Friday, 27 April 2012
Stark: Jays Diligently Searching
Preface: Small sample alert, and a bunch of baseless speculation. A dangerous combination.
A nice fresh piece of stuff comes from Jayson Stark at ESPN. He starts with a little soothing relaxation about the Orioles' series before sneaking a quick little tidbit in about Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays' front office plans going. Stark comments that this is a team to watch out for, even after a garbage three game set in Baltimore, and that they're "hunting diligently for another masher and another top-of-the-rotation arm." I touched on this last week, but I kinda call bullshit here.
I think we all know by now that AA isn't going to freak out about anything after 19 games, positively or negatively, about his team or any other (i.e. the Boston Red Sox' slow start and injury situation).
Moreover, I think any available pitcher or masher that makes a proper fit for this organization was already traded (or extended, in the case of John Danks) this past offseason, with the exception of Matt Garza. Trading Garza at this point in the season doesn't really make a whole lot of sense for the Cubs, since they'll probably get the same(ish) return at or around the trade deadline anyway.
It's mostly a thinking-out-loud kind of thing, but I'm wondering if the fact that both the Yankees and Red Sox have worries going forward might change anything. The Red Sox don't have much of a rotation behind Jon lester, they have both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford out for the foreseeable future, and have gotten a Rauchian performance out of their bullpen so far, but it's still easy to suggest that we don't overreact because there are other teams still hanging around, and the Red Sox can still bounce back (they're only like 3 games back with 143 to play). But uh, what if the Yankees can't hang either?
Obviously we're not going to write the Yankees out after 19 games, especially when they've looked pretty good so far against every team that isn't the Texas Rangers, but suddenly, with the news of Michael Pineda being out for the rest of the year, the Yankees have a pretty scary situation brewing in their rotation, especially if another injury occurs.
With two big bats out of the Red Sox lineup, and a questionable rotation in New York (and some shaky business going on with the Angels, by the way), could AA being looking around just in case nobody picks up their socks? Like I said, I doubt anybody is really ready to pull the trigger on dealing away an impact bat or front-end pitcher at this point in the season, so I wouldn't expect anything to happen for a little while anyway, but if the Red Sox, Yankees and Angels are all taking a step back relative to where we thought they would be, the Jays could certainly threaten for the wild card with another piece or two.
I think AA's plan would involve a guy that they can stick in to the lineup for a couple of years, as opposed to a 1-year rental guy, so the whole Red Sox/Yankees/wild card thing might not even matter as far as this trade thing goes, but I think the point still stands. AA is always looking around, whoring himself out for value anyway, so he could totally just be scouring the market for anything useful as he typically would, and someone just happened to notice and monger a rumor, but it's definitely something worth thinking about.
(And yes, I do realize that irony of talking about playoffs immediately after making two posts that talk about how disappointed I am with the team after the last three days, so don't bother.)