David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Could Diamondbacks and Blue Jays Be Possible Trade Partners?

So, the Arizona Diamondbacks are open to trading a shortstop? Could the Toronto Blue Jays swing something to obtain Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius to fill their hole at second base? Whether Alex Anthopoulos will admit it or not, there is a huge question mark at second coming into this season. Is Ryan Goins up for the task of a full season? His glove appears to be slick enough. But can he do it for a full season? What about his offense? Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer seems to think there is more to Goins’ bat. Perhaps the Blue Jays should could be more proactive going into a season of “what ifs”. Could AA get a shortstop to play second without having to deal with Scott Boras? Could Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius fit?

According to Nick Piecoro of USA Today, GM Kevin Towers and “the Diamondbacks are loaded with shortstops. Beyond Owings and Gregorius, they have a serviceable backup in Cliff Pennington on the major league roster. They also have prospect Nick Ahmed, a defensive wizard who hit much better as last season progressed. Catching and starting pitching are areas of relative need in the Diamondbacks system.”

Speculation has been the theme of the 2013/14 off-season. From our couches, we fans can play armchair GM (again) and see if we can come up with a scenario where the Blue Jays line up with the Diamondbacks on the trade front.

Gregorius (24 yrs old) has played just 4 games at 2B in the minors. He has missed time due to an elbow issue, so maybe the transition to 2B might be good for him. Owings (22 yrs old) has played 11 games at 2B in the minors. He also comes with one more year of team control than Gregorius, which may be a more appealing target for Alex Anthopoulos. A quick look at Baseball Reference stats of Goins, Owings and Gregorious tells us that Owens has had a better bat with more pop than the others thus far. I’d target him.

The Diamondbacks are looking for catching help that is close to MLB ready; “more of an upper-level guy. Maybe a top, upper-end starter”. They are looking to add to the contributions of Miguel Montero. So, they’d need a catcher who can back him up or even take on the full-time role if necessary. The only options the Jays have to offer that Kevin Towers may consider are Dioner Navarro, Erik Kratz, Josh Thole or A.J. Jimenez.

Of this group, Jimenez may have a potentially larger upside. Having parted with Travis D’Arnaud last off-season, would AA be willing to part with another catching prospect? If so, does that leave an organizational hole at that position? Can the Blue Jays get by with Navarro, Kratz and Thole for the foreseeable future? One might be concerned that Thole seems to be the only one who can handle R.A. Dickey‘s knuckleball, but the Jays have been giving Kratz lots of reps with it. Is the knuckleball really enough to keep Thole? Probably not.

Another option for AA to throw out there is an outfielder. There are options to choose from in that area. Colby Rasmus is heading into free agency at the end of the season. Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra (who is out of options) Kevin Pillar are also considerations. The cost of Colby Rasmus to land either Owings (the preferable option) or Gregorius is too high. This would create a giant gaping hole in the outfield that Gose et al cannot fill. Besides, I’ve already written about what the Blue Jays should do with Colby Rasmus.

As for starting pitching…this is where it might get costly. Jays fans may not be REALLY comfortable with the idea that any pitching is expendable. It would appear that the Jays are putting all their stock in the various options they have to fill out the rotation. So, it would be difficult to imagine them taking from this group to swing a trade. However, we do know that AA has already shopped Sergio Santos to the point where he was set to send the once closer to a couple of teams. Although, Towers may have already addressed his team’s need for a closer with the addition of Addison Reed.

Perhaps the Jays’ bullpen can offer Towers another appealing option. There may be an Esmil Rogers or even a Todd Redmond available. Or…dare I say it…Dustin McGowan. Guys who can start, or come in from the bullpen have value. What about Kyle Drabek? The thought of this may make Jays fans uncomfortable. But, to get something, you have to give something up. There are also players like Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins who may be added for organizational depth who can be called on if needed.

So, if the Diamondbacks are looking for MLB ready (or close) talent at catcher, outfield or pitching as reported, here is what I’d offer (at least as a starting point):

To Toronto: Chris Owings

To Arizona: Josh Thole and Kyle Drabek

The only reason I’d start this way is that I’m not overly comfortable giving up A.J. Jimenez. However, if that is what it takes, I could live with Jimenez and Drabek for Owings.

Before fans shout at me over this deal…let’s remember that Drabek (Kevin Towers, if you’re reading, please look away) has had health concerns (Tommy John surgery) and more mechanical issues than my car. Yes, he was the crown jewel in the Roy Halladay trade, but I would ask, “How’s that working out for ya”? Obviously, teams are scared to give up on young pitching, especially a team as desperate as the Blue Jays. The question is: “What is the going rate for a young, controllable infielder with a high ceiling”? If Stephen Drew‘s situation is any indication, perhaps dealing Drabek and Jimenez Thole is palatable.

You’ve got to give something to get something. What are you willing to give? Or, are you content with Ryan Goins as the everyday second baseman?


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Tags: A.J. Jimenez Chris Owings Didi Gregorius Ryan Goins Toronto Blue Jays

  • KD Kennedy

    Nope cannot see it, doesnt solve anything just opens other holes and defensive problems. They would rather get a 3B and move Lawrie to second then trade or sign an out of position SS and move to 2B

    • http://jaysfromthecouch.blogspot.ca/ Shaun Doyle

      They considered it last year with the debacle that played out at 2B. But, I can’t see them moving Lawrie. He’s a 2014 Gold Glove 3B. Book it.

  • http://pumpedupjays.com/ Brandon

    I’m willing to see if Goins can do the job. Someone has got to come up through the system and eventually help the big league club, right?! Let’s hope Goins can do it, and is able to learn quickly with the assistance of Seitzer.

  • JaysHopeful

    Has anyone else been intrigued/impressed with Chris Getz so far in Spring Training? Also, maybe they shouldn’t take signing Stephen Drew to a one year deal off the table to give Goins more reps at AAA to get his bat ready.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Drabek and Thole go to another club. To be honest, I think that the Jays have mishandled both of them. They’ve failed to develop Drabek effectively, brought him up too early, and now he’s already blown his arm once and really put his career in jeopardy.

    Thole has proven to be a very solid defensive catcher (framing a knuckleball, lateral movement, game-calling, etc.), but they never gave him the consistent at-bats to see what he can do. After the All-Star Break they kept going with Arencibia despite how awful he was both offensively and defensively. So we still really don’t know Thole’s potential.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      Getz looks a lot like Goins to me… great in field, streaky with the bat.

      But who do you go with when the Goins Getz tough?

      • http://jaysfromthecouch.blogspot.ca/ Shaun Doyle


    • http://jaysfromthecouch.blogspot.ca/ Shaun Doyle

      The Blue Jays haven’t been able to get much out of either Drabek or Thole which is definitely a management issue. Why not try and get something FOR them? I agree that Goins should be in AAA.

      • JaysHopeful

        So maybe spending the money on a known commodity like Stephen Drew is the way to go? (Especially with the guaranteed draft picks)

        • http://jaysfromthecouch.blogspot.ca/ Shaun Doyle

          That would be the better of all three options, probably. But it looks more like a pipe dream at this point.

  • Kevin Towers

    Drabek and Thole for Owings… Nope.

    • Justin Jay

      I’m impressed somebody created an avatar after Kevin Towers!

  • Momus

    I’m not actually that concerned about the Jays infield. While they got terrible production from 2B and C they still scored a lot of runs. And frankly I’m not sure it’s possible for Goins to do any worse than what Bonifacio and Izturis did out there last year. That may have been the worst production of any position on any team in baseball. What was their combined OBP? Like .250 with a .580 OPS?

    That said, all the indicators point to Goins being absolutely terrible at the plate so signing Drew, if he was willing to switch to 2B, would be a definite upgrade.

    The other possibility would be moving Bautista back to 3B, moving Lawrie back to 2B and using Sierra or Gose in the outfield. Obviously that plan is fraught with difficulties though since Lawrie already has trouble staying healthy at 3B and Bautista has stated that he prefers RF.