rogerscentre

In a twist that makes me think again about the possibility of the front office using the media as an instrument to exert pressure on Robbers Communications, Alex Anthopoulos was on Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 on Friday, preceding his club’s home opener against the New York Yankees, and like Paul Beeston earlier in the day he confirmed the payment deferral scheme first reported by Ken Rosenthal last Thursday at Fox Sports, and — most intriguingly — was coy when it came to the question of who initiated it.

In response to Stephen Brunt broaching subject, the GM explained:

“How the money would have been allocated — how that would have been done — regardless, if something like that was to happen or not, that wouldn’t have been hidden. So, if anybody restructures their contract or defers money — like you talk about, Stephen — the union would have to sign off on that. That’s made available to everybody, no one would have been hiding anything at all. And there’s things we may choose to do, from a payroll standpoint, from a contractual structure standpoint, that might make more sense for us. But irrespective of the fact, we had the ability to sign him, this is where he told us he wanted to be, and we were prepared to go forward with it.

What the fallout from that is, or this story, I know where a lot of people want to go with it, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that we have the dollars to sign the player. Again, how that money was going to be allocated, how it was going to be done, those are things I would keep to myself.

What gets me here, and should get every Jays fan, is the fact that the door was wide open for Anthopoulos to say that this was solely a player-initiated thing, that it wasn’t necessary, that ownership is great, that the dollars were there, and that everything is peachy between the Jays and the corporate monolith that controls their cash flow and owns the network that clutches the no-bid contract for their TV rights that is astonishingly valuable in this era of live event programming being the only thing of any worth in TV, and other clubs auctioning off their own rights for multiple billions — much like the NHL rights deal Rogers itself recently signed. Yet he unequivocally doesn’t.

“Whether players came to us, we went to them, to what level any of this went on, I don’t want to get into it,” Anthopoulos later explains.

Translation: we tried our best to do this creatively after being handcuffed by ownership in the face of a sagging Canadian dollar, a new CEO with a penchant for dramatic cost-cutting, and a big investment last year that didn’t work out as we’d hoped.

Or, at least, that sure would seem to be the implication. And it was reinforced by his deflection when Bob McCown went straight to the nut.

“During the off-season a senior member of ‘the family’ indicated to me that the payroll would be pushing $150-million this year,” McCown explained. “That suggests to me that you had that $14-million, or something pretty close to it. You did not, without going to Rogers?”

“I don’t personally go to Rogers,” Anthopoulos said, doing his best to wriggle away. “I go to Paul, and I have that discussion with Paul, and Paul’s the one who deals from the ownership level.”

And that was that. So we’re left to wonder whether the money really was or wasn’t there. But Anthopoulos, as is his job, evidently, made sure to apply one more layer of lipstick to this pig, reiterating, “I can’t stress enough, Ervin Santana would have been here today if Kris Medlen wouldn’t have been hurt.”

Of course, that’s not really the issue. The issue is myopic corporate groupthink from an ownership that appears to know precisely dick all about this key pillar of their media division, and is entirely disinterested in how to make it work beyond slavish adherence to return on short-term investment in a way that anyone with half a brain ought to see is incompatible with the realities of running a pro sports team and engendering any kind of success (and which the “hey, it’s a publicly traded company, they have to be like that” excuse would work better for if not for a little company called MLSE in its portfolio, or the massive aforementioned investment in hockey). Dipshit rigidity simply won’t work here, and is especially tough to swallow in a game so flush with cash that the Rays are now within $7-million and the A’s within $2-million of the payroll these big-market, huge-rating, nationally-televised Jays — who MLB removed from their revenue sharing program in its latest CBA — ran just two years ago during the 2012 season. However, as I’ve been pointing out since the Santana debacle, it’s exactly the job of Beeston and Anthopoulos to feel out for those edges where the corporation is going to push back and make sure they don’t fucking run aground on them like this.

Bob Elliott also wrote about the situation on Saturday, in a piece appearing on the Canadian Baseball Network, having discussed it with Jose Reyes. Contra Anthopoulos, he shaded it to clearly suggest that it was a player-driven initiative.

Shortstop Jose Reyes confirmed Ken Rosenthal’s FOX Sports story Friday that some Jays players had discussed deferring portions of their salaries in order to sign free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana.

Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey and Reyes agreed to defer amounts, which would equal the $14.1 million earmarked for Santana, who eventually signed with the Atlanta Braves.

“I think Buehrle and I were going to give a little more than the other guys since we make more,” said Reyes after the Jays lost 7-3 to the New York Yankees last night.

For what it’s worth, Elliott adds that “word in the corporate hallways is that there may be more money coming the Jays’ way at the trade deadline — if they happen to be factors — but not before the team shows management what it can do with the 10th highest payroll.”

A begrudging addition of payroll on the off-chance that the branch of your company that you purposefully hamstrung by suddenly pulling out the funding rug from under manages to succeed in spite of you? Gee, thanks, dicks.

Comments (227)

  1. “Ugh”

  2. Are there numbers indicating that signing a player to a seven year deal EVER works to the team’s benifit?

    Usually, the guy is good for a year or three and then he’s a boat anchor.

    Any long term deal guys who prove their worth?

    • Yes.

      Of course, we’re talking about Ervin Santana and a one-year deal, so I’m not sure what this is all about here. Also: “numbers.” Hilarious.

      • I guess I wasn’t clear. Not referring to Santana. It wasn’t a challenge.

        Sorry about the use of “numbers”, I don’t know how else to evaluate value for money spent.

        I was merely trying to think of player where you would say a six or seven year deal would be good value.

        • Trout obviously will be…

          past ones. And I’m just throwing some out there. Some might be disproven:
          Jeter? Cabrera’s previous contract? Some Rays contract or another? King Felix? Manny? Matt Holliday? Beltran’s previous? Pedroia? Pujols’ previous?

          • $/WAR is only going up. Even if a players only meets/exceeds his expectations for half of his contract it would probably be worth it assuming he doesn’t completely tank.

            • I don’t know that it’s going to keep going up for too much longer. Money’s really, really, really cheap these days and a lot of deep pockets have been doing really dumb shit with money for the past couple years. I’d say $/WAR tightens up considerably in, oh, 5-ish years.

          • Longoria’s deal for sure…

            • How about Jose Reye’s deal. He’s just turned 30 or 31 now and he only has 4 years guaranteed left. And he is still one of the top SS in the league.

              It should be noted that some of those contracts above bought out arb years and shouldn’t really count at 6+ year deals spent on free agents. There are not many 6+ year deals signed by FA over 30 who turn out well.

    • Not only are some players worth their value for the entire contract, sometimes having the motor years are worth suffering through the boat anchor years.

  3. Fuck Rogers. That is all.

  4. Pretty brutal. As bad as it is from a PR perspective this year it has the potential to be even worse next year. Hey Mr. Free Agent do you want to play for the team that had to pass the hat around among the players just to try and sign a guy?

    Maybe it was AA’s and Beeston’s way of shaming Rogers into action or maybe not. Either way I think it will just make their jobs harder in the future. Then again maybe both believe there isn’t much of a future for them so they don’t care.

    The whole point of more money being available at the trade deadline is aslo ridiculous and incredibly short sighted. Instead of just paying cash for a guy you needed at the start of the season, well guess what, now you also get to pay an additional price in prospects significantly increasing the overall cost to the team when all is said and done. Typical corporate short sightedness. Doing stuff to make the next quarter’s bottom line look good at the greater expense of the organization as a whole.

    • Total agreement.

      That is ownership working AGAINST the team – making it harder to even be in the running by the deadline and ensuring that the jays pay the maximum price in terms of money AND prospects to land a pitcher that they should have started the year with and potentially won more games with. If you figure that McGowan would not have been in the rotation by this point then you could say that the Jays could already be 1 win down from where they should be right now (which obviously assumes a win from his replacement which is clearly no automatic). Still – how many games will they bleed away before the deadline working with inferior pitching? Even conservatively one could foresee that the difference could be 2 or 3 wins which could be a critical blow.

  5. The timing of everything is a bit confusing.

    Spring training was winding down, Santana was likely;y getting desperate.

    I’m sure this is something that would have taken time to maneuver…deferring the salaries of many players and going through The Union (TM) and such. Maybe the Blue Jays just ran out of time, Medlan’s UCL explodes, Santana says Blue Jays offer him $14M, Barves say $14.1 – and Santana signs with Atlanta in order to play by Opening Day?

    Kinda think the combination of Rogers/AA/Santana are to blame here, with the Jays players being the victims. Could not have helped team morale at all.

    • According to Elliott’s report the union has already given the go ahead on the deferment plans. I’m pretty sure it was the physical that bought Santana the time.

  6. It seems clear that there has been a sudden change of direction with this team. AA should never have made the marlins deal if that maxed out his payroll for 2014 and 2015. So if rogers is only in for 110-120M$ payroll, AA needs to change the way the team is structured. That means eating money to move bhuerle and reyes. You can swap EE and Bautista for great hauls. MElky and rasmus should get solid returns (Comp pick or trade). You can spend the money on keeping good homegrown talent and bringing in solid low cost FAs. The jays can compete with shitty corporate ownership they just need to act like a mid market team. THe marlins move only makes sense with upward mobility in the payroll.

    • I’m not advocating all those moves at once just pointing out the jays have options right now to restructure the team.

    • Maybe we should wait longer than 7 games into the season before talking about blowing the team up? If they make the playoffs this year no one will give a shit that they missed out on Ervin Santana.

      • It’s not about blowing the team up. it’s about about structuring the payroll so they can be competitive. If your payroll is 100M$, it is very difficult to be competitive when buehrle and reyes make 40M$ of that.

    • Totally agree. If Rogers is holding the line on total $ and even taking back the $14 mil one assumes was earmarked for Johnson, Janssen and Happ and perhaps Lind should have been moved during the off season.

  7. You’d think Rogers would have noticed the increase in revenue they got last year after making a genuine effort to have a contending team. Given everything they’ve already put on the table, it would make sense for them to invest to keep the momentum going instead of just stepping back and letting it die.

    This is a massively successful business (Rogers). I have a hard time believing that they’d just overlook the huge benefits of having a successful team. There has to be something brewing in there.

    • Maybe because Rogers are kinda stupid about things like this? They’ve been short-changing the Jays for years now when they’ve had ample resources to build a contending team. We know from the late 80s/early 90s that when the Jays are winning, the fans will come.

      • I don’t think it’s just a matter of Rogers being stupid. They’re obviously not stupid if they’re as successful as they are. The matter at hand for Rogers is obviously going to be revenue and they made a big deal on the increase of ticket sales last year. That increase was directly related to the investment they put into the team in the offseason. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t want to pursue that instead of letting it lay stagnant. The star power of Bautista, Lawrie, Dickey and everyone else isn’t going to carry the team to the fall if they’re a shitty team.

        • I think you’re giving WAY to much credit to a company that has built its “success” as you framed it under a shared monopoly with Bell.

          Yes they are huge. They have one single real competitor with whom they share an enormous market. The way they compete is to try to steal market share from the other. I have a family member who has risen fairly high within the organization who told me that there is massive job insecurity at the managerial level because they watch the numbers like a hawk. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been a star performer in the past. Its all about getting those numbers up year after year and they do not hesitate to pull the trigger.

          I have no idea how that related to the Blue Jays. I do know that many of the baseball ideas about how an organization should be run and how a well funded, long-term plan could make a huge difference in winning might be lost on those who’s main goal is to show year over year profit and return on investment in order to save their own jobs.

    • Do we know what the actual increase in revenue was last year?

  8. I kind of want to take a poop on my Rogers cell phone right now.

  9. I know that players wanting to defer money isn’t the big story here, but has this sort of thing ever actually happened before? Like any kind of precedent? Because i really can’t think of a more jays-esque idea than this.

    • I think players have done so in the past or at least offered to do so, just not when the team was owned by a behemoth like Rogers. Look at the Braves owned by Liberty Media, they are no corporate small fry either, didn’t see their players passing the hat around when things got desperate for them.

    • http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/restructuring-roy/

      e.g. “one instance of such a move occurred in 2006 with Tom Glavine and the New York Mets. Glavine had signed a 4-yr/$42.5 mil deal to pitch in New York from 2003-2006. He was set to earn $10.5 mil in 2006, but restructured the deal to pay him $7.5 mil. Added onto the contract were options, both club and player, for the 2007 season”

    • IIRC, the Red Sox tried to get A-Rod to take a pay cut but it was shot down by the players’ union.

    • Don’t the Mets still owe Bobby Bonilla?

  10. Sounds like they’re throwing Rogers under the bus here.

    • Rogers and Santana both. Understandable why twy have to go that root but god damn. Really looks like they’re Shooting themselves in the foot prior to future negotiations

  11. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted both a FA starter now and at the trade deadline, but do you know what key FA pitchers might be available at the deadline?

    • Depends who falls out of the race.

      But I’d wager cliff lee’s name would be on that list

    • “word in the corporate hallways is that there may be more money coming the Jays’ way at the trade deadline ”
      I suppose they could go the rent-a-player route for 1/2 a season, but again that depends on where they are at the deadline and who’s available. Their contractual exposure would be minimal even on the largest of contracts, but the downside is that for a trade, you have to give up players. And for a half a season rental, hopefully those players wouldn’t be of the calibre of Sanchez or Stroman, which the Jays (IMHO) can’t afford to do.

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/02/2015-mlb-free-agents.html

      • The other variable in the trade deadline scenario would be the Jays own position. Not much sense in acquiring someone for 1/2 a season if they’re nowhere near contention.

  12. I get that from many angles last year was a ‘failure’ on the field.

    But attendance, views and hype shot up, even if the team massively disappointed. From a business standpoint, i don’t quite get it.

  13. Why say throughout the entire offseason you’re going to add to the pitching, by whatever means, and then not do it?

    What a mess.

    • Because baseball operations and ownership are two different groups with different ideas of what the resources should be?

      • That is the case that they are two distinct groups. What is also the case is that in this situation people need to get on the phone (I think Rogers has a few) and communicate between the two groups so that they end up with the same idea as to what resources are available.

        • That is precisely Paul Beeston’s job, And it doesn’t appear to be doing it, and least not effectively anyway.

      • That’s pretty much my point, they shouldn’t have been spouting out, so un-AA like might I add, that they were definitely going to add to the pitching if they (operations) did not have any control over the budget. Huge PR and team management blunder.

        • What they say in that regard is completely irrelevant, though.

        • I’m of the opinion that Rogers made a call to the Jays FO right after AA made those statements about his off season shopping list. (2SPs, 2B and a C)

    • Oct/Nov hype of Stroman and Sanchez didn’t help the cause. These kids project out as MLB pitchers, along with Stilson, Wagner, Nolin (?) in 2014-2015. Ownership doesn’t see immediate need to spend more when assets are there to bring up or trade.

  14. I don’t know why I keep checking the posts here. I just get more and more depressed concerning the immediate future (this season and the complete lack of player movements to fill needs) and the long range future (that ownership will pony up the funds to field a winning team). Ugh! BTW FUCK ROGERS!!!!!

  15. Switch to Telus, TekSavvy, Shaw, whatever. Vote with your money

    • They run the business separately. It you want to hurt them it has to be at rogers center

      • Yes and no. I would go after the Jays sponsors AND Rogers. You don’t want to hurt them necessarily, just get their attention.

  16. I don’t blame Santana one bit for his decision. He’s trying to keep his value high and pitching in the AL East is a shitty place for a pitcher to do that. Doesn’t mean a couple trades can’t happen this year that’ll keep the team competitive.

  17. I wish I’d gotten stuck in traffic so I could have heard the interview live. This is infuriating.

    Do you think if Hank the Dog wandered into Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, the Jays would have shooed him away? Maybe I’m a Brewers fan this year. On first impression, I still think we’re one starting pitcher away from being a legitimate threat.

  18. Rogers is like the guy who joins an expensive gym as a New Year’s resolution, goes to the gym once, doesn’t see the results he wants, then refuses to go back.

    Once you trade away the farm, you either spend the $$ on free agents, or go the stars and scrubs route ala Ricchardi.

    My guess is that Rogers is making enough money on the Jays that they don’t really care if they win. The cost to be good on the field won’t give enough ROI.

  19. Also needs to get used at some point this season:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l6frjt3kqv1nnik/LB2_KAnjv_

  20. What a foolhardy thought process that is by ownership. The window of opportunity in this division is so small and the Jays’ time was now. Feels like the Jays payroll being in the top 10 in the league is the sword AA will die on.

  21. I am not saying this is the time to do this but if Rogers really isn’t willing to operate as a large market team then the baseball ops are going to need to look at moving assets for younger players with team control.

  22. I will continue to watch the Jays but really am not much in the mood to go to many games this year. The $10 beers and constant ads at the game are hard to bear when I know just how much the whole thing has been turned into strictly business.

  23. Are we certain that if last season had gone better Rogers still wouldn’t have done the same thing that they are apparently doing right now? Like if that team made the playoffs who’s to say they wouldn’t have said alright, good show, you had your fun now that’s it and do it again with no new investments. That part of the argument I don’t think is 100% for certain.

    • It’s pretty certain.

      • I’m not so sure, like maybe they would have had a little more money available because of home playoff games but if spending is now tied to revenue then how much more could there revenue have gone up?

        • It’s a pretty standard management approach to say ‘we invested in you to build a winning team, which you told us would lead to added revenues and profits, but since that didn’t go like you said it would, we are less confident in your abilities to build that team, and are reluctant to invest in you now.’ It’s certainly short-sighted, but I think that it’s not that hard to see why they might feel like investing now is just throwing good money after bad.

          We often hear talk about the idea that buying wins is easier to do at the lower end of spectrum; that the Astros could become a much better team with a very moderate investment, and that buying wins, once you’re a 90 win team, is tougher, and therefore more expensive. The Texas Rangers have a pretty reasonable team top to bottom; upgrading at any position to get an extra win or two is difficult because every position on the roster tends to produce a few WAR anyway (JPA notwithstanding), and there simply aren’t that many guys you can bring in who are 4+ WAR players, and those few who are cost a boatload.

          It could be argued that the Jays, given where they finished last year, could have made a pretty modest investment in talent and would have been able to see a number of extra wins. On the other hand, and as has been mentioned several times it was more than just a few wins that are needed to take the 2013 Jays into playoff territory. They need roughly 20 more wins than they got, and, in the perspective of Rogers’ management team, that was going to cost more than they were willing to spend.

          Rogers probably figures that for the 2013 team to be a contender, they were going to need better luck from the health fairies, better breakout seasons from their cheap youngsters, and solid seasons from the perennial talents, and that only then would an investment in a free agent be worthwhile. I’m not sure how strongly I can disagree with that, in fact; why spend a bunch more money on the team only to then have to cross your fingers and hope for a bunch of other things to break right? Didn’t they try that for the 2013 season already?

  24. There are two sides of the story and then the truth.

    Right now we don’t know any of the three.

    We’re getting inferences of a front office where the budget cupboard is bare. However, who knows the reality.

    For example:

    1) Did Rogers give the FO guidance on a payroll ceiling for the next 2 years after the 2012 season and he essentially hit that ceiling last offseason? Thus having to “make do with what he has” from hereon out?

    2) Did Rogers give FO guidance on a payroll ceiling for this offseason and then went back on their word?

    3) Did AA play games of holding the “value” line for free agent salaries for too long and lose out on every possibility?

    4) Did Rogers give an indication to the FO they would support offseason signings and then whenever one popped up they said no?

    Who knows, but I don’t completely trust it can all be heaped on Rogers. The front office must be somewhat culpable in this.

    • Front office culpability in the scenario you are suggesting would then suggest a front office that is inherently stupid.

      Sure there always is the possibility that is the case. I mean never say never but you then have to believe that the entire front office has acted in a ridiculous manner since the winter of 2012 knowing that they gambled everything for a one time shot at a championship after taking great pains in rebuilding the system for a sustained level of excellence.

      Considering that prior to late in the winter of this year they acted in a manner where money didn’t seem to be an issue, I would have to say that is not the case. If they knew that it was all along, there were multiple things they could have done to move payroll around to strengthen the team overall far in advance of having to take chances with risky measures like they were eventually forced to do.

      • I’m saying I have no idea the situation, those are just examples.

        My personal belief is blame rarely sits all in one place. Without knowing exactly what has transpired I can’t speak in certainties.

        With that being said, I don’t think it’s 100% Rogers. Though it certainly feels as though that is how Paul and Alex are ready to paint it.

        If I had to wager an uneducated guess I’d say that yes, perhaps AA did take a greater risk last season than we truly realize.

    • Re (1) and (2) it seems like you’re ignoring the way it almost certainly happened which is that in 2012/2013 AA was told he’d have more money for 2014 to shore up the at-the-time-favored-to-win-the-world-series Blue Jays for their run at the title (maybe a second straight title). Then, they won 74 games and Rogers wasn’t so willing anymore.

      I guess you could call that “going back on their word” but no management is going to ignore a situation that has gone completely differently than expected for the sake of “keeping their word” and, frankly, they would be morons if they did.

      • It does seem possible last offseason’s acquisition parade was approved with a caveat that if the doesn’t see success, flexibility will be limited for 2014.

  25. This is a fucking joke.

    Also, shit, what a gong show Friday just trying to get a fucking beer the RC.

    • 500 level is a joke right now. Missing 2 innings for a 1 beer per person quota isn’t worth it

  26. I think a lot of the anger here is misplaced and people are jumping to conclusions that may be unwarranted. Some things to consider:
    1. We don’t know that Rogers weren’t prepared to pony up for Santana.
    2. We don’t know if Beeston even asked Rogers for more money.
    3. Even if Rogers agreed to expand the budget for Santana, he still wouldn’t be a Blue Jay
    4. The addition of Santana is probably not enough to put this team in playoff contention.
    5. My impression is that Anthoupolus was willing to acquire (sign or trade for) a pitcher if the deal made sense, however he was unable to find the right fit at the right cost, which is a smart thing to do when your team doesn’t have an unlimited budget.
    6. Rogers has been willing to support this team in the past, and yes I know there has been an influx of TV money recently but that doesn’t mean the team should start spending with reckless abandon.

    • why would AA go begging to the players hat in hand if Rogers was willing to pay for Santana? doesn’t make sense.

    • “Even if Rogers agreed to expand the budget for Santana, he still wouldn’t be a Blue Jay”

      I’m pretty sure that for an extra 2 or 3 million Santana wouldn’t have waited for Medlen to get hurt and would have signed the deal. Considering the fact that he wound up signing basically the exact same offer that he rejected 4 months earlier, it’s tough to see how he was ready to take any sort of one year deal that would have paid him marginally more money.

      • First, the team thought they had him signed for $14 million, second did they even get an opportunity to increase their offer before he signed with Atlanta, would you even want to give more money to a player that backed out of a deal, and I’m sure they could have found another couple of million if they wanted to.

        Yeah – I thought it was the players that went to AA, not the other way around, and beyond that is just pure speculation.

        • Santana was a free agent for several months. The fact that they thought they had him signed for $14MM before Atlanta came a-knockin’ is precisely the point. He hadn’t signed a contract, and could have been signed weeks or even months earlier.

        • maybe if AA had tried to sign him a month ago instead of having to arrange for funding from his players he could’ve gotten the deal done long before the Brave’s pitcher got hurt…?

          • I think it is likely that AA was in contact with Santana’s representatives throughout the off season and I seem to recall that as soon as Santana dropped his price and identified he was willing to sign a one year deal the Jays immediately reacted. I suppose they could have given him a $50 million deal earlier but I don’t think the team was interested in that..

            • Is this a joke? $50MM? Do you think that he went from $50M to $14M overnight? Obviously there was a negotiation with the market for a long time, waiting for the number to drop to a point where both sides agreed. It seemed that the Jays had a deal for $14MM, but Santana didn’t sign, and when Atlanta came offering the same deal (or maybe marginally higher), Santana took it. How much money would it have taken to close the deal? Surely they didn’t have to pay $50MM to make that happen.

              • It was well documented what Santana’s demands were, and it was only when no team was willing to meet these demands did he decide to take a one year bridge contract to try again next year. So yes, it would have cost the Jays $50 million to sign him earlier.

                • Perhaps what’s unclear is what ‘earlier’ means. I don’t mean that they could/should have signed him in December, I mean, like, two days before the Braves came knocking for his services. And no, this is not selective revisionism: the team supposedly had him locked up on Friday, and then on Sunday he was gone. He should not have remained a free agent on the weekend.

          • Yes, but we don’t know that Santana would have accepted a 1yr/$14.1mm deal earlier in the offseasn. Word was he was looking at something around (or north of) what Jimenez got. It wasn’t until late in the game that it became likely he would sign a one year deal. And even that was likely due to (or the result of) his changing of agents.

        • the players couldn’t go to AA. It doesn’t make sense.

  27. Just out of curiosity, what do people think are the moves that the Jays should have made? (Other than a Stephen Drew signing which I think would be a bad decision)

    • In order of importance:

      1. Sign Ubaldo Jimenez
      2. Trade for Nick Franklin
      3. Sign Ervin Santana on a one-year deal
      4. Get an upgrade at Catcher (sort of did happen..sort of)
      5. Get a RH bench bat to platoon with Adam Lind

      • 1. Sign Ubaldo Jimenez – Rightly or wrongly I don’t believe the team thought he was worth what he got paid, and they probably would have had to pay more than he got to get him.
        2. Trade for Nick Franklin – I like this idea as well, but I wouldn’t do it if they asked for Sanchez or Stroman in return.
        3. Sign Ervin Santana on a one-year deal – They tried this and he picked another team over the Jays.
        4. Get an upgrade at Catcher (sort of did happen..sort of) – I’m, happy with Navarro, it appears his impact on the pitching staff alone could be huge.
        5. Get a RH bench bat to platoon with Adam Lind – This makes a lot of sense.

        • Yes, there are a lot of pundits out there who don’t like the Ubaldo deal. I think that it was the cost to make the deal happen, and would have been worth spending the money to get him.

          Nick Franklin is a talented, young, controllable middle infielder. Trading a talented, young, controllable pitcher, including Sanchez OR Stroman seems reasonable to me, and I would have been comfortable with the team making that trade. Having to deal both pitching prospects: not so much.

          As I mentioned above, Santana could have been signed long before another team came calling. And once Jimenez was gone, he absolutely should have been.

          The season is 7 games old. It’s too early to say what effect Navarro will have on the pitching rotation, but his offensive career is pretty unimpressive (2 good seasons out of 10), and it’s unlikely that he’ll figure something else out now, even if he plays more than 100 games (which also isn’t terribly likely).

    • Sign Ubaldo Jiminez
      Sign Infante
      Sign a decent catcher (Navarro fits the bill)
      Get a right handed bat platoon

    • Kemp for Rasmus+. Nick Franklin yes.

  28. not sure exactly what to think ..

    On one had the payroll has increased dramatically to 140 mill or so right now .. amazing

    NFL players always restructure deals to allow for F/A’s – of course a different context being as they operate in a salary cap situation

    On the other hand, ROGERS is a massive $ machine with literally unlimited resources for the baseball team if they so choose .. they went seemingly ALL IN last year only to pull back the reigns this year when $ was needed to reinforce last years plan ..

    Now the Jays are firmly stuck in the middle ground .. maybe good enough to compete should everything go there way but probably more like a 500 team. Last year the FANS RETURNED .. but Rogers wants to see the chicken before the egg yet again ..

    the sum of the parts is that Beeston is a puppet – all of AA’s good intentions are just that .. Rogers is more $ driven then W driven – and despite being a powerhouse with the resources of the top teams we are resigned to wait for everything to BREAK RIGHT for the Jays to be in the playoffs vs long term, sustained success

  29. It is obvious that AA went to the players asking for money and not the other way around. How could the players know that AA was even trying to sign Santana? How would the players know that AA is out of budget and desperately needed money? AA would have to go to the players prior to negotiating with Santana’s agent….

  30. To me it seems like the money is there for this year, but not next. Seems pretty clear that they are fine with spending a little extra this year, but will slash the payroll for next.

  31. One scenario I haven’t heard. It’s unlikely…

    Maybe the $14 mm to sign Josh Johnson (or some amount) is actually in the 2014 budget. But it’s possible that AA isn’t confident there will be more at the trade deadline. So he hedges by restructuring the boys’ contracts, leaving that $14 mm available so that he doesn’t have to go begging Paul et al at the trade deadline; it’s his budget to spend and he knows there’s money there because he saved it. (Big) if this is the case, I think it’s smart, proactive (or maybe “reactive” to Rogers’ bait and switch “all-in” strategy) strategy. Again, unlikely, and doesn’t mean Rogers shouldn’t have had the $14 mm AND money at the deadline available.

  32. “Dipshit rigidity simply won’t work here, and is especially tough to swallow in a game so flush with cash that the Rays are now within $7-million and the A’s within $2-million of the payroll these big-market, huge-rating, nationally-televised Jays ”

    I’m pretty sure this is an erroneous statement. Unless Stoeten is referring to both the As and Rays payrolls added together. Which…what the fuck kind of comparison is that?

    • He said the Jays’ 2012 payroll, which was $92 million according to the commissioner’s office. This season, Tampa is at $77 million this season and the A’s are at $83 million according to AP, so it still doesn’t quite work.

      Anyway, I think the point he was making is that the Jays’ increase in payroll last year shouldn’t be seen as a “gift” from Rogers so much as it was a natural increase based on what the Jays’ payroll has been in recent years based on the inflationary circumstances of MLB, and that it’s tough to swallow that maybe if more money had been given to management the Jays could’ve been pushed into that “elite” status.

  33. I was listening to the Fan590 about a week ago when the Jays were playing in Montreal. They were talking about the Rays going to Montreal. They had someone on, I forget who it was but he broke down why that would not happen because the Rays Are making oney even though no one goes out to see them.

    I may be off a bit in regards to the allocation of money but.
    35 Million comes from MLB TV Contacts
    25 Million from Local TV Contracts.
    then there was another That brought it up to about 100 Million. So before any tickets go on sale the teams are making 100 million. Add Tickets and Merchandise. A team like the Jays are making 150 Million a year.
    last year I believe they got an extra 35 million as a one off from MLB.
    Rogers has an added + in that they have content that they get for free (I would Imagine its free)
    So spending an extra 15 Mill on a pitcher to bolster your pitching staff for one year was a no brainer.

    On the other hand. If Rogers is dangling a carrot at mid season if they do well. there trying to motivate the team. Seems shortsighted to me but its all about the bottom line right.

    • Except the FMV of the Jays (Canadian) TV deal is probably around 100-125M a year by itself

      • MLb requires Rodgers to pay market value for Tv content so No.

        • Please don’t be obtuse. The amount that Rogers is forced pay by MLB falls into the same scenario as the Yankees, Red Sox and the Dodgers. All of those teams pay a small portion of what they are actually bringing in.

  34. They continue to fuck with our ballteam, then every Drunk Jays Fan leaves a bag of burning beershit at the steps of Rogers.

  35. If the Jays were under the MLSE umbrella where the spending nut is spread out and the content is valued by at least 2 entities I could easily see a $200mm payroll AND a new stadium proposal within 3 years.

    C’mon Leiweke. Get behind this!!!!

  36. I have to wonder if AA would have done “The Trade” and the Dickey trade if he had known he wouldn’t have the resources to build on those trades.

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t have made the trades. But I suspect he may have balked at it had he known he wouldn’t have support going forward. The so called rebuild would have taken a few years longer, but would have been financially sustainable a la the Rays.

    • As others have mentioned above, AA may have been told something to the effect of, “if this works out and there’s success, there’ll be more money. If not, don’t expect much”.

      I honestly believe AA thought the team would at the very least be battling for the playoffs until the end of 2013, if not actually advancing. He may not have thought those moves were as big of a risk as they now seem in hindsight.

  37. As a Rogers Communications shareholder I applaud this prudent use of the resources that I in part own.

  38. Well done Stoeten.Excellent points.
    The thing that disturbs me, is what it portends for the future.Each scenerio that I expected to see, has gone out the window.The plan set forth years ago seems to have been altered with a lack of direction as a result
    To me, It still makes little sense from a long term business standpoint. Rogers gambling on a tight Jays budget could cost them 100′s of millions in the future.

    • It’s going to be interesting considering the payroll doesn’t peak until next year and there is a good chance that the dollar is probably going to continue to weaken.

      Either way the incident is another unnecessary stain on the organization. For a franchise that was intent on bringing back the glory days of when it was perceived as an all round top class club that does everything in the best way, they certainly have had one PR blunder after another.

      • The dollar doesn’t help, but the bigger issue is that if the team is doing well by mid summer.

        If there is lots of fan interest thru August and September both gate and SportsNet revenue will begin to generate a real profit for the team.

        That’s what they banked on last year, and came up a bit short. Which is why there was no big spending in the off season.

        If the team thinks that the August and September are looking good I’m confident that the team will get a $ player at the trade deadline.

        • Oh I am sure they will get a player if they are in position it’s likely it will just cost the club far more than if they invested up front. What people like the bean counters at Rogers are forgetting is that if they signed players upfront, one, their chances at winning would have been better, two, if things had gone south those players and or others could have been sold off to mitigate the damage.

          • I disagree. One or two players are not enough to change the trajectory of this being a competitive team or not by midseason.

            It’s way smarter from both a fiscal and asset allocation perspective to wait and see what you have.

            It’s okay to overpay when your investing in a winner, not so much (even if your saving a few million) to do so with a maybe.

  39. Bottom line is, I personally don’t have a problem with the Jays budget being in the $140 to $150 million range. This should be enough for them to build a competitive team. I also think it’s unfair for fans to demand Rogers to spend more money because of the size of the company. But if you want to boycott Rogers and the Blue Jays because their payroll is in this range than I guess that is your perogative.

    • Hear, hear!

      • Going to disagree with you on the one or two players not be a factor especially if you factor in the health situation. Unfortunately, the injury situation obscured things so much that people are honestly thinking the true talent level of this team is closer to the 74 wins than not. Lots of examples of one or two players changing a team. Look at the trade in 1990 or the players they added in 92 and 93. By not acting upfront they make the chances to actually be in a meaningful position to add at the deadline that much worse. It’s not setting up the team to be successful. A perfect analogy for me is putting a fantastic new roof on your house to stop the leaks but you fail to fix the broken windows. Your fancy floors are still going to get wet when it rains and snows no matter how much you argue that you’ve already spent a bundle on the roof.

    • I don’t think anyone is angry that the Jays spent what they did. I think people are angry because they were told:

      1. That when the time was right the money would be there to contend within the context of the core group of players there now.
      2. That the team had identified specific places in the roster that it intended to upgrade – then did not.
      3. That if the fans came out and supported the team that payroll would increase. (It did – but there is a question of where the money came from).

      • 1. Wasn’t that the Dickey deal? Or the Marlins deal building on the EE and JB emergence?

        2. At no point did AA say he would overpay for these upgrades, or be forced to buy in a market he didn’t deem reasonable.

        3. Where were the fan and viewers in August and September? Even Stoeten who gets paid to follow this team checked out. That’s 33% of the season.

        If you want to make a money argument, think items of money, not in a “I didn’t get exactly what I wanted for Christmas” type argument.

        • 1. For sure it was. They expanded payroll. That includes the Marlins deal, Dickey and locking up EE and JB. Money was spent. No argument from me. But the fact that the money stopped when the team is both close to contention and in need of clear upgrades at specific positions means that Rogers isn’t funding the team in the same way that it was implied they were up until now. That is why people are upset.

          2. In what way would a 1 year deal for a decent pitcher be equated with an “overpay”? especially given how much of an investment is at stake and relies upon a serious contribution from Dustin McGowan, Drew Hutchison, not to mention Ryan Goins (and now – Jonathan Diaz)? Given the contracts that were signed in the off season – in what way can we categorize the a 1 time payment of $14M as an overpay. Because its actually a CLEAR underpay brought on by the artificial market force of draft pick compensation.

          3. Attendance was up in 2013 by 435,000+. They averaged 5000 people more per game than in 2012. Attendance in 2013 was 140% of what it was in 2011 (more than 700,000 people higher). Given how out of it they we

          • Given how out of it they were by August – shouldn’t we see lower attendance numbers?

            • You said “That if the fans came out and supported the team that payroll would increase”.

              It’s understandable why the fans checked out, but that wasn’t the deal, so you can’t blame the Jays.

              • And I showed that the fans didn’t check out in any way. Attendance was the highest its been since like 1997. The fans showed up.

                • The fans did show up for 2/3 of the season, but not the last third.

                  That slowed down your number 3 point this offseason, and effected the Jays ability to come thru on your first two points.

    • Absolutely. Rogers gave the Jays a fair shot last year and they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, to say the least. It’s a little brazen to turn around and shit on Rogers for not holding up theirs.

      • the point is, if they’d simply signed a bunch of FAs last year (as opposed to dealing top-level prospects for them), i’d generally agree, at least somewhat. but having gone the route they have, don’t you sort of have to back it up? i mean, if it made good sense last year, what has changed between then and now, other than EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE DIVISION GETTING BETTER? to me, Rogers getting pissy & tight-assed with the budget now is just dumb & excessively counter-productive; they’re basically extending a gigantic middle-finger to the fans, and saying, ‘hey, thanks for the bump in revenue last year, hope you don’t mind, but we’ve decided that perpetual 4th/5th place finishes are kind of our comfort zone, so settle in!’

        it just makes no sense whatsoever to now, after going through what happened last off-season, decide that this team isn’t good enough no matter what is spent on payroll to even bother trying. because let’s be honest, santana alone probably isn’t turning this team around, not with the way the division improved as a whole.

    • IMO, the anger stems from the fact that they went all-in in terms of using a good deal of prospect depth to acquire ‘proven’ (and expensive) talent, the kind that they’d be unable to sign outright as FAs…and then turned around and have decided to sit on their collective balls IMMEDIATELY afterwards, and do practically zero to improve the team. i don’t think there’s any value pointing to the payroll and declaring ‘it’s high enough, now win’ if you KNOW that they are (reasonably) talented and are close to being legit contenders, and it would only cost money (not prospects) to get them into the realm of contending. what is the point of spending all that money on payroll if you KNOW that it’s not good enough to actually contend? why fucking bother at all? or are they just hoping to continue cashing in on the premise that they’re spending like the big-market team they are, and waiting/hoping that the youngsters (sanchez/stroman) develop ahead of schedule (say, this year/now) so as not to waste the prime years of all those guys they acquired/signed and who’s salaries constitute the payroll?

      • Where do you get the fact that they “know” they are close to being legit contenders, or that they spent money KNOWING they were not good enough to contend?

        They spent money thinking last year was going to go way differently than it did. Not sort of differently, like they thought 93 wins and got 86 — WAY differently, like they thought 93 wins and got 74. So they re-evaluated BIG TIME. They at least want to see that last year was a fluke and this team starts the 2014 season better than last year before they throw around a bunch more money to be out of contention by July, again.

        Last season’s debacle was a HUGE intervening factor in whatever Rogers was “thinking.” Any analysis that doesn’t take that into account is absurd.

        • Almost as absurd as looking at last year’s performance and evaluating NONE of the context and assuming that the team will have the exact same result.

          • That’s just the thing though. It was so bad that you don’t have to assume anything like the same result. Even if you give them an extra 8 or 10 wins because “context” they’re still arguably not worth spending the money on.

            Anyway, I’d like to have seen Rogers spend the money too because I want to see the team win, I’m just unwilling to lay all the blame at Rogers feet after the product the FO and players put on the field last year. I’m with you and I hope they start strong and start spending.

            • if they start well, and warrant spending money on, won’t the counter-point (from roger’s perspective) at that point be ‘why bother?’ since they’d be doing fine as is? and if they aren’t doing well, there’d be no incentive to spend, and they’d basically not only be squandering a high-payroll roster, but another year in the super-awesome contracts of EE & JBats. you only get so many years in a prime, and they’ve already wasted a few of them.

              • I don’t think anyone would say that a team that started well was “fine” and didnt need any more pieces for a stretch run. I can see Rogers refusing to spend for other reasons but no one would make that argument with a straight face. Winners are buyers at trade deadlines for a reason.

            • +1

              And nice use of brazen earlier.

        • i don’t disagree, but taking a ‘wait & see’ approach is a bit of an issue when teams that were already better than you (from a record POV) made improvements. look, last year, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did, and i don’t think anyone would dispute that. so i get that there’s a natural (albeit, dumb, IMO) inclination to see what the true talent level of the team is, and if it’s better than what last year showed, you invest. that’s a bit of a pie-in-the-sky approach too though, assuming that they (rogers) would open the purse-strings to add players halfway through the season if they were truly competing.

          i firmly believe that they are much better from a talent perspective than what was shown last year, but i also believe that they are short in a couple key spots. i don’t think casually throwing money around would equate to a playoff berth, but i do know that this team, even though they’re talented, simply isn’t going to compete over the long-haul with what they have, at least in the starting rotation (not to mention 2B/SS while reyes is out).

    • i agree, $140-$150M is enough (more than enough, really) to BUILD a competitive team. problem is, they aren’t BUILDING a team with that much money, they’ve already committed that $$ to the existing players on the roster, and used a good chunk of their prospect capital to do so. what they need is to follow through on the investment they made last year.

      it’s like buying a project car, setting a budget of $50K to restore it, but deciding, after spending all the budget but falling short of completing it, that it isn’t worth spending an extra $5K on an engine. so, you’re stuck with either letting it sit in the driveway, unusable, or selling it for 50 cents on the dollar. because heaven forbid you go over budget.

  40. This isn’t directly related to this post but I don’t think it’s a bad idea to prepare for what’s probably ahead of us: http://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/A-s-exec-GM-Farhan-Zaidi-takes-old-and-5205023.php

    • Hopefully that is the 2015 Blue Jays GM!

    • This is funny. This is the guy that championed cespedes? The guy with a sub .300 OBP last year??? What stats was he looking at or was he watching cespedes promo videos??

      • In fairness he did it .292/.356/.505 as a rookie… I would personally not be opposed to have Yoenis Cespedes play for my baseball team.

  41. I watched the first 10 minutes of Brunt’s ‘behind the 2014 offseason’ spot after the Sunday game. It was so depressing, I couldn’t make it past that mark.

    The publicly-traded thing is true though. Once that happens, quality is almost always out and short-term profitable mediocrity is in.

  42. What fucking disgusts me about this team is how they are marketing this team as canada’s team. Well if you have the whole fucking country to generate revenue your payroll should be a lot higher than 130 mil. If tampa can have an 80 mil payroll with no tv deal and shitty attendance then rogers is a joke.

  43. What bugs me is how Rogers has hoodwinked a certain naive segment of the fan base into thinking their spending adequate resources on the team.

    This is a large market team that for over 20 years has spent as a small to mid market operation suckering a whole generation of fans into thinking that by having the tenth highest payroll in baseball for a couple of fleeting seasons is ” somehow going for it”.

    They have the fourth largest local fan base in baseball all to themselves. As well, Roger’s controls the largest broadcast territory in the entire game, the country of Canada. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the newest revenue generator for teams is to monetize a regional sports network and make money off subsequent subscription fees ( the Dodger’s make 210 million / year off a household market size which is half of what the Jays control ).

    This is a poorly run franchise from a business standpoint. Rogers is sitting on a gold mine, but their focus on short term share price and total unwillingness to take on risk has led to 20 years of mediocre results both on and off the field. This is a market that should be consistently in the top 5 in the game in terms of revenue and profit if run properly.

    • You’re absolutely right for the first 15 years of the 20 you mentioned, but in the last 5 years they’ve taken many steps to get it right.

    • Usually at this point is where we see typical Pan Canadian type thinking , ” we can’t be as good as Americans at anything – Canadians don’t really like baseball “.

      Lots of Canadians do however like baseball contrary to this ill conceived notion. Only 4 teams have ever gone over 4 million / year in attendance, Colorado once ( in a huge football stadium ) , the Mets once, the Yankees 4 times ( the New York region is still the largest in baseball even though it’s split between 2 teams) and the Jays 3 different times.

      It should be noted that the Jays massive home attendance record was achieved over 20 years ago when the GTA was 25% smaller.

      If you build a winning baseball team, history indicates Toronto and region will support it.

      • Great job, Longhorn, of replying to your own comment with an argument against a point no one has offered. I’ll give you the points for this round.

        However, I’d like to point out that I, too, can make a pretty convincing case. Some people have been saying that the world is flat. I’ve been doing some reading and have found that there is ample evidence to show that this is simply wrong, and that some astronomers thousands of years ago had been able to prove this mathematically. Also, people have been to space and taken photos of the planet, showing that it is round.

        So while no one here actually brought forward the opinion that the world is flat, I think that I’ve successfully pointed out that this simply isn’t true.

        • Winfield , I have limited access to the internet at this point, so I’ve shot my load metaphorically speaking before I have to go.

          I’ve been down this road before with Rogers apologists, so I know how the dialogue generally plays out.

  44. AA/beeston’s recent comments read, at least to me, to be them greasing the exit wheels, while casually/subtly (or, not too subtly) tossing rogers (rightfully) under the bus. i could care less about beeston, but AA has shown that he has ability/skill as a GM. if this is his last year in TO, i really don’t think he’ll be sitting on the side-lines long before he’d get a good opportunity to GM again.

  45. I know the sample size is hilarious, but Ubaldo looking a lot better against the Yankees than any of the trash we sent out there.

  46. A simple refresher glimpse shows me 4ER through 6.0IP with 6 K’s 5 hits and 3 walks. It certainly wasn’t a brilliant start, but definitely serviceable against the Red Sox. Nice try though!

    • He had a 7.43 FIP that game. That’s bad. Worse than Hutchison yesterday, I might add.

    • You’re setting the bar awfully low at “serviceable” for a guy with a 50M contract.

      • Have you reviewed MLB starting pitcher contracts lately?

        • Uh, sure? 4 years 50 million for a guy who’s basically a gigantic walking red flag is still an overpay.

          • @JOHN
            I Thought ‘gigantic walking red flag’ was hilarious because it’s terrifyingly accurate. It punctuates UJ’s own comment–when asked by a reporter about his new team–when he said something to the effect that he was ‘looking forward to getting away from all the inconsistency problems that have plagued him’. This was from his own freakin’ mouth. Yup, moving to a more hitter-friendly park in the AL East will answer the questions about consistency, Ubaldo. Keep up the good work, bub. It’s a 4 yr/$50 MM gamble by the O’s to find out.

          • FWIW, Ubaldo’s line on Mon vs. the NYJeters:
            4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO

            If he gets 33 starts this year, that clunker just cost the O’s almost $400k. Plus it digs their early season hole a little deeper…

  47. Also some more complaining to do here. Even though the YES guys are homers, it is crazy how much more relaxing and enjoyable the game of baseball is to watch when you have a couple of guys chatting quitely about the game, throughout the game, while calling the plays. Not two fucking clowns trying to incorrectly educate people non stop for 3.5 hours, while for some reason trying to make every play exciting. No Buck, that’s not a homerun, it’s a shallow fly ball.

    • ‘DEEP DRIVE TO RIGHT….’ and the catch is made 80 feet in front of the warning track.

      SO CLOSE!!

  48. Feel bad for AA very tough to run a team when the budget parameters are a moving target. Obviously Rogers doesn’t have confidence in the team until proven wrong, which handcuffs AA from doing anything. Then again, when you go from having JPA, D’Arnaud, Gomes, before that Napoli to having to “overpay” for Navarro, makes you really question AA’s assessment of talent.

  49. I spend a bit of time monitoring different media blogs.
    The general consensus is that Rogers overspent when they acquired the NHL package in December. They’ve taken on considerable risk on this venture and are utterly pre- occupied with how they can make their money back over all their different platforms.

    Unfortunately baseball has become the poor second cousin in the Rogers stable, an afterthought in the corporate hierarchy . Rogers media has limited stomach for any more risk and see the baseball team as nothing more than a stable revenue generator, hence the seemingly change in philosophy this off- season.

  50. Rogers bought the Jays for $160mm and added the dome for $25mm. Assuming the dome upgrades were amortized and accounted for in the annual budget, and assuming Forbes is correct in the $600mm current value, I’d say Rogers has a pretty good win on its hands.

    If they flip it to MLSE for $600mm their net cashout would be around $340mm, accounting for their 40% capital call.

    Bell gets needed content. Rogers gets needed cash. MLSE expands their empire and the Jays get a sustainable payroll and Drake to boot!

  51. Okay so let me make sure I understand. The money’s not available right now but there’s always the possibility of money at the trade deadline should the Jays still be in the mix.

    Jam Tomorrow. Always freakin’ Jam Tomorrow.

  52. A look at how long the ‪‎Rays‬ control their core players (a long time)

    http://www.raysindex.com/2014/04/the-rays-roster-is-not-going-to-change-much-in-next-few-years.html

    • The Jays had done that too by extending Doc, Wells and Rios under JPR and Romero, Lind, Jose and EE under AA. Obviously those deals did’t all work out but they are also mostly older deals. Things have changed over the last couple of years with teams being more aggressive and players being less inclined to wait for free agency. Jeff Passan did a fantasic article on this very subject this morning. It’s worth a read. From the Jays perspective they had 3 deals go very badly for them, though you can argue Rios rebounded nicely to worth the money he was paid. Tampa, as usual, has had everything work out well.

      Also I can’t remember if the Jays extended Escobar or he came with that contract. Either way that was another good extension overall.

      Maybe the better question to ask is is there something wrong with Jays player evaulations as an organization?

      • AA did extend Escobar. Can’t remember which year he did it (2011?). He gave him 2 years for $5 mil per along with 2 club options for $5 mil per. It was an awesome deal until eyeblackgate. The Rays took full advantage and now have locked him up again.

        • I can’t fault the Lind extension. That looked like smart planning at the time.

          Some things just don’t work out.

  53. Some good baseball over the first week. Imagine what this team COULD be with a bit more depth, meaning spending a bit more money. Had a feeling for a while that things are not all good at Rogers/BlueJays. If this group can hold their heads above water until June MAYBE ownership helps with a playoff push. More likly hearing how JB, EE really wanted to win here but the economics made it ipmpossible to compete.

    Also, I was really pulling for Colby on Sunday, new haircut and all. Horrid at bat, he looks completely lost at the plate. And … why the fuck did Gibby start Kratz yesterday ?? Navarro has been lights out. FUUUUUUUUCK

  54. Its becoming increasingly obvious that Rogers cares only about ratings and ticket sales. So unfortunately the only way they will listen is when fan decisions impact their bottom line.

    If we keep watching…… They will keep fucking the Jays over.

    I’m a Jays fan till I die but really sick of the bullshit ownership we put up with. Last year I had the Jays on 5 nights a week. This year it will be 1 or 2. Will start watching more if ownership actually tries to be competitive.

    Sorry if this sounds preachy or troll like….. But I’m kind of done with Rogers.

  55. I don’t mind giving McGowan and Hutch a chance to succeed or fail, I really don’t. Let’s see what they offer before we go crazy. I also think that JA Happ has something to offer, probably as a #5. Esmil and Redmond are decent out of the ‘pen, but clearly not as talented as Dusty/Hutch.

    What happens if none of these 5 guys work out? It’s a real possibility. Then what happens to the magical 3-year window? Does it get slammed shut before the Jays even know where it is, or did they misread the situation so badly that it’s laughable? Haven’t all of their recent moves have been made with the “window” as the rationale…?

    • With 96 million committed for 2015 and just 27 million for 2016,it’s anybody’s guess.
      One side is that they have maximum financial flexibity to allow for quick improvements.
      On the other side,they can keep payroll low and provide even cheaper content for 7 channels and other platforms.
      The trade deadline may show signs of what happens going forward.
      If the Jays are not in contention,what would you do with Melky and Rasmus or with the core?
      if they are in contention and one or two pieces are needed?
      Depending on how Rogers sees all this and what ratings are, decisions will need to be made.
      Gonna be interesting decisions.

  56. Sorry but it’s not all Rogers fault, so far Ubaldo has been garbage and Santana hasn’t even thrown a pitch, what happens if Santana lays a big turd over the next month? Is Rogers still cheap? Maybe this team should have had a better plan in place last year, other than putting all their faith in one of these 2 guys.

    • Really? Coming to conclusions after 2 starts for Ubaldo vs the Sox and Yankees and none for Santana only because he signed 2 weeks before the season started? Really?

      • It’s that much different than coming to the conclusion that Ubaldo was a viable option after what, 12 good starts against crappy competition at the end of last year?

        • Actually it was nearly a great year with the exception of April. He had a 4.23 ER in May and the rest of the year nothing over 3.10. That is a rather larger sample size than 12 starts and far more than just 2 so yes it is different.

          • It was not a great year. You can cherry pick it to make it look like it was, but realistically he had a 4.56 era until his last 13 starts.

            Even during his “good” months, he walked an ass load of guys. The ERA was lucky.

            • You’re the one cherry picking and being purposely obtuse. From May 1st until the end of the season he had an ERA of 2.72 over 27 not 12, 27 starts. Out of the last 5 months May was easily his worst month with an ERA of slightly over 4. All he did after that was record 4 months again 4 months of starts where he never recorded a month higher than 3.10.

              • Four months out of the last 3 years he has been slightly above useless. He lucked out with the ERA when you factor in all the walks. Like I said, if it comes down to paying a guy like that 50M, the GM is accountable, not Rogers.

                • So know that you got called on your stupid 12 start argument so you switch your argument to something else. Ok lol but lets go with your whole walks and misleading era bs and check out his WAR and FIP then as you say over the last three years.

                  2013 3.42 FIP 3.2 WAR
                  2012 5.06 FIP 0.1 WAR
                  2011 3.67 FIP 3.1 WAR
                  2010 3.10 FIP 6.5 WAR

                  So that’s one bad year not 3 by those measures and over the 4 years that’s still an average of 3.2 WAR a year or about $15 million a year at the low end as a free agent.

                  Do you really want to continue being obtuse and pulling shit from your ass? I’m afraid you’re going to start flinging that poo next so I’ll do you and the rest of us here a favour and stop you while you are well behind.

                  • Dude I got the 12 starts thing by literally clicking “2013 splits” on baseball reference, it didnt take much effort to see the first half vs second half stats

      • Not paying $50 million over 4 years for these guys is quite alright by me.

        Not giving Santana $15 mill for one year is ultra cheap and kind of indefensible.

    • Knowing what we know now about the Jays financial situation just muddies the waters regarding Ubaldo. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know if the team wanted him but couldn’t afford him or not.

      • Maybe they didn’t want to pay for these guys because they’re shitty?

        • I just said that didn’t I. We just don’t know in his case but in Santana’s case we clearly do.

          • I think that regardless of what those guys have shown, the fact remains that Rogers, as owners, can easily afford to eat a mistake or two. That’s the difference between ownership groups like theirs and others; other owners are willing to take a gamble in an attempt to make the team better. I acknowledge that Rogers risked a lot last off-season with the two trades, but it didn’t take them long to become risk-averse again despite the need to continue to gamble.

  57. what a joke ubaldo is. This is the guy everyone wanted signed? doing exactly what he always does, walks a shit tonne then is gone by the 5th, can’t pitch in the AL east. And baltimore is stuck with him for 4 years. Hilarious!!!!

  58. i’m so frustrated with how this team has been managed… if they go cheap in the draft i might just have a stroke.

    • When has there ever been a suggestion anywhere that they would go cheap in the draft? The Jays have been spending a ton on drafting and international spending for years.

  59. AA needs to be fired just for the yu darvish fiasco. That 1 signing would have changed EVERYTHING about this team. No need for dickey and we’d be in playoff contention every year. But AA has his price and won’t go above it! Beancounters be proud!

    • Yu Darvish would change everything for every team. If you really believe what you’re saying, then every GM in the league except Jon Daniels should be fired.

      • Except that the jays were desperate for ptiching at the time and had the cash available and no bad contracts and AA even went to japan to scout him which most teams didn’t do and yet he did nothing. Complete waste of time. And all the media reports had the jays as frontrunners.

  60. Nice try AA, diverting attention from the matter at hand, which is the unimproved product you trot out on the field…..

  61. Would we all be okay with this year being so-so but Rogers opening the vault next year for either David Price or Max Scherzer?

  62. maybe it’s just Rogers saying win before they dole out more $$’s

  63. I don’t disagree with the gist that the way this came about is a little iffy on the ownership side, but that last throwaway line is a little harsh. What has this team done to suggest it’s only one player away? If the situation presents itself and they do prove that, then I sure as hell hope the purse string open up.

  64. I work for a very big corporate outfit spending the best years of my life in a fucking cubicle. Fuck it, my employer is the main competitor to the Rogers empire. I know too well of the corporate bullshit that permeates every division and department.

    Since I often deal with the enemy, I can say that my counterparts have reported a new change in the corporate culture since the new guy is running things.

    I adhere to the notion that Rogers is squeezing AA’s balls right now via the smiling conniving Beeston. Something to the effect like, show us some results on the diamond and if the Jays are in the hunt by the trade deadline, we can talk about adding more payroll. They seem pretty firm to stick to the 150 M ceiling.

    Problem is that you can’t expect scrubs or replacement level players to shine and outperform their projections. Steak knives incentives might work in some corporate circles, but not baseball.

    Not getting Ubaldo was a mild disappointment. Not getting Ervin, as Stoeten points out, may or may not make a huge difference. But it’s the principle. The fucking principle. That is very relevant.

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