Monday, December 5, 2011
Who to Trade?
With the winter meetings under way in Dallas, many fans are waiting for Alex Anthopoulus' next big move. There has been a lot of speculation about the Jays signing a big free agent, such as Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Ryan Madson or even Japanese star Yu Darvish. Unfortunately for you "win now" and "break the bank" fans, this probably will not happen this offseason. Alex has very clearly stated that:
1) He will not overpay a player until the Jays are on the cusp of contention, which is clearly not the case.
2) He doesn't like long the long term contracts that the big names are seeking.
3) The posting system is not something he likes.
4) He likes making moves via the trade. Alot.
5) The Jays have a ton of prospects.
This probably means that Pujols or Fielder will not be wearing Jays uniforms come spring this year, which is fine. There is good reason to avoid long term commitments (and I like Lind a lot). More importantly, a focus on trading means that ANYONE could be coming to Toronto. Alex could trade for an obvious candidate like Andrew Bailey, or he could shock us all and get Brandon Phillips. I eagerly await his next move on the trade market, as so far, he has been sensational. Escobar, Morrow, Rasmus, Lawrie, and Vernon's salary being paid by someone else are all products of trades. Given the fact that AA also has some very good prospects to work with, and that the new CBA has increased prospect's value in general,this could be an exciting few months that will set the groundwork for Toronto's first playoff appearance in 19 years.
The question is, which prospects should the Jays trade, and which should they hold on to?
Deck McGuire - McGuire is very talented, and just about MLB ready. But he projects to be a third starter at best. To compete in the AL East, you need top starters in the whole rotation. Given how crowded the Jays rotation already is, and the higher upside players around him, he is a good candidate to be traded. The former first round pick will have a lot of value on the market, and should be traded.
David Cooper - Can't play defense, has little power, and is stuck behind Adam Lind. Enough teams will want the doubles champ, especially given his former first round pick status and high batting average, but he is of little use to the Jays.
Adeiny Hechavarria - The young Cuban defector plays gold glove defense. But can't hit and is stuck behind Yunel Escobar, an above average player on both sides of the ball. This is the last year he can be sent to the minors to open the season. The Jays should capitalize on his late season outburst in AAA, and trade him while his value is still high.
Chad Jenkins - Another innings eater. His status is the same as Mcguire's.
Eric Thames - Strikes out too much, and his offensive game doesn't make up for it enough. Has improved greatly on defense, but is still bellow average. I think Snider can be better. Also, the Jays need space in the OF. With Gose almost here,it is getting crowded.
Do NOT Trade
Travis Snider and Kyle Drabek - Both player are young, and highly talented. The Jays rushed both, and suffered. Currently they have low trade values, so it would be in Toronto's best interests to hold on to these guys, at least till their stock goes up.
Raw, High Upside Arms - Such as Daniel Norris, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Nicolino. These guys have high ceilings, but will need time to develop. They have the talent to be aces, so the Jays should hold on to them at least till they are close to MLB ready. These are the kind of guys you want in your future rotation.
If the Price is Right...
Travis D'Arnaud - The Jays have a good catcher in Arencibia in the majors, and lots of depth behind D'Arnaud in the minors. He is a great player. He will be very productive, if he can avoid injuries. However, if the Jays get a piece they really need for him, I'll live.
Nestor Molina - Top arm, but needs to be stretched out more before he can pitch at the top of a rotation. He could net a ton, and given the pitching depth behind him, it would be ok if he was traded, but only for a boatload.
I can guarantee that at least one, if not more, of these players will be traded within the next month. That's fine. Not all of them will pan out, and there certainly isn't room for all of them on the team. Hopefully, we get the players who will take us to the promise land soon, without draining the farm too much.
Feel free to post comments/questions bellow.