Will the Jays Move Pitching at the Deadline?

One day after pitcher Jason Frasor became the Toronto Blue Jays all-time leader in appearances, passing Duane Ward, there is speculation that teams around Major League Baseball are interested in the reliever and some of his bullpen team-mates.

The St.Louis Cardinals are interested in Frasor, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel. The Cardinals have the third highest bullpen ERA in the National League and sit only a half game behind Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.

Cardinal’s set-up man Eduardo Sanchez is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder and Brian Tallet is not expected back until late July at the earliest with a right intercostal strain. After releasing Ryan Franklin earlier this season, the Cardinals found a diamond in the rough to close out games in the form of Fernando Salas, but the bullpen still needs an upgrade.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was recently asked about the upcoming trade deadline. He had the following to say: “Every GM is in trade mode, if you want to call it that.” “That’s not always the case at certain times of the year. I find that exciting because you know there are opportunities to make trades.” “At this point, though, [it’s the] middle of July and I don’t think we’re close to doing anything. If I had to handicap it right now, I’d say I don’t expect us to do anything, but that could change quickly and I hope I’m wrong.”

In order for Anthopoulos to trade away one of his veteran relievers he would need to be ensured that the return would surpass that of a supplementary round draft selection in next year’s entry draft. All four relievers project as Type B free agents, which means that if they leave Toronto for another team via free agency after the season is complete, Toronto will earn the draft pick compensation.

Dotel is the wildcard in the acquision. In order for the Jays to collect draft pick compensation for the reliever he would need to be offered salary arbitration. The chance of Dotel accepting the arbitration offer is high due to his age and the possibility that no other team will sign him in the off-season. This means if Toronto was going to deal away a reliever, Dotel is the most likely candidate.

The return for the 37-year old Dotel would not replicate what the Pirates received for him at last season’s deadline (James McDonald and Andrew Lambo), but perhaps the Jays could pick up some depth at the second base position. Aaron Hill’s time in a Blue Jays’ uniform may be up by the end of this season if his 2012 club option is not picked up and with the season Hill is having thus far (.230, 4HR, 37RBI), one can assume it will not be. The Cardinals are deep at the Double-A level with Eric Duncan (.274, 11HR, 38RBI) and Jose Garcia (.326, 3HR, 30RBI, 13SB) and the Jays could add to their second base depth which features Ryan Schimpf and a possible transition of Adeiny Hechavarria from shortstop.

Published by Suite 101

Published article link: http://www.suite101.com/content/will-the-jays-move-pitching-at-the-deadline-a380397

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