In case you missed it last night, we were treated to one king hell of a rumour from Howard Eskin of Philadelphia’s Fox TV affiliate and sports radio station 94 WIP, as he told us that a “major trade” was brewing between the Blue Jays and the Phillies that would involve Jose Bautista, Domonic Brown, and more.

I wrote about it in the link above, eventually coming around to the notion that the deal isn’t as patently absurd as it might seem– acquiring a cheap, young, left-handed power bat with many years of control left, and immediately opening up nearly $14-million in 2014 payroll space is hardly the nothing that the delightfully fanciful folks expecting a number one starter and a quality catcher or second from any Bautista trade want to believe it is.

Buuuuuuut, it’s also apparently bullshit. To wit:

Or is it?…

Jon Heyman confirmed what Davidi reported this morning, publishing this tweet:

But Eskin, the original rumour’s source– and, it was pointed out to me, the source of an ultimately false rumour last spring about Sidney Crosby being out for the season (though he’s also, I’m told, the source of a good many correct rumours as well)– made sure to clarify that this wasn’t precisely what he was saying:

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s doubling down on what he’s hearing– it looks like he’s simply clarifying Heyman’s failure to include the “plus”– but… he’s not exactly backing down from it either.

Do we care?

No, I’ll take Davidi and Heyman’s word for it, thanks. And not Eskin, who continues to be alone on this island, unless you want to count the nonsense from places like the damn comments section at Hardball Talk (and this site, to be fair), where people are saying that they “heard” it’s actually Bautista, Arencibia, and Kyle Drabek for Brown, Darrin Ruf, and Cliff Lee.

You think Phillies fans had a hard enough time wrapping their minds around the first, at least vaguely credible-ish, rumour, try laying that giant load on them with anything remotely close to a speck of seriousness. Because… yeah, no. Let’s maybe keep our expectations in line with reality and not indulge laughable fantasy like that, and also try to remember next time that a bullshit-seeming rumour comes around that you kinda have to take cost, contract length, age, and things like that into account when you’re evaluating a trade. Not that it really matters now when it comes to Brown, though.

So… there’s that.

Comments (52)

  1. Not the best comp but I keep comparing the imaginary hauls for Bautista against what the Mets got for Dickey.

    Bautista does have more contract certainty and a longer track record but I don’t expect his value to be as high. Still, it can’t be that far off, right?

    • Further to that, Shields for Myers probably isn’t a good measuring stick either because of the universal panning the trade got but those are two recent deals where BIG MLB talent was traded for younger players.
      (Granted, Brown has been in the majors a while)

    • Its not an exact comp because of the age difference, but a closer comp might be the “deal” the Mariners made with the D-Backs last year. That deal was agreed to by both sides and scuppered when Justin Upton used his no trade to block the move.

      We don’t know for sure; but supposedly, the deal was 26yr old Upton ($9.75m last year and $14.25m in ’14 and ’15) for relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, top 2nd base prospect Nick Franklin (who made the jump last year) and one of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton or Danny Hultzen. Walker and Paxton appeared in Seattle last year, Hultzen was injured.

      Bautista is 33 and making $14m through ’15 with a club option for ’16.

      The Seattle deal should be close to what the Jays could expect in any trade for Bautista.
      They might get two top prospects and a couple of other pieces or somewhat less if they wanted an established starter as part of the deal.

      • Agreed. And, if the Jays weren’t in the process of trying to win now, I’d be happy with that haul for Bautista.

  2. Ya, in my opinion the only way the Brown for Bautista rumour made much sense was if it was the first step of a larger deal, in the mold of Johnson in the Marlins deal last year. But as much as it provided some excitement for a few hours, I’m glad we can hopefully move past it now.

  3. Make the trade

  4. This kind of defies win now mentality imo. Brown does not make up for jbats absence in lineup. We need an upgrade at catcher (chooch please whose so called bad year is a jpa career year) and a starter (ubaldo santana or tanaka please) Infante anyone?

  5. This update from Davidi will make everyone here happy:

    “Before things get all Yu Darvishy in Toronto, there’s no validity to it. None.

    Much like the recent round of Blue-Jays-interested-in-Gordon-Beckham rumours, this appears to be another attempt to increase a player’s market value by using Alex Anthopoulos’s secretiveness as a cover.

    The Blue Jays have no interest in Beckham, nor do they in trading an elite slugger under a good contract for a 26-year-old with one all-star season under his belt after years of struggling to acclimate to the big-leagues.”

  6. Will one of the core team guys be moved though?

  7. And elsewhere in happy-land, from Rosenthal:

    “Multiple teams have expressed interest in Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, prompting the Jays to explore the free-agent catching market for a possible replacement, sources say.

    The Jays have contacted all of the free-agent catchers but have yet to make an offer, one source said. The team’s top priority is upgrading its rotation, but the Jays ideally would like to get something for Arencibia and sign someone else.”

    • Well, I can see some teams salivating over JPA’s home run numbers – and saying they can work on the rest of his game. You know….like catching, throwing and hitting balls that don’t go over the fence.

    • This doesn’t really surprise me.

      Catchers with 20+ HR pop don’t grow on trees. Unfortunately C with sub .250 OBPs do.

      Definitely not suggesting we should give JPA another shot. But also not hugely surprised that he has a bit of value as a potentially fixable player with plus power.

      • I’ve always maintained he has the athletic ability. He just can’t or won’t make the adjustments necessary. I think at this point he’ll be a steal for a some team like Anaheim with Mike Scioscia. They could at least get him fixed in the catching and game calling dept.

  8. Man Stoetes with the amount of posts in the last 24-48 hours from you I doubt you got any sleep! Thanks for all the tireless work!

  9. IMO it’s fair to nix any Bautista trade that doesn’t have a front line pitcher coming back

    • Or a Vernon Wells trade that didn’t involve the Jays picking up most of his contract?

      I don’t nix anything with AA.

    • That’s being rather arbitrary though. If you got a guy at the league minimum who is even close to Jose’s level of production, you could promptly pay a pretty good free agent pitcher with the difference.

  10. Getting back to the original craziness for a moment. While a Joey for Dom Brown deal straight up is hardly palatable for 2014, I’d like to say for the record that I like the concept of moving a player in decline while he still has some semblance of value. That’s not to say I would make this trade, I just like the logic of it.

    If you want to contend year in and year out, sometimes you need to swallow hard on guys who are getting on in age and/or whose contract is about to exceed their value.

    • Definitely something I think would be explored around July if the team somehow manages to suck again, but right now it seems a little bit odd– and would be unfortunate if this kind of drastic measure was really necessary in order to create payroll space, given the size of the pockets ownership has.

  11. I would prefer the Jays hold on to Bautista, and I recognize that the second “deal” is purely speculative and without merit…. But Lee, Brown, and Ruf? I’d hypothetically do that.

  12. I don’t understand why the Jays would deal Bautista for a front line pitcher, when it creates a gaping hole in the OF … lets just assume that this is all BS please and trust that AA and Rogers have more commitment then that .. he is their 2nd best hitter and has top 20 value in all of MLB

  13. Kinda reminds me of a certain reporter from NH and the Darvish thing…those were good times.

  14. Stoeten, to clarify, I think the expectation if dealing Bautista is an ace AND a 2b AND a catcher.

  15. Its not too often that a player with Bautista’s profile gets moved for something that isn’t a really great return – regardless of the perceived value in years of control, hidden financial benefits, or speculation about decline. Further – Bautista is 33. That is getting up there (as a 32 year old I’d like to say fuck you), but hardly unprecedented for sluggers to thrive WELL past that age. He should probably spend more time at DH in the coming seasons.. but seriously – David Ortiz was a 4.5 WAR player last season at age 37 according to BR. The long anticipated “decline” of Bautista could be a function of two seasons with pretty crappy injury luck. It is entirely plausible that if he’s healthy next year Bautista could be better than the 4.1 WAR he was in 118 games last season.

  16. Howard was just on 590 with Jeff Blair. He’s actually not as stupid as I feared, saying that Brown is an average player at best, and that the rumor from the Jays point of view makes little sense.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the two teams talked, but I highly doubt the Jays were seriously involved with trade talks with the Phillies’ retirement home.

    Interesting, and kind of comical, that many callers think Bautista will be traded.

  17. 1 Cliff Lee, plz.

  18. Why do people think it would make any sense for the Phillies to get JB but trade Lee?

  19. If the point of these rumors is to save money, Cliff Lee won’t be coming back, especially with younger and cheaper talent available through free agency.

    If the deal is to improve the rotation while not destroying your outfield, it’s palatable. But, like I said above, why trade Bautista for Brown and Lee when you can keep Bautista and sign someone else?

    • Because Cliff Lee is Cliff Lee.

    • And why would the Phillies trade elite pitching for a 33 year old slugger? Then they would need to overpay for lesser pitching on the fa market in order to justify the win-now move. The teams who will be willing to move elite pitching (if they exist) will be looking for young players to help long-term.

  20. He’s 33, not 38 god damn it. He had a couple of unfortunate injuries in the last two seasons, but we see some good hitters in their mid 30s excel.

    That being said, Dom Brown is pretty nifty, and his numbers should increase in the RC. It’s not as crazy as people may think…but we must still be getting more in return.

  21. Why has Shi Davidi become the is all and ends all of Jays rumours? I mean yes he is credible but on the other side of things were talking about a team owned by Rogers (who pays Davidi’s salary) with a GM that likes things to stay hush hush. It’s not completely inconceivable that Davidi would downplay something if he was told to do so by his powers that be. I am not saying that’s what’s happening here but I just don’t think his word is the end of every conversation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *