mweir145 wrote:Of course...if this was all done to prepare the team for Bonds, I'd change my tune very quickly. But let's be serious, this is the Jays we're talking about. They haven't committed themselves to winning in...well I guess 15 years now.
This was the first thing I thought of as well. Maybe they're going to go after Barry now?
Right now the plan (supposedly) for the foreseeable future is to use Stairs and Barajas in a platoon, and not go outside the organization for help.
I can only hope this is one of the many times JP is lying, and not one of the few times he is telling the truth.
I don't see a drop off from Big Hurt to Stairs...Stairs had better numbers last year and it's not like he's horrible against lefties. Big Hurt is still an assett, but if they were set on not giving him the AB's then they should cut him early and let him get on somewhere else...which is probably what Thomas asked them to do.
Rotundor wrote:The jays site has a nice write up if anyone want to read it.
I just don't buy the whole "we can't wait for Thomas to break out of his slump" that the Jays are using as their official public reasoning for this. Thomas had similarly lousy stats at this time last year, and at the end his numbers were OK, though not really worth $10 million and the loss of roster flexibility he created. And if the Jays kept him this year (they're gonna be paying his salary anyway), he would've still probably outproduced Lind/Barajas/Stairs/Stewart/whatever combination of LF/DH they end up throwing out there. His release was clearly about money--Thomas would be a horrible value at $10 million next year (he was a poor value this year and last year too, IMO), and Ricciardi must've been determined to avoid that. I heard rumours about that clause in the contract as far back as spring training, so not really surprising this eventually became an issue. That clause also made him completely untradable, and having Thomas mope on the bench would've quickly developed into a major distraction, so I'm not sure the Jays had much choice at this point , they had completely backed themselves into a corner.
You've got a diamond, You've got nine men You've got a hat and a bat, And that's not all..
Seattle would be a great landing place for The Big Hurt. He has historically pummeled Seattle pitching when he was with the Sox and A's and if he has one decent year left in his tank, he would bring some cache to that clubhouse and be a nice upgrade over Vidro.
Of course Big Frank is a Hall of Famer, maybe the last legitimate Hall of Famer ever. Let me clarify this statement. There are probably guys who are Hall worthy who didn't take PEDs but we'll always wonder if they're really legit or not--no one is assumed clean from the Bud Selig era. Thomas, and maybe Ken Griffey jr. are probably the last guys to make the hall that we can all be pretty sure were not using to get there. Frank was better than most people think and what's really remarkable: just think how much better he would look had steroids and HGH not become such a big part of the game. He certainly would have won more than two MVPs and the decline in his stats as he got older wouldn't have looked as bad if you weren't compairing him to other old guys who were using PEDs. You could make a case that Thomas' career or at least the perception of it, was damaged by PEDs as much or more as anyone's.
If J.P.'s so worried about the bottom line, why pay Marco Scutaro, John MacDonald and Eckstein a combine 10ish million? And why sign Shannon Stewart and release Reed Johnson only to leave Adam Lind in the minors?
The Jays are taking a major hit on Offense in a division where they have to score runs to compete. The Thomas contract was a ludicrus one in the first place, so why waste the 10 mil just to save 10 mil next year?
I can understand if Frank was being a distraction in the locker room. But then why not see if they could off-load him to somewhere like Seattle. Eat some of the salary and get something (even if it's just a pitching machine). Net cost would likely be the same and the Jays might save themselves from looking like a Mickey Mouse origanization.
At this point, I'll be appauled as a Jays fan if Riccardi is extended or brought back next year. Obviously I don't like their chances of competing with the poo-poo platter of Stairs and Barajas at DH.