Hello everyone. It is a slow news day for the Blue Jays, so I'm going to post some links to team news, and maybe give a little analysis of what is contained within them.
In the Star-Telegram, we see that the Jays are still trying to get Brad Wilkerson:
I expect Ted Lilly to bounce back from his poor 2005 showing, but he is roughly a league average pitcher, and getting Wilkerson in return for him would be a major steal for the Jays. Now that they have dealt David Bush though, I am not sure who would step into the rotation. Maybe Miguel Batista until a prospect is ready? Unless he is dealt as well...Dallas Morning News seconds that Toronto is looking to deal for Wilkerson using a pitcher as bait.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves are interested in Miguel Batista as their new closer after the loss of Kyle Farnsworth to the Yankees.
The top free-agent options have signed with other clubs. The Braves have talked to the Devil Rays about Danys Baez and Toronto about Miguel Batista.
No word yet on what exactly the Blue Jays would receive in return. Here's hoping that if the Wilkerson deal falls through that they can steal one of the corner outfielders, either Ryan Langerhans or Kelly Johnson. Both are superior defensive players whose bats should continue to develop somewhat, and they are cheap. Either one would be an upgrade over Alexis Rios.
Here's an article from the Toronto Star that compares Lyle Overbay to the kind of players the Blue Jays need at the moment, like Mark Grace and John Olerud.. OK, so it does not really compare them, it just sort of mentions that they are alike.
This article from 2 days ago says it would be a mistake to trade Orlando Hudson for Brad Wilkerson. I agree, especially if they can move Ted Lilly instead. I'm still not 100% confident both Russ Adams and Aaron Hill will work out, and if Adams' defense does not improve at shortstop, they could move Hill there and keep Hudson at second. If he does, the Jays can attempt to move Corey Koskie instead. A defensive infield of Koskie-Hill-Hudson-Overbay is quite tasty though.
The Washington Post reported two days ago that the Jays were unable to finish a swap of Miguel Batista for Javy Lopez. Personally, I don't want Lopez that badly. The Jays already have multiple DH's that they don't need, and Gregg Zaun is one of the better catchers out there for the price tag of $1 million in 2006. He's above average at his position, and even led all major league catchers in walks last season with 73.
And finally, the LA Daily News reports that Ned Colleti is interested in adding Miguel Batista to the Dodgers. Interesting, because the Blue Jays are interested in adding Milton Bradley to the Blue Jays. If the Blue Jays can trade Batista to the Dodgers for Bradley, and Lilly to the Rangers for Wilkerson, their lineup would look a little something like this:
C - Gregg Zaun
1B - Lyle Overbay
2B - Hill/Hudson
3B - Koskie/Hill
SS - Russ Adams
LF - Brad Wilkerson
CF - Vernon Wells
RF - Milton Bradley
DH - Hillenbrand/Hinkske
Six of eight positions with above average-to-suberb defensive players, and five or six above average positions offensively. You'd have to expect with a full season of Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett starting instead of, oh say, Pete Walker, that the Jays may have a much better 2006, and certainly a playoff bound 2007 if everything falls into place. Certainly something to get excited about, and it most definitely justifies the spending on B.J. and A.J. As long as Dustin McGowan is not a part of any of these trades, I can sleep easy.