Should the Jays Consider Trading Jose Bautista?

 

Today at fangraphs.com, Dave Cameron posted his top 10 most valuable trade assets in baseball: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2011-trade-value-10-1/

The list is constructed (1-50) each season by Cameron, and its goal is to assess the “league-wide demand for a player’s services if that player was made available in the trade market.” The two major factors in the measurement of value are the player’s skill, and their contract status.

Coming in at number 2 on this years list, is Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista. Here’s what Dave Cameron had to say about his ranking:

“I debated putting Bautista at #1 for quite a while. 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. The Blue Jays saved themselves at least $100 million with the extension they gave Bautista last winter, which now looks like one of the best decisions any GM has ever made. But, in the end, as good as Bautista is he just couldn’t quite reach the top spot on this list. He’s fantastic, but he’s also 30-years-old, and there’s still some lingering question about how long he can keep this up. The package is good enough to be the second most valuable asset in baseball.”

Image from mopupduty.com

It is pretty clear by now that Jose Bautista has been the best player in baseball this season. His numbers are posted all over this site, however I can’t help but take this opportunity to put them up one more time.

GP 85/PA 379/H 101/HR 31/R 74/RBI 65/2B 15/3B 1/BB 75/AVG .336/OBP .470/SLG .701/wOBA .487/ WAR 6.9

He leads the league in home runs, walks, on base percentage, slugging, and plays adequate defense at both third base and right field. He is having a historically great season, as fangraphs Eric Seidman wrote last week: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/jose-bautistas-historic-pace/

Jose Bautista is incredible. However, the 2011 Blue Jays are not. This begs the question, should the Jays trade Jose Bautista?

There are two questions that should be asked when debating whether or not the Jays should trade Jose Bautista. 1- Will the Jays contend during Bautista’s Blue Jay tenure (signed through 2016)? 2- Is Bautista at the peak of his trade value?

The first question is the most difficult, as it is virtually impossible to accurately determine how competitive the Blue Jays will be in 2012, let alone in 2013 and beyond. We know that the Jays farm system has garnered rave reviews this year by all of the major prospect ranking authorities (top 5 by Baseball America, Keith Law, and Baseball Prospectecus), but this is unfortunately, no guarantee of future success. The future looks bright, particularly when you consider the promises of larger payrolls made by Paul Beeston, and the expected expansion of the playoff format; but there is still so much work and time to pass before this question will be answered.

There is also the question of much Jose Bautista’s play will decline as he ages. Already 30 years old, it is impossible to expect that Bautista will continue to put up the numbers he has in 11’ through the next 5 seasons. Will the decline be slow enough that J-Bau can still be a very effective player by the time the Jays contend? The answer is probably yes, but isn’t it possible that the pieces the Jays could bring back in a Bautista deal could be even more productive in future, competitive seasons?

The second question is much easier to answer, as it is obvious that Bautista is at the peak of his value as a baseball player. His numbers are currently the best in baseball, period (1st in HR, WAR, SLG, OBP, wOBA). He still has 5+ years left on his extremely team-friendly contract, and as mentioned before, he is not getting any younger.

The decision to trade Jose Bautista would of course, depend entirely upon the package of players who would come back to the Jays. This is always the biggest question mark, however it is possible that the Jays could receive a deal which would actually provide more production and value for their potential contending seasons, than Jose Bautista.

Would you consider trading Jose Bautista?

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Topics: Jose Bautista

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  • ryanpicks

    you people are retarded… Bautista is the best player in baseball who is signed at a more then affordable contract. there would NEVER be any benefit of trading him

  • JerryEttinger

    the 30% that voted to trade jose dont have a fucking clue

  • rohan.chugh

    This isn’t about who can or can’t help us compete. Jose is to TO as Ichiro was to Seattle, as Pujols is to St. Louis.

    Take a hike.

  • He’s Done it Again!

    You are all in Jose coma. I will admit, watching the Jays with him in the lineup has made every game interesting, he is special to watch! Saying that, the Jays have missed their ship to compete, losing a guy like Roy Halladay, sending Marcum, the Jays character ace, out of town for a youngster in Brett Lawrie is not a move to compete today or tomorrow. Jays winning now is completely out of the question. I love what Jose has done for the franchise but his value is at an ultimate high right now. His affordability/productivity, through his ability to play the infield and out field, his offensive explosiveness, character personality….. ultimately he is the complete package. Drawback? 30 years old. Jays have a system of ultra talented guys that are 5 even 10 years younger then him and are significant years away from their prime. I would imagine AA is not shopping Jose but has put it out there that he will listen to offers.

    What would a Jose return bring the Blue Jays? Very tough call and I seriously cannot fathom AA completing a trade before the deadline. But if Jose finishes the 2011 season with another 50 dinger campaign with an explosive .330 avg…. the return would be exceptional!

    Possibilities?

    Bautista to Braves for Heyward and Beachy or Minor or Venters (future closer)?

    Bautista to Phillies for Hamels and Brown?

    Bautista to Mets for David Wright +?

    Bautista to Reds for Joey Votto (I think this is a stretch because Joey has less control ability then Jose)

    I think the sweepstakes for such a move would be incredible and moving this commodity would be much easier then the Halladay move AA was stuck with a year ago. In a perfect world Jose would be 5 years younger and the Jays would be sprinting into post season for the next 10 years. Moving Bautista now would put 3 or 4 pieces of the puzzle together.

    Thoughts?

  • BenchedMark

    The question is “would you consider” trading Bautista, and answer has to be yes.

    The unfortunate part is there is no way of knowing how far away the Jays are to making a serious run deap into the playoffs. Morrow, Romero, Snider show signs of greatness, only to dissapear. Escobar, Bautista, and Lind are the only players that consistantly play worthy of a contender.

    The rest of the current starters (Litch, Cecil, CV, Reyes, Richmond, Stewart, Mills) are not good enough to start on a contending team in the AL east. In my opinion, JPA is not the answer behind the plate, both offensively and defensively. He has too many flaws in his swing and a low OBP. We do not have a CF whom is above average at anything other than steeling 3b. Hill is lost offensively, and the bullpen is shaky at best.

    Now, we do have a plethera of high ceiling tallent on the way to fill the gap, but most of these players will not be able to step up and play above average right from game one. It could take 2 to 4 years for these players, including guys like Morrow, Drebek and Romero, to really take that step forward and play like all stars.

    Yes, Bautista is the franchise player. Yes, Bautista is the best player in baseball. He has more value to the Jays than just his play. He bridges the communication gap for latin american players, and he can go a long way in helping the team sign international players. But the timeling of his “Prime” and the Jays “contention” are potentially far apart.

    For these reasons, I hope that AA thinks long and hard about this, and if he is blown away by an offer, he seriously considers it.

  • Mylegacy

    “Would you consider?” – Yes, be a fool not to.

    Is there any possible player(s) I think might be worth him, and his cheap contract? Maybe – how about King Feliz. That would still leave us – Escobar SS (R), Thames RF (L), Lawrie LF (R), Lind 1st (L), EE 3rd (R), Snider CF (L), d’Arnaud C (R), Cooper (DH bats L) and Hill 2nd (R).

    The King, Morrow, Romero, and two of Drabek, Alvarez and Hutchison. By mid to late 2012.

    The King or JoeyBats – seriously, close, eh?

  • chewbacca

    If the Jays got a top of the rotation starter and an above-average 2B and some other goodies, then yes, I would consider. How about a package of Dan Haren, Jean Segura (2B), and Mike Trout (OF) from LAA? And Jordan Walden, too. And 5 million cash, to help us sign our prospects. Yeah, that sounds about right.

  • chewbacca

    rationale: Jays get a ready-now starter, + replacement for Hill, + replacement for Bautista, a lights-out all-star reliever, and money to get our prospects signed from this years’ draft, plus a REALLY low salary committment to go after Pujols or Fielder as FAs (maybe BOTH!). I have no worries about JPA (yet), and Drabek will put it together next year. Morrow and Romero are fine, we need one more starter with them to compete (four deep). Lawrie comes in next year at 3B, Lind at first, Thames to DH, Snider OF with Trout (?) and Davis, Escobar at SS – I think that would be enough.

  • chewbacca

    EE at 3rd? Um, no. Why the extended time at 3B for Lawrie, if all we’re doing is plunking him in LF? If both Hill and EE are still here next year as starters, we are not contending.

  • Mikefriesen10

    That’s a huge risk, fan-base wise – even if you got an astronomical return.

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