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On self-imposed contract limits

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Boras had a few things to say about the Blue Jays 5-year contract limit. As usual, when Boras talks, it is all self interest. Boras, of course, would like to count on the Jays to be another team he can use to run up the price on his free agents. He wonders why the Leafs can give Dion Phaneuf a 7-year, $49 million contract and David Clarkson a 7-year, $36.75.

I don't know, I think, if I was the GM of a hockey team, I'm likely to have a 5-year contract limit. I'd imagine, though I don't care to take the time to study it, that contracts of over 5 years are an even worse bet in the NHL than in MLB. I mean Phaneuf is 29 now, I wonder what kind of player he will be at 36?

I tend to think that the Jays 5 year rules is better as a guideline than a hard and fast rule. I'd like to think that, if the Jays found the right guy, they would go past 5 years. Say if they wanted to buy out the first couple of seasons of Marcus Stroman's free agency. I wouldn't be against that.

Then, that's not what Boras is talking about. What he wants is another team bidding on his free agents. I could do without us offering long term contracts to 30+ year old free agents.

I do think it is silly to make a rule to protect yourself against your own stupidity. We don't trust ourselves not to be able to judge each player on his own merits. We think we have to rule just in case we suddenly

There is an area that I wish the Jays would change their policy on contract terms. Maybe we could offer more than one-year contracts to some of our coaching staff. Say, for just a hypothetical, you had a well thought of hitting coach, that you signed to take over for your last well thought of hitting coach, maybe you would want to be sure to have him for more than one season.

Before the 2013 the Jays decided that Chad Mottola was the man. Mottola had started working for the Jays in 2007, starting with the GCL Jays. He was moved up to 'minor league hitting instructor' and then hitting coach for the Jays Triple-A team, in 2010. Hedid some great work with Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind when they were sent down.

The team seemed to think of a lot of Chad. They made him hitting coach of the major league team in 2013, keeping former  hitting coach Dwayne Murphy as an assistant. All seemed good. Mottola seemed to have a particularly good rapport with Colby Rasmus.  I thought the team was set at hitting coach for the long haul.

Then the team decided that Kevin Seitzer would be a better choice.

I don't know what really sold them on the guy, likely that he already had a relationship with John Gibbons. We had our genius hitting coach. The last time Gibby was manager we brought in a genius hitting coach too, Gary Denbo, that didn't exactly work out well.

Signing Seitzer cost the organization Mottola. It seemed strange to me that the team would give up on someone that had been a loyal member of the organization for so long, but Seitzer had a great reputation.

One season later Seitzer leaves. They couldn't agree on a contract.

I'm guessing Seitzer wanted more than one season. Since it cost the Jays Mottola to get him, it would make sense you would want to tie him to the team for a few years. but that's just my opinion. The team on the other hand, didn't want to go past a season and Seitzer went off somewhere else.

I mean, I don't think hitting coaches make such of a huge difference to a team, but I don't see the point in punting one coach for another without, you know, being sure to keep the second one for long enough to make a difference. Now we are going to be on our third hitting coach in 3 years. New guy will come in, new philosophy, and the batters will have to get used to another new guy.

So, like the 5 year rule with players, the 1-year contract rule the team uses with coaches is a good guideline, but, maybe, occasionally, they should be willing to deviate from the plan, if they think they have found the right person.