More on the Blue Jays Interest in Josh JohnsonBy
Recently… And, by recently I mean today, an article was posted by Marlins Daily writer Tony Capobianco about the Toronto Blue Jays interest in Josh Johnson.
This is not surprising. As a Jays fan I’ve learned that GM Alex Anthopoulos is interested in every better than average player made available by any MLB team.
Just sort of expected that every time a player is mentioned as available Jays fans will hear how the Jays have contacted his team’s GM about him.
The article concludes by saying; “Toronto could be the ideal place for the Marlins to unload and even bring in a star third baseman. In a blockbuster trade, the Marlins can send Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson to Toronto for a bounty of prospects and young third baseman Brett Lawrie.”
Now, as Dave Gersham pointed out, the Marlins have every right to ask about Brett Lawrie. And, sure, they do. But, the article suggests that it is a real possibility to acquire Lawrie, and that’s where I come into play.
This is a point-counterpoint thing where I will go into why Marlins fans should not expect certain players and then give you some insight into the Blue Jays farm system for names you may actually hear.
First, why Brett Lawrie is unequivocally unavailable.
Brett Lawrie is, without question, the best young player on the Toronto Blue Jays. The team has Colby Rasmus and Travis Snider, two players constantly ranked in the Top 10 prospects when they came through the system (Rasmus in St.Louis, Travis in Toronto). Lawrie is better.
He is hitting a very consistent .280/.326/.415 this season, which though not overwhelming compared to Bryce Harper or Mike Trout is very, very good considering that when you look at it, Lawrie hasn’t had a hot streak all-season. He hasn’t had one month where he has destroyed the baseball and because of it his numbers are inflated. Hasn’t happened.
That is something that 22-year old ballplayers don’t often have. A true level of consistency.
I grant you, July has been bad, but it also has seen 10-less games (part because of the All-Star break, part because it’s only the 24th).
Trading Brett at 22-years old is like expecting the Angels to trade Trout at 20. It would have to take an incredible, beyond belief kind of deal that the Marlins simply cannot offer with a 28-year old struggling pitcher.
Further, Alex Anthopoulos is obsessed with player control. Every move he makes comes with a player who will be under team control for multiple years after the deal. His goal is to bring in high ceiling talent and prospects and only once has he gone against that (the Happ trade last week), and even then he didn’t trade much prospect depth.
Brett Lawrie is under team control for six years… Josh Johnson becomes a Free Agent in less than two. That is a big discrepancy.
Beyond the stats, there is one more huge reason why he will never be traded this season for Hanley, Josh Johnson, or any number of prospects.
It’s sort of a big deal when you’re dealing with a player who is, without question, the most popular player in the organization (ahead of even Bautista, I would wager). His 100% Red Bull infused effort, Canadian heritage, and passion for the game have made Lawrie a fan-favourite that Alex Anthopoulos would be crazy to trade.
My favourite quote from a reader comes from Brandon E.M Savage; “Lawrie isn’t moved, unless the deal involves every single player in the Marlins system, including recently acquired Brett Lawrie.”
So, who could the Jays trade if they were to trade for Johnson?
Well, we’re not entirely sure here in Blue Jays land, but here are 10 players I expect to be named in any deal.
Yunel Escobar – SS
Kelly Johnson – 2B
Moises Sierra – OF
Deck McGuire – P
Adonys Cardona – P
Roberto Osuna – P
Sam Dyson – P
Jake Marisnick – OF
Matt Dean – 3B
There are a few more fringe starters, and I’m sure that if Miami pushed Anthopoulos they could get another MLB arm, likely a reliever like Darren Oliver, but as far as I can see, this is the roster from which Toronto will deal from (not including any prospects lower than their top 50).
And, all this hinges on just how much AA wants Johnson and whether or not the Marlins want to give up more (bullpen arm, likely) to get more.
If I were the Marlins GM and I wanted to make a deal with Anthopoulos and the Jays this is the trade I would try and make.
To the Blue Jays
SP – Josh Johnson
RP – Edward Mujica
To the Marlins
SS – Yunel Escobar
SP – Deck McGuire
RP – Sam Dyson
OF – Jake Marisnick
2 more Prospects in the 100-125 range
Now, after watching AA for the last three years I believe in a full rebuild, and that is what I think the Marlins should do. This is what I would do. It has some holes, and I know the idea of Johnson and Mujica seems big, but here is what the Marlins get in return.
Yunel Escobar easily fills the void at 2B or 3B made by the traded Infante and HanRam. A top level SS with a fairly good bat (though in an off-year). He’s about HanRam’s age, far better defensively, and makes far, far less money.
Deck McGuire is likely a fringe MLB arm next season and definitely an MLB arm in 2014. He’s 23-years old and expected to be a #3 or 4 in the bigs and will fit well behind Turner and Hernandez in the Marlins future rotation.
Sam Dyson is said to have top-level ‘stuff’ in the Jays system, could easily replace any reliever the Marlins trade away, is only 24-years old, and has seen some MLB action this season. He could, and likely will be, MLB ready next season.
Jake Marisnick is the jewel in this trade for the Marlins. A top, high ceiling OF prospect that can fill a future OF with Yelich and Morrison. He is a few years away, but by adding Mujica the Marlins could steal this kid from the Jays (there is a reason I added him. Without, the Marlins don’t sniff Marisnick and probably not Dyson).
The Marlins farm is awful, this adds depth with some high ceiling prospects and near-MLB ready ones at that…
There you are, Marlins fans. What’cha think?