Welcome to the Offseason

WorldSeries.jpgFirst off, congratulations to the New York Yankees on becoming the 2009 World Series champions (and for making me look smart by coming through on my prediction of them earning baseball’s biggest crown in six games).

That was a great Fall Classic. Cliff Lee’s mastery in Game 1. Chase Utley’s power surge, tying Reggie Jackson’s 1977 mark of five World Series homers. Johnny Damon pulling off a solo double steal to ignite a late rally and help the Yankees take a critical Game 4. Godzilla going off for six RBIs in the clincher in the Bronx.

Now, it’s officially the offseason. With the baseball season in the books, it’s time to look ahead. In 15 days, teams can begin offering contracts to any free agent they choose. Until then, teams have an exclusive negotiating window with their own free agents.

For your Toronto Blue Jays, they list of free agents include catcher Rod Barajas, shortstop Marco Scutaro, shortstop John McDonald, first baseman Kevin Millar and catcher Michael Barrett. Millar will not be back in 2010 and it’s a safe assumption that Barrett will also follow him to the open market.

Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has maintained that the team has interest in retaining Barajas, Scutaro and McDonald. Will Toronto bring all three back? My educated guess is no. A lot depends on what direction the Jays take this year, and Anthopoulos will likely shed light on that this weekend.

Scutaro is coming off a career year and is eligible as a Type A free agent — something the Jays did not count on. That means Toronto would receive a pair of compensation picks if he signs with another club. Barajas is a Type B free agent, meaning the Jays would receive one sandwich compensation pick if he signs elsewhere.

As for McDonald, he rarely saw action in 2009 until the end of the year, when Scutaro was sidelined with a foot issue. It made sense to keep McDonald on the bench — given the season’s turned in by Scutaro and second baseman Aaron Hill — but he might want to see if there is a team out there willing to offer more playing time.

There are a number of other issues still unsettled — the future of ace Roy Halladay being front and center in the direction of the Blue Jays. Toronto will also likely be looking to upgrade its offense this winter and some rotation and bullpen help might not be a bad idea, either. It all depends on how much cash the Jays decide to spend.

Stay tuned…

~JB

18 Comments

(CNNMoney.com) Adding up the dollars and cents. Applying a Society of Baseball Research metric, the Yankees were actually more efficient with their payroll this past season than were the hapless cross-town Mets, Cleveland Indians and basement-dwelling Washington Nationals.

The World Champs were only slightly less thrifty with their salaries than the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and Kansas City Royals, all of whom missed the playoffs.

By those calculations, the Yankees paid $3.2 million per “marginal victory.” That’s nearly twice as efficient as the Mets, who only won 70 games despite their $149 million payroll and paid $5.8 million per marginal victory.

In addition, a rough estimate of the team’s revenue in 2009 shows the Yankees cashed in on their success more than any other team. Multiply the number of people coming to games by the average ticket price ($73),and the Yankees took in about $270 million this season, or $69 million more than they shelled out for their payroll.

Looks to me like if we want the Jays to spend with the Yanks, we’d better be prepared to support them, the way Yank fans support their team.

I hope that Antho has the foresight to let short-stop and catcher go to free agency. Imagine getting a first round pick and two sandwich picks for these two players. It must be getting close to Christmas!

The following is from mlbtraderumors and is reporting a potential swap between the Jays and Diamond Backs.

12:31pm: Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports that the two teams are discussing a Snyder for Lyle Overbay swap. He mentions that it’s “unclear how far along the trade talks are.”

10:05am: MLBTR has learned that the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks are in trade talks for catcher Chris Snyder.

Snyder would be a good fit for the Jays, who have catcher Rod Barajas eligible for free agency. The 28-year-old Snyder hit .200/.333/.352 for the D’Backs in a season marred by a back injury (he had surgery in September). Presumably the Blue Jays’ doctors would have to check him out before a deal could be completed. The other issue would be money – Snyder is owed $11.25MM over the next two seasons. Snyder received the contract on the strength of his ’08 season (.237/.348/.452) but has since lost the starting job to Miguel Montero.

What do you guys think?

In 2008, presumably before Snyder was hurt, he hit .237/.348/.452 with 22 doubles, 16 hr’s and 64 rbi’s in 115 games.He hit a little better with risp and hits .282 with bases loaded and he’s 28. He’s also only had 1 error in the last 3 years. A definite upgrade from Barajas (particularly OBP)-if he’s healthy and a much better return for Overbay that expected.

AA held his conference call today to outline his long term strategy and direction. A summary of the call can be found here http://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20091107163524374

You can listen to the 35 minute call here:

http://www.fan590.com/media.jsp?content=20091107_151806_11860

Now that he has finally spoken — the speculation regarding Antho can stop. It is now clear that he is committed to re-building, and that, through the draft and trades. I am glad to see Antho take this direction. I finally have some hope.

I think the most important aspect of the Overbay trade, gs mentions, is not so much what we get back, but that we would be making a spot for LIND. This clears a spot for RUIZ or Dopriak at DH. I really hope that we can move Overbay. The change would be good for him and the team. Now, if Antho could somehow move DOC for a handsome package in return, and somehow move Vernon, that would be great. Keep in mind, we do not have to keep what we get back for Vernon (e.g., Bradley) we could also move what we get back in return if there are other suitors.

There are multiple things I like about the direction Alex is taking. First, beefing up the scouting and player development to be the best in baseball. We used to have the best scouts and player development guys-that’s how we won in the past, its nice to see that emphasis come back.
Second, the withdrawal for the Pacific rim and re-focus on Latin America. We have some interesting prospects from Latin America in the system already, I look forward to us finding those real gems like Felix Hernandez in the future. The thing that really works for us in this region is the lack of the draft. We find them and can sign them as long as they’re 16 years old. In addition, the American players agents like Scott Boras are not yet that active in the region, so even the very best prospects don’t get more than 5-7 million singing bonus.
Third, I am pleased to hear no more free agent contracts that drag us down like Thomas, or Ryan, until we need that last piece or two in order to win. Fact is there are no easy steps to winning, its one piece at a time.
Fourth, it’s refreshing to be told of player operations at the time or even before the time they actually happen. What a change that is from JP, stating Ryan had a back issue.

I must say, I also like Alex’s enthusiasm. I agree with him that as this team builds and starts to compete, the fans will come back in droves. There is no better place in baseball to be, but in the dome with 50,000 fans yelling their lungs out. With the roof closed the sound is absolutely deafening and acts as a 10th player on our team. It was magic back in 92/93 and I look forward to getting back to that again.

For the first time in a long time, it’s now exciting to be a Blue Jays fan again. I look forward to these kids coming up in future years and establishing themselves, like Lind and Hill, and I also am pleased Rogers has committed the funding to keep them as they mature and become stars-a long term winning formula for sure.

Burt, I’m not one who wants Lind at 1st, because if we do that we leave either Ruiz or Dopirak out of the lineup. I’d like to see Dopirak/Ruiz share time between DHL and 1st base and keep Lind in left field with Snider in right. I don’t buy what Cito stated in not having Snider and Lind in the outfield at the same time. Snider will become a good right fielder, and Lind is already a better outfielder than Johnny Damon is or Manny Ramirez-two guys who roamed left field while their teams won the series.
Bring Snider and Lind in early to spring training and spend 20-30 days with the two of them improving their defense. I’d like to see a lineup that includes Hill, Lind, Encarnacion, Dopirak, Ruiz and Snider-6 guys who can all hit 25-30 home runs and drive in 75-100 runs per year. Sounds almost Yank type, doesn’t it.
I also am thinking (maybe too optimistic), that Wells will recover in 2010-the question is how much? That being said, if he does, he will become more valuable in a trade that he is now, so it might make sense to trade him at the trade deadline than now.
I am hoping when we trade Halladay, we get **** with high obp and some speed who can handle the lead off role. The guy I really wanted was Alcindes Escobar, but since the Brewers already traded Hardy, I don’t see them parting with Escobar, so possibly Brandon Wood or Jed Lowrie.

That **** should read a short stop.

The great part about this trade is that Overbay will be gone. It’s just a bonus that AZ is throwing in Snyder. Really, if they can get a bag off balls for him they should pull the trigger. PULL THE TRIGGER NOW!

I get the feeling Chris Snyder didn’t pass the Jays medical. A back operation, particularly the one he had is difficult to recover from. I hope I’m wrong because trading Overbay is the right move to make-even if we give him away for no return.

just saw it on jordans twitter! Jays will explore the possibility of getting russel martin!! that would be awesome!

I would prefer to see Arencebia be given a chance to be the regular catcher. Martin, IMO, is way over-rated. However, since he is a Canadian and a (former) name, I could see Arencebia being forced to play behind him. Sure, Arencebia needs to learn the ropes, but I would like to see him mentored by someone that will not hinder his progress in assuming the number 1 catcher’s position.

GSJays, What do you think of the Jays bringing Back Hinske for 3b???

Griffin is reporting that the Rangers feel that they were “lied to” at the trade deadline regarding Halliday. Can anyone shed some light on this???

stansburp-nope-only time to bring Henske back is when we’re close to winning-he’s a good luck charm-Boston, TB and NY. I like EE at 3rd, hoping Butter can improve his throwing-but if he’s healthy next year-I’d bet he hits 30 hr’s for us. He has power plus, probably will never hit for high average.

Burt-they were dealing with JP-he lied to everyone. The story was JP told them Doc would consider a trade to Texas and Doc would not go to Texas and told JP that. Problem was, Texas actually thought they’d got Halladay and made no moves on other pitchers so by the time they found out the truth it was too late to move elsewhere. I’m thinking of starting a fund to buy JP season tickets in Texas-do you think he’s like that as-say a farewell present? Only problem is, I doubt if he’d ever have the nerve to attend a game there. lol

Latest rumor-Overbay to the Mets and Bradley to the Jays-I wonder if that means the Wells deal is still alive with Chicago?

Jays claim 28 yr. old short stop Mike McCoy from Colorado today. Gotta like this move. McCoy hit .307/.405/.400 for Colorado’s AAA last year AND stole 40 bases. Limited power, but with that OBP and stolen base number-could be a nice fit.

From Battersbox.com
Dopirak is playing winter ball in Venezuela and is hitting .292/.389/.542 with Magallanes. He’s hit six doubles, six homers and 27 RBI while drawing 17 walks against 27 strikeouts. Las Vegas hitting coach Ken Joyce says the right-handed hitting Dopirak “has raw power you just can’t teach and there’s no question he’ll get to the big leagues if he continues to swing the bat the way he is”.

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