Monday, 17 November 2014
Holy cow. This day.
I don't think I've entirely digested this whole thing, and I certainly haven't even bothered with the math behind this, both in terms of money spent and wins or production or whatever. It's cool though!
Before I even bother with my own opinions, Jeff Sullivan smashes the fuck out of one, talking about how the Jays have literally never had an elite catcher-- Ernie Whitt had a couple nice seasons, and Pat Borders was really good accidentally once too. I'm sure there's more good stuff out there, but this is the only thing I've read to this point, and I did so from work on my lunch break from my phone.
Should be interesting to see what the Jays do with their lineups this year. Obviously we don't want to assume that the offseason is over yet, but as it stands right now, I'd guess that Martin plays the bulk of the games behind the plate, and Dioner Navarro would DH most days. Navarro can certainly step in and give Martin a day off here and there, but I wonder if either could step over and play first for Edwin every now and then. We've also been told that Reyes and Bautista are going to get more DH days, so maybe it's just some sort of rotating DH door and Navarro gets shopped or something. There are definitely teams out there who need a catcher though, and you could do a lot worse than a 1 year, $5MM copy of Dioner Navarro. Even if he's a 2 WAR player, there's surplus value there in a pretty barren catching market.
It's quite possible that this spells the end for Melky Cabrera in Toronto. Pretty much any money earmarked for Melky has gone to Martin. Then again, the Jays are apparently checking in on Hanley Ramirez, Jon Lester and Andrew Miller. I'm not entirely sure, in the scenario where the Jays sign one of Lester or Hanley, they would lose their compensation pick for Melky walking away. Either way, they've already surrendered their first pick, so picking up a second big free agent only coughs up either the 30-something'th or the ~50th pick in the draft, keeping the other one. It's only money. And it's not my money. And Rogers has all the money. Let's go.
To boot, the Jays have a bunch of money coming off the books after this season. Let's just backload a bunch of contracts and spend money when it's available. Hey, Jon Lester! We'll give you $6MM for this season, and then a shitload for the next five. Sounds good? Yeah.
But what if that's it for the spending? What if everything else is patchwork? The Jays have made three "moves" this offseason, and none of them have really addressed the big holes on this club. Sure, the Gose trade brought in a second baseman, but he's not a big league second baseman yet. Maybe he wins the spot in spring training, or maybe Maicer Izturis comes back and performs reasonably well, but meh. The bullpen hasn't been addressed. Kevin Pillar is probably the opening day LF if the season starts today, which is kind of shitty when facing a lefty, and borderline depressing if facing a righty. We're also relying on a 21 year old as the starting centre fielder. There's no way this offseason is even close to being over.
That's enough negativity though, because the Jays just attracted a top free agent. Five years, $82MM. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's not like guys are just lining up to come play in our shitty stadium, on our shitty surface. We've been hearing it for years now-- it's hard to attract guys to Toronto, and that's why the Jays need to pay a bit more, whether that comes in the form of money or years or prospects (i.e. the Reyes deal, or the Dickey deal). I'd guess that the Jays had to kick in the fifth year in order to get this done, and yeah, whatever. At $82MM over five years, though, we're only looking at approximately 11 WAR needed for the Jays to break even.
11 WAR over five years shouldn't be terribly difficult to attain, if Martin can stay on the field. Hell, he was worth nearly five last season alone. Do we expect him to do that ever again, starting at age 32? Doubtful. Shouldn't need to though.
It's hard to complain about this. Because it's awesome.