Stoeten Answers Benny Fresh’s Chat Questions, But Is Kind Of a Dick About It – 12/22/17

Ahhh, the ol’ Benny Freshbag! It’s been too long!

This week our friend Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet actually took to his computer and answered many, many, many questions tossed his way by the frothing masses, yearning to breathe in the word of deals.

Uh… he did a chat! And now I am here to hijack that chat… dickishly.

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As always, I haven’t read any of Ben’s answers…

* * *

Is Bo Bichette enough to get Yellich? If so, why not do this? If not, what would it take?

It’s not enough, though you’d have to believe it would get you pretty close. Why not do it? Uh… because Bichette is on track to be really good himself? And you’d have to move out other prospects in the deal?

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I love the idea of getting Yelich, but hard to see how it would work unless you move him in a three-team deal that sends Donaldson to, say, St. Louis. If you could do it for a package centred around Alford I would, but you can’t.

Is there an under-the-radar pitching name that you think might end up being in the mix that we haven’t heard a lot about so far?

I don’t really ever have a good answer for these questions — if I did they wouldn’t be under the radar.

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do you think nunez will be a blue jay

He’s one of a whole lot of possibilities still out there. I’d bet the field.

How much would have to go right for the Jays to get the second wild card?

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Per FanGraphs’ projections they’re about five wins behind the Angels as both teams are currently constituted — including Ohtani. A team behind those two, like the Mariners, could over-perform, so it’s not like it’s just down to the Jays and Angels alone, but I guess the answer is: probably less than you think. Especially with the way they’re trying to build the roster to have a bunch of better contingencies than they did last year. It’s still an uphill battle for now, but let’s revisit this when we have a fuller picture of their offseason moves (i.e. once they fucking do something).

Do you expect all of Morales/Smoak/Pearce to be on the opening day roster?

Yes. Only one I’d hesitate on saying that about is Pearce — he’s the right combination of redundant-but-still-valuable.

I heard on mlb network this morning from jon heyman that the jays could be a suitor for J.D. Martinez.
Is there truth to that or just complete nonsense?

I’m not a big fan of unnecessary absolutes, so, I mean, yes, it’s true as you’ve written it: they could be. I’d be more inclined to bet on Bitcoin at the moment, though.

Osuna for Ian Happ. Who says no first?

I’d like to think the Jays can do better, to be honest. Happ would be a nice fit for the Jays, for sure, but I’m scared of the 31.2% strikeout rate, the .328 on-base, and the big juiced ball year HR spike (33 between MLB and AAA in 2017, 15 in A+ and AA in 2016, 9 in A- and A in 2015) — at least at that kind of cost.

Why not make a go and sign for Moustakas and get assets for Donaldson

Because Moustakas is kinda bad. Doesn’t get on base enough for my taste. The idea of moving Donaldson for a big league piece, a couple prospects, and then repurposing the $20 million you’re set to pay him isn’t an awful one, though.

I am looking to trade Freddy Freeman to the Jays, who should I fleece from them?

The questioner here was “Alex Anthopoulos.” The question here was “terrible.”

what will the Opening Day Outfield look like? Are they still looking to acquire 2 new OF’s still?

I have no idea and at least one, yes.

What do you envision is the first domino to fall?

Fats already did, back in October.

This quiet off season has a lot of fans worried

Would be worth worrying if there wasn’t still a lot of business yet to be done, but there obviously is, so those fans are being a bit ridiculous.

Do you think Ross Atkins’ position on not trading Donaldson was influenced by knowledge that Machado was being shopped around, along with Longoria?

I do not.

Given the recent explosion of 8 million dollar deals for relievers who won’t close and might not even pitch the 8th inning, do you foresee a time where they develop arms/pitching talent differently in the minors, instead of an emphasis on starters?

I do not. I mean, sure, stuff is always going to be evolving, but the idea of letting guys try to develop into starters until they show they’re no longer capable really is the way to do it. I love Roberto Osuna, but more career arcs like his? No thanks.

Will the jays try for Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish? Or maybe Cobb?

Maybe Cobb. I don’t think they’ll be among the finalists for any of these guys, unfortunately. Would love to be wrong, though.

One name we’d heard earlier in the off-season was Jason Kipnis. Given the fragility of their middle infielders & the question of whether Diaz is ready for regular duty — would it make sense for the Jays to acquire him and at what cost?

Not sure Cleveland is going to move him now that they’ve gone the cheap-ish route at first base with Yonder Alonso, since the motivation to move Kipnis seemed to be financial, but it would make some sense… just not at the full $13.67 million he’s owed this year. Unless it was Kipnis for Kendrys! Hey, why did no one ever suggest that?

Assuming Jays keep JD beyond 2018, where does Vlad Jr play?

For the fucking Toronto Blue Jays!!!

(Seriously, who cares? Talent finds room for itself.)

What will the schedule be for ATL podcasts during the off season? Will they still be every Wednesday or just when major things happen?

I have no idea, obviously, but bruh, it’s already the offseason.

Jays sign Travis Wood to a minor league deal…yes or no?

Should they? Sure — there’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal. Will they? Doubtful. They have some bodies for Triple-A at this point so I’m not sure it’s a fit. Maybe if they use Biagini as trade bait they could start looking in that sort of direction, but I’m not sure Wood would be my first choice anyway.

Assuming Osuna still shuts down the 9th. Who pitches the 8th this year??

Leone or Tepera.

Have the Jays considered trading Stroman or Sanchez. Both pitchers aren’t exactly young anymore

LOL. The fuck they aren’t.

(I’m sure it’s been considered, but Jesus, be dumber.)

If the Jays shift their focus to the future, would it make sense to dish out lots of money to Stroman and Sanchez? If they are making $20+ each on their next contract with Bo and Vlad near 2020, could the Jays be World Series contenders?

Sanchez would have been a prime extension candidate this winter if he’d had anything resembling a decent season, but now I think he has to show some health before that should be considered. Stroman is harder to make the case for because he’s a Super Two and thus will be paid more through arbitration anyway — I wouldn’t rush into that one either.

Its sad that Atkins and co. think of Toronto fans as so naive that if the Jays trade Donaldson, fans will stop watching thinking the season is tanked. I feel like we are back in the JP Ricciardi days who I think really didnt understand his fan base.

It’s sad that fans have so little faith in what this team can be with a little health and a few shrewd additions, and in the front office’s ability to do right by the future while still trying to remain relevant, that they get desperate to watch the team just pack up and go home.

Donaldson for Wacha, Wong and a Lefty pitching prospect. Get it done

Get St. Louis to not laugh.

Who are you signing first and do the jays feel the same way, Nunez or Cain

Cain and I have no idea. If Núñez hit from the left side or hadn’t injured his knee in the ALDS, maybe my answer would be different.

Since this is what we’ve come to in the offseason, the Brewers GM said that the team won’t be revealing who’s coming off their 40-man roster to make room for Jhoulys Chacin until later today. Would Jonathan Villar be a good fit for the Jays? He’s a quick, switch hitter who was great in 2016, but he’s also not a good defender and struggled badly last year.

He’s one of a whole lot of guys who might fit. I’d hope they can do better.

You are given the keys to the franchise. Given current core and payroll, what direction do you take the team?

Straight into the ground. Why do you think I’m so pro-Shapiro?

What’s the deal with Lance Lynn? He’s been a steady Number 2 in St.Louis for the last number of years and it seems he has rebounded from his TJ surgery. Why aren’t the Jays looking at him?

Who says they’re not? Also, he wasn’t a “steady Number 2” in St. Louis last year — unless you mean the other definition of “Number 2.” HEYO!!

OK, he wasn’t shit, but you know what I mean. Not sure he’s going to be the best use of the Jays’ resources, given their needs on the other side of the ball.

who do you see as the biggest breakout candidate for 2018? Teoscar? Alford? other?

Would love to see Alford take that CF job and make it his. Teoscar’s strikeout rate still scares me.

Do you think Nikki will be a better head trainer than George? And could she help a lot with the infield players?

How the fuck would anybody know this?

Do you believe John gibbons is a fit for this team and if you can bring one player in to Toronto who is a free agent who is it

Yes and Darvish (which, obviously, isn’t happening).

What do you think happens to Goins? Would the Blue Jays try to sign him back with a minor league contract? Or do you think he can get a major league contract with someone else?

I can’t possibly imagine caring about this.

What’s the likely hood of bringing machado to Toronto. And at what cost. Giving that assumption , you think they could make it deep in the post season. Personally I think they need to go out and grab another all star infielder to have any chance of competing. The team I see in front of me now, has no chance against our eastern rivals let alone the whole league. I personally feel like mark Shapiro doesn’t have balls when it comes to making bold moves.


How do you think Ross Atkins is doing as a GM?

I like him and I’m hopeful, but it’s pretty hard to tell at this point. The next 365 days will be big.

Besides Donaldson, which Jay (on the 25 man roster) position player has the most trade value right now?

Stroman has more trade value than Donaldson. Maybe Osuna, too. Teams notice when players have only one year left before free agency, it turns out.

Do you think the stance to not trade Donaldson has anything to do with keeping franchise value higher for a possible sale?

I do not.

Jays should trade for Matt Kemp and prospects for a minor leager…..similar to the Liriano trade….what do you think? Jays could solve their spot in RF and have the payroll flexibility while stocking their prospects

Matt Kemp is terrible and this idea needs to go away. How many DHs do the Jays need???

About my last question (which Jay has the most value besides Donaldson), I put position player- non pitchers. I was thinking Pillar or Travis due to their contracts.

Ahhh, well it’s not Travis, because he needs to show he’s healthy. I wouldn’t sleep on Russell Martin’s value, if the Jays were willing to eat some salary. But it’s probably not too high either. I guess it’s Pillar by default, because of the position he plays (otherwise it would be Smoak, because of contract/breakout). The real value is in the system, though.

Let’s play a prediction game. You look down at your phone later today, and see a new email with a press release from the Blue Jays. The subject says, “Blue Jays sign/acquire…” and then you have to open the email to see the name. Who’s name is there?

Aren’t games supposed to be fun?

Considering Carlos Santana got $20 mil per…any chance a low budget team tries to acquire Morales and his 30HR, 90 RBI potential at $11 mil per?

Nope! I mean, look at some of the guys still out there. If you’re moving Morales, you’re either taking back a bad contract or you’re eating a bunch of money. Hey, Morales for Shin-Soo Choo — who says no???

Don’t sleep on the Jays having interest in Choo, who Mark Shapiro likes very much, and who played a long time for Cleveland. They’d have to work around the $62 million he’s owed over the next three years, but Morales (owed $23 million over two) could be a start.

Any stadium renovations expected for next year?

Ask Rogers.

Trade Ideas

Josh Donaldson – 3B
To Atlanta — FOR
Ronald Acuna – OF
Adonis García – 3B


Josh Donaldson – 3B
Roberto Osuna – CL
To St. Louis — FOR
Jedd Gyorko – 3B
Jack Flaherty – RHP
Delvin Perez – SS
Dakota Hudson – RHP
Austin Gomber – LHP
Dylan Carlson – OF


Roberto Osuna – CL
Ryan Tepera – RP
To Washington— FOR
Victor Robles – OF
Carter Kieboom – SS
Shawn Kelley – RP (contract dump)


Troy Tulowitzki – SS (contract dump)
Kevin Pillar – OF
To Texas — FOR
Shin-Soo Choo – DH/OF (contract dump)

Pretty sure Texas has a shortstop.

Kendrys Morales – DH/1B
and any combination of these players that Oakland wants…
Gift Ngoepe – IF
Steve Pearce – 1B/OF/DH
Ezequiel Carrera – OF
Fransisco Rios – SP
Connor Greene – SP
Rowdy Tellez – 1B
Richard Urena – SS/2B
To Oakland — FOR
Jed Lowrie – IF
Matt Joyce – OF

Why would Oakland want Morales? To allow them the privilege of getting some of this dross in exchange for a couple half decent pieces?

Any chance Jose Bautista resign with the jays?

Yes, on a one-day contract as he announces his retirement.

If you traded for Ketel Marte, what would you do with Tulo and Diaz?

I like the idea of Ketel Marte, but not sure why this would be a problem. You don’t think there will be enough middle infield at-bats to go around? If so, great! Find him room in the outfield. Diaz can be optioned, and if he’s somehow really productive too… great! Rotate around as the matchups dictate. Tulo is the shortstop for as long as he’s healthy, so don’t go worrying too much about that.

What do you think of trading Stroman this offseason at his peak value? We can solve a lot with the return, and I do think Stroman is at his highest value right now. His antics are also getting tiresome

Yay! We can solve a way to blow a giant hole in the club’s rotation for years to come!

Fuck off.

Do you think Travis gets more games as a DH next year in an attempt to stay healthy?

It’s not impossible.

What do you think of the jays signing Carlos Gomez? Lance Lynn is another interesting name to me, but his price may be too high

Gomez is one of many names that could be interesting.

  • McNamee’s Beer Can

    I’ve been dead set against a Donaldson trade from the beginning, but getting good players and obtaining financial resources is sounding pretty good too. I’d still rather keep JD, but I’m opening up to the idea a little more.

  • heatdreamer

    If Cards offer : Gyroko+ Grichuk+Wacha+ Flaherty+O’ Neill for Donaldson+ Osuna. Stroman, Sanchez, Wacha, Happ, Estrada and Flaherty. If you are Atkins do you do the deal?

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      How about the Yankees offer Aaron Judge, Severino and Didi Gregorius for Troy Tulowitzi, Osuna and Biagini? If you are Atkins do you do that deal? Or how about the Red Sox offer Boegarts+Devers+Jay Groome for Donaldson, Tulowitzki and Osuna? If you’re Atkins do you do that deal? The answer to all of these, is that if you’re Ross Atkins and you hear anyone offer those deals, including the one you propose, you wake up and have your morning coffee.

  • Ed Sprague Jr.'s kids

    I have been an outspoken critic of the front office so far but at this point they should wait out the market. There are a lot of players available and the usual spenders are already where they are comfortable trying to get under the cap. Players have to sign somewhere so there should be some nice bargains even if it means waiting until spring training. This could turn into an amazing offseason still yet.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Had to chuckle at the guy posting about ‘fleecing’ the Blue Jays and calling himself ‘Alex Anthopoulos’. As if Alex wasn’t responsible for the Noah Syndergaard trade and the Tulo trade, two ‘fleecings’ of the Blue Jays.

  • vic

    I don’t know why trading Donaldson is such a popular idea with folks. He has one year of control left and will make over $20m in 2018 at age 32. How many teams are going to line up to give up top prospects for that, even if he is a projected 6 win player for that one year of control? In the end, it’s a rental, and teams are not going to destroy their farm system for a one year rental, hence why Machado hasn’t been traded either.

    A better question might be, how is trading JD going to help in rebuilding the Jays in the future if they won’t get appropriate value for him? I don’t mind trading him if the Jays are getting back an impact talent/potential impact talent or two (Reyes from the Cards, for example) but chances are they won’t. Might as well see what the 2018 team can do, and if it fails, then sell at the deadline, even if is depressed value.

    “Trade him for shit now so we don’t have to trade him for lesser shit in July” is the type of stuff I have been reading, and it looks less and less worth it every time it is implied. Don’t settle for anything sort of what JD is worth, and that type of offer likely isn’t happening, so maybe we should just try to add as many wins as possible for 2018 (without sacrificing the future) and see where it takes us.

    • Seven Deuce

      Pretty sure the real answer is: the Jays are not going to trade JD until the deadline (if at all) as it would send a clear signal to the fanbase that MGMT is blowing the team up to start the year. Not a financially smart decision.