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Blue Jays/MLB thread 2009

crazedcanuck

TRIBE Member
Offseason review

Editor’s note: Yahoo! Sports will examine the offseason of every MLB team before spring training begins in mid-February. Our series continues with the Toronto Blue Jays.

2008 record: 86-76

Finish: Fourth place in the American League East, 11 games behind Tampa Bay

2008 opening-day payroll: $97.97 million

2009 estimated opening-day payroll: $85 million to $88 million

OFFSEASON ACTION

Whatever hopes the Blue Jays had of competing in 2009 evaporated when right-hander A.J. Burnett elected to sign with the Yankees. With promising right-hander Shaun Marcum out for the season following Tommy John surgery and another young righty, Dustin McGowan, out until at least May with a frayed labrum, general manager J.P. Ricciardi was faced with rebuilding his rotation behind ace Roy Halladay, who will become a free agent after the 2010 season.

The Canadian dollar has taken a big hit, the team’s owner, Ted Rogers, died of congestive heart failure in early December, and his company, Rogers Communications, instructed interim club president Paul Beeston that the Blue Jays would not be allowed to reallocate the $12 million they saved on Burnett.

So Ricciardi took a flier on a former Burnett teammate, starter Matt Clement, who will be reunited with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg but hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 2006 and must demonstrate he is fully recovered from reconstructive shoulder surgery. Ricciardi also added a catcher, Michael Barrett, to share playing time with Rod Barajas until the arrival of power-hitting prospect J.P. Arencibia, who is probably a year away.

Ricciardi showed interest in free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, but that was more window-shopping than anything. While every other team in the division reloaded, Ricciardi has been forced to stand idly by, an uncomfortable position for a GM who has been in charge for seven years and has one second-place finish to show for it. The Jays replaced manager John Gibbons in June and went 51-37 under Cito Gaston thereafter. Yet Gaston’s return holds little promise that the Jays will recapture the glory of his first go-round as Toronto manager, when the team won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

REALITY CHECK

No team was better at run prevention in 2008 than the Blue Jays. They held opponents to an average of 3.77 runs a game, the lowest in the majors, their run differential of 0.64 ranked fourth, and they were third in defensive efficiency.

Photo
Wells

Without Burnett and Marcum, though, there seems little chance Toronto can duplicate that performance, with the onus now on young pitchers David Purcey, Brett Cecil, Brad Mills and Ricky Romero to grow up in a hurry. The bullpen, with four lefties – B.J. Ryan (32 saves after coming back from Tommy John), Jesse Carlson, Scott Downs and Brian Tallet – was terrific, but middle relief is perhaps the game’s most unpredictable variable.

The offense should be better than the one that averaged just 4.41 runs a game, last in the division. Outfielder Vernon Wells missed 52 games with a fractured wrist and strained hamstring, the second straight season in which injuries have reinforced the question of whether he’ll ever be the superstar the Blue Jays envisioned when they gave him a seven-year, $126 million extension.

Right fielder Alex Rios finished strong after hitting just four home runs before the All-Star break, and second baseman Aaron Hill, whom Ricciardi calls “our [Dustin] Pedroia,” should be recovered from a serious concussion that caused him to miss most of the ’08 season. Third baseman Scott Rolen’s shoulder may never be right again, but the Blue Jays are excited about the addition of left fielder Travis Snider, who upon his debut in September at age 20 was the American League’s youngest player. Snider, the 14th player taken overall in the 2006 draft, hit .301 with a couple of home runs in 24 games during his call-up, and will come to camp this spring contending for a job.

In another division the Blue Jays might have made the playoffs last season. In this one, with an emasculated rotation and no loonies to spend, they are built to compete in 2010.
 

jazzsax

TRIBE Member
even if the jays stink it up this year, they are still the jays and still the team i have cheered for every year since i discovered them back in the early 80's at the age of 6. GO TEE BALL!

On the positive side, less fans in the seats means an easier time to sneak to better seats. :)

Crappy that opening day is on a tuesday this year, last years slobberknocker on a friday was awesome! (Steam Whistle Brewery followed by impromptu tailgate in the park with 100+ people carting in 24's of beer steps away)... even the BoSox fans got into it!
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
VV i agree with everything you've said with the exception of comparing Abreau to Thomas, Abreau would bring alot more to the table than FT did. I don't think he'd take a DH role as he'll be only 35 this year and his numbers haven't seen a dip. he'd look really good at the top of the order though.

As for Sheets I've always liked him but everyone knows the risk and he is the poster boy for IR players but combined those two would put you over 20 mil easy, bringing payroll over 100mil which will not happen
Yeah on second read I don't think I expressed the Thomas thing quite right. What I meant was that there would be some similarities in that both have put up great numbers in the past only Bobby had yet to experience the dropoff that Hurt did. So we're on the same page there.

As for signing both of them, agreed. I was referring to only one as two would be a no-go.

Having read CC's article, it reminded me how nice it must be to support a team like Chelsea, or Manchester City, or the Yankees or Dallas Mavericks, or any other team whose wealthy owners actually want to spend their money to try and win. As opposed to our billionaire owners (richer than Cuban and Steinbrenner and even likely Abramovich) who don't. What's $12M to Rogers? It probably costs them that much to send out the weekly junk mailings that I throw out every few days.
 

Zorro

TRIBE Member
Garland at 8.5 seems too expensive to me. Although, I'm sure compared to other #3 pitchers, he's probably considered a bargain.
Expensive? Really?
Well he did sign for 6.25 million but he has averaged 12 wins and 190 innings over the last 9 years not bad.

He does have a low K rate yet high ground ball contact rate which would have suited the jays nicely.

The one thing is I think most FA still out there are outfield positions, which aren't exactly positions we need filled (I'm hoping for a big year from Rios behind Tenace and Gaston)

Sheets is interesting and have always been a fan my guess is his agent is playing the 3 teams most interested against each other and nobody s biting.

Anyhow I think it's a youth movement this year hoping to find the next president and let him decide how this team goes in the future. I mean why throw 12 million away when you figure it's not going to make a difference this year.

p.s I'm still not sold on the yankees yet either. And wouldn't be surprised if there is actually a fall off in the east this year.
 

Zorro

TRIBE Member
Think Boston will see a recline in offense as I have been waiting a couple of years for Big Pappi to Fall of the Map Pedrioa mvp really?

Now I know Texieria at this point is younger and a better hitter then Giambi but there RBI's and HR were not that much off from each other if I'm not mistaken.

Mussina won 20 games last year replaced by C.C., who I will not be surprised if he gets hurt look at those innings and how many time did he pitch on 3 days rest? not good for a pitcher the next season (see McGowan and Marcum last year) A.J. I guess is a wait and see if he really can handle pitching in the Big Apple. even still can he duplicate 18 wins? more likely 14 which is what they got from Pettite. Speaking of is declining fast and is good for maybe 10 wins? anyhow just adding Texeria doesn't really help that offense drastically still to many holes.

I like Tampa but are they really going to be as good as last year? For me it's a wait and see and teams more often then not have a quick rise and then fall back to the pack. They got pretty good years from 4 young pitchers at once (how often does that happen?) and figure that will carry over. Will see. They had great Chemistry which carried them through out the season and post season.

I don't know guess I'm looking at the glass half empty but I could see a 4-6 game slide in the east this year. Depending on how bad the Jays and Orioles really are it could be a 92-93 win division.

Tell you what though I like the way the central is shaping up. Anybody else agree with me that this is where the Jays really belong? I remember going to Cleveland and Detriot all the time as a kid and watching those games. What a good Rivalry Tigers-Jays where and how much fun it would be again with the Tigers AND Indians.
Anyhow should be a good battle in the Central.

I don't know what to think of the west.
 
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Zorro

TRIBE Member
Throughout January and February, we're reviewing offseason MLB transactions that have fantasy implications, and we're going team-by-team. This isn't quite like Hot Stove Daily. The focus here is limited. We're mostly here to discuss ownable fantasy players who've found new employers, and in the case of the Blue Jays below, well … we'll make something up to write about.


Be honest, if we skipped the Toronto HSH, would you have noticed? This could be the shortest Helper in history, friends, let's establish that up front. There's not a lot of news coming from Blue Jay Way (they're the only AL club that didn't sign a major-league free agent), and even though this club won 86 games last year there's not much to be optimistic about. Meet us in the YYZ and let's have a look at the stories that shape the franchise.

A.J. Burnett signs with the Yankees

Burnett has a reputation of being a contract-year mirage guy, so you can't blame the Jays for not bankrupting the franchise to keep the enigmatic righty (New York gave him five years and $82.5 million). One can raise the question of why Toronto didn't try to move Burnett for a package last summer (teams were definitely interested), but the Jays will take their compensation picks and move on. And now Doc Halladay looks awfully lonely in the Toronto rotation, no Cassidy to his Sundance.

Aaron Hill says he's overcoming his post-concussion problems

Here's a sneaky name to consider in the late rounds; Hill is capable of being a $15-17 infielder if his body cooperates in 2009. Don't forget the tasty .291-87-17-78 line he posted back in 2007, and keep in mind he's entering his magical "27 year." I bet Hill goes undrafted in a bunch of mixed leagues and that's a mistake. His current ADP sits at a salivating 324; look for that number to come crashing down if Hill hits the ground running in March.

Jose Bautista signs a one-year contract

When Scott Rolen is your starting third baseman, you better have a reasonable Plan B, and Bautista at least qualifies as that. He'll probably steal 300 at-bats somewhere along the way, hit 10-12 homers, hit under .250, and never be owned by anyone in your mixed league. Maybe you bid a few bucks in an AL-only format and maybe you don't; your feelings on batting-average liability come into play there.

Michael Barrett signs a minor-league contract

As good friend Jeff Erickson would say, please forward your fan mail accordingly. Barrett wore out his welcome in Chicago and San Diego the last couple of years and his offensive ability apparently flew the coop after the Carlos Zambrano fight, but you never know, maybe Barrett will figure something out this spring and push Rod Barajas for playing time (figuratively, not literally). Make Barrett force his way into your plans.

Matt Clement signs a minor-league contract

It's been a while for this cat – a labrum problem has kept him out of the majors since the middle of 2006. The Cardinals weren't impressed with Clement's limited work in the minors last year and made no effort to keep him, a telling sign. This might be our last Clement note of the season, so make the most of it.

Blue Jays don't upgrade their shortstop position

They had interest in Rafael Furcal but it didn't stick. Jason Bartlett's name floated around, some other rumors came and went. I suppose a deal between now and April is always possible, but for the moment John MacDonald sits above the depth chart, the classic good-glove, no-hit shortstop (.210/.255/.269). Nothing to see here, keep moving.

Other Toronto Tales: How soon can Dustin McGowan make it back? The best-case scenario looks like May, but I'd be surprised if that comes to pass. … Is Travis Snider here for good? The Jays were certainly impressed with his 24-game debut at the end of last year but they also know he's about to turn 21 and coming off a three-jump season; he's not guaranteed to break camp with the team, albeit fantasy players are already getting excited about the kid's potential. … Am I being too dim about the Jays for 2009? I looked high and low for a posted over/under on the Jays and I couldn't find anything yet; I'll be shocked if anyone expects them to win 86 games again. Your intelligent and respectful disagreement is, as always, welcome in the comments.
...
 

Colm

TRIBE Member
Tell you what though I like the way the central is shaping up. Anybody else agree with me that this is where the Jays really belong? I remember going to Cleveland and Detriot all the time as a kid and watching those games. What a good Rivalry Tigers-Jays where and how much fun it would be again with the Tigers AND Indians.
Every Jays game I ever saw featured the Tigers, Indians or Twins. We'd always beat the Tigers and the Indians, but lose badly to the Twins. I always thought it was the Kirby Puckett factor.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
Yeah on second read I don't think I expressed the Thomas thing quite right. What I meant was that there would be some similarities in that both have put up great numbers in the past only Bobby had yet to experience the dropoff that Hurt did. So we're on the same page there.

As for signing both of them, agreed. I was referring to only one as two would be a no-go.

Having read CC's article, it reminded me how nice it must be to support a team like Chelsea, or Manchester City, or the Yankees or Dallas Mavericks, or any other team whose wealthy owners actually want to spend their money to try and win. As opposed to our billionaire owners (richer than Cuban and Steinbrenner and even likely Abramovich) who don't. What's $12M to Rogers? It probably costs them that much to send out the weekly junk mailings that I throw out every few days.

word I whole heartedly agree, to bad we don't have owners that want to win
 
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dabeats

TRIBE Member
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays completed a trade with the Padres on Tuesday, acquiring right-hander Matt Bush from San Diego in exchange for a player to be be named later or cash considerations.

Bush, who was the first overall selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was designated for assignment by the Padres on Friday in order to vacate a spot on San Diego's roster for veteran Cliff Floyd. The 23-year-old Bush was originally drafted out of high school as a shortstop, but he moved to the mound during the '07 season.

Bush hasn't advanced above Class A in his Minor League career, and he didn't pitch in 2008 after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his throwing elbow. Two seasons ago, Bush went 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings in seven games before injuring his arm.

In order to clear room on the roster for Bush, the Blue Jays released right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, who was claimed off waivers from the Padres in October.



seems odd that they didn`t say who the jays traded to san diego. is that a regular occurence?
 
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*SiLver*RoBoT*

TRIBE Member
Yes, it happens all the time - all it means is that there's different factors that come into play. Cash considerations is usually financial compensation.

The player to be named later can be dependent on how well Bush performs.

*over*and*out*

*SiLver*RoBoT*
 

Zorro

TRIBE Member
The only outfielder I would sign if I'm the Jays is Manny. other then that I think our outfield is fine.

Like the Millar signing, will add some life to the clubhouse and dugout.
 
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dabeats

TRIBE Member
Wells pulls hammy.

The Blue Jays will be without Vernon Wells for most of their spring training games after the star outfielder strained his left hamstring on Monday. He is expected to miss a month of action. Wells had an MRI exam on the injury to assess further damage.

"Right now, preliminarily, I'd say he's going to miss four weeks," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told MLB.com on Monday.

Wells spent time on the disabled list for an injury to the same hamstring last July. He also suffered a fractured wrist in May, and missed 52 games overall between the two injuries.

He hit .300 in 2008 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs. The 30-year old is entering the second season of a seven-year, $126 million dollar contract extension.



here we f-ing go! i think it`s going to be another long season. trade him i say. i mean i love the guy but he has sundin syndrome as in when he`s out they play better.
 

SolChild

TRIBE Promoter
I really hope this kid Travis Snider keeps hitting the way he does.
Would be great to have a lefty power hitter.
 
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SolChild

TRIBE Promoter
I think we NEED these guys to have breakout years...
Would be nice if some of the young arms come around too...especially Ricky Romero....the jays have big tings planned for him, just hope he can step it up this year...
 

*SiLver*RoBoT*

TRIBE Member
I'd like to see Snider play 1 more year of AA or AAA ball. However looking at his minor league numbers, I guess one could say he'll turn into a Adam Dunn or Ryan Howard type hitter - all power with an average below .260.

*over*and*out*

*SiLver*RoBoT*
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
I'd like to see Snider play 1 more year of AA or AAA ball. However looking at his minor league numbers, I guess one could say he'll turn into a Adam Dunn or Ryan Howard type hitter - all power with an average below .260.

*over*and*out*

*SiLver*RoBoT*
agreed but lind should hit for avg
 

SolChild

TRIBE Promoter
watched the game between the Jays' "b" squad vs. Team Canada....pretty good game....Team Canada looks decent....they beat the Jays 6-4.
 
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