With a shit-tonne of shit now shit-streaming in from Dunedin, it only seems prudent (read: easiest), instead of creating a massive commentary-laden Afternoon Snack, to pile all of the day’s links into one dump, then following that up with some expanded commentary where necessary. So that’s what we’re going to do each day. Unless we don’t. It’s your Further Comment…

A few weeks back on a podcast I suggested, not even 100% jokingly, that you could “book it” that Joey Votto would be a member of the Toronto Blue Jays come July 31st. I was, of course, like, 95% joking (unless it happens!), but this took a baby step towards theoretical reality Monday, as the Reds somewhat inexplicably decided to lock up reliever Sean Marshall to a three-year $16.5-million extension beginning in 2013.

Parkes wrote about the extension, the pipe dream that is the Reds falling out of contention in 2012, creating the opportunity for a Votto deal, and a possible precedent for it, yesterday at Getting Blanked, as mentioned in the Afternoon Snack.

“Such an asset on the trade market could bring back the type of haul that the Texas Rangers got when they moved Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves at the trade deadline in 2007,” he writes. “The Rangers received the top three prospects in the Braves system according to Baseball America in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison, as well as Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones.”

Not only were those the Rangers’ top prospects, but they were numbers 36 (Saltalamacchia), 65 (Andrus), and 90 (Harrison) on Baseball America’s 2007 Top 100 prospects list. And Teixeira was, as Votto will be this July, a year and a half from free agency.

“The conversation likely starts with three of the following prospects,” Parkes writes, I think correctly. “Travis d’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Anthony Gose, Drew Hutchison, Noah Syndergaard and Dan Norris. It would certainly be a steep price, but one that without a doubt would be a game changer in the AL East.”

And it’s one that, in the office here we agreed, the Jays would probably pay. Votto, we think, is the guy for whom they’d break all the rules.

But it got me thinking about whether there are other sorts of crazy notions that might not be quite so ridiculous after all (but probably are). Like… what if the Jays decided that they could be a much better club and could do a much better job preventing runs, without taking such a terrible hit offensively, if they benched Eric Thames, consolidated Lind and Encarnacion into a strict first base platoon, and went the otherworldly up-the-middle defence route, promoting Adeiny Hechavarria to play short, with Johnson or Escobar moving to DH, and Anthony Gose to play centre, shifting Rasmus into left?

Carrying a pair of replacement level– or worse– bats and showing utter disregard for service time and minor league apprenticeship makes the suggestion kinda crazy, you say? Pffft! Poppycock!

Or… OK, so maybe it is. But mostly because it’s a moot point, since Gose will only be available until he’s dealt to Cincinnati mid-season, amiright?

Comments (50)

  1. I like you

  2. This is a case where I’d prefer to just sign him as a free agent. They’d have to give up all those prospects AND sign him for an astronomical sum in a years time anyway.

  3. Hmmm, I think you may have just lost your marbles (Escobar, DH???).  But plead temporary insanity and likely all should be forgiven in time for your next proclamation…

  4. But in a years time LAD will have money to spend and will bid silly amounts. If we trade for him then we could extend him then and maybe get him for a slightly more sensible deal.

  5. Using Escobar as a DH and promoting Hechavarria to SS and Goset to CF to prevent more runs?  Don’t despair.   Rasmus won’t suck like Davis and Patterson.  

    How about getting some better pitching?

  6. If Votto’s going to cost all of those primo prospects plus a 7yr deal at $20+MM per, then not making the deal(s) and moving Bautista to 1B is the best long-term option for the club

  7. I think it would be too soon and bad for morale if you move Escobar from short. I’m not sure how much of a net positive Hecavarria would be once you factored in his bat.

    As for Gose, I hope he makes a big improvement in his contact this year and is up before long. I’ve said for a while now if the extra bit of development time wasn’t so critical I’d take him over Davis today as he is superior defensively, at least equal in base running and not that far behind with his bat and at least offers far more pop than Davis. Unfortunately, that development time is probably worth more going forward than an extra win or two this year. As we saw with Snider, a talent like Gose is probably one that’s better not to rush. Hechavarria needs another season of development too. I suppose they need to know one way or another if he’s just going to be an all glove guy. I’d rather they find that out at AAA instead of the majors.

    As for the strict platooning at first or in left I think it would be a great idea if the numbers continue to be bad vs left handers and the players you’re going to sub in are worth it. The Jays used to do it with great success back in the 80′s.

  8. That’s a big if though. They’d have to have some framework for an extension in place before making that deal, otherwise it would be a disaster if he goes to the highest bidder when his time is up.

  9. I’d add JPA to that list. I think he’s going to have something like a .260/.310/.450 line, with 25-39 HR, and improving defense. As a C, and with his contract, that is one helluva valuable player. Just look at the Yadier extension (est. 5/$70 for gods sake) to see the value of catching right now.

    And the Reds have nothing for catching on the team or the system.

    I think a package of Gose/JPA would be maybe 70% of the way there. Throw in on of the pitchers, like Noah or Hutch, and that’s a deal I’d make in a second, and I think the Reds would do it too.

    Providing they are out of contention of course.

  10. If Hech is basically going to be John McDonald 2.0 then I’d rather have Escobar at SS as long as he can handle the job. No need trying to squeeze Hech in just because he’s in the system already. Upgrade 2B if you need to. I like the platoon idea at 1B, but agree that could be Bautista’s position in a year or two to make room for Gose/Marisnick

  11. If people thought Escobar was moody playing shortstop just wait until he’s told to play DH

  12. Hech’s bat is great as a SS….but would be pretty crappy as a DH. To move him there would be idiotic, as with his contract/abilities, we could simply trade him for a much better DH then he could ever be.

  13. Sorry, meant Escobar,not Hech

  14. Would this work…Trade for Votto as indicated by Parkes…Trade Bautista to Seattle for Felix. Votto bats is close to Baustista. You can always find a corner outfielder and you add a ace to your pitching.  Would Seattle do that or would they require more in return for Felix?

  15. I hate to say it, but this was a very Griffin-esque post. Silly line-up suggestions and the Votto stuff is ridiculous. Why would the Jays break all the rules for him? How did that Teixeira trade work out for Atlanta in the end?

  16. I wouldn’t do it. You need the mashers in the AL East, and we’d need both Votto AND Bautista. We’ve got a shit ton of pitching talent in the minors, and I think we’ll do alright with pitchers already in house.

  17. not going to happen

  18. I’m sorry but I think this Votto talk is very unrealistic. First, the Jays have said they won’t sign anyone past five years. Would they trade for Votto for a year and a half? It’s likely the Jays will be in fourth place at the deadline and could be sellers instead of buyers. After 2013 there will be plenty of teams with money to offer way more than the Jays can for Votto. Second, is Bautista’s and Lawrie’s long term position the one they are currently in? Seems like Bautista or Lawrie could head to first and I recall Keith Law saying that Lawrie belongs in the OF. 

  19. Make that trade for an Ace pitcher if it involves that many prospects, then sign Votto when he is a FA. 
    But if we do trade for him, I am sure that an extension would have to be agreed upon before AA gives up the farm. Why not give the Reds any of Lind, EE, Thames, Snider, Hech + prospects. We have a log jam in the outfield and need to clear space, I also like the idea of having a rotating DH spot not a single player there. Lind + Thames + D’arnaud would give the Reds a net gain in talent and are all Major League ready guys. If we have Votto, Lind or EE become spare parts. 

  20. Yeah but I agree with the sentiment that Votto is a plyaer they would break the rules for, in terms of contract length. Due to the marketing aspect because he’s Canadian, he is worth more to us then any other team in baseball. He’s worth more then simply his performance on the field warrants.
    So I can see them breaking the rules.

  21. the reds have nothing in the system at C? try devin mesoraco, ranked 16th best prospect by BA, one spot ahead of d’arnaud. they arguably even more loaded than the jays at C at the beginning of the offseason, before they traded yasmani grandal (53rd by BA) in the latos deal.

  22. Would you trade Travis d’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Anthony Gose, Drew Hutchison, Noah Syndergaard and Dan Norris for a yearly savings of approx $5 million dollars?  Because that’s probably the difference in the Votto deal you’ll have to sign in two years vs. the Fielder deal you just refused to make…  Makes no sense to empty the farm for a guy you can sign for just the cash.

  23. Who’s the idiot who thinks the Reds have no catching? They have the best catching prospect in baseball in Devin Mesoraco, for crying out loud. Pay attention. 

  24. Sounds way too steep. I think I’d rather the Jays wait til free agency and then make a very solid run at him. I value 3 of those blue chip prospects more highly than 1.5 extra years with Votto and an increased chance of signing him after (possibly at a slightly lower rate). 

  25. I think what you will end up seeing is that due to the fact we have about 6 outfielders (Rasmus, Snider, Thames, Gose, Marisnick, and Bautista) that we will more likely see one of them get moved to 1B.

    Honestly, I think it would be better to have a competition between Snider and Thames this year in LF, with Thames moving to DH (Snider is better defensively) after this season, and move Bautista to 1B allowing Gose to come up and take CF (Rasmus to RF)

    That basically solves all the problems as you’ll have a good outfield defensively, a decent DH in Thames, one of the best hitters in baseball at 1B, Johnson + Escobar + Lawrie to round out the infield, and JPA/TDA behind the plate. Trade off Lind and EE for whatever you can get (pitching preferably)

    Problem solved. Then dump 25-30 mil and get yourself another top end starter or two (trade/sign)

  26. The Reds don’t need catching.  They have Devin Mesoraco, who is one of the top catching prospects in baseball.  He posted a .289 BA / .371 OBP / .484 SLG / .855 OPS line in AAA last year with 15 HR’s. 

    What the Reds need are middle-infielders and pitching (everyone needs pitching).

    Some have insinuated that the recent extension to Sean Marshall might somehow curtail the Reds’ ability to sign Votto long-term.  This is a silly notion.  If anything, Marshall’s contract can be moved to make room for Votto.

    Unless the Reds get off to a horrible start with no chance of making the post-season by trade deadline, Votto is likely going to remain a Red through to next spring training.  The Reds got Latos and are making a push to contend this year.

    We will have to watch how they handle Brandon Phillips.  I think he is the player most likely to be dealt.

  27.  I assume the psychedelic school bus represents the acid the author dropped before writing this crazy article. 

  28. I’d at least consider dealing 4 of the 6 Stoeten paraphrased from Parkes. I mean, how many of those prospects are actually going to pan out to their ceiling? 1?

    I love the farm the Jays have accumulated, but when discussing the prospects as fans, you can’t overvalue them just because they’re on your team.

    Gose + Marisnick + Syndergaard + Wojciechowski seems like a fair starting point, if all they wanted was prospects, which too is unlikely.

  29. this scenario would be a fucking nightmare. after all the bitching and moaning about fielder’s price tag (and Yu’s) impacting the jays ability to keep it’s own farmed players; sigh. the whole idea is to spend on Top Tier free agents and develop farmed players… not to get scared of price tags and then panic trade all your prospects for maple dicked players on the decline… what a shit show this team has become. so much promise 2 years ago. now we’re sliding into incompetency and the fanbase (judging from this and other blogs) are either wilfully blind to it, or just fucking stupid.

  30. exactly.

    what the fuck is going on with this team and with the fanbase? it’s like watching a drunk try to start his car at this point. 

  31. “breaking the rules”  for the sake of optics is the most idiotic suggestion i’ve yet read on this blog; and that’s saying something.

    who the fuck cares about nationality in pro sports? only a total dimwit conflates patriotism with winning.

  32. Props to the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.  I’m impressed.

  33. It’s not for optics, you dolt, it’s because of the marketing oppourtunities. It’s money. THe Jays will sell more of everything with Votto in the lineup.

    Stupid, I know, because most real fans could care less about the nationality. Unfortunately, the casual fairweather fan loves bullshit like that (if you didn’t see/feel hype for Lawrie above and beyond simply his playing abilities, you weren’t paying attention). And there are for more wallets out there attached to fairweather fans then there are to hardcore ones

  34. There’s no way he’ll make free agency.  If the Reds can’t sign him, they’ll be sure to trade him for something.  Letting him make free agency would be the worst move they could make.

  35. What you say abouyt nationality is true, and yet only a total dimwit would conflate operating a franchise with winning. The requirement is “seeming to many to try”. Them’s the bones.

  36. if beeston isn’t willing to change his ‘five year rule’ votto would walk in a year and a half anyway.

  37. Before we start suggesting such drastic changes to the line-up, let’s let the team play and find out the following first:
    - Can Thames build on his hitting success from last season
    - Can Hechavarria hit at all, I don’t want him anywhere near Toronto if he can’t
    - Does Adam Lind really suck?
    - Can Encarnacion play 1B? If not I don’t want him as part of a platoon

    Also, I don’t mind giving up the farm for Votto, but it’s probably in the Jays best interest to sit on their prospects for another year and wait for a few of them to become elite prospects that could bring back a haul in a trade all by themselves.

  38. whoa. what shit show are you talking about? nobody from the team has even given any sort of indication that they’re interested in Votto, let alone wanting to empty the farm system for a year of Votto. 

    this is pretty much rosterbation at its finest during the most boring time of spring training.that being said, getting votto by trading the 3 major pieces to the farm system is asinine when you can wait to pay votto when he’s a FA the next year. 

  39. I would make the trade, only if they throw in a years worth of Big Mac’s with it, and large Coke with no ice, and extra larg fries…

  40. The Blue Jays are unlikely to be in contention-mode as of the July 31 trade deadline, so the only way that trading top prospects for him makes sense is if the team is able to simultaneously sign him to a long-term deal. Depleting the farm system in a trade for him would be just too risky without an agreed upon extension in hand… and that’s one of the reasons why I don’t think that such a trade by the Blue Jays is likely. By the time that the Reds come around to the idea of trading their franchise player, it will likely be late-July. Negotiating long term extensions takes time, and there will probably not be sufficient time available for the trade to be completed and for the terms of the contract extension to be worked out before the July 31 deadline.

    If the Blue Jays were to make such a trade for Votto, I would think that they would be much more likely to do so next off-season when they can make the trade contingent upon an extension being worked out with Votto, and have time to actually hammer out that extension.

  41. Ken Kesey called.  He wants his bus back.

  42. Mesoraco is going to screw up the Votto plans.  BJs two biggest trade chips are at Catcher, with one of them definitely being movable, but Reds don’t need catcher.  Would have to be OF/P/P of that list

  43.  Because AA would NEVER be able to pull off a three way trade, right?

  44. good point.  thank you

  45.  This is true in hockey…but in sports where there aren’t as many Canadians representing…it makes an enormous impact. Imagine Steve Nash, in his prime on the Raptors? The city would have gone nuts…as much as having Kobe or Lebron. Imagine a Canadian as an all-star quarterback in the NFL. Are you telling me that Canadians would not latch on to that guy like a leach on dead muskrat? Give me a break! Look at how ‘big’ Bargnani is in Italy, Yao in Asia, David Hasselhoff in Germany…!!!! Nationality matters to fans. People still remember Rob Ducey. Why? Cause he’s going to the H.O.F? No…b/c he was a Canadian who played for the Jays. Nuff said. Oh…Jeremy Lin, anyone?

  46.  Read the article again; it says “three of….” not all 6! And if they could get a commitment on an extension (read: if!!!) it would be a spectacular trade. This is not at all comparable to Fielder, in my opinion…for more reasons then I have time to write; but I’ll give you a couple:
    1. Fielder is HUGE
    2. Fielder is an AVERAGE 1st baseman, Votto above average
    3. Fielder will be a DH only within 4-5 years
    4. Fielder is not versatile, Votto can bat anywhere from 2-5
    5. Fielder comes with much higher risks
    6. Votto has more marketing potential for T.O
    7. Fielder (although I don’t know him personally) is known by some to be a dick head.
    8. Fielder wouldn’t instantly make the Jays a contender at this point. It is smarter to wait on the farm and analyze what we have/need for one more year.

  47. I’d actually thought of that “crazy proposal,” but in not so crazy fashion:
    - Yes, platoon Lind and Encarnacion at first. 
    - Bench Lind against lefties altogether: he can’t hit them worth squat. We already have two options who hit lefties quite well: Davis (BA/OBP) and Francisco (better power).

    As for defense, if Travis Snider can get on base at anywhere around the league average, he’s going to be our starting left fielder, which would relieve us of having to deal with Thames’ horrible defense. The kid tries, and he is getting better, but Eric is still nowhere near being an effective fielder. But the scenario of Gose in centre could very much become a reality this summer if Gose can learn how to get on base. If he comes up, he’d already be the best centrefielder in the entire majors, and with his speed, every walk is as good as a triple. But I don’t see Hechavarria in the majors this season. Kelly Johnson’s no Alomar, but he’s OK with the glove and decent enough with the bat that promoting a kid who’d field ok but hit under .200 is just not how you make your club better.

  48. I have Thames as my breakout Jay of the year. 30+ HR with improved defense.

    Snider to be traded.

  49. Why does nobody mention the trade bait in the rotation right now of Cecil and McGowan?  These are our two biggest (read: most easily replaced) trade chips!  We have 3-4 starting pitchers close to showing us what they’ve got in the big leagues, and a DOZEN more lined up beyond those guys, so we’ll need to maximize our 5 rotation spots.  Modelling ourselves after the A’s by churning over our rotation to replenish the farm system seems like a good strategy to do two things 1) keep costs down by having a few pre-arb SP’s at all times and 2) find out which of the PILE of SP prospects are worth hanging onto, and which ones have limited ceilings and should move along.
    Look at the deals that went down for SP’s this winter (Gio Gonzalez in particular, but also Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill) and then think about Cecil fetching us a solid prospect.  Also, Cecil appears to have much more value than any of the names most fans throw around (Hecheverria and Thames, mostly)Dealing a package like Cecil, Hutchison, Perez, and Gose/Marisnick for a stud hitter would be much more palatable than dealing all 3 of our top rated minor leaguers. 

  50. I can live with trading gose and the pitchers, but 2 guys i dont want to see leave before they make it is d’arnaud and marisnick. Anyone else I see as being open season for the right deal.

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