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Monday, November 19, 2012

Van Riper: GM Anthopoulos Has Blue Jays Back In The Game - Cheaply

Through the Blue Jay past, darkly.

Anthopoulos, an economics major in college whose baseball background began in scouting for the Montreal Expos, figures he’s not competing for the big ticket items. One of his first orders of business after taking over for Ricciardi three years ago was trading pitcher Roy Halladay to Philadelphia rather than pay him a huge free agent contract. The money ball method favored by Ricciardi wasn’t working either. So Anthopoulos has targeted the risky talent, guys that can play but still manage to scare others off for one reason or another.

Anthopoulos had already begun implementing the plan in 2011, when he pocketed Colby Rasmus in a trade with the Cardinals. St. Louis had drafted Rasmus in the first round in 2005 but ultimately decided that his attitude was undermining his talent, which they loved.  Rasmus didn’t hit much this season, but that doesn’t mean the Jays won’t eventually get a dose of lightning in a bottle.

He may also hit .223 again, as he did in 2012. At the same time, Cabrera may flop, Johnson may never fully recover and Reyes might get picked off base or thrown out at third often enough to keep his underachieving career streak going. Then again, they might all have big years. In the topsy-turvy AL East – the decline of the Red Sox, the (likely) imminent decline of the Yankees, the rise of the Orioles – things are up for grabs. Anthopoulos, with some added cable money to play with, had to take a shot.

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2012 at 09:27 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 19, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4305810)
So Anthopoulos has targeted the risky talent, guys that can play but still manage to scare others off for one reason or another


You mean, undervalued talent? Yeah, that has nothing to do with Moneyball.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4305814)
Moneyball - Signing BJ Ryan, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios to huge contracts
   3. Callum Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4305828)
That was JP Ricciardi's mandate when he was hired: be like Billy Beane. I think that the author is referring to how JP slashed payroll from ~ $75 million in 2002 to $50 million annually in 2003 while fielding a relatively competitive ballclub. Then the Moneyball strategy went out the window when the Canadian dollar became stronger.
   4. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4305842)
This Jays team is definitely a high risk, high reward ball club. I can see them winning 100 games if everything clicks (I don't mean career years from everyone, just reasonable upside performances) or only winning 77 games if reasonably conceivable injuries happen.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4305844)
Jose Reyes has poor fundamentals?

What is the Jays budget like now? I'm eyeballing and it looks like they have $100 mill committed for next year as is. Is that about it? The crazy thing is that this doesn't really seem to hamstring them down the line - they have about $70 mill committed for next year, with Rasmus and Bonifacio being the only significant arb cases.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4305846)
or only winning 77 games if reasonably conceivable injuries happen.

In case you haven't noticed, when the Jays are involved, they don't stop at reasonably conceivable injuries.
   7. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4305863)
In case you haven't noticed, when the Jays are involved, they don't stop at reasonably conceivable injuries.


Which is why we could be talking about 68 wins in that scenario....
   8. John Northey Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4305960)
The Jays budget is whatever their owner (Rogers) decides it is. Toronto has an exclusive TV market of over 30 million people - far more than any other team. The city of Toronto (5-6) is bigger than Detroit (4-5 million) and far more wealthy, bigger than San Francisco (3-4 million) and Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth (4-7 million) as well yet each of those has a $125+ million budget without anything like Toronto's potential for TV.

The Jays should have a $130-$150 million budget based on what other teams do and what the population base is. Mix in history (used to get 4 million per season) and desperate fans (Leafs 7+ years since playoffs, Raptors 4+ despite playing in leagues where over 1/2 the teams make it) and you have a place that easily should sustain a high payroll.

If you go by just plain old inflation and the $50 million the Jays spent in 1993 (which the team said was the max it could sustain with 100% sell outs and 2 WS wins) you get $77 million today, but adjust it to 'baseball inflation' of 5% or 10% and you get $133 million and $336 million. However, don't forget the Canadian dollar in 1993 was around 89 cents US vs being on par today thus adding 12% to the final total, making the 3 figures $86, $149, and $377.

Obviously no one argues the Jays (or any team) should have a $377 million payroll. However $149 does sound reasonable as a target for once the Jays pack that park, while $86 is the ballpark where they were before this offseason.
   9. jwb Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4305981)
Cots has the Blue Jays with 15 players under contract for $93.8M, but he has the payment from the Marlins at $8M. Everything I have read says it is $4M.

The Blue Jays also have a large arbitration class (estimates from Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors): Cory Wade ($700K), Bobby Wilson ($600K), Colby Rasmus ($4.5M), J.A. Happ ($3.8M), and Emilio Bonifacio ($2.5M), for a total of $12.1M. Wilson is really the only non-tender candidate and he doesn't move the pile much.

This takes them up to 20 players, add five pre-arb players at $500K, and they're at $112M.
   10. John Northey Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4306022)
So at $112 they still have space to add Greinke or trade for Felix Hernandez :)

Hey, us Jay fans can dream right?
   11. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4306299)
Cots has the Blue Jays with 15 players under contract for $93.8M, but he has the payment from the Marlins at $8M. Everything I have read says it is $4M.


They're surely getting this from Heyman, who Tweeted last week, he was hearing the Marlins were sending $8M not $4.

Gregor Chisholm who covers the Blue Jays for MLB.com has the 2013 payroll at approximately $122,200,000. He manages his own site where this is provided.

Payroll commitments:

2013

J.P. Arencibia — (**500,000)
Edwin Encarnacion – 8,000,000
Emilio Bonifacio – (*2,500,000)
Jose Reyes — 10,000,000
Brett Lawrie – (**500,000)
Melky Cabrera – 8,000,000
Colby Rasmus – (*4,500,000)
Jose Bautista – 14,000,000
Adam Lind – 5,000,000

John Buck – 6,000,000
Maicer Izturis – 3,000,000
Rajai Davis – 2,500,000
Mike McCoy – (**500,000)

Josh Johnson – 13,750,000
Mark Buehrle – 11,000,000
Brandon Morrow – 8,000,000
Ricky Romero – 7,500,000
J.A. Happ – (*3,800,000)

Casey Janssen – 3,900,000
Sergio Santos – 2,750,000
Darren Oliver — 3,000,000
Steve Delabar – (**500,000)
Brad Lincoln – (**500,000)
Esmil Rogers – (**500,000)
Brett Cecil – (**500,000)
Dustin McGowan — $1,500,000

Approximate 2013 Total – 122,200,000

Extras – Potential deals for Bobby Wilson, and Corey Wade. Also contracts for players on the 40-man roster such as Luis Perez, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek. Miami reportedly is sending $4-million to the Blue Jays as part of their deal so some savings will be found here as well.

*Arbitration eligible. Salary projection taken from MLBTradeRumors
**Contract can be renewed by the club as player is not yet eligible for arbitration. This is a very rough estimate for the salary.
   12. Snowboy Posted: November 19, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4306334)
Miami reportedly is sending $4-million to the Blue Jays as part of their deal so some savings will be found here as well.


I've not seen anyone mention it, but it seems to me this $4M is for Mark Buehrle, not just some random cash that Anthopolous forced out of the Marlins that he can now turn around and use to sign Melky Cabrera or whomever.

According to Cots, when Buehrle signed with the Marlins he agreed to a well under-market salary of only $6M for 2012. But he was also given a $4M signing bonus which he agreed to defer without interest. My guess (just a guess) is that Buehrle has still not been paid this signing bonus, so Anthopolous asked for the money in the trade.
   13. jwb Posted: November 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4306355)
. . . and Toronto, comparing Gregor Chisholm's list to Jeff Euston's/Cot's list, I find three differences:

1. Cot's doesn't have Melky Cabrera.
2. Chisholm doesn't deduct the cash from the Marlins.
3. Cot's distributes the amount of a signing bonus over the guaranteed portion of a player's contract. MLB does this for luxury tax purposes, but I've read far too many FASB publications to agree with this.

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