It's a pretty long read, if you aren't interested in the WAR and stats behind the moves then I would just skim over the breakdown's. Whatever you enjoy. Lots of moves, it is almost impossible for them all to happen but it's all for fun.
Did some research and compared basically everything between players I think could be available. There is a lot of moves here, so yes getting this exact team is very unrealistic. I'm more interested in whether you like each deal and your opinion on whether or not each deal is realistic. Anyways there is a lot more research behind this post so I'm hoping you like it.
I think we are set at SS,3rd, 1B and RF. I also don't think we can find a better option than Lind that is worth the price. I think Lind should be able to hit .260 with 20+ homers next year, which I prefer to Cooper's .270 with limited power he would produce (just my estimate). I'll take the power because it is typically more expensive to acquire else where. I'm also happy with 2 rotation members and 6 bullpen spots. I'll start with the roster this time to change things up a bit:
Bullpen: Santos, Janssen, Delabar, Lincoln, Loup, Happ (Spot Starter, Who doesn't like pitching depth?)
- Brett Lawrie (R)
- Daniel Murphy (L)
- Jose Bautista (R)
- Edwin Encarnacion (R)
- Shane Victorino (S)
- Yunel Escobar (R)
- Adam Lind (L)
- Geovany Soto/ Travis D'Arnaud (R)
- Juan Pierre/ Anthony Gose (L)
Bench: Davis, Mathis, Gomes, M.Izturis
D'Arnaud and Gose will likely not start the year but could be starting down the stretch. Gomes will probably be the first one sent down but his versatility helps him make the team.
Top Prospects: TDA, Gose, Syndergaard, Sanchez, Osuna, Davis, Fulmer (see below), Walters (see below), Stroman
Also Available in the Minors: McCoy, Beck, Crawford, Goins, McGuire, Stilson, Carreno, Jenkins, Dyson
DL: Hutchison, McGowan, Drabek, Perez
The Jays would likely need to sign Minor league free agents to replenish some depth as well. Now to get into the moves:
Blue Jays Acquire: 2B Daniel Murphy, SP Domingo Tapia, SP Michael Fulmer
Mets Acquire: SS Adeiny Hechavarria, SP Daniel Norris, C JP Arencibia
Breakdown: Murphy is a talented 27 year old second baseman for the Mets. He has three years left of control and is a prototypical number two hitter. His left handed bat would fit well ahead of our right handed 3-4 hitters of Bautista and Encarnacion. The Mets have good middle infield depth and can afford to trade Murphy the younger talent they are trying to acquire. There are not many big named middle infielders on the Free Agent market, and the price of Scutaro could become high. Acquiring Murphy instead of Scutaro could save us 5M alone in the first year.
Travis D'arnaud is our highest regarded prospect, so JPA's time in Toronto may be up. The Mets are in dire need of a Catcher and Arencibia can be that guy for years to come. Hechavarria is a very strong defensive shortstop that the Mets will covet. The Jays already have a good defensive shortstop in their projected lineup in Yunel Escobar. The majority of prospect evaluators believe Hech may never have an above average bat, unlike Escobar. Moving one player to second would waste a lot of their defensive value, and because Escobar's value is down it is Hech that I am moving. Daniel Norris has a high ceiling that should strengthen the Mets farm system. With the Jays minor league pitching depth, he is expendable to fill a need.
Fulmer and Tapia are rated the Mets 8th and 10th best prospects respectfully. I felt like the Jays needed to get more value back from this trade so I included them along with Murphy. Both guys had a fair amount of success in 2012 and can dial their fastballs up to the high 90s. These two pitchers are valuable prospects but not quite the level of Hech and Norris. In our system they would likely be around our 10th best prospect or so (my estimate).
BlueJays Acquire: SP Jeff Samardzija
Cubs Acquire: SP Justin Nicolino, SP Domingo Tapia, OF Jake Marisnick
Breakdown: The Cubs like Samardzija but their main goal right now is building their farm system. Samardzija (like Murphy) is 27 and controllable for three years. The Cubs will find a pitcher like Samardzija valuable but will covet exciting young prospects more than a guy who can help them the next three seasons. The Cubs are rebuilding slowly and likely will not contend before Samardzija is controllable and/or expensive.
The Jays will have to give up good prospects to convince the Cubs to move him, although I do not think it will ask for a Gio Gonzalez or Matt Latos tpye package. Samardzija is nearly three years older than Latos and hasn't had consecutive years of success as a starting pitcher.
The Cubs farm system will be much stronger with the prospects they net. Nicolino and Marisnick will be among the Cubs top prospects and can contribute for the Cubs when they begin to contend. Tapia was acquired in the deal above and should also break the Cubs top 10 prospect list. This deal gives the Cubs some very intriguing prospects for a controllable starter coming off a career year.
So why Samardzija? He is a top of the rotation starting pitcher who can help us for quite awhile. This is not a 'buy now' move, and Samardzija can help us while we try to contend. Samardzija can strike guys out. His K/9 in 2012 was good for 4th in the Majors, ahead of pitchers such as Verlander, Hernandez, Sabathia, Greinke and Sale to name a few. He also can induce ground balls which can be a key part of pitching in the Rogers Centre. His 44.6 GB% is respectable and should work to his advantage when comparing him to guys like Shaun Marcum and Jake Peavy. Samardzija posted a 3.3 WAR in 2012 equalling his former teammate Ryan Dempster and half a win better than Edwin Jackson. Samardzija projects to make under 3M in 2012 so acquiring him instead of an expensive free agent can save us 10M in 2012 alone.
Blue Jays Acquire: SP Justin Masterson, 2B/SS Tony Walters
Breakdown: This one is fairly creative and it is hard to judge the value of the headlining player. Colby Rasmus has shown half a season of potential with the Jays but is still no sure thing. I do like Rasmus but I think we can upgrade from him in Centre with some appealing names on the market. The Indians look to be shopping their star right fielder and will be in need of Outfielder's like Rasmus. The Indians are a low budget team and may be ready to spend over 5M dollars for a guy with a 4.93 ERA. Cooper is a cheap 1B option for the Indians who could give him a chance to play, with EE locked up at first for the foreseeable future Cooper is expendable (although signing a veteran 1B to take his role in AAA wouldn't hurt). Kellen Sweeney is not a top ten prospect and is a bit of a throw in for this trade.
Now for what the Jays get. Masterson is puzzling because of his high ERA but just like Rasmus has a lot of potential. Masterson is an extreme ground ball pitcher, taylor made for the Rogers Centre. He has ate innings for the Indians three straight years and posted a WAR of at least 2 in four consecutive seasons. Masterson is coming off a rough year but his FIP suggests an ERA in the low 4's, which shows he may have been quite unlikely. Even in a down season Masterson was able to post a 2.3 WAR putting him only 0.4 runs below Edwin Jackson. The gap in WAR between Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson this season was nearly THREE times more than the gap between Jackson and Masterson, for comparison's sake. Masterson is only one season removed from a 4.7 WAR season where as Rasmus is two season removed from his 4.3 WAR season. Tony Walters is the third best prospect in a weak Indians farm system. He would help make Hech expendable in the Murphy deal and would be an interesting prospect for us. The Indians have Cabrera in Kipnis on their major league team, and 4 of their top 5 top prospects are shortstops. Seven guys for two spots just doesn't add up.
The deal gives both teams a player with a lot of potential in a position that they need. That's why the deal made sense for me.
BlueJays Sign: OF Shane Victorino (3 years/ 38M)
Breakdown: Victorino is coming off a bit of a down year at a time where the outfield market is extremely strong. Hamilton, Bourn and Upton could make Victorino the 4th best outfielder on the market, which could make Victorino a bargain. Victorino can do it all and hasn't posted a WAR under 3 since 2006, his first full season in the majors. After a down year it is very unlikely Victorino will get the five year deal he was apparently seeking at the beginning of the year. Shane has speed and good defence to take over in centre, and has the bat to stick at LF when Gose is ready for action. The Jays should look to take advantage of the strong outfield market and pick up a player one year removed from a 5.9 WAR season.
BlueJays Sign: SP Edwin Jackson (4 years/ 48M)
Breakdown: After last season's horrid pitching I say keep the arms coming. This one went down to the wire for me between Jackson and Haren, but I turned with the younger option. Jackson put up one of the highest ground ball percentages among the free agent starters available, which should help him in the RC. He also strikes out more batters than Haren, Sanchez and Dempster (barely). Marcum, Peavy and McCarthy are not ground ball pitchers so for that reason I sided against them. Jackson has been a solid starter for three straight seasons and doesn't come with any injury risks. Jackson is my choice for our #2 starter next year.
BlueJays Sign: LF Juan Pierre (1 year/ 2M)
Breakdown: Pierre is aging but coming off a season where he posted a higher OPS than Michael Bourn. He provides speed on the bases and provides a left handed bat to offset Rajai Davis. Pierre posted an OBP of .351 last year with 37 steals, he seems like a good 9 hitter to me. Pierre may not be the star he once was but could be a good outfielder until Gose is ready to make an impact.
BlueJays Sign: C Geovany Soto: (1 year/ 3M)
Breakdown: Soto is almost a lock to be non tendered and could start for us if D'Arnaud needs more minor league seasoning. Soto would be an adequate replacement to JPA in our system and post similar numbers. The .198 BA Soto posted in 2012 killed a lot of his value, but it wasn't long ago this guy was a top offensive catcher. JPA has never posted a batting average in one season as high as Soto's career BA of .248. Soto strikes out less and walks more than Arencibia, and has matched his season high of 23 Homeruns. The non tender candidate may have had an awful season, but his BABIP dropped way below his career norm (a sign of bad luck). He can also mash lefties with a career .295 BA against southpaws, making him a platoon candidate for Lind. Soto is at least a slight defensive upgrade to Arencibia and could have trade value at the deadline if D'Arnaud seems ready to go.
BlueJays Sign: INF Maicer Izturis (1 year/ 3.5M)
Breakdown: The Jays need a backup infielder and Izturis is a big upgrade to Omar Vizquel. He is strong defensively and can hold his own offensively with a .273 career average.
The Jays would also likely need to sign some minor league free agents as depth but I won't go into that.
Anyways tell me what you think of the team as a whole and the individual moves. Look forward to hearing from you as always.