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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lorenzo Cain and A.J. Pollock Sign Atypical Contracts | FanGraphs Baseball

I would think at least one of these judgments will be wrong.

For Donaldson, the Toronto Blue Jays are paying for an expected increase due to his MVP season this season, but in the case of the other three players, the teams are paying more in case of an even further breakout for these players. The teams did not receive the typical discount given for two-year contracts, and the only way the team ends up ahead is with an MVP-like season. Given the caliber of these players and the salaries they’re receiving, the team is unlikely to end up behind with these contracts, but they are a departure from the deals that have been made over the past few years.


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Blue Jays agree to two-year deal with Donaldson

The Toronto Blue Jays avoided what would have been a senseless arbitration hearing with Josh Donaldson by reaching agreement on a two-year deal worth nearly $29 million with the reigning American League MVP, a source told Sportsnet on Monday night.

Obo Posted: February 09, 2016 at 01:47 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, contracts

Friday, February 05, 2016


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Baseball execs can’t lose sight of human element in decision making | FOX Sports

Rosenthal goes off the rails on this one. Making decisions purely on emotion is ridicules. Replace Bautista and the Blue Jays with Albert Pujols and the Cardinals. The emotional decision on Albert would have been to keep him. Does anyone think the Cardinals didn’t make a better decision to let him go? A fan’s emotional connection to a team and its players encourages them to dig into their pockets. That emotional connection doesn’t survive losing. Does anyone believe Mets fans would prefer Collins’ decision to keep Harvey in the game over him taking him out and winning the game?

The Royals, of course, rallied against Harvey and the Mets in the ninth to force extra innings, before winning the Series in the 12th inning. Collins accepted the blame immediately, both in his post-game interview with me on FOX and in his larger media session afterward. But in Verducci’s article, Tony La Russa says of Collins’ decision, “He showed guts and he showed ... humanity.”

That’s it. That’s the word, even as everyone in the game, it seems, is racing to be the smartest guy in the room. That’s the word executives need to remember, even in this age of spreadsheets and proprietary databases and going granular to the nth degree.

Roll your eyes if you’re sabermetrically inclined. Remind me that fans are paying to watch baseball in record numbers. Tell me that I’m living in 1970, and the game is never going back.

Fair enough, but I’ll remember what I heard Friday night in Toronto.

Humanity.

Baseball needs that, too.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2016 at 05:25 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jays must show commitment to free agents-to-be: Griffin | Toronto Star

Will the Blue Jays sign both Bautista or Encarnacion? I don’t see it.

When he was still in charge, Anthopoulos indicated he would be interested in extending key players like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He had an obsessive desire to win, as he showed in dealing 13 prospects last summer for a chance to win the 2015 World Series. Ownership hasn’t shown the same will.

Free agency will be a big issue. The eight pending free agents at the end of 2016 include Bautista, Encarnacion, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak, and pitchers R.A. Dickey, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil and Jesse Chavez. That’s an estimated $59 million in guaranteed salary that could disappear from the books. If the Jays wait until November before dealing with their free agents, it will already be too late.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2016 at 07:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Toronto Blue Jays would prefer to keep spring training in Dunedin but require new ‘state-of-the-art’ facility, team president says

Talks have dragged on for years in a bid to improve and expand the facilities, but to date have been fruitless.

“The plan would be this: to articulate what our needs are (and) to do everything humanly possible to work a deal out with Dunedin, because I think that’s still in our best interests,” Shapiro said. “I think if you look geographically in the state of Florida, that’s still the best place to be.”

Shapiro said he and Matthew Shuber, the Jays’ vice-president of business affairs and in-house legal counsel, have met with Dunedin officials in Florida. Meanwhile, the Jays are preparing a detailed outline of their requirements.

Presumably, Dunedin taxpayers would be expected to cover part of the costs, although Shapiro did not address that issue in his radio interview.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 12:01 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dunedin, economics, spring training, subsidies, taxpayers

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Nationals Acquire Ben Revere From Blue Jays For Drew Storen

The Nationals and Blue Jays have officially struck a deal that will send outfielder Ben Revere to the Washington and reliever Drew Storen to Toronto, as Jon Heyman first reported on Twitter. A player to be named later will also head to D.C., and the Nats will kick in cash sufficient to offset the differences in the players’ anticipated 2016 salaries, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.

Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone Posted: January 09, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: ben revere, blue jays, drew storen, nationals

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Reuniting Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and David Price…. with the Red Sox? - Bluebird Banter

I agree. Not gonna happen.

vacation from baseball was rudely interrupted by a tweet pointing to a post by Ian over at The Blue Jay Hunter, which, in turn, points to Jerry Crasnick’s “MLB Most Interesting People in 2016” column at ESPN that had this juicy nugget buried in the part where he named Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion the 10th and 11th most interesting persons in Major League Baseball (emphasis mine):
“But much of the attention in Toronto will focus on Bautista and Encarnacion, who combined for 79 homers and 225 RBIs and helped scare the daylights out of visiting pitchers at Rogers Centre in 2015. Both sluggers are eligible for free agency in November, and their hazy futures will be an inevitable piece of the narrative this summer in Toronto. The buzz is already building that one of the two will eventually land in Boston as Ortiz’s DH heir at Fenway.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin encarnacion, jose bautista, red sox

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro more concerned with winning than being well-liked: Post Sports’ People of 2015

Everything you might have wanted to know about Mark Shapiro.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark shapiro

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Jays’ Joe Sheehan is living life by the numbers | Toronto Star

He won’t be on the comedy circuit any time soon.

Asked to describe The BEEST to a layman, Sheehan betrays a sense of humour for the first time in the half-hour interview.

“It’s approaching self-awareness,” he deadpans, completely straight faced. “It might launch the nukes next year, judgment day.”

After letting his joke sink in, Sheehan explains that the database functions as a one-stop shop for all of the organization’s analytical tools, consolidating scouting and health reports with statistical projections and contract details. “It lets you just go to one place and find everything you want to know about a guy,” he says. “It reduces the information gathering part and let’s you focus on the evaluative part.”

“It will never replace the human element.” Is there any sane person pushing to replace the human element? Despite what some might believe, humans make judgement calls in designing and generating analytics. Ultimately scouting and analytics are just different types of information which *humans* use to make decisions.The human element, therefore, is not going anywhere.

So, if people would just accept the TPS reports for what they are, that would be great.

While analytics are an important evaluative tool, Shapiro said earlier this week, it will never replace the human element.

“The beauty of baseball and the beauty of sport is that it’s played by human beings and people that come with frailties and imperfections and ultimately are immeasurable,” he said. “… We will never dehumanize a decision. Analytics lead us to make better decisions — they objectively challenge a gut that can you lead to an emotional or momentum-based decision — and they contribute to really good decisions. But analytics don’t produce decisions; they contribute to good decisions.”
What he loves most about his job, he says, is the competition, even though he spends most of his time crunching numbers in an office.

“The players are playing the game and doing the majority of it, but whatever little piece we can do, whether it’s trying to add somebody or make a trade, that’s the best part. That’s the reason I do it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, sabermetrics

Friday, December 18, 2015

Turf wars heating up with Blue Jays: Griffin | Toronto Star

Distressingly? Really?

Distressingly, under the Blue Jays’ new regime, grass has become a four-letter word.
In his final briefing with reporters prior to the New Year, Jays president Mark Shapiro strongly suggested he did not view the installation of a natural surface at the Rogers Centre as a priority, and that free agents don’t even mention the unique (in a bad way) artificial surface as a deterrent from signing.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2015 at 06:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Friday, December 04, 2015

Blue Jays name Ross Atkins as team’s new general manager - Sportsnet.ca

Atkins, a 42-year-old from Greensboro, N.C., has a long resume in player development, a strong breeding ground for general managers because countless decisions and evaluations must be made on players, coaches and staff. He also has experience in Latin America, an area the Blue Jays plan to continue prioritizing despite international director Ismael Cruz’s departure for the Dodgers.

A right-handed pitcher who spent five seasons in the Indians system before topping out at double-A, he’d been expected to join the Blue Jays in some capacity under Shapiro, as the two became close in Cleveland.

Atkins served as vice-president of player personnel in 2015, helping negotiate big-league deals, working on arbitration cases, dealing with roster-management issues and participating in off-season planning. Prior to that, he worked in the club’s player development department as a director from 2007-10 and vice-president from 2011-14.

Players developed under his watch include Cody Allen, Lonnie Chisenhall, Kyle Crockett, Tyler Holt, T.J. House, Jason Kipnis, Roberto Perez, Jose Ramirez and Danny Salazar.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2015 at 07:43 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, ross atkins

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Did losing Anthopoulos cost Jays shot at re-signing Price, too?

The Price was wrong for Toronto.

Would the Toronto Blue Jays have signed David Price if Alex Anthopoulos were still making the team’s baseball decisions?

We can’t say it’s terribly likely, because it’s difficult to imagine the Jays matching Boston’s winning bid of $217 million over seven years.

But this much is known: Toronto would have offered Price a contract.

Sources say Anthopoulos began laying the groundwork to do so in August, before Mark Shapiro was named the team’s new president and CEO. Price, sources say, had genuine interest in returning to Toronto.

Ultimately, Anthopoulos rejected a five-year offer to remain the team’s general manager once it became clear he would no longer have the decision-making authority he enjoyed under former club president Paul Beeston.

Subsequently, Shapiro opted not to offer Price a contract. Shapiro determined that the team’s rotation dollars should be distributed among multiple starters (Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ and Jesse Chavez) rather than a single ace. Price’s average annual value of $31 million is roughly equivalent to what Estrada, Happ and Chavez will earn in 2016.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2015 at 08:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, david price, mark shapiro

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blue Jays acquire Jesse Chavez from Athletics

The Blue Jays have acquired right-hander Jesse Chavez from the Athletics in a deal that will send Liam Hendriks to Oakland, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The deal is a one-for-one swap.

Chavez, 32, has drawn significant trade interest from many teams this offseason and was made expendable by Oakland’s recent signing of left-hander Rich Hill. Toronto has been known to be looking to add starting help this winter, and will add Chavez just a week after re-signing Marco Estrada to a 2-year deal.

Chavez is a veteran of eight major-league seasons, posting a career 4.55 ERA in 253 appearances (49 starts) with the Pirates (2008-09), Braves (2010), Royals (2011-12), Blue Jays (2012) and Athletics (2012-15). He has the ability to work as both a starter and reliever, giving Toronto another rotation option alongside Estrada, Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison and R.A. Dickey. Chavez is only under control for one more season, and will hit free agency next winter.

Hendriks, 26, posted a solid 2.92 ERA out of the bullpen for Toronto last season and will provide relief depth for the Athletics. The Australian right-hander is under team control for four seasons, and is thought to be a rotation candidate as well as a solid reliever.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2015 at 10:59 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, jesse chavez, liam hendriks

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jays’ Travis sidelined 4-5 months after left shoulder surgery

The headline covers the salient details. With Pennington gone to California, looks like Ryan Goins is the starter at second. Whither Aaron Hill?

mathesond Posted: November 18, 2015 at 04:45 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, devon travis, injury

Monday, November 09, 2015

Bautista: Are You Flipping Kidding Me?

Jose Bautista writing about his game 5 home run and subsequent bat flip; as well as the culture clash and how the game is celebrated.

mathesond Posted: November 09, 2015 at 12:35 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flip, blue jays, jose bautista, players' tribune

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Simmons Says: Anthopoulos left Blue Jays’ bank account in great shape | SIMMONS

There were 48 million reasons to keep Alex Anthopoulos, all of them dollars, and by April that number could be closer to $70 million.

That’s how much the Blue Jays took in with ticket and merchandise sales between August and late October — all of that above what was budgeted for. And that’s not counting upcoming Christmas sales and new ticket buyers, all of which will certainly up those numbers for the coming season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Rogers: Anthopoulos’s job would have been the same under Shapiro - Sportsnet.ca

Did Anthopoulos jump the gun?

Asked if Anthopoulos, named Sporting News Executive of the Year on Thursday in a vote of his peers, would have had full autonomy and final say on baseball decisions, Rogers quipped: “If you meet a person that in their life has full autonomy I’d love to meet them, I’m not sure that exists.”

Then, turning serious, he replied: “There are two things there. One is the premise that Paul Beeston was some sort of shrinking violet, that he wasn’t fully engaged, is for people that know Paul, quite a silly notion. And I think Mark would have been engaged differently and may have had a different approach or focused on slightly different things, like we all do with different people we work with. But I’d say both people are fully engaged presidents of the Jays, so I think that notion is false. Secondly, and the main thing is, Mark Shapiro hasn’t started yet, Mark starts on Monday, so we tried to ease (Anthopoulos’s) mind by, beyond having a contract length for a long period, also giving him an offer that if he wasn’t satisfied within one year, he could exit gracefully and be released from his contract.

“When you speculate about the future and what will happen it’s impossible, I think you’ve got to work with a person for somewhere between many weeks and many months, go through cycles and go through business events, trades, to see how people work and complement each other. Our notion was let’s try it for a year and see if that would have worked.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 07:39 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Inside Baseball: Personality clash led to Anthopoulos’ gutsy call; more notes - CBSSports.com

But while everyone was surprised anyone would have the guts to turn down a guaranteed $10 million or more when all the other GM jobs are filled and nothing else comparable is available, some did wonder whether this was an odd pairing that ever made sense. Shapiro is highly structured and “all about process,” according to former co-workers, while Anthopoulos is seen as a frenetic mile-a-minute thinker and mover who can seem all over the map at times.

Anthopoulos is also all about bold moves, and this is just another one of them. While he may seem scattershot, he often ends up in the right place. This may be for the best for two very different people.

Anthopoulos only said it wasn’t the right “fit,” leaving much to the imagination. But the reality is, he didn’t feel he’d be able to work comfortably with Shapiro, according to people familiar with the situation.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2015 at 11:06 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, notes

Friday, October 30, 2015

Blue Jays ownership responsible for this ridiculous ending: Arthur | Toronto Star

Ed didn’t mention the terms, though. Anthopoulos wasn’t going to accept being anything less than the general manager of this team. Would you? He built a top-four team in baseball, so of course that’s how he felt. That’s why he left.

Shapiro, meanwhile, wanted control. Wouldn’t you? The consensus in baseball was that Shapiro had been pushed upstairs from the GM job in Cleveland after 65- and 69-win seasons. Running the business operations of the Cleveland Indians — 29th, 29th, 28th, 29th, 24th and 30th in attendance the past six years — doesn’t seem like the job of a lifetime. Shortly after he was hired by the Jays, word began filtering through baseball that Shapiro was telling people he couldn’t wait to get back into player personnel. You can be sure Rogers gave him that power.

And that’s where it broke. In a face-to-face meeting with the senior members of the Jays’ front office, Shapiro said he strongly disagreed with some of the deadline choices that sent prospects out. The initial contract offer to Anthopoulos, according to an official who was briefed on the talks, was a two-year deal, with the second year an option.

It was an insult. By the time Rogers tried to give Anthopoulos a five-year contract, it was already too late.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2015 at 06:15 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blue Jays’ Troy Tulowitzki never quite felt at home in Toronto this season after shocking trade left him feeling betrayed

Troy Tulowitzki has never felt at home as a Blue Jay.
....
Blue Jays’ season ends with Game 6 heartbreaker in Kansas City

Home, for a decade, was in Colorado. Tulowitzki felt secure there, immersed in the Denver community. In 2011, shortly after the Rockies gave him a 10-year contract extension, he bought a bigger house there.

“Knowing this is where I am going to be, possibly the rest of my career, I was able to buy a home with more space,” Tulowitzki told the Denver Post early in 2011. “I am looking forward to being an even bigger part of the community.”

That all changed on July 28 of this year when, with no warning, he was traded to Toronto, probably the last place on Earth he expected to land. He did his best to deal with the shock. He gave Jays fans some memorable moments. But from then until now, he has never felt grounded.

 

 

EvilBoWeevil Posted: October 25, 2015 at 12:06 PM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, rockies, troy tulowitzki, whining, wtf

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Royals fan nearly interferes with Mike Moustakas home run in ALCS Game 6

The catch guaranteed a run, nearly incited an international incident and made the bearded Humpreys — a 19-year-old community college student who works a part-time job at a nearby Gasmart — into a Kansas City cult hero — a Midwestern Jeffery Maier, with a little more facial hair.

“I wasn’t going to bring it,” Wilson would say, peering down at his Wilson glove.

Zach Posted: October 24, 2015 at 01:44 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jeffrey maier, replay, royals

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kansas City and Toronto Libraries Exchange Literary Insults on Twitter

Team pride is running so high in both cities that even the local librarians are getting in on the trash talk. The Kansas City public library instigated the feud following their Tuesday night win by tweeting an image of some snarky book spine poetry. As you can see from the exchange below, things got pretty heated from there—or at least as heated as a battle between Midwestern and Canadian librarians can get.

Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 23, 2015 at 03:32 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Big Bad Bautista

Reimagining this “disrespectful” and “arrogant” Bautista caricature as firmly on the side of good is an excellent exercise. He’s confident, loyal, defends and supports his teammates, and patently refuses to let anyone speak for him.

mathesond Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

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