What Can Toronto Do To Fix That Second Base Problem?

Look at our depth charts, please. Go ahead, look! If you sort by position, ascending from worst to best, you’ll see a few spots that are projected to be just awful, by which I mean, “1 WAR or less.” That’s close enough to zero WAR that we can safely describe them as “replacement-level,” and that’s not a situation any contender wants to be in. Of course, many of those spots — Marlins shortstop, Brewers first base, etc. — don’t belong to likely contenders, which I will completely arbitrarily define as having playoff odds of at least 30 percent on our Cool Standings page.

That still leaves a few potential contenders with a big problem, but none more so than second base in Toronto, where the Blue Jays are apparently actually planning to give Ryan Goins a crack at second base, if for no other reason than that Maicer Izturis was atrocious last year. Between Goins, Izturis, Munenori Kawasaki, Chris Getz, and Steve Tolleson, the Jays keystone crew ranks dead last in our second base projections, and no, newcomer Brett Morel‘s attempt to move from third isn’t changing that needle.

If anything, that combined projection of 0.4 WAR seems possibly high, because it partially depends on Izturis being somewhat less miserable than he was last season. If Goins can even manage to be replacement-level, that will be something, because he’s coming off a Triple-A debut in which he hit just .257/.311/.369, followed by a .252/.264/.345 line (and a 1.7% walk rate!) in 121 plate appearances after the Jays after Izturis injured his ankle and Emilio Bonifacio was traded. The Fans, Steamer, and Oliver all think he’ll put up a wRC+ in the 60-69 range, which is of course terrible, no matter how good the glove is, and for a team that still has a chance to contend, that’s just not going to work.

But of course, no one expects this to go on long enough to have a chance to fail. The point of this post isn’t to point out how poor the Toronto second base situation is, it’s to answer the question: What can they do about it? With Ubaldo Jimenez now off to Baltimore and Ervin Santana seemingly like a terribly poor fit for the Rogers Centre — no matter how badly they need rotation depth — the Jays have yet to make their moves this winter, having added only catcher Dioner Navarro. A Toronto move to add a second baseman seems like the most obvious trade to happen of the spring, if only because one nearly already happened, or at least it would have if Ian Kinsler hadn’t reportedly planned to veto the deal.

So where do they go? We can take a look at Steamer’s second base projections and see that there’s 116 options, but of course most of those aren’t realistic. They aren’t getting Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia or Ben Zobrist, and guys at the other end like Tony Abreu aren’t really worth the effort.

The name everyone wants but doesn’t really fit

Pretty much every time this discussion comes up, Nick Franklin‘s name appears as well. After all, he’s a well-regarded prospect who just lost his spot in Seattle for the next million years thanks to Robinson Cano, and as much as Lloyd McClendon wants to pay lip service to Franklin competing with Brad Miller at shortstop, absolutely no one expects it to happen. So he’s as good as out the door, right?

Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean that Toronto matches up particularly well, because even though Franklin wasn’t especially impressive in his 2013 debut, he still doesn’t turn 23 for another two weeks, and Seattle isn’t letting a young talent with five controllable years remaining go easily. What the Mariners need more than anything is a starter to fill out a rotation that’s already dealing with an injury to Hisashi Iwakuma.

Meanwhile, this is the rotation the Jays currently have:

The Jays needed Jimenez, didn’t get him, and still need a starter. There’s not exactly much here they can offer Seattle for Franklin, and they aren’t dipping into the minors to send Aaron Sanchez west, either. The Mariners probably trade Franklin sooner than later, but other teams match up better.

The trade route, buying low division

Franklin doesn’t fit, but would Dustin Ackley? At the moment, he’s penciled in to be Seattle’s primary center fielder, but if and when they go out and sign Nelson Cruz, as we all expect them to do, they’re going to have to find a place for him to play. Assuming he’s spending at least half of his time, if not more, in right field, that pushes Michael Saunders back to left, and Logan Morrison and Corey Hart into some kind of first base / DH situation with Justin Smoak. Maybe that inevitably ends with Smoak being traded to Pittsburgh, but maybe it means that Saunders returns to center, where he has over 2,000 innings of experience, and Ackley gets moved.

Though Seattle sees him as a center fielder now, he did start eight games at second over the final two months last year, where he still grades out well defensively, and he has enough in his bat to be worth a win or two more than Goins. That doesn’t mean that Toronto suddenly has a starter to trade to Seattle, but Ackley’s trade value is far lower than Franklin’s.

Far less exciting is Danny Espinosa, who was just atrocious last year in Washington – .158/.193/.272! — and ended up back in the minors, though he’s being given a chance to beat out Anthony Rendon for his job this spring. That’s unlikely to happen, but while he may just end up in Triple-A, he’s also a guy who was worth three wins in both 2011 and ’12, combining good power with solid defense, and his 2013 struggles can at least partially be chalked up to his wrist and shoulder. Espinosa might be done entering his age-27 season, or he might be worth taking a buy-low shot on.

There’s also Rickie Weeks, who is less a “buy low” than he is a “please, please take him” at this point after hitting .209/.306/.357 for Milwaukee, all but certainly losing his job to Scooter Gennett. It’s almost hard to believe he was worth 10 wins in 2010-11 considering how far he’s declined on both sides of the ball, and he’s still owed $11.5m for his age-31 season in 2014. If the Jays wanted to take a chance, Milwaukee would surely jump to clear any of that salary. You can swap out “Rickie Weeks” for “Dan Uggla” in most of this paragraph, too.

The trade route, bigger name division

Brandon Phillips is declining and absolutely won’t top 100 RBI again now that Shin-Soo Choo is gone, but he’s still good for two to three WAR. That said, while the Reds have an obvious need in the outfield to hedge against Billy Hamilton and Ryan Ludwick, Toronto doesn’t have an equally obvious piece to send back. Either way, the Reds think they can win and aren’t likely to move Phillips when they have only Skip Schumaker, who may be less valuable than Goins, to replace him.

Whether or not Daniel Murphy is a “bigger name” is arguable, but despite being a below-average second baseman, he’s valuable enough with the bat that he was worth three wins last year, and is a reasonably solid bet to do the same in 2013. Eric Young can’t really play second base, but the Mets seem fascinated with having him in the lineup, and opening up the keystone for him would at least let Juan Lagares continue to bring his fantastic defense to center. New York won’t let Murphy go lightly, but a decent-yet-far-from-elite second baseman headed into the expensive part of arbitration isn’t going to command a monster return, either.

The unlikely free agent route

Stephen Drew is another popular name here, particularly because with two protected first round picks, the qualifying offer anchor hurts the Jays less than most, and his price can’t be high at this point. Even so, the fit isn’t great, because Drew isn’t going to displace Jose Reyes, and while he’s potentially willing to move to second base, the fact that he’d now be trying to do so without even a full spring training, much less a full winter in front of it, makes it somewhat worrisome. Besides, for whatever reason — different country, brutal division, the turf — Toronto has had difficulty convincing free agents to come.

That might be a problem for Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz, who is now eligible to sign with a team and had Toronto scouts in attendance at his workout last week. Would Diaz be willing to go to Canada and to a team that would ask him to move off of shortstop? It’s easy to see him looking elsewhere.

***

Toronto has various options, but none perfect. Perhaps the Jays try to make several moving parts happen at once, using their protected first rounders as a way to trade Adam Lind to a team that needs help and doesn’t want to lose a pick, then signing Kendrys Morales. Either way, the fans are getting restless. If starting pitching help isn’t coming, a second base upgrade has to be. Otherwise, Navarro is all that’s happened this winter, and even a projected improvement from simply having Reyes and Melky Cabrera healthier than last year won’t help the Jays in what should once again be the toughest division in baseball.




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Mike Petriello lives in New York and writes about the Dodgers daily at Dodgers Digest, as well as contributing to ESPN Insider. He wrote two chapters in the 2014 Hardball Times Annual as well as building The Hardball Times site, and is an editorial producer at Sports on Earth. Find him at @mike_petriello.

106 Responses to “What Can Toronto Do To Fix That Second Base Problem?”

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  1. BaseballGuy says:

    How about Josh Rutledge? Rockies look like they’re set with LaMahieu at second.

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  2. jg941 says:

    In a scenario where KMorales ends up with either Toronto or Seattle (no first-round draft pick forfeiture), does Pittsburgh make a good trade partner in a three-way deal in a deal where they end up with Smoak or Lind or LoMo?

    Is Jose Tabata a good enough piece for the M’s OF? Lambo/Snider/Decker? Is Locke a good enough SP piece for the BJays?

    If Pirates sent 2 of those pieces, they’d probably have to get something back in addition to, say, Smoak (I think, maybe a prospect).

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  3. jg941 says:

    Left out the most important assumption above, obviously – that the M’s trade Nick Franklin to Toronto, and the Pirates provide something of need to either or both teams, in exchange for a LH-hitting 1B from either Toronto or Seattle (and maybe something else)

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    • BaseballGuy says:

      Doesn’t work. Smoak is worth very little so pirates won’t want to compensate either team very highly.

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    • Balthazar says:

      Franklin is NOT goint to Toronto (or anywhere else) in this kind of trade. Nick Franklin is worth more than anyone Toronto could be into a trade, including Aaron Sanchez. I’m sure there’s been a conversation on this, but the answer should be a firm no.

      The problem for Toronto is exactly what it was on the first day of the offseason: Anyone who can be acquired cheaply to fill 2B won’t be good enough (or even experienced enough) to help significantly, whereas anyone who constitutes an upgrade costs more than AA wants to trade and probably more than he HAS to trade.

      Of the options mentioned, only three seem to both make sense and be doable. Daniel Murphy is probably the best match. Not especially good, but an upgrade. Likely not going to cost too much. No long term solution, but could get them through a contending year. Darwin Barney mentioned in comments is the same quanta, just flipped from top quark—mostly bat—to bottom quark—mostly glove. If AA wanted either one, I suspect that either deal would’ve been done. But maybe somebody finally swallows hard and does the deal.

      The remaining option is Dustin Ackley to Toronto. I’ve touted this before, and I think that it could get done. Ackley is going to end up not as the high ceiling player some had dreamed on but rather as the high floor player he was drafted to be. He hit quite well in all the ways he needed to after coming back up in the second half last season before he tired again at the end of the year. He will hit in the upper half of major league 2bmen, just not often at the top of the tier. He’s a fine defender at second, and can fill in in the outfield. He’s hit well at Rogers. He has four years of team control. In short, he’s a real solution; just not a sexy one. And he won’t come for cheap, even though clearly he’s being asked for on the discount after his 2012 and the first half of 2013. I’ve thought for long that Ackley for Rasmus benefits both teams well. I’m more doubtful that some pitcher other than Sanchez gets this done for Seattle, and probably Toronto shouldn’t trade Aaron; anyway, they won’t. So getting the right pieces to do it is a problem.

      The outcome might well be to balance out a three-way deal amongst Seattle, Toronto, and Pittsburg. I could really see this working well for all three teams. It’s very late to get it done, though. Pittsburg spent too long waiting on Burnett; Seattle spent too long waiting on Tanaka; Toronto spent too long waiting on Godot. And to move enough parts to make it balance, Toronto is likely going to have to put Stroman into the ‘give.’ I don’t see them doing that—but they should. He’s a reliever long-term, so they’re giving up less than it looks. But it’s more about optics, with AA having all but emptied Toronto’s prospect locker, and then missing out on his 1st round pick in 2013 I don’t think he trades another top prospect. Even if the deal came out well (say getting Tallion back if enough was put together).

      All that’s to say the Toronto likely does nothing, because doing anything just seems too painful. Now. And by May, it’ll be too late however completely obvious the need will be then.

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      • Grack Zeinke says:

        holy cow, no way in hades the Jays are moving Sanchez or Stroman for some marginal 2B upgrade. Now, I think they’d prob deal Nolin or Norris in the right deal. otoh, maybe they feel like Andy Burns could step in and play 2B…

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      • Balthazar says:

        Agreed that moving Sanchez isn’t on. And if we’re talking ‘a marginal 2b upgrade,’ that’s Murphy or Barney, who no way see someone like Stroman or Sanchez going.

        Ackley, however, is more than a marginal upgrade. Moreover, the Jays need to be looking mid-term as well as short-term. Rasmus is gone after this season, and no matter how you value Gose he’s a huge step down in production—if he hits at all. Bautista isn’t who he was. Ideally, AA wouldn’t be just bringing in a placeholder but building for the next 4-5 years. Ackley is the only player he’s likely able to bring in who can do that who has the upside to be worth it. But yes, that won’t happen without giving up some real talent. If you think Stroman is going to thrive as a No. 2-3 starter for the next four years, than no, you don’t move him. I doubt he does that, and to me he’s a great sell-high candidate.

        I actually like Nolin. To me, I’d love to see AA move some pieces around to end up with Ackley and Taillon while keeping Sanchez. That gives him something to win with now (unlikely but the fans want to buhleeve) but a younger core to hold things together over the next few. But doing that involves giving up some pretty, shiny things, and like I said it’s very late in the offseason to pull that off.

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        • Grack Zeinke says:

          Taillon?! Where did that come from? You had going until you dropped that bomb. I could see Ackley or Murphy land in TOR (Ackley has two additional yrs of control). Murphy is the better stick by a lot but Ackley the better glove also by a lot. Probably Norris or Nolin gets either.

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        • Balthazar says:

          You’re mistaken regarding Ackley’s bat, although the perception is understandable. Ackely’s likely performance level as a hitter going forward is Murphy + another 5% of walks, plus a peak year or two higher. He’s hit that well when he’s been on. Ackley has had some prolonged bad play as a hitter predominantly on the mental and approach sides. He was sent back down last year, came back up with the right approach, and did all he needed to do. Whether Dustin sustains that mental approach going forward is quite rationally open to question, yes. But he has the tools and he has the skills, and when he’s used both he’s had the performance.

          If one doesn’t think Dustin Ackley is going to sustain a use-the-whole-field, and see-a-strike-hit-it approach, then there’s no reason to trade for him. That expectation nets a replacement level scrub. If one DOES think ackley is going to sustain the improvements he demonstrated in the second half of 2013, then he’s a 3-4 win player at second base for the next few years. So that’s the call.

          Teams, obviously, are making offers for Dustin Ackley as a .5 win player if they’re asking at all, and that’s understandable even if likely not the case. Nick Franklin is better at everything except consistency as a fieler at second, so that has put Dustin as No. 3 on the depth chart in Seattle. Ackley’s highly expendable, and might well benefit from a change of scenery too. But he’s not going to be given away.

          And regarding Tallion, there is no need to limit a discussion regarding ‘What does Toronto do?’ to the marginal issue of second base. Toronto’s rotation problems were much more severe last year, and likely are going to be so this year. Sanchez and Stroman will help of course if they are both kept and both transition cleanly to the majors. But then Toronto will have gaping holes in CF and 2B even without anything else going wrong. So seeking a larger solution for higher ceilings makes sense to me.

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        • LaLoosh says:

          I still have no idea how/why you stuck Taillon into this discussion.

          Wrt Ackley, I simply think he’s a mess at the plate. Lots of hitters have had good stretches of play, as you pointed out with Ackley. In fact, Daniel Murphy hit for an .870 OPS in 2008 (his first time in the MLs), a stretch covering 49 games and 151 PAs. That translated to a 133 RC+. For his career, in over 2400 PAs, Murphy has a 107 RC+ so he has leveled out but is still no slouch. Ackley otoh, has an 89 RC+ in over 1400 PAs.

          Ackley’s value is tied to the fact that he’s considered a ++ defensive 2Bman, while Murphy is just enough to be adequate there. So these are different players even tho both play 2B.

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  4. Mooser says:

    Move Lawrie to 2B
    Move Bautista back to 3B
    Sign Nelson Cruz to play RF
    Tell Colby to cover inch of the outfield.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      yep. this is my plan tho I admittedly don’t know how Lawrie is/was at 2B. If he can cut it at 2B then this is by far the way to go. Even without the corresponding move to 2B, Cruz is the obvious fit in TOR. He’s a perfect fit for that park and just an awful fit for Seattle. I don’t get that one at all.

      Corresponding move for these two teams might be Ackley for Gose. M’s need a real CFer if anything. Gose would def satisfy their one time calling for defensive plus OFers.

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      • Mike Petriello says:

        There’s some validity to that idea, but I didn’t mention it because I haven’t seen any indication that the Jays are considering it at all.

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        • LaLoosh says:

          sure. tho we haven’t seen anything indicating the Mets are still open to dealing Dan Murphy either (and as a Met fan I can say it makes no sense to hang on to him if they get a good offer cause they’re going nowhere this year). But not too much makes sense coming out of the Mets FO these days, but I digress…

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        • Mooser says:

          Im pretty sure it was considered when they made the Lawrie to 2B experiment for a few games this season. Although I always thought it was associated with them somehow trading for a third basemen during the offseason (like Headley). Cant see it happening this close to Spring Training, but it makes the most sense given we have nothing of value to trade for a second baseman.

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      • Kevin says:

        i think lawrie could do it given enough reps, although he wasn’t very good there in a brief cameo last year. and besides, he is in the elite class of defenders at 3B, maybe a touch behind Longoria or Machado, can’t see the Jays messing with a good thing.

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      • Julius says:

        There’s no reason to take a guy with excellent range at third and a cannon for an arm and move him to second. I don’t think Bautista provides a ton of value at 3rd either, at least not more than the scenario of replacing him with Cruz.

        I think a more palatable scenario could involve signing Cruz to play him in left, move Melky to DH and dealing Lind?

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        • LaLoosh says:

          is Melky even healthy? It would seem that Cruz could easily get 400+ PAs between LF/Dh no matter what and then take over in LF in 2015.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      The other move for Seattle (while on the subject) would be Maybin… maybe for Ackley. Maybe could turn into a 3 way with Ackley going to TOR and something going from TOR to SD. Problem is that TOR doesn’t have great trade assets at the moment, tho maybe SD would be interested in Lind to play 1B. Can’t imagine they’re wed to having Alonso at 1B.

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      • BaseballGuy says:

        SD has a very solid 2B and I doubt they’d consider Ackley a CF. That doesn’t work. Although I do think SD is a dark horse to sign Morales for 1B, in which case they might be willing to let Alonso go and there could be a fit.

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    • Lenard says:

      The Jays didn’t like Lawrie’s defense last year in his limited sample at 2nd. I’m not sure if he liked playing it either. Bautista has stated his preference for right field in the past and he also only wants to play one position.

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    • Eric says:

      Bautista hates playing 3rd base, especially at the Rogers Centre. It is hard on his body. The Jays need to keep him healthy. Moving him to 3rd won’t do that. I’m not opposed to moving Lawrie to second if the Jays can acquire a quality third baseman.

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    • Beeston says:

      Lawrie is too valuable at 3B. He came up as a 2B, but his range and arm is better used at 3B.
      Bautista can’t play 3B, unless in very short-term emergency situations. His back can’t hack the stress.

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  5. CubsFan23 says:

    Trade Darwin Barney. We’ll take anything back. That will clear the way instantly for Javier Baez.

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  6. The Ancient Mariner says:

    Would it make any sense for the Jays to deal Anthony Gose to Seattle for Franklin? Yeah, the M’s need starting pitchers, but they need actual MLB outfielders more.

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    • Mike Petriello says:

      Plenty, but i doubt Seattle would be interested.

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      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Why?

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        • Bob says:

          Also the jays will need someone cheap to play CF next season when they let Colby walk. Their lack of spending this winter tells you all you need to know about their payroll limitations and things will get worse as current players salaries will continue to ballon.

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        • The Ancient Mariner says:

          Bob, I realize Gose has value to the Jays. That’s why I asked if it would make sense for them. I already think it would make sense for Seattle, but that’s the point Mike’s arguing.

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        • browl says:

          Because Nick Franklin is just better than Gose. The fit is there, but the value isn’t fair.

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        • The Ancient Mariner says:

          You know, browl, it would be possible for the Jays to trade Seattle more than one player in return for Franklin. The rules don’t restrict you to one-for-one swaps.

          In other words, I wasn’t suggesting that Gose and Franklin are of equal value, necessarily. I was just questioning the assumption in the OP that the Jays don’t have anything the M’s would want. IMHO, Seattle could very much use Gose, and I think you could start from there and put a trade together that would work for both sides.

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        • browl says:

          I agree with you. The Ms could absolutely use Gose. A package of Gose+ for Franklin makes a lot of sense.

          Also, there is no need to be so condescending. You are the one who suggested the unbalanced trade and neglected to mention that Seattle would be getting more.

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      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Here’s a comment by Scott Weber, from a post on LL a couple days ago:

        The Mariners haven’t traded either [Ackley or Franklin], and they didn’t get enough true outfielders to afford losing Dustin Ackley, who is now projected to start the season in left. While Ackley could get bumped at some point, this team is currently so short on athletic outfielders that his presence on this roster seems inevitable.

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    • Eric says:

      Gose can’t hit. I wouldn’t want him if I was the Mariners. The guy has a ton of speed, but he strikes out a ton. His speed doesn’t do him any good when he can’t put the ball in play. I’d trade Gose in a heartbeat. He is so overrated.

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      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Honestly, even if his value’s that low — and that’s a more pessimistic take than I’ve seen, but I’ll certainly admit I’m no expert on the guy — even the player you and Beeston describe would still have value to Seattle.

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    • Beeston says:

      Gose is a utility bench player at most. He can fly, but doesn’t break well on balls – relies on his speed to chase down balls. He has zero power and not a great average type of bat. He struggled big time in winter ball.

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  7. Vlad the Impaler says:

    Scenario –
    SEA gets RF Travis Snider from PIT
    TOR gets 2B Nick Franklin from SEA
    PIT gets 1B Adam Lind from TOR

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    • Mike Petriello says:

      Why would Seattle do that?

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    • LaLoosh says:

      Snider has no value right now.

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    • No says:

      Simple summary of this deal: Jays come way out on top, Pirates get something very useful for them from nothing, and Seattle loses their biggest trade chip for a DFA candidate.

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    • d_i says:

      I had looked at something involving Snider as well, but Franklin is way more valuable than the others in that deal. The Pirates do have OF depth and more coming with Polonco so maybe they would consider Tabata, but I think the M’s will aim higher than Snider/Gose with Franklin/Ackley.

      It’s not like the Reds have much behind Phillips – they just want out of the money which is something the Jays have so maybe something like this:

      Reds give Phillips one of P. Ervin/Jesse Winker get Franklin
      Jays give nothing/maybe fodder get Phillips
      M’s give Franklin get one of P. Ervin/Jesse Winker

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    • Seattleslew says:

      Seattle needs a legit CF not another body to stand on RF.

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    • Beeston says:

      That would be awesome for the Jays – get 2B AND forever solve the DH/1B platoon situation. A Jays fan can only dream. :)
      Don’t see it happening. Jays main ammo is a deal is their pen: Cecil [All Star], Delambar [All Star], Loup, Santos, Janssen. If a trade is made it would have to include one of the aforementioned and maybe a dbl-A prospect OR someone like Drabek/Rogers who are out of options.

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  8. d_i says:

    My general thoughts – if the M’s are serious about running one of Hart/LoMo in LF, they also have a need for a good fielding OF – especially if they’re going to compound it by signing Cruz. I’d say this need is greater than marginal SP since they have Paxton and company available to be #5.

    I think the order of operations is important to how the dominoes fall in Seattle. If they sign Cruz first, they HAVE to make a move for a good fielding OF. If they move Franklin and or Smoak first, they have more flexibility in that they won’t have to run one of Hart/Lomo in LF.

    I wonder if Franklin would embarrass himself in the OF.

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  9. DevinM says:

    I tend to believe the Jays hope one of their options work out and if they do not I’d expect Colby to be on the block for a 2nd basemen or none at all because it could be too late by the time they find one.

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  10. grant says:

    Seattle’s bullpen has holes, and that’s an area Toronto has depth. Something like a Cecil-Ackley might make sense.

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    • Beeston says:

      Totally agree. Ackley is 25, sub-avg hitter, but good defender and experience at 2B/OF. He’s tied up until 2018 making $1.7M in 2014 and arb elig 2015. If I were Jays mangmt I’d try to move a player(s) out of options first vs. moving Cecil [All Star]. A guy like RP Esmil Rogers is a good candidate. The sell: Rogers has more starting experience and higher ceiling, while Cecil is basically a RP only workhorse (who has started, but with very limited success).

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    • Radivel says:

      How about Delabar for Ackley? Then it’d be like trading Ackley for what’s-his-name…

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  11. Seattleslew says:

    Ackley is the player with the most CF experience on the team, even though that is not saying much. There is no point in filling one hole while making another slightly bigger.

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  12. ColonelTom says:

    Anthony Gose to Seattle for one of Seattle’s middle-infield surplus (Franklin, Ackley, or Chris Taylor) might make sense for both teams. I’m not sure Gose gets them Franklin straight up, but he could bring back one of the other two.

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    • The Ancient Mariner says:

      See above. I thought that made sense too. (Taylor’s too far from the majors, though, and part of his value is his glove at short.)

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    • Balthazar says:

      Gose might bright back Jamal Austin straight up, but what’s the diff?: neither guy is going to get more than 100 ABs in the majors career. Gose isn’t worth a quarter of Franklin because Gose can’t hit and isn’t going to, while Frnaklin hits extremely well, thank you.

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  13. Gabes says:

    The White Sox could trade Beckham if they think the combination of Keppinger, Semien, L. Garcia, & Sanchez could cover the Keystone.

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  14. MadManx says:

    You’d have to think with Semein needing a spot a few months into the season, that Beckham would be available for relatively cheap. The Jays were rumored to be interested early in the offseason. Good fit for their park offensively and their groundball and double play reliant pitching staff. Pretty good chance he is close to average if he stays healthy.

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  15. Jack Handy says:

    In regard to Aledmys Diaz, I would think a Canadian team would actually have an easier time signing a Cuban FA considering the fact that a huge chunk of tourists to Cuba are Canadians. If anything he’s probably actually had some interactions with Canadians who frequent Cuban baseball games.

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  16. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    Espinosa didn’t have “injuries to his wrist and shoulder.” He was playing through a fractured wrist and a torn rotator cuff.

    It was completely irresponsible of the Nats not to shut him down last season.

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  17. Kevin says:

    this article was a nice summary of the Jays 2B situation, but the characterizations of Happ and Morrow are more than a little silly. It matters little because neither of them are going to Seattle in trade, but Happ has been a reasonably healthy starter in his career, a knee injury resulting from when he took a line drive to the head at the beginning of last year is basically the only thing driving your statement, which is more than a little unfair. Morrow has a more extensive injury history obviously, but it’s also wildly blown out of proportion as he’s really only ever had one major injury (nerve issue in his throwing arm last season). This is same the garbage that the mouthbreathing section of the Jays fanbase has spewed ad nauseum for the past 6 months. I get that he’s not a sure bet to produce 150 innings, but he’s not Brett Anderson or Dustin McGowan either. Not much different than Clay Buccholz for example.

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    • Kevin says:

      I like Diaz for the Jays, and it may not be a coincidence that they’ve been really quiet on the FA front if they’ve been saving their bullets for a run at the Cuban. With a strong Latino presence in the clubhouse, it may not be as difficult as some think to lure him to Toronto.

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    • silentEuphoria says:

      I honestly never get the mouthbreathing analogy. I am a mouth breather due to nasal issues. That doesn’t make me dumb? Anyway, to your overall defence, I agree that knocking Happ harshly like that is unjust — but I guess if you look one further year back, he was injured and shut down for the year due to, what was it, a broken foot or something? Historically though, before being a Jay, he was relatively injury free. As for Morrow it is actually such a shame as he can be extremely lights out. When he is healthy, he is a bonafide #2 or for sure #3.

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  18. Fister? says:

    I like Espinosa too as it’s hard to overstate how hand injuries completely ruin seasons. You’re manipulating a piece of wood where eighths of an inch count. Look at Victorino’s bounce-back last year.

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  19. George says:

    I think one fact that would make the Mets more inclined to move Daniel Murphy is that Wilmer Flores appears to be ready to hit at the major league level.

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  20. Skmd says:

    Darwin Barney + Jeff samardzija for Sanchez, stroman and two lower level pitchers. Barney’s no offensive bargain but he saves a ton of defensive runs, is 1 year removed from a 4.8 WAR season and likely had his bat screwed up by the same geniuses that messed up Castro.

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    • LHPSU says:

      Bonafacio also makes Barney expendable.

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      • chief00 says:

        We had Bonifacio last year and gave him away to KC. What makes anyone think that TOR would acquire someone worse than he was? The bat boy makes Barney expendable, for cryin’ out loud.

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    • Kevin says:

      barf… I like Samardzija, but would never give up Sanchez/Stroman for him. Stroman has a chance to contribute substantially this season, I can’t see him going anywhere. Barney has barely put up 4.8 WAR in his entire career, and his recent level of performance isn’t much different than Goins’.

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      • skmd says:

        BBRef:

        Year ? Age Tm Lg G PA Rbat Rbaser Rd Rfield Rpos RAA WAA Rrep RAR WAR

        2012 26 CHC NL 156 588 -12 5 1 29 4 27 3.0 18 45 4.8

        Fangraphs 2.3 WAR in 2012, GG, still better than what the Jays have going.

        As for not giving up Sanchez OR Stroman for Samardzija, I’ll meet you back here Aug 1.

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    • Beeston says:

      No way Sanchez OR Stroman get moved unless someone like Masterson comes to Toronto, and only then a move will include one SP prospect (more likely Stroman because of recent hype, projected RP, and timing of farm strength in low-A/A ball).

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  21. Chris Antonetti says:

    I’d think about trading Mike Aviles to AA for Esmil Rogers. I could even throw in Yan Gomes. How does that sound?

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  22. Trent says:

    A guy they could look at is Johnny Giavotella from the Royals system. He hasnt had a consistent shot in KC. It’s fair to say he hasnt proved himself in the short stints, but he seems like a guy who could still project well. Plays average defense and has gap power.

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  23. topherdig says:

    Would TOR go for Franklin, Erasimo Rmairez SP, and another high prospect for Bautista? Or what about Seager?

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    • lexomatic says:

      You don’t trade Bautista if you’re trying to win it.

      They might as well invite every guy like Giavotella who didn’t get a fair shot and hasn’t signed elsewhere to spring training. They could do worse. A few of those guys may be roster casualties in April, so a AAA spot might work. This is just ugly.

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  24. jwise224 says:

    We’ve explored this at Inside the ‘Zona this winter, but what about a deal for Chris Owings with the D-backs? KT will gladly take whatever old, unathletic, old school types you have laying around, Jays fans, just so long as they’re gritty.

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  25. pft says:

    Drew is the most logical choice. Not sure how quickly he could adjust to 2B though. 3B is an easier transition.

    Might be hard to attract free agents with Gibbons as manager

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  26. pablo says:

    What about their prospect Andy Burns? He had a nice yr last yr. Maybe he can play a decent 2b he seems worth a look to me.

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  27. murphy says:

    trade Bautista to M’s for Paxton and Franklin, then sign Nelson Cruz? The mariners would have to sign Santana if they were to give up Paxton though.

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  28. topherdig says:

    murphy, i don’t think TOR goes for that. As M’s fan I would endorse that. M’s might have to throw in a A or AA SP prospect.

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  29. joe09 says:

    Here’s 2 trade options that would help the Jays.
    1. Gose and reliever (Rogers maybe) for Franklin/Ackley
    2. Releiver/mid level prospect for Keppinger

    I like the second option the best. Keppinger is above avg offensively (kills LH Pitching) and Goins is above avg defensively. This would be a natural platoon with Keppinger hitting from the right side and Goins from the left. I’d think you could use the combo of Goins, Keppinger, and Izturis to produce an above average second baseman. Keppinger would also be a good platoon partner for Lind if he’s not dealt, which I doubt he will be.

    No matter what they do, they must improve their 2B options, as right now they don’t look good. They could also use a RH CF on the bench and someone to platoon with Lind at DH/1B.

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  30. JoeyD03 says:

    The article did not address which teams would have extra players if Aledmys Diaz signs with them.

    I am reading that Diaz could fill Cano’s departed spot in the Yankees lineup, but very little was mentioned if Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan, or Kelly Johnson would be expendable.

    I know the Cardinals had Diaz work out with them privately yesterday per stltoday.com. I will cover the what-if he signs with them. They currently have these players:

    Matt Carpenter – 3rd baseman this year (can play 2nd base)
    Mark Ellis – 2nd base (Mark alleges he is trying to play utility role too.)
    Jhonny Peralta – SS (Can also play 3rd and outfield)
    Kolten Wong – 2nd base
    Daniel Descalso – Utility infielder
    Pete Kozma – Slick fielding SS, bad bat

    Either one of Kozma or Descalso is not likely to break camp with the Cardinals this year. If Diaz is signed by the Cardinals and makes the major league roster, it looks like Kozma and Descalso would be trade bait, released, or in AAA. They may not be upgrades, but lets throw their names into the hat of potential players who are available/who could become available.

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  31. Sev says:

    As a jays fan the first move has to be firing AA, he destroyed the farm system with the Dickey deal. It almost seems like other GM’s are trying to swindle him like the Mets and Marlins did asking too much for over priced under performing players (Dickey,Josh Johnson) as a jays fan I’m scared to see AA make any trades at all!… I didn’t even mention the Gomes and Aviles for Rogers trade… what about the Francisco for Napoli trade…AA NEEDS TO GO!

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  32. Ivan_Grushenko says:

    Why wouldn’t the Jays trade Sanchez for Franklin? It’s not like Sanchez is Mark Prior or somebody like that.

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    • Grack Zeinke says:

      why? bc Sanchez has top of rotation ceiling. Franklin appears to be more of a Dan Murphy kind of stick-first 2Bman. On top of that, the Jays didn’t add any starters this winter and thus are going to be relying heavily on pitching from within. That means it isn’t likely they’ll deal their best SP prospect.

      Someone is overrating Franklin…

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  33. Sev says:

    don’t like that trade at all

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  34. Michael Rapaport says:

    How about “nothing for nothing?” Braves trade Dan Uggla to Toronto for Ricky Romero. Then everyone is both happy and sad at the same time.

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  35. Sev says:

    Ricky makes half of what Uggla does and could be bought out for 600k next year

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  36. LetsPlayPepper says:

    Jays send Rasmus+Goins+young arm to Reds for Cingrani & Phillips.

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