Is it just us, or has the trade deadline speculation just blown right the fuck up in the past 24 hours.
As Blairsy might say: "Geeeeezzusss!"
There we were, feeling all nice and cozy after Alex "Not Beeston's Intern!" Anthopoulos pulled off the commendable swap with the Braves to bring in Yunel Escobar at a bargain basement price. It was like the time that we found a copy of Shattered Glass for $1 at a bargain store. (A loonie? To watch Peter Saarsgard seethe for two hours in a way that no American actor has seethed in two generations? Fuck yes! Please!)
Sorry, lost the train of thought for a second.
The Jays could very well pack up their bags and figure that they've added what could be a very nice, cheap and controllable piece that should be here when they evolve into a dependable 90+ win team. A nice year's work, and we can all be happy.
But at the same time, we feel like Alex is playing with the house's money: He brought in John Buck and Alex Gonzalez as essentially disposable assets. If either of them had flopped, the Jays could have paid them out through the year and walked away with nary another thought. But both turned out better than anyone could have expected, and both might bring back some tangible assets by the end of July.
Moreover, the moves that are being suggested for players like Scott Downs, Lyle Overbay, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg and John Buck don't feel like a clearing of the decks from a (excuse the Hillenbrandism) sinking ship. They feel like rational exchanges of sought after resources. This isn't a couple of teams stepping in to take your best player for some magic beans and a low-A ball LOOGY. No matter what the fuck Jon Heyman is on about.
(And speaking of Heyman: Can we just echo Stoeten's line yesterday that he's probably just making shit up, or developing really crappy sources? Because the amount of horseshit that came from his general direction last year through the Halladay mess should be enough to disabuse you of any sense that he's plugged into any real discussions that are going on.)
In pursuit of JoBau
There's seemingly been a lot of tire kicking on José Bautista, and given his stature as the Home Run King of the Major Leagues at this point, it stands to reason.
(Speaking of which: Wouldn't it be awesome if the league leader in home runs got to wear a yellow jersey like they do in the Tour de France, or a golden helmet like they do in the Finnish hockey league. Bautista in a golden helmet would make all the kids happy, and in 15 years when he came back to visit Toronto after concluding his Hall of Fame career, they could give away a JoBau Bobblehead with him wearing the Golden Batting Helmet. Cool.)
We're really of two minds on Bautista at this point. The first thought we have is that he is a very useful and productive piece, and that the Jays have him under control for one more season. And in spite of some notion floated yesterday by Buster Onley that his arbitration number will have eight digits in it, we'd figure that a 40 homer 100 RBI season will still land him less than $7 million, which still fits in the budget.
The other side is that maybe the shiny brilliance that comes along with three months at the top of the home run leaderboard is something on which you've got to capitalize as it is still burning bright, because harvesting the afterglow isn't going to bring you as much back in return.
The trade off, we suppose, is that it seems as though you might have a pretty good shot at two compensatory picks if JoBau can keep this pace up through the balance of this season and most of the next. So whatever you get for him would have to be better than that.
In his chat on MLB Trade Rumo(u)rs yesterday, Tim Dierkes figured that of the Jays' trade targets, Downs, Frasor and Gregg will go before the deadline, while Lylo will go afterwards through waivers and Bautista will stay put. We think that sounds perfectly acceptable to us.
Wait a second...
Did we just buy in to the Eternal Building Process? Damn you, Handsome Tony Viner. Did you use some Inception-style tactics to plant these seeds subconsciously? You are as sagacious and savvy as you are fragrantly pulchritudinous.