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Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jays With Under-the-Radar Interest In J.D. Martinez, And A Whole Lot More: Heyman

Jon Heyman pumping up the market for a Scott Boras client? Colour me shocked!

But colour me also intrigued by his latest for Fan Rag, in which he claims that it’s the Jays who are “an under-the-radar team with interest in J.D. Martinez, as was mentioned here first.”

I cannot possibly actually believe it would ever happen, and I’d think that this is much more likely a whisper designed to get the process moving in Boston, Arizona, or San Francisco — which is where it seems far more likely Martinez will land — but since we don’t have a hell of a lot else to talk about out here, sure! Why not? Let’s entertain this!

I mean, signing Martinez to the kind of deal that it will require to get him would blow what we believe is left in the Jays’ budget, and still leave holes elsewhere on the roster, but a) perhaps there’s an influx of cash coming (though I wouldn’t hold my breath on that), and b) maybe the market is narrowing so much, with some teams taking a step back and others refusing to exceed the luxury tax threshold with a view to being big spenders next winter, that a team like the Jays can take advantage.

It’s doubtful that will be the case with Martinez, I think, but there are certainly other names out there that could be had for less than they deserve, allowing the Jays to take advantage of the utter shittiness of the players’ economic standing in the game right now. (Hooray artificially dampened labour costs! We’re totally not ghouls at all!)

For example:

Heyman writes that he doesn’t see Cain as a fit for the Jays, though “they’d consider” him, because “they don’t really have a center field need since they have Kevin Pillar.” But if you can move Pillar, that certainly could make sense — with his $4.0 million arbitration projection for 2018, and Anthony Alford coming, it’s not too difficult to see him as a non-tender candidate next winter, especially if the defence doesn’t bounce back to 2015-16 levels, so maybe it’s best to try to move him now (though you’d run into the same issue marketing him as Cain’s having) — or you could simply put Cain in a corner spot and still have a significant upgrade.

We shall see! But the Jays’ biding their time here this winter, uh… might be working? (Again “working” in the sense that they’re taking advantage of a shitty situation for players created by levers in the most recent CBA, which is actually not a good thing to see.)

Meanwhile, Heyman name checks a few of the usual suspects for the Jays, drops in this gem “Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette give the Jays one of the best-hitting one-two prospect punches in years” (yowza!), and then offers up a name the Jays might be interested in that we haven’t heard too much as yet: the Padres’ Brad Hand.

Hand is a spectacular reliever (worth 3.2 fWAR over the last two seasons, ERAs of 2.92 and 2.16, K/9s over 11), who is left-handed, just 27 years old, controllable for two more years, and projected to make just $3.8 million in arbitration for 2018. He’s a pretty big asset for San Diego, especially given the going rate of relief pitching, so it would certainly cost the Jays a lot, but he would give the club a very low-key great bullpen, I think. If the Jays could streamline their big league roster a bit by moving a piece from there, and/or flip some one of their less great prospects to make it happen, sure! Let’s say the Padres, who for some reason keep being linked to first basemen, even though it would mean sending Wil Myers back to the outfield, want to take Kendrys Morales, plus a prospect, plus money from the Jays? Sign me up. I don’t imagine the Padres would want anything to do with a deal like that — or couldn’t do better — but I dunno, maybe they really like Conner Greene!

With so much still left to do, we’ve got to believe at least something’s going to happen. Even if, y’know, it’s probably not going to be any of this!

  • mtg11

    Why is it so bad that teams haven’t been racing to sign free agents in the past two off seasons? I find it kind of strange that you would feel bad for these players. If they are good enough, they’ll all get contracts. Contracts that will allow them to provide for their families for generations.

    • Seriously? Because the billionaire owners then get to pocket even more of the money generated by the players’ labour. “Contracts” aren’t good enough — they should be getting every penny they’re worth, and they’re not.

      • The Humungus

        Right, but the MLBPA agreed to this, so the players and Tony Clark aren’t completely lacking in fault for the salary suppression that’s currently happening to all players over 30

      • mtg11

        Haha! You’re talking like the players are slaves. They are better compensated for their trade than you or I ever will be. If they don’t like the millions of dollars they’re being paid, maybe they should go back to school to better their chances for a financially rewarding profession. Oh, wait…they are the 1%

        • DAKINS

          So you would be cool with being paid only 1/10th of what your actual value is, just because it’s enough to put food on the table? You actually think you would be ok leaving money on the table, knowing that your actual value is much higher than what your paycheck reflects?

          I guess it helps you sleep at night to know that you are contributing extra money to your employer.

          You are a better person than I.

  • Mule or etc...

    Kevin Pillar has been the Jays second best position player by fWAR over the past three seasons (Josh Donaldson being first, or course.) It’s weird people think that he’s expensive or expendable.

  • ErnieWhitt

    Traded for Brad Hand in OOTP 18 and the results were fantastic. Clearly a sign. Also by 2020 Vlad and Bo are each perennial all stars so take that for what it is worth.

  • Voidhelix

    Why the heck would you want the 32 year old Cain, when ANthony Alford is very close to being ready? A Pillar stop-gp is team friendly and NOT 32. You really think a slightly better OPS guy in CF, in a John Gibbons offense, is going to help this team? Dumbest thing I’ve read in months. Even JD Martinez makes more sense.

  • breasteve

    Market for Martinez gets reduced to AL if teams see him as only-DH in second half of his contract years (this would line up with Morales contract end). I could see Jays talking the idea up if some salary gets deferred until 2019 – Donaldson’s $23M+ will be gone, but Jays need lots of SP by then. It definitely falls inline with Jays keeping all their prospects, but definitely doesn’t make them younger.

  • ice_hawk10

    Pillar a non-tender candidate? even if he doesn’t play a game this coming season he wouldn’t be a non-tender candidate given the peanuts he makes, his track record and the uncertainty hanging all over the Jays OF over the next few years.