Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

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.

Comments (73)

  1. Its pretty far fetched, but I could see a scenario where if EE was the one to fetch a Price, they could sign Loney for defence at 1b, or perhaps Kendrys Morales.

  2. Is Price going to re-sign if we get him? Because it would sure suck if he didn’t.

  3. That’s a scary thought. Tampa has long been a pitching-first, hitting-weak team. Imagining that kind of team adding an Encarnacion… I mean, a lineup with Longoria, Encarnacion, and Myers?

    I almost don’t want to do this trade merely because of how good it would make Tampa.

    • You shouldnt want to make that trade period cause it fill one hole while creating another. We really don’t come out winning.

      • c’mon man. all holes aren’t created equally. Getting Price and making a hole at 1B/DH is not the same

        • Losing a 30-odd homers and 100 rbi does open a bit of a hole in the lineup.
          It’s not as if EE’s a warm body off the bench that you can find just anywhere.

          • If you could pull off West Coast, WI I would be more than thrilled and would gllday live there with you! How can we make this a reality? :)

        • of course it’s not equal. But we are giving up 3 cheap years of EE of sustained performance. even if it’s at 1b/dh. We’d oly have price for 2 years, plus it’s not exactly cheap (first year yes, second year no).

          Not to mention he is arguably our best bat. After bautista the line-up isnt exactly a line-up of destroyers. It’s merely ok. EE is what makes it good.

          We’re also trying to compete now. Who do we field out in 1b/dh? I guess we could sign choo and put melky in DH but that’s going to be even more expensive then signing a free agent pitcher.

        • Agreed T.O. Jeff.

  4. Mlbtraderumours is also saying that Domonic Brown is available… So, for pretend sakes, let’s you you get Price, then trade for Brown. Melky’s the new DH, you’ve got a young, cheap left fielder who can probably give you next year what you’d get from Lind… So a rotation of Dickey, Morrow, Buerhle, Price, Stroman/Hutch/Nolin(whoever you didn’t trade for Brown) with Redmond as number 6, and you’ve pretty much filled all your holes on the diamond except for 2B.

    I mean, yes, this is most likely nonsense, but it’s fun to dream.

    • Well that explains the Bautista-Brown rumours from earlier this off-season. Philly probably called to inquire about the possibility, followed by Anthopoulous saying no.

  5. Thats pretty interesting thoughI doubt thats all the rays would want. Or else, I think its a no brainer for the jays since its harder to find premium pitching then premium hitting.

    • I gotta think in a contract vacuum the two are pretty even.

      You can also assume they will earn roughly the same over their contracts. But EE has an extra year of control.

  6. not a good trade from the Jays end.

    EE has been worth about 4 wins per season since his break out. Price is worth around 4.5

    with EE’s contract you’re getting 12 wins but only 9 from Price (at a much higher salary).

    plus, there’s the transaction cost of acquiring Price (lawyers etc. etc.)

  7. That contract for EE is so sweet.

  8. silly season indeed

    both GMs would be stupid to do this.

    you make both teams better.

    Jays still have a solid line up. But now we have 2-3 Ace pitchers.
    Rays still deep at SP, and now they have someone to hit behind Longoria….

    this one is just laughable.

    • Richard, is the green monster metal? While watihcng a game at Fenway on TV the left fielder crashed into it and there was definitely a metallic crash to the impact! How high is it and how much were those delicious franks? At the Rogers Dome the food is poor and outrageous prices. Are they planning on tearing down the Boston ballpark soon?I did a year training at McClean and Medford state Hospital before going to Hartford Ct after graduating from Queens in 61 and finishing a rotating interneship at KGH. Returned to Queens, then UofT on teaching fellowships after my Psych/Neurology training and practice completed , always wanted to get to Fenway but as a junior staff man I couldn’t afford a Dean’s tour like you Hope your son appreciated sharing this adventure with you.Best wishes Doug Frayn

  9. Pass. I’d rather EE for 3 than Price for two.

  10. From Ben Nicholson Smith:

    “Anthopoulos: Blue Jays working on various ideas including one more complicated longshot”

    This would probably fit in with a “complicated longshot.”

  11. dumb rumor.

  12. dumb. no chance we trade Edwin. he’s the mvp and his contract is great. fuck Price.

  13. Since we’re only playing the imagination game today, I would be down for the trade. As long as they can get a suitable bat(Choo) to replace EE.
    I can’t see EE getting better than what he has produced the last few seasons, so maybe they are thinking of selling him high after all.
    Price for a guy we originally put on waivers sounds interesting to me.
    But I will miss his parrot more than anything. Good day to day dream!!

  14. I believe these are the sort of posts to which Stoeten would reply with a single word, “No”

    It’s an entertaining thought, though. Choo may be a better value signing than one of the FA pitchers which means that this would sort of somehow make sense. I guess.

  15. Since Freidman has taken over the team, he is very consistent in trading guys at the end of their arb years, for young, CHEAP, players with 6 years of control

    EE is a bargain based on his ability, but regardless. EE would become their 2nd highest paid player (tied with Bell).

    Price is available because he’s expensive and doesn’t have much control left, so you trade him for someone who’s expensive and doesn’t have much control left?

    Sounds made up

    • Only response to that line of thinking is that maybe the Rays are ‘going for it’? Maybe they are really really poor instead of just really poor and figure they only have the next 3 or 4 years to win the WS before they move or whatever so the prospects they could get for Price won’t really help them until its too late.

      • ‘going for it’ by trading their best pitcher?

        It can be rationalized from the jays side, but not the rays side. this deal makes no sense for them

        when price is traded its going to be for premium prospects who are cheap and under control. That’s the rays way, and it works for them.

      • None can doubt the veciarty of this article.

  16. Wouldn’t trade EE nor Lind mostly because of their contracts and because there’s no real internal options in the system that are close to helping as replacements. Unfortunately, this team is rich in pitching prospects but not nearly as much elsewhere. If anything I’d be trading pitching prospects for guys like Franklin if AA is really keen on getting a second baseman for the start of the season.

    Also it looks like from what AA is saying that the Jays are going to be out on free agent spending unless the price drops. Have to say that’s pretty disappointing.

  17. I’d do this trade in a second. If it’s straight up we win this deal. We get a premium pitcher in the league for a replaceable bat in encarnacion .

  18. Phillies are shopping papelbon. Who has a terrible contract and we have no room for him.

    but its a recent theme to take on contracts in an effort to get another player.

    So wouldn’t it make sense to get papelpon and cliff lee? Papelbon’s contract would negate the need to send a premium prospect back their way. and phillies have a policy of not eating money in trades.

    Then take papelbon and eat some of the salary and trade him cuz i dont want that bum on our team.

    • I think the Jays are past the point where they can take on any contracts from the way AA is talking about being out on FA starters. Obviously never say never but it’s like we’re back to the good old days where the Jays won’t compete with $$$ for players.

    • i like Lee too. short years, high AAV, within the 2 year winning window of the rest of the squad

    • For 50 million for the next two seasons, and the possibility of Lee reaching 400 innings in the next two seasons to kick in the 27.5 million option the following year, that would equate to 77.5 million for three seasons of Lee. He’s a good pitcher, but we would be better off giving Ubaldo 5 year-90 million dollar contract, or even 4 year-72 million to Ubaldo or Garza. I don’t see Lee being as good in the American league east as he was in the A.L. west a few years back, he won’t strike out 200 like in the NL. And he’s aging. I think there is better options out there that won’t cost as much money, or more importantly, won’t cost us valuable assets.

      • For the 27.5 million option to kick in, he needs 200 inning in 2015 or a combined 400. The option year could be bought out for 12.5. So it could cost 60 plus million for two years of his service. So if he’s healthy, a million a start. Plus players traded. This isn’t an AA type of deal.

      • Pretty sure Lee has a no trade clause in his contract and the last time he was on the market he vetoed a trade to the Yankees…doubt he’d play for the Jays

  19. Any Jays fan that wouldn’t do this trade doesn’t know a thing about baseball. You can find an E5 every year. You can’t find a David Price type pitcher every year. Big time free agents aren’t going to sign with Toronto. So to give up an over-achiever that you got cheap for a Cy Young type pitcher, you make that trade 10x a week and twice on Sunday. Plus, we’ve had this “elite” pairing of E5 and Joey Bats. How much have we won with them? Oh yeah, not much!

    • You can find an EE every year? Are you smoking some of Rob Ford’s stash? Players with EE’s characteristics (big power, selective, great contact rates….well below market contract) dont become available but once every ten years.

      • Take the money and value part out of it. To take Price away from Tampa and put him on the Jays would make sense on so many levels. So you’re telling me that you think a .270 35 110 guy is more valuable than a 20 win, 3.00 era guy? Answer me this.. Would you trade Mark Trumbo for Price?

        • wins, rbi? it is 2013.

        • Mark Trumbo isn’t Edwin. You missed the part about walking more than striking out, huh? Edwin’s average wasn’t very much lower than Trumbo’s obp last year.

          • You’re right. Trumbo isn’t E5. He’s done it his whole career. Does he strike out, yeah. But both limited in the field and both are run producers. You guys are treating this as if the Jays are giving up E5 for Sean Rodriguez. The argument is would you trade him for Price. Yeah, I’d say an ace, lefty pitcher who “could” win the Cy Young every year for the next 8 years (If re-signed) is more important to a team then a late bloomer who’s had more ups and downs than anyone outside of Josh Hamilton! You can bash me all you want but it won’t make me think different. Slotting Dickey to #2, and everyone else after makes the 2014 Blue Jays a much better team. So what if EE walks. Who’s hitting him in? This team will have to out-pitch teams in the Al East in order to win, not out-slug.

            • No the Jays will need a better overall to beat the east, not to out pitch or outslug.

              EE was a 4.1 win player last year this year (and the year before) he is projected to win 3.7 next year. Keep in mind we are paying him10 milion a year to do this.

              Trumbo’s been worth 2.5 and 2.2. Projections put him at 2.2. He is getting paid the minimum but his stats indicate he is barely above league average.

              To compare Trumbo to EE is an insult and until he can hit like EE he shouldnt be compared to him. And EE isnt like hamilton at all. He has vastly superior plate discipline. EE has more walks then strikeouts for god sakes.

              Price is projected to give us about 9 war over 2 years. Edwin will be giving us 12 over 3. It’s not a fair comp. These are two elite players.

              The jays strengthen their pitching but weaken their lineup. The rays do the opposite. It’s called a ridiculous rumour for a reason. We have enough reason to refuse the trade as they do.

              • Who’s “We”? Do you collect a check from the Jays? If not then it’s not a “We” thing. And if you are judging a player solely off WAR then you’re about as clueless as the next guy. I get that he’s on a great contract and that he doesn’t strike out a lot. But we are talking about David Price. A shutout waiting to happen. But it’s cool, keep E5 and run Drabek, Hutchison, Happ and co. out there and let me know how that works. You’re right about one thing though, the Jays need a better overall team and a team that can stay healthy. Neither a Price or a E5 will make that happen alone. But I like their chances much more w/ a Price-led team over an E5-Led team.

                • No one said the things you’re arguing against. I just think swapping Edwin and Price would create roughly the same quality team for the next two years and you’d have neither in 2016.

        • Trumbo struck out 122 more times than EE last year, his OBP was under .300, and he hit .234. Bad comparison. Trumbo has power, but is more of a JP hitter, not being very selective at the plate, or making consistant contact. Edwins OPS was over .900, 150 points higher than Trumbo. That isn’t something you can simply replace every year, considering only 11 players in the game accomplished that in 2013.

    • yawn. both guys are projected to provide about the same value… price is under control for 2 years at about $30M… EE is under control for 3 years at about $30M.

      the notion that elite pitching is somehow more valuable is absurd… a run scored and a run prevented have the same value.

    • More than they would have won without them?

      And show me where you can find a 35-40 home run slugger who walks more than he strikes out all while doing so on a massively team friendly deal every year.

  20. I would do this trade in a second.

    EE is amazing, but legit #1 starters are almost impossible to get. You can make the playoffs with amazing starting pitching and ok offence, but it rarely works the other way around.

  21. Nope ….no way ….not a chance

    The only team I want to see EE walking that Parrot for is Toronto….I’m going to start watching Darts if they trade him

    Fawk that he’s staying

  22. I feel like Tampa would be one of the few teams to make a trade within their division if they think it will make them better long term while also saving money.

  23. Makes sense for Rays. Jays should it. It’s a no brainer. Sell high on EE. Price is arguably the best SP in AL.

    • You’re joking right? I can name at least 5 players that were better then him in 2013. Maybe best left hander, but even then Sale is younger and better.

      • Except he did win a Cy Young last year and if he’s not the best he’s right up there.

        • He’s definitely a very good pitcher. But this trade is cutting off one arm to gain another.

          I wouldn’t want to do it. Others might. Point is it shouldnt be an obvious answer as some are saying it is.

  24. Pat Gillick, the best GM we ever had said famously “I’ll take the everyday player over the SP every time, assumimg equal ability” or words to that effect. Price was starting to show some wear last year and went on the DL. Great pitcher , no question but he walks in 2 years. No deal, I stay with EE

    • Hehehe, not to be argumentative fukstik, but just for fun I
      looked up the final scores of all the ’93 WS games.
      1. 8-5 Jays 2. 6-4 Phils 3. 10-3 Jays 4. 15-14 Jays 5. 2-0 Phils 6. 8-6 Jays

    • Assume the benchmark of 200IP with WHIP of 1.25 for quality SP. This yields about 4.25 batters faced per inning over 200 innings or 850 batters faced. A position player gets about 650 plate appearances per year.

      So, not factoring in fielding, a quality starting pitcher would have roughly 30% greater pontetial impact on the season than a position player. Fielding harder to qualify and clearly some positions more important than others.

      If you approach from a different statistical perspective where you may judge the heavy impact a SP has in 1/5 of the games Vs the minimal impact a position player has on every game the results come out in favour of starting pitcher too – math is a little more complicated there.

  25. Rays never make this trade but If I am AA I say where do I sign. Take Price all day over Encarnacion especially considering the Jays depth in power hitters and lack of top of rotation arms.

    Seattle makes a better fit for both teams:

    Encarnacion (or Bautista) for King Felix or Walker. Expand deal a bit to get back Franklin or Auckley to fill a need for Jays. Throw in Sierra who is a legitimate potential power hitter OF which Seattle needs.

    Both top of rotation studs that would provide more value to Jays in next few years than any one of our stud bats.

    If Seattle misses out on an impact bat to compliment Cano then Encarnacion, Bautista, Reyes all become serious trade chips to get some quality pitching. Throw in some B prospects if you need to. Expand deal to get back Miller at SS if trade is built around Reyes.

    • King Felix isn’t for sale, anytime, anyplace. I’ll take Price for Taijuan Walker though and am willing to talk more about Ackley for Gose. Heck how’s Rasmus doing these days….maybe we can expand the discussion to James Paxton and others. Now let me get back to my dysfunctional front office internal discussions…

  26. I would do this trade for sure. Same logic as many others have expressed – a Price-led pitching staff is more valuable, and E5′s production can be approximated, but not replaced.

    I wonder if there was another team(s) involved… the Rays may not have been E5′s final destination in the above scenario.

  27. My Rays contact is not denying that the Jays are in play. Pure stupidity if the Jays are considering anything like this.

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