I know a lot of fans groaned when they first heard that John Lott and Shi Davidi had written a book on the season of broken dreams that just concluded, but those two guys are excellent, and I’m looking forward to reading it if only for the added depth of insight, and the little nuggets that are sure to be scattered throughout.

For example, an excerpt released by Sportsnet on Thursday gave us this:

Anthopoulos also felt the [mid-July players-only] meeting was a good idea but admitted to pulling the plug on trade talks for players to help out in 2013. He had been keeping close tabs on Jake Peavy, but pulled back. The White Sox later traded him to Boston. Anthopoulos was still aggressively looking to make moves for ’14 and beyond, but his efforts to land Hisashi Iwakuma and Kyle Seager from Seattle went nowhere. The July non-waiver trade deadline was looming, and the GM said, “I really don’t see us doing anything.” They didn’t.

The players-only meeting, you’ll remember, lasted for an hour and twelve minutes. It happened the day after a sloppy July 22nd blowout loss to the Dodgers, right in the middle of the season-killing stretch on either side of the All-Star break, going from 38-36 a month prior, to 45-55 by the time the Dodgers had finished sweeping them. And as much as any sort of a deal for those two excellent Mariners pieces supposedly “went nowhere,” it’s interesting to note that it was exactly around that time that Brett Lawrie was somewhat quietly shuffled back to third base for the remainder of the season.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that, with the trade deadline less than a week away, and Anthpoulos pulling back in his wheelings and dealings, it was a perfectly natural time to end the experiment. But the notion of Seager– a third baseman in the midst of his second straight three-and-a-half win season– being targeted by the club in an ultimately futile pursuit certainly fits with what was going on at the time, doesn’t it?

Iwakuma is a fantastic target too, though I shudder to think what the price might have been. I mean, Iwakuma, who has two years and $13.5-million left on his deal (if his 2015 option is picked up) ended up being a four win pitcher by FanGraphs, and a seven win arm by Baseball Reference, while Seager won’t hit free agency until after the 2017 season.

Like, what could Anthopoulos have even been offering? I mean, if I was trying to engineer a trade like that today, I’m thinking it starts with someone like Jose Bautista. Not that I think the Jays should trade their slugger– cash sounds to me like a much better asset to move in order to help the team, thanks– but if they were going to, bringing back a pitcher like that, and a guy like Seager, who played more at second and shortstop more in the minor leagues than he did at third, sounds like exactly the kind of package that could do a whole lot for the Jays.

Would it ever happen? From the Mariners perspective, even with young pitching knocking at the door and a need for the kind of power bat Mike Morse wasn’t (and that they may well lose through free agency in the form of Kendrys Morales), I’m not sure. Could the Jays maybe make the pieces fit? How the hell should I know! But those are an interesting couple of names, and I think we’d do well to remember how often Anthopoulos seems to return to dreaming on players that it’s been known he likes.

The stuff about Peavy is a perfect example of that, because, of course, we’ve known for some time that he was a target of the club. Gordon Beckham, who we heard about this week, has been linked to the Jays in the past as well, as I noted in a 2010 piece in which I basically cheered the departure of Edwin Encarnacion, after he was picked up on waivers by the A’s, while wondering about the future of Aaron Hill, and noting the Jays’ link to Kelly Johnson, who they would trade Hill for less than a year later.

In other words, Seager and Iwakuma would seem to be a couple of names for us to keep in mind.

You could do a whole lot worse.

Comments (104)

  1. It’s articles like this that keep bringing me back..good stuff

  2. I wonder how the M’s would feel about Sierra instead of Bautista. Obviously other names would have to be included, but he looks to be a legit bat. He’s cheap, and would better fit their timeline too.

    • The only way Sierra and Bautista belong in the same sentence is if you are listing Blue Jay outfielders, the two are no where near comparable, especially in terms of trade value.

      • I didn’t say they were.

        • Well, you kind of implied it by offering up Sierra in lieu of Bautista which would take a conversation worth having to a swift hang-up from Jack Z. on the other line. Point is, Sierra cannot replace Bautista as the centrepiece of a deal, so unless the other pieces that you spoke of in the Sierra trade were Bautista, well, then it’s likely a non-starter.

          • Possibly. Although with the pedigree of the “big bats” they’ve brought in recently, I still think they might be legitimately interested in someone like Sierra.

    • Who wouldn’t want an unproven player who can’t hit, field, or run the bases effectively substituted for one of the best players in the game over the last four seasons?

      • You’re reading into what I wrote if you think I’m suggesting simply switching Sierra for Bautista. Plus, why so quick to label Sierra no-bat?

        All I was suggesting is that he’s also a player the mariners might be interested in. And a package centered around him wouldn’t mean giving up Bautista.

    • how would you feel about Sierra instead of Bautista .. yikes .. or maybe we could throw in JPA too?

    • And what does that timeline consist of? Never winning?

    • Thing about Sierra is, he hit .261/.309/.422 in Buffalo this year.

  3. The possibility of acquiring these two players excites me. What it would take to acquire them doesn’t. As far as I know the Ms aren’t in rebuilding mode so Jays would have to subtract something big from their mjr league roster.

    The Lawrie angle is interesting. I remember when Lawrie was linked to Pineda when that went down.

  4. could they have also been considering Lawrie+ for Iwakuma and Seager?

    • Don’t see how that makes sense for Seattle.

      • Lots of Vancouver Fans in Seattle. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were after Lawrie.

        • For a guy who has been better and healthier than him at the same position for two straight years AND a top pitcher???

          • Does it make sense that Seattle would consider even out top 2 prospects for two well priced years of Iwakuma and 4 years of Seager? Outside of Seattle dealing from a position of perceived strength, I don’t see why Seattle would have conversations with the Jays for young players. Now if EE or Bautista is in play we know Seattle is desperate for that type of player…add in that they don’t care about defense.

  5. Interesting stuff Stoeten.

  6. Any possibility the Nolin call-up was a showcase for Seattle? I’d have to look back to see when that took place.

    Obviously Nolin would have been a small part of a package sent to Seattle for Seager and/or Iwakuma and not the main carrot dangled, but considering the Nolin call-up was kinda strange in the first place, could have been a showcase

  7. Mariners aren’t close to competing, Jbats doesn’t make sense for them. No one from Toronto does really, sounds like it was a pipe dream on AA’s part.

    • And you base that, of course, on absolutely nothing.

      • Could they make desperate moves in regards to the front office trying to safe their jobs, the mariners that is

    • They think they are. They went after hamilton and uptown last offseason. And with their pitching, a couple of big bats could tip them into contention.

      • Hamilton was a free agent and the Upton trade would have cost only prospects, no roster players.

        • Martin Prado was a prospect? Shit, even Delgado pitched over 90 innings in the Majors in 2012.

          • How is what the Braves ended up sending relevant? The Mariners deal would’ve sent just prospects.

            • Because Arizona wasn’t trying to be competitive?

              • *is confused*

                How is Arizona’s will to be competitive relevant to JackZ being desperate for a big bat?

                • Because that is who had Upton.

                • Let me walk you through it:

                  You said Upton would have cost only prospects.

                  I’m saying: Arizona had a say in that, and they obviously didn’t just want prospects.

                  Ergo, your original statement is not correct.

                  • Ah, now I see. Don’t know how you missed it but there was a deal in place that consisted of only prospects. Walker and Franklin iirc. Deal was nixed by Upton.

  8. From the excerpt.

    “Reyes added, “No disrespect to some other teams, but we have more talent than some other teams who are playing for first place, playing better than us. We feel like we have more talent, but we haven’t been able to put it together on the field.”

    All the more confusing about how the season went.
    Yeah, the injuries certainly contributed to the downfall but still.
    The talent on the team should have been enough to overcome a last place finish.

    • Reyes’s scientific analysis is real compelling, huh?

      • Maybe science isn’t enough.I’m still looking at this team and going WTF. Even on this blog, there is a certain amount of talk about tweaking the holes 2B,catching and a starter. cause the talent is there to win.That’s not just my opinion but the opinion of most experts before the season started.
        Reyes analysis may not be scientific,but what the fuck does he know,he only plays the game.

        • Exactly. What the fuck does he know?

          It’s obvious what nonsense you’re trying to take this to. Stop.

          • Talent will triumph over intangibles.Even Reyes is frustrated that the Jays talent wasn’t producing results.
            I’m looking at the team position by position and aside from the obvious postions,there’s a solid case to be made for going into 2014 with the status quo.
            For example,I’m very curious to see what Melky can do in LF without the tumour on his spine.I’m a Rasmus fan.And Bautista is Bautista.I think any upgrades will be hard to get,unless it’s one of Gose,Sierra or Pillar who break out.

        • Science isn’t enough same as building a team based on WAR alone. Talent in the end wins out but talent without players willing to do what it takes for the team will not lead to successful team. Going the other way with two strikes to move runner along, bunting ect. Guys have to believe and want to do those things for the good of the team. That’s the chemistry thing i think was missing in 2012. and why Seitzer was brought in as a voice to preach that stuff.

          • Yes, that’s exactly the kind of nonsense he was edging towards.

            • what was nonsense in what i said???

            • Glad you can read my mind Stoeten.Jeez.

              • Ever go to a dinner party and there’s this couple who keep having the same argument over and over again, and you try to do a sly seat swap with someone, but no one’s having it. So you just end up getting shitfaced on other people’s wine until you snap and tell them to just shut the fuck up for a change?

                • LOL,yup.
                  Too stubborn for our own good.

                  • If you’d ever open your mind and stop giving authority to people and presuming that to be evidence in the absence of anything tangible maybe we’d get somewhere.

                    • Now don’t you two see that you’re in love with each other? … Now why can’t you admit that?

                    • @ Karl
                      I’m actually playing hard to get.
                      I expect to be wooed with dinner and a movie.
                      And beer, lots of beer.
                      In fact skip the dinner and movie and give me beer.
                      I’m so easy and cheap.
                      Feed me jugs of draft and I’ll sit and listen to Stoeten ramble on about O-swing % and Pythag Wins all day long.

  9. I’d do it for Bautista. For sure. Opens a hole in RF, but closes BIG holes at SP and 2B.

    • I think I mighty agree, as good as Bautista is, filling two holes and opening one makes a lot of sense.

      You could probably go with some sort of Gose/Sierra platoon to fill that hole as well.

    • I love Joey Bats, but I think I’m with you on this.

  10. I’ve always thought seager should be playing 2b for someone… the mariners thought they should move a top OF prospect to 2nd instead.

  11. That’s pretty interesting. Iwakuma and Seager have both rather quietly been studs for the past couple years. Did Seattle move Seager to third because of defensive concerns, or to make room for him on the major league roster?

    • I would think it was roster management, with Ackley seeming like their 2B solution around the time Seager arrived.

  12. I hope AA doesn’t take the same route as his predecessor and get fixed on certain players. Flexibility in approach is a good thing.

    In principle I’d like to keep this bunch together. I think they could do ok with a year’s seasoning in the AL East under their belts. We’ve traded with Seattle before. They are decent trading partners but I’m not holding my breath on this. I’ve been a fan of trading Bautista for top pitching but Seattle isn’t one slugger away from a play-off spot and I’m not sure I’d be happy about what they would want with JB in a package.

    • Bautista would help them immensely, and the readiness of Walker, Paxton, and (if healthy– huge if) Hultzen would offset the loss of a guy like Iwakuma a little. As would getting a guy like Happ in return as well. But it’s probably all just crazy talk.

      • hultzen just had shoulder surgery… probably out all of 2014

        • sorry… thought you were talking about Paxton’s dubious health… after 2nd read realized you were referring to hultzen.

      • It also opens a huge hole at third base and takes away their only (non Felix) pitcher to be above replacement level, or anywhere close to it.

  13. Just read in the National Post that the Pan Am games will “displace” the Jays from the Rogers Centre for 3 weeks in July 2015. I know it’s a long way away but … that can’t be good.

  14. Seattle isn’t trading Seager unless it improves their ML lineup.

    They’re also not trading Iwakuma to the Jays unless it starts with Bats, EE or possibly – but probably not – Rasmus.

    Seattle is in the same spot as Toronto. They’re trying to improve their ML team for 2014…

  15. Johnson’s a free agent? No 1 year offer from the Jays/? Forgive my ignorance, I’ve been a little out of the loop.

    • Qualifying offers are due on Monday, I believe.

      • Agree… Monday “…..5 p.m. ET on the fifth day following the conclusion of the World Series.”
        And not that it matters in JJ’s case but,
        ” A player has until 5 p.m. ET on the seventh day after receiving the offer to accept. If he does so, it takes him off the free-agent market and keeps him with his 2013 team.”

  16. You might have something here

    Mariners did give us one of MLBs best relievers for Eric Thames. And Morrow for League.

    It’s obvious the M’s have a thing for Quad A OFs and are terrible at trading.

  17. Am I crazy for thinking that it’d take more than Bautsita to land the two of them?
    As a Jay’s fan, and I’d want them to make that deal in a second.

  18. Yeesh.

    Iwakuma and Seager are nice players. And under team control for quite some time. Iwakuma is uber-valuable, much like Bautista.

    Not sure how those trade talks would have went…would love to be a fly on the wall of AA’s office….

  19. The Mariners play in a big ballpark and may very well want an elite defensive CF if they walk away from Gutierrez’s option.

    The Jays are looking for a 2B who can handle the fast pace of the Rogers Centre turf.

    Couldn’t Gose for Ackley address each team’s need without resorting to a ripoff trade?

    Or is it a ripoff trade that I fail to recognize…

    • They want offense, doubt Gose does that for them, though I might bite an Ackley for Gose swap.

      • While I’m sure they prefer offence, Ackley isn’t the path to a premium slugger.

        The Jays have two centrefielders in Rasmus & Gose.

        The Mariners have two second baseman in Ackley and Franklin.

        Instead of teaching Ackley to play CF, wouldn’t it be easier to just trade him for someone like Gose that already has that ability?

    • I’m not sure Ackley is enough of an upgrade. Seattle has all but given up on him as a 2B.

      • Exactly. That’s why he’d be cheap.

        Ackley doesn’t need to hit much to have value as a 2B.

        And he doesn’t need to hit at all to upgrade on what the Jays ran out their in 2013…

        • Hadn’t really looked at this option, but I’d definitely be up for a Gose for Ackley swap. Even if the Jays had to add a bit. This is the kind of deal the Jays will hopefully be looking at, fiiling a hole with a young, talented high upside guy thats struugled a bit so they can save money to blow their wad somewhere else.

  20. Goes , Cecil , hutchison and Jansen for Seattle duo.

    • It would have to be more like Gose, Cecil, Hutchison, Janssen, Rogers, Lincoln, Redmond & Romero.

      The 8 for 2 fantasy swap is much more likely than the 4 for 2…

    • and I’m going to trade this apple, a slice of cheese, a glass of milk and a slice of bread for a porterhouse steak and a lobster. That’s not how trades work. Quantity does not equal quality.

    • Not even close.

  21. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just draft our own players instead of having to raid every other team?????

    • Whose to say the Jays can’t?

      You won’t know for another 3-5 years minimum whether or not AA can do this, though…

      • Because we haven’t developed even 1 good player in the last 7-8 years

        • Well there’s Aaron Hill.

          And Ricky Romero & Adam Lind in select years…

          You’re right that the Jays have sucked at this in the last 7-8 years.

          But it takes a long time in baseball and JP Ricciardi wasn’t exactly looking for “good” players in the draft…

          • What a joke. Hill had like 1 good year. romero had 3 and is now a bust.

            that’s all you have to throw at me after 8 years?

            It doesn’t take a long time in baseball. You’ve been brainwashed by wilners excuses.

            there are lots of good players in the league after 2-3 years drafted. Jays have nobody who’s even close.

            • They traded the guys who were close for Dickey and the others were in the Miami trade. Did you miss this news last year?

              • If they were that good they wouldn’t have been traded. Or do you mean good like brett wallace good?

                • “If they were that good they wouldn’t have been traded.”

                  Right. Because team only trade shitty players to get good players in return, right?

            • Another troll
              Go away Wilners pie hole

  22. Iwakuma and Seager are great but yikes. If you thought the Dickey price was high, we’re talking about an equivalent pitcher who’s 5 years younger AND the Mariners best offensive piece. I have absoutely no idea what they could have been offering Seattle that wouldn’t blow up the farm system, and I’d prefer AA to move away from “best season of their career” guys. What happened to trading one-year relievers for out-of-favour prospects?

  23. I’d trade Jose for those two any day but if I were AA I’d be pushing Lind on anyone who would listen. Either Rasmus or Gose is going to have to go and Rasmus is worth more but AA loves Gose and will trade Rasmus if he can get a good return to fill a hole since he’a about to get more expensive and isn’t as good as his numbers suggest. He takes too many bad routes, drops too many catchable balls and throws like a girl, a girl with tuberculosis. Ackley was a hit machine in the minors and still has upside but I think Gose has more value and upside at this point. Neither of them has been much of a hitter but Gose’s other tools (speed, arm) are much superior. I’d be selling high on some of those bullpen guys too if Seattle needs another Brandon League. Danny Hultzen for Brett Cecil? (Yes, I know Hultzen is out until 2015) Yes please! Or Erasmo Ramirez or Paxton–more upside than Happ anyway. You’d have to overpay a lot for Taijuan Walker I think. Its always easier to get a team to deal their second or third best prospect for a reasonable price rather than make a deal for their best prospect.

    Also, baseball is not a science, sabermetrics notwithstanding. If it were a science, it would be a lot more predictable than it is. How many of us saw the 2013 season unfolding the way it did? Not me. Not you either. The real test of a science is its ability to predict results with a high degree of accuracy. Hitting and fielding is getting closer to that I think with all the new stats but predicting pitching is like predicting the weather on Jupiter, Jose and a prospect or two for Felix anyone?

  24. Know what would have been awesome? If for once the Jays were ahead of the curve on a guy like Iwakuma, instead of waiting for him to cost like, all of the prospects, before attempting to acquire him.

  25. Seattle is going to add pieces via free agency this winter. Their owner died and management is going to have to prove themselves. Jose would be a nice piece for them to add with a FA top up. They seem to have been the bridesmaid too many times in the free agent pool and adding a player like Bautista gives the impression, to free agents, that they are going for it.

  26. Kyle Seager would be an amazing piece to pick up. Having him and Lawrie as the backbone of the team would be a great thing for the future. But I don’t see Seattle moving both Iwakuma and Seager in the same trade, unless we rid the system and gave up major league talent. Would a Gose, Nolin, & Cecil for Seager make sense? Seattle gets back a young center fielder with potential, and another young arm to add to their collection. And a possible all star closer// setup man. The jays get their highly coveted second baseman, and a young stud with superstar potential. It’s nice to dream at the very least.

  27. [...] Blue Jays failed attempts to land Hisashi Iwakuma and Kyle Seager from the Seattle Mariners, which Andrew Stoeten at DJF gives his thoughts [...]

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