In a season that has seen the Toronto Blue Jays finally playing meaningful baseball in August, there are no shortages of stories, opinions, and controversy. At Jays Journal we feel it is our responsibility to inform our fans, so decided to put together an opinion base series. This series will select baseball/Blue Jays hot button topics or stories that we feel deserve some more attention. Shaun Doyle and I felt the lack of activity by the Blue Jays at the trade deadline should be the first topic for this series.
Article: Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (Link)
Ever since Alex Anthopoulos took over GM duties from J.P. Riccardi in 2009 the Blue Jays seemed to be linked to every player ever rumored to be on the trade block, this past Trade Deadline was no different. Shi Davidi did a great job summarizing where AA struck out and attempted to provide readers with what AA could have offered to get the same deal done. Davidi makes some leaps when comparing the players the Blue Jays would have had to give up to obtain some of the “big fish”. Equating Aaron Sanchez to a compensatory pick is a stretch. While the Sportsnet piece read as more of an attempt to calm the angry masses, it does offer some room for debate. We’ll look at some of the big targets and what we think the Blue Jays should have done.
RM: I am so happy that AA passed on this trade. I am 100% against trading within my division, especially for 10+ starts from a guy how will walk at the end of the year.
SD: I don’t think this whole division thing is all it’s cracked up to be. Teams will take the best deal they can get. Lester is a BEAST. Adding him to a rotation that desperately needs a stud with punch is worth it. 10 starts from Lester is not including the playoffs, which he would almost certainly help the Blue Jays reach. I can’t believe Oakland gave up Yeonis Cespedes to get Lester, though. I don’t think the Blue jays could have (or should have) competed. Although, and this may be unpopular, but if they could work out an extension (which Lester would be silly to do), I’d actually consider including Bautista.
RM: The ‘whole division thing’ is actually a thing. If I were a GM trading within my division I would attempt to plunder my rival GM’s system everyday of the week. This is another reason why I wouldn’t have made this trade….even in MLB The Show ’14.
SD:In my mind, Price is actually less of a stud than Lester. But, at their level, it really is splitting hairs. This one aggravates me. Are you telling me the Blue Jays couldn’t have offered something like Nick Franklin and Drew Smyly? And, Shi Davidi is WAY off in his thinking that Brett Lawrie is equal to Nick Franklin and Marcus Stroman equals Drew Smyly. Again, these are names that Jays’ fans would be scared to lose, so Davidi may accomplish his goal of making us feel better. But I’m not buying it. It seems the Rays wanted whatever they could get. AA could have made it work. Yes, it would have cost SOMETHING. But, you don’t get David Price for free.
RM: I agree that Shi was off. I still maintain my stance against trading in my division; however, I would have made this trade if Tampa was willing to take Aaron Sanchez, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto or comparable. I would have than traded Price in the offseason to fill other organizational needs….we all know that Price’s price tag to re-sign at the end of 2015 will be out of Toronto’s comfort zone.
SD: Remember what happened to Ricky Romero? Brett Cecil? Mark Prior? Prospects aren’t a sure bet. David Price is. I like the idea of getting him now and then look to recoup some prospects in the offseason. But, I really think Price is a guy you keep and build around. Rogers has the money to keep him. Whether they admit it or not.
RM: This is where I become a hypocrite. I don’t know much about Eduardo Rodriguez but I am fairly certain that his value won’t be an Aaron Sanchez….more like a Sean Nolin and/or Kevin Pillar. This is a deal that should have been made by Alex and co.
SD: Agreed. Davidi says that Aaron Sanchez is the equivalent of Eduardo Rodriguez. Um, no. I would have been thrilled to give Kevin Pillar AND a young minor league arm. If we can believe the asking prices the Blue Jays would have to surrender, it doesn’t appear to be an “AL East Tax” as Davidi calls it. It might actually be an Alex Anthopoulos Tax. When other teams are making deals that could have worked for the Blue Jays, you have to wonder. He’s been criticized before for what seems to be like he’s playing 29 other GMs. Maybe they don’t take kindly to that. Of course, this is just speculation. It’s worth exploring, though.
RM: You bring up a very interesting point about the other GM’s perception of AA. I have always felt that AA has offered too much in many of his previous deals. I think that this should be a topic for another day.
SD: Here’s where Davidi and I agree. Martin Prado could EASILY be in a Blue Jays uniform. We gave up Erik Kratz and Liam Hendriks for Danny Valencia. You can’t tell me that package wouldn’t have scored us Prado! He’s a guy who can play MANY positions. The only thing I can think of is that AA did not want to pick up his $11M per year for the next 2 years. This frustrates me. I can understand not wanting to give up prospects, but money is something that the Blue Jays CAN give up. They choose not to. Rogers has plenty and will make more.
RM: You are assuming that the change of scenery will reinvigorate Prado. I don’t deny that his versatility would be invaluable to the Jays but the last ‘super utility’ guy we had didn’t fair to well. We need a second baseman and Prado is not that. He has played a grand total of 4 games at 2nd this season…all with the Yankees.
SD: Perhaps finding him a defensive spot would be a challenge. But, I’d put his glove at 2B to get his bat in the lineup. I’m not sold on Goins. At all.
RM: I am pretty sure that AA could have offered Red Sox GM Ben Cherington a bucket of balls and some chew for Drew (hey that rhymes)….the balls won’t even have to be baseballs. I think that AA could have offered Steve Tolleson for Drew.
SD: Agreed. Drew would have been an easy get. But, why? I’ll pass. I’d rather have Tolleson.
RM: Could you imagine the back lash from the fans (this one included) had AA given up a high ceiling prospect to get Drew when you could have gotten him a few weeks back without having to give up any prospects…..it wouldn’t have been pretty.
SD: Imagine indeed. The Red Sox didn’t want him, then they did, then they didn’t.
RM: I am very happy that AA did not over pay to get Jeff Samardzija in the offseason and during the season because it would have involved our best pitching prospects. I continue appreciate Alex’s reluctance to part with prospects that will ultimately be part of this team’s future success.
SD: The Blue Jays need to decide if and when they are in it to win it. If they are this close, but have NO intention of winning, then I am thrilled they don’t give up talent. But, if they are indeed trying to win now, (which is what they’ve been trying to convince us-rather poorly, I might add) then saving for a rainy day does not fly. I’m sorry. But, winning now costs. Winning later costs. The Blue Jays do not seem clear on which path they are taking.