Although the news has been out for a couple hours now, the trade of Roberto Osuna has started a stir on Jays related social media. I admit, upon hearing the news I was a bit surprised, but it is the time of desperate measures for many competing teams in the league. Following suit from J.A. Happ going to New York, Adam Warren to the Mariners, Brad Brach to the Braves, and Cole Hamels to the Cubs just to name a few.
Those are playoff teams trying to compete with other playoff teams though…but what does this mean for the Blue Jays?
They got three players for one. That is one thing. Ken Giles is no slouch either. In five seasons he has pitched in 279 games with 12 wins, 77 saves and a decent 2.72 ERA. Toronto also received prospect pitchers Hector Perez and David Paulino. These are three young pitchers with a lot of potential coming to Toronto in a deal which Ross Atkins says, “made good baseball sense.” Osuna and Giles may be major league caliber relievers who both needed a change of scenery, so maybe this deal does, “make good baseball sense.”
They traded Roberto Osuna! Although he has been suspended and has not pitched since May 6th, he has been one of the more successful closers in the league since his arrival and one of the fastest in history to get to 100 saves. That, and at half the salary of a closer like Kenley Jansen. He does have some baggage, but a lot of potential and as the Tweet from @bluejayhunter read earlier, “…if the Jays wanted to remain a self respecting club, the club couldn’t move forward with him on the roster.”
Now I don’t know if I could go that far as to agree, but he might have a point. Although, the reason Ken Giles is in the minors is because he punched himself in the face in the dugout after blowing a save earlier this season. So in terms of baggage, well everyone has some to a point, don’t we?
The thing that gets me about this time of year is teams trading away players that are in the middle of good deals, from the club perspective. Osuna, since the suspension would not have been eligible for free agency until 2021 and at his current salary which I mentioned earlier was already a great value for a closer. Also, looking at pre-season relief pitcher rankings, Osuna came in at 4. So with that tidbit it looks like the Jays lost, but Giles was actually ranked 6th and getting him at a bit of a savings…although he is a free agent after this season. I don’t have much interest to where Perez or Paulino ranked for Houston but they now rank 11th and 20th respectively on the Jays prospect list. More importantly, the 4th and 8th pitchers on that list. Perez being 4th and ranking just ahead of Ryan Borucki.
Giles will likely see work this season from what I can predict, and with Oh and now Osuna gone he should have a spot. But can he be a closer again?
I think, the answer would be, for the time being we may need to get used to hearing the title of closer, Ryan Tepera. If anyone on this team has earned the job it would be Tepera. Has has pitched well over the last couple seasons and seems to be mature enough to handle the pressure.
The final evaluation of this trade may not be known until we see how all the players fit into the system and find their niche, but if we are calling ourselves “sellers” and “rebuilding”, which we are–then we may have made a step in the right direction.