I am not a professional baseball scout (stop me if you've heard that before).
I'm just a dude with a passion for the game and opinions - some of which are unquestionably uninformed - and a rudimentary understanding of baseball statistics and evaluation metrics (for good times & baseball nerditry, go here).
Now that I've thrown that disclaimer at you, allow me to explain why I'd rather see Doc traded to anywhere but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, United States of America.
First, a few other points of clarification:
(1) I've come to accept that the Jays will not receive the "shoot for the moon" package we all dream will happen.
(2) I've settled (my stomach) on deciding that Anthopoulos should take the best package out there - AL East rivals be damned.
So here's why it bothers me to hear that the Angels are the rumoured frontrunners - depending on the day of the week, I suppose - in the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes:
I just don't like the package. I see nothing in any of the names within the rumoured/proposed deals that excites me as a Jays fan - not for now, and not for three years from now. Have a look-see:
I'm befuddled, really. Strip away the shiny win totals from the past few seasons, and then explain to me why he is the apparent focus/centerpiece of any deal. In fact, let's compare and contrast a few stat lines from this past season:
Pitcher A: 186 IP, 4.60 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4.9 K/9
Pitcher B: 178 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.522 WHIP, 7.1 K/9
Pitcher C: 61 IP (I know - sample size alert!), 3.67 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, 8.8 K/9
and just for fun....
Pitcher D: 166 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
Now what if I told you that Pitcher A was Saunders, B was Ricky Romero, C was Marc Rzepczynski....and D was the Phillies JA Happ? Does Saunders really present as a better rotation option than either of the Jays' young lefties? Of course, I'm ignoring the aspects of durability, longevity, etc....but why should we care about established mediocrity when "building" the core?
And if we're talking about players as the centerpiece of a deal....does Saunders - even after adjusting for pitching in the more difficult AL (of course, there's the potentially offsetting matter of home ballparks) - represent a better option than the Phillies' Happ? Not to these eyes, they don't. So help me out here. Why Joe Saunders?
I'm sure he's a nice enough prospect. Maybe he's great defensively. He can run like hell. But check the statlines, and you'll find a player who hasn't OPS'd above .800 since the lowest levels of Rookie ball. I don't know. Am I missing something? Let's do another stat compare:
Prospect A: Class AA, 437 AB, .281 AVG, .354 OBP, .423 SLG, .777 OPS
Prospect B: Class AA, 318 AB, .333 AVG, .408 OBP, .569 SLG, .977 OPS, and
Class AAA, 110 AB, .282 AVG, .359 OBP, .491 SLG, .850 OPS
Pretty clear who you would choose, no? There's no way you'd prefer Prospect A (Bourjos) in a deal over Prospect B (Phillies Michael Taylor), would you? (And to be conservative, I've compared Bourjos to Taylor over the Phils more highly coveted OF prospect, Dominic Brown.)
Here's where my logic breaks down. No question, he's a great shortstop. Tonnes of range defensively, speed to burn, and a nice enough hitter as a middle infielder. But Aybar is heading into season 5 of his major league career, is only under team control for what - 2 more seasons? And really.....he's only had one real plus season offensively.
Like I mentioned - a good player, a definite upgrade, and I'd enjoy him as a Blue Jay. But enough to overlook Saunders/Bourjos? Not for me.
Mike Napoli/Jeff Mathis
Napoli can mash. Absolute upgrade behind the plate. But again, 4 full seasons under his belt, club control for a few more (non-contending) seasons, and then what? And Jeff Mathis? One season with an OPS +.600 screams defensive backup.
So there you have it. That's why I vote "No" to a Saunders/Angels trade. In all sincerity - convince me otherwise. Maybe my opinion changes if you sub Saunders for one of Weaver/Santana. Maybe. But from where I stand, a Phillies package around Happ/ Taylor-Brown/plus is preferable. And I was violently opposed to that package during last season's trade deadline.
Of course, any Yankees package centred on Hughes-Joba/Montero, or a Red Sox deal with Buchholz probably trumps either one, but it remains to be seen if either of the big boys will come out to play.
Fuck the market.