Posted tagged ‘contract’

Yes, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a gift from the heavens….but could we take a breath?

March 11, 2019

I’m really excited about Vladdy Jr.

The kid is a total stud. I don’t need to tell you how he tore it up in New Hampshire and Buffalo in 2018. His production made us all salivate.

We saw the videos. We constantly checked for updates. We all soiled ourselves when he hurt his leg last year and again this past Sunday when the Blue Jays announced the oblique injury.

That walk-off homerun he hit in Montreal against St. Louis last year was incredible! Not even Hollywood’s greatest script writers could have written a better moment. And that was only a spring training game!

Yes, Vladdy Jr. is a gift from the heavens. But while I’m eager to see him in the big leagues, a part of me is also very hesitant.

To be honest, I’m uncomfortable with all the hype. Part of me drools when I think about his potential and wants him on the 25-player roster yesterday. But there’s also a part of me that channels my inner Russ Atkins and prefers a little a more seasoning; Vladdy being “Major League ready.”

So collectively, maybe we all need to take a breath.

I’ve never liked the word, nor the concept of “prospects.” Anyone in the minor leagues system has a chance to have a successful career at the major league level.

I know, I know. It’s not as simple as that. Apologies for generalizing.

But seriously, why value certain talent over others? Sure, some talent are better and show signs of being “ready” earlier than others. But at its very core, it’s a crapshoot. Why else would the MLB draft require 40 rounds? It’s for teams to hedge their bets.

Again, I’m really sorry for generalizing.

Like anyone else in the farm system, Vladdy will either make it or he won’t. Putting him on such a high pedestal and placing grand expectations on him is concerning. I’m all for being optimistic, but can’t we do it cautiously? He’s only turning 20 in a few days!

The demand and expectations make me shudder a tiny bit. It reminds me of a time when some were screaming for Brett Lawrie to be called up.

Remember all of that excitement? Years later, Lawrie is under 30, has been out of baseball for a few years – I really hope his tryout with Milwaukee works out – and his biggest claim to fame was having Red Bull inspired energy and being part of the Josh Donaldson trade.

So let me pose this question: Is it really terrible if we wait until after the regular season starts for Vladdy to be called up?

The second he makes his MLB debut, the 29 others club will start penning – if they haven’t already – journal entries called “How to get Vladdy out.” I don’t see anything wrong in delaying or slowing down that process. And wouldn’t it be nice if Vladdy becomes a terrific infielder, in addition to being a superstar slugger? Baseball America acknoweleges it.

Okay….enough of this bullshit. This isn’t about being Major League ready or working on his defence. Vladdy’s arrival is about one thing: SERVICE TIME!

This is what some refer to as the “business of baseball.” Call him up after the regular season starts and the Jays get additional team control before he tastes free agency.

Some scream “service time be damned! Give the fans what they want.”

I’d love it if Vladdy got called up last year or – if he wasn’t injured – made this season’s opening day roster. But assuming he chooses to sign with another team years from now – hello, inferriority complex – wouldn’t it be beneficial to get as many years and as much out of him as possible? Squeeze those lemons, dammit!!! Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Yes, manipulated service time is ugly and benefits the front office more than the player and fans. There is a reason why the MLBPA is keeping thier eye on the Jays. That’s also why this oblique injury – in a sick and twisted way – creates better optics. Now there’s an excuse to delay his big league promotion, even though no one is fooled.

Just know this:

Eventually, Vladdy will be called up. We’re just going to have to be – I’m sure you’ll start eye-rolling – patient.

When he does make his big league debut, let’s not rush judgement. Let’s also not overreact about – and I can’t stress this enough – his size and weight. You just can’t expect a young man like Vladdy to be perfect or know how to conduct himself right away. He’s technically still a teenager.

Above all else, PLEASE put aside your need for instant gratification and let the story organically play out.

ER

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Episode 70: Bagged Milk and Contract Extensions

July 21, 2016

J.A. Happ opens up, Justin Smoak’s new contract has fans scratching their heads and the rotation has much to debate about.

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – stops by to discuss these things and more.

Episode 70 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

An open apology letter to Marco Estrada

November 10, 2015

Dear Marco,

About a year ago, Milwaukee traded you to the Blue Jays, in exchange for Adam Lind. To be perfectly honest, I was less than thrilled.

It was nothing personal. It’s just that I was a big fan of Adam Lind.

Lind was one of the longest serving Blue Jays at the time. He spent the better part of nine seasons wearing a Jays uniform! Sure, he wasn’t always an offensive stud, but the dude could hit. We’re also the same age, which really means nothing; but to me, it means something.

And seriously, Adam had grown a badass goatee. He was also once rocking a badass Transformers toque. How can you not love the guy?!

When the trade went down, I wrote the following: “Marco Estrada’s numbers aren’t awful, but they’re not fabulous either. Either way, he’s not worth giving up Lind’s power. Sure, Lind couldn’t hit lefties, but I feel he offers more than what Estrada could contribute to the team. Of course, I could be wrong and Estrada becomes a beneficial reliever out of the bullpen. Time will tell.”

Time did tell and I was wrong.

In a season full of pleasant surprises, you were definitely one of them. You were given an opportunity and took full advantage of it, becoming a strong middle rotation starter. Permit me to remind you how you nearly no-hit the Orioles and Rays!

And let’s not forget when you started game three of the ALDS. Thanks to your efforts, there was a game four. Let’s also not forget your amazing efforts in game five of the ALCS!

So please accept this note as my apology to you. I’m sorry for doubting you. I’m sorry for not giving you a fair chance last year. I’m sorry for thinking Adam Lind was better suited for the Jays than you.

Not sure what your plans are for 2016, but if you choose to come back, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sending you warm regards,

ER

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