anthocalypsenow

The budgetary issues that were supposed to keep the Atlanta Braves out of the final sprint for Ervin Santana may be a thing of the past, as last night Jim Bowden laid this on us:

A team owned by a publicly traded company that actually wants to win? Amazing. (And speaking of, on his show on the Fan 590 yesterday, Jeff Blair opined that he’s “not entirely certain MLB would approve another publicly traded company buying a franchise.” Hmmm. I wonder if the Jays’ experience subsidizing pointless excess Sportsnet channels with cheap content under Rogers’ corporate boot-heel might illustrate anything about all that.)

Update: It’s official now, Santana to the Braves.

Should this force me to change the screed any?  Since the Braves weren’t an option until very, very recently, and the Jays sat on their hands all winter, I’m going to say no. Smart decision on Ervin’s part, though, to go to a good NL team with a sudden need and a run environment that will look a whole lot better to whichever prospective employers next year don’t bother to pay attention to park and league factors.

Oh, and way to go, Jays. It’s better than having him land in Baltimore, I guess. And especially good on Atlanta, who didn’t have a need to fill three days ago, got hit with injuries, then simply went out and got this done. Funny fucking thing that, eh?

It seems already like we’ve discussed this ad nauseam, and I wasn’t planning to do it again today this much, but the opportunity arose in the comments on the post below this one to make clearer just why I think the Jays’ possible inaction on Ervin Santana is so upsetting. And rather than leave it all buried there, I figured it would be useful to make a full post out of it.

Plus I get to FJM a comment from RADAR! Because this is where we’re at, apparently.

To wit:

Okay dc.
So we followed the evil triad as they amassed draft picks to be used as currency to acquire players.It raised a bottom farm system to a top five.

Uh-huh.

In 2 years Rid the Jays of one of the most untradable contracts in history.

Obviously not. Don’t think I need to explain that one. Nice move, though.

Raised payroll by 40 mil in one swipe.

False. A lot of money moved out of the draft and international free agent pools into the big league payroll, and a whole lot more was added via MLB’s US TV deals. They did increase it some, but not nearly by the amount you’re saying. (Payroll in 2008 was $98-million, by the way. And the converse of all this is that in those years, when everybody was calling them so cheap, that wasn’t quite true either.)

Engineered a trade that was considered incredibly one sided.

Not by all at the time, and certainly not in retrospect.

Put together a team that included the current NL cy winner the 2011 and 2012 NL batting champs.

Yep.

All decisions hailed by the fanbase and experts as successes.

Nope. Not even close. There was a tonne of trepidation about the deals — especially the Dickey one.

Example? I wrote: “Adam Rubin of ESPN New York finds an ‘AL official’ who says that Alex Anthopoulos is ‘out of his mind’ for doing this deal– which… might even be right, but at least the Jays have improved so much already this off-season that they’re not putting all their eggs in Dickey’s basket. We’re through the looking glass here people: after years of being beaten over the head with the opposite, for the 2013 Jays, everything will have to break wrong for them to not contend.” [Note: Ugh].

I also wrote: “The cost in prospects, of course, is undeniably huge, and could come back to haunt Alex Anthopoulos. … It’s taken a long while for me to come around to this point regarding this deal, and I think it’s understandable that some yet haven’t, but the more that it was out there and being talked about … the more it became clearer that this is a deal that truly makes sense for the Jays in a lot of ways, despite the insanely puking high cost.”

Now that because neither UJ nor Santana have been signed,they’re idiots and cheap bastards?

Hilariously reductive.

Both UJ and Santana have warts and we have no idea whats happening behind the scenes nor how they should be truly valued or what else is being worked on..

Ubaldo isn’t the issue. There’s a legitimate case to be made against making the deal with him that Baltimore did. On the other hand, Santana appears to have fallen into the Jays’ lap (and please, we have plenty enough understanding of what’s going on) and yet they sit motionless. That is the issue.

One deal that’s not made and all the rest should be forgotten? That somebody should be the “root of the Jays rot?”

Yes. There is an obvious, tangible upgrade they can make that they aren’t making and for no comprehensible reason. In the most basic way, if a sports team can’t do that, something is very wrong. The Jays’ particular context makes it worse:  that a team can go so hard after wins in a three-year window just a year ago and now stop is bizarre to say the least. It ought not to be simply swallowed with a generous helping of last year’s pixie dust.

A little quick throwing everybody under the bus aren’t we?

No. The “insanely pukingly high cost” of last year’s moves was palatable only when contingent on the idea that they WOULD NOT DO THIS. Again, somewhere something is fucked: either the front office drastically undersold the potential pitfalls of their 2013 strategy to ownership and now are being forced to pay for it with a stagnant budget, or ownership made promises that the payroll would keep going up regardless and instead — perhaps because of the abysmal season, the new CEO, or perhaps in a panic over the sinking Canadian dollar — pulled the rug out from under the club. And the front office naively believed that wasn’t a possibility despite watching the exact same thing seemingly happen to their predecessors.

Or maybe they simply somehow believe that adding Santana isn’t in the best interest of their club, despite the whole world, their players — and according to all the reports, the front office itself – saying otherwise.

Whatever the case, this is a situation where blame can be laid. If — and this is key — they don’t actually sign the bastard. But actually, even still it’s kinda fucked because it should never have been allowed to get to this point in the first place. An organization that isn’t utterly fucking bush league wouldn’t have let it get to this point. Where that blame goes, though, it’s really hard to tell. I touched on that three weeks ago:

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.

Guess which one you’re heaving at?

AA, Beeston and Rogers have made some very good decisons in turning around the franchise. So we should demand heads to roll if we don’t get what we determine to be the right choice?

Not quite. The issue is that continuing to stand idly by is a crowbar blow to the side of the head of the credibility of everyone involved — Rogers, Beeston, Anthopoulos — and casts last year’s decisions in a wholly, wholly different light.

To me, you can’t say that it’s great that they did all of those things last winter but that it’s also OK that they’re not picking up guys like Santana and Stephen Drew on the relative-cheap right now, because those are all part of the same thing. You’re either serious about the entire project — the three year window;  winning — or you’re not. To decide now to throw up their hands and act like they’re not, to me, makes last year’s choices indefensible. It also makes the choices — which we let slide on the premise that money was being saved for pitching — to not even make smaller upgrades this winter to the bench, or at second base, indefensible.

It would have been whiny irrational fan bullshit to say these things after missing out on a Tanaka, or a Cano, or a McCann, or a Garza, or an Ubaldo, or any number of the possible major upgrades we couldn’t have truthfully expected the Jays land this winter, but Santana is going to sign a one-year deal. Even if he somehow doesn’t, his rate has come down so precipitously that it is to a level now where there is no serious argument to be made about risk. (I’m sure you’ll respond that we don’t know this, but we pretty much know this).

And with the club surely having all along had enough money in the budget to cover Josh Johnson accepting a qualifying offer — or they at least should have accounted for that possibility, otherwise why acquire him at all? — the possibilities to me are stark: either they make a tangible upgrade at a reasonable cost and sign Santana or something is truly fucked. Especially given the potential reward and how badly the Jays need to scrape together every win of value they possibly can.

The potential injury stuff? The stuff about him maybe not being an upgrade? On a one-year deal following a three-win 2013 in which demonstrated there is legitimate reason to believe his awful 2012 was the real outlier? That’s garbage.

They’ve earned the right to keep on making the decisions based on their track record.

I don’t even know about that. Like I say, either they’ve badly misread Rogers’ pathologically ruthless pursuit of grotesque dipshit design-by-committee corporate self-parody, or they misrepresented last year’s possibilities to ownership so badly that they should have never been given approval to make the deals they did in the first place. I want very badly for their sake to believe that the front office is as angry over all this as we are, and that they’ve operated entirely in good faith; that Rogers is the villain here, having pulled the rug out from under them (maybe even after pushing the idea of moving up the club’s plans, netting themselves a nifty coronation during the grand, Ted Rogers statue-unveiling, Nadir Mohamed-exiting year of 2013), but that doesn’t exactly leave us any better off.

I also want very badly for this to all work out. There’s no reason that it possibly still couldn’t, even without Santana or Drew, but that’s entirely not the point. If the front office can’t insulate themselves against ownership’s myopic whims or can’t respond to changing market conditions, instead rigidly clinging to snapshot-in-time valuations and standing firm by quaint principles that stack disadvantages on top of obvious natural disadvantages, despite all the positive that they’ve done for this organization — and there is undeniably a lot — it is absolutely not unfair to ask the question: then what fucking good are they anyway?

The answer to that question is hardly clear, by the way. And I’m not trying to say we ought to tend to the more damning side. In fact I hate validating these darkest of negative thoughts, because of all the incoherent rage that inevitably comes along with them, but if not now, when??? At least as far as simply asking the question goes. I mean, this isn’t losing out on a $100-million dice roll on Yu Darvish, this is the kind of money that six months ago we genuinely thought there was a chance they might give Josh Johnson just for shits and giggles to see if he had anything left. The players are actively campaigning for the team to sign a free agent. Like… what the fuck is going on?!?!!? And if I’m being too premature in my exasperation and pessimism about it all… good! Maybe somewhere someone will actually fucking start listening while they can still do something about it. Might as well let it out now, loathsome a place as this cheap-jack organization has brought me to…

 

Amazing graphic via commenter KellyGrubersBastardSon.

Comments (466)

  1. I wonder where AA thinks the true talent of the team is? Maybe they think this isn’t a playoff team and the plan is to catch lightning in or bottle, and if not, blow it up at the deadline.

    Still I guess no reason not get Santana, seeing as you could still move him as well.

    • I think that this is a very vaild point. While the two scenarios that Stoeten laid out as explanations are valid – the FO undersold ownership on the downside risk, or that ownership pulled the rug out from under them – I see the third option as being distinctly possible.

      I don’t think it’s far-fetched that AA was brought before management and asked to explain what happened in 2013, and the story sounding a little too excuse-ish for ownership to agree to opening the purse strings again this off-season. From their perspective, the 2013 season was a datapoint, in fact the only datapoint, around how the team has been constructed, and how talented it really is. And that data point, showing them 15-20 games behind where they needed to be was enough to re-evaluate the strategy. Yes, maybe with a little more luck around health and performance they can cut that gap in half, and maybe they can bring in Jimenez and Drew and get close to where they need to be, but a reasonable person can point to a dozen reasons why that’s a tough mountain to climb.

      They would be foolish to consider the 2012-2013 offseason as anything more than sunk costs, and would have to decide whether to shed salaray Jeffrey Loria-style (and face the resultant backlash at the ticket window), or whether to keep the team together, on a frozen budget, until a rebuild is more palatable from a PR perspective.

  2. Wow yeah this is getting out of hand. When your own players are campaigning for this, that has to tell you how much sense it makes.

    My biggest question in all this, is why have we offered 14m? Assuming we actually have. Like why offer that much for one year for a guy and then hold off on the little extra to get it done? At this point the price can’t really get lower. So why be in the mix when you know he actually might have us one of the preffered spots? How many free agents have we had that are under peer pressure to sign here? How is it a good deal at 14m but not at “15.5 if you sign right now in the next 4 minutes”?

    If it were the beginning of the offseason I wouldn’t say that. Just throwing a little extra at a guy when there are 12 other guys like him unsigned is silly. But there is no fallback. We need pitching and we either get him or we get no one at this point.

  3. Hey dick head remember sportsco or being owned by a brewery you fucking self serving douche go back to craft beers and beards…. We all can’t be Dutch speed skaters

  4. I understand the angst but I need to ask..

    Do you believe 2013 was a clusterfuck of injury, line drives to the head, broken ankle bad luck, the WBC (of which we had the most representatives of any mlb team who had to miss camp, at bats and tax arms etc),

    or

    An accurate depiction of what this team as currently comprised represents?

    Because I think you’ve stated the case for both at one time or another this winter. I truly believe that 2013 is not an accurate representation of the talent on this club.
    Conceding either answer doesn’t mean that the club shouldn’t be looking at upgrading the staff or second base, I’d just like to know where your heads at.

    Personally I think the calamity, catastrophe, and injury that is this team deserve a year 2 before heads meet the guillotine.

    • It’s a little bit of both (minus the WBC stuff, which I think is irrelevant). Problem is, while the Jays are still very talented, the teams around them have only gotten stronger. So even if it was only luck and catastrophe (which is hard to swallow, given they were 20 games behind where we thought they should be), they’re worse positioned than they were last year — and the more reasonable analysis then had them in a close, close race.

    • I realize I’m regarded as an eternal pessimist, but I believed the 2013 Jays were a playoff calibre team if a lot of things went right. Not best-case-scenario, just on the lucky side. Being as rational as I could, I had them pegged for 88 wins and a 2nd place finish, but because I’m a fan I boosted it to 90 and the division title. Didn’t happen obviously.

      After seeing a lot of players not live up to their potential at all (Josh Johnson and Morrow especially, and also Lawrie) I just don’t see them as a playoff team at all this year, even if everyone is healthy. I’m putting them down for 77 wins. If we get some breaks they could be over .500, if we have another injury fest, they might only win 72.

    • Oh they’re better than they are last year, but not enough so to make up for what the other teams did and not enough to hit the 90 win plateau. They certainly are going to be competitive though which is exactly why you SHOULD be adding to the team this offseason. I know it’s counterintuitive but the better you think this team will be the MORE reason to have added because the 5 wins from 85-90 are worth a heck of a lot more than the 5 wins from 80-85. This is an 85 win team and they really missed an opportunity to add about 3-5 WAR by upgrading 2B and SP.

  5. And let’s not forget attendance shot up what, 20% last summer and I assume tv ratings went up similarly. I recall comments from Beeston about how money gets spent when fans come out.

    Hate piling on the sudden inactivity, but it really is maddening.

    • I think Stoeten mentioned this in another post or comments but it’ll be interesting to see if casual Jays fans feel the same level of frustration or if it’ll just be a little blip on the radar as they look at the Spring Training boxscores.

      • No, we over at CJF are good. Toronto apparently offered more money, he just chose Atlanta. People claiming that if Toronto had offered even more a couple of days ago he would have signed here are just blowing chunks of shit out their pinholes. They don’t know what Santana would have done. Looks like his agent was waiting for something to happen and it did.

    • But Beeston more recently said when the trade with Miami happened it was more “if you build it they will come” mentality where expense went up before revenue and they were banking on revenue gains. 20% attendance and I assume similar TV ratings seems to more than make up for increase in payroll offset by less amateur draft spending etc. Thing now is that payroll has gone up more without additions and the team assembled won 75 games so would have to make a strong sell to justify payroll increase.

      I am disappointed (assuming I am right) that AA and Beeston didnt make this hard sell especially assuming they have faith in the team assembled. Maybe they don’t. In either case they are either treading water trying to keep their jobs or treading water trying to catch lightning in a bottle or are just poor evaluators.

      I dont blame Rogers. If they did freeze payroll that would be justified given the team won 75 games and if there is a strong case to throw good money after bad so to say then AA and Beeston did not present that case strong enough to have Rogers change their mind. That is the #1 most important attribute for middle management in a corporation to convince upper management when there is a strong business case (while often putting job security on the line) and to produce results when the business case is bought into and money is thrown at it (75 wins last year)

  6. I totally get where you’re coming from. I do wonder though, if the ball is actually in the Jays court? I mean, they’ve (allegedly) put the offer on the table for Santana, and he’s deciding about it? If he ultimately decides Baltimore or Atlanta are better places for him to re-establish his value, what could the Jays do? And it can’t simply be a matter of an extra million dollars because he’s trying to perform on a level where he can get 100 million. (Which is what he was looking for in the first place.) All of the upgrades available this off-season came with serious question marks. (As you’ve outlined earlier.) And I understand them not wanting to make multi-year commitments to any of them. (But then, I didn’t like the Dickey deal either.)

    Honestly, if I were Santana, I’d take less money to sign with Atlanta. But I’m not sure who I’d pick between Baltimore and Toronto. Kind of a rock and a hard place for a fly ball pitcher, really.

    • Atlanta wasn’t an option two days ago, though.

      • Very true. But he was still trying to make a difficult choice then also: where would I rather get shelled?

      • So what? His agent was waiting to see what happened after he generated new publicity with his weekend antics. Did you really believe that he was going to sign in Toronto by 5 PM if no one offered more? Then that’s your problem.

        • I think that’s what we need to find out…whether it was Santana holding out or whether Santana was ready to sign with the Jays but AA didn’t pony up a bit more…

        • exactly. and just based on AA’s comments on Blair just now it seems like he thought a deal was done on Saturday and then Santana backed out.

  7. I’ll say it again – AA locked or strategized into his wish and the market for ES plummeted. Then they sat on their hands until Atlanta showed up, and now they’ll get nothing. Absolutely inexcusable. When plotting a strategy, you think about what you’ll do if you get the outcome you want. In this case, they got that outcome and then did Fuck all.
    Fire them all.

  8. Well, looks like it’ll be settled shortly. Hope you like the smell of napalm because I suspect AA is about to get carpet bombed in the press over this one. Although perhaps Beeston or Rogers will be targeted as well.

  9. And as for Stephen Drew, is he willing to take a one year contract? Because I’m not sure I like him as our multi-year answer at second base either. Better piece will become available.

    • Has there been a suggestion he would take a 1 year deal? My understanding was that Boras said he would move to 2B in exchange for a multi-year deal.

  10. Definitely surprised that Atlanta actually spent past their budget. Not surprised the Jays lost out. Be interesting to see the details.

  11. It was always a risk that some unknown team would suffer an injury during Spring Training and then jump in to the mix to acquire whatever available free agent pitchers were still remaining. The Jays gambled by waiting a long as they did, and lost.

    • 1 yr to Braves?!!

      will be interesting to see what took place b/w Friday (word ES will take 1 year) & Sunday/Monday before news of potential injuries to 2 braves pitchers…

      question is – could AA have closed the deal before Sunday when news of the 1st braves pitcher maybe going down broke? Was it AA nickel & diming or was it ES holding out no matter what the offer was?

    • But they would have been gambling more by signing any one of these guys to multi-year contracts. The “best available” was Tanaka. And he’s never pitched a big league inning. Remember last year, everyone wanted them to sign Josh Johnson to a multi-year extension directly after the trade? And he had a MUCH better track record than any of the guys out there this year.

      • Gambling how much Pete. They are taking a big gamble standing pat too.

        • No doubt. I just wonder how many more bullets Rogers is letting Alex shoot. My guess is that he gets the year, with a limited capacity to add long term contracts.

  12. This is a bad way to start the day. Fuck.

  13. I felt that Nikolai over at Breaking Blue analysed AA well and rightfully did so without having to mention the evil corporate monster that is Rogers.

    http://www.breakingblue.ca/2014/02/23/what-happened-to-the-ninja/#comment-1494

  14. So does AA overreact and pay an arm and a leg for a starter via trade? Or does he do the next best thing and sign Drew.

    On one hand you can’t blame them for losing out to Atlanta, most pitchers would choose any other division I think over the AL East without much thought when you’re trying to rebuild value. On the other hand, trying to squeeze out every penny of value with their initial offer came back to bite them in the ass where an aggressive offer would have likely had him sown up on Sunday. Penny wise, dollar foolish. Spin away Blue Jays!

  15. Do you want Stephen Drew to be the Jays second baseman for the next three or four years at big dollars?

  16. Well, there were rumours back in december from that guy on twitter that the jays budget was very tight so im not surprised that rogers screwed this team again. But also in this case, santana might have just picked the braves becauae he viewed the NL as a more desireable pitch to place for his next contract. Its not only the jays dropping the ball in this case id say.

    • This. If I was trying to show another year of good production angling for a multi-year contract, I would take Atlanta over Toronto. Who knows, maybe Atlanta offered to NOT give a qualifying offer?

  17. so Jays, now that is over, are you still willing to moderately invest to improve the team? If so, Stephen Drew is willing to play 2B and offering him a reasonable three deal could help overcome a lot of the SP problems.

    I mean are we in or are we out? Are we the Royals/Brewers who occasionally make a big splash and take a shot every 5 to 10 years? Because that’s what we look like to the rest of baseball.

    A Stoeten said, the moves of 2013 looked great at the time BASED ON THE FUCKING PREMISE IT WASN’T JUST A 1 YEAR INVESTMENT.

  18. Interesting how different events affect different people. I’ve been just as furious at this front office on a number of occasions. But I’m not furious about this. That’s not to say you guys are wrong about Santana. Just I don’t think he’s the answer to a successful season. And if he does turn into WonderStarter, it won’t be in Balto, so bonus.

  19. Let’s face it: this season isn’t going to be won or lost because of their number four or five starter. It’s all about whether Morrow and Dickey can be ones and twos again.

    • A win is a win … the season will be won or lost because the Jays don’t get enough wins from their 25 man roster. Whether those wins come from the 1st or 2nd spot in the rotation or the 4th or 5th is irrelevant.

      • My point is more that they need their stud players to perform like studs or adding a marginal upgrade at the back of the rotation becomes irrelevant.

        • And my point is that still doesn’t matter. The Jays need unexpected overperformance if they’re going to contend. They can get that from their front of the rotation guys or they can get a back of the rotation guy who gives them 5 WAR, either way, they just need wins.

  20. Funny the Leafs used to be the laughing stock in Toronto, now its the Blue Jays. AA is in over his head now if he believes the current roster will finish higher than 4th in the AL East.
    Rogers has more money than most MLB teams yet AA has done absolutely nothing to improve the team; but ticket prices have gone up steadily the last few years. Jays will be lucky if they win 80 games this year and we all know to make the playoffs they are going to need to win a minimum of 93 to have a fighting chance.
    Thank god for small market teams like the Pirates who i will support.

    • You’re not taking an honest assessment of the team if you can say, with any cofidence, that the jays won’t be able to compete with the rays or Yankees.
      I think some addition this offseason was essential to increase their odds of beating the rays and Yankees but you’re fucked if you don’t think it’s a possibility with this current roster.

  21. A team that’s paying Mark Buehrle $19m/year can’t afford to be so cheap.

    They’re really taking the worst aspects of being a big market and small market team; trading good prospects for veterans on bad, back-loaded deals but at the same time setting very strict valuations for players who, if the Jays are at the point on the win curve which they purport to be, should be worth more to get them over the hump.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when not signing Ervin Santana is a sign of impending room.

    • If he performs well again, that contract is very close to being an asset. In fact, for some teams, I think it might be.

      • Yeah, teams with money who are trying to win.

      • I’m not saying that his contract is crippling or anything. The term is short enough and they need the IP badly enough that it’s fair. However you have to apply the same logic to the available free agents who would fill obvious holes. If THEY’RE not worth it, than how can Buehrle be?

        • Because they didn’t acquire Buerhle in a vaccum. He came as part of a deal with a bunch of other guys that they liked. Also, taking on that extra money was probably what kept the prospect cost more reasonable.

          • We’re not in disagreement about the Marlins trade. What I’m saying is it doesn’t make sense for that trade to happen in 2013 if you’re not going to make the necessary moves in 2014.

            • But were the necessary moves available as options? Are multi-year deals to Ubaldo or Garza going to help this team at a level that mitigates the cost? What if a stud becomes available at a later point (like a Cliff Lee or a David Price), but you’ve already reached the top of your budget?

  22. On a one year deal there’s absolutely no excuse for not signing Santana. None. Offer him $18m, I don’t care. It’s one year. That it didn’t happen is extremely frustrating and more than a little bit concerning.

  23. You know, winning the off season last year meant fuck all. Losing it this season means fuck all also. There’s 162 to go.

    • I don’t know if you can “win” (or lose) an offseason. It’s probably more accurate to determine how well a team filled it’s needs. In the Jays case, I think , not so good.

  24. Will it make a difference if it ends up being a 3 year deal for $45 million?

  25. Still think we’ve gotta wait and see what the Braves actually end up paying for Santana though

  26. Am I the only person who thinks a bottom 2 of Hutchison, Drabek, Happ, McGowan, or Rogers has the potential to be not terrible? If your 4 and 5 guys put up ERAs in the 4s, it’s not the end of the world, especially if this team performs offensively to it’s potential.

    I’d rather see the money spent to upgrade the tire fire potential at 2B.

    • Totally agreed.

    • The problem is that if there is an injury to one of your top-3, and then one of the pitchers you just mentioned is moved up on the depth chart to being a #3. The Jays can not have 3 of those pitchers being starters for any length of time and expect to be anywhere close to competing for a playoff spot.

      • But who’s to say a better pitcher than what is available doesn’t become available during the season with no budget left to acquire him?

        • So the Jays have had the ability to trade for a starter (the Shark) or sign starters (Jimenez and Santana) and they’ve done neither. Who can say that if someone comes available during the season, the Jays will all of a sudden change their ways?

          • The best move they made all year was NOT acquiring Shark.

            • Step back, look at the forest, not the trees.

              The Jays have done absolutely nothing this offseason. They haven’t traded for anyone, they haven’t signed anyone, they’ve done nothing. Despite ample opportunity.

              Every trade requires too much prospect capital to the Jays liking. Every free agent is either not a good fit or is asking for too much money.

              Somehow, even though the last ~6 months, the market has not come around to the Jays liking, you think that’s going to magically change once the season starts?

      • Right. People act like the 1-5 slots are locked in stone once the season begins. It never ever happens that a team uses only 5 starters for the entire year. Something unforeseen is always going to happen, such as injury or underperformance. You need pitching depth. The Blue Jays have far too many unknowns in their rotation to not add some depth.

        Saying you think one of Hutchison, Stroman, Happ, Drabek, etc. can work is probably reasonable. Saying two or three of them are going to be serviceable and uninjured the entire season is pipe dreaming. That’s why Santana was important.

  27. Last year’s spending is all looking to look like a $200 TV at wal mart on Boxing Day. Just a loss leader designed to get people lined up out the door and ready to spend, knowing that the money they make once people are in the building will outweigh the tiny percentage they lost on the TV/Jose Reyes.

  28. Not that Santana was “the savoir”, but the 2014 Blue Jays chances are slim to none before the season starts. This is the most frustrating team in ALL of sports to follow, as they are a BIG market team whom only wants to play as a small market team…… I never thought I’d say this, but the Jays are pushing me towards becoming a Yankees fan!

    • You sound like a RedSox fan during spring training last year.

      • At least the Bosox spent some money to improve during that off season.

      • Why the re-writing of history? Many independent observers had the Red Sox as a mid-80s win team before the start of last season. PECOTA for instance had them as the 3rd best team in the AL East with 84 wins and 4 behind the division leader (1 game ahead of the Jays, who were projected to win 83 by PECOTA).

        This year, PECOTA has the Jays at 80 wins, 4th in the AL East, and 9 games behind the division leader.

        The 2014 Jays are not in a similar position as the 2013 Red Sox.

        • I’m not re-writing history. Saying that a lot of Red Sox fans were disappointed in their off-season acquisitions is not the same as talking about expert predictions.

  29. If I were a pitcher working towards getting a giant multi-year contract, I would sign for less money to pitch in Atlanta. I would also be very reluctant to sign with either the Jays or Orioles, especially when I have trouble keeping the ball in the yard.

  30. It ALSO makes you wonder about the Dickey trade. A package involving those two prospects should have been enough to at least get another GM talking about any available pitcher in baseball.

    Were they more interested in RA Dickey the pitcher or RA Dickey the best story in baseball who could be signed for relatively cheap after the shit bombing they’d taken in the press over Farrell leaving for his dream job (which seems a whole lot less ridiculous in retrospect)?

    • I didn’t like the Dickey deal at the time, but I think it’s because they were going all in. Although, the fact he was going to sign for a reasonable price had to figure into the high prospect price they were willing to pay.

      • Absolutely. That’s how I justified it at the time to keep posi about it.

      • I liked the Dickey deal and I still do. If RA stays for 5-6 years and ages as well as Wakefield did during his tenure with Boston… it will be a big win for the Jays, especially if he bounces back to Cy-young form.

        • Tim Wakefield had his best season at the age of 37. If Dickey ages like him, then the best Dickey has is in the past.

  31. Anyone know if Andy Burns will be playing 2B at Buffalo this year?

  32. Ugh! I’ve never felt so dispirited about the Jays than this off-season. I don’t know if it’s budget, incompetence (front office, that is) or no player wanting to play here, but it tiresome to wait all winter for some signs that things may improve. Now all hope rests on player performance bounce back (likely to so,e degree).

    I get a bad feeling it’s going to be a long season, 5th place finish (slightly better record).

  33. So over/under of 2 times that AA uses his famous ” we just didn’t line up on value” quote in the media today?

  34. Fuck you Rogers!

  35. AA couldnt outbid my nephew at an Ebay auction. Understandable that Ervin chose Atlanta to try increase his value and set up a long term contract next year. But AA appeared to have a window to close this deal last week and waited too long. He probably thought he had Ervin just where he wanted him. Which he did, until the Medlen injury.

  36. Braves signed Santana according to mlbtraderumours.com

  37. My gut tells me Santana would have gotten lit up in the AL East with its homer-friendly parks. Can’t say as I’m too terribly upset about him going to Atlanta. Might have been worse if he’d gone to Baltimore. The interesting part will be whether there are rumblings of discontent from within the Jays clubhouse.

  38. man we need career years from e5, bau bau, dickey, and reyes just to have a sniff. also have to hope the ‘not yet ready for prime time’ pitchers comprising our 4-5 slots don’t completely crap their pants, which is a crapshoot in itself

  39. If this is a Rogers fiasco, Beeston should step up, resign and shame the shit out of them. AA is still young and has to keep his mouth shut, if he wants to have any sort of executive career.

  40. Sanata got $14.1M from the Braves, which is the same amount that the Jays supposedly offered last weekend.

    • perhaps it was Santana who didn’t accept & held out over the weekend…

      it’ll be interesting to get details of how things played out from Friday…

  41. No pressure Dickey, Morrow and Buerhle…you can all pitch 200 innings with a mid-3 ERA, right?

  42. I don’t care about this at all. I just want them to start playing already. There’s 162 games to go, and I like our big league core and minor league system. That said, if this team doesn’t compete at the big league level this year, AA should be replaced.

  43. Just don’t understand the willingness to undertake large contracts in trade + prospects, and the complete unwillingness to do so in the FA market for $$ alone.

  44. AA due to be on with Blair any moment now.
    This should be good.

  45. If the Jays aren’t at the upper threshold of their budget, they’re pretty close. None of the guys out there (in free agency) were that great this off season. So what if a really good player becomes available during the year? Isn’t it better they have maintained the flexibility to acquire him? Why not let the season play out a bit. See what the Jays actually have with this core (and in the minors), and then make a decision whether it’s worth adding to it.

    • If the Jays made an offer of $14 MM for Santana, then they’re not even at 90% of their budget … I wouldn’t call that close.

      • But it might be enough to prevent them from acquiring a better player later.

        • Who are the better players? Starting now, there are pretty much no trades for significant players until the trade deadline. By that point, the Jays have already lost out on more than half the WAR that player can provide. So, essentially, passing on Santana (a 3 WAR player) makes sense if waiting on a 6 WAR player. There were 6 pitchers and 12 players who fell in to that category last season.

          In other words, saving the dollars at a chance for a future upgrade this season is a long-shot strategy at best.

          p.s. I know it’s a bit more complicated than that … you have to talk in terms of incremental WAR and prospects sacrificed, but the above generally covers the point.

          • Agreed with your point with the exception that Santana is the only upgrade that was available for one year. And they made a good play for him. It’s more how a player like ubaldo or garza could have prevented them from getting a better player over a longer term. There’s no doubt that Santana would have been a good one year commitment.

            • The Jays decided last offseason that after 2015, the longer term is 2018+. They have no almost one signed to contracts beyond 2015 and few prospects likely to have an impact until that time.

              No one signed a contract that would impact them significantly during 2018+. So not signing any of the multitude of players available (Santana, Garza, Kazmir, Ellis, Jimenez, etc.) … does nothing to help them long-term versus not signing said player.

              It’s been the whole them of the offseason – last year, the Jays decided to punt on 2016 and 2017 when they traded away their prospects and high exceeding-value players (i.e. Escobar) to get short-term help. This year, rather than either continuing to invest in the short term or changing direction and re-focusing on the long term … the Jays have done nothing.

              • Don’t agree with your assessment of 2016 and 17. (Although I understand your point, there’s nothing preventing them from resigning current players into that period.) But you’re also discounting 2015. So they acquire a better player during the year for half the year, and have him for 2015 also? Or maybe beyond? Regardless, we’re talking in circles, and we clearly have different positions. I think if this team isn’t in contention this year, Alex is done for anyways. And he will deserve it.

                • A 3 year window starting in 2013, which is what the Jays said they had … that specificlaly states that 2016 is not a contention year.

                  Otherwise, it’d be a 4 year window.

                  • Um ya. But it doesn’t really mean that at all. (They’ve also talked about sustained success.) But who cares what they say, and the rhetoric attached to it? If AA doesn’t compete this year, he’s finished. This team will be disassembled by somebody else. And we’ll get a whole new whack of rhetoric.

  46. Great line from Blair:
    Weather in Dunedin echoes the mood of Jays fans… cloudy, overcast, grey, with a chance of JA Happ.

    • Weather in Dunedin echoes the mood of Jays fans… cloudy, overcast, grey, with a chance of JA Happ. … It could be worse. It could be “… cloudy, overcast, grey, with a chance of ” ‘Stubby’s Clapp’
      Also, as for “cheap” Rogers, didn’t they have to fork over something like $3 Billion cash for some high priced band width recently ?

    • I like it.

  47. I am one pissed off bird. I have no idea if this is Anthopoulos’ doing, or if Rogers is being stingy with the purse strings again, but if this team does very poorly this season, you have to figure Anthopoulos, or someone, is getting canned.

    It’s mind-boggling that the team had three glaring holes, and two of them are still badly glaring, and catcher is, I’d say, gone from being a glaring hole to a question mark.

    This off-season and front office/ownership are extremely disappointing.

  48. JPA:

    “It’s an easy clubhouse,” Arencibia said. “I’m back to enjoying myself. I’m back to having fun. I’m back to waking up and being excited about coming to the field every day. And I think that has to do with this team. Not to take away anything from where I came from, but it’s a different feeling around here.

    “It’s fun to come to work with guys that work hard and want to win. The culture around here is different. It’s exciting to me. I have fun being a part of that. I’ve missed that the past couple of years, and it’s exciting to get back to that.”

    • Except he is having a shit spring and is in danger of not making the team.

    • So….what else do you expect him to say? Like, seriously.

      Go post this shit somewhere else. Its fucking garbage, to say the least.

      The guy has been passed by ROBINSON CHRINOS as the backup! Fuck you.

    • Maybe it was because you sucked, JP

    • Apparently JPA isn’t willing to admit (or recognize) how much he contributed to what he maligns now that he has a little perspective… What else is a player who was handed the starting C job on a silver platter with other Cs being traded and such, and played as poorly as he did, going to say? Seriously, did the clubhouse environment cause his typically one-dimensional play or, worse yet, his historically bad season?

  49. Just need Drew to sign a one-year deal somewhere… then we get to watch Stoeten’s head asplode.

  50. [...] Stoeten‘s post this morning on DJF summed up the thoughts of most (thinking) fans as to where this team is going: [...]

  51. I told you.
    He turns down similar money from the Jays to sign with Atlanta.
    Atlanta’s negotiation was based on dire need in the rotation – whereas Toronto was saying that it would be nice to have another body for insurance.

    I’m not sure what AA’s supposed to do – unless you ascribe to the “load up the Fort Knox truck” method of negotiation. The fucking guy didn’t want to come to Toronto, that’s it -bottom line.
    AA is gonna get raked over the coals for not signing him – and if he would have thrown another few million at Santana to put him over the top, he would have been ridiculed for grossly overpaying for a middling-level pitcher who could have very well been bombed out of the AL East.
    Some days you just wanna stay in bed, right Alex?

  52. Let’s go tear down that fucking Ted Rogers statue like it’s Baghdad in 2003. Who’s with me?

  53. i expect that, the moment that the braves decided that they could make any sort of reasonable offer, there was no chance that either AL east team was getting him. marginally increasing an offer would not have helped.

  54. Alex Anthopoulos expected to be a guest on the Jeff Blair Show any minute now. Tune in.

    http://player.rogersradio.ca/cjcl/on_air

    • AA is scared of the back-lash. Attendance and TV numbers are set to decline just as quickly as they jumped last season….. what a shame.

  55. What the plan for this team? Trade almost all of your best prospects and don’t double down the next year? This front office makes no sense at all since they have added no extra players this year. Asking all of the players to rebound well is asking a lot. this is shaping up to be season in which if things don’t go well, could Bautista and or EE ask for a trade out? What would AA do knowing that he might be fired at the end of 2014 if changes aren’t made? A big year awaits us all

  56. This was one deal that was essentially tailor made for AA, but didnt up his offer to land him? Unless he tells us all he offered more that the braves, it’s hard not to feel pissed at AA for accomplishing next to nothing to upgrade the team to push them over the top.

  57. Just as a matter of net rest, what was the SOSH board like at this point last year?

  58. *interest*

  59. Really hope AA comes on shortly so I can go back to ignoring talk radio call-in shows.

  60. I read this post and just want to say why do I even care about all this BS. Why can’t I enjoy watching baseball, this team, these players? But then I get maddeningly frustrated at the things that stem from this franchise.

    They hire AA and he pulls off some magical moves (Wells, Rasmus, Morrow)
    He quickly reshapes the scouting and thus the farm system + takes big risks on the INT’L Market (but doesn’t have the guts to grab Chapman which he acknowledges)
    Pulls off an insane deal with the Marlins
    Goes all in for Dickey

    At that point in time, skeptic or not you have to love the sum of all the parts. Adding salary, taking risks, turning lottery tickets into good MLB players.

    Although the past few years they still repeatedly throw out their buzz kill words “budget parameters, value, no long term contracts, no incentives, etc.”

    Then this off season comes up after a disaster of a season. One that got worse day by day and into the fall – Melky tumour, etc.

    The Jays sit back and watch ..

    They reportedly had a deal for a starter but it was nixed for medical reasons
    According to AA they had numerous deals just waiting that they could have said yes to at any time
    They didn’t upgrade at 2B where by all accounts Goins will be somewhere between the worst and the very worst batter in MLB
    They didn’t touch the rotation where all they have are retreads (Happ, Redmond,), kids not quite ready (Stroman and Sanchez) and Tommy John patients (Hutch and Drabek) looking to occupy 40% of the starts this .. provided Morrow can make 25-30 starts after not pitching since May last year

    Rogers is a monster company with monstrous resources. National writers are starting to wonder why they aren’t spending. Everyone knows the Jays line-up with many of the last to sign or unsigned players. Of course players have to make the choice to come to Toronto too and this can’t be neglected. But they have the $ to make this decision easier and they don’t seem to be doing anything close to whats needed.

    Do you think the Jays even made a real offer to Santana? Why are they NOT in on Drew. Any “young, bright GM” which we are supposed to have knows that what they have is not enough in the face of available alternatives that can make things better.

    I find it hard to believe that this is even 50% AA’s decision. I think he plans a course, writes the plan, and Beeston makes each and every decision. Beeston is so far out of his element now. Was he even a key part of the glory days or did he ride the coat tails of Gillick?

    What’s happening now is embarrassing win or lose this year. The friggin Braves, notoriously thrifty just took Ervin. They Jays are getting hit from everywhere and all we are going to hear is about policy and value and last year.

    Its time to just hope and watch and forget about all the stuff that we shouldn’t have to worry about as fans. But knowing that they are spinning in circles at best is maddening for all of us fans.

    • I like your comment, but your talk of a “real offer” is kind of stupid.

      Of course it was a real offer, multiple sources had us offering him 14 million, so yeah, as real an offer if I ever saw one.

      And I would understand why AA is reluctant to sign drew. His value is the very definition of meh, or league average. The sad part is even meh is an upgrade over Goins. Which is why I don;t understand why we weren’t in on ellis or infante.

      The worst part is we’re soo close. like 2 players away, maybe 4 wins away from like rays level of awesomeness. Even the sox last year made multiple reasonable upgrades that paid out. We essentially made one in Navarro. That’s it. So stupid.

  61. Nothing to say about the actual column (it all seems to have been said already), but that IS one hell of a kick-ass graphic. Well done KellyGrubersBastardSon!

  62. Two great points made above: (1) The players were actively campagning for them to sign this guy during pre-season games which is problematic, if for no other reason that it implies they think that they are not good enough “as is” which is, in turn, insulting to at least Hutchinson. (2) It is disconcerting that there are what seem to be changes in philosophy. This is why I did not like the Dickey deal. In the Florida deal, they were giving up reasonable prospects but they were doing so in exchange for relatively young players who were likely better than the prospects would turn out to be. However, in the Dickey deal, this was not the case at all. They were giving up two elite prospects (two of their best three) for someone who was in his late 30′s and pitched in an NL pitcher’s park. To me, this represented a departure from the Atlanta Braves model philsophy which was supposedly in place and which I thought was going really well. Now, this offseason, there seems be maybe another change. I think that it is funny that all of this would probably have been avoided had the supposed Brett Anderson deal just gone through. Of course, he would just got hurt. But he could have been really good in the short time while healthy.

    • My guess is Rogers ponied up to make this team better, but got poor results, and are reluctant to spend more when, in their mind, they just pissed away $30MM – or whatever the payroll increase was – to get those poor results.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we go back to seeing the payroll shed and kept low for 3-7 years again, unless this years team somehow manages to overcome it’s shit rotation.

  63. Who would’ve thought the only SP free agent the Jays were able to sign was Doc for 1 day! What happened to all the “we need to add a SP or 2″ talk. Disgraceful display by the front office. And with next year’s banner crop of SP free agents, Jays won’t even come close to a deal because of “the policies”.

    Rogers, sell the team!

  64. HAHAHAHAHA Anthopoulos “the Jays didn’t have time to change divisions” you fucking dickbag.

  65. AA saying he had Santana signed, that he backed out last minute, and that he wanted to go to the NL over money and term

    • if AA said that, that still doesn’t explain what happened b/w Friday & Sunday when the braves first got into the picture…

      he should’ve pounced & had him signed on Saturday…

    • Then he didn’t have him signed. You’re not signed until pen is put to paper.

  66. “We’re going to earmark most of our money for starting pitching,” said Anthopoulos.
    This from a November Interview. What changed?

  67. “I don’t believe the organization just does something for a year or two and just stops”

    Except for the part WHERE YOU JUST FUCKING DID THAT EXACT THING!

  68. Reports will surface that once again -the Jays were the 2nd highest bidder for a player (Santana)….

    Can you imagine this team with all the free agents we were 2nd high bidder on?

  69. This just sums up the ineptitude of the Blue Jays and really makes you question where this team is going. Or more accurately, not going.

  70. Listening to AA now on the radio. That is the sound of a man who is going to be fired at the end of the year. You can’t keep giving the same excuses for not getting it done. Not saying that the free agents out there were going to make a difference, but a trade should have happened.

  71. AA on the radio right now
    “Looking forward to Romero now”
    Can’t do better than that?

    • LOL! Heard him say that also. He is hanging his job on the arm of Romero and his towel drills. Unreal.

  72. If we get lucky – we can finish with one of the 10 worst records so our #1 is protected – then we can go out and sign a free agent without losing our 1st……

  73. When AA gets fired (they all do eventually) I hope he lets loose and reveals everything about what’s happening behind the scenes.

    My leading theory falls into the “cheap fuck Rogers” camp personally.

    • Honestly, the fact that the Jays have a pretty high payroll right now and were willing to add another $14 million this year tells me that Rogers aren’t cheap fucks.

    • @IMW, I don’t think they are cheap, I just think their limitations are getting in the way of doing business. Also no one wants to be in this division or pitch at the Dome

    • He won’t… not if he wants to get another job in baseball. I figure if you publically slag your last boss on the way out your potential future boss may pause at hiring you. AA is a company man, he’ll continue to sing their praises even after he’s gone. Maybe one day we’ll hear the full story but it’ll either be long after everyone has ceased caring or after Rogers is no longer the owner.

  74. Beyond irritating to see a team that shat away tons of wins at the margins with below replacement level performances at LF, 2B, C and the bottom of the rotation go into this season with the personnel at those positions they have now. This shit being spewed by Wilner that Santana isn’t a difference maker is nonsense. The way to claw back at the deficit the Jays face is to replace the dregs with unspectacular but attainable and dependable talent like Santana, not swing for the fences for superstars.

    • the holes arent at LF and C has been filled with league average with potential for higher so thats fine.

      Pitching should have been upgraded or at least better depth with upside, but 2b was the clearest upgrade.

  75. So injuries once again are hurting the Jays chances of winning.

  76. The decision of where to sign wasn’t AA’s, it was Santana’s. This hennypenny, sky is falling stuff is a little rich… the difference between Santana/Ubaldo/Garza and Hutchision/Stroman/whoever isn’t that great.

    • Hilarious.

      • i think you mean hysterical… that pretty much sums up your ‘analysis’ – with both definitions of the word being apt.

        • I’ve never liked Santana, and I definitely didn’t want them to sign him to a 3-4 year contract, but he’s definitely an upgrade on what they currently have (and I say that as someone who’s high on Hutchison and Stroman). At the very least, he significantly improves their margin for error this year.

          That being said, I will actually be relatively happy with the offseason if they just add a solid second baseman before the season starts. Not that I’m confident that will happen…

          • yeah i agree with you that he’s better and the depth would be nice… but i just don’t think he’s worth paying $13.5 million more for that 1.2 WAR or whatever it is (Fangraphs broke down the expected upgrade).

            the Jays could sign or acquire a 2B (or even a SP midseason) that represents a much more significant upgrade over what they have.

            • If they use the $14 million elsewhere, I’ll agree.

              Basically, I would rather sign Drew to a $14 million deal than Santana. So… as we always seem to have to do, I’ll try to be patient and see how it plays out.

  77. Much love for KGBS for that spectacular image! What a beauty!

  78. Frankly I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. Not getting Santana just pushed our playoff chances from “Need a lot of luck” to “Really need a lot of luck”.

  79. It appears to me that Santana was using the Jays and Orioles as leverage to sign with another team, otherwise why all the self imposed deadlines only to see them come and go and not sign with either team. Then when an NL team comes a long and offers a similar deal he jumps on it.

    Can’t say I blame him, as I said before if he is going to sign a one year deal to rebuild his value and try again next season, signing with the Jays or Orioles probably isn’t the best strategic move.

  80. I too cannot understand why the three-year window to make the playoffs has essentially shrunk to “it didn’t work last year, so now we don’t know what the fuck to do.” What bugs me about not getting Santana is two-fold – 1) AA is the first GM in history to decide there IS such a thing as a bad one-year contract, and 2) they could have signed Santana to the same as it would have cost them for a QO for Josh Johnson, which they obviously had to have budgeted for last season when they traded for him. So then, what the fuck?

    It’s really irritating to see a team like the Jays, with obvious needs, decide against immediate help, on the cheap, falling into their lap – and then on top of that, seeing a team like the Braves address an obvious need like, 2 fucking days after it arises. If you were to ask AA right now if the Braves made a poor decision, would he say yes? I don’t understand the thinking.

    A few weeks back, I posited on these comment boards that the problem is Paul Beeston. I stick by that. I can’t believe that a GM like AA, that has made several sound decisions over the years in terms of moves (Wells, Marlins, Morrow, Halladay, Rasmus, Santos) can become stupid of his own volition – especially in a year that may very well dictate whether or not he’ll be employed as a big league GM in 2015. I don’t think he’d make the decision on his own to save billionaire-company Rogers a little bit of money on a 1-year contract if it means putting his job at risk. These decisions are coming from above him, I have to think.

  81. oh for fucks sake.

    being a fan of this team makes me want to say fuck everything, i want a rum and coke with lime at 10:13 in the morning while a fucking winter death storm lurks outsi……oh wait…i can.

  82. I’m just laughing at this point. What else can you do?

  83. I said a few days ago that they thought they had a deal and Santana walked away from it. It was the only thing that made sense. I think they held AA up for a lot more money to go to the AL East after the Braves came into it and the whole deal didn’t make sense in terms of dollars and cents. AA could have signed him and I’m not exonerating him. But this isn’t all on the team. This is also on the player and the agent.

  84. Please dont act like the sky is falling, b/c this deal didnt get done.
    Santana made the right choice. Great team, better ballpark and a great history of winning there.

    Bottom line is AA said his priority was to improve pitching this offseason.. He has not.
    Personally, I think he misread the offseason pitching values, We need to be prepared to move forward with the group we have.

  85. I just hope AA doesn’t make a reactionary move now and does something like trade Stroman and Sanchez for Samardzija.

  86. Whatever. I’m looking forward to seeing Hutchison (Stroman?) kick ass this year.

    • Don’t bet on it

      • define “kick ass” and I’ll take that bet.
        I think they’ll both be positive contributors.

        • Okay fine, they won’t be “negative contributors” but they are pretty unlikely to “kick ass”. If you listen to Balir he said Stroman isn’t likely to debut until the 2nd half of the season.

        • Yeah, I would be all over that bet. I think Hutchison is going to have a very good year.

        • Fully onboard with that statement. Let’s replace “kickass” with “competent” or “hold their own”. I would be happy with that!

          • And if the lineup stays relatively healthy this year, “hold their own” might be all they need.

          • Okay that’s more like it. Last year we didn’t have one starter who IMO “kicked ass” so it’s a pretty lofty expectation of Hutchison to say he’ll be better than anyone in our rotation last year was.

  87. “It appears to me that Santana was using the Jays and Orioles as leverage to sign with another team, otherwise why all the self imposed deadlines only to see them come and go and not sign with either team. Then when an NL team comes a long and offers a similar deal he jumps on it.”

    100% agree with this. It was pretty dubious that Ervin would want to rebuild his value on a pillow contract in the AL East. Doesn’t compute.

  88. That having been said, if AA is trying to get us excited about Rickey Fucking Romero that all by itself is enough to make me scream for the guillotine. That is a huge stinking pile of bs.

  89. I would feel MUCH better if we offered JJ a QO….he was shit last year, but he’s better more proven than our other options.

    • Actually, I think this the part that bugged me the most about this offseason, especially when it’s looking increasingly likely they might not even use the 14M on anyone.

      • Exactly what I have been thinking. I assumed it was a no brainer to offer the QO to JJ, and was completely shocked when they didn’t. At the time, I figured this money would go towards improving the rotation. I was wrong and someone in the FO fucked up this offseason! I just pray that AA doesn’t go overboard and trade the future for a 3/4 starter!

  90. If even 1 of Dickey, Morrow or Buehrle are hurt or struggle for any period of time this season the Jays are going to be so fucked. It’s fine to say that you like your depth, and they certainly do have a decent pool of depth starters, but if you’re relying on your depth to provide nearly half the starts this season you’re playing a dangerous game. Given the fact that most MLB teams use far more than their starting 5 during a season – I honestly don’t see the sense in balking at adding to the rotation this season. They’ve left themselves vulnerable on purpose – and that isn’t going to feel good in July when they are either struggling to keep up or get back into a race because pitching is an issue and they’re picking up the Laffey’s and Chens of the world.

  91. Ryan Goins is the starting 2b.

  92. Come on. For the same amount of money the guy prefers to go to another team. It came to that : he didn’t want to come to Toronto, period. It’s time the season starts because Stoeten, your constant bitching for the last couple months are becoming pretty annoying and making you look like a crybaby.

    • So, the Jays wait all offseason long and get down to the point where there is one pitcher remaining and then find out, “Oh Shit!! You don’t want to play in Toronto? Fuck me. Wish I knew that.”

      Sorry, but if the Jays feel that Santana wanting to play elsewhere now is a complete surprise, then AA did a piss poor job of the offseason.

      • Yeah, when Santana said he wanted to sign in Toronto, Anthopoulos should have assumed he was lying. What an idiot!

        • Actually, if AA leaves all his eggs in the basket of Santana and doesn’t know before that point with 100% certainty that Santana would be willing to sign? Yes, that is 100% AA’s fault.

          Should he be a mind reader? No, of course not.

          But if he waits until it’s his last egg before finding out if it’s a legitimate opportunity? Yes, he is being ineffective.

          Here’s a simple analogy … you’re a 17 year old guy wanting to ask the hot girl to the prom. She says, “hmm … I like you a lot, I’m just not ready to decide – let me think about it” … you let every other available girl get a date because the hot girl said she’d think about it. Two days before the dance the hot girl says, “Actually, no. I don’t like you. I’m going with someone else.”

          Was it the hot girl lying to you that was the reason you ended up with no date? Or was it the fact that you left it so that she was your only option and even though she still hadn’t committed.

          • Except that in this case, we’re talking about the third hottest girl, and she’s really not all that attractive.

            • She was a better lay last year than anyone we went out with.

            • Nevermind all that, now and for the next year, every one who passes you in the hall is going to point at you call you a loser.

              • And we were the cool kids in school last year, and that didn’t work out too well.

                • Philbert, you’ve completely lost track of the point and are now just commenting for the sake of not wanting to look wrong.

                  The reason the Jays have ended up with no one this offseason is entirely due to AA misreading the market. They held out all hope for Santana and, surprise, found out he didn’t like Toronto.

                  Somehow, you’re now bringing in that looking great last offseason was a failed strategy. Not sure how that can be construed to state that AA screwing up this offseason is actually a good thing.

                  • He’s not the first one who prefers to play somewhere else than in Toronto.
                    Are you guys forgetting the Jays made him an offer?

                    • No one is forgetting the Jays made him an offer.

                      The critique is the Jays left themselves in a situation where there was one remaining option to shore up their rotation and said option did not want to play in Toronto.

                      The season started out with half a dozen legitimate opportunities to improve the rotation, 2-3 options to improve at 2B, and multiple options to improve their bench.

                      Here we are midway through spring training and they’ve just found out that the only move they had left to make was one that was probably never an option to begin with as he didn’t want to play in Toronto.

                      That, my friends, is a failure on the GM’s part.

                  • @Mike

                    Or the Jays were never going to sign anyone and all the pr was bs. I dont believe this report of jays offering the 14M to Santana can be trusted either

    • I was getting annoyed by Stoeten’s constant optimism myself when the writing was more and more visible on the wall the whole way through that the jays simply were not going to improve the team and now that is completely apparent and Stoeten’s bitching is justified

  93. But the counterpoint that fucking horseshit is that Atlanta wasn’t EVEN IN THE PICTURE on Saturday. In hindsight, of course, it a valid question of why the Jays weren’t more aggressive in offering, for example, an extra year or some extra incentives THEN as opposed to having to fight a fucking rearguard action after the Barves jumped it.

    • that’s the main issue imo…and to the best of my knowledge, there’s no explanation as of yet from AA…

      it might be as simple as jays offered $14.1m or $15m-$16m & still Santana wanted time…

      but as of right now, there’s no explanation

  94. Either AA is being “managed” by Rogers bean counters or he’s lost his confidence. Last yr he would get a difficult deal done, this year he cant even sign a free agent pitcher with a limited market. In either case its bad business as pro sports isn’t cellular customers.

    “This organization isn’t motivated to save X dollars. We make b..ball decisions”. Quote from the Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers who are run the antithesis of how Rogers runs a team. Who is the more valuable, highly viewed franchise?

    • You dont know the bottom line of the Lakers or Blue Jays. For all we know the Blue Jays lost money last year and the Lakers made hundreds of millions. The Lakers would be limited if they would lose money by signing players too – both are businesses and businesses cant / shouldn’t survive if they are losing money

  95. The line that is way too rich for me is when Anthopoulos says, “we didn’t plan on Bautista’s breakout or Encarnacion’s breakout. We wanted to draft and develop and build up our farm system.” That may be so but then what the fuck was last offseason and how can you do that one offseason and not be willing to add the next one. This is the state of being half-pregnant.

    • I love how AA says that as if it’s almost an inconvenience to have a scrub and an inconsistent hitter develop into 40-homer sluggers. “It ruined my plan!”

    • That didnt ruin anything. It only made them decide to change course and go for it sooner than later to capitalize on good fortune. They could have also decided to trade Bautista, EE, Lind, Rasmus, Jansen, Escobar to supplement the rebuild but didn’t. Now they have decided to go with status quo rather than keep improving for whatever reason and are kind of in limbo.

      Using your analogy last year was clearly a miscarraige.

  96. AA is really excited to see Ricky today ?? He didn’t mention his name for 8 months now he is streaking up the depth chart after one good inning vs AAA hitters.

    • Might as well just hand Ricky the 5th starter’s job because he’s got as much potential for an okay-ish year as Happ, Rogers, Redmond and Drabek do.

  97. Come on Andrew…baseball is hard!

  98. Santana was a back of rotation arm at the Rogers centre bandbox, which we have plenty of. Remember AA is a scout and will focus on “stuff” and upside over reliability. Can anyone really question whether Santana is an upgrade in stuff or upside over Hutch and McGowan as a 4-5. Past injury performance is NOT very indicative of future outcomes. Pitchers get hurt. Pitchers come back if they are healthy and McGowan is throwing 96-98. And if 2 guys get hurt like the braves had, expect AA to make a solid trade if we are in it at the deadline.

    RELAX everyone. Let this thing play out a bit.

    • I think many fans (the rational ones) have been letting things play out for several months now. They are now, justifiably, upset since the chance to improve the team significantly before the start of the season seems to be drawing to a close.

    • Thank you. The ledge was getting kind of slippery in the snow.

    • I relaxed all of last year. It sucked.

  99. They’re better than they were last year, but not enough so to make up for what the other teams did and not enough to hit the 90 win plateau. They certainly are going to be competitive though which is exactly why you SHOULD be adding to the team this offseason. I know it’s counterintuitive but the better you think this team will be the MORE reason to have added because the 5 wins from 85-90 are worth a heck of a lot more than the 5 wins from 80-85. This is an 85 win team and they really missed an opportunity to add about 3-5 WAR by upgrading 2B and SP.

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