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Unsurprisingly, there’s interest around baseball in one of the Blue Jays’ talented young catchers. If they choose to, they could afford to let one of them go under the right circumstances.
The Blue Jays have a lot of young talent throughout their organization, so it’s no surprise that rival teams are potentially interested in talking trade at this time of the year.
One of those areas of talent is at catcher, as the Blue Jays have the potential luxury of a catching tandem of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire that are essentially coming off of their rookie seasons, and both looked more than capable of handling starting duties last season. They both have plenty to prove at the highest level yet, but the future behind the plate looks bright in Toronto.
Not surprisingly, other teams have taken notice of the catching talent north of the border according to mlbtraderumors.com, and might be wondering if the Blue Jays would consider trading from an area of strength in order to address other weaknesses. While there’s an argument that they should hold on to both of their backstops for now, and I made one a little while ago, they could also consider making a trade now if the right offer comes along, and they should be set up to handle the loss of one of the pair.
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The first important variable is that they still have Luke Maile under contract for three more seasons through arbitration control if they choose, and he’s certainly a capable back-up and not a bad guy to pair with a young starter. It’s tough to see how he fits with the Blue Jays going forward if they keep both Jansen and McGuire, so I would expect that one of the trio gets dealt sometime this winter, and it’s possible that Maile could be the guy. He wouldn’t bring back anywhere near the type of return the other two would though, which is why that option is on the table.
There’s also the fact that the Blue Jays have some catching talent still coming in their minor league system including Gabriel Moreno (#8), Alejandro Kirk (#12), and Riley Adams, all on their top 30 prospects list. The Blue Jays could choose to trade from their pool of minor league catching depth, but again, it’s about what the return might be.
At this stage it’s hard to say what other teams might be willing to pay. Jansen is coming off an impressive first full season as a starter, but it certainly came with struggles as well. He rated well as a pitch framer and ended up being nominated for a Gold Glove, but he’ll need to improve on his .207/.279/.360 slash line next season and beyond. McGuire’s sample size was a lot smaller, and while it was impressive to say the least, one could argue that he played over his head down the stretch in 2019.
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With the need for talented and controllable starting pitchers, the only real way I could see the Blue Jays trading Jansen or McGuire is if they can get a worthy starting pitcher back in return. Otherwise, it feels like it’s a little too early to know which one they’ll want to keep, and even if they have their long-term solution just yet. On the other hand, they’re both likeable viewed as quite valuable at the moment, and if the right offer comes along, the Blue Jays can certainly entertain the idea.