While the Toronto Blue Jays are open to trading any of their three catchers, there is, well, a catch.
“None is cheap,” a rival executive says, referring to the acquisition cost in a trade, not the players’ salaries.
The Jays non-tendered Bobby Wilson on Friday night, leaving J.P. Arencibia, John Buck and Travis D’Arnaud as the remaining catchers on their 40-man roster.
Arencibia, 26, is the most likely to be moved — and the Jays previously have talked about him in trades for pitchers such as Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis and New York Mets left-hander Jon Niese, major-league sources say.
The Jays might need to offer more than Arencibia to acquire such a pitcher, but aren’t necessarily eager to make that type of move. Arencibia is still a year away from arbitration, and the Jays control him for four more years.
D’Arnaud, the team’s top catching prospect, did not play after June 25 last season due to a knee injury. Buck, 32, batted .192 with a .644 OPS for the Miami Marlins last season.
As for starting pitching, it’s true that the Jays would like to find more even after acquiring right-hander Josh Johnson and lefty Mark Buehrle in their blockbuster with the Marlins.
The team, however, seems more inclined to add depth than find an upgrade over its fifth starter, lefty J.A. Happ, sources say.
Thus, the Jays could look to sign a low-end free agent as well as minor-league free agents, ensuring that they are better protected against injuries than they were last season.
— Ken Rosenthal