Earlier today, we heard that the Toronto Blue Jays were open to moving starter Mark Buehrle via trade this winter. Given the size his contract, and the team’s further needs this winter, moving Buehrle and his contract could be a means to an end.
A little while later, we received a bit of clarification on at least one party that could hold some possible interest in bringing Mark Buehrle into the fold, via Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com out of Minnesota.
The key in Wolfson’s tweet, and in Cafardo’s earlier report, is the $19 million that Mark Buehrle will make in 2015. That’s a lot of money to spend on a soft-tossing lefty, even one with the track record of Buehrle.
That chunk of change becomes even harder to swallow for a team like the Minnesota Twins, who had a team payroll of $86.4 million in 2014. Taking on a salary like Buehrle’s would make him the second highest paid player on the team, behind another albatross contract in the deal given to Joe Mauer.
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However, if the Blue Jays were to eat a good chunk of that salary, there could be room to make a deal. One such player the Blue Jays could have interest in is second baseman Brian Dozier.
Dozier had an up and down season in 2014. He provides above average pop for a middle infielder and gets on base well. However, he strikes out a lot (18.4% career), which leads to a career batting average of .241 and took a big step backwards in his fielding in 2014 ( 0 DRS, -4.4 UZR/150).
That said, he’s entering his prime at 27-years-old and is still a year away from arbitration eligibility. Both of those items, as well as his ability to solve their second base needs, would make him an attractive target for the Blue Jays. Granted, those two items are also big reasons why the cost-conscious Twins will want to hold onto him while he is still under team control.
To swing that deal, the Jays would need to eat a ton of money, and likely sweeten the pot as well. That said, I’m not sure that Dozier has enough upside to really put that much into such a deal.
But hey, if the Twins come knocking, I’m sure the Blue Jays will be all ears.