Blue Jays Starters vs Trade Targets: Is There Even a Need?

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Mar 1, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos watches during spring training workouts at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We are now moving into July where our attention will move to the 2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati. Or, will it? Isn’t the real attention grabber for Blue Jays fans going to be the days leading up to the July 31st Non-Waiver Trade Deadline? Already rumors are swirling about where the Blue Jays are looking for upgrades and how much they’d have to give up in return. And, the general consensus is that the first area of need is for the club to add a starting pitcher. Then, they should focus on the bullpen. And, while some would love for both of these to come in the same deal, the chances of that happening might be slim.

So, the Blue Jays will likely focus on one at a time. With an eye to nabbing an impact rotation piece, GM, Alex Anthopoulos will be scouring MLB for the right option. Only he knows what the definition of the “right option” looks like. But, there have been several names thrown out there as logical targets. Johnny Cueto of the Reds, Cole Hamels of the Phillies, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir might be guys to move this month. So, with that in mind and the fact that the Blue Jays are said to need pitching, I want to look at something: 

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Are these targets worth giving up a huge package of prospects for? Are they that much better than what the Blue Jays already have? As we all know, there is always the possibility that The Ninja GM will walk away from negotiations if they get to rich for his blood. Or, what if ownership is afraid to take on the commitment of bringing in one of these guys? What if they want to stand pat? Setting aside the rage that would come from such a decision, I want to compare these potential “Big Fish” to the current members of the Blue Jays’ starting rotation.

Now, please note that I am only comparing numbers from this season in this exercise to see if the Blue Jays would be getting an upgrade. Let’s get to it.

In the interest of full disclosure, this idea came to me from a piece I saw at Sports on Earth written by Bryan Joiner who was writing for Baseball Prospectus Boston. In it, Joiner compared Cole Hamels to Clay Buchholz to see which was actually better. As you can imagine, Hamels won. Would he, or any of the others listed above, come out on top when compared to Blue Jays pitching?

Next: Dickey vs The Big Fish