Game 116: Toronto at Tampa Bay

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (55-60)
Fourth place AL East, 18.0 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, LF
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Joe Inglett, RF

Starter: LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-3, 4.38)

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (62-54)
Third place AL East, 11.5 GB

1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Willy Aybar, DH
7. Gabe Kapler, RF
8. Dioner Navarro, C
9. B.J. Upton, CF

Starter: RHP Matt Garza (7-8, 3.80)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

16 Comments

It’s getting hard to even watch the Jays games with Vernon Wells playing. So far today in 3 innings and 2 at bats, he’s left 5 on. Why aren’t we batting him 9th?

Why is he batting at all?

Here’s why Wells is still batting.

salary 2010: $16.143,000.00
salary 2011: $26.643,000.00
Salary 2012: $24.643,000.00
Salary 2013: $24.643,000.00

D-day for draft signings has arrived and the Jays still have 6 of their first 10 draft picks unsigned. They’re not alone, the Yanks have none signed or at least announced and the Sox only have 2 signed.
It looks to me like the direction given by Sellick of dropping slots is not being received well by the draftees as most teams have a lot of top 10’s not signed-maybe an average of 30% have.
If that is how the day finishes and we don’t see a fury of signings today, it will be for all intents and purposes a wasted draft. Let’s hope that’s not the case with the Jays.

All draftees should do themselves a favor and take a look at the rosters of most rookie teams and they’d note a massive influx of kids from the Dominican Summer League (DSL) on all rosters, including the Jays.( probably over 50% at the GC Jays).
Maybe there’s a message being sent.

I just had a look at the top 3 picks for the 20 years 1985 to 2004, far enough back that top picks should have made their mark in the majors. Six of the 20 first round picks have played less than 25 games in the majors, and the rate is higher for the second and third round, a failure rate of about 33% in the top 3 picks! The failure rate for the entire first round is 50-60%.
Given the millions paid out in signing bonuses to the top 3 picks, and the fact that about 1/3 of it goes down the drain, it’s no wonder that baseball wants to reduce the slot money.

Source for the above post is http://www.baseballreference.com

The Nationals have apparently offered Stephen Strasburg a record $12.5 million signing bonus and the contract hasn’t been signed. Scott Boras, Strasburg’s agent is looking for more and used the $50 million received by Dice-K’s team in Japan as a measure. Boras also represents the next two players in the draft who are unsigned as well.

Boras, in effect is holding up draft signings across the board, since a number of draftees wait to see what the number one guy gets and use it as a measure.

The funny part of this is if Strasburg doesn’t sign, the Nationals will pick first again next year and likely pick him again, that is if he isn’t injured or performs poorly, either of which is a possibility.

In my opinion, Strasburg is crazy if he doesn’t take this deal, regardless of what Boras tells him. I also hope the Nats remain firm and if he doesn’t sign, let him stew for a year, then pick him again next year and offer him $1.5 million or get lost.
There really has to be a limit on signing bonus’s because if there isn’t ( and $12.5 million is there) the only teams who will be capable of the top talent will be large market teams, the same ones who now sign all the best free agents.

Travis Snider isn’t in the Vegas lineup tonight; maybe Boston is in for a surprise tomorrow night.

You are right on Strasbourg, gsjays. I can see a young player trying the draft, and then deciding to go back to college, get more experience, and then maybe get picked higher the next year. In this case, you can’t get picked higher than #1, and by sitting out a year, Strasbourg is essentially wasting a year of professional earnings at the peak of his career, and there are only so many of those.
The $50 million figure doesn’t make much sense, either. Dice-K was the best pitcher in Japan’s top league, with several years of proven value behind him. The $50m was to the team, not the player, and was paid for the loss in value the team would suffer with the loss of the player. No such case here.

You are right on Strasbourg, gsjays. I can see a young player trying the draft, and then deciding to go back to college, get more experience, and then maybe get picked higher the next year. In this case, you can’t get picked higher than #1, and by sitting out a year, Strasbourg is essentially wasting a year of professional earnings at the peak of his career, and there are only so many of those.
The $50 million figure doesn’t make much sense, either. Dice-K was the best pitcher in Japan’s top league, with several years of proven value behind him. The $50m was to the team, not the player, and was paid for the loss in value the team would suffer with the loss of the player. No such case here.

I thought I heard August 17 somewhere as the date when Travis could be safely called up without losing arbitration years. Of course, the boy has been working VERY hard lately, and maybe he just sat down for a rest!

Strasburg signed for about $15 million, but it also includes his first 4 years salary. So in spite of the fact, it’s a ridiculous number, Scott Boras’s attempt to turn draft signings into free agent dollar levels at least partially failed, although he sucked Seattle into paying up to $9 million for Dustin Ackley over the next 5 years and San Diego into $6.25 million for Donavan Tate.
Clearly, Boras’s strategy is to force teams to bring his clients up sooner ( because of the investment made) and effectively prepay what once was the low cost years on a prospect. This is not good for the game or the players Boras represents.

I suspect Boras asked the Jays for a ridiculous amount for James A Paxton, which is why he’s unsigned. Frankly, the Jays look like geniuses for signing Chad Jenkins for $1.359 million and a tip of the hat for not over paying for Paxton.

Strasburg might end up being a good pro pitcher, but, imo, he’s more like to end up like Mark Prior than Roger Clements. The reason is, the Nats will likely rush him to the majors before he’s really ready and built up serious innings and arm strength in order to internally justify his contract. If that’s the case (and I cannot imagine them doing otherwise) then Strasburg will likely suffer similar consequences as Prior (the last big bonus baby) did when he pitched for a little over only 4 years for the Cubbies, won 42 games, hasn’t pitched since 2006 because of injury and probably won’t.

Snider’s up and Inglett’s sent back down. Would it ever be cool to see Snider take Beckett deep tonight.

Great news there GS. I can’t wait to watch him play the rest of the season. I just hope that Cito sticks with him in the lineup against lefties. Bad news is that Millar is still on this team.

Update via Jordan Bastian’s tweet: How much will Snider play? “He’ll play against everybody,” said Cito.

“He’ll play against everybody,” Good news and he should be playing against everyone. His year to date numbers in Vegas justify it as you can see:

Against right handers: .315/.416/.661
Against left handers: .396/.473/.667

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