It’s evident that Alex Anthopolous loves gathering just about as many sandwich picks as possible before heading to the draft. This new strategy of gathering as many picks as possible in the top 50 may very well lead to some rule changes, as the Jays GM is really putting in some “format testing” numbers. The “questionable” acquisition of Miguel Olivo, which was done simply and blattently in order to get the sandwich pick that comes from declining his option will raise some eyebrows to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pure genius if you trust your draft team to go out and get that impact player and Alex did the right thing here, it just may rub alot of executives the wrong way, as I’m certain that the current system was not intended to be used in this way.
Why is this wrong?
The Jays are reaping the benefits of another team’s player for a minimal amount of money – I’m hoping it’s a minimal amount. Imagine if the Yankees sit there, look across the AL East lines, and think to themselves….hmmm, how much money do WE have in the war chest to throw around in order to gather as many picks as possible like the Jays have done recently. And all of the sudden you’ve got some bidding wars for players that qualify as Type A or Type B and you have teams like the Rockies and others who will be willing to sell those picks at a certain price. Imagine the Yankees being able to control the International Market by outbidding others (although there is a plan to have an international draft at some point in the near future), by outbidding others on the FA market, AND getting their hands on other team draft picks by offering cash considerations to teams for their Type B FAs. Wow, talk about a can of worms.
I am not a fan of this at all. I understand it, and I compliment Alex on using this loophole, but it is using the system in a way that was unintended. I expect that MLB and its owners will be looking at fixing this loophole before too long.
Having touched on why I am not a fan of it, let’s see what it means for the Jays.
First, it means that Alex Anthopolous is using the area of the organization he has altered the most – the scouting department – to the fullest of its abilities. If they can’t get much top-end talent on board with this many picks over 2 years, they’re not doing their jobs – plain and simple.
Second, it also means that Alex has placed a cost he is willing to pay in order to get that young and controllable talent on board. The $500,000 cost fo declining Olivo’s option, plus the money shipped to the Rockies in order to get it done (or PTBNL apparently), plus the costs associated with scouting and signing the player chosen as a sandwich pick in the draft is the sum he’s willing to assume in this case. Let’s say for argument’s sake that the Jays sent $750,000 to the Rockies, and we assume that the sandwich pick will cost the Jays about $1 million to sign, we can sum the total cost of this move by Alex Anthopolous to be approximately $2,250,000, so long as they don’t go over slot amount in terms of the signing.
Is $2,250,000 too much to give for a sandwich pick that may or may not turn out to be worth it and may only be ready to contribute in 2013 or beyond?
If you’re Alex Anthopolous, no way. The cost is just right and plays exactly by the book he is drawing up as he goes along making the Jays into real contenders.
Some great examples of recent sandwich picks who could – or have – become franchise players include:
- Mike Montgomery, SP KC (2008, 36th overall)
- Brett Cecil, SP TOR (2007, 38th overall)
- Nick Hagadone, SP BOS (2007, 55th overall)
- Travis d’Arnaud, C TOR (2007, 36th overall)
- Clay Buchholz, SP BOS (2005, 42nd overall)
- Luke Hochevar, SP KC (2005, 40th overall)
- Huston Street, RP OAK (2004, 40th overall)
- Adam Jones, CF BAL (2003, 37th overall)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2003, 36th overall)
That’s an impressive list of players, but there is a much bigger list that could be made of all of the players who didn’t pan out at all. That’s the scary part of such a move when you consider what you could get from a FA if you add $2,250,000 to that budget. Still, the balance goes the way of the draft when you consider how long you’d have that player under control and also that you have the very best scouting staff available making the selections with you.
I love the aggressivenes of the Miguel Olivo acquisition by Alex and I do hope it leads to one great pick. His no holds barred attitude to getting the job done and being at the forefront of the gang in making such moves is refreshing and I hope Jays fans can see just how hard he is working to get the Jays to the next level.
Alex “The Great” Anthopolous continues to shine. I just hope the Yankees, Red Sox and others don’t wake up and take a page out of his new playbook, because the Jays could pay the price for a very long time if that happens.