Ahhh, silly season.
Here’s a little nugget of a nonsensical rumour from Jonah Keri’s latest at Grantland (which he himself, it should be noted, acknowledges as somewhat nonsensical):
One rumor making the rounds has the Jays mulling a blockbuster deal featuring Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion and Rays ace David Price.
Yowza! That… makes me think all kinds of things– and probably you too! But, quite sensibly I suspect, Keri walks back the notion quite a bit as he continues the paragraph:
Realistically, though, Toronto has gone too far down the road of adding veterans and trying to win now to justify trading one of the best power hitters in the game, even though starting pitching needs to be the team’s top priority. Fortunately, the current starting pitching market allows for a possible middle-ground approach. There are still several B-plus starters there for the taking, including Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Matt Garza. Garza is particularly intriguing, given that he’s only 30 years old, has years of experience pitching in the rough AL East, and is the only one of these three pitchers who won’t cost the signing team a compensatory draft pick. On the other hand, Garza made just 42 combined starts over the past two seasons, and his only dominant season came in 2011 in the lower run environment of the NL Central.
But on the other hand…
What if the Jays like one of the hitters that’s available a lot more than the pitching dreck that’s supposed to be the top tier of the market? That’s hard to fathom, given what remains of the free agent hitting crop– though Shin-Soo Choo would be awful nice, if not entirely realistic, given his likely suitors– but there could also be a bat available to them in trade.
It’s a bit of a crazy notion– I still don’t believe for a second that the Rays would trade Price in-division and watch him haunt them for his final two years before free agency (though, sadly, we must acknowledge that moving him to the Jays would probably be more palatable to them than any other AL East destination), and I don’t think Alex Anthopoulos would be very keen on seeing what’s on the other side of that coin, either– but could there be a chance that the Jays view the difference between Price and their next-favourite realistic pitching target as being quite a lot better than the difference between Encarnacion and whatever they think they could find to replace his production?
I’m not saying that they do see it that way, or that anything would ever come of this anyway, but yeah, I think you can make the case.
Of course, if money is the motivating factor for Tampa– and it always is– it’s not like they’d be saving that much. And definitely not nearly as much as if they were getting back the kind of cheap, young, controllable players that people have been expecting. Encarnacion makes $9-million this year, $10-million next, and has a $10-million option the year after that (note: what a contract!), while Price still has two trips through the arbitration process left, with MLBTR projecting him to get $13.1-million this year, and, one would expect, a pretty large raise on that for 2015.
Savings for Tampa, but not exactly Tampa-like savings. And while both guys would certainly look good in just about any uniform, I completely don’t see it. Fun to daydream about, though, huh? Or… I think it is. Edwin’s so good, though!
So… there’s that.
Crotch grab in the direction of @BVHJays for the tip.