In case you missed it, the Blue Jays and Marlins pulled off a stunner late Tuesday night. The deal is reportedly as follows...
- Josh Johnson, RHP
- Mark Buehrle, LHP
- Jose Reyes, SS
- Emilio Bonafacio, 2B
- John Buck, C
- Yunel Escobar, SS
- Henderson Alvarez, RHP
- Adeiny Hechevarria, SS
- Jake Marsinick, CF
- Justin Nicolino, LHP
- Jeff Mathis, C
- Anthony DiSciafani, RHP
Great trade for the Jays. Marlins? Eh. Seems to me they could have gotten more. I don't see any real impact players here with the possible exception of Marsinick. This deal appeared to be more about saving money than restocking young talent.
Of course, this is a Cubs website, so we'll talk about it's impact on the Cubs. On the negative side, one of Matt Garza's main suitors, the Blue Jays, are now likely off the table as a possible trade partner.
But the deal may also open up some trade possibilities for the Cub from both teams, starting with the obvious - Giancarlo Stanton. There are also other players who could become available. They are far less glamorous than Stanton but they may still be of some use to the Cubs. Here's a few of them...
From the Marlins
If the Marlins are really having a fire sale, maybe they'll make these two guys available...
- Giancarlo Stanton, OF: Yes, we'd all love to have him. He's the right age. He's a power hitter. He puts up solid walk and OBP numbers. He plays good defense. What's not to like? It's a no-brainer -- even in a package involving Javier Baez or Jorge Soler. Will that happen? Probably not. The Marlins can afford to keep Stanton for now and the cost to acquire him is likely to far exceed either player, perhaps even costing young MLB'ers like Starlin Castro, Jeff Samardzija, or Anthony Rizzo. Can the Cubs afford to give up several top prospects and/or young players for one guy, albeit a very good one at this stage of their rebuilding? I'm inclined to say no, but I would certainly call and find out the cost. It can't hurt. The guess here, however, is that the cost will be prohibitive to a rebuilding team and will clean out a nice chunk of what the Cubs worked hard to build the last two years. But we can still dream, right?
- Ricky Nolasco, RHP: Nolasco is a solid 3rd or 4th starter for the Marlins. He's averaged 3.25 WAR over the past four years, including a solid 2.7 last season. He's still only 29. He doesn't walk hitters (2.1 per 9 IP in his career) and he has solid stuff across the board. The reason the Marlins would consider trading him is money. He makes $11.5M next year, probably more than a team with money issues and ready to challenge the Houston Astros as the worst team in baseball should be willing to pay for a mid-rotation workhorse.
- (UPDATE): Since so many have asked about Logan Morrison, I'll address him as well. He is definitely on the market and he has three things that appeal to the Cubs: a LH bat, some power, and solid plate discipline. That said, I don't think he's a fit unless the Cubs manage to unload Alfonso Soriano. He cannot play CF. Heck, he can barely play LF and he just had knee surgery two months ago. He's a defensive liability anywhere except 1B, but that spot is taken, of course. If the Cubs trade Soriano, I'll change my mind and would be willing to live with some subpar defense in LF as long as Marlins are selling low. But until then, he's not a fit.
From the Jays
Not much star power here, but there are some useful parts and intriguing arms that can play a role and possibly turn into something worthwhile. All of these players are out of options and the Jays will not have room for all of them...
- Brett Cecil, LHP: Cecil has never quite lived up to his promise and throws a little less hard than he did in his rookie season, but he's a lefty with an 88-92 mph fastball and solid secondaries, particularly his curve. Cecil could benefit from a fresh pair of coaching eyes and a change of scenery. At 26 years old, he has yet to enter his peak years. May be worth a flyer.
- Jeremy Jeffress, RHP: Recently acquired from the Royals, the Jays may not be able to hang on to him. Jeffress throws very hard, able to reach the upper 90s and averaging around 95 and combines it with a big breaking curve. He has lightning in his arm, but he just doesn't know where it's going most of the time. A project, but one with a lot of upside if he learns command. He''s had makeup concerns in the past.
- Sergio Santos, RHP: Santos came out of nowhere to save the White Sox bullpen two years ago. He was traded to the Blue Jays the next year and promptly blew out his arm. He pitched just 5 innings in the majors last year. When healthy he combines a mid to upper 90s fastball with a hard slider that was often his out pitch. If Santos is healthy, he's a potential closer if the Cubs decide to trade Marmol. Control and command can be an issue but perhaps he can build enough value to be a trade chip later.
- Esmil Rogers, RHP: Similar in stuff and command to Santos. Rogers is another power pitcher with a 94-97 mph fastball and a nasty slider. He put up a 4.59 ERA last year but his FIP was more than a full point lower. Like Santos, his control can be spotty, however, and that may dissuade the Cubs, who have enough of their own hard throwing fastball/slider types with poor command.
- Luis Perez, LHP: Perez has good stuff for a lefty, able to reach the mid 90s and miss bats (8.37 Ks/9 IP). Finished with a solid 3.43 ERA last season. His control is a little better than the two RH relievers ahead of him on this list, but nobody is going to be calling him "the left-handed Greg Maddux" anytime soon.
- Cory Wade, RHP: At 29, Wade could be a younger version of Shawn Camp. He's not going to overwhelm you with his stuff. He relies on location and changing speeds, but he does it quite well, walking just 2.08 batters per 9 IP in his career, including just 1.85 last season. He also had his best year as far as strikeouts, averaging almost one per inning. Wade had a ghastly 6.46 ERA after putting just a 2.08 ERA before. But that 2012 ERA was partially inflated by a very low strand rate (59%), a high BABIP (.328), and a little less luck with flyballs leaving the yard. His xFIP was a very respectable 3.65. Could be cheap and he throws strikes.
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