Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Team Analysis: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays:

2009 Record: 75-87

General Manager: Alex Anthopoulos

Manager: Cito Gaston

Organizational Philosophy: after spending the majority of the last decade spinning their wheels with a below average return on their draft picks and overpriced free agent acquisitions.  The Blue Jays decided to look in-house and reassemble and increase the size and scope of their once-beleagured scouting department.

The former GM J.P. Ricciardi was greeted with good news by sabermetricians when he was first hired in 2001 and took many of the lessons he learned under Oakland A's GM Billy Beane by valuing defense and on-base percentage as a metric for uncovering hidden MLB talent.  Another procedure he learned that eventually backfired was being overally conservative and prefering low-risk college players over raw high school talent come draft day.  This strategy became famous in the Michael Lewis book "Moneyball" and concerning a low-revenue team like the A's; this strategy was best, but Ricciardi had more money to operate and patch up holes via free agency so taking more chances and looking to fill his minor league system with a few high-upside prospects wouldn't have hurt. 

To me, Ricciardi was stuck in the past and when he tried to play the free agent market and lock up a few players long-term, three names come to mind: B.J. Ryan, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios.  Of these three: one is on the verge of retirement, one has been miraculously picked up by another team and the other one continues to bog down the payroll and makes any longterm financial manuverings difficult.  New GM Alex Anthopoulos has been with Ricciardi since 2006 but vows to change the direction of this organization.  He has put a strong emphasis on scouting and player development and has unloaded franchise player Roy Halladay with a percieved degree of success (however, the final analysis depends on how Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace and Travis d'Arnaud develop).

2010 Commitments:

Starting Rotation:

Ricky Romero ($400K)
Shaun Marcum ($850K)
Brandon Morrow ($450K)
Marc Rzepczynski ($400K)
Brett Cecil ($400K)
Scott Richmond ($400K)
Dustin McGowan ($500K)

David Purcey
Jesse Litsch
Dana Eveland


Kevin Gregg ($2.7M)
Jason Frasor ($2.6M)
Scott Downs ($4M)
Jesse Carlson ($400K)
Shawn Camp ($1M)
Brian Tallet ($2M)
Josh Roenicke ($400K)
Casey Janssen ($700K)
Jeremy Accardo ($1M)
Sean Henn ($500K)

Zechry Zinicola

On the field:

C: John Buck ($2M)
C: Raul Chavez ($400K)
1B: Lyle Overbay ($7.9M)
1B: Randy Ruiz ($400K)
2B: Aaron Hill ($4M)
SS: Alex Gonzalez ($2.7M)
3B: Edwin Encarnacion ($5M)
INF: John McDonald ($1.5M)
LF: Travis Snider ($400K)
CF: Vernon Wells ($16M)
RF: Jose Bautista ($2.4M)
DH: Adam Lind ($410K)

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