Toronto Blue Jays Enter MLB Trade Deadline As Loaded Sellers

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Toronto Blue Jays Enter MLB Trade Deadline As Loaded Sellers

The city of Toronto is in a state of flux right now with their beloved sports teams.

The Maple Leafs appear to be trying to revive a team that's been in hockey's basement ever since the lockout of 2004. The Raptors have lost multiple superstars in recent memory (Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Antonio Davis) and now just lost another in Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.

Both of these teams are re-tooling in hopes of a better future.

As we move on to the Blue Jays, they are in that same state of flux as every other major sports franchise in "Hog-Town."

The Blue Jays dealt franchise great, starting pitcher Roy Halladay prior to the season starting for a slough of top prospects including Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace and Travis D'Arnaud from the Phillies.

That deal appears to be a great deal for both sides as Roy Halladay is laying the smack-down on the competition in the National League and the prospects the Blue Jays got for him are all enjoying above average years in the Jays minor league system.

The Roy Halladay trade signified a changing of the guard around the Blue Jays. With new GM Alex Anthopolous at the helm, the Blue Jays began the chain of buying low and selling high with regards to their players.

This team building concept was ever apparent about a week ago when the Jays dealt potential All-Star shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was on pace for a career year, to the Atlanta Braves in return for All-Star SS Yunel Escobar and pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes. This was an instance of selling an asset at the highest price.

What they got was a top sixshortstop both offensively and defensively (in years past) for a guy who was signed to a one-year deal.

Escobar since the trade, has proven to everyone that his game did not vanish into the hot Georgia air by smacking a well-hit grand slam against the Orioles, then following that by hitting another two run homer against the Royals the next night off of pitcher Kyle Davies.

The Jays dealt a 33 year old shortstop who by all accounts is now past his prime, for a cost-controlled, 27-year-old shortstop. A shortstop who is a proto-typical number two hitter in the powerful Jays lineup.

As we move on and get closer to the trade deadline, the Jays appear to be one organization that is littered with talent available at the right price.

This is not a ranking, rather just a list of who's available, why they are available and what teams could want them.

RF Jose Bautista

Why he is available

With the return of Travis Snider to the lineup and with a glut of talented outfielders in the system ready to contribute including the likes of Eric Thames, Adam Loewen and Darin Mastroianni; Bautista's value couldn't be any higher.

Outfield prospect Jacob Marisnick is probably the Jays best outfielding prospect, but is still a few years away. He compares favorably to Indians CF Grady Sizemore.

Having already hit a career high in home runs and RBI, Bautista enters next year as arbitration eligible and could command a very hefty raise. The Jays would be looking for prospects in return, more than likely outfield prospects or third base prospects as those are the positions that the Jays need more quality prospects in.

Right now, according to various executives, the Jays asking price for Bautista is very high, so essentially a Bautista poker game will break out until one side balks and gives in.

Teams the Could Show Interest : Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres

C John Buck

Why he is available

Buck was originally just signed as a stop-gap solution to bridge the gap between now and when catching prospects JP Arencibia and Travis D'Arnaud were ready for prime time.

It appears at least Arencibia is ready, having hit 27 homers and added 68 RBI with the Las Vegas 51's in the Pacific Coast League in AAA.

Buck was signed to a one-year deal and appears to be a type B free agent, meaning the compensation will be a second round compensation pick.

Any trade that Anthopolous makes for him, needs an equal talent coming in return.

Teams the Could Show Interest: Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies and New York Yankees.

1B Lyle Overbay

Why he is available

The Jays have a major league ready talent in AAA waiting in Brett Wallace. He comes at a cheaper contract than that of Overbay's.

To Lyle's credit, he has turned around a terrible start to the season into a respectable season.

Still, the Jays could stand to improve their power and average at the position. For the downgrade they receive on defence, they get a huge upgrade for the future at first base by letting Wallace take his licks at the pro level.

Teams the Could Show Interest : Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers

RP Scott Downs

Why he is available

He's a free agent heading into next year and he's 34. He's an aging asset, but a good asset. Teams are always looking for left handed bullpen help. The Jays would want a top 10 organizational prospect in return. He will probably be a type A free agent.

Teams That Could Show Interest :  Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers.

RP Jason Frasor

Why he is available

Frasor is a decent pitcher who has some closing experience. He's a pretty reliable reliever who can be counted on for an innings worth of work.

He'll be a free agent going into next year, and will probably be a type B free Agent. If the Jays don't get a comparable offer, I see him sticking it out with the Jays and them letting him walk for the draft pick compensation.

Teams that Could Show Interest : Any contending team needing bullpen help, I'll make it simple.

RP Kevin Gregg

Why he is available

Gregg is enjoying a pretty good year with the Jays. His walk totals are still a work in progress, but he is doing quite well in the save department.

The glaring thing I notice when he pitches is that he always makes the save an adventure, either by getting guys on base or making a three run lead almost vanish and blow the save. This has only happened five times this year, two coming just recently within the week.

He's a veteran arm, who has closing experience and is signed to a good deal.

Teams that Could Show Interest : St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves. Again any contending team in need of bullpen help.

Players such as Edwin Encarnacion, Fred Lewis, Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Accardo are some other names that will probably garner some interest, but I feel they will remain with the ball-club in some capacity.

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