The price for coveted Marlins right-hander Josh Jonson– inasmuch that the reports we’re hearing are real, which… they probably aren’t– appears to have taken a tumble. Yesterday it was said to be “Teixeira-like,” while today, according to The Fish Pond, blog of Marlins reporter Joe Frisaro, says that “the Marlins are looking for the kind of return the Padres got when they sent Mat Latos to the Reds last December.”

Dealing Mark Teixeira to Atlanta, of course, brought the Rangers the outstanding haul of Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and evidently (again, if we believe there’s any truth to what’s being bandied about on this topic, which… we probably shouldn’t) the Marlins have reconsidered how reasonable an asking price that is.

However, in suggesting a package comparable to what the Padres got for Mat Latos they’re not getting a whole lot closer to reality. That isn’t to compare the quality of Latos and Johnson as pitchers– I’d take Johnson on talent and Latos on health, for what it’s worth– but their value as assets.

This winter Mat Latos will be eligible for arbitration for the first time. In this, his last pre-arb year, he’s making $550,000, and he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. A club acquiring Josh Johnson will control him for two fewer seasons, and in the lone full season left on his contract, he’ll be paid $13.75-million.

When healthy, he’s certainly worth that kind of money, and he’d be a tremendous addition to a club, like the Jays, looking for pitching. But to suggest there’s symmetry between him now and Latos last winter as assets sounds, to me, like some seriously wishful thinking on the Marlins part. Kinda like the stuff we heard this morning about “Jurickson Profar-Travis D’Arnaud types just to get talks moving, then a lot more beyond that.”

And even still, the Latos package isn’t all that unpalatable, when you consider the redundancies the Reds were dealing from– though it did cost them two top 60 prospects, per Baseball America, in Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal.

As I’ve written before, for the Jays there are parallels in the fact that Anthony Gose and Adeiny Hechavarria appear to be blocked at their ideal positions, and though they’re both hurt, the Jays could spare a catcher– ideally JP Arencibia, for my money– as well. And all of these pieces are, more-or-less, MLB ready– which is more than we could say last year, and which may have been a sticking point in some of those attempted dealings.

But I don’t know… this kind of spitballing doesn’t really help anyone digest what’s going on or get us any closer to knowing what the real truth is. Just sayin’, there are pieces that could work, and Johnson is a tremendous prize… and it shouldn’t come at the kind of cost the Marlins seem to want to believe.


Image vis Rob Tringali/Getty.

Comments (25)

  1. Hell no. I woudnt do t.

  2. For either of them.

  3. But isn’t Tex’s haul only a “texiera like haul” in retrospect? r was it considered massive even at the time?

    A “Latos type haul” could mean something very different in 4 years if every one of those players turns out to be good to great MLB players. My point is, if a “Tex like haul” only became so after a few years, how can we use that as a barometer of value in the present?

    Are we talking a “Tex like haul” at the time the Tex trade was done, or right now, four years later?

    • You would have to go back and look at where those prospects where ranked first of all.

      There I dug it up. Top 3 picks plus Feliz. Those top 3 were 36th, 65th and 90th in BA’s Top 100 for 2007.

      The fact that Miami is asking something like for a guy who has one year left on his contract in addition to a serious injury history is crazy. I am not sure someone would pay it. I could see someone like the Jays going with a package like Happ or Cecil along with a Gose type prospect and maybe one more lesser prospect. Anymore would be a severe overpay for the risk, length of control and the money you’d have to pay.

      Don’t get me wrong I would love a guy like Johnson. Hell I had a dream the other day we actually traded for him. However, I want some certainty for my prospect cash.

      • No way that is enough

        • It might not be enough obviously but anything more than that is an overpay imo. Look what so many years of Latos got and then how much Latos is going to cost over those years. People have to remember about the cost certainty aspect of prospects. Yes a lot of them might not ever reach the ceilings of the guys you’re trading for but the potential is there for them to do so in addition to being very cheap for many years. That’s more money freed up to fill holes elsewhere. Over the course of a long season that’s critical.

      • Happ or Cecil? Why would Fla want these guys?

        • Huge pitchers park. By trading Johnson they have a hole in their rotation that one of them would fill immediately. Cecil is a flyball pitcher that would do better there compared to the Rogers Centre and most importantly, he’s cheap.

      • Instead of Johnson, lets go all in on for Cliff Lee, signed for three years, parallel to all our significant players.

        Cliff Lee, could lead our pitching staff, talented signed with option to 2016, tied into EE, Lawrie and Joey Bats.

        Give up three prospects and even Romero.

        This is a long term commitment that will solidfy the leadership and identity of the Toronto Blue Jays.

        Enough with Garza, Johnson , lets go big. Increase my Rogers cable and cell bill by 25 each a month

    • i seem to recall that lots of pundits were saying ATL was crazy to make the Tex trade at the time.

  4. no way giving up d’arnaud. i may be one of the ones calling for trade JPA and making trades and bring up d’arnaud…but you don’t get all hamfisted about prospects and then trade away the best pieces for a pitcher with injury concerns, regardless of how good he is.

    stotes is spot on that the max we should go is JPA + Gose + pick up Buck’s tab. they can have a cooper or thames calibre guy if they want to sweeten the pot.

  5. Huge discrepancies like this are usually a sign that it’s likely these guys, or their “sources,” are pulling rumors out of their asses.

  6. I’m sure Loria would send us JJ for a big steaming pile of cash. We should negotiate with him and not the GM.

  7. Fully agree, said it in the other post, and not afraid to say it again: there is simply no way I make that deal in a million years if I am AA. Especially not with a pitcher that’s 28(9)? and has a past of being injured on a regular basis. Having basically ceded that this isn’t our year (sigh) there is really no reason to rush and make franchise altering mistakes with our prospects.

  8. This year you could categorize 6 of Johnson’s 20 starts as bad and 3 of those have been in his last 4 starts – he has not pitched in September since 2009 (and it was his bad August in 2010 that caused his early shutdown with the shoulder inflammation).

    Latos was 4.5 years younger at time of trade than Johnson is now, plus Latos has not had TJ surgery as Johnson did in 2007.

    Not against acquiring JJ at all, but Latos is a really tough comp for Marlins to make.

  9. Lol bit by bit they work their way down to the inevitable salary dump. Give it another 2 days…

  10. The sad thing about the Mat Latos trade – the prospects the Reds traded were drafted in the same year as David Cooper and Deck McGuire. The Reds picked Grandal just after the Jays picked Deckster. Alonso was picked 7th overall so probably a big talent drop off but still, Cooper was picked only 10 spots later.

    CooperScooper and Deckster should be providing some value in a trade, but. . . . . . . . .

  11. LOL LATOS TYPE PACKAGE hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    For a guy thats been an absolute injury machine in his career? And now has declining stuff and who is putting up average numbers at best? Yah…. keep dreaming. The Latos deal was for a young stud of a pitcher, who while albeit struggled a bit this season, is certainly worth a lot more than Johnson.

    Also… in other ways of looking at it, you cant trade a franchise player, like Ramirez for a single prospect and then turn around and hope for a landslide haul for Johnson.

  12. Josh johnson before his last injury………. was imo the best pitcher in baseball. The talent is there… but with only one year left… and extreame uncertainty in regards to his health.. Trading 2 or 3 of your top prospects is INSANE for a team like the jays to give up…. Obviously with a teams like the rangers, or angels (pretty much a lock for the playoffs) this is doable if they think it will give them the edge in the playoffs.

  13. Sure the guy has had injuries, but I feel like a lot of fans are downplaying how much talent and upside this guy really has. When healthy he is a truly legit front of the rotation arm. The type of arm that entirely changes a rotation. JJ, Morrow, Romero,____, ____ begins to look like a really good start to a rotation.

  14. AA will not sell the farm for JJ. I do think AA realizes, particularly because of all the injuries, that pitching depth is in A ball and will take a couple of more years to be MLB ready. I’ve been saying this all along. The ONLY mistake, miscalculation AA has made to date in my opinion is not adding a bit of experienced arms to the starting rotation NOW, so they can mentor and save the BP from being overworked. He added experience to the BP instead, which makes sense but only if you have some innings eating veterans in the starting rotation as well. We had Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Drabek and Hutchinson as our staff. Potentially, that was a great staff. But, I would rather have had Hutch in the minors and Drabek drawing lines in the field aimed at finding home plate in LV rather than in MLB parks. I think he gets that now. But, I’m not sure if AA will make any moves before July 31st because of the crazy price of not so great pitching available on the market. He might but it will be for the longterm as well as this year but I expect the big team gets some money spent on it and trades made this offseason. Rogers, it’s time to spend some money and behave like a top 4 sports market in North America. AA and Paul have done their work, now support their efforts and everyone wins!

  15. Three more days.

  16. I would rather the jays trade JP arencibia and Escobar then hech or d’arnaud. But what do I know

  17. Where the jays problems stem are the low ceiling college arms that are suppose to be MLB ready shit the bed right when they were needed to step up. Maybe more should have been drafted ? But then that would have taken picks that AA used on the high ceiling high school kids

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