MLBTR passes along word that on his SiriusXM show yesterday, Jim Bowden claimed that the Jays “expect” to get one of Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. Makes sense, though I’m fully on Team A.J. at this point.

And so is Jeff Blair! In his latest (lastest?) at the Globe and Mail, Snappy The Turtle says he has a source with a Major League club that isn’t the Jays who included them among the teams who’ve contacted Burnett’s agent. I still think he’ll end up in Pittsburgh or Baltimore, but how fun would it be if he didn’t? Blair also half-seriously suggests that John Gibbons was indeed referring to Burnett at the State of the Franchise when he mistakenly reversed J.A. Happ’s initials, and says that the Jays may be softening on their anti-Scott Boras stance, as he says they’ve asked the über-agent about Stephen Drew, and have been told he’s amenable to moving to second.

At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan looks at Burnett’s case as the best starter currently on the market. More importantly, he looks at some scary red flags on Ubaldo Jimenez, including the fact that “Jimenez made his 24th start on August 17th, in Oakland. He finished with a 4.00 ERA and a 4.33 FIP, and he’d averaged about 1.8 strikeouts per walk,” and that the competition he faced afterwards was pretty much dogshit. The other side of the arbitrary endpoint game, though, is that from April 29th onward his ERA was 2.61, with over 2.5 K/BB.

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus includes Dan Norris among his list of prospects who just missed making his top 101 (which was released this week and included Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and Alberto Tirado). About Norris he explains: “He was as high as no. 80 on a few rough drafts, but slowly trickled down the list before falling off completely so that a few high ceiling/high risk types could get their day in the sun. As much as they belonged, their inclusion shouldn’t have come at the expense of Norris. As far as I’m concerned, this is a top 101 talent.”

“Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” is the appropriate title given by Mr. Fairservice to his coverage of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event over at Getting Blanked. Read it already.

According to a team release, tickets for the Jays’ home opener on Friday, April 4th, against the Yankees, are now sold out. Unless you count Stub Hub, that is.

Blue Jays Plus has a nifty write-up from the State of the Franchise, in case you’re still looking for more of those. And last week I was on the BJP podcast, talking Tanaka and, apparently, getting conspiratorial or something.

Speaking of audio, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith — Benny Fresh! — on last week’s episode of FanGraphs audio.

Weighted balls. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun looks at weighted balls. Or something.

John Lott of the National Post looks at what the scouts are saying about Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. Swoon much?

Blue Jays Plus also looks at the prospect rankings that were just released.

Brett Lawrie does hot yoga, writes Shi Davidi at Sportsnet. Yes, the off-season has come to this.

At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm writes about Sean Nolin.

Jays Journal looks into John Gibbons’ comments about mechanical changes made to J.A. Happ late last season.

Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Drew tells us about the new protective headwear for pitchers. Which… yeah.

Lastly, not entirely Jays-related, and a little stale now, but if I know my audience as well as I think I do, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the “Dave Dombrowski Is Full Of Shit” portion of this post at Detroit Sports Rag. Because it’s kinda awesome.

Comments (51)

  1. Sign A.J. and not waste Sanchez or Stroman on bullshit trades? Yes please.

    • Or just sign Ubaldo or Santana.

      I’m not sure where this Burnett love is coming from. He was kind of terrible his last 3-4 years in the AL East.

      Id love for Baltimore to sign him. He’s not that good.

      • really? are you sure? So your saying that once a player has a bad couple of years, then thats it, they should just hang it up and never return?

      • He is actually very good, he was a top 25 pitcher last year and a top 30 pitcher in 2012 (according to fangraphs). He’s actually gotten better as he got older, but obviously he comes with an old age risk.

        He’s a much surer bet than Jiminez or Santana for sure.

      • huge increase in sinker usage when he went to the Pirates, changed his release point too, started throwing his sinker for strikes, and that ballooned his GB% to elite levels. Just lining up his K/9 and GB% he was best in the majors, didn’t walk many the last two years, guys like that kick ass in the launchpads in this division.

        • I think the issue is either trusting that he’s gotten better or thinking that he’s benefited from playing in the NL….

          He was kind of OK, then got worse, then got real bad in his years in the AL before he went to the NL and – from junk to good – dominated. And dominated 2 years.

          As much as I’d like to just assume that he’s 100% the pitcher he has been the last 2 years for the Pirates, I don’t think it’s that simple – the ‘AL East’ factor is a thing.

          I’d also like to assume that Jimenez and Santana are 100% the 2013 version of them that they showed….

          • He was still very good by league-neutral metrics, but yes, some of his raw numbers may not look as shiny when moving to a league with the DH and a division like the AL East. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be as good a pitcher, though. He’s still the same pitcher. Let’s not get too scared of the AL/NL thing, let’s just not use stats that force us to guess at the differences ourselves too much.

            And let’s definitely not pretend there are AL and NL pitchers, or guys who can pitch in the AL East or those who can’t. Yes, because of the parks, the DH, and the typical strength of the AL East it’s tougher to put up the same numbers there than in a division like the NL West. But it’s more whether a guy is a good pitcher or not, rather than whether he’s an AL or an NL pitcher.

            And no, Burnett wasn’t good with the Yankees for the last two years, but that doesn’t mean we just stop there and say he’s good in the NL Central but not good in the AL East. That’s ridiculous. We can actually look at what the differences were, and by his Brooks Baseball page it looks like the percentage of sinkers that he used went from 19 and 13 in the last two Yankees years, to 35 and 36 in his two years in Pittsburgh, and subsequently his ground ball rate went from 44% and 49% to over 56%. Part of that might have to do with facing pitchers and the quality of competition, but that sure as fuck is a more compelling explanation for the turnaround than silliness like “he can’t pitch in the AL East.”

            Should also be noted that the original assertion is wrong: he was only bad in the AL east for two years.

            Should also also note that ABsteve said this all way more succinctly.

            • You say “league-neutral metrics” like that’s a mathematically proven thing.

              You can adjust to account for differences when teams play eachother a lot, which is how you end up with park adjusted metrics (which have their own problems, but that’s for another time), but it’s impossible to just wave a magic wand and flatten the differences between two groups of teams that seldom play each other. A solid hypothetical:

              The AL his more HRs than the NL this year. Is this because: A) The AL has better hitters than the NL? B) The NL has better pitchers than the NL? C) The AL has better hitters AND pitchers but its hitters are betterer? D) The AL has worse hitters AND pitchers than the NL but its pitchers are worser? E) Sorcery?

              “league-neutral metrics” are either based on the woefully small sample size that interleague provides, or they’re based on purely anecdotal evidence of players switching leagues. Or divination, I suppose. Either way probably a fucking shitty way to pick a free agent.

    • +1

  2. Dombrowski sounding a bit like Ricciardi there!

  3. Tomorrow is Feb 1st

    and there are 4 mid lvl SPs left? and an All star Closer, and a Ok middle infielder.

    what the hell man. Is this the new norm?

  4. You’ve gotta think that the baseball-media complex has to love the way this free agent market played out. Normally, things would be pretty much wrapped up by now, but this year, with all the pieces still left on the board, they get more columns about rumors, more page views, etc. I wonder what the MLBTR traffic looks like as opposed to a “normal” January.

    Anyway… Hey, how would we feel about getting Chris Capuano on a 1-year deal????

  5. I’m so sick of this ‘sell a bunch of group tickets before single tickets’ bullshit. Game’s sold out? No it fucking isn’t. We have plenty you can buy from online scalpers – for twice (min) face – and you can get the whole fucking row. Isn’t scalping illegal?
    Complete hogshit that the Jays enable this kind of gouging.

    • Yeah! Fuck selling as many tickets as they can to games! And raise payroll! Those cheap fucks

      • I just paid $80 each to sit somewhere near the fucking airport. Fuckers.

        • i just dont see how they can control it, or why they’d care, I live in calgary and garth brooks came to town during stampede and it sold out in about 8 seconds

          • They could control it by not pre-selling group tickets weeks before individual seats are offered for sale. Pretty simple.

            • Unless you’re from 200 miles away, why are you paying $80 for a one off annual drunk fest when $40 more will get you 10 games throughout the season, including the drunk fest? Getting first dibs on the most in demand game of the year will always be a major incentive to shell out for a package. Whether package holders go to the game or triple their money online is irrelevant. And at $120 for a 10 game package, you really have little to complain about.

          • Hey, if it sells out in 8 seconds to 25,000 fans directly from the site then great. It being sold out before they’re actually available is BS

            • I agree 12dollar – and I’ve bought group seats and scalped them. It’s goofy.

              • I gave up on the assholes. Fuck them. I was willing to pay for the best seats etc but i wom’t be gouged. (how is that even fucking legal when scalpers on the street get jailed?)

    • Pretty sure it’s not just a Jays issue, but you’re not wrong that it’s bullshit.

      • I’m sure it’s not just the jays, but ya… bullshit. And then they sell advertising to Stub Hub. It’s wonderful.

    • Just a head’s up, there are 80 other games you can go to during the season.

  6. That Detroit Sports Rag post was fun. Full of angst and disparaging remarks.
    You have a brother in Michigan?

    I’m glad it’s official that Dombrowski didn’t call a soul on Fister. Shut a few of these AA haters up.

    • Most of south western Ontario is Tigers country. My relatives that live in London and Leamington are Detroit fans.

  7. Drew + Burnett and I buy 10 tickets.

    I’m not bullshitting either. I bought group seats to a game last year plus a flex pack. So far I have yet to buy any tickets. Not because of any animosity or anything. Just haven’t felt like committing the money yet.

    But Drew and AJ would compel me.

  8. Stoeten – 

    you know your audience – that piece on Dombrowski was *nasty*. loved it.

  9. AJ Burnett is an asshole and dugout poison. I base this on everything. I would take Arroyo over the deuche that is Burnett.

  10. Buste Olney had this in his article this morning:

    “Among some of the teams that have had internal conversations about Ervin Santana and Stephen Drew, medical issues have affected interest about the possible length of offers. There is concern about Santana’s elbow and about Drew’s hips. “

  11. Where is this Burnett love in coming from? His last stint in the AL East was a fucking train wreck, he’s old and reportedly only looking for a 1 year contract.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to sign a younger pitcher with higher upside and get him on a multi year contract?

    The Jays and their bullshit “value” has now brainwashed some fans (sheep) into thinking an old Burnett for a year is better than a Santana or Jimenez over multiple years…

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