Our friend Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors passes along a post from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, in which he spoke to Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers about their shortstop situation for 2013, now that the club has washed its hands of Stephen Drew, essentially giving him away to Oakland earlier in the week.

“There’s not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it’s going to take a trade,” Towers tells Piecoro. “We’ll probably have to trade a good player — or a couple of good players — to find one.”

Well, well, well. The Jays have something almost resembling a mild surplus at that position! And while the Rangers, with Elvis Andrus in place and Jurickson Profar ready, would be able to do some serious business in this regard, if they wanted to, the Jays might be able to do something a little more modest and reasonable with the Diamondbacks.

I mean, sure, you’re probably already trying to fit together pieces that might make Justin Upton, who was reportedly on the trade block earlier in the summer, available to the Jays. But let’s be a little more realistic. I’m pretty sure that, even with Upton’s down year, neither Yunel Escobar nor Adeiny Hechavarria is making that happen. And with Miguel Montero now extended long-term in the desert, JP Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud isn’t sweetening any deal.

Now, not to blow my load on the upcoming look at the NL trade market for pitching, but you may not realize that Arizona has a number of arms that might prove be attractive to a club like the Jays.

Joe Saunders will be a free agent, but there’s a lot of returning quality in their rotation: Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill are back, Trevor Bauer and Boz Skaggs will be rotation staples very soon, Josh Collmenter was serviceable as a starter in 2011 (less so this year, though effective out of the bullpen when healthy), Dan Hudson is coming back eventually (he had Tommy John in early July), and perhaps most interestingly to a club like the Jays– assuming the front four will be off-limits– are Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin.

Both pitchers came into 2011 with less than a year of service time, they’re both left-handed, sit in the low 90s, primarily work with a fastball, slider and change, and were relatively high draft picks, with Miley going 43rd overall in 2008, and Corbin going 90th to Anaheim in 2009, and coming over the Dan Haren trade, along with both Saunders and Skaggs.

They were ranked seventh and eighth in an impressive D’Backs system according to Keith Law at the start of this season, and they’ve both pitched to a sub-4 FIP this season, with Miley having the more impressive number of the two, a 2.99 mark that’s driven by a lack of home runs, and some excellent control. Corbin, who has thrown 80 fewer innings, pitched to a 3.70 FIP as a starter, but has been a little better in terms of strikeouts, looks a lot closer by xFIP, where Miley’s home run prevention is neutralized, and is nearly three years younger.

Miley is tied with Josh Johnson and Madison Bumgarner this season, having been worth 3.6 wins, per FanGraphs, so perhaps it’s a stretch to think that Arizona would be willing to move him, which… would be totally fine too, because it’s possible that would then put one of the other guys in play, like the more established Ian Kennedy, or Cahill, who is solid-if-unspectacular, has many years of control remaining, and who the Diamondbacks somehow felt was worth giving up Jarrod Parker for last winter.

Adding any of these guys, at the cost of one of the Jays two shortstop options, would very probably be worthwhile to explore for both clubs, considering the strengths and weaknesses of each roster as it currently stands. So get figuring it out already, Alex… before Jon Daniels knows what hit him!

Comments (59)

  1. I SAID THIS YESTERDAY! EVERYONE GIVE ME CREDIT!

  2. In escobar even allowed in arizona?

  3. Snider, Drabek, Escobar for Upton.

  4. Snider, Thames, Comer, Wojciechowski for Upton

    Or, you know, J.A. Happ.

  5. Not on topic, but it’s the newest post….SN ticker saying Jays “very close” to completeing 4 year deal with Buffalo

  6. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

  7. Arizona has some interesting SP options, but it’s hard to see the Jays trading Escobar to make room for a guy who looks like he isn’t anywhere close offensively to being starter caliber at the MLB level.

  8. With rumors of AZ wanting to trade Upton all the time, I’m not sure why that wish is unrealistic. Sure a SS by itself won’t do the trick, but a package of Hech, Gose and a top pitching prospect would certainly draw some interest, wouldn’t it???

    • Have you been watching the last few weeks?

      • This new informal policy of Twitter-length responses to comments obscures your points.. which happens to be a core criticism of Twitter, come to think of it

    • Trading away top pitching prospects would almost seem fucking retarded at this point.

    • Gose hasn’t exactly helped his prospect grading now has he.

      • Meh…..with his other tools definitely as advertised, and his youth, and low expectations, I don’t think he hurt his value too much.

        He’s still going to be considered a top prospect. When you hear numbers for Michael Bourn signing a multi year deal at $18-$22 million/per (as per Olney) then you realize that our all tools, no bat young CF still has plenty of value.

      • I’m not comparing Gose to Trout, but Trout didn’t exactly showcase his potential last year. And I’m sure as shit the Angels (and other MLB execs) had no thoughts of him being worth less.

  9. We’re not interested in Upton.

  10. I have thoughts!

    All of this is exactly right.

    The problem is, don’t the Jays kinda need Escobar AND Hechavarria? I mean, trade one and they’re stuck with no second baseman, and none on the horizon.

    A crazy thought: Might Travis d’Arnaud interest the Rangers? If so, flip d’Arnaud for Andrus, and then have Andrus to flip for whatever you want from Arizona?

    • Why? TDA is something we need. Trade something we don’t need. Like Butterfield’s bottomless bag of stop signs.

    • Team is better with Upton in LF and Hech/Yunel at SS with a no name at 2B then it is with Hech/Yunel at SS/2B and Davis (or whoever) in LF

      • For Upton, you’re right – you make sacrifices.

        But I’m just saying in the overall, the Jays kind of have to depend on them both, as they don’t have another option in the middle infield. The other option is to keep going year to year with guys like Johnson for at least the next two or three years. For an Upton, that’s probably worth it (if Escobar or Hech could be a key component in that trade). If it’s landing you a Patrick Corbin, maybe that’s not worthwhile.

    • We should trade for Aaron Hill. That guy’s awesome.

  11. I’m glad I listened to Parkes and Drew shitting on Delabar – fucking gold

  12. can someone explain how hech cant hit major league makes escobar in play and gose even with lf and injuries must be sent down b.s.?

  13. i will take escobar hitting .250 at SS over Hech next season. Also we might need Hech to play 2b.

    I don’t think we have a surplus of middle infielders at the moment

  14. Hech is another year away from the majors his bat is no where close to big league ready. I think AA does anything he can to land upton without selling the farm but a good pitcher is more likely

  15. Please, not Miley….He is a flash in the pan who will not be so good his 2nd time through the majors.

    We should deal Escobar, play Hech at SS and play Visquel at 2nd full-time and Gose as our LF…. Teams would really be scared of our 7-8-9 hitters then…

    • “Please, not Miley….He is a flash in the pan who will not be so good his 2nd time through the majors.”

      kinda like Happ?

  16. I think you’re probably going to see the Jays hang on to Yunel and have him at SS next year with Hech at 2B…

  17. Sorry suckers, er, I mean fans, but Upton’s contract is simply too expensive for our organization.

    Rogers isn’t made of money, dontyaknow.

  18. I’ll take Paul Goldschmidt to slide in behind Bautista and Escobar any day of the week. Have no idea what kind of package it would take but his bat would kill in AL East ballparks.

    The D Backs pitchers are probably the better target in terms of pulling off a deal that won’t cost a serious amount of prospects, but Upton or Goldschmidt would fit in pretty damn well.

  19. Why would Arizona trade with Toronto for a shortstop? We already gave them one in McDonald. Isn’t that enough?

    • Why?

      Because they know how easy it is to win a trade with AA.

      Look how they totally outclassed him when they got Aaron Hill for that sack of crap, Kelly Johnson.

      • if outclassed = out got lucky as shit because the under-performing second baseman they acquired has performed better than the underperforming second baseman they got rid of, than right Arizona totally “outclassed” AA in that trade.

        • You’re right. Every time AA wins a trade, it is because he’s a genius.

          Every time AA loses a trade (which has become frequent), it is because of luck.

          Yep.

  20. A Texas Arizona swap makes more sense than anything involving the Jays. An Andrus + Olt for Upton + Cahill or Kennedy seems to make a lot of sense to me. Texas replaces Hamilton and Oswalt. Arizona fixes the left side of their infield which is crap. Everybody wins except AA

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