by: Ryan McKenna
The Toronto Blue Jays entered spring training with a great problem on their hands. J.P. Arencibia, who played in his first full season behind the plate last year in Toronto, hitting 23 home runs, came into camp as the number one catcher. Peaking over his shoulder however, is 23-year-old super-prospect Travis d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud hit well in spring training and keeping a raw talent like d’Arnaud in the minors to start the year raised a lot of questions for the Jays future.
If the Blue Jays choose to trade one of their two catchers, whether it be Arencibia or d’Arnaud, the time to field offers is quickly approaching. Once the draft is completed, offers slowly start to be sent to GM’s around the league. The Blue Jays pitcher’s have the second worst FIP in Major League Baseball with a 4.74. All that fun stat means is that the Blue Jays pitching has been atrocious. Any fan could point out that it was a concern when the currently injured,Sergio Santos blew the home opener at the Rogers Centre. Since then, the Jays have tried many closers and pitchers from the minors and still find themselves blowing leads in the late innings.
Arencibia is on a hot streak, winning AL player of the week last week. D’Arnaud’s .321 average and 12 home runs are hard to look past so far in 2012 as well. Why not trade one of the two for an elite starting pitcher that could go behind Ricky Romero in the Blue Jays rotation? A possible suitor would be the Tampa Bay Rays. Obviously the Rays are an AL East rival, however, the Rays offence lacks production from their catchers. Both catchers on their current roster are hitting under .200 and adding another solid bat in their lineup could be key for a long playoff run. One name that they could afford to give the Jays would be Wade Davis. Davis lost a spot in the starting rotation at the start of the year but has pitched great this season. Is he worth the price of giving up one of the Jays catchers? Probably not, but put him in a package with another few, good, prospects, and Blue Jays may have solidified their pitching. Another pitcher on the Rays staff that might be a better suitor for the Blue Jays needs would be Jeremy Hellickson. Young, and can throw, something fitting the Jays motto over the past couple years.
As good as J.P. is for the game of baseball in Canada, there comes a time where you need to let one of your two great players go. It is happening in Vancouver this off-season with the Canucks and their goaltending situation, it may soon happen to the Toronto Blue Jays.