MMO Mailbag: Should We Target Toronto’s Travis d’Arnaud?

An article by posted on October 16, 2012

We received this email from one of our readers, doekie.

Let’s assume nothing will be done and the arbitration players will be back. Shoppach will be back and some kind of right handed OF. I liked your thoughts on the Rockies and Mets trade.

How about Toronto? Their lineup could use some lefthanded hitters. And they also need starters. So what would you guys think of a trade involving Murphy (as a lefthanded 2B and 3B back up), Duda (as a lefthanded 1B, LF and DH back up) Dickey and his personal catcher (who happens to be also lefthanded)? That’s 3 young and under control for a while.

Would Toronto give up D’Arnaud (who is obviously blocked by Arencibia), Marisnick (with Bautista, Rasmus and Gose) and Nicolino, Sanchez and Syndergaard?

D’Arnaud would solve the catching problems. Marisnick could be ready for 2014. And perhaps Den Dekker can cut his SO next year so you could end up with Marisnick, Kirk and Den Dekker as your 2014 OF.

So far the Mets got D’Arnoud for Thole, can try Valdespin at 2nd and replace Mejia for Dickey. And you save $5 million on Dickey. Perhaps you can get Hairston for 2 years for that money?

In July hopefully Wheeler and Familia are ready to go so you can do another trade involving Santana and $$ like the Mets did with Beltran getting an OF stud prospect.

My main goal here was to get an infusion of young cheap pitching depth. So you can start to trade away proven, young major league ready pitchers for even more prospects, preferable in July when the need is high for some teams and that would get more..

I appreciate the efforts here. The Hot Stove season is a great time of year because it inspires creativity and a lot of “what if” deals.

One of the easiest traps we fall into as fans is crafting deals that may not interest the other team as much as we think. You did your best to consider the needs of the Blue Jays as you see them.

First, I don’t see the Blue Jays giving up on Travis d’Arnaud for anything other than a frontline starter. Remember, they gave up Roy Halladay in the deal that brought him here. To say he’s blocked by J.P. Arencibia isn’t true in my view. If anything, the Blue Jays would look to trade Arencibia to try and get something of value and hang on to d’Arnaud.

Jim Bowden of ESPN.com said this recently regarding the two catchers

“Travis d’Arnaud, Toronto Blue Jays: The Rangers scouts love this top catching prospect the Blue Jays acquired in the Roy Halladay deal a few years ago. Toronto probably is more interested in dealing J.P. Arencibia, who might make some sense in a lesser deal if Texas can’t re-sign Napoli.”

Also, consider that d’Arnaud torn his PCL in June which knocked him out for the rest of the year. So I do think Toronto will be very careful with dealing either of their young catchers until they know how d’Arnaud heals from that injury.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know much about Marisnick, Nicolino, Sanchez and Snydergaard. What I do know is that you’re essentially asking the Blue Jays to give you their top 4 prospects and another top 10 in Sanchez.
Regardless of the package they are getting back – that’s a lot to ask for.

Your package that you’re sending out to me makes this potential deal far too one sided.

You’re offering Dickey, Duda, Thole, Murphy and you’re getting back 4 of their top 10, and their 9th best prospect.

I’d love to sit here and tell you I think our players are worth that – but I don’t.

For starters, Dickey’s value will vary from team to team. He could win the Cy Young this year, and there will still be teams that avoid him like the plague. Plus, you have to consider his contract situation. What is in it for Toronto right now to take Dickey and lose 2 starting pitching prospects?

Duda and Murphy I believe have limited trade value. They are both defensive liabilities in the grand scheme of things. Murphy shows little to no power, which doesn’t translate well in the AL (especially if you have a weak glove), and Duda proved to take a step back rather than forward.

Thole has absolutely no value, especially if his greatest achievement to date is being Dickey’s personal catcher.

Lastly, with regards to your Johan Santana trade value – I think that depends entirely on how he pitches and how desperate another team is for an arm like him. There’s no way you can bank on dealing him for anything of value until you see how he’s pitching in the early 2013

In the minor leagues, the Mets are in a position where the only untouchable is Wheeler. Based on his ceiling, and also the circumstances for which they got him. In the major leagues, the only untouchable is Harvey.

If you wanted to make a big splash in the trade market and fill multiple holes – you’re going to have to look at dealing Jon Niese, David Wright (extended), and then you look at kids like Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Cesar Puello, and Reese Havens as potential prospects who could net you quality “now” talent depending on the opposing team’s needs and opinions on those prospects.

When looking for potential trade partners as a fan, it’s safer in my opinion to appear willing to OVER pay rather than UNDER.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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