With the all-star break a little over a month away, it’s about that time where more trade rumors surface and will continue to proliferate until the trade deadline and beyond.
With that in mind, although we here at the Journal have been hard at work trying to solve left field (just have a look at this recent piece by colleague Brendan Panikkar for example), it would nonetheless be a disservice to our readership not to mention any trade rumours or players that have ostensibly become available according to the media at large.
One, in particular, that is worthy of note comes to us via Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. He has reported that the Miami Marlins are listening on Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, and even Dee Gordon (among other).
There’s a lot going on at the moment with that organization, with at least one ownership group bidding to take over the talented but ailing club. Beyond that though, their front office is apparently very engaged in the market or at least has signaled that they will be selling – possibly even in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline.
The obvious thought is that a Yelich or Ozuna in the outfield would solve our problems for literally years to come – Yelich would be under club control until 2022 and Ozuna’s contract doesn’t expire until after the 2019 season.
Unfortunately, I also had to bring Dee Gordon’s name into the fold, considering Devon Travis’s recurring deep bone bruise in his knee that has him sidelined yet again. We’ve already widely touched on the subject, most recently by Jays Journal’s Sam Bruce who even suggested left field as a possible position to ease Travis’s discomfort.
The entire subject though is not without discomfort as Travis is such a great ball player and clubhouse guy. And it’s no doubt quite disappointing to us all that the guy who leads the league in extra-base hits in May is unavailable due to a lingering injury that myself, and likely the rest of Jays Nation, thought was firmly in the past.
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Guys like Ozuna, and Gordon and Yelich would likely come with a steep asking price of bona fide prospects or even guys on our current 25-man roster so it comes down to whether the window to win is still open.
To that end, the team is creeping up on the.500 mark and our lineup has proven it can inflict some serious damage on any given night, especially as we see our division rivals more and more in the coming months: the more looks we can get at division rival pitchers, the more likely our line-up will be able to light ‘em up.
So it doesn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination to see our front office call on Jeffrey Loria of the Marlins at least one last time before the changing of the guard down there. If you’ll recall, our bold former GM Alex Anthopolous put together a mammoth deal with Loria in the off-season leading up to the 2013 season.
Anthopoulos was clearly trying to make a push to put the team into “win-now” mode with that move. You might recall we went out on a limb and sent some very talented rookies and/or prospects in that deal, who are now enjoying established careers in the bigs – guys like Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, et al.
With that in mind, a similar scenario could likely be considered. The prospect capital might just be too steep for our current regime, but the right trade with the Marlins could solve multiple problems on a long term basis, and add youth and speed to the line-up. The bonus is that we’d still have room for Dwight Smith Jr. or Anthony Alford with Jose Bautista not getting any younger, and carrying an accompanying contract that could potentially leave right field vacant beyond this year’s campaign.
Our system quickly went from barren to well-stocked and at least a couple of names are sure bets to be untouchable. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in particular likely cause rival GMs’ to salivate, and are just too good to let go of. For a closer look, check in on the fine work of Jays Journal’s Craig Borden.
But we do have a rapport with the Marlins and they’ve signaled they’re willingness to trade proven, all-star talent.
At the very least this little nugget on the Marlins current market stance has surfaced and presents something for GM Ross Atkins and President Mark Shapiro to chew on.
The fanbase and team would no doubt be re-invigorated to not have any concerns about left field or potentially second base anymore. With regards to LF, one need not look further than our last series in Oakland where multiple balls were badly misplayed by our current platoon combination. And as for Steve Pearce, he doesn’t seem to be the answer either, with his history of DL stints, and during his time on the field, this year didn’t do anything to write home about, with the occasional home run, but also striking out frequently or just resulting in an out too often.
The Blue Jays, organizationally have a history of adding pieces in the stretch if in contention for a post-season birth. HOFrs like David Cone and Rickey Henderson come to mind or more recently, the wealth of talent shipped over in the week leading up to the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline.
Looking at where the team stands now: we swept the Mariners last time we met this season (admittedly at that time they were James Paxton-less and Robinson Cano was also sidelined) and thus this upcoming series with the M’s, with a healthy and mashing Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki back, presents an opportunity to push this conversation further as the Blue Jays continue the marathon to October.