MLB Trade Rumors 2012: All Three Blue Jays Catchers Are Being Shopped
According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Toronto Blue Jays are far from done with their offseason player movement, with the Blue Jays shopping all three of their catchers: JP Arencibia, John Buck and Travis D'Arnaud.
Now, this doesn't come as a surprise to many Blue Jays fans, but it's news nonetheless.
The roster now stands at 42 players, with the Blue Jays adding five players from the mega-deal: Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and the catcher Buck, as well as Melky Cabrera.
Not a big fact, but one that does merit some discussion. Because the Jays roster sits at 42, they will need to get it trimmed down to 40 pretty quickly, and what's the biggest way of trimming it down?
Pretty simple: A multiple player trade in which, say, two or three players are sent packing for one player.
I'm not speculating on superstar players the Jays could be interested in, but the Royals are said to be shopping Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, as well as super-prospect Wil Myers (a rumor provided in same article I referenced at the top).
Now Moustakas and Myers—as well as Gordon—are not likely options for the Blue Jays due to the recent signing of Melky Cabrera and with Anthony Gose sitting and waiting in Buffalo (AAA). However, Hosmer and Butler both intrigue me as fits for the Blue Jays.
Butler, a consummate pro and always a good hitter, last season hit .313 with a .373 OBP and a .882 OPS. His days at first might be over, but his days as a DH are still upon us. He's also only 26 years old and has up to three years of control after signing his extension with the Royals over one year ago.
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Butler will earn $3 million in 2011 and $8 million per year from 2012 to 2014. The contract also includes a $12.5 million club option for 2015, with a $1 million buyout.
He's an expensive piece, but if the Jays could unload, say, JP Arencibia, Adam Lind and a pitching prospect, the deal could really shift the Jays from potential playoff candidates to playoff contenders.
As for Hosmer, he did have a down year in his sophomore season, but his rookie season was phenomenal, where he hit .293, with a .334 OBP and a .799 OPS rating. I expect Hosmer to stay with the Royals, but you never know if the Jays could blow them away with a deal.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, The Royals are likely looking to flip Butler for pitching, which may leave the Jays on the outside looking in. The Seattle Mariners have long coveted Butler and have a slew of pitching prospects like James Paxton, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker at their disposal.
It's not a fire-sale in Kansas City, but I would like to call it a re-tooling, where GM Dayton Moore is on the brink of losing his job and has to do something to breathe fresh air into a club that doesn't have much left.
Now while John Buck and JP Arencibia are not likely to land either of the above players in a one-for-one deal, catcher Travis D'Arnaud, the majors' 11th-best prospect and best catching prospect, may be an enticing piece to pull the trigger on.
Another team in need of catching is the Texas Rangers, as they are likely to lose Mike Napoli via free agency and would only have the weak-hitting Geovany Soto at their disposal.
A player that may interest the Blue Jays here is Alexi Ogando, who can both pitch out of the bullpen and in the starting rotation. With Carlos Villanueva—the Blue Jays' version of Ogando—likely to hit free agency and leave to the highest bidder, the Blue Jays could really use a player like Ogando. Although, they may have Brett Cecil still working out of the pen.
Another name that might be available is Ian Kinsler, and the Jays have needed a second baseman since the club dealt All-Star Aaron Hill for Kelly Johnson not too long ago.
With the Rangers' three incredible middle infielders and only two openings, either Elvis Andrus or Ian Kinsler will likely need to be dealt to make room for Jurickson Profar to become an everyday player in the bigs.
JP Arencibia could entice the Rangers. A combination of Arencibia and Colby Rasmus might get the Rangers listening, but a straight-up deal, Travis D'Arnaud for Ian Kinsler, may just both give sides what they're looking for.
This deal, however, does not address the Jays' need to clear roster space—although that can be done at any time by the Jays ending injured starters Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison to the 60-day DL.
Either way, the ball is in Alex Anthopolous' court now. He's got the city of Toronto buzzing about his recent moves.
Could he put the Jays over the top by dealing one of his catchers and cementing himself with the great Pat Gillick as one of the teams' best ever GMs?
Well, we can say one thing so far: he's no J.P. Ricciardi.
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