The title is probably all you need to know about this one. Especially since it’s just, like, Buster’s opinion, man. But here’s what was said in his piece today at (Insider Olney).

The Blue Jays appear to hold the commanding position in the free-agent pitching market that remains, to the degree that Toronto is like a beer vendor inside the Super Bowl site.

If anybody wanted something to drink at MetLife Stadium, they had to deal with the vendors’ terms. Similarly, Toronto can just sit back and wait for one of them to agree to its terms. The Blue Jays need a starting pitcher and are willing to pay, and because there are so many free-agent starters available, one of them will need Toronto, whether it’s Santana or Jimenez or A.J. Burnett.

Dude, nothing is fucked. Come on.

Everything seems to be going entirely according to plan… sort of. Provided the Jays’ plan all along was to get whatever half-decent free agent pitcher comes for the cheapest and the shortest term. Which isn’t really a bad plan when you get right down to it. It’s just… it sure had better work.

I don’t know. We know all this.

Funny, though, that Olney would be referring to beer price gouging at the Super Bowl, considering that, according to this pic, it wasn’t far off what beer goes for at Rogers Centre (keeping in mind that the bottles seen there are of the 473 ml variety, which is the same size as a domestic tallboy). But… we know all this, too. Hey, and price gouging seems to be our thing in this province when it comes to beer.

So… yeah. That’s all I got.

Still, though, ”commanding position”!!! “Willing to pay”!!! Beats talking about Brent Morel, at least.

Or is it Brett Morel?


Image via the great @TRIPPINGOLNEY.

Comments (182)

  1. now its time to go and do something for once!!!

    • So… SteveD is either being hilariously sarcastic while making fun of those idiots that keep saying “Do something for once”. Or he is one of those idiots that forgets last offseason or is 11 months old.

      • i’m not an idiot, i’m just simply impatient and don’t really see a problem with that

      • Or he thinks we underperformed last year… Or that the injury bug was too much… Or our young players couldn’t produce (Stroman/Lawrie)

        I don’t see why somebody hoping we do well is an idiot. It’s perfectly logical to think our players didn’t do as well as they could of. If we get 2012 Dickey, and 2013 Buehrle with 2012 healthy Morrow, we have a pretty nice rotation. If Lawrie doesn’t get off to a slow start and our brand new catcher can reproduce last season, I don’t see how it’s that hard to see this team winning 85+.

        • I think RawDog was more referring to the “do something for once” line of thinking. As if just over a year ago they hadn’t traded for half the Marlins (which included one of the best starting shortstops in the game, an elite starter – who admittedly faltered – and one of the most consistent pitchers of all time) as well as the reigning Cy Young champ.

          I’m honestly not sure what more the team could have done, you see.

        • I stopped ready after “our young players couldn’t produce (Stroman/Lawrie)

          yes, stroman has been an extreme let down so far, he was drafted all the way back in 2012, the fact that he isn’t a all star right now, after 130 professional innings, is an embarrassment on his part.

        • It’s could have, not ‘could of’.

  2. I seriously don’t understand that Olney comment. We can only dictate terms if we are the only market. I’m pretty sure a bunch of other teams need starting pitching, not just the Jays. Yes, I hope one of those starters come to us. But I don’t see how we have the upper-hand on any of them.

    • draft pick compensation and money available.

    • Most teams are done with spending and are unwilling to give up first-round picks. Tanaka was a special exception for many involved. The market is extremely limited, and in terms of teams willing to pay as much as the Jays are right now, it may in fact be only the one.

      • Wasn’t there just several recent articles saying the SP market has just reset and many teams involved? From Jan 27 DJF post sources say Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Royals, Tigers, Jays, Cubs, Marlins, Jays still expected to become involved in a process that’s reportedly still early.

        Or maybe these sources and reports are all just bs and many of these writers don’t really know what is going on and its speculation or just something one source tells them. I guess the market needs to come to a head soon since the season isnt too far away so maybe things have changed dramatically since then?

        • Is that Tanaka-related? Because I think a lot of teams made him an exception.

          • I don’t really get this either. I mean it sounds great, but I’m not sure it’s that easy.

            The Brewers weren’t really in the pitching market until they signed Garza. I’m sure there are a couple more surprise teams out there.

            It looks good for the Jays and if they land a guy at these prices its a great play. but I’m not sure AA in the Godfather like GM calling all the shots like Olney is making out.

        • Rockies aren’t going to sign Ubaldo. Orioles have been said to be looking at cheaper options and don’t want to give up their pick. Mariners I highly doubt they can afford one, Yankees I doubt they can afford one (no, seriously), Dodgers don’t need any more starters, it would just be stupid of them, Diamondbacks were said today to be looking at cheaper options, Royals struggled to fit Bruce friggin Chen in their rotation, Tigers have been getting rid of salary, looks like they’re gearing up to pay Scherzer, not Ubaldo or Santana. The cubs, I doubt it, as Stoeten said the Tanaka thing was an exception. Marlins are pretty cheap. And then you arrive at the Jays.

  3. It’s February and we’re still dealing with the waiting game. Lord.

  4. Apart from Cano, the guys I thought they were really interested in were Jimenez and Santana, I assumed both would get close to 20 mil a year for four to five years…. now with their waiting, which is annoying as fuck, looks like they have their choice for about half of that.
    if they end up getting one or more of these guys…. i’d say AA gets a huge pat on the back.

  5. Is it more to do with not losing first rounders as compensation?

  6. I hate the “THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING” mindset, but I think a little more urgency might benefit the Jays here. If they do end up empty handed, all the talk of value and strategy and team policy won’t do much to paper over the fact that they’re coming back with the same group that was second-worst in the AL last year (now one year older, which is significant for Buehrle and Dickey), minus the talented (if terrible in 2013) Josh Johnson.

    • One year is going to be significant for those guys? Really? Also, don’t think it works to shit on the club for both having the second worst ERA in the league last year AND for being without Johnson.

      Aaaaaand no. Urgency isn’t needed here. If the Jays are willing to pay more than anyone else, they’ll land someone. Rushing to make a deal with a guy on his terms, before he has an offer elsewhere for the Jays to beat, doesn’t make any sense. These guys are waiting to hear an offer that they think they can take. Once a team gives them one, or once they say they’re going to go ahead with one that’s out there, the Jays will have the opportunity to beat it — and it’s in the agent’s interest to let them, so let’s not pretend someone’s going to get stolen out from under the club.

      • You mean the same Josh Johnson with the 3.58 xFIP and 4.62 FIP last year?
        Compared to Dickey: 4.23 xFIP and 4.58 FIP.

        The same Josh Johnson projected for a sub 3.80 ERA and FIP by both Steamer and Oliver next year?
        Compared to Dickey who is 3.90 for both ERA and FIP by both systems.

        If you think Dickey will help this team’s run prevention, then losing Johnson was a step backwards in run prevention, not a step forwards.

        Johnson had a bad ERA last year, but he wasn’t the problem with run prevention on this team. Bad luck when he started and the defense were the problems for him.

        People happy Johnson is gone might as well miss Arencibia for all the HRs and RBIs he took with him.

        • And as a follow-up … none of Burnett, Jiminez, or Santana are projected to be sub 3.80 for both ERA and FIP by Steamer and Oliver.

        • Sorry, but I don’t buy that you have have to swallow and swear by FIP and xFIP in every single instance. Johnson’s putrid, league worst numbers from the stretch and in terms of throwing strikes can’t reasonably be chalked up to luck or defence, in my view.

          There were 241 pitchers who faced more than 90 batters with runners on base in 2013, and by opponents’ wOBA Johnson ranks dead last (.448), over 40 points higher than fourth-worst Jeff Francis. League average was a .316 wOBA, and with the bases empty it was .312, so an increase from the stretch can be expected, but obviously not a horrific number like that.

          You could say it was a small sample size thing, I guess, but add in the fact that he was third-worst in terms of the percentage of strikes thrown among the 165 pitchers to throw at least 80 innings and I think it lends credence to the idea that this was a guy who just couldn’t make the ball go where he wanted it to, especially from the stretch.

          Shit, by FIP there were only 20 pitchers in that group who were worse than him.

          If the ERA wasn’t so far apart from the FIP/xFIP — especially since the advanced metrics cover a narrower band of values — or if we saw a pitcher throwing well enough to believe that the BABIP, the strand rate, the HR/FB were all just massively unlucky it would be a whole lot easier to buy.

          As it stands, though, I don’t buy it. This is hardly scientific, but look at the leaderboard of the pitchers with the worst ERAs in the league last year, see which ones have really nice xFIPs and ask yourself if these are secretly great pitchers getting unlucky, or if they might be shitbags or hurt or hurt shitbags.

          None of this is to say that Johnson can’t be better next year if he’s able to fix his problems, but it’s a huge oversimplification to just look at those FIP and xFIP numbers alone — or the projections, which are relying on data from previous years, and presumably the same kind of normalizations that I think are flawed when looking guys gone badly off the rails — and conclude that he was actually very good with the Blue Jays.

          • So he went off the rails, but only while pitching from the stretch? That doesn’t make sense at all.

            With no one on base, his k% was above career norms and his BB% was below career norms (25.5 and 6.6 versus 22.8 and 7.2), so if you want to claim that he all of a sudden lost it when pitching out of the stretch, you should probably simultaneously claim that he all of a sudden gained it with no one on base. I think we can quickly recognize that’s an odd achievement for someone in their career.

            I’m also curious how you observed” a pitcher who wasn’t throwing well enough to impact BABIP and HR/ FB. He gave up 15 home runs all season – 8 with men on base. Baseball is waaaaay too volatile to be able to observe something from 8 at bats. You can find similar things with BABIP where Johnson has gone from .332 to .239 in two years in his career, and now back again. It’s luck. That’s it.

            Claiming that you “observed” Johnson impacting his BABIP and HR/ FB is as defensible as me claiming that I “observed” Arencibia’s problem was that he clearly didn’t get good rest when he was on the road. I mean, at home, the guy was one of the better catchers in baseball with the stick – wRC+ of 94. The arguments are equally baseless.

            • Sorry – shouldn’t have put “observed” in quotes – you didn’t write that. Saw was the word that you used to describe things.

            • You’re entitled to your opinion.

              Not sure why you’d think it’s so odd that he would have trouble out of the stretch and not from the windup, though. It’s not an unheard of problem — we talked about it all season, we’ve talked about it in the past when Brandon Morrow has had divergent splits. And I certainly wasn’t hiding the fact that numbers looked fine from the windup, it’s just not relevant to how awful he was from the stretch. You understand that the motion is different, right? It’s not like my argument is that by some magic he was good in one instance and bad in another with all physical variables the same, as your Arencibia analogy would imply.

              And yes, observed. Johnson was observed struggling to throw strikes and getting into bad counts, which the data bears out. This year league-wide there was a 15 point difference in BABIP with batters ahead in the count compared to when pitchers were ahead in the count, and Johnson was well off the league average in terms of how frequently he pitched in favourable counts — league average was 32.6%, Johnson was at 28.4%, which was about the same as in 2012, but quite different from the rest of his career. Pitching behind more means BABIP is going up, and that’s not just luck.

              There was also the observation that he was especially grooving pitches over the plate when behind in the count because of his difficulty of locating the ball on the black, and that this was causing him to be hit harder and more frequently — or maybe that’s more of a theory than an observation, but again data points to it possibly being the case, such as the .409 BABIP against him in counts when batters were ahead, compared to the league average BABIP of .303 in that split, and his own .323 BABIP when the count was even.

              Another, less strong theory is that if you look at his Brooks Baseball page you’ll see that his average velocity on pitches in the zone was slightly up on where he was at in the second half of 2012, and closer to the first half of that year, when he also struggled. A sign that he was having trouble throwing off-speed pitches for strikes, and reason hitters were able to sit fastball once they got ahead? Perhaps.

              There is also the fact that Johnson’s LD% spiked when he pitched out of the stretch, if we want to get back to that stuff, though really, the point is there were a bunch of things we observed that suggested this was more than dumb luck, and yes, they are borne out by the data.

              Beyond that, your premise is that his FIP and xFIP are good, but you didn’t even try to address the fact that I pointed out that there were only 20 pitchers with 80+ innings who had a worse FIP. There was also no one with that many innings who had a greater difference between his ERA and his FIP, and again it’s not a list that screams unlucky all-stars — the pitchers with the most similar gaps in 2013: Edinson Volquez, Brandon Maurer, Justin Grimm, Mike Pelfrey.

              Go back through that leaderboard and you don’t see the phenomenon you’re hoping for either. Last year’s biggest gaps were from Jake Arrietta, Christian Fredrich, Jeremy Hefner, Jeff Francis, Brian Duensing, and Nick Blackburn — pretty much guys who either kind of suck, who were hurt (or got hurt) or both.

              2011 looks a little better maybe, but not really: Casey Coleman, John Lackey (hurt), Jake Peavy (hurt), Aaron Cook, Esmil Rogers, Derek Lowe. (There are some better pitchers after that on the leaderboard, but their gaps are considerably smaller than Johnson’s was this year, and their FIPs were quite a bit lower to begin with).

              Lowe was essentially finished after that year, yet the FIP lagged behind the reality a little, as I’ve heard that it tends to do (was on a podcast — I think it was Jason Parks, could have been Dave Cameron, but I can’t honestly remember). I mean, Roy Halladay’s 3.69 FIP and 3.60 xFIP in 2012 look pretty good compared to the 4.49 ERA, but I suspect that just about anyone who observed him in that season — observed doesn’t have to be a dirty word if we’re using it rationally — would have been hard pressed to accept that the xFIP was going to be more predictive than the ERA was.

              None of this means that it has to be that way for Johnson, but again, there are many more things suggesting it wasn’t luck that he was so awful than you are acknowledging.

            • People who watched Josh Johnson last year and saw a good pitcher are people who should probably lay off the acid.

              • looked pretty good when I watched him in Seattle

                • In San Francisco too.

                • I think that early start in a rain/snowy detriot ruined him for the season.

                  • You think that someone needs to spend time dismissing the fact that 80 IP is a meaningless small sample size? OK. I wrote the sentence. 80 IP is too few to draw a conclusion. I thought I had done that when I highlighted that your conclusion about Johnson contributing to his high HR/FB rate was an observation based on 15 (or 8, take your pick) events.

                    Yes, other people who had extreme differences between ERA and FIP/xFIP were bad pitchers. There are also so few of them that, again, it’s not comprehensive enough to draw a conclusion.

                    Let’s play a thought experiment …interesting thing to track during the season – three metrics:
                    1 – Johnson’s ERA was 2.6 higher than his xFIP. You think he caused that. League average is around 0. So, let’s split the difference. If over/under for Johnson’s 2014 ERA – xFIP is 1.3, do you take the over or under?

                    2 – Johnson’s HR/FB – 2013: 18.5%. You say he caused it to be so high. League average is about 10%. Again, let’s split the difference. Over/under for Johnson’s 2014 HR/ FB 14.8% – do you pick the over or under?

                    3 – Johnson’s BABIP – 2013: .356. You again say this was not a fluke. League average is about .300. So, if over/under for Johnson’s 2014 BABIP is .330, do you take the over or under?

                    I’m guessing by everything that you’ve written, you’re going with the over on each of the above. I challenge you to remember this and look back in 7 months to see if this one anecdote changes your mind about observation versus analysis.

  7. We hold the commanding position assuming AA actually likes the pitchers available.

  8. In AA we trust

  9. … could be a brilliant move and sure looks that way .. of course they still need to sign someone .. very interesting, and hopefully very smart … I still believe ..

    … AJ > Ubaldo > Santana is my preference ..

    • if you look at HR rates and the hope of keeping the ball inside the Skydome, it’s the opposite order

      • I am not sure TorontoJeff knows which > or < to use.

        On 2013 alone, Santana allowed more HR's than Ubaldo and over double the HR's than AJ.

  10. Let’s keep in mind that this is Olney talking here… in terms of who has more baseball insight if you were to put Buster Olney up against a potato it’d be a tough call.

  11. One thing to really keep in mind is that agents aren’t dumb enough to just get an offer from a team and just have their client take it. Agent will most likely let teams know — “We’re signing with Team A. If you’re willing to beat, I’ll take your number to my client.” I doubt they don’t test the waters more — especially if the FA pitchers are willing to go purely to the highest bidder.

  12. Off topic here,

    but I’m wondering if anyone here has Season’s tickets to the Jays and how many games you can realistically go to yourself in one summer (assuming you have two seats). I was thinking about behind home plate.

    Anyone got any advice?

  13. How long do the players and teams hold out before these guys sign, spring training is just around the corner! Maybe AA is ready to sign one or two already but just being patient thinking they may still get cheaper? Looks like AAs plan may be coming to fruition although are they really the only team seriously in the market for these guys like Olney seems to suggest?

    • I don’t know if they’re quite the only teams in the market, technically. I think there are some teams that would sign them for really, really cheap, if possible, but they’re more the only (or one of the only) team(s) willing to trump those sorts of offers, once the free agents finally decide to go ahead and take one.

  14. I’m wondering if the Jays might try and trade Buehrle before making any big signings. My presumption is that we’ve got the budget for one free agent starter but not two, and that trading Buehrle would permit us an extra pitcher. I could see someone like the Dodgers being interested, and ideally we’d only take Beckett and his 15 mil. expiring contract in return. . . ideally.

    • Gross.

    • I don’t understand your rational. We are looking at signing a FA starter. We currently have 3 starters, you want to trade one so we have the money to sign two? You end up with the same number of starters (4). And Beuhrle is arguably better then the 3 FA’s you are talking about.

      • You forgot the pitcher we get in return for Buehrle. So Dickey, Morrow, and either Billingsley or Beckett . . . plus two of Burnett, Santana or Jimenez.

        • And you think the computer lets you make these moves, or are you going to have to use “force trade”?

    • Why would the Dodgers or other teams trade for Buehrle when they could try to sign one of these FA SP most likely for less money?

      • The first four spots of LA’s rotation are set, so them adding another pitcher doesn’t make sense. Buehrle only makes two million more than Beckett this year, so its a cheap upgrade on their part considering both Billingsley and Beckett’s health.

        • How would taking that money back permit the Jays to sign another starter?????

          • Well, part of what makes Jimenez so attractive is that there’s a good chance he makes less than 10 mil. next year. He made 5.75 mil., and he’ll likely be on some sort of transition salary in 2014 before really getting paid – probably somewhere around 8 mil.. On the other hand, Santana will be looking for at least the 13 mil. he got last year.

            A rotation of Dickey, Jimenez, Santana, Morrow Beckett + Happ would cost about 61 mil. but only have 37 mil. committed for 2015 – 53 million if the options on Morrow and Happ are picked up. On the otherhand, a rotation of Dickey, Jimenez, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ costs only 51 million, but has 43 million committed in 2015 – 59 million if the options on Morrow and Happ are picked up. Not a huge savings either way, but trading Buehrle puts you in a better position from 2015 onward.

            So my point is, it’s not necessarily about our 2014 pitching salaries, but the commitments we’ve already got in 2015, and Mark Buehrle’s guaranteed 19 mil. puts a damper on things.

  15. I wasn’t much of a fan of the FA pitchers this off season, but hearing we could get the one of AA’s choice and at terms that he dictates makes it much more agreeable.

  16. Well something has to happen soon, our pitchers and catchers report in less than 2 weeks.

    You don’t want to sign someone and not give them a full spring training.

    • Maybe especially Jiminez you would want for spring training given his non standard mechanics and issues there?

    • It’s not like FAs are sitting on the couch firing back Oreos by the sleeve just because they don’t have a team yet.

      They’ll be gearing up just like they would otherwise, and the Jays still have 3(!) weeks before their first Grapefruit League action.

  17. So Santana was asking for $112 million before Tanaka but AA should have signed him back in December.

    Now, that just might get you Drew, Ubaldo and Santana.

    But AA is an asshole for waiting. Right.

    Donnie, you’re out of your element.

  18. I think we should start the year with our current bullpen as is to make sure the big three (Santos, Janssen, Delabar) are all healthy and performing. But to me if you don’t try to use one these guys to address a hole (like second) it would be a bit of a waste. Arguably they create one of the best back ends in baseball but their combined 140-170 innings would be less valuable then a serviceable everyday second basemen IMO.

    And it’s hard to disagree with a statement like this,
    “But here’s the thing – Santos’ stuff is downright filthy, and while Janssen is as steady as they come, Santos has the arsenal of a “shutdown closer.” -Blake Murphy RotoGraphs.

    It’s a nice problem to have but if we can get a 2b through trade (because Morel or Baker in a platoon seems like a stretch) doesn’t it make sense?

  19. Imagine we go ubaldo and Irvin ?

  20. Point of clarification for me here.
    The Jays have TWO protected first-rounders, do they not? If so, does that mean if they sign a guy who’s got a compensation draft pick obligation, would they keep those two first rounders and only have to give up a second round guy?

    • Correct

    • Follow up question…. in the very, very unlikely world the Jays decide to go after both Santana and Ubaldo, what do they give up once the second rounder is gone for the first guy signed? Their third rounder?

      • Yep. Their third rounder would go next.

        • Can you imagine how pissed you would be if you’re the team who loses a free agent, is supposed to get a first rounder and you get a third instead? Damn that would suck

          • Yeah and that could even be a strategic move – decide which of KC or Cleveland you want to stick the third-rounder onto!

            Sign them all! Stick the Red Sox with a 9th-rounder!

            • The CBA changed – you don’t get the compensation pick from the team who signed the free agent. The team that loses the free agent gets a pick between the first and second round. The team that signs the free agent loses their pick in the draft and everyone that follows them just moves up a slot.

          • It doesnt work that way, we lose our second or third pick if we sign qualified free agent

            The team that loses the qualified free agent gets a first round compensation pick regardless of who signs him.

          • It doesn’t work like that any more.

            The signing team loses the pick but the other team doesn’t get it, they get a sandwich round pick instead. If Jays sign Jiminez and Santana then Jays lose 2nd and 3rd rounders, Indians get a sandwich round pick and the Royals get a sandwich round pick.

  21. Stoten can you ban any idiot that is ‘rooting’ for dusty ‘the cash thief’ McGowan to start for the jays this year.

  22. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that if AA doesn’t get all 3 of those guys, the offseason is a massive failure.

  23. I’ve tried this strategy at the bar, it doesn’t always work.

    AA might end up signing Rafael Palmela and his spitball.

  24. Are the jays the only team that is interested in santana/jimenez? Because that is the only way they have this position of power. And if that is the case, tisnt that kind of a major red flag? Is the draft pick comp that big of a deal for some teams? Find it hard to believe, but then again I still cant believe its feb 3rd and these guys still havent signed.

    • We’ll it was kind of the same thing with Michael Bourne last offseason. The Indians got him on a grey deal bc they had a protected pick. He’s good.

    • It only works because all of the big market teams are done trying to sign pitching. Now all that remains are the mid market teams and us and we’re the biggest player. So AA is essentially trying to get a deal akin to the Lohse deal of last winter. And so far it looks like it’s working.

  25. Aledmys Diaz? Feb 19th? Jays still in on this guy?

  26. I’m sincerely worried that all this talk about how the jays are the frontrunners to land 1 of these guys is going to blow up in all our faces when they all sign elsewhere & we’re left holding our wallet. Its just not too often you see the Jays as frontrunners to land anybody decent, and it being publicly mentioned so damn much, I am worried

    • you mean like this tidbit of news was planted by covert Rogers operatives?

    • I wouldnt worry too much, unless the prices of the remaining free agents get too high, the Jays are gonna sign at least one of them.

  27. Given our pitchers health the past couple of years, I vote we sign all three of Jimenez, Santana, and Burnett, just to be on the safe side.

  28. The latest projections from Bleacher Report:


    Sorry, but garbage from that site, and links to it, isn’t going to fly here. I’m sure you were trying to be helpful, but that site doesn’t make “projections” and does exactly nothing that should be taken seriously or looked at ever by anyone. — Stoeten

    • Np – it wasn’t intended to be taken as anything conclusive or concrete, but rather an idea of what one other site (out of numerous others out there) were thinking of the current FA market.

      • Fair enough.

        • I wouldn’t mind signing him. I’ve read a few sites showing him going to the O’s.

          • The O’s seem to be in on everyone if we believe the rumors. Burnett is a nice fit for them, but I still have my doubts that they will pay up for him, especially if a few other teams (i.e. Philly or even the Jays) are willing to out-bid them. And I think AJ will follow the money.

            • I think he’ll follow it to an extent. If the O’s give him a decent offer, like one year 18 mil let’s say, and the jay’s offer in one year 20, he might be more inclined to take the orioles offer since Camden Yards is like an hour and a half from his home.

    • Thats an intervention!

    • Oh gosh, now I want to read it more.

      Must. Stop. From. Looking.

  29. What does it take to get burnet? Can we get him with a 1 year 20 million offer ?Would he want an option for a second year or is he in some weird yr to yr thing?

  30. So will all the FA’s sign before March?

  31. Last time I was sure we were going to get a guy was Darvish.
    I don’t believe anything anymore….not until Stoets says it’s so.

  32. If the Jays miraculously signed both Santana and Jimenez, I don’t see that as being much of a problem in terms of losing the picks. Yes the Jays would lose two picks, but the money saved from not having them could help them pick high-end, high-priced draftees in 2014. Remember, teams will draft according to what they feel will work with their draft pool. Maybe it could benefit the team in more ways than just the immediate one.

    • Unfortunately when you lose the picks, you also lose the ability to spend the slot money tied to them. So if the 2nd round pick allows you to spend 1 million and the 3rd round pick allows you to spend 500K, thats money you can’t use to top up the offers to your first round picks or later picks.

      But anyways, would be great to see 2 of these pitchers in the Jays rotation. Or Drew and one of the pitchers.

    • It would hurt the teams current strategy of signing super high upside players in the higher rounds, but punting the lower picks. But I can’t see why the jay’s can’t adapt.

  33. Jiminez? Santana? Drew?

    Sign them all!!

    3/$30 million contracts for everybody!!!!

    It’s happy time in Toronto!!!

    • Seems like too much for Drew. Also, let’s not get our expectations so high such that we are disappointed when jays sign only one (or even two) of these players.

  34. Translation – AA will drag this process out until the end of March to save a few bucks…

    Can’t the Jays act like a big market team and sign one of these guys already instead of trying to nickel and dime?

    • so you rather the Jays overpay when they could save millions of dollars on the same agent.

      I thought we don’t want to be the Yankees or the mariners

    • Why would you intentionally over pay if you don’t have to? Nickel and diming you call it? We’re talking about prices for these players that have dropped by millions. Big market teams don’t mind saving money either.

      I trust that AA has a better handle on the market than any one of us on a comment section.

    • Dumb as fuck, HJ Birdie. Just entirely dumb as fuck.

      • That’s a bit harsh Andrew.

        I don’t want to see these guys get scooped up by another team because AA is trying to nickel and dime the top FA’s. Yankees and Red Sox wouldn’t do this, which I suppose was my poorly articulated point.

        I don’t want to see us left with Burnett, that’s bullshit.

        • I know we’ve discussed this before, but Burnett is widely considered the best pitcher of the three. You still don’t want to see them “left with” Burnett?

          And saving millions and millions of dollars isn’t really “nickle and diming,” is it?

          Option A: spend $60 million dollars to sign a pitcher.
          Option B: spend $50 million dollars to sign the same pitcher.

          You might be the only person I’ve ever had a discussion with who would prefer option A?

          • That’s a simplistic view of the situation Phil.

            We don’t know the finer details of the negotiations, we only know that AA is dragging his feet signing them.

            So yeah, AA thinks by waiting a few weeks he could save 10 million, sure, go for it. But in between that waiting if said pitcher is snatched up by another team fans will be screaming for AA’s head, and rightfully so.

            This comes down to fans want the best players available, we don’t care about ‘payroll parameters’ and ‘value’ and that’s what this little situation has become about, in my mind anyway.

            And yes I’m not interested in 38 year old Burnett for 1 year. I want a younger guy, with upside for a few years.

            • Burnett is sadly the most consistently good pitcher of the three, as opposed to Jiminez having a second half resurgence and Santana being good for one year and both players being Romero level the year before.

              He’s not dragging his feet, he’s simply not pulling the trigger. Look at the situation for second. All of the big players are gone for the pitching market. The biggest threat for burnett is the freakin orioles, a small to mid market team. We literally hold the cards now cause the free agents know we want to sign someone. It now lies on who wants to bite first.

              And sure the fans don’t give a crap about payroll parameters and such, but we should to an extent. The money doesn’t come out of our pocket, but contracts that are not smart hamper future payroll and the ability to pay for future agents. And a smart contract will help us pay for more in the future, or even trade.

              • “And a smart contract will help us pay for more in the future, or even trade.”

                Exactly. The trade thing is a big reason we should care about value. If this season turns into 2013 2.0 and the Jays go into rebuild, would you rather trade a $14 million Bautista for a huge package of prospects, or a $20 million Bautista for a decent prospect and some salary relief?

                Making smart financial decisions can impact the on-field product in a big way. It’s not just about the bottom line.

                • Do you honestly think 6 million is going to make a difference on the return for Bautista? I don’t.

                  The Jays really need one of these 2 guys, not Burnett so I hope for AA’s sake he treads carefully. If the Jays miss out on them and miss the playoffs, again under AA then he’s gone and deservedly so…

                  • It makes a HUGE difference. You may not like it, but teams are interested in VALUE. A player with a great contract has significantly more value than one with a decent contract, who has significantly more value than one with a bad contract. It’s really a simple concept.

            • Making a longer term commitment to a solid pitcher with high risk isn’t necessarily the best option, though. Signing Burnett for one year, having the money off the books in 2015, and reinvesting it elsewhere when Stroman/Sanchez are ready to step into the rotation, may be a better decision. As you said, it’s not that simple.

              And a lot of fans DO care about payroll parameters because, for literally every single team in baseball, they exist. They always have and always will exist. If the Jays had the freedom to spend $200 million on their 2014 payroll, they would still be playing it slow and looking to save money wherever they can. Just because they’re taking their time, playing it smart and being patient (the same way every other team is, apparently, because those pitchers haven’t signed with anyone else) doesn’t mean they’re cheap.

              You can complain about the process if all the top pitchers sign elsewhere and the Jays end up with nothing. For now, I’m sure AA has a much, much better idea of what’s going on with these guys than anyone here does.

  35. I worked at The Beer Store for about 4 years, from age of 18 on about 10 years ago. I was on deliveries to liscensees too!

    Now, chings may have changed, but Bars always got a very small discount in my day and delivery charges were waived if their bill came to a certain amount.. $400 or so.

    If this is true I’m Steinbrenner blown away.

    • Shouldn’t be surprising that when you have a total monopoly on distribution of a product, and it’s wholly owned by a consortium of the worlds biggest breweries, the customer gets screwed royally.

      • I disagree somewhat.. It is an archaic stupid system but beer in Alberta and Sask is wayyyy more expensive than TBS.

        • Canadian provinces aren’t really a reasonable frame of reference due to the weird ‘minimum pricing’ regimes we have here. The big breweries love this, it guarantees them margins and avoids them having to get into price wars with each other. They own way over 90% of the market share, all distribution (larger than 6-packs)

          Compare to the US. Compare to ‘socialist’ countries like Germany, France & UK. All have no crazy monopolist-controlled distribution, no minimum price beyond tax collected.

          When in Germany I can get my 500mL can of Ratzenberger for 0.65 EUR in a grocery store, and a half litre of local beer at a football stadium for 3.60 EUR.

          Think about it next time you buy a $11 beer at the Roger’s Centre.

  36. I got really hammered at the New Wankee Stadium one time and woke up the next morning in a Bronx gutter.

    More importantly, I blew my kids education fund that night. Wasn’t much there, but hopefully some say he’ll understand. Just just drinkin beer too.

    Steinbrenners are cocks!

    • huh, sounds more like you problem than a problem with the Steinbrenners. Also how do you blow an entire fund in one night? How did you have direct access to those funds such that you could do that? Weren’t they in a RESP? So many questions about this, so little time.

  37. Moises Sierra wearing his number one outfit in Beantown. Obviously lost a bet….

  38. I think I’m full on-board the AJ train. This may be strictly a name-recognition bias. BUT WHO CARES?! I DON’T MAKE THE DECISIONS!!!!!!!! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  39. It’s Brentt.

    • Not to confuse anything any more than it is but the Jays picked up
      a little known reliever from Seattle in the rule 5 draft to trade to the Angels
      for cap space. His name?

      Brian Moran

  40. Ok but the potentially problematic thing about this, is we’re all just assuming that its fine because if these guys get an offer, we’ll get a chance to beat it.

    Fine. But we all know that players really don’t like coming here as FA and there’s a good chance the premium required to get him is too much. Its not like all we have to do is offer another million or two.

    • You insightful access into this situation is very helpful. It is great having an inside source right here on the DJF board.

    • My favourite thing about this comment is that one of the free agent pitchers in question already signed a free agent contract with the Jays earlier in his career. I really don’t think it would take that much more money to convince one of these guys to sign in Toronto.

    • Do you really think players like going to the twins or the marlins? Money can always convince a player.

      And don’t forget an extra million or 2 a year can translate to an extra 3-6 million over the life of a contract. So no, it’s not like it’s chump change.

      • No but the Turf and Canada is another obstacle too.
        The Jays always have to overpay a FA to come.

        • Every team has too overpay to land an FA. The FA always chooses the team that makes the best offer, whether it be additional years, extra dollars, player options, opt outs, etc.

          • Most of the time the players do, some want to win though more than they want an extra million.

            • Like who for instance? I want documented evidence of a player who signed for less to play for a “winner”. Let’s put an end to this paranoid bullshit once and for all.

              • Carlos Beltran
                St Louis Cardinals

                If you’re looking for evidence where the player admitted it then good

                • @Linz
                  It’s not all that uncommon. Roy Halladay took less in his final contract with the Jays so JPR could sign some FAs to make them competitive.

                  • @Karl That’s the home town discount. I was referring to an FA picking a new team.

                    @HJ We don’t know enough about the specifics of Beltran’s contract or the negotiations to verify this rumour.

                    • True we don’t but we talk about rumors on here all the time so why not now?
                      Kinsler to the Jays?

                    • What about showing us documented proof that it never happens?

            • No, an extra million probably doesn’t pull an FA away from a contending team to a bottom dweller. But an extra million isn’t an overpay in today’s FA landscape. As said above, a couple million a year can turn into an extra 8-10 million over the course of a contract (for these FA’s that’s like getting an extra years pay added to the deal).

              Like I said, the team that makes the best offer gets the FA. If they’re a constant winner, then they likely only need to match the best offer. If they’re the Jays (or 27 other teams) they need to provide a little extra incentive.

            • I think you just said the key word there, SOME players would take a discount to play on a highly competitive team. definitely not all, and I wouldn’t say most. If that were truly the case, why the hell did Cano sign with the freakin mariners and not resign with the yankees at a discount.

              Why the hell would salty sign with the marlins and not some cheap contract with the world series champion red sox.

              • Some veteran guys in their late 30s sign for contenders to try to win the world series all the time presumably for less money ie. Beltran reportedly spurning jays higher offer for Cards a few years back and lots of examples of players on Yanks, Sox, Rangers, Cards. Jiminez and Santana likely not so much.

                Have an eery feeling this may happen with Yankees and Burnett even if he was sent packing a couple years ago. Would be a good fit, one year deal and they can try to bring payroll down next offseason. Yanks rotation could be deadly this year with Pineda being a big time sleeper if he can come back strong. Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Burnett, Pineda, Nova could be the top rotation in the league making Yanks serious contender even with the crappy infield. Don’t think Sabathia is going to repeat his mediocre performance from last year and if Pineda comes back strong, Tanaka is as advertised, Burnett is like the past 2 years they could have 5 top of the rotation starting pitchers

      • Do pitchers care about the turf?

        • Don’t know but seems to me they’d be interested in how fast a grounder can get out of the infield.

  41. The only thing is, the further the prices fall, the more other teams will likely become re engaged with FA’s

  42. I believe Cliff Lee signed for less dollars to play in Philidelphia. I believe at the time Texas was willing to pay more and longer contract but Cliff skipped them and went back to Philidelphia. Can someone confirm this ? I would also like to say that Mariano played for the Yankees for the last couple of years for less then he could have made by opening up to the free market.

    • I think this is what’s reported, but it came out after that the way Lee’s contract was structured actually ended up with him making the most money in Philly.

    • Don’t know this for sure but I think the Yanks outbid both the Phils and the Rangers for Lee and his wife nixed the Yankees.

  43. Sorry to completely change gears here, but I need some help from the community: I am cancelling cable and was thinking of buying MLB.TV. I live in Toronto so there is a blackout restriction. Does unblock us work with MLB.TV? Anyone currently using this as an option to get Jays games, or is there a better way?

    • There is supposed to be a blackout on Jays games but according to commenters here,MLB.TV was available for the whole year.
      Unblockus works great and costs 5$ per month.Added bonus,you can get US Netflix.
      There are many illegal streams available,usually the other teams feed and sometimes not the best quality.
      It’s been talked about many,many times here.

  44. Thanks man, I need to read the comment section more often. I don’t usually, and I miss these things.

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