Another day, another trade. Alex seems to be having fun this winter. Last night's trade, like most of the trades Alex makes, came out of no where.
The Blue Jays trade of J.A. Happ for Michael Saunders looks, from here, like a good one for the Jays. And should make both players look better, sending Saunders from a pitcher's park to a hitters park and Happ doing the reverse. Happ will likely look good in a park where fly balls rarely reach the seats, as long as he keeps throwing strikes.
Saunders should enjoy hitting in Rogers Centre and being the lefty in a right-handed heavy lineup. Until the trade I figured that opposing teams would leave their lefty relievers at home, instead of flying them up to Toronto to watch games from the bullpen and daydream about getting into a game. He'll play better defense than Melky shoed us and, if platooned with Pillar should give us decent offense.
It, apparently, puts us out on Melky, but if this is true:
Melky wants 5 years, according to exec from club with interest. Sound crazy? Cruz, 34, and Markakis, 31, each got 4 years. Melky is 30.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2014
Then I'd be out on Melky anyway. I think 5 years is too long for him. He is only 30 and I don't begrudge him getting as much as he can. It is his big chance to make a ton of money. I just don't see him as someone I'd want to have on a 5-year contract. He hasn't been terribly consistent over his career.
The one complaint I've seen about the trade (and the Donaldson trade) is that they guys the Jays picked up aren't being paid very much. Now they aren't saying that there is anything bad about the players we got, they are just upset that they don't make a lot of money. As if the trading for Saunders would have been a better move if Michael was making $18 million a season. It is a concern that I don't really understand. Donaldson is very good player, and, by the end of his 4 years under team control he'll be making a long of money, he wouldn't be any better if he was making more money now.
Trading Happ makes space in the rotation for Aaron Sanchez, though I'd imagine he'll have to have a decent spring to get the spot. He will have competition for the spot Norris, Redmond, Estrada, Romero (just kidding) could all start. I was worried that the Jays would decide that Sanchez was needed in the pen.
Course, Alex has some money to spend, so he might just decide to go after a free agent starting pitcher. I have a feeling that he will keep some money aside in case the team feels the need to make a trade at the deadline. I don't think he'll want to give the players any excuses not to play hard to the end this time around.
Now that this hole is filled, Alex can start work on putting together the bullpen. Alex has said that he won't be spending a lot of money on a big free agent reliever, so David Robertson and Andrew Miller would be out of the running, but they do have Dioner Navarro to move, they should be able to get a decent bullpen arm for him.