Ahh, the hot stove season. The perfect thing to keep baseball fans warm during a long winter, especially if their teams are sitting at home watching the World Series along with the fans.
The true trick is discerning rumor from fact, or flat out assumption. Case in point, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports recently took to Twitter with the following:
#bluejays will look to trade yunel escobar. wont be easy, considering his rep. but ss supply is weak. a’s 1 possibility.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 21, 2012
This is an assumption on the part of Heyman, even if it is a somewhat obvious one. Escobar’s status is Toronto for 2013 and beyond is somewhat murky at this point. His late season antics, as well as his reputation in the clubhouse, have lead to many to speculate that the Blue Jays will move him.
The addition of Mike Aviles, acquired in the John Farrell trade with Boston, and the play of prospect Adeiny Hechavarria provide the Blue Jays options if they choose to put Escobar on the trade market. Aviles has a slightly better UZR than Escobar (5.3 to 4.6) and both are fairly comparable with the bat. We also know that Hechavarria is a fairly slick-fielding shortstop in his own right, but has the reputation of being a defense-first player, with development needed on his hitting.
With the market lead by postseason king Marco Scutaro, but dragged down with the likes of Stephen Drew, Jason Bartlett, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Alex Gonzalez, this is an opportunity for the Blue Jays to turn an extra piece into a useful addition.