The latest rumor to be bounced around Blue Jays circles comes courtesy of Gregor Chisholm and Scott Merkin at MLB.com, and quite frankly, it is one we’ve heard before. In their latest piece, Chisholm and Merkin report that the Blue Jays are again interested in Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham.
As you may remember, there was some whispers about Toronto’s interest in acquiring Beckham around the trade deadline, but at the time, no traction was made and a trade never came about. Now the Blue Jays are again being tied to Beckham, which may be a sign that the rumors are no longer simply a fishing expedition and that Toronto may be seriously looking at swinging a trade with the ChiSox.
Apparently, Beckham won’t be the only piece that interests the Blue Jays. Chisholm and Merkin also mention that Toronto will possibly look at a pair of available starters as well; John Danks and Hector Santiago. Toronto obvious need for starting pitching would likely make any deal one of the package variety.
That all said, the price being bandied about by Chisholm and Merkin should scare any self-respecting Blue Jays fan. In their article, the pair throw out a whopper of a return.
That’s right. In exchange for a underachieving second baseman with average defensive value, a broken pitcher with a albatross contract (3-year, $42.5 million), and another end of the rotation starting in Santiago, the Blue Jays may be asked to surrender one of their top two prospects? Time to turn around and walk away.
Frankly, we all know that Danks is a bust, having been rewarded an extension and then failing to live up to the expectations of such a contract. His strike-out rates have floated near 5.0/9 each of the last two seasons and he’s struggled to take the mound consistently.
Beckham offers plus power in the middle infield, but has a career OBP of .314 and limited range, registering a -0.5 UZR in 2013. He managed to play just 103 games last season, when a broken hamate bone in his right hand cost him a ton of time and a lot of production. He is affordable, being arbitration eligible for the second time this winter, but the cost to return ratio may be overwhelming for the Blue Jays to get past.
In reality, there are better second base options available, and at what could be determined as a much better price to pay. Aside from the Robinson Cano, Omar Infante pair on the free agent market, the Angels will be shopping Howie Kendrick (.297/.335/.439, and 2.6 UZR).
However, every available move is likely going to ask for Sanchez or Stroman in return. The Blue Jays will need to strong weigh any deals after last winter’s debacle, so the incoming return will have to be significantly better than a Gordon Beckham, John Danks package.