I can answer the question posed by the title of this post quite easily, actually. It’s “yes and no.” And that’s not vacillating on my part, it’s the literal, genuine truth based on what’s happened over the last fifteen minutes or so.
First, Brett Anderson– the subject of so much speculation in these parts of late. Take it away, Kenny Ken Ken…
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2013
So… there’s that.
It’s an interesting price, and one that you’d think the Jays may have been able to meet, assuming they lined up with Oakland the way that the A’s wanted them to. Jensen is a 2011 6th rounder who has yet to pass high-A ball (and hasn’t been spectacular by the numbers, though that doesn’t always tell the whole story), so they clearly could have done something there.
Pomeranz, like a lot of Colorado pitchers, hasn’t been able to find himself up in the thin air of Denver just yet. However, he has an impressive pedigree– the fifth pick in the 2010 draft, and the key piece in the deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland. He’s struggled badly with issuing walks whenever he’d been asked to pitch at the highest level, but it’s a well-liked arm who has succeeded everywhere else and was the 30th best prospect in the game according to Baseball America’s top 100 list for 2012.
So… a nice piece, but maybe a piece that isn’t quite as good as once hoped, or one that needs a new situation and some new eyes to try to help get things turned around. Or maybe just a new ballpark. Plus, he already has over 130 big league innings under his belt.
Are the Jays being hurt by the fact that their best prospects have yet to taste the big leagues, then? Possibly. Or maybe it’s just that more is expected from them in order to offset the lack of certainty on some of the better arms they have to offer. And it is definitely an interesting coincidence that precisely as this trade was going down, Alex Anthopoulos was speaking with local reporters, telling them this:
AA says he’s been asked about nearly everyone on 25 man roster. Trade talks for SP usually lead to asks for Stroman or Sanchez
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 10, 2013
Obviously one of those guys would be too high a price to pay for Anderson, and, unfortunately, the Jays don’t quite have a pitching prospect like Pomeranz, in terms of where his career is at. So it probably makes sense that they struck out here.
It also, then, makes sense why we continue to hear the club linked to Jeff Samardzija, as the Cubs more than most would be able to stomach taking back players from the lower minors. But is he, as I asked in the title of this post, off the market now, too?
In a word, once again: no.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria did, however, speak to his own local media contingent today, and said pretty much exactly what he has to say when it comes to the status of Shark:
Renteria spoke w/Samardzija: “Right now the way I see it – and the way he sees it – is he’s a Cub and we’re going to move forward as Cubs.”
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) December 10, 2013
Does that actually mean anything? Nope! Especially not with the “right now” caveat. Maybe something could still happen there. But the market for guys in this range, who are good, cheap, and not requiring the kind of boatload of prospects it will take to get a Lee or a Hamels (if those guys are really even out there) is dwindling.
So… there’s that.