One quick note about the growing cacophony of Blue Jays trade noise: we must temper our expectations. I said as much in the comments below Stoeten's excellent post yesterday - the haul for Jose Bautista will fall far, far short of your hopes and dreams.
Imagine, for a second, the Jays played in the AL Central and were nipping at the heels of the division leaders (stay with me). Needing one extra bat, the Pirates call up offering the services of Garrett Jones - an unproven commodity putting together a monster season. Would you give up Brett Cecil to chase the division title? Henderson Alverez? Shaun Marcum? No. Chance.
It doesn't take a very long memory to recall the major pieces exchanged for three of the best pitchers in baseball over the past few years: Matt LaPorta, Brett Wallace, Justin Smoak.
Translation: what the Jays get back for Jose Bautista is going to underwhelm you completely. The name won't come from one of KLaw's or Baseball America's top 100 lists, unless the GM in question is completely out to lunch.
The other, much more Canadian, side of this debate runs consistent with a twitter exchange I had with the fine purveyor of Canaball.com this morning. The comment linked is in reference to a rumored offer of Scott Downs for either Jesus Montero or Casey Kelly. If the Jays were close, would you trade a controllable impact bat for a relief pitcher, no matter how good? Unlikely.
While "the American media" bogyman and/or bogymen certainly underrate the abilities of Scott Downs; making big league trades is pretty delicate, with so many optic concerns and moving pieces. Snowing a big league GM, especially given AA's reputation for snowing GMs, is increasingly unlikely. It sucks but it is true.
If, from the other side, Alex Anthopoulos made any of the deals we're shocked and appalled to hear bounced around, we'd call for his head. The market for a 30 year old slugger — one is clearly and undeniably awesome — does not stand to materialize in a way that will satisfy anybody. The lack of a big name will disappoint those in the "his value will never be higher" camp, the same lack of a big name will crush the "don't trade him, he's all we've got" camp.
As for the "sign him to a team-friendly three year deal" people, I don't know what to tell you. Decline phase isn't anything to mess with. 32 year old sluggers hanging on to old player skills aren't really friendly, more molestey than anything.
Image courtesy of Flikr user Paulo Brandao