“The Jays continue to maintain a buyer’s posture,” writes Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports this afternoon, “sending multiple scouts to at least two recent starts by Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez’s and maintaining contact with the Cubs about right-hander Matt Garza, according to major-league sources.”

OK, so maybe we’ve heard this all before, but it still makes a lot of sense. The rub, of course, is that Rodriguez and Garza are both under contract for more than just this season, so even if the Jays fall out of contention this season– y’know, presuming they already haven’t– a pitcher like Garza or Rodriguez would be an important asset for next year’s version of the club, especially with Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek down, Dustin McGowan still Dustin McGowan, and Henderson Alvarez and Brett Cecil struggling to look like pitchers capable of surviving in the American League East.

That said, it’s hard to take any speculation regarding the wants of Anthopoulos and his front office very seriously, even coming from someone as respected as Rosenthal. If we do, you have to wonder if, much like what happened over the winter, other clubs– clubs with more immediate aspirations– will be more desperate than the Jays to meet the sellers’ price.

You could argue that the Jays maybe shouldn’t fall into that trap once again, but I just won’t believe that Anthopoulos is ready to go out on the kind of a limb required to make deals of the Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos type until I see it. I don’t doubt for a second, however, that he’s not interested in fitting the either of the traditional “buyer” or “seller” molds, as we saw with last year’s Rasmus deal. The Jays could very well be peddling Darren Oliver and Kelly Johnson, while pushing strongly for adding a longer-term piece like Garza.

So… what Rosenthal is telling us isn’t maybe as far fetched as the title sounds on face. At least, I kinda believe it.


Image via Doug Pensinger/Getty.

Comments (60)

  1. What are the chances AA takes on a contract the size of Garza or Wandy. Slim or none

  2. AA might need to start selling phones so he can afford these big salaries

  3. I think AA has a good idea of just how overrated prospects are in the market, and he’s got lots of it to sell if necessary. Just look at the Youk deal, who wouldn’t take a established star for say, a Lansing or Dunedin pitcher? Yes, they’re fun to dream on, but we have to consider the randomness of prospect fruition, and just how highly regarded they seem to be by other teams in the league.

    It’s probably not the best time to be buyers considering the circumstances, but it looks like the markets swung way in our favour, so why not take advantage of it while it lasts?

    • Youk is not a star anymore and I doubt the white sox traded for him with the belief that he is the same player from a few years ago

    • Does he think they’re overrated? If he did, you would have seen him all over the Latos or Gio Gonzalez deals then imo.

      I strongly believe he’s all about the control more than anything else with the upside coming a close second.

      That’s not to say he won’t move them for the right guy as the Santos – Molina deal showed but the player in question would have to come a lot cheaper than Gio did imo. The injuries to all the pitchers this year just show how fragile they are. Investing what amounts to the cream of your system in one guy is probably too much of a gamble for a conservative AA.

      As for whether the Jays are going to be sellers this summer, people have to remember a couple of things. One, if I’m not mistaken he’s trying to build not break up a team and start again at this point in time. Trading away guys like Oliver or EE makes no sense if you’re truly looking to compete next year. You could even say the same about KJ. Two, trading away guys and replacing them via free agency isn’t the easy task many envision here in Toronto as it is say in New York or Boston. A free agent will look for the money first obviously, but whether the team is competitive or not plays a large part in the decision imo. Having a team that’s suddenly got extra holes in because the GM traded away good major leaguers for middling prospects isn’t going to be all that attractive come decision time.

    • I totally agree with you on the value of prospects, but I’m surprised you think AA has a handle on this – wouldn’t that have resulted in more transactions already? Is the market that stagnant currently?

  4. If you’re going for a guy who will still be under contract for a year or more after this season it makes total sense. The Jays simply cannot afford to start next season thin on pitching. Being a buyer doesn’t have to mean you think you’re competing this season.

  5. Acquiring 4 years of Gio Gonzalez this offseason would not have been going out on a limb. It was something the team desperately needed.

    B+ for the offseason, because AA didn’t listen to stupid fans!

  6. Starting pitching (and a consistent bullpen) seems to be the largest roadblocks the Blue Jays face in order to be considered a “contending team”. Therefore, grabbing a guy like Garza who has had success in the AL East before makes perfect sense to me.

  7. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just throw all your chips in a bid for Felix Hernandez. Giving up big-time pieces for Wandy or Garza makes little sense to me. These are not front-line starters, and if they end up being better than Romero in today’s AL East, I’d be very surprised.

  8. Gio had a terrible BB% going into this season, and the advanced metrics showed he was getting lucky in 2010 and 2011, so you can’t blame AA for not pulling the trigger there. Nobody expected him to do what he’s doing this year. Latos would have been the better acquisition, in my opinion, and seeing how he’s pitched so far this year, you can’t really blame AA for not pulling the trigger there either (although he did have an offer in).

    The Jays being “buyers” though would not be surprising at all. There are plenty of Rasmuses out there this year, and we have plenty of good spare parts to… spare. I won’t be surprised if the Jays are in on Justin Upton, Logan Morrison, Liriano, etc, and pushing Rajai, Casey, Oliver, etc.

    One guy I would actually love to see the Jays go after is Joe Blanton. The Phils have been trying to get rid of him for a while, so I don’t expect him to be that expensive in prospects, and his SIERA has been terrific last year and this year, which the Phils may not realize because they’re kinda old school.

    • Lol I love how you casually tossed Justin Upton into that list. He’s totally available for spare parts and not at all a young, controllable potential MVP candidate…

      • Well there is rumours of conflicts between Upton and management… the same rumours that existed between Rasmus and LaRussa. So it’s not entirely nuts to think he’d be available, if not for spare parts.

        • Fair enough, I didn’t know he had trouble with management. I still think its entirely nuts to believe they’d part with a 24 year old who was 4th in MVP voting last year. But I’m with you on the hopes and dreams.

    • Blanton? Don’t we already have enough pitchers with HR/9 rates over 1.5?

    • amazing,
      in one comment you’ve suggested a pitcher has been lucky for 60 starts, you’re smarter than the phillies front office, and justin upton could be had for parts…
      this is why i keep coming back to this website.

  9. Bull (wait for it) SHIT he’s gonna be a buyer. Maybe we make a sneaky good move like the Rasmus trade, but more likely we clear out Rajai Davis and maybe some of the flotsam that makes up our 1B/DH shit platoon, then finish with 72 wins as the highest scoring team in baseball.
    Then next summer, we hear nothing but rumors about how we’re all in on Greinke before watching him sign with the Orioles for six years because god forbid you give a guy more than five years and when was the last time a pitcher was effective into his mid thirties anyway?
    Not that those aren’t the right moves to make. I’m just an impatient fan. And Jim, we could give the Mariners a Blue Jays organizational chart, a highlighter and a sign that says “choose your adventure” and they still wouldn’t give us Felix.

    • “…then finish with 72 wins as the highest scoring team in baseball.”

      Exactly the kind of thought I’ve been having. Home run kings living in the basement.

  10. so the jays didn’t want colon, bedard, jackson and now they’ll take wandy at 14 mil? ya right

  11. Perhaps the Jays are looking to make a move similar to the Rasmus/Escobar deals. Any pitchers out there who fit the criteria of being young and misunderstood shit-disturbers?

    Personally, I’d like the Jays to sink the money into a FA like Greinke if he were willing to pitch in the AL East, rather than mortgage the farm for Garza, whom has only had moderate success in the AL East. But, that will never happen, because Beeston doesn’t agree with 5-year deals on pitchers.

  12. Bullshit.

  13. All things said, I would be surprised nye shocked if there was a move of ‘significance’ made.

  14. “Perhaps the Jays are looking to make a move similar to the Rasmus/Escobar deals. ”

    The Rasmus deal was a no-brainer at the time and has turned out as AA expected, but I’d rather have Alex Gonzalez and Tim Collins right now that Escobar. He has been putrid this year. I can’t see the Jays going after a pitcher, unless a too-good-to-be-true deal a-la Dotel for Rasmus comes along.

    • Of course AA is still gonna be trying to pull one of these moves. However, I think the only pitcher out there who fits the prototype is Liriano.
      Also, my mention of Justin Upton above assumed we’d be throwing in a lot more than spare parts, I just meant spare parts would be included in the deal and that Upton might be available this year.

    • We wouldn’t have AGon right now though. We had him on a 1 year contract.

    • you’d rather have gonzo, even though he’s injured??? interesting

    • Stfu u wouldnt rather have gonzo. Idiot

  15. Good lord, who the fuck are you people?

  16. This is AA, we probably don’t even know what actual pitchers he’s looking at. I think a random MLB pitcher generator is just as good of a guess. Lets see – Edinson Volquez. You heard it here first.

  17. Randy Wells

  18. I do not believe Alex A. is going to anything this just a stall tactic for the general public baseball fans and Jays Fans

    • AA always does something. We just never see it coming.

      It could just end up being minor deals of little significance, like Oliver for a minor prospect. (I mean, it makes no sense to keep Oliver if we’re not in it, does it?) But the last two trade deadlines got us Escobar and Rasmus, so…

  19. Who the fuck knows what AA is thinking…just as long as he is on it.. this jays team deserves better pitching than that…

  20. AA is finally going to have to get off the pot and make some decisions this year. Does he continue to treat his AAA and AA gems like some kind of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum (my preciousssssss piecessss)…or does he start dealing from positions of strength.
    I love Rasmus, but if Gose is the answer in CF – then let’s move Rasmus, as his value will never be higher than it is this year. If Hechy and D’Arnaud are the heirs apparent at SS and catcher – then that makes Escobar and JPA tradeable. Same with the logjam in LF….let’s anoint ONE of Davis, Thames or Snider as the everyday player and move the rest for a starter or two.

  21. Ahh, afternoon chuckles. :)

  22. why is anyone comparing now to the offseason? had we been down 4 of 5 pitchers in the offseason, we surely would have seen a Gio or a Wandy

  23. MLBTR reports: Some writer / blogger that has no story today said “blah blah blah bullshit mixed with yadda yadda mixed with horesecrap”

    That site is full of 85% completely fabricated crap from sources that have about as many connections as the guy mopping the floor at the bowling alley.

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