Friday With Lawrie?

It’s rare that Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos would speak to the media at all about an upcoming roster move, let alone not too subtle hints about a future call up date for the team’s top prospect, so you’ll have to forgive me for entering the world of not so wild speculation on when Brett Lawrie will be called up for his Big League debut.

When asked about the timing surrounding a future Lawrie callup, Anthopoulos said

Yes, he’s close. We’re getting to the point where he’s doing everything that we’ve asked. I was hoping he was going to force our hand and he’s starting to. So he’s very much in the conversation right now, he’s becoming more prominent.

Anthopoulos went on to reveal to the FAN 590′s Mike Wilner that his “personal philosophy is to debut hyped prospects on the road.” All you need is a team schedule to see that the Blue Jays will open a three game set with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. It’s not too much of a stretch to put the timing of Anthopoulos’ comments about Lawrie’s future call up together with his statement to Wilnder and come up with Friday as a likely debut.

It will be interesting to see what the corresponding roster move will be to make room for Lawrie. He of course, is not currently a member of the 40 man roster and so the Blue Jays may have to waive someone. My first thought would be Scott Richmond who has never proven to be more than a spare arm. However, I also wonder as to the likelihood of Edwin Encarnacion being designated for assignment. The third baseman / first baseman, who has deservedly fallen out of favour as a defensive option in Toronto, could be seen as more extraneous than normal with Juan Rivera playing well defensively at first base and Adam Lind set to receive more playing time at designated hitter when he comes off the Disabled List (as soon as Saturday).

As for the call up itself, I’m a little torn. From a financial standpoint, it seems silly to start Lawrie’s service time clock before it’s truly necessary during a year in which the team can’t be expected to compete. On the other hand, if a player has developed as far as they can at a lower level, it’s difficult to fault a team for putting that player in a position to develop any further.

Assuming that the Super Two rules stay the same through the next collective bargaining agreement and that Lawrie doesn’t have any options exercised, the call up would almost certainly put an additional year of arbitration in the prospect’s future.

The speculation surrounding Lawrie happens to coincide with Keith Law’s edict that the third baseman shall be considered the eleventh best prospect in baseball.

Comments (19)

  1. I hope Stoeten picks something nice for you to wear on the episode of Getting Streamed On from his wardrobe for winning the “Lawrie call up” bet.

  2. Haha. Are Biways even around anymore?

  3. Lawrie should be higher than 11 in all of baseball prospects, considering what he is doing in the PCL and his age relative to others, you could easily make the case he should be a higher than a few guys on that list..

  4. #1. How do you know when the Super 2 deadline is? And why would you assume that the penny-pinching Jays are bringing him up before it?

    #2. Why do you care about the Super 2 deadline? It probably won’t be in existence after the next CBA and it’s not like Rogers can’t afford to pay an extra arbitration year to a guy like Lawrie anyway.

    #3. If Lawrie is actually good at this level, then we can assume that the Jays will try to sign him long-term through arbitration like they’ve done with all of their other young players recently.

    #4. We’re bringing up one of the best prospects in baseball when he’s seemingly ready and putting him in place of Jayson Nix. It’s not something to be torn about. It’s a very good thing.

  5. @ Small Cap Steve: The PCL is a notorious hitter’s paradise. Hard to take those numbers seriously.


    1. I’m going by past years and what the CAA has said about upcoming ones.

    2. Several people in the know have said that Super 2 will stay. We talked with Kevin Goldstein on a recent podcast and he said in talking to front office types, Super 2 is still very much on their mind.

    It’s not like Rogers throws unlimited budgets at Blue Jays. They still have to operate at a certain cost. What if $5 million to Lawrie a year early stops them from signing a DH in the offseason?

    3. The price still goes up because you’d be buying up an extra year of arbitration vs. a year of league minimum. The player is aware of this.

  6. I’m not saying the Jays are going to make a run for it, but it is the begining of June and they are very much in the race. If Lawrie turns out to be one of those rare prospects who makes a big impact right from the start of their career, that is a huge boost to this team.

    I’m down with the how the team is ultimately building for next year, but the thoughts of writing off seasons on the 1st of April need to change IMO.

    SS Escobar
    LF Patterson
    RF Bautista
    1B Lind
    DH Rivera
    C Arencibia
    3B Lawrie
    2B Hill
    CF Davis

    That is a pretty good line-up. If, like I said, Lawrie is one of the rare imediate impact guys, it could be very good. Add in Snider once Patterson starts coming back to earth and platoon Patterson and Davis in CF.

    (apologies if this was posted a couple times, computer issues)

  7. 1. Show me what you’re talking about. Nothing I’ve read suggests the Jays are doing this before the Super 2 deadline. In fact, everything I’ve read suggests the opposite.

    2. Who are these people in the know? Stop being so vague. Goldstein didn’t say that the Super 2 will stay, he only said that teams are still considering it because they don’t now whether it will or not.

    3. An extra arbitration year for Brett Lawrie is not going to affect the Blue Jays’ payroll if they are going to be as committed financially as they say they are (wasn’t Beeston going on about some $140M payroll?). I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you that we’re not the fucking Tampa Bay Rays.

    4. Why are we worried about a few extra million again? We should be happy that Lawrie is good enough to get this money in this scenario.

  8. I had forgotten Biways.

    That itself made tonight worthwhile.

  9. I’m assuming Parkes is referring to a Baseball America article a couple weeks ago about Super Two and how assumptions of its death are overblown. The same article had something from CAA suggesting that teams are slower to call up potential super two prospects which could force the Hosmer, Belt, Lawrie (2014?) class to the lowest cutoff yet.

  10. I don’t know why he’s so protective of Rogers money though.

  11. No. The CAA study suggests the exact opposite – it’s projecting next year’s Super-2 date to be at 2.145, which means 35 days into the season. This year that would have been May 5th. But again, that’s for this upcoming offseason, when the agency can scan all of MLB’s rosters and see what guys are headed to the 2.100 to 2.179 status. It says nothing about a prospective Super-2 date in 2014, and the callups of Belt, Hosmer, and Duffy already shows 3 guys (at the least) with a head start on Lawrie.

    We are over a week past the earliest the Super-2 deadline has ever been.

  12. As far as I can tell, the only reason they’ve kept Lawrie down as long as they have (and the only reason he’s coming up Friday as opposed to today, for instance) is to make sure he’s passed the deadline. He’s been ready to make the jump for weeks now.

    I’m really not sure why Parkes thinks the penny-pinchers are ignoring it when all the evidence indicates that they aren’t.

  13. This team is playing well over 1/3 of the way into the season. Bautista is legitimately having this season compared to crazy good seasons by Babe Fucking Ruth. We haven’t seen the projected lineup for more than a few games and third base has been an abyss both offensively and defensively. And, they are competing. It is getting ridiculous that some people refuse to give credence to the notion that by bringing up Lawrie and potentially improving the contributions in the field and at the plate of the team’s third basemen, that the wildcard might actually be within their reach. C’mon Parkes, a little optimism won’t kill you. It might even feel kinda good.

  14. Agree with Chill. I didn’t mean to be so antagonistic, but it just seemed like Parkes was complaining for the sake of complaining.

    The Jays are not bringing up Lawrie right now because they’re forgoing development in favor of contention or ignoring the Super 2 deadline. They are bringing him up because he’s ready. Enjoy it.

  15. This is NYJ: I didn’t read the article you’re referring to but I’m going to have an opinion on it based on an entirely different year than the one you’re talking about.

    There were only two or three guys who had service time of the many who could potentially have two full years after that. That’s what the article you obviously haven’t read was suggesting.

    I don’t think Parkes was being antagonistic or negative at all just sharing his thoughts. Only thing that bothers me is that he’s always trying to save Rogers dollars similar to his lack of foresight with the Bautista signing.

  16. Mr. Fortune Teller, where is your crystal ball that says the jays can’t be expected to compete? They’re just a couple of games out, and even if their team is inferior on paper to their AL East competitors, there is a reason they actually play the games.

    So eff you and you’re stupid waxing about the jays not ready to compete.

    • Well said, smart guy. I’m a douche for disagreeing with you? You must have the most scintillating of conversations.

      Have you looked at this team’s lineup? Have you looked at the others in the division? I’m a big fan of likelihood, so please explain to me who you think is more likely to come out victorious over the rest of the season?

  17. lol. People think we can compete with Patterson, Rivera, Davis, Hill, and Nix/Mcdonald/Encarnacion as regular members of the lineup. Even adding Lawrie and taking out the N/M/E trio, its still a crappy lineup + Bautista.

  18. I think that if Lawrie is a top five at his position type of star next season then realistically this team has two guys who can reasonably be expected to fit into that category among their position players in he and Bautista. Escobar and Arencibia both have a shot at being that type of player too and while Lind is clearly in the second tier of first basemen even if he is doing well (he isn’t Votto, Pujols or Gonzalez good) he is a very good guy to have as your fifth best overall position player. Add in other young players like Snider and Thames who could be plus players for their respective positions and you have the makings of a pretty good team.

    I think that in all likelihood the Jays are going to enter 2012 in a similar to the one they went into 2011. What I mean by this is that they can probably contend in 2012 if a lot of things go their way, but it’s probably irresponsible to go for broke in acquiring expensive veterans to fill holes on the assumption that enough things will go right. Their odds will probably be a bit better in 2012 because the young players will have another year of development under their belts and with the exception of Bautista (and Hill if he turns things around and remains a “core” part of the team again) the team’s core players can reasonably be expected to be better next year than they are this year. It still probably won’t be enough though. They’re a few players away.

    Obviously none of us know the future with respect to the development of the team’s younger players though and maybe guys like Arencibia, Snider, Lawrie, Drabek, Cecil, Morrow, and Romero will be complete revelations in the second half and the club will look a lot closer to contention than we now expect it to at the end of the year. To win the AL East you probably need at least six or seven players who would be defensible as All-Star selections (basically, one of the top two or three players at their position in their league) and one or two real superstars who are among the top thirty or so players in baseball among them. Maybe if you have one guy who is having a year like Bautista is in 2011 you can get away with him and four or five All-Star types. You also need a roster that is otherwise pretty strong for the most part. It can have a couple of holes, but not many really glaring ones. The Jays just aren’t quite there yet unless a number of these young players really break out in a big way though.

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