A few things out there worth mentioning as we head into the last weekend before Tuesday’s trade deadline, none of which is really worth making an entire post for, though. Here’s a rundown of what’s rumbling…

The Yunel Escobar stuff just won’t stop, with Buster Olney chiming in with a tweet that full-on assumes the Jays’ shortstop is on the market, but that his supposed attitude problem continues to be a… er… problem.

“There’s no question that Yunel Escobar’s clubhouse reputation is not helping his market value; it’s been a red flag for some teams,” he writes, piling on what his colleague Jerry Crasnick was talking about yesterday when he tweeted that the A’s “appear lukewarm on Yunel Escobar. They value clubhouse dynamic, and they’re concerned how well Escobar might fit.”

It bears repeating, however, what Richard Griffin said in his live blog at the Toronto Star during yesterday’s win, which I included in yesterday’s Afternoon Snack.

“All I know is that the GM speaks fondly of Escobar as a baseball-first, clubhouse rat,” Griff explained. “He stays late to talk baseball with the other guys and has been there after midnight with AA and EE talking game stuff. Inside the Braves clubhouse may have been a different story because that place has traditionally been run by golf-playing card-playing starting pitchers who do not like flare and individuality. The Jays have a different clubhouse so observations about Yunel fitting in are coming from outside. Will he be traded? Maybe, but not because of attitude.”

As for the Marlins’ Josh Johnson, the invaluable MLBTR has been following the varying reports on him this week, and the Jays’ name still continues to be mentioned in that regard, even the belief is that the price tag is very high.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted yesterday that he thinks Johnson will me moved, despite the fact that many GMs are unsure that’s the case. “They want a ton,” he quoted a GM as saying in another tweet.

If that’s really the case, and not, say, what the Miami front office wants the world to hear in order to spike the market, then I think we can probably forget about it. Anthony Gose and JP Arencibia I could see the Jays being comfortable parting with (I’d even take John Buck off their hands in exchange!), but six years of d’Arnaud– an MLB-ready potentially All-Star calibre catcher– for a year plus of Johnson? Unless the Jays really think d’Arnaud’s always going to be hurt, I just can’t possibly see it. Not that I, y’know, know anything.

Whatever the reality– and when it comes to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, there probably isn’t a whole lot of it– yesterday it was tweeted that the Jays are undeterred by their series loss to the A’s, and are continuing to pursue Johnson.

So… there’s that.

(There’s also word that, since he’s hurt and won’t pitch again until after the deadline, Matt Garza probably won’t be moved. MLBTR, as usual, has the details.)


Image via Tom Szczerbowski/Getty.

Comments (116)

  1. I saw Johnson I was expecting Kelly

  2. This is all so silly. The Marlins will cave to the first team that offers to take salary off their hands just like they did with Hanley. What did we expect – the GM to go out there and say “We’re probably going to trade Josh Johnson and my orders are to accept whatever lowball offer takes back the most money.” If any team trades a ‘Texeira deal’ for a guy who’s probably the second (or even third with the season Dempster’s had) best pitcher available for the 2012 stretch run, then all the power to them.

  3. Even if they think he’s always gonna be hurt you’ve gotta do better than a year and a half of one player, especially when you’re really only in contention for one of those years. Even before the supposed outrageous asking price I still don’t think Johnson makes that much sense for the Jays.

  4. If the Jays thought D’Arnaud will always be injury prone, I’d hope they’d go after a better target than Johnson.

    • Like who?

      • Felix Hernandez (though they just drafted a catcher 4th overall if memory serves)
        Cliff Lee – philly will probably have to move one of their aces, and his AAV is highest

        Those are the two most reasonable targets imo.

        • Don’t think Rogers would want to take on Lee’s salary. If they did, they would have signed him as an FA.

          • Beeston said we have the ability to spend with the big boys when the pieces are in place, well, the pieces are now in place arent they? all we need is pitching and our payroll is roughly 80M, Boston is at 150, NY and Philly 170+.

            Theoretically we should be able to trade for Lee *and* have money to sign or acquire one or two more pieces

          • I don’t think he is, I think they are willing to go up to 120 or 130, from all accounts revenues for this team are skyrocketing, attendance should only go up next year especially if we make moves to solidify ourselves as a legit contender to win it all.

          • Lee wouldn’t have signed with the Jays so that comment is moot. He took less to go to Philly, and wanted to win now.

          • I think, which is probably depressingly fair, that Rogers is technically willing to go up a lot higher, but they’re going to keep the powder dry to resign guys that need raises rather than picking up shiny new toys.

          • jesuscristo, again, I’m not above banning for stupidity / monstrous negativity. Fuck off with this noise.

            • Dude wtf? I am being serious. Wasn’t it mentioned that Beeston won’t go over 3 years for a pitcher?

              • Being serious? More like being an insufferable twat, like always.

                For a purported fan the next positive thing you say will be the first. You must be a barrel of fun at parties.

          • Hey all the best pitchers are signed for less than three years. When was the last time a 4 year contract for a pitcher worked out?

          • In reference to the 3 year contract for pitchers, Romero signed a 5 year contract extension. So, there’s that.

            • Yeah. And it was noted that AA begged Beeston for that. How is that contract working out btw?

          • not that anyone is going to read this but….

  5. Is TDA like profar in that he’s virtually untouchable in a trade?

    • I doubt it.

    • Yes. I believe he is. The likelihood of TDA being a perennial all-star quality catcher is very high right now, and the ability to control a player like that for 6 years costing virtually nothing is extremely valuable, the only way a trade like that makes sense to me is if the Jays were in the Yankees position in this division right now.

      I’d probably do Gose and Arencibia for JJ and Buck, like stoeten proposes, but even that trade makes me wince a little, which means its probably fair.

      • That trade doesn’t make me wince one bit. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

        • for 1+ year of JJ it does

          • Prospects aren’t guaranteed. I’d say we can take this as a given. Still, that alone ain’t a real strong rationale for making win-now trades when you aren’t really a team in win-now mode. Antho has to do some serious consideration with his approach, in tha next couple days..

          • “prospect” is a general term, a top prospect dominating AAA is more likely to continue that performance at the MLB level than someone destroying A ball

          • Yea, but there will always be Mike Kelly’s and Josh Booty’s that can’t make tha transition. All prospects are a gamble, nothing is a sure bet in baseball..

      • How about the likelihood of d’Arnaud playing 100 games in a season? Because even that prospect doesn’t look good right now.

        • The injuries of the past two years were more or less flukes, and nothing to do with one another. Not quite time to think anything like that.

          • Maybe I’m off-base, but isn’t this what they said about Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Mauer too? I’d like to at least see a guy play at 80-100%, not see hollow shells of what they used to be.

          • That’s fair, but I’m sure there are lots of other examples of guys who’ve bounced back from fluky injuries too.

          • (insert Joba Chamberlain trampoline joke)

          • Example of a guy who briefly had an “injury plagued” tag due to some fluke injuries and then went on to play for a really long time at a high level without any significant injuries….: Roy Fucking Halladay (until this year of course)

    • If the right deal presents itself, nobody is untouchable. But I wouldn’t deal TDA+more top prospects for Josh Johnson.

      If it was a straight 1 for 1 deal (similar to Marcum for Lawrie) then I’d look at it.

  6. JJ has only ever started 30+ games in a season once in his career. He missed most of last year due to injury and he is not having a particularly good season in 2012. He is only under contract through next year… I can’t imagine that anyone would give up anything even remotely close to a Teixera-like return for him. It certainly wouldn’t make sense for the Blue Jays – who aren’t realistically on on the cusp of the playoffs – to do so.

    • I would laugh out loud at the idea of a 3 top10 prospect return for JJ, for 1 year? ridic.

    • There is absolutely nothing wrong with the year he’s having.

      • Fine. There’s nothing wrong with his season, though that was a rather ancillary issue to the overall point of my post – being that he is not worth the king’s ransom being sought by the Marlins given that he has never demonstrated an ability to remain healthy, has durability issues, and has only one year remaining on his contract.

        Despite the fact that there’s nothing wrong with his season, he is not having what many would consider to be a great season so as to mitigate some of those other concerns.

        • He is having a great season.

          • I wouldn’t say great season, 6-7 era over 4, not a bad season though

          • Maybe we’re arguing over semantics, but I wouldn’t think it to be “great”.

          • You got the right idea Stoeten.

            JPA, Gose (and even a Cecil here or Happ there) for JJ and even absorbing all of John Buck’s contract is reasonable.

            Much more beyond that and it’s probably not worth it.

          • 6-7 W/L – plays for a mediocre team
            4+ ERA – his team can’t catch. Look at some other stats.

          • His xFIP is 18th best amongst starting pitchers.

            He has the 11th highest WAR amongst starting pitchers;

            His K/9 is 45th best. Similarly, he ranks 40th in K’s and 45th in IP.

            I don’t see where he ranks in the top 10 in any of the major pitching category.

            He is having a fine season. But not great.

        • @Brett> Holy fuck when are people going to stop quoting Wins / Losses and RBI. For fucks sakes. Even ERA sucks ass for predicting future success. Johnson has had a great season controlling the things he can actually control (home runs, strike outs, and walks).

          • Easyyy man , I did notice he only let up 7 HR, hitters have a .275 avg off him this year, his SO and BB are i’d say aroudn average, like I said not a great season, but i sure as hell would take him on the jays

          • if his team’s not catching then that won’t effect his Earned Runs Against :)

          • “if his team’s not catching then that won’t effect his Earned Runs Against ”

            LOL, what? I didn’t say errors. They are a bad defensive team.

          • I was only kidding around, anywayss, I can’t see the jays making big splash before the deadline, I think AA is going to wait until the offseason to make his moves

  7. Miami just aquired almost-MLB ready Catcher Rob Brantly from Detroit so they probably don’t want Arencibia. They said D’arnaud because he’s the top prospect. I think it would take Gose, Nicolino, Syndergaard and maybe another mid level prospect for Johnson and someone In the Majors they don’t want.

  8. I’d have no trouble trading D’Arnaud & Gose for Johnson or some other top of the rotation guy. What separates a great C from a mediocre C isn’t as much as a great SP to a mediocre SP. My point: D’Arnaud is easier to replace production-wise than what the Jays would be missing w/o Josh Johnson.

    That’s my assumption, anyway. Prove me wrong!

    • Even if your assumption is correct, you’re analysis is overly simplistic… You’re talking about 6 years of control of TDA as well as 6 years of control of Gose (3 years of which would be at or near league minimum salary and the other 3 years of arbitration at a deep discount) in exchange for 1 year + 2 months of JJ at more than $13M+ per season.

  9. It’s kind of frustrating that the Jays are probably one solid starting pitcher away from actual contention in the 2nd WC AL (maybe 2)… But pitching seems virtually impossible to get.

    • Every team is one pitcher away. Or thinks so anyway. And in the Jays case it is more like 1 pitcher IF Morrow comes back 100% very soon AND if Romero remembers how to pitch. And even then you still have to leap frog half a dozen teams.

      • Every team could use pitching, but not every team is a pitcher away. The offense is playoff quality

    • If Morrow never got hurt, if Bautista never got hurt, and if Romero didn’t shit the bed quite as much as this, I’d agree with this team being just one pitcher away.

      Pretty much anything and everything that could have gone wrong with this team has happened.

      • @indestructible- ya fair. One pitcher away with decent health or better depth.

      • and maybe this outcome will have affected the jays decisions in a positive way for the future. jp’s injury certainly has to put the brakes on jose’s ambition for this year. and due to the disaster of the pitching staff AA still has to get a good starter now if possible and i think they had planned on trading for one since spring anyway. anyhow, i hope serendipity is taking place. it sure would be nice for the jays to go on a prolonged winning streak to break the 500 pattern

  10. Eric Thames for Dom brown

  11. I feel like we missed out on a chance to sell obsenely high on Henderson Alvarez. Not saying he is a bad pitcher, but he was so good so young last year you’d think teams would have been drooling over him.

    • Why would they have traded Alvarez last year when they needed SP? By the end of last year and throughout the winter, everybody was confident in his spot in the rotation.

  12. It’s unfortunate that the Jays and the Rays share the same division because I believe AA would be all over James Shields at this point.

    • That has absolutely nothing to do with it. He’s probably called TB to inquire about him, but this whole ‘in the same division’ thing doesn’t mean a damn thing. A good trade is a good trade, regardless of who your dance partner is.

      • I think it does make a difference. James Shields is a good pitcher and if he’s traded within the division, Tampa will be improving a team that it (A) faces 20+ times per season and (B) competes directly with for a division crown. Intradivisional trades aren’t out of the question, but Tampa stands to gain more by shipping him out of the ALE.

      • Are you kidding me? Trades do not occur in a vacuum. Why do you think Roy Halladay isn’t a Yankee or Red Sock right now?

  13. So I’m reading Jim Bouton’s Ball Four and everyone here should get their hands on this if they haven’t already because it’s got to be the best thing ever written about baseball culture – even if his days as an MLB pitcher were three decades ago it is still really. really. relevant. And funny. Anyway, methinks that the Escobar “he’s a bad element” stuff smacks of – if not outright racism – then certain cultural stereotypes. Bautista was quoted recently as saying one of the biggest reasons he likes playing in Toronto is there’s a worldliness here not found in other cities, so it’s a lot more comfortable for the Latin players. Escobar doesn’t have the body language and personality of say, Kelly Johnson, so smack gets talked about him. Too bad. Also, he can’t speak directly to the press too often because of the language barrier. He’s going to get misunderstood, especially by press dummies from middle America.

    • Your comment captures exactly what I haven’t been able to put my finger on about all this. It’s not a sure thing, but the language is certainly reminiscent of “that sort” of language that was common in all work places 30-50 years ago.

      And now I’ve put that Bouton book on hold at Ye Olde Library. Thanks!

    • I don’t know about that. By all accounts Yunel was a real dick in Atlanta. I think this is more likely a case of people not forgetting past transgressions. It reminds me of when people were called racist when they claimed that Milton Bradley was a headcase.
      Sometimes people are just prejudiced against individuals for past actions and their opinions don’t represent some deep-seated racial bias. Although I obviously can’t know if that’s the case here.

  14. Jays, absolutely do not trade for JJ unless it’s for spare parts

      • The focus should be on sure thing pitchers, Felix Hernandez or Zach Grienke. JJ is not worth the asking price. Better to hold off for a year and get a better understanding of what you have for prospects. Patience is key with the Jays, but also a little cash infusion in the offseason would be much more beneficial. Not saying our prospects are gold and are untouchable, but AA should value what he’s built in the farm system.

        • JJ is better than anyone on the Jays Roster right now with the possible exeption of Morrow.

          • Granted, but is he worth a package of our best prospects? Will he resign with the jays? Will he be injury prone? Just another thought, I think the jays really dropped the ball not getting Darvish. It’s old news I know but It could’ve propelled this team to a chance of playoffs.

        • if AA does a trade the fans will come out to see the new guys even if they are out of contention keeping the cash infusion and tv interest/ merchandise coming. they have to keep the momentum

          • +100 Jays attendance has increased each year since AA took over. If its not a bad trade, he should be doing everything he can to keep improving the major league product.

  15. That’s way too much to ask, and I would never make that deal in a million years. JJ is good but not worth the future for one year of control. I have confidence AA will not strip the cabinets bare for this oft-injured pitcher.

  16. I love the Crasnick quote – that they are asking for each team’s best prospects..

    As if the best three prospects are equal in every organization. Is this a case where the Jays are at a disadvantage because everyone will ask for D’Arnaud and the Lansing 3 in every trade scenario even when there is so much quality elsewhere in the system?

  17. i laugh at all the fans who bitch that rogers are cheap and then discussing trades even for AAA prospects to get a really good major leaguer tighten up their sphincter and say no way. total distortion in brain wavelengths. oh but this guy is under control for 6 yrs and really cheap.yeah and the fuckin kid might be shit for years or forever. texas has a massive allstar lineup, tons of prospects and huge cash infusion. the jays will have to start spending to play the big game.look around at positions and the jays maybe need an ortiz another outfielder and pitching galore.i see the positions being solid for 3 yrs with yunel. you get 2 or 3 16 mill starters and the jays are fuckin rip snortin nasty. if beeston said spending at all the guy meant it and it will happen.AA has to be careful in getting positional players under joses salary and leadership.he could get away with paying ortiz more because he is joses friend. but pitchers he could justify more pay for them and n ot undermine jose. i just see AA plan in building them long term positions with upper talent and the pitching picked up when available over their 3yr plan

    • I feel like this was an interesting point but jesus man, its really hard to just read a block of lower case text.

        That’s what you meant, right Ray?….. Ray?

      • stop being so fucking anal about grammar,spelling, spacing and capital letters. the art of communicating is do you understand what i printed? if yes, it is successful. your kind pisses me off so much that i could stick a hot curling iron up your anally sphincterized attitude towards others posts. your pet peeve doesnt give you the power to change others behaviour but you certainly expend alot of effort trying for naught.

        • Okayyyyyy – just meant that the post above was very difficult to read because it is about 500 word count and has no paragraphs of capital letters to tell where sentences start. I didn’t understand what you meant, and that’s why I commented But clearly it really pissed you off. Like a lot. I’m sorry.

        • Jesus that’s a pretty fucked up thing to say to a complete stranger too dude. Fuck.

          • you arent a stranger to me. you have come on to me before with this shit. and its around 220 words. stop exaggerating

          • WOW. your unlucky and a dick. Ever think there is maybe a connection between the two? or maybe it is just your ability to type a fucking sentence using the correct fucking punctuation!

  18. why do i have such a terrible feeling a knee injury for a catcher will have longlasting detrimental effects? so much pressure on the legs and joints

  19. I’ve read that Josh Johnson revamped his training during this past offseason, in order to mitigate future injury problems. Maybe he’s past the injury issues?

  20. What is a realistic return in a trade for escobar?

  21. Blue Jays reportedly interested in Stanley Ramirez! More blacktion to come so stay tuned….

  22. Omar Vizquel hitting 2nd come on! do we not have a player with any potential to play instead of him, he’s an out everytime so let’s stick him infrnot of Eddy, I’d rather a god damn pee wee AAA player play inastead of him.

  23. It’s okay guys, Cordero’s gone everything will be fine!

  24. What frustrates me is that during the offseason people (I can’t remember if it was the media or AA) kept saying that they would not spend huge money on front end pitching, and instead wait until the trade deadline to acquire pitching via trade. Now people are saying that the trades are going to be too steep and instead wait until free agent signings. This is madness!

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