Blue Jays: J.A. Happ and the Yu Darvish Trade Model
The Mariners could offer a collection of different prospects for J.A. Happ. The team would hypothetically offer Julio Rodriguez (OF), Seth Elledge (RHP), and Cesar Izturis Jr. (2B/SS). This package would be very young, but also very good for the Blue Jays.
Julio Rodriguez should be the name that the Blue Jays push the hardest for in any potential trade with the Mariners. Through 30 games at rookie ball, the seventeen year old has posted a .330/.426/.478 slash line with one bomb and 28 driven in. His numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as he has been aided by a .402 BABIP.
Adding to his eye-popping slash line, he also owns great strikeout and walk numbers. While playing for the Dominican Summer League Mariners he has posted a good 16.9% K-rate with a great 11.8% BB-rate. In addition, he is quite fast, maintaining an 8.1 speed score and 1.0 wSB.
Seth Elledge is intriguing, but not quite as exciting as Rodriguez would be. The righty has dominated High-A out of the bullpen, posting a .087 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 12.77 K/9, and eight saves in 26 games.
Elledge’s underlying numbers are also quite good, posting a 54.4% GB rate and 17.5% line drive rate. While he would need more time to develop, he seems poised for a second half promotion to Double-A, which leaves him at least another year to develop in the minors before being ready for the big leagues.
Cesar Izturis Jr. could be another young prospect to add to the team of legacies the Blue Jays are apparently compiling in the minor leagues. Interestingly, his father, Cesar Izturis, played 46 games with the Jays in 2001. Izturis Jr. has not hit well in Triple-A this year, posting a .200/.250/.333 slash line in five games. As well, he has struck out a ton, maintaining a 31.3% k-rate and a 6.3% BB-rate.
Assigning an eighteen year old to Triple-A feels aggressive by the Mariners. So, while his initial numbers are weak, a more conservative development plan may make him a good utility player or more one day.