Anthopoulos Talks Prospects, CBA, Payroll

General manager Alex Anthopoulos reviewed the Blue Jays’ on-field progress and discussed a variety of off-field issues in an extended interview with Drew Fairservice of the Score. Here are some highlights from their conversation:

  • It’s becoming more difficult for teams to get good trade value for players with one or two remaining years of team control, Anthopoulos said. “Now it is starting to shift a little bit, it is three years of control or four years of control,” he said. Players just one year away from free agency don’t have as much trade value now, according to the GM.
  • The Blue Jays entered the season with a payroll in the $80MM range and Anthopoulos described it as “a solid payroll to have” (Toronto’s Opening Day payroll was $83.7MM according to Cot's Baseball Contracts and $75.5MM according to USA Today). He repeated that the team can increase payroll, but noted that “it isn’t going to go up for the sake of going up.”
  • Draft pick compensation has become less of a consideration for the Blue Jays given the franchise’s minor league depth and recent changes to baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. “Now we are more interested in guys who will be around for a while and have some swing-and-miss stuff,” Anthopoulos said of potential relief acquisitions.
  • There’s no formula for extensions, Anthopoulos said. “It always comes down to price.” The Blue Jays discussed a possible extension for Edwin Encarnacion last offseason and ultimately signed him this summer.
  • Part of the reason the Blue Jays generally avoid long-term contracts is the unpredictable nature of baseball. “Players change, things change,” Anthopoulos told Fairservice. “Players get hurt and you tend to forget six or seven years is an awfully long time.” The GM added that it sometimes makes sense to wait a little longer before locking a player up, even if it means paying a bit more.
  • Anthopoulos knows he wasn’t “hired to react to the whims and the emotions” of a 162-game schedule, but it doesn’t mean he enjoys being calculated all of the time. “To be honest with you, I get sick of having to be so guarded,” he said. “It is exhausting. I know it is important to stay consistent but it is exhausting.”


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52 Comments on "Anthopoulos Talks Prospects, CBA, Payroll"


johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

““Now we are more interested in guys who will be around for a while and have some swing-and-miss stuff,”

Not sure that will translate into those Jays fans been noticing here interested in Shaun Marcum. His FB velocity been on a downward spiral the last few years.

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

I think it might be in reference to acquiring Sergio Santos, Brad Lincoln, and Steve Delabar versus Kevin Gregg, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, and Octavio Dotel. The latter group was strictly about filling out the roster for the season in order to get compensation draft picks the following year.

Jaysfan724
2 years 11 months ago

Wow I wish I saw this before I posted what I said to the guy above lol. Good to know we are thinking on the same level though.

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

Ha Ha Ha. I am going to keep an eye on you Jaysfan724

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

It sounds like the elimination of Type A & B draft compensation is changing the trade market in that team control is a greater factor. This winter will be interesting.

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Last winter also. Only Philly lost a 1st rounder because they went out and inked papelbon before the new CBA was signed.

Rays can no longer sign a bunch of middle relievers, offer them arbitration and then pile up 7-8 of the top 100 picks either like they did in 2010.

melonis_rex
2 years 11 months ago

Anaheim, Detroit, and Miami lost draft picks as well, but they signed Pujols, WIlson, Fielder, and Reyes.

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Don’t think worded it correctly.. Those teams just lost a pick and Milwaukee, Cards and the Mets didn’t gain the signing teams original pick where Boston DID get the Phillies pick.

Seems like (without going back and looking) Pap was the only Type A who signed before the new rules were announced.

mkl_nyn
2 years 11 months ago

The only problem with acquiring young, controllable talent is guys usually don’t peak until their age 27-29 seasons. So, it may be a while until Toronto fields a contender unless there are some major moves made this off-season and the core of Bautista, EE, Morrow play out of their minds moving forward. Or, everyone else in the division falls off all at once.

LazerTown
2 years 11 months ago

You have to start somewhere. A successful team is usually built from the farm with some free agents to fill the spots the farm can’t handle. Toronto can spend like any of the other big teams in baseball if they want, but I think they are trying to get a base first. They need a stronger starting rotation if they want to be contenders.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

By not going after Gio and Darvish last year, AA showed his true colors.

LazerTown
2 years 11 months ago

Gio is not the reason that the Nats are so good. Neither is Darvish the reason why the rangers are so good. Both are very good players, but the Nats still have Strasburg, Zimmerman, Detwiler, Jackson, Lannan. One pitcher doesn’t turn the 75 win (current rate of the jays) team into a 95 win team.
Both teams had the good solid team, and used trade/signing player to give them that complete team.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

Gio will be the NL Cy Young award winner this year, and Romero is now a #4 pitcher. Gio was another piece to the puzzle, what pitcher did the Jays get.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

gio wouldn’t be putting those numbers up in our division.

LazerTown
2 years 11 months ago

Romero was absolutely dominant last year. He should be able to regain some of his past success if he really is healthy.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

but he did go after both those guys

lots of teams did

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

lunchbox, I agree many teams should have gone after Gio, but the Jays were in more need of a top pitcher than others. As I remember you were down playing Gio for the Jays. saying he wasn’t worth what they gave up. Chen was another good pick up, teams that make moves have a better chance of getting better.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

the nats paid a hefty price for gio and the reds did for latos.

the reality is, that neither latos or gio would have helped much this year, the injuries pushed them to far back

that being said its time for AA to bring in some starters, and he has plenty of prospects to bring in a starting pitcher.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

Agreed, AA needs to get either Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, or Shields and trade for another front line starter. They also need to get at least 2 position players to be in contention. Unless they make some major moves they will be in the basement again next year. You know the Sox are not going to stand pat.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

grienke wouldnt waive his ntc to come to toronto so you should probably get that out of your head

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

The Jays need a new GM, AA has been too passive with the team. They look to be a last place team again next year.

mkl_nyn
2 years 11 months ago

Classic slider32. Well done, sir.

Brent Lafond
2 years 11 months ago

Yes that is true some players dont peak till that age. But what do you consider peaking? IYO is Miguel Cabreara peaking this year? In my mind no. Hes always been a great player who put up great numbers consistently. You can argue this in other ways as well but I aint gonna get into to all that. My point is you can win with a young team. Of course you need some Vets an atleast a couple of them need to be important Vets in the everyday lineup an on the pitching staff. Rays have had lots of success over the last 5 years or so now. The year it all started for them, which was 2008 i believe, they hiad a young team. A good player whos 23 may put up 22 hr 93 rbi 282 avg 348 obp an when hes 27 30 hr 113 rbi 296 avg 371 obp. So ya the 27 yr old version of the player had a little bit of a better year but the 23 yr old version still had a great year an good anuff to be a very good, potent an important part of a offense. Dont believe you cant win with a young team. If they are all producing an living up to there potential then yes they can most definitely win.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

You could make the case that the Rays should have missed the playoffs last year, if not for the Sox collapse. There chances of making the playoffs this year look slim at best!

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

Greg Zaun called Anthopolous a ‘bean counter’ recently and I have to agree with him.

Bean counter!

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

Name caller!!!

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

Anthopolous is the type of guy who goes to the grocery store and expects to get value for everything he buys. Most people on a tight budget splurge on steak and eat some KD so they can afford that steak. Anthopolous wants to go to the reduced rack to buy his food and acts surprised that there is never any steak there.

Bean counter!

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

AA has extended Morrow, Encarnacion and Bautista in the last two season.

what aisle is that in your little scenario?

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

So I guess the bean counter’s shopping has been excellent in your eyes? You must have a Kraft Dinner palate.

Morrow has done what again? Had one big game where he struck out a bunch of guys? Let’s tack on some more years, shall we?
EE has had one good year and a half. Let’s give the guy 9 MM per. Sounds good.
Bautista. The guy who tries to hit a home run every swing and destroyed his wrist. He should be traded to fill holes all over the roster.

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

You are not making sense. When you aggregate the past three seasons, Jose Bautista has the 6th best fWAR for positional players. Better than Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Prince Fielder.

Conversely, Brandon Morrow has 32nd best fWAR for starters over the past three years. Better than Matt Garza.

Any team will gladly relieve Toronto of these players. Any team.

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

Good. I hope they get a windfall of players that can help them instead of guys that are just in it for themselves. Are there sabermetrics for that?

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

Lunchbox, you don’t finish at the bottom of the league year after year and make great moves. The Jays won more games with Wells than they have the last 2 seasons. All teams have injuries!

melonis_rex
2 years 11 months ago

but that many injuries at once is well beyond the injuries that all teams have.

Take the two best starting pitchers and the best position player away from any 2012 contender (even one that doesn’t have lots of star power), and that team’s probably in a lot of trouble, let alone taking away the 4 starting pitchers+ that the jays have lost to injury.

Jaysfan724
2 years 11 months ago

I don’t think he was necessarily saying that, but in regards to getting guys for the future, he is saying he is going to stay away from the one year Jon Rauch’s, Cordero’s and Frank Francisco’s because he will no longer get draft pick compensation for them most likely. Instead he is looking for the Steve Delabar’s, Sergio Santos’ and Brad Lincoln’s that will be around for years to come and have like he stated “swing-and-miss stuff.” This way the Jays do not have to keep playing bullpen roulette every year.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

The Jays are not the Nats or Rays, they don’t have enough core talent!

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

The point is AA is always looking to win each trade or low balling a free agent, it just doesn’t work most of the time. He ended up empty handed.

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

The bullpen needed attention. It was awful.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

bad teams don’t need good bullpens..

make the team good, then fix the bullpen.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

lawrie, bautista, d’arnaud, morrow, ee , janssen is a pretty good core.

they need pitching, and they need 1 or 2 more guys who can post a + .330 OBP

trade for masterson and choo, sign ortiz, make the playoffs

its thats easy

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

they don’t have enough aces. that’s pretty much the entire problem

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

Thats a good start I would add to that either optain Shields, Greinke, or Anabal Sanchez as a free agent. Stay healthy!

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

You can’t respond because you know in your heart everything I said is true.

Off to listen to Greg Zaun’s rant against the Jays again. Be back shortly.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

Grienke wouldn’t waive his no trade to come to toronto from KC.. I’m not sure fans should get their hopes up with Grienke, it would be nice but I don’t know if overpaying will even do anything.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

No everything you said is actually preposterous. I’m offended not as a jays fan but as a baseball enthusiast.

Morrow has the 9th best FIP this year in the AL, ahead of Sabathia, Shields, Fister & Mccarthy

EE has the 6th, yes the 6th highest wOBA in the ENTIRE league.

and bautista I’m not even going justify, thats just silly. He’s an on base and homerun machine. give me a break dude i can’t even believe i’m justifying this

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

Sure it is. How long did you think it will take for AA’s draft picks to make it to the majors?

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

I don’t believe so, but I know as much as you do.

I think they’ll be in the FA market as much as they can, but if they want to improve the rotation its probably going to have to be through trade.

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

Some want to call EE a flash in the pan. Not true. 34th best wOBA over the last three seasons. This is when you include Trout, Cespedes, Craig, and Ruggiano.

His wOBA is better than Texeira, ARod, Swisher, Justin Upton, Kinsler, Hayward, etc.

nictonjr
2 years 11 months ago

Shields won’t be a free agent. At the very least the Rays pick up his 2 options and trade him.

I doubt Greinke makes it out of LA. The Angels will decline Ervin Santana’s option and let Haren walk, or trade him, next year. They have the need and the money and Greinke likes it there….

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

Give me a break. So-called stat guru’s are always claiming to possess the tree of knowledge of baseball. I’ve been reading alternative stat books like the ones put out by Steve Mann since late 80’s. I know it is not the be all and end all of evaluating baseball players and baseball decisions. If it were that simple, the Blue Jays would have more have had at least some success in the past 10 years, now wouldn’t they?

Anthopolous is a bean counter. He is no different than Ricardi, who hired him because he saw himself. Sure AA has a huge scouting staff now, but when you are signing the Hechiveria’s of the world at 10 MM and are fielding essentially a AAA club, you have to re-evaluate EVERYTHING.

And I’m not going to even start on the rest of the management after the clown show of a press conference the other day.

slider32
2 years 11 months ago

OK, so you get Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson and trade for another pitcher. Remember good trades like the ones the the Nats and A’s made last year both sides win, this way teams will trade with you more.

safari_punch
2 years 11 months ago

Have you ever heard of the 20 to 80 scale that the scouts use to evaluate/project players?

Stats have their place, but they can often be misconstrued and doesn’t measure a player’s makeup. Milton Bradley career wise had favorable money ball-like stats, but does anyone want him on a club? I’m not saying the Jays are full of Milton Bradley’s character wise, but Anthopolous appears to be clueless outside of sabermetrics. Escobar and Rasmus came with serious baggage and AA chose to ignore the professional opinions of Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, respectively, because he’s all about the stats. The Braves and Cards, both first division teams, both had Escobar and Rasmus under favorable deals too, but they felt they were better by subtracting these players.

As far as what I’d do differently ,I agree a lot with what Greg Zaun has said about the Blue Jays. If you haven’t heard the interview on the Fan 590 Bob McCowan show, you can read it on the Globe and Mail website or I’m sure many different blogs. There should be more veterans on this club. Guys like Sierra, Lawrie, Gose, should be in the minors to straighten out their game to start 2013. Players should earn their way to the bigs, not be up just because there is no one else or because they’re Canadian (I’m looking at you Brett Lawrie).

If the Jays have to sign MLB free agents, international free agents, minor league free agents, posted players, bring in retreads, platoons, so be it. IMO,one of the biggest things missing from the Blue Jays for years is fundamental baseball. Their players strike out way too much and do not make productive outs. Another thing they appear to be lacking is a leader or two on the field.

I’d can John Farrell, who had never been a manager outside of a year in college ball and the rest of the staff. Bring in someone who has leadership and communication skills. A manager who will hold players accountable. A manager with a track record. Start fresh.

Back to evaluations: When will sabermetrics measure productive outs? Hits where runners go first to third (yes some of this is strategy and involves hitter and runner)? The biggest evaluation of what of what I’ve proposed is by wins at the end of the year and seeing the team blossom, not crash and burn to wind down the year.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

so for all of that hot air, we have:

– demote brett lawrie
– sign “mlb free agents”
– sign “international free agents”
– sign “minor league free agents”
– fire farrel and bring in “someone”
– use the 20-80 scouting scale in player evaluations

huh. i think we all owe you an apology. you’ve clearly thought through all of the complicated details here and have in mind a credible, specific plan to get the blue jays on the right track