View Poll Results: What should the Jays do?

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  • Teardown

    36 59.02%
  • Stay the course

    25 40.98%
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Thread: April Postmortem: The Cases For and Against a Teardown

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    ECJF Level GD's Avatar
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    April Postmortem: The Cases For and Against a Teardown

    Two decent articles on what to do.

    Jonah Keri - The unfortunate reality for the Blue Jays? They might be too old to win (The Athletic)

    Keri makes the argument that the Jays are just past their time (kind of like Hurl).

    Point: The Jays have some old-ass position players

    Baseball-Reference.com weights each position player by at-bats, so that everyday players count more toward a teamís average age than bench jockeys do. Using that measure, Jays hitters average 31.4 years old Ė more than one full year older than any other team. Checking back in with Baseball-Reference, only three teams in the past decade have fielded position players who were collectively older: The 2009 Astros, the 2010-2011 Phillies, and the 2012-2014 Yankees.
    Point: Old teams are old

    As you can see below, the news isnít great. In our baseline season, over-30 teams win about 53 per cent of their games, compared to about 50 per cent two years later. A pullback but not a huge one. The rougher outcome occurs when we look at playoff berths. One year before our target season, teams made the playoffs 38 per cent of the time. In our target over-30 season, they did so 31 per cent of the time. Two years later? Just 23 per cent of the time.

    Conclusion: Jays are too old and too far into decline, need to rebuild

    After two straight magnificent runs, the Jays are headed for a crossroads. For a while, they got away with years of drafting and player development failures, having whiffed in their efforts to produce top hitters. With the stopgaps reaching dangerous ages, we inch closer to a world in which Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and Roberto Osuna are the building blocks still in that peak age range, kids like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. offer hope for the future, and just about everything else needs to start over.
    Michael Baumann - The Case Against a Toronto Teardown (The Ringer)

    Baumann starts off by essentially concurring with Keri's case for, and then comes forward with a case against.

    Point: We're not the Rays

    The first issue is that decisions involving upcoming free agents arenít all the same. The players in Torontoís core fall into one of two categories: players who are good now but are possibly about to stop being good, and players who are good now but are about to get expensive. (...)

    Thereís a difference between not re-signing a player because you donít think heís good anymore and not re-signing him because heís too expensive. The Blue Jays, a $1.3 billion team (...) should not be the kind of organization that makes the second kind of decision, particularly when it comes to a player like Donaldson.
    Point: It's hard to get back to where we are

    After the 2014 season, the Aís saw their window closing and traded Donaldson away. Theyíre 147Ė196 since. The best way to get a Donaldson is to keep the one you already have. And that comes down to the willpower of ownership.
    Point: The Jays have (some) flexibility

    If ownership were inclined to pay Donaldson, however, that opens up Torontoís options. This core is getting old, but itís not bad yet, and the Jays could re-sign Estrada, pick up Bautistaís option, and reallocate Lirianoís money to shore up other holes, and run it back in 2018. This team would be a contender if it had better injury luck and everything hadnít gone suddenly and comprehensively to shit in the first two weeks of the season, and thereís no particular reason to think that wouldnít be the case next year if they held it together and maybe picked up a free agent or two. But that requires running the Blue Jays like a big-market club, rather than the alternative.
    Point: Don't lose momentum

    The alternative is going back to the 20-year playoff drought that turned the Jays into an afterthought in that enormous media market. Right now, the Blue Jays have momentum with local fans, and an identity as a fun, energetic, and, most importantly, winning team. Trading Donaldson, or even letting him walk, would announce a rebuilding era that would throw away that goodwill, and at a time when the Toronto sports landscape has never been more crowded: the Raptors are on the best four-year run in franchise history and the Maple Leafs have taken a step toward building their first legitimate title contender in more than a decade, and are one of the most exciting young teams in the NHL. If the Blue Jays let themselves fade into the background, itís going to be very difficult to get back out.
    Conclusion: Jays shouldn't be too quick to forgo what we have, and who knows when/if we'll get back

    The Blue Jaysí place in the local sports landscape is pretty similar to Donaldson himself in one respect: Itís something Toronto hasnít had in a generation, and it might be easier to try to squeeze out a few more good years than to tear it all down and try to come back later. Even getting this far is harder than you might think.


    I'm interested in what conclusion the board's reached at the end of April. Vote above.
    Quote Originally Posted by o2cui2i View Post
    climate change (lol)

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    This season is close to being a write off but a 2018 team built around Travis, JD, Tulo, Pillar, Martin, Morales, Sanchez, Stroman, Happ, Biagini, Osuna is a solid foundation.

    With whatever we can add at the deadline from trading Liriano, Estrada, Smith and Howell, and our own prospects like Alford and Gurriel, I believe with a couple of successful free agent signings we'd again be one of the best teams in the majors in 2018.

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    Hockey and basketball aren't played in the summer, so even if the Jays fade into the background for a few years it wouldn't be that hard to regain momentum if they win. It really is that simple. If they win.

    I'd rather see a rebuild than be the AL East version of the Detroit Tigers. I don't think ownership or this FO are interested in giving 200M to Donaldson taking him into his late 30's. They can't let him walk, so the only alternative left is to trade him. If the team is still out of contention come July I think the writing will be on the wall, and selling off the pieces they can will make the most sense for the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by gruber92 View Post
    Of course he can, but it's safe to assume Biagini will match Stroman's numbers over the next three years easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthe4th View Post
    This season is close to being a write off but a 2018 team built around Travis, JD, Tulo, Pillar, Martin, Morales, Sanchez, Stroman, Happ, Biagini, Osuna is a solid foundation.

    With whatever we can add at the deadline from trading Liriano, Estrada, Smith and Howell, and our own prospects like Alford and Gurriel, I believe with a couple of successful free agent signings we'd again be one of the best teams in the majors in 2018.
    And thus digging us into a further hole. Doubt Liriano, Estrada, smith and Howell (Lol) will get us anything.

    If we are rebuilding I expect everyone except Stroman, Sanchez, Travis to be traded off in the next year. However I don't think we need either extreme; we should have enough money in the bank for us to stay somewhat competitive and continue to retool. However I don't think we're gonna see JD here either way for very much longer. I would say the same for Tulo but he has a full no trade so that's a bit harder case

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcowxlive View Post
    And thus digging us into a further hole. Doubt Liriano, Estrada, smith and Howell (Lol) will get us anything.

    If we are rebuilding I expect everyone except Stroman, Sanchez, Travis to be traded off in the next year. However I don't think we need either extreme; we should have enough money in the bank for us to stay somewhat competitive and continue to retool. However I don't think we're gonna see JD here either way for very much longer. I would say the same for Tulo but he has a full no trade so that's a bit harder case
    Trading those four at the deadline is the opposite of digging a hole for 2018 as they'd all be free agents. Anything they bring in is a bonus.

    Obv I'd trade them only if playoffs are unlikely this year.

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    I can see teardown winning by a landslide because this forum is reactionary af. This team may be very old, but the team isn't quite the Phillies and Yankees with their albatross contracts. We have Martin who is still very good, Bautista only for a year if he sucks, Tulo and Morales will probably​ not be worth their contracts, but they're not preventing this team from moving forward, and Pearce even if he's done isn't crippling this team any time soon.

    Sure, if someone comes at you with deals you can't refuse for the superstar players, you do it. However, I believe a full scale rebuild is not the way to go, our reactionary fanbase won't handle that all too well, and you need to have money if you want to retool. Slowly build a sustainable​ foundation of talent, some of which is already here, and it is not necessary to trade even the ballboy to do that.

    PS: Fuck AA, this is all on him
    Quote Originally Posted by LetTheBallFly View Post
    Synder is mediocre at best this year. Let me know when Synder is giving up less runs per game than Sanchez, until then I'll take Sanchez

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    We should not completely blow it up...there should be a middle ground we can find for next year and maybe 1 more year
    See the ball and let it fly, Watch the ball soaring through the sky, Higher like a comet in the night air, Defying gravity is rare, Let the ball fly, Its homerun time!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthe4th View Post
    With whatever we can add at the deadline from trading Liriano, Estrada, Smith and Howell, and our own prospects like Alford and Gurriel, I believe with a couple of successful free agent signings we'd again be one of the best teams in the majors in 2018.
    sounds a lot like the 1995-2010 annual plan

    can't win WS without a good number of cost controlled players

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    Trade JD, Martin and Tulo (if possible). Then deal either Stro or Sanchez (run with the other as your ace). Vlad Jr is up and coming, they have strong SS depth. Go hard after the upcoming free agent class. Overpayment is likely but the fan base will likely support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenRopes View Post
    Trade JD, Martin and Tulo (if possible). Then deal either Stro or Sanchez (run with the other as your ace). Vlad Jr is up and coming, they have strong SS depth. Go hard after the upcoming free agent class. Overpayment is likely but the fan base will likely support it.
    Toronto always has problems getting free agents to sign here. They are probably going to be less inclined, when they look at a team that might be in the midst of a rebuild. Although I do like your idea.

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    Free agents want money and playing time. If Toronto re-tools, they'll have open positions and money to play with. There are always short-term deals out there in the off-season.

    It's not as hard to sign free agents as the media or prior regime would have you believe.

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    Where is the re-tool option?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orgfiller View Post

    PS: Fuck AA, this is all on him
    People blame Shapiro and co. for not spending enough (or whatever) to extend our window. AA is the true idiot for not creating a window that is worth or even possible to extend.

    Don't forget the amount of prospects we gave up and the amount of (backloaded) salary we took in with the Reyes/Buehrle/Johnson trade. Let's not forget the fact that Reyes and Buehrle were signed by the Marlins through free agency, and that they were willing to sign with a terrible organization particularly because they were willing to overpay. I will never understand why we gave up so many prospects for contracts that were acquired through free agency. Why couldn't we have just signed free agents ourselves? Because nobody wants to play for Toronto? I don't buy that argument. That trade was essentially Marisnick, Desclafani, Hechavarria, Alvarez (and more) for bloated, underperforming, and backloaded contracts. Let's not forget that Reyes was nowhere near as good for the Marlins as he was with the Mets. His only positive in his 2012 year was that he was healthy enough to play 160 games.

    We all know the R.A. Dickey trade was fantastic for many reasons (don't forget we signed Wuilmer Beccera for 1.3 million too) by now. But don't forget that the reason we traded for a 38 year old knuckleballer was because after adding the bloated free agent contracts of Reyes and Buehrle, we didn't have enough payroll to sign anybody else "impactful." The solution is of course to trade two of our top three prospects so we can get a supposed 6 WAR (the dome will help the knuckleball guys) for 5 million that year while we give up a combined 12 years of control of d'Arnaud and Syndergaard. #worth

    The Donaldson trade was of course, fantastic. But compared to the two above disasters, they are still big negatives. The right time to spend during free agency to extend windows is when you have cheap contracts relative to their performance. That's what AA should have done - spent money instead of of prospects. Cheap contracts come through control over players their first 6 years of service time, or when you get lucky with outperformance or unexpected improvements (Bautista and Encarnacion). We don't have enough of those cheap contracts anymore, and it's not feasible to buy the amount of wins we need through free agency. The Yankees weren't able to do that, and unfortunately (or fortunately), we are not the Yankees.

    Alex Anthopoulos lacked patience. He was so shortsighted as a GM. Even with fantastic drafting and development, he was unable to build a sustainable winner. And it's debatable how much impact he had on that as well. On one hand, he did allocate a larger amount of payroll on the draft compared to other organizations and by all accounts he hired many new scouts. On the other hand, much of that success from drafting and development should be attributed to the director of scouting and simple luck. The fact that AA was unable to capitalize on such a crazy influx of young and cheap talent makes his errors all the more disappointing.

    Shapiro and Atkins tried to plug in the holes to a sinking ship this year. And while they have failed, it's understandable why they tried to do so. But it's time to tear it down, because we are too old, and simply not good enough. There is very little (because I never want to so no/never) upside to expensive contracts given to old and constantly aging players.

    In my opinion, the proper way to use the payroll (because we are such a "big" market) to speed up the rebuild is to try to maximize the amount of surplus value we can find through free agents so that we can either trade them away or they become cheap contributors to a future contender (like Encarnacion and Bautista were to us a few years ago). And the best way to maximize the upside to these free agent contracts is to find players that come cheaply. I believe that it is easier for someone to outperform their 5 million dollar contract than it is for someone to outperform their 15 million contract. Then trade them away. More Smoak, less Morales.

    While the Morales signing was defensible at that moment in time given the market conditions, in terms of maximizing potential upside useful in a rebuild situation it was still poor. It is doubtful anybody would be willing to part with much in terms of prospects for a bat-only 33 year old player. If we are strictly looking from an asset collecting standpoint and disregarding wins, it would have been better to sign four relievers for 5 million each. Let's arbitrarily say two of those relievers could have been from some specific analytics that pointed to future outperformance/improvement, while two of those relievers could have been from some eye test or some different form of analytics. Just spread out the money given, randomize or switch up the criteria you use to evaluate them because we accept that we don't know everything or nearly enough, and then you hope you get lucky with your lottery tickets. The key is maximizing the amount of lottery tickets you have by spreading out money in an intelligent way.

    Let's say the the front office expects relievers to continue to increase in importance in the future. Then sign four relievers and hope for the best. Or let's say they expect defensive outfielders to increase in importance due to more outfield shifting in the future. Or they exppect players who are equally proficient in the outfield and infield to increase in value because of possible four man outfields. Or let's say advances in quantifying certain aspects of defense through Statcast allows front offices to value certain players more. Then project what those areas are and sign those fucking players. It's not easy, but this is what they should be paid to do. And this is the type of thing they should be doing. Or at least trying to do. At least try to get lucky.

    That's why I think rebuilding teams in particular need to rethink the way they value roster spots. Each roster spot is valuable because they provide an opportunity for you to get lucky. And that's why aging unproductive shit veterans are doubly harmful -- they are blocking players that might break out for reasons that we don't know yet. Yan Gomes is still sad. Signing Bautista not only blocked a top 30 pick in the upcoming draft, but he blocked 18 million going to other lottery tickets in our absolute shit bullpen during a reliever bubble, and he's blocking right field where an Ezequiel Carerra could be breaking out, or a Pompey could be breaking out, or a Dwight Smith Jr. could be breaking out.

    Yes, signing Bautista was also "defensible," especially due to fan pressures and fan expectations. But signing him for that amount of money in what appears to now be a losing season has much more consequences than losing 18 million. And while the signing was defensible, maybe the front office should have known better. Maybe they should have realized what AA, through idiocy, shortsightedness and an appalling lack of patience left them, was not worth salvaging.

    tl;dr fuck AA. Rebuilding and roster management is interesting. Maybe front office should have known better. But seriously, fuck AA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farm View Post
    People blame Shapiro and co. for not spending enough (or whatever) to extend our window. AA is the true idiot for not creating a window that is worth or even possible to extend.

    Don't forget the amount of prospects we gave up and the amount of (backloaded) salary we took in with the Reyes/Buehrle/Johnson trade. Let's not forget the fact that Reyes and Buehrle were signed by the Marlins through free agency, and that they were willing to sign with a terrible organization particularly because they were willing to overpay. I will never understand why we gave up so many prospects for contracts that were acquired through free agency. Why couldn't we have just signed free agents ourselves? Because nobody wants to play for Toronto? I don't buy that argument. That trade was essentially Marisnick, Desclafani, Hechavarria, Alvarez (and more) for bloated, underperforming, and backloaded contracts. Let's not forget that Reyes was nowhere near as good for the Marlins as he was with the Mets. His only positive in his 2012 year was that he was healthy enough to play 160 games.

    We all know the R.A. Dickey trade was fantastic for many reasons (don't forget we signed Wuilmer Beccera for 1.3 million too) by now. But don't forget that the reason we traded for a 38 year old knuckleballer was because after adding the bloated free agent contracts of Reyes and Buehrle, we didn't have enough payroll to sign anybody else "impactful." The solution is of course to trade two of our top three prospects so we can get a supposed 6 WAR (the dome will help the knuckleball guys) for 5 million that year while we give up a combined 12 years of control of d'Arnaud and Syndergaard. #worth

    The Donaldson trade was of course, fantastic. But compared to the two above disasters, they are still big negatives. The right time to spend during free agency to extend windows is when you have cheap contracts relative to their performance. That's what AA should have done - spent money instead of of prospects. Cheap contracts come through control over players their first 6 years of service time, or when you get lucky with outperformance or unexpected improvements (Bautista and Encarnacion). We don't have enough of those cheap contracts anymore, and it's not feasible to buy the amount of wins we need through free agency. The Yankees weren't able to do that, and unfortunately (or fortunately), we are not the Yankees.

    Alex Anthopoulos lacked patience. He was so shortsighted as a GM. Even with fantastic drafting and development, he was unable to build a sustainable winner. And it's debatable how much impact he had on that as well. On one hand, he did allocate a larger amount of payroll on the draft compared to other organizations and by all accounts he hired many new scouts. On the other hand, much of that success from drafting and development should be attributed to the director of scouting and simple luck. The fact that AA was unable to capitalize on such a crazy influx of young and cheap talent makes his errors all the more disappointing.

    Shapiro and Atkins tried to plug in the holes to a sinking ship this year. And while they have failed, it's understandable why they tried to do so. But it's time to tear it down, because we are too old, and simply not good enough. There is very little (because I never want to so no/never) upside to expensive contracts given to old and constantly aging players.

    In my opinion, the proper way to use the payroll (because we are such a "big" market) to speed up the rebuild is to try to maximize the amount of surplus value we can find through free agents so that we can either trade them away or they become cheap contributors to a future contender (like Encarnacion and Bautista were to us a few years ago). And the best way to maximize the upside to these free agent contracts is to find players that come cheaply. I believe that it is easier for someone to outperform their 5 million dollar contract than it is for someone to outperform their 15 million contract. Then trade them away. More Smoak, less Morales.

    While the Morales signing was defensible at that moment in time given the market conditions, in terms of maximizing potential upside useful in a rebuild situation it was still poor. It is doubtful anybody would be willing to part with much in terms of prospects for a bat-only 33 year old player. If we are strictly looking from an asset collecting standpoint and disregarding wins, it would have been better to sign four relievers for 5 million each. Let's arbitrarily say two of those relievers could have been from some specific analytics that pointed to future outperformance/improvement, while two of those relievers could have been from some eye test or some different form of analytics. Just spread out the money given, randomize or switch up the criteria you use to evaluate them because we accept that we don't know everything or nearly enough, and then you hope you get lucky with your lottery tickets. The key is maximizing the amount of lottery tickets you have by spreading out money in an intelligent way.

    Let's say the the front office expects relievers to continue to increase in importance in the future. Then sign four relievers and hope for the best. Or let's say they expect defensive outfielders to increase in importance due to more outfield shifting in the future. Or they exppect players who are equally proficient in the outfield and infield to increase in value because of possible four man outfields. Or let's say advances in quantifying certain aspects of defense through Statcast allows front offices to value certain players more. Then project what those areas are and sign those fucking players. It's not easy, but this is what they should be paid to do. And this is the type of thing they should be doing. Or at least trying to do. At least try to get lucky.

    That's why I think rebuilding teams in particular need to rethink the way they value roster spots. Each roster spot is valuable because they provide an opportunity for you to get lucky. And that's why aging unproductive shit veterans are doubly harmful -- they are blocking players that might break out for reasons that we don't know yet. Yan Gomes is still sad. Signing Bautista not only blocked a top 30 pick in the upcoming draft, but he blocked 18 million going to other lottery tickets in our absolute shit bullpen during a reliever bubble, and he's blocking right field where an Ezequiel Carerra could be breaking out, or a Pompey could be breaking out, or a Dwight Smith Jr. could be breaking out.

    Yes, signing Bautista was also "defensible," especially due to fan pressures and fan expectations. But signing him for that amount of money in what appears to now be a losing season has much more consequences than losing 18 million. And while the signing was defensible, maybe the front office should have known better. Maybe they should have realized what AA, through idiocy, shortsightedness and an appalling lack of patience left them, was not worth salvaging.

    tl;dr fuck AA. Rebuilding and roster management is interesting. Maybe front office should have known better. But seriously, fuck AA
    I just wanted to quote this novella.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenRopes View Post
    I just wanted to quote this novella.
    Oh no, not this again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthe4th View Post
    Trading those four at the deadline is the opposite of digging a hole for 2018 as they'd all be free agents. Anything they bring in is a bonus.

    Obv I'd trade them only if playoffs are unlikely this year.
    You literally described the off-season that just passed lol
    Quote Originally Posted by havok24 View Post
    1. Integrate the following function "Insert function"
    fatcow's answer: Beltran to 3B.



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