The non-waiver trade deadline hits Thursday, and there is all kinds of chatter, big and small, out there regarding the Blue Jays and everyone else, so let’s check out what’s going on over at the invaluable, fantastic, and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and see what we’re hearing as the hot stove gets close to its boiling point…
A large, awesome Jays-specific piece will require several paragraphs here to cover:
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun writes that the Jays could have had Chase Headley, with San Diego paying the freight, if they’d traded Juan Francisco and two “not big-time prospects.” It may seem bizarre to some that the Jays wouldn’t do this, especially those whose minds are broken by strikeouts, as though they’re some sin infinitely worse than any old other out (they’re not, though yes, they’re worse), but I can see it. First, it depends on who the prospects are. Second, as MLBTR points out, even with the recent struggles, Francisco is having a much better season than Headley so far. Third, Francisco doesn’t come with injury concerns that would only be exacerbated by playing on the Rogers Centre turf. Fourth, if the performance from Headley wasn’t there, you’d maybe wonder just how easily he’d take being held out of the lineup, especially as a free-agent-to-be trying to rebuild some value as he heads towards a payday. Francisco, I don’t think, would pose an issue in this regard — though to be fair, I certainly can’t say the same about Headley with any knowledge either, I’d just maybe have wondered.
- A piece from Shi Davidi at Sportsnet tells us that the Jays are being scouted beyond just “the usual suspects,” as he notes that the Phillies took a short trip down the road to Dunedin to look at a rehab start from Sean Nolin, while the Rangers have had scouts in Vancouver, looking in particular at Franklin Barreto, Miguel Castro, and Jairo Labourt. It could just be due diligence, or these clubs having a look at these guys just so they know better what they may want to ask for in the future. But I don’t know… though we heard last week from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that the Jays (as well as the Yankees) are cool to the idea of A.J. Burnett, that could be a thing — though he’s certainly not the only intriguing body on their roster. And the Rangers have some pieces that could move too, including Alex Rios, who the Jays are rumoured to be interested in – though Ken Rosenthal tweeted yesterday that their interest was fleeting.
- Kenny Ken Ken also tweets that free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera is “an option” for the Jays, which… is he? He’s been worth nearly a win-and-a-half this year, but thanks mostly to the fact that he plays shortstop, which he’d be moved off of if he came over to the Jays, moving back to second base, where he played a bunch from 2007 to 2009. He doesn’t play great defence (according to the metrics) at short, and has a .303 on-base over his last 970 plate appearances. And his platoon splits aren’t terribly pronounced, either. Against right-handed pitching, where he’s hit best, over that span the switch hitter slashed .249/.315/.407. At this point I’d take Munenori Kawasaki and his .295/.351/.352 line against right-handers, thanks. And I’d certainly take Steve Tolleson and his 174 wRC+ against lefties. Second base hasn’t even really been that big a problem for this team, frankly.
Another player that doesn’t seem like an upgrade on what the Jays have (specifically Nolan Reimold), is the Padres’ Chris Denorfia. The right-hander has a 87 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Uh… pass. Huge pass. Not even a second thought. Like, WTF?
The Red Sox’ John Lester could be on the move, but don’t get your hopes up on him landing here. He could sure be a difference-maker, though. So could David Price, who some — like Jon Morosi — think is very much still on the block, despite the Rays’ recent surge that has taken them to 7.5 games back in the AL East. The thing is, it’s still a long shot for the Rays to make any playoff noise, and they might not be able to do better for Price in the off-season, where he’ll help a club for just one run, than they can right now — especially considering his salary next year will be so clearly out of the Rays’ capabilities that they may lose a bit of leverage simply on the fact that it’s so clear they can’t keep him. Unless, of course, they can.
Nick Cafardo suggests that the Red Sox might be interested in long-rumoured Jays target Martin Prado. So… that’s probably bullshit.
ICYMI, the Jays D’d Esmil Rogers FA over the weekend, as they needed to clear a spot on the active roster for Nolan Reimold, who returned from injury.
Lastly, back to the big Jays piece, where they tell us Shi Davidi tweets that the Jays had “multiple people” at the showcase for Rusney Castillo, the Cuban outfielder who some scouts feel could help a club as soon as this season. MLBTR’s piece on the Castillo showcase suggests he was pretty impressive: “While scouts offered slightly differing takes, as might be expected, the workout did little to dampen the growing hype surrounding Castillo. At the dish, Castillo showed surprising power and swung well against live pitching from Nate Carter (a D-II closer). His speed rated as anywhere from very good to outstanding and he showed an average big league arm from the outfield,” they explained, while also noting that he may command a contract as big as the $42-million Yasiel Puig got when he defected. Interesting, but expensive for what we currently think Rogers is willing to do regarding payroll. Oh, and there were 27 clubs also at the showcase taking a look. So… yeah.