So… what the Jays are maybe telling us is greed isn’t good? Because around here we’ve started finding ourselves getting preeeeeeety greedy about the sorts of players we’re hoping the club can acquire this winter, yet… uh… now a report co-authored by my ‘Merkin friend, Scott Merkin, and Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com has lowered the bar of our expectation back to somewhere a whole lot closer to replacement level, as they tell us of the club’s supposed interest in White Sox no-hit, no-glove second baseman Gordon Beckham.
That sure is an uninspiring name for Alex Anthopoulos to be looking at, huh?
I mean, yes, he’d come cheaply. And he’s still got a couple reasonably-priced years left before hitting free agency. And, as the report points out, “the Blue Jays and White Sox appear to be somewhat ideal trading partners this offseason,” with Chicago looking to rebuild while the Jays add pieces for the near-term. Plus, the two teams have a history of making deals in recent years, with Jake Peavy almost becoming a Blue Jay last winter, Sergio Santos coming over the winter before, and Edwin Jackson briefly moving to the Jays in the three-way deal that landed us Colby Rasmus.
Regular readers will know that I’ve been in no rush to insist the Jays must play Ryan Goins at second, but… um… is Beckham actually even an upgrade on him??? I’m not so fucking sure.
At the plate, that .308 career wOBA of Beckham’s sure is tantalizing *COUGH*, and while I know you can’t really expect the metrics to be meaningful in this way, uh… in his 262 innings at second this season Goins posted a DRS of 12 and a UZR of 6.2. Beckham, for his career, totaling 4612 innings at the position, by these counting stats, has posted a DRS of -26 and a UZR of 5.0, grading out at -13 and 2.5 respectively in 2013.
Like… what happened to the idea of basically needing three shortstops to play on our shitty turf?
Shit, Beckham– a right-handed hitter– isn’t even a platoon option, as both in 2013 and for his career, he has a reverse split! He’s hit left-handed pitching to a league- and park-adjusted 78 wRC+ over his career (609 PA), and was even worse (33 wRC+) against them in a tiny sample this year.
So… the fuck? I mean, I know that he’s a second baseman, and available, but…
Or, I don’t know. Maybe, instead of wondering what happened to the idea of basically needing three shortstops, we should wonder what happened to the idea of not getting too worked up about every single little Jays rumour that we hear come a-rumbling. I mean, sure, the Dickey deal was so heavily rumoured that it completely blew apart whatever was left of the notion that Alex Anthopoulos only ever operates in stealth (which, FYI, was kinda bullshit all along anyway), but that doesn’t mean that we need to treat every single utterance as gospel now, does it?
I hope not– though that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore it, obviously. It’s just… it’s the time of year for giant grains of salt.
You’ll need one for this, too, from the original report:
It’s also possible that the Blue Jays would look to expand any deal involving Beckham to also include a starting pitcher. Chicago’s Hector Santiago and John Danks are known to be available, and the Blue Jays have a clear need to upgrade their current starting unit.
Holy shit. I mean, Santiago… yeah, maybe? He’s a converted reliever who still walks too many guys, and outpitched his peripherals, but throws reasonably hard, so… yeah, maybe? But Danks???
Danks is owed approximately $42 million over the next three seasons and is coming off a year in which he posted a 4.75 ERA in 22 starts. The numbers aren’t necessarily impressive but he got stronger as the year went on after missing almost the entire 2012 season following shoulder surgery.
They also add that he’s friends with Mark Buehrle, which… I’m not sure how that would help in a trade. But let’s back up and look at the stronger numbers as they year went on. Because while that may be true of some things, if you look at his first- and second-half splits, it certainly was not true of his ERA, wOBA against, K/BB, K%, BB%, FIP or xFIP.
Oh, and while that 4.75 ERA might not be impressive, it’s at least better than his 5.06 FIP. And his 28 home runs allowed were the eighth-most in baseball– seven behind R.A. Dickey’s 35… in 86 fewer innings.
Yeah, no. I mean, they’d pretty much literally be better off taking that $42-million and burning it. Or, at the very least, doing nothing.
But hey, at least there’s one part of the piece we can feel pretty good about swallowing whole hog– not that our willingness makes it any more likely to be true than the other stuff, but still!
Toronto is expected to have some financial flexibility this offseason to make the required upgrades to its roster. According to various reports, the Blue Jays could have upwards of $20 million to spend with a payroll that could potentially reach $150 million.
So… there’s that.