Gibby Vday

Because I don’t want to do a full link dump right now, and have more than just a paragraph to say about some of all this, here are some assorted Friday thoughts…

The Pitching Market

Lots to go over here:

Mat Latos needed surgery on his knee, though it can’t have been too major, as the Reds are trying to say he’ll be throwing again in ten days. Even if he was down for longer, I’m not sure that would have caused them to enter the free agent fray that we’re all watching so intently.

The Mariners, however, are sniffing around. MLBTR has the details, where it’s suggested that Seattle wants to add a starter, and have “touched base” with both Santana and Jimenez, “but is surveying the market in order to find the best fit.”

Jayson Stark of polled 23 executives about the off-season, and they named the Jays the second least-improved team in the AL, behind the Orioles, but with a caveat:

But no one was a match for the Orioles and Blue Jays, who crushed the rest of this field in the voting. In fact, only the Tigers (with four votes) were within 10 of either one of them. But there’s so much certainty within the industry that the Blue Jays are a lock to add a starting pitcher, several of the votes they attracted were on an “until-they-sign-a-pitcher” basis. So they get an asterisk, if it brightens their spirits any.

His colleague Jim Bowden (Insider only) goes even father, I think. Making “bold” predictions for Spring Training, he writes that he thinks the Jays will sign one of either Santana or Jimenez. And furthermore, “once one of these guys signs with Toronto, the other will be stuck without a suitor and might have to wait for an injury before more offers come in.”

That’s a pretty grim assessment of the market for these guys… if you’re one of their agents.

(Bowden also has Stephen Drew going to the Mets for just $16-million over two years, according to his estimation. Uh… maybe do that too, AA.)


Anthopoulos Speaks!

Alex Anthopoulos joined Mike Richards In The Morning on TSN Radio this morning, and while I’m not going to transcribe like I normally might (Friday, bro), there are certainly things worth highlighting…

Money quote:

“We still want to sign a starter, and we continue to have dialogue with the free agents.”

He also addressed the pitching situation in general:

“I know there’s probably some sentiment: Why don’t we just go and grossly overpay for some of these guys? And I think like you said, because some guys are coming back from injury, we have some young guys that are close. I think everyone felt ver good about the rotation going into last year, and, you know, now you’re minus what you expected of Josh Johnson, and we certainly don’t expect Brandon Morrow to win two games for us– I don’t think anyone would have thought that was going to be the case. And I think going into last year the one concern — and we talked about it before the season — was the depth behind our five and six.”

“We just didn’t have the depth to recover,” he added, and the big change is now they have ten or eleven starters.

Marcus Stroman “is ready for the big leagues right now,” he says. And he says he’s really excited about Erik Kratz, and had to catch himself after referring to Kratz and Navarro as a potentially sneaky-good tandem, noting that there’s still going to be a battle between him and Josh Thole. Hmmmm…


RIP Jim Fregosi

There has been a great, genuine outpouring on today over last night’s passing of Jim Fregosi, the baseball lifer and former manager of the Jays (and of the Phillies during the 1993 World Series, as well). He was obviously a tremendously respected and loved figure in the game and will be missed by many.


Image via the Zubes’ fantastic Valentine’s Day post of a year ago.

Comments (426)

  1. Gibby the best.

  2. Good news about Kratz, I liked the thought of him over Thole right from the start. Be nice if they caught some lightning in a bottle with him and got something similar to a 2010 John Buck. The guy has some pretty nice power.

    • Id just be happy with average or (heaven forbid – above average!) defense behind the dish.

    • Seems like Thole is going to have to really perform to make the team. The reports on defence for Kratz are outstanding, guy throws out 50% or runners from knees and is very experienced / apparently great game caller and receiver. Realistically he could become the #1 if Navarro struggles with the bat – there is no doubt Kratz is better defender than Navarro it seems. Looks like a great catch and throw guy with a little bit of power and not horrible OBP. Could be tough with him and Goins in the line up though having 2 weaker hitter at bottom of the order and if Rasmus & Lawrie aren’t solid teams will pitch around the stacked top of the order a lot.

      • Makes you wonder why the phillies gave him up for brad freakin lincoln

        • All about a teams depth in a particular area. Dont forget even though he wasn’t as good in Toronto he was very solid for Pittsburgh as a reliever.

        • Well the Jays gave up Aviles and Gomes last year for Rogers who is a pretty similar type player to Lincoln really

  3. If the jays get either one of these guys for 3 – 4 years at around 10 million, i’d be so fucking impressed with AA. still can’t understand why the same guys who want the jays to massively outspend their competition to land one also want them to dump buerhle because of his contract.

    • I wanted them to get rid of Buehrle and sign both FA SP’s or sign one and Drew strictly because of the financial flexibility that moving most of Buehrle’s contract would bring, not to mention the hole it would fill at 2nd for a couple of years. Even if Santana or Jimenez ended up being a wash with what Buehrle could produce in 2014, what you get back for him and what else you could potentially spend would benefit the team more.

      What I don’t get is why people mistake Buehrle as being risk free and pile all the risk on Santana and Jimenez. He’s 5 and 6 years older than Jimenez and Santana. No pitcher is risk free. Those of us that cheer for the Jays should know that by now.

      I have no problem with Buehrle as a pitcher just what he produces for that contract. I can get a similar performance for a few million cheaper with more upside, letting me fill other holes in the process.

      • If they could dump Buehrle’s contract and sign Santana and Ebaldo to 30/3 contracts, then ya they should do that…

        But I doubt you dump Buehrle without paying half his contract… At which point I would rather have Buerhle….

        • Again it depends on what you get back. The more you get back, the more you’re likely to pay. That said, he’s not a dud, so what you’re going to pay is going to be limited as well because he’s likely to provide you with solid results.

          My original thought was a 4th outfielder/RH bat or possibly a fringe type prospect close to the majors that could be used as an additional piece in another trade.

      • Wouldn’t any team interested in Buehrle just go sign Ubaldo or Santana for less. Pretty ridiculous discussion.

        • Pretty ridiculous for you to forget about the potential first round draft pick and the associated pool money that it would cost to sign one of them. Never mind other potential factors.

    • I don’t get everyone’s willingness to dump Buehrle.

      He’s proven himself over many years to provide solid, dependable innings, something the Jays have been absolutely desperate for the last couple of years. Beyond this year he’s only on the books for another season, so who gives a shit?

      One more innings eater and a someone who can mash lefties to platoon with Lind. I can live with Goins for a little bit – if they get fed up with him they can find someone via trade.

  4. I find it annoying when just media refer to pitcher wins… even moreso when a front office guy does.

    • he’s not using it as a measurement stick just another way of saying they didn’t get the starts out of him that they wanted.

  5. Sucks to hear about Fregosi. Always like the guy.

  6. The Kratz comments are interesting. He definitely projects to be a much better backup than Thole. And considering Navarro hasn’t played over 100 games since 2009, the backup is presumably going to be playing quite a bit more than under JPA.

    • I’d presume that the Back-up will probably get all the Dickey starts plus another start per turn in the rotation (probably against an opposition righty given the candidates).

      • Didn’t I read somewhere both catchers will be practicing with knuckleballers?
        (hence Tomo Ohka)

      • Yes against lefties Navarro could DH with Kratz catching.

        • Why would they do that? Krantz has a career reverse split… you want him to sit against lefties.

          • Kratz, not Krantz. And you’re talking about a sample of just 38 PA. He’s been strong in the minors overall against LHP over the last few seasons, though definitely not platoon splits.

            It’s an interesting idea, though. But you’d kind of like to think they can do better.

  7. You would think they would want to sign a starter before the pitchers report to spring training on Sunday.. If they were actually serious about adding an arm to their rotation (just a thought)

    • I’ve thought the same, but I can’t see it happening so soon the way things have played out. I still think if they get one of the starters it will be Ubaldo rather than Ervin, and the way the rumours are coming out, it seems like Ervin will be the one to sign first.

      What concerns me is them getting to camp and getting a bit carried away by how good Stroman or Hutchison look, and then deciding to pass on a pitcher.

      • That might happen…

      • I don’t think GM’s or managers or whomever put that much stock in spring training performances. Its fine if your figuring out your last bench spot or your last reliever but a contending team shouldn’t be figuring its rotation out on a few random starts in March.

        • I don’t think they put much stock in the numbers because of the small samples, crappy competition, tinkering, etc., but I would think they value what the pitcher looks like.

          They won’t look at a player’s ERA, but if Stroman comes out and his fastball has a lot of life, his secondary pitches have more movement, he’s missing more bats than last year and doing a great job of keeping the ball down, then they probably take that into consideration when making their decisions.

          • Definitely.

            As for signing a starter, Lohse took almost six more weeks from this point last year, so it’s not like the start of camp is that crucial to the teams that want to add.

    • I think its less of an issue than it may have been in the past. These guys are all professionals, pay trainers tens of thousands of dollars to train them in the offseason, and generally speaking will be ready to ramp it up once they sign. Santana and Jimenez are both veteran guys. The report date is probably more of a soft deadline, but there is still plenty of time. Spring Training is entirely too long as it is anyways.

  8. “and we certainly don’t expect Brandon Morrow to win two games for us”

    /turns on idiot voice/

    No shit, he’ll get hurt on the first day and win none. Thanks for the heads up, Alex.

    /turns off idiot voice/

    Idiot voice is kinda fun.

  9. One of my favorite managerial personalities. Fregosi. RIP.

  10. Blair tweeted a cool story about Fergosi that he would let the reporters leave their laptops in his office for the night after a game if they suspected that they might not make it back to their hotel room for the night. Not sure how the reporters wives would feel about this but I think its pretty cool.

    • I think it was about not making it back to the ballpark for the night to pick up their stuff, which they wouldn’t have wanted to cart around with them to the bar.

      Unless there was more to what he tweeted than the one I saw.

  11. Know it won’t actually happen, but if you told me in October they could add Jimenez, Santana, and Drew and carry a payroll south of 170 (without dealing a Bautista or whoever) I’d have called you a fucking moron.

    • I don’t expect it to happen but with the prices going down the way they are and if no new teams enter FA signing market the Jays could go for broke and sign all 3 to 3 year deals while backloading contract. Could really have a solid veteran lineup without holes and decent depth behind them for the window of contention over the next few years. Go to 4 years on these guys to make the money work by more backloading and lower AAV if needed. Great opportunity to really go for it here. AA could really make a move here and live up to the assasin alias. Get Drew now if this plan is realistic since there are other teams likely in the market for him (Yanks and Sox most likely).

      How would the Jays project if they signed all 3 guys? Would think pretty damn good and would be a legitimate contender with prospects to trade at the deadline to really make a push if needed

    • I just noticed something. AA has, up til now, continually said they were going to try and add 1 or 2 SPs. That latest quote (from this morning) starts off: “We still want to sign a starter,…”

      I wonder if the strategy has changed and they’re now playing one off against the other?

    • Can’t imagine it happening either… but if they signed Drew for 2/16, and say, Santana and Jiminez each for 3/30. Then traded Happ – I believe they’d be at something like 158 mil for 2014. That’s totally nuts.

  12. Ol gibbers can be my valentine.

  13. So on another note…. What’s up with our bullpen?

    Don’t we have like 10 good bp arms that are out of options or something like that? Wasn’t that a story when the off season began?

    • I think it’s pretty likely someone is going to go, especially if a SP is signed.
      I feel like Happ and an out of options RP might get packaged off somewhere.
      Rogers, Redmond, McGowan are all without options, so a competition for 5th starter makes a lot of sense, with 2 guys heading to the BP.

      • you’d have to figure they’d much rather jettison a depth reliever than a potentially useful starter. the projections think Happ will be roughly average this year – better than OK for a 5th starter. doubt he goes anywhere.

        • Commenters have been shitting on Happ this off-season, but he pitched pretty well until he took that shot to his head. I wouldn’t mind seeing what Happ can do this year before packaging him off.

          • Don’t really get the dislike for Happ. I think he’s a pretty solid piece, 1-2 WAR, ~150 innings. Clearly has a higher floor than Jimenez or Santana.

            I mean, he had a lower FIP than Dickey last year, and a good second half overall after taking a line drive to the noggin.

      • I’m not saying they should move Happ because he’s terrible, I think they should move him because the other three guys are significantly cheaper, and the best of the bunch can likely put up equivalent or better numbers than Happ. Happ is reasonably paid and should have value throughout the league, especially for a team that has a need and an extra infielder that we could use.

    • Jeffress, Rogers, Storey, Wagner and McGowan are out of options. *Might* be more, but those I know for sure.

      • Storey would be the first to go i think. how many more would they have to get rid of? Jeffress, as nice as his arm is, would probably be next. they’ll probably do their best to keep the guys with starting experience.

    • Oh yeah, Redmond as well (as sweat pointed out).

      • RPs Perez and Cecil

        anyone else? Santos?

        • Casey’s out too I think. What about Delabar?

          • Jansenn, Santos, Dalembar(option), McGowen, Cecil look like locks

            Assuming they sign a FA SP and have Happ in rotation then (plus no injuries);

            3 spots in 8 man pen for Loup, Wagner (have an options) and 5 out of option guys – Rogers, Jeffries, Luis Perez, Redmond, Storey

            Could see them optioning Loup and Wagner, having Rogers in the pen and going with 2 of Jeffries, Perez, Redmond and Storey for the last two spots while either DFAing or trying to trade the other 2

            Looks like 3 bench guys, backup C, Izturis and Sierra

            • The Jays could option guys like Loup, and Delabar, but I don’t really like the idea of sending two guys down who are significantly better relievers than the guys they keep up.

              • Loup is one of Gibby’s favorites too. it was thought he would be sent down at the start of last year, but i believe Gibby went to bat for the kid to keep him on the team. He’ll stay, and obviously Delabar too, since he’s probably our 3rd best arm, or 2nd given Santos’ habit of being MIA.

                • He’s had 1 labrum surgery. How is that a habit?

                  • maybe it was the wrong term, but 35 innings over the 2 years he’s been here means he ain’t exactly a constant at the back end of the bullpen right? i think he’s fantastic, but his production is far from a given, probably moreso than most. and delabar is pretty fantastic in his own way too

                    • and he also had a triceps strain that sent him to the 60 day DL

                    • He had labrum surgery in Jul 2012. and came back in 2013. This surgery used to be a career killer but in the last 10 years or so more and more pitchers are coming back from it. If you check Casey Janssen’s history it’s exactly the same. The 1st year he came back he had a hard time pitching and getting any results. But he’s been fine ever since. The same is going to happen for Santos. His last month or 2 of 2013 were ok but in 2014 he’ll be lights out . PS the triceps problems were last year.

  14. Sign em both and trade one of em!!!!!! This market seems to overvalue second-third round picks. I bet the Jays could get a *decent* haul for one of Jimenez or Santana (or Buehrle) at midseason if they sign for a reasonable amount.

    • Sign a free agent so you can trade him. By definition you sign him by paying him more than anyone else thinks he’s worth. He has no trade value.

      • This holdup has nothing to do with the value of the player, it has everything to do with the fact that the draft pick compensation has drawn down the value of the player.
        If the Jays trade one of em, their value won’t be hindered by draft pick compensation, making them (hopefully) a somewhat effective pitcher with a very reasonable contract.

        Economics baby :)

    • Plus you can’t do sign and trades, it’s not allowed.

  15. I have the dreaded “Cautious Optimism” disease. It scares me. I don’t know how to rid myself of it. I’ve suffered from it for 20 years! Will I never be cured?

  16. AA gave a good interview for a change. liked how he described Navarro as a guy with power along with contact ability. could turn out to be a really nice signing. Kratz as well – decent power without ridiculous strikeout numbers, and with him you get good defense too.

    if nothing else, the Jays seem to be pretty good as an organization for identifying upside plays with the bat, so hopefully those two guys work out for the better as well.

    He also talked a lot about the increased depth this year, but he really only spoke about how guys would likely factor in this season. reading between the lines – he’d rather keep the depth as just that – depth, and not go into the season with Hutchison, Drabek, Stroman, etc. in the 5th spot. I’m pretty confident they’ll sign someone.

  17. Is anyone saying “grossly overpay these guys” outside of mouth-breathers? Jesus, we just don’t want AA to overplay his hand. The market’s soft, yeah, but if both those guys walk because the Jays low-balled them, then that’s the GM’s fault.

  18. So if we have so many arms why sign anyone?!? Unless its a complete steal

    Lowballing these two guys makes perfect sense now ..

    Just play the youth !!

  19. You know what rotation looked better on paper than the 2014 jays SP
    the 2013 blue Jay starting pitching….relying on Morrow is never a good idea and Drabek has never been good at the big league level ever….maybe three games

  20. From BA – Top 10 Breakout International Prospects:

    Richard Urena, ss, Blue Jays: Urena was one of the hot names on the international market in 2012, when he signed with the Blue Jays for $725,000 out of the Dominican Republic. He’s been what the Blue Jays expected, with an advanced bat for his age and the skills to stick at shortstop. Urena doesn’t have flashy tools, but he has a high baseball IQ, a patient approach and a line-drive stroke with occasional gap power. He has a strong arm to go with good hands and nice footwork at shortstop. With Barreto at shortstop in the GCL last year, the Blue Jays kept Urena in the DSL most of the year before bringing him over at the end of the season, but he should make a louder impression in the U.S. this year.

    • Nice to see that there’s some decent minor league depth at a premium position.

      Smasher, if you had to choose right now, do you add one of Ubaldo or Ervin or do you get Drew for 2B?

      • I’ll tell ya!

        I want Ubaldo

      • It’s a close one – between Ubaldo and Drew. But like the man says, you can never have enough pitching. Unless Itzuris and Goins collectively shit the bed, I think second base is the least of our glaring black holes.
        Catching-wise – I think that we might lose some offense – but at least we won’t be wearing down a trail to the backstop anymore to collect passed balls. I think the combo of Goins/Itzy will be semi-decent defensively…but hitting 9th, if you know what I mean.
        I’d feel better with another “quality” arm (whatever the fuck that means these days) – in the rotation – even on a one/two year deal.

      • Maybe I’m overly optimistic about the pitching situation, but I’d sooner get Drew than Ubaldo or Santana. They just don’t seem like a big enough upgrade. That said, I won’t complain if we get either one.

      • Agreed that they don’t seem like much of an upgrade. I posted awhile back that I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we just added some bats and Battered the shit out of everyone.

        Sign Drew and Kendry, make Lind our super bat off the bench.

        If I had to pick one of the 2 slingers though I’d probably go Ubaldo.
        I worry that Santana would challenge Bert Blylevens alltime Homeruns given up in a season record if he had to play half his games in the dome.

        Bert gave up 50 in 1986 for anyone interested.
        And also responsible for this gem..

  21. I don’t know if anyone else has pointed this out, but here are some Fangraphs contract crowdsourcing numbers I just noticed:

    Kyle Lohse, 2013:
    Fangraphs: 4 years, $52 million
    Actual contract: 3 years, $33 million

    Ubaldo Jimenez, 2014:
    Fangraphs: 4 years, $49 million

    Ervin Santana, 2014
    Fangraphs: 3 years, $40 million

    Given how far Lohse’s value cratered because of the draft pick compensation, and considering the usually fairly accurate predictions have both Jimenez and Santana as lower than their previous Lohse estimate, maybe the 3/$27 number is as ridiculous at it seemed the first time I read it. I still think they’ll get more than that, but it’s interesting to see.

    • Could be that they underestimated the negative effect of the draft pick compensation last year, since it was new, and made up for it with this years estimates.

    • if Lohse was overestimated by 1 year & $19 M, maybe

      Jiminez could be signed for 3/$30M &-or Santana 2/$21M… just one way of thinking of it. pretty good deals from the Jays perspective

    • I’d think that the 2014 guesses were informed by Lohse’s experience in 2013 too much to think they’d be nearly as high.

  22. Just wanna give a shoutout to the Zubes for making those Vday cards last year. Still making Lol out loud.

    Really something special.

  23. Speculation on MLBRT that a Mike Trout extension might run 12yr/$400m. Yikes.

    One could make jokes about the Blue Jays first of all finding a talent like Trout and then being willing to sign him to that kind of an extension. But it would be sorta like shooting fish in a barell.

  24. I still say that this would be an incredible get:

    He wants to play, Dodgers have 4 OF’s on the big league team and one in the minors (Joc Pedersen) who is probably going to be better then 2 of the big league guys.

    It’s a lot of cash but sweet syrupy tits, we’d have the best offense in baseball.

    Move Melky to DH, Lind as a bench bat or to pittsburgh for a prospect.

    Probably dreaming but shit, gotta dream big.

    • Lind had the 2nd best .OPS vs. Righties in 2013 (or something crazy like that)

      • 12th in wOBA and wRC+ against righties, right behind Paul Goldschmidt and ahead of Encarnacion. Even in his crappy seasons he’s had above average numbers against righties, he was just so completely useless against lefties that it destroyed his overall numbers.

        He’s not perfect, and he definitely needs a platoon partner, but it would be a total waste to have him as a bench bat.

      • Fair point that Lind is great against righties, but the question would be, (assuming you could trade a prospect for Kemp) is Toronto better with Kemp in Left then Lind at DH? I say yes. We’d have the best offensive and defensive outfield in baseball. That would crush whatever Lind could provide against RH’s assuming that he could duplicate his ’13 season which I highly doubt considering his penchant for having 2 shitty seasons for every good one.

    • Would be tremendous if it worked. If not, you just decided to pay $128 million — $21 million for each of the next six years — for jack shit.

      And even when he was healthy and younger (he’ll turn 30 in September), it’s not like he was a slam dunk for great production, either.

      wRC+ by year starting in 2007 (age 22 season): 132, 109, 123, 106, 168, 146, 103.

      You could argue that at 26 and 27 he was becoming more consistent and who he really is — and that’s what he’s paid like — and then he got hurt and can regain that form, but holy shit that’s just far too much risk.

      • Risk is fun.
        Like, should I wear a rubber or roll the dice?

        Everyone thought that trading Tony Fernandez and the Crime Dog for Carter and a young unproven Roberto Alomar was crazy. I know it’s not really compareable but it definitly took stones and had a pile of risk attached.

  25. Though Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos declined to comment on any offers to Santana, he said that the club would remain true to its internal valuations of free agents. “We just haven’t been able to line up on value, on years and dollars,” Anthopoulos added with regard to the team’s possible targets.

    From MLBTR and a Lott article. I really don’t like the sounds of that.

    • What did you expect him to say? We are prepared to over pay for pitching? He’s posturing for the best deal he can get.

      • I just find it sounds discouraging, that even how far the money and years have reportedly fallen its still might not be enough. And i don’t think GM’s posture in public like that, trying to lower the demands of his targets that way,

        • But why not try to get them to reduce the term and dollars if you have the leverage to do so? Its not like other teams are lining up to give into these guys. Saving some money on signing these guys could free up sufficient resources to improve in other areas as well. I still think there is a good chance that AA makes a few moves before it’s all said and done.

        • GM’s absolutely posture in public, and AA is probably no different.

        • Lott’s piece says that the prices haven’t come down. Or, at least, that’s the agent’s story.

    • Nothing new there really. He’s been saying that all along or basically since he switched his story from wanting a couple of starters at the beginning of winter.

      Again I think more and more that money possibly became an issue at some point for the team. The story about believing in guys like Hutchison really becomes a convenient cover for them not to do anything. I know that the Hutchison plan does have some merit, in fact the merit of the plan makes the change all the more believable.

      The more interesting part of the post for me was this:

      “Bean Stringfellow, the agent for starter Ervin Santana, rejected a rumor that the Blue Jays had offered his client a three-year, $27MM deal, reports John Lott of the National Post. Stringfellow also dismissed the rumor that he had earlier demanded five years and $112MM for Santana. Though some clubs may hope to wait out the market for prices to fall, Stringfellow says he is not concerned by that possibility. “The calendar doesn’t really affect us in that regard,” he said. “The teams need the pitching by Opening Day. That’s when the bell rings. I think a lot of clubs might think that as [Opening Day] gets closer, the price comes down. I would simply say to that, ‘You’re not filling your need for pitching, so I don’t know why our value is any less when your need is still as great as what it was.’”

      Now you’ve got the GM hoping and waiting for prices to drop and the agent saying he’s not concerned about waiting and doesn’t see the prices dropping lol.

      Obviously, the agent would say that of course, but it does give a little more credence to my theory from yesterday doubting that the Jays even made such a low ball offer and that guys like Santana don’t really have to worry too much. Of course, it doesn’t mean they didn’t make Jimenez such an offer but the source claiming that offers were made to both doesn’t exactly appear entirely credible after that quote.

      • I put almost no weight on what either GMs or agents say in public. I also doubt that money all of a sudden became an issue part way during the off-season. I just think AA is trying to manage resources as best as possible. The reality is that there are very few suitors for several free agents and it’s become a buyer’s market

        • Well I said I wasn’t completely certain it was a money issue, but all the little things I hear and read tell me something different. I argued strongly against money being an issue earlier in the winter and I could still be right even though I am leaning in the other direction now. My head tells me you’re probably correct and maybe it’s just my impatience and general distrust of Rogers still causing me doubt. Or maybe it’s my worry that AA’s version of value is so out of whack that even if the money is there, he just won’t spend.

          I guess it’s definitely in AA’s interest that he doesn’t continue to hear stories about opposing starters getting injured. That’s the one thing that will cause the buyer’s market to switch directions in a hurry.

  26. My worry is that Seattle will respond to its spate of pitching injuries by signing one of Ubaldo/Ervin, and then another team will lose a starter to injury and sign the other. That’ll leave the Blue Jays with dick-all in terms of pitching upgrades and a season (or more) of excuses about why they didn’t fix the glaring weakness that was the rotation.

    A rotation of Dickey/Buehrle/Morrow/Happ/The Depth Brigade might not even get the Jays to a .500 record, let alone a playoff berth.

    • That is a thing. Are the M’s willing to throw around more $$? I wonder if they’d be interested in quality without the high price? Do they want to spend a lot for high(er)-end guys who’ll be replaced as soon as the injuries are resolved? The M’s also need bullpen arms outside of Rodney and former Blue Jay Farquhar, too. They could also use a quality CF. TOR has a surplus of back-end starters and bullpen arms, and needs a higher-quality 2B.

      What I’d like to see, given those circumstances, is for the Jays to offer a couple of their surplus arms (incl. Happ) in a deal for one of their surplus 2B. Then the Jays could focus on adding starters that are more valuable than their surplus arms.

    • This is Jimenez and Santana, not fuckin Strasburg and Kershaw we’re talking about here. Lohse had two pretty good years before hitting the market and he signed for only 3/33.

      It’s well within the realm of possibility for either of them to produce the same (or worse) as the “Depth Brigade” in 2014, for a much higher price. Personally I’d rather they go all in for Drew.

  27. Basically, what I take out of this AA interview is that he shot his mouth off too early talking about the Jays looking to add starting pitching and now he knows that it’s not a certainty.

    Most likely Rogers payroll parameters are coming into play, what I like to call the policy 2.0. Now he’s trying to gin up the gaggle of rotation maybe’s, perhaps if 1 through 3 was stronger they would be more palatable.

    End result – AA setting up fans for disappointment. He really needs to learn how to control his message better through the media.

    • Maybe AA wants to see what he has in Dickey, Bueurhle, Morrow, Happ and Hutch out of the gate. If they start the season healthy and pitching to their capability, AA may not need middling starters like Jiminez and Santana.

      I’d rather he gets Drew and works out a trade for Shark.

      • I’ve been thinking the same thing re Shark for the past week or so. The only problem is, AA has to get Epstein off the idea of Sanchez and Stroman. That can’t happen.

        • My guess is that Epstein waits till the AS break to move Shark, if he can’t negotiate an extension. That gives AA time to see what he has. There are so many wild cards/lottery tickets on the Jays: McGowan, Hutch, Sanchez, Stroman, Happ, even Romero. If one or two of these guys step up and the rest of the rotation does their job, AA is suddenly in the drivers seat and trading from a strong position.

          I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I’m ok with AA standing pat with the rotation for now. You can shit on me in June if I’m wrong.

          • I wonder if they could or should package off Gose, Nolin, Hutchinson and maybe Norris (with the addition of bullpen pieces or Happ as required) and see if they could not get an established starter that way. They would not need to give up Sanchez or Stroman (or Osuna or Tirado for that matter) and would still have Drabek, Stroman, McGowan, etc. in case someone gets hurt or falters. That said, I think that they could offer up any number of those guys and still not get Samardzija. Dealing one of Sanchez or Stroman for anyone who is not elite is too risky in my opinion.

      • Seeing what he’s got now and hoping to trade for a starter isn’t the best way to go about things imo. First, and most importantly, you miss out on the games the other starter could be winning for you. Then you have to spend prospects to get another player of likely similar quality for a year or two of control. Those guys don’t come cheap.

        If people are worried about spending a 2nd rounder to sign one of these guys, a pick I might add that isn’t likely to make it to the majors anytime soon. In addition to not helping in the near term there’s the greater chance that he might not pan out at all. How can you rationalize potentially giving up a first rounder who is, or will be ready to help in the very near term?

        That’s a very expensive way to go about doing things. For a little bit more money upfront you’re saving yourself big on the back end.

        Wouldn’t the better problem to have is one where guys like Hutchison are knocking down the door to get into the rotation based on their pitching results? At that point the Jays would be totally in the drivers seat. They could look and see what pitcher needs to be moved and they would have the luxury of shopping their starters to all the teams to best fill their holes.

    • @Birdie
      AA was only stating the obvious. The Jays had one of the worst rotations in MLB. It’s not like no one else knew it.

      • The Jays need help in the starting rotation
        The Jays aren’t required to give up their 1st round pick
        Rogers has money
        The Jays have already committed to attempting to win in the next 2 years by taking on salary

        All of these add up to signing Santana or Jimenez.

        • I think you’re missing the important part about every last one of AA’s public statements. At no time did he ever say:

          “We need starting pitching, and we’ll pay any amount to get it”.

          So maybe he wasn’t shooting his mouth off.

    • I’m not sure how you read into it what you did. All he did was say they’d still like to sign a starter and reiterated their position about having values line up to get a deal done. That’s pretty much what he has said since the beginning of the offseason, and the market for Santana and Jiminez is as depressed as ever.

    • Birdie, stop making the dumbest comments on this site, please. You’ve got a real streak going.

      • I’m pretty sure I was bang on with my assessment. Are you happy with another 4th place finish?

        There is a very short window in which the Blue Jays have to contend, would you not agree Andrew? Not signing either of Santana or Jimenez would just be half assed attempt.

        I’m also fine with stripping it down and doing a rebuild, just give the fans a sense of direction. When AA first started there was great optimism, rightfully so and there was a plan in place and a roadmap to be followed. Now I just see a team that took on a bunch of salary for some good players but won’t go the extra mile.

        If there’s another rebuild going down no chance AA is leading the way.

        • you’re not wrong, but your attempt at reading between the lines is pretty pitiful. have some patience. all will be revealed in time.

        • Your assessment was garbage, Birdie.

          Paragraph one: you slam Anthopoulos by pretending like it was ever a certainty that the Jays would be able to land the front line pitcher they wanted — which was, after all, what Anthopoulos always spoke about, since he felt enough he had enough back-end guys. Of course it wasn’t, and it was never presented as such.

          Paragraph two: you say “most likely Rogers payroll parameters are coming into play,” which is, of course, baseless garbage. It’s possible, but “most likely?” Of course not. Or are Rogers payroll parameters coming into play for every other team in the league that hasn’t signed these guys too?

          The only message that’s not being controlled well is the one you’ve invented in your head.

          Oh, and then in the reply you, as usual, speak about bullshit in your head as though it’s fact (i.e. “If there’s another rebuild going down no chance AA is leading the way.”).

          As always, dumb as fuck.

          And the fact that I’m calling you on saying this nonsense does not mean that I want a fourth place finish. Your sentiment that the Jays ought to spend more and strive to be better is one that I agree with. It’s the nonsense I disdain.

          • 1. If the Jays do rebuild in 2015 should AA still be the GM? No of course not, you get one chance at this. I’d like to hear an argument for AA getting a chance to do 2 rebuilds???

            2014 won’t go as badly as 2013, but if the Jays aren’t in contention in sept then I think he’s gone to start 2015.

            2. I think AA, at times, does not control his message well through the media. Sorry bud that’s just my opinion. Based on what happened with Yu Darvish and I think he spoke too much in the media about starting pitching. The more he speaks about it the more fans are to expect results.

            3. Again, worst rotation in the AL. Top 2 starters are older and could break down at the drop of a dime. Health is a concern for the other guy. After this you have a bunch of schmoes. So i suppose what I’m getting at is if you think it’s a good thing to have 8 5th starters then you best not hope to see fall baseball because you won’t get it.

            My point about policy 2.0 was that if the Jays don’t end up signing Santana or Jimenez then it comes down to dollars, which is bullshit for a wealthy team.

            • @ HJ “Top 2 starters are older and could break down at the drop of a dime. ”

              RA Dickey has pitched 200+ innings the last three seasons.
              Mark Buehrle has pitched over 200 innings per season for the LAST TWELVE YEARS.

              So you’re concerns about the #1 & #2 are baseless.

              • I know this, they’re reliable. I didn’t say they were unreliable as is Morrow. My point is that they’re older and as such are more likely to sustain injury. For a team that is “all in” does it not make sense to see this as somewhat of a concern?

            • Birdie,I’m going to take a guess here.
              By chance, do you have a metal plate imbedded in your skull?
              Perhaps when you were dropped on head,as a child?
              Because some of your shit makes absolutely no sense.
              There has to be a reason your thought process is this jumbled

              • If I said this was a great team and AA was doing a great job would that make you a happy simpleton?

    • Do you even think at all before you post

  28. Sorry Stoeten, I know you’ve already seen it, but I have to show the boys how I feel about things right now.

  29. Looks like Mark Mulder’s gone for the year: ruptured Achilles tendon. Things could get very interesting on the pitching market very soon.

    • Ok nevermind that. He was only on a minor league deal with the Angels anyway.
      Apparently the guy hasn’t pitched since ’08.

  30. Strange that all the rumors about the remaining starters are all directed towards Santana. MLBTR hasn’t put anything out on Jiminez in quite a while. Probably just different MO’s for the agents I guess.

    • Maybe he’s in the final stages of negotiations with someone.

      • Yeah i think he’ll sign before Santana. In comparing the two, teams probably have a better idea of what they’re going to get in Santana, but Jiminez’s stuff, upside and slight age advantage probably put him a little ahead overall, especially for a team like the Jays who seem to really value those characteristics. Given how similar they are I can easily see Santana getting Lohse’d – a nice, relatively dependable arm, but difficult to justify giving up a 1st rounder for.

  31. Hmm , nobody gonna mention Boni signing a minor league deal with the Cubs?
    What a difference a year makes.
    This guy was the hidden gem in the Marlins trade.Scouts were saying he was due to break out and was severely under rated.
    Quite a turnaround.
    Baseball can be cruel.

    • Speaking of turnarounds, I wonder if letting JJ go will bite the Jays on the ass.

      • Given where he’s pitching, it would be a shock if Josh Johnson didn’t turn it around. He’ll probably get lower offers merely because everyone knows where he’s pitching.

    • Is Bonifacio off the table? Good. Then I don’t have to worry about that clown coming back here in some bullshit ‘depth’ deal.

  32. Ryan Dempster isn’t going to pitch for the Red Sox in 2014.

    I’d always figured the Sox would have some money earmarked for Stephen Drew if he can’t find the deal he wants on the market…but now do the Sox invest in a free agent starter? They’ve got some good young arms that are very near ready….but ?

    • I think Drew is more likely to then a starter but either way if the Red Sox chose to use this money on free agency its bad news, one more option (and a better one) for AA to battle with.

    • It seems that the fates are conspiring once again to mess with AA’s best laid plans. Between injuries and out of the blue retirements, the pitching market continues to open up and spring training games havent started yet. Looks like AA wont be signing anyone anytime soon, not saying that he wont, just that market looks like it keeps moving away from him if it was ever that close to begin with.

      • I agree , I don’t think Boston wants or needs to sign a starter (Doubront becomes their fifth I imagine) but for sure its another team agents are going to want to talk to and it may slow things down again.

        • I think it would only hurt them for drew or depth moves. If anything Boston is going to break camp with Lester, Buckholz, Peavy, Lackey, and either Doubront or more minor league depth. Dempster was at best their #5.

  33. Yeah, actually the Sox look pretty set at SP:
    Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront, Peavy.

    Then they’ve still got upside arms like Webster, Barnes & De La Rosa.

  34. From MLBTR today:

    “….. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe ranks the top managers in MLB. Red Sox skipper John Farrell comes in at No. 1 thanks to his communication skills, ability to delegate responsibilities well, and, of course, his 2013 World Series ring”

    He should’ve added…
    “And the fact that he’s the Red Sox manager and the sun comes up out of his butt.”

  35. ‘Ability to delegate’? Seriously? Everything I heard about the guy when he was here was that he was Mr MicroManager. But now he’s the Redsox manager and Practically Perfect In Every Way.

  36. 1. Dickey
    2. Morrow
    3. Buehrle
    4. Jiminez
    5. Santana

    trade bait…Happ.

    in wings for depth: hutchison, stroman

    make it so.

  37. homer bailey close to an extension. puts those rumors to bed, if they were ever a thing.

  38. Can someone explain the appeal of Stephen Drew to me? Last year he was pretty good, but had a couple of quite bad years before that and somewhat alternated between good and bad before that. I don’t know why anyone would throw much money at him, especially not 10M a year or so. Maybe I am out of touch with salaries now.
    There is a good possibility he would be better than Goins, but enough to justify what would be a massive difference in salary?

    • Not to mention giving up a pick for a FA wanting an opt out clause after one year? Oh, and he’s a Boras guy.

      Doubt Drew signs in TO.

      The Jays need to showcase Drabek and others in spring training for a possible trade with the Mariners or Cubs for the trade market seems more likely. Both the Mariners and Cubs have surplus middle infielders.

    • Maybe because he was a 4.7 WAR and 3.4 WAR player wrapped around 2 injury riddled seasons. He’s a great player. Add a slightly better than league average bat along with pretty good defense and you’ve got a pretty good player. $10 million a year (if you could get him for that) is reasonably cheap for that kind of production. A third round draft pick (assuming the Jays were to sign a starter) isn’t a huge deal either when you look at the likelihood of when that pick will help the team even if it does.

      Also, you’re assuming an awful lot from Goins considering he’s had all of 34 games in the majors. You have to be really careful of numbers guys put up in September. The fact that the Jays went out and signed a handful of journeymen who also play 2nd and some who don’t, like Brent Morel who they are going to try there this spring, should tell you a lot about the teams confidence in him. All of Goins value is in his glove. What happens if he continues to struggle badly at the plate? Does he take those problems to the field as well which seems to happen a lot?

      That said, even as much as I would love the signing, I doubt he comes to Toronto. To be honest I am surprised the Yankees haven’t snapped him up yet.

      Oh one added bonus for the Jays of getting a guy like Drew, considering our regular shortstop is a tad injury prone, having a great replacement to step in is pretty good thing to have.

      • Drew is injury prone as well

      • I think you are right that he is a pretty good player, but not that he is a great player. Seems he has a pretty equally likely chance of being pretty bad as being pretty good (especially with the loss of value at 2nd base, as pointed out).
        I am not opposed to a signing, but remain a touch perplexed at the love he is getting from some.
        A good point about him being able to slide over to short should something bad happen to Reyes.

    • Goins projects at best to be a replacement level player.

      Drew, even post gruesome injuries, should post a 2.5-3.5 WAR season.

      That’s a massive upgrade, there are very few positions where this team could upgrade by that much without having to trade for an elite player.

      Izturis is a much better/safer bet all around.

      • Drew projects for less than 2 WAR by every projection system, and those assume he will play SS. Subtracting that positional adjustment makes him what? A 1.5 WAR player assuming his above-average defense carries over to 2B?

        Goins is a pretty sure bet to provide at least above-average defense, so he’s pretty unlikely to be below replacement level.

        • He posted a 3.4 war last year in 124 games.

          Goins’ defense will be above average but his bat will be below. Making him a replacement level player.

          I don’t hear anyone getting excited about Kawasaki playing 2b that’s basically what were going to get out of goins, unfortunately.

          Now, I’m not sure drew would switch to 2b without a pretty decent contract so this may be all pointless. But the upgrade he would provide is unmistakeable and completely relevant

    • i agree, his bat has slipped in recent years if you look at his strikeout rate and batted ball profile. it hasn’t really shown up in his batting line yet, but I would be nervous about giving him a multi-year deal. and then you’d be relying on him to hit the ground running defensively after a position change and a move to turf full time. plus, it’s a small thing, but he doesn’t rate as a very good base-runner either.

      better than goins most likely, but $9+mill AAV better? i dunno. I might rather let goins run with the position to start and try to be opportunistic on the trade market, say if the reds get off to a poor start and become open to dealing phillips

      • But Phillips looks to be slipping as well! Not that I am providing a better solution. Maybe they should look to other leagues – the Korean league, the Japanese league, the Negro League!

  39. Since it seems to be a rather slow news day for baseball here’s a pretty good article to read. Yes it’s St. Louis centric, but the owner, Bill DeWitt Jr. gives a fantastic interview and touches on some interesting topics like insurance for contracts and spring training.

  40. So. Looks like we’re going to the dance with last year’s car.
    Either way, I’m excited. I hope the boys realize they have to
    step it up with some urgency to contend. Hopefully stay relatively healthy.

    Goddammit, can Charlie Sheen play second? Firing torpedoes of excellence all over the goddamned park.

  41. So much for that 3/27 for Ubaldo eh? Lol cue the freak outs jays fans. Love the move for the Orioles. Risk there for sure but you also have #2 upside.

    Remember Jays fans it’s all about the value!

  42. Jimenez to Orioles fuck off Jays just fuck off

  43. OriLOLes likely going to sign Ubaldo. Fucking Jays, fix your clearly broken rotation.

    • As of right now, if you put a gun to my head and forced me to make a prediction, I’d have the Jays 4th in the East only ahead of Baltimore.

      The O’s getting Jimenez would suck. Suck quite a bit.

      I have very little hope in this upcoming season.

  44. Should be interesting to see if they were waiting for this so as to drive the remaining pitcher’s price down.

  45. Time for AA to get last bid on jimenez? Or let them sign him?

    • Doesnt sound like it this time, so now you really have to wonder, is it a payroll issue, or is it more of this ridiculous valuation stuff where a guy #2 potential is too expensive at $12 million a year?

      As much as I think they would gambling by not upgrading their rotation, they really need to upgrade at 2nd to add some certainty.

  46. Ugh. Would much rather the team have paid for Ubaldo. Though now I suuuure hope they pony up for Santana. I do not think sticking with in-house options is a very wise move. At all. I don’t see how anyone could feel confident about these pitchers coming back from serious injuries. Yet, there was Gibby & Bob Stanley today, singing the praises of these guys. The team has has two 1st round picks for christsakes.

    Pay Santana.

  47. cheap bastards….i don’t even want Santana

    • Me neither. I think Santana will bust. Bust HARD if he has to pitch in the Rogers Centre.

      It sure isn’t going to be fun watching Happ and Redmond pitch every 2 out of 5 games. As well as whoever has to fill in for Morrow for those times he goes down.

  48. Kenny ken ken say deal is a go pending physical. Just have to hope their doctors go nuts again and scuttle the deal.

  49. Here’s how it will go…

    Ubaldo to the Orioles.

    Santana to the Mariners (of course AA has to stay true to his internal valuations)

    Stroman is easily one of the top 3 or 4 starters in Spring Training, but is sent to AAA so that his service clock doesn’t start.

    Happ and Rogers start 40% of our games until June, at which point we’re out of it.

    I might be done already…

  50. Darn of the two left I was hoping it was going to be him. I also don’t have a great deal of faith in Santana at RC.

  51. Cheap ass Rogers. Fuck the Jays.

  52. Fuck … of the two I was hoping for Ubaldo. I don’t think Santana will be able to keep the HRs down in Rogers Centre. Fucking blue jays …

  53. The thing i find interesting is that in 2013 Happ barely sneaks into the rotation as the #5 starter. Lets face it, if Romero had showed even an inkling of his old form Happ would have been in AAA or in the pen. Now it’s 2014 and he’s solidly entrenched as the #4 starter, without any appreciable improvement to warrant it. Admittedly Santana is still out there so maybe he gets bumped to #5.

  54. I want to punch Mike Wilner through my radio.

  55. Fuck Rogers. So much for the strategy of beating the best offer. Fuck this shitty team

    • wahhh, my favorite sports team won’t do what I hoped they would do even though I know very little about their internal operations

  56. So if we wont send money to fix our rotation or the black hole in the lineup at 2nd base, why the fuck would we reup Edwin? Should have traded him if they didnt want to compete this year

  57. Ultimately i hope if they dont sign a starter they use the money to sign Drew for this year and definitely extend Rasmus. I can recognize there is potential in some of the arms in the minors, but it will be upsetting if they dont do something this winter. Honestly, there really is no excuse unless it really is payroll issue.

  58. Does nobody remember the projections from last preseason?

    Baseball is weird. Its not freakout time for quite a while…

  59. Well shit. I’m now officially worried about the Jays making a move to help the rotation. Santana is still out there, but you have to figure he’s a better fit for a team like Seattle with a big ballpark. We know there are reasons to prefer Santana, and there were rumblings that the Jays’ dominican contingent were trying to recruit him, and maybe the Jays think his newly-found sinker is the key to limiting HRs. But I dunno, its just as likely that the Jays don’t particularly like him or else don’t have the payroll flexibility to offer what is needed to get a deal done. Either way, I think this thing drags on even more – Santana’s agent indicated publicly that he’s willing to be patient.

    • My rankings were garza, jimenez, santana. Want NO part of santana. Sketchy track record and gives up tons of homers.

  60. a healthy “in his prime” josh johnson was a very large factor in last season’s projections.

  61. Alright time to bring out the fucking pitchforks. 12m a year for jimanez??? Thats goooodd. Im not a big fan of his but thats manageable for a #3 or 4 starter. Where the fuck was AA? Probably restrained by those cheap fucks at rogers. Just sell the damn team already rogers. They havent addressed 2b. They havent addressed the rotation in a year they are planning to compete. Fucking pathetic.

  62. Interesting, Olney saying Jays didn’t even offer old baldy a contract.

    • Wow. I dont think ive ever been more disgusted with rogers. If ur not going the free agent route or dont like the players available, thats fine. Then make trades. Theyve done nothing to address glaring holes on the roster.

      • I think it’s too early to freak out yet, even if you hate Santana. Believe me I was all for Jimenez, but if they go with Drew and a Rasmus extension I’d be happy. That said, between the talk about the Jays valuation models, talk about payroll issues i am leaning towards them not doing anything until near the end of spring training in a minor capacity. Unfortunately, i have this nagging bit of dread that AA ends up making a silly trade for a starter or 2nd baseman that ultimately costs more in prospects and salary combined than signing one of these guys now. I think of Philips and Samardzija for example.

    • So they didn’t like him at all or they knew they couldn’t make a competitive offer.

      Between the scary mechanics, the year to year inconsistency, declining velocity and the declining GB trend there are legitimate reasons not to like him. And yet we knew the Jays did like him – at least the hard throwing version pre-2011.

      I’m not sure what to believe anymore.

  63. It’s Ubaldo fucking Jiminez, not Clayton Kershaw, that we didn’t get. While I’m not thrilled the Jays didn’t improve the rotation, the available free agent starters weren’t particularly great with the exception of Tanaka, and he’s still a bit of a wildcard too. Enough with the gnashing of teeth.

    • Jiminez …

      34th in the majors in WAR in 2013
      waaaaay down in 2012, admittedly
      37th in 2011
      2nd in 2010
      11th in 2009
      26th in 2008

      We’re talking about a guy who would be the best or second best pitcher on almost every team in 5 of the last 6 years.

      You’re right, that’s not Clayton Kershaw … and it’s also not J.A. Happ, who is currently the Jays #4

      • I’ve seen the number ad nauseum. I’ll take my chances. As I said above, you are welcome to shit in me for the remainder of the season if Ubaldo or Santana are killing it in June. In the meantime, I’d like to see what we’ve got before hitting the panic button. I’d rather enter the season with realistic/tempered expectations than relive last April and May.

  64. It’s going to be pretty hard to put a positive spin on this development.

    Usually spring training is a time of blind optimism and hope. For these Rogers Jays I think most fans have quite the opposite feeling.

  65. Unless payroll or the player refused to come here there is no excuse for AA not going for it. Baltimore I believe has the 17th pick we would lose one in the fifties I believe. I thought Baltimore was being tight fisted this season, I guess it was us.

    If Stoeten somehow parlays this into a positive I might become a troll which seems to amount to a fan who is not drinking the Kool-Aid, on this site.

    That being said I did refer to a down year from Jimenez as Romero like. Shit I am just pissed. To me us signing him would have meant the team is still going for it.

  66. Chris Capuano for a year?

    • I think he’s underrated, but he’s been injury prone 3 of the last 5 years. Then again that old Gambler AA, might see him as great value if he’s available at the right price.

  67. Even if the Jays don’t want to exceed 3 years on a pitcher, surely 3/42 would have been preferable for Ubaldo.

    Hell, even 3/48 would have been more than fine for a 3 win pitcher.

  68. So basically Usbaldo gets Garza/ Nolasco type cash and you’d have to also factor in the cost of Baltimore giving up a draft choice. Baltimore apparently went to the fourth year to outbid Toronto and Boston per Olney.

    I’m not sure I’d give this guy this type of money given his relative inconsistency. Like many others though, I’m no fan of Santana. Hopefully AA hasn’t backed himself into a corner waiting for the market to drop.

    • That should read Baltimore has to give up a first round draft choice.

      The inherent weakness in AA’s strategy is what happens if another organization blinks or panics, as Baltimore has appeared to have done ?

  69. Hopefully we’re looking in the trade market. That’s too much money for a guy like Ubaldo.

    • How does giving up equivalent 1st round picks for guys like Samardzija + his salary for a limited term make sense? Unless you’re getting an “ace” like you were supposedly getting in Dickey or a young controllable guy with upside trades arent worth it for mid rotation guys.

      • When did I say anything about Samardzija?

        • So who are you talking about then? There’s your aces, mid tier guys and back ends – which we have tons of. Dave Cameron did a great piece on the M’s potentially trading for a guy like Price and came to the conclusion that it wasnt worth it. Based on Stroman’s and Sanchez potential the Jays are in a similar position. The mid tier guys are going to be equivalent to Santana and Jimenez. Unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and steals an arm like Morrow for a reliever then you are going to pay through the nose. Even then Morrow was a 2 year turnaround.

    • i am worried that the cubs cave and one of stroman or sanchez end up getting dealt for samardzija or for some other starter no one has thought of. i think samardzija is absolutely the type of starter they could use. but dealing a guy who could be a contributing factor – even a good starter – as soon as THIS season just doesn’t cut it.

  70. I’m wondering if Rogers is still expecting people to show up in droves again this season, even without doing anything to improve their roster. Blue jays fans spent millions last year supporting their team, buying merchandise and attending games at ridiculous rates. This is how the masses are repaid?

    I check on mlbtraderumors daily, often hourly. It’s like AA took the winter off. There must be hundreds of rumors and dozens of major league and minor league signings for each team since free agency opened. We have done basically nothing.

    I fully recognize that this team could be very successful if they have a number of players have career years. I just feel so deflated right now. Man, I hope something positive happens for us in the coming weeks. I’m still on the bandwagon but both feet are hanging over the side…

    • They will have to show they are capable of winning first imo. A strong start should do wonders for ticket sales, obviously another slow start would really hurt.

    • I don’t think Ubaldo or Santana or anyone outside of a very few “high profile” guys would have moved the needle all that much with regards to attendance, given all that happened last year.

      As Sandlot said, there’s likely many who in a “show me” mode right now.

  71. Awaiting some more front office spin doctoring from the Jays.

  72. At one point I was very much looking forward to this off seaon.

    • For some reason I love the off season even as a Jays fan. Last year was one of the rare ones that didnt end in bitter disappointment but i love it all the same.

  73. 4/48 is a very good price for Jimenez, the Orioles did well. I am sure Santana will be calling the Jays begging to sign for anything because they own the market, or something.

  74. I’ve had enough of this off season speculationfest………just want a little game threat action at this point and see where the chips fall.

  75. “Dan Szymborski ‏@DSzymborski 8m
    Blue Jays shouldn’t let Jimenez get to Baltimore at those dollars – with protected picks, Jimenez is worth more for the same value.”

    I agree. The worry now is that Santana signs elsewhere and in a panic they gut the farm system for Samadzjadfsdfs. That is the worse case scenario at this point.

    • Another interesting thing about the Orioles is that they kind of mirror the Jays in that they have two very promising guys in AAA in Bundy and Gausman waiting in the wings yet they went and signed Ubaldo for 4 years anyway.

      • They realize that if those guys are ready in a year or two Jimenez, at this pay rate, becomes a valuable trade chip.

        • That depends a lot on how he performs. The good news for the Orioles is if he shits the bed, the contract is not an albatross.

    • i wouldn’t even care if they “gutted” the system for samardzija as long as it didn’t involve dealing stroman or sanchez. offer them nolin, hutchinson, norris, gose.

  76. Ahh Fuckit, we’ll just score 10 every game this year.

    The year of Brett Fuckin Lawrie yallllll.

  77. The best moves are the ones you never make.

  78. Just reading Olney on ESPN. He says O’s went to 4 years because they thought Tor/Bos would offer three. According to him NEITHER Toronto or Boston made an offer of any kind for him. If true, AA is going to have some splainin to do. Christ with all the momo we had going fanwise at the end of last year in increased radio and Tv ratings, attendance up25%, Jays army showing up in droves at away games. I can’t beleive they are sitting on their ass and not even attempting it. THis after the half baked attempt at Tanaka ( admittedly a longshot). I hope AA knows what he is doing

    • Guess I should have scrooed tru first. Sorry-been drankin. NOne the less even with the wine this is a little depressing

    • well it depends what actually constitutes an offer. pretty sure the Jays would have been talking 3 years, even if they never made a formal offer.

    • Maybe the Jays didn’t like Jimenez and had good reason not to. Everyone loves free agents in that off season but often the best move is to not sign them.

  79. Is Melky the biggest FA acquisition for AA at 2 yrs / 16 million?

    • Likely to be the biggest one until Rogers sells the team, which won’t be for at least a decade. They were never going to be in on Jimenez or Santana. Even Capuano is probably a stretch.

      • sorry, but that’s obviously horseshit. do you not remember BJ Ryan, Lyle Overbay, AJ Burnett and Frank Thomas? Rogers was the owner then too.

        • And how well did those work out? Yeah, exactly. If there were ever a time to be spending money, it would be now given the moves made a year ago. And yet AA sits on his dick while Jimenez signs a very reasonable deal. If that doesn’t make it obvious that rogers is done spending money, I don’t know what will.

          • Aah, the sound of moving goalposts.

          • that wasn’t your original point, but there was good and bad in those deals. that’s pretty much the case any time you go into FA – sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you.

            On the one hand, it definitely sucks a little if rogers is tightening the purse strings. On the other hand, rogers is supporting a top 10 payroll north of $130mill, so perhaps we shouldn’t complain too much. Some of the blame should maybe be going to the direction of Anthopoulos, who has sunk that money into high risk, declining assets. As a fan I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for the remaining two years of their contending window, but there’s a very real chance that those two deals turn out to be absolute duds.

            Point is, the money-well has to end somewhere. If it’s $130mill, in the grand scheme of things that’s not too bad.

            • If AA knew that this was the payroll limit and that there would be no more money to plug holes this offseason — not even enough to reallocate JJ’s salary — then he should be fired. I seem to recall that even the 92 and 93 teams needed a fair bit of tinkering. If that’s what happened, then he went all in on a 1-year window of contention, not 3 or 5. That 1 is over, so fire him and get on with the rebuild.

              If on the other hand Rogers committed to seeing this through and is now reneging, then it’s perfectly all right to call them cheap fucks. I don’t care what the payroll number is, I care about how they fucked the GM and the fans by not being able to live up to their commitment.

  80. Have a car wash outside the RC to create more payroll. And then buy a superstar.

    Line his cleats with grass though so he doesn’t get hurt.

  81. Trade Lind to Pittsburgh for Luis Heredia.
    Sign Kendrys Morales and Drew for 8 million each on one year deals.

    Hammer the fuck out of everyone.

  82. None of us in the unwashed masses know how the sausage is made when it comes to making deals.

    But holy fuck, 4 years at 12.5 M AAV with deferred money for Jiminez? Sounds pretty fucking reasonable.

    AA will now hit the airwaves and start spewing random BS about “dialoguing” with agents and that they are still “looking” at options. It’s beginning to look more and more like paralysis by analysis.

    I wonder if it’s ownership or if there is some tight assed baseball executives in the FO?

    There “is” actual real money available. If we are to believe that ownership were somewhat serious about making a play on Tanaka.

    But for fuck sakes, you can’t expect to rake a FA over the coals in order to extract maximum value. Sometimes, you have to pony up and pay the man what he wants.

    There are other options. Santana being one. But anyone will tell you that Santana wouldn’t fare as well in the AL East as Ubaldo.

    A trade could still happen but that is going to cost at least a Stroman or a Sanchez for anyone with a 3 WAR profile.

    It’s time for the Blue Jays wake the fuck up and read the fucking memo. The price of poker has gone up when it comes to getting decent pitching. The time of dragging small pots with perfect textbook plays will only get you so far. AA needs to grow some balls and play a big pot.

  83. Its February 17, how can they not reallocate JJ’s money that came off the books to anyone…christ

  84. I normally don’t gloat, but this isn’t one of those situations.

    I knew the Jays wouldn’t land Jimenez and I knew it was all about the dollars.

    27 over 3 years was a joke now that we see what Jimenez has reportedly signed for.

    The Jays should have the money to do a deal like this and had the need. It’s sad to see that this team can’t even be a minor player in free agency.

    • As much as I suspect it’s about the dollars we just don’t know for certain. There’s far too much contradictory information out there about what they’re able to do and not do. I liked Ubaldo a lot, but I also see he had a significant amount risk based on his past performances. That said, he is the type of player the Jays have always seemed to go after recently – risky, but big upside. Considering Olney is saying they never even made an offer, you have to wonder because that’s two players they were supposed to be in on – the other being Tanaka, yet there was nothing offered to either.

      • It’s more troubling if AA wasn’t even in on Jimenez.

        • troubling for who?

          if they weren’t in because of payroll reasons then yeah that’s definitely a problem, but if they legitimately didn’t like the risk he brings with the shoddy mechanics, declining velocity, negative GB% trend and general inconsistency over the years, then I can live with that. or if they didn’t like his medicals

          however i do think he’s a pretty good bet to put up the 7ish WAR he needs to be worth his contract over the next 4 years and definitely would have supported this deal had the Jays made it.

    • That doesn’t mean you aren’t an idiot.


    The spinning starts sooner than I expected. Well, at least this might be a good sign.

    • “Morrow said he lifted weights and paid attention to what he ate over the winter months.”

      It’s funny; when I want to gain 16 ibs. I manage it by doing the exact opposite.

    • Yep and the stories of how good Kyle Drabek is looking are also starting to trickle out. I have no idea why we were ever concerned about this pitching staff?

      • It’s the very first day of camp. Unless they’re talking about how sexy he looks, how good can he possibly look pitching wise? Like Happ and his altered mechanics, Drabek is another one of these guys that has upside but a proven downside as well. This team more than any other of recent note has enough cautionary tales of woe so that none of us should put too much stock in what these guys will do or won’t do. I mean between pitching injuries and guys falling off a cliff face in a spectacular manner, we’ve certainly seen it all of late. I guess if you’re a believer in regression to the mean then there’s some hope we’ve got some improvements coming our way.

      • Kyle Drabek? Seriously? I think if the strike-zone was the size of Lake Superior he’d still find a way to miss it.

  86. Guys get a grip the two guys Santana and Jimenez are not much better if at all than what Hutchinson could throw up this year. Yes there is some risk but I’d rather take my chances with Hutchinson, Drabek and McGowan maybe putting it together than paying for these two guys. And for anyone that talks the Shark the jays wont touch him with a ten foot pole. He is Drabek with one decent year

    • Drabek? The guy was trash for the Jays even when healthy. Now he’s coming off his second TJS. I’d be shocked if he contributes anything positive for the Jays as a starter.

      The Jays are not far off from being a winning team if they can stay reasonably healthy. That’s why having a more sure thing like Jimenez (relative to Hutch) was a big thing. This team should be looking to win now. Getting him and pushing inferior guys down and out of the rotation would’ve been nice.

      Right now, JA Happ is the guaranteed #4 guy in the rotation. How is that not scary when talking about a veteran team that had playoff aspirations?

      • Haha come on man, show Happ some love! I was president of the Hate Happ club up until last week but I found it easier to buy into what Gibbons is selling about Happ. Self delusion is the key! If you can’t do that, hit up Nurse Karen for some hallucinogens, the rest of spring training will be a much happier time.

    • O deluded one: Samardzija has posted back to back years of virtually identical, solid numbers. I’m not sure how you can compare him to Drabek in any way. As for your disdain for Jiminez and Santana in favor of Hutchison, there is a scenario where Hutchison posts similar numbers to those guys, but that is only one scenario for a guy who has less than 60 mediocre MLB innings two seasons ago to his name, coming off major surgery/rehab and less than 40 MiLB innings last season. If you want to stake your contending season on that guy, count me out.

      Keep the depth as depth and sign someone who can be reasonably counted on to do the job.

  87. Hmmm. So all we are left with is Santana. Not my first choice. Not even my third choice. I’d rather save the money and see what we’ve got already.

  88. UJ had 5.03 ERA/1.46 WHIP in 502.1 IP/86 starts between June 2010-April 2013. Other 267 IP of ’10/’13: 2.06/1.19.

    • Yep risky with huge upside. Keith Law had a good write up on him this evening for those of you with Insider access.

      • kinda like….uh…josh johnson…who signed a one year deal. whose agent said he wanted to come back to toronto because he felt that there was ‘unfinished business’ here.


  89. slowly getting backed into a corner where it’s either Santana or another future-for-present trade, and the problem with a trade is that it will probably come at the expense of our upside starting depth – currently a strength of this team.

    and I just don’t see many trade candidates. Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana, Jon Niese I could see being available right now as good pitchers on bad teams who maybe aren’t part of the future. Most other sell-candidate teams have currently deluded themselves into thinking they’re contenders (Phillies, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, etc.), and so probably won’t trade anyone till at least midseason.

    if the Jays really are comfortable with the rotation, then Stephen Drew is really the last FA who might help them in a substantial way, and I’m not personally a huge fan. Morales and Cruz don’t make sense unless a shoe drops with Lind. Hard to see any team being willing to shake up their lineup with a trade at this late stage of the game.

  90. Jays at 77.5 in the odds


  91. In a desperate attempt to make sense of it all, perhaps this off season, being the opposite of last off season, will result in this season being the opposite of last season.

    That’s it guys! Everything is gonna be OK.

  92. Well, maybe the Jays feel they need to hedge on this team. The players let down the front office, so maybe they want to see the team not get smoked out of contention in the first two months. Then they can aggressively add if they are a legit team.

    The fan in me hates this so much, but I think the brass is reasonable if they want to take this perspective. When was the last time the players had the team in the playoff hunt at the trade deadline? I can’t even remember.

    Is there enough talent on this team to stay in the race for 2-3 months? Absolutely. It’s up to the players to show something after last season’s clusterfuck.

    • This is the only thing that I can conclude that makes any sense.
      AA wants to see if this team is better than last year’s record before adding any thing else.
      The Jays added payroll last year.No use throwing good money on top of bad.
      Is the current Jays team pretenders or contenders?Was last years disappointment solely due to injuries?

      • Admit it Radar, you’re upbeat attitude is due solely to the anti-depressants Nurse Karen has been slipping you in your morning Metamucil.

        • …together with the surreptitious saltpetre.

        • I take so many pills in the morning,it wouldn’t surpise me that she’d slip something special in my chemical cocktail.
          Nurses are so sneaky.
          At least with baseball I don’t need to worry about a player having a “twizzle bobble”

    • I forget what year it was….however I do recall being at the third and final game of a big series vs the red sox as the trade dealine approached…Carlos delgado hit a big 2 run homer vs pedro martinez to win and sweep the series..this brought them to within two or three games of first.

      Gord Ash was the GM. He would not pull the trigger at the deadline….why?

      because everyone wanted to pry the cant miss kid Gary Glover from him at the deadline….now how could you expect him to trade away Gary Glover?

  93. It looks like AA is becoming Stand Pat. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • It is when your farm system is ranked in the low 20′s and you have people like Ryan goins as the lefty starter in a platoon

  94. I don`t think this offseason is all that surprising and i don`t think that their lack of activity is necessarily budget-related at all. AA has demonstrated a clear modus operandi over the years. He likes to hit a home run with his acquisitions. He likes to trade for pitchers who have maybe struggled with some injuries or some inconsistency but who have outstanding raw stuff. He dealt for Morrow. He dealt for Santos. He dealt for Josh Johnson. He dealt for Brett Anderson and had it fall through. He tried to acquire Samardzija only to find out the Cubs`asking price was too steep. The problem is that there do not appear to be any pitchers at the moment who satisfy his criteria. But that does not mean that he should do a deal just for the sake of doing a deal.

  95. If I am right, the jays actually have a limitrd need for the 5th starter in April usually anyway. It gives them a chance to also see if anyone extra might stick adding value. This is not a max wins approach but the team needs its stars to perform first and foremost. Its easier to plug a hole if you are sitting on apile of cash later too.
    Is 12 mill better on Ubaldo or Santana or just having it in re serve? I know some fans think it would be better spent elsewhere.
    I want to see a max wins approach but what if the team tanks again? It wont get another chance to fail.

    • this is a decent point, but I think AA has said before that once teams start the year they really aren’t interested in dealing until at least June, which is too late if the Jays find out early on that they actually do need to add a starter.

      • damnit

      • @ Kevin, I agree, it is the GMs role to give your team the best possible chance to win, and if you believe your team needs at least one starter, then he cannot be waiting into the season to add someone – by then as you say it is likely too late. I think the biggest problem with this offseason has once again been a failure to manage expectations. AA came out at then end of the season saying they needed one to two front line starters, and by the time he realized that may not happen and started to change his tune it was too late, the fans were already expecting major additions and anything short of that was going to be a let down. Ironically in hindsight I think the biggest mistake of the offseason may wind up being not offering JJ a QO.

  96. I hope fairservice weighs in soon. I woyld like his take on the signing.

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