This is a fun time of year to be a baseball fan, the trade deadline is just 5 days off and everyone, other than Johnny, loves talking possible trades. Sports writers, and guys like me, love trades, because we know that if the Jays make a big trade our numbers will double. So we all have a vested interest in our team making a trade.
The trouble is that there are so many stupid trade suggestions out there that you get bored of dealing with them. They all start at a good spot, wouldn't it be great if our team got player X. On here, for a little while, it was Colby Rasmus. I like Colby Rasmus, I'm sure he'd be a great fit. But the Cardinals are in the playoff race, they will not give him away for nothing. Folks suggest we trade all our lousy players for him, figuring if you add up enough guys with zero trade value, the Cardinals would be glad to give us Colby. Let's give them Patterson, Nix, Jo-Jo, Edwin. Ok we'll sweeten the pot and throw in Carlos Villanueva. I think of it as the video game method. In computer games, you offer the computer all the guys you don't want for the one you do and at some point the computer will figure you have given them enough. It doesn't work in real life. The Cardinals have all the replacement level players they need. If they wanted a Corey Patterson, there are a lot of them out there, they could get one for free. We did.
Let's look at some suggested trades out there on the internet, after the jump.
- One of my favorite suggested trades came from a Arizona Diamondbacks fan/blogger, who suggested the Diamondbacks trade Willie Mo Pena to the Jays for Brandon Morrow. The Jays, in his mind, would jump at it because Willie Mo has hit a couple of home runs and would be a perfect DH, since he can't even catch a cold. I didn't even know Pena was still playing ball. But he is, he hit .196 with 5 home runs and no walks in 46 at bats, or at least he was still playing before the Diamondbacks released him a couple of days ago.
- Richard Griffin wants us to go after Heath Bell. He's a proven closer, which seems to be something that people with no memory of Jay's recent history want. Didn't we give $45 million to the 'proven' BJ Ryan? We picked up proven closer Kevin Gregg last year. This summer we signed proven closers Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel, then traded for Frankie McFrankfrank, all of whom had that proven closer smell (when ever I get the car cleaned I ask for that scent). I have a question for you, Richard? How many teams are using a closer that they traded for when he was a 'proven closer'?
Anyway let's look at Heath. Heath is 33 and will be a free agent after the season. In Griffin's mind, if the Jays were to trade for him, they would have a leg up on signing him after the season. But would we really want to sign a 34 year old closer to, what I'd expect to be, a 4 year contract at BJ Ryan numbers, at very least? Heath is great and all, but he does get to pitch in Petco Park (a big time pitchers park) and he's pitching to NL West batters, for the most part. Would he do as well in Rogers Centre against AL East opponents?
His stats have also taken a hit this year: last year he struck out 11.1 batters/9, this year it is 6.8. That's a huge drop. He's still been effective, 2.40 ERA. 29 saves, only 2 blown and 3 losses, but that huge drop in strikeouts would worry me. I don't know what the reason for the drop is, maybe he's pitching to contact, but I don't want a closer that suddenly figures that pitching to contact is the way to go. The other explanation is that for whatever reason (age or injury) his stuff is not as good this year.
He certainly enjoys Petco, he was giving up 1.2 home runs per 9 when he was a Met. As a Padre, that number has dropped to 0.3. You'd have to think it would go up if he came to Toronto.
Heath would be an A Type free agent, which Griffin thinks is another reason to go after him, figuring if we don't sign him, we'd get the two draft picks. Griffin also figures that the Padres are unaware of this and will give him up for less than the value of the two draft picks, this type A free agent thing being a secret and all.
All-in-all, I don't want to be in the position of giving a 34 year old closer a big contract. Call me crazy and all, but I don't think it went all that well with BJ and Heath's numbers are already on the decline.
- But then, Ken Fidlin, just wants the Jays to get better, now. Good thing he made this suggestion, just in time, because Alex's plan was to make the team worse. Ken thinks that
if the Jays are going to make significant moves this week, it needs to be for a player or players who are ready to contribute now and, hopefully, for a season or two to come.
Ken, I need you to take the 'hopefully' out of that sentence. If Alex trades for players that only contribute this year and not in the future, then he is a fool.
- Everyone seems to think Carlos Villanueva has good trade value. I don't see it. We picked up Carlos for nothing and he has been a huge surprise, I like him a lot. That said, if you were a GM of a team in playoff contention, would you trade for a guy that has already thrown almost twice as many innings as he did last year? Nah, me neither.
Anyway, I don't know what the Jays are likely to do. Generally, when Alex has made a trade, it came out of nowhere. But I really can't see us trading prospects for veterans at this point of the season. I'd rather the team look at that sort of deal in the off-season, when they can take their team and assess their needs better.