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Bluebird Banter Trade Deadline Roundtable, Part III

Welcome to Part III of our trade deadline roundtable.  Parts I and II can be found here, and here.  Again, our participants include Tom Dakers, JesseF, JohnnyG, and yours truly.

Hugo:  So we've talked about Rolen, Doc, Scutaro, and Frasor and Downs.  For who else would you like the Jays to test the market? 

Tom: I'd assume they will listen to offers for Rios. Not sure what's going on with him, maybe it's the strain of not changing his daughter's diapers, but I hate the idea of selling low on someone. Trading a guy during his worst season is a sure way to get less than what he's worth. If you are GM and you trade him now and next year he has that 30 home run season we are figured he would have and that's it for your career.

I'd imagine Brian Tallet's trade value is as high as it ever would be, I'd like them to see what the market is there.

Jesse: I think it really depends on what they plan to do in 2010.  If they don't think they'll be competitive, I would not mind seeing them shop Lyle Overbay, who would be a good platoon first baseman on a competitive NL team, where he could pinch-hit and fill in as a defensive replacement on days when he doesn't start.  Tallet's value isn't going any higher than it is now.

JohnnyG: Overbay, Tallet, Rolen and Halladay are the most marketable players we have right now. Rios is possibly on the table but I would rather not see it happen for the same reasons as Tom outlined above (trading when value is down). Had you asked me earlier I would of said Litsch but with his surgery that kinda stops that one dead in it's tracks. I also would see what kinda return you could get for Richmond in a package as he has been a nice surprise, especially if he comes back strong (he is eligible to come off the DL today July 15th).

Hugo:  I wouldn't mind seeing what's out there for Tallet - I'm not sure what the Jays could get, but he's not an awful option for someone looking to stabilize their rotation on the cheap - he's affordable, has pitched reasonably well, and can always go back to the bullpen if necessary, where he's been very effective in the past.  Overbay wouldn't be a bad candidate either - I like his defense but you could move Lind to first and have Dopirak DH  (or vice-versa) or if Brian's not ready, acquire a hitter some other way.  Depending on what you got for Overbay, it could be a nice cost-effective move for the team.  I hate the idea of moving Rios right now unless some team really ponies up for him  - if you're convinced he's never going to get to the next level (which I'm not), then at least wait until he's on a hot streak or you can get a better deal.  Personally I would prefer to keep Richmond - I doubt he'd fetch all that much as he's only had a half-season under his belt and doesn't have the pedigree, and even if he is squeezed out of the rotation next year, he'll be a great 6th starter and will probably make as many starts as the others anyway. 

Hugo:  All the pitching injuries this season have given the Jays a great chance to showcase their pitching depth.  Some of the young pitchers like Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil have really shown what they can do.  With Shaun Marcum set to return this season, Jesse Litsch looking to come back around the all-star break next season, and Dustin McGowan a continuing question-mark, it is questionable whether pitchers like Scott Richmond, David Purcey, and Brian Tallet, all of whom have pitched for the Jays this season, will have places in the Jays' rotation picture next season.  That being the case, is it time to see what the Jays can get for these arms on the open market?  Or would they be better served to hold onto these arms for contingency situations in the future? 

Tom: Guess I already said it but I'd look to see if I could sell high on Tallet. Beyond that, let's see if Marcum can be effective again. Purcey, I get the feeling the team has written him off already, which I think is too bad, he does walk guys but he gets strikeouts too and we don't have enough pitchers that can do that, but then I think the team has killed off any trade value he might have had.

Jesse: Well, Litsch won't be back for a year now, and that's assuming his surgery goes well.  As you said, McGowan is unfortunately an unknown.  Hopefully Marcum can build up his arm-strength and get his velocity where it needs to be for him to continue his success, but we really can't be sure of that just yet, either.  I would like to see the Jays hold onto their young pitchers . . . even if there is no place in the rotation for some of these guys right now, there is nothing wrong with letting them spend an additional year at AAA.  If they can be dominant in the PCL through next year, you have to do something with them, though.

JohnnyG:  Tallet and Richmond could be shopped. I like Purcey  but I could live with him being sent in a package,  granted if all 3 pitchers were sent out we better be getting another pitcher in return to help plug in. Even still I don't think you make a move this year with either Purcey or Richmond.  Tallet's value is top notch at the moment and would be a smart move depending on the return.  While I don't like Purcey's chances to make the team next year either I think he would be a good piece to have in the minors as a backup injury plan.

Tom: I really don't see Richmond having trade value yet, just two years removed from the Edmonton Cracker Cats, if I'm another team's GM I'd want more than one good season to convince me that a fellow that wasn't in anyone's system could be worth trading for.

Tom: Another question for you all: Is packaging Wells with Halladay an option?

Jesse: It's an option, but it's not one I'd love to consider.  A bunch of folks have mentioned that Wells's contract is so crippling that it is almost worth it to move Halladay just to be rid of it, however, I think it would be very bad for the front office if they move their best (and most popular) player, just so they can get out of a contract that they signed in large part as a PR move to tell the fans they could get behind this team.  What kind of message would ownership be sending to the fans?

JohnnyG: Non Option with me. I just don't see how trading Halladay to dump Wells helps the Jays. Yes we save a ton of money but you are going to have to overspend to bring in FA replacement players to get them to play for TO and in Canada (Sad but true). Not to mention trading Halladay doesn't exactly send the strongest signal to free agent's that we are ready to compete either so that is already working against us.  Any return from Halladay would be so little with Wells attached to the trade that it would make me curl up under my desk into the fetal position and rock back and forth repeating "it's all a bad dream it's all a bad dream it's all a bad dream".

Hugo:  I don't love the idea either, but I guess I wouldn't categorically rule it out - it would depend on whether Wells would negate the return from Halladay.  For example, if the Jays were set to trade Doc to the Dodgers for a package centered around center-fielder Matt Kemp, and the Dodgers could somehow afford to add both Doc and Wells, I'd try to move Wells too, to fill the spot in center vacated by Kemp.  Since LA would be getting Doc to go for the gusto, they wouldn't want to create a hole in the outfield so they might want Wells.  I'd even take Pierre off their hands in return, I think (if they wanted), to help them with salary - Pierre would be a good, if expensive, 4th outfielder for the Jays and he wouldn't handcuff the team nearly as much financially as Wells would in the long term.  The key would be moving Wells to a team that could really use him and so wouldn't look at him as a concession that would totally negate any return for Doc.  Now, a deal like that would be very tough to work out and so it probably won't happen.  But it could be worth at least exploring.  

Tom: I guess it does depend on how the finance situation is for the Jays and Rogers. With out Mr. Rogers controlling the cheque book we might not be allowed to lose money every year.

JohnnyG: I am not so sure the Jays were actually losing money, Rogers can move revenues around especially from advertising. Rogers gets a ton of free advertising that saves Rogers Millions and Millions each year. Not too mention that own the stadium as well so thats a plus. And I am not sure the exact revenue gained from the stadium goes into the Jays Bottom Line. Last year I also read that the RedSox and Yankees posted loses, mainly because their sports networks reported income separate and issues with revenue being moved around. Accountants can play with the numbers (legally of course) to make sure certain tax requirements are met or avoided.

Hugo:  It wouldn't shock me, either, if the Jays were not as unprofitable as they would like it to seem.  The thing is that the Jays contribute to Rogers' other businesses (for example, free content for Sportsnet), and that value isn't reflected in the ledgers.  And while it is a publicly-traded company, corporations shift assets and losses to subsidiaries all the time for reasons only they usually know. 

JohnnyG: I have a question, Would any of you considering the Red Sox or the Yanks a realistic target for a Halladay trade? I know that they will inquire and it would be good to listen for nothing else but to maybe bump up the price, but at the end of the day if you were JP could you pull the trigger on a trade that sent Halladay to NYY for a package centered around Hughes? I ask because it seems more and more people with that opinion keep popping up (i.e new fanpost over at Daily Dish and multiple articles and comments over at MLBTradeRumors). I know most of the people commenting on it are Yanks fans but still. One laughable post implied Halladay would be a third starter behind both AJ and CC.

Hugo:  Interesting question.  While the optics of a trade within your division aren't good, trading Halladay essentially puts the Jays into rebuilding mode.  If you raid a system like the Yankees or Red Sox of its best players, arguably not only do you improve your team, but you weaken the other team for the time when you plan on competing with them.  That said, the Yankees would probably resign Doc - and I wouldn't be that surprised if 3 or so years from now, Halladay was still a better pitcher than Hughes so you'd need to get more than just Hughes, of course.  But I believe that's true of any Doc trade - despite the turmoil in the rotation this year, offense is a much bigger problem for the Jays, right now and going forward, than pitching.  Look at this season - holes in the rotation are filled with up-and-coming young pitchers with a likely future in the major leagues, while holes in the lineup are filled with AAAA and has-been hitters who have no place in the team's future.  The truth is that if you don't trade Doc to the Yankees, they'll just go get another huge name free-agent pitcher anyway, if not Doc himself should he become a free agent.  While he probably won't be quite as great as Doc, the Jays also won't be getting the Yankees' best young players.  That said, I don't think the Yankees or Red Sox are going to make a serious offer for Doc.  Both teams typically only overstretch themselves when they are bidding against one another, and in this case both have said they aren't interested.