Archive for the ‘Talkin’ Trades’ Category

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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garzarobin

It’s here! It’s here!

The first Matt Garza rumour sighting of the season! And another one on top of that to boot!

It’s finally here!!!

The non-waiver trade deadline is only about a month away, and with the draft over– and most teams *COUGH* having come to terms with their first round picks– rumour season is apparently already upon us!

Take it away, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports!

Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who might be the best active pitcher currently available in a trade, is drawing considerable interest from teams in both leagues and on both coasts.

The Orioles, Rangers, Giants, Padres and Dodgers are all said by sources to have varying degrees of interest in acquiring Garza, with the Blue Jays, Red Sox (though they seem more focused on bullpen help at the moment) and several other teams seen as possible destinations for the 29-year-old.

With the Jays’ rotation currently full, and Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ on the mend, it might sound a little bit rich to think that the club might give up the kind of package it would take to land a guy like Garza, but let’s not forget that the rotation currently features Chien-Ming Wang, Esmil Rogers, and… y’know… Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle.

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AAreyesPC

Noooooot a lot of good AA photos in our Getty archive.

Today we’ve got some interesting stuff from Jeff Blair, slightly buried in his latest for the Globe and Mail, which ostensibly serves mostly to look at the curious machinations from within the Jays’ infield of late. After running through the laundry list of issues the club has been faced with in the infield so far, and the experiments they’ve played around with, he drops this bomb on us:

Anthopoulos isn’t only talking to his peers about a temporary, defence-first replacement for Reyes during his three-month absence. He’s talking about a significant transaction that might require several moving pieces. What if, for example, his offensive concerns turn out to be best addressed by adding a particular right fielder? No way Bautista balks at a move to third base if it makes the team better able to achieve its ultimate goal; in fact, as he ages he might find third base less taxing on his legs than patrolling the outfield.

hhhhhWhat?

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HUSTLE

I’m assuming, like me, you all stayed up all night to wait for the exact second that the seemingly inevitable R.A. Dickey trade happens. Seems like it’ll be here any second, really. I’m going to keep this updated with anything worth knowing for as long as it takes. Don’t worry, everyone, I’m pretty addicted to caffeine.

That’s a pretty interesting way to start, isn’t it?

As fun as it was to picture a future where we get R.A. Dickey and JP Arencibia isn’t the one who has to try to catch the knuckleball, I think it goes without saying that the Mets are going to want to maximize on the return on the reigning Cy Young winner. Parting with Gose sucks too, but Martino also mentioned that there’s a chance there are other pieces in the deal coming, and the Mets are “Playing it incredibly close”. Which is hilarious, because apparently ‘playing it close’ in New York means leaking new details about the trade to every baseball reporter on the planet every 15 minutes. Is this more fun than the “last to know” Jays guys? I can’t tell.

Leave it to the Knobler to try to cool off our morning wood over Dickey. It’s still early folks. And it’s a Saturday.

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