Tag Archives: Brandon Lyon

Original Draft Series: #4 – Toronto Blue Jays


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #4: Toronto Blue Jays

General Managers(since 1994)

Pat Gillick (1994): 55-64
Gord Ash (1995-2001): 541-575
J.P. Ricciardi (2002-2009): 642-653
Current GM: Alex Anthopoulos

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last
0 0 0 0 1 9 3 3

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C J.P. Arencibia 2007 – 1st Rd (21) 3 6 gm, .217/.217/.522, 2 HR, 4 RBI Currently with Org.
1B Casey Blake 1996 – 7th Rd 3 14 gm, .256/.293/.385, HR, RBI Selected off waivers by IN – 5/23/00
2B Orlando Hudson
1997 – 43rd Rd 8 1 Gold Glove
462 gm, .270/.328/.418, 35 HR, 201 RBI, 19 SB
Traded to ARI – 12/27/05
3B Michael Young 1997 – 5th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to TEX – 7/19/00
SS Felipe Lopez 1998 – 1st Rd (8) 4 134 gm, .240/.293/.399, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 9 SB Traded to CIN – 12/15/02
LF Reed Johnson 1999 – 17th Rd 8 610 gm, .281/.342/.410, 42 HR, 234 RBI, 28 SB Released – 3/23/08
CF Vernon Wells 1997 – 1st Rd (5) 13 3 All Star Appearances, 3 Gold Gloves, 1 Silver Slugger
1367 gm, .279/.328/.472, 215 HR, 794 RBI, 89 SB
Currently with Org.
RF Alex Rios
1999 – 1st Rd (19) 10 2 All Star Appearances
809 gm, .285/.335/.451, 81 HR, 395 RBI, 112 SB
Selected off waivers by CHW – 8/10/09
DH Adam Lind 2004 – 3rd Rd 6 1 Silver Slugger
475 gm, .271/.323/.470, 76 HR, 270 RBI
Currently with Org.
SP Shaun Marcum 2003 – 3rd Rd 7 35-24, 3.83 ERA, 559.2 IP, 451 K, 178 BB Currently with Org.
SP Roy Halladay
1995 – 1st Rd (17) 14 2003 AL Cy Young Award, 6 All Star Appearances
148-76, 3.43 ERA, 2046.2 IP, 1495 K, 455 BB
Traded to PHI – 12/16/09
SP Ricky Romero 2005 – 1st Rd (6) 5 24-17, 3.95 ERA, 358 IP, 294 K, 148 BB Currently with Org.
SP Brett Cecil
2007 – 1st Rd (38) 3 18-11, 4.35 ERA, 240 IP, 105 K, 45 BB Currently with Org.
SP Chris Carpenter
1993 – 1st Rd (15) 9 49-50, 4.83 ERA, 870.2 IP, 612 K, 331 BB Released – 10/9/02
RP Brandon League 2001 – 2nd Rd 8 7-10, 4.09 ERA, 202.1 IP, 154 K, 73 BB Traded to SEA – 12/23/09
RP Mark Hendrickson 1997 – 20th Rd 6 12-9, 4.94 ERA, 195 IP, 97 K, 52 BB Traded to TAM – 12/14/03
RP Alfredo Aceves Int’l FA – 2001 1 No Major League Appearances with Org. Purchased by Mex. League – 4/24/02
RP Casey Janssen 2004 – 4th Rd 6 14-19, 4.12 ERA, 268.2 IP, 163 K, 70 BB Currently with Org.
RP Kelvim Escobar Int’l FA – 1992 11 58-55, 4.58 ERA, 58 SV, 849 IP, 744 K, 394 BB Left via Free Agency – 10/26/03
CL Brandon Lyon 1999 – 14th Rd 3 6-8, 5.40 ERA, 125 IP, 65 K, 34 BB Selected off waivers – 10/9/02
BN Cesar Izturis
Int’l FA – 1996 5 46 gm, .269/.279/.388, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 8 SB Traded to LA – 12/13/01
BN Aaron Hill 2003 – 1st Rd (13) 7 1 All Star Appearance, 1 Silver Slugger
748 gm, .273/.328/.429, 85 HR, 350 RBI, 22 SB,
Currently with Org.
BN Travis Snider 2006 – 1st Rd (14) 4 161 gm, .248/.318/.434, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 6 SB Currently with Org.
BN Gabe Gross 2001 – 1st Rd (15) 4 84 gm, .226/.316/.326, 4 HR, 23 RBI Traded to MIL – 12/7/05
BN Kevin Cash
Amateur FA – 1999 5 101 gm, .173/.222/.262, 5 HR, 29 RBI Traded to TAM – 12/12/04

June Amateur Draft

The Blue Jays have done better than just about any team with finding and maintaining first round talent. Last year’s rotation featured 3 first round picks (Halladay, Romero, and Cecil), and this season’s lineup features 3 starters from the first round as well (Hill, Snider, Wells). The only position where they are particularly weak is catcher, simply because J.P. Arencibia has not been called up to stay and start yet for the Jays. The key with the Blue Jays has to be their ability to develop pitching, as shown by Marcum, Halladay, Romero, and Cecil. There were even more pitchers who have been at least serviceable in the Majors who were not included because I simply ran out of room. Clearly, not all the moves have been winners (Carpenter, Lyon, Rios), but the team has done extremely well all the same.

International Free Agency

The Blue Jays have not done a whole lot in the international markets, instead choosing to spend their money on draft picks. That said, there really isn’t a lot to like in terms of international free agents here. Kelvim Escobar is really the only player who has become any kind of success in the Majors, with Aceves limited to middle relief only.

Overall Grade

A. The Blue Jays have done poorly in the international markets, but with the amount of talent they have been getting out of the draft, it wasn’t really necessary to have. They’ve established themselves as one of the premier teams when it comes to identifying and developing pitching talent, but don’t get near enough credit for it. In addition, they have also managed to develop Major league starters at nearly every position on the diamond, with some solid players left in reserve as well. They are clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the teams to this point.

Trade Retrospective: Curt Schilling to the Red Sox


On November 28, 2003, the Red Sox acquired SP Curt Schilling from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitchers Jorge de la Rosa, Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, and minor leaguer Michael Goss.

The Background

The Red Sox were in need of a starting pitcher after one of 2003′s main starting pitchers, John Burkett, retired. While Burkett was not an amazing starting pitcher for the Red Sox, he still was a useful innings eater (181 innings in 2003), and the Red Sox were clearly going to need to replace the numbers.

The Diamondbacks were coming off of an 84-78 season, but had finished in 3rd place in the NL West and were 16 games back. Schilling would be a free agent after the 2004 season, and the Diamondbacks were hoping to cut their payroll for the following season.

The Moving Pieces

In Boston, Schilling agreed to a contract extension prior to approving the trade, and he was slotted into an already high end rotation led by Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe.

Arizona received 4 reasonable players, with both Casey Fossum and Brandon Lyon both having spent time with the Red Sox in each of the previous 3 seasons. Here’s what Jim Callis of Baseball America had to say about some of the prospects back in 2004:

Q: Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
Where would some of the prospects that got traded have ranked, Sanchez, Dumatrait, Pelland, De La Rosa and Goss?
A: Jim Callis: Another good question from Kevin, who got many in early. Freddy Sanchez would be No. 2, ahead of Shoppach. Jorge de la Rosa would be right behind Shoppach, so that would make him No. 4 if Sanchez was in the mix. Phil Dumatrait would be in my mix of three lefties toward the end of the top 10, and I’d probably slot him in behind Alvarez, which would make him No. 10. Tyler Pelland would be in the 11-15 mix, while Mike Goss wouldn’t have made the Top 30.

What Happened Next

Schilling was ecstatic to be going to pitch with the Red Sox.

“I want to be a part of bringing the first World Series in modern history to Boston,” Schilling said. “And hopefully more than one over the next four years.”

And clearly, the goal was accomplished with the Red Sox winning their first world championship in 86 years in 2004.

In Arizona, Casey Fossum was slotted into the Diamondbacks rotation and Brandon Lyon was sent to the bullpen, eventually closing out games for the Diamondbacks in 2004. Jorge de la Rosa was only a Diamondback for less than a week, as he was sent to the Brewers in a trade that netted the Diamondbacks power hitting 1B Richie Sexson. Michael Goss was sent to Single-A South Bend in the Midwest League

The Net Moves

Red Sox – First Level

  • Curt Schilling went 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 2004, helping to lead the Red Sox to the 2004 World Championship. He was with the team through 2007, posting a 53-29 record with a 3.95 ERA, and helped to lead the Red Sox to 2 World Championships in that time. He retired after the 2007 season.

Diamondbacks – First Level

  • Casey Fossum went 4-15 in 2004 with the Diamondbacks, and was unceremoniously traded to the Devil Rays in early February 2005 for Jose Cruz Jr.
  • Brandon Lyon spent the 2004-2008 seasons with the Diamondbacks, working entirely the bullpen. He posted an 11-15 record with 42 saves and a 4.03 ERA in 234 appearances. He left via free agency after the 2008 season, and the Diamondbacks received a compensation draft pick for losing him to the Tigers. The Diamondbacks used this pick to select Michael Belfiore.
  • Jorge de la Rosa was traded on December 1st, 2003 as a part of the Richie Sexson trade. The trade acquired Richie Sexson and Shane Nance from the Brewers.
  • Michael Goss never spent a day in the Majors, spending the 2004 season with the Diamondbacks before ending up in Independent ball for the next 4 seasons.

Diamondbacks – Second Level

  • Jose Cruz Jr. spent 64 games with the Diamondbacks, hitting .213 with 12 homeruns before being traded to the Red Sox on 7/30/2005 for minor leaguers Kenny Perez and Kyle Bono.
  • Michael Belfiore is currently with the Diamondbacks.
  • Richie Sexson spent the 2004 season with the Diamondbacks, but spent most of the season hurt. He played in only 23 games, hitting .233 with 9 homeruns in his brief time there. He left via free agency after the 2004 season, but earned the Diamondbacks two compensation draft picks. They used these picks on Matthew Torra and Micah Owings.
  • Shane Nance made 19 appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2004, posting a 1-1 record with a 5.84 ERA. He was released by the Diamondbacks during the 2005 season, and never appeared in another Major League game.

Diamondbacks – Third Level

  • Kenny Perez spent the rest of the 2005 season and all of the 2006 season with the Diamondbacks in the minors, but did not make any appearances with them or any other organization in the Majors.
  • Kyle Bono spent the remainder of the 2005 season and the 2006 season with the Diamondbacks, and also did not make any Major League appearances.
  • Matthew Torra is still with the Diamondbacks organization to this day, but has never progressed past AAA, where he currently is. He may not get a good shot at this point, as he is now 26 years old.
  • Micah Owings was with the Diamondbacks through part of the 2008 season. He posted a 14-17 record with the team as a starting pitcher, but was known more for his hitting skills. He hit .313 with 5 homeruns in 112 at bats over the two seasons he was with Arizona. He was included in the trade that netted the Diamondbacks Adam Dunn in August 2008.
  • Adam Dunn spent the remainder of the 2008 season with the Diamondbacks, hitting 8 homeruns down the stretch for them. I also there being a lot of surprise as the Diamondbacks did not offer him arbitration, which made them ineligible to get draft pick compensation.

Overall Reactions

Clearly, the Red Sox got exactly what they were hoping for and more. Schilling helped to anchor the rotation both in 2004 and in 2007, including the “Bloody Sock”. He helped them to get the first 2 World Championships in nearly 90 years, and the image of the “losers in Boston” has been extinguished forever. The Diamondbacks had a lot of potential from the moves that they made surrounding this trade, but unfortunately it was almost like the players that came back were cursed of their own accord. Fossum wasn’t really a high quality starting pitcher at any point, but was particularly bad in Arizona. Lyon was probably the best return they got out of anyone in these trades, as he was a valuable bullpen piece for 4 seasons. I think I would have to give the Red Sox the advantage on this one, as flags fly forever.

Free Agency Review – Relief Pitchers


Today I’m finishing up my series of reviews of this offseason’s free agent class, talking about the relief pitchers of the class.

All salary data from ESPN.com’s Free Agent Tracker
All 2011 free agent information from MLB Trade Rumors’ 2011 Free Agent List

Left Handed Relievers
Name Old New Years Total $
Mike Gonzalez ATL BAL 2 $12 M
Billy Wagner BOS ATL 1 $7 M
John Grabow CHC CHC 2 $7.5 M
Darren Oliver LAA TEX 1 $3.5 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: None

This group of lefty relievers did well, as both Gonzalez and Wagner received high dollar contracts that I, for one, did not really see them getting out of the teams that they did. Gonzalez seems like he was a good signing for the Orioles, as he can help to stabilize the bullpen for the very young rotation they have. Wagner was a bit of an unusual signing, as he was a type-A free agent. The Braves could have kept either Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano without having to give up the draft picks, but felt that Wagner was a better fit instead. That said, there is a certain swagger that Wagner can bring to the club that I don’t think either Gonzalez or Soriano would provide.

Right Handed Relievers
Name Old New Years Total $
Jose Valverde HOU DET 2 $14 M
Fernando Rodney DET LAA 2 $11 M
Rafael Soriano ATL ATL/TAM 1 $7.25 M
Kevin Gregg CHC TOR 1 $2.75 M
Takashi Saito BOS ATL 1 $3.2 M
J.J. Putz NYM CHW 1 $3 M
Octavio Dotel CHW PIT 1 $3.5 M
Rafael Betancourt COL COL 2 $7.55 M
Matt Capps PIT WAS 1 $3.5 M
Kelvim Escobar LAA NYM 1 $1.25 M
LaTroy Hawkins HOU MIL 2 $7.5 M
Brandon Lyon DET HOU 3 $15 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: Kiko Calero (FLA)

Lots of closers in this group. The Rodney signing was interesting to me, as it signals either one of two things: Rodney isn’t that concerned about being a closer, as he could probably have gotten a job as one with a number of teams, and 2)the Angels have very little faith as Brian Fuentes as the closer. Either way, definitely something to be watched. Washington, Houston, Detroit, and possibly Pittsburgh all got closers off of the free agent pool this year. The other interesting trend was the musical chairs game played by some of the teams, with Valverde and Lyon essentially trading spots, and deciding that the player they don’t know is going to be better than the player they do.

This weekend’s posts: Fantasy Previews of 1B and 2B