Thursday, July 29, 2010
Bye Bye Brett Wallace
By Ian Hunter
In a shocking move, the Blue Jays flipped their highly touted first baseman prospect Brett Wallace to the Houston Astros for outfielder Anthony Gose.
When I first heard of the trade, my initial thought was "has Alex Anthopoulos lost his mind?" But now that I've had a little bit of time to cool off and collect my thoughts, on the surface it might not be so bad.
First, let's start with Brett Wallace. I was looking forward to seeing him mash major league pitching as much as the next guy, yet I think there's something here that the Blue Jays weren't telling us about.
Keep in mind this is the third time Wallace has been traded in the span of one year, so you'd think that if he was such a coveted prospect that those teams would rather hang onto him than trade him.
The Blue Jays never officially said anything about this, but there were rumblings that Brett Wallace wasn't exactly having the smoothest transition from third base to third base. I've never seen Wallace field so I can't really judge, but that must have been taken into consideration.
Now let's talk about Anthony Gose. It sounds like Alex Anthopoulos has been pretty enamored with him since the Winter Meetings as the Blue Jays originally requested he be included in the Roy Halladay trade.
It's difficult to say what kind of player Gose might develop into, but one thing he has going for him is something this organization is sorely lacking: speed. He had 76 stolen bases last season in A Ball and has swiped 36 bags this season.
I think the reason why this trade has so many people up in arms is because it didn't seem necessary. Brett Wallace was sitting there in the starting gates ready to get the call, and he seemed like the slugging first baseman that would provide some power in the middle of the lineup.
Now it feels like the Blue Jays have taken one step backward as they have to figure out how to fill the hole next year at first base. I don't suspect Alex Anthopoulos is done making all his trade deadline moves by a long shot, and that solution may come as early as Saturday.
When it all boils down to it, neither of these guys have had a lick of major league experience and are still playing in the minors. Brett Wallace could very well have been the next Carlos Delgado. On the other hand, he could also have been the next Eric Hinske.
Whether it's good or bad, we won't know the full repercussions of this trade for another 10 years or so. Hopefully by that time, the Blue Jays will have assembled a winning team.
And if not, we'll all be wondering if Brett Wallace was a piece of the puzzle that got left behind.