|Courtesy of Zimbio|
I know some people are going a little nuts because the trade deadline is tomorrow afternoon, but let's be realistic here ... it's extremely unlikely the Blue Jays move the face of their franchise any time soon.
I understand that guys like Jeff Blair have to fill airtime and beat writers and newspaper columnists have to write about something. Heck, even blogging around here sometimes is spitballing to some degree.
Drew and Stoeten spoke about this at length on the DJF podcast yesterday, but Jose Bautista is not going anywhere. Even if another team were to magically come along and replenish the Blue Jays farm system with elite prospects, Toronto can't make that trade.
Even if the Texas Rangers offer up Jurickson Profar and perhaps a couple of other elite prospects, the Blue Jays should not pull the trigger on that deal. Why? Because at this point, trading Jose Bautista would be like waving the white flag.
If the Blue Jays trade Jose Bautista this year, you may as well write off the rest of the 2013 season. Heck, you might as well write off next year and maybe even 2015 as well. Because losing a cornerstone like Bautista would be detrimental to the success of the Blue Jays.
If they're going to trade Jose Bautista, then trade Edwin Encarnacion too. Trade R.A. Dickey. Trade anybody whose last name ends in "N" or whose first name starts with a "C". Blow the whole damn thing up.
You could make an argument 2013 has been written off already anyway, which would give the Blue Jays motivation to move some of their star players. However, 2013 was not the "go for it" year; it was never intended to be a one-shot deal.
This team has a two to three year window to contend. Okay, so maybe year one of the plan didn't go so well. That doesn't mean Alex Anthopoulos should just dismantle this team a la the Miami Marlins and stock up on prospects.
Bautista is the cornerstone of this Blue Jays franchise. He is locked up through 2015 and has an option for 2016. That means the possibility of three more seasons of Joey Bats in a Blue Jays uniform. That kind of control for an elite player simply cannot be understated.
It's funny ... I was looking back at some posts around the 2010 trade deadline, and it's interesting how the trade rumours were swirling about Jose Bautista back then as well. Except in 2010, they were much more feverish as most wondered whether AA would cash in on Bautista's expected success.
Ultimately, the Blue Jays made the right decision that year and hung onto Jose Bautista. In fact, they surprisingly signed him to a five year contract extension, which at the time was admittedly a little perplexing. But Joey Bats has been worth his weight in gold since, and will likely continue to outperform his team-friendly contract.
Your friend and mine Navin had this to say about the Blue Jays dynamic Dominican duo, and I can't really argue with him:
Over the past two seasons, Bautista and Encarnacion have hit 121 HR, scored 290 runs, driven in 320, and walked 250 times. What a waste.
— Navin Vaswani (@vaswani_) July 28, 2013
It really is a shame to see star players like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have the best years of their career on what have otherwise been forgettable Blue Jays teams.
The thing is, the Blue Jays are either going to ride into the sunset with a World Series trophy with players like Jose Bautista, or they're going to go down swinging with players like Jose Bautista.