Archive for the ‘Talkin’ Trades’ Category

kinsler

And here I was getting set to write a big post about how nothing particularly interesting came out of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event.

I’ll share a bunch of thoughts on AJ Burnett, defensive shifts (yes to both), and the like tomorrow, but tonight Shi Davidi dropped something of a bombshell on us, and it’s one requires some more (relatively) immediate examination. According to his latest for Sportsnet, he reported that, in addition to the one for Brett Anderson we’d already heard about, the Jays had a deal fall apart that would have landed them Ian Kinsler, who was then with the Texas Rangers, but has since been moved to Detroit.

Or… “fall apart” isn’t quite the right terminology. He writes:

“A potential deal was scuttled by the three-time all-star’s no-trade clause, leaving the Rangers to look elsewhere, and the Blue Jays to anoint rookie Ryan Goins as the front-runner at second base.”

Fair enough on Kinsler’s part. It’s his right, and it’s hard to begrudge him that. Potentially this relates back to something that actually came up earlier today, when Sports Illustrated mistakenly called Toronto a “loathed city” when passing on a CBS Sports report that actually said it’s “a place some others are loathe [sic] to play.” There is definitely a sense out there that Toronto isn’t the place where a lot of guys want to come — at least not until they’ve played here — and we’ve all heard the issues before. Of course, we have no idea if Kinsler wouldn’t drop the no-trade clause for anything to do with any of that, or if he was simply hoping to avoid the turf, or to stay in Texas.

Whatever the reasoning, avoiding getting a player who doesn’t want to be here isn’t the only thing to feel good about here (which is especially good since that’s kind of a dumb way to look at it anyway). Actually, there are sort of a lot of things to like.

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Fister For What???

fister

With all the talk of the extravagant prices on the pitching market this winter, and the millions of dollars and sparkling prospects it’s going to take for Alex Anthopoulos to do what he needs to do to fix his rotation, uh… how the hell did he not get in on Doug Fister? How did he not beat the offer the Washington Nationals were making for Doug Fister?

Shit, how did anybody not beat this offer?

IT SAYS UTILITY PLAYER IN THE DAMN OFFICIAL TWEET!

Anthopoulos is certainly not the only GM with some explaining to do on this– Dave Dombrowski, come on down!– but Krol is a hard-throwing (93.5 per FanGraphs) left-handed reliever with a bunch of team control left on account of how he only has 27.1 big league innings, during which he posted a 3.95 ERA, a 4.69 FIP, and an unsustainable strand rate. Mark Hulet had him as the A’s 15th best prospect prior to 2012 (he moved to Washington in the Mike Morse deal last year). Ray is a Double-A lefty starter with some promise on one hand, and a place among Carson Cistulli’s fringe prospects exercise at FanGraphs on the other. BP’s Jason Parks seems to sum up popular sentiment on Ray quite nicely:

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buehrlegroan

Here’s something rather interesting, though there isn’t a whole lot of meat on it as yet. And by “not a whole lot,” I mean nothing more than just this, basically:

Mark Buehrle rumours?

The fantasy-focussed site KFFL.com seems to have noticed the tidbit, but all they’re adding at this point is this:

The Toronto Blue Jays are shopping SP Mark Buehrle this offseason. It’ll be difficult to deal him because his contract was heavily backloaded.

Hmmm…

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shark2

It’s Saturday, and I don’t particularly want to do this right now, but there seems to be more than enough chatter out there at the moment to justify at least a quick post on… well… this:

There is a lot to like about the Shark, but a lot to be concerned about here, too.

In terms of the player, on one hand, Samardzija has only thrown 200 innings once, has put up less than three wins over the last two years per Baseball Reference, and only has two years left before free agency. On the other hand, those innings have been limited by the fact that he had pitched largely as a reliever from 2008 to 2011. He is well liked by FanGraphs’ FIP-based version of WAR, having been worth nearly six wins over the last two seasons by that metric. He’s a hard thrower with a K% consistently above 20%, and has basically held his average velocity over the past three seasons, despite working exclusively out of the ‘pen in the first of those years, and he’s relatively cheap, with MLBTR projecting him at $4.9-million in arbitration this year.

In terms of cost? It’s slightly terrifying. I wrote last month about some spitballin’ that Cubs fans and writers were doing in this regard, which had them come up with Kyle Drabek and Daniel Norris as the keys guys to build a package around– in which case, giddy up!– but obviously you’d have to think that Chicago would be pressing hard for someone like Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman.

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buehrlethrows

There are some pretty big qualifiers in a pretty small passage in the latest from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, as he looks at the developing off-season market in the wake of the Fielder-Kinsler bloickbuster, but this is still pretty interesting:

Every team needs starting pitching, but few teams can point to that commodity as 90 per cent of the reason they finished in last place – except for the Blue Jays. In Anthopoulos’s perfect world, he’d be able to trade for a front of the rotation starter, sign another through free agency, and go into spring training with R.A. Dickey and Mark Buerhle while keeping his fingers crossed that Brandon Morrow comes back healthy. There remains a chance, industry sources believe, that Buehrle might be moved if the pitching market really heats up although that would seem to be dependent on Anthopoulos making hay in the free agency.

Hello!

Yes, those are some pretty gigantic ifs, and I’m not sure how much sense it would make for the Jays to fix their starting pitching issues, only to immediately go and create another large, stunningly-dependable hole in the rotation. But there are certainly elements of the idea that could make sense.

Uh… I think.

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kendrickiannetta

It’s not exactly news that the Jays and the Angels could very potentially line up when it comes to trades this off-season, but in his piece this morning at ESPN.com (Insider Olney), Buster Olney certainly hammered the point home. Though he didn’t mention the Jays by name, he highlighted reasons why there could be a fit quite clearly:

The Los Angeles Angels finished 22nd in starters’ ERA last season, and are said to be casting a wide net as they look for ways to upgrade their rotation through trades. There are still starting pitchers available through free agency, but agents report that Arte Moreno’s executives are not engaging much in that market, which speaks to the budget crunch the Angels face.

. . .

Unless Moreno is willing to flirt with the luxury-tax cap and increase his payroll, then the Angels’ only real hope of landing some pitching is to trade assets on the major league roster, because their farm system is thin. This is why they began reaching out to other teams in early October to let them know they’d be willing to talk about Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, Chris Iannetta and Howie Kendrick, among others.

That said, this is still not an easy fix. The Angels are said by rival executives to be targeting young starters early in their careers — i.e., cheap and controllable. But a lot of rival executives are lukewarm about what the Angels have to offer.

The second baseman, Kendrick, and the catcher, Iannetta, are the targets that Alex Anthopoulos would have some obvious interest in, and if you’re the Jays, there is actually a lot to like about the scenario Olney presents.

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kinslerfielder

Last night Alex Anthopoulos said this about what he’s trying to do behind the scenes on the trade market:

From our standpoint it’s a very focussed group, and a very focussed list, and some– I’d say actually a lot of them– are not out there in the media and not on the internet, and they’re harder to acquire, and the likelihood you acquire them is probably not high, but that’s what we’re trying to do.

Well… um… Prince Fielder is a name that wasn’t out there– mostly because, after a season in which he didn’t hit quite as well as Colby Rasmus (even by league- and park-adjusted wRC+), the $24-million per year he’s owed for the next seven seasons, totalling $168-million, made him look pretty unmovable. But move he just did!

Jon Heyman had it first at CBS Sports, telling us that the big first baseman has been moved to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler. Details are still filtering in, but… it’s a bloickbuster!

In short: Kinsler’s defence has been going south and his last two years at the plate have produced just a 100 and 105 wRC+. However, he’s owed just $62-million for four years plus a buyout. Fielder didn’t have a great year (or playoffs), but might still kill it in Arlington, and is an improvement for Texas that neatly solves their middle infield jam. He’s owed $168-million over seven years, though. The Rangers will get money in the deal ($30-million tweets Jeff Passan), but Detroit should still save enough to extend Max Scherzer and eventually Miguel Cabrera, too. The Tigers can also now move Miguel Cabrera to first, opening a spot for their own top prospect, third baseman Nick Castellanos.

But… OK. What does this mean for the Jays?

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