Archive for November, 2013

Why Not Blow It Up?

The Jays-related rumours continue as the offseason market heats up.  The market was slow to develop but has picked up speed recently as there have been several significant free agent signings and one blockbuster trade.  Of particular note to Jays’ fans was Josh Johnson signing an incentive-laden deal with the San Diego Padres.

The Landscape

The free agent market for pitching, catching, and middle infield is pretty thin right now, making upgrades difficult, if not impossible.  That leaves 2 main options: the farm and trades.  The farm isn’t deep enough to provide an answer for any of those positions, leaving trades as the primary means of improvement.  Is gutting the farm even more than they have already–in exchange for a 74-88 record, no less–the answer?

The Latest Rumours

No one knows yet what form any moves will take, of course, but it needs to be considered.  The latest rumours to hit the fan in Toronto are instructive.  Apparently, the Jays have varying degrees of interest in OF Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, free agent starter Ricky Nolasco, and starter Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs.

The rumours swirling around the Blue Jays’ interest in Jeff Samardzija focus on the Cubs receiving one or both of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, the Jays’ top 2 prospects, in the deal.

Jeff Samardzija is a good pitcher (good K-rate, K/BB ratio, ground ball ratio) who struggles somewhat to keep runners off base (higher walk rate) and to keep the ball in the park (HR/9 rate north of 1).  An average 9-inning start will yield 3 walks and 9 hits, one of which will leave the park.  He’s 28 and under team control for 2 more seasons.  His WAR over the last 2 seasons–his only 2 seasons as a starter–is unimpressive.  That the kind of market the Jays are scouring to find the hidden gem: a market that sees Jeff Samardzija as being worth at least one top pitching prospect plus other valuable young players.

At A Glance: Some Completed/Pending Deals

Jason Vargas signed with the Royals for 4 years/$32MM, 38-year old Tim Hudson signed with the Giants for 2 yrs/$23MM, and Dan Haren received a 1 yr/$10MM deal from the Dodgers.  These are mid-to-back-end-of-the-rotation guys.  The Giants also signed Tim Lincecum to a 2 yr/$35MM deal.

The St. Louis Cardinals just addressed their middle infield need by signing PED abuser Jhonny Peralta to a 4 yr/$53MM contract.  Apparently his 50-game suspension (Biogenesis) didn’t deter the Cards one bit.  He replaces Pete Kozma because someone should.

The best remaining shortstop on the market is Stephen Drew, who was given a Qualifying Offer by the Boston Red Sox.  He declined it.  I mention this because the Jays would like a shortstop to play 2B.

The Phillies, under the inspired direction of Ruben Amaro, Jr., re-upped with catcher Carlos Ruiz for 3 yrs/$26MM, and the Yankees locked up Brian McCann for 5 yrs/$85MM.  The best catcher remaining on the free agent market is Jarrod freakin’ Saltalamacchia.

But…

What about the other option?  What about hitting the reset button and blowing it up?  The Jays, given their situation and their needs, seem desperate: do they have to make a bad move?  Why not sell between now and July 31?  Let’s think about it for a bit.

The emotional position against selling is powerful, but not particularly compelling.  Who cares if people cry and wail and gnash their teeth if the Jays blow it up.  Also lacking teeth is the AA-is-trying-to-save-his-job argument.  As a matter of fact, it works in favour of blowing it up.  No, there are too many unknown variables in this option.  We don’t know what his relationship with Paul Beeston is like, we have no idea what the new guy will do when he starts in January, etc., etc.

Toronto Has Players with Value

In a market where the value of the positions that the Jays are trying to fill is ridiculously bloated, why not turn the tables on the game and find a loophole or inefficiency?  Alex Anthopoulos actually has a history of doing this and he has some (very) valuable chips to play in this game.

Pitchers:

RA Dickey

  • RA’s a top-end starter with a good contract and a history of overcoming adversity;
  • To Chavez Ravine if they lose Nolasco and Beckett continues to decline?  How about Dickey and Thole to PIT?

Brandon Morrow

  • He has good ‘stuff’ and a nice contract, but is durability driving down his value?
  • His skills play in almost any venue in either league;

Mark Buehrle

  • His contract isn’t bad in this market, not for a guy who offers 2+ WAR and 200+ IP;
  • Could TEX use his durability and reliability?

JA Happ

  • He’s a serviceable starter and he’s left-handed: his value is similar to Jason Vargas, whom the Royals are now paying $32MM until 2017–Happ doesn’t cost near that much;
  • The Angels want pitching and have a pitcher-friendly park–Happ’s also better than the pitchers they acquired last year;

Casey Janssen

  • His numbers and that contract?  The line forms at the rear…;
  • DET?  Nah, re-unite him with Jason Frasor in TEX;

Steve Delabar

  • Some contending teams need his swing-and-miss stuff desperately;
  • DET is calling;

Brett Cecil

  • An All Star season highlighted by several substantial improvements mean Cecil has value as the #1 LHRP out of the ‘pen, LOOGY, or possibly even as a CL;
  • Package him together with Delabar to DET and see what shakes loose.

Infielders:

Jose Reyes

  • Similar to Buehrle‘s, Reyes’ contract isn’t nearly so bad in this market;
  • With money to spend, a hole to fill and Peralta in STL, Reyes could return to a place where they lamented his departure and he’s still popular: the Mets;

Adam Lind

  • A LH veteran hitter who torches RHP with a pretty friendly contract who returned to form in 2013;
  • SEA?  PIT?  NYY?  Is Mark Teixeira still injured?  The short porch beckons…;

Edwin Encarnacion

  • A premier slugger who’s become a student of hitting, has versatility (DH/3B/1B), and has one of the most team-friendly contracts in all of MLB: who wouldn’t want this guy?

Outfielders:

Jose Bautista

  • Another premier slugger with a terrific contract, versatility, but who is one of the top RF in MLB when healthy;
  • SEA is looking for a real OF, and they have pitching prospects;

Colby Rasmus

  • A young player with team control remaining who provided >4 WAR for the Jays in 2013;
  • I bet the Jays could have their pick of PHI‘s prospects if they wanted to move him;
  • I also wonder if the Mets’ interest could be piqued…

Catcher(s):

JP Arencibia

  • There are rumours that teams are interested in his services–I know, I didn’t believe it either, but the rumours persist;
  • Find one of those teams and deal him, pronto;

Josh Thole

  • His value is linked to RA Dickey, dictating any prospective destination.

So keep Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Morrow, but the rest of these guys help to re-stock the farm pretty well with enough surplus value to get decent roster players too.  Filling out the remaining positions would be relatively simple, as there are plenty of mid-to-low-end FA’s available.  Heck, James Loney can play 1B…

Who cares what Joe Schmo in the 5th level or Billy Blogger say on their mobile?  Sure, it’s probably a PR nightmare and an on-field disaster in the making but, seriously, they’ve won 73 and 74 games in each of the last 2 seasons and missed the playoffs 20 years running.  Would we even notice the difference?  We’re used to it.  Besides, it’s an opportunity to get some reasonable value out of this market rather than giving up your 2 top pitching prospects for Jeff Samardzija, and then hoping to make more trades to fill other needs with prospects you no longer have.

Wes Kepstro

MLB Rumour Round Up – November 24, 2013

A few tidbits including an absolutely massive AL East signing by a Blue Jays rival.

From MLBTR:

-The Yankees and Brian McCann have agreed to terms on a five-year, $85MM deal with a sixth-year vesting option, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The sixth year option could boost the value of the deal to $100MM, Rosenthal says, adding in a second tweet that the deal is simply pending a physical. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the contract includes a full no-trade clause. McCann is represented by B.B. Abbott.

As Rosenthal notes in his article on the deal, the average yearly salary McCann will receive, $17MM, is the highest ever given to a catcher in free agency. While Joe Mauer‘s average yearly rate of $24MM remains the record for catchers overall, the Twins have said that Mauer will transition to first base on a full-time basis beginning next season, meaning McCann is set to become the game’s highest-paid backstop.

QUICK TAKE: While I was pretty much resigned to the fact the top free agent catcher wasn’t coming to Toronto my initial reaction is disappointment.  McCann would have been a massive upgrade for the Blue Jays and the fact he joins an AL East rival is doubly hard to take.

-As the Red Sox survey their options for alternatives to free agent Jacoby Ellsbury, an interesting name has popped up on their radar.  The Red Sox are one of several teams who have made inquiries on Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, a major league source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

 Jhonny Peralta‘s asking price has been said to be significant, but to this point, reports have only indicated that he’s seeking “much more than $45MM.” Joel Sherman of the New York Post sheds some light on his demands, reporting that he’s seeking something in the four-year $56MM to five-year, $75MM range.

-The Angels and Cardinals have officially announced a trade that will send center fielder Peter Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk to the Cardinals in exchange for third baseman David Freese and right-hander Fernando Salas.

-The Blue Jays discussed a trade for Matt Kemp with the Dodgers at the GM meetings,reports Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca. Those discussions appear to have gone nowhere, but Davidi says they are indicative of a trend throughout MLB — teams are entertaining ideas of big trades (like the recent Prince Fielder / Ian Kinsler blockbuster) rather than diving into a free agent market that’s become increasingly expensive. Here are more notes from around the East divisions.

MLB Rumour Round Up – November 19, 2013

A few notable items from around the majors according to MLBTR:

Josh Johnson has narrowed his decision down to three or four teams, agent Matt Sosnick tells Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the Pirates are among the finalists. A deal could be done “in the short-term,” Sawchik adds, reminding that Johnson is seeking to rebuild his value on a one-year deal (Twitter links). Last night, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Johnson reached out to the Padres and Giants early in the offseason to inform the teams that they were his first choice.

Johnson, 30 in January, posted a bloated 6.20 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 81 1/3 innings. Sabermetric stats such as xFIP (3.58) and SIERA (3.73) feel that Johnson was victim to some bad luck, and his .356 BABIP and 18.5 percent homer-to-flyball ratio would back that line of thinking up.

QUICK TAKE: Well what a bust for the Blue Jays.  They got absolutely zero value out of Josh Johnson.  I wouldn’t have offered him the qualifying offer but I really thought he would feel some obligation to give the Blue Jays at least one decent season.  My guess is he bounces back in San Diego in a much better league and ball park.

-The Red Sox have had “serious dialogue” with free agent oufielder Carlos Beltran, hears Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).  Boston has been said to have interest in the veteran, but the Yankees, Orioles, Royals, Indians, and Mariners are also said to have interest.

QUICK TAKE: Beltran is a player I really wished the Blue Jays were able to sign two years ago however the turf at Rogers Centre played a factor apparently in his refusal to sign with Toronto.  I would still like him as a DH type but probably not for the money he will eventually settle for.

-The Orioles have some interest in free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd and have been monitoring his progress as he recovers from elbow surgery, industry sources tell Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Corey Hart told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (Twitter link) that his agent has talked with the Brewers, Red Sox, Rays, and Rockies amongst other interested teams.  Hart added that he won’t officially get 100% medical clearance until December 3rd when he visits his doctor in Los Angeles, but he’s fully healthy (link).

A Few Thoughts On Jose Bautista For Domonic Brown Rumours

Sometimes a rumor comes out of nowhere and surprises you a little bit.  When I read that the Blue Jays and Phillies were potentially discussing a Joey Bats for Dominic Brown trade (that has since been debunked) my initial thoughts were, “that’s all we could get?”.

Brown is a fine player, only 26 years old and coming off a breakout season where he swatted 27 HRs and slashed a respectable 272/324/494.  Over 139 games Brown had a .351 wOBA and was worth 1.6 WAR.  Pretty solid but I think the notion that he is about to become an ‘elite’ slugger are probably misplaced.

Bautista had another “off” year yet still slugged 28 HRs, slashes 259/358/498 and in only 118 games was worth 4.2 wins.  In other words Bautista is still a monster when factoring offense, defense, arm and positional diversity.  Brown offers little to no defense, can only play left field and isn’t an on-base machine.  Brown also has a pretty one-sided platoon split as he doesn’t hit lefties that well.

Basically, Bautista is still a monster under a reasonable contract and I think the Blue Jays could do  a lot better if they actually were to move him.

Dave Cameron made some great points in his piece today:

A common criticism of Jose Bautista’s future value is that he’s 33 and is trending the wrong way. Both of these statements are true. Over the last three years, Bautista’s wOBA has gone from .443 to .378 to .372, driven primarily by a significant reduction in power; his ISO actually declined for a fourth consecutive year, and has now gone from .357 to .309 to .286 to .239 since the start of the 2010 season. If you just extrapolate the line on its current path, Bautista begins to look much more like like an ordinary player over the next few years rather than the star he has been.

However, extrapolating trends into the future is often completely incorrect, because the reality is that performance often regresses back towards the average of a larger sample performance rather than continuing to move further and further away from a peak. Or, put another way, players who are labeled as “trending downwards” often have a very good performance in their recent history which should continue to inform our opinion of what they will do in the future.

Just like old players can have “fluke” seasons, so can young players, only when a young player has a fluke season, it’s usually called a breakout instead. Maybe Domonic Brown really did take huge sustainable steps forward last year, but history suggests that it’s probably more prudent to expect him to maintain or regress than it is to improve yet again. Just like Bautista shouldn’t be expected to linearly trend downwards, taking Brown’s 2013 performance and forecasting upwards from there is also a mistake.

As stated previously the Jose Bautista rumor season is just starting.  Stay tuned.

MLB Rumour Round Up – November 12, 2013

Here is the latest and greatest from MLBTR, including more action involving the Toronto Blue Jays.

-The Blue Jays‘ priority is improving the rotation, but they’re also keeping an eye out for help at second base and catcher, writes Heyman.  It’s no surprise to hear that they’re interested in Robinson Cano, but his price tag will probably prove to be too much since they need to direct their bucks towards starting pitching.

QUICK TAKE: Never say never but it would be a pretty big surprise if the Toronto Blue Jays actually landed one of the games best overall players.  Saying that the Jays roster has many Dominican connections and stranger things have happened.  If this occurred, WOW.

-With uncertainty over Alex Rodriguez and the future of Robinson Cano, theYankees have contacted free agent Kelly Johnsontweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Johnson has primarily played second base over the course of his career but he also offers experience at left field and saw some time at third base in 2013.

-It’s not a huge surprise, but teams are inquiring on Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).  Whether they are willing to move him is another story.

Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran are targets 1 and 1A for the Yankees, a person familiar with their thinking tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Fellow outfielderJacoby Ellsbury sits a hair behind the other two stars.

-Veteran infielder Mark DeRosa is set to retire this offseason, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (via Twitter).  Toronto exercised their $750K option on the veteran late last month.  Toronto has confirmed the news via press release.

-The Astros are receiving significant interest in catcher Jason Castro, and interest could pick up once big free agents like Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia go off the board, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Their interest in trading Castro isn’t known, but Houston is said to like catching prospect Max Stassi very much.  Heyman sees the Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Rockies, and Twins as teams that could possibly have interest if Castro is on the block.

MLB Rumour Round Up – November 11, 2013

Let’s have a look at the juicier rumours making the rounds on MLBTR.

–The Tigers have told teams that they’re open to trading either Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).  Scherzer has been involved in trade whispers for the last few weeks as the Tigers are considering their options in the event that they can’t hammer out a new deal before he hits the open market after the 2014 season.

-It appears the New York Mets plan to be aggressive and have been linked to Jhonny Peralta, Corey Hart and Curtis Granderson.

The Mets have plans to meet with Curtis Granderson‘s agent this week, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter).  The outfielder is turning down the Yankees’ $14.1MM qualifying offer.

-Just hours after announcing that Joe Mauer will be transitioning to first base full-time in 2014, the Twins have already started looking into out-of-house options at catcher.  Minnesota is showing preliminary interest in free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a baseball source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.

The 28-year-old Saltalamacchia enjoyed his best season in 2013, batting .273/.338/.466 with 14 home runs in a career-high 470 plate appearances.  Not only is he one of the best catchers available, but he is one of the youngest free agents on the market this offseason.

-The Rangers and Cardinals remain strong potential trade partners with the Cards wanting Jurickson Profar or Elvis Andrus and Texas liking Shelby MillerOscar Taveras, and Matt Adamstweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com.

-Almost everyone sees Robinson Cano staying put with 19 votes for the Yankees, one vote for the Dodgers, and one for the Cubs.  Nearly everyone sees Cano getting a seven- or eight-year deal worth $160MM-$230MM and no one expects him to approach the $300MM figure he was asking for from the Bombers earlier this year.  It should be noted that the GM that picked the Cubs said that he has no inside info to support that pick.

-Nine execs see Masahiro Tanaka landing with the Dodgers while six chose the Yankees.  All but a handful of those surveyed think his payout will exceed the $60MM Yu Darvish got from the Rangers.  Tanaka is ranked as the top available pitcher by MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes.

-When asked to pick the best pitcher between Matt GarzaErvin Santana, andUbaldo Jimenez, ten execs chose Garza.  Most seemed to agree that the lack of quality starting pitching available will lead to all three being overpaid.  One American League scout seemed to like Jimenez on some level but was skeptical of him long-term.  “Ubaldo has the best chance to give you impact in the short term, but I am not buying him over the course of 3-4 years,” the scout said.

-The Orioles are intrigued by free agent starter Tim Hudson and have discussed him internally, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.  The 38-year-old righty fits the Orioles’ profile, and the O’s have Braves connections in recent hires Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti.

Alka Seitzer: Will Kevin Provide Relief?

The Jays’ recent history hasn’t exactly been one of unmitigated success. As a matter of fact, the opposite is closer to reality. 2013 will be remembered by many as perhaps the most disappointing season in living memory. A dismal (74-88) campaign followed by a Red Sox championship? Ugh. No one predicted this, not even the most loyal Red Sox fans. Clearly the Jays needed to do something. Hiring a new hitting coach was one of the first moves they made, and it caught almost everyone off guard.

They scored a lot of runs and hit a lot of home runs, but they didn’t win a lot of games. So, what gives? The 3 phrases often used to describe the Blue Jays’ problems on offense are “all-or-nothing”, “pull happy” and “situational hitting”. Kevin Seitzer has been given the task of improving the Jays’ offense. He has his work cut out for him.

Basically, our title has 2 answers: (1) the Jays, or (2) their opponents. The second answer is simple because it relies very heavily on the first answer. The Jays’ opponents will benefit from Kevin Seitzer’s tutelage because the Jays don’t, won’t or can’t put his theories and philosophy into practice. In other words, the Jays’ opponents will benefit if the rubber never meets the road.

John Gibbons and Kevin Seitzer have a history. it’s not like Gibby’s history with Ted Lilly or Shea Hillenbrand; it’s a good history. They worked together for 3 years with the Kansas City Royals when Gibby was the bench coach and Seitzer was the hitting coach. This gave Gibby a leg up when considering who would replace outgoing hitting coach Chad Mottola. Chad, my friend, we hardly knew ya…

By Royal Decree

During Seitzer’s 4-year stint as hitting coach with the Royals the team won 65, 67, 71, and 72 games. Obviously the offense didn’t help them win much. Here’s a glance at the Royals with Seitzer as their hitting coach:

R

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

GDP

2009

686

781

1432

1485

276

295

51

28

144

183

457

550

1091

1094

.318

.336

.405

.428

135

130

2010

676

721

1534

1438

279

287

31

26

121

138

471

526

905

1087

.331

.327

.399

.407

152

129

2011

730

723

1560

1429

325

286

41

29

129

162

442

499

1006

1113

.329

.323

.415

.408

121

123

2012

767

721

1492

1413

295

272

37

26

131

179

404

493

1032

1187

.317

.320

.400

.411

130

127

This table was compiled from info at www.baseball-reference.com.

  • I’ve highlighted some of the notable numbers/trends: green is good, yellow is a caution, red is bad news;
  • the gray italicized columns are AL averages;
  • the highlighting is done without reference to the league averages: that is, the highlights represent the Royals’ trends under Seitzer;
  • generally speaking, Seitzer turned a below-average offense in 2009 to a (slightly) above average offense by season 3 (2011);
  • his gap-to-gap philosophy is consistent with a power outage;
  • the Royals weren’t a patient team: they were below league average anyways and, except for 2010, walks declined steadily;
  • 2011 was his big year with the Royals (hence the green highlight), as they improved almost across the board, sometimes dramatically;
  • 2012 was a step-back for the team offensively that wasn’t reflected in their record;
  • KC hit .274 in 2010 and .275 in 2011, 2nd and 4th in MLB, respectively;

Youth and Talent vs. Experience and Talent

Okay, there are many more inferences we can draw from this simple table. One thing that doesn’t show up is what Seitzer will have to work with in Toronto. Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo were the 2 biggest threats on the ’09 Royals, a fairly weak offensive team. They were 23 and 26, respectively. KC tied with TEX as having the 3rd-youngest hitters in the AL. He won’t be molding young hitters in TOR; he’ll be tweaking the approaches of veteran hitters.

Who is likely benefit from his approach? I believe that there are at least 3, but maybe 5, players who are worth watching as they work with Kevin Seitzer and vice versa. (If one or more of these guys are traded, then please disregard any comments made about them. I left the crystal ball that I’ve never owned in the cottage that doesn’t exist.)

  1. Edwin Encarnacion
    • since being demoted, claimed by OAK, and returning to TOR, Edwin’s become a monster at the plate;
    • he doesn’t strike out much, making him dangerous and a tough out;
    • he’s also become more of a student of hitting, spending considerable amounts of time in the video room;
    • it seems to me that a slight tweak will raise Edwin’s faltering BAbip (.292, .266, .247 over the last 3 seasons), and allow him to round out his offensive approach;
  1. Brett Lawrie
    • this is a tough call: he was beginning to excel under Mottola’s tutelage;
    • the leg kick and waggling bat have been toned down, and he hits the other way more often, resulting in a post-AS break offensive upswing;
    • there are 3 reasons why I believe Lawrie will benefit:
      1. Mark DeRosa’s option was picked up;
      2. Lawrie has adopted Edwin’s camp-out-in-the-video-room approach; and
      3. Lawrie’s not a bomber: a gap-to-gap approach may suit him very well, making better use of his speed and line drive power
  1. Adam Lind
    • Does any hitter on the Jays show more obvious improvement when he uses the whole field than Adam Lind?
    • he has very good power when he’s hitting well, and his sweet-looking swing is well-suited to a gap-to-gap approach;
    • the one area where Kevin Seitzer may turn Lind into an All(most) Star is the increased contact/reduced SO rate that’s consistent with his philosophy;
  1. Wild Card: Jose Bautista
    • Joey Bats adapts well, otherwise he’d still be Joey Bounces Around the League;
    • his grip-it-and-rip-it approach has worn a little lately, but he has the talent to make very good contact as well as hitting for premium power (2011);
    • his K-rate has held steady since 2011 but his walk rate is falling (20.2%, 14.8%, 13.1%);
    • aside from 2011 (.309), Jose’s BAbip as a Blue Jay has been middling or worse (.275, .233, .215, .259);
    • Would improved walk and contact rates arrest his decline, and treat fans to a return to something resembling his 2011 form?
  1. Dark horse: Melky Cabrera
    • There may be too much going on here to make a good judgment…
    • Melky broke out under Seitzers’ guidance with KC in 2011;
    • that said, Melky was a miserable failure as a Blue Jay in 2013;
    • that said, Melky had a tumour on his spine;
    • that said, Melky has other injury issues and there’s the turf at The Rog…;
    • that said, Melky is a good candidate to bounce back from a miserable 2013;
    • Who better to lead Melky out of the wilderness than Kevin Seitzer?

An important observation needs to be made here. All of the players that I’ve mentioned, including Colby Rasmus below, have spent significant chunks of time on the DL in the last 3 years. I have no idea what overall impact more injuries might have, except to slow down the process of assimilating and putting into practice Seitzer’s philosophy. That I can guarantee.

As much as I would like to see the Jays’ offense improve, my opinion is guarded. Very few of the moves made to this point have had a positive effect, and this may be no more than the ‘next move’.

I think Kevin Seitzer has a lot to offer, especially since the Jays’ usual approach hasn’t yielded the intended results since 2010. A different philosophy may help the Jays to become more efficient on offense without sacrificing much power. Heck, even Colby Rasmus—the Blue Jays’ 2013 WAR leader (!!!)—may enjoy another upswing rather than a regression with a focus on making contact and reducing strike outs. It remains to be seen. Will he provide a tonic? Perhaps. He has experience, and much of it is positive. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, indeed.

Wes Kepstro


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