Welp, we’re gonna need a bigger boat.
Looks like it’s the Shark that starts silly season.
Big news came down after a very interesting Jays-Athletics game last night that saw Oakland win 1-0 in 12 innings, as the first big trade of the season has happened.
The Cubs have sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for Billy McKinny, Dan Straily and Addison Russell. It’s a sure sign that Billy Beane and the Athletics are going all in this year, but it’s also smart because they can recoup some of that prospect capital in the offseason as it appears they’ll have plenty of pitching.
While it’s disappointing for the Jays to lose out on a solid pitcher (and a decent rental option) that they had long been linked to, I’m certainly not bent out of shape about it.
The A’s gave up a lot, Russell’s pegged by most as a top prospect in baseball. He was ranked 14, 12 and 7 in the Baseball America, MLB, and Baseball Prospectus preseason rankings, respectively. I’ve heard some compare what Oakland gave up to a Norris, Sanchez, Pompey trio, which isn’t far off but I think the Cubs would still have gone with the Oakland offer, considering Russell’s more highly regarded than Sanchez.
So perhaps the Jays could have got just Samardzija for those three, but then they’d have nothing much to offer for an upgrade in the infield, which I’m starting to think is more of a need.
It’s also good news that they went to a non-AL East team, where the Yankees and Orioles could certainly use pitching help. And I think it’s good news that Toronto didn’t blow all its prospect load on one pitcher.
Toronto’s starting pitching continues to be ok. And with Sanchez apparently in the mix for some kind of big league job, and a lottery ticket in Brandon Morrow, who apparently thinks he’ll pitch in 2014, maybe the Jays just hold steady. A minor upgrade at the back end of the rotation is a possibility, but I’m ok with what they have.
But a solid infielder could go a long way towards solidifying this team. I’m about the only person on the Chase Headley bandwagon but he seems to me like an underrated piece who won’t cost a lot. People point to his best season and say it’s an outlier, he’s not that good. Sure, but he’s consistently been a .330ish wOBA hitter, with solid defence. Not great, but better than what they have. By Baseball Reference, he’s been a three-WAR player since 2010. I’ll take that as a floor with the seven-WAR as a ceiling.
There’s also some pitching on the Padres, who are reportedly willing to listen on anyone, that could help the Jays. Acquiring, say, Headley and Ian Kennedy could make Toronto a really strong contender.
There are also options in Arizona, who have some infield options and pitching possibilities that the Jays could use.
I guess the point is, yeah, Shark’s a great pitcher, but there are other options out there that probably work better for Toronto.
We’ll see. Things should just get crazier.
UPDATE: I totally forgot. Samardzija moving to a division-leading team in a super pitcher friendly ballpark is totally going to help my fantasy team. And to think, I was trying to move him up until a week or so ago.