Blue Jays Notes: Stroman, Pearce, Buehrle

The bullpen was one of the Blue Jays’ few strengths in 2013 and yet the relief corps has gotten off to a terrible start this year,’s Shi Davidi writes.  Last night’s blowup against the Royals was only the latest in a series of late-game meltdowns for the bullpen, which has a cumulative 5.08 ERA that ranks as the third-worst in the majors.  Here’s some more news from Toronto…

  • Cubs scout Dave Littlefield was in Buffalo last night to watch Marcus Stroman‘s six no-hit innings for the Triple-A Bisons, Davidi reports.  Chicago reportedly asked for both Stroman and Aaron Sanchez as part of a trade package for Jeff Samardzija in the offseason, a deal that the Jays rejected out of hand.  Littlefield’s presence could indicate a continued interest on the Cubs’ behalf or, as Davidi notes, simple due diligence.
  • Steve Pearce turned down the Jays’ waiver claim on his services in order to return to the Orioles because he could receive everyday playing time in Baltimore, according to Davidi.  Pearce will likely receive regular work at first base for the O’s while Chris Davis is out with an oblique injury.  The Blue Jays were looking at Pearce to start against left-handers as part of a DH platoon with Adam Lind.
  • If the Jays aren’t in contention by midseason, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star notes that Mark Buehrle would likely have the most trade value of any Blue Jays starting pitcher.  The veteran southpaw has been the Jays’ best starter in 2014 and, as Griffin notes, Buehrle’s consistent track record means that a trade partner knows exactly what they’re getting.  Moving Buehrle would also free up payroll space for the Jays — he is owed approximately $15MM over the rest of 2014 and is owed $19MM in 2015.
  • Also from Griffin’s piece, he interviews Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava about several prospects at all levels of Toronto’s minor league system.

22 Responses to Blue Jays Notes: Stroman, Pearce, Buehrle Leave a Reply

  1. Art Vandelay 1 year ago

    I know he’s doing good right now, but assuming he comes back closer to his career norms, good luck trading Buehrle with that contract.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      I agree. Another guy just like him (Jason Vargas) is making less money (4/32m) spread over 4y and is younger to boot.

      Can’t really picture Buehrle having a combo of trade for prospects + trade and get rid of his salary. It’s going to be tough enough to get rid of the 34m owed over the next year and a half. Not that many teams can just absorb it and it’s not as if he throws 90mph even.. It’s an iffy situation with him. He can keep you on pins and needles sometimes out there.

      • publius varrus 1 year ago

        Mark Buehrle and Jason Vargas aren’t even very similar, let alone “just like” each other. One of the reasons that Vargas’ deal is so much more appealing, at least superficially, is that he’s not as good as Buehrle. Better pitchers generally get better contracts. You really should find a better comp.

    • WindsorJaysFan 1 year ago

      No reason they can’t do a sliding scale trade like the Yankees did with Burnett. The more salary the receiving team is willing to take on, the better the return

    • They might be able to pull off a salary dump if they’re getting nothing but junk in return. Buehrle’s consistency is a lot more appealing than many alternative options.

      • Art Vandelay 1 year ago

        Maybe, but I would think that there would be better options on the FA market to be had on one year deals than to pay Buehrle $19 mil plus a junk prospect.

        • This is likely true. The 2015 FA pitching class is not filled with players that have Buehrle’s track record though and would only cost one year.

    • Bombastic_Dave 1 year ago

      Are the Jays already giving up on 2014 and 2015? That would be the ONLY scenario in which Buehrle would get traded. If, as Rogers has said, money is not an issue, the salary dump is meaningless. The only way he gets traded, I hope, is if the trade increases the team’s chances at the post-season. And I seriously doubt that such an offer will surface.

  2. ba9oriole 1 year ago

    I’m glad Steve Pearce is back with the Orioles. I just wish it wasn’t because of a Chris Davis injury.

    • connfyoozed . 1 year ago

      Pearce is a nice guy to have around as a “in case of emergency break glass” kind of backup. He got all kinds of chances in Pittsburgh, but part of me wanted to see the Bucs pick him up.

  3. Trading Buehrle doesn’t make a lot of sense. The guy is making a little more money than he should thanks to the Marlins’ clever backloaded deal, but you can’t really say he’s a done a bad job either. Prior to 2013, everyone was saying what a disaster he was going to be in the AL East.

    Buehrle offers a veteran presence who’s the only player on the roster with a WS ring not counting Melky. He has little trade value and their rotation needs pitching so why bother?

  4. Bertin Lefkovic 1 year ago

    Can disabled players be traded? If so, is there any chance that the Yankees could trade Ivan Nova to the Blue Jays for Mark Buehrle? The Blue Jays would be able to dump Buehrle’s salary and have at least one full year of control over Nova before he becomes a free agent. Unless Nova has a stellar walk year, he should be reasonably affordable for the Blue Jays to resign.

    What are the odds that the Yankees could get Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Ricky Romero in a triple salary dump for Nova, Dean Anna or Brendan Ryan, and Vidal Nuno? Considering the salary bump that Reyes would get from paying New York taxes versus Canadian taxes and the health bump from going from artificial turf to natural grass, I think that he would be willing to be a super-utility player for the remainder of this season.

    • DL players cannot be traded, and there is next to no chance that a trade between NYY and TOR occurs anytime soon.

      • DL players can be traded. Carl Crawford was recovering from Tommy John when he was shipped to the Dodgers. It doesn’t happen often for obvious reasons.

        I think if NYY wanted Buehrle to the point where they’d alleviate his whole salary, the Jays would listen. I don’t see that as very likely though.

    • Oren Jungreis 1 year ago

      There is NO way toronto trades reyes unless they get someone good and they don’t here.

  5. Joe Orsatti 1 year ago

    Juan Francisco is doing a fine job at first for the jays. He could be a replacement for Lind if they call out of contention and field offers. He is still young and has shown that he can produce so it’s just a matter of him getting playing time.

  6. chuck norris 1 year ago

    As a Blue Jay fan I realize more every day how spoiled we were during the Gillick era. The Jays have never come close to that success since he left and my faith in Alex Anthopulous grows weaker every minute. The team he has mortgaged the future for simply isn’t that good. No 2B, no catcher, the CF is a strike out waiting to happen and the third baseman is waaaaaaaaay overrated.

  7. Jasper 1 year ago

    “Chicago reportedly asked for both Stroman and Aaron Sanchez as part of a trade package for Jeff Samardzija in the offseason, a deal that the Jays rejected out of hand.” — Am I the only one who laughed out loud at that? Coming off a 4.34 ERA / 1.35 WHIP season, Samardzija might not have even been worth one of those two. Good to see at least the Toronto brass have brains.

    • Bombastic_Dave 1 year ago

      I thought the same thing. The suggestion of Samardzija for either one (let alone both) seems ridiculous. I imagine the Cubs thought so too, though a simple “we’re not interested in trading our player” would have sufficed.

    • 3rdShiftSucks 1 year ago

      So a 29 year old power arm with no injury history and good presence is not worth Sanchez who is projected as a number 3? Or Stroman who will someday be coming out of the bullpen? Oh, and are still prospects that haven’t proven anything. Don’t be so biased.

  8. BiggieSmalls 1 year ago

    What’s the market for Starlin Castro ? I know the mets need a SS… Couple young pitchers not named Noah or Montero do it?

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