The Current Going Rate for Relievers
Past trades can only be so indicative of what’s going to happen in a sticky and complicated trade market. While it’s great to look at comparisons, baseball history is not exactly super predictive. With that in mind, it’s crucial to take into account what current experts are saying about the going rate of relievers in this market.
According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Miami Marlins are placing an “extremely high” asking price on their relievers. The relievers in question, mainly Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider, are both under control beyond this year, so they cannot exactly be used as direct comparables.
Frisaro also notes that out of the pair, Conley, who is under team control until 2021, is most likely the one to go. With that being said, prior to this year (3.66 ERA, 19.2 IP, 22 SO), Conley has been rather mediocre at the major league level, pitching to an ERA of 4.60 in 303.0 major league innings with 255 strikeouts and 125 walks.
Despite the fact that Conley has team control, he hasn’t been consistently good, whereas Blue Jays relievers have had consistent results over the years. Now, this is not to say that John Axford will command the same prospect return as Conley, but it’s worth noting that while team control is a huge factor in deadline deals, it’s nearly worthless without consistency on the hill.
Other relievers currently on the market include Fernando Salas (who was designated for assignment this week) and Fernando Rodney of the Twins, who appears primed to be on the block in the coming weeks.
With all of the above taken into account, I think it’s fair to say that the market hasn’t been firmly established just yet, so unless they’re blown away by an offer, it’s difficult to see the Jays trading a relief asset this early on.