2018 has been a .50 cent daze so far and the floors are crooked. The pre-season started with some hopeful texts to your friends and tweets to Internet people, who you most likely don’t actually know in the real world, but whatever – it’s fun. Those same texts and tweets were then followed by some April holy-shit-the-Jays-are-actually-good thoughts, which then turned quickly into fire-this-team-into-the-sun sighs.
Any reasonable Jays fan knows that everything really is fine, even though the Jays are most likely not going to be playing any sort of fun September baseball. But, the good news is that shit is going to get a hell of a lot more trade-the-free-agents-to-be interesting real soon. And maybe the 2018 second-half Jays might not be that bad to watch.
The Jays have been playing better baseball lately, which is alright and stuff. And certain players are starting to finally come around, so now fans can hopefully stop talking about the ‘cute Luke Maile story’ (because Danny Jansen is better). And start talking about players that are actually good.
So, it’s totally cool to be rah rah Randal rah about how good Grichuk has been since coming back from the DL. And it’s been pretty damn awesome to see Devon Travis mash since coming back from his demotion to triple-A. And it’s been really rad to see vintage Marco ‘Pablo Picasso’ Estrada paint in his last couple of starts. And it’s pretty rock n’ roll that Marcus Stroman will be back in the rotation, as well.
Hell, while I’m on this ‘Joey Positive whatever thing’ – it’s great that Sanchez is coming around, that Sam Gaviglio has been pretty freaking impressive, and that JA Happ has been a lights-out lefty pretty much all season. There’s some good stuff to take away from the 2018 season so far if you’re looking at the upside to all this down. And I’m not even focusing on what’s happening in the farm.
As we all know, Jays trades are looming and the front office is about to make some noise. Now with this being said, Christmas in July is around the Canada Day corner for many of us hosers. And contending teams are going to be in the spirit of giving for good players. The trade season is almost here and the Jays are going to add to their future. And I’m all in on that. I’m all in on Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins shopping at Honest ED’s because a bargain centre like this happens once in a lifetime – or something like that.
This future Happ trade, which will go down sooner than the next Chris Davis strikeout, is going to bring back some terrific prospect-y and MLB ready presents. The truth is that I actually can’t believe that we’re not all talking about how crazy it is to think that Happ is one of the best trade-deadline arms available for contending teams. I mean, it feels like we’re in some sort of baseball ‘Twilight Zone’ – or something. Happ is one of the best arms in the American League. JA mothereffing Happ. The same lefty pitcher that a ton of Jays fans cried about when Shapiro signed him because he wasn’t David price could be the same pitcher that will help the dumb Yankees win the World Series. Anywho…crazy shit.
I digress. The fact is what Shapiro and Atkins were able to flip Drew Hutchison for from the Bucs is really crazy to think about now. They were able to turn the Hutch into a year of service of Liriano. They were able to turn the Hutch into catcher, Reese McGuire, who is the Jays’ #14 prospect in the system. And outfield prospect, Harold Ramirez, who is – as I type this – slashing .297/.356/.411 with the ‘Cats this season – not bad at all. And this is the same Hutch, who was DFA’d in May by the Phillies and who just recently signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Godspeed, Hutch.
This same front office was then able to take Liriano (plus money) and turn him into Teoscar effing Hernandez – cash always helps to force the other teams to give up better prospects. And they were able to trade Joe Smith to Cleveland for infielder Samad Taylor, who is ranked as the 13th best prospect in the system, and lefty pitcher, Thomas Pannone, who is ranked 26th in the system (and would be ranked much higher if he didn’t test positive for a performance-enhancing substance earlier in the year).
And I know that you all know about these older Jays trade deadline trades, but think about how awesome it will be when Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins get to do their smart baseball thing and trade a pitcher as good as Happ to the dumb Yankees, or Estrada to the National League, or Josh Donaldson to…?
Who really knows what will actually happen – I’m just tossing some softball ideas for the sake of the toss. I’m not about to write a bold trade predictions piece, but if the Jays do trade all three of these players, imagine what kind of fun new players we can start to gush over as the organization moves toward the Vlad years. And if the Jays trade a couple pieces from the pen (which they should), this July will be busier than 2015.
The front office is far too intelligent for some kind of dumb fire sale and any sensible Jays fan knows that the organization is not going to do this at the trade deadline – or even in the upcoming offseason, where the real hard decisions are going to have to be made. But when the organization trades Happ and Estrada and possibly moves Donaldson, the team is going to be in a much better place for 2019 and the Vlad era. And if they decided to move a bullpen arm like Tepera to Cleveland – because it makes almost too much sense for reasons I could write about in another piece – the Jays ‘rebuild’ might be closer to complete than some fickle fans think.
But, I’m not about to get into the 2019 or ’20 roster and all that stuff because we’re still many drunken summer nights at the cottage, mid-August back-to-school commercials, and September days away from the hard decisions that the brass is going to need to make this offseason when it comes to the 2021 free-agents-to-be.
It’s all hooey for now, but if the Jays trade Happ, Estrada, Donaldson, Tepera, and Clippard – or Oh, the future and farm will be stocked and close to fully loaded. The front office is going to have a ‘smart sale’; it will definitely not have a ‘fire sale’ now – or moving forward. When all this shit is said and done, the organization is going to be better and that’s some cool shit that we should all be excited about. This trade deadline, they actually have players that have more value than a Liriano, so it will be cool to see who they fleece. I hope it’s the dumb Yankees.