Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Batter's Box reader Max Parkinson gave us the heads on a deal that sends Aaron Wideman to the Jays in exchange for the Nationals being allowed to send former Jay and Rule 5 draftpick Ty Godwin to the minor leagues. This trade has been confirmed by

Wideman is a 19 year-old left-handed starter from Mississauga, who was drafted in the 11th round by the Expos in the 2003 draft. In 2 minor league seasons he has a 5-5 record with 20 walks, 75 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.91 in 20 games (85 innings).

Your thoughts?

Jays, Nationals Swap Minor Leaguers | 32 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
sweat - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST (#107133) #
Can't hurt.
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 04:48 PM EST (#107134) #
john Sickels had this to say about Wideman:

I like Wideman but his fastball is below average and we need to see what he can do at higher levels.

by John Sickels on Mon Feb 28, 2005 at 10:20:32 AM CST

Donkit R.K. - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 04:58 PM EST (#107135) #
Wideman might not be anything special, but he looks to me like a *huge* upgrade over Godwin especially considering Tyrel's Rule 5 status.
BlueJaysLee - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:03 PM EST (#107136) #
Here's what had to say with his draft profile:

"COMMENT: Similar to Billy Wagner. Near physical maturity. Mentally tough, confident. LHP that can pitch. Uses and commands all three pitches. Signed with Arkansas."

His stats are great. Lefty to boot, good pickup. Deal from depth, not that Godwin was ever in our plans.
Flex - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:06 PM EST (#107137) #
Godwin wasn't going to play here. Now we have an outside shot at someday seeing a good Canadian left-hander. I like the deal.
Ryan01 - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:08 PM EST (#107138) #

Aaron Fitt had this to say in BA's National's Chat:

The phrase that invariably comes up when talking about Wideman is "crafty lefty." He is a 19-year-old who logged minimal innings in Ontario before being drafted, but he already has a good idea how to pitch. His fastball tops out in the 88-91 range but his curveball is above average.

Lefties with a reasonable fastball and a good breaking ball can generally at least find a job as a LOOGY. His numbers suggest his control is excellent for his age and he's still got a little time to add some zip to the fastball. Like Sickels suggests it's a little too early to project much but he should be an asset to the Lugnuts this season. Good move for the Jays and it's a good move for Godwin. His speed will probably be more valued by a team like Washington and he should get a better shot at the majors when he's ready.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:11 PM EST (#107139) #
How can compare him to Billy Wagner if Sickels says he has a below-average fastball?

Are those two things not entirely mutually exclusive?
Flex - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:14 PM EST (#107141) #
I found this on the Nationals MLB blog, where he was considered the organization's tenth best pitching prospect (though they have his age wrong):

. A.J. Wideman, LHP, 20
2005 destination: low-A ball

It’s nice to see Ontario, Canada represented on the Nationals’ Top 15 list. Coming from Canada, Wideman does not have as much experience as a lot of pitchers from warmer regions, Even so, he knows how to pitch. His stuff is no better than average – 88-91 mph fastball with a good curveball – but he is still young, left-handed and gaining experience.
Pistol - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:28 PM EST (#107142) #
though they have his age wrong

Perhaps they were using his age for this upcoming season when he'll be 20 in June.

Godwin didn't have much of a future in Toronto, so taking a chance on a lefty with decent numbers in the NYP league at 19 is worth a look.

Do the minor league followers think he'll be a starter in Lansing this year, or are starter spots more or less filled? I see he started 10 games in the NYP league last year.

Gerry - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:37 PM EST (#107143) #
Could go either way, it depends where the Jays consider him on their depth chart. Do they put him ahead of Chris Leonard? If yes he could start, if not he will be in the pen.

Because of his age, and the Jays high number of pitchers, there is also a chance he could stay in extended and go to Auburn.
Ryan01 - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 05:47 PM EST (#107144) #
I don't think he really has much left to prove in the NYPL but there's plenty of competition for starting slots. I think he'll mostly likely fill Davis Romero's shoes this year - splitting his time between starting and middle/long relief. He's young, not that tall and it's his first time in a full season league so the swingman role should help preserve his arm a little while still logging plenty of innings.

R Billie - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 06:40 PM EST (#107152) #
Interesting deal. Godwin really had no spot in the Jays organization and can probably be a useful 4th outfielder or perhaps more for the Nationals. He was drafted several times declining to sign until he inked with the Jays as a 3rd round selection in 2001.

Wideman will be 20 in June and probably pitching in low-A after spending two years in short season. His body proportions don't show a lot of room for growth and his K/rate isn't special but he has good control for a young guy and is a lefty which are always in demand.

So it's a case of getting something with some promise though probably not tremendous upside for something you weren't going to use. A fairly rational deal.
Ducey - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 06:43 PM EST (#107153) #
Here are Wideman's stats from the last two years:
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 07:03 PM EST (#107154) #
I agree with Ryan about Wildman's (terrible name for a pitcher, isn't it?) likely usage. The Jays have a very intelligent plan for gradually developing the endurance for their young pitchers- 1/2 a season in the rotation; 1/2 in the pen. They did this last year with Vermilyea, League and Davis Romero, and it worked swimmingly.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 07:05 PM EST (#107155) #
Ugh, it's Wideman not Wildman. Better wide than wild!
Jordan - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 07:21 PM EST (#107157) #
Converting Godwin into anything is a bonus. Lots of tools, but he wasn't turning them into baseball skills and the Jays had no room for him. Good luck to him in Washington.

Wideman looks interesting. Those are some pretty sweet numbers for a 19-year-old in the NY-Penn League. The strikeout totals are as mediocre as you'd expect for someone with a lousy fastball, but batters can't make contact off him and his walk rates are OK. He might not ever be useful above Double-A, or he might add a couple more mph on the heater and become Dave Gassner; either way, he's Toronto property for a few more years, and teenage left-handers are always nice to have around. I'd start him at Lansing in the dual role Ryan suggested and see what happens.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 10:59 PM EST (#107166) #
Actually Wideman can already get it up 90-91 mph, which is faster than Gassner can. He's only 5'11 but Wideman has room for projection and could easily improve his fastball... I really like this trade. The Jays really had very little interest in Godwin so to get anything for him was a bonus and Wideman was on my list of the Nationals top 15 pitching prospects.
Gardiner West - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 12:12 AM EST (#107168) #
Bottom line is J.P. flipped an outfielder not on his plans for more pitching depth, Canadian to boot, and left-handed to sandal. Now, we are finally going to see Ricciardi operate. Improved payroll and the farm system providing depth and options.

I am very much looking forward to this season and esecially Dave Bush opening Rogers Centre against the World Champion Red Sox with Gabe Gross starting in left field.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#107171) #
Perhaps they were using his age for this upcoming season when he'll be 20 in June.

I was using his 2005-season age, which is 20. He's 19 until June, as mentioned above.

I agree that Wideman probably has nothing left to prove in short season ball, but that may not keep the Jays from holding him back in extended spring training to get a better grasp on his ability and then move him up in a month or so if an injury occurs that creates a chain reaction and opens a spot in Lansing. Just because he starts in extended spring doesn't mean he has to go to short season ball...

dp - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 10:25 AM EST (#107178) #
Ryan Howard for Alex Rios: yes or no?

Howard starts at DH.

What pitcher would you give up to get him?
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 10:33 AM EST (#107180) #
Ryan Howard for Alex Rios: yes or no?

No way. 129 strikeouts to 46 walks in AA as a 24 year old? I can't see him ever hitting major league pitching.

Why not go out and get Cal Pickering or play Eric Crozier? They're much better and cheaper options.

Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 10:34 AM EST (#107181) #
Absolutely I would not do a Rios for Howard. Rios has much more upside than Howard, who will likely be a one-tool masher in the majors. Howard is also, I believe, a year older than Rios. The market is too high for Howard at this point, after his great 2004 season so I would not trade anyone for him at this point. It would probably take something like Shaun Marcum and Gustavo Chacin to get him, if not more... maybe Chiaravalloti.
dp - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST (#107186) #
Howard's a little more than a year older. Problematic. But Rios has had one good year in the minors, one mediocre one in the majors. Otherwise he's been pretty unremarkable.

Career minor league stats:
Howard (OBP/SLG)
AAA- .362/.604
AA- .386/.647
A- .373/.483

AAA- .292/.373
AA- .402/.521
A- .315/.369

Rios hasn't really been great at taking BB- he's never been below the 1:10 ratio his whole career, including his incredible season at New Haven. Does all the hype come from that one season, or am I missing something? Playing RF, he's got to hit better than he would in CF, which is why I think moving him for a good 1B might be the better bet- he's really never hit for power in the minors, hasn't been good at getting on base. Did he turn a corner at NH in '03, or was it a fluke?
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 12:56 PM EST (#107194) #
But Rios is more projectable and has much better tools: four, with the fifth possible if his power develops.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 12:57 PM EST (#107195) #
If you don't think Rios is the real deal (and I could see why) trading him makes sense. But I think you could get more for him than a poor man's Jack Cust.
MatO - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 01:09 PM EST (#107198) #
Hey, Wideman went to my older son's HS. Streetsville Secondary.
dp - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 01:11 PM EST (#107201) #
I guess Howard doesn't equal his value- but it seems that Rios is valued pretty highly right now, more than his numbers justify. I really hope he lives up to the hype that's surrounding him, but if not, it seems his value will drop the longer a) he stays in RF and is therefore not considered a CF, b) the more he's exposed to major league pitching and doesn't hit for power. If he levels off at .350/.430, he's a good CF, but not good enough for a corner. Still, it is nice having 2 centerfielders in the outfield, and a Rios/Wells/Gross OF in 2006 will be nice and cheap, maybe allowing them to spend some bucks on an elite-level 1b/DH.

The Jays are really in a spot where it seems they're going to have to move some pitching for hitting prospects. This is a good thing, but seems like A-/B+ prospects rarely get traded for each just seems like there's too many mid-level arms to evaluate at the major league level...
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 01:21 PM EST (#107204) #
Here's what Prospectus had to say about Howard:

RJ: I'd like to see what Nate says about the Phillies' Ryan Howard. Sick power, but he's old and sort of a one-trick pony. His cup of coffee was impressive.

NS: Howard:

WARP: 2.6, 2.3, 2.1, 2.0, 2.3
Comps: Josh Phelps, Sam Horn, Daryle Ward.

The comparables here are not terribly flattering, although there are some more encouraging names like Carlos Delgado and Jay Buhner slightly farther down the list. Power really is his only plus skill at this point, and guys with just one big skill tend to be boom-or-bust prospects.

Derek Zumsteg: How often do guys with huge strikeout problems succeed in the major leagues? Even successful hack-o-matic major leaguers had measurable plate discipline and could make contact in the minors.

James Click: The best comps I could find for Howard based on power and strikeout rates were Russell Branyan, Jack Cust and Joe Borchard--not very encouraging. I have a hard time liking a 24/25-year old first baseman in Double-A who strikes out every third time up and is stuck behind Jim Thome because he can't play defense anywhere else. Yes the power is ridiculous. Yes, he draws just enough walks, and yes, he managed to maintain very similar performance rates through brief stints in Triple-A and the majors this year, but those strikeouts still bug me.

I'll defer to the PECOTA comps on this one, but I'd vote lower for him.

CD: My routine doesn't like him at all: .271 EQA, .259/.331/.466. His 2004 was a lot better than his '03 and '02 seasons, despite not doing anything about his ~.3/PA strikeout rate; his Arizona Fall League numbers were in line with those previous years, when he had EQAs of 260-265. I think he just had his career year, and frankly don't see a whole lot of difference between him and Walter Young.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST (#107205) #
He ended up getting placed at #38 at their Top 50 prospects. Quiroz was #41.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#107303) #
Some minor league news....

Jason Arnold has saved the last two games for the Skychiefs, pitching the ninth inning each time. I assume that the Jays might have converted Arnold, seeing how it it two weeks to the start of the season and Jason is not building up his arm to start.

Ryan01 - Wednesday, March 23 2005 @ 04:37 PM EST (#107306) #
After Arnold's shoulder problems last year, it's probably the wisest move. I'd be interested in finding out how hard he's throwing right now. He lost a few clicks on his fastball after switching from closer to starter but he was known to dial it up as high as 97 in his relief days. Though some of the loss was intentional to improve the movement on his pitches, he'd become a very interesting guy to watch again if he can regain a little velocity (and stay healthy).
MatO - Thursday, March 24 2005 @ 09:11 AM EST (#107326) #
Late take on the trade.
- never liked Godwin
- getting a lefty is a big bonus
- if he throws 88-91 then that's average at worst for a lefty
- hell that's how hard Zach Jackson throws
- his H/IP and 1 HR given up in 2 years suggests a fastball with some movement on it
- he was 19 in a league where the average age is around 21
Jays, Nationals Swap Minor Leaguers | 32 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.