Projections and Paces – Blue Jays

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Alex Rios
2008: .291/.337/.461, 15 HR, 91 R, 79 RBI, 32 SB in 635 AB
Proj..: .299/.355/.502, 25 HR, 96 R, 89 RBI, 21 SB in 613 AB
Pace: .278/.336/.454, 22 HR, 82 R, 80 RBI, 27 SB in 660 AB

Vernon Wells
2008: .300/.343/.496, 20 HR, 63 R, 78 RBI, 4 SB in 427 AB
Proj..: .285/.340/.489, 25 HR, 86 R, 92 RBI, 9 SB in 571 AB
Pace: .241/.299/.367, 12 HR, 99 R, 68 RBI, 27 SB in 653 AB

We know which one of the Jays’ two “superstars” has Cito Gaston on his
side. Rios was recently moved down third to sixth in the lineup despite
an OPS right around 850 since the beginning of May. Wells was moved up
to third despite one of the worst showings of any regular in the
majors. He’s hit .214/.271/.310 in 171 at-bats since May 1.

Aaron Hill
2008: .263/.324/.361, 2 HR, 19 R, 20 RBI, 4 SB in 205 AB
Proj..: .281/.345/.428, 14 HR, 80 R, 71 RBI, 7 SB in 594 AB
Pace: .315/.352/.503, 36 HR, 94 R, 114 RBI, 5 SB in 692 AB

Hill entered this year with 114 doubles and 28 homers in his career. He currently has nine doubles and 15 homers.

Marco Scutaro
2008: .267/.341/.356, 7 HR, 76 R, 60 RBI, 7 SB in 517 AB
Proj..: .262/.338/.374, 8 HR, 63 R, 46 RBI, 5 SB in 439 AB
Pace: .298/.396/.434, 12 HR, 121 R, 70 RBI, 15 SB in 641 AB

All five of Scutaro’s homers came in April, so it seems unlikely
that he’ll really finish with 12 this year. However, he shows no signs
of losing his hold on the leadoff spot in Toronto’s lineup. The century
mark in runs is well with reach.

Adam Lind
2008: .282/.316/.439, 9 HR, 48 R, 40 RBI, 2 SB in 326 AB
Proj..: .277/.324/.460, 19 HR, 64 R, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 494 AB
Pace: .301/.367/.539, 31 HR, 94 R, 111 RBI, 2 SB in 619 AB

Lind was a tough projection after the Jays kept going back and forth
with him during his first three partial seasons, especially in light of
the fact that he finished poorly this year. He’s likely a legitimate
25-homer guy. I don’t think it’s all that likely that he keeps hitting
.300.

Scott Rolen
2008: .262/.349/.431, 11 HR, 58 R, 50 RBI, 5 SB in 408 AB
Proj..: .259/.341/.429, 13 HR, 60 R, 64 RBI, 4 SB in 413 AB
Pace: .325/.394/.471, 10 HR, 82 R, 53 RBI, 7 SB in 498 AB

Rolen knows his limitations now and has adapted his game. The power
probably isn’t coming back, but it no longer looks like he’ll be out of
the league by age 36 or 37.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta to discuss contract extension in January

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 29: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs scratches his beard as he walks back to the dugout at the end of sixth inning after giving up a three run home run to Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates (not pictured) at Wrigley Field on August 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.

Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.

While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.

Report: Koji Uehara close to signing with the Cubs

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 10:  Koji Uehara #19 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Divison Series at Fenway Park on October 10, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.

Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.

The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.