There is an aspect to the "yet to be announced" deal that seems lost on many who judge the content that the Jays are getting in return.If the Jays had waited it out, not received what they wanted, or even accepted a deal from the Yankees that included only Montero and lots of lower level prospects, they would of been on the hook for a ton of money. The picks they would have claimed in the draft would have cost them:
- Bonus money of approximately $2,500,000 for the high level picks they were going to get if they didn't sign Doc;
- The development costs of them going through at least 3 levels at a minimum. All of the coaching, instruction, medical costs, insurance, ect.. I have no clue how much money can be considered the average in terms of developing a player, but I can safely guess that it's well above $1,000,000. So, if they got 2 picks for Doc, then the cost to get that player to the Jays for these costs is $2,000,000 at a minimum. If he gets hurt, has Tommy John or other type surgeries that delay his progress, it could easily double.
- So, altogether, the Jays would have to wait 3-4 years, and spend around $4,500,000 just to get the chance to see whether or not the players pan out.
- Instead, they chose to let other teams pay those costs, and sent $6,000,000 to the Phillies in order to get players they know have what it takes to play in MLB. So, in reality, they sent Doc and $1,500,000 to the Phillies in return for these more assured returns and agreed to take on the costs of developing Travis D'Arnaud.
Part 2: The Cubs
The Cubs want to get better. The Cubs need to get better. The Cubs have the biggest headache in all of MLB in Milton Bradley. Should, and this is a major should, but should Alex decide to ask the Cubs for Starlin Castro and be willing to take on the Milton Bradley headache (and possibly release him thereafter or trade him to a team some time in 2010), would the Cubs be willing to move Castro? The Jays do have some key pieces that they could offer the Cubs. I'm thinking of pen guys like Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, and also have the newly acquired Travis d'Arnaud as a trade chip. Could Alex even expand the deal to involve Vernon Wells and eat some salary, doing what some believed to be absolutely impossible?
The Cubs are desparate to get rid of Bradley. I'm thinking of something in the lines of sending to the Cubs - Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, Travis d'Arnaud, and another high ranked prospect in return for Milton Bradley and his ridiculous salary (which the Jays can afford to pay with money saved from the Doc deal), and Starlin Castro. The Jays could eventually release Milton altogether if they don't like his attitude, but either way they'd resolve their SS problem for the very long term.
The Cubs could go sign one or two FAs to replace Bradley in the OF and to help out their pitching with the money saved in a deal. They also have another 4 very highly ranked SS prospects in their system (BA ranked 5 SS in their top 10 for 2010). So, let's say they use the money (plus a little more) to sign one of Justin Duscherer, Ben Sheets, or Eric Bedard. How much better would that make the Cubs? They could add an OFer like Rick Ankiel to take over CF and provide some pop lower in the lineup, or go with Orlando Cabrera who could give them more production at SS.
Summary for the Cubs if they picked Bedard and Ankiel to sign thereafter - they give up Starlin Castro and Milton Bradley, they get Rick Ankiel to play CF and add Erik Bedard to their rotation, plus Scott Downs who can set up in their pen, Brian Tallet who can be long -relief or spot starter, Travis d'Arnaud who is a top catching prospect, and another prospect from the Jays. It's totally crazy, but it makes some sense at the same time.
It's far-fetched, but I do believe that AA will be looking to move pieces to fill the SS gap we have in the minors. Lyle Overbay or Edwin Encarnacion could be on the move very soon as well, but the Cubs are pretty well set at 1B and 3B.