If the Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a center fielder who can make an impact, they might want to send some catching to Pittsburgh
The Toronto Blue Jays need a true center fielder. The combo of Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez is the kind of tandem you throw out there when you’ve got no one else. That is where Toronto is right now. But, it doesn’t have to stay that way. There is an option in Pittsburgh that would work rather nicely. Starling Marte could be dealt his winter and Ross Atkins might want to really consider him.
The 31 year old from Santo Domingo, DR is the kind of offensive upgrade the Blue Jays need from the CF position.
He’s certainly a better option that what the Blue Jays have currently in house. Adding Marte would mean that the likes of Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney and Derek Fisher aren’t automatically slotted in to an everyday job. Marte would also allow Grichuk to move to right field, which is much better suited to him and Hernandez can keep his glove on the bench. Defensively, Marte won a Gold Glove in 2015 and 2016. Sure, he’s slipped since then, but the overall upgrade makes him a rather nice target.
It should be noted that Gregor Chisholm of The Star says that he’s heard from folks that Marte is not an option for the Blue Jays. Whether that is true…or stays true is anyone’s guess, really. We do know that Ben Cherington is running the show in Pittsburgh and he is very familiar with Toronto’s needs and, more to the point, what their current stock looks like.
That brings us to the real point of this post. IF the Blue Jays were to pursue a deal with the Pirates for Marte, do they have what it would take to be successful?
Starling Marte is said to be available but there’s no evidence trade talk has gained much traction yet. Word is that the Pirates covet a top catching prospect in trades.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2019
We know that teams have been checking in with Ross Atkins about his catchers. Actually, with Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire at the big league level and Gabriel Moreno, Alejandro Kirk and Riley Adams all looking like very nice prospects, it isn’t too difficult to imagine a scenario where the two clubs could match up. Of course, that would depend on how Cherington views the depth Toronto has.
At the big league level, Jansen and McGuire look set to form a rather nice tandem. However, the argument could be made that dealing McGuire this winter would be to sell high on him, which makes him the first name that comes to mind. His 1.2 fWAR performance in 30 games this past season were a pleasant surprise, much like Jansen’s offensive struggles were. Of the two McGuire likely has more trade value, though Jansen has to be seen as a better long term option. Dealing McGuire would mean a search for a backup, but that shouldn’t deter anyone…it’s not that big a task. What is Luke Maile doing?
Moreno is ranked as Toronto’s 8th best prospect, followed by Kirk at 12 and Adams sits in 27th spot, 2 behind McGuire. Considering that Toronto has the ability to take on Marte’s $11.5M in 2020 and $12.5M in 2021, they might not have to build such a massive package to convince the Pirates to deal him. Of course, $24M over two years isn’t exactly crippling, which you can bet Pittsburgh would point out, even though folks are expecting Cherington to enter a rebuild.
This is all speculation, of course – welcome to the offseason – but with their stable of catchers and a need for a center fielder, the Blue Jays could make an offer that might land them a 20 HR/ 20 SB center fielder.
Perhaps, a package of McGuire, Anthony Alford, Yennsy Diaz and another arm in could work. It would be unfortunate to lose Alford (and McGuire for that matter), but he could be billed as a guy to replace Marte. 3 of these 4 pieces have appeared at the big league level, which could help. Toronto also has some other interesting pitching options, if they really want to pursue this.
We could guess all day as to what a package could look like. It is fun, but likely won’t result in a definitive answer. What is definite, though, is that the Toronto Blue Jays need a CF, can afford an expensive one and are deep at the catching position, which is something the Pirates want. Adding all of this up makes a deal look rather good.
The Blue Jays have the goods to make a trade for Starling Marte. That doesn’t mean it will happen…but it could…
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.