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Jays scouting Yankees?

7/16/2009

The National Post's Jeremy Sandler:

    It is the kind of sighting that can mean nothing or everything.
    Toronto Blue Jays director of player development Dick Scott surfaced last week at a Florida State League game between the Single-A affiliates of the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs.

    "We're just trying to look at as many guys as we can,” said Scott when asked about his scouting mission to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

    --snip--

    The Yankees appear to be in solid position for at least a wild-card berth in the American League.

    Although New York has an abundance of starting pitching, they would certainly investigate a chance to acquire Halladay and at the same time keep him away from AL rivals including Boston and the Angels.

    One Tampa Yankee prospect Toronto might look at is catcher Jesus Montero, New York's second-best prospect according to Baseball America.

    The 19-year-old is hitting .356 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 48 games at Single-A this season.

    The Yankees have other young players who might interest the Jays, including major league pitchers Phil Hughes and Phil Coke as well as Triple-A outfielder Austin Jackson.

I suppose it might just be posturing, but I'm heartened by Ricciardi's apparent willingness to consider a deal with the Yankees or the Red Sox. It's always struck me as the height of ... well, what's a less insulting word than cowardice? ... something that the Yankees and Red Sox won't make trades. The last significant trade between those clubs was, what? Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater?
The argument, I know, is, "We don't want to help our competition." But that excuse misses two things: 1) There's nothing wrong with helping your competition if you help yourself more, and 2) thanks to the wild card, you don't even need to help yourself more. The Red Sox don't have to be better than the Yankees; they just have to be better than 10 other American League teams.

Of course, the Blue Jays' case is different. It's a tough sell to the fans, trading one of the game's best pitchers to your competition, and probably getting just minor leaguers in return. Particularly if the minor leaguers aren't particularly close to the majors (i.e. Florida State Leaguers).

It behooves Ricciardi to consider all options and create, at the very least, the illusion that he's willing to trade with anybody. If he really does deal Halladay to another American League East team, though? Leaving aside the actual talent that's exchanged, he'll deserve a bit of extra credit for his guts.