Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quick Trade Reaction

As you should all know by now, the Jays have trade Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes for Esmil Rogers. After spending so much time pondering whether Aviles was a good return for a manager or not, what do we make of this?

My first reaction was that this trade was kinda a head-scratcher. After the disappointment that were weren't getting Pedroia for Farrell faded away, I think many of us had sorta come to like Aviles. He offered the team some insurance at 2B in case they couldn't come up with something better, and at the very least he filled a hole that the team had: utility infielder. He was set to either be a serviceable starter at 2B, or a great utility/bench guy, which we were coming to think was actually quite valuable. Even though they don't contribute much in terms of WAR, a good utility guy like Aviles allows the Jays to rest Escobar and whoever the starting 2B is if need be, and that could preserve them over the course of the year. It's likely that at least some of the struggles of Escobar and Kelly Johnson this past year were due to the fact that Farrell didn't feel comfortable letting them rest for an extended period of time when they needed to and replacing them with Omar Vizquel.

Furthermore, I figured the Jays had pretty much already set their bullpen for next year, with Jansen, Oliver, Lincoln, Santos and Delebar already there, and Cecil or Loup available to be the second lefty, plus it seemed they were going to go after either Frasor or Lyon to fill out the pen. The pen seemed like an area of depth rather than an area of need.

That being said, the more I think about it, I think this deal is a win for the Jays. They get an arm with a lot of potential who is cheaper than Aviles and has two more years of control. As valuable as Aviles could have been from the bench, at the end of the day a bench player is a bench player. In the heirarchy of players, relievers are ahead of bench players in importance, and any time you can swap a player of less importance for one of more importance, it's usually a good move to do so. Having Rogers in the pen for 4 years without having to pay much is much better than needing to spend $4-5M on a less talented, more short term and older option like Frasor or Lyon. Plus, if the Jays do find themselves with a surplus of great bullpen arms, they can always be used as trade bait. There are more teams out there looking for bullpen help than utility infield help. If that extra $4M can be spent towards acquiring a better 2B than Aviles would have been, then it's really all for the best.

- Martin

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