From the time the Toronto Blue Jays were mathematically eliminated from the 2013 play-off picture last May, Blue Jays fans started demanding Alex Anthopoulus upgrade the rotation, the catcher and 2nd base.
The catching position has been upgraded, 2nd base has been a Merry-Go-Round, and the rotation has struggled to find the consistency that a championship team normally demonstrates. All this has prompted many to play the ‘Trade Scenario’ game. Here is are some links to some very well thought out trading options posted on Jays Journal over the past week.
With exception of David Price and Ben Zobrist , none of these trades really turns the tide in Toronto’s favour. None of these trades make me think, “Ya this is a play-off team for the next 2-3 years”. Sure any of these guys provide the team with an upgrade, but I don’t think that Jeff Samardzija is the pitcher that wins Toronto a championship. Samardzija is not our 2014 version of David Cone. Nor will any of the 2nd basemen listed above have the same impact to this team that Rickey Henderson had on the 1993 Jays.
I would like to suggest another alternative…..Stand Pat.
Hear me out before bashing me in the comment section.
The Jays have been able to play good baseball, play above .500 baseball, and play American League East leading baseball despite juggling their starting rotation and despite having a regular 2nd baseman for the better part of the first half of the season. John Gibbons has done a good job using the pieces that he has. Alex has done a good job collecting useful Triple-A fill ins. So why go throwing around our high level prospects?
With JA Happ’s return to health and the continued development of Marcus Stroman, the Jays finally have a rotation that could win the AL East in 2014 and make the play-off for the first time in 20 years. However, this is not a rotation that will strike fear into opposing play-off teams. Once in the play-offs anything could happen with this offence, but what happens next season if we hand over all our near-major league ready prospects to land a rent a player. Let’s say we pick up a top of the rotation guy….who is your starting 3 in the play-offs? You would have the guy you just mortgaged the future on, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey (??).
The Blue Jays prospects being mentioned in many deals are: Aaron Sanchez, Dalton Pompey, Daniel Norris, Marcus Stroman, and Drew Hutchison. I don’t know about you but I am very uncomfortable giving up Stroman or Hutchison, who currently form 2/5 of our current staff. Norris is showing signs of developing into a power LHP that every team will drool over. Pompey is the only outfield prospect that could help the Jays in 2015 or 2016…..the cupboard is bare in the outfield. I would like to give Hutch, Stroman, Sanchez and Norris ever chance of forming the future rotation of the 2015 or 2016 Toronto Blue Jays.
Prospects at the Triple-A are just as unpredictable as prospects in A-Ball. The only difference in my mind is sample size and it is for that reason that I am not against trading away prospects. Aaron Sanchez has just as much chance of being Kyle Drabek as he does being the future Ace of this team. I am against trading prospect at this stage in the teams development.
Trading for a Samardzija or one of the 2nd baseman listed above may get the Jays to the October dance but it won’t help this team moving forward. The Jays will find themselves right back in the same position of not have any organizational depth to fill in for the oft injured Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Colby Rasmus, and Brandon Morrow. Holding onto the prospect that I mentioned will make this team competitive for years to come….at least from a pitching stand point.
This team is ready to compete, but it isn’t ready to win it all.
Jon Paul Morosi from Fox Sports (full article)
Furthermore, the Cubs have evaluated the Jays’ farm system, and there are strong indications they would trade Samardzija to Toronto if the Jays offered Triple-A right-hander Aaron Sanchez, Double-A left-hander Daniel Norris, and Class-A center fielder Dalton Pompey.
Which prospects would you label as untouchable?