The Giants are the latest team to be connected to Tomoyuki Sugano, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweets that San Francisco is keeping an eye on the right-hander’s market. This makes at least six teams known to have interest in Sugano, as the Giants join the Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, and Rangers. Notably, Morosi omitted the Rangers from his list, so it could be that Texas is out of the running for Sugano after signing Kohei Arihara.
As with all of these pitching-needy clubs, Sugano would be a nice fit in San Francisco’s rotation. The Giants’ pitching staff was bolstered when Kevin Gausman accepted the qualifying offer, and the club made a further addition in signing Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year, $6MM contract. Sugano will require more money and a multi-year commitment, but it wouldn’t represent that big of an outlay for a Giants club that doesn’t have much payroll committed beyond the 2021 season.
More on some other free agents…
- Corey Kluber was known to be planning bullpen sessions for scouts next month, and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that these sessions are tentatively scheduled for January 12 or 13. Injuries limited Kluber to only 35 2/3 innings in 2019 and just a single inning of work last season, so there are plenty of questions surrounding the former Cy Young Award winner’s health. Despite this lack of recent track record, one would expect most teams to send evalutors to Kluber’s showcase, as there is major buy-low potential if Kluber looks anything like his old Cy Young Award-winning self. The Twins and Red Sox have already reportedly shown interest in Kluber this offseason.
- Tyler Naquin is drawing interest from multiple teams, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, but it doesn’t seem like a reunion with the Indians is in the cards. “The chances of [Naquin] re-signing were slim” after the Tribe non-tendered Naquin earlier this month, Hoynes writes. The 15th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Naquin showed flashes of stardom (particularly in his 2016 rookie year) during five seasons in Cleveland, but injuries and struggles against left-handed pitching have hampered Naquin’s career. Interstingly, Hoynes notes that “a couple” of teams are thinking about Naquin as a candidate to play center field, though Naquin hasn’t played the position since 2018 and his defensive metrics as a center fielder aren’t promising.
- The Blue Jays have been seemingly connected to just about every major free agent, yet The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm makes the “bold prediction” that J.T. Realmuto will ultimately land with the team. There’s some process-of-elimination logic here, as Chisholm feels that George Springer will sign with the Mets and DJ LeMahieu will re-sign with the Yankees, leaving the Jays without either of what seem to be their top two targets. From Realmuto’s perspective, the Mets’ deal with James McCann may have already eliminated the most likely candidate for his services, as it isn’t yet clear if other potential suitors like the Phillies or Nationals are willing to meet Realmuto’s asking price. With Realmuto in the fold, Toronto could then use its young catching surplus as trade chips to address other needs.
If the Jays sign JT and then trade Kirk or one of their other catching prospects in a deal for Darvish/Gray/Castillo or another good SP that would be pretty great
I don’t think it would be for Darvish but the reds could use a catcher. Cubs already have a pretty good catcher
Never can have too many good catchers, or then flip the new catcher or Willson…think outside the box
Agreed. Willson is one of their best trade chips (has control, affordable (though about to start getting pricey via arb), not coming off a down year (though it wasn’t career-best) & market is shallow in available C depth). A team that may not be able to afford JTR, may be able to pay in prospects for an upgrade. He’d be a huge hit to CHC’s ability to compete now, but could reap the most rewards.
And the Cubs backup is t too bad either.
Didn’t Tucker Barnhart just win a Gold Glove?
Jansen has to be the first catcher traded if they sign JTR. He has too much trade value to other teams as a starting catcher to waste him in a backup role catching 25-35 games/year. He’s a good young catcher with more hitting potential than his results have shown (he underperformed his xOPS of .801 last year by .130 points thanks to a .190 BABIP and his .339 xwOBA was only .005 behind Realmuto and 3rd on the Jays).
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jansen and Kirk were both traded to clear up the logjam in the system should they sign JTR. The Jays would still have McGuire to backup JTR, Riley Adams starting in AAA, and Moreno, the eventual successor to JTR, starting in AA.
I for one, would certainly be okay if the Tigers traded for either: Jansen, Kirk, Adams, maybe even McGuire! Greiner needs to go.
McGuire like to do silly things in parking lots.
I pitty the cops who caught him!
I completely agree. Jansen to the Bucs for Musgrove then Kirk/Groshans to the Reds for one of their starters.
The trend of pigeonholing players into a position they are bad at “to get their bat in the lineup” is the dumbest trend in MLB history and has provided zero success to any team that did this. Its a Hatteberg/Moneyball notion that has never actually bought a title.
Keep Naquin out of CF, for the love of all that is holy.
Mendoza Line 215
But 66 home runs in 1956.
Naquin is at best a 4th Outfielder and can probably be had cheap. I can see a bunch of teams being interested for depth purposes, but not as an every day option in CF or RF
Sugano is a logical gamble for the Giants. And San Francisco is a direct flight to Japan. He will also continue marketing deals back home which could be more lucrative if he succeeds. More press coverage = more money.
i woulf imagine every other large city in the country has an airport with direct flights ro Japan.
I actually don’t think that’s true, darkside. I think most flights from the east coast to Japan would require one stop, but I may be misinformed. Regardless, their point makes sense regarding the West Coast being a much easier trip back home to Japan.
Is my dude working in the States during the week, spending weekends in Japan?? People acting like every city outside west coast still using sled dogs and horse-drawn carriages.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Sled dogs & horse drawn carriages?
Dammmmnnn, bro. You must reside in one of them fancy big cities.
Out here, we just walk or use logs for floating which we call “floatin’ logs”.
Yeah, I don’t really think flight time is going to be his ultimate criteria, or whatever.
There’s been serious cutbacks to the MTA in NYC, so…yeah. If you see me floatin’ down river, I’ve gone too far. Throw me a line for some shiny copper.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Noted, @RunDMC –
I’ll always look out for a fellow river rat.
Literally every major American city flies to Japan. This isn’t 1961.
I flew to Japan 20 years ago and had to stop over in Detroit both ways.
Toronto is also a direct flight to Tokyo, as is NY, LA, Seattle, Chicago, etc…
Pretty poor logic- then he should sign with Toronto which has a multi-cultural milieu as far as population goes- plus they have a whole country , Canada, to buy his jerseys instead of just one city !!! Oh, and money, it talks and bs walks !!!
Sorry geg42, this was all hashed over last off season with the chase for Ryu,, It was stipulated he would never sign with the Jays because Toronto was too far from S. Korea and the after signing Ryu the Jays went on to sign a Japanese pitcher named Yamaguchi, the travel idea is nothing more than that an idea and simply not a proven fact! That is like saying Springer will not sign with the Jays because he wants to be closer to home, well it is an 8 hour drive to Boston and a very short flight a lot closer than where he was in Houston
Unpopular opinion but the Blue Jays do not need Realmuto. Not worth the price tag, hasn’t won and hard to assess whether he truly helps a pitching staff or not. They’d be better off trading for Contreras to allow Moreno to develop and take over in two years.
I have the philosophy that a good catcher is the most important thing a team can have. Most good teams have something in common.. a good catcher. I think he should be the jays #1 target tbh. Him and another TOR starter.
They need two top pitchers and an infielder. Jays neglected needs by signing a catcher before 2015, and played .500 ball the first 100 games of the season until they emptied the cupboard. Catching is a position the Jays need to improve, but it’s not a Top 3 or Top 4 need for this team. Especially if it’s going to cost $100-mil.
Go get Contreras. He’s the better catcher anyway.
Do you realize that you started your post by saying that the Jays do not need a catcher, but ended it by suggesting might need to improve catching, and the further suggesting that the Jays sign Contreras???
Anyway, signing JTR is not all bad, when you compute his offensive numbers , and his positive results with his current pitchers, and he’s really quite good . His percentage of throwing out runners is excellent , he’s fast on the bases, and he bats well.
I like Jansen and Kirk. Jansen is a better defender than Realmuto, and his bat has more than he’s shown (based on his minor league numbers). The Russ Martin contract was justified by the idea that he was a master of pitch framing and handling a staff and would save lots of runs… whereas Realmuto looks to me like an average defender who’s just being valued for his bat, which will likely decline before the end of the contract.
I mean, of course I’d rather have Realmuto than Jansen, but not at the cost of addressing a bunch of other issues.
Martin was not the signing they needed that year. It was Scherzer.
Realmuto’s defensive stats seem to be very solid for pop time (tops in MLB in 2019) and pitch framing (2nd in MLB in 2020), which I think are the two most important for C… but it looks like his pitchers’ ERA are slightly above team averages, which is one I pay attention to – does he help the staff prevent runs
Ducky Buckin Fent
Tough to really pin your hopes on framing for a catcher. Realmuto is now known as a good framer. It seems that once a player has a reputation for good framing the umps start second guessing themselves – & give fewer boarder line calls away.
I read something about it on Fangraphs. I think it was in a chat maybe? At that point, no one had really dug into it yet, but there was evidence to support the assertion.
The framing stuff is super fickle in my opinion.
I agree that there’s a lot of subjectivity in framing and frankly a lot of defensive sabermetric stats, but when all competed against the same metrics, it’s the best we have for comparison… but pop time is pretty clear… seems he’s the clear number one all around C, not just offense.. but how much will the knee impact him moving forward? And is anyone willing to go 5/100+?
Ducky Buckin Fent
No argument from me in regards to being the “best we have”. I just find it interesting that the metric of framing itself may actually be impacting the perceptions around it.
& – yeah – pop time is pretty cut & dried, man.
I don’t understand people’s rush on Kirk. Yes, he’s shown at the end of 2020 that the bat is MLB ready. Well, all that does at this point is make him a DH, because he’s also shown at the end of 2020 that he still has major trouble handling a pitching staff and throwing out runners, His receiving and pitch framing were a bit better, but not major-league caliber yet by any stretch. Those are things that take years to develop, and much of that development can be done at the AAA level.
So I have no problem keeping him in AAA for a few more years to master the position. Let’s not forget he has all of 151 games’ experience, none above single A. For comparison, Realmuto, a similarly bat-first catcher who started rookie ball aa year older than did Kirk, played 434 in the minors games before becoming a full time major leagues at age 24.
Kirk has 3 option years left.. If you plot on him a similar development curve to Realmuto’s, he spends the next two seasons as the starting catcher in AAA, with some call ups as an injury replacement of when rosters expand a bit in September. That also helps him catch many of the pitchers who’ll be graduating to the major league staff over that time, building familiarity. You bring a veteran catcher to mentor Jansen over those two seasons, with Jansen and Kirk becoming your tandem to start 2023. And in the meantime you use Moreano as a trade chip (Cleveland need a catcher of the future, for example).
Does signing Realmuto fit with that plan? It would mean that in the 2022-2023 offseason you will want to trade one of your catchers – Realmuto, Jansen or Kirk – though in talking to other teams you won’t be in the position where you *have* to trade any of them, with Jansen at Arb2 and Kirk with one option left. You can make that call then based on whether Realmuto’s age is starting to show and whether Jansen has figured himself out at the major league level.
But also keep in mind that, in 2022-2023 Hernandez is Arb3, Guerrero and Biggio (and Borucki, Thornton and Telez) ARB2, and Bichette and Pearson relatively expensive ARB1s. If Jansen does have a breakout by then, as a 28-year old catcher with 4 seasons of major league experience and 2 years of control, he’d be at peak trade value – in fact, at the exact career point Realmuto was when the Marlins traded him. You can trade him then for a good major leaguer at another position (outfield or rotation), and bring a much more ready Kirk up as a pre-Arb who helps make payroll room to sign Bichette-Guerrero-Biggio-Pearson before they hit free agency. Then Kirk lines up for his own big payday right around the time Realmuto’s contract expires.
I like that plan.
Not sure who’s “rushing” Kirk here. Truth about Kirk is he’s a good contact hitter, overweight and not so good defensively. I see him as a DH sooner than later with the possibility of Catching 1-2 a week.
Your scenario of signing Realmuto means Jansen and Kirk are traded. There will be no waiting until 2022-23. They are dealt for pitching or another position of need. McGuire is the backup and Adams is in AAA. Moreno is the catcher of the future. He’s the decision in 2022-23.
I don’t like your plan.
My plan means Moreno is traded this offseason as part of a package for a top acquisition (such as Lindor if he’s willing to extend), Jansen is traded in two years when he’s at sell high, and Kirk eventually taking over over from Realmuto as the starting catcher when Realmuto’s contract is done.
While Kirk is unlikely to ever be a guy who’ll out run a ground ball to first, independent evaluators (i.e., not Blue Jays blogs / beat writers) think he has the agility and athleticism catching requires. There’s been plenty of successful starting catchers with a pudgy build out there..
I don’t see any way the Jays hang on to Jansen if they sign JTR. Having Jansen as a backup is a luxury they can’t really afford when there are other holes that could be filled by moving him, especially with so many other catchers in the system.
It also makes less sense to trade Moreno if JTR is entrenched at catcher for a few years, as he’s a little further from the majors than Kirk and has even less experience at catcher (he was a SS until four years ago), which would fit in better behind JTR. He also arguably projects as the better long-term fit at catcher as well.
Kirk also has more trade value right now because he could realistically play in the majors this year for a team that needs an exciting young catcher right now, while Moreno is probably two years away.
Kirk does not need 2-3 years at AAA, he is way ahead of Realmuto’s development curve. Realmuto had two poor seasons in a row in 2012-13 which slowed his ascent. Kirk has raked at every stop so far. And the games played is misleading because of the pandemic. You can’t keep everyone in your system backed up a year because they didn’t play games in 2020. It is what it is. If Kirk ends up playing 400+ games in the minors, something went terribly wrong. Another year, sure. Then what? JTR (and Jansen in your scenario) would still be blocking him for years.
Reuven – Kirk has a weak arm and slow hands. As long as he weighs more than Vlad he will not be agile enough. Moreno is the best prospect of the two and should be kept.
Can’t deal Jansen “selling high” as the backup catcher heading into arbitration in two years, if he’s backing up JTR. Jansen and a very minor young prospect could be dealt for Musgrove right now. Or Gray.
Kirk is ready latest in 2022, that is one year away. Realmuto wants 5. Moreno is ready 2023’ish. Neither fit the timeline you describe. Hence, Contreras.
Your ideas do not make sense, as Stormie points out.
There’s no way the Jays hold onto Janssen if they sign JTR. Sonny Gray and/or Joe Musgrove become very realistic trade targets.
This is why JTR will be a Jay when all is said and done. I’ve thought about a variety of free agency scenarios for the Jays and every single time I land on JTR being the best target. The Mets will overpay for Springer, Bauer goes to the Angels and DJLM stays with the Yanks.
is it really unpopular? if a team needs one specific player not already with them then they must not be that good to begin with.
Your logic doesn’t compute. Par for the course. It is unpopular because Realmuto is a good player. A lot of good players would not necessarily be a good fit depending on the makeup and situation of a team.
I agree. No need to spend 20+ million a year on a position that the organization has surplus depth in.
In my opinion the Jays should focus allocating the available money on pitching and defense this offseason, on one and two year deals and let the kids continue to develop. If they take the next step this year, look to deal at the deadline and/or make a big splash in the offseason, when some top level talent should be available. It is still too early on in the resurgence process to take on unnecessarily large contracts.
What’s wrong with using a position of strength to aid a weakness. TOR seems to be one of the few on the upswing (competitively AND financially). Not much high-ceiling SPs on FA market outside of Bauer. I can imagine them being able to get some bargain SP to fill IPs that shouldn’t alter big signing capabilities, if they’re comfortable signing DJ or JTR. (sorry for all the acronyms)
Because JTR doesn’t aid the current weaknesses and would clog up payroll without fully addressing the holes on the team.
Nothing wrong with using financial strength, however it doesn’t remain much of strength for long if you apply it to areas that aren’t really very weak, relatively. I don’t view flexing 20+ million on a catcher about to turn 30, for 5 years, as money well spent, at least not with the Jays contention window just being cracked open.
I do feel that the front office may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with all their posturing, and with very few other teams willing and able to spend money at all, that we may get stuck with him.
Not the worst thing if that does happen though.
Janssen and Kirk would ABSOLUTELY be dealt to upgrade the rotation once they sign JTR. I’m telling you, JTR needs to be their primary target. Pretty sure $100 million over 5 years gets it done. Maybe less.
I have a difficult time ruling Texas out of the Sugano sweepstakes. They’ve made some surprisingly good moves this off-season and are building for a 2022 contention.
If Sugano helps them contend in 2022, I can see JD and CY making a competitive run at him.
agreed. His contract wouldn’t be a budget breaker and we still need more pitching.
SCHWING and A Miss
J.T., than trade for Suarez&Castillo in a package deal and we’re good. Kim as icing on the top!
And then you woke up from the dream that will never happen and wouldn’t happen in mlb the show without forced trades off.
SCHWING and A Miss
So the catcher who’s running out of options and the team that’s cutting salary everywhere it can doesn’t line up with the team that has money to spend and assests to burn? But yeah, thanks for your insight
Ducky Buckin Fent
That’d be one helluvan off-season, if the Jays pulled that off. I don’t think it’s far fetched either. Toronto would definitely have closed the gap between themselves & NY & TB.
Get rid of the softball players
San fran WILL sign sugano.
San fran gm(faidi) is smart and knows this year’s crop of free agent sp is better than next year’s.
Faidi or cleveland gm (chernoff) will be executive of the year for the 2022 season.bank it.
I wish sugano only cared about money lol. Cohen wouldn’t lose that battle. But the west is a lot closer to japan and time zone also fits better. He’ll probably go to the giants of angels
Cohen hasn’t done anything to be given the benefit of the doubt yet. He’s got to prove he’ll spend it first.
He will when needed. He isn’t going to get all the big FA but if the Mets need a big player he isn’t going to be like the wilpons. If he wants a player he won’t get outbid but the player also would have to want to play for the Mets. They don’t always only look at money. If Soto was on the market rn I bet Cohen would pay him the most money.
look, he’s signed two guys so far. i dont doubt the Mets will have a payroll in the top handfull this year, but the notion that he’s not going to get outbid is unfounded when he hasn’t made a single huge deal yet.
Everyone knows he will be a spender so why do we have to wait. It like saying we have to wait and see it dodgers will be good.
“if Soto was on the market”…yeah, stay in that comfortable dream world where Mets are undefeated and Yankees don’t exist.
What??? When did I say Soto will be a FA. If the Nats let him walk they would make the biggest mistake ever. I was just making a point. Please read better.
“If Soto was on the market rn I bet Cohen would pay him the most money.”
It’s not 2025. Mets have a lot of losses between now and then. Slow down spending Cohen’s money.
Ever heard of Luxury Tax… it’s not about how rich he is, but really about who has the most money, and the need, this year, under the tax.. It’s also about the strength of the farm system – Mets cannot match the Padres , the Dodgers, or the Blue Jays… Fact
You act like Cohen is the only rich owner in baseball. Or that he’s much richer than everyone else. He’s not. If fact, Charles Johnson’s net worth, $4.8B, is twice that of Steve Cohen, $2.4B. Also, the Giants own their stadium outright. With the debt service paid off they have as much money to spend as any team in baseball.
So if it did come down to just money, and a bidding war between the Mets and the Giants, you could kiss Sugano goodbye.
Steve Cohen net worth is about 14 billion actually
Oops, you’re right. I totally misread that.
Ed Rogers could hire Steve as his valet.
Sign Realmuto, Springer, and Bauer; trade Kirk and Grichuck for Castillo, Gray, and Suarez. Done!
why not trade for Trout while you’re at it?
Trout’s over the hill, coming off his lowest MVP rank of his career. Gotta aim higher than him.
dumbest statement of the decade!
angels. angels? are you awake, angels?
Anyone see Realmuto holding out until after June draft so he wouldn’t be tied to draft pick compensation?
So you’re saying he should sit out until the delayed start of the season?
I don’t think the compensation pick really factors in with a guy as good as Realmuto.
Sugano would be a nice splash for the Giants. Not only would he address an area of need, he would bring a little more intrigue to the club.
I acknowledge that this is completely subjective, but the Giants have been a relatively uninteresting team to watch for a few years now — partly because they’ve been subpar, of course.
I’m curious to see what Kluber has in the tank. He could wind up being an interesting piece for just about any team
I’m surprised to hear blue jay fans don’t want realmuto, I would be happy that they trying to spend. Period
It’s just not a real area of need for the Jays. JTR would be an upgrade right now, no doubt, but Jansen still has a lot more upside and the Jays have two other great young catchers getting close to the majors, one of whom (Kirk) is already becoming a fan favorite.
Personally I’d rather they seriously overpay DJLM or Springer than sign JTR to a fair market deal, but I also get that the Jays may not want to set a bad precedent for future free agent signings by doing that and making it look like top-end FAs should get a big premium to come to Toronto.
Catcher is not a desperate need. I’m with Stormie only I’d rather see the money spent on Bauer over Lemahieu and Springer.
I want JTR. Badly. I think his contract will be very reasonable given Covid impacts and a short list of teams interested.
Im a Yankees fan in Toronto and damn do I want Rogers to throw more cash to the Jays
McGuire like to do silly things in parking lots.
I pitty the cops who caught him!
As a Jays fan, I’m hoping JTR ends up coming North to TO for $100 million over 5 years. They could then upgrade their rotation by dealing Danny Jansen to the Pirates for Joe Musgrove— the Shatkins and Cherrington relationship suggests these two teams being good trade partners.
Then they could look to the Reds for a possible deal for Castillo. I’m thinking Alejandro Kirk and Josh Groshans as the centre pieces.
Regardless, by signing JTR they can upgrade their starting rotation using their catcher depth.
The Jays could use JTR but he is not a must sign.
The Jays need pitching, pitching, pitching. and a 3B and a CFer.
Normally I would say trade the farm to do this or spend the big money, but I really like Moreno, Adams and Martin. The Jays gotta develop these guys and sell the rest including Groshans.
Why hasn’t the smiling mercenary been traded yet. They keep waiting and waiting. At this rate if they keep waiting they’ll be lucky to get Michael Martinez for him.