When I first looked at Bautista's hot September, the conclusion wasn't "JoeBau is lucky and without skill", it was more "he's good at one thing in particular, a skill possessed by many professional baseball players. That he can hit a fastball is nice, but not especially unique or noteworthy." I tried to show that — as with many miraculous months of September — bad or inexperienced pitchers serve up juicy meatballs that a not-quite league average guy like Jose Bautista jumps all over.
Remember the difference between my interpretation of Randy Ruiz's month and the other dudes (EE, BAS) was the quality and variety of pitches taken deep. Unfortunately for everyone, Randy Ruiz now appears to audition for his ongoing employment with every swing, resulting in some pretty ugly but mercifully short at bats.
Fast forward to today and Jose Bautista cannot be stopped. Suddenly the Jays have versatile Three True Outcome monster that isn't afraid to knock 450 foot dingers into the second deck, like a shittier American League version of Mark Reynolds. He's swinging a hot bat and playing
ap·pre·ci·a·tion [uh-pree-shee-ey-shuhn] –nounHeck yeah, Jose Bautista's hot streak might just create a tidy little trade market for the valuable slugger*. Fangraphs (somewhat inevitably, real life delayed this post while Dave Cameron fired off two posts. FML) pointed out both Jose's potential trade value and (hyperbole alert) his opportunity to be this year's Ben Zobrist! Unfortunately it takes two teams to dance, so who might benefit from some hot BAS in their lives?
1. gratitude; thankful recognition: They showed their appreciation by giving him a gold watch.
2. the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.
3. clear perception or recognition, esp. of aesthetic quality: a course in art appreciation.
4. an increase or rise in the value of property, goods, etc.
5. critical notice; evaluation; opinion, as of a situation, person, etc.
6. a critique or written evaluation, esp. when favorable.
Handing the job to young Brandon Wood seemed like a good idea on paper, in fact it IS a good idea. Which is exactly why Mike Scioscia likely pines for a veteran guy who can play multiple positions. The Angels minor league system isn't much better off than the Jays. Fireballing reliever Kevin Jepsen is a high-ceiling power arm with command issues. AA seems bullish on that type, the Angels prefer proven guys in their bullpen.
Ole Chip is nearing the end of his impressive career, even more impressive when you consider he managed not to shoot himself on his countless hunting excursions. The Braves aren't quite rebuilding but replacing their aging pieces one by one. A team with a glut of young pitching, I'm sure Bobby and friends could cough up something worthy Bautista. Hey, they could always package Eric Hinske and Troy Glaus.
Geez, the Mariners are turrible! They can't score runs to save their lives. The final act of the Jose Lopez experience is almost to curtain. The M's need an infusion of pop, even if they must sacrifice their precious run prevention.
The Mariners system is a little skimpy, maybe the Jack Z could trade one of his bullpen arms? Looks like the guy they picked up in off season —I think his name is League?— is off to a slow start. I bet they'd totally part with him. That guy might fit well as a Blue Jay.
Nick Punto? Brendan Harris? Are you kidding me? Jose Bautista can bunt if you really ask him nicely? He'd fit in nicely with all the left handed power kicking around that snow-choked tundrahole.
The Twins lack both "high upside prospects" and "a roster capable of winning any other division in baseball:, so the pickings are slim. Maybe their sick of J.J. Hardy already, though where would he play? Matt Guierrer is pretty awesome, though bullpen arms are hardly worthy trade pieces. Especially 31 year old pitchers with declining strikeout numbersDAMMITT my nerdiness ruins my own damn game.
* - Upselling!
Image courtesy of Bautista Appreciation Society founder Ian Hunter