July 30, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19, left) is congratulated by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) for hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays Trade Talk: Samardzija, Arroyo, Bautista, and More


November has come and gone, and with it the excess of Black Friday. However, one thing that still has yet to reach that excess level is the Toronto Blue Jays and their activity on the Hot Stove. However, with a week to go before everyone in Major League Baseball turns their focus toward the annual Winter Meetings, things are likely to heat up soon.

Take Jeff Samardzija for instance, he was all the rage a week or so ago, but the noise around him has seemingly died down a bit. According to Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe, that isn’t because there isn’t interest to move him, but rather that the Cubs would still prefer to extend him than trade him. The Blue Jays are one of the purported teams to be interested in him, but the feeling here is that the Cubs aren’t getting the type of proposals that will make them move Samardzija, so they are going back down the road to an extension in hopes of maximizing their value.

Why are we not hearing more about the Blue Jays and any interest in starter Bronson Arroyo. Sure, Arroyo is 36-years-old and is essentially a junk-ball thrower, but he’s durable, averaging 211 innings over the last seasons, and has posted an ERA under 4.00 four of the last five seasons despite pitching in the Great American Bandbox. With a two year deal and an option year, Arroyo may not be a bad bet to add to the rotation.

Speaking of available pitchers, our buddy Jay Blue discusses how the Blue Jays may match up with the San Diego Padres as trade partners. San Diego is known to be wanting a left-handed hitter with some power and is willing to part with Burch Smith, Eric Stults and Robbie Erlin to get one. The Blue Jays happen to have one that could be available in Adam Lind, although names like Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross may be a bit more appealing to Toronto. Cashner may be a great add, but considering he cost San Diego Anthony Rizzo to land him, the Blue Jays may have to give up a bit more than Lind to bring him north of the border.

Speaking of trading, the aforementioned Nick Cafardo asks, “Don’t the Blue Jays have to trade Jose Bautista to remake the team?” Of course, the question Cafardo may be more appropriate, if the team was looking to remake the squad. However, last year’s trades by the Blue Jays left them in a win-now mode that doesn’t lend well to a rebuild phase. Otherwise, Toronto would surely be driving the final Marlins nail in their coffin with fans. Sure, trading Bautista would net the team something of consequence, but the teams needing his services are not about to surrender a controllable number 1 or 2 starter to do so. In return, the Blue Jays aren’t likely to make that move only to go back out to tray and land a bat to replace Bautista either. It looks good in imagination land, but becomes much more difficult to swing if the team intends to contend in 2014.

One question that Blue Jays fans should be asking themselves is, “why are the notoriously cheap Minnesota Twins spending money like they’ve been hoarding it for years, while the Blue Jays sit in silence?” Let’s hope the answer has something to do with a move of consequence rather than standing pat. Sure, we’re talking Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, but at least they are doing something.

Finally, there is talk that the New York Yankees and top free agent Robinson Cano are a good $100 million apart. Cano has purportedly lowered his asking price to nine-years, $260 million ($28.8 million AAV), with the Yankees countering somewhere in the seven-year, $175 million deal ($25 million AAV). Now, the Blue Jays would never enter an arena for that type of scratch, or that long of a term involved. However, they do have a need at second base and landing Cano would be quite the splash, just not the one the team needs.

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  • Justin Jay

    I was just thinking “Man, the Twins sure are spending money!” I think the belief is that the team feels it is close to contending. I don’t really understand how. The amount of runs they gave up last season places them in 2nd to last in all of baseball. They scored a lower middle of the pack 614 runs last season. Even if they shave the run total down by about 100 runs, they most likely lose more games than win. They’re going to improve though. It just depends on how soon Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton arrive and how effective they are when they get here.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      In reality, the Twins should be approaching this offseason in the same fashion as the Chicago Cubs, adding decent, yet affordable signings to make them competitive, but only enough to get them to their contention window down the road. To that regard, I can understand the Hughes signing, as he’s relatively young and the hope that he can rebound away from Yankee Stadium is worth the risk for them. The Nolasco signing is a bit more of a mystery, as it was an overpay and may hamper the Twins down the road, when Sano and Buxton are ready to join the team.

      • Justin Jay

        Couldn’t have said it better. The Nolasco signing is definitely perplexing man. He’s a head of a staff that has Kevin Correia as its #3. Deduno isn’t bad, but Vance Worley is the right handed second coming of J.A. Happ. It’s just not a good staff and until Sano and Buxton arrive, there really isn’t anybody promising out on the field either. I don’t think I’m shocking anybody when I say Mauer is overrated and gets the homefield treatment from Twins fans much like Lawrie does from Jays fans. So yea, not that I wanted to see Nolasco in a Jays uniform, but going to the Twins couldn’t have been because Ricky wanted to win.

        • RyanMueller

          Maybe Nolasco signed because he know that he would be the ACE of the staff. Some guys are head cases and don’t want to play second fiddle, rather they want to be THE guy.

          • Justin Jay

            Shoot, he wasn’t even the ACE when he was with Miami. Johnson had that title and then Fernandez swooped in and stole it. He’s been 2nd, sometimes 3rd fiddle his entire career haha

  • bob l.

    what about jason hammel as a free agent signing? i haven’t heard his name mentioned this off season. two years ago he had a solid season for the orioles. i think he was injured most of last year. he could be a good 4 or 5 guy. mcgown as the other starter and have drabek take his role in the pen. i really think drabek is more suited for the pen and that mcgowan can finally get back to the rotation. and if that fails, why not put stroman in as the 5 starter. he’s projected as a top of the rotation guy, so let him “learn the ropes” at the back of it until he developes more.

  • RyanMueller

    I know it is a pipe dream but landing Cano would be insane. Having Cano would do soooo many things to our lineup, not to mention he is a very smooth defender. Adding Cano type offense would allow the Jays to focus on signing/acquiring a catch and throw catcher. I am okay with our rotation as is and the internal candidates that we have to fill any injuries that will occur over the season. Like I said, it is a pipe dream.

    • Justin Jay

      Adding Cano type payroll would hurt us for years to come and wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a World Series championship with Toronto’s pitching staff. I do see your point though. I would love to see Cano in a Jays uniform, just not for 10 yrs at $300M. Not even for $25M-$27M a season over 6 yrs.

      • RyanMueller

        That is a lot of money no doubt and you are right about signing Cano wouldn’t make the Jays a lock to win the World Series. Just like trading for RA Dickey or the Marlins trade didn’t make the Jays a lock to even make the playoffs. I can dream. Funny thing is I can’t even get Cano on my team playing MLB on PS3 if I have budgets on.

        • Justin Jay

          Haha, he just became a FA in my franchise too. He wanted $17M/yr. He was 33. I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger, even with room in the budget.

          And for those following along… Yes, Ryan and I are really having a MLB The Show conversation right now

  • Joshua Perez

    They will not trade Jose Bautista!!

    • Kyle Franzoni

      No they won’t, not if they are serious about contending. Trading Bautista would only precipitate other moves in a teardown.

  • doug

    It’s not my money, but if we are serious about winning ,while we still have Bautista around, then we have got to sign Cano now.

  • david s

    I fail to see the point of moving Bautista to get Cano. You just are making another hole to fill.

    In any case, Cano would never come to a Toronto anyway. The field (carpet) is too slick, the taxes too high and his avarice-ridden agent Jay-Z would not like to leave NY to represent him.

    AA would never, ever give anyone a ten year contract. Good thing too. Remember the last dud Toronto took on that long. Anaheim is partially paying for his salary as are the Yankees. Remember?

    Goins is $9500000 cheaper a year than Cano and plays the field just as well. Hitters we have, like Bautista for example. No Cano please, we have enough over-priced famous people in Toronto such as our mayor.

    Anyone who pays Cano’s greedy goal will have more money than brains. That is why he should stay with the Yankees.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Cano will certainly be staying with the Yankees, as they are the only ones that can give him both the contract and the stature that he wants. The Yankees meanwhile, need that big name to take attention away from the A-Rod talks and the dwindling returns on aging veterans like Derek Jeter.

      • david s

        Totally agree Kyle. Mind you, I would like AA to make at least one major league acquisition before Christmas. I can live with Goins at second base (I have a soft spot for his fielding abilities) but I do think one more very solid pitcher is needed. I think Melky should be ok in left. In addition, if I had my druthers, I would like the bench stronger than last year and an upgrade at catching. It is almost fun guessing at what AA will do before Spring training… almost.