Blue Jays: A potential trade package, sitting on a platter

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Dominic Smith #22 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a walk-off 3-run home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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The New York Mets are shopping a pair of players right now, and without knowing their demands, it looks like a great fit for the Blue Jays.

Now that the holidays are over, things have and should continue to pick back up with the MLB hot stove. However, for the Blue Jays, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if things were quiet for a few weeks.

That’s because Ross Atkins and the rest of the front office have already taken care of several items on their off-season checklist, namely reinforcing their starting rotation. Now that the biggest priority is taken care of, there is less urgency to address the other needs of the team, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they waited until a little closer to the start of Spring Training.

That said, there is a trade package available that’s been pretty widely reported, and I think it’s a fit that could work very well for the Blue Jays.

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All winter long the Mets have been shopping Dominic Smith, not because they’d like to rid themselves of him, but instead because he’s blocked by Pete Alonso at first base. Alonso isn’t going anywhere, and the outfield isn’t a great fit for Smith in New York either, so they’ve understandably looked to trade the talented young first baseman. However, they’ve had a tough time finding a suitor, and the current rumour doesn’t have them expecting a big prospect package in return. In fact, it sounds like they’d be happy if they could attach Jed Lowrie‘s contract and get him off of their books.

According to Spotrac.com, Lowrie has 10 million remaining on the 2-year, 20 million dollar pact he signed last winter. It turned out to be a dud for the Mets, as Lowrie spent the year battling injury and only had seven at-bats in the big leagues. The Mets have since moved on from the idea that they’ll need him to bolster their infield, and would like to allocate those dollars somewhere else.

As much as the Blue Jays probably aren’t interested in taking on his contract, Lowrie could actually be a fairly useful piece for them next season if he’s healthy. After designating Richard Urena for assignment, they could use a veteran to help fill the utility-man role, and Lowrie has experience playing all over the infield. The one hang-up is that he hasn’t been a regular at shortstop since his 130 starts there in 2014, but he could probably handle the position as a back-up. He’d be an expensive solution, but likely a workable one.

The key to the deal though would be getting Smith, and it’s possible the Blue Jays have discussed the idea. A month ago it would have been a no-brainer to make this type of trade, but since then the Jays have signed Travis Shaw to a one-year “pillow” contract, and I’m sure they’ve made a promise of significant playing time. Still, Smith could get at-bats at DH, at first base when Shaw is resting or at another position, or even some time in an outfield corner. Smith authored a .282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, and 25 RBI across 177 at-bats, and looks ready for a full-time MLB job.

If there’s interest, it likely comes down to a pair of questions for the Blue Jays. First, does Smith have the talent to be the first baseman of the future in Toronto? And second, is it wise to bring in a young player for the position, knowing that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. may have to move across the diamond at some point? For the latter reason, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Blue Jays stuck to one-year deals with any first basemen for a year or two.

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However, that doesn’t mean they can’t explore this possibility with the Mets, and it looks like a trade is sitting on a platter for them, if they’re interested.

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