Back on Thursday, Keith Law had his weekly chat with readers at ESPN.com, and… uh… for lack of a better preamble, here are the Jays-related tidbits…

James (NYC)
With a few teams in the playoff hunt needing a 2B, what are the chances the Mets could get a top 100 (or top 150) caliber prospect for Daniel Murphy? How much does the fact that Murph is not a Qualifying Offer candidate affect his value (I am assuming a team wouldn’t give him $16 million after 2015)?
If someone believes he can play an average 2b, then yes.

The Jays, as we’ve heard, are not one of those teams who think he can play an average second base, so even though he could certainly help them — he has a 116 wRC+ this season, and has already accumulated 2.6 WAR per FanGraphs, after a three win season last year (though the fact that he hits left mitigates just how much “right now” value he might have for the Jays) — I guess we don’t have to worry about it. Assuming those original reports are true, that is.

If not, a top 100 calibre prospect, eh? You’d like to think the Jays could solve their infield issue for less, which… yeah, that probably goes a decent way to explaining the whole stalemate on the trade front, eh?


Clay (Hoboken)
How the heck did Jeff Hoffman manage to get full slot from the Jays?
I don’t know.

This is one that didn’t really get as much attention as it should. The way the Jays spun it was that they figured they’d already gotten a big discount on Hoffman simply by his sliding due to Tommy John surgery from a likely top three pick down to them at nine, which… is really kind of insane, isn’t it? I mean, I’m glad they got him signed and we didn’t have to go through the whole Phil Bickford/Tyler Beede/James Paxton nonsense again, but it sure seemed like Hoffman didn’t have the kind of leverage to get slot money — he wasn’t going to be back on the mound in time next spring to show enough to improve his stead much, and even if so, as a college senior at that point his option would be to either sign what’s in front of him or go to independent ball for a year.

I don’t know. I’m not saying it isn’t a bit ugly when teams play hardball with players like they’d have had to — look at what’s going on with the Astros and top pick Brady Aiken — but for all their talk in previous years about holding firm to their valuations and not wanting to set bad precedents, this sure seemed a bit off. Good for Hoffman, and good on him, but I wonder what the story is.


Fonz (Milwaukee)
There seems to be a relatively high bust rate among July 2 players who get top dollar signing bonuses. Would teams be better off emphasizing quantity over quality in spending their allotments for these players? And pretend for the purposes of this question that there was a significant disincentive to going over the cap.
I had that discussion with a front office guy recently – who’s the last 7-figure guy from the DR to become a top 100 prospect (or a big leaguer). Sano?

Mike (Toronto)
I think Franklin Barreto is progressing well in the Jays system…he signed for $1.6 I believe (though VEN not DR)…
Still a long ways away, but yes, Venezuelan and Colombian kids are a slightly different market. They tend to be more polished and nearly always more educated than Dominican kids.

Interesting stuff, though not wholly Jays-related, obviously. Except, of course, for the mention of Barreto, and KLaw’s acknowledgement that he sure is doing well (albeit a long way off).

In case you missed it, Barreto is tearing it up in Vancouver this season as an 18-year-old. His wRC+ of 137 is in the top 15 among players with at least 50 plate appearances in the Northwest League, despite the fact that Barreto is 3.3 years younger than the league average age for position players, and that among the players he trails there are just two 19- and one 20-year-old, with the rest older still. Impressive, impressive stuff. But a long way off.


James (San Diego)
Read that Zimmer I was giving the green light to throw again. Do you see him as a typical AFL use case?
He’d be ideal for it – AFL could be great if teams send all their guys who need the reps: Buxton, Correa, Zimmer, Archie Bradley, Soler, Eddie Butler … probably forgetting a few too.

Another possible name? Roberto Osuna. That’d be fun — it was great last year to actually be able to watch guys like Stroman and Sanchez pitch in the AFL, thanks to MLB.tv — and it’s definitely possible that, as Osuna returns from Tommy John surgery, he’ll need the reps. You don’t see a lot of 19-year-olds pitch in the AFL — the last one, as far as I can tell, was Manny Banuelos in 2010 — but with all the reports on how advanced Osuna is as a pitcher and the fact that he would have been on the cusp of Double-A this season had it not been for the surgery, it doesn’t seem like the craziest idea… unless I’m missing something (which is entirely possible).


John (Cali)
Is Travis d’Arnaud finally starting to live up to his hype?
Hope so. Don’t think he’s a high-avg hitter but I believe in the power and he should be a good receiver … but I also worry about any catcher who’s had concussion problems staying at the position.

We mentioned this on the podcast, but don’t look now: d’Arnaud since his recall on June 24th has hit .295/.338/.525 in 65 plate appearances, which is good for a 142 wRC+. Small sample, yes, and Keith’s not wrong about not being worried for the long-term viability of a catcher who is potentially susceptible to concussions, but… y’know… *GULP*.


Finnegan (NJ)
If the Mets do surrender a flamethrower for a power bat, how would you rank [from gone to don't trade] the list of Montero, Harvey, Syndergaard, Wheeler, deGrom?
Don’t trade Harvey. Most willing to trade Montero. Could make good arguments for any order of the other three but I might trade Thor before Zack.

On the other hand, maybe Syndergaard’s stock is a bit down. So… that’s OK?

I know, I know, we should probably just get over it.

Hey, and here’s one more tidbit via Twitter:

Not Jays related or anything, I just wanted to point out that Minihane landed in the Book Of Moron around here a long time ago. Real winner.

Comments (80)

  1. Yeah I think we have to let D’Arnaud and Syndergaard go. I wish Dickey was a better pitcher than he has been so far but I can’t fault AA for making that trade and I was all for it when it happened–and so were lots of us.

    • I was a person who could myself as totally not for it. I wasn’t the biggest JPA fan and I was/still am/always be skeptical of RA Dickey.

      That said, it’s over. We all just need to move on.

      • My argument was always that I didn’t mind giving up that package for a Cy Young-winning pitcher, just that it shouldn’t have been that particular Cy Young-winning pitcher.

        At least they’re in a different league and on a team with a recent history as hapless as the Jays’. Feel for their fans as much as I feel for ours.

  2. can you imagine the media outlets around toronto if the jays didn’t manage to sign their top pick again?

    • It would have been mildly uncomfortable for them for a day, yeah.

      • Until everybody remembered how terrible the Leafs are?

        • It’s just not a thing that’s part of the conversation. Vast majority of people just won’t care. It will barely register. Certainly not a reason they’d be caving quickly.

          • I live out west and the only baseball coverage is Bob Mccowan,
            I fuckin hate it as it is, i dont want to add fuel to the fire

          • I think that’s a huge part of why they caved quickly. They have been embarrassed by media outlets for failing to sign some of their first rounders in of late. This would be more than just a one day thing. They’d look real bad in the papers and Toronto media. That would that shovel even more dirt on their crappy image – in Toronto, anyway. Even the Leafs are willing to pay for the right player. Whereas we’re left questioning how much money is even available to the Blue Jays.

            • The minute they drafted him in the 1st it was a given that he’d get slot. Anyone surprised by that doesn’t get it.
              The pr angle definitely helped but wasn’t a major factor.

            • The PR stuff literally has zero to do with anything.

              • Do you think it was the case that the guy had expressed reservations about coming to Toronto, and the Jays bought it?

  3. I was at the Vancouver Canadians game the last night – Pentecost played really well. I’m not a scout, but it obvious that he has really good wheels and a strong arm, although his receiving skills are a bit jagged. My guess is he won’t be in Vancouver that long.

    • What about Barretto? How does he look?

      • Barreto had a rough night last night (and for past few games actually) but as Stoeten points out, he’s young, very young for this league. He’s got a pretty big timing mechanism in his swing which gets him out of whack sometimes. Pentecost’s debut has to be taken with a grain of salt as apparently he was up at 4am for his flight from Minnesota. So v long day. That being said, there’s a LOT to like about his swing. Defensively? I’m going to give him a mulligan.

        I took so video of both of their swings last night and will get it up on my site soon

  4. Wow, I thought the Aiken story was pretty wild but the Minihane rant is completely off the rails.

  5. Could count myself*

  6. Um,…. did no one else notice?

    The Jays just got home field advantage in the World Series!

  7. Uh, calling a smoking hot woman (or any woman for that matter) such as Erin Andrews a bitch publicly is certainly a good way to ensure you never get laid in your lifetime.

    • The thing is .. Even if you decide the use of the word is acceptable ( it’s not ) … What Andrews did was the opposite of what a bitch would do . She let it go. ..

      How’s that being a bitch ?

      • The impression that I got was that the Boston morning zoo crew thought that as a journalist she wasn’t holding Wainwright to account enough (i guess they wanted a follow up). This was an issue of the integrity of the game in their view (from what I gathered).

        By then flippantly (their view) blaming social media as a reason for the story they then lost their sense.

        Through this lens I could see someone being somewhat sympathetic to Minihane on this issue. Sure the language was not smart considering the war on word these days, but holding someone to account for being a reporter/journalist of high standard considering her access/position and valuing the integrity of the game (yes, I know it’s All Star Game) is not a terrible view.

        • Exactly. The feminist brigade will hang this guy for calling a woman a bitch, but nobody will say anything about how her looks are the only reason she is on TV despite being completely awful and unqualified for her job.

          • Yeah but really, who gives a flying frig whether Wainwright threw him lolipops or not. Fact is: its WAS the All Star game and it’s all for show except for the dumbass idea to hand the winner home game advantage in the WS. Really I can not stay tuned into the thing for more than 5 minutes and this guy is going apeshit over an interview.
            The man is a pig.

      • Maybe he was using the word “bitch” like all us guys do when we call one of our male friends a bitch – “scared”… I mean he put “gutless” in front of it. It’s right there for you to read/hear/interpret

        Get it?
        Probably not though right. He’s probably sexist…and racist…and a homophobe…and we’re all more civilized and educated than him

  8. re: hoffman
    would he not have been draft eligible again next year? if that’s the case, in the best case, he’d have entered june ~13 months removed from surgery – probably with a month or two under his belt throwing off the mound, and if velocity/command/control were back to previous levels you have a guy that was being talked about at 1-1 the previous year back in the draft. if i’m hoffman, and my surgery went well, i would be thinking that 2014, or 2015, it wouldn’t really matter.
    isn’t all of this moot considering the jays signed pretty much everyone anyway?

    • Fans are funny. Complain when we sign a pick cause we low balled em
      .. Complain when we sign a top five talent for 9th slot money

      • Yeah, if I remember correctly it was speculated that he could have been picked 3rd – 5th if not for the injury. If that’s the case, he lost somewhere between $800,000 and $2.6 million simply by falling to the 9th spot. Obviously it would have been nice for the Jays to sign him for less and save money to spend on some of the late round guys, but you can’t really blame them for wanting to get him locked up.

        • Because they can’t have both got him locked up and negotiated him down a bit more?

          • That’s not what I meant to suggest. What I mean is that if Hoffman was playing hardball (whether it’s on bad advice or whatever other reasoning) this seems like a fair situation in which the Jays can cave, both because the final price was reasonable and because, by all accounts, he was worthy of a much higher pick (as opposed to, say, Beede and Bickford).

    • As explained, he’d be banking on the surgery going well, he still probably wouldn’t have shown enough to get much more than he could have taken right now, and as a college senior he would have had shit leverage. If you were Hoffman, you’d be making a terrible decision.

      • he wouldn’t be the first round draft pick to get some bad advice

      • It may be a situation where the Jays went to Hoffman with a lower number but promised him that he could be topped up if they came under budget in the bonus pool. I think Nick Faleris suggested in a chat that it sometimes happens.

        • That seems insane.

          • Ya that doesn’t seem too realistic. I mean, how would that conversation possibly go?

            “we’re going to offer you less than slot and we want you to take it, but if we come in under the limit, we’ll just give you slot…”

            Wouldn’t the Jays just pocket the saved money instead?

          • What’s insane is thinking an agent for a kid picked 9th overall would budge $1 in a negotiation with a GM who is fighting for his job.
            Think about it.
            AA-give me a discount on the slot, say $300k?
            AA-Ahhh come on! Why not?
            Agent-because you picked my client with the 9th overall pick. So he’s worth what you picked him at. You want me to take 2nd round money, pick me in the 2nd.
            AA-right. Slot it is then.

            • Once again, davestiebslider, gonna have to ask you not to be dumb. (Though it’s pretty hilarious to think that you’re being serious with that comment).

              Kid — and agent — risk losing a shit tonne of money if they say no and assume everything is going to be fine in the future. They can’t even play hardball next year because he’d be a college senior and having to posture like he’d go to independent ball for another year, hope he doesn’t get hurt again, and then hope he pitches well enough to earn the money he could have taken in the first place.

              • I’m clearly right. Your own words, no leverage, risky to not sign and you wonder what the story is.
                And yet, the broke arm kid gets slot.
                Because he was picked 9th.
                AA gave Hoffman all the leverage that logically, he shouldn’t have had when he grabbed him 9th.
                I guarantee you he was hoping to sign him below slot and I bet you that his hope was dashed 5 minutes into the negotiations.
                He asked, they said no fucking way and walked out.
                A few days later, AA faxed over the contract.
                It’s that simple.
                Or Beeston got tired of AA trying to be cute and signed the kid himself.

                • This is utter nonsense. Still hilarious, though.

                  But if you’re honestly serious, it’s pretty batshit.

                • @davestiebslider

                  Sorry, have to do this:

                  The fact that he was picked ninth means nothing. Carlos Correa was picked first two years ago and took millions less than slot, and the fact that he was picked first didn’t give him the leverage to not budge (though, like many of these deals, that was obviously agreed to beforehand). Teams have many, many advantages in this process: the Jays would get the pick back next year — exactly why they refused to budge on Bickford and Beede in years past, despite having handed them this supposed leverage by picking them at a particular spot. It’s not a free market and the players have very poor alternatives to signing — they can go back to school or they can go to independent ball — and neither of those options offers them remotely the financial security that signing does. Sometimes they choose not to sign, because it’s not out of the question that they can do better for themselves than the best the club is willing to offer — Tyler Beede did, though most certainly don’t — but they assume a massive amount of risk by gambling that they’ll stay healthy, keep performing, and end up being given the opportunity to get this kind of money again the next time around.

                  It’s not like there aren’t pressures to get the signing done for the teams, too, but the PR aspect isn’t really one of them, nor is the stuff you’ve invented about Anthopoulos’s job security mattering — if it did, might I submit that he wouldn’t have taken a guy who just had Tommy John. The clubs certainly do lose something, though, by waiting an extra year to bring talent in the abstract into their system, and the specific talent of that one player, who obviously they really liked.

                  It’s also not a free market, though, in the sense that the bonus agreed upon has to fit within the pool system MLB and the PA created in the most recent collective bargaining agreement, so every dollar saved isn’t just a tiny fraction of a massive budget pie, but a much more significant portion of a relatively small pool that can be used to sign all draftees — including some of the late-round tough-signs that every team takes in hopes of enticing a big talent out of going to school. That’s why the Astros are playing hardball with Brady Aiken — and why they did what they did with Correa. It’s likely part of why, just looking at the 22 signed out of this year’s top 25, under slot bonuses were accepted by Tyler Kolek (#2 overall), Kyle Schwarber (4), Kyle Freeland (8), Kodi Medeiros (12), Nick Howard (19), Bradley Zimmer (21), Cole Tucker (24), and Matt Chapman (25).

                  I’m not saying I even care that the Jays didn’t try to grind Hoffman to dust or that the bonus he got wasn’t fair, but they’ve showed the willingness to play hardball in the past, and there were many advantages they had here that it seemed entirely likely they could have taken in order to bring the cost of the deal down if they really were hellbent on it. So yes, it’s odd. And yes, the scenario you present is immensely laughable, no matter how hard you try to pretend that you’re some big swinging dick negotiator (or, if you really are, how much you try to talk about a process that either your expertise is irrelevant to or that you obviously don’t understand).

                  • Yes. I agree with everything you just wrote (especially the part about my big swinging dick).
                    I’m confused about the part where I’m saying pr was a major factor in the signing. I’m also confused about the part where you transition from Hoffman having no leverage to him signing for slot.
                    Clearly, there are reasons why he got slot. Clearly, neither of us was in the room and neither us really knows why he got slot.
                    I guess it could be for no reason. It’s not like it’s AA’s money, maybe he just said fuck it and gave the kid slot because he liked the cut of his jib.
                    My opinion however, as uneducated and ignorant as you might think it is; is that AA has no leverage.
                    He can’t get $ to sign pitchers he was almost adamant he would sign in spring, can’t seem to make any meaningful moves to
                    Improve the team, can’t find a way to save a dime signing a kid with TJ surgery and no leverage.
                    In a vacuum maybe 9th overall means shit. In the context of AA, Beede and Bickford, shit being weird and odd and the fact that he signed for slot when by any logical process; he should have signed for less but didn’t; I think it’s fairly obvious that something meant something to AA and that something led AA to give Hoffman the slot.
                    If the hypothesis is that AA risked his meaningless 9th overall pick to take a kid he doesn’t give a flying fuck about then fine, it had nothing to do with anything.
                    If the hypothesis is that he risked the pick on a kid with no leverage and was hoping to get another value play, signing a top 5 talent for mid round money; then he failed.
                    You don’t know, I don’t know.
                    You’re a stubborn fucker Stoeten. You’d be a good negotiator.

      • i’m not saying he’d get much more than what the jays just paid him – i don’t think anyone is. i’m just trying to explain why i’m not surprised they paid him that much and why that seemed more reasonable when they picked him than everyone that thought he’d just sign for a couple autographed Roy Halladay jerseys or whatever.

        • Nobody thought that, he just didn’t seem to have the leverage to push the team into signing at slot.

          • Hey college players can’t have agents right? Isn’t that what happened to Paxton when he tried to go back to college for his senior year at Kentucky?

          • Probably not but going under slot was hypothesized when he was drafted and some of the commenters here seem somewhat caught off guard by the slot signing.

  9. I meant can’t sign a pick of course

  10. I wonder how the negotiations with Hoffman went after the last time the Jays negotiated with a Boras client (Beeston went public about Boras handling negotiations). I wouldn’t be surprised if that had something to do with Hoffman getting full slot money.

    • As a rule, poisoning relationships with agents publicly is probably a no-no.

      As a matter of life and death, poisoning your relationship with the most powerful agent in the game publicly is against every shred of common sense one can have.

    • He is not a Boras client. This kept coming up at the time of the draft, and I think it started at some Bleacher Report piece of shit or something. Google it — where in the world does it say that he’s a Boras guy?

  11. Bah, I clicked the link for the Minihane and one of the recommend articles at the bottom was ” 6 MLB managers who should be fired” with a picture of Gibby. Why Internet?!?

    Gibby the best.

  12. Minihane makes Steve Simmons look like a member of Mensa

  13. You almost have to treat Boras clients on a different scale than usual draft picks. Convincing a Boras guy to sign at slot value is a win unto itself — it’d be like getting anyone else to sign for below-slot.

    • As clarified above, not a Boras client. Not sure why this has become a thing here.

      • In fact Boras was the agent who was “advising” James Paxton in his negotiations with the Jays. Because of that, (having contact with an agent) Paxton was deemed ineligible from playing in his senior year at Kentucky.

        • Uh-huh. So?

          • So Boras wouldn’t (I’m assuming) want any part of a guy who has any college eligibilty left. It’s a bargaining chip for Hoffman to use against the Jays (or whomever) and bad business for Boras. Remember Paxton lost his eligibility because he had “contact” with Boras.

  14. People take Minihane wayyyyy to seriously. I listen to WEEI radio app just to listen to the guy. He’s pretty funny… though a bit of a tool. He’s always fighting with his co-hosts and making his guest feel uncomfortable…. he’s a bit of a psychopath… But funny.

    I like Keith Law… but I feel sometimes he tries too hard to be Keith Olbermann.

  15. Hoffman comes off as super confident, there was that article that said he was pissed because he knows he’s better than some of the guys picked in front of him.

    He might just be cocky enough to say “sign me at slot or I’ll rehab a year and re-enter as a senior, and somebody will pick me higher because they know I’m worth it.”

    Its not like he’s losing a year of development since he’ll be rehabbing all year.

    • No, he’s just risking losing a bunch of money — there’s no guarantee he looks like himself again after the surgery, even if it went well. There’s no guarantee he won’t pick up some other injury in the next year. There’s no guarantee there won’t just be nine guys better than him next year, and there’s certainly no guarantee a team will be willing to cave to his demands, because his alternative is a year in independent ball, doubling down on all that risk, and trying it again.

      I mean, slot money seems fair, but it’s weird that the Jays didn’t play harder, especially given their past and the fact that — despite what pretend negotiator davestiebslider wants you to believe — he seemed to clearly have less leverage than they did.

      • What does it matter to us that he signed at slot? It is not like his signing cost the Jays any of their draft picks. Give it a rest folks.

        • Just because you can’t comprehend why it’s interesting doesn’t mean that it’s not interesting.

      • I didn’t say I was a negotiator.
        I was asking if any of the people who seemed surprised at the slot signing have ever been in a negotiation before. Because their surprise at the obvious suggests they haven’t.
        I am a negotiator though.

  16. Awesome the Jays signed their Stud first rounder!

    I think hes going to be a good one! Love that confidence.

    Never seen him play but still!

  17. Jim Callis said early on that he expected Hoffman to get the full slot value when people were speculating on a discount. I don’t think the question is how Hoffman got slot, it’s why Law and others would be surprised when more knowledgable analysts like Callis had already said slot was the likely result and Hoffman got slot.

    • In was thinking this very same thing, actually. The prevailing wisdom that he was going for slot was as ethereal as the idea that he was “advised” by Boras. I’m not sure where it started at all. I do admit, however, that bigger names than “unnamed sources” talked about the slot thing. The Boras thing really came out of the ether.

      I’m happy that the Jays got three picks that they liked, all of whom received first-round grades by some advisors. I don’t particularly care what they signed for.

  18. And Andrew, what a wacky difference three years makes. The comments section was so different back then. You were just “stoeten”…Parkes was still around and not making indie films…Minihane posted to half defend himself in a post adding him to the Book of Moron.

    Classic days of yore…

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