‘Tis the season for rumors and trade talk. Against the backdrop of this week’s General Manager’s meetings, Justin Jay, a tremendous writer for one of our fellow FanSided sites jaysjournal proposed a deal between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Knowing what a problem closing games was for the D’backs last season, Justin put out an offer, which you can read here that would seek to avoid a repeat of those fiascoes. It is a deal that sounds quite interesting on the surface and one that D’back fans will have no doubt digesting for a day or two.
Anyone that has followed my work here knows that I might be the world’s biggest Tyler Skaggs fan. I also have a sneeking suspicion that because he was not acquired by Kevin Towers, the young lefty is more liable to be traded. Yes there are times he has struggled on the Major League level last season but I also think some of those struggles can be attributed to the fact that he was shuttled roughly eight times between Arizona and the Minors. I also know he has put together some excellent starts particularly his six shutout innings of the Rangers in Texas on May 27th. Skaggs won’t turn 23 until July 13th but there are many people who believe (rightly so) that he has been surpassed in the system by Archie Bradley and that his inconsistency has dropped his trade value. I wholeheartedly believe he will be an outstanding Major League pitcher.
Which brings us to Janssen, the closer the D’backs would acquire. There is no question that the 32 year old righty has been a premier reliever in the American League over the past three seasons. During that time Janssen is 11-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 173 games. He has saved 56 games over the past two seasons and in 116 1/3 innings during that span he has struck out 117 hitters, allowing only 83 hits. Janssen is under contract through the end of the 2014 season and is due to make only $4 million dollars. Certainly, he would be a better closer than anyone Arizona put out there in 2013.
However, Justin brought up a very good point. The D’backs have Jake Barrett waiting in the wings to be the stopper, possibly as early as 2014. It may not make any sense for the D’backs to trade a young pitching prospect for a guy who may only be with the team for a season. At least when Trevor Bauer was dealt last offseason, the catch was Didi Gregorius, an equally young shortstop. It would be hard to envision Janssen sticking around past this upcoming season. The organization has not only Barrett but Matt Stites, acquired in the Ian Kennedy deal, to handle the late innings. Who knows if the current Jays’ closer would accept being a seventh inning man in 2015.
Both players could benefit from this trade. Skaggs could get a fresh start with a new organization that would really want him. Jansen could increase his value by going to a new league and be just as effective, if not more and score a big pay day. The Blue Jays receive a young, left-handed pitcher with a world of potential. It would be the D’backs that would end up with the short end of the stick. They would get one good year from Janssen who surely will find employment with another team after the season. While Justin proposes a solid trade that benefits both clubs at least in the short term, it does not work out well in the long run for the D’backs.