JP Ricciardi Off-Season Report Card
Although everyone hates him, Speier was an important part of the pen. His steady, 3 â€“ 3.50 ERA can be counted on year to year, which is something I donâ€™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 canâ€™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.
But not as big as some would think. While Thomasâ€™ 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 Iâ€™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.
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? â€œThe prices are too high!â€ Bull. Heâ€™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, â€œNobody wants to come here, I offer.â€ If Iâ€™m a free agent, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™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. â€œWell, I get all of these 1st round picks. Iâ€™m so smart for not trading anyone at the deadline.â€ Weâ€™ve seen how you draft JP. You knew you didnâ€™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 â€“ 120 game catcher and done nothing else for the other needs. He added a DH, but was this a priority? Donâ€™t think so.