The non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball passed Saturday, with trades involving monster sluggers (Lance Berkman), all-star pitchers (Kerry Wood), and name players who actually went somewhere other than New York (Ted Lilly).
But through it all, the Toronto Blue Jays held firm, despite rumours and speculation to the contrary. Jose Bautista, John Buck, even reliever Scott Downs and first baseman Lyle Overbay, they’re all still there, for now at least.
Perhaps Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos should have struck while the iron was hot – arguably Bautista’s and Buck’s value will never be higher, with the former leading the majors in home runs – on pace to hit as many as he did in the previous three seasons combined – and fellow all-star Buck playing as well as nearly every other American League catcher.
These are career seasons for the outfielder Bautista and Buck, both 30 this year, and it’s quite possible neither will ever play this well again. If the opportunity was there to move them to contenders desperate enough to part with a top prospect or two, this armchair GM would not have been alone in giving it serious consideration – particularly if said prospect was a potential light-outs closer that could put an eventual stop to the revolving door at that position, currently occupied by the talented but maddening Kevin Gregg. The fact that both Bautista and Buck were picked up for a song (Bautista for future considerations a couple years ago, Buck as a free-agent last off-season) makes it all the more tempting to try and convert them into something bigger. (more…)