Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finally, Some Hot (Stove) Action.

If you're waiting with baited breath for the wheeling-and-dealing of the offseason to begin, today seems to be a day when some interesting things are getting out.

First came a report from Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, that the Jays were in contact with Kansas City regarding their enigmatic ace Zach Greinke and can't-miss-but-somehow-missed-top-prospect Alex Gordon. The Royals GM, Dayton Moore, has since commented publicly that he will not trade Greinke unless he's "blown out of the water" by an offer. Sound familiar? Moore also mentioned that he won't sell low on Gordon either. Seems like he's saying that Gordon is available.

Second, came an article over at MLBTradeRumors, that the White Sox are going to "listen" to offers for Gordon Beckham, and Ben Nicholson-Smith, who wrote the article sees this as a good fit.

I'm still holding on for dear life to the hope that the St Louis Cardinals would trade Colby Rasmus, and that the Jays could be in on that deal as well.

The other possibilities to consider are the Jays being part of three-way trades. Alex Anthopoulos seems to be involved in nearly every trade discussion that happens in the league. This allows him to act as a facilitator, and to scoop up talent in the process. I can also see him getting involved in something crazy again this winter.

As far as the rumours that are out there: I don't think the Jays need Zach Greinke badly enough to overpay for him in terms of talent. I do think that Alex Gordon deserves another chance to play 3B, and that a change of scenery might help him develop into the player that he was supposed to become. The Royals are looking for talent that is 2-3 years away to align with their strategy to compete in 2013-14. I'd guess they'd want players like Henderson Alvarez, Carlos Perez, or even Adeiny Hechevarria or DJ Thon (who would have to be a player to be named later)

I really, really like Gordon Beckham. He rocketed through the minors, on a path similar to Travis Snider. He's widely expected to develop into an OBP machine, with 20-30 HR potential. He also plays both 2B and 3B well. The White Sox are in perrenial win-now mode, so anyone that they got in a trade would have to be either a major league player already, or be ready to contribute immediately. This includes virtually the whole roster for the Jays, and the only prospects that fit would be Zach Stewart, Kyle Drabek, and JP Arencibia. They already have a Cuban SS in Alexei Ramirez, but in my crazy head, I could see them being interested in Adeiny as well, to play 2B. Ozzie Guillen speaks Spanish, for whatever that would be worth in this discussion.

If, in this crazy offseason trade post, Colby Rasmus were available, I would happily trade anyone in the Jays Organization. When I first heard this, I thought that giving up Travis Snider would be too much. After consideration, I now believe that it would hurt very badly, and it may not be the right move, but Rasmus plays a more premium position, and is more "athletic." Looking at what the Cards might want in return: Again, they are in a "win-now" position, with aging players. They have obvious holes in their middle infield, and a large question mark at third base. If they gave up Rasmus, they would also have to fill a gap in centre field. They could also seek help on their pitching staff, adding a younger arm to lower future payroll. My bet is that if this were to happen, there would need to be a third team involved. Unless the Cards want to take a chance with Bautista.

I've also said many times that if Toronto were to pay most of Vernon Wells' monster contract, that he could be a part of a Rasmus trade. Toronto could add a young starter, or prospect, and both teams would win.

Who else is out there? I have no idea how to put a poll up, so if anyone has any trade ideas, I'd like to hear them in the comments section. Also, if anyone thinks they have a good idea what any of these players would cost value-wise, put it there too.


  1. Anyone who thinks Alex Gordon should be put back at third base clearly hasn't seen him play there in the past three years. Since you are one of those, I suggest you go check the defensive metrics instead. Gordon is, however, surprisingly good in left field, small sample sizes acknowledged. And, by his admission, happy at the position.

    And exactly why would the Cards have any interest at all in Vernon Wells, contract paid or not? Just because the Jays would like Colby Rasmus? News flash: Lots of teams would love to have Rasmus, and aren't looking to unload Vernon Wells-types to get him.

  2. Well, since you were so sure, I took your advice and did check the stats.

    Yes, in 2009 and 2010, he was awful.He only played 59 total games in those 2 seasons, and in '09 he was coming back from hip surgery. But, in '07 he was a plus defender, and he was only slightly below average in '08. So based on a proper sample, he is at worst neutral at third.

    This doesn't take into account that the Blue Jays have the best defensive infield coach in the American League, who would obviosly work closely with Gordon to improve his play at third. It's obviously a risk, but that's the kind of move Anthopoulos would make. High-risk, high-reward.

    As for Vernon: You are completely right. I just keep convincing myself that someone might see value in him if you strip away that contract...

  3. I too share an affinity for Colby Rasmus. It would take a great package of players to land him from St. Louis, but it would totally be worth it.

    Also not sure on the Greinke rumblings: what irks me is his salary jumps to $13.5 million for the next 2 years. If the Blue Jays are going to pay that much for a starter, he better be a bona fide ace.

  4. I don't think that 13.5 is too much for Greinke. That's how much Romero is going to be paid in the last (option) year of his contract. I don't think that Ricky's ceiling is higher than where Greinke is. Dude IS a bona fide ace. He won a Cy Young last year. 200+ innings three years in a row. I think working with the Jays coaching staff he would be awesome.

    To get him I think a package of Drabek, Arencibia, Lewis and Thames is a good one. Its a lot to give up, but all of these prospects have guys behind or ahead of them, or both, except Drabek who would be replaced by Greinke. Lewis is a cheap stop gap to replace DeJesus, or anyone else in the KC outfield. Preferably it would be Emaus instead of Thames, but the bidding would change this.

    This deal satisfies KC's "twp cant miss prospect" demand, fits needs and timelines, while adding power to their lineup.

  5. I didn't mean that 13.5 was too much, more so the cost of the prospects that we'd have to give up. I doubt that the Royals would want Lewis, but Drabek Arencibia and Thames is already very costly (3 of our top 12? and, I think it would take more than that...)

    I'd more realistically see Drabek, Stewart and D'Arnaud or Carlos Perez, which is too much to me...

    For the difference in value, I'd rather roll the dice on Drabek succeeding next year.

  6. I dont see it as three of our top twelve, I look at it by position. Drabek is a loss, but Stewart is nearly as good. Arencibia will likely be replaced by D'arnaud soon and Thames has Gose and Marisnick right on his tail, with an outfield that is (likely) full up ahead of him. Not to mention Mastroianni, who I think is a sleeper for fourth outfielder next year.

    Lewis I considered more of a move to benefit the player, hes a useful guy that the Jays have to need of.

    The Royals need a catcher next year. They got exactly ONE homer from the position last year so I doubt that they would demand Stewart over Arencibia, but if they needed to get two pitchers back, why not sub Rzep in for Lewis in my original proposal.

    In terms of actual prospect worth, its a lot to give up. But the hit to the organization would be minimal, as long as Buck would be willing to sign back on.