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The Jays might have lost a gem in Travis Bergen

I have an honest question: Can the Jays trade Elvis Luciano for Travis Bergen and fix their Rule-5 fuck up for 2019? (If you don’t remember who Travis Bergen is, here’s the link to a piece I did on him last September.)

Now, I definitely don’t have to remind the prospect gushing Jays fans out there, who inject all the large adult son content into their veins, but let’s just look at Bergen’s numbers from Double-A for fun.

After being promoted to the Fisher Cats last year, he posted an ERA of 0.50 in 35.2 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 43:9. And let’s not forget that he, ya know, punched in 20.2 innings of consecutive scoreless baseball, but whatever…no big deal.

Here’s MLB.com’s scouting report of this awesome pitching prospect who used to be in the Jays’ system:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 40

Bergen lacks overpowering stuff but hitters from both sides of the plate rarely manage to barrel his pitches. His low-90s fastball plays much better than its velocity because his crossfire delivery gives it run, sink and deception. His slider/cutter acts as a solid second pitch at times, and he also has a changeup to keep hitters off balance.

So, when the Jays didn’t protect Bergen this past November (before the Rule 5 draft), many large adult son fans questioned the front office. Now, it’s not usually an issue to leave a player exposed for the draft because if a team selects that player, they must carry him on the 25-man roster for the entire year, or they are offered back to the original team, which is what is happening with Jordan Romano, who the Jays also lost in this year’s draft:

So there is a good chance that Romano might be coming back home, but Bergen, well – that’s a whole other eye-rolling story. There’s not a good chance of that happening. There’s a good chance that Farhan Zaidi, the President of Baseball Operations for the San Francisco Giants, picked Ross and companies pocket though.

Let’s take a look at how Bergen’s spring training with the Giants is going:

And one more for the fun of it:

So, I say howl away all you crazy sonofas because here’s how things have been working out this spring for Elvis Luciano – the Jays’ Rule-5 pick:

Remember how elated Ross Atkins was when they poached him from the Royals back in December. He was over the Hall and Oates moon about this young arm who – let me check my notes – hasn’t pitched higher than Rookie Ball with the Idaho Falls.

Ross doesn’t see Vlad as Major League ready, but he thinks that 19-year-old Luciano should jump from Idaho all the way to the big leagues. I guess player development is different for different types of players or something. Nothing like pitching to a Yankees line up that murders baseballs. Good luck, kid.

Listen, I’m not shitting on Elvis Luciano because there is a lot to like about the young pitcher. Unfortunately, in order for the Jays to keep this prospect, he has to make the 25-man roster and stick for the year. That is not going to happen here. If he could spend this season in Lansing where he belongs and develop properly, I’d be writing a post about how excited we should be that Luciano is in the system. But, Luciano isn’t in the system and he won’t be for much longer.

Here’s what they are saying in Kansas City right now:

Godspeed, Luciano.

There have been a couple offseason decisions that the front office has made this year that have had me and other Jays fans scratching their heads. This whole Luciano-Bergen thing is definitely one of them.

It’s not like the Jays are going to be able to trade Pillar or Pompey for a pitching prospect as good as Bergen. It’s not like they got that much back for Josh Donaldson in the eleventh hour. I hope the Giants release Travis Bergen and he comes back to Toronto. But, it looks like the Giants have something special there. Something the Jays front office failed to see.

  • The Humungus

    I just look at this as the Giants getting the Jays back for snagging Biagini. Everything evens out.

    Sure would be nice to have Bergen and Mayza both, though.

  • Terry Mesmer

    Yep. How Atkins set the 40-man before the Rule 5 draft was mystifying then and still is now. I’ve liked most of their offseason moves, but time hasn’t clarified why Leiter and Solarte were protected but those two pitchers weren’t.

  • Oz Rob

    Well let’s see how Bergen plays out in the majors. But it’s a head scratcher for sure. They do make some strange decisions but everything seems aimed at the long term rather than the now. Given the recent bullpen injuries I’d say it’s a certainty that Lucky Luciano makes the team.

    • El Cabeza

      Bergen’s 25. He’s now and long term. Also, like I posted previously all they had to do to protect Bergen and grab Elvis was to remove Solarte from the 40 man.

  • El Cabeza

    It wasn’t a choice between Bergen and Elvis. They also protected Leiter Jr., and fucking Solarte so they could release him. This was the one move (adding the kid with the 0.5 ERA in AA to the 40 man) of Atkins’ that I can’t find any valid way to rationalize.

    • Ryan Di Francesco

      Yeah, it’s hard to rationalize it – that’s for sure. And, yes, they very easily could’ve protected Bergen and still picked up Elvis. It’s hard to believe that Leiter was left on the 40-man, too. It’s not that it’s a choice between Bergen or Elvis, but if it were – I’d take Bergen all day long.

  • Vince Joseph

    Some very good points in these comments about Leiter Jr. and Solarte on the Rule 5 protected list. But for me, the mystifying move was not arriving at their ‘final decision’ on Tulo prior to roster composition being frozen for Rule 5 draft purposes. Tulo used up a spot that could have been used to protect either Bergen or Romano.