After the Blue Jays pulled off a surprise deal to land Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins, one has to wonder just how much more do they have left in them in the waning days of the Trade Deadline period. They’ve already brought in arguably the best short stop in baseball. Could they be considering bringing in one of the best starting pitchers too?
Well, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, they very well could be trying to.
Now, this may come as a surprise for several reasons. Trades to acquire top tier talent don’t come along often. Could your Toronto Blue Jays looking to pull off two of them? We all know just how much this club needs pitching help. That is no surprise. And, we know that GM, Alex Anthopoulos has been calling everyone and their dog to pick up some kind of help. He almost found it in Cleveland with Carlos Carrasco. That fell apart. But, that is the kind of contract AA is looking for, the 4yr/$22M type of team control that comes with Carrasco.
Toronto Blue Jays
That is what makes this tidbit from Nightengale confusing. Perhaps, he is unaware of the tendency the Blue Jays GM has of avoiding rental type players. If he is going to give up a premium package for a pitcher, he wants him to stick around a tad longer than 3 months. Now, just yesterday, AA did say that he won’t avoid a rental pitcher. But, we all know this is a last resort. And, the nature of a “bidding war” does not sound like the desperation of having to take your last resort.
There is another difficulty with the above tweet. Alex Anthopoulos has said time and again that he will not enter bidding wars with anyone. He certainly won’t do it in the free agency market. He has always set his price (pardon the pun) and held firm. Remember the “5 Year Policy”. The argument can be made that he has done so when dollar amounts are what he’s bidding with. And, that makes sense. The Blue Jays would have to pay more to get players to agree to play in Toronto. Whether it’s been taxes, a middling team or dog laws, players have had concerns about coming to Toronto. Once they’re here, they love it. But, if the Blue Jays were to enter a bidding war, they would undoubtedly need deeper pockets than they’ve shown.
But, this isn’t bidding with money. Nightengale says this is a “bidding war of prospects”. Are the Blue Jays really in a position to enter such a battle? Well, they just might be. They’ve held on to prospects fairly well in the past few years. Now, some will point to the R.A. Dickey trade and the “Miami Deal” to say I’m wrong and that is fair. But, they’ve also avoided doing many deals to hold on to what they’ve worked so hard to build through drafts, etc. They do have the “capital” to enter into conversations.
Players like Daniel Norris, Sean Reid-Foley, Matt Boyd, Dalton Pompey, Anthony Alford are still in the system and offer different levels of potential. That is not even to mention those that could be used to fill out a deal. There are prospects from which to deal. But, that is the key. The Blue Jays have prospects to deal, but to enter a bidding war with? For a rental?!
Could they enter a bidding war against the Yankees or Dodgers and win? Sure. That depends on what Detroit is looking for. But, should they? Let’s say they do and David Price is a Blue Jay (let that marinate a little). They get 2 months of his services, not including playoffs, if there are any. There is no guarantee they make it at this point. After the season is over, he becomes a free agent. Since he was traded mid season, there would be no qualifying offer on him. That means there is no draft pick attached the following June. He would likely walk for a mega deal in the winter. So, there seems to be no logical reason for the Blue Jays to push so hard for David Price.
While this would be a terrifically exciting turn of events, the likelihood of it happening are slimmer than the Blue Jays’ playoff odds. And, that is really the point. Unless this club really feels like it can win the division (and not just the Wild Card spot) there is no point in us scrounging up enough money to pay for a David Price Blue Jays jersey. Sorry.