The Toronto Blue Jays are in desperate need of a starting catcher, preferably one that can hit a little and play a little defense, although after J.P. Arencibia, one of the above would suffice. The Cincinnati Reds have a catcher in Ryan Hanigan that can play a lot of defense, and maybe hit a little, and guess what! They are currently shopping him around the league…Do I smell a trade brewing?
Ryan Hanigan is going to be traded and there is interest from multiple teams, and the Reds think they’ll get a good prospect in return.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 15, 2013
Well that’s disheartening. Apparently a catcher won’t just fall into the Jays lap.
Ryan Hanigan is a fine player, with a strong defensive reputation, but it can’t be forgotten that in 75 GP in 2013 he hit .198/.306/.261 managing a 53 wRC+ on the season. Even J.P “I’m a run producer” Arencibia managed a higher wRC+, which is to say, not good.
That being said, if Hanigan rebounds even slightly offensively, and doesn’t fall off a cliff defensively, he’s a monumental upgrade for th Blue Jays.
Now that we’ve decided that Hanigan is probably a significant upgrade, and the Reds reportedly believe that they will be receiving a “good” prospect for him. What should we expect the Jays to give up if they get in on the Hanigan sweepstakes?
Buster Olney’s tweet above claims the Reds expect a “good prospect” in return for Hanigan, which could possibly be the most ambiguous term I’ve ever read when it comes to baseball prospects. What in God’s name is a good prospect? Are they expecting someone on the level of Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, or Roberto Osuna (they best not be), or is a good prospect somewhere down in the middle tier like Kevin Pillar, or an L.B. Dantzler? Or maybe I’m completely spitballing here (note: yes I am).
While I’m loathe to watch the Jays trade away more prospects, especially for a catcher that managed to post worse offensive numbers than J.P. Arencibia last year, it’s the cost of doing business on the catching market this winter. If the trade market for catchers continues to trend hot like this throughout the remainder of the offseason, it’s possible the Blue Jays will be able to recoup a prospect (albeit a lesser one) if they manage to acquire Hanigan and then flip Arencibia. Making the sticker shock of acquiring an asset like Hanigan, well, less shocking.
Seriously though, can something actually just happen already?