It's less than a week away from the non-waiver trade deadline, and things are starting to get a little nutty cuckoo around the baseball blogosphere.
We've made an effort over the handful of years that we've been doing this to not over-exaggerate with the silly trade suggestions, in part because we figure that you could probably make that stuff up for yourself, or find another dozen blogs who will make it up for you. (Or you can read SI's Jon Heyman.) But didn't get to be The World's Most Respected Blue Jays Blog by doing what everyone else does, now did we?
(Note: We're probably not the The World's Most Respected Blue Jays Blog. It's probably some 16 year-old kid on Bleacher Report.)
For a sport whose fans and media generally demonstrate more dynamic thought processes, the trade deadline seems to herd people's opinions on trade possibilities into two simple pens: The Buyers and the Sellers. If you're "out of it", you're selling, and if you're "still in it", you're buying. If you're buying, you're bringing in big league talent, and if you're selling, you're planning for years down the road by taking a flyer on someone else's prospect. That's it, that's all, that's the axiom and you live by it.
With the Jays falling ostensibly into the Seller pen, we have to ask: Why must they move bodies, and why must this be an exercise in looking so far down the road? If other teams who are out of contention are locked into that mindset, why not capitalize on the moment and look to add a piece who will help in 2011?
We give Alex Anthopoulos full marks for already going against the grain in the Yunel Escobar deal, as we think it feeds into a swifter route to contention than the Eternal Building Process. And given the dearth of really interesting free agents in the coming off season, we'd fully advocate for the Jays to consider loading up now on players who could make them a 90+ win team next year as they cast off some players in the last years of their deals.
That doesn't mean holding onto Frasor, Downs, Buck or Overbay, nor does it mean trying to swap those pieces for MLB talent. But if someone is offering a player who still has years left on his contract (like Lance Berkman, Josh Willingham or Matt Capps), we see no reason why you'd fold up your pad folio, turn off your Blackberry and wait until the Winter Meetings to move on those players.
If the deals are out there to be made, why wait?