Tag Archives: Travis D'Arnaud

Team Preview – Toronto Blue Jays

Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C John Buck SP 1 Ricky Romero
1B Lyle Overbay SP 2 Brett Cecil
2B Aaron Hill SP 3 Marc Rzepcynski
3B Edwin Encarnacion SP 4 Shaun Marcum
SS Alex Gonzalez SP 5 Brandon Morrow
LF Travis Snider Bullpen
CF Vernon Wells CL Jason Frasor
RF Adam Lind RP Jeremy Accardo
DH Randy Ruiz RP Jesse Carlson
Bench RP Kevin Gregg
OF Jeremy Reed RP Brian Tallet
OF Jose Bautista RP David Purcey

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Brandon Morrow Trade (SEA) SP Roy Halladay Trade (PHI)
C John Buck Free Agency RP Brandon League Trade (SEA)
RP Kevin Gregg Free Agency SS Marco Scutaro Free Agency

Top Prospects: Brett Wallace (3B), Kyle Drabek (P), Zack Stewart (P)

2009 Review

The Blue Jays always seem to be not quite close enough to competing. They finished 2009 with a 75-87 campaign, which led to the firing of general manager J.P. Ricciardi after 8 seasons. Ricciardi and the Blue Jays spent most of the season listening to trade rumors surrounding SP Roy Halladay, which appeared to be a distraction overall. But the team definitely had some bright spots. 2B Aaron Hill lead the team with 36 HR, as he was healthy for the full season for the first time in a while. RF Adam Lind finally developed into a good middle-of-the-order hitter, powering 35 HR and a team-leading 114 RBI to go with a .305 batting average. SP Roy Halladay went 17-10 with a 2.79 era, leading a very young, but potentially very good pitching staff.

Injuries played a major part in the Blue Jays season, with 2 starting pitchers missing the entire season (Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan). However, rookies Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepcynski, and Ricky Romero all came up and stepped right into the rotation. Perhaps the most unusual moment came in August when RF Alex Rios, placed on waivers like nearly everyone else on the roster (as is standard at the time of year), was claimed by the White Sox. The Blue Jays took that opportunity to rid themselves of a rather large contract, and got just the relief from Rios’ salary in return.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Blue Jays are always going to be a second-tier team in comparison to the Yankees and Red Sox, but they have done well to position themselves in terms of the future. The Halladay trade netted them an excellent pitching prospect in Kyle Drabek, a high-level 3B prospect in Brett Wallace, a solid catching prospect in Travis d’Arnaud, and also acquired another good young arm in Brandon Morrow in a separate trade. This is in addition to the already good young arms of Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, and Dustin McGowan. While the team no longer has a bona fide #1 starter in Halladay, they did well to get as good of a return as they did considering he was only under contract for 1 season and had a full no-trade clause.

The Blue Jays should be helped with full seasons from OF Travis Snider, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, and SP Brett Cecil. However, they did lose a large amount of offense from SS Marco Scutaro and C Rod Barajas that wasn’t particularly replaced in the lineup. I think this is a team that will continue to develop this season, and unfortunately will not really be in the AL East race for very long. They simply don’t have enough offense from this lineup to compete with the top hitting teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Rangers), and don’t have enough top-tier pitching to compete with the top pitching teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, Tigers).

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

2B Aaron Hill and RF Adam Lind are really the cream of this crop, as the Blue Jays have quite a few players who are better real-life players than fantasy players. I don’t expect Hill to repeat the home run total he had last season, but 2B is still very shallow and Hill is a definite starter in all leagues. Nearly all of their starting pitchers are high-risk, high-reward types due to the fact that they are all very young still. If I were to pick one out of the group, it would probably be Ricky Romero, as he’s shown the most success while with the big club to this point.

Prediction for 2010

The Blue Jays are in a semi-rebuilding mode at this point, as they have quite a few young players at the Major League level. I don’t believe that they will compete for the AL East crown this season, and could potentially see more movement if they can get a good return on players like Lyle Overbay, Jason Frasor, and Jeremy Accardo. But watch out for them in the coming seasons as they should improve under new general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

77-85, 4th in the AL East

Trade Review – PHI/SEA/TOR/OAK

Philadelphia Phillies receive SP Roy Halladay (TOR), RP Philippe Aumont (SEA), P Juan Ramirez (SEA), OF Tyson Gillies (SEA), and $6,000,000 (TOR)

Seattle Mariners receive SP Cliff Lee (PHI)

Toronto Blue Jays receive C Travis D’Arnaud (PHI), SP Kyle Drabek (PHI), and 1B/3B Brett Wallace (OAK)

Oakland Athletics receive OF Michael Taylor (PHI)

The Phillies
At first, these trades seemed odd to me. They went and got Halladay, whom they had coveted for quite a while. I had visions of how tough a rotation that would be throughout the year – Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Happ, and Blanton. And then the other shoe fell and they moved Lee as well. The prospects they received are interesting, but I’m not 100% sure that the return they got for Lee was similar to the package that they gave up to get him initially.

What is there to be said about Roy Halladay, really? He has won 16 games or more each of the last 4 seasons. He won 20 last year. He has posted a sub-3.20 era 4 of the last 5 seasons. He struck out 200 batters the last 2 seasons. He won the 2003 Cy Young Award. He has established himself as one of the most durable, and best pitchers in the majors. While it isn’t a huge upgrade for this year between Lee and Halladay, the fact that they are getting him signed to an extension (sounds like it will be 3 yrs, $60 million at the moment) is critical to this trade being a success for the Phillies. That new extension will take him through the age of 36. So the Phillies are getting some of his best potential years to come, and not signing him to a ridiculously long extension.

Aumont has been working as a reliever exclusively, splitting time between High-A and AA. He posted a respectable line of 3.88 with 16 saves and 59 strikeouts in 51 innings between the two stops. Aumont finished last season as the #3 prospect according to John Sickels, and was generally considered to be a high-end pitching prospect. I think that Aumont would be a lot more interesting as a starting pitcher, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Phillies will convert him back or not.

Juan Ramirez looks like a solid starting pitching prospect. In the California League in 2009, he posted an 8-10 record with a 5.12 era,  111 strikeouts and 53 walks in 153 innings. I am more interested in his 2008 numbers, due to their being accomplished in the Midwest League. His line that year: 6-9, 4.14 era, 113 strikeouts, and 38 walks in 124 innings pitched. John Sickels had him at #4 in the Mariners system at the end of the 2008 season.

Gillies appears to be a very good speedster out in the outfield. He posted a .341/.430/.486 line with 9 homers and 44 steals. While these numbers are a bit inflated due to his playing the full season in the California League (known for its offense numbers), he also posted similar numbers in 2008 in the Northwest League (.313/.439/.427). He doesn’t appear that he has a lot of power, but its possible he could grow into that as he gets older. He will be only 21 when the 2010 season begins.

The Mariners
I think that the Mariners did really well here. They gave up a prospect whose luster had faded (Aumont), and two young prospects who are realistically unlikely to help the Major League team in the next 3 years. They turned those players into another ace for the top of their pitching staff. The combination of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee at the top of their rotation really solidifies the Mariners’ chances to win their division next year. When you add in the fact that the Angels have lost 2 major players on their team (Lackey, Figgins), and replaced them with very little as of yet, I really like the Mariners to win this division as of right now.

The Blue Jays
The Jays really felt like they had to move Halladay, or potentially lose him to free agency for just some draft picks. The return they got, in my opinion, is fair. Not a slam dunk, but fair. Wallace becomes the heir apparent to first base in my opinion, and speculation is already out there that the Jays could move Lyle Overbay. Wallace had a very good year between AA Springfield, AAA Memphis, and AAA Sacramento, posting a .293/.367/.455 line with 20 homers and 63 rbi. He appears to be a solid prospect, and should turn out to be a solid major league starter.

Kyle Drabek ended this season as probably the top pitching prospect in the Phillies organization. He finished 12-3, with a 3.19 era. He finished with 150 strikeouts against 50 walks in 158 innings pitched. He pitched in AA last season, and is likely to start the season in AAA. The Blue Jays realistically, don’t need him to hit the majors for at least another season, with all the excellent starting pitchers that are already at or near the majors (Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Marc Rzepcynski, Jesse Litsch, Scott Richmond, David Purcey, Robert Ray). So it really just increases their depth in pitching.

Travis D’Arnaud is a very young catcher who spent the season at Single-A Lakewood. He posted a .255/.319/.419 line with 13 homers, 71 rbi, and 8 steals. I actually am not too familiar with him, so I went looking for a good profile of him, and found it here. After reading it, it appears he is considered to be a solid defensive catcher who is likely to stick at the position long term. A solid catching prospect overall.

Overall, I think that the Blue Jays did manage to address some specific positional needs in trading Halladay, and while this return isn’t necessarily as high as it would have been had he been moved in July, they did well to get some solid prospects here.

The Athletics
For my hometown A’s, I really like this trade. This makes me believe that the A’s do not believe that Wallace could stick at 3B, where they really needed him. So they turn him into a top-tier outfield prospect. While I would normally be concerned about the fact that they already have a ton of outfielders at or near the major league level (Rajai Davis, Travis Buck, Aaron Cunningham, Ryan Sweeney all come to mind), I am inclined to believe that Taylor is better than most, if not all, of these players. The Athletics are always seeming to be short of power hitters, and Taylor definitely fits the bill. He posted a .320/.395/.544 line between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley for the Phillies last year, along with 20 homers and 21 stolen bases. The movement of Wallace also makes Jake Fox (recently acquired from the Cubs) to be the main option at 3B besides the permanently injured (sad, sad I know) Eric Chavez. I am amazed that Billy Beane managed to make his way into this trade, and gave up a solid prospect for a better one in my opinion.

Overall Review
I think that overall, each team did well with this trade. The Mariners appear to be making at least a partial push to win now. The A’s get a power bat that they desperately need. The Blue Jays get 3 solid prospects that will help their team to rebuild their farm system. The Phillies get an even better ace for the top of their pitching staff, and 3 high-end prospects as well. And somehow they got the Phillies to kick in $6 million bucks! It remains to be seen exactly how the prospects involved are going to turn out, and whether or not Halladay can stay healthy for the length of his new extension. But after trying to make sense of this for the past 24 hours, I can safely say that each team has improved themselves in at least some small manner.

CURRENT WINNER: Seattle Mariners

LONG-TERM WINNER: Philadelphia Phillies