Jays From the Couch brings you a collection of Toronto Blue Jays News & Notes on Donaldson, Anderson and Stroman
The Toronto Blue Jays have wrapped up the 2017 season and we couldn’t be more thankful. It has been a disappointment with the club finishing 10 games under .500. But, there is silver lining in that it took until the last day, but they climbed out of the AL East basement. That spot is now occupied by the Baltimore Orioles. And, it’ll stay that way for the next 5 months, which is your happy thought for the day.
Rather than attempt to force a few ideas into long winded, wasteful posts of their own, Jays From the Couch presents a collection of observations on recent events and situations involving the Toronto Blue Jays.
Josh Donaldson wants to remain in Toronto forever. Or, at least until he retires. Apparently, he has met with GM, Ross Atkins, and told him how he feels about entering the final year of his contract. The final game of the 2017 season hadn’t ended, but that didn’t stop the offseason speculation. Sportsnet colour analyst, Gregg Zaun explored the idea of trading the Bringer of Rain and it was not palatable.
Instead, what really should be discussed is what extending Donaldson could look like. The Blue Jays could look to lock him up this winter and put the matter to rest quickly. Signed for $17M in 2017, Donaldson would certainly see a raise from that amount in arbitration, should that come to play out for the last time in his career. Even if the club does nothing, Donaldson could become the highest player in Toronto. IF they take that road, they leave themselves the possibility of having a pretty valuable trade chip in July should the team be more 2017 than 2015.
Of course, the Toronto fan base has already lost Edwin Encarnacion one year, Jose Bautista this year and potentially losing Donaldson might not be a risk the front office is willing to take. To avoid that PR nightmare, they’ll probably need to think about adding 3 or 4 years after 2018. The 2015 MVP has averaged 7.1 fWAR a year during his time in Toronto. What can the club reasonably expect from him at age 35 or 36. His dedication to success and his work ethic would lead us to believe that he should be just fine at that age.
Fangraphs puts a value on each of his 3 seasons in Toronto and it looks like this: 2015: $70.2M, 2016: $61.1M, 2017: $39.4M after having missed a significant amount of time. We know the Blue Jays value a win at $9M, so if we consider that he put up 4.6 fWAR, we can expect that he could easily put up 5 wins in the next couple of years, with more being realistic. 5+ wins X $9M = $45M/ year. That’s not going to happen. This is a long way to explaining that the club offering Donaldson 4 yrs/ $90- $100M wouldn’t be unreasonable. Now, there is risk that he could not be “worth” this amount by the end of the deal. But, in any contract like this, you’re paying for the value at the front end. The question is whether the Blue Jays want to commit to that much money, considering the amount committed to Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin over the next couple years.
In a piece that has a title that would make you think there were more to it, Shi Davidi does a good job of evaluating where the Blue Jays are heading to the offseason. While the title says that ‘nothing is off the table’ the real point of the piece is that there are a number of decisions for this front office.
Shi breaks down the major reason for 2017 disappointment: “They used the disabled list 31 times on 25 different players, losing 1,408 man-games to injury.” No amount of roster tinkering can address the injury bug. But, what really needs to be done is to prepare for when it strikes. Making sure the bench is solid enough to play for extended periods of time without creating massive holes…a task much easier said than done.
Davidi also says that free agent to be, Brett Anderson will get consideration for a job next year. This was something that we reached out to the Twitterverse to gauge interest. The reaction was somewhat surprising. It’s not exactly clear why there are those who think he doesn’t deserve a shot this spring.
Ok #BlueJays fans
Brett Anderson in 2018
— Jays From the Couch (@JaysFromCouch) October 1, 2017
Marcus Stroman reached the 200 inning plateau again this year. Last season, he put up 204 innings and just managed to reach 201 in his latest start.
In 3 fewer innings, Stroman allowed 30 fewer runs this season. He has quietly become one of the more dependable starters in the American League. People get hung up on his personality on the mound, but they are ignoring just how good he is. At 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA, he won’t get Cy Young Award attention, but he is rounding in to his prime and is establishing himself in MLB.
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