JP Ricciardi Off-Season Report Card

JP Ricciardi Off-Season Report Card

JP Ricciardi

Bullpen: Decline

Although everyone hates him, Speier was an important part of the pen. His steady, 3 – 3.50 ERA can be counted on year to year, which is something I don’t think you can say about the rest of the pen. I see a decline in stats for League, as his K rate for mysteriously low, and his minor league track record has left much to be desired. I also think that Ryan can’t be counted on for another 1.37 ERA in 2007, leaving the overall bullpen in a state of decline.

Starting Rotation: Decline

With nobody coming in, the starting rotation reads like a hospital attendence sheet, with Roy Halladay, AJ Burnett and Mr. Chacin all taking numerous DL breaks over their careers. The back end (and most likely the pitchers to fill the front spots when these guys hit the DL) is a collection of low-level to non-prospects like Marcum, Jannsen, McGowan, etc. I don’t advocate signing a Lilly or Meche for $10+ million, but bring in something. Problem is, the weak minor league system allows for little room in ways of a trade.

Offense: Improvement

But not as big as some would think. While Thomas’ bat will add some production (if he can stay healthy), Reed Johnson should regress to past form, the catchers position will not produce as it has in past years, and I’m still not convinced with Rios, due to his up and down play in 2007. Overbay and Glaus are steady, although Glaus is yet another Jay with a history of injuries.

Depth: Decline

Big decline here, with the Cat & Bengie leaving town. Thomas adds some offensive punch, but his lack of a defensive position does nothing to help the bench. Backups at the MI, and catcher should be thin, and even the outfield should be thin provided that Lind and his DH glove are back in AAA.

Front Office: A Joke

JP whines about not having enough money. Now he has it. Guess what? “The prices are too high!” Bull. He’s thrown around plenty of cash, $10 mill to a DH when Lind could produce decent numbers for $350,000, over $7 million on a one year wonder catcher, and he tried to sign Lilly for $10. Now his tune has changed, “Nobody wants to come here, I offer.” If I’m a free agent, I don’t think I’d be jumping at the chance to shack up with Gibbons and the Toronto management. Gibbons has shown himself to be combative and the Jays brass has given a mighty F-U to the players in both the Hillenbrand & Lilly situations. “Well, I get all of these 1st round picks. I’m so smart for not trading anyone at the deadline.” We’ve seen how you draft JP. You knew you didn’t have a shot at the deadline, so why did commodities like Lilly & Speier stay on the club? Coming into the off-season, holes existed in the middle infield, at the catching postion, in the bullpen concerning depth, and in the rotation. So far JP has signed a 110 – 120 game catcher and done nothing else for the other needs. He added a DH, but was this a priority? Don’t think so.

JP Ricciardi Off-Season Grade: D+

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13 replies on “JP Ricciardi Off-Season Report Card”
  1. says: Callum

    Who hates Speier? He’s pretty, he’s half Canadian, he is effective and the Jays might get the Angels’ first round pick for their troubles.

  2. says: Kman

    Ah, but as I said in the article, the JP & his goons have historically been one of the worst drafting teams in the past five seasons. Would have been better off trading him for a Mathis type from the Angels than risk a JP draft pick.

  3. says: Callum

    True, but my point was that Speier is the gift that keeps on giving, even if you are too inept to know what to do with it when it shows up under your tree. How can you hate this guy?

  4. says: Early

    It is not his average amount of runs he gives up, it is when he gives up the runs. And Speier was all about inopportune break downs.

    As fo BJ Ryan not having a 1.47 ERA next year doesn’t mean he isn’t a stud and one of the premiere closers. He had an ERA of something like 0.40 going into the All-Star Break, and tripled it in the second half but he was still studly.

    I agree with you that on the points you made about Riccaddi except it I don’t think he is a Joke. He throws money around noone will take it, maybe better so. I think it is way to early to judge JP on this offseason, he has to get a pitcher, the ones he wanted sucked shit and maybe it is destiny that they should go elsewhere. He might have to pull a trigger on a big trade involving an all-star centre fielder.

  5. says: Callum

    “No knock against the kid but we might’ve dodged a bullet there,” said Ricciardi.

    “I mean, when you’re talking to guys (Meche and his agents) about coming to a place that’s very close to winning and they’re telling you how important winning is to them — and then he chooses a place like that … well, that might’ve been an eye-opener for us.

    “We’re here trying to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, so we need guys who want to compete against those guys.”

  6. says: Kman

    Early: I’m not saying BJ isn’t a stud, but his ERA, along with Speier’s & Leagues carryed the bullpen last year. Even if Ryan goes up to a 2.5 it hurts the bottom line, also Speier is gone and League has only 1/2 season under his belt.

    Speier had 1 EL according to you, and a grand total 0 losses in 2006. I don’t see the breakdown’s that you constantly allude to. Even under your own created method, he only had 1 EL to League’s 2.

    Callum: Love the JP quotes. That’s how JP rolls, everything is someone’s else’s fault & all this “I’m glad he’s not here crap.” Does this stuff really fly with Jays fans? I think it does. JP is right up their with the Cashman’s, Epstein’s, Beane’s etc in terms of media GM face time. The difference is the rest of those guys have made the playoffs. Sure, the Yankees & Sox have the cash, but Beane has produced with similar (and this upcoming season) less resources than JP.

    As I put in the article, I can’t see a FA wanting to come to town when he knows that management will always back the manager is cases of dispute. Tim Johson gets fired (not JP of course) for falsifying his application but Gibbons gets to skate for almost coming to blows with two players? No thanks, think I’ll go to a major american market, not get “punked out” by my manager, earn the same money, and probably pick up a couple of extra car dealership commercials while I’m at it.

    Matching an offer simply isn’t enough, the Jays have to add in something extra if they want to land these guys. Now they’re going to have to trade Vernon if they want to compete, cause the system is shit due to JP’s crappy drafts. Could have grabbed Santana + another good prospect last season, now they’ll probably get an older, higher contract SP. Piss poor JP…

  7. says: Early

    Winning breeds winning. I agree with you that JP hasn’t won anything and that is probably, not a deterrent, but a positive that LAA NYY BOS OAK etc have that the Jays don’t. And matching an offer is still subject to higher taxation in Canada even with the tax shelters they all find. I figure all these guys will lie to the media, teams etc just as part of the negotionation chess match. Ted Lilly “really wanted to stay here” after coming to near blows in the tunnel? Who is kidding who?

    Gil Meche going to KC boggles my mind. He goes to a perpetual loser who really don’t have any prospects of winning in an ultra competitive division. And the Royals give him more money than the Cubs give Lilly???? I don’t get it.

  8. says: Kman

    Yeah, it was a dumb move by KC. I think in their minds they’re gearing up for a 2008 playoff chase, but he’s still a 4.75 ERA, 1.45 WHIP guy, so he isn’t going to help much. I think the Royals figured they’d have to throw an extra $5 – $10 mill to get anyone to come their way.

    Regardless of Meche though, JP has gotten himself into a situation with some middle to aging players that he has to go for the win now. Again, the system sucks, and most likely they’ll need to rebuild in 2 – 3 years (ie 70 win seasons). Trading Wells for some 4.50 ERA type SP isn’t going to be a positive move, but it appears to be something JP almost has to do at this point. He could wait till the trading deadline, and load up on Hallady & AJ starts (more off days at start of the season) but this could be risky.

    I’ve gave my thoughts, what should the Jays do?

  9. says: Early

    1. JP didn’t trade Speir, Lilly for twofold, he thought he could resign them and he would get nothing in the way of prospects and if he gets picks he would waste them on a thud that kills himself plying the the Sally League.
    2. Gearing up for the 2008 race by giving Gil Meche a big pay day? You got to be kidding. It’s Gil Meche. If Gil Meche is happy in KC then let him sit there and rot. I agree with JP “dodged a bullet with this one”. He goes to a perpetual loser in a super tough divison that hasn’t grabbed a significant FA since Cone (hometown boy) in the mid-90s. Either he doesn’t care about winning or he is just after that extra $ here or there.

  10. says: Kman

    My quote was:

    “I think in their minds they’re gearing up for a 2008 playoff chase,…”

    Not in my eyes. I agree, but the sad fact is that JP would have been throwing at least $8 mill Meche’s way, which is still drastically over-paying. If he’d have got him at $8 JP would have said it was a good deal. But he skips town and JP “dodge’s a bullet.” I can’t believe your buying into the JP spin.

    When you trade Speier & Lilly, at least your getting someone else’s prospects that have some potential, not JP’s usually college draft, never amount to anything picks.

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