Today In MLBTR: Thursday, July 17th


This hasn’t quite been a daily feature, but may still end up one from here until July 31st, especially with the Jays still holding on for dear life in the AL East, trade season sizzling, and the club with plenty of use for many parts, big and small. So let’s have a look at what the invaluable, fantastic, and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors is telling us about today (and maybe yesterday, too)…

A look at a piece from Jim Bowden touches on just about everything in the latest from the wacky ex-GM over at, but not the fact that, as we’ve known, the Jays are looking for a right-hitting third baseman — and more likely to trade for one of those than a starting pitcher. There aren’t a lot of options, though. Among the best third basemen with at least 50 plate appearances against lefties Martin Prado (15th in the split with a 126 wRC+) really seems like the only option, with everyone else either belonging to a true contender or being highly unlikely to move (think David Wright). Chase Headley has a 78 wRC+ against left-handers, FYI. And the best second baseman in baseball in the split? Steve Tolleson. I shit you not.

Meanwhile, Bowden also talks about Cole Hamels being unlikely to move (but Cliff Lee being a potential August trade target), the fact that the A’s may be active once again in territory the Jays are looking at — this time being the second base market — and that “some possible trade partners increasingly believe” that David Price won’t be moved. Part of the reason? “The club still wants to see if a post-season run remains possible; though the club sits 9.5 games back at the break, the division does still look somewhat vulnerable.”

Speaking of what constitutes a viable playoff scenario, a look at the Red Sox suggests that club is still considering whether to buy or sell at the deadline, “thinking that there may still be time for them to climb back into the race.”  In a Quick Hits piece it’s suggested that Cleveland has been looking at the Rays system, and that maybe this means they have some interest in Price, even though they’re currently 7.5 games back. The Mets, seven games back in the NL East, are still weighing whether or not to pursue deadline improvements to help them in 2014, apparently. Hey, but the Jays, at four games back, are totally fucked, right???

Over the weekend the Angels were looking to make a deal with the Padres, which could have seen them land both Ian Kennedy and Huston Street. The Padres also have Chase Headley, of course. Could the Jays swoop in with some one-stop shopping of the poor-man’s-Billy-Beane variety? How about with the Diamondbacks? I mean, I don’t know how thrilled I’d be with giving up an Aaron Sanchez for a Martin Prado, but Prado and Brad Ziegler? Headley and Kennedy? It’s a little more palatable, at least. (As of Wednesday it seemed like the Angels’ pursuit of Kennedy was off, so… there’s that).

Speaking of Street, a look at the closer market suggests that the Padres are reluctant to move either him or Joaquin Benoit. Jonathan Papelbon is another name that’s out there, and while the Jays obviously don’t need a closer, their bullpen could certainly use a lift — though it’s at least encouraging that Neil Wagner is making progress, and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this week, per a tweet yesterday from Ben Nicholson-Smith.

One name that’s now off the market is a familiar one: on Wednesday the Rangers dealt the Sausage King, Jason Frasor, to the Royals for 26-year-old Triple-A starter Spencer Patton, who didn’t rank among the club’s top 30 prospects according to Baseball America this year, we’re told.

The Yankees have officially released Alfonso Soriano, making him a free agent. He’ll likely sign for the league minimum somewhere, if he continues to play. He’s a right-handed bat, but his wRC+ against lefties has slumped to just 80 this season, meaning he’s not really of any value to anybody — certainly not the Jays — on a big league contract. If he wanted to go to Buffalo though, for some reason, that could do.

If they decide to be sellers, the Mets are considering making Bartolo Colon available. Theoretically the Jays could have just signed him last winter, but regardless, he’s an option that’s not without intrigue. Tough to see the club going with all three of Buehrle, Dickey, and Colon in the rotation next year, though it sure would help bridge the gap to the Norrises and Sanchezes of the world. Plus, he’s only owed $11-million next year, plus about $3.75-million for this. Still though, probably not a great idea.

Speaking of bad ideas, A.J. Pierzynski! The Red Sox officially released him yesterday, so if anyone’s looking for a shitty catcher nobody likes, one’s available.

Quick Hits piece tells us about another A.J., and that A.J. Burnett wants to stay with the Phillies and doesn’t know what he’ll do if asked to waive his no-trade clause. It also says that — hold on to your hats! — the spate of recent injuries and underperformance from big name, big money pitchers (think Tanak, Verlander, Sabathia) might give teams pause when offering massive, lengthy deals to free agents this winter. Could Beeston have been ahead of the curve!?! Also: we’re told that Dodgers 17-year-old Julio Urias was impressive at the Futures Game, and that some think he could pitch in the big leagues at 18. Not that Roberto Osuna is the same calibre of prospect, but being in the Majors that young isn’t a crazy thought, apparently, and believe it or not, the Jays youngster will already be 20 in February.

A piece on the AL West tells us that the A’s are considering dealing disappointing reliever Jim Johnson — former closer of for the Orioles — and possibly willing to eat most of his remaining salary to do so. If the price is right, I’d take a flier. Johnson has been walking far too many batters, and he’s been homer prone, but the velocity is about the same (though the K-rate isn’t) and the batted ball profile isn’t terribly different from last year. Meanwhile, we’re told that the Rangers may have to shed payroll next year after a disappointing season on the field has led to a disappointing season at the gate. Oh, is that how that works?

The most minor of the minor from Sunday: Bobby Korecky cleared waivers and is back in Buffalo, meanwhile, Chien-Ming Wang (remember!) opted out of his deal with the Reds. And one from Monday: the Jays released catcher Hector Gimenez, who apparently they had acquired at some point. One more, even though we already have discussed it, is that the Jays picked up Brett Wallace as corner infield depth. The former Jay (and Cardinal, and A, and Astro, and Oriole) has a .265/.329/.389 line in Triple-A this year, and has been worth -1.0 WAR as a big leaguer in 311 career games. Can’t miss bat!

Lastly, in a look around the blogosphere we’re pointed to a piece from Baseball Hot Corner that gives twenty names of players the Jays could go after over the next two weeks. All the usual suspects are there, plus a few interesting ones you may not have thought of. Just be careful for the eye-roll moment you’ll run into when the Jays being fleeced in the R.A. Dickey deal is mentioned — because, y’know, let’s maybe wait for those prospects to do anything first (that is, if you can’t comprehend the import of the Jays going for it when they did, and as heavily as they did).

Comments (98)

  1. Beyond the Boxscore tweeted that the Jays have the easiest schedule remaining and the Orioles have the 4th toughest in the AL based on winning %.

  2. So much time for wife to nag about housework…….. come back baseball!!

  3. Trading Sanchez for anything less than an impact player would have myself and I assume others heading towards RC, pitch forks in tow. Considering the contract dumps Arizona just performed giving up someone like Sanchez is ludicrous. It’s not a given that Ziegler would be any better in the pen than Sanchez from here on out either given how volatile both RP and submariners can be.

    As for Kennedy, again, who is he replacing? Is he better than Happ? The Jays aren’t going to acquire someone and have them on standby until a rotation spot opens up due to inning restrictions or general shittiness.

    With the injuries the team is dealing with right now, trading anything of great value would be a mistake in my eyes. IF a low cost deal can be made, great. If not, mortgaging the future in hope that your acquisitions can hold fort until Lind, Lawrie and Edwin get back is risky business.

    • yeah the diambonbacks is a pure trash org

    • i’m pretty much in this boat,
      if it’s not someone that can slide into the 1 -2 spot in the rotation, then whats the point.
      it’s really a shame Gose can’t hit, or he would be super useful.

    • Kennedy does have a sub-3 FIP right now and a 3.17 xFIP. He’s striking out more than a batter per inning and has added nearly 2 mph to his fastball.
      He’s basically been better this year than any starter on the Jays, so, he’s clearly better than Happ.
      Granted this year’s his best, but he could certainly help the Jays rotation.

      • Buy low, sell high. This would be the opposite of that. We’ve been burned once by it. Let’s not make it twice.

  4. I’ve said it before and will do so again here… AA, get on the phone and feel out Jon Daniels on what it might take to get Adrian Beltre. He fills so many needs on the Jays – 3B, gold glove, righty masher who hits both RH and LH pitchers, good health record, only expensive for two years, Dominican, and the Rangers have got a lot of fat contracts that they might be more willing than usual to make a deal to lighten the load on their roster.

    • you’re talking about a hall of famer, superstar player.
      they’d probably want Lawrie, Sanchez, Nolin, Pompay, Lind and more

      • Seeing what Daniels has given up in the past, anything’s possible with him. But like I said, just feel him out. If asking too much, say hasta la vista.

      • That’s just funny. What did Ichiro cost? Beltre’s current value is a fraction of that. Performance more than 3 years ago has zero trade value.

        • Oops… a fraction of what was suggested… not a fraction of what Ichiro cost.

          • go check his stats and come back.
            he’s a star.
            he’s also likely 2 years away from hitting 3000 hits.
            I would imagine if he does that all with texas, he goes into the hall of fame as a ranger.
            Texas plans on competing again next year, dealing away a superstar player who’s great on offense and defense would hurt that plan, they’d have to be incredibly motivated.

    • How much would you give up?

    • I like how you slid his being Dominican in as a ‘need’

  5. Wasn’t it Bowden who also said that Lawrie wasn’t an above average defensive 3B?

    I really wish MLB Network Radio would can this guy, I’m getting sick of eye rolling every morning whenever he opens his mouth.

    • “the Blue Jays prefer Lawrie at second base rather than third, but what they like most about Prado is, like Lawrie, he can play both second and third. Unlike Lawrie, Prado is an above-average defender at both.”

      Does anyone not think he is/could be gold glove caliber at either position?

    • No, that was Steve Phillips. He also said of Bretts career that “he was closer to being sent to the minors then an allstar game.”

      Steve Phillips also banged his secretary while married, was accused of taking money in a bonus scheme and been fired more times then a Donald Trump intern.

  6. I wonder if AA will stand pat a little. It’s not like the Jays’ needs are a closely-guarded secret. And everyone knows this is as close as the Jays have gotten to the post-season in 22 years. So the fans are screaming for big moves as well. I suspect all the trades he’s been trying to swing have had rapacious GMs on the other end asking for far more than their players are worth.This is all getting a touch overheated. I’d love a difference-making trade but not at any cost.

    • Fans of every team scream for big moves regardless of the teams position in the standings. I doubt that has any effect on what a GM does at the deadline.

      • They are gonna wear that Santana salary deferral thing like a permanently tattooed black eye. For some reason I really thought I heard the players had approached AA. But no. I’ve been defending Rogers recently because I can’t believe they would be so dumb. I’m slowly beginning to rethink that.

    • If AA stands pat again, he really should be replaced. I understand that Rogers may be squeezing him from a payroll standpoint and surely other teams are asking for the moon, but going almost a full year without any notable upgrades on a team with clear needs is just sad.

  7. Nice piece on Buehrle. Trying to explain the phenom that is.

  8. RT @SNJeffBlair As I mentioned on Sportsnet Connected on Wednesday, Aaron Sanchez has been moved to Bisons bullpen. Could be here within 10 days as reliever


    • Trade?

    • Not sure how I feel about this…

      Stroman shit the bed during his time in the pen, but has been fantastic as a starter

      I hope the control issues are solved, the last thing the Jays need is more walks from the bullpen

      It’s also #1 prospect Aaron Sanchez, so that’s exciting…

      • Stroman wasn’t there long enough to say he shit the bed.
        I love the idea.
        The more quality on the staff the better. Love Dusty but he has me worried. Delabar has been undependable. Another power righty out of the pen is just what the doctor (not James Andrews) ordered. Plus it will keep his innings down, if he pitches well then maybe he makes some big starts in late august/september.

        • Yeah my bad on that one, I guess when I would keep checking his starting stats the 12.79 ERA in the pen stuck out and not the 6.1 innings lol

          I am a little worried about the control, but there’s only one way to find out how he’ll do in the majors… He could also be fucking electric, but we’ll see when the time comes.

          Maybe give him at least 6 days down there in the pen, a few outings, then they can DFA Gillespie when he comes off the DL, poor guy

  9. Wow, just looked up Tolleson’s splits, as Stoeten said on the podcast, the man has done what they’ve asked him and more. That wasn’t just the red wine talking.
    When Lawrie’s back, who would you keep: Kawasaki or Francisco?

    • Probably Francisco, since Muni can be optioned until the beginning of September. Then you have all winter to figure it out. That could change though…if in a month, Kawasaki is still playing really well and Francisco has continued to do nothing, and the team is really close to a wild card spot, I’d pick Kawasaki.

  10. Jays just claimed Brad Mills

    • Perfect response there at the end: “Who the fuck is Marty York?”

      With York’s history of being wrong, I’m looking forward to a huge second half for the Jays.

    • Jesus. All of his tweets are just anti-Jays, trollbaiting bullshit. Dude needs to get a life. Or a job.

  11. Keith laws latest top 50

    Norris in at 39

    Sanchez out

    No Pompey

  12. Mills will be added to the 25-man roster for tomorrow’s game in Texas, says BN-S.

  13. When you lose 23 out of 34 coupled with the injuries, as a fan, Im at a place where we should do nothing drastic or irresponsible with respect to trades understanding the current reality.

    Yes the current reality is we are only 4 games out with 66 left but what no one is considering is when Lawrie, EE and Lind (to a lesser extent) return, will we have even a semblance of the May EE or Lawrie. Especially EE is dependent on swing timing and theres a better chance he gets back and doesnt find it immediately then he does which really leaves us where and with how many games left to make a realistic run at that point?

    I thought that 25-7 run was the most enjoyable baseball we’ve had in a longe time and really shows what the current “healthy” roster is capable of… But to give it all back, dealing w plethora of crucial injuries (again) and entering break w no momentum, the only trades I make if Im AA (if trade at all) have next yr in mind (maybe to bridge time) as much as this yr.

    I just dont think we can fix it in time this yr and the price is worth the risk for anything major. Lets just put our best current lineup out there and hope for something close to a miracle.

  14. Thoughts
    @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources :#BlueJays checked on Alfonso Soriano. Encarnacion, Lind, Lawrie still on DL. Soriano said to be mulling his options.

    • I wouldn’t hate it, even though there’s a legit chance he’s finished. Worth a short-term try.

      • He was fine as recently as second half last year

        Players seldom just lose it all of a sudden barring injury

        • Unless they are 38 year old professional baseball players. Then they have a tendency to fall off the cliff.
          Soriano is 38.

          • I’d still take him if I were the Jays though.

            • I’ve been harsher than I should be, I think, so yeah, I agree. He’s been garbage this year, but sure, give him a week or three to see if he does anything and then decide when people get healthy what to do. He’s probably not thrilled with the idea of not getting any more of an assurance than that, but he doesn’t have much choice if he wants to keep playing.

              • I’d agree with that statement — the 1 to 3 week timeline you suggested would work perfectly with the return of several key players to the lineup from injuries (i.e. EE, Lind, maybe Lawrie), so that would be a long enough time to see whether Soriano has earned a spot for the rest of the season. As well, that’s long enough to see whether the Jays continue to plummet (become moderate sellers by July 31) or have a bounce-back (pick up decent players on the market).d

    • How many roster spots do the Jays have for players that suck? Not just the 25 man but the 40 man

  15. [Moron stuff].

  16. [Moron stuff].

  17. 2 weeks ago i laughed at how the jays got to face Brad Mills. Then the next day they traded for Samardzija and ditched Mills. Then the Jays acquire Mills. Lesson learned.

  18. Deck McGuire D’d FA…

  19. [Dumb stuff].

  20. Ugh
    @jonmorosi: Mariners are having ongoing trade discussions with Rays regarding David Price and Ben Zobrist, sources say. No deal imminent. @FOXSports1

    • That’d be awesome for the Mariners, I could root for them even though they’re in the AL

      I hope your “ugh” isn’t out of hope that the Jays would actually get Price and/or Zobrist

  21. I’m sure ‘sources’ can be found around every front office that is 4 games or less out of a Wild Card spot. I like to follow MLBTR too, but rumors are mainly just fodder for talk shows til something actually happens, right? Here’s hoping we make the right moves.

    • Guy tweets some kind of speculative trade scenario that he pulls out of his bum
      Other people re-tweet
      even more people re-tweet the idea
      legit news source mentions the scenario as a possiblity
      another legit new source picks it up as a ‘rumor’
      more people tweet that this is totally a thing that is being discussed between teams.

      • Who heard anything about shark and hammel to the a’s until it was basically done ?

  22. AA: go get Soriano…even on a major league contract. There is still something left in the tank, especially against LHP. Give ‘im anotger go through the AL East…imagine if he put up even half of his 2013 second half numbers. Yes! Do it!

    And if not, well, yanks and cubs are paying everything above the minimum…no harm done.

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