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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays agree to 6-year, $150M deal, sources say

Outfielder George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a six-year, $150 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday.

Springer is headed to the Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, for a physical. If all goes according to plan, Toronto will get the star it has been looking for all winter.

The contract would be the largest given out by the Blue Jays in franchise history. Their only other contract that topped $100 million was a $126 million extension given to Vernon Wells in 2006.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 08:35 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, george springer

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   1. The Duke Posted: January 20, 2021 at 08:41 AM (#6000757)
So the Blue Jays finally get their man but they had to Max out AAV and years to do it. I’m guessing the Mets ran the bidding up and forced toronto to overpay
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6000761)
That's a great pickup for Toronto obviously. The money is big but really doesn't feel outrageous. Six years is good, only takes him through his age 36 season so they aren't paying huge dollars for dead years. Obviously there will be some decline but I'd bet on Springer being able to provide pretty good value for the money throughout the deal even if he's "just" a left fielder the last couple of years of it.
   3. The Duke Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6000763)
2. zips loves the deal at fangraphs. Right in line with your comment

But

“From the standpoint of cruel efficiency, $150 million is probably a bit of an overpay on Toronto’s part (ZiPS would suggest six years, $130 million).”
   4. JRVJ Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6000773)
The last year is probably going to be painful for the Jays, but it shouldn't be too terrible.

And it's just nice to see teams pushing their chips in. This off-season is being driven by the Padres (far and away the most active team), the ChiSox, the Mets and now the Jays.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:39 AM (#6000775)
CF Springer
2B Biggio
3B Guerrero
DH Hernandez
SSS Bichette
LF Gurriel
1B Tellez
RF Grichuk
C Jansen/Kirk

Ryu/Ray/Pearson/Roark/Stripling

I don't think that's a contender, but they're not far off at all, and you never know with young guys. Good for the Jays for moving towards contention.
   6. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#6000779)
The offence SHOULD be dynamite, and the first three pitchers could be enough to carry them to the playoffs.

There is talk that the Jays (and Springer) are trying to get Michael Brantley to come to Toronto, too.
(They are friends and have the same agency representing them.)

As it is now, Grichuk is on razor thin margins to remain a Blue Jay, but picking up Brantley would have to justify the Jays trading Grichuk (and a catching prospect) for some more pitching.
   7. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 20, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6000780)
the pitching is a bit thin, but that looks like a pretty solid team to me. who could fill that in a bit? Taijuan Walker?
   8. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 20, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6000782)
the pitching is a bit thin, but that looks like a pretty solid team to me. who could fill that in a bit? Taijuan Walker?


Walker would be a good pickup. I'd be happy with Paxton on a short deal too.
   9. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#6000783)
Looks like the Brantley deal is basically done now too.
   10. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 20, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6000784)
As it is now, Grichuk is on razor thin margins to remain a Blue Jay, but picking up Brantley would have to justify the Jays trading Grichuk (and a catching prospect) for some more pitching.


Read an item speculating that Gurriel might be the trade bait, which I think is nuts, given his age, production and contract relative to Randal.
   11. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#6000787)
Gurriel might fetch a lot more for those reasons though.
   12. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 20, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6000788)
Gurriel might fetch a lot more for those reasons though.


Fair. Given the moves of the last 24 hours, I should probably give the front office the benefit of the doubt.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6000791)
Yea, no one is trading for Grichuk unless the Jays basically eat the entire deal.
   14. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6000798)
Some reports that Brantley isn't official yet.
   15. donlock Posted: January 20, 2021 at 01:35 PM (#6000799)
Lot of money for him. Not a full time player in his 20s.
2015 -102 games, 2016 -162, 2017 -140, 2018 - 140, 2019 - 122.
More a Rf than Cf. I'd have offered 3 years at $75 mil or 4 years at $80.
Who else was bidding for him? Brantley for 3 years sounds better. Both will be DH soon enough.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6000803)
Mets had a 6/$115M offer supposedly. I think he's a terrific player, that last year or two will probably hurt, but the Jays should be in win-now mode.
   17. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6000806)
He's clearly one of the ten best OFs in the game isn't he? (Which doesn't mean he will be going forward, but the Jays desperately needed a CF too).
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6000813)
Mets had a 6/$115M offer supposedly.
If that was the next best offer, this contract is absurd.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6000814)
More a Rf than Cf.

Why would you say that? He grades out above avg. in CF by both DRS and UZR. He's probably a RF in three years, but right now he's a fine CF.
   20. DFA Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6000815)
Their lineup is impressive, but their rotation leaves a lot to be desired, or am I missing something? I like Ryu, but he's had trouble staying healthy. Robbie Ray's FIP last year was 6.50, and 4.29 in 2019. Nate Pearson is an interesting pitching prospect to be sure, though in his 99 innings above advanced A ball, he was walked 37 batters. Tanner Roark? Ross Stripling?
   21. RJ in TO Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6000816)
Lot of money for him. Not a full time player in his 20s.

In 2015, he was playing everyday until he got hurt at the beginning of July and missed two months.
In 2017, he was playing everyday until he missed two weeks around the end of July, and then returned to playing everyday after he came back.
In 2018, it was the same thing, except the two weeks were in August.
In 2019, it was the month of June he missed with injury.

He's been a full time player for his entire career, albeit an injury prone one. The time he's missed hasn't been from benchings, or platooning, or anything else like that.

Now, how often he seems to get hurt is a different concern.
   22. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6000819)
Oh yeah, the rotation needs work. I think most are assuming that a signing is coming (Walker, Paxton, Bauer) or, they're trading Gurriel or Hernandez for pitching. (Hernandez plus for Plesac?)
   23. Jack Sommers Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:58 PM (#6000820)
Springer is a full time player, but he is also injury prone.

Since becoming full time player in 2015, he has played in 717 of 870 possible games, 82%

He played in 162 games in 2016, but in his other years he has missed a lot of games.

He’ll be 31 this season.

Toronto will doing really well (lucky) to get 800+ games out of him over 6 years. More likely, 650-700 games tops over the 6 years of the contract.

But of course with these deals it’s all about the front end. If they can get 2, maybe 3 very healthy, very good years at the front end of the deal, then they’ll be happy.
   24. kwarren Posted: January 20, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6000832)

Yea, no one is trading for Grichuk unless the Jays basically eat the entire deal.
Yes, this is correct, but I think the Blue Jays may be inclined to deal Grichuk and pay the cost to keep all their young outfielders.

Mets had a 6/$115M offer supposedly.
If that was the next best offer, this contract is absurd.
That's the premium for getting a player to come to a team that is in a different country with no home field in 2021.

Some reports that Brantley isn't official yet.
Brantley has just signed with Houston. 32 million for two years.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6000838)
More likely, 650-700 games tops over the 6 years of the contract.

That's way too pessimistic. Even Larry Walker managed 765 games over that stretch and that includes missing nearly half of 2000. The worst 6-year stretch you can find for Walker was 711 and that includes missing two half-seasons. Larkin 31-36 got into 764. Obviously it's possible he'll turn into Griffey (just 550 ... but oddly followed by 287 for ages 37-38) but that's a rather unlikely outcome. And it's the AL so you're certain to have the DH available if he starts pulling hammies every year.

At first blush this seems about right. He's been at 5 WAR/650 but the injuries knock that to about 4/season. They're paying him for, give or take, 16-20 WAR over 6 years though if he ends up at the lower end, they probably could have cobbled together something just as good with less money. A fully healthy Springer probably projects to something like 22 WAR over that time; the 80% Springer gets you to 17.

I don't have time to look at comps right now. First name that springs to mind is Matt Holliday and that would not be a good outcome -- 15 WAR, 760 games, for 31-36, in part because his Rfield dropped considerably and he missed half of age 35. It was though still 19 oWAR so Holliday with average defense would be fine.
   26. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 20, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6000839)
Brantley has just signed with Houston. 32 million for two years.


Poor Hazel Mae! I was happy to see her with the scoop on this . . .
   27. Jack Sommers Posted: January 20, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6000875)
As usual, Walt is probably right. I was just taking 82% of all team games played between age 25-30, and figuring 70% of team games played from age 31-36
   28. John Northey Posted: January 20, 2021 at 08:09 PM (#6000876)
I suspect whoever Hazel Mae's source was will never be trusted again after this.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:45 PM (#6000898)
As usual, Walt is probably right.

I'll take it! :-)

EDIT: There are no doubt many counter-examples, I just picked 3 guys famous for being fragile. But Dick Allen had 817 games 25-30 then just 458. JD Drew 707 games 25-30, 606 for 31-36. "Way" too pessimistic is an oversell by me.
   30. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6000938)
Mets had a 6/$115M offer supposedly.

If that was the next best offer, this contract is absurd.


Other reports had the Mets at 6/125, which still makes Toronto's offer very high, but not as absurd. As others mentioned, it's the premium for another country and possibly playing outside of an MLB stadium for most home games this season.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6000941)
Other reports had the Mets at 6/125, which still makes Toronto's offer very high, but not as absurd. As others mentioned, it's the premium for another country and possibly playing outside of an MLB stadium for most home games this season.

What's the tax situation in Toronto? I know NY teams have had to pay more than teams in zero income tax states.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6000946)
Maybe it’s $150 million Canadian?
   33. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6000965)
#31 Reciprocal treaty with the US. He'd pay taxes based on his US residency.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6000973)
[33] Thanks!
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6000979)
I'm extremely dubious that we have reliable information about the next-best offers for big free agents.
   36. Paul d mobile Posted: January 21, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6001015)
Ron, I thought he paid taxes in each state/province, based on games played? So if Houston plays five games a year in Toronto, he goes from paying Ontario taxes 5 times and Texas tax 91 times (Astros and Rangers) to playing Ontario tax 81 times and texas tax 10 times?
   37. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6001026)
#36 It turns out to be complex. Of course -- it's taxes.

Turns out they'll pay Canadian taxes if their "presence in Canada exceeds 183 days". No idea what that means. Probably an issue of what constitutes their legal residence. And you can bet their agent will know how to manage this.

And there may be state and province level taxes. And city level for that matter. But it's a straight US filing if they don't break the 183 day rule. Don't know the implication of provincial levies on a US filing. That's why tax lawyers will always have full employment.

EDIT: I do know that Roger Clemens ended up paying more taxes after moving from the Jays to the Yankees.
   38. Paul d mobile Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:26 PM (#6001038)
Thanks Ron.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6001044)
What are the big FA deals in Blue Jays history? Not extensions like Alex Rios. AJ Burnett and Roger Clemens?
   40. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6001046)
Vernon Wells I think.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6001047)
Vernon Wells I think.

Wasn't he an extension?
   42. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6001048)
#41 Ah yes. Bad reading skills.
   43. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6001051)
#39.

Russell Martin, $82million over 5 years
Hyun-Jin Ryu, $80million over 4 years
Roger Clemens, $40million over 4 years
A.J. Burnett, $55million over 5 years
Kendrys Morales, $33million over 3 years

Other players have had bigger extensions, as previously mentioned.

I think those are the only ones above $10million per year, before Springer's.
   44. flournoy Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6001054)
It was a different time, so the dollars weren't as big, but the early '90s World Series Blue Jays had a bunch of older big-name free agents. Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Jack Morris, Dave Stewart.
   45. RJ in TO Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6001056)
They also signed Randy Myers in the late 90s, to what was a big deal for a closer at the time, and BJ Ryan in the 00s. Both went very poorly, although the team the Randy Myers deal went most poorly for was San Diego.
   46. kwarren Posted: January 21, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6001090)
#31 Reciprocal treaty with the US. He'd pay taxes based on his US residency.
But he would still pay at the Canadian Tax Rates which are much higher on high incomes. He would get a credit on his US return based for the amount of tax that he paid to Canada. Actually all of his games will be taxed at different rates depending on where he plays, the games. If the Blue Jays play all of their games in the US in 2021 this will work out to his advantage, big time.
   47. Rally Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:27 PM (#6001114)
I think Morris was the highest paid player in the game when he signed, or maybe highest paid pitcher, though just a 2 year deal.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6001299)
Well, let's see:

Martin gave them 8.2 WAR in an almost perfect reflection of the "standard" aging curve: 3.2 WAR at 32 then 2, 1.7, 1.3. Given he'd just had two big years with the Pirates, they were probably hoping for more but he was a 32-yo C.

Clemens -- hard to do better than this. They got 15 WAR in 2 seasons then flipped him to the Yanks for Wells, Lloyd and the immortal Homer Bush. As it turned out, the next two seasons were two of Clemens' worst (just 3.6 WAR) while Wells gave them 8 WAR. Lloyd gave them 1 solid season in relief then got hurt. I assume the Jays also saved some money in that deal.

Burnett was only OK-good in his first 3 years at 6.7 WAR. Did Burnett have an opt-out ... transaction shows him being declared FA after that then signing with the Yanks.

Kendrys was not good and got traded for very little.

Ryu continued his run of brilliance and didn't miss a turn in 2020. Don't be surprised when he's traded after this season for David Wells.

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