The word is out there still that the A’s are in need of another infielder with the ilk of a Yunel Escobar or Stephen Drew or even Jimmy Rollins. From listening to the Jays radio broadcast today, it occurred to me that the A’s and Jays can perhaps deal from a position of strength to help meet each other’s needs. The A’s have an excess of pitching especially when Dallas Braden & Brett Anderson get back, and Toronto has a shortstop in waiting down on the farm in Adeiny Hechavarria. These two teams can actually help each other out and make themselves better!! It’s also exactly the kind of win-win scenario that Alex Anthopoulos is so accustomed to doing. Every deal he makes, there’s a perceived ‘win’ on the other side, and that is precisely the recipe for success when making trades.
Think about this open-mindedly. The Athletics currently have Anderson making his second rehab start today. Braden threw a bullpen session on Tuesday but has yet to throw to live batters. These two pitchers are going to be back in the big leagues soon enough and could help a team down the stretch. Anderson is owed $5.75 million next year, then has two team options for $8 million & $12 million the following two years. Braden is arbitration eligible next year before he becomes a free agent. We first heard these Escobar rumours July 16th and we keep on hearing rumblings from Joel Sherman that the Jays have soured on him. I think Anderson may be what Anthopoulos is waiting for; he’s just wants to ensure that he’s healthy enough before he makes this deal.
As for the Blue Jays, everyone knows Hechavarria is going to play his position in the field without any problem. The question is his bat, but as I wrote about Escobar here, Hechavarria probably has a decent chance to meet or exceed what Yunel is currently producing this year. So if Toronto can get another controllable pitcher on the roster through this kind of deal, they have to strongly consider it.
Let’s look at Toronto’s pitching staff for 2013 taking into account that Drabek won’t be healthy until mid-year, and no body knows how Hutchison will bounce back from his injury.
- ??? (Cecil, Laffey, McGowan, a free agent?)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Brett Anderson slot in behind Morrow moving Alvarez and Happ down to spots #4 and #5 respectively? I think that would be a marvellous plan providing the Jays with another good front of the rotation type of pitcher.
The question is though whether the A’s or Blue Jays would make this kind of deal. They’re both vying for those wild card spots, however the A’s will get, hypothetically, a boost in their offence while the Jays will get a controllable pitcher that can help them this season with their starting staff. Money is also a wash since Escobar and Anderson are nearly earning the same amount in 2013. Concerns are obviously that neither Anderson or Braden has been tremendously healthy in the past as both pitchers have just once made 30 starts in a year.
Look, maybe this deal doesn’t get done either. I’m sure Oakland is considering its options as well since they were supposedly in the hunt for Hanley Ramirez, and perhaps they view Anderson an upgrade over what they currently have in their rotation. At least it’s an idea worth considering which I’m sure AA, the Silent Assassin, and his goonies have done.
Images courtesy of DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO; Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images