With the catcher market heating up around Major League Baseball, the timing for the Toronto Blue Jays to trade one of their prized backstops is perfect.
The team still has two precise needs on the roster, an outfielder, preferably another left-handed hitting one, and an additional starting pitcher. Signing Chris Bassitt shores up many of the pitching concerns but another starting arm could still be added.
The guy generating the most buzz has been Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López. The Jays have a surplus at catcher and the prospects to make a competitive that will make their rotation one of the best in the sport.
Blue Jays: Trade Danny Jansen, Orelvis Martinez and Sem Robberse for Pablo López
From other reported trade talks involving López, we know that his trade value is high and that Miami has been asking a lot to acquire his services.
It appears they want an accomplished MLB player plus prospects in exchange for Lopez, with an emphasis on improving their offense which was among the worst in the majors last year.
Jansen, while not as highly sought after as Alejandro Kirk, offers big-time power and has a proven ability as a game-caller with a strong arm. He put up 2.9 bWAR last year in just 72 games, showing that the talent is there and that all he needs is a shot at consistent at bats.
Martinez hit 30 home runs at Double-A New Hampshire in 2022, but also hit just .203 with high strikeout totals and he’s currently being blocked by Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman. Still, he just turned 21 and is a top-100 prospect with real value.
Robberse is the Blue Jays' sixth-ranked prospect and pitched to a 3.23 ERA across high-A and Double-A last season. He is expected to make his MLB debut sometime in 2024 but is considered a little farther away than Yosver Zulueta and Hayden Juenger.
Blue Jays: What López brings to the rotation
If the Marlins do accept this offer, what would the Jays be getting in López? He’s been one of the most consistent starting pitchers over the last three years and really made over his stuff during the shortened 2020 season by adding a cutter and emphasizing his changeup, which can be dominant.
López can be that guy that really makes this a successful offseason and adding him and Bassitt will take an area of need into an undeniable strength and solidify one of the best rotations around.
The rotation would likely look something like this if Lopez was added.
- Alek Manoah
- Kevin Gausman
- Pablo López
- Chris Bassitt
- José Berríos
Other options: Yusei Kikuchi, Mitch White, Hyun-Jin Ryu (eventually)
For what it's worth, BaseballTradeValues, a flawed but fun to use site that allows fans to put together trade packages, has this deal being almost 100% equal for the two clubs. Jansen, Martinez and Robberse are worth a total value of 37.70 while López brings in a total value of 38.70.
This front office has always talked about depth at the starting pitcher position. Pulling the trigger on a move like this would back up that chatter and give the Blue Jays legitimate World Series aspirations.