Sep 23, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) slides home ahead of the throw to Houston Astros catcher Carlos Corporan (22) on a single by shortstop Elvis Andrus (not shown) during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Imagine for a moment, how much differently our feelings toward the Toronto Blue Jays offseason would have been had one more move been made. Now, imagine what it would have been like had two significant moves been added to our dreary winter. Time’s up, who did you imagine coming to the Blue Jays?
According to Shi Davidi of SportsNet, the Blue Jays had traded in hand for both Ian Kinsler and Brett Anderson, but both fell through for various reasons.
A 31-year-old, 3-time All-Star, Ian Kinsler would have been a drastic shift for the Blue Jays. With Toronto set to go with rookie Ryan Goins as their starter at second base, and possibly mixing in Maicer Izturis in there as well, Kinsler would have been a game-changer in that regard. While not considered to have the best glove at the position, Kinsler makes up for that with a bat that has seen him average a slash-line of .273/.349/.454 and an average of 20 home runs, 67 RBI, and 94 runs scored per seasons over his 8-year career.
The trade was apparently thrown away after Kinsler activated his no-trade clause, declining a trade to Toronto. Instead, he was later moved to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Prince Fielder. Given that he cost Fielder from Detroit, one would have to wonder what Toronto had agreed to send to Texas in return. Texas was known to be looking for a slugger at the time, so the likelihood of Adam Lind being that trade chip was minimal. Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion would have gotten a deal done, but would Toronto really have made that deal?
We discussed Brett Anderson extensively earlier this winter, when his name was floated out there and the Blue Jays were rumored to be involved. We also knew that this trade fell through earlier this winter due to medical concerns with Anderson, which goes without saying when the pitcher in question hasn’t made more than 19 appearances in any of the last four seasons. The deal was slated to send Sergio Santos to Oakland, which would have been a feasible risk to take for Toronto, but ultimately Anderson’s medicals scared them off enough to squash it. A healthy Brett Anderson would have been a nice pick-up for the Blue Jays, but given the injury history for the team over the last two seasons, the risk just was too tough to swallow. Anderson would get flipped to Colorado for Chris Jensen and Drew Pomeranz later in the winter.
If anything, these two attempts show that Alex Anthopoulos was willing to work on ways to solve the team’s needs through trade, and not just on the free agent market. Ultimately though, we sit here today with only Dioner Navarro to show for this winter, and little noise to the contrary.
Maybe there are other shadow deals still in the works for the ninja. Maybe this team is still in the mix somewhere, not just in free agency. However, the window to Spring Training is getting smaller, so one would have to hope this speeds up a bit.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal with Texas was centered around both Sergio Santos and Ricky Romero. That would have been a major coup for the Blue Jays, not only landing Kinsler, but also getting moving Ricky Romero in the process. Still, you’d have to think there was more involved there, as it is hard for me to imaging Texas giving up Kinsler for that return.