Yes, I’m stealing Parkes’s “stray thought” title. Sue me. But since I’m keeping my eye on Getting Blanked for the next couple of days– along with the far more interesting and talented Drew from Ghostrunner On First– I kinda feel its within my right.
Anywho, here’s a thought that somehow didn’t occur to me while I laboured over yesterday’s Frank Francisco trade reaction post: the key difference between Francisco and Frasor is very possibly that the Jays are actually view Francisco long-term as their closer, whereas with Frasor they don’t.
Maybe that’s crazy obvious, but I think it got glossed over a bit by our acceptance that these are similar pitchers with similar contract situations.
One assumes that offering arbitration to a Type-A Frasor was, and would be, simply a way to try to extract a pair of draft picks– and, as we saw this winter, not a very fruitful pursuit. But when it’s a reliever you actually want, his Type-A status can actually be a good thing, exactly because it limits the market for him.
I don’t know, it’s just a thought. And maybe it’s one that the Blue Jays share, because, to reiterate, as Jonah Keri wrote for FanGraphs, “the 31-year-old Francisco isn’t some generic arm; the Jays got a criminally underrated relief pitcher here. Fueled by elite strikeout rates (11.8, 10.4, 10.3 per 9 IP) and manageable walk rates, Francisco has put impressive fielding-independent numbers over the past three seasons, with xFIPs of 3.34, 3.53 and 3.31 from 2008 to 2010. You could argue that Francisco’s a more valuable relief pitcher at this point in his career than, say, Jonathan Papelbon. And that’s before mentioning that Papelbon could make more than three times Francisco’s salary this year.”
Keri concludes that the deal is a win-win, even if Francisco isn’t in the Jays’ long-term plans, saying that “Napoli is a more valuable player on an absolute win basis, as any productive hitter would be vs. any relief pitcher, even a really good one. But there’s a good chance that a near-elite reliever like Francisco could fetch more in a deadline trade than a defensively-challenged two-and-half-true-outcome hitter like Napoli, should the Jays fall out of contention.”
Oh, but don’t dare try to understand how the Jays see any positive in this deal.
The Voice of God(Frey)
Paul Godfrey showed up on Andrew Krystal’s show on the Fan 590 this week, and Krystal asked him point blank, “I’ve heard that you were instrumental in keeping Vernon Wells here and getting that big contract signed, is that true?”
Shocker here: Godfrey deflects, saying that he “didn’t make decisions on baseball personnel. Things were recommended to me by the General Manager and his staff.”
But there’s also a non-sarcastic shocker: Wells’ agent initially turned down the $126-million offer. The club was dumbfounded by it, but the next day Vernon called back and said that he would accept.
And The Links
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail likes the Francisco trade, and suggests the Jays may still look to free agent Vladimir Guererro as a lefty-masher– though the latest I saw at MLBTR had his rumoured price tag as something like $8-million for one year.
Lost in the Francisco reactions yesterday was the fact that Kenny Ken Ken reported that the Red Sox approached the Jays several times over the winter trying to pry away Jose Bautista. The Jays, obviously, didn’t budge, but this doesn’t mean they’re certain to keep him long-term– according to Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Morosi, the Jays have yet to approach Bautista’s camp with a long-term offer.
“It’s hard to keep my emotions in check. Talking to the guys, it’s saying goodbye to a family. I look back and cherish every moment that I had — good and bad,” said Vernon Wells on his departure from Toronto, according to MLB.com. Awww.
“This is paradise. This is one of the best places to play in baseball,” said Vernon Wells on his arrival in Anaheim, according to MLB.com. He added that “the exciting thing about joining this family, is they expect to win. To have that, to come and be a part of that, is special for us. We’re looking forward to not being home in October anymore and for playing some meaningful baseball.” He forgot to add, “Something that never happened during my time in Toronto, no thanks to my sorry ass.”
Matthew Sekeres of the Globe reports on the excitement brought by the Jays winter caravan to the West Coast.
Parkes covers all your recently-released prospect ranking needs over at Getting Blanked.
The Orange County Register still can’t get over what Alex Anthopoulos and Rangers GM Jon Daniels just pulled– with bonus awesome headline.
Mop Up Duty wants to see Darin “Don’t Call Me Pat” Mastroianni on the 2011 opening day roster.