The Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays may be trade partners once again.
Consumating a major deal last year for former Toronto Ace, Roy Halladay, the Jays and Phillies have had multiple conversations, in addition to scouting each others target players - a lot (6 games in a row – at last count).
The obvious target for Philadelphia is the major league homerun leader, Jose Bautista, who if acquired, would be moved to 3B, with Placido Polanco moving over to 2B – while Chase Utley remains on the DL.
Once Utley returns from injury, Phillies fans should expect to see Bautista slide into the field (possibly to replace a departed Jayson Werth).
It is believed that Toronto is interested in young phenom CF Domonic Brown, who the Phillies have just called up, as well as SP J.A Happ and possibly 18 year old – 1B Jonathan Singleton. As a power hitting left-handed first baseman in low-A Lakewood, Singleton’s average has hovered around the .315 mark, while his bat has knocked out 11 homers and 55 RBI. The comparisons to a young Ryan Howard, indicate that Singleton has a very high ceiling – something that obviously would interest the Jays.
It is not known if the Phillies would discuss Domonic Brown, however his recent call-up may be an indication that he is now being showcased. However, with SP Jamie Moyer out with an injury and nearing the end of his career, the Phillies will also want a package of players that would include a young Jays pitcher in return for a package of Brown, Happ and Singleton.
The most likely candidates to be packaged en route to the “win now” Philadelphia club would be Bautista, Jesse Litsch or Brad Mills (who may have been auditioning last night – and it should be added he did so brilliantly) and possibly Scott Downs, as well as a lesser prospect.
If the Phillies and Jays can’t work out a deal, look for the San Francisco Giants to try and bolster their clubs offense with Bautista. The Giants offense is the only real weakness on the team that boasts a pitching staff of perennial Cy Young contender in Tim Lincecum, as well as top-tier stud Matt Cain, break-through stud Jonathan Sanchez, rookie sensation Madison Bumgarner, the solid veteran Barry Zito and a lights-out closer in Brian Wilson. A potential package of young fireballer Sergio Romo and/or possibly RHP Zack Wheeler, in addition to a few other pieces could force the Jays to take notice.
Other teams to have inquired or scouted Toronto recently, include the Chicago White Sox – who may look at Bautista if they fail to land Adam Dunn from Washington – and the Detroit Tigers, who need to replace Magglio Ordonez.