Blue Jays Morning Brew: Contract Talk, Platoons and Phenom SS Franklin Barreto
Sep 13, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind (26) hits a two run homerun in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays News
The latest news and rumors about the Toronto Blue Jays from across the Internet. Today features the contract talks of Adamn Lind and Colby Rasmus, a look at the potential Blue Jays 2014 payroll and the seventeen-year old phenom shortstop Franklin Barreto.
Andrew Stoeten from DJF takes an interesting look at whether or not the Blue Jays should bring back Adam Lind. I agree with Stoeten that Lind’s production against RHP alone is worth the $5 million extra that the Jays would pay to retain his services, which is the difference between his $2 million buyout and $7 million contract next season.
Speaking of Lind’s contract, Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that Lind was to learn his fate “face-to-face” and his 10-year tenure means that he deserves to be “treated like a man”. Lind also says his failings against left-handed pitching has more to do with the division than his ineptitude.
"“I know my batting average against left-handed pitching may not be the best, but who does have a good average against David Price and Matt Moore and Jon Lester? That’s why they’re the best in the business. If I go to a different division, I won’t have to see those guys as much.” – Lind"
I’m not so sure about that myself, Adam. But whatever helps you sleep at night.
Because it was Adam Lind day across the Internet on Monday, we have more on the lefty from Gregor Chisholm at BlueJays.com. Chisholm tells us through his mailbag that Melky Cabrera‘s benign tumor diagnosis may have actually helped Lind’s case to return. Now that the Jays have a source to Cabrera problems and are able to fix it, that could mean that Melky may be able to manage left-field duties, which opens the door for more Lind appearances at DH. And as much as it may hurt some that the Melk Man may be back in left, Chisholm also states with his remaining $8 million “he will be given every opportunity to earn regular playing time”. The Blue Jays need Melky’s legs to return.
Chisholm’s mailbag was a good one, as he gives us more on Colby Rasmus‘ upcoming arbitration case. He compares his worth on the free agent market to B.J. Upton (gulp) and says there’s a question mark around Rasmus’ to produce on the same level next year. I think Colby is the real deal and his combination of stellar defense at a premium position (12.5 UZR/150, 8 DRS/yr) and production at the plate (.360 wOBA, 126 wRC+) should be rewarded but Chisholm makes the good point that waiting obviously gives the Jays more time to evaluate plus is a year closer to 2015 when some big contracts expire or have buyout options (Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Romero, Maicer Izturis).
Richard Griffin asks how much will the Jays have to spend in order to compete in 2014? I don’t want to read too much into this but according to the article Rogers has a new CEO “known for cost-cutting”. What that means for the Jays, no one really knows. But you must figure there’s at least $135 million in a piggy-bank somewhere to field next year’s team. Whether that will be enough, or if Alex Anthopoulos can wave his magic wand once again in the offseason, we can only hope. But this summer’s free agent pool isn’t exactly the most appealing class of all time.
Bob Elliott at the Toronto Sun says that stranded Jays is a bad indicator. John Gibbons ponders “where would we (the Blue Jays) have been with a couple of RBIs?” It was enough for me to do some quick research. Using FanGraphs, the Blue Jays are 11th in both wRC+ and wRAA in high leverage situations. For those less saber-inclined, the Blue Jays are also ranked 11th in the AL with runners in scoring position, batting .253. So they aren’t exactly great but could be worse. By every metric I used above the Blue Jays trail every other team in their division, which does show that you just can’t be good in the AL East – you need to be great. But a few high leverage hits doesn’t matter when your starting pitching can’t keep you in the game.
Elliott also says the jury is out on Anthony Gose in a piece that talks about his leg kick for 3/4 of the article. Gose sounds like he’s a real peach to interview.
And another one from Elliott, this time about Edwin’s plate discipline. We know EE’s been a monster at the plate but the most interesting part about the piece is a visiting scout’s evaluation of Moises Sierra:
"“I know Encarnacion is not 100%, but the best hitter on the team is that Moises Sierra kid. Now, as for where you play him? He has DH written over all over him after seeing him in the outfield.”"
Maybe that Lind/Sierra platoon idea isn’t so crazy after all?
Brenden Kennedy from the Toronto Star gives us an early preview of the Blue Jays upcoming series against the Yankees for Mariano Rivera‘s final appearance in Toronto.
My man and Jays Journal Staff Writer Jay Blue wrote his first piece for the Canadian Baseball Network with a wrap up of the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. How can you not be impressed by Franklin Barreto? The 17-year old kid dominated before he was promoted to Bluefield. Keep an eye on Barreto, he could be something special.
Tom Dakers at Bluebird Banter gives us an update on the performance of the Blue Jays batter in September, in case you haven’t exactly been inspired to tune in every night.
Marcus Stroman paid off his mom’s mortgage (h/t April Whitzman at MLB Fan Cave for sharing). How can you not love this guy? He can locate a 95 MPH and has a heart of gold!