Here’s a summary of what we “know” about the targets the Jays have on the roster and whether a deal is probable as we wait to see what kind of package the Astros receive in return for Roy Oswalt:
- I watched a pre-geam interview with Alex Anthopolous last night and got the sense that he has made his prices known and is simply waiting for others to get back to him. Interestingly, Jose Bautista’s agent has stated publicly that Jose loves Toronto and would love to work out a long term deal to remain here. The question is, at what cost Jose, and for how many years? It’s obvious that Alex Anthopolous’s mind is elsewhere right now since the agent also added that no talks have occured to extend Jose’s contract, but I doubt it will happen any more quickly now that his value is as high as it can get. Any GM would be smarter to wait until part of 2011 is in the books in order to see if Jose’s performance regresses at all, which would make signing him to an extension cheaper and possible over fewer years.
- With rumors of the Jays targeting the DBacks Kelly Johnson, Aaron Hill has admitted that although it’s not his top choice, he would be willing to make the move to 3B if necessary. Whoaa Aaron, what about Adeiny Hechevarria? Where would he slot in? I’m all for obtaining a great 2B, but chances are that if the Jays are looking at getting Kelly Johnson, you’re likely to be on the move Aaron, not moving to 3B. Just saying. I do agree that if Adeiny Hechavarria looks better at 2B, then moving Aaron to 3B makes some sense and the power does match the position, so it’s an intriguing proposition. I still doubt the Jays would land Kelly Johnson since it would be a “buy high” proposition that doesn’t seem to fit the AA profile.
- The Phillies have voiced some interest in Jose Bautista, presumably in order to fit in at 3B. With all of the pitching acquisitions they’ve made in the last year, I guess they’re finally looking to polish off their chances with the addition of a bat. The problem is that once the Roy Oswalt deal is announced (if he accepts) and J.A. Happ and prospects (I presume) go to Houston, there won’t be much left for the Jays to pick through in the Phillies system. The biggest trade chip is 6’7″ 20 year old Canadian Phillipe Aumont, who definitely fits the “buy low” profile AA looks for. He has a 6.14 ERA on the year and has been demoted to HiA due to struggles at the AA level. Remember that Roy Halladay once had to go back down to the lowest depths of the minors in order to find himself, so people shouldn’t be too low on Phillipe at his age. Other interesting Phillies prospects include 20 yr old SP Heitor Correa (HiA), 22 yr old RP Justin De Fratus (AA), 18 yr old 1B Jonathan Singleton (LoA), 20 yr old CF Jiwan James (LoA), 19 yr old SS Jonathan Villar (LoA), 19 yr old RHP Brody Colvin (LoA), 20 yr old RHP Jarred Cossart (LoA), 20 yr old RHP Trevor May (LoA), 19 yr old OF Aaron Altherr (SS), 21 yr old Canadian OF Tyson Gillies (AA), and 23 yr old RHP Michael Stutes (AAA). These are just some of the names I could come up with. There are others, but these seem to be the most prominent and sought after names. Of the names listed above, I could see the Jays asking for Aumont, along with Villar, Altherr, and either May or Cossart in return for Bautista. However, this may not be enough on either side and some of these names could already be included in the Oswalt deal, so we’ll see what comes of that first.
- Apparently, the Tigers, White Sox, Braves, and Giants have also been “in” on Jose Bautista this month. Well, I think we can count the Tigers out now that they have acquired Johnny Perralta. As most of you know, I see the White Sox as the likeliest destination for Jose (who would go there along with Jesse Litsch in return of Dan Hudson, Dayan Viciedo, and 3 other prospects – giving the Jays 3 Cubans in the infield once Adeiny Hechavarria comes up). However, the Giants and Braves both have the goods to make excellent offers for Jose, so I’m not counting them out at all. Look for AA to keep asking for pitching in return. I’d be curious to see whether AA could include enough pitching to nab Madison Bumgarner from the Giants…..a guy can dream, can’t he?
- I don’t believe this for 1 minute, but apparently the Jays “demanded” Joba Chamberlain in return for Scott Downs. Sure, it fits the buy low strategy, but I doubt that it’s all the deal included. A 1 for 1 deal of this type didn’t seem to be the right fit for either team. The Yankees are looking to add to the pen, not to trade off or upgrade.
- There have also been rumblings of the Red Sox popiing in and out in talks for Scott Downs. Apparently, the Jays are very open to this idea as they have been scouting 20 yr old Roman Mendez, a Dominican RHP who plays for their Short Season NYPL affiliate. Walks have been his biggest issue in his short minors career and I hope there’s lots more included if Downs does go to Boston, because this guy’s a huge wildcard. Apparently, all rumor here, AA is also asking for Jose Iglesias or Casey Kelly from the Sox. Wow!
- The Jays are also said to be asking for a top prospect in return for Scott Downs from both the Twins and the Mets who have chimed in with interest for the best RP on the market.
- No word yet on the asking prices for Kevin Gregg, Lyle Overbay, John Buck, or Jason Frasor.