Dr. Rosen Rosen’s latest for Fox Sports openly ponders the question that’s been on most of our minds for most of the day: whether or not the Jays will deal one of their catchers. Specifically, JP Arencibia, who he says “is the most likely to be moved — and the Jays previously have talked about him in trades for pitchers such as Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis and New York Mets left-hander Jon Niese, major-league sources say.”
Now, that’s not exactly earth-shattering news– Anthopoulos, as we’ve long heard, talks to everybody about everybody.
“He’s in the middle of everything,” says Josh Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, in Brendan Kennedy’s excellent Anthpoulos profile in the Toronto Star. “When it comes to turning over stones, he’s an animal. I bet he makes 20 calls to one, compared to some other GMs.”
So, perhaps its nothing to get too worked up about, but the names involved certainly make sense. Or, at least, Niese’s does.
Davis seemed to find a new lease on life in 2012, working out of the bullpen– the shorter stints allowing him to throw harder than he had in years previous– which is great for his career, but doesn’t really make him the kind of return the Jays would be looking for if they dealt Arencibia. I mean, Davis was more valuable– per fWAR– in 70 innings for the Rays last year than in the 184 he pitched for them as a starter in 2011.
Niese, on the other hand, makes plenty of sense: worth more than five wins of the the last two years, 190 innings pitched in 2012, 3.40 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.64 xFIP, struck out 20% of the batters he faced and walked a shade over 6%, and he’s cost controlled, making just $3-million in 2013 on a $25.5-million deal signed last spring, which escalates yearly to $9-million in 2016, with a $10-million club option in the year following.
Of course, all of those are excellent reasons for the Mets to want to keep Niese around, as a core part of their rotation with RA Dickey, Matt Harvey, Johan Santana (for now), and eventually Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia. But with Harvey and Familia having already debuted in the Majors last year, and top prospect Wheeler slated for the club’s Triple-A affiliate– now in the dreaded Las Vegas– maybe the Mets will be inclined to roll with the kids.
That said, Rosenthal figures “the Jays might need to offer more than Arencibia to acquire such a pitcher, but aren’t necessarily eager to make that type of move.”
That’s because of the whole d’Arnaud thing, of course, but… uh, yeah, I totally make that deal, assuming that whatever additional piece is needed is reasonable.