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The Kevin Slowey Attraction Still Exists for Jays

It’s apparent that the Jays are still heavily scouting Kevin Slowey of the Twins, possibly in hopes of making a move for him. The 6’3″ 205 RHP is having a pretty hard time with the Twins and their minors system this season. So why, then, would he be any better off with the Jays? What is it that they see in him that makes them believe they can get more out of him than the Twins have this season?

There are some possibilities, as listed below:

Control

Kevin is a control pitcher who has to hit his spots in order to be effective, but, he also needs to add that one swing and miss pitch that can increase his effectiveness. The Jays were able to make Jo-Jo Reyes more effective by doing just that, even if the results are up-and-down due to his inconsistency. And, therein lies the difference. If Reyes was as consistent with his pitches as Slowey is, perhaps he would be that much more effective in the majors. Or, perhaps if the Jays made similar changes to Slowey as they did to Reyes and his pitches, he’d be much more effective and could be one of the better #4 or #5 pitchers in the AL.

Cost and Prospect Development

Since the Jays wouldn’t have to give up much to get Slowey, it makes it an interesting trade acquisition option. Anytime you can add a rotation option at a decent price, you should look at making it happen because you never have enough pitching. It’s much better for the Jays to allow their prospects to develop while using Slowey in the #4 or #5 spot than to rush them to the majors. I’m positive that the Jays saw enough of Zach Stewart in the rotation to know that he may never really stick there, and that they don’t want to rush Henderson Alvarez, Deck McGuire, or Nestor Molina to the majors. Acquiring Slowey would buy them some time and could allow them to wait until mid-2012 to call up one or more of the three.

I’m not sure exactly what the Twins are looking for in return for Slowey, but a deal involving a 1B seems to make some sense since Justin Morneau’s health is of great concern and the Twins have little in the higher minors to replace him with. Mike Cuddyer may also be gone soon, so a LF or RF is also a possibility. Add in the quick aging of Joe Mauer behind the plate, and that also becomes an option.

Type B Compensation(s) and Trade Options

Another interesting note is that Jason Kubel is a potential Type B free agent following the 2011 season… so, my thoughts were theses:

The Jays could make a deal in the approximation of David Cooper and another prospect in return for Kevin Slowey and Jason Kubel from the Twins. Making this kind of move allows the Jays to let Jason Kubel walk (or try to re-sign him if they wish to) which then garners them a sandwich pick in 2012, and also allows them to promote Mike McDade who is better defensively than Cooper is. Add to this the fact that Kevin Slowey is also extremely close to qualifying as a Type B player and is controllable through 2013 through his year 2 and 3 of arbitration (albeit at an expensive rate for his performance since he is currently making $2.7 million), and you’ve got potentially 2 draft pick returns in such a deal for the Jays. One in 2012, and one potentially in 2014. That, of course, would be contentious on Slowey doing well enough over the next few years to qualify, but I don’t doubt that the Jays are taking all of these things into consideration.

Final Thoughts

As with all rumours, they are just that until proven true by a deal. I would love to be able to throw in that the Jays would chase Justin Morneau as well, but his injuries make that extremely unlikely. To me, the trade for Slowey would likely involve fewer players than I presented above, but I can’t see the Jays spending a high-end prospect on Slowey, so it makes sense to consider something bigger. Jason Kubel is an interesting addition due to his bat and his potential Type B status. If the Twins could land someone already developed, such as Cooper, in return for Kubel and a pitcher they don’t really have faith in anymore, it makes a who lot of sense to me that they would consider such a deal. Whether or not they use Cooper at 1B, they’d have a cheaper option at DH and could use the money they would have to give Kubel after the season to chase oneor two key free agents.

Therefore, in my humblest of opinions, the Jays are either going to land Slowey for a mid-level prospect in a 1-for-1 deal, or they will attempt to make a bigger deal that involves someone like Kubel.

- MG

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Tags: David Cooper Kevin Slowey

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