Reading some of the "Who to Trade?" articles of the past few weeks got me thinking hypothetically, a very fun but dangerous method of thinking...
Anyhow, I've had a trade idea kicking around in my head since the season ended and I'm curious to hear what some of you think about it. I'm not going to argue for or against it, I will only provide facts and evidence to illuminate the discussion.
Here is my proposal:
Toronto trades CF Colby Rasmus to Cincinnati for SP Homer Bailey.
The Reds are extremely likely to lose All-Star CF Shin-Soo Choo to free agency and with the best in-house options being phenom speedster Billy Hamilton and Derrick Robinson, they might be in the market for somebody with a bit more major league experience. Cincinnati also has a surplus of ML starting pitching with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo (free agent), Tony Cingrani, Mike Leake and Bailey. While the Reds would surely prefer a right-handed power hitter to complement Votto and Bruce, Colby Rasmus would be a solid offensive replacement for Choo and a definite defensive upgrade.
We need starting pitching, bad. Let me rephrase that, we need good starting pitching. Bailey may not be anyone's idea of an ace but he would easily slide in as the Blue Jays third best starting pitcher, possibly second best. Outfield depth also is something Toronto does have, with Anthony Gose and possibly Kevin Pillar able to fill in for a departed Rasmus.
A Closer Look At Rasmus
Colby finally had a productive and consistent season for the Blue Jays. While his counting numbers (HR, RBI etc.) were on par with previous years, he posted by far his highest batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.338) and slugging percentage (.501) as a Jay. Combined with his terrific defense and excellent baserunning, Rasmus was a 5 win player in under 120 games according to WAR (If you're into that kind of thing.) Skeptics will point to Rasmus' especially high batting average on balls hit in play and say he can't repeat what he did in 2013, but even with some offensive regression he is still an above average major league centrefielder and is still young enough to improve upon that.
A Closer Look At Bailey
Best known for throwing two no-hitters in the past two seasons, that achievement has perhaps overshadowed the significant improvement Bailey has made the past few years. A high draft pick (7th overall in 2004), Homer Bailey has logged 200+ innings each of the last two years while his ERA and WHIP has steadily dropped each of the last four, all while pitching in one of the better hitters parks in baseball. Bailey also has good command for a power pitcher (his BB/9 has been exactly 2.3 the past three seasons) and at 27 still has time to keep progressing.
Both are slated to be free agents at the end of next season so one would think a contract extension would have to be worked out with either player before such a deal could take place.
So, what do you think? Is this a move that makes sense for either team? Also, please feel free to realistically add to the trade as you see fit. (as in, no Romero for Cingrani or Thole for Votto ideas)