The Toronto Blue Jays aren't a sleeper team anymore. Over the past few seasons, other teams have spent nickel and dime trying to bolster what every general manager is hoping for—a World Series championship.
In Toronto, the legend of Alex Anthopoulos continues to grow, but the patience of the fans is growing thin. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Blue Jays have the second-best farm system in baseball, and if you ask many analysts, they'll argue that they do indeed have the best. With so much depth in the field and on the bump, the bluebirds have a lot to give, and other GM's know it. In this article, we'll look at the trade buzz happening in Toronto, and what might be in the mix before the trade deadline.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, indicated that Billy Beane, Oakland's general manager, is interested in pursuing a player who can fill the offensive void at shortstop. The streaking A's have been on a tear lately, with a league best 14-2 record in July, and upgrading on Cliff Pennington in the middle-infield could very well be in the mix.
For Toronto, Escobar's woes this season might just be enough to push the Blue Jays into making a deal. That being said, the last time Yunel Escobar had a mired season, the Braves shipped him off to Toronto for pennies, only to have him bat a respectable .290/.369/.413.
Although there are better defensive shortstops out there, let's not forget that Yunel still ranks among the best, yearly. Now it's a matter of which team believes that history will repeat itself.
Through all the ups and downs (literally) of the 24-year old Snider, he's shown everyone that he can play. Despite his lack of production in the past year or so, he's not going anywhere.
According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the 10-player deal that was conducted between the Jays and Astros was a pivotal moment in Snider's career. This is a chance for him to prove he belongs, and since being called up on July 20th, he's proven his critics wrong, batting .364/.385/.727 through three games.
Yes, it's still early, but for the Jays, it's time to commit. This will be the turning point for Travis in his career, according to recent reports; when Jose (Bautista) comes back, it'll be Snider or the speedy Anthony Gose who stays in the show.
Hechavarria is in a pickle that every minor league shortstop dreams of: he's needed and wanted. He's at the top of his game, batting an impressive .305/.355/.426 to go along with his team leading 60 RBI's for Triple-A Las Vegas.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Diamondbacks have shown obvious interest in the slick-fielding shortstop, but if he goes over, it'll be in a package deal. That being said, the Jays have expressed that Hechavarria has proven his ability to play at the major league level, but we won't know that until we see it.
J.P. is a very talented catcher, but with top prospect Travis d'Arnaud nipping as his heels, the Jays might be in a position to make a difficult decision. Arencibia has yet to live up to his triple-A numbers that awarded him the 2010 Pacific Coast League MVP, but the coaching staff is impressed with his ability to call a game.
In a March report, FOX Sports baseball analyst Ken Rosenthal stated that the Diamondbacks would be in touch with the Blue Jays, should Arencibia become available. With two catchers on hand who are starting backstops of the future, it's unlikely a trade will happen this season, but Alex Anthopoulos has proven to be a silent worker in the past.
Alex Anthopoulos has a history of picking up players with a less-than-stellar-reputation in the bigs. Such was the case with current shortstop Yunel Escobar in Atlanta and star center fielder Colby Rasmus.
Justin Upton falls into that group of players. Recently, Ken Rosenthal revealed the Jays might be interested in the not-so-fan-favorite Upton. So far this season, he is batting .274/.358/.411, with his home run total dropping drastically from 31 last year, to eight this year.
If the Jays pursue Upton, they are deep enough to make a blockbuster trade for the outfielder who could be the final piece of a sensational Blue Jays outfield.