News Rumours

Brunt: “Something’s Cooking” on the Blue Jays Front, Plus Talk of McCutchen

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

We have reached the point of the Blue Jays’ offseason when any rumour – even the tiniest morsel of information – is enough to send fans into overdrive.

Up until now, the Blue Jays have been relatively quiet on the free agent market and trade front. But things may not be that quiet for very much longer.

Earlier today, Stephen Brunt hopped on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in Calgary and dropped this little bit of info at the end of his interview with Boomer & Warrener (clip starts around the 18:35 mark).



We may have some Blue Jay developments by the end of the week. I’ve been told something’s cooking.

Ryan Pinder proceeded to ask Stephen Brunt whether this rumour was Jose Bautista-related or “other” and Brunt came back with “other”.

Update: Brunt joined Tim & Sid and said “I think by this time next week, something will have happened”.

Yes, that’s an incredibly vague description and it can mean almost anything’s in store for the Blue Jays. But at this point, something … anything, in terms of transactions by the Blue Jays would be one step closer to moving the needle towards contention in 2017.

Although the talk of late has been about the Blue Jays bringing back Jose Bautista, Brunt was the latest to throw cold water on a potential Joey Bats/Blue Jays reunion this winter.

If I had to guess what Stephen Brunt may be talking about – and it’s only a guess, my estimation is he’s alluding to a potential trade for an outfielder. Two names which have been linked to the Blue Jays off-and-on all winter long are Andrew McCutchen and Jay Bruce.

Coincidentally, the subject of Andrew McCutchen also came up during Jeff Blair’s show yesterday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. He noted that a source from within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization told him the asking price from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a potential trade for Andrew McCutchen starts with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The hypothetical situation of trading Vladimir Guerrero Jr. opens up a much broader subject for the Blue Jays about their short and long-term organizational philosophy.

I’m not convinced Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro are willing to trade one of their best prospects, not to mention the Jays’ best position player prospect. After all, the Blue Jays are an organization which is severely lacking any up-and-coming position players.



On the other hand, Guerrero Jr. is only 17 years old and is miles away from making an impact in the Major Leagues. And Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was one of Alex Anthopoulos’ signings, not this regime’s. They didn’t scout, evaluate and sign Guerrero Jr., so Atkins and Shapiro may view Guerrero as a trade chip rather than a blue chip prospect.

In that case, maybe now is the time for the Blue Jays to sell high on one of their top prospects in order to land a premium outfielder like Andrew McCutchen.

Hat tip to @curthero222 and /u/Joslap for the link to the audio.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez “mine” incident. He’ll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

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7 Comments

  1. Bernard Alvares

    January 10, 2017 - 3:17 pm

    If the rumor mill is to be believed, it would be insane to trade their highly coveted Vlad Guerrero Jr. for McCutchen given the fact that there was a considerable drop off in McC’s all round stats in 2016. Most knowledgeable observers believe that his best years with the Pirates are behind him. Considering that Andrew was the face of the organization for many years, one has to wonder whether the Pirates are privy to information that has provided the impetus for his possible trade.
    In any event, the Jays’ volte-face is stockpiling their farm does not bode well when they decide to trade their piece de resistance. Let us hope that this is in the realm of just a “rumor”.

    1. Alan V

      January 10, 2017 - 9:10 pm

      You did research the fact that McCutch was playing through a painful injury last year, right Bernard? The “best days behind him” argument is so easy to throw at a guy if you have no idea what’s going on. His power stayed same – he had an aberration on OBP and BA. Vlad looks like a talent, but Cutch is Gold Glove, 4 time Silver Slugger, 5 time All Star, & League MVP. Let’s say Vladdy Jr becomes that guy – he is at least 3 yrs away. Baseball is about windows of contention. Now, I don’t know if this is the deal Jays make, but if it were, it’s solid.

    2. Alan V

      January 10, 2017 - 9:22 pm

      To me, the biggest prob with the Jays roster as constructed, besides stubborn refusal to repatriate JB and EE, is what they currently have on the roster. Pillar is a meathead at the plate, offensive liability, his glove doesnt make up for it in AL East; corner OFers rate modestly for production; and Smoak-Pearce as 1B; plus injury prone Travis (terrific if healthy, but will he be?) – there are already too many holes, bench is modest too. Hard to make up the lack of offense in AL period, with 1 or 2 acquisitions. The roster needs rejigging. Find a dumping ground for Pillar. Id have considered dangling Tulo or Martin (doubt there would be takers), just to get out of big contract, and then redistribute offence w undervalued FAs or trades. I would even deal Stro for offence & sign a FA starter like Hammel or Peavy. Starters would be fine.

  2. Voidhelix

    January 10, 2017 - 6:23 pm

    There is 100% NO way Shapiro authorizes the trade of Guerrero Jr, for a 30 year old corner OF. None. That may be where the conversation started, but it`s not where it ended. They`d give up Richard Urena WAY before they entertained the notion of giving up a plate-disciplined 3rd baseman with the ability to hit for both power and average. The cooking will be either Bruce or Granderson.

  3. David Coulton

    January 10, 2017 - 7:56 pm

    Relax everyone. Why doesn’t anyone recognize and appreciate the talented front office. Shapiro, Atkins, Cherington, LaCava, Tinnish, Kim etc. Remember two guys built Cleveland and one built Boston. Impressive!! Looking forward to what this team looks like going forward.

    1. Michael Link

      January 11, 2017 - 9:40 am

      I wish I had your optimism…I am worried that waiting around to see if things get cheaper will only result in losing out on good talent…

  4. AMD

    January 11, 2017 - 10:07 am

    No way I would give up Urena. He is a switch hitting shortstop that will be inline to replace Tulo. I would give up VG jr who is a long ways away from playing for the jays.

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