Blue Jays Trade Rumors: Big Package Still to Come?
Trying to predict how this year’s Trade Deadline will play out might be a rather difficult task. I figured the Royals would go after Johnny Cueto. And, after the fact, no one would believe you if you say “I told you so”. That is why it is useful to get it in print before it actually happens. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.com (h/t Brendan Kennedy) has done just that. Whether he is right or wrong, kudos to him for putting himself out there. Here’s what he suggests: the Blue Jays will land Jeff Samardzija, Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce.
That’s quite the package for a team whose fan base just watch Cueto and Scott Kazmir go off the market. But, we shouldn’t be discouraged because there are actually quite a few names out there that could be dealt. These three names are among them.
We know how long the Blue Jays have been coveting The Shark. It feels like years. In fact, they’ve probably had their eye on him since he was in Chicago, maybe even longer. So, this will come as no surprise. And, while the Blue Jays highly value team control, they still could bring in Samardzija out of necessity. Maybe they’ll realize that holding out for your ideal choice means you miss the boat on others. They may not want to miss out on this one. Yes, he will be a free agent at the end of 2015. But, a rental is better than no rotation upgrade at all. Cameron acknowledges that GM, Alex Anthopoulos would prefer a controllable arm like what San Diego has to offer. But, that the club might use fewer prospects to land the other two additions.
The notion of adding Aroldis Chapman is interesting. We fans have been coveting him for a long time. So have the Blue Jays. In fact, he could have been in Toronto for the last few years if they’d only bid a bit more when he became available after leaving Cuba. They were pursuing him hard then, but fell just shy. Will they let that happen again? Is this the lockdown closer they really want? He’s making $8.3M this season (the Blue Jays would be on the hook for the remainder) and he’s eligible for arbitration next season. So there’s a bit more team control there. Granted, it’ll be pricey control as he’s surely due for a raise.
Toronto Blue Jays
Would they even be looking for a closer at this point with Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna at the back end of the bullpen? They should be. There is no way that the Toronto Blue Jays should be considering leaving both of these two out of the rotation in the future. Necessity being what it is this season, it is understandable. Next year and beyond? No way. So, if they’re going to have some foresight, Chapman might the best way to go.
But, one name that we haven’t heard the Blue Jays linked to is Jay Bruce. This would indeed be a surprise to fans. He’s a lefty outfield bat that has been providing pop over the last 5 years. He’s under team control for next season ($12.5M) and has a team option for the following at $13M ($1M buyout). This is a relatively good price for an outfield bat with power. Here’s the thing, though. Do the Blue Jays need an OF? They have Michael Saunders returning at some point. They have Dalton Pompey looking good in AAA. Would the Blue Jays be willing to fork over a heavy prospect package for Bruce and Chapman when this isn’t really such a glaring area of need? And, would they be willing to make such a financial commitment to these two?
Also from Jays Journal: Are Blue Jays Ready to Promote Daniel Norris?
Personally, if the Blue Jays are going to pay for a pricey package, I’d like to see them deal with the Padres for one, maybe two starters or a starter and Craig Kimbrel. It doesn’t seem that the Cincinnati Reds have what the Blue Jays desperately need anymore. Would Dave Cameron’s prediction be welcome? Absolutely? Would it help the Blue Jays? Absolutely! So, on the one hand, I hope Cameron is correct in his predictions. But, as is the case with any prediction, there is going to be a lot of doubt. No one knows what will happen for sure. So, until it does happen, all we can do is guess. Let’s hope we can stop guessing and start enjoying the playoff push.
Next: Is Money an Issue in Trade Talks With Padres?