According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Oakland Athletics are discussing the framework of a deal that would see the Blue Jays acquire a third baseman.
The Mariners are looking to unload third baseman Chone Figgins and it looks like the Athletics are putting together a package to try and acquire him. In the move, according to Olney, you will likely see Athletics third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff sent to the Blue Jays as part of the package.
A guy like Jason Frasor is probably a prime trade target for the Mariners' woeful bullpen, outside of David Aardsma and Brandon League from the Blue Jays. Another guy they may look at is Edwin Encarnacion, but I doubt he would be very successful in Safeco Field, where power hitters go to die essentially.
This may all just be speculation, but the basis for the deal makes sense for all sides.
For the Mariners they clear some money off the books and open a roster spot for Dustin Ackley to take over at second and possibly move Brendan Ryan to third, or call up a prospect from Tacoma such as Carlos Truinfel.
For the Athletics, they appear to be making a playoff push, or at least an attempt to try and compete with the Texas Rangers, who recently signed Adrian Beltre, and the Los Angeles Angels, who recently dealt for Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells.
Kevin Kouzmanoff in a Jays Jersey?
Adding Figgins, who is a decent gaps hitter, and a great base stealer, would at least give the A’s some speed back that they lost in the earlier trade with the Blue Jays. The deal saw center fielder Rajai Davis head the other way for relief pitching prospects Tryston Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar.
Lastly, for the Jays, Kouzmanoff is a decent power hitter, who, of course, has a low on-base percentage. Like most Blue Jays, he has a tough time getting on base with any consistency. But one thing he does have is good defence at a pretty fair price.
Kouzmanoff, in my opinion, has the potential to hit 25-30 home runs if acquired by the Blue Jays. Having played his last few seasons in pitchers ballparks like in Oakland and San Diego, Kouzmanoff has seen a slight decline in power numbers.
A change of scenery might do Kouzmanoff some good in this instance.
The Jays are more likely to go after him as opposed to someone like Michael Young because a.) He’s cheaper, b.) He won’t take up space for Brett Lawrie and lastly c.) He’s younger with more power potential than many people think.
Time will only tell if this rumour does in fact come true, but for me, this would be another win-win move for Anthopolous if he does in fact follow through with this rumoured deal.