Posts Tagged 'ra dickey'

Did Melky Cabrera Take Subtle Swipe at Teammate RA Dickey Via Twitter?

This was probably an innocent mistake but one Melky Cabrera favorite the following Tweet on Thursday, July 3, 2014:

This prompted a quick reply from an astute Blue Jays fan:

Read what you will into this.*

Even after his last start which was a complete game his stats for 2014 are less than stellar.  Through 112 IPs Dickey has a 4.10 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.68 FIP and 1.29 HR/9.  In 30.2 June IPs Dickey had an almost unfathomable 2.93 HR/9 as 28.6 of his fly balls left the yard.  There is a lot of talk on Twitter (always a reliable source of fandom) that Dickey needs to be taken out of the rotation.

Without a proper replacement there is absolutely no sense in taking out one of the few starting pitchers who can actually pitch 200+ innings.  I am worried that with a division on the line and an impatient fan base to please the Blue Jays are going to really push the envelope with our tender young arms Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison.  Stroman has barely reached the 100 inning mark as a professional and Hutchison is still fairly fresh of his Tommy John surgery and I am not sure how far he can be pushed.

RA Dickey is definitely here to stay.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing if he can live up to his ZIPS (rest of season) projections of 90 inning, 4.21 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.  Perhaps his last start will jump-start him into the second half of the season.  The Blue Jays are certainly counting on him.

*Today’s hack job brought to you by Jerry Springer.

RA Dickey Shows 3 MPH Increase On Knuckler, Dominates Yankees

RA Dickey gave the Toronto Blue Jays a glimpse of how good his knuckleball can be Saturday afternoon against the New York Yankees.  Dickey was masterful over 6.2 shutout innings striking out 6 Yankee batters.  So the question has to be asked – is RA Dickey circa 2012 back?

Dickey was extremely ineffective in his first start this season and after a promising spring training where he had been throwing the knuckler slightly harder it was definitely a disappointing beginning to the season.

A lot of discussion was had surrounding his velocity, or lack thereof last season so I thought I would take a closer look at just that today.  Here is a chart showing the velocity and movement of RA Dickey’s knuckleball from four different starts.  The first is a start against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, then the opener against Cleveland in 2013 and of course his first two starts of this current season.

Start Date   Velo (Max)   H-Break   V-Break   Count   Whiffs / %  
6/13/2012 78.7 (82.4) 2.75 1.99 101 23 / 22.8%
4/2/2013 77.3 (80.9) 0.37 0.43 97 9 / 9.3%
3/31/2014 75.5 (78.6) 2.20 2.39 82 10 / 12.2%
4/5/2014 77.7 (81.4) -0.49 1.74 94 13 / 13.8%

As you can see Dickey really was able to power that knuckler during his NL Cy Young campaign from 2012 with the New York Mets.  The average velocity was still 1 MPH higher in that start than during his last start versus the New York Yankees yesterday.  His highest average knuckler also maxed out over 1 MPH higher as well.

Dickey was basically a man possessed during that start against the Rays in 2012 generating a ridiculous 22.8% whiff rate.  He was good against the New York Yankees yesterday but will probably never be able to match that particular start in 2012 – nor should he be expected to.

In 2013 he threw 224.2 IPs with a 4.21 ERA, 7.09 K/9, 4.58 FIP and 2.0 fWAR.  Overall those aren’t terrible numbers but fans expected a lot more from the reigning 2012 NL Cy Young winner when he was acquired last offseason for the hefty price of Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.

He didn’t quite flash Cy Young yesterday form but when compared to his first start of the 2014 campaign RA Dickey was almost a completely different and better pitcher.  He was on average over 2 MPH harder and each knuckleball and his hardest “power” knuckler was nearly 3 MPH harder.  He was also able to throw much more strikes consistently.

As you can also see from all four starts the knuckleball really has a mind of its own in terms of movement both horizontally and vertically.  I don’t think Russell Crowe in a Beautiful Mind could find a pattern in that data.

If RA Dickey can maintain his velocity and success from his last start against the New York Yankees it would definitely bode well for any sustained success from the 39-year old knuckleball pitcher.  Dickey is under contract with the Blue Jays for another season (2015) plus an option year.  At the very least Dickey could increase his trade value league wide if Alex Anthopoulos was looking to cash in.

Balance of Power – Jays Struggles With Tampa Bay More than Just Simple Road Woes

Riding With the Wind, ’14: Ready to Go

It’s been interesting since the end of the 2013 season, with fewer moves than expected, rampant speculation, rumours, intrigue, disappointment, and, finally, resigned acceptance.  Without further ado, here’s the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays’ Opening Day 25-man roster with some brief comments:

Starters

RA Dickey; Mark Buehrle; Brandon Morrow; Drew Hutchison; Dustin McGowan

  • There are 2 surprises in Hutch and McG, but they’re good surprises–they both have significant injury concerns but they both pitched very well in Spring Training;
  • Brandon Morrow will once again be a key to the success/failure of the Toronto Blue Jays this season.

Relievers

Casey Janssen; Sergio Santos; Steve Delabar; Brett Cecil; Aaron Loup; Jeremy Jeffress; Todd Redmond; Esmil Rogers

  • This is the strength of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays, just as it was in 2013;
  • Redmond and Rogers competed for the 5th spot in the rotation, but pitched poorly enough in ST to be relegated to the ‘pen as long relievers/spot starters;
  • this, while somewhat disappointing, gives the Jays admirable depth behind Morrow/Hutch/McG;
  • JA Happ was perhaps the biggest disappointment of ST as he was virtually handed the 4th spot in the rotation;
  • Happ’s back flare-up saved the Jays from having to cut a player who was out of options (Redmond; McG; Rogers; Jeffress), or service time issues (Happ);
  • with the speight of recent pitching-related injuries in MLB, the Jays didn’t need another Ervin Santana type of fiasco by losing a quality arm.

Catchers

Dioner Navarro; Josh Thole

  • Dioner Navarro is a significant upgrade over JP Arencibia in every facet of the game;
  • Thole beating out Erik Kratz was a surprise, as Kratz commended himself with a good ST, however, Thole does have years of experience catching RA Dickey;

Outfielders

Jose Bautista; Colby Rasmus; Melky Cabrera; Moises Sierra

  • Anthony Gose played his way to AAA Buffalo–he may never hit at the big league level;
  • Sierra isn’t ideal as a 4th OF, but he has improved and he’s out of options;
  • Sierra will also see time at DH and possibly 1B against LHP;
  • There are several questions here, and most of them relate to health: if these guys can stay healthy, they can be formidable and productive;
  • the one question that isn’t directly related to health is this: who is the back up CF?  Can a tumour-free Melky spell Rasmus every now and then…?

Infielders

Edwin Encarnacion; Ryan Goins; Jose Reyes; Brett Lawrie; Maicer Izturis

  • Ryan Goins may not hit his weight, and he only weighs 185 lbs.–his defense will need to be Wizard-esque to carry his bat if he doesn’t figure it out pretty soon (Mazeroski-esque is better since he was a 2B, but you get it, right?);
  • Adam Lind will slot in at 1B as well, as might Moises Sierra;
  • Edwin, Reyes and Lawrie NEED to stay healthy: Reyes has a slight hamstring issue and Edwin was plunked by the Yankees (no Granderson payback, I’m sure), but all reports indicate that they’re both okay;

Designated Hitter

Adam Lind

  • chronic back issues and an inability to hit LHP are the questions here;
  • however, both of those issues, while disconcerting, are answerable with the roster as constructed: Sierra and Encarnacion figure to see time at DH, plus possibilities like DH-ing Bautista and getting Sierra to patrol RF are also reasonable game-to-game scenarios.

The Bench will be comprised of Josh Thole, Moises Sierra, and Maicer Izturis and, as you can see, it’s a weakness.  Bounce-back years from Thole and Izturis will help considerably, as would one more player (such as uber-versatile-recent-pick-up-but-more-recently-cut Matt Tuiasosopo).  The problem is that the rotation has health concerns (Morrow; Hutch; McGowan), so the ‘pen needs to be fortified.  The ‘pen has guys who fill the role of swingman or long man, but several of them are out of options (Redmond; Rogers; Jeffress).  This stars ‘n’ scrubs roster was constructed with the related factors of health, depth and options playing vital roles.

This season won’t be like 2013.  Not only does it lack the hype and correspondingly high expectations; it lacks answers to some significant questions leftover from 2013.  The only way we’ll get those answers is by letting them play out over time.  The first several weeks of the season will be very telling for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Opening Day is exciting enough, as the season still has yet to unfold.  This one will be very special as Dustin McGowan is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays against Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the Jays play well this year, and we can sit back in November and say ‘that game set the tone for the whole season’?  Here’s to hoping…

Don’t let the lunatic fringe get you down if the Jays stumble out of the gate.  It could be worse: you could be watching darts.  Enjoy it for what it is.  Go Jays go!

Wes Kepstro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding with the Wind, ’14: Spring Training News

There’s nothing major to report, just a few tidbits here and there as the Blue Jays continue to prepare for the season opener in a few weeks.  RA Dickey will pitch the opener, as the Jays open the season with a 4-game set against the Rays in Tampa.  The Yankees will then come to Toronto for a 3-game set for the Jays home opener.  In an interesting turn of events, Brandon Morrow, who has a $13MM club option for 2015, has been slated as the #5 starter for the Jays this season.  It’s conceivable that the Jays merely want him to pitch in Toronto against the NYY but, given his past success against the Rays, it’s not a pareticularly compelling argument.  So launches what http://www.fangraphs.com has determined is the 3rd most difficult schedule in all of MLB…against the 2 inter-divisional rivals that give them the greatest trouble historically.

According to Bluebird Banter (from a tweet by Gregor Chisolm), the Jays have optioned pitchers Kyle Drabek, Sean Nolin, and Chad Jenkins to AAA Buffalo.  None of the three had been terribly impressive in Spring Training, though that’s not Jenkins’ modus operandi anyways.  Jenkins is the one pitcher who makes me furrow my eyebrows.  There’s very little notable, or even noticeable, about him but he continues to get hitters out somehow.  That said, the well-documented logjam that the Jays have in terms of MLB-calibre pitching forces their hand somewhat.  These guys all had options left–though Drabek is out of options after 2014–so they were sent to Buffalo.  Because they had options remaining, they would had to have had a brilliant camp to stick with the Jays.

Gregor Chisholm reports that RA Dickey pitched in the Jays’ minor league camp to take the next step of preparation.  He pitched well, but that’s hardly important.  What is important is that RA pitched 7.2 innings and threw 100 pitches.  He continues to feel good as he stretches himself out during Spring Training.  Blue Jays’ fans recall the neck/upper back muscle pain he experienced last season, contributing to a slow start for RA and, consequently, a slow start by the Jays.

One of the players in the spotlight this ST has been Ryan Goins.  I think I speak for most fans when I say we don’t expect him to play like Roberto Alomar, however the starting job is his to lose.  The question is, ‘how has been performing?’  Defensively he’s been solid although there have been a few errors sprinkled here and there.  His range is good, turning the DP is good, etc.  He’s no 2B version of Ozzie Smith but he’s more than merely passable.  Offensively, however, is the major question mark.  Presently he’s put up a .171/.237/.171 slash line in ST, making his detractors say, ‘see, see–he can’t hit!’  Maybe their right, and maybe he won’t.  A couple of caveats apply, though: he’s pressing, adjusting to a new hitting coach, it’s ST, and the SS is small.  How much rope do I give him?  Well, enough to either hog-tie the position or fashion his own noose, I suppose.

So the Jays continue their inexorable march toward the 2014 regular season, with the opener a mere 15 days away from today.  I confess to being somewhat ambivalent about this season after their performance in 2013 and their inactivity in the off season.  There has been a lot of promise and expectations that have gone unfulfilled, and the so-called 3-year window hasn’t been extended.  Mixed messages have been sent ot the fans, notably: (1) we need starting pitching, only to fail in that goal (to this point); and (2) the players attempting to lure Ervin Santana to Toronto, only to fail in their attempt and then turn around and say it wasn’t that important anyways.  I’m in “wait-and-see” mode.

Wes Kepstro

Riding with the Wind, ’14: Knuckling Under

Their names were Roger Wolff (34), Mickey Haefner (32), Dutch Leonard (36), and Johnny Niggeling (41), and they were a unique group.  Early on, Rick Ferrell (39) must have thought they were the four horsemen of the apocalypse, bringing all sorts of bad things with them.  Later they probably struck fear into their opponents, whose timing was probably messed up for days afterwards.

It was 1945 and the Second World War was in its death throes.  The war in Europe would end, followed, mercifully, by the war in the Pacific.  Those who survived to see the end of the war would return to a different world.  Until then, a different work force would continue to hold positions previously unavailable.  Women, young adults, older adults all found a place to contribute.

Baseball was little different from the rest of North American culture, as young, marginally-talented players mixed with older players hanging on for one last gasp at extending their careers.  They mixed with other players who were exempt from military service for one reason or another, allowing Major League Baseball to continue throughout the War.

Wolff, Haefner, Leonard, and Niggeling constituted four-fifths of the Washington Senators’ rotation.  They were all knuckleball pitchers.  Ferrell was their catcher.  They were unique—no team had ever tried it before, and none have dared to attempt it since.  They were also extremely effective, as the Senators went 87-67 that season.  Leonard (4.7), Wolff (4.5), Haefner (1.9), and Niggeling (1.8) combined for 12.9 fWAR, with Leonard and Wolff finishing 2nd and 4th in fWAR among AL pitchers that season.

Digging into the 6 Degrees of Separation files helps us to fast forward to 2014.  The Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins 15 years after this remarkable season.  As the Twins, they shocked the baseball world by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 World Series.  The Series MVP was Frank Viola.  Frank Viola pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1996, going 1-3 before retiring.  Frank Viola’s son, Frank Viola III, was signed by the Blue Jays to a minor league deal recently.  Frank Viola III joins RA Dickey, Tomo Ohka, and Josh Banks as the 4th knuckle ball pitcher in the organization.

I doubt very much that the Jays are going to run V III, Ohka, and Banks out there with Dickey to duplicate the Senators’ feat of 70 seasons ago.  No, the Jays’ strategy is different.  Since RA Dickey is signed for the next couple of seasons and they have several catchers on the verge of contributing in the high minors and at the major league level, it’s just good organizational management to have those catchers exposed to knuckle balls somewhat regularly in preparation for a call-up.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Jays did it, though?  If the season goes south, then just one week, one turn through the rotation and they could accomplish something that would be truly amazing from an historical perspective.

Wes Kepstro

Props to Scott Ferguson for prompting the brain cramps that led to this piece (http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=445797)

The Toronto Blue Jays, 2014: Riding with the Wind

Last season we borrowed from the images painted by glam rocker David Bowie in his classic, ‘Space Oddity.’  Major Tom’s tragic mission strangely anticipated the Jays’ own on-field tragedy.  High hopes led to disappointment in a flurry of injuries and poor performances.

Will this season be any different or will it be more of the same, results-wise?  Jimi Hendrix saw beauty at the Monterey Pop Festival.  He wanted to take that beauty and put it to music, so he thought of the experience and personified it in the form of a woman.  “Little Wing” was the result.  If you’re unfamiliar with Monterey Pop, Jimi Hendrix, or ‘Little Wing’, open another window in your browser, do some reading/listening, and come on back.  If you’re not interested, then this isn’t the blog for you.

The lyric ‘riding with the wind’ evokes an image of Jimi’s ‘woman’ soaring free, no longer earth-bound.  Riding against the wind is difficult, wastes precious energy, and often forces a traveller to seek shelter.  ‘Riding with the wind’ captures an elemental force of nature that can’t be controlled, just harnessed.   It’s about time for the Jays to harness the wind and loose the surly bonds of gravity.

The off season has been as quiet for AL Eastbound bloggers as it has been for the Toronto Blue Jays.  This blogger has had a tumultuous winter, but is ready and rarin’ to go for the 2014 season.  Can the same be said about the Jays?  TOR traded Brad Lincoln for Erik Kratz, signed catcher Dioner Navarro, cut ties with JP Arencibia, and they may be on the verge of signing Ervin Santana to a 1-year deal.  In other words the Jays, fresh from a 74-88 season, have inflicted a nauseatingly-inactive (passive?) off season on their fans.

They needed pitching, a catcher, a real 2B, and perhaps another OF.  They got Navarro and Kratz, and then complained about giving Navarro too much money over too many years.  Welcome to Toronto, Dioner.  Wait, wait, wait…after a tough season, we don’t need to start this one by complaining.

One thing we can say categorically about the Jays is that they are deeper, roster- and organization-wise, than they have been in years.  This is a good thing.  If Morrow goes down for a few starts I’d rather replace him with Esmil Rogers or Todd Redmond (or Sanchez or Stroman…drool, drool, drool) than Chien-ming Wang, Aaron Laffey, Ramon Ortiz, or, heaven forbid, Brian Tallet.

Also, a healthy RA and Melky and Rasmus and Bats and Reyes and Edwin are better than an unhealthy group with the same names.  Josh Johnson was bewilderingly bad as well as injured, so expectations coming into 2014 were murky.  Drew Hutchison is strong and healthy, and JA Happ, Kyle Drabek, and Dustin McGowan are all talented, somewhat healthy, and competing for roster spots.  Melky doesn’t have a tumour on his spine any longer, meaning LF might not be such an adventure.

That leaves second base.  Last year the carousel included, but was not limited to, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins.  Goins was the cleanest of the dirty shirts, ‘tho Mune gave us a lot of smiles while he filled in for Jose Reyes.  He performed passably at 2B.

The Jays plan to go with Goins at 2B (read, ‘it’s his job to lose’).  Ryan Goins is a shortstop, 25 years old, and doesn’t hit very well.  He’s their secret weapon at 2B, because the others proved they couldn’t handle it last season.  Several rumours (Brandon Phillips, Stephen Drew, Gordon Beckham, Darwin Barney, Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackley, etc.), have surfaced at one point or another only to disappear just as quickly.  It’s always come back to Goins.

Ryan Goins probably isn’t as good defensively as he showed in his 2013 cameo; let’s hope his offense is better than he showed in his 2013 cameo.  He’s one in a long line of good-field-no-hit middle infielders, of which the Jays have had a few.  Even in their heyday in the early ‘90s, they were going to run Manuel Lee or Dick Schofield out there and try to win a title.  Other teams have done the same sort of thing, some very successfully.  One key to success is the quality of the defense.  If it can offset significant shortcomings at the plate, then there’s a chance that he can contribute positively.  Other players in this mold include Ozzie Smith (maybe the best of this type), Bert Campaneris, Omar Vizquel, Larry Bowa, Mark Belanger, Bill Mazeroski, and from way, way back, Marty Marion.  Another key is the strength of the team’s overall offense.  If it can compensate for one black hole in the line-up, the chances of success are greater.

One thing that can be said about the 2014 season: it’s a book that is yet to be written.  The promise of so many pristine blank pages is alluring and exciting.  It’s part of what keeps us coming back for more, no?  Play ball!

Wes Kepstro

 

 

 

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


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