Someone please trade for Cliff Lee...

It seems like most teams are hesitant about paying the price for Doc because they still believe that they can grab Lee at a cheaper price. So the only way JP is going to get his price is if Cliff Lee's taken off the market. The strongest rumors have Lee going to the LAD along with VMart, but these were put down immediately by LAD management as having less than zero truth to them, so you can count them out.

The Phillies are hoping that the same package they offered the Jays appeals to the Indians so that they can grab Lee. Unless JP counters with slight changes that allows the Phils to swap Happ for Carraso, and/or Michael Taylor for Dominic Brown, I'm not so sure the Jays will bite. For what it's worth, Jays scouts went to see Brown play yesterday and he went 0 for 3 with 1 walk and 1 strike out. I'm not sure if they were also scouting Taylor, but he went 0 for 2 with 2 walks. The offer that would best fit the needs of the teams involved here is there to be had, it just needs to be tinkered with. But, will a surprise offer be made by a 3rd team?

Well, the order of teams likely to make a move for Roy now based on rumors only are as follows:


Any one of these teams could come out on top, and I'd say that Detroit - who haven't been to the playoffs in quite a while - may be the best "out of nowhere offer" scenario, along with their AL central rival CHW.

However, all of those teams are also scouting Lee, who's price hasn't been made public in the same way that Doc's has. That and Lee hasn't come out and said that he doubts something will get done. I'm really hoping we find out the suitor soon and that the Phils realize that with Doc, they are a lot more likely to repeat this year, and next for that matter. Pedro Martinez is not the answer for them.... and maybe that's what they're really hoping for. To have enough to win without unloading the majority of their prospect talent. Will Phils fans agree?

When it all comes down to it, there is only 1 question to ask: Who would teams rather have on their squads - last year's Cy young winner, or the probable winner of this year's award?


Jays reject Phils offer

OK, the dilemma in Toronto seems to be centered around wanting both Happ and Drabek in any Halladay deal, while the Phils obviously want the Jays to take Happ and Carrasco instead. Either way, it seems the Jays will be able to get a package that includes Jason Donal and one of Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor.

Here's a comparison of the 3 pitchers in play.

Carlos Carrasco: 22 yrs old in AAA, 20 GS, 114.2 IP, 112 Ks, 38 BB, 118 HA, 5.18 ERA;
Kyle Drabek: 21 yrs old split time in HiA and AA, 122 IP, 118 Ks, 19 BB, 104 HA, 2.80 ERA;
JA Happ: 27 yrs old in MLB, 12 GS, 7-1, 100 IP, 71 Ks, 33 BB, 85 HA, 2.97 ERA, 1.18 ERA.

Looking at these stats, one can see exactly why the Jays are insisting on getting Drabek in any deal. He is young, performs well, and has an awesome K/BB ratio. Getting Happ included allows the Jays to give Drabek time to develop while seeing immediate returns from the deal, so really the Phils insisting on Carrasco being included seems to be misguided if they really do want Doc.

Dominic Brown: 21 yrs old in HiA, 220 AB, 9 Hrs, 14 SB, 8 CS, .295 avg
Michael Taylor: 23 yrs olf in AAA, 354 AB, 17 Hrs, 20 SB, 4 CS, .328 avg

I can't for the life of me see why the Jays absolutely want Brown over Taylor. If they really want to get a deal done with the Phils, ask for Drabek and Happ, but allow for them to switch Brown for Taylor and ask for Donald along with him. Get the pitchers you want, one hell of a 5-tools OFer in Taylor, and a SS of the future in Donald. I can see this being the final deal before July 31st.


Angels package....

Apparently, as reported by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the package supposedly demanded by the Jays from the Angels would include the following:

Joe Saunders - Brandon Wood - Erick Aybar - and one of Trevor Reckling, Peter Bourjos, or Sean O'Sullivan. The last part is probably set up to entice the Angels to pick the lesser evil in their view and to get them to bite. This package would definitely appeal to the Jays, who would get a great SP in Saunders, a long term 3B in Wood, a SS and infield option in Aybar, and another great piece to help their overall depth. But really, why would the Angels do this deal? They have Saunders under control for a long period and Doc is definitely better than him, but is he so much better that it deserves Wood - Aybar - and another for the upgrade? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

There are supposedly 5 teams in play now and the talks seem to be heating up. My guess is that once the pressure mounts high enough on the Phillies they'll have no choice but to include Brown, Happ, and Drabek in the deal. They've been trying to hold off, but that's what it's going to take if they want Doc. And really, when you compare the deal they're being asked to give up in comparison to the Angels, it makes the Phils a hell of a lot better than it would the Angels because it doesn't include an active roster player.

C Carlos Perez smacks first dinger in GCL

18 year old Venezuelan catcher Carlos Perez was signed in 2007 as an international FA and has been highly touted by BA. He is currently catching for the GCL Jays and is doing very well thus far. He has 21 hits over his first 69 ABs for a .309 avg, and 10 of those hits have been for extra bases (6 doubles, 3 triples, and his first dinger yesterday). More impressively, he has only struck out 9 times (13%) and has walked 11 times, indicating that he is very patient and selective at the plate, a very good trait for such a young player.

Perez did play for the DSL2 Jays last season, and ended up with a .309 avg over 196 ABs, but didn't hit any HRs and only 12 of his 60 hits were for extra bases. It is possible that the Jays will let him progress slowly and keep him in the GCL all season as a result. But between Arencibia, Jeroloman, and now Perez, the Jays shouldn't have too many shortcomings at the C position for quite a while.

RP Daniel Farquhar dealing in AA

Over his last 10 appearances, 22 year old reliever Daniel Farquhar has a minute .077 ERA, only 6 hits and 5 walks allowed over 11.2 innings pitched, and 14 strike outs. He also saved 7 games during the same appearances, and now has 15 saves to his credit between HiA and AA this season, with a .082 ERA over 43.2 IP with 57 Ks. With talks of Scott Downs being or Jason Frasor being moved before the deadline, Daniel could be well on his way to a trial period with the Jays by the end of the month.

Daniel was quite a find in the 2008 draft for the Jays since he was drafted 308th overall in the 10th round. Since the Jays are in fact looking to move some older players, Daniel should get a chance to at the very least move up to AAA this season.

1B Brian Dopirak doing well in AAA

Lyle Overbay could be traded by the July 31st deadline, and Brian Dopirak could be the benefactor. The 25 year old has had a tremendous season in AA with one ingredient that the Jays could really use: power. He had 19 dingers in his 328 ABs while in AA, and drove in 68 RBIs in the process. His OBP .374, slg .576, and OPS .951, were all very impressive. So, he has since been promoted to AAA when they let Mr.Harper go and although he hasn't hit a HR yet, he is doing well with a .333 average over 33 ABs.

Dopirak hit 29 HRs last season between HiA Dunedin and AA New Hampshire. He was originally drafted by the Cubs in 2002 (56th overall) and was their minor league player of the year in 2004. They let him go in 2008 when the Jays pounced on him and decided to give him a shot. He's already been the player of the week twice this season in AA and was an All-Star last season in HiA. If Lyle is moved, I'm sure Brian will get a very good opportunity to prove himself with the Jays.

Halladay's ode to why he is leaving...

Last night's gem thrown by Doc explains exactly why he is leaving Toronto, either this year or next. Because it doesn't matter how well Doc throws, he knows that Toronto needs to fix its offense before they have any chance of winning - and that he's the key trade to make that happen for the team. Sadly, JP didn't realize this earlier. Before he went on a shopping spree for arms like Burnett and Ryan, and then added an old timer in Frank Thomas. If he had went out for good bats instead, perhaps the Jays would be extending Roy instead of trading him. As it is, he threw his 2 straight complete game (9 innings) with less than 1 ER, for a total of 18 IP, 2 ER, 10 HA, 3 BB, and 17 Ks over his last 2 starts. 4 of his last 5 starts should have been wins, but only 1 resulted in a win due mostly to a lack of offense and lack of bullpen performance. So the way I see it is that Doc should be sitting at about 15 wins, at least, if he played for a better offensive team. Still, he has done everything he absolutely could to heighten his value and to leave the Jays with a legacy once he goes. If JP can't market this into one hell of a trade, he needs to go along with Doc. The latest "demand" the Jays have supposedly made from the Phillies include the following:

Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ and outfielder Dominic Brown.

However, the Phillies are said to be more comfortable with offering the following:

Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Jason Donald and Lou Marson.

I would think that since the difference is only really 1 pitcher (I see the Brown/Taylor offerings as even), instead of 1 SS and 1 C, the Jays and Phillies should be able to find some middle ground. However, after seeing Happ pitch last night, it makes me wonder if the Phillies won't lessen their offer a little. A good thing for the Jays is that Charlie Manuel said he would rather take the horse (Doc) if he's headed into a race.

As for the Brewers, they're said to not want to include Gamel or Escobar, and I say it would take BOTH to get a deal done, so scratch them off the list of candidates.

The Cards went for a bat instead of pitching, because we all know batting wins you championships......really? They're out of it.

The Dodgers and Angels are keeping their cards close to their chest, so who knows if they're real players.

The Yankees were scouting last night's game, but were supposedly more interested in Scott Downs than Roy. Boy, did he ever bring his value down over the last 2 appearances, no pun intended.

And finally, the White Sox wild card team have lost 2 straight games now, but sit just 2 back of Detroit in the central. If the Jays can land Beckham and others for Roy and Rolen, they should definitely look at the White Sox as favorites, but who knows if they'll make a strong offer before the end of the week. You have to think Detroit may be looking over its shoulder ad wondering if a combo of Verlander and Doc would take them further into the playoffs, not to mention how well it would mentor the young Porcello.

It's sad to say that Doc may not be a Jay by the end of the week, and I'm hoping I can stop myself from being glued to the Rotoworld scroll in hopes of hearing of a deal....and then evaluating the hell out of it!!

Cheers to Doc, for his trade will hopefully fix what has been ailing the Blue Jays since the early '90s.


Updated Roy Hallday Trade Rumors

The title of this post is turning out to be a full time job, but here is the latest that I've been able to accumulate over the last 2 days:

- Most GMs believe that the Jays price for Doc will not be met, and that he'll remain a Jay for that reason;
- Some actually believe that if the youngsters keep pitching the way they are (Bret and Mark), it could entice Roy to stick around and mentor them, at the right price of course. Would management extend Roy at 20-25 million a season? Maybe if they can shed Wells's contract or the bulk of it at least;
- The Mets supposedly refuse to deal a package that included Fernando Martinez - phew, because I hate the package that they refused to give up. It assured the Jays nothing except having a potent OF core with Snider-Martinez-Rios....where would Wells fit?
- The Phillies won't deal Drabek...woopti freakin' do, last I checked his stats were not so hot and we have better options in Bret and Marc. He has a 3.25 ERA in AA, a lot less than 1 K per inning, and is below Carrasco's value if you ask me. I say give the Jays a Michael Taylor, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Michael Stutes, and Yohan Flande package in return for Doc and Rolen and we'll call it a day.
- The Angels don't seem to be real players in this yet and haven't shown their cards at all;
- Speaking of the Cards, they're definitely trying to low-ball JP, so hopefully he's dismissing their calls. They refuse to deal their only A type prospect in Bret Wallace and also refuse to deal Rasmus. Seriously, they have very little else and should just call it a day. They would have better luck getting Jon Garland or Doug Davis, so the Cards are out of this altogether.
- The Jays and Rangers could get creative. One analyst had the idea of sending Michael Young to the Jays in a package that had Doc and Rolen going to the Rangers. This would help the deal make sense financially since Young makes 16 million annually, making the hit for the Rangers 5 million less per season and they get relief from Young's contract at the same time which runs until 2013. This would fill the 3B void the Jays can expect when Rolen leaves, and of course there would be the 4-5 prospects included with Young. Young is Wells's best friend, which may finally ignite the passion fans want to see out of Wells. I doubt this will happen, but it is a creative way of seeing the Rangers getting involved in this deal.
- The Chicago White Sox are my favorites for getting a deal done simply because their GM is Kenny Williams and he's addicted to trading. A package in the sorts of Aaron Poreda-Dayan Viciedo-Alexei Ramirez-Jordan Danks-Santos Rodriguez may make it work for the Jays. It fills the voids at SS and 3B for the long term and also provides great SP and OF prospects. I could even see Kenny being willing to take on Wells and part of his contract if the Jays are willing to pay a chunk of it. I'm seeing more and more that the White Sox and Phillies are the most viable options for JP.
- All other teams are wild cards and would need concessions from the Jays. The Brewers won't deal Escobar but could be willing to move Gamel, which wouldn't be enough. They do have 3-4 great SP prospects that could be interesting, but they're all a ways off from MLB play and are therefore too risky and long term for JP to bite. Atlanta is sitting this one out, and the Dodgers (other than Torre) haven't said boo. Some say that Schmidt's rough return may persuade them to take a better look at it.

The biggest wild card team: the Seattle Mariners
Here sit the Mariners, with Griffey onboard they have managed to be only 4 games back from the division lead this far into the season and already have a great 1-2 punch in Bedard and Hernandez. They also have 3 key pieces that would interest the Jays a great deal: RP Philipe Aumont (Canadian), OF Tyson Gillies (Canadian), and OF Michael Saunders (Canadian). The Jays have peaked interest at heightening their Canadian content in order to appease to their audience. Not only are these guys Canucks, but they are huge talents. Saunders in particular has 5 tools and would be a great fit for the Jays. Seattle also showed that they are willing to make these huge deals when they dealt for Bedard. Here's how I see the package:

RP Philipe Aumont - OF Michael Saunders - 3B Alex Liddi - SP Michael Pineda - OF Tyson Gillies (could add 1 more prospect)

In return for Roy Halladay and Scott Rolen. This fills their need in replacing Beltre for the time being at 3B, and also allows for him and Rolen to take turns at DH when need be. That's a deal that I would not be disappointed in, as a Canadian Jays fan.


Richmond throws for the GCL Blue Jays

Scott Richmond kicked off his recovery with a start for the GCL Blue Jays against the GCL Braves. He didn;t fare well at all, going only 3.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, 3 ER, and 1 walk. He did strike out 5 which is encouraging.

In the same game, the newly signed SS Ryan Goins started in place of Gustavo Pierre, indicating that they may share some time at SS for a period of time. LHP Carlos Pina continued to pitch extremely well for the GCL squad, lowering his ERA to 0.035 with another 3 shutout innings with 2 Ks and only 1 hit allowed. The 19 year old is definitely worth keeping an eye on.


Latest Doc Rumors

The 3 teams believed to be leading the Doc Halladay sweepstakes are STL, CHW, and PHI in no particular order. The latest CHW rumors have the following package going to Toronto:

2B/3B/SS Alexei Ramirez: 27 yrs old Cuban, hit 21 HRs in his rookie season, on pace for 20 Hrs this season to go along with 12-16 SBs. Hit .286 last year, hitting .279 this year and is on pace for 81 RBI - not bad for an infielder.


SP Aaron Poreda: 22 year old Californian, had 69 Ks in 64 IP in the minors before getting called up to the MLB, so far has thrown 11 Inning, with 12 Ks, a 1.64 ERA, and 1.36 WHIP. Rated the 2nd best CHW prospect by Baseball America.


SP John Danks: 24 yr old Texan, has 2 years of experience under his belt with impressive results - but even though he is rumored in talks, I seriously doubt the White Sox would deal him since it would be a generally sideways move for them.

More Likely to be included in package, some variation of the following:

3B Dayan Viciedo; OF Jose Martinez; RHP Dan Hudson; or RHP Gregory Infante.

The Jays would be more likely to get Viciedo if they include Rolen in the deal, but we all know that the CHW GM loves to deal and this is a scenario that JP may go for since it puts Roy in a different division.

In other notes: Joe Torre has been adamantly trying to get the Dodgers involved to get Roy. Rumors state that any deal would have to include Clayton Kershaw, but I doubt that it's a fact. A combination of James McDonald and Ethan Martin in a deal would surely peek the interest of the Jays. Add in SS Ivan Dejesus and 3B Josh Bell, and I'm pretty sure JP would bite.

Marc's first win against none other than the Red Sox!

Their roster was complete, with all hands on deck and the best possible lineup they could have this season. Still, the Red Sox could only manage 4 hits against the Jays rookie Lefty and scored only 1 run to become the first team that Marc Rzepczynski has ever won against in MLB. The fact that he threw so well bodes well for an endless stream of future divisional match ups and he proved once again that he belongs in the rotation for the long term. Over 3 starts, ALL against divisional rivals, he has a 2.50 ERA, 18 IP (avg 6 per start), 16 Ks, 11 HA, 11 BB. His next start should be versus Tampa Bay this upcoming Friday and I look forward to seeing if he can keep it going.

Rolen and Overbay continued to heighten their trade values by getting 2 hits a piece, and Lind continued to make himself untouchable by knocking his 20th HR of season. If he continues on this pace, Lind will become the first Jays in quite a while to hit 35 Hrs and knock in over 100 RBI while hitting above .300. Wells sat out last night's game, and let's hope that it means a trade is imminent so that the trade rumors and fan backlash can stop getting worse.


Jays sign 4th rd pick Ryan Goins - SS

The Jays have signed their highest selection thus far post 2009 draft with the signing of Ryan Goins and ends up being the 4th of the top 10 to sign. He has been assigned to the GCL Jays, and will join fellow SS Gustavo Pierre on the roster. It will be interesting to see if the Jays push Pierre up a notch despite a rough start to the season, or if they decide to play Goins at 2B instead.

Did the Clay Showcase Work?

Every Jays fan out there has to be on pins and needles wondering what trades, if any, will occur within the next 12 days. The showcase by the Red Sox of Clay Buchholz was masked as an attempt to give their starters an extra day of rest, but rumors are abound that it was to display his skills to Jays brass who are evaluating all options in a Doc Halladay deal. Clay's line last night was: 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 HA, 3 BB, 3 Ks. Not bad, and if you take Lyle Overbay out of the equation, he only allowed 1 hit. It seems to me that he trusts his stuff more now than he ever has and has matured to the point of pitching to contact instead of trying to rack up some Ks. Doc himself is a fan of that style of pitching and I had some visions of Clay and Ricky Romero, his opponent last night, pitching on the same squad. Surely a rotation of Ricky Romero, Clay Buchholz, Bret Cecil, and Marc Rzepczynski wouldn't take too long to mature and would keep the Jays competitive for a long, long time. Add in Richmond, Listch, Marcum, and McGowan, and you get a pretty dynamic rotation.

So, was it enough to entice the Jays to deal their ace to a division rival? Well, it seems to me that if Clay is in fact on the table, there has yet to be a better "semi-public" offer on the table. Most teams seem to be trying to push the price down or are unwilling to deal talents that are MLB ready. Therefore, if the Red Sox are in fact willing to deal Clay Buchholz, a pitcher many view as a future ace, the Jays should look at accepting that deal and supplementing it with as many other prospects as possible. As stated earlier on this site, the Red Sox are also looking at Scott Rolen as an option to replace Mike Lowell, so Lowell's health in the next couple of days could define how big this deal actually gets and how many prospects the Jays can pry away from the Red Sox....if a deal gets done that is. Let's remember that the Red Sox have never shied away from dealing REAL talent to get a championship team going. After all, they did deal Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez in order to get Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell from Florida. The Jays do want a replacement for Lyle Overbay and one for Scott Rolen, so if the Sox can fill those voids with prospects, I can see a deal being done before July 31st. I certainly hope it does, because I don't see the Jays resigning Doc, and his value will never be higher than it is today.


The Bullet JP Dodged - Julio Lugo

Way back in 2006, just one season after the Jays went haywire and signed both AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan to huge contracts worth a total of 102 million dollars for 5 year contracts, Jays fans were adamantly screaming for JP to sign "the final piece to the puzzle" - none other than shortstop Julio Lugo. At the time, Lugo had just finished off a 12 HR/24 SB season while hitting .272. The Jays refused to meet his demands (that resulted in a 4 year 36 million dollar contract with Boston) and decided to go in another direction. Since then, Lugo has cost the Red Sox 23 million dollars, and will cost them yet another 13 million while he waits to be picked up by another team. So what did the Sox get for their 36 million over 2 and a half seasons?

940 AB, 236 Hits, 10 HRs, 103 RBIs, 48 SBs, and an average of .251

I am often critical of the moves, or non-moves, that JP Ricciardi makes. But in this case, he struck gold when he went out and got Marco Scutaro, and really avoided one hell of a waste of money with Lugo. Good dodging JP! Now let's see what you get the Jays before the break.....


So here we go....

Run down of possible Jays trades I've read rumours on in the last 2 days:

1- Roy will go to Philly in a package centered around 1 of Drabek, Taylor, or Brown (I'm guessing it would be Taylor and Donald with 3-4 more.)

2- Wells may be tradeable if the Jays do 1 of two things: eat another bad contract in return to lower the other team's costs, or pay for half his salary once he's gone to minimize their costs and maximize their returns.

3- The most likely to be traded is 3B Scott Rolen who's value has skyrocketed now that he's healthy, hitting very well and more importantly hitting in clutch situations. With world series experience, he'll be one big piece for the team who lands him. Word is that St-Louis wants him back, so look for them to send 1-2 prospects back in return.

4- The Angels have the package needed to get a deal for Roy done, but haven't been aggressive as of yet.

5- Tallet has not drawn any interest despite his versatility and effectiveness this season. If he is traded it will most likely be in a deal that includes Rolen, Wells, or Rios.

6- Only Jays that will NOT be traded at any cost this year: Hill, Lind, Snider, Cecil, Rzep, Romero. Everyone else has a price tag attached.

7- Most likely to go that hasn't been talked about in trade talk: Lyle Overbay. He plays strong D, has a decent bat, and is the best 1B on the market right now aside from Aubrey Huff. Look for Lyle to be involved in a possible trade with SF, ATL, or FLA for 1 or 2 prospects.

8- An intriguing piece asked whether or not Barajas and Scutaro will be resigned or used as trade chips this season. They have both played well above their pre=season value and were a big part of the beginning of the season for the Jays. What would they get in return? That will drive JP's decision, but if they can resign them at a decent cost they better do it, because the Jays don't have a ton of depth at those positions. Perhaps a Doc deal is intended to fix that....

9- Clay Buchholz will throw for the Jays tomorrow....lol. If they like what they see, a deal could be done by the end of the weekend. Not only does Boston have motivation to get Doc in order to prevent the NYY from landing him, but they have the goods to get it done while not crippling their minor league system.

10- If Clay shines it may drive other teams (STL, LAA, PHI) to heighten their offers because they will perceive the Sox to be in the lead. If not, they may sit back and wait for the cost to come down. It better not come down at all JP....you stick to your guns.....or we'll have to talk!!!

My prediction for Doc is still that he'll land in either LAA, STL, or BOS. It all depends on whether he wants to pitch with his old friend Chris Carpenter in STL, to go to the beach and retire with a tan, or go to beantown and be in a pressure filled environment. I predict he stays in the AL because he knows the hitters and the parks. The fact that STL and PHI keep putting restrictions on the deal, like not trading an arm AND a leg (who says that?), makes me think they'd rather get a lesser cost SP like Guthrie or Tallet.


The Jays are scouting Buchholz...twice!

Ok, normally you hear trade rumors and decide on your own whether or not the teams involved are actually interested based on how the GM replies to questions or base your opinion on what makes general sense. However, with all of the Jays/Doc rumors circulating the pre-All-Star break MLB ears one stands out above the rest for a couple of reasons. The rumor in question involves Doc going to the Red Sox in return for a package centered around Clay Buchholz. A recent MLBTR article states that Jays scouts were sent to watch Clay pitch in his latest AAA start (not a stellar one), which is of no surprise since they can argue that they are just doing their homework. But when the Red Sox announce that they will deliberately called up Clay to pitch against the Jays on Friday of next week, bells start to go off. And here is the kicker: the Red Sox have balked all year at Colorado's asking price for Atkins, so how much would they love to get their mitts on Scott Rolen at a reduced price?

A Doc and Rolen deal to the Red Sox would bring back what exactly to the Jays? It would have to be a ton, at least enough to hurt the Red Sox for many, many years after they win a championship or two with Doc.

Let's start with the following:
1- Clay Buchholz SP
2- Lars Anderson 1B (Sox already have Youk to play 1st and Rizzo down the line)
3- Michael Bowden SP

These are automatics if a deal were to get done between TOR and BOS. Lars would be the heir to Overbay, and Clay and Michael help ease the loss of Roy. But it would not stop there, obviously. Other add in possibilities:

4- Stolmy Pimentel SP
5- Michael Almanzar 3B (automatic if Rolen is included)
6- Ryan Kalish OF

This leaves Boston with a top 5 prospect list of:
1- Josh Reddick, 2- Daniel Bard, 3- Junichi Tazawa, 4- Nick Hagadone, 5- Reymond Fuentes
Not only is what they have left after losing all of those prospects not bad, it still includes 4 guys who can have an impact this year or next. Their rotation would become:
1- Roy Halladay, 2- Josh Beckett, 3- Jon Lester, 4- John Smoltz, 5- Tim Wakefield, 6- Daisuke Matsuzaka....yes, that's right, they'd still have 6 starters AND they'd have to deal Brad Penny to get yet another piece or 1-2 prospects.

Can you imagine a playoff rotation of Roy-Josh-Jon-John? Wow, good luck beating that one. When you add the fact that their pen is #1 in the league, they would be pretty unstoppable.

So, where would this leave the Jays? Well, their rotation would become one of the most promising, cheap, and talented in the league and comparable to Oakland in need for seasoning. New rotation:

1- Ricky Romero
2- Bret Cecil
3- Clay Buchholz
4- Marc Rzepczynski
5- Brian Tallet/ Shaun Marcum/ Scott Richmond/ David Purcey/ Jesse Litsch/ Dustin McGowan/ Michael Bowden

Stolmy Pimentel would provide depth for the future, while Almanzar and Anderson would become the corners of the future for the Jays. There are chances the Jays would have to include 1 or 2 low end prospects in this deal, but the future of the Jays would be set and they would be explosive within 3 years.

One of the keys to this deal happening include that the Yankees would be left out in the cold and would most likely not get a chance to sign Roy to a deal once he becomes a FA, because Boston would extend him before he got there. Also, Texas is out of money and therefore can't afford to deal for Roy, while St-Louis and others have listed way too many "untouchables" in their positions. How can there be any untouchables when you are talking about acquiring arguably the best pitcher in all of MLB? I can actually see this deal getting done. The question now remains, does the fact that the Jays want to see Clay pitch again mean Roy won't get traded over the All-Star break?

Jays Draft 2009 Picks Progression (top 20)

Stephen C Jenkins RHP R / R 6'04" 235 1987-12-22 1 20
James A Paxton LHP L / L 6'03" 210 1988-11-06 Comp A 37
Jake T Eliopoulos LHP L / L 6'03" 185 1991-05-25 2 68
Jake D Barrett RHP R / R 6'04" 230 1991-07-22 3 99
Jacob S Marisnick CF R / R 6'04" 200 1991-03-30 3 104
Ryan M Goins SS L / R 5'10" 180 1988-02-13 4 130
*Signed July 17th
Ryan M Schimpf 2B L / R 5'09" 181 1988-04-11 5 160
Kristopher C Hobson RF L / L 6'02" 205 1990-08-22 6 190
Egan Smith LHP L / L 6'05" 200 1989-03-16 7 220 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for Auburn, 4.11 ERA, 15.1 IP, 18 Ks, 4 BBs
Brian C Slover RHP R / R 6'03" 230 1988-06-10 8 250
Aaron C Loup LHP L / L 5'11" 180 1987-12-19 9 280 2009-06-29
*Signed, not yet assigned to a particular team
Yan Gomes C R / R 6'02" 215 1987-07-19 10 310 2009-06-19
*Signed, playing for Auburn: .226 avg, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 CS
Sean P Ochinko C R / R 5'11" 205 1987-10-21 11 340 2009-07-08
*Signed, playing for Auburn: .286 avg
Bryson J Namba 3B R / R 6'02" 210 1991-01-31 12 370 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for GLC Jays: .077 avg
Matthew A Morgal RHP R / R 6'05" 210 1986-09-18 13 400 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for Auburn: 3 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks
Lance A Durham 1B L / R 5'10" 220 1988-02-20 14 430 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for Auburn, .237 avg, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 2 SBs
Andrew S Hutchison RHP L / R 6'02" 165 1990-08-22 15 460
David M Sever RHP R / R 6'04" 195 1986-09-17 16 490 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for Auburn, 2.84 ERA, 19 IP, 21 Ks, 3 BBs.
Steven Turnbull RHP R / R 6'03" 220 1986-11-25 17 520
*Signed, playing for Auburn, 3.29 ERA, 13.2 IP, 10 Ks, 4 BBs
Robert M Webb RHP R / R 6'03" 210 1989-08-18 18 550
Dennis R Tepera RHP R / R 6'01" 180 1987-11-03 19 580 2009-06-29
*Signed, pitching as a reliever for GCL Jays, 2.2 IP, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 0 ER
Kevin Nolan SS R / R 6'02" 200 1987-12-13 20 610 2009-06-14
*Signed, playing for Auburn, .133 avg, 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Jeroloman goes deep, Fishercats Pen Impressive

The catcher of the future for the Jays has recently been thought to be JP Arencibia, who shows power that may have never existed on a Jays squad. However, with JP's slow start to 2009, Brian Jeroloman has been able to open some eyes and to assert himself as a strong backup plan in 2010 or 2011 if JP's progression stalls. Jeroloman is better known for his stellar defense than his bat, but he has been able to turn on a couple of pitches this season and more so of late. An interesting note for Brian is that he hits for higher average with runners on (.268) than he does without(.221), indicating that there may be a clutch performance capability within his repertoire.

The pen's performance in AA has been excellent all year, but has really come on of late with the additions of RHP Cesar Polanco (34 Ks in 32 IP), LHP Edgar Estanga (40 Ks in 41 IP), and future Jays closer RHP Daniel Farquhar (29 Ks in 22 IP). All three have been promoted from Dunedin's staff and have really closed the door on tight games with small margins of error. Farquhar in particular has been lights out, with a minute 1.19 ERA and hitters getting only a .150 average against him in AA. Look for him to get pushed up once again sometime soon and make his presence felt in AAA Las Vegas. With BJ Ryan's release and Accardo's promotion from AAA, he could be next in line to get the call from the Jays this season.

RHP Ryan Shopshire - GCL Blue Jays

Ryan, who stands a lofty 6'5" and 200lbs, has shown some of the best stuff out of the GCL Blue Jays so far this season. In 3 games, he has thrown 12 innings, struck out 14 while walking 5 and allowing 5 earned runs. His latest start last night was his best so far, with 5 shutout innings against the GCL Yankees where he struck out 4, walked only 1, and allowed only 3 hits. At 23 years old, Ryan is fairly old for the GCL, but is nonetheless showing his stuff and could get a chance in Lansing or Dunedin at some point this season.

Interesting note thus far for Ryan: he has a 0.00 ERA, 8 IP, 5 HA, 2 BB, and 11 Ks when bases are empty, but has an 11.25 ERA, 4 IP, 5 HA, 3 BB, and 2 Ks when runners are on base. Clearly Ryan is uncomfortable with runners on and needs to work on this aspect of the game to advance.

Mor-of-a chance the Jays deal Doc!

Melvin Mora made sure that spirits didn't get too high by starting a new winning streak when he belted his first home run in 50 games. With each loss, it becomes more and more likely that the Jays will look to move Doc.

I don't want to take anything away from the Jays in this game because it was really only 2 mistakes that cost them the game. Carlson's gift to Mora is the first, obviously, but the second is less obvious. They clearly need to review how to lead off from first base since 2 veterans, Wells and Rolen, were caught stealing in situations that could have grown into at least one run being scored. Romero threw a great game, 8 innings of 3-run ball , striking out and walking 3 in the process. Frasor and League each had strong relief outings thereafter, so there are a lot of positives to take from this game. It would have been nice to have gone on a mini winning streak before the break, but with the losses mounting it is more likely than ever that JP will use the All-Star break as a time to move Doc. I would be very surprised if rumors didn't intensify and if a deal wasn't close or done by this time next week. Let's cross our fingers and toes and hope JP is smoking anything when he makes this deal happen...


Cecil to the rescue!

So what is the cure for losing streaks and bad times on an MLB club? For the Jays, the answer is the great young pitching that's proving how great the future of the rotation is. Bret last 6 very strong innings, and had he not thrown 96 pitches by then he may have been left in for the 7th. He only allowed 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 and allowing no runs. It's a good thing he and the pen were lights out because the offense didn't really provide much of a cushion with only 2 runs of support. The unlikely candidates, David Dellucci and Raul Chavez, drove in the 2 runs and Alex Rios was the only Jay with 2 hits in the game (both doubles). The Jays return to .500 with the win and have to be getting more and more comfortable with the thought of dealing Doc when they see Marc and Bret's potentials in the rotation.

RHP Kenny Rodriguez - New Hampshire

Kenny was promoted from Dunedin after Marc got the call from the Jays. At 24, he was the most mature HiA pitcher and had proven himself worthy of a promotion with his 66.2 IP, 63 Ks, and 2.43 ERA for Dunedin.

His first 2 starts in AA have been the Dr-Jekyl and Mr.Hyde type of starts, with his first line being 6 IP, 2 Ks, 1 ER, 3 BB, and his second being 5.2 IP, 3 Ks, 7 ER, and 2 BB. We can at least say that both have been lengthy starts and that every pitcher goes through growing pains when promoted. Kenny hails from Cuba and could move into the "top 3 guys to call up if needed" category quickly if he progresses as expected. Purcey is surely next in line, along with others returning from injury, but Kenny is getting close to being next on the totem pole and should get better this season in AA.

Tolisano, Ahrens, Jackson - The Horror Trio

2B John Tolisano is the only one of 3 very high draft picks the Jays made in 2007 that seems to be displaying some parts of his potential. The 20 year old has 8 Hrs and 5 Sbs thus far, not bad for a 2nd baseman, but his .257 average leaves a lot to be desired even if it is well above what the other two are doing. Justin Jackson is hitting a lowly .228 (.178 in his last 10 games) and has no home runs to speak of. The 2007 1st round pick (45) is really disappointing and should be sent down to LoA until he finds his swing and before he needs anti-depressants. Kevin Ahrens is doing even worse for a 1st round pick (16), hitting .220 (.161 in last 10 games) with only 2 home runs on the season. What's worse is that they also lead the Dunedin team in errors, with Jackson committing 18 and Ahrens committing 11. Both Ahrens and Jackson need to be demoted, with SS Tyler Pastornicky and 3B Balbino Fuenmayor taking their places from Lansing. They need to realize that the time for them to perform and grow as players is now and also need to regain their confidence. If that means playing them against lesser competition, so be it!

SP Joel Carreno - Lansing Lugnuts

The Jays did have another SP that was very impressive on their GCL squad, so much so that they promoted him very quickly to Lansing in order to push his progression. RHP Joel Carreno was signed in 2004 (at 17) out of the Dominican Republic and was 2-0 with 12 Ks in 11 IP and only 1 ER in 2 games with Auburn. So the Jays promoted him and as of yet, he has not let them down. He has made 2 starts, pitched 11.1 innings with 10 Ks and only 3 walks, and 5 earned runs for a 3.97 ERA. He stands at 6'0" and 190 lbs and may be done growing, so will not be an imposing presence on the mound. He is only 22 and could become one to follow as he continues to prove himself in LoA ball.

SP Dave Sever - GCL Blue Jays

While looking through the GCL Blue Jays stats, the only stats that popped out at me as being impressive were those of Dave Sever, a 6'4" 195 lbs RHP. Dave will be 23 in August and so is older than most in the GCL, but his stats still allow for some projection.

In 4 games (2 starts), he has 19 IP, 21 Ks, 3 BB, 12 HA, and a 2.84 ERA.

Now I understand that it doesn't really mean much until you're able to do this in HiA, AA, or AAA, but he does have some potential and could advance before the end of the season. Yet another Jays SP prospect to keep an eye on, that's all I'm saying here.

Most likely Doc scenarios

Peter Gammons recently reported that there's about a 20% chance that Doc will be moved before the deadline. I'm not sure where he got that number from, and don't really care since he's wrong the majority of the time, but let's say he's right and that Doc isn't moved, what happens then?

Well, you end up with a bottleneck of other pitchers that return from injury and need to prove themselves before they have any trade value to go along with a ton of rookies that have proved they can pitch. Here's the "2010 Wonder List" if Doc were to stay.

1- Roy Halladay (presumably sticks around with a re-signing because he loves TO)
2- Ricky Romero
3- Shaun Marcum
4- Scott Richmond
5- Casey Janssen
6- Brian Tallet
7- Dustin McGowan
8- Jesse Litsch
9- Robert Ray
10- David Purcey
11- Bret Cecil
12- Marc Rzepczynski

Quite the bottleneck to say the least!! Now, we all know that the Jays are not trading the last 2 because they are very young, cheap, and extremely talented. We also know that Tallet can slide back into the RP role if needed, and that both Litsch and McGowan may have serious complications during the season. So in reality, it leaves an 8 man rotation that is proven, tried and true. So my question is, who do you deal in today's market? Do you try to deal Purcey, Janssen, or even Tallet? From those only Janssen and Tallet may have real value due to their pen experience, but what would you get in return? 1 or 2 semi-talented prospects?

In my opinion, the reality is that the Jays have plenty of talent to survive without Doc being in their rotation, but they would definitely miss his veteran presence and his willingness to lead the staff. If he goes, who's next in line to lead? Romero? Richmond? Not quite the veteran presence we had in mind since neither one has 2 full years of MLB experience. But, we all know JP idolizes Billy Beane and may be looking at Oakland's most recent makeover and wondering if he can replicate that in Toronto with a whole bunch of young guns that should all become #1 or #2 quality guys in the short term.

With Torii Hunter and Vlad Guerrero going on the DL and a championship in question with the rise of Texas, I'm looking more and more at the Angels getting Doc and sending some quality stuff to Toronto.

My prediciton is one of the 2 LA teams will make a play for Roy. They have the $$$, they have the talent, and both want to win it all this season.

LAA scenario:

3B Brandon Wood
OF Peter Bourjos
SP Jordan Walden
SP Manuarys Correa
1-2 more prospect

for Roy Hallday. New LAA Rotation:

Roy Halladay
John Lackey
Jered Weaver
Joe Saunders
Ervin Santana
*Matt Palmer and co as injury replacement/long relief

This move allows the Jays to go ahead and move Rolen to ST-Louis without asking for Wallace in return, possibly going after SS Pete Kozma and 1 other prospect instead. A Hill-Lind-Snider-Wood combo in the lineup for Toronto (long term) would become the heart of a great lineup and the other prospects are all impact guys, particularly Walden who could develop to be another #2 guy for the Jays very quickly. Bourjos is a prototypical leadoff guy and Correa has a great arm as well for a 19 year old. The only thing I'm not entirely sure of is whether the Jays and Angels will attempt to add a Vernon Wells for Gary Matthews aspect to the deal. This would save the Jays a ton of money, but would still be a lot of money wasted on Matthews who doesn't deserve his contract either. We will see, but if Doc is moved, I almost guarantee it will be one of the AL West teams who gets him for 4 reasons: 1) they are in a very tight and competitive division this year 2) Roy knows all AL hitters very well and would most likely waive his no trade more easily if it were for LAA or TEX 3) Both have the minors resources available to deal and 4) both are very hungry to win this year. Since I've heard that Texas has payroll issues due to ownership money being tight, I am almost ready to wager a lot of money that the LA Angels will in fact get their hands on possibly the best pitcher in all of MLB this season......if he is dealt. Big if.


Vernon Wells to the Mets?

Why can't JP concentrate on dealing Wells instead of Halladay. He'd save a lot more money, open up a spot for Snider since Rios can play center, and would be able to add at least 1 FA or 2 in the off season. The Mets wouldn't give up much due to salary implications, but have to make a move if they want to keep up with the Phillies and Marlins. Candidates in return: anyone of minimal value (pitchers and hitters). 2 B prospects would be good enough here and makes sense on both sides with all the injuries the Mets have had.

1 Run losses are killing the Jays

Small margin losses are the difference between the current losing streak(s)the Jays are experiencing and the awesome beginning to the season they had. In May and some of June, the Jays were winning these close battles and coming out on top. I'm not sure what changed, the pitching has been a little harder to get on track, but it's frustrating to see so many 1 point losses. It seems the answer may be how hard it has been for the Jays to get great performances from the starters followed by shut down performances from the pen. Either the pen has issues, or the starters don't get it done. Either way the Roy Halladay sweepstakes are well under way and I've come up with some scenarios I'd like to see happen, but they're probably pipe dreams. I do expect him to go to one of these teams:

LAA, LAD, STL, PHI, CHW, Tex (in order of likeliness)

The first 2 are obvious because they have all 4 ingredients needed. They have the money, the players to deal, the willingness to win it all at all costs, and the probability of signing Roy long term once he gets there. Both would become/remain so dominant in their divisions. ST-Louis is a wild card to me because I just don't see who they'd give the Jays. Sure they could hand out Daryl Jones, Jamie Garcia (injured), Richard Castillo, and a ton of others.....but I don't see how they have enough without including Rasmus, and I doubt they would. I expect the Cards to want Tallet instead, with Rolen a possibility to return there. Philadelphia's offer would begin with Drabek or Carrasco and their GM has said he won't deal either one of those or Dominic Brown, so scratch them out. I doubt they're hungry enough to win now that they already have 1 championship from last season. The CHW would need to start with Gordon Beckham and I can't see that happening. Maybe the Jays would take a deal similar to what they offered for Peavy, but it would take a bit more than that. Would I be happy with that if I were JP? Hell no. Neither Poreda or Richard is ever going to be a #2, nevermind a #1. If Texas finds a way to deal with its money/ownership woes, they are THE perfect fit. Neftali Feliz, Neil Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, and Manuel Pina for Wells, Overbay and Halladay. Vernon goes home and is reunited with his best friend, Michael Young. The Jays get much younger and 2 potential top 2 pitchers, as well as 3 players. Like I said, a pipe dream, but it would be fun to see Cecil, Rzep, Feliz, McGowan, Ramirez in the rotation for 2010 and beyond.


Brian Bullington dealing from the pen in AAA

Brian Bullington may prove useful at some point for the Jays and has settled in very nicely in the Las Vegas pen. His last 10 appearance have him dealing 12 innings, striking out 14 and only allowing 2 ER while walking only 3. They have also moved him into the closing role on the squad, with Brian's last 2 appearances being saves, he has 3 overall on the season. With the Jays beginning to look like laggers in the standings, they could decide to make a move or two from their pen and call up guys like Bullington and AA's Daniel Farquhar. Either way, it looks like Bullington's acquisition may have to go into the "good move" column for JP's repertoire.

Marc Rzepczynski ahead of David Purcey?

I know that the Jays want to give their young guys a chance this season, but the use of Marc Rzepczynski - who has only made 2 starts higher than AA - ahead of the experienced David Purcey, who has pitched very well of late in AAA, brings a couple of questions to mind.

1- Is it possible that the Jays want to evaluate whether or not they can expect good production from Marc in the near term, allowing them to begin negotiations to deal Roy?

2- It is also possible that they want to showcase Marc in order to deal him along with Wells in order to get rid of his ludicrous contract.

3- They may simply want someone for 1 start and want to fall back far enough in the standings so that they don't get hate mail when they deal Roy away.

Purcey's stats in AAA lately amount to (last 6 games) 29.2 IP, 24 HA, 8 ER, 16 BB and 28 Ks. To me, he seemed like the most logical choice if the Jays actually wanted to be competitive this season since he did make 12 starts for the Jays last year. Instead, they opted for the rookie - who I am very anxious to see pitch - and who along with Bret Cecil represents the future of the Jays rotation.

Kenny Rodriguez makes first AA start

RHP Kenny Rodriguez, a 24 yr old from Cuba, made the jump from HiA to AA this week and got the July 4th start for New Hampshire. While in HiA, Kenny was 6-3, with a 2.43 ERa in 66.2 IP, 56 Ha, 23 BB, and 63 Ks. In his first start in AA, he went a strong 6 IP, with 3 HA, 3 BB, 1 ER, and 2 Ks. A very encouraging beginning to his progression through the higher levels of the minors. With Marc Rzepczynski getting the start for Toronto on Tuesday, chances are Kenny is in AA to stay and Marc may go to AAA if or when he is sent down again.

Shaun Marcum starts in Dunedin!

The road to recovery took a big leap forward for RHP Shaun Marcum, who threw 3 innings in HiA Dunedin and lasted 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, no runs, no walks, while striking out 1. This is huge news for the Jays who may be looking to deal Roy Halladay if they get their asking price for him. With so many able SPs on the DL returning for 2010 - including Marcum - there's a strong chance that Jays management will force Roy to decide whether he'll sign an extension or whether he wants to be dealt. Marcum's start was very encouraging, but we'll have to see if he makes another start on schedule before getting too excited about it. Soreness usually shows up the next day, so time will tell if we can expect Marcum to return in early September or so.

I can already hear the Texas Rangers picking up the phone...."We'll begin our offer with Chris Davis, Neftali Feliz, and Neil Ramirez, and add......, so long as we get Lyle Overbay along with Roy." They Jays could leave Davis in AAA to work out his strikeout fetish and give poor Brian Dopirak a chance to prove himself in the bigs. Davis could even be used at 3B where the Jays have very little depth should Rolen get injured or also be dealt. Not only would this save the Jays a ton of money and make them much younger while they sell high on the best pitcher in franchise history (along with Tom Henke), but it would provide the Jays with a ton of talent for the long term. If the Jays dealt Roy and Lyle in a deal with Texas, they'd save 15.75m from Roy's 2010 contract and whatever an extension would cost, and 7m from Lyle's contract. These cuts are necessary when you consider that Wells has a contract jumping from 1.5m in 2009, to 12.5m in 2010, and 23m in 2011. Some of the money saved could also be used to sign big international prospect talents and other free agents once the season ends. Texas has Smoak in AAA waiting to grab 1st base, and has 5-7 very strong SP in the minors. If they feel they can make a playoff run this season, Roy's addition could cement their stake. They also have the money to sign him to an extension and can use Lyle's D at 1st base while using the oft injured Blalock as primarily a 3B/1B backup and DH.

GCL Blue Jays Update

The GCL BLue Jays are about to play their 10th game of the year, and currently sit 2nd in their division at 6-3, behind the Yankees and ahead of the following teams: Atlanta, Phillies, Tigers, and the Pirates. Their forte so far has been the pitching, led by Carlos Pina (a 19 yr old from Venezuela, 5'11", 169 lbs) and Matt Fields (a 22 yr old from the US, 6'3" 190 lbs) who have had impressive stats. Pina has already started 2 games, has thrown 12 innings with 10 HA, 0 ER, 4 BB, and 7 Ks. Fields on the other hand has been involved in 4 games but only started one and went 3 innings - he is clearly getting stretched out. He has thrown 8.2 innings, also with 7 Ks, 6 HA and 3 BB. Both of these guys have 0.00 ERAs and Fields in particular could get a shot at LoA by the time the season is well underway.

Offensively there is not much flash to speak of. SS Gustavio Pierre has a HR and a 3B to go along with his .261 AVG and the team lead in SLG with .478. The only other player on the team with a HR is 3B Matthew Nuzzo who is hitting .273 on the year so far. One interesting note so far has been 2008's 16th round pick OF Michael Crouse, who is an 18 yr old from Port Moody California. Although he is only hitting .250, he has already stolen 5 bases in 6 games, has a triple to go with these, and has walked 3 times while striking out 4 times. It seems he is fairly disciplined at the plate and at 6'4" 215 lbs at only 18 yrs of age, he has a lot of room for power growth. He may be a guy to keep an eye on for 2010 and beyond.


1B Brian Dopirak - When will he get his due promotion?

New Hampshire's 1B Brian Dopirak is tearing up AA with a .320 average and 19 HRs over his 303 ABs. With the Jays lacking power, you would think they'd be all over him and would at least test him in AAA. But no, there he sits in AA, wasting his time and power. If the Jays are going to make a run at the playoffs this year, they need all the help they can get from their minors system. Dopirak would make an excellent DH and could get his chance if Rios is traded this season - where Lind would go to the OF along with Dellucci, and Dopirak could give Overbay some days off as well. If the Jays don't give him a shot in AAA before this happens, he could be overwhelmed by the change in speed of the game and not produce as well. I say promote him now and see how well he does in AAA.

Moises Sierra back into form

Dunedin's OF Moises Sierra returned from injury recently and is back to hitting the way we know he can. His line over the last 10 games is 37 ABs, 16 hits, for .432 AVG, with a HR, a 2B and a SB. He's now hitting .325 on the season and although his power has been minimal to what is expected, he should get a shot at AA soon enough.

Trading Wells or Rios

As has been covered in the media, the chances of the Jays trading Wells and eating salary is slim to nil, so really the only trading chip the Jays have at the moment is Alex Rios. So, how much would a team be willing to pay for a guy who has 9 HRs and 13 SBs with a .260 avg over 323 ABs? It depends on whether it's a 1 for 1 deal, 1 for 2-3 deal, or whether the Jays include any other players. The best match for the Jays - the Giants.

The Jays could get a deal involving Alex Rios and ML pitcher Tim Alderson done since the Giants are looking for more offense and have plenty of SP depth in the minors to deal. Others that could be included in the deal include a RP from TOR and an OFer from SF, just to balance the deal and give the Giants a better shot at getting the wild card. I would add that a deal involving Rowand and Wells would not be out of the question, but doubt either one is headed anywhere. However, JP is on the prowl now because he wants to make sure he can sign Roy to an extension and needs the $$$ to do so. If he doesn't think he can get him signed to an extension this season and Roy indicates he only want to sign with a "winning" team, it will be sadly the time to deal him to a playoff team in return for a huge take. I'd hate to see it happen, but it would make the Jays so much better for the long term.

Lansing's Chase Lirette arrives

Selected in the 16th round of the 2006 draft, 24 year old RHP Chase Lirette played in the GCL for the Jays last season - after taking a year off due to injury - but did nothing to impress. This season is entirely different, as Chase has come on strong even if he is slightly older for LoA pitching and is showing why he may be able to make some headway. He has yet to allow more than 2 earned runs in 6 starts and has struck out 24 in 33 innings pitched while only walking 8. He is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA and could get a promotion in the near future since he has proven dominant so quickly. He's one guy to keep an eye on in Lansing and should draw some attention from BAs 2010 rankings.