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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Jays - Signed Clayton

Toronto Blue Jays - Signed SS Royce Clayton to a 1-year contract worth $1.5 million.

Well, the Blue Jays had a hole and went out and filled it.  Too bad they filled it with Royce Clayton, which is about as effective as fixing a hole in your drywall with mashed potatoes.  Blue Jay fans better hope that the good side of Ricciardi’s brain isn’t currently writing for ESPN.  Clayton can’t hit, can’t field, and expresses dismay when he doesn’t get playing time, so he’s not even worth league minimum.  I don’t think Clayton’s even as good an overall shortstop as Russ Adams, and that’s not much of a compliment.

2007 ZiPS Projection - Royce Clayton
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
Projection   499 56 131 29 3   3 43 37 108   9 .263 .315 .351
Opt. (15%)  521 70 146 36 4   4 55 40 99 14 .280 .337 .388
Pes. (15%)  276 27   65 14 1   0 17 15 69   4 .236 .280 .293




Dan Szymborski Posted: December 03, 2006 at 04:18 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. MSI Posted: December 03, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2250708)
Yes, but what do you expect John McDonald to hit? Definitely worse than that! Consider, the Blue Jays had 35 errors in the shortstop position last year. In the middle infield, for 550 at bats, they threw out the likes of John Mcdonald, Edgardo Alfonzo, and a basement-version of Russ Adams. You gotta figure the consistency of his play will be better than that, and the plus is Aaron Hill is gold glove callibre at 2b...and he gets to remain there. Now, I don't see why McDonald is on the team too, that's just redundant.

BTW, John McDonald has a .579 OPS in 260 atbats, Edgardo Alfonzo had a .468 OPS in 37 atbats, and Russ Adams had a .600 OPS in 250 atbats. I guess the difference is, Clayton will not make 35 errors, will hit better than that, and steal 15 bases maybe?
   2. MSI Posted: December 03, 2006 at 04:56 PM (#2250709)
BTW, I forget 22 atbats of 2 hit ball from Luis Figeroa and Ryan Roberts.
   3. MSI Posted: December 03, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2250711)
Last, Adams can platoon, since Clayton has a .360 OBP vs. lefties last 3 years.....and Adams could "break out", but unfortunately I don't think JP is thinking that. Blast, Johny Mac and Clayton on the same team!
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: December 03, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2250755)
Woo hoo. The lost part of the Milli Vanilli triplets lives!
   5. Rally Posted: December 03, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2250785)
McDonald hits worse than that, but at least he is a good fielder.

I think an Adam/McDonald platoon makes more sense, since Adams is a rare lefty hitting SS, and you can also do the late inning defense for offense switch.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2250799)
Were Adams' defensive stats at SS as frightening godawful last year as I remember them being as a rookie? If they were, then it seems like he simply isn't a major league SS, and Clayton would be an ok, if tremendously uninspiring, cheapo fill-in for a team that might possibly contend and has no other plausible options.
   7. Rally Posted: December 03, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#2250814)
Adams is not a major league defensive shortstop, but neither is Clayton. The difference is Clayton is less obvious aboot it, never even getting to the balls that Adams makes errors on.
   8. MSI Posted: December 03, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2250829)
I don't know anything about Clayton's defensive play, but it seems replacement level, or tolerable, considering his fielding percentage and range factor are just about league average. If he makes 20 errors next year, that's tolerable right? John Mcdonald has a .961 career fielding percentage. Sure, he makes flashy plays, but he also makes a lot of mistakes. I really don't think his defence is that good either. He can make routine plays, which Adams cant.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 03, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2250850)
meh. decent glove, weak bat. not an awful player but very ordinary
   10. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 04, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2250943)
meh. decent glove, weak bat. not an awful player but very ordinary

No, you had it right with awful.
   11. William K. Posted: December 04, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2250973)
That .666 projected OPS is just a coincidence right?
   12. Juan V Posted: December 04, 2006 at 02:27 AM (#2251019)
Clayton hits like the Devil...
   13. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 04, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#2251044)
They're not starting Clayton, are they? They can't be.
   14. Jonny German Posted: December 04, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#2251049)
They're dodging the question, with the official line being that Clayton isn't necessarily the starter but the official line also being that they're going after pitching pitching pitching and maybe a 4th outfielder. My ideal scenario is for them to lose out on Meche and turn around and use those dollars on Lugo. Lugo won't be any kind of bargain, but he'd be a fabulous fit for this team.

Speaking of their need for a 4th outfielder, can Carlos Pena play a reasonable left field?
   15. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: December 04, 2006 at 05:46 AM (#2251104)
Hooray! The Jays have finally solved their long term shortstop problem!
   16. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:20 AM (#2251115)
I thought they had 4th OF wrapped up.

Lugo would look nice batting leadoff/#2. I wonder what would happen if the Jays signed a legit stolen base threat- would they actually start running? Adams was supposed to have good speed coming into the system, but the Jays don't seem to cultivate the running game in their prospects, which I think may be a mistake.

Clayton, I've ripped JP a good deal, but this is my least favorite move he's ever made. I dread seeing Clayton on the field in any capacity. Maybe he'd do alright as a groundskeeper or something. 3B coach. Don't want him as a part time SS.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:27 AM (#2251117)
[12] ... Rays
   18. Xander Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:32 AM (#2251118)
/Witty pun
   19. baudib Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:38 AM (#2251121)
I can't believe that Clayton is still playing while Steve Decker was done 15 years ago.
   20. MSI Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:54 AM (#2251123)
What's wrong with John Ford Griffin as 4th outfielder?
   21. Xander Posted: December 04, 2006 at 07:04 AM (#2251126)
Well he couldn't hit competently in Syracuse last year. Why would he be expected to do so in T.O.?
   22. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 04, 2006 at 12:06 PM (#2251174)
I thought Johnson was 4th OF, with Lind, Wells, Rios as the starters. I guess I was wrong.
   23. NBarnes Posted: December 04, 2006 at 12:40 PM (#2251177)
If the Blue Jays want to save my Red Sox from Julio Lugo of the 340 lifetime OBP, I wish them well of it. For the Blue Jays, it might not even be an awful idea, since the alternative is an offensive black hole and below average defense.

This might actually be the worst free agent signing so far this year. At least Soriano and Pierre will likely help their teams win more than they otherwise would have, even if the cost was too high. Clayton does literally nothing for the Blue Jays that needed doing.
   24. Jonny German Posted: December 04, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2251188)
I thought Johnson was 4th OF, with Lind, Wells, Rios as the starters.

No, they're saying Johnson is the starting left fielder with Lind spending more time in AAA. Johnson made huge strides last year and I think he's earned the starting spot, but I'm happy to have Lind right behind him in case Reed turns back into the ideal 4th outfielder he always looked like before 2006.
   25. Zonk Totally Exonerated by Total BS Posted: December 04, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2251366)
Isn't there some sort of rule about this sort of thing?

As in, signing Royce Clayton/trading for Royce Clayton/allowing Royce Clayton to even purchse licensed garb for your team means:

- GM must relinquish all MS Excel, Access, and SQL licenses
- GM must refrain from usage of any and all - but not limited to -- the following terms: Win Shares, VORP, OPS, OPS+
- relinquish all copies of Moneyball
- be kicked out of the Kool Kids clubhouse
- be beaten to a pulp by Paul DePodesta while Paul screams "you've had HOW long on the job, and you can still do THIS!?!?!"

I think JP should now be required to enroll in one of the remedial GM curricula --

- The Bowden school of toolsy OFers that can't play baseball
- The Wade school of pissing money away on middle relief
- The Hendry school of accumulating worthless MIs
- The Beatagan school of buying your way to irrelevance
   26. Johnny Tuttle Posted: December 07, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#2254828)
For all of the slamming of this deal, there is little mention of the organizational lack of depth in MIF. Except for eeleye.

Now, JP has traded away Lopez and Izturis, and he whiffed on Adams, but he deserves credit for Hill, too.

Rather than entering the season with little depth there, he grabbed a guy now with no less of draft pick who can field SS in the majors. For a contract so small that that player could be cut. This isn't signing Batista for 3rd.

Adams now doesn't appear to even be replacement level, and that that's a doubt I have doesn't speak well of him. I want him him in AAA where the damage is minimal.

Where Clayton hurts (and maybe Stairs and the Rule 5 SS, too) is in roster construction. Carrying two or more of Clayton, the Rule 5 SS, Gomez, and John Macdonald leaves the team brutally thin on SS production and worse on 3B production should Glaus go down (not that I want that, but you have to plan for that with a somewhat brittle fellow).

Hattig's possibly making the roster or being called up isn't enough insurance at 3B.

A guy like Hinske would have been so much better than Stairs; ironically, he was traded to save $3 million or so on the 2007 payroll, and with JP's mercifully pulling out of the Lilly/Meche nosedive, that money will go unspent, and Hinske will be useful for the evil enemy. I wonder if they could get him back for a song.

There are scant few position players coming down the pipeline. These little deals now to establish backups and injury replacements are going to be huge for the Jays. I've blocked from my memory which year it was they got caught in an injury epidemic and featured Berg at 1B and other follies, but I fear that possibility for 2007.

How would I recommend JP solve this? Reacquire Hinkse, and get Clayton-esque players who would accept AAA assignments as Phillips did last year. Agressively push some of the youngsters up if need be to see if they are ever going to cut it (Santos, Ford-Griffin, etc).

And I hate to say it, but entertain seriously any offers from the the Dodgers for Wells, with a window for them to resign him, too. Penny and Kemp and prospects? That's looking sweet now.

I'd also recommend that he make a big push for Lieber for a reliever.
   27. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: December 07, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#2254835)
LA has Pierre now. I doubt they see the need for Wells. I do like the package you put out there and I think it's realistic value.
   28. Johnny Tuttle Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:58 AM (#2255332)
And another guy who would have been nice for the bench instead of all of these no hit SS's is Audrey Huff, who is a FA who can play 3B. Yes, he's similarly bargain bin, but for a 15 day DL trip for Glaus, Huff could fake 3B. You're not always going to get production like Tampa Bay got out of Wigginton and Norton last year, but a flier here and there is worth it.
   29. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2255430)
Jason Smith is a better overall shortstop than Clayton or McDonald.
   30. Mike Green Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#2255735)
My first reaction was "Really, Dan?". My second was "maybe Smith's offence is about even with Clayton's and his glove is about as good as McDonald's". It'd be nice to see a cumulative Dial rating on him.

Has there ever been a Rule 5 pick who won the starting shortstop job outright the following season?
   31. Johnny Tuttle Posted: December 09, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2256106)
Was Uggla in last year's Rule 5?
   32. MSI Posted: December 11, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2257618)
Since Clayton is already signed, and with Jason Smith on board, I hope that McDonald is non-tendered. First, when JP signs Matt Stairs, he has to drop a prospect from the 40-man, if he intends to keep Jason Smith. I don't see a spot...he recently acquired Matt Roney, and I forget who else there is. Non-tendering McDonald frees up that spot, and Clayton becomes the platoon SS with Jason Smith and/or Russ Adams. Jason Smith I like, he can play backup to 3b, SS and 2b, and he actaully hit well last year: 5 homers in 100 ab, .260-ish average. He won't hit 25 homers a year, but could have tolerable production. I don't know anything about his glove. Sure its fine. ALso, the reason why McDonald has to be non-tendered is because Clayton's signing is already too late...I don't know who's worse. McDonald is a worse hitter than Clayton. Clayton is worse defensively than McDonald, who's defence is overrated. And Adams could platoon with Clayton since he has a .360 OBP versus lefties...JP is the opposite of conscientiousness, he could be so much more efficient.
   33. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 13, 2006 at 07:43 AM (#2259816)
Was Uggla in last year's Rule 5?

I believe so.

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