Blue Jays Rumors: Is a Big Trade Coming?
Remember sitting through last season’s Trade Deadline period? Remember hoping, praying, begging for the Toronto Blue Jays to make a move? They were in first place for a long time and we all hoped that they would do something to make a push for their first playoff appearance in over 20 years. Our prayers were largely ignored, unless you count the deal for Danny Valencia. So, here we are this season with the Blue Jays once again in a position to contend for a playoff spot.
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With rumors flying it is so difficult to know what you can believe. As fans, we default to believing what we know rather than what we hear. We hear that the Blue Jays are “interested” in Player X, but we know that they’ve not brought in Player Y or Z in the past. So, we’re skeptical about how things will be different this time around. Well, there just might be some indications that this summer might be different for us and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays
Ken Rosenthal offers us some insight that may be more than a rumor. It sounds like something with ‘teeth’ as they say. He says that on Tuesday, there were two top prospects starting in the Blue Jays system: Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman. And, there was a very heavy scouting presence from “high-ranking officials”. The teams present to watch Hoffman include the Athletics, Reds, Phillies, Marlins and Padres. While those taking a look at Norris were Padres, White Sox, Dodgers, Reds and Cubs.
While Rosenthal points out that a couple of these teams being present may not mean that much. He is quick to point out that the Chicago teams regularly check out games in Rochester (where Norris was tossing). As well, the Reds can be just seen as attending their own game as Hoffman was facing their affiliate, Daytona.
However, such a high volume of scouting means one of two things. GM, Alex Anthopoulos has been on the phones and has been making his needs known. He’s been working potential deals. Whether this means he has something in the works with all of these teams remains to be seen. It could be that they took it upon themselves to scout these two prized prospects in anticipation of the Ninja GM calling. Everyone know what Toronto wants and everyone knows what they have to offer.
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It could also mean that perhaps AA is working on a deal that involves more than one team. We know that he is not afraid and is no stranger to making a deal bigger just to get what he wants. Remember when Josh Johnson was the jewel of the “Miami Deal”? Remember how big that got? Could we be seeing some sort of huge package deal, here? Could we be seeing more than one other team involved? Are the Toronto Blue Jays ready to part with top talent to do so?
If you look at this list of teams, they all represent some intrigue. We already know what some of them have to entice the Blue Jays. Oakland has Scott Kazmir (whose health is questionable after leaving his last start early) and maybe Tyler Clippard. The White Sox have Jeff Samardzija. The Phillies have Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels (who likely won’t approve a deal to Toronto). The Reds have Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman (this might be the most
expensive attractive deal). The Marlins have Mat Latos.
But, the most interesting name on the list above is the San Diego Padres. In my next post, I’ll really look at what they have to offer. But, after a disappointing rebuild, they do have some intriguing pieces that could be available. IT is not immediately clear why the Dodgers would be scouting Blue Jays pitching unless they are one of those “other teams” brought in to facilitate a deal. And what about the Cubs?
While the heavy scouting contingent watching Blue Jays pitching could be taken as a sign of things to come, we cannot lose sight of the fact that nothing may happen. After all, Hoffman and Norris are valuable pieces that Blue Jays fans, and more importantly management, may not be so comfortable parting with. We know that AA is not afraid to subtract from the system (or big league roster) to pull of a deal. He sees prospects as currency too. But, will he be willing to pay the inevitably high price to deal with one of these teams? IS he willing to pay the cost of being a “buyer”?
Next: Is Chad Jenkins a Blue Jays Castaway?