Birds All Day Podcast: 148. The Shapiro-Atkins Diet

MLB’s offseason has been a mess, teams are being extremely disciplined when it comes to what they’re willing to offer free agents, and as such a whole lot of free agents remain unsigned, even as we’re already on the verge of camps opening. Isn’t it obvious what’s happening? Just about every team in the league — many of which are being run by executives out of the Cleveland organization — is following the same path to slimmer financial outlays. The Shapiro-Atkins diet! This week we talk labour strife, Atkins at Pitch Talks, John Axford, Donaldson-Heyman, and so much more!

PLUS! For Patreon supporters only, we’ve got even more #content on its way, in which Drew and I extend today’s podcast with a chat about believing PECOTA and Baseball Prospectus — prospecting and projectioning! Watch for it as a new episode of SuperBAD at Patreon.com/BirdsAllDay

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Mintmusical interludes courtesy Optical Sounds, my dumb old band, and Your 33 Black Angels.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    I have a quite different take from the one that Drew, in particular advanced. The problem that lots of folks in Toronto begin with, is that they think that in Toronto the Blue Jays are a business, but in other major league locations the teams are owned by the “Universal Eccentric Billionaire”. The Universal Eccentric Billionaire owns all the other teams, and can’t wait to spend a fortune on whichever free agent boondoggle is popular every year with Toronto fans. It could be Prince Fielder, it could be James Shields, it could be David Price, all disaster deals that the teams bought out of or would like to buy out of (kind of like the Tulo deal on steroids). The truth is that baseball is a business everywhere. There is no Universal Eccentric Billionaire

    Also, Drew’s complaint about Rogers buying the ‘real estate’ of the Rogers Centre for a song after it cost $600 million, is way off base. The reason that Rogers paid what they paid is BECAUSE NO ONE OFFERED MORE. That’s the way the market works. If anyone else thought it was worth more, they didn’t offer more when Bob White and Bob Rae were auctioning it off. There is no ‘real estate’ included. The land is owned by the railways. It’s a building only purchase. If someone thought it was worth more, they would have offered more. Simple.

    Finally, the argument that the Blue Jays ‘owe’ Donaldson an overpay contract for his mid-to-late ’30s because he was ‘cheap’ in 2015 (4million), doesn’t go very far. If you want to have ‘pay as you play’ contracts, that’s great. But you can’t have it both ways. The collective agreement provides for a standard player contract that prohibits pay turning on performance. Tulo last year gets about 200k, not 100 times more than that as he did last year. The reason that there is no ‘pay for your play’ is because the players association doesn’t want it.

    Lastly, Ross Atkins explained very well the difference between last year and this year at the STH talk he gave at Winterfest. Last year, they had no choice outside of free agency to fill the DH hole. The minor league system they inherited was viewed at as bottom third throughout baseball. There were a few non-touchables, like VG, BB, Alford etc, and then a bunch of nothing. Now, they have more to move and are not required to fill their holes on the free agent market alone. Last year they had to move quickly on a small pool, this year they can be more patient and are being so.