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 MLB.com 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.