Bautista Paradox at the Deadline
The trading deadline passed with surprising quiet for the Jays, an also-ran team with several interesting parts to sell.
For fans dreaming of a huge windfall in exchange for MLB home run leader Jose Bautista, that was never in the cards. Other teams can't take the chance that this is a fluke season for a 29-year-old journeyman who's never approached his current level of play. The Jays, meanwhile, have stumbled upon a cheap masher who is a plus defender at two positions, so they're not about to give Bautista away. Combine the two positions, and it was extremely unlikely that anyone was going to pay what was undoubtedly a steep asking price.
As for the relievers, both Scott Downs and Jason Frasor qualify as Type A free agents, so if they walk away at the end of the season, the Jays qualify for draft pick compensation. Sure, every team with a reliever to sell would like to make the Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell deal and flip 22 innings pitched for 449 homers and a Hall of Famer. Of course those deals are relatively rare, proof of which lies in the fact that we're still talking about the Andersen-Bagwell deal 20 years after its consummation.
John Buck qualifies as a Type-B free agent, which would still land the Jays a later draft pick.
Clearly, Alex Anthopoulos would rather have a hand in drafting his own prospects than taking those being offered by other clubs. Plus, he now has the flexibility to bring Downs or Frasor back, should he so choose. Neither should prove terribly expensive and both would be solid contributors to an ever-improving young team.
Labels: Anthopoulos, trade deadline