All your ground balls are belong to me!!!!!
[Update from baseballgirl: So we sweep the Yankees over the weekend. How do they respond? By trading for Ichiro Suzuki. Yes, really.]
With the trade deadline approaching, the A's about to start a series with the Toronto Blue Jays, the A's biggest need appearing to be SS, and lots of talk on AN about the virtues and shortcomings of Yunel Escobar, I asked Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter about Y. Escobar. Tom has also put up a post on Bluebird Banter regarding "hypothetical A's-Jays trades" involving Escobar, which you might want to check out. Enjoy Tom's perspective and then weigh in!
Regarding Escobar's level of "clubhouse cancer" vs. "he's fine, that stuff is overblown":
Personally I think 'he's fine, that stuff is overblown'. He's not hitting well. You have a Spanish speaking player not hitting well, you tend to hear things like he is lazy, he's got an attitude problem. His defense has been terrific, he seems to get along great with his teammates. Even hitting the way he is, .255/.300/.343, he is a useful player.
Regarding whether he thinks the Jays are in fact open to moving him and if so, what the Blue Jays would command in return:
He has a very team friendly contract, $5 million a year till 2015, the last 2 years are team options, so if they were going to trade him they would want a lot in return. I don't think the Jays would like to be selling low on him.
But on the flip side they do have Adeiny Hechavarria, who they signed as a free agent, when he left Cuba, back in 2010. His glove has been major league ready for awhile, but his bat has taken awhile to come around. He seems to be hitting better this year, 304/.355/.426, but that is in Las Vegas, which is the happiest place on earth to be a hitter. It is very hard to gauge what he would hit in the majors from that, but the team might be ready to give him a try. A decision on Hechavarria will have to be made next year.
The Jays continue to be on the edge of the wild card race, I don't see them sending Yunel off as long as that is true, unless they get pieces that would help the team now and in the near future.
Regarding the notion of something like "Brad Peacock and Grant Green for Yunel Escobar" -- is that more or less than the A's would have to 'pay'"?
I'm guessing less, though close, at this moment. They are looking for a pitcher that could go into the rotation right now. I'm not sure that Peacock would be able to jump into the rotation now. As far as Green, we are knee deep in outfield prospects and I doubt there would be an outfield opening in the next couple of years. If Green could play second base, you'd have something. If the team falls totally out of the race by the deadline, then upper level prospects would be the way to go.
Sounds like perhaps a more likely conversation would be something like Griffin (ready now) and either an "ouch to lose" infield prospect or second starting pitching prospect? What do you think?