Blue Jays Interested in John Jaso?


August 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter

John Jaso

(5) bats during the third inning against the New York Mets at Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Mets 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to Oakland Athletics beat writer Susan Slusser, the Toronto Blue Jays have inquired about Athletics catcher/1B John Jaso.

In the article, Slusser claims that the Toronto Blue  Jays are interested in Jaso as a potential backup to Russell Martin, and also states that the Oakland Athletics are interested in left handed pitching prospect Sean Nolin.

John Jaso has spent parts of the past five seasons in the Major Leagues, playing for Tampa Bay and Oakland. The left handed hitter posted a terrific .274/.353/.447/.800 line in the first half of the 2014 season, but struggled in the second half, hitting.235 with an on-base percentage under .300. Known for his plate discipline, Jaso has walked nearly as many times as he’s struck out over his career against right-handed pitchers (180/191), and has posted a very solid .793 career OPS against right-handed pitching. He could be an option as a DH/back up catcher in the Jays right-handed heavy lineup, and acquiring him would all but guarantee the end of Dioner Navarro‘s tenure in Toronto.

Jaso’s previous two seasons have ended prematurely due to concussions, and as such, it is likely that he won’t be able to catch on a full-time basis. However, with Russell Martin behind the plate, Jaso may be in a perfect situation were he to come to Toronto, getting most of his starts at designated hitter against right-handed pitching, and spelling Russell Martin when he needs a day off. He has been cleared for all baseball activities and should have no problem being ready for opening day.

The Athletics have reportedly shown interest in LHP Sean Nolin, and it’s quite possible that he could be included in a potential trade for Jaso. Nolin spent the 2014 season pitching for Triple A Buffalo, posting a 3.50 ERA over 17 starts for the Bisons. He has a nice arm and could be a potential back of the rotation starter, but with the Jays sudden rotation depth and plethora of young talented arms, Nolin is expendable if it helps them acquire someone who could help them contend in 2015.