This obviously isn’t directly related to the Jays, but here on the morning of the non-waiver trade deadline the landscape of the AL East shifted a bit with the Red Sox moving Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, and cash to the Oakland A’s for Yoenis Cespedes and a competitive balance draft pick.

The deal also changes the shape of the team currently in line to play the winner of the AL’s Wild Card play-in game, which the Jays would be in — visiting Anaheim — if the playoffs began today, thanks to their three game lead on the Mariners and Yankees.

The names changing here are big — it’s a genuine baseball trade — and it sure is intriguing for both sides. Lester is a bonafide stud that Oakland adds to a rotation that could be a force in the playoffs, while Gomes — like Lester, a free-agent-to-be — is a lefty-masher who should fit nicely with Oakland’s platoon scheming. The Sox get Cespedes, who is under contract for one more season, and who you’d think will benefit from the move to a more offence-friendly ballpark. They also move Lester to a place he’s not exactly likely to fall in love with over these two months, and a club that isn’t likely going to be able to extend him anyway.

So… yeah. With Lester now in the rotation of a possible playoff opponent, then potentially back in Boston next year, along with Cespedes, it’s not exactly a great trade for the Jays on the surface. But it’s not necessarily a slam dunk that Lester will return — by being traded he no longer will cost a club a draft pick to sign him, so the number of suitors he’ll have has certainly gone up — and just how magically great Cespedes will be with the Red Sox isn’t entirely clear.

Obviously the home run derby exploits demonstrate raw power that suggest the right-handed Cespedes will put a whole lot of dents in the Green Monster over the next fourteen months, but in a lot of ways his name has been bigger than his production since his rookie year. His walk rates have been below league average for the past two seasons, with his on-base hovering around just .300. The power has saved his wOBA and wRC+, which are up to .332 and 113 this year respectively, though. And he’s maybe been a little BABIP’d, posting consecutive years with BABIPs around .275. As we know, though, that’s not simply a measure of luck, and an underlying factor like his second-highest-in-MLB flyball rate might especially be creating more outs in a big park like Oakland’s than they will elsewhere. Interestingly, though, he’s posted worse HR/FB rates away from O.co over the last two seasons, and has been much worse at the plate in general — a 120 wRC+ at home and an 84 on the road last year, and this year a 123 mark in Oakland and 103 everywhere else.

What does it all mean? Mostly we’ll have to wait and see.

The A’s, by the way, have now also dealt Tommy Millone to the Twins for Sam Fuld. So maybe don’t go getting eyes for their surplus of starting pitchers just yet, by the way. Not that you’d want someone like Jason Hammel quite as much as you did a month ago anyway, given the 26 hits, 10 walks, and 18 earned runs he’s given up since coming to Oakland from Chicago.

The Jays are apparently looking for pitching, though, as we were hearing last night. This morning Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that they’re pursuing no position players whatsoever at this point, with their focus entirely on pitching. Meanwhile, at Sporstnet, Shi Davidi writes that the Jays seem to be focussing on a reliever, “if they do anything at all.”

Should it happen, he wrote last night that their aim is for someone with some team control left (as there is currently no clear successor for free-agent-to-be Casey Janssen), who can help them in the near-term as well, and be the kind of pitcher it was hoped that Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos would be for this club.

“While big-name relievers like Joaquin Benoit and Chad Qualls are floating around, a comparison to the type of arm they’re seeking is Addison Reed of Arizona Diamondbacks, a hard-throwing right-hander with two years of control remaining, although he apparently isn’t someone they’re after,” he explains. “They’ve also checked in on Neal Cotts of the Texas Rangers, but that may be nothing more than due diligence.”

Shi also makes a point of calling any of yesterday’s talk about the Jays potentially being in on Jon Lester “nonsense.” Not, y’know, that it matters much now.

So… there’s that.

Comments (375)

  1. Cardinals in on Price? What the shit?

  2. So coming down the last hour, Price could go almost literally anywhere, based on all the click bait being thrown at the wall.

    And the Phillies are asleep.

  3. @ArdenZwelling: November 2012 — #BlueJays trade Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes for Esmil Rogers. WAR since: Aviles/Gomes 7.4; Rogers 0.3

  4. My question is about the August waiver trade. I understand that you have to clear waivers in order to trade a player but wouldn’t the other trading team’s players need to clear waivers? If one team is trading A who cleared waivers for B, wouldn’t B have to clear waivers too? My thinking if you want to fuck a team over is that you have 2 opportunities to do so. You can claim the player the team is trading and/or the player the team is trading for.

    • True – but typically the deals are done after the players have cleared waivers.
      Like the big Red Sox/Dodgers deal 2 yrs ago – in August, but all those players had cleared waivers probably a week earlier.
      The deals done while the player is clearing waivers are usually for minor leaguers or cash, only guys on the 40 man roster have to clear waivers.

  5. O’s get Miller…..damn….

  6. from Tao of Stieb:

    “Hey Dan [Johnson], how’s your knee?” “Oh, fine.” “Oh, really?” “Um…it’s kinda…” “How do you suppose it would feel in DFA Limbo?” “Ow! So hurty!”

  7. Yankees in on Price.

    I knew it!

  8. First time poster, but a readers of this forum for a while and a long time Jays’ fan going back to the early 80′s. I’ve been a reader of this forum the past 2 years after and I do want to say thanks to the regular contributors here. I really appreciate the insight, passion for the team and the game, and sense of humor shared. You all have provided a lot of great info and good laughs on a daily basis. Now onto my post….

    I was very surprised by the trades going into last season. I don’t think anyone really expected the deal with the Marlins, so hard to rule out a big trade today regardless of what is reported in the media. Nobody had A’s getting Lester until it happened this morning. It’s poor business to to do your negotiations in the media and so while AA may say one thing we don’t know what is really going on inside his office.

    I’m really proud of how the team has come together since the AS Break and it’s great to see some of the younger players stepping up. I think the team is showing good depth on defense. They are showing much better patience at the plate and turning things loose on the base paths. It’s proving they don’t need to rely on the long ball. I would still like to see them improve a bit more consistently with runners in scoring position.

    There is never a guarantee about the future in baseball. It’s been discussed on here a lot about pending free agents on the roster. Who knows if Rogers will open up the wallet to keep the roster intact or even to make it stronger. Think about what adding Encarnacion, Lawrie, and Lind back into this line up is going to do. They couldn’t acquire much better bats via trade. This is a line up that competes with any team and can win a World Series. I really believe this and now is the time with key pieces of the roster in their prime.

    The weakness for me is not having a SP that you feel 100% confident in running out to the hill in Sept and Oct. I don’t want to have to rely on Stroman to be that guy and sorry, but Burhle to me a bit of fools gold. I’m more comfortable with him as a #2/#3 on the staff.

    I respect the desire to hold on to prospects, but I am also on the side of winning now. In order to do that the Jays really need a #1 dominate starter. How much longer is Stroman going to stay in the rotation. Is there not a risk that his arm gets overworked? He threw over 100 pitches the other night. It is his first MLB season and is it really smart to let him go 6+ innings pushing 100 pitches for the rest of the year? We talk about worrying about the future, but without concern for how long Stroman can go this year. And he’s been the Jays best starter of late. Secondly, how long can Hutchinson go this season? There isn’t anyone left in the AAA that could jump into the rotation and truly contribute to a playoff run if one of these two gets shut down. I’m also a bit concerned about Burhle. He’s made some bad mistakes at times like the HR to Ichiro. Ichiro??? I’m just not comfortable with Burhle in a one game playoff. The Jays need to win the division and avoid that scenario.

    If they made a balls deep move and went for Price that would prove to the team and the fans that they are committed to winning this year. Stroman is the only player I wouldn’t want them to part with, but getting Price and a being in position to win this year, it’s hard for me to say no thanks to that. Maybe it isn’t likely to happen, but I wouldn’t be disappointed a bit if it happened.

    Either way…Go Jays!

  9. Hey Stoeten,

    Although he may not have been a target of the jays, Milone for Sam Fuld? Oakland already has Gentry, so it doesn’t even look like Fuld is filling a void, since they also just acquired Gomes.

    Don’t you think AA could have given more then that while avoiding to give up one of our “big prospects”? He would have been a nice add, he could either replace Hutch/Happ or maybe come in as a long reliever.

  10. Yankees got Stephen Drew according to MLBTR

  11. Price to Tigers! from Rosenthal

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