Should the Blue Jays Target Diamondbacks Relievers?
The MLB Winter Meetings are nearing their conclusion, and the Toronto Blue Jays are still looking for relief help. With a number of the available free agent options coming off the board over the last few days, Alex Anthopoulos has recently stated that he will likely turn his attention to the trade market in his search for bullpen help:
The jays have already been linked to a few names on the trade market so far. Greg Holland of the AL champion Kansas City Royals is available, but the royals are apparently looking for an impact, cost-controlled right fielder or starting pitcher in return for him. That would most likely mean it would cost the Jays either Daniel Norris or Dalton Pompey for him, a price they’re likely unwilling to match for someone who is only going to pitch approximately 60-70 innings.
While a trade for Holland is unlikely, it is looking like the Jays may find a potential match in the Arizona Diamondbacks. According to diamondbacks beat writer Nick Piecoro, diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart is interested in one of the jays trade chips:
Arizona just traded Miguel Montero, who’s been behind the plate for them for the last 8 seasons, and they’re looking for a new catcher for the 2015 season. With the acquisition of Russell Martin earlier this offseason, Dioner Navarro has become expendable and could be dealt in order to improve the jays bullpen. But what does Arizona have to offer? There are two players that could match up in a swap for Navarro.
The 35-year old Brad Ziegler is an intriguing name the blue jays could look at. He’s spent the last four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, posting a 2.63 ERA and solid peripherals. Before that, he spent time with the Oakland Athletics and was equally successful, with a 2.49 ERA. Zieger’s 3.49 ERA in 2014 was the worst of his career, but his strike out rate was actually the highest it’s ever been at 7.25 k/9 IP. And a 3.49 ERA in Arizona is still very solid. He’s also done a very good job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, allowing 0.4 HR/9 IP over his career. He’s due $5 million in 2015 and has a $5.5 million team option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout.
Addison Reed, turning 26 at the end of the month, spent the majority of his career with the Chicago White Sox before being traded to the Diamondbacks last offseason. He owns a career 4.20 ERA, but has posted a solid 3.52 FIP and has been better than his statistics say. He’s been a closer for the last three seasons, and while he’s a little more homer prone than Ziegler (1.1 HR/9 IP in his career), he has a 9.7K/9 IP and offers solid command to go along with it. At only 26 years old, acquiring Reed could potentially give the jays a long term solution at closer. He’s only arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, and remains under team control for the next three seasons.
It’s unclear how high Stewart values his relievers, but it’s very likely a starting calibre catcher like Dioner Navarro could be enough to fetch Ziegler. He may not be quite enough to obtain Reed, whose age and cost-controlled contract would make him more valuable on the open market. The Jays have made it clear that they’re looking for bullpen help and that Dioner Navarro is on the block. And now Dave Stewart has made it clear that they’re interested in Dioner. Obviously trades just aren’t that easy to accomplish, however it’s looking like the building blocks are there to potentially pull something off between these two teams.
What do you think? Would you trade Dioner in return for either of these relievers? If not, then who? Let us know what you think!