On Blue Jays trade rumours, the deadline, and a fisherman’s advice
One foggy morning last summer when shark fishing off the shore of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, a more experienced fisherman than I gave me the following advice on avoiding seasickness.
“Stay up on the deck and look at the horizon as far off as you can,” he said. “No matter what you do, don’t look at the water around the boat.”
I’ve since come to learn that this advice applies to the month of July in Major League Baseball and the upcoming trade deadline. The horizon being the morning of August 1st, and the water around the boat being trade rumours.
Now, the advice included more profanity than this refurbished quote and some suggestions about the stomach favouring whiskey over beer while on the water, but I’ll let you apply those lessons in the fashion you choose.
The Toronto Blue Jays enter the month of July as a team headed towards, at the very least, a playoff run. Whether it be the American League East or one of the two AL Wild Card spots remains to be seen, but they will be in the conversation. With this comes the inevitable trade winds leading up to July 31st.
It started on Saturday with Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reporting that “The Astros and Blue Jays are up to something. Jays scouts are watching the Astros’ system closely.”
Yesterday, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish added to Cafardo’s report by tweeting that the Blue Jays were scouting one of the Astros’ top prospects. “One prospect they’ve looked at, per source: Francis Martes.”
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
- Who Should the Blue Jays Extend First: Guerrero, Bichette or Manoah?
- Blue Jays now hold the top Wild Card spot, and yes that’s a good thing
- Blue Jays may have the tools to use a Bullpen Day
- Blue Jays win important first game after Bichette’s late inning heroics
For what it’s worth, Martes is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Astros number three prospect. Baseball America ranked him second behind only A.J. Reed. Martes originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 but was acquired by the Astros from Miami in a deal for Jarred Cosart at the 2014 deadline. He throws a mid-to-high 90s fastball with a great curveball, and despite some bumps along the road as a 20-year-old this season, remains a highly-regarded pitching prospect not just within the Houston organization, but league-wide.
This represents the choppy water around the boat that I was advised not to look at.
At this time of the season, MLB scouts are working overtime to scour any and every potential trade target. The term “trade target” can become an issue, though, as teams doing their widespread due diligence is far too often confused with direct interest in a player or other organization.
Under Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays were notorious for this. For that reason, you likely grew familiar with reports that an available player was drawing interest from “Team 1, Team 2, Team, 3, and the Blue Jays”. With scouts littering bleachers across minor league baseball, that add-on connection was easy to make.
There’s also a danger in viewing these rumours with a blanketing eye of pessimism, though. These reports are, generally speaking, not pixie dust or guesses. The reality of the matter is that many deals are discussed but never transpire. Many targets are scouted, yet never even reach the stage of legitimate discussion.
With reports of MLB rumours, as in all corners of life, it is important to think critically. Just that, and nothing more. Looking at the Astros report, one might wonder how the Blue Jays could possibly acquire a top prospect from an organization with a strong farm system. Would that not require the unloading of a top asset? Furthermore, how likely would that be given the Blue Jays current standing in the American League?
All this being said, there’s a certain joy for baseball fans in the rocky ride of July. This month does represent the true kickoff of the playoff race with a rush of high-profile transactions oncoming.
Just know when to look at the horizon, and when to look at the water sloshing around the sides of the boat.