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. Fuck I really wanted Jimenez. And that deal seems pretty reasonable (through his age 33 season) too. AND it’s the fucking Orioles.

    I would rather they take a flier on Capuano or someone rather than hand out similar terms to Santana.

    Really there are only two ways this season goes at this point – either everyone stays healthy and we make a run for the WC or we start out slow and trade everything that’s not nailed down (and also keep Eddy hopefully). We have enough assets that it could be a quick rebuilding turnaround if we wanted to go that way.

    Fuck I can’t even believe I’m considering that just a year later.

    • Should AA get another shot at that?

      • Don’t see why not. The trade was a pretty good idea and the Dickey thing wasn’t insane at the time (though it was kindof a reach). Most importantly, he’s been a pretty good judge of young talent in his time here (though better at judging amateur talent than in evaluating minor league players it would seem).

        I dunno, if the team collapsed and we fired AA, I wouldn’t start a riot. I think overall he’s been a pretty good GM, but the list of GMs who are irreplaceable is pretty limited outside of St Louis and Tampa.

  2. If the sky is falling over Ubaldo Jiminez, surely the apocalypse came and went when we let Josh Johnson walk.

  3. So what’s the general consensus?

    Rogers lack of funding


    AA either getting out bid, out played


    AA not interested

    • AA not interested,especially at the prices quoted.

      • 50 over 4 years is a very reasonable salary. But I tend to agree based on the reports coming out now.

        • It maybe reasonable to some and not to others.
          It depends on what you expect of the player for 4 years and what your plans for your own team are fo the next 4 years.

          • I think you’re over rationalizing in an attempt to defend the Jays/Rogers/AA.

            Jimenez is worth 50 million over 4 years.

            • It’s an ok contract, the signing at that price can be justified, though it would make sense why AA wouldnt want that price and years. Garza makes 4 million more and he didnt have draft pick compensation.

    • There’s still a long way to go, but this Syndergaard thing is terrifying.

      I know Stoeten’s view is always “why should you care, he’s already gone and it’s in the past” which is honestly complete horseshit. If Syndergaard fulfills his potential, it will hurt for years.

      • Why do people talk as if (a) Dickey sucks and (b) Dickey is already gone.

        We still have him for a couple more years during which time he may very well bring us a World Series.

        Somehow the pitcher who IS pitching in the AL East and doing ok is worse than an NL prospect. I don’t get it.

      • Hindsight is useless. Even if Syndergaard wins the Cy Young in 2019, this deal gets done again in a heartbeat. In what world do you say no to the year’s best elite pitcher for a highly ranked prospect who’s yet to touch a rosen bag? Fair deal.

        • First, Dickey was not the best pitcher in the NL … outside of Cy Young voters who still believe in W-L records, most people would look at 2012 and see that Kershaw was the best pitcher.

          Secondly … many questioned the idea of getting a 38 year old pitcher who almost doubled his previous career best K% (from 15% career high to 25%), if the premise was that you were going to get the Cy Young performance (4.5+ WAR).

          Trading for Dickey made sense if you were putting together a package for the 2010-2011 Dickey (2-3.5 WAR depending on bWAR / fWAR). And at the time, and now, many thought the Jays overpaid for that. Even people pro-trade generally seemed to say the overpay was worth it because the team was close to a contender.

          I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of hindsight … but if you think the deal for Dickey was a no-brainer at the time of the deal, you’re dead wrong.

          Aaaaaaand … if you really liked the deal for Dickey – then you probably should be questioning why the Jays didn’t go out and sign Colon this offseason. Basically, the Mets got a similar pitcher to the post-Cy Dickey and signed him to a similar contract, but they never had to give up any prospects. For all the talk of Jimenez and Santana … the Kazmir and Colon contracts are the ones I think the Jays will regret not being in on and they also seem to fit the budget parameters a lot better.

          • Please. Would you really be shitting your pants like this if the Jays had stayed healthy and made a pennant run last year? A gamble is a gamble. A Cy Young pitcher for prospects gets done every time, by every GM, in every league, in any era.

        • people are not necessarily criticizing the dickey deal with the benefit of “hindsight”. i dislike that deal now. i may well dislike it even more in the future. and i disliked it at the time that it was made. and i like dickey and i was and continue to be a huge fan of almost every move AA makes. but that dickey deal just didn’t make very much sense to me- if for no other reason than toronto did not even seem to inquire with other clubs as to who might have been available if they were to give up those same two elite level prospects (including the top catching prospects in baseball). i am not suggesting that they could have acquired james shields instead of KC. but it seems to me that there would have been at least some other possible alternatives. people constantly question the value of prospects who have yet to do anything yet- we see this year how reluctant teams are to even give up a draft pick, let alone two top 30 prospects overall. and i agree that there is no point in complaining about the deal now more than a year later. but, on that logic, there is no point in criticizing anything once it is in the past.

        • Wow thanks for completely oversimplifying that. We weren’t trading for 2009 Roy Halladay here; this was a guy with 2 (2!) good, okay great, seasons under his belt who was 38 years old. And we gave away our top two prospects for him!

          I don’t disagree that the move made a ton of sense and is eminently defensible, but don’t act like it was a total no brainer at the time. A lot of people thought we had given up too much. Granted I kind of thought we had given up too much because I thought the team could compete for a championship as it was after The Trade, but we’re all wrong about something sometimes.

          • i agree. it is not a question of “hindsight”. a lot of people were critical of that deal at the time that it went down.

            • Ok. Cy Young’s obviously go to overrated chumps on their last legs, and projections for their future success are only as good as the quality of the Ouija board they’re made on. Got it..

              • More like- number one overall catching propsects and 21 year old, 6 foot five, 97-mph throwing elite pitching prospects who are on the cusp of playing in the major leagues do not grow on trees.

                • That’s pretty much the price I would expect to pay for the most recent Cy Young award winner. Not every deal has to be a steal in order for it to be a success. If we end up contending with Dickey eating Buhrle-like innings while at the same time D’Arnaud and Syndergaard find their way to the NL all star game, who cares? Win-win for everyone.

                  • agreed on the last part. a deal is not necessaily bad just because it isn’t a “steal”. however, a deal is bad if the team did not at least explore what other alternatives might have been available had other teams known that it was prepared to give up two prospects of the calibre which it did, especially a catching prospect. not sure whether this is necessarilty the case or not but it certainly seems to be. teams were desparate for catching last offseason and some still are. and, while i might agree that two elite prospects is not an unreasonable price to pay in general for a cy young award winner, am not sure this is the price i should be paying for a cy young award winner who is over 37 years old and relies on a pitch which only a handful of major leaguers have ever had consistency with in the history of the game and who has never had success in the AL or outside a pitcher’s ballpark. it was at least very risky. anyway, i still do have faith that dickey will be the ace which we need.

  4. Even IF AA is feeling ok with his depth at starter, I cannot imagine how he would not want to add another MLB arm to bolster the rotation against injury etc. I can understand that he wants the young arms to push guys – but what happens if Morrow makes 4 starts and then has elbow problems? Now you’re counting on multiple guys to step up or combing the waiver wire for this year’s Aaron Laffey (*probably will actually be Aaron Laffey). One would think that this is the exact scenario that would motivate the front office to use their protected picks to land someone decent.

    Could Stroman, Drabek, Huthison etc step up? Absolutely. But that is some gamble to take given how last year played out and how short the shelf life of an average GM is.

  5. This is interesting, from Olney this AM:

    “But behind the curtain, there is this: Sources say that neither the Red Sox nor the Blue Jays actually made any offer for Jimenez, and that the dialogue was not a matter of team pursing the player, but Jimenez’s representative pursuing the team.”

  6. So what might it mean for negative WAR predictions to have to face a guy? If we can project what Ubaldo’s potential WAR would have been for us in 2014, is it possible to generate a stat for what the impact on wins is of a SP on a division rival?

    Oh yeah, I’m visiting NY and had to read a piece of prospect porn on Syndergaard in the morning paper. That sucked. It’s kinda’ like imagining a million New Yorkers jacking off to pictures of your ex.

  7. I love the Jays and will continue to support them but I am not feeling optimistic about the present or near future. A terrible season followed by such a quiet off season. I’m sick of being in the AL East and I’m tired of watching the way the Yankees do business.

    The Canadian dollar projections are only going to hurt our ability in the next few years to field a competitive team.

    We seem to be the punching bags of the teams I hate year after year.

    Sigh – anyways that’s my 1 and only pre-season rant. I’m done. Bring on spring training and go Jays!


    Don’t care about Dirk specifically but if this is a confirmation of cut backs for the team it’s horseshit. If Rogers wants to go cheap sell the fucking team. I know we have to consider the source here but there have been hints of Thai elsewhere.

    • Thai = this. Fuck autocorrect too.

    • I enjoyed Dirk’s analysis and the banter with Zaun.That said,Dirk acknowledged in his tweet that neither ESPN nor TSN or anybody else have picked him up for the coming season.As least not yet.
      SN is broadcasting more ST games this year and all ST games will be available on radio or streamed.

    • I’m still struggling with this. I really am leaning in that direction but you have to wonder about the supposed trades for Anderson and Kinsler. Both would have added payroll. Of course that doesnt mean they would not have made additional trades to shed payroll.

      The frustrating thing about them potentiially not adding is that this team is pretty much built for now. I believe they are much better than last year but not adding now would be an extreme gamble. It also reminds me what did the Jays did or more exactly didnt do after their last free agent splash back in 2006, they never topped up on what they had in the years after.

      I really like what Baltimore did, yes they lost a top draft pick but with them looking at what could be a large turnover of key players in the next two years, going for it now makes a lot of sense. All they need to do now is add another bat.

      Here’s hoping the Jays do have money to add Drew and extend Colby.

      • Actually , excellent point Sandlot. It’s not as if they weren’t about to take on Kinsler. It probably never moved beyond the talking because of Kinsler’s no trade clause but there was an instance where the Jays were fully prepared to take on the very large (and lengthy) Kinsler contract.
        This tells me they had serious doubts about paying Jiminez or Santana that kind of money for that kind of talent.

    • Mmmmmm… hints of Thai sounds pretty good right about now.

      I’d go 4/$50 for some Pad Thai with an option on Fried Rice.

  9. I’m willing to go along with AA this off-season. Last season he swung for the fences and thought he hit a home run but it turned into a fly-ball out that was thrown back into the field and forced a triple-play. (See what I did there!!!)

    But seriously, he needs to be careful this year. If he’s not seeing anything he thinks is worth the money, then don’t spend the money and see what we have right now. This is still mostly the team that was supposed to win the WS last year. I’d rather he stand pat than grab for some glittery shiny pitcher with a no-longer-live arm.

    • “This is still mostly the team that was supposed to win the WS last year.”

      Yes, but it spectacularily failed.

      Going forward with mostly that team (and with the only differences being that many of them are one more year into their thirties and question marks being replaced by other question marks) is kind of crazy. Doing effectively nothing shouldn’t have even be an option.

      • Lets just take it as it is this year and not expect much.

        • See, I don’t see why they should be gifted the luxery of low expectations.

          Low expectations are for fans of teams that are obviously building towards a brighter tommorow at the expense of a darker now. It’s not for teams that should be trying to win today.

      • You know that 2013 wins and losses don’t count in 2014, right?

    • This is not mostly the same team as last year … this team is missing the #2 starter from last year, the starting second baseman from last year, and the #4 outfielder / platoon DH from last year. They’ve each been replaced by no one. Without factoring in any degradation of performance due to aging, that’s about 6 or 7 wins expected for last year’s team that are gone for this year.

      • The team is also missing the worst catcher in the history of baseball. That in itself will vastly improve the rotation in my opinion.

        • They also kept the actual worst player in baseball in Izturis.

          Before 2013, no one thought the Jays had the worst player in baseball at any position.

  10. Awaiting some assorted Tuesday thoughts. Come on home Stoeten!

    • I can only assume (hope) that Stoeten is still working on a nuclear bomb of a rant on this…at this point we are either getting Santana (a horrible fit for pitching in the dome), a trade for the Shark or some other option no better than Jimenez (worst possible option), or praying that Morrow magically has his first 170+ inning season, Happ is somehow not the barely above replacement-level guy everyone is pretty sure he is, and one of the kids is ready…all to make us still the 4th best rotation in the division…but at least we have 2B sorted out – right?

  11. I’ve been pretty reasonable through out this, and will continue to do so. Ubaldo isn;t going to make or break this team, but clearly it needed to get better, and have mostly failed to do so.

    I don’t/wouldn’t question the non moves this year, if it wasn’t for speeding up the clock last off season.

    They obviously knew what it would take to sign ubaldo and ervin, and if they didn’t value them at that, its really okay. but they should have tried to improve in other areas.

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