AAst

Alex Anthopoulos met with the media yeterday morning in Dunedin and said exactly what anybody who’d given it two thoughts ought to have expected him to say about his club’s stand pat off-season, giving fans one final opportunity to vomit up as much winter negativity as their innards could summon before spring officially began. Even the calling of the session itself and its live broadcast online (on TSN only, as the Sportsnet feed of their parent company’s club’s GM’s potential self-immolation mysteriously succumbed to technical difficulties at the last minute) proved contentious among some fans, underlining the utter loss of perspective that seems to me to be characterizing this tail end of the off-season. After all, the media availability was almost certainly just a rote exercise on the first day in which all players are required to be at camp.

Negativity and disappointment directed at this club is, of course, justified, but some fans seem to believe that grants them license to act like spoiled children incapable of acknowledging nuance or any speck of thought that doesn’t enable them to piss and shit that negativity anywhere, and as though anyone who isn’t satiating their blind, deaf, and dumb thirst for acknowledgement of their supposed victimhood is a weaselly apologist with some kind of agenda hidden behind incomprehensible logic.

It’s not a monolith, of course. Many fans are able to swallow the bitter pills this club has been asking us to swallow this winter — the wholly disingenuous posturing as though they have no concept of realistic expectations on the free agent market; the bizarre acknowledgement that Ryan Goins isn’t a permanent second base solution, but that he is somehow the best they’re willing to do in what seems like it ought to be a crucial few months in early 2014; the sudden finding of religion on notions of the quality of their internal pitching options — with the understanding that this isn’t the end of the world. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, their voices aren’t nearly as loud as their whiny counterparts.

That’s because it’s hard to say in this climate of negativity that Anthopoulos is right when he points to health as the major factor behind last season’s disaster, but he is. It’s hard to look at the  projections with enough perspective to wrap your head around how they’re fluid, imperfect, and hardly a substitute for actually playing the games.

And it’s easy as fuck to fake pity everyone who won’t goose-step along with you in the moronic doom and gloom brigade and pretend like it takes some measure of wit to regurgitate irrelevant noise like a club history that has zero bearing the here and now, to feign expertise on matters of health, or to narrowly pick at a single statement or inaction as though it’s all that’s needed to prove the club’s entire existence is an affront to everything good and true and that doesn’t smother puppies to death.

The fact is, the Jays are not that far behind the other teams in the AL East, yet certain people are acting like they couldn’t make runner-up in Little League.

Their back-end pitching is untested, yet people are acting like no one could possibly come from there to being successful.

Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek had Tommy John surgery in mid-2012, yet people are acting like they’re fresh from the infirmary and didn’t throw 57 and 45.1 innings, respectively, at various levels (including the AFL) in 2013.

I’ve said this sort of thing before, but I’ll say it again and say even more: last year the Rays gave 31 starts to Jeremy Hellickson, who finally stopped out-pitching his shitty FIPs. They gave 24 to Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona), who had a 5.41 ERA over his previous 180 innings, a 3.77 ERA in 2010, and ERAs above 6 and 5 in 2009 and 2008. They gave 22 to Alex Cobb, who has been a successful and improving big leaguer, but was not exactly a heralded prospect coming up.

Boston gave 27 to Felix Doubront, whose xFIP numbers made his 2012 look a lot better than his FIP (4.37) or ERA (4.86) did, and which gave him a nice 1.9 fWAR, but just  0.3 by BR’s calculation. They gave 29 to Lackey, who was awful in 2011 (6.41 ERA, 4.70 FIP/xFIP) and had Tommy John in 2012. They also had Dempster, who sucked when he went to Texas in 2012 and struggled with injury, plus Lester, who had seen his ERA, FIP, and xFIP all trend downward for three straight years (including a 4.83 ERA in 2012), and Buchholz, who has started about the same number of games since 2010 as Brandon Morrow.

Baltimore won 85 games with a rotation that screams mediocrity. The Yankees won handing the ball to shitty Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova — who wasn’t good in 2012 — David Robertson, and a CC Sabathia who wasn’t nearly his usual self. Kansas City won 87 giving starts to Wade Davis, Luis Mendoza, a guy named Ervin Santana coming off a godawful year. Cleveland made the playoffs pulling Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar out of pretty much nowhere, and managing to have Ubaldo and Scott Kazmir not be complete tire fires. Texas gave 34 starts combined to Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm, plus 20 more to Martin Perez, who, despite a strong pedigree, had been pretty bad in his first 38 big league innings in 2012.

This, of course, isn’t to say that good pitching isn’t necessary or that the Jays shouldn’t be searching for as much as they can, but to again point out that many Jays fans’ expectations of what makes a tenable rotation are completely out of whack right now, and that teams can be plenty successful with plenty of question marks being asked to take on a lot of responsibility.

Is the rotation a concern? Yes. Is it hopeless? Hardly. Are the Jays “not trying”? Should they just go ahead and rebuild they’re so far behind? Ridiculous.

This doesn’t mean anybody has to like what’s happened this winter. I certainly don’t, but it serves no one to blindly and incoherently point fingers without an honest grappling with figuring out what the hell is truly going on here. All what we do know is that none of what appear to be the possible answers to that question are particularly good.

If Rogers is genuinely as willing to open the chequebook, as Anthopoulos and Beeston always say, the front office’s refusal to push harder to improve a roster that’s unquestionably geared to compete in the next two years is baffling, to say the least. Confusing the issue further is that free agency wasn’t their only avenue to improvement, and the fact that Anthopoulos and Beeston are obviously comfortable enough to not have started overpaying in prospects in a desperate attempt to win now, plus the fact that they surely could have cut payroll if they were really more inclined to save dollars than accumulate wins.

Their hedging, potentially with a view to major roster turnover beginning in July, makes more sense if Rogers has pulled the financial rug out from under them, but such a suggestion raises deeper issues, too. If the front office knew that payroll being reined in was a possibility all along — which for years was exactly the fear I suspected was driving their fiscal conservatism, having seen it happen to J.P. Ricciardi — the decision to make the commitments that the club did last winter looks infinitely dumber. If it’s all on Rogers and out of nowhere — based on Guy Laurence’s new paradigm, or the opportunity to use the sagging Canadian dollar as an excuse — that’s even more grotesque.

The spin we’re hearing is that it’s all about value, and whether it’s worth the cost of adding a Jimenez or Santana — or, if you’re Baltimore, maybe both — given what you can expect out of them compared to what the internal options are. It almost makes sense, until you remember the existence of Ricky Romero, or think for a few seconds about what this club is really worth. Obviously a team can’t afford having too many Romeros banished from the roster while still drawing enormous paycheques, but… actually they totally can.

It’s not about can or can’t at all, even, but the willingness of ownership to or to not — or the willingness of the front office to put their jobs on the line to continue pushing payroll northward. And that’s exactly where the Jays’ P.R. misdirection works best — even if it’s maybe not intentional. In the world that Beeston and Anthopoulos try to create Rogers is benevolent and perfect, and the curious decisions made by the front office are theirs and theirs alone to stand by. Fans, it seems, either dumbly believe management’s rosy picture of Rogers and conclude that the front office is in over its head, or they don’t believe it and make Rogers an easy villain, or they swallow it whole and work backwards to agree with the club’s own lame justifications.

There is never, then, any unified opposition, with fans spread out, pushing at all three pillars.

The truth, I tend to suspect, lies somewhere in between. Shit, maybe the front office has as hard a time reading which string the higher ups are going to pull next as we do. And think about it: of course the club is always going to stay on positive message when speaking with ownership. It may not even be a lie, as they may genuinely have never had Rogers turn them down for any additional dollars precisely because they know enough not to ask. The club then operates in a grey area with uncertainly about just how high their payroll could actually be allowed to go, and when they might next be massaged towards changing course, be it because of the dollar, a new C.E.O., a failure to capitalize on the excitement and ticket sales of the first half of 2013, the wasting of so many of Sportsnet’s marketing dollars on a roster that wasn’t as good as they were sold on, or… whatever.

Actually, that has generally been the prism through which I’ve written about the club for years, and in the frustration of this wasted off-season maybe sometimes I’ve lost the plot (though lately I’ve had some great reminders of late not to be sucked in with the blindly negative, or even to give a hint of empowerment to their corrosive, dumb, self-indulgent teenage venting — so thanks for that, shitstains!). But that isn’t to absolve the front office here, either.

Obviously I think there is some merit to the pillar of fandom that believes what the club is saying, though. As noted above, the rotation is not nearly in the kind of awful shape that the worst of fans are wont to believe, and if the club had been firmer from the beginning that they felt this way — or even that it was possible they might — I wonder if they wouldn’t have been better off. Perhaps not, in terms of ticket sales — uncertainty and last year’s splash likely does a better job of selling hope than the moronic certainty too many fans have that Brandon Morrow has only about 100 big league innings left in his arm, and that Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman can’t come in and be successful — and maybe that’s my answer right there. But that doesn’t mean fans are wrong in thinking that they and this club deserved a whole lot better, either. And it certainly doesn’t mean that what’s going on at second base isn’t still a complete fucking disgrace, or that the club ought to sell us confidence-eroding horseshit just to have moved a few more flex packs over the course of the winter.

Viewing it this way, I wonder — as I did earlier in the week as well, I think — if there is simply a top-down rot in this organization that is underlined by an utter lack of respect from level to level. Rogers doesn’t respect the front office enough to give them unfettered access to the real capital this club generates, while the Jays don’t respect Rogers enough to not pull the rug out from under them, and don’t respect the fans enough to speak to anything but the lowest common denominator (not even just in terms of the constant selling of false hope, but the pandering to those afraid and unwilling to think outside of pitcher wins and RBIs), while fans don’t respect either enough to think of them as anything more than imbeciles and villains.

It’s just a theory, but it sure sometimes feels like that’s the muck we’re in — the kind of muck that was unheard of in the idyllic days of Labatt’s ownership — nor does it feel there’s a real good way out until someone like Tim Leiweke comes along and, for all of the faults and bluster and willingness to risk big (the consequences of which we’ve yet to see, it must be remembered) a person like that might bring, starts acting like this is big time club we all know damn well that it is.

It all sucks and we deserve more — familiar refrain much? — but let’s not let that obscure the fact that things are actually pretty alright, once you peel away all the marketing, failed expectations-managing, and futile desires for hollow certainty. Plenty of talent is here, and the idea that this team is doomed to failure is simply the other side of the same monumentally dumb coin that last year suggested the regular season was but a nuisance on the path towards the coronation that was the Blue Jays’ destiny. So let’s just fucking enjoy some baseball and see what happens already, eh?

Comments (580)

  1. #hustleandheart

    • *points at a donkey*

    • #fuckthisteam

      • I hope you bang your head on a wall and decide you no longer like baseball and you will never waste your or other people’s time with your negative, idiot comments.

        • I hope you just keep being you. That’s punishment enough.

          • You’re an idiot, though, Mark. You get that, right?

            • Mark’s a 14 year old, in his basement with his pecker in his hand ,looking for a reaction.
              fapfapfap

              • Yeah, I grew up (some would argue) in Alberta and I remember that country song.

                • Seems clear jays wont get drew. He would be better bet than franklin for instance but have little hope of anything happening and concede goins isnt the worst thing.

                  Reyes bautista and ee are three stud hitters and can carry any offence on their back if they have good years. The rest of the offence as is has a decent shot tobe average. Seriously any other teams have a lead off hitter AND middle of the order with that much potential?

  2. Does anyone else find it weird that Baltimore has become the team that might get *both* Jimenez and Santana?

    • not to mention morales or cruz, it’s incredibly strange, why are the orioles becoming a poor man’s yankees?

    • The Jays will hopefully get to take advantage of Santana’s ability to give up home runs.

    • No. Because our one supposed advantage – that of “getting the player for less because we dobtbhave to give up a pick” has been bestowed on Balt now. And if you have an all-else -being equal situation between us and Baltimore, Baltimore is going to be favoured tibget the free agent.

    • Nope i think it’s fantastic because of what they have in place already. It’s a stark contrast to what the Jays are doing this winter even though they are in same position. Again there could be a number of reasons for that but it’s a wasted opportunity regardless of whether it was signing a pitcher, or someone like Drew. There were obvious benefits to signing pretty much any of the them. People are quick to forget that $12 million for a veteran starter is going to look like chicken feed in 2 years. When you look at the fact that Ubaldo was even willing to defer $2.5 million of that each year then their really is no defense to use the value excuse. Anyway i still think this at least a .500 team or better, how much more will obviously depend on a lot of things, luck being a huge one as it is for every team each year. That said, we’ve seen the success rate of “just enough” before and it’s not great. For once it would have been nice to have some built-in leeway for the inevitable bad piece of luck that comes to all teams throughout a long season, instead we’re hoping everything goes just right again.

      • I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that the current rate of salary inflation in baseball is going to continue unfettered.

        • All you have to do is look back at the last 20 years and see otherwise. It’s the nature of the beast.

          • Law of diminishing returns says wha?

            • Diminishing returns are fine to talk about but you’re not taking into account the new TV revenue that’s only starting to come into effect in 2014. It’s been reported that teams are not even getting the full value of the deal yet as it is just starting to ramp up.

              Add to the fact that in 2013 $/WAR was just over $5 million a year and this year it jumped to over $6 million a year.

          • Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

            I don’t think $900M per year will be a reasonable price for a top-tier hitter in 2034.

  3. Well said, the actions of the off season can be explained inbetween. AA says he wants to upgrade the rotation. Over the coruse of teh winter he tries trades, fabble a bit in the free agent market. Finds out payroll is incredibly difficult to increase after the fiasco of 2013. Hutchison reports to be very healthhy woth positive results in the AFL, stroman likewise. Morrow condition’s his muscles further. Entire team reports as healthy. AA becomes more confident in team. he changes his stance at the rotation as he balks at the 4+ years given to jiminez and garza. He now has the stance of stand pat, besides replacing the crappiness of JPA.

    • “Finds out payroll is incredibly difficult to increase after the fiasco of 2013.”

      Huh?

      • Isnt that what you were alluding to? That rogers with a new CEO and poor results of 2013 would make it difficult for AA to justify a much higher payroll?

        • Yeah, sorry . Read it wrong.

        • Why would Rogers give a rats ass about last year’s team performance when ticket sales were the best they’ve been in over a decade? If anything, I’m thinking fan disappointment with this off season comes second only to the bean counters who were hoping for a 2013 carry over.

          • Second half ratings. They don’t care about ticket sales.

            • But every good business plan accounts for anomalies. Knowing why the team tanked last year only serves to buoy the idea of staying the course. 4/40 for the likes of Jiminez and Santana should make anyone think long and hard about their value, especially if you have break out talent in waiting. I mean, why lay out for the extended after market warranty that doesn’t even guarantee replacement value, when you’ve the chief engineer of the product?

            • ticket sales are still the #1 source of revenue ~ broadcast revenues are (as you may know) – deliberating understated by baseball teams owned by media companies

              • Yeah… I think you’re right that ticket revenue means more than what I said, for sure. Don’t know what the average price of their sold tickets is, but if it’s, say, $30 per ticket and they bring in 2.5M fans, that’s $75-million. Not sure that’s a good ballpark figure, though. Might be lower.

          • As stoeten said the second half ratings and also ticket sales wont be sustsined if the team loses. I really dont think rogers can be blamed for not increasing payroll or using 14m we may think was allocated for johnson. The payroll is increasing 20m without additions. None of us should be surprised with status quo nor should we be expecting a horrible year record wise. Ride it out see what happens hope they win and can sustain or increase payroll going forward amd ignore all things front office has to say regarfing potential payroll or acquisitions id my perspective as a fan. The team has great talent as is and lookingback just 2 years ago we would all be stoked withthis type of roster

    • For the record, payroll has already increased substantially from 2013. Don’t confuse zero additions with zero payroll increase

      • yup. this is an important point.

      • True

      • True, though not by as much as it looks when you factor in how they can no longer spend nearly as much as they had been on international amateurs, the draft, and the fact that MLB’s TV contract gave them an extra $26-million per year. Plus, they don’t get revenue sharing dollars under the new CBA, which was another lever used to compel them to spend more — it wasn’t just straight-up benevolence, or even business sense.

      • Yeah… but every cent that has increased was pretty much a known quantity (arbitration generally being a standardized process and what not) even Navarro just got what Arencibia would have gotten in arb.

        So then what of Johnson? Either they were always intending on not offering him a qualifying offer or they’ve got 14M that they must have anticipated spending but are electing not to.

  4. How can we tolerate this as fans.
    1) Give free money to Dusty rusty Mcgowan
    2) Have a rotation which consists of :
    #1 Starter ( Dickey )
    and Five #5 starters ( Buerlhey, Ohkoy, Happ, Dusty, Hutchy, Morrow )
    ‘ man o man are we trouble ‘

    • Oh please. Dustin McGowan and the 1.5M he’s owed is not stopping the Jays from acquiring a starting pitcher, and the ~50M they would be guaranteed. On no team in MLB are Morrow and Buehrle #5 starters. I am quite impressed with how dumb your comment really is.

    • Dumb as fuck, Robin Hood.

      • Andrew, your continued optimism is everlasting. Seriously, we are not going to make the playoffs this year. Do you remember how good the sox’s are, how much better the yankees have got, and baltimore’s additions, and we cannot forget about the rays. In other divisions this is a playoff team, in this one we are doomed. I’d say it’s time to rebuild again, trade jose, edwin, reyes while they still have value. But don’t just un-load them for the mere action of trading them, we need decent players coming back.

    • Watch the hockey instead, ok?

    • I decided against posting about the dumbing down of this site by people predicting the apocalypse for the Jays without having as game being played.

      Then I read your post. They give more to sign draft picks than they do to McGowan.

  5. Good article. If Happ and whoever the 5th starter is can ‘hold their own’, and the offence stays healthy, we’ll compete. My concern is, when you need a lot of things to ‘go right’ in order to just compete, don’t start ordering those playoff tickets just yet.

    There is no question they should have made a better effor to sign Santana or Jiminez given the protected 1st round picks and the relatively modest price compared to some of the recent deals (e.g. Tanaka!).

  6. If the man in white comes back that would be great. Reduce the starters stress and pressure while Jose crushes 500 fters into the Budweiser sign.

  7. Seems like we’re half-assing it, each 1/2 our our collective badonkadonk straddling the present and future. If we’re going to be conservative rather than going balls out to win now, shouldn’t have traded Snydegaard & D’Arnaud. That trade still makes me want to cry in my beer.

  8. I think you said it all right here. Like, fuck me, all of it.

    I’ll add a couple of my thoughts.

    1) You’re right about the Jays rotation not being a complete clusterfuck as so many would have you believe. I think the Jays rotation, provided healthy seasons by Morrow and Happ and a decent return out of the #5 spot, is better than Baltimore’s and New York’s, and a 2012-like implosion by Boston’s would put us only second behind Tampa. There’s a lot to like with this rotation, and while Santana may not be the savior, I’d love to see the Jays add a little more depth. A couple of the guys in the conversaion right now are out of options (Jeffress, Redmond I believe as well), so it might behoove AA to look for some more AAA-pitchers to back up Hutch/Stroman/Drabek/Nolin/Romero/Jenkins, especially since one of those guys might very well break camp with the team. And, gun to my head, I want to see Romero regain his form and be the guy.

    2) I have a hard team believing any time in the AL East is winning 90 games this year. I see Tampa as roughly the same as last year, ditto with Baltimore. I think the Yankees, despite their retarded spending, is worse than last year – by far the worst infield in the division and not a great bullpen or rotation either. I can see them struggling to break .500 (The Angels of the AL East?) And if Toronto had everything that could possibly go wrong last year go wrong, the Red Sox had everything that could go right go right. I don’t think they’ll be so lucky again this year. If the Jays stay healthy – and they’re fucking due for a healthy year – they’ll compete. (And hey, even Bob McCown said the same thing yesterday!)

    3) I’ve calmed down a little and am believing that my ire towards the Jays for not spending on a FA starter have more to do with the principle of it rather than baseball smarts. We all know that Rogers can afford to make a mistake, but some part of that front-office/ownership relationship is preventing that from happening at the moment. Taken as individual parts, we know the rotation is decent, and could even be very good. We know the offense is there. We know that the left-side of the infield is one of the best in the game. We know 2/3 of the outfield defense is going to be excellent, and hopefully the removal of a tumor means the other third will be good too. No more JPA, and a guy whose glove might make up for his bat (and if he hits a little, that’s awesome). So really, we want to be better, but what we have isn’t by any means garbage either. We just wish THE REASONS for not improving weren’t shit masquerading as breakfast, and I think that’s where the frustration is rooted.

    • This is patently false.

      1. The Jays don’t have a single pitcher with both the history of success and potential upside Sabithia. Kurodo is better than every pitcher on the Jays. Tanaka will be atleast as good as Buerhle, probably better.

      2. The Jays are NOT unhealthy due to luck. They are unhealthy because they’re players are old, their training staff is bad, and they play 81 games on carpet covered concrete.

      3. The left side of the infield is not one of the best in the game. Reyes can’t defend and Lawrie can’t hit. So even though Reyes is exceptional with the bat and Lawrie is great with the glove, they basically even out to average…when they play together. Which is basically 50 games because neither can stay healthy.

      • 1) Um we have 2 pitchers that have the upside of an aging CC sabathia. their called dickey and morrow. Kuroda is also aging and his velocity has signs of declining, making him less effective.

        2) Jays were injured due to a combination of luck and past injury history. How is having the 4th most DL time in the MLB not unlucky, espially since 2010 and 2011 weren’t nearly as bad in terms of DL time.

        3) Your negativity is remarkable btw. Lawrie is right now a league average 3rd baseman, but still quite young and with increased patiencce at the plat, can result in great dividends, and reyes is a fantastic shortstop period, whole package included. So yeah, the left side of the infield is at least good, potential to be great.

      • Banned for stupidity, Mark. Congrats.

        • While I’m sure that I don’t have the full picture and while I don’t really care for Mark’s comments either, banning him for what appears to be on the surface a difference of opinions (or being a contrarian) seems like an overreaction.

          Again, for all I know Mark was sending you messages calling you a c*nt which makes a lot more sense… but banning someone for disagreeing seems like a bit of a dick move.

          • Wouldn’t want to be protesting authority in a country where Stoeten’s the president.

          • Mark has been 100% negativity for every recent comment I can remember. The rest are here to discuss baseball and the team, not to argue it.

            In other words: Mark serves no purpose here.

          • I dunno, man. Implying that Morrow and Buehrle are fifth starters (at best!) isn’t really opinion based. It’s just completely fucking dumbfoundingly stupid.

        • Good ban. It wasn’t a difference of opinion comment. He is stating patently dumb things like they are fact.

        • +1. thank you

    • Good post I agree with a lot of it.

      Think frustrstion (at least for me) has more to do with raising expectations at beginning of offseason then not doing anything than my discintent with the team talent or lack of payroll. Think you are really under estimating the yanks rotation and team in general and think they could be the strongest in the division.

  9. Their I was yakking in Wednesdays Daily Deuce again only to see this and expect an antthesis. Well done Old Swirlio!

  10. * insert the letter i between ant and thesis please. I think therefore I am.

  11. Ubaldo? Santana? meh.

    Tie up $50 million worth of my finite resources on an asset that is more than likely nothing more than mediocre in the AL East?

    I’ll take my chances on the kids for a fraction the price. Keep my powder dry until something worthwhile falls into my wheelhouse.

    • cliff lee at the deadline

    • +Billions

    • Bingo- although it will come down to the performances of our 5th starters, the health of our rotation, & Ubaldo’s level of success this season before we can judge this off-season.

      I was 50/50 on signing Ubaldo… 50/4 is probably fair in terms of $ & length

    • Agreed.

      AA has said from the beginning, he’s looking for front line starters. I would bet that he has always viewed Jimenez and Santana as 3/4 guys, and refuses to overpay for them. WIth the draft pick compensation, the potential was there to get great value on either of these guys. But if another team was willing to overpay, the Jays will walk away.

      Simple.

    • I’d more easily buy that as an argument if we didn’t still have a terrible bat at 2B. It’s not like the money to buy those guys couldn’t be reallocated towards a legit MLB quality middle infielder if it was there… which pretty much says to me that it ain’t there.

      • Goins at league minimum with trade options still available vs Infante (face it, they were never going to chase Cano) for 4 or 5 years at too much? I don’t blame AA for deciding to give Goins a shot given the FA options.

        • Agree with your line of thought but really would have loved to see them chase cano and mccsnn who riyher could have really plugged the team holes. Perhaps if they hsd won more lsst year and beeston didnt have the policythis could hsve happened. With losing last yesr options werent great as more than 20m payroll increase couldnt be justified.

      • What am I missing here? Your talking about a 2B that put up 1.4 War in 36 games. How does that translate to a wasted space.

    • My concern is that it seems quite unlikely that a truly great pitcher will, as you say, “fall into [the] wheelhouse.” I can understand having reservations about Jimenez or Santana, but thinking that the Jays are going to get a half-decent rotation piece without giving up Stroman, Sanchez, or other significant prospects, is faulty logic. I think what will really make not signing either of these guys look bad is *if* the Jays are borderline contenders and end up giving up significant pieces to acquire whomever. It’s just like last year: D’Arnaud + Syndergaard + mid-level free agent pitcher (Lohse?) +/- draft pick loss > Dickey (even if he had performed as expected).

      • Good points Rob.

        That’s why I and most people thought we were prime candidates for signing a FA.

        50/50.. AA’s rolling the dice /thinking about future flexibility…

  12. I think you’ve covered most of what may be going on.Many different angles to consider.
    I still wonder, with few commitmnets and contracts beyond the 2014 season, that the goal is maximum fluidity of the roster until consistancy is reached.
    With the injury situation of 2013,can anybody,with surety say what the Jays have as their core?
    The 2014 team could go either way.
    Are they the team that was the 2013 favorite to win the WS but got unlucky with injuries?
    Or are they duds that everybody has used the injury excuse to hide the flaws?
    AA can still make moves,in either scenerio, once he knows exactly what he has.
    He doesn’t have a Vernon Wells type contract to hinder his future deals.

  13. My big bitch is 2nd base. Surely there was some way to improve. If Drew suddenly comes on board, I’ll be feeling quite optimistic.

  14. “Viewing it this way, I wonder — as I did earlier in the week as well, I think — if there is simply a top-down rot in this organization that is characterized by an utter lack of respect from level to level. Rogers doesn’t respect the front office enough to give them unfettered access to the real capital this club generates, while the Jays don’t respect Rogers enough to not pull the rug out from under them, and don’t respect the fans enough to speak to anything but the lowest common denominator (not even just in terms of the false hope constantly, but the pandering to those afraid and unwilling to think outside of pitcher wins and RBIs), while fans don’t respect either enough to think of them as anything more than imbeciles and villains.”

    Bravo, this sums things up completely.

    • While it is a possibility and deserves to be mentioned, I doubt it.
      The fortunes of the Jays are intertwined with viewers and content for Sportsnet across all platforms.
      It would extremely short sighted of Rogers management to not realize how important that integration is to the bottom line.
      This isn’t a bunch of yahoos with interdepartmental agendas to fight over.
      Certainly accountabilty is discussed but the big picture is more likely planned out than we realize.

      • As far as the big picture goes, publicity is the #1 asset the Jays provide to the Rogers Corp. rather than they are looking the Jays in their bottom line overall? Just throwing it out there and yes I do get the media content perspective. In fact that might be the other side of the double edged sword. Luckily Rogers doesn’t like to compete in markets where they reside they would rather own the market.

        • Here’s a good article that contrasts how the Jays operated when they were winning (rich owner who didn’t interfere) with how they operate now:

          http://cnnsi.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004432/index.htm

          Point being back then they tried to be the best at whatever they did, but now it seems to be short term thinking, with many areas acting in their own self interest.

          • That’s corporate operating procedure at it’s finest especially in this day and age.

          • That’s where I get confused. The way I see things it would be in Rogers best interest to treat the Jays org. as an advertising platform rather than bottom line investment. Once again I will provide the caveat that I know fuck all so as to not get ‘Radared’…so to speak. I would be curious to find out there is a money man that sits above Beeston and shoots off to the board and CEO etc. If I remember correctly, isn’t the new CEO European, the hot bed of baseball.

            • The new guy is a Brit. He may know nothing about baseball–I didn’t either for about the first five years I was here–but he surely knows about passionate fans and what they expect from their teams. One glance at the Barclay’s Premier League will tell you that. UK fans expect their clubs to go all out to win and there is hell when they don’t. It’s up to us as fans to give our new CEO a dose of what he would expect if he’d just been signed-on to be CEO of Spurs or Liverpool.

    • Sums it up welli think too. Corporations have one thing to answer to short term feduciary respomsibility to shareholders. The team losing last year means it is very hard to justify psyroll increase. Dont quite agree with rogers should give access to capitol to jays, they dont deserve it without producing roi and we dont know the real profit msrgin the jays generate. A corporation isnt going to bleed money for long on a currently losing venture with potential long term gains unless it really helps progress big picture strategic vision or is substsntially helping to cross subsidize anothet area (which comes into play with jays and tv content but to what degree? Payroll is already high and the team didnt win last year)

  15. My only concern is that if those young pitchers flame out early on, it`s going to lead to AA overpaying for someone on the trade market to fill up those innings. I think that`s why I was disappointed that we didn`t get anyone in FA. Ditto for the second base issue. Since we didn`t sign anyone in the FA, it means overpay during season if they need to acquire someone to fill in for Goins or Izturis.

    • Somebody WILL flame out, it’s how the rest of the team performs that will determine what is done.

      • Yeah, but my point is that if AA has to go out and get somebody during the season, there will be overpay in prospects/crappy contracts. By not signing someone, he has committed himself to that unless he can swing another VW trade where by far the better part of the deal was coming to the Blue Jays (that was financial flexibility just to cover my ass here).

        • Good point and valid point.
          Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

          • I agree with you Radar. There is enough depth there to handle a few flame outs. In no particular order: Redmond/Rogers, McGowan, Stroman, Nolin, Jenkins, McGuire, Romero, Drabek, Hutchison, even Rasmussen. 10 MLB #5 calibre starters on hand after the top 5.

            • Absolutely. Keep in mind some guys won’t make the cut either through incompetetance or options but there’ll still be more than enough to cover.

    • This is my biggest fear too and really hope they dont bankrupt fsrm to try to make plsyoffs and fall short and be in no mans land of mediocrity. A FA signing or three would have eliminated this and worst case they eat a couple contracts and rebuild while dumping salary if things domt work out. But that simply wasnt inthe cards after poor year last year and psyrollincrease couldnt be justified

  16. ‘Baffled” is a good word. That’s where I sit. Not angry. Not upset by a failure to make any particular move but totally perplexed that virtually nothing was done.

    I did find the PTS interview with Pelley a couple of weeks ago to be curious.
    I fully admit it may have nothing to do with anything at all, but then again, it might.
    He backed away from any commitment for grass in 2018,
    saying they’d like to get it in there “eventually.’

    Then he went on to say that next (hockey) season they would have multiple games on multiple channels every night of the week and that these would come with 2h pregame shows. He made a point of saying how much that would require in terms of resources.
    Not sure if he meant human resources, financial resources or both.

    If what he says is true, they’ll have hockey content on multiple channels from October thru the middle of June. And in Sept. people will watch any crap as long as it has something to do with the Maple Leaf training camp. That’s hockey content in Sept-Oct-Apr-May-June.

    Combine that with MLSE’s increased emphasis on soccer and the plans for BMO field, and maybe, just maybe Blue Jays content is not as important to Rogers as it was a year or so ago. If that’s the case, they may be saying, “We love the baseball team; but it has to operate on a $in=$out budget.

    That’s a lot of ifs and a lot of maybe’s that may all amount to zip.
    Or there might be something to it.

    • My guess is zip.
      Rogers has 7 sports channels that it needs sports content for not including games broadcast on other channels ( CITY TV)..
      I think i read they just signed another argreement to broadcast more hockey.

    • I think there may be something there in terms of rogers trying to focus on growing their new msrkets of hockey etc while keeping status quo on baseball that is already locked down

    • All great reasons why it’s a win win for Rogers to flip the jays now to mlse.

  17. I don’t disagree with you that perhaps Hutchison, or Drabek, or even Stroman might provide a reasonable replacement for when McGowan inevitably gets hurt but u have to admit that not getting a second baseman is just utterly negligent.

    Even bringing in a guy like Brian Roberts or Kelly Johnson (low cost but high upside) would be better then playing a guy who is very likely going to post below replacement level numbers.

    Not to mention the various trade options available (Brandon Philips, dustin ackley, nick franklin)

    • I might take Goins/Kawasaki/Izturis/Morel/etc. over Roberts and Johnson. Hardly negligent to trade big assets and pay huge for shitty Phillips. A M’s guy would be an interesting flyer, and Anthopoulos said yesterday that there is still trade dialogue on that front (though not necessarily with Seattle).

      • Serious question and not trying to be flippant but do you believe a fucking word he has to say at this point?

        • Sure, because i don’t see why not. The mariners are like a red target with their surplus of decent second baseman

          • Point or question missed.

            • The point was do you believe anything coming out of AA’s mouth at this point, and my answer was sure, why not. Cause it makes sense. In fact, if he made a statement he wasnt looking at trades at all, I would be incredibly skeptical.

              • I have decided to not believe anything aa says or can be speculated from it and think he reallygot fans worked up and disappointed them. On the flip side I like the team and think this roster as is has the best chance to be competitive since 2008 and is aboutthe same as headinginto lsst year

        • It’s not tough to figure out what should be taken seriously from him and when he’s saying something he has no other choice but to say.

          • Thanks Stoeten. Anyone thinking that the guy is some kind of pathological liar doesn’t quite get the concept.
            In the 1st place, he can’t tell the whole unvarnished truth without telling everyone (including his competitors) his plan.
            In the 2nd place, there’re 29 other managers out there who do the exact same thing.
            And lastly, isn’t it just possible that we’re acting like spoiled 10 year olds who didn’t get the bike they wanted for Christmas?

      • Goins can fit very nicely on the current roster. The offense should be strong enough to carry his bat. His plus glove could result in the infield defense being the inverse of last year. An infield of Lawrie, Reyes, Goins, Encarnacion could lead the league in double plays turned and aggregate UZR or DRS (notwithstanding the metrics have been unfair to Encarnacion so far).

        • Not against LHP.

          • Yes, Goins can’t start against LHP, even though it’s not a big deal because losing his bat on a given day isn’t a big loss anyway.

            As I say below, I think there’s an issue with the roster much more serious than Goins vs LHP. They’ll be easy to manage against from the 6th inning on. Also will likely have no good pinch running options. They don’t have a lot of flexibility on the roster, given Lind can’t hit LHP and there isn’t a platoon option that can help with defense and base running (Or Hello Kevin Pillar?!).

            I have a bad feeling they’ll carry 8 men in the pen, not because they need to, but to avoid risking Jeffress or Redmond or Perez on waivers. The bench will be Izturis, backup C, and Sierra. The starting line up will have to hit the shit out of the ball, especially in the first 5 innings.

        • thank you gman.
          Goins is fine, without JPA, and average production from the new catchers, they can carry his bat. And he proved last season his defense is good.

          Bonafacio was a 2b nightmare.

          I just want to see a Jays team that doesnt give away runs with bad defense and poor fundamentals. You could probably chalk up another 5-10 wins last season purely on being better at that.

          Missing cut offs, overthrowing, bad pick off attempts, bad call game from the Cs etc.

          • Thus providing improved pitching due to improved defence and the confidence in your team that comes with it

            • I think the absence of JPA is going to be a huge improvement this year and it can not be overstated.

    • I couldnt agree more how can the jays not take a flyer on kj or roberts? There is very little risk.

      • KJ? Really? Wasn’t he the rally killer and strikeout king when he played for us, him and his twin (-chin) David Cooper?
        C’Mon, it cant be THAT bad, can it?

  18. I really can’t complain about this offseason. The Jays have significantly increased payroll over the last year and a bit and beyond what I could ever hope for. While by reading this blog I did get my hopes up that a further payroll increase was possible, in the back of my mind I new it was probably unlikely. If anything I blame the media for setting unrealistic expectations :)

    Like every year I will enjoy watching the Jays and baseball and I’ll hope for the best because you never know. And as Mr. Stoeten said, this team still has a lot of nice pieces and isn’t as far behind other AL East teams as much as a lot of people think. Do I think they need a lot of things to go right in order to win, yes, but you could say the same think about most teams this year, and if you look back most teams that make the playoff had a lot of things go right. So why not the Jays this year?

  19. I just hope this isn’t tied to Rogers recent Q4 profit drop. Being under the Rogers umbrella means a nearly unlimited supply of cash in good times but if profit drops and there is attempt to “tighten the belt” overall (Blue Jays included) and increase profit.

    Ideally not, but big corporations can be incredibly short sighted. Perhaps the new CEO isn’t aware that baseball clubs shouldn’t really be treated the same as other divisions of the company. Baseball teams need a separate long-term vision that doesn’t fit into the quarter-by-quarter life of a typical corporation.

    That’s a lot of speculation of course but what can you do with the lack of information the front office is providing. I’d really like a sports journalist to do some investigation (contradiction in terms?) into why the Jays didn’t sign anyone this offseason when the need was obvious to everyone instead of just a bunch of spring training propaganda pieces.

  20. I’m trying to be a little less cynical on the ownership level, and say that the emphasis of the quiet offseason lies with the players: let’s face it, if the team performs anywhere nearly as badly as it did in 2013, a few Ervin Santana starts aren’t going to save the day.

    In that sense, it makes some sense to wait and see if the team can show something, THEN evaluate its weaknesses, and then make mid-season moves to push it over the top. Idealistic, maybe, but not insane. (I’d rather them do that than rashly hand out terrible long-term free agent deals to appease a rabid fan base.)

    • True… but the flip side is what if the team is at 89 wins? Then those those lost starts from Jimenez/Santana become incredably important.

      • Well if they’re not willing to take a plunge at the deadline that renders the point moot. I’m just thinking in terms of getting a better gauge on the state of the team, then making the money move via the trade market if necessary.

  21. The Jays pitching isn’t as doom and gloom as some would like to think.

    Is it perfect? Of course not. And of course it could be better but people should take some time to actually look at some of the rotations in this league. Outside of Tampa and Detroit most come with significant question marks.

    Then get to the fact that the Jays staff had a 97 ERA+ last year with some really unexpected starters getting the ball.

    In contrast the hitters only posted a 99 OPS+ last year but everyone is willing to write that off to unexpected hitters.

    Take a team like the Yanks………

    They have CC as their “number one” if that means anything. He is coming up on 3000 innings, lot’s a mileage, and a significant drop last year.

    Their number 2 has never pitched a pitch in MLB.

    Number 3 is like 40 years old and at some point this will matter.

    Nova is a very good number 4 but Phelps at 5 is worse than Happ.

    Go through each team and you will find problems, not just the Jays. Most rotations in the league this year have the potential for success or failure without many sure things. Tampa looks good but you don’t have to win the division.

    I have no problem with a rotation that looks like Dickey, Buerhle, Morrow, Stroman, Happ with Hutch taking innings for injury or poor performance.

    What the Jays really need to do is fix 2b. The pitchers are at least major league caliber. The same can’t be said of Goins. I have a bad feeling that he will post a monumental -2 WAR or something silly. I would rather they give Izturis another shot but that’s just me.

    All in all, if some things go right this isn’t that bad of a team. This is coming from someone who is permanently banned here for negativity (I may have said AA made a bad trade once) on my normal computer.

    • You realize that overall era+ was aided by fantastic work by the bullpen don’t you? Their starters were something like 28th overall. Your argument really doesnt hold up to scrutiny. As for the offense there was no bullpen to mask their numbers. The starting position players missed 21% of their games and others were historically crap. Then others like Melky were playing when they shouldn’t have been. I am not saying the pitching will be as bad again, the starters clearly had injury issues of their own but the offense was equally held back if not more.

  22. I believe in Drew Hutchison.

  23. Seeing a lot of parallels to the Raptors before Colangelo was shown the door. The difference being, Colangelo sensed the end was near and swung for the fences by trading for Rudy Gay. It should be noted that the Raptors got (almost) instantly better when Gay was traded by Colangelo’s successfor.

    In the Jays case, AA isn’t throwing good money after bad. He is being patient, trusting his scouts and coaches, and waiting for the internal improvement we were all promised last year but were denied by yet another year of the nutty injury bug.

    That said, what is at stake here is our collective confidence in AA’s judgment (as well as the advice he is basing his judgments on).

    It’s not unlike AA’s choice of bringing back Gibbons. Not a lot of people were thinking of Gibbons to skipper what Las Vegas had picked to be the front-running team. AA did. This time, not a lot of people are counting on sufficient internal improvement to make this team competitive in the AL East. AA is.

    Would it not be fair to say that if AA gets this wrong, he doesn’t get another chance? And that his advisers are gone too?

  24. Trying to be realistic, not negative here. Based on the new AA paradigm of “value”, unless this team outperforms out of the gate guys like Buerhle, Reyes etc would be viewed as “overpaid” and moved. I hope things work out, but there is a decent chance a major tear down happens unless the team catches lightning in a bottle. I wonder how they view Homer Baileys $105M deal? That’s the marketplace and Cincy isn’t exactly a major market. There was an idea of a Rasmus/ Bailey swap at some point, I can see the Jay’s rather paying Gose his low salary than committing to Rasmus. Based on whats said and the inaction, easy to see a scenario with this team trying to go back to the A’s Rays method of drafting and developing young controllable players. AA just doesn’t have the track record in this area. All the Jay’s best players come from trades.

    • The irony of the Bailey deal is that it just showed that $12 million for Santana or Jimenez wasn’t all that expensive especially if you factor in the deferred money in Ubaldo’s contract. You can argue that Bailey is better right now and i think it’s a fair one, but to be fair his past record – which everyone loves to look at it in Satana’s and Jimenez case – isn’t spotless either on the injury and performance fronts.

      • Um, Bailey’s been consistently above average from 2012-2013, as opposed to Santana and Jiminez being one year removed from Romero level crappiness. Not to mention his peripherals suggested he had a little case of bad luck. And he’s younger.

        • And no draft pick compensation.

        • Sure focus on the bad for one player and not the other, makes a great argument while you ignore the 50% difference in cost and the fact there is risk in 2 more guaranteed years in the contract to counteract a 2nd round draft pick. Is Bailey 50% better? I don’t think so which was the point, not who was better, i even said that it was easy to argue so. Bailey is probably worth the money, but if that is the case, then imo Santana and Jimenez are as well at that value.

      • The O’s are the only other team that wanted him for 4 years at $12 M. I’m sure all 30 teams would love to have Homer for 7 yrs at $105M. Bailey is a young stud. Ubaldo’s
        a nightmare.

    • The value thing is just bs and aa avoiding saying we cant increase psyroll because we justhsve so much inpadt two years and didnt generste revenue like we expected after winning only 75 games last year

  25. I smell a trade coming, FA starters that are and were available, not consistent enough for big contracts.

    • To bring another guy that really doesn’t want to play here? Not exactly a great idea.

      I’m more of the thinking now that after the Jays ride out this current team and sell off the assets they need to go 100% home grown for the next 6-8 years… it’s the only way to do it. FA’s don’t want to play here and I can imagine guys like Reyes and Beuhrle don’t either.

  26. There’s a handful of folks, you know who you are that really need to take some fucking xanax… Folks, the negativity towards this team is fully warranted and what’s more shocking/laughable/pathetic/pant pissingly funny are the babies that get their backs up to the wall the minute something negative is said.

    The team has made 1 MINOR upgrade this off season. The off season was a fucking sham. AA led the fans on for months (thanks) and right at the end he tells us what the astute fans already knew… the Jays weren’t in on any of the FA pitchers.

    I truly feel bad because there’s a good number of people who unknowingly put faith in this GM and this team.

    • The same GM that
      Traded away one of the most untradable contracts in baseball?Listed as one top thre executive moves of the year?
      The guy that gamed the draft pick system so much that MLB had to change the rules before the next CBA? Just to make him stop doing it.
      The one that orchestrated one of the biggest trades in baseball history? The trade that was considered so one sided,it was held up by Bud so he get advice on whether it was in the best interests of baseball and the Marlins fans?
      Do you want me to keep going?

      • Yes please keep going till you get to the part where the Jays are actually contenders to make the playoffs.. Otherwise these fantastic moves he’s made are meaningless…. Or are you certain they’re going to make it this year?

        • So did you think the Jays were going to be good last year – with essentially the SAME team? And is signing a #3 FA starter all they really need to win? Do tell

          • I thought it came down to pitching, as it always does.

            Was Dickey going to have the same kind of success he had in 2012 – No
            Can Buehrle continue his success – Yes
            Can Morrow stay healthy and dominate – Newp
            Romero – nope he’s done
            Happ – 5th starter
            Johnson – Can he dominate like we expect – Nope

            What’s changed in 2014 here.

            They swallowed up JJ’s salary and ddn’t replace him..
            Happ is still a 5th starter,
            Romero is still going to be spending half his life riding a bus
            Morrow’s health is still a huge ?
            And we really don’t know who the real Dickey is.

            Then a bunch of guys who might do something,

            Sorry but I can’t see this team competing.

            • Oh, then you’ve always been negative. I get it. The fact you state opinions like they are somehow authoritative facts doesn’t make them true. You, or anyone else for that matter, cannot predict anything. I think the only thing anyone can quibble about is the 2nd base spot – although, I don’t know how they tried to fix it. The rotation is much better than last year for no other reason than depth. Signing a #3 starter to a huge contract was not the answer, but seems to be many negative nancy’s fans answer to all the Jays woes.

        • Sure, no problem Birdie.
          Sometimes, the best moves are the ones you don’t make.
          He didn’t bend to the fans whims and sign UJ or Santanna to 4year/50mil deals, that may inhibit future deals or deals he may be working on.
          NOBODY knows what deals are happening or what evaluations are being made in the Jays front office.
          Sorry dude , stamp your feet and scream all you want,You’re not getting your pacifier today.You’re gonna have to wait.

          • If i were GM, I would hesitate to give Jiminez or Santana more than 3 year deals as well. Maybe for Jiminez a 4th year option but thats it.

            • Why? I mean what’s the difference between year three and year four? Sure the aging curve would suggest a drop-off between those years but is there any impartial study that would suggest that the anticipated drop-off would make the fourth year untenable?

            • totally agree. even a 2yr/30mill deal would have been good. problem is pitchers want the guaranteed longer term because injuries are a huge factor.

          • Agreat big + BiIlions and Billions Radar.

      • What a joke. AA has accomplished sweet fuck all to date. Its hilarious how people lionize for the Wells deal that happened because Artie Moreno is an idiot. It had nothing to do with AA’s supposed genius. He got lucky.

    • You know what. I feel that they should have made an FA move but the dumbfuckness of people like you really tell me different. At least have a sense of humour about your mother fucking posts. It’s like having a little fucking kid jumping up and fucking down saying the same fucking thing over and fucking over again. I’ve said some dumb shit on here but fuck….it’s the fucktards like you who are consistently pissing me off. In short this comment area would be better off if you just fucked off. Please don’t tell your Mother I talked to you this way and don’t be late for supper.

      • I hope you carry a defib around with you…. you’re gonna need it one day at the rate you’re going. Great argument though, fuck X 10 always wins.

        • Fuckin’ eh Bird

        • Drat,I knew i wasn’t using fuck enough.
          Double Drat.
          Fuck, Tom wins again.
          I hate losing to that guy.

          • You do make great points, the best on here I’ve read but in the end it’s about results. AA has none. The minute he made that trade with the Marlins he exposed himself to extreme scrutiny…

            • OK Bird and I am sorry for using the fuck word so much but mama is out of town and the liquor cabinet was planning this all along.

              Love, Dad

              • I realize that when you can’t properly articulate yourself you need to resort to using foul language…

                • Can’t properly articulate myself? I could walk in here like a fucking guy that uses the name fucking Birdie (not literally idiot) and still be all comfortable with my knowledge of this team and this game. You want me to fucking articulate….give me a starting point and lets go all rap ‘n shit….lol just joking but seriously…fuck off!

                  • You rap also Tom?
                    I just started freestylin’ myself.

                    My name is RADAR C,
                    I’m here to be,
                    The one for you and the one for me.
                    I’m not a guy that carries a great big stick.
                    Just a guy with a really big ……

                    Still a work in progress.

                    • My name is Tom W
                      And I bin lovin’ you

                      Talkin’ to da Birdy
                      Can’t be dirty

                      My dogs name is orange
                      And now I’m fucked.

                  • Case in point Tom…. Case in point.

            • Who makes great points?
              That Tom guy again?
              Fuck,I hate losing to that guy.
              All day long, it’s Tom’s so great,he’s much better looking than you,he uses fuck more than you,blah, blah blah.
              Drat, I hate when they’re right

      • This isn’t quite the wording I would have used, but it’s about as accurate a statement as I’ve seen on here. Thanks!

    • And tell me mister birdie what’s the point of staying negative. Sure there’s plenty to be unhappy about, but we don’t need to freakin dwell on the negative, on the worst possible scenario. What good does that do you. And there’s plenty to be positive about as well. It’s not like this team is the worst team in the MLB, it’s got some serious talent, most of it is in the active roster but we’ve got some exciting prospects down in the farm.

      Of course, if everyone gets injured agan like last year, we’re gonna suck, but so do most other teams. If everyone is healthy, expect a winning season, add a couple of above average performances and we ourselves a playoff team, VERY MUCH LIKE THE SOX AND ORIOLES.

      • I’m not negative on the entire team. There’s lots to like.

        Position players are great except 2nd base which is a fucking joke… that basically tells you right there AA ran out of money to spend

        Pitching is a god damn catastrophe.

        GM is full of shit and President love his “policies”

        • Pitching is not a catastrophe, it’s projected to be a middle of the pack rotation, which is far from a catastrophe.

          • Worst in the AL East, which is what counts.

            • No it’s the orioles still, though it’s simlar to both the rays and us.

              And our lineup is much better than the yankees or orioles, and comparable to the sox.

              • There’s far too many question marks in the starting rotation… that isn’t a good thing for a team with playoff aspirations. Stop being blinded by this talk of depth, it’s fucking nonsense.

                • The red sox’s rotation had so many question marks going into the 2013 season. And the orioles rotation was still incredibly mediocre in 2012.

            • How in the fuck do you not get it Bird? Let us run through this again. Yeah we have been disappointed by nary a signing. Minus 1 fucked up pitcher and a liability catcher what do you get on paper. Yes last years predictions of gold and shit were out of line and so are this years predictions of a living Astros universe. The team will be probably better than last year ‘cus that shit only happens where palm trees grow. Oooor they will walk into the end of July 10 games above .500

              • You’re exaggerating to prove a stupid point. No one is saying the Jays will be as bad as the Astros, fans, real fans are not happy with the starting pitching, it stinks and they’re voicing their opinion over it… For christ sakes how fucking intolerant of a human being are you that you can’t realize this when reading posts.. instead you side with Stoeten to call people dumb fucks etc… grow up, grow some thicker skin and buy some new balls already.

                • so in your world, only “real” fans are unhappy? And the “unreal” fans are the ones that see the sense in not overpaying for a mediocre FA starter, and have a reasonable expectation that there are many candidates in house that are capable of producing the same results?

                • But the pitching doesnt stink, it’s just mediocre, which is nothing to be happy about, but nothing to be incredibly negative about either.

                  And plenty of playoff teams have had mediocre pitching, but gotten through with superior bullpens and lineups. And nothing is bbarring a tradfe between now and mid-season.

                • Birdrie the sp isnt bad. What did you think in 2008 or whatever when halladay and burnett were the onlyproven starters? This year we have four proven mlb sp (yes happ is one) albeit none as sure a bet as halladay while we have 3 guys similsr to marcum mcgowan and litsch at the time and several other potential options. The team could use a better c and 2b but has 3 bonifide studs a leadoff hitter snd two middle of the order bats. Things are pretty good all things considered

        • The Jays won a World Series with Manny Lee at short. I’m pretty sure the Jays can carry Goins at 2B if the rotation holds up.

    • Ban for stupidity is long overdue for HJ Birdie. Will it come today, or will he continue to get to say the dumbest things he can dream up for another day? I can’t wait to find out!

    • Birdie i agree with you fans have a right to be pissef about aa quotes the pr and how it never happenef. I dont agree about the doom and glum of the team prospects but would have respected your opinion if you didnt constsntly harp onthe negative and present anabsolute certainty of the pitching and and team being terrible which is obviously not realistic. Wonderhow long you have bern a fan, this team heading into this yeat has more reason for fans to be optimistic than the majority of the last 20 years and the ownership has stepped up with payroll to make that happen. I am negative about the pr but notthe team

  27. And the Most Patronizing Post award goes to…

  28. While I too don’t believe in the doom and gloom, AA has to learn that when you state right from the end of ’13 season that improving the rotation is the 1st priority and no moves are made, he’s created the problem. I understand that Drabek, Hutch, Morrow, Stroman, etc have rehabbed/progressed well and the internal options are a way of improving, perhaps he should have played the internal improvement card more than the expectation of signing FAs. AA is own worst enemy.

  29. Good read, the payroll concerns are valid. I’m hoping AA is being straight up, and they just really like what they saw from the young guys over the winter. A lot of people have downplayed the risk involved with the free agents that were available, I’m not so sure it’s riskier going internally.

  30. Cheers to “Lets just play games already” ..

    can’t wait to see how Drabek, Hutch and Stroman look … the Cards make this formula work nearly every year its time it works for the Jays too .. 2 of the 3 are top 40′ish prospects (Drabek top 15 at one time I think) + Hutch in a SSS pitched great 2 years back .. I just hate Happ that’s always been my big beef!

    Neyer and Stark each had decent articles about the Jays and the chances for a bounce back this year .. although neither would say 90 wins is where they are headed, this team was unanimously picked to win the division last year and this is the same team … with a bit more depth and a terrible 2nd baseman that can make ALL the plays

    Would love to see an “I AM THE SHIT” boss come on like Lieweke and replace Beeston who I believe is more historic then present .. does he still wear no socks?

    Re. Rogers being cheap .. yesterday I negotiated my CABLE, PHONE and INTERNET Bill from $310/month to $178/month incl taxes! here’s to me!

    • you should just get Voip, stream everything and get teksavvy, bill would be like 50 a month max. But then you wouldnt get jays games… Well just use the saving on tickets WHOO lol

    • lol write to AA, maybe he can bring you in for payroll negotiations with the bosses haha

    • When they drafted and signed Stroman in 2012 he was touted as the closest to ready. Then he tested positive for stimulants in MILB and wasn’t available for Sep call ups. I think he’s probably more than ready.

  31. AA always acts like he’s the only one who has to pay too much for a fucking FA.

  32. We have our new number 5, and lost our second baseman (lol)

    Liam Hendriks was claimed off the orioles, Morel is now on waivers.

    • And so begins the waiver claim/DFA carousel. The closer we get to opening day, the faster it will spin. Would not be your money on Hendricks being on the team when it heads north.

    • I was kinda looking forward to seeing how Morel looked. Oh well, there’ll be a lot more….

  33. Quite the flip flop, Stoeten…

    If I’m not mistaken, you weren’t very complimentary to AA and the Jays when Ubaldo signed with the O’s. I don’t mind leaning on the kids if that was AA’s plan from the outset, but in November he was saying this club needing 1 or 2 starters and a 2B. In the end, we’ve improved C and gotten healthier (lets hope). But lets not pretend that this will result in the 18-20 additional wins that it will take to make the playoffs.

    You can’t make no moves on a last place club and talk about being competitive the next season. When the team has to leverage the enthusiasm of the fan base to attend the games, they have to be held accountable when they don’t improve the team when they’ve already pointed to the warts.

    Can’t wait for April.

    • They actually have done some stuff. Johnson is gone, so in JPA. Izturis looks to be banished to a bench role. That’s a couple wins you gain just by subtraction. a healthy Melky that won’t produce negative war will give you another win. healthy performances by morrow gives you a couple more. So the team becomes worthy of a .500 record. Add in league average performance by the number 5 pitcher, a healthier neck and back dickey, kratz and navarro combo, lawrie and reyes being present for an entire season, and you push yourself to the wildcard cliff.

      DL’s and Negative permornaces really did this team through, just by removing tha cancers and staying healthy our team s quite good.

      • I hear what you’re saying, and I want to believe, but where did the JJ money go? We’ve got warts and our only pickup was Navarro? I don’t mind, just don’t tell me we’ll be competitive in this division when the rest of the teams have made about $800M worth of pickups. We made 1/100th of that.

        • beleive me, I much prefer a Jiminez pickup and an Infante aquisition off season, that would make us a pretty easy #2 in the division in my opinion. But the bottom 4 of the Al east is gonna be a slugfest, well the orioles still project to suck. It’s time their pythagorean beating ends.

        • But, money doesn’t buy wins….

      • Wait…I’m wrong…

        We claimed Liam Hendriks…

        My bad.

    • How many of you guys actually read his post before you comment? Seriously it is not rocket science to actually read what he wrote. Is it comprehension issues, too fucking lazy or just have the need to post a dumb comment?

      Once again I am on a rampage right now and I have ’till Sunday night, but there is still a high noon in the waking.

      • No issues with comprehension or laziness, Tom (thanks for you condescending tone, though). While Stoeten states that things are “pretty all right”, I’m not sure how you can say that when we haven’t addressed any of our needs (besides letting JPA walk) while the rest of the division spends nearly a billion dollars to improve their ball clubs.

        Don’t piss on my leg and tell me its raining.

  34. I think you nailed it towards the end, Stoeten. It just feels like a lack of respect. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s what pisses me off about all this. You state unequivocally that you want to add 1 or 2 starters, then you just straight up don’t? Fine. Honestly, given what was out there that may have actually been the best approach. But fucking SAY that. Be straight with the fan base. Enough with the spin. I realize they can’t tell us everything, but the way this front office communicates is fucking infuriating and frankly insulting.

    That said, this club still has a lot of talent. Here’s hoping everything breaks right this year. Fuck knows the baseball gods owe us.

    • You read my mind I love the team like their chances and think aa is a good gm but fuck me if I wouldnt totslly shit on him for being a weasily lying corporste asshole if I ever talked to him. Just give it to me straight

      • Here’s the thing: he did. We just don’t want to believe him.

        He said he wanted to add a pitcher.
        He said he did not see a deal in free agency.
        He said he could make trades but the prices were stil to high.

        Sometimes we hear the things we want to, and then feel betrayed by our false expectation.

        He promised to try to get a pitcher. He never said he would at any price.

  35. Yeah good points. But shit, looking at some of these contracts laid out this year and for what is a 12 mill/yr improvement to your depth and starting five rotation. Not to mention good durability. I don’t see why it seems (who actually knows) that they sat on their hands this whole winter for free agents.

    Doesn’t it make you wonder if they really had the 14 mill earmarked for JJ? The thought that scares me most is if Rogers didn’t feel like they could be competitive or that too many chances were taken last summer. Suggesting that maybe we are in a status quo despite last summer’s positive signs

  36. I don’t like the hypocrisy. End of last season AA says pitching is the issue. We have to fix it. He can a) sign a free agent; b) make a trade; and c) do nothing and hope prospects come through. He didn’t really leave the impression at any point that c was the preferred route. Furthermore, no one in baseball has stated the Jay’s have amazing pitching coming up they need not do anything this off season. Those are the facts, like it or not. As a fan its tough to get excited about a strategy that seems to be destined for mediocrity.

    • I think we all feel bullshitted and quite honestly I think if the team shits the bed this year AA would walk rather than rebuild because I believe he is the real deal and he is being managed.

      • If this team shits the bed AA isn’t gong to walk, his ass will be punted.

        • If so, it would be unjust. He’s played this offseason like he’s got payroll security. If he gets punted, it will mean that he played it this way not because he had the long term interests of the franchise in mind, but because Rogers forbade him from making any moves.

          No, I think he’s safe. If his job was in jeopardy, he’d have moved prospects for Samardzija. Or he’s the most noble GM in the history of sports.

  37. I’m ok with trying Hutch/Drabek/Happ/McGowan/Stroman…. but fuck it sure would be better to do having actually upgraded at C and 2B.

    As much as I hated watching JPA and Bonifacio ruin things last year, I honestly wouldn’t bet that our current 2B and C do any better than them this year. Plus we lost Rajai for that its worth.

    • I’m pretty sure our situation at cather will be better than last year, barring some serious injury. navvaro kratz is better than JPA and Thole.

      • Love to see Kratz make the team out of camp, but even if he doesn’t I’m sure we’ll see alot of him this season.

    • How can you not like a .300 hitting catcher better than JP? Seriously? You need to remember that JP was HISTORICALLY bad last year. Not just, ‘could’ve been better’, but pulled for the last few games so he would not set a record bad.

      We will be infinitely better at 4 positions if guys stay healthy, and that definitely includes catcher.

  38. I don’t disagree that the Jays could surprise us, although I’m not holding my breath. The biggest problems I have with the team and AA is that you can’t ever just stand pat. That would be true if we won 94 games, and should be unquestioned with a 74 win team.

    And his inability to adjust his belief based on the actual market is inexcusable. Look, Jimenez and Santana aren’t world-beaters, but (esp. Jimenez) are decent 3/4 workhorses, which is something we lack badly and his contract was very reasonable given the actual market, not just AA’s imaginary one.

    • He is full of shit and doesnt have an imaginary msrkrt. He is being a good corporste employee by not saying rogers isnt increasing psyroll which would lead to even more jays fans hating on rogers. Really he could have just said it like it is that psyroll is way up and the team needs to winto make revenue to justify it and he believes inthe team he constructed and thatit will win. In my mind he is making himself look incompetent rather than be accountable for his actions and showing faith inthe plsyers on the team

  39. Mariners don’t have a lot of leverage with the Franklin situation do they? Young player basically finished with the minor leagues who now knows he has no future with the organization (no chance to beat out Cano or Seager, Miller much better suited to SS than he is).

    If they keep him and stuff him on the bench or down in the minors, he’s gonna be one unhappy dude.

  40. This whole off season they have said that they’re looking to add to the rotation. This is a failure in part of the management if they don’t.

  41. Looks like Stoeten’s been reading the dictionary. I hold a Masters degree and I have no idea what he said in the first two paragraphs.

  42. Hey, Stoeten give me the keys to this place while you are gone. Doin’ pretty good so far..yes?

  43. You really need to write from a firm position – these posts are all over the place lately as you clearly side with ownership but do your best to placate the majority of your readers who do not.

    The idea that Brandon Morrow can’t be counted on is no more ridiculous than believing that he’s going to have a break out season.

    “It all sucks and we deserve more…”

    All you had to say.

    • Garbage.

      • I agree. You were all over the place.

        • Maybe things aren’t black and white and some nuance is required? If you want proclamations visit other sites.

          • Not asking for proclamations, just a clear voice and point of view which seems to be lacking in these articles.

            Also, the “if you don’t like it, go elsewhere’ argument doesn’t hold any water. A big part of sites like this is in-depth critical analysis of the team which inevitably leads to disagreements. These discussions are a big part of the reason many of us would visit a site like this in the first place. If Stoeten wanted a forum to write puff pieces that his friends and family could congratulate him on, this isn’t it.

            • Hey JJ….let me be the last to tell you and your fucked up family to genuinely fuck off! You have been obviously used by the military in certain projects. There is a God for people who were born of uncertainty but it was not you. Your mother is a fucking piece of glass and your sister is….well , Stoeten took her to Florida.

              Love, Your Brother

              • Amen brother. Loving the drunk Tom W today. My crown drunk pales in comparison, should’ve bought rum.

              • Congratulations, Tom W, for being an idiot

              • Shut the fuck up cretin.

              • Hey JJ….let me be the last to tell you and your fucked up family to genuinely fuck off! You have been obviously used by the military in certain projects. There is a God for people who were born of uncertainty but it was not you. Your mother is a fucking piece of glass and your sister is….well , Stoeten took her to Florida.

                Love, Your Brother

                Really? You said nothing to discredit his comment. You just hurled poorly thought out insults at him and his family. Stoeten banned a few guys for stupidity and you’re acting like your typing from a highschool library. “Hey dude, look at what I called this guy online! Fuckin sick, eh?”
                I think he brings up a good point. While his knowledge of sabremetrics and the game itself are most of the time unmatched, he sounds extremely sanctimonious and degrading to anyone not inline with his thought patterns. It also seems like he writes his articles with a fishing pole and a boner, hoping to land a compliment and a rider.

                Anyways.
                Go Jays Go!!!

  44. I don’t mind giving Hutchison and Stroman shots but we all know that probably won’t happen with all these out of option pitchers. I’d be shocked if anyone other than Redmond or Rogers is the #5 guy for the first few months of the year. Those guys as a 5 isn’t bad until you realize that JA Happ is the locked in #4 guy.

    Oh and fuck Drabek. Until he shows that he can do something other than bomb completely at any level above AA, I don’t know why he’s being mentioned as an option for this upcoming season.

    I took that conference as:

    “I’m not allowed to spend anymore after the additions last year. My job relies on these longshots to contribute immediately so I’m going to talk them up. Oh shit. We’re all probably screwed but hope for the best.”

  45. Great post, even though at times it felt a bit Joycean.

    I’ve seen some people who are really down on the Jays’ chances say the offense is league average. With decent health, this offense could lead the league. People forget how dynamic Reyes and Bautista are? Encarnacion isn’t the only bat in the lineup. With Goins (or someone else yet to be brought in) hitting 9th, it’s going to be a super solid 1-8.

    There’s no reason to think the bullpen won’t be terrific again, and Gibbons has established his credentials at handling the bullpen.

    They could ride the 2012 Orioles formula to the playoffs – hit the shit out of the ball and have the pen hold leads or give them a chance to come back.

    The difference is that the Jays’ rotation is already better than the 2012 (or 2013 or 2014) O’s. Dickey, Morrow and Buehrle is a fine 1-3. I’m not a fan of Happ, but they have a ton of guys who can slot in to one or both of the #4 and #5 spots.

    I worry their bench will drag them down, and they’ll have limited flexibility due to carrying 8 relief pitchers and having a DH who can’t hit LHP and a platoon-mate who isn’t a great fielder or baserunner. Gibbons could get backed into a corner pretty frequently in close games from the 6th inning on.

    • They won’t carry 8 for long.

      • We’ve said that before. Hope you’re right this time.

      • You’re right that they ought not to. They better fucking not. I hate that they’d do it even for a series.

      • They can’t carry 8 at all this year. They need a backup infield (Izturis), backup C (Kratz or Thole), platoon with Lind (Sierra). None of those guys can play CF to give Colby a day off, so you have to carry Gose too. There’s your bench. Add 5 starter, 7 relievers and the starting 9 and your 25 man roster is set.

        • I think 3 of those 8 are out of the stupid options agreement? I hate that but am I Right?

          • Out of options: Rogers, Redmond, McGowan, Jeffress, L Perez. Happ has an option but can refuse reassignment and declare himself a free agent.

            Something’s gotta give. Not in AA’s DNA to give away assets such as these.

            • Im actually a big fan or L Perez, or was before his injury

              • He looked good late last season. What’s not to like so far in his career.

                • Agreed, the whole bullpen looks pretty sick. All this talk about shit breaking right, our bullpen could be one of the filthiest this season.

                  • I like Loup a lot too and feel bad for him that it’s looking like, in spite of having established himself as a big leaguer, he’s going to start the season in Buffalo.

                    The bullpen is pretty sick. Enough talent to put a Loup and a Wagner in the minors and still be lights out.

              • Agree perez could be a real sleeper and develop into solid loogy in pen ion thelow side

        • There are at least two problems with keeping Gose on the 25-man. He hits from the same side as Rasmus and Lind. His development is probably better served in Buffalo than on the bench in Toronto. Pillar might be more likely, but in either case you’re up against a crunch of pitchers who are out of options.

          I fear we’ll see an 8-man pen until some space is created. Cabrera’s in The Best Shape of his Life. He’ll be the emergency CF.

    • I actually don’t get how they’ve handled the bench at all. Obviously, that’s the easiest thing to improve during spring training and from in-season waiver claims, but it sure might be cutting it close. Plenty of guys in the offseason could have been had for cheap contracts or trade costs that would have fit, so it’s odd to me that the Jays passed up on them, and (again, barring small moves to come, which I don’t want to make sound unlikely) they’re offensive depth is left similarly shallow to their pitching depth from last year.

      I suppose the main logic behind it was a) not wanting to spend dollars or trade chips that could be used to help get pitching (so maybe they can use those now) or b) that they don’t really want to lose Sierra (which is sillier).

  46. This will all be moot when we’re within a couple of games at the trade deadline, at which point we add Cliff Lee and Chase Utley, or some other such move. AA is going to look brilliant at that point that he didn’t tie up resources in Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, or Nelson Cruz (read: guys who might be the best available right now, but really aren’t that special in the grand scheme of things).

    • That’s the spirit!

    • Look brilliant? More like fucking desperate. One, 1/2 of
      Cliff Lee’s salary is what Ubaldo or Garza would cost for a full year. Two, then add on the cost in terms of prospects that an arm or decent 2nd basemen is going to cost. Now total up the salary and the expected value surplus that said prospects will potentially net you over the next 6 years of control. If you can follow what I am saying, then you will quickly realize that spending up front is far cheaper to the franchise as a whole with the added benefit of having your upgrades contribute to the first half of your season. For a team that bemoans the Navarro signing as an “overpay” it should be impossible to justify making such a trade. The fact is “value” to this team is generally the go to excuse for not signing free agents and it really is a pile of shit when you look at everything in context especially where the team is in terms of it’s composition. We are well past the rebuild stage where it was a justifiable excuse imo. If there are budget restraints say so, at least that way using your prospect capital becomes a necessity because it’s your only option.

      People need to remember that just as cash is part of your capital, so are prospects. Cash is far easier to replenish or reallocate in the short-term than it is to replace high ceiling prospects. Teams like Boston have done a great job doing this over the years and haven’t nearly been so spendthrift with them as the Yankees have. At the end of the day the net cost to the Yankees has actually been greater than Boston because of how their prospects have been managed so in turn they end up spending more through free agency.

      • I understand your point completely. My point is that it ‘s probably preferable to have the financial and prospect capital available to add somebody we actually want a few months from now, as opposed to using up some of those same resources to add lesser players right now.

  47. As a fan who is relatively young (28) so has no real memories of being the best, I absolutely loved 2013 being the favourites pre-season. The season itself sucked yes lol. But just going in without the feeling of “if these 20 things go right for us, and wrong for them, we’re in!” for once was absolutely awesome. One year later…back to the same.

    In myself at least, that’s what’s bread irrational negativity and some hate towards what’s really a solid roster top-bottom. The off-season doesn’t bring you flags that’s definitely true lol. But the way this off-season has gone has left me without any excitement for spring training other than simply having baseball back. I don’t care about spring at this point (which sucks since they’re finally airing most of the games! ) and just feel beaten down.

    That said I’ll be watching opening day until they’re out like always…but god damn that feeling of “holy shit we could do this and it won’t take a mircale!” was awesome.

  48. Why in the fuck would you DFA Morel for Hendricks?

    • Was wondering that myself… I mean… not worth getting overly worked up about it. but still. seemed odd.

    • Because mediocre shitty pitcher is better than shitty mediocre infielder?

      • Shitty pitcher with an option.

        • Little risk to exposing Morel to waivers. If he gets claimed, no big deal. If he doesn’t, yippee. Hendricks has the option and may come in handy in Buffalo if they can put together a package for something.

  49. Does anyone think the fact that they paid Billions for the rights to the NHL and they just spent over 3 Billion on a wireless spectrum this week has any thing to do with the sudden “quiet”

    Some analysts are saying that Rogers stock pric is going to feela little pressure and there credit spreads are going to be affected with there spending this winter.

    I can see the Rogers people having some trouble approving major moves with that news

    • In my expierance when a corporation just spent the aformentioned billions on expansion and gorwth, it is not usually followed by the tighten of purse springs. When money is flowing, money is flowing all around.

      • You meant purse strings right? Cuz the ole lady has purse springs and I ain’t the CEO of nothin’

      • I am not sure though when analysts start talking about it affecting stock prices, apparently they pid more for there spectrum then the federal government expected to gt for the whole auction.

    • Reasonable thought and a natural instinct but in my experience (25 years in corporate management and 13 of them in national corporate finance) its unlikely to see a company with this history and size overextend so badly that operating budgets would suffer to that degree. What is more common after such a huge spend is a hypersensitivity to efficiency and defending the value of decisions with added red tape. I might be over reaching a tad but I think this is characterized in Anthopolous’ methods this off season. Set the value and push for it but never overpay.

    • Again, this is why Rogers should flip the jays to mlse. Rogers gets 600mm of cash essentially from bell and tanenbaum, assuming the whole value is a B. the jays get full tv coverage from both entities as well as a likely bump in available spending. Leiweke gets a shiny new toy!

  50. Why the hell is my comment awaiting moderation?

  51. Hey, those ‘deaf, dumb, and blind…victims’ sure play a mean MLB 2014, though. lol

    Seriously, some people need to frickin’ settle down. Injuries derailed the maturation process of several prospects, made a mess of the rotation in ’12 and ’13, and affected everyday players both seasons, too. Add in some historically bad play and some off-seasons and, voila, right?

    A return to health by both Morrow and Dickey gives the Jays two quality #2s AT LEAST. They’re both considerably better than they showed last year. Buehrle is awesomely reliable, and Happ’s made positive adjustments.

    LF was a black hole but subtract a tumour, add a good conditioning regimen, and add a hitting coach with whom he already has a very good working relationship and it looks much better. Right?

    2B was an unexpected black hole, and appears unimproved. If Goins can be even a fraction as good defensively as he was in his cameo, the position’s been improved BECAUSE IZTURIS AND BONIFACIO SUCKED BILGE offensively and defensively. Any offense out of Goins is gravy. A return to form by Izturis strengthens the bench, too.

    Lind tortures RHP, EE does the same to all pitching, JB’s one of the best all-round OF in MLB, Lawrie’s growing into a very good 3B, C is improved with Navarro and Kratz, Rasmus is a very good CF, and Reyes is Reyes.

    Sorry this is so long but I’m so frickin’ tired of all the whining and complaining.

    • Now I feel all warm and fuzzy. Good stuff.

    • the problem with second is that it’s such an obvious place to upgrade, that if they got a league average 2nd gaseman, it would add at least 2 wins to the roster. The fact they’re leaving goins in there means we’re getting a big fat zero in production there, which is better than -1.2, but a positive 2 would be hellishly better.

      This is in direct contrast to adding 2 war pitcher, which basically only gives you an additional 1 war and more depth.

      • Having Defense at second this year has to be worth something though. It was horrid last year and like has been said, our lineup besides that is pretty nice.

        • yeah added defense sure. But his bat still sucks, still big fat zero in the lineup.

          • Team is more than the sum of its parts’ WARs. Goins fills a needed role. The bat won’t be bad enough that the glove can’t play. If it is, they’ve Kawasaki who we saw last year was a positive contributor no matter what the metrics (advanced or triple slash) may say. Except when he would get the yips in the field on key outs.

            Given decent health, the offense should kill it enough to carry Goins’s bat in the 9 hole. The infield defense should be off the charts good.

          • They won a WS with Manual fucking Lee. One shitty bat is fine.

        • I would be fine with defence up the middle. I would really like to see Lind moved because I believe his shit (Value) has hit the peak. Trade his ass and quality not WaR and sign some Cubans

  52. It’s crazy to think that if Jimenez signed with the Jays he would be their second highest paid pitcher

  53. Koolaid

    • This kind of stupidity is exactly what I’m talking about. Nobody thinks the Jays are a lock to make the playoffs here, it’s going to take things breaking right and performances from some guys of the kind we haven’t seen from them before.

      The situation is complicated and can’t be expressed in dull-headed terms like “hope = Kool Aid” or “hate/anger/rebuild = smart.” The opposite is more likely true, frankly.

  54. Well I think one of the issues is the fact that AA is a piss poor communicator, or judge of fan/media reaction.

    If the fact is that Hutch is ready to go for this year, that they think Stro is ready to step in, and that Rogers and Happ are the complete fuckups people say they are, he’s done absolutely nothing on his part to get that message out. Does he really think people are going through the boxscores of the AFL and seeing how well our pitchers did and thinking to themselves, “hmm maybe we don’t have a real need to add c+ pitchers at b prices, and should use that money to address holes (read 2nd base) elsewhere”.

    No they don’t. It is up to him and a lesser extent Gibbons to tell the fans these things. They haven’t. Thus the anger and perception that they are willingly entering the season with only three major league quality starters, and two of those are 35+ and the other can’t pitch more than 100 effective innings a year. I’ve never seen a GM do a piss poor job selling his team as this guy.

    Maybe they should hire a popular ex-player, slap a AGM title on him, and make him the mouthpiece for the front office.

    Better than AA standing there with that “Why don’t you people know these things I don’t tell you about” look on his face. It’s like he is completely unprepared for the questions that are asked him because he thinks the image of the team in the media and public’s mind is the same as his when it actually isn’t.

    • should be “Rogers and Happ are NOT the complete fuckups”

      thanks. no edit button. lol.

    • Keep in mind that everything they say to the fans gets heard by other front offices too. You don’t want to tip your hand in these sorts of situations.

      • I dont think this concept that media posturing impacts dealings with other gms or agents. If communication is disigenuous, and I think it has been this offseadon, it is about selling tickets although I cant figure out how what has happened would have helped thst at all

        • Neh. The communication contained forward-looking statements regarding possibilities on the free-agent market. They didn’t pan out. That’s unfortunate but it doesn’t render the previous communication “disingenuous.”

  55. Can Gose learn to play 2nd by opening day?

  56. Actually Devon wasn’t Devon until he got here. If I recall correctly he had problems with authority, clubhouse problem etc etc. Then he came here and became an amazing defender, terrific lead-off and so on.

    • Your memory is better than mine then. I’m no Gose hater. I’d just like to see him in the lineup to either flame out or earn a spot. If for no other reason than to make the Colby decision to resign or trade easier.

    • I’m pretty sure he had already won at least one gold glove before he was traded to Toronto but your right there was something about him and the manager butting heads and problems. I just can’t remember the full story.

  57. If anyone is interested, I’m selling 54 games at cost for tickets right behind Home Plate. It is Section 124 Row 21 Seat 107,108. Thanks

  58. Everyone seems even more hammered than usual tonight. Go Canada go!

  59. Im just thankful I dont have to watch JP Errorcibia trot out everyday anymore. His call game was weak, his mendoza line batting average, his inability to take a fucking walk.. thats the only thing i hang on AA, is putting to much faith in that player.

    • I agree K-Dawg. I got the point last year where I almost would have taken losing without him over winning with (in spite of) him, if those were the only two options.

  60. As much as an upgrade would be nice, kinda looking forward to what the draft is gonna look like with the # of pics and position the Jays have

    • Is it a deep draft?

      • Thats what pundits say. Jays have had obvious signing issues and some questionable picks ie Deck Mcguire.

        It should be interesting. Also the Jays had some big scouting shake ups and different people running the drafts so who knows what their philosophy is going into this?

        • They were bound to have questionable picks. For his 1st 4 years AA has finegled and coaxed extra picks over and above his normal allottment: 2010 – 7 picks in the 1st 80 ; 2011 – 7 picks in top 75; 2012 – 5 picks in top 60.

        • You realize that McGuire was the “safe” pick that enabled them to feel comfortable taking the risks in the sandwich round that landed them Sanchez and Syndergaard, right?

  61. This off season has been like the six stages of death or divorce; pick your poison. The maturity of us seem to be in the acceptance stage right in time for spring training. Here’s hoping we won’t be filing divorce papers again next fall.

    I can’t quit you!

  62. On Friday, the Jays claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. To make room on the 40-man roster, Toronto designated infielder Brent Morel for assignment.

    Brent…we hardly knew you, son.

  63. There is never, then, any unified opposition, with fans spread out, pushing at all three pillars.

    This is by the far the most insightful thought you’ve had of the fan base, that I have ever heard. :)

  64. Pretty alright isn’t good enough, and that is the point, after 20 years of futility in this market, it isn’t good enough. Unless you think pretty alright is a top five team in baseball with a realistic shot at the world series, pretty alright comes across to me as average, which is a small step away from mediocre, or worse. After an off season without significant improvement to imagine this team with a shot at being anything more than average is a big stretch, and that isn’t good enough. It is that simple, stop looking for shades of grey in the dark, it won’t change the reality. They won’t win it all, they won’t make the playoffs, they will be lucky to play .500 baseball, an improvement, and as fans we get to watch the ‘content’ on sportsnet, watch the advertising, help rogers make more money, while the front office continues to feed us line after line of bs.

    • This team will be a significant upgrade over last year simply by stepping on the field together for more than 5 games.

      How many times in the first half were Reyes and Lawrie playing the left side together? Without checking, I think it might have been 0.

      A healthy Cabrera, even if he’s just average, is a significant upgrade over what the Jays trotted out to LF last year.

      The combination of Navarro and Kratz/Thole can’t possibly put up worse numbers than JP did, and will be sound defensively.

      Add in the health and prospect growth at SP (Morrow, Hutch, Drabek, Stroman, Sanchez, etc.) and things don’t look so dire.

  65. Thank you for this great read. I have been fending off the negative trolls for weeks. Sometimes single handledly, sometimes with the odd brave soul willing to go toe to toe with the abuse that is reserved for people who are actually fans of the game. Common sense wins you nothing but a whiny response about accepting mediocrity. While I am admittedly well past my prime, I also had an opportunity to play low level minor league ball. I love the sport and have been a Jays fan since the 80s. I drive 20 hours straight twice a year to see a weekend of ball twice a year in Toronto. As a businessman I appreciate the concept of assigning value to esources and the discipline of not overpaying for the wrong piece of the puzzle. Longtime fan first time poster – thanks for being an educated voice of the reasonable common fan.

    • As a business man you appreciate a business pretending to operate in an economy that doesn’t exist? This is the mlb, you can’t decide that you wont pay market value and expect to win, some organizations value winning, it is a game, a competition after all, rogers values content, and stringing along its fans just enough to keep them viewing that content. Did the Mariners over pay for Cano, surely, if they win it all no one, including the owners, will care.

      • The same idiots said the same nonsense about Fielder and Pujols. Fielder cost $30 million to dump plus taking on Kinsler’s contract. Pujols is undumpable.

        Who did this asshole troll as yesterday?

      • The same should be said about Matsuzaka. Anyone think that deal is highly regarded outside of a few Red Sox staff that were part of it? Personally I think it paid off for them but it was a low percentage high cost deal.

        The term “market value” assumes consistency between products. When the product is not consistent, as is the case when comparing pitchers to each other, you need to break it down to individual elements and assemble a combined unique value for each product/pitcher.

        And if Jiminez and Santana were asking for fair “market value” they would have been signed a lot earlier

        Just my thoughts. Cheers

    • Welcome Drew.

  66. The Gibby/Seitzer connection along with the Grittiness factor that is adored much throughout the league has me thinking that perhaps we might be seeing a lot more of Chris Getz.

    • According to your name you probable also agree that the 1.5Million in free money the organization is handing to dusty is warranted? Or all the money has squeezed out of the organization with no return on their investment. Change you user name your an idiot.

      • I feel very embarrassed for you.

        • Can 1.5M for free Jay? your an idiot .

          • The sheer amount of grammar and spelling mistakes within your posts is mind-boggling.

            Sorry you might not be able to comprehend that. Let me please put it in a way you can communicate.

            The Shear amount grammer n spelling awful in you’re post is idiot.

  67. I think in that picture Alex is dreaming of a 50IP season out of McGowan…

  68. If the Jays signed Santana you’d have to expect them to still call the 5th starter spot a competition. Only it would be Happ vs. Hutch with hopefully Hutch coming out on top.

  69. I think McGowan gives more innings than expected and has shown in the past. Gut feeling/prediction I totally could be wrong lol but even with all stats and past history on any baseball player shit happens and it everything changes year to year. It just does.

  70. So the team has to do something, anything, maybe the wrong thing, and if they don’t we’re in for another losing year? Neither Ubaldo nor Santana are season-changing pitchers and even if their contracts are reasonable, they will still eat up resources better kept for next year’s much better crop of free agent starters.

    Here’s the thing: this team was completely changed in The Trade. They started badly and got injured and played worse. AA doesn’t know whether this is an amazing team who collectively had an outlier year and he was right to put it together or a lousy team that for some reason just doesn’t play ball well together and he was wrong. I don’t see any compelling reason to add either of a pair of #3 or #4 starters here when the internal possibilities might be better and cheaper.

  71. O’s to sign Cruz. Not a horrible move if they keep it to just 2 years, but Cruz just isn’t that good and certainly isn’t getting any better

    • If, like you say, its only two years and its at a reasonable number, its a good move. He’s not a great player, but he does add another bat with some thump to a lineup that was already pretty good.

    • I hope they throw him out in LF every game.

    • 1 year $8M – I think that constitutes “value.” Looks like Nelson should have taken that 14M offer from the Rangers.

      • Wow… everyone figured there wasn’t much of market for Cruz, but I never figured he’d sign for less than the QO. Boras is going to be hard pressed to beat that for Morales, even if he is a slightly better hitter.

      • Wow indeed. Cruz is not great but at that price for one year he’s a great signing.
        He can DH and they can still platoon Lough/Reimold in LF.

        Be interesting to see if there is anything in the contract or in MLB rules that would
        prevent them from hanging another QO on him at the end of 2014 and potentially
        recouping the draft pick they lost for signing Jiminez.

        Will also be interesting to see if they now go the extra mile and sign Santana too.

  72. MLBTR reported an interesting comment from Dombrowski on the Fister trade:
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/02/al-notes-fister-trade-jimenez-hardy-correia.html

    According to Dombrowski, they wanted a young pitcher and made up a list of 15. They contacted other teams and Washington was the only one willing to make a move.

    We don’t know that it was phrased in terms like “What about Fister for Sanchez.”
    (and AA would/should not trade 6yr of Sanchez for one year of Fister anyways)
    It might have been simply, “What would it take to get Sanchez or Stroman?”
    And he might have been told they were unavailable. End of conversation.

    I doubt there are 15 guys out there he’d rather have than Sanchez or Stroman…if there
    are that is a problem. So you’d think the Blue Jays would have had to have been one of the teams that knew something was going on.

    But why would the other teams, including the Blue Jays, pretend it was some deep, dark mystery….trucks pulling up in the middle of the night kind of thing..when it was anything but?
    Lots of teams had to know but just be unwilling to pay the price.

    • Well, for one, I think maybe he was looking for a young pitcher close to the big leagues. That pretty much takes Sanchez out of the mix. And we still have to remember the concerns about Stroman sticking as a starter. So I could totally see neither guy being on the list.
      Also, he said “about 15.” Could have been 13 or 14, and there could have been more than one pitcher per team.
      So while it is interesting I don’t think we should be terribly worried about why the Jays weren’t in on it. And it also wouldn’t be surprising that some teams might have been in the dark. You’re still looking at roughly half of the organizations or more not knowing anything about it.

      • And just to clarify, it’s not like teams who were involved are gonna say “yeah we had a chance to get Doug Fister, but decided to price was too high.” Especially when the deal was almost immediately panned by most as not enough for Fister.

    • There are only 29 teams for Dombrowski to trade with, and only 15 pitchers on his list, if true. Why do we even believe the Jays are necessarily one of the teams with a pitcher on it?

      I don’t think Sanchez for two years of Fister, given how this team is setup, is so unreasonable.

  73. I don’t like where the team is right now, and certainly the 2B situation is just beyond dreadful, but I think you can get pitching in-season cheaper than you can now, while teams hold onto the illusion that they can contend.

    AA needs to look frankly at this team as constructed and see if it can compete. If they are in it in July, he needs to go after Shark, or Lee, or another ace from a team that’s out of the race. He may feel that the chances are that he will be able to pry a top-3 starter away from somebody in-season — which would be better than Santana or Jiminez despite the fact that there are things to like about either.

    Letting the money burn a hole in your pocket isn’t the answer, but I can see how it could be more effectively used in the summer than it can right now. Who here wouldn’t take a half-season of Lee over a full season of Ubaldo, plus paying Ubaldo for 3 more seasons?

  74. Nelson Cruz to Orioles, nice to see an AL east augmenting their core through FA but too bad its not the Jays.

  75. This team is a fucking laughing stock… The Orioles sign the starter the Jays so desperately need then the Jays pick up one of their pitchers off waivers? A comedy of errors.

    One mans trash is another mans treasure I guess…

    • Fuck, Hand Job, will you please go away.

    • The first rule of trolling is not to make the idiotic statements too idiotic.Otherwise it gets recognized immediately as a desperate call for attention.
      Try being more subtle.It will ignite the response you desire and people will talk to you.
      Outrageous doesn’t work.
      Instead of “this team is a fucking laughing stock”,say something like ” I don’t have a fucking clue whats going on because I’m a fucking idiot”
      People will pity you and engage you in conversation, to try and talk you off the ledge.

      • Once again in your world negativity = trolling

        Hows the Kool Aid there bud?

        • You’re still not getting it.

          Say something like.

          ” I have huge reservations that the team may not perform up to the expectations that were predicted before all those injuries happened in 2013″

          Follow that up with

          ” sorry for being such a negative suckhole,I don’t have a clue and I am frustrated.Does anybody have some spare Ritalin?”

          I’ll help you through this transition.
          I care.

          • Perhaps you should ghost write my posts?

            Or even better…. maybe you shouldn’t bother with someone that you suspect is trolling and just trying to get attention, because if that were the case wouldn’t you be falling right into the trap which in turn makes you look like a total a loser… and in this case looks wouldn’t be deceiving.

            • Lots of responses to your trolling, Hand Job. Is your tummy nice and full?

            • I love your posts birdie. Very entertaining. Keep it up. This site would be so boring with all the homers kissing each others ass. But its only a matter of time before hitler bans you so fyi use a proxy server afterwords and you can post again.

          • Genius.

        • Ah, the old “Kool Aid” ad hominem. Anyone who dares to not be a negative fuckwad about the sports team they support for fun is clearly a delusional homer.

          The Jays are absolute garbage and aren’t winning 50 games. I feel so much better now!

          • I’m not all negative – I predict 83 wins. But not good enough to make the playoffs.

            • Much better.Glad to help.
              I don’t think you can make predictions about wins.
              That would neccessitate an assumption that the team you see in April will be the team you see in September.
              It won’t be.

              • Kinda like those starters they were supposed to get (according to AA) right RADAR? Those starters you kept telling people to be patient for so that the Jays could get the best value for them?

                • Just when I thought we were making progress.
                  Maybe an intervention is neccessary.

                  I never said any of that.
                  You’re confusing me with Stoeten.
                  And thats making my blood pressure rise.

          • And by the same design anyone that’s negative, in any way is a fuckwad?

  76. Im just happy melky is healthy. Expect a big year from him. Though unproven Sierra can at least be serviceable for lhp lind replacement. Goins d can and will offset his bat. Main thing imo is he does the small things well this year. Ie take pitches move runners over is not liability on paths when he reaches… its not doomsday especially if he brings ++D. Lots of people dont put enough thought on impact of mediocre d from the keystone. The better is glove the more confidence out pithers get the more the6 are willing to just get the ball in play the less pitches per inning thus more innings pitched etc and as l9ng as he does the little things at the plate the Jays will be fine carrying him. Anyhow lets go bluejays!

    • I agree ike.
      There are several factors that point to Melky possibly having a great year.

    • I have a lot of doubts that Goins will end up being that valuable for the simple reason he is basically a platoon bat. He is next to useless vs left handers while vs rhp he’s barely adequate. Imo you’re going to have to platoon him vs lhp or create a giant suckhole in your lineup. The glove will only compensate for so much suckage imo. At least someone that derives must of his value with his glove like Andrus, is basically equal offensively from both sides of the plate, therefore he’s going to accumulate value all season. Does Goins potential limited playing time make his contributions worthy of a roster spot? If Izturis has to fill in for him vs left handers then your bench becomes a liability vs lhp. It’s a tough decision, take the pitcher like contributions when facing LHP to keep the glove and the utility guy intact or sacrifice the versatility of your utility man upfront. Maybe on some teams it wouldn’t be as much of an issue but Lawrie and Reyes aren’t exactly the most durable.

      Unfortunately with an 8 man pen likely to start the year there’s no room for another infield bat. In fact the bench could turn out to be a real problem for the Jays this year as you don’t even have an adequate CF option in Sierra.

      Hopefully AA does something to address this before the season starts.

      • Goins has barely had a cup of coffee in mlb. Our “holes in lineup?” are him and…. start grabbing at straws now… whether lhp, rhp, whatever, this lineup can cover him plus one other without much concern. Ill take sierra in cf only if i had to but in a pinch could be worst (think wilkerson). If more then 1 game gose is a short drive away. O7r team as is is not that bad. 95 wins prob not but should be able to strike 85-90with aa bit of health – 90+ if all holds up season long.

        • Goins minimal time is irrelevant as his minor league numbers are just as bad vs lhp.

          The point wasnt whether or not the lineup could withstand his horrible numbers vs lhp but one of his net value if the bat becomes so intolerable and he becomes a platoon player. As much as i believe in the offense, his crap bat will stand out if certain guys slump or there are more injuries which is almost a given throughout a long season.

          Again saying Gose is only a short drive away completely ignores the type of nagging injury that puts a player out for a few games as opposed to a full DL stint. Obviously a player going on the DL would allow you to get a replacement. I didnt think that needed to be mentioned.

          Like you i do believe this is a good team, but i also realize in a league with an unbalanced schedule, in a division with 4 decent to very good teams, there isnt a lot of room for not maximizing your opportunities and that’s what having a good bench is all about. Maybe they will realize that carrying 8 men in the pen just isnt worth it even if there were to lose a guy on waivers.

          • Ugh to be fair completely forgot about a potentially revitalized Melky filling in CF in pinch. Still thin though, pity Bonifacio didnt work out, having someone who could play the infield and outfield would be such a bonus.

            • Watching Boni helplessly fail at 2B and seeing that stupid grin he always makes after an error doesn’t make me miss him at all.

            • I feel your frustrations. I can see where you coming from. I really believe all will work out. When i see goins pencilled in i think of kozma and the likes…

  77. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Orioles do this year. What they’ve done this last week reminds me of what Cleveland did last winter in snapping up Bourne for a draft pick after adding Swisher earlier on.

    • Jays in on. Orelaws

    • Maybe its time we compared the two birds:
      C-Wieters vs Navarro–big edge O’s
      1B-Davis vs EE–I’ll take either one thank you very much.
      2B-Flaherty vs Goins-Not much for either side. Flaherty has probably proven he
      deserves a spot on a MLB roster, so will give a slight edge to O’s
      SS-Hardy vs Reyes: Neither have great range. Both will turn anything they get to into outs.
      Hard has some thump, Reyes greater speed and OBP.
      If he’s healthy, comfortable edge to Reyes.
      3B- Machado vs Lawrie. Interesting one. Both have the potential to be one of the best young players in the game. Either one could break out his year or not. Most people might give the edge to Machado. I’m going to call it even with maybe even a slight edge to Lawrie.
      RF-Markakis vs Bats. Big edge to Jays if Bats is healthy.
      CF-Jones vs Rasmus. Both are good player but Jones gives the O’s a comfortable edge.
      LF Reimold/Lough vs Melky. None of these guys might make it through the season; but, if he’s healthy, Mellky wins this battle
      DH-Cruz vs Lind/Sierra Even?
      Bench: Edge to O’s
      Bullpen: Big Edge to Jays
      Rotations: Don’t much care for either one. But if Morrow is healthy, I’ll take the Jays.
      On the Way: Schoop-Gauseman-Bundy vs Stroman-Sanchez: Edge O’s

      If the Blue Jays stay healthy, I’ll take them over the O’s even with the recent Baltimore additions. Problem is, what are the chances that ALL of Melky, Bats, Morrow and Reyes have healthy and productive seasons? If even one of them goes on the DL for any length of time, the balance probably shifts in Baltimore’s favour.

      • you might want to rethink that big edge to the jays as far as bullpens go. the o’s penn was downright dominant

        • Point taken Slade. But Hunter is unproven as a closer. Patton is out for 25 games.
          Webb, Yoon, Brach and Escalona are all new to the party.

          With the Jays, as much as you can with any pitchers, you pretty much know
          what you’re going to get from that group. And its pretty darn good.

          If the starters go deeper and the pen is not overworked like it has been the past
          couple of years, I’ll take the Jays pen over the O’s pen.

      • I’m not so sure you can say Jones is “comfortably” better than Rasmus (assuming that’s what you’re implying). I’d say they’re about even right now; Jones is less volatile but Colby has the potential for a 6+ WAR season. His defense is elite, while I haven’t the faintest idea why Jones won a Gold Glove.

        • Another point well taken. It guess its the track records more than anything.
          Rasmus is going into his age 27 & Jones his age 28 season.

          Both still have room to improve; but, to this point, Jones has been more consistent.
          For me, I’m going to have to see back to back good seasons
          before I put Rasmus on the same level as Jones.

  78. The Jays aren’t putting their best foot forward. They expect us to just keep showing up and keep watching anyways.
    It’s offensive.

  79. “So let’s just fucking enjoy some baseball and see what happens already, eh?”

    I think this is the best tact at this point. Well said.

  80. Why cant Stoeten write a post on how Dusty Mccgowan has been syphoning money from the organization since the year was drafted in 2000. 14 years later the jays are still paying him! and bozo’s on this website are preyin he contributes this year.
    The money we’re paying Dusty we couldve taken a flyer on Suk-Min Yoon. Its a sad when the Baltimore Orioles are 5 steps ahead of us.

    • Using language you might understand:

      your a dum trader

    • Dustin McGowan’s career contributions to the Jays:

      5.9 fWAR
      1.5 bWAR

      Approximate value of that fWAR: $30,000,000
      Approximate value of that bWAR: $7,500,000

      Total amount paid in salary to McGowan: $3,873,500

      Granted McGowan earned most of that WAR prior to 2009, but you would have a hard time arguing McGowan has been siphoning money from the Jays since 2000. Unless, of course, you want to argue anyone getting paid by the Jays has been “siphoning money” merely because the team hasn’t made the playoffs in that span of time, which I suppose is your prerogative. I’d think taking that stance would make you a ridiculously negative POS, but that’s just me.

    • I’d like for them to cut Dusty loose just so we don’t have to hear/read people compare him to Carp every fucking chance they get.

  81. Adam Jones is over-rated. Rasmus is as valuable, and if last year does not prove an outlier is better than Jones. He has more power, gets on base more, is better defensively by every metric but the “he’s black and athletic he must be good at defense” eye test. I don’t get why especially Jays fans who see Colby every day don’t see his value. Look at both Baseball reference pages, the only difference between the two is the counting stats like RBI, R that will favour Jones if for no reason other than he bats at the top of the lineup and Colby doesn’t.

    Colby Rasmus: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rasmuco01.shtml

    • Adam Jones: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jonesad01.shtml

      (TAKE THAT two link posts! lol)

      • I’m as big a fan of Cletus as the next guy, but you can’t ignore those two seasons he spent absolutely in the fucking wilderness. Jones, meanwhile, has seen a fairly steady improvement in his play.
        By bWAR, Since 2009 Rasmus has had two solid seasons, two below average seasons and an absolute stinker.
        In that same time Jones has basically gone from decent to solid, without the wild swings of Rasmus.

        • And yet in spite of those awful seasons, he’s only behind by 7 WAR despite 3 fewer seasons in the bigs…

          • 257 fewer games. Not exactly three seasons.

          • Jones became an MLB regular in his age 22 season, just like Rasmus. From age 22 on Jones beats him by 6ish WAR.
            Again, I’m a Rasmus fan. But the dude has his flaws. Lets not just assume he’s gonna be great.

    • One thing that bothered me about Cletus in 2013 was how often he struck out looking on borderline pitches. If he could get a better handle on the “lefty strike zone”, his K rate might improve quite a bit and his walks should go up too.

  82. LA Dodgers’ ‘Little Cuba’ contingent:

    Erisbel Arruebarruena
    Alex Guerrero
    Yasiel Puig
    Onelki Garcia

    Sadly, Tom W.’s dream is in tatters.

  83. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/02/al-east-notes-blue-jays-santana-bogaerts.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Some interesting points from Kenny Ken Ken among others.

    Also interesting to see that Santana saying he might wait out the market like I was arguing the other day. On the other hand, I am surprised at what Cruz signed for. Maybe because of his PED bust he didn’t have as much leverage. Basically signed the same contract as Melky if you factor in the draft pick.

    • no he didn’t get the same as melky you dipshit. melky got a 2 year deal.

      why don’t you go cut some hedges since you are an expert at it.

      • Obviously you still don’t understand what the Jays/Rogers did moron and i can see that from your lack of reading comprehension. I am sorry that you embarrassed yourself while you tried to claim otherwise.

        As for Melky/Cruz I said if you factor in the draft pick. Now run along little doggie.

  84. Anyone see that Santana might take a one year deal similar to the Cruz deal? Source, mlbtraderumors. If this is the case, how does Toronto not jump all over this? This isn’t a lot more than they are paying Happ and they could leave some of their young arms down in the minors for a few more months to get a little more experience. I know there is draft pick compensation attached but isn’t this best case scenario?

    • Jay will get draft pick back by simply offering QO again next year. Can’t wait for sandlot to say he already predicted this and wants credit.

      • Sandlot was mentioning it as a possibility not a certainty and I would recommend that you curtail your anger quotient. Perhaps Santana’s price will come down enough for the Jays to bite, but I doubt it, based on AA’s sermon. In any event it is simplistic to assume the Jays will get back a draft choice by offering a QO which next year wil be about 15m!
        Do you really think, if they do a 1year for Santana at8m or so,they would risk a QO of that magnitude for a shot in the dark draft choice? Short of a CY Young type season which would be about 6sigma from his norm, there is no way this will occur. Now, stop the fukin truculence

        • I’ll explain the facts for you. ubaldo got not only 12.5 mil per but at 4 years so 1 year at 15 for santana is very reasonable. Also EVERY player that was offered the QO has rejected it so if he has a good season, then 99% chance he rejects it and even if he accepts you’re getting a 200ip guy at less than buerhle’s money so what exactly is the risk?

      • This time last year pretty much the whole baseball world thought JJ was a sure bet for a QO. We all know how that went. So assuming that Santana, a pitcher with a much worse track record, gets one is a stretch.

        • Dambuster, you’re making some giant assumptions, while being awfully flip about them, like they are guaranteed to happen.
          Firstly, if Ervin ended up in Toronto, who knows what kind of season he would have. I’d guess it would be sub par and Toronto wouldn’t offer like they did with jj.
          Additionally, Toronto has a number of young pitchers or guys coming off injuries that could use until the end of the season to work in the minors and might be nice candidates to start the following season with the jays. What makes you think the jays wouldn’t have better internal options?
          Plus, if you’re being honest with yourself, you would see that fifteen mill for Ervin is ridiculous and that ubaldo wouldn’t have received anything even close to twelve from any team but one. I guess ubaldo only needed one sucker, which he found in Baltimore, but I’m not so sure his actual true value isn’t closer to nine or ten.
          Lastly, why you so angry bro?

          • 15 mil for 1 season of Santana is nonsense, no point to it and it’s far above fair maket value. The Jays definitely need to overpay FA’s to come here but not like that. Furthermore, to my point the team can afford to sign a Santana or Jimenez to 50 mil over 4 years but choose not to…. Fine I accept it and have moved on.

            What I won’t accept though is the blind optimism over the bunch of would be starters. Folks, we do this to ourselves every year in some way over this team, each year it’s a different scenario and more than not it doesn’t pan out (or else the Jays would have made the playoffs)

            • birdie, no more nonsense than giving buehrle 39 mil over 2 years.

              santana had the 11th highest IP in the AL, 9th lowest ERA, yet you people act like he’s a piece of shit. Those are halladay type numbers. good grief.

              • I certainly don’t think he’s a piece of shit, he can help this team and is a much better option than Draebek, Hutchinson, Redmond, Romero, Rogers or whatever waiver trash AA picks up. I wanted him for 3 or 4 years.

              • Two words. Ball park.

                • Ervin might have played in a tiny bit more forgiving ball park this year.

                  • poons, that’s why he had HALF as many HR on the road right? do you even understand stats?

                    • I actually have a life so I don’t spend all my time looking up baseball stats and being a keyboard warrior on baseball message boards. Sorry.

          • Maybe you didn’t notice that santana ALREADY got the QO this year!!!#$#$!@
            yet somehow it’s ridiculous he would get it next year?

            • not ridiculous. if he signs way below expectations like Cruz, he probably wouldn’t be extended the QO next year for fear that he’d accept. clearly the market didn’t like Cruz too much, and the same may be true of Santana.

              I personally dont think he’ll sign for a single season – Cruz is a one trick pony who’s game has completely deteriorated defensively and projects to decline rapidly at the plate. With Santana there’s been volatility, but no real signs of definite decline, and if you look at BB%, GB% and his repertoire there are even signs of improvement and adaptation.

            • There might be holes in your logic dambuster. You are forgetting that both teams have different needs on their big league roster, different front offices, different financial situations, different minor league needs, the qo is more money, he would be too years older, different teams, etc.
              I know I’m missing a few hundred reasons why I disagree.

              • this is the first time in history that someone misspelled two as too.

                in any event how is he 2 years older after 1 year? you’ve set new lows for dumb.

                • First, dumbass, I’m typing on my phone so it’s autocorrected to that. I’m a university grad and definitely understand the differences. Thanks though. I’ll be sure to point out your mistakes next time.
                  Secondly, you commented that Ervin got a qualifying offer after completing his 2012-2013 season (last season). I stated that he did because he pitched in a big ball park, one much more forgiving than Toronto. Then you said, if Toronto signs him, he would definitely get a qo and Toronto would get compensation.
                  Sorry if I’m going too fast for you.
                  Sooo…
                  Ervin at thirty pitching in kc and Ervin the year after next, after a year pitching in Toronto would make him 32.
                  32-30 = 2
                  Thanks for being a fucking idiot though.
                  You’ve set new lows for dumb.

  85. Stoetrn, can I cum on your hairy titz!

  86. Sigh.

    After following the Jays pretty closely last year, I took the winter off to catch my breath after the clusterfuck of last season and the disgust of the Red Sox winning it all.

    I thought about AA’s off-season strategy, and for me, i think the focus of Rogers Media has turned to its NHL deal. Anthopolous had his chance in 2013 and the team messed it up, be it through injuries. With the Media giant salivating at the 12.5 billion dollar arrangement and figuring out how it is going to capitalize on all NHL, all the time, it becomes clear that the Jays are now second rate. I sell alot of the spring games next year (2015) being relegated to Sportsnet 360 or something to that effect.

    Now, it seems that Anthopolous’ hands are tied with payroll, and he and the fans will have to make do with most of last year’s team.

    The team has a better catcher, but 2nd base is still messed up badly, as is the bench. And the Jays will need to make do with last year’s rotation (less Johnston), but the way I see it, it couldn’t be any worse than last year…

    If the team can be healthy, they have a chance of being competitive.

  87. Thank you. Somehow the word “apologist” has become the weapon of choice used against anyone that dares say that this club might be better than a lot of people think.

  88. Fat ol stoten is the Nickelback of jays blogs. Always an apologist who sucks at the teat of Wilner. What do you expect from a robbers employee. Fuck yo mothas!

  89. Kenny Ken Ken isn’t buying what Alex is selling. Thinks the Jays are very much still searching for pitching with i guess the implication that Alex is playing possum. Too much effort expended looking for pitching (Anderson, Holland, Price and the entire slew of FA pitchers apparently) to all of a sudden have a change of heart. It’s not likely they’ve learned anything earth-shattering about the guys they already have in the fold over the winter and AA’s mantra of looking for pitching extended until well after the AFL was over.

    I’d like to believe Rosenthal here, cause Santana would be certainly be a stabilizing addition to the rotation if nothing else, but I’m pretty skeptical at this point.

    More likely the Jays have just been outbid or had deals scuttled for everyone they liked, and now they’re just gonna lick their wounds, save whatever money they have available and not force a deal for someone they don’t really like. I guess I can understand that, although i still think Santana for three years or less represents decent value (assuming AAV in the $10-12mill range).

    • I agree, what better way to lower santana’s price than by saying we’re no longer interested and happy to go with prospects. Jays have the leverage in that they don’t have to give up 1st rounder. I dont think other teams would give up a 1st rounder for 1 year deal but jays could do that deal. I’m sure santana would love to enter free agency again next year without the QO, so he signs below mkt with the jays with promise of no QO. makes sense no?

      • No. It doesn’t make sense. They give up a draft pick and 10-12 million for one year of Santana and no draft pick back? That’s a terrible move. Losing the pick and losing the money in that draft slot is a bigger loss than you make out.

  90. AL East WAR Rankings (Position Players + Starting Rotation) as of Feb 23, 2014

    WAR RANKINGS

    1. TAMPA BAY: 32.4-44 – 38.2
    2. BOSTON: 31.4-41.7 – 36.55
    3. TORONTO: 30.7-38.8 – 34.75
    4. NEW YORK: 28.3-38.3 – 33.3
    5. BALTIMORE: 26-34.6 – 30.3

  91. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Game Threat~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Canada vs Sweden

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  92. Was just about to post the score and then realized many likely would have PVR’d it.
    GSMC, looks like we’re the only drunk jays fans up at this early hour on a Sunday morning.
    Some may have just gone to bed, depending on how enjoyable their night was…

  93. What a fucking goal Sid!!!

  94. 20 more minutes. Let’s do this.

  95. Cinnamon buns and beer go surprisingly well together in the morning.

  96. Snipe!

  97. Time for a nap.

  98. Think 70 is too old to take up ski cross or slopestyle skiing?
    Damn, those kids look like they know how to have fun.

  99. Damn…what an awesome morning! Up with the birds (OK, that part sucked), watching the Big Game in bed drinking coffee – which my wife spilled all over herself as the first goal was scored.

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