The end of July has finally arrived. The All-Star-Snoozefest has ended and the trade deadline is quickly approaching. The Jays are sellers once again and everything is all too normal in the Universe.
One thing, however, is different. This year, the Jays aren't heading into the trade deadline with the king of all scum (KOAS), J.P. Ricciardi, at the helm. The Jays are still sellers, but this year, there are no excuses, no lying about injuries, no family time in Worcester, Mass. This year, the king of all scum is using his stupid Boston accent to try and impregnate those who watched the Futures Game with his sickening ideas of how to build a ball club. What am I talking about? I'm glad you asked. During the Futures Game in All Star Weekend, the KOAS was asked for his top 5 farm systems in baseball. Wanna know where he ranked the Jays system? Number 5! "That's just a system with a ton of depth", he says. Really!? Before Ricciardi was fired, Sports Illustrated rated the Blue Jays as the 28th best farm system in the league. Since his firing and the Halladay deal (soon to be known as the Drabek deal), websites have ranked the Jays system anywhere from 22nd to 26th. Somebody, please get the ESPN Ombudsmen on this one. Between hiring the King of all Scum and airing The Decision, ESPN’s programming is deteriorating faster than Vernon Wells’ batting average. Hiyo!
On to bigger and better things...
This year, Alex Anthopoulos (or as I'll refer to him from now on, He Who Can Do No Wrong) is implementing a novel idea. He is not settling for 4th place in the division (gasp!). He actually is going to take some pieces, some that are overachieving and others that simply do not fit the plan for the future and turn them into pieces that do fit the plan and may have lower values than they should.
Of course, the Yunel Escobar trade is prime example of this. Alex Gonzalez is having a career year. Yunel Escobar is having his worst year to date. It’s textbook. Trade old for young; overachieving for underachieving; speaks a lot of English for speaks 11 words of English. It just works. Dividends are already showing. Not only has he hit some dingers and gotten on base, he might also create a hilarious feud between our baseball and radio commentators. Buck and Pat are in the ‘Yunel’ camp, Jerry and Alan are in the ‘Junel’ camp. Somebody start snapping dramatically. Bottom line: Good work, He Who Can Do No Wrong.
So, who else might HWCDNW trade come July 31st? Here are some prime candidates:
1. Scott Downs: Relief pitching: Everyone wants it. Long flowy black curly hair: Everyone wants it. Downs’s value couldn’t be higher. Cito has slotted him into his precious 8th inning slot and he is basically unhittable there. Of course, the ninth inning gives him some kind of panic attack where his blood pressure rises, he goes pale and poops his pants. But let’s just keep that between you, me and the other 3 readers of this blog. Should we trade him? Of course. Let’s not wait for the inevitable collapse (read: BJ Ryan, Justin Speier, JJ Putz, etc). Relievers are not long term investments. Nurture them until they hit their peak, then trade em away.
2. Jose Bautista. If you’re scoring at home, put me in the ‘keep Jose Bautista’ camp. Sure he’s having a career year, but he’s never had the chance to have a career year prior to this. He plays many defensive positions well, he is good in the club house, and he’s extremely proud to be a Blue Jay. He fits the future. He’s a keeper.
3. Lyle Overbay: My fear is that no team will be willing to take Lyle. Everyone knows Brett Wallace is waiting in the wings and that Overbay is a goner whether or not there’s a team that wants him. More likely than not, August roles around, Overbay gets claimed on waivers and traded for a low level prospect. Then, the Brett Wallace era begins. Can’t wait.
4. Jason Frasor/Kevin Gregg: Similar logic applies here as applied to Scott Downs. Relievers are replaceable. Of course, it would be sad to part ways with the tiny Frasor or the terrible Gregg. Really though, there’s not much reason to keep them. Unless of course, this convinces you.
The truth is, at this point, just about anybody could go. HWCDNW has balls. He’s not afraid to make a splash. But most importantly, he can do no wrong. Bring on the deadline.