Early Trade Deadline Ponderings

Jim Rogash

As I looked at Ryan Dempster's game log for this 2013 season I saw, much to my dismay, that he's already faced the Blue Jays twice and I wrote previews about him twice (here and here). Due to me not wanting to beat the horse dead with talk of Dempster, I decided to look at some Blue Jays who could be traded before the deadline at the end of July and next time I'll look at players Alex Anthopoulos may look at acquiring.

Players the Blue Jays Could Trade

Mark DeRosa

Shocker right? On a team that is trying to contend for a postseason spot, a player that brings little more to the team than "veteran presents" is the first candidate to be shipped out. If the Blue Jays are going to stick with this 8-man bullpen business then wasting a precious roster spot on Mark DeRosa is poor roster management. With a $750,000 salary (and team option of equal value next season), DeRosa could be shipped to a team that needs infield help or more presents. It's clear the Blue Jays do not need either considering almost half the team is an infielder at this point.

DeRosa's line of .216/.311/..402 is actually not that horrific (all things considered) and he could probably net a B to C grade prospect or another reliever that Anthopoulos seems to love.

Possible destinations: Yankees, Reds.

Emilio Bonifacio

Although Maicer Izturis could also be shipped instead, the play of Bonifacio has been so astoundingly bad that I put him here over Izturis. Being paid $2.6 million, Bonifacio has been absolutely awful in a Blue Jays uniform. Batting .206/.237/.309 this season combined with defense that resembles high school baseball at times, Bonifacio has no place on a contending teams' roster. With such a surplus of infielders, Emilio is starting to be a waste of a 25-man roster spot with Kawasaki, DeRosa, and Izturis all ahead of him in the 2B depth chart.

When Brett Lawrie comes back there will need to be some serious movement with the big league squad. Optioning Kawasaki won't solve the issues as there will still be three second basemen who all aren't very good. Aside from his speed off the bench, it's hard to see how he will help the Blue Jays going forward. I think Alex Anthopoulos would be happy to get rid of Bonifacio for a bag of balls at this point unless he thinks that 2011 wasn't a fluke for Emilio. Once again, a lower grade prospect or reliever would be a fine return for the soft hitting second baseman.

Possible Destinations: Yankees, Reds, Marlins (HA!), Mariners, Angels.

J.P. Arencibia

Not many things in the sports world get me very agitated, but thinking about how comfortable JPAwful is in the starting catcher spot for a team trying to make the playoffs is gag-worthy. Hitting .192/.241/.342 in June with a K% over 30% and Josh Thole sitting on the bench receiving no opportunity to prove himself has frustrated plenty of Blue Jays fans. It isn't possible that Toronto is willing to go into a playoff game with Arencibia behind the plate, is it?

You have to think there are teams out there that either think Arencibia's power is enough to give him a starting job or to acquire him as a young controllable back-up (which is how he should be used!). It's tough to say what Arencibia could get the Jays in the trade market (post a comment with your guesses).

Possible Destinations: Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers.

Darren Oliver

The 42-year-old lefty was convinced to come back for another season to try and get a ring by the Blue Jays brass. As it turns out, Toronto has two LOOGY's being paid a combined salary that is one third of Oliver's $3 million and performing better to boot. Oliver's 2.78 ERA is not terrible, but his strikeouts are down, his walks are up, he's been injured, his velocity is still dropping and the Blue Jays already have a surplus of relievers with half of the 8-man bullpen of the left-handed variety. Something will have to happen to the bullpen eventually, because Toronto is handicapped with their 3-man bench, but who the odd man is remains to be seen, with a trade being a possible solution.

There's probably some agreement between Oliver and Anthopoulos that the pitcher won't be traded during his last season in the big leagues, similar to the ultimatum talked about at the beginning of the year where Oliver (supposedly) said he would only play for Toronto or Texas. The Rangers already have two solid left-handers in the bullpen so it's doubtful they are interested in Oliver's services.

Possible Destinations: About 15 teams that need a reliable left-hander out of the bullpen.

Let us know in the comments who the Blue Jays need to get rid of before they make a march towards the playoffs in the second half of the season.

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