Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Closer to the Heart
The above photo is of Phillies closer, Ryan Madson, looking like a douche. The Phillies re-signed Madson today (unofficial, but it's comin') to a 4 year deal with $11MM a season, with a vesting option for $13MM. Naturally, I'm inclined to laugh, but in reality, the Phillies are one of the richer, higher payroll'ed teams in the league, the Yankees of the NL, if you will, so this really isn't going to destroy them two years from now when Ryan Howard is the worst $25MM a season player in history. Stick with me, I have a point.
The fact that Madson is going to be the first closer-type to sign on with a team this offseason means that this is going to set the market for relief pitchers. For example, if you'd like to sign Jonathan Papelbon, you're probably going to have to top the $11MM yearly value, and probably equal the years. If you're not looking in to Papelbon per se, but do want one of the other top-end closers, the price might have just risen quite a bit.
Which gets me to the point that I was going to make anyway before Ryan Madson and the Philadelphia Philolies agreed to a hilarious deal: according to Buster Olney, similar to what we heard yesterday, the Jays are looking real hard for a top closer!
Now, let's not forget what we heard from Stoeten at DJF (linked yesterday), or the fact that Buster Olney is kind of an idiot who shills out rumors for Scott Boras, or that some of these so-called top closers are going to cost the Jays their first rounder in the upcoming draft, which should pretty much serve as enough information to refute the claim that the Jays are after a top closer.
AA loves his draft picks, and probably isn't going to sign anyone costing a draft pick, I think we all know that. If AA really feels like going out and finding a closer, he could certainly do it. Right now, I kind of doubt he's going to be signing any closers, especially after other guys see the paychecks Madson is about to get for the next 4 years, so I guess we're sticking to the trade market if anything happens, which is probably where he would have gone anyway, sooooo.....
Anyway, if this actually does happen (and really, why shouldn't it? 25 BLOWN SAVES LAST SEASON!!!!), a few candidates for trades include Andrew Bailey, the glass-armed closer for the A's, Huston Street of the Rockies, and Heath Bell of the Padres. Now, there are obviously some positives of having a guy like Bell on the team, assuming he's actually as good as his numbers appear (San Diego baseball stats can be deceiving), but I kind of struggle to believe that the marginally better performance is worth the $8MM a season or whatever the shit he's worth.
I've said it a few times already, but I honestly think that there's enough within the system that the Jays can have an improved bullpen. I mean, losing Frank (assuming that happens) is going to suck given the way he pitched over the second half of last year, but losing Jon Rauch makes up for that. If I had it my way, the Jays would just continue to say stuff like "Yeah, we really need a closer big time" to keep idiots happy for a while until they realize that shutdown closers are a thing of the past. If guys like Juan Carlos Oviedo (a.k.a. Leo Nunez), Joe Nathan, or Jonathan Broxton are kicking around and cheap, then yeah, go nuts. But really, there's no need to go out there and spend a shit load of money on a guy who plays a position with a huge attrition rate, especially if he's only throwing 60 innings a year.
I feel like the Jays have themselves a talented, young pitching staff, and if they do choose to acquire another starter, there's a decent chance that such a deal would move someone else in to the bullpen. Villanueva, Janssen, Perez, Litsch, and Carreno are all but locks to be in the bullpen this year, with guys like Beck, Fark, Mcgowan, Cecil, Jesse Chavez, Trystan Magnusson, Brad Mills, and Kyle Drabek listed as maybe's, depending on a variety of factors. There isn't a huge need for more relievers in the system, especially if this isn't going to be the year for the Jays.