Reaction to the 10-player deal

Lots of fallout today from the surprising 10-player deal between Toronto and Houston. The move caught a lot of people by surprise,  including those in the Blue Jays clubhouse. I’ll try to find the time later tonight or tomorrow for my own personal analysis of the deal but I’ve been busy gathering reaction from others on the deal.

Here’s what Alex Anthopoulos, John Farrell, Ricky Romero, Bruce Walton and Casey Janssen had to say about today’s events:

Alex Anthopoulos:

Reasoning behind the deal…

“Getting J.A. Happ, having two years of control beyond this year, arb eligible, the fact that he’s been a starter, thrown out of the bullpen in the past as well. Just all those things. We need some depth going forward for the current year and even beyond. There’s a fairly significant gap for us between some of our higher end prospects at low-a and obviously the guys that are up here right now. Our depth has really been attacked.

“We like Happ’s ability to strike guys out. We think it’s very similar to when we got Carlos Villanueva a few years ago and we think there’s a little bit of upside to him. A guy like Brandon Lyon’s been having a solid year, he’s been hurt in the past, Cordero hasn’t obviously pitched as well as he’s capable of and we think swapping out Lyon with Cordero will help our ‘pen for the current year and a guy like David Carpenter is someone we liked at the end of last year, I know he hasn’t been up with the Astros very long and he was sent back down but he’s a guy with pretty good arm-strength, again he’s got some upside, some ability to control him with options, things like that, we’re always looking to get some young, relievers with options as well.

“I know there’s a lot of players involved in this deal. I think it looks like a greater deal because of the quantity of players, but at the end of the day we gave up some guys in a-ball we think have the chance to be alright and we got some much needed depth for us that can help for the current year and moving forward.”

On how long in the making it was…

“It came together recently but we’re in dialogue all the time and we had asked the Astros about Happ and just felt he’d be a good fit for us, the fact that he can start, he can relieve, again knowing that we have some control over him, again, we’re always going to need more than five starters. Right now he’s going to be in our bullpen to start but I don’t know if we can count on all five guys to remain in the rotation the whole time, so if we need to make a change in the rotation or someone falters, he’ll obviously be a guy who’ll get one of the first opportunities to go back into the starting role. Expect both players to report tomorrow, Carpenter will go to Vegas. We’ll be able to get our hands on him and watch him a little bit, but again, both Happ and Lyon will start in the bullpen.

Why not start Happ in the rotation…

“It’s really start-to-start with a lot of these guys. If you look at the numbers overall, obviously Carlos has done a good job in the rotation, Aaron Laffey has done a good job in the rotation, Cecil – who’s getting hit a little bit – I thought he battled and did a solid job against New York so he certainly deserves to get another start, I think Alvarez has certainly come around as well so it doesn’t mean he’ll be in the bullpen for a long time. I told Jay (Happ) that the opportunity could present itself at any time. We’re going to go with the hot hand like we’ve done in the bullpen. When someone falters or someone does not do well, J.A. will be waiting in the wings to get his opportunity. My hope is that we don’t have to make any changes, just we’ll put up zeroes but the reality is that’s not likely going to happen. I think he’ll get an opportunity before it’s all said and done.

On whether there was anything that either side had to have to make this happen…

“No, I think it was just one of those things, again, we didn’t want to give up any of our top guys so I think what it came down to was trying to add some depth. They needed some depth. Obviously there’s strength in numbers from that standpoint and if they weren’t going to get one of our top guys or someone that we viewed that way I think it was more about getting quantity for them and for us getting a guy like carpenter put in the deal, he’s young, got a good arm, again we think has a chance to develop into a solid reliever.

“At the end of the day we traded a bunch of kids that certainly have a lot of talent, but we have two guys that are for us, big-league players for more of the long term in Happ and Carpenter and certainly a guy like Lyon. We’re getting potentially if Carpenter does find his way back up here, three big league players to have give up some kids in the minor leagues in a-ball, seemed like a fair trade off for both sides.”

On when the player-to-be-named later will be determined…

“We’ll have it done by the end of August.”

On the financial implications…

“We’re taking on a little bit of salary, probably a little over $700,000.”

Bruce Walton:

“Any time you acquire depth, guys with veteran experience, it gives you tons of options going forward from here in what we can do with our rotation, and our bullpen.

“We’ve seen what it does with Carlos, you see how important he’s turned out to be for the club. That swing guy is huge.

“Brandon will fit in there fine. He’s a warrior, down there, he’s been around and he knows how to pitch. He’ll help out great with the three guys we have down there.”

Casey Janssen:

On help coming for the bullpen…

“We needed some help down there and I don’t know much about either one of them really, it’s kind of just hit me, but I know Lyon’s a late-inning guy that we can count on, which we’ve kind of desperately needed a little bit and Happ, I know he has starter experience, I don’t know much about him in the bullpen, but if you can get outs we’ll take you bullpen or starting.”

On easing the workload of Janssen/Frasor/Oliver…

“Hopefully it gives John options. Hopefully it takes a little bit off of us but at the same time, I don’t think anybody’s packing it in and we need to stay in those games that are tight and hopefully these arms can give our offense a chance.”

On what it means for the clubhouse…

“I think it shows that they’re trying upstairs. You hate to say it, because I don’t really know much about the prospects, but I’m kind of a guy, by the time those prospects got to the big leagues, who knows where I’m going to be. I’m a big play for the now as opposed towards the future and I think that this move is showing that we’re going to try for this year.”

Ricky Romero:

“It’s always tough to see your teammates go. I know Coco is having a tough year but at the same time, no one saw how he was in the clubhouse. He was such a great guy along with Benny. As far as the trade, it’s a business and I feel like the guys that we got are definitely going to be a big help to this team. We got a young pitcher in Happ coming up and a veteran guy in Brandon. I’m looking forward to it.”

Lack of depth seemed like a problem after the injuries…

“I think it will definitely help the team and like I said, we’re getting some good pitchers and looking forward to playing ith them and seeing what they got. I know a little bit about Happ, obviously just watching him, he pitched a few years ago against us when he was with Philly and looking forward to it.” 

What kind of effect on the clubhouse…

“We might be in last place right now but the Wild Card is still there. We’ve got two, two and a half months left of baseball and any time you’re able to make a move like that to help the team out, I’m all for it. Hopefully those guys can contribute and we can start winning games and get back on this.”

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