Jays Sign Stairs

5zilh839TORONTO – The Blue Jays announced on Friday that they had agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $3.25 million with Canadian slugger Matt Stairs.

Back home in Bangor, Maine, Stairs confirmed the deal and said that playing time was never an issue in the negotiations. He simply didn’t want to talk money during the season, explaining why he steered away from signing an extension until this week.

The deal is being announced as $3.25 million, but it can be worth $3.5 million if Stairs reaches 200 plate appearances in 2008 ($200K) and 100 plate appearances in 2009 ($50K). The contract also includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, so it’s yearly salaries of $1 million.

The deal was struck late Thursday night and Stairs agent, Bob Garber, said, "We’re very happy that Matt’s going to be able to finish his career with the Blue Jays." It’s still not clear how Stairs, Adam Lind and/or Reed Johnson will fit into the left field plan. To be continued.

27 Comments

I like the 2 year signing. He has proven his worth as a utility player and a power lefthanded bad off the bench.

Now the question is, who leads off when Stairs starts in left over Johnson? (assuming Linds starts in AAA and no trades are made) Do we bump Hill to lead off or Wells? We don’t have a true lead off guy without Johnson in the lineup. I like what Gibby did last year when Stairs would come in he would simply take Johsnon’s spot at lead off and leave the rest of the lineup unchanged.

I’m really curious as to how the lineup will be set this year. Does Hill become the #2 hitter? Rios hitting 3rd? Or do you put a guy that’s OBP is high (Zaun in recent years) at #2. I’m hoping the Jays have a idea as hitters in 08 of what their job is and become more disciplined and unselfish.

I wasn’t too big with the term, but the salary makes up for it. I doubt he’ll have another season like he just did, but if he can post close numbers i’ll be happy.

I like the Stairs signing. To me it’s a 1.25 mill deserved bonus for the year Stairs gave us last year and 1 mill a year for two years with incentives.

The thing I like about the contract is everyone’s expectations are set properly meaning Stairs understands in the 2nd year of the deal, he’s a bench player and Lind is the player. And frankly Stairs didn’t get obstinate and try to break the bank or force committments of playing time on the team that would be unachieveable.

I also hope we re-sign Fasano and have him play at AAA. I still hope Robinson Diaz makes it this spring. Fasano is going to be a great coach someday-hopefully for us. He’s great with the young pitchers and catchers and can do a superb job for us in AAA and act as a backup here if someone goes down.

I like the signing also . I think he is a good, solid player and a great presence to have in the clubhouse .
As for Fasano , I would love to see him coach in the future and eventually be a manager

I for one, do not support the usage of instant replays in baseball.

The game is already too long-I can see instant replays extending game time to an average of 4 hours.

If the Gm’s want to imporve the game, speed it up-or get ready for an all day afair like cricket.

i think that every team should have 2 challenges (like the NFL i think) and that umpires can view replays only when it’s a deciding factor. SOmething like steal home, or home-run foul or fair or a 2-rbi double down the line they are not sure about or a throwout at home…

The 2 challenges make sure that if umpires don’t view the replays or it’s a minor matter we can still get the right call.

Too many games are gone down the drain because of bad umpiring (i don’t blame them though, they are humans).

I agree with you Harrypotter. I’d also find a way to penilize the manager if he challenges a call and it ends up being right.

sumner I agree with you that they should look at speeding up the game. I’m curious though what would you do in order to achieve that ?

As for replays I don’t think it will make it that much longer, if they do the challenge thing as harry suggested.

enigma

There are rules existing as to how much time a pitcher has to deliver a pitch once the batter’s in the cage-I think it’s 16 seconds. In one game we played against New York, Igawa was pitching and sometimes took 30-45 seconds. It was never called-of course our Abner never brought it to the umpires attention either.

In one of the ALCS playoff games, Kenny Lofton must have taken a minute to get to the batters box. He did this on purpose to change Dice-k’s timing. It worked and 4-5 batters later Dice K was out of the game.

The umpires should call these infractions to speed up the game.

I don’t know about anyone else,but the game I enjoyed watching the most this year was against Chicago with Halliday and Brulhe pitching. Game lasted 2 hours. 3.5 to 4.5 isnt enjoyable.

Any instant replay is going to delay the game-this is not good news-in my view.

David Purcey goes 4 innings, throws 70 pitches of which 45 are strikes, gives up no earned runs, 1 K and no BB.

His era is now down to 1.59.

Looks like they’re being extra carefull in stretching him out. Last outing was 60 pitches, this one 70.

As I said in a previous post, he’s definately back and only going to get stronger.

No to replays. One thing I like about baseball is that it is played pretty much the same way now as it was 100 years ago. Umpiring is a human element, and sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don’t; what is important is how you pick yourself up after a bbad call. Besides, I would rather watch a manager getting tossed than watch a bunch of fat guys staring into a monitor, or another commercial.

Wow it has been a while since the last time I commented on here. Listen though I heard the Jays were interested in signing Posada. I know Jordan already said that that would probably be unlikely, but Posada confirmed that the Jays called about him. The only thing is that he wants a 4 year contract, and I don’t think that’s what the Jays have in mind.

freedom

Good to see you posting-don’t be a stranger.

I’m interested in where you saw confirmation from Posada.

I can’t imagine anyone signing Posada for four years-that owuld be a difficult deal to get out of.

Posada would sure help the lineup, but I think price-wise, he is out of budget. After all, he made $12 million last year. I think I would be looking for someone like Yorvit Torrealba from the Rockies, who would come with a lot smaller price tag.

It looks like a reasonable middle ground might have been reached on the instant replays with only disputed boundry plays being reviewed. I also like the fact that penalties for abuse are being taken into consideration.

BUT the best news is the steps being reviewed to speed up the game. They are considering limiting when a hitter could step out of the batter’s box between pitches, restricting the number of times a player could visit the mound, and limiting the number of players allowed to visit the mound. There is already a rule for pitchers.

Now the question is will the implement them and will the umpires call the infractions.

Probably-is the answer for all teams but the Yanks. lol

gnorman

I like Posada-but only for one year, he’s getting old. He could be the guy to put us over the hump, if he had the same kind of year he did this year, so maybe two years.

If he’d sign for one_I’d pay him what ever he wants-but I don’t think he’d sign for one year and I’m sure the Yanks are going to give him a great offer for 2-3 years.

gnorman

They Jays have room. They eliminate a number of salaries in 2008 versus 2007 on players like Hinske, Koskie, Towers, Zambrano, Royce, Okha, Phillips, Smith and Thompson. This totals about $13 million.

In addition, they’ve had a huge move in the dollar-as of today a 27% move from the same budget period last year. With their estimated US dollar cost net at about $100 mill, this is a sizeable $27 million windfall, so all told there’s $40 million of wriggle room.

Now whether Uncle Teddy will allow them to spend it or not is a different issue-but they do have room to move.

I like Posada too, but if the money were available for Posada, how about Dontrelle Willis for 9-10 mil/year as a #3 man in the rotation? He had a poor year last year, but look who he was pitching for.

gnorman

I do like Willis, but we’d have to give up either Mcgowan or Marcum and prospects. I think the price will likely be too high to get him.

I also like how Purcey’s pitching and Litsch was ok for a 5th starter-so I think we’re ok in pitching.

It would be a nice early Christmas present to get another quality bat though, and the only areas are catcher and ss.

I still like this trade.

Let’s trade Lind to Boston for Jed Lowrie, their AAA shortstop. He’s a high quality hitter known for taking pitchers deep in the count, hits for high average and OBP, 13 Hr’s this year.

Could be a good #2 hitter or leadoff when Johnson isn’t playing.

to shorten up the game prolly stop coaching visits (make that like 3) and give pitchers less time in middle and batters aren’t allowed to step out of box. They might also want to look at AMOUNT OF FOUL BALLS. IF u foul more than a certain amount then its out but that could get confusing.

About posada if we do have 40 mill like gsumner says (gonna trust u on that one) i would say go for posada for 2 year 12 million dollars and maybe incentives, since he is getting old. I don’t think we will get much out of zaun anyways. This would give Thigpen a year to get better at battin and Diaz a year to recover and come back to full potential. Plus i like posada.

Not sure about lind trade. LInd is obviously gonna be out DH when Thomas leaves. and if not he is playing LF till then. But if we don’t get good average out of him and he turns into hinske then maybe trade him. It’s a risk cause he’s got huge potential.

looks like all the others stopped posting, gary, bosox, khoenig, robert…u know wat happened to them gsumner

nice to see new ppl though

oh and with 40 mill i put up a list earlier and i forgot everyone on that list. Who else do u think is available for us???????

Freedom

Thanks, I believe the Yanks offering him 3 years and 40 milion. I’d go for two years and 30-I think he could be worth it-but not 3.

Harry

Good to see you posting again-don’t be a stranger.

I like Lind as well, but we have a log jam both now and in the near future in left field. Today, it’s Johnson, Stairs and Lind. Within a year or two it’s Johnson, Lind, Stairs and Snider. If Snider picks up his defence, his bat is close to ready-so he could be here within a year-definately two.

Snider and Lind are similar in that they’re both left fielders, both left handed power hitters and both capable of hitting for high average-although I think Snider has more upside, and is a phenomenal RBI guy.

Lowrie has been scouted more favorably than Pedrolia-by Boston scouts, hits for good average (.298) has an impressive OBP of .393 and is a switch hitter. Could be a great #2 hitter or lead off hitter, plays short stop and has power-13 HR’s.

He could fill a need for us now, is only 23 and has tremendous upside-just like Lind. Lowrie gets better defensively each game he plays at SS and I’m sure Macdonald, Hill and Butter would speed up that process.

We have a surplus of left fielders-Boston has a surplus of SS. Could be a good trade.

By the way, I’d expect about 15-20 mill of that available 40 goes to raises in either new contracts or 2008 rates from existing contracts-BUT there is available money.

Whether they spent it or not time will tell.

While we are talking about money, here’s an interesting observation- According to the USA Today salary figures, the Jays were 16th overall in payroll at $81+ mil, but 7th in attendance in 2007. The 7th payroll spot is held by Seattle at $106 mil, so we could add $25 mil and still be in the ballgame. And that’s not considering that the Loonie should be about $1.10 by Spring. Do I smell Maple Leaf Syndrome here?

As much as I would like to see the Jays obtain a good shortstop (defensively and offensively), I don’t think Boston will give up Lowrie for Lind. Here’s my reasoning:

First, a good shortstop is much harder to get than a good outfielder.

Second, Boston does not have a real surplus in shortstop. Everyone knows Lugo struggled miserably at the plate last season, and if he continues that, he’ll soon have to be shipped out (remember Renteria? and more recently, Coco Crisp being dangled because of Ellsbury). That’s where Lowrie comes in. So Boston would be wise to hold onto Lowrie for at least a year for insurance. Plus, from what I heard on one of the organizational reports on MLB.com, Lowrie is the future Boston shortstop.

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