The trade markets are heating up and teams are beginning to notice who they’ll be forced to trade, who they want to trade, and what their needs are heading into the season. Here are some news and notes about the market as it stand, with some added intuitions:
- Jason Frasor is close to being named the Jays closer. What a great tactic for the teams that are trying to get him at a low cost. It shows the Jays are willing to keep him, that if they do and use him as a closer he could become a Type A FA, and that their price isn’t going to come down anytime soon. If the Cubs, Twins, and I’d add the Phillies want his services, they’ll have to pay up.
- I included the Phillies above because I have this idea that Roy Halladay could promote Jason as a nice compliment to Brad Lidge in the pen. I also believe the Jays brass took notice of how excited Jays fans were about the prospect of adding Phillipe Aumont to the Jays roster. Would it be a 1 for 1 deal, of course not, but the Phillies are in the win now mode and they definitely could use a more assured alternative as closer than Ryan Madsen when Lidge is unhealthy. If these two teams were able to work out a Doc deal, I’m pretty sure a Frasor for Aumont deal can be worked out as well.
- Scott Downs, being a lefty, may also bring in a huge piece since he also has closing experience. In his case, almost every single team in MLB is a likely trade candidate, because no team is ever satisfied with its lefty options in the pen.
- The Twins are reportedly willing to deal Wilson Ramos, their top catching prospect. I know the Jays just picked up Travis d’Arnaud, but if the Twins are willing to listen on Ramos the Jays have to look at making a serious offer, because he ranks in the top 5 catching prospects in all of MLB. The Twins need some pen help, so Jason Frasor would once again be the key piece. The question is, will the Twins want something else along with Frasor to make a deal happen? I doubt it would be very much, or enough to stop a deal from happening, but make no mistake, Ramos is a much better catching prospect than d’Arnaud. For now, that is.
- Dana Eveland has proven to be more than capable of filling the long-relief role or the #5 spot in the rotation this spring. Does that open up the possibility of Brian Tallet being traded? It should, considering his innings jumped by more than 100 last season. The Mets, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks are all looking for pitching depth and could give the Jays decent prospects in return.
- If Brian Tallet is dealt, the Jays could also pick up Chad Gaudin to fill the long-relief role at the same rate that Tallet was going to be paid. If his value is re-established by mid-season, they can deal him and hopefully get a decent return – just a thought.
- Lyle Overbay needs to be traded to the highest bidder. I don’t believe having the disgruntled big man in the locker room is good for the young guys, and I also believe that they won’t get more as the season goes on, so deal him ASAP please! His knee injury will slow down trade talks, but if Troy Glaus gets injured as expected the Jays could get one perfect trade partner. Brian Dopirak and/or Brett Wallace would fill his spot instantaneously.
- Jeremy Reed has impressed me more than anyone this spring for the Jays. The Jays may keep him around, but his play may have some teams knocking at the door. Too bad we can’t say the same about Joey Gathright, who seems destined for AAA in 2010.
- If Brett Cecil continues to build off his latest performance, he could allow the Jays to move one starter, something that Alex Anthopolous stated may very well be in the plans in order to build a stronger foundation. If Kyle Drabek has a strong first half, it could precipitate that such a move be made to clear up a spot for the young future star. Look for OF and 3B prospects to be the sought after commodities in that case.
I’m not sure if Alex Anthopolous will find the right trade partners this spring, or whether he’ll be forced to wait until May or early June, but I do know that he has some really strong pieces to deal and that teams will be forced to pay an adequate price for those pieces. I doubt Alex can pull off the impossible and trade Vernon Wells, but the pieces mentioned above could all be gone by mid-season, allowing for the likes of Brett Wallace, Kyle Drabek, and others to be promoted to the big club. With the trading season heating up, however, it’s still likely that something will be completed soon, as the Jays do plan on moving some key pieces early on in the season.
Hechavarria “Update”: In Paul Beeston’s most recent chat with fans, he didn’t have much to add about the Adeiny Hechavarria situation, simply stating that he’s in Mexico and that an announcement will be made if anything becomes official. Sounds to me like it’s a lot more complicated than we anticipated to sign Cuban prospects. Hopefully this gets resolved pronto.