Blue Jays: Prospects who should not be involved in trade deadline talks
Simeon Woods-Richardson – RHP
One of the return pieces of the Marcus Stroman trade with the New York Mets, Simeon Woods-Richardson’s stock has skyrocketed since joining the Blue Jays organization back in 2019.
Woods-Richardson posted a 2.54 ERA through six starts in A+ with Dunedin two years ago, throwing seven walks and 29 strikeouts through 28.1 innings. SWR would see a promotion to AA to start the 2021 campaign and has continued to be dominant early this season, appearing in four games and pitching to a 2.37 ERA through 19.0 innings with eight strikeouts and 31 strikeouts.
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The right-hander is currently with the United States team, who recently qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after winning America’s Baseball Qualifier. He appeared in one game for the national team during the tournament, starting against Puerto Rico after the United States had already won, and it’s not yet known whether he will be with the team when they head to Tokyo next month.
While he will return to the Fisher Cats and pitch until the Olympics begin, this scenario could impact the hard-throwing prospect potentially moving up through the Blue Jays farm system this year.
Another prospect that the Blue Jays should consider holding on to, any potential trade talks will most likely have opposing teams asking for Woods-Richardson in return depending on the player in question. While the offer may be tempting, moving SWR now will most likely result in regret further down the line, especially since the early indications have him projecting to be an impactful arm in the rotation with a debut slated for 2022.
If Ross Atkins chooses to move him, the player (and hopefully pitcher) the Jays get in return better be worth it.
Gabriel Moreno – C
One of the talented catching prospects in the Blue Jays system, Gabriel Moreno is not only a game-changer in the batter’s box, but he is also widely regarded for his cannon of an arm and defensive ability behind the plate.
Making his professional debut in 2017, Moreno has been hitting the ball well at every level the Jays put him in. For his career, the righty slugger boasts a .303/.350/.485 slash line through 734 plate appearances with 20 home runs, 129 RBI, and a .835 OPS. Behind the plate, Moreno has never posted a caught stealing percentage below 30% in a season/level, with 49 base runners thrown out on 141 chances while also posting a .995% fielding percentage with 132 assists.
The Toronto Blue Jays have multiple catching prospects/players in Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Riley Adams, with Moreno rounding out the list and being the farthest away from the major leagues in AA. Teams may come calling for Moreno as a return at this year’s trade deadline, especially since he is playing well this season to the tune of a .367/.429/.608 line with a team-high 1.036 OPS and 24 RBI.
Moreno has the ability to be a potential major-league starter and compared against the rest of the catching prospects, seems to be the most well-rounded out of the group in terms of offense and defense.
Trading the Venezuelan native could be a gut punch if he pans out to be a consistent major league contributor, especially since Jansen is struggling offensively once again and Kirk appears to be more of a bat-first player. Similar to Woods-Richardson, if the Blue Jays decide to trade Moreno, the returning player(s) better be an impactful player with some sort of contract control, otherwise it would be wiser to keep him in the organization, producing for the Blue Jays rather than an opposing team.