Jays From the Couch, well Ryan Mueller, makes a case for the Blue Jays NOT to trade starting pitcher Marco Estrada
The August 31st waiver deadline two weeks away. Toronto still has several players on the roster which were expected to be traded prior to the July 31st Non-Waiver deadline. Starting pitcher Marco Estrada is one of those players. While many Blue Jays blogs are writing articles outlining reasons why TO trade the last remaining veteran starting pitcher. I am going to outline the reasons why Toronto’s Front Office may want to reconsider and NOT trade Estrada.
Reason #1- Depth
Reason #2- Low Return
Reason #3- Veteran leadership worth more to the Blue Jays than expected return
Nobody likes a bullpen and the Blue Jays have had far too many bullpen days this season. All of which were difficult for the fans to stomach. For this fan anyways. Injuries played a part in the number of bullpen days. Macro Estrada’s inability to stay healthy played a part in that. However, if Marco Estrada is moved prior to the deadline, the Blue Jays rotation would be left with Marcus Stroman, Ryan Borucki, and Sam Gaviglio (maybe). Aaron Sachez will likely return by the end of the month but has hardly been a reliable starter the past two seasons. Trading Estrada would open the door for more starts by rookie Sean Reid-Foley and the insertion of Thomas Pannone into the rotation which is good for a rebuilding franchise; however, they may not be ready.
SRF looked OKAY against the Kansas City Royals. Reid-Foley was unable to dominate a team with a batting average which ranks in the lower half of the league. A team with the third-lowest home run total, and 5th lowest OBP. Reid-Foley will have a far stiffer test on August 18th when he faces the 75-45 New York Yankees. The Yankees will send the 15-6, 3.27 ERA Luis Severino to the mound. SRF will attempt to contain the top home run producing offense and one of the top OBP team as he looks for his first MLB win.
Pannone would be my first choice to replace Estrada in the rotation. Unfortunately, Pannone has yet to make a start at the major league level, making a couple relief appearances. If Estrada were to be traded prior to his next start, Pannone’s first two starts could be against the lowly Baltimore Orioles. This would be a great way for Thomas Pannone to enter the rotation.
But what if both SRF and Pannone prove they need more seasoning in Buffalo before finding success at the Major League?
If SRF and Pannone falter, the minor league system is ill-equipped to provide viable options to take their place in the rotation. David Paulino is still injured and Jacob Waguespack has not demonstrated the ability to constantly get Triple-A batters out. I just wouldn’t watch if Zach Stewart or Matt Tracy were added to the rotation.
Most of the fans were disappointed with the return the Blue Jays got back from the New York Yankees in the JA Happ trade. Happ was having a better year and had less question mark surrounding his health. Estrada continues to struggle with back issues. He pitched well against the Kansas City Royals but struggled to get Sal Perez, the Royals biggest and maybe the only offensive threat, out.
It’s not that Estrada is devoid of value to a contending team. He has a proven track record of shining in the playoff. Marco could help a contending team down the stretch proving additional days off for starters or as a long man out of the bullpen. Regardless of the role, it is unlikely a team will send Toronto one of their top prospects.
Best case scenario, Toronto gets another Teoscar Hernandez? A player with warts which have caused his stock to drop but still carries potential.
Maybe a Santiago Espinal or Eduard Pinto? A player who is having a career year but wasn’t projected to be more than an organizational prospect. Both players are very good minor league players but lack the ceiling required to make an impact at the major league level.
This brings me to my final argument for not trading Marco Estrada.
I feel Estrada’s ability to transfer his knowledge and experience to Toronto’s rookie starters (Ryan Borucki, Sean Reid-Foley, and Thomas Pannone) over the next six weeks outweighs the package the Blue Jays could expect in return. Toronto’s veteran starter can help Borucki improve an already impressive changeup. Estrada relies on control and deception, two aspects of the game which Thomas Pannone also relies on and could improve on.
The Blue Jays pitching staff, rotation and bullpen, is limited in the veteran presence department. Tyler Clippard (33) and Jaime Garcia (32) being the lone candidates in the event Estrada is traded. It is possible that Clippard isn’t long for Toronto either. I don’t care how talented the rookies are, they need guidance and someone to show them the ropes. Estrada is that guy. He has pitched through back and insomnia issues. He has struggled at the Major League level and come out on the other side.
I think I am alone in thinking not trading Estrada is for the betterment of the team. One of the JFtC writers even suggested that no team would trade for him. This is a real possibility since you would think if a team wanted Estrada the could have Estrada. Unless the FO feels the same way I do and would like to avoid a complete barn fire in the final 6 weeks of the season.
Have your say, comment below.
Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.