I’ve been much too busy to write of late, and I will be forced to make this quick as a result of “continued busy times”, but I’ve been following the rumours and chatter, as well as the play, of the Jays of late and I thought I should share my thoughts on all of the latest happenings. Here they are!
Trade Deadline Thoughts
As much as I would love for the Jays to add an important piece to their future, it seems unlikely to happen in a 1-for-1 deal. I’ve looked around MLB at what may or may not make sense, and I have to say that there is very little out there right now that would make the Jays better long-term. Everyone is looking for pen help, the only huge soft spot of the Jays this season, and there’s definitely no front line pitching available, so what are the Jays to do?
I sincerely hope that the one thing they do is continue to be patient and perhaps look to getting involved in a deal or two which would continue to garner them draft picks in the future. I have no idea how well Heath Bell would pitch in Toronto or whether or not he would be happy enough here to re-sign with the Jays. Jonathan Papelbon isn’t going anywhere, and the remainder of any pen help acquired would only be worthwhile if it eventually garnered the Jays a pick in the 2012 draft or a better player in a flip.
The one wildcard I would include for the Jays is the following: Ubaldo Jimenez. If the Jays were able to work out a deal with the Rockies, either with them or with another team involved, I could see the Jays making a big move. With the Yankees and Red Sox already hurting in their rotations and looking at Ubaldo as an option, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Alex Anthopoulos swoop in and grab him instead.
Ubaldo is only 27 years old, and with Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow he would provide the Jays with a very strong top 3. More importantly, it would also force the Red Sox and Yankees to look elsewhere for pitching help. The Jays have enough ammunition in the minors to go out there and grab any player available, so it’s a matter or sending the players that the Rockies are looking for. Ubaldo is signed at an affordable rate through 2012, and the team has 2 options on him through 2014, although the one in 2014 can be voided by him if traded.
You can come up with about a ton of different scenarios that would “work” for both teams, but it’s obvious that the talent would have to be pretty significant to get Ubaldo from the Rockies. With talk of the Yankees having to give up one of Manny Banuelos or Jesus Montero to land Ubaldo, it gives you an idea of the cost at stake. Also, if we compare the trade of Shaun Marcum for Brett Lawrie to this possible deal, then we know that the cost will be steep. Would the Jays be willing to deal Zach Stewart or Joel Carreno along with 2-3 other good prospects to get a deal done? I venture to say yes, but that it doesn’t guarantee a deal would get done. The Jays are fairly well off with their current OF and in the minors in the OF, so they can definitely afford to deal some minor league OF prospects. The same is true at Catcher and in starting pitching.
I may be wrong, and will likely be wrong, but if my inclinations are correct, the Jays will look to make 1 big deal such as acquiring someone of the caliber of Ubaldo, or they will sit tight and wait for free agency to open to make big moves for 2012.
Draft Pick Signing
The Jays signed their 21st pick from the 2011 draft, SS Peter Mooney. You can read a little about him and his upcoming stint in the FSL here, and it seems that he is a defensive whiz who also shows up and plays his best in big games. The Jays still have a ton of work to do and the clock keeps ticking…but, it will be interesting to see how well Mooney plays once he gets going. If he does start in the FSL as predicted in this article, he’ll become the “next in line” option behind Adeiny Hechavarria on the depth list in the minors and could eventually replace John McDonald as a defensive replacement off-the-bench.
For anyone who has missed it, Lawrie started off his return slowly but has caught fire again with 2 games with 3 hits in a row, also adding a SB today. He is obviously back in shape and picking up right where he left off. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Jays call on him by the end of next week. His addition to the Jays would shift Jose Bautista to RF and would mean a lot less playing time for some of the other OF. But, all-in-all, it will make the Jays a lot more potent at the plate and could help them continue to build on their current streak.
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