Hijacking Yet Another Mail-Bag: This One Filled With Silly Panicky Questions About Prospects and Rebuilds

Can everyone just repeat after me? This. Is. Not. Hockey.


I had no intention of hijacking Andrew Stoeten’s mailbag again, but, well… I had thirty minutes to kill before dinner and the questions were all so darned silly this week that I simply couldn’t resist. This may be the last time.

Again, I have not read Stoeten’s replies and I have left out the names to protect the innocent.

Can you get anything for Martin and Tulo?

I can’t get anything for them because I don’t have them under contract. But, wow, would my little league team be good if I did!

If you mean can the Blue Jays get anything for them then, sure, yeah, of course they could, but it would depend on how much of those big contracts the team is willing to eat. The more money the Jays agree to take on the better the prospects they could get in return, but even then they’re not likely to get anyone really super-duper since, as good as Martin and Tulo are, neither one of them (particularly Martin) is a real game changer at this point: they’re not going to show up on a contender and suddenly put them over the top into greatness, and they certainly aren’t going to take a terrible team (like, say, one that’s sitting dead last in the American League) and suddenly make it a winner.

The real question here is: if you were general manager of a team not called the Blue Jays, would you want either one of them? My guess is, probably not. If you’re already good, it’s hard to see how either of them helps you very much, and if you’re bad why would you trade away the future for an older player?

Like I said, if the Jays were determined to move either of them they could, but they would only be doing that, I suspect, if they were trying to make room for someone younger and better already in the organization (which they don’t have).

Who are the top prospects for the 2018 draft? Since the Jays are likely to get one. Any Bryce Harper or Machado types out there?

Don’t know, don’t care, doesn’t matter anyway. Repeat after me:

This. Is. Not. Hockey.

Players in baseball are drafted when they are still works in progress. Nobody comes to an organization ready to jump right in to the major league roster and the vast majority of first round draft picks either don’t make it to the big leagues or don’t really amount to much when they do.

Mike Trout—easily the greatest player since Mickey Mantle—was picked 26th in 2009 (FYI, the Jays took Chad Jenkins as the 20th first round pick). Justin Smoak was the 11th pick in 2008 and considered “a steal” for the Rangers who were delighted that he hadn’t been snapped up earlier in the draft.

My question on the struggling Jays is this. Let’s assume the Jays do turn this thing around, are we at the point now where even a second wild card berth seems highly unlikely. Isn’t the worst thing for any team in any sports league to be is mediocre, just miss the playoffs and get a middle of the road draft pick instead of a top 5 pick. At what point do you say fuck it in June and start Pompey and Tellez every day and start trading assets for prospects. Like what does the record have to be for that to happen. At this point I’d do it even if they make it back to a couple of games below .500.

See my answer above and keep repeating after me:

This. Is. Not. Hockey.

There is absolutely no logic at all to intentionally “tanking” a season so you can have a “top five” pick. To keep with the theme of the above: in the 2010 draft Bryce Harper did indeed go first and Machado went third. The other three guys in the “Top Five”? Jameson Taillon, Christian Colón and Drew Pomeranz…all OK-ish to ho-hum players.

Oh, and you may notice that neither the Nats nor the Orioles have appeared in the World Series in the last few years.

The only way to have a successful “tanking” strategy is to do what the Chicago Cubs did and what the Phillies and the Braves are trying to do, which is to intentionally be terrible for a span of five years and slowly build up your farm system. That’s something that the Blue Jays have no need to do (since they have a lot more money than those other teams), no excuse to do (because the fans would go nuts), and no intention of doing (I hope).

We all know Goins is a better SS than Jose Reyes. My Q is: is he also better than Tulo?

No. Not even a little. Next question.

Quick question this time out of all Jays Prospects not named Rowdy Tellez who is most likely to get called up before September to play in the show?

I’m not even sure Rowdy gets called up before September (have you actually looked at Smoak’s numbers this year?) and as for the other “prospects” I suspect that…hmmm…none of them get called up before September and a lot of them not even then.

Again, the question is why would you want to do this? The question above this one posits one very bad reason: so the team can be terrible. But something I didn’t even raise there but will do so here, is: why would you want to do that to your young players? These are young athletes trying to learn their craft; why would anyone intentionally put them into a position to fail? Back in the bad old days of Wild West Anthopoulos young players were dragged into the big leagues all the time to try and patch the gaping holes AA left in the roster (Derek Norris, Drew Hutchison and Dalton Pompey are a few of the most recent and memorable examples) and usually with very bad results: Norris wasn’t ready and was sent back down; Hutchison wasn’t ready but was kept up because there weren’t any other options and who knows how much that had to do with his descent into mediocrity; Pompey wasn’t ready and was kept up just long enough to destroy his confidence (I’m not mind-reading here either, he’s admitted to as much). You really want to do that to the new group of young players in the system?

Even if they are ready for the big time I’m still not sure why you bring them up. If the team is terrible, then it hardly matters who is up there so why mess with their progress, why give them service time that you can ‘bank’ for later and why bench one of the guys you already have on contract? If the team is doing well, then where’s the need?

The only circumstance in which you bring someone up is if he helps the team, so if the Jays have a healthy, productive, ready-for-the-show player in AAA who can improve the team by replacing someone already on the roster who is not as good…then, sure, yes, bring him up.

So..maybe Dalton Pompey in August, if he’s fully recovered from his concussion, if he’s playing really well and if Carrera has completely fallen apart…

OK, when Carrera has completely fallen apart.

During spring training Jose Bautista had some teammates over and they ordered a pizza. When the pizza arrived, an argument broke out over who would go to the door to get it. Jose suggested they roll a dice to settle the argument and despite Joe Biagini’s warning that they would be creating 6 alternative timelines, they agreed.

A few weeks later we are stuck in the darkest timeline. How are we going to get out of it?

Reverse the polarity.

And take off your tinfoil hat.

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