I have avoided talking about Joey Votto’s status as much as possible. Not least because I am in some fear for my life from a vocal contingent of Twitter uses who repeatedly threaten any who suggest a Votto trade could be in the wind. I have mentioned in passing a few times that it would be extremely difficult to successfully sign him when his current contract expires as I simply can’t imagine a scenario where the Reds commit almost a quarter of their current salary budget line to a single player.
At lunch time today I was scanning through my twitter feed and found a link to a post on the Jay’s Journal blog page written by Editor Mat Germain concerning a possible trade between these two clubs. After reading the article and the 5 posted responses I felt led to offer a Reds perspective and an analysis of some of the players suggested in this kind of exchange.
Without trying to be insulting to my learned readers I first want to define the concept of “Trade”.
The fifth definition of trade in thefreedictionary.com is: “An exchange of one thing for another”. So simple a definition, yet so challenging to find a way to complete a trade with another team in Major League baseball that provides both trading partners a winning opportunity.
So what is in this for Toronto.
- First, a Toronto lineup where Joey Votto would bat 3rd to be followed by Jose Bautista would allow Toronto to compete on even footing with anyone in the hyper-competitive American League East. No team in baseball could boast a better 1-2 punch than these two provide, not even Milwaukee with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
- Second, attendance. Powerful lineups bring fans to the game and fill seats. Home town products who are bonafide super stars and this number increasing exponentially. Brett Lawrie is already a popular Canadian star for the Blue Jays and he is from the other side of Canada in British Columbia. Votto is from Toronto so the draw would be tangible and unmistakable.
And what could the Blue Jays offer the Reds? To trade a player who in my mind is one of the 2 best in all of baseball it would have to be expensive. It would have to actually hurt. This would be my expectation:
- Jake Marisnick: a five tool Class A prospect who can field any outfield position and has a high ceiling given his age of just 20. Pertinent numbers in 2011 include: .320 batting average, .888 OPS, 68 runs scored, 77 RBI, and 37 SBs. He also finished with a .988 fielding percentage.
- Deck McGuire: A 22 year old right handed starter who features an effective slider and a fastball that can top out at around 94 mph. The only concern I might have with this prospect who finished the season in AA is his ground ball/fly ball ratio which I cannot locate but given the 4 homers he allowed in 20 innings at AA New Hampshire, this could be an issue.
- Ricky Romero: A solid starter for the Jays this year finishing 15-11 with a 2.92 ERA. When the Jays scored 3 or more runs Romero had a 14-3 record. He is 26 years old in his third season.
- Eric Thames: 24 year old left handed outfielder who played solid defense and appears will continue maturing as a hitter.
I am suggesting a high cost for Joey Votto, but given that Toronto would have a tandem that would at least remind one of the ’27 Yankees Gehrig-Ruth pairing the Reds must be compensated in kind.
Follow me @JohnHeitz