The Toronto Blue Jays have had a fun year for a team many picked to be among the worst in baseball before the season started — a short burst of pseudo-contention to start the season, tons of home runs, and they are still above .500. However, given where the team is at in the "success cycle," most assumed that before the deadline they’d trade away some of their veteran relievers who will be free agents after the season: Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and Kevin Gregg (the Jays hold a club option on Gregg). Surprisingly, all three relievers are still with the team. Jayson Stark reports that Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos decided that relative the offers they were getting for these pitchers, Toronto would be better off offering the relievers arbitration (which Anthopolous is confident they’ll turn down) and getting compensation draft picks in return.
Gregg has done a nice job this season and I wouldn't be shocked if the Jays pick up that option. If they don't, I don't see them offering arbitration as Gregg is likely to accept. Downs and Frasor are likely gone though. Back to Klassen over at Fangraphs:
In the cited article, Anthopolous sounds confident that the relievers would turn down arbitration if it was offered to them, thus netting the Jays compensation picks if they were signed by another team. Assuming that the Jays would have made a fair trade for both sides, and the players will turn down arbitration, is Anthopolous right that the draft picks are likely to be worth more than the prospects in return? My seven longtime readers will know I’m about to refer to Victor Wang’s research on the trade value of prospects and draft pick compensation as summarize by (SB Nation's own!) Sky Kalkman. The average surplus value of Type A compensation picks (meaning this takes into account the average of all the players who "made it" and "busted") is around six million dollars. The average value for Type B picks is about three million dollars. How does that compare to what the relievers would have brought back in a fair trade?*
I won't tell you what the article concludes, as you should go over and read the whole thing. But for those who are fans of our General Manager, you won't be surprised at Fangraphs' conclusions. Anyway, what say you all? We know teams were interested. Assuming a fair return for JaKevSco Dosoregg, did AA make the right move? And what would you have to have gotten in return to pull the trigger on Frasor, Downs, or Gregg?
Title from Randy Newman's great mini-song "Memo For My Son," off Sail Away.