Will Jays’ Pitching Depth Lead To Trade?

The Blue Jays are overflowing with pitchers, five of whom are out of options.  In a recent article, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian named Brian Tallet, Dustin McGowan, Shawn Camp, Merkin Valdez, and Sean Henn as pitchers who would need to clear waivers before being sent to the minors.

Which Jays' hurlers are locks for the Opening Day roster?  In the bullpen, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, and Kevin Gregg will take three of the seven spots.  Camp and Jesse Carlson seem like good bets as well, perhaps leaving a battle for two bullpen spots.

Regarding the five rotation jobs, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, and Marc Rzepczynski are my frontrunners.  Having been retained on a $2MM contract, Tallet would appear to have a good shot at some role on the 12-man staff.

The Jays will probably buy some time by starting a few pitchers on the DL.  This situation will become clearer during Spring Training, but GM Alex Anthopoulos almost needs to make a couple of trades.  The highest-paid Blue Jays pitchers seem most likely to go: Downs ($4MM), Frasor ($2.65MM), and Tallet ($2MM).  Camp and Accardo will also earn more than a million.

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36 Comments on "Will Jays’ Pitching Depth Lead To Trade?"

5 years 6 months ago

Well they have their options. Atleast their ST will be interesting to follow to see who gets the jobs. Mets as a trading partner?

5 years 6 months ago

I’m not so sure we’ll see a big trade before the season starts. I can see the pitching winding up like this:

Rotation: Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Rzepczynski, Eveland

Bullpen: Frasor, Downs, Gregg, Carlson, Camp, Valdez, Tallet

McGowan would start the season on the DL, and Henn would be tried to clear through waivers with no big loss if he’s claimed.

Of the bunch that would presumably head to the minors, most could certainly use the seasoning there. The one’s that have realistic shots at making the team are Accardo, Richmond and Roenicke, but Accardo would probably be traded rather easily – he’s had issues with the team, Richmond makes sense as a “first-to-be-called-up” rotation depth that will surely be needed, and Roenicke also could use a touch bit of time AAA before heading back to the bullpen, where again depth will come in handy.

So when you put it all together, most of the pitching depth we see was just AA taking gambles on guys that may turn out alright, but most likely will fail, and he can try to find that out with them down on the farm.

5 years 6 months ago

That’s a good take…me saying they almost have to make a trade isn’t really true.

5 years 6 months ago

McGowan is a train wreck so I definitely agree he’ll start on the DL. It’s unclear how he is going to pitch. He’s had major troubles and at one point there were questions if he was going to pitch again-period. I don’t think the team can rely on him very much this season to be as effective as he once was.

I’m not so sure Richmond hasn’t already earned the 5th spot. The numbers don’t tell the full story and he’s quietly been very good for the Jays so far. Eveland seems like he’s destine for a long-relief/spot starter role along the lines of what Tallet has provided for the Jays.

I don’t see why the Jays wouldn’t put other pitchers into the mix as well like Robert Ray, Brett Cecil, David Purcey, and Brad Mills. All of these guys have pitched big league games for the Jays and would likely benefit from the experience of pitching more “meaningless” MLB games in a rebuilding season. This is a perfect chance for the Jays to further develop some of the high-ceiling arms in their system.

I agree with Tim. It’s looking like a trade MUST be made. Downs, Frasor, Tallet, Carlson, and Camp are all very expendable pieces who are 30+ in age. They’re unlikely to bring much in return, but I don’t see the point in loosing young talent through waivers/trade or possibly stunting development at the expense of keep these players on the Jays roster.

I’d prefer if Accardo was retained but it almost looks like that ship has sailed. However he’d probably end up with a chance to close again if Downs or Fraser is sent packing. I could careless about Broadway, Collazo and Henn – they’re nothing more than depth signings for the minors.

5 years 6 months ago

How I would set things up:


Romero (L)
Marcum (R)
Morrow (R)
Rzepczynski (L)
Richmond (R)

CL Downs (L)
SU Gregg (R)
MR Camp (R)
MR Carlson (L)
MR Hayhurst (R)
MR Accardo (R)
LR Eveland (L)

Trade Frasor, Cecil, Purcey, Tallet and/or Roenike if you can and the return is fair

Let McGowan (off DL) or Eveland (out of the pen) take a rotation spot if needed.

Depth is a good thing to have but I would prefer to trade out of it to improve my farm system.

5 years 6 months ago

Hayhurst is having surgery, so he’s out. Camp was most effective and a long reliever last year. Tallet and Richmond are “team-first” guys that nice to have around and can be effective. Accardo was up and down last season because he had options; he was peeved about being bounced around, but he has made peace with AA. I’d try something innovative using a closer tandem of Downs and Fraser, depending on the park and hitters you expect to face. Cito has to get the message that Carlson cannot be overused again this year. I see no reason to trade Cecil; he has a future. I am close to giving up on Purcey. McGowan, if healthy, gets a starter’s spot with Richmond being the sixth starter-in-waiting should anyone get hurt; besides he does have options.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

One problem with Purcey is he has 3 plus pitches in his FB, slider and curve, but he never throws his curve. It also wouldn’t hurt for him to develop a changeup.

A bigger problem is his age. I’d guess that most pitchers are MLB ready by the age of 24. Purcey turns 28 in a couple of months and still hasn’t shown much promise.

5 years 6 months ago

Hayhurst is out with shoulder surgery to repair his labrum. We’re unlikely to see him.

I’d far rather have Cecil in the rotation than Richmond, unless Cecil was dealt to acquire a young shortstop, third baseman, or centre fielder. He should be a good number two type pitcher, a number three at worst, and with six years of cheap control that has a lot of value. I like Richmond, he just doesn’t have any weapons against left handers.

5 years 6 months ago

Oh, thanks for the info. I would guess then the best way to go about it would be adding Cecil to the rotation and moving Richmond to the pen a RHB specialist?

5 years 6 months ago

It would be incredibly shortsighted to trade a Cecil. you don’t just trade 24 year old high-ceiling pitchers just because. This is a former 1st round arm without any significant injury history, and he’s still very cheap and not even arbitration eligible yet (I believe).

Also – I cannot believe you are suggesting the Jays should keep Shawn Camp over Josh Roenicke. First of all – Camp sucks, but more importantly he’s 35 years old and not likely to ever contribute anything to a winning Jays team. Roenicke is a late-bloomer who is finally hitting his stride and could easily fill Camp’s role… plus he’s 7 years younger.

You could make the case on David Purcey – at 28 he should have shown by now that he’s an MLB pitcher. He could probably use a change of scenery and a chance with a different organization.

5 years 6 months ago

Yes, Cecil was an oversight. Sometimes I mistakenly lump
him in with Tallet in terms of talent.

But upset over Camp getting kept over Roenke is kind of silly. If you could get the same or more for Camp then sure, trade him, but no Camp doesn’t suck you can easlily replace Roenicke’s production down the line if you can get a positon prospect out of him.

5 years 6 months ago


5 years 6 months ago

i think i read that McGowan is in great shape and ready for the start of the season, but i think DL and extended spring training could do him good.

i disagree on Morrow. i think he should start the season in the minors working on control.
Brett Cecil should start the season in AAA. theres no need to trade Cecil, he has really good potential. i dont know where he ranks right now for the Jays as for prospects, but last year he was the Jays #3 prospect.

the only locks for the rotation i would see are Marcum and Romero.
last year at this time Rzepczynski was getting ready to start the season in AA for the first time and he has came through the minors quickly, but he is 24 years old so hes a probable for the rotation.

i think i read somewhere that Eveland is out of options? he could still be sent to AAA, just have to clear through waivers. i could still see him starting the season with the Jays to see what he has. its not like the Jays are going to suffer much if he sucks cause the Jays are going to suck anyway.

id like to see Tallet in the rotation. he did well there last season and that could allow another pitcher get into the bullpen.

i (along with others) have wondered if at some point the Jays could go with a 6 man rotation. both Marcum and McGowan are coming off of surgery should not pitch alot of innings. spreading them out more through the season would allow them to pitch and not have to be shut down on IP limit before the season is over.

maybe the rotation to start the season could be Marcum, Romero, Rzepczynski, Tallet, Eveland. but if you think about it, does it matter that the last 4 of those pitchers all all LH? maybe because of that you have to take out Tallet? allthough i think Tallet would pitch better than someone like Richmond.

i would really like the Jays to trade one of Downs or Frasor before the season, preferably Frasor. you dont really hear much with the Jays new GM about rumours so that could still be a realistic option. what each player makes i dont see being a factor in who is traded. the payroll isnt an issue for what i see.
id think Frasor is more of an option to be traded because i dont think the Jays would get as much for Downs as they could. i think Downs could be a type A free agent after the season right? so if the Jays keep Downd and let him walk they get 2 draft picks for him.
(i also really hope the Jays trade Overbay, he needs to go!)

5 years 6 months ago

I’m not sure how good of an idea it is to trade for a guy with three years of experience and nearly 200 IP and then send him directly to the minors. Morrow just needs to start and start in the majors.

5 years 6 months ago

It’s really really really going to suck if Downs is a type-A. NO team is going to give up a 1st round pick to sign Scott Downs. So if he is a type-A and offered arbitration he would likely accept it and take a hefty 1 year deal the Jays probably wouldn’t want to pay. If he projects as a type-A at the end of the year I could see Downs not being offered arbitration because Anthopolous would fear Downs accepting it and then having to pay the guy at least 5mil+ for 2011.

5 years 6 months ago

Why wouldn’t a team give up a first rounder for Downs? He’s been one of the best reliever in all of baseball over the last 3 years. If Boston and others would give up a first rounder for Scutaro (yeah yeah they signed others so it wasn’t really a first rounder), you can be sure teams will do the same for Downs.

5 years 6 months ago

Luis Castillo for Dustin McGowan. Deal?

5 years 6 months ago

The Dodgers could come up with someone much less crappy to send Toronto for McGowan.

-Wait- that was sarcastic wasn’t it?

5 years 6 months ago

Yes that was sarcasm… unless Rose McGowan is included in the deal too. Then I’m all about it.

5 years 6 months ago

If the Jays want to trade Morrow to my Cubbies I would be ok with that. How about

Ryan Flaherty
Chris Carpenter
Tyler Colvin

I know people are going to say ”your going to have to add Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, Kyler Burke, Andrew Cashner, Jon Gaub” I really don’t think so. Seattle got Brandon League and some 19 year old.

5 years 6 months ago

On the contrary. I think the offer you have is reasonable. I think the cubs have a much better shot at getting frasor though…

5 years 6 months ago

If the Jays were to Trade Morrow to the Cubs he’d be packaged (likely with Frasor or Downs) for Starlin Castro or Josh Vitters – and nobody else. Say what you want about Morrow, but Anthopolous absolutely robbed the Mariners on the trade and it was not a reflection of Morrow’s true value. Furthermore, the topic of this post should make it pretty apparent that the Jays have no use for any more pitching depth at this point.

5 years 6 months ago

The Cubs wouldn’t trade Castro for Morrow, nor should they. Adding Downs or Frasor doesn’t help make the package more enticing either. Brandon Morrow plus one year of a 32 year-old-reliever making $2MM+ isn’t going to net Castro. Come on now.

5 years 6 months ago

I suppose offering up a 2 or 3 mediocre prospects with no big league experience for a high-ceiling 25 year year old, former 5th overall pick with #2 stuff and 200+ innings of experience in starting and relief is a good deal for the Jays?

Ugh, you get real. Everyone everywhere all agreed the Jays stole Morrow and that it was a pretty stupid trade on the Mariners part. The Jays don’t need mediocre prospects to fill out a minor system – they need top prospects that will contribute on the big league roster in the near future. No point in trading away the most valued asset in baseball today (young, cheap, high-ceiling arms) for anything less than top prospects.

Having a surplus of young, decent arms is a good problem to have.

5 years 6 months ago

I will not reveal my source, but I was told that the Jays do not want to offer Zinicola back to the Nats. His live arm is very interesting and he will be given every opportunity to make the team.

Downs will be traded and I would hope they would wait until his value is highest. I am thinking that would be in June after he has a good/healthy opening 3 months and a contender comes calling for a lefty set-up guy. For fun I’ll say he goes to the Phillies for Gose.

Tallet in the rotation was a band aid last year. If they need that again this year then put him in, but please do not even think of him as a rotation option unless at 3 starters get hurt.

Morrow in the minors to work on his control seems a little premature at this point. Isn’t that what Spring Training is for? If he looks good over those 6 weeks why would he be sent down?

5 years 6 months ago

Is the source the fact that AA hired Dana Brown away from the Nats only a few months ago? Brown was the scouting director of the Nats was he not? After he was hired the Jays went on to select Zinicola (someone drafted under Brown) in the rule 5… It’s not hard to put this together.

5 years 6 months ago

To be blunt, I don’t think it’s a case where the Blue Jays are overflowing with pitching or much else for that matter. They have a lot of guys, but the majority are “just guys”. I don’t think they’ll have trouble getting them through waivers.

I’d be shocked if the Jays win more than 60 games this year and even that is a reach. Other than Lind and Hill, their lineup isn’t very imposing and without Halladay, the pitching is well, not very good and they play in the rugged AL East.

5 years 6 months ago

daveineg, I don’t disagree with your point on many of the pitchers being “just guys”. Many of them certainly fit that bill, as do many relievers on many ball clubs. But many of the players on this team will be exciting to watch, and are the foundation for future, sustained success. True, the Jays may not have many big time household names, but even as far back as last year, people would have said we didn’t have much behind Halladay either. Lind really took off this year, and Hill is returning from concussion… the fact is that they weren’t on many people’s radars as stars, but make your list now.

Maybe I’m drinking the AA Kool-Aid, but players like Snyder and Wallace, Romero, Marcum and Drabek will all be factors this year and beyond, and may possibly make your list of talented players next year.

The fact is that 2010 can only be considered a write off if you look at the final win tally (that said, I think they’ll do better than the 60 wins you are predicting). But if you look at it as a year where many of these players get the playing time needed to develop into future stars, while playing exciting baseball… that’s something worth going to the park for.

5 years 6 months ago

daveineg: “To be blunt, I don’t think it’s a case where the Blue Jays are overflowing with pitching or much else for that matter.”

They have close to 20 guys that could conceivably make starts next year.. And although only 3 or 4 of this bunch seem to have a high ceiling. They all have good enough arms they could shock you (most of the bunch are arms that would be comparable to 2005 Cliff Lee). And I don’t mean that in the sense of a journeyman you can pick up as a minor league free agent. People felt that way about Jannssen and then he was crazy good in 2007. People said the same thing in regards to Shaun Marcum. He was just a guy. And he turned out to be one of the best starters in the majors until his injury. And don’t forget about Romero who everyone gave up on.

This team has solid arms. And so many that if they simply ride out the hot hands, they are going to win at least 70 games.

Your statement that you would “be shocked if they win more than 60 games,” is ridiculous. This team has 2 silver sluggers, two really big hitting prospects in Snider and Wallace. A centre fielder who is a year removed from a season OPS of 840 and a third baseman who is a year removed from hitting 26 homeruns….

I’m not saying the Jays are going to win 90 games or anything, but with the pitching depth and what should turn out to be an average offense. I would say they should expect to win 71 games with a 95 percent chance they win more than 64…

The point I am really trying to make is that a 100 loss team is pretty bad and generally only has 2 or 3 players other teams would take as starters.

You are way off on your assessment.

5 years 6 months ago

Doubt it. A few of those pitchers are the type you just release.

5 years 6 months ago

Penn, Collazo, Register and Broadway are all guys you dfa and not waste a thought over.

…just like “Baseballz” said. Maybe Valdez as well.

5 years 6 months ago

I almost feel like Zach Stewart could make a case in Spring Training. He should have at least been mentioned in this article as he was invited on 1/27. My gut tells me he will start in AAA with hopes he can reach the bullpen this summer. I don’t like him for much more than, well, Scott Downs 2.0. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes that isn’t a good thing.

5 years 6 months ago

The only guys who are scrubs that I wouldn’t mind seeing AA give a shot to are Zach Jackson and Eveland. Penn, Collazo, Register and Broadway are all guys you dfa and not waste a thought over. I don’t understand how people are bashing Scott Downs, there is no danger of him accepting arbitration (if he finishes the year as strong as he usually does) Having him for one year at a bit over 5 mil would be great though if he accepts arbitration.

I could see Tallet traded to the NL and given a proper shot at starting since he was so good this year, good as in above expectations.

On top of that trade Frasor or Downs and then go into spring training with the idea that Eveland takes over Tallets job long relief job and Zech Zincola can just become the RH specialist

AJay 12
5 years 6 months ago

What about Lance Broadway?

He seems to have a good arm. His winter ball stats were pretty good. Bullpen spot?

5 years 6 months ago

The Jays are fortunate they have a lot of arms to sift through. If you’ve been paying attention, you have noticed how quickly pitching “surpluses” turn into “just enough arms in the system” to get by.

Their better pitchers are coming off of injury, or still learning on the job. One thing I hope they do is give Morrow a defined role and stick to for the whole season. Start him in the minors if they feel they must, but keep him in a defined role. The Mariners really hurt his development by moving him in and out of the rotation, and up and down from majors to minors.

5 years 6 months ago

Luis Castillo? i hope your being sarcastic.
McGowan’s value right now is unknown because he is coming back off surgery, but if he can get back to the value he had before he could be one of the best pitchers on the Jays.

the reason i would like to see Morrow start in the minors is because he needs to work on his control and cut down on the walks. i dont think spring training is a real good time to see what players can do. so many players are doing different things in spring training. pitchers are working on pitches. alot of regulars are just getting into game shape and not worrying about stats.
i dont think his service time is relevant because the Mariners screwed with him.
i want the Jays to put Morrow in the best possible position to reach his potential. if that means letting him get more work in AAA then thats good, but if the Jays decide he can do that with the Jays then im fine with that too.

that “and some 19 year old” the Mariners got was one of the Jays better prospects. OF Johermyn Chavez..
link to thebaseballcube.com
his 2009 numbers in A – 134 G/ 508 AB – .283/ .346/ .474/ .820/ 21 HR/ 89 RBI/ 10 SB
not just some throw in.
regardless, i doubt the Jays are going to turn around and trade Morrow. he could still end up being front of the rotation material.

i think you can add another name into the mix mid season. Jesse Litsch should be back sometime during the season.

as for wins. i dont think the Jays should really be concerned with wins. you want to win as many games as you can, but the number one priority this season should be developing the younger players for the future. i would gladly lose 100+ games if it meant putting the Jays in a better position for 2011 and beyond.
i think with the Jays being bad this season they have a great opportunity to give a chance to multiple players, not just on the pitching staff but also on offense like Ruiz, Gathright, Dopirak, Reed, ect