked last year and the impending ginormous contract he’s bound to get this off-season if he does it again, I’m wondering if the jays fully expect to lose him. They seem to shy away from big long-term contracts. Just spit balling as we all are…
      That being said, center fielders that play plus defense and that hit for average and power are hard to come by and would love to see him there for many years to come. Lock him up!

    • G-man, do you happen to be related to G-unit?

      • No, I suspect G UNIT wanted G Man but it was already taken. Though if you are asking about IRL, yes, people have been known to refer to me as G Unit – though that’s the probably the case with a lot of letter G named people.

        I was thinking it could easily be Rasmus because the Rangers would have probably been able if not keen to use the Kinsler/Choose/Fielder money to lock him up, so length of control wouldn’t have been a concern. Plus, like Fielder, he’s a LH power bat.

        • For the record your suspicion was incorrect. I did not want the name ‘G Man’, and further, I don’t know why I chose the name G-UNIT in the first place, other than it was the first thing that sprang to mind. Rather, my intent was to select a name that was a complete departure from a handle I use on another Jays board.

  16. Speaking about Happ,

    I wonder what was said about Romero at this time last year? Probably something along the lines of him being the number five and they’re really excited about him and they think he’ll have a great year.

    Whether it’s his fault or not, another bad start would not look good on ol’ Gibbers, and I’m sure he knows that. So if Happ is thoroughly outpitched in March I highly doubt he’ll be handed a spot in the rotation because of jibber jabber said in January.

    • Although last year JJ was unbeatable in spring training so…

      • What does that have to do with anything? JJ wasn’t a fringe guy battling for a spot in the back end. He could have taken a shit for four weeks and would have still been handed his spot because he had the stuff and the track record.

        Happ is mediocre in all sense of the word. If a pitcher like Stroman or Hutchison or Nolin or Drabek looks absolutely awesome in the Spring, I think Gibbers would rather run with them than stick with Happ because of something he said in January.

  17. i wonder if jose reyes would have been a jay if he had a no trade clause last year..

    • No way The Trade happens if miami didn’t have a policy against no trade clauses

      In such a big deal SOMEONE would have held it up.

      • Buerhle would likely have rejected the trade as well if he had a no-trade-to-some-teams clause.

  18. I’m glad you’re looking at this with a little sobriety Stoeten (though that is pretty surprising given the posting hour – you’re slipping).

    1. A player having Toronto in his no trade clause is very different than free agents wanting to come here. It’s that “all things being equal” caveat I hate when people discuss free agency, where the open market and lack of maximum salaries makes that impossible. In this case, it is true and I’m not surprised that a guy would prefer NOT to move to a new country and play for a perceived non-contender on a field that will probably shorten his career.

    2. I have to disagree with your guess that Bautista or Encarnacion were the obvious targets. While they are definitely comps to Fielder, Prince was heavily discounted in value due to his salary. Even with the $30M the Tigers sent over, Fielder will be paid $20M per year until 2020, when he will be 37. I doubt getting Kinsler would have taken either of our stars.

  19. a couple of thoughts

    1- fuck shi, really? it should be pretty clear that shi is just a tool used by the front office to control the message… and in this case deflect criticism for the failure of the club to get anything significant done to this point of the offseason. disappointing.

    2- this is what happens when rogers decides to align itself with the fuckin’ argos instead of baseball players that have a choice. noboday wants to play on turf when they have an alternative. nobody. again disappointing.

    • I’ve seen more intelligent things written on the walls of caves.

      • maybe you should climb back into your cave, kyle.

        • Solid burn, but seriously, questioning the integrity of Shi Davidi because you don’t agree with what he says? Beyond moronic.

          • it is not that i don’t agree with shi, at all… it is pretty clear to me the the front office released the information to shi in order to deflect criticism.

            otherwise why didn’t shi have access to this information when these deals actually fell through?

            i think it should be clear to most everyone that the front office is leaking the information to davidi in order to change the narrative.

            • Wow Ryan, that’s weird logic. So the front office wants it known that a player declined to play here? How does that make us look good at all? It doesn’t excuse AA or the Jays. It just makes us look worse.

              That’s like showing up at the big dance with no date and saying “It’s not my fault I have no date. It’s because the girl I asked said no”.

              • the want to let it be known that they haven’t been sitting on sitting on their hands all winter… in other words that they have been trying to improve the club despite the lack of results.

                you think davidi just started reporting on this team yesterday? pure coincidence that on the evening of the state of the franchise it leaks out that the they jays almost made two big trades months ago?

  20. So Wilner on the Jeff Blair show just said it was 1000% not Bautista involved in the trade. Kinsler was apparently the head liner of the trade. At the time it was Texas trying to move a contract. Interesting info considering what Texas did after.

  21. Wilner just said on Blair’s show that Bautista was “1000% not involved” in any Kinsler deal.

  22. From rosenthals column
    Santos was part of the Kinsler discussions, as was left-hander Ricky Romero, according to one source. The Rangers’€™ goal in such a trade was to clear the remaining $62 million on Kinsler’€™s contract to pursue other moves, that source said.

    • Just heard Blair read that out on the air. Very very interesting. On one hand moving Romero would be a bit Wellsian, on the other hand you’ve got to wonder if the Rangers know/see something others don’t.

      • Should this give us hope for Ricky Romero? Someone actually wanted him in a trade?

        • It’s always possible and as a Jays fan I would love for that to be the case, but I imagine it was similar to what the Marlins did with Buehrle and Buck last year. Basically AA saying “we’ll take the $62 million on Kinsler but you’ve got to take a chunk back”.

    • Why would they take romero if the goal was a salary dump?

  23. If you can listen to the Jeff Blair show later on today the first 20 minutes are worth it. Lots of interesting tidbits from him and Wilner. Some being Blair said he knows for a fact the Jays have talked to Burnett’s agent 3 times in the last two weeks. Have talked to Boras but aren’t pursuing him at the moment.

    • Yeah it sounded like Blair and Wilner were lurking pretty hard at the SOTF last night…

    • Burnett would be an awesome addition. The timing of his announcement that he’s open to signing anywhere seems weird though. Wouldn’t he have been better off making that known earlier in the offseason? Unless he just changed his mind, I find it hard to see this as anything other than a move to put the pressure on Pittsburgh. We can hope, though.

      • What I like about a possible Burnett deal (and I’m not really banking on one) is that he comes with no draft pick compensation. Then they would be free to make a move on Drew and only lose the 2nd rounder.

    • Dont know if it matters, but Frontline is also the agency representing Samardzija

  24. I’d have guessed a Rasmus centred deal… If it was before Texas landed Choo they could have been looking to unclog their IF situation and solve their CF situation in one trade. Once it fell through they went a different route.

    All just guesses tho.

  25. @BVHJays: Take it for what it is, but on his radio show, Blair is saying “AJ Burnett and the Jays… there’s something going on there.”

    • AA shopping at the dollar store again…

      The writing is on the wall then – no Jiminez, no Santana welcome Burnett. FFS… the Jays never cease to disappoint me.

      • um Burnett might be better than the other 2, and require half as many years

      • You either do an awesome job of pretending to be pissed about stupid things or of convincing yourself that a move is stupid so that you can genuinely be pissed off. It’s hard to tell which.

        Most people consider Burnett the best option available. He’s at least as good as the other two, will need a shorter commitment, and has no draft pick compensation attached.

        • Burnett shit the bed in NY… he had 1 quality season here and that was in an opt out contract year.. One good season ever 4 or 5 doesn’t make him a viable option. He’s a consolation prize.

      • Are talking about the same AJ who put up 4 wins last year? Do you even know who the fuck he is?

        • Not sure if you are thinking of the right A.J. … we’re talking about the one who put up a 10-11 record last year with a solid 3.30 ERA and 107 ERA+.

          If we do get him, I just hope we’re getting the A.J. who was with the Jays (.594 winning percentage, sub-4 ERA, 112 ERA+) and the Pirates than the A.J. who was lit up as a Yankee (.426 %, 4.79 ERA, 92 ERA+).

        • Just to clarify, I meant WAR obviously. He’s put up 7 WAR over the past 2 seasons, which is maybe more than the entire Jays rotation combined over that time.

      • Yes. It’s utterly shameful the way that the Jays refuse to throw good money at bad bargains. Terrible.

      • Burnett is likely the best of the three (arguable – I’ll give you that). But if you can get him on a short term deal your risk is a lot less than giving one of the other two 4/5 years and having them play to their floors.

        • Not to mention the 2 kids should be ready when he leaves and your overall $$ outlay is negligible.

  26. the most upsetting part of this news to me is the part that we already knew- that toronto had brett anderson in their grasp and got scared off by his perrennial injury concerns, even though his last injury was to his foot. not sure how he’ll do in coors field but this is a guy who could have come in and been a legitimate ace for pennies on the dollar

    • Well it’s not like they would just say “Naw, he’ s injured too often… we’ll pass.” If the deal didn’t go through because of medical reasons, they would have actually looked at his medicals before making the decision.

      • but he was subsequently dealt to colorado so he couldn’t have been too far-gone.

        • Well, Colorado could have disagreed with the medical assessment. Or the Jays could have been unwilling to deal someone with Santos’s value because of the risk, so they tried to restructure the deal and Oakland backed out.

          There are a lot of possibilities. It’s not like Oakland got a great haul in the trade.

    • I’m not sure an 8M contract is “pennies on the dollar”…if I wanted a pitcher coming off a 6+ ERA and an injury, I would have resigned Josh Johnson and saved myself from losing Santos.

      • for the production he could have given Toronto, it would have been pennies on the dollar. he was sidelined too much of last year to post anything resembling good numbers. but he is very talented.

    • I just don’t think it’s a risk the Jays “had” to take if the medicals were questionable when there was/is other options out there. Obviously payroll isn’t quite the issue that some of us think it is.

  27. this may be a quibble but it’s an important distinction: nowhere does Davidi say that Kinsler nixed a deal to the Jays. he says his no trade clause “scuttled” the deal. and what Ken Rosenthal is now reporting is that the Jays, once they learned they were on Kinsler’s no trade list, backed off. it didn’t get to the point where the deal was even presented to Kinsler.

    • And why should we think that Kinsler would negotiate a no trade clause (most likely getting less money because of that) only to waive it when a trade came up?

  28. Why all the interest in Burnett all of a sudden? He’s still a .500 pitcher.

    • lol thank you for that. It brings back such wonderful memories of having to listen to main stream media personalities belittle him based on that stat.

    • Wins???? really???

      • He wasn’t being serious.

      • Wins is not a completely useless stat and the fact that Burnett isn’t able to rack them up speaks to some of his deficiencies as a pitcher that other stats may not. Not saying he isn’t a good pitcher because he has had 500 record but if he was better is some ways he would be better than a 500 pitcher. If a pitcher over a long sample has good peripherals but isnt able to win many games even when on good teams (Burnett) there is a reason for that other than dumb shit bad luck.

    • .500 pitcher? seriously?

      AJ Burnet has been close to a top 10 pitcher over the last few years by every stat that matters. He also had an amazing season with the Jays in 2008.

      • He did. We’re also talking about the same guy who was passed over in a critical game in the playoffs (the playoffs!!) in favour of a rookie, Gerrit Cole.

        • Yeah his season didn’t exactly end well, he got dummied by the Cards and the Pirates were afraid to use him a second time. Still the Pirates were in the playoffs and he was a big part of their rotation.

      • Maybe you were in a coma during his tenure with the Yankees?

        • Meanwhile, it seems you were in a coma every year before and after his tenure with the Yankees.

          • I was around Phil and I also consider something call a “body of work” not just what a pitcher has done last year.

            But go for it, ignore the bad seasons, ignore the massive inconsistencies. If Burnett comes here in addition to a Santana or Jiminez then fine he can be the 4th or 5th starter but if Burnett is not to be relied on.

            • In the last two years, Burnett has 7 fWAR. Santana has 2 and Ubaldo has 3.3.

              Burnett’s worst seasons were 2010-11, where his FIP- was 113 and 115, and it was down to 93 and 76 the last two years. Santana’s worst season was 2012 when his FIP- was 142 and he dropped that to 97 last year. Ubaldo’s worst season was also 2012, where his FIP- was 127, and his dropped down to 90 last year.

              So Burnett was quite a bit better in 2013, miles ahead in 2012, and worse in both 2010 and 2011. He also had a long track record of success prior to his Yankee years, including four very good seasons while pitching in the AL East.

              Is that enough “body of work” for you? Or does “body of work” refer to two rough seasons that happened three years ago at the exclusion of everything else?

              • Fine Phil I stand corrected.. Burnett is better than I’m letting on… Back to my orig point though I’m fine with him at the bottom of the rotation. As the sole prize in free agency? No thanks.

      • Top ten pitcher? In his division do you mean?

        Wow we better go sign this guy!

  29. So I find myself strangely hyped with the Kinsler news even though you turn around and see tweets like this:

    Ben Nicholson-Smith ‏@bnicholsonsmith 7m

    AA: yes there’s been dialogue with FA position players. No, he’s not pursuing actively. Gibbons likes current group. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-ask-frustrated-fans-to-stick-by-team/

    Have to admit, I would be seriously disappointed if the don’t do anything even though I believe they are going to be far better than most are giving them credit for. I just don’t think it’s enough to get them over the hump.

  30. Hearing we almost got Kinsler for Santos and Romero is like the ultimate kick in the nuts. Especially when some people thought a Kinsler trade meant Bautista had to be in the deal.

  31. It wasn’t for Bautista guys, literally wasting your time discussing it.

  32. TWO WEEKS TIL PITCHERS/CATCHERS REPORT!

    FOUR WEEKS TIL FIRST EXHIBITION GAME VS PHILLIES

    LONGEST WINTER EVER. ALMOST OVER.

  33. surely there are some drake fans in the mlb

  34. I was always under the impression that Kinsler was involved in the Detroit trade as a way for Texas to offset the net payroll they were taking on with Fielder. Likewise, I doubt he was someone Detroit was specifically targeting, and more took him as a means to offload Fielder’s contract.

    Texas has a built-in minimum wage replacement for Kinsler. He just simply wouldn’t have had the value to warrant someone like Bautista or Edwin unless there was more coming back to Toronto.

    • Texas also had an infield logjam that trading Kinsler solved, so it wasn’t just to offset the salary.

      And Detroit lost their 2013 2b, Omar infante to free agency, so they had a hole at second they needed to fill

      • I mentioned that Texas had a replacement. I’m not saying they begrudgingly took Kinsler, just that taking him was a means to an end. Filling their 2b hole while still dropping salary.

  35. Why do people think that pro athletes dont want to play in the AL east?

    A) I’d imagine the athlete mentality would make them want to play in the biggest baddest division and
    B) every front office save maybe the phillies is smart enough to discount numbers put up against tougher competition, so I doubt that it would really effect their next payday that much.

    I dont get it.

  36. Unrelated to thread discussion…..

    To all you people that watch the Jays via stream, can any of you tell me approx how much bandwidth an average game would take?

    They only TV I regulariy watch is baseball, so I’d like to know which internet package i should by. Anyone have any experience with TechSavy?

    • No experience with TekSavvy, but from my experience with Rogers Anyplace TV, one hour of streaming is approximately 600 mb per hour based on normal TV usage. Not sure how different it is if it’s filmed in HD or whatnot.

      So… you’re looking about about 2 GB for a typical AL East game. ~80 GB for a Yankees-Red Sox game.

    • I used the mlb app pn my PS3 this past season. I’m on Teksavy and used a vpn service to avoid blackouts, unlimited bandwidth w/Teksavy so that wasn’t an issue

    • Teksavvy is great. I don’t have cable, stream everything, never hit any sort of cap, pay like $35 a month.

      • I’ll second that. Great customer service too. Had it for two years, and not one complaint about them.

      • What kind of internet is it? No cap for $35 a month that’s like 3 X less than you know who that won’t invest enough in their sports properties…

      • Thanks guys,

        Andrew, Deere, are you guy’s throught Cable or DSL? Do you know which plan you are on?

        For $35 a month, did you sign up for the Cable 6 – but add unlimited downloads or something? I don’t see any packages for that price.

    • Teksavvy has been great. I’ve been on it for 2 years and have not experienced any outages or throttling to speak of.

  37. There is no way its the city that’s the reason to turn down an offer to come to Toronto. I believe it has to do with winning. Once we start to win and do so on an annual basis we will attract many more free agents our way. These guys play for money but also want glory to come with it. If we can offer them similar money the chance to truly win a World Series on an annual basis will bring them to Toronto. Its fun making lots of money not so fun making lots of money on a team which is losing and your name comes up all the time for not doing enough.

    • “once we start to win”…. that’s funny. Don’t you mean “if we start to win”. Rinse, lather, repeat. Same old crap from the Front Office, Jays finish 4th or 5th in 2014.

      MLB needs to do away with unbalanced scheduling before Jays have any hope of sniffing a playoff berth.

  38. Guys, come on. It has EVERYTHING to do with winning and NOTHING to do with the city or country.

    Did Toronto used to be in a different place or different country back in the early 90′s when everybody wanted to play here?,Were players less American then?

    The fact is, with the money these guys make, there’s always a very nice place to live close to ANY of the MLB cities. And I use “live” loosely. Very few ballplayers live where they play anymore.

    The season is six months long, and they’re only even in their home city for half of that. And because of the way the schedule is (playing everyday) even if they DO live in the city they play in, their lives aren’t much different. They’re not doing a whole lot besides playing ball, not much of a social life.

    If Toronto had had a good year with these guys and won the WS, you can bet Kinsler would have come here. There’s nothing wrong with Toronto the city. The team just needs to win.

    • This is partially right, but it’s not untrue that guys find constantly going through customs (and their families having to do so when they come), having to switch currencies, not having ESPN or having the Leafs headline everything even in the thick of baseball season, somewhat annoying. Most, from what I hear, like it a whole lot better once they get to know the place — Buehrle was an example this year — but that kind of stuff weighs on a guy a little, as does the career (and therefore earning-power) shortening properties of the shitty turf. Ultimately, though, yes, the fact that the club hasn’t won is a huge factor — though more, even, than that, I’d think, is the fact that they haven’t often looked like they’re even trying. Ownership, I mean.

    • it has everything to do with the playing surface… nobody likes turf.

  39. Is there a chance players like Kinsler won’t play in the east because it’s the toughest division and they want an easier path unless they get paid an obscene amount of money?

  40. Griffin says it was Encarnacion.

  41. I have respect for Davidi but I think somebody’s creating a diversion.
    In three different locations of MSM,I’ve read that the trade talks for Kinsler never got past the inquiry stage.Players names weren’t exchanged because as soon as AA called he was told that Toronto was on the no trade list.It ends there.
    To quote Davidi
    “had separate trades for Ian Kinsler and Brett Anderson fall apart earlier this winter.”
    Never fell apart because AA was told no chance,you’re on the list.
    It never got to the rumour stage because there was nothing to it.
    Has me questioning what I’m being fed.
    Davidi reports that the “near misses” doesn’t mean that AA has been sitting on his hands.
    Um, they weren’t near misses,and Anderson’s medical weren’t so bad to stop the Rockies from signing him.
    The timing of Davidi report ( propaganda?) is curious for a non-event that happenned months ago.

    • exactly, radar. davidi has been busting his nuts all winter on this sort of stuff and on the night of the SOTF he gets info that the jays almost made two big trades months ago? ahh… yeah… riiiight.

    • RADAR that is an excellent point. You’re right, the trade talk would not have progressed very far given that no-trade clause.

      • Yet Davidi describes it as a “near miss”.Suggests that the Jays were close but darn it,didn’t happen.Doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
        Like the great,drunken,hungover Stoeten once said,”don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining”

    • Seems like you are bang on RADAR. I really liked Dividi too but this just reeks of a lack of integrity

  42. I have respect for Davidi but I think somebody’s creating a diversion.
    In three different locations of MSM,I’ve read that the trade talks for Kinsler never got past the inquiry stage.Players names weren’t exchanged because as soon as AA called he was told that Toronto was on the no trade list.It ends there.
    To quote Davidi
    “had separate trades for Ian Kinsler and Brett Anderson fall apart earlier this winter.”
    Never fell apart because AA was told no chance,you’re on the list.
    It never got to the rumour stage because there was nothing to it.
    Has me questioning what I’m being fed.
    Davidi reports that the “near misses” doesn’t mean that AA has been sitting on his hands.
    Um, they weren’t near misses,and Anderson’s medical weren’t so bad to stop the Rockies from signing him.
    The timing of Davidi report ( propaganda?) is curious for a non-event that happened months ago.

  43. Would be interested to know:

    A) How many mlb players currently have limited no trade clauses.
    and
    B)Of these players, how many of them currently have Toronto on their list?

    • B) If those players also have KC, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay on their lists, I’m not offended. As much as I love Toronto, objectively speaking it doesn’t measure up to other destinations.

      • It’s really not surprising. Many players are farm boys that aren’t all that worldly, so going to a foreign country, such as it is, doesn’t hold much appeal. Combine that with the realty/perception that the tax rate is higher, they have to go through customs all the time, and they have to play on turf, heck, I’d consider putting them on my no-trade clause too.

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