Happy New Year

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I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. And here’s to another great year in 2010! Wherever you’re ringing in the New Year tonight, be safe and have a blast. I’m back home in Chicago and will be off for a little while, so expect the blog to remain quiet over the next week and a half or so. Next time I blog, it’ll be 2010 and we’ll all be one step closer to Spring Training. Happy New Year everyone.

~JB

33 Comments

Whether you’re the Royals or the Yankees or somebody in between (Blue Jays), it is still baseball – and that is a good thing. Happy New Year to you, JB. Thanks for your work in 2009 and enjoy that young ‘un.

From TSN.CA STAFF–General Manager Alex Anthopoulos’ quest to rebuild the Toronto Blue Jays could involve the big money signing of 21-year old Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

According to ESPN, the Jays held a private workout for Chapman Thursday morning in Florida, before meeting with his agents.

The 21-year old left-hander, worked out for around 14 teams in Houston three weeks ago, where his fastball reportedly topped out at 97 mph.

Chapman was reportedly offered a $15.5 million offer from the Boston Red Sox in November, when he was with his previous agent.

Chapman, who defected when the Cuban national team was playing in the Netherlands, is the highest regarded defector since Jose Contreras left in 2002 when the national team played in Mexico.

Contreras received a four-year $32 million contract with the New York Yankees in 2003. It is believed that Chapman could command a $20-25 million deal.

A look at Chapman against Korea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3acJkwmRP0

First off HAPPY NEW YEAR TO 1 AND ALL :)
It would be great if we got Aroldis Chapman, it would be a big boost to the farm system.

Regarding Chapman, I like his potential. Money should be no issue regarding signing him. My concern has to do with long-term commitment to the Jays. Is he going to sign and stay with the Jays long term. In a best-case scenario, it is going to take 2 or 3 years for any team to fix his delivery and get the kid close to his potential. However, if it can be done, the sky is the limit. I just worry that being from a warm climate, he would feel much more comfortable pitching south of the border. (Yes, I know about other Cubans pitching up north. However, I am still skeptical. Especially, when the kid reportedly asked for $15 million a year for 4 years.) I would like to see us put our money into players who are “salt of the earth” types and have moral centers, like Doc Holladay. This is not to say that this Kid does not. But I think that the “big money” contracts need to go to kids who want to be part of the Blue Jays — not players who are seeking to sell themselves to the highest bidder.

Burt-My take is the Jays won’t sign him unless they really believe they can fix his delivery issues, there’s too much injury and performance risk if they don’t fix it.
Remember we will still control this kid until he reaches 6 years of mlb experience and if we’re creative with his contract, we might be able to stretch that a year of two and then if need be-trade him for prospects, just like we did for Halladay.
Consider this kid like the first draft choice, the money he’s seeking is similar to what Strasburg got which was $15 mill over 4 years-not $15 mill per year as you suggest.
I’m not sure any 21 year old has that much of a “moral center”, or at least not one anyone can really witness. I suspect and hope there’s still some wild oats that need to be dispersed.
There is only one Doc Halladay.

ORLANDO – The Dominican baseball player Edwin Encarnacion was discharged on Saturday in a Miami hospital, where he was taken from the Dominican Republic after suffering burns to his face caused by fireworks during New Year celebration.

Encarnacion suffered burns of first and second grade at the front and right side of the face, after a rocket hit him in the jaw and exploded near his mouth.

“Thank God all is well with my face. I have no fractures or serious damage and will not need any surgery,” said Encarnacion told ESPNdeportes.com on the phone as he left the Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“The doctors say I’ll have to go a week without sun, but I can train without problems in two weeks,” said third baseman of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Encarnacion told the incident occurred at his home in La Romana in the eastern Dominican Republic, while celebrating the New Year early Friday. A batter brother lit a firecracker that instead of going up, flew sideways into a group of people and hit Encarnacion.

The player was treated by emergency at a local clinic on Friday and was later moved to Miami with his fiancée, Jennifer Pena, the eldest daughter of Tony Peña, bench coach of the New York Yankees and manager of the Eagles Cibaenas, the club that owns Incarnation in the Dominican winter league.

“I was treated very well in the Dominican, but when doctors started talking about operations in the face, I contacted my agent, Paul Kinzer to look for a private flight and take me to a hospital specializing in burns,” said Encarnacion.

“The kid’s okay, just what led the United States as a precaution,” Pena said from Santo Domingo.

I might be wrong but i am almost certain that i read numerous reports where chapman asked for 15million per year for 4 years and then the sox offered him 15.5 OVER 4 years and he refused.

I believe that his initial asking price was based on his lack of knowledge of MLB and I am sure he probably heard the huge amounts of money people like Barry Zito, Sabathia and Burnett earnt, so he tried to compare himself to that sort.

Personally I would love for the jays to pickup chapman but for nothing much more than a 20million contract (personally everywhere i read it says that he will garner 20-25 million dollars and over how many years would that be?)

Chapman seems like he has an amazing arm but did poor in the World Championship thing for Cuba and I am sure he will get better but too many kinks. So nothing for more than 20 million, its a high risk high reward deal.

Thanks, Harry. I, too, was sure that he asked for 15 million per year. Obviously, he needs a new agent! Changing gears, though, even if this kid has more upside than Purcey, the difference is not that great. I am convinced that Purcey’s arm has a no-hitter in it. You cannot get better than that. Also, the guy is a horse. He has a roger-clemens type body that should allow him to pitch huge numbers of innings for years to come. If the Jays organization cannot get Purcey’s control problems solved, I would not be so optimistic about them solving Champman’s either. Both players have great potential — but it has to be harnessed. That said, I would be very happy to see Chapman in the fold. However, ANTHO MUST NOT MOVE AWAY FROM HIS STRATEGY OF BUILDING THROUGH THE DRAFT. THIS MEANS THAT WITH NINE PICKS AVAILABLE NEXT YEAR, THE CUPBOARD SHOULD BE FULL TO SIGN THOSE PICKS.

i just found where i first saw the quote:

Chapman, who touched 100 m.p.h. on the radar gun as a reliever for Cuba at the World Baseball Classic, had originally been reported as seeking $15 million per season over four years.

that is by Richard Griffin and there are more people ( i believe ken rosenthal was one as well) who said that chapman was looking for 15 million per season as well. (i coudln’t find that link though)

heres the toronto star:
http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/bluejays/article/744986–jays-reportedly-bring-in-free-agent-fireballer-for-audition-in-dunedin

Harry/Burt-very early on, Chapman had a different agent-A Edwin Mejia who had no experience in handling baseball players or knowledge of the game. He’s the one who made this ridiculous request, but backed off on it the moment he started talking to teams.
Ultimately, Chapman replaced him with the Hendricks Brothers and although there has never been a retraction for the initial statement, its been understood by the offers he’s received so far that it isn’t happening. Mejia has sued the Hendricks brothers, but I doubt if it goes any where. Sorry, should have made that clear in the first post.
I expect he’ll sign for between $20 and $25 million over 4-5 years and I hope we’re the ones who sign him.

Thanks for the clarification. As I said, I am all for signing him, as long as we have the full 16 million to spend on those first 9 picks.

Hey

ya i didn’t know that and the 15 million per year did seem ridiculous to me too.
also ya i agree, most other experts also suggest that chapman will be signed for 20-25 million dollars, and 4-5 years sound good to me.

The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a seven-year, $120 million deal with Matt Holliday, SI.com has learned. Holliday will also get a full no-trade clause. Scott Boras lost one here, in that he was demanding a deal like Tiexera got of $180 million over 8 years, but, imo, baseball still lost as well.
Holliday hit 39 doubles, 24 hr’s and drove in 109 rbi’s last year, compared to Adam Lind who hit 46 doubles, 35 hr’s, drove in 114 rbi’s. and got paid $411,800.00 in 2009. I guess Adam is deserving of a healthy raise this year.

A contract like Holliday’s, imo, hurts baseball. I don’t necessarily have as much of a problem with the annual stipend as I do with the length of contract, because it’s all guaranteed. If Holliday gets hurt in the next game he plays and can no longer play baseball, he still gets paid the full $120 million.
Not that I’d expect Holliday to play for the amount Lind gets paid, but there has to be a happier medium. These long term contracts at these absurd levels like given here or to Wells do nothing but hurt baseball. I mean think about it, Halliday will make more in one year next year than most Doctors earn in a career.
They also underline why it’s so critical for the Jays to build, build and build the minor league system so there’s a continual stream of high quality candidates coming to the big club. It might be, we reach a stage where Adam Lind can or will demand a contract like this. If or when he does, we need to be in the position of trading him for prospects like we did Halladay and continually build kids we can keep under control for 6 or more years.

The Marlins apparently are giving free agent Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman something to think about. According to an American League source following the situation, the Marlins are “still in the game” and are believed to have increased their initial $13 million offer in hopes of landing the hard-throwing Chapman.

Chapman told one associate he expects to sign within the next three or four days. If the Marlins do somehow lure Chapman, it probably won’t be with the most lucrative deal. They’re counting on Chapman’s comfort level in South Florida bridging the gap.

Another industry source said he expected Chapman ultimately to sign with either the Angels or Blue Jays for around $21 million.

Looks like that report of Aroldis Chapman signing in the next few days is true and he’s already hired his new body guards. Check these two out and tell me whether you’d want to run into either of them down a dark street. Lol

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7_u2CGgFDGo/Sz_pYBnGUBI/AAAAAAAAAnY/oBzI82J-Pvg/s1600-h/aroldis-chapman-1-751879.jpg

Today’s hall-of-fame vote would likely have turned out differently if Alomar had played in NY or LA. No doubt, Alomar will get into the hall sooner than later, but the quality of his career justified a first-ballot entrance. Oh, well.

From MLB Rumors: Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald tweets that internally, the Marlins have “conceded defeat” in the Chapman sweepstakes.

burt-Not sure if that was the issue. There’s still a pile of writers that think no one should ever get in on their first try since “even Joe DiMaggio didn’t.” But he definitely will get in next year.

From MLB rumors: Tim Brown of the LA Times tweets: Angels source on Chapman: “Despite what you read, we’re not in that deep.”

Los Marlins dejan la lucha por Chapman ante oferta de $23 millones de Toronto.

No culpen a los Marlins si Aroldis Chapman termina en otro horizonte que no sea el sur de la Florida, pues la eterna Cenicienta de las Mayores hizo su mejor esfuerzo por firmar al prospecto cubano.

En términos económicos, la oferta de $23 millones de los Azulejos de Toronto y otra muy cercana a esa cifra -todavía por definirse- de los Angelinos de Los Angeles colocaron a los peces fuera del rango para aspirar al holguinero, quien podría ser un hombre rico antes de que termine el fin de semana.

Balance of article here: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/deportes/story/623681.html

Even if we don’t sign Chapman, clearly Alex has raised Jays profile in Latin America by offering Chapman $23 million, which is sure to help us in the future. By the way there are plenty of free Spanish to English translators on the web, just google it and take your pic,none are 100% accurate, but able to give one the jest of the article.

The Indians have traded lefthander Zach Jackson to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later, according to a team press release. He’s been assigned to their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Jackson, 26, has a 5.81 ERA in 105.1 big league innings, striking out just 5.4 batters per nine innings. His minor league track record isn’t much better (4.83 ERA, 6.2 K/9), however he’s always been stingy with walks. Toronto originally drafted Jackson in the first round back in 2004, but sent him to Milwaukee in the Lyle Overbay trade after the 2005 season. He joined the Indians in 2008 as part of the C.C. Sabathia deal.

***Too bad they didn’t take Overbay back.

“gist” of the article, not “jest”.

“gist” of the article, not “jest”.

Randy Ruiz is making a statement in winter ball. In 23 games to date with Indios de Mayaguez, Randy is hitting .345/.429/.595 with 3 doubles, 6 home runs and 26 rbi’s.

When the pr came out on Mike McCoy, I checked him out and thought-I wonder if this kid is for real cause if he is, he could help us.
His play in winter ball is certainly helping him make his case. He played 59 games with Tomateros de Culiacan and hit .304/.413/.374 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homeruns and 26 stolen bases while being caught only 6 times.
These numbers are almost identical to the numbers he put up in AAA last year. For me the key for him is OBP and stolen bases, not slugging or even BA, although he did hit .395 with risp which is a surprise.
Considering what he did last year along with this performance, I’d say the Jays have to take a long look at this kid in spring training, cause if he can maintain close to that OBP with his speed in the lead off role, he could help us a lot.

Sounds like Chapman may be signing with Cinci – 5 years, $30 million. It will be interesting to see how he develops both as a ball player and an individual.

There are at least 3 things we’ve learned from this “chase for Chapman.”
First, our new GM has a big set of balls, and is prepared to put them on the line whenever needed to try to improve this franchise. No matter which way you say it $23 mill. is a lot of money for a raw kid who never pitched in pro ball before and if Alex had signed him, his job and reputation would have been on the line-no doubt.
That is exactly the type of attitude we need from our GM in order to succeed in the future. No one wins them all, and sometimes you need to know when to hold them and sometimes when to fold them and I think we folded at a good time here, but the aggressive attitude is what we need for the future, so well done Alex.

Second, this Blue Jays organization has new found discipline. Throughout, this negotiation there was not a single peep leaked to the press from the Blue Jays organization. That shows me there’s a lot of respect internally for Alex and Beeston and a new found team spirit which will bode us well in the years ahead. What a difference that is from not long ago.

Third, We have learned that Rogers is very prepared to back up the rhetoric we’ve heard from Alex and Beeston and are seriously prepared to build this team for the future. Let’s face it Chapman might or might not be good, who knows at this point. There’s already rumors leaking out that he’s 3-4 years older than advertised and whether that’s true or not or how good he becomes only time will tell. But the fact is, Rogers stepped up to the tune of $23 million for a raw kid who’s never thrown a ball in organized baseball in NA. That takes a reasonable amount of faith in management.

That should give Blue Jays fans a lot of confidence that whatever funds are needed to sign draft choices or prospects in the future will be there and ya gotta like that. Almost makes one feel this club is really going to be special again in 3-4 years.

The contract option given Chapman is a major league contract; the option for the 6th year is a player option, not a club one, and if Chapman declines the option, he goes to arbitration.
So this deal is worth a minimum of $30 million over 6 years and if Chapman does well, likely a lot more than that since if he does go to arbitration in the 6th year, the first thing the arbitrator will take into consideration is his salary for the preceding year.
This effectively means Cinnci will not get any “low cost years” in this deal one way or the other, so from their standpoint he’d better do really well and do it in a hurry. It also offers proof that their intent is to get him to the majors as quickly as possible, no way will they leave him in the minors for one or two years like the Jays would probably have done.

Cinnci is already been under serious budget restraints and re-negotiated Rolen’s contract and declined an option on Gomes to save cash.That being said, the signing of this contract likely also means Cinnci will need to dump either Arroyo or Cordero, both of whom they’ve been shopping already in order to free up budget space to afford this deal. Now I expect they’ll have to take a hit to move either one or both of them.

IMO, this is a questionable deal for both Chapman and Cinnci. There will be so much pressure on Chapman to change and succeed in a hurry, that he’s probably either going to fail miserably or for sure never achieve his true potential. I blame the agent here as much as I do Cinnci, this deal should have never happened.

Sorry-that should read” The contract given Chapman.”

From the Cincinnati introduction of Chapman: The Reds’ GM wouldn’t predict when Chapman would join the Major League rotation, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him breaking camp with the team.

Well, in my earlier post, I did forecast the Reds would rush this kid, although having this kid break camp is almost a sure fire recipe for early disaster.

In most ways, I am happy that the Jays didn’t sign Chapman. $23 mil is a lot of eggs to put into one basket, considering that Chapman has yet to toss a ball in a major league game. As gsjays posted, however, it does show that Rogers is willing to invest money to make the club better, which should make all of us very optimistic about this club’s future. IMHO, that $23 mil can be used in many different ways to get equal value to Chapman, and with a better chance of success.
I will still be keeping an eye on Chapman, however, because I don’t think his arm will last 5 years, especially if they push him to the majors too soon.

How’s this for a worthy use for $23 mil? Move Overbay, pay his salary, and get a good prospect in return. Turn 1st base over to Dopirak/Ruiz/Wallace. Extend Hill. Tie up Lind for 5-7 years. Draft the best college players available, pay the slot money, and trade up for the pieces you need, like a young Tony Fernandez to play short. Just some ideas.

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