When it comes to the possibility of significant roster turnover, it’s hard not to pick up where we left off a year ago this time, when we thought anything was possible, and something truly significant was surely on the horizon. Hardened by a calendar year in which the only “non-relief” “contributors”– both terms used rather loosely– added to the MLB roster were Aaron Laffey, Jesse Chavez, JA Happ, Ben Francisco, Jeff Mathis and Yorvit Torrealba, and understanding how the trick Anthopoulos needs to pull has grown in degree of difficulty after a year of injury and regression, a lot of fans seem to have stopped letting their minds race too quickly at ideas of seeing a multitude of new faces on the roster next year.

There are prospects to deal, free agents to sign and changes to be made, to be sure. But the sense I’ve got is that, with a few obvious exceptions, fans seem to figure that most of the players under team control and on the current roster will be here next April.

Is that really so? Could it possibly be so?

Given that teams, if they’re going to be giving up anything that helps the Jays’ big league club, are going to be much more focussed on acquiring MLB-ready players in trade, I don’t think it can be. And seeing as even the usually-secretive front office is being open about the fact that the Jays have to make some acquisitions, certainly there must be guys slated now to return who we won’t be seeing in a Jays uniform next season– y’know, unless Anthopoulos can get really creative, perhaps, as a reader astutely suggested the other day, by striking a lower-cost deal with the Angels or White Sox, who apparently aren’t going to pick up the options on Dan Haren and Jake Peavy anyway, in order to acquire one of those pitchers for the last, expensive year of their current deals… which would be totally badass and not nearly as high-risk as going all-in on some long-term commitment to a free agent.

But no… they’re probably going to have to trade someone of value from the MLB roster. Like one of these guys!

Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria

Coming off a horrific season at the plate– not to mention in terms of judgment– and with a replacement in Adeiny Hechavarria waiting for an opportunity and looking like he might not be as entirely useless with the bat as we’ve heard, Escobar’s name will be mentioned constantly, when it comes to Jays who may be dealt– like he has been since the run-up to July’s trade deadline. And despite many heavy-handed proclamations to the contrary in the wake of his eye black scandal, there should be a number of teams who’d consider him– fans, and by extension GMs, tend to have short memories about those kinds of things, I think.

Problem is, his value has taken a hit thanks to both his reputation and his play with the bat in 2012, so it’s not like we can just assume anyone looking to fill a hole at short is going to bite– especially when a club like the Rangers has the luxury of moving the much-better Elvis Andrus, with top prospect Jurickson Profar just about ripe.

There’s a lot of risk in selling low on Escobar, just as there’s risk in betting on Hechavarria being ready, which is why I can’t help but wonder if the Jays might be better off keeping both, and precisely why this post exists. Realistically, I think we have to look a lot deeper when examining the club’s possible trade candidates.

Because of that, I think we have to consider the possibility that the seemingly better-liked, up-and-coming Hechavarria gets dealt– which may even provide a bigger return, especially with him making some solid contact in his late-season cameo, which was mostly unspectacular at the plate, but looks better when you separate August (.229 wOBA in 60 PA) from September (.321 wOBA in 77 PA).  Maybe that makes it a sell-high situation. Of course, the problem is, that means the Jays holding Escobar and crossing their fingers like mad for a return to something resembling his 2011 form. Ugh.

JP Arencibia and Travis d’Arnaud

Another difficult choice that Alex Anthopoulos will be faced with this winter will be what to do behind the plate, though the dilemma was made slightly easier– especially from a public pronouncement point-of-view– by Travis d’Arnaud’s mid-summer knee injury, which kept him out of the second half of the season, as well as the Arizona Fall League.

The club is now saying that they’d like d’Arnaud to get his feet back under him behind the plate, and are leaning against beginning the year with him in the Majors, unless he forces his way into at-bats at first base or DH. In a vacuum, very obviously that would be the best course of action– and with JP Arencibia still the incumbent, and the front office not in any rush to tell the world they’re ready to pick one catcher over the other, it makes all the sense in the world.

Of course, the Jays aren’t operating in a vacuum, and if a situation comes up where they can make the team better by parting with Arencibia and not d’Arnaud, as long as they’re confident that the youngster is going to be healthy enough to stay behind the plate long-term, I can’t possibly believe they’ll let concerns about d’Arnaud’s readiness in the season’s first month or so weigh so heavily in the calculation.

Arencibia could be gone. But so too could d’Arnaud, as the highly rated prospect– number five in all of baseball for Keith Law in mid-July, behind only Profar, Bundy, Machado and Wil Myers– would certainly net a tremendous return if the Jays were willing to deal him. We may have to wait until mid-summer to see any movement here, but I wouldn’t at all bet against it being sooner.

Anthony Gose and Colby Rasmus

Though I figure they’re the least likely of the Jays’ incumbent/prospect duos to see a piece moved this winter– mostly because Gose seems to be the least-ready of the three prospects, while Rasmus perhaps maintains the most upside, making it more clearly defined that one belongs in the Toronto and the other in Buffalo– it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll see a move here, as well.

I have a hard time seeing the Jays going with both Gose and Hechavarria if they have any kind of serious pretensions at making the playoffs in the next year, so that provides Rasmus with a bit of a firewall, but his struggles in the second half– and basically the entire time he’s been here, save for a ridiculous June– make you wonder how willing they’re going to be to give him more rope. That’s especially so after we saw them piss away so much of the value that Travis Snider once had, waiting for his star-level talent to suddenly materialize, and also how, at the minor league level, they’ve been so quick to move guys at the first sign of struggle– Kevin Comer and Joe Musgrove, for example– or once they start having to repeat levels, like Carlos Perez and Asher Wojciechowski.

Might the Jays want to move Rasmus before he gets too much farther from the gilt-edged prospect status he once had, or is it already too late? If they did move him, is Gose ready or would they want to bring in another player to bridge the gap until Gose is ready?

There are some options on the free agent market that would make such a shift possible, provided you’re ready to stomach rolling the dice on the likes of Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, Grady Sizemore or others of that ilk– assuming, that is, that they’d be out of the market for BJ Upton, Michael Bourn or Angel Pagan. Not likely, but I don’t think it could be entirely ruled out, especially if Anthopoulos finds someone who is still enamoured with the potential of Rasmus.

Gose would be a nice addition for a lot of teams, too, especially as a secondary piece to a much bigger deal– which the Jays may feel OK about dealing, given that Jake Marisnick is already at Double-A. Thing about Gose is, I wonder if he might just be too close to profiling as a fourth outfielder for a lot of teams to see the same kind of value there that the Jays, who’ve spent so much effort nurturing him, probably do. The glove and the arm will play, but it’s hard to bank a lot on that bat just yet.

J.A. Happ and Henderson Alvarez

A lot of the talk I hear about the Jays bolstering their rotation this off-season usually involves JA Happ and Henderson Alvarez remaining with the club, either at the back of the rotation, or in the most fanciful scenarios, as depth. Obviously heading into the spring with those two as the club’s fifth and sixth starters would be a tremendous development, but exactly how realistic is it?

Not a lot of clubs are going to be dealing the kind of top-end big league starter the Jays ought to be looking for without getting a rotation piece in return, and that puts these two in the crosshairs– assuming there’d be little interest in Chad Jenkins, Joel Carreno, or Brett Cecil as a starter. Last winter, for example, we saw Tommy Millone and Edinson Volquez go the other way for Gio Gonzalez and Matt Latos. Even the Mariners got 106.2 innings out of Hector Noesi in what was viewed by many as essentially a straight-up trade of Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero.

Clearly nobody is going to give a whole lot that’s great  straight up for Happ or Alvarez, but they’re far from nothing. If their best possible role is as a luxury on a Jays club that will also have for depth the above mentioned Jenkins, Carreno and Cecil, plus potentially Brad Lincoln, potentially a returning Carlos Villanueva, potentially a healthy Dustin McGowan, eventually perhaps John Stilson, injury returnees Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, and whatever Aaron Laffey-esque options that get picked up along the way, why not?

I think we all know enough not to scoff at the notion of ridiculous layers of rotation depth at this point, but it’s very possible that Happ and Alvarez will end up being more valuable in trade than they are making 30 starts each for the Jays, and I don’t know if I’ve heard their names mentioned often enough as such.

Casey Janssen and Steve Delabar

How absolutely ninja would it be for Alex Anthopoulos to spend the summer helping set a surprisingly high, new, current-CBA market rate for relievers, then cashing in on a couple of his chips that had value materialize from practically nothing? Pretty fucking ninja, I suppose, though I don’t think that’s what will happen or at all that that’s been his aim. Besides, we’re far too long removed from the Vernon Wells deal to have the same views of AA as some kind of higher level-operating mystic as we indulged in back then. But planned or not, the Jays have what appear to be a couple of excellent bullpen pieces in Casey Janssen and Steve Delabar who may be at the absolute zenith of their value right now.

Sure, dealing either of those guys would leave the Jays scrambling to find a couple key bullpen pieces as replacements, but… it’s the bullpen! A lot of fixing can be done on the fly or in the new year. And after the seasons they turned in, adding a Janssen or Delabar to an offer might be exactly the kind of thing that could tip the scales, while not being crazily unreplaceable parts.

If Anthopoulos really means business the way he says he does, and if the free agent route is going to be as difficult as it appears, these two certainly have to be on the “tradar” (TM).

You could list any number of bullpen pieces here, but these are the two that really stand out, I think, and who helped their stock the best over the course of the second half.

Brett Lawrie

The marketing department would shit their pants, and there aren’t a whole lot of ways to see it not being a lateral move to deal a 22-year-old coming off an injury-shortened three win season in which his bat was wholly average and nothing like we think he’s capable of, and who you’ve already once declined to move for Michael Pineda, but if the Jays want an impact return, they may have no better piece to move than Brett Lawrie– especially since there’s virtually no scenario in which Jose Bautista, Brandon Morrow, or Edwin Encarnacion are dealt.

I’m not advocating it per se, mind you, but the club has Jose Bautista and the destined-for-third-eventually-anyway Yunel Escobar who could man Lawrie’s vacated position, with young options to fill in the spots either of them may be forced off of, or money to paper over whatever holes are created via the free agent market (well… theoretically, at least).

Could they really consider dealing the insufferably dimed golden maple one? I’d suspect that, once again this winter, they might at some point have to at least consider it, though it’s much harder to see him getting moved than any of the guys listed above. He’d sure provide the most value in trade of any of the viably-movable chips the Jays could offer, though.

And let’s be clear: anyone beyond this list– other than the noted exceptions of Bautista, Morrow, and Encarnacion– probably just doesn’t have the caché to net a whole lot that’s MLB-ready in return, even if some of the club’s most sparkling prospects are getting moved along with him. You could argue a few names if you really want to, but I think this is about the extent of it. And since the team we’re dealing with is going to need to fill either an already-existent hole on their roster, or one that they’re creating by foolishly moving a budding ace pitcher our way, if someone listed here isn’t dealt, it truly is difficult to envision it being a successful winter.

 

Image via Brad Mangin.

Comments (88)

  1. I really don’t understand dealing Escobar after a bad season when the team has a clear need up the middle. Someone needs to suck it up and play second base.

    • MARCO SCUTARO!!!

      …let me dream of getting Marco and Ortiz while I can.

      • Why would Scutaro return to the Jays when he can play in one of the best stadiums in baseball and have a great chance to be in the playoffs again.

        Well, of course money may persuade him, but I don’t think he’d be worth the Lyle Overpay.

    • I doubt Escobar would be traded. The Jays need a 2B, so Hech will play 2B & Escobar stays at SS or vice versa.

      I doubt Scutaro would return here. Isn’t he a fan favourite in SF now??

      i could see Colby or Gose being traded .

      AA won’t trade Casey or Delabar. He finally has 2 solid bulpen pieces.

    • Escobar is way too much of a ball hog and egomaniac to move over to second base. I’m not getting into the trade bullshit this offseason because I have zero faith that AA will one get the money to sign FA’s and two that jays management have any realistic plans of upping payroll enough to acquire top talents thru trades. They are blowing smoke up our asses yet again to sell season tickets!

  2. Apparently a deal for Chase Headley is close.

  3. Lawrie’s naturally worth more to us than he’s going to be to anyone else.

    • How so? The hype around Lawrie is still as good as gold. It’ll take another sub-par season to sink his value. I’d have absolutely no issue making an up-and-coming Lawrie the centrepiece of a deal for a staff ace. I’d do it in a heatbeat. Bye-bye cock puller, hello no hitter!

      • Sub par? WTF the guys 22. Yeah, lets trade him, and Morrow too cause you know he didnt win every game

        • All that swagger and in-your-face hustle is worth more on the open market than it is to the team if the return is a dominant, controllable staff ace. For the right arm this guy’s expendable. He’s no Mike Trout.

  4. How much more would you have to add to these deals to get them done?

    Escobar for Anderson?
    JPA and Alvarez for Garza?

    Both I think would be cheaper trade targets, because Anderson is always injured and because Garza is coming off a bad injury plagued year and only has one year left on his deal.

    I’m thinking adding lower end prospects might get it done, or maybe some prospects that had down years but still had value in Daniel Norris? Or will it cost much more?

    • I think the second one is way closer than the first one, and maybe too much in the Jays view, and not enough in the Cubs’. That’s a fucking lot for just one year of Garza.

      • Well I was kind of hoping the Jays get a window to negotiate with him and work something out….but that is probably not all that likely.

        I’m not a big fan of JPA or Alvarez, so maybe I’m bias.

        • i actually really like alvarez. moreso than garza, i think even. garza is a good pitcher, but the jays are in need of a bonafide ace at this point – which he is not. alvarez is one out-pitch away from being elite and he’s still at an age when most guys are in high-a or double-a. maybe he isn’t the next roy halladay or felix in waiting, as some were hoping last year, but i think he’s a very valuable asset, and one that, if traded this winter for another guy like Happ or a similar innings-eater…is more likely to bite the jays in the ass in the long run.

    • I think I’d be fine with Escobar for Anderson, but I wouldn’t do Alvarez + JPA for Garza.

      Garza’s only got one year left and had a shoulder injury at the end of the year.

    • A rotation of Morrow, Garza, Happ, Romero, and Anderson would be pretty nice, if all are healthy.

      Then you can focus on maybe adding a bat or two in free agency (Scutaro or Ortiz anyone?!), and you can make this team a legit contender without having to spend all that much (get Ortiz/Scutaro on short deals, and then you really only have to spend on resigning Garza).

      • anderson as in: brett anderson? because he’s definitely better than all the other guys you mentioned with the possible exception of morrow (provided he can build on 2012)

        • I wasn’t listing them in rotational order if that is what you are talking about. And I agree that he would be probably the 2nd best, maybe 3rd, after Morrow and maybe Garza.

          But yes, Brett Anderson.

          • brett anderson might be a nice trade for them depending on what the scouts think about him and what they have to give up.

            i don’t value garza that much. unlike gio/latos – i think what you see is what you get. there are versions of that available in free agency this year – in fact, there’s lots of pitching. there are reliable innings guys like marcum (similar to garza), there’s the elite-ish option (grienke, haren, peavy), and then, there are wildcards like liriano.

    • Maybe I just look at it differently, but can’t you also view Garza as more valuable this offseason because he only has one year left on his contract? As in, in order for a team to get a draft pick out of him when he declines a qualifying offer to become a free agent, he must be a member of the team for the entire year, right?

  5. If they keep both young catchers, Mathis could he a chip. Hell, Scioscia probably blames the entire Angels season on the loss of Mathis. And he had a great year, if you are into veteran backup catchers.

    • If by Mathis could be a chip, you mean we could trade him for a potato chip your right, if you mean an actual trade chip your high

  6. id rather take a chance on Gose and Hech over Rasmus and Escobar ….and id much rather take a chance on Gose & hech rather than young guys in our starting rotation like last year….i still think teams see much upside in Rasmus and Escobar….

    • Opposite for me.

      I’d sooner trade Hech than Escobar for a number of reasons (value, projection, offense). Hech did not look good at all at the plate last year and nothing leads me to believe he ever will.

      Gose looked bad too but with him you could at least see some signs of good at-bats/approach. He should be playing a full year at AAA anyways so no sense in dealing either him or Rasmus unless the return is excellent for the Jays.

    • I agree if I could package Rasmus and Escobar for a number 2/3 proven type starter I’d make deal. Rays prove you can get buy if you get pitching

    • I still have faith in AA and believe he is probably going to listen in on everybody. I am not the most educated on every team’s farm system, but I do know that the Jays do not have too many guys waiting in the wings in Buffalo, ready to take a starting player’s job. We are currently going into next year without a 2B, no real answer in LF, and unless Adam Lind is sticking around, no 1B.

      I feel that if he shops Gose and Rasmus, he’ll take whatever the best offer is. The great thing about the list that Stoeten has put together is that every player there is controllable (other than Happ, who I believe only has a year left?).

    • @ Heinz

      I agree with the Gose/Hech over Escobar/Rasmus. Hech and Gose didn’t look great at the plate in their limited exposure, but Rasmus and Escobar each looked pretty bad for almost the entire season. Do Rasmus and Escobar really offer a lot more upside right now than Gose and Hech? I don’t know, but it’s likely a question that’s going to be answered by the July trade deadline.

      • My thought process is, since Hech and Gose were up they did just as bad/good as Escobar and Rasmus on offense…now i give the edge to Hech and Gose cause their young. There are no excuses for Rasmus and Escobar. I’ll say Hech/Gose were better defensively than Rasmus/Escobar. I also think Rasmus/Escobar with others we could get better pitching. Id rather have better pitching with better defense with Hech/Esco. Thats all im saying. I see more ceiling in those 2. If we can get Scutaro at 2nd. I think with a full season of at-bats Hech will be as good as 2011 Esco or at least better than 2012 Esco with a much better glove. I’ll say the same for Gose and Rasmus.

  7. Absolutely outstanding piece Andrew. Isn’t it interesting how AA assembled duplicates at CF, SS, and C for this very reason? i.e. to see who’s better and trade the other. It’s just bad luck that none of those players emerged and made the decisions that he has to make clearer.

    • arencibia/d’arnaud are their best chips, i think. they could probably deal both and then start hoping on the catching depth in the lower minors continuing to come along.

      it’s funny: the jays have never really developed a good catcher, and now all of a sudden, they’re looking like they can grow them on trees…when they aren’t getting hurt that is!

      • Jesus! Trade JPA and D’Arnaud?

        You really have written the next couple years.

        Would you be excited about picking up another teams 12th best prospect in trade? And then slot them in as your starting C in a couple years? If not, don’t count so heavily on our lower ranked prospects.

  8. Yes good piece as usual. It should be interesting to see what they do.

    Personally I feel that from everything AA has said in the media and the time they’ve invested in him the last two seasons, JP isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Farrell and AA have made comments previously about just how much of a learning curve it is for rookie catcher at the MLB. Do the Jays want to take a chance by possibly stepping back and waiting for d’Arnaud to learn on the job? I’d love it if he ended up as the right handed platoon with Lind. At least that way he’s around guys like former catcher Wakamatsu and veterans like Mathis. Sure he’s not going to get as many AB’s against just left handers and from possible pinch hitting duties but it would certainly speed up the learning curve for him and he’d do it under much less pressure.

    As for Escobar and Hechavarria, I am still a fan of Escobar overall and feel it would be crazy to sell on him while he’s down unless he got you a Brett Anderson type in some as part of package where he still retained a lot of his former value. I know that’s not the most likely scenario but shortstops are in high demand in the major leagues right now. There was an interesting comment regarding St. Louis’ SS Kozma on TV a few days ago where they said he was very close to being put on waivers during the season but there were already a few teams saying they would have claimed him immediately.
    4-5 WAR SS’s don’t grow on trees. As for Hechavarria himself, I see nothing wrong with having him as your utility infielder. He’s certainly shown he can play all three positions well. As for the old refrain about him needing playing time, well I say there comes a time where the current needs of the big league club ultimately need to come first. For one thing he’s low cost, for a team that really has yet to show that it is willing to spend more than league average that has to be a large consideration especially in light of how much money that’s likely to going to go to plugging holes in the rotation or on a free agent like Scutaro at 2nd.

    I am hoping Rogers actually gives AA a decent amount of cash to work with this winter first and foremost so the Jays can retain a lot of the guys previously discussed as depth to start with so they can potentially be moved at a more opportune time like at the deadline. After he’s burned through the cash then let him get creative with the trades to fill any remaining holes.

  9. Nick Cafardo says Jays-Sox talks have moved beyond preliminary stage

    https://twitter.com/nickcafardo/status/259045144051974144

    • Nick Cafardo says a lot of things, most of which no one else in the industry does. Kinda makes you wonder.

      • Nick Cafardo is like an ‘inside scoop’ prospect. He’s got the ceiling to be the next Ken Rosenthal…..and that alone should sum up his quality of “rumors”.

  10. stoeten,
    you’re way too low on alvarez, i think. he’s among the league leaders in avg FB velocity. next year is his age 23 season, and he’s already had a sophomore slump. i saw him in person at the game he pitched against king felix in september and i really liked what i saw. he looked good – granted, it was a september roster of the mariners he was facing…but there’s a lot to like. whether the changes he made late in the season (not throwing his changeup or throwing it harder) are ones the league can adjust to next year, i dunno. maybe that slider will become a real wipeout pitch…stranger things have happened.

    • His fastball is not among the league leaders with a 93.3 mph average. His change-up took a big step back this year, and was probably a below-average pitch, after being an above average pitch his rookie season. Meanwhile he has shown zero progression in an out pitch, with his slider doing nothing for him.

      • it’s top 10 among qualified starters…so maybe our definition is different?
        as to your other comments, i acknowledge the likelihood of alvarez developing another plus pitch is not very high, but even as it stands, he’s a far more valuable commodity than happ or, to my eye, any other pitcher in the jays’ rotation mix not named romero or morrow. again, he’s 22 now. the average age a pitcher enters the league is, i think 24 or 25…so, i’m just saying: 1) even if all he ever ends up being is a backend starter, that’s pretty good. 2) his fastball/hard change are already good enough and he commands them well…i think it’s far more likely that alvarez becomes an elite pitcher than it is that gose or hechavarria ever have an OBP above league average, for example.

    • His slider isn’t just going to go from being a terrible pitch to a wipeout pitch, just like that. It has been terrible, and he can’t miss any bats with it. He has tried working on it, I’m assuming, but there has been no progression.

      If he somehow developed a wipeout slider and struck guys out, he would no doubt be a top two rotation starter. But I can’t see it happening.

  11. Damn man…why do you have to take the fun out of prospect and trade porn by reminding us that value must be included to get value…??? LOL

    I guess I can’t find fault in any of the above being moved, but the return for Lawrie would have to be franchise-altering. Could happen though with AA’s history of making unpopular moves with the longer view in mind. A note — I believe moving Lawrie is akin to siging a huge free agent in that it “begins” the clock on AA’s employment.

    Personally, I would like to see Yunel moved and Hech taking over at short. Gose should start in Buffalo with a 2-3 month leash given to Rasmus. It’s a risk for sure in that it could bottom-out Colby’s value, but unless someone crazily over-values him, I just don’t see the advantage of moving him now. I also would like to see JP moved. I’m okay with Mathis starting and free-agent-catcher-X as a backup with D’Arnaud starting the season in Buffalo. Alvarez should start in AAA in a perfect world, but I think moving him could be a huge mistake. He’s so young that it could “click” any day for him. A bit of confidence and a third pitch would completely transform him.

    Finally, I gotta say that the idea of “ninja-ing” Haren and/or Peavy would be incredible. Also, AA could use a big win.

    Just my 2 cents.

  12. Can someone please explain why “JA” is pronounced “Jay”? Why isn’t this issue getting more ink?

  13. Good post. Except for that stuff about the bullpen. It’s all very well saying ‘it’s just the bullpen’ but the bullpen sank us in 2011 and wasn’t terrific this year either. I’d rather keep Janssen and Delanar, thank you very much. I don’t want to see any more dumpster-diving done in this area.

    • I mean Delabar…

      • Agreed. The Jays bullpen has been ranked 14th last year & 12th the year before.
        This is no time to be trading 2 key parts of the bullpen.

        • Hell must have frozen over if I am agreeing with Isabelle and Oakville (ugh).

          The Jays probably need to outperform their pythag record to make a playoff run next year. A good bullpen is integral to that.

          Yes, bullpens are volatile. But it certainly makes sense to try and have it above average on paper and hopefully win more one run games than you lose.

          It may be an unpredictable venture, but the goal should be to try and make the bullpen as predictable as possible within reason (i.e. not spending $50 million on a closer).

          • All of you realize the bullpen was very good “on paper” this year.. Right?

            Santos > Delabar who’s really only had 1/2 of a good season at the MLB level. If Santos is healthy next year Delabar won’t be missed. A (hopefully) improving rotation should mean less bullpen innings anyway.

            If you can turn Thames into Delabar, and Delabar into a LF much better than Thames… I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

  14. I think one of Escobar or Rasmus is traded this off-season.

  15. I think the real question driving all this is:

    Are the Red Sox desperate enough for Farrell + something to deal Bucholz?

  16. I’m not advocating it per se, mind you, but the club has [...] the destined-for-third-eventually-anyway Yunel Escobar who could man Lawrie’s vacated position

    This I don’t agree with. Escobar still has the range to play a prime position, better for the Jays at 2B than SS, and his bat most certainly doesn’t play at 3B.

    Most of what you said was articulate spitballin’ with an open mind anyway, so I wouldn’t take the criticisms too harshly.

  17. Get me Alex Rodriguez.

    Yankees pick up $75 million of the $114 hundred million he is owed and put him at 1st/DH for the Jays.

    Done and done.

    • I don’t think the Yanks would part with him in-division and pick up that much cash unless we’re giving them back a piece that really hurts. And I’m not sure you want that kind of fan-ire-drawing headache in a Jays’ uniform. It is really a 50/50 chance it’ll pay off or blow up in your face.

    • Christ!

      Have some self respect man.

  18. What about R.A. Dickey if the Mets can’t agree to a deal with him? Cheap option for next year and might not be as expensive in trade as others, yet, if he can be anywhere near as dominant again, he’d be worth extending…

  19. Two Words

    Adam Lind….get rid of him!!!

    • I’m sure the reason that the Jays haven’t done it yet is that there are just so many teams lining up for him that they’ve had a hard time choosing.

      • 37 year old RA Dickey? He had the opposite year Romero did. Why is he all of a sudden an elite pitcher after a super good year while the book isnt yet written (in my eyes anyways) on Romero after a bad year?
        2x standard there. But no, I thinks he likes the NL. Remember him saying something about the NL vs the AL after he left Seattle…

  20. How about dealing with Ricciardi and the Mets? They need a catcher and three outfielders and they have an extra pitcher or two…how about arencibia, escobar and sierra for niese and daniel murphy? id throw in another outfield prospect if need be too…

    • Niese was just extended I think.

      He’s probably as close to untouchable as you get with the Mets.

      Then again… It is JP Ricciardi.

  21. if they can fix LF I like Colby to ATL for Randall Delgado

    as an aside, this was a great fucking read

  22. Where the fuck is John Farrell on this list? Guy’s a goner.

  23. Good read. I agree with all of the names here in that some will most likely have to be gone in order to get the types of deals we’ll need to compete for an outside shot at a wildcard/ the division. Again in all likelihood I think there’s just too much work to be done to realistically make this team into a favourite for either.

  24. Realistic names I’d like to see targeted in specific scenarios:
    Big Bats for LF: Josh Willingham, BJ/Justin Upton, Nick Swisher, Torii Hunter,
    In a table setting role Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, Gerardo Parra
    Big bat for DH*: Ortiz, Hafner if his option is declined, *however I hate the idea of having a guy that can only DH and provide no value anywhere else on the field.
    Second Basemen that keep Hech in the minors for a bit longer: Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger, both Izturis’, Ryan “the riot” Theriot *don’t like the idea of trading for a second baseman while Escobars value is low and Hech is not yet proven. But I would consider a stop gap that keeps Hech in the minors a luxury. I think with an added bat somewhere or significant improvement to the rotation they can afford to carry his bat.
    Rotation: Haren, Peavy, Ejax, Sanchez, Porcello, Josh Beckett, Justin Masterson, Alexei Ogando, Jonathan Niese, Josh Johnson
    Wildcards/ Flyers: McCarthy, Lirano, Bartolo Colon, Carlos Lee, Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes
    Ideally 2 of the guys from the rotation but I think only one is realistic and any of the wildcards at the right price could represent low risk/ high reward.

  25. As I suggested earlier, it appears LAA will decline Haren’s option and will not make a qualifying offer:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-angels-20121019,0,4349272.story

    Which makes perfect sense. Haren would make more between the qualifying offer and the buyout than he would by simply picking up the team option.

    Obviously the writer is just speculating and we don’t know for sure if this is what LAA is planning on doing…but IF it is and IF Haren’s medicals/scouting reports etc meet AA’s standards, the Jays should make a trade offer. Of course, so should a number of other teams, but it’s a more ninja-esque move imo.

    LAA saves the buyout cost and the Jays pay a small premium to avoid competing for his services.

  26. I will flip out if Lawrie gets traded. I don’t care even if it is in a package for a #1 SP. He has went through a full season now and I see him being one of the three best third baseman in baseball going forward.

    • Take the rose coloured glasses off.
      He wil be a good player. I don’t see him being a perenial All-Star as we all want him to be. If AA could get a true #1 SP for him, then it would be something to consider.

      • He could be an All Star caliber guy. But unlikely that he unseats Longo, Miggy and Beltre any time soon.

        Still, he has solid .280 35 HR, 20 SB potential with great defense.

        You know… As long as he learns to take a walk again.

  27. I would love to see Escobar shipped out, maybe we could trade him to KC for Tim Collins. If he starts the year as the Jays 3b next year I probably will find a new team to root for.

    Rasmus might as well be traded. He’s had four seasons of at least 520 PAs, and just one (it was a very good season) with an OPS+ higher than 89. I think his 2010 was an aberration. He’d be worth keeping as a 4th OF (better him than Davis) but he hasn’t proven he deserves to start for team that fancies itself a contender.

    Lawrie needs to be given at least one more year. He needs to be told that its not worth diving into camera bays for foul balls when you’re playing a meaningless game. If he can stay healthy I think he’ll be a real asset to the team as a 3b if he can put up a .270/.330/.440 line, but I would not bet $5 on him ever having a season of 150+ games.

    AA needs to keep Janssen and Delabar. He can release Lincoln for all I care, that would be a fitting end to the Snider saga.

    • The Royals have a shortstop they like very much, and who they have signed through 2018. Coincidentally, his name is also Escobar…Alcides. They would have no need for Yunel.

      • I was being snarky – we traded Collins for Escobar. Right now I’d take Collins back in a heart beat.

  28. I think the Jays would be better off with JPA + whatever d’Arnaud can bring in a trade rather than the reverse – perhaps David Price could be pried from TB (he has a few years of team control but will get more expensive, and TB is very cost-consciou) – what do you think would be required?

  29. According to MLB 12 The Show, Alvarez is awesome and most teams want him. Unfortunately, same goes for Adam Lind and Brett Cecil, so I’m guessing AA isn’t using a video game to make trade scenarios come true.

  30. Great article…but I gotta say, your use of insufferable is getting to be insufferable.

  31. The Jays need someone in LF. I would target someone like Seth Smith of the A’s. Michael Choice is doing some neat things in the minors, and with Cespedes and Reddick being regulars, the A’s could be in a position to deal one of their outfielders. Smith could be had for a combination of prospects given his contract status. If AA wants to up the ante, he might also be able to get Brett Anderson. That of course would require a slew of prospects, some of whom AA might want to hang onto. But the Jays are in need of pitching.

    And Masterson is available from the Indians. I would offer Sierra and Cooper. The Indians need cheap MLB ready players. Choo is rumoured to be heading to the Yankees. The Indians will need someone in right field. That guy could be Sierra, who has only one minor league option in 2013 remaining (so, time to deal him). As for Cooper, he had some nice production when he wasn’t in Vegas or hurt and could be a cheap version of Casey Kotchman.

    Second base? Would love to see a deal for Dan Murphy of the Mets. AA would have to give up some big pieces to get him, more than likely JPA plus a big MLB arm (Delabar or Janssen), with maybe a prospect thrown in. The Mets are rumoured be active in getting some outfielders from free agency (BJ Upton? Swisher?) but are in need of a decent catcher. JPA was a Riccardi pick right? Valdespin could handle second base if they trade Murphy.

    Free agents won’t be coming to Toronto if the Jays don’t improve through trades. AA needs to show the baseball world that they are prepare to make wholesale changes to address holes in the roster.

    As for trade pieces, I would rather hang onto Hech and trade Escobar. Hech is younger, has some upside with the bat, and can easily handle the defensive responsibilities. But trading Escobar in the off-season would be a mistake. Keep him on the roster and hope that he has a great spring and first half to build up some value. Sierra is likely better suited to be a starter on a second division team. If the Jays trend upwards and if Gose and Marisnick prosper, Sierra could find himself blocked. With only one remaining option, time to deal him is now.

    JPA might still have some value for some GM’s who value power at the catcher position. He’s improved enough behind the plate to merit consideration to be a regular starter on most teams. TDA is the guy I would like to keep.

    Gose could be another tradeable piece, but only if the Jays are satisfied that Rasmus is the answer (not sure that the Jays know if he can be at this point). Marisnick’s ETA is 2014 at the earliest as he will be repeating double A ball in 2013.

    Trade seasons should be interesting this year. Hopefully, some movement will begin soon to signal that the Jays are in a buying mode in terms of free agents.

  32. Can’t we just go trade for Ian Kinsler or something?

    • I’m telling you…. Escobar and a SP prospect for Andrus.

      Rangers are built for now and cant afford to hand things to a rookie SS without a backup plan. Escobar would fit that role nicely.

      Jays could obviously use Andrus in the lead off spot.

  33. How about trading for Scott Feldman’s option? $9.25M. Had a 5 ERA last year, but a 3.81 FIP. Striekputs were up and walks down.

    Although I guess you might get him cheaper if the Rangers don’t pick up his option.

  34. What about Ichiro for LF?
    hes looked pretty good for yankees down the stretch.
    whatever he would cost us would definatley be made back in revenue from the new japeneese following/advertising/ratings.
    I think it would be a good cost effective temp. band aid on a glaring hole, until gose or someone else is mlb ready.

  35. HEY ITS ALRIGHT WE HAVE REYES NOW!

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