The Blue Jays Are Expected to Trade a Catcher

Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) in action during
Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) in action during / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As the offseason gets underway, it’s time to start thinking about the additions that need to be made to the Blue Jays.

These areas are largely agreed upon to be the pitching staff, both the rotation and bullpen. There are a handful of names on the free agent market suitable to fill these needs for the Jays, but possibilities still exist in the trade market. The Blue Jays have the pieces to complete such a trade, most notably from the catching department.

The club has an embarrassment of riches in this area, as three of their catchers profile as above-average players. This abundance of talent makes for an exciting conversation, and it seems as though a trade of one of Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, or Gabriel Moreno is inevitable.

Morosi’s tweet states that other GMs throughout the league believe the Jays are bound to trade from this stockpile of talent. The question remains who will be dealt, and to what benefit for Toronto. As mentioned, this team is in need of pitching. On the other side, any team acquiring either of the three Jays catchers would add a dynamic, impact player to their lineup.

Gabriel Moreno represents the least experienced on the Blue Jays' active roster, as the top prospect made his debut this past season. Moreno projects as a bat-first catcher with immense athleticism, versatility, and upside, albeit a lack of experience. A team on the younger side looking for future impact pieces could be drawn to Moreno. See the Chicago Cubs or Detroit Tigers, two rebuilding teams with established pitching available to be traded if they decide to do so. The Venezuelan-born catcher fits these two organizations well, as he would slot into a catching position without an established starter and likely receive a lot of playing time.

Moreno performed well over 25 games in the bigs, slashing .319/.356/.377 while showing an ability to gun out baserunners. He would no doubt be a welcome addition to any up-and-coming organization.

Danny Jansen is at the peak of his trade value. He’s turned a corner offensively and hits for a fair bit of power while being a consistent defender capable of leading any pitching staff. What’s appealing about Danny is his experience despite his age. He’ll be 28 next year and will be entering his sixth season as a major leaguer.

Danny’s talent and experience make him a valuable trade piece, one that contending teams could be chomping for. I see the Houston Astros as a potential fit, as their lack of offense at the catcher position has been a story for as long as they’ve been competitive. Their abundance of good starting pitchers could make them and the Blue Jays trade partners.

Blue Jays
Aug 31, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) celebrates after / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The last and perhaps most frightening trade candidate is Alejandro Kirk. Coming off a breakout season, which saw him post a line of .285/.372/.415 on route to his first All-Star game, Kirk is potentially the most valuable trade piece available on the Jays right now.

Being only 23 and talented both with the bat and glove makes him an appealing player for any team. I see the Miami Marlins as a fit for Kirk. Like the Astros, the Marlins have an abundance of starting pitching that fits well for the Blue Jays. I like the Pablo Lopez idea, and it seems like he’s on the block for the Marlins this winter.

The discerning part about a potential Kirk departure, at least one of them, is his relationship with Alek Manoah. The two were battery mates for all but one of his starts, and they’re well-documented as being friends off the field. Alek Manoah will dominate regardless of his catcher, but keeping one of the team’s young stars' emotions in check is something the front office may keep in mind.

This is all being said without even mentioning Kirk’s continued development. I believe that Kirk has more production in him. Entering next season, I expect to see Kirk take another step offensively and solidify himself as one of the top catchers in the game if he hasn’t already.

What do you think? Who would be fine with letting go? And to where?