What Blue Jays players could be used as trade bait at the Deadline? The staff of JFtC discuss in our latest chat
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The Toronto Blue Jays are in an interesting and odd spot heading into the revamped 2020 Trade Deadline. Will they be sellers? Buyers? Or will they be something in the middle? Our staff present the discussion we had on this:
Ryan Mueller: The Blue Jays are sellers in two weeks, right? Who do you trade that another team would actually want?
Shaun Doyle: Stand pat for that reason. Maybe a reliever…maybe.
Mueller: I love the ‘maybe’ haha. It’s a tough question right? Obviously we aren’t moving anyone like Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Nate Pearson but I’d listen on everyone else. Maybe Gurriel should be included in that group of untouchables.
Doyle: Teoscar might fetch a return.
Mueller: I was just writing that. I definitely wouldn’t ask for the moon or dump him. Something between.
Doyle: He wouldn’t be a dump since he’s not making much. Sell high, or don’t sell.
Mueller: Heck, I’d even trade Hyun-Jin Ryu. It wouldn’t be the smart move but I’d do it.
Doyle: Ryu isn’t going anywhere.
Mueller: I know that’s silly. Matt Shoemaker?
Doyle: I was just going to type Shoemaker. Have to think his value is low, though.
Mueller: We’re in sync but not like the band though. I call Justin.
Doyle: Son of a…JT is my guy!
Mueller: Haha. Thoughts about Shoemaker is his value more the veteran leadership role or what he can bring to the mound. I’d lean toward his value to pass knowledge to the younger pitchers and be a #5 guy with a lowish budget hit than anything else. Not saying he isn’t a good pitcher when he locates his pitches, of course.
Steve Fekete: I think Shoemaker’s value might be higher than numbers might indicate. Given the number of starters who keep going down, a team like the Nationals or a return to the Angels might bring something back. Red Sox too. What’s a 7-letter word for ‘trade piece’ that could bring real value? Depending on whether it is down or across, I’d try “Grichuk” (as my chest pains start up).
Mueller: It’s too bad Chase Anderson started the year on the IL. He’s a guy who might be valued too. The Blue Jays would need to eat some salary to land a decent prospect. Randal Grichuk would get some calls. His contract might make getting anything back more of a challenge.
Doyle: Rentals this season won’t go for what they used to. But, more teams will be buying. Very interesting.
Karen Soutar: Grichuk’s hitting so far this season has been really good overall. .320/.393/.460 [at the time of this chat]
Doyle: Karen, I was surprised when I saw this. His HR numbers aren’t great, but man that is an ok line.
Soutar: Myself, I don’t want to trade anyone good who is under team control beyond 2020.
Doyle: This is a good point. They have the 4th best system in baseball. There is no pressure to deal anyone, is there?
Soutar: The way I look at it is this. As frustrating as this season has been so far at 7-11, it has been said over and over again that they have been “in” almost every game. In theory, this team is close to being a much better team in terms of wins and losses. So I don’t want to pull the plug and trade away anyone who might be able to help them win after 2020.
Doyle: And that is reasonable.
Soutar: Run differential is -10. They lost one game 10-1. They have to find ways to win those close games.
Doyle: Absolutely. And, as much as he’s messed up, it can’t all be placed on the manager.
Soutar: No it can’t. As I’ve said before in my own “non-expert” opinion, I don’t see many moves that Charlie Montoyo has made that were bad moves from the start. He has made moves that had a chance to be good ones and some of those, due to players not always performing, haven’t worked out well.
Fek: Grichuk’s name has come up in Pittsburgh media – he raked at PNC Park. I can also see him in Green and Gold.
Soutar: For me it’s kind of a catch 22. The Jays badly need outfielders and he is under contract through the end of 2023. Now that he has been hitting so well, why would they trade him?
Fek: To get short-term bench and rotation depth. Acquiring Grichuk was one of my happiest days as a Blue Jays fan. But his contract can be funneled into FA budget.
Mueller: It’s important not to get too attached to any player. Anyone the front office acquires could easily find a place in the hearts of the fanbase in no time. What if the return for Grichuk turns into a promising CF for mid 2021? You increase team control and you free up money for additions during the offseason as Fek suggests. The roster has some flexibility as we saw when Grichuk was off earlier in the season….two weeks ago haha…The same can be said for Teoscar. The other side of this conversation is the Jays could be buyers. Toronto has a strong system as Doyle pointed out. However, that grading still has Pearson as a prospect. Maybe Toronto makes a move to add pieces for 2021 much like the Mets did with the Marcus Stroman deal. Not that it worked out well for them.
Fek: Mueller, that was my gut feeling when I thought about who could be flipped. Another place I see Grichuk being valued is Seattle. They have prospects and they need an OF badly.
Doyle: Grichuk’s value would never be higher than it is right now, IMO.
Mueller: Moving a more established OF would allow more ABs for Derek Fisher and Anthony Alford. They need to know if these guys are worthy of a roster spot. My money would be on Fisher, although I’m truly not confident either will pan out, but you’ll never know with them sitting on the bench.
Doyle: Another reason to move Grichuk. Again, they don’t have to.
Mueller: Don’t get me wrong, I see the value of standing pat.
Soutar: I just think they should keep Grichuk. He is finally hitting like the player they thought they were trading for two years ago. He can help them win in the future.
Mueller: But so could Player X the club gets in return for trading Grichuk. In my opinion, this could just be a warm streak for Grichuk. Nothing more. Trading him could be a gamble as well. Grichuk goes on to put up all star numbers while Player X and Y never make an impact at the MLB level. It’s a roll of the dice.
Soutar: Either way it’s a roll of the dice, yes, trading him or not trading him. I look, for example, at 2019 after the all star break. He went on a power surge, slugging .508 which included 16 HR, 16 doubles and 4 triples. However during that same time frame his average was only .231, OBP .266 and 3.6% walk rate. So far this year he is a much better rounded hitter with an .853 OPS and 10.7% walk rate. Maybe he has become a more complete offensive player?
Fek: More ABs for Derek Fisher? I switch my position- can’t trade Grichuk.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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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.