In Defence of JP

In Defence of JP

Before you get riled up and ready yourself to dump on this post, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not going to suggest that JP is the second coming of Pat Gillick.  In fact, I’m not a big fan of JP and his public persona agitates me.  That said; what prompted me to write this post is that I believe that JP is overly criticized – Toronto Media especially love to exaggerate to incite.  It’s easy to make the case against JP.  The team is no closer to a division title, let alone World Series Championship, today than it was the day JP started.  And yes, success is measured in wins and losses.  Based on that alone, the “brain trust” at Rogers would have every right to terminate JP and try someone else.

While I admit that I have not have done a lot of research on the topic, allowing the TSM readers to refute my arguments, I do believe there arguments to support (or at least defend) JP’s work with the Jays.  I’d like to share a few points to see if you too agree that while not perfect, JP has not done as poorly as most suggest.  I look forward to getting ripped with your commentsJ.

Rios & Wells

JP gets criticized for the contracts he handed out to Rios and Wells.  Neither player has lived up to their contracts – agreed.  I ask you this.  What would have happened (at the time) had JP passed on both players and not tied them up?  I say JP would have been severely bashed in the media and both players would have been scooped up and received the same – if not more from other teams.

Trades and Free Agents

Not a stellar record here…but actually a lot of no harm no faul moves on the trade front especially.  Did anyone criticize the BJ Ryan acquisition?  Yes, it’s JPs fault that his arm died abruptly.  Anyone have an issue with the Rolen for Glaus deal?  How about the deal to grab Marco Scutaro?  How about AJ Burnett?  Was it JP’s fault that he didn’t have the cash to retain this FA pick up?  I know, I know….Frank Thomas.  Fans were optimistic but yeah, that one sucked and everyone was suspicious at the time.

Draft Picks

You have to admit; he’s done fairly well here – or at least as far as we can tell at this point.

Aaron Hill

David Purcey

Ricardo Romero

Travis Snider

Shaun Marcum

Adam Lind

Brett Cecil

Marc W Rzepczynski

More interesting is his strategy to grab as many pitchers as possible.  What is the most difficult and costly commodity to acquire via trade or free agency?  I like what JP is doing.  He’s playing the numbers game.  Grab as many pitching prospects as you can so that you end up with some solid home groomed major league talent.  Then use your cash and perhaps excess arms to fill out the rest of the roster….which are cheaper and easier to get via other means….smart move.  We’ll see how that plays out in the next year or two…a time when he can truly reap the rewards of his strategy over the past few years.

Money

The Jays payroll is in the middle of the pack….not awful.  Problem is that they play in a division with the Sox and Yankees.  The real issue is that if JP wanted to spend to put them over the top, he doesn’t have the money to do so.  An $80M payroll is fine during a re-build….but, when ready to go for it….the cash is simply not there.  Rogers needs to hear it more from the fans.  If we had Yankee, Mets or Sox money, we’d still have AJ and who knows who else.  When the Jays won their championships, they were at or near the top of the payroll list.

So there you have it….just a few points to consider when before you call JP a terrible GM.  No, he might not be the best and yes he has a brutal public persona but….in my humble opinion, he has been unfairly judged…..but what do I know.  He has freed up $11M by moving Rolen for young arms and it looks like he’s been able to dump another $10M (next years salary) by moving Rios.  Work one of the young / cheap outfielders into the line up next year and add in 1-3 of the injured arms into the rotation and JP has the makings for a better team next year…..use some of the money saved on Rolen and Rios and who knows.  It might not e enough to win next year but perhaps get close enough that Rogers agrees to add to the payroll…net result, Roy sticks around and they add more talent to put them over the edge.  Okay, the last part of this post might indicate that I’ve nodded off into dreamland….sorry.

LT

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    LeafFan1989 12 years ago

    Every GM has a few dud moves and when he signed Rios and Wells to deals, they were producing like mad. He didn’t injure BJ Ryan and he also managed to get Halladay to sign to a contract well below to what he is worth. Look at the Yankee GM job. You get a blank cheque and then you sign everybody. If you screw up then whatever, just release the guy. Eg: Carl Pavano. I think JP is a above average GM who is being shortchanged because he has less resources. Jays would be a perennial contender in almost every other division in baseball. Rogers needs to realize that money needs to be spent in order to make a successful team. Either that or MLB has to level the playing field by introducing a Salary cap. That is the most fair way to renew interest becuase right now, money or long list of high first round picks leads to wins.

  • comment-avatar

    @LeafFan1989…wow…..maybe the JP supporters are going to come out of the closet!

  • comment-avatar
    LeafFan1989 12 years ago

    Hahaha….it’s all true though. He’s built a consistent winner for every other division. IMO he’s done a lot more good than bad.

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    What would have happened (at the time) had JP passed on both players and not tied them up? I say JP would have been severely bashed in the media and both players would have been scooped up and received the same – if not more from other teams.

    Except that wasn’t the other option. The other option is the same one that JFJ always stumbled on and that was to take a player headed to free agency that wasn’t worth the money and moving them to get some assets rather than sign them to heavy deals that they didn’t earn.

    Yes, it’s JPs fault that his arm died abruptly.

    Not JP’s directly but when you have BJ, Marcum, and McGowan all having serious arm injuries along with the litany of niggling injuries then you have to wonder if maybe JP should look at possibly finding the problem and addressing it.

    The list of draft picks has one guy with an all-star appearance, one guy having a career year, and a bunch of guys that have put up some ok numbers over a short period of time on a team crippled by injuries and apparently in the midst of a rebuild. Not sure if I would label that as a that good considering JP tends to rush those kids up just so he can point to having his picks in the league.