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!)
I'm oddly becoming more optimistic that, if they really want him, the Jays could get Cain. What contenders need a CF right now, or OF in general? I certainly can't see a non-contender signing the 32 yo outfielder.
— Joshua (@JoshuaHowsam) December 21, 2017
I thought the Giants were a serious threat (because he'd make so much sense there), but apparently they don't want to go over the luxury tax and are very hesitant to give up a draft pick.— Joshua (@JoshuaHowsam) December 21, 2017
Mariners? Got Dee Gordon for CF— Joshua (@JoshuaHowsam) December 21, 2017
Twins, Angels,Yankees/Red Sox are full
Cleveland likely can't afford to outbid the Jays (again)
No room in Chicago, Washington, LA, St Louis.
DBacks and Rockies could use Cain as an upgrade, but he's not nearly enough of a boost over their other outfielders to be worth the cost to sign him.— Joshua (@JoshuaHowsam) December 21, 2017
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!