UJ-ES

A tweet from earlier this afternoon out of the Dominican Republic from a man named Roosevelt Comarazamy has been circulating, suggesting precisely what the the Jays have — allegedly — offered free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana.

Translated — thanks kindly to @Angelo_riot — it says “Toronto is playing to despair Ubaldo and Ervin’s agents. The Blue Jays will offer $27M for 3 years.”

First, some background: Angelo added that Comarazamy is the play-by-play man for Santo Domingo-based Dominican league club Tigres del Licey, and that he has ties with Jimenez, Santana, Jose Bautista, and Esmil Rogers. “He’s legit,” Angelo adds.

Does that mean his information necessarily is? I certainly can’t say that. But I do know that the ties between those players and Comarazamy’s club indeed do exist. Jimenez intended to play for Licey this season, as he had done in the past, but was waiting to get a big league contact signed before joining the club. Rogers played with the club this year. Bautista, a 2011 Sporting News item tells us, played his winter ball there in 2007, as did Santana. And they may have deeper ties than just what these few links I found from a cursory Google search show us.

Again, though, that alone shouldn’t be enough to lift our suspicions, nor should the fact that the $9-million average annual value of the offer sure looks a lot like the kind of thing Jon Heyman’s source, referenced in the previous post, suggested the Jays were aiming to find pitching for back at the start of the season.

Nor should — as I’ve seen elsewhere — anybody be ridiculous enough to think that, even if it were true, this is some kind of high-end final offer. Obviously, if these numbers really are on the table, it’s an attempt to get the pitchers to come down to the club’s terms, and they may well — especially if they’re actually serious about signing them — be willing to go higher still.

Who knows? But it’s amazing after rumours of Santana asking north of $100-million back in December, that this sort of seems reasonably plausible, even as a low-ball offer.

 

Crotch grab in the direction of commenter “jerb” for the link.

Comments (270)

  1. So did they offer both of them the contract? Hard to tell.

    If they offered them both the same contract, if both accept great. Perhaps they have more to spend if the other one goes and signs elsewhere.

    Possible? Yes ? No? Ah fuck make this stop

    • I’d be so happy to get both. Our pitching “depth” is hardly depth if we need it for the number 4 and number 5 spot and for injuries.

      Depth means what’s left after spots 1-5 are filled.

      I think there is this fear of “blocking” pitchers like Stroman. Yet year after year we hit September and look back and laugh at that worry.

      I know Stoeten is probably higher on our depth guys than I am and lower on these free agents. And maybe correctly so. But I still have to think contracts like this are just as likely to be big trade chips if we really decide Stroman/Drabek/Hutch are better.

  2. Are you kidding me?? AA: “the starting rotation is our biggest need” and we are nickel and diming the only pitches that can actually achieve that goal.

    Why don’t we see if Damo Garcia can play 2B at this rate

    • Well, considering the fact that neither pitcher has signed yet, maybe AA knows exactly what he’s doing.

    • So they should just piss away millions so it doesn’t look like they’re nickel and diming guys?

      • Yes we do “piss away a couple million” to land the player we NEED. It’s called trying to win. Holy fuck we took on Buerhle at 20M and now we are trying to overbid on Santana by a couple million??

        • What is with people continuing to bring up the Buehrle contract, as though they took it on independently of the rest of that trade??? His deal has nothing to do with anything.

          As I said to you on Twitter, it’s a negotiation. All that matters in the end is that they get the player, if that’s what they want to do. Acting like it’s an affront, and literally advocating pissing away money they don’t need to piss away for absolutely no reason except you’re dying for them to do something, is bizarre.

          • We had the highest payroll in 1991: traded kent for cone and grabbed Henderson, and now we are going down to the wire for Santana just to save a few million?

            C’mon, don’t you see the difference in strategy or philosophy ?

            • It seems you just don’t understand. Some are hopeless…

            • Why would you pay more than the market dictates and what in god’s name does the 1991 payroll have to do with anything??? If they miss out because of this tactic, your whining is valid; if they get the player(s) for a fraction of what they would’ve if they had jumped on them earlier in the offseason – thereby offering them further payroll flexibility, perhaps even for someone like Drew, or a mid-season acquisition – then how is that a bad thing? Because you want it now!!!??!!! Come on, use your head.

            • The Jays didn’t make either of those moves in 91! Traded Kent in 92, and picked up Henderson in 93! What team were you watching?

          • Technically he does have something to do with it because they *could* trade him and get an actual asset in return besides relieving themselves of the money. With that savings it’d be enough to get both guys.

        • It will look awful if we end up with nothing at the end of the off season. The price has already fallen so low, let’s just hope the Jays don’t play chicken for too long. If Jiminez ends up signing somewhere else for 3 years $30 Million I’ll be angry.

          • Kyle Lohse got 3-$33M and he was 34 years old. And it was March 2013 at that point…and it’s freakin’ Kyle Lohse. I predict Ubaldo and Ervin get 3-$45M. Hopefully one of them with the Jays.

            • You realize that Lohse has actually posted better numbers than Jimenez or Santana for 2 years prior to his contract? Add in Matt Garza getting 12.5MM per year with no draft pick compensation tied to him. 9/27 might be a little low, but I don’t see these guys getting more then Lohse did last year.

              • Lohse is also 4 years older, in his mid-30s and pitching in the NL. I’d bet that Erv and Ubaldo both get more per year than Lohse.

    • RICHARD GRIFFIN: Have you heard anything about Damaso Garcia, in terms of health, lately.

      ALFREDO GRIFFIN : Yes, he’s in the same condition. He’s been in that situation for a long time now (following removal of a tumour on his brain 11 years ago). He doesn’t speak any more. He listens. He understands what you say. When you say yes, you grab his hand and he’ll squeeze you. When you say no, he won’t squeeze.

  3. I actually find this kind of encouraging, if the two pitchers are both at around 3/42 right now, the jays throwing out 3/27 sounds to me like they’re waitin on the first one to meet in the middle ground.

    • I have always wonder how contract negotiations go between teams and players. Does the team usually call and check-up with the agent to see where they’re at? Or does the GM pretty much say “Hey, we are willing to pay this much” and the agent counter offers or accepts?

      If it is the latter then I think that AA is doing just what he should be doing. See how far up their agents think that their clients value is and hopefully meet in the middle.

      If it is the former, I always wonder how an agent can influence the spending of a team by saying that there is an offer for x amount, are you going to match or raise?

      • I wish I had more insight into this. Its a good question.

      • I’m not a sports agent. But I am an agent. I can’t believe sports are that much different. An agent can gee things up by telling a GM that there’s already an offer on the table etc but that offer better really be on the table. He can’t lie about it. Because afterwards the GM will make inquiries to find out the truth. And if it isn’t, no one will deal with that agent again.

        What is happening here, I imagine, is a game of chicken. The offers have been made. The agents are letting them sit. The closer to Spring Training, the likelier that one side or the other will break and accept. It’ll come down to who is hungrier, the players or the clubs. As an agent I would be telling my client to sit tight. The Jays need pitching but they aren’t the only ones. If I as an agent make a move to get the conversation started again that will demonstrate that I’m getting desperate. Sooner or other one side will crack and the haggling will really get going.

  4. Well, if they can get either of those guys to sign for 3/27 or really anything close to that, that’d be kind of a coup I guess. At least business wise. Woo?

  5. Wow. If true that’s some hardcore negotiating.

    Not only is it just enough guaranteed money to dissuade a one year “back to market” contract from another team.

    but as I read it, he’s pitting the two FA pitchers against each other.

    • If it’s even true.

      Would be smart to pit them against each other, though I’m not sure I’m seeing where that’s going on from this one tweet. In fact, if you look at the Heyman thing, it said they’d considered two starters on two- or three-year deals at upwards of $9M AAV. Could even be for two– though I hate to indulge the possibility, pipe-dreamy as it is.

  6. Also, how awesome would a limited edition Los Azulejos jersey be?

  7. Is it a coincidence that they’re ‘allegedly’ offering them the “kyle lohse” contract.

  8. I’ll save the pitchforks if the Jays actually strike out on both of these guys.

    Although it would be nice to have one of these guys locked up before spring training next week…

  9. I’m okay with Rogers not wanting to spend the money on Ubaldo and Santana as long as they use that money to re-sign Rasmus (barring a huge step backwards during the season). Right now I am not confident enough in Gose’s bat for him to fill Colby’s shoes next season. From what I saw, he is still quite late on major league fastballs (did improve a bit) and barely ever hits the ball out of the infield when he does connect,

    • This.

    • Will someone finally say that Gose is TREMENDOUSLY overrated? He is fast but his bat is not what you want anywhere in the line up. The Emporer has no clothes!

      • I don’t think anyone is calling him the second coming of Carl Crawford any more, and maybe it’s not realistic to project a lot of improvement in his bat at this point, but I don’t think he needs to hit that much better to be a good player. Cameron Maybin strikes me as a similar player, and he’s produced 7.8 career WAR through 1,796 plate appearances despite a .248/.311/.370 batting line. Similarly, Peter Bourjos as produced 9.0 career WAR through 1,136 career plate appearances despite a .251/.306/.377 batting line.
        It’s unlikely that Gose will be as good as Bourjos has been defensively, but the point is that players like him don’t always need to be viable lead-off hitters in order to be valuable.

        • “players like him don’t always need to be viable lead-off hitters in order to be valuable.”

          Agreed. I object to the notion that he easily replaces Colby Rasmus.

          • I don’t think that anyone is saying that. If Rasmus can come close to the level of production we saw from him in 2013, then Cameron Maybin himself would be a downgrade, never mind a player who we all hope might still turn out to be similar. That said, it could be in the Jays best interest to collect a draft pick and save themselves the $15-20 million per year that it would cost to keep Rasmus if he proves he’s for real, and spend that money on getting some help elsewhere, if Gose gives some indication that he’s capable of being better than what we’ve seen out of him thus far.

    • Gose is a total fucking douche too. Trade him.

  10. You really believe they will sign those shit offers …When 37 year old Aj Burnett signs a 1 year 16 million

    • Nobody believes that. Not the point.

      • Point is those offers short change them both

        In Dec they were looking for 100 million dollar deals…Now they will settle for 27 over 3 not going to happen

        I bet they see it that way

        • If any other team has offered anything in the neighbourhood of garza’s deal they would have already accepted.

          They may have wanted 100 million, but both pitchers have had really bad years really recently, there was no way they were getting anywhere close to that .

        • Obviously it’s too low, it’s a negotiation. And also may not even be true, as is clearly pointed out in the post … a few times, in fact.

    • Agreed I think they’re reluctant to even sign 3 years 40.

    • AJ, no draft pick comp, plus the 3 for 27 is most likely a starting point….if true

    • Can’t compare Burnett situation to these guys. The draft pick comp has really hurt their value. And Burnett is only a one year commitment. Apples and oranges. If Ubaldo and Santana could get multi year deals at around 16M AAV, I think they would have signed by now.

    • No draft pic and 1 year vs 3 years is a big difference. No such thing as a bad 1 year deal

  11. It’s alright. We can rely on below replacement level players to fill two positions. 75 wins here we come.

    All the other teams in the AL east are better than they were at the end of last season. Jays sit on their hands.

    • I don’t think anyone in the AL East is really any better than last year, except for the Yanks. And even then, they lost their best player, their closer and Granderson. Otherwise, no one’s really done anything of significance and the Red Sox have lost Elsbury.

      The Jays are a much better team than their record last year. Its not the hopeless situation that some make ot out to be.

    • Matt, do you really need attention so badly that you’re going to offer your dumb opinions up to be called out in every single post? There are plenty of places online where you’ll find allies with whatever moronic negativity you want to vomit up about this team, but this isn’t one of them if you don’t have the substance to back up what you’re saying. And you don’t. Stop being a troll.

      • I read this site almost daily and it’s frustrating seeing all the optimism about the jays future, which does not have any basis in reality. The management does not seem interested in improving the team (9 million a year offers when closer to 15 is more realistic).

        Even if the other teams in the AL east have stayed static in their abilities, the jays haven’t done anything to improve other than losing JPA for a league average catcher. That puts us up 1 or 2 wins? How is that going to make the Jays a playoff contending team, when they were close to 20 wins short of where they need to be. I know that some players will reduce to the mean (on the positive side), but that might get you 6 or 7 wins, and that’s only if Dickey plays good from day 1, Reyes doesn’t get hurt, Cabrera returns to something from before last year etc. Between the two things that might bump the jays up to 84-85 wins, which will likely leave us fighting for fourth and out of the playoffs again. Ubaldo might contribute 3 wins above Happ and a second baseman might contribute a win or two more than Izturis + Goins. Doing that at least makes a playoff push a possibility (Still doubtful, but possible).

        Doing nothing just spins our wheels and causes the team to go nowhere. We’ll need a couple of players to emerge out of nowhere, like Stroman becoming a top 3 pitcher from day one. That’s not realistic.

        It’s one of those situations, where we are stuck in the middle which is basically been the jays modus operandi for the past 20 years. Never good enough to actually do anything, never bad enough to actually accrue top end prospects.

        • 1) Why do you assume the $9-million off is supposed to be realistic? Like I said, if it’s even remotely true, it sure looks like the Jays’ terms — AA’s attempt to get the deal that he wants. It doesn’t mean they’re not willing to go to $15-million, it just means they’re not willing to offer it yet, because the market is so bad the pitcher may take $9-million.

          2) You are still underestimating the amount of turnaround that is possible, I think. Remember, the Jays’ catchers were worth -1.2 wins last year. Izturis and Bonifacio were worth -2.5. Cabrera was worth -0.9. Get C, 2B, and LF just to replacement level and that’s nearly five wins. I’m not optimistic on Goins being much more than that, but Cabrera and Navarro/Kratz could surely be worth another two wins combined at least (trying to be conservative for you here). A healthy Lawrie and Reyes can be worth quite a bit more than the combined 3.5 wins they put up last year. If Buehrle and Dickey pitch whole seasons like they did in the second half, there’s another 1.5 wins.

          Even you admit that they could make the playoffs a possibility with a couple additions, and that’s while being quite conservative on the club’s ability to bounce back in a meaningful way. You’re not wrong that they’re not positioned ideally, but so what? They could certainly find themselves in the hunt.

          3) You don’t like that they’ve done nothing, we get it, but “doing nothing just spins our wheels and causes the team to go nowhere” is a pretty meaningless statement. And no, it’s not unrealistic to think that the Jays could get very solid pitching performances right out of the gate from some of their untested arms. The name of the game is getting hitters out, and those guys can do that.

          4) Sure, the Jays have been stuck in the middle a lot — that’s undeniable — but just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean it can’t change. This is the same basic team that many people thought was going to run away with the pennant last year, and yet now, despite knowing full well why the club underperformed and that it should expect at least some measure of bounce back, you cling to the negative narrow projections as though they’re the gospel and it’s not worth playing the games in reality to see if they can’t accumulate enough wins to beat what the algorithms are saying — and you do so before the roster is even complete!

          Then you also talk about the lack of top end prospects from the system that produced like seven guys who are fairly unanimously in most top 100 lists right now.

          And you do all this with zero willingness to consider for a second the reality of what the GM’s options really were this winter, pretending that Alex could have actually decided to blow the whole thing up and start a Chicago Cubs-like rebuild like it’s your video game.

          Nobody is saying it’s an ideal situation, but you’re overreacting negatively as much as someone who thinks they’re fine and assuredly playoff bound would be overreacting in the positive. There is a lot to like here and a lot to be optimistic about, even if they’re clearly a team who (as usual) needs things to break right, rather than one that clearly has the depth and the resources to weather the storm. Yes, they’ve hedged a bit — not fully in, not fully out — but that’s a good thing. The fact that they were able to do so by basically just sticking to the status quo so far is irrelevant. They’ve put themselves in a spot where it can go very well, and they’ll have the resources to supplement the team, it can go very badly, and they’ll have great trade chips to start looking to the future. They could also muddle through in another typical Toronto Blue Jays year and head into 2015 with a bunch of prospects that much closer to making an impact, a bunch of veterans that much closer to the end of their contracts (and potentially more desirable in trade because of it), etc.

          Nobody wants that last one, of course, but at least they’re not going to be worse off for it. And giving up already on the Bautista/Dickey/Buehrle/Reyes/EE/Morrow core would have been as ridiculous as it was untenable. Relax.

          • Fabulous, measured, realistic response.

          • I think you both made the same argument but one is “glass half-full” the other “glass half-empty”.

            I suppose sports speculation is all based on your perspective until the data rolls in…..

          • @Stoeten … I question the statement that the value of Blue Jay veterans will be higher a year from now.

            The most valuable veteran Blue Jays (Dickey, Encarnacion, and Bautista) have a lot of their value because their current contracts are at below market rates. Waiting a year to deal them removes a significant portion of the trade value they carry since you lose one of those below market years.

            Reyes’ contract goes from a 21.5 AAV to a 23.3 AAV for 3 years and he’ll be older, so to me, he becomes less desirable after this season.

            At the rates free agent starters are going and no one biting, Buerlhe won’t carry any value at 1 yr for 19. He wouldn’t have had any value this offseason either, so he’s a wash.

            I fail to see anyone who can be expected to be more valuable a year from now than they were this offseason.

            • Buehrle had value this winter for sure. Look at the market rates and how consistent he’s been. They would likely needed to eat money if they wanted to get anything of value back, but they certainly could have done that and still come out looking pretty good, if that was the road they chose to go. It will be no different next year.

              The beauty of the deals for Dickey, Bautista, and Encarnacion is that they have options. Heading into 2015 they’ll each have one guaranteed year left before the option years, which is stupidly desirable. The amount of risk to the acquiring team is ideal because they won’t be on the hook for a tonne more money if something goes badly awry; they’ll just decline the option. A team acquiring Dickey, for example, right now would be taking on a lot of risk of it going badly right from the start — risk that, yes, the Jays assume themselves by not dealing him, so there are definitely factors that cut both ways, but they’re still poised to be in a very good spot next winter or in July to deal him, if that’s something that seems ideal for the club, plus there’s the added bonus of not pissing away 2014 in the meantime.

              And think about it this way: would you rather have Dickey right now for 2/24 plus an option, or 1/12 plus an option? Obviously that’s not a direct parallel because the 2014 season still has to play out and can impact his value quite a bit, but it’s definitely not an issue of more years (and more guaranteed dollars) equals more value to other teams. Not at all.

              That said, I think it might be a little different for Edwin, just because it doesn’t seem like he’s quite peaked yet (despite being that age) — if I were another team I’d want to deal for as much of his deal as possible. Not so for Bautista or Dickey, who seem more volatile.

              Reyes, you’re right, I don’t think that contract gets any more movable.

              • Sorry, but I like Dickey at 2/24 plus an option a lot more than I like Dickey at 1/12 plus an option and, frankly, I’d be surprised to find anyone that wouldn’t like it.

                The market seems to be valuing wins at about $7 MM per win right now. Even if Dickey produces just 3.5 wins total over the next two years, he’s exceeding the value of his contract. I would think any conservative projection would have him with at least that total over the next two years – and given his age, most would expect more of those wins in 2014 than in 2015.

                So, there’s excess value in that contract and more of that excess is in the near term – the stuff that’s getting used up this year. If he’s dealt a year from now, all he’s done is used up some of the excess value in that contract.

                • If Dickey is dealt a year from now he’s also eliminated much of the risk of the deal — and probably, assuming he’s healthy, shown his value better than he did in 2013.

                  As for Buehrle, I was responding to your comment that he “won’t have any value,” so I’m not sure why your counterpoint is sidestepping that.

              • As for Buerlhe … if you have to include money in order to move his contract – you’re already admitting that the market isn’t there. By definition, if you have to pay someone to take on his contract, then they don’t value him as is … there isn’t really any other way to slice that.

        • So optimism frustrates you? Party on Matt.

    • So dumb Matt.

      Shouldn’t you be participating in the comments section on tsn.ca? Move along troll.

      • I think Matt had a lot of good points. I don’t think you know what trolling is.

        • I wouldnt say he’s a troll, but he’s incredibly stubborn, to the point he won’t take “our team is better then last year” and will stick by “the jays need to shop and rebuild right now”, regardless of evidence that the Jays should do no such thing.

        • Matt is just a typical frustrated Jays fan…he’s justified in his frustration – just look at the Jays record for the last 10-15 years. He has a right to his feelings/opinions.

          I’m frustrated as well…it drives me mental that Toronto operates like a small market team in the same division as 2 heavyweights, and a very well run organization…and Baltimore. With ownership that could very easily field the highest payroll’d team every year. All under the guise of “it has to meet our internal perception of value” that doesn’t seem to match market value.

          I think it was awesome that they took on a lot of payroll, and took some chances last off season…but again, they follow that up with a dud off season (so far). If they lose out on a pretty unique situation to get decent starting pitching at a very good price, it will throw how AA values talent out the window (for me, anyway)..and just I’ll be that much more frustrated.

          I also truly believe things have start going the Jays way…if the players would just play to their potential (and stay healthy for once), this would be a very competitive team.

        • Meh – Edward

  12. I dont know that I will be that disappointed if they don’t get either one of these guys…

    They might provide some trade value if the contracts are cheap enough, but I think I would rather watch Hutchison/Drabek/Stroman than either of those guys…

    That being said, Im not all the jazzed about watching Happ either, which is probably the alternative…

    • Get both. It’s time. 3/33 a piece.

      If one becomes a 3, the other a 5, they’ll slot right in perfectly.

      But if you sign the one that becomes a 5, and you’re relying on Stroman or Drabek to be a 3, that’s trouble. Jays don’t seem to have the shining light of magical baseball fairys guiding the way, so don’t leave it to chance that you get the shitty one by just going out and getting both.

      Signing both with Happ traded or in the pen, and Rogers behind him and then a AAA rotation with Drabek, Hutch, Stroman pushing to be called up.

      That’s almost a major league rotation right there.

      If they aren’t WS contenders in 2015, it’ll be time to ship everyone out anyways, and at those prices, Baldy and Erv will still fetch something in trade.

      • 3? Ahead of one of Dickey, beurhle or Morrow? Why 3 or 5? Not following why its not 4 or 5?

        • I was leaving the possibility for Morrow and Dickey to be the top 2 and with upside fulfilled, Erv or Baldy is a 3, ahead of Buehrle at 4, and rounded out by the other of the Free Agents. The one who is either eaten by tendency to allow HRs or continued to be plagued by wonky mechanics.

          I mean really, isn’t that what you’d want? Isn’t this even a pretty likely scenario? Have five Major League pitchers, three with upside, the other two models of consistency.

          Shit, give Stroman a taste in the pen as the first injury callup (delay service clock of course), and then keep sending him back to Buffalo to start games til he forces their hand or Brandon Morrow bursts into flames.

          I just want kids coming in because leaving them down becomes detrimental to winning ball games. Not because they need someone to pitch every fifth day and the young guy might as well gain the experience.

          Leave them in buffalo until you can’t deny them the shot. Then trade Buehrle to St. Louis or some Midwest team whose home state allows pit bulls and a week later we’ll catch a rave review of Anthopolous for trading him close to home.

          Heaven forbid it’s Drabek or Hutch or McGowan forcing their way into the rotation. The team sure as fuck could use a shining ray of fucking hope like that. And then you have 6-7 MLB starters. Many very moveable.

      • Totally with you Pat. Sign both and hedge out the risk. Happ can be moved easily. And if everyone is healthy and if one of Hutch/Drabek/Stroman is proving himself, we can turn around and trade a pitcher.

  13. In other news, Seattle has another starter (Taijuan Walker) with an injury so they may make a play for Ubaldo or Santana?

    Or they’ll just get another DH.

  14. I just can’t see the 3/27 as a starting point at this stage in the game. If they were going to dance I believe something would have happened by now. I could be the Jays just jumped into the game from the sidelines at this point, which would a better poker face than I could manage.

    If the 3/27 is an actual first offer made recently than going from there has a possibility. If an offer was made a while ago and has worked its way to this than I am not too optimistic.

  15. If Ubaldo or Santana can be had for 9 million, then there is no way Seattle makes that trade….

    • If AA made that trade I’d agree he should be fired. Ackley offers up less than Gose as an outfielder is 25 vs 22 for Gose. He can play second but not as well as Franklin so he was moved off second and he would be no better than what we have on defense. His offense has been nothing to right home about. and you want to add a decent starter to the offer???

      • And gose is an elite all star right?

        Ackley’s bat has always been highly touted, that’s more then anyone can say about gose.

        And ackley was moved because he could handle cf and franklin couldn’t. Ackley Could easily be an average everyday second baseman which is a hell of a lot better then a 4th outfielder

    • I just don’t think they are going to be had for that price. Could they not sit out to June sign a pro-rated contract with the promise of no QO and be better off. If they shit the bed maybe not. But if Josh Johnson could get 8mil after the year he had with no QO around his neck than you have to wonder.

  16. I’ll throw this out there again.
    Is it possible that AA isn’t absolutely sure what kind of team he has?
    Is it the one that was favoured to win the WS in 2013?
    Or is it the one that won 74 games?
    Everyone here is expecting a better Morrow and Dickey, a resurgent Hutch, better depth in the minors when the inevetible injury occurs.
    Maybe AA is making sure all this falls into place before investing in an average Santana or Ubaldo?
    If a rebuild,either major or minor, is needed,you better be sure that the parts you have are up to the task.
    Next year’s FA class is much better. Sure some of them will be signed but some won’t.
    Are Lawrie and Rasmus due to break out or break down?
    Lots of questions maybe need to answered before another significant investment is made.
    Just throwing it out there.

    • Great post. Agree completely

    • But they have to know they’re behind the Red Sox, Tigers and Rangers, and so in wildcard contention at best. In that situation, you add.

      • @ Kevin

        But who else are they behind?
        Wildcard territory is 92 wins?18 more than 2013.
        Does adding either pitcher realistically put them in that range or does it only take you to 85 wins?

  17. Wouldn’t Jimenez be getting around 8 mil next year anyway? Or at least be eased into his new, higher salary? He made under 6 mil. in 2013 – he’s not going to get 14 million in 2014.

  18. Radar I agree I think he is in a tough spot. Sign one of these guys and you have them for three years or more. If the Jays do not start well and fall off pace early its time to blow it up. If they look like contender maybe you move a top prospect like Sanchez or Stroman for a guy that maybe is better than these two.

    • Why is having one of these guys on a below-market three-year contract a problem if you end up having to blow things up?

      • Because they haven’t shown long term consistancy. They’ve been up and down.You have already mentioned that the Jays are only committed to 27 mil after the 2015 season.But for the next 2 years you got Dickey and Buehrle,for better or worse.With Scherzer,Lester,Sheilds.Masterson,Peavey and even JJ as FA.s after this season. Price will have to be dealt at some point too..

        • And you may not blow it up completely but cut out the bad and keep the good.
          But can anybody say definitively which is good and which is bad,

        • The Jays would have no problems moving Santana or Jiminez on a 3 year deal in the kind of money range we’re talking about. Even if they have bad years. I’d be willing to bet half the teams in baseball would take a flyer on either of these guys at 2/20 (assuming Jays wanted to deal em this time next year) even after a shit season.

          • The Angels got the Royals to take Santana at $15-million or so when he was coming off a -1.0 win season, and all they had to eat was $1-million. No, there isn’t zero risk that it becomes a Romero-like anchor of a contract, but what deal doesn’t have risk? It’s not much. So yeah, they could deal them.

            Radar, not sure what the point of the FA list is there, especially since so few of them will ever actually wind up on the market.

      • Exactly, plus the market for trading them wouldn’t be affected by draft pick comp, which is presumably why the market has been so stagnant for them this offseason. Ubaldo for something like 2/$26mill after this season would be a pretty attractive trade candidate, so long as he doesn’t implode Johnson-style this year.

  19. I find it hard to believe that any team would have offered Jimenez or Santana such a lowball contract. To me that would be similar to what the Pirates reportedly offered Burnett this winter. These are guys that aren’t hurting for money. Santana has made $43 million in his career and Ubaldo $15 million. If i were one of them that would be a slap in the face.

    They would be better off telling said teams to go fuck themselves and sign for one year for slightly more than $9 million with someone else, play out the year, and if anyone were to offer them a qualifying offer the following year, just accept it. That would be $23 million over 2 years.

    For those who would argue that they arent likely to get a higher single year offer all they would have to do is wait. As we know pitcher injuries happen and teams get desperate.

    • Yeah, tell one of the tiny number of teams that make up your market to piss off and reduce your leverage even further.

      • Again we saw with Burnett there is always a market for good starting pitching and like i said below they can both afford to wait it out. Everyone believes it’s critical for them to sign immediately, that’s just not the case imo. Also alienating the player and his agent have the chance to poison the waters for other players that are represented by that agent. It’s not like Toronto has a lot of extras going for them when it comes to helping players decide on choosing them. From what i have seen over the last few years they have gone out of their way to be really good to the players when they dont always have to. To me that’s just smart business for a club that’s disadvantaged when it comes to attracting free agents.

      • They’ll definitely be talking about that compensation thing in the next CBA negotiations.

        • Yes indeed. But they will need a new way to compensate teams for losing FAs. Or else the owners will get some serious leverage in exchange for dropping compensation.

      • Their way of saying piss off would be signing with a different club. I’d do it for less money if it was for a decent team just the pad the stats and try again next off season.

        • No you wouldn’t. Not if you had an agent who wasn’t a clown.

          It’s a negotiation. Even if this is true — and we have no idea if it is — it’s meaningless. It’s not a slap in the face. It’s an attempt to use their leverage to get the best price possible, which is exactly the game the agent and his client are playing on the other side.

          • There is another thing players could do to correct the system….Take the freaking qualifying offer. To date, not a single player has taken the qualifying offer.

            You think Kendry Morales wishes he took the QO now that he’s staring at not being signed until after the june draft?

            if teams were worried about you taking the offer….they might not offer it (see Josh Johnson)

  20. Here’s the thing: how long are Jiminez and Santana willing to sit out? I mean I know teams would love to wait until May 1 so that the draft pick compensation falls off (am I remembering the system wrong?), but if these two are desperate to pitch do they accept the lowball offer in mid-March?

    • They would have to wait for the amateur draft in June first. In Santana’s case he’s made $43 million in his career to date. If he even banked a quarter of that to live on after he retires then he’d be set to live a very very comfortable life. Of course we know he’s going to add to that total in a substantial manner.

      He can easily afford to wait until then imo.

      • And wait and and get ready alone? What happens when he gets hurt and loses it all?

        Players want the certainty a lot more then you think. Players aren’t going to wait out until June for a few extra million, the risk is too substantial

        • There is less risk in waiting and not pitching for a couple of months than going max effort and pitching in regular games during that time. Again the silly certainty argument doesn’t necessarily apply to someone who has made $43 million in his career so far. 25% of that 43 million at 5% after taxes is $537.5K a year in perpetuity without touching your nest egg. I dont care where you live, that’s a pretty solid standard of living.

          • As the salary goes up, the cost of living does too, so let’s not assume too much about that. Regardless, though, there’s more risk to the player in waiting than you’re accounting for. He’d probably (?) do better by waiting, but how much better is unknown. He’d also, if we’re talking about a three-year deal still, lose 1/6th of the salary he’d have made by signing earlier, since he’s now only getting half a salary for 2014.

            It’s a bit of leverage that he has in trying to bluff the other side, yes, but it’s not really all that realistic that he’ll wait and leave so many millions on the table for the great unknown. Kyle Lohse went through this before and signed. He’d made $65-million by that point.

            • However he’ would be getting a much better salary in 2015 and 2016. That would probably even out the downtick in 2014. And, yes, the cost of living is rising. But not nearly enough to affect either of these guys even a tiny bit. They are already multi-multi-millionaires.

  21. It’s kind of strange that this offer, if true, hasn’t been bested. I don’t think the problem with these two guys is the draft pick compensation – it’s definitely a component to it – but rather just how shitty they both performed in 2012. If they had solid stats that year, they probably would have signed long ago.

    It’s painful to watch this stare down, but Anthopoulos is the fucking man for play this out the way he has. I’d love to watch him try to pick up a hooker.

  22. My money is on ..

    Ervin Santana will sign with Baltimore
    Ubaldo Jimenez will sign with Seattle Mariners

    Red Sox and Yankees both 15-20 wins ahead of us just play the Youth

    • ehh… red sox for 88 wins, rays for 85, jays 84 and yankees 83 as per fangraphs 2014 projected standings. Now lots of unexpected things can happen over the course of the season to monkey with things, but the projections are probably something like the true talent for each team.

      yankees project to be dogshit at 2B, 3B and DH. Also, their bullpen is pretty bad outside of David Robertson. Roughly average at 1B, SS, RF and LF. Strong in CF, at C and 1-4 in the rotation.

    • Look at how clever this guy is! Negativity about the Jays, wow! Never saw that coming!

  23. Is this kind of penny pinching really worth it?

    What do we get if one of them takes the offer and signs because the draft pick screwed them over? Do we really want someone showing up for spring training and bring drama into the clubhouse …. feeling he was screwed and is underpaid?

    I’m not blaming AA for taking the situation as it is. I like to look for bargains as well but it’s not a good deal of the player thinks they’re getting royally hosed. All we’ll have is one very unhappy pitcher.

    • The “unhappiness” and “chip on his shoulder” pretty much cancel each other out.

    • Ugh if they take the offer that would mean it was presumably the highest they received, so why the fuck would they be bitter

    • So the team pisses away millions that they didn’t have to?

      They’re businesses.

    • I love how people expect these guys to be upset at an offer of 30M to throw a baseball.

      I get they might be disappointed. But upset at the one team making them an 8 figure offer?

  24. For all we know, these two guys may already have offers of 3/36 on the table.

    There’s little reason for either to accept the best offer available this very minute when there’s every reason to believe the same offer or better will be available in a week or two.

    By the same token, if you’re the Jays, what’s the rush? We can safely assume nobody has come in and blown 29 other teams out of the water with an offer.

    Maybe I’m too optimistic.

    But I think this ends in February with the Jays landing one of these guys for an entirely palatable term and AAV.

    • That would be the sensible way to view it, yes.

    • I really think the substantial risk of a new team being in the market over the next couple weeks is substantial. The Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees and other teams could blow away the other 29 teams with an offer if some of their SP goes down to ijury or simply is bad in spring training. This seems to already be happening is Seattle. Also maybe some borderline team has guys really looking good a spring training which changes their evaluation of the team’s prospects for this year and they enter the market – a team like the Mets for instance could like what they see and decide to sign Drew and a SP and try to compete.

  25. People actually think A 3/27 is a slap in the face? Everyone is so quick to look at it from the blues are ‘cheap’ angle.

    Where is every other team lining up to give these guys 4 years and 50 mil?

    I doubt it will end up being under 36 million total, but there’s no reason to outbid ourselves at this point.

    • Look at it from Satana’s perspective he made $11 and $13 million the last two years, why the hell should he take a huge step back after coming off an excellent season? Again he has all the security he and his family will ever need.

      • So? What does what he’s made have to do with the current market?

        He’s coming off a decent season but 50% of his his last 4 years he’s posted an era over 5.

        When he signed his big deal he had never shown that he could be that awful for an entire season,

        Like I said, no other team has busted down the door to offer him any thing significant because he would have accepted it by now. Teams don’t want to give up the pic and the don’t want to pay 15 + million for an pitcher with suck extreme inconsistencies

        • Such* extreme inconsistencies

        • If i am him it’s worth for it me to sit out for half a year and not get locked into a lowball offer. Furthermore, he has the ability to do it. Surely, you can understand that?

          Say June rolls around, the draft is done, no more qualifying offer to slow me down, sure i have sacrificed $4.5 million of your shitty offer, but I’ve seen what teams are willing to pay to other guys like Phil fucking Hughes and Ricky Nolasco, both of whom i am better than, shitty 2012 or not, my overall career numbers prove it. Even if they want to lump me into the same mediocre boat as Nolasco then i should be able to get a similar offer to the one he just got – 4 years @ $12 million per with a 5th year option. Pro rate that contract for remainder of 2014 ($6 million) and by the end of year 2 I will have made the same amount as your shitty offer plus have 2 more years in the bag at $3 million more a year and an option for laughs. At the end of the day you don’t get me and i get my contract. By June, there will certainly be teams that will be happy to pay me that and more especially if they don’t have to pay a team like the Cubs a ransom in those ever precious prospects for 1.5 years of The Shark.

          Also if you need more recent history, just look at Kyle Lohse, he waited until March and still got more than you are offering and I believe he’s 3 or 4 years older.

          • More of this silliness? Teams have budgets, you know. It’s not the slam dunk you think it is that teams will be lining up on June 1 to give him the moon. And you’re talking about Lohse? You noticed that he didn’t wait until June, right?

            There’s also the fact that he will have to keep throwing, and risking injury, during the three month wait, otherwise, when he signs in early June, he’ll be at the point of starting Spring Training for most, and will need to get built up.

            His issue, if he and his agent are upset, is with the union and the CBA, not the teams.

            • The reference to Lohse was about the money he got and not that he waited until June. Again he was 3 years older so imo he was probably better off to not wait until June since his age might have hurt his case a little more.

              As for his throwing all he has to do is keep throwing his side sessions, i know there is some risk there but not nearly the risk of having to throw 100+ pitches at max effort. If he was intent on waiting until the end of June then he wouldnt really have to start throwing until the middle or end of May so he could give himself his 6 weeks of prep.

              Again look at it logically, if the end of June comes around and as always, teams are in the hunt for a starting pitcher, where would they turn to first? Someone they can just pay cash to or someone who will cost an arm and leg in terms of prospects and then cash on top of that for a limited term? If they are unwilling to pay a 1st or 2nd round prospect now, why does paying that or more for another starter on a shorter term sound more appealing?

              All signing Santana in June would do for a team is move up their free agent activity by 3 months, with the added benefit of getting a player that can correct immediate problems in the rotation all while leaving your farm system intact. Imo GM’s would be drooling over him right up until the last pick of the 1st or 2nd round and ready to pounce once it was done. People are forgetting, he would have easily signed for just as much if not more than a guy like Nolasco if there wasnt a pick attached to him. In June he would be in that position again.

              Yes he would lose 1/6 of any potential 3 year deal, however, he would gain most if not all of it back with the likely higher aav. The budget for many teams would not be vastly affected by having to pay for $6-7 million more and plenty of teams hold back money for situations just like that.

              I’m not saying it would be easier for a pitcher to do it, but rationally it’s the best way for him to maximize his earning power at this stage of the game.

              • Again, you’re missing the point of negotiating. You’re right, $13-$14MM isn’t a lot to pay, but why would they start there? Spending it just because they have it isn’t how they became fabulously wealthy and successful in the first place. Offer $9MM, settle for $11, spend the $2MM saved on improving the bench. It’s not nickle-and-diming; it’s negotiating. It’s also unlikely to be a take-it-or-leave-it proposition; it’s negotiating.

                • I understand perfectly well how negotiating works just as i understand you can make a first offer without insulting someone as well. Obviously it depends on how the offer was made and what it was.

                  Just because i am arguing against the likelihood of the offer being made doesnt mean i dont want the jays to get the best deal possible. I would love for them to get either one of of those guys for 3/27, i just dont see it happening.

                  • Whether we are offended by the offer, whether we think the players might be offended by the offer, or whether we think it will be accepted or not are all completely irrelevant. What we think will have no bearing on what happens.

                    In my opinion, AA/the Jays made a good offer. It seems to me to be a good starting point for any potential negotiations. I don’t care what their market value is and I actually don’t care if they sign either/both of these guys. Would they help? Likely. Are they the only options? No.

          • If you’re going to include what the Twins and, by implication the Royals (Vargas, etc.) did, then you should probably factor in the crux interpretum: the Masahiro Tanaka situation. The entire off season pitcher acquisition scenario hinged on him.

            I think MIN and KC jumped the gun and overpaid for mediocre (or worse) talent but, hey, who cares right? I mean, there’s all that TV money to throw around, right? So you think that TOR should follow suit and overpay for slightly better than mediocre pitchers, both of whom have significant question marks about consistency, AFTER the market has changed so dramatically? Those are some interesting negotation tactics…

            Also, only a moron would make an offer with the other sides’ feelings as part of their negotiating tactics. It’s unlikely that they-or their agent-get their panties in a bunch since their negotiating tactics are the exact opposite: witness the early off season noise about $100MM plus contracts that one or both of these guys wanted.

            And assuming that we know anything about what motivates either side in these negotiations is a flawed argument. The flaws are obvious, too.

            • Pub

              People’s emotions end up a factor in negotiations all the time. It might not be the agents emotions but the people they represent – the ones who are ultimately calling the shots – do get emotionally involved. It would be silly to argue otherwise. I’m not saying they are all having epic hissy fits but getting pissed off with a low ball offer is hardly extreme or out of the ordinary. There are more than enough examples out there to show that it happens. Just look at the mess the Orioles made this winter. That’s just one of many out there.

              While you’re obviously so smart as to know what an overpay is and what isn’t you’re missing the point of what these guys have already set in terms of precedent. As an agent I can easily point to player X’s numbers and my own players and argue that my player should get this much based on what has happened in the market already. Boras makes a living doing just that for his clients. The fact is teams paid those players whether you think it was dumb or not. The Twins didn’t need to overpay those guys considering the situation their team is in. They have no real chance of competing this year. So that tells me that’s the going rate for guys on the open market. You may not like it or think it’s wise, but the market is the market.

              And no I am not saying AA should pay just anything. That said, $13-$14 million isn’t a ton for a decent starter these days. As I said a few times yesterday, there’s even financial incentives for the Jays to not have an early arb starter like Stroman or Hutchison start a lot of games at this point in time. Never mind the benefits of having the depth. There’s just a lot of pros in signing one of them. The ultimate goal isn’t to win the $/WAR championship but the most number of games.

        • Unfortunately, unlike what you are saying, a team did in fact pay him the most money of his career after his worst season and did so by trading a player (to be fair, a minor league reliever) for him in the process.

  26. My question is. If on the outside chance you land one of these pitchers for ridiculously cheap. Would you think they have any sort of motivation to perform at their peak? I just feel like it would be a moral issue.

    • Self interest.

    • I wondered this before and was mocked. It’s a legit question, it speaks more to the character of the individual but if the team is struggling and the pitcher is struggling and he’s locked in for another 2 years and not exactly happy about what he’s making it’s not a stretch to think he may not give 100%.

  27. Waiting until June has yo be a consideration for them at this point .
    In the jays long term advantage to try to get one of them when they have protected picks.
    AA has to take this to rogers and say its the right time to invest strategically

  28. Is it just me or is AA getting less and less likable?

    • I am getting sick of the gamesmanship as well. They could have made a deal, moved on by now and targeted a 2nd baseman.

    • At this point he may as well get some stilts, a big fake nose and call himself JP Riccardi because that’s where he’s headed…

  29. Even if the Jays really believe that 2 of Drabek, Hutch, Happ or Stroman will be solid … I still really have trouble understanding why they wouldn’t sign at least one of Santana or Jiminez at what seems to be absurdly below market value (excluding the draft pick situation).

    Hard to see how having too much depth in the rotation could possibly be a problem. Injuries happen. Plus, even if Jiminez or Santana suck, it’s hard to believe they couldn’t just be dumped on another team at salaries as reasonable as we’re talking.

  30. My voice in my head when I read this article to myself:

    “But I do know that the ties between those players and Comarramazammyy…’s club indeed do exist”

  31. Isn’t there a very good chance these pitchers wait well into Spring training hoping some of the ball clubs incur injuries to their rotations and jump back into the market. I think we may be in for quite the wait still

  32. Kinda wondering — if this report is accurate — whether part of the issue might be the reputation AA wants to craft for dealing with agents and FAs in general. If he’s said “This is our firm offer,” there may be value in playing hardball and not blinking. The take-away around the league may well be –”Wow, this fucking guy is crazy enough to go into Spring Training without signing one of these guys — I guess when he says ‘This is my best offer’ he means it.”

    Typing that up, I can’t tell if even I believe it. But it’s crossed my mind as a potential factor — i.e. not just the money for the money’s sake, but AA’s crafting of he reputation around the league as a dealer. Mind you, I’ll think he’s fucking crazy if they get signed for 3yrs/$30-35 million.

    • To be clear – I’ll think he’s fucking crazy if they get signed by someone ELSE for that price.

  33. I like that they have offers out to both (if this is true). One could get antsy and sign a pretty cheap deal for us. Or, better yet, maybe we could actually get both.

    But I’d be lying if I said that this doesn’t also scare me.

    Yes, I realize it’s a negotiation. But these are undoubtedly lowball offers. I realize that there is a negotiation process, and I certainly don’t want the jays to OVER pay, but coming in very low does pose a certain risk.

    It’s POSSIBLE that these guys and there agents decide to give the Jays a big fuck you. I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if one or both signed somewhere else at 11/per and we found out later that they didn’t even pick up the phone to AA to see if he’d beat it.

    Is that the most likely situation? Probably not. Obviously they want their market to be as big as possible and they want to earn as much as possible. But there is a line of good faith in negotiations. It’s invisible, but if you cross it, you piss off the other side enough that you’ve lost them for good.

    For now, I’m going to trust in AA. I still hope we sign both. But if these offers are real, he’s definitely playing hardball.

    • I would be highly surprised if the agent didn’t explore the possibility of getting his client more money. It’s business, and these are multi-million dollar negotiations.

      • Totally. It’s a negotiation and they want the most the most they can get. I THINK that you’re right, and I THINK that’s what will happen.

        All I’m saying is, there IS a line. And so I can’t say that I’d be shocked if an agent/player took a stance said fuck you.

        Someone offers Ubaldo 11 mil/per? Well, we could probably get 11.5 if we call AA, but fuck that guy. We’d rather eat the half-mil than reward a guy who offered us a piece of shit.

        I don’t think the above is likely. But it’s possible.

        Like I said, I’m trusting AA. But I’m a bit nervous.

        • Agents can’t turn down 500K on behalf of their client because they don’t like AA’s tactics.

          • No. But an agent and a player could certainly come to that decision together.

            • Isnt there a possibility the other teams offered even lower contracts. Like really. This is all business and their all playing chicken.

              Like if you were selling a house, would you sell the house to a very adamant stingy guy for $50000 more then the next probable highest offer, or would you give it to the guy whos not vocal about his cheapness, and therefore hasnt offered anything higher than the offer on the table.

            • I think that we forget the role of the agent here. He’s the one taking all the phone calls and doing the negotiating within the parameters the player sets out. A team can play hardball with him and not (necessarily) worry about offending the player. On the other hand they have to watch that they don’t go overboard because the agent can and will skew things when he reports back to the player.

          • In my experience there are always multiple factors at play, not just money. An agent and client might also look at a slightly lower offer from a club with a stable environment and a chance to win. Not all clients–not even most clients–only look at the dollars and cents. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have a club coming off a few really rocky seasons, playing in the most competitive division in baseball, having had three managers in four years, playing on a turf that has become notorious. It’s not exactly a winning combination. I can imagine a player might need to take some convincing to come and play here.

    • Presumably no other team has offered anything much better so by that theory the player / agent would be willing to spurn any team

  34. Lohse did not sign last year until March 26 and he still started the season on the Brewers roster. He had been throwing bullpens and simulated games on the side. Hell they could have one hell of a exhibition game with all the FA’s remaining.

    So this COULD drag another month although I don’t get the feeling it will go past the end of February.

    • @ Lewis
      I suppose using the Lohse case is as good as anything. I mean I would use injuries that inevitably happen in ST to any one of 30 rotations as the critical point. If at that point there are competing bids for these guys we’ll see how hard they hold to their positions.

      I wonder if any team has left a bid with their agents for after the Compensation Pick goes away?

      It could be too that AA is sincere in seeing how Hutchison, Drabek, McGowan, et al do. It’s an excellent bargaining tool if nothing else. If that’s the case then there probably won’t be any action til after ST

  35. I have a lot of thoughts, mostly in regards to trying to decipher what the Jays financial situation is. But what we’re hearing from Heyman and, somewhat, from this report, kind of adds up. Various reports at the beginning of the offseason had the Jays expected to have $15M to spend on upgrades. $8-$9M for two starters, if they could get them, would be right around that number.

    It jives, to a degree, with other rumours we know about this offseason. They initially tried to get one starter – Brett Anderson – by dealing Sergio Santos. Anderson makes $8M in 2014, Santos makes $3M or so, which would have left them with another ~$10M to spend on another starter like Santana or Jimenez who gave them more certainty.

    Of course, the rumoured Ian Kinsler shows they were willing to add salary in another area – given the supposed Kinsler for Santos/Romero swap, that would have added ~$4M in 2014 – so that either says that they didn’t specifically earmark the $15M to pitching, or that the $15M isn’t entirely a fixed number (more likely).

    Anyways, on a different note, I figured I’d bring up what Dan Szymbroski calculated as Santana’s and Jimenez’ worth to teams that would have to give up a second round pick. (http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove13/story/_/id/10432896/calculating-contracts-nelson-cruz-other-remaining-free-agents-received-qualifying-offers-mlb)

    He used 4-year deals, and said Jimenez would be worth 4Y / $63M while Santana would be worth 4Y / $38M. For Jimenez, the Jays purported offer looks way off by Dan’s calculations, but for Santana, that’s a $9.5M AAV vs. a $9M AAV, and you’d figure since the Rogers Centre is a less than ideal place for Santana to pitch, that it would be fair if they valued him a bit less than a neutral-park team.

    You can complicate that math based on what a WAR is worth to specific teams and their specific situations, but I think Dan’s math gives a guideline.

  36. Stoeten wrote:

    “…This is the same basic team that many people thought was going to run away with the pennant last year, and yet now, despite knowing full well why the club underperformed and that it should expect at least some measure of bounce back…”

    that’s the way I look at it & the reason I’m optimistic for 2014…this ball club has a lot of talent & we’d all like to see players stay healthy & consistent.

    • And no JPA

    • That team had JJ and I know he bombed, but he was supposed to a be a front-line starter. This years team is still missing that ingredient and even if we do get ES and/or UJ neither of them are likely to be as good as we thought JJ was going to be.

  37. For fuck sakes… 27 over 3 years is nickel and diming there’s no other way to describe it. These guys are as good as gone if that’s the structure of what the Jays are looking to spend on either. The Jays are like 6 million off just on the low end.

    It’s mind boggling why you’d try to play the 2 best FA pitchers that can also help your team achieve something it hasn’t since um like 2 fucking decades ago.

    • If they are as good as gone, then why the hell hasnt another team signed them yet. And it’s freaking february.

      Your’re saying they should have signed them earlier on in the season, when the reported price was $60 million, to now a potential savings of $30 million. And they could technically get both? for $60 million?

      Might as well try to sign a smart contract, We don’t need to act like the yankees, dodgers or angels.

      • That’s not a serious offer to a FA pitcher that can help this team, one that this team desperately needs. Does AA think he’s buying a fucking dining room set off Craigslist?

        • Yes Kyle Lohse’s contract was exactly like buying a dining room set off craigslist.

          This isnt the old days of the Type A and B agents. This the market of compensation pick pitchers, and the two pitchers in question have major question marks, just like how Kyle Lohse was “old” and had to setle for $33 million, even as a boras client.

        • There’s no way a dining room set is worth $27 million, but if it’s the one piece of furniture his house needs the most then he should just pay it.

    • can you please list the teams who have offered them better then 3/27.

      I’ll wait .

    • It’s only mind-boggling if you are an idiot as it’s not that hard to understand. If the Jays want one of these guys, they want them as cheaply as possible. It’s like that for pretty much every job out there.
      If the Jays have 16M to spend, should they just offer Ubaldo 16M a year just to make sure they got what they needed and then not be able to add salary in July if they have a sudden need?
      Heck, maybe if they get Ubaldo for cheap enough, they can add Drew, or trade Happ+ for Kendrick. Who knows.

      • I think idiots understand very well… Either Rogers won’t give AA what he needs to lock up another starter or AA’s ego is on display.

        At what point should people be annoyed? Beginning of spring training, half way though? When it’s opening day and AA is still negotiating to get a starter for 9.5 million will you be on here calling people idiots?

        Just curious what your breaking point is?

        • My breaking point will be when either pitcher doesnt sign with us at a reasonable price. It’s pointless to bemoan about the process when in reality we know nothing except they both dont agree on some random price we really dont know about.

        • So does the same apply to the other 29 teams? Are the other 29 owners cheap? Or are the other 29 GMs displaying their egos? Some combination, maybe?

      • For most people, if the Jays have $20 million to spend, we would look at ways they can do it most efficiently. Every dollar you save on Ubaldo means more money to go to Drew or Phillips/Kendrick or making a mid-season acquisition.

        For people who don’t care about value, if the Jays have $20 million to spend, they want the team to give $16 million to Ubaldo, $12 million to Drew, and then make some moves to take on more salary at the deadline.

        A lot of people just want the team to spend endlessly. That way, paying too much won’t affect future flexibility because the answer will always be to spend more.

        • People that want this team to spend don’t think that way exclusively…

          1. The ownership has lots of $$ and can afford to do so, over a determined period of time.
          2. The Jays have high end talent already, this makes spending more of FA”s more palatable.

          If the Jays were sitting here today with a 60 million Payroll with no Edwin, no Jose’s, no Rasmus I wouldn’t be saying “hey lets overpay to get Ubaldo or another starter” This team has quality pieces, these quality pieces are not young and have precious time left.

          So if you wanna piss away Reyes, Bautista and Encarnacion, okay, cool great lets just enjoy what these guys do and the team can be 4th or 5th…. Futility.

          • 1. Of course ownership has money. They’re also a business.

            2. You’re right, it does make spending more on free agents more palatable. That doesn’t mean they should intentionally spend more than they have to in order to not look cheap. Regardless of how you feel about payroll, there IS a limit to how much the team can spend, and there’s no reason for the team to approach that limit faster than necessary.

            If Ubaldo and Santana both sign elsewhere for reasonable rates, I’ll be disappointed. As of now, no one in the league has proven that they’re willing to spend more than the Jays. It would be stupid of them to outbid themselves just to make a point.

            • You’re not a fan then if you’re going to use “They’re a business” as the reason why Rogers and AA act like a bunch of cheap skates. Fans don’t give a shit about shareholders and ROI… They care about playoffs… bottom line. What are you going to do to get there in 2014 AA?

              • There’s a big difference between understanding that the team works within a budget and liking the budget. I’m in the first group, not the second.

                Of course I don’t WANT the team to have to draw the line somewhere, but I understand that they have to, so I want them to make the most of their investments within that framework.

                • I understand they work within a budget as well… I just don’t agree with it. And to be clear I’m not suggesting they spend like the Yankees or the Dodgers.

              • not a fan? i’m glad you hold the key to the blue jays gates of fandom.

                this team has a ton of money behind it, even without signing one of these guys. this isn’t like the pirates who cant even re-sign AJ Burnett to a short term deal to bolster an $80mill team on the edge of contention. or ditto for the Indians or Royals. or the Orioles who had to sign fringy starter material with injury concerns out of Korea cause ownership refuses to add to an otherwise strong roster currently only worth $90mill..

                every team wants to sign guys as cheaply as they can, whether or not they have payroll constraints on them. If the Jays’ limit is $150 mill, then that’s great. sign Ubaldo as cheaply as you can to maintain flexibility for future years. if the limit is $130 mill, well that’s life. should still be plenty of money to put a contender on the field if you’re smart with the money and remain patient (ie: not taking on the bloated contracts of players in their decline phase such as AA did with the marlins deal or forking over your two great prospects for 38 year old knucklers).

                and that may very well be AA’s legacy here – that he wasn’t patient enough and tried to take the team forward too far, too fast and the result was a team that couldn’t crack the post-season despite a top 10 payroll with a middling farm system. i mean that’s really what’s in all our minds here i think, whether we admit it or not. we’re just hoping that Santana/Jiminez, Navarro, and maybe a decent 2B make this team good enough to justify some sketchy deals from last offseason, which is a very real possibility, no question, but that’s really what’s going on here, at least in my opinion.

            • Also to your other point, yes it would be very stupid to outbid themselves.. but I just find it hard to grasp that the process of signing Santana or Jimenez should be taking this long.

              These two are worth more than 27 over 3 years, easily. So when you see a report like that as a fan you tend to get pissed off.

              • I’m rather impatient as well, but I get the process and that this is a new market norm, as long the qualifying compensation system will continue to stay in place.

              • But if the Jays are the only offer on the table, the have to either outbid themselves or be patient. I’m happy with the patience approach if it saves them some money for other moves. If another team jumps into the fray, I’m sure the Jays will get more aggressive.

                I know the “pitchers and catchers reporting” stories are starting to trickle in, but opening day is still six and a half weeks away.

                • Wouldn’t it be beneficial for either Santana or Jimenez to spend as much time with the team in spring training as possible? Isn’t there a value in that vs a dollar value?

                  What if either of these guys sign with 2 weeks left in the spring, is their conditioning not a concern?

                  • I’m pretty sure they’re not just sitting around eating McDonald’s while they wait to see if someone signs them.

                    Lohse signed on March 25 last year. He made his regular season debut 11 days later. He had a 2.57 ERA in April.

                    These are professional athletes with a ton of experience. Of course you would prefer to see them involved in spring training as much as possible, but I don’t think that holds much value to the team, and certainly not millions of dollars.

                • “It would be stupid of them to outbid themselves just to make a point.”

                  Not that I claim to have any understanding about what this report means, but this comment doesn’t make sense. The argument is that they should offer more to entice someone to sign so they can make the team better.

                  • But if no other team in the league is willing to match, what’s the incentive for the Jays to up their offer? So they can get it over with?

                    The argument on the other side is that they should continue to be patient (like all the other teams) and make the team better without giving away more money than they have to.

                    • The incentive is that other teams will eventually get interested.

                    • @ Philbert
                      The incentive for the Jays is to lock these guys up before the demand for the pitchers increases when more teams like Seattle find themselves needing SP as pitchers report to spring training and get hurt into it. The price isn’t going to go too much lower than it is now in all likelihood and not comfortable with the Jays playing chicken with the player agents at this point in the game. Step up a little more and dont risk losing out.

  38. I will backtrack a little on the slap in the face stand but only slightly. If AA were to say to these guys “look i’m being totally upfront with you here, we’ve only got 9 million in the budget this year and that’s it, if you can’t get a better deal come and see us”, then fine. However, the $9 million for the next two years basically destroys that argument. $9 million for one year because that’s what is left is understandable, but not for 2015 and 2016′s budget. If he truly valued them more than that, they could easily back load the deal.

    • yeah he could, but why would AA handicap himself and backload the contract, there are very few contracts he’s actually backloaded.

      Think about it this way. If it doesnt work, then yeah, bemoan how you saw it coming, blah blah blah. But if it does work, I want to hear nothing but begrudging praise that we got pretty decent pitcher(s) on the cheap cause AA is a stingy bastard

      • Of course i’ll tip my hat to him if he manages to pull it off. I wont crucify him if doesnt work either, i may not like it but again i have no idea if he’s under budget constraints or if he is just being pig headed when it comes to his vision of value.

        As for backloading, it’s got nothing to do with handicapping yourself and everything to do with fitting the player into a tight budget in a present day situation.

      • @ revolvo
        Because the Jays are in a win now mode and there is never going to be a better time to add talent in an effort to win

  39. I don’t understand all this talk about low balling. These guys are the best FA starters out there but holy shit. They certainly aren’t David Price or Cliff Lee types by any stretch. These guys are a pair of #4, maybe #3 starters at best who happened to have a decent year last season. They’ve been overvalued and overpriced and you certainly don’t overpay for hype. Kudos to AA. Get them at your price or go with the kids.

    • Of course it’s low balling. If Price was on the open market he would get Cliff Lee money. What’s Cliff Lee money you ask? $25 million a year. $25 million – $9 million is $16 million a year. Are those guys worth that much more? No. $20+ million is the going rate for ace type pitchers and, it’s only going to go higher in the years to come.

    • No, they aren’t David Price or Cliff Lee types… but they’re not less then Arroyo either.

    • Expecting 9m a year for these guys goes way beyond low balling since inferior pitchers have signed for signiificantly more than that.

      • They signed for more because they didnt have draft pick compensation attached…

        9 Million is low yes, and that’s why they havent signed. If that’s even the true offer on the table. yet

        • Okey… so they have draft pick compensation attached. They’re also not 37 years old (Arroyo) or have significant injury concerns (Garza).

  40. I think this is encouraging.

    I wonder if the strategy might be to offer a decent amount more and reduce the length of contract by a year? Maybe 2 year for $20 or $22 or $24.

    It certainly has been interesting watching this play out to this point.

  41. People seem to be REALLY hung up on the unfounded fact that $27-mil over 3 years are the Blue Jays only and final offers to both men. As Mr. Stoeten has mentioned ad nauseum: these are contract NEGOTIATIONS. Maybe tweaking the headline a little will help clarify to some people. ie “Are These The Jays’ OpeningTerms?”

    • Exactly. It’s no more ridiculous than Santana looking for $100 million. The players are going to ask for some high and the teams are going to offer something low. That’s pretty much how every contract negotiation has every worked.

      • Spring training is about to start and the Jays are still low balling so much the players are waiting for the market to change and another team to come offer a reasonable price once they have an unforseen need in their rotation. This is a dangerous game and now is the time to step up and make a reasonable offer which is more than 3 years and 27 million

        • Tell that to the Kyle Lohse market a year ago.

          • Didnt work out for Lohse last year but doesn’t mean it wont for guys this year. It does help that there are 2 (4 if you count Maholm and Capuano) options still out there and not just one.

  42. Long time, first time. Love the site, read it daily, but never comment.

    One quick question…./

    Have there been any reports either from the club or elsewhere about Morrow’s current health? I think I remember hearing he was on track to being ready for ST, but I don’t think it was a fully clean bill of health at the time.

    Not looking to troll or anything….he’s one of my favourite Jays, and they’ll need him to be healthy this year if they hope to compete with the top clubs.

    Curious if anyone can point me to some sort of definitive report that he’s 100% healthy.

    • I don’t have a link to a specific story, but I’ve read on a few occasions in the past couple of weeks how Morrow’s pinched nerve has healed and he’s 100% ready to go for the start of the season. That is, of course, just until his next injury.

      • Thanks, MM!

        I am hoping that his bad luck is behind him, and that he’ll be the #1 / 2 that we have hoped for from him. Enjoy the season (or lead up to it)!

    • Morrow was interviewed on 590 a few weeks back.Said he was throwing 100% .
      He’s fine and ready to go.

  43. If this report is true 3/27 is a silly offer. That’s probably easily below the threshold where Jimenez & Santana will just wait until after the draft and see if that moves the market.

  44. I’m not an expert negotiator but I’ve bought a ton of stuff through classified ads for non-trivial amounts of money (used cars, furniture, etc). I find a semi-lowball offer is an effective tool as a buyer. Very rarely are people insulted, usually the response will be something like “no, the lowest I can go is X” which lets you know how much room you have to play with. You can then use that number as the basis for your negotiation. If you’re lucky, they might even accept.

    I’m aware that this is not the same kind of money as an athlete but the principles of negotiation are the same. The people you’re buying from aren’t millionaires, and a $10k car to someone with a $100k net worth is a serious amount of money. Generally, as the buyer, you’ve got the power. The seller ultimately has to sell, but the buyer can walk away. AA can start the season without buying one of these two players, but the players are not going to sit out the season because they didn’t like any of the offers.

    • I think you missing the point. We aren’t talking about a piece of junk someone is looking to get something, anything for in return like most of those ads, we are talking about how a player views his personal worth in the marketplace. They are two entirely different things even though both involve a negotiation.

      • You make a good point but this is where the agent makes his money. He negotiates on behalf of the player and shields him from all the negativity.

  45. As a union executive, who’s sat in on innumerable contract negotiations – it’s all just posturing and establishing parameters at this point….a civilized version of the stereotypical outdoor Turkish market.
    “How much is this”.
    “I’ll sell it for 10″.
    “I’ll give you 3″
    “Ahhh (head explodes) – you INSULT me! Not a penny less than 8″
    “5″
    “My children will starve!!”.
    “6 and a half”
    “Seven, and it’s a deal”.

    • Spring training is about to start – during union negotiations typically before a full on strike the two sides will meet in the middle and make reasonable offers – 27M over 3 years is not a reasonable offer for these guys and they might as well go “on strike” and wait until some other team needs SP and will give them a reasonable offer.

      • Bang on Fastball

      • What are the players asking for? This is all kind of based on the assumption that what the players are asking for is a reasonable number, is it? I’m sure the Jays aren’t low-balling them any more than they’re asking for the moon.

        • Yes the player demand may not reasonable either. Come up a little bit and start a serious negotiation otherwise the players may just hold out and wait until other teams enter the market for their services – come up some and maybe a serious negotiation can start.

      • Nick, I think you mean that 3/27 is not a reasonable offer – in your opinion.

        Its a starting point. And its your opinion.

        I believe it is reasonable. But that is just my opinion.

        Meh.

    • This would seem to me to be pretty obviously correct.

  46. It would be amazing if they signed both Santana and Jimenez……just for the fact it would only cost a second and third round pick….which history shows us the Jays cant develop pitching at the big league anyway….(there’s still some promising prospects the jays helped develop in the minors of their farm system and other teams from trades but it’s quite frightening that Romero and Cecil are the only two developed blue Jays pitchers on the roster they developed in over ten years and Romero is most likely done at the big league level and Cecil is now in the bullpen….yikes….so AA get rid of those draft picks to improve this team…Jesus!

    And for the fact, Starting pitching is going to be harder and harder to come by in trades and free agency in the future just cause with the new tv contracts and all the money floating around it’s cheaper to lock up your own and guys and maybe as crucial as ever if your not the Dodgers and Yankees cause free agency is ridiculous and with rumors of the free agency draft compensation again on the table next season on behalf of the MLBPA
    could be even rare for a Santana or Jimenez to drop their prices considering in the future those types of pitchers might not have draft pick compensation tied to them.

    • blame riccardi for the lack of major league pitching impact, and revisit this statement within 5 years. I see the potential for a huge wave of pitchers coming out of our system.

  47. If the Jays fear financial commitment until this core proves out, and if AA truly believes bad health and under performance from this group can turn around a la the Bosox, he should have qualified Josh Johnson for 1 yr and be done with it. Its bad PR to end the season saying pitching is the biggest need and do nothing. However, if he lands either UJ or ES then at least he did something and Rogers still looks to be in the game.

  48. santana is terrible. i can’t believe people want him here. shows you how fucking dumb the average ball fan is, and how powerful recency bias is.

    jimenez isn’t much better. certainly not someone i’m hoping the jays hamstring themselves to sign.

    hey…remember when josh johnson could have been signed for under 10 million bux on a 1-year deal?

    • JJ could have been had for 14 million.

      everything else I somewhat agree too. but the same people who are yelling about signing santana will be the same ones who boo him when/if he goes through a rough patch and will be writing FIREE AA messages in June

      • signed for 8 million in san diego. so probably would have come back for 10. definitely could have been had for 14 with a qo.

    • He’s not terrible, but he has the potential to blow up in the AL east yes.

      • Santana is 1 year removed from a season in which he made 30 starts but posted a 4.48 xFIP and -1.0 WAR.

        I hope we do land atleast one of them, but lets call a spade a spade. We will be signing innings and depth, not a front of the rotation pitcher.

    • Is “recency bias” moron code for “every year except 2012 bias”?

      Is avoiding “recency bias” moron code for “not bothering to pay attention to the dramatic increase in sinker usage in 2013 that better kept the ball in the ballpark bias”?

      • career era over 4 in angels stadium and kaufman. not really much else you need to know.

        but, continue to be a prick, it looks good on ya, b’ye.

    • Josh Johnson was not going to sign here for under $10million or anywhere around $10 million. He went to the Padres because it’s in the NL and is a pitcher’s park so that he could rebuild value for a multiyear deal next year. He was never coming back to the Bluejays unless we gave him the qualifying offer.

  49. People are looking at this the wrong way.. If the rumour is true, and its a big rumour, the jays have offer 54 million to two free agents.

    did anyone expect them to spend more then 50 million this offseason without dumping salary first? I sure as fuck didn’t, thats a good sign.

    So yes chances are we don’t get either of these guys for less then 30 million. but its up to their agents to prove that, and when/if santana gets a better deal from the Mariners, then the jays all of a sudden have 27 million freed up, so they can up their offer to Jimenez.

    It’s actually a strong negotiation tactic, which at this point is working better then even AA imagined.

    • But as time goes on it could be more than the Mariner’s as other teams looking for SP. What if the Sox have a couple SP go down, the Dodgers, Texas, Yankees? Really cant see the buyers market for these ever being better than it is now

      • if that happens it happens, you can’t offer one of them 15 million more then anyone else, just because you’re worried about another teams injuries

  50. The Iwakuma and Walker being hurt scenario scares me. Pounce on these guys since now is likely as low as the price will go. If the Jays aren’t willing to step up and pay these guys below market value in a year where they couldn’t be more in a win now and increase revenue mode given their roster and contracts then that is entirely depressing as a fan and a clear signal to me that the team is happy to continue in medicority for who knows how long.

    • These injuries reported may last maybe a month or two at most. Why would they jump the gun and sign a larger multiyear contract? Wouldnt they be more inclinded to sign someone on a one year contract? Like Capuano?

      • That does help mitigate risk Capuana and Maholm out there – could be season ending injuries on big market teams like Sox and Dodgers

  51. Jim Bowden is now suggesting Drew could sign for as little as 2 years $16M.

    My goodness AA, make an offer.

  52. Let me start by saying that I would like the Jays to sign one of these two players, if only for their upside and for the fact that it would calm all of the screaming Jays fans who feel that this team is the second coming of the 2013 Astros. However, I don’t think signing another SP is necessary – it would help, but this team’s fortunes lie with the players they already have.

    Assuming this report about the offer to be true, and assuming it was made recently, I think this is a positive sign. Neither of these pitchers is the difference between making the playoffs or not. Each might be worth 200 innings to this team, which is what they need from one of their top 3 starters in order to survive a 162-game season. Then again, they might flame out. If AA has made these offers, then it at least shows that the team is committed to a financial outlay, and likely that they have the ability to beat some reasonable offers for these guys if it creeps into the $10M+ region, which it likely will. But anyone who thinks this team “needs” one of these two to compete has no grasp on reality.

    This team needs health to win. It needs its core to produce and Brandon Morrow to make 30 starts. It needs Dickey and Buehrle to continue their workhorse efforts. It needs Lawrie to break out (remember he is still a very young player). And THEN it needs another starter to put in 200 innings. One of these guys is a better option that many of those that they have on the roster – but if the Jays don’t sign one of them that won’t be the reason they don’t win this season. The team is built to win if its existing talent plays up to its abilities. This team will lose if it suffers the same sorts of significant injuries that it suffered in 2012 and 2013.

    Neither Ubaldo nor Ervin is going to be the saviour of the Jays’ season. They would improve the Jays’ chances, certainly. But if they come at too high a cost – and both were overvalued at the start of free agency – then it might make sense to let another team overpay them and to roll with Hutchison, Drabek, Stroman, Redmond, or one of the others in the #5 slot.

    If the team, as currently constructed, plays to its potential, they will be in a position to trade for a starter or other player at the deadline, with the ability to absorb a nasty contract if need be with the $9M earmarked for these guys. If the team falters, it has players who can be dealt ala the 2012 Red Sox to get the team ready for 2015. The team’s prospects will not change dramatically by signing one of these two pitchers – but it would be nice!

    • If you think signing one of them would help the team then it could make the difference between making the playoffs or not.

    • “But if they come at too high a cost – and both were overvalued at the start of free agency – then it might make sense to let another team overpay them and to roll with Hutchison, Drabek, Stroman, Redmond, or one of the others in the #5 slot.”

      That would only make sense if the jays were willing/able to reallocate the $ into something that provided more additional performance (relative to the internal replacement) value at the same or lesser cost. I don’t think I’ve heard anything about the Jays kicking any tires on any alternatives have you?

      If it’s all just left fallow then it doesn’t “make sense”… it’s just a wasted opportunity.

  53. Couldn’t find it quickly, but seems like Jim did pass. Story on Sportsnet.ca

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/ex-jays-manager-braves-exec-fregosi-dies-at-71/

  54. And the market keeps evolving.

    Latos has had knee cartilage surgery. Don’t think Reds have budget for FA pitching though.

    Always thought a Buerhle/Philips deal made “some” sense.

  55. and it doesn’t sound like he will be out long.

  56. I hope we sign Ubaldo Jimenez, so I can sound cool calling him baldy

    • It would give the follically challenged among us a great chance to form a new group out in the center field bleachers with the Melky Men. U bald, U balding, U in the group. Ladies and gentlemen The Ubaldo’s! For those among us that are on the hirsute side of the equation like Stoeten I could see bald caps becoming the latest fashion item for a Jays game.

  57. ubaldo to the o’s.

    good. hopefully someone else signs ervin santana and we can get on with the year.

  58. Ubaldo has signed with the O’s … for apparently 20M more than what this article says AA was offering him. Talk about being blown out of the water.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1963783-ubaldo-jimenez-and-orioles-reportedly-agree-on-4-year-contract?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=mlb

    4 years for 50 million dollars.

    I guess the Blue Jays can’t even afford that much right now.

  59. The Jays are not going to sign anybody. Then they’re going to tell the fans that we’re stupid because we don’t recognize Hutch and Stroman are superior.

    The fuckers finished last and all they add is Dioner Navarro. Unbelievable.

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