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There is zero excuse for the Blue Jays to not sign a free agent pitcher this winter. None. Not when their position is so advantageous when it comes to the guys with draft pick compensation. Not when cheap jack Baltimore feels a contract is worth giving up the 17th overall pick — and associated pool money — for, but the Jays won’t give up pick 49.

None.

I don’t even necessarily love the contract the Orioles will give to Ubaldo Jimenez — assuming he passes his physical — or the idea of locking him up for four years. I also don’t think it’s nearly as far fetched as many fans do that Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Todd Redmond, Kyle Drabek, and whoever else may end up filling out the rotation can be very good for this club. There is a tendency to forget just how very pedestrian relied-upon AL East pitchers like Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster, Jason Hammel, Scott Feldman, Phil Hughes, David Phelps, Jeremy Hellickson, and Roberto Hernandez have been while in the rotations of very successful teams. All of them — save Feldman (15), Norris (9), and Phelps (12) — made at least 23 AL starts last year. And all of them failed to generate one full -win of value, according to Baseball Reference.

But we all understand that a club has a better chance to make it through the grind of a season with more, better options in the rotation. We all know how vital it is for a team to accumulate quality assets, even in areas of depth, and the possibilities that opens up.

The Jays could still “line up on value” — as Alex Anthopoulos is fond of saying — with Ervin Santana, but he is now their final hope to turn the 49th pick in next year’s draft into a tremendous win-now market advantage, and teams like the Mariners are reportedly lurking. To piss the opportunity away and expect us to open wide and swallow shovel-fulls of P.R. tripe is an affront to a fan base so beaten down by years of mediocrity that the only bar they ask their club to hurdle is that they at least just fucking try.

It would be premature, and I’d be too taken by inchoate rage right now if I wagged my finger about the club coming to regret yet another hammer blow to consumer confidence, or tried to conjure a grim financial future for the club coming out of this possibility. The fans aren’t going to disappear, the TV numbers will be strong until the club fades, and if they manage to be competitive, all will be forgotten. Not much will change for the failure to land one of these truly unsexy pitching names, but that almost would make it worse. I mean, isn’t it preferable to be lovable losers who at least try than to be losers who can just kind of go fuck themselves? Soulless, corporatist, bottom-line worshipping scum of the earth, searching with no dignity for value in the narrowest possible terms?

The world is full of that kind of stuff at every turn, of course, and to keep our sanity we all try our best to work out livable compromises with the behemoth, but when it repeatedly punches our guts in one of the few places we fans turn to for escape, it’s hard not to get awfully bitter about the experience. You’re playing in the fourth largest city in North America, in an un-capped league, in a sport where TV rights deals are worth many multiple billions, and this is really all you can give us? Indifference to your product or any connection with our psyches beyond piddly, bush league marketing and game ops, and the patronizing admonishment that we should be happy you at least tried last year?

That’s a lot to put on the failure to sign one of two pitchers who each could quite reasonably be fairly crappy, but to me that’s what it would signal, and some days I have less confidence than others in any of the inept, manipulative handlers of this organization to identify, let alone care enough to reverse the rot.

Granted, for all our eye rolling about value for value’s sake, the Anthopouloses of the world are right that it’s dangerous to let such big picture considerations matter so much when it comes to roster construction, but they do matter.

Again, though, it’s too soon to say any of this. The signing of Ervin Santana could still come along and erase this potential narrative. There’s no reason to think it couldn’t — worries about payroll parameters or the Canadian dollar remain reasonable yet entirely unfounded at this stage — but if it doesn’t, I can’t help but think that the club will again show to have been blind to its own failures of messaging. Whatever downsides would come with blaming stingy ownership or a sinking dollar seem trivial, to me, compared to the disgust, disappointment, and, worse, the apathy that will come from the insistence that they needn’t do anything, and that they trust their young arms so much more than Baltimore does their own, much better prospect, Kevin Gausman.

That sort of moment, should we run headlong into it in the next week, will fade into memory like they all do, I know. Surely the club will weather it like they always do. But for fuck sakes, here we are again, like November 2012 never happened. And how many of these moments — even just these potential moments — must we endure? It’s not a whole lot of fun leaving so much emotional investment to the mercy and whims of humourless corporate shitheels, even when there’s still a chance they might do right by it. Anthopoulos, for all his good intentions, sometimes seems as powerless as we are, and with payroll supposedly so inextricably linked with the revenue the club can generate, I fear that maybe this time the diminishing returns on selling false hope will genuinely start to be felt if this is the path they choose to take.

I mean… who needs this?

Comments (523)

  1. Bang on.

    • Holy shit have I ever missed angry Stoeten.

    • Great post to get that rage out. However, despite Stoeten previously using WAR to disprove my belief that Ubaldo is a bum, I still think he is a bum. I am confident he will get crushed over the next 4 years and the Jays will have zero regret in not signing him.

      I still maintain they lost their best opportunity when they let Garza go to Milwaukee, but really, there weren’t many free agent options to get excited about this off season other than Tanaka.

      So maybe they get Santana, maybe they don’t, I just don’t think he’s the guy who’s going to be the difference maker for the team anyway. But, sometimes you just need to do something to appease the masses and if Santana doesn’t sign with the Jays, the fury around here will be interesting.

      • Amen.

        What are we, Leafs fans? Demanding an over pay for an aging veteran who will make little difference in the present and a negative difference in the future? Have we learned nothing from the futility?

        The only difference makers were Tanaka, maybe Burnett. Tanaka’s deal was ridiculous. Burnett was not interested.

        Suck it up, buttercup.

    • Also, despite the atrocious 2013, I still believe Josh Johnson had more upside than any of the FA pitchers and the Jays made their biggest mistake by not giving him a QO. Yeah it’s an overpay, but when you are a Canadian team in a hitters ball park in the toughest division in baseball, you can’t expect to get a bargain on an FA pitchers either.

  2. As much as they Jays should and need to sign another starter, I’d much rather have Drew if it meant signing one player or the other considering the lack of infield depth on this team along with the fact that Goins starting on Opening Day is far more frightening than Redmond or Rogers in the five spot.

    • Does anyone still think Drew is a real possibility? I’d love to be proven wrong, but given their success in free agency so far, I just can’t imagine it changes with a Boras client.

      The Cuban infielder, Aledmys Diaz, I can be talked into getting hopeful about him. But I shouldn’t.

    • The problem with Redmond or Rogers being the #5 is that that means Happ is the #4, and if any of of DIckey, Buehrle or (the most likely) Morrow gets hurt, you’re looking at the Jays throwing out a few young guys coming off TJ and/or the same shit parade they did last year. No thanks. Sign a fucking pitcher.

      • It’s not the same, as they arent the varga’s or perezes of the world, their legitimate prospects. But signing a legit pitcher would help with that depth immensely.

      • The immediate pitching depth in Buffalo this year is unlike what we had last year when everyone went down where wouldn’t need to rely on Ortiz, Germano, Wang, etc. The projected Bisons rotation are loaded with guys that have potential to make a difference if they perform.

        If Reyes goes down or if Goins turns out to be a black hole at the plate (the latter being more likely), there is nothing immediate the Jays can turn to if things go bad.

        • I don’t think you realize how deep in to their depth the Jays had to go last year and how if they go that deep this year, their depth hasn’t gotten any better. Geez … Rogers and Redmond were depth starters last year and one of them will be in the rotation this year and somehow that’s a sign that depth has improved. Does not compute.

          Look at it this way … last year, Rogers and Redmond were the Jays 6th and 7th starters. Those two had to start 34 games combined, but they were behind Dickey, Johnson, Morrow, Buerlhe, and Happ on the depth chart. Even still, the Jays had to get 17 starts from 8+ in the depth chart.

          Now, if you have their top 7 this year of Dickey, Buerlhe, Morrow, Rogers, and Redmond. #6 is Happ. #7 is Stroman … who do you have as your #8? The guys being talked about as depth at that #8 spot aren’t exactly any better than who the Jays trotted out last year
          - Drabek – anyone remember the 31 starts he got in Toronto before being injured?
          - Hutchison – has pitched more than 70 innings once in his career (only one injury, but definitely that’s got to be a question mark)
          - Nolin – he’s one of those guys that pitched so horribly last year and didn’t look good in his short stint in Buffalo either

          And then who else?

          And somehow, that’s better than last year?

          • Try harder Mike. Jesus. Weak trolling.

            • That’s not trolling. Mike’s right.

            • Mike expresses my thoughts pretty concisely. Guess I’m a troll too for thinking another league average pitcher would help the depth?

            • OK – then explain to me one of the following:
              - How the Jays starting 5 this year is better than last year’s starting 5
              - How the Jays 6 and 7 starters this year are better than last year’s #6 or 7
              - How the Jays 8+ starters are better than last year’s 8+

              And remember … at least one of last year’s 6 and 7 are going to be in the top 5 this year, which makes each of the first two points really hard to explain.

              • My original comment got misread a bit, I meant it to separate the young guys (Drabek/Hutchison/Stroman – although I don’t have much confidence in Drabek but that’s another story) with the depth guys that I don’t want to see starting games anymore, such as Redmond/Rogers/Romero.

                • You can throw Happ in the shit parade pile too, I can’t stand watching pitchers struggle to get to 5 innings and keep their pitch counts under 100

                  • they lost JJ and have not replaced him. the depth is not there. throwing 2 prospects that havent even played AA or AAA ball in the mix does not equal depth IMO. Sign an MLB pitcher FFS. im ok with Goins.

                    • Not saying it’s correct thinking, but the thinking is, Hutchison, Drabek, Stroman weren’t even an option last year. Now they’re definitely in the mix.

                    • but JJ was so fucking bad I dont think they would need to do much to replace him

              • Well, for one thing, josh Johnson’s name does not appear on the list.

            • The red herring of the CDN dollar affects only 50% of the total expenditure, as their is sharing of Gate Revenues , that is all American Dollars, and there is TV and media contracts and MLB royalty revenue on merchandising.

              Rogers wants to suck and blow about this with their synchophant named Paul, Enough whining from the TBJ management and Owners, MLB two years ago identified you as major market players.

              Step up to the plate and be all you can be.. Give them hell A.S.

          • I don’t disagree with everything you said, but you’re basing your assessment of Nolin on 1.1 awful innings at the major league level and 17.2 mediocre innings at AAA as opposed to the 92 innings in which he dominated at AA? And at the same time, you’ll ignore the success Hutchison has had at every level for every season of his career because he hasn’t thrown enough innings?

            I get the injury concerns, but having Hutchison and Nolin as the 8-9 starters on the depth chart is kind of awesome. I would be happy with Hutchison winning a rotation spot of out spring.

            Having Happ and Drabek/McGowan/Redmond/Rogers as the 4-5 guys doesn’t bode well. That doesn’t mean they don’t have good depth beyond there.

            • By every level for every season for Hutchison, you mean Lansing, Dunedin, and New Hampshire and 2010 and 2011. Let’s not talk about this like an extensive experience – it’s two great years at sub-AAA levels. He’s a great solid prospect, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t agree that having Hutchison as depth going in to 2014 should make anyone any more optimistic than they would have been about, say, Romero at the start of 2013. Remember, many people thought he may come in to Spring Training, rediscover his pitching and be solid … it was only after his major league stint that people seemed to really lose hope in Romero – not at the start of last year.

              And Nolin … again, I’m not saying he’s a bad prospect. But I am saying that in his limited exposure to AAA and the majors, he’s shown that he needs more time in AAA. That’s not a bad thing for a prospect.

              Last year, the Jays thought they had a bunch of guys in the 8+ depth range in Romero, Ortiz, Wang, Laffey, and Jenkins who the Jays thought could be replacement level at worst and had some upside beyond that if things broke right. That sounds pretty similar in my mind to what this team has this year … except for the fact that at the front-end, there’s been a trickle down of injury / departure / underperformance that has caused the high-end depth like Redmond or Rogers to move up the depth chart.

              • Hutchison was also good in 2012 (both at AA and in his MLB starts) and in limited action coming off his surgery in 2013. That kind of covers every level his played in for every year since he was drafted.

                And Nolin’s major league start doesn’t come remotely close to proving that he needs more time in AAA. I mean… I’m not in any way suggesting he doesn’t, but I hate how people use this one blow-up as “proof” that he’s not ready. It was one bad start. It happens to everyone. And pitchers who “need more time at AAA” are the definition of ideal depth. The fact that they’re low on the depth chart is perfect because they can gain that experience while they wait for their opportunity. It’s not like they’re being plugged into a starting spot April 1.

                • It wasn’t one bad start in the majors for Nolin – it was 1 bad start in the majors and 3 bad starts in AAA.

                  If he were a proven player, I wouldn’t read much in to 4 bad starts … but when he’s only had 4 starts above AA and in that time, he’s managed 19 innings with 11 BB, 1 HBP, only 13 K, and 2 HR. Yeah – that tells me that he probably needs more time in AAA. You can hate when people who use the blow-up as “proof”, which I’m not since I’m using his time at AAA as well … but similarly, I hate when people work off a premise that we’ve never seen him fail over an entire season so we can assume he’ll succeed.

                  For Hutchison … fine, his injury shortened, less than 50% complete, 2012 was good. That doesn’t refute the point that he has never pitched an extensive amount of innings. The Jays have shown a desire to shut down arms early when they get beyond a certain point (see Morrow), so, again, I’m not sure that you can count on Hutchison all season and am not sure that he’s got a great track record to be counted on this year. 2015, he could be considered great depth.

              • “The fact that they’re low on the depth chart is perfect because they can gain that experience while they wait for their opportunity. It’s not like they’re being plugged into a starting spot April 1.”

                Are you even following the discussion anymore?

                Yes, Nolin is appropriate depth.

                No, Nolin is not a sign that this team is deeper in starters than last years.

                The first statement doesn’t require comparison, the latter does.

                Todd Redmond was in the Buffalo rotation last year. This year, there’s a chance he’s in the Blue Jays rotation. I don’t think there is a similar level player on Buffalo at the start of this year.

                Esmil Rogers wasn’t in the rotation at the start of last season, he was in the bullpen. Somewhat quickly, he was in the rotation. I don’t think there is an equivalently established player in the Blue Jays bullpen this year, ready to hop in to the rotation.

                That’s what I mean when I say that the Jays don’t have the starting depth for 2014 that they did for 2013. I don’t mean that they have terrible, useless, unqualified to throw for college team quality players. It means I don’t think they’re as good as last year’s depth.

                • I don’t recall having said that the depth is better this year. I was just arguing that Nolin and Hutchison provide solid depth options.

                  Nolin is in a similar position on the depth chart as he was last year. The difference is that he’s a year closer to being a viable major league option. Other younger guys like Stroman, Hutchison, Drabek and Jenkins are in similar situations. The guys in the depth spots this year are guys with some potential and a lot of upside. I would take that over AAA filler like Wang, Laffey, etc.

                  Also… if you’re going to point to both Rogers and Redmond moving from depth to the rotation as a sign of a downgrade, you also have to do the opposite with Happ. I think, more realistically, Happ is in the rotation and Rogers stays as depth.

                  • “I don’t recall having said that the depth is better this year. I was just arguing that Nolin and Hutchison provide solid depth options.”

                    Then why did you respond to a post that started … I don’t think you realize how deep in to their depth the Jays had to go last year and how if they go that deep this year, their depth hasn’t gotten any better

                    • Um…. my response started with “I don’t disagree with everything you said, but…” and then went on to disagree only with your assessment of Nolin and Hutchison. I was addressing part of your comment, not every single word.

    • Drew over pitching?
      HA!

      • I’d also rather have Stephen Drew than either Jimenez/Santana if salary and future roster impact is being considered.

        Goins at 2B is my only major problem with the roster going into ST.

        • Navarro at catcher, Cabrera and Sierra as 3rd and 4th outfielders / DH platoon, Izturis as key infield depth, and the Buerlhe / Morrow as #2 and #3 in the starting rotation are the key issues I see.

          I’d be surprised if those 6 guys top 8 WAR combined. That’s 2 starting pitchers, 2 starting position players, and 2 key back-ups that I think are not contributing a whole bunch.

          For reference, last year, those 6 combined for 1.4 WAR, so even 8 WAR would be a huge improvement, but that’s still not enough contribution from those key spots to be a contender.

  3. Ubaldo is the one I wanted and honestly I already feel that Rogers are quite pathetic for letting him get away at the price Baltimore signed him. I’d feel a bit better if they signed Santana, but if they (IMO) signed the weaker of the 2 just to save a few million bucks then that’s really sad.

  4. We are starting to reach the point of rage, we’re probably not upgrading the hole at second, not adding good depth in our rotation, all when the current roster is built to win now.

    If we don’t sign Santana or drew, AA really didnt have a backup plan after those failed trades, which is kind of unacceptable cause he wanted to really upgrade our roster, but has barely made any moves to do so.

  5. Whatever way you look at it, if people had said Ubaldo would sign for 4/48 in October, we all would have jumped at it. It’ll be interesting to see if this sets the market for Santana, but makes the reported jays offer of 3/27 look pretty far off

  6. You hit the nail on the head.

    Does this drive the price of Santana up? (Especially with Mariner’s lurking…)

    • Definitely. This just cut the number of slightly-above-average pitchers in half. All the teams that were dipping their toe in the market for Jimenez, suddenly just got a lot more anxious, just as Toronto did. Every team that has wanted to sign one of them suddenly realizes there’s only one guy left.

      This is terrible news.

  7. if they pitch to capabilities, I agree that they have enough depth with what they have, and 4 years to Ervin is a suckers bet. This is an offensive team in an offensive park, that needs ‘adequate’ pitching to be in most games. But 2013 is still fresh on our minds, and I think Jays fans expect they’d at least spend the $14M earmarked for Josh Johnson and at most pick up one free agent pitcher. But these are the same fans who will be calling for AA’s head if a 4 year Ubaldo deal didn’t work out.

    • How do you know they’re the same fans? For example, no one seems all that upset about Syndergaard, most fans seem to acknowledge that was a calculated risk. This would be, too.

    • Someone please provide me with the kind of insight necessary to sell the idea that 4/40 for Jiminez is a deal you make, whereas 1/14 for another year of the equally questionable Josh Johnson just wasn’t worth it. Wasn’t 2011 or 12 Jiminez almost as bad as 2013 Johnson? I’m frustrated too, and I suppose I should care a little more, but I can’t get all blue in the face about shitty pitchers on a shitty free agent market. Meh. I’m just glad they’ve held the farm together for a run at the next crop of FAs.

  8. this is a great piece – i’ve been waiting hours (yes, *hours*) for it. everything seems right, including the commenters talking about Drew as a salve. i’d love to see the Jays prove me wrong and win 93 with the current roster – but that would involve a lot of waiting, and like everyone else, i’m out of patience.

  9. Awesome post!

  10. I wonder what it would take to get Rogers to sell the team? A non corporate owner would work a lot more than this iteration is

    • Really?? Who exactly is going to buy this team for somewhere around $1 billion and spend $130 million+ on payroll??

    • And why is that? Doesn’t seem to help the Marlins or O’s that they have private ownership.

    • They’d have to sell Sportsnet first.

    • The need for a new stadium. When the dome falls apart(probably literally) and is no longer playable, that’s when you’ll see the team sold and moved out of Toronto, or contracted. No chance Rogers makes that kind of capital investment and no chance the taxpayers do it for them. I’m as big a baseball fan as there is and I would sooner see the Jays move to Portland Oregon than have one penny of my taxes going to subsidize those cheap fucks.

      • And the gold medal for biggest fucking mouth breathing moron of the day goes to…. THIS GUY!

        Thanks everyone for playing, but this guy really raised the bar for dumb fuckery even on this site. I don’t know if I’ve seen a comment this ignorant of anything that exists beyond his own fucking navel since the Yunel eye black incident. You’re right sir, Major League Baseball will ABSOLUTELY move a team away from North America’s fourth largest media market to Portland fucking Oregon, which of course is home to many Major League Stadiums and a proud baseball tradition.

        With the part about how you would never use YOUR tax dollars (which I’m sure are very significant) – or at least whatever’s left over after you’ve “paid the salaries” of whatever public worker rubs you the wrong way – I almost thought you were just an excellent troll. But after careful consideration I’ve determined that you’re probably just an asshole.

        Congratulations and thanks for showing up.

        • Excellent reply, keyboard warrior. Hopefully you worked out a lot of that rage. You were picked on a lot in school, huh?

  11. Would I be incorrect in thinking they are mostly hoping for a Red Sox-type of ‘bounce back’ season where guys are healthier and have better years?

    • Yeah but Red Sox also brought in a few FAs.

    • The Red Sox re-made a lot of their roster in the offseason last year.

      • But in remaking their roster (by bringing in Napoli, Victorino and Dempster) they also lost a whole lot more talent than the Jays have lost this offseason (Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett, Ross, Aviles).

        On paper, they lost a lot more talent than they signed. Things just worked out amazingly well for them instead of the disaster that was 2012.

  12. Great words, Stoeten. And now Boston might be a player with Dempster’s money off the books for this year, which is great.

    I’m concerned that Ervin Santana is THE GUY at this point, and now the Jays have lost some leverage with Ubaldo off the market.

    I love the Jays, but the soulless, corporate thinking of this offseason (and many others outside of 2012 before) really makes it hard to be a fan sometimes.

    • Ownership has put the money up there … the Jays will be a top 10 payroll team.

      In fact, for the last 15-20 years, the Jays have consistently ranked higher in payroll than they have in attendance.

      Ownership hasn’t been the problem here. It’s sort of early in Anthopoulos’ tenure, but management is the bigger problem, not ownership.

      • Anthopoulos has been in the post for five years now. If they are a sub-500 team, I don’t know that you can really justify keeping him around. I’ve really loved his approach to building this team, but results are what matter. And the farm system is still years away from being of any real relevance to the big club. If they can’t show success on the field I think you can call last year’s gamble a failure and put that on AA.

  13. feels to me like most winning teams have at least some fucksaster contracts, and as burdensome at Reyes and Buehrle are, they’re not close to the Teixera, A-Rod, Fielder range. as Josef Beuys said to Eva Hesse, if you worry about making something ugly, you’ll never create anything beautiful.

  14. Remember when we were talking about 5-6 years 80-100mil being a possibility for Ubaldo?

  15. I think they honestly were trying last year. I don’t know what they’re doing this year; you’d think they’d either go big or go home, and they don’t seem to be doing either one.

    But whatever. In a sense it doesn’t matter; this franchise has proven in recent years that they’re really not capable of doing anything, so there’s no effective difference between trying and not trying, between going for it or holding a fire sale, between trying something new or sticking with the same-old. The only place the difference shows up is in how much money the team spends. And if I were them, and I had the choice between a cheap disaster and an expensive disaster, I’d choose the cheap disaster. Who wouldn’t?

  16. How long into the year before a defacing of the Ted Rogers Statue takes place?

  17. if you would have told me in september that it would be february 18th and the jays would have stood pat except one payroll neutral move at catcher i would have thought you were insane.

    either go for it or sell off your assets to reload for another run. this middle ground is the absolute worst place to be in professional sports. i’m becoming more and more confident that rogers is the author of this ‘strategy’ because this is looking more and more like the ricciardi years.

  18. You hit the nail right on the fucking head. Yesterday, when I saw the news, I thought to myself “I’m not sure that the other teams in the AL East are better than last year, but at least they’re fucking TRYING. At least they’re doing something other than ‘we have dialogue’.”

    I can’t remember an off-season so frustrating, and I think a big part of it is that AA keeps feeding us hope before that hope is taken away, usually with the words “the Jays didn’t even make an offer” attached. At least in years past, we knew what was likely and what wasn’t from a FA point of view. This year, there weren’t a ton of free agents that we thought “there’s no chance”. The Jays decided those guys didn’t match up.

  19. I sort of disagree with one of your last points regarding AA maybe being as powerless as the rest of us. I do think payroll is linked to revenue and all that but unless they are lying through their teeth every time him or Beeston say that the money is available or that Rogers has never said no (and they say that A LOT) then AA must be the guy who decides that the money or terms or whatever aren’t right for the team.

  20. If they come away with nothing, then it’s officially time to call the Houston, Miami, and Dickey trades pointless and short-sighted, and to acknowledge that the team never had a cohesive plan. I realize the team would have been terrible in the interim, but at least they had a fighting chance of developing some great young players for the future on cheap deals that they now so desperately crave.

    Right now, this looks to me like a team spinning its wheels constantly putting bandaids on the latest PR nightmare. It’s not a sports team, it’s a political campaign.

    • exactly, mark. to overpay in prospect capital last offseason… then get all ‘value for value’s sake’ this offseason is completely irrational.

      when you turn the corner into ‘go for it’ mode and have a season like 2013 you either have to stick with it or admit you fucked up and retreat. standing pat is probably the worst possible approach.

      • Exactly… if you’re going to “go for it” then go for it! don’t do what you did last year and then decide to hedge your bets. When they got Johnson last year they had to at least anticipate committing the 14M that a Q.O. would cost… that they’re apparently just going to leave that fallow is depressing.

    • The Houston trade was a desperation mid season move to stabilize a rotation that was crushed by injuries, i hated but it had less to do with the overall plan imo.

      The Dickey trade might not have worked out at least so far but i think it was the right move after the Miami trade.

      That said, doing nothing and not making additional course corrections seems silly and in that regard i agree with you.

      • The extension given to Happ sort of has to mean that it was part of a long-term plan, doesn’t it?

        Plus, Happ only started 6 games. If 6 starts in a 73-89 season are worth sacrificing significant prospects without consideration of the long-term plan … isn’t that pretty damning about Anthopoulos’ thoughts on strategy?

        • He got hit in the head by a line drive and fucked up his knee. I don’t see how that makes this a bad trade, just unlucky.

          All that other stuff is true, if they are going for it – why the fuck aren’t they GOING FOR IT!!

          • Why do you say the are not? Do you really think Ubaldo is that big a difference maker?

            Based on what?

            The “do something” approach might reduce their chances. AA so far is unwilling to do just anything.

            He already said he could trade. It just does not help them to improve enough to justify the cost. Why do something if it is not really helpful?

        • It was a deadline move and he didnt pitch after September 3rd that year so the 6 starts figure is misleading. He also added 4 relief appearances.

          • The 6 starts figure is not misleading … you said they picked him up to stabilize the rotation for the year. He only had to give 6 starts. Whether that happens at the beginning, middle, or end … they gave up 3 pretty significant prospects in Asher, Perez, and Rollins for 6 starts to stabilize a rotation. For a sub-500 team well out of the playoffs that seems to be a terrible decision. You stabilize the rotation on a sub-500 team with a waiver wire pick-up or converting a long reliever. You don’t stabilize the rotation on a sub-500 team by trading away prospects. Unless you think that guy is part of the long-term plan.

            • Why would you even bother complaining about JA Happ. Who gives a flying fuck about a number 5 starter who cost us a handful of B-/C prospects when this is going on?

              • Let’s see … on this year’s team, you would probably have:
                Asher as the #4 or #5 starter this year with a future as a mid-rotation starter
                Perez as the starting catcher in Buffalo with plans to be the starter of the future

                And then you’d also have Geith, Rollins, and Musgrove in the system as well helping out the depth.

                I do think missing out on a starting catcher and mid-rotation starter at entry-level prices is the type of thing this team is sorely missing right now.

  21. Good post. Strikes a nice balance between the rage/disgust and hope many of us have.

  22. the jays need SP no doubt…. but was Jimenez the answer here? I highly doubt it.

  23. Could that have just been a mis-step by AA? It has been implied over and over again that he was in contact with agents and would get a shot to bid / outbid on these guys. Perhaps the Orioles put the offer out in the same way the Angels reportedly did to Garza ie. with a small window that didn’t allow shopping the offer. If I’m UJ and I get offered a good deal after spring training has started, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth to go talk to the cheap guy in the corner.

    I see this as AA completely mis-stepping. Of course, maybe he did get the chance to up the bid wasn’t willing to go any higher, which is a whole other discussion.

  24. Ervin Santana should NOT be signed; Jays would be further off to pencil Stroman in the rotation – let him ride out the year platooning with Rogers and Drabek if pitch counts get high or his confidence falls.
    The missed trade that bothers me most is Fister; not that Tigers ever wanted to meet up with him in the AL, but that AA had no freak’n clue Fister was available. Obviously AA is not doing a good enough job.
    AA better have a freakn amazing draft this year.

    • Except the reason no one knew Fister was available may we’ll have been that he wasn’t available to AL teams. I agree though that adding Santana doesn’t count as all in vs standing pat today though

    • If the Jays are not willing to spend to get a decent SP on what looks like a fair market deal then I doubt they’re going to start Stroman’s service clock early. We may see him mid-season but I wouldn’t bet on before.

    • Really.

      I guess every other gm was not doing their job either.

      Or maybe dombrowski just made the deal without telling them all.

  25. PREACH STOETEN! Great post.

    Solution for you: Move to Michigan, start a blog called Drunk Tigers Fans?

  26. in·cho·ate
    inˈkō-it,-āt/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary.
    “a still inchoate democracy”
    synonyms: rudimentary, undeveloped, unformed, immature, incipient, embryonic

  27. The part that gets me is that it seems this team has no plan of a direction to choose, since the Happ trade. Doing last off seasons deals are fine as long as you double down and spend this offseason. It’s very frustrating to watch an offseason in which other than marginally upgrading catcher, no new acquisitions have been made to improve the team

  28. These pretzels are making me thirsty.

  29. I’ll be pissed if they don’t have a fire-sale if/when they are not in contention mid-summer

  30. Couldn’t agree more.

    “the inept, manipulative handlers of this organization…”

    You said it man.

  31. If I’m Buerhle, or Bautista or EE or even Lawrie, sitting around waiitng for AA to address the deficiencies that he admitted existed, and seeing him do nothing, it;s not a great motivator for sure. If the trend persistes and we do nothing this offseason, then trade Rasmus now, because the underlying message will be ” we’re cutting back yet again” so if you want a ring you best fuck off.
    I still can’t beleive they are willing to potentailly wreck all that built up goodwill from last year and piss the fans off. Anyway, for me, I have yet to buy a flexpack and if the waitng game is good enuf for the Jays then it will be good enuf for me too. This could end up being the first year in about 21 years where I do not go at all. Yeah I know, I’m just one person and big wupp but if that trend explodes they may rue the day they decided to do nothing as a strategy especially when all it would cost, besides a few bucks, is the 49th fukin draft choice. THey won’t, I don’t think get that chance again

    • Same here – NOT BUYING TICKETS this year. My family will stay home. I’ll check out a few Mets games on tv this summer and wonder what could have been.

    • Essentially they won’t even miss the 2nd round (49th pick) draft choice because they’ll have 2 picks in the 1st 11.

      • At this point, Jays need as many picks as possible. Yes, they should have capitalized on using their 2nd rounder for FA SP, but too late. The fact they miss out on signing their picks and their other signed picks not amount to much is killing the Jays.

        • Which unsigned picks have affected the Jays current prospect pool?

          • Paxton (2009), Beede (2011) and Bickford (2013) were all Jays unsigned 1st rounders. Yes, Jays have received compensatory picks for unsigned draftees like Syndergaard (for Paxton) and Stroman (for Beede), but this retards the Jays SP farm a year every time it happens.

            • Wasn’t Anthopolous in charge of the 2009 draft?

              Jake Barrett is a top 10 prospect on the Diamondbacks and many look at him as just a couple of years away from being a bullpen anchor.

              James Paxton has already made it to the majors and looked really solid throughout his minor league career. Stroman and him look pretty similar, but Stroman is a year behind, so I’d say not having Paxton put the Jays behind where they’d otherwise be.

              • Stroman has nothing to do with Paxton.

                Syndergaard was the pick they got for not signing Paxton. Syndergaard is a much more highly touted prospect. Paxton just made it to the majors last year, but Syndergaard is likely to contribute this year at just 21.

                Stroman was the supplemental pick for Beede. Stroman is closer to the majors than Beede would be if he had signed.

                Barrett was very good last year, while Marcus Knecht was not.

                So would you take Paxton, Beede and Barrett over Syndergaard, Stroman and Knecht?

    • Last off-season, I bought my flex pack on November 24th. This year I have been contacted a dozen times (and counting) from Jays ticket office and my answer remains the same “why should I spend my money to attend the same, crappy baseball I’ve been subjected too for the past 20 years when the owners/management won’t spend the money necessary to win?” Usually, the ticket rep doesn’t have a coherent answer for me. No Games in 2014!

    • Good. I stopped two years ago, thinking mediocrity wasn’t worth the money I was out. Almost caved last year but wasn’t convinced it could be turned around so easily. Thought I’d wait and see. Glad I did.

  32. It’s so obviously advantageous for the Blue Jays to sign Santana at this point, assuming he’s at or under a 4 year deal. I like the starting pitcher depth the Jays have, but not enough to make me super-optimistic about the season, especially if they have to depend on Hutchison, Drabek, Happ, Redmond, Rogers, Stroman, Nolin, McGowan et al to take up 40% of the starting rotation.

  33. Great article and I completely agree with what you have said.

    The really frustrating part is from what we have seen and heard this off-season, we can conclude that the Jays are not interested in signing a Free Agent starter. They have stated they won’t go over 5 years and now have shown they aren’t interested in 4 years either. If they say they won’t spend on an ace pitcher, don’t they have to go after the other guys? Who is the type of pitcher they dream of ever signing? Great pitchers are going to require terms outside of their 5 years. Average pitchers are going to require 4 years and 50 million (Garza, Nolasco, Jiminez, etc) and the Jays have not shown interest there. If they are looking at it from a value position, they are forgetting about the depth.

    • I think someone in the Blue Jays organization hasn’t quite grasped that the cost of doing business has gone up.

      • The cost of doing “baseball” business has not gone up in comparison to fielding a winning MLB team. Marlins, Pirates, Twins, Rays are still doing business in the league, but granted with varied methodologies and subsequent success. Since 1994 the Blue Jays have been moving towards a self-imposed salary cap: initially expense was weighted towards starting pitching; late 90′s saw a shift towards the long-ball.

  34. idk. WIth the staff like it is and quite a bit of $$ going to Beurhle, Dickey, Morrow, and Happ, I don’t see how Santana or Ublado really makes the difference between a winner and a loser. The problem isn’t having another mid-level veteran pitcher. The problem is the Jays have no one pitching like an ace, whether it’s an expensive veteran or a cheap youngster. The Jays need this more than either of those pitchers, who aren’t likely to provide that so I’m fine with them passing.

    2ndly I’d ask how much the Jays’ payroll is right now and where it ranks in the leauge. I’d want to know that before agreeing with Andrew’s assertion that the Jays haven’t spent money this year. I believe they are spending quite a bit for this team (that is coming of a sub-500 season no less). Were the Jays the big winner of last off-season? Sure. Maybe this time around, AA wants to bank on rebounds and improve as the season goes. It may pay off.

    I’m reserving judgement here.

    • Rightly or wrongly, I’m looking at it much more simply: are the Blue Jays a better team with Ervin Santana in their rotation? I see that as a clear “yes”. We don’t know for sure what the Jays payroll limitations are, but we were led to believe they had some flexibility. They’re not going to sign a position player, and they don’t need any bullpen help, so why not pull the trigger on Santana?

    • Considering the cost of acquiring another ace would be ridculously prohibitive, getting a mid tier guy who can perfom at as a strong #2 was there best bet. Both of those guys have shown that. Yes, there is risk there, just see Dickey. At least it would have been a cash transaction. The problem of half assing something like this, which is what they would be doing imo, is that it runs the risk of making the Dickey trades ultimately pointless. Just because you failed once, it doesnt mean you give up. If that was going to be the case then they should have stuck with the complete Rays model and continued to be patient with their young kids.

      i am glad they didnt, i generally liked what he did last year and again i think this team is being seriously undersold by everyone around MLB. That said, we are back at the point were everything has to go perfectly for us to be a season long contender. How much is it going to ultimately cost when the team realizes in June there is still holes to fix? Stroman? Sanchez? Or a bulk trade made in desperation for a medicore talent like Happ?

    • They have spent but a crazy amount of payroll is coming of the books after the next two years so signing a FA pitcher this year with protected picks and slightly back loaded contract was a no brainer.

      People talk about next years strong FA pitchers, what is the point they will not come here for five year deals. Most will be extended anyway.

  35. Stop everyone blaming Rogers and Stoeten going so far as implying aa is helpless. If the Jays dont improve the team it is entirely on the front office. AA his entire career has traded assets to get assets. Last year expensive assets and has not improved club through fa. Beeston as recently as weeks ago said that payroll can increase before revenue. If the club doesnt improve it is squarely on aa and given what he said at the beginning of the offseason and in 2011 fall it is a ridiculously bad pr move

  36. Thanks for the article. I think that you make good points.

    I don’t know if anyone else has seen it, but there’s a new expansion to the 8-Bit Blue Jays video from last year:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XqiYF2tjKk

    I was amused!

  37. “I think if I sat here and said we were going to get these three free agents and we don’t, that would be a problem,” Anthopoulos said. “Or we guarantee certain things, that would be a problem. But I think I’m stating the obvious. I mean people look at the numbers, every team, every GM, look at it like we do.

    “I don’t see how with a straight face I can tell anybody we’re all set in the starting rotation. I think I’m stating the obvious, to the fans, to the guy on the corner, to every GM in the league. There might be some other areas that discreetly, quietly I have some concerns with that might not be as apparent. Those are the things I would keep quiet.”

    “Revenues for this organization have gone up, and those revenues are going to be plowed back into the payroll,” Anthopoulos said. “We talked about that last offseason, I think everything has been up across the board, and the exciting part is we get to re-allocate that into payroll.

    “In terms of pressure and things like that, I don’t look at that way at all, it’s more opportunities, maybe being able to look at players we may not have looked at in the past. That’s an exciting thing.”

    value value value VALUE VALUE VALUE

    Go right ahead and spin this any which way you want, you lied to the fans and they should be rightly pissed. If he’d said “We invested in this roster and believe in it” that’s one thing, but this guy just pissed in our ear, he’s about to tell us it’s raining and a big shiny graphic will be up on Sportsnet saying HEY JAYS FANS… IT IS INDEED RAINING.

    Oh and fuck Ervin Santana… Getting him last year, squeezing a a good year out of him and letting him walk for the pick would have been the kind of ‘value’ i associate with AA and applaud him for. This tone-deaf, track-covering shill for whatever suit is telling him that Rogers is out of dough will be running a moblie phone booth at Sherway Gardens in a year. Great winter to take off. Get the Dioner jersey T-shirts ready Rogers Centre. We’re hungry!!!!!!!!

    • He either lied or the parameters his was given to work with were changed. I dont think AA is the lying type, he has gone out of his way to undersell things and choose his words cautiously. Given of what we know of how Rogers operated in the past i think it’s far more likely Rogers cut him off. Of course we will see if they make additional moves from here on out which will put that theory or both theories to rest for once and all. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a rather angst filled time for us DJFers while we wait.

      • Great.. If this roster as currently constructed holds us back from being competitive.. Blow it up. At least have a plan that isn’t cash the cheques from the season-ticket renewals and flex pack purchases of people who don’t follow closely, then sell off mid-season.

        I don’t dislike Alex, I dislike the lack of a clear direction or plan. I dislike the muddling of the message whenever it suits whoever sets the payroll. His words are right there. What am I or other fans supposed to do? Know it’s a lie to keep us happy and move on with my life? Is that the goal of the ownership-fan relationship? Mistrust and apathy? I’ve been to 20-30ish games a year for like 6 seasons… I’ll be watching out the start of the year at home. Well done.

        • I agree, unfortunately bean counters and CEO’s whose livelihood depends solely on the bottom line could care less. Welcome to the age of where the shareholder is king. Give them the quarterly increase on the bottom line or off with your head everything else be damned. I have seen it too many times in my life where things make perfect sense to everyone doing the actual work but it might impair things for the short-term so it gets scrapped. Hope the Ted Rogers’ minion ghouls surprise us yet and make upgrades but i am not counting on it either.

  38. I had to light up a cigarette after reading that…

  39. Awesome post Stoeten! Strongly agree with every word. I have to wonder if this ridiculous off season is weighing on the minds of Bautista and the guys who are getting up there in age. He must be getting so pissed off.

  40. I think Rogers will do right so long as pieces like this are written here, and in msm sources as well. The stink needs to be palpable to get those bean counters to act.

  41. Fuck me – we’re talking about $12M a year..less than the Qualifying Offer and for 4 years!! Honestly, you can’t tell me if any of the kids step up and he’s pushed to #5 or 6 that you can’t trade that contract in 2 years. Unless they thought all along that him and/or Santana couldn’t hack pitching in the AL East…in that case, why the constant BULLSHIT?!?!
    Don’t worry everyone, replacing JP with Navarro will cure all the pitching problems!!
    Just frustrated…

  42. Realistically though, is anyone surprised? This is an organization that built a statue to honour its late owner who wasn’t overly loved by the fan base. It’s a little bit frustrating not knowing what kind of control AA has over team finances. For a guy who should be well into save his own job mode, there seems to be no indication that he’s willing to slightly overpay for a much needed starter. It’s perplexing, unless he’s been told by ownership what kind of funds he has to play with. As stupid as it is to pin the blame on the GM or Manager for the success/failures of the team when everyone has more or less agreed with most of the decisions they’ve made, I doubt AA and/or Gibbons will be around mid-season if the team is out of contention. Another 5th place finish and it’s highly likely that either one will be back for 2015. So, yeah, signing Santana should be a no-brainer for AA.

  43. Beeston quote straight from Rogers “we’re not in the business of losing money”. Nope. But they are in the business of losing. Looks like a mid season tear down unless some unforeseen over performance happens in April/ May. and F**k the Bosox turnround comparison. Bosox 1) dumped $65M+ in annual salary (35%+ of payroll); 2) changed all the coaching staff; 3) brought in numerous free agents (not tier 1 guys, but lots of pieces); 4) hoped for good health and bounce back seasons from pitchers. At least Jays have point #4 going for them. Get better mgt or new ownership or both.

  44. This is worth remembering from cleveland.com……

    Last year’s 13-9 performance was not enough to convince the Indians that he was worth a multi-year deal even though they knew Mickey Callaway would be back this year as pitching coach. Jimenez credited Callaway with smoothing his complicated delivery to a point where he could repeat it on a consistent basis.

    The Indians never had a problem with Jimenez’s effort and personality. He worked tirelessly to correct his flaws on the mound and caused none of the clubhouse tension that swirled around him in Colorado.

    It just seemed that compared to what it would take to keep Jimenez, the Indians didn’t think he was worth the ulcers caused from watching him pitch. Was it a mistake if Jimenez has really turned a corner? Yes, because the Indians desperately need another quality starter.

    Yet at this moment, no team knows Jimenez better than the Indians. They’ve lived with him for the last 2.5 years. They sent four players, including No.1 picks Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, to Colorado in the deal. They sent trainers to the Dominican Republic to work with him in the offseason. Callaway made two trips to the Dominican last winter to establish a relationship with Jimenez.

    If this turns out to be a miscalculation, it won’t be because of a rash decision by the Indians. Rather, it will be because of the hard work of Jimenez.

  45. As with most things in this Canadian life, I blame hockey.

    I don’t know for a fact that Rogers’ new NHL rights deal is having an impact on the bottom line with the Jays, but with this tight-fisted off-season, combined with the departures in the broadcast booth, and the snail-slow pace in moving the Rogers Centre towards real grass, it sure feels that way.

    Any way we could get Rogers to trade the Jays to Bell for Bell’s remaning 1/2 stake in MLSE? TSN has already upped their MLB offerings for this season. And maybe Bell will not treat the Jays like hockey’s red-headed step brother.

    The “Bell Dome” has a nice ring to it.
    (Pun totally fucking intended!)

    • I think at a certain point, we’ll all have to accept that the Jays are and always have been a cheap way to create sports content. We’re not broke because current ownership is mired in a horrible stadium deal, because our owner got divorced, because of a Ponzi scheme, because of multiple awful contracts or really any reason other than bottom-line cost-certainty bullshit.

      UNLESS

      AA really doesn’t want to or can’t play poker at these prices due to a personal aversion to overpayment that’s really setting up a roster that’s too far gone down the ‘win now’ path to fail.

      Either reason I’m not happy about. I don’t care about multiple injured pitchers’ personal roads to recovery. I don’t care about any feel-good bullshit coming out of Spring Training. We’re in a two year 75ish wins swoon that feels like shit. Our competition isn’t going anywhere and all of a sudden, winning isn’t important? For TFC to make a bigger off-season splash than the Jays is honestly a sick joke. Get Tim Leiweke in here. At least he doesn’t seem to tolerate horse-shit and losing.

    • There is absolutely nothing ‘belle’ about the Rogers Centre, except the staff immediately behind home plate.

  46. “Soulless, corporatist, bottom line worshipping scum of the earth, searching with no dignity for value in the narrowest possible terms”

    That may be the best thing I’ve ever read.

    • Yes that pretty much sums up everything most corporations have come to stand for. Brilliant sentence.

  47. I can’t believe we are at this stage without correcting the deficiencies of last years club. Going into the off season AA stated that picking up 1or 2 starters, a second baseman and another outfielder were areas that needed to be addressed. Somehow, somewhere, someone has decided since then that the Jays are deep in pitching and have the resources internally to fix those glaring holes from last year. I don’t see it, they still exist and we are in for another year of finding something else to watch after the All Star break.
    Go Leafs Go!!!!!sigh

  48. They’re making it really difficult to stay positive about this team.

    What the fuck was the point of the moves last offseason if you’re not willing to supplement the group of players they assembled with decent- not great, but solid- players who are actually available for nothing but money and who they have a distinct market advantage to sign?

    If they tank again through the first couple months, we have to be looking at a dismantling of the roster, right?

    Ugh.

  49. Damn, 4/50 without giving up a 1st round pick sounds pretty juicy. No fucking idea why they weren’t all over that. And he went to a division rival, no less.

    You fucking nailed it Stoeten.

    • “Rival”.. At least if he went to Boston or New York I could half-swallow the “I always dreamed of playing for X franchise” rhetoric and move the fuck on…

      He signed in Baltimore for money. Actual cheap ownership (Angelos) addressing extreme fan negativity after an optically horrible offseason money. Their media has been all over them after the Balfour/Colvin stuff and essentially standing pat. We’ll get the Jamie Campbell talks to Dustin McGowan about his road back treatment. Morrow gained 16 pounds guys. We got this.

      BTW Stoeten. Thanks for this post. I wish our whole media was reacting this way but, well, not good for the brand right?

  50. First what a great article.

    A few weeks ago when I read the article concerning the Jays and the decreasing value of the Canadian dollar I thought here we go. Does anyone else feel it was Jays convenient article to be placed as we were getting closer to crunch time?
    I’ve stuck with this team through thick and thin but I’m reaching the point of just saying fuck it.You just get so sick and tired of their excuses and pr spins. The sad thing is we are so close to having a great team.

    • That makes no sense. For all we know the tripe being shoveled is that they would have signed one of the two pitchers. For these parts that critique simmons and cox, it sure sounds like the sky is falling.

  51. The only cure would be to spend incessantly every year? What if we spread out the dickey and Reyes acquisitions and pretend one happened this year. This narrative of spend spend spend to prove your not a soulless corporation and that you have a “plan” would seem to undercut such a plan (if it exists). So to show there serious they should deviate from a serious plan they have?

    • Shit there and their and you’re and your are hard.

    • i think in this division when you have a 74 win last place team you need to either try and improve significantly… by using money, prospects whatever… or you have to sell off your assets to go for it sometime down the road.

      running out virtually the same team and expecting dramatically different results doesn’t strike me as executing a viable plan.

  52. daammn this post got me goin

  53. From Olney – 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.

    But but but…ol gibbers said AA was in constant communication…meh

  54. I mean, put us in this discussion 10 years ago and it’s comparable to bemoaning not signing Freddy Garcia and or Loaiza. Neither are aces, solid #3 s with lots of questions. Yes, please blow your wad on that to appease chicken littles then have little left over to actually get better players or value.

    • Uh actually, ten years ago someone decided that Delgado’s class and excellence had become a little too expensive to keep around and Loaiza was winning 21 games for the White Sox while Michael Young raked for the Rangers.

      Jays fans were loving it.

      • uh, i was extrapolating this class of Free Agents and the tired arguments with similar talent from a prior free agent year.

  55. Am I crazy, or do I remember, years ago, them blaming the rising dollar for shit as well?

  56. Your reaction to this mess depends on what information you want to believe and put value into…

    I dont blame AA for all of this… I blame the execs at rogers..

    I read stuff on the internet a around 15 months ago saying that rogers execs kept urging AA to go for it and spend money and build a contender….. And now they are freaking out about the Canadian dollar…

    Meanwhile, the price to go from basic cable to getting TSN2 and SN1 is an extra 50 bux a month….. How many people would jack up their cable packages if all the Jays/Raptors/Leafs were on regular sportsnet and tsn? I know a lot of people who wouldn’t pay that!

  57. It will be funny if he gets lit up at the RC this year.

    The boats looking a little empty.

  58. Please guys, please step back from the ledge. There are all kinds of reasons AA may not have made an offer on Jiminez. I seriously doubt any of them had to do with cost. He may not make an offer on Santana either and if he doesn’t, I bet that won’t be money either. These are underwhelming choices. I get that depth is a good thing in a rotation, but I don’t think we need more mid-level pitching that may come with a necklace of question marks. There are a lot of reasons to wait for next year’s free agent crop and invest then.

    I know I sound like an AA apologist but I haven’t been and don’t intend to be. However the point is to spend money to improve the team not to please the fans. We had a lovely splashy feel-good off-season last year. Any of you still feeling good now? Give the front office some credit. They know how we feel and they know the torrents of anger that are gonna be unleashed by furious fans if they don’t buy a starter. And they are holding fast anyway. Let’s see what happens this season. If it’s mediocrity or worse, and if Jiminez propels the O’s to the post-season while we are out yet again at the ASS then I’ll be first one in line with the pitchfork.

    • Could not agree more.

    • Ok ghost of Ted Rogers, what have you done with the real Isabella?

    • I’m not really as upset as most other commenters seem to be, but this was a damn good deal to pass up on. In my opinion, anyway.

    • you’re willing to fire criticism at Rogers if Jiminez has a good season, but until then it’s all good? that sounds a little brainless, but that’s just me

    • There is absolutely no reason not to sign one of Santana or Jimenez, assuming they’ll take the Blue Jays’ money. The draft pick compensation tied to the player has depressed their value, which means the contract will be move-able if things don’t work out. I agree that these guys are uninspiring but that’s beside the point. I like Santana a little better in that I believe he has a higher floor than does Jimenez. Anyway, I’ll hold my rage for the time being. If they don’t get Santana, I place all the blame at the sockless feet of Paul Beeston by the way. I firmly believe he’s the one behind the payroll parameters/linked to revenue horseshit not Rogers. In fact, I wish he’d just shut the fuck up. What with the backtracking on grass (2018 no matter what) and the five-year contract limit “policy”, the guy’s a walking PR fiasco.

    • “Give the front office some credit”

      I give them credit for the previous 20 years of mediocrity. I give them credit for misjudging the relief pitching market this year, leaving them with around 10-12 guys who are out of options. I give them credit for trying to bleed Santana/Jimenez dry, not banking on the fact that they weren’t the ONLY teams in contention for them.

      This front office has earned ZERO credit. So no, they don’t get the benefit of the doubt here.

      • Also it’s gonna be a long ass year if TWO of Rogers, Happ and Redmond are in the rotation. Lord knows, they’re out of options, and nobody else wants em.

  59. So a reverse and equally plausible anti-conspiracy theory: the jays have data on pitchers looking for four years in their age 30 season. Few track better if they are not already established superstars that by year 2 or 3 of their contract the minor leaguer often provides better value at the salary price point. A pitcher who is #3 at 30 never improves and degrades rapidly and the jays augment their scouting with such complicated algorithms. And here we are saying they should tell us about this algorithm so we know why they hesitated when they feed us this “shit” they do because why give other teams a deeper look into how they arrive at what “value” means. But sure, to appease us fans tell us your reasoning truthfully so it negates a potential competitive advantage you may have.

  60. Admirably captured the zeitgeist of this offseason as a Jays fan.

  61. LAST YEARS MOVES WERE TO WIN LAT YEAR!!!! It did not work. If your roof is caving in do you go put new shingles on?? Thats what adding a Santana or Jiminez would be.
    Fuck im tired of are Jays better with Santana …yes. …. Are Jays better with Morales, Cruz or Drew???? its same answer. Why not sign them all to contracts after all its just money
    the cheAP ASS OWNERS

  62. Mariners apparently talking to Capuano, and I guess that makes more sense for them than Santana since they can use the leftover money to sign Cruz.

    Santana’s agents did say that he and AA have “nice talks”, and there has to be a decent working relationship there since Santana’s agent is also Bautista’s.

    Sure would be nice to have 600 projected innings from three pitchers in our rotation.

    • this.
      buehrle and dickey are the only ones with a track record of eating up a good amount of innings.

      • Santana has more IP over the last four seasons than Buehrle. He also has a lower ERA and WHIP, and despite the higher BB and HR totals, he also has a lower opponents OPS.

  63. I’m not sure if I even want them to sign Santana. I guess if they found something about him they liked then do it but I doubt they even like him, especially considering how difficult his agent is being.

    It was Jimenez or Garza, I was hoping the Jays would sign…who both ended up getting 4/50 which is not unreasonable for a starting pitcher out on the open market. Both are just entering their age 30 seasons and will only be paid until they turn 33, not a huge age risk.

    When Garza signed it was easy to point to the injury concerns and not having a competitive advantage with the picks. With Ubaldo going to, as Stoeten aptly put it, cheapfck Baltimore it really stunned me. I’m not sure that Baltimore isn’t nuts doing this (giving up the 17th pick and bonus pool) but it speaks to how highly they valued the player and that they aren’t afraid to go for it.

  64. Fuck it. Let’s sign Johan Santana instead. Fuck it indeed! Minor league deals galore! I’ll just watch the Bisons this year.

  65. “The fans aren’t going to disappear, the TV numbers will be strong until the club fades”

    It’s like those 10,000 attendance numbers weren’t taking place just two years ago.

    It’s also going to be a struggle to keep TV viewers with other sports distractions taking place this summer (World Cup with primetime games, Toronto FC doing like the Jays did last winter and drumming up support). If the Jays don’t surprise the hell out of everybody coming out the gate, we’re going to be talking about how much money this team is losing and how few people are going to games very, very soon.

    But at this moment, I’d like to tell you I respect the hell out of your passion. You easily could’ve come out and preach the whole “current rotation ain’t that bad” theory that I’ve read a couple times this winter, and I might even agree to a point. But this winter has been very, very disappointing, and you express that in a great way above.

    • If this team screws this season up in addition to the mess that happened last season, the team is going to get blown up anyways.

  66. I’ve honestly been scratching my head this off-season at the Jays’ and AA.
    Is he all of a sudden switching from the offseason “Let’s Make a Deal” guy – to some other polar opposite version that has stubbornly stuck to his formula of dollars/years/health = some self-imposed personal perception of “value”.
    I have a feeling that the Jays are standing pat….and as making a bad deal is worse than no deal – I can live with that.
    But why give us the winter-long tease that “we’re in the mix for this/that/the other guy” only to see EVERY SINGLE ONE of them end up in other uniforms? Seriously – we couldn’t attract NOT ONE of those guys? Either the word is out that Toronto is a baseball version of Death Valley – or AA’s been giving us all a handjob for the express purpose of jacking up fan interest….when, in reality – the master plan was to stand pat all along unless someone FELL into their laps?

  67. It’s about time we start believing in Romero again, all he needs is confidence that he’s our Ace! Romero/Dickey/Morrow/Buerhle/Mcgowan wooooooooooooo.

    Honestly though, can Hutch reclaim his form that he showed before tj? Can Nolin make the step up to the MLs? Can Stroman be that frontline starter come mid season when injury inevitably hits? I think we need 2/3 of these things to really become true.

    • Which is why getting a starter was and still is very important. The third or fourth year it won’t look as good but you need him for this season. I’m sorry the Brett Anderson trade didn’t work out AA but you still need to find a starter somewhere, even if you are paying him more then $10 MM a season two years from now.

    • The fact this post is so funny lends to the sad state the Jays have made for their fans. It must be frustrating being AA and coaching staff, working within the parameters the organization’s management have set.
      I’m led to believe AA had every intention on improving the club, but his decision support didn’t or wasn’t capable of providing meaningful information.
      Could the Jays ever replicate what the RSox did last year? Never, not in current form. Jays don’t have a strategy for winning.

  68. Things I will enjoy this year:
    Watching to see if Brett Lawrie can put it all together
    Watching Stroman exceed all expectations
    Watching Dickey baffle some hitters (hopefully consistently)
    Watching EE do what he do
    Watching Colby do what he do (and talkin’ ’bout trucks)

    Things I won’t enjoy:
    Infield defense
    Every 5th day
    The W-L record
    October.

    • Infield defense?
      thats actually their strong point.
      wtf r u talking about

      • Maybe. Hope you’re right. We’ll see.
        I don’t expect Goins to be able to keep his job. Meaning the team will take a hit on 2B defense in exchange for some offense.
        Neither Lind nor EE is above average at 1B.
        Reyes is good, mostly thanks to his arm, but his range is declining.
        Lawrie is great.

        I hope I’m wrong.

        • I’m not basing this on anything but watching the games, but I actually was really impressed with how well defensively EE played at first base. Assuming they stick mostly with him, lawrie, reyes, and goins, I’m really not sure what team could boast a better defensive infield. Maybe Baltimore, but thast it.

    • Nicely done.

  69. Maybe Ubaldo didn’t really want to come to Toronto?? He wouldn’t be the first player to take less $ to stay south of the border. Santana could be playing the same game. He could be holding out knowing the Jays need him and waiting for a similar offer to come from a team that he prefers to play for.

    • I blame the Russian judges.

    • Except Ubaldo never had the chance to turn down an offer because they never made one to him.

      • I find this kind of reaction interesting. First we were told the Jays were interested in all the pitchers. Then we were told the Jays were “driving the market” for Jimenez and Santana. Then we were told they had made low-ball offers of 3/$27 million. Now we’re being told they never made an offer, and we believe it.

        Maybe we should just accept that all we know is that Ubaldo is signing in Baltimore and that we have no idea what actually happened.

    • The same sources that broke the Ubaldo deal are saying the Jays weren’t really in on him. It’s very doubtful AA offered more than $50 million and after waiting 4 months Ubaldo said, “I’ll take the deal with less money”

    • He would be the second though. You’re wrong.

  70. That’s a terrible contract-4 years? If he’s so fucking awesome don’t you think Cleveland would have resigned him? WTF

    • I bet Cleveland would have re-signed him for 4/50MM.

    • Clevelands got no money…I’m wondering if we have any left

    • Cleveland got the #17 pick in the draft for letting him go. They also had Masterson pitching in the bullpen at the end of last year after his injury and he’ll be back as a starter now.

      • How do they get the 17th pick? The 17 pick from the orioles disappears. per CBA, and the Indians now pick 23rd isntead of 24th, plus a post first round compensation.

        • You’re right. Brain fart.

          • This was in MLBTR today re Cleveland and Ubaldo:
            “…Deep down, the Indians never really wanted Jimenez back in Cleveland, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. While the team admired Jimenez’s work ethic and felt he was a positive presence in the clubhouse, they didn’t feel his wild performance swings were worth the trouble.”

  71. “You’re playing in the fourth largest city in North America, in an un-capped league”.

    Look at this statement a little closer.

    1 of the cities is not in the league and the other 2 both have multiple teams…On top of that you might say that the whole country supports the Jays.

    • Yeah all three of New York, LA and Chicago have 2 teams. We’re the largest single team market in MLB…kinda crazy.

  72. the more I think about it, the less i’m bothered by not getting JImenez. The team needs major rebounds from a health standpoint, and production from their starters to be closer to their career norms, if that doesn’t happen, one #3 pitcher doesn’t change anything, if everyone does re-bound, then these types of pitchers will still be available.

    • Why don’t you run a baseball reference search on the “career norms” for a rotation of RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Esmil Rogers, JA Happ and Todd Redmond.

      • if I did, i bet i would find them fairly middle of the pack, which is fine.
        i think they’re above the pack on offense and defense.

        • I’d love for you to show me the last team to make the playoffs with four pitchers with “middle of the pack” stuff, and one pitcher with “behind the pack” stuff in the rotation.

          • the texas rangers

            • Depends on the year, and whether you’re including Cliff Lee, CJ Wilson, Yu Darvish or Matt Harrison in the “middle of the pack” discussion.

              • they were making the playoffs before darvish,
                Cliff Lee was a mid-season pickup (which the jays could swing)
                and yes cj wilson is a mid rotation guy,
                i’d take dickey over him

                • In two years as a starter for the Rangers, Wilson put up ERAs of 2.94 and 3.35. Not middle of the pack. There’s no comparison to the 2013/2014 Jays.

          • If wild card counts as making the playoffs, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles are a strong contender.

            • Jason Hammel put up a 3.43 ERA
              Miguel Gonzalez 3.25
              Chris Tillman 2.93

              There’s potential in Dickey, but somehow I doubt that the Jays can replicate those numbers with this rotation.

              • C’mon man. Without hindsight no one on this planet would say that Tillman/Hammel/Gonzalez would have a better season than Dickey/Buerhle/Morrow. Not ever.

                That’s just crazy.

                And ERA? Yuck.

                • I’m not saying you can predict it. Your team just stands a much better chance of winning if it happens. And I’d say the safe money is on JA Happ, Mark Buehrle, Todd Redmond and Esmil Rogers NOT going below 4.00.

                  And ERA = results = wins. FIP = not results = good for scouting. We’re not scouting here. We’re talking about results. Something the Jays haven’t done in AGES.

      • Why don’t you run a calculation on the patented MASHTHEFUCKOUTOFTHEBALL-A-TRON and see where the Jays lineup ranks on that….

  73. This has probably been asked, but why couldn’t we sign a few more fringy guys like Bedard or Wolf to minor league deals to pad the depth and just roll with it?

    Everyone was absolutely STOKED going into ST last year. This year, we have essentially the exact same team as last year with an upgrade at catcher and everyone is having an emotional breakdown. I don’t really get it.

    • Exactly,
      it’s literally the same team, minus JJ.
      everyone is spoiled that we’re just used to seeing two superstar hitters in our lineup…. not everyone has that…. basically no one has that.

      • It’s the same team minus JJ and with a + defence at 2nd base. Think what you like about Goins’ bat but having him around means a much tighter right side of the infield which was a holy mess last year. How many runs were scored because the black swamp hanging around 2nd base let balls trickle through and meander into the outfield? Tightening that up has to help the starters’ ERA.

    • Johnson and Bonifacio, who most people expected to be good in 2013, are now gone. Dickey didn’t come close to having a Cy Young calibre season. Izturis was historically awful.

      I’m still optimistic about the Jays doing well in 2014, but I can understand why people are frustrated.

      • I think with a real catcher, and health, and less tumors, this team will be better offensively and defensively than they were last year.

      • Fair. But they weren’t good. They combined for 1.1 fWAR last year and that includes Boni’s PAs in KC. I’m not going to miss them.

        (Hilarious side note sort of contradicting what I just said alert)

        I think signing Boni right now to a 1 year deal would be a bad ass maneuver for the Jays unless Drew is still somehow a possibility.

    • The team last year won 74 games. Now you explain to me that we made a major upgrade, and the major upgrade is Dioner Navarro? And you’re confused about why people are frustrated?

      • 1. Didn’t say major.
        2. Everyone on the team including BJ Birdie got injured last year.

        • Dickey and Buehrle both threw 200 innings. Redmond and Rogers were healthy all year. Happ put up his best statistical season since 2010 (saying something). You’re telling me that Brandon Morrow is going to be the difference between 74 wins and 90 wins.

          The Jays were what…17 games under .500 with Jose Reyes IN the lineup?

          • Bautista, Lawrie, Rasmus, Cabrera, Morrow, Reyes, Santos all missed considerable time.

            We also had a piece of shit dressed up as a catcher in our lineup for 500 PAs

            • Catcher defense is arguably the most important piece of your defense,
              ours was awful

            • All teams have injuries. Look at the Yankees. And they won 85 games.

              Not to mention the fact that durability is an ATTRIBUTE. Reyes, Bautista, Morrow, Lawrie…all have had consistent nagging injury issues over the last few years.

              • “Bautista, Morrow, Lawrie…all have had consistent nagging injury issues over the last few years.”

                …is a statement that was also true heading into last year.

                • Ya and look what happened last year…what’s your point?

                  • the point is its the exact same fucking team that everyone was so jacked up about last year.
                    these questions aren’t new.

                    • Well it’s not quite the exact same…we thought we had a Cy Young caliber pitcher in Josh Johnson and a recovery from Ricky Romero. But even without them….they lost 74 games. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a team that lost 74 games needs an overhaul.

                    • Yes that is 100% the point. Exactly…

                    • If anyone is less lazy then I am, I’d love to see the line on Jiminez vs. Johnson. At the very least it’ll help to either put all of this indignation to rest or cause the universe to explode into a raging inferno of stabbing knives and pointy scissors. Good times.

              • Their winning record came from us.

          • Dude, Dickey threw 200 innings, but not all of them were healthy, his back issues were well documented in the beginning of the season.

    • “Everyone was absolutely STOKED going into ST last year. This year, we have essentially the exact same team as last year with an upgrade at catcher and everyone is having an emotional breakdown. I don’t really get it.”

      Here’s the thing going into last year we thought…

      A: That we had a Cy Young calibre pitcher in Dickey… he wasn’t Cy Young calibre and his Cy Young year looks more like the aberration then what to expect going forward. He was still decent but the jays paid for exceptional not decent.

      B: A guy that we thought was a dark horse Cy Young calibre pitcher (and still a good #3 if he just repeated his prior year performance) in Johnson… he was close to replacement level. We havn’t acquired anyone that could replace even his expected performance.

      C: A bunch of 30+ guys who were one year younger

      D: The catcher we upgraded from wasn’t thought to be historically bad. So the upgrade at catcher isn’t that much of an upgrade over what we thought we had.

      E: When you get right down to it the team that everyone was so “stoked” about didn’t do well. So why should people continue to be stoked about what is clearly a lesser version of it?

      • - We do have a Cy Young caliber pitcher in Dickey mostly because he won the fucking Cy Young. He had two seasons of 2-3 WAR prior to his Cy Young year so his 4.5 win Cy Young season looked just as much like an aberration last off-season as it does this off-season to anyone not wearing blinders.

        - Josh Johnson fWAR year to year over his career: 0.2, 1.9, 5.5, 6.1, 1.6, 3.5, 0.5. I think the only thing you can expect from that is inconsistency. Again, blinders.

        - “A bunch of 30+ guys who were one year younger” is YET AGAIN another sentence that was equally as true last year.

        - More blinders re: JPA. He had so many red flags. He had never, and probably will never, crack a .300 OBP.

        - They didn’t do well because…INJURIES. Injuries are a thing that exist and impact stuff.

        If you think the roster we had last year is really a 74 win club and/or you think Ubaldo fucking Jimenez is going to rise us up from the ashes like a screeching fire phoenix…then sorry bro. All I can say is sorry bro.

  74. After I win the $440M Powerball tomorrow night, I will immediately seek other investors to join my group to buy the Jays. Who wants a minority stake? First plans will be to bribe the O’s dr’s to fail Ubaldo on his physical and then sign him away; to fire, then re-hire Beeston to mow the newly-installed grass; and begin lobbying for a return to the old 2 division format and balanced schedules.

    Other ideas?

  75. Well said Stoeten! Great response article to the current SP situation.

  76. i don’t see this offseason as being any different than any other. AA only makes deals for what he perceives as high upside. he only makes such deals when they are available to be made. if they are not available to be made, he does not make them. the one possible exception to this is the dickey deal where he was not necessarily getting the highest upside given the elite status of the prospects he was giving up. on the other hand, he knew that he would get dickey for 3-4 yrs at a reasonable rate. otherwise, AA always likes to be acquiring upside. ubaldo has a reasonable upside but it is tempered by his considerable downside. santana has a limited upside given his flyball tendencies and the fact that he’d be pitching in toronto. i can see them inquiring at some point during the early part of the season as to the availability of someone who is coming off injuries and represents excess pitching to their current club but who has the upside to contribute (jaime garcia? jon niese? chad billingsley? someone else?) .

  77. Thanks Stoeten. I would have smacked my computer if you responded with a bunch of stats comparing our options with Ubaldo and somehow put a smiley face on it.

  78. Looking more and more like the Jays have just given up. They just have the stink of a team of aging, oft-injured mediocrity.

    Sure, it’s possible they’ll catch lighting in a bottle, but if I were a betting man, .500 is looking like this team’s ceiling. I’d almost prefer blowing things up and watching kids if we’re not going to even try to play with the big boys, although I’d prefer they get rid of AA first, since let’s be honest, his track record on trades for prospects is pretty shit at this point.

    • I think the most irritating part is that a lot of people seem to be saying the equivalency of it’s okey because we might hit lightning in a bottle. The entire premise of the “it’s okey-ness” is predicated on a bunch of dodgy “if”s… if we’re healthy, if we get bouncebacks, if no one that was good regresses…

      Seriously, I’d rather have a team where if you get that kind of luck your looking at a 100ish win season not “wildcard… maybe”.

      • so your point is…. you’d prefer a team that’s supposed to win 100 games?

        • Well… of course I’d prefer that (who wouldn’t?). But that’s not the point, the point is that a lot of people seem to be overly accepting of having a team where a near wildcard level of success is dependent on an unrealistic amount of good luck.

          • I’d say it’s much more dependent on a level of even luck. I think, looking at this roster, it’s really hard to see a 74 win ball club there.

            I know it sucks because acquisitions are exciting and we all experienced multiple orgasms last off-season, but c’mon guys. We have a very good baseball team. We don’t need an outrageous amount of luck to be competitive. That’s silly.

            Everyone take a breath here.

  79. Rogers should sell the commensurate stake to Bell, and just consolidate the team under MLSE. Apparently the Bell side has money to burn. See: TFC.

  80. In terms of order of preference, for me it’s been Ubaldo, then Drew, then Santana. I’ve never been on the Santana bandwagon, because rightly or wrongly I don’t buy the sinker saving his ass in the Rogers Centre. I think the possible 3 win gain to be made at second base — and, real talk, when considering the upside of Drew and the glorious downside of Izturis/Goins that might even be underselling it — far outweighs the difference between Santana and Redmond/Hutchison/Stroman, ESPECIALLY in years two through four of some deal. The middle infield situation is unsettling now, a Reyes injury would give us easily the worst middle infield in baseball. We have zero quality depth there. There are no near-ready infield prospects in Triple or Double-A. It’s a dearth of talent. Give Drew a two year deal with either a mutual or player option in year three.

  81. Some Thoughts:

    1. They Jays didn’t like Jiminez and/or Santana as much as most fans do and would prefer to acquire someone better or stand pat.

    2. The Jays current payroll is already at or near their budget

    3. If the Jays maintain a payroll at the current rate for years to come, I’d be okay with that. It sure beats a payroll of $75 million.

    4. I don’t want the Jays to sign Santana, I have a strong feeling that it will be a disaster if they do. Jiminez I would have been okay with, but it’s not the end of the world that they didn’t get him.

    5. I’m not crazy about the idea of Happ in the rotation even without the signing of another SP.

    6. It will be nice to actually see a position battle for once this spring. Watching to see who wins the 4th and 5th rotation spots in the rotation should be entertaining. I would love to see Drew Hutchison, Drabek and/or Stroman pitch out of their minds and win rotation spots. Remember in 1993 when Pat Hentgen seemingly came out of nowhere and won 19 games…I feel like some of the guys the Jays have, have the potential to do something like that.

    • I mentioned this in a comment weeks ago, but the last time the Blue Jays “lost out” on a pair of free agent starting pitchers, Gil Meche and Ted Lilly (who was in the rotation, so forget patching an existing hole a new one was created), we had Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum throw very good years for us. And if Marcum never had the opportunity he did, maybe he never builds enough value to be able to net us Brett Lawrie 1-for-1. And if we spent all that money on those pitchers maybe we aren’t able to re-sign Rios. While that last point may feel like a negative considering we know how he played under that contract, perhaps by not signing Jimenez or Santana now, we’re able to sign Rasmus to an extension in the summer. And the difference between Rasmus and Gose is, once again, probably signficiantly larger than the difference between Ubaldo/Santana and Stroman, especially moving forward.

      Mind you the team could crater and we’ll end up trading off Rasmus anyways or Rasmus could crater and destroy all interest in us re-signing him, so there’s obviously more than one side of the coin.

      Maybe ask yourself, in 2015, would I rather have Santana and Gose, or Stroman and Rasmus? Because the two groups are gonna cost about the same, and if it’s an either-or, holy shit would I ever prefer that second group.

      • I think the key for any team with a budget is to avoid too many large contracts for mediocre players. Sure Jimenez has upside, but he is likely just an okay guy to have and there are better ways to spend money.

        I get it, fans want to see the Jays do something. However making a bad move just to do something is never a good idea. Jimenez, Drew, Santana and or Morales are not going to solve this teams problems and signing any of these guys to more than a one year deal, will likely only create more problems.

        • I would argue that doing nothing is a bad move. It’s time for this team to proverbially shit or get off the pot. If they’re going to try to win they should put resources into winning and if they’re not they should cut bait.

          The team today is worse then the team this time last year. Doing pretty much nothing (which is looking like what they’re going to do) was almost the worst conceivable thing the team could do. I’d rather the team take a chance on maybe making a bad move (with the upshot being that it could be a good move) then just doing nothing.

  82. The main problem with the current “internal options” is that JA Happ slots into the 4th spot. I have no problem with one of the others taking the 5th rotation spot no matter who they choose. But Happ is terrible and a Santana for Happ swap + one of Hutch (who I figure is gonna get this spot), Redmond, Drabek is totally fine and almost terrific to me. Please make a naive and please make Happ an I unneeded piece.

    • why all the hate for Happ

      sure he’s not a top of the rotation pitcher, but ideally in the 4th and 5th spot you want someone who can log a bunch of innings and give you a chance to win.

      Most teams, even competitive ones, don’t have much better options at the back of their rotation.

      • The logging a bunch of innings? You told me to get a grip when I suggested that 3/27 bid was a joke and other teams would easily beat that, now Happ is an innings eater. Get a grip right back at you.

        I would rather give the ball to Redmond every fifth day, at least he managed to get through innings with under 20 pitches.

        • his 162 game average is 182 Innings pitched.

          sorry that he got fucking hit in the head and had to miss some time. He’ll try to be better this year

          • that’s a super compelling stat considering he has a career high IP of 166 in 2009

            .. he also hasn’t posted a war above .9 in 4 years …

            …… yuck .. not to get all tied up in #4 or #5 starters .. but there is hardly room for him and one OTHER .. ugghh ..

            MB

            • he’s either been a long man and a spot starter or been injured. that factors in to his innings pitched.

              a full year of him, he projects at 180 innings

          • I don’t have a problem with Happ at the bottom of the rotation so to speak. The top of our rotation at this point is a bunch of three’s unless things change from last year. Morrow has to stay healthy.

            My point I guess is we have to rely on Happ more than a lot of teams would have to on a number five due to lack of a great top three to offset it somewhat.

            What do you think Happ is going to put up over a full year if he stays healthy and pitches 170+ innings. I see a 4.50 at best which is nothing to laugh at, I just see it as a best case scenario for him unlike signing Ubaldo.

            Given his full year numbers outside his rookie year you seem to have quite a bit of faith in him.

        • Now this comment was stupid……….. Check Jimenez out he throws ton of pitches and your all hard for him

  83. I know most people here dont care much about the effect of attitude, or a clubhouse culture or anything like that, but how fuckin jacked up do you think our group of 4/5 guys are to get intro spring training and show everyone how wrong they are?

  84. I’m not going to get irrational about this, and think its all money related. The jays have added substantial payroll to the team over the previous 2 season, it wasnt practical to think it would continue to escalate.

    I do now think that the moves last year now look worse because of this offseason. if you commit to win and you take on the contracts of reyes and buerhle, as well as move near mlb ready talent, you have to finish the job.

    it now seems short sighted, that they didn’t anticipate having to tinker with the roster.

    but this really isnt the end of the world, ubaldo wasn’t going to make or break this team, if they get off to a good start and remain competitive, maybe the added flexibility from not signing ubaldo or santana will allow them to add someone midseason.

    • Adding someone midseason (as opposed to now) will cost the team assets on top of money… why not just spend the money?

      Remember AA talking about the “freight-train” of talent? I do. What he was selling was a periennial contender… periennial contenders are willing to spend money to fix holes until home-grown talent emerges. They don’t blather on and on about value and watch while guys go elsewhere on what look to be league average deals.

  85. SADLY, BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE TRUE:

    1. I am a Jays fan.
    2. The Jays are a fucking joke.

  86. When was the last time the Yankees or Red Sox spent an entire off season sitting on their hands? The Red Sox have a down year and they re-tool and win the world series against the odds. Not sure how much interest I’ll have in this team this year if they fail to upgrade

    • oh please.

      red sox added farrell, napoli, hanrahan, drew, dempster, and victorino.

      none of those deals were major, and the victorino and dempster were largely criticized.

      It worked out well for them, but they didn’t make the playoffs because of their offseason, it was because of bounce back years from lester, lackey, ellsbury and their core.

      • I’d be willing to bet that without napoli, hanrahan, drew, dempster, and victorino they wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Yes they got bouncebacks from their core guys… but they didn’t sit on their hands in the offseason droning on about “value”… the guys they got in the offseason significantly contributed to their winning.

        • You don’t even have to bet, they got around 20 war from their off season signings.

          • I mean…

            Shane Victorino 5.6
            Mike Napoli 3.9
            Stephen Drew 3.4
            Mike Carp 1.2
            Jonny Gomes 1.0
            Koji Uehara 3.3
            Ryan Dempster 1.3

            But, sure, it was totally the bouncbacks that did it….derp.

            • Derp deep you moron, why we you assuming those spots would have been players putting up 0 war .

              But sure, derp derp.

              And the victorino deal was laughed at by all of the MLB. Hindsight is beautiful.

              • “you assuming those spots would have been players putting up 0 war .”

                No I’m not shit for brains. Read my post again, I didn’t imply that, and don’t need to. If you can’t see how adding 20+ war in the off season makes any wishful thinking about the BJ’s replicating the Sox this year you’re a fucking moron.

                Also, who gives a fuck how those deals were thought of at the time. It’s completely irrelevant.

      • Not sure how you can say those guys weren’t significant additions. They all had excellent track records going into the season and even though some of them were coming off down years because of injuries they added very nicely to a great existing core. The 5 of them combined for 13.6 WAR or 2.7 WAR per player in 2013 and that’s with guys like Hanrahan bowing out early to injury. That’s a pretty fucking significant.

        IMO the Jays have that good to great core in place. Nothing wrong at all if they added 5-6 WAR between a SP and guy like Drew. Considering the sheer number of arms they’ve got coming up in the next 2 years, losing a 2nd and 3rd round pick for 2014 was right time to do it.

      • Is that a joke? The Red Sox improved by 28 wins from 2012 to 2013 and their FAs accounted for about 20 wins in WAR.

        Bounce backs helped for sure but to say their signinsg were insignificant is…well it’s weird. Why would you say that?

        Don’t say that ever again.

        • if the jays had made similar signings.

          mostly guys coming off down years, and injuries, you and the rest of these people would be complaining.

          • No sir. A few comments up I ask what the fuss is about. We have almost the same roster as last season and at this time last year we were all 69ing eachother in anticipation of the upcoming season.

            I don’t get why we’re all on suicide watch this year.

            I would take Ryan Dempster and Koji Uehara signings right now though. Don’t get me wrong.

        • You’re only right if you can prove to me that the players that would have taken those at bats,pitched those innings and played defense, would have accumulated 0 fucking WAR across the board.

          sweet jesus, when you add a fuckin 3 WAR player, yo don’t gain 3 fucking wins, you gain whatever that difference is over a replacement, could be 1 WAR could be 4.

          • I understand what the acronym stands for, thanks.

            But those players are worth 20 WAR. That doesn’t mean they are responsible for the 28 wins the Sox improved. OBVIOUSLY. I didn’t say that at all.

            What I said was calling them irrelevant is insane. I said it because it is.

          • Holy fuck!

            Again, I’m not assuming their replacements would’ve been 0 war guys. And it isn’t relevant.

          • The Sox basically added a 5.5 war guy, a 4 war guy, two 3.5 war guys and some bit pieces. And you want people to believe they weren’t all that important for the Sox success?

  87. Fuck me.

    I have a bad feeling JPA will do just as well as his replacement.

    And I’d rather have Bonifacio than Goins. (He sucked but can’t possibly be that bad)

    And we lost a potential ace in JJ and have replaced him with some potential “ok” pitchers – if their TJ surgery is really all healed up and good. Plus Stroman who is yet to throw a pitch in the majors.

    Another healthy and experienced pitcher is a must. And depth-wise we still don’t have any great platoon for Lind. We lost Rajai as far as outfield depth. And Goins really should just be depth for Reyes + a real MLB 2B.

    It’s one thing to not land a free agent. But we haven’t even used trade effectively this offseason.

    • Good God sons, I would take Goins any day of the week over Bonifaciao. If I had to look at his grinning face again this year after he blew a play there wouldn’t be a tv safe in my house. Goins defence was a breathe of fresh air last fall.

      • I suggest you stay away from your TV whenever Goins comes up to bat this year.

      • Speed: Bonifacio

        Bat: Bonifacio

        Defence: Goins

        Most would agree with that (including me). I just also think Goins was particularly hot with his glove and that Bonifacio was particularly cold. The gap going forward may be much closer than last year showed.

  88. Fuck it..I’ve had my power pout now it’s time to move on.

    Springs around the corner and a new year of great baseball is getting ready to start. The glass is full..
    Just maybe the front office knows what they are doing and were going to be strapping in for a helluva ride.

    It’s our year!

  89. Jiminez was the sexy, risk-reward addition AA might have made in years past, Santana is more the type of addition he’s been toting this offseason: reliable; someone who if nothing else will give you innings.

    I still hold out hope, but you have to figure that with Garza and Jiminez both getting on the order of 4/$50mill Santana will be in line for something similar. Although perhaps given he’s a year older he won’t get the 4 years. 3/$36mill may be more likely

  90. Noticed the dodgers picked up Maholm for a year at 5M….fuck…wouldn’t have been awful

  91. I’m a die hard jays fan and for the past few months I’ve been checking websites hourly to see which FAs the jays are signing, however I’ve been truly disappointed.

    Go JAYS!

  92. Yeah after just reading that Gibbons said that Ubaldo was a guy they were “targeting” in the same article that states the Jays never made an “offer” to him, I want to “throttle” everybody in the Jays’ front office.

  93. If the Jays weren’t prepared to pay 4/$48 for one of these guys, it’s really hard to take the comments about looking to add impact starting pitching very seriously.

  94. This is my favourite DJF post

  95. There is a real disconnect between the baseball department and the corporate owners. It makes zero sense to give AA the go ahead to make the Marlins/Dickey trade and then put the reigns on spending. Taking 40million plus annually and earmarking it for Reyes/Buerhle only makes sense if there is more to come.

    Otherwise for a team to be strapped to a 130 million dollar payroll with those albatross contracts makes zero sense and you cannot compete. And I like both of those players.

    • You are making a large unsubstantiated assumption there that Rogers has put the reigns on spending and the Jays standing pat isn’t entirely the decision of the baseball department – all evidence points to that being the case.

  96. In a vacuum, I’m not upset about the Jays missing out on Ubaldo since he has some legit question marks about his consistency.

    In the bigger picture, however, I’m pissed that Spring Training has already begun and the Jays haven’t made any upgrades to their pitching. They had the second-worst ERA in baseball last year…..the team that finished last (Minnesota) even went out and acquired a bunch of new starters.

    I’d consider it very likely that the Jays will be a bottom-10 rotation in baseball again, quite possibly a bottom-five.

    • Maybe they really want to make sure they have a shot at drafting Daz Cameron?

    • If you have a rotation that was ravaged and injured, of course you’re gonna have a terrible season. Simply rebounding would put our rotation back in the middle of the pack. Adding another starter would help, but the team is still quite solid overall.

      The Jays really need to get a second basemen, moreso than pitching cause we have prospect deth, as opposed to a second baseman who can’t hit for crap.

  97. Can’t wait to go on a road trip this year and see Redmond, Happ, and Rogers fuck shit up in enemy territory!!!! Yaaaa go jays goooo

    Fuckin cunts

  98. Would you guys say that Gibby is in the best shape of his managerial life thus far? He looks like he came into camp ready to compete. That’s all I’m saying.

  99. It is a heartbreak to watch the teams we will face improve while we stand pat because of some self righteous clauim of “value”

    Value is a question of what the market will bear. Ubaldo got what he was worth – according to the market. Someone will always pay a little more than what a player is worth so that they can improve their team NOW.

    I don’t mind Alex playing a waiting game to not over pay – but the market is rising – it has been every year for years now – accept it and pay.
    Does our team need improvement? Yes
    Are we doing anything about it? No.
    It is Time To Act.

    We have solid pieces.
    We are not fielding the best team at many positions but we are good to very good at 3,5,6,8,9 and DH. We are replacement level at 2, 7 and 4.
    We have great depth in the pen.
    We have a solid 3,4 and 5 in the rotation.
    We have depth in Buffalo when you consider the upside to Drabek, Hutch, McGowan and Redmond and the ability of Kawasaki and Sierra coming up and offering some value if called upon.
    I like the future of Stroman and Sanchez and some others.
    The organization has only one gaping whole.
    It should stop asking who is “next” in the rotation but who is “FIRST?”
    We need a number 1 pitcher.
    That’s our big need- it’s the big piece we are missing.
    Stop dicking around with more #3 rotation pieces and get a solid #1.
    If we put a Kershaw in our Ace slot, we would all stop griping about Goins and Navarro.

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