March 11, 2012; Lake Buena Vista FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek (4) warms up before pitching in the first inning of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Blue Jays players generating interest


Ken Rosenthal says that the Arizona Diamondbacks would be interested in acquiring young, powerful catcher J.P. Arencibia if he was made available. Now, the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t interested in shopping Arencibia yet, but they could be pressed into trading the projected 2.5 WAR catcher with the presence of top prospect Travis d’Arnaud. The Blue Jays will have a tough decision to make on the matter this year, but there is also the matter of starting pitching.

With news that Gavin Floyd might not be available for trade and report saying that the White Sox and Blue Jays have not talked, there are still two other attractive pitching options on the market. Joe Blanton has looked as good as he has in a while in Spring Training, and he is definitely a top target, while John Lannan is another guy who has been on the trade block for a while who could be a target for the Blue Jays. Lannan is the worst of the three but the easiest to get, as he has been pressed out after the Washington Nationals signed Edwin Jackson to a below market value deal.

Two young pitchers on the Blue Jays have been receiving interest from other ballclubs, and they are Kyle Drabek and Brett Cecil. Drabek was acquired in the famous Roy Halladay deal from the Philadelphia Phillies, but his value has been down after some disappointment early on in his career. The Blue Jays aren’t going to trade him now, because they could easily get ripped off with his value compressed.

Meanwhile, Cecil is just 25 and was worth 2.6 WAR as recently as 2010. His play slipped dramatically last season, and his 5.10 FIP was not something to write home about. The groundball rate will normalize, but that won’t change his high home run allowance. Cecil doesn’t exactly mow down hitters either, with a strikeout rate under 7 per nine. He doesn’t have the greatest control in the world either, but he has some solid offspeed pitches and is in the best shape of his life. Cecil is a decent No. 4 starter with 3 WAR peak upside and an expected WAR of 1-1.5 WAR next season.

The lefty’s velocity has been declining for some time, and the 3 WAR peak upside isn’t anything impressive either for a 25-year-old, and he may never achieve that total. The Blue Jays might not want to trade him either, but there are scouts who apparently believe that the youngster has finally figured things out after struggling through AAA last season. Cecil is under team control through the 2015 season, so he is an attractive buy-low option for some teams.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Brett Cecil Chicago White Sox Edwin Jackson Gavin Floyd J.P. Arencibia Joe Blanton John Lannan Kyle Drabek Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay Toronto Blue Jays Travis D'Arnaud Washington Nationals