Though now dead, the thought of what might have been still lingers on many fans’ minds. But is it really all that bad that the trade didn’t go through?
A week ago, Blue Jays fans were put through the ringer. As the day progressed, a rumoured trade between the Jays and Reds evolved into active discussions about Jay Bruce and Michael Saunders, then turned into a potential trade involving the Angels as a third team.
The trade was reportedly finalized, only to be scrapped in the late hours of the night due to an issue arising with a player’s physical. While this trade would have had a clear and important impact on the Blue Jays’ 2016 season, the fact that it didn’t happen is nothing to be alarmed about.
In fact, it may even turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Blue Jays.
Bruce isn’t an upgrade
Trading for Bruce seems appealing, but when comparing his numbers (especially the past two seasons) to those of Saunders, there is not a lot to be desired. Bruce comes at a heavier price tag due to his two All Star and Silver Slugger Awards he earned between 2011 and 2013. Since then though, Bruce has struggled with injuries and has been nothing more than an average ball player.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Blue Jays: Alek Manoah on pace to succeed in possible postseason
- Blue Jays: Bradley Zimmer has carved himself a valuable role
- Anthony Bass has been the shutdown reliever the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. open to a long-term contract
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
He has kept significant pop in his bat, so when he hits, he does hit for power. That said, his average and OBP have been lackluster to say the least over the last two seasons. This trend is expected to continue as Bruce is only projected to hit a .235 Average with an OBP of .305 and an OPS of .728 this upcoming season. While he’s expected to contribute offensively in the homer and RBI department, is that what the Jays really need?
Saunders, on the other hand, does not carry the heavy price tag, and aside from his lost 2015 campaign, has only improved every season he’s played.
So while Bruce has seen his abilities wane, Saunders has improved and still holds potential if healthy. While he does not possess the pop that Bruce does, do the Blue Jays really need it? Despite not packing the pop, Saunders is projected to contribute an Average of .246 with an OBP of .324 and an OPS of .744. These numbers exceed those of Bruce, and put Saunders in a spot to audition for lead off, a position Bruce won’t be playing any time soon.
Next: A new dark horse with Brown in left field