Monday, July 26, 2010
The Diamondbacks Just Sucked all the Fun out of the Trade Deadline
The very loud internet buzzing around the Blue Jays, both this week and last, is all about trades. Who goes, who stays, who cares? Obviously, hardcore fans live and die with the various (empty) rumors exploding from twitter. Usually without merit, it sure is fun to get all excited for future rosterbation. Sadly, most of the twitter bulletins are more along the lines of "Heard this: the Dora the Explorer theme song is catchier than Tijuana VD1."
Two separate events figure to deprive Jays fans from squealing with delight this deadline, I fear. Both of these things center around GMs not wanting to look like idiots; I can't say that I blame them as usually costs them their job in the aftermath. Firstly: Alex Anthopoulos is getting a reputation as a pickpocket. No over matched GM clinging to wins and ERA wants a free trip to the cleaners on the Blue Jays team bus.
Which brings us to the debacle in the desert. The D-Backs haul for Dan Haren is, at best, pathetic. Stockpiling left-handed strike throwers as the Snakes may be, it doesn't change the fact that they get a left-handed fifth starter for a top-line pitcher with two manageable years remaining on his existing contract. Consider the savage beatings handed out in the press (free of charge!) to the AZ front office; many other teams stand to take a step back and reconsider their actions.
It seems like a cyclical thing: prospects and young players are coveted out of fear of giving away too much. The market dries up, somebody overpays, the flood gates open. Then the prices drop again and an alert GM thieves his way into a tidy haul. Consider this Haren trade the soap dropping in the GM prison shower - all the buttocks are clenching and nobody plans to give it up for free.
This doesn't bode well for a team shopping middle relievers and one-year wonders. I don't think the Jays would trade Jose Bautista for anything. The desired haul for Scott Downs is a good place to start, since his Type A designation gives the Jays all kinds of leverage. Alex Anthopoulos seems smart enough to not worry about the silly "don't trade within your division" thinking as Downs' A status means a team like Yankees or Red Sox would be unlikely to re-sign him anyway. Frasor, Camp, Janssen are all nice arms but limited upside, in my mind, have a much greater impact on the type of farmhand offered in return.