sharkhelmet

Hardly earth-shattering news here, but Bob Elliott has some interesting details on the trade front in his post from this morning at the Toronto Sun, dredging up the usual suspects when it comes to target — Jeff Samardzija, David Price — but offering some new names with respect to what could end up going the other way.

Lefty Daniel Norris made his 13th start for the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays on Thursday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium before 809 fans and watchful eyes. Chaim Bloom, Tampa Bay’s director of baseball operations, and two Rays scouts were there, as were Cubs vice-president Tim Wilken, along with Blue Jays assistant general manager Andrew Tinnish, special assignment scout Russ Bove and pro cross-checker Dean Decillis.

He then adds a maple-y note that Dalton Pompey — who is 21, not 23 as the report states — could be a target, before giving us a litany of names of prospects the Jays have in Dunedin, along with some stats from 1985 to illustrate their supposed worth. I’m not so sure that the Taylor Coles or Matt Boyds or K.C. Hobsons of the world are really going to intrigue other clubs so much, but they’re going to need something to offer, as he also tells us that “the Cubs are preparing to move Samardzija” — who the Jays had senior advisor Mel Didier and Decillis watch pitch in Miami earlier in the month —  ”and the asking price, according to those in the know, is four players in return.”

If true, that maybe gives us hope that the Cubs are less concerned about adding big-league ready talent — as we were to believe they had been, provided the rumours about their asking for Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, and/or possibly Drew Hutchison were valid — and looking for a package that plays better into the Jays’ hands. But I still just don’t know.

To take a very cursory look at it, the Royals (7), Rockies (8), and Orioles (10) all have top ten farm systems according to Keith Law’s rankings at ESPN.com prior to the season, while the Jays ranked 24th (which, granted, was lower than other organizations — Baseball Prospectus had the Jays 13th, though still behind all three). All of those teams are very much in it, and will likely be looking for pitching at the deadline. Minnesota, who are still surprisingly in it themselves, have an even higher-ranked system, as do the Boston Red Sox, who I certainly wouldn’t count out at this point, as tempting as it may be for us to do so.

Granted, the performances players have put in so far in 2014 will have changed the rankings a bit. Obviously what Norris has been doing hasn’t gone unnoticed. But still, he wasn’t even in the pre-season top 100 for Law or for BP, while a team like the Orioles had four pitchers among Law’s top 45. Add in the fact that Marcus Stroman is too important to the big league club right now to be part of a trade, and — as I’ve mentioned a number of times already, I know — it just seems difficult to believe the Jays will be able to cobble together the sort of package that will get them the kind of pitcher we’re ham-fistedly — “Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine both won over 300 games. Both had losing records on good teams in October,” a scout ominously and pointlessly reminds Elliott – told the Jays need.

That doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Over the winter it appeared as though the Tigers got so enamored with certain Nationals prospects — or perhaps with the idea of not trading within the American League — that they overlooked a lot of other teams who’d have made a much stronger offer for Doug Fister than the one they eventually accepted. There are no absolutes here. But I still think they’re going to have to get awfully creative, or to simply settle for less. Elliott pushes that line of thinking a bit, too, giving Jason Hammel a mention at the end of his piece as well. Sadly, that’s probably more like it.

Still in first place, though!

Comments (150)

  1. Can we all just agree to not acknowledge the existence of the Toronto Sun?

  2. Would much rather have Price. AL is a different beast.

  3. If they don’t land anyone, and morrow makes a comeback, do you think they consider a 6 man rotation?

      • give hutchison and stroman a breather when you can.
        give you more time to assess who your best five are.

        • Reduce the number of times your best pitcher is on the mound?

          .. I’m fine with giving the youngins a bit of extra rest to keep their innings under control, but a straight up 6 man rotation seems like a good way to dillute the contribution of your best players.

          • if he comes back strong,
            what else do you do?
            i’m just saying once or twice through the rotation with six guys may give you an opportunity to make the decision easier.

            • I guess it depends on other factors. If the Blue Jays are running away with the division in September like the Nationals were in 2012 when they decided to shut down Strasburg, then yeah, I’d much rather see the team ease up on Stroman and Hutchison’s workloads (assuming they’re both still productive starters) and save them for the playoffs by giving Happ, Morrow and/or Redmond some starts down the stretch. However, if it’s close, like it probably will be, I don’t think it’s wise to run your sixth-best pitcher out there unless it’s necessary to do so. All that said, in reality this probably isn’t a decision the team will have to make. I think there’s a good chance that someone is on the DL in August/September, or someone pitches his way out of a spot on the big-league team between now and then.

            • comes back strong?
              did you just reference “strong” a possibility when referencing Brandon Morrow?
              id be happy if he makes it 5 starts without going back to the DL.

              • Say what you want about Morrow’s ability to stay healthy, but his 2012 season was just 16 starts ago. If he gets healthy (and again, maybe that’s a big if at this point), I don’t think it’s fair to assume he won’t pitch well.

    • Morrow will come back for 1 game, pitch 3 innings, 100+ pitches, and then announces his left fingernail broke, requiring major reconstructive surgery and will be out for the season.

  4. Norris was promoted to AA according to Davidi to fill Sanchez vacancy

  5. To TOR: D.Price
    To TBR: A.Sanchez, D.Norris, S.Nolin, A.Jimenez

    • That one might actually work, on the provision that Price work out an extension.

      • Whether it works or not, and I’ll let the stats geeks figure out the myriad details, you’ve got 4 potentially decent prospects that could be biting your ass in your division for years…probably after Price is gone from the Jays. Moreover, AA has already hinted he’d be looking for a low cost rental type guy.

        • Done deal prospect porn is what it is a tease…. Playoffs 2014… When expos traded cliff Lee and datdudebp it was for the playoffs and to show the fans they are interested in winning… Worst case one of those pitchers is above average…. Price is will above average

  6. What on earth is a pro cross checker? Anyone know?

    • A cross checker is a scout with a defined area that is larger than a regular scout. The cross checker is brought in to assess the opinion of the scout on a player. Pro scouts and amateur scouts assess pro’s and amateurs. A pro cross checker assesses the opinion of pro scouts in his area.

  7. It is always stupid when you hear a team say “four players”… So they would rather have one stud prospect, one marginal and two garbage guys rather than 1 stud & 2 good prospects?

  8. This reminds me when we traded a shit ton of prospects for Happ. Now none of them have panned out but I would rather have those shit ton of lottery tickets than a back of the rotation starter (like Happ was). Obviously Shark is better than Happ ….. so I don’t know what I’m rambling on about now.

    Point is Samardzija is 29 and I don’t want him at the cost.

    • You’d rather have those losing lottery tickets than Happ? Who is currently a huge part of our rotation? This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

      • Obviously not now in hindsight (since all the guys that were traded seem to have tanked), but at the time I was not happy with the trade.

        • But you are just showing why your original emotional response to the trade was probably a poor one. B and C range prospects should not be expected to turn into average or above average major league contributors.

      • Yes, i definitely would. Happ is not worth the money we’re paying him. Without his salary on the books we may have been open to do more in the offseason.

        And let’s not pretend Happ is any good to start with.

        • He’s not all that expensive.
          And he’s plenty good. In fact I’d say he’s the fifth best starter on the team!

        • Well the Jays extended Happ, so his current salary is not directly connected to the value of the trade/prospects (obviously they are indirectly connected).

          • Oh I agree that you should evaluate trades using the information that was available at the time. Happ’s extension has no bearing on whether we did well to acquire him.

            But this specific discussion involved Riggs saying he’d rather have Happ currently than the busts we gave up. I say I’d rather have not made the deal and have the busts.

    • That is unreasonable.

    • Without Happ in the rotation they’d have another hole to fill, in addition to the one they already have. And in that parallel universe where they still had those lottery tickets, the best they’d get in return today is… basically JA Happ.

      Meanwhile, in this universe Happ has contributed 53.1 innings of 4.05 ERA ball to the division-leading Blue Jays.

  9. In a chat last week at BA (either Cooper or Badler) it was acknowledged that Norris was probably now a top 40 prospect and Pompey would be close to a top 100.
    So you start with a couple top 100 prospects an add some high upside talent that we have in bulk at A ball and below and I think you have the makings of a package that most GM’s would have to consider.

    Also though Baltimore has a higher ranked minor league system most of that is based on the success of Gausman and Bundy at the higher levels. I really find it hard to believe that Duquette parts with one of those guys let alone both in a deal for 1 and 1/2 years of Shark or Price.

    • It was actually that Norris is “in the discussion for top 50″ and all that was acknowledged about Pompey was that he was an “interesting top of the order type.”

      Baltimore has a better farm system. They have better top ranked guys in Gausman, Bundy, Harvey, Ed-Rod and just as much depth. We’d be hard-pressed to beat their offer if they decide to truly go for it.

  10. With Norris up to AA, I am extremely curious to see how he fares. If he can maintain the success he has had, its unlikely, but not completely inconceivable that he could be an option as early as this year. A stretch yes, but not impossible.

    Frankly, Norris looks like a better prospect than Sanchez at this point. Significantly better control after the mechanical adjustments they made with him.

    • He started the year in A ball.

      He’s 21 years old. If the Jays bumped him up to Buffalo, he’d be the youngest player in the International League (AAA).

      No. He’s not an option for this year.

      • pretty sure jose fernandez was 21 last year… not saying norris is that good, or even that the jays are thinking of him as an option this year. but if he’s ready his age really shouldn’t be something that holds him back. if he’s not ready then by all means let him work his way up, just don’t hold him back if he looks legit.

  11. Last 2 seasons as SP:

    J.Samardzija: 75gs, 6.4ip/gs, 3.85era, 3.54fip, 3.39xfip, 3.48siera

    M.Buehrle: 47gs, 6.4ip/gs, 3.56era, 3.86fip, 4.12xfip, 4.23siera
    D.Hutchison: 14gs, 5.9ip/gs, 3.62era, 3.88fip, 3.95xfip, 3.83siera
    R.Dickey: 49gs, 6.4ip/gs, 4.17era, 4.58fip, 4.30xfip, 4.20siera
    M.Stroman: 3gs, 6.0ip/gs, 2.50era, 2.42fip, 3.06xfip, 2.89siera
    J.Happ: 27gs, 5.3ip/gs, 4.38era, 4.37fip, 4.59xfip, 4.48siera
    B.Morrow: 16gs, 5.1ip/gs, 5.73era, 4.95fip, 4.37xfip, 4.34siera

    I like Shark but I sure wouldn’t give up an Ace package for him.

    Now these guys, on the other hand, I would:

    D.Price: 42gs, 7.0ip/gs, 3.55era, 3.03fip, 3.02xfip, 3.04siera
    J.Shields: 49gs, 6.7ip/gs, 3.25era, 3.59fip, 3.69xfip, 3.72siera

    • I think, all things considered, I’d prefer Shields.

    • Wait. Sorry. Maybe I’m showing my Dumb here, but how, based on the numbers above is Shields significantly better than Shark?

      • Price worries me because I’m afraid he’s going to be looking for an “elite ace” type contract and Tampa is going to be looking for “elite ace” return (contract status acknowledged) and I personally doubt his ability to be that kind of the guy in the future. Hell, I don’t think he’s even that kind of guy this season.

    • Last two seasons Shark has started 75 games…. ummm are you on glue?

      • In fact, given the avg IP/Gs, 6.4, that works out to 480 innings in 2 years. Fuck give them the farm system, your 2 car garage, and a crack at your wife!!!

  12. Put down that batting helmet Jeff. You won’t need that where you’re going.

    (the shower; He’s going to the shower)

  13. The question I’m starting to have is, what exactly would their plan be if they add a starter?

    Assuming all five of current starters remain healthy – which is of course a fairly big if – won’t it take a drop-off from Happ, Stroman or Hutchison to make a move viable? Yeah, if it’s Price or Samardzija coming in, you move some pieces around to fit them, but if the piece they target is a rental like Hammel or Gavin Floyd, they may have less motivation.

    Add in Brandon Morrow potentially returning in a few months, and I really wonder if the Jays will just end up passing on adding a starter. When you look at who might be available to play 2B – i.e. no one, really – I really get the sense they’ll make minor moves at most in July.

    Of course, that can change with an injury or one of those players really struggling, but that’s the way I’m starting to imagine it playing out as of today.

    • I’m surprisingly ok with having TOO MANY viable starting pitchers on the team.

      • Two obvious situations come to mind:

        1/ Hutch came off TJ last Aug and bears close scrutiny.

        and

        2/ Stroman pitched approx 130 innings last year. More than that and your into
        uncharted territory.

        And if Morrow does come back it goes without saying you can not count on him for much of a contribution.

        Also, there are a number of pitchers on the staff who still have options.

    • Samardzija or Shields or Masterson would be expensive insurance for Hutch and Morrow. I would think Jays wait’n see on Morrow’s return. A better approach might be 3rd tier SP from bottom dwelling team in late July.

  14. But Zaunie sez we should trade for Price and Zobrist!

    (Exactly what we would have to give up to get Tampa to trade within the division, he’s less definitive on).

  15. I’d be ok with dealing one of stroman/sanchez/norris. Anything more than that is excessive. Would a package of one of those 3 plus/ jimenez/pompey/stilson be enticing enough for the cubs? I’d do that.

  16. What about a package involving Norris for Zobrist.

    • I think the Rays are too smart to rule out trading within the division. I never really understood the objection to that. If a trade is fair exchange of value, then whey do you care if you are trading within the division?

      • the concern would be the middle finger of seeing a prospect you traded away dominate you for the next 7 years.

        • Ya, but if you are genuinely worried that the player is going to be a star, then don’t trade that player because giving up a star is just a bd thing. If you are unsure, then you factor that into your calculus. The division worry seems more like a fan worry. I think if you can get the player that helps you now and it costs a prospect you are willing to give up (given their potential), then do it. Maybe you end up facing that player ten more times a year then if they were out of your division. Seems like not a good enough reason to not trade for a player.

      • Pretty much. I mean, the risk is there for Toronto as well – if those prospects become Price Juniors, for example.

      • yup. rays are too smart to care about in-division being a factor. they’ll go for the best return, period.

        • Well, all that said, can you think of any major trades that happened within a division? I can’t think of a big trade within the AL East since, well, Roger Clemens. Am I forgetting something?

          Could be one of those “unwritten rules” at the management level.

          • If I were GM, I think I would prefer an out of site out of mind approach to dealing away your top ranked guys.
            huge if, but if sanchez is dominating mlb hitters, wouldn’t you prefer he did it in the NL somewhere?
            or anywhere that you wouldn’t face him 5 – 10 times a year?

            • Doesn’t that only matter if you think you lost the trade before you even make it?

              • I would think there will always be re-building teams looking to take top prospects, so I would imagine it would be rare that an inter division offer would blow everyone else’s offer off the table so bad that you had no choice.

            • and if he is slightly below average, then I would rather have him in the division. Just not sure how that reasoning makes sense unless you presuppose that you are really confident in that player (at which point you shouldn’t trade that asset).

              • I don’t think its that cut and dry,
                KC Trades myers for shields,
                myers goes on to win rookie of the year, that sucks for the royals,
                shields has been a force and they’re in contention.
                I’m sure they would trade a trip to the playoffs for Myers, they haven’t been in longer than the jays.
                the point would be that it would suck more if they traded myers to the indians, and had him win rookie of the year while playing them 20x a year as opposed to 6

                • Why?

                  The only possible reason could be that they are worried that it will piss off the fans so much that they stay away from the park and buy less merch so there is less revenue for payroll.

                  Is that what you’re suggesting?

                  • so you’d be totally indifferent if Sanchez ending up in cy young contentions for years as a member of the dodgers or of the yankees?

                    • Emotionally? No. Objectively? Yes.

                      If your GM is making emotional decisions then it’s time to get a new GM.

  17. I’m still hoping that Stroman turns out to be a plus pitcher, negating the need to go wild in the trade market. But that’s a lot to ask of a rook.

    And I do worry what would happen if the Jays make the postseason, and smack up against a deep with a deep rotation (not that there are a ton of those teams around, but those are the kind of teams that tend to do well come October).

    • You can’t feel good about a series of Buerhle v. Verlander; Hutch v. Scherzer; Stroman v. Sanchez. (or switch in whatever jays pitchers you want)

      Anything can happen, but I wouldn’t bet on the Jays.

      • How do you feel about Hutch v. Sanchez, Dickey v. Porcello and Happ v. Verlander?

      • Yes, but Detroit arguably has the best rotation in baseball, at least reputation-wise.

        If we beat Detroit, it’s never going to be because we have better pitchers than them; it’s because we can out-hit them.

    • Teams like the Detroit Tigers whom they recently swept in their own backyard without even using their best two starters?

      Anything can happen in a single series.

      • Anything can happen, but that doesn’t make it a level playing field. The Astros could sweep the A’s, in a 4 game set, but it is unlikely because they don’t stack up very well against the A’s.

  18. I’d rather the Jays pursue a McCarthy (ARI) or Kennedy (SD) based on the groundless assumption that the prospects/short-term value is better suited to the Jays needs (i.e. not having to sell-the-farm to pick up a few extra wins down the stretch).

    • Agreed. They’re likely to want Norris and Sanchez.

    • but who’s spot would they take?
      Happ has been throwing well,
      obviously buerhle and dickey aren’t going anywhere.
      Hutchison has been great for the most part.
      Stroman hasn’t done anything to deserve losing his spot.

      • Exactly, a Hammel/McCarthy/Kennedy is likely no better than Happ (but would be nice injury insurance)

        • Happ is crap, don’t fool yourself. All of those guys are markedly better options.

          • ???

            McCarthy has a career 4.22 ERA in 874 innings
            Happ has a career 4.23 ERA in 736 innings

            They’ve had almost identical results in terms of run prevention a fairly large sample size.

            Peripherals be damned, at some point you have to concede that they’re basically equal.

            • I don’t care about what their career ERAs are. Pitchers change. McCarthy has a crazy-good 2.86 xFIP (76 xFIP-) this year and has generally great peripherals. He’s pounding the zone, getting a decent amount of swinging strikes and has an elite GB-rate. From 2011-2013 he was similarly good. The pre-2011 McCarthy has no bearing on what we can expect from him.

              Happ is getting a decent amount of strikeouts, as he always has, but the walks are a problem and he’s giving up a fair amount of fly balls. I expect him to produce at a marginally better than replacement level for the rest of the season. He’s a problem.

              I may take McCarthy over any single Jays starter rest-of-season. The only thing I’m worried about with him is injuries.

              • Agreed. I’m not sure how we can dismiss peripherals and the injury risk is there with McCarty but not long-term as he’s a rental.

                • lol i can take the same info you’re looking at and make the exact opposite argument you are

                  his peripherals of low walks + lots of hits and home runs makes me think he’s just serving up balls right down the plate

                  • you might not care about their career ERAs but the fact is that after like 1600 combined innings they have basically the exact same ERA. Why would you expect that to change in the future?

    • Don’t think we need a mediocre guy like that. Our rotation doesn’t have a depth problem. It’s the lack of a proven #1 that sticks out most.

      • Yeah. If we trade for another #3 guy, what’s the benefit.

        Although I’m worried about what we’d have to give up to get a top of the rotation guy. If only there were more Ruben Amaros around.

        • Kennedy and McCarthy are both better options than Dickey and Happ. I’d be very happy to have either.

          Also, imagine if with our present depth any of our rotation members get hurt (a likely possibility). We’d be exposed.

          • Bingo

            • they might be better,
              but the season is half over,
              and they dont play everyday so we’re maybe talking about 15 starts.
              will the value provided in those 15 starts even equal one extra win?
              how much prospect depth is that worth?

              • Yeah…I tend to lean more to the “minimal extra value” point of view. But the point of what happens if Stroman tires, Hutch’s arm starts getting wonky again etc is well taken.

          • I do like Kennedy, but are we sure he’s available?

            I’m not that high on McCarthy at all (although I take your point), but maybe with Towers as GM we just have to offer up a “grit” guy.

    • I’m not sure I get the Ace vs depth argument. Ultimately you’re looking for a rotation that maximizes WAR which usually corresponds to quality starts/bullpen effectiveness. I just see way too many unknowns after Buehrle and Dickey (Hutch and Stro – durability/pitch count, Morrow – recovery, Happ – regression) and I view both McCarthy and Kennedy as an overall improvement to the Jays biggest weakness. Interesting debate.

  19. The Reality is the Jays overpay for Shark and we regret it almost immediately as he shits the bed in the AL east. The package will make the Dickey trade look like a massive bargain. I’m thinking Sanchez, Norris, Pompey, Barreto and a PtBNL that ends up being Lugo or Osuna. The way to build a perennial contender is not to dump your farm year after year. I hope AA doesn’t blow his load on a one-off playoff game and we experience another two decades of irrelevance.

    Even if they trade for a starter, do they move the right pitcher to the pen? RA Dickey has the same WAR as Stroman on the year.

    • What does “the Reality” mean? I don’t think I know in this context. Also why would they make Osuna a PTBNL?

    • Come on. You think AA is crazy ? He isn’t shipping out that much in any deal. Love Kennedy also think Eric bedard could be worth a look. he’s having a solid year on a shitty Rays team. Smooth delivery era under 4. He is not signed past this year and who knows, if it works out he could be a solid piece 4 or 5 for a couple more years.

      • Yes. I used to think AA was an elite GM. All he has really done was dump Vernon Wells’ contract.

        This is not a good front office.

        The only trade the Jays should be making at the deadline is for Pat Gillick.

        • I was going to write a long reply, extolling the virtues of AA – but then I remembered my cardinal rule. Don’t feed trolls. They’re not worth bagsweat.

        • You are so right…AA needs to be fired cause we’re in first place. Good lord man, I know it hurts, but try thinking before you type.

    • Baltimore has 3 games in hand now. Why the hell have we played every day for 2 months or at least it feels like it. Do we have banked off days later on ?

  20. it’s now or never let’s do this!

  21. *crosses fingers for a rare TB win tonight*

  22. Not sure if I want The Shark here. But he sure has purty eyes…

  23. I’m interested in whether AA is thinking of trading for Shark in order to deny the O’s and/or the Yanks. That alone could be the deciding factor.

    • Is it worth selling the farm just to shark block the other ALE teams? Shark’s not the only pitcher that’ll be available. Barring a spate if injuries, the Jays should (I sure as he’ll hope) reach 90 wins by playing a shade over .500. The team as is can probably get it done.

      • I’m with you. I’m still all for “Keep the Kids”. In the long run they’ll win.
        But if Shark goes to either one of those 2 now, (nevermind the Yanks may
        still end up with him in a year and a half), what then?
        I think this is what GMs do half the time: make deals that deny their
        rivals improvement.

  24. Trade the farm for Price and pay him more than Tanaka amirite?

  25. Overpay for a rental, keep the farm , RAD and Buehrle will be retiring sooner than later.

    • Boring and unsexy as that scenario is – I grudgingly vote for it. Keep the kids in the system.
      See how this year unfolds – and then if needed, grab a rent-a-player for the short term.

    • While I’m not necessarily advocating a deal for Shark, he is under contract for 1.5 years. Which is same time frame as the Jays alleged window for contention…

  26. How All Of The Blue Jays Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

    http://mlbreports.com/2014/06/16/torrthit/

    • Nice read. Thanks for putting the link in the comments aka “posting”.

    • We landed EE from the Rolen trade http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=286351

      • Technically EE was signed as a Free Agent (Dec) after the A’s picked him up off of waivers (Oct 2011) after the 2011 year – and never signed him . While he never played a game for Oakland, it started a new chain of transaction for him..
        Originally, yes he was picked up in the Rolen deal. AA should definitely be commended for having the guy also sign an extension for 3 years at roughly $9 MIL, when Encarnacion could have commanded better $ on the open market. The Joey Bats signing was also a great move. Buehrle and Reyes brought in for outgoing talent looks okay immediately right now as well. Could still be burned long term by Dickey deal, but so far d’Arnaud not lighting it up, and Syndergaard still not with New York yet either.

  27. I’m quietly cheering for Miami despite Loria.
    Love Giancarlo.

    They just called up Marisnick and Descalfini. Get to see how our ex-kids fare.

  28. T-Bay up 3-0 on Balto.

  29. TB up 3-0 in the 5th Go Rays

  30. Sadly Balto got a 2-run homer. 3-2.

  31. Justin Verlander shit bed against Jason Vargas and the Royals…
    No James Shields at all if Detroit keeps this up.

  32. Verlander has been shitting the bed all season

  33. Bases loaded for the O’s with 1 out and Cruz at the plate. I’m wincing already…

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