The Rays lost most of their bullpen and several regulars during the offseason, but they currently sit atop the AL East with a 23-17 record. It's a tight race, though, as the fifth-place Orioles are only 3.5 games out. A few links from around the division:
- Over the weekend Jorge Posada told GM Brian Cashman that he wanted out of the Yankees, not just out of the lineup, according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. However, a source close to Posada says his comments were simply said out of anger and frustration.
- Yankees management was "surprised and frustrated" that Derek Jeter told reporters Posada did nothing wrong and did not owe his teammates an apology, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Posada pulled himself from the lineup Saturday, partially because he'd been dropped to ninth and also because of "a long-running antagonism between him and manager Joe Girardi," in the words of Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman says the team was ready to move on after Posada's apology, but then executives including Hal Steinbrenner were miffed at Jeter's comments. At any rate, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees spoke with Jeter, and "all is fine between them."
- Brett Lawrie's continued stay at Triple-A "doesn't seem to be a case of Super 2 concerns overriding baseball considerations," writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in regard to the Blue Jays' top prospect. Club officials tell Rosenthal Lawrie is playing well at third base, so you have to think his promotion is near.
- MLBTR's Steve Adams wrote yesterday that it would have been conceivable for Jose Bautista to try to top Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142MM deal in free agency. FanGraphs' Dave Cameron is thinking $158MM over seven years would have been possible, adding that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "created something like $150 million in surplus value for his club this winter" given the dumping of Vernon Wells' contract as well. In another post, Cameron demonstrates just how amazing Bautista's season has been so far.
and some people say that andrew friedman is the best gm in baseball.
i think its a little early to be calling the bautista deal “good” or “great”… we are 2 months into the first year of his deal.
If he continues to have the kind of year he is currently riding, this season alone will be worth nearly the entire contract itself.
If Bautista continues to slash like this than it will be worth every penny this year period. With that said, this is year one of the deal. Talk to me 2-3 years from now.
He would have been a FA at the end of the year. Jays would have had to spend an extra 60-80 million on the contract if they wanted to retain him..
So the ‘talk to me in 2-3 years from now’ crowd is completely wrong.
It’s his walk year and would have got a heckava lot more
The way he is raking, he will be worth the whole contract this season.
Don’t you mean “The way I’m raking, I’ll be worth the whole contract this season?” or maybe you should’ve opted for the third person, and said “The way Jose’s raking, Jose will be worth the whole contract this season (a’la Ricky Henderson)?”
Unless you’re not really Jose Bautista…. hmmmm?
So because he is starting the first two months of his contract well, he is worth the entire 50 some odd million dollar contract this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think the guy is great, but playing great for a year and a half does not make you the best in the league. Trying to judge a 5 year contract after two months is nothing short of comical.
i think the biggest problem with that is marginal win value. yeah, sure, he can be worth 50 WAR this year, but if he’s not worth 2WAR+/season later on in the deal (i.e. when the jays are supposed to be good) then it doesn’t really matter. The jays aren’t winning the division this season, and probably won’t next season either.
I think that’s what austin is trying to say. I don’t think anyone was ready for him to perform the way he has, and I think what a lot of the critics of this contract are saying is that the jays could have gone to arbitration with him and moved him for multiple MLB-ready prospects during the season instead of trying to win with a 34 year old fielder making $14MM.
I’d like to point out that I was always (moreso now) a fan of this deal, and am really just making a devils advocate point here.
If Jose Bautista is worth 50 WAR this year then the Jays will win the division. I’m pretty sure that they can piece together 24 other players that add up to replacement level and a replacement level team wins about 49 games against an average schedule. True, the schedule for teams in the AL East is harder than average, but I’m going to give a team that also features Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Adam Lind, Yunel Escobar, a really strong bullpen, and a lot of other good young players (Drabek, Arencibia, Lawrie, Thames, Cecil and maybe Snider if he can work it out… among others) a pretty good shot at being above replacement level even without Jose Bautista.
The Jays are not a contender this year, but if Jose Bautista is magically worth 50 WAR then they would be. No doubt about it.
“If Jose Bautista is worth 50 WAR this year then the Jays will win the division.”
Congratulations on completely missing my point. The Jays aren’t contending this year, so there’s a marginal effect that a Jose Bautista-Barry-Bonds-circa-2001 season can do. Sure, he only needs to put up something like 13 WAR over this contract to have it be worthwhile, but the point that I’m trying to make is that a 13 WAR this season doesn’t really do much for us from a Jays’ fan perspective because the rest of the team isn’t putting up the other 35 WAR needed to win 97 games and take this division.
Replace “50 WAR” in the post you replied to with “25 WAR”. The chances of a 25 WAR season aren’t really a whole lot greater than those of a 50 WAR season, but now maybe it’s not enough to make the playoffs? Either way, I was just making a blatantly obvious (though apparently not obvious enough) exaggeration that shows us how useful these WAR are to a non-contending team. An entirely theoretical progression of [14-3-2-1-0] WAR seasons over this contract can both (a) show a giant surplus for the Bluejays in this contract, and (b) be a complete waste since all of this production is coming before the Jays really need it.
I was being facetious. I understood your point and I agree with it. 😉
I was merely saying that, while Bautista isn’t going to be worth 50 WAR this season (the record is barely 14 WAR and I’d be surprised if anybody surpases that even someone with an amazing start like Jose’s), if he is then it would take some kind of disaster across the rest of the roster for the Jays NOT to make the playoffs. I was responding to your obvious exaggeration in a serious manner for the sake of humour, but I probably wasn’t transparent enough in my attempt at being funny.
I do agree that there is a possibility (and not a inconsequential one) that his contract can do both of the things that you said (show a surplus and be a waste). However, if we really do think that Jose Bautista has “figured it out” and become an elite hitter that he is likely to go into the tank to the tune of averaging 1.5 WAR per year from 2012 to 2015? Given his 2010 performance, the changes in his game, and his start to 2011 I would be pretty shocked if he did not average twice that per year and not at all surprised if he averaged three times that.
In either case he would be a good value and since it would be unlikely to just play out as exactly 3 WAR or 4.5 WAR for each and every year he would probably have a couple of seasons where he’s better than that and a couple where he is worse. In the years where he is better he might actually be the difference in the Jays qualifying or not qualifying for the playoffs.
Also, I’d give the odds that he just flat out continues to be an elite player over the next four years (in an aggregate sense, at least) about the same chance that he regresses to a 1.5 WAR/year player over that time. I mean, that’s the kind of player that he was pre-swing adjustment and without consistent playing time. It was a risky contract overall, but sometimes it is appropriate to take a risk and even at the time the contract was signed this seemed like such a situation, at least to me.
This year alone would be worth 65 million?
Using Fangraphs $4.5mil per 1 WAR, and he’s on pace for, what, 15 WAR? If he finishes with that, it would be worth $67.5MM.
It’s a good thing that paces at the beginning of the year end up being worthless, and everyone reverts to the(ir) mean…. Baseball is a fickle sport, and after 162 games (700+ at bats, etc.) I doubt Bautista will be worth 15 WAR (after an inevitable slump or two). Not trying to hate, just being a realist….
not that you’re saying anything crazy, but that is literally exactly what everyone said about bautista’s HR pace and HR total last year. but he did not regress to the mean last year because he became a massively better player. we still don’t have a real good idea at this point what his “real” mean actually is
Based on 3.9 WAR, and $4.5MM per win, he has already earned 27% of the entire contract.
For me Lawrie still needs to learn to take walks at a better rate. It has been improving of late, but a 6.4% BB rate and a BB/K ratio of 0.35 is still fairly brutal.
6 walks in the last 5 games..
I do agree with you, however given the fact that we are either running Johnny Mac, EE or Nix out there, I’ll take that .35 ratio any day
If the Jays are still in the thick of the AL East/WC race in a month-to-6 weeks, I’d say call him up then. My concern isn’t if he can make contact, but if he can lay off pitches. If he brings those tendencies up to the MLB, we’re just gonna see Snider v2.0.
Yes ! Very much agree. There’s simply no need for the Jays to call him up and make him a super 2 unless we show were actually in the race. Walk rates may seem like trivial stats when a prospect is hitting so well, but when your team batting average is .291 Lawries .321 ba is put more in perspective; the hitting is not the issue, his ability to pick out pitches and subsequently draw walks is a skill that needs developing.
Las thing I want to see is Lawrie waving at those breaking balls down and away like Snider does and then have him sent down again. AA isn’t JP Ricardi here he knows what he’s doing.
I think it’s because he is just hitting too much. I believe he had a better walk rate last year but his BA wasn’t nearly as high as it is right now.
He is making a good adjustment though and drawing walks lately. AA probably told him start hitting more homeruns and get some more walks and you’ll get the call.
He seems to have made the adjustment defensively as well. Made tons of errors early on but he has what, like 1 error in the past month?
I think he’ll get the call-up in a few weeks.
re: Yankees, Jeter, Posada:
Derek Jeter is just talking for Derek Jeter. I am sure he sees that he will be in the same situation in 1-2 years. Taking up a roster spot when a better, younger player should be there. And making way more than he is worth. He knows that he will eventually be batting 9th and is setting himself up for when he takes a day off with a “tight back”.
Was Jeter great? Yes he was. Is he any better *than* average? No, maybe even below average.
P.S. I actually like Posada. Or at the very least didn’t dislike him. It’s sad to see how much he is scuffling.
” Is he any better then average or maybe below average now? Yes he is. ”
Not sure I understand this. Is he better than average or is he below average? Ummm, every player who is not an average player would get a yes to this.
I mean maybe I’m taking it the wrong way, but that’s basically what you just put.
Sorry, I meant is he better THAN average. Cleaned up.
lol I thought I was lost there. My mistake
I’d say he is a better than average shortstop though considering there aren’t a ton of above average shortstops.
One upside for Jeter so far this year, his actually his fielding is 7th best amongst SS’s
Yeah but with only 5 XBH in 36 games. That used to be his strength.
fielding stats this early? Come on.
If hitting stats and pitching stats can be shown early, why can’t fielding stats?
because they are far inferior in terms of accuracy, even using fielding stats after a full year should be avoided.
“because they are far inferior in terms of accuracy”. Then what do you suggest using? Fielding percentage and errors? lol
“even using fielding stats after a full year should be avoided.” Why is that?
Its the best current stat, but it has its issues.
It should be looked at cumilatively over a 2-3 year period, definetely highly inaccurate after a month and half of data.
Really funny how you bring up ‘fielding percentage and errors’ meanwhile this conversation is about Derek Jeter’s fielding. who seldom makes errors, but lacks any range to truly be anywhere close to a good fielding shortstop.
I brought them up in a sarcastic way meaning they are pretty useless just like W-L for pitchers. I might check out BIZ and RZR too a bit more.
apparently pitch fx is coming out with a fielding application that will completely revolutionize how fielding stats are kept.
to be clear, it isn’t that the fielding stats are lacking accuracy before the 3 season mark. it’s that they are lacking predictive value
so if jeter has a +3 UZR, it’s not an illusion or a mistake. it means he’s fielded well – 3 runs above average for his position at that time. what it doesn’t mean is “he’s an above average fielder right now”, because that’s a conclusion about his ability rather than an observation of his performance. 3 years of data is required to be predictive i.e. to draw sound conclusions about ability
we do have that much data for jeter. he ain’t too good. so when he posts a +3 UZR in some small sample, that’s the equivalent of a poor hitter on a hot streak. it happens
you read it wrong
Is he any better than average or maybe below average now? Yes he is
meaning at best he is average, possibly below average now
He was right. I had the wrong word in there making it messy. Thanks for having my back though. :p
It wasn’t the word, it was the way I read it haha. Lunchbox said it more clear to me (no offense hehe)
But I got what you’re saying now
Well what do you know. I stand corrected. Sorry about that Lunchbox! :p
Posada is taking more heat for this then Cabrera, Choo, Crisp etc has for their DUI’s
funny aint it?
In New York, everything is magnified.
You're Killing Me Smalls
DANG! I forgot Choo even had a DUI…
“any rate, Mark Feinsand tweets that the Yankees spoke with Jeter, and “all is fine between them.”
Let me bust out the old crystal ball:
Tomorrow’s AL East Notes:
“Buster Olney tweets of further upheaval in New York, as management is upset about comments from Alex Rodriguez indicating Jeter was completely within his rights to think that Posada was completely within his rights. More on this tomorrow as we get quotes from C.C. Sabathia’s on his opinion of Alex’s Rodriguez’s opinion about Derek Jeter’s opinion about the Jorge Posada saga AKA We Just Won’t Let It Die-gate.”
For real, Buster Olney needs to learn he doesnt need to make every thing into a huge deal.
In New York everything is a big deal
Unrelated, but is anyone else having problems with the comments sections on Chrome? I can access it fine from work on IE 8, but they just load and load and load and never show up on Chrome the last few days.
I use chrome and it loads just fine. I use it on a mac though.
That is all.
I used to dig Firefox and all, but Chrome is better on pretty much every level other than “accessing MLBTR comments for the last four days.” FF4 is basically Chrome with more bloat.
You're Killing Me Smalls
I use a browser called Rockmelt. It is pretty awesome if you are a social media type person, it has your Facebook on the left side of your window at all times, pretty neat.
It is basically Chrome with some fancy add-ons.
Yeah, I used Rockmelt for a little while, but it just wasn’t for me. A little too buggy and slower than Chrome. The concept was cool, but the execution just didn’t do it for me.
IE9…that is all.
Now, I’m not one of those anti-everything MS does people (I dig my 360 and I use and enjoy Windows 7 and MS Office), but IE is behind the curve on everything in terms of browsers. I tried IE 9, but it’s basically a less convenient FF4, which is basically a bloated Chrome.
Yeah but I’m not a huge fan of Firefox 4. However I’d take it over IE any day
Oh hey, it works again! Neat!
Meter is completely wrong, I mean Jorge know hes struggling so he shouldn’t be suprised that he’s not in the middle of the order. It’s another thing if he’s batting 300 and then gets dropped but he’s around 165, what does he expect. Reputation only gets you so far . . And as his teammate I would feel like he’s quitting on the team. Jeter himself better get ready to get dropped to in a year or so because this isn’t primetime jeter anymore . .
I don’t think Posada is quitting on the team I just think he’s so proud and frustrated and can’t accept the fact that his skills have diminished greatly. He wants to help the team and he cares a lot. It comes off as selfish but it’s just him fighting himself.
I agree with everything but his skills diminishing “greatly.” If anything, he wants or needs a couple days off to clear his head, and hopefully for him get his flow back. He’s not the only yankee struggling (as my fantasy team can attest to), and I wouldn’t be willing to give up on any hitter with his career numbers. MLB pitchers make adjustments, and as long as players are willing to listen and learn, they make adjustments in return. Look at David Ortiz last year. Until Posada has an entire year of sub .200 hitting (ala Mark Raynolds and Carlos Pena – neither of whom are being accused of being washed up) I think he’ll be worth the roster spot
Posada needs to stop sulking about not being the everyday catcher and focus on doing what he CAN do to help the team and that is by hitting and drawing walks.
So much of his problems really are mental issues that are exagerating the deficiencies in his swing by not having the propoer mind state at the plate. Get head in the game JoPa.
I’m kind of tired of all these Diva’s who seem to take for granted that they are playing Baseball while being payed to play. You play for twenty years, make ten’s of millions of dollars than retire and watch your kids grow up, seems real bad. Time to stop complaining and play. If you can’t do that, get out of the game where you don’t belong.
Dave Cameron- let it go. We get it Bautista is bonds right now. Stop.
Bonds on steroids
oh god stop
That’s what he said: Bonds.
Posada himself asked for the axe and you don’t grant it to him? That would have been a win-win, Yankees.
Not only do you get rid of Posada while he is in his MEGA decline phase, you don’t look like the bad guys because HE himself asked for it.
I would have let him go quicker than Posada’s BA drops every game.
God let it go, it was just a day off, understandably so…….He took himself out of the lineup 30 minutes before the game, the world is ending.
You're Killing Me Smalls
I wish I could tell my employer I’m not gonna work…
its called a sick day
You're Killing Me Smalls
Sarcasm, my apologies for not noting that in the original post…
It’s not a sick day when you’re already at work and when you’re told to do something you don’t like you curse out your boss, tell him you want to quit and then proceed to refuse to do your job – that’s called waiting in the unemployment line.
As much as I don’t like what Posada did I can’t blame him. The Yankees are just pathetic right now I think they’re trying to lose on purpose. I don’t care if its Boston or Tampa you don’t blow a 4-1 lead at home and then a 5-1 lead the next night. I’ll start watching them again when they can win a game.
You can’t blame him? For what, hitting .165? You know, that just MIGHT be part of the reason why they haven’t been winning…just a thought. What team ‘loses on purpose’? How would that possibly benefit them in any way?
“What team ‘loses on purpose’?”
The 1919 White Sox.
What Jeter, Posada and Rodriguez are doing is called “giving the business…the business” The Red Sox have the same phenomena to deal with, on a smaller scale, with Wakefield and Varitek., both of whom are worth the salary coaches earn.
Wakefield and Varitek are making a combined $4 million this year. Not even remotely comparable. If the Sox really wanted to, they could cut the both of them without much backlash or financial trouble.
I like to think that Varitek and Wakefield are being kept around for the “Veteran Presence” effect, they are still bench quality players who are no longer expected to produce like starters and can mentor the young guys and control a club house. As long as the starters produce and then there is no need to get rid of these guys