Friday, November 28, 2008

More on Money and Payroll

The AP reports, via ESPN, that Paul Beeston spoke to the money question at the awards dinner held by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers association. His remarks were in reply to a question about the affordability of keeping Burnett. The pertinent excerpt is this:

Paul Beeston believes the Blue Jays still have a shot at re-signing pitcher A.J. Burnett.

With the economy sinking, however, the team's interim CEO acknowledged Thursday that Toronto might choose to save the $24 million Burnett passed up this offseason rather than spend it on other free agents.

"It's a possibility," Beeston said. "We can spend $100 million, but if it doesn't make sense, why do it?"

Now, while it is just vague enough to not pin Beeston down to any specific course of action, it seems to me the proper interpretation is this:

The Jays HAVE - and CAN spend - $100 million on the 2009 payroll

BUT

If there is not a way to spend it that makes sense, they will not spend on filler just to avoid the perception that they are cutting payroll. Depending on how you count it there is no less than $15 million and possibly as much as $22 million between what it would cost to pay the players we already have, if we added no one else to the 25-man roster and what the Jays spent in 2008.

That's money the Jays can either spend, or bank, depending on the circumstances which are available to them.

That, in my opinion, is an entirely sensible course and one all of us should have been able to figure out without being told. Of course, that would require us assuming the team will act sensibly and admittedly, baseball teams do not always do so.

My guess is that the off-season will be frustrating for fans hooked on big deals and big signings, but will ultimately be rewarding. I expect JP to sit back and wait until he sees an opportunity to address a need at a price (in cash or players) which makes sense. I approve.

~WillRain

6 comments:

Ari said...

Well said, this is exactly how I feel.

Me personally? I'd feel good about McGowan starting to play catch this week and be confident that the team's stellar D can make anyone look good (much like Tampa's did this year). I'd be reminded though of just how bad my team has performed offensively the last couple years, so I'd try to fix it. If payroll can stay around the same then I'd sign Furcal and Bradley. If the team let go of Frasor and Tallet (not needed) and traded JMac's 2m, payroll is probably around 77. That should mean you have enough to get Furcal and Bradley and not go over 100m (and obviously there's always the options of trading Ryan or Overbay to clear $). Here's the team -

Furcal
Rios
Bradley
Wells
Overbay
Rolen
Lind
Hill
Barajas

Halladay Litsch (McGowan) Purcey, and 2 of Richmond/RRomero/Cecil/DRomero/Cheap FA break camp with the team till Dusty is read.

Ryan
Downs
League
Janssen
Carlson
Wolfe
Accardo/DRomero

Maybe I'm crazy, but that team competes. Especially with the midseason infusion of Cecil and Snider after they tear up AAA.

The Southpaw said...

If I could be reasonably sure Furcal would stay healthy and play decent D I'd be willing to make him the second highest player on the team next year....but I really worry about that back. it's too bad because, if healthy, there's nothing out there that better suits our needs.

SP said...

Yea I don't trust Furcal to ever be 100% again. Back problems are back problems. I'd rather go after Orlando Cabrera who will come much cheaper and for a shorter contract.

If they really want to be cheap, I'd consider signing Marcus Giles to play 2B and move Hill to SS.

They can do whatever they want at SS/2B. As long as we have a legit DH next season, I'm happy. And by legit DH, I mean someone like Manny, Dunn, or Burrell, and not some reclamation project like Bradley or Juan Rivera, or an over-the-hill guy like Edmonds or Floyd.

The Southpaw said...

I would argue that Cabera (or Giles) is no upgrade at all from Scutero. Cabrera, conservatively, will get 6 or 7 million and I wouldn't go near that.

In fact, there's not one free agent SS (with the possible exception of Furcal) who can be relied on to do more for us in 2009 than Scutero did in 2008.

SP said...

The real question should be, is Aaron Hill going to play SS next year if we don't get Furcal? My guess right now is yes because I just can't see Scutaro doing it for a whole season. Despite Scutaro's excellent fielding last year, he was a black hole at the top of an already awful offense. Even at the bottom of the lineup up next year, I don't know how he'll sustain over a full season of starting. He has never played a full season and yet he's still been a below average hitter as a non-starter over his career.

So my options are the following:

1. Sign Furcal for SS and Hill stays at 2B.

2. Sign Cabrera for SS and Hill plays 2B

3. Move Hill to SS and platoon Scutaro/Inglett

You're right, Cabrera isn't an upgrade offensively but he gives us an everyday SS. That's really the only case for him because you're right, he'd be expensive.

And I don't know what happened to Giles but he was once a really good 2B with leadoff skills. He's completely fallen off but I would consider giving him another shot, splitting time with Scutaro. That's assuming of course that Inglett was a fluke, which I don't think he was. But if he turns out to be a fluke halfway into next season, Giles would be a decent pickup if a minor league option isn't quite ready.

The Southpaw said...

couple more thoughts...

Regarding Scutero at the top of the lineup - check his OBP. He put up a .353 OBP as a leadoff hitter in 102 at bats. Jimmy Rollins was at .354

If he could do that all year he'd be fine leading off.

It's true I have no clue if he can do that over a full season - I kind of doubt it. But there are very few good options (see my post about Greene for one)

As for someone in AAA, I'd hate to see a retread taking at bats and defensive reps away from Scott Campbell.

~Will