Jays, Braves swap shortstops

Yunel_Escobar.jpgThe Blue Jays completed their first big deal leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline, sending shortstop Alex Gonzalez to the Braves in a five-player swap on Wednesday afternoon.

Toronto receives:

SS Yunel Escobar
LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (Minors)

Atlanta receives:

SS Alex Gonzalez
LHP Tim Collins (Minors)
INF Tyler Pastornicky (Minors)

Escobar takes over for Gonzalez as the Blue Jays’ shortstop, while Reyes has been optioned to Double-A New Hampshire. Toronto designated pitcher Ronald Uviedo for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Escobar.

When the Jays signed Gonzalez to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million over the winter, it was primarily for his glove. The thought from the beginning was that he could become a valuable trading chip if he took off on offense as well. That’s precisely what Gonzalez did in the first half and the Jays felt it made sense to pull the trigger on this deal.

Escobar is not having his best season (.238 in 75 games for the Braves), but he is younger and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time in the winter. His price may be similar to the $2.5 million club option Gonzalez has for 2011, too. So, Escobar is controllable for a few more years. That can help buy some more development time for shortstop prospect Adeiny Hechavarria. The fact that Escobar and Hechavarria are both from Cuba certainly does not hurt the development process, either.

Reyes adds some depth, but Jays fans will certainly be upset to see Collins go. Collins is the 5-foot-7 lefty reliever from Worcester, Mass., that was discovered by the Ricciardis. This year, the little lefty had a staggering 73 strikeouts in 43 innings at Double-A. Pastornicky was hitting .258 in his second season with Class A Dunedin.



What I like about this move is that it demonstrates Antho’s desire to build a contender LONG TERM. In earlier years, I could have seen the Jays try to sign Gonzalez to a long-term deal based on his performance this year. However, Antho wants a potential all-star playing at every position. He could have held on to Gonzalez all year and then let him go for a sandwich pick. Or he could have traded him, which he did. The short-stop that we got in return was considered by some to be the best defensive short-stop in baseball as late as last year. His bat has slipped (hope he is not on the juice), but if he can regain his hitting ability we may have an excellent short stop over the next few years. One that could be potentially traded for even more if it looks like Hech is going to pan out. Again, what I like about the move is Antho’s decision not to bow to media pressure and buy into short-term gains based on one outstanding year. What I can’t wait to see is what he ends up doing with Bautista (I think he might keep him, though), Buck, Frasor, and Downs. Hopefully, we can package these guys to get QUALITY back. Good job, Antho.

I dont think this was a good trade. First off, we have more than enough depth at pitching and it doesn’t seem like jo-jo reyes will be able to compete in our rotation at all.
I am ok with trading Gonzalez, its ok we got escobar, he is young and can hit for average from the previous two years and is pretty solid defensively but why give up TIM COLLINS AND TYLER PASTORNICKY, I dont mind pastronicky leaving but Tim Collins could have been our closer for the future or atleast a solid bullpen guy. They are both only 21 years old, and collins has I believe a 16 strikeouts / 9 innings ratio for the past 2 seasons. his ERA has never been above 3.00 in the past 3 years.
I think Tim Collins was giving up too much.

A little concerned about some of the stuff being said about Escobar’s character, but I generally like the move.

Sad to see Collins moved.

Probably just the start of moves for the Jays. I like the move. Hopefully Escobar will flourish with a change of scenery.


I think if we had traded for Escobar this past winter, we’d probably have had to offer either Marcum, Romero or Cecil because at that time he was considered to be one of the best young short stops in the game.
So I totally agree with everything Burt said..Although Escobar’s bat has slipped this year what hasn’t slipped is his walk rate..We need obp guys as well as hr guys and I fully expect his bat will turn around as he becomes comfortable in his surroundings….
He provides that bridge to Hecchevaria and possibly more down the road or he becomes a valuable trade chip when Hecchevaria is ready, either way,Jays,win.

First time in a long time, we’ve had a manager sell high and buy low…..Not surprising Riccardi doesn’t like the trade, because he never did understand that concept….Extremely well done Alex…Keep up the great work…..

Goodluck….PASTORNICKY was about to get run over by Ryan Goins from Lansing and move farther down the depth chart..Personally, I was never a big Collins fan, just didn’t see his stuff transferring to this level except as possibly a mid reliever with limited shelf life. Check out recently promoted Alan Farina, you’ll like him a lot.

oh I haven’t heard of Alan Farina and I saw that Andy Wojnewski was on the DL…anything serious, I would hate to loose a high draftpick before he even really got a chacne to play.

No, Wojneski was shut down for the season because he’d already pitched 120 innings in College and 20 with Auburn, but he’s fine no worry…Actually considering how great he pitched, he’s better than fine..lol

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