Unlike the rest of the Meet the Sellers, this article will focus on five different teams and seven different players.
There are seven players (mainly pitchers) that I believe the Jays could target by the trade deadline on August 2nd.
Up until this article, one section I had was “do they fit a need”, but all seven of these players fit a need. We’ll start with a reliever who may not be traded, despite the team desperately needing to rebuild.
Daniel Bard (Colorado Rockies):
Just a quick notice, I’m going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here.
According to Mark Feinsand, an MLB Insider, reliever Daniel Bard is being pursued by multiple teams, yet the Rockies are undecided on trading him.
This is idiotic. Rockies fans deserve so much better than to have a middling team that continues to produce subpar results.
Here you have a 37-year-old reliever on an expiring contract, and you won’t trade him?? Colorado is seven games out of a wildcard spot and has to jump over five teams.
Anyone can tell you that’s not going to happen, so why on God’s green earth won’t you trade one of your better players who likely won’t re-sign for the 2023 season?
It just seems like season after season, they continue to make questionable decisions. First, they traded anti-vaxxer Nolan Arenado for pennies on the dollar. Then they let Trevor Story, a pretty darn good player, walk in free agency when they’d rather have a compensation pick.
Granted, they had a great 2022 draft, but signing Kris Bryant to that deal in the 2021-2022 off-season is again a questionable decision. Especially once you look at how the Charlie Blackmon contract has aged.
The Rockies either need to decide to start their rebuild or spend money and contend. Stop middling and torturing your fanbase. They deserve so much better.
Anyway, let’s look at Daniel Bard’s statistics and contract.
This season, the 37-year-old has posted a 1.91 ERA and a 3.55 FIP in 37.2 innings pitched. The righty has a K% of 27.6%, but has struggled with the walks, as he has a BB% of 12.2%.
Bard’s ERA and FIP are quite impressive, considering he’s pitching at Coors Stadium, a notorious hitters’ ballpark due to the thin atmosphere.
For his career. He has posted a 3.76 ERA and a 3.95 FIP in 385.1 innings pitched. Prior to signing with the Rockies in 2020, Bard hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013.
Bard is a sinker/slider pitcher. He throws his sinker 52.7% of the time at an average of 98 mph, and throws his slider 44.4% of the time at an average of 88.3 mph.
He’ll rarely throw a changeup and four-seamer, but that’s less than 2% of the time for each.
This season, Bard is making $4.4 million and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Like with most players in today’s article, that would barely make a dent in the Blue Jays’ payroll.
David Bednar (Pittsburgh Pirates):
The righty reliever is by far the least likely player to be traded on this list, but he’s exactly what the Jays need.
This season, the 27-year-old righty has a 2.76 ERA and 2.58 FIP in 45.2 innings pitched. He also has a K/9 of 12.02 and a BB/9 of 2.76 with an fWAR of 1.2.
He broke out for the Pirates last season, positing an even better 2.23 ERA and a nice 2.69 FIP in 60.2 innings pitched. He also had a K/9 of 11.42 and a BB/9 of 2.82 with an fWAR of 1.2.
His fastball averages 96.5 mph, which he throws 54.8% of the time. He also features a curveball (77.3 mph, throws it 28.5% of the time) and a splitter (89.8 mph, throws it 16.6% of the time).
Per Baseball Savant, he’s in the 7th percentile of average exit velocity (not good) and in the 5th percentile of hard-hit percentage (also not good), so that’s a cause for concern.
Despite this, Bednar has put up great numbers and should be under consideration as an upgrade in the bullpen.
This season, Bednar is making just $715,000 and will make the league minimum in 2023 as well. He’ll hit arbitration for the 2024 season, and will become a free agent after the 2026 season.
On top of putting up great numbers as a reliever the past two seasons, a lot of his value comes from the fact he has years of team control.
I find it unlikely he is moved.
Jose Quintana (Pittsburgh Pirates):
If the jays would get a starter, it’s likely that Yusei Kikuchi would be the one to move to the pen (he does get swings and misses!). This would leave them needing a left-handed starter. Jose Quintana fits that need.
This season, the 33-year-old lefty has posted a 3.70 ERA and a 3.27 FIP in 97.1 innings pitched. He’s not a huge strikeout artist, as he has a K% of 20.7%, but he does limit walks with a BB% of 7.1%.
For Quintana’s career, he has a 3.83 ERA and a 3.66 FIP in 1655.1 innings pitched. He has a career K% of 21.3% and a BB% of 7%, meaning there is a track record there.
Quintana doesn’t throw very hard, as his four-seam fastball averages just 91 mph, throwing it 35.3% of the time. His other fastball, a sinker, he throws an average of 91.2 mph at 14.2% of the time.
He also throws a curveball which averages 78.5 mph and he throws that 26.4% of the time, as well as a changeup he throws for an average of 86.4 mph which he throws 24.1% of the time.
This season, Quintana is making $2,000,000 and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He’d likely not cost a ton in prospects, and his salary would hardly dent the Blue Jays’ payroll in 2022.
Martin Perez (Texas Rangers):
The 31-year-old lefty is another expiring free agent that’s putting up good numbers on a bad team.
This season, Perez has a 2.59 ERA and a 3.12 FIP in 118 innings pitched. While he doesn’t strike out a ton of batters with a K% of 20.8%, he does limit the walks with a BB% of 6.8%. Perez has also done a great job of getting ground balls, as he has a GB% of 52.8% in 2022.
For his career, he has a 4.50 ERA and a 4.40 FIP in 1220.2 innings pitched, which isn’t great, to say the least. He only has a K% of 15.8% and a BB% of 8.2%.
He pitched the last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, where he posted a 4.65 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in 176 innings pitched. His BB/9 was a much higher 3.3 and his K/9 sat at 7.3.
Since May 31st, his ERA sits at 3.50 while his FIP sits at 3.77 in 61.2 innings pitched, meaning that while he’s had a nice season thus far, it may not be quite what it seems.
Perez has a five-pitch mix, three of which are fastballs.. His most used pitch is a sinker which he throws 35.4% of the time with an average of 92.6 mph. He throws a four-seamer 7.9% of the time which averages 92.8 mph. The last variation of the fastball is a cutter, which he throws 23.7% of the time and clocks in at 87.9 mph.
Perez also throws a changeup 27.7% of the time at 84.4 mph and a curveball, which he throws 5.2% of the time at 79 mph.
This season, Perez is making just $4,000,000 and is on an expiring deal, meaning he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. Like Quintana and Bard, I don’t see the 31-year-old costing much in terms of prospects.
Carlos Rodon (San Francisco Giants):
Now we come to a starter who’ll likely cost the most. Not just that, but he’s making the big bucks for the next two seasons.
This season for the Giants, Rodon is posting a 3.18 ERA and a 2.42 FIP in 116 innings pitched. He’s getting a ton of swings and misses with a K% of 31.4 while doing a solid job limiting the walks with a BB% of 8.3.
For his career, he has posted a 3.70 ERA and a 3.72 FIP in 785.1 innings pitched with a 25.8 K% and a 9.2 BB%. However, last season his career took off, as he posted a 2.37 ERA and a 2.65 FIP in 132.2 innings pitched. Rodon also had a career-high 34.6 K% and a 6.7 BB%.
The 29-year-old lefty really only uses two pitches, with a rarely used third pitch and a changeup. His most used pitch is a four-seam fastball which he throws 61.6% of the time at an average of about 96 mph. His other most used pitch is a slider, which he throws 31.8% of the time at 85.4 mph.
He features a curveball which he only throws 5.2% of the time at 80.2 mph. Rodon also has a changeup, but he only throws it 1.4% of the time.
Unlike most players on this list, Rodon’s contract would be difficult to fit in unless Rogers wants to increase payroll. This season, the 29-year-old is making $21,500,000 but has a player option for the 2023 season, in which he’ll make $22,500,000. He will be a free agent after the 2023 season.
While I believe the Jays could easily take on a contract like this for a year, they would likely need to make trades in the off-season to fit in Rodon’s contract.
I do wish they signed him instead of Kikuchi, though.
Merrill Kelly (Arizona Diamondbacks):
The last pitcher on this list is 33-year-old Merrill Kelly. The right-handed pitcher breaks the chain of three straight lefty starters.
This season, Kelly has posted a 3.04 ERA and a 3.21 FIP in 118.1 innings pitched. He has a K% of 20.1 and a BB% of 7.5, solid numbers for a starter.
For his career (four seasons), he has posted a 3.98 ERA and a 4.03 FIP in 491 innings pitched. To go along with this, his career K% sits at 20.2% and his career BB% sits at 6.8%.
Kelly throws five pitches, three of which are variations of a fastball. His most used is a four-seam fastball which he throws 30.3% of the time and averages 92.6 mph. He also throws a cutter 18.8% of the time at 91 mph and a sinker 14.5% of the time at 92.6 mph.
He features a changeup which he throws 22.4% of the time at 88.5 mph and a curveball which he throws 13.8% of the time at 82.2 mph. Kelly also threw like five sliders, but it’s too insignificant for me to bother with.
Kelly has an interesting contract. 2022 is the first real season that Kelly has had long-term success. If he keeps it up, this contract will continue to be absolutely amazing for the team that employs him.
This season, the 33-year-old is making $5,250,000. For the next two seasons, he’s going to make $8,000,000, before he has a team option in the 2025 season worth $7,000,000.
If he can continue to pitch as well as he has this season, that contract is amazing. However, it could also cost a lot in terms of prospects due to his team-friendly contract and his 2022 stats.
David Peralta (Arizona Diamondbacks):
It can’t be just pitched on this list, so I’ll be including left-handed batting David Peralta to this list.
This season, the 34-year-old left fielder is slashing .251/.317/.465 with 12 homers in 306 plate appearances. He has a career-high K% at 23.9%, but he has done a solid job taking walks with a BB% of 8.5%. This season, he has a wRC+ of 112 and an fWAR of 1.5.
For his career, he has a .283/.340/.463 slash line with 110 homers in 3724 plate appearances. Peralta’s K% sits at a rather low 19.4% while his BB% comes in at 7.5%. He has a career wRC+ of 112 and had accumulated a Fangraphs WAR of 15.9 in his nine seasons with the Diamondbacks.
His best season came in 2018, where he slashed .293/.352/.516 with 30 homers (by far a career-high) in 614 plate appearances. His K% sat at 20.6% while he walked 7.8% of the time. Peralta had a wRC+ of 130 and an fWAR of 3.6 in 2018, career highs.
Peralta is an average defender in left field in terms of Defensive Runs Saved, as he has a 1 DRS this season in 599 innings fielded. For his career, his DRS comes in at only 3, with his best season coming in 2019 (DRS of 7).
He’s a much better fielder when it comes to Outs Above Average, as he has a 4 OAA this season. In fact, since the stat started being tracked in 2017, he has accumulated 11 OAA, including 8 in the past two seasons.
Defensively, Peralta would be an upgrade over LOURDES Gurriel Jr.
Like many players on this list, David Peralta will be a free agent at the end of the season. In 2022, he has a salary of $8,000,000.
Will the Blue Jays trade for any of these players?:
In my opinion, if the Jays don’t target one of the big boys with control like Luis Castillo, Tyler Skubal, Pablo Lopez, or Frankie Montas, or target a superstar like Juan Soto or Shohei Ohtani, they could target one of these starters.
The best fit would be Jose Quintana, as he’d likely cost the least amount of prospects while still putting up good numbers consistently.
The best player out of the bunch is San Francisco’s Carlos Rodon. However, due to the contract and the Giants not wanting to sell, I have a hard time imagining the Jays acquiring him.
Bard is intriguing, but it seems as if the Rockies will continue to be stubborn, while Bednar is a pipe dream at this point.
As for Peralta, I truly believe the Jays will be getting Ian Happ, but Peralta deserved a mention.
So what will happen:
The Jays had been linked to Andrew Benintendi and Ian Happ, so it’s clear the front office is targeting a left-handed batting outfielder. I truly believe that Ian Happ is a perfect fit for this team, as he’ll get a solid haul, but none of the Jays’ two untouchables.
As for a starter, I don’t think starting pitching is as bad as it seems. Yes, it’d be lovely to get one of those pitchers I mentioned early with control, but I’d also be happy with Quintana, as that wouldn’t strain the farm system.
I also think the Jays will get two relievers, but that’s anyone’s best guess. If I had to pick two from any of the Meet the Sellers articles, I’d have to choose Scott Barlow and Joe Jimenez (who actually wasn’t included in Detroit’s version).
I think if the Jays can add those four players, the farm system is still in good shape and they significantly upgraded the rotation, the bullpen and added their only need on the offensive end.
Previously in the series….
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I, along with the other staff at Blue Jays Nation, will be covering the trade deadline, as well as the days leading up to it. Also look out for my mid-season top prospects list, as there’ll be a top 50 coming out after August 2nd.