Jays Notes – S.Hill and J.Werth


The Blue Jays signed Shawn Hill to a minor league deal and although he won’t be available to pitch until at least June, he adds yet another depth piece to Jays pitching. He’s had nothing but bad luck since he broke into the league, and I’m sure most hope that the Canadian pitcher will be able to turn things around. Good luck to him!

As posted on MLBTR, the Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro “told reporters today that the club may not be able to retain Jayson Werth as they already have $130MM committed to just 14 players for 2011, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.” Should Alex Anthopoulos perk up and make a move for Jayson before the end of the season? Not only does he have history with the Jays having played there 2 seasons, but he’s exactly the type of player the Jays are in need of – a 5 tool outfielder.

If Alex did make a move for the outfielder this season, it would most likely need to include some pretty hefty pieces and may even require a 3rd team once again, because the Jays lack the “replacing” piece the Phillies would want in the OF. However, the Jays do have some great pieces that the Phillies are in dire need of – relief pitchers and depth for their starting pitching. A combination of a pitchers such as Scott Downs and Brian Tallet, along with another piece going to a 3rd team that would give up an OFer may be workable. The Phillies don’t have the best pen in the world and Brad Lidge is already hurting before the season starts. Since the Phillies do have Domonic Brown in the minors close to being ready, they could be willing to take on a 1 year OFer along with the pitching help. They do have 5 strong guys in the pen, but adding 2 from the Jays would add a ton of value to their pen.

When you consider that the Jays and Phillies completed a huge deal in the off season when they dealt for Doc, you have to imagine that they’d be willing and able to deal a second time around a little more easily. Adding Werth to an OF of Wells and Snider almost makes the OF presentable defensively and would ensure the Jays have someone who can make some spot starts in CF to give Wells a break, without needing to use Joey Gathright or Jeremy Reed. It would also allow for the Jays to wait out the progression of other OFers in the minors who are all in AA or below that level at this time. Otherwise, the Jays may end up trying to rush some of them (Marisnick, Sierra and Mastroianni in particular) in order to replace guys who get injured.

The only problems I have with adding Werth are these: how much would he cost to lock up for 2011 and beyond (say 3 years) and would he actually sign with the Jays if a deal were to get done? If he’s willing to take a 3 year deal as the deal gets done that doesn’t hurt our chances to get some key FAs in 2011, I would love to get him on board. But if he’s not willing to sign and the Jays give up some real talent to get him for 1 season, it makes no sense at all. I seriously doubt Alex and the Jays want to add another 31 year old OFer to the lineup and would rather look for a guy in his mid-20s, but each opportunity has to be considered. Since it appears the Phillies are on a 3 years plan to win-win-win, they’d surely like to get someone for those years without breaking the bank. If the Jays give them that opportunity and more, they could add a 30+Hr and 20 SB player to an already blossoming lineup. I’m not holding my breath waiting for this to happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.