We learned last off season that two policies in particular combine to make the Toronto Blue Jays a favourite among the rumour mongers: 1) Exercising their due diligence in checking out every available player; and 2) Refusing to speak with the media about any prospective player acquisition, whether it be confirming or denying,

It makes sense. When it comes to free agent signings, agents can drive up the price by insisting that there’s another interested team. The Blue Jays would’ve done their research on the player and yet, they won’t publicly deny it if their name gets attached. The same holds true for trades. A general manager can raise the price of what he’s selling by suggesting another interested party. Once again, the Blue Jays have no doubt inquired into the player’s services if he was known to be available and they’re unlikely to deny interest if questioned by the media.

In the infancy of this off season we’ve already heard rumours connecting Toronto with high priced relievers, Japanese pitchers and rapidly ageing designated hitters. The list will only grow as the off season gets older, and by the time the winter meetings roll around, it wouldn’t be completely surprising to learn that general manager Alex Anthopoulos is speaking with reanimation experts about the possibility of raising Christy Mathewson from the dead to pitch for the team.

This has become the role that the Toronto Blue Jays play in the early parts of the off season. And then they go about doing what no one could possibly have foreseen. Therefore, my candidate for this off season’s most unexpected transaction is trading Jose Bautista.

First, let’s examine the lack of options on the free agent market. With the exceptions of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, there’s a lack of high impact power bats in this year’s free agent class. The market is so terrible in fact, that Aramis Ramirez opted out of a $16 million payout in 2012 to try his luck in free agency. After the two first baseman, both of whom will be seeking more than six years and an average annual salary in excess of $20 million, the next biggest offensive threat from last season was David Ortiz. The Red Sox DH certainly had a good season last year, but given his age and body type, it’s difficult imagining him as a candidate for multiple year deal with any team.

Other big names available include Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins, but neither have the sort of power to compare with Pujols or Fielder.

However, Jose Bautista can offer teams a better offensive option than perhaps any free agent bat, with positional flexibility to play a corner outfield spot or third base, all while under team control for the next four years at $14 million annually and a club option for a fifth year at the same rate. There isn’t anything close to a better deal on the open market.

It may seem redundant to justify the appeal of the player with the highest offensive contribution in baseball this past season, but this only really works for the Blue Jays if there’s a significant return. In order to realize that return, the team acquiring Bautista would have to weigh the cost in players they’re giving up and salary they’re taking on against a simple free agent acquisition.

But why would Toronto be interested in moving such a valuable contributor at such a decent rate? Two reasons immediately come to mind:

1) Outside of Bautista, the Blue Jays’ core is incredibly young. The right fielder is currently the oldest member of the team’s 40 man roster. More than half of the position players on the roster are more than five years younger than Bautista. Given the evident age gap between the team’s MVP and the likes of Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus and even Travis Snider (fingers crossed) combined with the upcoming high level talent yet to even reach the 40 man roster (Travis D’Arnaud, Anthony Gose, Jake Marisnick, etc.), what are the odds of Bautista still being the relevant force that he is when the rest of the team is ready to seriously compete?

I don’t think it’s very good.

By the time the lineup is comprised of the elite players that Anthopoulos has been acquiring, Bautista will be further into the declining stages of his current deal. That’s not to say that he’ll be a terrible player, just that he won’t be the player that he was last season over the length of the entire contract.

2) Moving Bautista wouldn’t symbolize another rebuild as much it would a redistribution. Last season, Bautista accounted for more batting runs above average than all but five entire teams. He had almost five times as many as the next closest Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar, and without him on the team Toronto would have a negative batting value on the year. As the team is currently built, he’s the epitome of the phrase “all of your eggs in one basket.”

While one player with an eight WAR season is better than two with a four WAR season, the Blue Jays only had three position players, including Bautista, with more than two wins above replacement last season, and one of those players only appeared in 43 games. That’s a dangerous situation considering the reckless manner that Bautista sometimes exhibits in the field or on the base paths.

For all the eye rolling at free agent and trade rumours involving the Blue Jays, this team has several needs that can’t possibly be met via free agency alone. However, Bautista, whom FanGraphs recently ranked as having the second highest trade value in baseball, could bring back the type of return that justifies giving up the best offensive player in baseball.

No player in baseball has more present value than the Blue Jays slugger, who is currently in the midst of one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen. At just $14 million per year for each of the next four years, he’s producing at a best-player-in-baseball level while getting paid a little less than Jason Bay or Adam Dunn.

To the right team, he’s worth a young starting pitcher, a reliable bullpen arm or two and even a Major League ready second baseman or another young, cost controlled outfielder.

A pitching-rich, power-needing team like the Atlanta Braves would be foolish not to kick the tires and at least find out what kind of return the Blue Jays would be looking for. I also wonder about the Oakland A’s, whose finances seem to always keep them out of contention for the best players. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Athletics made a run at Adrian Beltre last off season. How much more value is there in Bautista’s four years at $56 million, plus a team option than the $66 million owed to Beltre over the next four years, plus a voidable option?

Of course there will be those who say that trading Bautista only two years after trading Roy Halladay and a year after ridding themselves of Vernon Wells would be disastrous to any public relations capital that Anthopoulos has created for his team since taking charge.

However, in addition to suggesting that the team emphasizes redistribution over rebuilding when speaking with the media about the imaginary trade, I’d also suggest that Brett Lawrie has already overtaken Bautista as the most marketable player on the team. Before he’d even played a game, promos featuring the third baseman were already being shown on television. His birthplace in British Columbia was brought up during every single broadcast. And his all out effort style of play was beyond endearing to a fan base that is constantly comparing baseball to hockey. And that’s all after only 43 games.

It seems to me that if the Blue Jays aren’t going to build a contending team around Jose Bautista in the extremely near future, and the recent negative comments from President Paul Beeston on long term free agent contracts seem to indicate that they’re not, it would be a waste not to move Bautista right now, at the height of his value.

It may not be a popular decision, but the new crop of talent on the team now (including a certain young Canadian), and the fresh talent that’s received in return would quickly allay any fears of optics suggesting that the organization is acting as a farm team for other clubs. But even more importantly, it would create a more competitive team.

Not only would such a trade have the potential to immediately make the Blue Jays better overall, it would also improve the team’s balance of talent in the future.

In conclusion, picture the Toronto Blue Jays, as they are, but without Jose Bautista. Now imagine they went out of their way to acquire him. Would there be a point in that? Does he belong on this team as it’s currently assembled?

Comments (163)

  1. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

  2. come, angry internet townsfolk! burn him at the stake!

  3. The Jays would be foolish to not at least listen to offers.

    • I agree. I have thought about the age thing before and I am glad Parkes is writing on this. If they can get elite level talent at a similar age (early 20s) that they have right now I think trading Jose makes perfect sense. He is getting older and is already declining. This is the time to sell. Let’s be realistic this team is not competing in ’12 and may still not be ready in ’13 so the chances Jose is putting up big numbers in ’13 or even ’14 are small. Trade him now and build a winner not just a decent team with a really good player on it.

      • Trading Jose does sound interesting. However, I think there is something to be said about team chemistry. Apparently, he has helped Escobar get to where he is now, and he’s also buddy, buddy with E5 (not that that’s worth a damn). I think that Jose is a leader and there is some value in that. Especially, because the Jays have such a young team.

        • I am sure there is something to team chemistry though what that is I do not know. I am not a professional player so I really don’t know how it affects teams. My guess is though if you have 5 or 6 guys all around the same age there would be more camaraderie as they all would be going through the same thing. That’s not to say that veterans don’t have a role but you can add a veteran later and still deal Jose.

  4. Who exactly would they want in return for Jose Bautista? I’d consider trading Bautista to the Giants for Cain and Bumgarner, other than that not sure what else.

    But worth noting…

    In 2007 and 2008 the Jays had the best pitching staff in the majors (including bullpen) and they still couldn’t make the playoffs

    • Cain or Bumgarner, plus Belt, and another prospect.

      If Cain, the Jays must have got him to sign a new deal before he comes to Toronto.

  5. “While one player with an eight WAR season is better than two with a four WAR season”

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/linear-dollars-per-win-again/

    • That’s talking in terms of money. I’m talking in terms of success. Very different. By definition, one eight WAR player + one replacement player will bring more success, though minimal, than two four WAR players.

      • Unless I’m misinterpreting you, 8 + 0 still equals 8. Do you have any evidence to back your assertion?

        • The replacement player can ride the pine whereas the 4 WAR dudes gotta play

        • Considering the number of roster spots is limited to 25, it should be obvious that 8 WAR guys are move valuable than two 4 WAR guys.

          • Certainly that’s true if you can just stick a 2 WAR player in that vacated spot, but that’s not what we’re discussing.

            Dustin’s original claim and reply may in fact be true for all I know, intuitively they seem reasonable, but that doesn’t make either correct. They are not rigorously justified statements.

            Also, above I said 8 + 0 = 8, which was incorrect, since a replacement player does not put up zero WAR. According to articles I’ve seen by Tango and MacAree, a replacement level player is worth about -2 WAR over 162 games, or about -0.03 wins per PA. So rather than being slightly better as Parkes suggests, you’re actually slightly worse off.

            Please let me know if I’m not making sense, it could be there’s a gap in my understanding.

  6. Gusty article to write, and it was good one. It’s an interesting idea, and I think your logic is sound… There’s just one factor that I disagree on, which I think is crucial here:

    Can the Jays compete this year or next even without signing a major free agent?

    You seem to be making the argument that they can’t. Given Anthopoulos’ skill on the trade market, I don’t see why that is. If the Jays can add one major offensive piece, and perhaps one big-time pitcher, this is a team that’s a contender next year. Those are big “ifs” for sure, but they’re completely not out of the realm of possibility. Even just one of those two puts the Jays in a position to potentially make a 2010-Texas Rangers-like jump this coming season.

    The other thing I might disagree with is – what do the Jays really gain from trading Bautista? There’s a simple answer there: great young talent. But as you point out, the Jays are already swimming with great young talent.

    Trade Bautista to Atlanta for pitching and all you get is more pitching excess. The Jays are set at catcher, center field, shortstop and third base. Trade for a left fielder and your blocking Snider’s progress. Is there a right fielder, second base and first base prospect out there you’d trade Bautista for? Probably not.

    Prospects are great, but the Jays already have the best farm system in baseball.

    The Jays are in a position where they have so much young talent, that it could come together at any time. That’s the hard part. It could be this year, where Snider breaks out, Rasmus lives up to his hype, Lawrie does what he did in his short-stint last year, Morrow figures it out, Alvarez breaks out, and the Jays go to the playoffs. Or maybe, a lot of those things don’t happen. Maybe it’s this year. Maybe it’s next. The reality is, at least some of those things will come together, and having a bonafide star like Bautista gives you the room to succeed even if/when some of them don’t develop as planned.

    • Great post Votto, i think Parkes is just blowing smoke out of his ass, If we had a Henke like closer we wouldve been right there if not in front of both the Sux and Rayz, u dont have a bum like DOH DOH Reyes make 20 crappy starts and we are right there. This team is not far off. No way do you trade away our best player when we are this close

  7. You had me until you tapped into your inner Tom Cruise “a few good men” closing remarks.

    The answer to your closing question is yes. The way this team is built, on the cusp of success yet missing perhaps that one big bat in the lineup, for an extremely team friendly cost is exactly what I would expect the Jays to be going after in this offseason, rather than signing a over-market contract for a free agent.

    The quote you used says it all – this guy is the best offensive player in baseball and he is being paid less than Adam Dunn or Jason Bay, why in the world would you try and move him.

    Comparing him to Vernon/Halladay is like comparing dump trunks to apples. Vernon was past his prime, always injured, under performing and overpaid. Halladay was leaving the team anyway via free agency and no magical price tag was going to retain him.

    Bautista is the core of this offence – and happens to be under team control for the next four years at which point he will still be only 35. I think you ride it out with him and reap the benefits rather than trade him and gamble on improving the team marginally in certain areas.

    • I was thinking it was more A Time To Kill “imagine she’s white” sort of thing.

      • LOL. Awesome reference there. I loved that movie as a kid…it was a great plot. Learned a lot. (Talking about “A Time To Kill”)

        As for the article, Parkes you are ballsy. I think what’s missing are the names of the people we could get in return and that could sway people more. I love Bautista but I love the Jays more. If by some whacky assertion the Jays become better without Bautista…then hell yes. Pull that trigger.

        • Why is Parkes ballsy? Sure, it’s an interesting idea. Ultimately I don’t think it’s a good idea because Bautista should be in his prime for a few more years and this team can seriously contend right now. Also, there’s something to be said for keeping the well-respected clubhouse leader around even if he is in decline. And Bautista isn’t in decline.

          But what’s so “ballsy” about a guy who isn’t in a position of power throwing a trade idea out there for discussion? Especially one that has no chance of happening. Do you know what “ballsy” means?

  8. The most obvious match I see is Bautista for Heyward and one of Teheran/Vizcaino/Delgado.

    • my immediate thought as well. or maybe a swap for votto

      • Pointless to swap for Votto. You’re looking to fill numerous holes by giving up one star… not just to bring another star in.

    • I think it would cost way more than that, despite the massive value of those guys, to get Bautista

    • Exactly what popped into my head. I’d probably do it in that situation. Heyward, Teheran, probably too much to ask for Kimbrel too but maybe O’Flahterty

  9. No shout-out to Dave Cameron? I don’t think this post gets written without the Lincecum article.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a good read, and something we should all be wondering/questioning. Good work.

  10. So I guess you don’t buy into the whole importance of having a veteran presence on the team?

  11. Bau for Teheran, Heyward, Prado.

    • This would be something pretty difficult for the Blue Jays to turn down, no?

      • Potential ace, RF and 2B would be all set. Snider, Rasmus and Heyward outfield has the chance to be legendary. We know Frank Wren wants offense now.

        • Prado is appealing, but realistically his projected value won’t be much different than Kelly Johnson’s – who the Jays wouldn’t have to give up anything for besides money, which Prado costs similarly (and the opportunity cost of a draft pick, unless he accepts arbitration).

          Jayson Heyward is very exciting, but there were legitimate concerns about him this year, outside of just the “sophomore slump.” I still like him long-term, but there are concerns. Essentially, you’re hoping he turns into 3/4 the player that Bautista is, an accepting risk, with any young player, that he won’t quite make it that far.

          If this were an equation, does: Jose Bautista = Kelly Johnson’s compensation pick + (let’s just say) 50% chance of getting 3/4 of Jose Bautista + Julio Teheran?

          There’s no right or wrong answer there, but I would say no, that Bautista is more valuable.

      • Not anywhere near enough.

      • Yeah, I’d probably do that. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jays could pry another high-value prospect out of a Bautista deal, though. Heyward, Vizcaino, Teheran would be pretty exciting. I the Braves may be too locked in to having Teheran in their 2012 rotation to trade him for 2012 improvement elsewhere, though.

        • If other GMs around the league overrate prospects as much as you guys do, I really hope AA is there to take advantage of them.

          We’re not trading the most valuable player in baseball for three guys that haven’t proven themselves at all in the majors.

  12. One of the hidden values of having Jose Bautista is just how many opportunities he provides to ask questions. Good for developing critical thinking skills.

  13. No, the Jays would not benefit by trading Jose Bautista.

    That is all,

    • You raise several interesting points.

    • Prospects are just prospects until they do something.

      We already have a stacked farm system. Let some of the prospects arrive and do something before we trade the best player in baseball for more of them.

      • We are talking MLB ready players in return for Bautista. This makes a lot of sense. I just think Parkes is glossing over PR a bit.

        • “We’re not trading Jose Bautista for some Sally-Leaguer”

        • I don’t know,

          I don’t really see Bautista falling off a cliff in the next few years.

          Also, in order to compete in the AL East you need at least 2 6 win position players (Yankees had a 5.6 win player but I’m rounding up).

          Prado is not going to be one, Heyward MAY be one and the Teheran dude is just a prospect.

          So no, don’t trade Baustista.

          Keep Bautista and upgrade the pitching any way else you can, which sounds like the plan if you listen to AA’s offseason needs-list.

  14. You’ve made a strong argument for moving Bautista from a strict asset management point of view. His value will likely never be higher than it is right now. From that perspective, I wholly agree that he could (should?) be traded. Of course, some discussion of the ‘intangibles’ that Bautista brings to the team may factor into this equation as well.

    What I think makes this scenario all that more interesting is the fact that Anthopolous has almost always subscribed to the buy-low sell-high approach to building this team and its system. In other words, you could say that it would be unusual for him to not trade Bautista right now. The stakes are obviously much higher in this case than they were in his previous decisions, but moving Bautista right now would be totally consistent with AA’s apparent managerial philosophy.

  15. I understand the reasoning for the suggestion, but I think it sells short what the Jays might be capable of next year. I’m not a cock-eyed optimist on 2012 or anything, but I things could come together more quickly than us realists might think, and the Jays will better know going into 2013 whether Bautista being here for the extent of the deal makes sense– depending on what the youngsters you mentioned do– and there will still be a market for him if they think they’ll need to keep waiting for the next wave. I listen, but I probably wait a year before I get real serious.

    • Agree with this entirely.

    • They’re a .500 team with offense that relied almost entirely on one player. They’re improving, but not at a rate at which Bautista will ever be a useful contributor on a playoff team.

      • That seems like a drastically over simplified statement. If one/two guys from the Morrow, Drabek, McGowan, Alvarez etc. group take big leaps forward, the Jays could have a very competitive staff. Not to mention they’ll have a full year of Lawrie and Rasmus. While there are a ton of question marks there, there’s definitely the potential for the team to make enough strides in 2012 to go big in FA for 2013

  16. If the Blue Jays don’t try to add elite players through trades or free agency, then I think you are right that in the long run they would be better off trading him now. That being said, there is something to be said about the theory that a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush, for example let’s look at the Roy Halladay trade, when the team made that deal no on thought they would be able to compete the following season and that their return from dealing Halladay would be better than letting him walk as a free agent and getting two draft picks. I’m not sure either of those assumptions have been proven to be correct.

    I guess what I’m taking a long time to say is that we have a pretty good idea as to what we will get from Bautista if we keep him, but trading him for prospects they are taking the risk of not necessarily return anything positive in return if they don’t develop. Additionally what if next season a few players develop beyond expectations and it turns out that if we had kept Bautista the Jays would be fighting for a playoff spot.

    For me personally, I’ll keep the bird in my hand.

  17. If were talking hypothetical’s I see the soon to be Miami Marlins as a potential match for the Blue Jays and Bautista. Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison anyone?

    • Given the Marlins burning desire to get better in a hurry, you may have something there.
      Mike Stanton, LoMo and some pitching prospects for Bautista.

  18. If the JAYS want to attract FA or fans moving the leagues’ top home run guy is a ridiculous proposition.

    • Winning attracts fans. The Jays have attracted how many more with Bautista’s bombs? Next to nothing? Same as when Clemens was in town earning Cy Young’s, the turnstiles barely budged higher on days he started. Winning is the thing. End of.

  19. I’ll assume this was just an attempt to increase site traffic by stirring the pot. Good job Damien.

  20. How often can we say that we have one of the top three talents in baseball on our team?

    Our future looks good/will continue to look good for a while. Why deprive all the fans of the present? I’m sure that the large percentage of Jays fans would rather 1 Bautista than 3-4 good players/prospects.

    A player like Bautista is INCREADABLY hard to find. I would even say irreplaceable.

    • ‘How often can we say…’

      Amazingly, for a team that has wallowed in mediocrity since 1993 we have been lucky as fans to have some real stand-out talents on the Jays. Clemens, Delgado and Halladay all come to mind.

      There’s a lot of teams in MLB that have scraped along without post-season a appearance for as long as we have, but they also had very little to cheer for in terms of talent over that period. Pittsburgh, KC…others?

      Maybe it has been even more frustrating being a Jays fan knowing that if we could just put together a supporting cast… we coulda been a contendah!

  21. If we’re talking specific scenarios, how about the Marlins? Was discussing this in the office last night: they’ve been linked to talking about Hanley a couple of times, and we know Alex has a habit of striking for guys he’s liked for a long time (Rasmus, Lawrie), and that the Marlins and their fans are about ready to turn the page– plus, how does Hanley fit if they make a play for Reyes?

    Say… Hanley, LoMo, Leo Nunez for Bautista, Cecil, Villanueva. Dumb, right?

  22. This is a great idea and plan I have actually been on the Trading Bautista Train since August but narrowminded Jays fans get too damn attached to players and do not see the big picture they are all short term tunnel visioned. If you are a good businessman like a GM is then you should always be looking to deal your assets as they start to regress and Bautista has. If AA is smart like I think he is he will sell his assets at a high point not wait til they have totally regresses and sell them when value is low. Very simple business model and you will see Bautista HRs go down every year , just compare 10 to 11

  23. Here’s what I think is missing from this post.

    1. A historical example where a .500ish team traded a player at Bautista’s level and it worked out for them.

    2. Some examples of the exact players Parkes thinks the Jays could get in return from specific teams. “A young starting pitcher, a reliable bullpen arm or two and even a Major League ready second baseman or another young, cost controlled outfielder” is too vague for me to think, “Sounds good to me!”

    • I seem to recall that the Mariners improved after trading Griffey. But they were probably a above .500 team with Griffey, they just got even better without him. please correct me if I am wrong

  24. While a trade involving Bautista could be beneficial to the Jays in the long term, the return would also have to compensate for the loss of Bautista’s influence and leadership in the clubhouse. Without his presence, there would not be the ever present role model showing how the game should be approached and the level of work required to be successful.

    even ultra talented youth can take longer to develop without role models to focus on.

  25. Trade Bautista for Mike Sirotka. Done.

  26. The question I’m left pondering after reading this is “how does Parkes get through life living with no soul?”

  27. If Bautista is to be reasonably traded it has to be for true elite level talent in the 0-3 range, and I just don’t see enough teams with the right mix of players that would be interested in a deal of that type for it to work out.

  28. Stay tuned for the next post in this series, entitled “Would the Blue Jays Benefit By Firing Alex Anthopoulos?”

  29. I’d do it for Bumgarner/Matt Cain (would have to have worked out a deal prior to trading for that insures he resigns), Brandon Belt & Ehire Adrianza.

  30. His peak value might be right now, but I’m pretty confident there’ll be some dumb GM somewhere in the league three years from now who will sell off some assets to get him into their lineup. I’d say keep him for now in a lineup that could surprise in the next 2-3 years and then sell him off in his twilight years to whatever team hires Tony Reagins! haha.

  31. Gutsy, thought-provoking article, and a good talking point.

    But there’s a critical issue no one (that I’ve seen) has addressed: What kind of message would it send to the players you’re trying to sign, either as FA’s, or to extended contracts, if you “bait and switch” the player who has become the face and beating heart of your club, and then flip him to another club, particularly if it’s one he doesn’t like? You can make all the arguments you want about improving the team, but the Jays are also trying to overcome the “I don’t want to play for the Jays” attitude that so many major leaguers have. This would definitely be a black mark against them. They’re trying to become a player-friendly team, and this wouldn’t be that.

    For that reason alone, I can’t see AA doing it – at least, not this year. Think of how he’s made promises to people like John Buck or EE about the number of at-bats they were going to get if they signed – and then followed through, even though there were times he wanted to give those at-bats to other players. AA is thinking through all aspects of the market, and that includes how the players and their agents think of the Jays. So, tempting as this might be (with the right trade bait), I can’t see the Jays betraying Bautista’s trust this way. And he would see it as a betrayal, never doubt that.

    After another 2 years, certainly. Maybe even next year. But this year – I may be wrong, but I not uncertain. It ain’t gonna happen.

    • But Jose wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for the Jays giving him regular ABs in 2009. He’d literally be out of the game! The Jays don’t owe him anything, and I think that’s why he signed what has turned out to be a team-friendly contract instead of hitting the market this off-season (I believe).

      • I think he signed that contract because it was a bunch of guaranteed money, and there was no way of knowing what his 2011 was going to look like. In hindsight, he probably doesn’t sign, because if he doesn’t he’s in the Fielder/Pujols conversation right now. If, however, he doesn’t have another monster year, he gets a whole lot less than what the Jays gave him for signing at the beginning of the season.

  32. Would it make sense for the Jays to go after the best offensive player in baseball who is on a fairly cheap contract if he were made available?

    Umm…yes.

  33. Replacing Bautista, Hill, and Lind with three slightly above league-average (3 fWAR) players would have made the Jays a better team in 2011.

    There’s no shortage of holes to fill in any sort of quantity-for-quality deal, even without getting a single pitcher in return.

  34. In August it was “Don’t call up Brett Lawrie” (till mid-April 2012). Now it’s “trade Bautista”. I can only assume your next article in the line of garnering attention will be “Colby Rasmus should be optioned down for 2 weeks to gain an extra year of control”.

  35. of course they would benefit, just as they could regress. why not attempt to strip the dodgers of Kershaw?

  36. I’m not so sure I agree that the Jays are so far away from being a playoff team that Jose Bautista’s value will be dried up once they get there. That said, obviously some things would need to go right for them to get there.

    This past season showed that the Yanks and Red Sox aren’t always guaranteed locks for the post season. And although the Rays have a four or so year head-start on the Blue Jays – we do have the ability to cover some of our mistakes at the draft table with cash.

    The question is how will this season go for all those guys who we wanted to see “one year older” last season? Lawrie, Morrow, Alvarez, Rasmus, Arencibia.. If a few of those guys progress in a tangible way the ’12 Blue Jays are looking a lot better than the ’11 version. Hell – not trotting out JoJo Reyes, Juan Rivera, Jayson Nix, Corey Patterson, and Jon Rauch HAS to give us a few more wins right?

    What does the addition of a legit bat and/or arm (either via trade or free agency) do to the lineup? Not that I’m saying this happens – but if the Jays landed Fielder and Darvish that would significantly increase the likelihood of playing post season ball.

    Ultimately the question in my mind is – how much needs to happen to get this team into the post season? Obviously there is still a ways to go – but like Stoeten said above – it could come together a lot quicker than some of the more pessimistic among us feel.

    I’m fairly certain the Cardinals are glad they kept Pujols rather than deal him earlier in the season for fear of losing him for nothing. For now I’ll take my chances with the best player in baseball on an amazing contract and see how things go.

    • The Yanks won the division by a mile and have missed once in over a decade and a half. Pretty much sound a lock to me.

  37. Very interesting thought, one that I have had in my head for a bit. It is quite sad that in the past few years we have had arguably the best pitcher and the best hitter in all of baseball and haven’t gotten very far with them.

    The only way I would be satisfied with trading him was if it made the club immediately imporved at the big league level, as in a starting pitcher who is young, cost controlled and isn’t trying to figure it out still a la Morrow or even worse Drabek.

    Assuming we resign Kelly Johnson then our only real glaring needs with no prospects ready to fill in for 2012-2013 is First Base (if something is done with Lind). Otherwise our OF is pretty decent with RF being the only concern and I like that we will have competition from Snider and Thames (and maybe EE) to get playing time. The rest of the infield (contingent on resigning Johnson) is set.

    In summary to trade JoBau we would need the only real weak spots in our roster filled, LF, 1B and SP. All this annoying talk about going after high priced closers is pointless. RP are a dime a dozen and using splits properly Farrell shouldn’t screw it up too much.

  38. This is possibly the stupidest idea I’ve ever seen.

    “By the time the lineup is comprised of the elite players that Anthopoulos has been acquiring, Bautista will be further into the declining stages of his current deal.”

    Last time I checked, Brett Lawrie, Yunuel Escobar and Colby Rasmus were already on the active roster.

    You don’t trade the most talented offensive player in baseball. Especially not after signing him long-term for well below market value.

    • You know who else is on their active roster? Adam Lind, Eric Thames and EE. Those are not superstars. I would upgrade any of them.

  39. Jose is the face of this franchise right now….. we lost Halliday and thankfully Jose stepped up at the right time. Had it not been for Jose, I couldnt see the Jays lasting another 10 years in MLB. Attendence was in the bottoom 10 for another year. Jose brings people to the yard. And will continue to do so. Put protection behind him and he can hit multiple 50 homer seasons. I dont think Pujols or Fielder would even attract that much attention in T.O. Jose has grown into a national name like Carter did with the Raptors. People think Jays, they immediatley think of Bautista, not Lind or Morrow etc….. He makes players around him better, unloading him…. we are back to square one, fans wont put up with it anymore.

    • Attendence was in the bottoom 10 for another year. Jose brings people to the yard.

      Re-read that sentence then tell me if it is even remotely true. Spoiler alert – it isn’t! No one player brings ‘em to the yard. Sorry.

      • Tell that to Kelis

      • I disagree. Attendance was up in 2011. Jose’s performance in 2010 & repeat in 2011 helped attract fans. There was a number of fans with Bautista banners at the game. The team’s marketing dept benefitted from Bautista’s performance. He was in many ads. You could argue that Bautista won’t increase attendance by 1 million over a season, but having Bautista on the team does put some people in the seats.

    • who gives a fuck about the fans? I want my team to win.

    • When i think Jays I think Stieb Carter Halladay and Alomar. Jose has had a couple great years . Fielder would be a monster here and I’d love Jays to sign him

  40. Everyone gets all pissy-in-the-pants whenever someone mentions “trade” and “Bautista” in the same sentence. It’s hilarious.

    I’d trade him for Heyward, Teheran, and maybe Vizcaino, and it’s not crazy for the Braves to actually offer a package like that

    • I’d want way more than a question mark outfielder and two pitching prospects for the most valuable player in baseball. If we were to trade Bautista, it would have to be for several good, young, controllable players already in the majors. We’re talking about a deal that really hasn’t been seen before in baseball.

      • First of all, the most valuable player in baseball is Longoria. #1 prospect in baseball + #4~5 prospect + a probable top 50 prospect isn’t good enough? You do understand that you wouldn’t be able to get those players, even with Bautista, if they were at their peaks?

        • An argument can easily be made that Bautista is the most valuable player in baseball.

          And no, your suggestion isn’t nearly enough for a player of Bautista’s caliber. If you can’t get fair value for him, you simply don’t trade him.

          • not really. Longoria is WAY more likely to be better over the next 4~5 years than Bautista. Also, Bautista costs $70M over the next 5 years. Longoria costs $40.5M. Bautista would have to be nearly 6 WAR better to compensate.

            Stop being biased about everything. Every player has his price. A 2 top 5 prospects and a top 50 prospect sounds like a deal to me, especially for a player about to enter a decline (don’t deny it, he’s 31 next year)

          • This isn’t bias. If Bautista even comes close to sustaining his 2010-2011 level for a few more years, he will be the most valuable player in baseball over that time. I don’t think it would be all that close, either. There are only a few guys in baseball capable of even hitting at that level (Cabrera, Pujols, Votto).

            And I’m not sure why you think trading the best player in baseball for three guys who haven’t even proven they can play in the majors is a good deal for this team. It would be the Roy Halladay trade all over again, except in this case the Jays aren’t being essentially forced into it.

            This tendency to overrate prospects in baseball is incredible to me. I can only hope AA will take advantage of that this winter.

          • How so? Longoria has been close to good as Bautista has been for 2010~2011. He costs half as much for the next 5 years, and is 5 years younger. You’re really stretching it if you think Bautista is the most valuable player in baseball.

            The reason teams trade for prospects is because you would never be able to get them at their peaks using the same package. If you had Teheran, Vizcaino, and Heyward all at their peaks, you would not be able to get them for Bautista. Of course there’s risk.

          • Did you miss the incredible offensive show over the last two seasons? If Bautista continues to hit even close to that, he won’t be touched by anybody in value…even Longoria.

            It really doesn’t matter whether he’s the most valuable or the 2nd most valuable, though, the point is that it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than three prospects who haven’t proven a damn thing to pry Bautista away from the Jays.

  41. I’m surprised it took Parkes this long to suggest this. It fits right in with his ideal to turn the Jays into the Rays.

    That said, if the Jays continue to make excuses about spending to make this team a contender, a Bautista trade should be considered. It’s not optimal because the Jays could conceivably contend if they wanted to in 2012, but there’s certainly no point in wasting his league best production for a third consecutive season.

    • Yeah, I know. I’d hate to be the franchise that mades the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years. The Rays suck!

      • How many times have the Yankees and Red Sox made the playoffs over the last decade?

        • oh sure, let’s compare the Rays to the most successful team of the last decade. You can’t seriously be telling me that the Rays are a bad organization.

          • The point was not that the Rays are a bad organization. They do a fantastic job considering the resources they are given.

            The point was that if you have significant resources are capable of spending money to win (as the Jays have repeatedly claimed under Rogers), you should aspire to be more than the Rays.

          • “Spending money to win” and “Trading Bautista” isn’t mutually exclusive. The reason to trade Bautista isn’t because he’s expensive, but because he’s at (most likely) peak value.

          • I understand the rationale behind trading Bautista. I’ve only been bringing it up for months now as a legitimate course of action.

            I don’t, however, agree that it is the best course of action for this team right now. They can easily contend in 2012 if they choose to (and they should).

        • Hi. I’d like to sign AJ Burnett, BJ Ryan and Frank Thomas so I can get to some mythical dollar figure that will immediately make me a contender.

          Does that sound familiar, FF?

          Spending on the wrong players isn’t the right way to build a team. Ask the Cubs. Or Angels. Or White Sox.

          You and McCown need to realize spending for the sake of spending isn’t going to be what makes this team a winner.

    • People forget that the Rays were a bad team that didn’t win more than 70 games till 2008.

      Thus they benefited from good drafts which are now part of the core.

      No way Jays fans would accept 10 years of 65 wins a year for 3 years of playoffs.

  42. “Could” they? sure, anything is possible. “Would” they? Not so sure; prospects are incredibly difficult to project.

    The team has shown a desire to hold onto its cornerstones as long as they can and add pieces around them, even if they don’t “belong” on the team (Halladay, Delgado…)

  43. Okay so read the post, half the reply’s then skipped to my own.

    I think the Jays have to listen, I think the Jays need to pull the trigger if the right offer comes along. I think that what I saw of Jose Bautista in the 2nd half would remind me of what he might have looked like before he exploded after April of last year. Mostly because, well, Jose was pretty forgettable before may 2010.

    I like Jose I just don’t want to see the Jays stuck with Richard Hildago v2.0

    • Bautista had a .896 OPS after the AS break despite dealing with a series of injuries (with an OPS above 1.000 in both July and August).

      There shouldn’t be any worries about his production offensively…he’s as elite as it gets.

      • So signing right players like red sox and yankees hey….so you mean guys like aj burnett, carl crawford, dice k, those type signings. The Yankees and Red sux can afford to make big mistakes like that the Jays can’t with 22,000 attendance and need to build it right

  44. Jose For Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor and Heyward. Would you do that if you were Frank Wren? Also: Glad to see that picture getting some more mileage.

    • If I was Frank Wren, I’d have to at least think about it. The Braves offense is seriously lacking, and they already have an overload of pitching. Bautista would do a lot to help.

      • If Frank Wren didn’t do that, he’s nuts. Acquiring the best hitter in baseball for a bunch of guys who aren’t major league contributors right now would be a great deal.

        • This isn’t Albert Pujols we’re talking about here you know.

          • I know, Bautista is more valuable than Pujols (especially after he signs his ARod contract).

          • He doesn’t have nearly the track record of Pujols. His career OPS is .843. Of course I wouldn’t trade Bautista straight up for Pujols, but if I could get Pujols for the same contract as Bautista, I’m taking Pujols, every time.

          • If you think Bautista is a different player since his swing change, there’s no reason to look at his career OPS at all. It has no evaluative value.

  45. The last time I checked, free agency doesn’t win championships, organizational depth does.

  46. well, it would really suck… but the logic is undeniable.

  47. I haven’t YAWNED that hard in ages

  48. I can entertain the idea. I suppose it’s expected that there would be a negative reaction in that Bautista is a nice guy on a favourable contract who happens to be one of the best players in the game.

    I might let emotions get involved and accuse Parkes of falling into the seeming belief that “stats guys” always want to deal older more expensive players for high ceiling cost controllable talent. And it becomes circular in that there will always be a younger, cheaper, hotter prospect to go chasing after with your established talent as the bait.

    I won’t be that guy though and I’ll entertain the process.

    1). How far off do you think AA thinks the Jays are from competing?

    To me that is the big question. If the answer is 2013 or maybe even next season then I would say no as they would likely not be competitive without him.

    2). Who exactly are we getting back? You could say the return for Halladay was pretty decent but we do need quite a bit of luck to hope that Drabek, D’naurd (I know I spelt it wrong) and Gose become productive enough talent that it provides palletable return for losing the best pitcher in the game.

    Even if the Jays don’t get into playoff contention until the final years of Joey Bats contract I would say he will still likely be a productive player for the team. A guy like Lawrie might be the best hitter on the team by that point but Bautista won’t be league average or anything.

    I just can’t see an offer that would make sense for the Jays that a team would be willing to pay to get one of the best players in the game with a reasonable contract to boot.

  49. Really, though, AA just signed Bautista long-term 9 months ago. He had his reasons for that (namely keeping and building around an elite player in the organization…the only current elite player this team has) and I doubt those reasons have changed all that much over the course of 2011′s “rebuilding year.”

    It’s pretty safe to say that he has no intention of trading him.

    • Agreed. While in theory, Bautista has peak value, AA is trying to rebuild the Jays reputation as an honest team.

      Trading Bautista would be a disaster from a marketing & relationship with future star players.

      Bautista won’t be traded until he demands one or the 2014 trade deadline assuming the Jays don’t make the playoffs in 2012, 2013 & are out of it for 2014. Jose will deserve a shot a t the playoffs by then.

      Jose is the team leader & it would be foolish to trade him.

      AA would be afraid of a Bautista stare down as well :))

  50. LOL what a hilarious article.

  51. Why not trade Bautista for Octavio Dotel, mark Rzepchinski (or however you spell his damn name), Edwin Jackson and Corey Patterson? The Cardinals would not have won the world series if not for those guys amiright??? So if these guys put the stupid Cardinals over the edge then GUARANTEED the jays will win the world series if we make this trade!!

  52. I think the thing you’re really not taking into consideration when it comes to Bautista’s value to Toronto is his Booster Juice endorsement deal.

  53. I totally agree ! Our last “run” began with winning the East in 1986. We didn’t win the WS until ’92
    Members that were around: Henke, Key, Ward, Fernandez, Gruber, Manny Lee.
    Gone were BELL (AL MVP alaJoey Bats), Moseby, Barfield, McGriff.

  54. well… on the bright side, parkes doesnt actually get to make these decisions. It’s too bad he didn’t get a chance to interview for the O’s position. He could have traded Weiters for 10 of Cuba’s best 8 year old prospects. It’ll be about 20 years before they’re ready to contend, the the move makes sense.

  55. I dont see why everyone needs to get upset, its not like parkes is AA ..

    its a perfectly reasonable scenario, but the only way you move Jbau is for an overpay.

    Unfortunately I don’t see a team outside of the division that would pay a premium for his services.

    Atlanta has the pitching depth to start the convo, but they haven’t depleted any as of yet, and last year they held the wild card, why would they now? Historically they haven’t been a prospect for established player type of club..

    I just dont see a deal working out only because I can foresee another team that matches up with the jays needs and that is willing to move a boatload of prospects…

    perhaps seattle, ogando and ackley would definetely get AA listening

  56. Good post, Parkes. But I wonder if you’re just one year ahead of your time? I expect that after the 2012 season, Brett Lawrie will have completely taken over as face of the franchise and Jose’s value in the clubhouse with the other Latino players will be a little lessened. At which point, if his production keeps anywhere close to what we saw this year, his value on the trade market could be even more. At that point, it wouldn’t be a PR blunder or a team blunder and a possible playoff win. Hell, it could happen at the 2012 trade deadline.

    But I doubt the storm is quite there yet – if it ever does.

  57. I tend to agree with Fullmer Fan. Given Bautista’s value (both in terms of production and cost), I doubt that another team could afford to give up the talent necessary to make it worth our while. None of the offers on this comment thread are ones that I would truly entertain if I was AA.

    In addition, Parkes ignores the fact that Bautista’s value doesn’t disappear after this year. How much trade value would Bautista have lost in the course of one year? I doubt that any difference in the value of a trade offer for Bautista between now and this time next year will be worth the WAR that Bautista puts up over the course of this year (and if I’m wrong, I’d maintain that the difference would be negligible). That is to say, I think that even accepting Parkes mercenary view of players, it remains more worthwhile for the Jays to wait a year. Further, waiting a year allows the team to better assess its needs, see what the young players are capable of, and have more time to meet needs through trades and free agency.

    I personally think the Jays will be ready to compete in 2013-14, and that Bautista will still be putting up big numbers for them.

  58. The Jays need to contend this year. AA is going on season 3. He needs to make this team win 90 games, and show the fanbase that we’re not going to play .500 ball for another two years and “build the farm”. They’ve been building the farm for 18 years. Both the Yanks and Sox are in flux at the moment. You may never get a better chance to pounce.

    • They’ve been building the farm for 18 years? Really? More like for the 2+ years that AA’s been in charge. Ash seemingly constantly gave away young talent for mediocre major league talent in an effort to save his job, and JP’s timing demanded a hack and slash approach. Personally, I think Ricciardi hacked and slashed in the wrong areas. Taking aim at your scouting department/front office staff is short sighted at best and reckless at worst and quite frankly will put you further behind the eight ball in the long run. You have to be able to balance the short term and long term needs and neither of those two regimes afforded themselves that opportunity.

      AA may feel he needs another year to get the system to where he wants it, but thankfully it shouldn’t take longer than that. From some of his recent comments though, it sounds like his focus is shifting to the now and to the major league team, and that’s a good thing for all concerned. Now I just hope he picks the right prospects to trade for players that can help now, and that he continues to keep improving the farm system because that’s the life blood that keeps things moving in the right direction. It’s a delicate balance, but nothing he’s shown me so far indicates that he’s incapable of maintaining it.

  59. I’m torn here.

    Last years standings
    NYY 97 – 65
    TBR 91 – 71 6GB
    BOS 90 – 72 7GB
    TBJ 81 – 81 17 GB

    On one hand: I don’t know if this is the year to trade him, the team was 11 games out of a playoff spot last year and the pen blew the most saves in baseball (25). Had they been at league average (18) they’d have 7 more wins (88) putting them 3 games out of the WC. This all done in spite of 2B being non-existent hitting wise, Lind being meh, and Rasmus being meh too.

    On the other hand: I’ve talked about Joey Batt’s age too this season. Sure he is top dog now, but by the time the core reaches…. I’m just reiterating Parkes’ position which you’ve obviously read. I’m biggest concern is he declines before it’s time and we cant move him.

    Basically, it comes down to: Can we compete now realistically? vs Are we 2-3 years away

    I think we can compete. A competent ‘pen, a medium step forward by Lawrie, Rasmus, Snider (plllleeeaaasseeee), Lind, Escobar and a decent 2B’er. An average # of blown saves + a step forward can equal 10-13 wins (‘pen 7 , rest 3-6)

    If they cant take that step forward by the deadline this year then I think we should trade Bautista. At latest, wait til end of season and if they aren’t within 1-2 games of play-offs, ship him out for a king’s ransom

  60. If people think entertaining the idea of trading Bautista is blasphemy, no wonder we have the team we’ve had for almost two decades.

  61. While it’s plausible they could benefit from trading him, that’s really true for any player on any team. There’s always a possibility that some team overpays for a valuable player, and no GM should fall in love with his players to the point of ignoring those opportunities.

    I don’t agree that they should be looking to trade him, however. The Jays are not the type of team that should overreach and sacrifice the long term to maximize their chances over the next couple years, but they’re also a team that shouldn’t overlook the value of the present opportunities.

    Most of the core is young, but this isn’t a team built on prospects who are years away from being contributors. They have a lot of talented young players with some MLB experience who are still more potential than performance. Realistically, they’re unlikely to contend in 2012, but it’s also the type of team that can take a significant step forward without a significant change in personnel with a few improvements from players in the 24-27 range. Those types of breakout seasons are unpredictable, which is exactly why the Jays shouldn’t neglect the importance of keeping their present talent level intact.

    They may not be ready to contend in 2012, or 2013, or whenever – but if they’re not ready with enough present talent in place whenever their younger guys step forward, all they’ll be doing is shortening the front end of their competitive window.

  62. Great post. It’d be cool to see what kind of offers the Jays would get for Bautista. If they could get a young starter that projects to be a solid # 2, a strong young 2Bman that projects to play at or close to all-star level, and a reliever with the stuff that projects for him to be a strong set-up man (or a mediocre closer), and these players are all on their low-cost, controllable for at least another 3 years contracts, that could be a very smart move.

    • Maybe something like Bautista for a pitcher that is slightly younger and slightly better than Shaun Marcum, a young 2B with comparable offense to Yunel Escobar and comparable defense to Aaron Hill, and a young reliever comparable to someone like Justin Speier in his last year with the Jays…

    • But why trade Bautista to get what you could get just as easily in free agency/ other trades. Then you get to KEEP the best player of all of them!

      There are so many ways to get a 2nd Baseman that don’t require trading a top 3 playing in all of baseball.

      They can easily buy a front end rotation guy.

      They can sign whoever they like to work the bull pen.

      • Yeah, you’re going to need a lot more than a Shaun Marcum-like pitcher, a 2B, and a reliever to get Jose Bautista.

        And yeah, if Rogers is actually willing to spend money to contend as they’ve claimed, trading Bautista right now doesn’t make sense at all. Sounds like some are starting to have their doubts about that, though.

  63. There are so many teams out there interested in the shit-pile of nearly 40 year old players that get thrown out on the FA and trade market – I am concerned not ONE iota of Joey Bats declining value. He JUST turned 31 in October. Even if the Jays don’t contend until 2015 he’ll still only be 35 years old. Chipper Jones is 39 for cripes sake and still has value for the Braves! This assumption that Bautista must necessarily be on the verge of decline due to age is absurd.

  64. I realize no one is probably going to look down in the comments this far, but I’ll say my piece anyways.

    This article is just silly. No player should ever be untradeable, but you don’t trade Bautista unless someone overvalues him. Chances are, that won’t happen. We learned that from the Justin Upton deal where Arizona didn’t get anything close to what they were looking for.

    Ultimately, this is the same question as “Should the Blue Jays trade Escobar”, or “Should the Blue Jays trade Brett Cecil?” If someone offers more than what you think he’s worth,, you do it. Since they are unlikely to do that, you hold onto him.

    • No, this article isn’t about trading Bautista only if you can get more than he’s worth. It’s about trading Bautista if you can get ABOUT what he’s worth so that as many of your assets peak at the same time and push you over the top.

  65. I just looked back at the Griffey trade. The return was mainly Mike Cameron who actually produced more than Griffey in the following three years. Brett Tomko’s contribution was negligible and the two prospects in the deal never panned out for the Mariners.

    That said, the situation is only similar because we are talking about the best player in the league on a .500 club. Griffey, unlike Bautista, was set to become a free agent in another year. Also, he basically would only accept a trade to Cincinnati. In retrospect I am amazed that they got such a good player in return.

    Trading Bautista would probably bring a better return. However, could this return be dampened by Pujols and Fielder both being on the FA market?

    • Not only Griffey Jr. Check this list of departing HoFers out:

      July 31, 1998: Seattle trades LHP Randy Johnson to Houston for RHP Freddy Garcia, SS Carlos Guillen, and LHP John Halama

      Feb 10, 2000: Seattle trades CF Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati for CF Mike Cameron, RHP Brett Tomko, IF Antonio Perez, and RHP Jake Meyer

      Jan 26, 2001: Alex Rodriguez signs with Texas Rangers. With the draft picks, Seattle drafts SS Michael Garciaparra, and C Rene Rivera.

      2001: Seattle wins 116 games. Looking at those deals, I have one question: How???

      In all three of these cases though, the Mariners knew they had to trade the player, or lose him to free agency for picks. That’s certainly not the case here. This is a purely speculative sell high trade suggestion, which is what makes it so intriguing and risky. I doubt you could get major league pieces without getting a third or even a fourth team involved. Generally when players of this magnitude get traded prospects/unproven players/buy low type players are what’s coming back because the team acquiring a Bautista obviously wants to contend now, so they’re not going to plug one hole while creating two or three others. A three or four team scenario involving Bautista might be beneficial to the Jays short and long term, but I can’t see a vanilla two team deal working in the short run, unless the offer is so mindblowing that AA can’t pass it up.

  66. This is the story of Toronto sports for the last 20 years. One franchise player (Sundin, Halladay, Wells, Delgado, Bosh, Carter, Kessel) surrounded by scrubs and potentials. Keeps the teams sort of competitive without the team stepping up to pay for being top-tier.

    The only question is – Is Rogers really going to step up and add some serious dollars to the budget in the next year or two.

    if the answer is no then you trade him to fill holes and complete the rebuild.

    If the answer is yes then you go to that 100 million this year (Darvish and Nathan/Broxton) – up to 130 the year after and he is the big bat in the 3 or 4 hole.

  67. “This is the story of Toronto sports for the last 20 years. One franchise player (Sundin, Halladay, Wells, Delgado, Bosh, Carter, Kessel) surrounded by scrubs and potentials.”

    So you want to trade the franchise player for more potentials?

  68. Joey Bats for Votto/Phillips/Chapman… in a perfect world :P

    There are a lot of possibilities here. If you trade him to a team deep with elite young pitchers, like Atlanta or San Fran, if gives the Jays the chance to parlay some of their own pitching prospects into position players because they’ll be deemed extraneous. It’s worth exploring, at the very least. Plus it would have the added benefit of exploding the brains of all hysterifucks in this town.

  69. Then there’s this:

    Jose “Babe Ruth” Bautista (April and May, 2011):

    216 PA, 168 AB, 45 R, 61 H, 9 2B, 1 3B, 20 HR, 38 RBI, 46 BB, 29 K, 2 HBP, 0 SF, 1 GDP, 5 SB, 2 CS
    60.9 wRC, 36.6 wRAA, .363/.505/.786/1.290

    Jose “The Pitchers Figured Him Out” Bautista (June through Sept, 2011):

    439 PA, 345 AB, 60 R, 94 H, 15 2B, 1 3B, 23 HR, 65 RBI, 86 BB, 82 K, 4 HBP, 4 SF, 7 GDP, 4 SB, 3 CS
    77.3 wRC, 27.9 wRAA, .272/.419/.522/.941

    Cripes. Even when the pitchers adjusted to him, he still produced at a very high level. Will he adjust back to their adjustments? If he does, there isn’t any point in trading him at this point. OTOH, does that final four months reflect his new baseline? If so, 2011 might be as good as it gets. Tough call. I think I’d put off the decision for a year and re-visit it after 2012. Joey Bats was also very willing to switch from RF to 3B and back again when everyone had been given a chance to thoroughly shit the bed before Captain Canada arrived, and that’s kind of rare among elite players.

  70. You talk about trading Bautista to fill holes on the Jays roster. What holes?

    The only holes I see, if you include guys who will be called up to the big leagues within the next two years, are 2B and 1B. If you move Yunel to 2B when Hech gets called up (as opposed to trading him, which AA might consider), and if you move Bautista to 1B when Gose (or Marisnick if one of Snider/Thames/Rasmus bites the dust) get called up, this roster has no holes.

    We’ve got pitching prospects coming out of our noses, so much that Stewart was felt to be expendable because there’s no room for him in the future. The bullpen is our other big hole; and half of the young starters coming up are going to need to end up there.

    Boom. No more holes. I mean I guess you might want extra reinforcements just in case Hutchinson blows out his elbow or something, but it’s not like there’s a whole lot of room on the Jays roster of tomorrow. And besides, it’s not like there are many prospects out there from whom you can be certain of an 8 WAR season; and it’s not like Bautista’s going to fall off of a cliff next season.

    If stuff happens next season that we can’t fix, trade Bautista then, not now.

    • Not necessarily holes, but there are enough areas on the roster that need upgrading that make a 2013 timeline more realistic for competing, even with Bautista on the roster. 2B, LF, 1B, DH, backup C, backup IF and even CF aren’t really up to snuff right now, and that’s just position players.

      Rasmus could fill the CF hole well, or continue to slide. Encarnacion and Rajai Davis are good options off the bench, but are they really starters? I think the time has come to part company with Lind as well, as he’s just not a good enough 1B option. Mix in the fact that another top of the rotation SP is needed, as well as 2 to 3 very good late inning bullpen arms, and you have a ton of holes/spots on the roster that need upgrading.

      In fact, it looks like a 2 offseason job from where I’m sitting, even with Bautista on the roster. AA would be foolish to just deal Bautista for any old package of players, but he’d also be foolish not to listen to offers for him. I think that’s all Dustin’s trying to say.

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