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Thread: A look at the brief history of Mark Shapiro's Blue Jays, till now and moving forward

  1. #1
    All Star TwistedLogic's Avatar
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    A look at the brief history of Mark Shapiro's Blue Jays, till now and moving forward


    Introduction

    This post was intended for the negative cesspool that is reddit right now; considering that it is original content and many
    here don't browse reddit, I felt that I should post here as well. Please take into account that much of the included rambling
    was geared toward a more casual audience and I understand that the sentiment on this forum is generally more positive
    toward the front office.


    I will begin by saying that, while I will try to be as objective as possible, the basis of this post is very subjective in nature,
    and that will likely seep through in the following content. I have grown tired of seeing so much of the discussion surrounding
    this team being focused on how badly the front office has done, and how poor the team looks moving forward. This post
    will take an opposing stance and try and highlight the positives about this team, both on the management front, and in the
    organization and roster itself.



    2015-2016

    First, let's take a look at the transaction history for the first season under Mark Shapiro's regime (lead by Tony LaCava and
    Ross Atkins):



    Here I have provided a list of major transactions made by the front office (information sourced from baseball-reference)
    and have also included a subjective rating on what I think of the moves. We are not gauging whether or not these moves
    were no-brainers (Price, Estrada), but simply whether or not they were good or bad moves.

    Excellent: Price, Happ, Estrada, Biagini, Grilli, Liriano

    Good: Barney, Benoit, Bolsinger

    Mediocre: Thole, Storen, Upton

    Bad: Feldman

    Terrible: Chavez

    Note: The Justin Smoak extension wasn't included on Baseball Reference's transactions page and I had forgotten about it at the time of this writing. For the
    purpose of this exercise, I would categorize the Smoak extension as "terrible". Somebody please extinguish the Smoak.


    Most of these ratings are unquestionable. Of the rest, I've rated Bolsinger good because Bolsinger is a decent depth piece,
    and getting rid of Chavez, at least to me, was addition by subtraction. Storen was bad for the Jays but Revere was equally
    bad for the Nationals, and despite not doing much for the 2016 Blue Jays, Upton provides a very useful 4th OF/platoon bat
    for minimal salary going forward.

    From the moment they've taken over, this front office has made a slew of brilliant, shrewd moves that have cost them
    next to nothing in resources and provided an incredible amount of surplus value. Of the only two poor moves that were
    made, Feldman cost a no-name low-minors prospect and while Hendriks was and is a solid middle-relief pitcher, Chavez
    was coming off a 2.3 fWAR performance at the time of the trade.

    This front office has given no reason for the fans to ridicule them and every reason to have faith that their under-the-
    radar moves will continue to work, until they don't.



    2017

    A list of transactions for the 2017 season so far:



    This list doesn't include the signings of Jason Grilli, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Glenn Sparkman
    (a Rule 5 pick that has actually put up better numbers than Joe Biagini at every level of the
    minors).


    There is no reason to speculate on what will be done with the roster spots of Cecil, Bautista
    and Saunders until those decisions are made. Speaking on Encarnacion, Pearce and Morales,
    all we know is that the team offered $80M to the first, and then signed the next two for a
    combined $45.5M.

    As I wrote earlier this season, there are many reasons why Morales could be viewed as a
    breakout candidate heading to the Blue Jays, despite being 33 years old. Between his elite
    hard-contact rates (Top 5-10 in MLB), his propensity to hit for power and the Jays lack of
    speed-oriented baseball, Morales is heading to a prime environment in which he will have
    every chance to thrive.

    Steve Pearce remains one of the most underrated players in baseball. Having posted a
    gargantuan 4.9 fWAR in just 102 games in 2014, he was back at it again in 2016, providing
    2.0 WAR of production in just 85 games played. His wRC+ (136) was actually higher than
    that of Encarnacion's (134) albeit within a smaller sample.

    People have criticized this signing because of Pearce's injuries in 2016 but he is only taking
    the roster spot of another injury prone player (Bautista or Saunders). He provided more
    value than Michael Saunders in 55 fewer games played, and more value than Jose Bautista
    in 31 fewer games played, and there isn't any real reason to believe any of these three
    players is more dependable for playing time than the others. Despite having been bogged
    down by injuries and poor-decision platoons (Pearce is actually an above average hitter
    from both sides of the plate), Steve Pearce has been a legitimate contributor.

    There is a high likelihood that neither of these two players outperforms Edwin Encarnacion
    in 2017, but there is a very good possibility that they do provide more value collectively,
    for nearly half the cost of what the Blue Jays were willing to offer Encarnacion.



    Moving Forward

    From this point until more moves are made, all we can do is speculate and offer
    suggestions on what we'd like to see. Personally, I'd love to see an acquisition like Andrew
    McCutchen, but I am also wary of the price tag involved. I don't think an acquisition of
    that caliber is necessary for this team to succeed.

    Since it's impossible for us to accurately read the trade market, my preferences from the
    remaining players in free agency would be as follows:

    1) Re-sign Jose Bautista to play 1st base:

    While I hate the idea of putting him back out on the field and I have greatly soured on his
    personality, this is still Jose Bautista, and he is still projected for a 2.7 fWAR in 2017. He
    is unquestionably the best remaining baseballer available on the open market. My
    contingency for not getting Bautista would be someone like Luis Valbuena, who could be
    a very good fallback on a very cheap deal.



    2) Sign Angel Pagan to play RF or LF:

    Angel Pagan is 35 years old, which means Angel Pagan will cost very little to sign in free
    agency. He is coming off a 2.0 fWAR season and is still a good defender in the outfield.
    He is also a switch-hitter who has historically hit righties well, and would therefore make
    a perfect platoon partner for Melvin Upton Jr., who mashes lefties. There aren't many
    ways that you could replace Michael Saunders' offensive production, while at the same time
    greatly improving the defense for a significant portion of your field, that are better than
    Angel Pagan. It is my belief that this can be one of the better under-the-radar moves of
    the offseason.



    3) Sign Matt Belisle and Jerry Blevins:

    Or whoever else. Belisle is a specific preference of mine because he has consistently been
    one of the more underrated relief arms in baseball and has been a solid contributor for a
    long time.





    4) Release Justin Smoak (at the local animal shelter):

    I know this isn't technically a free agency move, but you could make it a free agency move
    by making Justin Smoak a free agent. Please remove him.

    Last edited by TwistedLogic; 01-11-2017 at 04:14 AM.

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  3. #2
    Prospect george09's Avatar
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    Did you post this on the jays subreddit as well? Good post.


    But the Jays subreddit is terrible right now, If you say anything good about management they'll call you a rogers shill or something like that.

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    DONOR jays4life19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by george09 View Post
    Did you post this on the jays subreddit as well? Good post.


    But the Jays subreddit is terrible right now ], If you say anything good about management they'll call you a rogers shill or something like that.
    Pretty sure it's always terrible.

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    Hall of Famer NJH's Avatar
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    the subreddit is always bad

    it's like the bottom 10% of this board got scraped off and found a new home on reddit

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    Big Leaguer baubau's Avatar
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    Nicely done! I'd only disagree on:

    - Feldman, move to indifferent. Given this team was in a playoff hunt/contention, making no-name prospect moves for playoff push/depth is a solid strategy. I understand he did suck aside from 3-4 innings. Also wouldn't mind Feldman back for depth actually, haha.

    - Upton, its a little too early to judge as he still has a year with the Jays. If he puts up 1+ WAR season for the Jays, it would be great considering the Jays are paying him for like .5 WAR for production.

    *Understand the prospects given up could "surprise" in the future and make both trades look bad.

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  11. #6
    All Star TwistedLogic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baubau View Post
    Nicely done! I'd only disagree on:

    - Feldman, move to indifferent. Given this team was in a playoff hunt/contention, making no-name prospect moves for playoff push/depth is a solid strategy. I understand he did suck aside from 3-4 innings. Also wouldn't mind Feldman back for depth actually, haha.

    - Upton, its a little too early to judge as he still has a year with the Jays. If he puts up 1+ WAR season for the Jays, it would be great considering the Jays are paying him for like .5 WAR for production.

    *Understand the prospects given up could "surprise" in the future and make both trades look bad.
    I agree on Feldman in that I liked the move at the time. The ratings I gave each move were considering hindsight and what actually happened, which is why I moved Feldman into bad and Upton into the mediocre category. I think both of those moves were excellent at the time considering where the team was. I liked the Chavez trade quite a bit as well.

    I still think Upton could pay dividends (especially if he's platooned with a guy like Pagan).

    On a more general note, after taking another look at the stat pages, I'm starting to want Luis Valbuena on this team more than I want to bring back Jose Bautista. He had a better 2016, he does everything that Bautista does (better defense, less power - maybe), he's a lot younger, and he's not going to cost much. Additionally, if a team makes a desperation lunge at Bautista, that draft pick is still out there.
    Last edited by TwistedLogic; 01-10-2017 at 09:17 PM.

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    he re-signed Justin Smoak...you missed that one.

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    DONOR P2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saskjayfan View Post
    he re-signed Justin Smoak...you missed that one.
    Didn't read the whole post.

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    All Star TwistedLogic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saskjayfan View Post
    he re-signed Justin Smoak...you missed that one.
    I did miss it at the time, but I eventually made that unfortunate recollection and included a little note in the OP.

    I used a "1" size font to represent the ceiling for Justin Smoak's career WAR.

    Quote Originally Posted by P2F View Post
    Didn't read the whole post.
    I kinda don't blame him, lol.

  17. #10
    Blue Chip Prospect Sorrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJH View Post
    the subreddit is always bad

    it's like the bottom 10% of this board got scraped off and found a new home on reddit
    There are a few good posters, and the private community is quite good. I imagine a lot of the good posters are also posters here.

  18. #11
    MVP gruber92's Avatar
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    Pompey > Pagan.

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    All Star Jimcanuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gruber92 View Post
    Pompey > Pagan.
    Maybe. This year is the time to give Pompey a fair chance.

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  21. #13
    Orioles Hangout Admin Boxcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJH View Post
    the subreddit is always bad

    it's like the bottom 10% of this board got scraped off and found a new home on reddit
    One would question why TL even bothers with that rabble unless he's some kind of supreme altruist looking to educate all those plebs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant77 View Post
    I think we all know it's the latter. The Mariners have been a disgustingly bad offensive for a decade now and nothing has changed.

  22. #14
    Hall of Famer NJH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxcar View Post
    One would question why TL even bothers with that rabble unless he's some kind of supreme altruist looking to educate all those plebs.
    upvotes are addictive

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    I'm game for your plan - except the part where you said Chris Carter is a fallback option...

    I even think you could add Valbeuna to your plan to complete it. Jose, Pagan, Valbeuna and a couple relievers would complete this offseason....although part of me thinks I'd rather just give Pompey a shot instead of Pagan...

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    Orioles Hangout Admin Boxcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJH View Post
    upvotes are addictive
    How do you get upvotes when you're the only smarty pants in a sea of retards?

    E: retards who don't know that they're retards, that is
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant77 View Post
    I think we all know it's the latter. The Mariners have been a disgustingly bad offensive for a decade now and nothing has changed.



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