We have all heard the rumors going around about which players the Blue Jays are interested in. We know some of the teams who are willing to unload some talent. We even know who we’d like to see the Toronto Blue Jays pursue. What we haven’t been privy to is what other teams are asking for. The general consensus is, though. that whatever it takes to land help for the rotation, or even the bullpen is going to be quite costly.
That picture has been made a little more clear thanks to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Now, how much faith you put into it is up to you. But, given that some of the names make sense and there seem to be industry ‘connections’, we can at least entertain the possibility that the following names might be among what it takes to upgrade this team.
"“Among the players teams are asking the Blue Jays about include Daniel Norris, Roberto Osuna, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez, Miguel Castro, Dalton Pompey, and Devon Travis. It will take some combination of those to acquire a starter and/or closer.”"
Well, then. Are we ready to part with any of these, let alone a combination of them?
Toronto Blue Jays
It is tough to imagine that the Blue Jays would feel comfortable enough to send Devon Travis anywhere in any deal. Remember the void that was at second base that necessitated the trade for Travis? One would think that that void wouldn’t change one bit by trading him. In fact, the spot may be even more worrisome these days with Maicer Izturis all but done. That said, it is easy to see why teams would target Travis in any deal. He started the season on fire, claiming Rookie of the Month honors and hasn’t really seemed to be missing a beat upon his return from the DL.
Dalton Pompey struggled out of the gate in 2015 and was demoted to AAA. From there, he was sent further down to AA New Hamsphire where he’s enjoying great success. The Blue Jays feel that keeping him there will expose him to more quality pitching than in AAA Buffalo. The Bisons play in a league where there may be veterans who throw less traditionally, etc and keeping him away from that will benefit his stroke. His demotion will not likely impact his value. While, as a fan, it might be easy to say “Oh, he was sent that far down? He must be struggling”. But, GMs have more insight than that and are aware of ceiling versus situation.
Miguel Castro might be in that same boat. The young fire baller won a job out of spring training thanks to his electric stuff. Or, more aptly, thanks to very few other options. Since then, he’s struggled, was demoted and then hit a snag with the health of his arm. He’s now back throwing gas for the Dunedin Blue Jays. He’ll make his way back up the ladder in no time, assuming health. A reliever (who could or should start) with the kind of stuff Castro has cannot be ignored.
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Daniel Norris’ demotion should not have hurt his value much. Again, his ceiling is so high. But, had he stayed in the rotation, his value would have been that much higher. Norris is an interesting option here. One has to wonder just how untouchable he is. While his future looks very bright, are the Blue Jays willing to give it up for a more guaranteed commodity right now? You would think that Aaron Sanchez is even more off limits. He has been for years now. He’s making his way back from his lat injury. Is this the year when the Blue Jays do part with him? His value may never be higher. How badly do they want to win right now?
Kevin Pillar may have increased his value greatly this season. Many people felt that all he needed to be successful was an everyday spot. With that, he’s shown that his defense is something that cannot be easily replaced. His bat is also not the detriment it was thought to be. But, undoubtedly, his circus catches in the outfield has garnered him attention this year. Perhaps, this might be the opportunity to sell high on him.
Of everyone on the list, though, you would have to think that Roberto Osuna is off limits. If he isn’t, he should be. One could argue that he’s been the most reliable arm out of the ‘pen for the Blue Jays. In 36 innings, he’s worked a 2.21 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 29.2 K% (42K), 6.9BB%. He’s been a rock! Add to that, the fact that he was originally tabbed as a starter and could be stretched out over the winter as such, his value is too high to get rid of.
If the Blue Jays are going to compete this year, they are going to have to address their starting rotation. Whether that is for one, two or even three (as some are wildly suggesting) arms remains to be seen. What is for certain is that if this club is going to bring in help, it will likely have to accept losing a player that some of us may not be so comfortable with. The bigger the talent coming to Toronto, the bigger the talent going out of Toronto. So, while fans want to see help come and a big move made, are we actually ready for what that might cost?