Note to the reader: This is your market update and it is not brought to you by Buster Olney or Jon Morosi.
Cam Lewis also known as the great Don Johnson over at Blue Jays Nation wrote an article, which examines the shape of the MLB market as the trade deadline approaches. He uses the recent trades involving the D-Backs and Tigers and the Yankees and White Sox as a way to measure out what exactly is happening and where the value is for the buyers and sellers this season.
It really comes down to a little business 101. And most certainly after reviewing the trades that were made on Tuesday, it’s easy to see that this is a buyers market as Cam Lewis notes in his MLB market gaze:
The market for position players are virtually non-existent right now. Really, the market seems to be heavily favouring the buyer. That might change as we get closer to the deadline, but as of right now, it isn’t costing contending teams very much to make major upgrades.
And as of right now that is a fair assessment to make. Now, could it change? Sure, it really all depends on the end-user, but it certainly isn’t a volatile market right now. However, by the time the closing bell sounds anything is possible and it will all depend on how a GM evaluates the standard deviation of return on the investment.
Now where the market currently is with time still on the buyers’ side, it seems as though position players can come at a relatively reasonable price. And it’s rather interesting because the stock just doesn’t seem to be high in that current sector as Lewis notes:
J.D. Martinez, a very, very good player, returned virtually nothing of consequence. If you thought Jose Bautista was going to net the Blue Jays something good on the trade market, this should tell you otherwise. Obviously the deal split that South Side Sox put together isn’t perfect and that surely isn’t how it actually went down, but it also shows how little value Frazier, a struggling player with a track record, has right now.
And there you have it, as this seems to be where the value is at for these types of players and it certainly does make sense, doesn’t? Every person out there knows that gold has the highest value and now this is analogous with bullpen pitchers in the MLB as well.
Bullpen pitchers are gold. And we all know that gold is king. So what does all this mean? Well, it means that for Toronto fans who only look at the pie-in-the-sky may have to rethink there Blue Jays retool thoughts and understand the value in holding onto assets at this time, as Mr. Lewis shares some thoughts, of which, I have felt all along too:
This also brings me to Josh Donaldson’s market. Many have suggested the time is now to trade Donaldson because he’ll have more value for two playoff runs rather than one. Obviously that makes a lot of sense, but judging by how teams seem to be skittish on position players right now, it’s best to wait until the offseason.
This has always seemed like the logical thing to do, as it would be best to wait until the offseason. Now, I think that the value for a player like Josh Donaldson will be much higher during the offseason and he could be a good piece for some teams out there who want to possibly speed up their rebuild process.
Now, of course, we all know that there will be a conversation that will take place between Josh Donaldson and the Toronto FO to see if he’s interested in extending his time here in Toronto and I don’t think that any decision will be made by the FO until that conversation is had. So I think that it’s safe to say that Josh Donaldson will be a Blue Jay when the trade deadline passes, as he should be because holding onto that stock will benefit the team moving forward for now.
But the interesting thing is that since the game has changed and the bullpen has become one of, if not, the most important piece to building a World Series team (as witnessed by all Blue Jays fans during the 2015 ALCS against the Royals and 2016 ALCS against Cleveland), it’s clear why these trade chips hold as much value as gold in the MLB right now, and Lewis examines this trending market:
The most interesting thing here, I figure, is how much Kahnle was able to return. Though Robertson and Frazier are the bigger names in the deal, it seems that Kahnle was the player that the Yankees were willing to pay a high price for. That, along with what Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, and others have garnered recently, suggests that if the Jays are actually going to go the rebuild route next year, Roberto Osuna would be able to net them a massive package in return.
And it’s impossible to argue against that, isn’t it? Now, do I like it? Absolutely not. I would like to believe that Osuna/Sanchez/Stroman and even Josh Donaldson will be the core that the FO will build from, but when it comes to business it’s best to make the right move and invest in the right stocks for the future.
Now, if the FO thinks Osuna’s value is worth more to Toronto’s organization than what teams offer for him, he will remain a Blue Jay this year and next and hopefully for years to come. So, the way I see it, if you have real gold, why trade it for the hope of more gold. However, if the prospect gold that would come back in return is what can bring this city the Golden flags in the Vlad/Bichette future years to come, do you do it?
The thing is this, I most definitely want to see all of the players mentioned above be Blue Jays moving forward with the organization, but at the end of the day, what’s best for the organization is what is most important, so who knows where the Blue Jays go from here.
… But I read something interesting from Andrew Stoeten who typed up some thoughts, which I’m sure were possibly hard for him to press the keys on when he wrote this:
And Drew Pomeranz (who is not as good as either Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman) had two-plus years left when the Red Sox acquired him last July, sending Anderson Espinoza — an excellent prospect at the time, who ranked 24th on the 2016 mid-season top 50 at Baseball Prospectus — to the Padres in return.
Espinoza is maybe a cautionary tale at this point, as he hasn’t pitched yet this season due to injury. And even if the Jays did trade one of their two starters for someone like him, they’d be doing so only in the hope that he turns out as good as Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez, which… doesn’t sound great. But on the other hand, Espinoza is hardly a bust yet, and in such a scenario the Jays would be gaining six years of team control — practically seven if you manipulate it right — as opposed to two for the player they’re dealing away (plus one in a season they would have already deemed a waste). And those six years would line up a whole lot more closely with the paths that guys like Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are on than would the two years of Stroman or Sanchez.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
And there’s nothing wrong with just saying - that's for sure. The reality is that these are real thoughts and possibilities. Everything has to make sense for today and tomorrow and what that sense is will continue to be a moot topic. I’m just glad that I don’t have to make the final decisions.
So where do the Blue Jays go from here? That’s a damn good question. What do you think?