Don't Call Up Brett Lawrie

In a recent post over at DJF, my fine friend Andrew Stoeten quite astutely discerned that the lack of Brett Lawrie on the Toronto Blue Jays’ active roster has much more to do with giving Edwin Encarnacion every opportunity possible to attain Type B free agent status than it does either Lawrie’s readiness or an organizational unwillingness to demote one of the many extraneous arms in the team’s bullpen.

I’ll take it a step further and suggest that Encarnacion’s recent resurgence (.400 wOBA in July) at the plate offers the Blue Jays’ front office the perfect excuse not to call Lawrie up at all this season, pushing back his eventual free agency another year. I know it wouldn’t be a popular choice, but by taking advantage of the rules governing free agency, the organization could save millions of dollars.

Here’s how it works: If the Blue Jays were to call Lawrie up right now and he stays with the big club, the third baseman would most likely avoid Super Two status and only attain three arbitration years. Lawrie’s first year of free agency would then occur after the 2017 season. Waiting until after the first week of next season to call Lawrie up means that he would definitely earn that fourth year of arbitration (assuming the Super Two rules aren’t changed too much in the next collective bargaining agreement), but it would also push back his free agency until after the 2018 season.

Whether Toronto intends on signing Lawrie to a multi-year contract or not, pushing back his call up until next season benefits the organization too much to not consider playing time implications. Locking up players over the course of free agent years is far more expensive than arbitration years. While there’s some dispute over the oft quoted 40/60/80 rule, which explains the percentage of value that players are paid for in their arbitration years, no one would suggest that arbitration eligible players earn their full value through arbitration.

So, if the Blue Jays were to offer Lawrie a long term contract after not playing at all in 2011, they’d be buying an extra year of arbitration instead of free agency. And even with the extra year of arbitration, it would still represent millions of dollars in savings that wouldn’t be available if Lawrie were called up today and eventually signed to a multi-year deal.

If Toronto can’t come to an agreement with Lawrie on a theoretical future deal, waiting until next year to call him up means that rather than losing him to free agency ahead of the 2018 season, he’ll be a member of the Blue Jays for an additional year of baseball, at the age of 28.

I realize that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has suggested in the past that he doesn’t consider playing time implications in making decisions on players, but he also said that he didn’t have anything in the way of a pre-draft agreement with top pick Tyler Beede. And if we want to be even more cynical, we can look at when the Blue Jays originally wanted to call Brett Lawrie up. I don’t think it was mere chance that Lawrie was suddenly deemed ready for the Majors a week after the point in the season that most experts picked for players to be safely called up to avoid Super Two.

Another factor to consider is how the fan base would react to the constant delay of Lawrie’s permanently imminent promotion. When Evan Longoria’s first start at the Major League Level was pushed back to the middle of April in 2008, clearly motivated by service time implications, fans and even players were upset with Tampa Bay Rays VP Andrew Friedman. Three years later, Longoria’s contract is considered, despite recent struggles, the most team friendly in all of baseball. No one even remembers the ill will that was sent Friedman’s way.

I suppose that an argument could be made that Lawrie has already done all that he needs to do at Triple A and that keeping him down there only serves to hinder his development. However, is gaining 100 big league plate appearances while playing out the stretch in September really going to impact Lawrie’s career? I can’t see how that would happen.

It’s popular to point out that the Blue Jays are not the Rays, and that Toronto’s ownership is the richest in baseball. But the connotation that’s created by such comparisons is that money doesn’t or shouldn’t matter to the Blue  Jays organization. Every team in baseball has an operating budget, and I assure you that money always matters.

An extra $5 million plus could mean that the Blue Jays are able to sign that high school pitcher, bring aboard that Dominican infielder or land that veteran masher who can bat fifth for the season and contribute 30 home runs. These are the additions that become possible simply by waiting to start Brett Lawrie’s service clock.

Of course, even if Anthopoulos decides that this is the course he wants to take with Lawrie, he can’t announce those intentions for fear of repercussions from Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association. That’s why Edwin Encarnacion’s run of success has come at such an opportune time, not just improving his stock ahead of free agent evaluation with Elias Rankings, but also because it gives the Blue Jays justification for delaying a decision on Lawrie.

In bringing back Encarnacion for another year, handing out contract extensions, and signing a plethora of relief pitching this offseason, we’ve witnessed how much this organization, under Anthopoulos, likes to keep its options open. With Lawrie in Las Vegas and Encarnacion raking at the big league level, the team doesn’t have to close any doors and can stay its present course without burning up a year of controlability on its brightest young prospect.

Comments (55)

  1. Parkes,

    Solid post as usual – check out my take on the whole E-5 thing on my blog.

  2. Sometimes you sit down an think, “What can I write that will bring out every hater and knee jerk reaction in Bluejayland?” don’t you?

    Kudos to you sir, and cue the complaining.

  3. I am on the fence myself about this decision, but one thing you didn’t consider is injuries. AA’s hand could be forced if certain players go down, no?

  4. .. and take the chance of pissing off Lawrie by keeping him at level he’s better than until what.. June of next year?? We’ll be lucky to keep him once he hits free agency at that rate. As AA has mentioned before you need to treat the players like they are people.

  5. I see the rationale, kind of, but making the team better (arguably), generate more fan interest (again, arguable), and having Lawrie get acclimatized to the majors in a “not competing” year rather than next year’s expected “competing” year (very arguable) makes more sense, doesn’t it? Especially if the only reason is money, which the Jays have said they will spend to be competitive. Surely that must be worth more than a potential compensation pick for EE and a few million loonies. With Lawrie in place, the “core” of the team is in place (well, except for Hill), and Jays fans can start dreaming.

  6. Every time I see the comment that the Jays’ ownership is the richest in baseball it drives me nuts. They are owned by a public company that isn’t all the sudden going to open up the purse unless the business case is there.

    I think that if anyting, having Rogers as the owners might hurt the Jays’ ability to spend.

    Unless everyone ponies up another $5 a month to watch the games on their phones horseshit.

  7. I think if there is one thing you are omitting is the fan outrage, not of the remainder of this season, but of the week long period next year that you would need to demote him again following spring training before calling him up.

    I just don’t think its justifiable that they would resort themselves to doing this now. I know they were willing and able to call him up before he fractured his hand, and by the sounds of it they are looking to do the same on Friday in Baltimore. While Edwin’s hot bat may shield them, check his situational numbers again before he think this one through. His success with the bat is only coming at DH. While his defence has improved, his bat has found success DHing and not playing third. They can shift him back to third and hope it doesn’t matter – but it won’t take long for the pitchforks when he isn’t hitting the same.

  8. You forgot one thing… whats best for Brett Lawrie. Im sure if you asked AA, he would say that Lawries development comes before any of the junk you just wrote about. If 100 PA are in the works for this year then they need to continue with the plan, not keep him down for the reasons you mentioned. All the things that you think will be made possible by saving some money on Lawrie are already possible.. The signing of over slot players, the signing of the Dominican infielder, they are already doing that. The money they will save on Brett Lawrie is inconsequential compared to the money saved on Vernon Wells. Im not one to say Lawrie is ready, but if he is then they need to bring him up. Its no good feeding him AAA pitching if he needs a new challenge.

  9. I understand your logic, but Lawrie is on my Fantasy team and it would be really nice if he coudl get called up on Friday.

    In all seriousness though I think the biggest question is what is best for Brett Lawrie’s development and to a lesser extent the 2012 Blue Jays. I think that it would be difficult to say that Lawrie has a whole lot to prove in AAA at the plate, but perhaps his defense is still a little suspect. But if he’s going to be playing 3B in the Rogers’ Center on that turf, wouldn’t it make much more sense to have him up and getting used to it while working with Butterfield? There are some questions about whether he can play an effective 3B and if he’s going to be booting balls around, etc I’d prefer he do it this year.

    Bringing him up now allows him to get a taste of MLB pitching and hopefully make some adjustments. A lot of rookies struggle at the beginning of their careers, and it seems like a lot of them did this year Belt, Freeman, Moustakas, Rizzo, etc. Getting those MLB at bats in and learning to adjust is important.

    If AA truly believes Lawire needs more time in Vegas than that’s fine, but I think that bringing him up to see if he is legitimately a 3B and to get some MLB experience at the plate is not a waste of money for a team that may be in a position to compete in 2012. The cherry on top is that no one really knows what will happen with the arbitration rules next year, though I admit they are not likely to drastically change.

  10. “fans and even players were upset with Tampa Bay Rays VP Andrew Friedman”

    Oh come on. Everyone knows the Rays don’t have any fans.

  11. Do you think that showing some love to Vegas might also be a factor? It’s pretty well known that the Jays don’t want to have the AAA team in Vegas, and will move as soon as it’s possible. Maybe letting Lawrie play in Vegas is simply PR for another potential AAA city.

  12. Well, I would hope that E5 is traded – but dont know if him and his contract are the type to get through waivers. I am really excited as all Jays fans are of Lawries call-up and (maybe selfishly/stupidly) want it even if ends up costing them a few million in a contract extension down the road. AA has also said publicly that the Jays WILL call him up, not maybe. Lawrie just has to show the defense and good at-bats once again following his injury and he would be here – Lawrie has shown those things.

    I am sure the Jays realise the anticipation the fanbase has for Lawrie, and also must factor the increased attention and likely revenue that having Lawrie (if he does play well) down the stretch would bring the team, with no playoffs to play for. Not to mention 2012 ticket sales in the pre-season.

  13. One of the things hurting Encarnacion in the Elias Rankings for the 2B/SS/3B is they take into account the number of innings played at that position. So even though Encarnacion was mashing all through last week, he lost ground in the Type-B status race. So I think either way he’ll have a hard time reaching Type B status unless we’re willing to play him at 3B, which we aren’t I’m guessing.

    As for Lawrie I tend to agree with the argument you pointed out that keeping him down only serves to hinder his development. No 100 ABs may not be a difference maker, yes giving him those ABs will cost the team money. But this is exactly the type of spending we’ve applauded AA and Rogers for in the past – i.e. spending on development and the future of the team.

    Its also the right message to be sending as an organization that if a player has done everything to earn a promotion he won’t be kept down just for the sake of manipulating service time. For that matter its also the right message to be sending to the fan base who are the ones that give the team money in the first place.

    In conclusion – Bring up Lawrie.

  14. I think this is a great strategy to ensure that Brett Lawrie has enough time to continue working on his defense at AAA. How bad did Blue Jay fans rip on Encarnacion for his poor defense at Third and how do you think this would affect Lawrie and his development. Throw that into consideration along with the other factors and there is a case for letting him mature in the minors.

    Would I like to see Lawrie up with the Jays, of course, but there’s baseball and there’s the business decisions that need to be made as well. Encarnacion getting Type B status is also very important to the organization, especially for a team who is willing to spend on the draft. Those Type B picks turn into 1st rounders when you’re willing to pay top talent that slides in the draft.

  15. @UKJaysFan

    I’ve never heard that before, with the Jays not wanting a team in AAA. I can certainly understand it though, being incredibly far from the Major League team.

    If anything, I can see Thames going back down to AAA, and Lawrie getting the call back up. E5 needs to continue this hot streak as long as he can, and Thames has already been up and down this year, no worries about options.

  16. If he’s coming up, I want him up now so he’s not facing AAA pitchers who are also getting the call-up. If he’s just a September call-up, he’s just going to be hitting against the same guys he’s been hitting against a lot of the same guys who he’s been against all year, not to mention the better defenses. Obviously top fo the rotation guys are still around at this point in time, but teams who are out of it are much more likely to have their scrubs in to shoulder some of the innings that the top guys have had throughout the season.

  17. Allan-

    It’s not about not wanting a AAA team, it’s about having LV as literally the farthest AAA locale from Toronto. UKJF was saying that they want a closer team.

    • I think it is more about the ballpark and environment rather than the distance. There are daily direct flights between Toronto and Vegas, can’t say the same about all AAA affiliates.

  18. By all means. You know what would save the team even more money? Not calling up Lawrie at all. Ever. Then his service clock would never start. In fact, lets send down whomever we can and trade the rest. Then we could just sign type B free agents to one year contracts every year and we’d have the greatest, most cost controlled minor league system in all the land! Come on, if the kid’s ready, call him up.

  19. why hold him down for just the rest of the year?

    let’s hold him down all of NEXT year too and save even more money! we can even grab some cheap vet next year and play him a lot in the hopes of getting yet ANOTHER sandwich pick!!!

    WOOT! BLUE JAYS BASEBALL!!

  20. Brett doesn’t have anything to offer right now, the niches he would inhabit are filled by the following players:

    3rd Base: Bautista
    2nd Base: McDonald
    New Guy: Rasmus
    Canadian: Teahen
    Can’t miss prospect: Snider
    Bad Tattoos: Rauch

  21. Everdiso, could you please make the most moronic slippery slope argument humanly possible in this situation?

    Oh… sorry, appears you already have.

  22. The only thing that I could think of this being a negative thing, is if this somehow makes these top picks we drafted, think twice about signing. Do you think that would at all be a concern to these guys, “knowing” their contracts will be managed so closely?

  23. come on, stoetsy! time to set our sights higher than thinking about money savings 7 years down the road and sandwich picks, I sez.

    and hey stoets – I wonder if we had let Lawrie and Thames break camp with the team, like they – you know – EARNED, instead of playing service time games which let us enjoy the sights and sounds of Rivera/Patterson/Nix/JMac starting for our team……maybe we wouldn’t be 10 games out of a playoff spot right now, eh? maybe we’d be closer to 5 or 6 games out with 1/3 of the season left? that might be fun, no?

  24. I knew this was coming at some point (the argument to set back a player and team’s development to save a bit of money) and I’m not surprised to see it came from you. If they actually do something this short-sighted, though, what’s stopping them from pushing his debut back to June 2012 to avoid the Super 2 again (and stopping you from making arguments in favor of such a ridiculous thing)?

    Perhaps you’ve been blinded by your recent obsession with the penny-pinching Rays, but the Jays are one of the best teams in baseball right now (and perhaps are better than the Rays already), and are setting up themselves up to make the playoffs in 2012. Supposedly, they are even prepared to spend a ton of money in free agency/trades to get it done. Weaseling out of paying their best prospect for an entire season at the expense of his growth as a player is the last thing that should be on their mind. If it is, perhaps they aren`t the big spenders that Beeston would have us believe.

    Fact is, Lawrie has nothing left to prove at the AAA level and this team needs to see him face major league pitching (and most importantly, play a major league position defensively) in order to know where he stands in relation to their contention hopes in 2012. If they can get assurance of these points right now (as best that can be had in two months of games), it’s better than watching Lawrie fail at the beginning of 2012 and being stuck with a major hole on the roster for the rest of the season.

    Winning isn’t easy, particularly in the AL East. The Red Sox and Yankees aren’t simply going to stop and wait for Lawrie to acclimate himself to the major leagues next season. That needs to happen now. If it’s time to contend, the team needs to stop worrying about money and arbitration years and start worrying about how to put the best team it can on the field in 2012. That should start this week with bringing Brett Lawrie up.

  25. I understand the argument in favour of letting Encarnacion play, but…

    If the Jays plan on being a contending team next year AND Lawrie is expected to be a contributing member of that team, wouldn’t it make sense to get him as much MLB experience as possible before next year?

  26. Nicely put, Dustin. I think the most compelling argument for the on-going delay of Lawrie’s promotion is how very well Encarnacion is hitting right now. In July, his stats put him just behind Bautista and Escobar. Why shouldn’t the team milk this unexpected performance for all Eddie’s got? If that means a longer showcase in exchange for either a better trade, or a shot at a better draft pick, so be it.

    On the other hand, I’m in the camp of “can’t wait” to see what Lawrie can bring to the team. From all indications, he’s playing at a major league level. His kind of production at 3B – and the ability to use Bautista’s brilliant arm in RF – should have an enormous impact.

  27. If your right Parkes, it will be the first time since A.A. took over that I’ll be disappointed with the front office’s motives. Cost savings are great, but holding back a top prospect while you are enjoying the PEAK of the best player in the league so that you have just the chance, not even a guarantee, to ascertain another sandwich pick (which it looks like we’ll be able to load up on anyways without E.E if we let rauch, francisco and hill and maybe even molina go), is foolish. We are not the Rays, where one extra year of cost-control of a possible star player makes or breaks our chances.

    • I can appreciate arguments made by Island and Fullmer. I’m just not so sure that reputation really means that much. A big bonus will always be a big bonus and will likely always win out. I also don’t see how playing in September is all that different from playing in Triple A.

      I’d encourage people not to think of it as a cost cutting decision, but rather an asset relocation. By saving money here they can spend elsewhere.

  28. Perhaps the most basic points are these:

    Is the current team with the current roster winning or losing? Would the addition of Brett Lawrie clearly improve the team’s chances of winning additional games?

    My vIew is that the team is on a bit of a roll since aquiring Rasmus. To paraphrase Crash Davis… when a team is on a streak you have to respect the streak. If the Jays start losing series once again then bring Lawrie up asap.

  29. @Dustin re: asset relocation… yea but you could say that justify any type of cost cutting and just call it asset relocation: “I won’t spend on the draft and so now I can spend that money somewhere else” – its semantics. I still think keeping Lawrie down for this reason is a case of not spending on player development.

    I also think the message doesn’t just matter to draft picks but to any player – whether it be a player on the team right now deciding to test the free agent market or sign an extension or a free agent considering signing with the team.

  30. For me: 100 plate appearances in August starts the development process sooner than 100 plate appearances in April. Let the process of adjustments begin sooner, not later. As has been mentioned here before, the Jose Bautista window won’t be open forever.

  31. Suppressing assets to this extent is a little short-sighted unless the team is trying to force MLB to close the loophole they’re exploiting. Also, like many others, I think there’s an argument that Lawrie is going to get his ass handed to him by big league pitchers at some point and I’d rather watch that happen in a nothing year. Some pundits (looking at you, Jonah Keri) are already calling the Jays the darkhorse pick of 2012.

  32. Interesting take. I think I’m still firmly in the “let’s see what he can do with the big club” camp, but this was pretty thought-provoking.

  33. My bad about not wanting a team in AAA, i meant Las Vegas.

  34. You are out of your mind, Parkes.

    The Jays are going to push for the playoff next yr with players in Boston and NY a yr older, and the eventual leapfrogging of the Rays this season, plus a extra playoff spot available in ’12. You would be crazy not to push for a playoff spot next yr.

    You bring up Longoria’s case, and he is signed to one of the most team friendly contract in all of baseball. If Lawrie is any good, AA can easily sign him to a long term contract with multiple team options. Why is money even an issue in this case for Lawrie?

    5M is a big sum of money in terms baseball salary? How many sure thing prospect and FA backfire or flameout in the baseball world? If you have a sure thing, you throw money at him and tie him up; service time should never be an issue for a great young player playing for a club that has the financial muscle like the Jays

  35. It’s all about asset management and a task that AA takes seriously. Rogers has given him a generous budget to work with that has allowed him to sign key players as he tries to build a contending team. In the same vein, he probably doesn’t want to abuse that privilege and show the Rogers tower that he’s being smart with their money.

    Remember, JPA ride the pine last year to maximize John Buck’s value. It is very possible, AA doesn’t believe 100 Aug/Sept ABs are a must have for player development.

  36. Can we add a thumbs up and thumbs down option for comments?

  37. Well written article, interesting discussion…but:

    “I also don’t see how playing in September is all that different from playing in Triple A.”

    C’mon? That’s nonsense Mr. Parkes.

  38. Teams out of contention generally call up their Triple A players in September so Parkes makes a good point there.

  39. Parkes, your argument is sound. Since we can get more draft picks and savings with the money we save by not promoting our top prospect, why don’t we just delay his call up for all of next year as well? Imagine all the high school pitchers and dominican infielders we can sign with that money. And when those draft picks are ready, we should delay their call up a ear to save even more money.

    So glad you’re not running this team and I can’t wait to hear your complaints when Lawrie is up and raking like Ackley.

  40. In other words you can’t find anything wrong with the argument so you’re going to take it down a slippery slope to try to make it look less valid than it is.

    So glad you’re not writing this blog.

  41. “Teams out of contention generally call up their Triple A players in September so Parkes makes a good point there.”

    And those extra 15 or so guys are all of a sudden full-timers? Getting the majority of ABs/IPs?

    While the player pool is more diluted in september, the vast majority are still major league players playing major league games in major league environments and contexts.

    If today was September 15th and the Rays were in town, would Lawrie be getting 3 ABs vs. James Shields, or the T-Bay equivalent of Andrew Van Hekken (tonite’s starter vs. the 51s). If it was a 3 run game entering the ninth, would he have faced Farnsworth or the TBay equivalent of Jeff Fulchino (closed out vs. 51s tonite)?

    So um, no, he does not make a good point there.

    (no offense Parkes).

    Long time reader, first time caller :)

  42. “I suppose that an argument could be made that Lawrie has already done all that he needs to do at Triple A and that keeping him down there only serves to hinder his development. However, is gaining 100 big league plate appearances while playing out the stretch in September really going to impact Lawrie’s career?”

    No, which is why you give him 100 PA in August, making it 200 for 2011, a full third of a season to get Lawrie grounded at the MLB level and ready to contribute in 2012. As somebody who believed Lawrie’s bat was fully developed over 2 months ago and deserved a call-up a long time ago, it pains me to see people now suggesting he should be held down until mid-April 2012. Lawrie is long past the point of “nothing to learn at AAA” – that doesn’t mean he won’t need to be sent back down, but it does mean that keeping him in the minors right now is doing nothing but hindering his development as a future MLBer. We’re long past the point in the season where Lawrie getting the defensive reps at 3B could be an issue.

  43. Question: With respect to affecting the number of arbitration years and when he would be eligible, is there a difference between bringing him up in August or in September, when rosters expand?

  44. Las Vegas’s season ends on Sept 5th. How do you propose that the coaching staff tells Lawrie that he’s not being called up for September when that season is over and 15 other, less deserving, players are called up? You can’t tell him he needs to work on his defense…

    From a purely financial standpoint, all of your arguements are sound. But other commenters extension of your arguement to then wait until June 2012, Sept 2013, etc. are also sound from a financial standpoint. But you need to ask what is the best baseball decision? Is it in the best interests of the team to call him up now, all things being considered? We’ll know in a few days, I think. If he’s called up, then it’s probably the right decision because, frankly, I think AA has spent more time thinking about this than all of us combined.

    • I’m sorry but the world is not a luge track. The slippery slope argument is ridiculous. Playing out the stretch in 2011 doesn’t at all compare to potentially contending in 2012. An argument that Lawrie’s development is hindered by not moving up to the next level has merits. I’m suggesting that it doesn’t make enough of a difference to justify ignoring financial considerations.

  45. And Garold with the win.

  46. Parkes – here is why I think your wrong – http://goo.gl/Sr62i

  47. I’m all for smart management of assets, but there comes a point when you start to push your luck. This is a kid who said out of training camp that he wanted to make the Jays roster. If there was ever a prospect who would benefit (even if just in his own mind) from being at the major league level (even if its 150 – 200 AB) it would be Lawrie… even if it is just to pass the mental barrier that exists in a player’s own mind between MLB and AAA. Considering the Jays were days if not hours away from calling him up prior to his injury, it would be more than a little opportunistic on AA’s part to keep him down. That doesn’t seem like his style. You can say its just dollars and cents – but its about more than that. Especially with Lawrie.

    I love what the Jays have done since AA took control. I’m fully on board with their approach to stockpiling picks through free agency. I absolutely LOVE that the organization is spending money in the draft. Our system is STACKED. A couple more years of this and it will be a joke how much better our system is than the dinosaurs of MLB. I count myself as one who fully supports the organization’s direction. I think AA has already done a huge job making sure that the Jays are contenders – not just soon – but for a LONG time. That said – keeping Lawrie down in AAA for the rest of this season would be a mistake – even if it makes sense financially.

  48. @ Mats

    Couldn’t agree more. Another point to consider is that his defense was the primary concern when considering whether to bring him up earlier in the season. I don’t see the logic in discounting playing 40-50 games at the ML level so he comes into camp ready next year. Remember that this is a team that is supposed to compete next year.

    I’m also a bit confused by Parkes’ analysis of the Super-2 timing. How would waiting 1 week into next year avoid his Super 2? You say later that when Lawrie got injured (June 8 or so) was when the Super 2 was no longer in effect for this season. So which is it? It would be outrageous to hold him out of the majors for 2 months next season as well.

  49. This makes 0 sense. If he’s ready to be called up, then he should be in the majors. There’s no point in talking contract extension when he hasn’t even had an AB at the major league level. For all we know he might come up and play absolutely terrible. Why should we wait until next season to find out?

    And your ignoring the fact that (as Keith Law pointed out), the West division of the Pacific Coast League is basically a hitters division. Great hitters that stay there too long end up maxing out their ability to learn, due to the sheer number of extra base hit they accrue and they pretty much plateau if they’re held down there for too long.

  50. ” I’m suggesting that it doesn’t make enough of a difference to justify ignoring financial considerations.”

    You’re looking 6-7 years into the future. How about we see him play a few games before his worth financially can be discussed? Mike Trout, who’s considered the #1 prospect in baseball was called up and completely shit the bed. Now he’s back in AA. Lawrie could end up being in the exact same situation.

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