Blue Jays Trade Rumors
There's no doubt that the Blue Jays will need to address their pitching staff if they want to make the playoffs, as I detailed in this post. Today I've got a source giving us the latest buzz coming out of Toronto.
The Jays have approximately $2-4 million in the budget to compensate their deadline acquisitions. J.P. Ricciardi knows he'll need more salary room than that, so look for Shea Hillenbrand ($5.8MM) or Eric Hinske ($4.3MM) to change addresses before the deadline. Hillenbrand has an .821 OPS, pretty much average for a corner infielder. Hinske stands at .887 thanks to a strong walk rate and a career high slugging percentage. Hinske has faced righties 80% of the time this year, so that's given his stats a boost.
Gregg Zaun, in calling out his teammates' lack of leadership, may have punched his ticket out of town. Zaun's .908 OPS is 7th among catchers with at least 125 ABs. He makes a million bucks this year, so sending him to a team like the Rockies could clear a little payroll.
When manager John Gibbons brought in Brandon League a couple days ago to protect Roy Halladay's two-run lead, League was being showcased for a trade. Two home runs later the game was tied and League's value went down.
Poor decision-making and several other factors may lead to Gibbons's replacement this winter. Gibbons's support of George W. Bush and his team's perceived lack of intensity are issues. Bench coach Ernie Whitt has been mentioned as the likely replacement.