Look, I know this time of year can be frustrating. The Toronto Blue Jays currently sit twelve games back in the AL East, it’s not even August yet, and in many ways they’re already playing out the stretch, because for the 18th year in a row, the team isn’t going to be making the playoffs.

As a fan of the Blue Jays and of baseball in Toronto and descriptive slang words that have long outlived their usefulness, it sucks.

But don’t confuse this year’s standings or the current Blue Jays roster with the organization. I know that several of our readers know this already and are just as tired of explaining the team’s strategy as they are of tolerating the team’s lack of meaningful games. However, critical baseball nerds have a tendency to insulate themselves. A quick look at our Twitter feeds proves our sheltered existence.

There seems to be a sentiment among Blue Jays fans, the type that might not be aware of weighted on base average and total average, that the team is in the position that they’re in because they’re not spending enough money. The reality of the situation is that the team is where they are in the standings because they didn’t spend their money properly in the past. And now, they’re correcting that mistake.

That’s not a slight against J.P. Ricciardi. The former top dog in Toronto earned his bad reputation as a general manager more for public relations blunders than an inability to spot talent. It seemed as though that the worst of his baseball sins came from going outside his area of strength and spending large amounts of money on multi-year deals. Unfortunately, he was trying to compete with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at their own game instead of thinking outside the box, as the Tampa Bay Rays were and are able to do.

That was the past. And while the new edition of the Toronto Blue Jays under Alex Anthopoulos may not be making the flashy signings that cause a whole lot of fanfare, the organizaiton is spending money and setting themselves up to spend more.

Think back to Anthopoulos’ first major move as a general manager, when he traded Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies. The team threw in an extra $5 million to sweeten the pot for the Phillies and attain the quality prospects (Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Taylor) that they did. After that, they spent $4 million on Adeiny Hechevarria’s signing bonus and another $6 million as part of the terms of his contract.

Then in the 2010 first year player draft, the Blue Jays went above slot for twelve of their picks, paying more money than what Major League Baseball advises. Including bonuses of $2 million to Deck McGuire and $1.5 million to Dickie Thon Jr., Toronto spent more than $11.5 million in signing bonuses. After the draft, the Blue Jays continued their shopping spree with international free agents, spending a combined $3.5 million on Venezuelans Adonis Cardona and Gabriel Cenas.

This year, the Blue Jays made their presence known at the draft to such a degree that it caused Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein to remark that if Toronto was any more aggressive they’d punch someone in the face on their way to the podium to announce their next pick. Drafting seventeen high school players in the first fifteen rounds of the draft isn’t what penny pinching organizations do. And while we still await to hear the actual figures of the bonuses being given out, there are enough rumblings and rumours around baseball to know that the team wasn’t drafting high ceiling players not to pay them their asking prices.

And the spending on young players didn’t stop there. Almost immediately following the draft, the Blue Jays were again dipping into the international free agent market, signing Dominican shortstop Dawel Lugo to a $1.3 million contract. The Jays also landed the highly sought after Venezuelan right-hander Manuel Cordova for an undisclosed amount.

So far, we’ve looked only at player acquisitions, and haven’t even considered the contract extensions given to Ricky Romero, Yunel Escobar and of course Jose Bautista. In all three cases, the Blue Jays have made smart investments in core players, using money that they’re apparently not spending enough of.

When fans talk about the lack of money being spent, they’re not only not considering all of the investment that the organization is making in their future team, they’re not considering what options are available. Do we really want the Blue Jays to sign the same players as the Baltimore Orioles. Do fans want the team to be on the hook for another three years of Adam Dunn? How about Jayson Werth? Where are these miracle players that don’t end up costing the team more than the revenue that they bring in?

Let’s look ahead to the 2012 free agent list as it stands right now. Here are what I would consider to be the best players available via free agency following this season:

  • Albert Pujols
  • Prince Fielder
  • Jose Reyes
  • Carlos Beltran
  • Mark Buehrle
  • C.J. Wilson

While some of these players are more risky than others, there’s little doubt in my mind that there would be some value added to a team signing any of these six. However, is that benefit worth the cost of committing to pay a player an amount of money that they will eventually not be worth? Because that’s what it will take to sign a multi-year deal with any of those six players.

It’s easy to say that it’s not your money or that Rogers Communications, who owns the Blue Jays is one of the richest owners in the league anyway, but to do so is to ignore reality. It’s not our money, true, but there isn’t an infinite amount of money for spending on baseball players, not even for the Yankees.

Investing heavily in one player means that the organization can’t invest in others. Even the Toronto Blue Jays have an operating budget. And while we can certainly expect to see payroll rise in the near future, it’s not going to be to levels at which Rogers begins hemorrhagic money. They’re not a profitable corporation by accident.

There was a reason that Jose Bautista signed his $65 million extension after Vernon Wells was traded, and it’s not a coincidence that once you factor in the amount of money that the Blue Jays gave to the Angels plus Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli’s salaries, that the amount of savings in that deal were very close to the money it took to keep Bautista locked up.

That’s not penny pinching. That’s smart business that allows the team to take the same amount of money being spent on a bad player and reinvest it in a better player, all while opening the budget up to future acquisitions.

Not only would signing any one of those six potential free agents require a major financial commitment that would hinder future investment in players for any team in baseball, but even if you want to embrace that financial burden and go after them, you’re also competing against all the other teams in baseball that have made the same decision. It’s not like that baseball video game where the computer tells you the competing bid and you just raise yours until the signing is assured. There’s more to it than that.

People talk about potentially wasting the Bautista contract by not signing more players to play around him. Even if these magical players without financial risk existed, wouldn’t bringing them aboard this team only result in wasting all of the money being spent on the development of other, younger players, who end up being a better value add anyway.

This isn’t theory anymore. The Tampa Bay Rays have done this in the American League East and won the division and even gone to the World Series. Now, imagine a team that is as financially stable and as layered in prospects as Tampa Bay, but actually has the financial wherewithal to keep the elite players that would normally have to be sold or give up elsewhere. This is the course that the Toronto Blue Jays are on, and just because they’re not making the flashy signings that grab headlines and make non-baseball talking heads happy, doesn’t mean that this path is necessarily a cheaper one.

It costs money and will cost money. It’s merely money that’s being better spent.

Comments (46)

  1. Nice summary.

    Unfortunately, I really don’t think all of this matters to the mouth breathers who rattle on that “the Jays won’t amount to anything unless they send like New York and Boston!!!11″.

    The Jays needed to spend money where it mattered… the core. They’ve been doing that, and I was interested to hear Anthopolous on the Fan say that he’s “shifted focus” to the big league club.

    Should be interesting times.

  2. “Even if these magical players without financial risk existed, wouldn’t bringing them aboard this team only result in wasting all of the money being spent on the development of other, younger players, who end up being a better value add anyway.”

    It’s amazing that you don’t realize that Fullmer Fan & I are telling you the exact same thing about the Bautista contract. Even if his contract was without any risk, isn’t his presence costing the team the opportunity to pick up 3-4 TOP prospects for him AND then have the $ (14m a year) to spend on even more elite level talent? If the team isn’t planning on contention, what’s the point of having the best player in baseball around?

  3. Toronto? My fave. In 2002, when it cost $1.60 Canadian to buy one U.S. dollar, the Blue Jays opened with a payroll of $76.8 million ($123 million Canadian). This year, with the Canadian dollar now worth $1.04 U.S., the Blue Jays opened with a payroll of $78.6 million ($73.7 million).

    So wait, who are the suckers here? The Blue Jays spent $123 million Canadian in 2002 and got “equalization payments” from other MLB teams and now spend $73.7 million on the squad? And want to whine about not competing with AL East behemoths? Please. They are owned by the largest cable conglomerate in Canada. As I’ve told Toronto baseball fans for years, whine to me about the AL East when your team’s wealthy owners make a pretense at trying to “compete” in that division rather than keeping things profitable.

    Believe me, I’ve seen Toronto’s “five-year-plan” when it was touted back in 2002. After seven years, having acquired their stadium for a pittance ($30 million Canadian) they fired GM J.P. Ricciardi seven years into his “plan” and are now two years into the next one.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblog/2015655214_not_enough_for_mariners_owners.html

  4. Your argument would be far stronger if you had of acknowledged that their is no price unreasonable to pay Albert Pujols. I would rather him than pay all 5 of the others on that list.

    amiright?

  5. Nice post, Parkes.

  6. Probably meant ‘ 5 year plan’

  7. I think it’s sad when the media shills for those tightwad bastards. I’m not saying we should spend on par with the Yankees, Sox or even Philiies, but we’re an awful long way, even with rookie signing bonuses, from that level. We’re not even at $100 million, let alone $150 million.

    By the way, every team has rookie signing bonuses. So throwing an $11 million signing budget out there doesn’t mean it was $11 million more than everyone else.

    And lots of rookies don’t pan out, don’t make the majors, or if they do, don’t amount to much so the fact is it’s not necessarily “prudent” business. For one, you can sign all the rookies you want and they don’t put bums in the seats at Rogers Centre or get people to watch the Jays on TV. A free agent signing, on the other hand, even if it turns out to return only 80 cents on the dollar from the baseball perspective, will return part of its cost in terms of revenue generated by goosing interest in the team.

  8. Dude, I’m pretty sure that’s been the Leafs’ formula for success since the late ’90s. Just saying.

    And lots of rookies don’t pan out, don’t make the majors, or if they do, don’t amount to much so the fact is it’s not necessarily “prudent” business. For one, you can sign all the rookies you want and they don’t put bums in the seats at Rogers Centre or get people to watch the Jays on TV. A free agent signing, on the other hand, even if it turns out to return only 80 cents on the dollar from the baseball perspective, will return part of its cost in terms of revenue generated by goosing interest in the team.

  9. Haha. Haters gonna hate. This is excellently composed.

  10. 2 things:

    1. “if Toronto was any more aggressive they’d punch someone in the face on their way to the podium to announce their next pick”. I laugh every time i read that quote. It never stops being funny.

    2. I love the direction the team is going and Parkes nails a lot of reasons why. I really like this post. However, I can’t help but think that 1 impact free agent signing this winter wouldn’t be out of line with their operating principles. It’s well known by now that most FA signings don’t offer great value but if there is ELITE talent available and it fits in the budget then go for it. Elite means that you can chop off the bottom 3 from your list of 6. If you can sign one of those 3 guys, all of a sudden I think the Jays are looking very close to a contender with a Top 3 farm system to support it. Sign me up!

  11. “A free agent signing, on the other hand, even if it turns out to return only 80 cents on the dollar from the baseball perspective, will return part of its cost in terms of revenue generated by goosing interest in the team.”

    Yeah, sure, until that guy starts to stink and cost the team games because of his massive, unmovable contract. Sound familiar?

    • Goodness knows BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett really brought the bums to the seats. Oh wait, they weren’t the right free agents. I’m sure it will be quite different this time around. (P.S. – I will defend both those signings to the death.)

  12. Nope, spending money on the draft isn’t good business. No world series winning team developed their core from their own farm system. I guess the Giants made a mistake by drafting and developing Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Posey. The Phillies goofed by developing Utley, Hamels, Howard, Rollins. The stupid Red Sox thought they could win the World Series by drafting Pedroia, Lester, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Papelbon. Oh wait, nope, that’s exactly how they did it.

    Also, everyone seems to forget that the mighty free-agent Yankees wouldn’t have had their dynasty without the “core 4″ of Rivera, Jeter, Pettite and Posada, not to mention Bernie Williams.

    Parkes is right. This was a well written article, the mouth breathers need to relax.

  13. “This isn’t theory anymore. The Tampa Bay Rays have done this in the American League East and won the division and even gone to the World Series. Now, imagine a team that is as financially stable and as layered in prospects as Tampa Bay, but actually has the financial wherewithal to keep the elite players that would normally have to be sold or give up elsewhere. This is the course that the Toronto Blue Jays are on, and just because they’re not making the flashy signings that grab headlines and make non-baseball talking heads happy, doesn’t mean that this path is necessarily a cheaper one.“

    This +1

    Sums the Blue Jays strategy up in a nutshell

  14. Actually, trading away one player so you can afford to sign another one to a smaller contract is KINDOF the definition of penny pinching… Doesn’t mean its not smart, just saying. I do have two small problems with the ‘Getting Blanked Guide To Eventually Building A Contender’
    1. Whatever Jonah Kerry says, the Rays success was and continues to be based on a foundation of blue chip top picks (Crawford, Longoria, Price, etc) who are working their way through the team like a rabbit through a snake. Its not like Friedman saw market inadequacies that let his team draft star players at the top of every draft…
    2. More importantly, this type A & B free agent plan is so dense it has its own orbit. If it comes up, or if you can pull a Miguel Olivo switcheroo, then great. But building your bullpen around getting 2 or three sandwich picks? Trading prospects for a closer only to let him go for a draft pick we’ll only get if his new team is in the top half of standings, or if they haven’t signed anyone better, which by the way has happened to all of our last 4 type As? Wackier than a rodent themed carnival game.
    AA has gone further in 3 years than any of us thought was possible. But he’s filled the pipeline. He’s sewn the seeds. Its time to CAUTIOUSLY start building this team at the top level, which means finding some real major leaguers to fill our holes. And no, that wasn’t a euphemism.

  15. Having said that, this was a very well written article. I may disagree with the subject matter, but no one can say you didn’t make a fair point.

  16. @David

    What is the point of putting asses in seats at the Rogers Centre, or Get people watching on TV because of a single high profile free agent on a team that will still not have the depth to compete.

    True, prospects are prospects and don’t always pan out, but no team is willing to give up on a high profile prospect early, making them great trade bait to help the organization when they are ready to be aggressive and compete at the major league level.

    Yes, ROgers has deep pockets but they are also a publicly traded company that has to show profitability in order to still have money. So they aren’t going to double the amount of money on Jays payroll because that will no guarantee WINS, or Ticket Sales.

    The Tampa Bay model is the best one for the Jays to follow.

    Great post Parkes!

  17. #1. If you actually believe the entirety of what you just wrote, that contending is still years away and that there’s no reason to spend money on outside major league talent over the next few seasons, the logical move for the Jays would be to trade Jose Bautista right now. If you don’t, he will simply continue putting up 40-50 HR seasons on a .500, playoff-less team until he ages and falls off. When that will be is anybody’s guess, but it’s inarguable that he would garner an absolute bounty of prospects and young major leaguers right now that would help the Jays down the road when you plan to contend. You’ve ignored that fact repeatedly now, but there is no getting around this. The Jays made this mistake in wasting Roy Halladay for years…why do it again?

    #2. If the Jays added even two of those players (let’s say Fielder and Wilson), they would immediately move themselves into playoff contention in 2012 (especially if the added wildcard spot that Selig wants is put into place). All it would cost is money, money that Rogers wouldn’t be spending otherwise. Why don’t we want to do this again? “Because it has the potential to hurt the club 4-5 years down the road” isn’t a legitimate answer. If Rogers is successful in building a successful, consistent winning baseball team that draws fans and viewers over that time (and thereby increasing revenue streams ten-fold), contracts like Fielder’s will cease to be a concern.

    #3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if the Jays added two top free agents they wouldn’t even reach $100M in payroll commitments for 2012. That’s how little they’re spending on this ballclub right now (their current 2011 payroll is hovering between the Marlins and Nationals). It’s not like $100M is some impressive total in MLB, either. There are 12 organizations this season with a payroll over that margin.

    #4. It’s been 11 years of Rogers ownership and only one above-average payroll over that time. There is even less excuse now that the Canadian dollar is where it is. Isn’t everyone tired of this team acting like it plays in a small market?

    #5. Forget the Rays, the Jays should aspire to be the Boston Red Sox. John Henry has created one of the most successful franchises in sports since 2002 by regularly spending on both major league talent and prospects (through the draft or internationally). There is little reason that Rogers, one of the richest ownership entities in the game, can’t do the same thing.

  18. I’d like it if the Jays paid to get Jose Reyes. I think some combination of Jose Reyes and Yunel Escobar at 2B/SS would be fucking awesome.

    Is it not ok to knowingly overpay for a player or two when you have young controllable talent for which you are under paying. This is a pipe dream, I know, but couldn’t theoretically pick up Reyes and Pujols and still have a payroll under 130 million next year?

    Rager Inducing Primary Line-Up:

    Jose Reyes SS/2B
    Yunel Escobar SS/2B
    Jose Bautista RF
    Albert Pujols 1B
    Travis Snider CF
    Adam Lind LF
    Brett Lawrie 3B
    Encarnacion DH
    JP Arencibia C

  19. Why would a team like the BLueJays who don’t have the depth at the Major LEague level sign Albert Pujols?

    Do you really want the entire franchise hinging on ONE player who at any moment break an arm, leg, pull a muscle, or tear a ligament?

    Instead take that money spread over 6 guys not named pujols, 3 of which end up contributing to the major league team, and maybe 3 which are traded away for players who are ready to compete now.

  20. Also just want to point out that 3 people in the Getting Blanked Pick Six group got in the top 5 overall yesterday. I thought that was pretty impressive.

  21. “Is it not ok to knowingly overpay for a player or two when you have young controllable talent for which you are under paying.”
    See the Boston Red Sox.

    “This is a pipe dream, I know, but couldn’t theoretically pick up Reyes and Pujols and still have a payroll under 130 million next year?”
    Far below it.

  22. @Will. Yes I do want the entire franchise hinging on ONE player. If that player is Albert Pujols. There’s only nine spots in the lineup so I don’t care if they spread that money over 158 “guys not named Pujols”; only two of them will actually get a chance to play…

    Matt – Did you just sign Pujols AND Reyes, THEN put Lind in LF? I’d rather trade Lind for an in-his-prime Willie Mays personally, because then Snider could shift back to left. But that’ll never happen because ROGERS WON’T RAISE PAYROLL!

  23. Great post Parkes, one of your best ever.

    The Jays are on the right course, its going to be tough to convince the casual fans that we are though. But they will show up to the ballpark when this team starts competing, Toronto is just begging for a winner and the Jays are the closest.

  24. Ah, yes, the “5 year plan”. Right up there with Sasquatch and hot lesbians.

  25. Yeah, generally I agree with the gist of this post. The Blue Jays spent $25M in lottery tickets; if just one of those guys hits enough to be an above average major leaguer, they could recoup that $25M in value over the six years of team control.

    One thing though: given the team’s current composition and his age, I don’t think a concerted push for Reyes is a bad idea at all. Second base looks to be an area of weakness for the foreseeable future, Reyes slots in beautifully ahead of Escobar in the lineup, and at 27 he should still be a highly productive player in 2012-13. This team needs Reyes more than they need Pujols.

  26. @Dougie – +1. If we make any major aquisition, I hope it’s Reyes.

  27. If the Jays followed this plan without exception and never took on financial risk for quality MLB players, they wouldn’t have Jose Bautista on an incredible, below market contract currently.

    There’s nothing wrong with spending money on free agents, you just have to spend it on the right guys.

  28. i agree completely with the POINT of this article and the general strategy of the team, but i’d still throw $200 million at Pujols this winter without hesitation. i honestly think in WAR terms he could easily end up outperforming that contract, but even if he doesn’t, he’s clearly an elite player for at least the next 4-5 years barring the loss of a leg. and isn’t ‘get elite players by any available means’ the one sentence summation of the AA master plan?

  29. I too agree that Reyes would be an awfully nice acquisition for the team as it is currently composed. Assuming he can stay healthy I can think of very few players in all of baseball who would add more to this team based on what the team currently has at the positions that he could potentially play (second base or shortstop… we have one great player and one formerly very good player who has fallen off of a cliff).

    However, assuming that Reyes is going to be healthy and a star for even, say, his age 28 to 32 seasons (he turns 29 next June so I am counting it as his age 28 season) seems like a dubious assumption to make in my estimation. Considering that the Jays would more than likely have to sign him for two or three subsequent seasons at a great financial cost to the team it seems like an awfully risky proposition.

    The fact is that Reyes hasn’t played 150 games since 2008 despite still being in his prime and would be moving from the lush grass of Shea Stadium/Citi Field to the green carpet at Rogers Centre to play out the rest of his prime and at least the start of his twilight years.

  30. Dustin, the issue with the payroll analysis is that the Jays’ payroll is commensurate with a team that draws 23,000 a game and has the “cheap programming” rider attached.

    Would a team in first place – and, more importantly, one that had the perception of a winner – draw 40,000 a game and get better ad revenue on TV? I’d like to think so. Which changes the cost-benefit analysis greatly.

    As noted, this isn’t Tampa. Baseball in Toronto has upside – fourth-largest local market in the major leagues, and exclusive access to a fanbase the size of Texas. This was once a market that had a profitable team with the highest payroll in the majors. No reason it can’t again.

  31. Bautista is the top dog on the team and will be the highest paid player for most if not all, of the deal. The contracts for Bautista (and Romero, Escobar, and Lind) has put in place a salary structure that is far lower than the mlb average and will allow Toronto to continue to get good value when signing its own players. With this strategy however, Toronto cannot sign elite free agents because it’ll will inflate their team salary hierarchy, which is fine – as long as enough prospects become elite talents.

  32. You defenetly forgot to add one HUGE frre agent to be: YU DARVISH!!!!
    Parkes we haven’t heard what you guys think the odds of signing him would be and watching how aggressive AA is on the international FA market then it looks like we could be the winning bidders.
    It will cost a lot of money to sign him thats for sure like probably 75 Millions just to negociate with him and like another 13 or 15 mil a year for 6 years… It’s a huge investment but he might be that ace that could take us to that next level!!!!

  33. @Antho, remember how great the Daisuke Matsuzaka investment went for the red sox? Let’s please not repeat other franchises mistakes

  34. Teams that build sustainable winners spend a ton on the draft and Latin American prospects. See Atlanta, LA Angels and recently, the Texas Rangers. Everyone looks at the Yankees and Red Sox payrolls, but they don’t see what they spend on prospects and player development…which is why they A) call up quality major league players and B) Have top level prospects other teams want in trades.

  35. Here is a little piece on CJ Wilson from a Rangers blog. He would be a good “get”, the Yankees have their eye on him also.

    http://www.newbergreport.com/article.asp?articleid=2310

  36. And, this is a great article on how relievers come from all different sorts of places and roles. Griff should read this next time he wants to jam a platinum bill in front of the Jays for a reliever (a stinking reliever, man).

    http://www.newbergreport.com/article.asp?articleid=2297

  37. I don’t know what kinda money he’s looking for, and it seems he has a preference to stay in the National League.

    But i think a guy like Carlos Beltran would be a great fit to be this DH the Blue Jays plan to spend money on. I really like the idea of having a potent switch hitter in the lineup who can play the field when needed.

  38. One of the most ignorant comments and biggest erroneous perceptions is that

    “Rogers Communications, who owns the Blue Jays is one of the richest owners in the league anyway”

    1) You can’t compare the market cap of a corporate company to the net worth of an individual. Rogers Media (the division which the Blue Jays fall under) is a relatively small part of Rogers. The company has obligations that are above and beyond the Blue Jays. Your run of the mill billionaire may or may not.

    2) An individual team owner may or may not care about the profitability of the team, I’d bet that most of them don’t. Rogers on the other hand, does, and is forced to by the stock market.

    While ownership of the team is viewed more as being about more than just the P&L of the team itself (free advertising, content for Sportsnet, etc are also big factors), it would be very difficult for Rogers to justify spending an extra X amount of dollars, because its unlikely it would pay off at all in terms of the bottom line. And quite frankly, its a poor investment when viewed on a risk/reward basis.

    Sure, adding $20mm to payroll could make the team better (or not) but if it makes the team marginally better, barely increases attendance or ratings, and the team still doesn’t make the playoffs, it is a total waste of money. On the other hand, whatever it would take to “guarantee” making the team better ($50mm? more?) would probably still result in a destruction of profit rather than an improvement.

    Agree or disagree, this is how a company like Rogers looks at it. Viewed in this context, the fact that they are “one of the richest owners” is not only misleading, but irrelevant.

  39. @TH – How is the current owner situation (Rogers) any different than when Labatt owned the team? They were a large corporation that had no problem with having the biggest payroll in baseball. The Jays being competitive probably has a lot more value for Rogers than it did for Labatt in that the Jays provide a large part of their content for their sports channel and offer plenty of free advertising for their communications products.

    The Jays’ success has an impact on Rogers bottom line. The better the Jays are, the more Rogers makes.

  40. @Daniel – its different only in that Rogers obviously cares more about the profitability of the team than Labatt did.

    My point is that they shouldn’t be considered “one of the richest owners in baseball” because a) the metrics that are being used to assess that versus owners that are private individuals are comparing apples to oranges b) the willingness of the owner to fund losses is most likely MUCH lower when the owner is a public corporation.

    In terms of the profitability of the team, John Henry answers to no one except himself. If he wishes to bankrupt himself to make the team a winner, its his prerogative (not saying that’s what he’s doing, just using him as an example). Rogers has to answer to their shareholders, who would go berserk (and cause the stock to sell off) if they announced a $200mm payroll.

    John Henry is worth $1bn, Rogers is worth $20bn, but to suggest that Rogers is 20x “richer” than Henry and thus should have 20x more spending capacity is not only completely false, but laughable to anyone who understands finance. The reality is that most individual owners have more capacity but are also more willing to spend like crazy.

    “The better the Jays are, the more Rogers makes.” No!!! This is not necessarily true. Again, a blanket statement without considering the realities of finance!

  41. The steady hand is the way to go. Yeah, the Jays are spending $30mm less than 2002, but also putting that difference into drafting and scouting and development. At this rate, they’ll be a bigger budget version of the Rays, which seems really f****** exciting to me.

    Out of the 6 guys listed, I’d want 3, and Pujols isn’t really attainable (there is almost no chance he leaves STL). Reyes is injury-prone (turf won’t do his hammies any favours), Beltran is heading into the autumn years of his career and, while Buehrle still puts up decent numbers, I can’t be convinced of a soft-tosser as a big $$ FA signing. I like CJ and think he might be affordable. Prince, however, will not be affordable. The best bet might be to make some more deals. Unless AA gets the Billy Beane treatment!

  42. Good article, CJ Wilson won’t leave the Rangers, and why would you sign Albert Pujols? He would hurt our payroll alot and we already have a very good 1st baseman in Adam Lind. How good would Jose Reyes look in this lineup though? Lawrie-Reyes-Escobar-Lind-Arencibia as our infield, with Snider-Rasmus-Bautista in the outfield. But when it comes to pitching, we’re not ready to compete, and I hope Alex works on getting this team some bullpen help and another solid starting pitcher.

  43. great article dustin! it bothers me to see that fans in toronto don’t realize how good this team is going to be and the potential hey have in the minors. stop worrying about the money that isnt yours and look at the big picture! Jays are legit one or 2 pieces away from competing next year, especially if they expand the playoffs. disregard the previous 5 year plan set out by ricciardi, bc i dont even think JP knew what he was doing in 5 years. AA is the smartest guy in baseball and he will get us back to the world series.

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