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  1. I’m not particularly surprised by the average annual value, but I am very surprised at the length of the contract. I would have bet on something like a three-year or even a two-year deal given how out-of-the-blue his season was. That isn’t necessarily to say that he isn’t worth the deal that he was given, but I never would have expected the Blue Jays to give him five years before seeing how he would follow up his 2010 season.

    Comment by AustinRHL — February 16, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  2. I can live with this, as a Jays fan. When you look at the way salaries are, around the league today, you can’t say that the guy who led the league in HR while also being useful in other ways is valueless.

    I could easily compare JoBa with other players signed this offseason, let alone earlier years, but it’s a fruitless exercise to compare one new contract to other unreasonable contracts that get signed, so that’s why the Casey McGehee comparison is a much better idea. Will Jose have an OPS of .800 next season? Can anyone who watched him at all this year feasibly say he’ll drop by .200 points? I don’t think so.

    The Jays got a reasonable deal, here. They’ve got their star, their new fan favorite, and they don’t risk having to go 4yrs/80mil next offseason, and they don’t have to end up watching a 38 yr old Jayson Werth try and catch fly balls while bearing the nightly scorn of the Jays faithful, either. They’ve got something in between, and given who’s the brains behind the outfit, I’m going to call this a win.*

    In AA We Trust.

    * reserving the right to reverse judgment next year…

    Comment by sc2gg — February 16, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  3. Yeah, Bautista might be *worth* 65mil, but I still think it’s a bad idea for Toronto. If he is only an average player over the contract, which is what he would be to be worth the money, than why go long term with him? Especially since they will need to pay a lot of their young players soon with playoff runs being a real possibility in the next couple seasons. That 65mil could go a long way towards keeping Morrow, Hill, Drabek, Snider, etc, etc.

    Comment by Disco — February 16, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  4. “but it’s a fruitless exercise to compare one new contract to other unreasonable contracts that get signed”

    So that means…you reject the notion that markets exist? This is confusing. Of course you compare like skills with like prices. That’s the entire basis of negotiations between informed parties.

    Comment by JH — February 16, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  5. Is it just me, or does this make the Rickie Weeks deal (which I already liked) look even better? You could argue Weeks and Bautista are similar in that they’re cashing in on their one breakout year, but Weeks has shown previously that he has the talent, the question is just if he can stay on the field. With Bautista, the talent is the question, but the Brewers got Weeks for a smaller commitment and lower salary.

    Comment by Alex Poterack — February 16, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  6. the comparable listed here is casey mcgehee – given that until bautista’s age 29 season he had never matched mcgehee’s batting average, obp or slg from last year, let alone all three, the better question is to ask whether there is any reason to believe he can hit those numbers again

    Comment by miffleball — February 16, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  7. As gambles go this one seems like it at least has the chance to be a huge winner in the best case, and in the worst case is not a budget killer. If he comes back and hits 35 homers and continues to get on base he will be a steal at that cost.

    Comment by Ed Nelson — February 16, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  8. If Bautista puts up a 3.4 win year in 2011, he’ll hit free agency with 12.2 WAR over the previous 3 seasons, at age 31.

    The guys you use as comparables (numbers are prev 3 year WAR, age):
    Dunn – 6.2 (31)
    Konerko – 7.8 (34)
    Martinez – 9 (32)

    The guys you say aren’t comparable:
    Crawford – 15.1 (29)
    Werth – 15 (31)
    Beltre – 13.6 (31)

    Looks like Bautista would be closer to the crawford/werth/beltre group than the dunn/konerko/martinez group. So yea, I’d say if he hit free agency next year he’d most likely do a lot better than 4/55.

    Comment by Jono411 — February 16, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  9. I’m not really happy with $65M over 5 years. $50M over 4 year with a $15M club/mutual option seemed reasonable to me.

    That said, I don’t see this having any impact on the club’s ability to keep ALL of their young talent for as long as they choose. If they start putting butts in the seats by fielding a playoff caliber team in beginning 2012/13, I truly believe Rogers will approve a sustained yearly payroll in the $120-140M range.

    Comment by Eric B — February 16, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

  10. I meant comparing this deal to someone like Ryan Howard isn’t fair, because we already know that the Ryan Howard deal is bad, so there’s no point in comparing it to that. I mentioned Werth, but only as an example of what the Jays don’t have to see down the road with this.

    Thus, I approved of the comparison by player instead.

    Obviously the market exists, but so do stupid contracts, and since we don’t know if this is stupid yet, then we can’t compare it. Like Alex P. below mentions, let’s compare it to Rickie Weeks instead, because the Brewers definitely got a deal there.

    Comment by sc2gg — February 16, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  11. There has to be some legitimate factor that caused the difference in his 2010 performance, and I’m not trying to imply extraneous substances. The difference was just too huge for it to be chalked up as a fluke. I’m not sure there is precedence for something this big. He is due for regression sure, but to regress a good 5-6 wins? I doubt it.

    Comment by Chops — February 16, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  12. I find the timing a little curious as well, but if Bautista does 75% of what he did last year, he will be a good deal at 4/52 remaining after this season. A bit risky for the Jays, but not a bad gamble.

    And I know this is separate from the Vernon Wells deal, and should be looked at one it sown as far being good or bad. But it’s interesting that you could argue the Jays saved 50M over the next 4 years by taking advantage of Tony Reagins’ idiocy (assuming Vernon was worth about 4/36 going forward).

    And over the next 4 years, they will pay Bautista 4/52. In other words, this offseason they got 4 years of Jose Bautista for free.

    Comment by steve — February 16, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  13. I agree. I don’t think the difference between his actual market value and the market value his contract expects of him will be that cringe-worthy. I’m with Dave. I don’t think I’d give him that much, but it’s certainly not awful.

    Comment by Chops — February 16, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  14. I like it.

    People keep saying the Jays are paying for one year. That is not true. Jays fans know that it started to click for Bautista in 2009 where he hit with significant power through the end of the season. He revealed a legit click by following up a strong second half with an outstanding full year.

    Sure he is a late bloomer, but one must remember he hasn’t really had consistent playing time during earlier stages of his career. Ryan Howard was a late Bloomer too! His first full season in the majors was his age 27 year!

    At least there is no back-end to this deal like the Vernon deal that we escaped from earlier this off-season.

    I like it. Thanks AA!

    Comment by Jdubb77 — February 16, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

  15. I think waiting would have lead to him being traded mid season. With his only payday coming up and 2 good seasons behind him he would most likely test free agancy and the jays would not want to pay market value. The only reason it would be good to wait is if he blows it and if you think that will happen why not trade him before that happens. Im just saying that after he made the deadline it became impossible for AA to have his cake and eat it to.

    Comment by Gorlak357 — February 16, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  16. Good analysis, Dave, but you left out one important detail in your calculations: availability of talent. The Jays can wait for good $-per-WAR deals all you want, but if you’re looking at a particular window (as the Jays are for 2012-14) and have issues that cause free agents to look in other directions (AL East, Canada), you have to take advantage of those rare opportunities where potentially elite players are willing to play in your town and get them signed. It’s tough to put a value on that, but if you think 5 years $55-60 million is a fair deal and that there will be a lack of free agents willing to come to Toronto to replace Bautista’s value when he leaves after ’11, don’t you have to pony up that extra money? Is it really better to have a cost efficient 89 win season than an inefficient 93 win season in 2012?

    Comment by GaryW — February 16, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  17. Didn’t Jayson Werth only have 2 good full seasons before signing his deal? I think he is the most relevant comparable. If Jose even hits 40-45 HR this season, with good peripherals, won’t he be looking for 100 mil +? Sure Werth is better defensively, but they both walk a lot, similar age, but Bautista hit 54 HR!!!! I don’t think people get the significance of that, 54HR is not a fluke. Maybe 30, or 40, but not 50. It has never happened before that someone hit 50HR and was a bust, in 100+ years of baseball. I think it is a safe bet to pay him as you would a consistent 25HR 85RBI hitter (or pick the equivalent OPS+, but contracts are still based on the traditional stats IMO). If Bautista has another good year, I hope everyone comes back and apologizes. In the never-has-happened-in-100-years event he is a bust, I think the Jays are playing the odds just right.

    Comment by Nate — February 16, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  18. Yeah but is that ‘a lot better than 4/55’ , whatever that incremental value is, worth more than the knowledge of whether 2010 was a fluke, which they would supposedly know after the 2011 season? Thats the debate at hand here.

    Comment by somecut — February 16, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  19. Couldnt agree with you more Steve, well said

    Comment by William — February 16, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  20. *waves at Nate

    Comment by Brady Anderson — February 16, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

  21. I feel as though this was signed primarily to put a face on this franchise.

    Wells failed as it
    Rios failed as it
    Hill and Lind fell off a cliff
    Doc was traded
    Marcum traded
    Snider hasnt emerged

    They just need a player to represent the team.

    Comment by Matty Brown — February 16, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  22. I can’t decide if this comment is sarcastic or just hurtfully dismissive of poor Brady Anderson.

    Comment by RADickeyJokes — February 16, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  23. Brady Anderson. The guy never even hit 25 HR outside of 1996, when he hit 50. He was only worth 10.9 WAR the next 6 years. So it’s only been 15 years since there was a fluky 50-HR season.

    Comment by Josh — February 16, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

  24. It is too big to even choke it up to steroid.

    Comment by Kampfer — February 16, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  25. Yes, wouldn’t it be terrible if Bautista put up the same 18.3 WAR through his age 30-34 seasons that Anderson did? Or the 5.3 WAR in his age 35 season? Definitely a bust!

    Comment by Hodgie — February 16, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

  26. Letting Bautista walk is not a vacuum. Boston already looked into acquiring him. There would be a high probability of him going to Bos or NYY which would not go over well with Jays’ fans. If GM AA is making this deal, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt and let it play out or GM AA starts making bad deals.

    Comment by brentinKorea — February 16, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

  27. So you would sign Casey McGehee to a $70 million deal…?

    Comment by Tomas — February 16, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

  28. @Hodgie

    Including that 5.3 WAR season, he was worth 10.9 WAR total for the rest of his career (6 seasons) after 1996. That’s sort of a bust. Not a huge bust, mind you, but really disappointing and unexpected from someone who hit 50 HR.

    Comment by Kevin — February 16, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  29. GaryW is right about the AL-east and Canada making the Jays less attractive to prospective free agents. It’s also worth considering whether Bautista’s relative lack of playing time earlier in his career will allow him an extra year or three of high-performance? He seems to still possess a healthy supply of “young-man” skills and he hasn’t been running and diving on artificial turf for 150 games a year since he was 22 or 23. Also, he doesn’t seem to be carrying a lot of extra weight (e.g. Vernon Wells and Ryan Howard) and still seems to run well (i.e good, smooth stride) so maybe he’ll regress slower than the rest.

    All together, I think the risk is small enough to make it a good contract. Hope I’m right.

    Comment by EdwardM — February 16, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  30. @Hodgie

    I see how you included my outlier 50 HR season, as well as the two prior seasons, in the five-year span that you supplied. A “bust” on a contract would be what happens after it’s signed, not before.

    I do think going from 7.3 WAR to 3.5 to 0.9 a la myself would have to be a bust on Bautista’s contract.

    Comment by Brady Anderson — February 16, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

  31. Agreed. And when you add in that he hit like this to close out the 2009 season. It’s odd that such a seemingly middling guy put it together so well so quickly, but I honestly believe he probably did. He may never hit 54 home runs again, but I think he’s going to stay very productive, at least for a while.

    Add in that the Red Sox and their scouting department reportedly tried to pry him away during the offseason, and it’s clear there are accomplished reasonable people who have come to the same conclusion.

    Comment by sourbob — February 17, 2011 @ 12:00 am

  32. Considering what Beltre (older than Jose) just signed for, and considering his up and down seasons, this isn’t a bad deal at all.

    Comment by DirK — February 17, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  33. do not like this one bit

    Comment by Eric — February 17, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  34. snider is 23 years old. try to not write him off yet.

    Comment by grady — February 17, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  35. Beltre at least had a couple great seasons. and his defence is superb

    Comment by Eric — February 17, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  36. assuming you’re writing him off.

    Comment by grady — February 17, 2011 @ 12:21 am

  37. @Brady

    That’s funny, where did Nate say anything about the evaluation of the player being made only after the fluke season happened? Sure sounded like his premise was that it takes a good player to hit 50+ home runs, regardless if the actual home run total is an outlier. Further, you were the one to throw “yourself” out there as a comparison, so why wouldn’t I compare what “you” did during your age 30-34 seasons?

    Comment by Hodgie — February 17, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  38. 5/65 doesn’t seem so bad on the face if it. But it’s the 5 years that bothers me. It seems to me that the Jays has most of the leverage here. Jose has never had a big payday before … which I’m sure he’s wanting. Even if the Jays payed 10 or even 12 million in arbitration that would at least give them the opportunity to see if the current trend continues. IMHO no way Jose walks away from this deal if it’s offered 1/2 way through the season … allowing the Jays to make extra sure the he’s not the Brady Anderson of the 2000’s.

    I hope this works out as a win for the Jays … I like to see the underdogs do well. AA scored big with the Wells trade … but did he just spend some of that extra cash in the wrong place? If the Jays expect to contend in the AL East in 2014 (2013 can’t be a reasonable target … if “contend” means make the playoffs) … then if things go right they’ll have a number of good young players that they *should* extend if they can afford it. Not to mention that signing someone like Albert or Fielder could be in their future for 2012.

    Jose might be able to say that he won’t negotiate after spring training … but he hasn’t set himself up for life with a previous contract a la Albert.

    I think the Jays jumped the gun here and bid against themselves … and made a big bet that Jose late 2009/2010 is the real Jose.

    In 2011 … let the real Jose stand up. (That’s a “What’s my Line” reference for all you young pups … look it up on Wiki)

    Comment by Greg — February 17, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  39. a lot of people are comparing this to the Vernon Wells deal, which is obviously ludicrous; what I want to know is just how ludicrous it is.

    Problem is, I don’t know what a WAR was worth in 2006 when VW signed that deal, and thus, can’t calculate how many WAR VW needed to make the deal reasonable. Using the 5% scale that Dave uses in his post above, I got $3.25MM (1 WAR was $4MM in 2010, so 4*.95 should equal my 2009 total? And then I repeat thrice more to get the 2006 total?) per win.

    Can anyone help me out?

    Comment by grady — February 17, 2011 @ 12:51 am

  40. The problem with what you’re trying to do is that inflation in the value of a win isn’t constant. Last year, a win was worth about $4.5 million. This year, it’s $5 million. That’s quite a bit more than a 5% increase.

    That said, it’s pretty easy to figure out what a win was worth when Wells signed the contract. Just look at a player’s WAR and his dollars in the value section of the player page in any given season, then divide. In 2006, a win was worth about $3.75 million. Wells signed the contract heading into 2007, and in that season, a win was worth $4 million.

    Comment by AJS — February 17, 2011 @ 2:26 am

  41. Didn’t think I’d ever see a starcraft/fangraphs fan.

    Comment by TeamLiquid — February 17, 2011 @ 3:30 am

  42. “Do you think Bautista is capable of that next year? (If he moves to the outfield, he’d need to be somewhat above average defensively out there or hit a little bit better than this, but you get the idea.)”

    “Bautista is a better defensive player than either Dunn or Konerko,”

    Here at FG, UZR has Bautista -7 in 2010, TotalZone -20, and at THT Oliver says -18. He’s bad at 3rd, and has never played the OF well.

    Using a weighted mean of 3b/OF replacement level, and -18 fielding runs, Oliver only credited Bautista with 3.4 WAR in 2010.

    Looking forward, and being somewhat generous in a -3 fielding projection for 2011, along with a projected 254/355/507 line in almost 700 PA, that does come in at 3.3 WAR, just about what Dave spotted him to begin the contract.

    Comment by Brian Cartwright — February 17, 2011 @ 4:17 am

  43. Did Brady A. ever actually admit to the steroids?

    Comment by Bob — February 17, 2011 @ 4:18 am

  44. So did anybody actually look at what he’s done before the past season? He’s a hack defensively and put up mediocre number offensively. There is no comparison to Werth who put up better numbers with a bad injury as he approached his prime. Blue Jays should have waited a year on this one. Honestly Dave, this is an odd endorsement.

    Comment by omg — February 17, 2011 @ 6:29 am

  45. Only on his sideburns.

    Comment by ToddM — February 17, 2011 @ 6:29 am

  46. Saying the deal is too risky and the Jays should have waited is a little simplistic. Of course a 5 year deal now carries risk. But the whole point is that waiting a year carries a ton of risk as well.

    If Bautista has a good (not even great) year, he will be a free agent and the Jays would have to pay more than they currently are. Assuming he would have gotten 9M this year, that means basically Toronto is signing him to a 4/56 deal in the offseason right now. But with another very good year, a guy like Bautista could get significantly more than that. There is real risk in waiting too, its not necessarily the “safe” play.

    That said, I would have probably fought hard to keep it to a 3 or 4 year deal with some club options if I was Toronto. But for all we know, they tried that and it didn’t work.

    Comment by steve — February 17, 2011 @ 7:03 am

  47. 5/65? It’s that damn union again! Jose only wanted to sign a one year deal in the event last season was a fluke, but the MLBPA goons got to him.

    Comment by Tony L. — February 17, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  48. Overall I’d say it’s fair deal.

    It’s a fairly big risk (he bombs out) for the mid market team like the Jays but there is a chance of a fairly big return (he maintains his current pace).

    As a Jays fan, I doubt he bombs out. He was fantastic last year and actually improved as the season went on, which I believe is borne out by the numbers.

    Comment by Derrick — February 17, 2011 @ 9:01 am

  49. It was either 5/65 or let him walk after 2011. I would have liked the Jays to have signed him for less (or at least less years), but If they could have signed him for less, I’m sure they would have. I thought they had more leverage, but perhaps this is the deal that the leverage allowed them to get. I think the Jays believe 2010 was not a fluke and Bautista is going to be a 35 – 40 HR player, at least for 2011. If he is that, then I don’t think $55M over 4 years after 2011 would have gotten a deal done. If he were a free agent after a good 2011, I think there would be enough teams salivating over his 90+ HRs since Sept, ’09 to overlook the body of work before that. I don’t think the Jays would have bid for his services at that time. So, it was either 1 year of Bautista or 5. I suppose the thinking could have been, “let’s take a flyer on this guy being the real deal with the savings from getting rid of the Vernon Wells contact.”

    Comment by Steve — February 17, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  50. I think this graph sums up the risk nicely.

    Comment by Josh — February 17, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  51. This is a good analysis. I disagree with only one point. If Bautista follows up his 2010 season with a strong follow-up in 2011, his marketability would be comparable to Werth’s. It’s a different package- less speed and D, more O, but actually a more valuable package. He probably wouldn’t get the 7 years that Werth got, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if he got more AAV.

    Comment by Mike Green — February 17, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  52. I’m from Toronto and I agree. I’d rather it not go five years, but I see no problem giving a fan favourite a contract that he has a very good chance of living up to. He will help put butts in the seats, which has been a problem for us since 1994.

    Was it necessary? I don’t know, I wasn’t involved in the negotiations … but with a 54-win season Jose is entitled to think he can cash in. And with Verno gone, we’ve got money to spend!

    Comment by Adam — February 17, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  53. FWIW, a lot of people thought Bautista had talent – he was a Rule 5 pick that 4 different teams gave a shot – he just didn’t show much of it. Or didn’t show it consistently.

    Which is not to say that Weeks didn’t have somewhat more track record, it’s just to say that, while no one ever projected JB as a 54 HR guy, several teams thought he was the kind of guy who could produce over a couple wins a season on a regular basis.

    Comment by JRoth — February 17, 2011 @ 9:46 am

  54. People have looked, and there’s literally no precedent for this, mostly because the peak is so absurdly high. Plenty of bums have had decent years, and plenty of mediocre starters have had great years, but Bautista, a marginal starter, had one of the great offensive seasons of all time.

    Comment by JRoth — February 17, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  55. You are right, it does just that. Rich Aurilia, 5 years post outlier/career year, 12 WAR. Estimated WAR needed by Bautista to justify contract value…12 WAR.

    Comment by Hodgie — February 17, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  56. there are a couple of other comparables i’d like to offer for bautista from 2004-2009. During that time, Bautista hit .238/.329/.400 with a wOBA of .320 in 2038 ABs. This converted to 1.8 WAR.

    One player is a corner outfielder two years younger than bautista who hit .257/.311/.458 with a wOBA of .329 in 1526 ABs. This converted to 1.7 WAR.
    A second player is several years older than Bautista and a corner infielder. In 2093 ABs, he hit .287/.326/.438 with a wOBA of .329. This was good for 2.1 WAR.
    A third player is also a corner outfielder who had a late breakout, much like Bautista did. In the five major league seasons before his breakout he had 1129 ABs. He hit .259/.32/.430 with a wOBA of .346. This was good for 7.3 WAR.

    The first two players are Wily Mo Pena and Shea Hillenbrand and if either of them had an outstanding season, I have trouble imagining anyone lauding a big contract going to them.
    The third is Jayson Werth, who clearly was always a productive player but was held back by injury problems who took three 5 win seasons to get paid.
    I really have no way to justify this contract given to Bautista. Even Brady Anderson, the other random 50 HR season in the last 20 years had two other 5 WAR seasons and 4 3+ WAR seasons in addition to his 7 WAR season, so as a quality player, he wasn’t anywhere near the fluke that Bautista has been.

    Comment by miffleball — February 17, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  57. there are a couple of other comparables i’d like to offer for bautista from 2004-2009. During that time, Bautista hit .238/.329/.400 with a wOBA of .320 in 2038 ABs. This converted to 1.8 WAR.

    One player is a corner outfielder two years younger than bautista who hit .257/.311/.458 with a wOBA of .329 in 1526 ABs. This converted to 1.7 WAR.
    A second player is several years older than Bautista and a corner infielder. In 2093 ABs, he hit .287/.326/.438 with a wOBA of .329. This was good for 2.1 WAR.
    A third player is also a corner outfielder who had a late breakout, much like Bautista did. In the five major league seasons before his breakout he had 1129 ABs. He hit .259/.32/.430 with a wOBA of .346. This was good for 7.3 WAR.

    The first two players are Wily Mo Pena and Shea Hillenbrand and if either of them had an outstanding season, I have trouble imagining anyone lauding a big contract going to them.
    The third is Jayson Werth, who clearly was always a productive player but was held back by injury problems who took three 5 win seasons to get paid.
    I really have no way to justify this contract given to Bautista. Even Brady Anderson, the other random 50 HR season in the last 20 years had two other 5 WAR seasons and 4 3+ WAR seasons in addition to his 7 WAR season, so as a quality player, he wasn’t anywhere near the fluke that Bautista has been.

    Comment by miffleball — February 17, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  58. Ouch.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 17, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  59. right. and someone a few posts above noted that if bautista does in the next 5 years what aurilia did in the 5 years after his career year, then this will have been a fair contract.

    Comment by Jono411 — February 17, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  60. Oliver must use a much higher replacement level than fangraphs WAR then, right? Because the difference in fielding is only 11 runs between UZR and Oliver yet the difference in WAR you’re citing is 3.5. So if we’re using $5 million per FG win, what’s the appropriate number for Oliver? $6 million?

    Comment by Jono411 — February 17, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  61. Paul Beeston has already said (at the Jays State of teh Franchise) I have the ability to up the payroll to $140-150 mill. Rogers is one of the wealthiest ownership groups in baseball and have no reason for a tight belt. Jays fans will start going back to Rogers Centre but the Jays do not need one penny from the gate to break even. The loss in profit of the Jays is a “rounding error” to Rogers. They will be able to sign ALL of their young starters and position players who warrant it.

    I seem to like players who take care of themselves and are not a liability in that sorta way. Prince Fielder does not seem to fit in this mold that I have created for the jays. There is no reason I do not see us trying to sign Pujols if he becomes a free agent. Although it would be harder to bring him to Canada and the AL not to mention AL East.

    Comment by AA — February 17, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  62. The Jays are DEFINITELY no “mid market” team. Ask Paul Beeston- definitely large market with ability to carry $150 mill payroll.

    Comment by AA — February 17, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  63. We exist.

    Comment by GrackenReleased — February 17, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  64. Indeed we do.

    Comment by Kerrigan — February 17, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  65. I’d think there would be considerable overlap actually.

    /submits 2011 Bautista projection

    /spawns more overlords

    Comment by wickethewok — February 17, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  66. Really, I just love BTB’s graphics.

    I think Bautista’s approach and skill set is repeatable. Not to the tune of 50+ HR, but I think the projections in the low 30-range are reasonable, with room on either side.

    When you basically commit to hitting home runs (pulling the ball in the air … to the extreme) and walking as your offensive strategy, he’ll probably get 30-35.

    If he plays a decent 3B (if they go that route), his value may increase even more due to positional adjustment.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 17, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  67. If Bautista puts up 5 WAR this year and next, the season is still an outlier but not to the same degree. Will he is anyone’s guess, but it’s hard to label Bautista as a fluke before we see what he can do now.

    He’s never been a BABIP guy but last year his was .233. It’s hard to imagine it getting any lower, so he’s got that on his side.

    Comment by don — February 17, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  68. Add to that that Bautista is extremely popular in Toronto, and the type of player that fans will come out top see. Furthermore, if you listen to the phone-in shows in Toronto, there’s lots of crying that all AA is doing is dumping salary. This contract addresses two issues: Committing to a player that fans love, and showing the willing to spend.

    Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — February 17, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  69. That’s a point I think a lot of people are missing here. Waiting a year would mean only getting a year. Even if Jose fell all the way down to 30 hr .265 avg which has got to be wcs, some other team with more cache would have come in and taken him away. The only way the Jays would have been able to re-sign him would have been if he had a very poor 2011 and in that case they would not have wanted to re-sign him. So the decision driver had to be did AA think he was going to suck in 2011 (do one year) or will he be at least 60% as good as he was in 2010? We know the what AA decided and when I look through all of his numbers, I don’t see any reason to disagree. I think this is at least a smart signing and much more likely to be a great signing than a bust.

    Comment by Train — February 17, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  70. Why does nobody ever mention Carlos Pena when comparing JoBau? Carlos broke out with TB at age 29 after bouncing around with 4 different teams, with one 1.9 WAR season in 2004.

    Comment by Impossibles — February 17, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  71. the low babip was mostly due to HRs. If you include HRs for his babip and the league babip, he was actually slightly above average

    Comment by Eric — February 17, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  72. Good article Dave I agree with you 100% on everything you said. I would have waited too but hey, if he is even 75% of the player he was in 2010 going forward the Jays have a real bargain on their hands…

    Comment by DonCoburleone — February 17, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  73. is this a good deal for bautista though? At the end of the contract, at age 35/36 he’s not going to get another big pay. Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to take some risk and play 2011 out for a bigger & longer contract?

    Comment by Eric — February 17, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  74. Could he have gotten significantly more than 4/56? I think Dave makes the point that it’s unlikely.

    Comment by AJS — February 17, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  75. Good comparable.

    Their value comes from HR and walks.

    Their walk rates are pretty much consistent. Their value seems to stem almost entirely from fluctuation sin the HR/FB%

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 17, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  76. We shall Zerg Rush him with replies!

    Comment by adam.brown — February 17, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  77. but he’s still getting that $65 million guarantee, which is enough to set him+his family up for life. sure, maybe he left 20-30 million on the table by not waiting until next offseason, but thats probably a good tradeoff for him because he gets the security.

    Comment by Jono411 — February 17, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  78. Starcraft 1 was better

    Comment by adohaj — February 17, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  79. I was shocked at first, but now I love this deal for the Jays. They are taking on a lot of risk and a lot of upside, and that kind of calculated gamble is what a team needs to do to have a shot at winning the AL East. It could end up badly, but I like the move. Screw hindsight.

    Comment by Oscar — February 17, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  80. The Bautista vs. Aurilia vs. Carlos Pena vs. Brady Anderson graph:

    If you slide Brady’s age 28 season to age 29, it gives a good idea of an unlikely but best-case trajectory for JoBau, I think. Certainly, Aurilia’s career isn’t the only possibility.

    Comment by Neil S — February 17, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  81. No, HRs don’t factor into BABIP in the numerator or the denominator. All the fly balls from that uppercut swing that don’t leave the park will keep his BABIP down but he was 147th of 149 qualified batters last year.

    Comment by don — February 17, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  82. “In other words, this offseason they got 4 years of Jose Bautista for free.”

    The cost is Wells’s production (such that it is). He’s not a replacement level player and has to be replaced so the value that they lose is the cost.

    Comment by chuckb — February 17, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

  83. Considering Fangraphs has him at over double the WAR, I can only assume that replacement level and $/WAR is much higher at Oliver.

    Comment by Baron Samedi — February 17, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  84. “Favourite”

    Haha. Canadians.

    Comment by Ben — February 17, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  85. You’d probably rather use that additional letter as a second-person personal pronoun!

    Comment by Adam — February 17, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  86. Right…..they have 36 million over 4 years to do that. After using the 36M over 4 years (the value I assigned to Wells), they had 50M left over, which is about what they gave Bautista.

    In no way did I assume Wells is replacement level, although a couple years from now, he very well may be.

    Comment by steve — February 17, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  87. Dave makes the point that if he is great again, the Jays are saving themselves a big chunk of money. They are paying him market value to be “good” (i.e something between last season and his previous years).

    If Bautista hit 40+ HR and is a 6 win player next year, I can assure you he would get more than 5/56. I don’t love the deal for Toronto, but I do believe there is a decent amount of upside for them if Bautista performs close to last season’s levels.

    4/56 is by no means the top salary he could command next offseason if he has another great year.

    Comment by steve — February 17, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  88. 4/56 I mean*

    Comment by steve — February 17, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  89. Not just Canadians. Try England too. You know, the ones who invented the language that you used to speak before creating the great “American” language… Clown.

    Comment by Matt — February 17, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  90. He wouldn’t accept anything less than 5 years. That’s my thinking anyways. It’s not outrageous and he’ll hit 30+ next year, no problem.

    Comment by Matt — February 17, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  91. Is it your money? Rogers can afford it, so who cares…

    Comment by Matt — February 17, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  92. I’m surprised that no one really considers the possibility that Jose could still get better. Sure, its highly unlikely that he’ll hit 54 or more HRs again, but his BA and defense still have room for improvement..

    Comment by Marcus — February 17, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  93. This was a pretty good deal for both sides. Bautista went for years instead of annual sum. Last season he was probably worth about $32.5 Million, but he only made $2.4M. So he gave the Blue Jays about $30M in surplus value. Contracts are based on past performance and Bautista deserved to cash in on last season’s performance ASAP. So of the $65 Million he’ll get over the next 5 years, he’s already earned $30 Million of it. Really he just needs to earn $35 Million over the next 5 years to make this a break even deal.

    Comment by linuxit — February 17, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  94. i said include HR into BABIP. It can be done, and using that, Bautista was above league average.

    Comment by Eric — February 18, 2011 @ 12:54 am

  95. @Matt

    bad argument

    Comment by Eric — February 18, 2011 @ 12:57 am

  96. if he’s not willing for less than 5, then you don’t sign him. He’s not likely to have above average value into the fourth and fifth year.

    Comment by Eric — February 18, 2011 @ 12:59 am

  97. Where can I find how much teams have been paying free agents measured in $/WAR over the past 5 or preferably 10 off-seasons? Is 5% a reasonable estimate for future annual increases?

    Comment by hk — February 18, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  98. But that’s meaningless. BABIP stands for Batting Average on Balls In Play. HRs aren’t included in BABIP because they’re uncatchable. They’re not In Play. There’s no luck factor to batting 1.000 on home runs because with very, very few web gem exceptions the fielders aren’t involved at all. You can include it, and you end up with a number that’s ‘batting average on non-strike outs’, but why?

    Comment by don — February 18, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  99. this is a preposterously superficial way to look at the contract.

    Comment by fjm — February 18, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  100. well, it obviously was a fluke. the point is, if you think he really is a ~3.5 WAR player for this coming season, then its already a discount for the jays. if it turns out he’s really a 4-5 WAR player in 2011 (which is still a huge drop-off from 2010), then the jays get a steal. if it turns out he’s really a 2 WAR player in 2011, then the jays overpaid.

    given that most projection systems seem to have him in the 3.5 to 4 WAR range for 2011, this looks like a good deal for the jays.

    Comment by Jono411 — February 19, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  101. @ Eric, it’s a comment, not an argument

    Comment by Matt — February 20, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  102. Anyone care to appology?

    Comment by Jose Bautista — July 8, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  103. I’m sorry, Jose.

    Comment by Jose Bautista's Agent — July 8, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

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