No Six Or Seven-Year Deals For Blue Jays

The last time the Blue Jays signed a player to a seven-year deal, it didn’t work nearly as well as expected. Vernon Wells, who agreed to a seven-year, $126MM contract with the club in 2006, now plays in Anaheim and no one on the Blue Jays has anything more than a five-year deal. That’s not about to change, since president Paul Beeston won’t approve six or seven-year deals, according to Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail.

Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, the offseason’s top free agents and the favorite targets of many would-be GMs in the stands at Rogers Centre, have set themselves up for six, seven or eight-year deals in free agency. Though Adam Lind has posted a sub-.300 on-base percentage in successive seasons, the Blue Jays remain hesitant to spend big on the open market.

“When we look at free agents, we better believe those guys are a clear upgrade over what we have internally,” Alex Anthopoulos told Blair.

The GM acknowledges that the 75-74 Blue Jays have some “pretty glaring” issues to address over the winter. However, the Blue Jays say they’re happier with the talent on the current edition of the team than they were this time last year.

When I examined the market for Pujols and Fielder last week, I suggested they were possible fits in Toronto.

82 Responses to No Six Or Seven-Year Deals For Blue Jays Leave a Reply

  1. FYI there was no direct comment by Beeston, and any previous comments he made about being reluctant to sign long-term deals were directed at pitchers, not hitters.

    So do not fret Jays fans – Fielder and Pujols are still on the table.

    • I for one really hope Beeston wouldn’t be opposed to signing Prince Fielder. And I agree with you I didn’t see a direct quote from him either.  I mean…how can you (not you personally Jo) argue he’s not worth that kind of money??  He’s been putting up big numbers for the past 7 years….and unlike Wells who was being paid 30+hr money…Fielder would actually deserve that kind of money as he averages 35 hrs a year.  And he hit 50 once!  I for one have been saying that the Jays could use that kind of offensive production.  Lind has been struggling the past 2 years….his average keeps declining…although it is higher than last year by at least 30 points…but I can’t help but think that Fielder is a HUGE upgrade from anything we have in our system or on our team at 1st base!!  Based on AA’s logic….we should DEFINITELY be going after Fielder as he would clearly be an upgrade to our team!

      • I mean…how can you (not you personally Jo) argue he’s not worth that kind of money??

        I don’t think anyone’s arguing that he’s worth the $20MM/yr now.  It’s the fact that he’s 275lbs, and people with those bodies don’t typically age very well.  Combine that with the fact that he’s commanding a 6+ year contract, you’re probably getting 3 solid years from him before things go south with that body. 

         Based on AA’s logic….

        AA’s logic is to keep costs down, acquire a crapload of high-upside prospects, and try to not have the whole Vernon thing happen again.  Whether you like it or not, there is a ton of risk associated with 7 year contracts, especially when they’re attached to 275lb first basemen who don’t play defense very well.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

          To be somewhat fair on Fielder, ever since he went vego, he has lost a tonne of weight. If he keeps it up, I can see him slimming down to 240 within a couple years, which is far more reasonable. Anything more is just icing on the vegetarian cake.

          • Wooly2010 4 years ago

            Fielder gave up being a vegan almost a year ago, and he didn’t lose much weight at all during that stretch.  Check your sources.

          • dc21892 4 years ago

            Lost weight? Being a vegan doesn’t rule out eating pasta. Pasta = full of carbs. Clearly Fielder has been eating his pasta while being vegan. He’s HUGE.

          • jb226 4 years ago

            I’m roughly the same age as Prince Fielder (older by about six months); I’m taller, and I weigh less.  And I already have problems with my knees.

            Now granted, there are some extenuating circumstances.  My knees, like a lot of other joints on my body, are hyperflexible (“double-jointed”) meaning that not only am I overweight, but it often sits on my knees at wholly unnatural angles.  And of course even if they weren’t, just because something happened to me doesn’t necessarily mean it would happen to Fielder, nor is weight necessarily a great measure of anything.

            But I would be very worried about it with him moving forward, even at 240 (which from other posters it sounds like he isn’t particularly close to again).  If his knees start giving him trouble, it’s going to destroy any range he has defensively, and I could easily see it causing him problems batting as well–especially affecting his power.  

            Fielder at 3-4 years is probably a good deal for just about any team; I would probably even do five and feel pretty good about it.  Fielder at 6-7 years is damn scary.  That body WILL cause him problems, it’s only a question of when.  It’s just too hard to project out that far for ANY player, much less one with what amounts to a ticking time bomb.

      • AA won’t sign Fielder.  He doesn’t fit into the mold of the ‘athletic’ type player that he wants on the Jays.

        • They won’t sign him, because they’d be spending $50 million for him to hang out with a team that isn’t quite ready to win yet and $80 million to be on the decline while they wish they had money to lock up their young stars. The $30 million or so in the middle would be pretty sweet, though.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            at the same time, you are paying jose bautista a ton of money to hang out with a team that isn’t quite ready to win yet…

            You have some pieces there, they need to add imo a pitcher and maybe a bat to compete. . . not world series compete, but atleast be in the wild card picture in september

          • They gambled that Bautista’s 2010 was for real and consequently got him at what turned out to be a WAY below market deal. Prince is going to require more than twice as much money, and I don’t want to be holding the bag on him as he gets into his 30s.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            while I agree with you, I just feel that you need to begin competing sooner rather than later because you are wasting Bautista’s allofasudden prime..

            Do we really want Bautista to put up another 7+ WAR season in a non competitive season??

            In 2013, 2014 who knows if that regresses, its more than likely at which point the team will have missed another window with an elite player and not competiting..

            i’m all for staying the course, I’m not a homer calling for ridiculous trades or think its realistic to sign 3 or 4 massive FAs, but the team isn’t that far off. The offense is there, the bullpen will be better, the rotation has a chance to be better if the right arms are added, I’m personally hoping for Harden and wilson

          • I completely agree with you Lunchbox….I too feel the team is almost there….maybe even more than the WildCard.  We only need another pitcher to man the top of the rotation with Ricky and maybe trade for a young middle of the rotation guy as well.  Combine that with the young pitchers coming up through the organization and we should have a solid staff and bullpen.

            However…I also agree that if we don’t add another big bat…we are staying the course and would be wasting the prime of Bautista’s career as he is already on the wrong side of 30.  Plus…the free agent market sucks the next 2 years for big bats.  I think AA should try to get Fielder on a 5 year contract and sell him on the idea that it would give him one more shot at a big free agent contract at age 33 if he stays healthy.  At this point he has been healthy.

            And just for those critics up above…Fielder MOVES for a big guy and he is actually an above average fielder at first base.  I think it would be a wise decision to sign him…but I agree with some of the other points….7 years would be a scary contract…but I think 5 with an option would be nice.  I’d even take 3 with an option or two if he’d go for it…but that seems unlikely.

        • at a certain point, if you mash enough athleticism is besides the point. 

          • Yes it is, but AA seems to want to have a team that can run on the basepaths to score runs.

          • of course, he definitely seems to put extra value on athletic players, but we’re talking about 1B/DH types here. i doubt he cares that much if his firstbaseman can run, he cares if he can hit. 

            power/OBP >> speed
            i’m not saying the jays will sign fielder, but the only way his athleticism comes into the conversation is when you start questioning if he will be able to keep producing into his 30’s. they are not going to say no to fielder because he’s a slow runner.

  2. Ethanator99 4 years ago

    Interesting. This probably knocks out Votto from their list then.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Isn’t he an upgrade over what they have internally? I’m sure they’d make an exception for him if/when he becomes a free agent.

    • Votto is neither a free agent, nor is he demanding a 6-7 year extension upon being traded.  I’m sure if Votto’s available, and for the right price, he’s doable for the Jays.

      • Ethanator99 4 years ago

        If you’re a player like Votto, you’re going to want a 6-7 year extension.

        • wtf?  What does that have to do with anything? He’s got two years left on his current deal and doesn’t have any no-trade protection.  In the theoretical world where Votto gets traded to the Jays, an contract extension isn’t a proviso.  I’m sure if they Jays did acquire him, it would be with the intention of extending him, but that’s not part of the discussion at all.

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

        He’ll be demanding a 6-7 year extension soon enough.

      • the reds also have a proven hitter in their organization that can’t play any other position other than 1B (Yonder Alonso), so seeing the reds put votta on the trade market for more pieces to help them in the NL east is not that hard to see.

  3. As an Angels fan, I don’t see how the seven-year deal with Vernon Wells didn’t work out for the Blue Jays.

  4. 6 or 7 year deals are a bad idea? No way!!

    • Ethanator99 4 years ago

      They really are. Compared to 10-12 year deals

  5. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    Coollet: “PS Pujols may be a Jays yet, To all other Cards fans, i feel for ya, it sucks when/if you’ll lose your best player.”

    Doesnt look like thats happening

    • Coollet 4 years ago

      How’s Patterson doing for ya?

      • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

        Well he has better stats than Rasmus since the trade.. you tell me.

        Patterson stats with Cards: .248, 6 HR, 14 RBIS

        Rasmus with Jays” .208, 3 HR, 13 RBIS

        I bet your face is Cardinal red right now.

        • Those aren’t Corey Patterson’s stats with the Cardinals.

          • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

            Oh those are Furcals haha.. oh well… my point really is that Rasmus hasnt really been the superstar that Toronto was expecting and probably wont. Either way it wasnt the worst trade this season and the Jays still have a long way to go before they contend. Rasmus is not the answer and will most likey frustrate the hell out of you guys. My mistake with the states but hey at least Furcal has done some damage.

          • Coollet 4 years ago

            Fact: not the worst trade this season (was the Well’s trade part of this season or last?)
            Fact: The jays DO have a long way to contend (their division is the toughest, but you got to beat the best to be the best)
            Fact: Rasmus will/has frustrated the fans (he’s young and the injuries are annoying but next year will be his first true tryout on the team)
            Fact: Furcal = garbage for what he’s paid

            The only issue i have in your rebutal is the “Rasmus probably wont be a superstar”, its way too early to make that call.

          • It was still a goofy trade in my eyes. Rasmus was a star caliber player last year at the age of 23. Trading that for Edwin Jackson and a couple of meh relievers doesn’t seem like a good use of resources. And having a manager that antagonizes young players is bad for business. Of course, the White Sox end of the trade still makes the least sense to me.

        • Coollet 4 years ago

          Its called facts, you should try using them. You’re a joke, just like Patterson’s numbers: .157/.173/.235/.408. 0 HRS and 3 RBI. No wonder you like him.

          PS Rasmus has been injured almost as long as he’s been a Jays.

          Who’s face is Cardinal red now? Maybe your ego bruised a little, a lovely shade of Blue Jay?

    • Coollet 4 years ago

      Besides, i said “when/if” so i wasnt wrong. And youre dealing with “The Silent Assassin”, he probably wants everyone to think the opposite. He’s got you looking left, then right, then up , then left, BAM! He’s got your best player or a great young high ceiling player (Colby Rasmus). And your left with … Corey Patterson.

      • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

        Patterson will be gone next year.. he was a throw in, we will have Rzepczynski under control for 3 years now and you guy have fun with Rasmus arbitration case.. Cards literally paid for his salary in a 3 game series. Jays are going to have to pay him somewhere in the 7 million per year range. 

        • Coollet 4 years ago

          So you’re telling me that Rzepczymasdbfjka (although i do like the kid) is worth more than Rasmus and that the Cards won the trade? Highly doubt it but time will tell i guess. But now with Rzec-alphabet, the Cards are definitely going to win the WS, plan the parade. And dont worry about money, at least we can afford to keep our best player.

          • The_BiRDS 4 years ago

            I never said they won the trade.. My point was that the trade had meaning and was not a bust for the Cards like you said it was when the trade happened.

          • Coollet 4 years ago

            I will conceed this, trades do take time to develop before there is a clear outcome (even if one side claims victory because it help them in whatever regard) and there is also two very different reasons for this particular trade. All jabs aside, i always do hope for the best for ex Jays player and hope they help their new teams (see Aaron Hill)but it feels like the Cards/you gave up on a very talented (although frustrating at times) young player. The Jays have now a reputation of taking cast-offs, malcontents, attitude players and turning them to gold, i believe this is one of those cases again.

  6. ARodinyourPujols 4 years ago

    Good, I have never been a fan of huge, long deals from the beginning. Does anyone really want to pay Pujols 25+ mil a year when he is 38? I could understand a long contract to a mid 20’s guy that has established himself in the league, and even that it is tough. It’s hard to believe that signing a guy that is already in his 30’s for 6+ years will not hurt you in the later years of the contract. 

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “Does anyone really want to pay Pujols 25+ mil a year when he is 38?”

      if you could guarantee a couple of world series wins before he got there, i think everyone would want to do that. there are no guarantees, so the question becomes how much better he makes your chances while he’s in his prime – and how much he hurts them once he’s beyond it

      pujols and fielder are attractive bats to have in your lineup, but the jays aren’t desperate for offense. it’s pitching they need

      • ARodinyourPujols 4 years ago

        I agree with the, “if you could guarantee a couple of world series before he got there” statement, to a certain extent. If you could 100% guarantee it then yes I could understand it. The problem is, you are running a franchise, the goal is to sustain long term sustainability. If you win World Series in the for 3 years then the last 4 years you are paying him 30 million a year and you have a couple of down seasons, that puts the franchise at a huge and long term disadvantage. If you are owing one guy 30 million that is just an average player, that will severely hinder a team long term and may take a very very long time to get out of that rut with your team development, fan base, sponsorship, ownership trust and the list could continue. It is a tightrope that the team has to walk on very carefully. 

        • I think you underestimate the impact a world series has on a team’s long term revenue.  Unless you’re the Miami Marlins.

          Long term being 4-5 years.

        • Rabbitov 4 years ago

          Are you a conspiracy theorist?  I don’t see how one guys contract could destroy the entire infrastructure of an organization.  You also do realize that signing players = revenue.  

          It can hurt a team for sure, but your ‘extremes’ are completely baseless. 

          • BVHjays 4 years ago

            Vernon Wells’ contract was doing that, until Anthopolous magically unloaded it. Sure, one contract might be very bearable for the high-payroll teams, but for a smaller-payroll team, it could be disastrous. Where exactly the Jays fall in there is something we don’t know yet – they talk about being willing to match the Red Sox payroll, but I think most Jays fans remain skeptical until they see it.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            The revenue from signing Pujols would  be an entire new revenue source. The extra media attention, merchandise, television ratings, attendance spike etc would all bring in more money..

            Would it bring in 300 million dollars worth? probably not.. but when you factor the on field performance coupled with the increase revenue and the sure to be impeding playoff run, the deal isn’t as bad as you make it seem.

          • Again I agree with you Lunchbox….I think the revenue from signing either Pujols or Fielder…maybe even more so Pujols in the beginning would be astronomical.  And obviously a playoff push would bring in even more…but let’s just say it…if they went to the World Series in the 10 years Pujols was here…or if we even won it 1 or 2 times…then contrary to the comments above…I think the Jays could clearly sustain the last couple of years where Pujols only hits say 20-25 hrs a year.

            Obviously things didnt’ work out with Wells…but that was b/c the team was not ready to compete for the playoffs yet and we were stuck with a mediocre team, a HUGE contract for one player…and attendance at games averaging a little over 20,000 a game. Obviously in those conditions we could not sustain a huge contract. But this team is different in that it is close to making that run. And a big contract could be what we need to actually WIN which will lead to more fans and revenue.

          • Rabbitov 4 years ago

            “smaller-payroll team”  
            The Jays =/= the rays or marlins. 

            Further I at no time denied that a contract could hurt a team, just not go to the extreme that the poster indicated. 

        • The bigger issue is this: The Blue Jays are not one guy away from competing in the AL East.  Even if they guy is named Pujols.  Like… is anyone else not seeing this?  We’re talking about a team that is set to finish about 15 games out of first place and about 12 games out of the wild card.  Even Pujols isn’t going to win 12 games for them.  I mean, he’d give them a shot- but you don’t blow that kind of money on a coin flip.  The Blue Jays need to pick their spots carefully- they can’t just throw money around and expect to compete.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            they’re already a top 5 offense with several starters underperforming. presumably they’ll have full seasons of lawrie and snider as well as better seasons from rasmus arencibia and lind next year – maybe johnson too

            pitching is what is missing. they have front-end guys in romero and morrow, but it gets really weak after that. needing pitching doesn’t mean signing a hitter, but it does mean that if by trade and/or signing they jump forward in the pitching department, signing a big bat can suddenly make a lot of sense

  7. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    If their not willing to commit then they better forget about acquiring Fielder, Pujols or any other superstar as most of them would ask for long term deals.

    • They’d be silly to sign one of those guys anyway.

      • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

        Silly to sign one of those guys??? I understand that the Jays are looking to develop their players to win you need game changers and these guys  can be backbones of Championship caliber teams. 

        W/o Pujols Cardinals aren’t even close to contending and never would have won in 06.

        Brew crew wouldn’t have made playoffs this year and forget about the 08 run.

        I don’t know why people undervalue the Free agency market. Teams can build the backbones of franchises within however, help is needed from outside to complement the team. W/o Sabathia, Tex and Burnett (free agents), Yanks never would’ve have won it all in 09.

        • Taking the existing Yankee team, then adding Sabathia and Teixeira is in no way analogous to taking the current Blue Jays team and adding any combination of players from this year’s free agent class.

          And while you’re absolutely right about what Pujols has done for the Cardinals, you’re not paying for his last eight years, you’re paying for his next eight years. Pujols and Fielder are both likely to start falling off half-way through any deal they sign. That makes it silly to sign them if you’re a team that probably can’t realistically contend for the first two years with one of them. You could take an identical number of years and amount of money and the same contract for one of those guys will make more sense to the Angels, Rangers, or Giants than it would for the Jays.

    • That’s kind of the point. AA isn’t looking to go out and throw wads of cash at people until they’re 38 years old. He’s put an emphasis on drafting and player development the second he was made GM and his plan is to develop his superstars where he can have a chance to retain them. He’s not going out to sign a Prince Fielder for 7 years, he’s going to retain Jose Bautista, who already has ties and loyalty to the team, for an additional 5 years.

  8. M_Harden 4 years ago

    I agree with staying away from Fielder. This isn’t an original opinion, but I don’t see him as a guy that would age well.

  9. Wooly2010 4 years ago

    People need to explain how Fielder won’t age well outside of his weight.  Dude has no injury history, a smooth mechanical swing, and doesn’t ever miss games.  Give me a reason as to why he can’t succeed as a 1B/DH over the next 5 years.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      people get fatter as they get older. 

      • Wooly2010 4 years ago

        Yeah, athletes get sooooooo much fatter between the ages of 30 and 35.  Give me a break.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          how is prince fielder an athlete???

          Do you consider John Daly an athlete as well? 

    • Giant, bat only first-base types simply don’t age all that well. Look at Cecil Fielder. Look at Mo Vaughn. Fielder only makes sense for a team that can realistically compete in the first couple years of the contract.

      • Spaldingballs 4 years ago

        Just because some guys aged poorly in the past doesnt mean it was because they were bat only first base types. Jim Thome aged pretty well and he was a bat only 1B. The biggest problem is with the ones with the high strike out rates, who often see that increase, which, coupled with decreased BABIP, causes them to age poorly. Fielder does not have that high of a K rate.

        • TheHotCorner 4 years ago

          You missed the “Giant” part of his sentence, he wasn’t saying bat only 1B types.  Thome has never been a 275+ lb guy. 

  10. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    5 years, 125 million for fielder. git’r’done

    also. 5/80  with an option for cj wilson 

    atleast make the offer.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      i really like wilson for toronto. he can handle a hitter’s park, he can handle strong lineups, he isn’t dependent on big velocity, and his arm has relatively little mileage on it for his age

      fielder would be nice, but they already have a top 5 offense despite lind, hill/johnson, snider and rasmus not really producing. i think the focus should be wilson unless the price proves excessive

      • I think the price will prove excessive given how little pitching is on the market. And again, he’s kind of a win now signing. Why pay C.J. Wilson $25 million over time when you don’t expect to truly compete?

        Also, I think the low mileage is canceled out by the additional risk that comes with being a relief-to-starting conversion. (Or just the risk of being a 30-something pitcher.)

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i don’t know how to quantify the reliever-to-starter risk in a vacuum. is there data suggesting that increases the likelihood of injury well after the conversion?

          if wilson settles for 5 years, i think it’ll be worth it for toronto to pay him. i could certainly understand waiting for the 2013 free agent class as it has a lot more pitching, but most of the wilson-caliber options will cost more than he will (this is a guess, we’ll see) – and i don’t think toronto is as far away from contention as most outside of toronto seem to

          • BVHjays 4 years ago

            Over at FanGraphs, for what it’s worth, they made the argument that turning from reliever to starter a bit later in his career would make Wilson a great bet for a pitcher just because he had far less mileage on his arms than most starters when they hit free agency.

          • It’s pretty hard to measure most pitcher risk in a vacuum, since pitchers of every variety almost all get hurt eventually.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            sure. just looking for a reason to think wilson is a greater injury risk than he otherwise would be because of his late transition. right now i don’t have one and the opposite theory (that he’s less of an injury risk) seems intuitive

          • Fair enough. He was also a starter throughout the minors, so I’m likely off base here. I still think the Jays are better off waiting a year or two to sign any top free agents.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            but then you’ll have to go out and find replacement production for bautistas regression..

            you can’t waste another year of his prime 

  11. Ikannoka 4 years ago

    Whether Jays would afford getting Filder or not, Jays should remove Lind at 1B.
    His batting is not good as 1B player and defence is also below averege .Like Hill, Jays should trade him. It’s time to give up expecting him.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      thats a little harsh to compare him to Hill..  He has certainly fizzled after a pretty good start, but Hill was a freakin negative WAR player..

  12. bluejaysfan1990 4 years ago

    I can understand not wanting to give out 6,7,8 year contracts, but this is Fielder and Pujols were talking about. 

  13. TRR 4 years ago

    Meh, I don’t get all the talk about body type. He can eventually be the full time DH. Look at David Ortiz, the guy has a terrible body type yet is still producing like great. Sure signing him to a big contract you may not get much bang for your buck in the last 3 years… but that’s the price you have to pay to be competitive.

  14. true that

  15. Yeah, and have Fielder clog up the basepaths.  By the way Lind is only 1 year older.   Makes a big difference.  Watch how injury prone Fielder will be after he gets his contract.  Anyways I never said Lind was the answer at first base.

    Sabathia doesn’t have to run the bases in the American League.  He’s a pitcher if you didn’t know. 

    And I’m not making excuses.  I’m just stating that the Jays won’t sign Fielder. 

  16. Joe Momma 4 years ago

    Name me one first basemen who produces offensively outside of pujols that doesn’t clog up the bases. First is for power not for speedsters. Plus I think a lineup featuring Bautista and Fielder batting 3 and 4 doesn’t need burners from top to bottom….they need people to get on base infront of them.

  17. Who is Joey Votto?   I’ll take ridiculously obvious baseball question for 400.

  18. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    because he’s clearly available, right?

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